Saturday, November 20, 2010

Comments Re: Skip Trimble and THLN

Spidey received this email.  It is worth posting and pretty much summarizes just how involved Trimble is in all things AR related in Texas.
Sent: Fri, Nov 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Subject: THLN/TXMVA join hands? Fair Use Act

The TX Medical Veterinary Association joining hands with self-professed "mainstream" THLN has irritated me.

You probably already know most of this info but maybe some new info is here. Use this search engine, enter Robert Skip Trimble, and information will arrive.

I apologize in advance for grammatical/structural errors, but I am trying to compile quickly! I use the disclaimer Fair Use Act.
1.Source:  The Animals' Advocate, The Quarterly Newsletter of The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Winter 2002, Volume 21 (Page 5)

"Old Dog, New Tricks, from 'Abuser' to Animal Champion" article on ALDF Board Chair Robert "Skip" Trimble

"I'm a former animal abuser. I used to own racehorses, raise roping steers, hunt and eat meat," Trimble says. "I've probably
done it all. But that's changed."

"They started telling me about vivisection and circuses and farming abuses and everything else," Trimble says. "The more I learned, the more I wanted to do something."

"The laws need to change if animals are going to be given the respect they're due on this earth, and there's nobody better equipped to change laws than lawyers."

2. Source: The Animals' Advocate, The Quarterly Newsletter of The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Winter 2002, Volume 21

a. Harvard Law School ..most active chapters of the Student Animals Legal Defense Fund in the nation.

With his fellow legal scholars...and Cass Sunstein (who did appear), Dershowitz is helping to put animal law on the map. (Page 1)

b. But Sunstein, ..teaches at University of Chicago, suggested that "property may not be as important as we think," and said animals regarded as property can still have rights under the law. (Page 4)

Article about where Cass Sunstein has ended up in President Obama's administration and what he proposes for America:
c. David Favre, ... a member of ALDF's board of directors, who urged a more incremental approach to winning recognition of animals' rights.

Perhaps, he said, animal lawyers should "find a shallower place to cross the river," shepherding chimpanzees and other non-human animals into the frontier of legal rights via "a series of stepping stones," rather than trying to break down the property status wall. (Page 4)  [Note:  Boiling the Frog - er Dog, Slowly....]

3. Source: The Animals' Advocate, The Quarterly Newsletter of The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Winter 2002, Volume 21
"Spotlight on Enforcement" (Page 4)

Steve Wells, director of ALDF's Law Professional Volunteer Program ..."You can get involved as an attorney by forming a bar association committee on animal rights or using environmental laws to protect animals. Or, if you're not a lawyer, you can testify before legislators considering new animal laws or use the Freedom of Information Act...."

4. Source: Skip Trimble Bio

* 1997 HSUS Legislative Achievement Award

* 1997 PAWS Volunteer of the Year Award

* 1999 Sarah M and Charles E. Seay Kindness to Animals Award, Operation Kindness

* 2006 Secretary and Treasurer of Metroplex Animal Coalition

* Animal Protection of New Mexico's 2000 Award for lifelong commitment to animal rights

5. * Elected Board Chair of ALDF in 2001, after 6 years as an active board member. (Source Animals' Advocate, Winter 2002, #21)

* PETA Activist Award. (Source Animals' Advocate, Winter 2002, #21)

6. * Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) 2010 Art of Compassion Award Recipient, Robert L. "Skip" Trimble

7. "Skip Trimble: Intact animals are the root of Dallas' animal woes"
3:40 PM Wed, Jun 18, 2008 Dave Levinthal/Reporter

"We've compromised in every way we think possible," said Animal Shelter Commission Chairman Skip Trimble, who months ago began advocating the animal control ordinance now in front of the Dallas City Council.

"An unborn dog will never stray," Mr. Trimble said in advocating a mandatory spay/neuter law that would allow owners to keep their pets intact by purchasing a $70 permit. "An intact dog is part of the problem, and a fixed dog is not."

8. The DAS manager has now been charged with felony animal cruelty. You can read the full story and see an affadavit with more details on the case here on the Animals blog.

Targeting: Robert "Skip" Trimble (Chairman, Dallas Animal Shelter Commission)
Started by: Stephanie Feldstein

Dallas Animal Services is being investigated for the death of a cat in the shelter's walls. After escaping from his cage, the cat ended up trapped in the wall. Sources say that employees heard the cat trying to escape and reported it to management, yet the cat wasn't removed until after he had died and his carcass started to smell.

This is not the first time that Dallas Animal Services has made questionable decisions when it comes to animals in their care.

Jonnie England (Operation Kindness), a member of the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission, said "If these allegations are true, these are the people who are charged with protecting and caring for animals in the city of Dallas. This is a level of callousness and unconcern and incompetence that is just stunning."

Tell the Chairman of the Animal Services Commission to hold any shelter managers who knew about the suffering cat fully responsible for their negligence and to replace them with compassionate leaders.

Skippy On Board

1. City of Dallas Board and Commission Chairs, 2005-2007, Appointed by Councilmember Natinsky
Robert "Skip" Trimble, Animal Shelter Commission member since 11/13/2003, reappointed 10/19/05, Appointed by Natinsky, Terms served: 1

2. Re-appointedment by Councilmember Natinsky

ASC 12 Skip Trimble reappointed 09/12/2007, general public, Chair, served 2 terms, member since 11/13/2003.

Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, July 13, 2004,
Coalition Participants:
...Skip Trimble...Born Free (Trimble's wife), ASPCA, SPCA of Houston, PETA, HSUS and more

State Bar of Texas Animal Law Section, Skip was also instrumental in the formation of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Note the BOD and Members: Skip Trimble, Yolanda Eisenstein, Randy Turner, Cassie Evans, Bill Davis, Susan Hightower, Don Feare, etc.

Remember the Gideon Case in Dallas...Yolanda Eisenstein recently met with Dallas City Council Committee members on Animal/Human Abuse.

Skip Trimble, TX Attorney General, primate 'transfer'

Lots of vegan friends

Note the listing of lawyers for Texas; self-created new market, (who not to use?) Gee, how many of these used to be in THLN and are now on the Texas State Bar of Animal Law, founded by Skip Trimble?

AZ - Chris Wencker/520-623-1461

AZ - Stephanie Nichols-Young/ 602-257-9739

FL - Marcy LaHart/561-655-9537

KY - Katie Brophy/502-561-3486

NJ - Linda Sinuk/732-296-1771

TX - Donald Feare/817-543-2202

TX - Joel Hailey/210-333-3310

TX - Randy Turner/

TX - Skip Trimble/214-855-2960

THLN is on the HSUS bandwagon and is now feeding the press the line that "Texas is the Puppy Mill Capital of the U.S."  Sound familiar??!!!!   (Google "puppy mill capital" to see just how many states turn up)  State by state, the ARs are targeting animal owners.  Remember when they fought so hard, state to state, to make animal cruelty a felony?  Responsible animal owners never thought those laws would be used against them either.  

Texas, you must continue the good fight and defeat this legislation NOW.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Modus Operandi

Same Old Same Old

Raids and Seizures.  We read about them everyday.  The stories are always the same and it is always THE WORST case of animal cruelty/abuse/hoarding etc THEY have ever seen.  Feces cover everything.   The amonia smell is so bad they must wear gas masks.  Come on now.  Can't they write better news than a generic fill in the blank?  The mainstream media seldom, if ever, covers the other side of the story.  Maybe a small mention of a legal victory or charges dropped will be found in the back pages.  Like the little boy that cried wolf too many times and was caught lying, who would believe the press releases even if REAL animal cruelty did exist?   Here is how the system operates:

Animal rights organizations lobby for ever restrictive laws.  In many states, animal cruelty is classified as a felony.

Animal Control/Humane Society/SPCA trumps up cruelty charges on some unsuspecting person.  Motives vary from simple ego/power trips to obtaining valuable animals for re-sale, er I mean adoption. 

Animals are taken.

Ransom is levied in the form of daily charges  for board and vet care that run into thousands of dollars. Provisions for such charges are often enacted into law.

The animals often end up in less than ideal situations and some will languish and die without proper care.  This only helps strengthen the persecutor's, er I mean prosecutor's case that the animals were in need of rescuing!  Sometimes animals with no intrinsic value to the rescuers are simply killed, I mean euthanized.

Victims of the system are run through a court system that further abuses their rights.

Attorneys for defendants generally know next to nothing about animal laws.

Defendants pay a fortune to defend themselves and are ultimately forced to give up their animals when they are unable to pay the legal/boarding bills.

Victims of this system are threatened with jail time and high fines and are coerced into signing away their animals.

AC/SPCA/Humane Society profits from these cases.

AC/HS/SPCA etc are now considered law enforcement agents and they have police powers.
The failure to make formal charges ensures that they won't take a fall should the real nature of the incident come out. They can't afford to look bad.

The longer a case drags on, the more financial and other pressure is put on the defendant.   One person calls it the "litigate till broke" strategy.

It's been done many times before. It is happening today.

Spidey  has no problem with REAL animal cruelty being punished by law, but the problem lies with lack of compassion and common sense.   We should all be able to distinguish  true animal abuse from "case building".  Animal Control has become a big business.  State and national membership organizations are in place, complete with certification programs, newsletters, instruction manuals and even supplies.  These officers must justify their existence and often that means "finding" crimes where none exist.

Example of ACO Training Manuals

All states have some form of Animal Control Officer training manuals and course requirements. They are all very similar and the vast body of animal rights literature has been very influential in the development of this area of training, law enforcement, prosecution and legislation.

How to Prosecute Animal Cruelty in Georgia from Start to Finish

American Prosecutors Research Institute  (Randall Lockwood, ASPCA)

In 1989 the New Jersey Certified Animal Control Officers Association along with the Humane Society of the United States  and other animal welfare groups, proposed legislation that would allow Animal Control Officers with additional training, to enforce the animal cruelty statutes of New Jersey.

How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in NY State - A Manual of Procedures

Vermont Animal Cruelty Task Force Manual

Texas Department of State Health Services Animal Control Officer Training Manual

Resources for Prosecutors
Know Thy Enemy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Mechanics of a Vet Med Web

Let's take a brief look into the veterinary practice/animal health insurance/animal pharmaceutical web. Veterinary practice in this brave new age has changed a great deal from the way it used to be. Spidey is old enough to remember the friendly neighborhood and simple country vets. They helped us take good care of our animals and pets, were efficient and effective and also affordable. They had good ole' common horse sense, too.

Today's modern vet, by contrast, often seems to demand we provide expensive procedures for our pets on a yearly basis. We are manipulated, whether we know it or not, to pay for yearly dental treatments for our dogs and cats whether they need them or not. Veterinary exams are the norm along with a battery of blood tests to check for anything and everything. It is not enough to keep up with requisite vaccinations, but now we feel guilty if we do not buy the latest anti-flea and tick medications, provide costly dental treatments, microchip them, or give them heartworm meds - even if those pets never go outside!
Spidey knows this, because a young whipper snapper vet informed me that my cat could get heartworm even if it never went outside because a mosquito, carrying the disease, could get into my house and infect my pet. Well, I guess anything could happen. This young vet was pretty hot under the collar because I challenged the need to buy an expensive product that I felt wasn't necessary. Spidey is reasonable and may have responded better if the vet would've had a more professional and persuasive attitude.

Another vet at this same practice told Spidey that an 8 month old miniature schnauzer was actually a 2 year old mixed terrier of some kind! She said she could tell the age because of the teeth. This dog's teeth are beautiful and white - not a speck of tartar on them. After consulting with a person that professionally bred this particular breed for the show ring for nearly 30 years, I was told how to determine if my pet was still a pup by checking the leg bones. The breeder was right and knew what the vet didn't. Not surprising, though, is it?

 Over time, the two owners of this practice have bought out any competitors or have incorporated offices of veterinarians that have since retired. This is the only vet practice for miles around and sad to say, most veterinarians are all the same nowadays. Spidey always dreads going to this veterinary hospital because of the pushiness, the expense and certain incidences like the two I mentioned above. There are many more such stories, but I wanted to tell you what I have learned.

I discovered that this vet hospital is accredited by the AAHA or American Animal Hospital Association, based in Lakewood, Colorado. Approximately 33,000 veterinary practices, hospitals and university veterinary programs are AAHA accredited. These include local and state humane society hospitals and the Friendship Hospitals for Animals.  Just check out AAHA Preferred Business Provider Programs website for more info.

The Friendship hospitals alone make up 18% of the AAHA accredited hospitals and the Friendship Fund for Humane Education was established to support the efforts of the Washington Humane Society . That support now extends to support the efforts of the Washington Animal Rescue League . (Many of the names listed as officers and board members of these two orgs should ring a bell or two. Like Holly Hazard, Andrew Weinstein, Mary Jarvis, Lisa LaFontaine and others.)  Friendship Hospitals also support and encourage that donations be made to the Marshall Legacy Institute , headed by former HSUS President Paul Irwin. Remember them? They use dogs to sniff out and detect landmines - humanely, of course, according to their website.

Looking over their position statements explains a great deal.  These include topics such as the frequency of vet visits and vaccination schedules; parasite control guidelines, their pharmacy compounding accreditation program, how to report animal abuse, use of Animal ID and microchips, dangerous animal legislation, *ear cropping/tail docking (*Veterinarians should counsel and educate pet owners that these procedures should not be performed unless medically necessary. AAHA also encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards. Why?  Looks like the AR crowd has been pulling their ears!) NAIA wrote this article about them: The American Animal Hospital Association Adopts the Cause of Animal Rights Veterinary Groups.

Check out excerpts [my comments in brackets] from an article from the Oct/Nov AAHA "Pets Matter" newsletter which is sent to clients of AAHA affiliate veterinary hospitals. [Back Issues of "Pets Matter."]
"Signs of an Animal Hoarder  written by Jan Thomas (with Thomas Hunt Associates Strategic Communications)

Animal hoarders can be overwhelmed caregivers [yes], rescuers [yes] or sociopaths [That is a bit harsh!]. Go inside their minds and learn what to do if you suspect hoarding. [This should be an issue dealt with by families - not outsiders, imo]

Just how long XXXX had been hoarding XXXXX is unknown. [Fill in the Blank] What is known is that she stored XXX like throwaway clothing in her garage in XXX., and that ultimately, it was someone from her local animal hospital who turned her in.  [The Nanny State strikes again.  Perhaps the animals needed to be taken - each case is different.  It is a great way to make a quick haul of adoptable animals though.  Just saying....]

According to court records, an unnamed veterinary hospital employee [we the people need to take back the right to confront our accusers and furthermore, those who bear "false witness" need to be prosecuted if the facts show that is the case] contacted the XXX Humane Society after treating one of the XXX that was “malnourished, dehydrated, severely underweight, anemic and had died.” [Just one animal out of how many?  How old was it?  Had it been sick?]

After visiting [Oh, just here for a friendly "visit. That is a nice way to put it.  Did they have a warrant?] the premises, animal control officers removed 25 dogs and two cats from the woman’s care. [Did they threaten her with jail time etc?  Was she coerced to relinquish her animals?  Probably] Most of the dogs were found in the garage, where they lived [I doubt they lived their full time as this article implies.  It is common practice to crate an animal now and then but the report makes it seem this woman kept them in crates 24/7] in carriers and crates stacked one on top of the other and were caked with feces. [the animals or the crates?]

In the world of animal hoarding, where abusers often acquire hundreds of pets before judicial intervention, the XXX case is hardly extreme. However, it does cast a spotlight on the role that neighbors and friends can and should play in eradicating this confusing phenomenon.  [Oh really.  What business is it of theirs?  No, such advice only encourages neighbors with a grudge or vendetta against other neighbors to "cry wolf."]

Today, we understand animal hoarding to occur when someone is:
Unable to provide minimal levels of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care [These are subjective judgments at best]
In denial about both his or her inability to provide care and about the impact of that failure on the animals, their home and other people who live on the property [Possibly, but not always.  Now that we have those dramatic TV shows about "hoarders" the general public will automatically believe the worst anytime people own more than the "approved" number of animals]

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work with animal hoarding. Nevertheless, hoarders do share some characteristics, for instance:
Most are female  [nurturing]
Most live alone  [this is why they call them companion animals]
Almost half are 60 years of age or older  [there is nothing wrong with owning animals.  Older adults often have the time to dedicate to caring for animals]
In almost 70% of investigated cases, animal feces and urine are present in the hoarder’s home [especially in litter boxes]
Sick or dead animals were discovered on the premises in 80% of the cases; and in 60% of these cases, hoarders denied there was a problem  [Animals can get sick and they can recover.  When an animal or pet dies, it is often buried on the premises.  These are often what the incriminating articles refer to!]

Gary Patronek, VMD, PhD and founder of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC) , [Remember him? Spidey wrote about him before!] cautions against generalizing based on gender or living conditions. Instead, he says most hoarders fall into one of the following categories:  [A label is a label]

Overwhelmed caregivers: These people begin rescuing or helping animals in a small way, acquire pets passively and become overwhelmed when their growing animal population combines with a significant negative change in lifestyle. People in this category tend to be the most willing to consider downsizing.

Rescuer hoarders: Most people in this group are driven by an extreme sense of mission. Patronek says they likely “have a profound fear of death and loss. Caring for animals provides a strong sense of identity; losing the animals or losing control is a loss of who they are.” Negotiated settlements, sometimes coupled with the threat of prosecution, work best here.

Exploiter hoarders: “These people may be true sociopaths,” Patronek warns. “They have no empathy for people or animals. They are manipulative, cunning, very shrewd and can be quite vicious. You’re probably going to have to prosecute them with every trick in the book to have any chance of successful intervention.” [Unfortunately, one AR's "rescuer hoarder" is another's "exploiter hoarder."  What is he talking about?  Manipulative, cunning, shrewd and vicious more aptly describes an over zealous, ego driven, publicity loving ACO or animal rights fanatic.]

In addition, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) cites these signs that may indicate someone is an animal hoarder:

They have numerous animals and may not know the total number of animals in their care
Their home is deteriorated (i.e., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in wall and floor, extreme clutter)
Animals are emaciated, lethargic and not well socialized
Fleas and vermin are present
They are isolated from the community and appear to neglect themselves

[Not a pretty picture and perhaps would apply to a very small percentage of people.  But the damage is done and this image will come to mind consciously or subconsciously whenever the public reads about yet another "hoarder."  The person with all those animals has been effectively de-humanized and made into a sick freak of society.]

If you suspect [a mere suspicion does not a fact make] a hoarding situation, call your local humane society, animal control agency, police department, animal shelter, animal welfare group or veterinary hospital to initiate the process. You may not want to get the person “in trouble,” but a telephone call may be [may be, could be but will it be?] the first step to getting that individual and the animals the help they need.  [Yeah, right.  Sorry but Nazi Germany does come to mind.  You know what they say about good intentions.  A person may or may not want to get another in trouble.] 

This article originally appeared in Trends magazine, published by the AAHA and which offers "big-picture perspectives and proven strategies that all members of your practice team can use to enhance patient care and operate your practice more effectively and profitably . . [offering] straight-forward, real world strategies, best business management practices, protocols, tips and techniques -- along with buyer’s guides, overviews of articles published in JAAHA, and in-depth analysis and discussion of industry trends that may affect your practice."  So, what does hoarding have to do with any of that?   Maybe it angers them that one person has all those animals that aren't getting yearly exams and buying all those expensive products and services.  Perhaps they just want to take the animals away and farm them out to those who can afford it?
So, let's see where this web will take us next. My initial search turned up John W. Albers DVM who was the executive director of the AAHA coalition for 23 years until 2009. He is now on the Veterinary Advisory Board of Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) - the nation's oldest and largest pet health insurance provider. It seems to me, VPI could profit from selling "hoarder insurance" to those people who have many pets to care for. Talk about a new "industry trend!"

VPI and VPI Pet HealthZone are registered trademarks of the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company with underwriters in Brea, California and by National Casualty Company in Madison, WI for all other states. The Canadian counterpart is called Petsecure. This insurance is primarily for pet and animal owner clients. Nationwide Insurance, a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company covers various types of risk management for the veterinary practice though I have yet to find actual Professional Liability Insurance (malpractice) insurance offered, although the AAHA does recommend HUB International Midwest Ltd for this type of coverage. HUB's website states that they have "been the PLIT(rust) broker and consultant since 1962. . . and that HUB has leveraged the group buying power of AVMA members . . " More information can be found at the AVMA PLIT website.

John Albers also leads the efforts of his consulting and advising firm, Albers Veterinary Strategies which is based in Denver. He is a busy man with plenty of contacts. He also served on the panel that authored the Pew Foundation sponsored publication, Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine as well as providing input into numerous other papers regarding business initiatives and profit making strategies for his field of expertise.

Let's get back to Albers' original business venture - the AAHA MarketLink. A SEC/Edgar database search for J. W. Albers turned up filings for MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc.; Professional Veterinary Products of Nebraska (Currently in Chapter 11 proceedings) and Medical Media Television  (PetCare TV), based in Tampa, FL.

In 1994, MWI Veterinary Supply became one of AgriBeef's independent subsidiaries. MWI's non-controlled affiliate, Feeders' Advantage, L.L.C. is a buying group composed of several of the largest cattle feeders in the United States. Other MWI acquisitions include Northland Veterinary Supply, the Securos/International Veterinary Distribution Network, Inc. and nearly all the assets of Tri V Services. MWI Holdings, Inc. eventually took over ownership of all MarketLink business as well.

MWI is a leading distributor of animal health products to veterinarians across the United States. In 2008, more than 30,000 products were distributed and half those were already stocked in their distribution centers. Products include pharmaceuticals, vaccines, parasiticides, diagnostics, equipment, supplies, specialty products, pet food and nutritional products. MWI is not a manufacturer, but rather a distributor that maintains key business relationships with IDEXXLaboratories , Intervet Schering Plough , Mariel , Pfizer and Vedco.

Products are marketed to both veterinarians in the companion animal and production animal markets with 2/3 the market going to the pet market. For the fiscal years ended September 30, 2008, 2007 and 2006, their total revenues were $831.4 million, $710.1 million and $606.2 million, respectively.

MWI owns distribution centers throughout the U.S. including those located in Edwardsville, Kansas; Dallas Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; Nampa, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Orlando, Florida and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

All of the AAHA CEOs and Board Members are veterinarians with highly successful practices found nationwide. Not surprisingly, veterinary practices have accounted for over 85% of MWI's product sales. Needless to say, this is a highly lucrative arrangement that continues to expand and grow in profits, power and policy.

For over twelve years AAHA via MWI et al has also maintained distribution arrangements with Banfield, The Pet Hospital  ("Banfield"), which supplies veterinary services to PetSmart stores across the nation. There are several consumer complaints websites devoted exclusively to these.

Like its largest client, Banfield set up a non profit Trust. (The AAHA also has a charitable Foundation they give generously to the Morris Animal Foundation as well as fund scholarships to promising veterinary students.) According to the Banfield Trust's 2009 IRS 990, they gave $8,500 to the AZ Animal Welfare League, $10,000 to the Lollypup Farm in NY, Imagine it Children's Museum in Everett WA received $15,000 [Its President, Jason Cummings, is the Snohomish County Deputy prosecuting attorney], $10,000 to the Pet Orphans of California, The Companion Animal Foundation  in California, Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) and many other non-profits. Who knows what other community connections more in depth searches would turn up?

It is interesting to note that despite all their warehouses full of veterinary supplies, the AAHA received $245,000 from HSUS and the ASPCA to help treat heartworm in pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A penny saved is a penny earned, I suppose, but they have yet to realize the long term cost of the damage to their own credibility. Interestingly, the Banfield Charitable Trust and Banfield Pet Hospitals are also known as Medical Management International, Inc., a unit of Mars.
What a complicated web this has turned out to be! First we have a large dues paying membership of veterinarians and vet hospitals. Then pet insurance is sold to their clients so they can be able to afford the higher priced services and products that are offered at these practices. Next, the veterinarians themselves must buy the products from the MWI distributorship network which no doubt offers them discounts. They in turn can sell the products at an increased price and make more of a profit. Yes indeed, it is a brilliant busine$$ strategy.  I bet they just hate the three year protocol for rabies shots!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Raids, Seizure (Theft), Transport (Conversion) and Adoptions (Sales)

Spidey was reading about the Houston SPCA raid and seizure the other day and decided to find out more about Patricia Mercer, who is the president. Two very interesting facts were discovered. First, she is also the director and president of the Ruby McKibben Foundation for the Protection of Animals in Houston. The Vice President is Peter Davies of the UK. Davies is the Director General of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). WOW - Lookie at all the member organizations!

Another Director of this Foundation is Ingrid Newkirk, President of PeTA. Mercer has some interesting friends in her network.

The lead investigator on the Houston raid I kept reading about was Debbie Michielson who came to the HSPCA via her stint as an ACO in Norfolk, VA - you know- - where the PeTA headquarters are located. Coincidence?  I think not. Though she has only been with the HSPCA since 2007, it is reported that raids and seizures have risen considerably in the past two years. Houston, we have problems.

Spidey also read that the Houston Animal Planet series is no longer in production. However, a spin through the web did reveal that the program was filmed by Anglia Television Ltd (now known as ITV) which just happens to also d/b/a HSPCA.  Same address, too.  hmmmmmm

Mercer, as a certified animal welfare administrator, is also on the BOD of the head office of SAWA (Society of AWA). And she is part of the Pet Shelters Across America (PSAA) . According to their website, "We are the largest pet adoption sheltering network."  Interesting.

The puzzle pieces are falling together, aren't they? You can't run the largest pet adoption network without lots and lots of animals, can you? If raids and seizures have dramatically increased in Houston, you bet they've increased in other areas where the PSAA member shelters are located.

Here's a brief list of the member shelters plus links to news and a little info about each. Google each one for yourself and see what comes up! We will no doubt be referring to this site and these organizations again and again but for now, this info will have to suffice.

Arizona Humane Society (Phoenix, Maricopa County)

Sacramento SPCA (Sacramento, Sacramento County) They often receive animals seized in Kern County.

San Francisco SPCA

Escondido Humane Society (San Diego County)
Dumb Friends League (Denver County)
SPCA of Central Florida (Orlando, Orange County)
Humane Society of Tampa (Hillsborough County)

Humane Society of Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) Christopher Agostino, Executive Director. This is one of the five "animal care centers" owned by HSUS. This is also where the dogs were sent that belonged to that unfortunate Mississippi show dog breeder who was recently murdered. HSUS can't be bothered with wills or probate. They saw an opportunity and jumped on it.
Atlanta Humane Society (Fulton County)

SPCA of Georgia (Suwanee, Gwinnett County)
Hawaiian Humane Society (Honolulu)

The Anti-Cruelty Society (Chicago, Cook County)  Chicago is a very large city. You'd think they'd have enough dogs to rescue and care for in their own backyard, but it seems the ACS often receives dogs which have been transported to them from other states. Come to think about it, they all do.

Humane Society of Indianapolis (Marion County) Another shelter mill ad.

Louisiana SPCA (New Orleans, Orleans Parish) No links. Just think HSUS and Huricane Katrina.

Massachusetts SPCA (Boston, Suffolk County)

Maryland SPCA (Baltimore) The economy is bad right now, but hey, we are going to expand our shelter anyway. After all, people will not be able to take care of their animals and if they don't turn them in voluntarily, we'll just confiscate them. We need the money to pay for our upgrades.

Wayside Waifs (Kansas City, MO/Jackson County) How odd. With all of Missouri's puppy mills we read about and the thousands of seized dogs MO must find immediate homes for, they are taking in HSUS raid dogs from Montana. Oh well. Anything goes.

Humane Society of Missouri (St. Louis) This is a super big operations with four retail outlets, er I mean, adoption facilities. They even have a rescue ranch just for farm animals.

Animal Humane Society (Minneapolis/Golden Valley, Hennepin County)

Michigan Humane Society (Bingham Farms, Oakland)

Bide-A-Wee (Long Island, New York) aka Bideawee, Inc. with a $10 million budget in 2008. Not bad.

Cleveland Animal Protection League (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)

Capital Area Humane Society (Hilliard, Franklin County) Check out this raid seizure story. A West Virginia kennel, operated since 1961, was raided on very questionable circumstances although the motives were clear enough. The 72 year old owner agreed to surrender the dogs rather than face the charges of what is usually a kangaroo court. If you think I am exaggerating, just google animal raids and seizures and do what the press doesn't do - talk to the victims and get the other side of the story. Who got the dogs? The usual suspects. HSUS, Best Friends AS, HS of Missouri, Tampa Bay DART and UAN. The story features a picture of a dachshund receiving treatment in Ohio at this humane society.

SPCA Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

Oregon Humane Society (Portland, Multnomah County) Did I mention that these shelters lobby and are politically active? They have a vested interest in pushing such laws, ya' know.

Animal Rescue League of Western PA (Pittsburgh, Allegheny County) Same old same old, but they also have a wildlife center.

Pennsylvania SPCA (Philadelphia) PA had the largest concentration of promoters of puppy mill propaganda at one time, but the psychological delusion has since spread nationwide.

Potter League for Animals (Newport, RI) This small state has huge restrictions on animal ownership.

SPCA of Texas (Dallas) James Bias. I think everyone has heard of him!

Humane Society/SPCA (San Antonio, of Bexar County)
Humane Society of Utah (Murray, Salt Lake County)
Washington Humane Society (Washington D.C.) This article is good - PeTA accuses WHS of neglect.

Humane Society for Seattle/King County Until June of this year, Brenda F. Barnette was the Director. She has now been appointed as the Animal Services manager of LAAS - the Los Angeles Animal Shelter. Barnette is also an AKC legislative liason. Humane Society (Milwaukee) , and last but not least the

Houston SPCA (Harris County). See R.A.I.D.E.R. files  It stands for Rescuing Animals in Danger and Education Resources. Cute huh? They are so proud of themselves for taking people's animals from them.

PSAA has also jumped into the lucrative pet insurance business and has a new partnership with Kroger Personal Finance. A percentage from every new policy, will of course. go directly to the PSAA. Spidey would love to see the accounting records for this business venture.  How much money (or should I say pet owners) will be taken in?  How much will be paid out on claims?  How much will go to PSAA?  How long will they be in business?

Means, Motive, Opportunity. They have them - we don't.  As you read about all the animal raids and seizures, and pets that need to be adopted as well as proposed legislation in your state, county and city - keep these organizations in mind.

If all that doesn't twist your webs in a knot, then check out the newsletters on the American Humane site.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Missouri Connection

* * * UPDATE * * *

Spidey was troubled by the fact that Karen Aquino directed a Missouri shelter, but resided in Pittsburg which is north of Joplin and just west of the Missouri/Kansas border. Your web crawler wanted to make sure that this was one and the same person. Yes, the address was the same for the home listing and for the registrant of the Jopline Humane Society website a/k/a the  Joplin Adoption and Resource Center (AARC) on 140 E. Emperor Lane. Another source verified that she is indeed the director. In fact, according to that bit of news, the AARC often reaches out to the "4-States community."  I am not sure exactly which four, but Missouri is bordered by 8 states.

The white pages search revealed a listing for W.R. Aquino with one Karen L. Dixon in the household. During the interview, Karen told the reporter that "I've been in this field for 27 years now. . . I come from New Jersey where I was president of the NJ Animal Welfare Federation, on the Governor's Task Force, NJ shelter and animal regulations committee, president of the animal legislative committee and have worked on the HSUS shelter team who are brought in to evaluate and advise shelters on proper shelter management, fundraising, animal husbandry and board structure, etc."  JEEPERS!

Well well well. Things are certainly falling into place now! Lo and Behold Karen Dixon-Aquino is the Chief Executive of the Animal Welfare Association, Inc. (AWA) in Voorhees, NJ. The Director is Susan Cosby.  She was Executive Director of the Animal Welfare Association was a past Chief Operating Officer at Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association and  is also currently the CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA.  Oh, really???  It's a small world after all.

Many of our readers will be familiar with another well known director of the AWA - Bob Baker. Baker, the self-proclaimed "top puppy mill investigator in the country," has worn many hats in his day including Field Investigator for the Humane Farming Association, the director of Anti-Cruelty Initiatives and Field Services for the SPCA, Chief Investigator for HSUS and VP of CAPS - the Companion Animal Society.

This sticky web is out to trap all kinds of animal owners. It also explains why animal rights campaigns have been ramped up in Missouri and the states surrounding it. Even Kansas, smack dab in the middle of the United States - 82,277 sq mi of mostly rural Heartland - is under attack. Radical animal rights activist, Jason Miller of Bite Club of Kansas City, is leading the way with a vengeance. Miller is also press officer for the Animal Liberation Front Press and a darling of the Negotiation is Over website.

While he and his posse grab the headlines, other groups also work relentlessly to target breeders and animals owners. The KC Citizens for Canine Causes at puppymillprisoners org (Stephanie Henshaw 913-221-3662) is notorious for picketing Petland stores. In 2008 and 2009, a HSUS investigation tracked back pet store puppies to their source and suggested that many of them were coming from large-scale puppy mills. And their website has a prominent link to CAPS  which is the Companion Animal Protection Society.

Who is on the CAPS Advisory Board?

Kathy McKee - Animal Advocates of Arizona 

Darlena DeBartolo King of California (Northern - Bay Area)

Ena Fisher, California (Northern - Sacramento) HSUS Animals and Religion, All for Dogs 

Junior Pulayya in Florida - Florida A&M Animal Law School

Josh Colvin -Iowa Operations Manager/Cruelty Intervention Coordinator at Animal Rescue League of Iowa

 Jan Price, Kansas SCARS - Second Chance Animal Refuge Society in Auburn

Nancy Minion, Co-founder and President of Second Chance Animal Rescue, Minnesota

John Maher, Attorney at Law New York City Animal Law Coalition 

Libby Williams , Founder and President, New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse (NJCAPSA), in New Jersey;

Mary O’Connor-Shaver, Founder and Director of Ban Ohio Dog Auctions 

Ruth Steinberger - Oklahoma Coordinator for Oklahoma Alliance for Animals

Randy Turner, Attorney at Law, Texas

Ida McCarthy Illinois

and Ann Olson Minnesota.

Whew.  We are sure to revisit this web in the near future and add many more details.  I just wanted to share what I've found so far.  We need to keep a close eye on these people.  If you have more information you want me to add to A&N, just give me the facts!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thirteen Hundred Dogs

A recent alert went around the email lists, Craigslist and Facebook about 1,300 dogs in Missouri that needed to be rescued immediately. Supposedly, a shelter manager in Missouri was distraught that 50% of 1,300 animals brought in had already been euthanized. She was pleading for rescues to come save the dogs since they just did not have the space for them. She said the shelter was not able to transport them, but they would vaccinate and deworm the dogs, asking only $10 per dog to cover costs. Health certificates, rabies shots and other services would cost more if they could even obtain them.

This is the post:

MO (Joplin) - (GASSING) 1,300 Animals Brought in (50% Gassed) - Please look at all these faces below . . . this is truly awful. [*Pictures of dogs that could be any dogs from anywhere] Need Massive Cross posting help.

You may contact me by e-mail for more information or to tag a dog for rescue. Please remember that I am the Shelter Manager; so don't think I am ignoring you if I do not respond immediately. ..I check most e-mails at night from home. Rescue is my “2nd job”! Rescues may also contact me via cell phone at 417-439-5143. E-mail pitbullangels@

We need available dogs pulled NOW. We are not able to hold dogs at the shelter for rescue...we just do not have the space. It is often possible to board a dog in Joplin at Golden Paws for $8/day until you can pick up. It is CRUCIAL that all rescue pay their boarding fees....if we are not able to continue this partnership. ...more dogs will die due to lack of space. Please don't ask to have your dogs moved and then not pay the fees! We are not able to transport; we work with a very small staff and few volunteers.

Dogs will be vaccinated (Distemper Combo, Bordatella) and dewormed with pyrantel. We ask for $10 reimbursement per dog to cover our costs. Because it is so difficult to track costs and fees post release with so many dogs, we ask that you pay this via credit card or PayPal as soon as you tag your available dog....we have to pay the bills every month! Costs for stray dogs may be paid when dog is off stray time. If costs are not covered...we cannot continue up front services.... again...the dogs will suffer.

Health certs and rabies MAY be available-but this requires a trip to the vet as we do not have one on staff. It is preferred that rescues obtain this after picking up the dog. The cost if we get this done is $25. (This price has gone up) Heartworm testing is available for $10. We will treat with Frontline Plus if we see fleas/ticks, you can opt to have us treat all dogs you pull for $5.

Please understand that we take in between 1000-1300 (or more) animals per month. Getting special pictures and temperament testing may not be possible. Please consider all dogs and puppies potentially exposed to Kennel Cough and Parvo, and all cats to URI and take necessary precautions.

Information for Adopters
If you wish to adopt, you should call the shelter at (417) 623-3642.
You will need to fill out an pre-adoption survey
We are not able to transport; we work with a very small staff and few volunteers.

Adoption fee is $60 for small dogs and puppies and kittens. This includes vaccines and deworming. Adoption fee for large dogs, teenager pups and adult cats is $35 ...this will cover the spay/neuter to local adopters. ALL adopted pets must be neutered as per MISSOURI state law. Dogs and pets are adopted out as family pets and may not be chained out or penned.

Please ask us about our adoption requirements.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
An internet search revealed that the phone number to call, 417-439-5143, belongs to Michelle at the Joplin Humane Society Shelter. In January, she made a plea that 8 boxers needed to be rescued.
In October 2009, a person named Sheila ( used the same phone number (417-439-5143) to plead for transport of a yellow lab and her puppy at the Joplin Shelter on the Pilots N Paws website. The poster said the dogs could be flown out from Joplin or Kansas City to the Rocky Mountain or Loveland/Ft. Collins airport. The dogs were temporarily boarded at Winding River Kennel in Kansas City, MO pending transport.

 Lysa Buehler ( also gives her website as  She is also active on the Dog Rescue Railroad.

Joplin is registered to Karen Aquino; Joplin Humane Society, Inc.; 3308 Grand Oaks Drive; Pittsburg, Kansas. 620-235-1773. The website lists the shelter location as 140 E. Emperor Lane; Joplin, MO 64801. 417-623-3642. Karen Aquino, 3308 Grand Oaks Drive, Pittsburg, KS -609-780-6283 and 620-235-1773 was listed in 2009 as the attorney for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Crawford County, KS.

There were several variations of this alert. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary said there were 800 or so dogs, mostly pit bull puppies.  Here is another variation of the recent plea: Urgent! Animals being gassed due to lack of space. The shelter in Joplin, MO took in 793 pets in 17 days. This is only some of the photos. Please help and please crosspost. Shelter# is 417-623-3642 or rescuers can contact cell phone for more info at 417-439-5143.

The July 28, 2010 email, as far as I can tell came from Linda Brandon (k9rescuer63) who claimed that in the month of June, 1,300 animals were brought into the Joplin Humane Society [Note: according to the first alert at the top of this page, that is nothing unusual since it was claimed the shelter took in that many dogs/animals a month] animal shelter and nearly 50% were euthanized. Spidey thinks that Missouri needs laws similar to the state of Michigan that would require, among other things, shelter registrations and annual shelter reports.  In fact, I believe all states would benefit from such laws!

But back to the article cited in this alert. Executive director Karen Aquino denies these claims. "No animals have ever been euthanized that's [sic] been marked for rescue," Aquino says. "If they are marked for rescue we have a local kennel that we can take them to and she will hold them until the rescue can come down." [emphasis from Spidey]

Shelter employees [Michelle??? ... Lysa???  Sheila???] told the press that animals were being unjustly euthanized and Mary Ann Schlau, who stepped down as the secretary on the Board of Directors for the Joplin HS, backed those claims.. What is going on? Some internal political infighting and wrangling, perhaps?
Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO

Interestingly, the state of Missouri, claimed that since January 2009, it transferred more than 1,300 abused and neglected dogs from unlicensed breeders to various shelters.  This plea for the lives of 1,300 dogs must be common to the Missouri rescue and shelter folk. I'm sure it is extremely successful for finding dogs new homes and also bringing in donations of cash and supplies.

However, did you know that surrendered or confiscated dogs in Missouri may be auctioned off to legitimate breeders? GASP! A fate worse than gassing?!?  Of course, that option is NEVER mentioned in these emotional pleas. 
Apparently Missouri, as far as HSUS et all press releases go, is the new puppy mill capital of the United States - at least for this year.  I remember when it used to be Pennsylvania.  A quick search for MO puppy mill raids and seizures turned up quite a few hits as you can imagine.  Spidey skimmed through them and saw numbers like 100 or 200 some odd dogs being seized, not thousands, and yet the Joplin Humane Society gets 1300 every month.  Something doesn't add up!

Spidey decided to do a search for "1,300 dogs" and discovered that this seems to be a common number in press releases regarding all types of dogs.

Over a year ago, this was posted to Facebook: Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue (in Ohio) Nearly 1,300 dogs adopted to loving and "forever" homes! 

Misty Creek Dog Rescue in Calgary Canada has been operational since 1998. They have placed over 1300 dogs that were either at the pounds, SPCA's or unwanted by their owners. They are a not-for-profit/no-kill shelter that offers to find homes for all unwanted dogs and puppies and are also very actively involved in helping shelters across the USA.  [Sending? or Receiving?]

2004 - 4th Graders in Dalhart, Texas start no-kill sanctuary, taking in more than 1,300 dogs in 19 months.

2005 Katrina. The airlifts -- each costing about $45,000 -- were sponsored by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens and his wife, Madeleine, part of a larger effort by animal welfare groups to find homes across the country for animals in crowded shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi. More than 2,000 animals, including 1,300 dogs, 400 birds and several hundred cats, are at the main shelter in the New Orleans area. Rescue crews are picking up several hundred more daily. Officials say as many as 50,000 may still be stranded.

2007 Alaska A recent statistical study from the Mat-Su Animal Care and Regulation office shows that since January, nearly 3,400 animals have been brought to the shelter with 1,089 being adopted to new homes and 1,000 more returned to their original owners. The study also shows that more than 1,300 dogs and cats have been put down so far in 2007.

In 2008 - Dogs were taken from an alleged puppy mill in Wisconsin.  Can you guess how many? Yep, 1300. This seems to be some kind of magic number. Maybe it is a code of some kind.

2008. Animal Association International What does the AAI Foundation do?
AAI tries to find good homes in the Netherlands for discarded and disowned dogs, mostly from Southern Europe, and has been doing so since 1994. AAI became an official foundation in 1997. Since then, through responsible rehoming, well over 1300 dogs have found their way to a good home in the Netherlands. During the dogs life AAI keeps in contact with the new owners and also takes care of rehoming the dogs again in case of problems; no dog that has been previously rehomed through AAI in the Netherlands ever goes to an animal shelter. All dogs remain legal property of AAI.

2008 - ASPCA Helps Get Animal Cruelty Conviction at Puppy Mill
In March 2009, we gave testimony at the trial of Kathy Bauck, the operator of Pick of the Litter Kennels in New York Mills, Minnesota helped. And just how many dogs did she have on her property? Uh Huh. You know the answer. (PS  In 2009, after a four and a half day trial which included six hours of jury deliberation, she was cleared of all felony charges.)

1300 Appears Globally as well. 2008 - GRANT AWARDED TO FADAB
Panama-- FundaciĆ³n Amigos de Animales Boquete (FADAB) is excited to announce the receipt of its first ever grant – a generous contribution of $3,000 from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust in Carnwath, Scotland. The grant will support the purchase of veterinary medications and supplies for FADAB's low-cost spay/neuter clinics. Marchig Animal Welfare Trust was established in 1989 by Madame Jeanne Marchig of Geneva. In 2008 alone, it has provided grants to more than 46 animal welfare organizations on virtually every continent. In the last three years, the FADAB clinics have sterilized over 1300 dogs and cats in Boquete and surrounding communities. [OK - they rescue 1300, adopt 1300, sterilize 1300, euthanize 1300 and sometimes 1300 are killed in one day!]

2008 Egypt. The Government in Egypt still insists on using strychnine poison to address stray dogs problems in Egypt. 1300 stray dogs were killed by shooting and poisoning and the massacre is continuing in Aswan.

2009 Contaminated pet food kills 1,300 stray dogs across Taiwan.  How did they know?  Did they autopsy them all?  Did the contaminated pet food kill actual pets?

2010 - 8000th Dog Rehomed With Help Of
The UK’s number one dog adoption website has recently helped rehome it’s 8000th dog. is growing by the day and currently has over 1300 dogs listed on its pages looking for forever homes in over 240 rescues up and down the UK. There are currently 92 breeds and cross-breeds listed and there are dogs ranging from new born pups to golden oldies, Lhasa Apso to Labrador, Chihuahua to Collie.

This is from a May 2010 press release - As many as 1,300 dogs and cats in Fort Worth, Texas, will be saved every year thanks to a one-of-a-kind partnership between the City of Fort Worth, Texas, and nonprofit PetSmart Charities, Inc. The two have teamed up with support from community pet lovers and PetSmart, Inc. to open the first government animal-control pet-adoption center inside a PetSmart store.

The One-Two Punch
And now we come back, full circle to Missouri, and a press release from MOFAC, a coalition of mainstream agricultural and animal owner groups in the state. There is a ballot initiative which would establish mandates on kennel owners. (but of course, not rescues and shelters and other such non-profit organizations)

We are told that Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan verified signatures for the ballot proposal sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society of Missouri, ASPCA and the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation but they should double check her work to make sure.

“While the current HSUS effort is about stopping dog breeding and pet ownership, it’s simply another methodical move to accomplish their ultimate goal of ending animal agriculture and meat consumption,” MOFAC said in a press release.

HSUS is about ending all animal use and ownership - that is unless it is mandated and certified with their approval - and that, my dear readers, will be at a very high price.

For those of you who want to go real deep, here are a couple of Twilight Zone FAQs:

The Number 13

NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

If All Animals are Spayed and Neutered . . . What Then?

I'm glad my mother and father were not spayed and neutered!

I am happy in my forever home!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Over the years, friends of A&N have been keeping news articles about incidents where animal control is out of control. Spidey decided to publish this week's compilation of such articles - just for the record. These are just a small sampling and more will be published on this website during the next few weeks.

Here's how many of the incidents, seizures and raids go down: Animal Control/Humane Society/SPCA etc. accuses some unsuspecting person of animal cruelty. Often this is the result of an anonymous tip that may or may not be accurate. Motives for making false accusations can be anything from jealousy to simple spite. Animals are seized and taken from their owners. Raids are conducted and often TV crews are on the scene to further intimidate and purposely humiliate the victims. The ACOs run up a bill for feed and board and vet care, which is often unnecessary. The case is quickly run through an court system that is generally ignorant of what is happening (and often doesn't care). Constitutional rights are  trampled in the mud, while attorneys for the animal owners - unlike the prosecutors - know next to nothing about how to defend a case in animal law.

Most of the victims do not have the money necessary to win such cases and are ultimately forced to give up their animals when they are unable to pay the legal and boarding bills. Often they agree to surrender the animals in order to avoid stiffer penalties or even jail time. 

And yet, breeders and pet owners are called animal abusers and worse. Who is making money off the backs of animals? How did animal welfare agencies turn into animal rights oriented law enforcers? To add insult to injury, the boarding fines "racket" is usually enacted into law - and who do you think writes and lobbies for that legislation? Why, the ones who stand to gain from it, of course.

In the meantime, animals can languish or even die under sub-standard care. Sometimes they pick up diseases where they are being held. Some are transported out of state without the proper health certificates since non-profit organizations are not as tightly regulated as breeders. Often the animals are moved or adopted out before the owner's case has been decided. The animals are adopted out to the highest bidder, in many cases. Some are resold for profit.

When this happens, it is tragic. Animals have been taken from places where they are loved and well cared for, for no good reason except that thieves, under the color of law, can make money from their sale.
January 1999.  Police in Abbotsford, B.C. raided a house and shot a family dog that attacked them while a children's birthday party was in progress. Witnesses say police officers, dressed in black and wearing hoods, burst into the house. The family's pit bull dog then lunged at one of the officers and bit his sleeve. A second officer then shot and killed the dog, splattering blood on a nearby infant. Mayhem ensued. The seven-year-old daughter of one of the parent's present at the party, hid behind a couch and started screaming. The police beat some of the adults. They claimed they didn't know children were present when the heavily-armed SWAT team raided the house, looking for drugs and weapons.

Lhaso, Come Home!
Original article written by Ranny Green and Joshua Robin; Seattle Times.
Condemned Pooch's Case Back In Court September 2000

Two Lhasa apsos were confiscated and locked away in a Seattle animal control shelter for seven years on allegations of being vicious dogs. The city animal control officers claim that while their owner was walking them, they attacked and bit two women. The dogs were taken into custody on the charge of being a threat to public safety. Animal control told reporters that both of the dogs should have been put to death or sent to an animal refuge in Utah years ago.

Wilton Rabon, the owner of the two dogs, named Word and Parshebe, has tried in vain to get his dogs back. The case has gone all the way to the state Supreme Court and was recently before the Court of Appeals for the second time. Parshebe died in the 5 by 20 foot cage where she and Word have been caged since 1993. The legal battle has cost taxpayers over $200,000.

Rabon, 56, visits the still living Word at least twice a month. Rabon is on a fixed income and does not have his own transportation. Not a day goes by that he doesn't think of his precious little dog. Word remains isolated in the shelter, his room and board costing taxpayers $10 a day.  Rabon was found guilty of four counts of owning vicious animals in violation of the Seattle Municipal Code and sentenced to probation and community service. The dogs were not on a leash when he walked them and it is likely the city chose to make an example of him, demonstrating the importance of its leash law.

Thomas Castagna, an assistant Seattle city attorney, said the lhasa apsos were a threat to public safety and so two years after Rabon's conviction, the city moved to kill them. The attorneys for Rabon, who is poor, have represented him for free and put in hundreds of hours to help him get his pets back. One of the attorneys told the press that, "They cannot go snatching up people's property right and left, and that's what they did in his case." The attorneys have also argued that Rabon had a special emotional relationship with Parshebe and Word and they with him. Mr. Rabon has not yet given up hope that one day Word can come home where he belongs.

Canine con gets reprieve after 8 years. Word has escaped death row, but he's not exactly free.

The 11-year-old Lhasa apso will live out his life at Pigs Peace, an Arlington animal sanctuary where he was transferred Saturday after an eight-year legal battle. The decision to send Word to Arlington was a tough one because Rabon was hoping his dog would be allowed to come home. Rabon doesn't own a car, so he will have to rely on friends for rides, she said.  Until Word's release - and his mother's death - they were locked in a 5-by-20-foot cage at the Seattle Animal Control shelter.

ACO Takes Revenge on a Puppy
Representatives of the Humane Society of Smith County TX say some abuse of animals came at the hands of ACOs themselves. One instance involved a Tyler Animal Control officer who had picked up some puppies that were surrendered by their owner. According to a statement made by the kennel manager, the officer talked of a confrontation with the owner, during which the owner thrust a puppy toward the officer. The puppy then bit the officer in the face, according to the statement.

"He then told me he got his revenge later, too," the statement says. "Because the puppy was a surrender, and (because) it had bit him, he got to chop its head off...".

Numerous instances were cited involving former TAC Officer Cesar Alvarez. Alvarez was dismissed from his employment in 2005 after six unvaccinated pit bulls were confiscated from his home in various stages of physical distress and later euthanized. According to reports, Alvarez was in possession of eight dogs total. Two of the dogs found in the man's possession were said to be in good condition.

Law enforcement officials reportedly received a call about a loose dog and discovered six others - described by law enforcement as skinny and malnourished - on Alvarez's property. Alvarez was issued citations totaling more than $1,000 for failure to vaccinate, but was not arrested.

A more recent instance - currently under investigation - involved another current officer. On June 1, the officer brought in an unconscious dog. According to shelter staff, he dragged the limp dog by its neck, using a control stick, and left it in a kennel; he sought no medical attention for the dog, stating "it would be all right." Two hours later, the dog went into a seizure and died.

"The dog died two hours after he dropped the dog off, but there was no treatment administered by the shelter at all," Smith said. "The dog was euthanized and there was no postmortem exam performed so there is no way of knowing if the dog died of heat exhaustion or a crushed trachea, which has been alleged."

Jacksonville, FL.  ACO Charged with Dogfighting
An animal control officer new on the job is accused of misusing his position by fighting dogs in his custody instead of protecting them. Troy Major, who is 35-years-old, was arrested this week at his home after police say they found two dogs at his home that had been property of the Animal Control. The police report says that besides dogs, dog fighting equipment used to train dogs was found at Major's home. 

2007: How It's done in Pennsylvania (Note: PA ACOs can now carry firearms)
In Pennsylvania anyone affiliated with a non-profit can become a Humane Enforcement Officer. For a fee, you can receive a badge. Sally Chavez-Casler, the founder of Broken Arrow Animal Sanctuary, seized 31 animals. (21 puppies, three baby goats, and seven adult dogs). However, according to court records, Casler had been found guilty of cruelty to animals in 2006. The victim of the seizure, Yvonne Murken fought the charges against her and fought to get her animals back.

Casler had been found guilty of keeping a black Labrador retriever-mix in her home in a cage that was so small the dog could not stand up without hitting its head. Further, the court also found that the dog had an inadequate amount of drinking water. It was further revealed that Casler offered puppies for adoption that were covered in feces and fleas. She did not appeal the charges and paid the fine. Though her sanctuary was promoted as a "no-kill" organization, a fellow officer stated that she often would euthanize animals "on the spot."

Casler made similar claims against others and was able to get a search warrant for Murkens' residence based on such a claim!

Murkens, 62, whose friends rallied in support of her, describes herself as the "goat lady." Her supporters told the press had been unfairly treated. Murkens had been a dairy farmer for over 27 years and was in the middle of a landlord/tenant dispute when the raid and seizure occurred. I wonder who made the anonymous tips to AC? After fighting the good fight, Murkens got most of her animals back and charges were dropped.

ACO convicted of Animal Cruelty
Howard Hawkinberry, 37, picked up a cat that had been struck by a car and had several broken bones. He kept the cat for more than 20 hours without taking it to a veterinarian or euthanizing it. He said that the woman who called him to pick up the cat asked him to take care of it until she could get it to a veterinarian the next day. The judge gave him a 30 day suspended sentence and probation and ordered him to pay court costs. His supervisor at the Marion County animal control office said she cannot believe the verdict. Hawkinberry said he plans to appeal and his boss says she plans to keep him on the job. What!!!???
2007 Tennessee: An ACO was arrested when drugs were found at the local shelter Benton County’s top ACO was taken into custody on drug charges Thursday when the Camden Police Department received an anonymous tip. ACO Jacqueline Marie Boyett, 21, was charged with possession of a schedule VI drug. The CPD searched the Animal Shelter property after being informed that employees were selling marijuana and prescription medication at the location and out of county vehicles. According to a report filed by the case investigator, the information came to light after Boyett bragged that she was selling the drugs and that there was nothing that could be done about it.

During the search the K-9 dog indicated the presence of drugs in two vehicles on the property and police found drug paraphernalia in both vehicles. A second Animal Shelter employee was arrested by the CPD earlier that morning for driving on a suspended license. The arrest occurred when she responded to a call concerning a dog that had been hit by a car. She was charged with driving the Animal Shelter truck with a suspended license.
2007: Lake Placid NY. An ACO who ran a pet adoption agency - Faithful Friends - was charged with 33 counts of animal cruelty, 22 counts of failure to license a dog and 2 counts of child endangerment. His wife was charged with the same. 22 dogs and 11 cats under his care were emaciated and malnourished and had mange. Some of the animals were unadoptable and had to be euthanized. The investigation began with a picture of one of the sick dogs that was tied to a tree.
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August 2007: Before she reportedly left town a few weeks ago, a former ACO for the Village of Bradley (IL) harbored more than 40 dogs, 29 cats and 19 snakes in her single-family home She is lost her job with the village and the animals were removed from the home. Robert Simpson, a member of the village zoning board of appeals, complained about her animals a year before the seizure but nothing was done. "Some people couldn't sit on their porches because of the smell," Simpson told the village board. "That house, as far as we're concerned in the neighborhood, should have been torn down."

2007: Sasha, a 14-year-old retriever mix, was found by animal control and was placed in the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter. She had escaped during a thunderstorm, and her owners looked for two days before finally founding her at the shelter. Sasha's owners came to claim their dog on a Sunday but shelter employees refused to let Sasha go home because, under county policy, it was a non-business day. When Sasha’s owners came back to the shelter on Tuesday morning (Monday was Labor Day), they paid the shelter fee and went to get their dog. To their horror, Sasha was dead in her kennel.

The couple did not accuse the shelter of Sasha's death. No one at the shelter had a clue why she died. (I'll bet) Policy was changed and now employees can release dogs in special situations. This is a tragic story, but even more tragic is the fact that the county administration plans to hire the Humane Society of the United States to conduct a $25,000 peer review of the shelter. I feel sick.

October 2007: A former South Bend Indiana ACO lived in house with 88 animals. A co-worker said that recently dogs have been "accidentally" put to sleep before their owners could pick them up at the shelter. According to South Bend’s city ordinance, the shelter holds an animal with tags for five days. If the dog or cat is not claimed the animal runs the risk of being put to sleep. Eric Antonazzi, who was fired recently from South Bend Animal Control, says in the past month the staff accidentally put two pit bulls to sleep before they should have been. Reminds me of PeTA.

2008: Port St. Lucie Florida. Police arrested an ACO who tried to steal an exotic bird. Reptile education specialist Fred Spector was trying to find the owner of an African gray parrot last month when he called ACO Luis Ortega to help. A police spokesman said the bird is worth $1,200.

Ortega offered to buy the bird from Spector, but Spector said he wanted to find the owner first. A few days later, Spector told police that a man named Jose called him and said he was the bird's owner. But when Spector asked Jose to describe the bird, Jose couldn't do it well enough to prove that he was the owner. Spector called animal control to report the suspicious call and learned that Ortega never filed a report on the missing bird.

Ortega, who allegedly had the man pose as the bird's owner so he could get possession of it, was charged with attempted grand theft. Spector is a former New York City police officer who retired to Port St. Lucie and started a reptile education business.

October 2008: An SPCA equipment van and a SPCA "forensics veterinarian" were on hand at the raid of a person in Gilmer County GA where 13 American Pit Bull terriers were "rescued" despite a complete lack of evidence that the man or the dogs had ever been involved with dog fighting. All dogs and the puppies were in extremely good condition, as they should have been, since Mr. Woodall was a frequent competitor in ADBA weight-pulling trials with his dogs. This victim was smart enough to grab his video camera and film the raid and the entire nation saw what both the HSUS and ASPCA are made of when the video was put up on YouTube. After a court fight of several months, he eventually got his dogs returned. They were alive, but unfortunately not in the exceptionally good condition that they had left in. He is considered one of the fortunate ones.
2008 - Kansas City, MO. An 87-year-old woman's dog, Buddy, was euthanized despite calls and e-mails to Animal Control that she wanted her beloved pet back. The woman had let her dog out but then fell asleep and by the time she went to let him back in, he had run off. A volunteer who helps to find lost dogs put Buddy on several lost dog registries and two days later she received information that Buddy had been picked up by animal control. The woman was ecstatic that her dog had been found and the volunteer wrote emails and called animal control to let them know the owner had been found and would be there to pick up Buddy. When the woman arrived, however, she was told Buddy had been put to sleep the day before. They hadn't even checked their messages until it was too late.
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2008 - Idaho Falls, ID - The state attorney general's office had to decide whether to file criminal charges against a sheriff's deputy accused of shooting a dog three times after first asking its owner to tie it to a tree. Questions about other sheriff's deputy led various community leaders to question the competence of the sheriff's office. None of the three deputies were available for comment.
People have threatened to cancel trips to the vacation area because of the shooting of the 5-year-old black Labrador retriever mix named Bobby, which survived. The dog's owner filed a tort claim against the county.

Complaints from a woman who claimed the dog mauled her, triggered the events. The owner said Bobby was a friendly dog and played well with all the neighborhood children. He tied the family pet to a tree at the officer's request and asked what proof there was that Bobby had bitten anyone. Then he said the officer said he "didn't need proof" to shoot the dog, so he did - 3 times with a rifle. Bullets hit Bobby once in the head and twice in the neck.

Idaho law allows a dog one bite without consequence, but after a second bite, a court can order a dog be destroyed. However, Bobby never bit anyone. The owner went to the hospital after a severe panic attack. When they returned, they found Bobby was still alive and had crawled onto the porch. They took the dog to the vet.
July 2009. Delray Beach FL Should this one go in the Do As I Say, Not As I Do or The Poetic Justice files?
An ACO, whose family was cited last month for animal cruelty, defended her decision to keep her 17-year-old dog at home instead of euthanizing or seeking medical care for the animal, even though the animal had a large tumor growing under her belly. Virginia Feldmann, said her pit bull mix Kelsey was not in pain and was too old to undergo an operation to remove the large tumor. Feldmann claimed that she tried to get the dog euthanized on three occasions but was turned away for various reasons.

The matter came to the attention of a Boynton Beach ACO because a neighbor complained that too many cats were in Feldmann's home. The neighbor further stated that the dog looked uncomfortable, had open wounds on her back and was found in a dirty cage. A putrid smell was apparent throughout the home, according to the ACO's report.

Feldmann's husband was civilly cited for animal cruelty and faced a $258 fine. The ACO maintained that the family could have either seen a vet for the dog's medical problems or get the dog euthanized. Feldmann said she was forced to put the dog to sleep. "It's humiliating and embarrassing," she said. " Indeed it is.

November 2009 - MA. An internal investigation and hearing revealed that an ACO gave away a lost Yorkshire terrier she found, to a police officer and his girlfriend. The four-year-old dog belonged to a woman who had done everything she could to find her precious pet. The owner managed to finally reunite with her Yorkie as the dog was en route to the airport with her "new owners" who were moving to Florida.

Janet Torren had called the local animal control office and left a message with her dog's name, description, microchip number and microchip company name. Torren returned to her son's town, where neighbors helped her search for her dog to no avail. Torren received a phone message from animal control officer Bousquet stating that she had not seen or found a dog that fit Torren's description. After leaving several messages for Bousquet, Torren finally spoke with the animal control officer by phone.

"She was so sharp and rude to me, it was unbelievable," said Torren. "She was telling me I needed to show her respect and that she was a police officer. I was frantic and so sick to my stomach, but it wasn't going to stop me from looking for my dog. I couldn't picture Shai just vanishing off the face of the earth."

Eventually, records revealed that it was ACO Bousquet who had the dog's chip scanned. Torren immediately called Bousquet and left a message to let her know what she had discovered and that she would call the police and file charges. Initially, Bousquet denied everything but finally admitted that she knew where Torren's dog was - with her new owners at the airport in Boston, waiting to fly to Florida.
January 2010. Riverside CA. A Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief, Glynn Johnson, was found guilty of felony animal cruelty with special circumstances, (maximum penalty of up to 3 years) and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony (maximum penalty of up to 1 year), after brutally beating to death a 6 month old puppy.

In November 2008, Karley had gotten out of her owner's backyard and was being brought back by neighbor. Another neighbor - the assistant fire chief, offered to bring her back himself. The neighbor then witnessed the fire chief erupt in violence, punching Karley 10-15 times in the head first with his fist, then with a 12 lb rock. Karley was so severely beaten that she had to be euthanized hours later.

It seems Johnson attacked Karley in vengeance, after years of fighting with the Toole family (Karley's owners). Over the years, Johnson had engaged in shouting matches with the Toole's using a bullhorn and had placed dog excrement in their mailbox. Another witness said this was not an isolated event and there was a long history of anger and frustration between Johnson and the Tooles.

The D.A. questioned Johnson about his violent past, bringing up an incident which is documented in police reports where Glynn attacked his 14 year old daughter Amber in their backyard after an argument. Johnson pushed his daughter to the ground, hitting her with the buckle end of his belt several times. He then dragged his daughter back into the house where he proceeded to beat her again, shouting "I wish you were dead."
March 2010. Mississippi. An ACO is jailed after being accused of shooting and dumping dogs. Alonzo Esco was fired in January after home video surfaced that allegedly showed dozens of animal carcasses dumped in a creek in Canton. The point was made that if he had been a private citizen, he would have already faced charges but the Mayor denied Esco was getting special treatment. Animal rights activists insisted otherwise. I definitely think better protocols for animal control were needed!
April 2010. Annemarie Lucas, ASCPA cop and TV star of 'Animal Precinct was forced off her job and faced with a lawsuit.Annemarie Lucas helped bring in big bucks with fund-raising drives and had a starring role on the TV show "Animal Precinct." The lawsuit claims her humane law enforcement unit performed illegal searches and seizures.

"She projects a warm and fuzzy personality on television ... but she uses the badge and gun as a sword, not a shield to protect animals," said lawyer George Dazzo, who represents pet owners whose animals were seized. Sources said Lucas had clashed repeatedly with the chief legal counsel of the enforcement unit, Stacy Wolf. Lucas, who earned more than $200,000 in salary and benefits in 2008, was paid more than a year's salary as part of a buyout agreement.

Patrick O'Keefe, a top official at the ASPCA's Henry Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan, also abruptly resigned. The ASPCA declined to say why, but a investigators were checking a lead that the death of a Rottweiler was caused by being kicked and choked by a vet at the hospital. The Rottweiler's owner is suing the ASPCA.

June 2010. Florida. 14-pound Shih Tzu deemed "dangerous" and according to the county ordinance, must be killed. ACOs say that Cyrus attacked a 5-year-old boy, biting him on the head and arm. The county ordinance states that any dog that attacks a victim above the neck is considered a dangerous dog and must be destroyed.

Philip Stoddard, dog lover, took over ownership of Cyrus after the attack and is looking for a stay of execution. He said the county's dangerous dog ordinance is unconstitutional and that there is not enough evidence to prove that Cyrus is dangerous to anyone. He laughed when asked if he thought Cyrus was a dangerous dog. "They're about the most cuddly breed of dog you can possibly imagine." He will file an appeal to the county to try and save Cyrus. Let's hope Cyrus will fare better than Word, the Lhaso did.