Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Open Letter

Dear Protesters:

You were at the shelter where I rescue today - about a dozen or so of you.  You had signs and promised to be peaceful.  You weren't peaceful.  You shouted and harrassed employees.  You shouted "SHAME ON YOU!"

Did you know that the employee you shouted at was a janitor trying to do her job? 

Did you know that you did so little research on this shelter, that you staged your demonstration while it was closed?  It was only open for a short while and closed 30 minutes later.

Did you know that you prevented the responsible public from coming in and licencing their pets? 

How many cats did YOU rescue today??   None?  Why not?

Did you ask to take any cats or kittens that were being dropped off?  I didn't think so.  You probably didn't have enough room.  But this shelter always has room. 

Because you were there making a scene in front of people that have NO say-so in what happens at this shelter,  people who wanted to drop off a found pet or litter of kittens, may have dropped them off at the side of the road instead of leaving them in a safe situation.  Because of YOU, there may be a new colony started, or kittens being eaten by coyotes, or starved to death. 

You used my blog to declare that 83 cats died on Friday.  Did you know that there was Distemper in the shelter and these were sick cats?  I didn't think so. 

For those of you who are Canadian Registered Charities, did you know that you put your charity status at risk by going out there and taking a stand politically?  I didn't think so. 

You risked a lot today and didn't gain much.  As an animal rescuer, you did NOT speak for me.  You embarrassed me. 


Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

Beth, I can see your anger and embarressment in this letter and it makes me feel the same way. I'm not as highly involved in rescue as you but I do tell everyone I know to rescue or help to support the humane society. I share your joy when you rescue the cats and your anger and sadness when you are unable to help. I hope you publish this letter in a local newspaper and I hope those "protesters" find a better and more influential way to help the shelter. Protesting for those who don't, activism is for thsoe who do. I'm glad to follow your blog and those others who help to promote activism.

Hugs, Erika

Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is Beth! Based on the comments I have read on-line by the protesters, they haven't done any research on the shelter nor do they know very much about "the business" of running a shelter. It would be nice if they would step up to help with the crises far too many shelters are in, rather than point fingers and shout at the staff that are there day in and day out trying to do something to change something for the better in the lives of those animals. Keep up the good work and take great pride in ALL THE LIVES YOU HAVE SAVED!

Sarah said...

Well said Beth, well said! I wish there were thousands of more Beth's out there. The world would be a much better place.

Devon said...

Argh! I wish they would stop protesting - it's not going to change anything, they're just harassing employees. If they really want to take action they should start writing letters to management and the City! They should be using their effort to educate, not harass people only trying to do their job.

Anonymous said...

Well said Beth! Well said!

Piggles said...

The protesters did not speak for me either, or for anyone else with the power of logical thought. How is this possibly going to help the cats? Forget the protests, forget the politics, and spend your time and energy productively - rescue some cats, adopt some cats, foster some cats, transport some cats, volunteer with a rescue, do some fundraising, donate, and encourage other people to do all these things. And if you can't do any of these, then stay home and don't get in the way of the people who do. The cats' future is precarious enough - don't make it worse by pointless protest. It may make you feel like you're doing something, but it does nothing to help the situation.

Anonymous said...

Well said beth. I just got a chance to read your last post as well. Unfortunatly is a sad reality that all these cats get euthanized due to bad pet owners. In response to the comment about saying how people should be informed that there animals could be euthanized due to the numbers in the shelter. I just want to say that people are informed of this. What people don't realize is that when someone has already made the decision to get "rid" of there pet, they hardly ever change there mind. Even when told that its very possible they will be put to sleep. if people would just rally together and get some more money raised for low cost spay and neuter programs then maybe one day the hamilton area won't be over populated with cats. What helps me get through each day is knowing that there are people that work at this shelter that truly care about animals. Its unfortunate that most people view them as disposable :(

Sparkle said...

Thank you, Beth, for looking at the bigger picture of cat rescue and kill shelters, and passing it along to us. So many are short-sighted, and as you have pointed out, "cut off their nose to spite their face," and that saves no lives.

House of Carnivores said...

Ugh. I'm sorry that you had to deal with that. People just should not complain about something unless they are willing to provide a solution.

Debbie said...

Thank you Beth.
These people don't know that they are making things worse for them selves and the cats at the shelter.
There talking has done nothing to improve things, why don't they do something constutive and try rescuing cats!
We all behind what you do for the cats at the shelter.
Keep up the great work!!!

Fisher and Staff said...

Volunteers and rescue organizations are not the problem. They tirelessly work every day to save the animals and then endure the sadness when they cannot. Their hearts are soft but hold fast to one cause - doing what is best for each and every animal. Those who do not get that and are quick to judge are the problem. I am so sorry such wonderful people have to endure their stupidity. If they do get it one day, I wish they would come back to the shelter and apologize.

Caroline said...

I'm confused by your blogs Friday and today. Friday's says 83 cats died because there were no homes for them. Saturday's said that the protestors used your blog to say this (does this mean they wrote the Friday blog??) and Saturday you clarified that 83 cats died due to distemper... Did they all come in with distemper or did it spread because the AC doesn't separate strays from handovers?
I think everyone tries to do what they think is best, the main outcome of a protest is to get media attention and thus invoke change, I think that is what the protestors want to achieve, I agree that it should have been peaceful as you attract more flies with honey than vinegar and it is management and the city that need to change, as the average employee doesn't have any power. I also think the animal control should show some evolution like opening to the public for adoptions and forcing the SPCA that shares the building to do the spay neuter program.
Maybe some suggestions for a good peaceful protest for change would be helpful?
Either way you are still the bravest of all of us as you are able to go inside and rescue some while knowing you can't take them all.
On a different note, any tips for diapering a cat that won't clean his bum? (seriously)

House of the Discarded said...

Caroline: The fact is 83 cats died and they were at the shelter because there were not enough homes for them - they were unwanted and discarded animals. I'm not a veterinarian or an expert in this area: but there was Distemper in the shelter that was brought in and cats became ill. They have to be careful with incoming cats. Remember - they can't turn people away.

Diapering a cat? Good Gravy! I'd just shave his bum if he isn't staying clean. LOL


Anonymous said...

CRA should be given a head up about these charities.
Distemper continues to be rampant with the raccoons so not vaccinating your own pets just spreads the problem around.
My friend has a tabby female who can't reach her butt to clean it so twice a year the vet shaves the fur short. Frankly..the cat is so big I think she's part raccoon!

~*Connie*~ said...

I can't agree more. Protesting will not save these cats. If they don't get that then they really are in left field and need to get a clue.

Anonymous said...

I wish these "protester" who are working so tirelessly behind their computers sending spam, relentless email forward messages, holding signs and creating facebook pages - would step up to the damned plate and do something to bring about positive change instead of just sitting *itching about it and spreading the fire - instead of helping to extinguish it. If they truly care about the cats - they would have come loaded with cat carriers on protest day and saved as many as they could out in the parking lot. Unless they are willing to open their own facility to take the unwanted - shame on them!
I know many of these protesters send many messages to spread the word and help cats and they generate some great awareness much of the time. What they are doing with to try to bring about change at HAC is so sad in comparison.
I hope you walked by them - dignified as always - carrying all your carriers Beth with your head held high as hell because you are DOING something positive with what you've got!

hmacross said...

If these protesters want to affect change at the shelter, they need to go about it the correct way. Protesting may get you a bit of press, but next week something else gets the press.

I work for a city government and change is made through Council. Council will make changes in policy when it is their interest area, or when they receive public pressure. Trust me, they aren't paying attention to a dozen people making a rucus outside the shelter. Those protesters may have done their cause more harm than good.

Robyn :) said...

That is just crazy!! They sound like a bunch of idiots.

Meaghan Edwards said...

I'm a shelter volunteer and I had these people talking down on me last year. I said not a word back but showed them just how much more I'm helping animals than they are by training a shelter dog right in front of them.

cat diapering said...

Hi - just wanted to respond regarding diapering the cat, in case it prevents another kitty or two from ending up in a shelter. Why is the owner considering diapering? This might help folks here provide a better answer.

I'm guessing, but if it's because the cat is wiping it's rear on the floor, there are a couple underlying causes that result in this, all of which are (often easily) treatable. Your vet, will know more, but troubles with anal glands, worms, or just irritation from feces or urine in the fur on their rear can cause them to wipe themselves this way.

This isn't exhaustive, but here are two links