The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Western Tribune column Sept. 9, 2009 Shelter Abuse and Ed May

Here is my Western Tribune column for the week.

On July 7, 2009 at a city council meeting Bessemer mayor Ed May accepted a $5000 check from Robert White for Bessemer Schools.

On September 1, 2009 at a city council meeting Mayor May explained his refusal to accept a $2000 donation from Robert White which would have benefited the Bessemer Animal Shelter which had been without food.

I would quote his statement that he did not have the authority to accept anything on behalf of the city except why should we believe him, when he also said this:

“There has been no time when we have been out of food for our animals nor has there been any time when we have not had sufficient funds to purchase food. The dogs have absolutely not gone hungry.”

He said this less than a week after the shelter had called Greater Birmingham Humane Society begging for food and cleaning supplies.

I spoke with the director of GBHS and was told this is not the first time Bessemer has called with such a request.

The mayor previously said, “Something like this, quite frankly, it reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah,” when the council passed the bingo ordinance.

The lesson of Sodom, when considered with all the passages in the Bible that mention the story, is a condemnation of the mistreatment of those who are most vulnerable, in that case, the strangers who appeared in town. In Ezekiel the guilt of Sodom is referred to as pride and excess of food with an unwillingness to assist the needy.

While the prophet was certainly referring to needy persons, it just seems that the prideful mayor’s refusal to accept the excess of food for the needy animals reeks of the type of wrongdoing referred to in scripture.

And while we are considering the biblical aspects of the story, let’s remember that we were given dominion over the creation. That means that we have a responsibility to care for the earth and its creatures, including the dogs and cats under our care. At the very least that would mean not neglecting or abusing animals and not withholding food. There is documented evidence of abuse over the last few years at the Bessemer shelter, and this latest incident only serves to underscore the uncaring attitude of city officials.

The people of Bessemer should rise up in protest about our shelter and our mayor. The dogs and cats deserve better.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The city employs several workers at that shelter. I have seen them shopping in stores and at fast food places with the animal control truck in the parking lots. When they have something they want to do they simply place a sign in the window saying they will return shortly. Why not cut down on the lazy staff there and use that salary for food and better conditions for these animals. If you have ever been inside that shelter it is horrific!!!!!!!!!! It is diry ,wet cold in the winter and hot in summer. Let Jefferson County take over animal control. This shelter is just agravy train for several city employees!!!!!!!!!!

tracy said...

You all need to turn them into the
humane society of the us they will get an investigation going on this.
I would do it personally but I dont live in your area or I would.

Anonymous said...

Anyone concerned with these animals or any animals should file complaints to Humane Society of US, the Alabama Director of Humane Society US, Mindy Gilbert her email is mgilbert@humanesociety.org; Dept of Public Health due to the Rats at the Bessemer Animal Control, and any other agency that a complaint can be filed against the people who run the BAC and Mayor Ed May since he oversees operations at the BAC.
Everyone in this city and across the State and US needs to file complaints. If nothing done about this cities Animal Shelter then things will continue to happen here and other cities in Alabama and across the US.