Ellen Curtis is a busy woman. As NYCACC’s Placement Supervisor, she supervises the New Hope, Adoptions, Behavior Assessment and Enrichment and Foster Care activities, programs and staff of NYCACC, despite having no previous paid shelter experience. Even more impressively, she does it without being in any of the actual shelters – she works from ACC’s executive offices in downtown Manhattan where management staff resides, miles from any of the three shelter facilities so they don’t have the distraction of actually running shelters while they run shelters.
Busy as she is, Ms. Curtis is never too busy to argue semantics.
I wouldn’t expect the shelter to have the brutal honesty to call it a Kill List, but it used to at least be called the Euthanasia List. When Executive Director Julie Bank took over she reportedly thought that the list, issued nightly, might give people the wrong idea about the shelter, so she ordered it referred to as the “At Risk List”. However, they’re not at risk for a good cuddling, they’re at risk for a needle of sodium pentobarbital at the hands of the shelter if rescues don’t take them in.
I wonder if it’s easier, sitting at a desk miles away, to convince yourself that enforcing kinder, gentler euphemisms is an important part of your work.