The Peninsula Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will undergo another leadership change in mid-September when its interim executive director leaves.
Williamsburg veterinarian Dick Chance, an SPCA board member, will assume interim leadership of the nonprofit shelter. He’ll work for free as the board searches for a permanent replacement.
“Permanent” has been a difficult goal for the SPCA in recent years. There have been four executive directors at the nonprofit since November, 2004. The latest to leave, Denise Deisler, has accepted a position at a Florida nonprofit for which she’s done contract work. She’s been with the SPCA since March, hired as an interim leader to see the board through development of a strategic plan that focused on finding a new leader and setting broader goals.
The Peninsula SPCA seemed on shaky ground in January 2003, when the cities of Hampton and Newport News requested an audit on suggestions of misspent funds. The Virginia State Police investigated, the executive director of 32 years was fired, a board member of 42 years quit, but no criminal charges were ever filed. Since then the nonprofit has had internal conflicts on its board, a third of which has resigned over differences in how to lead the organization to stability.
The Peninsula SPCA has contracts with York County, Newport News, Hampton and Poquoson to accept the stray cats and dogs that animal control officers pick up in those jurisdictions. The shelter also accepts strays or unwanted pets from residents of those communities, and provides adoption opportunities to qualified families.