While I was at the shelter last night, I asked if they were in need of volunteers, figuring that at this time of year, with the kids out of school, they probably had more volunteers than they could use.
"Actually", Shelter Lady said, "We don't let kids under the age of eighteen volunteer anymore unless their parents are with them."
And do you know why? Do you know why? As it turns out, Shelter Lady explained, parents were using the shelter as a BABYSITTING SERVICE. That's right, they were dropping their beloveds, some of whom DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE, off in the morning, telling them basically to "go play with the cute kitties", and picking them up in the afternoon, expecting the SHELTER to provide supervision and entertainment to a bunch of bored kids.
Which ... WHO DOES THAT? What kind of an asshole would just DROP THEIR KID OFF at an animal shelter and expect the shelter to take care of the kid for the day?
As it turns out, enough parents DID THAT that the shelter had to change their policies to keep it from happening.
But! It's good news for me, because the shelter DOES need volunteers. So I am going to stop by tomorrow morning and see if I can help. I predict that scooping lots of litterboxes is in my future.
And oh! I have ALL KINDS of ideas for how to make the shelter more effective, beginning with giving those poor cats some HALFWAY DECENT NAMES, for Christsakes, and ... I am going to keep my mouth SHUT. I am going to keep my mouth SHUT and possibly LEARN something for a damn change. Interesting concept, no?
This could be the start of something really cool.