Top Dogs

 |  Mar 30th 2009  |   11 Contributions


Here's something to ponder, should the top dogs at a not-for-profit have a salary cap?

At the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals they are closing three shelters due to a 25% loss in its endowment. However, four of the five top administrators make over $200,000 a year.

"I think that some of that money would be better spent on caring for the animals," said Joyce Godsey, a volunteer at the nonprofit Animal Rescue of Merrimack Valley.

In 2007, MSPCA's chief executive officer, Carter Luke, received a salary and benefit package worth $340,595. The vice president of human resources received $215,723, the chief medical officer received $246,337, and the vice president of development received $202,880.

Since the MSPCA is funded by private donations some animal advocates feel like too much money is going towards salaries and not the animals. According to MSPCA spokesperson Brian Adams, the executives' salaries are comparable to other nonprofit executives.

"We're an organization with an operating budget of over $40 million and a staff of over 500," Adams said. "This is a very large organization, with the leading animal hospital in the world, and we provide care for more animals in Massachusetts than any other organization. We have to attract the right talent, and we have to remain competitive. We can't remain competitive by asking people to work for free."

I think anyone who donates to a shelter realizes some of the money is used to payroll expenses, including salaries, and that not all the money goes to the animals. You need people to run and operate the organization, there's no dispute about that. However, how much is too much when it comes to paying the top dogs. Give me a bark, let me know what you think.

Thanks to Eddie Essig for barking this story to me.

*Damon is adoptable from rhw MSPCA's Western New England Animal Care & Adoption Center

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