In response to public outcry over their support and participation in the Wilkes County Massacre, Wayne Pacelle of HSUS issued an interim new policy of favoring temperament testing of individual dogs seized in dog-fighting cases, and called for “a meeting of leading animal welfare organizations concerning dogs victimized by dog fighting.” If history is any guide, there is little reason to celebrate as of yet.
Earlier this week, rescue groups throughout the country pleaded with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Wilkes County officials not to put nearly 150 dogs and puppies seized from a dog fighting raid systematically to death. Instead, they asked that the dogs be individually assessed and even extended offers of assistance, support, and resources. But HSUS refused, arguing that all the dogs should be killed, including puppies who were born after the seizure and posed no threat to public safety. Not content to simply embrace the killing, HSUS then one went step further.
Come to the all-day seminar which has been called “a prerequisite for rescue groups and organizations that are serious about changing their communities to No Kill.” And The Bark magazine names Redemption as an Editor’s Pick notable read.
In Wilkes County, North Carolina, over 120 Pit Bull-type dogs and puppies seized from a dog fighter were systematically put to death over the opposition of rescue groups, dog advocates, and others. Some of the puppies were born after the seizure. And a foster parent was even ordered to return puppies she had nursed back to health to be killed. As they did in the Michael Vick case, HSUS once again led the charge to have all the dogs, including the puppies, slaughtered.
The Animal Humane Society (AHS) in Minnesota claims to have “rescued” about 120 cats from a situation they described as animal hoarding. Animal Ark, the largest No Kill shelter in Minnesota, and local rescue groups had offered to help pay for the care of the cats, offered to provide the care themselves, and offered to transfer the cats to their own groups to save them. But according to sources, AHS did not return their calls. Today, they learned that all the cats have been killed
Trouble in Philly, Indy Pit Bulls get a reprieve, President Obama inadvertently helps King County’s neglected homeless animals, the No Kill Advocacy Center offers BOGO Free, Building a No Kill Houston, and free copies of The Pit Bull Placebo.
It can be a cruel “Sophie’s Choice” for animal rescuers: observe in silence deplorable conditions and mistreatment of animals in government run shelters or call attention to the plight of the suffering animals and face the possibility of retaliation that can mean being deprived of the ability to save lives. Sadly, this is not some fictional plot device but the reality that rescuers confront when they seek reform from apathetic or incompetent shelter directors and their staffs or, failing that, meaningful oversight from elected or higher level municipal officers to whom the directors report.