I’ve heard the phase, “perception is reality” too often at executive meetings, indicating that if someone has a specific perception, it is their reality. In some way, there was an expectation that we manage people’s perception; even though they created the perception to manipulate reality. Let me explain:
Only in the realm of politics do we see greater misuse of manipulation to manifest a false reality. Our generation will be known as the keepers of fake news. We live in a world in which people create their own reality my falsifying the events around them to drive their own agenda.
Fake news for animal welfare began with the no kill movement and was fuled by social media. Social media became the number one place to obtain false information. People pushed fake news either for attention or to bully. Unfortunately, the ploy was fairly successful. Organizations were bullied into making decisions that were not in their own best interest to mollify the social media noise.
Evidence of those bad decisions are documented on PETA’s website: No Kill Policies. It saddens me to see what shelter managers are going through as a result of caving to the outrageous demands of a few people. My mantra was to “do the right thing.” Today, the “right thing” is different for every person. I always believed that keeping the community safe was the right thing. Now there is an expectation that shelters should save every animal. Saving animals is a good cause, but shelters must not compromise the safety of their community or the care of those animals in that effort.
The officials who oversee the operation of their community animal shelter are frequently more concerned about what people say on social media than they are worried about the safety of their community. They want to cater to those who make the most noise. It has never been a more difficult time to manage an animal shelter due to the competing demands and unreasonable expectations.