Thursday, April 23, 2009

What would Edna say?

I finally found my Mom this morning. A red cardinal flying in the garden of the house next door. I am very relieved to know she is here with me. After she flew away I thought about what Edna would say about all the - umm - brouhaha sometimes associated with things that are new. New beginnings, new positions, new alliances, new partnerships, new coalitions. Some of her oft quoted sayings came to mind immediately. "Some people don't have the sense God gave a mule." "Be careful with your words, dear."And, of course, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." There are more, but these are for today. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Song for 146 dogs - Wilkes

The Wilkes 146 did not die in vain. Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky are smiling now.

From Donna's post on Thursday, April 16. "Lessons from BB and Gemma."

"In short - despite common misperception - the HSUS has never been in full control of the outcome of bust dogs. But rather, they have the ear of the authorities including and especially the shelters who trust them to know what they're talking about. Which is why it has been so incredibly important that the HSUS voice support for those of us who know the rescue angle."

"In the spirit of fine tuning our collective ability to say 'Yes' to bust dogs and to bring compassion to the dogs that can't be helped, I'm looking forward to working as part of the effort now officially known as the 'Victims of Cruelty Working Group.' The six participants all have hands-on experience and include reps from: the ASPCA, Animal Farm Foundation, Best Friends, NACA and - Yes, even the HSUS rep, now guided by their new policy to support evaluation and rescue efforts."

"I have to say that the original HSUS rep who tried to block BB's rescue has since changed his tune and recently shook hands on BR's mission. It took years of dialogue, but I've really grown to like the guy, even tho' early on I wanted to kick him hard in the shins. I hope we get to work together on the next bust in CA because he's a good sort with a thousand good stories and I would love for at least one of them to be about the next BB that he helped save. So yeah - I'm an optimist. After all, pessimism doesn't do justice to the dogs we've been called on to help."

"Let's be real though. Despite all our best intentions, the hardest part of this work will continue to be space issues in shelters as well as rescues. Busts happen year round (heads up east coasters: Boston Bust) ... and the rescues who routinely squeeze, rearrange and beg up foster care & boarding options know all about the dilemma of taking on too much. But it sure will be nice to have one less obstacle in the way when we're ready and able to help a few good dogs."

Want more inside scoop? Here's a lovely article from Best Friends on the Victims of Canine Violence Sphere: Related Content

Friday, April 17, 2009

I go looking

I go looking for my Mom everywhere. Sometimes I think I have found her when a Titmouse or a little brown Sparrow or a Bird with a yellow chest and a spot of orange whose name I do not know flies by in my back yard. But then they are gone so quickly. And I have lost her again. I know I will find her one day soon. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good news on bust dog summit in Vegas

Thank you Donna.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"The hardest part of going to Vegas for us addicted-to-fresh-air types is moving through the haze of eye-burning, tongue numbing cigarette smoke. The things we do for our dogs. The bust dog summit (named this for now only because it's late and my eyes are still burning and I can't think of a better name) came together as planned on Wednesday of this week. The gathering helped us solidify our partnership with Best Friends, ASPCA and Animal Farm Foundation and - especially - to deepen our collective commitment to dogs caught up in raids and larger cruelty cases. We were happy to bring animal control association NACA in as a new partner, too. And we'll all be looking for a formal policy statement from HSUS that was promised as a result of the meeting."

"As much as we would love to, it's not appropriate to share details of the meeting in this space, but we DID notice that someone at HSUS has removed a provocative webpage from their Animal Sheltering website, once entitled, 'Explaining Your Policy of Not Placing Fighting Dogs Up for Adoption.'"

"This now-defunct position statement has driven us crazy for years: "Once dogs have been bred and trained to fight, they may become dangerous at any time in the future, killing or injuring another dog, cat, or even human. The cruel training inflicted upon these animals makes them unpredictable—and unsuitable for placement into new homes." But apparently, it's gone -- and good riddance."

"More to come. For now, off to snuggle with my dogs, who are wondering where we've been and why we smell like Pall Malls."

"To the left is Uba, way back when he was still an enigma."
Posted by Donna at 12:25 AM

[Here is UBA now.
On the right hand side just under HECTOR and ERNIE. UBA is not an enigma anymore.] Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 9, 2009

True believers. The real deal.

WSPA. World Society for the protection of animals. True believers who walk their talk. 25 years and counting. 15 offices worldwide.
WSPA Member Society Network is the largest international alliance of animal welfare organisations in the world, with more than 900 member societies in over 150 countries. 76 in the United States. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bearing witness — Yes, Biscuit - Wilkes 146 & HSUS

"146 Pitbulls, including 19 pups still nursing from their dams, were killed on order of the court in Wilkes Co, NC in February 2009. Most of the dogs had been seized in connection with a dogfighting investigation conducted by local authorities in conjunction with the HSUS. The remaining pups were born after the seizure.
The two HSUS representatives whose testimony Judge Wilson relied upon to make the decision on what to do with the dogs were Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler.

"Although Best Friends had made an offer to the county to save the dogs, their representative was not advised of this hearing which took place immediately after the third defendant in the dogfighting case plead guilty:

Best Friends Animal Society, which operates one the nation's largest animal sanctuaries, had contacted County Attorney Tony Triplett within days of the December raid. The group had offered to work with rescue agencies to place the dogs.

But when Judge Wilson asked yesterday if Best Friends had gotten involved at the last minute, Assistant District Attorney Fred Bauer told the judge that the group had called him last Thursday and Friday, and had called his boss, District Attorney Tom Horner, yesterday."

'That's just totally misconstruing the contacts we had with the county attorney and the attempts we tried to have with the DA,' [Ledy] VanKavage [attorney for Best Friends] said.

"She said she left a message for Bauer a month ago, on either Jan. 13 or 14, and had made at least three attempts to contact the DA's office. "I left a message for Fred Bauer and he never returned my call," she said."

"After court yesterday, Bauer said he couldn't recall if he'd gotten a message from Best Friends, but that he didn't intend to mislead Wilson and would clear it up with the judge today if there was any misunderstanding."

"The case had been set for trial next month. People working on rescuing the dogs thought they had more time."

"VanKavage said that when she learned about yesterday's ruling she called Wilkesboro attorney William Burke to seek an injunction against destroying the dogs. She said Burke reported that when he got to the courthouse shortly before it closed, the judge was gone and the order was already signed. She said that Burke told her he thought the dogs would be dead before he could get the request before the judge."

"VanKavage said that Bauer misrepresented her side's interest to the judge and it affected the proceeding."
"I think the judge wanted to hear our side of it and if we'd gotten some notice, we could have gotten into that courtroom, but the DA's office chose to stonewall us and because of that, these puppies died," she said."

"After reviewing a transcript of the court testimony of the HSUS representatives, it does indeed appear that the case for saving the dogs was "misrepresented":

MS. AMANDA ARRINGTON: Amanda Arrington. I'm the North Carolina State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. And our concern is that the only offer of help has been from Best Friends, but they are not offering to take these dogs.

THE COURT: They are not offering to take the dogs?

MS. AMANDA ARRINGTON: They are offering to assist. That is their language that they used. That means it would still be the county's responsibility. And in their own words, it costs about $190,000 per dog to rehabilitate them.

THE COURT: $190,000 to rehabilitate a dog?


THE COURT: That's what Best Friends says?


(Brief pause.)

THE COURT: Why is this the so-called humane thing to do?


THE COURT: Yes, ma'am.

MS. AMANDA ARRINGTON: For the dogs themselves, I think, because of the way that they were bred. I think it is an unrealistic expectation for us to ask these dogs that have been bred generations for fighting to become regular pets. And it's an even bigger thing to ask people to take on that responsibility and the county to take on both the financial burden and the liability. You know, we could be a couple years down the road and one of these dogs could do something, and I think it ultimately could come back on the county of Wilkes.

To be clear, Best Friends had offered the following:

Best Friends is willing to send a certified applied behaviorist out to evaluate the dogs and puppies. Of those who do well, Best Friends will fund their sterilization and transportation to responsible rescue groups.

I interpret that to mean the county would not be left holding the bag financially or liability-wise. And I'm sure the attorney for Best Friends would have explained that to the judge had the group been made aware of the hearing to determine what to do with the dogs.

More testimony:

THE COURT: Sir, did you want to add something?

MR. CHRIS SCHINDLER: I'm Chris Schindler. I'm the Deputy Manager, Animal Fighting Law Enforcement, Humane society of the United States.
You can't -- you know, even the puppies, you know, as you have heard, have been displaying those you know, those tendencies to start fighting with each other, and that's something you are going to see as they grow older. Most of these dogs, you won't know their true capability until they are at least 18 months old. These guys don't even test them for fighting purposes until they are 18 months old. So the likelihood of being able to hold these dogs until they are almost two years old to find out how dangerous they may be is unrealistic. I mean, housing them just for now has cost, you know, maybe more than $60,000, just to hold them until now, to this point. I mean, these dogs, they are not on the same level. You know, people speak about the Michael Vick dogs. Those dogs have not even been rehabilitated.

"Reading the HSUS testimony in the case is helpful in clarifying what was actually said and what the group's position was regarding the dogs. But for me, questions remain:

* Did the judge get the whole story in this case?
* Did the judge hear truthful testimony from the HSUS representatives?
* Who actually killed the dogs and how was the killing funded?
* Does HSUS honestly believe the Vick dogs have not been rehabilitated despite so much evidence to the contrary? And that it costs $190,000 to rehab a bust dog?
* If HSUS does an about-face and adopts some sort of policy to save bust dogs (my two cents) at their Las Vegas hotel gathering this month, can we trust them to follow through on it?
* Will HSUS use as many resources to save bust dogs in future as it has in past to get them killed?

To paraphrase the judge's question to HSUS: Why is killing unevaluated bust dogs the so-called humane thing to do? My response: It never has been and never will be. We are a no kill nation of owners who care about pets. We are the real humane society. Join us."

Every dog deserves a fair evaluation."


"More must-read commentary:"

Caveat: Time for the HSUS to Hit the Showers
Posted at 4:23 PM
Labels: dogfighting, HSUS, wildside kennels

mutineer826 said...

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Like I'm SURE they were paying $60 grand a month to care for the dogs...NOT. Receipts, baby, show me receipts.
April 1, 2009 5:09 PM
EmilyS said...

and will any of the koolkidz invited to that LV meeting with HSUS dare to confront Wayne with this?

I wouldn't bet on it, myself.

It's all about get along, go along, put it in the past. Why, HSUS might fund something for them! They have all those great programs, you know...
April 1, 2009 6:02 PM
jan said...

I'd like to hear a description of how $190,000 is spent for the rehabilitation.
April 1, 2009 7:47 PM
Caveat said...

Good post, YB! I put something up too, read yours after that.

I imagine they had to use the $60K figure because I think that was the ransom that Faron couldn't afford to pay to get his dogs back.

The wanking continues.

Bollocks on their 'pit bull' meeting too. The last thing I want is that bunch of snakes-in-the-grass - all of 'em - making things even worse than they are out here. If I want any s**t from the HSUS, I'll squeeze their heads - after pulling them out of their you-know-whats.
April 1, 2009 9:34 PM
Hero said...

Every time I think of the dogs that were ruthlessly murdered for being born a pit bull, it brings tears to my eyes. This has got to stop...killing without justice is not the humane thing to do! I thought even the judge was pathetic in this case...I don't know whether I should be angry or sad, but these dogs just deserved so much more. I hope HSUS and EVERY SINGLE PERSON involved in these killings burns in hell, I really do.
April 1, 2009 11:09 PM
sfox said...

I am totally disgusted with the "testimony", which would have been perjury if the HSUS lackies had been under oath.

The Best Friends folks must be seething. And HSUS, neener, neener, neener, we WON ::raspberry::, so there. Nice.
April 1, 2009 11:45 PM
Pai said...

Disgusting. For all those people who cried how 'unfair' to the HSUS we were being for accusing them of being culpable for the killing of those dogs, this testimony blows their outrage right out of the water.

It's disgusting that there is an 'H' in 'HSUS'. It sure doesn't belong there.
April 2, 2009 2:22 AM Sphere: Related Content