Our Largest Obstacle

The greatest obstacle that we have in performing our jobs is protecting the public.  I frequently query job openings in our profession and then seek out the back story.  I would like to find the happy story about an animal shelter director who retired after a long fulfilling career of service to his or her community, but that is rarely the case.

Many directors are fired for doing their jobs.  The problem with doing our job is that there is always some one who thinks that the job should be done differently.   It usually involves the euthanasia of an animal.

In our business, there is ALWAYS someone who will second guess our decisions.  Most of our decisions are geared toward keeping the public safe, but someone will always come along to champion the cause of an animal that you have killed.  Even if their cause is righteous, death usually rule outs other outcomes.  Many times, you don’t know that someone is interested in the animal until after the deed has been done.  In almost every case, it deals with the decision that the animal shelter personnel believes the animal to be aggressive.

When you decide to get into this profession, you need to realize that it possible that you can get fired for just doing your job.  Petition sites and social media have no obligation to tell the truth, their purpose is to get people excited; hopefully to get the people in a rage.  People used to be able to see through these scams, but not any more.  People believe what they are told and are too lazy to research the truth for themselves.

My mantra in this business is:  “If you are going to get into trouble, do it for doing something good.”  Do the right thing.  You may be with your employer only a couple of years, but you must live with yourself the rest of your life.