Sunday, December 23, 2012

Animal Cruelty - Be Part of the Solution

Be Their Voice And Stop Animal Cruelty

We've all seen the headlines over the last year. Animal cruelty, especially hoarding cases, are becoming all too common.  Delaware has certainly seen it's share of these cases in the past year.

There was a recent article that discusses the financial impact these cases have on shelters across the country.
Agencies also victims
Across Pennsylvania, shelters like the ARL take in the victims of animal abuse cases, holding the animals until their owners have their day in court. But as costs build - oftentimes through lengthy appeals and the owners' refusal to surrender the animals for adoption - the agencies become victims themselves, shouldering thousands of dollars in costs as their space for new animals runs thin.
"This is one of the reasons why it puts such a stress on shelters," Brown said. "You'd be surprised how many shelters look the other way because they know they're going to be stuck with them for months or years." -

While our task force it looking at the various issues that impact animals in our state, they need to consider funding shelters for the care required when animals are held before an animal cruelty case goes to court. Especially now that shelters are facing more and more hoarding cases.

What Can We Do As Citizens 

The fact is, these cases would be more manageable, and more animals can be saved if the public becomes part of the solution.

People are reluctant to speak up about animal cruelty for any number of reasons.  They don't want to make enemies of a neighbor.  They don't want to upset their employer.  They are worried that people will blame them if some of the animals need to be euthanized.

But the Caboodle Ranch case is a good example of why the public needs to overcome reasons like above, and help the animals as soon as they know cruelty is happening.  While there was an extensive effort to save the cats, and most of the cats were saved in that case, the fact is that dozens of deceased cats were found on the property and many other cats suffered before the rescue occurred.  Had more people spoke up earlier, the suffering and deaths that resulted could have been prevented.
"These cats have been through so much. At the Caboodle Ranch where they were rescued by the ASPCA and local officials in February, investigators found cats that were in desperate need of immediate veterinary attention. Some were having difficulty breathing; others were sneezing and lethargic. One cat was soaked in urine and feces and could not stand, and another's eyes were matted shut. Dozens of deceased cats were also discovered throughout the property." - Huffington Post
While I think our state should pay for the costs associated with these kind of cases, I also believe we need to  do our part as citizens that care about animals.  Even if your decision to report such cases may bring grief in the short run, most people will know that you are the hero that stopped the suffering of the animals involved.  The animals don't have a voice to speak up, so we need to be that voice !!!

The Solution - Eddie Kirkland
"In the middle of the mess
In the center of the storm
I am right where I belong here
Where the shadow people walk
And the light is all but gone
I am right where I belong here

I'll be a light for the eyes that cannot see
I'll be a voice for the lips that cannot speak
To the broken I will carry your love
I will be part of the solution"

How To Report Cruelty In Delaware

If you witness animal cruelty, make a report with the state police as soon as possible.  Because cruelty statutes are handled by the State Attorney General office, the state police will be more familiar with dealing with the state Attorney General agency.  If the state police will not take your report, then make your report with the State Attorney General office in your county.

Below are the contact numbers you will need.

Delaware State Police: Troop 1
603 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE 19809
Delaware State Police: Troop 5
9265 Public Safety Way
Bridgeville, DE 19933
Delaware State Police: Troop 2
100 Lagrange Ave
Newark, DE 19702
Delaware State Police: Troop 6
3301 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19808
Delaware State Police: Troop 3
3036 Upper King Rd
Dover, DE 19904
Delaware State Police: Troop 7
18006 Coastal Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
Delaware State Police: Troop 4
23652 Shortly Rd
Georgetown, DE 19947
Delaware State Police: Troop 9
414 Main Street
Odessa, DE 19730

Delaware State Attorney General Contact Information

 Wilmington Office:Carvel State Office Bldg
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Mon.-Fri.
Criminal Div.:(302) 577-8500 
Fax:(302) 577-2496

 Dover Office:
102 W. Water Street
Dover, DE 19904

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Mon.-Fri.

Get Directions
Criminal Div.:(302) 739-4211
Civil Div.:(302) 739-7641

 Georgetown Office:114 East Market St.
Georgetown, DE 19947
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Mon.-Fri.
Phone:(302) 856-5353
Fax:(302) 856-5369

Cruelty Law Summary

Confronting Animal Neglect in America - This publication by provides a good summary of Delaware's animal cruelty statute.


SUMMARY: The “cruelty to animals” statute includes “cruel neglect” and specifically defines
what proper feed, shelter and veterinary care include, as well as a definition of “cruel neglect.”
DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 11, § 1325 (2004). Cruelty to animals; class A misdemeanor; class F felony. 
(a) For the purpose of this section, the following words and phrases shall include, but not be limited to, the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:
(1) "Cruel" includes every act or omission to act whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. 
(2) "Cruel mistreatment" includes any treatment whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. 
(3) "Cruel neglect" includes neglect of an animal, which is under the care and control of the neglector, whereby pain or suffering is caused to the animal or abandonment of any domesticated animal by its owner or custodian. By way of example, cruel neglect shall also include allowing an animal to live in unsanitary conditions, such as keeping an animal where the animal’s own excrement is not removed from the animal’s living area and/or other living conditions which are injurious to the animal’s health.
(4) "Cruelty to animals" includes mistreatment of any animal or neglect of any animal under the care and control of the neglector, whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused. By way of example this includes: Unjustifiable beating of an animal; overworking an animal; tormenting an animal; abandonment of an animal; failure to feed properly or give proper shelter or veterinary care to an animal. 
(8) "Proper feed" includes providing each animal with daily food and water of sufficient quality and quantity to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(9) "Proper shelter" includes providing each animal with adequate shelter from the weather elements as required to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(10) "Proper veterinary care" includes providing each animal with veterinary care sufficient to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
* * * * * 

If we don't speak for the animals, who will?  

Be an animals's hero, and be part of the solution.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kent County Levy Court - Get Your Story Straight

Are there Kent County residents looking for their lost dogs that might have already be found?  Considering there are 120+ Kent County dogs sitting in boarding kennels in addition to those in Safe Haven, that may be the case.

The Kent County Levy Court and their vendor can't even get their stories in sync regarding the shelter's hours open to the public.  The main image here is from the Kent County Levy Court quarterly newsletter, and the bottom right insert is from Safe Havens website. I wonder how many Kent County Residents can't find their dogs as a result of this incompetence?

Even though the recent Cape Gazette article referenced 120 dogs in boarding kennels and 80 in the shelter, there aren't 200 dogs listed on their website. Considering Safe Haven isn't open normal business hours like other shelters to physically look for your missing dog, and the fact that residents are continually being given incorrect information by our county, having pictures of ALL dogs is crucial to ensure misinformed residents can find their dogs.
By law, all animal shelters are required to keep regular hours to allow the public to view and adopt animals. Until Oct. 26, Safe Haven had no public hours, instead prompting residents to view dogs online and then call to make an appointment.
Gryczon said she has 28 employees, but they are not ready or fully trained in order to open the six days a week more typical of shelter operations.
Of the nearly 200 dogs in Safe Haven’s care, only 80 are living at the Shingle Point Road facility outside Georgetown, Gryczon said. The remaining 120 dogs, Gryczon said, are divided among two off-site kennels, one in Kent County and one in Sussex, she said. - Task force to hear animal welfare concerns by Rachel Mavity - Cape Gazette - Nov 23, 2012
If any Kent County resident has lost a dog in recent months and hasn't been able to find it, please contact your Levy Court Commissioner and request access to Safe Haven, and all kennel facilities where they are holding dogs, so you can look for your dog!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shelter Inspections And Real Standards Demanded

It was nice to see so many residents attend the Public Hearing by the Delaware Animal Welfare Task Force on November 29, especially considering that some media outlets didn't post about the upcoming meeting until the day of the hearing.  There was one consistent theme that came out of the meeting, the need for inspections of our animal shelters, and real standards of care that ensure animal health and welfare.
Erin Giebel, a veterinarian at Savannah Animal Hospital suggested a local physician or committee under the Department of Agriculture should oversee shelters. She said this person or committee could inspect shelters to ensure they are following animal standards laws.
“They could be doing spot checks and unannounced visits,” Giebel said. “They should also limit the rescue groups and create a list, so anyone can find them.”
Giebel also wants guidelines for animal vaccinations and alterations for all animals. Similar to guidelines for vaccinating children, Giebel said a timeline for vaccinating and fixing animals is not difficult to establish. - Article by Rachel Mavity - Cape Gazette
The Cape Gazette article will provide you a great deal of information regarding the various speakers at the public hearing.

Lindsay, who is now employed elsewhere as a vet tech, said all shelters should be held accountable for what goes on at animal shelters.
“Safe Haven has become a hoarding situation and something needs to be done,” Lindsay said.  - Article by Rachel Mavity - Cape Gazette

Demanding Random Unannounced Inspections And Real Animal Shelter Regulation

I've said for some time that Delaware's CAPA, or as the politicians like to call it "the shelter standards", has never been what most of us would consider to be real standards that ensure healthy and safe conditions for our animals.  There are consistently complaints about various shelters, on both sides of the no-kill battle here in Delaware.  So it's time for our legislature and governor to come up with a solution by enacting comprehensive animal shelter and rescue regulation, especially now that there appears to be common ground for both sides requesting regulation.  Regulations that ensure an animal is fed and watered appropriately, proper sanitation, proper cage space, etc.  North Carolina passed similar legislation in recent years, and it's shameful that in Delaware there is not one agency authorized to inspect a shelter, or address most of the issues brought up at the recent public hearing.

Unfortunately our CAPA, which is reminiscent of a teenager pact by the self proclaimed cool kids to bully everyone else, needs to be replaced with a grown up laws like the North Carolina one.

Amusing Highlight

I think the most amusing comment of the night was by Lois Fargo, a board member for the Safe Haven organization.  There appeared to be a great deal of excuses and claims that Kent County SPCA had of "coordinating a smear campaign against the Georgetown shelter", but the fact is that the people who spoke against their shelter was an employee that left on good terms, and a volunteer who had volunteered as a foster caregiver for Safe Haven.  Neither has any connections to the Kent County SPCA, and in fact do have first hand knowledge of Safe Haven, so it's obvious that Ms. Fargo's claim of a smear campaign couldn't be more wrong.
Safe Haven co-founder Lois Fargo disputed those claims, insisting that the agency is the target of harassment because of its no-kill policy.
"It is a group of people led by one woman who worked with us for two weeks and she later told our board of directors that she really wanted the executive director job," she told the task force. "Marleen here tried to break into our facility to steal a dog but we did not press charges." - Article by Stephen Goss - Dover Post

Ms. Fargo's comments reached the pinnacle of ridiculous when she even accused a woman than runs a rescue in New Castle County of trying to steal one of their dogs.  This rescuer had posted on a public Facebook page that she was going to go to Safe Haven back in March to see how far along their construction had progressed, and even has video of her self guided tour outside of the facility.

Based on the construction workers casual interaction with the rescuer in the video, I'm just not hearing the theme song from Mission Impossible in my head, or picturing Marleen with a grappling hook and camouflaged  face for this alleged theft attempt. Considering she has enough on her plate trying to find homes for the dogs already in her care, it does seem ludicrous to believe that she would go to Safe Haven steal a dog.  But I will certainly entertain the fact that there could be a ghost dog from the Safe Haven directors Kentucky past in one of the empty kennels seen in the video that Ms. Fargo thought Marleen was out to steal, and would welcome any ghost busters out there to view the video to search for the dog that the rest us us can't see ;)

Speaking up

I hope the Delaware Animal Welfare Task Force has the next Public Hearing in a larger venue.  The rhetoric since the meeting is getting more intense, which will bring more people forward for the next hearing.

I know that that some of those that spoke had concerns about the fate of the animals if they came forward. But for anyone who hasn't some forward, please keep in mind that the more animals that end up warehoused, the less likely authorities will be able to save as many as possible.
Of the nearly 200 dogs in Safe Haven’s care, only 80 are living at the Shingle Point Road facility outside Georgetown, Gryczon said. The remaining 120 dogs, Gryczon said, are divided among two off-site kennels, one in Kent County and one in Sussex, she said. - Article by Rachel Mavity - Cape Gazette
So if you, or anyone you know, has concerns that need to be brought forward, please contact anyone and everyone concerning those issues.  Contact the Attorney General office, and your state senators and representatives, and the governors office.  Don't wait until we end up like Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas where 1000 dogs and cats had to be euthanized due to crowded conditions and disease outbreaks. The more animals that become involved, the less likely that there will be a good outcome for as many animals as possible.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Disaster Response - HSUS & Kent County SPCA

I just wanted to share a recent account regarding Hurricane Sandy animal rescue efforts after the storm in New Jersey.  The effort was led by HSUS, and a Delaware shelter Kent County SPCA was one of the shelters from around the country that provided assistance.

Hurricane Sandy Rescue Efforts - After the Storm

The Team of Officers from Kent County SPCA and Hettie Brown from HSUS helping recover animals in Seaside Heights NJ.

Here is the account from one of the officers regarding the work they performed while they were in New Jersey, that was posted on the KCSPCA FB page.

Have to share this (long) recounting of our Animal Control Officers assisting with animal rescue in New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. This is why we are here - so proud of our team! - Kent County SPCA Facebook
On Monday November 4th at 0730hrs Sgt. Hulse, M/Cpl Lewis, Pfc. Jarboe and myself loaded up our gear and left for NJ to assist the HSUS in search and rescue efforts for animals that were left behind due to hurricane Sandy. We all met at the North Substation in Middletown. We loaded the ¾ ton, ACV 2 and the Rescue van with one of our rescue trailers full of gear and supplies not knowing what we were headed into. All we knew at the time was that we were going to a town called Barngat to meet at a shelter facility that was being set up. 
We arrived at the shelter in Barnagat at around 1030. At that time there were no animals at the facility as of yet and there were only a few crates that were at the location. We unloaded our trailer and set up the facility. Once that was done we headed to Seaside Heights. 
As we were crossing the bridge into Seaside Heights the damage was very evident, trees blown over houses knocked loose from their foundations and boats and jet ski’s scattered about obviously in places that they were not supposed to be. On the way through the check points the police officers that were there all thanked us and wished us luck with the amount of work that needed to be done when we got there. 
 We arrived and checked in at the command center at around 1500hrs. This is where we met with Officers from the NJSPCA, Toms River Animal Control, and the HSUS. The curfew was at 1800hrs and operations were winding down for the day. 
On Tuesday morning we arrived to the command center at 0730hrs and were ready to go in the field. We were all split up with officers from different agencies and we were given a list of address to go to. Each team consisted of 2-3 people and had a list of around 10-20 address to go to. The calls were mainly from people that had left an animal behind when they evacuated. It appeared that most people had taken their dogs with them but not their cats. It seemed that they had figured that they would only be gone for a few days and then when reality set in they needed someone to help rescue their animals. 
We would arrive to a home try and see if there was anything in the windows or if there was an open door or window to make entry to the home. If there wasn’t we would have to find a way in. once we were in the home we had to search through the mess that this storm had created. We would find cats in drawers under beds and just about anywhere you can think of. Some homes had snakes or pocket pets like hamsters or ferrets and birds even fish were removed.
When we were done for the day we followed the HSUS transport van back to the Barnagat shelter to unload all the animals that were picked up in the field. This day we unloaded and assisted the HSUS in checking in and setting up housing for over 100 animals. We got done around 2200hrs that night.

On Wednesday we were again split up in to teams M/Cpl Lewis and I went to Union Beach to assist with efforts there. Sgt. Hulse and Pfc Jarboe went back to the Barnagat Shelter to unload a 50 foot trailer full of supplies from Petsmart Charities.
The weather was changing and a Nor’Easter was headed for the area. Operations were shutdown around 1300hrs and everyone had to be off the islands. That night anywhere between 8 and 12 inches of snow fell. The snow was heavy and wet and whatever trees that had been damaged from the winds of Sandy ended up falling and people that had either just gotten power back or had not lost it before were all without power now. 
Thursday morning we were up early and back in the field by 0800hrs. New calls had come in the night before and others that were left over when operations were shutdown. We broke up into teams and started the response for the day. That day we rescued around 40-50 animals. The snow and the cold was not helping with the response efforts at all. It was cold and windy and made things move a little slow.

That evening we cleared the island around 1800hrs and went and unloaded the animals. After that we responded to a shelter that housed both animals and people but it was being closed down. Both the people and animals had to be moved. That night we moved around 15 dogs 2 cats, a hamster and 2 birds. All were transported back to the shelter in Barnagat and checked in for care. A highlight of the transfer of these animals was a Parrot named Poppi. He is a very nervous bird that would be calm when he had his stuffed animal parrot in a cage next to him. We all got a bit of a laugh when we brought Poppi and his friend into the shelter! We finished the day around 2200hrs.
On Friday morning we were again back in the field to answer calls for help. We arrived at command around 1030hrs due to having a bit of confusion on how to get to the location from where we were staying. None of us were familiar with the area and the way were headed the road was totally impassable. The National Guard was going to try and send us through but there was no way to get through. So we had to turn around and head back in the other direction. 
Once we were in the field there were not a lot of calls that had come through. Lewis and I were in a different area Ortly Beach, Normandy Beach and Brick. These areas were totally devastated by the storm. Houses were just demolished and had been filled with water. When we would make entry to a home you could see that the water had filled it up picking everything up off the ground and then when it receded everything just was dumped on the floor. Hulse and Jarboe were still in Seaside Heights finishing the last of the calls that were on the books. We cleared all the remaining calls by 1700hrs. We went back to the shelter in Barnagat we learned that this week alone there were around 250 animals that were in care at the shelter and another 80 or more had already been reunited with their owners. This was our last day in the field and at the shelter so we said our goodbyes, scratched a few ears and rubbed a few chins and just to admired all the work that was being done on behalf of the animals and their owners in this time of need. 
There was not a person that we came across that was not appreciative to have us there. We were thanked by every person that we came across. When these things happen it is amazing to see not only see how people come together to help but how communities come together to help one another. Its not easy work but when it comes to the lives of those that were helped it is more than worth it, seeing the smile on the owners face when they see their pet that they thought they may never see again and the animals that you help when they are in your arms a calm comes across them because they know that you are there to help. 
Major Brian Whipple
Chief Animal Control Officer
Delaware Animal Care and Control
Here is a comment to that post by the HSUS.
The Humane Society of the United States - DelawareThe HSUS is extremely appreciative of the Kent County SPCA officers who took time away from their families to assist in our search and rescue work in New Jersey. Major Whipple and his officers were professional and committed - working as though it was their own community affected. They were great partners in our efforts to save animals and reunite families. THANK YOU!
As I've mentioned previously, the Kent County SPCA and Delaware SPCA were also involved in manning the local emergency shelters.  That effort provided local pet owners with a place to bring their animals to ensure the safety of both the pet owner's and their four legged family members during the storm.

No-Kill Delaware - Where were they?

Note that the KCSPCA officers left to assist the rescue effort on November 4.  Below is a screenshot that shows what No-Kill Delaware was doing on that same date.  They were promoting a book by Nathan Winograd that speaks against the HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, and shelters like the Kent County SPCA.  The very organizations assisting pet owners on the east coast after the storm.

Nathan Winograd - Where Was He?

Where was Mr. Winograd on that same day of November 4th, while the HSUS and Kent County SPCA was rescuing animals in New Jersey?  He was also online, just like No-Kill Delaware, promoting his new book Friendly Fire.  It's nothing less than shameful that our state of Delaware has enacted a law based on the writings of this man who attacks organizations that assist communities in their time of need.

Mr. Winograd claims that organizations like HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA have fought the no-kill legislation in other states.  Seeing the harm that it has done here, I certainly hope that is true, but I'm more inclined to believe that the many failures of the No-Kill movement has done more to hamper their legislative efforts than any of those organizations have.  I only wish that those organizations would work to save our state from the cruel consequences of this horrible legislation.  

But if nothing else, this information from November 4 shows who was on the ground saving animals where disaster had struck (HSUS, Kent County SPCA), and more importantly who was promoting a book instead of assisting those communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. 

Delaware Animal Welfare Task Force

As the state Animal Welfare Task Force looks at changes that need to be made to our laws, I hope they consider who is on the front lines when disasters occur.  Next time it may be our state that needs a shelter like the Kent County SPCA to lead that effort here.  They won't be able to do that if their resources continue to be strained by the manpower costs of pulling documentation every other day for one investigation after another that is the equivalent of  "the bridge to nowhere", and that has been the result of CAPA.  

The task force will also have to consider that if they choose to keep CAPA on the books, they will force a shelter to consider the cost of taking in injured animals that may strain their financial resources if they are forced to treat severely injured animals with little hope of survival during a rescue effort, just because CAPA says they can't euthanize the animal unless there is "undue suffering".  We've already seen the cats suffer as a consequence of the shelter being forced to make the decision to limit intake for cats as a result of CAPA.  

As much as I love my dog, if he was injured severely as a result of flying debris, and a rescuer needs to make the choice between leaving him behind because the choice to take him back to the shelter immediately might hamper their efforts to save a number of less injured dogs, then I want them to be able to make the choice to euthanize him.  I want our shelters to be able to make the decision that is best in that situation, without having to wonder whether no-kill activists will want every record from their effort pulled because of their choice to euthanize a severely injured animal so they could continue to help other animals who might have a better outcome.  We all saw No-Kill Delaware and their followers harp about the distemper cats last year, and question whether those cats were suffering.  So I have no doubt that a rescue effort during a disaster in our state would result in the same questioning.  Short of assigning a video man to every shelter worker, there will never be a way to establish the level of "suffering" of an animal.  Insurance companies and state assistance programs make similar decisions regarding extreme medical measures every day with human lives, so it's crazy that our state places a higher value on animal lives with a ridiculous law called CAPA.  

I applaud the HSUS and the Kent County SPCA in their effort to help animals in New Jersey, and I pray that Delaware is never faced with the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused in other states. But if we're ever faced with a disaster of a similar magnitude in Delaware, I just hope that CAPA is no longer around to hamper the triage required in disaster response. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Blame Game of No-Kill

In the past week, I've watched the no-kill movement blame everyone but themselves for animals that die every day in our shelters.  There have been articles and Facebook posts about the ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, Best Friends, and the never ending whining about the "trolls" and "sockpuppets" that disagree with their movement.  Now seriously, this is the movement that our Governor and legislators went to for the writing of our "shelter standards" law called CAPA.

ASPCA Claim - One Example

Clearly the movement has no grasp of reality.  For example, here was one of the statements against the ASPCA:
"One argument that people like to make is that organizations like the ASPCA use some of the money for its intended purpose. And with nearly $150,000,000 a year now in revenues, how can they not? But it is a question of potential: are they doing enough given their immense wealth? The answer is No. They could save 1/4th of all animals killed in U.S. shelters, rather than fewer than some rescue groups do." - Nathan Winograd's Facebook Page
So lets look at the costs per animal in Washoe County to test that theory.  Washoe County in Nevada is the community that Mr. Winograd uses in his Dollars & Sense - The Economic Benefits of No Kill Animal Control.  

Washoe (Reno) - $7,800,000 Budget / 15,000 animals = $520.00 (Washoe County / NHS)

Now let's look at how many animals the ASPCA could save at that same rate.

ASPCA - $150,000,000 Budget / $520 per animal like Washoe = 288,462 additional saved

Considering Mr. Winograd has in the past acknowledged that 4 million animals die in animal shelters each year, 1/4 of those animals would be 1 million.  He appears to be off by about 711,538 animals. This must be the "new math" of the No-Kill movement.

I'll even ignore the fact that the ASPCA already provides million in grants to shelters across the country.  So according to these calculations, an additional 288,462 would be saved, but 3,711,538 would still be dying.  So his desire for their $150 million in funding would amount to one of those tiny little band-aids you place on a pin prick.

In addition, this would take away the ability of the ASCPA to investigate cruelty cases, assist those animals seized in cruelty cases, provide disaster training and response, their equine fund, spay neuter services, or any of their other services.  So who in their right mind would want to take these services away from our animals, and if those services were no longer provided, the fact is donations would drop tremendously anyway.  So the logic is just ludicrous.

Delaware's Legislature Buys This?

What bothers me most is that our state leaders actually buy into this crazy logic with their continued support for CAPA.  I look forward to seeing the minutes for the upcoming Delaware Animal Welfare Task Force Meeting on November 15, since they will be discussing adding enforcement to this misguided legislation.  I'm just wondering how much more money our state can waste on investigations, bickering, and creating an environment that is harmful to our animals.  Maybe they should consider who responds to cruelty, hoarding, and disasters in our state, as well as representing our state assisting other states when they make their decision about CAPA.
“The Humane Society of the United States is thankful for the assistance of New Jersey SPCA and Kent County SPCA. With the help of our partners, our response to this disaster has resulted in the rescue of hundreds of animals in New York and New Jersey,” - The Paramus Post"  
What Does No-Kill Spend Their Money On?

Here is the Form 990 of the No-Kill Advocacy Center (Expenses $321,210).  Expenditures include $147,048 producing a movie to convince people that No-Kill works, $90,415 for their annual conference, $60,000 Salary, and $54,206 providing guidance and support with publications like Dollars & Sense discussed above.

Here is the Form 990 for No-Kill Nation (Expenses - $283,076).  Their notable expenses were $119,482 for Program Expenses which they list as conferences, $22,545 in advertising, and only $22,898 in awards and grants.

In fact there is even a new No-Kill fundraiser underway.  Is it to save those animals that they claim the other organizations neglect to?  Of course not!!!  The No-Kill movement is not about saving animals, it's about creating a brand identity, like the name sewn on someone's backside wearing those $500 jeans. So the movement needs funds to try to silence anyone that disagrees and speaks out about their tactics against organizations like PETA and HSUS.

These were my favorite statements from the site:
"In response to this — and other efforts to undermine the No Kill community — we have set up a fund to counteract slander and libel. This will be a sum of money, equally divided between No Kill Nation and the No Kill Advocacy Center.  It will be put towards efforts (already underway, and successful) to sue those who spread libelous disinformation about No Kill.
Mr. Cooper is donating all of the digital proceeds from three of his novels to No Kill, for at least the next six months. If you buy these novels, the proceeds will be automatically deposited in our bank account.  Alternately, you can leave a donation through PayPal, via the link at the bottom.
Hence, for as little as 99 cents, you can read a novel, and simultaneously contribute to No Kill’s Anti-Slander Fund." -
At first I thought it was a joke, but when I checked the Whois record, the site is owned by No-Kill Nation.  What a shame that money that should be spent saving animal lives, is instead being spent on a website to promote a fiction author and threaten dissenters. 

As much as I have disagreed with the No-Kill Movement and their legislation CAPA, they really have sunk to new depths reminiscent of playground bullies. As we know, bullies never accept responsibility for their actions, and blame the world for their mistakes and failures.  I guess that's why No-Kill feels it's necessary to attack other organizations. It seems the No-Kill movement thinks that the world is picking on them, but that's not the case, we're just pointing out that their logic doesn't work.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No-Kill - A Movement of Hate & Negativity

Lately there's been a tremendous amount of discussion by "no-kill" leadership and his cheerleader proxy about the growing number of people, like myself, who have questioned the validity and the tactics of the "No-Kill" movement.  I'm sure that's in part due to the fact that more and more of us are finally speaking up and saying their movement is expensive to communities, cruel to animals, and harmful to public safety.

Many of us used to believe that if we just went on and did our part for animals, that the nuisance movement which has come and gone in so many communities, including major failures in Philadelphia  and  Indianapolis  and  Las Vegas, that the public would eventually realize that a one size fits all solution is not realistic, feasible, or affordable.  Unfortunately most of us didn't take into account that there would always be a small number of people that would believe the excuses for failure, and that the vocal minority merely needed to find a couple of clueless legislators or county commissioners who either hadn't thought through the sales pitch, or were too afraid of ending up on the wrong side of "no-kill" activist's hateful rhetoric.

So eventually some of began to speak up, and despite the fact that the "no-kill" activists want to claim that there are only a few opposed to their horribly flawed legislation, we are not one person with various personas, we are a growing group of individuals who are willing to speak the truth regarding regarding the costs, both financial and to the health and welfare of animals.  We grew tired of watching their movement harm hard working animal shelter workers, of watching them create a constant revolving door of shelter leadership across the country, and seeing the resulting chaotic atmosphere that leads to mistakes and harm to animals.

As our ranks have grown, the "no-kill" movement apparently is beginning to feel pressured to justify their malicious behavior.  It seems ironic that as Nathan Winograd is about to release his book called Friendly Fire, which continues his ongoing blame of other organizations for the failure of his movement to pass their legislation in numerous states and more recently in Oahu, Hawaii, that we are now hearing stories of his opponents calling him vulgar names and threatening to harm his dog.
"When animal lovers learn about the cruelty and killing that are rampant in U.S. shelters, and that national animal protection organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) defend these shelters and thwart efforts at reform, the first and the most logical question they ask is: Why?" - Understanding Friendly Fire, Nathan Winograd
Now keep in mind that it has been his "no-kill" movement that has been on the offensive against almost every open admission shelter across the county, who has been writing incessantly about how the big 3 animal welfare organizations are to blame for communities not buying into his No-Kill Equation for YEARS, and has been deleting anyone from his Facebook page that didn't agree with him.  Just in the last year, we've seen a "flashmob" (or what I consider cyberbullying) against the ASPCA last Thanksgiving weekend, encouraged a similar cyber attack against a small vegan bakery Facebook page for "no-kill" followers to spew their hatred against PETA, has recently been using his proxy to go after PETA and HSUS in a series of articles on Huffington Post, and also encouraged followers to spam those organization's Facebook pages.

Do continual attacks and blame work?  They may work to excite the die-hard base, but it also pushes away those followers that may like the concept of no-kill, but also know the many contributions those other organizations have made.  As a result of the continual attacks, and the fact that the movement continually pushes spay neuter to the back of the pack in priority even though the majority of his followers considered it to be the top priority, we have seen more dissent on both Mr. Winograd's Facebook page and No-Kill Nations page recently.

Is this what led to the 2 recent articles referencing the claim of threats to Mr. Winograd's dog?  I can't say with certainty, but I do find it suspicious that the claim comes at a time when there has been a backlash against the movement for it's continual hateful message against so many, and I also find it strange that nobody else appears to have seen the threat.  In a day and age where one merely needs to hit the Print Screen button and paste, I find it odd that this threat was not substantiated.  For example, I've spoken in the past about a threat against a past shelter director by followers of the no-kill movement here in Delaware that was left on the No-Kill Delaware Facebook page for 11 days, and here it is.  Of course, when you post the screenshot as I did below, you also know that it can be tracked back for authenticity and where it originated.

So while both of the recent articles would like to paint those of us that disagree with Mr. Winograd's negative message as threatening or merely a couple of disgruntled people, they are sorely mistaken.  Remember that it has been the "no-kill" movement that has been using that very tactic for years, and trying to claim that others who offer alternative viewpoints and facts are threatening is not even in the same ballpark.  Unlike his page, I've never had a need to dredge through his past or make malicious references to his personal life to divert attention away from the real facts at hand, because I want the focus to be on the message.

If you go to Mr. Winograd's page, you can see how he has targeted individuals at the bottom of the page, and that he has subsections for each of the 3 animal welfare organizations that he has been attacking for years.

His proxy's article also shows that the author advocates for the same hateful message, with his role in a mean-spirited parody of someone else's blog, and his continual childish references to people as stalkers, trolls, sockpuppets, and toads. Maybe he and his followers think those references appear more intelligent with the signature sprinkle of Latin (ad hominem, ad nauseam, etc), and a dash of psychology references (cognitive dissonance, etc), but it really is just the same hate and blame message.

So, IF the threat against Mr. Winograd's dog Pickles was really on the Facebook page he referenced, I wonder if it was on there for 11 days?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spay Neuter Before Adoption - It's The Law !!!

Since 2006, Delaware has had a law on the books that states shelters and rescues are REQUIRED to spay or neuter prior to adoption.
§ 8220. Preadoption spay/neuter mandate.
(a) Effective on June 29, 2006, it shall be mandatory for all cats and/or dogs of reproductive age to be spayed or neutered and inoculated for rabies prior to adoption from any of the following:
(1) A private animal welfare or rescue agency/group or organization;
(2) Any adoption clinic endorsed, operated, managed, or sponsored by an animal welfare or rescue agency, organizations, commercial enterprises or private parties or combination thereof; or
(3) An animal shelter as defined herein.
There are some minor exceptions for underage animals, and animals with health conditions that prevent the surgery from being done before the adoption. In those cases there is a deposit process prescribed within the statute to ensure followup of the cases where the exceptions take place.  If the animal is not done within the established timeline, the adopter loses the $75 deposit, pays the cost for the surgery, and incurs a fine up to $250 plus court costs.  If they still don't get the surgery done, the fine doubles to $500 plus court costs, and will be required to forfeit the dog or cat back to the original adopting agency.

The law also allows for adopting agencies who violate the mandate to be subject to a $500 dollar fine for EACH violation of this law.

Safe Haven Violations

This week it came to light that not only is Safe Haven violating this statute, but they are doing it with the blessing of our Kent County Levy Court Commission.
From Commissioner Sweeney  Oct 9th   6:05 Pm
I have spoken to a couple of families who adopted dogs from Safe Haven during their event this weekend.  Because Safe Haven does not have a vet on staff at this time, they offered to forego the adoption fee if the family would seek other means to alter their adopted pet.  Some have tried to make arrangements at the SPCA event and were refused because the adopted from Safe Haven.  THAT is no way to be!

I understand that you used to work for the SPCA, so I understand your bias toward Safe Haven.  However, we are not in a financial position to dump them for an issue that can be resolved just by talking to them, something the SPCA would never do with us.

Veterinarians are in short supply, and when a student does finish their residency, they can make a lot more money in private practice in place of a shelter.  Safe Haven is working very hard to find a vet for their staff.

She does believe in Spay and Neuter, and I have spoken with her many times about our similar views on this.

As for open hours, they will be open to the public for 3 days a week starting the week of the 26th. - Delaware Newszap Message Board 
It's unbelievable that Commissioner Sweeney implies that it is somehow another shelter's responsibility to spay neuter Safe Haven's animals, when Safe Haven has done nothing but bad mouth KCSCPA. Also, it's not true that KCSPCA is retaliating against them by not doing the Safe Haven adopter surgeries. KCSPCA's capacity is already stretched with doing the adoptable dogs from 2 other counties, the Petsmart grant for cats, and doing surgeries under the state program, so they haven't been doing surgeries outside of those areas due to cutbacks. So it appears he implying KCSPCA should pay for more veterinarian and support staff hours to subsidize Safe Haven and the county with the statement "THAT is no way to be!"  His statement is downright childish in my opinion. And it's equally ridiculous that the county is not only allowing their contractor to violate the law, but making excuses for them. Sadly, the silence of the other commissioners speaks to their complicity in this as well.  Not only are commissioners accepting the fact that Safe Haven is violating the law, the county commission is also complicit in placing adopters,of dogs under their contract in a position where they are also violating the law, and those adopters (resident constituents) could be subject to penalty and the forfeiture of their adopted pet.

I also think Mr. Sweeney's statement below was equally disrespectful of the veterinary community. At a median salary of $66,127, I wouldn't say most vets are raking in the big bucks, and they do have 8 years of schooling to pay for. So it seems once again that KCSPCA had a better handle on what costs are needed to fulfill state law requirements, which is what most of us suspected.
"Veterinarians are in short supply, and when a student does finish their residency, they can make a lot more money in private practice in place of a shelter."
It's unfortunate that state lawmakers are also sitting on their hands while this situation takes place. Senator Blevins was more than willing to go after KCSPCA with a FOIA request, and in that case the FOIA opinion was done twice to ensure no other shelter had to comply, but there hasn't been a word about the spay neuter  law she wrote being violated. I can only surmise that CAPA has become more important in her eyes than her spay neuter legislation.  It seems that this whole fiasco was always about a bunch of politicians, who don't have a clue how to run a business, but think that they can legislate "no-kill" and dictate how to run a shelter.  Obviously it's a failure considering we've stepped back in time to where adopted animals aren't spayed/neutered before being adopted.

It appears our no-kill shelters and our legislators have bought into statements by no-kill leadership that spay neuter should take a back seat to scrambling to get animals out the door, whether that be to an adopter, or whether it be to a private shelter where the animal will not have access to the socialization it needs to be a good adoption candidate.  Safe Haven would rather spend their resources warehousing animals at private kennels, than obeying the law and using those same funds to spay neuter before adoption..
"While spay neuter is important, our goal has never been no more births, even though reducing birth rates might help. Our goal has been and is, and has always been no more killing. And when you focus on the no more killing part, spay neuter actually takes a backseat to all those other programs like foster care, and adoptions, and helping people overcome the challenges they face that cause them to surrender their animals." - Nathan Winograd on AnimalWise Radio 4/22/12
So it seems Delaware will be going down the path of other communities that allowed spay neuter to take a backseat to their no-kill initiatives, and as a result will also incur MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in higher budgets, rather than the fiscally responsible alternative of targeted spay neuter.  By making spay neuter an afterthought, additional costs will be incurred because intake rates will now stagnate or increase, instead of intakes decreasing as occurred in communities with successful spay neuter programs like the State of New Hampshire and Hillsborough County Florida.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Complaints - The Solution Is Real Care Standards

It seems that every community is facing the same drama of never ending complaints about the conditions in shelters   While some may be valid, we also know that some have an ulterior motive to beat communities into submission so they will declare themselves "no-kill", no matter what that might cost the community and the animals.  Allegations about conditions, complaints about mistreatment, and it goes on and on.  The fact is, we know CAPA includes nothing that ensures healthy living conditions for the animals in our shelters, and it hasn't saved any lives either.  The complaints regarding the animal living conditions have been directed at every shelter in our state, including the "no-kill" ones, so there needs to be a mechanism for the public to be able to get a reasonable response if there are concerns at any animal shelter in our state.

There really is a simple solution to this issue - real animal care standards and inspections, similar to North Carolina enacted. If there is any one thing that should come out of the task force, it should be these kinds of standards.  This should be something BOTH sides of the no-kill argument should agree on.

§ 19A‑25.  Employees; investigations; right of entry.
For the enforcement of the provisions of this Article, the Director is authorized, subject to the approval of the Commissioner to appoint employees as are necessary in order to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Article, and to assign them interchangeably with other employees of the Animal Health Division. The Director shall cause the investigation of all reports of violations of the provisions of this Article, and the rules adopted pursuant to the provisions hereof; provided further, that if any person shall deny the Director or his representative admittance to his property, either person shall be entitled to secure from any superior court judge a court order granting such admittance. (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1217, s. 6; 1987, c. 827, s. 63.)

The primary issue here in Delaware is that there is no direct oversight of animal shelters.  The counties aren't granted the right to inspect shelters under state law, although there is nothing that says they couldn't include that privilege in their contracts with the shelters handling dog control  for them.  I think they've chosen not to include that in their contracts because they just don't want that responsibility, and they would need someone on the county staff that had the ability inspect.  The Department of Agriculture has oversight over Title 3 issues, but they have no right to inspect.  I'm sure if it comes down to it, the Attorney General office could inspect if they believed the complaint rose to the level of cruelty statutes, but in most cases the complaints wouldn't rise to that level.

There's no doubt that there needs to be some agency that has the authority to respond to complaints in a timely fashion.  I don't think most of us care what agency that falls under. We merely want it to be an agency that isn't tied politically to ANY shelter.  The core element needs to be standards that govern animal care like those referenced by the The Association of Veterinary Care, or staffing level recommendations by  NACA, and animal/dog control contracts should compensate at a level that will ensure those standards are met.  Standards like these are what will help keep people coming to the shelters.  CAPA certainly hasn't done that with the constant griping and complaining that has resulted.

There are enough barriers to getting people to adopt animals, without the public hearing the constant negativity.  For every complaint that is aired in the public, there is likely an adopter turned away, and an animal killed as a result. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cease and Desist Adopting Out Dangerous Dogs

No-Kill Delaware appears to be upset that Kevin Usilton, Executive Director of the Kent County SPCA sent them a cease and desist notice to stop the slander and libel against himself and the shelter.  There is no doubt that a cease and desist was warranted.  NKD's post cited various court rulings concerning censuring public officials and charging official misconduct to parody.  Well unfortunately posts by NKD has a habit of stepping beyond those bounds over and over.


To understand why a cease and desist request was necessary, we have to start back on Monday, Oct 1st.  On that day, a dog under the care of Faithful Friends Animal Society was being walked by an employee of the shelter off leash in Canby Park, which is a regular park where dogs are required to be on their leash.  The dog named Paco darted after another dog once he was unleashed and attacked.
"After Howard unleashed Paco, the pit bull spotted a small 7-year-old terrier mix named Fitz being walked on a leash by his owner, and attacked the small dog, grabbing it by the neck and shaking Fitz from side to side, Whipple said." - DelawareOnline
The shelter employee and the resident who owned the victim dog tried to separate the dogs to no avail, so the resident who's dog was being attacked shot Paco.
"Police say Howard and Blythe tried unsuccessfully to separate the two dogs. Blythe then got the pit bull into a head lock, pulled out a .9mm handgun and shot the dog in the head. Paco died instantly." -
Needless to say, this was a tragic event for everyone involved.  I'm certain the shelter employee feels horrible that this occurred under his watch, and I'm sure the resident that shot the dog felt bad for Paco, but he did what was necessary to save the life of his own dog.  Fitz, the dog who was attacked was taken to a nearby veterinary practice and is expected to recover.  

What was concerning about the attack is the fact that the dog was offleash depite the following statement under it's profile on the shelter website.  
Paco is good with children
Paco does not get along with other cats, other dogs
I had spent the last weekend watching animal advocates beat up on a Tennessee family who asked that the dog who severely mauled their daughter be euthanized, so this local local story of a dog attack was another eye opener. In the Tennessee case, the activists believed this dog should be saved despite the fact that this beautiful 4 year old girl required 200+ stitches, 5 days in the hospital, and months to recover physically and emotionally, as a result of the attack.  The activists argued that this dog that attacked the little girl could go to an adult only household, but there is always the potential for a dog to get loose and place the public at risk.  The most disturbing part of the comments on that story was the number of people that said the child must have done something to the dog to provoke it.   But what the activists ignored was the fact that in that case the local shelter released the unneutered male dog to the family to provide foster care, and that shelter bears a great deal of the responsibility.  To place an unneutered male into a foster home with a child and a female puppy that had not been spayed does not make sense.  Shelters are supposed to be the professionals, should have known that 70 percent of all bite cases involve an unneutered male, and when you add in a female dog approaching puberty, it was a recipe for disaster.

So seeing the dog on dog attack in Delaware was another reminder that public safety standards are being set aside in the desperate scramble to increase live release rates across the country. I'm not saying it is limited to no-kill shelters.  In fact, my concern is that no-kill animal activists are harming animal welfare across the spectrum when they try to save aggressive animals, or shout down other shelters that euthanize dogs with questionable behavior traits.   We saw similar shouting by NKD regarding Peyton, a dog that Delaware Humane had concerns about after he tore part of the ear of another dog in a fight. Considering that thousands of dogs are euthanized in Delaware, I would think that there would be a higher priority placed on using our precious cage space for safe and well adjusted animals. 

Cease and Desist

So why would Kevin Usilton send a cease and desist request?  The fact is No-Kill Delaware has shown a disregard for the truth, and lack of basic decency from their start.  

For 11 days from December 22, 2010 until January 2, 2011, this group allowed a statement to stay on their Facebook page that said the previous director "should IMMEDIATELY be executed".  Wasn't that great Christian spirit during the Christmas holiday season.  And you didn't see one no-kill shelter in the state who spoke against it, which in my opinion says something about their values.  

I could go on and on, but we will jump ahead to this week.  The day after the Faithful Friends incident, No-Kill Delaware posted the following statement in the screenshot below.  As noted in the DelawareOnline story, KCSPCA responded to the scene, they didn't shoot the dog.  So the statement shown in the screenshot below is absolutely incorrect.  There is no parody in this statement or censuring of misconduct of the officer that responded to the scene, so I really don't think this is protected speech, and the Mr. Usilton had just cause to ask for the lies to be taken down.

Paco - Original Post

Ms. Meier of NKD did edit the statement hours later, but it's difficult to say how many read this lie before she corrected.  To establish libel, the KCSPCA merely needs to show that it was likely they lost some donors as a result of the incorrect statement being on the page for hours.  

Paco - Corrected Post

Other Statements KCSPCA Attorneys Should Investigate As Defamation

Ms. Meier also wrote a recent post called "One-Day Employee Tells of Sickness, Suffering and Death at Kent County SPCA".  Her post is based on a statement by one of NKD's followers Ms. Gannon.  

There are a number of issues with the Gannon statement that should have concerned the various no-kill advocates that have posted this persons statement or reference to it, like NKD site and FB page, Kent County Delaware Dog Control - Pro/Con FB Page, and even a local independent candidate.

The first sentence should have raised alarms.
"I was asked by a fellow vet tech to come work there..that they needed trained staff desperately. I was taken on a walk through" 
And here is the first line of the NKD post.
"This story was posted on Facebook today by a person who worked at Kent County SPCA for one day, January 3, 2012.  She quit immediately due to her horror at what she saw and refused to take pay for the day’s work."  
When I looked at this person's FB page, I saw that under the Work and Education section she listed Faithful Friends, and Ashworth College -Veterinary Technician Animal Care specialist.  So I decided to see when she was licensed as a veterinary technician in Delaware.  Obviously you don't do a walk through or work one day if you aren't licensed to do the job, so I searched Delaware's license verification system for Ms. Gannon, but she is not listed as a licensed veterinary technician.  So it certainly brings into question why she would be doing a this walk through or work day if she wasn't licensed.  And it also brings into question whether she is working at Faithful Friends as a veterinary technician without a license.  A person can be licensed through reciprocity, but even a temporary license should be showing as pending.  And the state's website makes it clear that a license is required, so this is also something that Delaware Division of Professional Regulation should investigate as well.
"Under no circumstances should you begin practicing as a veterinary technician in Delaware before the temporary license is issued." - State of Delaware   
It's ironic that the various no-kill advocates and KCSPCA haters page always seem to say they have documentation of wrong doing at the Kent County SPCA, but so much of it always ends up looking false, or at the very least questionable. It's especially questionable when you take into account that Ms. Gannon has been posting complaints on NKD for some time and you can see in the following posts that despite the various other complaints, there is no mention of the currently alleged work day.

It's especially concerning since it appears that Ms. Gannon was already working for Faithful Friends back in April 2011 when she mentioned the vet exams of these beagles below.  Since she appears to have such contempt for euthanizing animals in her other FB posts, I wonder why would she leave Faithful Friends to allegedly go to a shelter that has to euthanize animals due to their intake volume for a day?  And wasn't it nice of Faithful Friends to take her back if that occurred.

Considering the various pieces of the puzzle above, any reasonable person would find it suspicious that a Faithful Friends employee came out with such an elaborate story about the Kent County SPCA only 2 days after Faithful Friends ended up in the spotlight when one of their dogs attacked a local residents dog.

Of course I was not surprised that local no-kill advocates were willing to jump on the bandwagon and declare the allegations as fact.  From No-Kill Delaware with her blog post and Facebook posts, to the KCSPCA haters page, to a local State Senate candidate.  Not one of them have questioned whether the allegations are true despite the fact that it happens to be a Faithful Friends employee who is making this allegation only 2 days after her own shelter was in the news due to a negative incident, and that she could have a motive of trying to take attention away from from Mondays dog attack by a Faithful Friends dog.

I guess the Delaware Attorney General office will have yet another long drawn out investigation on their hands now.  Considering there are already cases that have been investigated for over a year, I certainly hope we don't have any murderers or criminals that need to be prosecuted in our state because eventually CAPA investigations with be the only thing the AG office will have time for.  The Division of Professional Regulation should also be investigating.  Hopefully other localities considering CAPA legislation, like Oahu and Norfolk, will see the drama and cost that CAPA and "no-kill" will bring to your area, and stay clear of the harm that it will present to your animal welfare community and the cost of it.

To the KCSPCA, the various posts of this week should be pursued legally.  These hate groups will continue making defamatory statements otherwise.  Yes there is free speech in our great country, but individuals must at least perform a reasonable level of due diligence to be protected from liability.  So whether it is claims of a shelter ACO shooting a dog, or other defamatory statements, it seems there are some individuals that need to be taught that there are consequences for running their mouths before they know what they are talking about.

There was one bright spot on the hate page shown below.  It's nice to see that the individuals that brought us CAPA are being dragged into the constant drama they created by this law that allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum.

Especially since I hear a few of those listed in the post above have been lobbying various factions with promises of a new agency under Public Health and $6 million dollars, which is a substantial amount more than the current $2.725 million currently paid towards dog control.  It seems strange that this lobbying effort is being done when the Animal Welfare Task Force has just begun, and as I've previously noted before, Delaware is one of the only states to not have a Public Health official on the task force.  It's too bad the other members of the task force are spending time analyzing the issues to only find out they are merely pawns to give credibility to some plan that was probably hatched long before the task force was even proposed.  As a voter, I have to wonder whether this is a sign that Governor Markell plans to go on a spending spree once he is elected to a second term and no longer has to worry about re-election.  It's certainly something his opponent Jeff Cragg should ask about.

Well at least if animal welfare does eventually go to Public Health, maybe there will be some concern about the public safety and ensuring that we don't adopt out dangerous dogs.  Hopefully Public Health will ensure that we don't end up with the same situation as Austin where their bite rate increased 35% from 2009 to 2011, despite the fact that their population only increased 4%. Improving live release rates is a great goal, but it shouldn't be done at the expense of public safety.  Our children and our pets safety need to be part of the equation.

Here is a link to read a KCSPCA employee rebuttal of the allegations made on NKD.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Neighborhood Feuds and Property Rights

It was bad enough when police and the bomb squad had to be brought in for a box of kittens dumped at a McDonalds.  Now we have graduated to the Hatfield and McCoys type of neighborhood feuds.  
"Masso's neighbors, the Ryans, set up two animal traps on their front porch a few weeks ago. Laura Ryan said cats were defecating on her front step, and that it had become a health issue. Ryan said since they put out the traps, they've captured seven or eight cats." - WBOC
Yet again, taxpayers dollars being wasted on the the ramifications of CAPA, and we have another case of multiple agencies being pulled away from real crime to deal with our ballooning cat population that is resulting from no longer having any open access shelter because of the costs associated with CAPA.  In this case, the police have been involved, since the article mentions that one of the neighbors has been arrested for trespassing.  Another neighbor has "contacted the Delaware Attorney General's office" over a missing cat.    

Our situation in Delaware is getting so ridiculous that I'm waiting for the FBI to be called in if the police suspect the cats have been kidnapped across state lines. And maybe the next step will be the state setting up an animal CSI unit to establish cause of death every time a cat dies, because of suspicion that a neighbor wanted rid of the cats and possibly dealt with the situation in a less than humane manner.  For that matter, I think Beau Biden is going to need to setup a whole section in the Attorney General office just to deal with the alleged crimes against cats.  Hopefully no residents will be raped or murdered while these agencies are busy investigating the kidnapping of cats.

This is what happens when there is no longer a shelter option for animals.   And yet Delaware's state leadership continues to stand by and PRETEND that CAPA is accomplishing something other than wasting resources, bankrupting our shelters, and harming animals.