Monday, November 27, 2006

Screwing the pooch Are campaigns to "protect animals" all about negatively profiling people? Seems the Humane Society of the United States, income $125 million in 2005, outgrew the "animal welfare" biz. HSUS tweaked its homepage tag line and language to appeal to donors on a whole 'nother level.

Its all about "protecting animals" now.

Question is: protect them from what? Whole lotta love The Wall Street Journal confirms that through its associated political action committees the Humane Society of the United States spent more money on the 2006 midterm elections that Exxon Mobil did. HSUS spent nearly $3.4 million on the recent elections and ballot initiatives. HSUS donated more than $150,000 directly to Congressional candidates. In other words, HSUS outspent Halliburton. Whoa. That's a whole lotta money for protection. Personally, I'd like to know what Wayne Pacelle's HSUS is getting in exchange for all that cash. Cause I got a suspicion or two. Negative profiling for dog owners in Louisville, Kentucky Last year Democratic Louisville City Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton proposed a nasty revision to Louisville's animal control ordinances including breed specific requirements which unavoidably will discriminate against law-abiding and caring dog owners based on what their dogs look like.

In other words, Councilwoman Hamilton set up certain Louisville residents for discrimination.

The you-know-what hit the fan pretty quickly in Louisville following Coucilwoman Hamilton's proposal. A year and eight drafts of the animal control proposal later, the Louisville City Council is still arguing.

The current draft proposal is more than 100 pages long, and its a disaster.

Enter stage left: Humane Society of the United States

Some "dog advocacy" organizations have celebrated the HSUS's stance on breed profiling (BSL). For example, Animal Farm Foundation quotes HSUS as opposing BSL.

Sadly, Animal Farm Foundation is dead wrong. HSUS doesn't oppose negative stereotyping and breed specific legislation. Not any more, at least. HSUS suggested it and actively encouraged it in Louisville.

In a letter dated July 5, 2006 and addressed to the members of the Louisville City Council, Pam Rogers, the HSUS's Kentucky Legislative Coordinator, made a series of recommendations. Through her letter. . . the HSUS endorsed BSL for Louisville: ". . .legislation requiring their [that is, "pit bulls"] mandatory sterilization could be a benefit to the breed and to all dogs in the community." and then the HSUS negatively profiled pit bull owners for the Louisville City Councilmembers:

["pit bulls"] are likely the most popular dog in the country, but unfortunately, they are also the dogs of choice for drug dealers, gang members, and anyone else who is looking for a dog to be a status symbol."

HSUS advocates discrimination Yup. HSUS tweaked more than just their homepage tagline. They're now apparently okay with negative profiling--for dogs and people. Here's a clue for the Humane Society of the United States. (Write this one down, Pam.) Discriminatory laws that encourage negative stereotypes are never a benefit. Never. Fear-mongering language calculated to deepen apprehension among politicians and the public cannot be rationalized. You do not "protect animals" by profiling them, or their owners. Temporary, limited, or "just a little" discrimination of any sort is. . .discrimination. Negative stereotypes promote deeper levels of misunderstanding. Fear. Bigotry. Hatred. Latest news from Louisville You would have thought that "you can't judge a book by its cover" would have resonated with someone like Cheri Bryant Hamilton. After all, she's a member of the NAACP. And the NAACP has quite a problem with negative stereotyping. Councilwoman Bryant Hamilton identified "reducing crime, criminal opportunities and the fear of crime" as a crucial issue during the recent campaign season. Does she really think that discriminating against certain portions of her constituency and attempting to force them to castrate their dogs is a step towards her goal? Is a 100-page-long dangerous dog law supposed to be a substitute for impartial enforcement of good laws? Is she hoping that dog owners, particularly those that own certain breeds, will just give up and leave? Or did Cheri Bryant Hamilton just swallow what the Humane Society of the United States has on offer--hook, line and sinker? Cheri toes the (HSUS) line The Louisville City Council was ready to vote against the breed specific language on November 13th--in fact, they did vote against it--but Councilwoman Bryant-Hamilton and another Democratic City Councilmember stomped out of the meeting. Without them, there was no quorum and the vote didn't count. Other Louisville councilmembers were quoted in the press expressing their amazement at the disrespect she showed them. Sounds to me like Councilwoman Bryant Hamilton is pretty heavily invested in the Humane Society of the United States' program for negative profiling. I'm just wondering who's been investing in her.


Anonymous said...

Good for you! Ms. Hamilton needs to be accountable to the people in her district - NOT the HSUS and their phoney stance on BSL. The residents in Louisville, KY need the city council to act on their behalf - not faciltate the agenda of the HSUS. One more time - that's HSUS SUPPORTS BSL! They won't get one more dime from me - EVER! Give your money to LOCAL shelters!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! thiss 100+ page behemoth needs to go it regulates and conscripts every aspect of dog ownership and if enforced would effectively eliminate dog ownership in Louisville- Other than a post man and Pam Rogers no one has testified in favor of this anti dog, anti owner, conscriptive ordinance which violates multiple provisions of the state law notwithstanding its multiple unconstitutional provisions. Over ten groups have testified before this committee and Ms. Hamilton and a few others act as if the veterinarians, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the dog trainers, dog owners, kennel club experts, the AKC, the UKC etc. are from another planet. Keep up the good work.

Carina said...

Thank you, thank you for your blog! I've bookmarked it - excellent work.
For years I donated to the HSUS and believed the "speuter for the greater good" mantra. I wised up after Katrina.
I've been getting educated over the last few years, and changing my views.
Proud OWNER of a working Rottweiler (and a non-working Rottweiler.)

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll link to my blog, which calls the HSUS on to the carpet for other issues...
You have an interesting topic! I'll be following it.