I had intended for tonight’s blog to be a feel good piece in honor of National Dog Day to promote the fundraiser for Smart Rescue. Unfortunately, I am far too angry to do a feel good piece, but I will do a short plea for them right here:
In the last couple of months, Smart has pulled literally dozens of animals from MCAS and other sources. The vast majority have been seriously ill or injured. Over 30 cats with severe upper respiratory infections. Animals who came with incorrect diagnoses that had to be properly diagnosed and treated by Smart’s vets. Animals who went untreated for several days or longer before Smart pulled them.
Smart has incurred massive vet bills in the effort to treat all of these animals in need, and now they need our help. The funds go directly to vetting the animals in Smart’s care. I’m attaching a link to their fundraiser here.
Please, please, donate and share. If every person who sees this donates $5 and clicks share, we could meet the goal within a couple of days. It’s an easy way to make a tremendous difference to a great organization.
By now you must be wondering what would make me angry enough to cut into my fundraising time. You guessed it. The problems at MCAS are heating up.
On August 11th, the County Commissioners voted UNANIMOUSLY in open court to commence proceedings to revoke Care Corp’s contract to manage the shelter. The motion that they voted on specified that there would be a thirty day notice period; I believe it’s required by the contract. Our volunteer community was thrilled by their decision, but we have quickly become very concerned by the lack of forward motion.
Fifteen days later, we have not been given an exit date for Care Corp.
Fifteen days later, the Commissioners have not announced an interim plan or a permanent plan.
Yesterday was the first Commissioners’ Court following the vote to revoke the contract. The courtroom was full of people who purported to be pro Care Corp. Where have these so-called supporters been for the last 8 months? Many of those present appear to have been current Care Corp employees and relatives of the management. I have to wonder…were those employees on the clock? Were they assigned this task? Was it voluntary? Were they being paid BY OUR TAX DOLLARS to leave their jobs at the shelter, spend half the day in Commissioners’ Court, and tell the Commissioners that they want Care Corp to stay?
First, of course some of them want Care Corp to stay. Care Corp signs their paychecks. They’re scared. What they may not realize is that most of them would be better off if their jobs became county jobs, because they would be protected by civil service rules. The many GOOD employees would have nothing to fear from a return to county management.
Second, if so many employees were in court, exactly WHO was at the shelter? Who was feeding animals, filling water bowls, vetting animals, cleaning kennels, handling adoptions, administering medications, and keeping animals safe? I’m told that there were exactly FOUR employees present in the entire shelter during Commissioners’ Court, which takes up at least half a business day.
Third, a longtime shelter employee was fired today. This employee was hard-working, devoted to the animals, and had been there for over seven years in a job that tends to be very high turnover. She was also one of the four employees who did not abandon her duties to go to Commissioners’ Court and speak for Care Corp. Coincidence? You decide.
The other group of people present to support Care Corp came from OPA, Care’s “designated nonprofit.” That status undeniably attracts donations, so of course they want Care Corp to stay. If Care Corp goes, they will almost certainly lose a lot of perks, including their exalted status as the “designated nonprofit.”
The way I see it, there is only one group with no financial interest in this mess: the volunteer community. Our volunteer community is large, diverse, well-informed, and dedicated. We fundraise, network, transport, groom, bottle feed, walk dogs, host events, do publicity work, educate the public, and often pay for vetting out of our own pockets. All we get out of it is the satisfaction of making this shelter the best it can possibly be, to save as many lives as possible.
Dear Commissioners, you listened to the volunteers and the unhappy public. You voted. Please don’t let us down. More importantly, don’t let the animals down.
Their lives matter.