Facts Versus Myths/Untruths

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

 
 

FACTS VERSUS MYTHS/UNTRUTHS

 

Facts should matter.  For over a year the Humane Society of St. Lucie County, nka Second Chance Animals Shelters, has been targeted by disgruntled individuals.  The publishing of these untruths have damaged the reputations of the organization as a whole as well as the individuals who serve it.  It is more than time to set the record straight.          

 

#1  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  The Humane Society cut off negotiations with the jurisdictions.

FACT:  The Humane Society initiated the request to engage in contract negotiations 6/18/19 and has been excluded from the ongoing discussions with the jurisdictions.  See the letters (Response to Myths 1 and 2) from the Humane Society sent to the jurisdictions dated 6/18/19, their letter to the Humane Society dated 6/28/19 and the Humane Society’s response dated 7/28/19 as well as letters sent to the jurisdictions in January 2019.  The jurisdictions never responded to any of our requests to collaborate.

   

#2  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  The Humane Society will not provide a business plan or budget and also refused to release the Best Friends audit report which was conducted. 

FACT:  This myth is promulgated in the minutes of the Fort Pierce 8/5/19 agenda meeting.  The Humane Society received the operational review report from Best Friends on August 6, 2019, the day following the commission meeting.  It was not an audit.  The financial audit was conducted at the request of the county as part of the contract with the Humane Society.  The county received a copy of the audit. 

Regarding the business plan and budget, the letter from the Humane Society to the jurisdictions dated July 18, 2019, states in pertinent part:  “The Humane Society will prepare a projected budget for the enumerated period beginning October 1, 2019.  The Humane Society will prepare a business plan ….” (emphasis added)  The entire letter, dated July 18, 2019, is attached in the Response to Myths 1 and 2.    

 

#3  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  Both the City of Port St. Lucie and the City of Fort Pierce have published in their agenda packets that the Humane Society’s fundraising totaled only $103. this year.

FACT: The Humane Society has a direct mail program which has netted in excess of $40,000. the last fiscal year.  Its annual February Paws in the Park event has been increasingly successful, netting in excess of $6,000. this year.   We opened a Thrift Store almost three years ago.  This has proved to be a profitable endeavor.  Our latest direct mail sent in May 2019, Spring into Action, netted in excess of $6,000.  We have canisters disseminated throughout the community and have received many needed items via our Amazon Wish list, etc.    

 

#4  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  The September 2018 inspection of the Humane Society performed by the Animal Shelter Standards Committee demonstrated gross failings.

FACT:  The negative press resulting from the September 2018 inspection of the Glades facility has been forcefully rebutted.    A copy of the Humane Society’s press release and comprehensive response addressing the misinformation is attached as Response to Myth #4.    

 

#5  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  We are just another vendor with whom the jurisdictions negotiate from the point of view of obtaining the most service for the least cost.

FACT:  Animal Control and welfare is a statutory responsibility of the local governments.  The Humane Society contracts to assist the governments in performance of this statutory obligation. The Humane Society is thus not just another non-profit but a partner with government.  However, governments do not recognize the special niche occupied by the Humane Society.

 

#6  MYTH/UNTRUTH:   Council members and commissioners mistakenly believe because the Humane Society is a not for profit organization it should provide discounted services. 

FACT:  Assigning failure to an organization that has shouldered the jurisdictions’ financial responsibility to perform their statutory responsibilities is cowardly and insulting. 

 

#7  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  The Humane Society is financially responsible for the care and welfare of the animals of St. Lucie County. 

FACT:  The jurisdictions’ compensation for services has been grossly deficient for years.  While Best Friends provides a range of $3.00 to $6.00 per resident as appropriate compensation for SHELTERING ONLY, for the past two years the City of Port St. Lucie has paid the Humane Society 81 CENTS per resident to include medical as well as sheltering needs. 

 

#8  MYTH/UNTRUTH:  There is tremendous public outcry regarding the Humane Society.

FACT:  There are about 6-10 former disgruntled employees, volunteers or former board members who constitute an echo chamber.  Most of these individuals do not know the current board members and have not been recently engaged with the Humane Society.  Their untruths have been promulgated by the jurisdictions at “public to be heard” which have allowed these individuals to slander and disparage individuals and the organization.  See Response to Myth #8.

 

#9  MYTH/UNTRUTH: The Humane Society did not sound the alarm.

FACT:   Starting with implementation of drastic austerity measures in 2016 the Humane Society has repeatedly warned the jurisdictions of the threat posed by continued subsidization of animal welfare expenses by the Society.  All requests and communication fell on deaf ears.  See, for example, letters dated 7/1/16 and 5/4/18 attached as Response to Myth #9.  

 

Supporting Documents

Response to Myth 1 & 2.pdf

Response to Myth 4.pdf

Response to Myth 8.pdf

Response to Myth 9.pdf

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