Veronica Constantine, who was hired into the new position just four months ago, sent her 30-day notice to the local humane society's Board of Directors on Friday morning.
“It's been a short ride,” said Constantine, who also served as manager of the facility from 1996-99.
Constantine said she was hired this go-around to help expand the rescue program and revamp the process to make it more efficient.
“I was told everything was running smoothly and (the board) wanted to make little tweaks,” she said. “It was very apparent early on that things were broken. Things were great back (in the 1990s). It was really disheartening for me to walk in and see how far downhill things had gone.”
Constantine, who worked as program director for the Kent County Animal Shelter for nine years prior to accepting the Harbor Humane Society position in May, said a recent petition filed by a former employee accusing the facility of animal neglect isn't too far off base — although some of the issues have been resolved.
Jessica Swett circulated the petition on the change.org website, accusing the West Olive shelter of gross overcrowding and poor conditions for the animals. She cited alleged incidents from October to December 2012.
The petition — titled, “Stop the animal abuse and make the Board of Directors responsible for their actions” — had received close to 2,700 virtual signatures as of Friday.
“There are situations where animals don't get the care they deserve,” Constantine said. “We are too busy.”
Harbor Humane Society Board President Greg Dziewit called the complaints “meritless” and a “witch hunt” in a Holland Sentinel article about the petition on Aug. 30.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.