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Cathi Comar took over as executive director of Second Chance Animal Shelter on Feb. 1

SHAFTSBURY >> The Board of Trustees of Second Chance Animal Shelter have announced the hiring of a new executive director.

Cathi Comar, of Sunderland, took over the position on Feb. 1. She had most recently served as executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester. She will take over for Linda Huebner, who was executive director of Second Chance from May 2014 through October 2015.

"The Board of Trustees and the staff are excited to have Cathi join us at this time in our organization's history," said board president Kimberly Gould, "We recently purchased land in Arlington, and we are working with Timothy D. Smith & Associates of North Bennington to design and build a new, state-of-the-art facility for our operations. Cathi's leadership experience will be invaluable as Second Chance undertakes this important project that will allow us to provide the best care for companion animals in need and expand our public outreach."

The animal shelter, which was founded in 1959 as the Bennington County Humane Society, purchased the former Valhalla Motel property in at 1759 Route 7A in Arlington in November. The five-plus acre property won't be able to house more animals than the current property, about 14 dogs and 100 cats, but it will allow for more modern visiting and surgical areas, as well as improved HVAC systems.

"The new facility in it's new location will improve our ability to care for animals, allowing Second Chance to better separate dogs and cats, as well as healthy animals and those who are receiving veterinary care," Gould said in the release. "The property will be large enough to contain not only both new buildings, but also the outside exercise pens and walking trails, so that dog walkers will no longer need to contend with busy 7A." It has existed in its current space, a former tavern on Route 7A in Shaftsbury, since 1961.


Comar is a graduate of the University of Colorado, and has worked for the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark, N.J., and the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.