Do the words “let’s have a meeting” elicit groans at your shelter? Would you rather scoop poop than get trapped in an endless discussion in the conference room? Do too many meeting participants have one eye on the clock and the other on the door? It doesn’t have to be this way. Believe it or not, with a little planning and clear goals, meetings can be useful and (gasp!) even fun.
Pet owners in underserved communities have been let down before and are understandably suspicious of organizations offering help. To earn their trust when you do community outreach, you’ll need to listen respectfully, avoid snap judgments and follow through on your (realistic) promises.
It started with a run-of-the-mill barking complaint. But when officers with Habersham County (Georgia) Department of Animal Care & Control arrived at the property in April 2017, they discovered one of the state’s largest puppy mill operations.
More than 350 animals were living on the property, and not just dogs. There were cats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, ducks, doves, an alpaca and a horse, all in deplorable conditions. Many of the dogs were confined to plastic tubs and under wire mesh, surrounded by mud and feces.