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.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like you, I wondered why all of these animals were being brought in from the Middle East, while those of us who volunteer in rescue know that there are more destitute animals that are not recieving help. Instead of the Middle East they should be helping dogs at home. After all HOME is where the heart is, or is supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

I felt like I was the lone solider for asking why Bestfriends was taking the animals from Lebanon and bringing them here to the Untied States where our euthanasia rate is in the millions every year. Don't get me wrong I am glad the animals made it out and are safe but that is 300 animals that could have been saved from certain death in this country. I also think the world of Bestfreinds.

We have animals in animal controls all over this country that are not in good condition, that have been walking the streets starving and sick. If these cases were isolated that would be one thing but they are not. I visited Clay County Animal Control yesterday where in one run alone they had 6 dogs.

We have animals in Animal Controls in this country that are being sold to research, gassed, and worse yet hit and miss shot as way for animal control to kill them.

I know this is going to make some people mad but I believe this Country that is supposed to be a world leader in so much needs to set the example for the rest of the world and clean our act up first. It is just my opinion but we are behaving like a third world country when it comes to our domestic animals. We are euthanizing millions of animals in our own backyards yearly.

The old expression is Charity starts at home I believe this is true.

Leisa said...

I find it very telling that Best Friends is holding a "dangerous dog" summit, supposedly because Katrina "opened their eyes" to the tragedy of the breeds on the legislated "hit list"...yet NOW? They are dumping the breed in exchange for a bigger money making machine, middle east mutts. Ka-ching.
Step over PeTA, H$U$...make room for Best Friends and their competition for your AR generated millions.

pitbullEmily said...

oh Best Friends.. how disappointing they've turned out. They DID great things during Katrina and certainly do rescue and promote pit bulls.

But if their lawyer represents their thinking, that can't be for long... she's promoting the PETA-esque conflation of animal-aggression and dog aggression.

Read her b.s. here:
http://network.bestfriends.org/nmhp/news/
(go to "Special Guests" tab, and then the discussion with Laura Allen)

also see the page in the new issue of their magazine, online now, about the Dangerous Dog summit: not only
"there ARE dangerous BREEDS", but classic fear-mongering-for money about a pit bull that kills a kitten.. GASP it will kill a child next, for sure!

Anonymous said...

How dare Best Friends libel shelters across the country that have helped with Katrina. Libel the one person that has helped them out the most. A small rescue getting squashed by the multi million dollar giant and all she did was help you. Shame on you Best Friends.

Anonymous said...

you might want to look at:http://www.bestfriends.org/aboutus/pdfs/2005_990.pdf

Anonymous said...

They won't let me open http://www.bestfriends.org/aboutus/pdfs/. Can you tell us what it is?

Mary Ann

ARfighter said...

Gee, and they could have just given the Lebanese shelter $250,000 to expand their facility. But that wouldn't have gained them those extra donations solicited by CBS evening news...

Anonymous said...

The anti BSL groups in Canada have been working overtime to find a little over 100,000.00 to fight in court a provincial wide ban of APBT,Am Staff,Staffie Bull and "pit bulls" in the province of Ontario Canada.To date the bill was in excess of 350 000 dollars.I have repeatedly emailed this org and asked for any form of assistance to save these dogs and fight this in court.To date over 3000 dogs are dead,countless others in hiding,being shipped out to safety.Why be saving dogs in countries where dogs are totally disposible and the cultural norm is highly unlikely to change,when so many are dying in North America??As for this so called Summit,there is only one person who is of any use in this fight and for the life of me I cant figure out why she is attending.

Anonymous said...

The link posted was cut off. This is the actual link:
http://www.bestfriends.org/aboutus/pdfs/2005_990.pdf

Anonymous said...

I think Best Friends is doing more good than anything. An operation as large as theirs needs serious funding from high profile acts, such as the Mid East rescue. It's easy to find fault in any organization and the larger it is; the larger the target. Certainly, no agency is perfect, but they have done and exceptional job and have an exceptionally dedicated staff of paid and volunteer people.

Anonymous said...

I think Best Friends is doing more good than anything. An operation as large as theirs needs serious funding from high profile acts, such as the Mid East rescue. It's easy to find fault in any organization and the larger it is; the larger the target. Certainly, no agency is perfect, but they have done and exceptional job and have an exceptionally dedicated staff of paid and volunteer people.

Anonymous said...

Bestfreinds is not doing good if it is taking animals into a country that already is has a severe pet over population. A country where 4 millions cats and dogs are euthanized every year.

The difference between you and most of the posters on the board is you probably are an animal lover and there is nothing wrong with that. But those of us do rescue see this as a publicity stunt.

Maybe you would change your mind if you looked at this short video about euthanasia in this country. I must warn you it is not for the faint of heart.

http://www.brightlion.com/InHope/InHope_en.aspx

Anonymous said...

BF home state newspaper agrees it's a publicity stunt: http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_4468809

Anonymous said...

BF doing good. That's a classic case of uneducated people. How is it that BF has maintained 1500 animals at their sanctuary for years? Where are all the other animals they say they have saved? What about that huge, beautifully landscaped 'pet cemetary' they have? What about Michael Mountain's past Process Church days including sacrificies of animals and his recent comment that he was 'looking forward to going back to the old ways?' Don't you find it odd that he and Ingrid Newkirk do not get along? Could be Ingrid knows something we don't, but I tend to think she does not like anybody cutting into her profits. These people are all terrorists. They terrorize the people of this country and their rights. Perhaps Michael and Ingrid should get together ... after all H$U$ merged with DDAL. Now there would be a fight to watch on pay per view - H$U$ & DDAL vs BF and PeTA. Toss in Dogs Deserve Better - they can keep going around and stealing dogs from people while the big boys are at war. Let's not forget good old Nancy Alexander. One of Florida's "finest"...recipients of PETA and ALF awards for her contributions to animals. HA. Contributions to politicians is more like it. I find it funny that she got such a huge settlement in her divorce from Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander, but it seems to me that she still keeps her hand on the old woody. How's it feel, Les? Can't you think for yourself or is Nancy cutting off the circulation to your "brain?"

Anonymous said...

Had I not have gone to Tylertown MS I would not have beleived what I saw. I saw dogs that were being miss handled by people who did not have a clue what an APBT was or was capable of. I also would not have beleived what they told me a rescuer. I was called a dog fighter because I was not a 501C3. I who started doing "rescue" at the ripe old age of four was a "dog fighter"?? And then I thought about it. I guess I am a dog fighter. I fight each and every day to own my breed of choice. I fight for my Constitutional rights, as well as yours. I fight for the right for my grand-daughter to grow up with her "Buddy". So yes, I admit, I am a dog fighter. I was willing to and had fosterage for 30 APBTs. These were with responsible breeders of the breed who knew how to handle them. Who would have given them love and attention and kept them safe until their owners came forward. I also had a promise for 40 more. But, they chose to beleive I was a dog fighter.
Well, I have always heard your past would come back to haunt you so let me enlighten you about the "Best Friends" past. They started out as the "Process Church of the Final Judgement". Wonderful information available about them and their ties to Charles Manson, also their ties to white slavery and child pornography can be found at http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Scientology.htm
Were I to have so many skeletons in my family closet I do beleive I would not try to put myself in the forefront of America by bringing dogs in from the Middle East. I do understand why they did this $$$ think about the millions in donations this will bring in. Let us not loose site of the fact that there will be 300 dogs in America die because they have no place to go but these dogs from the Middle East will be safe and warm. Or, perhaps they will be like the Katrina dogs and kept in substandard housing and shoved off as soon as they are yesterday's news and no longer bringing in the bucks. Yep, that is the bottom line. MONEY. Folks, unless we stop the money train they will continue to do this type of publicity stunt.

Rockie N. Proctor said...

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/180936.html

Blue Dog you need to follow this story with regards to Tacoma's anti-dog ordinance. No dog can get out of the backyard more than a couple times. And yes, neuter your dog.

Check this out. Call Councilwitch Julie this Halloween and tell her to find a new dog/man to hump.