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Monday, August 23, 2010

Breaking My Own Rule is Not Good Publishing...

I wrote a blog about an experience I had with a hoarding rescue, and I am amazed and shocked at the response that there has been to this blog.  There are comments of support, and comments against my decision to write about it.  There are immature comments.  There are rude comments.  And there are comments that make a lot of sense on both sides of the topic. 

I would like to acknowledge that I did make a mistake in the publishing of that blog.  It is one thing to make a mistake. Everyone hates to do it, although we all do it.   It is yet another thing to make a mistake in a public setting.  And still another thing to make a mistake in a public setting that negatively affects another person.
The mistake I made and I do regret is mentioning the name of the doctor and her practice in my blog.  I wrote in anger, and I wrote in haste.  I usually abide by a self imposed rule that after writing an emotional blog, I wait to publish it for 24 hours.  Then I read it over again.  By then, the "passion" has been reigned in, and I can address it in a more civil manner.  I neglected to abide by my own rule of publishing.  It was immature and unprofessional of me to address the issue in a public setting rather than discuss it with the other doctor in a private setting, when we had both settled our emotions down and could confront the issue again.  For this indiscretion, I do apologize to that doctor and to her staff.

That being said, I do not regret telling the story.  I still stand behind the story as I wrote it.  I still have all the same unanswered questions in my head that I had when I wrote that blog.  I still believe many of those cats deserved a second chance at life, a chance to recover, a chance to heal.  Running medical tests on the cats prior to making a firm decision towards euthanasia, since there was an option of rescue and medical treatment would have been a nice course to consider. 

One comment on the blog calls me a "storyteller", and it was intended as an insult.  It is not taken as such.  Every animal has a story.  I am priveleged to be one of the storytellers.

This is my personal blog. It is full of my life experiences.  In it, I have and will make mistakes. I am only human. I hope next time, it does not negatively affect anyone other than myself.

My only other regret, is that it has taken me so long to make this apology happen...

"True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive." ~Mignon McLaughlin


Maine Kitties said...

I agree that writing in haste rarely makes for the most objective response and I have been guilty of that in the past...which is why stay clear of MOST blog websites (I keep tabs on certain rescues on Facebook but have no intention of getting an account etc)

That being said, sometimes (and I hate to say it), people need to be shocked into action. We are too complacent in this country and most of the time people figure that "someone else will do it".... or even worse "I don't see it personally so it doesn't exist".

I stand by all of your posts because it needed to be said. Animal rescue would not have gotten to the point it is at without folks willing to take the extra step and put themselves on the line to do the right thing. I have read of many instances across the country of this sort of thing.

There will always be narrow minded people that just don't understand that life itself is precious, whether it is a kitten, a baby human, untouched rain forest, wildlife, etc. Yes, everyone believes in SOMETHING, but that SOMETHING is not all there is.

And yes, sometimes you have to fight for what you believe. Literally and Figuratively.

Thank you for standing up for those lives that were lost. Hopefully the other vet will reconsider her actions in the future and maybe she will become a better person. That is the real challenge in our lives anyway.

Anonymous said...

I don't think publishing the story was a mistake. I would want to know whether or not my vet, or one in my area, truly valued the lives of all animals. Those cats did not deserve to die, they deserved a chance, and I have no respect for someone who refused them that chance.

Linda B said...


I appreciate your comments above, and you of course, have the right to have regrets. I'd like to throw this out for the other readers, however.

Right isn't always popular. And I strongly feel that you were right in exposing the moral judgement of another licensed veterinarian based on your experience.

Lest we not forget that this is the same woman who condescendingly told you "no" without respect or regard to your expertise either as a vet or as a shelter.

Is it right to have the "eye for an eye" attitude? NO! When I personally read your blog, and then proceeded to become informed with concrete facts on my own, I learned exactly what took place that day.

Dr. Bright took the following oath as a veterinarian:

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

She did not "protect" the animals and offered healthy adoptable animals a humane death without cause. She refused you the right to save a life.

It was not only RIGHT for you to mention her name because of her actions, it was your professional responsiblity.

Pet Owners follow "initials" on a coat rather than educate themselves. Not once did you criticize Dr. Bright's medical competency...but you did question her moral ethics!

And for that, those who would seek her out for her services, should know that she doesn't always make good judgments on what is "sick" and what is "saveable".

I believe that YOU, fulfilled YOUR OATH as a veterinarian, by providing your readers education with warning to make sure you KNOW whose hands you place your pets lives in. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that...

and I have proudly shared your story with others, and HAVE included Dr. Bright's name.

People are educated and can take that information and make the RIGHT choice for their situations.

Again, I respect you have a regret, but I, for one, am very glad you shared the information with your readers!

Anonymous said...

...You have addressed your actions from every possible angle, there is no further thing to add here. Just let it be known to all who may read, that your good actions have bought and paid for any bad that either of you professionals may or may not have willfully and or mistakenly done. I have done business with both professionals on topic here and both make errors in judgment as we all do, but you are strong and because you see another might have been harmed by your words you have stood up to apologize.
...Here is one of my favorite quotes:
"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly." ~ Albert Einstein
...I am not implying anything about mediocre minds here, I am posting this because of the courage it takes to tell someone else that you stand for something the other does not agree with you on at the time, then also to say that you are sorry for expressing your opinion publicly before the passion of the event had time to settle. You both are strong and respectable women & professionals. Your heart is where it should be, on the animals best interests, for at least enough time to figure out what is in the animals best interest. Opinions on that "best interest" thing will always vary. You both acted true to your own beliefs on the spot of the emotional scene. In doing so the conflict of interest was unavoidable. Peace to you both.
Sharon Houser

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you got so much flac from the blog, and maybe shouldn't have told the name of the other vet to be politically correct, but saying that I have worked for several vets now , and there is a big difference in vets as there is in MD doctors. I want to go to someone who ultimately has the best interest of myself and my animal in mind. That may be a quick fix or in some cases a heartbreaking choice. But I want to know I am dealing with someone with intergrity, for the animals and for myself. So the point is I would rather know the vet's name , and make my choice in going to someone who may want the quick fix where money is concerned , even if that is not an issue for me , or the issue of pride , because unless it's pride in a job well done as in every stone turned then pride has no place in the medical profession. Sorry but this is how I feel . I think your a great vet and one who cares for all animals, personally not just because someone is paying you to care for them , which is a rariety now days unfortunately . So be proud of yourself for a job well done each and every day , I am for you , thankyou for all you do for the animals .

Cindy Khalsa

Anonymous said...

have no regrets! what you wrote about, in every way, was honest and your feelings (and mine). Carry on!

Celeste Lamosse

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lisa,

I had the feeling you were probably receiving lots of comments re. your hoarding rescue blog . . .

You may have broken your own rule of publishing, and you are probably right that you shouldn't have publicly stated the other vet's personal name, but I think she also broke a vow as a veterinarian: to save as many lives of animals as possible in a humane way. She had your offer to help and she refused it.

I would really like to know the other vet's motives for instantly deciding on euthanasia for some of the cats, especially when many could have been saved, or at least given a second chance. Is it possible she was "encouraged" by the ARL, for whatever reason, to make the choice that she did? I wonder what she was thinking when she gave those tiny souls "the shot"? Did she have any regrets?

The thought that "Iris" and "Ruby", the 2 little kittens with bad eyes, could have been saved still makes me sad - obviously it still haunts you, also. Sometimes humans make strange or stupid decisions that I just don't understand. But your decision to try and save those kittens (and some of the other cats) was the right decision - at least you tried, when others didn't. Hopefully that gives you some peace of mind; you have a clear conscience.


Anonymous said...

I read and re-read the "offending" blog--and STILL feel nothing but outrage at the other vet--and I didn't see the name--is there only one vet in Story City???? At any rate the story HAD to be told--and you did it well!!!"

Betsey Butler

Kristin said...

You should have said the vets name and everyone involved. You and so many of us did everything in our power to save as many (that no matter what) deserved to be saved. Do not let doubt get into that head of yours. You did the right thing, like you ALWAYS DO. They did not. Can they live with themselves? Probably. It is just us who actually care about these poor unsociable animals that can't and are constantly in our thoughts. If Dr. Bright was my animals vet I would want to know the WRONG decision(s) she has made and choose a better quality of care for my animals who are just like my children. You stand tall and your head held high. You did the right thing and I am right behind you! Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were more like you in this world? I can only pray. You are the best and kindest person I know and I love you and what you do. Be proud. You have NOTHING to be not proud about.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, as someone who works in both the veterinary field and in animal rescue, I commend you for taking a stand, for taking your oath seriously and for always having the ANIMALS best interest at heart. I am fortunate to work with some wonderful vets myself. Every pet owner should research their vets as much as they would human doctors. I believe you have acted responsibly and again, in the best interest of the animals by publishing your blog. There is a special place in heaven for doctors like you.


Erich said...

I have been waiting for YEARS to meet fellow Iowans who want to create a no kill culture here.

I am in Des Moines, where the ARL is paid to conduct animal control work.

If anyone would like to network I have set up a web site at

Right now it is just a contact page. But the time to move this issue is now and I thank you for bringing the issue into the open.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

This was a actually pretty great publish. In theory I'd like to write like this also - getting time and actual effort to make a good piece of writing but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to obtain anything done.