Shirley over at YesBiscuit! is working her butt off trying to find the whereabout of 44 dogs that were "rescued" by the Humane Society of the United States from an apparent hoarding operation in Alabama.
Of the 44 dogs, 10 went to Lincoln County (NC) Animal Services -- a gassing shelter with a high kill rate. Three were killed almost instantly.
Four went to the Humane Society of Charlotte.
Three went to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter -- whose problems are well documented.
Ten went PAWS in Atlanta.
Seventeen are still unaccounted for -- although some likely went to a humane society in Nashville.
As she goes through looking for the dogs, I think it poses an interesting question -- such as, when does 'rescue happen'?
1) Does it happen the second the animals are removed from a horrible situation? Even if they are then shuffled on to high-kill shelter facilities?
2) Or does it only happen once the animals find homes?
I think one could make an case for either (or both) being "rescue" -- although I would think that the general public would answer #2 -- given that most "animal rescue" organizations focus almost solely on #2.
This isn't of course the first time that HSUS has claimed that they 'rescued' animals from bad situations only to then either promote or place the animals in equally bad situations.
When HSUS raised money after the rescue of the Mike Vick Dogs, they simultaneously lobbied to have them killed.
Earlier this year, HSUS helped "save" nearly 200 dogs from a 'puppy mill' in South Dakota -- but then left town, leaving the overwhelmed local rescue to handle all of the dogs on their own, which ended up leading to at least 28 of the dogs getting sick and dying.
And following Hurricane Katrina, literally hundreds of dogs that were "saved" in a makeshift rescue facility in Gonzales, LA were shipped to organizations around the country and ended up dead in those shelters - -while HSUS raised money for their rescue efforts.
So while technically they did "rescue" the animals from horrible situations, were the animals really 'rescued"? And how much responsibility does HSUS as an organization have in positive outcomes for the animals -- or does that responsibility rest solely on the organization that takes in the animals?
I think it's an important conversation to have in light of how much money the general public gives to HSUS for the 'rescue' of these animals....
So go over to YesBiscuit! and join the conversation...I think she's working on a really noble cause in helping find out the truth about the final outcomes of these dogs.