Shannon Hill http://shannonlhill.com Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:08:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 July 5th: A Rough Day For Shelters http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/july-5th-a-rough-day-for-shelters/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/july-5th-a-rough-day-for-shelters/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 01:53:44 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1189 Most people don’t know that January 1st and July 5th are the two largest intake days for animal shelters all over the country. Why?   Fireworks.   People leave a pet outside, the fireworks start, pet freaks out, breaks out of the yard, and the next morning the owners are out putting up signs and […]

The post July 5th: A Rough Day For Shelters appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
Most people don’t know that January 1st and July 5th are the two largest intake days for animal shelters all over the country. Why?

 

Fireworks.

 

People leave a pet outside, the fireworks start, pet freaks out, breaks out of the yard, and the next morning the owners are out putting up signs and mumbling about they just don’t know what happened. Frightened dogs, in particular, tend to run in a blind panic until they either outrun the noise or just exhaust themselves. That blind panic means that when they calm down, they can’t find their way home. I’ve literally seen a dog in a fireworks panic run blindly into the lake and start swimming. That one was lucky, because she swam up in someone’s back yard, instead of drowning in the lake.

 

Other people take their pets with them to events where there will be fireworks. Don’t do that! Every year, pets pull free of their owners, jump out of vehicles, slip their collars, and run like hell. Keep your pets at home where they will be safe.

 

It is not enough to just leave them home. Pets who panic at the noise have been know to break out of crates, sometimes breaking their own teeth or nails. They’ve clawed and chewed holes in doors or walls. They’ve broken windows. They’ve gotten into panic driven fights with other animals with whom they normally live very comfortably.

 

Your pets need to be indoors, in a secure place, with the tv on to muffle the sound of your idiot neighbors blowing a month’s disposable income on the thrill of blowing up bits of colored paper. Some pets may need medication to keep them from working up into a panic. Of my own dogs, two don’t care at all, but one is utterly terrified of loud noises, so I spend the 4th of July on the couch with 78 pounds of drugged dog in my lap with a blanket over his head.

 

Would I love to go 4th of July parties? Maybe. I’m generally not much for parties. But even if they were my favorite thing ever, I would stay home gladly to keep my animals safe. They’re my responsibility. They depend on me to take care of them. Sadly, many people just don’t think about it or don’t care. More people think they have their pets safely confined in the yard, but come home to find them gone.

 

Animals will hurt themselves to escape. Then they run blindly through the night. Some will be hit by cars, some will have other accidents. Many will end up at the local shelter, in this case MCAS.

 

Let’s talk about all the problems that can come from your pet ending up in the shelter. First, the shelter is very, very full. Technically, it’s over capacity. Local media is currently celebrating the success of last weekend’s adoption event, but so many animals were admitted during the same time period that the net progress was only half what it’s being portrayed to be. In other words, 127 were adopted. But 80+ were admitted. So the actual net reduction of the shelter population was less than 50.

 

So every fireworks refugee that comes in takes up a space that another animal could have used. Bluntly, that means animals will die to make room instead of getting more time to find an adopter.

 

Meanwhile, while your dog is in the shelter, he may be exposed to parvo, distemper, respiratory illnesses, intestinal parasites including coccidia and giardia, and any number of other illnesses. He may be beaten up by his kennel mate. He’ll almost certainly be sick from eating unaccustomed food. If he’s there more than three days, he could be euthanized or adopted out.

 

Wouldn’t it be so much better just to keep your animals home and safe in the first place?

 

Please make the 4th of July a happy holiday for your whole family, including your pets.

The post July 5th: A Rough Day For Shelters appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/july-5th-a-rough-day-for-shelters/feed/ 0
Shelter Help Wanted http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/shelter-help-wanted/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/shelter-help-wanted/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 04:10:50 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1185 It has been suggested that one of the reasons the Commissioners will not take action to revoke the Care Corp contract is that they have no idea what they really need in a good shelter management team. So I thought I would offer a couple of sample job descriptions to point them in the right […]

The post Shelter Help Wanted appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
It has been suggested that one of the reasons the Commissioners will not take action to revoke the Care Corp contract is that they have no idea what they really need in a good shelter management team. So I thought I would offer a couple of sample job descriptions to point them in the right direction.

 

Shelter Manager:

The successful candidate for the position of shelter manager should have at least two years’ experience running a large open intake shelter (500 animals or more). The candidate must be able to demonstrate familiarity with Texas animal welfare laws, as well as with the best practices of both the mainstream animal shelter industry and the No Kill movement. The candidate should have at least two years’ experience managing a staff of at least 20 people. The successful applicant’s resume will include annual professional development, which should include a wide range of the following: training on shelter management, Human Resources, public relations, marketing, conflict resolution, vaccination protocols and laws, euthanasia certification, No Kill, and other professional seminars. Preference should be given to candidates with a degree in business management or specific coursework in shelter management. Excellent people skills are essential. The candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting adoption, working with rescue, and interacting with volunteers.

 

Volunteer Coordinator:

The volunteer coordinator candidate should have significant experience recruiting and working with a diverse population of volunteers. The coordinator will be responsible for developing and running a strong program which will include training and education of volunteers. The coordinator will report directly to the shelter manager. This position is responsible for developing a list of approved volunteer activities (subject to frequent change and updating as new ideas and projects present themselves), working with the volunteers to promote active participation in said activities, and developing procedures to ensure volunteer safety without unnecessarily restricting their activities. Heavy emphasis will be placed on recruitment of foster families for animals, as well as on volunteers to run offsite adoption events. The coordinator will make every effort to make the volunteer population feel appreciated and valued, with an eye toward volunteer retention and development of a positive working environment.

 

Head Veterinarian:

The head veterinarian position requires a candidate who has at least five years’ experience working in a high capacity shelter. This candidate must have a Texas veterinary license in good standing and at least two years’ experience supervising a team of other veterinarians and technicians. The ideal candidate will have excellent people skills and managerial skills, as well as a strong track record in emergency medicine and surgery. Strong diagnostic skills are a must. This candidate will also pursue regular continuing education to stay current with new techniques and pharmaceutical developments. Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated a strong commitment to diagnosing, treating, and saving every animal that can reasonably be saved. The head veterinarian will be expected to participate actively in treatment and surgery, as well as to supervise other veterinarians on staff. The head veterinarian is expected to model concern for the well-being of every animal in his or her care, as well as to lead a veterinary team (including technicians) that is consistently focused on the care and comfort of the animals while still providing excellent customer service.

 

These job descriptions are just samples of what we should expect from good candidates for these positions in our shelter. In a large high-capacity shelter, combining the position of head vet with the shelter manager job is positively irresponsible, as it leads to one person trying to do two extremely full time jobs, with the obvious result that neither will be done well. Likewise, the shelter manager should not function as the volunteer coordinator; the shelter manager has a very high stress position that requires supervising a large staff, dealing with multiple crises throughout any given day, and dealing with the public, often in less than desirable circumstances. The volunteer community needs a separate point person whom they can rely on to meet their needs and organize their efforts, and the shelter manager needs a reliable coordinator to whom those responsibilities can be delegated.

 

Please note that all three descriptions place major emphasis on people skills. While all three require different levels of interaction with the public, the volunteers, and the staff, what they have in common is daily contact with people in a fast-paced, stressful environment. Animal welfare people are often much better with animals than with people, but a well-run shelter cannot afford for these three positions to be filled by employees who are not socially adept and good at working with both people and animals.

 

We the public (aka the taxpayers) can accept nothing less from our shelters or the people running them.

The post Shelter Help Wanted appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/shelter-help-wanted/feed/ 0
Litany of Disaster http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/litany-of-disaster/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/litany-of-disaster/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 03:06:04 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1181 Things just keep getting worse at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. The litany of disaster tends to blur into one long train wreck over time, so occasionally a recap is needed, just to keep it all in focus.   It all began in December 2014, when the Montgomery County Commissioners made a really stupid backroom […]

The post Litany of Disaster appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
Things just keep getting worse at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. The litany of disaster tends to blur into one long train wreck over time, so occasionally a recap is needed, just to keep it all in focus.

 

It all began in December 2014, when the Montgomery County Commissioners made a really stupid backroom deal to permit the sale of Care Corp by Tim Holifield to Dr. Aubrey Ross. The original contract had a stipulation that the sale of Care Corp would void its contract with the county. The Commissioners removed that clause and extended the length of the contract. This short-sighted decision leaves the contract vulnerable to sale to any interested party, regardless of qualifications.

 

Neither Tim Holifield (former owner) nor Dr. Ross (new owner) bothered to announce the change of regime. That information was outed via a casual Facebook post made by an employee. Amazingly, neither Holifield nor Ross anticipated that anyone would be upset.

 

When the volunteer community reacted badly to the sudden backdoor change, Ross finally got around to holding a meeting to address the volunteer community. However, by this time, the damage was done. He had already displayed poor people skills and a condescending attitude toward the volunteers.

 

As the volunteer community continued to resist the negative changes imposed by Ross, retaliation began. Volunteers were called into Ross’s office individually, where they were interrogated about what negative things they had said about him online, as well as about their motives and qualifications for fostering. There were several incidents in which animals “disappeared” – in other words, they were made unavailable to certain volunteers who did not enjoy the favor of the new management.

 

Next came the debacle known as Dumpstergate. Several employees were caught throwing away large amounts of donated items, including cases of canned food that had just arrived that day. This went on for two days, even after Ross was informed. Volunteers rushed to the shelter to salvage what they could, but these employees were so determined that they actually tried to trash the stuff a second time while one volunteer was pulling her car around to load it.

 

Very shortly thereafter, the shelter director was let go; rumor has it that Ross fired her because he believes she is responsible for the volunteer resistance. Ironically, her dismissal simply added fuel to an already blazing fire.

 

As the fight got tougher, Care Corp’s decisions became even more inexplicable. When Ross bought Care Corp, Advantage Multi was provided FOR FREE to every animal in the shelter by the Montgomery County Animal Society (recently renamed the Texas Animal Society), at a cost of over $20,000 a year. It helped kill mange mites, kill fleas, kill a variety of intestinal parasites, and prevent heartworms. Multi is a very safe topical product that comes in premeasured doses and is thus easy for anyone to apply, regardless of their level of expertise. Dr. Ross decided to discontinue the Advantage Multi program. The shelter population went for months with zero parasite prevention. I have been told that he is now using bulk ivermectin, which is a much more volatile product. It requires precision dosing and some breeds of dog cannot have it at all, due to genetic sensitivities.

 

Why would a VET throw away a safe product offered for free, in favor of a lesser product that he has to pay for?

 

The next inexplicable decision was the choice to sever the relationship between Care Corp and the Society. The Society was spending over $100,000 per year paying for outside vetting on those animals who could not be treated in house. Care Corp did choose a new nonprofit, but the new organization specializes in transporting animals to Northern shelters. Volunteers have been struggling even more because the new nonprofit has not taken over the Society’s role as payer of vet bills.

 

In the midst of this confusion, we are now hearing reports of poor veterinary practice. I know of at least three cases in which cats have died following routine surgery – one just yesterday. I have seen pictures of dog after dog who have lost tremendous amounts of weight in the shelter. Illness is rampant, including both distemper and parvo.

 

In addition to these tragedies, fosters have posted multiple comments about dogs with serious post-surgical hematomas following neuters. Others have taken post-surgical animals to their personal vets, who expressed dismay at the low quality of the work. The response of the Care Corp vets to complaints about post-surgical complications? They have added an interesting stipulation to their foster guidelines: “If a pet develops complications due to the animal licking the incision as a result of the failure to use an e-collar, the pet’s adopter/foster parent will be held financially responsible for the treatment of such complications, however all surgical complications will be covered by Montgomery County Animal Shelter surgical department. Cytology can be performed to differentiate between licking/chewing complications and surgical error complications if clinical signs do not support the case.”

 

Seriously? We’re talking about a clinic that does not have the ability to perform a basic fecal exam, but they are claiming that they can perform tests to determine whether post-op complications were caused by licking. This strikes me as a particularly childish intimidation tactic.

 

And now, today, the weekly Wednesday night dog walk has been canceled. Without explanation. I sincerely hope it’s due to weather, and not another control tactic.

 

One more depressing fact…the shelter’s maximum capacity is about 750 animals, but there are currently closer to 950 in residence. That is both unsafe and inhumane. They are crowding too many animals into the existing runs and cages. This encourages the spread of disease, and it also sets animals up to have to fight for their share of the food.

 

Dear Commissioners, whatever you expected of Care Corp, the situation they and you have created is not working. Not for the animals, not for the people. We elected you to represent the best interests of Montgomery County. You cannot seriously believe that this disaster is in anyone’s best interests.

 

Please. Make it stop.

The post Litany of Disaster appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/litany-of-disaster/feed/ 0
When Animal Welfare Goes Wrong http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/when-animal-welfare-goes-wrong/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/when-animal-welfare-goes-wrong/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 04:06:42 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1176 The general public seems to have one of two ideas about animal shelters. Either all shelters are evil death camps that kill every animal they can, or all shelters are wonderful places where every animal will safely find a perfect home.   In reality, most shelters are doing the best they can with limited resources […]

The post When Animal Welfare Goes Wrong appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
The general public seems to have one of two ideas about animal shelters. Either all shelters are evil death camps that kill every animal they can, or all shelters are wonderful places where every animal will safely find a perfect home.

 

In reality, most shelters are doing the best they can with limited resources against impossible odds. The animals that come through their doors run the gamut from perfect, healthy, immediately adoptable purebreds to the starved, abused, broken, feral, sick, elderly, and dying. In a good shelter, the employees and volunteers do everything they can to save every possible animal, and they do it in the full knowledge that some won’t make it. It’s a hard life. Burnout is high, stress is higher, and sometimes people skills are…limited. But saving an animal that would otherwise have died is incredibly rewarding.

 

Nevertheless, sometimes the wrong people end up in charge of shelters or rescues. Sometimes they start off with good intentions, but get into trouble out of ignorance or bad management. Sometimes rescuers get so caught up in “saving” every animal that comes their way that they cross the line between rescue and the mental illness called hoarding.

 

And sometimes they’re just bad people. Evil is a strong word, but when you work in animal welfare, you know it exists.

 

So what do you do when the people in charge are the bad guys?

 

Tricky question. The obvious answer is you fight. You go after the bad guys with every resource at your command, and you don’t stop until they’re gone. But how do you fight, when the enemy is in charge?

 

The first step is to get informed. Who controls the shelters in your area? Where I live, it’s the county commissioners. Some places, it might be the city government, the mayor, the sheriff, the police department, or some other elected official.

 

Your next step is to contact the governing agency. Sadly, that step is rarely productive, but it is necessary. Begin by writing a clear, concise letter detailing your specific complaints and concerns. Do NOT indulge in name-calling or verbal attacks in that letter; you want the officials to take you seriously, not dismiss you as a crackpot. Here in Montgomery County, the county commissioner directly responsible for the animal shelter is Jim Clark. If you contact him, I would suggest copying that communication to the other commissioners: Mike Meador, James Noack, and Charlie Riley. Don’t be surprised if they don’t respond, but when you go up the food chain, you need to be able to say that you started with the people most immediately in charge.

jim.clark@mctx.org

mike.meador@mctx.org

commissionernoack@mctx.org.

charlie.riley@mctx.org

 

From there, you will take your concerns to a larger audience. Here in Texas, the official agencies to which you have recourse include:

 

Local law enforcement – This may be a police department or a sheriff’s department. If you have definitive documentation of illegal acts, they should be able to help. However, in reality, most law enforcement agencies are not well trained in the details of animal cruelty law, so it may be a challenge to get them to take action.

 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) – This agency is responsible for overseeing animal shelters and animal control in the state of Texas. The person who oversees animal shelter issues is:

Pam.Wilson@dshs.state.tx.us

 

The District Attorney’s Office – Your local D.A.’s Office should have someone who handles public integrity cases and animal cruelty cases.

 

The Attorney General’s Office – If your D.A.’s office is not responsive, or if there is a potential conflict of interest (as in a recent investigation in my county involving none other than Commissioner Clark), you can go upriver to the Attorney General’s office. Again, documentation is critical, because both offices can only act if there is clear evidence of criminal activity.

 

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners – If the problems you’re addressing involve a veterinarian, this is another good option. These are the folks who can suspend or even revoke the license of any practicing veterinarian who violates their professional standards. Every state has its own SBVME, and veterinarians must be in good standing with them to practice in that state. Complaint forms are available online.

http://www.veterinary.texas.gov/Complaints.php

 

When you have exhausted every official avenue, don’t forget about the media. Most major media outlets have someone who does animal stories, and news outlets love a good scandal. Go to the websites for your media outlets, and search for animal stories. When you find the reporter who does the greatest number of them, contact him or her directly with specifics. Sometimes that media pressure will motivate local officials to take action.

 

If you find yourself in a fight to protect animals from the very shelter that is supposed to keep them safe, my best advice is this:

 

Never let up. Keep the pressure on through every available agency. Document. Report. Write. Call. Over and over until you get results. It will take time, it will be stressful and frustrating, but don’t stop.

 

The animals have no voice but ours.

The post When Animal Welfare Goes Wrong appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/when-animal-welfare-goes-wrong/feed/ 0
The Future of MCAS http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-future-of-mcas/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-future-of-mcas/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 04:05:35 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1172 I and many others have been pondering the question of what we want MCAS to become. It wasn’t perfect before the sale of Care Corp. It’s never been perfect. No shelter with intake numbers that routinely exceed 25,000 animals per year can be perfect. But the changes since the arrival of the new regime have […]

The post The Future of MCAS appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
I and many others have been pondering the question of what we want MCAS to become. It wasn’t perfect before the sale of Care Corp. It’s never been perfect. No shelter with intake numbers that routinely exceed 25,000 animals per year can be perfect. But the changes since the arrival of the new regime have been catastrophic.

 

The level of discontent and anger at what has happened to our shelter is extremely high. Just ask Commissioner Clark, who has claimed on multiple occasions that he receives up to 300 emails per day complaining about Care Corp’s bad management of the shelter. When the volunteer community first blew up in protest against the new management, the Commissioners seemed to think that we would get bored or frustrated and just give up.

 

I think they’re beginning to realize that we won’t.

 

Here’s the problem. The whole point of privatizing the shelter, from the Commissioners’ perspective, was to remove that large, time-consuming obligation from their desks. Before Care Corp, the minutes of Commissioners’ Court meetings show that a considerable amount of their time was spent addressing countless administrative decisions related to the shelter. Hiring, firing, resignations, repairs, equipment orders – it all went through the Commissioners’ Court, which meant that it all had to go on the agenda, be presented, and get voted on. Privatization was supposed to take all those daily management decisions and drop them them onto the desk of someone qualified to understand and address the needs of the shelter.

 

Upon the cancellation of the current privatization contract, the shelter will revert back to the direct control of the Commissioners, who will once again be responsible for voting on all those everyday management issues. If they want to keep the shelter under privatized management, they will have to open it up for public bid. It begins with a Request For Proposals and moves forward through a lengthy review and decision process; during that process, the Commissioners would have to actually take responsibility for managing the shelter, which is something they really don’t know how to do, and clearly don’t want to do.

 

In addition to their deep reluctance to admit that they made a poor choice when they approved the sale of Care Corp, I believe that their unwillingness to take on the direct management of the shelter is why the Commissioners are so determined to stay this course. They are trying to take the path of least resistance, which logically would be the path that does not require purposeful change. If we want that change, it is our job to make change more attractive and less challenging than maintaining the status quo.

 

We also need to be very clear about what changes we want. So here’s my list:

 

  • Care Corp must go. They’ve had five months to prove their competence, and they have failed miserably. The Commissioners can cancel that contract, and that’s what I want them to do.
  • The new management, whether privatized or not, must include a qualified shelter manager and a rescue coordinator with exemplary people skills and networking experience.
  • The Commissioners must require shelter management to provide access to vet care seven days a week for animals in their custody, including animals in foster care as well as those actually in the shelter.
  • All animals must be scanned for a microchip upon arrival and immediately posted online to facilitate returns to owners.
  • All animals who cannot be immediately identified through a microchip or tags must be vaccinated upon intake, unless there is a medical reason not to.
  • All animals who arrive injured or ill should be immediately evaluated and treated. No animal should sit and suffer through a three day stray hold without treatment.
  • All animals in danger of euthanasia due to space constraints or treatable conditions should be posted online with a plea for at least 72 hours prior to euthanasia, in order to give volunteers time to make a special effort to place that animal with an adopter or foster.
  • Someone other than the room attendants should be assigned to walk every room daily to identify animals in need of veterinary care. Animals identified as needing attention should be evaluated by a vet within 24 hours, preferably less.
  • Communication between the shelter, the employees, the volunteers, and the public must be a priority. Quick, effective communication saves lives.
  • Volunteers must be free to choose which animals they want to foster, without habitual interference or micromanagement from the shelter director.
  • The new management must offer complete transparency, so that the voters know that their tax dollars are being used properly.

 

This list is by no means comprehensive. But it would be a very good beginning.

 

Just at this moment, the “shelter manager” is also the veterinarian who is supposed to be treating the animals. Both should be full time jobs, which means neither job is getting done right. The lack of sick clinic hours is a serious problem, especially in conjunction with the drastically reduced access to outside vetting that accompanied Care Corp’s decision to break off its relationship with the Society. Volunteers have also repeatedly documented untreated animals in stray hold, sick animals in the adoption rooms, microchipped animals languishing unclaimed for days because no one checked for a chip, emails and messages going unanswered, and a host of other problems stemming directly from poor management and worse people skills.

 

Dear Commissioners, let me remind you once again that YOU ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS. In other words, you work for us. The people who pay taxes. The people who vote. You failed us when you approved the sale of Care Corp. You have failed us repeatedly by refusing to rectify your mistake and by assuming that we would lose interest and go away. More to the point, you have failed the animals in your care. They have no voice, and if you don’t fix your mistake, many of them will have no future.

 

They deserve better. And so do we.

The post The Future of MCAS appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-future-of-mcas/feed/ 1
Meet The Cast http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/meet-the-cast/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/meet-the-cast/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 04:19:11 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1167 After last week’s town hall meeting, it occurred to me that it might be useful to provide a reference guide to the cast of this particular drama. Even some of the participants don’t have a clear grasp of who’s who. Let me introduce you to the major players.   The Commissioners:   Montgomery County is […]

The post Meet The Cast appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
After last week’s town hall meeting, it occurred to me that it might be useful to provide a reference guide to the cast of this particular drama. Even some of the participants don’t have a clear grasp of who’s who. Let me introduce you to the major players.

 

The Commissioners:

 

Montgomery County is governed by a small group of elected County Commissioners: Meador, Noack, Riley, and Clark. Clark and Riley are the most recently elected, and their terms began in January of this year. The fifth member of this group is Judge Doyal, who primarily serves as tiebreaker when needed. These men have the responsibility of handling the very large budget for the entire county: roads, bridges, agencies, employees…and the animal shelter. Commissioner Jim Clark is directly responsible for handling all issues related to the animal shelter.

 

For the sake of fairness and clarity, neither Clark nor Riley were in office when the questionable deal that allowed the sale of Care Corp was made. Noack and Meador were. However, Commissioner Clark has wholeheartedly embraced the Care Corp cause.

 

Care Corp:

 

Care Corp was originally formed by Tim and Amy Holifield as an instrument for the privatization of the shelter management. Again, for the sake of clarity and full disclosure, I supported their original bid for privatization. I believed that privatization would provide some much needed flexibility to the shelter management that simply cannot exist under direct county control. I actually still believe that privatization can be a good choice, but experience has proven that effective privatization demands complete transparency, which is not contractually required of Care Corp. I cannot and will not support what Care Corp has become.

 

In December 2014, Tim Holifield met with the Commissioners and convinced them to authorize revisions to the existing contract. These revisions did a couple of very dangerous things. Originally, there was a provision which would invalidate the contract between Care Corp and Montgomery County in the event that Care Corp were to be sold. That provision is gone. As I understand it, there is nothing to prevent the current owners from selling Care Corp to anyone they choose. The term of the contract has also been extended far past its original expiration date. Both of those decisions were made in a rushed fashion without proper due diligence from the commissioners. Various commissioners have admitted to signing the revised contract without reading it. They also neglected their obligation to perform due diligence as regards the purchasers of Care Corp.

 

Care Corp’s New Owner:

 

Dr. Aubrey Ross purchased Care Corp from the Holifields, effective January 1, 2015. Tim Holifield, the seller, told me himself that Dr. Ross has seven years of experience working in shelters. I have been given to understand that the commissioners were told the same thing. However, in a letter dated January 26th, 2015, in which he confirms his purchase of Care Corp, Dr. Ross says only “I have considerable shelter veterinary experience.” In the recent town hall meeting, concerned volunteers asked Dr. Ross what experience his career included. He did not answer. Research by various volunteers seems to indicate that he worked for Banfield (the vet clinic chain found in Petsmarts) for about 18 months, and that he may or may not have done some work at a shelter in Las Vegas prior to coming to Montgomery County. He worked as a contract vet at MCAS for a few months prior to purchasing Care Corp.

 

Dr. Ross is also the partner of Dr. Diarra Blue in a venture known as Animalscopic. Apparently their original plan was to open a private practice, but when their third partner pulled out, their financing fell through. That did not stop them from setting up a nifty online presence with a photo of an abandoned bank building as their hypothetical clinic.

 

Dr. Blue presented himself in the town hall meeting as “Dr. Ross’s partner.” We remain unclear as to whether that partnership includes Care Corp. Dr. Blue did answer audience questions about his prior veterinary experience. He worked for Banfield as well, and claims six years of professional practice.

 

Neither of them appears to have any management experience whatsoever.

 

In the five months since they purchased Care Corp, employee turnover has been tremendous. Volunteers have been insulted, belittled, demeaned, even questioned about their motives and loyalties. Volunteers and adopters have expressed unhappiness with changes in the shelter’s atmosphere and customer service. The doctors severed their relationship with the Society, in spite of the vast amount of vet bills being paid by the Society, with the result that the availability of vet care has been greatly reduced. Their selected replacement nonprofit, while a fine organization in itself, does not have deep enough pockets to cover the $100,000 or more year in vet bills that the Society had been paying.

 

The Society

 

The Society is a 501c3 nonprofit. It was formed specifically to serve as the dedicated nonprofit in support of MCAS, because Care Corp’s for profit business model severely hampers its ability to accept donations. The Society is a small group of board members. It has no formal membership outside of those seven board members. For the first three years of their existence, their purpose was to raise funds, hold offsite adoption events, donate equipment and medication, and pay vet bills for the animals in MCAS custody. This has undergone a necessary change since Drs. Ross and Blue chose to end the working relationship between the shelter and the Society. The Society has adjusted its model to function as a more traditional rescue and will no doubt undergo further evolution.

 

The Volunteer Community

 

The volunteer community is by far the largest group in the mix. There are literally hundreds of volunteers in Montgomery County. Some foster for Care Corp, some volunteer for rescues, some help out with Society events, some work independently to raise funds, collect donations, transport animals, or perform other needed services in the animal welfare community. Any individual volunteer may well contribute time and effort to multiple organizations and events. We are a huge, amorphous, disparate, loud, passionate group, with members from every corner of society. We are a powerful voice affiliated to no one particular organization. Our allegiance lies with the animals, and their wellbeing unites us.

 

Just at this moment, the vast majority of the volunteer community is united over an additional issue: the current management of MCAS. We are not happy with Care Corp. We are not happy with the backdoor sale, and we are not happy with the ongoing lack of real response to our concerns by the Commissioners.

 

One more thing about the volunteer community…we don’t give up.

The post Meet The Cast appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/meet-the-cast/feed/ 0
The Town Hall Meeting http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-town-hall-meeting/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-town-hall-meeting/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 03:45:02 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1162 Last night I attended a town hall meeting to address the ongoing issues with Care Corp’s management of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Commissioner Clark hosted the meeting, with Drs. Ross and Blue as the featured speakers. Ostensibly, the purpose of the meeting was to address the community’s concerns. In reality, it was a sad […]

The post The Town Hall Meeting appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
Last night I attended a town hall meeting to address the ongoing issues with Care Corp’s management of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Commissioner Clark hosted the meeting, with Drs. Ross and Blue as the featured speakers. Ostensibly, the purpose of the meeting was to address the community’s concerns. In reality, it was a sad attempt at propaganda to convince us that they’re doing a good job.

 

They failed miserably.

 

First, we were all very amused that Commissioner Clark found it necessary to bring along several armed law enforcement officers – just in case the crazy animal welfare people got out of hand. It was very apparent that the commissioner and the Care Corp folks were not expecting such a large turnout. It was equally apparent that Drs. Ross and Blue were extremely under-prepared for the meeting. They didn’t even bother to bring the Powerpoint presentation advertised in the meeting announcement. In fact, Dr. Ross opened with this statement: “I didn’t know that Dr. Blue and myself were going to grace you with our presence.”

 

Commissioner Clark was clearly very concerned that the assembled crowd would be unkind to his buddies. He repeatedly warned the audience not to be negative because “we’re all here for the animals, aren’t we?”

 

(Commissioner Clark went on to demonstrate his absolute ignorance of the animal welfare community by describing an event at which he bought a puppy at a fundraiser auction and gave it away to the District Attorney. If the commissioner had the slightest grasp of animal welfare ethics, he would have known that most of us do not approve of auctioning puppies at fundraisers, nor do we approve of gifting animals when you win said auction by accident. Fortunately, this particular puppy ended up in a good home where he is loved.)

 

Those of us who wished to address the commissioner and the Care Corp management team were assigned numbers to be drawn in a lottery, in a futile attempt to contain the number of speakers. Honestly, they should have known better. The audience was packed with angry, emotional animal welfare people who wanted answers.

 

Dr. Ross and Dr. Blue gave a halfhearted presentation of the shelter’s numbers, policies, and plans. Dr. Ross was barely audible and sounded remarkably like a nervous ninth grade boy stumbling through an oral report on a subject he doesn’t really grasp. Although Dr. Blue was definitely a stronger speaker, he clearly conveyed a tone of condescension, as he defined the words “change” and “shelter” (in case we were unfamiliar with these difficult words.)

 

I was very interested by the claims that the shelter has implemented antiparasitics, vaccines upon intake, and “more medication than they’ve ever had.” Their claims simply do not match my research. I’ve spoken with fosters and seen kennel cards that clearly show animals who’ve gone days and weeks without vaccinations or antiparasitics. I was also rather taken aback by their attempts to present the introduction of antiparasitics as something new and innovative. The truth is that under the previous administration, all animals were vaccinated upon intake and treated with antiparasitics provided by the Society.

 

One of the more outrageous claims presented by Drs. Ross and Blue was that they did NOT terminate their relationship with the Society. Yes, they did. I have seen the email in which they stated that they and the Society would no longer be able to work together. Their ridiculous response in last night’s meeting was that they just weren’t going to receive and facilitate donations to the Society, because the Society can get donations elsewhere. And yet they seriously think the Society should continue to fundraise and pay vet bills on their behalf?

 

Once Drs. Ross and Blue were through with their presentation, questions from the audience began. Multiple speakers asked the doctors to address concerns including lack of communication, attempted intimidation and dismissal of volunteers, the negative changes in the atmosphere of the shelter, the constant requests for donations to support a for-profit management company, and the extremely limited availability of vet care and sick clinic hours. Most of the pseudo-answers given by the doctors and the commissioner fell into two categories: “We’re new. Give us time.” and “We’re working on it.” One of the few real answers we were given came from Commissioner Clark in response to our questions about why Drs. Ross and Blue were being allowed to interrogate, insult, and dismiss volunteers. Clark told us that volunteering is a privilege, and that the doctors have the right to refuse volunteers that criticize or don’t agree with their policies.

 

Clearly, Commissioner Clark and the doctors have overlooked Supreme Court cases that specifically and completely invalidate this position. (See this link for details: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=728)

 

When the audience tired of the vague generalities and began to demand concrete answers, Commissioner Clark and the doctors became obviously flustered. Much to my disappointment, Commissioner Noack chose that moment to intervene. He spoke about his support for the new management company and then called up another speaker for “their side.” His selected speaker was not on the program and did not have a number. She claimed to be a long time volunteer, but promptly negated her own statement by saying that she hadn’t been to the shelter to volunteer in years because she doesn’t like the smell. She went on to say how wonderful everything is now, because it smells better.

 

Even if that’s true, what does that have to do with the questions raised above?

 

We left the town hall meeting disappointed by the poor preparation, the lack of knowledge, the unwillingness to give genuine answers, and the utter lack of humility. I am appalled by the ignorance that allows these men to prioritize their egos over the well-being of the animals and the desperately needed unification of our fractured community.

 

Hubris is not an attractive quality in a commissioner…or in a shelter manager.

The post The Town Hall Meeting appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/the-town-hall-meeting/feed/ 1
Is No Kill The Answer? http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/is-no-kill-the-answer/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/is-no-kill-the-answer/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 04:31:41 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1156 One of the biggest issues in the animal welfare world is the reality that animals die because they are homeless. And in the eyes of the general public, one of the most popular and appealing “answers” is the No Kill movement.   The No Kill concept is a very attractive one. Theoretically, in a No […]

The post Is No Kill The Answer? appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
One of the biggest issues in the animal welfare world is the reality that animals die because they are homeless. And in the eyes of the general public, one of the most popular and appealing “answers” is the No Kill movement.

 

The No Kill concept is a very attractive one. Theoretically, in a No Kill shelter, no animal will ever be put down for space or because he is “out of time.” Theoretically, in a No Kill shelter, every animal who can be saved, made healthy, and safely adopted out will be.

 

I wish theoretically worked. Now let’s talk about reality.

 

No Kill is not as clean a concept as the general public would like to believe. There are several ways to achieve an ostensibly No Kill shelter, all of which rely on a little numerical sleight of hand. Here are two of the most common:

 

Option 1: Many No Kill shelters are able to avoid euthanizing for space because they are not open intake. Basically, when these shelters get full, they simply stop accepting animals until some get adopted out. Please note that I’m not saying that’s wrong. In their particular management model, closing intake is the proper and responsible thing to do, because it prevents overcrowding and allows them to save every animal in their custody.

 

The down side, however, is that the animals they do not accept are likely to end up dumped at the nearest open intake shelter. They become someone else’s problem.

 

Option 2: Some shelters try to achieve No Kill status on paper by skewing their numbers. Remember that the theory driving No Kill is that no ADOPTABLE animal must ever be put down. Think about that for a second…how does one skew statistics to fit that model? One simply declares surplus animals unadoptable, which then allows the shelter to euthanize them without losing their No Kill designator. How do they justify declaring them unadoptable? They mark them aggressive or otherwise behaviorally unfit, or they deem them too ill to be saved.

 

Another ugly trick that some shelters use to control their numbers is the controversial late term spay/abortion procedure. Simply put, if the shelter spays a pregnant animal carrying 6 puppies, those 6 puppies never officially exist. Because they were never born, they never appear on an intake list, and they never appear on a euthanasia list.

 

Most animal welfare folks agree that true No Kill is the holy grail for those of us who work to save animals. We would all love it if every animal who ended up in a shelter were to find a wonderful permanent home. In some parts of the country, the pet population is low enough that the community can absorb every stray or surrendered animal that goes up for adoption. Unfortunately, this is not true everywhere.

 

There are only two shelters in the county where I live. One is a very small city shelter, and the other is a large open intake county shelter. Montgomery County has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. As the human population grows, so does the animal population – or in this case, overpopulation. The county shelter takes in between 23,000 and 26,000 animals every year. That’s between 63 and 71 homeless animals every single day of every single year.

 

Some of the animals arriving at the shelter are lost animals who will be returned to their owners, but it’s a tiny percentage of the total. Some will arrive too sick or injured to save. Some will genuinely be too aggressive for anyone to handle safely.

 

But not the majority. The vast majority arrive needing some vet care, some training, maybe some socialization. They all deserve a chance, but not all of them will get one.

 

The county shelter holds around 750 animals at maximum capacity, and it’s pretty much always full. There are also hundreds of county-owned animals in foster care. Now factor into that equation the constant arrival of new animals, at an average rate of 63 or more per day. To save them all would require moving 60 to 70 animals to rescue or adoption, seven days a week.

 

Now I’m hearing that Care Corp is espousing the No Kill philosophy promoted by the nonprofit organization recently designated as their new partner. It makes a great sound bite, but frankly I don’t believe they can do it. Here’s the quote from their website (www.mcaspets.org):

 

“C.A.R.E. is striving to move toward a no-kill community and hopes that the addition of OPA will serve to further that mission. Dr. Ross knows that building a no-kill shelter will be an uphill battle, but feels it is one worth fighting. ‘What we want to do is save lives. Period. The only way to do that is through innovative programs – programs such as transports and TNR – things that OPA is already doing.’  Through their partnership, OPA and MCAS hope to put in place the programs that have demonstrated success in achieving the goal of a no-kill community. Generally, a shelter is considered to be a no-kill shelter when they are saving over 90% of homeless pets.  Euthanasia is reserved for those animals with a grave prognosis for recovery or those considered dangerous to public safety.”

 

It sounds great, until you go back and read about ways to skew the numbers. Then read that last line of the quote REALLY carefully.

 

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The post Is No Kill The Answer? appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/is-no-kill-the-answer/feed/ 2
Relationships and Resources (What Makes A Good Shelter, Part 5) http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/relationships-and-resources-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-5/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/relationships-and-resources-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-5/#respond Thu, 07 May 2015 05:05:21 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1152 Any experienced shelter person, whether volunteer or employee, knows that relationship building is a critical component of a successful program. Shelters never have enough resources available to cover the needs of every sick, injured, malnourished, neglected, unsocialized animal that comes through the doors. So inevitably shelter workers have to depend on volunteers, rescues, community donations, […]

The post Relationships and Resources (What Makes A Good Shelter, Part 5) appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
Any experienced shelter person, whether volunteer or employee, knows that relationship building is a critical component of a successful program. Shelters never have enough resources available to cover the needs of every sick, injured, malnourished, neglected, unsocialized animal that comes through the doors. So inevitably shelter workers have to depend on volunteers, rescues, community donations, and nonprofit groups to bridge those gaps.

 

Volunteers foster animals, walk dogs, socialize cats, bathe filthy animals who may never have had a bath in their lives, work adoption events, answer phones and emails, do laundry, take pictures, network, and a host of additional tasks. Without them, more employees would be necessary, and most shelters cannot afford more employees.

 

Rescues take animals off the shelter’s hands and assume financial responsibility for them. When an animal leaves the shelter to enter a rescue program, it opens a spot in the shelter that another homeless animal can occupy, which in effect helps save two lives. Rescues are also able to spend more time on an individual animal, which is why shelters rely on them to take sick or injured animals who will need time to recover before going up for adoption.

 

Community donations are a particularly special part of the shelter world. Some come from elderly people who like to make blankets or beds for shelter pets. Some come from children who ask for donations in lieu of birthday presents. Businesses, students, and service groups might hold food drives or collect blankets and towels. All represent unselfish giving for the sake of giving, and all deserve the greatest respect and appreciation, no matter how humble the donation.

 

Nonprofit groups with the ability to award large grants or pay vet bills are another critical resource. When a shelter needs equipment it can’t afford, a donation from nonprofit is often their only hope to get what they need. When an animal needs expensive veterinary care requiring equipment or expertise not available in house, shelters rely on nonprofit groups to get those animals the help they need.

 

Over the last several years, my own local shelter has benefited tremendously from nonprofit and community support. One local nonprofit was directly responsible for fencing and equipping the dog park area behind the shelter. Another, the Montgomery County Animal Society, has spent the last several years paying huge amounts of vet bills for shelter animals. Last year alone, they spent over $100,000 on veterinary care for animals in the custody of MCAS, managed by Care Corp.

 

$100,000 is a tremendous amount of money, especially coming from a single local nonprofit. That money paid for everything from exrays to bloodwork to surgeries and medications, for dozens and dozens of dogs and cats who needed help that MCAS either could not or would not provide. Lives were literally saved by those funds. Not one or two lives. Dozens.

 

Any sensible shelter management team would be overjoyed to have such deep open pockets at their disposal. Any sensible shelter management team would treasure the heartfelt donations from elderly ladies who handmake blankets and pillows. They would genuinely appreciate the toys and bags of food from children who gave up birthday presents to help animals. They would recognize the incredible value of organized community donations, which both save them money and afford them a tremendous opportunity for good publicity and networking.

 

Care Corp apparently doesn’t get it.

 

Since the “new” management purchased Care Corp a few months ago, we’ve seen Dumpstergate. That was the day that shelter staff threw away piles of donations over a two day period, even after being reported to “new” management, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to go see for himself what was being thrown away. Volunteers have been insulted and ignored and generally alienated. Good rescue groups are complaining about the poor treatment and bad manners they’re experiencing since the takeover. Relationships that took years to build have been irreparably damaged. Employee turnover continues to soar.

 

And now, just when I thought Care Corp had to be nearing their quota for bad decisions, Dr. Ross has announced that he is choosing to sever the shelter’s relationship with the Society. Here’s what that means:

 

No more paid vet bills.That’s over $100,000 for direct animal care that he is rejecting.

No more Society funded publicity to promote adoptions.

No more Society sponsored food drives, fundraisers, and special events.

No more Society funds to repair fences, kennels, and beds.

No more donations of equipment and supplies.

 

In a world where most shelters are begging for funds and supplies, I just do not understand what kind of veterinarian, shelter director, and human being can casually reject six figures worth of annual financial resources.

 

Or why.

The post Relationships and Resources (What Makes A Good Shelter, Part 5) appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/relationships-and-resources-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-5/feed/ 0
Vet Care: More Than Vaccinations (What Makes a Good Shelter, Part 4 of Many) http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/vet-care-more-than-vaccinations-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-4-of-many/ http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/vet-care-more-than-vaccinations-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-4-of-many/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 04:26:54 +0000 http://shannonlhill.com/?p=1147 The average layperson tends to think that any animal shelter being run by a veterinarian must be in the best possible hands. I used to think that too…but I’ve learned.   One of the biggest complaints from the general public about shelters is that “they just let sick and injured animals sit and suffer.” I […]

The post Vet Care: More Than Vaccinations (What Makes a Good Shelter, Part 4 of Many) appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
The average layperson tends to think that any animal shelter being run by a veterinarian must be in the best possible hands. I used to think that too…but I’ve learned.

 

One of the biggest complaints from the general public about shelters is that “they just let sick and injured animals sit and suffer.” I wish it weren’t true, but it often is. Often it’s not because the shelters don’t care. It’s because they literally do not have the equipment, medications, resources, and funds to do anything about it. Most small open intake shelters do not have a veterinarian on staff at all, and no money to pay for treatment at a regular clinic. If an animal too sick or injured for them to treat in house comes in, often their only choice is either to try to keep the animal comfortable (but untreated) while they try to find the owner or a rescue placement, or to euthanize.

 

On the flip side, some larger shelters are able to hire their own veterinarians. Shelter medicine is a completely different world. In any given day, a shelter vet may see contagious disease, starvation, skin conditions, broken bones, lacerations, trap injuries, gunshot wounds, and any number of other atrocities. And unlike private practice, there is rarely a concerned owner to foot the bill.

 

Sadly, in most shelters, IF there is a vet in house, that vet will probably have very minimal resources with which to treat serious health problems. That very lack of resources tends to drive really good vets out of shelter medicine and into private practice, where they can have access to the equipment and supplies they need to take proper care of their patients, as well as to a salary worthy of their education and student loan debt. Don’t get me wrong – many shelter veterinarians are incredibly dedicated. But the burnout rate is very high, largely due to the high stress environment and lack of resources.

 

Some veterinarians try to go into shelter management, with the idea that they can allocate resources better and make sure that more money goes to veterinary equipment, staff, and supplies. The brutal truth about this model: it’s usually a train wreck. Managing a shelter is not like managing a regular veterinary practice. It requires a completely separate skill set, which includes the ability to stretch a tight budget, network animals out to adoption, foster, and rescue as fast as possible, provide excellent customer service, maintain a healthy shelter population, keep the public officials in charge of your shelter happy, and still find funds to vet your animals.

 

There is no way that a shelter clinic can address every possible situation. But a properly equipped clinic can certainly handle the most common types of problems that come through the door. Of course the initial investment to purchase equipment and set up the clinic would be substantial, but the payoff would be priceless. Animals could be diagnosed and treated faster, which would in turn reduce suffering and decrease recovery time.

 

So let’s talk about what a good full service vet clinic in a shelter SHOULD have.

 

  1. A microscope and centrifuge, along with the proper supplies to collect and process fecal and blood samples. Parasites, bacterial infections, anemia, and any number of other conditions can be properly diagnosed with these simple tools. A machine capable of CBC and blood chemistry analysis would be nice too, but is almost certainly cost prohibitive.

 

  1. A basic exray machine. So many animals come into shelters with signs of HBC – shelter shorthand for hit by a car. And then there are the abuse cases, the old injuries that may or may not be broken bones, the unexplained lameness…With the advent of digital exray machines, this technology should be much more accessible than it once was.

 

  1. A clean surgical room with the proper equipment to do spays, neuters, amputations, wound repairs, dental cleanings and extractions, removal of cysts or growths, and simple orthopedic surgeries. And let’s not forget the need for trained veterinary technicians to assist the staff veterinarians.

 

  1. A well stocked pharmacy, with a reliable supply of antibiotics, antiparasitics, antifungals, vaccines, fluids, antidiarrheals, and any other medications needed to treat conditions that commonly present in your geographic area.

 

  1. Isolation space for contagious or immunocompromised animals, which should ideally have a separate air supply from the rest of the shelter.

 

  1. Daily rounds, during which the vet techs and veterinarians treat and follow up on any sick or injured animals in the shelter.

 

  1. Daily sick clinic hours, during which a veterinarian is available to treat foster animals and recently adopted animals.

 

The management contract for my own local shelter was purchased by a veterinarian a few months ago. So many people were hopeful that having a veterinarian in charge would mean good things for MCAS. But as I look at that list of things a good shelter clinic should have…we don’t.

 

The shelter clinic is currently not doing basic fecal or blood work, ostensibly because they lack the equipment. There is no exray capability that I’m aware of. Their surgery capabilities are extremely limited. Their pharmaceutical inventory is much reduced, and continues to shrink. Vaccination protocols have become lax and spotty. Sick clinics for fosters are sporadic at best, and multiple credible sources report untreated injuries and rampant illness in house. My own observations confirm reports that staff turnover is at an all time high, too. And all this is happening in spite of the fact that the shelter’s budget is the largest it has ever been, thanks to an increase that accompanied the sale of the contract.

 

Apparently the veterinarian who bought the management company is learning that managing a shelter (especially for profit) doesn’t leave much time to be a good vet.

The post Vet Care: More Than Vaccinations (What Makes a Good Shelter, Part 4 of Many) appeared first on Shannon Hill.

]]>
http://shannonlhill.com/animal-welfare/vet-care-more-than-vaccinations-what-makes-a-good-shelter-part-4-of-many/feed/ 1