"Storming" the TC
Someone just wrote into say that they were very upset with CWS because the woman living in their block looked after the cats and claimed to be from CWS. Apparently, she went up to their flat and scolded his wife for not liking cats. He said that he called the TC and that the TC claimed that CWS volunteers had 'stormed their office' to protest the removal of the cats.
I wrote back to him and said this was a serious allegation. Firstly, I had no idea whom this woman is, as we don't know anyone living in the block. Secondly, I do not know of any volunteers storming into their office.
I asked him for the woman's name and also for the name of the TC officer he spoke with. I told him these were serious allegations and that I would like to speak with the TC officer. I would also like to know whom this woman is.
We can't stop people from using CWS' name obviously and claiming to be from CWS. However, there are also a group of people who aren't known to us who may think it's advantageous to say they are CWS volunteers as it confers some sort of backing. Firstly, we can't confer any sort of backing if we don't know what's happening or what we're supposed to be helping out with - and it would be good to let us know before the fact, not after. Secondly, what some people probably don't realise is that if they act in a certain way and then claim to be from CWS, that it brings a bad name to how volunteers and the Society acts. This in turn affects how all other caregivers are viewed and can give a bad name to everyone.
We are more than happy to help out any caregivers, whether they be volunteers, members or complete strangers to us - but they in turn have to act reasonably and sensibly. This complainant for example, complained the woman who approached him was 'paranoid and over zealous'. This has probably reinforced the image to him of a crazy cat lady. Now we obviously have to hear her side of the story (easier said then done since I don't know whom she is), but if how she behaved is true, then it adds credence to how society in general already views cat feeders - as strange, hostile people who only care about their cats and nothing else. And if she did claim CWS is backing her, then it adds even more fuel to the fire.