More distressing news, especially for the animals left behind at the shelter…
From The Weatherford Telegram, By Lance Winter, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 –
It appears that the relationship between Parker Paws and the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter has taken another turn and this time for the worse.
An e-mail sent to the Weatherford Telegram on Thursday said the non-profit organization, which has provided volunteer services and other programs to benefit the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter for four years, is “changing their focus.”
Barbara Pursley, president of Parker Paws and volunteer at the shelter for more than 14 years, attributes the change to recent clashes with management of the shelter.
“Parker Paws tried to ease the tension by relinquishing volunteer activities at the shelter,” Pursley said.
She added that she had hoped if volunteers reported directly to shelter supervision that Parker Paws could continue to support the shelter without impeding management’s direct operations of the shelter. However, other issues with the shelter remain unresolved, Pursley said.
“I finally decided that I could no longer support an organization which does not share my goals of promoting pet adoptions and improving the care of the pets at their facility,” she said. “It is my opinion that they are more concerned about the appearance rather than the substance of these goals.”
City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said he was “extremely sad” to see Pursley go.
“She has been a significant part of the shelter operation for many years and has our gratitude and thanks for all that she helped us accomplish,” Blaisdell said. “[Pursley] is an outstanding advocate for animals who has spent countless hours serving this community as a volunteer at the shelter and her presence will be greatly missed.
“It is our hope that we can continue to work with her in whatever way she chose to serve the citizens and animals of this community.”
He said the shelter will continue work with volunteers and strive to deliver the highest quality service to citizens and the animals under its care.
Pursley said Parker Paws is looking for a new location for its low-cost spay/neuter clinics.
“This is a key component to reducing the number of unwanted pets in our community and we look forward to continuing this valuable service,” Pursley said.
She added that Parker Paws also assists pet owners who need to “rehome” their pets but wish to avoid relinquishing them to a shelter.
Additionally, Pursley said she is excited about opportunities to increase cat adoptions — a personal interest of hers — and to work with education programs in local schools to promote responsible pet ownership.
“This has been a difficult decision and I am grateful for the help and guidance I have received,” she said. “I never wanted to direct my efforts away from this community.”
Blaisdell said the animal shelter has been a “great example” of how public and private partnerships can enhance and expand the service the shelter provides and that that philosophy will continue to be one of its primary objectives.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, ext. 102