Here’s the text of an email I sent to the people at Walden’s Puddle, an organization that cares for and rehabilitates wild animals:
To Whom It May Concern,
I appreciate the work your organization does for our animal friends. The encroachment by short-sighted developers on their natural habitat has certainly caused injury to many forms of wildlife. We do not allow hunting on our nearly 100 acres, and we have left much of it in its original state so that game may flourish. We felt completely responsible for flushing a newborn fawn out from it’s hiding place, and we did our best to make sure that the fawn survived once the mother was unable to find him. We bought infant-friendly water, formula, powdered goats milk, bottles, etc. Our daughter, just 12 yrs old, spent two full nights waking every three hours to feed this young deer. She picked him over for ticks, and watched over him nearly every hour of the day.
We convinced her that the best thing for this animal was to take him to Walden’s Puddle, where he could be cared for until he could be re-introduced into the wild. We felt the company of other deer would be beneficial as well. So, today, we loaded up and drove to Joelton. The place is beautiful, alright. We were excited by the idea that this little one would have a good chance at a full life after a brief stay.
Heres where the wheels came off the bus. We brought our checkbook, so that we could leave a donation since we knew that is how y’all carry out your mission. However, when my daughter walked through your door, carrying her newborn friend, your technician snatched it away so abruptly it startled even me. She then pivoted around, and practically ran through an adjoining door, without so much as a thank you directed at my daughter. Supermousey (her online name) burst into tears, as she wanted just a few seconds to rub on him and say goodbye/good luck. Your other technician/volunteer stood in the little kitchen area and rolled her eyes at a lady who had trouble parking her truck, and again at my mother-in-law for not realizing she was standing in the entryway and causing your door bell to go off. In short, we cannot ever remember being treated so rudely after taking the time,trouble, and expense to do the right thing. You lost our financial support, and you totally crushed this young, bright girl, who may have been a tireless advocate for the work you do. She had, on the drive over, remarked that she might want to volunteer at your facility in a few years.
Slow down. The deer wasn’t injured. This was not a Code-Blue, life in danger situation like you see on “ER.” Not everyone knows what you know about caring for injured/abandoned animals, and those that try deserve at least a minute of your attention. Put people up front that can also interact with humans.