“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” –Colin Powell
Rise above the negative comments knowing you’re doing the right thing for animals
As you might expect, we often receive negative comments at Doobert. Whether from volunteers or other organizations, I require my team to always respond positively and to forward directly to me any comments that they are concerned about or would prefer that I respond to personally.
Some rescuers accept drama, competition and conjecture as the norm; others are not afraid to challenge this thinking.
From the beginning, one of the most basic tenets of Doobert was that we wanted it to be a toolset for reputable animal rescues and shelters. That is why we established an application process for organizations wishing to gain access so that we could do our part to research and verify their animal rescue practices.
The organization verification process includes reaching out to other organizations in the community that the applicant is applying from, to see if there are other rescue-related organizations that have worked with the applicant and might have any feedback that would be relevant for our review.
Normally, we receive replies from rescues and shelters that answer the questions, and often we receive thank yous because we are taking the time to verify an organization and to raise the bar in legitimizing animal rescue.
Sometimes, we get negative responses and such was the case in a recent reply. I’ve removed any names or references to keep it anonymous since my intent is not to call this person or organization out, but rather to spark thinking about how we need to not accept the status quo.
Here is the email response we received to a recent nearby animal rescue organization reference checking email.
I am not familiar with the rescue in question but I will tell you not to believe what you hear from others.
You obviously don’t understand the current nature of the rescue community if you are asking for references from one rescue for another! Rescues typically eat their own. In other words, you often have a group of egotistical bitches who claim to love animals but do everything in their power to cause grief to people and animals by their actions. Running to kill shelters to pull animals they can quickly turn. In some instances, leaving the Mothers behind and most certainly the older animals. Just for the “high” and praise they get from their followers. If another rescue is not doing rescue exactly as they think it should be, they will talk shit and try to ruin the rescues reputation. They never check out the adopters and don’t follow the chips to see where the animals end up. Many times causing the animals to end up in high kill shelters again or worse. If they are doing rescue right, they will have lots of complaints from others. When a rescue starts getting lots of donations, the negative feedback will get even more intense. Jealousy.
I personally fund and work my own rescue so I don’t have time to keep track of what others are doing. It’s not my business unless it affects me personally or the animals in my care. I don’t rely heavily on social media pages to bring in adopters. If they want to be on your page that is their business, not mine. Your tactic of going behind an organization’s back to obtain information clearly displays your questionable ethics. Please remove us from your list.
My reply to this person
Thank you for your note <<NAME REMOVED>> and I will remove you from our list per your request. I am the creator of Doobert so I felt it necessary to respond personally to give you my perspective.
Because reputable animal rescue is such an important tenet for me I wanted to make sure I built an objective approach into our approval process for being a part of Doobert. In fact, Doobert is the ONLY organization that verifies the legitimacy of animal rescues and shelters that we allow access to our system. I pay out of my own pocket to have my team conduct as much due diligence as possible including requiring and actually verifying 3 references for any animal rescue organizations that want to use Doobert. It may surprise you but we actually do more checking than any other organization and our standards for acceptance are higher than national organizations such as the Best Friends Network Partner program.
We established a comprehensive review for organizations including nearby reference checking to try and provide some semblance of trust that an organization that we accept into Doobert is a legitimate animal rescue organization focused on saving animals. Because we want to keep Doobert safe, we even RE-verify each organization annually as leadership and ownership can frequently change in the animal rescue world.
I established the nearby organization checking program because I felt it was important to solicit input from the community in which an organization operates because other local community rescues and shelters will will have more perspective than those outside the community. Normally we receive notes of thanks for checking with other organizations in the same community because they recognize our intent is pure and they provide their honest feedback regarding what they know or do not know about the applicant.
While I agree with you that there are people out there in the animal rescue world that will bash others, seek to gain an advantage and put their own egos ahead of the welfare of the animals, I do not agree with you that this is an acceptable practice and therefore any negative comments we receive during our checking are cross-checked and verified. I even require my team to solicit a response from the applying organization to obtain their perspective (protecting the name of the respondent of course) so that we can understand whether this is a pattern of behavior or a one-off situation with multiple differing opinions. All of this in an effort to try and remove the drama and conjecture within the rescue community in order to allow us to focus on the animals. Ultimately if I am not comfortable with an organization I can deny them access to the tools that I have built. This application and verification process is intended to raise the bar on what it means to be a reputable animal rescue and many organizations have commented that they appreciate knowing that every organization on Doobert has been as thoroughly vetted as reasonably possible.
My goal has always been to provide technology tools to help animal rescuers to collaborate so we can achieve our common mission of saving more animals. I built and run a professional technology organization to enable reputable animal rescuers to do their jobs more efficiently and am always open to constructive feedback or ideas and I welcome dissenting opinions and perspectives if they are done objectively and respectfully because I believe we can all continue to learn more.
The motto I established at Doobert is “Together we can save more animals.” I recognize that everyone will not always get along, agree or follow the same approach. However I personally believe that we need to recognize that despite our differences, we are united in a common cause for those without a voice. The killing of healthy and treatable animals is not acceptable and we can work together to make it a thing of the past.
Thank you for your time so that I can give you my perspective. I also appreciate the time you took to provide yours. If you would like to talk more or learn more about what Doobert is all about please let me know. I appreciate you and what you do for the animals.
Are you giving up doing the right thing, acting the right way and working together in lieu of the perceived status quo?
In 2019 it surprises and saddens me that animal rescue professionals are not able to rise above the drama to look for common ground and work together on our common cause.
This person/organization has been around for a long time (yes I looked to know who I was responding to) and personally I appreciate all of their work over the years saving animals. They are a rescue/sanctuary meaning if they are not able to adopt the animals out due to special needs or conditions, the animals live out their lives well-cared for by this organization.
Like this person, I am aware of the drama, conjecture and competition that still exists in animal rescue but that doesn’t mean that I need to agree with it or support it. Instead, I choose to fight against it to demonstrate that we can build a supportive community of like-minded people that want to support the mission.
So I ask you…nay…I beg and implore you; “Please, do not succumb to the belief that everyone in animal rescue meets the description offered by this person.”