Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The AIG of animal rescue!

You may remember my story on the Dancing Star Sanctuary, which was euthanizing animals allegedly for economic reasons while its principals still pulled down healthy six-figure salaries. You know, I have no problem with euthanizing for economic reasons when you're actually broke and the animals can't be placed. Euthanizing animals while you sit on your ass collecting a quarter million dollars a year? NOT OKAY!

Of course, they say the deaths were justified but former employees tell a different story:

"Jason Hamaker, a ranch maintenance supervisor, said his bosses started talking last fall about cutting back on medications and feed for some of the older animals. The sicker the animals became, the more justified their deaths by lethal injection would appear, he said. "They said they wanted a total of 50 gone within a couple of months, and then another 30 after that," he said. In the last four weeks, according to Hamaker, 23 animals have been put down."

I can see this happening. This guy worked for them for 5 years but they fired him for speaking out. Sounds like an employment attorney's dream!

Fortunately, others agree with me and have reported these $cammers to the Attorney General!

"In 2006, Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison
(pictured at left), a husband-and-wife team who have collaborated on numerous films and books, received $275,000 and $235,000, as president and vice president. Chief Finance Officer Don Cannon drew $219,450.

"Those salaries are just way out of line," said Kim Sturla, founder and director of Animal Place, a sanctuary for farm animals in Vacaville, Calif. "It's shameful -- it just reflects badly on all of us animal nonprofits." Sturla said those three salaries exceed her sanctuary's entire annual operating budget."

Tobias, Morrison and Cannon aren't talking. Instead, they hired a high-priced PR Firm to do their talking for them! OMG! And the non-profit is paying for that, too? Hey, Mr. High Priced PR Guy, come over here and tell us in the comments how you think your client's salaries are justified. I dare you!

Animal rescue is not supposed to make you rich. I could see a salary of $50-60K being reasonable for executive director of a sanctuary. It is California and you do have to live. But at the end of the day, you're not doing brain surgery. Heck, they weren't even doing the grunt work - they had $9 an hour, reportedly mistreated employees to do that. They don't even live there. Asshats.

I think Tobias, Morrison and Cannon should be replaced as sanctuary officers and fined for the difference between their salaries and comparable salaries for nonprofit officers in California. Then that money should go directly to the care of the animals, including paying those poor sanctuary workers more then $9 an hour!
Let's hope the California AG's office doesn't drop this. You can reach them at:

Remember to keep it polite, reasonable, logical and clean!