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Uhhh. Ok. They can't do this can they?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I don't know how many of you know that I volunteered for an animal rescue for 5 years, then suddenly in Jan 5 of this year, they kicked me out, with no prior warning. Due to a conflict of interest.

Here is the letter they sent me.

Dear Sarah:
For many years you have been a very valuable volunteer at XXXXX and we sincerely appreciate and respect your knowledge and experience with the residents of our center.

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

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

Yours Truly,

XXXX Board of Directors.


---------

Whatever. They asked me to quit. I didn't go back. I was very upset and I have shed many tears over this. I loved those animals as my own and I definitely DID NOT deserve this treatment by them.

Now, I use the alleyway where the center is located. It's a quick and easy shortcut to get downtown.

And today, I get this letter.


Dear Miss XXXXX:

As per our formal conversation with you previously regarding leaving the premises at 12-14 St XXXXXX St, it was understood from that conversation that you were no longer being involved with the activities and functions of this organization. It is therefore a surprise to us that you should still find a need to be around the premises located at 12-14 St XXXXX St.

This is our formal and written notice that we will act upon the "Trespassing Act" should you be found on or near the premises located at 12-14St XXXXX St.

Yours Truly,
------- -----,
Acting President and Representative to the Board of Directors.

c.c. Officer ----- -------, City of St Thomas Police.

---------------------------------
---------------------------------


What the hell? Seriously.

All I do is walk down the alleyway and they think I am out to get them?
I am going to the police station this afternoon to see where I stand. But what is everyone else's opinion? Are they scared of me or what?

And as stated int he first letter, they wanted me back. I guess that's a big fat no now.
post #2 of 29
Is the alley "their" property or is it public property? You should be able to find this out at the court house. Have them look up the deed (public record) and see where their property line is drawn. If it is public property, they can't keep you from being there without a court order.

That is so sad. It seems like they are scared by your very presence. What are they paranoid about??? That you will actually have a clue what is going on in there? It all seems very fishy and paranoid to me.
post #3 of 29
How many interests could possibly be in conflict at an animal rescue? The welfare of animals?
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
The alleyway is city property. I already know that as I was there when the building purchase was made. I have been there for this reascue since the BEGINNING. Summer of 2007 I put in over 200 hours each month. and THIS is how they repay their hardworking volunteers?

It makes me want nothing more to do with another organization.

They have also put up plastic on their windows so you cannot see in.

What do they have to hide????
post #5 of 29
I would take the notes to the police department. If the alley is city property, the shelter cannot "control" who is walking there. You are in the right - not the shelter!
post #6 of 29
Wow, I'm totally blown away, that is absolutely NUTS!

I have had my issues with rescues/shelters/etc, but never to the point where they were threatening me! That sounds mightly suspicious, and I also wonder what they're doing that could get them in major trouble.
post #7 of 29
You have a right to be on public property. You are not loitering, pandering, panhandling, rabble-rousing, etc. (permits may be needed for some of those things, like selling or handing out leaflets.)

I wouldn't stand for this. I agree. Go to the police dept. The rescue cc'd the police, but didn't contact them with their complaints.

They want to make trouble for you for some reason... you probably know some things that could "harm" whatever it is that they are doing right now.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I wen to the police station this afternoon.

They said that there was nothing really that they could do about me walking down the alleyway, but they recommended I stay away from the building.

They also said that I could file a complaint but that it would likely be just a waste of my time, so I didn't bother.

But I am not going to change my routine to fit their needs. Until there is a court order telling me that I cannot go down that alley, I am going to continue to go down that alley as I so need to.

Funny thing, she said that was the second letter she saw today.
post #9 of 29
That is ridiculous. I'm speechless (and that's a first). God forbid you walk on city property! Please let us know if anything else happens!
post #10 of 29
Wow! That is completely crazy! Someone not wanting AND threatening a 'volunteer'? For what reason? You'd think they'd be thrilled to have someone work so hard for FREE with so much knowledge! To me, it raises some red flags. It sounds like they're up to something and, I agree with AddieBee, you might know something that they're afraid of you knowing.
BTW, all street alleys are city property. It's not trespassing to walk down them. What could they possibly do about it?
It would be in your best interest to stay away from the place entirely. Is there another animal rescue in the area?
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86 View Post
I wen to the police station this afternoon.

They said that there was nothing really that they could do about me walking down the alleyway, but they recommended I stay away from the building.

They also said that I could file a complaint but that it would likely be just a waste of my time, so I didn't bother.

But I am not going to change my routine to fit their needs. Until there is a court order telling me that I cannot go down that alley, I am going to continue to go down that alley as I so need to.

Funny thing, she said that was the second letter she saw today.
It sounds like to me that they are trying to hide something.

I wouldn't change my routine either, I would be like a thorn in their hiney. I would walk in that alley as much as I wanted, and I would let them see me walking in it too. Then when I got another letter, I would send them one of my own, and tell them that I have already spoken with the police, and I would tell them if I got another letter from them, I would be filing charges of some kind, and I would be starting with harrassement first.
post #12 of 29
Hi,

this is rather sad and seems to happen every now and then at shelters. Don't let it get to you and don't take it too personally . Find another rescue that you could volunteer at or start up your own little private rescue.

If they are so secretive about their work they're bound to rub up lots of people the wrong way and hopefully won't stay in power for too long.

At the end of the day people will be people, and some are simply idiots. It's a real shame its the animals in their care that are suffering. You'll always have people fighting you or not understanding what all the fuss is about.

I also got kicked out of a shelter once- I was also volunteering and got on really well with the lady responsible for taking care of the cat house. Then the management of this shelter changed and the new management- a married couple- decided they'd rather empoly a friend of theirs for the cat house. My friend, the cat carer, was in the way as she had a contract and there wasn't any money to employ a second person. So they simply started mobbing the poor lady to get her to quit her job- and decided to ban me from the shelter so she'd be more isolated.

regards,

christine
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
I went down it twice already. Once on my way to Burker King, and again on my way home. And on the way home, one of them was sitting outside waiting for their ride.
post #14 of 29
Ohhhhhhhhhh, what a spitfire you are!!!!!

Cally
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 


I was going to grin and wave, but I thought tha tmight be pushing it, lol.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh27 View Post
Hi,

this is rather sad and seems to happen every now and then at shelters. Don't let it get to you and don't take it too personally . Find another rescue that you could volunteer at or start up your own little private rescue.

If they are so secretive about their work they're bound to rub up lots of people the wrong way and hopefully won't stay in power for too long.

At the end of the day people will be people, and some are simply idiots. It's a real shame its the animals in their care that are suffering. You'll always have people fighting you or not understanding what all the fuss is about.

I also got kicked out of a shelter once- I was also volunteering and got on really well with the lady responsible for taking care of the cat house. Then the management of this shelter changed and the new management- a married couple- decided they'd rather empoly a friend of theirs for the cat house. My friend, the cat carer, was in the way as she had a contract and there wasn't any money to employ a second person. So they simply started mobbing the poor lady to get her to quit her job- and decided to ban me from the shelter so she'd be more isolated.

regards,

christine

Yeah human beings are some of the most vicious animals.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've pretty well gotten over the fact that I have been kicked out. It took awhile, but I accepted it and moved on. I still love those animals though. And miss them like you wouldn't even believe.

I know for a fact that they have euthanized over 40 cats so far.

We ran it as a sanctuary, we had cats that would never be adopted. But it was a free range shelter and it was set up as close to a home as we could get. People were there for 6-12 hours a day, and one lady was there for 24 hours a day. (minus the few hours she had to go to her paying job)

Them sending this letter just brings up old feelings and anger and ugh. I was shaking this afternoon after I got the letter. Mum says it was likely nerves, anger, and just upset in general. I felt like pushing those people into a mack trucks path.

But I'm getting over it already. Just have to look ahead and not back. I just have trouble letting the cats go.
post #18 of 29
Unfortunately, this type of petty politics happens some times with volunteer organizations. I think it's the 'mall cop' mentality. Somebody is put in a position of power for the first time in their life and show favoritism to the people they like while trying to 'get even' with anyone who doesn't properly kiss their rear because of their importance. I had something like that happen in a volunteer rescue squad I was a member of. There were 2-3 factions and everybody wanted to be chief. When the elections were held and somebody from one of the factions was elected chief and started pushing everyone else around, the other 2/3's of the squad quit in protest. After that, we had so few people we could hardly man an ambulance anymore and the squad just died on the vine.
post #19 of 29
Because of the issues you had with "people" and the youtube situation and how ugly and mean things got right before someone else took over and before they let you go, I would definitely file a complaint against them.

More so that you are establishing a paper trail, so that if they try to say you, for instance vandalized the building or some other "crime", you will have your proof that you went to the police and filed a complaint against them. Versus them proving that they continually contacted you with no rebuttal from you.

Those comments on youtube got really ugly and it just seemed like someone was out for blood, very vindictive. I wouldnt trust any of them and certainly make sure you have all of your t's crossed when dealing with them, even walking by the building.
post #20 of 29
Hmmm, I was thinking just what Pam said- you need your own paper trail. I don't think that that complaint filed with the police would be a bad idea, just in case you need that paper trail down the road. So far, the only item in writing the police have is from THEM. Might be good if they had one from you too . Sorry about this whole situation...
post #21 of 29
That is really sad!! You would think people would be welcoming people to help in shelters especially in these hard times! I agree with AddieBee, humans are the most vicious animals!! Good for you to keep walking by there, no one has the right to tell you where you can or cannot walk if they do not own the property!
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
Because of the issues you had with "people" and the youtube situation and how ugly and mean things got right before someone else took over and before they let you go, I would definitely file a complaint against them.

More so that you are establishing a paper trail, so that if they try to say you, for instance vandalized the building or some other "crime", you will have your proof that you went to the police and filed a complaint against them. Versus them proving that they continually contacted you with no rebuttal from you.

Those comments on youtube got really ugly and it just seemed like someone was out for blood, very vindictive. I wouldnt trust any of them and certainly make sure you have all of your t's crossed when dealing with them, even walking by the building.
Exactly.. well said!!! Filing a complaint will back you up in the long run. I'd also suggest (if someone else hasn't suggested already) documenting any activity and correspondence that occurs between yourself & them not only by calender or journal, but confiding the information in another person who can reiterate your same account. And you have board posts here already!

Otherwise.. this has left me pretty speechless too; it's disgusting. I would like to think most people who help to support them (whether it be by donations, adoptions, etc., volunteering) would withdraw their support at the revelation of such activity. But then again.. After euthanizing so many cats, they are obviously not the organization you worked so tirelessly for.. an utter shame. Was there enough/any financial difficulty when you left to possibly "justify" their choice to end the lives of these 40 cats? Or any so-called "good reason" at all? Or are they keeping relatively mum over their operation?

Ugh. Just terrible. It's great you're holding your head high and not bending to their unnecessary whim. If you ever do grin and wave, know you're grinning and waving for every person on this board too!
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
With a no-kill shelter with 250 cats and 9000sqft to clean and pay for, yeah. They weren't financially 'stable' when we left. but we have NEVER been financially fit. It's a not for profit organization that runs completely off of public donations. But in 2008 we pulled in 168k, so I think thats saying something! But there's always more bills than there is money.

We owed the vets approximately $13,000 when we were kicked out. But had JUST made a payment of $6,500 that was raised over Christmas.

But we didn't have people who wanted to help with fundraising. Everyone wanted a say, but no one wanted to do the work. I HATED fundraising. But I did it when it needed to be done and there was no one else. I preferred to work in the shelter with the cats, but if there was no one else, then I did it. I remember working a BBQ weekend with one other girl for the whole thing. from 9am-9pm.

I see now on their website that they have a fundraiser every weekend. Now that they realize how much work it is to pull in over $5000 a month for just the mortgage, heat/hydro, litter and food. Not including vet bills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittybernard View Post
Exactly.. well said!!! Filing a complaint will back you up in the long run. I'd also suggest (if someone else hasn't suggested already) documenting any activity and correspondence that occurs between yourself & them not only by calender or journal, but confiding the information in another person who can reiterate your same account. And you have board posts here already!

Otherwise.. this has left me pretty speechless too; it's disgusting. I would like to think most people who help to support them (whether it be by donations, adoptions, etc., volunteering) would withdraw their support at the revelation of such activity. But then again.. After euthanizing so many cats, they are obviously not the organization you worked so tirelessly for.. an utter shame. Was there enough/any financial difficulty when you left to possibly "justify" their choice to end the lives of these 40 cats? Or any so-called "good reason" at all? Or are they keeping relatively mum over their operation?

Ugh. Just terrible. It's great you're holding your head high and not bending to their unnecessary whim. If you ever do grin and wave, know you're grinning and waving for every person on this board too!
post #24 of 29
I'd be inclined to contact Bonnie to see why she suddenly resigned. There may be some information there to explain what is happening. It does indeed sound as though they are afraid of you for some reason. Very suspicious behaviour if you ask me.
post #25 of 29
Have you remained friends with any of the shelter workers who weren't kicked out? It was terrible what those people did to you and worse what they did to those cats...I would never contribute to an organization like that. I wish you the best, you have risen above these people to demonstrate such class in this situation. Please don't alter your path to suit them and please keep us posted.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
No.... all my friends from the shelter were also kicked out or stopped being my friends after they filled thier heads with lies.


I was with Bonnie when she resigned, and she resigned because people were doing things illegally behind her back and if they were going to be making the descisions, she might as well step down. Well, after that happened they kicked her out and evicted her from her apartment which was on the second floor of the building.

I am still in contact with Bonnie and I still see her every so often. Will likely be going up to her sisters diner where she works on Sunday for breakfast. (An hour trip just for breakfast. )

Bonnie and another lady have also got letters similar to mine, just yesterday.
post #27 of 29
You know...I wonder if the police need to be encouraged to look into these people's behavior? It sounds like something very NOT legal is going on and needs to be looked at...
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by plainjane View Post
You know...I wonder if the police need to be encouraged to look into these people's behavior? It sounds like something very NOT legal is going on and needs to be looked at...
I think it is very suspicious. I think you should final a complaint, like the others have said. You never know what they may pull next.
post #29 of 29
I think everyone who has been treated in this manner by them should file a complaint and describe your suspicions very well...Ask them to look into it, and they'll likely poke around at least a little bit.
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