published October 2012
I, like many on this planet, am the receiver of inconceivable amounts of unconditional and pure love from my animals. Animals brighten my day, console me when I am engulfed in sorrow and communicate with me on a level far deeper than the yap yap of another person. When I meet new animals for the first time, I feel as though I am meeting a very old and very wise little soul who can speak to me telepathically through their eyes. I am not the only person on this planet who has retained and cultivated my connection with animals. Every person has the ability (and in fact would be MUCH happier) if they allowed themselves to receive, and in turn, return love to an animal. Because of this it gives me great pain to look at the current abhorrent kill-shelter situation going on across the United States. Great relief comes, however, when we realize that there are people out there who are actively fighting on behalf of our most vulnerable souls. While I had been researching this post for some time now, I think that November being National Animal Shelter Reform Week sponsored by the No Kill Advocacy Center is the best time to shed a little bit more light on the subject (not to be confused with the Humane Society’s National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week which is the 2nd week of November and calls Americans to “celebrate” those shelters that turn a blind eye to the neglect, abuse, and killing of animals in their custody.)
Recently the 2012 No Kill Conference took place in Washington DC, which, as Nathan J. Winograd states, brought about 800 animal lovers from 44 states and 10 countries to the George Washington School of Law in Washington D.C. The most successful shelter directors, animal lawyers, shelter veterinarians and shelter reformers nationwide shared insights and strategies to end the systematic killing of animals in our nation’s pounds and shelters. The attendees heard from directors of open admission shelters with save rates of better than 98%. They heard from lawyers who have passed laws making it illegal for shelters to kill animals in a wide variety of contexts and who have successfully saved the lives of animals who shelters were determined to kill. They heard from veterinarians who are pushing the envelope and saving animals who would have been considered non-rehabilitatable just a few short years ago. And they heard from reformers who have succeeded in passing laws to end the needless killing of animals in their community. In the keynote address, I welcomed attendees, shared our movement’s successes, described the increase in No Kill communities throughout the United States and indeed the world, and laid out the vision of the conference: reaching higher (HSUS put out this ridiculous “Concerned About Your Local Shelter” checklist directly following the conference to show just how much they care too).
Before June 10th 2001 there was not a single no-kill community in the United States; on June 11th 2001 Tompkins County SPCA became the first. I do not buy into the immense propaganda that the only solution to unloved & unwanted animals is to kill them. Just as I have indicated in many posts before – the treatment of animals is a direct precursor for the current and future treatment of humans. In other words, if you are not deemed “useful” or “pure-breed” you will be eliminated (eugenicist doctrine if I ever heard it). It is NEVER OK to euthanize, kill, murder, “put to sleep” a healthy & happy animal.
The main law currently in place in California which holds shelters accountable is one which former California State Senator Tom Hayden sponsored called Senate Bill 1785 (SB 1785) or the “Hayden Law” as it is now called (signed into law in September of 1997 by Governor Pete Wilson but did not take effect until July 1st, 1999). The Hayden Law made animal shelters in California more accountable for their actions and among many other stipulations, increased the amount of time shelters had to hold animals before euthanizing them. To elaborate – the law calls into question the kind of treatment shelters are providing for animals and emphasizes that the shelters roll is one of a “depository” for animals and that they are required to treat them with “kindness” above just humane treatment. The Hayden law requires that there be a statewide policy for animal adoptions and owner-redemptions, that shelters be mandated to keep accurate lists of both the animals they are holding and those they have murdered. It increases the holding period that shelters must have the animals before being allowed to slaughter them (minimum 4-6 days hold time as opposed to the 72 hours previously imposed before 1999) & it denies the ability of previously convicted animal abusers to adopt an animal (would we let a pedophile adopt a child?…I’d like to say no but Child Protective Services has proven that to be false). For a complete overview of the Hayden Law please click here.
While the Hayden Law in general was a great victory for animal rights activists it requires shelters to determine themselves whether an animal is “adoptable” or not. Factors such as overcrowding, budget and health concerns (which comes down to money once again) can lead to animals being classified as “unadoptable” and therefore euthanized when they are perfectly capable of going on to live full and healthy lives. A 2006 article published on American Chronicle and re-posted on No Kill Now goes on to elaborate, “Despite the eight-year old law, there are shelters that do not permit adoption of dogs, cats and other animals slated for euthanasia. In cases of owner-surrendered animals some shelters have the purported owners sign releases that enable them to immediately euthanize these animals. Such shelters insist that they are providing a service and are not breaking laws because they are not impounding the animals. There are some shelters that feed their animals only once a day which is a Penal Code violation. Others do not provide veterinary care or else have a cap as low as $50 on per animal spending. Other shelters conduct “temperament testing” in which animals may be falsely labeled “unadoptable.” Those animals deemed “unadoptable” are not counted in the euthanasia statistics and is thought by many to be a modern day shell game.” (to read full article please click here. To read an article on the disgusting [and all too common place] past practices of the Kern County Animal Shelter please click here.)
On a personal note we got all 3 of our feline friends at the local state-run pro-kill animal shelter and fostered them prior to adoption. We were required (since they were fosters) to have them neutered and micro-chipped (An APPALLING BARBARIC practice that causes CANCER in animals & in MANY CASES KILLS THEM. Please do NOT agree to micro-chipping yourself, your loved ones OR your animals!) I took them in (at their urging) on a Saturday in order to minimize the time they would have to keep our animals in that shelter due to the fact that EVERY time one of them would have to go back to that shelter they would get horribly ill. They were supposed to be available for pick up on Sunday as they do not do spaying/neutering on Mondays. I called Sunday only to be informed that the shelter had forgotten to put my cats with the ones going to the vet and they had been left behind. Now they would have to go Tuesday to the vet and would be available then to pick up. I call Tuesday and am informed that the shelter was incorrect and they would be available on Wednesday for pick up. When I FINALLY was allowed to collect my animals they were EMACIATED because they had OBVIOUSLY not been fed since I dropped them off on Saturday – it had been 4 1/2 days at this point. Perhaps there are kill shelters who care about animals, perhaps, but that has definitely not been my experience. I find that many (if not all) of the kill-shelters I visit employ people who are completely disconnected & desensitized from their surroundings. Living and working on Robot-Auto-Pilot these people pawn off responsibility for their sickening actions on anyone but themselves. Expecting someone who can look a kitten in the eye and then kill them to care about the cleanliness of a cage is laughable. When I was much younger and living in Northern California I volunteered my time with an organization called Animal Shelter Friends (which has since transitioned back to Animal Protection League). I worked with people who volunteered their time without financial compensation and who truly loved animals and cared about what happened to them. There are good people all over this planet and it is our responsibility to find them and help as best we can!
Meanwhile, fast forward to early 2012 and California Governor Jerry Brown was attempting to repeal key provisions in the Hayden Law. According to The Animal Law Coalition, the provisions subject to the repeal will effect the following mandates: Shelters will no longer be required to provide “necessary and prompt veterinary care”. CA Civil Code Sec. 1834, 1846. The holding period for dogs and cats will be reduced to 72 hours. Seriously injured or ill cats or newborns unable to feed themselves could be euthanized immediately. There would no longer be a requirement for shelter staff to verify a cat is truly feral and not simply frightened or just difficult. Cats that are simply feral could be euthanized immediately or given to a 501c3 rescue. Tame cats that are frightened or difficult would be required to be held for the 72 hour hold period. There would no longer be a holding period required for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pot bellied pigs, turtles, birds, snakes or lizards. Though dogs and cats would still be required to be scanned for microchips and reasonable efforts made to contact owners, the additional steps now required to find owners for lost animals would become optional under the proposed amendments. The recordkeeping requirements that enables the public to determine intake, veterinary care, euthanasia and placement of animals in public shelters would be repealed entirely. Many of these provisions have already been “suspended” since 2009 & are currently unfunded by the state as previously mandated.
The repeals (Brown claims) will save $26 million a year (this is only one in a list of 30 proposals to save the state money by the way. According to a February 14 2012 article by CBS Los Angeles online,”These animal shelter cuts are part of Brown’s proposed $92.5 billion dollar budget that would eliminate 50 mandates or reimbursable amendments that have been suspended for the last two years or more,” said H.D. Palmer, deputy director of California’s Department of Finance. The savings would put a $728.8 million dent in a $9.2 billion deficit” – which let’s face it folks, is a drop in the barrel at this point). That $26 million is out of what the state is required to reimburse shelters for when caring for animals for those additional hold days. H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for Brown’s Department of Finance, states that the new mandate does not require animal shelters to only keep animals the 3 days, they can keep them longer if they like, however “the state will not be paying any additional costs.” If shelters are currently applying shady tactics to decrease the hold time of animals due to “financial strain” the likelihood of them keeping animals longer than required is pretty much laughable. Even worse (yes it gets worse) is that H.D. Palmer also said that the mandate contains a “perverse fiscal incentive” that rewards shelters that kill the most animals. According to multiple sources, arguments for Brown tend to be based on a 2008 review by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office which found that, “holding animals longer did not improve their chances for adoption; it just increased the number of animals people had to choose from.” However, the report is going on the assumption that there are “many more animals in shelters than there are households looking to adopt pets. Partly because of this imbalance between supply and demand, roughly one–half of the animals entering shelters are euthanized.” One of the largest misconceptions amongst society today is that there is an “overpopulation” of unwanted/unfit animals in the world and this is why animals must be euthanized at a criminal rate (once again eugenics). This argument is strengthened (by organizations like HSUS and PETA) by the promotion of spaying & neutering INSTEAD of promoting a need for better managed shelters with a No-Kill policy. Just look at the phenomenal Shelby County Humane Society as an example of a shelter which advocates a No-Kill Mission policy. It not only CAN be done – it IS being done. Luckily for us (FOR NOW), on April 15th 2012 the Senate budget Subcommittee followed the earlier vote of an Assembly budget subcommittee and rejected the repeal to strip provisions of the Hayden Law. Portions of the law will, however, remain unfunded as they have since 2009.
And I don’t know what is worse – blatant animal cruelty or cruelty masked by a pro-animal front. Believe me, I LOVE animals & truly believe them to be spiritually equal (if not more advanced spiritually) than humans. I do not consume animal products for this very reason (as well as the tremendous & appalling abuse that goes on in our meat industry – later article to follow). Because of this it makes me even more outraged that self proclaimed Animal Rights non profits are the MOST disgusting animal abusers out there. If you want to create an organization that at its core is evil and sadistic the best way to represent it to the public would be to proclaim your mission is the exact opposite of the true evil and sadistic one you embody. In other words, if your actual goal is to keep society in the dark and legislation as is (if not worse), then you will publicly be one entity and privately be a very different kind of organization. The problem is WE ARE WAKING UP & no matter how loudly you scream about peace and love, your ACTIONS will give you away every time. I highly recommend that people research the actions of “Pro-Animal Rights” organizations such as: the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) & the Best Friends Animal Society. Please see below in the link section for a plethora of information regarding the actions of the above groups.
The fight has just begun, and now more than ever it is time to be aware of what is being planned for us and our animal companions. As I have said before, the way animals are treated in society is a direct reflection of the treatment to come (and currently) of human beings. We should judge a society based on how it treats its most vulnerable subjects. I will never understand how people can condone the suffering, torture and systematic genocide of animals. Once again I leave you with the phenomenal video of David Icke speaking out on the – much needed – Animal Bill of Rights.
Be Safe All.
Important Animal Links:
Plastic Effect on Birds (and everything else!): An island in the ocean 2000 km away from any other coast line – horrific and very telling of the situation we are ALL IN, including animals, insects, bacterias, etc. etc. ETC!!!
States weigh laws that would make it an act of terrorism to report abuses at factory farms: How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.
United States Association of Repile Keepers – [because it’s not JUST about cats & dogs] We are advocates for the practice of Herpetoculture; the non-traditional agricultural pursuit of farming high quality captive bred reptiles & amphibians for conservation projects, zoos, museums, research facilities, education, entertainment and pets. We are dedicated to conservation through captive propagation, and espouse the ideal of, “Preserving Reptiles & Amphibians for Our Future”. We endorse a ‘Keepers Code of Ethics’. Our members are veterinarians, researchers, breeders, manufacturers, feed producers, hobbyists and pet owners; collectively known as the Reptile Nation. Our membership accounts for annual trade revenues of $1.4 billion in the US. USARK is the only advocate of the conservation, responsible ownership and trade of reptiles and amphibians as a #1 priority with no conflicting interests.
Tom Hayden Himself Urging Govenor Brown to NOT Kill Shelter Animals
And Once Again PETA Doesn’t Know It’s Ass From A Hole In The Ground – when will people wake up and realize that organizations who scream the loudest about “helping” tend to be the MOST shady, MOST diss-informative, MOST violent and just plain, well, dumb.
Chip Me Not.com– Their Mission: EDUCATION: To inform the public about health problems associated with microchip implants; INFORMATION SHARING: To provide a clearinghouse where pet owners can share their personal stories of adverse microchip reactions; FULL DISCLOSURE: To require all companies and veterinary professionals involved with implantable microchips to disclose potential adverse reactions to anyone considering the procedure for their pets; REPEALING LEGISLATION: To repeal laws, ordinances, and regulations that mandate the microchipping of animals; PREVENTING FURTHER LEGISLATION: To prevent additional jurisdictions from enacting mandatory microchip legislation & ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: To prevent discrimination against pet owners who choose not to microchip their pets, as well as discrimination against those pets.
No Kill Advocacy Center: No Kill Equation – Two decades ago, the concept of a No Kill community was little more than a dream. Today, it is a reality in many cities and counties nationwide and the numbers continue to grow. And the first step is a decision, a commitment to reject the kill-oriented failures of the past. No Kill starts as an act of will. The next step involves putting in place the infrastructure to save lives.
PETA Kills Animals.com– People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a problem. Despite its mission to advocate for “total animal liberation,” government documents obtained through public records requests indicate that each year PETA kills thousands of animals at its headquarters. According to records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA has killed more than 25,000 animals (mostly dogs and cats) at its headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
7 Things You Don’t Know About HSUS from the Center for Consumer Freedom
HSUS’s Connection to Michael Vick the Dog Killer – Beginning on the day of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s 2007 dogfighting indictment, HSUS raised money online with the false promise that it would “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case.” A New York Times Ad later reported that HSUS wasn’t caring for Vick’s dogs at all. And HSUS President Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group urged government officials to “put down” (that is, kill) the dogs rather than adopt them out to suitable homes. HSUS later quietly altered its Internet fundraising pitch. Vick now gives HSUS “sponsored” speeches which are staged for media coverage. And most of his dogs have been rehabilitated—without any help from HSUS. HSUS’s CEO has said that convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” Following Vick’s release from prison, HSUS has helped “rehabilitate” Michael Vick’s public image. Of course, a $50,000 “grant” from the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t hurt (The Philadelphia Eagles launches a “Treating Animals With Kindness (TAWK) Initiative” 2 MONTHS AFTER they signed Michael Vick back onto the team. HSUS just happened to be 1 of 3 $50,000 grant recipients through the TAWK for (get this) a Philadelphia – End Dogfighting Program. Since HSUS did SUCH a good job restoring the image of their star quaterback that is. Vick is currently scheduled to earn $15.5 million in base salary in 2012, the third year of a five-year, $80 million contract he signed on Aug. 30, 2011. The deal was reportedly for six years with the sixth year being contingent on play time.)
HumaneWatch – The dog-watchers at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) need their own watchdog too. HSUS now has an annual budget around the size of an NFL payroll. It has become too big and too unaccountable. Someone has to pay closer attention. This blog is an attempt to make sense of what’s going on inside that sprawling organization. Is the Humane Society of the United States all good? All bad? The truth probably lies somewhere in between. And there are many conflicting assessments of its performance. The American Institute of Philanthropy gave HSUS a “D” grade in April 2012, its sixth consecutive “D” rating, reflecting its high operational costs and inefficient fundraising. But the Charity Navigator service gives HSUS a four-star assessment. (Many commenters there seem to disagree with this score.) Worth magazine has called HSUS both one of the “worst-managed” U.S. charities, and one of America’s “most fiscally responsible.” Who are you supposed to believe? Charity-rating services are like blunt instruments, evaluating animal rights groups with the same tools used to check up on Planned Parenthood and the Salvation Army. They really don’t dig very deep into anyone’s programs, and they don’t look at much beyond a tax return. In HSUS’s case, there appears to be a good deal to find.
From Nathan J Winograd’s Superbly Informative Blog:
The Truth About PETA
The Truth About HSUS
The Truth About ASPCA
Friendly Fire By Nathan & Jennifer Winograd – When animal lovers learn about the cruelty and killing that are rampant in U.S. shelters, and that national animal protection organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) defend these shelters and thwart efforts at reform, the first and the most logical question they ask is: Why? Why are organizations which are supposed to protect animals the biggest defenders of the very shelters that systematically abuse and kill them?
More Additional Links:
Certain Pets Targeted for Euthanization Because of Breed Profiling
Michigan government unleashes armed raids on small pig farmers, forces farmer to shoot all his own pigs
Twenty Pet Pigeons Killed: Once again we have animal “control” caring so much about the welfare of animals that they MURDER them.