Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pets Alive: Animal Sanctuary or Animal Scam?

ASPCA Oreo-gate pays off big for Pets Alive

Disgraced "rescue" spins ASPCA crisis for own benefit

Pets Alive makes its bid for fame and fortune

As ASPCA Prez Ed Sayres struggles and fails to contain outrage from his own constituency over the decision to kill an abused dog previously used as a fund-raising and public relations tool, somebody in upstate New York saw a golden opportunity.

The ASPCA may continue to stutter and blurt explanations, but Pets Alive in Middletown, New York, already got what it wants: a shot at joining the humaniac elite by riding the coat tails of the ASPCA's acute ethical and PR problems.

Pets Alive's strategy was --
(a) feed the media frenzy and encourage negative publicity, and
(b) position Pets Alive as "more humane," "more ethical" and --very important !-- "more deserving of donations."

The ASPCA shot itself in both feet when it arrogantly exploited and then killed an abused dog. And as the dust settles on Oreo-gate, the Pets Alive gambit seems to have paid off. They're a clear winner. But is Pets Alive ready for prime time?

Oooooh, baby. Not hardly.

The whitewashing of Pets Alive

In the spring of 2007, the collection of 500+ animals at Pets Alive was in really bad shape. After founder Sara Whalen died of cancer in March and Pets Alive sought assistance from Best Friends Animal Society, the animal welfare disaster at Pets Alive became public knowledge. In ABC News coverage, a visitor to the 80 acre compound compared the place to Auschwitz.

Michael Mountain's prompt plea for money included shocking descriptions of animals confined in "substandard conditions" and in need of basics like routine vaccinations and treatment for worms. Other accounts described animals kenneled in the dark and malnourished:

In the wake of one tragedy – and working to avoid another – Best Friends teams have stepped in to save and care for hundreds of at-risk animals while trying to stabilize operations at the troubled Pets Alive sanctuary in upstate New York. Many of the more than 500 animals at the shelter were living in substandard conditions as founder Sara Whalen succumbed to cancer on March 19. . . .Toward the end, when the Pets Alive board learned the extent of the problem, they turned to Best Friends for help. [emphasis added]

What did Pets Alive's BOD know, and when did they know it?

Pets Alive's Board of Directors only learned about so many sick and neglected animals "toward the end"? Could dogs like Oreo end up warehoused in substandard conditions for an entire lifetime? Current Pets Alive Executive Co-Director Matt DeAngelis describes an intimate familiarity with the facility and the animals there going back eight years. Where was he when conditions at Pets Alive reached crisis stage?
As it launched its "Pets Alive Emergency operation" Best Friends blogged that deteriorating conditions at the facility were an issue for years.

Nobody noticed 500 or 600 at-risk animals, over a period of years, until the place "looked like Auschwitz"? How is that possible?

Learning about "proper care"

Best Friends pulled out of Pets Alive by January, 2008, leaving the Pets Alive staff gushing with gratitude:

Best Friends came to Pets Alive when we were in a desperate situation and they helped us in every way imaginable. They hired staff and taught us how to properly care for and house the animals. They helped us develop a network of volunteers and supporters, showed us better adoption practices, helped us train the animals (and the staff), and helped teach us how to stand on our own two feet. [emphasis added]

Pets Alive only learned how to properly care for and house animals in its care in 2007? What was going on during the "30 years of experience" they claim? Improper care?

Oh, and by the way, Pets Alive was incorporated in 1988. The corporation began doing business in New York State in 1990. The "new" Pets Alive dates from 2007, when Best Friends went back to Utah. There is no "30 years" of Pets Alive experience and expertise.

Business resumes at Pets Alive

By January, 2008, a scant nine months after the animal welfare crisis at its facilities was first acknowledged, Pets Alive was back to importing dogs from southern states and sending out desperate messages soliciting donations to care for them.

In February, 2008, finances became a big theme as Matt DeAngelis blogged about "too many animals and not enough space" while being "blind-sided" by a $3500 electric bill.

Can "reputable" animal sanctuaries be "blind-sided" by the arrival of a utility bill? What does that say about their administrative skills?

No money to safely contain aggressive dogs at Pets Alive

Two months later, in April, 2008, Co-Executive Director Kerry Clair blogs about an urgent need for adequate kennel runs for aggressive dogs then at Pets Alive:

We have two dogs that are in desperate need of a specific type of dog run. . .We worry about our regular chain link fencing and really need to put [a particular dog] in something more solid. . . We need to buy at LEAST 2 of them, and it would be best if we had five and could put all our “caution” dogs in these solid runs. . .Would you be willing to donate the cost of one panel? This will keep our staff, our dogs and our volunteers and visitors safer. Our funds are running low here at Pets Alive. . .We desperately need an influx of donations in the next few months. Matt is working on a direct mail campaign. . . [emphasis added]

Pets Alive didn't have the facilities necessary to keep staff and visitors safe? And they claim expertise in "aggressive" dogs? Where did Pets Alive plan to hold Oreo for her lifetime?

Disappearing horses, rumors of rabies

In December, 2008, horses boarded at Pets Alive during court proceedings and subsequently ordered returned to their owners by the judge when the case was adjourned contemplating dismissal, mysteriously disappeared after the owners refused to sell them to Pets Alive supporter Rob Thomas.

Astoundingly, in August, 2009, Kerry Clair blogged that Pets Alive knowingly "technically adopted out" a sick dog that had to be euthanized because. . .

. . .she continued to get worse and worse and eventually she had to be euthanized to spare her any more suffering. It was really traumatic for us all. We still do not know cause of death but the vets feel she either contracted rabies or distemper. . .[emphasis added]

Rabies ? Or was it distemper? Because there's a difference. And where was Pets Alive's concern for public health and safety?

I mean, rabies???

Orange County, New York foreclosing on Pets Alive ?

The November 13, 2009 issue of the (Middletown) Times Herald-Record included the usual legal notices, including a Petition and Notice of Foreclosure on the Pets Alive properties.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ X
335200 21-1-3 PETS ALIVE, INC.
335200 22-1-30 PETS ALIVE, INC.
335200 22-1-50.21 PETS ALIVE, INC.

Uh oh. That just can't be good news for the animals at Pets Alive. What would happen to dogs like Oreo, if their "sanctuary for life" was foreclosed? Then what? Huh?

Missing In Action with the New York State Charities Bureau

Organizations exempted from federal income tax under Section 501 of the tax code that "normally" have income in excess of $25,000 per year are required to file IRS Form 990. In New York, a copy of the 990 form is also provided to the Charities Bureau. Failure to comply with this or several other reporting requirements may result in revocation of the organization's tax-exempt status.

Even though Pets Alive routinely posts notices of large contributions ($200,000 from Rob Thomas/Sidewalk Angels in 2008) and indicates that it is a "valid 501(c)3 animal rescue", a Freedom of Information request to the NYS Charities Bureau for copies of Pets Alive's reports yielded no current information. In fact, on August 19, 2009 the Charities Bureau confirmed that Pets Alive has not remitted a Form 990 for five years. The last report they received covered tax year 2003.

Oreo's Law and more unanswered questions

In New York, "duly incorporated humane societies" --although they may sell or offer for sale hundreds and even thousands of pets annually-- are exempted from inspection under the state's regulation of "pet dealers."

The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act do not cover facilities like Pets Alive. No one checked on the care provided at Pets Alive, which housed an unknown portion of the 500 or 600 animals there in "substandard conditions" for an unknown length of time.

Could dogs like Oreo spend a lifetime, warehoused in inhumane conditions, if a proposal like "Oreo's Law" mandating unregulated "sanctuary" is enacted ? What protections exist for vulnerable dogs and other pets condemned to a lifetime of unsupervised, uninspected confinement in New York's private, not-for-profit, duly incorporated "humane" societies? What's going to happen when the sponsors of "Oreo's Law" realize that the "expertise" and "responsibility" of some animal sanctuaries may exist only in the imaginations and ambitions of their executive co-directors? Why hasn't anyone in the "humane" community spoken up?

There's clearly more than a small problem at Pets Alive, and it's not difficult to see.

Why the silence? When will the exploitation of an abused, dead dog by those who claimed to be her "rescuers" end?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Humane Havens for Dog Slaughterers

Update on previously published article

Pit Bull Killer Maloney Rakes It In
at Humane Society of the United States

Movin' on up in the world of corporate dog-killing

Pacelle lauds "accomplishments" of exec who cut and ran after Boudreaux' dogs were slaughtered

Dontcha just love it?  As ex Louisiana SPCA CEO Laura Maloney wiggles her way ever upward in the world of industrial animal killing "rescue", the bullshit just gets deeper and deeper.  When she joined HSUS a year ago as Pacelle's chief of staff, he babbled on . . .

“I’ve worked alongside Laura in Louisiana during the effort to rescue animals following Hurricane Katrina, and in the battle to outlaw cockfighting in the state, and I have seen her excel in all the areas where’s she focused her attentions. We are an enormously complex organization, and I know she’ll help us make it run even better."

Better at what, Wayne?  Killing animals? 

Maybe setting up her employers for liability in civil suits stemming from her "rescue" activities?

Cause that's what Laura Maloney excels at. 

Maloney was in charge when her blood-thirsty employees seized and immediately killed Boudreaux's 57 dogs.  She "worked with authorities" to assure they acted on her allegations. 

Boudreaux hadn't even been arraigned when Maloney's SPCA killed his dogs.  No wonder Wayne Pacelle loves her.

But when the case went to court the charges were promptly dropped.   That's a problem, Wayne.  That's a big problem.

Birds finally come home to roost: 
Lousiana SPCA settles Boudreaux suit

It has been a long, hard road for Floyd Boudreaux, his family, and the animal lovers that supported him and appreciated his dogs. 

The undisclosed sum the SPCA will be paying out to Floyd and his family--and man, I hope it is huge--won't bring back the 57 dogs they lost on the evil day of the "humane" raid Maloney orchestrated against them.   It can be no compensation for the extermination of a cherished, 200 year-old line of champions.  No amount of money can make what that family went through go away.

But it serves as a warning to other private societies-for-the-prevention who think their cute little uniforms and cop-car clone vehicles will shield them from liability when they fuck up. . .
uh, indulge in a little mission creep. . .

okay let's cut to the chase and make that. . . do what they wanted to do all along and freaking slaughter beautiful animals belonging to innocent people. 

Below is Blue Dog's October, 2009 piece on Maloney and her brilliant career.  Let's just hope it finally comes to a screeching halt.

Exonerated Pit bull breeder Floyd Boudreaux sues Louisiana SPCA

Disgraced SPCA CEO now ASPCA Sr. Vice President

Floyd Boudreaux made headlines last week with news of his suit against the Lousiana SPCA. The SPCA needlessly, wantonly--and apparently, illegally--slaughtered the Boudreaux dogs as fast as it could after the Boudreaux home was raided during a 2005 dogfighting investigation.

You'd think that Laura Maloney, Chief Executive Officer at the LA SPCA when it exterminated each and every one of Floyd's 57 dogs within 24 hours of seizing them would be unemployable. At least unemployable within the "humane" network where the lives of animals are supposed to count for something. Right? Societies for the prevention of cruelty aren't supposed to be in a flaming hurry to kill the dogs they just finished "rescuing."

Are they?

Ooops. Blue Dog's bad. . .

That's exactly what Maloney's LA SPCA did on that black day four years ago when Boudreaux' dogs were seized, and killed, by "humane" agents. Boudreaux was quickly acquitted when his case went to trial. But it was too late for his dogs.

Maloney's LA SPCA had already carried out sentence on his dogs. Boudreaux hadn't even been arraigned when the killings began.
Scurrying to avoid the cold light of day

State trooper Jacob Dickinson, the investigator that testified during the short trial that vindicated the Boudreaux family, said that "he believed the SPCA would house the animals and did not know the dogs would be euthanized."

But a representative from the SPCA testified that no one person at the nonprofit animal welfare group made the decision to kill the animals but that there was a general assumption that the dogs would be euthanized.

Deny, deny, deny. . .

Laura Maloney's Louisiana SPCA is asking us to accept that general assumptions killed 57 healthy, happy dogs as soon as they arrived at the "shelter"?

Are you kidding? What kind of an explanation is that? And how cold can you get?

The stress from losing those dogs, particularly the dog belonging to his 10 year-old grandson, caused Floyd to suffer a heart attack five days after the LA SPCA killed his dogs.

Rewarding major fuck ups general assumptions

So Maloney, and the LA SPCA, asks the world to believe that LA SPCA personnel just took it upon themselves to kill all those dogs, immediately, no questions asked. All in a day's work. What kind of out-of-control crack house does Maloney claim she was running, anyway ? How arrogant can you get?

ASPCA shelters Maloney from the storm

Moving on to the present. . . Maloney's feeling no pain. She's got a nice new job at the ASPCA. Delicately referring to Maloney's "national recognition for managing high-profile dog fighting cases" the ASPCA placed Maloney in charge of various business units including Humane Law Enforcement, Veterinary Forensics, Government Affairs/Legislative Initiatives, Field Services and the New York City Anti-Cruelty Center.

Some gig, huh? ASPCA Veterinary Forensics. Dang.

Lights going out in Georgia

So, was it Maloney that deployed Melinda Merck, the ASPCA Forensic head honcho now partnered up with Norred and Associates and HSUS ? These three private corporations are cutting a swath through the backwoods of Georgia right now -- seizing pit bulls first and asking questions later. Way, way later.

Is Merck acting on Maloney's instructions--or maybe just a general assumption--when she seizes puppies from the homes of innocent people? Does anyone at the ASPCA even care?

Waves of "humane change" don't reach every shore

What happens to all those seized dogs, anyway? Where are the dogs?

Something tells me that news of the great "Las Vegas Humane Sea Change", in which HSUS sort of agreed that dogs seized during fighting investigations don't necessarily need to die, has been slow to trickle down. Plenty of good dogs are dying lonely deaths for no good reason.

After HSUS, Norred, the ASPCA and the news crews blow town, the killing begins.
What responsibility does Merck, Maloney and the ASPCA assume for the fate of those dogs?


Absolutely none.

ASPCA doesn't walk the walk

The ASPCA cannot employ people like Laura Maloney and look dog owners, particularly pit bull owners, in the eye. It is not possible.

Most especially, the ASPCA cannot put people with a history like Laura Maloney's in charge of Melinda Merck and her travelling pit bull confiscation show.

"We are their voice" ???

What a farce.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HSUS and ASPCA: Filling Pit Bull Burial Grounds

John Goodwin, Melinda Merck caught in the act Who's hearing black helicopters now?
Seizing dogs for fun and profit: theft under color of law

Nobody ever accused convicted ALF terrorist and HSUS Dogfight Czar John Goodwin of getting bogged down in petty details.

Legalities, responsibility for the health and welfare of the dogs he and ASPCA's Melinda Merck seize, restitution for the cost of failed attempts to kill pitbulls lamentable errors made while pursuing the animal extremist "greater good" ?

Not even on Goodwin and Merck's radar.

HSUS offers a bounty for dogfighting "tips."

In the Line of Duty continues to dance to HSUS' tune, hyping "lucrative" dogfight busts to local law enforcement agencies.

And Norred and Associates? HSUS' private, for profit, hired guns investigators ? Why should Norred give a shit about a country boy, his family, and his handful of dogs? Norred was hired by HSUS to obliterate pit bulls dogfighting, and that's what they're gonna do.

The Curious Case of Joe Woodall, Gilmer County, Georgia

For 12 hours on October 28, 2008, the Woodall family watched helplessly as agents of the Humane Society of the United States, Norred and Associates, the ASPCA, local humane societies and local law enforcement swarmed over their property.

Among those executing the Woodall raid were:

John Goodwin, the Humane Society of the United States's "manager, animal fighting campaign." Despite the much bally-hooed "sea change" at HSUS, Goodwin remains very much in charge of HSUS's pit bull dogfighting eradication program.

Melinda Merck, the ASPCA's "forensic veterinarian." Merck takes pride in her "expertise."

In order to properly identify evidence, analyze it and interpret the findings, you have to know animals and animal behavior. This is what I do and what I bring to a crime scene. I am an animal expert investigating crimes against animals. .

More on Merck's "expertise" below.

HSUS's Chris Schindler. Three months after the Woodall raid, Schindler testified in a North Carolina court that un-weaned pups are "too dangerous to live" and joined with other HSUS employees in urging the deaths of every one of the Wildside Kennels dogs. Schindler, like Goodwin, remains an employee in good standing at HSUS. . .despite the "sea change" at HSUS.

Greg D. Norred, Founder and President and Chuck Simmons, VP Special Operations at Norred and Associates. Like Schindler, Merck, and Goodwin, Simmons is employed by a private, non-governmental agency and is responsible only to the privately employed people who control his pay-check. His boss, entrepreneur Greg Norred, has a background in private sector, for-profit, security services.

The Woodall home, barn and wooded property was searched for nearly 12 hours. Their 13 American Pit Bull Terrier dogs -- eleven adult dogs and two puppies -- were seized on suspicion of dogfighting.

News of Woodall's "arrest" was reported on local television. Joe, a hobby dog breeder who shows his dogs in ADBA-sanctioned conformation events and competes in weightpull trials, became a notorious dogfighter in the blink of an eye.

The Woodall kids had to get up and go to school the next day.

No arrest, no prosecution--but the dogs don't come back

The Woodall family, with good reason, feared that their dogs would be summarily killed as a result of their "rescue". Joe and Tracy's two young sons were devastated by the loss of their special pet dog, Purdy, who slept with them each night.

Yet after the dogs were loaded into Merck's ASPCA paddywagon and taken to another county several hours away from their home, and despite news reports, Joe was never arrested. He was never charged with a crime.

It took the Woodalls two months of frantic effort, and a court order, to get their dogs back. When they did come home, they arrived in sorry condition after eight weeks of "assessment for dogfighting." All had open sores. The gleaming, flawless coats evident in Joe's videos on the day of the raid were gone. Two of the dogs had more significant health problems, especially one of the pups. All of them showed signs of stress and trauma.

But Joe and his video camera succeeded in getting his dogs out alive.

$5000's worth of "probable cause" ? Did it cost more ?

HSUS's strategy all along and across the board is to lower the bar on what constitutes probable cause.

Joe's video (YouTube links below--image captures here courtesy Pet-Defense) shows John Goodwin questioning the Woodalls as to their dogs' bloodlines and registry. Goodwin is anxious to establish pedigree and registry, alone, as proof of "fighting" dogs.

Here's Goodwin gingerly examining one of Joe Woodall's dogs -- a dog which showed no trace of fighting, was in excellent physical condition and showed the exuberantly people-friendly, "correct" temperament for an APBT. The poor dog could have no understanding of what Goodwin's gloved hand placed on her head meant. She was seized a short time after Goodwin's examination.

How low can you go?

But looking at the search warrant application for the Woodall home and property, I have to wonder how much lower the court system can sink.

The remarkable document indicates that the search was based on--

A. A phoned-in tip to a private, non-governmental security firm from an anonymous source.

B. Alleged references in an "underground" magazine of no known veracity -- one that ceased publication more than four years before the Woodall raid.

C. The presence of tethered "pit bulls" at and near the Woodall home.

and last, but not least. . .

D. "Independent information" provided by a convicted felon. The informant's statement constitutes a confession to yet another instance of felonious activity, but he can't remember the details of the event he reports because, he testified, he was too drunk to know where he was.

All the justice money can buy

I'm wondering how many pockets were lined by HSUS in putting together the "probable cause" for the raid that ripped apart the Woodall home and nearly killed their dogs.

For the record, the "dogfighting paraphernalia" found in the Woodall home consisted of dog collars, a couple of ropes, veterinary supplies for the treatment of eye and ear infections, a few magazines. . .and the videos Joe had made of his own dogs.

And his dogs, of course.

Your donations at work: Melinda Merck, DVM, and ASPCA Puppy Thief

Here's a shot of Melinda Merck removing one of two healthy, well-cared for puppies from the Woodall home. She got the other one a few minutes after this shot was taken.

Neither puppy returned in the excellent condition they left the Woodall home in.

Eight weeks of "assessment" failed to identify any evidence of dogfighting in any of Joe Woodall's dogs.

You'd think that the ASPCA's so-called forensic expert could have established that the dogs were in excellent condition, and had beautiful, very friendly temperaments in something less than eight weeks, wouldn't you?

Or was Merck's only purpose to sign off on the seizure of dogs--any dogs--and let the chips fall where they may? Maybe do an interview or two, have a little lunch. . .

Who speaks for these victims?


That's what I want to know.

Who's going to put the world back together again for kids like Joe and Tracy Woodall's children?

Children who had their lives torn to pieces because HSUS and the ASPCA can get away with it, and learned the hard way that innocence will not protect them?

Does anyone really believe that HSUS magically changed its ways, when the people who organized these kinds of tragedies remain in place ?

Short of a brain transplant for John Goodwin, I don't see how it's possible.

Pit Bull burial grounds

How about those 350 or 450 or who-knows-how-many dogs seized in the "world's greatest dogfighting bust", orchestrated by HSUS's usual players: Goodwin, Norred and Schindler, with the ASPCA's Merck there to rubber stamp the proceedings? What about the myriad other busts taking place across the country?

Does anyone else worry that dogs just like Joe Woodall's got scooped up, and will probably die when HSUS and its local proxies determine that, too bad, too too bad, the dogs were too ill/too injured/too "unsocialized" ?

Or maybe they'll use the "no room at the inn" excuse. Hard to take coming from the world's largest, wealthiest "animal advocates" but I think it's coming.

Nothing about what happened to Joe Woodall's dogs demonstrated care about their welfare. Nothing. HSUS's and ASPCA's only interest was in seizing the dogs.

Joe Woodall thinks their purpose is to exterminate all "pit bulls." I think he's right. So, how much longer can this abuse continue? About Joe's videos

Joe Woodall placed several videos on YouTube. Many mix shots of his dogs at weightpull trials, playing with his children, etc., with clips of the HSUS/ASPCA raid on his home.
A couple of highlights:
At roughly 3:15 minutes, this clip shows Goodwin's review of Woodall's dogs, including his preoccupation with their pedigrees and near complete disregard for how well they are cared for.
At roughly 3:51 minutes on this tape, Melinda Merck seizes the smaller of Joe Woodall's two puppies as Joe struggles to get Merck to admit that there is nothing wrong with the pup. Joe's voice rises a bit.
Understandable, doncha think?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Puppymillers R Us

HSUS plays "responsible breeders" for fools

Get a clue, sweetheart. The days of Camelot are over. 

Roger Caras is dead and buried, too. 

The American Kennel Club doesn't call the shots, Robert's Rules of Order count for shit, and declaring yourself a responsible, ethical, hobby dog breeder means nothing--nothing at all--to animal extremists. 

Oppose "puppymills", do ya? 

First of all, if by "puppymills" you mean "abusive, unlawful dog breeding facilities that violate generally accepted animal husbandry practices" . . .well, all I can say is: whoop de doo. How do you feel about global deforestation, kiddie porn, and adult illiteracy? For, or against? Any motherhood statements you need to get off your chest on, maybe, the torture of civilian combatants in Guantanamo? 

Puppymillers like you and me 

On the other hand, if by "puppymiller" you mean what the Humane Society of the United States means, better think again. Because HSUS and its extremist supporters are coming after you if you breed dogs. They don't care how much you love your dogs and how careful you are with your pups. HSUS's latest crop of anti-puppymill proposals have nothing to do with cruelty to animals. Instead, these proposals outlaw ownership or mere temporary custody of intact dogs (and cats).

Custody of the happiest, healthiest most well-cared for dogs (and/or cats) in the world would be a criminal act under these proposals, if you happen to have "too many." Groomers, trainers, boarding kennel operators and doggie daycare facilities, huntsmen/women and mushers, vets. . .all potential "puppymillers" in the eyes of the Humane Society of the United States. "Too many" intact dogs in their custody could lead to criminal charges. Not because the animals were mistreated in any way. Oh, no. Just because they had custody of the wrong number.

HSUS's numbers game: who wins, who loses? 
Pet-Age got it wrong. Dogs are born intact, and some people choose to keep them that way, whether they intend to breed them or not. Its called personal preference, and its not criminal.


These aren't proposals to protect animals from "puppymillers." While disguised by anti-puppymill rhetoric, these proposals are designed to shut down breeders and take their animals. Period.

True agenda: seizure and destruction of animals 

Under HSUS's New York proposal alleged custody of the wrong number of cats and dogs may lead to seizure and forfeiture of the animals. Amazingly, in New York forfeited animals may be killed or sold off by the agency that seized them BEFORE the owner gets his day in court. So, HSUS and its acolytes could accuse someone of owning "too many" intact dogs and/or cats, seize them, kill them. . .and THEN the owner gets to go to court. Some shit, huh? 

Pencil in a number. Any number. 

Consider yourself "safe" because you don't have 50 (or 40 or 75) intact dogs and/or cats?

Then you're an idiot.

The ASPCA is already signalling that twenty dogs could identify a breeder as a "puppymiller." There won't be any way to stuff that genie back in the bottle, folks. Numbers were made to change. Once criminal animal cruelty can be charged based only on alleged numbers of animals present--and not the quality of care they are provided--home and hobby breeding of dogs and cats will come to a screeching halt. Ditto sports and hunting kennels, or any other place where intact dogs tend to congregate. 

Shoulder to shoulder with HSUS's Jennifer Fearing

Anyone else going to an anti "puppymill" demonstrations with Jennifer Fearing?
Before you pack your lunch and your poster, here's a trivia question to consider. Especially for California pit bull owners:

Question: Ingrid Newkirk, Bob Barker and Jennifer Fearing-- what document unites them all?

Answer: All three signed a letter urging legislators to support SB 861, California's pit bull extermination law that continues to kill innocent dogs for the crime of being caught intact. SB 861 laid the groundwork for the global forced sterilization proposals rocking California today, four years later. Too bad "the Fancy" didn't see the writing on the wall back in 2005, isn't it? You can read the dim-witted letter Fearing signed, which claims that breed specific mandatory sterilization would benefit and even protect "pit bulls," here 

We're all puppymillers

Or dogfighters. Or backyard breeders, or hoarders, or "irresponsible owners." Or blood-crazed, rifle-toting Bambi-killers.

There's an accusation out there waiting for each of us. In the end, no combination of OFA certified dams and performance-titled studs, no forlorn adherence to the mandates of a national breed club, no number of pups produced small enough to protect a targeted dog breeder from extremist allegations which will destroy their lives.

I've got a huge problem when "responsible" and "ethical" dog breeders --not to mention bloggers and freaking journalists -- fall for HSUS jive and completely, utterly, fail to see who they're climbing into bed with.

The Humane Society of the United States employs the best public relations advisors money can buy. Pacelle will position himself and HSUS any way necessary to achieve his goals.

Watch what HSUS does. Not what HSUS says its doing. Don't be a chump.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

HSUS Is Evil. And Proud Of It.

Lobbying, fundraising and vegan food fun

Donations to the Humane Society of the United States at work

How a national extremist agenda gets served with a smile in New York
With a scant three weeks left in the New York legislative session and not a whole lot to show for it yet, employees of the Humane Society of the United States--the largest, wealthiest animal extremist organization in the world--kicked in to high gear in late May.
Endgame strategy?
Convert brains at the state capital into gelatinous mush, the HSUS way.
HSUS Regional Director Patrick Kwan: Hey, that's how he rolls.

And Kwan appears to have packed his toothbrush and airline frequent flyer card as the critical end-of-legislative-session last week of May came to a close. As Kwan's Twitter log of activities documented, the HSUS's point man in New York didn't spend much time at home as the lobbying season reached its climax.
From social calls on hens roosters (oops! good the Farm Sanctuary supporter got that pesky detail ironed out), a cameo appearance on public radio, and a barnstorming campaign through upstate New York, Kwan racked up the mileage. And he kept up a steady barrage of tweets and twitters--keep those home fires burning!--as he did it.
Bliggety blogs, facey spaces and tweetie pages
So here's Kwan's own rendition of how he spent the last week of May, with notations in bold. [And, yeah, I removed the links plugging extremist websites. They can get their own damn blogs.]
May 24: Visiting the rescued roosters . . . b4 their trip to sanctuary
May 25: Met Bernadine, a broiler hen believed to have escaped from truck. . .

May 27: My interview w/ WNYC
Assm Lentol @NYSenate Stavisky bill to strengthen NY animal fighting laws

Note: Kwan's radio interview mentions neither Asy. Lentol or Sen. Stavisky. Lentol chairs the committee where HSUS's proposal is now stalled and Stavisky is the Senate sponsor of the proposal.
But hey, a free tweet is a free tweet.
May 27: 3 "hens" I transported . . .are roosters. . . .
May 28: Visits & meetings w/ @FarmSanctuary + Tompkins County SPCA today; Lobbying for Animals workshop in Ithaca tonight
Note: Sen. James Seward, representing Ithaca, sits on the NY Senate Agriculture committee. On May 28, several extremist proposals, including one endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, were stalled in the the NYS Senate Ag. Com.
Taste of Thai in Ithaca Commons was awesome - seitan + labeled vegan desserts May 29: Great meeting w/ the fine folks of Citizens Campaign for the Environment who are doing amazing anti-CAFO work. Watertown, NY
Note: Watertown is home to Senate Ag. Committee chair, Darrel Aubertine.

Had privilege to meet his son Ken Wiwa at Amnesty AGM RT @amnesty Ken Saro-Wiwa: The Legacy of an Environ. Defender Jefferson County SPCA loves ZooToo and shows it!

Note: Aubertine's home, near Watertown, is in Jefferson County

Will get to Syracuse around midnight to celebrate their 1st anniversay. 30%off vegan milkshakes + free cupcakes!

Note: Syracuse is the home district of Sen. D. Valesky. Valesky is the third ranking Democrat in NY's Democratically controlled Senate, and he sits on the Senate Ag. committee.

May 30: Just spoke to an amazing + inspiring crowd of anti-puppy mills advocates

Back to NYC tmrrw nite after advocacy tour of Woodstock, Binghamton, Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Watertown, Delmar, + Syracuse!

Note: Sen. Neil Breslin represents Delmar and sits on the NYS Senate Ag. committee.

At Recess Cafe in Syracuse for every Sat all-you-can-eat $5 vegan BBQ. In a business suit. Ha! May 31: Demo today from 11am-Noon in Cicero, NY to urge Petland to stop supporting puppy mills + selling puppies. See you there? Syracuse Airport - GOOD: Free WiFi + Ziploc bags at security BAD: No soymilk at the Au Bon Pain. Urgh

So, connect the dots. What do you get?

On June 2, two anti-pet breeder proposals--disguised as anti-"puppymill" bills--moved favorably out of the NY Senate Ag. committee.

One proposal would shut down small, hobby pet breeders. The other one is a limit law which will close moderate-to-large kennels and catteries. Both are in perfect alignment with HSUS head honcho Wayne Pacelle's "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals." goal. HSUS backs similar proposals in many states, most notably California.

The New York State Ag. Committee is chaired by the senator from Watertown. Members include the senators representing Delmar, Ithaca and Syracuse. Coincidence?

I'm just saying. . .

Your donations at work: gelatinous mush through lower intestines

Patrick hasn't posted his Travel & Expense report on Twitter, but zig-zagging around upstate New York doesn't come cheap. New York ain't Texas, but its a far piece from Brooklyn to Woodstock to Syracuse to Delmar to. . .

Somebody's got to pay.

I'm thinking its going to be the animals. The ones that remain caged in shelters throughout the country--particularly the pit bulls--because HSUS chooses to spend its money on lobbying, public relations and expanding its own influence.

And leaves the messy stuff to others.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New York City Housing Authority Bans 27 Dog Breeds

Are some dog owners more equal than others in Big Blue NYC? Pet-friendly New York's Eve of Destruction On May 1, New York's NYCHA intends to enforce its new "pet policy" for the almost 178,000 apartments scattered throughout New York's five boroughs in its control. NYCHA provides homes to more than 400,000 New Yorkers.
Never much of a pet-friendly landlord, in 2002 NYCHA agreed to allow tenants one dog or cat, providing the pet was neutered and weighed 40 lbs. or less. But that was then. This is now. Seems that policy was just too liberal. Dig it. With explanations like "too many incidents of people’s dogs doing what they aren’t supposed to", NYCHA announced new rules, including breed specific prohibitions in a state that forbids breed specific laws. NYCHA's policy is in direct contradiction to an exisiting state law. As of May 1, 2009, the following dogs are prohibited (maybe):
Akita Inu, Alangu Mastiff, Alano Español, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Argentine Dogo, Bedlington Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bull and Terrier, Bull Terrier, Bully Kutta, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Dogo Sardesco, English Mastiff, Fila Brasiliero, Gull Dong, Gull Terr, Irish Staffordshire Bull, Korean Jindo Dog, Lottatore Brindisino, Neapolitan Mastiff, Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog), Perro de Presa Mallorquín (Ca de Bou), Shar Pei, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tosa Inu. Also: any dog predicted to weigh more than 25 lbs. when full grown And even more: Even though this is all supposed to commence tomorrow, the list of breeds seems to change several times a day. The above list came from an NYCHA publication. Since then Boxers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers have been included in assorted other news items. I think I saw Golden Retrievers on one. SNAFU at NYCHA Your guess is as good as mine as to which dogs are going to be illegal in six hours or so. I called NYCHA. Three times. NYCHA isn't talking. They're too busy "tweaking" their list. Who came up with that bizarre list of prohibited breeds? Was it their carefully compiled and well-documented records of dog-related incidents involving Gull Dongs ? How many problem Alangu Mastiffs live in the New York City public housing projects, anyway? Unexplained weight loss
Dogs in public housing were becoming a headache. So, rather than work towards the enforcement of New York's comprehensive animal control laws (don't they watch Animal Precinct??? how do they avoid it???) the agency decided that 40 lbs. was "too much."
They figured 25 lbs. was a better number. And then . . . . . .the agency looked into popular breeds used for dog fighting. The result was a list of about 30 types of dogs that will be prohibited from being registered in public housing after May 1. NYCHA’s pet policy overview consists of an odd mix of large and small dogs believed to be aggressive, and rare breeds. Like a lot of other dog-bite related "science", the list seems to be stuck together with chewing gum and bullshit, and maybe a little 'net surfing. Poor people and their dogs don't count ? New Yorkers aren't crazy about BSL. Not at all. Big blue New York has resisted negative stereotyping of dogs and dog owners for years. Maybe NYCHA figures New Yorkers just don't want to know happens in the projects? Is this a "people like us" vs. "people like them" thingie? Poor people just don't deserve pets? Is that the reasoning? Rich people have more rights than folks in the projects?
Say whaaat? Enter Dracula Peter Vallone Jr., Stage Right
Proving once and for all that he is a complete media whore, Vallone couldn't resist the opportunity to shoot his mouth off uh make a fool of himself uh pander once again to the public's most fearful, most racist tendencies-- "Finally someone is realizing that these potentially dangerous animals have no place in a confined urban space," said City Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens), who has unsuccessfully lobbied state legislators to ban the dogs. Think Vallone has a clue about what he's saying? Any clue at all? How many out of control Bedlington Terriers are there in New York public housing projects ? I'm so excited. I just can't hide it. With the ASPCA in there "negotiating" with NYCHA, and May 1st just hours away. . . the tension's killing me. To calm my nerves, I'm gonna write a letter to the Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, Ricardo Elías Morales. I'm going to ask him why rich people are protected by the laws of New York State, but people living in city housing projects aren't. Then I'm going to ask him what he's got against Boston Terriers and the people who love them. . .even if they aren't rich.

You should, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pet Airways: No red carpets for "pit bulls"

Special requirements for "certain" dogs, plus a dose of corporate snark

What a way to run a pet-friendly airline!

The 8 per cent solution: Enough to make Best Friends look the other way on discrimination?

So, here's an interesting problem in corporate ethics. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary--the animal rights giant that makes a very big deal about how pit bulls are no different than other dogs--just announced a partnership with brand new Pet Airways.

Pet Airways has generously made a financial commitment to Best Friends and will also be donating flights to help transport rescued and adopted pets, says Namrata Chand, Best Friends cause marketing manager.

“Their services will not only provide a safe, comfortable and fast way to transport animals, but will also be a big cost savings for Best Friends,” Chand says.

In addition, eight percent of the price of each Pet Airways ticket purchased by Best Friends supporters will be donated to Best Friends.

Sounds like a sweet deal for everybody, right?

Wrong. And I'm here to tell you why.

No "separate but equal" for doggies

Looking past all the festivities and celebrations on Best Friends' website, the owners of "certain" dogs are going to find the following requirement buried in Pet Airway's contract of carriage:

SHIPMENTS SUBJECT TO ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS The following shipments shall be acceptable for carriage by Carrier only upon Advance Arrangements: ... (D) Shipments of the following breeds of dog: Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Saffordshire Bull Terrier, Presa Canario.

Its kind of like the Alabama "Literacy Test." Sure, everyone gets to vote.

Blacks and Latinos just had to pass a little test first.

No big deal. Right?

Pet Airways spokespeople: snark and doubletalk

Consider this email exchange between a Pet Airways Customer Care professional--re-named "Dick"--, and a potential Pet Airways client:

Dick: . . .[Y]ou are not presenting owners of this breed in a very good light. It seems to me that you are the one that has the aggressive tendency, not your pet. We are trying to do something good for all breeds, so I suggest that next time a little less antagonism and a little more dialog would be a better way to approach a situation. If you have an issue, I suggest you talk before you jump to conclusions. We can always amend our policies based on calm dialog, can you amend your behavior?

["Dick" later continued]

You obviously have issues. We are trying to help, you are not. Please seek professional help. You are more aggressive than your pit bull.

In other words, Pet Airways responded with a defensive snit yielding condescension, negative stereotypes, and that old stand-by: deny, deny, deny.

"Dick" apparently thought his approach was best for dealing with gang-banging, drug-dealing, dog-fighting "pit bull owner." Did he get it from the Pet Airways customer care manual?

Another silver-tongued Pet Airways spokesperson showed up over at Yes, Biscuit. This time, the explanation was that. . . The reality is this we work with Best Friends to transport those very dogs that you say we are discriminating against. In fact, we are the only airline that even would consider transporting dogs with aggressive pasts. Dogs with aggressive pasts" ? WTF? Sometimes it's best to just step away from the keyboard, guys. Really. Crap, they had to haul out a dictionary to explain what "discrimination" means over at Yes, Biscuit. "Selecting some breeds for different consideration" . . .hellloooo ? Partnering up with Pet Airways: what Best Friends brought to the table

I'm getting this vision of the deal struck between Best Friends and Pet Airways.

Best Friends gets 8%, and in exchange Pet Airways gets a slice of that sweet, sweet Vicktory Dog pie. I'm thinking maybe a little clip on "Dog Town" as Pet Airways delivers one or two "fighting dogs" -- infant puppies that managed to survive their rescuers, duly delivered for $190,000's worth of rehabilitation, each, in Kanab, Utah.

Quid pro quo. Business. "Cause Marketing", even.

But what do you wanna bet "national pit bull stakeholders" would lap it up?

Let's predict the future! Why not?

Take Blue Dog's poll! Make your voice heard!

After all, your wildest imaginings, and most bumbling verbalizations, couldn't be any worse than Pet Airways' performance.

How will it all end? With a bang, or a whimper?
BFAS, in a fit of shame and embarrassment, will force Pet Airlines to mend their ways.
Pet Airlines is in it for the money, and will walk away from the flying pit bull market rather than fix the problem.
After thinking it over, Pet Airlines will completely refuse service for "pit bulls" and Presas, but also 30 other breeds and types. Hey, why not?
Other (go for it! -- use the blog's comments section)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Blogger's note: Roughly six hours after this blog went up, and 18 hours after Yes Biscuit's blog went up regarding Pet Airways' policy on "pit bulls" and Presas. . .the offensive wording was deleted from the Contract of Carriage on Pet Airway's website.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hey, Pacelle! Suck it up and fire John Goodwin!

Talk's cheap, Wayne. Why don't you ditch the criminals working for HSUS?
Then maybe. . .just maybe. . .you'll have a basis for conversation with true "pit bull stakeholders."
Too much talk, not enough action.
HSUS's long-promised meeting of "national pit bull stakeholders" in Vegas was held on Wednesday. Everybody went home days ago.
It seems that Best Friends managed to forgive the Humane Society of the United States and wag its tail over HSUS's change of heart: no more automatic killing of innocent dogs. Maybe.
Is the "breakthrough" all its cracked up to be?
Future protocols and updated manuals: pesky details not available.

Forgive me if I refrain from doing cartwheels across the lawn, Wayne.

Not while "animal protection" for pit bulls remains exponentially missing in action and HSUS's Dogfight Czars remain on the job.

HSUS's new position on dogs seized during dogfight busts is like swiss cheese. . .plenty of places for the lives of vulnerable dogs to get lost.

Little feet are tap-tap-tapping, Wayne.

Here are some real deal stakeholder recommendations for the Humane Society of the United States:

1. Fire John Goodwin, HSUS's ranking "fighting dog expert" -- and Animal Liberation Front terrorist. HSUS foisted Goodwin and that "HSUS says pit bulls must die, die, die" policy on the public for years. Goodwin has no place in a reformed Humane Society of the United States, and no credibility with the sheltering community.

2. Fire Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler -- the two HSUS employees who testified that nursing pit bull puppies are a threat to public safety. They are liars.

3. Fire Patrick Kwan, HSUS's New York director, too. Kwan is busy telling people that New York law treats dogfighting spectators like people who don't put enough spare change in parking meters, and claims that, accordingly, hordes of dogfighters from Jersey travel to New York. The myth Kwan is struggling to create is almost as ridiculous as the "baby pit bull puppies are too dangerous to live" thing. See point two above.

Put some effort into it, Pacelle.

Stop employing liars and criminals. Because the sworn testimony of Humane Society of the United States state Director, Amanda Arrington, during the February 16, 2009 hearing in Wilkes County (NC) Superior Court makes one thing very clear: the "animal protection" racket knows no shame. Fifteen minutes of HSUS "expertise" killed 146 pit bulls Two months ago, Ms. Arrington -- backed up by HSUS's Chris Schindler -- appears to have based her assertion that it was Best Friends Animal Society that set the $190,000 per dog cost for rehabilitating "fighting dogs" on an amicus brief signed by 11 amici in November, 2007, during the wild scramble of the Michael Vick prosecution. The amicus brief originally estimated a rehabilitation cost of $2,500 per dog. The figure mysteriously staggered on up to the astronomical $190,000 that Arrington used in court. The later version of the amicus was amended to read-- Rehabilitation of fighting dogs is a time consuming, labor intensive effort which requires 4 to 6 hours each day per dog. Qualified trainers earn between $50.00-$75.00 per hour. At 5 hours a day, 30 days a month, this is $9,750 dollars per month of training. To this, add food and veterinary care, and the price to rehabilitate a fighting dog is a little more than $10,000 per month. If training and rehabilitating a dog takes 18 months, the cost rises to $180,000 plus the run cost of $10,000 or $190,000 per dog. With "amici" like that. . . Was the insane overstatement of likely costs a case of lawyerly maneuvering? Did the amici put that astronomical number out there in order to soak the target (Vick) for the max? Did avarice get in the way of common sense? On their own website Best Friends gave a base estimate at $40,000 per dog for a lifetime of care in an institutional setting, (with the warning that the cost could be higher in the case of the Vick dogs).

Heartless in Wilkesboro: the Humane Society of the United States Arrington simply asserted that, "in their own words," Best Friends said it would take about $190,000 to rehabilitate each of Ed Faron's dogs. Even the nursing puppies. HSUS's "experts" didn't protest the outrageous guesstimate of $190,000 for each dog. HSUS didn't offer to rehab the dogs for less. In fact, HSUS didn't offer a dime from their own extensive resources -- not surprising since in 2007, the Humane Society of the United States contributed less that 4% of its $91.5 million budget to the sheltering of pet animals. HSUS was out to kill those dogs.

Two months later, you're asking us to believe that four days in Las Vegas changed all that ?

Nathan Winograd's got the skinny on how things went in Vegas, and he's not too optimistic on how the "bust summit accords" will shake out.

[W]e hold back comprehensive progress because Wayne Pacelle won’t allow for more, and we accept it for no rational, financial, or practical reasons other than Pacelle refuses. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is only this way because we let it be. The power he has is the power we give him.

Let me add a big fat raspberry from Blue Dog State. Like Winograd, I'll believe it when I see it.