Tuesday, December 02, 2014

You can't fire me, I quit!

I am no longer volunteering for the rescue I've been with for the past couple of years.

Long story short, the woman who runs it was rapidly veering from "rescuer" to "hoarder".  She still hadn't filed for her 501(c)(3) (the thing that makes you an official non-profit), she was taking on more and more cats, and she wasn't caring for them properly.  The cats were all spayed or neutered and they were well fed, but they were not being kept up to date on their vaccinations, and they were not flea- and worm-treated. None were leukemia tested, which is a recipe for disaster when there are a lot of cats in one house. Sick cats were not being seen by a vet in a timely manner (unless I took them and paid for them out-of-pocket, as I did with Talon).  She stopped responding to calls from people who wanted to adopt cats, which is suicide for a rescue.

Any time I would question her on what was going on, she would either try to shrug it off, or she would take GREAT UMBRAGE that I would have the NERVE to question her methods, and things finally came to a head a couple of weeks ago.  She wasn't willing to discuss my concerns and she wasn't willing to see that things were out of control (she has over sixty cats in her home right now; I mean, COME ON), and so we parted ways.  I'm still not sure if I was fired or if I quit*, but regardless, I'm out.

And then things got nasty, with one of her (grown) daughters posting a bunch of crap on Facebook about how "until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes you can't judge them" blahblahblah and no, I have not walked a mile in this person's shoes.  I do not know what personal struggles she may have.  All I know is that she was dropping the ball, badly, when it counted, and when rescued cats were counting on HER.  She was not reaching out for help; she was not seeking additional resources for her situation; she was doubling down and attacking one of the people who could have helped her, had she handled things differently, so no.  I'm not walking in her shoes; that is not my responsibility.  I'm getting out.

As soon as the word got out, another rescue contacted me and asked me to volunteer for them.  They are an official 501(c)(3), they are very well run, and all of their cats are properly vetted. 

I feel sorry for the cats at the first rescue; they are the ones who will suffer because the woman who runs the rescue is in waaaaaaay over her head.  But I was no longer willing to enable her by keeping quiet, and so at some point the local Humane Society will likely step in and take her cats, which is NOT a happy ending by any means, but sweet Jesus, SIXTY CATS IN ONE HOUSE.

Callie and Bindi, the feral fosters, are still with me.  The woman who runs the rescue has made no efforts to come and get them, and frankly, I do not want them to go back to her unless and until she gets her sh*t together.  (See:  60 CATS.)    They are safe and sound with me, until a new home is found for them, and the new rescue will be assisting me with that.  Because they are still feral, the odds of finding them a new place are not real great, but that's okay, too.  I am not going to begrudge them a safe place to live just because they're not pettable. 


* From email:  Her:  "Well you certainly made me feel like I may have offended you my godess of catdom. Thank you for putting me in-line. How about if you are going to be snotty, don't bother (volunteering)".  Me:  "Awesome. Come get your (foster) cats."

Now I want to get a t-shirt printed up that says Godess (sic) of Catdom. Ha.


Domestic Kate said...

It's too bad it came to that, but you did the right thing; don't let people like that take you down with them. She definitely has some problems, and obviously this organization needs a stronger, more competent leader. Poor kitties.

rockygrace said...

Kate, exactly, it's the cats I feel bad for. They didn't know they were being rescued by a crazy lady.

And I don't think she was crazy to start with; she had good intentions when I started volunteering for her. She just wouldn't stop taking in more cats, and she wouldn't ask any of the other rescues for help. She had a mindset which is unfortunately common in rescue, i.e., "*I* am the only one who can properly care for these cats". But she WASN'T (taking care of them), and she didn't want to see that. Scary.