Humane Society searching for new executive director

Josh Harville
Paula Prater, president of the Erath County Humane Society board of directors, is one of many who are filling in at the animal shelter until a new executive director can be hired.

A familiar face at the Erath County Humane Society is no longer with the organization. The E-T learned Monday that longtime employee, Judy Hallmark, was quietly relieved of her duties after 30 years as the shelter’s executive director.

Board president Paula Prater said board members are taking care of the day-to-day operations of the humane society and are hoping to find a new replacement soon. Prater would not say why Hallmark was let go, but did say the next executive director will be required to have good organizational skills.

“The number one thing to me and all of us is to be able to work with the animals with love and kindness,” Prater said. “They will have to be able to arrange adoptions and volunteer coordinators.”

Hallmark declined an interview with the E-T, saying that she just wants this to "go away."

Some of those that have been involved with the animal shelter are not pleased with the decision to terminate Hallmark.

“I started the Humane Society in 1975,” said Joyce Whitis, “This is the first time we’ve had any kind of issues like this. She was let go with nothing.”

Hallmark received no retirement or pension, only two weeks of paid vacation, Prater said.

“Judy was always a very devoted person to her job. She did a lot. She worked 365 days a year with no overtime and was there every day with no time off," Whitis said. "I don’t think we received any complaints until recently.” 

Prater said the board is excited about the shelter's future and that big plans are in the works.

“At this point we will be looking for a future executive director that will coordinate fundraisers, volunteers and adoption events,” Prater said.