The SPCA opens its doors at 10 a.m., but from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. there is a buzz of activity as every single kennel is cleaned and sanitized, the animals receive food and medications, and paperwork is updated. So it was with some surprise that I walked into the shelter on Thursday and found a sense of chaos.
Our 8 a.m. employee had just found out that her uncle passed away. She was very close to him and it casued her a great deal of sadness. Bless her heart though, she stayed at the shelter becasue there wasn't anyone there to take over. When I arrived and found her crying and upset I told her to leave, she needed to be with her family.
Another employee that was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. called because she needed to rush her dog to the veterinarian. She was distraught and not sure if she would make it to work.
One secretary was unable to come in because she had just lost her mother.
Our other secretary could not come in because she was in the process of moving because she feared for her life. (Restraining order necessary)
Luckily, I have great employees who were able to step up to the plate and help out. Our volunteer manager helped customers who came to visit, one of our part time kennel attendants helped with adoptions, and I helped wherever I could.
Our 11:30 a.m. employee arrived. Whew!!! Bult could we hold down the fort with one employee? What if someone needed to go and pick up an injured animal? What if someone came in and their pet needed to be put to sleep? What if the restraining order wasn't enough to keep the boyfriend away?
So I called our wonderful kennel manager and asked her to come in on her day off. When I told her the state of attendance, she couldn't believe it either. But then the 10:30 a.m. employee arrived. Her dog was being treated with an uncertain outcome. (And she still came in!) Then our 8 a.m. employee came back. She overcame her grief and came back to help out. And our kennel manager was very understanding when I told her that we had everything under control but thanks for offering to come in on your day off.
Meanwhile I was on the phone with police worried that an unhappy boyfreind would show up at the shelter and I wanted to take steps to protect our staff. Hopefully the threat of jail is enough to keep him away. What this story lacks is all the details that made this day even stranger than described.