Pursuant to my post about the silence from the “big three” animal welfare organizations on the DE shelter pet legislation, I’ve been checking for updates. Although I still haven’t found anything from HSUS or ASPCA, I did see a post from BFAS on DE’s landmark legislation dated July 26. It does not include any mention the No Kill Advocacy Center or their Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA). (Note: CAPA is the No Kill Advocacy Center’s model legislation to protect pets and help build no kill communities.)
The BFAS post put me in mind of their statement on why they didn’t support Oreo’s Law (which they refer to as “Kellner/Duane”) earlier this year:
In January of this year, we detailed our preferred template for a shelter access bill that we could support and posted it on our website. The Kellner / Duane bill never fully conformed to this despite our collaborative efforts with the bill’s sponsor, Micah Kellner.
Despite our growing belief that Kellner / Duane would not clear the first hurdle, we worked directly with Kellner’s office until mid-March, attempting to bring the bill into line with our preferred model.
On July 23, Nathan Winograd blogged the following regarding the DE legislation:
The law was modeled on the No Kill Advocacy Center’s Companion Animal Protection Act […].
While the No Kill Advocacy Center worked with supporters on the language of the bill, we did not discuss it publicly, fearing that the large animal protection groups would work to undermine its passage, just as they did in New York, just as they did in San Francisco, just as they tried to do in California in 1998 (Hayden), and just as they try to do everywhere reform advocates are trying to end the systematic killing of animals in their communities.
Further, as I alluded to in my previous post, there seems to be a shift in Best Friends’ interest in Delaware’s efforts to work toward no kill. In 2008, they appeared to be supportive of the No Kill Advocacy Center and Nathan Winograd’s efforts to inspire DE on no kill. In 2010, when those efforts came to fruition in the form of legislation, nary a word about either. Again, from the BFAS statement on Oreo’s Law:
We want the infighting to stop now. […] Collectively we can accomplish progressive things without beating each other up. Simply put, the humane movement needs to be humane. Our goals will never be accomplished by being hateful. Without question, that will ultimately be self-defeating. This is one of the founding principles of Best Friends.
At every turn we have opted for inclusion of as many people as possible who share our vision, whether they work in rescue or animal control, large organizations or small.
Those sound like good principles that a lot of us could support. But are those sentiments consistent with what appears to be, in my view, Best Friends’ exclusion of people who not only share the same vision but have achieved success in legislating that vision in DE?
Again, I would love to hear your thoughts.