Humane Society volunteer responds to criticism

My name is Scott Gallimore. I’ve been a Hillsboro resident for 10 years. In addition to theHumane Society, I volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity Store, the Samaritan OutreachServices Food Pantry, the elementary school, and the Festival of the Bells. I also worked for theBoard of Elections during the last election.I’ve been volunteering at the Humane Society since 2015. I became a member of its Board ofDirectors three years later when there was no one else willing to do so and there weren’tenough Board members to hold meetings. I’ve spent a lot of time and money volunteering forthe shelter. Here are some of my contributions:• ​Jim and I purchased a wheelbarrow​ and ​paid for lawn mower repairs​ • ​purchased a stepladder​ • ​adjusted driveway gate hinges multiple times, eventually installing a new set of gatehinges​ • ​replaced driveway gate support wheel five times​ • ​cut weeds and tree limbs along driveand fence multiple times​ • ​helped setup and work the last large yard sale at the shelter,wrapping up the day by delivering several of the large purchased items​ • ​helped with the set upfor multiple adoption events​ • ​Jim and I cleaned out the storage shed and Rick, Jim, and I builtall of the shelving​ • ​picked up many truck loads of food donations from Family Farm andWalmart​ • ​caulked roof and other seams in storage shed​ • ​Rick, Jim, and I built wooden endpanels for dog runs (windbreaks). Installed and uninstalled them several seasons​ • ​twice loadedmy truck full of gravel and personally filled in the holes in the driveway​ • ​replaced or repairedvarious light fixtures and bulbs (certainly was no fun crawling into the tiny space between thechain link tops of the outside dog runs and the outside ceiling)​ • ​purchased and installed 16 doorlocks and purchased roughly 86 keys​ • ​made insulated panel for shelter back window when areplacement window couldn’t be found​ • ​purchased a window A/C for the front office. Installedand uninstalled window A/Cs multiple seasons.​ • ​repaired many, many kennels and cages​ •repaired gutters and downspouts, fence gates, and dog run gates multiple times​ • ​purchasedtwo wet/dry vacuums​ • ​replaced parts on front screen door twice​ • un​clogged drains multipletimes​ • ​Spent 2 days removing a broken bathroom sink and toilet and the rest of Amy Rhoden’s“yard sale” trash out of the storage shed upon her departure. Spent 4 hours waiting for Rumpketo send out a second garbage truck because of the amount of garbage.​ • ​fixed the baby scale​ •replaced dryer outlet and power cord​ • ​attended multiple meetings with Judge Greer and JohnLevo regarding funding​ • ​Repaired the furnace by using my voltmeter and a circuit diagram tofigure out that the thermostat was dead. Bought and installed a new thermostat.​ • ​Did the setupand teardown for almost all of the Rascal Unit Spay/Neuter events in Lynchburg (includedclearing out the area, taping down tarps to cover the floor, transporting and setting up the 20+cages, setting up the tables, chairs, cones, and signs, carting away the resulting garbage,sweeping the floors, and putting everything back where it was at the venue and the shelter). Onone occasion, when I arrived at the shelter to load up for the setup, I learned that Amy Rhodenhad managed to lose 3/4ths of the dog kennels. Fortunately, Amy Rhodes was able to meet meat Family Farm so the shelter could pay for all of the kennels they had on hand. After droppingthose and the rest of the supplies off in Leesburg, I drove to Washington Courthouse andpersonally purchased all the appropriate sized kennels they had on hand.

In addition to paying for all of the materials for the above repairs/upgrades and more, I’vedonated all of the money I received from working 3 auctions for a local auctioneer, from workingon the audio production crew for 5 festivals and county fairs, and from selling 8 stained/fusedglass pieces that I made (roughly $1000).Most recently, on Christmas Day when it was only 18 degrees outside and the shelter’s furnacehad stopped working, Debbie and I spent two hours sitting on the cold concrete floor with acircuit diagram and a voltmeter. Finally, after locating a blown 3-amp automotive style fuse anda resulting mad scramble calling our friends, the furnace lived again thanks to two fusesprovided by Lisa and Anthony. Two days later, Debbie and I were at it again. This time we spenta couple of hours installing the windbreaks in the outside dog runs. It was an arduous taskbecause the existing 12’ long wooden panels are very heavy and, due to upgrades to thefences in the exterior dog runs, only one panel could still be installed. This resulted in uscovering the remaining 3 walls with tarps we purchased from Harbor Freight.You came to the Board and said you had concerns. We gave you all of the answers. Yourefused to listen. You said you had several accusations and you wanted our Treasurer “fired”from her non-paying job. We asked you for evidence. You had none and defended your vitriolwith the all encompassing, “Well, people said…”. Well, people say a lot of things, as evidencedby the slanderous comments you’ve made about the Board and the shelter employees in Boardmeetings, on social media, and in this newspaper.So many wonderful things have happened at the shelter in the past few years and you want totrash it and the people who are working to keep it going. You’ve said you just want to help theanimals. Instead, when we voted to keep our Treasurer, you attacked the members of the Boardand seem to actively be working towards the shelter’s closure.During the last Board meeting, Megan, the Shelter Manager, reported that homes had beenfound for 314 animals in 2020. 314 animals and you want to shut us down. Why don’t youbelieve the homeless animals of Highland County deserve a happy future?In your December 31st Letter to the Editor, you said I was guilty. You’re right, I am guilty. I’mguilty of working and donating time, money, and energy to improve the shelter and to keep itoperating. I’m guilty of being concerned for the people who work there. Of caring about animalsand for believing in our shelter’s mission. In short, I’m guilty of giving a damn.In your Letter to the Editor, you said, “Shame on me.” Well, I say, “Shame on you.” Shame on allof you for using gossip and innuendo to weaponize your hate. Where was your outrage whenone of your number, the one that was removed as shelter manager, hoarded animals at theshelter, refused to use Rescues and other avenues? Where were you when she stuffed theplace with more than 40 dogs and over 100 cats? When she kept animals in her car? When shehoused animals in the windowless, uncooled, storage shed during the summer? Shame on youfor siding with a disgruntled former employee and ignoring those that have worked so hard tosave those animals and to clean up the mess she left.

In your Letter to the Editor, you said I no longer have regard for the job I was nominated to do,that I am a disgrace. You said that I put down healthy dogs and cats and that I neglect the careof sick dogs and cats. You are damn liars.You may think I’m sour, or feel hurt, simply because I feel I’ve been treated badly given what Ihave contributed. But what worries me is our animals having to rely on the self centered, fingerpointing, bold-faced liars that signed that Letter to the Editor to handle a dead furnace onChristmas Day or some other emergency.Signed, Scott Gallimore