35 thoughts on “Open Thread

      1. Actually you be amazed at the number of small breed puppies that end up in rescue or shelters in the south. Purebred rat terrier puppies and mixes, chi puppies and mixes, yorkie mixes, toy poodle mixes, etc… Designer mixes that sell for high dollars in pet shops show up in our shelters. See the two cute cocker mix puppies in my profile image, neither one of them made it out the shelter alive. Some shelters put down puppies as soon as they come in as they will only get sick so might as well kill them now. Such a sad, messed up system.

  1. Just a reminder – justiceforbaby.org! Still no word from the “investigation” and Team Baby is asking everyone to sign the petitions and get the word out.

  2. Daisy Acres Critter Services is proud to report that we have our Petfinder Listings up and running! I still need to take more/better photos…but please take a moment to check out my available foster dogs.
    I haven’t figured out how, but I’m willing to accept *sponsorships* for those who can’t or won’t adopt but are willing to support my mission of letting every dog live a full and complete life with love and safety.
    Here’s the link:

  3. Got this in the mail today: can anyone help them? We are over-full, unfortunately.

    Hi Ladies,

    I just got a call from Liz at Animal Hospital of White Plains. They
    have a client that has two cockers, one is a male 13 and a half years
    old and a female 11 and half years old. Liz said up till a couple of
    months ago she would have said this woman is a wonderful dog owner, just
    spent $1,500 on both a year ago for dentals. Now she is inquiring about
    having them PTS. Liz has no idea why but says that both dogs are so
    healthy and so friendly that the vet will not euthanize them (thank

    Anyway, they need a new home together asap. Liz is getting me some

    Please, if you know anyone that has a soft spot for the oldies but most
    certainly goodies, let me know.

    I will forward pics when I get them.

    Try hard, because who knows if the woman will go to another vet if they
    aren’t re-homed soon.

    Thank you.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    That’s all i have, best to contact the animal hospital listed in the post. Thanks all!

  4. Alley Cat Allies is recruiting for a Media Relations Coordinator, a key position in ACA’s work to support TNR for feral cats nationwide. IMO this is an urgent hire, because ACA is getting hammered in the Northeast media corridor by the anti-TNR people. Location: Bethesda MD (right outside D.C.). If you know of a fabulous candidate, please encourage them to apply!


  5. New Hampshire is the first state to achieve no more homeless pets. According to Best Friends. http://bit.ly/gRPkH1

    There is a paragraph in the middle that talks about how adopting isn’t as easy as X animals in and Y people want to adopt because people might want types of animals that aren’t in the shelters. It ends with this

    “Sales, promotion and marketing strategies can move the dial to some degree on shaping the public’s pet preference, but with a publicly funded spay/neuter program, there is complete control over to whom and how you target the resource in order to affect the number, sources and even types of animals entering the shelter to begin with.”

    reading that paragraph makes me think they are selectively neutering animals to ensure a better supply of what people want, but I can’t possibly be reading it right. It’s just that put together with the sentence about how you can’t be sure you have what people want it seems that way. Someone who got more then 5 hours sleep last night help me out!


    1. Um…I got lots of sleep, and I’m reading it the same way. WOW. So we only shut down puppy mills that breed big dogs? Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

    2. I read it AND slept on it for a night…I keep rereading it and thinking about what you wrote.

      Maybe this is a ‘new’ spin on it. They bring up low income a LOT when discussing the spay & neuter part. I don’t know about most localities, but around me the low income people DO keep pets and fail to spay/neuter them…MANY times these people own pit type dogs, or any other dog that people tend to think of as mean & aggressive…but predominantly the pits.

      I know walking into my local ‘dog pound’ on any given day that probably half the dogs there are a pit of some type. These same people either have oops litters or intentionally breed their pits because they ‘think’ they can make money doing it…Can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to about this issue – some who wanted to adopt from me until they found out I DO spay & neuter any dog in my care piror to placing them, then changing their minds because they wanted to breed it.

      So maybe, just ‘maybe’, when they are talking about the entire marketing, sales, and who they are targeting – they are talking about these low income people that own dogs like pits. Because if they are ‘targeting’ groups like this who are either uneducated about what happened to unwanted dogs, don’t know there are programs that can pay for the surgeries for them, don’t know much about the dog world in general in fact. I have taken people that own pits and breed them because they ‘believe’ their ‘prized’ Razor’s Edge can sell for $3000 a pup…we go to the shelter and all of a sudden you see the light bulb moment when they realize that half the dogs look just like their ‘prized’ dog..and then when you start talking to them about vet checks, reference checks, and follow through that a normal-responsible breeder DOES DO…they realize that their ‘prized’ dog is popping out babies that in turn will pop out babies and eventually in the long string of things they end up in the shelter – DEAD because no one wants to adopt a big bad pit bull type dog (just never know when it’s going to ‘turn’ on you and all).

      So I am hoping that my “take” on this is about stopping the cycle of unwanted litters of pups by uneducated people, that often just end up in the shelters and get killed because of their breed. I didn’t read as them shutting down specific breeding operations per se…just those people that either don’t have the knowledge or money to make informed decisions about their dogs and the fate that awaits many of their offspring. I don’t know the stats for every shelter but I do know that pit type dogs are a breed that a lot of people think can make them BIG money. Sadly along those same lines we have those low income scum that are into dogfighting, as well, and it adds into the equation as much as I hate to admit it. That also plays into the entire equation.

      While we don’t live in a horrible neighborhood – half the area is privately owned homes and the other side of the street are duplexes that are rented (most to section 8/low income housing). When we bought the house one of the firs things we did was install security cameras all around that hook up to a DVR and record everything 24/7(video AND audio)…on one of my tapes there are 2 guys standing in front of my house talking. Each of them with a pit. When I watched the playback of the video it appears they are admiring each others dogs. Turn up the volume and you realize they are indeed admiring the dogs – but also making plans to breed the two AND talking about dogfighting. Needless to say I turned it over to the police…but the point I am trying to make is that there are these ‘types’ of people that just don’t CARE about the dogs and are only thinking about the dollar signs – be it from a highly prized blood line (read fight champion) or via fights themselves.

      So when I read this and think about the ‘targeting’ part of it – I don’t think they are talking about shutting down/out large sized breeders…but more along the lines of people who are overbreeding dogs like pits either out of greed or uneducation. Hope that gives you another spin on how to think about it. (And hoping I’m not too far off the mark…because the spin you & LynnO got from it feels a little scary to even think about.)

      1. When we talk about “targeted” neutering we simply mean trying to preferentially give out vouchers to people who wouldn’t otherwise neuter their pets. We do it by things like having “animal health weeks” in specific locations where owners are offered neutering vouchers and chipping/vaccination etc. and special deals (usually a voucher for a larger percentage of the cost) for neutering breeds that are particularly hard to place.

        I would imagine the “marketing” aspect refers to promotions to encourage people to adopt hard to place breeds, similar to the “Lovabull” campaign we run periodically.

        I don’t think there’s anything sinister about the New Hampshire activities.

      2. I didn’t think there was anything sinister – but they could have worded things a little better so that the general public understood what they are attempting to do instead of leaving people to speculate. As you can tell from the postings some people were ‘cautious’ and curious as to what EXACTLY was meant by it – and these are peopel that work in rescue/shelters so for the generla public I could see where it would cause a communication problem. I applaud them for doing this type of outreach because it is so lacking in so many areas…I just think that in the future some extra time could be taken to make sure EVERYONE understands what it is about.

    3. I did post the same question on that article, as I felt they should have the right to explain themselves and they said that they do target specific breeds in that they hold a “spay a pit bull” day vs a “spay a pet” day to encourage pit bull (or whatever breed) especially to come to the event. But if you come with a collie they won’t turn you away. The intent of making it a specific breed event is because they have a large amount of the specific breed in the shelter and can’t adopt them all out, so they are targeting them to try to prevent more from coming in.

      I can’t disagree in their logic, but I think the paragraphs were badly worded. To me it implied that they were only spaying certain breeds, when what they really meant is that they are spaying all breeds but are trying to especially reach the breeds that are currently overwhelming the system.

      The other interesting thing from the article is that they have an 83% live release rate and haven’t killed for space. I thought the number was supposed to be closer to 90% – but that could also be semantics.

      1. This is just me but I would not bring my Collie to a “Spay a Pit Bull” event because I would figure I’d be turned away.

        Also, it’s not a matter of semantics IMO on the number of pets killed. If they are saying that 17% of the pets they take in are medically hopeless and suffering, that would be unusual. However, if they are using the Asilomar Accords to deem 17% of their pets “unsavable” (such as case of ringworm or a sneeze or tapeworms) then that’s BS. I’d be interested in hearing the specifics.

      2. I completely agree about taking another breed to a “pit bull” spay event…while I do understand that they are primarily ‘targeting’ the pit bull breeds – maybe they could work on their advertising of the event and make it clear that NO dogs that need spayed/neutered will be turned away.

    1. He’s a sharp old geezer! Can’t say I voted for him, but I’m glad to hear he’s aware and helping to spread the awareness.

      1. I thought it was great that a congressmen in ANY position would be willing to turn down an award from HSUS – shows that their “image” and true agenda is beginning to be realized by more people and when we have congressmen, state reps, mayors, governors, etc willing to state an opinion AGAINST HSUS it helps wake up the general public that ‘something’ is just not quite right about the group. He is raising awareness…a bet there are quite a few donors to HSUS that read that and then began to do some digging to find out that their money isn’t being used properly…hoping it wakes more people up to the reality of HSUS and just what they are work towards!

  6. So i want some feedback to see if my feelings are out of left field or justified.

    This has happened 2x that i’m aware of (probably others that i’m not)- once a few years ago, and more recently this week. Basically, we have a purebred dog on the adoption floor. So we get phone calls from the local purebred rescue wanting to pull the dog. We thanks them for their offer of assistance but let them know that the animal is in no danger of being euthanized. We let them know that we’re always looking for more groups to help with animals that won’t be suitable for placement at our organization, and then refer them to our Rescue Coordinator.
    The rescue then sends someone in under cover, adopts the dog, and then places them for adoption at their rescue.

    i am always SUPER irritated when we find out about this. 1) it shows that the rescue does not trust us to find suitable placement for the dog (but all the other breeds and mutts can be adopted just fine- it’s like they’re saying only THEY are qualified to adopt out this breed. Either that or it’s personal and they jsut don’t trust us- which, thanks) and 2) what a waste of resources! They’re spending money to adopt a dog that is in no danger just to turn around and spend more money on caring for it until it’s adopted again. Also, how stressful for this poor dog to be bounced around to ANOTHER home before finding his forever home

    Are my feelings on track? or am i taking crazy pills?

    1. I don’t think you are wrong to feel the way you do. My thought on rescues is that they should be there to save the animals that ARE in danger of being killed. It IS a major waste of resources for them to pull any dogs not in danger of being killed. My ONLY question is how much are these rescues charging for the animals? Because if they are “adopting” a dog only to turn around and find a home for it through their rescue when it wasn’t in danger of being killed – the ONLY possible reason I can think of is that they are making money on ‘rescuing’ the dog and rehoming it?

      I am assuming that your shelter does all the vaccines & spay/neuter upon adoption – so that takes away a portion of funds that they would have to spend to prep the animal for its new home. So depending on how much your shelter charges for adoptions vs how much the rescue charges…it could just be an easy buck for the shelter. In fact that would be my biggest thought on the subject – not so much that they don’t trust you, but more along the lines of them making extra money – those purebreds can go for some big bucks.

      But I agree that the stress of moving the animal around is really unfair for the rescue to put the animal through – especially when its not at risk of being killed.

      1. huh- i hadn’t even considered the money making factor (which makes it feel even more dirty). yes all our animals are fully vetted and speutered and chipped prior to release (plus they get a free vet visit and 30 days of pet health insurance too). Our dog fees are usually $200-$400

        glad to know that my feelings aren’t off base here. thanks!

    2. I think sending someone is to adopt the dog under false pretenses should be a last resort when a rescue is worried for the well being of the dog and all legitimate means of negotiating with the shelter have been exhausted. I don’t like it.

      It’s possible – and this is pure speculation – the rescue perceived the dog to be in some sort of danger outside of being killed. Perhaps it was a special needs dog and they felt their breed’s network of support could help the owner with the inevitable questions and concerns that would crop up over the life of the dog. That’s just an example obviously but even if there was that perception, I don’t know why they wouldn’t have tried to negotiate the dog’s release honestly.

      1. I’ve had rescue groups tell me the only time our shelter calls is for the sick, old, special needs of their breed.Kill shelter saving the “highly adoptables” for themselves. Anne, if you are with a kill shelter,(i’m not defending the method of the rescue) , perhaps they just opened a cage for another dog? And by doing so saved 2 dogs with one adoption.

    3. Anne, I hear you. Breed Rescues are just people too. We each have an agenda, no matter if we are willing to recognize it or not.
      From an *outside* perspective…
      I can imagine that a breed rescue might search petfinder for any available dogs of their breed. If they find one at YOUR facility, they contact you. You refuse to give the dog away, but then their egos still see that they aren’t doing their job! (They think your job is to rescue ANY dog…and likely they know they can place the dog you have easy as pie, improve their numbers, and, yes, make a few bucks in the process.)
      Can you (and your rescue) love the world and the dog enough to just be grateful that one more has gone into other safe hands?
      There are local rescue groups here that argue and fight all the time. They send *spies* to try and adopt from each other, it’s absurd! Can’t we all just work to help the animals we have?
      And don’t fret about bouncing dogs. Basset Hounds don’t transition well, but some sled dogs actually enjoy changing/sharing homes! Life is good. Death is bad.
      Do you ALWAYS eat at 5 p.m.? Do you have the same thing every day for breakfast or dinner? Dogs are not that different. As long as the love is consistent, the who and the where are not such a big deal. IMO.

      1. I hear & understand what you are saying LynnO, but I still feel that their time & resources would be better spent saving the poor dogs that ARE in danger of being killed vs saving those that are totally safe. I mean with all the shelters that do kill even purebreeds you would think they would want to save the ones that are risking being killed vs those that aren’t. Especially when I hear from so many rescuers that they are ‘full’ or just can’t take another dog right now.

        Just recently I tried to help a gal who like an idiot waited until the absolute last minute to get rid of her 8 month old pit pup. She posted on Criaglist and said that dog HAD to go that day or it would be dropped at the pound the next day. (Those people really irk me….knew she was moving for months and waited until the last possible minute to post about it – along with her veiled threat to send it to the pound to be killed!)

        I was jumping through hoops all day long contacting each and every pit rescue in Ohio to try and find a place to take the pup. Everyone told me they were full and couldn’t possibly take the dog – even if I offered to take the pup in and just have them courtesy post it for me! Then I find out from one of the gals that they turned right around and went to Georgia to pull 10 dogs the very next day (not a one was on a kill list either). She told me that IF they had taken the pup that would’ve been one less spot for the pull…so the owner ended up dumping the pup at the dog pound and now in 3 days the pup is going to be killed. Sadly I couldn’t sign on for along term foster or I would’ve taken her – she was such a sweetie when I went to temp test her. I am praying that the shelter will list her as a mixed breed or a pit rescue will pull her now..but a good portion (around 80%) of pits that enter the doors never leave alive…

  7. Need advice from you guys. i have been given the opportunity to meet with a couple of board members from our local hi kill(77%) shelter.Open admission, coumty AC contract.I’ve been going over 990s.They have a low cost s/n clinic ,brings in 484k annually. adoption income is only 114k as of 2010,same as in 2009.I need to put togehter something to present in 1 hour and on 1 page. I have so many things that I want to share, I’m having trouble condensing. Ideas,suggestions?

    1. Hi Tami,

      I suggest you use – or start with – the following No Kill Advocacy Center document as a model. It addresses programs, costs, excuses, successes, adoption focus, and even an interview with a skeptical municipal director who turned things around. You can download at:


      You should make copies and bring it for the board members.

      As to the one page requirement, you can summarize it in one page as an “Executive Summary” and include the full document behind it.

      I hope that helps.

      1. Nathan,
        Thanks. I do have the No Kill Primer in my arsenal. My fear is ,I was told ” These people don’t want to have to think.They just want you to present short and sweet solutions to problems they don’t know they have.” I want to WOW them with an intro and hold their attention long enough to impress them. I can speak to anyone on spay/neuter. Been at that a while.This is gonna be new territory to me. I may not get another chance and I don’t want to blow it.

      2. Don’t sweat it Tami. You’ll wow them w/your passion and impress them with your knowledge of no kill. I would be sure and highlight cost saving measures. Those tend to be popular with bean counters across the board.

  8. Ok, so I know this thread has been open for days but I have to vent.

    The No Kill Equation is the vehicle to life-saving. Think of it like a bus. We all get on the bus and take animals to safety.

    If you are a rescuer who refuses to learn about the bus, get on the bus or even acknowledge that the bus exists, shame on you. You don’t have to love the bus or say, “oooh, isn’t this comfy.” If you are a rescuer and you continue to live within the blinders of your own world, looking down at the ground, singularly focused on X dog or Y cat, you are doomed to forever keep working to save those 11th hour animals about which you email, plead and beg. If you are a rescuer who knows of and interacts with a kill facility and you have not spoken up about the needless killing or made any attempts to introduce the no kill equation, are are condoning the killing through your silence. You are complicit.

    Get on the bus, people. Please, please, please. It really is much faster to get to the Land of Life Saving when you’ve moving under the power of What Works and not just running amok on your own and repeatedly wondering why he killing continues.

    Let the bashing begin. I am unapologetic about my opinion and while you can argue with me, nothing you type will change my position. The killing is shameful, wrong and unethical. Period.

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