This is how it’s done.
August 10, 2012
When volunteers at the Saginaw Co pound in MI saw neglect and abuse, they documented it, started a Facebook page and posted the images online:
In an apparent act of retaliation, pound director Val McCullough instituted several policy changes including banning volunteers from caring for animals on weekends when the staff is off and banning photography at the pound. Ms. McCullough, in a pretty lame attempt to disguise petty vindictiveness, offered:
“It’s more of a safety precaution,” she said. “When nobody is here, we don’t know who’s here for sure. If somebody were to fall and get hurt, you know.”
Yeah, we know.
A volunteer on the pound’s advisory board filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office and a criminal complaint with the Saginaw Co prosecutor’s office. The sheriff’s office is investigating.
Volunteers mobilized local pet lovers to complain to the county commissioners. The county summoned the director to appear at a public meeting on Wednesday in response to the hundreds of complaints received.
Pet advocates filled every chair in the room at the county meeting. When the chairs were full, they stood in the doorways. When there was no more room in the doorways, they stood in the hall. When the hall filled up, they sat in an adjoining room so they could listen to the speakers at the meeting.
Speaker after speaker asked the county to reverse the new policies. The director was a no-show. But the county listened and reversed the policy changes.
This fight is not over. The director is still in place, still mouthing platitudes to the media, such as:
“Unfortunately, it’s a cruel world,” she said. “We would love to be able to find homes for all these animals.”
But she has no army of apologists backing her. The “Friends” at the Saginaw Co pound are friends to the pets, not the regressive director. They speak out publicly. They take action. They don’t give up.
If you want to institute reform at your pound, this is how you do it.
(Thank you Clarice for alerting me to this story.)