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« Ohio BSL Repeal Bill -- Hearing tomorrow, 12/13 | Main | Video showing connection between chaining and dog aggression »

December 15, 2011



Ted, yes, exactly.

Joyce, the intent was to not specifically back you into a corner. I don't know you or how the shelter you work for runs. And I didn't necessarily mean to paint ALL shelters and local humane societies with the same brush stroke (although I note that in re-reading a couple of comments I was more "all inclusive" than I intended to be). Just noting that there are a LOT that operate like Ted's Sheltie Rescue or some of the posts that I linked to above, and most should be far more welcoming, inviting and encouraging of adoption.


Oh wow. :)

Joyce, you do know that the ad is referring to a dog as a "what", right? Do you ever a start a conversation like so: "Hey, you know WHAT I returned this holiday?" and then respond with "A DOG!"? Do you really think of dogs as "whats"? That's an impersonal pronoun. You know what else is an impersonal pronoun? It. Calling a dog a "what" is no different than calling a dog an "it". Those are pronouns you would use to refer to a sweater, not a living, sentient being. If you call a dog a "what", compare the dog to a sweater, I would be shocked back into time to discover your unwillingness to call a dog an "it".

Does the ad make you feel good? Does it make you want to adopt? Save a life? I don't think anyone gets that impression. Negative ads engender negative feelings. And when negative feelings are associated with shelter pets, that's a bad thing.

The ad, which you proudly display as your icon, inspires feelings of sadness and despair in me. They make me think shelters are jails, that animals who go there go to die. And when I see a dog compared to a sweater, I cringe. If that is the shelter system you want to see made into reality, then keep on promoting these negative-feeling based ads.

That's basic "Messaging for Nonprofits 101" stuff.



Sounds like a wonderful humane society. Thanks for sharing those two examples.

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Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings. Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, ranging from the protectionist side of the movement, presented by philosopher Peter Singer—with a utilitarian focus on suffering and consequences, rather than on the concept of rights—to the abolitionist side, represented by law professor Gary Francione, who argues that animals need only one right: the right not to be property. Despite the different approaches, advocates broadly agree that animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community, and should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment. Post by


The idea that the public is too irresponsible and untrustworthy is dogma from the HSUS they are STILL peddling to shelters. It's no surprise that so many are still repeating it. So glad the KC Dog Blog is helping to dispel this myth. I agree the posts you refer to are meant to discourage people from adopting pets during the holidays and will result in more animals being needlessly killed in "shelters".

"Recently, HSUS launched a campaign to help shelters “educate the public” about adoption policies by creating a poster for shelters to hang in their lobbies. The poster features a chair beneath a light in a cement room. The tagline reads: “What’s with all the questions?” and it tells you not to take it personally. Rather than ask shelters to reexamine their own assumptions, HSUS produces a poster of what looks like an interrogation room at Abu Ghraib, instructing potential adopters to simply put up with it. In the process, adopters are turned away. Cats... wait years for a home. And animals are needlessly killed: three million adoptable ones, while shelters peddle the fiction that there aren’t enough homes."

"In my work to reform antiquated shelter practices, I often face traditional sheltering dogma that is a roadblock to lifesaving innovation. Too many shelters operate under false assumptions that cause animals to be killed. If shelter directors reevaluated, rather than hid behind conventional wisdom, they would more be more successful at saving lives.

One of the most enduring of these traditional dogmas is that animal shelters must kill because the public cannot be trusted with animals."

From "Good Homes Need Not Apply",

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