According to Kerry Clair at Pets Alive, she has received a communication about Gloria from the ASPCA. Her must-read blog on the subject lays everything out clearly and I don’t have a whole lot to add except for – yeah, what she said.
Well, okay, maybe a little. In addition to everything Kerry has said, let’s look at the statement from the ASPCA:
The ASPCA has conducted an internal investigation into why Gloria, a stray cat with a broken leg who was abandoned in front of one of the ASPCA’s mobile spay/neuter vehicles, was transferred to NYC AC&C.
Our staff followed our regular procedure of sending stray animals left with us to NYC AC&C since that is where people who have lost their pets go to look for them. At the time Gloria was admitted to AC&C, we notified its staff that Gloria had a broken leg and needed treatment.
The bottom line is that we failed Gloria, and we are grateful that Pets Alive saved her. Our strict adherence to regular procedure was clearly contrary to our mission in this case, and we deeply regret that we did not alter protocol to treat Gloria immediately instead of relying on AC&C to do so. We are implementing new procedures to prevent this from happening again.
We thank Pets Alive for stepping up to provide Gloria with the surgery and care she needed. The ASPCA is awarding a grant to Pets Alive to fund the cost of Gloria’s surgery, medical care, and convalescence and to continue its work saving more animals.
Other organizations, take note: this is how you do crisis control and this is the first time in recent memory I’ve seen the ASPCA do it right. Every organization of every size makes mistakes; they figured out what theirs was, apologized, took steps to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, and offered to help make the situation better. Additionally, the statement is straightforward and plain and doesn’t reek of corporate doublespeak or non-apology apologies. Bravo.
I wish NYCACC would be as forthcoming, but I think it’s unlikely – the ASPCA had Gloria for only a short time and I believe them when they say they informed NYCACC of her broken leg, but ACC had her for three weeks and allowed her to suffer while missing the broken leg during two examinations. The ASPCA made mistakes; ACC demonstrated total incompetency – and I will continue to follow up on how that could possibly happen.
I still have my differences there (And, ahem, what’s the deal with Benny? Remember him?), and if the ASPCA goes to bat against the upcoming CAARA bill again I’m sure we’ll go another couple of bloody rounds. I won’t be donating to them anytime soon or encouraging others to do so. But it’s encouraging to know that a group that I frequently disagree with still has good people there who were moved by the story of one cat and took steps to make it right.
We now have a common and united goal in Gloria’ recovery, and the recent news is that she has had some complications since the removal of her leg. Post-surgery she was discovered to be extremely anemic and she is in specialist care, where she is undergoing testing and had an emergency blood transfusion. Additionally, she is fighting a bad upper respiratory infection that is the inevitable result of her three week stay at New York City Animal Care and Control. She’s very sick, but she is eating and her spirits are said to be good. If she can survive three weeks on a shattered leg, she can do this too. C’mon, Gloria, New York is pulling for you.