Dear Mr. McKinney and Mr. Burris,
Thank you for your coverage, “Financial disclosure; The Humane Society of Indianapolis opens its books.” Sadly, Mr. Burris’ article clearly enables one more calculated and well-orchestrated presentation of misinformation. This agency’s habitual practice of misrepresentation continues to contribute to its self-generated (as IBJ refers to) “death spiral.” This behavior alienates the support the agency so badly needs, embarrasses the community and betrays the animals it is designated to serve.
The readers should know that Mr. Burris spent considerable time with HSI officials, upon their invitation, for his report and afforded Move to Act representatives about 20 minutes of phone interview and declined an invitation to visit for equal time. Twenty minutes does not allow a newcomer on the scene the time to comprehend the complexity of issues that surround the culture of this organization. When reporters limit themselves to one-sided information they contribute to a profound disservice to the readers, potential donors and especially the benefactors – which in this case are the animals of our community, now and tomorrow.
Although the inaccuracies in this article are too numerous to mention here, let’s take a look at an inkling of what is and is not reported:
· Balances from the three trusts are reported from 2002, but there is successful omission of the fact that the Charitable Trust is now depleted. Was Mr. Burris provided this information to pass on to the readership?
· The bottom line, after the circular information about validating credit card expenditure repayments by the Ness accounting firm, is that “much of the supporting documents for the credit card transactions” are missing because of a “break-in.” It doesn’t require a forensic accountant to know that credit card bills, if lost or stolen, can be reproduced. However, money spent on a forensic audit (that HSI didn’t want to do “because that would have cost thousands of dollars”) to reassure the community would have been a wise investment to restore trust in an agency in a crisis of trust.
· When we read about excessive spending, are we told about the $30,000 billboard campaign and any connection with a board member? Are we told that when the last E.D resigned after the credit card issue, officials provided her with a $103,000 send off? Are we told that after the layoffs of animal-care staff in 2003, staff were provided yoga lessons and treated to kayaking and pedicures? Is this how stewards of animal welfare dollars oversee the treasury and control overspending? And the community is supposed to believe the “stock market did it to us” mantra?
As a side note, contrary to the report that Miss Boden took over in 2003, she actually took over in 2002.
The HSI Director says, “If people are interested or concerned about what’s happening here they should come and talk to us.”
And don’t forget to witness, like we have, that people coming to HSI to surrender their animals, upon learning that there is a newly adopted surrender fee, are offering those unsterilized animals to other customers in the parking lot, or turning around and taking them to the already overwhelmed Indianapolis Animal Care and Control on South Harding St. But we’ll hear the encouraging tune that “adoptions are up and euthanasias are down.” The game is over, for too many animals because resources are wasted and priorities confused.
The community has the opportunity, obligation and desire to help our Humane Society “move on from controversy” before it self-destructs. More than 2,400 local residents have signed the “Down to the Bone” petition declaring, “The current (HSI) board has demonstrated fiscal irresponsibility, does not represent the animal welfare people of the community and does not represent the best interest of the animals it is entrusted to serve.”
We salute all the animal care givers of our community. We pray that Mr. Burris can do the same, and he will, once the wool is lifted from his eyes.
Warren and Karen Patitz
Dear Mr. Burris, Nuvo Editors and Readers,
While any exposure the media brings to the dire situation at the Humane
To begin I want to make it clear to readers that Move to ACT (MTA) is not
Now let’s rebut.
First, it was not as simple to convince HSI to open their books as the
I am further troubled by the financial mismanagement of HSI particularly
Mr. Burris’ article mentions a “break in at the accounting office” where
The article also states “According to Jeff Terp, who assists with HSI
On one point I do agree with Ms. Boden, it has not been a single source
The goal is not the closure of this one-time shining star of animal