Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Humane Society OrganizationsAn important fact for readers of DogsBite.org is that there is no connection between local humane societies and the national organization, The Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS is the largest animal advocacy organization in the United States and was founded in 1954. The organization also works with the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm section of the Department of Justice to find and arrest dogfighters.
There is no national organization formally setting policy for local humane societies. There are over one thousand local humane societies all of which are separately incorporated with their own boards, policies, programs, and funding sources.Because there is no national oversight of humane groups, the ethics and accountability to the public rely on the press or other news sources. Victims of dangerous dogs are now demanding that local humane organizations private or taxpayer funded be honest with the type of breed responsible for a mauling or death. This accountability to the public precedes any protection for a breed. Public safety also demands the right to know the true breed mix in pet adoption along with the genetic traits for which that dog was created.
SPCA Organizations"SPCA" is a generic term applied to any organization incorporated as a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. An SPCA is technically not the same as a humane society, although in practice they closely overlap. To contrast the two types of agencies, an SPCA was originally an organization specifically formed to obtain constabulary law enforcement authority, and there was only one SPCA allowed per jurisdiction. The size of the eligible jurisdiction varied by state.
The American SPCA is an individual organization (ASPCA) and the oldest animal advocacy group in the United States. It has constabulary authority to enforce cruelty laws within New York state, has the primary responsibility for enforcing cruelty laws in New York City, operates a shelter and adoption program in NYC, and has branch offices in other parts of the U.S. that work on issues including state legislation and disaster relief.
The ASPCA opposes all forms for breed-specific law; they support "rehabilitating" dogs seized from fighting operations; they heavily promote pit bull adoption and they fail to tell the public the truth about the genetic traits of the pit bull breed.
Your DonationsThere are approximately 1,023 humane societies and 641 SPCAs in the United States, all of which are separately incorporated, with their own boards, policies, programs, and funding sources. Once again, there is NO national organization formally representing or setting policy for either humane societies or SPCAs. Before you make a donation to your "local" humane or SPCA group, we recommend that you ask about their stance on breed-specific laws. Some groups do support pit bull regulations, most, however, do not, even though pit bulls injure and kill many pets.
07/21/08: ASPCA Perpetuates Myth that Pit Bulls Were Once a Popular Family Dog
06/02/08: ASPCA Pushing Pit Bull Adoption: Adopt-A-Bull Contest
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| 10/08/2008 8:10 AM |
I no longer donate to my local shelter. Like most shelters, mine is usually half pit bull, so any donations would be mostly going towards those dogs. I feel more comfortable giving to local breed rescues of safe, family orientated breeds. If enough people stop donating to local shelters and tell them why they will no longer donate, I bet things will change.
| 10/08/2008 9:07 AM |
This is a great blog entry, and really clears up a common misunderstanding.
I just want to say one thing for people to think about when they ask animal shelters or societies about BSL stances before donating.
Many shelters and societies do wonderful things every day to save the overwhelming percentage of pets that are not pit bulls. They have a difficult job, often get no public funding, and many of them are terrified to admit that they do support BSL.
If a shelter or group says that they support BSL in any way, they are stalked by the dog fighters, pit bull promoters, and members of organizations that are promoting pit bulls while claiming to be humane organizations.
These pit bull people will threaten the shelter in an organized mob, even the individual employees, and smear them to try to stop donations.
Some shelters and oreganizations have taken on a "no stance" status on BSL to fend off the stalkers and prevent attacks.
I know that some people may not agree with that solution, but I just wanted people to be aware of the very scary situation a shelter can put themselves in.
An organization like ASPCA or Best Friends who actually help the pit bull fighters and breeders with their pro-pit bull lobbying get no donation from me (and it is important to tell them why you won't donate)
But I just wanted to ask people to perhaps consider sympathy for the shelters and groups that are not pit bull promoting.
| 10/08/2008 9:57 AM |
And there are many, many people in animal welfare who do believe in BSL, especially because it protects the dogs and help stop the abuse and fighting.
But they are terrified of getting stalked by people who are emotionally disturbed or actually criminals.
| 10/08/2008 10:30 AM |
A scary thing I have seen the ASPCA advocate is protecting pit bulls from being declared dangerous when they kill or attack other pets.
Of course, when pits attack other dogs, people get in the way or get hurt. And attacking other dogs is how kid-killers get their start.
But ASPCA is actually advocating cruelty to animals on behalf of pit bull mania.
The dog fighters must love them.
| 10/08/2008 3:54 PM |
I share your frustration with the selection of dogs available for adoption at shelters. Living in the Seattlish area, you will find approximately HALF or MORE of adoptable dogs at any given time are pits and pit mixes or look like pix mixes but being called something else like lab mix or boxer mix. This is true of King Co, Seattle and PAWS animal shelters. About half of the dogs in Tacoma shelter are described as "lab mix" and oddly enough there is no accompanying photo. hmmmm....
When I get around to adopting another dog in the not too distant future, I will be going to Everett Animal Shelter. YOU WILL NOT FIND A SINGLE PIT!!! And I will be letting them know why I drove the extra miles to adopt a dog from them.
| 10/08/2008 4:12 PM |
YES, I AGREE!!! BE HONEST ABOUT THE BREED!
Take a look at this "boxer mix" available for adoption in Yakima Washington:
SLEEZ-EEEEE advertising, eh?