Tuesday, September 20, 2011

P.E.T.A., ASPCA And Why I Don't Support Them

If you do a search on line the list of animal activist groups goes on and on, all with their own personal causes and fights. Some like P.E.T.A. use shock tactics to scare you into veganism with video's portraying horrific ends to soft fuzzy creatures. The ASPCA loves to guilt you into donations using sad songs with even sadder pictures attached to them.

Don't get me wrong, I am totally for ethical treatment of animals and used to donate to all these causes. I truly thought that they were out there fighting the good fight. Righting the wrongs of evil pet owners and breeders all over America...boy was I wrong. Which is why I don't support them anymore.

I am also not a vegan I LOVE a good steak and no video is going to stop me from chomping down a rib eye or porter house steak if I want to. Still this is not why I don't support them.

The reason I don't support them has been stuck in my throat for almost 17 years and I feel I can finally tell more then my immediate family about it. If you have been reading my stories you know that I have a bunch of dogs and had been looking for Chihuahua's for a long time. There are a few rules I live by when I am looking for a new fuzzy friend, I only bring home females(they are cleaner in my opinion) and I only bring home animals that are rescues. This is why I only take rescues, in my search for the perfect Chi, I came across the most despicable place here in Nebraska and it is only about 30 miles from where I live now. We saw an advertisement in a local paper about puppies they wanted to adopt out. I called and had the most pleasant conversation with the man that placed the ad. The conversation made us immediatly pile into the car and headed over to his home. I had never heard the term puppy mill before and this place was a huge shock to me.
                                 (This is not a picture of the place but it was very much like this).

He had about 150 adult dogs plus puppies,the dogs were outside and all in cages with piles of feces under them. Occasionally there were dead rodents laying next to a cage. In the cages were worn out miserable dogs that looked like they were on deaths door. My heart was broken. How could anyone do this to their animals? The puppies looked sickly and the cages were filthy. He had goats and sheep all in the same condition. He seemed oblivious to our shock and the conditions around us as he happily showed us around. I told him I would think about the dogs he showed us and beat a hasty retreat. My first stop was the local sheriffs office, when I went in to talk to them about this place, they openly laughed at me and named the guy. They said they wished they could do something and that they got people in there at least once a week telling them about it. But the law being like it was...there was nothing they could do. So I decided to do something myself.

I went to war and on a mission to shut him down, I called all the local Veterinarians to get them behind me, I got the same response I got from the sheriff they knew this guys name and one asked in a shocked voice, you didn't buy one of his dogs did you? When I said no, the Vet said that was good because they usually had PARVO! OH MAN!... I was also informed during these calls that there were no laws or ordinances to stop this sort of behavior in Nebraska. Generally, a man could do as he pleased on his own land...end of story. I could not believe this so I called the law makers in Lincoln and started a campaign more like a barrage of phone calls to the various offices. Leaving one message upon another to call me back. I also looked up the laws pertaining to animal abuse. There were only 2 and both dating back to 1860 something (pre-civil war), a man can be hung for either of them in this fine state I live in. One is beating your horse and the other is abusing a cow.......WHAT? You can also be strung up if you steal either of these from another man.

There had to be a story in this somewhere, something to light the fire under the bureaucrats to get the laws changed! So like any other naive idiot out there, I decided that the way to go was a media blitz. I would get reporters to do a story on this man. Then they would have to do something! I called all the television news rooms and the reception I got was better then the law's but just as bored with me. Where was the story they wanted to know?  One man said look you have my name and number, you get P.E.T.A or the ASPCA out there and that will be news worthy otherwise, a woman looking for a dog and finding a puppy mill (this is where I heard it for the first time) is just not news worthy material...frankly people don't care. I assured him people do care and if he would do a piece on it, they would see how much people cared. He said call me back when P.E.T.A.'s involved and hung up.

I had been thinking that was a GREAT IDEA anyway, why had I not thought of them before! They LOVE animals! So I called P.E.T.A and you know what...YAWN uhmuhm yeah not a big enough story. They would not do it unless they got national or international media coverage. I argued that with them involved it would be national coverage..her response uhm yeah ...sorry,click. I was stunned and with half a heart I called the ASPCA.

They told me at the ASPCA basically the same thing. However they did give a glimmer of hope, go out and get pictures of the dogs. HUH? Go back, get pictures? How was I going to do that? I could figure it out, get the pictures send them in and we'll see. So I called the guy back and said I wanted to see the puppies again that there was this one I especially had fallen in love with. I also took my kids with the instructions that once I was out with the dogs they had to go pee in the worst way so I could get pictures . We went, they did their thing and I got pictures. I sent them in to the ASPCA's office , no call, I called and was informed that yeah the situation was pretty bad but that it was not big enough to get involved that they would have to have bigger media coverage and that my best bet was with the law makers......and so it goes the never ending circle.

I hung up with heavy heart. I have never forgotten the dogs, the cages, the dead rodents, the poor goats and sheep. Nor have I forgotten the news rooms or ASPCA and P.E.T.A I guess this was the first time that I learned that just because you are in the right and someone else was doing something  evil that you can not always change things.I kept up the calls to the politicians for a little while longer not daily anymore but weekly, then monthly then I just stopped. I am sure they had me pegged as a nut job.

I know there are women out there that move mountains and get laws changed I have no clue how they do it, if they have an inside track to it or if they have the money to go door to door in Washington until they find that one person that says yeah I agree with you. I was never so lucky, I understand that some laws have been changed here in Nebraska but I am not sure what they were or when they were changed. I would like to think that someone somewhere looked into my story and quietly made a difference.

I have heard that the money donated to these groups is used to generate more income to make more money but it is all rumor and speculation. I believe it, but I could not find anything to support the chatter. When I did a search all I found was various chat rooms with people talking about why they don't donate.

The one place I feel I can make a difference is by taking in abused animals and changing their lives. Also it is by financial backing or not of certain organizations.I do donate, but I do it locally to our local Humane Society. They care and never euthanize an animal with out due cause, the society is run strictly by the private sector and no one is paid to do what they do. Every penny is used to house, feed and adopt out all their animals.