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Humane Societies have business hours, too. | June 23, 2011

(Disclaimer: These are personal thoughts, pretty much a rant. This is not endorsed by anyone but me, not the Humane Society I work for, just me. I’m not even mentioning which one I work for, b/c it’s not important to the rant.)

Do people not read signs any more? At the humane society I work for, we have a big sign with our hours. Granted, right now, the 11am open is covered with a piece of paper that says 2pm, because as we’re severely understaffed, only one paid employee a day, if we don’t get any helpers – community service or volunteers – it can take 5 hours to get all the daily cleaning done. (Yesterday, I worked by myself. I finished the dog kennels about 11:15am, took a 10 minute snack break, and then did the office, finished that by noon, and did the cattery. After being interrupted by several people over the first hour, I closed and locked the front gate so I could get everything done before 2pm. At 2pm, barely, I was done. Today, I had a volunteer come in for about 2 hours, and she did the majority of the cattery, and I finished the rest and was open around noon.)

When we’re there, but not open to the public, our gate is half opened (there’s two halves, one is open, one is barring half the entry.) The closed half has a sign on it, and anyone who navigates their car through should be paying attention to that gate and see the sign which reads “PLEASE NOTE: WHEN THIS SIDE OF THE GATE IS CLOSED WE ARE NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC”. But, yet, over the years, I’ve seen many a person come in before we open, completely amazed that we’re “too busy” cleaning to let them come in and look at the animals.

Do you have an animal? If you have a dog, imagine cleaning up after twenty times that amount. Feeding them, locking down their kennels, scooping feces, soaping down kennel, scrubbing surfaces and walls, hosing down, squeegeeing them out, then moving the dogs to the clean half to do the same to the other half. Then, cleaning out the drains, doing the dishes, and other sundry tasks involved.

Now, the same for cats – there’s twenty-ish cages, gotta scoop/change out litter boxes, change food and water, throw away newspapers, clean/sanitize cages, put down newspaper, put everything back together, chase cat/kitten(s) around, catch them, put them in cage, catch the kitten that slipped out when you were putting a litter-mate in, repeat. Then sweep mop the floors, do the dishes, soak and clean the replaced litter boxes.

And let’s not forget the office. Sweep, mop, clean counter tops, litter boxes for office cats, and whatever else.

So, please, remember that your local humane society has hours that they’re open to the public for a reason. It’s not a conspiracy to keep you from looking at animals, it’s not about you at all. It’s about taking proper care of the animals and making the place as clean and presentable as possible in the least amount of time as possible.

Would you try to go into a bank before their hours of business? A bookstore? (Wait, I used to work at a bookstore, and many of you would… used to have to chase people out ten minutes after closing, too. Jerks.)

If it upsets you that they’re not able to open when you feel they should, why not volunteer and help them in the morning? Or would that be too hard?

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Posted in Animals, Rant

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