Karen Froehlich has stepped down as president and CEO of SPCA of Texas, effective immediately, the organization’s board of directors announced.
The board has named Don Lindsley, SPCA of Texas vice president of finance, as interim president and CEO. Lindsley joined the SPCA of Texas in July 2013.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Karen for her contributions to the SPCA of Texas,” Hiren Patel, chair of the SPCA of Texas board of directors, said in a statement. “We respect Karen’s decision and thank her for her seven years of service to our organization. She is passionate about protecting and caring for vulnerable animals, and we’re certain she will continue that good work into the future.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that Froehlich’s resignation comes after what it said were controversial decisions to pull out of animal welfare efforts in Dallas.
The DMN said that Froehlich was under increasing pressure after she notified the Dallas Police Department in September that the SPCA would no longer be able to perform forensics work needed for DPD’s animal cruelty unit.
The newspaper said that additional questions from both donors and staff were raised after Froehlich shut down the low-cost veterinary clinic that the nonprofit had operated in southern Dallas for 17 years.
On mission to protect and care for animals
The SPCA said that it continues in its mission to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home. The SPCA of Texas has been the leading animal welfare organization in North Texas during its 85-year history, and focuses on preventing and prosecuting animal cruelty, caring for rescued animals, and keeping pets in homes.
As vice president of finance, Lindsley is responsible for finance, risk management, facilities, and information technology, the SPCA said. As interim president and CEO, Lindsley will work alongside the executive leadership team to continue the lifesaving efforts of the SPCA of Texas.
“Our leadership, staff and volunteers remain focused on protecting and caring for North Texas’ most vulnerable animals,” Lindsley said in a statement. “Our community’s support makes it possible for us to provide programs and services for thousands of North Texas’ pets and their people.”
Under Patel’s leadership, the SPCA’s board will conduct a comprehensive executive search to fill the president and CEO role.
“We will seek a talented and respected individual with both passion for animal welfare and demonstrated leadership in managing a nonprofit similar in scale and scope to our organization,” Patel said in a statement. “While the board is motivated to fill this critical role, we are committed to a thorough and transparent process to find an exceptional candidate who is best suited to support and amplify the mission of SPCA of Texas.”
Last year, the SPCA of Texas cared for more than 6,000 animals, found homes for 3,100 dogs and cats through adoption and transferred more than 2,000 animals to shelters across the country.
In 2022, the nonprofit said its expert animal cruelty investigations unit saved more than 1,300 animals from dangerous and abusive environments.
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