Thursday, January 9, 2014

First Avenue Shelter - A Volunteer's Recent Experience

When I started volunteering for First Avenue, I was told not to tell anyone about dogs that were in danger of being killed.  I was worried about any Border Collies/herding dogs there because the kennel is such a stressful place for this breed.  I have specific experience with herding breeds and was looking forward to making a difference for these and other dogs.  I contacted an Aussie rescue that rescued a dog named Percy, saving his life.  I assisted another trainer with a dog that was starting to show food aggression issues, the next thing you know, I was told not to come back. 

Cary Lieberman and his Ops Manager Jaclyn Rudebeck are both aware that I offer training assistance and help to herding breed dogs.  Recently they chose to kill a herding breed mix named Zander, in secret, not letting staff or volunteers say goodbye and also not reaching out to me, (or anyone else) to see if I could help Zander. 

When I was at First Avenue volunteering, it was obvious to all of us that there was not enough staff to properly care for the animals.  New volunteers would come and go.  Even I noticed that in my short time there. 

In my opinion, Greenhill management's personal feelings and their paranoid need for secrecy take first place over doing whatever they can to try to save a life.  Lieberman & Rudebeck, along with Greenhill's vet, Gail Schroder and trainer Sandy Dain all need to go. Volunteering isn't such a great thing when you aren't treated with respect and when you're spied on all the time.

I made it only a few months as First Ave volunteer because I am not a good liar, and the truth is important to me.  The truth must be  spoken, especially when the lives of animals are at stake. 

Robyn Broadbent