Sunday, May 18, 2008

The shelter


I love my local shelter. Please remember that when reading this post. Because I love my local shelter, it irritates me when I feel like I'm hitting my head against a wall when it comes to helping them out and getting things done not only for the staff but the animals.

We had the 6th annual kitten shower yesterday. It was a nice time, but once again (like last year) 75% of the donations and sales came from the staff and volunteers. we had a few girl scout troops stop by with some impressive donations - one group of five brownies brought in over 500 lbs of supplies! - however the total amount of donations was just over 1000

Why such a disappointing year? a lot of people were tryingn to blame it on the grand opening of a huge new store about 45 minutes away. Thinking the draw was that big.

Granted, that was a huge draw for a lot of people, but that was not the issue. the issue was that they didn't tell people about it.

they put out a post card, and a few flyers around town.. but that was pretty much all the advertising I saw. *shrug*

I have to give a little leeway here, because a lot of the staff this year is new. We have a new program coordinator, a new volunteer coordinator, and a new ... shoot.. I forgot her title.. and I'm sure this was foisted upon them. And sadly too many of the long time volunteers have been backing away from helping out because of the history of their suggestions not being listened to, and what help they do give seems to not be appreciated. I know I have to back away from time to time because I get overwhelmed with the huge wall they have built around their "policies and proceedures" that can not be tamered with.

Hopefully we can get some better lines of communications going this year, next year we'll advertise the living crap out of this event.

another issue of the day was when one of these new staff memebers stood on the far sid of the room I was in and made a very condesending pronouncement. It was rude, and completely unnecessary. I've been with the shelter for a freakingly long time (I think its been 15 years) and knew what I was doing, and what was going on.

What is even more annoying is that this woman then tried to blame the pronouncement on another staff member - one who has been there even longer than I have. She's a sweet woman who is probably my mother's age. but because she's quirky and just a little different she's often the one blamed or accused, or shunned or put off or put apon. I hate that she isn't treated well. She is the only reason I'm actually still with the shelter. I remember my first day going in to volunteer. At the time there was no formal program, and the volunteer coordinator at the time was very judemental and dismissive. When I walked in the door I had no idea where to go and what to do, and felt ignored. I was about to leave and never go back when my friend called out to me and gave me a job to do and befriended me. While she is a little quirky, she's friendly, and the shelter needs more of that! everywhere needs more than that.

Fortunately things are much better. That VC is gone, so is the manager at the time who wasn't much better. I still wish for more improvement, but I have to remember that they are an organization dependant on donations, and while their budget is quite impressive, they do have a very impressive list of expenses when it comes to the animals.

I just wish ... well I suppose it doesn't really matter what I wish. They are of great help to the abandoned companion animals of the communities, and do great things with in the constraints that they have. and most of the changes I want cost money. I must remember to appreciate them for what they are with in their limitations, and while I don't think it is wrong to wish for more, I have to remember that more does not come easily.. and it's hard. I want to make a good thing better, and I can't.

Please, neuter your pets, and donate to your local shelter!

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