I have received a copy of the Letter to the Editor from Tamera Reed, former HALO president which she has sent to the Contra Costa Times. She states that the Contra Costa Times needs to issue a correction or she will be taking legal action against the paper and HALO.
I have edited the letter for grammar only and removed abbreviations.
Mr. Dave Butler I am asking you to print a rebuttal in regards to the article that Rowena (Coetsee) wrote and posted in the CCTimes on 7/27 regarding HALO animal rescue. What she printed in regards to Wayne Sanderson’s statement is a total lie.
We will hold the Times responsible and hire a lawyer for deprivation of charter. Wayne Sanderson has never stepped foot into HALO at 215 2nd St in Oakley before July 5th. He never had any contact with the adult shift leaders or youth volunteers.
HALO ran 3 shifts a day 8-10 /1-2:30 /4-5:30 or 6pm. There were 2 or more adults present to work with the youth at each shift. We had youth from the ages 12 and up that could volunteer without a parent present. We also had a few 10 and 11 yr old that volunteered with their parent.
I myself have worked with youth my whole adult life at my church Golden Hills on Lone Tree Way. In my profession in Orthodontics, along with volunteering in the class rooms while my children were young, I have been with HALO for about 8 yrs fostering dogs working adoptions and the last 2 1/2 to 3yrs as their President.
My sister Renee has worked on the school Board and Rotary while she lived in Pittsburg. She has also worked on school campus and sports groups while her children were growing up. She is also actively involved at Golden Hills and helped me with choir props this past season for the 3rd -5th grade choir which I have been a part of for 14 yrs.
I’m sure you are aware we have to have background check in order to work with youth and animals. Mine is still public record in the Antioch Police Department which proves I have no infractions of any kind.
The way HALO House was set up, Renee’s private area was only the bedroom area in the house portion of the Fire Department. This had a lock on the door. The living room and kitchen was an open common area that all volunteers, Board members, and adult shift leaders had access to during the hours of 8am -6pm. We also used that area to do meet and greets of dogs, adopters would fill out paperwork and for Board meeting.
After shifts, some volunteers with adults present were aloud to wait in the common area for their parents to pick them up. No volunteers without their parents were ever aloud in the area after 6pm. Sometimes the youth would help us out by using the copy machine to make copies of HALO documents or put collars for the dogs together with the HALO tags but under no circumstances did they every just hang out in the office without no work to do.
If Wayne was ever there he would be aware of this.
Implying that their was ever any other type of activities going on is opening the CCTimes, the Sanderson’s and HALO up to a law suit. I have the written minutes from the Board meeting proving issues of these sorts were not discussed meaning their was never an issue .
Wayne is stated a shift leader told him that a 17 yr old boy scared a young volunteer. The boy he is implying never received any warning for any type of infraction and he worked with several different shift leader. We had had time that a shift leader came to me and stated they didn’t like the way a volunteer didn’t work and just goofed off or played on their cell phone, or one boy they felt mistreated a nervous dog. These issues were always brought to my attention and addressed right away with the parents.
I would never put a child or adult in any type of harmful or immoral situation. I believe it is illegal to post such accusation without proof. I have proof these activities never took place.
If Wayne is stating these accusations, let the adult leader come forward along with the suppose youth. I bet he cant even name the adults who were scheduled shift leaders at HALO. If I don’t see this rebuttal printed within 24-hours I will have no other choice but to move forward w/ a law suit.
Ex HALO President
She sent the letter to Executive Editor, Dave Butler, who can be reached at : 925-977-8406, [email protected]
I checked the Times this morning online, I see nothing in print. Thanks for posting this Mike. It’s nice to read an unedited response for a change. I believe a lawsuit may be needed in order to get the Times to issue a correction.
I think the biggest issue I have with this is based off a few of these articles, there was no reasonable cause to let the President go and there was no proof about inappropriate behavior in writing or warnings. It just sounds like a power grab and the animals are the ones who lose out.
I have read all the postings, he said, she said, newspaper article etc. There is a point that is being missed here. There is a 17 year old boy that is being drawn into this mess by adults. While the majority of the general public don’t know who he is, people in this group do. And lets face it, people gossip. So this boy is being singled out. That is not fair or right. Where are the adults in his life standing up and saying “knock it off, do not use my son in this battle”?
Barbara, the new HALO president used this kid as a pawn and made some pretty crazy accusations which the Times printed and the Oakley PD has never been involved. I agree this kid is being used as a pawn but that does not excuse the actions of the Times nor Mr. Sanderson for what they did without proof. If there was a record, a complaint, a police report on file, I think this would be pretty open and closed case, instead, some of the former HALO folks are left defending themselves based off a reckless Times piece.
My point is that people know who this kid is and now anything he does or say will be looked at closely. People gossip and even if there is nothing to this people will remember the accusation not the truth. Its not fair for adults to use this boy in their battles. The Times and Rowena owe this child a very public retraction of the story.
Barbara, your concern about the boy is admirable, and I agree with you, It it not fair and not right.. I am sure many people are thinking the same thing. But from a legal stand point, she is probably doing the best thing by not speaking out at this time. That is why so many of us who were at Halo house find it very important to express not only our feelings but address the facts that are known to us.
This entire thing is pathetic and sad by the new president and board. I feel for Tamera and Renee, but at the same time we are getting two extreme situations. I am sure somewhere in the middle we will find the truth but the Times really did open itself up for some liability, what a dumb reporter that Rowena is, even worse are the editors who let it run.
I am sending a challenge out to all involved. We need to all sit down calmly, respectfully, and with a mediator who is non bias and come to a solution that would stop all this maddness and restore what everyone came together for in the first place, which is to save and rescue animals who otherwise be put to death. Wasn’t that why everyone was so passionate about? Don’t you see the focus was shift to people and not why we were all here and why we all worked so hard? I know in my heart that no one wants to see halo tarnished. We can show the children, the community, the volunteers, that we are all adults and that just maybe things were not completely thought out, that emotions took over and that choices can be different. We can make halo a name that is known for what we actually do ….save animals……………………..not maddness. I know it can be done, everyone involved has to know deep inside that we owe it to the ones without a voice, please if it is truly about the animals then everyone would agree to this. I believe this would be a great learning expirence and a way to show the community who believed in all of us that we can put differences aside for the betterment of the animals. Thats what halo is about. Remember TEAM…..together, everyone, achieves, more. I can only put it out there, I can’t make anyone do what I ask. We all know though its the right thing to do.
For those that do not respond then you have just shown everyone else that is was never about halos mission, its was about your personal gain.
Im sorry, but I have never seen anything so sad in my life.
I was a shift leader that led shifts 3-4 days a week. Shifts are 2 hours but I often stayed up to 6 hours a day, doing some extra clean up, spending time with the animals, but most of all working side by side with Tamera. I can honestly say everyday that I’ve been there since I’ve started with Halo Tamera was also there constantly working. I’ve never seen someone who did not get paid for what they did work so hard. She has taught me so much and I’m truly going to miss working with her. She will always have a place in my heart.
As for Renee… Where do I start? So many people have told me “I don’t know why Renees living there, she does absolutely nothing” but you know who those people are? People that are never at HH! Renee was not only a shift leader but did much more. And I dont even know where to begin about the boy that is being dragged into this mess. Do you people have any idea what you are doing to this kids life?! Yes, nobodies mentioning his name in writing but everybody knows who youre talking about. The accusations that are being made about Renee and this young boy, true or not, are going to stay with them for the rest of their lives. For the record let me say this, for anybody, I don’t care who it is, to accuse either of these people of the kinds of things they have been accused of, with all do respect, should be committed into a 5150 house because that’s just crazy.
The articles I have read in the past couple weeks have completely broken my heart. My passion since I was a child has been animals. I started volunteering because my goal is to be a vet tech and I wanted as much experience as possible. I have learned a tremendous ordeal just by volunteering at halo.
I feel everybody is losing site on what is most important. These animals need us, more than some people know. Not only have I been volunteering at HH, I’ve also been fostering kittens through halo. I started out with 7, 1 week old kittens and I now have 3 left since the other ones have been adopted. I look at these precious animals everyday and am so thankful that others and myself are able to save these animals lives. And I truly believe just by looking into their eyes they show us how thankful they are as well.
I feel so blessed to have been given the chance to work with Tamera, Renee, and all of the other members I volunteered with.
I would like to thank the volunteers that I led. You guys were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for donating your time.
I’m getting sidetracked because there’s so many things I would like to say but the animals are number one. I have made a special relationship with each one of these animals at HH house, as I think much of us have. Since a couple of years ago I have suffered from severe panic attacks and I can not tell you how much these animals have changed my life. I can’t count how many times I’ve started having a panic attack on the way to HH and as soon as I walked in and saw how happy those dogs were to see me it all just faded away. Helping these animals does not only help them, it helps us and I think through this hard time we all need to remember that.
When I walk into HH now, it’s so quite, so lifeless. It used to be so filled with life. Now it’s just an empty building and the worst thing about it is that their are dogs being put down every second and we could be saving 30 dogs lives right now with the space we have at HH.
I really hope the board members can fix this problem and get back to saving lives because every day that goes by is more and more dogs lives we could be saving.
Let me revise on when I said “true or not” because it is absolutely not true!
I don’t know if the H.A.L.O. Board will be willing to go into mediation with this. First, someone there would have to admit that the Board was wrong. I doubt that will happen. I am not sure that they even read the blogs, so all of our outrage is probably falling on deaf ears anyway.
Sad, eh? A truly good organization is suffering because of the bullying (and that is exactly what it is) tactics of four or five people. Shame on all of them.
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