For the last couple of years Boris (that’s my cat) and I have been making donations and helping out our local animal shelters. When I make the donations I like to personal deliver them to the animals and take pictures of their little faces lighting up when they get a toy or a treat. Sometimes it is the first time they have been given a toy and it is so rewarding watching them finally figure out how to have fun with it.
I usally post the donation photos and adoption information of the animals over at Boris’ site — BorisKitty.com (he has more followers on his blog than I do and we won’t even get into all his followers on Twitter and friends on facebook).
Today I took over boxes and boxes of dog treats from work and a small bag of treats and toys for the kitties for the animals at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County as I have done MANY times over the past few years. When I took my first photo of a cat playing with one of the toys I gave them a staff member yelled at me for taking pictures and basically told me to leave. I had no idea what was going on as I said I have gone in and taken photos of the cats in their care on MANY occasions.
Needless to say I was very disappointed and a bit upset by being blocked from my project. I asked to speak with the director of the ARL who tried his best to placate me with the old “it has always been our policy” bit. Oh really, then why have I been allowed before without getting special permission to photograph? It seems they had some one posting photos on facebook that showed them in a bad light and instead of fixing the issues these photos pointed out to the world at large the sweep them under the carpet by banning photography. Doing that only makes it seem like they REALLY have something to hide doesn’t it?
I half expect to see an expose on them on Action News sometime in the future.
I was assured that nothing bad is going on and that they are only trying to stop that sort of thing from happening again.
Ok, wait an minute here…
If nothing bad is going on why do you have to stop photographs from showing it?
I have never liked the ARL all that much any way, especially since they are a kill shelter, and this new issue only reinforces that dislike.
Yes, animals you take in there are usually put down within days of going there and sometimes they are put down within minutes. But they had been cleaning up their act a bit, or so I thought, by implementing a fostering program, which gives the animals a fighting chance to be adopted out instead of put to sleep.
The staff there are never friendly, yes they are trying to do their job and I am sure most, if not all of them, dislike working in a kill shelter, but if you don’t like your job or you don’t like people quit. Of all the times I have donated I have never once been thanked or helped with the boxes (and I usually take a lot of boxes in). Surprisingly this was the first time someone not only helped me with the boxes (came out and took one of the last two inside for me), but also kind of thanked me and asked if I needed a receipt. (I should have taken them up on that receipt that pile of boxes retails at over $800.)
When I raised $11oo for them online with the first SCIFIpawty I never heard one word of thanks. I guess the HSBC spoiled me by sending out a thank you letter every time I drop something off at their facility.
I know there is bad blood between the ARL and HSBC but never once have I heard HSBC speak ill of the ARL. The director of the ARL freely spoke of HSBC and of his opinions of them. Not very good form for the director is it? But he was trying to place blame for the whole Skittles issue on everyone else except the ARL where it belongs.
Guess I will stick with groups that appreciate what I do for them like One By One Cat Rescue and Humane Society of Berks County. Two very worthy animal rescue groups indeed.
If you know of some other worthy shelters or rescue groups please let me know in the comments below.