Monday, May 03, 2010

Ozarks Inhumane Society

PhotobucketThe local humane society is apparently in big trouble. The board members are fighting and sniping and some are resigning. They fired the woman who had been running the shelter for years, and it's not clear from the news stories why she's gone. And, frankly, I'm taking it all rather personally, because the Humane Society is my baby. Mine and about 18 other women, actually.

Some years ago, in the Seventies, I belonged to a philanthropic organization called Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Our national philanthropy was St. Jude's Children's Hospital, but we also had local projects of our own choosing. We badly needed an animal shelter in the area, so we decided to make that our project. I was elected president, on the condition that I would serve for the two years we judged it would take to get the shelter up and running.

For the next two years, we worked our buns off, holding one fund raiser after another, collecting donations, one of which I seem to remember being the land for the shelter. I was unable to do any hands-on work at the shelter because of my allergies, but I worked hard at our fund-raisers, helping to twist arms and, in some instances, shaming a few paltry dollars out of tight-fisted businessmen. It was a busy two years, but in the end, we had a shelter that was being operated by volunteers from our own group plus several paid employees.

As I look back, it seems like a huge undertaking, but at the time, we were so dedicated that everything seemed to fall into place. We worked well together, with our common goal, and at the end of the two years, we turned the Ozarks Humane Society over to the City of Harrison. At some point over the years, it became a no-kill shelter and succeeded in sending adopted animals to owners in many other states. And, the rest is history, until recently.

Without having any inside information, I feel positive today's problem is different factions trying to make a power grab. That is what always happens in any group these days. They choose up sides, and each side tries to take over, and what they get is chaos and everything suffers. In this case the animals are the victims.

Our ESA chapter disbanded many years ago, but my first instinct, when I read about the discord was to try to get our original group together, whatever is left of it, and march down to the shelter and demand that they give it back, and we'll find some people who will put the animals first, and stop vying for position. Of course, this isn't possible, as we have scattered to the winds by now, and a few are no longer living.

So, I'll just wait and watch while the current board fights it out, and hope they will come to their senses and start working together to make it a successful operation once again.

Stay tuned.

16 comments:

Margie's Musings said...

What a tragedy!

I used to belong to Epsilon Sigma Alpha too. We did a lot of great work.

patsy said...

a year or so ago the shelter called the good shepard over on the way to Eureka, they all got in a fight, it was a mess, people locking people out and all sort of crap.
I thought they were going to have to close the doors for a while. we have had 2 dogs from there and I used to look at their web site but it is not as good as it was before and I haven't looked at their web site in a long time.

Looking to the Stars said...

This is a heart breaking shame. Its hard to watch what you have put your own blood, sweat and tears into go down the drain. Sorry.
We too, had a mess with a power struggle in the humane society. Members of my family were involved with the start of the humane society here in Colo. Springs. I'm sure they were rolling in their graves when it started being used by people on power trips.

hope things turn around, it worked out ok here. So, I know it can work out ok for your humane society

alwaysinthebackrow said...

We recently have had a power struggle going on in a nonprofit community theater that I worked very hard to bring into being. It is the same thing that is happening to your group. I guess it is the nature of people. It makes me sad.

Arkansas Patti said...

I just can't understand "power struggles". We humans are a really flawed species. Instances like this make one wonder if we will ever get it right. The animals sure don't deserve this.
Wishing you luck that good sense will eventually prevail.

Olga said...

Sounds like the Ozarks Humane Society and Middle School.

Dogwalk said...

We have similar problems here. What's wrong with people!

Betty said...

Margie: I really enjoyed my years in ESA. There were three chapters here, and it was hard to get new members. Ours was the oldest, and finally had to disband.

patsy: I guess they all have the same problems.

Looking to the Stars: Glad to hear it worked out for someone.

alwaysinthebackrow: It must be a sign of the times.

Arkansas Patti: I think they just lose sight of their original goals.

Olga: Good one. That's exactly what it's like.

Dogwalk: I think the political climate has had its effect on everyone. Nobody is satisfied with anything.

NitWit1 said...

Our local Humane Society has these stupid power struggles from time to time.

Belatedly it became a semi-no-kill facility, exceptions very old and very sick animals.

Power struggles hurt the animals. Vets refuse to offer complimentary services,--so important--donations diminish, etc. etc.


For the animal's sake I hope the persons involved see the futility and consequences of their actions.

oklhdan said...

I hope the two legged animals get their senses back.

Darlene said...

No matter what the organization the thirst for power seems to rear it's ugly head. That even happens in Church organizations and it just shows how insidious it is. I hope the animals survive the human desire for power.

Betty, I have something for you on my blog today.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I came here from Darlene. Your poor sad puppy is cute and pathetic at the same time. I hope all goes well with your animal shelter.

savannah said...

i hope it works out, sugar. xoxox

Grayquill said...

That is a great accomplishment, all those years - Good work!

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