Just Need To Rant...

HomesteaderWife

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This is going to be very difficult to try and explain or discuss, but I feel I need to put this out there and try and get some opinions. Please hear me out.

I worked at two different animal shelters over a period of years, and I have seen some of the worst and best in human character....and seen some painful situations with animals. The most recent one I worked at a few years ago, I was fired from because I "seemed distracted". This was because I was a manager, running lost and found, behavior testing, vaccinating, medicating, cleaning adoptable and stray areas on site and off, sitting down to complete adoptions, helping customers, AND taking part in offsite events.

These particular people at this shelter were insensitive to a horrible degree. I will spare you details, but will say that unnecessary things happened there. The kind-hearted people who loved the animals dearly were punished and wrote up for every excuse in the book, while the cruel people were higher-ups and got away with stuff so easily. It was a heart-breaking place to be, especially when you had a week straight of 30+ animals being put down EACH DAY, in a small town humane society. There are two events that link to what is bothering me right now..

The first involves one of these mass euthanasia days- the stray/holding cat room was crammed with animals, and.... we were having to put down animals that were strays, and hadn't been there but a few days. (State law requires a 7 day hold for all stray animals, but I cannot count the times I have seen this broken). There was this orange, male cat in particular that was put down, who had maybe been there 3 days. The very next day...his owner came searching for him. He was an outdoor cat who went missing. They decided to tell her, "We haven't seen him." They took her lost pet flyer, and never told her the truth.

On MULTIPLE other occasions, someone would be trapping supposed "feral" cats and bringing them in to be instantly euthanized. There was NO holding period on feral cats unless I begged my boss to work with one and try and get it adopted. Most of these cats went into that cold room and didn't make it through the day. They were not scanned for microchips....there was no checking the lost and found book.

This all links together because in the town that shelter is in is where my family lives. When I moved with my husband after we were married, I had to leave my two cats there, for fear they would be hurt by dogs or predators here. They were outdoor cats, but well cared for. Vaccinated, spayed and neutered, bathed/groomed, micro-chipped, and all. My mother called me one day very upset and told me that one of my cats had been missing a few days, and she was concerned. It wasn't like him to wander off more than a day or two. We called the animal shelter to file a lost report, and she has been by to check the stray cat area...no results. Take in mind the stories I told, now take into account that this particular cat was feral as a baby, and unsociable to strangers. If a grouchy neighbor trapped him and took him to that shelter, would they have looked in that lost book? Would they scan him for a chip, or even look to see that his left ear is "tipped" to mark that he was a Trap-Neuter-Release candidate? Would they even TELL us if he had in fact been euthanized?

Am I wrong to assume these things? I know there is a chance he wandered off, but I know too much about the particular animal shelter he could have been taken to.

Don't get me wrong, there are SO many people I have met that bend over backwards to provide for shelter animals and love them with all their heart. I've met volunteers who give all of their time to those sweet fur babies. I used to pray for the animals, and try to do everything I could to prevent returned adoptions, or change the lives of some of the animals. Heck...I have 3 adopted dogs and both of the cats were rescued. But for every person who dedicates their work to the betterment of the animals, there is someone out there who is insensitive.

I apologize for this rant, but I don't know where else to go at this moment. I don't know what kind of replies this may bring, but as I have asked, am I wrong to keep carrying that worry around? I just miss my sweet little mouser..
 

JakeM

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A couple things to say here:

1) I'm sorry for your loss. It was bad enough to figure out that when my cats wandered off it meant they were never coming back (death due to old age or predators). I think you are completely right in worrying, but I'm just going to say to not carry it around too much. You don't want worry of any sort to overtake your life.

2) As you said the shelter is in a small town (I don't know exactly how you define small population-wise), does mostly everyone know your cat or at least would recognize it? Possibly put flyers around town and hope someone has seen them or that they return out of the blue sometime.

3) Could you expose the shelter or file a complaint with some sort of government agency? Heck, maybe even complain to the National Humane Society, ASPCA or PETA (which I actually don't recommend but you get my point). Maybe have an official check out their facility and check that they are running the shelter correctly and following all the rules. Just a thought.

Again, I'm sorry you have to go through this and know what may possibly happen. I'll keep you in my prayers.
 

Bossroo

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There are plenty of kind hearted folks that try to do the right thing conserning animals, but are stabed in the back through exploytation of your good intentions and labor . You are finally comming to the realisation that organisations such as aspca, peta,hsus and their unsuspecting or ignorant mouthpieces such as newspapers,tv and radio , are nothing more than a con job on the public for donations to line their own pockets. :th
 

Latestarter

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I am anti government and anti establishment brainwashing (TV, news, which is owned by the politicians and their keepers). But at the same time, not all parts of these animal help organizations are corrupt. There ARE legitimate animal care/help facilities out there that are NOT all about the bottom line. There are also private rescue facilities that do all they can to help these neglected and abused animals. PETA is NOT one of them, I have to agree, as it is a political action organization, NOT an animal welfare organization.

To speak in all encompassing generalities is not always a good thing.

@HomesteaderWife, sorry about the loss of your cat. I'm not a big cat person, and I do NOT like feral cats due to the damage they do to local wildlife species, especially birds. At the same time, there isn't much you can do to correct that shelter's deficiencies. A lot will depend on who is funding it. If it's local government, then the taxpayers will have to decide what they wish to do about it. If funded by ASPCA or the like, you could report them to the national organization. If private, there's nothing really you can do except expose them through local news reporting (which can be done in all cases) but be careful that you don't open yourself to a lawsuit for libel or defamation.
 

Goat Whisperer

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There are plenty of kind hearted folks that try to do the right thing conserning animals, but are stabed in the back through exploytation of your good intentions and labor . You are finally comming to the realisation that organisations such as aspca, peta,hsus and their unsuspecting or ignorant mouthpieces such as newspapers,tv and radio , are nothing more than a con job on the public for donations to line their own pockets. :th
:thumbsup
 

HomesteaderWife

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As much as I would love to expose some of these nasty people...I have learned that a lot of those folks don't work at these shelters anymore. Some left or were fired..not for the right reasons. I don't want to bring harm to the good-hearted folks that are employed are volunteering though, or to possibly damage any chances of adoption. These shelters all do have ties to local radio and news...and many big-wig rich people involved as board members and such. As I said...I am just laying low because it is no longer part of my life, and I wouldn't want to cause people to turn away from adoptions.

I am sincerely grateful to the replies and those who have listened. It eased my worry a lot to discuss it. I am so thankful for the honesty here on BYH, but also the lack of judgement and harsh criticism I have encountered in other places. Thank you for all the replies here. :)
 
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