Blogs are not just for pumping sunshine

I just learned from a high school friend about this very tragic event.

In a nutshell Tara Vachon boarded her pet for a temporary stay at the Ottawa Humane Society and they euthanized her pet.

This is so sad and unfortunate that I can hardly bare to read the story. I am sad for Tara Vachon’s loss.

Of course other people are appalled and even outraged by this event. My friend from high school said he had sent a letter and was waiting for a response.

I went to the Ottawa Humane Society Web site to see if there was a response. I could not find anything. Just in case the organization wasn’t very versed in the use of Blogs and Web sites, I sent them a note to find out if they have a response in their Blog. Here’s the dialogue.

Yesterday at 5pm to email I found at their site:
http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/04/13/they-cut-my-dogs-life-in-half
Is the above article about your organization? — Darcy Whyte, Inventor, Artist

Today at 10:30am:
Yes.

Mandy Chepeka

Manager: Communications, Ottawa Humane Society, 245 West Hunt Club Rd., Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6, Tel: 613-725-3166 ext. 261, Fax: 613-725-5674, Emergencies: 613-725-1532, www.ottawahumane.ca

Today at 10:35am:

There’s no response to the article in your blog?

People are outraged by the mistake.

This is a serious event and I was disappointed that there had not been a response in the Blog. Not even a mention. Not their side of the story, not condolences, not an explanation.

This is an example of an organization may not be benefiting fully from their internet presence. They missed an opportunity to explain their position, express regrets and talk about improvements to their process.

They wrongly think that the blog is only for pumping sunshine. But it can also for responding to events such as this.

I know some people are going to argue that there hasn’t been much time for them to make a response.

1) They can respond to the situation even before traditional news does.

2) It’s important to respond fast. This is a sensitive issue.

3) A lack of a response through that channel reduces the authenticity of their Web site and the trustworthiness of the organization.

2 Responses to “Blogs are not just for pumping sunshine

  • I received this response a few moments ago:

    Dear Darcy,

    The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) provides shelter and care for more than 11,000 lost, neglected, abused, and abandoned animals every year. OHS staff are dedicated rescuers, protectors, and educators and make a positive difference in the lives of animals in our community. We are all heartbroken at the human error that was made resulting in this dog’s euthanasia while in our care. We fully understand that our regret cannot compare to the heartbreak that Ms. Vachon and her family are feeling.

    We respect our obligation to protect the privacy of our clients. What we can tell you is that we have expressed how very sorry we are to Ms. Vachon and have informed her of our internal investigation efforts and actions to understand how this happened and to ensure it does not happen again.

    At this time, we are continuing our internal investigation. All appropriate corrective actions are being taken, including a thorough review of procedures and staff training, as well as disciplinary action as appropriate, to ensure that this cannot happen again.

    Until the above actions are complete, effective immediately, the emergency shelter program has been suspended.

    We appreciate your concern and emphasize that we fully recognize the seriousness of what has occurred and are ensuring that all actions required to prevent this from happening again are being taken. In the meantime, we will continue to care for our community’s animals in need.

    Thank you for your support…./rob

    Rob McCulloch
    Director: Development
    Ottawa Humane Society
    245 West Hunt Club Rd.
    Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6
    Tel: 613-725-3166 ext. 237
    Fax: 613-725-5674
    Emergencies: 613-725-1532
    http://www.ottawahumane.ca

  • I think one thing to note here is that people make mistakes. How we handle them tells us more about about them than the mistake.