October 16, 2011

Following up

I wrote yesterday about the sudden Democratic streak that has shown up in the leadership of an organization I am part of.  While they do good work, they aren't good at the business side of things.  This may be part of the impetus behind their sudden demand for the state government to provide hay for them.

I have yet to meet anyone in the animal rescue 'industry' that can make smart business decisions.  I have yet to meet anyone in the animal rescue industry that can immediately make smart animal decisions.  I was very active in this rescue until the founder/president started down the wrong path. 

I have helped with animal seizures.  The horse in my yard came from dismal conditions.  She was standing ankle deep in mud and manure littered with broken bottles and trash when I first saw her.  She had an open, bleeding wound on her leg.  There were 11 horses and two llamas wandering freely around 6 mobile homes, junked out vehicles and open sewage trenches on a 4 acre compound, with no food or water in sight.  I understand that human nature is to save helpless creatures, but at some point we must remember that these are animals, not children.

The president of the rescue cannot comprehend that sometimes you have to say no to one, to be able to save a dozen.  He doesn't listen to veterinary professionals when they suggest euthanasia.  He has spent thousands of dollars extending the lives of animals that had should have been given the peace of an early, painless death.  He can't say 'no' when a law enforcement agency calls to ask if he can take more animals.  The one thing that he has done better than most rescue leaders it to adopt out healthy animals.  I can't tell you how many large animal and horse rescues do nothing more than grow a herd.  In fact, most 'humane' and 'no kill' small animal shelters have made it so difficult to adopt an animal that they are overwhelmed by the number of animals in their care.

For some time, I was content to accept the stupid/expensive decisions of the leader, since it was mostly on his dime.  As they have grown and developed some remedial fund raising methods, I have pulled back more and more.  I can't ask people for money, nor do I want my name associated with an organization that asks for donations, if I don't support the underlying business practices.

Many non-profits, and for-profits, for that matter, hit a low point early in their existence, some financial or moral situation that highlights the deficiencies in their business model and forces a transformation or ends the venture.  This one is getting close to that point.  Having survived as long as it has in this economy is impressive, but the law of averages says that their day will come.  I don't plan on going down with the ship. 

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