My time at PAL towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 was disappointing to put it mildly. I initially came to PAL as a volunteer. For 6 years I had run an animal non profit that was to be dissolved in at the end of 2016. Upon hearing of our dissolution, the president and founder reached out to me expressed interest in taking over one of our very successful and much needed programs, a targeted spay and neuter initiative. Our board of directors was in agreement as we believed in the program we had built.
I started working with PAL's President, Kathi to get them set up to run the program. After only a few weeks, I was invited to join the board, which I did as I liked the idea of being able to oversee the program I was bringing over.
Within the first few weeks of my being there, the exec assistant of two years walked out. No notice. Shortly after that, the pantry manager also walked out, no notice, leaving a note and her keys in the middle of the night. As this was happening and the remaining 3 employees (myself included at that time) tried to pick up the slack of the admin asst and pantry manager, it started to become apparent that the president of the org was clueless about the daily operations and there wasn't a single policy, procedure or guideline in place to unite all the team members as to how to go about accomplishing all of the tasks required to run a successful and efficient organization.
It was agreed that we needed to start from scratch and lay the ground work for how the org should operate moving forward. I was seeing some red flags about the way the Kathi operated from her inability to focus on a task to her treatment of some of staff, volunteers and her lifeline, donors, but I had 7 years exp in animal welfare as well as writing policies and procedures...I believed in what the org was doing, I wanted it to be successful.
Just after the holidays, the third employee walked out. Same as the others, no notice. Meanwhile none of these employees were being replaced and myself and the few volunteers we had were expected to pick up the slack for everyone that had walked out in addition to their regular duties and for me, there were also policies and procedures to write.
As the first of the year approached and all of this chaos was going on, Kathi sat down with the board of directors (myself, Kathi and her best friend who goes along with whatever the prez wants) to discuss the 2017 plan. Being in such chaos, I suggested that we take a step back from trying to grow, get a handle on what we have committed to, do it well and then talk about growth. Everyone was in agreement or at least until a few weeks later when Kathi came to me with a grant application for a program we as a board had agreed to hold off on indefinitely. She wanted to apply for the grant and start the program! What!? That was NOT the agreement.
This wishy washy behavior, doing meaningless busy work, irresponsible spending and the inability to decide on a direction and stick to it seemed to be a pattern with the Kathi. In my years working in animal welfare, one of the best mantras I picked up was "stick to your mission." That thought process had served me well and being in the constant chaos at PAL was wearing on me. It was becoming obvious that Kathi was not someone who I saw as successful, competent, kind to staff and volunteers and extremely ungrateful.
Being a professional, I gave 3 weeks notice and planned to part ways with PAL. As my last day approached, I felt positive about the progress we had made in putting policies and procedures in place that would make it easy for both current and future employees and volunteers to accomplish the jobs needed to help PAL serve the community.
Unfortunately that didn't last. We had instituted a new policy involving the pantry, which at that point I was managing. Two times the week prior I had verified that we were sticking to that new policy. Kathi looked me in the eye and confirmed that was to be the policy, no exceptions. With that I planned and packed up the pet food needed for my final week, leaving myself ample time to then train the volunteer that would be overseeing the pantry when I left. When my last week arrived, 15 minutes before pet owner come to PAL's office to pick up their food, Kathi hands me half a dozen food order sheets for clients that would be coming that day to pick up food. Now these are the same clients that TWO TIMES she verified were NOT to get food. Now in the middle of me training the new volunteer, I have to scramble and get all the food together, fill out the paperwork and pack it up in 15 minutes. And if that didn't make for a tense work environment, minutes later she stormed back into my office and began screaming (no exaggeration) at the 70+ yr old volunteer we had answering the phones. She was nothing short of nasty and abusive when she degraded this dear women in front several others.
In conclusion, PAL Humane Society, while under the control of Kathi is not a place I would recommend working for, volunteering your time to or evening donating your hard earned money. Take it from me, who at the dissolution of my non profit, donated several thousands of dollars and never got even a simple "thank you", there so many other organizations out there run by much more competent, kind and grateful people than the lady who heads up PAL Humane.
And no, I no longer sit on their board of directors. Since I don't go along with whatever Kathi wants and have called her out on her ungrateful and abusive behavior she passively aggressively started to ice me out. First my soc media permissions were pulled, then my monthly duties were taken over by someone else without telling me and eventually my emails stopped working. When I confronted her about it, she gave her usual "super busy" excuse and then lied that she didn't know what was going on. Since even in her 70's she can’t be a big girl to face life's confrontations, I did it for her and resigned.
Review from Guidestar
GUIDESTAR STATEMENT Wednesday, March 09, 2011
It is truly unfortunate that the people who posted reviews in the last few weeks had no other forum with which to voice their concerns/opinions.
As the President of the Board of Directors (BOD) for PAL Humane Society, I will take this opportunity to address some of the issues stated in the reviews.
Kathi Schlintz, founder/CEO started PAL 18 years ago with the intent to help animals. During her tenure with PAL she has provided leadership which resulted in more than 13,000 animals being adopted and contributed not only her time but much of her own money to keep PAL running. In the last year after suffering from the worst economic decline our country has had since the 1930’s PAL was faced with many challenges which Kathi persevered through. In addition to PAL’s challenges, Mrs. Schlintz was faced with many personal and health challenges, Kathi has been discussing retiring for the last year, and was actively looking for someone to “take over” and keep the PAL team going.
Kathi has been very introspective with the many statements made of late in the negative reviews posted here. With her concern for PAL’s best interest and in light of her personal challenges, Kathi Schlintz has tendered her resignation from PAL Humane Society.
As PAL Humane Society is a Non-Profit Organization, the Board is and has been the driving force in most if not all of the major decisions made for the organization. It is regretful that some of these decisions did not pan out as planned, very often; even the best laid plans for a business are not successful. We now have several new Board members, new officers and in light of Mrs. Schlintz’s resignation, we have absorbed complete responsibility for the management of PAL.
The following changes have been made with regards to our operating procedures:
• As President I will be overseeing the day to day operations and reporting to the BOD monthly on our progress. In addition, I will be managing the Wrightwood Project which includes the property donated to PAL in 2010.
• The BOD will be responsible for fundraising and planning as well as staff/Human Relations/Public Relations/procedural/financial decisions.
• Mary Shanks will be supervising animal services. (with final decisions regarding euthanasia coming from the BOD & recommendation from a Veterinarian)
• Additional employees will be responsible for data entry, accounting, volunteers and our many programs.
After extensive investigation both with physical records and interviews with staff the BOD found the following:
• With regards to allegations of misconduct with animals;
No incidences of medical attention being withheld were found. (this was confirmed by veterinarian records)
Total Intake for 2010 - 44 cats, 73 dogs
Sick/treated animals 2010 - 21 cats (some with recurring illness), 7 dogs; of these, 2 dogs treated at the hospital for parvo, the rest treated at PAL under vet recommendations. 2 of the cats were treated at the hospital, the rest treated at PAL under vet recommendations.
• With regards to animals being euthanized without cause;
1 dog and 12 cats (11- leukemia positive, 1-upper respiratory with very poor prognosis) were euthanized due to health issues.
(All recommended by our veterinarian)
3 dogs were euthanized due to temperament issues. (recommendation based on a consensus of animal professionals)
• With regards to the Explorer Post;
The BOD voted to disband the Explorer post as it was determined not to be within the scope of PAL Humane Society’s focus. Monies collected were absorbed into the general program fund.
• With regards to the Herdina grant money being misused;
During the audit in February it was found that in 2009 there was a balance of $3991.44 in unused/expired vouchers, this has been rolled over into 2011; in addition a balance of $5.35 was rolled over from 2010 into 2011’s fund. (this has been submitted and confirmed by the Herdina grant coordinator)
The following will be available for public viewing at PAL Humane Society’s Adoption Center/Headquarters Tues.-Sat. 10AM-4PM, located at 22148 Hwy 18, Apple Valley, CA 92307:
• Monthly minutes of non-sensitive information from the Board meetings. (current year only)
• Yearly tax records in the form of IRS 990 documents. (Also available on Guidestar)
I was a former volunteer helping out a fellow employee that was , not to an extreme degree, overworked on weekends. I aided her countless times in a professional and timely manner. Dogs and cats alike were treated very well on the outside looking in. My review is more for the leadership of pals. From the moment I heard about kathi she was portrayed as a very cold boss. When I first met her I was not met with a greeting but a cold stare as if I was not wanted. My first instinct was to leave but the employees workload was very high and I personally had the time. As time went on I saw number of times the employee I helped come in tears from the reprimand kathi gave her. In all honesty I saw nothing wrong with her work ethics. The employee met and even exceeded her job. But it was never good enough because kathi seemed to have a personal vendetta against her. Even the other employees and volunteers understood it. My main point is that the management isn't what you would consider a management place. Instead of acting like a boss kathi and even some of the workers made it as a like based notion. Disregarding hard work but in turn if you were her friend you were treated with some form of respect. Pals mission is a great one. Management tactics must change for the sake of that mission or the ones who suffer will be the animals.
Review from Guidestar
This review is not being written with the intent to do harm to PAL. It is intended to provide a volunteer's perspective and hopefully constructive criticism. I have read all of the posted reviews and would like to make one thing absolutely clear. I am writing this review of my own volition. No one has asked or coerced me into doing so. I have no ax to grind. I have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. Let me start by saying that volunteering should be an intrinsically rewarding experience. There is no monetary compensation but we want to do it because it feels good to help others be they two-leggers or four-leggers. However, I would have to give my volunteer experience at PAL mixed reviews. This is due to a number of reasons. First of all, I would like to express some positives. I met some great people that also love animals and that gave 100% plus in their efforts to assist PAL with it's goals. The Senior/Pet Connection program, in my opinion, is one of the most effective and impactful programs that PAL offers. Livia does a great job keeping it organized and functional. With regard to the animals in PAL's charge, I never saw any that were mistreated, intentionally neglected, etc. Staff members and volunteers kept areas as clean as possible and were affectionate with the animals. I honestly believe that they were caring and compassionate caregivers that did everything in their power to give the animals a home away from home and a chance at finding a permanent home. Getting animals adopted was exciting. However, there are many areas that could use some major improvement. One of my biggest concerns for the future of PAL is how resources are managed--both financial and human. I don't have access to PAL's financial status, records, etc. so I cannot really comment too much on that area but I have many questions. Is it really just a bad economy? What are the priorities? Is there really transparency with regard to how funds are spent? When there are limited funds, shouldn't the animals be the first priority? I know there are long term goals for organizational development but sometimes you have to go back to basics. In some ways, I think they have tried to do just that but there is a complete lack of focus. It is onto the next big idea without thinking things through. Unfortunately, that speaks to lack of leadership. There is a vision but the follow through is weak. There are people that love animals, are passionate about saving them, but are not equiped to be in a leadership role. Which brings me to management of human resources. Like it or not, it takes people to make an organization successful. It would be impossible for one person to perform all of the necessary tasks. When you have good people working for you, you need to try to retain them. Turnover is costly in many ways. It can be financially expensive, it causes problems with morale, it can really affect overall performance of an organization. It is difficult to feel sorry for someone that complains about being shorthanded but makes little effort to keep people there. I realize that there are constraints on a non-profit as far as being able to pay a competitive wage but there are other ways to keep people around. One is showing true appreciation for their efforts and not using an authoritarian leadership style. People need and want to be inspired to work for you. Fear of reprecussions is not a good motivational tool and will eventually (if not swiftly) lead to turnover. Another issue that I had a problem with was how the Herdina Grant was handled. I don't know the financial details--whether there was or wasn't money in the account, etc. I just know that there were people in need of assistance and they were given excuses not straight answers. Many filled out applications, left messages, waited for a response and got none. Why? Why should they have to call back several times and not get some definitive answer so that they can decide what to do? Dodging calls was a pervasive pattern. And it was the volunteers that had to speak to these people over and over again trying to explain why they had not received a response. I just got to the point where I didn't want anything to do with the phones. This practice was not only ineffective but unethical and unprofessional. That is why I gave this organization the lowest rating. Unethical behavior toward clients is not acceptable in my book. And when you see a breech of ethics in one area, chances are good that things are not as they should be in other areas. As a volunteer with a conscience, you want to distance yourself from that whole situation. In closing, I want to reiterate that this is not meant as a personal attack but it is difficult to address these issues without questioning leadership. It does seem to be the common denominator. Ultimately, that is where responsibility lies. Leadership doesn't have to be warm & fuzzy but it needs to be effective. And people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of how one feel's about them. It is in the best interest of the animals. I would love to see PAL succeed and have more of a positive impact on our community. The concept is great but the execution needs a lot of work. With the high number of negative reviews, one must lend credence to these concerns. They aren't just disgruntled former employees/volunteers. I personally observed many of them putting their heart and sole into PAL. But there is only so much one can give or put up with before they have to save themselves. Maybe that is what has happened to Kathi. Maybe she is burned out or overwhelmed and needs to turn PAL over to someone that can breathe new life into it.
I too was a former employee, and I can say I loved it there at one point. Who wouldn’t enjoy the unconditional love received from the animals? But the unfair treatment from kathi to volunteers and employees was constant. Kathi’s treatment towards me personally was being talked down to, 'disciplined' in front of other employees, volunteers, and often customers. She would never pull me aside and talk to me about it, rather say whatever was on her mind no matter how rude or whoever was there. She was also this way with volunteers, speaking whatever was on her mind about them. in particular about 2 new volunteers that happen to be gay, saying that they would donate lots of money because of the fact they were gay.
And the poor animals there, for about 2months there were mother cats and kittens in the so-called clinic not being given the proper medications when they were sick. Having to go in and wipe their eyes with a warm wash cloth so they could open their eyes to see and their nose to be able to breathe a little bit more comfortable twice or more daily was horrible. And the dogs being in a 5by 5 kennel 24hrs a day was mean and cruel as well.
By the time the money came in and we moved to the new location the cats were finally tested and given their vaccines (which all of the kittens, ranging from 6months to 9months were never given)
Turned out that about 15 kittens and one adult cat had come down with Leukemia. They were all put down. The kittens that were adopted before the money came in were never tested. when i spoke up and asked if i should call the adopters to bring them in to get tested i was simply told, "If they have it, they have it." And when volunteer’s employees and customers asked about them, they were told they were all adopted. All of that could have been prevented.
And 2 sibling puppies were also put down because they were shy and timid around people. PUPPIES could be worked with, but instead were put down. And as for a dog named foxy which was a pit bull terrier was taken to the shelter and put down because she jumped fences! NOT because she was a pit bull terrier, she was AWESOME with other dogs, children of all ages, men, women, everyone. Not ever once gave a snarl but always a friendly lick to the face. She as well could have been worked with or have found the right home for her.
Another dog the kraken was also taken to the pound and put down right after he growled at kathi as she stood there and yelled at him instead of backing away. By the way he was tied to the door in a corner eating when she came around the corner and startled him.
And right away she told Mary that he needed to go, that no dog was going to growl at her. He too could have been worked with.
I guess you can still call them a no-kill shelter since they only did the things that lead up to it and let either the vet or Apple Valley animal control do the killings.
And I am no longer there because of how generous kathi is.
When the money finally came in I was made full time again and I also found out I was pregnant. when I told kathi this she slowly started cutting my hours from 40 to 20, 10, 8, 6 and finally not working for 3 weeks straight. I did the same job there that Mary shanks did, and I was being told theres no work right now for my department. How was there no work when Mary would constantly come to me saying she’s so stressed because kathi never lets her get her job done. There were always piles and piles of paper work on marys desk that could have been given to me. So finally after three weeks of not working I was sent a txt message saying for me to come in. kathi and Mary had a meeting with me saying I can stay on with the little work that’s coming in or she can lay me off and I can collect unemployment. Of course she had planned the whole thing so I could only really have one choice. Its funny how she was telling me make sure I put on the unemployment papers that there was lack of work, not that I was pregnant. She made sure to tell me about 5 times....
Also no one should take the negitive reviews as in trying to shut PAL down, but as in trying to change the way its managed. Ive seen other comments as to we're trying to shut it down and we're going to hurt the animals. The animals are already hurting due to lack of care. The animals there can sense when were not happy, and in turn make them uncomfortable around us. So yes, we need to have happy employees and volunteers there to make the animals happy. So for all of those who said we're hurting the animals, we're not. We stayed as long as we could because we truly do love and care for them. But sadly one person seems to run us all off. All the negitive reviews are from people who actually spent time there, not just one day or came in to drop off a donation, so how would they really know whats its like there? Know the facts before you start throwing out that we want to shut PAL down. Because from my eyes we're the only ones who really seem to care about whats going on.
Oh by the way, is that Wright Wood house given to PAL in a Will ready for rent yet? Or is it still being used for Kathi's personal get away?
I received this message from Dawn Coffman or Dawn Baker which is signed.. .and please read the message that I wrote to her under her message to me...
From: Dawn Coffman [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:34 PM
Cc: Chris Baker
Subject: PAL Humane Society Review necessary
I think you should take a closer look one of the Organizations you have an association with...
I can send internal e mails for additional information and misconduct.
iGive donations to Crosswalk Schools = http://www.iGive.com/welcome/warmwelcome.cfm?c=56719&m=685906
From: Sr Pauline Quinn op [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:30 PM
To: 'Dawn Coffman'; 'email@example.com'
Cc: 'Chris Baker'
Subject: RE: PAL Humane Society Review necessary
What ever you have against the Pal Humane Society, or how ever they have hurt you, I am sorry to hear this and feel bad for you that you are this angry and upset with them that you would try and hurt them with slander. It is slander of another in what you are doing. When we treat people like this, then it shows that there is a problem, but not always with the people who are being criticized
There is a big world out there with so many different types of people… and sometimes people do things that hurt us… sometimes they seem like they don’t care or can misunderstand the other. Sometimes they might even do something on purpose that goes against the grain of what they should be doing.. but all of us have made mistakes in our lives… you, me and everyone… and to try and bring them down for any mistakes that they might have made is the opposite of my belief. I like to try and help people up… that is why I help the prisoners in the dog programs that I have started around the country because many of those prisoners did major things to hurt people.. and do I sit back and try and pull them down farther for all the bad things that they did in their life… or do I go out there and try and do things to make their lives better so even if they stay in prison for the rest of their life, they might do something to help someone else while in prison.
Perhaps you can take all this anger you have for PAL Humane Society… and go out there and do something good for someone else… to make a difference in other people’s lives because that wouldn't hurt this world.
Things have a way in taking care of itself… people change… situations that seem negative get better… all sorts of things change but the greatest change that we can make in this world, is to change our own selves… to focus on our own lives instead of the lives of others who you might have had a negative experience with.
I can’t say that I have had the same experience as you. I have been there to PAL many times… I have helped them start their prison program… and I have seen them take good care of their dogs…
If you really want to get upset in how dogs and cats are being taken care of, then go to Haiti, Africa or other countries where I have worked and see what is being done to them… and what I have seen at PAL, is a caring group of people who are trying to make a difference in the lives of animals.. that is the main and most important focus that we should all live by..
Peace, Sr Pauline Quinn op
Lyingdog called all the other posts for Pal Humane Society a “smear campaign”. A smear campaign implies slander. Why would everyone here lie about their experiences? What good would that do? I understand that some of the situations presented by other posters many seem outrageous, even downright ridiculous. Sadly, I know from personal experience and observation that this is not the case. What you are reading happened and is happening. It’s true that PAL is currently run by only a few staff members, but hat has not always been the case, and the economy is not the only culprit. People need to start asking questions! Why is the turnover rate for volunteers and employees so high at PAL? Why, after 18 years, is PAL still struggling so hard just to make ends meet? Why has PAL had to move umpteen times in those past 18 years? Why does mentioning “PAL” or the name “Kathi Schlintz” in many community and civic circles result in waves of hostility? Why are there are so many disgruntled employees/volunteers. Why is everyone so upset with PAL CEO/President Katherine Schlintz?
Not providing wages owed to employees on posted date/time per the labor code.
Not providing legally required breaks to employees per the labor code.
Expecting employees to work overtime without pay, and suggesting terminations would result if employees did not participate in unpaid overtime.
Lack of training for employees’ assigned positions.
Lack of guidance/support for volunteers.
Misappropriation of funds including, but not limited to, grants, donations, bequests, program/membership dues, and fund-raising profits for specific programs.
The belittling and berating of volunteers, employees, clients, and board members, both publicly and surreptitiously.
Attempting to pit employees against each other through malicious untruths and gossip.
Attempting to pit employees against volunteers, and vice versa, through malicious untruths and gossip.
Attempting to pit employees against board members, and vice versa, through malicious untruths and gossip.
Not providing appropriate/timely medical care to animals entrusted into PAL’s care.
Blatant disregard for the dangers of animal overcrowding, particularly in regard to cats.
Favoring cats over dogs in regard to intake for the adoption program.
Unprofessional behavior including, but not limited to, tantrums, the sharing of sensitive/private employee/board member/volunteer/client information with other employees/board members/volunteers/clients, the malicious discussion of former employees/board members/volunteers/clients with current employees/board members/volunteers/clients, blatant condescension toward others, and an attitude of entitlement.
Not paying community businesses for services rendered in a timely manner, if at all.
Not paying rent in a timely manner, if at all.
Badmouthing said businesses/landlords when contacted and asked to make payment.
Constant project development and execution, including the spending of PAL funds, with little or no follow through.
And the list could go on and on. As stated by other posters, PAL was a great concept, and could have been a great organization, and it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that non-profits are run by saints who put the mission of the organization ahead of themselves. However, without an accountable president/CEO or an effective board of directors, PAL Humane Society will be what it has always been – a half-assed attempt at something that is really no more than an ego boost for Katherine Schlintz. And who bears the burden for this more than anyone else? Not the mistreated employees or volunteers, not the stiffed businesses, and not the duped donors. It’s the animals PAL claims to be helping. They are the ones who truly suffer. Think about that before you donate time or money to this organization.
I volunteered for PAL for 4 months during the spring and summer. I was so excited to find a no-kill shelter in my area and when I first started to work there, I was thrilled. At first I worked in the cat rooms doing the morning clean ups.
For the most part, the cleaning was not a problem but the treatment of the volunteers was. Any time one volunteer made a mistake, Kathi took it out on ALL of the volunteers. More then once I heard her threaten to let go of all the volunteers because of a mistake from one volunteer and she generally talked down to them.
I did not get to really see how terrible it was until I started working in the gift shop, answering phone and assisting guests.
We got a lot of calls from seniors with sick pets and who needed help from the Herdina Grant. When we got these calls we were told to tell them that the program was on hold for now but would be back in about a month and to call again then. Other times they called because they already submitted an application for the grant and wanted to know what was going on with their application. We were told to tell those people that their applications were still being reviewed. We always took down the callers name and number and reason for their call so that Kathi could call them back regarding the grant. A few days later, they would call back, and tell us that Kathi never called and that their pet still needed vet care and they wanted a real answer. Sadly, the volunteers who worked the phones could never give them the real answer and all we could do was take another message for Kathi that would be ignored.
To this day I don't know why those people were never helped or why we had to keep running them in circles when they were in need of help, but it was a major factor in my decision to leave.
I've found PAL to be a very professional although sometimes hectic place of business. I know that they have had hard times in this economy and frankly what Non-Profit hasn't... From my point of view Kathi & Mary run PAL with a great deal of expertise. Reading some of the posts listed (all in 1 or 2 days) it looks to me like a “smear” campaign designed by disgruntled employees. How unfortunate since it appears that they all want to help animals… And that is, from my experience just what PAL does. When there are only a few people running a very busy organization, there isn’t always time for hugs, kisses and singing kumbia. Real world, never enough time to do what needs to be done with any small non-profit.
For me the proof is in the actions, I don’t really care if anyone likes the person running the place! Are the animals being saved? Are they cared for in a humane way? Is money being spent according to non-profit rules? The answer is yes to all of these things. Don’t believe it, just as them, all non-profits are public entities and as such are subject to public scrutiny.
Review from Guidestar
I worked at PAL with my wife trying to run the Explore program for Kathi after she asked me if I would like a job there as the Humane Education person and I accepted. Any time that I asked for any kind of training and for direction I was told we need to schedule time and when I tried to schedule time I was brushed off. Over the course of 7 months my wife and I donated well over $300.00 a month to PAL and none of the money we donated was used for what it was intended...this include money we donated for a friend's dog who passed away and we bought him a leaf on the "Tree of Life"...when I asked Kathi point blank about the "Tree of Life" she said that it was not her responsibility to finish this project as a board member started it so the board member should finish it...but when I asked her about where it was going to be put she said that she did not have time to deal with it right now she need to run to Home Depot to buy paint for the cattery. So we donated money for a project that never come to be...what happened to the money? If you look at my wife's post she has the emails that go back and forth between PAL and ourselves about the Explore program and it states that if we require a refund to make a request for one and they would ensure we received it...well almost a year later and still no refund. People like Kathi are the biggest reason people do not go out into their communities and help. She gives Non-Profits a bad name and disheartens many people who just want to help.
When I first was hired at PAL, I was so excited to be working for such an awesome organization. I thought I had finally found a place to work that shared my love for animals. The concept of PAL was great, however, I soon found out that things were not as they seemed. The entire organization is based on lies. PAL continually asks the public for donations to fund programs that no longer exist. The “Education Program” was a joke. PAL boasted about having the first Explorer Post of it’s kind, however the kids were never given a chance to learn what the program was intended to teach themand then it was eliminated. The “Prison Program” at the juvenile detention center and at the Federal prison was supposed to rehabilitate the inmates by teaching them to train the rescued dogs to make them more adoptable. This program was only started so that PAL would be eligible to obtain grant money and the dogs never benefitted from the program itself since many times PAL’s own therapy dog and even employee dogs were taken into the facilities. PAL also receives a grant each year from the Herdina Fund, which is supposed to be used solely to help low-income seniors with the vet care that they may not otherwise be able to give their pets. For a year and a half, people who requested the vouchers were lied to on a daily basis when they were told that PAL was out of funding for that program, but in reality, the funds had been spent elsewhere. Staff and volunteers were treated horribly. Donors and board members were/are kept in the dark about PAL’s finances and were always shown unrealistic budgets that were false.
If PAL is the only “no-kill shelter in the High Desert”, why were all the dogs put down when they moved to the new facility because they didn’t want to house them there? And if PAL is in such bad need of funding, then why are they hiring a larger staff, when they are far less animals now since they no longer house the dogs? The only two services that brought an income to PAL (grooming and training) were cut out. Why? The staff went for weeks, and then months without pay, but continued to stay at PAL because of their love of the animals there. But they were berated daily and expected to do twice the work without pay. If they questioned Kathi about their pay, they were given the “oh well” attitude and brushed off. Kathi (owner/founder) has continually falsified documents to hide the truth from everyone. Any staff member or volunteer that got “too close” mysteriously got “let go”. As you can read from all the previous comments, the public needs to take a serious look at PAL and how it is ran. I think the owner has a few questions to answer!
I started with PAL Humane Society as a foster volunteer years ago. Over the course of about 2 years I fostered dozens of dogs & a couple of cats. While I was a foster volunteer I did not interact very often with the founder Kathi but with the employees of which were awesome. The employees worked there tails off to make this organization work while Kathi was usually off shopping or coming up with some "new idea". I was then offered a job with PAL, that I was very excited about even though I had been told about Kathi's attitude & the way she ran things. I soon realized what it really meant to work for PAL & really got to see behind the scenes. While I worked there full time I also always had a foster animal in my home and was told I still did not due enough even though I worked for free several times a week (as she did not pay overtime). The employees who worked at PAL along with the volunteers had to come into work everyday hoping Kathi was in a good mood. It was very common for her to yell & belittle her staff, as she says she isn't a people person so deal with it. She has been open since 1993 but for all those years she hasn't been able to make PAL what it should be because she doesn't know how to run a business. In 2007 PAL was given half a million dollars and the money was wasted on renovating rented buildings that she decided would become such great things (they all sit empty now full renovated & were never used for what they were suppose to). She would come in every week & have a new idea & just do it & spend the money without thinking about it. She hand picked her board members so she could control them & what ever she says goes. She did "lay off" the Humane Officer when she was on medical leave from giving her mother a kidney. Her excuse was she didn't have the money to pay her but she turned around and hired somebody else at a high pay & gave her right hand man a raise at which combined was higher than the Humane Officers pay. I wish the community could see what PAL is really like. Yes they have helped animals & seniors but if the money had been used like it was suppose to be it would have helped so many more animals & people. Kathi is a master at putting on a great face to donors & the public & then turning & doing whatever she wants with it. I ask donors & the community to look at her & this organization carefully & really know what you are giving to.
I worked for PAL for just 3 short months thinking going in that i had the best job ever..i worked at a humane society where i could help care for animals and get paid for it? wow i guess that was too good to be true..it was too bad. I have never in my life met such a horrible person as Kathi (PAL owner). She has a lot of people fooled by starting a humane society, it was the most ironic thing having a person like her owning such an organization. She was rude, selfish, anda two-faced liar. She treated her volunteers and employees like trash. All she cared about was money and would do anything for a dime.
True story and what was the final straw for me leaving-There was a program at PAL that granted the funds to certain people to get VET care for thier pets who couldnt afford it. This one couple came in with thier application very upset because one of thier dogs needed immediate care. So i took thier application and told them i would let Kathi know and i would get back to them ASAP..well Kathi was too busy all day long to acknowledge this issue when all she had to do was sign a peice of paper. The couple called me several times asking about the application and i had to tell them she was igoring it. And do u know why?! she was BAKING A CAKE for a dog's birthday..a paying customer..and she was in a hurry to get it done and didnt have time to step away for one second to help these poor people and thier dog. She was only concerned about the 20 bucks for the cake she was making. I could not believe it and quit shortly after.
She also would tell people that came in that she dressed unprofessional beause she spent so much time with the animals..um NO..for the 3 months i worked there i maybe saw her with the animals once.
Another reason i quit was because she would stand over me while i was on the phone with our volunteers and then tell me i wasnt strict enough with them and i was too nice.
It's really too bad because the place had tons of potential..
I was an employee at PAL Humane Society for the past three years. I am taking the time to give my opinion because I feel the public deserves to know what goes on behind closed doors.
To begin with, the founder has no clue how to run a business. Think about it, PAL has been in business since 1993. Why is it that they haven’t grown? Their current office consists of a unit behind a Mexican restaurant. In 2007 PAL was given half a million dollars. Where did it go? Most of it was squandered away fixing up rented spaces at the Apple Valley Inn. One building was converted into a clinic but never opened as a clinic. It eventually became a glorified kennel area. By glorified I mean that dogs were kept in one of the six rooms. Another had a full kitchen installed and stocked for baking treats. Treats were baked for a few months, and then the kitchen stood empty for the remainder of time she paid rent on the building. Yet another was gutted and made into a training room. But, training was virtually impossible because the majority of dogs were housed in that room behind a partition wall. How can proper training take place with dogs outside huge windows, barking at the students? Several other buildings were converted into kennels and catteries just to be abandoned when money became short and PAL had to downsize. In November of 2010 PAL was given another half a million dollars. It was specified by the deceased that the funds be used only for the care of the animals. Not rent or wages. I’m curious how over $100,000.00 in debts plus two months of employee wages, mine included, got paid off after PAL received the money. When it was not supposed to be spent that way.
They say they have alot of programs but in reality the low-cost spay/neuter clinic never happened. I know of several veterinarians in the high desert that refuse to even work with PAL. And the medical manager at PAL is “self taught”. They say they have developed an extensive humane education program. What does that mean? They started a Prison Dog Program in San Bernardino County's High Desert Juvenile Detention & Assessment Center. I was responsible for running that program. Its original intention was to bring in rescue dogs from the facility to be rehabilitated by the juveniles. Since I quit, a volunteer has been going into the facility with her personal dog to teach the classes. And, at the Federal Prison System in Adelanto, they only taught two rounds of classes and haven’t gone back into the facility since. I know this because I was also part of that program. There is no grooming salon. The groomer was laid off back in October 2010 because she had to ask repeatedly to be paid. There is no training facility. Where would it be? And gift shop consists of a hallway area as you walk into the facility doors. It’s funny how the first sentence in their mission statement says “Prevention of cruelty to animals by any reasonable means” Unfortunately, when the cruelty officer took a leave of absence to donate her kidney to her mother, the program was eliminated. I know through behind closed door conversations, that the program was eliminated as an excuse to lay off the cruelty officer.
And finally, I feel everyone should know. When I quit, PAL had two of the four remaining dogs in their care euthanized because they were falsely deemed “unadoptable”. The other two were taken to Apple Valley animal control and had to sit in their cells to wait their obligatory three days before being euthanized. So, how is it that they can boast they are the only no-kill shelter in the high desert and get away with killing perfectly healthy dogs? These and many more “secrets” are kept hidden from the public, volunteers and even board members. Think about this the next time you pull out your checkbooks.
Review from Guidestar
I would not reccomend this organization to anyone. I have donated my time and my aeroplane for fund raising activities and will never do so again. PAL is totally mismanaged and funding is not spent how it should be. Animals have died from lack of medical treatment. My wife played a key roll in the Prison Dog Program and finally left after not being paid for 2 months. She was extremely dedicated to the cause and was very much torn between staying and leaving. There were times when she would come home almost in tears because of what she saw. As far as I am concerned PAL is there for the money not the animals. I have two words to discribe one individual who has been working for PAL for a number of years: lazy and self centered. She does not deserve to be there. This is a harsh review but, it is honest. As stated the best thing that could happen to PAL is replace the managment.
We were impressed with the dedication of the workers and the overall operation of the organization. The cleanliness of the facility stood out, as well as how orderly everything was. The lady in charge of the sanctuary not only was concerned with the present - day-to-day operations, maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant - but it was obvious that she had a vision on where she wanted to take the organization in the future. Overall very positive feeling from an organization filling what is generally viewed by society as a sad and negative function, i.e. abandoned pets. We made a sizeable donation and later donated all the grooming equipment we had used on our two pet dogs.
Review from Guidestar
Thanks to PAL, once a month I deliver donated pet food and supplies to the elderly who need assistance because of financial hardship. Without this assistance, many of the elderly would have to give up their pets. This would be a tremendous loss as these animals often are viewed as "family" to them. Their cat(s) and/or dog(s) provide the love and companionship in too often very empty lives. I have delivered supplies for almost two years. During this time, I have come to know each of them and their wonderful animals, and it has absolutely enhanced my life with new friends, both in the elderly and their pets. I look forward to my monthly Saturday deliveries when I can catch up with them all; it enhances my life. Thanks, PAL, for providing very necessary support for seniors and a rewarding experience for me.
Review from Guidestar
I don't really have a story, but I have known others that do have a story. The stories are heartwarming, tear filled, even heartbreaking at what these dear creatures have endured before P.A.L. rescues them. I have watched and listened to the caring and dedicated personnel and volunteers at the Apple Valley P.A.L. group. The High Desert can be a very harsh place for abandoned and stray animals. We have the intense heat with very few water sources for animal life. Freezing temperatures and worst of all for strays or abandoned animals is the constant threat of attack by natural wildlife. The P.A.L. people remember these 4-legged souls deserve to be warm, fed, loved and living in a safe enviroment. This takes time and money. Time they give in abundance. Funding, they don't haven in abundance. That is why P.A.L. Apple Valley needs donations. Their doors need to be kept open.
Review from Guidestar
What would we do without folks like those at PALS to help animals who can't help themselves. I wish there were not so many people to who abuse and abandon their innocent peds. Kudos to PALS Apple Valley, CA.
I love Pal Humane Society and the work they do here in the High Desert. It breaks my heart to see so many abused and deserted animals and I can tell that Pal gives their all to protect these wonderful little creatures. I have attended one of their fundraisers and was very impressed. A great organization!!!
Review from Guidestar