Susanne Hayman, Vice President

Susie’s educational background includes a B.A. from Washington College in 1973, and a J.D. in 1977 from the University of Baltimore Law School. Following that, Susie took a Career Prosecutor Course in 1985 at the University of Houston.

Susie served as the Kent County Deputy State’s Attorney from 1979 -1991 and the Kent County State’s Attorney from 1991-1999. Her duties included evaluation and prosecution of animal nuisance, neglect and cruelty cases.

Susie served on a committee to revise Kent County animal control laws and was the Legal Administrative Assistant to Kent County Sheriff’s Office from 1999-2001. She then acted as the County Attorney and Human Resources Director from 2001-2003 and then the Kent County Administrator from 2003-2012, a position from which she retired.

Susie has worked extensively with HSKC on budget and legal issues and helped revise Kent County animal control laws; she brings extensive experience and working knowledge of local government structure and administration to her role as board member. All five of her dogs have been rescued and two were adopted through the Humane Society of Kent County.

When we interviewed HSKC Board Member, Susie Hayman and asked to take her photo, Susie immediately insisted our lobby dog, Kai join her in the shot. If you stop by The Humane Society on Fridays, you’ll likely see her smiling face greeting you!

Why did you join HSKC’s Board of Directors and what is your role on the board?

“While growing up, my dad was a game warden, and from time to time we had wild critters—small ones—at the house, such as raccoons and a fox who was recovering from having chewed off part of her leg to escape a trap. Even before that I had a great love of animals. When I retired from paid employment, I wanted a way to continue (with limitations) to use my professional education and experience in public service. My love of animals, experience prosecuting animal cruelty cases, and work in local government generally seemed a good fit with The Humane Society.”

Do you have pets of your own? Are any of them HSKC rescues?

“I have one dog and would have a cat if I weren’t allergic to them. Charlie—my dog named after several generations of relatives named “Charles” in my family, including my beloved grandfather—was impounded at The Humane Society of Kent County as one of many dogs rescued from a Kent County hoarding situation. I lived with Charlie for three months before he would let me touch him. Two years later, we are great friends, and he has grown to trust me…well, most of the time! Charlie is my fifth rescue dog and the second to be adopted from the HSKC.”

Talk about your career/education.

“I am an attorney retired from 34 years in public service, mostly as a career criminal prosecutor but also with substantial years as county administrator and an adjunct teacher at Chesapeake College.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?

“Spare time activities include service on two boards, volunteering at the HSKC shelter, home projects, furniture refinishing, long walks, reading, sewing, and of course, Charlie.”

What’s your favorite thing about The Humane Society of Kent County?

“My favorite thing about HSKC? It’s the absolute dedication of all staff, their demonstrated spirit of teamwork, and their ability to work together to solve any problem no matter the size or shape (e.g., pig-at-large). The shelter is small, the demands are great (and sometimes unusual and/or dangerous), and resources are very limited. In what I’ve observed in my short time volunteering at the shelter, the workers are excellent. Several of them work 24/7.”

What one thing do you wish people knew about HSKC?

“I often think that many tax payers do not realize the value received from the HSKC for their tax dollars. If one reads Kent County’s animal control ordinance it becomes obvious that the county’s mandate to the Humane Society is large. Kent County’s small HSKC organization provides the same public service as other humane societies on the shore, dealing with the same numbers of animals but with significantly smaller staffing, budget, and facilities.
And, as sometimes occurs with other government functions, this work can be frustrating, politically unpopular, and unrecognized or misunderstood in its difficulty and value. (Remember the old joke about a person being unfit to be even a dog catcher?) If Kent County were to create its own in-house animal control and enforcement unit, the budget cost for performing the mandated functions would become a multiple of the present cost.”