SEK Humane Society and Pawprints part ways after lawsuit

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. – SEK Humane Society parts ways with Pawprints on the Heartland following a lawsuit.

Pawprints is a non-profit organization in southeast Kansas. They provided spay and neuter surgery on-site at the SEK Humane Society. Pawprints also pairs up with TNR of Crawford County to try and live trap feral cats in the county.

Now after negotiations and a lawsuit, the partnership between the SEKHS and Pawprints is no longer.

KOAM’s Segun Bamidele spoke with Pawprints yesterday. They are now looking for a new location after 22 years of partnering with the SEK Humane Society. At the time of the story on Wednesday, SEKHS did not have a statement for KOAM.

Today, however, the Southeast Kansas Humane Society Board of Directors released a statement on the topic.

“The Southeast Kansas Humane Society and Pawprints on the Heartland have been involved in lengthy negotiations, and a lawsuit for the return of the rental property occupied by Pawprints, on the grounds of the Humane Society in Crawford County, Kansas,” the release states.

According to the statement, this happened after it “became apparent that the property being occupied by Pawprints was not being adequately insured or maintained.”

The Humane Society alleges that to legally protect the organization as a whole, they got advice to require a standard written commercial lease agreement by Pawprints on the Heartland.

“A notice to vacate the premises was served upon Pawprints in July 2021, and after it failed to leave the premises after due notice, an eviction proceeding was started on August 9, 2021. Pawprints on the Heartland delayed the legal proceedings for eleven months. This included a mediation on March 29th, 2022, engaged in by both sides that was uncsuccessful. This was before Pawprints withdrew from continued participation in the lawsuit, at which time the Humane Society was allowed to take a default judgment for possession of the leased premises.” – SEK Statement

The SEKHS Statement says as part of the default judgment, they got possession of the leased land as of August 14, 2022.

“It is unfortunate that the parties could no longer work together within close proximity to one another.

The failure of the parties to agree to a commercial lease, which often occurs with commercial property situations between owner and tenant, was what caused the lease termination and legal proceeding. The SEK Huamne Society as owner of the building, either paid for or obtained the bulk of the donations for the remodeling of the building occupied by Pawprints, and it has the right to request a written lease from its tenants.

The SEK Humane Scoeity and its Board of Directors will continue to follow advice from the organization’s professional advisors and the networking animal partners for compliance, care, lagal and fiduciary responsiblity to the animals they serve.” — SEKHS Statement