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:
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.
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.