Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letter from an ex-employee of the Toronto Humane Society

I wanted to apologize for something from the meeting. I was talking with my sister and I realized that when I was talking about certain not funny things, I laughed.

Starving raccoons are not funny, kittens gasping for air are not funny, working side by side with someone for months on end to have them die from a cat bite is not funny. Listening to a black lab that was in the parvo room screaming for help in the middle of the night, finding that poor cat in the clinic that had laid in it's cage for almost 24 hours slowly bleeding to death alone and scared - those experiences were not funny.

Falling in love with a dog and watching it slowly change, go kennel crazy and give up hope is not funny. It is a very painful experience watching the spirit leave a dog, when adopters come in and walk down the aisles and they don't even raise their heads anymore.

None of my experiences at the Toronto Humane Society are funny & this is the first time in a long time I've sat down and cried thinking back on the things that have haunted my dreams many many nights.

Those experiences will never ever leave my mind. They sneak up on me sometimes and I try not to think about them. When I see you in person I'll share a story about a dog named Aztek, it was one of those days that I'll remember when I'm an old lady. You are right, these are the stories that need to be told and I told some of them this morning at the dog park at 6:00 when I was handing out flyers.

I received an email from a stranger this morning and in it there was a powerful quote that read: "Truth and perseverance can never be defeated by lies."

I cried. I can not express how grateful I am. Not only to everyone who has been supporting the cause but to the people who have sent me messages just like this and pressed me to work harder, to stay up later, wake up earlier and to remember the faces of all of those animals I've seen suffering instead of putting them so far back in my mind and trying to forget about them. They deserve a voice & they deserve to be remembered.

I am not sure what prompted me to write you this morning. I just wanted you explain why you didn't see any tears at the meeting when we were talking about our experiences. It is not because we are cold or emotionless, it's because we have trained ourselves as best we can not to feel those experiences.

If that makes any sense. Sorry this is so long and random.


Social Mange said...

And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil—By telling the truth. Tell truth and shame the devil.
Shakespeare - Henry the Fourth

This person should not be ashamed of laughing. It's a way of releasing the stress and anxiety caused by the horrible experiences. I do the same thing, laugh at inappropriate times as a means of releasing tension, or holding it at arms' length.

Anonymous said...

poor poor employees and animals at THS.This whole thing is like something out of my worst nightmare, the kind of thing, that as a child, would leave me bed ridden for days. Depressed out of my mind. I thought the adds that THS would put on tv were bad enough but they don't paint the real picture at all, not even close. Its far worse isn't it???


Anonymous said...

Fred you are a very strong man for getting so involved in this, I know I should but my heart can't handle it!!!!! I commend you Fred. Thank you


Anonymous said...

To the employee who wrote that letter ... all volunteers and workers at THS can sympathize. We each have those horror stories that will haunt us forever. I hope that all of the information coming out will lead to useful changes that will minimize the amount of future horror stories we see in the back room.

What happened to the black lab?