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.