Archive for July, 2016|Monthly archive page

Q: What kind of nonprofit can operate without volunteers?

Monday, July 11th, 2016


A: One whose true agenda differs from its stated mission. Or one that has no mission statement at all.

SPCA Tampa Bay’s website shows no mission statement. It lists 12 “volunteer opportunities”, such as Behavior Enrichment Assistant, Pet Photographer, Dog Walker, Canine/Feline Adoption Counselor. Each describes exciting ways in which the volunteer can help advance the welfare of shelter pets.

And except for two, each description ends with
Currently, we are not accepting any volunteer applications.

There’s a category entitled Junior Volunteer Opportunities. It’s not accepting volunteers.

Special Events Volunteer says “volunteer opportunities coming soon”.

Those court-ordered to community service can still fulfill their obligation at SPCA/TB, so long as their charges don’t involve a felony, assault, domestic violence, theft, or controlled substances. Charges related to animal abuse or neglect aren’t mentioned.

No volunteers means no one’s watching

Caring volunteers have been a thorn in the side of CEO Martha Boden’s agenda for SPCA/TB from the start. Many have bravely tried to alert the public to the killing and mistreatment happening at SPCA/TB, and were dismissed for their efforts. Now, according to the Facebook page SPCA Tampa Bay Behind the Kennel Doors, the organization is phasing out its volunteers and plans to use them only for special events.

Such events, of course, are designed to generate donations and build SPCA/TB’s brand. They have nothing to do with caring for the animals.

Without volunteers, how does a shelter socialize frightened animals and prepare them for adoption? How does it help people choose a new pet? How does it reunite lost pets with their families? How does it train dogs to be good canine citizens?

Obviously, it doesn’t. Obviously, accomplishing these goals is not an SPCA/TB priority.

Martha Boden’s chamber of horrors

Monday, July 4th, 2016

It seems death follows Martha Boden wherever she goes. The latest horror stories to emerge from SPCA Tampa Bay, where Boden reigns as CEO, involve a lost and injured 10-year-old Chihuahua and a healthy 2-year-old cat who died from a botched operation.

RIP, Prince

Ten-year-old Prince was playing with his family in a Clearwater park when he wandered off. When she was unable to locate him, Lakkia Hobbs, who’s had Prince since he was 8 weeks old, submitted a missing pet report to all the area shelters. A representative from SPCA/TB found Prince soon after. He had apparently been hit by a car.

SPCA’s vet, whose medical prowess has been previously questioned, determined the dog was too badly injured and ended his life. No attempt was made to contact Hobbs.

Prince had no tags or microchip. “We didn’t have any information about the animal’s owner at that time,” Boden said.

Why did no one bother to check the lost pet information they were given by Hobbs?

It’s not the first time

The night Prince died, SPCA/TB posted his picture on their website. Hobbs saw it and called. She says she was told her dog was still there, but when she went to get Prince, she was told he was dead.

“That’s my baby,” a tearful Hobbs said. “I would have done whatever I needed to do to save his life.”

Martha Boden told a reporter for WFLA News that the dog was too severely injured to be treated. Yet a photo from SPCA/TB’s website shows him being carried without the support that would be essential for a critically injured animal.
A similar tragedy occurred in 2006, when Boden was Executive Director of the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

RIP, Smokey

A beautiful, healthy 2-year-old cat, Smokey had delivered a litter of healthy kittens. When enough time had passed, her foster mom took her to SPCA/TB to be spayed. Shortly thereafter, Smokey was adopted.

Her new family soon noticed that Smokey was dehydrated and in severe pain. They rushed her to an emergency vet and learned she was suffering from a severe infection and apparent neglect in the surgical process. They consulted a total of three vets, two specializing in emergencies.

In discussing Smokey’s spay surgery, the term “butchered” was used more than once. Evidence suggested a foreign object might have been left inside her body.

Smokey died soon after. Her adopters and her foster mom want to know why a simple surgery was so badly mishandled that it cost the life of this sweet, smart cat. But of course, they can’t get a straight answer.

What power does Martha Boden have — and over whom — that she can maintain her own personal chamber of horrors while NO ONE investigates?

Follow the horror story here.