Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (and Other Sheltering News)

That Damnable Wayne Pacelle

As others have reported, the transcripts of HSUS’ testimony in Wilkes County, NC over the fate of some 150 dogs and puppies have been released. And they show a continuing pattern of anti-animal vitriol that cost the dogs their lives.

When news of the HSUS-inspired Wilkes County massacre first broke, Wayne Pacelle of HSUS—through John Goodwin, his dog killing apologist—responded to the furor over the massacre by accusing dog lovers of wanting to steal the media from HSUS. Then, he claimed that these dogs were more vicious than the Vick dogs, which were proven to be rehabilitatable. Of course, this is contrary to what he stated when he tried to get the court to kill the Vick dogs because he claimed they were some of the most vicious dogs HSUS had ever seen. (Several are now in loving homes, and at least two are providing animal assisted therapy for cancer patients.) Then he stated that there was no choice but to kill the Wilkes County dogs by virtue of state law, which turned out not to be true. And, finally, he distanced himself from the cruel slaughter by stating that the court ordered the dogs killed, not HSUS.

Once again, facts have a strange way of exposing Wayne Pacelle for the two-faced opportunist that he is. The transcripts reveal that the court was struggling with what to do with the dogs and at one point asked HSUS why killing them, as HSUS was recommending, was humane? Not only did HSUS representatives mislead the court about the Vick dogs (falsely claiming none were rehabilitated), the cost to rehabilitate the Vick dogs (falsely claiming it cost $190,000 for each dog!), and about Best Friends offer of help (they offered to evaluate and then help get the dogs into rescue which was not conveyed to the court), they also lied to the court saying all the dogs posed a danger. To say that nursing puppies are a threat to public safety is very close to perjury in my view, and one that cost the little puppies their very lives. In fact, in a moment of Orwellian duplicity, HSUS stated that the killing was “for the dogs” own good.

Pacelle seems committed to having HSUS vilify the animals they are pledged to protect, and urging their slaughter in the face of reasonable lifesaving alternatives. Last year, he legitimized the slaughter of virtually all the animals in the Hammond, LA shelter (including cats for a mild virus that causes diarrhea only in dogs) and now we find out he asked the Wilkes County court to order the slaughter of all the dogs including the puppies claiming it was for their own good.

So how do you know if Pacelle is lying? Apparently, it is when there are words coming out of his mouth.

For further reading:

Transcript of Proceedings
The Death of Hope at HSUS
HSUS Defends Wilkes County Massacre
Wayne Pacelle Under Siege

PETA Defends Slaughter

Speaking of liars, PETA defended its 2008 animal slaughter by posting photographs of irremediably suffering animals and saying that all the animals they kill are suffering. Don’t believe it for a second. As I noted in my post, The Butcher of Norfolk:

PETA has argued that all of the animals it kills are “unadoptable.” … But this claim is a lie. It is a lie because the numbers historically come from the State of Virginia’s reporting form which only asks for data for animals taken into custody “for the purpose of adoption.” It is a lie because PETA refuses to provide its criteria for making that determination. It is a lie because rescue groups and individuals have come forward stating that the animals they gave PETA were healthy and adoptable. It is a lie because testimony under oath in court from a veterinarian showed that PETA was given healthy and adoptable animals who were later found dead by PETA’s hands, their bodies unceremoniously thrown away in a supermarket dumpster. And it is a lie because Newkirk herself admitted as much.

In a December 2, 2008 interview with George Stroumboulopoulos of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Stroumboulopoulos asks Newkirk: “Do you euthanize those pets, the adoptable ones, if you get them?” To which Newkirk responds: “If we get them, if we cannot find a home, absolutely.” In short, Newkirk admits that PETA “absolutely” kills savable animals. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.

In 2008, PETA found homes for only seven out of 2,216 dogs and cats, killing 96%.

For further reading:

The Butcher of Norfolk

American Dog Magazine Honors Tompkins County

Tompkins County has saved at least 92% of animals for the last seven years, even though it is an open admission animal control shelter. This is just one of the achievements highlighted in the latest issue of American Dog magazine. It also cites that the agency built the first “green” animal shelter in the U.S. back in 2003, earning the coveted LEED certification. But the most exciting part of the article comes from the TC SPCA itself: “[T]he truth is that every community can come together and end the needless [killing] of healthy animals” Yes, it is.

A Recap of Houston

I just returned from a trip to Houston, TX where I gave an all day No Kill seminar. Several hundred people showed up, including health department and animal control directors from half a dozen Texas communities.

After the eight hours I spent going through how to comprehensively implement the programs and services of the No Kill Equation, I was getting coffee when I overheard the group of health department directors and animal control directors talking amongst themselves. What did I hear? “We can do this.” “This will work.” The revolution marches on:

Speaking of which, Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation & Care recently hired the shelter manager from Montgomery County (TX) animal control who was responsible for the massive decline in killing there (in February, they saved 98% of the animals). That is bad news for Montgomery County but potentially good news for the animals of Houston.

Spreading the Gospel

What do Gaston County, NC, Beaufort, SC, Red Bluff, CA, Sharpsburg, GA, Independence, OH, DeLand, FL, Mesilla, NM, and hundreds of other counties have in common? They’ve taken advantage of my free offer to give a free copy of Redemption to any animal control director, city council person or other elected official in order to get them to see beyond the “adopt a few, kill the rest” philosophy being peddled by the large national organizations. The offer is good through April 30.

For more information, click here.

Charlottesville in Difficult Renegotiation Over A/C Contract

How much have county taxpayers in Charlottesville VA paid for the implementation of the No Kill Equation, which has given them 90% level save rates for the last three years?

These achievements have not cost taxpayers a penny. All of the costs have been borne by private donations. The SPCA is not asking for taxpayer dollars to support its No Kill mission. The SPCA simply seeks compensation for pound services at the same rate paid to pounds that are still [killing] animals. As a nonprofit organization, the SPCA should not be subsidizing the legal obligations of our local government.

The SPCA, which runs animal control, is trying to renegotiate the paltry $1.60 per capita it receives in animal control funding, because that amount is well below the $5 per capita other communities are paying for killing programs and does not cover the legal mandates the County is imposing.

Even HSUS has supported the idea of kill-oriented shelters leaving animal control work when, “humane organizations end up in tenuous financial positions that threaten their standards of operation” because of insufficient government funding. HSUS suggests that shelters should “never want to get to the point where [their] private programs or [their] real mission is undermined by the public health needs [which are the responsible of local government, not private humane societies.].”

HSUS says that municipalities should pay $5-7 per capita for killing programs, and the Chartlottesville SPCA is offering No Kill animal control for less than that. Ironically, once they stop contracting, many municipalities end up taking over the function themselves only to find that they have to pay two or more times more than the modest contract amount requested by humane societies.

While I’ve long argued that philosophically, private SPCAs should not be in the killing business, I realize the transition needs to be worked out over time. In an imperfect world, choices have to be made based on what scenario is likely to save the most animals in a particular community given imperfect circumstances. As a result, the calculus isn’t cut and dry.

And the answer to the question as to whether a private humane society should administer animal control in any given community is not absolute at this time in history. The ideal, which should be our ultimate goal, is for private SPCAs to do truly humane work, and for local government to humanely administer public health and safety programs so as not to interfere with that work, and for the two to work in concert to save all the lives at risk.

For further reading:

Rethinking Animal Control Contracts

Gina, the cat


And last, but definitely not least, thank you to all the well wishers about Gina, our cat. She spent the weekend in the emergency room. She is home now, and up to her old mischief. She made it through thanks to the efforts of our veterinarian and the emergency clinic. Her prognosis is still poor, but at 19 with cancer, we already knew that. And we are grateful for whatever time we still have with her.