Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Humane Profiling: Caring enough to vilify and discriminate Kentucky Humane Society's kinder, gentler approach to breed extermination The Louisville Courier-Journal coverage reads like a humaniac seduction scene from hell. Just reach for those rose-tinted glasses, and you might almost believe the good intentions. However. . . Kentucky Humane Society is selling out dog owners In 2006 the Humane Society of the United States and Democratic City Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (over the opposition of every credible animal-related organization in the country) fought and failed to legislatively profile dog owners and their dogs and restrict or ban "pit bulls" (and a variety of other breeds). KHS is implementing Plan B--the kinder, gentler, breed specific freebie castration approach. Why? KHS says that intact dogs are a "public safety risk". Interesting that KHS's news release didn't address all dogs in Louisville, though. Just "pit bulls." Why else? KHS says there is a "overpopulation" of dogs in the area. Not all dogs, though. Just "pit bulls." What constitutes an "overpopulation", and what created it? The KHS press release didn't say. Crocodile tears for pit bulls While researching for this blog I scanned a year's worth of KHS newsletters. There were pictures of big dogs, little dogs, hairy dogs, houndy dogs, white dogs, black dogs, old dogs, young dogs. . .but not one picture of what was appeared to be a pit bull. KHS's Petfinder listing today doesn't show any pit bulls up for adoption, either. How very odd. This is an organization striving to do the right thing for pit bulls? Where are the pit bulls? KHS seems to deny any possibility of showing pit bulls in a positive light, or as adoptable dogs. Are they only interested in permanently removing pit bulls from the gene pool? Yeesh. Talk about "one generation and out." HSUS Pres and CEO Wayne Pacelle would be so very proud. Kentucky Humane's burned bridges and broken faith with dog owners Last year, dog owners in Louisville watched "humane" organizations conspire in a year-long campaign to make dog ownership a joyless affair in Louisville. As a result, dog owners have 90 new pages of animal control ordinance to contend with, governing everything from permissible leash length on up. They watched them support Cheri Bryant Hamilton and the Humane Society of the United States at every devious turn of that long, long negotiation. The ordinance that was rammed down the throats of pet owners in Louisville may well be illegal. Where was the outrage when the Humane Society of the United States advocated breed specific measures , and profiled some dog owners as "drug dealers, gang members, and anyone else who is looking for a dog to be a status symbol"? Did "humane organizaitons " argue that pandering to the media and fear-mongering is no way to respond to any "overpopulation" issues? Not Really. Unkindest cut of all: profiling entire neighborhoods of dog owners We're not talking status symbols and La-la Land, folks. When the Kentucky Humane Society called out seven Louisville zip codes for extra special attention, and free transportation to the pit bull castration fields. . .that was a whole 'nother field of endeavor. Its called red-lining. Red-lining Louisville Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton KHS offered free transportation, just for pit bulls, and just for pit bulls belonging to residents of certain parts of Louisville--including Cheri Bryant Hamilton's neighborhood. I wonder how Cheri feels about being lumped in with the drug dealers, gang members and the twisted thrill seekers the HSUS so loves to rage about. Surprise, Cheri! You've just been profiled based on your zip code. How's it feel? I wonder how Cheri's neighbors and constituents feel about it, too. I'd be pissed as hell. Its not gonna be any picnic at Kentucky Humane Society You think those dog owners will happily pack their dogs off for a day under the knife at Kentucky Humane, all alone, like trusting families send their kids to summer camp? Man, I sure wouldn't. Troubling trend: HSUS/DDAL partnering with Animal Farm Foundation, Pit Bull Rescue Central, others Call me crazy, but I have a problem with dog rescue groups that ally themselves with outfits that want to eliminate dogs from the face of the planet. Pacelle's infamous "one generation and out. . .we have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals" doesn't jive with promoting responsible pet ownership. Not at all. Animal Farm is still claiming that HSUS opposes BSL. Even after HSUS's Adam Goldfarb admitted that it in Louisville HSUS advocated breed specific measures. How sick is that? Who's up for the next round of surgeries? Huh? Who else is gonna get free transportation to a permanent exit from the gene pool? Once Kentucky Humane and their pals exterminate solve the overpopulation problem with pit bulls, who's next? What breed is next on the list?

My money is on some kind of retriever. Golden, yellow lab, black lab, chocolate lab, Chessie, Toller, whatever. . .it don't matter. Maybe all of them, what the hell.

Petfinder's always got a batch of bird dogs on offer, and gawd knows, their owners are sociopathic hunters enthralled by bloodlust.

Cyclops eye pointed at. . .who? You? Will the kind and caring folks send their free transportation squads into your neighborhood? Will your zip code be next on the list? Is your neighborhood looking a little "overpopulated" today?

Wanna schedule a freebie castration for next week, maybe? Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States?


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I have to comment this time. I love your posts, and have never seen an error before, but this time there is one. It is an easy error to make.

The Kentucky Humane Society did come out against the dog ordinance when the HSUS and 4 local humane societies supported it (the supporters were Pet Groups United, Shamrock, Animal Care Society, and Woodstock Animal Shelter--all of which are connected to Jackie Gulbe, Asst. Director of LMAS). Their statement against the ordinance was glossed over by the C-J (aka the Mouth of Jerry).

The Kentucky Humane Society has been vilified by both LMAS, it's horrible Director, and the local groups that support Herr Meloche.

That said, you are absolutely correct about the targeting of one "breed" of dog for extermination. Further, the KHS publicly states that there is an overpopulation problem in Louisville, when it admits that over 75% of the dogs turned in are from owners who tired of them for some reason or other. AND the KHS has that gonadophobia--they publicly state that unaltered dogs are "more of a risk" than spayed or neutered ones--despite the many published studies that show that the dog MOST likely to bite is a small spayed female!

BlueDogState said...

thanks for your comments!

I certainly did miss KHS's stance on the ordinance, and have to point out that their newsletters during the period in question contain nothing against it, only some rather rambling comments from the director to the effect that you have to break eggs in order to make omlettes, or some such.

In fairness, I'll adjust the wording of the blog. Many thanks for your input.

Gratitude said...

I have enjoyed your posts in the past and have completely enjoyed your blogs, but in this instance I must disagree with you. The Kentucky Humane Society has no affiliation with and takes no funds from either HSUS or the American Humane Society. Further, while they were initially included on Cheri Bryant Hamilton's "task force", they saw early on that all their input was being ignored and that an extremist BSL agenda was being pushed and, in protest, quit the task force. They are very much against the recently-passed ordinance, HSUS's agenda and no friend of MAS Director Gilles Meloche.
All that said, it's also easy to misunderstand their offer for free s/n of pit bulls. Rather than red-lining, what they've undertaken is something that Metro Louisville SHOULD have been doing--trying to solve a very real problem with stray and loose dogs in the west end of Louisville--a part of town that the weenies in Animal Control refuse to venture into. One of the big drawbacks of the new Animal Ordinance is that it MOST HURTS those it proposes to help: low-income households with animals. They cannot afford to fence their yards as now required since tethering is banned, they cannot afford to s/n their pets to avoid having to build the necessary fence (6-feet above ground and 1-foot below) if they have an intact dog of ANY breed, and they cannot afford the fines and jail time if they don't comply with the new laws. The result of this is going to be the exact opposite of what everyone wants: a huge increase in the number of loose and stray animals as they are set loose due to economic contraints of compliance and fear of jail time (violating most provisions of the new law carry criminal penalties and stiff fines). Rather than rake them over the coals, they should be applauded for stepping in and actually DOING SOMETHING to try and solve a very real problem. We forget in all our outrage over this terrible law that there is an underlying issue here, and at least KHS is offering VOLUNTARY and not mandatory s/n as a partial solution. That said, I am part of a group that is working diligently to overturn this terrible law, and am the owner of an intact dog myself. I don't believe in mandatory s/n, but have seen all too many animals left to run loose that have litter after litter because their owners are too inconsiderate/broke/lazy/unconcerned to take proper care of their pets. Just because they have their parts, doesn't mean the highest and best use of them is to procreate. Take another look at the list of pets available for adoption at the shelter and you'll see that while they're labeled "labrador" or "beagle", the majority of them are actually cross-breds and I just can't be persuaded that their creation was anything other than accidental. Most pet owners have no idea of how to properly assess the temperament and health of their animals, much less properly select a mate for them, whelp their litters or care for their offspring. It's not a lark to bring more animals into the world just because you can. We owe our animals and our communities more respect than that, and when we each begin to take responsibility for the long-term affect of our choices with animals, that's when the whole energy over this debate will begin to shift. While I have no use for PeTA and HSUS and consider them extremist whackos, I also know that for many people some of their agendas have served as a valuable mirror for them to reflect on their own personal motives and ignorance. The truth is that neither side is 100% right or wrong. The truth is that there are more unwanted animals in the world than there should be, and so long as nobody steps up to actually DO something about that, it will continue. I say "Huzzah!" for KHS for doing something, making it possible for a segment of the population that has limited access to transportation to do something, about a serious issue. Too bad Metro Government doesn't share their attitude.

BlueDogState said...

Gratitude, I'm happy to read that you've enjoyed the blog. However. . .

When you discriminate, its discrimination. That can't be rationalized away no matter how hard you try.

KHS' kinder, gentler message targets pit bulls, targets poor dog owners who live in specific [poor] neighborhoods and it targets intact dogs by identifying them as as "safety" issues.

If KHS had just managed to work in a reference to meth labs or maybe crackheads, the newspaper article would have been an HSUS wet dream.

Better luck next time, Wayne & Co.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog and just wanted to let you know that the Kentucky Humane Society is now adopting pit bulls. Also, the SNIP Clinic, which offers low-cost spay/neuter to people, is open to ALL public, not just low-income families.

Keep up the good writing!

Anonymous said...

I came across this post while searching for a pit bull rescue that could give me insight into the breed because I have a coworker that I feel isn't giving her 2 dogs the home life they deserve. I too feel this is a very misunderstood breed. HOWEVER I feel your depiction of KHS is ridiculous. I seriously doubt they are trying to wipe out an entire breed. There are far too many animals being euthanized every day because of overpopulation, so every dog spayed or neutered makes a difference. Just because a pit bull is "intact" doesn't mean it will breed with another pit. Dogs aren't picky. So it would be in the best interest of the breed if reputable breeders contributed to the population. Unfortunatly many people do get these dogs for the wrong reasons and treat them terribly. And yes,most of those who do this are involved in drugs or some form of crime. I understand that it may sound discriminating but it is the truth. Just watch one episode of the Detroit animal cops on Animal Planet and you can see it's the truth. No dog deserves to live a life like that. I understand your concern that many shelters don't adopt pits. I think if they aren't qualified to properly evaluate them they should send them to a rescue that can. KHS does adopt pits now, though I don't know how long they have been. They are a wonderful organization & I hate to see them lumped in with disfuntional government programs.