An article appeared on the huffington post just a few days ago. The title of the article read “Animal Lovers Need Not Apply” The post is based around an animal shelter where a cat managed to get stuck in a wall, and no one did anything about it, until the cat eventually died. Only then when the body was decomposing and smelling, was when staff cut open the wall and took out the body. Now I can not speak for this shelter, I do believe there are two sides to every story. I would like to hear this shelter side of the story. Maybe someday we will; maybe we won’t. However my thoughts on the story surrounding this cat, I do feel that for a staff that is supposed to be there to protect these animals and help them, clearly have lost compassion somewhere along the line, when you feel it is okay to sit and eat your lunch knowing just a few feet away from you, there is a poor starving animal in the wall. I think it’s time for a new job when you lack caring and compassion like that. I personally do not know anybody who would just sit around and let that happen!
As I continue to read this article it begins to question how do you let people like this work in an animal shelter.
“working at a municipal pound is a job, not a mission; animal control lacks accountability; applicants who score the lowest on city aptitude tests get placed in animal control; some agencies are staffed by prison inmates with no oversight; employees who fail in departments deemed more important by uncaring bureaucrats are placed in animal control rather than fired; city officials sign draconian union contracts that make it difficult to fire neglectful and abusive staff; lazy managers won’t do the progressive discipline necessary to fire them (and workers know this); some people just don’t care; and some people are just callous and cruel.”
There are places in the states that do have a prison inmate type of program. One of my favorites can be seen on Pitbulls and Parolees. Those men on there show more caring for animals and have lots of compassion. Yes it’s a reality show but I do not believe for two seconds the caring you see from those men is an act. I see it as real, I do not believe Tia Torres would hire those men if they did not care. Now I may not know what I could score on an aptitude test… I also don’t work for animal control. I work as an animal care attendant, I do care, I am not cruel or callous…I am also not a prison inmate either. I do have two college diplomas, and have been in the animal shelter environment since I was 14. Yes, I have seen some sad things but it never once came from any of the staff that I have worked with that care a great deal about these animals. We work our butts off, helping them by fostering, rescuing, finding rescue to take animals we can not place up for adoption. This summer alone a co-worker had over 10 animals from our shelter at her home fostering them! Some people may not care, and some people maybe cruel. But the keywords is SOME PEOPLE. You can put all shelter staff in that category,
“Studies of slaughterhouse workers have found that in order to cope with the fact that they are paid to kill day in and day out, self-preservation motivates them to devalue animals in order to make what they are doing less morally reprehensible. In other words, the workers make the animals unworthy of any consideration on their behalf”
“Employees Wanted: To Commit Daily Violence Towards Animals”
First of all. I am not a slaughterhouse worker. I am an animal shelter work. Second of all, I am not paid to kill day in and day out. I also don’t devalue an animal. You think it makes us happy when we have to pick animals to euthanize. I have said this before it’s not easy to say who deserves to live and who gets to die. It is not an easy part of the job. We don’t desensitize our selves to this. My last litter of foster cats all had to be euthanized. Yes, I made that decision. They were really ill and not responding to their medication. Turns out the mother had feline herpes virus and transmitted it to the babies. They were getting sicker and sicker each day. What would you have liked me to do, leave them suffer until they all dropped dead, or humanely and yes I said HUMANELY euthanize them. Do you think I didn’t cry? You think I didn’t care? It killed me to make that choice but for me it was the right choice, and maybe that something you will not agree with.
“Because shelter workers understand that they have the power to kill shelter animals, and will in fact kill many of them, every interaction they have with those animals is influenced by the perception that the animals do not matter, that their lives are cheap and expendable and that they are destined for the garbage heap.”
You honestly think that? Really? I did not apply to work at a shelter because I enjoy killing and think every animal is going to die. It’s a sad truth yes animals are euthanized in shelter. Yes many will me euthanized. But I will have you know every interaction I have with everyone of my animals, at my shelter is not influenced by the perception they do not matter or destined for the garbage heap like you say. Every interaction I have with those animals is full of love, caring and expecting they will become a great pet to someone, and watching there confidence grow. Every animal that walks through that door will have the chance and will be expected to become a great animal for someone. And sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometime they are euthanized for various of reason. You think I don’t care? You think I excepted them to fail? It is the saddest thing in the world when you have tried so hard for an animal and unfortunately they do not make it. It makes you feel like you have failed that animal, and that feeling of failure is a heart wrenching thing. But we do have to be strong, STRONG, not heartless, we have to move passed it and be there for the next animals, because let’s face it, those kennels will always be full, and there will be another animal waiting for you to them.
“The reality is that truly caring people, people who actually love animals, either do not apply to work at these agencies or if they do, they do not last.”
It is true that a lot of people do not last in animal shelters because they can not handle the sadness. I’ve had my days were I felt I did not want to do this anymore. I actually care about animals, whether you believe me or not. I go in on my days off to socialize scared animals and work with dogs with certain issues that need help. I spend a lot of time off the clock at my shelter.
I’m sorry for what happened to that poor cat in Dallas. That is really sad. It is beyond me how anybody could just let an animal suffer like that. But you can not blame all shelters for something that happened at one shelter. Or something you have seen happen at a few shelters. There are shelters our there that care for these animals and do whatever possible to help as many as we can. I’m sorry that you blame all the “killing” on shelter workers. Yes, we do euthanize animals. I don’t feel we are to blame. If you want the euthanizing to stop I feel you need to look at where there animals are coming from? If people would stop buying from pet stores, puppy mills, back yard breeders, if they start spaying and neutering their pets, if more people adopt from shelters, then and only then will the euthanizing of animals in shelter will be minimized and who knows maybe it will stop.
I am an animal lover, and I did apply and I do care for every animal that walks through the doors of my shelter doors.
You can read the article here: