Our readers write
Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 8:02 pm
Group’s attack is misguided
To The Editor:
While no longer president of the Ken-Tenn Humane Society, I would be remiss in not replying to the latest front-page attack by The Messenger. Because of the coordinated attack by a misguided group of troublemakers, I assume the shelter will close.
Our group began with very high hopes for the building and operation of an animal shelter in a town that wanted one. Unfortunately, due the desire by a former member to be the one who “saves Union City’s dogs,” we began taking animals before we had a place to put them. Shortly after putting us in a position to house dogs with no shelter, she began attacking our organization and left us holding the bag she so readily dropped in our laps. We housed Union City animals on property I own and cared for them for three months without any financial aid from the city because they continued to pay Tim Doyle for doing nothing.
We continued in good faith. The city leased a piece of property to us and we began housing animals there. The organization spent over $40,000 on the initial set-up and far more after that. This depleted our supply of cash. We soon learned that due to an easement running through the middle of the property and the swamp-like conditions of the land, we could not put a building on that site. In addition, the economy tanked, and the property left us in the estate has not yet sold and is just waiting for better times.
From the beginning, the shelter was inundated with far more animals than were anticipated. Other organizations tell us that we are receiving two to three times as many animals as we should from a town the size of Union City. Perhaps this is because a shelter is so badly needed. Perhaps this is because for the first time the animals were not immediately killed. I don’t know.
We have saved hundreds of animals. It seems, however, that most of the citizens of Union City prefer the “no dog leaves the pound alive” policy. The comment about the hotel made by one of the council members is laughable. I visited the old pound several times. It was a dark, dank, damp, smelly place where the animals were left to await their Thursday date with death.
Now the shelter employees are being harassed by a group of people who stand outside and shout threats at them. How sad it has come to this. How sad that there are people in your town that have nothing productive to do.
Our aim was to build a shelter in a town that wanted one. This is not the town. We have received little support from the community while being constantly attacked. I, for one, will not continue with Ann’s dream to build a shelter in Obion County. It is my plan, as the one person who spoke to her regarding her wishes, to give the estate to an organization already operating a shelter in Tennessee. No part of the estate will ever go to a group in Union City no matter how often they peruse and pass around her will.
I have worked quietly behind the scenes to get the animals off to rescue. We have met with groups from enlightened states where spay/neuter laws are in place. A group is already working for us and started before this latest uproar.
I am truly sorry for the animals in your town. Strays will soon be put to death without a chance to go to a good home. Maybe Pudge ‘n’ Pals can rescue them all. Why don’t you give them a call?
As I am sure that your newspaper would never want to be accused of unfairly reporting only one side of any story, and since no one contacted anyone from our group for a quote, etc., I greatly appreciate you publishing the entire letter.
Published in The Messenger 3.9.10