ASPCA Got 99 Problems but a Glitch Ain’t One

In response to the public outcry over ASPCA’s publishing, promoting then disappearing of documents on one of its websites which clearly defined the group’s talking points against no kill terrorists advocates, the ASPCA issued the lamest of lame “apologies” in, wait for it – a Facebook comment.  Not a stand-alone post, but a comment within another post.  Addressing the issue is obviously REALLY IMPORTANT to them.

The organization says the documents, which characterized no kill underwear bombers advocates as “extremists”, were posted by mistake.  An error.  An oops.  A glitch, if you will.  Although the faux-pology fails to mention the e-mail promotion of these documents, I suppose that too was simply a case of somebody-hit-a-wrong-key-and-whoopsie.  At any rate, the group’s heartfelt apology Facebook comment from November 10 is a passive-aggressive notes fan’s wet dream.  In case this too disappears, I am pasting it below for eternal enjoyment:

The documents mistakenly posted on November 8, 2011, do not reflect our views on the position of no-kill, organizations that identify themselves as no-kill, or the people who support no-kill organizations.

Let’s face it – the “no-kill” terminology has been divisive. Sometimes hardworking sheltering professionals have been attacked because the open-admission shelters that employ them have not been able to meet no-kill goals. Since the ASPCA works with these shelter professionals, we have witnessed the toll these attacks have taken on people who got into this work to save animals. Because the no-kill term sometimes divides groups we are trying to unite, at times we have sought to circumvent conflict by avoiding labels. But even if we haven’t always referred to ourselves as no-kill, our philosophy that a no-kill nation is the goal has never wavered.

The ASPCA strongly supports no-kill communities and advocacy groups and regrets any offense caused by the materials. Our experience across the country has taught us that the most successful no-kill communities are those that are built on collaboration, sustainability, knowledge and innovation.

We work with no-kill groups as well as groups that are not yet no-kill, but which aspire to be. In fact, a number of the groups that entered our Save More Lives $100K Challenge this year define themselves as no-kill and we have cheered them on. Our focus is on saving lives, and we are mortified that we would offend those who share our goals.

Shorter ASPCA:  We didn’t mean any of that stuff we said, we were drunk and besides, it’s not our fault all y’all are haters and trolls, but we still loves ya.

The comments from no kill al Qaeda secret handshake club members advocates raise several legitimate questions and issues – all of which continue to be ignored by ASPCA.  Among them:

Ryan Clinton:  Dear ASPCApro: Can you tell us who wrote the documents? Was it one of your officials or employees? That would help us determine whether to believe you that they were “mistakenly” posted and circulated.

John Sibley:  You know, I really think people deserve a bit more of an explanation here – and much as I hate to go off-topic, I might have to ask some of the more pertinent questions in the comments of every single thread until you start answering. Though I haven’t read your crisis manual, ignoring people with legitimate concerns about a dialogue that you started is pretty inexcusable. Please address the issues raised.

You know what might go a long way toward helping no kill wearers of shoes with protruding fuses advocates believe that these ASPCA documents were posted and promoted by mistake?  If some other glitch had ever occurred with the ASPCA, maybe like whoops-we-just-mistakenly-donated-a-million-bucks-to-Fix-Austin.  But as things stand, it seems like the only “error” on record is a series of documents outlining how to defeat the no kill movement.  And the longer the ASPCA stands with their heads in the sand over this issue, the less likely anyone with a brain will ever believe their lies again.

19 thoughts on “ASPCA Got 99 Problems but a Glitch Ain’t One

  1. “The organization says the documents, which characterized no kill underwear bombers advocates as “extremists”, were posted by mistake”, Soooo, were they also “written by mistake”?

    Great article, as usual; great writing – love to read you even when the topics are so upsetting, such as when the original animal welfare organization exerts its power to fight against those who want to keep animals alive and well.

  2. So much COULD be accomplished if everyone were on the same page. It’s such a shame there is so much disagreement between “humane” groups when the objective is to be humane and the humane thing to do is save lives. How does anyone respectively argue with that?

  3. Ah, well. Here’s a question I’ve got: Irrespective of whether or not anyone with the ASPCA wrote the documents, they were clearly circulating behind the scenes. If, as they claim, the ASPCA does not view no-kill advocates as ‘extremists,’ why was this so?

    I’m especially curious about The Tactics of the Extremist Agenda, because I can think of no good reason for the ASPCA to both have it, and – however momentarily – think it good enough to post on-line among resources for sheltering professionals. I mean, for cripe’s sake – the last time I read something comparable, it was about reptoids from the constellation Draco.

    1. I find I’ve another two cents to add.

      How dare the ASPCA characterize no-kill advocacy as ‘divisive’ when they had this up their collective – sleeve?

  4. BRAVA! Shirley for an exquisitely well thought-out and deliciously sarcastic assessment of ASPCA’s sincerity on just about anything. I invite you to join the National Sarcasm Society (like, yea, we need your support). Tra!

  5. Wonderful post, very funny! And just the tone their whole document deserves. They would be a real hoot if they weren’t costing thousands of animals their lives. The panic and desperation needed to even construct such a document (much less circulate it) seems to me a real indication that the No Kill paradigm is poised for national success & they know it.

  6. BU77SH$T ! ! !
    This is clearly a CYA on their part and won’t fool anybody who is an crazy animal-loving “extremist”!

  7. The very existence of these documents proves that ASPCA is NOT committed to any no-kill philosophy, and in fact is determined to defeat it. How can any attitude be MORE divisive than what amounts to a declaration of war??

    1. hiding it from most potential donors –

      Therein lies their goal: to keep people thinking they are really in the business of animal welfare while getting as much money in as they possibly can.

  8. Did anyone else notice even in their “apology” they didn’t capitalise the words No-Kill? Wasn’t that the whole gist of the original documents- that no kill is super and they’re down with that (in theory- as long as it isn’t inconvenient and doesn’t interfere with them making a profit) but No Kill is the devil and must never be allowed to succeed? It sounded to me like the argument you hear about Christianity all the time- it’s fine to go to church on Sunday and aim to be a good person but if you actually believe the entire bible, and in angels and hell and virgin births and if God actually talks to you then you’re a fruit loop.

    Did the story of the leaked documents make the news in the US btw? It seems akin to the Pope being discovered to worship the devil to me- but I suppose we’re only talking about the lives of animals here so I’m guessing the attitude was meh whatever right?

  9. “. . we have witnessed the toll these attacks have taken on people who got into this work to save animals.” And we have witnessed the toll these people have taken on animals. It’s called death. It is permanent and there are no take-backs.

    I no more believe this was some snafu than I believe their kinda sorta but we just wanna help apology. Who wrote the materials? Who posted them on pages that would end up in cyberspace? Who then published those pages? I’m not web guru (although I do manage my own web site) but I do know this: you can type all day and night but it’s not until you publish that it goes out there to be viewed by the world. Kudos to those who managed to catch the content before it was whisked away.

    Both the HSUS and ASPCA have legitimized the very individuals I fight to expose to rescuers and to the public. How in the world am I supposed to get people on board the no kill bandwagon when I go from being labeled an uninformed zealot to being labeled an extremist?

    By the way, Shirley, love the strike-through humor.

    1. Nathan Winograd – at (it’s a ways down) – identifies the author as Karen Medicus, the former exec. director of the HS/SPCA of Austin & Travis County, and the ASPCA’s representative and currently Senior Director of Community Initiatives for the ASPCA.

  10. There is now an apology posted here:

    Here is one of my comments, which is still awaiting moderation:
    “There had to be many people involved in those documents: 1) being written; 2) being reviewed and approved to be posted on the ASPCA website 3) reviewed and approved to be emailed to shelters.

    If these documents were a mistake, then there were obviously quite a few people involved in this mistake. That also means quite a few ASPCA employees believe the “Tactics of the Extremists Agenda” document. If the ASPCA, as an organization, does not believe or condone this position, then all of those people involved in those documents being disseminated on behalf of the ASPCA, should be fired.”

  11. Here is my other comment, also awaiting moderation:
    “Also, if the ASPCA is committed to working with organizations who are “committed to change”, then why is the ASPCA still working with the Houston SPCA? The HSPCA is a shelter, who, the last time that they were transparent with the public in 2005, had a save rate of only 35%. They currently refuse to be transparent with the public and will not show their intake and outcome records to the public. In fact, their own employees are not allowed to see the records. I’ve asked them for this information twice in the last year but they refuse to be open and honest.

    Also, on the same ASPCA webpage as where the “Tactics of an Extremists Agenda” was posted is a Powerpoint presentation created by Glenn Smith, a political consultant, called “Surviving the Storm”. This presentation does not talk about a commitment to change; no, instead, it tells shelters how to “maintain the status quo”.

    Also, just a few days ago, Mr. Smith’s Powerpoint presentation was shown to attendees of the “Society of Animal Welfare Administrators” conference. At this conference, Mr. Smith attacked international No Kill expert, Nathan Winograd referring to him as a psycho. Mr. Smith told attendees that he was committed to fighting against Mr. Winograd and No Kill efforts. Mr. Smith also called Austin Pets Alive a “terrorists group” and called No Kill advocates “minions” of Mr. Winograd. Austin Pets Alive is a very successful No Kill rescue/shelter who have saved many thousands of animals from kill shelters, yet they were referred to a terrorist group by Mr. Smith.

    Mr. Smith also told attendees that he was committed to coming to Houston to fight No Kill efforts.

    Since Mr. Smith’s work is posted on the ASPCA’s website, it would appear that the ASPCA is still working with him and agrees with his presentation on “maintaining the status quo”. This is a person who has stated, quite plainly, to many people that he is committed to working against No Kill efforts.

    How can you state that the ASPCA is committed to change considering the above?


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