BCHS board member offers response to concerns

To the editor:

My name is Donna Becker and I have newly joined the board of the Brown County Humane Society. I began volunteering with the BCHS in 1998 fostering cats and kittens in my home. In 2001 we became foster failures and adopted a cat that didn’t like other cats, thus ending our fostering. Now for almost the last three years I have been volunteering at the shelter. I help with cat chores and also help with dog walking when I am available.

I recently joined the board because I wanted to let people know that the animals at the BCHS are being well taken care of. Anyone that knows me knows that I would not be a part of anything that in any way is hurting animals. I am not the only one at the shelter that loves the animals there and cares for them. We all do.

When I first started volunteering at the shelter three years ago I did hear of some people not getting along well. This can be found at any job and in all walks of life, unfortunately. But any issues should have been worked out then. I do not know of any current issues or disagreements among volunteers. In those three years I have seen lots of love. I know of volunteers that foster kittens, waking up every couple hours at night to feed and care for them. Our cat lead has given medications, vaccines, dip baths and even IV therapy to sick cats. I have watched her play with the kittens and cats and spend time with them. She has spent many hours with the cats here and dealt with hundreds if not thousands of cats. She knows more about cats than anyone I know. Our dog volunteers are just as awesome dealing with all the same things and piles of dog poop too.

I would like to address the most recent letter to the editor from the animal advocates

1. Transparency. We do share information on our Facebook page and we will be updating our website to make it more current. Newsletters are nice but since this info is already being shared it seems a little repetitive and would be an added expense. In June we had requested that no press be at the meeting with the animal advocates since our full board would not be there. When we asked them if the press would be there, they said they weren’t sure. We went to the meeting as we said we would, however, the press also attended so we left as this wasn’t part of the agreement. In The Journal article on June 21 it stated “Journal staff, invited by the group of the concerned members of the BCHS, attended the meeting”. Part of the meaning of transparent means “Action, method, or procedure that lacks hidden agenda” as defined by Businessdictionary.com.

2. Public relations. No, people should not be treated rudely on the phone or in person. Also, people should not be rude to the BCHS either and should not leave mean or threatening messages on our voicemail or email. I do not know of the BCHS publicly criticizing any business or organization. I personally handed out flyers to various businesses for our plant and bake sale this spring and was not rude to anyone. Even to the businesses that wouldn’t or couldn’t post our flyers. I thanked them anyway. Most of the businesses I went to were very nice. No one was negative. It is nice that the volunteers that have left have found other places to share their talents with. There are many organizations that need help. We have many talented volunteers here and we are adding new volunteers to that group.

3. Care of the animals. I already addressed part of this above. The animals are all being very well cared for. We are following proper procedures and maintaining a good relationship with animal control. Petfinder, Facebook and the classifieds are being kept as current as possible. We are all volunteers that have families, jobs and other things that we are involved with. There is some lag time with newspaper advertising and animal listings may not get updated as quickly. Even if a certain animal is no longer available there is usually another deserving animal awaiting adoption.

4. Financial stability. This is a problem that any nonprofit has to constantly deal with. Donations are unpredictable. Money is necessary for any nonprofit. We accept donations year round regardless of any events. While it is nice to receive money from a will, it would be hard for any organization to plan their budget on a someday inheritance. Picking a beneficiary for a will is a very personal decision and there are many organizations that are deserving of money.

All animals should be treated humanely and I think that we can all agree about that. Let’s keep the past in the past and move forward in a positive direction. Our wonderful volunteers will continue to care for the animals and I thank you for your support.

Donna Becker

New Ulm