Last week, the animal shelter, via their Facebook page -- Douglas County Animal Shelter -- posted a picture of empty shelves with the following statement: "We need your help! This is our cat food supply ... completely empty! It used to be piled high with canned cat food but with over 100 cats to feed everyday ... we've run out!"
As you can imagine, people from all over the county, some even making arrangements from out of town, sprang into action to avert this urgent crisis.
The problem is that it wasn't true. The shelter was not out of food and the animals were never in any danger of going unfed.
While some residents were busy buying and delivering food, others were questioning why a facility with a nearly $2 million operating budget, which includes food, would be in such a state of crisis?
The answer, again via their Facebook page hours later, was very telling. "Just to be clear, we are certainly given enough money to provide food for all of the animals in our shelter. We simply ask for donations so that we can keep as much money for our vet bills as possible."
Did that original post sound like they were simply asking for donations?
No one faults the shelter asking for donations but it should be done in an open and honest manner. No one appreciates being lied to and emotionally manipulated. The Board of Commissioners should seriously delve into and address the issue of diverting food funds to other things as well as the way the shelter seeks donations.
As the moral of The Boy Who Cried Wolf tells us -- even if a liar tells the truth, no one believes them. A genuine crisis will certainly occur one day. It would be a shame if no one answered the call.