Carmine DiCenso, Director of Dakin Humane Society | Connecting Point | Oct. 10, 2016


>>AND WE’RE WELCOMING MODE ON
CONNECTING POINT, CARMEN IS THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE
HUMANE SOCIETY. SHE COMES WITH YEARS OF SERVICE
WITH THE PROVIDENCE ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE. I ASKED CARMEN WHAT ATTRACTED
HIM TO I CAN MA THE MOVE TO WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS?>>I HAVE KNOWN DACON FOR QUITE
SOME TIME. I’VE BEEN A FAN AND AN ADMIRER
AND KNOWN SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO WORKED THERE AND I HAVE A
HISTORY WITH THE BUILDING. I USED TO WORK FOR THE MSPCA IN
BOSTON AND WOULD TRAVEL OUT TO THE LOCATION HERE IN
SPRINGFIELD. SO I FELT LIKE I KNEW WHAT WAS
HAPPENING THERE, AND AGAIN, JUST REALLY ADMIRED THE ORGANIZATION
AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE TO BE A PART OF IT, I THOUGHT
ABOUT IT AND MADE THE JUMP.>>IT’S SUCH AN INTERESTING
THING TO ME, AND CARING LINE OF WORK, TO BE IN, TO TAKE CARE OF
THE ANIMALS, FURY FRIENDS I LIKE TO CALL THEM, AND WHAT ATTRACTED
YOU FIRST TO THIS LINE OF WORK, THIS CAREER?>>IT’S INTERESTING, SO I WENT
TO COLLEGE FOR PSYCHOLOGY. I USED TO WORK IN HUMAN
SERVICES. I WORKED AT PSYCHIATRIC
HOSPITALS, AND OUTTREATMENT FACILITIES, AND DURING THAT TIME
IN 1996, I STARTED VOLUNTEERING AT A SHELTER, AND I FOUND MYSELF
IN ON A SATURDAY WORKING THERE FOR EIGHT OR NINE HOURS, AND I
LOVED WHAT I DID IN HUMAN SERVICES, BUT I PROBABLY
WOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT FOR FREE ALL DAY LONG. SO WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY MOVED
OVER, I SAW IT AS THE PERFECT MARRIAGE OF WORKING WITH ANIMALS
AND ALSO WITH PEOPLE TO HELP THEM CONNECT WITH THE ANIMALS,
AND IT WAS REALLY A GREAT MARRIAGE, AND I HAVE NEVER
LOOKED BACK.>>AND AS YOU SETTLE IN WITH US
HERE, IN SPRINGFIELD, I THINK OF PROVIDENCE, PROVIDENCE METRO
AREA, A GOOD DEAL BIGGER, DO YOU SEE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE THINGS
YOU DID AT OR IS IT THE SAME, WORLD OVER, TAKING CARE OF
ANIMALS AND THEIR PEOPLE.>>THERE IS A WHOLE SLOUGH OF
SIMILARITIES, AT THE CORE OF IT, PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS
ARE ANIMALS, SO THERE IS SLIGHT DIFFERENCES. EVERY AREA HAS ITS INSIDE TALK
OR IT’S HANGOUTS SO IT’S LEARNING THE LANDSCAPE WHEN
PEOPLE THROW THE JARGON AROUND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING
ABOUT.>>I AM ALWAYS AMAZED WHEN I
LOOK AT THE WEBSITE, DAKIN PROVIDES SERVICES FOR 20,000
ANIMALS A YEAR. THAT’S REALLY AN AMAZING NUMBER.>>IT REALLY IS AN IMPRESSIVE
NUMBER. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE SERVICES
I THINK MOST PEOPLE ASSOCIATE ANIMAL SHELTERS WITH HOMELESS
ANIMALS, COMING INTO THE ORGANIZATION AND BEING REHOMED. BUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE A BUNCH OF
SERVICES AIMED AT ANIMALS IN HOMES ALREADY. WE HAVE OUR SPAY AND NEUTER
CLINIC THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE ANIMALS WORK AND THEY HAVE
PEOPLE ATTACHED TO THEM AND OUR VACCINATION CLINICS WEEKLY THAT
PEOPLE CAN COME IN AND IT HELPS THEM TO CARE FOR THEIR ANIMALSúE
BECAUSE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS ARE SO KECK AND HAD THEY ENRICH OUR
LIVES SO WHEN YOU HELP ANIMALS YOU HELP PEOPLE.>>TALK TO ME SOMETHING THAT YOU
FOLKS AT DAKIN ARE ABOUT, AMBASSADOR.>>WE ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT
IT, I THINK THAT SOME OF THE WORK COMES FROM THE FACT THAT WE
HAVE ANIMALS UP FOR ADOPTION, AND SOMETIMES SOME OF THE
ANIMALS MIGHT HAVE CHALLENGES THAT MAKE IT HARDER FOR THEM TO
BE ADOPTED. SO THIS IS ACTUALLY A PROGRAM
WHERE WE ASKED OUR COMMUNITY TO HELP OUT SO PEOPLE WILL COME AND
FOSTER THE ANIMALS BUT TAKE THAT EVEN TO THE NEXT STEP OF HELPING
THE ANIMALS. A PERSON WILL COME IN AND FOSTER
A CAT OR A DOG FOR DAKIN OR A RABBIT AND THROUGH THEIR SOCIAL
MEDIA CONTACTS, THROUGH WALKING, THROUGH THE PARK GOING PLACES
THEY TRY TO HELP DAKIN HELP THE ANIMAL BY GETTING THEM A HOME,
SO REALLY WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT IT AND LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO
COME IN AND BE ADOPTION AMBASSADORS FOR US.>>WHAT WOULD THAT ENTAIL FOR
SOMEBODY WHO HEARS THIS AND SAYS I LOVE ANIMALS AND DAKIN, HOW DO
THEY GET INVOLVED?>>COME TO ONE OF THE
ORIENTATIONS. WE HAVE A COUPLE COMING UP IN
OCTOBER WHERE THEY ARE FOCUSED AT AND WE GIVE YOU EVERYTHING
YOU NEED TO KNOW TO FOSTER ANIMAL, WHETHER IT BE MEDICAL OR
BEHAVIOR TIPS, AND WHEN THE NEED IS THERE DAKIN WILL REACH OUT TO
YOU, AND THE NEED IS ALMOST ALWAYS THERE TO HAVE ANIMAL COME
INTO YOUR HOME AND WE’LL HELP YOU WITH THE COOL T-SHIRTS THAT
WE HAVE THAT DISPLAY THE PROGRAM, AND JUST ASKS THE
PEOPLE TO GET OUT THERE AND BE ANOTHER VOICE FOR THE ANIMALS
AND FOR DAKIN TO FIND THEM HOMES.>>AND IT IS SO IMPORTANT, SO
MUCH OF WHAT YOU DO IS ABOUT FINDING THESE FOREVER HOMES FOR
ANIMALS, AND WHETHER THEY ARE A SPECIAL NEED ANIMAL THAT NEEDS
THE ADOPTION AMBASSADOR TO HELP OR THERE IS NOT THAT SITUATION,
AND YET EVEN THERE, I KNOW YOU FOLKS WORKED VERY HARD TO MAKE
SURE IT’S THE RIGHT MATCH AND THE RIGHT PET FOR THE FAMILY,
AND THE RIGHT FAMILY FOR THE PET.>>YEAH, YOU KNOW, LOT OF
COUNSELING, WHAT WE DO IS WE DON’T CONSIDER OURSELVES THE
ADOPTION POLICE, LIKE YOU CAN HAVE ANIMAL AND YOU CAN’T BUT WE
HAVE AN OPEN APPROACH TO MAKING SURE IT IS A GOOD MATCH. NOT EVERY ANIMAL IN EVERY HOME
ARE COMPATIBLE AND WE WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY AND YOU HAVE
TO FIND THE RIGHT MATCHES SO IT’S ABOUT TALKING TO PEOPLE
ABOUT WHAT THEIR EXPECTATIONS ARE AND WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE
LOOKING FOR IN AN POLITICAL AND LOOKING TO ADD FOR YOUR HOME AND
THAT OFF THE WALL CAT THAT LIKE RUNS FOR HOURS A NIGHT MIGHT NOT
BE THE ONE FOR YOU, AND MAYBE THIS OLDER LAB CAD IS, AND IT’S
REALLY TRYING TO MAKE THAT CONNECTION TO WORK BEST IN THE
HOME. WE WANT TO BE THERE TO HELP
SUPPORT THAT.>>I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN BY
YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THE ADOPTION POLICE BUT AT THE SAME
TIME SOMEONE DOESN’T JUST WALK DOWN IN THE DOOR AND SAY GIVE ME
ANIMAL.>>NO, NO. THEY MEET WITH THE COUNSELORS
BUT WE WANT IT TO BE FRIENDLY AND HAPPY SO WE WANT THE FIRST
INTERACTION TO BE A SMILING FACE IN HELPING THEM THROUGH THAT
PROCESS SO YOU WOULD MEET WITH A COUNCILOR BUT WE WANT IT TO BE
— BECAUSE IT IS A HAPPY THING, GREAT THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING IN
THE DOOR TO ADOPT ANIMALS AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE
PREPARING THEM FOR SUCCESS.>>WE DON’T WANT TO SCARE ANYONE
AWAY.>>RIGHT, COME IN THE DOORS.>>I AM A ALWAYS AMAZED, TOO, AT
THE BREATH OF THE CLIENTELE YOU SERVE AT DAKIN, AND WE THINK
DOGS AND CATS BUT AT ANY TIME YOU HAVE RABBITS, AND GERBALS
AND BIRDS AND YOU NAME IT AND IT HAS COME THROUGH THE DOOR.>>THOSE ARE YOU — ARE ALL THE.>>THAT SURPRISES PEOPLE. PEOPLE THINK DOG AND CAT WHEN
THEY THINK THAT BUT WE HAVE — WE ALWAYS HAVE SMALL ANIMALS,
RABBITS ARE A STAPLE, GUINEA PIGS AND HAMSTERS AND THEY CAN
BE GREAT COMPANIONS SO PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT ADDING A
SMALL ANIMAL OR A BIRD, COME DOWN TO DAKIN BECAUSE YOU WILL
LIKELY FIND ONE.>>CARMEN, NEW EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, DAKIN HUMANE SOCIETY, APPRECIATE YOU COME IN AND
WELCOME TO WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS AND GOOD TO SEE YOU, SIR.>>THANK YOU. APPRECIATE IT.

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