4.12.2008

UPDATE: Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals

All is not well at Francisvale.

A very young puppy was found dead / drowned in a bucket of water.

A member of the Board of Directors wanted to allow hunting on the property. This was actually put on the agenda, discussed and voted on.


I don't think I'm the only one who finds the idea of HUNTING AND KILLING ANIMALS ON THE PROPERTY OF A NO-KILL SHELTER to be horribly and tragically wrong.







16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Francisvale is a very old shelter/cemetary with a great deal of history. It used to be a wonderful place to visit. Unfortunately, the grounds and property aren't being taken care of. The majority of the graves are falling over/apart, it's very dangerous to walk through. One of the board members actually wants to dig up old graves in order to sell new ones for profit. How sick can you be?? The board and director are a disgrace to this lovely shelter. They do nothing for the animals. Francisvale has $2Million in the bank that they refuse to use for much needed shelter improvements. I wonder where all of this money is going...Please adopt these animals!! Get them out of FV.

Anonymous said...

The previously written comment was from a previous FV employee/board member who was fired for not being able to handle her duties - taking care of the shelter! I am a new/current employee of the shelter and have been there for a few monthes. It has been rough no one has ever denied that but, were gradually getting there - where we want to be. All our animals (cats/dogs) are well taken care of and fed properly(now they're not emaciated or yelled at!) and our adoption rates are good. I just don't understand why someone who obviously was an animal lover at one time, would want to sabatoge adoptions etc... by posting untrue comment forums regarding FV just because she doesn't care for the new director or the board! I think if you want to show hostility, show it towards who offended you personally and stop jeopardizing the real meaning and doings of FV/.

No Animal Left Behind said...

Dear New Employee of Francisvale:

I had a feeling that was the case. This sort of thing happens too often within the animal welfare community and it's really sad. So many "animal lovers" seem to have the same pathology where they feel the need to spread lies about people and organizations that they've been kicked out of or can't get along with.

I've seen this happen over and over - the inability of "animal lovers" to act in a professional and responsible way.

Many "animal lovers" have a history of being unable to get along with people and work effectively as part of a team. They lack the ability to 'agree to disagree' and there is so much to disagree about in animal welfare work.

Even though it's been 2 years since I visited Francisvale, I doubt that the place would have deteriorated so much since then. Yes, it was old, but the animals were well cared for and well loved and it was a beautiful and peaceful place to walk around.

Regarding the issue of digging up old graves, that is an issue facing many shelters today. In the case of another suburban Philly shelter, they need the land that the cemetery is on to build a new facility (to provide better animal care). The plan is to build a memorial wall of some sort with small plaques representing each grave that had to be dug up. Most of the “owners” of the gravesites have cooperated but some haven’t. It’s a challenge.

And one final comment about the $2 million “in the bank.”

1.The money is not likely in a bank, earning .5% interest. I’m sure it’s invested at a higher rate of return. I’m guessing that it’s set up so that the interest only can be used for operating expenses.
2. And while that may seem like an enormous amount of money, I know of many other shelters (several in this area) that have four or more times that amount of money that has not yet been spent to improve or update the facilities.

Anonymous said...

In response to "No animal left behind:"

If you haven't been to Francisvale in 2 years, then you have NO idea what's been happening there. And, "new Francisvale employee" doesn't know the facts, either.

A new shelter manager -- with no animal shelter or even managerial experience -- was installed in August 2007. She was supposedly hired to "oversee" the shelter and staff, but her primary function was to raise funds. As soon as she arrived, however, rather than raise funds, the new manager began to harass and bully all the employees systematically (one of whom had been there for 13 years and another who had been there for 7 years), until they were all gone. From Sept 14, 2007 to Dec 4, 2007, seven employees left Francisvale, either because they were unjustly terminated or because they had been so harassed and bullied for no reason, that they left on their own.

Without telling them, the new manager arbitrarily made "changes" to the employees' job duties, then blamed them for not doing what they were now supposed to be doing. They were all threatened and berated by the new manager and the board vice-president (who, by the way, says "animals are irrelevant"), and given back-dated "write-ups," containing false allegations. By Dec 4, 2007, all 7 employees were gone -- 3 were fired based on phony allegations, all back-dated, and 4 walked out due to constant threats and harassment. As of Dec 4, by design of the manager and probably the board, there were no experienced employees working at Francisvale. The only people remaining were the new manager & one brand new shelter employee.

But, not only did they harass the former employees while they were there, the new manager also took it upon herself to arbitrarily withhold paychecks from 3 of them. According to state and federal law, the 3 employees should have received their final paychecks on Nov 23, 2007. The new manager, however, falsely claimed that she had "30 days to send them out." Ultimately, it took the intervention of the US Dept of Labor, before these people finally received their paychecks on Dec 20, 2007. How nice! A month late, but at least it was before Christmas!

As for two former employees who are receiving unemployment compensation, the powers-that-be at Francisvale are trying to have that stopped, too. They fire people for no reason, withhold paychecks, and then try to take away unemployment compensation AFTER it's been granted.

These are the "humane" folks that are now running Francisvale! And, that's just what they do to people...

The animals, of course, have fared much worse. Since this new manager took over, at least 2 animals have died under very SUSPICIOUS circumstances:

1) On Dec 3, 2007, the new shelter manager says that she found a 2-week old puppy DEAD in a BUCKET of water in the LOCKED isolation room. Meanwhile, the new SHELTER MANAGER was the ONLY ONE WITH THE KEY to the LOCKED room, in which she was keeping the seven newborn puppies and their mother. And, why was a BUCKET of water in there? At 2-weeks old, one of the puppies drowned in the bucket of water in this locked room. The next day, 28 hours AFTER she supposedly "found" the dead puppy, the new manager filed a police report. She attempted to falsely implicate somebody else, but the police didn't buy it.

2) In late-Dec 2007, the new shelter manager had a 7-year old dog euthanized who she says SUDDENLY became vicious and bit her. This hadn't happened before when the former employees were there. Could it be that she didn't know what she was doing? Or, could it have something to do with the fact that all the people this dog had known and felt close to had been suddenly taken away from him? And, with only 2 people there (new manager and 1 new employee) how much time was being spent with this dog or any of the animals?

In mid-Dec 2007, volunteers reported that the animals had no food or water. This and the dead puppy incident prompted the local animal control officer to come out.

Other interesting items... In an effort to save money, the new manager cut back on the amount of food the animals were being fed. She also started buying a cheaper brand of cat litter and less of it. And, remember, all this is being done by somebody with no animal/shelter experience whatsoever! She also decided that certain vaccines were no longer necessary as well.

Apparently, there are now 2 more employees there, making it 3 shelter employees and the manager. Not enough, but, hey it saves money.

And, the comment about digging up graves is absolutely true. Francisvale was started in 1909 as a shelter and pet cemetery. The cemetery is now full and there no more burial plots left to sell. With that in mind, one board member ("animals are irrelevant") came up with the idea to dig up graves and resell the plots. The idea is to resell and reuse the graves -- NOT to access the land and expand the shelter facilities.

And, if you don't believe that Francisvale has $2,000,000, look up their most recently-filed IRS 990 on Guidestar.com.

(By the way, the above statements are facts for which documentation is available. If "no animal left behind" would like more information, feel free to leave a comment.)

Anonymous said...

In response to "No animal left behind:"

If you haven't been to Francisvale in 2 years, then you have NO idea what's been happening there. And, "new Francisvale employee" doesn't know the facts, either.

A new shelter manager -- with no animal shelter or even managerial experience -- was installed in August 2007. She was supposedly hired to "oversee" the shelter and staff, but her primary function was to raise funds. As soon as she arrived, however, rather than raise funds, the new manager began to harass and bully all the employees systematically (one of whom had been there for 13 years and another who had been there for 7 years), until they were all gone. From Sept 14, 2007 to Dec 4, 2007, seven employees left Francisvale, either because they were unjustly terminated or because they had been so harassed and bullied for no reason, that they left on their own.

Without telling them, the new manager arbitrarily made "changes" to the employees' job duties, then blamed them for not doing what they were now supposed to be doing. They were all threatened and berated by the new manager and the board vice-president (who, by the way, says "animals are irrelevant"), and given back-dated "write-ups," containing false allegations. By Dec 4, 2007, all 7 employees were gone -- 3 were fired based on phony allegations, all back-dated, and 4 walked out due to constant threats and harassment. As of Dec 4, by design of the manager and probably the board, there were no experienced employees working at Francisvale. The only people remaining were the new manager & one brand new shelter employee.

But, not only did they harass the former employees while they were there, the new manager also took it upon herself to arbitrarily withhold paychecks from 3 of them. According to state and federal law, the 3 employees should have received their final paychecks on Nov 23, 2007. The new manager, however, falsely claimed that she had "30 days to send them out." Ultimately, it took the intervention of the US Dept of Labor, before these people finally received their paychecks on Dec 20, 2007. How nice! A month late, but at least it was before Christmas!

As for two former employees who are receiving unemployment compensation, the powers-that-be at Francisvale are trying to have that stopped, too. They fire people for no reason, withhold paychecks, and then try to take away unemployment compensation AFTER it's been granted.

These are the "humane" folks that are now running Francisvale! And, that's just what they do to people...

The animals, of course, have fared much worse. Since this new manager took over, at least 2 animals have died under very SUSPICIOUS circumstances:

1) On Dec 3, 2007, the new shelter manager says that she found a 2-week old puppy DEAD in a BUCKET of water in the LOCKED isolation room. Meanwhile, the new SHELTER MANAGER was the ONLY ONE WITH THE KEY to the LOCKED room, in which she was keeping the seven newborn puppies and their mother. And, why was a BUCKET of water in there? At 2-weeks old, one of the puppies drowned in the bucket of water in this locked room. The next day, 28 hours AFTER she supposedly "found" the dead puppy, the new manager filed a police report. She attempted to falsely implicate somebody else, but the police didn't buy it.

2) In late-Dec 2007, the new shelter manager had a 7-year old dog euthanized who she says SUDDENLY became vicious and bit her. This hadn't happened before when the former employees were there. Could it be that she didn't know what she was doing? Or, could it have something to do with the fact that all the people this dog had known and felt close to had been suddenly taken away from him? And, with only 2 people there (new manager and 1 new employee) how much time was being spent with this dog or any of the animals?

In mid-Dec 2007, volunteers reported that the animals had no food or water. This and the dead puppy incident prompted the local animal control officer to come out.

Other interesting items... In an effort to save money, the new manager cut back on the amount of food the animals were being fed. She also started buying a cheaper brand of cat litter and less of it. And, remember, all this is being done by somebody with no animal/shelter experience whatsoever! She also decided that certain vaccines were no longer necessary as well.

Apparently, there are now 2 more employees there, making it 3 shelter employees and the manager. Not enough, but, hey it saves money.

And, the comment about digging up graves is absolutely true. Francisvale was started in 1909 as a shelter and pet cemetery. The cemetery is now full and there no more burial plots left to sell. With that in mind, one board member ("animals are irrelevant") came up with the idea to dig up graves and resell the plots. The idea is to resell and reuse the graves -- NOT to access the land and expand the shelter facilities.

And, if you don't believe that Francisvale has $2,000,000, look up their most recently-filed IRS 990 on Guidestar.com.

(By the way, the above statements are facts for which documentation is available. If "no animal left behind" would like more information, feel free to leave a comment.)

No Animal Left Behind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just think you shouldn't be so quick to assume that the new employee has all the facts. She's being told what new management wants her to hear.

Anonymous said...

A former employee named Dee was the reason you were even introduced to Francisvale. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

These comments about Francisvale are TRUE. You really should get your facts straight before you attempt to pretend you know whats going on. Next time, don't make a public blog if you don't want people stating the truth about whats going on.

No Animal Left Behind said...

I owe an apology to the former employees and board members of Francisvale for posting my comment before getting all the facts. When the 2nd anonymous comment referred to the 1st anonymous comment as being from a "former employee who was fired" I took that at face value, thinking this was a personal issue between two people.

But it is far more serious than than that.

Then yesterday, I received comment #4 just as I was getting off-line and did not have time to read it. I thought it was more personal "he said-she said" and I didn't want to continue that on my blog so I didn't publish the comment and instead posted one of my own.

But, last night I spoke at length with someone previously affiliated with Francisvale and learned the truth of what's been going on there.

And as promised, today this person emailed me a great deal of documentation of the serious problems there, including the police report of the dead /drowned puppy.

Comment #4 has now been posted.

I am very concerned about the welfare of the animals and the issues related to the firing of long-time employees, and am in support of efforts being made to correct & rectify these issues and improve the care & conditions of the animals.

Anonymous said...

I am a volunteer at Francisvale and have to say that I am quite surprised by the negative comments that are posted here. The new director that the board of directors put in place is doing a wonderful job of making sure the animal are well cared for and adopted out to loving homes. So what she has no previous animal experience? I have been involved in rescue for well over 10 years, and some of the best directors I have known came into it with no experience. And, Nathan Winograd, leader of the no kill movement, even supports this idea of hiring "fresh blood" as directors/managers, because these are the people with fresh ideas, who aren't stuck in a rut that many of us animal people sometimes get stuck in. As for people being berated, I highly doubt that. If they were fired, then they obviously were not doing their job, or doing it correctly. If all was wonderful under other management/employees, then why is the adoption rate from that time so dismal? The animals at Francisvale are not lacking anything--except a home. The comment about cutting back food is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard, and as for changing brands of kitty litter--who hasn't? This is really a non issue. And in regards to the 7 year old dog that was put down for aggressively attacking a staff member and causing severe injuries, looking through this dogs file, he had many "bites" throughout his time at Francisvale where he was adopted out to people at least two times and returned. Up until the day he was euthanized, a trainer was working with him to understand what was going on with him and to try and manage him, so that he could be given the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, with the injuries being the magnitude they were, that type of dog cannot be responsibly adopted out. My point here, is that yes there are ex employees whose main goal in life is to bring down a shelter doing wonderful things. No Animal Left behind: I would urge you to take down the "all is not well at Francisvale" on your main site until you have all the facts. Please do not slander a shelter that is doing good in the community. As you may know, the saying goes " There are three sides to every story--his side, her side, and the truth."

Jan's Funny Farm said...

So the gist of this is that the animals are suffering under the shelter's "protection." What can be done about it?

Pamwalksdogs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
No Animal Left Behind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
No Animal Left Behind said...

I was just informed that the comment posted by "pamwalksdogs" was not posted by Pam at all but by someone affiliated with Francisvale impersonating Pam.

Therefore, I removed the comment and my reply to it; the contents of my reply have been added to the blog post.

Sharing opinions and disagreeing about issues is one thing; attributing authorship to someone else and falsfying information is unethical and possibly illegal.

Anonymous said...

I used to be affiliated at the shelter. I don't know what's happened over the years. When I volunteered there 6 years ago, I found the employees to be very caring of the animals, although there were things that I disagreed with. The animals did not get a lot of bedding and the cat that I adopted had spent almost her entire life at the shelter and had very bad dental issues. After recently losing our two cats, I went back to Francisvale. I have to say that the grounds do need a lot of work. But in all fairness, they had just redone one of the cat rooms. In addition, they have started allowing the cats more time out of their cages. Cats that were formerly very shy or even unfriendly were friendly and interested in getting affection. One of my biggest concerns with Francisvale is their population of older cats. However, the one staff member that I spoke with is very interested in trying to find forever homes for the older cats at the shelter. Personally I am disappointed at what happened to the employees - as I said, they did seem to care about the animals and I'm sorry that they lost their jobs. But I am certainly willing to give the new staff a chance - I only met one of the employees, but she was very nice and really did seem to have the animals best interest at heart and was very knowledgeable about the personalities of the cats. I do think they have a ways to go as far as clean-up and refreshing the shelter - it is an old facility and needs some work. The most refreshing change to me was that the cats are getting out of their cages and getting some exercise. It's very difficult for a cat to be caged, so I was happy to see them roaming about.