Fw: REPLY ON: Another perspective on what's happening at Hillsborough County Animal Services

From: Lisa R.
Sent on: Friday, July 5, 2013 9:52 AM
Folks, Marilyn's message (see below) is the last I'm going to let through on this subject. Our Meetup list is not the proper forum for debate. If you're interested in giving your 2 cents on this complex issue, please contact each other directly. Andrea Barlow (e-mail her at
alb826<at>gmail<dot>com) can put you in touch with the original poster. Thanks for understanding.
Lisa, Animal Advocacy of Tampa Bay Meetup Co-organizer

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: marilyn <[address removed]>
To: Lisa (meet up site organizer) <[address removed]>
Cc: Joan Zacharias <[address removed]>; Jeanine Cohen <[address removed]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 3,[masked]:45 PM
Subject: Fw: REPLY ON: Another perspective on what's happening at Hillsborough County Animal Services

My response to the emails regarding what's happening at Hillsborough County Animal services was prompted after I read Jeanine Cohen and Joan Zacharias's emails.  I think the members of the advocacy group have to hear from some of the other members perspectives.
I would like you to forward Cat Crusaders Co-Founder, Jeanine Cohen's statement below as well as Joan Zacharias response to the animal advocacy members with my response as well. Thank you.
Please, members read from the bottom up.
Unfortunately, well meaning people are not always privy to everything that goes on or the reasons why certain things take place.  However, people/rescues that work closely with Hills. Animal Services have access to more information and obstacles being dealt with when trying to make changes, than others do. 
As the director of a political action committee, I am well aware of people/businesses who have a perceived vested interest in obstructing the good principles and actions of those trying to make changes.   Many times there are employees who want to sabotage beneficial change within an organization either because of a comfort level with doing things as they have always been done, or because the change will perhaps now require more effort on their part. At animal services, we are dealing with lives and not products, so those types of people need to find other employment or "get on board" with the program.
Implementing changes requires a renewed commitment to improving results. Implementing changes means being patient for things to turn around, as nothing happens over night.  It means giving the "change maker" support to carry forward the new program that is being put in place to save as many lives as possible. 
I know too well of cases where people take more and more animals in, can't say no, get overwhelmed with the numbers, cost, lack of volunteers and, in essence,  would be classified as a hoarder.  Animals suffer under those conditions and thinking that one is saving them from euthanasia when one is now causing them to suffer is not humane. I think the person who is anonymous at this point, needs to talk with the other people who want to talk to her.  Otherwise, this just becomes an ugly exercise in anger, vitriol, revenge and is counter productive in helping the animals in question.
Marilyn Weaver, Executive Director
League of Humane Voters-FL
Compassion for all animals both human & non Human   
Our vision: A society in which people value and safeguard the lives of animals.
**If you want to help the most animals--with the least amount of effort: Go to our website, become a member, then vote for the animal friendly legislators that we endorse. It's that simple.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Joan Z <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sunday, June 30,[masked]:20 PM
Subject: [AnimalAdvocacyofTampaBay] Another perspective on what's happening at Hillsborough County Animal Services

See below – I’m posting a signed response from the rescue group that saves more cats from our county shelter than any other group next to the Humane Society.  I’m also reposting the charges that were forwarded to this list from an anonymous source.
Let’s have an open discussion.  If those who are making charges would come forward instead of posting anonymously, that would be great. 
I’m assuming that we all want to save more lives as soon as possible.  As you all know, our new shelter director spent the last year dealing with opposition to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return, so his plan was just approved by the county commissioners last month.  Now he can finally do his job – hopefully with all the community support we can mobilize from animal lovers like you.
If you have a proven plan that’s more effective across the nation than the No-Kill Equation, please share your research and case studies with us.  But know this: We will never go backward.
From: Jeanine Cohen [mailto:[address removed]]
Sent: Sunday, June 30,[masked]:08 AM
To: Joan Zacharias
Subject: Fwd: Jeanine

The below statements are not true. No legitimate 501(c)(3) rescue is being turned away. Cat Crusaders picked up 2 adults on Thurs, and a mom and 7 babies on Sat.  One group did have their name on a bunch of cats, but that rescue removed their name from the cats, because they were sick and because that rescue never planned on being "responsible" for those cats, they were going to turn them over to this ad hoc group. Part of running a responsible rescue, is accountability.  I wish we could save them all, I really do, but the way this group has tried to do it repeatedly is shady at best.  They asked us a rescue to pull for them, and my answer was no. We are responsible for every cat we pull from HCAS, and we don't just give them away, even to well-meaning people.  
The scariest part of this is this group of people don't address if they have the resources to care for the sickness (the 2 adults above went to the ER Vet on Sat, and one is still there- antibiotics and nebulizing is not enough), where are they doing adoptions, since they're not a rescue they can't go to petsmart or petco or participate in big adoption events, if they have an adoption contract, who decides whether to adopt or not, and who their vet is- Remember the rescue that pulls the cat is tied to the cat by the microchip #.  Every cat we pull (and most legitimate rescues) can account for every cat. We know who fosters, who adopted. We don't just pull bunches and give them away.  If this group is serious about puling and saving lives, become a 501(c)(3), set up your adoption outlets, and fill out the forms to become a rescue partner at HCAS, just like everyone else did, its not hard to do.  I'll give you the forms if you need them. 
Jeanine Cohen, Co- Director 
Cat Crusaders, Inc. 
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Andrea Barlow
Sent: Saturday, June 29,[masked]:48 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [AnimalAdvocacyofTampaBay] Fwd: Please asking for help..... urgent....
Hi everyone,
I received this email below asking for advice and help.  Does anyone have any thoughts?  Contact me and I will get you in touch with the sender.
Thank you,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM
Subject: Please asking for help..... urgent....
Asking any of you caring people for help. Please share.

Hillsborough County Animal Shelter is now full and is killing for space.

They are even killing animals who have rescue holds on them, who are awaiting vetting. They are now killing animals who have foster homes and adopter homes waiting on them.

They claim animals are sick, but they are not treating any simple URIs, they let the cats get sick and do nothing.

They started the killing at 5 am this morning. (Sorry I do use the word euth as that is not what it is, this is not mercy killing.)

They are refusing to allow rescues to pull animals, because they do not have vet services spay neuter for the animals who are already waiting to be vetted who have been pulled in the past few weeks. The longer the animals wait, the more they are likely to get sick.

Last night there were 16 kittens on the death list and 4 adults. All were 'saved' but now the holds are said to be in question because they do not want to have to provide more vet services.

They claim they want to increase adoptions but then when that happens, they cannot or choose not to handle the vet services, then they ask the groups to back off - they limit rescues from rescuing animals, they tell the social media sites not to list healthy adoptable animals, because they can't handle the vetting.

The help I ask is ANY HELP at all with the animals who are in dire need there.

I have only been there off and on for the past month, and I HAVE SEEN ALOT OF THINGS. Far more than I have even mentioned in this note.

I have spoken to both county commissions. I am at the end of my energy level and health level with little to no sleep and lost a crazy amount of weight trying to save animals each night. But there are people at HCAS be trying to sabotage EVERY effort to save lives and place animals in foster or adopter homes.

I watch people - good people - work themselves to the bone trying to find homes, care for sick animals, rescue more lives each night and place every one in a healthy foster or permanent home. They are burning out, people are in tears.

I was up all night trying to save the list of animals this morning - not only the ones I mentioned above with the kittens, but the ones that were already saved in recent days that they started killing this morning for space - animals who had people waiting on them to be vetted. This is insanity.

I no longer know what to do or where to go or who to turn to ask for help. Every day more die and the shelter does not help rescues - if anything they are against the animals being saved and placed. I cannot fathom these actions.

I do not work for a rescue and I do not work for any social media or anything like that.... I adopted a rescue and was helping others.

What I have seen the past month is mind boggling. I tried taking photos of cats to give to the web page to help them... but then they only post a few of the many friendly ones I see there - it is heart breaking! They are trying to post less, like they were told, so as not to lost their hold priveleges, the shelter blackmails them with fear tactics.

And then even those few now that are posted on the urgentcatsoftampabay website (where I found my rescue kitty) .... the shelter does not want to allow rescues to pull animals - the main rescues who help are getting banned from pulling anything, and the rest of the rescues sit on their butts and do nothing, claiming they are full, yet when a Siamese or such comes along they suddenly have space again.

I know these rescue people who are getting harassed - they are good people, they are not hoarding (I have been there, trust me it's not hoarding), they are helping place every animal with foster or adopter. Most of the fosters have 1-5 cats each - not a lot. A few have kitten groups. All are treating animals who are sick effectively.
All the ones from last night's list are slated to die even though holds were placed - they refuse to honor the holds with the main rescue who has been so diligently saving them and then placing them in good homes!! People have to go there in person and pull the cats out to save them.  
I am asking from the very bottom of my heart for help. Please help these cats and kittens. Any advice, any wisdom. Rescue groups, fosters, adopters, anything.


EAT MORE VEGGIES!  Not only is it healthier for you, but you eliminate misery for millions of factory farmed animals.  They live their lives caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, manhandled and mutilated.  They never experience sunlight, fresh air or green grass.  They are often skinned, dismembered, scalded and bled while still conscious.
Until we can change this, how dare we say humans are superior!

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