WAHS target of US Labor investigation

Anonymous complaint cites lack of hearing protection; executive director dismisses allegation as petty

Employees and volunteers at the Humane Society have been provided hearing protection to guard against barking after a complaint was sent to the Labor Department.

Photo by JC Amberlyn.

Employees and volunteers at the Humane Society have been provided hearing protection to guard against barking after a complaint was sent to the Labor Department.

KINGMAN – The U.S. Department of Labor has opened a case against Western Arizona Humane Society’s animal shelter at 950 Buchanan St. in Kingman, investigating a health issue involving hearing protection.

Inspection information filed by the Phoenix office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates the case has not been closed.

Mike Hendrix, administrator for Mohave County, said he was aware of the OSHA inspection conducted on Dec. 20.

“I was told there were some minor violations such as ear protection for the internal kennel areas, which were subsequently corrected by WAHS, and no fines were issued,” Hendrix said.

An official with OSHA in Phoenix said he could not comment on the case.

Patty Gillmore, executive director of Western Arizona Human Society, said someone filed the complaint anonymously, and that it may be connected to other groups who wanted to run the animal shelter.

“I know people are unhappy who never won the contract,” she said. “It’s kind of sad what they’re doing.”

The Western Arizona Humane Society agreed to an annual contract of $260,000 in 2015 to operate and manage the Kingman animal shelter, an increase of $60,000 from the previous contract.

The Humane Society of Mohave County pressed supervisors to reopen the contract for bidding in 2016, but supervisors voted to keep the contract with WAHS. The response was not well received and hard feelings continue to linger for some several months later.