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Letters for June 4, 2023

Stark contrast between SpokAnimal, SHS

I am one of the 16 volunteers who chose to leave Spokane Humane Society (“Spokane Humane Society volunteers resign over alleged ‘hostility’ from management,” May 12) and move to SpokAnimal with our Dogs Playing for Life program, where we get dogs out for exercise, socialization and mental stimulation. As a newer volunteer, I could feel an undercurrent of discontent among longtime volunteers, but I didn’t understand until my first day at SpokAnimal how it should have felt the whole time.

At SHS, we were walking on eggshells, adhering to constantly changing rules and regulations from administrative staff, afraid that one wrong move would terminate the program, affecting the dogs negatively. The one staff member who would participate in play group was frequently pulled away despite us regularly communicating to the administration that we needed her as a valuable member of the group.

SpokAnimal welcomed us openly. The administration shows enthusiasm for the DPFL program, knowing it benefits the dogs and staff, rather than treating it like a frivolous liability. Their certified trainer not only participates in DPFL, but also drops by to observe and offer encouragement and guidance. Multiple staff members will stop in to watch the dogs play, communicate with us and thank us for what we’re doing for the dogs.

Seeing how happy the staff and dogs are makes me excited to be part of this program at SpokAnimal, but also saddens me deeply that SHS administration cares so little about the well-being of their animals, employees and volunteers. I hope that with further insight and investigation, positive change will occur.

Kelsie Cady


Change needed at SHS

I quit my position as Intake Lead with Spokane Humane Society on May 20. I had been employed for almost three years. Before that, I was a volunteer for six months.

I loved my position and never wanted to leave. I always did my absolute best to make sure every client that walked into my office felt heard and respected, and every animal felt safe and loved.

While my job was stressful, it was also very rewarding. I worked with all who needed to surrender their animals or for the animals that are suffering. I helped them with end of life, sometimes doing the procedure myself.

As heartbreaking as it is working at a shelter, you would imagine employees have a strong support team in management.

With a hostile supervisor, if we tried to go to her for help, we were met with numbers, and degraded in meetings with all shelter workers present. We were gaslit and told that we do not know what we are talking about.

I, myself, tried to go to management for help and was pushed out of the company with threats of lawyers. They took my words and turned them around and completely lied when I tried to stand up for myself.

My fellow employees were the most dedicated, caring and passionate group of people I have ever worked with. They deserve respect and support. Instead, they are made to be in fear for their job if they speak out.

Jennifer Matthews


Our American flag

I have just finished visiting family at three separate Spokane cemeteries. Each of the hallowed grounds was festooned with “our” American flag, honoring the countless men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, including my father, who was killed in action in Korea.

Interestingly enough, I have recently moved into a new community and installed the flag on a porch support. The response from several neighbors is that it indicates we are conservatives. When asked, I respond my flag is not a political statement; I love the flag and enjoy displaying it. Their response is that their flag is a political statement, “but we can still be friends.”

I find it exceedingly sad that the flag appears to no longer be “ours,” but the property of a political party. As I watched Jan. 6, I commented to a friend that our flag had been hijacked as a symbol of one party who continue to refer to thugs as patriots. And we wonder why we’re so divided? I will continue to display “my” flag simply as a proud American, not as a misnamed “patriot.”

Marcia Green


Debt ceiling

I have had it with Roy, Billig, Scalise and the Republicans far-right wing “Freedom Caucus,” along with Jayapal, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar of the far-left caucus holding hostage over and over again in the House of Representatives pushing their out-of-touch ideology over compromise.

This debt ceiling fight, that Speaker McCarthy painstakingly negotiated along with President Biden, reached an agreement to avoid a disaster by not crashing America’s credit rating, opening the door for all of our equity in our retirement plans, and possibly lead to a worldwide recession or worse. Remember Freedom Party (and I did vote for Trump twice), your caucus and President Trump raised the national debt by $7.8 trillion in four years! Where was the Freedom Party and the Democrat Squad then? I am done with Trump, he fooled me. I applaud Speaker McCarthy for tirelessly putting divisiveness aside, reaching an agreement to pay our bills – including the Trump administration record $7.8 trillion spending – unlike many of his business ventures where he used bankruptcy to cover his debts … we are again holding the bag of debt he left behind.

Steve Hintyesz


Supreme Court wetlands decision a mistake

As a lifelong environmentalist since high school in the late ’60s, and involved with the completion of the Clean Water Act, I am appalled that a group of individuals who participate as justices on the Supreme Court can make such an audaciously uninformed decision as to rescind the protections for wetlands and seasonal steams.

Those water sources are extremely significant for a variety of crucially important reasons. Protecting wetlands and seasonal streams not only helps to support the health of vital ecosystems for a wide variety of animal and plant life that depend on those areas for their existence, but serves as vital riparian buffers against flooding in vulnerable coastal areas and along lakes and riverways. Without the wetlands to absorb increased water levels, whether it’s along rivers, streams or coastlines that might be affected by hurricanes, or higher tides due to climate change, the impacts of high water will be far more destructive to communities, farmland, natural areas and other adjacent shoreline developments in the future. Already the cities along the Gulf Coast have been sustaining much more serious damage due to recent hurricanes, as a result of the destruction of coastal wetlands and bayous due to oil industry development and rising ocean water levels.

This terribly ill-informed and short-sighted decision will for sure cost billions of dollars of damage in the future to those areas, in addition to the loss of the animal and plant life that need those wetlands to survive. It’s time for the Supreme Court to stop rewriting laws that have been established and recognized as good policy for decades.

Sunni Mace


Make Rathbun’s dreams come true

So, let’s sum up your interview with Andy Rathbun who wants to pass laws governing Spokane as the City Council president.

He admitted he doesn’t follow laws based on where they were passed. Laws are for other people, after all. However, he will expect you to follow the ones he passes. I will pass on that.

Also, he wants to live in Arizona. Let’s make his dream come true and give him every opportunity to fulfill his dream.

Harry Crase


If quote is true

The May 31 article, “After 18 months Camp Hope will close by June’s end,” states that Lisa Brown “called Woodward’s claims that the duration of the camp was motivated by financial graft ‘outrageous.’ ”

Are the taxpayers just supposed to take Lisa Brown’s or anyone else’s word on that? I don’t think so! The ONLY way taxpayers and government officials will know where each dollar of the tens of millions of dollars for the homelessness issues has truly gone is from a forensic audit of ALL entities. All nonprofits, city and state departments involved. It’s information those footing the bill deserve to know. I’m waiting.

Cheryl Henley


Pride month

I don’t understand. Martin Luther King Jr., presidents, St. Patrick, Mothers, Fathers, Independence, Labor and Thanksgiving all get a one -day celebration. Our veterans living and deceased get a couple days, and Jesus Christ gets a few more. Why does Pride get a whole month?

William Tucker


Thank you to Sacred Heart Medical Center

Last week, my husband had back surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital. We hear often about how short-handed hospitals are and how overburdened their staff are, but that reality did not in any way diminish the quality of care my husband received. Everyone – from the intake person who got my husband a pillow and blanket when she could see he was in pain to the valet parking attendants who went out of their way to be pleasant and friendly, to the staff member who steered me to the correct bank of elevators when I got lost and to the nurses and aides who were unfailingly kind and helpful – went out of their way to make our experience as positive as possible.

The hospital has continued to reach out with reminders and reassurance as my husband is recuperating. A little thing, but it continues to make us feel cared for.

Thank you, Sacred Heart, for being a resource for the Spokane community, and for the way in which you live out your mission.

Sandy King


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