The Cedar Valley Humane Society, located in Linn County, has been open on a limited basis the past few days. Recently, the organization fired six staff members, including two co-directors. The Cedar Valley Humane Society’s board president, Bernie Lettington, is not disclosing why the individuals were dismissed, but admits the past few days have been tough on everyone who works or volunteers at the shelter.

“Certainly, it’s a transition period right now. But, I think people will see in the weeks and months going forward, the Cedar Valley Humane Society will continue to serve the public,” Lettington said. The Cedar Valley Humane Society serves all of Linn County, except for Cedar Rapids and Marion. Lettington says the animals in the shelter all doing fine.

“The first priority is the health and well-being of the animals in our care,” Lettington said. “We’ve taken care of that every day and we’ll continue to do that.” But, long-time volunteers like Karla Chapman tell a different story. She visited the Humane Society a few days ago and says everyone seemed stressed out and overwhelmed

“Chaos…complete chaos. Very, very upset people. A couple people were crying. One was on the verge of it,” Chapman said. Lettington offered this response. “I suppose, at times, especially on the weekends, it could look like chaos. But, it was organized chaos and a lot of folks are doing lots of good work,” Lettington said. Some Linn County residents fear the situation will lead to more animals being euthanized. Lettington says that’s not true.

“There’s no plans to euthanize any additional animals on any other kind of basis other than what would be the responsible thing for any humane society to do,” Letttington said. The Humane Society is trying to hire a new executive director. So far, board members have received about 40 applications for the job. The group expects to hire someone within the next few months.

Story submitted by Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids