The Ottumwa Courier

July 17, 2013

Heart seems missing from Heartland Humane

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Why is the “Heart” gone from Heartland? What brings Heartland to ban their volunteers? I am not the only volunteer to receive [a] letter. At the moment I know of two others. I also know another lady who was a founding member that received this same treatment but verbally. Her encounter came directly from the Board of Trustees.

First, I have to establish that Mr. McHawes, only becoming a manager this May, knows nothing of my history with the shelter. The “relationship” became strained as their paranoia increased, precipitated by mismanagement that resulted in this shelter being dropped by PetSmart Charities. The action came after the trustees neglected to implement the necessary behavior and enrichment for the animals as established by industry best practices. The Rescue Waggin Transport program and thousands of dollars annually supplied by PetSmart is no longer available for this shelter.

I’ve been an active and diligent volunteer since 1996, fostering many, many pets, establishing and facilitating the community spay neuter programs, plus becoming a certified assessor/processor from 2009-12 for the Waggin transport and potentially working within the B&E program. Therefore, I was heavily invested in this shelter with both time and finances, as countless others have been.

Heartland needs community support more than ever now, not with just donations but also needing new mindful directors for the board of trustees. Consider applying to serve on the board if you also have a desire to make change! The next open board meeting is presently scheduled for Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. in the Hotel Ottumwa.

Lastly, but humorously, I have a card that says I am a “Lifetime” member of Heartland Humane Society, and it only expires when I do. Suppose there’s a refund?

Shirley Brown