Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Truth can be Hard to Come By

Thank you to everyone who expressed their joy and excitement at the prospect of DPVHS extending our operations to Hampden county by purchasing the MSPCA's Union Street animal care and adoption center! I am grateful for your support and inspired by your enthusiasm.

One unfortunate spot in all of this is the statement made by Greenfield's newspaper, The Recorder. The front page headline of the May 1st edition indicated that DPVHS is considering closing both our Greenfield and Leverett shelters. In addition, in the May 7th edition, an op-ed piece ran suggesting that DPVHS is "abandoning" the animals and people of Franklin county.

Regrettably this miscommunication has led to angry calls and letters from DPVHS supporters accusing us of turning our backs on them.

Here's the real story: DPVHS has never considered leaving this community. We are closing the Greenfield facility because it is old, rundown, and does not lend itself to remodeling or expansion. In fact, any DPVHS supporter who has followed the saga of our search for land to build a new facility knows the Greenfield shelter was eventually going to be closed when a new building was built.

Every service the Greenfield building performs for animals can be done more humanely and more safely in our Leverett and Springfield buildings.

Leverett is staying open precisely so we can continue to serve the upper valley. Located in Franklin county near the Hampshire county line, the Leverett shelter has traditionally served more animals and people than our Greenfield shelter did. Not only that, but the Leverett building lends itself to renovations better than does the Greenfield building.

Our administrative offices (development, bookkeeping, etc.) are currently located in a house trailer behind the Leverett shelter. The people who work in these offices will be moving to Springfield some time in June. The space they leave behind will be used to give work, meeting, and animal care space to the Leverett shelter staff.

DPVHS has its roots in Hampshire and Franklin counties. Our supporters and most of our staff (including yours truly) live here. We are committed to these communities and will continue to provide vital services to animals and the people who care about them in Hampshire and Franklin counties. The good news is that we will also be expanding these services to communities in Hampden county.


  1. Today's Recorder article is unfortunate...almost making the move from Greenfield THAT much harder for you. I usually like reasing the articles about you in the paper. Not today.

    Please know there are people in the community that fully understand why you are doing what you are doing and that it is, in fact, the best thing for the animals of WMass. Not to mention the ebst thing for you as a organization. No one ever got anywhere by staying stagnant.

    Thank you for all the work you've done so far, and for the work you have ahead of you.

    I live in Montague and will continue to support the Leverett shelter and happily make the trip to Springfield.

    Just a note: Your website has a lot of helpful and easily understood information on it, but making those links more obvious would be helpful.
    Also, maybe having some kind of town meeting in Franklin County would help those citizens hear from you first hand.

  2. Shame on The Recorder for not doing its homework!