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« Weekly Roundup, Week ending 12/6/09 | Main | A look at Best Friends' Animal Sanctuary in Utah »

December 07, 2009


Paula Grecco

What the HELL does it take to get the IRS involved? With all this deceptive fund raising, why has it not raised any questions? Isn't this somehow illegal?? Do they have the IRS paid off just like the politicians?

H Houlahan


Winston Smith is hard at work cutting faces out of photos and "revising" history at HSUS.

Winograd may not get appointed Ambassador to France, but he does more to spread the Gospel of No Kill before breakfast on Thursday than Wayne has done in his entire life.

Nathan Winograd

Thank you for this Brent. I also find it fascinating that in his rewriting of history, Wayne continue to pretend that No Kill has not been achieved, ignoring Tompkins (the first!) and since then, many others. Here's a link to the audio where the HSUS expert, who still speaks at Expo, told the crowd that killing is not killing:


If Pacelle wants to discuss who "retarded the progress" of No Kill, he should look into a group called HSUS.


how does that saying go: "first they ignore you, then they mock you, then they steal your idea and pretend it was theirs all along"?

I guess the good side of this is, that if Wayne is singing the No Kill song, it must be truly mainstream now


Paula, their headquarters is in DC if that tells you anything. Just like with Fay, when people call them out on stuff they then cover their tracks but implementing some program (like in Katrina).

I quite honestly don't know how they get away with it but the more I talk to people the more I hear about other charities doing the same thing. Allegedly, the Red Cross likes to pull their trucks up to catastrophes, take a bunch of photos and go home while the Salvation Army does all the work.


I don't like Winograd. At all. I like some of his ideas, but as a person, there's stuff about him that I find appallingly off-putting. I'll leave it at that.

The reality is that HSUS and others significantly reduced kill rates through outreach, sterilization, legislation etc. The statistics don't lie and we've seen an across the board reduction in kill rates since the 1970s. And yeah, you do have groups like HSUS to thank for that. Bites, I know.

Still, HSUS needs to jump on the bandwagon and move into the 21st century. Like so many organizations (including most shelters), they appear to be reticent to the fact that we can achieve a no-kill nation and it can happen within, at least, my lifetime.



You don't have to like him. But if you read his books, his blog, and review the information, there is no doubt that much, if not all, of what he says is dead-on.

I don't want to discredit everything that HSUS has done...there have been some good things. But it is also easy to see how many of HSUS's policies have stunted the mission of making us a no-kill nation. The "fighting dogs" policy is just the most recent and obvious one for most of the readers of this blog. And it has been pressure from outside sources that have made HSUS change its policies for the better. SO it's been outside forces changing HSUS in recent years -- not the other way around.

I think that's the slowness to move to the 21st century that has everyone worked up -- including Winograd. And yeah, he comes across as angry and bitter at times, but when the world's largest and wealthiest "humane" organization is consistently making policies that make the final mission more difficult, and refuses to even meet with him, I think he has a right to be a little bitter -- because no kill is achievable within our lifetimes -- but the longer we wait, the more animals that needlessly die in the meantime.

Trust me, I would love nothing more than to be able to praise HSUS for what they are accomplishing. I'm not one to try to bash an organization for the sake of bashing them -- and I do give credit to some of their programs that I think are good (Tio Hardiman's inner city dog fighting program for one). But they just make it so difficult when in consecutive weeks they've pulled the stunt of fundraising on the work of local rescue organizations and then claimed to be a leader in the No kill arena -- while dismissing Winograd - even though within the past year it was no kill advocates, and breed advocates, that have pressured HSUS to abandon its own policies on bust dogs that led to killing with no evaluations. And that's just not leadership on their part.


I find it hard to believe you even know Winograd "as a person". And you bet he's "off-putting" to many...thank God someone has the balls and the platform to do it!

Hitler made the trains run on time - you NEVER hear anyone talk about that either!

Rinalia - can you please link to the programs HSUS PERSONALLY has that does outreach? The kind of outreach cameras don't show up for that is...And it would be an easy argument that their "legislation" has killed more animals than its saved. I will admit, HSUS does have the lowest kill rate in the nation - cause, you know, they don't "kill" anything. They "humanely destroy" or something like that...the fact is we'd be a No Kill Nation right now if H$U$ used their vast resources to end the killing.

mary frances

When I heard Winograd speak on his Redemption book tour, it changed my life really - he gave me hope (no need to go into my personal animal/people ordeals but I found others with the same frustrations and sadness) He provided information, ideas and answers that I had never approached before - he did this with intelligence, experience, sincerity, generousity - and bravery - PETA was right outside the door passing out pamphlets - at the time I was clueless as to the what was going on....but I KNOW NOW. Hard to say how history will write about the movers and shakers of the AR/AW movement...but I know without a doubt who the animals would thank if they could.


Winograd, like most revolutionaries, often writes like an arrogant ass and I assume he may behave like that in person. Pacelle, on the other hand, is a plastic, value-free conniver, liar and manipulator.

Which one has been responsible for the deaths of more animals?
Which one would you want advocating for animals?
Which one, as Brent has so ably demonstrated this past week , is a liar and a cheat?

Which are the "groups like HSUS" who have created the positive change you identify? Can you name them? Do you think Pacelle would? What specifically has HSUS done?


For the record, I do tend to agree that his writing comes off a little bit like he's an "arrogant ass" -- but having met him multiple times in person and having spoken to him on the phone, I've found him to be a very personable and likeable guy. It seems his biggest "fault" may be the extreme passion he has for trying to save animals.

My personal opinions aside, it's the message that needs to be the key focus of what people look at...we're talking animal lives here, not a personality contest...


>while dismissing Winograd - even though within the past year it was no kill advocates, and breed advocates, that have pressured HSUS to abandon its own policies on bust dogs that led to killing with no evaluations

Pressuring the HSUS to abandon its bust dog polices had nothing to do with anyone's 'no-kill' agenda and everything to do with saving individual dogs, and consequently, a noble breed by dismantling industry messaging that condemned pit bulls as dangerous based on nothing but their address.

Yet Winograd somehow made the Vick dogs out to be part of a no-kill agenda, and later, wrote a scathing blog condemning the progress made in Vegas (after eaves-dropping in via a conference call at the same meeting where the HSUS finally backed down on their policy.)

Wayne and Winograd's war is getting tiring. They've each hurt their own causes by firing off at each other and they've each used fight bust dogs to further their rhetoric. I'm willing to bet neither one has a bust dog recuperating in their home right now -- 'Nuff said.

Wars should not be fought on the backs of dogs ...Those two need to do a ropes course together or something and sort themselves out.


"I'm willing to bet neither one has a bust dog recuperating in their home right now".

That is COMPLETELY unfair. The LAWS and bad AC policy in this country are killing more animals than dog fighters could ever hope to. If more people would work on changing the laws and AC policies then saving these dogs would be a whole helluva lot easier. I can spend my time fostering and save one dog. Changing laws/policy can save thousands.

Saving these bust dogs IS a part of the No Kill agenda. And quite honestly, the only reason a lot of regular people give a shit about these dogs is because they support No Kill and as much as they don't really care about those mean pit bulls - they have to.

I find it odd that you seem to be giving so much credit to HSUS for backing down on their policy when they were calling for the dogs you helped save to be killed. Wow, that was mighty white of them. HSUS practically founded the war on pit bulls.


Donna, I'm not sure how you can separate the idea of "saving individual dogs" and "the no kill agenda" -- since, essentially, they are the same idea.

Yes, approached by different angels, but the end goal is the same -- saving the lives of as many of the dogs as possible.

So yes, while I agree that the war between Pacelle and Winograd hurts both causes, pardon me while I side with the guy that has, from the start, wanted to save the dogs.

Meanwhile, as Michelle points out, for the better part of the last two decades, "pit bull" rescues have been fighting for their breed pretty much on their (with maybe some help from the Rottie and Dobbie owners) own while most in the rest of the animal welfare industry kind of shrugged as if it wasn't their problem. And now, thankfully, it's no longer that way.

No Kill Houston

History reveals that those who have the courage to stand up and speak out against injustice will be criticized and crucified for it. The no kill movement is no different. Those who are standing up for the animals in shelters and saying enough is enough, the killing must stop---are being criticized and crucified now. I’m thankful Nathan Winograd has had the strength to persevere for so many years and continues to spread the truth. Nathan is changing the world one city, one state and one country at a time. Finding out the truth has changed my entire way of thinking and is reshaping my life. Hopefully, historians will get it right when they reflect on who is really responsible for stopping the killing.


Michelle - I wasn't referring to his ideology but his behavior; one I agree with, the other has been repulsive on several occasions (non-publicized occurrences, btw). I'm being vague, b/c the shit is personal. And HSUS didn't start any way on pit bulls, that's a bit ludicrous. They never advocated the killing of all pit bulls, they just perpetuated the mindset that fight bust dogs and roosters are "damaged good" and a "danger" to the public. That mindset was the norm amongst most AC agencies.

Brent - While I do believe how he projects his message is irksome and arrogant, that isn't why I have problems with him. I'm with him on a lot of the no-kill issues, and like I've said before, I think it's absolutely fair to call HSUS out on shit like this. BUT, we have a lowered kill rate b/c of HSUS and similar-minded organizations. Now, of course, it's time for all of us to progress even further.

EmilyS, I think this is pretty much common knowledge within the animal welfare movement - am I wrong? Their primary focus for decades has been on reduction of kill rates through sterilization programs and education outreach. Within the past five years, their focus certainly has shifted, they're a lot larger and focus a lot more on policy change.



I admit to not being a huge historian when it comes to animal welfare policy. I think HSUS probably historically did some good things. I know a good number of people who are very critical of them historically because of how they handled the dogfighting issue back in the 80s (while it is their video footage that still seems to make it on every nightly news program about the subject that glorifies the violence).

That said, they have shifted a lot in the past few years and are now VERY focused on making policy changes - -and unfortunately, I feel like I spend about 1/2 of my time politicking trying to undo their message vs it helping...


Rinalia - are you a pit bull person or a plain pet/dog person? Because if you don't know the history of what H$U$ has done to the breed then you'll need to do a lot of googling. In fact, I thought you read this blog?

"just perpetuated the mindset that fight bust dogs and roosters are "damaged good" and a "danger" to the public." NO H$U$ doesn't support the killing of all pit bulls it just supports the laws/policies that enable AC to kill them all.

Why don't you do some research on H$U$ and get back with us. Because all your telling us is what I can read in their press releases.


I know who has lied and who has exposed the lies.

I know who has not only pushed an agenda of death, but lied in front of a court of law to implement it.

I know who has barraged the airwaves for donations to save animals, and then not spent a dime as advertised.

I know who has rolled the cameras to claim the credit and then left local shelters and rescues without the resources and funds to care for the animals rescued, despite a huge budget and despite the use of that footage to raise yet more money.

Between Pacelle and Winograd, I know which one has an obscenely high salary paid by public donations, and which one doesn't.

I know which organization leads the public to believe their donations are used for saving puppies and kittens instead of lobbying, PR, and big salaries.

Yep, I don't find myself having any problem deciding which side I'm on - and I spread the word whenever I can.


> I'm not sure how you can separate the idea of "saving individual dogs" and "the no kill agenda" -- since, essentially, they are the same idea.

Brent - The same idea - yes. Saving individual dogs from an untimely death (or an entire breed from extinction) is - at its core - an extension of compassion. To you, it's a 'no kill agenda,' to others, it's commandment from their Bible or Torah or something their grandfather taught them as a kid. Wherever you draw your inspiration from is all good, but it's silly to say that the 'no-kill agenda' saved the bust dogs and it's even sillier to see Winograd and Wayne battling semantics. None of this is helpful and each party is guilty of wasting everybody's time with their word wars.

Michelle, I have a hard time believing anyone who doesn't practice what they preach even on some small level. Many bring up the fact that the HSUS doesn't actually care for animals, pit bulls especially, but neither does Winograd and I think it clouds his perspective.

We could - and should - have a fascinating and very revealing discussion about the HSUS's sordid history with the breed. It's overdue.

Carry on with your bad selves. You know I love what you guys are about!


Rinalia - I will concede you may be right. They may have been a fantastic org before I was born. That's all I'm givin' you tho!

Susan - preach it sister!


Rinalia, I'm also curious what your experience with ex-fighting cocks is, since IME, the issues are extraordinarily different than with ex-fighting dogs.


Rinalia my friend, the history of HSUS in the Pacelle era is much different from its past. Pacelle with his AR background has been a negative force, at least if you care about real animals (as opposed to the chimerical magic creatures that extremist ARs imagine). And given how little HSUS actually spends on programs (as opposed to salaries, fundraising and administration) as well as their repeated frauds, I don't regard them as a positive player TODAY. I see no reason to praise or thank them now for what they did years ago. Little they do now is genuine (of course some of their lower level staff are dedicated sincere and hardworking).

And Donna, don't pretend you're a neutral observer who doesn't have a dog in this fight. You don't like Winograd (though I hope you have reasons other than that he crashed your party) and you evidently don't accept the no-kill agenda since you rarely miss an opportunity to attack both. Which is fine; there's plenty of room for discussion especially IRT pit bulls. But to equate Winograd and Pacelle and claim their differences are based on semantics is, um,.... strange.

You make a serious accusation against Winograd that he doesn't "care for" animals (I assume you chose that ambiguous term deliberately, given your concern with semantics). Your evidence for this is what? Surely you know that he has run shelters himself, and he owns pets. Pacelle, on the other hand.. has done what? We know Pacelle (and HSUS) doesn't "care for" animals in one sense. Does Pacelle even "care for" them in the other?


I would consider the guy who has run several very successful No-Kill shelters (and lobbied hard for No-Kill before it was 'cool') to have done more for pit bulls (and other shelter animals) and to be far superior to the guy who runs a disgustingly rich organization that doesn't even OWN a shelter or sanctuary, and thinks it's totally okay to dump animals they've 'rescued' onto the backs of underfunded, under-resourced local groups while at the same time stealing money from them with misleading ad campaigns.

I don't care if one guy is an 'asshole' while the other isn't -- saving animals' lives isn't about winning popularity contests. It's about standing up for what's RIGHT.

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