No Kill Movement: Savior or Scam?
Recent events in the past few weeks are bringing a focus on the No Kill movement. The No Kill movement is a movement that declares there is no pet overpopulation problem, there are plenty of homes. That gives way to saying that animal shelters make the decision to kill because it is the easy way, it is their agenda. This philosophy also can be interpreted as the need to breed more to meet the demand since there are plenty of homes.
Shelters report that 20-60% of their canine population can be purebreds, dogs deliberately bred. Yet, No Kill does not recognize the role of the breeding community in solving the problem with an overpopulation because No Kill does not acknowledge there is an overpopulation. Along with this movement, an underground economy has developed from scams and schemes associated with those who subscribe to No Kill.No Kill recommends that pets be sent to sanctuaries/hospices that are old or disabled in some way. The underlying concept being that we can save them all. That is a noble gesture but how does it translate in reality. It means that unadoptable dogs are living while adoptable dogs die for lack of space. Those sanctuaries also are for the aggressive dogs, dogs that have attacked, including killing of another life. There have been several serious maulings of pits adopted out by No Kill rescues as well in their quest to save them all. http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2012/08/spindletop-what-happens-next.html
One of those No Kill sanctuaries, Spindletop, made the news this past month. Many things have come out about this sanctuary as a result and more will be coming to light. Many No Kill followers had pulled pits and other dogs from shelters and placed them at this sanctuary. It came highly recommended by those involved in the No Kill movement. Almost three hundred dogs, mostly pit bulls and the gripping dogs, were housed in horrible conditions. One facebook page claimed the rescuer left her dog only days before the intervention of law enforcement and this rescuer claims none of it existed at the time of her visit. The conditions did exist then. In many instances, No Kill followers have neglected bad conditions or reputations in order to "dump" their shelter pulls. Rescues were giving a convicted hoarder, Cindy Bemis, animals right up to the time when she was raided. Facebook pages are full of reports of dogs being pulled from shelters and ending up across country with either hoarders, dog fighters, or abusers. Many times these dogs were sent to those already convicted of animal cruelty.
Spindletop was run by a person with direct connections to the breeding industry and bred pit bulls herself. Leah Purcell was visiting with her boyfriend who was in jail at the time, when there was a major fire that killed several animals. Tia Torres is also known for her husband being a three strikes convict. Craig Malisow of the Houston Press uncovered many aspects of Spindletop in his article. What stands out the most is the money aspect. http://www.houstonpress.com/2012-08-16/news/spindletop-dog-refuge/
Caboodle Ranch in Florida was a national treasure. It was raided this year. But not before garnering accolades from No Kill. The Colbert Report even featured Grant's facility in 2011, highlighting the tiny cat town Grant built for his residents, complete with a city hall, school, WalMart, and cat-run guardhouse. This article paints a different picture all together. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/caboodle-ranchs-700-sick-_n_1316573.html Despite the ranch's tagline "Where cats aren't treated like animals" and the tiny town built for the cats, authorities found inhumane conditions and very sick cats on the property. Craig Grant, who opened Caboodle in 2007, was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and scheme to defraud.
Another sanctuary also fell when Randy Travis of Fox 5 news in Atlanta under covered their scam of taking money from owners to house their pets and then euthanizing those pets claiming instead they had been adopted. Boggs Mountain Humane Society in Georgia is currently being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and by IRS. The director of that facility had a background of being charged with animal cruelty at one point. http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/19108447/investigation-into-lucky-dog-program-continues
Finally, there's this: the woman who was hired to run a shelter that boasted its no-kill policy once faced an animal cruelty charge herself. Twelve years ago, Kilby admitted shooting someone's hunting dog that had come onto her property. She was arrested, but a Rabun County grand jury decided not to prosecute. Plus the director of this No Kill sanctuary had a past record of bad checks. http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/19108447/investigation-into-lucky-dog-program-continues
The FOX 5 I-Team has discovered evidence that suspended director Kilby struggled with money problems. According to court files, local merchants and the county tax office sued and filed criminal charges against her multiple times for writing bad checks -- debts totaling more than $11,000.
This past Monday, another No Kill follower was sentence to 10 years in prison for mistreating animals in her No Kill rescue and stealing money donated for their care. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/woman-who-stole-money-mistreated-158-dogs-sanctuar/nRF38/
Perhaps the most shocking of all is how No Kil protects other No Kill followers. Pets Alive!, a major rescue group, walked away from this situation without reporting it to authorities. They left suffering animals without hope. http://workingtohelpanimalstodaytomorrow.blogspot.com/2010/11/pets-alive-pets-liar.html Another case where it was noted by authorities and they are currently looking for those who walked away without taking action to alert authorities. http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_c_palm_beach_county/lake_worth/linda-davis-save-a-dog-save-a-cat-animal-shelter-founder-accused-of-animal-hoarding#ixzz23sMVa39e Animal care and control workers are also looking for the unidentified people who allegedly went into the home and took out animals over the weekend and didn't report the deplorable conditions to authorities.
TRANSPORTS: SAVING LIVES OR TAKING LIVES?
Many scams revolving around No Kill are the transport scams. This is particularly true in California where shelters are overcrowded and it is being taken advantage of by rescues pulling pets to be shipped to other areas of the country. Now at first glance, this may seem to be a good idea and saving lives. However, one has to look at those areas receiving these imported pets. Are they still having to euthanize in their shelters for time and space? The answer is yes. Then why would you import more animals while you are having to euthanize shelter animals? These transported pets are taking homes from the local shelter pets. And those involved in receiving these transported pets need to be questioned as to why they aren't saving their local pets first. Could it be they are barred from their local shelters? Could it be that they are withholding their life saving services in order to force the issue of adopting No Kill upon their shelters while receiving enough product to keep themselves in business in the meantime? There is no regulation of these transports like there is for other animal transports such as livestock. The State of Connecticut passed legislation in 2011 directed at these transports. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/ENVdata/Tmy/2011HB-05368-R000223-CVMA,%20Eva%20Ceranowicz,%20DVM-TMY.PDF
Since there is no regulation of these transports, are shelter animals going to labs or even to be eaten in Canada? http://www.opposingviews.com/i/l-a-shelter-dogs-transported-to-canada-rescue-or-ruse Are dogs being stolen for these transports? http://www.opposingviews.com/i/l-a-shelter-dogs-transported-to-canada-rescue-or-ruse There are bunchers too, those who collect to sell to labs. http://www.aalas.org/ (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) This outfit in rural North Carolina seems like the type to buy from unscrupulous transporters. http://www.peta.org/features/professional-laboratory-and-research-services.aspx
The problem is too many people on both ends of this rescue spectrum and sometimes the transporters in between are unreasonably profiting from this burgeoning enterprise and the animals are suffering. We have heard of cases where unscrupulous "rescues" sweet talk shelter managers into giving them dogs, comb Craig's lists in the South, pick up puppies for a song, cram them into filthy cages, haul them to New Jersey - a hot bed of faux rescue activity - and peddle them at the local shopping mall for hundreds of dollars.
CHIP INS: EASY MONEY?
A new way to raise donations now, with all exclaimed to be No Kill, is with the use of "chip in" donations. Donations aka chip ins are asked while animals are still in the shelter, not in the case of a non profit or rescue. An explanation isn't needed for this at all. You sit in front of a computer, search the shelters and post for a chip in to pull an animal from the shelter. Then you sit back and wait for the money to come into your Paypal account. http://alegalknot.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/face-crooks-on-face-book-is-this-what-rescue-has-become/ FACE CROOKS ON FACE BOOK, IS THIS WHAT RESCUE HAS BECOME? What once was a new and innovative way to save animals from a Shelter, a hoarder or an abusive situation has now become an open playground for those to do more harm than good to these helpless animals.
A case in Florida questions the use of these chip ins. No Kill Nation was asked to account for $100,000 in chip ins for the Everglades dogs rescue. The response was to file a lawsuit against those who asked for this accounting. No Kill Nation filed a lawsuit that put a well known and respected rescue group out of business after they had saved thousands of pets in Florida and Georgia. Why would No Kill Nation want to harm another rescue except that No Kill Nation is not a rescue itself. This past weekend saw pictures of the founder of No Kill Nation on her private jet flying to the No Kill conference in Washington DC. Read all about this intimidation by No Kill to cover up funds allotted to specifically the rescue of dogs from the Everglades. http://squirrelsnnuts.blogspot.com/
THE JEOPARDIZING OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
Colleen Lynn, pit attack victim and founder of www.DogsBite.ORG went before the Public Safety Committee in Austin, Texas to inform them that since declaring No Kill, the bite rate has increased 35%. Shortly after announcing her findings from her public records request, Ryan Clinton, founder of FixAustin, a No Kill group, attacked her on a personal level rather than present any findings to the contrary.
An excerpt from Mr. Clinton's response to the officials: Moreover, it must be noted that the author of the message forwarded below runs a solo but national campaign to ban all "pit bull" type dogs because she claims to have been involved in an incident with one in Seattle. Drawing the conclusion that all pittie-type dogs should be banned due to a single incident in Seattle makes as much sense as drawing the conclusion that all white 4-year-old boys should be banned because one bit another in a pre-school classroom in Austin. But that is the level of reasoning we
are dealing with. The author's analyses have been widely debunked throughout the country, and even her version of the Seattle incident has been called into question (whether a pittie-type dog was even involved has been questioned) (http://bit.ly/otSwJq).
Ms. Lynn responded: In response to Mr. Clinton's personal attack upon me and my organization: DogsBite.org is hardly a "solo" campaign. In addition to our Board of Directors and volunteers, we frequently consult with legal and medical experts and animal behaviorists. The 2,000 page website has examples of a variety of different types of dangerous dog laws (over 250 different ordinances). On a daily basis, when in discussions with media members, dog bite victims, attorneys and more, we recommend the San Francisco model. You can learn more about my organization at our Guidestar.org page.
Data from DogsBite.org has hardly been "debunked" as Mr. Clinton claims. A significant portion of our fatal dog attack data was cited in an April 2011 peer-reviewed medical journal by San Antonio University Doctors. More recently, an amicus brief we filed in a landmark appeals case on behalf of a young mauling victim, helped move the highest court in Maryland to modify state common law. The Court also found the counter brief filed by an animal welfare group "unpersuasive."
Mr. Clinton, however, did not stop there. Once again, I am accused of falsifying my own violent dog attack, just as many other victims in minor and serious dog attacks are. I invite council members to read my four year anniversary blog post about my attack, which will make perfectly clear why there was not a website advocating on behalf of dog bite victims before DogsBite.org -- the harassment factor is too high.
Mr. Clinton failed to address the facts Ms. Lynn presented on the increase in bites with any credible records such as the ones Ms. Lynn had. Ignoring such findings jeopardizes the safety of a community. Earlier the Postal Service admitted to an increase in their dog bites. http://www.kvue.com/news/Austins-US-Postal-Workers-Warn-the-Public-about-growing-number-of-dog-bites-154289685.html Health also being an issue in that Austin does not license dogs or cats. Licensing is responsible for canine rabies being almost non existent now. However, the cases of feline rabies is on the rise. No Kill is against licensing even though canine licensing has worked to reduce the risk of contracting rabies. No Kill supports trap, neuter, and release of feral cats even though feline rabies is rising. An 8 year old girl in Northern California contracted rabies on the school grounds from a feral cat. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/given-2-chance-live-8-year-old-survives-rabies
Austin claims to be No Kill. Is it a coincidence that bites increased with the advent of the adoption of that program? Or could it be that Austin Pets Alive! chose to accept a contract with San Antonio to bring in an additional 4000 animals to Austin, that contract included a hefty amount of money. Austin is now adopting out animals for free or buy one get one sales. With little regards as to the consequences for either public safety or the animals, San Antonio Pets Alive! has just been accused of mistreatment of kittens and this was done with the funding from No Kill sources. http://ksat.preview.ib-prod.com/pns/servlet/page/view/pns-ant/news/defenders/-/478436/15705952/-/e7kg1yz/-/index.html
No Kill El Paso presents a good example of how No Kill does adoptions. http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/news/abused-puppy-left-dead/nPYz8/#cmComments ABUSED PUPPY LEFT TO DIE
No Kill El Paso has been constantly trying to find the family who originally adopted and abandoned socks, but the address listed on their adoption forms doesn't match and no one is answering the phone or returning emails.
As previously mentioned, No Kill rescues are adopting out pit bulls that end up attacking. No Kill proclaims that pit bulls get a "bad rap". Pits and pit types are killing people at the rate of one every 20 days, this is not a bad rap, this is reality. Also mentioned above are the groups of doctors calling for regulation of pits in order to reduce severe maulings and fatalities. No Kill is against this type of regulation that can save lives of not only people but our beloved pets. This stance is adding to the growing numbers of maulings and fatalities because people do buy into the myth that pit bulls are nanny dogs. This allows No Kill to push pit bulls on those ill equipped to deal with this breed.
NOT A NEW PROBLEM, READERS DIGEST ARTICLE.
No Kill is nothing new, it has been around for awhile. The term "no kill" was originally a marketing term to distinguish between those private shelters who could pick their guests and the public open door shelters that took any and all. The line has been blurred along the way with distinct movements. An article in Readers Digest in 2000 shows the same problems that abound today. What is new are the schemes and scams that are now being apparent.
A Fate Worse Than Death: Are 'No-Kill' Shelters Truly Humane? Reader's Digest Probe Uncovers 'Horror Shows,' Hypocrisy
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Pam Strange thought a visit to the local animal shelter last year would awaken her 4-H group to the plight of homeless animals. She was completely unprepared for what the kids would see.
Dogs limping around with mange and open sores. Others gasping for air or dragging broken legs, struggling to fight off vicious packs in the large communal pen. "I might as well have taken them to a horror show," says the West Monroe, La., woman.
The Ouachita Humane Society is a "no-kill" shelter, part of a growing movement that claims to offer a caring alternative to euthanasia. But a six-month investigation by Reader's Digest magazine reveals atrocious conditions at some of these facilities -- even as many no-kill advocates hypocritically denounce traditional shelters as killers and butchers.
Ultimately, the blame begins with pet owners. Until they act more responsibly -- including spaying or neutering their dogs and cats to keep the population in check -- our shelters will continue to be overwhelmed. And as Reader's Digest reports in its July 2000 issue, the no-kill cause will continue to be a seductive fantasy.
These are only a handful of examples of the failure of No Kill. Failures mean suffering for animals. No Kill campaigns against those organizations who are in the forefront of stopping animal cruelty. One has to ask what is the true agenda of a movement that allows for these situations to exist and then fights those who stop those situations of cruelty. Prior to the advent of No Kill, intake numbers in the shelters were falling because of the efforts of spay/neuter. Now the intake numbers are crawling back up because spay/neuter is no longer the focus because of No Kill. We are falling back, not gaining, with the No Kill effort. It's time to come back to the reality, the reality that there is a pet overpopulation problem and will be until people alter their pets as a common practice.