The Dane County Humane Society is probably not very happy with me. After all, I wrote a pretty critical piece on their new animal-care guidelines and the subsequent rising euthanasia rates for cats -- and it ran right before the holiday season, when most nonprofits are banking on people's goodwill to help them raise money.
So far, the Humane Society has not formally responded to my article. But it did send out a letter to its volunteers and supporters, trying to explain how its new policies fit in with its mission to save animals.
"[W]e employ a strategy that involves thinking with our heads and hearts and is soundly based in science, research and common sense," wrote Pam McCloud Smith, the shelter's executive director.
She added that the shelter has seen "inspiring changes and progress" in the past year, including an decrease in upper respiratory infections among cats and "steady" adoption rates. But Smith did acknowledge that not everything has gone smoothly: "In the past three months, some of those changes were overshadowed or reversed by difficult and unexpected challenges, but not all. We are working hard to discover why and have already implemented changes to get us all the way back on track."
Nowhere in her letter does she explain what those challenges were or what was overshadowing the shelter's efforts. And she never mentions the shelter's increased euthanasia rate for cats.
The full text of the letter is available in the related downloads at right.