I change the channel as soon as I hear Sarah McLachlin’s voice singing for the ASPCA in one of their commercials. I can’t stand the sad music paired with the parade of one-eyed pets asking for more money for a multi-million dollar organization that fights against shelter reform and no kill. So I had never seen an ad, featuring a mama GSD mix named Betty, until Billy showed it to me. (I couldn’t find a good link to the commercial but it’s apparently on TV all the time and has been for years. You could probably just go turn on your television right now and see it.) Billy thought the ad was manipulative in that it showed this pitiful mama dog, shaking in a cage, but never told what happened to her. Was she still at the pound? How did she respond to her veterinary treatment? Did she need an adopter?
I decided to poke around online to see if I could find out about Betty. When I found what appeared to be a legitimate response from the ASPCA regarding Betty, I e-mailed the following to Billy:
Many people have asked online about the dog you wondered about from the ASPCA commercial. Apparently that footage is from 2003 and she has since been adopted:
Thank you very much for your email regarding the dog named Betty in our commercial. When the ASPCA found Betty she was injured badly with a fractured vertebra, she could barely move but she continued to care for her new born pups. All of her pups were successfully adopted and shortly after in February 2003 Betty also found her new family and given the name Apple to start her journey with her new pet parents and another canine. Eight years later, Apples parents inform us that she is just as beautiful and intelligent as the day they brought her home and was a wonderful addition to the family. She spends her days chasing squirrels around five acres and being spoiled by her parents. Apple couldn’t have wished for a better life. This is just one of many rescue stories with a happy ending. Sincerely, ASPCA Public Information
I thought this would probably reassure him. Not so. His response:
Well – that makes it even more exploitative and manipulative that they’ve known all along and can’t put an update on the commercial. That would mean less donations. I’m sure someone had to dig deep to find this info. out.
He has a point. Have you seen the commercial with Betty and her pups? What do you think?