Monday, November 3, 2008
Las Vegas, NV - Best Friends Animal Society is reportedly the country's largest no-kill sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals. The group operates a 33,000-acre ranch in Utah. Best Friends received some of Michael Vick's pit bulls -- 21 "sanctuary" dogs deemed too unstable for adoption. The group believes that pit bulls seized in dogfighting raids can be rehabilitated and adopted out as pets. DogsBite.org believes this policy is dangerous and irresponsible.
Best Friends has shamelessly capitalized on Vick's dogs. Each dog also came with a $18,275 dowry, as part of the sentence deal worked out with Michael Vick. The sizable press campaign around the "Vicktory" dogs has undoubtedly brought in substantial donations, and Best Friends has cashed in on the fanfare. Yet months before acquiring Vick's dogs, Best Friends refused to take in 40 plus pit bulls seized in their own state from a hoarder.
The 40 plus unimportant pit bulls were scheduled to be euthanized because no group would take the dogs, including Best Friends. But a small Las Vegas rescue, Bullie Buddies, wanted to keep the dogs alive and find homes for them. So Best Friends passed the Utah 40 on. Charlene Baroni of Bullie Buddies then said it felt like the dogs got dumped on her. It's seems, from reading the article, that Baroni had expected more from Best Friends.
DogsBite.org would like to state two points. First, Best Friends is unable to maintain its "no-kill" philosophy, which is used in fund raising campaigns. Bullie Buddies only found homes for half of the Utah dogs; the rest were likely euthanized. Russ Mead, general counsel for Best Friends, states in the article: "The issue, of course, is that two more weeks, or paying $2500 for two weeks, isn't going to help these animals. They've already had 40 days to find new homes."
This is exactly why the no-kill philosophy is problematic. Even the country's largest no-kill sanctuary did a flip-flop when confronted with "cost" reality.The second point is that Best Friends has promoted Vick's dogs as a glamorous outcome to a difficult problem. Best Friends public statements and policies set a dangerous precedent. Shelters and rescue groups follow the leader. As a result, more and more animal groups believe that unstable fighting dogs can be rehabilitated and placed into private homes. This practice, however, places the safety of families and beloved companion animals at great risk.
Rescue organizations that applied to receive Vick's dogs were required to carry at least $1,000,000 in general liability insurance (Section 4-C). The agreement also prohibited using the dogs for fundraising purposes (Section 4-H): Best Friends states on their website that the agreement did allow "the groups to talk about the life stories of the dogs as part of general fundraising activities." DogsBite.org did not find this exception written in the agreement.
10/13/08: "Shuffling" a Pit Bull After a Dangerous Dog Court Hearing
09/05/08: Dogfighting Ring Busted in Delaware, Pit Bulls Up for Adoption
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| 11/03/2008 1:37 PM |
Best Friends has been using these Vick dogs to fundraise heavily since BEFORE they got them. They even do special mailings to promote the dogs and fundraise and beg for money.
Michael Mountain of Best Friends has been spitting in the face of Henry Hudson, the judge who agreed to let these dogs go to vartious groups but stipulated no fundraising.
Of course, look at Guidestar's rating of Best Friends. It is not good because Best Friends hoards money and doesn't spend it on humane work except for big expenses on fundraising and education.
Way back when, many humane people were shocked when Best Friends along with some other groups submitted a court document to Judge Hudson asking for the dogs. Shocked because some of those other groups were PIT BULL BREEDER groups, even dog fighting/breeder, lobbying groups. Groups that have supported animal abuse for a long time.
And there was Best Friends in the middle of them.
Hudson appointed Rebecca Huss, a law professor from Valparaiso University, to make decisions about where the dogs would go and who would cash in on the Vick money. Huss was alert enough to refuse the dog fighters and breeders, but several pointed out the links between Huss and Best Friends.
Best Friends is now promoting these dogs as "rehabilitated." They are not. They live in special, isolation facilities and several Best Friends people have been bitten.
While they findraise with these Vick dogs, meanwhile, Utah pitbulls are refused at the Best Friends gates along with all kinds of other lovely but unwanted dogs.
Those animals are often abandoned and Best Friends has local animal control pick them up and euthanize them, or the pets go into the desert and die.
Best Friends does not tell its donors about the sweet dogs that they refuse that die because the Vick dogs take up space and time.
Of course Best Friends isn't even honest that their No Kill thing doesn't even work in the low population desert town they are in. They have ALWAYS turned animals away, but the Vick dogs mean they turn away more.
However Best rRiends is spreading the fantasy that pit bulls don't have issues and can be "rehabiliatated" to the unknowledgeable, naive people (and hoarders) that have fastened on to this fraudulent No Kill religion.
And those people are handing out dogs from fighting backgrounds, with attack histories, from unknown backgrounds- and people are getting attacked by these "reescued" dogs and pets are getting slaughtered.
They are also housing pits with other dogs and the other dogs are getting slaughtered.
Best Friends doesn't care about the beloved pets that they encourage to be attacked by pit bulls.
And one of their No Kill "leaders" that they heavily promote and work with has come out publicly writing that it is ok to place aggressive dogs, hoard aggressive dogs. Nathan Winograd. He too has been exposed for links to the breeding community. Many of those game dog websites even push him.
| 11/03/2008 2:15 PM |
Something to point out, especially in light of the Jere Alexander law degree thing, is that No Kill fanatics have infiltrated some of these university animal law programs.
Their plan is to pass laws that force communities to go "No Kill" and spend tax money to warehouse, "rehabilitate," rehome, and promote pit bulls.
No Kill also opposes things like breeder licensing, breed specific legislation, pet limits and wants to pass laws making these things illegal.
Is it a surprise that the dogfighting/breeding communities see a friend and ally in No Kill?
The No Kill people are not content with running private shelters. They want to get their hands on tax funded animal control shelters and pounds so they can go wild and force citizens to submit to the pit bull religion.
Ex lawyer Nathan Winograd has been quite open about this plan, and had a workshop at George Washington University law school to promote this plan.
The No Killers want to make it law that animal control can't euthanize pit bulls, even aggressive pit bulls.
And that aggressive dogs are placed.
Meanwhile No Kill allows pit bulls to kill other dogs all warehoused in overcrowded facilities, allows pets to die of disease in cages, gives out pets to hoarders. It's a massive failure.
Here is a taste of Best Friends/Nathan Winograd No Kill. This is a program that No Kill consultant Winograd got into Philadelphia through PACCA. He personally selected the director that has been running it, a woman with Best Friends connections.
(This seems to be a program he follows- he consults, pushes for going private to go No Kill, and gets Best Friends people into taxpayer funded jobs. He's trying to do that now in King County, WA. With Best Friends affiliates. The same MO.)
Here's what happpened with Best Friends/Winograd no kill in Philadelphia. http://www.packalies.com
Aggressive pit bulls getting placed, killing other pets.
But despite the overwhelming failure of No Kill everywhere it is tried, these people intend to get the taxpayer paying for this! This is a very aggressive lobby.
| 11/03/2008 2:18 PM |
So you have the Jere Alexanders trying to seize animal control and use it for their own interests, and you have the No Kill people trying to do the same.
Privatizing a government service to push for their motives.
With regard to pit bulls, the interests of each of these kinds of lobbies has intersected.
| 11/03/2008 4:19 PM |
Additionally the Vick dogs with their multi-millon dollar infrastructure and federally mandated liability insurance, have zero in common with the typical neighborhood pit owner.
| 11/03/2008 4:22 PM |
I just wanted to pass on this about Best Friends and Hurricane Katrina pit bulls
One issue with No Kill is that No Kill is not honest about the problems placing pit bulls. They claim No Kill works, but then they have a hard time handling and housing aggressive pit bulls. So too often these dogs get dumped with hoarders or worse.
During the Hurricane Katrina rescues, Best Friends ran a site called Tylertown where they handled the rescued animals.
As the hurricane event lost interest by the media and efforts were winding down, Best Friends was faced with lots of pit bulls.
Did they take them to their sanctuary and spend some of their millions and millions of dollars to care for them?
No. They shipped some of them here http://campkatrina.net/index%20b4%20Mark%20Martin.htm
Sandi Coy was found guilty of animal abuse.
Some of the dogs that died under her care were from the Best Friends Tylertown Katrina rescue site.
This is what Best Friends did to those dogs while they fundraise for the Vick dogs and screech about rehabilitation and no bsl.
She also was the chairperson of the Eastern States Responsible Dog Owners.
One of those pro pit bull lobbying groups that hits the media with endless propaganda about pit bulls and fights like demons against any rules or laws.
This is the kind of situation that No Kill has become, sending animals to be abused and killed in the name of not euthanizing them.
There are other similar incidences with other No Kills.
| 11/03/2008 9:34 PM |
Send DogsBite.org fundraising emails
If you were part of the special mailings described in comment #1 -- mailings from Best Friends to promote Vick's dogs for fund raising purposes -- please forward them to DogsBite.org. Visit our Contact Page and forward them to the info@ email address.
What other groups applied for Vick's dogs?
Does anyone know the other groups that submitted applications to receive Vick's dogs, specifically questionable breeding and, or lobbying groups? The application process seemed open to all who met the base qualifications.
| 11/04/2008 12:47 AM |
Tia Torres and her Villalobos pit bull rescue facility was just one of the groups that submitted an application to get Vick dogs.
Torres actually jumped the gun and went to the media before the decision was made, bragging that she was getting Vick dogs and Vick money and describing her fundraising plans for them.
These comments appeared in a newspaper article/interview with her.
She did not get any dogs, but tried very hard to.
A recent posting here exposed Torres' husband's and Villaslobos employee's drug arrests, etc.
Best Friends has also extensively used email fundraising to raise money around the Vick dogs issue.
As far as the groups that submitted a legal document to Hudson asking for release of the dogs/money
Here is Best Friends description. Amicus brief. Their legal counsel, Russ Mead, WROTE the thing and filed it. http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&mode=entry&entry=479886F5-19B9-B9D5-9D8778B7D5EEEEB1
Notice that they say that Best Friends worked with other "animal welfare groups" on this.
Notice that Best Friends doesn't actually SHOW the amicus brief to their followers. They just assure people there were "11 other animal welfare groups" that BF worked with.
Well take a look at the people they filed this with! No wonder Best Friends didn't want to reveal the company they were keeping on this.
They weren't working with animal welfare groups.
(Note. This is on a dog breeder lobbying site that aggressively opposes bsl and lobbies along the same lines as the dog fighters and breeders)
How could anyone call the American Dog Owners Association an "animal welfare group?" It isn't. It's a very aggressive breeder lobbying group that has lobbied for the same things lobbied for by puppy mill and dog fighter breeders.
The American Working Dog Federation? More breeders, including the "pulling dog" farce pit bull breeders.
The Cape Fear APBT Club. More breeder lobbyists and pit bull breeders and lord knows what else.
CHAKO. Breeders. Pit bull breeders.
Maryland Dog Federation. Breeders. Actually lobbies against puppy mill and dog fighting laws.
NAIA. Run by an AKC puppy mill business person. NAIA is referred to by game dog/pit bull breeder sites as representing their interests.
The National American Pit Bull Terrier Association. Pit bulls breeders. Affiliated with UKC.
Spindletop. Associated with the UKC.
These are the business lobbyists that Best Friends got involved with, people who make money breeding and selling pit bulls, who spend money doing professional lobbying for the pit bull BUSINESS, who have some members who have been linked to dog fighting, who want to deceive about issues with pit bulls on behalf of their financial interests.
People who oppose anti-fighting laws, who oppose anti-chaining laws, who support all kinds of cruelty.
Again, is it any wonder that Best Friends HID THESE NAMES from their donors while Best Friends was sitting with these people and composing amicus briefs looking out for the interests of these pit bull business people?
Talk about disregard for public safety or other pets. Yes, but many of the people that Best Friends colluded with are enemies of pit bulls themselves!
| 11/04/2008 1:02 AM |
Russ Mead, General Counsel for Best Friends, also explicitly touts his anti-BLS lobbying efforts, despite the fact that Best Friends is a 501c3. Exactly when do the boundaries of lobbying efforts of 501c3 organizations stop?
"He and the Best Friends team successfully convinced Cedar City, Utah to vote down a proposed pit bull ban and adopt a model ordinance to help reduce numbers of aggressive dogs that end up in shelters. He also convinced the city attorney’s office in Coeur d’Alene, ID to avoid a pit bull ban."
| 11/04/2008 1:09 AM |
Flora Edwards, who Best Friends says contacted them and then worked with Russ Mead, is a DOG BREEDER LAWYER and PIT BULL BREEDER LAWYER.
Here are some of her affiliates and activities http://www.njfederationofdogclubs.org/Legislation/LegislationReport0803.htm.
Best Friends donors would be sickened at the thought of Best Friends working with people who have been opposed to dogs' interests in favor of FINANCIAL INTERESTS of the breeder business lobby.
Flora Edwards' clients oppose puppy mill laws, dog fighting laws, anti-chaining laws.
It was Paul Berry, Best Friends ceo, who gave the go ahead on working with Flora Edwards and her pit bull breeder clients.
Paul Berry, who came from New Orleans to BF and knows all about the pit bull breeder lobbying shenanigans.
There are reue "animal welfare people" who oppose bsl for their own bizarre reasons.
But this whole thing was Best Friends teaming up with the PIT BULL INDUSTRY, including groups with members who have had ties to dog fighting.
This was just a whole different can of worms.
| 11/04/2008 1:12 AM |
Bad Rap got at least a couple of the dogs and some money.
Bad Rap, the folks who say that dog fighting equipment is just for "exercise" and scarred dogs aren't fighting dogs, they just get cut easily. Here's Bad Rap supporting Tia Torres http://badrap-blog.blogspot.com/2007/08/two-steps-forward-one-back.html
| 11/04/2008 1:20 AM |
CHAKO is definitely a questionable group. They've got their hands in all kinds of areas. They unsuccessfully sued the City of San Francisco after they passed a mandatory pit bull sterilization law. CHAKO based their lawsuit on the fact that Americans that fall under the Disabilities Act would be unfairly treated due to the sterilization law. It's unbelievable the lengths these folks will go to in order to keep "breeding" untouchable.
CHAKO is also one of only 4 links on Tom Garner's link page:
| 11/04/2008 1:23 AM |
Look how Russ Mead and Best FRiends described Flora Edwards, attorney that worked with them on the Vick Dogs amicus brief
"Edwards, who has four rescued American pit-bull terriers, wrote that she was “pleased to have played a role in giving a voice to the victims.” She said, “I am especially grateful to Russ Mead for the portions of the amicus brief which provided the court with insight as to the rehabilitation needs of the dogs and proud that we were all able to put our skills to work for a worthy cause.”
Best Friends COMPLETELY LEAVES OUT the fact that she is a lawyer for dog breeders and pit bull breeders.
She's not an unbiased owner of rescued pits. SHE HAS AN AFFILIATION WITH THE PIT BULL BREEDER BUSINESS LOBBY.
Her clients have a financial interest in propagandizing about pit bulls and promoting pit bulls FOR FINANCIAL GAIN. AS well as deceiving about aggression problems. Which often means that the pit bulls suffer at the expense of said financial gain.
So Russ Mead is working to oppose bsl with pit bull breeders and their groups. Hel;ping them. And indirectly helping pit bulls get abused.
That isn't "animal welfare." It is ANTI welfare.
| 11/04/2008 1:27 AM |
Best Friends working indirectly with Tom Garner to protect his interests. It is just psycho.
The question is, where is the source of the anti-animal welfare disease at Best Friends?
Is it Michael Mountain? Is it Paul Berry, a relatively recent arrival? Is it some attorney?
And why? Is it solely a lust for money, that then gets stuffed in the bank and not spent on animals? Or is there something else going on?
| 11/04/2008 1:47 AM |
Financial gain is typically the best motivator. But I think what you are getting at is the "disease." There appears to be a diseased relationship between BF and groups that have an alternate motive -- a motive that does not stand for true animal welfare causes. My guess is attorneys are the main string pullers. Most of the significant pit bull advocates are lawyers. This makes Jere Alexander a statistic, not unique.
| 11/04/2008 2:18 AM |
Nathan Winograd, the Best Friends affiliated No Kill promoter, colluding with PetPaC, the hard core professional puppy mill and breeder lobbying group
These people support some of the worst acts of animal cruelty known to man.
There's Nathan Winograd working right with them.
And Best Friends claims to be fighting against puppy mills and animal abuse?
| 11/05/2008 2:43 PM |
Winograd and his Best Friends buddies are trying to force their garbage on Austin Texas.
Winograd does 1 of his No Kill consultations and then gets Best Friends people jobs in Animal control. That's his operating procedure.
The breeders and breeder groups in Austin (including pit bull breeders) are pushing for Winograd/Best Friends to take over animal control and do what the breeders want them to do.
Which they have proven they are more than willing to do.
| 11/07/2008 5:55 PM |
What is up with this?
Best Friends is promoting this now
and here's how this started http://www.animalsense.com/about-press-2008-07-26.php
A newspaper columnist Steve Dale who is promoting the AKC in this article, who got involved with this Cynthia Bathurst, and now Best Friends is supporting this
So is Steve Dale connected to the AKC? Seems kind of crazy when some newspaper columnist who doesn't even know that AKC is opposed to bsl to protect breeder profits gets involved with some woman to control public safety issues.
| 11/07/2008 6:07 PM |
More on them http://network.bestfriends.org/chicago/news/24229.html
I wonder if they are going to school children and teaching them that bsl is racist, and that dog fighters should be able to breed all the sweet pit bulls they want without stereotyping?
Maybe getting some school kids' lunch money to "rehabilitate" pit bulls, or make the tax payers send pit bulls to places like Best Friends with lots of tax money?
| 5/12/2009 11:48 PM |
If you are a convicted felon with a rottweiler -- call CHAKO!
I recently came across a forum, and you're not going to believe this. The "Open Question" was:
[user vodoo626] "I'm a convicted felon we have a Rottweiller P.O. said he must go or I move to a shelter, do I have rights?"
[Answer]"I think your P.O. is full of something, but it ain't intelligence. Off the top of my head, try CHAKO for some help/answers and lemme know how you make out."
| 8/11/2015 4:07 PM |
I recently contacted the Best Friends Animal Society legal department because I wanted to leave them a bequest in my will provided that, should I predecease my two dogs, they would take them in. The bequest was for $40,000.00. However, that just wasn't enough for them. They said they would take in the dogs if I paid $40K for EACH dog. But the legal rep tried to talk me into leaving money anyway, stating that I'd probably outlive my dogs and it wouldn't be an issue. Gee...ever hear of accidental death? Anyway, I just wanted to get it out there that BFAS is happy to take your money but could give a hoot about your beloved animals. It seems my bequest is just too insignificant for them to consider...a mere pittance in their eyes. What a greedy, uncaring bunch of people. I urge folks to do their research and find out the truth about this organization before they donate.