Port Jervis Humane Society – rejects our offers to help save the lives of their animals

So since my last offer of help to the Port Jervis Humane Society they have rejected all.

OK, ok, I was expecting that. It is hard to accept help from someone that just revealed ugly things about your org. I understand that.

So today I will up the ante to the Port Jervis Humane Society.
Today I will offer even more to them to help them stop killing animals and learn how to better care for animals, and save the lives of animals that come into their shelter.

For example, take Igby. On the Port Jervis Humane Society FaceBook page there are some people that are very vocal in saying how great the PJHS is, and how horrible Pets Alive is, and that I doctored all the “evidence” I previously posted. The posts below are actually BY these same people. Look at their own posts that were made in the past few months:

This is Igby. Killed by the Port Jervis Humane Society in October.
A dog Pets Alive would happily have taken here and adopted out to a good home. Instead, he is dead. Click on the picture to see it full screen and the comments that go with it.

This is Coco. Killed by the Port Jervis Humane Society in August. Another dog that volunteers all seemed to love, be able to handle and work with, and that Pets Alive would happily have taken. Dead. Body in a landfill somewhere. Click the picture to see larger and the comments that go with it.

Another cute picture of Coco. Again, click the comments to see the comments the volunteers were making about this “great” dog that they all loved:

Did Coco need to die? Could Pets Alive have been contacted to see if we could take this adorable dog? I think so. But the Port Jervis Humane Society did NOT reach out to us to ask for any help with any of the dogs they routinely kill. Why?

After all, is this about THEM?
Who really cares about THEM?
I don’t.
You don’t.
The animals don’t.

What I care about are the animals dying needlessly if we sit with empty runs here. I care about the animals that have no food and water for more than 24 hours. In this picture, four kittens in a cage. Look at the time stamp. 1:30 in the afternoon. Look at the bowls. No food. No water. Unacceptable! I care about those that die of fleas, when simple caretaking would save these lives. I care about the killing of animals that we could possibly take here and save.

Do you think the animlas that are “tied down” (as an ex-employee claims) to be killed give a damn about the PEOPLE involved? No. They don’t care about me, or the board members at the Port Jervis Humane Society, or the staff there, or here. And while Ed told me horror stories of the animals being tied down to be euthanized, which is disgusting, he later posted he only saw this happen to ONE dog…but if you look at this FaceBook post, he discusses this publicly back in August, after poor Charlie was killed at the Port Jervis Humane Society. Let’s examine poor Charlie’s story for a moment.

Charlie was killed in August. Click on his picture and read the thread. Volunteers lamenting over the loss of the dog they seemed to have loved. They refer to his “crime” as just “loving too much” and then we see someone post something that MOST people believe to be true. Shock that a healthy dog would be killed. And the belief that healthy dogs would be adopted out.

This discussion is also revealing. It seems the dog was killed because he might have been “cage aggressive”. Yet other volunteers say he “loved everybody” and that Vanessa, a worker there, even brushed his teeth. But Charlie was killed. Pets Alive was never contacted to see if perhaps we could help with Charlie.

Someone also warns them to not talk about these things because it might give the shelter a bad name. Wow. Unreal.

This is rather explosive. What Ed says HERE is what he told me in person, but then sort of backed away from that this week on the PJHS FaceBook page. Animals are TIED down to be killed there? Really?? I find that disgusting. And here he also talks about someone there killing animals because that person liked the “power”. Ouch.

And then Jessica says one of the smartest things of all. “The shelter gives ITSELF the bad name“. Please note she ALSO states that the dog COULD HAVE HAD A HOME. So remember when I told you that I was told by the people from my original blog that they kill animals there when volunteers got too attached to them or liked them too much? In Charlie’s case, he was so well liked that a volunteer would have taken him home if give the chance. But that chance wasn’t offered to Charlie. Was he also TIED down to be killed? The dog that “loved everyone”?

In this same thread, Ed also talks about dogs dying for “space” there, and again there is a warning that the killings that are done there are PRIVATE and should not be discussed. How pathetic Port Jervis Humane. Are you ashamed of yourselves yet? Because all of us are.

Finally I want to post the most telling thread of all:

The reason that this is so “telling” is that because Ed points out that no-kill CAN work at the Port Jervis Humane society.
He states that in 2010, the Port Jervis Humane society killed 158 dogs. (and we know a LOT of cats!). But then in a sixteen month period when some volunteers and Keith and Angelo (and I think Ed as well) decided to take matters into their own hands, they killed only 28 dogs. WOW! WOW!

16 months and only 28 dogs died when the previous 12 months over 158 did. So, Port Jervis Humane, there is your proof. It can work and it did when you had people dedicated to NOT killing.

BTW, all of this is PUBLIC. I didn’t send spies anywhere. The people that posted this stuff on their FaceBook pages have all their photos available and not private. Any of you can go look. I did BLOCK out their pictures and their last names because I am really NOT out to get anyone, but when they are on the PJHS Facebook denying all this stuff, it is natural to go look. And when you go look, you see on their own pages that the stuff they are posting NOW publicly is contradictory to what is on their own pages. But that doesn’t matter because this is not about THEM. Or US. It is about the animals that are DYING.

So let’s take all of “US” out of it and work ONLY to save the lives of animals that need some help, and an organization that could definitely use some help.

Does Pets Alive want to see the PJHS close down? NO! Absolutely not. Do we want to see them better care for their animals, and better train their staff, and save lives of animals rather than kill them Yes!

Some of this has gotten very ugly.

We have refrained from attacking any “people” …we have stuck to the issues and the problems there…but they have not. We name people only when it was one of their board members that actually SPOKE to us, (Ed went and identified himself) and we left out the names of ANYONE else. Personally attacking members of my staff…people here, that’s just embarrassing for them and they should be ashamed.

They post some silly things too. Everything I posted, I backed up with video, photos, or audio. Their side, because of course there is a “their side” … claim things that are easily disproven. “Pets Alive keeps dogs outside all year round in tiny muddy runs“. Sigh. Really? That’s what ya got? I mean anyone who has ever been here knows that isn’t true. The dogs are outside in nice weather, and in the heated kennel in bad weather. And here is a picture of one of our “outside, muddy, tiny runs”. Sigh.

And then there was a really funny one…”Pets Alive never responds to any phone calls unless it is someone that can do something for them”. Laugh. Omg, poor Karen was probably spinning in her chair. She spends a huge part of every day dealing with phone calls, returning phone calls and handling issues. Many times even on her days off she plays all the messages and sends them out because we worry that someone may have lost their dog, or found one of ours.

Oh and then there was “Pets Alive REFUSES to take any local animals” and “Pets Alive will NOT take any animals abandoned at vets offices”. Please contact Monhagen Veterinary. Please contact Oradell Animal Hospital. Please contact Flannery Animal hospital. Please contact the emergency clinic on 211. Please contact Dr. Paul Johnson. Please contact Ani-Mall. All vets offices we have taken animals from, or offered to (some placed the animals themselves).

As to not taking local animals….well, Pets Alive takes in, and/or helps about 3500 animals a year. So comparatively the number of those that are local animals, probably actually BEAT the TOTAL number of animals the smaller Port Jervis Humane Society takes in all year. And WE do it by actually helping them all and not killing ANY of them. But this isn’t a contest. We are a bigger organization with more funds – we SHOULD be doing more. But we weren’t always where we are now. Six years ago we were a tiny organization with $5,000 in the bank and no way to even make payroll.

According to the letter that Keith, the treasurer on the board of the PJHS wrote to the rest of the board, they are about $92k in the hole for this year alone. Now why would you refuse our help with working with you on fund raising? We have proven that we can not only fund raise, but keep volunteers, supporters and expand. In the past two years we have expanded to three locations. Does that mean we have money and we roll around in it? NO! Every month it is a struggle to pay our bills, and to try to eek out a little extra to get ahead and when our gator died this month, we haven’t been able to afford to replace it yet…so no, we struggle. But we are surviving and we’d be happy to share the things we have learned with any organization that wants that help. We have offered that help to the PJHS, who by their own admission, are not doing well financially and they rebuffed us. Why? Egos? What other reason?

It IS true that the GREATER percentage of the animals we save are NOT local. But that is like comparing the Port Jervis Humane Society to the Bronx Zoo. Local animal control is NOT our mission. We have to have our base of operation SOMEWHERE and Middletown is where it is. But OUR mission is to save those animals that have run out of options. That have been put on kill lists of other organizations and they have an actual date when they are going to die. We wait until the last moment (in the hopes they will be adopted) but then when they have no where else to turn, we pull them here. THAT is our mission. To give them all a second chance and to save them.

Our mission is also to be a resource for mass rescues. We have large facilities. When that puppy mill in WV gets closed down, we want to be able to pull 220 dogs here (like we did a few years ago). When that animal testing lab that tortured more than 120 beagles closed down, we wanted to be able to pull every one of those beagles here. And we did. And adopted every one out (or worked with other rescues that took them). When that hoarder in West Virginia finally got over taken, we want to be that resource that took her 86 animals, and that group that waded through dead animal bodies to pull the live ones to safety at Pets Alive. When the NYC ACC was getting ready to kill 108 kittens and their moms, we took in and saved every single one. When a rescue in Arkansas closed down, we took in all 130 of their animals. And yes, when the hoarder up the street (LOCALLY) had 98 rottweilers in miserable conditions, we also offered to take them all here when the town impounded them. THAT is what we do. THAT is our mission. Because if not us, then who? The Port Jervis Humane Society? They don’t have the capacity, the staff, the finances or the correct frame of mind (no kill!) to do such rescues. We don’t ask them to or expect them to. THAT is not their mission. So for their executive director to be posting all over FaceBook trashing us about not taking local animals – I say to them “Why don’t you take Zebras?”

And because we are located here the local community benefits GREATLY from our presence. We take in local animal control overflow whenever we can help. We spearheaded a local pet chow pantry and help feed over a hundred animals a month from people that can not afford it. We are opening up a medical clinic here to help financially desperate pet owners with altering and vaccinations and low cost medical care. We offer cheap micro chipping. We started a senior foster program so senior citizens can still have pets and help assuage their lonliness. We handle all the TNR (trap, neuter, return) for Middletown and Wallkill, to help keep the feral communities healthy and under control. So please don’t banter about that we aren’t helping locally. It’s absurd. We do FAR more than “just” take in local animals.

We take TONS of local animals. Like I said, out of that 3500, we have taken HUNDREDS of local animals. HUNDREDS. Probably more than Port Jervis did in a year. So the comparison is really silly. And we are extending the offer to the Port Jervis Humane Society. Commit to trying to NOT kill your animals. Why are you killing an animal – ANY animal, before reaching out to see if we could take them, or another organization could take them? That’s disgusting. You should be both embarrassed, and ashamed, to put to death any animal before you have reached out and exhausted every single other avenue, and every single option for that animal.

I was also accused of doctoring all the photos, and the audio recordings and the video tapes in my previous blog. OK, that is just plain funny because I have to get help to add WORDS to a photo. I don’t even know how to do that. But that is the accusation out there. (look above at the FaceBook posts – I did remove the last names and blot the photos. Work of art, huh?)

And of course I could only fit about 5 pics in my blog, but I have hundreds. (Here is one of a cat, dumped over litter. no food, no water. 11:42 in the afternoon). There were actually THREE volunteers that were collecting evidence. Only Christine had the nerve to be named and stand up and speak to this, so we have left the others out of it. But I have many photos and videos. I suppose I doctored all of those too? I will likely upload all of them soon to a directory for anyone that is interested in seeing them…but does this matter? Really? Do I need to continue to prove what I’m saying? I can. I will. But I’d rather move FORWARD now and not continue this ridiculousness. I’d rather start HELPING the situation and not blowing it up more.

And then the accusation that I’m a “media whore” and I did this for the publicity. I’d like to examine that accusation for a bit here. First of all – what media attention? Did I send a press release out? Did the news come cover it? Did I miss some media attention to this?

And do you think this is FUN??? Really? Right around the holidays to be dealing with this? Do you think I ENJOY this? The stress? The aggravation? The defense? REALLY??? Do you think I like alienating even some of our OWN supporters and followers, by being involved in a bitter dispute with another organization? Do you think I like reading these horror stories and looking at these terrible photos?
Is that what you think? Then go and have your head examined. Because this stuff SUCKS.

But here is the thing. Once you KNOW about animal cruelty, or animals (or children, or the elderly or the homeless) – you HAVE to speak. You HAVE to do something.
It is now your obligation to not ever turn the other way and it is your obligation to do something.

I waited for the people that came to me with this to DO something. I BEGGED them to speak out and DO something. They all backed out.

But also remember that I didn’t “break” this story. This was first covered by YesBiscuit!, a nationally syndicated animal blogger. Once the story was out there though, I HAD to also reveal the information we had been given. It was time. It was HERE. And frankly I’m ashamed that I waited as long as I did. In this picture a cat has an open wound, no bandaging or wrapping, a filthy cage and no water. Note the time. 12:30 in the afternoon.

And the volunteer that originally went in and documented most of this? Christine? I never even met her before this. I never “sent” her there to spy as it has been stated. Angelo, their board member, asked her to film and document. When she went to him with the “evidence” he refused to do anything with it. It was only THEN that she came to me to ask how she could hep to get things fixed at the PJHS.

And so the attacks went on and on by some supporters and volunteers of the Port Jervis Humane Society…but if you actually LOOK at the posts, they are really all made by the same 3 to 5 people. And those three to five people are the ones I posted faceBook stuff from above….where they themselves are speaking what appears to be the truth about what is happening there at the PJHS.

Most boards would also back away from such battles. Our board hates this too. Just like I do. But they always support my decisions to fight to save lives.

But the difference between OUR board and the PJHS board is that ours is made up of all people that believe the same thing. That animals should never die when there is another option, and that everyone must speak out and stand up for what is right. EVEN if it is hard. EVEN if it is ugly. EVEN if it sucks.

We have Marisol Thomas on our board. The FOUNDER of SideWalk Angels. An organization that speaks for those that can not. They help animals.They help the homeless. They help children. Marisol is NOT someone to be triffled with. She is a tremendous force and if you get on the wrong side of her in an animal issue and YOU are wrong, then you will quickly be shut down and rolled over. She stands behind the animals 100% always going the extra mile to make sure they are safe and protected from cruelty and death. You may see her as a small framed, beautiful woman, wife of a rock star. And that makes me laugh. Giggle actually. Because while those things are true, Marisol is completely INVOLVED. Marisol knows the animals of Pets Alive…PERSONALLY. She comes here. She attends our functions, she texts with me late at night or early in the morning when we are worried about one of the animals here. She pays for expensive medical treatments, out of her own pocket, at the best specialists when we can’t afford it. That’s who Marisol Thomas is. She is INVOLVED here.

We have Rob Thomas on our board. Known to most of you as a famous musician, but the Rob is also the man that canceled an engagement when he found out that he and his band, Matchbox Twenty, were scheduled to play at a rodeo. I’m sure there were a lot of financial slapbacks on that, but he didn’t blink. He wasn’t playing at any rodeo where animals are cruelly treated. He is also the man that texts me in the middle of the afternoon because he found a wounded baby deer on the road. He cancelled a sold out concert on the day his precious and beloved dog died. He attends all our functions and I never want to abuse him or his connection or love for Pets Alive, and he always reaches out to US and offers to do things for us, or he shows up at our events, because he CARES about us, about Pets Alive and he is connected here. When he comes here, he is gracious to everyone, but his focus is to turn right to the animals and snuggle, hug and kiss them. Rob is an animal lover. He is INVOLVED here.

Our board also has Maria Maldonado. Maria manages a lot of SideWalk Angels, but Maria is also here at Pets Alive every single week, sometimes more than that. And is she critiquing and telling staff to do things? Ordering people about? Um, no. She is getting her hands dirty, scooping litter, doing laundry, cuddling animals, walking our caution dogs, and sorting donations. She and I also text and she is a person I can spew out things to as I’m thinking them…before I’ve actually come to a conclusion or a solution and she and I can work things out and lean on each other to figure out answers. She is INVOLVED here.

We have Sandy Mozdierz. Sandy has been instrumental in building our events, finding solutions to any problems we encounter, helping to fund raise for us and get the word out about our mission, about what we do and who we are. She also single handledly changed the policy of the Middletown Park Manor nursing home, when an elderly patient came in and had to give up her dog, Sandy changed their policy and enabled that elderly woman to have her dog with her, in her room, until the day that she passed. Sandy opens up rooms for us to have meetings, events, training – whatever we need. Sandy is INVOLVED here.

And we have Joy Carson of course. You all know her as the executive director of Pets Alive Puerto Rico. She is absolutely amazing. A pioneer in the animal world. Again….she is INVOLVED here.

THESE are OUR board members. Their daily involvement and CARE about this organization is the difference in our board and many other boards in this area. They KNOW our animals….personally. When we adopt one, they rejoice with us and we all text and grin and laugh. When we lose an animal, perhaps an elderly one that we never found a home for….we all grieve together and try to figure out what we could do better so no other animal ever dies here.

And if you think it is comfortable for ANY of us to fight these battles, then think again. We all HATE it. We wish things were different. We wish we could reach out our hands to those orgs that are killing animals, and just have them stop and accept our help, but they never do. We have fought this battle before, we have never lost. We have always managed to fix the shelters and the community has always forced them to stop the killing.


The PJHS doesn’t seem to see that. They don’t see that funds are drying up for them BECAUSE they kill animals. They don’t see that they would raise MORE money if they SAVED lives. They don’t see that it is more expensive to kill that animal and dispose of that body, than it would be to turn that animal over to a rescue willing to accept them. They don’t realize that having volunteers sign confidentiality agreements so they can’t speak of the ills they see, is the WRONG answer. Asking volunteers to tell you the minute they see something wrong and then EMPOWERING those same volunteers to FIX it, is the right answer! They don’t realize yet that this is a battle that they can not win.

Angelo and Keith told me that the PJHS doesn’t allow their volunteers to do offsite adoption events unless a board member is WITH THEM. Meanwhile they don’t have a great deal of daily board involvement. So they are shooting themselves in the foot. We don’t even have STAFF at our offsite events. Our volunteers pick up our dogs and cats, are trained to adopt them, they transport them, they handle the money and donations…they do all of this for free – because they care about the animals, and in getting them homes. The PJHS is making a huge mistake here and it is something we could help them to fix. IF they would take our help.

The community will not stand for their own local animals being killed.
This is YOUR dog or YOUR cat.
This is the dog you had to give up when you lost your home and had no where to go.
This is the cat that darted out the door and is terrified when caught and hissing and acting vicious when captured and brought to the shelter, that the shelter is classifying as “feral” and killing before you even know it is gone.
This is YOUR dog that your child became allergic to, and you sobbed your eyes out as you brought him to the shelter.
These are YOUR animals. MY animals. OUR animals that may wind up at Port Jervis, and dammit, I will do EVERY SINGLE THING in my power to make sure that they don’t kill your animal.
That your animal finds its way to a home, or a safe haven – EVEN if they are scared and frightened there, EVEN if they snap when someone tries to take their food away, EVEN if they aren’t good with other animals.

If the board members of the PJHS were smart, they would put aside their egos now, and accept that the old way won’t be tolerated any more. That local communities won’t accept it.

We have fought this battle before. Middletown Humane is no kill now and doing a FABULOUS job. Liberty Humane is almost no kill and reaches out for help every single animal, and exhaust all possibilities before euthanasia. The Westchester Humane Society volunteers overthrew their murderous board members, and took over the board and are now no kill.
And Port Jervis will too.
They have to.
They need to realize that.
Because YOU and I won’t tolerate the killing any more.

Anegelo. Keith. Ed. Volunteers.
NOW is your time to shine.
NOW is your time to stand up and SPEAK to what is going on.
NOW is your time to STOP offering up simpering apologies to the board for your roles in this, but to SHOUT out loud and clear what has been going on and demand a stop to it.
Be brave.
Let your voice shake – but speak for what is right.
You are on the precipice of change.

Because the reason the PJHS is still killing animals, and it appears from what volunteers, board members, and ex-employees are saying that they also are not treating them humanely while in their care, is because you did NOT speak up before this. YesBiscuit! has opened the door for you. I have opened the door for you. You are at a crossroads right now. Which road will you choose? To know the knowledge that you have, the power that you have, but apologize for it and cower?
Or stand up for the animals and STOP the killing there once and for all? Does this cat belong in a cage this small, filthy, with no water, small amount of kibble strewn amongst dirty litter?

Will you fix this?
Because this is all on you.
The people responsible for standing up for the animals there – was and is not ME. Not Pets Alive. Not my volunteers or suppoorters.
It was YOU.
And you did not step up when you should.
Now you can.
Don’t let the animals down AGAIN.

Life is precious.
All life.
With the killing of teenagers in Columbine (where I lost a cousin), with the killing of little children in Sandy Hook, with the murder of adults in a movie theater – there is so much killing that we have no control over. Some killing we DO have control over. Some killing we CAN stop. So stand with me now and STOP the killing that you can stop.

Here is a chance to change, to start over, to fix the wrongs, to improve a shelter and better things for animals. And I do believe that it has resulted in that. Volunteers now tell us that the animals have clean food and water and that the cats are now offered bedding. Excellent! That is very pleasing.

So in my previous blog I made promises of things we would do to help Port Jervis Humane Society. I now UP that offering.
I offer to put YOUR animals on our intake list FIRST, before ANY non local animals if you are feeling the need to kill them for any reason…be it space, behavior, temperament, etc. YOUR animals will be a priority for our intake.

I offer you to attend the no kill seminar in D.C. this year. We will pay for your director’s ticket ($200) and provide transportation to and from the seminar. I ask only that you attend my presentation. (And there are MANY kill shelters at the seminar, you will not be alone. You can network, meet other groups and learn!) I have been doing this for many years and yet I still feel I have much to learn and many more things that I can absorb and do better. You can do many things better too. Attend classes, increase your education and training and improve things for your staff and your animals.

Time and again in kill shelters we see a complete lack of furthering education and knowledge. It is a common denominator. The people running them think they know everything or refuse to learn anything new. The reality is there is ALWAYS something you can do better and ALWAYS someone that has new and innovative ideas for you to pull from. Attend some seminars. On us. Our treat. How can you say no to these offers?

I continue to await to hear from you.

Filed in Animal Rescue by kerry on Dec 21, 2012.  There are 11 Comments

11 Responses to “Port Jervis Humane Society – rejects our offers to help save the lives of their animals”

  1. Susan Knerr Says:

    That was a beautiful, well stated write up. God Bless You!

  2. Kellee Kilmer Says:

    Hoorah Kerry. Best Blog yet. Thank you.

  3. Kathy Medici Says:

    Kerry, please use all of us out here in cyberland to fight along side of you! Let us know what we can do to change one shelter at a time. Port Jervis’ time has come!

  4. Evelyn Black Says:

    Very well written, very heartfelt, very compelling. I hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
    Evelyn in Cincinnati

  5. Kari Richards Conklin Says:

    I applaud you for trying. I hope they take the offer for help, but fear they won’t.

  6. Elise Landesberg Says:

    Please let us know how we can help here. Pets alive is an amazing caring org…

  7. Dan Says:

    Please be an adult and stop using other people’s pain to be used in your blogs. Let it be already. Thank you!

  8. Melissa Says:

    Why do people get more riled up about you forcing the issue of transparency than they do about what’s actually going on behind those closed doors?
    Yes, I find it heartbreaking and horribly uncomfortable to read about the horrors day in and day out, but complete transparency is the only way individuals are ever going to be held accountable for their actions.

  9. David G Says:

    I was going to visit you guys in the next few weeks to adapt a new cat, but maybe I should go to Port Jarvis and rescue a cat from there…

  10. kerry Says:

    I think it doesn’t matter WHERE you adopt from as long as you ADOPT!! :)

  11. Pets Alive Blog » Port Jervis Humane Society veterinarian writes scathing letter; cites illegal and inhumane issues Says:

    […] Port Jervis Humane Society – rejects our offers to help save the lives of their animals […]

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