Susan Smith is the spokesperson and marketing director at the Franklin County Dog Shelter. Smith is tasked with public relations and marketing dogs for adoption. According to shelter staff, Smith also maintains the FCDS website and social media accounts.
Late last year, Smith publicly insulted volunteers and partner rescue organizations via misleading statements posted on the FCDS website.
Smith’s public comments were not only inflammatory, nauseatingly passive aggressive, and disrespectful to countless local volunteers, they were also false. We know that this isn’t the first time Smith provided false information when reporting Shelter marketing efforts to taxpayers.
We also know that as recently as last month Smith disregarded Franklin County ethics policy by providing exclusive marketing opportunities for Director Rock’s wife’s rescue organization (which accepts donations on behalf of COPS) while representing the county on county time.
Given these major issues, is Smith an appropriate spokesperson to represent the best interests of the shelter and our community?
Here is the text to Smith’s post on the FCDS web page (image from the website is posted above):
Another pit bull saved by our caring staff and Friends of the Shelter.
April has been waiting six months for a place to call her own…
This sweet pit bull came to the shelter a broken pup in January 2013. Her leg was left broken for weeks as rescue after rescue “committed” to taking her only to change their minds at the last minute when something cuter or less broken crossed their paths.
Emails between the shelter, area rescues, and Friends of the Shelter prove that Smith’s inflammatory post was false. Multiple volunteers from Friends of the Shelter and other rescues also verify that Smith’s post was false.
Why would a paid county spokesperson spend county time insulting and alienating volunteers who ultimately assist in reducing the County’s payroll, medical care costs, bottom line, and euthanization rate while helping to increase FCDS’s adoption rate and overall success? Why would the County spokesperson mislead the public and recklessly disregard the work of shelter volunteers?
Shouldn’t the county spokesperson be thanking our tireless volunteers and working collaboratively to engage them further? Doing so saves taxpayers money and other resources.
It’s well established that rescue groups and unpaid volunteers take the dogs that FCDS deems ‘unadoptable.’ Often these are dogs that the shelter will not provide medical care for, regardless of how minor the diagnosis. It’s well known that rescues take plenty of sick dogs in their care.
Rescue groups and volunteers are the county’s unsung and unpaid heroes and tireless worker bees. Why would we allow a paid FCDS employee to insult and alienate these important people? How do Smith’s actions benefit taxpayers and the bottom line and the goodwill of the community at large?
What other county organization enjoys this much free labor from taxpayer volunteers? Why aren’t we nurturing these important partners and relationships?
To all the tireless and unsung shelter volunteers and partner rescue groups, thank you for your valuable service to our community and for helping take a big bite out of County payroll and the bottom line.