Doug Rae has been named executive director of the Humane Society of Fremont County, in Canon City, Colorado, following brief and often controversial animal shelter management stints in Phoenix, Maryland, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and most recently as executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island in Warren, Rhode Island.
Much of the controversy has been associated with pit bulls, who were reportedly about 80% of the dog intake Rae handled in Philadelphia and about a third of the dog intake in Indianapolis, but 50% of the dogs who were killed because they could not be rehomed. Despite the numbers, Rae prominently opposed then-Indianapolis city council member Mike Speedy’s 2009 attempt to pass an ordinance requiring that pit bulls be sterilized. The Speedy draft ordinance was modeled on legislation in effect in San Francisco since 2006 that has reduced pit bull intake at the city shelter by more than half. Speedy was soon afterward elected to the Indiana state legislature.
Operations director for Hickory Farms before entering animal care and control work in 2003, Rae in a 2009 interview credited his interest in the field to meeting No Kill Advocacy Center founder Nathan Winograd at a Best Friends No More Homeless Pets conference held in 2002.
Founded in 1951 by Hazel and Ralph J. Wann, the Humane Society of Fremont County currently handles about 3,000 animals per year, mostly as the animal control housing contractor for Fremont County, the cities of Cañon City and Florence, and the towns of Coal Creek, Rockvale, Westcliffe and Williamsburg.
About 39% of the Humane Society of Fremont County budget comes from the Ralph J. Wann Foundation, according to the shelter web site.