Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The enemy within the shelter reform movement?

"As an organization committed to shelter reform, part of our efforts include revealing the truth about organizations that CLAIM to be working towards shelter reform, but whose funding is actually going elsewhere. We’re often accused of “bashing” the big three (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)). But “bashing” isn’t our purpose or intention. What we’re doing is alerting people to the realities of where their hundreds of millions of dollars in donations are going."

I had hoped to not have to answer No Kill Nation's recent blog which attempted to give "reason" to the endless attacks on large animal protection groups coming from the No Kill "movement".  Since this blog doesn't allowed "uncensored" responses on their blog site I will instead respond here on an uncensored format.

While I have no intention of defending the "honor" of the extremist views perpetuated by PETA - I will explain the distortion that have been expressed on HSUS, Best Friends and the ASPCA.  For clarity, over the years I have written a number of articles critical of HSUS and the ASPCA for positions these groups took on shelter issues including the support given failed temperament testing protocols, lack of vision on pit bull issues, shelter euthanasia methods and a failure to lead on the shelter reform movement in general. 

However, HSUS and the ASPCA do offer progressive programs that protect animals not limited to educational programs encouraging responsible pet ownership, but more importantly these groups are front and center in lobbying for reform of the laws which regulate state and national laws that regulate puppy mills, animal cruelty laws, factory farming reform , wildlife abuse, combating dog fighting and a fur free America.  Are these programs advocates would like to see ended as well?

Since the  No Kill movement devotes a considerable effort trying to rewrite history by suggesting we don't have a "pet overpopulation" issue by perpetuating the "myth of pet overpopulation" which originated in breeder support circles the question that really needs to be asked is "who's side are the No Kill cultists really on? 

Ask yourself how many blogs coming from the leaders of the "No Kill" movement discuss the cruelty and killing that goes on in puppy mills? Do YOU support the concept on allowing MILLIONS of dogs to be held captive in substandard conditions far worse then those conditions in even our the worst of our public shelters?  I was saddened the other day when I read a quote from the leader of "Pet's Alive" who announced he was distancing himself from the long accepted battle cry of advocates like myself who vehemently opposes puppy mills by removing his bumpersticker which said "Don't buy puppies while shelter dogs die" or another "no kill advocates lame excuse for not supporting Missouri's Prop B because he questioned the involvement and support of HSUS on issues in the bill including the provision of "only" allowing commercial breeders to have 50 dogs in their breeding program?. 

Are these positions YOU support as a no kill advocate because if they are you have lost this shelter reformist support.  Over the years I have worn the shoes of both a shelter reformists, puppy mill advocate and a rescuer.  In that role I have participated in rescuer hounds from both public kill shelters and the rewarding efforts participating in "purchasing" breeder "rejects" at many of the breeder auctions in Missouri. 

On the later there has been no greater reward then knowing I was able to prevent a dog who has spent years locked up and confined only to be pulled out to produce another litter from either being sold to another irresponsible puppy miller or killed.  Now the No Kill Movement wants me to forget about all the beautiful hounds I have rescued from puppy mill abuse by standing shoulder to shoulder with these same breeders who are ardent supporters of the No Kill Movement.

"Every social movement in U.S. history culminated in the passing of laws. The goal was not to get promises and commitments that we would strive to do better as a society. The focus was always on changing the law to eliminate the ability to do otherwise, now and for all time."  Nathan Winograd

Why is it that Nathan  supports laws that focus on shelter reform but is silent in his support of laws that crack down on ;puppy mills?  Wouldn't eliminating the ability to abuse animals by enslaving them now and for all time also be a noble cause?  Yet, how many of Nathan's blogs offer encouragement to the animal protection groups like HSUS who are out front waging the battle to change the laws that protect this abuse?  Could it be that Nathan is concerned over losing the support of breeders in the process? 

No Kill Nation wants me to support a platform that protects and in fact encourages irresponsible breeders to continue with exploiting hounds I love by breeding even more for a pet store market I deplore as well.  

Why is it that the President of No Kill Nation has no experience on her resume with shelter reform but does rub shoulders with hobby/show breeders instead?  Are those the qualifications we follow in a No Kill Nation movement?  Fact is, none of the leaders with No Kill Nation have any success in THEIR past reforming even the shelters in their own backyard.  True leaders lead by experience not by regurgitating mindless rhetoric.

"We shouldn’t just want a promise that shelters will try to do better. We already have such promises—and millions of animals still being killed despite readily available lifesaving alternatives show just how hollow such promises are. We must demand accountability beyond the rhetoric. And we shouldn’t simply be seeking progressive directors willing to save lives. We should demand that the killing end, now and forever, regardless of who is running the shelters. And we get that in only one way: By passing shelter reform legislation which removes the discretion of shelter directors to ignore what is in the best interests of animals and kill them."  Nathan Winograd

Really think puppy mill breeders value life?
Nice concept, after all would take exception to the thinking that there are alternatives to simply killing shelter animals.  But why doesn't that same concept apply to the victims of puppy mill and irresponsible breeding abuse?  Shouldn't we be equally to supporting the animal protection efforts lead by groups like HSUS, Best Friends and the ASPCA in their efforts to pass laws that would put an end to THIS cruelty and this killing as well?  Is Nathan or are you naive enough to believe that puppy mills don't bury their dead?

The silence on this form of animal abuse is deafening while their attacks on the only voices demanding an end to puppy mill abuse is disturbing.    and excuses blaming the animal coming out of the No Kill leaders. 

Are "WE" not partners in the noble cause of ending irresponsible pet ownership (dog fighters - hoarding) and of ending the political correctness that we have a right to breed irresponsibly while shelter animals continue to die?

When I made the decision several months ago to discuss the issues surrounding the "movement" I did so because of my commitment to be the voice for all animals who are being exploited or abused and not just the abuse that goes on in our shelters. Unlike the leaders of No Kill Nation and even Nathan my "resume" includes a long history as a reformist on not only shelter reform but puppy mill reform as well yet Nathan responds to my voice with the following comment he posted on his Facebook page where he wrote:

Winograd - "Jack, I am not going to allow Randy to use this Facebook page for his defense of the status quo and his defense of those who needlessly kill animals as he has done on other pages. He can go defend killing on HSUS' Facebook page:" 

I'll ignore the insult of claiming that I defend "those who needlessly kill animals" because it is a comment that is so absurd it doesn't deserve a comment, but I will ask Nathan why he ignores the truth behind his own support through his silence and ignorance pushing a flawed concept on pet overpopulation isn't he supporting the senseless abuse and killing done at the hands of irresponsible breeders.  The truth is you can't run from issues simply because your concerned it may have an effect on book sales.

I write this article not in an attempt to win over your support on views.  I certainly an not interested in selling you books, webinars or a seat at the next no kill circus as well.  I'm only interested in hoping that some of you will use reason and do your own homework on these issues and focus your support on the animals we all claim as THEIR VOICE?  Are the animals better off without the protections provided by the large animal protection groups or are we simply being asked to send our donations to an unproven and flawed group that supports the real enemy within - those irresponsible breeders who perpetrate this abuse?


  1. Are you inside my head? This blog just gets better and better.

  2. Buster, Glad you liked it - this blog is addresses the issues the cultists don't want you to see. Feel free to share it with others. I'm only warming up - I think it's important that people understand all the issues not just the issues which support a cultist agenda.