Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Broken promises After Hurricane Katrina devastated much of New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast areas last fall, Best Friends Animal Society earned themselves big snaps by stepping in to provide refuge for many homeless animals it left in its wake. With headlines like "Triumph over Tragedy: Best Friends in the Hurricane" Best Friends streamed heart-rending video across the internet. Charity.com included Best Friends in its "Charity of the Month" announcement in November of 2005. We were all urged to "skip Starbucks and send the money to Best Friends" to help save the Katrina animal refugees. Many wonderful, caring people heard the call and opened both their hearts and their wallets. Dumping Katrina dogs Imagine my surprise at receiving an email recently from Best Friend's Community Programs Coordinator, Randi Bildner. It seems Best Friends, the self-proclaimed "largest animal sanctuary in the United States", raking in more than $18.5 million per year in donations and contributions, needs to get rid of the leftover Katrina dogs. Ms. Bildner writes: Best Friends Animal Society needs help from the best and most reputable Pit Bull rescue groups in the United States. At the moment we are facing the very difficult problem of housing Pit Bulls that we saved during our Hurricane Katrina rescue operations. Over a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas, we are still caring for animals that unfortunately were not reunited with their families and have not found permanent adoptive homes. This situation has forced us to house dogs in facilities that are not in keeping with Best Friends high level of animal care and therefore we are working around the clock to transfer these dogs to more suitable environments." "Facilities not up to standards"? Really? So what was all that money for? And where have those dogs been all this time? When a sanctuary is not a sanctuary Ms. Bildner continues: Best Friends wonderful “Training Partners Program” enlists the best trainers from around the country to foster and rehabilitate dogs (mostly Pit Bulls). We are currently working very hard to get these trainers on board to help the animals. We reach out to you with the hope that you will be able to help us at this time. It will be a tremendous help if you or a foster program in your area could aid us by taking some of these dogs. Best Friends will take care of the travel details and expenses. A stipend may be provided. You will be invited to choose the dog or dogs that you take into your care. Those of us who “get” these dogs reach out to one another during these difficult times. It is wonderful to know that groups like yours exist and do such incredible work. Thank you for your time and your commitment to these terribly misunderstood animals. So, what's the rush? For a day or two I wondered what the hurry was. Why is Best Friends in such a hurry to wash their hands of those terribly misunderstood animals ? Fresh faces! The Best Friends Middle East Rescue Effort! Of course, of course! Its out with the old, in with the new! Best Friends' website proudly features photos of a brand new rescue center built just to house newly rescued dogs from the Middle East. Joe Trippi, Best Friends marketing guru and Democratic Party heavy-hitter, spun the story this way in his September 30 blog post: "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric has launched a new initiative to let viewers decide which stories they cover. Every week, viewers can vote for one of three stories and the one with the most votes gets produced as a segment on the show. This week, our friends at Best Friends Animal Society are one of the choices. They are working on an incredible rescue mission in Lebanon, transporting over 300 animals to sanctuaries out of harms way where they will be cared for and adopted. This is an amazing story that deserves to be heard. So please take a second to vote for Best Friends at the CBS Evening News site." Gee. Katie Couric and everything! All Best Friends needs to do is make a few teensy adjustments to their inventory and they are good to go. Another round of "save the animals" and "donate now." So keep that box of kleenex handy, folks! Looks like Best Friends is getting ready to play us once again. As for last year's "terribly misunderstood animals"? Tough luck, I guess. They're just old news.
Posted by BlueDogState at 9:37 AM