Saturday, October 10, 2009
Since I am disabled, I volunteer regularly at several organizations instead of working. One of those organizations that I volunteer at is the local Humane Society. I did that 4 hours a day, twice a week for the past 5 years. I socialized the cats while I was there as well as assisted people with selecting and adopting a cat. In addition, I volunteered at outings regularly.
Since a new director arrived there in March, things have deteriorated greatly. She is very controlling and more of micro-manager than I have ever seen. They were allowing cats health to deteriorate. Some things that were occurring could have even been considered inhumane. Volunteers were no longer respected like they once were. In fact, they were treated poorly. Acting as adoption counselors was virtually eliminated. And that is what I found the most joy in. I had other duties there that gave me even more responsibility than many other volunteers. Those activities were curtailed at the detriment to the animals.
Thursday, I was in the process of doing one of my other duties which is crucial for the advertisement of the cats to the general public. When I went to find out the status of some cats I couldn't locate in the shelter, I was treated rudely and yelled at by the customer service staff. I was not given the information I needed. If the customer service staff treats me that way, you can imagine that they aren't that helpful to the customers either.
Friday, I decided I could no longer tolerate being in such a hostile environment. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. I went into the director with a friend and we informed her that we could no longer bear to witness what was happening at the shelter and her behavior. She displayed very little emotion. What she did display was an indifferent attitude with a few smiles and chuckles showing her amusement at what was happening. She appeared to be thinking, "Whatever." When you are losing two of your most vital volunteers to a non-profit organization, you would think someone would be a little upset about the whole deal. Shouldn't you rethink what is happening as an organization, especially with one of the people being a major donor to the organization and losing that donation?
I'm very upset about the decision to leave there. But I am not going to miss the staff who treated me with disrespect. I am going to miss the cats. They will be hurt by me leaving. They will not get taken out on a regular basis or be given toys to stimulate them in the cages. I won't be there to fight for their cause. That makes me really sad.
This has really impacted my food plan the last couple of days. I am stress eating. I am making conscious decisions to overeat. Why am I doing this? It isn't helping the cats! Exercising probably would help relieve some of my stress. But the most I can do right now is walk slowly for about 20 minutes due to a back injury. So exercising the stress away is not an option. My weight is already starting to reflect my poor eating.
Hopefully, writing a letter to the board of directors will help in relieving some of the stress and get my eating back on track. That is all I can do to fight for the animals now. Hopefully the board will decide to act rather than to continue to defend the poor policies of the director.