Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Difficult Rant

(Profanity Alert)
If you're reading this post, it's because I've had the balls to push "Send".   This is a rant about a situation at the "high kill" shelter where we often rescue.  The "high kill"  Pound shares a building with the non-profit SPCA.  It's been this way for years and the SPCA will often come over and pull cats from the pound for their shelter.

I've been rescuing from this city pound for 10 years now.  For 10 years, the  SPCA has been able to come next door and take "first pick" of any cat in the shelter.  For years, they've cherry-picked litters of kittens and left the black ones to die.   The SPCA is no friend of mine.

Two days ago, a litter of 8 kittens were left at a bus stop in a box.  My rescue was  alerted and we went to the city pound and put the kittens "on hold" so that they could finish their stray time, as mandated by the city. A big sign was put on each of their cages that said, "RESCUE CONFIRMED"  with FHCR's name on it.  While we were there, we took a cat that needed more than a $1000.00 worth of dental and two others that nobody else wanted.

My rescue partner and I spent hours sorting through the recent rescue of 17 cats and now incoming 8 unsocialized kittens.  We put out volunteer driver requests to help with moving cats to their proper foster homes and booked vet appointments.  Because these kittens were  "spitty/hissy/cuties", we wanted to insure that they would go to an experienced home who has the time to work with them.

One of our awesome volunteer drivers took took a vacation day from work in order to make the ONE HOUR drive to pick up the 8  kittens and transport them to the vet and prospective foster homes.  She offered to do this as a great favour to me because I was so pressed for time with all the other incoming cats.  We even had another foster parent that would pick up some on her lunch hour from work too.

This morning, after all the T's are crossed and I's are dotted,   I receive an email from a staff member at the shelter I really like:

Hey ladies,

The SPCA has decided to take some of the 8 kittens.  They have first choice so there is nothing I can doL  I told them you had already made arrangements for them so they left some for you…I think there are 2 left.

So sorryL

You can only imagine how I felt when  I received the email.  How can one rescue organization (aka: the SPCA) come in, yank the signs  off the cages and take the kittens that were to be coming to another rescue? 

Before I receive emails about "principles before personalities"  and "it's all about the cats", and "there are no  shortage of cats"...and other similar bullshit.  This post isn't about the cats/kittens rescued today.  I'm happy that they had a place to go and that TWO organizations wanted them.  I certainly wish it could always be that way.  

It's about our VOLUNTEERS.  I value what our volunteers do.  We had foster parents who left for work this morning with spare bedrooms  set up with litterboxes and food in anticipation of their new arrivals.  We  had  a  volunteer that took a fucking VACATION DAY to do transport because *I*  asked her for help!!!!

The SPCA  has PAID employees who walked next door, took down the "Rescue confirmed" signs, took the kittens that I had planned on rescuing for HOURS and said  "Fuck Beth and her volunteers, we need kittens in our shelter."  

I called the Acting Manager of the City Pound who has known me for 10  years.  She  apologized.  She said her hands were tied and that there was nothing that they could do.  Bullshit.  She said they were making positive changes  and to please be patient.  "HUH????  Tell THAT to the army of volunteers I put into place to rescue 8 kittens this morning."  

I lost credibility with my volunteers this morning and wasted  a lot of people's time.  But no more.  I will not be rescuing from this city pound again until the policy of the "all  mighty SPCA is more important than my rescue." is abolished.

With all the paid staff, a six figure $$ paid CEO, Wiggle Wagon truck, in house veterinarian, vet techs, a millions in donations etc., this almighty, fucking organization had 966 cat adoptions in 2013.

I have NO paid staff, a bunch of awesome rockstar volunteers who pay for gasoline, food and litter out of their own pockets and NO SHELTER....and I had 715 adoptions.  

Come get me when you get your head out of your asses.  I'll still be here rescuing the cats that need me.


Nicole D said...

This is absolutely infuriating me and making my heart break!! How the hell can they be so fucking rude!?!?! I am so sick of the politics that come with animal rescue work - why cannot they respect all other rescue groups. It's like my mom says "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer".....the SPCA should be ashamed of themselves!!!!

Random Felines said...

it is sad when those that are paid to do what the rest of us do willingly take the "high road" of well we have first choice. screw that....have some respect for the other groups out there. no way would they be able to tell me there weren't other cats to fill their empty cages. But no kittens of course and heaven forbid they not get first dibs on little and cute. screw them

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

I'm so sorry. It really sucks when people just do what they want and do not consider who they are stepping on.

I had a slightly similar experience with the shelter I volunteer for. I saw four fluffy kittens I wanted to foster and put my name on them. The shelter manager's children wanted fluffy kittens to foster and so she took my name off them and put hers on them. Now the experience is not nearly as extensive as yours, as no one was annoyed by this but me, but I have been with that shelter for 10+ years

I am glad you are not going to be rescuing from them any more. it stinks in that the cats themselves are going to suffer, but there are always more cats in different places that you can help, and I am sure your help will be much more appreciated.

Melissa W said...


I would be outraged too. I have tried to so hard to be passive-aggressive on the way that the high volume shelter handles their situation.
I have always added "just one more" into the cage to assist with their numbers. It seems that no matter how many we take, we will never be as “good” as the SPCA.
Just because the SPCA is right next door should not grant them any more rights than people that care enough to open their homes to these cats in need.
You have every right to be mad.

Connie said...

In full 100% agreement with all you said and all other comments. They think nothing of saying - Please rescue these cats who are soooo sick and cost rescue groups thousands of dollars and foster homes with the urgent care. Also what a bunch of BS that the kittens had to wait 3 days - who in the world was going to come forward and say the kittens were theirs - they had DUMPED them. IF anyone had come forward they should have been thrown in jail. I am disgusted with Hamilton now. Since Kim in gone there is no decency. So glad you have decided to NOT rescue from there anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely disgusting. I am sickened but not shocked that this would happen. I am one of your volunteers and I have had many people tell me that they went to the SPCA first to adopt since they are so well known. They were not happy with that organization and they chose to come to FHCR. We have better volunteers, better procedures and are just all around BETTER!

We rock, they suck ass. period.

mrs peppum said...

I would be mad as hell too. I think you are owed a huge apology. But I hope you will reconsider your decision not to rescue from this shelter. These kittens/cats need a hero right now.

Beth C. said...

Between that and the disaster with that dog Tiger, I am trying to figure out how to tell Crue that he probably won't be going to camp there anymore. He loves it, and the people, but I am not sure that's where I want some of my donation money going. Any chance you want to offer camp for one kid? ;)

Tina said...

You have every right to be pissed off Beth! This is why I am always telling folks to support their local all volunteer no-kill shelters! Every time I see those ASPCA commercials on television I get honked off! If they have $$ for a commercial, they don't need your money. Rock on Beth! SPCA has nothing on you!