I think Best Friends Animal Society is talking about Oreo’s Law here but calling it “Kellner/Duane” (“Oreo’s Law” is referenced in the first sentence). I’m not sure where they are coming up with the name “Kellner/Duane”. I follow Micah Kellner (sponsor of the bill) on Twitter and he calls it Oreo’s Law. At any rate, assuming I’m correct that they are talking about Oreo’s Law, I found many parts of the statement curious. For example:
The Hayden Bill in California is often cited as a shining example of shelter access legislation, but it does nothing to address these kinds of situations and they are more prevalent in California than proponents of the bill are either aware of or willing to admit. In the last 2 years alone Best Friends has been asked to intervene in 267 hoarding situations affecting over 19,000 animals. Of those, 49 have been in California, 7 more incidents than the next three states combined.
First off, CA is huge. They gots lots more of most things than other states. Color me unimpressed with the numbers magic there. Secondly, is BFAS saying that there have been 49 hoarding cases in CA in the last 2 years that were a direct result of the Hayden Act? If yes, please provide some documentation and names so we can all learn. If not, why mention the cases at all? Animal hoarders exist. We know. It sucks. But if these 49 cases are not situations where the hoarders got their animals by utilizing the Hayden Act, it’s extremely misleading to cite those cases here.
Read the entire statement and see if it seems clear to you. I remain somewhat puzzled.
I also recommend reading a personal take on the situation with BFAS and Oreo’s Law from a former BFAS employee on John Sibley’s blog. I am strongly in favor of Oreo’s Law (I wish it could be a federal law to be honest) and John speaks for me, and I suspect many others here:
I love Best Friends, and I am one of many. We want to see you succeed, and we want you to regain the moral compass that you once displayed so clearly. We, I, remain hopeful. I may be disappointed, but I still love Best Friends. We need you to step up right now and do the right thing. We need you to show the moral clarity that you started this journey with. We need your help.
It seems like Best Friends has done right by the animals in the past which is perhaps why their statements on Oreo’s Law seem confusing to me. Is there something more to the story – a bigger picture I’m missing? What do you think?
39 thoughts on “Best Friends Animal Society and Oreo’s Law”
We have hoarders galore in my state. One was recently arrested and they found a freezer full of a combo of animals and frozen food. She is clearly mentally ill but that’s just one example. I have never heard that hoarding situations in California are a result of Hayden’s Law and I, too, would like to know the supposed correlation.
I read John’s post and also Matt’s blog entry. I came near tears reading both because I was nodding my head and saying to myself, “yes, that’s it exactly.” My hope is that someone is listening. I know people who have vowed to never again donate a dime to Best Friends. As for me, I’m waiting – and hoping – that some good will come of this and that by the Fall, we hear some voices united in support of new legislation.
I reserve my ire toward large animal welfare organizations for the HSUS and the ASPCA. I know we won’t always agree on everything but I see this as a tipping point for all of the key players involved and I hope a few months from now, we can all look back at some lessons learned from some very serious soul searching.
If Best Friends has an opinion about the Hayden Act, great, share it. But when you don’t provide MEANINGFUL evidence, don’t pass your opinion off as fact.
That said, I get their concerns. They didn’t like where the bill was going, and the authors refused to accommodate their desires. That they then took a neutral stance is unsurprising – lots of animal welfare/rights orgs do this on legislation, even controversial ones. I don’t begrudge them that at all, to be honest. I’ve worked enough on legislation to understand completely from where they are coming.
I certainly hope the bill is passed and that safeguards are put in place to address the concerns brought up. But I don’t believe, and I don’t think there is evidence supporting them, Best Friends is right about the Hayden Act.
I fear the truth behind Best Friends’ decision to remain “neutral” comes down to power, politics and money… Not the real issues of justice, compassion and saving the lives of helpless animals.
Oreo should not have died and Oreo deserves better than the mess that would result from the passage of Oreo’s Law, as currently drafted. In order to save animal lives effectively and efficiently, Oreo’s Law needs an almost complete rewrite. I’m rather pleased it was tabled and hope that all can come back to the table to help fix this law.
Many of us opposed this law, not because we dislike its concept but because we dislike the law as drafted. Poorly drafted laws do not help animals but the fervor attached to this proposed law made it impossible to have rational discussions of the needed changes so it failed altogether and that’s better than the alternative of yet another bad law on the books.
Those who want to honor Oreo’s memory need to set their emotions on neutral and actually look at the draft of the law and see all the potential of what WILL go wrong if it isn’t rewritten and then help to rewrite it so it appropriately honors Oreo.
I’m no fan of ASCPA but, like HSUS and PETA, they might have a valid point from time to time and I’m inclined to look at the facts and choose a position rather than have a knee-jerk reaction and be opposed just because I don’t care for the source. Personally, I think ASPCA is just plain evil but it appears, for now, that BFAS either considers ASPCA a part of the rescue community OR a necessary part of getting Oreo’s Law passed so they seem to be calling for better treatment of ASPCA. I suspect that Oreo’s Law couldn’t be passed in NY without the support of ASPCA but, if it could, it still needs fixed and ASPCA has some valid points about its defects. Maybe it would help to look at the criticisms of Oreo’s Law while ignoring the source and remembering that everyone involved at least professes to care about animals so the devil is just the details on this one…
“We want the infighting to stop now… the humane movement needs to be humane.” I don’t know anything about BFAS but I can certainly get behind this simple concept. I dropped out of mainstream animal rescue a few decades ago precisely because of the inhumanity towards other humans and the perpetual infighting.
How many lives can we save with the time, money, and energy spent on infighting? Or just the time, money, and energy spent listening to the infighting? Let’s find out, shall we?
Please give as many examples as you can (one, at least?) of what you believe is poorly written language in the law that will result in such a “mess” if passed.
Since you asked and since I already did this little Q&A in one of my email groups…
OK, here goes…
Only 501(c)(3) could remove the animal. Here’s the rest of the requirements/restrictions. (And who’s going to be checking on any of this? The releasing agency will end up with that burden. Alternately, the receiving agency will have to certify to it. Either way there will have to be complete background checks run on every person who participates in the rescue operation. Did I mention it vitiates the presumption of innocence so there’s a BONUS to other rescuers making an accusation to get someone charged.)
20 E. (1) ANY ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION HAVING AN OFFICER,
21 BOARD MEMBER, STAFF MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF A
22 STATUTE HAVING AS ITS PRIMARY EFFECT THE PREVENTION OR PUNISHMENT OF
23 ANIMAL NEGLECT OR ANIMAL CRUELTY OR DOG FIGHTING SHALL BE PROHIBITED
24 FROM BEING AN ADOPTIVE ORGANIZATION UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS SUBDIVISION
25 UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THAT OFFICER, BOARD MEMBER, STAFF MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER
26 IS NO LONGER AN OFFICER OR BOARD MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION.
27 (2) ANY ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION HAVING AN OFFICER,
28 BOARD MEMBER, STAFF MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER AGAINST WHOM CHARGES OF VIOLAT-
29 ING THE PROVISIONS OF A STATUTE HAVING AS ITS PRIMARY EFFECT THE
30 PREVENTION OR PUNISHMENT OF ANIMAL NEGLECT OR ANIMAL CRUELTY OR DOG
31 FIGHTING ARE PENDING IN A COURT OF LAW SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM BEING AN
32 ADOPTIVE ORGANIZATION UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS SUBDIVISION UNTIL SUCH
33 TIME AS THAT OFFICER, BOARD MEMBER, STAFF MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER IS NO
34 LONGER AN OFFICER OR BOARD MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION OR SUCH CHARGES
35 ARE DISMISSED OR DROPPED.
It increases costs and vitiates the presumption of innocence for anyone in rescue along with essentially mandating background checks on every volunteer. Now that’s enough for me but there are several other problems.
Looks to me like the vast majority of animals that might be euthanized will have to go through extensive medical testing. That’s going to drive up costs.
21 RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION MAY, AT ITS OPTION, FILE ONE NOTICE WITH
22 A SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, HUMANE SOCIETY,
23 POUND OR SHELTER REQUESTING THAT IT BE NOTIFIED OF ALL ANIMALS HELD BY
24 THAT FACILITY AND SCHEDULED FOR EUTHANASIA.
OK, so rescues get to file a single global notice of willingness to take any animal that is scheduled. 4,000 from across the country could send them to ASPCA (or any other rescue they decide to gang up on) because it applies to any pound or humane society or shelter (and most governments are now requiring rescues to sign SOME kind of contract):
6 CONTRARY, NO ANIMAL IN THE CARE OR CUSTODY OF A DULY INCORPORATED SOCIE-
7 TY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, A DULY INCORPORATED HUMANE
1 SOCIETY, OR A POUND OR SHELTER MAINTAINED BY OR UNDER CONTRACT OR AGREE-
2 MENT WITH THE STATE OR ANY COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE, OR AUTHORIZED
3 AGENTS THEREOF, SHALL BE DESTROYED IF, PRIOR TO THE KILLING OF THAT
25 (2) AT LEAST ONE BUSINESS DAY PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED EUTHANASIA OF AN
26 ANIMAL, THE FACILITY HAVING POSSESSION OF THE ANIMAL SHALL PROVIDE
27 NOTICE TO THE ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION OF THE SCHEDULED
28 EUTHANASIA BY:
29 (A) POSTING OF THE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER OF SUCH ANIMAL ON THE WEBSITE
30 OF THE FACILITY HAVING POSSESSION OF THE ANIMAL BY DIRECT LINK FROM THE
31 FACILITY’S WEBSITE HOME PAGE; AND
32 (B) BY CONTACTING THE ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION DIRECTLY
33 BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS:
34 (I) E-MAIL TO THE E-MAIL ADDRESS ON FILE;
35 (II) PHONE TO THE PHONE NUMBER ON FILE;
36 (III) TEXT MESSAGE TO THE PHONE NUMBER ON FILE;
37 (IV) FAX TO THE FAX NUMBER ON FILE; OR
38 (V) ANY OTHER MEANS OF ELECTRONIC WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AS PROVIDED BY
39 THE ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION ORGANIZATION.
The releasing agency must post to a website (which means they have to get one if they don’t currently have one) and they also have to notify each of those 4,000 requesters by whatever method the rescuer specified. That means the releasing agency also has to have all of those capacities (aka more costs). (All this crud is going to apply to some smaller groups right off the bat and they’ll expand it to cover all rescuers eventually. Just look at the Dallas ordinances.)
And the BIG elephant in the room is that it doesn’t address what to do with an animal that 2 or more rescue groups demand to take possession of. So, now everyone gets to pay for lawyers and courts (unless you think the various rescues would work it out amongst themselves without someone getting pissy)…
52 C. UPON TAKING POSSESSION OF AN ANIMAL, AN ANIMAL RESCUE OR ADOPTION
53 ORGANIZATION SHALL ASSUME ALL LIABILITY FOR THE ANIMAL; PROVIDED THAT
54 THE ORGANIZATION SHALL NOT BE DEEMED RESPONSIBLE FOR HARM CAUSED TO THE
55 ANIMAL THAT:
1 (1) OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE TIME THE ORGANIZATION ASSUMED POSSESSION OF
2 THE ANIMAL; OR
3 (2) IS DUE TO THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF A PERSON NOT ASSOCIATED WITH
4 THE ORGANIZATION;
If they take the animal but aren’t responsible for existing harm already caused to the animal, who is responsible??? The releasing agency?
11 FACILITY HAVING POSSESSION OF THE ANIMAL, AT ITS DISCRETION, MAY ASSESS
12 A FEE, NOT TO EXCEED THE STANDARD ADOPTION FEE, FOR ANIMALS RELEASED
This law will drive up rescue costs so that standard fee is going up. That’s bad for all the animals in a facility and will likely increase the number slated for euthanasia.
I take ZERO pleasure from agreeing with the ASPCA on ANYTHING. But this law needs a complete rewrite before the legislature even looks at it.
And don’t forget that whatever gets passed will become the “model” for everyone else (and we don’t need any more defective laws that need cleaned up until we clean up the existing defective laws).
BTW, that’s not all of the defects but it should give you a few examples of the mess to come.
TY for the specifics however I couldn’t disagree with your interpretation more. None of these represents an undue burden to the killing shelter in comparison to saving the life of a pet IMO. The days of killing “anonymous” pets in secret behind closed doors are over – or they would be, if Oreo’s Law was passed in every state in this country. This law is what I want – accountability from those killing millions of pets in this country every year. Making them jump through a few transparency hoops is the least we can do for these doomed shelter pets IMO.
“I couldn’t disagree with your interpretation more”
Oh, I knew that and it’s rather the point. That there CAN be a difference of opinion in interpreting the law means it is poorly drafted. Well drafted laws aren’t so easily subject to differing interpretations.
I had to respond to PJ and his concerns. I’d like to take them one at a time.
1. Only 501(c)(3) could remove the animal. Here’s the rest of the requirements/restrictions.
This is NOT in the Hayden law. It was put in to appease the ASPCA via Best Friends.
Look…you can’t have it both ways. You can’t complain that the law will cause a huge increase in hoarding (it won’t), have animals go to dogfighters (won’t happen and didn’t happen in CA), and then complain that it’s going to cost money to put in place the safeguards that were demanded.
2. Looks to me like the vast majority of animals that might be euthanized will have to go through extensive medical testing.
Not sure where this assumption comes from but it is incorrect.
3. OK, so rescues get to file a single global notice of willingness to take any animal that is scheduled. 4,000 from across the country could send them to ASPCA (or any other rescue they decide to gang up on) because it applies to any pound or humane society or shelter (and most governments are now requiring rescues to sign SOME kind of contract)
You may be surprised to know that most larger rescue organizations (Including NYC’s CACC) publish euthanasia lists regularly via an email list. We would NEVER allow this provision to be removed from the bill. It’s important information for us to know and many times we aren’t told when an animal is killed.
4. The releasing agency must post to a website (which means they have to get one if they don’t currently have one) and they also have to notify each of those 4,000 requesters by whatever method the rescuer specified. That means the releasing agency also has to have all of those capacities (aka more costs). (All this crud is going to apply to some smaller groups right off the bat and they’ll expand it to cover all rescuers eventually. Just look at the Dallas ordinances.)
Again, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. They don’t necessarily need web sites. They can use a web site like Dogs In Danger, which regularly posts animals exactly in this situation. And no offense, but ‘smaller groups’ that currently don’t TELL anyone who may be able to save the animal’s life that they’re killing the animal are EXACTLY the group we’re trying to reach and compel.
5. And the BIG elephant in the room is that it doesn’t address what to do with an animal that 2 or more rescue groups demand to take possession of.
This is kind of an easy one. The first group who asks should get the animal. Believe me, there are plenty more to save. We get 200-400 requests A WEEK.
6. If they take the animal but aren’t responsible for existing harm already caused to the animal, who is responsible??? The releasing agency?
Yes. This was also added at the behest of certain organizations.
7. This law will drive up rescue costs so that standard fee is going up.
You misunderstand this I think. Most of us NEVER, EVER charge another rescue to take an animal. This is for the jerks who will complain that they’re losing revenue in not being able to adopt out the dog they were going to kill anyway. So they can charge us an adoption fee. Most won’t.
This is NOT in any way a defective law. It’s a law that has worked in California for ten years. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric.
“This is kind of an easy one. The first group who asks should…”
Should? Yes, again you point out the defect in the law by pointing to exactly where it is too fuzzy to be enforced. That rescues generally don’t charge one another doesn’t mean they CAN’T or won’t in the future, especially with the enactment of laws that drive up costs.
I’m not the least bit fooled by the rhetoric that this law is well drafted because it is anything but. Talk all you want about what you think will happen but what matters is what the law actually SAYS, not how you want it to be applied. When a law is well drafted, there is no need to even know the intent of the law because it is clear and plain in its language. This proposed law is not.
The Dallas ordinances? Oh, Lord, don’t get me started. Sooner or later, Dallas is going to end up getting sued and we in Texas are going to have to pay the enormous judgment for their unconstitutional crap.
BTW, I have a law degree which helps me interpret laws. How about you 2?
PJBoosinger – there are few examples of a “perfectly well-drafted awesome law”. Usually they are short, sweet, and to the point. But most pieces of legislation, at some point in time, will undergo modifications and edits as future legislative aids/legislators/analysts find errors. Every year in the California legislature, for example, dozens of bills are proposed to correct mis-wording, poor wording, etc. in previously passed bills. It’s the nature of the legislative beast.
But as a person w/ a law degree, I’m sure you already knew that.
Matt as a volunteer and foster for a well known and respected rescue in CA. I can say there are SPCA’s that do charge rescues for pulling dogs. I have been charged for the vaccines as well as had post spay/neuter deposits. In one instance the female was already spayed and even I could detect the old spay scar. I was also instructed to bring cash as no other form of payment would be accepted.
Many times we are called the day before or the day that these dogs are scheduled to be euthanized. The coordinator has to beg to get them to put a hold on the dog until she can line up a temporary foster home. Just as an example: I was asked to foster a senior dog that was scheduled to die the next day. I agreed but I had doctor’s appt quite a distance from my home the next day. There was no way to make it back in time. We had to plead with the SPCA not to kill her and I gave my word that I would be there the next day.
So not every County SPCA is as willing to work with rescues as you may think. Yes, some that have worked with us have been amazing but there are a few that are not.
Most same breed rescues do work together and support each other. I would think that at times there are some expenses that do have to be shared or reimbursed.
Oreo’s Law is based on the notion that Oreo should not have been killed, AND that ASPCA, with Sayres personal approval (because he likes to kill animals), willfully wantonly and unfairly killed her. That’s what every single blogger has focused on when writing about this. It’s NEVER been about the details of the law.
While I think ASPCA should have released its evaluation, there is no evidence to support the (sometimes libelously expressed) attacks on their decision. Every “no kill” rescue/shelter in the world agrees that sometimes it is most humane to kill some animals whose suffering is irreparable. No legitimate pit bull rescue offered to take Oreo. IMO, she would have been killed by any shelter to which a different owner would have delivered her.
If the supporters of doing better by animals don’t understand this, and don’t STOP calling their effort “Oreo’s Law”, they will run up against the same blockades.
The most salient point Castle makes in his BF article is to note that ASPCA and the Mayors Alliance are the key players. Like it or not, without the support of ASPCA and MA, no legislation is going anywhere. Like it or not, egos and personalities DO come into play.
On both sides, of course.
I’ve been following your defense of the ASPCA and Best Friends all over the place.
You are dangerous in that you are giving people half the facts, and are totally missing the point.
Regardless of the ASPCA’s ‘evaluation,’ if a legitimate rescue group steps up and offers to take an animal rather than having someone kill the animal, the group should get the animal. Period.
And as far as ‘it is most humane to kill some animal whose suffering is irreparable’ that is rubbish. In my 25 years in animal rescue I have seen ONE animal that was truly unsaveable, and that was because of neurological damage. And uh, WE are a legitimate pit bull rescue. And we offered to take Oreo.
I personally have eight dogs in my household, and two are pit bulls that were deemed unadoptable. No such thing.
And we are going to get Oreo’s Law passed without the ASPCA and with or without Best Friends. The only thing that seems to be in the way are well-meaning but sadly misinformed people like you.
And even your Oreo’s Law thing is wrong. Micah Kellner offered to change the name of the law several times. Didn’t work.
IMO, she would have been killed by any shelter to which a different owner would have delivered her.
You need to get your facts straight and start advocating for the animals rather than the egos of the organizations with which you are enamored.
Before you even ASK me about my credentials, go through the Pets Alive website. I’d put my credentials up against anyone else in this fight.
Thank you, PJBoosinger. You pointed out the one thing missing in the other opinions: the facts. If we both lived in NY, I’d vote for you just for that reason:-)
And that fee for animals released is absurd. They save the holding and euthanasia costs then charge rescues for saving them money? As for the rest, it follows a trend. That too many people take stands and give opinions quite independent of the known facts. If Battista and others had cited these in opposing that law I might have some respect for their opinions.
Did you read Matt’s responses at all? Wow, some people can be so selective when it comes to their ‘facts’.
Oops, my apologies. I see you posted your comment before Matt posted his. I hope you are open to the validity of his comments.
HomewardBound said “Oops, my apologies. I see you posted your comment before Matt posted his. I hope you are open to the validity of his comments.”
As that seemed to be under my post, I’ll respond.
Very simply: Yes. Matt makes good sense to me. But, in these discussions, you need to take a few things into account. First, it is difficult to make a single comment here complete and concise. Next, after enough time and frustration, many people tend to speak more emotionally than factually. Next, our knowledge and experiences do vary.
Matt did push a big button of mine on “unadaptable” dogs. For several years I focused on them, applying methods from Lindsay’s classic handbooks. Dogs that so-called trainers had given up on. Sadly, teaching those dogs was much easier than teaching those trainers.
June 30, 2010 at 10:39 am
BTW, I have a law degree which helps me interpret laws. How about you 2?
Oh but do you have any Grey Poupon? Cos I do. Just sayin’.
I have a basset hound, she’s old and getting grey, does that count?!
Grey Bass-AY. Yes, that sounds sufficiently pompous. You are in!
Was there anything in the law about how soon an animal must be picked up from a shelter?
That’s one of our greatest challenges when sending animals to other organizations- sometimes they need to wait 2+ weeks before they have space to take an animal. What’s a reasonable amount of time to expect pickup? And who’s responsible for the costs of caring for an animal while it waits for transfer?
Certainly we never charge a fee to other rescue groups (we’re all in this together), but it’s not fair of them to ask us to shoulder the costs of caring for that animal on their timeline
“most pieces of legislation, at some point in time, will undergo modifications and edits”
Indeed true but the goal isn’t to pass one knowing it needed changed. Most later modifications deal with unanticipated consequences/effects (or should).
“Oh but do you have any Grey Poupon? Cos I do. Just sayin’.”
I love it when you do that. Just proves when you want to be emotional instead of logical :)
You SO have me figured out.
And that just proves what I said – times infinity!
OK for reals, anyone – I don’t care if you’re a Supreme Court Justice – anyone who goes around the internet saying ‘oh by the way *I* have a law degree, how about you?’ is really guilty of douchebaggery in the first degree. Which you can look up in your legal liberry.
Wow, you REALLY don’t like even the simplest of facts, do you? Yeah, sadly, I do have you figured out. You’d rather choose a side and stick to it even if it means the law you want fails instead of discussing how to improve the law so it will pass and help the animals. You let your emotions trump all, even when it harms the animals. That’s really very sad.
Sorry facts get under your skin so easily. Perhaps you shouldn’t make a smarta** request if you don’t actually want an answer.
If you want to get under my skin, you’ll have to do better than that though. I used to be a lawyer so I’ve been called way worse. Or, to put it in terms you’re more likely to grasp while in this childish mode: Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. So there! (Raspberry)
Well, while I liked his stating some facts, I did think Boosinger’s conclusions were a bit off. And this is far from the first time I’ve seen these discussions end up this way. This type of forum’s just not appropriate for debating the details; it lacks the organization. I’d suggest backing up, taking a deep breathe and consider our similar goals.
I could go back to the full text on Oreo’s Law and analyze it in detail, but that may be the wrong direction on a now moot issue. The real question for this particular blog was the nature and limits of the response from Best Friends.
I did not like their response. I believe it was largely inaccurate and did not offer any specific future directions such as the basics of a better replacement for Oreo’s Law. They never said what they didn’t like, or what they wanted instead.
Grace’s Law isn’t about a dog named Grace, and Oreo’s Law isn’t about a dog named Oreo. Grace survived a gas chamber in Georgia and now lives with her family in Chicago. Grace’s Law bans the gassing of dogs and cats in Georgia. Oreo is dead. Oreo’s Law would ban the killing of dogs and cats (and bunnies, etc.) that a rescue group meeting certain basic criteria is willing to take. It is not about Oreo, who is beyond rescue. It is not even about pit bulls, though it certainly applies to them. It is about seven year old poodles with bad teeth, Heinz-57 mixes who need to learn how to walk on a leash, orphaned tabby kittens who need to be bottle fed, outwardly nondescript tortoiseshell cats who need someone to get to know them better, frightened pugs whose elderly owner died, etcetera. It is about rescuers who need to have the law back their efforts up, who need recourse for the retaliatory and spiteful killing of animals they have come to rescue, who need to be able to report the abuse they see in shelters without having their ability to save animals in the future taken away. It is about a fundamental power shift–taking away a shelters license to kill, and giving rescuers the *right* to rescue.
Ten years ago, a certain shelter killed two kittens I had fostered for a month, without calling me to take them back as promised, and it was legal. Had Oreo’s Law been in effect, that would have been against the law.
Good points Valerie. Imagine if authorities continued to resist the sex offender laws and improvements to child abduction response that came about as a result of Amber Hagerman’s death.
Last week I wrote a blog posting about people choosing sides in the animal welfare movement and supporting things based on who was supporting things and who was not.
And I think this sadly became a partisan issue.
Because of the name of the law, I think (my speculation) the ASPCA felt singled out, and as such, felt like any agreement to the idea of the law would be an admission of guilt. And instead of the discussion being about the law itself, and the idea of open access laws, it became about the dog (which, as Valarie notes, shouldn’t have been the case).
Once the ASPCA chose their side, it became an “us against them” situation and BF choosing a side based (IMO) more on political clout of who’s side to be on vs supporting something they philosophically believe in.
I’m not pretending the law was perfect. But I think we have to get past the notion that killing animals now is better than what MIGHT happen to them if we save them. This attitude inflicts everything in sheltering, from not adopting out certain types of dogs to overly restrictive adoption requirements. And until we get rid of that mentality, many, many animals will die when other options are available.
One thing notably absent from this discussion is the fact that, of the millions of shelters pets killed every year – *very few* are lucky enough to have a non-profit group with space and resources to save them. We’re talking about saving a small portion of those slated for death. Why is there *any resistance whatsoever*?<—rhetorical question
One thing that gets me is that Oreo’s Law supporters offered to strip all reference to Oreo from the bill months ago and to let the ASPCA claim credit for it and that offer was rejected. I am confident that spinning this whole thing to look like the law was the APSCA’s idea to begin with is well within the skill set of the ASPCA’s PR department. So why then did ASPCA kill it instead, rather than use it as an opportunity to make themselves look good? Their leadership had previously supported the Hayden Law upon which it was based. Instead, objections raised at the time the Hayden law was up for consideration were recycled when ten years of the Hayden Law have shown them to be without merit.
The opposition was not about Oreo, and it was not about the bill itself.
Did the grand poobah really say that…got a law degree myself and its no big whoop…got grey poupon too (smiled on that one) and read this post and all the great comments –
and with all that STILL not understanding why Oreo’s Law would not be embraced by all – it’s just got to be about the money…
maryfrances, IMHO it’s more than just the money. It’s the control on what is and can be done. It seems to me that, the larger the organization, the less they are open to any compromise. Having many contacts there, I’ve followed Best Friends for many years, and that seems to be a very consistent theme there.
A few years ago they fired their CEO, and promised to bring in outside talent to supply the management skills they lacked. After a long search, they made Castle, one of their founders, the new CEO. The active board members are all insiders, the distant ones only hearing what they’re told. Good new talent would have reduced expenses and brought in more money, but the old insiders would have lost some control.
June 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Wow, you REALLY don’t like even the simplest of facts, do you?
I like facts fine. I disagree with your interpretation of the law here. I made the request for examples sincerely. Just because I don’t agree w/your interpretation doesn’t make me anti-fact.
…sorry for Grand Poobah remark…maybe a little sensitive here but the law can be read by anyone and all should be encouraged to do so….
I totally respect for these discussions.
Here’s an open question for the blog, on an issue that’s been mentioned in debating Oreo’s Law.
If Animal Control facilities release animals to rescues/shelters, what, if any, criteria or guidelines should they use to be sure that rescue is a reasonable place to send the animals?
I won’t state an opinion now, but hope to hear some constructive opinions from others. I’ll even suggest making this its own blog topic. Before debate or criticism, let’s just see what people think here. Focus the blog on only this question to keep things on topic.
BF recently hosted a Super Adoption event in the Northeast where they bragged of 304 same-day adoptions – which, by the way, I think is wonderful.
Same-day adoptions, eh? Wonder how thorough the vet checks and home checks are on those.
Now they say they’re opposing Oreo’s Law because they’re so concerned that some animals might fall into the wrong hands?
Uh. Is it just me, or is there a total disconnect here?
I’d at least have some respect for their honesty if they’d admit it’s about the money.
We’re totally overlooking the fact that US shelters have become the new puppy mills for globally produced animals. 17 nations are dumping strays or cheapest puppy mill produced foreign dogs on the US. 32,000 supposed shelters are involved. This law is intended to legitimize “shelter shuffling” in the end and nothing more. We’re being had, lied to and scammed in the worst kind of way while US pet and farm animal breeders continue systematically to be persecuted into oblivion. The public has less than ZERO understanding they aren’t buying a whole dog but are actually spending their money on an unreproducable empty shell of a still breathing animal.
Twilighttime, do you have references or detail on this? Where are these 32,000 shelters? You seem to imply they are doing this to make money, yet I’d be hard pressed to find that many shelters that are profitable, nor are most of their adoption fees high enough for your statement to make sense to me. I don’t see any basis for your statements.