ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A consultant assisting the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA says the animals come first.

Leaders want the shelter to move past the personal dramas that have resulted in a big change in shelter leadership.

A dog named Mother Goose has been at the CASPCA for 455 days. Consultant Kristen Hassen said it’s too long and needs to change.

"Intake and outcomes. Getting animals through the system as quickly as possible. Every day they spend here is a day they spend in a cage away from a person, away from other animals. They're not meant to live here," she said.

Hassen said the staff's job is to give individualized care to the animals, and then place them in a home. She said the constant community anger on social media is getting in the way.

"The staff and volunteers did identify that strife and conflict and pressure from people in the community and misunderstandings and miscommunication. Those things are really making things hard."

Hassen said she's staying out of personal histories and is focused on moving forward. Interim Executive Director Sue Friedman agreed. They're starting a new volunteer program next month.

"The program was really haphazard, just to be very honest. And I think that volunteers deserve better,” Friedman said.

But, moving forward is a community effort and everyone needs to be on board.

"Whether they're a staff or volunteer or donor – still is not able to join us on this forward path, this forward progress, we may not be the best option now,” Friedman said.

The nine volunteers Friedman asked to take the summer off will meet with her Thursday to evaluate their future at the shelter.

Hassen will create a report with her findings and send it to shelter leadership after her visit.

Friedman said they have three finalists for an executive director position, and they're bringing them to town next month.