Dog gone? Who to call, a tale of shame and degradation

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Dog Gone? Who to call?

A strange tale of conflict, lies and deceit involving two organizations dedicated to protecting pets.

There seems to be some conflict with the local humane society and a very successful pet-finder group called “Pet Posse.” In two years of operation Pet Posse has reunited nearly 1100 pets with their owners. They charge no fees and operate on donations from pet owners and the public.

For some reason one of the employees of the humane society seems to think it is her duty to sit at the front desk of the humane society and call up business owners who advertise with Port O Call and threaten to “ruin your business if you keep advertising with Port O Call.”

Since the city of Port Angeles refuses to employ an animal control officer there is no clear picture of what one is supposed to do when they lose a pet or find a strange pet on their property. If the pet is found in the city limits the finder of the pet must catch the pet themselves and take it to the humane society. The humane society does not go out and capture stray animals despite a hundred thousand dollar per year contract with the county.

They will take in animals if someone delivers them to their premises.

The other alternative is to call Pet Posse, a group of trained volunteers who will, when called, go out and search for the missing pet and, if found, return it to the owner. If a pet is found and no one has reported it missing Pet Posse will put a photo of the pet on several social media outlets in hopes of the owner seeing it and retrieving the pet. Pet Posse charges no fee for returning pets to their owners but they will ask for a donation.

Most pet owners are so happy to be reunited with their pet they are happy to donate to Pet Posse.

When the pet is retrieved from the humane society they must pay fees and fines for the return of their pet.

Both the humane society and Pet Posse are licensed “shelters” and must meet the same stringent requirements.

These requirements are pretty well laid out in state statutes. However, there appears to be some enmity between the humane society and Pet Posse. Recently a dog was found near the fairgrounds by a concerned citizen. It was after business hours. He called Pet Posse and reported it. Pet Posse suggested he turn it in to the humane society when they reopen.

Somehow the owner of the pet found out Pet Posse knew the whereabouts of their dog. The owner called and demanded the return of the dog. Pet Posse explained they did not have custody of the dog but knew its whereabouts. Also explaining the owner must verify ownership of the dog such as a photo of the dog with the person claiming ownership.

They want to be sure they do not give an animal to the wrong person.

It was explained to the owner they must run the microchip to determine ownership and this could only occur during regular business hours.

The next day the owner was incensed and began calling the humane society seeking them to apply pressure to Pet Posse to release the dog. The finder of the dog still had possession of the dog and Pet Posse could not return it if they wanted to. Now the irate pet owner and the humane society are calling Pet Posse and demanding release of the dog. The calls went on for hours and both became more demanding and more rude. The dog’s owner was threatening to “burn down your business” while the humane society was making ever more threatening demands suggesting Pet Posse was “in possession of stolen property.” Bear in mind both knew that Pet Posse did not actually have possession of the dog but knew its whereabouts.

This went on for hours with the owner calling making demands and threats and the humane society calling and making demands. The last call received by Pet Posse from the humane society ended with the aforementioned employee of the humane society calling the lady from Pet Posse a “f—ing c—t.”

There is some history here. The employee of the humane society had made calls, back in December, to the founder of Pet Posse, who also owns Tiny Bubbles, a pet store in town. Seems the employee took offense that Tiny Bubbles advertises in the Port O Call. The humane society employee threatened “we will ruin your business” if she continued advertising with Port O Call.

During this spate of phone calls including demands and threats from the lost dog’s owner and the demands and threats coming from the humane society, Pet Posse was reminded by the lady from the humane society, “I told you if you kept advertising with Port O Call we were going to ruin your business.”

According to Tracey Kellas, animal control officer for the county, there is a codicil in the contract the county has with the humane society that requires all interactions with the public must be polite and professional. With the behavior of the threatening lady from the humane society they are certainly in breach of that contract.

The first time the humane society’s employee made threats against Tiny Bubbles for advertising a friend of Port O Call made a friendly visit to the humane society. He informed the executive director of the humane society that someone on their front desk was making threatening calls to businesses in the area. The director said that should never happen and assured my friend it would never happen again—yet it did and to a much greater level of vitriol as described above.

Shortly after my friend’s visit to the Executive Director of the humane society the Facebook page used by the vigilantes, an offshoot of Our Town, carried the story that “a friend of Dale Wilson goes around to businesses and tells lies on their employees.”

Today I attended a meeting of the board of directors of the humane society at Green Crow offices. The president of the humane society is named “Crow” and one of the board members is Carol Johnson, wife of County Commissioner Randy Johnson, president of Green Crow. Hmmmm

The board meeting includes a public comment period and I signed up to speak. Before I could finish the first paragraph of my statement the executive director started talking over me—to the board’s president—taking her attention away from my remarks.

I expressed to her this is rude behavior as I have been recognized by the chair and this is supposed to be my time to address the board. Upon completion of my remarks I asked the executive director if she disagreed with my remarks and she did not reply. I offered to answer any questions surrounding the above and got no takers.

If you support the humane society call them up and demand they and their employees behave in a professional manner.  If you support Pet Posse send them a check.  They need it.  You can find their number–still in the Port O Call.

11 Comments

  1. terry

    Great story, great info. Too bad the humans are never as humane as the animals.

    ps. I am going to Tiny Bubbles because of this article.

    Reply
  2. Anon

    This type of conduct is all too common. Anger constantly being misdirected at fellow citizens. And, as always, those behaving badly never question themselves.

    Maybe the focus on money makes one not care so much for others?

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Stallings

    I will do both. The Humane Society is a much needed a worthwhile organization who’s sole responsibility is to care for abused,abandoned and lost animals The idea that someone on their staff would be so unprofessional ,rude and use their time there for anything other then addressing the immediate needs of the animals in their care is unacceptable and reflect badly on a much needed county service.

    Editor’s Note: Agreed. Keep in mind this is only one employee and does not reflect the fine service offered by the Humane Society.

    Reply
  4. Wanda Kalifurtscham

    Alright! More great storytelling from the master of news reporting.
    I am in utter disbelief that you haven’t won a Pulitzer yet, Dale.
    You are the salt of the earth.

    Editor’s Note: Thanks Mom!

    Reply
  5. Teri

    I notice you didn’t use the employee’s name? Is that because you know this is libel?

    Editor’s Note: Liable to get someone fired…or promoted–we’ll see.

    Reply
    1. Nick

      Why are you her, Teri / Wanda?

      Reply
    2. Jessica

      Liable is a legal term that has nothing to do with being fired or promoted, the sarcasm is not necessary.

      Reply
  6. Randy

    Dale,
    Unless the executive director was also working the phones and threatened your friends at tiny bubbles, the inappropriate behavior appears to be endorsed by the Board and Management of the Humane Society.

    Given their contracts with the City, this may be a bigger issue than it appears

    Reply
  7. Neville Aitken

    The Humane Society in PA has always been a problem. Judy Nikodym, Bob Holmen and DeeDee Reaume ran an efficient and friendly operation that was completely different from the national organization.
    Since that time it has become a joke. Several good alternatives keep springing up but because of the national advertising, people keep donating money. DUMB! A miniscule amount goes to the animals. The rest feeds executive payrolls.
    If people want to do some good, donate to Pet Posse, WAG, PFOA, or anyone except the Humane Society.

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth

    It is so easy to judge people when you have not walked in their shoes!!

    Reply
  9. Jessica

    I was unaware that this is a gossip magazine! That’s exactly what this article sounds like. It is one sided and leaves out pertinent facts. I happen to know this story from a different perspective and it’s definitely different. I question a “journalist” that writes such slanted information, it’s clearly meant to promote the Pet Posse. I have nothing against the Pet Posse but they are NOT the Humane Society. It was clear to me that this “journalist” does not understand how the Humane Society works, how it is subsidized nor the stress that the employees are put under. To be clear, I have nothing to do with either organizations but I am a professional that has worked with rescue organizations and non-profit organizations throughout many years. I do NOT tolerate “journalists” write one sided articles, I assure all readers that there is another side of this story that does not make the Pet Posse look so perfect.

    Editor’s Note: Do tell. If you have another side to this story please write it, we will publish. Actually we do know how the humane society works and it is subsidized by taxpayer money at over $100,000 per year plus fees and fines it collects from people who go there to pick up a pet that has been turned in to them. They also make money on adoption fees, kennel fees, shots, etc. They have a fine crew of volunteers who are doing an amazing job. Obviously this article was about the management’s failure to manage a rogue employee. We look forward to your side of this story.

    Reply

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