By Randy N. Warner
It is said that in America, anything the imagination can conjure
up can be attained with persistence. In a society where we boast
of freedom and clearly recognize the importance of our
leadership in the world, one must be increasingly disillusioned
by the simple things in life that prevent us from moving ahead
even further. We can successfully put roving monitors on mars,,
cure diseases in short order, win wars in 100 days or less and
have the marketing prowess to alter human life around the globe.
The suffering of animals is a deep and quiet thing; and yet,
millions of people hear, and care and hope to answer this call.
More than 3,000 non profits dedicated to the same have logged an
estimated 40 Billion man hours in the past 20 years all while
Americans are donating billions of their dollars to animal
welfare organizations who promise that they are relieving animal
But are they? Or, is the trust being placed in them by their
donors, being betrayed?
The overpopulation of dogs and cats is the major source of the
suffering and death of 8 million animals a year in America. This
is a problem for which the cause is well known, the consequences
of not solving it are well known, and the tools for solving it
are within reach. And yet, little headway is being made. It is
one of the simplest problems to correct.
We hear a lot about increasing adoptions, and this is important;
but where is the effort to prevent the overpopulation in the
first place? The ASPCA, for example, doesn't even take in
strays, so their adoption program, while valuable, is not
addressing the problem in a significant way. They inaugurated
their "no-kill" policy in order to appeal to more donors. That
doesn't mean that animals are not being killed—they are just
being killed someplace else. And until the overpopulation
problem is solved, this dirty work must be done.
Why is it that almost everyone knows about the ASPCA and HSUS,
for example, but, by and large, the public still doesn't know
that it is not OK to breed their pets or to allow an accidental
breeding? Why don't people know about puppy mills or where pet
shop puppies come from? The big organizations have utterly
failed to get this message
They have the funds. In New York City, billboards, subway and
bus ads abound. "Think out of the box" is the title under a
picture of a puppy or kitten peeking out of an ASPCA carrier.
Not one ad, or sign, or billboard informs the public about the
overpopulation epidemic and its tragic consequences. Why? Again,
the large organizations have failed to convey this important
message to the public, in schools and to our elected officials.
Our society is continuing to devote a sizable portion of our
existence to finding out the problems that face us and realize
that we must re focus our efforts on the TRUE meanings of
responsibility, compassion and to understand that even though
only one voice, each human is part of a societal choir of sorts
that has far reaching consequences for everyone in that given
society. I was once told that we can never expect to win the
game until all teammates play by the same rules. It certainly
holds true in this argument.
Nobody within the ranks of these seemingly noble efforts will
disagree with the facts that nobody wants to work together. They
defend their ideas as if it were a pharmaceutical corporation
with a cure for cancer. The compassion issue is everywhere in
the animal protection movement. 'Compassion This - Compassion
That." But all the large animal protection groups continue to
bicker, argue, point fingers and sling mud between themselves.
The anger and jealousy and vindictiveness among the smaller
rescue organization efforts is mammoth in scope. Unimaginably
detrimental to all these efforts is clearly the complete lack of
true compassion - at least a real focus on their actual goals.
Of course, politics, egos and agendas play a large part in
covering up any real compassion that may be earned or even
We are not advocating the end of the big organizations or even
the reduction of the six-figure salaries being awarded their
chief executives. Why shouldn't someone who saves an animal get
paid as well as someone who is willing to send them to slaughter
or pave over habitat? But, in any business and most other
endeavors, a chief executive who does not do the job is either
demoted or fired. The big animal organizations have not done the
job. Should they continue to get paid?
Too much of their funding is channeled back into their own
development, feeding their own labyrinthine gullets. These
organizations have become creatures with bigger and bigger
bellies and weaker arms and legs and smaller hearts to get
things done. If we were truly compassion driven, we would not be
so uninformed as to assume the large national groups were truly
out to help the animals with their millions and millions of
dollars laying around in bank accounts while much needed and
well deserved programs go unfunded and lives continue to be
lost. If we were truly compassion driven, we would educate
ourselves on the facts of these issues so as to clearly
understand our individual roles in prevention.
Sharing the blame and the shame is the American Kennel Club,
which issues registration papers indiscriminately to decent
breeders and to puppy mills alike. They sponsor the suffering of
thousands upon thousands of animals. No big organization wants
to take them on. Why? We must admit the problems are ours and
ours to solve. Like our fanatical minority and religious
leaders, our large animal welfare organizations need their
victims. Absent crime and imaginary situations against their
people and teachings, these organizations disappear -- this
means jobs. Jobs = egos. As long as they can convince those who
don't know any better, they will survive.
The picture as of today, is one of an overworked under funded
and failing animal control effort, schools failing to institute
any form of humane education programs into a curriculum at any
level, the media won't cover the real stories of HOW to prevent
this and see a productive future, their readers don't want the
stories of puppies and kittens dying as it's too upsetting to
read. Finally, all those who are sitting at their desk right now
in any animal protection organizations while reading this are
going to be outwardly angered that One would accost them in such
a manner, but are not willing to correct the situation as it
stands, to ensure they receive a pay check next week.
The major animal welfare organizations are not useless. The
world is a better place with them than without them, but they
fall short. Too short. To whom much is given, much is expected.