If you are one of the millions of Americans who watch the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) heart wrenching TV commercials and send them money, I am sure they love you. The more gullible and uninformed you are the better they like you. Collectively, the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals take in roughly $300 million per year. These are powerful organizations run by influential people. In a poll, 88% said they would not have donated to the ASPCA if they had known about the CEO’s nearly $500,000 a year salary. A commenter on the poll put it best, in my opinion: “If you do the math, Say donors donate $20.00 a month each. It would take 25,000 total donor months @ $20.00 a month to pay this salary.. Is this where you thought your money was going when you were donating?”
The ASPCA is fighting hard, but are they fighting for the best interest of the animals? Whether they’re promoting animal-killing legislation, as they have successfully in the past, or labeling No Kill advocates “extremists” and “terrorists” as they have done and advising directors of high kill shelters how to fight off the No Kill barbarians at their gates who’d like them to kill fewer animals. More and more people in the internet age are looking beyond ASPCA’s weepy late night commercials and doing some fact checking.
The ASPCA was bragging about their role “saving” 41 animals from a South Carolina shelter by providing transport for them. They didn’t mention they transported them to kill shelters. One of the shelters is Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley, Minnesota. In 2009, the shelter took in 33,144 animals and killed 10,855. So the ASPCA seeks the glory and the PR for saving these animals from a South Carolina shelter – by sending them to failing kill shelters that are killing a third of intake or more. If these destinations can’t put the programs in place to adopt out the intake they already have, why are they taking in dogs from outside their communities? Will they simply kill the intake once the ASPCA drives away – or will they kill dogs they already have to make space for the new arrivals?
There are certainly No Kill shelters out there that DO have programs in place to adopt out their animals, that DO NOT kill animals for space or any other reason, and that may have had the capacity to assist the ASPCA and ensure that no animals would be killed while they sought their glory. They COULD have even taken the dogs to their own facility in New York City, where they operate a small private shelter so that they can say that they do.
The ASPCA has crossed the line into utter worthlessness. They send animals to be killed. They kill animals themselves. And they support high kill shelter directors and help them resist No Kill in their communities, as they did in Austin when they supported the shelter director who said that widespread killing was the only way. When that director was fired, No Kill activists, programs, and a committed director took that shelter to a 90%+ save rate. No Kill activists have at this point created approximately 30 No Kill open admission community shelters in North America – and typically on shoestring budgets. The ASPCA has not created a single one.
How are animals killed? A shelter in Davidson County, North Carolina, for example, has a history of killing kittens and puppies using a gas chamber in violation of state law. It has a history of killing elderly and sick animals by gassing, which is also illegal. And, according to an eyewitness, shelter employees put a raccoon in the gas chamber with a mother cat and her kitten in order to sadistically watch them fight before they died, laughing while they watched. A contractor who was working at the shelter told the County Board, “The gas chamber has two windows, one on either side. The raccoon and the adult cat started fighting. Then they turned the gas on. The adult cat got in one corner and the raccoon got in the other, and as soon as they turned on the gas, the kitten started shaking and going into convulsions.”
With almost nine out of 10 animals put to death, animal lovers call the Davidson County shelter a “disgrace,” “disgusting,” “horrific,” and “savage.” The Humane Society of the United States, however, gave the shelter its highest award for North Carolina, calling it “a shelter we love.” Not to be outdone, the ASPCA once named a shelter which killed seven out of 10 animals the best shelter in America. And PETA frequently comes to the defense of shelters that kill, even those with a history of neglect and abuse. They even kill animals themselves–29,426 in one 11 year period–including those they promised to find homes for and which PETA employees described as “healthy,” “perfect” and “adorable.”
In Memphis, Tennessee, dogs are starved to death in the shelter. In DeKalb County, Georgia, animal control officers step on cats while killing them, breaking their bones. In Chesterfield, South Carolina, shelter employees use dogs for target practice, taking turns trying to shoot them in the head. In the New York City pound, animals go without food and water, languish in filth, and receive no pain relief for chronic injuries. In Los Angeles, California, a rabbit was left in her cage for approximately one week with her spine exposed. Also discovered in the cage were a dead rabbit, his decomposing body covered with flies, and another rabbit with an eye popping out of his socket. None of the rabbits had food or water. You have Google and can find plenty of examples.
Did you think America was a civilized country? Are you taken in by slick ASPCA commercials? I already know you are taken in by slick Political Campaign Ads. That is how we became a reprobate nation. What will it take to make you pay attention? Is there anything that can make you get involved, to look beneath the surface? Is there any way you will stop supporting this. Will you spread the word, stop the donations to KILL shelters and start supporting your local No Kill shelter or worthy group trying to make your community No Kill? The more Americans hinge their donations on an organization’s sincerity, integrity and performance rather than its superficial label, the sooner our nation’s so called animal protection groups will be forced — by sheer necessity — to start building, rather than blocking, the road to a brighter future for America’s animals.