Monday, November 12, 2012

MADACC Bans Volunteers and Wastes Tens of Thousands of Dollars

Every well-functioning animal shelter or animal welfare organization in America understands the value of volunteers. The national average hourly value of a volunteer is $21.79. Here is a link to this information as well as a state by state breakdown.

Unfortunately, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) is not a well-functioning animal shelter. Apparently, the management and board of directors do not understand the value of volunteers and the immense savings to taxpayers that the wise use of volunteers can bring.

Although MADACC recently hired a new volunteer coordinator, Jessica Huber,  I think she has failed to embrace and unite volunteers and recognize their potential and value. She recently dismissed two long time volunteers with this email signed by her supervisor, the interim Executive Director, John McDowell:

Notice Restricting Movement in MADACC

This will serve notice that the person or organization or person(s) from the organization named above are prohibited from entering any non-public areas of MADACC from this date forward.

Any unauthorized personnel found in restricted areas of the building or the facility will be considered trespassers, and will be treated as such.

This decision is final, and there is no appeal.

J.L. McDowell

Field Officer Supervisor

An additional line in one of the emails stated that MADACC "will not acknowledge any electronic communications". This in response to the volunteer asking for documentation of their accusations and trying to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues concerning her dismissal. 

Jessica Huber then went on further to prohibit any staff and/or remaining volunteers from having email contact with the three banned volunteers. Staff also can't answer any questions or provide information for these volunteers via the telephone. (Umm, this was America - last time I checked, we still have Freedom of Speech)

What did these volunteers contribute? 

Two of the banned volunteers put in a minimum average of 40 hours a week, at a savings to MADACC of $45,323.20 per year x 2 = $90,646.20. ($21.79 x40x52 x 2)

The newer volunteer has been contributing considerable hours since she started earlier this fall.

The current remaining volunteer force (minus the three that have been banned) contribute an estimated 300 hours per month. (This does not include fostering or fundraising events or the contributions and donations that volunteers supply) Just their volunteer time equals $6537.00 per month in free labor. They are doing jobs that would otherwise have to be done by staff.  This volunteer commitment totals an extra $78,444,00 per year.

Need we say more? Volunteers are the lifeblood of any animal welfare organization. They not only save money, they save lives.

When will the management and board of directors at MADACC understand that concept?

Volunteers don't just do the work - they make it work.
-Carol Pettit


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  2. MADACC is negligent in more ways than this...infected animals, high adoption fees and a very HIGH kill shelter. The dismissal of these volunteers does not surprise me one bit!

    1. I didn't know that $88 for a fully vetted cat or $112 for a fully vetted dog (including license) was a high adoption fee...

  3. One of the highly regarded volunteers dedicated countless hours to the foster & adoption program and another worked selflessly on getting animals out of the facility and into rescue - both were incredible life saving programs that no longer exist. Without them, the kill numbers are going to spiral out of control.

    These employees of MADACC in one way are doing everyone a favor. By being so blatently arrogant and foolish with killing animals and mistreating people, fence-post supporters of reform are much more willing to get on board with progressive change and ultimately ensure that these employees never have the ability to ban volunteers and shelters again.

    Keep going employees - Rome fell, you will too.