Last week, HSUS used dogs being cared for by other organizations in an email request seeking donations for their organization for their "Survivors Fund".
In response to the criticism that came from other bloggers, twitter, and other organizations (and possible legal ramifications), HSUS agreed to give $5,000 to help Fay (one of 500 dogs that were rescued from the dog fighting operations in the midwest that need help) - leading others to question whether HSUS was using bloggers as their moral compass.
So just when you think that maybe HSUS would be gun shy, they come up with this post on Wayne Pacelle's blog. Go read it now. I'll wait.
In the post, Pacelle talks about the founding of the No Kill movement - -and tips his hat to people like Ed Duvin and Richard Avanzino (formerly of the San Francisco ASPCA now with Maddies Fund).
Then, there is the dig:
In the last few years—despite the shrill efforts of a few no-kill advocates whose work has retarded the progress of that cause by alienating so many people, especially within the sheltering community—there is broader acceptance of no-kill principles, and an acknowledgment that it must be our goal as a movement to find homes for healthy animals and to halt the killing of animals except when it’s medically necessary. There is a pathway, although a challenging and difficult one, to see an end in the years ahead to the routine euthanasia of animals in shelters. I know that among the celebrants will be the leaders of shelters, along with all other serious-minded animal advocates.
Well, clearly the dig is at Winograd. But is it justified?
It's no secret that Winograd has been very critical of HSUS -- and specifically of Wayne Pacelle. In fact, Winograd called for HSUS to fire Pacelle as its executive director.
However, Pacelle's lash back, while trying to lead others into thinking HSUS is a leader in the No Kill movement, is just a ridiculous notion.
For starters, this is ther first time I've ever seen anything from HSUS that has even mentioned the no kill movement. In fact, everything that they seem to do runs counter to what it takes to become No Kill.
Just two years ago, after dogs were rescued from Mike Vick's Bad Newz Kennels, HSUS called for all of the dogs seized from the "rescue" to be killed. It was breed advocates, Bad Rap, Ledy Van Kavage of the ASPCA (now with Best Friends), and people like Winograd, who called for the dogs to be given a fair evaluation. The dogs were, all except one were found able to be rehabbd, and the success stories are well documented.
In spite of this, and in spite of protests from No Kill Advocates, earlier this year, HSUS stood in front of a court in Wilkes County, NC and encouraged the court to kill 147 dogs - -including 19 puppies that were still nursing.
It was only after the internet outrage from this incident, including criticism from Winograd, that HSUS changed its policy regarding bust dogs -- that would allow them to not be instantly killed, but to be evaluated for temperament.
It's not just their policies on bust dogs that are changing.
Earlier this summer, one HSUS represntative, Desiree Bender, supplied information to a city councilman in Indianapolis on how they could enact a bill that required all "pit bulls" be spayed or neutered. The bill resembled an ordinance passed by Little Rock, AR that led to a 44% increase in the number of 'pit bulls' killed in the shelter in just the first six months of existance.
Just a few years ago, at HSUS's animal sheltering conference, they had an "expert" speaker who tried to declare that euthanasia was not killing (Update: Here's the Link -- it's hard to determine what is worse in the clip, the "expert" saying killing is not killing or the crowd clapping when she did.)
So no HSUS, don't go acting like YOU are the leader of the No Kill movement and treat Winograd as the divisive one. If you really believe in the No Kill movement (which please -- I'd love it if you were), it is only because Winograd, and hundreds of other animal welfare advocates, have drug you into it by being your moral (and financial?) compass. But it has been BECAUSE the animal welfare industry has demanded it that you are changing decades-long policies that have caused unnecessary killing of rehabilitatable dogs and cats in this country.
Meanwhile -- I can honestly say, I really hope to hear more talk of No Kill from HSUS. It would be great to have the world's wealthiest "humane" organization on board with a movement to save all of the savable dogs and cats in our shelters. And as good as it is to see they may be getting on board, it is painful to see them acting like it was their idea and criticizing the advocates that pushed them there.