I’m sure my readers have noticed that I am deeply focused on the fight to save MCAS from its new management. I sincerely hope that in the near future, that fight will stop being necessary. In the meanwhile, I’d like you to contemplate something for just a moment. We see war every time we turn on the news. War is ugly, and dangerous, and involves tremendous death and destruction. So why do people go to war?
If you’re the good guys, you go to war to fight for what you believe is right. Or to fight against what you believe is wrong.
To win a war, you have to be willing to sustain casualties and suffer pain while making sure the other side sustains greater losses and suffers greater pain. You win the war when the other side can no longer hold their position because their losses have become unsustainable.
Ever notice the problem with this concept? It’s usually the noncombatants who suffer the greatest losses. In human wars, it’s the civilians. In this war for the soul of MCAS, it’s the employees, the volunteers, and especially the animals who are suffering the collateral damage.
Dedicated volunteers have been blocked from fostering. Good employees have been fired. Others have quit rather than participate in the toxic environment created by the “new management.” Deliberate attacks have been made against the credibility, character, and personal histories of shelter volunteers who oppose the new regime. Friendships and working relationships have been destroyed, and the level of mutual distrust has risen to Balkan proportions.
And now the latest salvo from the enemy camp…
The enemy is upset because the rebel alliance has obtained intel about their activities and aired their dirty laundry for all of the vast Facebook universe to see. https://www.facebook.com/SaveMCAS/posts/1634564276780295
Here’s what appears to have happened. A good volunteer offered to foster a litter of mangy puppies. New management refused, because she is one of the rebels. Then the puppies sort of…disappeared. It appears that numerous “inaccuracies” were perpetuated by the new management every time anyone asked about the whereabouts of those puppies.
And then…oops! Someone (I wish I knew who, because I’d buy them dinner) obtained the records from the shelter computer of what actually happened to those puppies. Let’s just say it wasn’t good.
The shelter management did not show any shame or embarrassment over being caught with their collective pants down. Instead, they opted for the best defense is a good offense. They punished the whole community by removing all volunteer access to the online databases. Why does this matter? Without that access, the online team cannot answer inquiries about adoptable animals. They cannot publicize animals who are in particular need of rescue or foster. It cuts off the single most effective method of networking animals to get them safely out of the shelter. Result: animals die.
The enemy (aka “new management”) is holding those animals hostage in an attempt to break the will of the rebellious volunteer community. Their actions are remarkably parallel to an enemy force threatening to sacrifice prisoners if the other side doesn’t give in to their demands. Their supporters spew propaganda about how the rebel volunteers are “just hurting the animals.” About how we’d go along with their program if we “really cared about the animals.” And then there are the reminders in online forums for volunteers about how any posts dissenting, complaining, questioning, (or in the words of one particularly aggressive member of the other team, “bitching and moaning”) will not be allowed.
Let’s call their behavior what it is.
Terrorism: Do what they want, and they might let you save some of the animals they’re holding hostage. Fight them, and animals die.
Censorship: They control what you do, what you say, and what you post online. Only post comments they like, or they’ll delete them and ban you. And animals die.
Authoritarianism: They decide who volunteers. They decide what animals are “eligible” for foster. Submit willingly, or they’ll ban you. And animals die.
My dear volunteers, if the enemy kills animals, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. The hard, ugly truth is this: We have to win this war in order to save more animals longterm than we ever could through immediate surrender and compliance.
Remember what you’re fighting for.