By Dr. Al Grossman
Reprinted with permission from The Canine Chronicle
The ringing sound of the old-fashioned cash register meant a sale had been made and that money was now in the till. Money, money the mothers milk of politics as described by Jesse Unruh, a former speaker of the California Assembly when running for election against Ronald Reagan.
Lets face it, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) through their very professional fundraising campaigns has raised millions of dollars through misleading advertising and an appeal to save the poor darling puppies, seals, etc. Would it surprise you to know that most of the money collected never finds its way to help anyone but the administrators of the fundraising companies and the top brass of HSUS. HSUS is listed near the very bottom of charitable organizations that deliver monies to the actual recipients in need.
It appears to me that the main thrust of HSUS at the present time is to work hand in glove with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to introduce legislation at the national, city, county, and state levels to destroy both the livestock industry and the breeding of purebred dogs and cats. According to a profile in a 2003 New Yorker magazine article Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA, by her own claims, wants to destroy all pets. She claims to be responsible for euthanizing thousands of pets brought to a shelter where she worked in Washington, D.C. She explained, I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day. They werent even given a chance to be adopted. She took them out because she felt she could give them what she felt they deserved. This is a woman now in a position to influence the lives of thousands of pets and who leads a horde of vengeance-minded, brainwashed, bleeding heart converts. She is interviewed on radio and television as though she is the avenging angel rather than a demented fraud.
If this were a nurse killing off her patients because she thought it was for their own good, she would be serving a life sentence for murder. The State of Virginia is so disgusted with Newkirk and her organization and their killing of dogs and cats that they have introduced legislation to declare PETA a slaughterhouse. Debra J. Saunders, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 23rd, 2005 tells us not to be fooled by the slick propaganda of PETA. The organization may claim to champion the welfare of animals, as the many photos of cute puppies and kittens on its website suggest.
But recently two PETA employees were charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty, each after authorities found them dumping the dead bodies of 18 animals they had just picked up from a North Carolina Animal Shelter into a dumpster. According to the Associated Press, 13 more dead animals were found in a van registered to PETA.
The rise of HSUS and PETA has coincided with the economic boom. It allowed them to collect obscene amounts of money thus fulfilling the fantasies of Newkirk and Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS.
Their thoughts might have been: If we can collect all this money, we must be on the right track, therefore we can do what we want.
The Center for Consumer Freedom, which represents the food industry, a frequent target of PETA campaigns, released data filed by PETA with the state of Virginia that shows PETA has killed more than 10,000 animals form 1998-2003. In 2003, PETA euthanized over 85% of the animals it took in, said a press release from the lobby, finding adoptive homes for just 14%. By comparison the Norfolk (VA) SPCA found adoptive homes for 73% of its animals and Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent.
Like other demagogies in our history like Father Coughlin, The Kingfish Huey Long in Louisiana, the John Birch Society, etc., they have had their day in the sun.
Their biggest asset is the need for government entities to generate monies to balance their budgets. HSUS/PETA present them with the opportunity to raise money from the backs of dog and cat owners by onerous legislation designed by HSUS to rid the nation of all pets and convert us to being vegetarians as well. Legislators seeing $$ signs go along with HSUS lobbyists and think that this action will get them re-elected. This is far from the truth. The legislator in California who introduced and promoted AB 1634 for passage was soundly defeated in his next election. The animal radical fanatics appeal to legislators is that they purport to be able to rally a large voting block. If they dont go along its implied that the voting block can be turned against them. However, a poll taken by the Los Angeles Times indicated that over 80% of the people polled were solidly against the thrust of the anti-dog/cat legislation, which mandated spaying and neutering their pets. These poll results have been replicated elsewhere. In May 2009 the American Veterinary Medical Association also came out against the mandatory spay/neuter programs promoted by HSUS/PETA insisting that if it were to be done it should be done by private owners at their request.
States and localities which earlier passed such severe anti-dog/cat legislation and which significantly raised the fees for owning such animals found that their costs for running the programs swelled far above the revenues produced and they were in the red. People rebelled by not licensing their dogs at the exorbitant fees spelled out in the legislation. Somehow word has not spread to the august bodies approving such legislation that their constituents are being downsized, laid off, or forced into bankruptcy by the current economy. Talk about squeezing blood from a turnip.
Adding insult to injury, the animal control officers have taken it upon themselves to use their newfound authority supposedly granted to them under legislation to harass and threaten people with seizure of their dogs or jail if they did not comply. Somehow either the legislative bodies or their agents are not aware of the United States Constitution which, under the Fourth Amendment, provides the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The fifth amendment reads in part nor shall any person be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Many of the raids upon unsuspecting owners and breeders seem to have HSUS members in attendance. They have no business directing the Animal Control officers in their duties. Many of the dogs seized are then sold with no recompense to the owner.
Increasingly the agricultural industry, hunting enthusiasts and the dog/cat breeders have fought back against the onslaught of PETA and HSUS. In many instances they have turned back legislation and, in some cases, competent counsel has been hired to fight such onerous legislation such as that passed by the city of Louisville. The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), a seventeen-year-old non-profit organization along with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the ASPCA and a host of other organizations has led the fight against the Animal Radicals.
HSUS and PETA are not friends to pet owners, breeders or pet businesses of any kind, nor to reptile or bird owners, hunters, fisherman, pet stores, pet retail sellers, ANYONE in the pet trade regardless of what you are selling. The HSUS would like to stop the pet trade in its entirety because the HSUS doesnt believe animals should be owned much less used as a food product according to Pet DefenseWordpress.com
An important consequence of the current recession is that people are no longer contributing to charities and the likes of HSUS/PETA at the rate they did prior to the downturn in the economy. We see report after report that the giving well has dried up. Even churches have suffered. These organizations now need to reevaluate their priorities. Can they afford to have as many lobbyists to help forward their legislative agendas? Can they afford to spend monies on costly solicitation campaigns that are bringing less and less money? Can they continue to afford costly newspaper ads in newspapers that have fewer subscribers and are in danger of going out of business themselves?
The Animal Radical stalwarts might also want to beware of what they wish for. The last times such activism won the day was when they banned alcohol consumption and the teaching of evolution. Those triumphs all turned out to be Pyrrhic. There are some successes that are simply not survivable. If by any combination of luck and coincidence HSUS/PETA succeeded in criminalizing the raising of dogs and cattle it would swiftly become the victim of backlash that would make it rue the day. This would apply with redoubled force to any imitative that would make the United States trade its hard-won scientific prowess in favor of animal radical fanatics.
Christopher Hitchens writing in the April 6th issue of Newsweek believes that this country is so constituted that no one group and certainly no one confessional group is able to dictate its own standards to the others. He states, sometimes he wishes they would get their own way, just so that they would find out what would happen to them.
HSUS/PETA are a danger to our way of life and a threat to the economic future of agriculture in this country. They are hell bent on eliminating raising dogs and cats for pets and want to convert all of us from meat eaters to vegetarians. Lord, I hate broccoli, spinach and carrots.
Dr. Grossman is a celebrated writer who has won numerous awards for his work. He judges all Sporting dogs and BIS. He is the author of seven books and a noted lecturer. Currently he is the CEO of winningsolutions.info, a web site devoted to mentoring novice and less successful breeders/exhibitors.