Sunday, November 15, 2009
New York, NY - It was recently reported that a pit bull, named Oreo, who had been thrown off a Brooklyn rooftop last summer, was euthanized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Once hailed as a "miracle dog" for surviving the fall, Oreo's aggression following the healing process proved to be unmanageable. Ed Sayres, the society's president and chief executive said, "Oreo's aggression is triggered by, basically, everything."
"Society officials said a major factor in their decision to put Oreo to death was that she was unpredictable -- so unpredictable that she even attacked her handler, someone she saw regularly. Oreo had to be kept in relative isolation for the safety of society employees and other dogs at the society's headquarters at 424 East 92nd Street, between First and York Avenues."The issue of Oreo and the ASPCA brings up a number of concerns that directly relate to our cause of preventing future violent pit bull attacks. We do not have a bone to pick with the ASPCA for euthanizing a very unstable and aggressive pit bull that attacked its handler and bit a fake hand during a behavioral test -- though the "No Kill" movement, headed by Nathan Winograd does1, despite the fact that the ASCPA put the dog through 59 training sessions, at nearly 45 minutes each.
We do have a bone to pick with the ASPCA regarding several other items, however.
#1. Pit Bulls in the Shelter Environment
In the ASPCA's PowerPoint presentation, "The Care of Pit Bulls in the Shelter Environment," several of the screens discuss the need for pit bulls to be stored in isolation from other dogs and shelter employees. Page 10 even recommends that a "panic button" be installed in rooms housing pit bulls. We remind readers that the ASPCA strongly opposes breed-specific laws, yet as demonstrated by their own safety guidelines, the group is very specific in the handling and housing of pit bulls.
#2. 49 "Were Immediately Adoptable" (?)
In the Times article about Oreo, Mr. Sayers makes a terribly inaccurate statement concerning Michael Vick's dogs. He said that the ASPCA evaluated the Vick dogs and that, 49 of the 50 "were immediately adoptable." As stated on the Best Friends website, of the 47 Vick dogs, 25 were classified as "sanctuary" dogs -- dogs too unstable to ever be adopt out -- by a U.S. federal court. As the president of the agency that evaluated the Vick dogs, how could Sayers make such a huge error?
"Of the 47 surviving dogs, 25 were classified as sanctuary dogs; Best Friends received 21 of those. (The 22nd dog that Best Friends received was assessed as being highly adoptable.)#3. "Rehabilitated" Fighting Dogs
The resulting stipend to Best Friends was $388,775. The other rescue groups, who took in four sanctuary dogs and 21 adoptable dogs, received $178,100.
The court paid the remaining $361,198 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which was responsible for the dogs during the legal proceedings. That amount includes the cost of transportation, care and feeding; $31,051 for the ASPCA's behavioral assessment; and $100,000 in hourly payments and travel expenses for Huss."
Following the announcement to euthanize Oreo, the ASPCA launched a Ready for Adoption "rehabilitated" fighting dog campaign. Perhaps the timing of the two was to appease "No Kill" forces and pit bull advocates, who criticized the euthanization of Oreo. The ASPCA made the correct choice in euthanizing Oreo, but that choice still forced them into a corner by zealous groups that wanted to "save" the dangerous pit bull by consigning it to a lifetime in isolation, which is less than humane.
DogsBite.org does not believe in the "rehabilitation" of fighting dogs -- pit bulls seized in dogfighting raids. They are too unstable and present substantial risk to the public and our pets (See: Explanation: The Policy of Not Adopting Out Fighting Dogs). Moreover, there are too many behaviorally sound dogs that are euthanized today because they cannot find homes. This reality, however, has not stopped the ASPCA from jumping onto the "rehabilitation" bandwagon led by Best Friends.
4. Unreliability of Temperament Testing
Lastly, we must also mention behavioral assessment (temperament testing) that is done by animal groups to determine if a shelter dog is a safe candidate for adoption. According to a study published by Applied Animal Behaviour Science in 2007, "Aggressive Behavior in Adopted Dogs that Passed a Temperament Test," a considerable number of dogs passing temperament tests exhibited aggressive tendencies in their new homes within 13 months of being adopted.
"Despite the limitations, this study strongly suggests that signiﬁcant numbers of dogs with certain types of aggression have the potential for escaping the notice of shelter workers even when employing a standardized temperament test and combining its results with shelter observation, histories, and strict euthanasia policies. The majority of dogs with aggression-associated behaviors were in the low aggression category (barking only); however, many of the dogs were in the moderate category (growling and/or lunging) and some did exhibit high levels of aggression (biting/snapping)."Dogs examined in the study were common shelter dogs -- not pit bulls seized in dogfighting raids that are likely products of multi-generational breeding for the purposes of dogfighting. (See: Dogfighting 'Godfather' Ed Faron Pleads Guilty to Felony Dogfighting to learn why Michael Vick's dogs did not meet this criteria.) Recent examples of rescued pit bull temperament testing disasters include: Kip Leggard, 5-year old Frankie Flora and an 8-month old infant.
07/12/09: Zupf: Interested in Pit Bull Adoption?
06/19/09: Pit Bull Attacks Owner 24 Hours After Adoption from Humane Group
05/30/09: Sports Columnist Michael Felger Blasts Pit Bull Owners and "Nutty Dog Crowd"
04/22/09: Wappingers Boy Suffers Life Altering Injures in Pit Bull Attack
02/18/09: Dogfighting 'Godfather' Ed Faron Pleads Guilty to Felony Dogfighting
02/06/09: Babysitter's Pit Bull Attacks Infant in Newport News; Critical Condition
02/01/09: Nick Foley Approaches High School; Mother Denounces "Rehabilitating" Fighting Dogs
01/23/09: Best Friends Steps into the Ed Faron Dogfighting Bust to "Save" Unstable Dogs
01/15/09: Explanation: The Policy of Not Adopting Out Fighting Dogs
11/03/08: Flashback: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Refuses Care of Pit Bulls
06/02/08: ASPCA Pushing Pit Bull Adoption: Adopt-A-Bull Contest
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| 11/16/2009 9:08 AM |
"No Kill" is destroyed more than shelters now with the message of saving all the pits. Winograd has stated that the only criteria for adopting out a pit is that it is friendly. Winograd only has about 10,000 animals under his belt, not near enough to call himself an expert. He lied about his experience in San Francisco where he was shelter director for only one and a half weeks according to Ed Sayers who hired him. Then in Tompkins County he was there for about 3 years and they only handled about 3000 animals a year. I doubt he has enough experience with pits to even be able to know what one is. This movement has scared the shelters into adopting out animals they normally would not. The "No Kill" movement has the blood of those injuried or kill by pits on it's head.
HSUS and the ASPCA both are worried about donations and they are submitting to the "No Kill'ers". We have to stop this movement before it is too late.
| 11/16/2009 10:24 AM |
The Vick rescued dogs were not even fighters! Just breeders and bait dogs (at least according to VanKavage from Best Friends).
"Not all dogs involved in dogfighting are aggressive, said Ledy VanKavage, a lawyer for Best Friends Animal Society, which has 22 of Vick's most traumatized dogs its Utah sanctuary. Some are breeders, others, bait."
Lockwood comments in the article too (in reference to the huge multi-state bust):
"Animal behaviorist Randall Lockwood, who helped evaluate Vick's dogs, believes the operations busted this week produced more fighters than Vick. If true, that could mean fewer dogs can be saved, said Lockwood..."
| 11/16/2009 3:08 PM |
Can you imagine how much money they threw at that dog? Can you imagine how many friendly, adoptable (non-pit bull) dogs and cats could have been helped with those funds?
I'm actually really surprised they euthanized the dog - I would have expected them to adopt it out quietly to some half-baked "rescue". It must have been unfathomably aggressive for them to risk the raking over the coals they're getting from NoKill right now.
And temperament testing is a joke with pit bulls because they don't test within an environment which triggers their predatory response.
| 11/16/2009 3:29 PM |
My thoughts exactly -- Oreo must have been an extremely dangerous dog. What does a "behavior session" go for? Multiply that amount by 59 then add in the substantial medical costs and everything else? The ASPCA definitely threw some serious cash at this dog.
| 11/16/2009 6:05 PM |
Roger Caras would be rolling over in his grave at this one. He was quoted publically that he thought "No Kill" was a hoax that hurts our shelters. It takes away volunteers, etc.
It is wrong to invest so much money into one animal when so many others could benefit from that money. Many a good dog is euthanized because they aren't a "celebrity" dog. Dogs without that status don't bring in donations. Priorities are screwed these days and good, well behaved pets are paying the price with their lives.
| 11/17/2009 4:09 AM |
More radicalization of the rescue world here:
Fundamental question: Since Best Friends is funding this effort, are they on the liability hook when the maulings come?
| 11/17/2009 6:05 AM |
These celebrity Pits are a calculated fundraising tactic...These organizations know that the nutters are suckers for this kind of thing...Meanwhile they turn a blind eye at the 10,000
Pits euthanized annually in Maricopa County, AZ.....
It's the "Humane Smokescreen".
| 11/17/2009 11:41 PM |
Over and over again, pit bulls PASS temperament testing, then GO ON TO KILL or MAUL.
ASPCA spent an ungodly amount of money on a dog that was obviously aggressive from the beginning.
That means they DIDN'T save wonderful, loving pets with no problems, who got killed because they were blowing money on an aggressive pit bull.
| 11/17/2009 11:44 PM |
Those NO Kills wanted ASPCA to do what Best Friends does. Give Oreo to a psychopathic animal abuser and killer who claims to run a "rescue", while Best Friends lies to donors and claims that the pit bulls are in "loving homes."
Best Friends has done that to pit bulls on at least two occasions- given them to abusers who KILLED THEM and TORTURED THEM, and Best Friends falsely said these pit bulls were ok and "rehabilitated."
| 11/17/2009 11:51 PM |
There was a first person account of an interaction with Nathan Winograd while he ran animal control and claimed it was "no kill" in Tompkins County New York. It was online for several years.
This person stated as a witness that she was in the Tompkins County shelter when an Ithaca college student walked in with a pit bull that didn't have a hair left on its body- it was suffering from horrible mange and was in poor condition. Emaciated. Suffering.
Winograd was called from his office in back (where workers stated that he spent most of his time while there), came out, looked at the pit bull, and told the student "oh, we don't take dogs like that."
This abused, suffering animal was sent back out the door with the abuser to God knows what fate.
Probably abandoned on the streets and hit by a car.
Nathan Winograd was NOT taking pit bulls while he actually worked at a shelter!
He was refusing them, and they clearly WERE dying and getting killed in terrible ways.
| 11/17/2009 11:55 PM |
Best Friends, by the way, is going through bad times and downsizing.
They ended up with about 750 unplaceable, problem dogs at their "sanctuary" and couldn't hire enough people or pay for these dogs care, nor could they find homes for them, so they "got rid" of about 250(don't know how?) and are apparently getting rid of more.
And they are refusing to take dogs brought to them, even though they claim that open admission no kill works.
No kill isn't working even in low-population Utah!
| 11/18/2009 12:01 AM |
As for the Sacramento Bee article, be aware that Gina Spadafori, an AKC breeder and lobbyist who pretends to be a "journalist," used to work for that paper and has friends there who publish AKC propaganda for her.
She is feeding them the Best Friends/Winograd propaganda to promote because the breeders are pushing No Kill because it opposes laws for breeders and helps puppy mills, etc.
Spadafori is also a business associate of Christie Keith, another fake journalist AKC breeder lobbyist who works for the San Francisco Chronicle and uses her column to publish AKC propaganda, like pro No Kill propaganda and promoting Winograd /Best Friends because they support breeder abuse and crimes.
The Sacramento Bee is just publishing breeding industry lies to push breeding industry financial interests.
They are getting used like a tool.
| 11/18/2009 7:06 AM |
The breed stewardship of the pit bull community rarely produces anything but suffering. It has been about nothing but suffering for going on two centuries now!
I have no idea why they believe this is society's problem to solve....
Breed safer dogs in responsible numbers please!
| 11/19/2009 1:40 AM |
It always kills me how the Pit rescue community is so enamored with these celebrity pits while nearly 3000 non-celeb Pits are euthanized in this country everyday.
I finally agree with Karen Delise on something...There is a Pit Bull Paparazzi and they use these celeb Pits to bilk donations!
| 11/19/2009 9:01 AM |
Letter to the ASPCA:
"The nice-sounding but damaging “no-kill” movement exposes its lunacy by attacking an agency (the ASPCA) that took in an aggressive pit bull named Oreo from extreme abuse, paid to fix her two broken legs, and then, when she turns out to be far too dangerous and unpredictable around people, affords her a peaceful and dignified exit from the world that has miserably failed her (“Oreo is Dead,” Nov. 13).
Leading the critics is Camille Hankins, the Director of Win Animal Rights, who was convicted of cruelty to animals in 1995 when nearly 100 animals were found stuffed into a tiny, filthy trailer rented by Hankins. Many of the animals found there were dying from contagious illnesses and many were literally scratching themselves to death and had bloody, seeping wounds from severe untreated mange infestations. Two cats removed by police from Hankins during the service of a search and seizure warrant were treated successfully and lived at PETA’s headquarters for more than 10 years (you can read the details of the case here: http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/4612/NC/US/).
The only humane way to achieve a “no kill” nation is to create a “no birth” nation by mandating spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to stop the flow of unwanted litters into our nation’s shelters. We also need to penalize those who fail to act responsibly toward animals. In the meantime, those who make the toughest decisions, who have to euthanize animals for want of a proper home, and so carry out the hardest work of all, deserve respect and gratitude, not criticism. Learn more at helpinganimals.com."
Teresa Lynn Chagrin
Animal Care & Control Specialist
PETA|501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510
| 11/19/2009 2:52 PM |
Anon, that person that witnessed the lack of compassion from Winograd had her letter published in the Ithaca Journal about it. She was from San Dimas, CA and had just moved to Ithaca. It is no longer on line. She said that instead of Winograd trying to excuse or explain himself, he sent insulting emails to her about it. He is a vile man.
| 11/19/2009 5:35 PM |
Pets Alive has a long ugly history, and does not take pit bulls from their own state!
(This is the group that these No Kill fanatics and their Breeder allies claim were going to take this dangerous dog)
Pets Alive has no dangerous dog experience, no dangerous dog liability insurance, and little dog experience period!
It was run by a No Kill hoarder until not long ago when she thankfully died so the surviving animals could be saved.
Now run by inexperienced fanatics.
Best Friends has a history with them.
From Craven desires
| 11/19/2009 5:50 PM |
Rebecca Jean Huss - Faculty - Valparaiso University School of Law
Vick dogs- "$100,000 in hourly payments and travel expenses for Huss"
When she should have been at her university, earning her salary and doing her work at the school, she was MOONLIGHTING & CASHING IN on Michael Vick's money and pit bulls
There is money to be made in pit bulls, there is PROFIT to be made, and that is why these No Kill fanatics and their ilk are pursuing the pit bull "rehab" fantasy and pit bull "advocacy."
THIS IS A BUSINESS for these people, just like it is for the pit bull breeders and dog fighters, which is why these three groups have teamed up and are working and lobbying together.
| 11/19/2009 6:00 PM |
Camille Hankins has connections with Best Friends.
Great, Best Friends involved with another hoarder.
And Best Friends associate Nathan Winograd has some kind of connection to her as well.
This is all another Best Friends/Winograd/breeder fundraiser and attention getter, as well as an attack on a group (ASPCA) that opposes animal cruelty, cruelty which the No Killers/breeders support.
Best Friends is having financial problems because No Kill failure is bankrupting them. They want some of the donations that groups like ASPCA are getting, and by hook or by crook, they will try to get that money. They will smear other organizations to try to get their donations reduced, and money sent to Best Friends instead.
So who is on the board of Best Friends now that the founders are gone? Breeders?
| 11/25/2009 8:26 PM |
This is hysterical! Brenda Barnette -- the head of the Seattle Humane Society and queen of, "It's all in how you raise the wiggle butts" -- is tattle-taling on the bright orange shirt ASPCA fundraisers in the Seattle area!
"Officials of the Seattle Humane Society are warning residents that solicitors hired by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are approaching people on the streets and asking for money that they say will be used to help save the lives of animals in shelters."
I LOVE when the animal groups turn on each other, grrrrrOWL!
| 11/27/2009 11:25 PM |
The board of the Seattle Humane Society is to blame for hiring a NAIA type breeder to use their shelter to support animal cruelty and the dog breeding industry.
What kind of organization would hire ANYONE like this? She is on the far reaches of fanatical. She is bringing down the organization.
| 11/27/2009 11:28 PM |
Of course, the reason that Barnette, and the other AKC breeders and puppy millers that support Winograd No Kill, HATE the ASPCA is that the ASPCA is involved in puppy mill and breeder cruelty investigations!
Barnette and her AKC approve of the cruelty that makes the AKC money.
And they hate organizations that expose the cruelty of the breeding trade!
This is Barnette AGAIN lobbying for the dog breeder lobby and abusing her position at the Seattle Humane society.
| 2/11/2014 7:34 PM |
Here is a blog post which goes into detail the animal cruelty committed by Camille Hankins. She was charged and convicted of animal cruelty.