Viciousness at the Shelter: and it’s Not the Dogs!!

“Is human dignity and human life so cheap that the rights protecting it can be traded away to appease the appetite for intimidation and prejudice of a vicious and self-centered group – for whatever reason, power, politics, nationalism, or unity?”
― Christina Engela, Bugspray

I am nearing retirement, and as a way to set the stage for an easy transition, I have engaged in a volunteer activity that represents my true passion – animals, namely dogs. I spent 3 months training to become a dog walker at our local shelter and through hard work and the support of a mentor, found it to be exactly what my soul was looking for. It’s not always easy, in fact, at times it’s downright hard.  And it’s heartbreaking, but that’s for another day and another post.

Ironically, what’s become harder than dealing with the dogs is dealing with fellow volunteers. Fortunately it’s a small group spewing poison, but large enough to be toxic to us fellow walkers, shelter workers, and to the dogs.    

Enter Facebook. There are probably a hundred million groups on FB and the shelter walkers have one. Several weeks ago, to my horror, the core group engaged in a bashing job that was more appropriate for teenage girls than a group of “mature” women. It was all directed at a new employee whose job it is to organize volunteers. I couldn’t believe what I read, and I posted that it would be more productive to be positive than critical and negative. That went over like a lead balloon.

I have since quit that Facebook group, but I remain dedicated to the dogs, committed to my shelter duties, and loyal to the woman who is indeed doing a stellar job in spite of the cruel cackling of a clutch of vicious women.

Nick DiChario

Reader, writer, life-long mistake-maker

Judith Shenouda

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