Keep Robin Gaydos-Behanna as our HPO and let the kennel remain open
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For those of you that know me you know I do not get involved in drama on social media, I just do not have the time for it. However, I am going to break that rule and address an issue that has been going on for quite some time. One person’s issues stem from as far back as a dislike in high school. As little background, I am not “affiliated” per se with Gaydos-Behanna Kennels but am the President of Who Rescued Who Humane Society which operates out of GBK’s facility. As a result, I am aware of and/or involved with many aspects of GBK’s operations. I have a history of over 35-years doing rescue work involving TNR, caring for neonatal kittens, rescuing and adopting cats, caring for ill and injured cats and being a caretaker as several community cat locations as well as being a guardian to many cats throughout my lifetime. As a result of my experience and Robin’s adamant desire as an animal control office to “handle cats” (which she had been doing for at least two years prior) she asked me to come on board and form a 501(c)(3) charity to care for the animals coming from animal control, her humane investigations and those received from the general public.
Now Robin and I do not agree on everything the other does and that is from both directions. Additionally, a lot of people do not like Robin on a personal level but that is fine because she does not like a lot of people on a personal level. Animal rescue is not a congeniality contest and that is a good thing as 3/4s of us who do animal rescue would be booted off the stage. Personality issues and/or personal vendettas should never be used to destroy an endeavor that helps animals but I see it time and time and time again.
As long as I have known Robin and GBK, there have been attacks and drama. These most recent ones have taken on a life of their own and the vast majority stem from personality conflicts and misrepresentations and/or outright unknowns of the situation. I advised Robin to keep quiet and not be sucked into the social media game which played out in hundreds of angry, rude, ignorant and belittling comments on each and every post made by those who took up the vendetta.
Two of the three recent kennel inspections, done on December 28th and on January 5th, were unsatisfactory inspections for a number of reasons and I am not going to address each thing line-by line but will address the main key points that have become the lynching battle cry.
With respect to the first inspection (12/28/17), it was done on a day when volunteers had overslept and were just beginning to clean the kennels when the inspectors arrived so yes, there were dirty kennels. Dogs do not use litterboxes and make messes. The inspectors came and went from a garage door that video tape footage shows they kept open for over 10-minutes on a day when the temperatures were around -2-degrees so yes, the kennel temperature was likely in the 50-s. The paperwork that was missing was for one dog that had just recently come back in to be vetted and was basically in-house record keeping (exact address where dog was picked up, when picked up, etc.) that is required not a record keeping issue relating to the outside public. Oh, and the wet floor, that was a newly painted shiny epoxy floor in the kennel area not an actual wet floor. Most important about this report is that when the inspectors left, they did not follow protocol and give Robin a copy or have Robin sign a copy of the official preliminary report but said they had to determine what they were going to do.
With respect to the second inspection (1/5/18), it was done on the same day that Robin was finally given a copy to sign of the 12/28/17 report that had just been posted on-line two days earlier. This inspect showed the same issues with the notations that Robin did not take any corrective measures (see the notation above about not receiving notice). This report was also done on the day that the furnace which had apparently been dying and, ultimately died, was being replaced.
A new inspection was performed yesterday (1/29/18) and everything, as had been the practice before the early two, is once again satisfactory.
There is a petition requesting that Robin be closed down and replaced but I have yet to see any of those persons come down and offer to take any of the animals and do it themselves. Should they step up, bear in mind that the dogs that are currently in her care were seized by the Clairton police and have been held now for over a month as they are not the legal property of Robin. So, whoever takes all of them will need to have some monies lined up as they will need general care and scheduled veterinary care while they sit in limbo until your lawyer takes the matter to court to obtain ownership for you. As a 100% volunteer Humane Police Officer, any care for a humane case is either paid out of Robin’s pocket or via donations. There are no paychecks and there are no funds for the animals from any other private or governmental agency.
I again will address just a few things in the petition. The petition was started by a person who is angry that Robin would not come and “take” two cats/kittens that Robin had no legal right to take. The email exchanges regarding this matter are on the kennel page as well as the Clairton page where the kennel is located if anyone wants to take the time to read them.
The petition alleges that two dogs allegedly caught parvo at GBK, one of whom sadly passed away. The one dog, Baby, had been at the kennel one time in the past 8-months and had received two sets of vaccinations 8-months earlier, and the second dog, Bane, received his first vaccinations and the email I saw from his adopter said that she had an appointment to have his follow-up vaccinations completed through a low cost program for pit bulls. To date, I have not seen any veterinarian records where either dog was taken to a veterinarian by the owners or have I seen any actual documentation that they had parvo. One owner was actually caught on video stealing medical supplies from the kennel to self-treat her dog. Yes, there was a parvo outbreak at GBK. A mother dog and puppies were found abandoned by park managers in freezing temperatures in Ohiopyle and brought to the kennel. They were not taken downstairs to the main kennels. Yes, you guessed it, they were positive for parvo. They received vet care, supplemental care by kennel personnel and all but one survived. They were adopted into homes following consultation with medical and the owners who adopted the animals knew what had occurred. The kennel was disinfected with bleach and Rescue Remedy/Accel. None of the animals already in GBK’s care downstairs or since have been confirmed to have contracted parvo.
Two news stories aired on these matters and never addressed the actual facts or events beyond flashing one of the inspection reports. The coverage that was given was just as flawed as the petition that is being touted as truthful. Shame on the news for continuing their poor coverage practices and shame on those who play games that ultimately harms animals’ lives.
Robin has done a number of things as animal control that I would love to see others do….sponsored/hosted spay/neuter clinics (over 3,500 cats spayed), sponsored/hosted low cost vaccine/microchipping clinics, rescued and adopted cats, rescued and adopted dogs as well as taken responsibility for animals that others (shelters, rescues, animal control and the public) would not step up to help. She has also been blamed for a number of things she has not done. I have noticed that those that scream the loudest are either doing nothing themselves or what they do for animals is very minimal and usually all paid for by other organizations.
Is Robin perfect? By no means. Can she be nice? Of course. Can she be not-so nice? Of course. Has she made mistakes? Of course. Has she helped animals? Quite a few! Maybe instead of constantly saying that is “her job” everyone should realize no, her job is to pick up an animal, hold it for two (2) days and then if it is not reunited either ship it out to someone else to handle it or kill it. She chooses to do neither. Instead, she attempts to save it if it is able to be saved and rehome it if not reunited with its owners. Robin does not get paid by the municipalities for which she is contracted to care for the animals, she is paid a one-time nominal fee to pick up an animal (which barely covers a rabies vaccine, flea treatment and a meal or two). All care for any animal is not paid by taxpayers but is paid for by Robin or donors if the animal comes to Who Rescued Who. This requires LOTS of money and LOTS of time which is why most do not do it. I know that many people do step up and give their time and money when they come across an animal in need (and I applaud all of my fellow rescuers. To the rest of the keyboard warriors, attacking those who cannot save them all, instead of saying “someone please help this x” (insert dog, cat, bird, rabbit, etc.) or “call x” (insert name of struggling rescuer or organization) or “I saw this injured, ill or abandoned x that I can’t help because I have two animals”, step up to the plate, spend your time and spend your money and make a difference.
The public, and especially those who try to destroy the ones who are helping, have to realize that animal controls, private kennels and a 501(c)(3)s do not have money trees. If the public stepped up to help, the animals everywhere would be a lot better off and more could be accomplished. I have seen way too many rescuers and organizations destroyed by those who do nothing themselves and it has to stop. In this day and age, the animals need help more than ever." Author- Pam Roudebush Amicarella.
I Katelyn Michael the creator of this petition wish and would hope based off this information that everyone would see this is truly about the animals and that their best interest is in Robin's care. Without Robin they would be with the secondary option for AC which would be the old AC whom would hold animals 48 hours then gas them.
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