The problem is: when lives depend on them doing their job
How many times have you said, ‘they are in the wrong job?’ or ‘who hired them?’ or ‘they aren’t able for their job?’
I found myself hugging a cold cup of tea after listening to an interview on Drive Time with a mum who lost her beautiful boy to suicide, who had engaged with camhs, resulting in him being immediately medicated. She mentioned how they engaged a psychotherapist themselves which had helped her son, and questioned why are there not psychotherapists available via Camhs. Afterall, Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing.
And then I thought of the Kerry Camhs and all the young people medicated for years by a doctor not able for the job, providing quick ‘fixes’ via inappropriate prescribing of multiple drugs and diagnosing young people wrongly. You can imagine the upset caused and ongoing for service users who lost their youth in a cloud of drugs.
I never drank any tea but held the cup tight as my heart went out to a mother who was living with all the regrets she was now existing with: she turned to a mental health service that didn’t listen but prescribed.
And then I thought of the 216 dogs in Doneraile and all the relevant paid professionals tasked with safeguarding their welfare and yet not appearing to care. They licensed her in the first place. Surely, they feel responsible?
Yes, when it comes to animal welfare and those in paid welfare positions, you could surmise: the wrong people are in the job. If rescuers, animal lovers, advocates, I know, happened to walk into a barn with 216 animals in an ‘environment that poses an immediate threat to their welfare and safety’ – well, I can tell you this, none of those dogs would have went to bed lying on their own faeces. Straight away supplies would have been called in: cleaning products, vet bedding and straw. Bowls would have been cleaned and dogs would be made feel a little bit better. When you work off a victim centred model – you focus on the immediate care and then the long term plan. Simply put ‘what can we do for now?’ You would imagine that would be a given good practice. And if you can’t do that, you call in someone who can.
A few months ago I happened to be in a farm yard. And yes, it was not easy when I saw, tied on a short chain, a sweet young collie. The chain was so short, her nose could barely reach under the shelter of the barn (filled with fresh straw) she happened to be chained beside. Yes, she had a wooden floorless box. She had chewed the floor! Wouldn’t you if your life was a foot square and you had to sleep on your own waste. I took a deep breath as my mind quickly switched to ‘I have to get her out of here’ to not ruining any chance of doing so. And then I told a lie. ‘She is gorgeous,’ I beamed.
He looked at me suspicious.
‘My collie just died!’ I added. ‘Are you looking for a home for her?’
‘No,’ he mumbled.
My heart sank. I went to pet her and she recoiled.
‘She doesn’t like you,’ he half-smirked with delight.
I got into my car and drove out, and a mile down the road I pulled in and cried. She was living an awful life and at about one year old – she had a long life ahead on a chain sleeping on faeces.
So I got in contact with the ISPCA who would not help. They had no inspectors they told me, and this was followed by my graphic details how this dog was living. I was so frustrated that I hung up. Frustrated that they are OK with a dog on a chain, sleeping on the cold ground. So then a friend called in a favour to someone who works there. He sent out the local warden. Well, that never got the poor little girl off the chain. To cut a long story short, there was a lot of pestering and pleading. They wouldn’t give her up but the best we could do for her was to push them to give her a run. I got the photos when it was done. Basically they were told, I wouldn’t let this go. And as hard as it is dealing with these types of people, I couldn’t walk away. I made up a huge bag of bedding, toys, good food for her and left it up. I wanted her to be that dog running in and out of the house, but the best I could get for her was a run. She was happier as she bounced up and down, chain free.
Yes, it’s really hard to comprehend the mindset of the staff from Cork County Council, who issued a closure notice to Anne Broderick’s puppy farm, and walked away. A rescuer would have walked away if they had no option, but before leaving they would have left knowing the dogs and puppies had at least bedding and clean bowls. And then they would have left with a plan to return to offer help again. Spirited care without authority is no good in these situations. However, most of us know: they can’t stay there. That is not an option. What type of person would be Ok with that? The relevant staff at Cork County Council?
Yes, some people are just in the wrong job