I received a letter in the mail today from a shelter director who attended one of my seminars. There is a lot of commentary I can add to the letter, but I am going to just let it speak for itself:
I spent four years working at a humane society… I was a caregiver and euthanasia [sic] technician. Sixty-four animals have died at the end of my needle. When I was killing animals, I stepped outside of myself and was a different person. I held it together all but one time.
While killing a mother and her five two-day old children, I broke down. At the time I did not know what set me off. I had always been in control of my emotions and remained focused. Now I can look back and realize I lost it because I let myself feel what I was doing.
Until hearing you speak, I never blamed myself for what I did. I played it off as doing what my manager had told me to do and it was how I played my part in animal welfare. I believed that these animals martyred themselves for the movement. That their deaths were not in vain because it would… lead to the end of suffering. How very wrong I was…
As a shelter director now, did some of your comments piss me off? Absolutely… But I got what you were saying… I want to believe I am this progressive person, but my life’s passion was based on an old model that did nothing but fail.
Will I ever go back to being the person I was at [my old humane society]? No, I just cannot.
I want to let you know you opened me up to a new train of thought. One I am dedicated to sharing with my community.