Healdsburg Animal Control Officer Ryan Pelleriti Tenders Resignation

Following Monday’s sudden resignation of executive director Julie Seal from the Healdsburg Animal Shelter, the shelter continues to struggle with shock and ‘chaos.’


Today confirmed in an e-mail that he has submitted his resignation to the .

Staff members are reeling from and Pelleriti’s decision adds to that shock.

“I can confirm that I submitted my resignation on Monday,” wrote Pelleriti. “Friday the 23rd of March will be my final day of employment with the Healdsburg Animal Shelter."

Pelleriti declined to elaborate on his reasons.

“I wish the Healdsburg Animal Shelter the best moving forward,” he said during a phone interview.

But staff admits to the stress of the escalating situation.

“It feels like emotional chaos for the staff, and it’s hard to focus on your everyday job,” said HAS bookkeeper Penny Chambers. She expressed her distress with the press coverage of the shelter.

“The press seems to be taking the voices of eight [or so] unhappy people instead of the balance of the 10,000 residents of Healdsburg,” she said. “There are only four dogs at the shelter currently, but because of the chaos created, animals are not being brought in.

“If those eight people think [what they are doing is] about helping the animals—they are not doing that.”

As the story continues to break Healdsburg Patch will continue to update readers.

Bob Brady March 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM
It's alarming that a bookkeeper appears to be mathematically challenged with her assertion that only 8 people were upset with Ms Seals and the four board members. If she attended the last HAS meeting which was open to the public and which did not allow questions, her count would have been well into the hundreds, and this includes the donors. The facts speak for themselves--there is a cause and effect pattern which can no longer be ignored and living in a state of denial is not going to help HAS move onward and upward. Read Bob Santucci's article right here in The Patch which remarks on the almost completed shelter which is looking good. Look at the pictures of the new shelter. Ask yourselves why it has taken so long for the ED and board members to move the animals from that depressing, drafty closet of a shelter and into the almost completed, state-of-the-art shelter? The truth is out, stop living in denial as it is not doing the animals any good.
Toni Lisoni March 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I am saddened at the news of Ryan's departure. But I will remain a vocal critic of many of the recent decisions that the board has made, the worst of which include its lack of transparency and have resulted in a lack of trust from the community at large. With all due respect, I believe that the voices of the supposed "8 (or so) unhappy people" speak for a great number of the 10,000 plus members of our community. And it does the shelter a disservice, as well as those concerned critics, to drive a wedge between us, which isn't there. We can agree to disagree about what the problems are and how to fix them. But it does no good to accuse those of us who demand transparency and improvement of somehow being at fault for all of the current upheaval and distress. The director suddenly resigned. Was her resignation sought by the board? And if so, what were the reasons? Until the answers to those questions are known, there is no reasonable basis for blaming those of us who are ill at ease with the shelter's overseers, for causing the current distress. What could possibly be gained by making "bad guys" of the very people who have devoted their time, hearts and money toward improving the lot of the animals, as well as the people in the shelter's care and employ?
Bob Brady March 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Well said Toni. I think you eloquently speak for a majority of animal loving Healdsburg residents.
Lisa Hadley March 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Well said Toni! I thank you and I am sure the homeless animals of Healdsburg thank you and the others who have merely been trying to stick up for them, stick up for the American Way, and try to all come to a meeting of the minds based on what is best first for Healdsburg animals and then of course for as many other animals as possible. I hope moving forward we can all agree on one thing, that it is for the animals that we pour our hearts and souls into what we do and that no one contaminates that goal with self serving ideals.
John Lloyd March 15, 2012 at 01:09 AM
If the vociferous “overseers” would put that energy into actions that benefit the mission of the HAS, its staff, volunteers, and beleaguered board members, instead of continuing to tear at the very weak fabric of a much needed organization, perhaps they would know exactly what they think they haven’t been told.
Lisa Hadley March 15, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Oh John, so many of those speaking out have done just that, for years. And then were silenced and chased away. I agree with you HAS is a much needed organization, but an organization that is in great need of change. I believe Daisy Damskey spoke of change. Since there is so much unrest within the HAS Community, why would the old Board not turn it over to new hands in the interest of regaining the Community's trust and moving forward to do exactly as you say follow the mission of the organization. It obviously has not worked this past year. Let's start anew and come together with new blood moving forward. The old Board can support the new by volunteering to help achieve all the goals desired for so long. Do their egos not allow them to let HAS move forward without them? Why? If it is in the best interest of the animals why not? Or is it for them... I hope not.
Toni Lisoni March 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I have a great deal of respect for John and for Kim, as well. If the board is truly fragile and beleaguered, (and I can understand that), then all it has to say to us "vociferous" folks is, "We've done our best, under tough circumstances. If you think that you can do a better job, then have at it and we'll step away." Because, we're not just a bunch of malcontented wind- bags, we're willing to put our money and our time and our energy where our hearts are. All the board has to do is say, "Come and get it!" and we'll be right there. Can I get an, "Amen!"? Being a board chair, myself, I know how thankless the job can be. But, during times of crisis, (and, believe me, I've been through them), if someone I trusted were to ask me to step aside for the good of the organization, so that much needed healing could begin, what kind of person would I be to turn them down? If the fabric is really worn that thin, then all the board needs to do is to turn it over to us big mouths, who think that we can do a better job. The board members know how to contact us, if they're interested in exploring the option. I agree. It's not fair to stand up and complain, if you're not willing to offer a solution. Thanks, John, for keeping it real.
Scott Ward March 15, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Ryan is a good man, with honor and integrity. He will be missed.
Tim March 15, 2012 at 04:43 PM
OK got it. They're wrong and you're right. And I agree, it's time to move on. Now, we have another opportunity to contribute to the improvements that everyone is outlining so well in these blogs. Including to the new building fund, if you can. But mostly, I am sad that Ryan is leaving the organization under these circumstances. Good luck.
Gwen Rosewater March 18, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I don't know any of the details of the disagreements between the board and the departing staff. I can only say that I am very sad to hear of these departures, as I hold both Julie and Ryan in high esteem. I wish them both well in their lives.


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