Anonymous (Admin: the writer left a comment with her name which I converted to an article but I have decided to keep her anonymous for this article until she approves).
Nathan Winograd is my hero. I volunteer at our local animal shelter and recently when I posted on Google Docs after my shift about a cat I had heard was going to be killed (the word is killed, not “euthanized”) the Experienced Cat volunteer coordinator sent me a nasty-nice e-mail telling me what a wonderful job I was doing but that she was sure I didn’t mean to post what I had about “Sammy” because after all, there was a simple misunderstanding and he wasn’t going to be – she used the word “euthanized”.
Her parting comment was “We don’t want to inflame the volunteers”. I sent her a reply and told her I wasn’t at all concerned about inflaming the volunteers.
Shorty after my reply to her I received an e-mail from the chief volunteer coordinator. She said, “Let’s talk. You e-mails show a lot of frustration.” so I went into her office and we talked.
The upshot of my meeting with her was I told her I had been very upset to learn that Sammy was going to be killed. She said, You mean “euthanized”. I said, “No, killed.”
She and I talked for quite while and she finally admitted that her purpose in the meeting was to ask me to no longer volunteer.
She also said that since I had explained why I was upset she could understand and that since I was an Experience Feline Volunteer who had been with the shelter since 2005 she didn’t want me to leave.
I told her that I would stay but that I was a cat advocate, first and last, and that I would not fail to speak out about the welfare of the cats.
I am also a member of the Friends of Feral and Abandoned Cats in the town where I live and feed at three colonies of feral and abandoned cats.
I think my involvement with this organization is what made her change her tune. Also that she saw I was not going to back down.
But I’ve skated on very thin ice with this shelter for some time. They don’t claim to be a “no kill” shelter, but rather an “open entry” shelter.
Until shelters are changed, utterly, from the top down, no-kill is going to be something we all strive for and few attain. I consider the welfare of the cats to be my prime concern and they all know it. Don’t think it makes them very comfortable.