Thursday, February 19, 2015

Adventures in animal rescue, Facebook variety

Well.  There was a little kerfuffle on Facebook last night, and now our group is not going to trivia.

We had all been on a Facebook thread the past few days, getting our group organized for the event and talking some friendly smack.  But then our rescue took a couple of phone calls yesterday afternoon, and I sat and thought and thought, and I had to go and post this:

"Sorry, guys, I won't be there on Saturday night. I've had problems with the local Humane Society for a long time, mainly because they always seem to be "full" whenever someone calls for help, but today was the last straw. Sue took two calls from people looking for help with stray cats, one of whom has frostbite. The high temp tomorrow is supposed to be 6 degrees. The Humane Society turned them both down. In 2013, the last year for which records are available, the local HS took in over $600,000.00 in donations. Six hundred grand. And yet the rescues for which I have volunteered, all of which operate on very skinny shoestrings, are constantly getting calls from people turned down by the HS. That's it. I'm done. I will take the fifteen bucks I would have spent on the trivia ticket, add the ten bucks I would have spent at the bar, and put it in the donation jar at the our rescue's next adoption event, March 15. Or I might end up using it to buy cat food, because it could very well happen that one of those cats the Humane Society just turned down ends up in my foster room tomorrow. Probably the frostbitten one. Sheesh.
"I understand that no rescue can help every single person who calls. But I've been volunteering for a long time, and I don't know ANYONE who has ever been helped by the local HS. I don't know where they're getting their animals from, but it ain't from phone calls. Seems like the only time they ever step in is when a case has already gotten so much publicity that they can't afford not to. And they don't even offer help with resources. No, "I'm sorry, we're full, but have you tried ..."   No wait list, no nothing. Just "Nope, we're full." Eff that."

Which led to people commenting like this:

 "This will probably be my last one too. I can't quite get over the "paid" volunteers."

which led to this:

 "Their volunteers are paid? That kind of negates the whole concept of being volunteers, doesn't it? $600,000 is crazy. Wow."

and this:

"I 'm okay not going and maybe doing something else. Or do we go out for wings and just enjoy each others company? Or we could take the money we were going to spend and donate it. It doesn't have to be to one of the local rescues. It could be to an out of town rescue."

and this:

 "The more the winds howl and the snow blows tonight I just can't get my mind off of those two babies. I know we can't save everyone but Rocky's right on this one. I'm sorry I know it was my idea but I'd rather put my money towards their care. I know it was my idea but I'm going to back out as well."


 "I can donate some funds, transport to the vet, whatever will help!"


 "Let me know what you need & I'll see what I can do."

whoa Nelly, there went Rocky, radicalizing the crazy cat ladies.

Sue, the volunteer who took the original calls, is going to get ahold of the callers today and do whatever is needed to get those cats out of the weather.  One of our volunteers has an "in" with another local rescue who may be able to help.  And yeah, I may end up with a frostbitten cat in my spare bedroom.

But one thing I *won't* be doing is going to trivia Saturday night.  Dammit.  I was looking forward to the food ...

Aw, hell.  Viva la revolution!



Becs said...

I volunteered at the local HS and was giving the job of cleaning up dog poop left all over the floor. The dogs were left to run around the office b/c they were full.

When I got to cleaning out the cat cages, I found so many animal health regulations broken that I nearly wept. Three cats in a 2 x 3 cage! Yes, the health department was informed. And that's how I came to have 14 cats at once.

In short, I feel your pain.

rockygrace said...

Becs, I knew you'd understand.

But wait, it gets better (i.e., worse): When the Treasurer of the organization for which I volunteer found out that the volunteers had been making plans to help out the two cats without running through her and the President of the rescue first, she FROZE THE RESCUE'S BANK ACCOUNTS so we couldn't use rescue money to help them. We were planning to pay out of pocket anyway, but she just wanted to make extra special certain that the rescue didn't use any of its own money to help those two cats. Needless to say, the sh*t has hit the fan all over the place today. And needless to say, I am going to help those two cats anyway. Heck, that only gives me five ...

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