In a series of posts on the Stop Fremont page, Christopher Jenks, one of the board members of the Humane Society for Fremont County has been talking to me and others over the last few days. When I say talking to us, it is more like talking at us.
[I should point out I have admin privilege to the FB page mentioned here. If I posted as the admin, I point that out, if another admin posted I just use “Admin” without indicating who, but it was not me if I present it in that anonymous way. I generally comment under my name.]
Perhaps I am a trouble maker, I started with:
“Hey HSFC Volunteer Program,
Let me know if I can volunteer to fix the web site as well as the application itself.
And the volunteer program. I can help with that. we can have it up and running tomorrow if you like.
Oh, and transparency, I can help with that. Whoever is in charge of PR, if you are interested.
Then I could lend a hand helping start the foster program.
Just call my number. Mr. Jenks has it. Or message me here and I will call you.
Still willing to help. “
The reply from Christopher Jenks was:
“I never had Davyd’s number. He just showed up on the call we had, Chris.”
Now that would have been embarrassing for me. If I had just thrown that out and never had any way that Mr. Jenks could have had access to me. And I could have made a mistake, but I was quite sure I had given it to him multiple times. So before answering with this information, I thought I should be diligent and make sure I really did give it to him even though he had multiple outlets to reach out to me including an email trail we had in the past. But to be fair, I checked and replied:
“Christopher Jenks Mr. Jenks, you posted this morning that “I never had Davyd’s number. He just showed up on the call we had, Chris.”
It is a simply untrue statement. You have emails on three separate occasions with my number on it.
Wed, September 4, 2013 7:54 am
Sun, September 15, 2013 8:13 am
Mon, September 16, 2013 11:34 am
It specifically stated on:
“Wed, September 4, 2013 7:54 am
Please feel free to call or email anytime, we are ready to help you save lives.”
This was followed by my phone number, email, and all my blog FB and twitter information. All of which allow you to get in touch with me. The others were similar but clearly had my phone number and the invitation to call me. Not only are the phone numbers there, they are not on my automatic signature. I placed the number there specifically to offer you an outlet to contact me personally.
So why would you even post that I wonder? Are you really under the impression, with every post I have left, with the emails we corresponded on, and the conference call I had with you that I am not passionate about helping the Humane Society be the best shelter it can be?
Or are you being simply disingenuous?
So here I am again, offering to help you fix a very bad management team at your shelter. Start saving lives.
I will yet again email my phone number and if allowed, PM it on Facebook.”
Which I did immediately. I emailed my phone number and sent him a Private Message on Facebook with my number. Two outlets he had at his disposal to get in touch with me but has yet to use to take me up on multiple offers to help.
He replied on Facebook and by email.
“Sorry, I missed it on his emails. It was way down at the bottom. Now I have it!!!! Thank you”
And in email:
It is currently late evening on December 4 and I have not gotten a call on my offer to work for free.
Another post by and Admin of the page asked some questions:
“Why do you continue to support a manager who pled no contest to animal cruelty 15 years ago?
Why is your board unable or unwilling to produce your bylaws?
Why is your board unwilling to invite the public, who has financially supported your shelter for many years, to attend your board meeting, whenever it is?
Why is a position on your board of directors closed to outside individuals who do not have ties to the Royal Gorge Bridge and are not family members?
Why has your board structure been in place since the shelter was built? Are there no term limits?
If postings made to your Facebook page are “offensive and not true,” why does no one refute them, rather than summarily delete them? “
Christopher Jenks replied:
“You seem to be more concerned about the corporate structure of the shelter than the animals. It is a private charitable corporation. Tom Cameron was charged because he was the manager on duty, not because he abused animals. In fact, the record shows specifically that he did NOT abuse any animals. But you do not care about that. My feeling is that most of the people on this site want the best for the animals. Chris and Davyd, the way you went about this was different from the way I would have done it (to say the least) which makes it hard for me to want your help. You two might be the best shelter managers ever. I will never know.”
The concern with the corporate issues is one of many concerns, and if you read the questions they do not relate to the corporate structure alone as an issue. They are concerned how corporate practices are affecting lifesaving at the shelter. A weak attempt at misdirection acting like the only concerns are with corporate structure and there has not been an ongoing series of issues brought to his attention which he also has never addressed. It is a simplistic tactic of those avoiding what he knows is the key issue:
The killing of healthy/treatable homeless pets.
And other issues related to unconscionable killing, such as the poor care of animals in the shelter: The pulling of dogs from out-of-state only to kill others already in the shelter for space: The poor marketing practices: The absent foster program: The shuttered volunteer program. I can go on and will eagerly await answers to these d all the other issues put forward since June until Mr. Jenks or other management representatives wish to reply.
But we should address the defense of Tom Cameron. No Mr. Jenks, Mr. Cameron is nowhere near blameless in the abuse of animals in your shelter. But that was not the accusation. It was how you could back a person that “pled no contest to animal cruelty 15 years ago“. No contest is not a judgment of innocence as you imply, and Mr. Cameron is in fact fully accountable for the actions of his employees in his charge and the lives of homeless pets in his care. Otherwise, why is he there?
You are not a leader, you are not a manager, you are not someone who should be in a position of power in shelter if you will not take responsibility for the people and homeless pets you are responsible for. And the board is responsible for the director they have in that position. So please, be a leader, and hire a compassionate, hardworking management since that has clearly been absent since 1998.
And Mr. Jenk’s judgment on Chris G. and I is a recurring theme that somehow two people out-of-town have no right to be part of this. From someone who lives in California and is a paid board member of the shelter. But mostly, it is insulting to the good and dedicated community that is part of the Facebook page that have contributed more than Chris and I, that were the banned volunteers that saved more dogs in Fremont County than either of us and probably more than the shelter this year. It is insulting to discount the hundreds of local that follow the page and the hundreds more that support them throughout Colorado and beyond.
I don’t believe I ever claimed to be the best shelter managers ever. I do not believe Chris G. made that statement either. And I know I did not ask for that job. I did say I would happily help find that person. And the shelter would be better for it. And I believe a local compassionate, hardworking director would do a better job than I would from Denver. And they would have my help for free as well.
Another Post by an admin was:
“If you spend any time looking at the Humane Society’s Facebook page, you will notice that posts which are critical of them or cite negative personal experiences disappear from the page very quickly. And, if the administrator of the page (Diana Cameron? Chris Jenks?) does not like your post, you will be forever banned from making another one on their page….”
Christopher Jenks replied:
“I am the one who deletes certain ridiculous posts and, if they are bad enough or if the person keeps making ridiculous allegations, I will ban that person. I am ok with you making critical remarks and giving opinions, but when you post harmful and incorrect statements, I will delete them. We can take criticism and we want new ideas, but some of the stuff you post is really offensive and wrong and not true. For instance, the TNR conversation is a good one until someone takes it to a new level and says really offensive and ridiculous things. You do not want to hear why we do things. You have already made up your minds what you think is the right way to do it. As I have said to many of you, why would anyone WANT to euthanize an animal? Come on. Think about what you are saying. Feel free to use your freedom of speech here.”
I replied as an admin of the page on this one:
“There are no words as offensive as the act of killing a healthy/treatable homeless pet. If you would like to delete someone for offense, one would suggest you do that to whoever in your organization was responsible for killing more than 600 cats in 2012. I believe I can speak for 1000 people on this page when I say killing those cats is offensive.”
And that is where I take the most offense, when homeless cats and dogs are killed for the simple lack of a home.
And that is the core issue that homeless cats and dogs are killed for the simple lack of a home.
And this is what we, not I, aim to change at the shelter, that homeless cats and dogs are NOT killed for the simple lack of a home.
I say yet again. If you would like to start saving lives and a running a great shelter, let us know. You do have my number do you not?