I have reread my last post 50 times. I wanted to double check that I had made myself clear. I expressed my anger and hurt and disappointment at having my home turned down as unsuitable for a dog. I explained that I was coming from that place. I said that I understood that PETS had every right to turn down my application but that I believed they had made a mistake.
I do not deny that PETS volunteers do amazing work and take the animals into account first and foremost. That is why I approached them in the first place. I know that they do everything because they love and care for animals.
What happened is that they made mistakes and then went hysterical defending them. Here are some of the mistakes they made. They took forever to make contact with me. They did not share information. If Louis the home inspector had passed on only half of what we had discussed we would be in a completely different situation. I made it perfectly clear, more than once that I would never restrict an animal to my courtyard. I explained how my animals always had the complete run of the house, in winter and summer. I explained how I mostly work from home, and was able to be an almost constant companion. I explained how my past beloved dogs had been walked, come rain or shine, every day of their rescued lives.Â Louis and I discussed how Drake was not the dog for the space, nor for the cat. We discussed what type of dog would be better suited to the space. To be honest, I never dreamed it would be possible that I would have to defend myself on this level. I am so up front, forward, totally honest and with nothing to hide.
So how did it all go so hideously wrong? Firstly, there was a total breakdown of communication. Louis passed on a photo of my courtyard and did a screen shot of google maps to show where I lived. None of anything else we spoke about was communicated, and based on those images I was turned down. Instead of a discussion, we went to war. It was a war that started with ‘so sorry but…’, had a middle where an apology was demanded of me, and an end in shouting, vitriolic capital letters, with threats about how they would NEVER let me have an animal.
All of this could have been handled so differently, by an organisation who claims to have the animals’ best interests at heart. They needed to talk to me. I am not an idiot. I know about the conditions that most of these animals are rescued from. I make a conscious, deliberate choice to adopt rescued animals, give to all the charities that sterilise township animals. I drag feral cats from my neighbourhood to my own vet, to be sterilised at my expense. Big Friendly is the hero of animals in our neighbourhood and the saviour of many cats, and dogs. I have a personal relationship with the SPCA, who I call on a regular basis to check whether animals in my working class neighbourhood are being properly cared for. And I can speak, write (and spell) and explain. I should be the one they want to home a dog with. They should be presenting me with the many and varied (there are thousands of rescued dogs in the Western Cape alone) options, instead of narrow mindedly going on a rampage of such ugliness.
I generally find it very easy to say sorry if I have been in the wrong, or when I have made a mistake. This time I cannot see my wrong doing at all. PETS, I think it would be an amazing thing if you apologised for what has gone down, owned where you got it wrong, and we moved on. I am not asking you to change your mind about my application. I accept your decision. It would be great if you admitted that I had been overlooked in my capacity to provide a loving, amazing home for a deserving rescue and that you hadn’t done your homework. That is all.
Also, I am turning off all comments on this post. I have read the comments in the last one, both against me and for me, and I reserve the right, on my blog, to have this, the last word. If this doesn’t suit, please contact me via email. If I think your response is important I will post it here immediately, as I did with the other comments.
(Above is a pic of Gally, a couple of months before she died, and Chassie, checking out the world from our stoep.)