Dear friends and colleagues,

The animals in New York State shelters need your help. Recently, the ASPCA killed an abused dog named Oreo, despite an offer by a No Kill shelter to save her life. In response, the New York State Legislature is now considering a law that would make it illegal for any shelter or pound to kill an animal if a legitimate rescue group is willing to save the animal’s life. But the ASPCA wants to kill the proposed law, the way it killed Oreo, for which the new law is named.

We can never bring Oreo back, but we can make sure this never happens again in any New York shelter. Oreo’s Law will save thousands of dogs and puppies, cats and kittens (including feral cats), rabbits, and pocket pets currently being killed in shelters despite rescue groups willing to save them. And it won’t cost taxpayers a dime! But Ed Sayres, the President of the ASPCA, is opposing the law and threatening to kill it.

While the animal loving people of New York State flood the legislature with calls of support, while the most progressive voices in the companion animal movement have embraced and endorsed Oreo’s Law, and while rescuers anxiously await legislation that will empower them to save the lives of thousands of animals every year, the leader of the nation’s wealthiest SPCA stands alone in defiant opposition, thumbing his nose at them all.

Unable to publicly admit that his opposition stems only from the fact that he doesn’t want the public reminded about Oreo’s killing, Sayres has couched the ASPCA’s opposition as concern that the animals the law would save would actually be better off dead, arguing that rescue groups might be animal hoarders or dog fighters in disguise. Day in and day out, these rescuers show tremendous courage and compassion—visiting what is often the one place on earth hardest for them to go as animal lovers: their local shelters. And yet they go back, again and again. They endure the hostile treatment. They endure the heartbreak of seeing the animals destined for the needle. They endure having to jump through unnecessary and arbitrary hurdles set by shelter directors who are holding the animals they want to save hostage. They endure having to look the other way at abuse of other animals, because if they don’t, if they speak out, they will be barred from saving any animals. And this law would make their lives easier—their work less difficult. It would empower them, tip the balance more in their favor, and lessen their daily burden. That the President of the ASPCA would fail to support such a law, or worse, would dare oppose it by claiming that these dedicated, hard working rescuers are, in reality, dog fighters and hoarders in disguise not only is offensive, but a betrayal of these selfless, compassionate individuals—and  a betrayal to the animals whose lives the law would save.

Right now, one man—Oreo’s killer—has indicated he intends to thwart the will of thousands of rescuers, and millions of New York animal lovers, by taking a position which—were he to be successful in killing the legislation—would sacrifice the lives of thousands of animals every year in the State of New York.

Right now, one man—who has consistently betrayed the cause which he is paid half a million dollars a year to champion—is abusing his power by choosing to condemn thousands of animals every year to death as a personal vendetta against those trying to prevent others from needlessly killing animals, like he did with his egregious and indefensible killing of an abused dog.

Right now, one man—who has sullied the name of the ASPCA beyond any recognition—has basically said of the animals of New York State dependant on this bill for their very lives, the ethical equivalent of ‘Let them die!’

We cannot allow this to happen. Your letters, e-mails, and telephone numbers are needed now. Please visit for what you can do to help end killing in New York State shelters. Even if you do not live in New York, your support is crucial. Because, as one supporter from Texas, noted: “Where New York goes, so goes the nation.”