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Animal rescue co-founder leaves group

Lohman’s e-mail ‘surprise’ to friend
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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Thirteen years after Georgianna Lohman co-founded the Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation, the long-time animal advocate is leaving the non-profit group. In an e-mail last week addressed to “valued friends and fellow animal rescuers,” Lohman and three other volunteers said they would no longer give their time to the animal rescue group. “We want you to get this information directly from us rather than any gossip,” the e-mail stated. “Effective immediately we are no longer volunteering at AAARF. We wish AAARF continued success for many more years. We will remember with great fondness the furry friendship we have made over the years and that we were able to make a difference in the lives of so many needy animals.” The e-mail was signed by Elise Morisset, Tammy Meredith, Paula Leahy and Lohman. Lohman declined to comment on the record about her leaving. Leahy said that after five years volunteering for the organization and working at the shelter she felt it was simply time to move on. “There are no hard feelings, no animosity,” Leahy said. “It was time to move on.” Leahy said she still mends aprons and cat beds for the foundation. Leahy said she and the other volunteers signed and sent the e-mail to try to ward off any speculation. “Anytime you leave or resign and more than one person leaves, it’s gossip — it’s just human nature,” Leahy said. “In order to make sure we left on good terms was the main reason for the e-mail to be disbursed.” Lucille McKevitt, president of the foundation, said she, Lohman and Cassie Reeves started the organization in 1997 after the Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals moved from Auburn to Roseville. McKevitt said she wasn’t aware that the four volunteers were planning to leave. She said Lohman was trying to set up a meeting with McKevitt and Reeves for about a week, but the three were not able to find a mutual time. McKevitt said the e-mail sent last week was the first time she found out that Lohman and three others were leaving. “I was a little surprised,” McKevitt said. “I think I kind of was expecting it but you know there’s no hard feelings.” McKevitt said a few days prior Lohman and some of the other volunteers adopted some of the special needs cats they had rescued but had not been able to find good homes for. “But before that I really didn’t think this was coming,” McKevitt said Thursday. McKeviit said she remains friends with Lohman. She said she is encouraged by an influx of new volunteers and said the foundation plans to continue operating as normal. Reach Jenifer Gee at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.