I am posting this in General because I need input quickly. Our organization is in a bit of disarray due to personalitys and personal agendas. I want to post this message and need to know from those of you who are in rescue if this is over the top. I am so angry right now and I need to see if I have overstepped. Please respond quickly as this needs to be said.
I will probably get a great many people mad at me for this post, but I want to reiterate the importance of what we are doing. There are a great many passionate and caring people in this organization that feel very strongly about what we are trying to do here. There are people involved that have been instrumental in the day to day workings of the shelter and have given a great deal of their time and energy trying to make life better for animals housed there. There are a great many people who have worked behind the scenes trying to make changes in the attitude of the current administration who feel that the companion animals in this city are a low priority. There are people in this organization who would charge hundreds of dollars an hour for work that they do for free for the betterment of companion animals in this city. Most of the people in this organization want to do whatever they can to make a better life for the companion animals of the city. Let us not forget that in May of 2004 we got caught with our pants down because we allowed the city officials to delete money spent on animal welfare. One thing they didn’t cut financially – vermin control. We have the money to pick up dead animals, but we don’t have the money to support animal welfare. Let us not forget that the city placed a bigger priority on animal carcasses than they did on the people and animals that reside in the city. Let us not forget that we got blindsided by the city administration, the county administration, and the state administration that felt like we would “go quietly into the night”.
I attended the Common Council meeting on the “state of the shelter meeting” and heard Charles Micheax offer to work more closely with the shelter to license dogs in the city and help the financial crunch. He made an offhand comment about taking over the shelter and I Joe Giambra’s comment was “you want it – you can have it”. Just goes to show how important they feel this issue is to them and what a thorn in their side we are. We can be a force in this administration if we focus on the common goal and not our egos. It is not about our feelings, our perks, our jobs – it is about what is best for the animals. We can make sure we are in place to catch the animals before they fall through the cracks. We can be in place before the city says “We have no more money”. Do any of you really feel that when the administration is faced with a choice between the police and the fire department that animals will be their priority? Maybe the adoption program will last past June 2005 – but what if it doesn’t? What are we working for? It is our job to make sure that we do not “go quietly into the night”. It is our job to make sure that the animals in the city are protected. It is our job to make sure that the Mikeys of the world are not euthanized unnecessarily. It is our job to make sure that the “fighting dog” enthusiasts are brought to justice. It is our job to make sure that the animals in the City of Buffalo have a better life than is currently offered at the shelter. It is our job to make sure that the people in the city understand how animals in their life will enrich their lives. It is our job to make sure that the sick or aggressive or unadoptable animals go in peace and not languish in a 6X6 kennel. That is why we became animal activists and that is why we give so much of our time and money to help.
As I heard about the 50+ adoption applications at the shelter being ignored because people were more concerned with their “status” than they were about getting dogs adopted. As I hear about wonderful families being frustrated with their applications being lost or misplaced so they go to another shelter or a rescue organization – it makes me wonder. As I hear of wonderful families being treated like dirt at the shelter because they are African American, Hispanic, Gay or lower income – it sickens me. As I hear about people wanting to turn in kittens or puppies on a Saturday, but turned away because there is no one at the shelter to watch them – it makes me feel that there is a better way. I hope it is us – I pray it is us - I fear that our egos make us less than what we can be.