Updated (X2): HSUS Rescues 44 Dogs from AL Home – Where Are They Now?

You might remember this collection of stories of the goings-on at the Lincoln Co shelter in NC.  One of those stories was about Lincoln Co Animal Services accepting 10 dogs from AL earlier this month as a “favor” to HSUS:  “Thousands of local animals put to death, but county accepts dogs from Alabama”.  The dogs were part of a group of 44 retrievers whose owner surrendered them to HSUS after becoming “overwhelmed”.  In keeping with standard HSUS “rescue” practices, they farmed the dogs out to various groups.  One of those was the Lincoln Co shelter, headed by Jack Kerley:

Kerley said he is hopeful that the dogs will be adopted but admits that they may be gassed to death if they are not adopted, even though the Humane Society of the United States deplores putting pets in the gas chamber.
Kimberley Alboum, state director for the Humane Society, said she was glad Lincoln County graciously stepped up and took the dogs.

I wanted to find out what happened to these 10 dogs, as well as the other 34.  So I made a few phone calls and sent out a few e-mails.  Failing to get results, I extended my Web of Sleuth.  Then things got really challenging.  There seemed to be a roadblock at every turn.  Here’s a summary of what I found out over the past several days:

The HSUS press release was either removed from or never published on their website, which is very odd to me.  This is the text of the original press release:

The Humane Society of the United States Transports Rescued Dogs to Lincolnton Shelter

(Dec. 8, 2010) – The Humane Society of the United States transported 10 dogs rescued from Alabama to Lincoln County Animal Shelter. These dogs, mostly retriever mixes, are among 44 rescued by The HSUS from poor conditions in Marshall County, Ala. The owner surrendered the dogs when she became overwhelmed and could no longer properly care for all of the animals.

“These dogs are already starting to warm up to their new caretakers at the shelter and want nothing more than to be part of loving homes this holiday season,” said Ashley Mauceri, deputy director of cruelty issues for The HSUS. “Please consider visiting the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and giving one of these resilient dogs a second chance at a happy life.”

Please reach out to the Lincoln County Shelter directly to find out how you can adopt one of these dogs.

I e-mailed the HSUS staffer listed as the contact on the media release to ask about the dogs.  She replied promptly that HSUS had “transported them to several area shelters” and she would send me a list of those shelters.  I never heard back.  E-mails to the NC and AL state directors for HSUS went unanswered.

I called the sole ACO for Marshall Co AL to ask about the case.  He said he knew nothing about it and suspected the story was either fabricated or didn’t happen in Marshall Co.  He suggested I contact a couple of local humane societies in the area.  I tried but no luck there either.

The Lincoln Co shelter is in the midst of major upheaval after the local paper ran their expose.  Even so, the two people I spoke with there were both very helpful and looked up each individual record for me.  Of the 10 retrievers they got from HSUS, 3 were killed shortly after arrival.  Their records indicate “sick” but offer no additional details.  One of the dogs killed was Murray, whose photo was featured in the Gaston Gazette article.  Harry, who was kenneled with Murray, was also killed.  This is Harry’s Petfinder listing as posted by Lincoln Co:

Murray, whose owner surrendered him to HSUS, in a photo taken a few days before he was killed by the shelter where HSUS sent him.

The third dog killed was ID #38805.  He was a male retriever but for some reason was never listed on Petfinder.  Lincoln Co shelter staff also told me that 4 of the dogs, including a bitch in whelp called Mary, went to the Humane Society of Charlotte on 12-17.  Mary apparently whelped 10 puppies according to a source.  I e-mailed a couple of people at the Humane Society of Charlotte but didn’t receive a response.  The last 3 dogs from Lincoln Co were sent to Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C, also on 12-17.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  I don’t know the status of those 3 dogs.

Beyond that, I have almost no information.  If anyone knows what shelters the remaining 34 dogs were taken to and/or what has become of any of the dogs, please share.  I realize it’s very close to a major holiday and some people may be away from the computer.  If I receive any additional responses to my queries from any of the folks I’ve contacted about this case, I will update this post.

Update, 11am, December 24:  I was sent a link to the HSUS NC Facebook page with a note indicating most of the comments discussing the HSUS sending 10 AL dogs to the Lincoln Co shelter have been removed.  I did find a few left and they are posted below.  (Note:  Kim Alboum is the state director for HSUS in NC and Sarah Barnett is a media manager for HSUS.)  The original commenter asked:

Hi Kim, I am hoping you can diffuse my anger at the situation with Lincoln County Animal Control and the poor dogs that were taken there from a bad situation in Alabama. Do you know what has happened with the dogs??? I am worried sick about them since this is a gassing shelter that has been embroiled in illegal killing… and wrong doing for many months. I have been thinking to myself and now out loud about the donations that the Humane Society must have received from this act. Any of you that think this was a wonderful move I am positive thing was wrong! I had no idea this was the kind of activity the Humane Society of the US condones. There are many rescues out there that would have been happy to help those dogs. I have given money to the HSUS for years…so sad my support as well as my family members will no longer be with HSUS. Will you at the very least let everyone knows what happened or is happening with those sweet pups? I think it is wrong to dress AC in sheeps clothing.

This info differs significantly from what both people I spoke with at the Lincoln Co shelter said.  The entirety of the notes in the records explaining the reason the dogs were killed was “Sick”.  One staffer told me they had consulted with a vet on the illness but she didn’t know any details because there was nothing besides the word “Sick” in the notes.  The other person I spoke to (on a different day) also looked up the records and confirmed this information.  Both pets were listed on Petfinder as “adult”, neither was listed as “senior”.  And none of these comments addresses the killing of dog #38805, who was also killed due to being “sick” according to his record.

Update, 2pm, December 25:  From an Examiner article on the subject:

Calls to HSUS went unanswered, but a concerned Alabama animal rescuer, Tammy Mooreland, spoke with AL HSUS Rep Mindy Gilbert today:

Gilbert confirmed that she assisted other rescue groups in removing the dogs from a woman in Marshall County, and explained that the reason for no publicity was to “protect the hoarder’s privacy.” Gilbert added, “Due to recent controversy raised about LCAS, we have asked other NC agencies to take some of the dogs.”

Mooreland commented, “I asked if she, or anyone with HSUS, was tracking the dogs’ outcome. She didn’t really respond to that question. However, she did say that she was always happy to answer any questions from Alabama animal advocates, so she can dispel any rumors or misinformation.” (mgilbert@humanesociety.org)

If any AL animal advocates receive any additional info on this case from Mindy Gilbert, please share.  My own inquiry to Ms. Gilbert remains unanswered.  There are still dozens of dogs unaccounted for and interestingly, this post has received more hits from HSUS HQ in Maryland than anyplace else so far.  Hopefully while HSUS is reading, they will respond and let us all know the whereabouts of these dogs.

77 thoughts on “Updated (X2): HSUS Rescues 44 Dogs from AL Home – Where Are They Now?

  1. This is the face of kill “sheltering.” It’s obscene.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way shelters use “euthanasia” for the killing of treatable and healthy pets, and I believe it “made sense” to those who started using it because they believed that death was a form of mercy compared to life on the streets, being abused, etc.

    That is the paradigm behind how something that calls itself a “shelter” kills the animals it takes in. Once you un-swallow the kool-ade, the whole thing seems so upside down, so bizarro-world, so through-the-looking-glass, that you literally can’t believe a “shelter” or “humane society” could or would do such things.

    God, I’m so beyond exhausted of this crap. I can hardly even muster up the strength to express the anger I’m feeling…

    1. I don’t think this is connected to right response but I can relate to lies on website when they are not actually doing that. I’ve been dealing with this for 2 years now and certainly not coming out on the winning side of it.

  2. When the Barking Bus was being readied to leave Montana, bringing several dozen of the ONB dogs to new homes and foster placements in the midwest and east, we heard the last of the Black Helicopter rumors about NESR.

    It was that the bus was being driven to Washington DC, and all the “leftover” dogs that were still on it when it arrived would be dumped in the DC dog pound to be killed.

    I laughed, bitterly, when I heard that. “Geez, that’s an awful lot of effort to go to to kill some dogs. Why wouldn’t we just dump ’em all in the Yellowstone River on the way out of town and save the gas?”

    Now I see how these things got started.

    Dog laundering. Shuffle them around enough and eventually you can just make them disappear, with no accountability for the people who took ownership of them from the trusting, probably desperate, original owner.

    1. I have no idea in what ways the owner was “overwhelmed” but I can’t help wondering if she might have sought alternative arrangements if she knew that at least 10 of the dogs would be sent to a kill shelter (unknown if the other 34 were sent to kill shelters or no kill shelters). The dogs appear in the photos to have been adequately cared for – not starving, untreated injuries, etc. like we sometimes hear about.

  3. I had no idea Murray had been killed. Funny, because as my husband and I were going over the story Murray’s photo caught our attention.

    For a dog who came from a home with 43 other LARGE dogs… he’s awfully clean and well groomed, no? How likely is it he got a full and proper groom at Lincoln right before they killed him?

    Ok, so it’s possible… but the photo, imo, does not fit with the facts presented. Nor does anything else in this case.

  4. Exactly… my husband’s first comment was “cute chow mix” until I told him the whole story.

    Apparently he didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday either. ;O)

  5. wow everyone is all bent out of shape about the shelter.
    Not a word of scorn for HSUS for “rescuing” and then dumping the dogs without a dime of support?

    1. Oh I have plenty of scorn for HSUS, Emily. All that money, all that prestige, they could have gotten these dogs ALL great homes within a week if they put their massive machine into gear to do it.

      I wonder if HSUS is grateful for the “favor”? I wonder if they did one iota of follow up on these dogs? Because right now, it looks less like follow up and more like cover up.

      And the question still stands – how many of these dogs made it out of the HSUS’s “rescue” efforts alive and where are they now?

      1. I don’t think HSUS covers anything up, and feels no pressure to cover things up.

        If the HSUS feels fine publicly endorsing Michael Vick as a canine owner, I think it shows its lack of concern that the public might start asking questions.

      2. Yes, clearly when.

        I just don’t see how people expect this, or any, story is going to stir the masses when endorsing the best known dog fighter as a dog owner does not.

      3. Erich, are you suggesting that the discovery of a potentially fabricated “rescue” that culminated in at least 10 dogs being dumped at a high-kill low-grade and (currently under serious scrutiny) shelter should not be investigated but rather ignored – because the HSUS already has put its reputation in a bag and smashed it with a hammer?

        Thanks, but I’d rather find out where this dog came from – from everything we can find, the dogs did NOT originate in at least the area of Alabama they were claimed to – and why it was so urgent that use an outlet like Lincoln to get rid of 10 of them (how nice of Lincoln to get some well-timed positive press though “wow, we love dogs so much look what we did!).

        Lincoln gets a nice puff piece in the paper, HSUS gets to dump 10 dogs and we can be pretty sure the local press isn’t going to follow up the story unless there is PROOF that this is as fishy as it smells (seriously, did someone leave a mackerel in this story somewhere?).

        The public takes the word of the HSUS as truth simply because they ARE the HSUS – at least the portion of individuals you’re speaking about. If the head of the Humane Society of the United States thinks that Vick should have a dog, this causes them to react in a different way than if say, his coach had suggested it.

        However, one story has nothing to do with the other. One is the head of the HSUS, an animal welfare expert making a recommendation that many of us disagree with (to put it mildly), what we’re dealing with here has a much dirtier and more “hands on” kind of smell to it.

        It seems to me (my opinion only – due to a severe lack of factual evidence) there was active participation on the part of the HSUS for whatever reason to “create” this story out of thin air.

        The two are very different issues.

        Regardless, if Pacelle did this on a weekly basis I would still expect YesBiscuit to write about it. In case you didn’t look around, that’s mostly the point around here… keeping them honest.

        If you feel that a story featuring a made up “owner surrender” and the subsequent lack of information is uninteresting… move along and read another story. The rest of us come here for exactly this reason – the truth, or at least the documentation of the lies.

      4. Kim, please, save your drama.

        I certainly never make any comment that this should be ignored.

        I make the simple comment that it is ignored, by the public.

        In the same way you so ardently want to ignore the failures at your favorite Ohio shelter.

      5. Oh, and Kim, I apologize if you wrote anything substantial. I did not get past your first paragraph’s typically dishonest introduction / accusation.

      6. IOW, Erich, we don’t need to concern ourselves with what you type, because you’re not reading the comments of people you disagree with and therefore nothing you say will have any real substance to it. Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying that.

      7. Thanks, Erich, for your honesty. At least now when you come here and make wild nonsensical arguments/comments we have an explanation why.

        Heather was in fact correct – you should probably consider reading the post before responding. Not sure about anyone else here, but I would consider that the most basic level of forum etiquette.

        You clearly stated that the story was of no importance because “I just don’t see how people expect this, or any, story is going to stir the masses when endorsing the best known dog fighter as a dog owner does not.”

        Of course, if you had read my post, you would have seen how I might have come to that conclusion and my argument for it.

        Unlike a few here, yourself included, who seem to prefer to pass through, drop some nasty comments, call some truly dedicated people names and then admit that you’re not even taking part in the discussion, the rest of us are interested in not only sharing our outrage but also getting to the bottom of these situations – as well as making them as public as possible.

        Thanks to people like YesBiscuit, there are fewer and fewer dark corners for these people to hide in. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

        From here on out, you can expect no further response from me to you, on this or any other subject. I prefer to conduct discussions with rational, sane individuals who use things called “facts” and “reality”. Since you seem incapable of either (or even “reading”) it appears I’ve already wasted much more time than was warranted.

        I’m not sure what happened to you to make you such an angry individual incapable of flexible thought or originality, but frankly you have only my sympathies – as do most people who mean well, but who simply choose to remain part of the problem rather than join the solution. Where this stems from, I couldn’t warrant a guess, but it’s very toxic and does nothing to further our cause.

        Happy Holidays to your family, and I hope 2011 finds you in good health.

      8. Kim,
        I gotta call you to the Matt on this Comment:
        “One is the head of the HSUS, an animal welfare
        expert making a recommendation that many of us
        disagree with”

        based on the topic of comments, you are meaning Wayne.
        Can you please certify that comment about him being an expert on animal WELFARE? I know the history of HSUS
        and animal welfare is the LAST of his concerns. He’s a PR spin doctor with fundraising skills. It’s all about building up the warchest of HSUS, not about actually saving animals.
        That being said, when trying to track animals that were “allegedly” rescued, HSUS has made is as difficult as possible. they move animals around better than a 3 card monty dealer. They will move animals where they have support and those animals will disappear due to no requirement of accountability.
        So while we hear of how this raid victim was ” overwhelmed” which is now in question, and other associated stories of abuse. I would think dropping thousands of recoverable animals at shelters to be killed is a much more aggregious form of animal abuse that we simply dont have laws to govern.
        It will always be much easier to point fingers at one person or operation and call them abusers, steal their property and kill it elsewhere than to even try to track the convoluted distribution pathway of death of a multinational Business such as HSUS.

      9. RoninDallas – thanks for pointing that out, and it DOES deserve clarification.

        Personally, I think that Wayne Pacelle is the sum of a total of words I can’t type here because my mother brought me up not to use those words in public forums.

        It should have read “perceived” animal welfare expert – which Mr. Pacelle most certainly is, both in the eyes of the uninformed public, and in the eyes of the justice system.

        I most certainly do NOT believe him to be an expert at anything aside from spin (and you have to hand it to the man, he IS an expert on that) but when courts are calling him forth as an “expert witness” and he is the head of the “Humane Organization of the United States” one can only assume that he is “perceived as an animal welfare expert.”

        You’re most certainly right though – I misspoke and should have been more clear. Thank you for correcting me.

      1. Still waiting for you to explain how a city can tax residents who do not live within city limits.

      2. Edit: Before making another snide, witty, yet vacuous comment, please explain prior snide, witty, meaningless comment.

  6. This is exactly the thing that HSUS does, just like when they raised money off the Vick dogs but did not actually help them and said they should all be killed! Think what good this organization could do if the person in charge actually cared?

  7. This is typical of the HSUS. Allegedly “rescuing” dogs then dumping them on others while taking in millions in donations from the unsuspecting public who think they actually take care of these animals. “Rescuing” animals only to dump them in high kill shelters is inexcusable. Then for their employees, to claim that they don’t know what happened to the animals they dumped is equally inexcusable. That’s their JOB. That’s why Pacelle is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each year…

    When I’ve told people about the stunts that the HSUS has pulled, some say “they do so many other good things like rescuing those dogs from a puppy mill”. Well, if “rescuing” means dumping the animals in high kill shelters, then they aren’t helping the animals. They just ended their lives. They might as well be PETA killing the animals themselves.

    HSUS should be taking responsibility for the lives that they allegedly rescue… making sure those lives are safe every single step of the way until they are in good homes. Dumping and running with the money is not acceptable.

    1. Amen. Silent night, holy night.

      “When we speak of “mitakuye oyasin” — all my relatives — we know always that the growing and moving things of the earth, the winged, the four-legged, and the two legged are all children of the earth and they, too, want to live. So we say mitakuye oyasin.” Black Elk

  8. From the looks of these dogs, they were not dirty, emaciated, sickly looking, and appear friendly. Compared to countless cases of dogs in immiinent danger, its curious why they all had to be removed. Also, if any were hopelessly sick, why send them to a gassing facility?? Shameful – victims of a situation beyond their control, at the hands of human beings – then HSUS makes sure they are victims in death. No animal rescue or animal advocate I know EVER heard a peep about this until this week. Thanx for saving, and putting the orig. HSUS release on your blog – before they removed it. So so sad.

  9. @H. Houlahan Your last paragraph gives me chills. “Dog laundering. Shuffle them around enough and eventually you can just make them disappear, with no accountability for the people who took ownership of them from the trusting, probably desperate, original owner.” I’m praying every person reading this post will bear witness to it, bear witness to the HSUS press release about these 44 dogs. Spread the word. Take it to the streets. Facebook it, Tweet it, cross post it. Copy and paste the entire post and all the comments into the body of an email and send it out. I know people like Doc Wheeler in Ohio will do that. I hope all of you guys will also. So that maybe, just maybe, the Star in Bethlehem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_Bethlehem will have meaning this year for the four-leggeds. Remembering and honoring MURRAY and HARRY and Dog ID#38805, Lincoln Co NC Animal Services. Where HSUS sent 10 dogs of the 44. Seven are alive. Three are dead. We’re still waiting to hear about the other 34. Backstory from NC: HSUS called for the destruction of 146 Pit Bulls in the state I now call home in February 2009. Wilkes 146.
    http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2009/feb/18/145-pit-bulls-put-to-death-in-wilkes-ar-143966/ I so wanted to believe a day would come when we could all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Summit in Las Vegas April 2009 was a milestone. Bust dogs are now no longer routinely destroyed. We are thankful for that. But no holding hands and singing Kumbaya here. Not today. Not yet. I keep thinking about ROXY. All the dogs who die just as she did. Every day. And those in a position to effect change do not. Those in a position to help counties in every state still using gas chambers eliminate them do not. Those in a position to change the killing protocols in municipal shelters by adding pre killing anesthesia do not. Those in a position to champion the no kill philosophy and do not. MURRAY. HARRY. DOG #38805. Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky hold you close to heart now. In a place where two-leggeds can no longer harm you.

  10. As Christie posted last night – why use the word “Shelter”??? It is a too comfortable euphemism that allows the public to associate it with “safety”…not killing. I vote we adopt a new name for kill shelters – HOLDING AND DISPOSAL facilities (HAD). That’s more accurate, although I know some do try their best to adopt out the best ones. Some try a lot harder than others, and it seems to vary with the management and budgets.

    1. I’ve always gone with “pound” and “shelter”. The pound is where dogs are impounded until they are disposed of (one way or another) and shelters are exactly what the name implies, a temporary place of safety/shelter until placed in an adoptive home.

  11. I’m glad to see exposure of HSUS moneygrubbing hypocrisy.
    I’m baffled at Erich’s notions that 1) there wasn’t outrage at the Pacelle’s comments about Vick’s potential dog ownership.. in fact the outrage was apparently so intense within HSUS’ donor community that he ran away in a hurry from his comment and “clarified” in his blog that he meant Vick could own dogs “well maybe sometime in the future” and 2) lack or existence of outrage about Vick has anything to do with suppressing OR increasing outrage over the Lincoln situation.

  12. It’s distressing that Kim Alboum would say that “pet overpopulation” makes “euthanasia” a “reality,” that shelters “have to” kill animals, and that killing animals does not make a shelter “bad.” This is why the large national groups are impediments to change. Also, she claims things are different in NC than they are in other parts of the country. I think the folks trying to reform shelters in California, Ohio, NYC, Miami and many other areas would disagree with her.

  13. . One is the head of the HSUS, an animal welfare expert making a recommendation that many of us disagree with”LOL.. surely you jest.. an animal welfare “expert”? the man knows NOTHING about animals..but a lot about snake oil

  14. Is there any legal (maybe local health regulations?) reason why the dogs couldn’t have been held in ordinary boarding kennels until they were rehomed rather than putting more pressure on shelters?

    If the incident made the national press I would have expected there to be enough of a sympathy factor to attract new homes – a relinquishment of 180 labradors in 2004 actually generated so many calls offering help that it crashed the telephone exchange.

  15. One thing we all have to face is the fact that our bodies may suddenly betray us leaving both us and any dependents (human or animal) in the lurch with a sudden need for alternative care. So that might be the ‘issue’ behind the dogs overwhelming someone.
    I can also see a person thinking that HSUS would actually help them because of all the advertising saying they will and do etc.
    Of all the animal lovers in the world why is it the AR supporters that always seem to have the very least regard for the care and comfort of the animals? while the members of animal welfare groups of animal lovers, who actually care about the animals, are the most reviled?
    An animal welfare group would have expended funds, rallied round, and rehomed these dogs but the AR group just sees them as publicity and fund raising opportunities and not living beings that need help…

    1. I’ll take this one!

      You’ve kind of answered your own question. There are two separate factions in the animal movement, whether we like it or not. Some people refuse to identify clearly with one or the other, having beliefs that cross both sides, and this isn’t unusual, but the vast majority are one or the other. The topic is a long one, but here’s my own breakdown.

      Those involved in animal welfare care only about the welfare of animals. Animals in need, in pain, in trouble. Those who need our help, our rescue, our resources, our assistance, our time and our dedication. These include shelters, rescue groups, breed rescues, educators and many others. We love our pets and think that they should be treated with dignity – and most of us think that this dignity should be extended to all living creatures.

      And then there are Animal Rights. Many of these groups believe that medical testing on animals should be abolished, as should farming, consumption of animals and the ownership of pets. These animals should be allowed to become extinct and humans should have no contact with our wild cousins, including intelligence research and zoos – even those that are the only reason certain species still exist (the black-footed ferret is a great example, as is the panda and the cheetah). Some of these groups go so far as to believe that these animals are better off dead than in the hands of humans, the most famous being PeTA.

      This is where it gets super tricky. The HSUS is an AR group in AW clothing. Not that they haven’t done good work across the country in getting legislation improved for animals, but their end effort is much different than what they portray to the people who fund their efforts. Ask PeTA donors if they believe PeTA is striving for the total eradication of pet and working dogs and cats (which they openly do but certainly don’t celebrate in their handouts) and the number of donors who have no idea PeTA would kill their precious fluffy if given half the chance is startling.

      Animal Rights is not about saving animals. It’s about separating Us from Them in every way. Animal Welfare is about saving animals and doing what can be done to prevent animals from needing saving in the first place.

      I always like to clear this up because I’m frequently introduced at parties as an “Animal Rights” supporter which I have to correct – although it usually leads into some very interesting conversation… particularly if that individual has ever donated to an AR organization in the past. Once they learn the truth…

      1. “Animal Rights is not about saving animals. It’s about separating Us from Them in every way. Animal Welfare is about saving animals and doing what can be done to prevent animals from needing saving in the first place.”

        It is not so black and white. You can’t say all “AR” supporters believe this just because wing nuts like PETA call themselves AR. I know plenty of people and groups who describe themselves at AR who absolutely do not believe as you described. And they are opposed to everything that PETA and HSUS stand for.

        It isn’t so clear cut. Seems like these labels that people assign are just a way to further divide animal advocates so that we are less effective in protecting animals.

      2. I agree the situation isn’t totally black and white, Bett, which is why I opened with this statement:

        “Some people refuse to identify clearly with one or the other, having beliefs that cross both sides, and this isn’t unusual, but the vast majority are one or the other. The topic is a long one, but here’s my own breakdown.”

        Also, it’s been my experience the most people (myself included) who identify with the “animal rights” movement don’t truly understand the movement and what it stands for. Back before I really understood the AR movement and what it stood for that’s what I identified myself as. Even as more militant groups and even terrorists became part of the movement, I still identified as AR until someone sat me down and clearly illustrated the differences to me, knowing that while I believed in humane treatment of all animals, the end of fur sales and the seal hunt, whale hunts, etc., my beliefs were in fact those of an Animal Welfare Advocate than a member of the AR movement.

        Here are some links to check out for further information about the two groups:





        I also didn’t classify every member as a nutjob either – I believe that a lot of the people who identify themselves as AR don’t understand what they’re supporting (and those that do have the right to do so). That’s not to say that you can’t support certain aspects of the AR fight and that immediately makes you an “AR nutjob”. There’s lots the two groups agree on. However, there is also a very clear ideological divide in general between the two groups, and this can not be denied.

        By the way, I think “Animal Advocate” is a wonderful term that is fully inclusive and should be used more often. Your friends sound like caring people involved in Animal Welfare or Animal Advocacy – not Animal Rights. It may seem like just a label, but if we can get people to better understand that these labels do mean different ideologies and are not interchangeable, that’s one step closer to explaining why your local SPCA is a good investment and HSUS is perhaps not (depending on your personal beliefs).

        And for the record, there are lots of public AR faces who don’t even know what the movement really means. The majority of the celebrities shown in their advertising promos have been nailed afterwards committing all kinds of AR sins like wearing leather, eating meat in public, owning pets. Even THEY don’t realize what they’re putting their reputation behind – and they all have the best of intentions and a staff to check this stuff out. It’s not a wonder the average animal lover is confused when it comes to the details. That’s what happens when these groups spend millions of dollars on campaign ads. It’s like election politics almost, and it’s hard to combat.

        I used to liken it to republicans and democrats – both are politicians, and they agree on a lot of stuff, but the ideology at the base of each group is very different (obviously I don’t use this comparison any more… lol… AR and AW agree on MUCH more and seem to play MUCH nicer together). ;O)

      3. I’d say there’s less difference than people think, but that a large faction of the AR movement don’t properly understand what Animal Rights ought to mean. For example they don’t properly appreciate that living in an ecological slot provided by humans is just as valid as being a “proper” wild animal. Dogs, cats and horses evolved to live symbiotically with humans and as a result are much more successful than their wild counterparts. The romantic view that only “real” wild animals count is rather like the now abandoned view of “noble savages” as the only authentic human beings.

      4. Rosemary, I agree with you 100%. However, the vast and overwhelming majority of AR groups do not.

        They believe that animals should be entitled to the same rights as humans – they believe, for example, that pets are slaves. Guide dogs, service dogs and working dogs among the worst of them. Now, those of us who KNOW these animals know that they love the work they do, and far from being a slave that animal is getting a chance to earn his/her way by working – just like they would in the wild without the risk of predators.

        Sadly, the moment a collar and leash are entered into the picture, AR believes it’s slavery.

        I wish the reality was different – pop onto Amazon.com and search Animal Rights – read the synopsis of what’s being printed by these people, and then tell me that the overwhelming majority of the movement (or at least those leading it) believe some pretty severe things. Here’s an article with some quotes that most people who identify themselves as “AR” will likely be stunned by:


        These quotes are open and out there, and PeTA and other leaders make NO efforts to hide their agendas, they just don’t make any efforts to make them public.

        I do disagree with you on one point however. I believe that there are *more* differences than people believe, which is why people are still so willing to refer to themselves as Animal Rights Activists. After all, it sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? What I think we CAN agree on is that the majority of people who identify themselves in this way do so out of love for animals and concern for the environment – and that in their minds Animal Rights describes exactly what you explained.

        But you can’t convince me that there are that many militant AR activists in the US to keep both PeTA and the HSUS running at such high budgets while at the same time convincing me that their donors know what they’re supporting.

        Excellent point though – and I mean that. The reality may very well be that the AR groups got it wrong – unfortunately, the leaders of the movement don’t see it that way, and until we can open the eyes of the movements followers to their true intentions, they’re going to continue to exist and push for things like mandatory s/n until their ultimate goal is reached – no animal living in a situation that is not its natural habitat, and all animals untouched by the hands of humans.

  16. I wanted to share another atrocity that was committed HSUS. A friend sent this to me today. I have been digging all I can to learn more than I ever knew about HSUS. I posted to the Facebook page and my comments and questions were deleted except for one or two. They opted then to move any controversy to their Facebook Message board. If anyone has posted there it has been deleted. I am sick that these people opted to send animals to a dog pound that gasses animals to death and illegaly has been run.I wonder how much money HSUS raised from contributions for these dogs??? Here is another article:

    Browse > Home / Blog Posts, The Truth About HSUS / HSUS Defends Wilkes County Massacre HSUS Defends Wilkes County Massacre
    February 21, 2009 by Nathan J. Winograd

    Earlier this week, rescue groups throughout the country pleaded with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Wilkes County officials not to put nearly 150 dogs and puppies seized from a dog fighting raid systematically to death. Instead, they asked that the dogs be individually assessed and even extended offers of assistance, support, and resources. But HSUS refused, arguing that all the dogs should be killed, including puppies who were born after the seizure and posed no threat to public safety. Not content to simply embrace the killing, HSUS then one went step further. John Goodwin of HSUS attacked the animal lovers, claiming that they were “clamoring for media attention” and expressing annoyance that, in his view, no one is raising a “fuss” over the other 3,000 dogs this particular community unnecessarily kills each year.

    Across the country, animal advocates, No Kill shelters, and rescue groups, as well as everyday dog lovers condemned the killings and Goodwin’s callous retort about it. Even those outside the humane movement were moved enough to share their overwhelming sadness and anger at the decision. Websites and blogs devoted to photography and other non-animal pursuits interrupted their focus to share their grief over the fate of all those dogs and puppies.

    In my own condemnation of the HSUS position, I wrote that Goodwin willfully ignored that many of the groups seeking clemency for the Wilkes County dogs—and the No Kill movement, more generally—have been raising a fuss over killing in U.S. shelters—a fuss opposed by HSUS which has often sided with these shelters. I also wrote that,

    Every time HSUS defends killing, their antiquated, regressive viewpoints are not only harmful to animals, they make HSUS more and more irrelevant to animal sheltering and more and more despised by those who truly love animals. And they become more out of touch with public sentiment.

    Finally, I argued that,

    Goodwin’s offensive claim that the advocates calling for clemency in Wilkes County were motivated by a “clamoring for media attention” is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. HSUS can only see this as a clamor for media attention rather than a clamor to save lives because that is how HSUS appears to operate. For HSUS, animals do not seem to matter unless they result in a headline and therefore donations for HSUS. For the rest of us, it’s the animals that count.

    Unable to ignore the loud and wide cross section of critics, HSUS has now issued a defense of the killing. Not surprisingly, HSUS takes no responsibility and offers little in the way of thoughtful analysis. The dogs and puppies whose lives were taken be damned, HSUS chooses to present itself as the wounded innocent in the whole affair—the real victims in it’s twisted view—by blaming the judge for the “order to [kill] the dogs,” even though it was HSUS which testified in court that the animals should be killed, and then defended the decision by attacking rescue groups and No Kill shelters for daring to question the mass slaughter.

    Hoping we’ll all forget about the puppies killed, HSUS also writes that, “No organization has done more to attack and harm the dogfighting industry than The HSUS.” Despite the “We’re Number 1” bravado, HSUS’ logic in support of the killing comes down to little more than this: According to HSUS, they had to call for the death of puppies who were born after the seizure, who have never known aggression, and who, in some cases, were raised by loving foster parents because some of the other dogs in the same seizure were aggressive.

    In making such a ludicrous argument, HSUS ignores the whole point of the criticism: it wasn’t a question of whether a dangerous dog should be put up for adoption no matter how hard HSUS pretends that is what this is about. It was a question of whether the decision that any of the dogs were truly dangerous was made after the dogs were individually and fairly assessed. It ignores that there were puppies killed who posed no threat to public safety, that there were rescue groups willing to provide needed support, and that HSUS has the enormous resources to intervene in a life affirming way, choosing instead to champion the dogs’ death. It ignores that the experience with the dogs in the case of Michael Vick undermined everything HSUS thought it knew about the nature of dog aggression. Like in this one, it was HSUS which led the call for mass killing of those dogs after Wayne Pacelle falsely claimed that “Officials from our organization have examined some of these dogs and, generally speaking, they are some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country.” In fact, following their actual assessment, only one dog was deemed too vicious to save. In overruling HSUS, the court concurred that most of the dogs were rehabilitatable, and two are now therapy dogs, bringing comfort to cancer patients.

    But that is not what takes HSUS’ defense of the Wilkes County massacre to its extreme of obscenity. That is reserved for two of the most offensive claims ever to come out of HSUS. First, HSUS claims that we should not ask shelters to do a better job, because they will likely respond by doing a worse one. According to HSUS, if you “impose” the “burdens” of being humane on these shelters, “they may decline to intervene in criminal fighting cases, allowing the dogfighters to continue to operate.” In other words, HSUS believes we can’t ask more of shelters because if we do, they’ll just decide to be even less humane. If we accept this point of view, we can never expect shelters to be effective. We can never demand more from our government agencies. We can never suggest that shelters reflect, rather than undermine, our values. We have to accept that they’ll be killing indefinitely. And we have to keep quiet about it or they will be worse than they are now—a wholly unethical and self-defeatist mentality that is grounded in failure. A failure that HSUS seems to believe is permanent and unchangeable.

    Second, while HSUS claims to be a leader in stopping dog fighting, they champion the same attitude towards dogs that allows for such abuse—indeed, that perpetuates it: the idea that dogs do not matter; that their lives are of little value and are expendable. Their advocacy that the dogs should be killed undermines the entire principle which should be motivating their anti-dog fighting campaign. Dog fighting is horrible not only because of the pain and suffering of dogs, but because it kills dogs. And killing dogs is the ultimate betrayal—the worst thing we can do to them. To “rescue” them from the worst thing that could happen to them when they are being abused and then to turn around and advocate for that very thing to be done to the dogs makes no sense whatsoever.

    In its response to critics, HSUS is essentially saying that the killing of these dogs should continue because there are fates worse than death. And, sadly, too many people who should know better have adopted this point of view, even though it is patently false on its face; and is more so because it incorrectly assumes there are only two choices available: killing at the pound or killing at the hands of dog fighters. Working hard to end the scourge of dog fighting—and to punish the abusers—is not mutually exclusive with saving the lives of the innocent victims. In fact, the moral imperative to do one goes hand in hand with the other.

    I am not naïve. I understand that method of killing is important, and if we lived in a two dimensional world of shadows—if we lived in Plato’s cave—where the choice was nothing more than to be killed inhumanely or to be killed in a less brutal way, we would pick the latter each and every time. Although I have called repeatedly for the end of shelter killing, I have also supported efforts to abolish cruel methods of killing, as in the case of the draconian gas chamber—which shelters in North Carolina, the sight of the current killing, have refused to do. But that is not the choice presented, no matter how hard HSUS tries to pretend it is; nor how many times it repeats it in its statement of apologia.

    But even if it were true (it is not), while cruelty is abhorrent, while cruelty is painful, while cruelty should be condemned and rooted out, there is nothing worse than death, because death is final. A dog subjected to pain and suffering can be rescued. A dog subjected to savage cruelty can even become a therapy dog, as the Vick case showed. There is still hope. Whereas death is its total antithesis. It is the eclipse of hope. It is forever. Because they never wake up, ever. The worst of the worst—a fact each and every one of us would recognize if it was us facing death.

    That basic understanding is, in fact, the very underpinning of our criminal justice system in the U.S. where generally only one offense carries the death penalty because it is an offense not just in difference of degree, but of a difference in kind to every other crime. It is in a class by itself. Only the taking of a life is punishable by death.

    But in this case, even this argument by HSUS is a red herring. The choice was not, as HSUS contends, a choice between continued suffering at the hands of dog fighters or death at the pound. This was not the option the dogs faced. Once they were taken into custody by HSUS and Wilkes County officials, more dog fighting was no longer an option. The option was whether HSUS and Wilkes County officials would kill them or whether HSUS and Wilkes County officials would not kill them. Their choice is now well known: they chose to systematically put all the dogs and puppies to death, a choice they defend still.

    And so we come back to the first and primary principle of the humane movement: Animal shelters are supposed to be the safety net for animals, not an extension of the neglect and abuse they face elsewhere. Just as there are other service agencies which also deal with human irresponsibility, shelters—like the other agencies—should not use that as an excuse to negate their own responsibility for failing to put in place necessary programs and services to respond humanely, and therefore, appropriately. Imagine if Child Protective Services took in abused, abandoned and unwanted children, and then killed them. We should no more tolerate it for animals.

    Because ultimately it comes down to this: it doesn’t matter to the dog one whiff who is ultimately robbing them of their life—be it a dog fighting thug, a thug in a suit testifying in court that defenseless puppies should be killed, or a thug cloaked in the mantel of “animal control.” Killing is killing, and the tragic end remains the same, regardless of who is pulling the trigger.

    1. Winograd for all his ranting, had nothing to do with HSUS changing their stance after the Wilkes Cty massacre. A widget made by Carol of bullmarket frenchies, and as shown on this blog, spread like wildfire: http://bluedogstate.blogspot.com/2009/02/hsus-kills-puppies.html as did the story behind it: http://lassiegethelp.blogspot.com/2009/02/worse-than-vick.html

      They were shamed by their big donors into changing their blanket policy. No one could believe that tiny baby puppy was dangerous.

  17. Anyone wanting to contact the top brass at HSUS regarding the whereabouts of the dozens of unaccounted for dogs from AL, here’s a list:

    Anita W. Coupe, Esq. Chair of the Board acoupe@humanesociety.org
    Jennifer Leaning, M.D., S.M.H. Vice Chair jleaning@humanesociety.org
    Eric L. Bernthal, Esq., Second Vice Chair ebernthal@humanesociety.org
    Walter J. Stewart, Esq., Board Treasurer wstewart@humanesociety.org
    Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO wpacelle@hsus.org
    Michael Markarian, Executive Vice President & COO mmarkarian@hsus.org
    G. Thomas Waite III, Treasurer & CFO gwaite@humanesociety.org
    Andrew N. Rowan, Ph.D., Chief International Officer & Chief Scientific Officer arowan@humanesociety.org
    Roger A. Kindler, Esq., General Counsel, Vice President & CLO rkindler@humanesociety.org
    Janet D. Frake, Secretary jfrake@humanesociety.org

    Other people at HSUS who know about the case but aren’t saying where the dogs went:

    Kimberly Alboum – HSUS’s NC State Director kalboum@hsus.org

    Sarah Barnett – Emerging Media Manager sbarnett@humanesociety.org

    Mindy Gilbert – HSUS’s AL State Director mgilbert@humanesociety.org

    Jordan Crump – Public Information Officer who sent out the original media release on the case jcrump@humanesociety.org

    1. FOIA applies to government entities, not private organizations.
      As a recipient of tax benefits, (such as 501(c)3 status), they are required to submit a variety of reports on their funding/spending, and these are public.
      The IRS only cares whether they are adhering to the laws regarding taxes (there is some debate on whether HSUS exceeds its allowable “lobbying” activities)..

      1. There is some case law broadening that at least in FL: Putnam County Humane Society Inc. v. Woodward, 740 So.2d 1238 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999) (humane society is an agency of the state authorized under enabling statutes to conduct animal abuse investigations and is subject to public records laws);

        Stanfield v. Salvation Army, 740 So.2d 1238 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999) (records of private company made public when company provided services in place of county);

        729 So. 2d at 381 (Fla. 1999). And see, e.g., Stanfield v. Salvation Army, 695 So. 2d 501, 503 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) (private corporation providing probation services on behalf of the county subject to Ch. 119, Fla. Stat.); Prison Health Services, Inc. v. Lakeland Ledger Publishing Company, 718 So. 2d 204 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998) (private entity providing medical services on behalf of the sheriff subject to the Public Records Act); Putnam County Humane Society, Inc. v. Woodward, 740 So. 2d 1238 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999) (humane society performing governmental function of investigating acts of animal abuse and seizing animals pursuant to state statute subject to the Public Records Law).

        I also think I remember that if an organization receives any public funds, they are subject to FOIA. But I’ll have to look that up.

      2. A non-profit could be subject to a FOIA request aka public information request if they had a government contract. For example, if a non-profit shelter such as an SPCA also had a contract to perform animal control duties, they would be subject to a FOIA request just like a govt entity.

    2. EmilyS – I don’t think there’s any doubt that the HSUS conducts its lobbying in full contradiction to the laws that govern it as a 501(c) organization. Their own published numbers make it clear as day that they are breaking laws.

      The only debate seems to be about WHY the HSUS has been allowed to continue in such a fashion.

      For the record, I’m pretty sure you’re well aware of this, I just didn’t want anyone unaware of full story to think that *perhaps* they were actually adhering to the laws.

      For those who aren’t aware of the laws governing lobbying by 501(c) organizations like HSUS, consider the following:

      “In contrast to the absolute prohibition on political campaign interventions by all section 501(c)(3) organizations, public charities (but not private foundations) may conduct a limited amount of lobbying to influence legislation. Although the law states that “No substantial part…” of a public charity’s activities can go to lobbying, charities with large budgets may lawfully expend a million dollars (under the “expenditure” test), or more (under the “substantial part” test) per year on lobbying.[17] To clarify the standard of the “substantial part” test, Congress enacted §501 (h) (called the Conable election after its author Representative Barber Conable). The section establishes limits based on operating budget that a charity can use to determine if it meets the substantial test. This changes the prohibition against direct intervention in partisan contests only for lobbying. The organization is now presumed in compliance with the substantiality test if they work within the limits. The Conable Election requires a charity to file a declaration with the IRS and file a functional distribution of funds spreadsheet with their Form 990. IRS form 5768[18] is required to make the Conable election.”

      However, there is an exemption under the 501(h) act:

      “The law makes it very clear how much a 501(c)(3) organization can spend on lobbying – up to $1 million depending on the size of the organization – if the 501(h) election is made. The law also makes it clear which activities are lobbying and which are not. For example, lobbying occurs only when there is an expenditure of money by the 501(c)(3) for the purpose of attempting to influence legislation. Where there is no expenditure by the organization for lobbying (such as lobbying by members or volunteers), there is no lobbying by the organization.”

      The amount is based on a percentage of overall revenue, but the cap is one million. According to this story :


      They spent almost $2 million donating to a humane farming organization in California, and frequently brag about helping to pass a total of 470 new state laws in the last 7 years.

      This means lost revenue for the IRS – which boggles the mind even further why someone in the big house isn’t going after them for this and trying to recover years and years of unpaid taxes, not to mention potential fraud charges.

      Mary – I certainly hope you’re right, or that the law is leaning that way, but there’s a difference between a state branch of the Salvation Army and the federal organization. In addition, the HSUS doesn’t have state branches, they are strictly federal making them particularly hard to pin down. Ask anyone who has been a subject of one of their phony “raids”.

      What also doesn’t help is the man running HumaneWatch is the same guy promoting pregnant women eating fish and “trans fats are good for you!” Out of a dozen or so webpages, he got ONE right, but his credibility is beyond shot making a rational, honest argument that much harder. The best I can recommend is constantly contacting your representatives and making complaints to the IRS. Maybe a federal tax fraud case would finally shake some mainstream media loose into actually looking into them. Or at least, one can hope, right?

  18. In response to some inquiries I was sent an article which I believe may be from the Gaston NC Gazette (although I cannot open their website to confirm it).
    Excerpt from the article: “This reporter verified, with some certainty, despite the scant information offered by Officer J. Smith, Charlotte Animal Control, that the dogs, Daisy a black female Lab-Retriever mix and a black male Lab-Retriever mix with no name, A797514, are impounded at that facility. Smith stated they are not up for adoption, but are in the “holding section”. If other Alabama dogs are there, they would have to be identified among the countless photos of dogs needing homes on their website.

    The remaining dogs removed from Marshall County – number unconfirmed? Their whereabouts are unknown.

    There appears to be an overwhelming number of unconfirmed facts surrounding this unpublicized, seemingly surreptitious, scattering of Alabama dogs in need of home and refuge carried out, assisted or decided by HSUS.

    These facts are clear: Murray, Harry and No. 38805 have been killed in Lincoln County Animal Services, a gas chamber facility in NC. Daisy and No. A797514 sit in the unadoptable section of Charlotte Animal Control facility, and wait for someone to come for them.”

      1. Way to go, Shirley. This article is only from today, and the biggest outrage came from you-know-where.

        It’s official, Shirley needs her own column. This is the second time I’ve seen her scooped. The last time I actually had to watch a news program that must have shown over a dozen screen shots of this site without EVER identifying the site by name.

        Credit where credit is due for bringing light to this clusterduck – and credit to the media for bringing this up, even though they’d like us to believe they found the story themselves. ;O)

  19. Someone named Sarah has now put comments at the Examiner article that say, in part:
    “I work at the HSUS and would like to make a few clarifications. I understand that this issue is extremely passionate – but here are the facts. The 44 chow x retriever dogs in the back yard were unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered and although were being provided with food and water to the best of the owner abilities, were in fact injuring and killing each other. They were loose in a large fenced area and had developed true pack behavior. The dogs were surrendered and we had them heartworm checked, vaccinated, wormed, frontlined and health certificates issued for them to be transported to adoption programs

    Some of the dogs went to a humane society and to a rescue group in Nashville, some went to a rescue group in Georgia and 10 went to the shelter in NC. The NC shelter is large, clean and has a large volunteer base. They have worked closely in the past with our NC State Director. The dogs are walked every day by volunteers. Since we knew that these dogs needed a lot of socialization, we appreciated their offer to help. They also placed slightly over 1,000 animals last year through their rescue contacts. It is our understanding that one of the dogs bit a caregiver and one shut down and was not responding to care. Since there have now been allegations of wrongdoing at the shelter, the dogs have been moved. We cannot substantiate any of the allegations, however.”

    1. Thanks Mary for sharing this info. Assuming it’s accurate, I hope HSUS will share the names of the “humane society” and “rescue groups” that took the remaining dogs so that we can find out what happened to them, if any are still in need of homes, etc.
      As far as the NC state HSUS director working closely in the past with the Lincoln Co shelter, I take it then that she was aware they are a gassing facility with a high kill rate.

      1. It would be helpful if the person who relinquished these animals saw these posts and contacted you or the Examiner writer anonymously to explain the circumstances of how these animals were taken by HSUS. What I’ve seen so far certainly leaves me questioning how HSUS got these animals, particularly in light of the Marshall Co ACO’s statement that they know nothing about it.

        HSUS would not just blindly show up at somebody’s door without some authorities being involved.

    2. “Since there have now been allegations of wrongdoing at the shelter”

      “Now”? How long have these allegations been going on? These are not a new and recent development.

      Sorry, not buying it – either HSUS was aware of the “issues” at this shelter and went ahead and dumped the dogs there anyway or they truly had no idea and dumped dogs into a huge unknown without doing any sort of research at all. Either way, it’s hugely negligent.

      And the question still stands – where are they now?

    3. The HSUS Press Release stated in part, “These dogs are already starting to warm up to their new caretakers at the shelter and want nothing more than to be part of loving homes this holiday season,” said Ashley Mauceri, deputy director of cruelty issues for The HSUS. “Please consider visiting the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and giving one of these resilient dogs a second chance at a happy life.”

      Sarah Barnett describes “the true pack behavior” of 44 “unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered” dogs “injuring and killing each other.” Yikes, Sarah do tell why HSUS thinks this pack of dangerous dogs should come live with me and my neighbors in North Carolina? Who is telling the truth Sarah? Where are those facts you speak about? Did your employer fail to CC you on their press release? All bright eyes & bushy tails for the photo shoot so did you (sarah) personally transport this feral pack of hooligans to Groomingdales on the way to the gas chamber? Please I just need a few more facts!!

      1. Also really interesting considering if you contact trainers that the HSUS would consider acceptable, “pack theory” is… well let’s use the word “hooey”, and all those of us who train with pack theory in mind are animal abusers, because, you know, it doesn’t exist.

        There’s no doubt they formed a pack, although if they were “killing” each other it could have simply been that they were underfed and eating carcasses to survive. Or perhaps more than one pack developed, which could certainly lead to some deaths with no one to separate or supervise. Problem with chows is you can’t get an idea of their body condition.

        However, as my husband pointed out and I agreed with, unless they groomed these dogs fully prior to photographing and then killing them, the conditions were not that bad.

        And once again – where’s the press release on the HSUS website? If you look at that press date (Dec 8) you can clearly see that as far as pets go, they could have used some news that didn’t involve farm animals. Since they’re the first one to toot their own horn (even when they had nothing to do with the good deed in question) this is the part I find the fishiest.

        Not to mention the HSUS documents EVERYTHING. Even some photos of the scene or the dogs being removed would be step in the right direction.

    4. Hi Mary,

      There is much wrong doing at the Lincoln shelter. I am in process of pulling together the disposition records of the animals that were there since Jan 1, 2010. I am sickened by them. The shelter has been embroiled in controversy since around June, 2010. Good press for the shelter and donations for the dogs to Hsus. I did not realize before that the HSUS sends rescue dogs to dog pounds..plus dog pounds that gas.

  20. If, as Sarah said, health certificates were issued on these 44 dogs in order to take them across state lines, those health certificates would be public record, issued by a vet in AL. And they should document the condition of each of these dogs.

    1. You might have to get a court order to obtain copies of these records. In AL, vet records are the property of the clinic, not a matter of public record. I checked AVMA’s list of state laws regarding confidentiality of vet records, but nothing was listed for AL–
      So Al may not have passed specific laws regarding this issue. However, the health certificate for interstate travel is a USDA requirement and is
      actually USDA APHIS Form 7001 to be completed by a USDA approved veterinarian. Maybe as a federal
      document it’s a matter of public record? In GA,
      all vet records are exempted from the Open Records act as a matter of privacy, just as human medical records are exempt. If AL hasn’t passed an open records act or specifically exempted vet records, maybe you could get them without a court order?

    2. Actually, the requirements vary state to state, although I haven’t found an example that doesn’t at least require proof of vaccination and a simple Health Certificate. As for the APHIS forms, again it depends where you’re going to.

      When pulling dogs from Ohio, Kentucky and Georgia shelters, at the border we were rarely asked for paperwork of any kinds, and when we were it was only to prove that the animals had Rabies vax and no financial value for customs.

      I’m working on finding information for the states (supposedly) involved.

      APHIS 7001 is a requirement for international travel, however – although again, some countries have different regulations.

      1. Sorry, Kim, this isn’t accurate. I coordinated volunteer transports and served as a moderator for OTRA (On the Road Again) for about 5 years. ALL dogs crossing state lines are required to have a health certificate (which includes proof of current rabies vaccination),and that’s a USDA requirement. In addition, most states require that any dogs or cats coming INTO the state have a health certificate. No dogs should have come into GA from AL without health certicates. If they did, the transporter was in violation of both federal and GA law.

      2. Here’s the deal for North Carolina, which gives them 30 days AFTER arrival to obtain a health certificate.


        This does not require a federal form of any kind, and of course is not necessary if the dog is no longer living.

        As for Tennessee (Nashville), they can be found here and shows much more promise. Tennessee requires health certificates to forward APHIS forms to their office before the transfer even takes place, and as far as I can tell requires everything that an international transfer might.

        Now, while it might be that few officers would hold an HSUS van for a lack of paperwork – this at least gives us a demand – either a copy of the paperwork or an explanation as to where it went or why it wasn’t completed.

        Georgia is the last state openly mentioned so far if Mary’s information is accurate.

        Their regulations can be found here:


        It sounds like a giant circle of red tape to me. Listing four possible ways to get in and listing them as and/or.

        Then I found this gem in a house bill on Georgia’s Dept. of Ag. website:

        “(m) County-operated or city-operated animal control agencies and registered nonprofit humane organizations shall be exempt from this Code section.”

        So we have one Nay, one Yay, and one Maybe.


        It looks as if we’re going to track a paper trail, Nashville is the place to start. By law they should have had a copy of the transport forms prior to the dogs arriving.

        @ Jeanne – here’s the link to each state’s regulations. As you can see, the USDA only controls rabies vaccinations, the rest is left up to the states to decide. Some are extremely harsh, some have few rules at all. Regardless, the records are still NOT the property of the feds with possibly the exception of Nashville, assuming that paperwork was indeed completed. By the way, keep up the good work – co-ordinating transport is NOT an easy job… I deal with aggressive dogs and I can’t handle the stress of setting up transports. You have my very honest respect.

        If there’s anyone who lives in Nashville or Georgia, please email or phone your federal veterinarian and ask for exact details The information for each state along with their contact information can be found below. I tend to not have a lot pull when they realize not only is the call coming from out of state, but out of country. :O)


  21. This response from a HSUS staffer appeared recently on an email list:

    “From: Mindy Gilbert
    Sent: Sat, December 25, 2010 11:48:29 AM
    Subject: Marshall County dogs


    Thanks you for contacting me regarding the Marshall County dogs. I apologize for answering to a group of you at once.

    This is a reply I sent to an angry e mailer yesterday:

    I am happy to give you a bit of accurate information about the Marshall County Dogs. An individual in Georgia asked for any assistance that I might give as the result of a hoarding situation in Alabama. The hoarder was his sister, who was living with her elderly mother and aunt. At his request I traveled to their home and met with them. The 44 chow x retriever dogs in the back yard were unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered and although were being provided with food and water to the best of the owner abilities, were in fact injuring and killing each other. They were loose in a large fenced area and had developed true pack behavior. The owner insisted that the only reason she had them was because the rednecks in Alabama didn’t know how to care for animals properly(her words). There is not an animal shelter in Marshall County. The reality is that all of the dogs were basically offspring of a few dogs that she originally owned. The dogs were surrendered and we had them heartworm checked, vaccinated, wormed, frontlined and health certificates issued for them to be transported to adoption programs.

    Some of the dogs went to a humane society and to a rescue group in Nashville, some went to a rescue group in Georgia and 10 went to the shelter in NC. The NC shelter is large, clean and has a large volunteer base. They have worked closely in the past with our NC State Director. The dogs are walked every day by volunteers. Since we knew that these dogs needed a lot of socialization, we appreciated their offer to help. They also placed slightly over 1,000 animals last year through their rescue contacts. It is my understanding that one of the dogs bit a caregiver and one shut down and was not responding to care. Since there have now been allegations of wrongdoing at the shelter, the dogs have been moved. We cannot substantiate any of the allegations, however.

    We did not do any local media on this case in order to protect the elderly family members, for whom the hoarder is the primary caregiver. I hope that you will respect that .

    I am happy that HSUS was able to assist animals in need in an underserved county in Alabama. We placed the dogs with adoption partners that were willing to give this difficult population of dogs a chance at being adopted.

    You are welcome to contact me at any time with any questions you may have,

    Happy Holidays,

    Now I feel the need to add to the message. The article printed in the Mobile Examiner was written by Sandra Nathan. She is an activist that has done a great job of bringing the plight of unwanted animals in Alabama to light. Unfortunately, in this instance, although Sandra has my contact info, she never contacted me about this case.

    You may know that Alabama law requires each and every county to provide an animal shelter. 26 Alabama counties do not comply. Marshall County is one of them.

    Anyone receiving this e mail is welcome to contact me.

    Thank you for caring about animals.

    Mindy Gilbert”

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Here again, we don’t know for certain if this is Mindy Gilbert writing but this does appear to be the same exact posting as the one featured in an earlier comment. That one was allegedly from Sarah at HSUS. Perhaps one copied and pasted from the other w/out proper credit or… . At any rate, in the absence of anything else possibly official from HSUS, I think it merits discussion. I’m going to start a new post.

      1. Just a side note, but it appears that Marshall Co does indeed NOT have a shelter.

        However, they do have this group, who claims to have a connection to the HSUS. They also have an “open door” policy.


        But here’s the best part. Direct from their web page:

        “A primary goal of the shelter is to work with individuals to find solutions to pet problems. We take all unwanted pets to prevent cruelty that might result from being “dumped” or placed hastily in the hands of an irresponsible person. Persons who find it necessary to surrender their pets are asked, when possible, to vaccinate for kennel cough at least one week before bringing them to the shelter. Any pet that has been adopted and does not work out in the new home should be returned to the Marshall County Animal shelter. We feel responsibility for the pets well-being and your satisfaction.”

        Uh-huh. Wonder how they feel about THIS particular situation? Do they really feel they lived up to this statement? I understand their frustration – hell, I live in a city that serves an EXTREMELY large area with only a dozen AC staff members, 750,000 humans and likely even more animals. We’re dealing with the same issue – they have no shelter, we have no room at the inn. I get it.

        But to write such an understanding, caring and compassionate paragraph about how much they care and will basically treat your pet like one of their own and then send 10 dogs to LINCOLN – with 3 dead just a few dogs later and an utter refusal to say where the remaining 41 dogs are…

        This whole thing stinks. All around. For everyone.

    1. Thanks, YesBiscuit – grabbed the wrong link.

      Can’t find a web link for Marshall County in Alabama, but here’s the contact information that is listed on the Alabama State Shelter Directory for the PROPER Marshall County information:


      Marshall County Animal Welfare Society
      Hwy 431, Albertville, AL 35950
      (205) 878-3877

      Sadly, it does indeed appear that Marshall County lost its shelter when the government cut the shelter’s funding – a paltry $35,000 a year because he didn’t feel it was fair to expect people to pay for someone else’s dog. Funding was cut in May of 1991.

      Oddly it appears that the ACO at the time saved the life of a little girl who was attacked in the neck and head by a basset hound who was mauling her. He had to quarantine the dog for 10 days, and while the article doesn’t state WHERE they quarantined this potentially rabid and dangerous dog, it certainly doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

      Sorry for the error, YesBiscuit!, thanks for pointing it out (it’s been a long weekend – caught a bag of adulterated food yesterday). Unfortunately, the true story is even worse as far as I’m concerned. No shelter since 1991! Imagine being a dog Warden in an area with no pound or shelters for almost two decades.

      Ok, people of Alabama – no matter WHERE you live. Time to contact your representatives and demand that ALL counties adhere to minimum standards and keep up appropriate facilities and staff at the very least. If this is a state mandate, perhaps it should be state funded. Think $35,000 means squat to the state?

      I can’t say that the outcome would have been any better if there had been a shelter available, but perhaps the dogs could have been removed a few a time, or a vet found to at least neuter all the males to reduce some of the issues and certainly the breeding. But maybe they would have tried?

  22. Don’t let Sarah get you off track. HSUS is known for trying to divert away from what the real questions or topics are.

    The question again is, what is the status on the 44 dogs? This is not many animals to keep track of even for a much smaller group. HSUS should have documentation of every one of these animals.

  23. This is not the first time HSUS has done this. It’s documented and factual HSUS takes in donations and dumps the animals in kill shelters just as they did during Katrina and Rita, as well as the animal shelter in Tangiopah parish LA. Lied animal shelter LV. Wilkes county NC animal shelter and the Vick dogs. I am sure the list is longer. USAP was rescuing all the animals out of Tangiapoah and HSUS was behind the scenes ordering them all killed. USAP is attacked for spending thier own money to rescue animals and would not doubt HSUS has a hand in this.We are seeing smear campaigns more often than ever against good hard working rescue groups.
    HSUS takes in millions and kills while the smaller groups actually trying to save animals are getting swallowed alive.

  24. As I am reading all the post HSUS should take notice the rescue community and the public does not forget. It seems many people above this post are speaking of the same shelters were mass kills were ordered. HSUS has been exposed. Now to the rescuers that care about the animals HSUS is killing what next?

    Can this machine be stopped? Do we let them go on killing those we are trying to save? Why is HSUS not investigated for fraud?

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