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Published: Monday, 3/10/2014

Humane society vet loses title, leaves post

Johnson was with group since 2002

BY ALEXANDRA MESTER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dr. Debbie Johnson left the Toledo Area Humane Society on Feb. 26. Dr. Debbie Johnson left the Toledo Area Humane Society on Feb. 26.
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The Toledo Area Humane Society has eliminated its director of operations position.

Dr. Debbie Johnson, a full-time veterinarian who had filled the role since the end of 2011, left the humane society Feb. 26 as a result of the change. She had been with the organization, alternating between part-time and full-time employment, since 2002.

Executive Director Gary Willoughby said the position had been created a few years ago by his predecessor, John Dinon.

“Both the board of directors and I are responsible for being stewards of our supporters’ donations, and after an extensive review of our organization’s needs, this position was eliminated,” he said in a statement to The Blade. “Deb knew this was a possibility, even before I joined TAHS last year.”

Teresa Beebe, chairman of the humane society’s board of directors, said Mr. Willoughby “is more hands on and more involved operationally” than Mr. Dinon had been and “felt the decision to eliminate the position was in the best interests of TAHS.”

Dr. Johnson did not return a phone call from The Blade seeking comment. Both Mrs. Beebe and Mr. Willoughby declined to discuss the specifics of the change.

“In general, we don’t comment on human-resources matters,” Mr. Willoughby said. “We want to respect people’s privacy.”

The humane society has another full-time veterinarian and an on-call veterinarian on its staff. The employees who had reported to Dr. Johnson, like the supervisors of animal care and adoptions, now report to Mr. Willoughby.

Dr. Johnson “did a great job in animal care and will be missed,” Mr. Willoughby and Mrs. Beebe said jointly. “We wish her well in her future endeavors.”



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