The Executive Director of the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is leaving after about a year and a half on the job.

NewsRadio 560 KPQ logo
Get our free mobile app

The animal shelter's Board of Directors announced the departure of James Pumphrey Monday morning.


Board Member Patrick Davidson declined to specify why Pumphrey was leaving, only saying more would be known about his departure in the future.

Pumphrey did not take part in a Friday appearance on KPQ and was replaced by another representative of the Human Society

A release from the board says Pumphrey has been an integral part of the Humane Society in his tenure and made significant contributions to the organization's growth and success in the short time.

He began serving as the Executive Director in December 2022.

The release says the Board will identify and announce an Interim Executive Director this week as it begins a search for a new leader.

The statement says the Board is committed to finding a qualified and dedicated individual who shares its commitment to animal welfare and the mission of the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.

It says the Board of Directors will work closely with the staff, volunteers, and community partners to ensure the continuity of operations and programs.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our community and remain dedicated to our mission of providing a safe haven for animals in need," said WVHS Board President Patrick Davidson. "We wish James Pumphrey all the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his service to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society."

Shortly after Pumphrey took over as Executive Director in Wenatchee, three employees quit, all alleging he created a toxic work environment and was condescending towards employees.

He previously served as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, which received backlash from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for accusations of abandoning social cats eligible for adoption.

Pumphrey defended a practice at shelters known as Return-to-Home (RTH) as sound science.

11 exotic pets that are legal to own in Washington State

While Washington State law is pretty clear on what you can't own, it's not very clear on what you can own. So if you're looking to add an exotic animal to your family, here are eleven options to consider.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ