Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the aftermath of a massacre

Whoa. The internet is on fire today.

No one can capture what everyone's thinking, feeling, wanting to graffiti on every wall in sight quite like Luisa can in her Lassie Get Help blog. Worse than Vick

And don't miss YesBiscuit's entry today that outlines HSUS' reaction to those who are grieving the decision to destroy 145 Wilkesboro dogs without evaluation. Shame on us for caring about bust dogs rather than shelter dogs, btw. We need to leave the caring about bust victims up to the experts.

And who else saw this one coming? From HSUS statement:
"Those particular fighting dogs in Wilkes County, NC were very, very different than the Vick dogs.....Vick was not a good breeder, and he lost most of his fights. His dogs were a poor representation of true fighting dogs."
So clearly the Wilkesboro dogs were even LESS deserving of evaluation than the Vick dogs, who (we're told) did not deserve evaluations AT ALL. Yes, John Goodwin. Your actions and words are indeed doing irreparable damage to the soul of your organization, and to the good people who still work within it.

Thank you to everyone including Luisa for reminding us that without any fanfare, sissy-dog-fighting-wannabe-should-neva-have-been-evaluated-by -those-bleeding-heart-rescuers Hector officially became a therapy dog yesterday, reminding us once again that all this grief and head banging and stomachs turned in twisted knots is really (truly) worth it.

Good GOD! lookit that dog.


Anonymous said...

Such great news about Hector! Leave it to that smiling goofy guy to bring us some good news when we really needed it.

Unknown said...

I'm still trying to figure out how Mr. Goodwin is considered a "dog fighting expert." HSUS's website certainly doesn't give any background on that. One thing interesting though is Ann Chynoweth, Goodwin's boss and Director of HSUS's Animal FIghting Campaign used to work for PETA! That certainly explains a lot.

Anonymous said...

I am stunned that this still continues. I took all the sadness and anger and made a donation, emailed a friend in the news world, and even emailed Oprah. Use it people. Use it for something good.
ps. Music always helps.

Anonymous said...

I am incredibly grateful for the work HSUS did to shut down that fighting operation. That work is vital.

What's missing here is the important opportunity to change the message; to change the public's perceptions about these dogs.

Simply giving them individual evaluations would have told the public, these dogs, like ALL dogs deserve a chance. They deserve to be evaluated. That's all we're asking for here.

We've got to change the message. For dogs sake.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Pacelle on Vick's dogs:

"Officials from our organization have examined some of these dogs and, generally speaking, they are some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country," Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a telephone interview..."

Death for Vick's dogs urged
Humane Society chief recommends euthanizing
seized pit bulls

New York Times News Service
Published on: 08/01/07

What a shameful situation.

And you make a good point, Donna, because these actions have got be disheartening for the reasonable, level headed folks working/voluntering for the HSUS.

Alas, all of this from an organization that SHOULD BE HELPING to undo the difficulties associated with adopting out Pit bulls.

KathrynDale said...

Congrats, Hector! So proud of you!
I can't even comment on the rest..

BaltimoreGal said...

Here is what I wrote to the Humane Society's "contact us" section a little while ago:

"Please understand that I will never, never again give one red cent to the HSUS until they atone for their words and actions in North Carolina and the killing of 140+ dogs including 60 puppies. There are no words to define how sick and sad you have made me. I will never look at the Humane Society the same way again. Best Friends, Bad Rap, Recycled Love, BARCS, and B-More Dog (among the hundreds of responsible animal rescue groups) will get my support, and I will tell everyone I know what you have done."

Anonymous said...

How tragic, and how stupid. These dogs been examples to the world that dogs are individuals, not just breeds, or labels.

On a happy note, our shelter staff was just talking about how in our shelter pitbulls are now being adopted out as often as any other breed, and no "thugs" are adopting them either. It's just a testament that education is the key to successful adoptions.

Gosh, I really wish that this incident could have been an education for the rest of the world...

Anonymous said...

I've long defended HSUS to pit bull people. "Oh they'll come around" "The success of the Vick dogs is a game-changer, I'm sure they've learned their lesson."
I am DONE. No more defending. They are wrong wrong wrong on this and we can't let up till they change their policy.

I participated in an HSUS event last Thursday - the CA Humane Lobby Day. Now not a week later they are largely responsible for killing dogs who look a whole lot like my rescued pits (yeah Goodwin, I care about shelter dogs that's why I adopted two from death row, what have you done for them??). So in addition to feeling sick and horrified, I feel betrayed. To add insult to injury, I got my invite to the Genesis awards yesterday. Here's some of the nominees:
Dogtown - Saving the Michael Vick Dog Dogs
The Ellen DeGeneres Show - mutiple shows (including the one Georgia and John Garcia were on?)
Sports Illustrated - The Good News Out of Bad Newz Kennels by Jim Gorant

WTF. This doesn't make sense. We need someone who wins a Genesis award to get up there and speak the truth about this. It seems like HSUS thinks we'll all just forget their policy till next time and that no one will call them out or else why would they risk even nominating such pro-pittie, pro-bust dog rehabiliation media?

Donna said...

Hey anon. It's thrilling to hear that Vick dog stories wove their way into the Genesis Award nominees!

To answer your question, I imagine the judges are independent of HSUS and are not bound by the org's policies or ideals when they make their selections.

Thank you for bringing this good news! It's another reminder that the Vick dogs and their lessons are bigger than life.

Anonymous said...

Wait...did the HSUS finally release a statement? They told me they'd email it to me immediately--yesterday morning. I'm shocked (not really) that they haven't been in touch with me.

Kirsten said...

Firstly, congrats to adorable Hector and family. Woo hoo!!!

OK, now... I am sooo disgusted with the HSUS. No need to add to--I'll just echo-- the sentiments expressed by Luisa, Donna, and co.; everyone who has reflected on this situation so eloquently.

My shelter is hosting a dinner for the visiting VP of the HSUS next month. I face a moral quandary. Do I:

a) seize the opportunity to politely touch on this debate (despite the fact many higher ranking employees seem uncomfortable when I put down my poo scoop and voice an opinion)

b) boycott

I'm leaning toward b.

One voice counts said...

Oh, Hector. You da bomb. You one handsome guy and so happy. Makes me smile. Congrats on being a therapy dog. Wow. So people people going to be so happy to meet you.

Kirsten said...

P.S. This is bothering me: Goodwin and Pacelle claim these dogs were off the charts aggressive and therefore totally unsalvageable. Really, for real this time... (Now, after all the backlash).

If that was truly the case, they would've welcomed outside assessments, to back their claim, and shoulder some of the controversy.

I thought animal welfare was about giving voice to the voiceless. Shame on these cowardly a-holes for trying to pin their awful decision on the dogs.

Leila said...

Major Props to Hector on his Therapy Certification. Wow! We need the good news after the heart shattering tidings from North Carolina.

I do not understand groups that purport to stand for the humane and ethical treatment of animals and stand for animal rights that advocate wholesale slaughter because of their prejudices. I've never been a fan of PETA, for my own personal reasons, but the HSUS is a HUGE disappointment. Until their policies and actions change I can not support them in any way.

I wonder if they realize how much they, the national organization, hurt the local humane societies that actually work hard to help the pit bulls in their shelter population.

This just makes me work a little harder to find a way for the pit bulls in my area to have better lives.

Anonymous said...

From HSUS press release on the Feb 10 puppymill bust in NC...utter BULL PUCKEY.

"The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at"

Boris said...

My ol' high school coach used to counsel us:

- One day to be happy,
- One day to be sad,
- Next day get back to work.

Who would have thought, a life lesson.

- Hector, we're happy today for your accomplishmnent

- Tim, yesterday we were sad for all those forced to take the rescue from love'em to leave'em.

- Crew -- tomorrow begins our rededication.

'where the mountains begin' proves that a long, uphil battle remains.

Taking that analogy to it's limits, we face an opponent which gives 'no quarter'.

Where once the HSUS attacks against dog fighting where considered noble, there is no longer justification for these kills by 'friendly fire'.

There is a whole new meaning to reporting abuse.

In each town and each home pibble families must become part of the 'overwatch'.

On guard or 'En guard',
Boris' OEL

Jen Mo said...

Congrats Hector!!!

I emailed my disgust to HSUS. As a long-time supported, I let them know that due to their actions I will NEVER support them again in any way until they change.

I hope everyone else takes a chance to let HSUS know how you feel.

Anonymous said...

HSUS disgusts me. They haven't gotten one red cent out of me since before Hurricane Katrina. Here again they show their true colors.

Congrats to Hector and Andrew for their accomplishment. They truly make it worth it.

Hitchiking Dogs said...


That is if people start to wake up and see PETA & HSUS for what they truly are!

PETA does not believe that animals should be kept as pets, and frequently euthanizes dogs. When the anti-animal agenda says negative things about PETA, this is one time they are actually right. Yes, they've made some strides in thier boycotts, but I still wont forgive them for not aiming for a no-kill nation!

I believe HSUS recieves the most money of any animal organization, yet operates no shelters (as many people are falsely led to believe). They claimed to have helped Katrina dogs and did nothing for them, but certainly got a lot of donations that were earmarked for that & spent elsewhere... Too bad the actual rescuers didnt get that money!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful news Hector!!! You are such a star and a true Ambassadog for your breed!

I haven't been able to blog until now my friends as I've been lost in a cloud of sadness since I learned of the fate of all the dogs in North Carolina. I too held out hope, like so many that the HSUS would come around, just a matter of time. I think all are glad to see the creeps brought to justice who fight dogs and are grateful for their perserverance in doing so. But where is the "Humane" when you don't allow the animals you are supposed to be helping have a fair evaluation? I have telephoned each of the agencies in North Carolina yesterday to ad my voice to the protest in memory of the dogs. And I reminded them respectfully that this story will not fade away. I telephoned and wrote People Magazine yesterday. As it was the exact day, one year ago that the Vick story with Badrap hit their publication with that wonderful picture of Donna and Tim and the dogs that help to educate a nation. I was sure People would love to look into the North Carolina story only a year later. I have also telephoned and written to CNN as well. Let us keep up the good fight...You're so right, Boris, we must get back to work and keep moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I have donated in the past to the HSUS. Yesterday I sent them an email demanding they both remove my name from their database AND insisting they remove the term "humane" from their name. The outrage I feel at the MURDER of these animals, especially puppies who were being fostered and with organizations such as yourself begging for a chance to evaluate these dogs, is beyond belief.

Thoughts said...

I am in shock right now that the HSUS did this. I thought they were a HUMANE SOCIETY, HUMANE being the key word here. I feel totally bewildered and betrayed by them and intend to write a very strongly worded letter about this decision. this is bullshit.

But YAY for Hector.

Anonymous said...

To Wayne Pacelle:

NEVER AGAIN will I donate to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) based on your complicity in the euthanasia of 146fight bust dogs SIXTY of which were puppies in Wilkes county, NC. How dare you refer to yourselves as humane when this action makes Michael Vick look so irrelevant. Remove me immediately from your database and mailing list...this is an outrage.

Bethany said...

I received an email just now from HSUS in response to a comment I left on the CEO's blog. It was long but there was one section that confused me because it conflicted with what I had read about the case elsewhere.
"It is now an HSUS policy to recommend an evaluation of all fighting dogs. In this case, The HSUS offered to pay for an additional professional evaluator to assess the dogs, even though we were skeptical that these dogs could be safely rehabilitated. The county did not take us up on that offer. Without an affirmative professional evaluation to indicate that the dogs could be safely placed in a new setting, we could not recommend adoption"

Is this a new policy that got overlooked in the media? They also noted that they "may not endorse every action of the county" also possibly indicated it was more the county's push than theirs.

Does anyone have any information on this? It doesn't seem in line with their script on not adopting out fighting dogs who seem calm. Is it just really new and they haven't fixed that page yet?

NB--I am not arguing here, I think the destruction was awful and I called and later cried and hugged my dog-like cat being grateful that he was with me and not in the situation of those poor animals. I'm just trying to figure out information.

Anonymous said...

Donna& Tim, My letter to John Goodwin (cc to the HSUS Director) went out today. I know it will do no good now but expressing my outrage allowed me to calm down a bit. Hid in my office today, didn't want to deal with the public after reading this last night. My advice to all the Badrapers is to do an internet search on John Goodwin. If half the stuff I read today is true he is a true piece of #^&$. His history appears to be as murky as some of the career criminals I deal with on a daily basis. Thanks for posting the good news on Hector, I needed it.


Anonymous said...

I got the same blah blah blah 'response' from Pacelle. It went on and on and said little.