HR Strange But True!
June 27, 2002
We all know that HR is never boring. Sometimes, though, it can get downright strange...

Past and present employees of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Va., tell the Washington Post that five of their colleagues left their jobs after administrators discovered that they had been taking home animals that were to be euthanized.

The employees told the Post that they broke the rules because the shelter, unlike many others, does not have a fostering program in which young or sick animals are cared for in individuals' homes rather than immediately euthanized. The employees cared for the animals they took, then brought them back to be put up for adoption.

All but one of the cases that led to the departures involved very young kittens. The other case was that of a 3-month-old pit bull, which former shelter worker Jason Northrop said he took home to keep it from being killed. When the shelter found out, Northrop told the Post, the dog was seized and euthanized the same day.

According to the Post, some of the former workers said they had altered U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration logs to indicate that they had used drugs to euthanize kittens. Ramona Leet, the former chief animal care technician at the shelter, said she didn't even bother to dump the drugs, but left them unused.

"What we were doing was not a horrible thing," Leet told the newspaper. "I cared for them. . . . We were taking them home and bringing them back."

The Post quoted another former employee, who spoke on condition of not being named, as saying, "I just couldn't bear to see these little babies dying (just) because they had been born."

A number of people at the shelter had known for years what was going on, even if administrators did not, the former employees said, jokingly referring to their activities as "a little kitten underground railroad."

At least three of the five employees had been asked to resign, sources told the Post. Afterward, several other shelter employees and volunteers also departed, which some of the former workers said calls into question whether there are enough qualified people left to care for the animals.

Source: Washington Post

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