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CEO of Twin Cities area Humane Society dies

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Martha McPhee
Martha McPhee and her cat, Snowflake.
Photo by Laurie Schneider, courtesy of the Animal Humane Society

Martha McPhee, who oversaw the merger of three Twin Cities based humane societies into one, died Tuesday at her home in Minneapolis.  She was 51.  The cause of her death has not been released.

McPhee became president of the Animal Humane Society in 2005, then worked with the Humane Society for Companion Animals and Greater West Metro Humane Society to merge the three operations at the beginning of 2007. She was named CEO of the combined organization at that time.  

More than 35,000 animals are served each year by the organization.  

McPhee received her law degree from Harvard University in 1981, and worked in private practice and at the Anoka County attorney's office until 1989.  She later became CEO of the transportation division of BRW, an engineering and consulting firm. She also served as chief operating officer of Minnesota Public Radio from 2000 to 2003.  

"Martha was passionate about animals and this organization," said Janelle Dixon, president of the Animal Humane Society. "Her vision for a vital organization, and a staff that was dedicated and compassionate to homeless and unwanted animals, is a legacy that she leaves to us."

McPhee is survived by her husband, John Taft, and three adult children.  

A memorial service will be held at Friday at 1 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis. All five humane society facilities in the Twin Cities will be closed on Friday in her honor.