Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Blame Game

When a case of animal abuse comes to light, the first reaction is to point fingers. But does a judgmental attitude help or hinder the cause of animal welfare?

Animal welfare issues are increasingly at the forefront of the national news lately. Breeder raids, dogs in deplorable conditions, stray dogs, injured dogs, dogs turned in to shelters by their owners. Dogs dumped at the side of the road by the very person they trust to care for them. Such incidents of animal abuse and neglect are covered on TV or in the newspapers on a regular, ongoing basis. Pictures are often included to support the claim of neglect or abuse. Is this really the way we treat "man's best friend"?

With all this sensational reporting in the media, we may tend to develop a skewed perception of the treatment of dogs in the USA. We might forget that the vast majority of Americans love their animals and would never abuse them, at least not intentionally. We believe that animals should be treated humanely, and most of us support animal welfare.

What exactly is meant by “animal welfare”? The American Veterinary Medical Association states on their website: “Ensuring animal welfare is a human responsibility that includes consideration for all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.”

Concerns for animal welfare have promoted a general awareness of the need for proactive rescue efforts in order to prevent shelter deaths. The public has rallied to the cry to seek out their next pet from a shelter or rescue, to the tune of about four million animals "adopted" each and every year.

Sometimes in the zeal to promote animal welfare, animal advocates may cross into the territory of the Animal Rights philosophy. As society has become more urbanized and we have less contact with our agricultural roots, people may begin to confuse animal welfare with animal rights. It is important to distinguish between the two.

Animal rights is a philosophy that animals have rights similar to or the same as humans. True animal rights advocates believe that humans do not have the right to "use" animals in any capacity. They would prohibit raising of animals to produce meat, leather, wool, feathers, fur, eggs, milk and honey. The would also ban hunting, fishing, rodeos, horse racing, circuses, life-saving medical research using animals, petting zoos, marine parks, breeding of pets, use of dogs for police work, hunting, herding, as well as “seeing eye” and other therapy dogs. In short, any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport, recreation or companionship would be banned under the animal rights philosophy.

Prominent animal rights groups include PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), IDA (In defense of Animals), SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty) and Mercy for Animals. These so-called “animal rights” groups have a definite, well-planned agenda in raising the issue of perceived animal abuse in the media. The "AR" groups wish to promote excessive regulatory legislation under the guise of controlling animal abuse. The animal rightists’ goal is to make animal ownership incrementally more expensive and inconvenient. In so doing, they will achieve an overall decline in animal ownership in society.

PETA claims on their internet homepage, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, use for entertainment…” However, the animal rights hypocrites at PETA do not have any genuine concern about animal welfare. PETA manages to kill thousands of defenseless pets every year at their Virginia headquarters. Since 1998, PETA has killed 25,840 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding them homes. In contrast, other shelters in the area save the majority of their intakes. PETA employees admitted picking up puppies and kittens from local veterinarians' offices, supposedly to "help" get them new homes. Instead, they killed them in the van and then dumped the bodies. They never even made it out of PETA's van! This horrific activity went on for months. These PETA employees were subsequently convicted of "littering" dead animals in various dumpsters in their area.

HSUS is governed by a similar twisted animal rights extremist philosophy. Miyun Park, HSUS Vice President from 2005-2009, said at an animal rights conference in 2006: “We don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed [for food]…unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of waiting until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry. And so because of that….we work on promoting veganism.”

The official “Animal Rights Agenda” was drafted in 1987 and included in the Green Party platform, and was also published in ‘Animals Agenda’ magazine. The “Agenda” includes this statement of policy:

We strongly discourage any further breeding of companion animals, including pedigreed or purebred dogs and cats. Spay and neuter clinics should be subsidized by state and municipal governments. Commerce in domestic and exotic animals for the pet trade should be abolished.

The animal rights groups are well-funded, well-organized and well-staffed, and they utilize effective methods to shape public opinion. These methods include intimidation, such as boycotts of pet stores and furriers, aggressive media rhetoric campaigns. At times they resort to outright terrorism such as physical attacks on scientific researchers, and highly-publicized (though invariably illegal) raids on breeders, in order to achieve their goals.

The Animal Rightists (or perhaps they should be called "Animal Wrongists”?) have become experts in twisting public opinion on animal issues, including dog breeding and selling. Such activities are now widely regarded in an unfavorable light by the general public.

But it isn't just the animal rights groups who sling arrows at those with animal interests. Dog hobbyists, pet owners, rescue leaders, and members of the public are often among the most vocal critics of perceived animal abuse. When dogs are given up, it's not uncommon for rescue personnel to criticize those who relinquish their dogs, and snicker at their reasons as "lame excuses". In reality, the purpose of shelter and rescue in our society is not to point fingers with disdain at the public, it is to find homes for adoptable dogs. Neither a condescending attitude nor playing the blame game will help animals find homes.

Nathan Winograd, an shelter expert who is pioneering No-Kill sheltering methods in this country, believes that the focus should be on positive programs that save lives. He has demonstrated in community after community that changing attitudes can dramatically reverse the killing tide and help to solve the challenges of pet homelessness. Dwelling on the reasons that pets are relinquished does nothing to solve these problems. We should encourage more families to adopt pets rather than place roadblocks on the path to adoption.

Innovative social programs are the keys to success. Such methods as foster care, extended shelter hours, promoting outside adoptions, and behavior rehabilitation programs have been used very successfully in many areas where they have made the commitment to implement no-kill sheltering. Blaming the bogeyman of "irresponsible owners" is a waste of useful time and energy, and has no place in a successful shelter program.

When we blame the public for animal sheltering problems, we fall into a similar mindset as that which is used by the sheltering industry when they kill animals. "If only people were more responsible, these animals would not have to be killed" is a common reasoning held among shelter workers. Indeed, this attitude is one that animal shelter personnel share with the animal rights groups. Animal rights groups such as PETA and HSUS further believe that "killing is kindness" to quote PETA's president Ingrid Newkirk. And kill they do, all the while blaming the irresponsible public. The HSUS even offers seminars for animal control departments in which they urge that animals in shelters be killed as soon as any mandatory holding period expires. Playing up the "irresponsibility" of the general public makes a great excuse to continue to kill thousands of animals, and to raise more obstacles to pet ownership.

And, many of the reasons for pet relinquishment are not due to irresponsibility, but are the result of legitimate social problems. There have been studies done on the "official" reasons that pets are relinquished to shelter or rescue. The reality of life today is forged by economics. The #1 reason for pet relinquishment is cited as “moving.” High rates of unemployment and home foreclosure contribute to this phenomenon. Unfortunately, financial problems may mean that some pets must be re-homed out of necessity. Pets may also find themselves in need of shelter or rescue due to other unforeseen circumstances such as sudden death or incapacity of the owner.

Behavioral problems are rarely cited as a reason for relinquishment, but issues such as excessive barking, difficulty with housebreaking, destructiveness, and incompatibility with children are common reasons for the honeymoon with a pet to end. When people are confronted with a behavior problem that they can't solve, what happens? Many times the dog is given up....or maybe even taken to a distant location and dumped out of frustration on the part of the owner.

To help get pets into the most compatible homes and keep them there, animal welfarists know that public education and support programs are critical. Most individual breeders and breed rescue groups provide educational information about the requirements of their particular breed and are able to advise would-be owners on whether the breed or individual dog in question would be a good match for their particular situation. A good breeder can also serve as an invaluable resource person who the pet buyer can turn to when they have questions or problems.

When adopting a shelter or rescue dog of unknown parentage and background, advice and support may also sometimes be needed and there are limited resources for such help. The California Federation of Dog Clubs has recently developed a brochure with training tips including basic obedience, housebreaking and leash training. We also have established a 1-800 help line for people to call if they have questions or problems with their dog. This brochure is now being distributed to all the shelters in our state, so that new owners can have a resource and reference when they adopt a new dog. This is another example of proactive methods employed by animal welfare advocates.

Let’s try to solve the problems involved with re-homing dogs without looking to find fault and blame in the situation. Such attitudes are nonproductive and can in fact be used as part of the propaganda to further the anti-ownership, pro-killing agenda of the animal rights movement.

Animal Rights clubs in our schools!

Our local high school is sponsoring an "animal rights" club as an extracurricular activity. The issues surrounding the philosophies of animal rights and animal welfare are very familiar to those who work with animals in industry, entertainment, sport or recreation. As society has migrated from our agricultural roots to a more urban existence, the importance of distinguishing between animal rights and animal welfare becomes critical.

Animal rights is a philosophy that animals have rights similar to or the same as humans. True animal rights advocates believe that humans do not have the right to "use" animals in any capacity. They would prohibit raising animals for meat, milk, eggs, leather, fur, feathers, wool, or even honey. They would also ban rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, life-saving medical research using animals, petting zoos, marine parks, and the breeding of companion animals as pets, police dogs, seeing eye dogs and working dogs who help with hunting and herding on farms. In short, any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport or recreation would be eliminated.

Animal Welfare, as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthansia. Animal welfare uses science-based care and treatment guidelines in caring for animals.

Impressionable high school students should be aware of the true nature of PETA and other "animal rights" groups. They are hypocrites.

PETA kills thousands of defenseless pets at its Virginia headquarters. Since 1998, PETA has opted to kill 25,840 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding them homes. In contrast, other shelters in
the area save the majority of their intakes.

Despite its constant moralizing about the "unethical" treatment of animals by farmers, ranchers, scientists, fishermen, and countless other Americans, PETA
employees were recently convicted of picking up puppies and kittens from local veterinarians offices (supposedly for adoption), killing them in the van and then dumping the bodies in dumpsters. They never even made it out of PETA's

PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group's overall goal as "total animal liberation." This means no meat, no milk, no zoos, no circuses, no wool, no leather, no hunting, no fishing, and no pets (not even seeing-eye dogs). PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals.

PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminal terrorists. And its infamous "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign crassly compares the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide with farm

I hope our high school students will do a bit of research into the differences between animal rights and animal welfare and not blindly follow vegan teachers with an animal rights agenda.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do Pet Store Dogs Fill Shelters?

I've long suspected that people who pay a pretty penny for their pet are not likely to allow it to end up in an animal shelter. And, it turns out, there is a study that confirms this theory. A Las Vegas shelter collects data on their intakes. Here is an excerpt from an article written on the subject:

'Officials should focus on finding the origin of the animals that rescue groups, shelters and animal control agencies come in contact with, said Harold Vosko, co-founder of Las Vegas-based Heaven Can Wait Animal Sanctuary. Without accurate information on the source of the crisis, addressing it is impossible, he said.'

'Statistics collected over the past two years at Heaven Can Wait showed more than 85 percent of the animals came from a neighbor or friend’s litter, Vosko said. Fewer than 5 percent were from pet stores and no more than 1 percent or 2 percent were from professional breeders.'

Wow. Pretty sobering statistics.

'The Lied Animal Foundation, which operates the regional shelter, recently started asking people how they obtained their pets, said Jason Smith, who took over as director of operations about six weeks ago. The data will help Lied shape how it educates the community about responsible pet ownership.'

Wonderful! Actual problem-solving in action!

And, there are further thoughtful comments about mandated spay and neuter:

'The AKC has no problem with spaying and neutering pets, Sondej said, the concern is requiring it by a certain age. Some breeds are still growing into their second year, and early sterilization can lead to adverse physical effects, he said.'

'Michael Maddox, director of legislative affairs for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council in Washington, D.C., said requiring animals to be sterilized before sale isn’t reasonable or in the animal’s best interest. Nor does it address the underlying problem. The “overwhelming majority” of pets in shelters come from sources other than pet stores, Maddox said.'

Good to know that there are some people out there who are interested enough to investigate and find out the truth about owner-surrendered animals and where they originate.

Here's another study. 3.9% of the shelter intakes originated at pet stores. Check out Table 2.

But then, that's not surprising, is it? Pet store puppies are just a small percentage of the market in the US.

Reproduction. It's a GOOD thing.

Here's a frightening concept. An "animal lover", Dr. Loretta Mayer, is working on non-surgical sterilization. The photograph is a bit absurd, isn't it? Dr. Mayer holding a litter of four pups. She won't see many puppies in the future if her project is successful.
We're talking "one generation and out"....possibly for the entire animal kingdom!

Drug may revolutionize control of dog overpopulation
By Stephanie Russo
The Arizona Republic
A Flagstaff, Ariz., scientist may have discovered a nonsurgical way to sterilize dogs — an advance that would revolutionize animal shelter medicine and address many states' canine overpopulation problem in the process, according to one veterinary expert. Dr. Loretta Mayer was looking for a way to artificially induce menopause in mice so they could be used to study human diseases when she and another scientist developed a drug that they realized also could be used to sterilize female dogs, removing the need for painful and expensive surgery.
Oh joy! We can now address the (nonexistent) problem of pet overpopulation in the US. Nice!

Soon any HSVMA member veterinarian, or vet tech on a sterilization crusade will be able to sneak your dog a sterilant-laced treat, and you will be none the wiser. 

Heck, I can see this wonderful new technique being applied to competitors at dog shows, and used by neighbors who might find it amusing to neuter your dog without your knowledge. Just think, no proof of wrongdoing, no need to worry about leaving evidence lying around....the perfect crime for a nut with an agenda!

Although the drug is years away from being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Mayer will soon return to India, where she has been working to eradicate the spread of rabies in stray dogs there.

Gosh, haven't they heard of rabies vaccine in India? Seems like that would do the job just swell. It's worked everyplace else it's been tried.

Mayer also wants to eventually introduce the drug into Arizona and recently persuaded the state Legislature to alter state law to allow animal shelters to use non-surgical means for sterilizing cats and dogs. "I think that a lot of folks would rather give their dog a pill than make them have surgery," Mayer said.

I'll just bet! As discussed above.

Dr. Nancy Bradley, director of medical services with the Arizona Humane Society, said previous non-surgical sterilization products have had mixed success. But, she said, if one proved to be safe and successful, she would use it in a heartbeat.

Heck yeah! See above.

"I would really like to see us do things that improve our environment and are compassionate to other beings," Mayer said. "My passion, without question, is to stop killing animals, however we might do that."
Yes, unquestionably, it would demonstrate compassion and improve our environment to sterilize animals out of existence. That way, no animal would ever be killed! Perfect logic! Let's see, it might happen like this:

(A) Prevent prey animals like mice, rabbits and deer from being born
(B) no food for predators
(C) predators disappear, since there is no longer any food for them 

Win-win! We could even skip to the chase and spread plenty of this wonder drug out in the wilderness immediately, maybe get it into the general food or water supply, and viola! One generation and we are ALL out. Wayne Pacelle would really like that. Only plant life such as vegetables, soy and the like, might remain. Possibly. If this sterilant did not prevent plants from forming seeds. Hmmm.

That would really help the planet, to get rid of ALL carbon footprints! No more pitter-patter of ANY little feet! Brilliant!
"There is a very long timeline in this project," Mayer said. "Each and every one of our products takes years to develop."
Patience, Dr. Mayer! Once the technology is available, extinction shouldn't take too long. Just one generation!

Read more:

It seems that reproduction is widely viewed as an udesirable activity. America Humane Association recently awarded a $25,000 grant to the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs to develop a nonsurgical sterilant. And Gary Mickelson's "Found Animals Foundation is offering up to $75 MILLION to researchers for development of non-surgical sterilant for cats and dogs.  Maybe the Dear Doctor is motivated by more than just her love of animals.

All together now:

"'s a GOOD thing."

Snitch Culture in LA

Once again we get the bullcrap line about the shelter in LA killing for lack of space, about breeding being the reason for shelter intakes, and the lies about spay-neuter and health. 

Public Information 

City of Los Angeles  Department of Animal Services

221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 500, Los Angeles, California 90012 /

 For Immediate Release                                        
July 26, 2011                                                                 
Contact: Brenda F. Barnette, General Manager
Email:                                                                                    Phone: (213) 482-9558
Citizens Blow the Whistle to Help Animals
Recently, Angelenos expressed their concern that Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) still puts animals to death for lack of space.  They took action for positive change and reported neighbors and people advertising puppies online to LAAS.
LAAS officers went to the locations and found litters of puppies and unlicensed adult dogs –- German Shepherds and Pit Bulls.  The owners were handed citations for breeding without a breeder's permit and failure to license their dogs.  They were also provided with information about low-cost spay/neuter services.  LAAS will follow-up to make sure that compliance is complete.
The concerned citizens who blew the whistle understand that unplanned or accidental litters must be stopped and the Spay/Neuter Ordinance must be enforced.  They have volunteered to continue finding and reporting these unlicensed breeders to the Department.  We have other concerned citizens who have offered to help stop backyard breeding other ways, and we are grateful for their aid.  The breeding must be stopped as a way to prevent the animals from entering the shelters, which would help abolish the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy and wonderful pets.
The number of companion animals coming into our shelters has been growing for several years and we hit a record high in May, with more than 6,100 animals brought in during the month. We must take action to end the unnecessary destruction of great pets due to lack of space. We need everyone in Los Angeles to lend a hand.  Here is how you can help:
Get Your Dog Licensed NOW!
Make sure your dog's license is current because it protects your dog if he/she accidentally gets out and gets lost.  License tags give you the peace of mind to know that LAAS will be able to reunite you with your pet if she/he is turned in by a Good Samaritan or is picked up by one of our officers.  It is not only a great safety net for your dog, it is the law.
Fees:  Spayed or Neutered:  $20.00 with proof of rabies vaccination and proof of spay/neuter.
Unaltered dogs (not spayed or neutered):  $100 License plus $235 breeder's permit fee (some exemptions may apply).
Call LAAS at 888-452-7381 or visit our website at to find out how you can get your dog licensed.
Microchip Your Pets!
There may be a time when a gate or door is not firmly closed and the pet escapes.  Pet owners do not think to leave the pet's tags on when the pets are inside the house or out in the yard, or when a pet is being given a bath and the collar is removed.  A microchip is added protection for a lost pet and it can be scanned at a Vet's office or the shelter.  Remember to keep it current.
Get your companion animals Spayed or Neutered – A Change for the Better!
Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to want to roam away from home, which means they are less likely to get lost, hit by a vehicle, or get into a fight.  They can live twice as long and they are less likely to develop certain cancers.  This means lower medical bills.
If you have a DWP Bill indicating "Lifeline" or "Low Income Discount," you qualify for a voucher for FREE spay/neuter for up to three dogs and three cats that are your companions.  Call LAAS at 888-452-7381 to find out how you can get your spay/neuter vouchers for your pets. All City residents qualify to receive discount spay/neuter vouchers.
The mission of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of animals and people.  Call us at 1-888-452LA-PET1/1-888-452-7381 (TTY Hearing Impaired:  877-875-8205) or visit the website at to learn more.

Jerry Brown - Still Crazy After All These Years

You are known by the company you keep.
SB 917, the bill that would criminalize someone who would sell or give away kittens or puppies at the local market, was signed into law today by Governor Brown. The criminal animal cruelty statute now will include public sales of animals, making sales a misdemeanor offense right up there in the same league with beating, maiming, and torturing.

Sadly, this means that people will be afraid to place animals at all, and instead of animals finding homes, more dogs and cats will become homeless, to starve or be hit by a car; or, they might end up in the local shelter where they will add to the death toll. The good Samaritan who attempts to find homes for the litter of kittens under his porch would end up with a criminal record. Nice, huh?

One would think that a former Attorney General for the state would see this bill for what it is....a mockery of justice. We've got nothing more important to do than criminalize more and more people? The courts aren't crowded enough? Perhaps Brown views more criminals and potential criminals as job security for government workers. We'll have a fine time rounding everybody up and punishing them. And get paid for it, too!

Good ol' "Governor Moonbeam" Brown....wiser? Nah, just older. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Los Angeles now to kill dogs for their "potential"

Los Angeles just doesn’t seem to have enough pressing issues to keep the board of supervisors occupied. Now they are busily dreaming up new ways to harass dog owners, and looking for excuses to seize and kill more dogs.

KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports animal control officers will now have the power to seize an animal simply for chasing someone.

“There doesn’t necessarily have to be a bite,” said director of animal control Marcia Mayeda. “But if a dog’s charging at you down the street and you jump on top of a car to get out of the way, that’s a potentially dangerous dog.”

But if a dog is determined to be a “significant threat to the public health, safety and welfare,” animal control personnel can destroy the dog under the new ordinance.
OK let me get this straight. If my dog does the job that it’s bred for and chases off a burglar, it can now be declared a dangerous dog? And destroyed? Hey, why stop at a dog that chases? Barking, growling and baring teeth can also be considered menacing. I suppose if an AC officer tries to enter my property and is chased, then the dog will be subject to a death penalty?

The law also sets up a more cost-effective administrative hearing process, one that won’t call on the Superior Court to resolve disputes over whether the picked-up dog was in fact dangerous.

Heck yeah. Why worry about whether the dog is in fact actually dangerous? Just kill him. An uneducated animal control officer is obviously going to do a better job adjudicting these matters than an actual REAL judge.

Is there any place on the planet more dog-unfriendly than Los Angeles? Perhaps a good candidate for the title would be the People’s Republic of China, where they club dogs to death by the thousands instead of vaccinating them for rabies.

But hey, give LA time. They'll get down to clubbing dogs soon enough. Or maybe shooting them where they stand. After all, that would be way more cost-effective than impounding them. 

Not surprisingly, the People’s Republic of Los Angeles is travelling down the same path as the People's Republic of China.

My dog sure as heck better chase anyone who is a threat to me and my family. And for the government to suggest that he should be killed for doing his job is obscene.

Full article here:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Spay-Neuter Fallacy

A fallacy is typically defined as, "A mistake in reasoning; a type of argument that may seem to be correct, but that proves upon examination not to be so."
Take for instance the very common popular premise that "Spaying and Neutering Saves Lives."

This slogan illustrates the fallacy of "Wishful Thinking". Wishful thinking is a  belief that something is true because it or its consequence is desired to be true. In reality, there is not a shred of evidence that spaying or neutering has saved even one life (with the exceptions of pyometra or testicular cancer). This is a fact, no matter how much we might like to close our eyes and wish it to be so.

On the contrary, there are instances of dogs that have died during sterilization surgery. There are also studies coming to light that demonstrate that sterilization adversely affects health, and actually shortens the lifespan of dogs (and humans too).

Perhaps the people promoting this idea would like us to believe that sterilization saves lives by preventing "overpopulation"? Another fallacy closely related to Wishful Thinking is "Appeal to Consequences":
"If we don't spay and neuter all pets, then we will suffer from 'Pet Overpopulation'"

Again, there is no evidence to prove that any reduction of the unwanted pet population is linked to spay and neuter. Many nations do NOT have any crisis of pet overpopulation, even though few practice spay-neuter. And, shelters across the US are discovering that through implementation of No Kill techniques, they can save lives! This is done without extreme reliance on pet sterilization surgery. 

To quote a former president of the CVMA, Dr. John Hamil, "Being intact does not equate to being bred."

Presenting spay-neuter as a lifesaving procedure also demonstrates the "Cause and Effect" fallacy. If event "B" occurs after event "A", then it is wrongly assumed that "A" caused "B". However:

  • A and B may just happen to occur together (coincidence). Neither is the cause of the other.
  • A and B may be caused by another event, so that A did not cause B or vice versa.
  • Maybe A did cause B, but such a conclusion must be verified by scientists or historians.

Event "A" - an aggressive spay neuter campaign has been underway in the US for the past 40 years.

Event "B" - shelter intakes have declined dramatically over the last 40 years.

It is assumed that an aggressive spay-neuter campaign has resulted in declining shelter populations. However, during the same time frame, there has also been a very successful educational campaign about responsible pet ownership. Confinement and leash laws have been stressed, along with the knowledge that indiscriminate breeding is not desirable.

In other words, it is not at all proven that high rates of spay-neuter are the reason for the decline in shelter intakes. It is entirely possible; no, it is LIKELY, that the reduction in pet population is due in large part to public education about the issue. 

The proposal that spay-neuter saves lives is also an "appeal to popularity" i.e. the "Bandwagon Fallacy". A popular fallacy is not true simply because it is widely presented as fact. Peer pressure and the acceptance of "common knowledge" does not foster logical reasoning.

If spay and neuter saves lives, then abortion, hysterectomy and vasectomy must also save lives.

Are all these premises (and the last statement itself) fallacies? You betcha!

The US Government promoting Spay-Neuter as lifesaving is an "Appeal to Authority"; another fallacy of argument. HSUS and PETA skillfully present such false positions to influence public opinion. The US Government obviously knows NOTHING about this subject, but these stamps reinforce the popular misconception that "Spay Neuter saves lives!" 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HSUS - a Fox in the Henhouse

As always, Frank Losey's investigative work is thorough and his insights keen. Here is Losey's latest update on the HSUS.
HSUS = Hapless Shenanigans Under Suspicion.

In May of 2010 the Inspector General of the USDA released a scathing report that criticized APHIS for placing too much emphasis on education and not enough on enforcement.  One of its recommendations included creating an Office within APHIS that would specifically focus on enforcement.  And the person who was hired to fill the new position was an attorney who had specialized in Animal Law Issues.  Her name is Ms. Sarah L. Conant, and she has been issuing a number of "enforcement" letters to dog breeders, and to at least one rabbit breeder with assessed fines up to $50,000 or more.  A sampling of some of Ms. Conant's "legal qualifications" that may have been considered by the USDA when she was selected to fill the newly created APHIS position, which may give all responsible breeders a reason to say "OMG," is set out below:
·      Ms. Conant was employed by the HSUS as a Litigation Attorney immediately before she was hired by the USDA.
·      Ms. Conant first became associated with the HSUS when she was designated as an HSUS Litigation Fellow.
·      In 2007 Ms. Conant was featured and quoted in a Virginia Law Publication entitled "Humane Society Lawyers Fight Culture of Cruelty, Government Bureaucracy."  One of her quotes included the statement that "Humane Society lawyers are working with legislatures and in the courts to change laws that affect the lives of farm animals," and that "they are forced to go state by state in this effort because there are very few federal laws regarding farm animals."
·      Ms. Conant was employed by the HSUS in the same HSUS Litigation Office which was so actively involved in the Litigation last year that challenged placing the Proposition B Ballot Initiative on the November 2011 Ballot in Missouri.
·      Ms. Conant's "Name" has appeared as Counsel of Record for the HSUS on Lawsuits and Complaints filed against Federal Agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, which now is her current employer.  (Here it is significant to note that on at least one Lawsuit document that may be found on the HSUS Website, the name of "Sarah L. Conant" was no longer listed as one of the Counsel of Record, even though the originally filed document filed listed her name.  Surely the HSUS would not engage in a "COVER-UP!"  Or would it?!?!?!?!?!?)
·      Ms. Conant worked in the same HSUS Litigation Office that sued the USDA under the Freedom of Information Act last October.  This Lawsuit seeks personal, confidential and business sensitive information on every USDA Licensed Breeder in Missouri.
·        Ms. Conant is listed as the Vice Chair of the Animal Law Section of the DC Bar, and is listed as representing the HSUS with no reference to the position that she currently holds with USDA.
While some may suggest that Ms. Conant has appropriate qualifications to act as the Chief of the Enforcement Section of APHIS, I personally and professionally believe that an egregious "Conflict of Interest" exists.  In this regard, Rule 1.11 that is published by the American Bar Association specifically addresses "Conflicts of Interests For Former and Current Government Officers and Employees."    The relevant language states: "a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee shall not participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernment employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing."    This is why a FOIA Request was submitted for a copy of the USDA "Informed Consent Document," or a comparable "Conflict of Interest Document."   In the Practice of Law, some would consider a Breach of the "Conflict of Interest" Standard to represent a serious issue that involves "Legal Ethics."
Three Little "Dashes" of Potentially "Good News:": 
·        First Dash:  On Monday, July 11, 2011, I received confirmation from the IRS that it had assigned a Case File Number (2011-010153) for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  Perhaps, just perhaps, someday the ASPCA will look back in the next year or so and wish that it had not thrown its "lot" in with the HSUS; that it had not contributed nearly $600,000 to the Proposition B Campaign in Missouri; that it had not been a Charter Supporter of the current and on-going "Your Vote Counts" Ballot Initiative Campaign in Missouri; and that it had not "hired away" from the HSUS Ms. Nancy Perry to fill its newly created position of Senior Vice President for Government Relations for the express purpose of overseeing the lobbying activities of the ASPCA in all 50 States, as well as at the Federal Level.
·        Second Dash:  On Tuesday, July 12, 2011, I received confirmation that the Inspector General of the USDA (USDA IG) had received a Fraud, Waste and Abuse Complaint that included a Freedom of Information Request for a "Conflict of Interest" Statement concerning Ms. Sarah L. Conant.  While there is no guarantee that the USDA IG will find wrongdoing on the part of Ms. Conant, the potential exists that the revelation about the specific duties that she performed on behalf of her prior employer could prove to be a major source of embarrassment for the USDA, and could "taint" the integrity of every single adverse action and all assessed fines against Breeders that occurred on "her watch."    In this regard, Government Employees are expected not only to avoid "Conflicts of Interest," but are expected to avoid any appearance of a "Conflict of Interest."   This scenario raises Issues of "Legal Ethics" - - both for the USDA and Ms. Conant who is an attorney.
·        Third Dash:  On Wednesday, July 13, 2011, I received confirmation that the APHIS FOIA Office had received a FOIA Request for "information" concerning Ms. Conant, and that the APHIS FOIA Office has assigned Case File Number 11-645 to this FOIA Request with a suspense date of August 10, 2011 for its response to the FOIA Request.  Since it has been the HSUS that was submitting all of those FOIA requests for information about Missouri Breeders, it sure will be interesting to see if the HSUS objects to the release of information concerning Ms. Conant's duties while she worked for the HSUS.  My oh my, won't it be interesting to see how APHIS responds to a FOIA Request that might prove to be more than a "bit embarrassing." 
When a breeder does not comply with the "Rules," there are consequences.  When a Government Employee does not comply with the "Rules,"…………………….. Well, we'll just have to wait and see!!!!!
Three Little "Dashes" and a "Pinch" of a "No I am not dreaming!"  The second Week of July brought a big smile to my face!    
What More Needs to Be Done to Hold the HSUS Accountable for Its Actions?:  Create a "FLOOD" of E-Mails from all 50 States to be sent to your respective U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators which will ask them to do what Seven Members of Congress have already done - - requested investigations by the Treasury's Inspector General into the HSUS's "apparent improper activities and its tax-exempt status.  THESE THREE E-MAILS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE; THEY WILL GENERATE MORE CONGRESSIONAL LETTERS THAT WILL PUT EVEN MORE PRESSURE ON THE IRS TO EXPEDITIOUSLY INVESTIGATE THE HSUS; AND THEY SHOULD TAKE NO MORE THAN 20 MINUTES TO DO THE FOLLOWING SIX THINGS:
1.      To send an E-Mail to your U.S. Representative, Log onto
2.      Fill in your state and ZIP Code on the prompt that appears.
3.      Add your name, address and E-Mail address on E-Mail Form for your U.S. Representative; and on the Subject Line add: Request the Inspector General and the IRS Investigate the HSUS; and then add then add the message set out below.
4.      To send an E-Mail to your Two Senators, Log onto:
5.      Click onto the E-Mail Address for each of your two U.S. Senators.
6.      Add your name, address and E-Mail address on E-Mail Form for your U.S. Representative; and on the Subject Line add: Request the Inspector General and the IRS Investigate the HSUS; and then add then add the message set out below.
Suggested Text of E-Mail Message
"The IRS has received voluminous documentation that substantiates that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) - - a Public Charity - - has engaged in excessive, prohibited, and under-reported lobbying activities, and may have under-reported its revenue by over $500 Million. Significantly, the HSUS President and CEO has repeatedly stated that he has "helped to pass perhaps 1,000 laws."
 Treasury Department, Six U.S. Representatives (Hartzler, Emerson, Luetkemeyer, Graves and Long from Missouri, and Young from Alaska) stated: "we write to request investigations by the Inspector General into HSUS's apparent improper activities and its tax-exempt status."  They further stated:  "If the HSUS is not complying with the law, it should be investigated and disciplined just like any other organization."
With a National Debt of Trillions of Dollars, our Government needs to maintain the integrity of the U.S. Tax Code.  As your constituent, I am requesting that you confirm that you have sent a similar letter on my behalf to the Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury.
Thank You."
Collectively, we can make a difference, and put the HSUS on the defensive.  If the HSUS can generate Millions of E-Mails to Members of Congress, surely we can generate hundreds of E-Mails from each and every State.  Let's do it!
 Submitted by Frank Losey

The Death of Liberty in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Freedom? Not likely under a new animal ordinance.

Passed in May, and effective immediately: All "adoptions" from shelter/rescue and dogs sold at retail must be sterilized. (police, service and competition dogs exempted).

Sale of Unsterilized Animals Prohibited. No animal retailer shall sell a dog or cat on a retail basis unless the animal is of an appropriate age for sterilization and the animal has been sterilized by a licensed veterinarian. In addition to a fine for any unsterilized cat or dog sold in violation of this subsection, the Animal Control
Agency may order an animal retailer to cease operations for up to one year from the date of a violation.
Some provisions in this ordinance sound eerily similar to the Title 10 ordinance in LA, including the requirement for  kennels to have staffing for 18 hrs per day. However, the mandatory sterilization requirement in LA applies to every owned dog. 

Does the "sold at retail" provision apply to private parties (i.e. small home breeders)? According to the definition included in the ordinance, it just might apply depending on what is considered a "business". If you deduct your expenses for tax purposes, are you a "business"?

Animal Retailer. A person in the business of selling dogs or cats to the
ultimate owners of such dogs or cats, including but not limited to a pet shop kennel under the Dog Law, and a dealer, to the extent such dealer engages in the retail sale of dogs or cats.

As in LA, the requirements necessary to qualify for an exemption as a "competition" dog have not been cearly defined. See page 15-16 for the MSN requirements.

But wait! As if that mandatory sterilization law is not enough to make you want to move to some freer nation (Mexico perhaps?), there are yet more chilling new rules now in effect under this ordinance. Now veterinarians must verify dog licensure in order to treat the animal. And, a seller reporting requirement sounds strangely similar to a bill currently in the California legislature, AB 1121, that mandates "pet dealers" report the details of their sales to the local licensing agency.

(a) Licensing Upon Purchase or Adoption. A person obtaining a dog
that must be licensed under this Section from an animal retailer or animal shelter shall submit an application and the applicable fee for such license to a dog licensing agent or the Animal Control Agency as a condition of obtaining the dog. No animal retailer or animal shelter shall release a dog to a person unless such person has submitted a license application and applicable fee.
(b) Licensing Upon Provision of Services. Whenever a veterinarian, veterinary hospital, boarding kennel, or groomer provides services for a dog that must be licensed under this Section, such service provider shall verify that the dog is licensed.

Can you imagine how many dogs will not be treated when they need it? Bad enough to make vets report their rabies vaccinations to the state, but now for veterinarians to be the licensing police?? 

All this out of a city that saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the assembly of the Continental Congress, and that was the seat of the new Republic in the 18th century. All traded away for Gestapo-style tactics aimed against the citizenry.

A sad reflection on how far we have strayed from the freedoms which founded our nation.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cash for Killing

The State of California PAYS FOR FAILURE - reimbursing shelters for animals that have been "euthanized" in shelters (i.e. KILLED) but NOT for animals that have gotten out of the shelter alive (returned to owners or adopted).

This is the fallout from the "Hayden law". A law that was meant to
support animal adoption is a disincentive to saving lives.

"The commission found that the cost of caring for the animals that were
adopted or reunited with their owners was not a reimbursable mandate (because owners paid fees to offset these costs). In the case of animals
that were euthanized, however, the commission found that local government
shelters' cost to care for them for three additional days was a state-reimbursable mandate."

"In the case of this mandate, the commission created a methodology that
reimburses local government shelters for (1) their increased cost of caring
for the animals that they euthanize and (2) certain minor costs, such as
maintaining lost and found lists. In 2008-09, local governments are expected
to claim $23 million for this mandate."

"Our review finds no link between the funding provided under Chapter 752 and
programs that encourage animal adoption. Specifically, under the mandate's
reimbursement methodology, shelters do not get more state funds if more
households adopt animals. Rather, shelters that euthanize the most animals
receive the most state funds. Shelters that are the most successful in
promoting adoptions receive the least state funds."

What incentive do shelters have to do a good job? As you can see, NONE. It's very quick and profitable to just kill and get paid by the state for doing it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Animal Extremists Subvert the Will of the People

PETArd Judie Mancuso poses with her legislative lackeys at a "Social Compassion in Legislation" award event in June 2011. (left to right) CA Assemblyman Mike Gatto, West Hollywood City Councilmember John D’Amico, LA City Councilman Paul Koretz, CA Senator Kevin de León, "retired" CA Assemblyman Pedro Nava, lobbyist Judie Mancuso, CA Senator Ted Lieu, LA City Councilman Tony Cárdenas, and CA Assemblyman Jose Solorio.

Anyone who owns and breeds animals realizes that the goal of animal rights fanatics is to regulate animal ownership right out of existence. And now, we see that persistent campaign in action year after year in the California legislature. We have a serious problem in California. Animal Rights fanatics are writing many new laws in our state. These laws are sponsored by the HSUS and other radical animal groups. Laws that mandate sterilization of pets, broadscale application of microchipping, seller reporting of sales to the government, limits on breeding, and expensive permits and fees for animals ....these are the order of the day. Lately, we are fighting a very well-organized effort to ferret out animal owners and attempts to criminalize them, penalize them, fine them, jail them, and prevent them from legally possessing any animals for YEARS! We also have a law progressing that requires any pet seller to report their buyer’s personal information to licensing agencies. There is also a law on the governor's desk awaiting signature that would criminalize sales of animals in public venues. Giving away kittens at the market would net you a misdemeanor! We already have mandatory spay/neuter/microchip in many areas. So, once you are targeted as an animal offender for not spaying your dog, or for daring to sell an animal in public, or for not microchipping your cat, there are new laws being pushed through that will cause you to forfeit your animals and prohibit you from having any contact with animals for 5 to 10 years! Just as an example of this Animal fanatic legislative agenda, take the support list for CA SB 702, mandatory microchipping of animals on release from a shelter. (See below, copied from CA legislative website) This list reads like the "Who's Who" of animal rights terrorists: • Social Compassion in Legislation; a front group for PETA, with at least one of the four founders (Jane Garrison) having been a former longtime PETA employee. PETA kills the majority of animals that enter their shelter in Virginia. They also wish to separate people from animals completely. Social Compassion has successfully campaigned their mandatory sterilization agenda in many localities in California, even thought their statewide law failed due to public outcry. • The Animal Legal Defense Fund, or ALDF; a radical animal rights group that boasts on its website about suing the federal government "for failure to protect rats and mice under the Animal Welfare Act" and, more recently, has engineered ordinances prohibiting sales of animals in pet stores in several cities in California. The ALDF is also sponsoring legislation in several states attempting to establish animal abuser registries, similar to child abuser registries. Apparently, ALDF can not discern the difference between rats and mice and human children. The ALDF website also includes pointers on how to avoid prosecution when your violent activities subject you to prosecution under the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act. • The Cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles; notorious for their oppressive anti-animal breeding regulations. • The Santa Cruz SPCA; champions of their mandatory spay-neuter policy, which was exposed as a sham during the California legislature during the statewide MSN hearings. • PawPAC; an animal rights group headquartered in San Francisco and dedicated to promoting laws that place animal rights above human rights. They campaign relentlessly to install animal rights legislators into positions of power. • The Humane Society of the US; "humane" in name only and does not support local humane societies. The HSUS has been widely criticized of late for their hypocritical support of animal rights, even as they collaborated with animal torturer Michael Vick in an advertising campaign. In their paid "consultations", the HSUS routinely urges shelters to kill animals as soon as any mandatory holding period expires. They also campaign against implementation of no-kill sheltering methods and fought against legislation that would have implemented "no kill" sheltering methods in both California and Texas. The HSUS fraudulently raises donations from people who believe their money goes to help animals in shelters, as is implied in their television ads. Instead, the HSUS uses that money to push for absurd laws like mandatory sterilization and numeric limits on animal ownership. The fact that our legislators take what these fanatic animal extremists groups say at face value is truly shocking. The extremists, the fringe element of society, are being given free reign to form our laws! Meanwhile, these radical groups are heaping praise and recognition on the legislators who vote "their way". And, no doubt, the extremists are funnelling plenty of campaign donations in return for these votes. The net effect of their legislative projects are intended to reduce overall pet ownership and animal agriculture. As we examine the agenda for these groups, we discover the sobering truth: Animal Rights means No Animals Left. CA SB 702 - REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION : Support Social Compassion in Legislation (sponsor) Animal Legal Defense Fund California Animal Control Directors Association City of Long Beach City of Los Angeles PawPAC Santa Cruz Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Take Me Home Animal Rescue The Humane Society of the United States Opposition California Federation of Dog Clubs California Responsible Pet Owners' Coalition The legislators pictured above must be replaced with sensible legislators who respect our rights to animal ownership and stewardship. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!