Meriden Humane Society told to leave its facility - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Meriden Humane Society told to leave its facility

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    Marlena DiBianco was arrested earlier this month. (WFSB/Meriden Police)Marlena DiBianco was arrested earlier this month. (WFSB/Meriden Police)

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

Months after its director was arrested on forgery charges, volunteers at the Meriden Humane Society said they are being kicked out of the building they lease from the city.

Its shocking news for people in the city, as the shelter has been where it is for more than a decade.

"It’s terrible, absolutely terrible, because it is a no-kill shelter and they do help the animals get homes,” said Tina Drew, of Meriden.

The shelter is located on Murdock Avenue, but not for long.

"I'm a dog lover myself, so its big problem everywhere…stray dogs, and it’s better to have these around to have one less it’s kind of a sad thing,” said Sean Kelly, of Meriden.

Alycia Robinson, a volunteer at the shelter, said they were informed by the city on Thursday that they have to vacate the building by the end of February.

"The new city manager feels that the relationship between the Meriden Humane Society and the city is a rocky one at best, which it is. We don't deny that, but I don't think it would be considered irreconcilable if the effort was put in,” Robinson said.

Meriden’s City Manager Guy Scaife said the building is owned by the city and the humane society’s lease ended in April of 2015.

He also said the city has had disagreements with the shelter on how it operates.

When asked if the decision has anything to do with former shelter director Marlena DiBianco's arrest on forgery charges, Scaife says there are much broader issues involved in their decision.

Scaife said the shelter pays $1 per year for the lease, and the city pays for all of the utilities.

The society has 120 days to vacate the facility, Scaife said.

The shelter currently houses 85 cats and nearly 20 dogs…animals that Robinson says now face an uncertain future.

"Unless we have a miracle donor step forward and say ‘hey we are going to build you guys a great facility or offer you this facility we happen to have,’ and the community comes together and helps us do that or our community comes together and speaks against this, this means at least 500 animals a year are going to be euthanized,” Robinson said.

A petition has been started in an effort to save the humane society, which can be found by clicking here.

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