Managing an animal shelter demands the greatest diplomacy.  It is not a career in which your personal feelings on issues is welcome, nor is it safe to express them.  You have to hold it in until after you retire.

Even the most constructive words will find offense.  We live in a word in which everyone is hunting for an excuse to be offended.  By some freak of nature, I was passed along the genetic code that made me a “white male.”  To some, those phenotypic characteristics will earn me some labels that are not earned, deserved, or wanted.  So, diplomacy becomes even a greater concern.  To many, the fact that you look a certain way will cause people to shutdown to what you are saying and disreguard your words.

Along with diplomacy, balance is necessary.  Animal welfare is a fringe entity where people live on the outer boundaries.  As much as we try to maintain our footing in the middle, we will be constantly pulled to one fringe or another.  I think it is important to have a basic understand of another person’s position when looking for the proper diplomatic words; you can find it in an overview.

From the above overview animal control and animal welfare sits in the middle of the continuum as animal abuse and animal rights sit on in the fringe.  This fringe will become the groups that you will mostly deal with and communications will become the most difficult.  As you carefully select your words, keep in mind that these folks will not give you any benefit of the doubt and will search our words to find offense. 

This is what makes your career so exciting.  To stay out of trouble during your career, guard your words.  As I mentioned earlier, if you have to “let it out,” write a blog AFTER you retire.  Those of you who are in the profession or thinking of getting into the profession, my guiding words to you is to treat all communication as if it might be on the front page of your local newspaper or circulated on social media, because they probably will.