Wayne Pacelle, who helped build the Humane Society of the U.S. into a major political player among animal rights groups, resigned as president and CEO Friday after allegations surfaced that he had harassed several women.
Kitty Block will become acting president and CEO, according to an HSUS press release. Block, an attorney, is currently president of Humane Society International, the HSUS’s global affiliate.
In the meantime, the organization will look for a permanent replacement for Pacelle.
“I am resigning, effective immediately, to allow that process to move forward expeditiously and to put aside any distractions, in the best interests of all parties,” Pacelle told the New York Times.
The Center for Consumer Freedom — which runs HumaneWatch to keep an eye on HSUS — called the latest example of abuse at HSUS a “scandal.”
“Obviously it’s a huge scandal (and) certainly it magnifies our concerns,” said Will Coggin, CCF managing director.
Calls and emails to Pacelle and HSUS seeking comment were not returned.