Norfolk has allowed the manager of its animal shelter to relocate to Florida and work remotely. Then she got a second job. – Daily Press

The director of the Norfolk city-run animal shelter was granted permission to work remotely and move to Florida earlier this year.

But, since early July, Jennifer Held has worked another job at a Florida animal shelter while drawing her $85,500 annual salary from Norfolk. And it’s unclear if either safehouse knew Held was working in the other.

Neither the City of Norfolk nor the Florida shelter responded to requests for comment.

When reached by phone, Held says only that she “helps” the Friends of Strays animal shelter in St. Petersburg, although an official at the shelter confirmed she works there. Held declined to say whether the shelters were aware of the work-study scheme. She also wouldn’t say how much she’s paid by the Florida shelter.

Held, however, said the newspaper’s reporting on the issue was significantly affecting her life in a negative way and became emotional about the situation in a brief phone interview. She also called the questions about her job “an attack.”

Held became the Norfolk Animal Care Center’s office manager, the facility’s top job, in April after four years as operations manager. But just over a month later, city officials announced internally that she planned to move and would “continue to serve as remote office manager until a replacement is identified. “, according to emails obtained by The Virginian-Pilot.

The email did not specify where Held would be moving.

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Friends of Strays Animal Shelter announced Held’s hiring on its website on July 13, writing that she “moved from Norfolk to Florida” after spending more than a decade working in municipal and nonprofit shelters. lucrative.

The announcement does not indicate that Held would only help the shelter or work as a volunteer.

Dara Eckart, CEO of Friends of Strays, confirmed via email that Held began working at the shelter “in early July,” but did not respond to further questions. Held “has been an amazing addition to our team,” Eckart said.

“We look forward to seeing how she will continue to have a positive impact here in Pinellas County and across the state as we focus on saving animal lives in the State of Florida,” Eckart said. .

Held’s move comes as the Norfolk Animal Care Centre, like many others in the region and the country, is experiencing a growing number of pets in need of homes. The shelter announced last week that it would be offering half-price adoptions in August to help make more room at the shelter.

The Norfolk Animal Shelter was also recently found to be in violation of two state rules on veterinary care and infectious diseases after a state inspection found the shelter failed to provide “adequate and suitable” for animals. Those issues have since been resolved, according to animal shelter staff.

Daniel Berti, [email protected]

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