Houlton Humane Society regroups board, denies online rumors

8 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Humane Society is a frequent user of social media, turning to Facebook several times a day to post pictures of lost animals that were brought into the shelter or animals that are available for adoption.
Late last week, however, social media began to turn against them, Houlton Humane Society Executive Director Heather Miller said Monday, after news got out that three people had resigned from the organization’s seven-member board of directors. Rumors began spreading that the cause was financial irregularities.

“That is not true,” Miller said Monday. “Two members who resigned just had conflicts with work and could not serve on the board, so they had to get done. There were no hard feelings. We already have volunteers ready to take their positions. I want the community to know that we are fine, the animals are fine, and anyone who has questions can call us or come in and visit us.”
Miller said she could not comment on the reason why the third member resigned but that no wrongdoing was involved in that case either.
The humane society is a nonprofit corporation that offers care and adoption services for stray and abandoned animals in southern Aroostook County.
The shelter is a more than 50-year-old no-kill facility located on Callaghan Road in Houlton. It contracts with 14 towns in the southern Aroostook area that pay for the services they receive.
Miller said Monday that there is no truth to rumors being spread on social media that the shelter has failed to file tax returns. The rumors got so widespread, however, that on Sunday Miller, fearing the gossip would damage the shelter’s reputation, took to the organization’s Facebook page to clear them up.
“We’ve had a personal accountant do our books for years,” she said. “No one here does them. I don’t want these rumors to hurt the shelter. There are no financial irregularities here, there is no wrongdoing. Anyone is invited in here to see that for themselves, or they can call me and ask.”
Miller said Monday that the shelter is now ready to regroup and move forward with a new board of directors.

Efforts on Monday to reach the three board members who resigned were unsuccessful.