Shake up at Helping Hands Humane Society, new director sought

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The Helping Hands Humane Society Board of Directors will be in search of a new executive director within the next month.

The move follows a reshuffling at the Topeka animal shelter.  Executive Director Deb Watkins is stepping aside to assume a veterinary and medical role at the shelter.

Helping Hands Board President Jay Newberry told KSNT News that the decision was made by the board recently and said the shelter will be focusing on finding someone with administrative experience and not necessarily a veterinarian

Newberry said the shelter is adding  many new programs and expanding services, so it was necessary to split the veterinary and administrative duties.

Watkins has been executive director at HHHS since 2016 and Newberry said she will now concentrate on veterinary affairs at the shelter.

The interim director is Kathy Maxwell, who has been  the director of business affairs at HHHS since 2010.

Newberry said the search for a permanent director will begin soon. He hopes at attract a candidate who knows Topeka, but said if there is a qualified candidate from out of the area, the board will consider that person as well.

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