Animal rescue organizations need to be independently monitored
In response to the articles and letters about the death of the chained dog near Barrachois, I believe there needs to be legislation on the tethering of dogs for most or all of their lives. This is no life for any animal even with shelter, food and water.
If the local SPCA is unable or unwilling to correct the situation, let’s work for change, recognizing that there is a problem. The solution in my mind is to form a concerned citizens group that will monitor the situation, speak openly against inhumane practices, and see that animal shelters are doing the job they were created to do – protecting the animals.
Shelters must be seen to be accountable for the services they supply, or don’t.
I believe there is plenty of room for personal burnout that leaves employees cold, uncaring and numb to the trauma and abuse that is witnessed on a daily basis.
There is a recognized syndrome that affects many members of the animal welfare community. Author Douglas Fakkema of the Canine Underground Railroad describes this in four phases of rescue.
Once a person becomes immune to the animal suffering, that employee becomes part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Anyone concerned for the welfare of our animals should visit Animaladvocates.com, a British Columbia animal advocates society run by volunteers, some ex-SPCA employees, who are very vocal in making their local SPCA branches be seen to be accountable for the treatment of animals in their care and in the handling of investigations.
Animal shelters that have become part of the problem, in my estimation, are simply warehousing and euthanizing unnecessarily because the employees have long forgotten why they wanted to work in animal welfare.
I believe all humane rescue societies, SPCA and others, need to be closely monitored (and video-monitored for internal lapses in humane treatment). This should be done by someone who does not have a stakeholder interest, and not by shelter management or board members.
When reports of incompetence or lack of interest keep surfacing, I believe it is past due for an in-depth and complete investigation. At the very least, it’s time for concerned citizens to join forces and truly speak up and for the animals that so desperately need to be heard.
A former SPCA employee: