Shelby County Humane Society investigating missing funds

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By The Staff

The Shelby County Humane Society has hired an auditor to investigate missing funds that could total into the hundreds of thousands.

A suit filed against former Shelby County Humane Society President Mark Smith alleges that he took $250,000, sold property belonging to the Shelby County Humane Society and redeemed a Certificate of Deposit valued at $115,000 all “under false pretenses.”

Smith and former Executive Director Tracie Lennon resigned from the humane society in March.

On April 1 Shelby County terminated its contract with the humane society to run the county’s animal shelter. The Sentinel-News reported at that time that Shelby County Judge-Executive Dan Ison cited financial issues as why the humane society requested the contract be terminated, although he assured that the county had the funds to run the shelter.

The Shelby County Humane Society had taken over the operation of the shelter just five months prior in November.

At that time, neither Smith, Lennon nor the Shelby County Humane Society would comment on why the two had left the humane society or why the contract had been terminated.

“There has been a change in the Board of Directors of the Shelby County Humane Society, Mark Smith has resigned as president and Tracie Lennon has resigned as executive director,” the board’s current president Joan Lurie said in an e-mail to The Sentinel-News in late March.

Smith declined to comment on the situation at the time, including his resignation, and Lennon was not available for comment.

After the resignations of Smith and Lennon in March, vice-president Jo Carol McGavic and the Secretary/Treasurer is Kate Henninger stayed on and the other board members were Mary Gaylord McClean, Jannie Giles and Dr. Theresa Gregory.

None have commented on the situation.