Shame on ASPCA

You know who “Jerome” reminds me of?  That dog at the beginning of the ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan.  The difference being that the dog in the commercial is being used by ASPCA to say “give us more money so we can help dogs who look like this” and Jerome, well he’s just dead:

The head of an agency that took in $127,871,245 in one year alone, ignored pleas by the city’s pound to save Jerome, a seven month old dog originally adopted from the ASPCA itself and for which it was responsible. When the call went out to save the dog, some rescuers thought it was a joke, given that the dog’s microchip registered to the ASPCA and the ASPCA is the richest humane society in the nation. But it was no joke: the ASPCA refused to pick Jerome up from the pound. And the dog is now dead. To justify the killing, the city pound claimed the dog guarded his food, a condition which should never result in a dog being killed because the prognosis for rehabilitation is always good and the ASPCA has enough resources to make cost, which is negligible to begin with, nonetheless irrelevant.

So if I am moved by the sight of the dogs in the ASPCA commercial and give money to help more dogs just like them, how exactly will my money be used?  And perhaps just as important, how will it be denied?

12 thoughts on “Shame on ASPCA

  1. That particular ad elicits a remarkably strong gag reflex every time I hear it. Husband knows that when that ad comes on he’d better hit the mute button or change the channel tout de suite or scary things [think Regan MacNeil] will happen.

  2. Your comments are well-founded, except that the ASPCA
    is not the richest humane society in the nation. That
    dubious honor belongs to the Humane Society of the United
    States (HSUS). You can verify that on Charity Navigator
    or any other charitable organization ranking.

    1. Although that was not my comment, I am guessing there is possibly a distinction being made there between a “humane society” that actually shelters pets (ASPCA) and ones that do not (such as HSUS).

      1. ASPCA’s shelter is almost the least of its multiple
        activities, whereas HSUS does actually part with a
        few shekels to support shelters. As well, the
        overall mission of any humane society encompasses
        much more than just shelter work. I do not defend
        either ASPCA or HSUS, but I do support factual
        accuracy backing up any argument.

  3. Nice post.. and a very sad story.. I agree with you “resource guarding” is often the “cause of death” for many shelter dogs.. The Sternburg “plastic hand” instills fear in me every time I see it being used as I know if the dog reacts at all.. down they go..KILLED.. a 15 minute do or die is what happens.. and it is just not fair..
    The HSUS and ASPCA just “combined’ here in CA for a “lobby day” in Sacramento. What’s up with that?/ who knows..

  4. Although the bulk of my anger toward the alphabet soup of animal welfare is often directed at the HSUS, the ASPCA is really not much better in my book, at least in terms of the marketing and the money. I simply cannot tolerate the spots run on TV by either organization and I cannot reach for the remote quickly enough. What I’ve never quite understood is how it is that the solicitations are not considered fraud in some way. I refuse to support either group financially.

    And when people ask why the PSAs I develop aren’t more direct or more in your face, my question to them is this: do you respond positively to a spot that says “will I die today?” or a spot that purports to lament shelter killing by some unnamed ACO? I don’t. And I won’t subject anyone to that type of guiltfest. I’d like to think we can reach people in other ways by persuading them to do the right thing.

  5. To Alice and PAWS4Change–Between ASPCA and HSUS there isn’t much to choose from philosophically, but HSUS with
    its vast wealth is a far greater influence on law-making
    at the state level (where it most directly affects
    animal owners) than ASPCA or indeed any of the other
    humane organizations. Nearly every animal rightist
    bill introduced anywhere in the country bears the stamp
    of an HSUS template. It’s hardly a coincidence that
    such bills as mandatory spay/castrate, breed-specific
    bans, pet limit laws, or dangerous dog laws all read
    so similiarly even though local conditions vary widely
    from one state to another or even within the same

    ASPCA, though much older than HSUS, has nothing like that
    kind of influence, not even in New York, where ASPCA
    lives. The moral of all this is not to contribute to
    either ASPCA or HSUS and pay attention to various
    activities going on around the country designed to expose
    the political face of HSUS masking a naked emperor.

  6. Roberta, I almost called my site The Naked Emperor but figured the context would only be understood by some (same with Furry Starfish…) I know they aren’t in the same league in terms of influence and I genuinely hope that in time, ordinary citizens come to know what Mr. Pacelle is all about and how they have been bamboozled. I lump the ASPCA in the same category because most people really think that donating to them influences the lives of shelter animals or helps to bring about positive change in our society. That belief is so deeply ingrained in the minds of most people that when you try to persuade them otherwise it really is very much like whispering in their ears, “you do know he’s naked, right?,” only to have them look shocked and hurt that you say such nasty things about such a great organization.

    I only donate to boots on the ground nonprofits and rescues. And you will never find a link to the other alphabet soup members on my site.

    1. Yes, Paws4Change, donate to what you know…the shelter
      in your own town that you can visit and perhaps even
      work at as a volunteer or your own breed’s rescue
      group or some other rescue/foster group in your

  7. Don’t worry I am fully cognizant of the HSUS and the ASPCA.. I just thought it “odd” that the two were “tag teaming” in SAC.. I will watch to see where that goes…do i smell a merger??

  8. Someone should tell Sarah McLachlan about the real ASPCA…the sob’s who murder healthy animals…she would be furious.

  9. Ok this is a good reason HSUS is great. But yknow big charity organizations are always untrustable(if that’s a word) so just donate to ur local shelter to be safe. Donating to small organizations will make a huge impact.

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