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« Onatario's BSL Failings are not isolated to Brampton | Main | Top 5 (+1) for April 2010 »

April 29, 2010

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YesBiscuit!

HSUS has been playing the CCF/HumaneWatch-has-cooties game for awhile now. I wonder how it feels to have the shoe on the other foot.
As I always like to say, we are the real humane society - lower case h, lower case s.

pitbull friend

Brent: Thank you so much for this evenhanded description of the real issue here. I am an EARS (Emergency Animal Rescue Services) volunteer with UAN. HSUS has an emergency rescue team that often joins us on deployments. I have no complaints with their emergency rescue work. However, EARS makes it clear that they are only there in the short term. HSUS does not. They've gotten by with using vague verbiage, such as saying that they will 'help dogs like Faye' [sic] without specifying what the "help" will be. Good-hearted people then fill in the blanks in their minds, and it turns out we fill in the blanks incorrectly. Thanks for filling in the blanks!

Alana

Interesting info Brent! What about the Humane Society of Kansas City? I don't know much about them, are they affiliated with HSUS?

KC KS Kills Dogs

The Humane Society of Kansas City HSGKC is not affiliated with HSUS and does not receive any monies from them.

HSGKC like most private shelters, is funded through grants and fund raising.

Note - even the Ray of Hope program HSGKC spearheads that allows them to pull many, many of the dogs/cats out of the Kansas City, KS city pound is financed by donations they raise. The city of Kansas City, KS does not contribute one dime towards that program.

Brent

HSUS is not affilated with any other "humane society" that actually hands-on cares for animals. THese groups all rely on local donations and fundraisers to be able to care for, and help adopt out, their pets that need homes. So any money HSGKC spends on its programs is money they, themselves have to raise.

dogteacher

Thanks for this information, Brent. It is great to see that the word is getting out on the arrogant and deceitful ways of HSUS. We may be watching the fall of a corrupt empire as we speak. Wayne Pacelle must be shaking in his plastic boots and polyester suit because of the upstart of HumaneWatch.org. Up until a couple of months ago there was so much bickering, infighting and finger pointing going on between the various animal advocacy organizations that WP and friends could move ahead with highly successful divide and conquer tactics while so few people noticed the contradictions. I can't tell you the number of people I know personally - intelligent and ordinarily thoughtful people - who are fanatical supporters of HSUS and still, somehow, in spite of so much evidence to the contrary, believe that HSUS is a humane society. I am tired of spitting in the wind, so am thrilled to see your well-known and respected blog step up with un-impeachable information.

Whenever I hear Wayne point fingers at CCF, Rick Berman and HumaneWatch when he is confronted with facts, I think of a thief who claims he is not guilty because the security camera was "bought and paid for" by the shopkeeper. sigh . . .

"HumaneWatch does NOTHING to help animals", Wayne often hollers. Well, since HW does not claim to be a humane society, that is a specious argument. But, the biggest irony of all is that now, thanks to this expose of HSUS, HumaneWatch actually DOES help animals! When people wake up to where their donations to HSUS are going, they will very likely change their minds and support REAL humane societies and animal welfare programs. So there, Wayne, now you have succeeded in turning the tables on yourself. I love when that happens.

mary frances

great work you do as always - and its true the local Humane Society just broke ground a couple days ago in my area, Kennewick, Washington for a new No Kill facility and will be name it "The Roger James Animal Adoption Center" named after a wonderful 90 year animal lover - a retired Chemist who donated the lion's share of money.

pup

I am not sure of the real reason but in Southern California, The Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center is now the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center.

Ann Chantrel

The Galveston Humane Society is not affiliated with HSUS. The Galveston Humane Society's building was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. They are currently temporarily housed in a military building and were going to be kicked out but got a last minute reprieve. They are fundraising for a new building. Please consider supporting them.

SocialMange

"The Galveston Humane Society is not affiliated with HSUS. The Galveston Humane Society's building was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. They are currently temporarily housed in a military building and were going to be kicked out but got a last minute reprieve. They are fundraising for a new building. Please consider supporting them."

Because H$U$ sure won't.

Brilliant post, Brent.

H Houlahan

Thanks for the link to my old post.

I had a board member from a local humane society in another state tell me that they were contemplating a name change about a year and a half ago, for exactly this reason. I hadn't thought of that problem at that point, but I see it's more widespread.

Around the same time I had a career animal control and humane enforcement officer with decades of field time insist that her state humane society was a state chapter of the HSUS. We had quite a frustrating argument ("Is not. Is too. Is not. Is too.") because I had no way to prove a negative at a time of day when one couldn't just call up the front office and ask. Seriously, how confused is that? This person who has made her career in the field was adamant that local humane societies were "under the national office."

How can we possibly expect members of the public to keep it straight?

Luisa

It's gone now, but up until March, at least, the Nevada Humane Society has a notice on its home page disavowing any relationship with the HSUS. [I commented about it here:
http://for-the-pits.blogspot.com/2010/03/people-dont-bother-with-internets.html?showComment=1267574099351#c7165103701543071874 ]
Related article: http://www.dailysparkstribune.com/view/full_story/3295433/article-Nevada-Humane-Society-responds-to-Michael-Vick-inquiries?

Excellent post [runs off to create linkage].

Lori

For those who are interested in learning more about the pro's and con's of some of the farming related lobbying (actually any lobbying) that HSUS does, there's an interesting Facebook discussion board where pro-HSUS and anti-HSUS viewpoints can be posted. All those farm initiatives that sound good in theory (e.g. cage-free eggs and other things you might be inclined to lobby for after viewing Food Inc.) may have consequences that you'd never considered. I know I never gave farming much thought before Food Inc. so it's been interesting to read the debates in the discussion FB group. (The HumaneWatch FB sometimes deletes pro-HSUS posts and StopHumaneWatch FB and HSUS FB almost always delete anti-HSUS posts.)

Discussion group link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=107617562609077&ref=ts

Chris Shaughness

This is a terrific post, thank you for sharing all of this information. The HSUS is not the only Humane Society that takes donations and uses them for purposes other than sheltering. I know of several local "shelters" who hold no animal control contracts, take in no strays or owner surrenders, yet continue to ask for donations. The fact is, they are using the money to lobby and pay high salaries.

Bottom line - donators beware! Do your homework before sending your money.

Brent

H -- I'm chuckling about how wildly entertaining that argument must have been with your friend.

Yeah, it is very confusing, and yes, even a lot of people who have been doing rescue for years don't really realize there is no affiliation -- so how would it NOT be confusing to the public. And the more I follow what HSUS promotes, the more I feel like it's pretty deliberate on their part.

Lori - thanks for the links. I really like the movie Food Inc, but I really feel like people should make their own personal decisions on the what to eat and where their food comes from -- government regulations seldom come without unintended consequences like, for instance, having everything sweet made with High Fructose Corn syrup instead of sugar :)

EmilyS

remember, though: you're not supposed to "hate" HSUS (according to another blog). Any questioning of HSUS constitutes "hate", and ignores the bold achievements of one or two lower-level staff people who do good things (we won't talk about the lower-level staff who do BAD things like supporting MSN-BSL despite the supposed anti-BSL stance of the organization). Your questioning of HSUS, however much it may be based on experience and reason, constitutes "hate" and as such is irrational and emotional. Especially if you're not on board with their anti-"puppy mill" efforts

EmilyS

oh btw, courtesy of Luisa/LassieGetHelp: this ineffably creepy portrait of Mr Wayne: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pacelle19-2008jul19,0,4840426.story?page=3

Brent

I'm planning on posting something about that commentary later today Emily. I do find it amazing the number of people who will fight HSUS on anything at all -- even if it takes defending people who are a part of cruel acts.

That's what they were talking about from a "Hate" standpoint. People who dislike HSUS, therefore take the opposite stance, even though they are defending criminal activity.

On the flip side, I've seen more than enough people who disagree with No Kill solely because the breeding community by-and-large agrees with it -- and therefore, anything that the breeding community likes, CAN"T be good.

At some point, we've become more about taking sides than deciding what really is the best thing to do -- because frankly, the large groups on each side of the equation have gotten so polorized, that logic has been lost....which sadly is not that far off from where our government has gone as well.

EmilyS

I don't actually know of anyone who supports bad breeders JUST because HSUS opposes them. It's little more than bullying to tar as "hateful" people who won't ally with HSUS because they (rationally) find that organization untrustworthy and duplicitous. The answer is not to try to intimidate people who won't ally with HSUS or drive them away by giving them no way to participate, but to find OTHER ways for people who oppose bad breeding practices to participate. As noted over there, the bills HSUS supports are NOT good bills and have myriad unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences that no dog lover should support.

I also don't know anyone who disagrees with socalled "no kill" because breeders agree with it. Again, a bullying attempt designed to intimidate people into falling silent about any genuine issues with so called "no kill." I've been called an enemy because I have questions about so called "no kill". I know LOTS of people who have questions about "no kill" though they support the goals. The "no kill" people are giving these potential supporters NO way to participate because the only option they propose is to fall unquestioningly inline behind their Robespierre.

Brent

There are a couple of organizations in Missouri that are designed with the express purpose to keep ANY HSUS legislation from passing the state legislature. They'll oppose anything, regardless of how unobtrusive it is.

Yes, for reasons I stated over there, I don't trust them and their legislation. I didn't interpret what they were saying as trying to intimidate people into allying with HSUS as much as trying to get people to find some middle ground. Right now, there seems to be no middle ground for anyone who opposeds unscupulous breeding yet doesn't trust HSUS.

I've seen more than enough accusations against No Kill being nothing but a movement funded by breeders to see the exact opposite taking place...with people being 100% against all breeding, and thus, anything that protects people's ability to breed being inherantly wrong. I KNOW you've seen this.

I know that there are people who have questions about no kill (some I completely understand) -- but every time I hear YOU talking about it it is solely about your hangup with the word "no" when everyone agrees that unsalvagably sick, injured or aggressive animals should be euthanized (which is different from "killing"). Even if it may not be the best name, I'm not going to let that distract from the overall philosophy which I mostly support - and I'm not going to make something like a name get in the way of supporting the philosophy. But I've never heard YOU express concern beyond the name....which may be why you aren't getting the opportunity to 'participate'.

sara

Why The Humane Society Will Never Change

- According to a January 2009 Wall Street Journal article ("Veggie Gardens and Other Ideas for the Obamas"), Wayne Pacelle actually sent the President a letter offering assistance in finding a dog for Sasha and Malia. "Our adoption specialists would be delighted to help interview and select the right dog for your family." (Why in the world would anyone think they run shelters?)

- In response to adverse publicity regarding the HumaneWatch ads, Wayne Pacelle issued a statement claiming that HSUS spends $20 million a year supporting shelters and providing direct care to more animals than any other group. HSUS and the Fund for Animals' sanctuaries house a few thousand creatures, but Pacelle peddled a figure of over 70,000 receiving direct care from the HSUS in 2009. This includes tens of thousands sterilized - by others - on Spay Day; "Faye" and the 450 dogs rescued with her; the dogs from the illegal South Dakota raid, etc.

- When the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance was provided with documentation showing that HSUS and its international arm failed to report millions of dollars in direct mail and other fundraising expenses on their tax forms, Pacelle had to stop cooking the books as much - or fail the BBB's next annual review. The more accurate fundraising figures for 2008 led to Charity Navigator downgrading both HSUS and HSI's fundraising efficiency rating to a dismal one star ("fails to meet industry standards"). Did the organization change its practices in 2009? It went on a fundraising orgy, adding those TV ads (public education, not fundraising) while continuing the endless direct mail and telemarketing campaigns. Of course, HSUS is still citing the old, dubious Charity Navigator ratings whenever it gets into trouble - which is every day.

Is Wayne Pacelle fit to run a charitable organization? Remember, HumaneWatch is just the latest in a string of scandals - and investigations. I believe that Pacelle, Goodwin and others actually enjoy conning the public, sabotaging rival animal groups, stealing credit and money for work they did not do (and hanging with out with Michael Vick.)

EmilyS

No Brent, it's not a question of MY being "allowed to" participate (no one cares, or should care, about me) you're missing my point. It's a free country, and 'll participate in saving animals in the way I choose to do so (btw, in my town, the shelter director... like those in most/many towns.. can't even concede that the possibility of "no kill" exists and sneered/rolled his eyes at the name of Winograd when I mentioned his book favorably at a recent meeting.) Which is that the "no kill" movement has closed its ears to the genuine concerns of people who care about animals but don't believe in the movement (the concerns are about much more than language. Though language should tell the non-acolytes what a movement is about... which in our "lying eyes" society is why most movements and corporations use obscurantist/deceptive language: see "Tea party" see "Humane society" see "new and improved").

What are you saying to the people who want to save animals, but truly believe it is correct to kill dangerous animals so they don't suck resources from those which are not? "oh, but that's what we believe, too, because that's what "no kill" really means??" Yeah -- then why do Winograd et al continually raise "Oreo" as an issue?

I don't know of a single reputable national pit bull rescue who supports "no kill". No one knows better than pit bull people how many great dogs are killed in shelters. What they see about the "no kill" movement is effort put into marginal or dangerous dogs, while great dogs die.

It's not up to the general public to understand "no kill". It's up to the movement leaders to explain it in ways that make sense and are honest. On that score the movement is about FAIL.

Brent

Emily,

Don't confuse the words "euthanize" and "kill". I think one of the biggest (and best) criticisms of the sheltering system is that shelters have tried to soften what they are doing by using the two words synonymously. They aren't the same. No one is against "euthanizing" in the true definition of the word. Most are against "killing" dogs and cats that don't need to be euthanized.

And would grant you that the movement hasn't probably be super clear about that to a group of people who seem to think the words mean the same thing.

Meanwhile, in the case of Oreo, don't confuse the situation. As I understand it (again, from someone who has in no way been involved, just as an outside observer), the problem isn't that the ASPCA euthanized Oreo (let's assume for argument's sake that euthanized is the right word here). The problem is that they did so while another group that DID want to put the effort into the 'marginal' case was not allowed the opportunity to do so.

So while it would be, at least in my mind, understandable if the ASPCA thought their resources would be better used on other dogs other than Oreo, but why would they deny another group -- who wants their mission to be helping these 'marginal' cases the opportunity.

While not everyone would be able to invest their resources at this point on these cases, many lives have been saved by showing that these marginal cases CAN be rehabilitated instead of just killed as part of blanket policy.

But the criticism wasn't that the Oreo was euthanized, but that she was while someone else wanted to help in this case.

And while Oreo's law appears to be in trouble because its name is problematic, a lot of animals would be given second opportunities if the law was put in place, and it's a shame that the arguments surrounding the actual dog, Oreo, are going to hurt what otherwise seems to be a really good law.

Lori

Any chance of getting an HSUS tag on this one so that when I click the HSUS in your navigation bar, it will pop up? I love that your posts on HSUS aren't the "Pure Evil" type of posts that you see on the HumaneWatch FB page. If only more people could see that neither HSUS or CCF/HW are pure evil and that many of the issues they are going back and forth on are more complex than the feel good "stop puppymills" legislation or let all the chickens run around free-range. Until I started reading more on the pro-/anti- FB page, I had no idea just how complicated! Thanks for the great "middle road" posts :o)

Brent

Lori,

For now, all of my HSUS posts are under "Animal Rights" -- along with the PETA ones. I've contemplating breaking out separate groups for them, but sorting through old posts and re-tagging them is a pretty arduous process. I may go try to do it....but it's a lot more work than you'd expect.

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