IndyHumane CEO says he was fired after only a year on the job

Steven Stolen took role in June 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- The CEO the Humane Society of Indianapolis says he was fired after only a year on the job.

Steven Stolen started as IndyHumane’s CEO on June 1, 2017, taking over for longtime CEO John Aleshire who retired in 2016.

The Humane Society of Indianapolis is not giving a reason for Stolen’s departure.

“We do not discuss personnel matters publicly,” said Kyle Masur, IndyHumane Board Chair in an email to Call 6 Investigates. “We thank Steven for his work at Indy Humane and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Stolen said it was not his choice to leave the independent non-profit organization.

He said Masur notified him by telephone on July 29 that he was being terminated.

“The conversation was reasonably brief,” said Stolen in an email to RTV6. “While I do not agree with Mr. Masur's assessment and course of action, I understand that it is absolutely the providence of the Board to take such action and respect their right to do so. There was no significant conversation or request for me to respond.”

Stolen said he was not expecting the termination.

“I was surprised to hear this news as we've made substantial progress in 2018 in every important area as articulated by the Board,” said Stolen. “Mr. Masur and the Board disagree and have made that clear.”

Stolen held high-profile positions at Butler University, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the Indy Chamber, according to the IndyHumane website.

Stolen said he’s accomplished a lot so far including capital improvements, elevating the organization through social and earned media, and surpassing the 2017 development budget goal.

“From day one I have been proud to celebrate the best animal care team in the world and equally talented and committed staff and volunteers that make sure we tirelessly save the lives of animals and then change the lives of people who love and care for/about them,” said Stolen. “I am looking ahead to my next opportunity to impact my community. I've had great experiences and know that the blend of what I've learned from those positions, organizations, and high-quality people I've encountered will serve me well.”

IndyHumane faced criticism in July for taking in dogs from Texas while the Indianapolis city animal shelter is overcrowded.

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