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No-Kill Louisville Now A Meaningless Money Pit

March 10th, 2014 by jake · 8 Comments

The once-decent No-Kill Louisville has fallen apart over the past couple years. It now appears to be just a shell for collecting tax-free money. What on earth is it in this city that causes people to go crazy with perceived power and greed?

With the departure of Jessica Reid and now Karen Dickson, as animal activists around town know quite well, the organization is essentially dead. It hasn’t pulled a rescue from Metro Animal Services in months and the organization’s current head is causing drama left and right, lobbing threats, operating on personal grievances with no transparency or oversight:

Karen Dickson

Rebecca Ficklin, President of No Kill Louisville, has informed me she is coming to get my foster dog and cat tomorrow. She won’t tell me where she’s taking him and them, so I sent her the following letter. What has happened to this once great organization I help start in 2010 makes me sick. I have kept quiet long enough. Here’s my letter:

Rebecca Ficklin
President, No Kill Louisville

Rebecca:

I think it’s a travesty that you represent an organization that I helped build, and you are using my foster animals as pawns in your pathetic little power struggle with me Do you seriously believe that Patch, a dog I have loved and taken care of for over a year, is better off who knows where (you still haven’t told me where you are taking him) than in a real home or with me? All I have asked of you is to show me the application you say you have on him and you reply by saying you’re coming to get him and my foster cat, Tiger Lily. For months, I have asked you to please post Patch to No Kill Louisville’s (NKL) 27,000 + followers on Facebook. You posted him once. The last time I asked you, you went off on a barrage of bullshit.

For over six months you have posted incessant appeals for donations and appeals for fosters for other rescue agencies; you have helped very few animals and certainly not Patch. To be truthful, the only reason I have not outed you on Facebook is because I was hoping you would do the right thing and help get him adopted. As the founder of NKL’s Foster/Adoption program, I know that marketing the animals is part of the Foster/Adoption program so that pets have permanent homes and fosters do not have them for years. You have been lured into a false sense of security by my silence. Since telling me that you were coming to get Patch and Tiger Lily just because I asked to see the adoption application on Patch (a courtesy extended to all fosters), I will no longer be silent.

If you want to read the rest of Dickson’s damning letter, you may do so after the jump.

But here’s what tans our hide… the group’s head, Rebecca Ficklin, is at the very least giving the appearance that she is personally gaining from the generosity of others and at worst about to get caught up in a 501(c)3 nightmare. No Kill Louisville’s current Amazon & Walmart wish lists – mostly dog stuff – is being delivered to her home. And she’s asking for items like coffee, creamer and sugar.


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Before anyone starts complaining: no, these items aren’t used for volunteers. In fairness, there is a coffee pot at the empty warehouse that no one ever goes to. But no, they’re not used in a shelter or office because the group has neither. They have an empty warehouse with a forklift to move around non-existent food.

The wish lists are a treasure trove of awful. Requests for 40 unnecessary Thundershirts for the five dogs the group has, 40 containers of laundry detergent despite having no laundry equipment, hundreds of dollars worth of dog beds, you get the picture.

It’s enough to make one’s head spin.

No wonder there is no justice when it comes to the disaster that is Louisville Metro Animal Services. Ignorant people bully their way into organizations like No Kill Louisville and then run things into the ground. So far into the ground that there’s no way for it to serve any real purpose.

Just wait until we delve into the organization’s financial report, IRS 990s and bank records. Hot mess? To say the least.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet? I’m back in action and focusing on LMAS-related nonsense more than ever.

Karen Dickson’s letter continues after the jump…

Tiger Lily, the cat which you have never even seen, cannot be in a car with a dog, and Patch cannot be in a car with a cat, which shows that you know nothing about either animal. Tiger Lily was found in a trap, literally scared stiff for two weeks and you want to take her away, just to prove how “powerful” you are. Like Patch, the last thing she needs is to be moved anywhere other than a permanent home. Both need exposure on Facebook, not just Petfinder and the other two anonymous adoption sites you mentioned before.

In all honesty Rebecca, why would you not want to get these two adopted? Because you want to punish me for leaving NKL? Well, we both know why I had to resign, and I would be happy to tell the world what actually transpired on that day in August, but do you really want me to do that? I don’t think that even Jeremy, your husband, and NKL’s Public Relations “expert” will be able to put a good spin on that story. Oh yeah, and to make matters worse, he’s involved with it! How will that look to your donors and the people that are propping up NKL?

By the way, why are you making all those appeals for more money when NKL only has 9 animals in their foster/adoption program? Where is the $26,000 ($10,000 from the public, $3,000 from ebay and $10,000 from Amazon, isn’t that right?) that NKL raised since last November? Why haven’t any of the financials been posted on the NKL website since 2012? There does not seem to be much accountability these days since you took over, basically by default and put your husband in the slot of PR and whatever else. The Food Bank does not have any food (by your own admission), the Hope Fund has been dissolved, so there aren’t any medical cases being funded by NKL, the Spay/Neuter program is currently defunct (ask Jeremy to explain what that means), there isn’t any advocacy program because you and Jeremy have decided that No Kill Louisville does not actually stand for, and up to, anything.

So what does No Kill Louisville do? I mean, besides having a warehouse and a large forklift that was purchased to move around the food you don’t have, and begging for more money. I guess the Shelter Challenge thing isn’t working out as well either since they’ve put safeguards in place that prohibit Jeremy from using his work computers to place fake votes, as you’ve said he has done in the past and that’s how NKL won a couple of times.

But I digress, let’s get back to Patch, the pawn of NKL, it’s a miracle he’s had three adoption applications in the past year considering how little exposure he’s gotten (again, ONE posting on Facebook in 6 months). Because I started NKL’s Foster/Adoption program several years ago, so I know a little bit about networking animals. And I knew this little exposure was unacceptable and you were using him as a means of retaliation.

But Patch did have three applications, so let’s talk about that for a minute; one applicant’s dog didn’t like him and another applicant backed out because of insurance concerns. Here’s the thing Rebecca, the ONE potential adopter you practically insisted I take him to meet because they were so “great”, was a totally unsuitable home for him; they had two children under the age of five (one a toddler), and two others under age ten. But they were “perfect” in your eyes because they had a large house and lived in a nice neighborhood. These were your exact words when I asked why on earth you thought this was a good environment for Patch. This again illustrates how little you know about dogs in general. Patch is a mix of Pitbull and American Bulldog, a rambunctious two year old. I think most Pitbull rescues would agree with me, that this potential home should not have even been under consideration. Patch is a great dog, he is strong and powerful, and those of us that have been in the rescue business for longer than a year or two (like yourself), know that these types of homes are not good for ANY dog, particularly Pits. The minute something goes wrong, the kid is knocked over while playing, snaps while playing ball, etc., it’s off to the pound and a quick shot of Fatal Plus for the dog. The dog ALWAYS pays the price for adult stupidity and I am not going to let this happen to Patch and let your bad judgment set him up for failure. Your offer to let me adopt him and Tiger Lily is not an option as you are aware, yet you have narrowed the options to: 1) adopt him out to an unsuitable home; 2) send him to boarding (again, your suggestion) or 3) adopt him to me. How about stop using the poor dog to get back at me and network him to the entire city on Facebook? This is what a legitimate rescue and adoption program does. They do not play games with the animals in their care. Have you not learned even this simple principle?

So we’ve come full circle. I asked you to post Patch and you threaten to take him and Tiger Lily away from a perfectly suitable foster home because you are mad at me for asking you to do something to get him adopted to a suitable home. Shame on me for asking this after a year of fostering. I find your actions deplorable and think that the NKL followers will agree. I now understand why the majority of NKL’s board quit when you became President and why it only took another month for the rest of the board to quit in disgust. I hung on until that incident in August. What a fool I was to support you. One last thing I want you to know, when you first applied to be on the board, I voted against you because I thought you had nothing to bring to the table, you were a compulsive exaggerator and possible liar (remember telling me the first time I met you how “affluent” you and Jeremy were?), and had no experience. Talk about gut instincts! So no, Rebecca, Patch, Tiger Lily and I will not have the welcome mat out for you at Sunday at 5:00 when you say you’ll be here to pick them up. But if and when you are ready to find him a real, forever home, I will be here to help.

Karen

Tags: Bad Behavior · Charity · Dogs

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carole Hay // Mar 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    KAREN , what YOU said to her was so well said and I praise you highly for standing up to save the two fosters you have the pit /bull pup and the cat, bless your heart YOU have loved them for a year and YOU DESERVE to have them both to adopt, it is so sad how this woman destroyed a former NO KILL shelter, this is totally sad and it now will put many innocent lives in great DANGER , I HOPE and PRAY someway that the community will see that she is pushed out from under her greed , SHE needs to remember that there is no getting away from GOD”s judgements , of her bad deals SHE WILL PAY sooner or later. it will all catch up to her and her greed and selfishness. This is not what one needs to run a good NO KILL SHELTER, FOLKS the animals are all inocent bystanders and they all need all the advocates supports now LETS all PRAY and PUSH FORWARD for all good things to happen ASAP. THINGS NEED to CHANGE to help SAVE the innocent animals, they need their lives SAVED< HURRY FOLKS no time to waste here this needs to get resolved asap. God bless to all the good folks willing to help change things for the best and the better for all innocent animals of GOD"s AMEN
    C Hay

  • 2 Mary Autrey // Mar 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    To Karen, you have my support. Tell me what we as a community can do to be rid of the likes of her and truly move this mission forward.

  • 3 Dog Advocate // Mar 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Why is there no food @ the Food bank warehouse? That sounds like another story that needs to be told.

  • 4 Elizabeth Hensley // Mar 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I am sad to read the above. NKL started out as such a wonderful idea. I have worked on my own and with a network of friends and family to do what I can to make a difference in the lives of what furbabies I can help. I have had successes and have made mistakes. Organized pet rescues seem to be just like so many other “organized” endeavors. Politics and greed take precedence over common sense and altruism.

  • 5 martha butler // Mar 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Such a shame we have such heartless people involved in animal welfare, I love animals and want to help them so badly, but volunteering with animal services is very unappealing and its hard to know who to donate money to where it will be used properly. Some bad people have ruined a good thing.

  • 6 Turner // Mar 11, 2014 at 12:44 am

    For months I have wondered why I got few facebook posts from NKL discussing new animals in care, adoptions, success at the Food Bank, advocacy issues they are working on and more. Now I may know why and the news is not seeming good.

  • 7 Not Suprised // Mar 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I wondered how long it would take for the truth to come out. I was part of this organization when Karen and Jessica were still involved. I loved what the group stood for, how many animals we helped, it was truly an amazing group to be part of. I stayed on after Jessica resigned, and saw where the group was headed it’s no suprise that Karen resigned as well. I was no longer confident where the donations were going, I felt the main concern of No Kill was to collect money, not help animals. I could no longer be part of this group. I have told friends and family to support other rescues in the area, because I wasn’t confident what NKL was doing with the funding they receive. Thank you Karen, for your letter and allowing it to be public. This has been weighing on me for a long time and I’m glad you let the public know. It’s obvious the current people in charge aren’t going to turn it around.

  • 8 G-money // Mar 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Time to throw out the trash at NKL. The No Kill mission IS ABSOLUTELY possible as other shelters in the area are succeeding in this endeavor. We just need to get rid of folks who have their own agenda and do not have the animals’ best interest at heart. I support Karen Dickson and all of the other quality folks that have left NKL as well as Briana Holloway, who stood up for the helpless animals at Metro. I hope karma and justice are served to Rebecca Ficklin very soon.

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