Browsing "Shelter & Rescue"
Apr 19, 2018 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Open Letter To the Editor (Retail Rescue Exposé)

The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) applauds the Washington Post exposé by Kim Kavin (April 11, 2018) detailing the corrupt practices of rescues and shelters buying dogs at auction from the same breeders they disparage as puppy mills, then transporting them cross-country where they market these same dogs as “rescues.”

Sadly, these deceitful practices are hallmarks of today’s so-called “humane movement,” which at best is well-intentioned but reckless, and at worst, shows an inhumane and potentially lethal combination of misanthropy and greed.

The push by BIG HUMANE (large, wealthy animal rights groups and shelters), to promote rescue dogs as the humane alternative to pet stores and other sources of dogs is a strategic and cynical campaign to eliminate marketplace competitors. While the majority of pet stores are regulated by local and state law, rescues and shelters operate largely without regulation or government oversight.

If the dishonesty, hypocrisy and the inherent conflicts of interest present in this movement aren’t enough to alarm the public, the risks to both people and pets should be. The health and safety threats posed by the unregulated pet rescue marketplace have continued unabated for far too long and have already had dire consequences.

It is our hope that Kavin’s article in The Washington Post, will help foster a more informed dog-buying public and more rigorous scrutiny of the “rescue relocation” movement and BIG HUMANE from local, state and federal policymakers.

NAIA strongly supports responsible pet rescue and community-based programs focusing on education, sensible regulations, and enforcement as a proven means of solving problems related to surplus dogs and dog retention. We believe responsible rescuers have played the key role in solving pet overpopulation in many regions of the United States; they serve as both inspirations and models for the tireless work they have done — and continue to do.


For more information on this and other important animal welfare issues, please contact NAIA:

Phone: (503) 761-8962
Email: naia@naiaonline.org

NAIA believes that to animal welfare issues should be humanely and intelligently solved at the source whenever possible, not exploited for economic or political agendas.

 

Mar 16, 2018 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Adopting Out Dangerous Dogs: Common Sense Shouldn’t Be Uncommon

A $750 fine, and barred from adopting or importing dogs into Virginia for two years. Is that penalty enough for adopting out a dog with a known bite history that ended up killing a 90 year-old woman?

Records showed that before coming to Virginia Beach, Blue had been surrendered to a New York City shelter for biting a child. The records also showed that Forever Home had adopted Blue out to another Virginia Beach woman before the fatal attack, but she returned the dog after he bit her.

The rescue group didn’t report the bite as the law requires. Colvin’s daughter, Linda Patterson, said she also was not told of the dog’s bite history. She filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Forever Home in August and is seeking $5 million in damages.

When a tragic story like this comes out, it is easy to get caught up in arguments over interpretations of no-kill philosophy, the limits of rehabilitation, or attacking individual breeds of dog.

When we circle our philosophical and ethical wagons, it is easy to forget that there are very simple ways of reducing the occurrences of horrible incidents like these. For starters: keeping better and more open records and reporting a dog’s prior history to the public. So often, when a serious bite occurs after an adoption, it is uncovered after that the fact that the dog has a history of aggression. The last time a dog bites and injures somebody is usually not the first time it has shown aggression, and this is something people (typically previous rescues or owners) are all too often aware of. All adopters, public or private, have a responsibility to keep dangerous dogs from being adopted to the public.

This is an issue NAIA has been on top of for awhile. We have spoken out on this issue and supported sensible legislation that would require adopters to disclose bite histories. Our lives will never be entirely free from risk, but when risk can be reduced simply through behaving responsibly and sharing information, there is no good excuse not to.

Below are a few previous articles on this issue our president, Patti Strand has written or been quoted in:

Patti Strand: More regulations needed for animal shelters and rescues

Massive, unregulated networks move dogs into Virginia to save them from death. Some worry it’s putting people at risk

NAIA supports Virginia SB 571 (disclosure of bite history)

 

Jan 11, 2018 - Shelter & Rescue    2 Comments

Veterinarian Speaks Out About Dangerous Adoption Practices

After speaking out over conditions at the Muskingum County Dog Warden & Adoption Center with county commissioners, Dr. Brian Williams is hopeful that positive changes will occur.

At the core of the veterinarian’s frustration is the issue of adopting out dogs that are known to be aggressive:

“It was supposed to be my decision if an animal was adopted,” Williams said. “The warden continues to adopt dogs out after I have flagged them as bite dogs,” he continued.

Some of these dogs were adopted and returned more than once because they proved to be aggressive, according to Williams.

“One dog was brought into my clinic by the owner to be euthanized. It had already been returned by two previous owners and she didn’t want it to be adopted a fourth time knowing how aggressive it was.”

This carelessness is obviously an immediate risk to public safety (there are, unfortunately, numerous examples to choose from), but as a trend, it also threatens the mission of rescue as a whole. Adopting out aggressive dogs because one desires to be more “humane” or to increase live release rates accomplishes neither goal. As family members, including pets, are harmed, word inevitably gets out, and every incident that occurs tarnishes the reputation of rescue among prospective adopters. And when people opt out of adoption because they are concerned about dogs with dangerous behavioral issues, it harms rescues’ goal of finding homes for all healthy, adoptable pets. We hope Dr. Williams’ concerns are taken seriously and addressed.

 

 

Run For Research Awareness!

Run For Research Awareness!

Registration is now OPEN to anyone, anywhere! Visit the link below to sign-up for the Homes for Animal Heroes Virtual 5K and become a Fundraiser as a Team Captain, join an existing team, or make a donation!

Homes for Animal Heroes Virtual 5k

5k

Virtually every treatment, cure, vaccine, diagnostic and surgical procedure available today has been made possible through research involving animals. If you have ever taken cold or allergy medicine, used an asthma inhaler, had an x-ray, been treated for cancer, received insulin, taken antibiotics (just to name a few), YOU have directly benefited from research involving animals.

Homes for Animal Heroes (HAH) is a national network that works with the research community to rehome former research dogs into their forever homes, and share the TRUTH about biomedical research! We need your support in order to expand the HAH network and rehome animal heroes in every US state!

Click here to JOIN the RACE to Rehome Animal Heroes & Raise Awareness for Research!

Also: don’t forget to visit the Homes for Animal Heroes website and to like the Homes for Animal Heroes Facebook page!

Sep 19, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Risks of unfettered dog importation recognized by Canadian veterinarians

Just a quick shout-out here for the veterinarians and other experts in Canada who are speaking out on the risks associated with willy-nilly dog importation.

What is so important here are the factors involved:

  • Risks have been outlined (exotic illnesses and parasites that can affect dogs, humans, and other animals– e.g. Brucella canis and Leishmaniasis)
  • Realistic solutions have been targeted (you can’t stop all dogs from moving between different countries and regions, so what is the “low hanging fruit” that can be plucked and reduce the risks?)
  • These goals are cooperative in nature (veterinarians, border security, rescues, and breeders who ship animals are all being called on to do their part)

 

And also a big “YES!” to Bragg Creek veterinarian Judith Samson-French, who speaks to the importance of promoting local rescue, while solving foreign problems at the source:

“We are actually enabling a problem elsewhere because people need to learn to spay and neuter their dogs and how to help the overpopulation of dogs,” the veterinarian said.

“If we always take care of the problem from the outside, it never brings a solution from the inside… [We should] lend resources, in terms of knowledge and financial help, to do that.”

Of course, solving issues like this is much harder than outlining a good plan, but recognizing a serious issue and taking a firm stand is an excellent start!

 

naia25Years

Jul 7, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Responsible Rescue, Responsible Breeders: We All Want the Same Thing!

Many rescues and humane societies are struggling with the same set of issues that dog breeders were 20-30 years ago, as well as the same quandary: what is the best way to confront bad players and practices in an open and honest manner, and to solve the problems they have created while keeping those examples from defining the group as a whole?

On one hand, this task is easier than the one facing breeders, as there are no movements, organizations, or ideologies hell-bent on destroying rescues or shelters. But on the other hand, the task is more difficult due to the age we are living in. Headlines of “Shocking!” “Inhumane!” and/or “Scandalous!” behavior tied to organizations that are supposed to be helping animals are the very definition of clickbait: easy to sensationalize, subject matter that people have a strong emotional investment in, and an example of supposed moral authority figures behaving dishonestly or hypocritically. And on top of that, there is a large — or at least highly vocal — contingent within the rescue and sheltering community that views any form of criticism as an attack that needs to be deflected or quashed, rather than discussed.

So is it complicated and difficult task? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that rescues and humane societies are remaining silent about the way some dogs are being moved and placed today — irresponsibly, without oversight, and inhumanely — and we applaud the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA for speaking out in recent months, and thank them for using NAIA as a resource:

Excellent, and much appreciated commentary. And this really brings home the larger truth: that we are all after a culture where animals are treated humanely and responsibility, where you can’t simply change your name or label in order to market yourself and/or avoid oversight.

naia25Years

Feb 9, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Colorado Holding Rescue Transports Accountable

Colorado showing leadership.

With tens of thousands of dogs being imported into Colorado by rescues each year — and a corresponding increase in diseases and illnesses — a well-known rescue transporter has been asked by the Department of Agriculture’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act to get a pet handler’s’ license. This is something that adds a layer of basic accountability and humane/health requirements, such as allowing transported dogs out of their crates for a walk every six hours (anybody who sells, transfers, adopts, breeds, boards, trains or grooms, shelters or rescues may need to be licensed, though there has been no pressing need to enforce it until recently). As of today, instead of getting a pet handler’s license, they simply aren’t importing dogs into Colorado anymore. This is a very telling response.

At NAIA, we strongly urge people who are looking to get a rescue dog to choose from their own community (or AKC parent club rescue networks) whenever possible, and we believe regulations that protect public health and the humane treatment of animals should apply to everybody.

Furthermore, we also believe that issues of surplus dogs and owner retention can only be effectively solved when dealt with at the source; transport is, at best, akin to bailing water from a sinking boat, at worst a cynical marketing scheme that perpetuates tragic conditions and outcomes for dogs.

 

No matter your stated intentions, everybody needs to be accountable for the health and humane treatments of the animals in their care.

No matter the stated intentions, everybody must be accountable for the health and humane treatments of the animals in their care.

 

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Feb 3, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    11 Comments

Western PA Humane Society Director Placed on Leave for *gasp* Buying a Dog from a Breeder

The director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society has been placed on paid leave for allegedly purchasing a Collie from a breeder. Activists took to the Internet to call the director a “disgrace” and “hypocritical.”

According to humane society boarder member Anthony Pardo:

“She’s been put on paid administrative leave pending what’s going on. Allegations are allegations and we don’t know what’s true. We thought it best to get her out of the limelight while we try to figure out what’s happened and formulate a proper response on behalf of the board and the humane society.”

It is both telling and troubling when merely buying a dog from a breeder can be an “allegation” that requires a “proper response.” A dog lover should never be punished for valuing and choosing the traits a specific breed has to offer.

 

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits... the horror!

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits… the horror!

 

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Jan 29, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Tragic Conditions in North Carolina Shelter

In an alarming story out of North Carolina, dozens of dead animals were found at The Haven animal shelter, a no-kill shelter which has been riddled with health violations and adopted out sick dogs. This is a facility that has had issues for years, including several months of complaints leading up to it being shut down. The tragic conditions these animals were kept in reinforces the need for faster investigation and enforcement (when necessary) in order to protect animals and the public at large, and to prevent situations like these from spiraling out of control.

 

BodiesFoundAtShelter

Dec 22, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Rabid Egyptian Dog Imported by Rescue Group Had Falsified Vaccination Records

The CDC released a report on a rabid Egyptian street dog imported into the United States by a rescue group.

The dog suffering from the disease had to be euthanized, and 18 people underwent rabies postexposure prophylaxis, which is bad news by itself. But what really stands out if you read the full report are three things:

  • Only 3 of the 8 imported dog had certificates indicating proper rabies vaccination guidelines had been met.
  • The CDC was not informed about these dogs until after they had already entered the United States and left the port of entry.
  • Even if the CDC had been notified, the rabid dog most likely still would have been admitted, because its vaccination records were falsified (rescue workers admitted this after the dog’s rabies diagnosis).

 

This is unacceptable to us, and it should be to you, too. NAIA remains committed to solving this issue, and we will focus our resources on it in 2016.

This it is a problem that shouldn’t exist: if one is committed to rescuing dogs, why look halfway around the world, when there are local dogs in need?

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