Opinion: Shelter brass need to get ACCT together

Great animals depend on volunteers, rescues and employees at ACCT Philadelphia.

Great animals depend on volunteers, rescues and employees at ACCT Philadelphia.

It’s hard to bash Animal Care and Control Team, better known as ACCT Philadelphia.

ACCT is the city’s only open intake shelter and whenever an animal finds itself without a home, it ends up in the Hunting Park shelter. It’s a magnificent place that has helped many great animals find great homes. And one of the main reasons for ACCT’s success has been the strong work of employees and just as important, the long list of volunteers and partners who have aligned with the organization to help as many animals as possible find happy endings.

Lately, things aren’t going so well at ACCT and things need to change.

There has been a mass exodus of great employees who always seemed to do their best to keep the animals comfortable, and more importantly, move animals from the cages to homes, be it foster or forever ones.

ACCT is also turning away many longtime volunteers who helped the shelter deal with the thousands of animals who are turned over to the shelter’s care, and they’ve also banned organizations that helped move the pets out.

Animal rescue is an emotional topic, and there are times people can become a determinant to the cause. But ACCT has been handing out bans like Oprah Winfrey giving away cars.

The most egregious ban came this week when the shelter ended its working relationship with Emeka’s Fund, a group that provides financial assistance to families who can’t afford to privately euthanize their sick pets.

This was a fantastic thing for ACCT and an even better thing for the animals and the families. Think about this, the shelter will no longer work with a group that gives families a chance to end their pets’ suffering. This ban was over an alleged remark made by somebody associated with Emeka’s Fund.

The people at ACCT making these decisions come off like petulant children with thin skin who put their pride and their feelings far ahead of the animals. If this is how they choose to run a shelter, perhaps they should look for a different line of work.

It’s hard to rip this place because everybody who cares about animals should want the place to thrive. People should want ACCT to be full of adopters. They should want the place crawling with good people who are there to help the cause. And sending these people away will only have a negative impact on the animals.

On Facebook, there have been calls for audits and mass changes to the management at ACCT. I’m not prepared to go that far, but it’s obvious the leaders at ACCT should stop putting their pride above the animals. ACCT should be bending over backward to welcome the great people who are offering their help and do their best to keep the great staff members who are responsible for the success. They shouldn’t lose good people because when you do, you hurt the animals.

If the leadership at ACCT, as well as the politicians who are responsible for the shelter, care at all about the animals, they should change how they do things. Losing great people isn’t the way to go.

Sadly, the way things are going, they don’t seem to care, so perhaps they should start sending out resumes.

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