When the name Elisabeth Manwiller is mentioned, it is generally met with eye rolls and groans– and rightfully so. Why you ask? Elisabeth was, until recently, the volunteer coordinator for the NYC ACC. She was in charge of the volunteer program and “keeping morale high.” It was under her watch that many excellent volunteers left, the Compassion Program (a special program for animals on the nightly kill list) was disbanded, and new rules meant to dissuade volunteers were enacted.
In most organizations, a qualified volunteer coordinator would excel at boosting morale from the VOLUNTEERS that are giving their time and energy for FREE. That person would be ready to roll up their sleeves at any moment to jump in and be part of the team. Not our Elisabeth. She was one that believed she did not need to be in the “trenches” with the volunteers. She ruled over the “free labor” from NYC ACC’s off-site offices at Park Place– miles away from any shelter building. If there was an issue that need to be discussed, the volunteer in question received an email that beckoned them to travel to the Park Place offices for a meeting. After all, why should she, the volunteer coordinator, travel to the shelter to meet with a VOLUNTEER? Much better to drag them away from the shelter and the work they are doing for FREE. Right?!? We honestly don’t know if Elisabeth ever walked a dog or changed a blanket in a cage, but she must have friends in high places, because she was recently promoted for her “outstanding performance.” Elisabeth is now the Brooklyn Shelter Manager. We would love to see how she qualified for that position…
Before leaving to start her new position, Elisabeth was kind enough to send out a Volunteer Newsletter to those few volunteers that she had not yet managed to chase away. We thank her for that because we were, once again, able to see just how far removed she is (and always has been) from the plight of the animals at NYC ACC. In the newsletter, you will see that Melissa gave accolades to 2 volunteers for their “pictures of the week.” Look at the date of that newsletter… it’s February 15th. Do you know what happened on February 15th?? Cookie, the beautiful tan and white pittie was KILLED. Yes, Elisabeth, once again, used a picture of a dog that was on the kill list February 14th and who was probably dead before the newsletter hit the inboxes of the volunteers. What a fantastic boost for morale! Perhaps if the Brooklyn volunteers had access to the 100-plus dogs in the back (instead of the mere 18 actually in the adoptions ward– like they do at every other ACC shelter) MAYBE they could get pictures of dogs BEFORE they are imminent for the kill list. Good pictures save lives. Good pics in a TIMELY manner save even MORE lives. Saving lives makes vols happy. Happy vols have high morale.
Imagine being the volunteer that took the time to photograph Cookie. That person met Cookie, interacted and bonded with her during that shoot. Picture being that person, and knowing that the picture you took could not help the animal and it is now sitting in a freezer. This is not the first time Elisabeth has been careless and thoughtless. She committed the same faux pas just a few short months ago when she also used a DEAD dog to promote an adoption drive. Brilliant.
Elisabeth has historically been so disconnected from the day-to-day operations, and the people and animals within them, that she could not even take the care to see that it would be in poor taste to draw attention to a picture of Cookie, a dead dog. This is the new Shelter Manager in Brooklyn folks. Let’s pray that she gets a clue and actually LOOKS at the animals charged with her care. She obviously could care less about the volunteers, or about rallying troops to assist the animals. Believe us when we say, she won’t lift a finger to help the animals at the Brooklyn ACC either.
Way to go NYC ACC. You have really outdone yourself again!