New Staff, Board Members Unveiled at Healdsburg Animal Shelter

Chairman Bill Anderson gives report to Healdsburg City Council.


Healdsburg Animal Shelter on Monday announced a new round of arrivals and departures of both staff and board members at a Healdsburg City Council public meeting.

"Most important to the Council, the community and our staff and volunteers, we have restructured the management of the shelter to insure those involved in the day-to-day administration of the shelter can best operate the facility and business in a professional and efficient manner," HAS board chairman Bill Anderson told the City Council.

In a prepared speech, Anderson detailed the following staff and board changes:

- a former humane officer/director for the Monterey County SPCA for seven years, has been hired as director of animal services. Adams, who was in charge of cruelty investigations in Monterey County and who was the media spokesperson in animal cruelty cases that made the news there, will be the chief animal control officer in Healdsburg on a three-or-four-days-per-week schedule.

The other days of the week, Adams will work on administrative issues to help run the day-to-day activities in regard to animal welfare. Adams replaces much-admired former who left to take an animal control position in Mendocino County.

Adams originally applied for Pelleriti's job, but when the board saw her other experience and qualifications, they created a new hybrid role for her, Anderson said.

"After reviewing her outstanding credentials, we in essence built this new position around her capabilities and are thrilled she has joined us," Anderson said of Adams.

After the meeting, Adams, who started work on Nov. 1, said she was likewise pleased to return to Sonoma County, where she has family and where she had lived previously when she was a health and fitness director for the YMCA in Santa Rosa. She changed career paths after the YMCA position, enrolling in the Humane Academy, an animal law enforcement training program.

"Everything here is so close," Adams said of Healdsburg. "In Monterey County, it would often take an hour and a half to get places -- here it often takes five minutes."

--Sherri Tantarelli, current part-time animal control officer, will expand her schedule by one extra day, so that she be able to fill in on the days that Adams is doing administrative duties and coordinating animal welfare services.

--Caroline Marker, current office manager, will be in charge of the day-to-day operations from a bookkeeping/administrative standpoint, handling human resources and payroll and other business issues at the shelter.

--Janice Lund, a certified veterinary technician, has been hired on staff and will be starting soon, Anderson said.

-- the shelter's former veterinary technician, has resigned. Roberts, in a letter to the community published in the current issue of the said he wanted to apologize to anyone he may have offended by a crisp or blunt tone.

"The wonderful and talented staff at HAS is under enough stress and pressure as is," Roberts wrote in the Tribune's "Letters to the Editor" section. "To then subject them to my rude, arrogant character (on a daily basis), well, that's completely unacceptable to me. Therefore, I have resigned as vet tech of HAS." He asked for forgiveness from the community and from fellow staff members.

--Art Feagles, Che Voight and Bob Wilkie have been appointed to the HAS board of directors. Their bios were not immediately available, but Anderson told the City Council that they have been closely involved with the shelter and with animal welfare issues for many months.

--HAS Board Co-Chair Sandra Versteegh, former Board President Kathleen McCaffrey and former Board Treasurer Sandy Walheim have resigned.

Anderson praised the assistance of Versteegh, whom he said was resigning due to family commitments. He said she would continue to serve on the shelter's Advisory Board.

"Tremendous thanks are also due to [Walheim] and [McCaffrey] for their incredible service to the organization for many years," Anderson said. "As a volunteer board, those who are willing to spend countless hours assisting the organization are paramount to our success."

Anderson also updated the City Council on the which sits vacant and unfinished across Westside Road from the the current shelter building. Anderson said the lawsuit was still in progress and could take up to two years to go through legal channels.

Anderson said the shelter had suspended major fundraising efforts until the lawsuit was filed and until a forensic audit was completed. Now that both of those projects are done, the shelter is poised to restart a fundraising campaign, he said.

"The forensic audit found no misuse of funds or instances where funds were not allocated to the areas our donors intended," Anderson said. "This is an essential point in that we, as a nonprofit organization, depend on the kind donations of those in this community and beyond to support the ongoing operations of the shelter."

City Council members said they were pleased with Anderson's update.

"Thanks very much for getting the ship righted again," City Councilman Tom Chambers told Anderson. "Good job."

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