- Dara Coslett Granza has stepped down as the executive director of Dessin Animal Shelter effective immediately, saying her salary would be better used to help the financially-struggling charity.

In a letter, Granza described in part her reasons for resigning.

Officials have said the shelter is at risk of shutting down due to lack of funding. Dessin depends on donations, grants, bequests and fundraisers.

The former executive director could not be reached Monday, but the resignation was confirmed by board member Vincent Martone and Marlene Metzger, a humane society officer who works for Dessin.

Martone said the charity will not replace Granza, but he declined further comment.

Dessin is formally known as the Olga and Dorthea Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Its shelter is on Miller Drive in Dyberry Township and it also has a thrift shop, The Cat's Pajamas, on Main Street in Honesdale.

Granza's letter reads in part, "On Thursday, July 24, I approached Dessin's board of directors, with a burdened heart, to discuss if the resources allocated for the position of society executive director could better serve the organization during its current, dire, financial dilemma."

Dessin has said Wayne County traditionally administers a $3,500 yearly grant to Dessin, but it “barely covers one-tenth of one month’s operating costs. It also noted that donations have fallen off and the economy has been in a downturn.

In addition, the bridge off Route 191leading to the shelter was closed for several months, causing Dessin visitors to take a miles-long detour up Route 670.

Granza, in the letter, said she is grateful to all volunteer board members who have "personal and professional responsibilities
and are dividing their time to help the charity.

"I believe their success can only be possible through the support of their own families and our community," said the letter.

Granza said she was honored to serve as Dessin's first executive director.

"I learned so much about animal welfare," she said.

The former executive director added that she has met so many "kind and warm business owners and residents" in the Honesdale area.

"But most importantly, I witnessed first-hand the truest form of compassion ... from the example of the society's staff, whether that was through PA Humane Society Police Officer Marlene Metzger, our shelter and shop employees and the many volunteers who answered our calls," Granza wrote.

Granza closed her letter by urging the public to help Dessin by making contributions.

Donations can be made in person at The Cat's Pajamas, 623 Main Street, Honesdale, or at Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Drive, 18431 Honesdale.

Donations via PayPal and other sites may be made by visiting www.DessinShelter.com.