Random thoughts

Sharing some thoughts, ideas, and some laughs

How is my money spent?

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This blog has been focused on exposing incompetence, ignorance, unprofessional conduct, and frankly just plain old stupidity. Everyday when I write about the KILLING, and I listen and read the absurd remarks by Strooband and Davidson et al, I think, wait, No Kill is a reality. We are not reinventing the wheel here. The No Kill Equation is not a pie in the sky unrealistic idea that costs thousands of dollars and requires specialized equipment. What it does need is, intestinal fortitude, strong leadership, determination, and hard work, all of which are in very short supply at LCHS.

What offends me most, outside the KILLING is the blatant waste of money at LCHS. I am so offended by the amount of money, donors money, taxpayers money that is being wasted or used inappropriately and ineffectively. I despise that money is being used more to benefit humans than the animals for which it is intended.

Other than those who are actually born into privilege, we have all had to work to generate an income in order to support our families. We pay mortgages, hydro, and water bills, we pay our taxes and loans. We buy food, we care for our children and our companion animals and when we are able we give. In fact we give a great deal.  Canadians are very generous with their giving and there is a great deal of competition for the donor dollar which is why it is imperative that every dollar donated is used for its intended purpose and used as efficiently and as practically as possible. The following information details Canadian donating and makes it very clear animal welfare is not high on the giving totem pole. It would then behoove those managing those very important dollars to do so with a great deal of caution and efficiency.

In terms of the amounts donated, Religious organizations receive far more than any other

type of organization. Collectively they received over $2.1 billion in 2007 – roughly half

(47%) of the total value of all donations made in Ontario (see Figure 1.6). Health

organizations ranked a distant second with 23% of the total value of all donations (over $1

billion) and Social Services organizations were third with 8% ($359 million). This

distribution of support is essentially unchanged since 2004 and is broadly similar to that

seen in the rest of Canada.

The average amounts that Ontarians donate to particular types of organizations vary greatly.

Donors to Religious organizations made the largest average annual donations ($537; see

Figure 1.7). By comparison, the average annual donation for Health organizations was

relatively small ($152), even though nearly two thirds of Ontarians (64%) donated to these

organizations. Although Health organizations had a broader base of support than do other

organizations, several types of organizations received larger average annual donations.

Ontarians made the smallest average annual donations to organizations working in the areas

of Social Services ($81), Education & Research ($77), and Sports & Recreation ($53).

Resource:

Giving and Volunteering inOntarioFindings from the Canada Survey of Giving,Volunteering, and Participating

Personally I do not consider a Humane Society purchasing a Smart Car no matter how “good a deal” a wise use of donors’ or tax dollars. It is my opinion the annual licensing and insurance costs exacerbate an already wasteful use of donor money. How does LCHS justify the ridiculous fuel costs for running four huge gas guzzling trucks on the road “cruising for strays”. Is it not a more efficient use of tax payer and donors’ dollars to have the personnel at the shelter caring for animals than driving around aimlessly waiting for “the big call”?

Contrary to what the public has been given to believe, the staff of LCHS are not underpaid . If Executive Director Kevin Strooband is to believed, he told me last March that LCHS has the second highest payroll in Ontario. Strooband alone receives in excess of $85k per year and my understanding is that in 2012 his annual salary shall be close to $100k as a result of bonuses. I have no problem compensating people for doing their jobs. I do resent paying people to do a job only to discover the job is not being done and in this case animals are being KILLED as a result.

For those who may not be aware, I do know of what I speak. I was General Manager and Executive Director of the largest wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release facility in Ontario. Over the course of a year we would have in excess of 800 animals enter the facility some with devastating injuries, most orphaned.  Now that may not seem like much but consider 500 baby animals (raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, otters, beavers, fawns and bears) _MG_9430on site at one time most of which needing to be fed every two hours around the clock upon arrival. We operated with a permanent staff of four animals care people (including myself) one maintenance and one administration neither of which worked with the animals. During baby season we had eight volunteers on site to help with feedings, cleaning and general care of the animals. This is a 24/7, 365 day operation. Bears, deer, beavers, late raccoons and other little critters have to be wintered over. There are also the permanent residents, wolves, coyotes, lynx, owls and others . Add to these  are the winter casualties, deer, moose and bears involved in vehicular incidents or starving.

Our total budget for the facility was $500k which was TOTALLY donations, 100%. I spent hours completing grant applications, writing to potential donors, giving presentations to various service clubs and horticultural societies and bridge clubs and churches and anyone else from whom we may extract funds. Out total compensation budget was $225k.  I was the highest paid employee at $45k. We operated a 100 year old barn as _MG_9460the “clinic” nursery, large animal housing and winter housing, two houses, a bunkhouse and a common room, we ran a 1989 ½ ton truck (which I personally bought for $1500. and took a tax receipt)  and a 2004 van. In order to pick up animals in distress and to return them to their place of origin, we traveled to Sudbury, Timmins, French River, through Algonquin Park and south to St Caths, Mississauga, Oakville, Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Hunstville , Ottawa, and other places that quite frankly I can’t remember.

We didn’t have fancy uniforms, in fact we had a woman that owned her own second hand clothing store who would bring the rejects from the store to us. We were grateful for anything and everything. We begged and pleaded with veterinarians to help us as we had no money for services, meds, vaccination (yes we vaccinated every raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote and wolf). DSC_0020We built huge enclosures, small enclosures, we logged and processed the logs for enclosures, and we did laundry morning, noon and night.

beaver-4

We made it work. We also had a live release rate of over 85%.

I am proud to say that we made every donor dollar work for the animals. We did not waste a penny, ever.

I am appalled that a facility with the budget of LCHS incurs distemper and parvo flare ups when it is so simple to avoid. Maybe sell that stupid car and put the money towards disinfectant foot baths, gloving and gowning. COMMON SENSE preventative practices.

Instead of asking the Board of Directors for $60k for new trucks, PLEASE improve the conditions in the facility, Here is a wild and crazy idea, $60k could be applied to hire a part time Veterinarian or a Vet Tech!!!!!

Okay, I have vented, I am done. I do hope now that you may appreciate my anger, my frustration and my utter disgust for the total lack of consideration for the tax payer and the kindness and generosity of donors who are cheated and mislead.

 

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