The issue on the Cedar Valley Humane Society is a tricky one. There was no way I could post anything about the Cedar Valley Humane Society until I was able to get some history on it. This ‘organization’ has had a lot of bad press since being accused of fraud in 2001. There have been reports of the shelter having unhealthy ventilators and keeping sick animals next to healthy ones There was a “nasty divorce” between the contributors but that investigators were never able to prove fraud so that chapter of the CVHS is closed. As they rebuild their relationships with the community they have to understand there is a lot of hesitancy when it comes to dealing with them. This is why I hesitated to post on it until I gathered enough information about it to do so.
The flood of 2008 didn’t help CVHS at all because it displaced a lot of animals because shelters wouldn’t allow them. There just wasn’t enough resources to deal with the number of animals displaced. Thankfully, Kirkwood Community College opened their doors to allow a ‘temporary animal shelter’.
I feel as if they need a “communication audit” after reading their beliefs and values I have more questions than ideas. This organization has had some ups and downs and they need to do something. I am an ‘interested public’. I am already subscriber to the Cedar Valley Humane Society newsletter. I poked them on Facebook and figured I would turn to the 1700 friends I have almost all of them are local and vocal. I asked if anyone had an opinion on the Cedar Valley Humane Society that they would like to share and the first response was from a woman that chooses to identify herself by the name “Barely Just Barely” that wrote “Not that I can share, but that there is good and bad”. I got a text message from someone else who seems to be ‘in the know in the politics’ that said “CVHS has some history and its not good”.
So I checked out their web page and the news history and see that there has been improvement with fundraisers but I can’t get a grip on who is in charge of the whole thing! All I know is their beliefs and values conflict with a statement that was made just last month in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Beliefs & Values of the Board of Directors
All animals should be treated humanely
All companion animals should be spayed or neutered
Euthanasia is not an acceptable solution to the pet overpopulation problem
Every companion animal deserves a loving, caring home
Humans have a responsibility to care for companion animals
Cruelty to animals for the purpose of entertainment is not acceptable
Shelters should advocate for and speak out on animal welfare issues
The public has a responsibility to help solve the pet overpopulation problem
Shelters have a responsibility to provide a humane, caring environment for abandoned animals
All sick and injured animals deserve care and treatment
When their values do not ‘match’ their actions it makes it hard for them to rebuild trust with their publics. “I don’t think that’s out of line,” Duffy said of the euthanization rate. “Any time you’re an open admissions shelter, you’re going to have higher euthanization rates. That’s just the way it goes. You have limited resources, and those resources can only go so far.” (Paws & effect – Under new leadership, Humane Society leaving its problems behind Gazette, The ( Cedar Rapids-Iowa City, IA) – Sunday, December 5, 2010. Author: By Steve Gravelle, The Gazette).
The media relations seem to be slowly improving but I don’t know if that will happen before their contract is up with the county. The problem I see with them is they are “top heavy” and no one seems to know what is going on with them.
This agency needs a contingency plan for the next ‘disaster’ they undergo.
Goal: Find out who is really in charge of the CVHS
Objective: Improve public image by 1% by Friday, January 14, 2011.
Strategy: Could possibly contact Brent Oelson and Ben Rogers about the turnover and their involvement reported in the news.
Someone within the organization needs to recognize that there is not much trust by the public. There doesn’t seem to be any specific goal when I read through the news reports that state “the cost of collecting and caring for rural Linn County’s stray animals will increase this year, no matter who’s doing the job”.
In order to have a good plan you should have a goal. A goal leads to an objective which is a measurable analysis of the situation at hand. The plan must be flexible without losing site of the main goal. It must be realistic and values driven. My hope is that the people in charge of the CVHS have already identified and sought help with this “PR nightmare.”