My initial impression of the new HSUS policy on bust dogs is positive BUT (everyone I know has a big BUT), it’s in my nature to ask questions. Lots of questions.
Dogs used for fighting have been bred for many generations to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals. The presence of these dogs in a community increases the risk of attacks not only on other animals but also on people. Children are especially at risk, because their small size may cause a fighting dog to perceive a child as another animal.
For me to believe that HSUS has done a 180 on their attitude toward bust dogs, I need to hear it from them in clear, unequivocal terms. That’s for starters.
2. I’m a detail person. I appreciate the summary provided but it lacks specifics. Maybe those specifics haven’t been developed yet, I don’t know. But I’d like to know all the details before making a judgment. I’d like to see the final draft, signed by the HSUS. I’m such a pain, I know.
3. I can guess with a certain amount of confidence that not everyone at HSUS believes in the new policy of evaluating bust dogs and adopting the approved ones out. Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler, who just testified to a judge in the Wilkes Co case that all bust dogs must die, clearly wouldn’t believe in the new policy. John Goodwin has an extensive record on advocating for death with regard to seized fight dogs. Obviously as the HSUS “Dogfighting Czar”, he would have to be 100% behind the new HSUS bust dog policy, right? Can the HSUS effectively implement the new policy with people like these working with law enforcement and testifying in court? It seems unlikely to me.
4. How soon can dogs start being saved? Is right now too soon or do we need to kill some more bust dogs while we update websites and circulate paperwork in triplicate? How about these 7 Pitbulls seized in a Hampton, VA dogfighting case? Or the 9 Pitbulls seized in Washington, GA? Then there are the 22 dogs seized in Blue Ridge, GA in connection with a recent conviction obtained after an investigation arose via the HSUS dogfighting tipline. And there are other seized dogs sitting in animal control facilities right now, waiting for help. Can we help them? Can we reach out to law enforcement and animal control involved with these cases and educate them on the value of individual evaluations and adoptions for suitable dogs? Is the HSUS prepared to walk the walk?
This is my speed dating version of being introduced to the new policy. No doubt I will have further (annoying) questions and thoughts over time. Similarly, time will tell us if this policy is for reals or just something to do in a Vegas hotel to justify a tax write-off.
UPDATE: BAD RAP posts their statement from the Vegas meeting.
Bringing up from the comments (thanks EmilyS) – Winograd updates his posts