Readers write: Volunteers ‘terminated’ | SierraSun.com

Readers write: Volunteers ‘terminated’

Susan Johnson and Alida Labia

Volunteerism is the backbone of a community. Many people in Truckee give their time, energy and passion toward their chosen causes. We have been with the local Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe for nine years and volunteered many hours of service out of a passion we have for the animals. We were both terminated for breaking new rules of Humane Society/Animal Control. No written or verbal warning. Our crime was letting cats out of a very small room into a larger room for exercise (a practice for years). We were told the rule is for disease control, but reported sick cats are not removed from this room for days. Stress brings on illness in cats and most Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe community room cats have been there at least a year and NEED exercise.

Maybe we were let go for caring too much about the animals. Over the last five years since bringing on paid staff, we believe the care of the cats has gone downhill. We were informing staff about sick cats, dirty rooms, and cats becoming obese due to negligence. Cats were being left for months at a time in small cages at a local pet store (one to the point of atrophy in the legs), one laying in a pee-soaked bed when we went in to check on her. We were told they were checked on daily.

Over the last few years the Humane Society has lost a lot of long-term, dedicated volunteers who worked with the animals. Something seems wrong when an organization loses so many good, long-time volunteers, many whom feel disrespected for all their hard work and three being asked to leave.

We have genuine concerns for the welfare of the animals and are available to discuss this matter with other animal lovers.