Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pet Rescue: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

We heard three bits of news this past week that we thought was share-worthy.
Because we prefer to leave you on an upbeat note, we're going to profile The Bad and The Ugly first.

The Bad:

As many of you know, we've been actively opposed to Loews' Hotels decision to remove the feral cat colony at their Portofino location in Florida, a colony that had been a model example of how T/N/R, when properly enacted, is a success (Loews, through trap-neuter-return, had reduced the feral cat population in their area down to only 7 cats).

One of the top resources that businesses such as Loews turn to for information and advice when contemplating such a change of direction is the ASPCA.

We were horrified to learn that the ASPCA is engaged in actively fighting the no-kill movement throughout America, labeling it extremist and even going to the extreme of publishing a brochure on how to recognize and respond to those who advocate for no-kill shelters.

In December, Forbes outed the ASPCA's position, in their article highlighting key learning in 2011. One key insight, the author stated, was that "the ASPCA has actively fought to prevent cities from establishing no-kill shelters and aggressively fights bills proposed in local city councils that aim to reduce the number of innocent animals being killed." (, Dec 13, 2011)

That's despite proof that many cities have implemented successful and creative alternatives to high-kill shelters - programs that are working.

But if the ASPCA is seen by businesses such as Loews as the Industry Standard, the go-to guys for information on such issues, that's BAD. And people - and businesses - need to be made aware of this.

The Ugly:

We have heard not-so-nice things about PETA before -- and we must say that this is a hotly debated issue that we would really like to avoid engaging in, as this is not the purpose of this particular post.

Except to say this: we were beyond horrified to learn that, far from being a no-kill organization, PETA euthanizes most of the animals it rescues. This from a 2008 article in The Daily Beast, which states, "since 1998 PETA has killed more that 17,000 animals, nearly 85% of all those it has rescued." Wha-a-at?

It got so bad, in fact, that a State Inspector from the Virginia Department of Agriculture attempted to overturn PETA's status as an animal shelter in July of 2010.

That's just UGLY.

The Good:

But the good news is that many cities, counties and even states are seeing beyond these organizations to the successes of innovative alternatives to euthanasia.

In 2010, the city of Austin, TX - my old hometown! - voted unanimously (the City Council voted 7-0) to implement a no-kill policy. And on January 6 of this year, they announced they had achieved a 91% live animal outcome rate which makes the city of Austin officially a No Kill City.

And that's very, very good indeed.

We hope many more cities follow Austin's amazing example and institute no-kill initiatives of their own.


  1. I used to be a supporter of the ASPCA, but have recently learned some not so nice things about them and will not be supporting them again. And yep, PETA is dead set against TNR.

    Hurray for Austin!

    Your pal, Pip

  2. My human and I had NO idea about the ASPCA! I am glad we don't donate to them anymore.

  3. This is quite disappointing to say the least. About the ASPCA, I mean. As for PETA, I never liked them. Kudos to Austin!

  4. I think Austin (which I visited!!) must have been reading about my boy!!! :)) Good for them, but bad indeed the other two!

  5. Very enlightening post friends. I did not know any of these, except that PETA was something to stay away from. I first gathered that years ago when they tried to recruit my daughter for their sneaky practices!! Thank you for staying on top of things and sharing your knowledge.

  6. Mom won't get into the whole ASPCA/PETA thing other than to say that when people ask her about organization to contribute to, she says go local...those groups need WAY more support. THANKS for bringing this to peoples attention. And YEAH to the city of Austin!!!

    1. We know what you mean! We don't want to start comment wars (and were worried this might target our blog) but we do think it's important for folks to have all the info in their hands so they can make an informed decision of their own. That's why we are careful to include all the links we can, so those who want to can do more research on their own. Yes, isn't Austin's success story AWESOME???

  7. We're so happy about Austin. Good for them! As for the other two ... we don;t have anything good to say, so we'll hold our tongues. But we do think you've just about summed things up purrfectly!

  8. Thanks for sharing this important information. Sometimes the important stuff is bad and ugly but everyone needs to be informed about what is going on so that they can make informed decisions. And sometimes the news is good and cause for celebration. Congratulations to Austin, TX for making a commitment to no-kill.

  9. Thanks for sharing, it's good for people to know all the facts - good or bad!

  10. It's been quite a year already of learning and enlightening... thank you for the share! I really like the idea of supporting local shelters and causes.

    1. We do too! Thanks so much for stopping by & reading. Mommy's head is spinning at all the whirlwind activity going on in the cat-o-sphere just since Jan 1!


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