That’s a great quote but can you do it? Yesterday, I was very nicely asked to no longer be associated with a rescue network because I was blamed for an e-mail shit storm by expressing how I felt about an e-mail that was put out to the group. It was a follow-up to the original one that actually sounded concerned about a woman and her cats. She even states that she thought one of the rescues would have intervened but didn’t… The original e-mail was titled “Cats in imminent danger” and here it is:
“Unbelievably, a woman attended this weekend’s Pet Connection Adoption event, parked herself in front of a local rescue group with three cats and a sign. Her sign stated that if her cats weren’t adopted at the event, they would be killed afterward. Apparently one was adopted. Luckily, the other two haven’t been killed. Yet. I assumed a group would have stepped up to intervene. When I learned no one had, I got her contact information and contacted her. I asked her not kill/euthanize the cats and let me try to find someone to take them. She states she has until August at which point she will be evicted if she still has the cats. There are rumors that she has between 10-50 cats in her apartment according to different accounts she told different people. Again, since the police were not contacted I did so yesterday and asked them to check the situation out. I’m in contact with her via email…she is giving me little bits of info here and there. Can anyone step up to take these two cats? One black and white male-10 years old, one tiger female 12 years old. Sounds like they both have great personalities and are sweet and playful. Pics are attached. They will absolutely be put down soon if I can’t find someone to help…”
Now, I don’t know about you, but my first thought is that the woman is acting out of desperation. Perhaps she’s asked for help, probably from large shelters in the Capital Region of NY like Mohawk Humane and the Animal Protective Foundation and has been turned down. This has happened to others in the area that have taken in cats but whose situation rapidly grew out of control, where these big Kill shelters swoop in after someone calls the authorities on these people (some already working with the town, DOH, and cat rescues getting cats spayed and neutered and re-homed) and take all the cats looking like the heroes. Then, they publicly state how many had to be euthanized due to poor health (never knowing if they were taken in that way by the person) caused by the “deplorable living conditions” and file animal cruelty charges on the person who was only trying to help. Living with many reproducing cats will certainly yield deplorable living conditions in a short amount of time. Asking for help is not the personality profile of a hoarder, and labeling someone as such is ignorant.
This next e-mail from a different source is as follows:
“Just to let everyone know, this didn’t go unnoticed. Unfortunately, this woman NEVER should have been allowed to set up with these cats and her signs at an event that was by invite only. There obviously are issues with this woman and Jxxxx has done some research on her history. This is not the first time she has been involved in something like this. I believe Jxxxx gave this woman’s information to the appropriate people and they are looking into the situation. I can’t or won’t speak for Steve*, but this is not the kind of publicity that should happen at an event that is sponsored by Pet Connection. That is all I will say regarding this issue.”
*Steve Caporizzo is a local meteorologist for WTEN whose Pet Connection portrays animals in need of adoption during the newscast from around the Capital Region including several different shelters and humane societies, and also sponsors events like this huge adoption day in Guilderland.
Here is my response:
This is coming across kind of snobby to me. There are animals that appear to be in some type of danger or bad situation, we’re a rescue network, and the big concern here is embarrassing publicity at a Pet Connection event…seriously??!! I thought it would be to help those animals out of a bad situation and hopefully getting this woman some help whether financially, emotionally, and/or psychologically so we don’t have any more “situations.” I might just be in the wrong group.
Please let us know when someone has the real story about this woman, and the woman’s actual story about her desperate plea for help, so once again not everyone is jumping to some kind of judgment or action without knowing all sides of the story.
And, here’s the response from what appears to be a big shot in the rescue world, followed by the event flyer…I kid you not.
“This email from Dxxxx is not snobby at all. It was totally inappropriate for this woman to show up at this event. All rescues/shelters signed up ahead of time and were approved. This woman just showed up with three cats and plopped them infront of (name of rescue) with a sign that the cats would be euthanized if not adopted that day. Then the lady was telling people that she would kill the cats herself, and saying all kinds of scary inappropriate things. How do we know the cats were even feline leukemia tested or tested for rabies? This was totally inappropriate. When a person acts as unstable as that and makes threats towards pets, the authorities are called to investigate, as the law states. This is now being investigated. For all rescues/shelters, they signed up ahead of time, it would have been inappropriate for anyone to just show up with a pet at this event. Dxxxx’s email was not snobby at all- this was not the right setting for this woman to show up, and she had the offer of bringing the cats to the shelter, (and the cats would NOT have been put down) but she refused. She was very unstable and frightened many people. Here is the info on what this event was about. If you feel this is not the right email group, then please ask to have tour name removed from the list.”
Now you know as well as I that if those cats were signed over to the Kill shelter, they can do whatever they want with those cats, and I seriously doubt they were sincere in “holding” them for her – what, until she was “better?” And, don’t forget the most important part of this is that she had the audacity to show up at this “invite only” exclusive adoption event extravaganza. I give her credit for hatching this plan; a brilliant ploy to capture everyone’s attention!
I don’t believe in listening to only one side of a story and making a judgment or taking action. I asked several times what the woman’s side of the story is and never received that response until I was asked to leave the group. All of a sudden there is documented proof of other incidents caused by this woman.
Only one person, actually two as it turns out, attempted to help this woman. The person who jumped on this thread didn’t reach out at all and I stand by my accusation of snob or a public relations manager. She was actually concerned that someone might think the woman was associated with the rescue she was sitting in front of…and that I had no regard for Steve’s Pet Connection…wow.
One of the women who offered help actually apologized to the group for doing so! I thanked her for caring and told her to apologize to no one for being that way. She attacked me by stating I was an unpleasant person and was taking what happened to her harder than she was, and copied the entire world. This is really Capital Region mentality at its finest! I asked someone if it was cat rescue people in general that had this mental instability.
Anyhoo, after the “Gatekeeper” (a person also dedicated to the No Kill philosophy) of the Network (comprised of rescues, rescuers, and staff/volunteers at kill shelters) returned and was inundated by the barrage of angry e-mails calling me God knows what, she said it was not personal and just business. She said she had to do massive damage control…really?! She said that this made the Network look bad. I guess that’s what happens when people don’t know how to use e-mail and keep copying people in that I deleted and felt were no longer relevant to the thread.
To summarize, this is the mentality that runs rampant through the Capital Region. Ego and reputation are more important than No Kill and No Kill is made out to be close to hoarding, or its definition is skewed to justify the killing that the shelters perform.
This is a link to the Position Papers from the Mohawk Humane Society – attendees at this event arm-in-arm with the rescues – check out the section titled No Kill and Open Admission Shelters…
Since the shelters in the area are not high kill, people are convinced that they’re doing the best they can, and they seem to justify their killing effectively by brainwashing the public and the volunteers that it’s the necessary thing to do to reduce the overpopulation that is blamed on the same public. I guess it wouldn’t surprise you that many people in the area think these shelters are No Kill and “humane society” means just that. I wouldn’t have let that woman sign over her cats to anyone from a shelter without a full contract stating she could reclaim them if they weren’t “accidentally” put down. I also would have calmly walked her out of the immediate area and asked if she was okay and if I could help her instead of panicking like a lunatic or thinking she was disrespecting the event – but that’s another story for another day.
The No Kill philosophy should reach here sometime in this century. No matter how much they try to squash me, I keep trying to educate them. It’s probably no surprise to you that they won’t give me a blog in the area’s largest online newspaper. Right now I’m standing alone because of my beliefs and failure to keep quiet about them, but there are others that believe in what I believe and we will start our own rescue group with no politics, eggshells to walk on, or egos to bruise.