From the Archives & More

From the Redemption archives


I began packing away the material used to write my book, Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation & The No Kill Revolution in America. But as so often happens when you go through old items, you begin re-reading them. I came across a couple of items of note. Periodically, I’ll release some of the material for posterity.

In Redemption, I wrote about HSUS attempts to derail a TNR program in the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

:the cat lovers who made up the Outer Banks Spay/Neuter Fund met with officials of the Dare County Animal Control Advisory Board to ask for assistance. They were there to introduce themselves and demonstrate how the county could save money by investing in spay/neuter rather than continuing the local practice of impounding and killing the feral cats of the Outer Banks. The Board suggested they present their plan to the Outer Banks SPCA. The SPCA director, however, told them not to bother. The SPCA had already declared “its total opposition to the spay/neuter of feral [cats],” preferring instead to kill them.

Members of the Outer Banks Spay/Neuter Fund turned to the Humane Society of the United States for help. Since HSUS was the nation’s largest companion animal and humane advocacy group—and one with significant influence over local shelters—leadership of the Outer Banks Spay/Neuter Fund expected their assistance in the struggle to legitimize TNR to the local shelter. The co-chair of the Fund explained:

We had thought HSUS would write a letter on our behalf. We thought that HSUS would encourage the Outer Banks SPCA to stop killing these cats since there was a non-lethal alternative. We felt that feeding and caring for these cats was in keeping with the humane mission of the Humane Society of the United States.

Instead, HSUS wrote to the Outer Banks SPCA calling TNR “inhumane” and “abhorrent,” applauding the SPCA’s opposition to the practice and encouraging the director to contact HSUS for assistance.

HSUS would also go on to write the local prosecutor that the practice was illegal under the state abandonment statutes. The letter was written by HSUS attorney Roger Kindler, who remains on the HSUS executive team to this very day. Attached is only a small portion of some of the correspondence (including interviews). Click here to read.

I also came across a hand written postcard sent to me by the Butcher of Norfolk herself, Ingrid Newkirk, telling me that PETA does not believe in “right to life” for animals even though PETA is supposed to be an animal rights organization. As I’ve said numerous times, the right to life is universally acknowledged as a basic or fundamental right. It is basic or fundamental, because the enjoyment of the right to life is a necessary condition of the enjoyment of all other rights. An organization cannot be “rights” oriented as PETA claims to be and ignore the fundamental right to life. If an animal is dead, the animal’s rights become irrelevant. Not only does PETA not acknowledge the right to life, they have rejected it. And they demonstrate that by seeking out and killing 2,000 animals every year.

And not only is PETA not an animal rights group, it is not an animal welfare or even an animal control agency. They kill in the face of lifesaving alternatives, which undermines principles of animal welfare. And their record of killing puts them even outside the purview of an animal control orientation, except in the most regressive of agencies which do not even make any animals available for adoption. Indeed, there is no philosophical foundation for the belief that animals should be sought out and killed.

Read the postcard by clicking here. (My address is no longer valid.)

The number two bullet point where she writes: “There are always exceptions” refers to correspondence we were having relating to their support for the extermination of feral cats. I expressed disappointment that PETA believed all feral cats should be killed and while she acknowledged that they should be, she said there are exceptions to that.

Next up: Fund For Animals supports an ordinance that makes it illegal to feed feral cats, with some exceptions including to trap them “for proper disposal,” as if they are nothing more than yesterday’s trash. The ASPCA says the only reason No Kill was successful in San Francisco was because of a large “gay community.” HSUS calls No Kill shelters “glorified collectors.” The National Animal Control Association calls No Kill a “delusion.” While others call it a “cancer.”

Speaking of PETA

In a prior post, I wrote that AR-News, a listserve of animal rights supporters, kicked PETA out of its group by stating:

PETA claims to be an animal rights group. Why would any animal demand the right to be murdered by their supposed rescuer and advocates? Can you imagine Amnesty International or the United Nations demanding that a population of humans be killed because they don’t want to bother finding any food or shelter for them? PETA is not an animal rights group, in any meaningful sense of the term. It’s disgusting and perverse that PETA is working so hard to derail the no-kill movement: Who needs an ‘advocate’ like that?

Now, AR-News has permanently barred another person, who turned out to be a PETA employee, from posting on the website. The PETA employee had posted a defense of PETA’s killing policies to which AR-News responded that the PETA excuse,

perpetrates story fraud (making up and adding content). What’s worse is the commentary itself, which belittles and denigrates the animals who clearly suffered tremendously in these instances. This behavior is disrespectful towards other animals, and certainly not befitting of an animal advocacy news list.

AR-News goes on to call PETA’s promotion of its killing of these animals “deplorable and demented. It is not sarcasm. It is not dark humor. It is sickening and symptomatic of a disturbed mind.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh wait, I’ve also said that.

Read the Butcher of Norfolk by clicking here.

The Cost of Saving Lives

I’ve written about the study before, but its worth noting that the No Kill Advocacy Center released the results of its analysis comparing per capita animal control spending on save rates.

Read the report by clicking here.