Meriden Humane Society director removed from position amid criminal investigation

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MERIDEN – It’s been rough lately for the Meriden Humane Society.

The Board of Directors just announced the removal of Director Marlena Morris DiBianco from her position, effective immediately. The board would not disclose the reasons behind the decision but they said they plan to conduct an inspection of all financial accounts and records.

The Board of Directors said that since October 30, it offered many alternatives to DiBianco in an effort to avoid pushing her out, all which were turned down.

In September, DiBianco was arrested and charged with forgery. Shortly after, the Humane Society was forced out of its home on Murdock Avenue, asked by the city to leave by the end of February. City Manager Guy Scaife said the Humane Society lease expired April 2015.

Scaife said the tumultuous relationship between the Humane Society and Animal Control, which shares the building, was a reason for not renewing the lease, as well as expressing that the organizations approach with the animals and its upkeep is a concern.

Meriden Humane Society Board of Directors said Wednesday it plans on conducting an independent assessment of all of its current shelter management and animal care protocols.

The decision to remove DiBianco from her position has been shared with city officials, including Scaife, who the organization said it plans to meet with.

In a press release, the Board of Directors stated:

The Board of Directors is committed to the humane care and treatment of all animals and will continue our work to further our belief that 'Life Matters.' The Meriden Humane Society has deeply appreciated the outpouring of public support in the last few months and we continue to rely on your support in the coming months to help ensure that we can help the animals and the residents that rely on us. Your donations and advocacy are absolutely critical for the future success of MHS and together we can meet this change and future challenges with a positive outcome for the animals and community we serve. The Meriden Humane Society continues to maintain our commitment by being a no-Kill non-profit shelter and rescue facility.

The Humane Society is in the process of finding homes for more than 100 dogs and cats.

DiBianco posted on Facebook the following statement:

EMERGENCY!
To all the beautiful people I have had the utmost pleasure to meet, and those of you who I have not;
It is with great sadness that I let you all know that this evening at 7:35 a meeting with the OLD board of Directors, Animal control as well as the police and city manager, LOCKED us out of our shelter!

Now for those that have been following the news, I have been savagely and cruelty been arrested for fraud, as well as a host of other things that I am certain will soon follow.

I have been dragged through the mud, slandered and spoken badly about for the last few months. For one reason alone….. that I will not give in and let these animals die, that I will not let this shelter that you all hold dear in your hearts to become a kill facility!
Those that know me can tell you that my passion is for the community and the animals!

I am sorry that this has happened and will be seeking my legal counsel once again for things that people are accusing me of. But the animals here is what I hold dear, and I fear that harm will come to them.
Please contact our city manager, help all you can, to insist that I can come back until all the animals I have made a promise to, are adopted….
Then I will happily leave those here that choose to ruin me .
I have always stated that it is because, life Matters for these precious of god’s creatures.

PLEASE help me to help them….    Marlena