Shelter volunteers come in a single variety the vast majority of the time. They are people who, out of the goodness in their hearts, their love for animals, and with little resources available to them find a way to help the less fortunate. They make their way to a place where homeless pets need love and attention.
They are not always overlooked. But there is no real compensation equal the gift they give.
It is a rare thing to see one stop volunteering because of the behavior of a dog.
It is a rare thing to see one stop volunteering for the attitude of a cat.
It is a rare thing to see one stop volunteering because someone did not thank them.
They expect little, and know what they are doing and why they do it. Saving lives in a singular reward.
But, every once in a while there is someone in shelter management that sends them out the door. Quite often against their own will.
January of this year, shelter volunteers had had enough of the regressive management at the Fremont County Humane Society in Canon City. They watched multiple violations of the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA), part of the Department of Agriculture. The department saw enough evidence to investigate.
The volunteers, that came in on their own free time, did not get paid, and had no motivation except a desire to help save the lives of homeless pets, were banned. And they still are.
Today, there are homeless pets in a shelter with multiple violations indicating they were not meeting the minimum standards set by the state.
Without volunteers shelter management is now likely providing worse living conditions to the animals housed at the facility. Without volunteers there is no one monitoring the actions of this regressive shelter, its employees, and its managers. Without the volunteers healthy, beautiful animals are suffering and/or being killed for the simple lack of a home.
The Fremont County Humane Shelter is in crisis. A simple change in management could change this overnight. In time, it could become a beacon of life saving. The current management has clearly lost the ability to operate a modern life affirming facility.
But there is hope. There are people, the same volunteers thrown out, ready to stand up and make the shelter the haven it should be. People that have worked tirelessly to save lives. They are asking to do so again. They will do it again. And if one of them were put I the place of the current Director, they will make the Fremont County Humane Society a symbol of the great community of Fremont County Colorado.
There are many waiting to jump in and turn that shelter around. It cannot happen with the current shelter management. Please, reach out to your county commissioners, PACFA and others to facilitate the change.
Your next best friend is depending on you.