In the Arms of the Angel of Death
May 8, 2012 by Nathan J. Winograd
The healthy 3-week old kitten was delivered to the ASPCA, probably by a Good Samaritan who found him. Perhaps, they saw the commercial, heard the Sarah McLachlan song “In the arms of an angel,”
In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold … room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here;
knew that by taking him to the organization that bills itself as the animals’ “voice,” whose revenues exceed $140,000,000 a year making it one of the wealthiest overall charities in the nation and the single richest SPCA in America, the kitten would be safe.
After all, the ASPCA has more resources than it knows what to do with. So many resources, in fact, that they could afford to pay their CEO over half a million dollars a year, even provide him a driver to get him around Manhattan. And only a few short days away from eating on his own, with a full-service medical hospital named after the great Henry Bergh staffed by a team of veterinarians and hundreds of employees, the kitten was surely safe.
Maybe the Good Samaritan even wrote a donation check, to thank the ASPCA for taking in the kitten. It is not uncommon. And the ASPCA could then use that money to buy formula, the bottle, some cotton balls to help stimulate the kitten to go to the bathroom if he was not yet doing so on his own. It was just one kitten. Even if he didn’t write a check, no matter, the ASPCA could afford it. It would cost peanuts:
- Bottle of powdered KMR: $12.99
- Kitten bottle: $5.19
- Cotton balls: $1.39
- Heating pad: $13.49
- Towel: donated
Only $33.06 to save this kitten’s life; a mere fraction of the revenues: 0.00000002% to be exact. They’d make that back in interest before the kitten needed his next feeding. Yes, the kitten was safe. And not only did he have the animals’ “voice” protecting him, he had a veritable army: the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful army in the animal protection world.
According to Maddie’s Fund, New York City and its shelters are a “national model.” They’ve given over $25,000,000 to arm it. Best Friends also claims it is a model of compassion, “well on its way to meeting its no-kill goals.” They opened up an office in New York City. The Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals boasts that the City does not kill healthy animals—under “Health Issues,” the kitten’s record is marked “None”—and claims they are “on track” for achieving No Kill. And since they’ve been “on track” for 11 years, surely they’ve built the ultimate safety net for healthy motherless neonatals with all those tens of millions they’ve taken in. Even HSUS has an office there. Combined, the four organizations with fundraising offices in New York City—ASPCA, HSUS, Mayor’s Alliance, and Best Friends—take in over $320,000,000 per year. The kitten just needs 0.00000001% of the total take. In fact, they could fundraise off the kitten and make that back ten fold; a hundred fold; even a million fold.
And why shouldn’t that kitten be safe? After all, there are No Kill communities which have per capita intake rates ten times higher than the City. Add the largest adoption market in the nation to one of the lowest per capita intake rates; add to that that the City is the center of the nation’s wealth; top it off with New York City being the most cosmopolitan and progressive community in the U.S. and the center of the Western World, and there is absolutely NOTHING that could and would stand in the way of the bright future this kitten has to look forward to.
The sky has parted, providence is bathing the world in sunshine, and one tiny little kitten is in the arms of an angel. Check that. He’s not just in the arms of an angel, the entirety of the heavens has opened up to protect him. He’s got a fleet of angels—Maddie’s Fund, the ASPCA, HSUS, Best Friends, the Mayor’s Alliance, even the “model” city shelter—all there to protect this little baby kitten because he is healthy, has his whole life ahead of him, and all of them are in New York City raising money promising to protect little kittens like him. They all tell us they believe in No Kill and they all tell us they are No Kill “experts,” and they all tell us that every single last one of them is dedicated to saving lives. And this one is easy, a no-brainer; saving-lives-for-dummies. No surgery, no heroic efforts, just your run of the mill, garden variety need for a volunteer, some powdered milk, a five-inch plastic bottle, and a little TLC.
Two hours later, the kitten is dead.
Under orders from Ed Sayres and his team, the kitten was taken to the city pound to be killed. The pound would oblige. Less than one hour after he arrived (41 minutes to be exact), he was scheduled to be killed. Why? “No placement.” The Mayor’s Alliance was busy fighting legislation that would save animals to actually save him themselves. Best Friends was too busy coming up with magical five year plans in other cities based on the very same Mayor’s Alliance model. HSUS, of course, was not interested. The ASPCA pleads lack of resources. Maddie’s Fund would like to refer all concerns about what is happening in New York back to the Mayor’s Alliance, who is also too busy fighting legislation to save animals to respond to your questions.
One hour and 27 minutes later, he was given a fatal dose of poison. He was tossed on a pile of other dead animals. His kennel number was updated to “Freezer.” There he sits, awaiting transport to the crematory.
Although this is not him, this is what a 3-week-old kitten looks like. How could they possibly kill him?