Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Mark Martukovich; Remove

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Mark Martukovich, CPA, is an associate partner with the accounting firm of Fox and Associates. He also serves as a member of the SPCA Tampa Bay Board of Directors.

As readers of this blog know, we have been reporting on the controversial policies and practices of SPCA/TB CEO Martha Boden. We have also been sharing these posts with those who have a direct interest in the SPCA/TB dysfunction. Mark Martukovitch has been one of those recipients.

Yesterday we received an email from Martukovitch with the message “Remove”. Martukovitch’s request has been honored and acknowledged with our reply:

You’re removed, Mark. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. A large
contingency of the community is encouraging you to remove Martha Boden as CEO of SPCA/TB and then … consider removing yourself from the board.

Martukovich is removed from the mailing list that reminded him that there was a new report on the travesty occurring on his watch at the SPCA. But he has not removed himself from accountability. As a director, he must own some responsibility for:

• Excessive spending of donor dollars on Boden’s $115K/yr salary
• Increased spending on top-heavy management salaries and benefits
• Decreased spending on animal care
• Empty kennels that could be sheltering dogs in need
• The inexperienced behaviorist making decisions that spell death for adoptable dogs
• The death of adoptable dogs turned away from the shelter full of empty kennels
• Forcing upon Pinellas County a reputation for allowing the local animal welfare industry to be hijacked and dominated by a CEO with a proven track record of failed policies and practices

Martukovich has replied to concerned citizens and even former SPCA donors with rude emails referring to their concerns as “nonsense,” telling them they are “blinded by ignorance,” and demanding that they stop emailing Board members.

Yes, the dismemberment of the SPCA/TB can be hard to read about. It must be even harder to keep reading about it when you know you should do something about it, but won’t.

WFLA Channel 8 stays on the trail

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

After WFLA Channel 8’s Gayle Guyardo aired her first investigative report on the problems at SPCA Tampa Bay, CEO Martha Boden invited the reporter to tour the shelter – with her, of course.

Naturally, spin prevailed.

The “highly qualified veterinarian” has never worked in a shelter before and reportedly refused to treat a severely injured dog until she had been evaluated and determined to be “worth it”. See the post on “Elsa”.

The “behaviorist trained to place animals in just the right environment” earned her degree through an online school, has never been a behaviorist in a shelter, and is actually certified as a dog trainer, NOT a behaviorist. She replaced the 20-year veteran behaviorist who was forced to retire by Boden.

Perhaps because of the publicity generated by Guyardo’s reports, Boden finally agreed to a meeting with a limited number of fired volunteers, who represent a fraction of the number who are shedding light on the plight of the animals at SPCA/TB. The meeting, however, will be “under certain guidelines” not specified in the report.

Guyardo asked to attend the meeting.

Boden refused.

The Empress Wears No Clothes

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

In the famous fable, the emperor had his subjects so completely cowed that everyone went along with his fantasy. Only one small boy had the courage to speak the truth: that the emperor’s new clothes were, in fact, no clothes at all.

In an interview with WFLA’s Gayle Guyardo about the problems at SPCA Tampa Bay, CEO Martha Boden says it all boils down to change. “Change is how we do more good for animals.”

But a look at what’s happening reveals that Boden’s changes do nothing for the animals and everything for her. Her actions tell a different story:

“Change is how we do good for ME! Change is how I am using the SPCA as my private enterprise to command a $115,000+ annual salary and maintain a top-heavy administrative staff to raise the money under the guise of ‘doing good for animals’. Change is not negotiable. Challenge how we care for animals, and you’re in my way. That means you’re out.”

One has to wonder if there isn’t a release clause in Boden’s contract, approved by the SPCA / TB legal agent, that would fluff her bank account if she was released from her contract prematurely. When Boden left Indianapolis, HSI board member David Horth was asked about her severance package. “You wouldn’t want to know,” he replied.

Light is a great disinfectant. When the media shines light into the darkness of the leadership at SPCA/TB, it is not hard to recognize that board members’ silence is defending that darkness.

Does anyone on the SPCA Board of Directors have a conscience? Is there no one with the courage of that small boy to stand up and acknowledge that the empress is wearing no clothes?

Attitudes, Knowledge and Civility

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

IACC Board Chair Sue Hobbs, who represents the Humane Society of Indianapolis, was apparently unaware of how the Board is composed when she convened the May 8 IACC Board meeting. After the other Board members had introduced themselves, she moved on, ignoring interim director Spencer Moore. Moore asked if he too should introduce himself.

“You’re not a Board member,” Hobbs responded.

“Yes I am,” said Moore.

“No, you’re not,” replied Hobbs.

Moore deferred to a member of the city’s legal team, who informed Hobbs that the administrator is indeed an ex officio board member. City code Sec. 251-332 sec 4 states:
In addition to the five (5) voting members, the administrator of the animal care and control division shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of the board.

This exchange occurs at the one-minute mark on the Board meeting video.

Hobbs had already made her feelings about Moore plain during an April 28 interview with Channel 8’s Jessica Smith, just days after Moore was named interim director: “I feel like he (Moore) represents the absolute worst, darkest period in Indianapolis animal welfare.”

Since improving policies and procedures at IACC is a goal for all of the Indianapolis animal welfare community, it’s important to note that this incident does not reflect the attitudes of all animal welfare groups. It indicates a lack of knowledge and civility on the part of one individual. By extension, it reflects on the organization she represents, which might be well served by helping her to see that an adversarial attitude doesn’t advance the cause.

But if a meaningful conversation is going to take place between the city of Indianapolis and the animal welfare community about IACC policies and procedures, many more organizations need to be involved. There is a vast amount of knowledge and leadership available in Indy’s many rescue and sheltering groups. We hope the city won’t permit one representative or one organization to manipulate the dialogue.

In Florida, WFLA Channel 8 has picked up on the scent

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

A “hat tip” to Florida’s WFLA Channel 8’s Gayle Guyardo for looking into the dysfunction and deceit present in the leadership of SPCA Tampa Bay. Guyardo interviewed both ex-volunteers and CEO Martha Boden. Watch her interview, the first in a planned series of updates on SPCA/Tampa Bay.

Our contacts in Pinellas County Florida report that Boden’s claim that “…we have reached out to some of the volunteers… and asked if they wanted to meet and so far they haven’t responded,” is blatantly false.

The SPCA/TB Board of Directors has allowed and endorsed Boden’s initiative to increase spending on marketing, development, and high-level staff salaries and say goodbye to everyone else, including thousands of animals. They are:

Marilyn Hulsey, President
Lyndy Jennings, VP – Development
Jonathan Browy, VP – Governance
Jim McGinty, Treasurer and Finance Chair
Erin E. Banks, Esq., Secretary
Chris Allen
Michele Egerter
Jessica Eilerman
Mark Martukovich
Tara Miller
John Ralph, Jr., CPA

We salute WFLA’s investigative reporting, and will keep you posted as the story develops.

If it goes without saying, it probably needs to be said

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

We all make mistakes. The important thing is to acknowledge them and try to set things right. Which is why we’re handing out both bouquets and brickbats to both sides in a recent dust-up between IACC and other members of the Indianapolis animal welfare community.

Recently, interim IACC director Spencer Moore informed area rescue groups of a new set of rules for pulling animals from the city shelter. Many rescue groups took offense at the changes, and Humane Society of Indianapolis CEO John Aleshire, who also represents the Animal Welfare Alliance, took Moore to task in a long and angry e-mail.

The tone of Aleshire’s e-mail is condescending and implies that Moore discounts the contribution of rescue groups. It hints that Moore, who was IACC administrator in the ‘90s, is less than competent and should be asking others, specifically the Animal Welfare Alliance, how to do his job. That’s insulting.

Moore is owed an apology by Aleshire for this attack.

That being said, however, Aleshire brings up some valid points that also need to be considered.

The new rules for rescue groups were simply sent out in a blunt e-mail with no explanation of why the changes were made or what they seek to accomplish. The tone of this communication seems to suggest that the rescues may be less than responsible and must be told and guided step-by-step by IACC staff. It’s not surprising that many in the rescue community took offense.

The rescue groups are owed an explanation by interim director Moore as to why the changes were made.

Members of some long-time rescues have indicated that some of the policy adjustments are actually in the animals’ best interest. Nevertheless, those reasons need to be communicated. You can’t expect people to know what you’re thinking if you don’t tell them.

Rescue and/or advocacy groups shouldn’t be made to feel they’re being treated as less than partners in the animal welfare effort.

So let’s check the egos, ladies and gentlemen, and start over. Rescue organizations, IACC, and the Animal Welfare Alliance should all be on the same team with the same goal:

…what’s best for the animals.

“Tails and Ales” 2014

Monday, May 5th, 2014

“Tails and Ales” 2014 starts May 8; enjoy an
evening with local volunteer rescues!

Come out for a fun evening at the Broad Ripple Brewpub and support our local all-volunteer rescue groups! Again this year, the Brewpub will partner with move to ACT for “Tails and Ales” on specific Thursdays from 6 to 9 pm. Ten small, all-volunteer rescue groups will participate, bringing great pets available for adoption.

The Brewpub is located at 842 E. 65th Street, near the popular Monon Trail. Featuring British-inspired dishes, hearty sandwiches, plenty of vegetarian choices, pizza, and a variety of locally-brewed beers, it has one of the largest dog-friendly outdoor seating spaces in the Village.

“Tails and Ales” begins on May 8 with Every Dog Counts, All About Dogs, Waldo’s Muttley Crew, Great Pyrenees Rescue, and IndyCLAW. Chihuahua Rescue,Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, ARPO, and Casa Del Toro will be on hand May 22. Siamese Cat Rescue will also participate.

Gather your friends, enjoy some terrific food and beverages from the Broad Ripple Brewpub, and introduce everyone you know to the lifesaving efforts of these hard-working rescues. Someone’s new best friend is waiting!

Join us on these dates 6-9PM:

May 8
May 22
June 5, 19
Sept 11, 25
Oct 9, 23