The 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.