. . .as Nathan Winograd puts the screws to the ASPCA, the NYS Legislature mulls "Oreo's Law" and Pets Alive still hasn't filed mandatory tax forms with the NYS Charities Bureau.
The curtain is about to go up on The Clash of the Titans, Act II. So make yourself some popcorn.
And grab a box of tissues, if you're not okay with a lot of political posturing at the expense of defenseless animals used as pawns in the this "humane" brinksmanship extravaganza.
Barbarians at Ed Sayres' gate: animal extremists protest at ASPCA
These are not days of wine and roses at E. 92nd Street, and it just gets worse for Agent Orange -- the "voice of the voiceless" -- as things spiral downward.
Meanwhile, at the state capital. . .
ASPCA's not the only one hearing voices
Invoking the name of a dog
The proposal makes the transfer of shelter animals scheduled for euthanasia to another shelter or rescue that wants them mandatory and a matter of state law. Amended four times since it was first introduced in January, "Oreo's Law" appears to be slowly strangling in its own red-tape, procedural requirements and specifications.
Why would non-profits operating lawfully in the State of New York invite government involvement in what was their private, lawful business, anyway?
Oreo's unintended consequences
Here are a few questions for New York's elected public officials:
What if the "NONPROFIT, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 501(C)(3) OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION" is fiscally irresponsible and has no competence whatsoever with dogs like Oreo, that -- for whatever reason and with an unknown capacity for improvement -- keep trying to bite people?
What connection is there between an organization's tax reporting status and its ability to manage problematic dogs?
Doesn't the mandate of elected officials include protecting the safety and welfare of the People of the State of New York from the blunders of outfits like Pets Alive?
What mechanism exists to protect the welfare of animals in the custody of those "adoption organizations"? They are exempted from humane standards of care requirements made of similar facilities with a differing tax-filing status, and are not routinely inspected by the State of New York. Dogs with temperament issues could spend a lifetime sequestered at a private "adoption organization." Who's going to check on them?
Will all of those tax-exempt "adoption organizations" stand up to public scrutiny?
Pets Alive: Still crazy. After all these years.
Pets Alive of Middletown, New York, occasionally known as "Best Friends, East Coast Division", doesn't seem to notice subtle warnings.
As of April 15, 2010, the self-styled "hero" of the campaign to pass Oreo's Law remains a scoff-law private corporation risking its tax-exempt status by failing to submit IRS Form 990's to the New York State Charities Bureau, as required by state law. The Charities Bureau hasn't heard from Pets Alive since 2003.
In 2007, Pets Alive also needed to file for exemption from 2008 property taxes. Neither its founder, nor any member of the Pets Alive Board of Directors, fulfilled the requirement. Pets Alive was billed $46,000 for 2008 taxes and when they failed to pay, the county moved to foreclose.
Last month Pets Alive narrowly escaped disaster when the county executive took up their cause. Would Ed Diana -- the elected public official that Pets Alive says "has our back" -- intervene on behalf of the rest of the people in Orange County, New York if they didn't make timely submissions to the tax assessor's office, too?
It isn't clear how the Town of Wallkill and the Pine Bush School District, short-changed when revenue from Pets Alive taxes failed to materialize, will manage without the income they expected. Does Diana have $23 thou for the Pine Bush School District? Cause they're looking for the funds.
Business as usual at Pets Alive
In addition to its on-going failure to comply with state law, Pets Alive also continues to sell "cranky" dogs to "self-centered, arrogant, egotistical and yes, stupid people" who later return the dog, ask for their money back, involve their lawyer when Pets Alive refuses to issue a refund, and complain to the Better Business Bureau.
The beg-a-thons continue.
The rationalizations for importing more and more animals from all over the country, and Puerto Rico, increasingly sound like a page from a hoarder's diary. Days away from last month's near-miss with foreclosure, Pets Alive was busy bringing in more animals:
But they refuse to stop rescuing animals — [co-Executive Director] DeAngelis was in West Virginia over the weekend, rescuing more than 80 dogs and cats. "We just can't stop on the possibility that we might close," [co-Executive Director] Clair says.
The Road to No Kill ?
This isn't working for me. Not at all. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth -- and I'm a person who really wants to believe in "no kill." Or very, very low kill.
The pissing contests and political correctness assessments involving the ASPCA and the state legislature are bad enough.
But legislation that would further empower a dysfunctional group like Pets Alive, and mandate placement of vulnerable and possibly dangerous animals to their care?
I'm not buying it, and I don't think the people of New York should be compelled to buy it, either. This is no where.