'Pet Pals' Angered By Board's Refusal To Accept Memberships

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A group of longtime supporters of the Payson Humane Society are outraged this week because their checks to renew their society memberships were rejected by the shelter's board of directors.

Twenty-three local residents wrote checks out to the humane society two weeks ago to become "Pet Pals" or to renew their memberships during a meeting of people dissatisfied with the board.

Last week, the board returned the checks, most of which were written for $10 -- the cost of Pet Pal membership -- along with a letter inviting residents to apply for membership "under the proper circumstances."

"I was really ticked when I got this," Pet Pal member Ruby Finney said. "I've been a member for four years. This is a renewal."

But Gloria Scott, the president of the humane society, said the checks were collected improperly and the board felt it was inappropriate to accept them.

"The person who took the Pet Pal checks wasn't authorized to do so," Scott said. "No one had the authority to sign them up as Pet Pals."

Anyone whose check was rejected last week can drop off a check at the shelter or mail a check to the shelter to reapply, she said.

"We've never denied anyone membership," Scott said. "We won't turn them away even though they're fighting against us."

An ad hoc committee for the Concerned Members of the Payson Humane Society, the group of residents that met two weeks ago, has presented an in-depth position paper to the society's board of directors, committee member Carol Lydic said. The committee will hold a public status meeting at 6 p.m. March 4 at the Payson Womans Club to update members on the committee's progress.

Scott said the board is willing to meet with the committee after it has reviewed the group's position statement, but a joint-meeting date has not yet been set. The board of directors plans to meet before then, but all board meetings are private, she said.

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