HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The executive director of the Grand Strand Humane Society was fired Tuesday after just five months on the job.
Ashley Crocker said two board members gave her the news Tuesday afternoon without warning.
"I was surprised," Crocker said. "I mean, I wasn't expecting it."
She became tearful as she described the moment she was told she no longer had a job with the group.
"I feel like from the beginning, I was set up to fail on multiple instances by people on the board," Crocker said.
Crocker joined the shelter in December 2015, excited for her new position.
"It was a great opportunity," she said. "Everything seemed really great."
However, Crocker said things quickly changed.
"It wasn't even January before another employee and some volunteers told me that they heard board members talking, and I should watch my back," Crocker said.
She said it was never made clear how the executive director position should be handled, but she believed she did it to the best of her ability.
Crocker said the group had a 93 percent live-release rate for the year under her watch, compared to a previous 89 percent rate.
"I don't really know what they wanted from someone in that position," Crocker said. "I don't think they had the same view of what an executive director would be and I don't think that was ever communicated to me."
Board President Elena Nicholas could not confirm the performance rate but said an expanded board has put a five-year strategic plan in motion and it requires new leadership.
Nicholas added they will be aggressively searching for a new executive director.
Before coming to Horry County, Crocker worked for four years as a feline care manager at the Central Missouri Humane Society.