The Ottumwa Courier

July 27, 2013

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Ottumwa Courier

---- — Why has Heartland dismissed volunteers?

Reprinted is the body of the letter I received from Heartland along with two others. “This letter is being sent to inform you that you are no longer welcome on the premises of Heartland Humane Society or any event sponsored by or for Heartland Humane Society. This ban from the premises is effective immediately and permanently. Any entrance into or on the premises of Heartland Humane Society will result in the complaint of Criminal Trespass being filed against you with the Ottumwa Police Department.

This ban is due to the history of your relationship with Heartland Humane Society and the stress that your presence has caused the staff and animals that reside here at the shelter.

Again I thank you for your volunteer service at the Heartland Humane Animal Shelter, but your services are no longer needed or desired at this location. Signed by Stan H. McHawes, Shelter Manager.”

We three were invited by the Director for Pet Waggin Assessments. That day I worked with Stan. If my behavior toward animals and staff was “stressing,” wouldn’t he have mentioned it to me?

Our history: Two are assessor for Pet Waggin, saving almost 500 dogs going to adopted homes in other states. (What about the dogs this year? Euthanize? Who foots the bill?) Development/no implementation of the Behavior Modification/Enhancement Program (recommended Pet Smart Charities) helping those animals (cats/dogs) while caged from going stir crazy working on their needs making them more adoptable. Special recognition to the Board, Sherry Woodard, Trainer, Pet Smart Charities, in her report after evaluating the Shelter last summer; supporting the Board’s hiring both Directors. Too bad it did not “work out” for either of them.

I take offense to trumped up accusations. What is the real reason we received the letter? With such a lethal problem, we should have been called to attend a regular Board of Director’s meeting and been told point blank. According to the letter, we cannot even go to the board meeting asking what prompted this letter or we could go to jail. We asked too many questions in the animal’s best interest. We are still advocates for the animals; they need you; walks, and they need to get out of those cages. An hour not watching a rerun can make a difference in an animal’s life that is scared and lonely. Please volunteer.

Patricia Conger-Woolslayer