Prepare yourselves for a case study in the Manhattan Shelter falling apart without Emily Tanen. Tonight, a 6 month-old puppy named Kat is on the euth list. Below, you will find a horrific excuse for a plea sent out to rescue groups on Kat’s behalf, and guess who did it? “Placement Supervisor” Ellen Curtis, the very woman who worked at the ACC for six weeks before being told to fire Emily by her boss, Stephanie Janezcko. Let’s first think about this a moment: Ellen Curtis has only been spotted inside the Manhattan shelter on three occasions in her six weeks, because her office is down at Park Place with the rest of “management”. So tonight, Kat the puppy is relying on Ellen, who sat at a desk miles away from the nearest shelter, and sent this hopeless regurgitation of the computer-generated euth alert. The woman couldn’t even spell “pittie” correctly.
Let’s delve a little deeper, shall we? Ellen’s first mistake occurs in the SUBJECT of the email, where she breaks shelter policy and makes an allusion to this dog being on the euth list. You see, almost a year ago, Julie Bank dreamed up the idea that New Hope pleas should not mention the urgency of a dog’s situation. Why? She figured emails saying “Save This Dog Tonight!” or “Puppy on the Euth List for Kennel Cough!” made the ACC look bad. Clearly, Julie Bank cares only about the Image of the ACC, not about the animals’ lives in her care.
For more proof of this, consider that Julie has even announced that she wants to “rebrand” the euth list, and call it the “At Risk List” (we’re not kidding). For the sake of better PR, Julie wants to de-emphasize the importance and effectiveness of the euth list, leading only to more death. So it was left up to rescuers to check back and forth between euth list and pleas, figuring out which dog might die the following morning. To combat this, Emily established a system with grateful rescuers such that when she put three *** around a dog’s ***Name***, it meant they were on death row that night. So after firing Emily for breaking Julie Bank’s rule that people can’t snuggle with animals in pictures (in case the ACC happens to kill those animals), Ellen breaks Julie’s cardinal rule, and mentions the euth list. Will she be fired for this as well? It may come as no surprise that like the volunteer coordinator, Elisabeth Manwiller, Ellen Curtis had zero experience working in an animal shelter before ACC, and now almost never visits the actual ACC shelters! How could the ACC have made her Emily’s boss? And then had her fire Emily?
Back to Kat, the 6 month-old puppy on tonight’s list. Because neither Ellen, nor anyone else in the New Hope department cared enough to act on the information they were given, no one will know from reading this that Kat was actually found with another 6 month-old puppy, named Frank (A896994), and they look identical! Guess what Kat is on the euth list for? Temper, based on the dog-to-dog test in her behavior score. That this puppy lived with another puppy is life-saving information, but since no one in New Hope is paying attention anymore, the public would never know. What happened to Kat’s brother Frank? He was rescued by North Shore Animal League, but no one in New Hope bothered to tell them about Kat either, and they certainly wouldn’t know from Ellen’s plea. The two members of the New Hope Department working today knew by 1PM that Kat was on the euth list…if they had bothered to check. Instead, they waited until over 2.5 hours after the euth list went out, and at 6:41PM had Ellen Curtis send this depressing excuse for plea for a dog’s life — a dog she never met. How can a rescue department function without the only person who met each and every single dog? This is not even in the job description, and is utterly foreign to all New Hope save for Emily.
For comparison’s sake, would you like to know what Emily did every time dogs were found or surrendered together? We present you with an example below from November 29, 2010: Jenny, a 5 year-old pit bull, and her brother Desert, a 13 year-old pit mix. Now keep in mind, this plea was done before these dogs were on the euth list, because Emily knew their ages made them urgent placements. So she worked with volunteers to get beautiful pictures of the dogs (including the now-banned-by-Julie practice of showing affection toward humans), and crafted this loving plea. It includes her own personal commentary, a catchy subject, her award-winning pictures, color-coded font to match each dog, and a volunteer bio. What happened to these two beauties? Jenny and Desert were rescued, TOGETHER, by a New Hope rescue group who wrote to Emily afterward, “It was thanks to your photographs that these two have found a home.”
There is simply no chance that Kat and Frank could be rescued together, because no rescuer could ever know from the way they were neglected. Emily placed a 5- and 13 year-old pair, but Ellen and her New Hope staff couldn’t even be bothered to try to save these two puppies, even though they were warned numerous times in advance that the two were found together.
Click here to view Emily’s Plea:
So when the Mayor’s Alliance (http://tinyurl.com/3kv9u72) or the ACC (we’d post that link but they took down their FB page due to public outcry!) tries to claim that all is well, and that “Emily was not the only one taking photos of the animals and sending specialized pleas”, you’ll know what the truth is. The fact that the ACC fired Emily in spite of her tireless work and dedication is bad enough. But the fact that they fired her without a backup plan, and without warning anyone, including Emily herself or the Mayor’s Alliance — is reprehensible. The entire shelter community has been blindsided, but no one will feel it as much as the dogs.