Random thoughts

Sharing some thoughts, ideas, and some laughs


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No Kill? No Give a Damn!

I continue to be a proponent of a No Kill philosophy BUT I continue to fear the “movement” (NKA & NKN) are more concerned with  the optics of “clearing the books”, “getting them out the shelter” than they are about the welfare of the dogs and cats that are “cleared” and “transported”.  I have asked and asked but to date no one has taken the time or made the effort to reply, Does anyone follow up on the dogs and cats that are transported or transferred to the numerous rescue groups? Does anyone know or care what happens to the dogs and cats that are sent to these rescue groups. Does anyone know or care to perform checks and on site visits to these rescue groups?’ How many dogs and cats are adopted,transferred yet again or just live a miserable, diseased, starving existence until they die either naturally or predated my those hungrier and stronger.  Does anyone take the time or make the effort to care? BUT, they are not killed because this is No Kill – at all costs. Just another form of exploitation of innocent animals in order that others may write books, make speeches and garner donations.

This is the other side of No Kill, the “rescues” to which dogs and cats are sent in order to empty the cages at the shelters. They are gone, they are forgotten, out of sight- out of mind, they are neglected, they are abused  but the shelter statistics are great and the public relations train just keeps on chugging. The law suits against those that have the audacity to disagree continue to be fought (with donor money) and the animals continue to rot in hell on earth.

I recently read a superb blog by “fromamaddogwalker” and was so impressed with this piece that I asked permission to share: How I Failed as a Rescuer, Lessons From a Sanctuary

This is not pretty, but this is reality:INSIDE THE OLYMPIC ANIMAL SANCTUARY

It’s time that No Kill Movement be held accountable for the animals they have KILLED by “saving”.


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What The??????

Okay, back up the truck. What am I missing?

For years Nathan Winograd, the guru of No Kill has ranted and raved against the cruelty, irresponsible behaviour, lack of ethics, and deplorable practices of the ASPCA.

read Winograd’s March 19th 2013 anti ASPCA et al blog  The Myth of “Animal Welfare” or  March 5, 2013 What’s In A Name? 

or this particularly condemning attack of December 12, 2012 The ASPCA Allows Dogs to Starve

Repeatedly, Winograd and his disciples have espoused that the No Kill equation is the only manner in which animals may be saved from “shelter killing”. Okay, I get it but how is it that Winograd’s virtual “right hand” , Bonnie Brown is working with the ASPCA?  Ms.Brown is trotted out by Winograd at every opportunity to preach the gospel according to Winograd. She is at if not all then most of the No Kill conferences as a headline speaker  regaling the no kill equation and the miracles that have been realized at  Washoe County in Nevada and how she achieved a community wide live release rate of over 90% by dramatically increasing pet adoptions and engaging their community.

IF, Bonnie Brown is in fact working in cooperation with the ASPCA, then good for her. It is cooperative efforts that will make change not the constant ugly, vicious attacks a la Winograd that will ultimately save lives. The question remains how does this jibe with Winograd’s stance on the ASPCA?

The ASPCA provides free webinars for those interested in education themselves in the many areas of animals health and welfare. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that on April 25th, 2013, Bonnie Brown is conducting a webinar  in cooperation with the ASPCA!!!!

The True Cost and Value of Pet Adoptions

I have heard Ms.Brown speak and found the experience very enjoyable, enlightening and definitely worth the listen. It will be interesting to hear if this particular presentation is peppered with the usual anti ASPCA, HSUS shots or will the talk be tempered in light of the sponsoring agency.

It is truly my hope that this is an indication of future cooperation between animal welfare organization and agencies. Maybe this is a precursor to greater understanding and enlightenment and a willingness to work together to save lives.  Today Bonnie Brown and ASPCA, Tomrow Nathan Winograd and PEtA

Or not.

If I really am missing something or misunderstanding the situation then hopefully some one will “set me straight” in the interim……I am not holding by breath.


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What’s in a Name?

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Juliet:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”img-thing

Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family.

A beautiful sentiment and a great lesson to learn and live by. It is not what we are named but who we are and our actions that are important and that define what it is for which we stand.

And then there is No Kill or no kill or nokill or NOKILL or NO KILL or whatever. Let us not forget my personal favourite a la Mary Lou Davidson, “ Responsible No Kill”” as opposed to irresponsible no kill which is of course what we all wish to aspire to? Seldom have I seen a name elicit the kind of emotion that can be attributed to these two little words. Seemingly, sensible, intelligent people become complete and utter lunatics when these words are uttered. Why?

Those of you that have been following this blog since its inception last October are very much aware of my own personal concern for the welfare of animals. In my case I mean all animals and that also includes humans. Though occasionally not one of my favourite species I do care for the rights and well being of uprights as I do for other creatures.

Last September when a small like minded group of people determined it was time to stop the wholesale killing of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats at Lincoln County Humane Society, it was determined the most effective and reasonable manner of doing so was to work with the present Board of Director and Management.  The intention was to facilitate shelter reform by working on good governance that meant opening up the membership to anyone regardless of their attitudes as long as the animals were number one priority.

The premise was very simple. Members would be admitted, the tired and regressive Board structure would be changed to those who were concerned about the killing and the manner of killing, the poor adoption programs, the lack of foster homes, the inability to maintain a Veterinarian or RVT on staff, the lack of the promised TNR program, the lousy pet retention record and the abominable reputation of LCHS within the general community. Yes, all of the steps in the No Kill equation that I totally agree are a true method for success.

It became very clear very quickly that the B of D and Management were not receptive to any sort of effort neither to reduce the killing nor to become compliant with By Laws and the Ontario Corporations Act.

October 19th, 2012, brought about significant change as a result of the introduction of, here we go, No Kill that included the at times fanatical, ranting often abusive and destructive behavior, and the relentless spewing of statistics (mostly of which US) that for the most part has brought us to this point, which is “enough already”.

It became very clear to me back in November that the NKN and NKA methodology was not conducive to success. A number of people have agreed with me (at least to my face) the bullying, fanatical flag waving No Kill “message” is not appropriate to the present situation which is why I made the choice to remove myself from the “movement. ” The others have stayed on and continue with the standardized No Kill machine. While I do not agree with this method I completely support the rights of those who do and wish them the very best of luck. More than anything else I hope their efforts will result in the Killing being stopped but frankly I have serious doubts this will be the case.

This is usually the point when NKN and NKA bring in the “big guns”. No doubt I will begin receiving “hate” mail and threatening letters and a constant barrage of  “you are an apologist or you “deflect blame” and apparently there is a new weapon in the NKA tool box about to be released, Coming soon! “The newest FREE tool from the No Kill Advocacy Center: Countering the Opposition.” And of course the favourite, “we will sue you”!!!!!

It is staggering the number of laws suits that have been filed by NKA and NKN against ordinary people that just “do not agree” or god forbid openly challenge the No Kill movement. Why? How does this stop the killing? How does this prevent cats and dogs from being killed? Tell me how many animals have been saved at LCHS since October 19th? How many? How many have been killed? I really don’t know but I would really like to know.

I totally agree and promote the 11 steps to achieve No Kill, NOKILL, NO KILL, no kill, nokill. I truly believe and concur   with the fundamentalists that Management, staff and the Board of Directors must all be in complete agreement and support of this program in order that it succeeds which is why under the present circumstances, there is not a hope in hell that there will be any degree of success at LCHS.

It saddens me that such a really good and positive philosophy like promoting the cessation of killing healthy treatable animals becomes such a cesspool for fanaticism, cruelty, and mean spirited behaviour by those who profess to “care”. So be it.

What I can do is care for some animals that is exactly what I am doing.  I have the privilege and honour to be working alongside some really great people who just want to help animals. It is a really good place to be. No flag waving, no pontificating, no slinging verbal arrows, no threats of lawsuits, no demeaning and demoralizing barbs at good people, just plain old hands on down and dirty hard work.  You can call it NO KILL, no kill NOKILL, No Kill, I call it saving lives.dog-and-cat-prev123059925525di95


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“The Time Is Out Of Joint”

The above title is quoted from Shakespeare’s Hamlet as Hamlet discovers from the ghost of his father that his father was murdered by his uncle;such a foul, unnatural act is “out of joint” and Shakespeare’s genius provides us with what appears to be a simple observation and lament by Hamlet but, in fact, “out of joint” conveys a multitude of meanings: a time that is dysfunctional, out-of-tune, out-of-sorts, lawless, unjust, and so on, with its potential application to any time in history; in fact I couldn’t help thinking (not quite a random thought) how this single phrase is so applicable within the context of the LCHS fiasco or what is often referred to as the “no-kill debate”- a debate or discussion that exists mainly among no-kill advocates themselves as “the other side” has not really engaged in any meaningful dialogue; and THAT it seems to me is what is “out of joint”; you can take your pick as to whom or what is most dysfunctional as the LCHS defends a status-quo or operational strategy(?) that is out of synch and not supported by the public at large; is it the executive-director, the Board, the membership, the OSPCA, city council, the community, or, as I believe, a collective moral failure on the part of all to accept accountability and take steps to stop the killing. Philosopher Jacques Derrida(1930-2004) has pointed out that we live in an epoch that is unprecedented in human history for the myriad ways in which animals are mistreated, in fact, calling it “genocidal torture” and that ” this violence inflicted on animals will not fail to have profound reverberations (conscious and unconscious) on the image humans have of themselves.” Derrida’s work of “deconstruction” has revealed how animals have been misunderstood and maligned with typical human prejudice throughout much of the history of western thought; while we find  hope in the many positive changes around us, I see myself and animal advocates everywhere in a state of perpetual mourning which we cannot avoid because we are confronted on a daily basis with so many untimely deaths of our fellow beings; and like Hamlet’s ghost, the spirits of these countless innocent victims still cry out to us for justice…and for a time that is set right when animals can finally take back their rightful place in creation.


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Just the Facts M’am

It has taken some work and a heck of a lot of research but I think I may have finally figured out the players and their positions on animal welfare, animal rights however this tends to change depending in the direction of the wind at any given moment which makes it difficult to stay current.

I have made every effort to acquire information that is fact based. If I have made any erroneous statements in this blog I would request that I be informed as soon as is practicable WITH documented back up information. I will then make and share corrections, deletions, and additions as is appropriate.  I have no interest in pandering to one group or another but rather feel it is imperative that those of us who are concerned with animal welfare and animal rights are not only informed but also possess the facts.

One thing we all know is there is probably no other “cause” that elicits such emotion and passion as the animal welfare  and animal rights movements. We have all witnessed how the plight of animals brings out the absolute best and worst in all of us and I am no exception. One thing I have learned is that in order to succeed in any “cause” it is imperative that one is knowledgeable and armed with facts. Granted emotions will at least temporarily render most deaf (not mute unfortunately) but ultimately those that truly wish to succeed will gravitate towards the truth and the facts.

There are a number of organizations that are front and center when it comes to animal welfare and animal rights. Each has their own raison d’etre and each have their own criteria under which they operate and for some unknown reason each seems to have problems with the others. Again, I can only assume it is due to the passion and emotion involved with animal welfare  and animal rights that causes humans to become unreasonable, unkind, insulting and in some cases dangerous to those who may not be in TOTAL agreement because partial agreement clearly is not acceptable.

Lets take a look at some of these agencies/organizations and learn who they are and what they do AND what they do NOT do for animals and animal’s welfare. For the purposes of this blog I am focusing on the position the various agencies have stated are of their concern e.g. Mandatory Spay Neuter Legislation (MSNL), Trap Neuter Return (TNR), No Kill (NK)

PLEASE NOTE: the writer does not list the agencies/organization in this reporting in any order of importance, size, and preference. They are just listed! Please also note it would be wise to have your pain relief of choice handy as this is guaranteed to bring on a headache.

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA):click here for website

“The Ontario SPCA is an open admission, For Life, organization; we strive to accept all animals.”

The OSPCA is comprised of over 50 adoption and animal welfare centers throughout the Province of Ontario. Of these 50 centers 15 are actual branches of the OSPCA and are governed by a central Board of Directors, the remaining 35 offices are Affiliates and are governed by their own Board of Directors. The OSPCA and Humane Society are synonymous.  please click here for OSPCA Facts

The OSPCA is funded by public donations however in many cases, the Branch or Affiliate will enter into a City Contract in which the Branch or Affiliate resides to service shelters, stray pick ups, licensing, investigations and cruelty complaints and numerous other services.

The OSPCA has clearly stated that it is opposed to No Kill and does kill in order to make space. Ontario SPCA Communities keep the animal as long as space permits and an adoptable animal remains physically and mentally healthy.” “Sadly, in some cases animals may be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. Overcrowding threatens the lives of all the animals in our care due to stress, weakened immune systems and increased risk of disease transmission” please click here for FAQ

The OSPCA operates 3 high volume low cost spay neuter clinics in Ontario These clinics are state of the art facilities and when at peak efficiency will perform over 10,000 procedures per clinic per year. CEO Kate MacDonald states, “the Veterinarian should never see the metal of the operating table”. The OSPCA promotes TNR but as yet does not operate any programs such as TNR at this time.

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS): click here for website

“Our role is to educate Canadians about responsible pet ownership and other animal welfare issues; to advocate for the humane treatment of all animals (in communities, on farms, in research labs and in the wild); and to unite & strengthen our member societies, helping them save the lives of more animals in their communities.”

The CFHS is a national voice for ALL animal welfare advocacy including, wildlife, domestic farm and companion animals. CFHS also addresses the many concerns animal advocates have for animals used in entertainment, breeding for profit and animals used in research. CFHS is a strong voice and promotes companion animal licensing, identification and spay neutering. Without actually stating their position the inference is that CFHS would be amenable to MSNL.

The CFHS does not actively operate shelters, clinics, TNR but rather is a watchdog for animal welfare in this country. The CFHS and its programs are funded entirely by donation from the public.

The position of CFHS on shelter killing would appear to be similar to that of the OSPCA that indicates that killing for space while not encouraged is necessary. I am unable to find a direct reference to the position taken by CFHS on No Kill in the CFHS information available but have requested their position and will report same upon receipt.

 The following link contains the position statements of the CFHS on a number of issues pertaining to animals in Canada. click here for more information

This link describes the many ways that CSFH has made an incredible impact on the welfare of animals in Canada in 2012 click here

No Kill Advocacy (NKA):click here for website

NKA is about Shelter reform. That is it, not rescue, nor other animal welfare issues, however, in order to be successful in obtaining and maintaining a No Kill Shelter a number of steps are required. These mandatory steps are called the No Kill Equation,  No Kill Primer. The NKA has become a very successful product created by Nathan Winograd that calls for the cessation of shelter killings. The NK premise is that of all the animals that find themselves in shelters across the United States, at least 90% of them are savable. These animals are healthy treatable animals that are adoptable and must not be killed for any other reason than irremediable suffering and vicious dogs.  See the following Matrix-2

The focus of NKA is on Shelter reform. They do not venture into animal cruelty, breeding for profit, rescue or other welfare issues. They do however have positions on these and many issues that do impact the aforementioned. NKA is opposed to MSNL, licensing, restricting the number of companion animals per location. For further information mandatorylaws-2

NKA is nothing if they are not rabid (pun intended) in their position on shelter reform, which is a really great thing. Do not even consider suggesting that there may be a better idea or another way or maybe try something else as this will find you in violation of the code which in turn will get you slapped with at least a verbal spanking by the powers that be or even worse find your self in litigation. These folks take no prisoners. It their way or the highway and there s no other way!

The No Kill Advocacy Centre is funded by donations.

The following is a statement from the NKA Center website:

Please note: There are other organizations that use the principles and ideas of the No Kill Advocacy Center, such as No Kill Nation, No Kill Revolution and others. While we encourage and welcome them, neither we nor Nathan are affiliated with them. There has been a lot of confusion on this issue.

No Kill Nation (NKN):click here for website

What they do I am not really sure. They advocate and vehemently support everything that NKA and specifically Nathan Winograd does, says, writes, walks and talks

NKN like NKA does not get involved with anything other than shelter reform although there was at least one rescue operation for which they solicited funding,click her for link

I believe, the main focus is on the “political” and “legal” side of shelter reform.  It would appear that any and all positions taken by NKA are echoed by NKN.

NKN solicits donation from the public in order to operate

No Kill Revolution (NKR): click here for facebook page

This is a Facebook group that espouses the NKA programs

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA):click here for website

Peta is the premiere All things Animals Rights organization. They are funded by donation dollars that exceeded $35,000,000 in 2011. Love ‘em or hate ‘em it is indisputable they are the biggest, loudest, strongest animal rights operations in the world, all 3,000,000 of them. It cannot be disputed that Peta has had a significant impact on animal rights and as a result many cruel practices have been shut down and many animal now live in peace and harmony in their natural environment. They have made massive inroads into combating the fur industry with their crazy and sometimes offensive use of nudity but again it gets results. Ingrid Newkirk, founder is militant in her position on animals. She is opposed to animals being “used” in any way shape or form including companion animals guard & service dogs in fact Ms.Newkirk would like to see companion animals bred (or not ) out of existence. Regardless, there is no denying how much good Peta has accomplished for wild animals, animals used in farm, research, and entertainment. The problem begins when the nasty word euthanasia/killing crops up. Peta is all about killing any and all animals rather than have them spend time in cages or shelters. Ms. Newkirk brags of her experience in a shelter where she “killed hundreds and thousands “ of cats and dogs rather than have them suffer waiting to be adopted or euthanized by others. Apparently she kills much better than others.

Personally I think that Peta would be wise at sticking to what they do best and stay out of the sheltering business, they do a very poor job and it is obviously something in which they have no interest or any affection for. Killing 97% of the animals that enter the Norfolk Virginia Shelter is not exactly going to win over friends of the companion animal set. Again, Peta brags having some of the most important and high profile personalities amongst their supporters. That I truly do not get but heck I am just one little voice in the wilderness. For Peta’s position statements on many animal rights issues go here

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): click here for website

“Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.

Over the years the ASPCA has become much more than a shelter for animals in need. The ASPCA has been involved in fighting for animals rights and their welfare at the grassroots level and all the way to the supreme court.

The ASPCA works to protect farm animals, companion animals, wildlife and animals used in entertainment to learn more click here

The ASPCA supports a number of initiatives and provides many programs to promote the care and well being of animals in the US. To read of some of their programs go to this link

The ASPCA is a strong proponent of spay and neuter, TNR and while they readily admit to resorting to killing in the vent of over crowding they have this to say about No Kill;

The ASPCA strongly supports “no kill” community coalitions (as opposed to a single organization within a community) that are committed to reducing the number of cats and dogs in that community who are at risk of becoming lost, abandoned or relinquished to shelters. Toward that end, the ASPCA supports efforts to maximize accessible and affordable spay/neuter services; practice TNR of feral cats; promote the adoption of homeless animals; educate potential guardians on pet selection, the use of microchips and visible ID tags; and provide ongoing expert training and behavior assistance to guardians so that they may live successfully with their companion animals.”

It doesn’t get much better than that. For more information on ASPCA Policy positions please click here

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for website click here

Much like the ASPCA, the HSUS is  an animal welfare and protection agency. The work of the HSUS is geared toward the prevention of cruelty to animals all over the United States and beyond in some cases. For the most part the HSUS works with the public by educating them. There are numerous programs to we encourage the public to watch for and report animal cruelty. By educating the public HSUS encourages better animal welfare in farms, the home, the entertainment industry and in the wild.

HSUS works with the many Humane Societies across the United States as a “back up” and works to “advocating for tougher laws, innovating programs to keep pets out of harm’s way in the first place, and by providing education and support to help shelters and rescue groups do the best job possible.”

To learn more about the important work of HSUS please go to this link

HSUS is funded by donations and operated a $231,000,000 budget in 2011

So these are the big players. You would think that the welfare of animals and the protection of animal rights would be the means to a positive, cooperative, constructive  and friendly platform for these organizations to work with one another. Not so. NKA is relentless in their vicious attacks on anyone and anything that even remotely disagrees with their positions. The attacks are personal and incredibly nasty. Be it HSUS, ASPCA and especially PeTA the gloves are off. The barrage of disgusting attacks on Ingrid Newkirk and PeTA are only exceeded by the attacks by PeTA on NKA and Winograd.

Why? How does this help the animals. How does wallowing in gutter attacks save the life of one cat or dog ?

Each of these organizations have made massive contributions to animal welfare and animal rights .  I admire the founders and those that carry on the missions of these fine animal welfare and animal rights groups. Do I agree with everything they say or do, heck no, but I respect their efforts to make the world a better place for the animals. What is it about people that makes us feel threatened by a different idea, position, approach, style and what is it about us that we resort to the lowest possible methods of attacking those by whom we feel threatened?

Very recently, I removed myself from the organizing committee of a movement about which I am very passionate. I did it because I knew by remaining involved on the “front lines” it would be divisive and as a result counter productive. There are strong able bodied people that are every bit as passionate if not more so that are at the helm of this cause  so I am in no fear of the desire to make the dream come true. So rather attacking  or undermining these fine people and their efforts, I choose to encourage from the sidelines and contribute where and when appropriate. I shall be among the first to congratulate their success applaud their efforts.

In their interim, there are plenty of animals in need. I shall find a niche to help.


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Port Colborne Feline Initiative – A safe harbour for cats

The Niagara Region is very fortunate to have so many people that truly care about animals, their welfare, their rights, their lives. For the next few days I am going to shed some light on a few of these organizations and their amazing founders.

It is time to meet some people who saw a need, developed a plan, acted and have made an incredible difference.

Port Colborne Feline Initiative (PCFI)

In early 2009, a handful of caring, clever, determined women recognized the need to reduce the “community” and feral cat situation in Port Colborne and surrounding area. Because Port Colborne has a By Law in effect “banning” free roaming cats, Kristi  Mallinson Vogel, Wendy Ross and Barbara Butters lobbied the City Council to endorse a Community Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program. The council wisely did endorse this initiative in writing but as yet have not passed a By Law . This action is on the list for 2013. We will watch and listen and do what ever we can to help make this successful program passed as the norm and not the exception.

So in June of 2009, the trapping began. Since that time five hundred and fifty cats have had the distinction of going through one of three PCFI programs, the TNVR, a subsidized spay neuter for low income households and KitKat, a foster/adoption for kittens born to community cats.

Each cat that goes through the process is spayed or neutered and vaccinated for rabies. Eartipping is performed to Ear-tipped-cat3ensure that if trapped again or picked up by well intentioned public or animal shelter they will know the cat is a community cat, has been altered and should let it go on its merry way. If warranted the cat will also receive a treatment of Revolution.

Some think that TNVR is inappropriate because the cats “suffer” from being left in the “wild”. Let’s clear up this fallacy right now.  First of all there is huge possibility these cats were born in the wild and as such know no other existence and just like other wildlife will fend for themselves. They will seek shelter, they will forage for food and they will develop a society or colony. Statistically, a community cat has a greater chance (35%) of survival on the street than it does in a shelter. That could not be more true than at LCHS where community cats are slaughtered the moment they arrive. People will bring in a box of community kittens that will then be unceremoniously killed by heartsticking without an attempt to foster or adopt.559110_10151245066666030_200432955_n

There are those that will argue, community cats are nothing but predators that prey on cute little birds. Yes, a cat, any cat may very well bring down a bird, just like they will eat mice and other vermin, but then so do  coyotes, larger birds, possum etc. It is more likely that you and I and our abuse of the environment are more responsible for the decline in pretty little birds than community cats.  There is actually a wild life rehabber in the Post Colborne area that advocates killing feral cats in order to save wildlife. Her killing method of choice? POISON or SHOOTING! This is one of the saddest cases of speciesism to which I have been exposed.

PCFI, manages a number of colonies in the Port Colborne area. These incredible people feed and build shelters for the colonies. Volunteers are trained according the Cat Protocol of New York City, click here for more information on this program. The cost for a spay neuter with PCFI is comparable to that which is quoted by the OSPCA Low Cost High Volume Clinics.

How do they do it? They work hard, they scrounge for every dollar to support the initiative. They have bottle drives, Christmas bazaars, Pet Portrait events just to name a few. They are a registered Canadian Charity that operates with full transparency and total integrity.

Incredibly, all three of these women and a number of their fellow volunteers have applied for membership at LCHS. Now if I was running a Humane society and I could avail myself of the kind of tenacity, determination and imagination it takes to run an operation like PCFU, I would not only welcome these marvelous people with open arms I would be asking them to work with me to establish a TNVR program. This program would coincide with the low cost, high volume spay neuter clinic schedules to open in a couple of weeks at LCHS. This combines with  foster care , innovative and aggressive adoption events, encouraging and counseling pet retention, medical and behavioural programmes, public relations/community development, working with rescue groups, volunteers. Oh hey, that’s the No Kill Equation! Just missing one element, A COMPASSIONATE, STRONG INNOVATIVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS!

Follow PCFI on Facebook. click her for FB link. They have just reached 500 likes, lets get them to 1,000! Support this amazing program and these beautiful people.  I do!

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Tomorrow the Fantastic Felina O’Feral!


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How is my money spent?

This blog has been focused on exposing incompetence, ignorance, unprofessional conduct, and frankly just plain old stupidity. Everyday when I write about the KILLING, and I listen and read the absurd remarks by Strooband and Davidson et al, I think, wait, No Kill is a reality. We are not reinventing the wheel here. The No Kill Equation is not a pie in the sky unrealistic idea that costs thousands of dollars and requires specialized equipment. What it does need is, intestinal fortitude, strong leadership, determination, and hard work, all of which are in very short supply at LCHS.

What offends me most, outside the KILLING is the blatant waste of money at LCHS. I am so offended by the amount of money, donors money, taxpayers money that is being wasted or used inappropriately and ineffectively. I despise that money is being used more to benefit humans than the animals for which it is intended.

Other than those who are actually born into privilege, we have all had to work to generate an income in order to support our families. We pay mortgages, hydro, and water bills, we pay our taxes and loans. We buy food, we care for our children and our companion animals and when we are able we give. In fact we give a great deal.  Canadians are very generous with their giving and there is a great deal of competition for the donor dollar which is why it is imperative that every dollar donated is used for its intended purpose and used as efficiently and as practically as possible. The following information details Canadian donating and makes it very clear animal welfare is not high on the giving totem pole. It would then behoove those managing those very important dollars to do so with a great deal of caution and efficiency.

In terms of the amounts donated, Religious organizations receive far more than any other

type of organization. Collectively they received over $2.1 billion in 2007 – roughly half

(47%) of the total value of all donations made in Ontario (see Figure 1.6). Health

organizations ranked a distant second with 23% of the total value of all donations (over $1

billion) and Social Services organizations were third with 8% ($359 million). This

distribution of support is essentially unchanged since 2004 and is broadly similar to that

seen in the rest of Canada.

The average amounts that Ontarians donate to particular types of organizations vary greatly.

Donors to Religious organizations made the largest average annual donations ($537; see

Figure 1.7). By comparison, the average annual donation for Health organizations was

relatively small ($152), even though nearly two thirds of Ontarians (64%) donated to these

organizations. Although Health organizations had a broader base of support than do other

organizations, several types of organizations received larger average annual donations.

Ontarians made the smallest average annual donations to organizations working in the areas

of Social Services ($81), Education & Research ($77), and Sports & Recreation ($53).

Resource:

Giving and Volunteering inOntarioFindings from the Canada Survey of Giving,Volunteering, and Participating

Personally I do not consider a Humane Society purchasing a Smart Car no matter how “good a deal” a wise use of donors’ or tax dollars. It is my opinion the annual licensing and insurance costs exacerbate an already wasteful use of donor money. How does LCHS justify the ridiculous fuel costs for running four huge gas guzzling trucks on the road “cruising for strays”. Is it not a more efficient use of tax payer and donors’ dollars to have the personnel at the shelter caring for animals than driving around aimlessly waiting for “the big call”?

Contrary to what the public has been given to believe, the staff of LCHS are not underpaid . If Executive Director Kevin Strooband is to believed, he told me last March that LCHS has the second highest payroll in Ontario. Strooband alone receives in excess of $85k per year and my understanding is that in 2012 his annual salary shall be close to $100k as a result of bonuses. I have no problem compensating people for doing their jobs. I do resent paying people to do a job only to discover the job is not being done and in this case animals are being KILLED as a result.

For those who may not be aware, I do know of what I speak. I was General Manager and Executive Director of the largest wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release facility in Ontario. Over the course of a year we would have in excess of 800 animals enter the facility some with devastating injuries, most orphaned.  Now that may not seem like much but consider 500 baby animals (raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, otters, beavers, fawns and bears) _MG_9430on site at one time most of which needing to be fed every two hours around the clock upon arrival. We operated with a permanent staff of four animals care people (including myself) one maintenance and one administration neither of which worked with the animals. During baby season we had eight volunteers on site to help with feedings, cleaning and general care of the animals. This is a 24/7, 365 day operation. Bears, deer, beavers, late raccoons and other little critters have to be wintered over. There are also the permanent residents, wolves, coyotes, lynx, owls and others . Add to these  are the winter casualties, deer, moose and bears involved in vehicular incidents or starving.

Our total budget for the facility was $500k which was TOTALLY donations, 100%. I spent hours completing grant applications, writing to potential donors, giving presentations to various service clubs and horticultural societies and bridge clubs and churches and anyone else from whom we may extract funds. Out total compensation budget was $225k.  I was the highest paid employee at $45k. We operated a 100 year old barn as _MG_9460the “clinic” nursery, large animal housing and winter housing, two houses, a bunkhouse and a common room, we ran a 1989 ½ ton truck (which I personally bought for $1500. and took a tax receipt)  and a 2004 van. In order to pick up animals in distress and to return them to their place of origin, we traveled to Sudbury, Timmins, French River, through Algonquin Park and south to St Caths, Mississauga, Oakville, Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Hunstville , Ottawa, and other places that quite frankly I can’t remember.

We didn’t have fancy uniforms, in fact we had a woman that owned her own second hand clothing store who would bring the rejects from the store to us. We were grateful for anything and everything. We begged and pleaded with veterinarians to help us as we had no money for services, meds, vaccination (yes we vaccinated every raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote and wolf). DSC_0020We built huge enclosures, small enclosures, we logged and processed the logs for enclosures, and we did laundry morning, noon and night.

beaver-4

We made it work. We also had a live release rate of over 85%.

I am proud to say that we made every donor dollar work for the animals. We did not waste a penny, ever.

I am appalled that a facility with the budget of LCHS incurs distemper and parvo flare ups when it is so simple to avoid. Maybe sell that stupid car and put the money towards disinfectant foot baths, gloving and gowning. COMMON SENSE preventative practices.

Instead of asking the Board of Directors for $60k for new trucks, PLEASE improve the conditions in the facility, Here is a wild and crazy idea, $60k could be applied to hire a part time Veterinarian or a Vet Tech!!!!!

Okay, I have vented, I am done. I do hope now that you may appreciate my anger, my frustration and my utter disgust for the total lack of consideration for the tax payer and the kindness and generosity of donors who are cheated and mislead.