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Does No Kill Support Cruel Puppy Mill Businesses?

"Atop some of the kennels were spinal columns with ribs and rotting portions of the carcass still attached".

The gruesome description of desperate dogs trying to escape their horrible conditions at a cruel puppy mill should make most of us jump for joy at the news that these dogs had been rescued. This week the Edgefield County, South Carolina, Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) conducted a raid at a puppy mill. Nearly 300 animals were seized. The ground was littered with bones and ashes containing bones. Water bowls were green. The house also contained dogs and had only a path leading through it. Feces covered what floor could be seen. The owner has been arrested and charged.

But does this mean that all in the humane community are happy to see these dogs taken from these conditions? Not hardly. A well known blog for the No Kill Equation movement, Yesbiscuit, speaks a differently. Instead of applauding the HSUS for helping the Sheriff to undertake this tremendous task, this blog condemns HSUS. Confusing? Yes it is. Let's see if we can clear up that confusion.

The No Kill movement does have a history with Rick Berman of the Center for Consumer Freedom. For those unfamiliar with the CCF, it represents many industries, including agribusiness aka commercial/puppy mills. The CCF is a front group for corporations that do not want their fingerprints on their counterattacks against public interest organizations, and it has distinguished itself for scattershot reprisals toward Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Public Health Association, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PeTA, and, of course, the HSUS.

Yet, Nathan Winograd, founder of the No Kill Equation movement, granted an interview to what could only be considered as the number one enemy of the humane community, Rick Berman of the CCF. The CCF went further to do press releases for Winograd's books. Recently on a facebook page, Winograd denied that he knew Berman or had talked with him. Supposedly this interview was conducted in writing. A comparable interview would be Jesse Jackson sitting across from the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan talking about civil rights.

The Edgefield County bust has solicited an interesting insight via the Yesbiscuit blog. The blog condemns HSUS by repeating figures from the offshoot of the CCF, HumaneWatch. No credit given to HSUS for the money being spent to help these dogs or sending staff in to help with the raid. A raid of this kind overwhelms most law enforcement agencies no matter how large they might be. This well read No Kill blog did not applaud anyone for taking these dogs out of cruel conditions and in fact, stated that the law doesn't prohibit breeding instead.

Nathan Winograd appears to have even more connections with the world of puppy mills. During his tenure in Tompkins County, New York, according to an article by Diana LaMattina of the Ithaca Journal in April 2004, just shortly before Mr. Winograd suddenly left Tompkins, local humane officers were alarmed at the rising increase of abuse cases. Another discovery was that Mr. Winograd had failed to discharge his duty to stop an inhumane breeding facility according to the New York Department of Agriculture. Mr. Winograd had been aware of this miserable puppy mill for quite some time in Groton, but responded that "he planned to reduce the population gradually". Gradually means leaving some to horrible conditions, disease, death while he looks for space in an overcrowded SPCA.  An Ithaca Journal op ed at the time stated that Winograd and the SPCA dropped the ball on the abusive kennel by failing to follow through with appropriate action.

Breeders seem to be attracted to the No Kill Equation movement. Brenda Barnette of Los Angeles City Animal Services was an AKC legislative representative prior to taking her position with LA. Bett Sundermeyer of No Kill Houston comes from a family of breeders. Christie Keith who writes for No Kill has her connections with breeding. Gina Spadafori is another No Kill writer with close associations to breeding and often campaigns against those who raid puppy mills. No Kill stands with the breeding industry against mandatory spay/neuter as well as being against licensing of pets, household limits, and several issues that No Kill and breeders have in common. Most of the time, No Kill seminars are sponsored by the breeding community. No Kill has also spawned many scams such as Spindletop recently where the owner was a known pit bull breeder.

The No Kill movement criticizes the only organizations who don't drop the ball on abusive commercial kennels. The No Kill movement has not once raided an abusive breeding kennel. One has to question a movement who has contributed nothing to stopping the cruelty of commercial puppy mills and condemns those who do stop the cruelty. To put it in the logic of No Kill, if you aren't for No Kill, then you must be for killing. If you aren't behind those who do stop the cruelty of commercial puppy mills, then you must be for the continued cruelty of these breeders.


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