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Kicked out.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just need to get this out to someone who isn't going to go and beat the people involved.

I don't know how many of you know that I have been volunteering with a rescue organization. Or how many of you know what it's been like through the years.

It's a long story, but here goes.

I started volunteering for a cat rescue organization in October of 2003. At first I was only there every Saturday and Sunday.. but then when she(the owner of the organization) realized that I was a dropout and so therefore home everyday, she asked if I would come in every day. So I did. For a year and a half I think. Then it got to be too much and I quit. I kept the two kittens I was fostering and found them homes myself. That was August 2005

Then in feb 2006 I called them about fostering a pregnant female. I took her in and she had her babies and all that. But then I started volunteering back in about April. Not back everyday though until about June. Was wonderful and great until I felt that I was being taken advantage of once again, and quit in November of 2007.

I just recently went back... in October of 2008. Only part time because I have a job now. I started fostering again, and I was enjoying it again. But it never can last, can it?
Jan 1st 2009 the same lady(Bonnie) who ran the organization, handed in her resignation from the board of directors and as president of the organization. That's when all hell broke loose.
It was on the 3rd that several other members of the board came in and kicked Bonnie out and told her she was not allowed back on the premises or they would charge her with trespassing. She went to the police about it, since her apartment is above the shelter, and got it so she can go back in until the 31st of this month.

That was extremely horrible to do to the person that dedicated the past 9 years of her life to this organization. To someone who lost their husband, house, and business for this organization.
But whatever. I continued to help because I was there for one reason and one reason alone. The animals. The 250 cats and 4 dogs were the reason I was there.

But then on Monday, the 5th, they came to me and told me that I would also have to leave the premises. This broke my heart. Because I love those animals with everything I have.
I argued with them over why, until I broke down in tears. They honestly didn't even care what they did to me or Bonnie.

I can't believe that a VOLUNTEER run organization will FIRE the much needed volunteers.

My family tells me it's great that I'm out of there, because it always seems to end the same way.. but I am honestly worried about the animals now. An insider has already told me that several cats that weren't really adoptable have been euthanized. I don't think you can call yourself a no-kill rescue when you are euthanizing perfectly healthy animals.

Bonnie also figures that they will call me to come back once that she's moved out of the apartment.
But now I don't know if I should go back.

Sooo, plllffftt.


I'd help out with other rescues, except I don't drive and there's no others around here. (there is one but they hate me and won't take me)
post #2 of 17
Yikes. That's really sad.

Something positive can come out of this bad situation though... you could start your own organization. It would be a lot of hard work, but not impossible. Or find some other way to pursue your passion. Be creative.

Don't let other people limit you, and don't limit yourself. You're a kindhearted person, and your time and efforts are valuable. Think of how much you've helped the animals...

I hope everything works out for you somehow.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86 View Post
An insider has already told me that several cats that weren't really adoptable have been euthanized. I don't think you can call yourself a no-kill rescue when you are euthanizing perfectly healthy animals.
It's too bad you can't get some proof of this. If they are presenting themselves as a no-kill shelter and being supported by donations to be such, this should be made known...

I suggest you do not go back. Do you really want to work for people like this? They'll use and abuse you. Chances are, Bonnie knows people so she'll still have cats brought to her. She may need help, and if the two of you are friends you could still continue to help foster.
post #4 of 17
Good lord! What happened between the organization and Bonnie to make them leave her apartment? Was she renting (if so, just because she isn't working there shouldn't give them a reason to kick her out) or was she living there as a favor from them?

Honestly, it doesn't sound like the best organization to work for. They've already taken advantage of you in the past, and now they give YOU your walking papers because you're still friends with a former employee?? Something about them doesn't sound right.

I agree with Nova. I'm sure if Bonnie was the director for that many years she knows the ins and outs of rescue and already has many contacts. You may want to look into starting up your own (on a small scale at first) since you both want to help animals. It WILL take hard work, a lot of research and a lot of time, but it would be worth it. I agree, it's the animals that are going to suffer here.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Starting a new organization has been a consideration. But Bonnie is moving a good deal away from here. It hurt her a lot for this to happen, after giving her life to this place.. she just wants to get as far away as she can possibly get.

Having been really deeply involved in the rescue, I know the in and outs of running one.. and therefore know how much work is really involved.. and unless I have a lot of help.. I don't think it's possible. But it always has been my dream to open a sanctuary for animals.. so I hope it does happen someday. I just need to make sure i have the help. both volunteers and monetary donations.

The reasons I left before was Bonnie actually. While she is an amazing person doing what she has done, she doesn't have the best people skills and she expected too much of me. I had no problems with these other people until they just did what they did.

Everyone is telling me to not go back. But there's something about this place that sucks me in. And I don't know what it is.


I do still have a foster as well. And he won't be going back. There's a chance he'll need a very costly surgery.. and they would rather euthanize him than raise the funds for the procedure.

I wish I did have proof. But without vet documentation, I can't really prove anything.


EDIT:

They wanted her out so they could run it the way they wanted to run it. They saw her as problem and decided to get rid of the problem.

She wasn't paying rent for the apartment. Since she dedicated 10 or more hours a day of volunteer work, 7 days a week. The board decided a long time ago that she should live in the apartment, and her doing all the work would be considered rent. These are the same board members that kicked us out.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I got a letter by Registered Mail on Monday. I wasn't home so I had to pick it up yesterday at the post office.




Dear Sarah:

For many years you have been a very valuable volunteer at Pets/Friends for Life and we sincerely appreciate and respect your knowledge and experience with the residents of our center.

However, since PFFL is presently under new management, we, the Board of Directors of PFFL, are concerned about a conflict of interest caused by the sudden resignation of our past president Bonnie *****.

It is, therefore, with great sadness that we request you to resign your volunteer position at PFFL until some time in the future when this conflict has been passed.

Yours truly,

PFFL Board of Directors.


--------

Haha. They are asking ME to quit when they already threw me out? That makes a whole lotta sense.
post #7 of 17
Does that have anything to do with the issue you posted in the following thread?

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=181707

Maybe they were getting a great deal of flack about it?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Does that have anything to do with the issue you posted in the following thread?

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=181707

Maybe they were getting a great deal of flack about it?
While we believe that these people had something to do with it (like did it themselves) we really aren't sure. We were told that the video was made by an animal welfare group. the lady that headed this whoel operation and we thought was our friend, did this all to us so I don't doubt it's connected in one way or another. But I don't think they decided to get rid of her for that reason of the youtube video being there.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86 View Post
An insider has already told me that several cats that weren't really adoptable have been euthanized. I don't think you can call yourself a no-kill rescue when you are euthanizing perfectly healthy animals
Not that I like this, but:

With the cat overpopulation problem around here, by the sounds of it, this is going to be a necessary truth for ALL shelters around here. Both PFFL and Animal Aide have been in the newspaper stating that this is going to be happening unless they get more $$, more volunteers (which makes me not really understand your situation), and more foster homes. I don't think either are claiming to be no-kill anymore, and I'm not sure they are taking new animals either (just saw a posting somewhere last night about someone trying to surrender some stray cats and the shelters not being able to help her out).

While I would prefer that there was shelter space for all animals, I would prefer that a cat was humanely put to sleep after being in the safety of a shelter for a while (once they are deemed unadoptable), than for a cat to starve/freeze to death on the streets.

The shelters are a band-aid solution to a larger problem, and the bandaid is starting to fall off. The city needs to put some low-cost spay-neuter programs into place and do some pet education (and TNR like London has recently put into place). Perhaps you could focus your efforts in this area - if you are unable to directly help out in the shelters. Unfortunately, with the economic situation around here as of late, I think the municipality is going to think that there are "bigger fish to fry" than help the poor cat population.
However, it is a time when the city needs it the most, as people start realizing that they can no longer afford to take care of their pets and throw them out onto their streets!
post #10 of 17
How awful I remember the rescue from the other thread.

I hope there's another organization in town that would be happy to have you.
post #11 of 17
It is so sad, but it seems that a lot of these orginizations have a lot of politics that go on behind the scenes. Since you have taken a few breaks before, would it be possible to talk to them about you taking a break & comming back at a given time? That way at least you know when you will be going back?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
Not that I like this, but:

With the cat overpopulation problem around here, by the sounds of it, this is going to be a necessary truth for ALL shelters around here. Both PFFL and Animal Aide have been in the newspaper stating that this is going to be happening unless they get more $$, more volunteers (which makes me not really understand your situation), and more foster homes. I don't think either are claiming to be no-kill anymore, and I'm not sure they are taking new animals either (just saw a posting somewhere last night about someone trying to surrender some stray cats and the shelters not being able to help her out).

While I would prefer that there was shelter space for all animals, I would prefer that a cat was humanely put to sleep after being in the safety of a shelter for a while (once they are deemed unadoptable), than for a cat to starve/freeze to death on the streets.

The shelters are a band-aid solution to a larger problem, and the bandaid is starting to fall off. The city needs to put some low-cost spay-neuter programs into place and do some pet education (and TNR like London has recently put into place). Perhaps you could focus your efforts in this area - if you are unable to directly help out in the shelters. Unfortunately, with the economic situation around here as of late, I think the municipality is going to think that there are "bigger fish to fry" than help the poor cat population.
However, it is a time when the city needs it the most, as people start realizing that they can no longer afford to take care of their pets and throw them out onto their streets!
I know it's basically the only solution. but PFFL is known best as a sanctuary.. where the cats that don't use the litterbox or have off and on sickness can go and live out the rest of their lives. They aren't in pain or suffering, and they really aren't taking that much room up, since it's free-roam. But they just don't want to deal with it.

And yeah.. we do need a TNR program in place, as well as a spay/neuter bylaw.. and that's what we were going for before they kicked us out of the organization.
Bonnie's now moving a good deal away from here because she can't stand to see this place.. the place she built, being taken over and run by people who honestly don't know what they are doing.
Though I can still try for it, they have all the information and they don't think that we will succeed in a spay/neuter bylaw.
The vets are also so expensive in town here, I can understand why some people haven't spayed/neutered. I take mine in to London to be done at the low cost clinic there.. but we really do need to find one to help in St Thomas. That's an idea I haven't thought about before, so thanks for bringing that up, I'll see what I can do.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27 View Post
It is so sad, but it seems that a lot of these orginizations have a lot of politics that go on behind the scenes. Since you have taken a few breaks before, would it be possible to talk to them about you taking a break & comming back at a given time? That way at least you know when you will be going back?
According to their letter, they do want me back... but I honestly don't think I want to go back at this point. Not with all the lies they are spreading. I am not going to support what they have been doing and the way they have been treating people or the animals.
They are here for the glory and the power. They come in and sit at the desk... they don't work with the animals at all.. they just want to be seen and get all the praise and glory for doing such a wonderful deed.

I also don't want to go back if they aren't going to tell me anything. As it is right now, I know they aren't telling anyone anything. They are keeping to their little clique.. and I know they won't give me a key back, and that I won't be given any freedom like I had before.
I basically ran the kitten section for two years before I left the last time. I was just getting back into managing the kittens when all this happened. I had most caged and all healthy. They needed to be monitered. While I hate caging them, it was the best thing to do at this point.
I was in there on Sunday to pick up 5 cats to drive them to Buffalo NY, and they had the cages torn down, and I could notice a drastic weight loss in some of the kittens.


I am honestly glad I still have Nixie, and I can say for a fact that they will never get him back.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rahma View Post
How awful I remember the rescue from the other thread.

I hope there's another organization in town that would be happy to have you.
There is one other rescue, Animal Aide.. but they don't like me either because I supported Bonnie. And I volunteered for them before but left after a few days because they don't treat their volunteers right either.




And it is all political. It's unfortunate but it is.
post #15 of 17
What a sad thread.....I don't volunteer for our local group who works with the county animal shelter because of politics. They use the cat volunteers as dog-walkers & claim that they have enough volunteers to help with the kitties, but the cats remain in the cages unnoticed
because I love to talk "cats", I am finding out that quite a few other cat lovers are having the same experiences.
I hope a miracle happens and you are able to be involved one way or another again, very soon
post #16 of 17
Wait a second - is this the shelter in Canada that had that video on youtube saying that it was an abusive shelter? That one used to have a Bonnie who lived upstairs... Is that it?
Oh my, what an awful situation!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Wait a second - is this the shelter in Canada that had that video on youtube saying that it was an abusive shelter? That one used to have a Bonnie who lived upstairs... Is that it?
Oh my, what an awful situation!
The one and only.

I don't doubt now that these people were involved in this video. Because basically the video concentrated on getting her OUT. And that's what has now happened.
Not because of the video, but because of the politics and the people.
It's sad because she gave her whole life to this shelter and these people treat her like dirt.

I've only dedicated 5 years... which is a lot. But Bonnie has literally lost her house, her husband, and her company... all for this shelter. She started this organization in her own home, at one point she had about 80 cats.
She talked to the Treasurer the other day and got the statistics. In 2003 when she became a registered canadian charity, she brought in around 40,000-45,000$. In 2008 she brought in over 160,000$. She made this place grow amazingly. It's just awesome how much she has accomplished with very little help. And THIS is how she is repaid.
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