Sunday, February 22, 2009

Still Pissed Off

It's been a long week in the animal welfare world, and just about everyone who gives a damn about dogs is incredibly pissed off at the Humane Society of the United States.

I really have nothing to add to the conversation; not when the heavyweights of the animal welfare bloggers are so unified and eloquent in their horror. But I do have something to contribute in that there are quite a few folks who come here to browse what's available and have only a casual interest in animal welfare, or perhaps little at all, and it is you I would like to address.

The Humane Society of the United States spearheaded an effort in North Carolina to shut down a dogfighting operation. Good stuff. However, they then followed it up with court testimony that every single dog should be killed, even puppies born since the raid who have never known fighting, even newborns in foster homes being cared for by families who were ordered to return them so they could die. 127 dogs were seized in the raid in December of 2008 and 146 dogs were killed by court order around Feb 17. We know that many of the dogs in the raid were young, and now we know that at least 19 were 2 months old or less - born since the raid when the dogs were in custody.

The coalition of animal welfare groups on the other side of this issue asked for nothing more than a chance for the dogs to be evaluated and offered resources for evaluation, spay/neuter, and finding homes. Some of these groups have extensive and positive experience with rescuing and rehabbing dogs from fighting operations. All of them have a hard time believing that not even a single newborn puppy was deemed by the Humane Society of the United States to be worth saving, not a single dog given a formal evaluation, even in the face of assistance offered at no cost. Killing is not kindness, mindless murder is not humane.

If you're ever tempted to donate to the Humane Society of the United States, even casually, I ask you to reconsider. Dogs seized in raids are victims, and the needless, mindless killing of victims is anything but Humane.

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