Yukon Pet Adoption League, founder settle spat
After more than three hours of negotiations on Monday, board members of the Yukon Pet Adoption League agreed to divorce themselves from the nonprofit agency's founder.
Westmoreland County Judge Chris Feliciani announced a consent decree that formalized the agency's split from Barbara Flanigan, who leases her South Huntingdon property to the shelter operation.
Flanigan, 67, was fired in November as the agency's director, but, according to board members, she continued to come to work, changed the shelter's phone number, dissuaded donors and took over a kennel building for her own shelter operation.
Flanigan said she formed the agency 25 years ago to care for abandoned dogs and cats.
The deal was made as Feliciani was set to hear an injunction request filed by the board seeking to have Flanigan barred from the property.
“It's a sad day, but we're hoping to be a stronger organization,” said Pamela Siegel, president of the Pet Adoption League.
The deal prohibits Flanigan from coming onto property the organization rents from her for $1 a year. The 99-year lease was signed in 2001.
Flanigan also is barred from making any derogatory statements about the shelter. She has two days to remove any dogs she is holding in the kennel. Flanigan will be allowed to inspect the shelter buildings every 45 days.
Meanwhile, the Pet Adoption League will regain its telephone number and be allowed to move animals back into its shelter.
Since December, the agency has housed pets at a secondary location and in private homes, Siegel said.
Despite the agreement, Flanigan said on Monday she was not happy with the deal.
“I don't think it was fair. I felt like I had no chance to sign it. After 25 years of running the Pet Adoption League, I felt I got railroaded out,” Flanigan said.
Flanigan and the agency's board members will return to court on Wednesday when Feliciani will conduct a hearing as to who should pay for propane stored on the property.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.