Hi, family & friends,
Many of you know one of the few (if not the only) treats I have had right now in my life is visiting the Humane Society every couple of weeks, taking in some treats, and going around and distributing them to the cats. And that a couple of months ago I had fallen in love with a couple of cats who had been abused, and were being kept in the manager's office, and was given permission (by the shelter manager) that I go could into her office to visit them and give them treats. I was also given permission to give the cats in their enclosures treats (although I do not
open the enclosure doors or take them out). I was also given permission - again, by the shelter manager, to go into the "cat lounge" where several cats are kept and give them treats, even though the sign on the door says staff only. I would never have done these things without permission.
Now I buy some cat (and now dog) treats every couple of weeks to do this and, although it's not much, on a severely limited income even that $5 is all I can afford. I can't afford to donate to the shelter, or to go to their fundraisers (they're having one in a couple of weeks that costs $25/ticket). But this is kind of beside the point. No one has ever pressured me for donations, so don't get that idea.
But a couple of months ago one of the staff handed me a volunteer application and said if I filled it out I could then
open any of the cages I wanted and take out any of the cats on my own. I took the application home and on the first page it asks for the schedule times you can commit to. Well, I can't do that. The shelter is 45 minutes away from my home, and I only stop by when I'm already in that area for something else. Gas is expensive, as well all know. And then there's a series of activities you're asked to check to see how you'd be interested in volunteering. Now if I had my health I'd LOVE to volunteer to do more, but we all know what it's like to be limited by CP. I don't even dare pick up the heavier cats, or bend in certain ways to pick up even a kitten. And I certainly can't walk dogs. I actually never went in there with the idea of committing to anything because if I was doing that it should be somewhere I could make some money!
Last week I was in there and saw a cat come in in a crate, and e-mailed the shelter over the weekend that I'd like to know if/when that cat came up for adoption. Well today I received a response that has had me in tears all day. I was basically told that they couldn't give out information about
cats that aren't up for adoption (I wasn't asking for that) and that while they appreciate my conccern for the cats, they really want people to focus on the cats that ARE up for adoption. THEN the second paragraph of the e-mail said the shelter director (different from the manager - I've never met the director) was concerned about
my interaction with the cats because I had not filled out a volunteer application and signed the liability waiver contained in the application. Now I understand about
liability issues, but there is no liability waiver on the application I received. I would gladly sign that, but I can't commit to the volunteer stuff.
I'm really just venting here - NOT looking for solutions, just some understanding and TLC. It was more in the way the e-mail was worded that stung. It made it seem like I was doing something wrong without having been given permission - and yes, I know I can write them back about
this, and maybe I will but right now I'm just hurting.
Others don't realize that with all we have on our shoulders, sometimes that one SEEMINGLY tiny thing to them is a BIG DEAL to us. I've said here many times that taking those animals treats was as much a treat for me as it was for them (maybe more!) and now it just feels like it's been tainted, ya know? Those of us with health and financial problems and especially living alone don't have very much good stuff in our lives, and the little taste we get from time to time....well, when that's tampered with it hurts a lot.
I'm crying as I write this so I'd better stop rambling.
Thanks for listening!