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Some thoughts to ponder.
Concerned Rescuer in America
Yes, we are all guilty of not doing
enough and not embracing changes that could benefit the animals. Should
rescuers be doing more to bring forth humane education in their
Co-authored by Randy Warner and Mary Ultz, Humane
Educator City of Huntsville
To answer the question, I would say an
emphatic YES!! There is no other group of people who devote more time,
effort, compassion or personal finances into a job or hobby than do most
rescuers. But, educating just one family at a time, as opposed to 50
families at a time is obviously not as productive. And lets face it.
Trying to convince an adult to change their ways of handling and caring
for their pets is about as successful as convincing your spouse you are
‘right’ during an argument.
Rescuers are concerned with education,
they just don’t know it.
Should Rescuers be considered humane
educators as well?
They ARE! Sometimes they just don’t know it.
They speak from the front lines of the dog and cat rescue battles.
Rescuers have the most, as well as the best, information regarding pets
and their unique stories, along with the reasons why....
a passion-driven field. Logic and business sense are frequently put on
hold because some little angel needs some extra care today. I mean, it's
not like your profit margins are going to be factored by investors on
Now, I'm quite sure that accomplishing an education
effort takes different strategies than what most of the public assumes,
but I believe it can be done. Not everyone will agree, not everyone will
wish to participate, but at the very least, nearly everyone can read this
and think about it.
From 1985 ‘til now I’ve done rescue primarily
for Dalmatians—and others when needed. I know how difficult it is, how
expensive it is, to what extent you can be drawn into an effort that never
seems to end.
It's the ''never seems to end'' part that I want to
ask YOU about. I'm addressing this to all those who devote their valuable
and wonderful time and assets toward saving dogs' lives, the rescuer. I
have a challenge for you…
I’d like to suggest that you give 20% of
your time, efforts and money to getting a strong and substantial humane
education program into your area schools. I do not mean to infer that your
present efforts are not necessary or important. I know it is crucial to so
many animals’ lives to continue what you’re doing.
But, that being
said, if you ONLY do rescue, you are simply making it easier for those who
are borderline about keeping their pets, and you are also assuring that
your children’s generation and your grandchildren’s generation will be
forced to do the same level of rescue as you do now. You must do
everything you can to educate this younger group of people before they
head down the very same path as their parents.
Each and every one
of you has the knowledge, experience, compassion and everything else
needed to make a HUGE difference in the next generation!!! You can't do it
by saying "I don't have time" or offering other excuses. Spending 100% of
your available time rescuing simply puts all future dogs in jeopardy,
because you did NOT do enough to resolve the underlying problems for the
future. You will continue to clean up the mess after yesterday’s parade. I
would hope that you would rather see the front of the horse once in a
If you are willing to work toward this momentous effort, I
don’t want you to be overwhelmed. Try 5% per year for humane education
over the next five years and increase accordingly. Some of you are not
comfortable as public speakers. If that is the case, consider recruiting a
friend or neighbor who supports your efforts and wants to do more. Many
schools (even in this economy) have ''speaker'' funds and will write you a
check for $100 as you leave. You could bring in as much as $500/week for 5
hours’ work. We all know how helpful money is in our pocket. Why not earn
money for our rescue endeavors while we spread the message to make rescue
unnecessary? As a rescuer, you can send information to schools of your
choice and follow up to see which class got that information.
if you spent only one hour a weekend handing out information to the
public? Minimal cost for copies, countless contacts to pet
If you have a website, place some information there as
well. One more link about the overpopulation and how people can help end
it will not take too much effort, but will save lives in the end!
Everything I have on my site is for public use. The more people that check
out my site, the more their awareness and information levels increase,
thus they act more responsibly. If you don’t have the time for another
page, PUT A LINK TO MY PAGE ON YOUR PAGE! Everything on my site will
resound loudly in the ears of anyone who has helped with rescue and
listening to the idiots make up excuses for these poor innocent
Some principals tell me that I’m not needed at their school,
because most of their students already have pets. WELL, A BIG STUPID DUH
TO THEM!! But once I’m invited into a school, you would not believe the
impact that my 45-minute program has on these young minds. I take all five
of my dogs: 2 dals, (one deaf) a coyote, a pit bull and a beagle-basset
mix. My presentation is blunt, direct, fun, AND VERY INFORMATIVE. I barely
mention what they think they'll hear. When we depart, each face looks so
much different from when we first arrived. It’s amazing. The kids are
motivated to form a humane education club or at least take on a year long
project to accomplish something to help animals. Amazingly, teachers and
staff tell me how much even they learned and then thank me.
need to be well versed in supportive information to check all claims,
suggestions and rules enforced in contracts. I'll bet every rescuer out
there knows exactly what I'm talking about.
I just hope that some
of you see that we all have room for growth, change and expansion of our
duties. If we are creative, we can accomplish so much more. If only 20% of
the rescuers who read this decide to do SOMETHING, that would be over a
thousand people. Now, a thousand people visiting schools just 3 times a
year is 3,000 MORE classrooms visited. 3,000 classrooms this year with 40
students each is 120,000 EDUCATED youth who will not likely need to
services of rescuers or animal control agencies except for adoptions.
Then, I've surpassed my goal considerably!!
For all those who say 'we
can't' for whatever reason, would you rather be part of the Rescue
Janitorial staff than the Engineering or Research Departments who will
be a vital part of the solution?
When you pass on, can you
guarantee that someone similar will step into your shoes and take over
with the same fervor and compassion to save the dogs of tomorrow??
Wouldn't you like to try and save some of them NOW while you can? With
every good presentation you give, you are likely to save 10-50 dogs
depending on the number of ears listening. And it only takes an hour and
maybe $15. (gas, 50 copies and lunch at McDonalds on the way
CAN YOU MEET THE CHALLENGE OF EDUCATION TO CREATE PROBLEM
I would love nothing more than NOT to do rescue because
it is not necessary. Until then, I will continue along my path of
education for solution. I choose to be pro-active to end overpopulation,
not just re-active to current demands.
“I am only one, but
still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and
because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I
I would suggest to those who continue with rescue, to
WORK SMART, NOT HARD
An article on 'Backyard Breeders' that I wrote
in 1999 for a local paper which had begun stressing overpopulation and was
receiving much scrutiny and anger from the locals:
KILL UPWARDS OF 8 MILLION HEALTHY, ADOPTABLE PETS THIS YEAR.
MANY PETS – NOT ENOUGH HOMES!
WHO IS AT FAULT? ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO
HAS A LITTER FOR FUN, FOR PROFIT, OR “BY ACCIDENT’’! THE ‘’BACKYARD
BREEDER’’ Backyard Breeders misrepresent themselves as
responsible/respectable breeders. They have the misguided thoughts that
AKC papers means their pet is breeding quality. If you allow your pet to
parent even one litter, then YOU are the solutions’ BIGGEST problem!
Unless you honestly don't know how dogs become pregnant or are just
retarded, there is no such thing as an accidental litter.
Most Americans tend to
view the problems of animal abuse and pet overpopulation from the
same vantage point. We certainly hope you don't see yourself
in this photo.
I foster, rehabilitate and
place rescued dogs of many breeds. Dalmatians are one of my specialty
breeds but I also rescue, train and foster many others as well. Because of
this, I WANT to speak out today on the issue of breeding for fun and
profit. Some of you will be upset by this written piece and that is good,
maybe you'll help us do something about the problem. For, each person who
throws their arms in the air, or rolls their eyes in disgust for something
I’ve said in this piece, you are the likely intended target. For
verification on anything I say on this page, ask ANY person associated
with an animal welfare group or facility – ANYWHERE.
**Anyone who has a litter for fun, profit or by
**Anyone who is so uninformed that they think having AKC
papers means that their pet is breeding quality.
advertises their litters in the local paper for sale. (respected breeders
only advertise in trade magazines)
**Anyone who thinks that by finding
their puppies good homes that they somehow don’t have to play by the rules
or take responsibility.
**Anyone who thinks they found their litter
good homes, simply because everyone that took one, smiled honestly and
‘promised’ to treat them well.. Thus insisting on no background check, no
enforceable contract or any type of follow up.
**They will provide
erroneous information to the potential adopters regarding the required
care and treatment necessary for the pet - simply for their own personal
gains Respectable breeders will have walls adorned with trophies and
certificates which represent the numerous championships they’ve acquired
over the years.
If you take personal offense to it then you need
to examine your activities very carefully as you are likely my target or
reason for writing this. If you wish to respond negatively to this, you
will find you won't get much support from myself or those who are
knowledgeable. I am speaking OUT today, not only for myself, but also for
all rescuers across the nation, all of the ‘respectable’ breeders around
the country and all of the responsible pet guardians. Therefore, I will
not say, "In my humble opinion", as this opinion is shared by the
respected breeders and pet guardians, as well as the ASPCA, Humane Society
of the United States and all of the Shelters and other Humane/Animal
Welfare organizations in this country.
Up to 8 million healthy
animals are killed in U.S. pounds and shelters every year. The majority of
killing could easily be prevented by spaying OR neutering. Euthanasia is
the single largest cause of death for dogs in the U.S. Each year 27
million DOGS are born. 8 or more million we classify as "surplus" ARE
killed. That's about ¾ million per month. These numbers do not include the
millions of dead dogs whose bodies we scrape off the streets, the growing
number that are put to sleep at vets’ offices or the hundreds of thousands
THAT ARE abandoned.
LET'S NOT FORGET THE severely neglected or
abused ones who never make it to our shelters to be counted and OR
EUTHANIZED. The ten million figure represents those we "MUST" kill because
they are unwanted!!! Most of these animals are young and healthy; in fact,
it is estimated that a majority are less than one year of age. The problem
is simple: we have too many dogs...Too many for the too few homes
available TO THEM. The solution we have opted for is to kill the extras.
This solution has been considered acceptable by default, as though there
were no other way to control the crisis. And we spend over $11 billion
every year destroying "man's best friend."
A common sense look that
you cannot deny or argue with: If you were part of a company who made
‘pets’ and every year for the past 20 years, you had been overstocked to
the point of having to dispose of the overstocked inventory, what would
you suggest they do this year to improve? So, if you KNOW we are killing
this vast number of innocent, loving animals each year, why in the world
would you think that having a litter of puppies or kittens is
Why is this happening in the United States today? The number
one biggest contributor to the problem is the "backyard breeder" not the
puppy mills. This is a name that has become unpopular and no one wants to
admit they are a "backyard breeder". Anyone having a litter in their home
with just the family pet as one of the breeding parents, and advertise in
the local papers) Many people do not even realize they are part of the
problem. This is what I need to address in this post. The only way to stop
the needless killing of dogs is to stop the needless breeding of
Every breed of dog
recognized by the AKC has a written standard, a blueprint of what the dog
should look like and act like. These standards were written so that all
would know what a quality example of the breed is and strive to produce
dogs that meet or exceed the standard in health, temperament and
appearance. To be sure you are breeding dogs that meet these standards,
your dogs must be judged by people who have a lifetime of experience among
the breed. If your personal dog has not yet been in front of a judge, then
you do NOT have an AKC standard dog, you have one that is pet quality and
that is fine. AKC papers DO NOT signify a dog with Breeding quality
. A pet is to be loved,
cherished, trained, cared for, spoiled and bragged about, but it is NEVER
to be bred. No matter how cute or sweet the dog may be, if it is not up to
the standard, you have no business breeding it. Even if you have a
purebred dog this does not give you the right to breed it. Most purebred
dogs are not breeding quality. If you breed your pet quality dog, you are
a "backyard breeder", whether you breed the dog in your backyard, garage,
living room or an expensive hotel room, the term is still backyard
breeder. If your pet quality dog has AKC papers, that's nice but it
doesn't change anything. You still don't have the right to breed it. If
your pet quality dog cost you $500 be glad you had the money to afford it.
You still have no right to breed it.
Do you think you can RECOUP
your $500 INVESTMENT if you breed your pet dog? OR DO YOU THINK YOUR pet
dog is a color or size that isn't in the standard but you just know
everyone will want buy a pup if you breed her? Shame on you! Now you are a
"backyard breeder" with the purpose of breeding pups for fun and profit.
That is despicable!!!
If the price for a tail dock or an ear crop
seems high to you, what are you going to do when your beloved pet needs an
emergency C-section? Will you even be there to know if she is in trouble?
Would you recognize trouble before its too late AND BE MONETARILY ABLE TO
SEEK VETERINARY HELP?
If you still want to
breed your pet but need to ask, "Who's suppose to cut off the tails and
ears"? Ask yourself, "What the Hell am I thinking?" Do you think genetic
testing is something they used in the OJ trial but has nothing to do with
your dog-breeding career you are a "backyard breeder".
breeders" sell pups that aren't up to the standard of the breed. They do
this for many reasons. None are good enough reasons to contribute to the
killing of dogs. Period.
"Backyard breeders" will swear all of
their pups went to a good home. They believe this, but it's not
NECESSARILY true. Some may have been lucky enough to go to a good home at
the time of adoption, but more than half of them will end up dead, in a
shelter alone, on a cold table with a needle sticking out of their leg.
Why? Because the Backyard Breeder didn’t follow through or even know
enough about adoptions to ask the right questions up front. Some of those
good homes will get tired of the dog and they will just give it away to
anyone who is willing to take it. Some of your beloved dog's children will
end up living alone in a backyard, barking all night, cold and neglected
until the guardian gets complaints and then that pups will be dead. Some
will be starved and beaten. Some will be bred until they die from THE MANY
Some will end up in
rescue and I will have to find space for it in my home. I will GIVE IT
LOVE TO SHOW IT that not all humans are bad. I will train it, and feed it
the proper food so it can heal, MENTALLY AS WELL AS PHYSICALLY. I will
take the fleas off and I will get rid of the worms. I will give it the
shots it should have had but no one remember to DO it. I will do these
things because the "backyard breeder" didn't. I will spay or neuter that
pup before I find it a new home so that I will never have to rescue one of
it's pups. THAT WAY I CAN BE ASSURED it will never end up in the hands of
another "backyard breeder" looking to make profit from
"Backyard breeders" are not responsible pet guardians.
They claim that they love the dogs but it's not true because they don't
really want to be bothered with doing all that it takes to breed
ethically. They love feeling important when they say, "I breed mini
schnauzers". But breeding pet dogs isn't something to be proud of. IT'S a
shame on our society. It's the reason for the killing that goes on in
shelters. Why do you want to be part of that? Do you want to be respected?
Spay or neuter you pet dog. There's really no other way. The kind of homes
you want for your pet pups don't want to buy from you. They are looking
for responsible, respected breeders who are doing something for the breed
as a whole. Most of those WHO WILL BUY your pups are the kind of people I
wouldn't give a dog I didn't like to. They are the ones who will turn your
puppy into a shelter when the novelty wears off. That's a PROVEN fact.
Want to stop the problem of killing 1 Million dogs a month all over
America? Spay or neuter your pet dog now and tell everyone you know to do
the same. Leave the breeding to the people who are doing something to
better the breed.
DO you want to have a litter of puppies to show
your children the miracle of life? Then to be fair and honest, volunteer
yourself and your children to work at the county dog pound for no less
than three days to show them the miracle of death. After all, as a
'backyard breeder' you are now the single most contributing factor to the
pet overpopulation problems that we all face and which cause the millions
of healthy pets to be killed each year in this nation.
The failures of
the lawmakers, the laws, the courts and local
Yes I spent time in jail
trying to make my point and rightfully so. Most of the time I seemed to
have problems staying out of trouble with the top level animal control
officials. At the same time, when the field officers would come to my
home, at the direction of their superiors, they not only sympathized with
what I was doing, she also very supportive of my efforts and did what they
could to keep me out of trouble.
A knock on the door by the
officer only to see my home and yard busy with activity from the number of
Dalmatians in my care. Happy, healthy and bothering nobody. Seeing as
though the limit was 3, I usually had 8-10 in the earlier years. The
officer would say with a wink, "I only see three Dalmatians today, don't
I?' and then step inside with a pint of Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream and ask
me to get two spoons.
In one community they would pay the animal
control officer overtime to sit and wait for me to come home in the
evening so he could actually write me a ticket for having too many animals
with me. One time, I was walking them all to the store and Maddy was off
leash and he gave me a ticket for dog at large. That was the first time I
went to jail, but was released as soon as they had my finger prints and
One time I was taken to jail was when Orange County
was tired of giving warnings of my having too many dogs in my one bedroom
condo at the beach. Sometimes as many as seven. But we would go on a
morning walk, spend a solid three hours each day at a different doggy park
and then go to the beach at sunset. They were not 'wanting' anything. AND
NO NEIGHBORS HAD COMPLAINED EITHER.
My limit was ten dogs. Never
any more. And on the same day, the orange county pound called and said
they had two Dalmatians for me =- would I take them? I said yes. That
would bring my number of dogs to 9. Funny, how I arrived home to find two
Dalmatians tied up to my front door with a small note saying they MUST go
to me or be killed. Well, now I'm already over the limit that the county
has placed on me. but who's going to find out this soon?????
two or three hours of my returning, the sheriff was there and brought
along 2 animal control trucks to remove the animals.
I was forced
to sit on my living room floor in handcuffs as the neighbors outside were
screaming at the authorities to stop this nonsense because all I was doing
was trying to help save lives. They finally had each and every dog loaded
into the two trucks and proceeded to put me in the back of the sheriff's
Instead of being released on
OR as usual, they actually made me stay there until I saw the judge. They
decided to play hardball. They made me see a judge up in Santa Ana who had
no idea of who I was or what I'd been doing over the years. and saw how
many citations I had been issued. He decided to throw me in jail for 30
days. Now mind you, I only stayed for 9, but I learned more about myself
in those nine days that I had in the previous 42 years.
the call to get a ride back home so I could see my two baby girls that I
loved so dearly. The other 9 dogs had all been killed immediately upon
arrival at the shelter 9 days earlier. never had a chance. It had been a
set up by the county animal control to catch me and so they would know
exactly when I would in fact have more than they had set the limits at.
I moved out of Orange County soon afterwards. I was now making my
living from training dogs and doing some boarding over holiday periods
when other kennels were full.
Now, I'm moving away from the beach
which is highly populated and crowded to beautiful and very rural interior
of Riverside County. Filled with rednecks in office. I'm thinking that
some acreage in the country would be much more appropriate for my efforts.
Everyone was hoping for a much calmer and more supportive lifestyle for my
I found my first place
in the Ortega Mountains in a cool 2 bedroom A frame at the entrance
of a state park and campground. What a dream location for this. It
wasn't more than 3 months after moving in that the Press Enterprise
asked to do a story on my efforts and placed the color photo and
feature on the front page.
The following day, I was
visited by animal control to give me a citation. When I refused to sign
it, they radioed for a sheriff to come and calm the
But, this is only the
beginning of an unbelievable ride - one that would shed much light on the
greed and ignorance within the animal control system around our nation and
stems directly from the stupidity of many supervisory boards from given
and various counties. For the next three + years, I was being taken to
court a total of 43 times. Each time was a different case, but all were
exactly the same charge. An infraction with a max fine of $100 for not
having a proper kennel license. Gaining unbelievable amounts of
information from a variety of attorneys who offered to help pro bono, I
was able to extend this case for the duration, only to be ultimately found
not guilty. At a total cost to taxpayers of $60,000+
It was more
than apparent that had the animal control been doing their job, there
would be much less of a need for met to do what I was doing. For me to get
a license, was acceptable at $260/yr. But to charge me nearly $10,000 in
various fees just to get that license was what I was clearly protesting
since I didn't have the money and not one red cent of that was to protect
or ensure the animals safety or well being - it was just a 'law' that had
too much government involvement.
Keep in mind throughout the
entire Riverside County fiasco, the ONLY thing that anyone was trying to
rule on, was 'did Randy Warner have the proper license' and it was clear I
did not have that, but they kept finding me not guilty or dismissing the
case due to extenuating circumstances and clearly supported by the courts
and especially the public and the media.
During this period of
time, I would appear in front of more than 35 judges for the exact same
violation over and over again. When one judge would sympathies with my
efforts and dismiss the case, the county would become more angered and
outspoken. So the next judge, who would also be in a different part of the
county at a different courthouse, was likely going to dismiss the charges
If not he/she would fine me and I'd then be forced
to appeal the decision which ultimately lead to my being heard by yet
another court which usually resulted in my being found not guilty each
time. Usually within days, the brainiacs at Riverside County Animal
Control then would send a field officer to issue yet another citation for
Here was the problem. In order to be granted this
license, I had to have kennels constructed for the dogs that met their
strict requirements. First of all, the dogs in my care were and are
allowed to run freely within the confines of my securely fenced 1.75
acres. They learn to share the food from one single large feeder and drink
from a large water bowl without fighting. They have unlimited play time,
sleep under the oak tree or on my bed. This provides them with the future
expectations once they find their 'forever' homes. I didn't want to build
I was also not in a position of spending the $3,500 it
would take to build them.
Also, my landlords would not have
permitted me to do so as they didn't want to have their rental property
resembling a dog pound for future renters, but fully supported my efforts
as they were.
To complicate this matter even further, the county
would NOT allow me to build the kennels until the planning and zoning
department did a study/survey on the land and would require a temporary
use permit which would cost $6,000 also.
The worst of the whole
deal was that they fully expected, based on my numbers of dogs I usually
cared for, that they would also require me to build handicapped parking
and a handicapped bathroom as they would consider me to be operating as a
Other requirements were that I build a separate food
preparation facility, which I could only assume was to be used for special
occasions when I fed my dogs caviar and roasted duck.
a separate septic system with underground tank for the animals' waste.
Heaven forbid, their poop would ever be mixed with my poop.
my second appearance in the Perris courthouse, Judge Loree presided. As I
approached the bench, (with the Press Enterprise and LA Times in the
courtroom) the judge said, “I sure hope that you are not the famous
Dalmatian man that I( keep reading about in all the papers. is that you?
When I replied with the affirmative, she looked upset. Then she announced
that she and her husband had just discussed this over dinner the night
She said 'clearly with
my job in these courts, I feel you should be made a hero and not a
criminal and could not be fair in this case. The county will now be
forced to secure another venue for this trial if they choose to
continue/ And Mr. Warner, I respect your efforts. Thanks for what
above photo of my home is an illegal act in Riverside County, CA.
I was just stunned. I didn't know what had just
happened. She said, 'You may go now' and I turned away to walk out. As I
exited the courtroom, the bailiff stopped me and gave me a five dollar
bill to help out with the dog food and I broke out in tears. The media
just ate this up.
This was not the first time that a judge had
respected my efforts and sympathized with what I was forced to do in order
to be the law abiding rescue effort with that given county. Four years
earlier in Orange County and appearing in court to answer to charges that
were obviously trumped up just to make me look worse, the judge quickly
recognized it and also dismissed the charges against me following some
very stern words to animal control and a supportive nod in my
Also, during the midst of this 40 month battle, the new
Heydn Bill was introduced and passed through the CA legislature. This new
law would force county and city funded animal facilities to make every
attempt to work with their local breed rescues to find more homes for the
animals in lieu of almost certain death. The animals would be required to
be vaccinated and spayed and neutered prior to our acceptance of the
animals - all at no charge to the rescuers.
So, now the county was
under pressure to abide by the law and allow me to adopt any Dalmatian
within their care. They, of course refused to do so and I made that very
clear in court as well.
Throughout this 3 and 1/2 year battle of
the wits and laws, the laws were so poorly written that even one judge
dismissed the case because he knew nothing of it and the officer from the
county couldn't provide any information. Now they have been made to look
stupid in the media again and are getting angry. Two days later in an
article in the Press Enterprise, the board of supervisors announced that
they would be reviewing the judges decision and he would be placed on
administrative leave for two days pending their decision.
time I was taken to court I was told that the case would not continue
until I had posted a bail f $243. not a huge bale amount, but I don't have
that kind of money - it all goes for dog food. And who in the world thinks
I'm a flight risk? It became clear that the judge had received
instructions from the county supervisors. Now, keep in mind, this follows
the other judge who knew nothing of the particular law and dismissed my
case. This was their way to even the score. It was at this time that the
Los Angeles Times deemed them the 'hillbilly mafia''.
So, I was now
forced to file a request for the courts to postpone my trial as I needed
to raise the bail amount. Of course that also was covered in several
newspapers and the funds came quickly.
The one that brought me
to tears was from Nancy and Zubin Mehta. Zubin is the conductor of the LA
Philharmonic Orchestra and had asked his audience of that previous Friday
night to pass the hat in an effort to help the man in Riverside County
fighting for the lives of so many innocent animals. They sent a check for
The judge hearing this particular case was expecting to
preside over a routine case of someone with too many dogs. After hearing
my defense, he also decided to dismiss the case due to the fact he found
no justifiable actions to curb my efforts as there had never been any
complaints and recognized the passion and defensive arguments for my
efforts. By the time the court session was over, with a continuance, no
action taken and several area media reporters present as well, he
commented to one of the court employees '”I'd love to know the details of
this case.' Then he remembered that he had barred several Los Angeles
based TV crews from entering his court room, but now wondered if there
could be any connection. He asked to speak to one of them still outside
and figured out who I was.
On a given afternoon in my mail, I see a
citation from Orange County. why, I've not been to Orange county is over a
year. It was a notice to appear due to the fact that I had violated my
probation by breaking the law in Riverside County.
Nobody follows through with a violation of an infraction.
I'd yet to be found guilty on any one of them.
Luckily for me,
upon arrival at Orange county courts, I was fortunate enough to see Judge
Pamela Aisles, who had been supportive of me into he past. She agreed that
this was odd, couldn't understand how it came to the attention of the
courts and promptly changed the probation from ''break no laws'' to
''abuse nor neglect any animals in your care''. Then she handed me the
updated copy with a smile and wished me luck.
Since that little
tactic failed, I now find myself pulled over on the highway as I go to the
grocery one day. I was placed in handcuffs and told by the officers that
they really think this is an unfortunate argument between the county and
myself as they quickly recognized me from all the coverage, but were
instructed to bring me to jail for violation of a county ordinance that
prohibits operation of a pig ranch within the city limits of an
I have no pigs. I live nine miles outside
the city limits on 1.75 acres. when arriving at the jail, the officer
there, didn't quite know what to do. But he made sure my stay was as short
as possible and got me out quickly. The media decided not to run this
story and were beginning to side with me as was most of the public in the
Los Angeles Basin of communities. This was just another attempt of the
Riverside County Board of Supervisors to levy fines and fees as well as
charges of abusing the law in order to garner more support for finally
receiving a guilty verdict against me in the future.
Then, out of
the clear blue sky, there was an article in the newspaper where the
supervisors had approved stiffer penalties for those who keep more than
Riverside County Law provides. Those who reviewed the new set of laws
agreed they were much stricter, but argued that they were even less
understandable than the original set. The laws never went into
Soon after that, in another failed attempt to justify their
anger with my ongoing battle with them, they claimed that this would have
to be resolved very soon as they just didn't have the funds to continue.
In the same article, the reporter mentioned that the county had just
recently reduced the budget for this growing county from 3% to just
Not surprising to anyone, was the fact that during the very
same month, the county supervisors had just voted themselves an annual pay
increase of 35%. Hmmm, I wonder where those funds came from?
felt it necessary to question why the county is so eager to place so many
financial obstacles in he paths of those who only rescue existing animals
but have no program nor restrictions for those who breed for profit or
allow for recreational litters. It doesn't make sense to me that they will
allow any idiot to have litters, tie them upside down in the attic if they
wish, paint them all purple, nor provide them with any vaccinations what
so ever, but for those who try to assist in the ever growing problems of
pet overpopulation, they require this, that and everything else in the
world to attempt and prevent us from doing so.
After one judge required me to post a bail of $243 (as if
some idiot expected me to be a flight risk,) I was then forced to ask for
a postponement of my next hearing so I could raise the funds.
Since he set the following court date in a futile and final
attempt to ultimately resolve this issue between the county and myself, he
did in fact hear the final two days of testimony and trial. I would say
this judge was undoubtedly the most stern of all the judges I'd had
throughout this bitch fest, but saw his gasp when he looked at the photos
and was quiet for a few moments. Then when he waived the fine so I could
use it on my ''drug of choice'' (dog food for my rescues) I knew this
would be a victory when it all came out in the wash.
It was that
evening when Jean Schmidt of Imperial County called me at home. She had
been following the trials for over three years and happened to be a huge
dog lover. Then she said 'oh, by the way, did I tell you that I'm also
offering my services to make sure you are victorious in your battle. I'm a
retired California Supreme Court Justice.” My mouth just dropped open and
didn't really know what to say.
She was a gruff and very short
speaking type person. This was a cause that she supported wholeheartedly,
but wasn't too pleased with my questioning her suggestions. She frequently
hung up on me in disgust, but would always make her way to come to the
phone the next time I called. Over the next few weeks she made me do some
things that were rather on the odd side, but I did them and they all had a
strong impact that helped with the case - none of which would I have ever
thought of in a million years.
One: Place an ad in the Press
Enterprise that is 2” X 2” and has a border to make it visible. In the ad,
you ask for any local or area gays and other minorities from the county
who have experienced prejudicial treatment based on that fact and to call
this special number that she had me set up. within 4 days, I had received
over 70 calls from people all over the county who knew who I was and felt
they too were discriminated against. I took their phone numbers and names
but did little else, According to Jean, the damage had already been done.
Just let them think that you are coming to court with all your guns and
they will be loaded to the hilt.
The next thing she made me do was
to get a large 4ft square sign made out of poster board. Glue the photos
of the Board of supervisors and the animal control supervisor to the
poster. Each photo should be no smaller than 8'' X 8” so that they would
be recognizable in a public area. he text should be this and nothing else:
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN PROPERLY CHARGED
AND FINED WITH THEIR CRIMES OF SPOUSAL BATTERY, CHILD MOLESTATION OR
She explained to me that with the question, I would
likely be handcuffed and taken in, but that they would quickly realize
that you can ask any question you wish. What this did was to place doubt
and questions in the minds of the county residents, because it was so
drastic, that the media was there in about 20 min and 2 min later, the
cops had me in cuffs. Following day it was on the front page of the Press
Enterprise along with one of their 18 feature articles about my battle to
save the poor Dalmatians. Funny thing is, some of those who read the sign,
actually went to work checking up on the history of all those mentioned
and found 2 domestic violence charges and one had a pending charge for
inappropriate behavior with a minor. So it also had some very strong
impacts on the trial outcome. Now, they just didn't know what to expect
from this crazy man who loves his dogs. On two occasions, throughout this
3 + year battle, I personally and professionally addressed the Riverside
County Board of supervisors and brought others who would also speak on my
Our goal was to
obtain a variance to allow me to obtain the license without
constructing the kennels, the separate septic system, separate food
preparation area and the handicapped parking and handicapped
I explained how I was
physically not permitted to construct the required kennels, nor was it
even in my financial options either. I reviewed the benefits of the free
reign socializing tactics I used and could prove that it did not make them
out of control as they had accused me of. ''These dogs are allowed to run
free without being kenneled and have developed a pack mentality'' . Then
they go into a home with children? That would be very dangerous!!'' they
Well duh. They are in a
'group' right now. There is no clear and strong leader. They do not 'stand
together' for any survival needs. As long as they are in my care, they
have no enemies. We have no fights. Occasional misunderstandings or tiffs
will occur, but are immediately squelched by me. I'd like to see you put
30 kids on a playground and expect to see no disagreements, minor injuries
and a few tears from a mishap. You aren't suggesting that the schools
contain them in secure cages.
What I found interesting
in all of this is the failure to recognize that I have NEVER had
complaints about the temperament of any of my rescued dogs, nor of
mistreatment of neglect in all my years of rescue. And not one of the
supervisors had ever come to see for themselves nor even sent a
representative. When I reminded them of what the animal control officer
put on his initial report, they denied ever seeing that. Hmmmm (''On May
4th, 1996, I visited the resident of Randy Warner on Ortega Highway where
he has a small rescue efforts for Dalmatians. the animals were happy,
seemed healthy and well fed. The premises was clean, securely fenced and
were very responsive to Warner's commands and affection")
By the way, when they
find their 'forever' homes, they are usually the only dog in the home,
although sometimes there is another. So, how would they 'carry on' with
their pack mentality and do harm to humans.?
Anyway, each time I
tried to explain that this is only a humane effort on my part and have
much success that I can point to, will gladly offer as many happy new
adoptees as they wish to have and am only asking for a variance. The
variance would allow me to continue without being prosecuted constantly,
would provide for unannounced visits by animal control to determine the
animals safety and well being and this would alleviate the requirement
issues that are preventing me from actually obtaining the license that
this entire battle is about.
Both times I formally
spoke to them with this request, they said they had no reason to do so.
Funny how they had enough of a reason to battle with me for 4 years and
spend nearly $65,000 to bring me to court 43 times - only to see the end
result of my receiving a 'not guilty ' verdict from the courts. Not to
mention the public slamming them pretty hard and ultimately treating me as
if I were a local folk hero.
It was also that previous hearing
with Riverside County Imbeciles, I believe it was my 41st appearance - the
judge that heard me this particular time wanted to be stern and settle the
matter. As I was about to leave, he gave me a mandate that I place at
least 10 of the 25 that I had at that appearance and not accept any new
ones until all was ok with the county. I agreed.
Next court date
was one month. On the third week, I had done very well to stay within his
mandate by placing 9 of the ten he wanted to see placed. However, three
days before the court appearance, I received a call from Christine at the
Downey Dog Pound. They had been inundated with Dalmatians and there were
15 of them that were going to be euthanized that evening and asked if I
could help. I told her I'd gladly accept them if someone would provide
transportation and all shots had been administered. She
That evening a van pulled into my place which was a two
hour drive from the Downey facility and I could see clearly that the van
was full, but especially noticed three of the most angelic faces peering
out the rear window anyone could imagine. I ran and grabbed my camera and
snapped the shot for court.
We unloaded all of them shortly and the
worker was on his way. Now I had to go to court and explain to him that my
efforts are clearly those that people obviously cannot find within their
own counties - Riverside Included. With the recent release of the Disney
Live Action Movie, those who rescued Dalmatians have never been busier and
that there was no law nor effort through the county's laws that could
justify allowing these faces to die just because the county is requiring
that I do things like they do. OBVIOUSLY it was the law, but Obviously it
wasn't working. If it weren't' for 322 rescues across Riverside county,
just imagine how many dogs and cats would have died needlessly and these
little angels are a prime example.
Also, throughout the trial,
since each hearing was attended by a different representative from the
animal control office and none of them appeared to be able to add 2 + 2, I
kept the heat on. I'd ask in front of the judge, 'What college did you
graduate from?" and they would appear as a deer in the headlight, the
judge would ask, 'To what benefit is that for anyone to know?"
My response was quickly,
'you'll see within the next 15 minutes." Then I would begin bringing out
the documents showing how they as an agency had failed on this, come up
short on this, been investigated recently by these organizations and state
entities and the charges that had been levied against them over the
The Final Trial
Throughout the daylong trial, Pamela
Anderson, the county attorney ( is much more resembling Roseanne Barr than
the Pamela Anderson most of you are thinking of) and the idiot who was in
charge of animal control who had been under severe scrutiny for many many
years and never made any attempts to correct the problems that upset so
many. Sick animals, loosing animals belonging to residents, euthanizing
too soon, never being open when the public could possibly pay them a visit
to handle business or consider adopting one of their animals.
On more than one occasion,
they, with their 'sad eyes' and hearts full of compassion suggested to me
as they addressed the courts, that I simply should make the decision to
turn all my animals over to them as they were more appropriately set up
and trained to handle numbers of animals than I.
Without missing a
beat, I interrupted their little sickening acting job and said' Now, wait
a minute here. Aren't' you the people who run Riverside county animal
shelter? You still kill your dogs after just three days don't you. By the
way, when is the last time you walked through your facility to kiss each
dog goodnight as I do and call each one by name?
Both turned red
and the supervisor demanded that the court consider me a hostile witness.
The judge said YOU CAN'T CALL MR. WARNER A HOSTILE WITNESS. HE'S
AUTOMATICALLY A HOSTILE WITNESS. YOU ARE PROSECUTING HIM. and gave him a
dirty look. He put his head down and just barely made eye contact with me
as the judge was preparing for the next phase of the hearing.
whispered loudly across the front of the courtroom to the animal control
supervisor 'HEY, TOM. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR TESTICLES, I BELIEVE THE
JUDGE KICKED THEM UNDER THAT FILING CABINET OVER THERE and gave a huge
smile to show that I had no hard feelings. The judge heard my comments and
instructed that everyone must remain quiet until and unless addressed by
himself. When he looked down, he had a smirk on his face as I'm sure he
was chuckling inside.
It was then that I presented my stacks of
information showing that they charge more to the tax payers for killing
the animals than they do for adopting - thus the reason they aren't open
convenient hours, don't' want to see my efforts or those of the remaining
rescues to be successful as it truly is a financial means of increasing
all their year end profits
His only comment was 'Mr. Warner, it is
clear you have a big heart and are using it to do very good deeds. What
the county and the courts are trying to get you to do is to find a way in
which you can continue these noble efforts without breaking the laws. So,
I'm going to set a final trial one month from today.
I expect BOTH parties to
come prepared with attorneys, homework done and have a solution that we
can all live with. Mr. Warner, I'm going to fine you $45 today for not
coming to court with a number that showed a reduction of at least ten dogs
as was required on your previous appearance. However, I'm going to waive
that fine as it seems to me you will need it for dog food.
course, they soon found out. I spent every waking hour on the phone with
one of three attorneys who all offered to represent me in court. I told
them all no. I just wanted to win all by myself. So, they explained what
the procedure is and how I should respond. What I should take along to
present to the courts and even how and when to try and object to the
prosecutions' idiocy'. I must have taken some good notes from everyone.
This trial was tentatively scheduled for the morning session at 10 am and
should be 20-30 minutes long. This is my day and I will not allow it to be
taken from me.
When we broke for lunch I
was ecstatic. I'd kept it going for 2 full hours at least. The afternoon
was also productive. the judge did not take kindly to the prosecution's
slanderous remarks about my lack of preparedness for these procedures.
Came back even more motivated than in the morning. Especially when I
noticed that Pamela Anderson, the county attorney had dressed up like a
Dalmatian as the prosecution atty. she thought since it was getting so
much media coverage that it would be humorous.
On the second day of
this very public trial and certainly against everyone 's better judgment,
I did what I had to do. The morning of the trial, I wore a cheap Halloween
wig, put a pillow under a blouse I'd thrown on along with a borrowed
skirt. Then I painted my lips way over the lip's edge in bright gaudy red
and went to court. The Bailiffs questioned me and almost refused to allow
me to enter. They finally did and made me sit in the far back corner of
the court until the judge called the case..
''The county of
Riverside vs. Randy Warner'' will the parties please step forward.
INSTANTLY I hear the judge interrupt and ask Mr. Warner, now I understand
this is a passion of yours, but will you please explain your wardrobe this
Yes sir, I'd be happy to. Yesterday Pamela Anderson (no
secret I hated her as much as she hated me.) was kind enough to dress like
a Dalmatian rescuer. In a sarcastic tone of voice, I'd continue, I assumed
it was to comfort me in this difficult battle so I decided to repay the
favor and have simply come to court today dressed like Pamela Anderson.
The judge blew out some air in an attempt not to laugh, but it was
clear as to his understanding of my humor and willingness to pull out all
the guns necessary to throw them off guard in hopes of
''We will proceed. Mr. Warner, I will require you to
remove the wig. I would demand that you remove the women's clothes but am
not even going to ask what you have on underneath them.
As soon as
we were all at the tables and our materials appropriately displayed, he
asked IS EVERYONE COMFORTABLE? and then reviewed all the various steps we
would be taking during this court procedure since it was obvious I was not
an attorney and still very prepared and willing to fight for my case. We
will continue this case.
He was very courteous to me. Knowing that
this high profile case on my own, every time there was a lull, he asked me
if I had anything else to present, I did. I presented information about
their profits from killing animals, their lack of training for their
employees, the OBVIOUS: and that was that I was doing all I was doing to
relieve them of taking in those same 200-300 animals during my residence
in Riverside County and felt that they should be thanking me and making
every effort to support me.
Although, I realize it makes
it difficult to continue on with the current fund raising means, when I
would not be able to provide them with any dead animals to sell. I clearly
outlined the facts of why I was doing this because they had not lived up
to their responsibility.
I did what I could to explain that I had
no objection to obtaining a license from the county and agreeing to be
visited by them for periodic check ups. what I didn't agree to and was
simply unable to do was to construct the dog runs that the county required
of me, because I was unable to afford them, was also told by my landlord
that he would not permit them and even then, vowed I wouldn't use them
There were three times when I said 'I object' to their
comments and twice it was sustained. YEA!! One 6 occasions, they
interrupted with the same and only on two occasions were they not
Even the judge questioned the planning and zoning
requirements for building a separate septic system and their requirement
of a $6,000 temporary land use permit. And, since I frequently cared for
more than 15 at any given time, that would place me in the 'business'
category and now would require me to have handicapped parking out front
and also a handicapped bathroom inside my home. The judge actually
chuckled at the county's 8 officials, 2 attorneys and 2 supervisors in
attendance that day.
Bob Buster, one of the remaining supervisors
went to the newspaper and stated ''We all love our animals here in
Riverside County, but Randy Warner is clearly breaking the laws and
refused to abide by the regulations and obtain a license for his kennel.
These laws were set up for the sole purpose of providing for the safety
and well being of the animals until they find their forever
Remember that man's name
and his comments. It will be a central point of the grand jury
investigation that takes place five years later in which Bob Buster is
found guilty of several of the total of 26 criminal felony charges levied
against the supervisors and animal control. Those who live in glass
I did, indeed find that people are still good
people at heart and will quickly become involved when a person is being
unjustly wronged and harassed. Sometimes the courtroom had 20-30 people
seated - most were strangers until afterwards when they would introduce
themselves as supporters of my efforts.
On the final two days of the
trials, there were 8 people who paraded around the exterior of the
courthouse with their precious Dalmatians leashed - all to show their
support as well. Here is just a sampling of the letters to the editor that
I collected out of the Press Enterprise and the Los Angeles Times
regarding my battles.
These were all written during my 3 year
battle with Riverside county animal control and board of supervisors. The
public and media sided with me completely. For entire story, go to Media
page and read PRESS ENTERPRISE 'The Story Behind'.
SHOULD RUN THE COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL
My empathy to Mr. Randy Warner
out in Riverside County (Open Forum November 30 regarding Riverside
County’s overpopulation of cats and dogs) I; too had a letter just two
months ago regarding the Riverside County Shelter. (I have great
difficulty using the word shelter as it conjures up the image of comfort
and safe keeping unfairly in this case.) But it is easier to sit back and
just hope that someone else will step up to the plate to solve these and
other problems. Well , finally someone has! The Riverside facility is
under funded, underpaid, under educated and over worked. They cannot even
take in all the animals that come to them on a daily basis without killing
so many innocent ones simply in anticipation of tomorrow’s load
expectancy. Instead of working against this man, they should bring him in
and put him in charge. After all, he’s doing (as just one man) what they
are supposed to be doing BUT unable to do - and all the while, keeps
winning court battles between the two entities. Does no one else see
Upon reading about the Dalmatian Rescuer being
fined for not having a kennel license, I believe that instead of fining
this superior person Randy Warner $135, Court Commissioner Jim Bishop
should have sent Mr. Warner a check for $135 to help him with the cost of
the rescuing and taking care of those lucky dogs who find their way to Mr.
Warner’s kind and compassionate care. Mr. Warner is doing what more of us
should be doing – helping those who cannot help themselves, despite the
cold and callous opposition of the magistrates.
WASTEFUL ANIMAL CONTROL
animal control and now the county board of supervisors bothering Randy
Warner. They should take the estimated $40,000 they’ve spent so far
attempting to convict, but only getting NOT GUILTY verdicts for Warner,
and try to clean up their own facility. The animals there are smelly and
sick. There are already too many unwanted animals in this county. They
should do something to make them more adoptable. Over the past 3 years, my
mom and dad have adopted 2 different Dalmatians from Randy. They always
looked happy and were able to play in the yard or go inside his house.
They have continued to admit that they have not actually been to Randy’s
place, but take the ‘word’ of their officer. They could certainly learn a
lot from Randy. I know we have.
LINDSAY FORMAN 13 YRS
HELP SOMEBODY WHO CARES
I, too am upset and angry at
the tax dollars wasted in Riverside County by self serving bearcats to
pursue Randy Warner, rescuer of Dalmatians.
Just drive around anywhere
and see a beautiful, but dead dog along side of a road. So very many
people no longer care about things like this. We have one among us who
does and he’s willing to prove it. Let’s help someone who cares – enough
for all of us!
Taxpayers of Riverside County should be aware of the
relentless pursuit of that dastardly villain, Randy Warner and his band of
Animal Control issues a new citation within 48
hours of each court appearance. To get a kennel license, Randy must build
kennels, estimated at $10,000 with no guarantee they would be approved by
the county, plus a $6,000 land use permit – all money he does not
Mr. Warner saves thousands of taxpayer dollars rescuing animals
that would be picked up, housed and ultimately destroyed. Those saved
dollars are then paid to attorneys to represent Animal Control ‘stooges’
in court against Mr. Warner. The most recent attorney appeared on May 12.
Her purpose? To request Commission Bishop deny Mr. Warner’s right to plead
I’m becoming more and more upset about reading of the endless
persecution of Randy Warner in Riverside County who is rescuing
Dalmatians. There are so many laws on the books that are never enforced,
so why in the world would the county supervisors continue the relentless
efforts to try and obtain a conviction on Warners good deeds? (a
conviction in this case could bring as much as a $100 fine; an infraction)
Not only lacking in common sense, but seemingly unenforceable by the
county or Warner wouldn’t continue to be victorious in the courtroom for
several years now.
Warner never gets a day off, not even Christmas or
Easter, as these dogs must be fed and watered and cleaned up after 7 days
a week without fail. So, how in the world could Commissioner Bishop
require a bail from this man, with no criminal record, who has sacrificed
his pence, freedom and normality of life, in order to save all these
This is becoming a farce for the ‘HILLBILLY
MAFIA” or County supervisors to fight until they win. It’s called the male
ego. In other words, the least likely person in the county to run away or
become a flight risk!! Money he does not have.
I’m sick of bearcats
wasting my money in a futile attempt to enforce a law that most have never
heard of, had nothing to do with making and agree it should be removed
from the books.
Leave Randy Warner alone!! Don’t fire him, don’t jail h
im, don’t harass him. He’s the closest thing we have to a saint here in
Randy Warner and his Dalmatian Rescue continues to fight city
hall. He continues to be cited and will once again appear in court in
Riverside County while the taxpayers will be charged with paying the legal
representation of the county board of supervisors just for their futile
attempt to ‘’be right’’. On August 24th, the board meets to change the
kennel laws. What is now an infraction becomes a misdemeanor. What is now
a maximum of $100 fine, will then become a $1,000 fine and carry a six
month jail term if found guilty. They admitted in an article from the
Press Enterprise that this was another attempt to bring the importance of
this issue to Randy Warner. He is continuing to fight for the lives of
these otherwise unwanted animals and has, up till now, been within the
laws – until they change them to spite him. A hero? Any man who would go
to these measures and stay within the law in spite of the circus
atmosphere the county has brought upon this case, is truly nothing short
of one. He’s willing to give all he has for his beliefs. Good for
R. A. TEMBLEDORE
WRONG APPROACH FOR
It amazes me how time and again, a judge makes his or
her decision based on zero logic. We have a man among us, whose compassion
and love for these unwanted and unloved Dalmatians, knows no bounds. At
least that anyone has seen yet. Yes, he devotes 100% of his time to
training and caring for these unbelievable numbers of Dalmatians, in hopes
they will someday find the home that will keep them and love them as it
should be. But, no he doesn’t have the money to construct the expensive
and unnecessary constraints and kennels required to satisfy the county
officials who are bound and determined to show they are right in this
case, but have not been able to in over 3 years. Shame on the bully
commissioners for punishing Mr. Warner for what he is doing. Even the law
agrees with him over the past few years. They should present him with a
plaque awarding him top honors for standing alone and fighting for the
lives of these dogs. My husband and 2 children and I took a ride over the
weekend to drive past the place we’d heard so much about. Not only did he
invite us in, but the amount of love we experienced in these dogs who had
just faced certain death, just floored us. They were a mass of moving
spots to us, but each one has a name and personality that Randy knows
intimately. He has obviously been victorious over these years because he’s
doing things right. Too bad the ignorant commissioners can’t see
DEBORAH MORRIS RUSS West Hollywood
The end results
of my standing up for the animals:
The entire mixture of events
and introductions throughout my years of doing rescue provided me with
many opportunities to meet people who could and would assist in my defense
later on. For testimonies, I called Sharon Cody, the mayor of Mission
Viejo as well as two other animal protection organizations'
This notoriety also
brought invitations to attend an animal rescue event in Las Vegas
during the same weekend that I would be accompanying 24 of my
Dalmatians to Caesar's Palace Hotel; and Casino for the Labor Day
Telethon where Firefighters posed with my dals for a calendar that
would later be auctioned off for Jerry's Kids.
The folks who planned the
entire event promised that my dogs and I would be picked up and brought to
Las Vegas from southern CA in luxury. Sure enough, a beautiful luxury bus
owned by Caesars' Palace pulled into my driveway at 8 am for the return
trip to Vegas. We decided to stop in Barstow to get everyone lunch -
including the dogs - each of which were served one small order of fries
for being so well mannered while in the vehicle for the long trip. We were
driven to the front door of a lovely home owned by a couple who offered
their home to use for out stay since they too had Dalmatians living there
and thought it would be an experience. We backed the bus into the
driveway, opened their garage door and ran back to the rear of the house
and everyone followed without even hesitating. This can also be seen in
more detail by going to
But I believe that the largest honor bestowed upon the dogs and
myself was when we were invited to participate in the 1997 Tournament of
Roses Parade in Pasadena and walk along side the float for the California
Antique firefighters Association. Just about the center of town, I was
asking myself why in the world I'd agreed to go along on this overwhelming
parade route, as I'd marched in it in my younger years as well. So, I was
very aware of the seemingly endless crowd of spectators that line the 5
and 1/2 mile route.
One week prior to the
release of their second live action feature film starring
Dalmatians, Disney's Main Headquarters in Burbank was the host of a
press conference to plead with the management to keep their promise
and provide some information prior to every film' showing in an
effort to reduce the large numbers of impulse puppy buying that took
place during the first movie release. On both occasions,
several groups of animal lovers had been promised that this would
happen. However, for the first release, there was no notice at
all. We weren't expecting an educational segment to a Disney
classic, but we also didn't expect to be lied to by the management
quite like we were
So, In Defense of
Animals invited The president of the Amanda Foundation of Los
Angeles and myself to speak out front of the Disney Complex and then
attempt to make a personal delivery of a letter stating our concerns
up to the office of Michael Eisner, the president. Wow. ABC, CBS,
NBC, Fox, Clear Channel Radio, MTV, ETV , Rueters and AP were all
there to cover the event.
As I put my dogs back into
the van to drive home, it was already airing on one of the radio news
broadcasts. Then, while they were 'on' the story, MTV and ETV both came
out to my place to show an example of Dalmatian Rescue since I had 42 at
this particular time. You can read the story in LA Times that covered this
event by logging onto http://www.21stcenturycares.org/pressconf.htm
The entire thing seemed so out of place and oddly coordinated to
me. Here I was continuing with my 'troublesome' behavior and battling with
officials about the need to rescue these poor animals and once again,
facing jail time.
As the court dates
began to increase and continue on, I would exit the courtroom and
enter an interested and sometimes agitated pool of reporters from LA
TV stations, major Southern CA newspapers and even a radio station
or two who were all covering my story.
You see, as the trials began
to gain momentum in the media, they were more often than not, barred from
entering at all. Just made me feel like a hero for doing something good,
but in an illegal fashion. I soon learned that the impact I would
ultimately have on the concept of humane education in our nation would
absolutely make up for any troubles I had caused the various county
As the end of these hearings in Riverside County
neared, I realized that I had been featured in front page news stories
several dozen times in Los Angeles Times and the Press Enterprise
publications and literally hundreds of other papers across the nation via
Press who covered several of the more publicized hearings.
Printed materials included People Magazine, USA Today and several other
on the Leeza Gibbons Talk Show three times during all this and was a
special guest on Richard Simmons 'Dream Maker' TV show as well. Hard
Copy did a story on the trial, as did CBS Evening News. The best of
all was when George Lucas' film company asked to come out to my home
in Menifee and get some footage on what it was I was trying to
That was ultimately edited
to become the video documentary 'Trouble Spots' which is available on my
Most shocking of all was
when the NHK Network out of Tokyo Japan requested permission to bring a
film crew to do similar shooting and an interview. The host of the show
they used my footage on, was Yoshi Taki - the japanese equivalent of our
Tom Cruise I was told. As they all packed up and prepared to leave, the
lady in charge quietly handed me a wad of bills totally $1,000. Just their
way of saying thanks for all I'd done and would likely continue to do for
Throughout the four
years of going to court over and over, I tried to keep my efforts
very public as well as continuing to adopt as many Dalmatians as
possible by doing as many special events as I could schedule. We
took 44 Dalmatians and participated in the Mission Viejo, and also
Pasadena St Patrick's Day parade with all the Dalmatians having
GREEN polka dots for the celebration. On both years we entered, we
were awarded the first place trophy for our entry.
For two of the summers we
had our own booth at the LA Childrens' Fair and passed out information,
adopted a few to good homes and received some nice donations to continue
our work. I was given four tickets to the premier of the Disney release of
their new live action 101 DALMATIANS. That was a very fun evening for 3
friends and myself. It was a typical Hollywood premier with the red
carpet, lights and limousines out front.
We were also invited to
be the ''good luck charms'' at the California Builders' Association's
annual black tie/casino night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.
Before gambling, the guests were invited to rub the dogs for good
The Anaheim Hilton
invited us to be part of the 50-'s night in their main ballroom. So,
we custom made their little 'people skirts' and had little saddle
shoes tied in place as well as the scarves around their necks. they
looked like Laverne and Shirley. the Elvis impersonator for the
evening was so impressed with them that he invited them on stage
while he entertained the audience for the
We've all heard the saying,
'NEW YORKERS HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING!” Well, I must admit that I surprised
even the most seasoned veterans of the metropolis when I paid a visit in
98. I would still place this particular trip to New York City with my two
'girls' as well as two rescue dogs in my care as being the most amazing
thing I may have ever done.
I was called to appear on
'Late night with David Letterman'. He requested that I scour the local New
York area animal facilities and search for any and all Dalmatians which
were adoptable on that given day to see if the problem was truly
nationwide. His staff would pay for any and all adoption fees, pay for
transporting the animals to Central park with the appropriate handlers,
parking and even a lunch voucher.
I found, and adopted 47
Dalmatians that day and each one of them arrived at Central Park the
following morning at 9am. where I got to know more about the dogs, allowed
them to play and exercise and then we began our long walking journey from
Central Park, down 5th Avenue at noon for 26 New York City Blocks for the
4:30pm taping of the show. Within about 8 blocks we were stopped by the
police suggesting to us that we allow them to block off one lane of
traffic in the streets and allow the pedestrian traffic to continue
unobstructed by our army of handlers and Dalmatians.
While we waited,
a priest came out of St Patrick's Cathedral asking what the special
event was. When we explained that we had just saved all these dogs
from certain death, he invited us to step into the vestibule of the
church and gave us a formal blessing.
We then continued on
to Rockefeller Center where we purchased Soft Pretzels for each one
of the dogs. When we arrived at NBC building, I was surrounded by
security, press from the New York City papers and TV news as the
producers escorted the parade of spots to the elevators that took us
to his studio.
David Letterman was
floored to see the results of my one day adoptathon. Through the
efforts and generosity of David Letterman Show, 39 of the Dalmatians
found [permanent homes through a hotline he had set up. The
remaining 8 dogs were accepted by a Connecticut Dalmatian Rescue
Organization so they could place them as well.
Above are my two as they try
to host the
show. Below, they address the NYC Kiwanis Club Luncheon
During our 6 day stay
in New York City, I also was asked to speak at a Kiwanis Club
meeting downtown at the Hyatt one afternoon and they made it clear
that my Dalmatians were very welcome to attend the special luncheon.
Of course they did and proudly wore their best bowties to the
As I am now becoming more of
a folk hero for all the Los Angeles basin, I was invited to bring all 27
of my Dalmatians to the Federal building on Wilshire and the Santa Monica
freeway and this nice couple would make all the arrangements for me to
hold a nice adoption fair one Saturday afternoon. The host
organization provided everything out of their own pocket. 'New Leash
On Life' organization in Los Angeles.
It was marvelous. clowns for
the kids, a hot dog stand, a radio station and three big fire trucks were
on site. After speaking to a pair of women about my ongoing fight in the
neighboring county, they both said, they'd heard so much about me and now
they were totally convinced that they needed to step in to help. Kathy
Riordan was one of them. She is the daughter of the 'then' mayor of Los
Angeles, Richard Riordan. A week later, she placed this article in the Los
Angeles Times regarding the entire waste of time and efforts;
clear to me now, that this media attention is in large part responsible
for the favorable outcome to this whole thing. I suggest that everyone who
does rescue to any extent, try and get their local paper and TV station to
come out and cover your efforts occasionally - especially when you attend
the classroom for presentations. The media loves photos with children and
pets. This gives your organization much public attention as well as
credibility when standing in front of a court of law.
JUST KILL THE
by Kathy Riordan (Los Angeles Mayor Riordan's daughter)
sad reflection upon our current society. Randy Warner of Dalmatian ResQ in
Riverside County is one who should be made into a hero and not criminally
prosecuted. Even the general 'man about town' is unaware of all that is
Throughout every city and state across the country,
those who demonstrate volunteerism and good citizenship are highly
valued. By supplementing what would otherwise be the full
responsibility of local governments, these individuals fill the gaps
left by skeleton staff. They withstand undue pressure to do the
impossible, and are threatened by downsizing and insufficient funds
needed to maintain quality services or even properly execute
The kill rate in most counties across the nation is
embarrassingly high and is one of the worst examples we continue to
set for our future generations to come. These agencies, along with the
county and municipal governing bodies, could and should view these
volunteers and rescues as 'assistants' who help out for no pay or
Instead, when a good citizen steps
forward to save the lives of hundreds or even thousands of companion
animals, including dogs and cats who would otherwise become staggering
statistics, he/she is met with incredible and very encumbering fees,
regulations and rules, legal threats and more.. This, while over 8
million adoptable pets are to be killed each year in this country, and
backyard breeders choose to have a recreational litter of kittens or
puppies with almost no regulation, guidance or structure at all. Yet,
they are the people who are clearly the contributing factor in this
problem. Again we see the "without victims" theory coming into play; in
this case, animal control agencies would loose many jobs. This is
mainly due to a seriously inadequate understanding by Americans as to
the results of their actions.
Animal control agencies that have
a highly questionable record of humane performance and fail to 'market'
their commodity as a normal business would allow this to
continue with no thought of any tomorrows. Poor business hours for
adoptions and retrievals of lost pets, fall short in reminding their
public of the pets
who are adoptable on a widespread, regular basis,
frequently unwilling to require mandatory spay neuter to any pet going out
the door. Most of the problems stem from a lack of understanding within
the community of the restrictions and requirements placed on the
underpaid, overworked and under educated animal control staff. It becomes
a vicious circle.
But, it's all becoming much more clear recently. The
'lip service' we hear from everyone else is a cover up for their
ignorance and refusal to be responsible caring citizens.
enforcement agencies, large numbers of elected officials and a surprising
majority of our citizens have no respect for the lives of these innocent
animals or these things would clearly have been looked into and dealt with
accordingly. This also means they refuse to properly acknowledge the
proven impact that conditions and actions have on the future generations
of children who fall victim to having parents with little or no patience
for the obvious. And the subsequent results are allowed to contaminate our
future generations with the same disrespect as many other like situations
that were quickly outlawed and strongly governed.
We need to be
smart. We need to change the way we view and teach the world in
different way. Not similar to what we've done for 60 years, but
differently - a way that works. We need to prove to the legislators at
levels that even though animals don't vote or contribute to
WE DO! And we should do it volume. Ask each and
every person running for
office about their views and plans for
improvements, and hold them to it
congressmen and women, senators and assemblymen drag their feet
vote “no” on important animal legislation,
- law enforcement
continue to claim a lack of time and resources is their justification for
not making appropriate arrests,
- the judges are refusing to
uphold current laws by offering lighter sentencing and dismissing charges
- the local governing bodies are giving themselves
up to 35% pay increases annually
- all this, while cutting the
animal control budgets,. they are sending a message that America
Until further notice, the general public and lawmakers are
sending a strong
message, and it is coming through loud and clear –
JUST KILL THE DOGS!!
The previous article could
run in any major paper in America and strike a chord. Almost every week,
somewhere in America, an animal collector/hoarder situation is raided,
often requiring the rescue of hundreds of animals at a time. Often the
media, the authorities, and the rescue community condemns and accuses. We
are so accustomed to being betrayed by our society and government that we
have little tolerance for being betrayed by one of our "own."
The biggest reason for
being turned into the pound in America is because people didn’t do what
was necessary to get the dog to be appropriately behaved. The second
reason is that the humans were moving or found it inconvenient to live
with the dog in their lives. This ultimately guarantees these dogs will
die. With the number of unwanted animals our nation’s facilities are
forced to accept, there is no alternative, but to kill up to 80% of all
incoming animals. Many within hours of their arrival. Yet we continue to
have litters and be unrealistic in our desires of how we expect our
animals to behave with no professional training or even the appropriate
care. Is that a society who honestly loves dogs?
Here we are 7 years after my
battle with Riverside County idiots. Since then, there have been 3
county investigations into the board of supervisors and even a grand jury
investigation finding 28 felony criminal charges against the animal
control as well as Bob Buster and several other supervisors in 2003.
Now, in the March 11 Press Enterprise, it was reported that not one single
requirement from the grand jury investigation has been implemented.
As a matter of fact, employment has been reduced due to budget cuts and
they kill more dogs than ever. Oh, and yes, the supervisors have
voted themselves yet another pay increase. This time it was 35%
annually. The Riverside County residents could care less. Too
many politics with what used to be LEAF and other groups simply being
ignorant and unwilling to step up to the plate.
In Europe, with it's
no-kill shelters, euthanasia is only administered by veterinarians and
only by lethal injection. Their strict licensing, animal control and
welfare laws, and national databases of convicted animal abusers and
neglecters put American's laws and actions (or lack there of) to shame.
There is no lip service there, but a genuine love and responsibility
taught and expected from every citizen.
They don’t have
collectors or hoarders. There is no need for an overload of rescue
organizations. They truly understand their place and the animals’
We cannot say that about
North Americans. We’ve created a prevailing system of apathy and
ignorance, where shelters and volunteer rescue efforts cannot possibly
stem the tide, where government has mostly turned its back on animal
welfare and control efforts, where anything "animal" is usually paid ‘lip’
service (always said softly, bottom lip protruding in that tone of voice
that denotes sympathy or pity) and then, given the lowest priority, where
animals often die horrible deaths, where local animal rescue organizations
can barely fund the resources they provide to "crisis" situations, and
where a lot of people, as well as the major humane organizations are
making MILLIONS AND MILLIONS from animals.
Americans believe they
can buy their way out of any situation. “I’ll do what ever I please, then
when it catches up to me, I’ll just buy my way out”. That is exactly why
the national organizations are rolling in the dough. We send funds out of
guilt and out of pity. Then refuse to do the right thing the rest of the
year by speaking out, altering pets and helping the local situations that
we can more closely monitor.
I get a lot of mail each
week and often from rescuers who are out of hope and out of funds. They
sometimes describe personal situations to me that worry me, and they ask
me if I have any suggestions of help for them. Then everything I suggest
is something they just couldn’t imagine trying. I've even angered some
Rescue efforts with criticisms (largely borne of frustration), because
their efforts and websites and fundraisers and other events include NO
advocacy and education components.
That means we will
always be forced to deal with the status quo, rescuing animal by animal,
with no end in sight (and where I'm often "wrong" is that's still better
than nothing!). The next generation will be doomed to spending time and
money rescuing to a similar degree. We will NEVER save all the animals who
need help. There will be that given percentage which cannot be reached in
time. If each rescuer were to take 20% of their time and resources and
went to the local schools, we could ALL see a reduction of the need to
follow in their footsteps in our lifetimes! So, for every rescuer who is
spending all their time and resources on rescuing animals and not
addressing the cause of these problems to their local ‘masses’, I ask you
to view this more from the standpoint of a business.
"accomplishment" we cheer about, some other situation or decision by
government seems to take us two steps backwards. One more reason I added
'PROJECT VOTE SMART" to this site. You need to know where your
representatives stand on the local and area animal issues, let them know
you are voting accordingly and let your voice be heard. For evil to
prevail, good people need to do nothing.
Of course nobody wants
to see the animals suffer. No one adopts a pet for the fun of taking it to
the pound to watch it die. Yet, we watch and still do nothing and we take
nearly a thousand pets to the pound every day in this country - few for
any justifiable reason. (“moving”, ‘don’t have time”, not right for the
With that said,
education does make the most sense. It changes people's perceptions of
what is happening, what they can and can't do in order to prevent further
pain and anguish and death among our animal friends. I've seen it change
teen lives right in front of me.
If we could get America
and Canada to "no kill" as soon as possible, if we could outlaw every
method of "euthanasia" except by lethal injection
(http://www.crean.com/kindness), if we could get every animal lover in the
country to write a letter to an editor on an animal issue, and demand that
our media report on those issues, and hold government at all levels
accountable for, at the least, animal control and welfare issues - we
could see such improvements, stop creating "collectors" and maybe we could
negate the need to rescue hundreds/thousands of poorly cared for animals
at a time, who further deplete rescue resources.
Then, as you read
in the story regarding my on going battle with County officials, I began
to look into some things. With True Ignorance of how the laws will be
enforced and by whom...... I now have a good friend who is a Paralegal,
Animal Control Officer, Law Enforcement Officer,, Humane Educator, and a
number of other things. Being in Animal Welfare, we feel like questioning
the value of humans quite often. I have done many things in my short adult
life and I want to ponder and propose in an effort to make people
think….So, pardon me if I seem to ramble…
I’ve been front line and
reinforcement for animal issues. I have seen the large national
organizations do nothing and I’ve seen single individuals move mountains.
I know that government is being forced to legislate, moderate, and enforce
more than ever. The problem I don’t understand is why any agency (public
or private) is willing to create legislation and rules about and for
animals, yet they don’t understand the first thing about
Let’s look at
legislators for a moment. It really doesn’t matter if they are federal,
state, or local municipalities. There are laws on the books about dogs and
cats across this great Nation. But, do the people who are writing the laws
understand animal behavior? Some legislators do look to their local animal
welfare agency for guidance….but do they know? Does the local humane
society know? Do the local vets know? A vet may know how a cat behaves in
a stressful situation, but do they know how to write a law to protect that
Humane Societies are
helpful, to an extent….they know about the overpopulation problem, and
they surely appreciate the stupid reasons people dump their pets, but do
they know what an animal control officer faces in the field? Can an animal
control officer adequately convey to the legal department what needs to be
included in the actual legislation? We must all pull together and share
our information in order to create good, powerful legislation. The
attorneys can put all the jargon together, but what use is that, if they
don’t know or appreciate the need on the street?
animal control officers are without professional training (and they’re not
attorneys) so they are usually unable to create the verbiage necessary for
such a task. When creating legislation, animal behavior MUST be
considered. If you’re going to hold a dog responsible for biting a human,
should the human bitten also be held responsible? Every weathered animal
control officer will agree that the person responsible for the dog should
be held responsible!!
Every good and
knowledgeable citizen SHOULD feel the same way. Each case is individual
and is cause for investigation. Each case ought to be examined by someone
who understands animal behavior. If a person tries to take food out of a
dog’s mouth, is it unreasonable to expect the animal to allow it? (I’m not
talking common sense stuff, my dog would let me and any responsible
owner’s dog would accept that) We’re talking about the people who do not
care for or train their dog….the irresponsible pet owner. If a child trips
over a sleeping dog and the dog bites the child, who’s fault is it? That
is normal, typical behavior for a dog! Where were the child’s parents?
happen…..should a life be taken because of it? However, if a child walks
by a dog (no food on the kids face, no sleeping dog situations) is it fair
to let the dog maul the child while no human is held responsible? I’m not
saying euthanize the dog, I’m saying give the owners choices.
I don’t believe in “3
bites your out” type legislation, but I also don’t think that a truly
vicious dog ought to be allowed to terrorize a neighborhood.
Judges are often in this
loop of “uneducated” enforcers. They are not in the street and it’s not
their neighbor’s dog that is keeping them up at 4:00 in the morning. Often
times, they have no regard for animals (especially if you live in Rural,
USA). It’s a dog; they have felons to worry about in over flowing jails. I
don’t care what their excuse is….if they are elected Judges, VOTE!!! If
they are appointed judges, then talk with the person that appointed them
(Often the Governor or Mayor). HOLD THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE AND MAKE THEM
DO THEIR JOB! Animal laws are just as important as human laws! Violence
Cops are on the street
to protect the public. Sometimes that protection is from a 400# armed
robber, sometimes it’s from a 150# Rottweiler. They are there to enforce
the laws. It does not matter if that law is a federal law, a state law, or
a local ordinance. They are sworn to uphold and protect. Educate the
police chief and offer to help. Don’t just sit there and criticize….help
OK, enough about the
public sector….let’s look at some private issues:
complexes…..all of us know several apartment complexes that do not allow
pets. The complexes that do allow dogs often have a weight limit of, oh,
we’ll say 20#. I can tell you from experience, the average dog weighs in
at 55#. The complex claims that a small dog causes less damage. Hogwash! A
properly trained dog, no matter what the size, causes no damage! (I’m not
talking about during thunderstorms!). Hold the people responsible, not the
dog! Ok, so a toy poodle will pee less than a Doberman pinscher. Either
way, the carpet is wet and has to be cleaned! If you have a housetrained
dog, that is not an issue anyway!!! Besides, everyone who has a lick of
sense knows that a Great Dane or Greyhound is a much better apartment dog
than a Jack Russell Terrier! Heck, even a Saint Bernard would be better
than a Rat Terrier….it’s what is inside that counts! So why do they have
the stupid weight limit? I’ve never understood that!
Here’s another situation
that dog owners are facing everywhere TODAY! Canceled homeowners’
insurance, inability to renew, or flat rejection for coverage. Why?
Because they have a certain “type” of dog. What type is that, you ask?
BIG! The insurance black list of dogs is growing each day. It includes
Pit-Bull (doesn’t matter which type of pit), Dobermans, Rottweilers, Great
Danes, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers…wait! Did I say
“Golden Retrievers”? why, they are the “American Family Dog”! Yes, that is
what I said. Humane responsibility is going down the toilet, everyone
wants to blame someone else. Dogs bite….cats bite….give me the right
reason, and I’ll bite too! Don’t hold the dog responsible, hold the people
responsible. If you have a dog and you’re a responsible owner, you will
see to it that the dog will not bite (under normal circumstances – I WANT
it to bite if someone is coming through my window at 3 a.m.).
Why won’t insurance agencies
just make stipulations for coverage? Basic obedience, sterilization,
socialization…..all those things will help teach a dog how to behave in
polite society. It has NOTHING to do with the breed!
So, if you’re
still with me, congratulations!!! I hope I haven’t bored you to tears.
Here is my challenge to you:
Don’t sit on your butt
and complain about all these stupid rules and regulations! Get off your
duff, contact the people who make these statements and educate them! Help
them understand basic animal behavior and why it is in their best interest
to consider animal behavior when they are making these laws. Don’t go in
there with a “holier than thou” attitude because you have the answers;
approach them with a helping attitude. By helping the stupid human, you
help the dumb animal (dumb, like can’t talk, not dumb as in stupid….I’ve
known some really smart dogs! But they still couldn’t talk).
Don’t even get me
started on ‘leash laws’, ‘tied up dogs’ so-called ‘’guard dogs’’ that have
had no training and couldn’t’ save your ass anyway cause they’re OUTSIDE
and penned or tied up – oh I could go on forever. Ask my husband.
boils down to making PEOPLE be responsible, not punishing animals because
their humans are stupid!
The final straw that broke the camel's
back was when I was trying to show the residents of the area that I
appreciated all their support throughout the nearly four year battle with
riverside county's elected criminal element, so I decided to form an
animal organization to service the needs of that corner of the county.
Lake Ellsinore was the closest branch of the animal control and that was
over 30 miles away. They were very established and had called me 30 or 40
times over the previous ten to 15 years to request that I rescue a
Dalmatian or two that was in their facility.
I always did so. I was
beginning to feel very trusted within the ranks when there. But, when they
found out that I was attempting to form the Temecula Valley Humane
Association, they quickly instructed their attorneys to place a letter in
the paper to clearly separate themselves from our efforts for fear that we
would steal some of their popularity and subsequent donation base. We had
decided, and made it very clear, that we would not be in a situation where
competition would be necessary in any way as we were not planning to build
any facility or have any paid employees.
We would provide education
programs to all the area schools and have an army of volunteers who could
foster any pets that were acquired within our local area until the county
could make arrangements for a pick up. I mean, we made every attempt to
look into the future and was hopeful that we could all work side by side
in an effort to save the animals. But that was not to be. They viewed by
actions as 'being against' them since they are a contracted source of the
county animal services department.
That newspaper article then
seemed to 'cool'' the interests of the area schools as well. Now, I see so
much more as to why the animal movement is so bogged down and
unsuccessful. Egos, Ignorance, Politics, Power and Greed. Since it is such
an enormous means for raising funds from the public, I would say with
confidence that the bickering, bad mouthing and games are at a level that
surpasses most other businesses of today.
Then it became so very clear
to us what was happening. As we announced the planned formation of the
TVHA, we were approached by the ASPCA, HSUS and several other world
leaders in animal protection efforts. Each one trying to convince us to
call ourselves ''the ____ Humane Society'' or in another case '' The _____
SPCA. Most interesting to all of us was their level of convincing - even
monetary donations to help our efforts to assure proper funding. That is
where the Lake Elsinore group feared that we would be butting in on some
of their easy money sources. We made it very clear that we needed no funds
at this time. We also incorporated the organization to read:
We plan to operate no
facility but to make every effort to assist existing local and area
authorities in timely pick ups and appropriate care until they can make
arrangements for the animals pick up. Of the total amount of hours
provided by the team of volunteers we were gathering at monthly meetings
we held at a restaurant's upstairs group room, we clarified that 80% of
our efforts would be directly used for humane education in the area
schools and 2-% of our time would be in caring for the animals on a foster
We also set it up to where
it would automatically dissolve itself in the year 2018 - exactly 20 years
from our initial efforts to form were confirmed. Our thoughts were, that
if we were going to be successful in our efforts, we would no longer be a
necessary commodity by the year 2018. And also, that if the residents of
the area were to refuse to take the information and put it to good use,
then there would be no reason to continue either.
Leading to my
I've even constructed a top ten list. Ten reasons
why money alone will not solve the animal related
Today's animal protection efforts come under fire by
various media groups and animal protection organizations. Many within the
ranks are confident that most of the problems we work so diligently on,
could have and should have been solved and corrected years ago, but for
one problem: Human Beings!
With over 3,000 animal
protection organizations in this country, boasting millions of 'members'
and logging an estimated 50 billion man hours since 1979, one must wonder
. So, what's the problem you ask.. After all, We are Americans. If we
honestly wanted this problem to be solved, it would have been by now. No
doubt about it.
If anyone has any honest
expectations of actually seeing changes and truly solving some of the
basic problems that plague our animal friends, then we must make changes.
We can no longer afford to argue our egos, explain away our failures,
defend our agendas and continue to waste billions of dollars to continue
fighting a battle with the same ammunitions that have consistently brought
defeat in the past. It's no secret, that if unified, the animal protection
movement would be the largest lobbying effort in Washington and we would
be able to see many changes.
1 - Most Americans do not know much
at all about the proper care and treatment necessary for a dog or cat to
have the good life they deserve and they refuse to learn. There is no
comprehensive educational program to provide reliable information
regarding proper care and instinctive habits that surface in our pets'
Most humans misunderstand
their pets actions, refuse to 'listen' to them and only provide the same
treatment as what they witnessed when growing up. Unfortunately that still
holds true today. Their egos seem to win out over compassion and
willingness to be educated. No body asks professionals for guidance, rents
videos or reads websites to get the proper care for their pets because
they refuse to be reminded that they don’t know. The animals
2 - Schools continue to
deny offers for humane education - even though most programs are free. And
even though it can and will affect each and every person in that building
sometime during their lives.
Our nations' schools are
so under funded and constantly being driven by test scores, they are
rarely welcoming when organizations offer to bring a humane education
program into their classes - even though a few states have mandatory
humane education laws and many of the humane education programs offered
are at no charge to the schools. These programs have multi-level benefits
to all the young people who attend. When it's brought into the class
through the guidance counselor program of character development, the young
people have higher achievement scores, improved attendance rates and
frequently adopt a less violent conflict resolution technique which leads
to a more compassionate future for everyone.
But, the Animal
Foundation in Las Vegas laughingly argues that they DO provide Humane
Education to their local and area schools and proudly point to the 3 days
they had a volunteer at the school for the mentally handicapped last
season as proof. Of course, the educated reader will ask, 'Well what about
the rest of the 800,000 students in the district? Where was your
organization the other 230 school days?" To which they will have no
answer. We don't think they actually gave that any thought, so we dropped
3 -- This brings us to the Large National
Organizations and the fact that most of them are much more interested in
raising money, pointing fingers at other national organizations, avoiding
the real problems, and use the money to money to pay over-inflated
salaries than to actually educate the public or make a true noticeable
difference. But they still know how to 'pat themselves on the back' so
they can rake in another $1 billion of your dollars this year. It's
practically unheard of for them to work together. They seem much more
interested in top billing as opposed to the end results and actual
accomplishments. How far along do you think the space program would be
today if NASA was actually 7 competitive entities who refused to share
their knowledge and combine efforts for a common goal?
We need to point out
that Americans have paid $1 billion in taxes to animal control efforts
annually for the past 20 years and subsequently donated an equal amount of
nearly $1 billion to their favorite animal protection organizations
annually. With that, you would think that we could proudly say ''See all
the problems we've solved" but have we have solved even one thing! They've
made the same promises for 25 years and never kept a single one. But they
can sure take our donations each year with a big smile. Then, blindly, we
Politics, Agendas, Egos
and Greed tend to lead to the continuing demise of the seemingly noble
efforts. So my first concern is, knowing all this, why haven't the larger
animal organizations taken on a project and SOLVED IT? They have the
manpower, the legislative votes and the financial resources to do so. What
has become of the more than $40 billion from the past 25 years? Like a non
profit Enron. Unfortunately, their primary goals are to keep their
organization financially strong while ignoring the potential they have to
actually do what they've promised their contributors.
After all, if they should
actually solve one or more of the major problems, they would be forced to
downsize, layoff employees and would also be forced to abolish their cute
little pictures of dogs and cats behind bars awaiting certain death - 'the
money shots' as they are called. They spend the billions of dollars we've
given them over the years on over inflated salaries, luxury offices and
even allow millions to simply sit in their bank accounts (per their 2002
IRS Tax returns) to collect interest. Yet, they fail to show any results
or true nationwide success stories.
4 - Animal controls are
notoriously under funded and under educated, yet over worked because of
humans who refuse to be responsible and caring. They are caught in the
middle. The citizens want better animal control, but the agency is never
properly funded by their supervisory boards. . Many animal control
agencies profit from the animals they kill, but the community doesn't know
or won't take proper steps to make the necessary changes. Again, though,
the animals suffer.
5 - The city governments around the nation just
pooh-pooh any animal related upgrades or additional funding. But are quick
to give themselves substantial pay raises on a regular basis. Much of this
comes from simple ignorance as well as greed. They don't even believe in
themselves, let alone the residents in the given jurisdictions. They do
NOT protect the animals, and have the audacity to charge volunteer
rescuers money for every little thing - MUCH of it having little or
nothing to do with the safety and well being of the animals, but
everything to do with trying to prevent rescues from forming and to
squeeze as much money out of them as possible if they do.
Rescue groups and individuals around the nation work their butts to the
bone, devote most of their lives, spend thousands of their own dollars,
only to waste hours and hours gossiping online to harm other rescuers or
to be back-stabbed by a co-worker, forming modern day witch hunts or be
ram-sacked by animal control officers, and, with no appreciation or even
respect by the majority of the citizens, become bitter and apathetic. Much
too much ego boosting and again, forgetting what their goals actually are
too much of the time. They rarely do more than clean up yesterday's mess -
almost never considering tomorrow.
While these noble
individuals who actually put in all the work get paid nothing - even spend
thousands of their own dollars each year on this effort, the bulk of
publicity and praise seems to go to the larger national organizations who
continue to battle each other for positioning, the rescue community
refuses to organize or develop an agency of their own making to regulate,
provide a voice in government and protect the rescuers as well as help the
animals. When presented with an opportunity to make a difference, they
tend to explode initially, but fail to make a presentation that is
affective nor have any follow-through. In spite of the incredible level of
commitment, time, energy and money, they know little about how to
accomplish other than placing their rescues.
There for, nothing in
regards to organizing, future planning, setting standards and guidelines,
having a voice in congress, providing insurance and protection for their
rescues is being done - and it all needs to be done. All the while, they
simply assure themselves and the animals that nothing will change for
tomorrow because non of them made any arrangements and gave only yesterday
and today any thought.
7 - Most courts refuse to uphold the laws
that are in place and fail to prosecute those who harm or even kill
innocent animals. This, in spite of the facts that we KNOW through
research that those who begin early life with abusing animals are much
more likely to grow up and continue by committing more severe crimes
against humans. There is no secret our jails are overcrowded today.
However, there is also no secret that the links between animal abuse and
more severe criminal activity and violence against humans are well
researched and proven. These acts of violence need to be addressed by the
courts to prevent so much violence and criminal behavior in the
8 - All mainstream religion refuses to discuss the brutal
treatment of the companion animals we all call Man's Best Friend, knowing
that abuse, neglect and death happens within each congregation on a
regular basis, but it's OK for them to tell us what to eat, who to sleep
with and even clear guidelines of what to wear. All this while asking for
donations and the animals continue to suffer. With a local rape case or
child molestation, they move mountains to show their compassion. Knowing
that hundreds of animal abuse cases happen in the same area each week,
they choose to ignore them. Maybe we should donate to our places of
worship in the names of our pets. $$$$$
9 - THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
REFUSES TO TELL THE REAL TRUTH BECAUSE IT UPSETS TOO MANY VIEWERS TO HEAR
HOW MANY DOGS AND CATS WE KILLED YESTERDAY. You know what? I'll bet all
those animals dragged into the little room to be killed yesterday were a
little upset, too, and would have gladly sat back and forgiven us if we'd
upset some people if only they could have lived another day. Additionally,
it is MOST LIKELY those who are causing the problems, that don’t want to
be reminded of their repeated mistakes.
10 - Obviously corporations
have not been smart enough to recognize the value of their roles in this,
nor how they could all benefit by working to correct these problems. The
fact is, nobody has been smart enough yet to clearly show the public,
local governments and even corporations, how finding solutions to these
problems would actually benefit their ‘bottom line’ by paying fewer taxes,
charging responsible guardians with acceptable fees, bringing a more
compassionate community and work force - all while saving lives. A MUCH
MORE COMPASSIONATE WORLD IN WHICH TO LIVE! "BROUGHT TO YOU BY XYZ CORP. A
SPONSOR OF HUMANE EDUCATION IN OUR SCHOOLS"
I am more and more
convinced that NOBODY truly wants to see these problems of animal abuse
and pet overpopulation solved. There are good reasons why. It pad a large
number of egos, supports a substantial number of jobs and would simply
take an honest, mature effort of 'sharing' ideas and working 'together' -
something the animal protection movement in this country is simply not
capable of doing. Everyone wants an easy fix. The claim that ’’it takes
money’’ to get this done is just stupid. If that were true, you would
certainly think that we would have reached that dollar amount by now.
Everyone insists on lining their pockets while demanding to do it 'their
way' without ever listening to other ideas. But, without at least
listening to all the ideas, then how would you know which way is
I really hope the public
will finally recognize that they need to speak out when they see someone
who's mistreating or neglecting their pets. It is not only their right to
report their neighbors and friends for not providing the appropriate care
for these creatures, it is their responsibility to do so. Undoubtedly, our
nation must give serious consideration to including a substantive and
powerful humane education program in our curriculums very soon. By not
doing so, they are literally allowing these poor pets to suffer - even
die. Teaching our decision makers of tomorrow that compassion, nor
education is really all that important.
Finally everyone also
needs to recognize that although the larger animal orgs have a strong and
substantial place in our society, we cannot depend on them to solve any
problems, as has been proven over the years. Recognizing that all these
problems are OURS to solve through becoming more educated and responsible
in how we view our companion animals is the only way. We have the ability
to make changes WHEN WE WANT TO!!!!!! We just really haven’t wanted to up
When the large
organizations can begin working together, the rescue efforts can stop
bickering and feeding their own egos, the local governments will be held
to the fire when they fail to protect their local animals by upholding the
existing laws, the media can finally have a strong and informative story
to tell, schools aren’t afraid of a one hour program for fear of affecting
their almighty test scores and corporations can finally see that solutions
actually offer additional $$ to their bottom line, we may begin to see
improvements - even solutions. It’s called “working smarter, not
Should it be that we are
unable to handle our differences within this movement with more direction
and less immaturity, we will be forced to leave these problems to our
children - admitting we were incapable of solving the problems we have
spent so much time and effort on.
Currently there is a proposal using
sentient property augment as a balanced compromise about the legal status
of pets. The concept defines animals as living, feeling companions but
without the rights and liberties people enjoy.
It is a
compassionate way in which courts can recognize that animals have feelings
and emotions, rather than merely being property like a chair or
This idea was introduced during the American Veterinary
Medical Law Association meeting last year.
In America's common law
tradition, animals are a form of personal property. The classification was
designed to prevent people from stealing animals, and was the first
anticruelty statutes appeared around the time of the Civil
Such was the extent of animal law in the United States for
more than 100 years. But that's all changed.
Today, animal rights
and humane groups proliferate. Animal welfare legislation abounds. Pet
owners in many cities consider themselves pet guardians. Law schools offer
courses in animal law. Extremists threaten biomedical researchers and
vandalize laboratories of those who use animals in
Many pet owners think of their Boxer dog or tabby cat
as a member of the family. Clearly, society no longer values animals for
their usefulness alone. And yet, the legal status of animals remains
This clearly shows the need to update much of our
legislation and bring us out of the horse and buggy era and into the
As I begin to close this conversation out shortly, I
remind everyone to do your own research into your local and area animal
related problems. Ask a police officer. Write letters, contact
elected officials and ask them what they plan to do about it and
hold them accountable.
The Large National Animal
Has the trust been abused and broken by the
larger national animal protection advocacy groups?
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
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 across. Why?
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
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
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 really exists.
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
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
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
We, however can make the difference we seek. Consider
It is the shame of the animal rights and animal welfare
movements that for more than 130 years we have clamored for laws and
policies on behalf of animals, yet have avoided the political arena. Why
don't more animal charities form auxiliary political organizations? Why do
we not take a stand, role up our sleeves, and set about the hard but
necessary work of forming state, county and municipal voting blocks for
A voting block of just a few thousand voters can swing a
Congressional election. Many statehouse elections are won or lost by 100
or even a dozen votes, as are municipal elections. Lawmakers' fear of such
elections gives organized minorities their power. In Connecticut, my
state, approximately 2.5 million people are eligible to register to vote.
Barely two million have registered, meaning that 20% of the potential
electorate has yet to be mobilized.
At the municipal level, anyone
who could mobilize even 5% of the voters would direct a force that no
politician could ignore. Contact your state elections agency and your
local city hall or county seat to get the voter turnout statistics for
your own location. The potential for animal advocates to quickly alter the
political arithmetic should quickly become evident. As the late U.S.
Senator Paul Well-stone put it, "Dare to imagine what politics can be!"
And in the last words of early U.S. labor activist Joe Hill, "Don't
Back to the large national
Two of the major situations that changed my view of the
larger groups was first with the HSUS. I logged on to their 'humane teen'
site and began to contact all the groups listed there to offer assistance
and try to work with them. To my surprise, out of the 16 groups listed,
only one was still in operation and functional. Thank goodness, it was the
one run by Georgia Benyk in Phoenix, as I felt they were really one of the
best I'd ever read about and even had the privilege of meeting her and
speaking to her members. I sorta let it slide until I went back to the
site almost two years later and the page had not changed one bit. What was
going on here?
I made contact with the HSUS and spoke to Bill
DeRosa who was in charge of NAHEE the overseeing branch of Humane Teen. He
immediately became defensive to my claims and assured me that his staff
was working on a daily basis to keep their site current and updated their
information with these groups. He was also insulted in the manner of which
I approached them, suggesting that a more delicate approach towards them
would offer up an improved level of communication in the future, then
abruptly hung up the phone and blocked any further emails from
Here we are, two years later. I have recently revisited the
humane teen site and contacted all the groups listed, (which by the way
are totally new except for Georgia's group) Not one of them is a
functioning organization and the contacts listed on the page made it clear
they were not associated with the HSUS as it was made to look like. They
had only given permission for them to list on their page. It is clear it
was a shady effort to make the public think this was a project supported
by the HSUS. It wasn't.
P.S. : Fresh content is added to www.humaneteen.org on
a weekly and monthly basis.
National Association for Humane
P.O. Box 362
East Haddam, CT 06423
434-8666, ext. 13
Fax: (860) 434-9579
Here we are 4 and 1/2 years
later and the content has changed only one time. Going from one over
inflated webpage with non existent groups, to another false front claim
featuring more non existent groups.
Then, several years back, there
had been a zoophile that folks had been trying to locate for some time.
Not surprisingly, he was located in my immediate area. This is the modern
day 'Cherokee Nation'. I made contact with the man behind the alert at
PETA and he assured me that we would do what's necessary for an arrest and
conviction. He mentioned they would be able to raise approx one million
dollars to handle the legal fees. When I asked why he would need so much,
his response was that this particular case would only be allotted $100,000
and that all the rest would be used for other projects. ''All
organizations do it this way'' he claimed. So, the 'bait and switch'
tactic seems to be alive and well in the large animal organizational
If you stop and think about it, that is
exactly what they have done all along. ''Give us money and we'll save the
animals''. With upwards of $5 Billion raised and donated to this group
since it's inception in 1954, isn't it fair to assume that, had this been
a normal 'for profit' corporation, that consumers would have stopped
buying it's products by now with a lack of guarantee and history of false
promises such as this. Unfortunately, it is clear it's largely a bait and
switch type approach or we would have been able to recognize more success
A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE FOR YOU AS YOU READ THE FACTS AND
Every other known organization and movement in
the nation does the one thing that is preventing the animal protection
efforts from having our voices heard in Washington, from being more solid,
realizing more universal regulations and from seeing the results so many
seek. Just how far would you expect our space program to be today, if they
had operated similarly to the animal protection movement and been divided
into a dozen large, but warring versions of NASA who refuse to work
together & spend only 10% of the funds we provide for them towards the
actual space program?
Before you read these pages, keep in mind
that Americans have spent $1 Billion each year since 1983 on community
based animal control efforts. That is $20 billion.
have donated another $1 Billion to our favorite animal protection
organizations as they extend their hands asking for more money and
''promise'' to solve these problems. That is another $20 Billion.
importantly, over 3,000 non profit organizations in this country have
logged an estimated 50 Billion man hours on the same efforts and in total,
we can only boast a 12-15% reduction of unwanted animal deaths
A billion dollars is a difficult number to grasp hold of
and comprehend, but a billion seconds ago it was 1971. A billion minutes
ago was a few years after Jesus died. Many complain about how far we yet
have to go in the animal protection movement. We don't have that far to
We know what the solutions are and we know how to stop the
problems. We just need to stop following the large national groups who
have a vested interest in keeping these problems alive and running the
rest of us in circles.
The next time you hear how the animal protection
movement has taken in $2 billion each year and over $40 "billion" since
1983 casually, think about whether you want that movement spending your
money so freely with so few results (other than, new cars, luxury office
suites and retirement plans)
America's problems with animal abuse
and overpopulation is far worse than most other industrialized nations.
Also, American's spend MORE on the ''corrections' than anyone else,
but still fall very short of our goals. If these guys make $300,000 a
year, why would they want to find a solution? They'd be out of
$ 40 BILLION ago, we had the same problems we do today but
12% greater. We deserve better in 20 years and $40 billion of O U R M O N
E Y than a measly 12% reduction!!!!. We need to do things differently. We
need to do things RIGHT.
DONATED & EARNED INCOME: $ 39,120,286
EXPENDITURES: $ 41,357,094
PROGRAM SERVICE: $ 32,633,889
FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION: $ 8,723,205
% FUNDRAISING &
ADMINISTRATION, AS DECLARED: 21%
% FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION,
OUR ANALYSIS: 29%
TOTAL ASSETS: $ 53,983,597
(DEPRECIABLE) ASSETS: $ 19,816,877
CASH & SECURITIES: $
The American SPCA assets include $12.8 million in
"beneficial interests in perpetual trusts held by others." They do this to
hide funds as best they can. The ASPCA in 2002 distributed $1.1 million
among 182 other animal care organizations.
LARRY HAWK President ASPCA $421,970
four-year performance bonus. Hawk left the ASPCA in April 2003 and now
heads the Massachusetts SPCA.)
Steven R Hansen SrVP ASPCA
Stephen Musso SrVP/Ops ASPCA $136,142
SrVP ASPCA $134,902
Barbara Garber SrVP ASPCA $132,140
Eudene SrVP/CFO ASPCA $127,890
Total $2 million
The ASPCA paid 80
additional salaries over $50,000 in 2002. (Over $4 million
Executive salaries paid over $6
North Shore Animal League America
DONATED & EARNED INCOME: $ 30,342,594
EXPENDITURES: $ 32,397,432
PROGRAM SERVICE: $ 21,586,126
FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION: $ 10,811,306
% FUNDRAISING &
ADMINISTRATION, AS DECLARED: 33%
% FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION,
OUR ANALYSIS: 49%
TOTAL ASSETS: $ 21,586,126
(DEPRECIABLE) ASSETS: $ 11,851,646
CASH & SECURITIES: $ 18,443,960
The Pet Savers Foundation is a North Shore Animal League
America subsidiary, sponsoring Spay/USA and the Conference on Homeless
Animal Management and Policy. Pet Savers had an operating loss of
JOHN STEVENSON Pres
North Shore $347,091
Barry Giaquinto CFO North Shore $140,047
Fina DirOps North Shore $129,806
Lisa Wilson DirDevlp North Shore
Carolyn Brown DVM North Shore $ 98,960
Atlee Douglas DVM
North shore $ 92,999
Total Nearly $1 million
Shore Animal League America paid 24 additional salaries in excess of
$50,000 in fiscal 2002. ($600,000 extra)
Executive Salaries paid
over $1.6 million -( not even a national organization or widely
Editor, ANIMAL PEOPLE
P.O. Box 960
PEOPLE is the leading independent newspaper providing original
investigative coverage of animal protection worldwide, founded in 1992.
Our readership of 30,000-plus includes the decision-makers at more than
9,500 animal protection organizations. We have no alignment or affiliation
with any other entity.]
Humane Society of the
DONATED & EARNED INCOME: $
EXPENDITURES: $ 67,272,795
PROGRAM SERVICE: $
FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION: $ 23,453,737
FUNDRAISING & ADMINISTRATION, AS DECLARED: 35%
% FUNDRAISING &
ADMINISTRATION, OUR ANALYSIS: 53%
TOTAL ASSETS: $
TANGIBLE (DEPRECIABLE) ASSETS: $ 8,570,833
SECURITIES: $ 80,786,874
The Humane Society of the U.S.
transferred $5,198,882 to subsidiaries, including the Wildlife Land Trust,
Humane Society International, Center for Respect For Life &
Environment, Earthvoice International, National Association for Humane
& Environmental Education, Meadowcreek Inc. (an Arkansas-based organic
vegetable-growing project), and Worldwide Network, Inc. Since the end of
2001 HSUS has also absorbed the Ark Trust, producers of the Genesis Awards
for animal-friendly screen productions, and now sponsors the Remote Access
Medical project headed by Eric Davis, DVM, who formerly operated under the
auspices of the University of Tennessee. In addition, HSUS in mid-2002
took over fiscal responsibility for maintaining Keiko, the orca star of
the Free Willy! films, whose care had been funded by Ocean Futures, formed
by merger of the Jean Michel Cousteau Institute with the Free Willy/Keiko
Foundation. Keiko swam to Norway soon after HSUS took over his
supervision. There he lived in coastal fjords until his death on December
12, 2003. HSUS paid $264,073 to the Free Willy/Keiko Foundation in 2002.
HSUS made $1,321,527 in grants and payments in 2002 to 271 animal
charities and projects in all.
PAUL IRWIN President HSUS $315,898
ExecVP HSUS $179,217
Andrew Rowan SeniorVP HSUS $170,995
Waite CFO/Treas HSUS $160,473
Roger Kindler GenCounsel HSUS
John Grandy VP HSUS $145,124
Jan Hartke ExecDirector HSUS
John Kullberg WldlfLandTrst HSUS $131,453
died in April 2003.)
Michael Fox SeniorScholar HSUS $128,419
Pacelle SeniorVP HSUS $124,745
Janet Frake AsstSecty HSUS $
The Humane Society of the U.S. paid 60
additional salaries in excess of $50,000 in 2002. (Excess of $3 million
more) Executive Salaries paid over $7.5 million
Is widely respected and recognized as the 'watchdog' reporting
publication for the world's animal protection movement.
People Who Care About Animals
POB 960 Clinton, Washington email
email@example.com website www.animalpeoplenews.org
Out of a total of 136 organizations listed in
the most recent edition of Animal People News December 2003 - 3, here are
a few of the more recognized groups along with some financial information.
For the full layout and explanation, please subscribe to Animal People
News or visit their website
$ EARNED IN 2003
ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE
DORIS DAY ANIMAL
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE
NORTH SHORE ANIMAL
DONATIONS FOR 2003
--> 351,598,690 Just for the 13 listed. There are over 3,000 non
profits in America dedicated to this effort!!!
$351 Million + and
we still see little in the way of resolve. And this is only about one
third of the annual dollars donated to people's favorite animal protection
Now, look how a concerted effort would make a change and
cost pennies on the dollar.
A one-time expenditure of $50 million
would bring humane education to our nations' schools
Due to the
fact that I am not only proposing a philosophical conceptual framework
regarding the effectiveness of Humane Education, but I am also a
practitioner applying my theory within practical contexts, I consider
myself an action researcher. In other words, I don’t only provide the
rationale and philosophical underpinnings of my work, I actually go out
there and apply it hands on. Furthermore, I am collaborating with
professional researchers who are capable of taking my findings (i.e. data)
and analyzing and interpreting those findings (i.e. scientifically based
Although Americans have been donating a billion dollars
annually to their favorite animal protection group (that's AFTER the
nearly one billion they also pay in taxes for local and area animal
control efforts) for over 25 years, we still see few tangible results. I
am so determined to prove that my idea is a likely solution to many if not
most of our problems, that I have outlined it to the best of my ability.
We may need to include in this budget the cost for professional research
to offer the educators, who don't care about humane education but do care
about science, math and reading test scores, that our program can improve
all of the above.
So, with $2 billion each year going mainly to
salaries, condos, jet planes, office buildings and printing costs to raise
more funds for next year, I'm asking for just $50 million on a one time
basis to start this idea rolling on a nationwide scale that will
undoubtedly prove its cause worthy. However, thus far, I've not even been
able to fill the $50 million costs.
Each State would receive money
for advertising in all newspapers that serve communities of 20,000
residents or more. These stats would be from the most recent census. The
ads would be larger than the average ad to garner attention. With this
endeavor, it is hoped that we would gain substantial media attention as
well - helping to further our cause of gaining the attention of all those
who believe in humane education and would be willing to volunteer in some
We would have several packages of information to send out. I
would also send one for the person who is organizing the program (i.e.
Program Coordinator) and another for the people who would actually go into
the schools with me. My informational packet would outline every possible
need and the steps to take. Therefore, I would be responsible for long
distance calls, printing, envelopes and postage costs. Obviously, I need
the funds to complete these tasks.
These funds could also include
supplying people with some travel expenses or a post office box rental,
etc. It would be very important to assure the continuation of the local
marketing for volunteers for up to two years after the initial local
programs begin for simple attrition. We would want them to run this as a
volunteer 'business' and to become non profit. From that point on, they
could be named anything they wanted and continue getting grants at
NOBODY anywhere is doing anything along these lines at all.
Everyone is too wrapped up in their own little efforts (noble, but highly
individualized) to really recognize the need for change or the importance
of having a human being who will actually address tomorrow's decision
makers is person with some 'live aides' to make it interesting. MOST EVERY
''humane education'' organization is still just a bunch of paper pushers.
They offer materials on their website, but that is no guarantee ANYONE is
reading it or putting it to use. Others pride themselves by sending
thousands and thousands of copies of an animal magazine to schools. Still
no real proof that they are being read by any students. All are supportive
of Humane Education and will do class presentations when asked, but don't
go looking for them and many even charge for their
We'll use 100 communities in each state for a
guideline and simplification for this time.
simple breakdown of costs is provided below:
50 states times 100
communities = 5,000 community newspapers. Each with an ad in their main
paper every Sunday for 50 weeks. That is 250,000 ads to run with each ad
running $100. That's $25 million right there.
Brochure costs: $3 each (copies of additional info included cost
would be $2 each). Envelopes would cost an additional 50 cents each and
postage would be $1, totaling $6.50
Each city would need up to 10
of the start up packages. That is $ 325,000. Each city could ask for up to
100 volunteer kits at $8 each (additional info included from start up)
I would still need to add in long distance phone charges
and other miscellaneous items. My tour will cost $175,000 including motor
home, gas, insurance, printing and food. After the tour, I can donate the
motor home or resell it to get some money back.
for ads in newspapers to cover attrition and misc expenses would be
included $12million (half of the original $25million)
Total so far
is only $42million.
Access to any and all information distributed
would be available online from my site. No charge.
I don't want to ask for
a penny that I won't need. I want to CLEARLY PROVE beyond a shadow of a
doubt that humane education has its place in a civilized society and that
it has benefits that are visible within 5 years of start up and even more
at the ten year span.
questions? See the following article really lays it all out
What IS The Humane Society of the United States?
I was rather amazed at the number
of people who wrote to me about my opinions regarding the Humane Society
of the United States (HSUS) when I did my last few articles. Then again,
maybe I shouldn't be. Before about two weeks ago, I myself was rather
ignorant as to the real goals of HSUS, and where their, (actually your)
money goes. As I always do though, I decided to edumacate myself about
I also conducted a poll of 100 average people. Just the
average Joe in the street. 94% of the people thought HSUS ran the local
shelters in their community. 4% knew about their other programs and the
remaining 2% had no idea who they were. Of the 94% all said they would
donate to HSUS based on what they knew about them. I'm betting HSUS is
banking, literally, on these types of individuals.
I also went
online and found some rather interesting, at times quite scary,
information on several web sites. I would have interviewed a HSUS
representative, but after last week's newsletter, I got an email from one
that was little more than hate mail and very offensive!
Coleman Burke, then president of the American
Bible Society, Cleveland Amory and Helen Jones, founded HSUS in 1954. As
far as I have been able to tell, Mr. Burke served as their President until
1970 when John Hoyt, a Presbyterian minister, took over as President and
CEO until 1996.
Until just a few months ago, the President and CEO
was Paul Irwin, a Methodist minister. The current CEO and President is
Wayne Pacelle who admittedly has had ties with some radical (and I mean
radical) animal rights groups in the past.
Now, is it important I
mention the religious background? Maybe and maybe not. What I noticed
though is the organization, at least to me, has an evangelical feel. Is
this a bad thing? No. I don't see why unless you are running the finances
in a manner similar to Jim and Tammie Faye Baker! That sure is the way it
looks to me.
Officers and Directors
HSUS is an
organization with their primary focus being animals. As I reviewed the
names and titles of the Board Officers and Directors, I found it curious
they had no DVM's (vets) on either. They have three MDs', three PhDs' and
six attorneys. Am I the only one that finds this odd? Plenty of lawyers,
but no vet. Hmmm… Maybe it's just a typo.
Financial Operations Report
When I conducted my interview with
Kathy Bauch a few weeks ago, she refused to answer any questions regarding
HSUS' finances for a “newsletter.” She did offer to send me their 2003
financials though. This is what they send whenever someone has questions
about their finances. As I mentioned last week, if it was similar to what
they have online, it would be vague and difficult to decipher. What I got
was much more.
What I received is their 2003 Annual Report. It is
a twenty-one page “report” that was obviously very expensive to print.
Tucked way in the back is exactly what I expected. A vague and difficult
to read one page financial report. The rest appears to me to be a very
expensive sales letter and nothing more, complete with a postage paid
envelope to send in your donation.
Now you might say, “So what?
They have to promote themselves.” I agree. However, this publication has
six pages of calendar quality photos of nothing but animals. Two and a
half pages of self-glorifying articles from HSUS staff, none of which was
necessary. How much donor money could have been saved by deleting this
junk from the thousands and thousands of these reports they printed?
According to the Comparative Financial Operations Report for 2003,
the HSUS has $116,205,882.00 in total liability and net assets. Over
$5,000,000 of that is in cash and cash equivalents, and another nearly
five and a half million in receivables. They also have nearly $93,000,000
in market value investments. Not too bad.
In 2003, in revenue,
additions and transfers, HSUS made $76,923,670. Of that amount, sheltering
programs received $10,551,527 and it was shared with animal habitat and
wildlife programs. Now, assuming it was an even split, sheltering programs
Now that's a lot of money, but not when you
consider a good sized shelter can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a
year to run, three million is really a drop in the bucket. They spent
$21,145,769.00 in fundraising and membership development. Six times what
they put into their shelter programs, which is what most people I talked
to think HSUS does with the money donated to them.
Help or Selling It
I'm not sure what they spent the money on for
their shelter programs, but I will assure you they didn't fund any
shelters. In fact, they charge shelters and Animal Control offices for
their assistance and instructional material. I have been able to find
little and or nothing HSUS doesn't charge for when it comes to helping a
shelter and their educational programs.
For instance, lets say you
or your town runs an animal shelter that is struggling for one reason or
another, which most are, HSUS is ready to come in and help. For between
$4000.00 and $20,000.00 they will send their experts to your shelter
through their Animal Services Consultation Program. The fee depends on the
size of the agency and the complexity of its programs, charged on a
sliding scale based on your agency's resources. In other words, the more
you have, the more they'll take.
lets go back to our youth. You're in middle or high school and want to
start a club to promote rescue and do things to help companion animals.
HSUS can help you with that, too. Just go to humaneteen.org. There you can
buy a package full of all kinds of propaganda and learn to be a
full-fledged animal activist. They will sell your child a club starter kit
for $22.00 and then give activity suggestions like their “Fight Fur”
Here they encourage kids to make flyers and hand them out
in front of businesses to protest against shoppers buying fur. HSUS will
also give your child cards to distribute at such events. They'll show your
child pictures of dead animals in traps and direct them to other sites
where they can see pictures of hunters beating seals over the head.
They will also promote vegen/vegetarian lifestyles to your child.
Just go to the message board for kids and you can read how many of the
kids are distressed, after reading the material HSUS SOLD them, because
their parents will not let them go vegen. You will also see posts
Now I want to be fair here. They do have some
decent material that is age appropriate and educational in nature. I think
it's overpriced; for instance, your child can rent a video to show their
class for $25.00, but some of it is good material. However, there is
little promoting appropriate training, grooming or responsible ownership
of companion animals. It seems to me the whole focus is turning our
children into activists, vegens and extremists.
Now if I want my
child to be a vegen, or an activist, I will make that decision and not
HSUS. Our kids have enough on their plate without having to be weighed
down with this information or agenda. Additionally, kids are kids and
don't always make appropriate decisions. When dealing with complex issues
like activism and protesting, it would be easy for them to get into
trouble or hurt. Doesn't PETA target children too?
Let's get back to the money:
President John Hoyt once instructed his members on becoming more humane:
“We begin, I suggest, by living more simply, more sparingly.” Let's see
how he did. He made around $200,000.00 in the late 1980's running HSUS. In
1986, HSUS bought his house in Maryland for $310,000 and allowed him and
his family to live there, free of rent, until 1992. When he retired as
CEO, HSUS gave him a $1,000,000.00 bonus.
Paul Irwin, another
former President, while making $300,000.00 from HSUS, was given an
$85,000.00 interest free loan to renovate his cabin in Maine. The cabin
was held in trust by HSUS, however his family continued to use it until he
died. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Makes me wonder.
Guilty by Association
Let's look at some of HSUS'
In April of 2000 HSUS sent J.P. Goodwin as its
emissary on an anti-fur mission to China. Goodwin is not just any animal
rights zealot, he was an avowed member of Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a
group once called one of the biggest domestic terrorist organizations by
the FBI. He had been convicted for vandalism of several fur retailers and
their property. Less than a year later, he was formerly identified as a
HSUS legislative staff member.
If you don't know about ALF you
should check them out. They truly scare the heck out of me. They are, in
my opinion, every bit as much a threat to people as Al Quiada. I cannot
believe HSUS would hire such a person. When asked questions about an arson
fire at a slaughter house in Petaluma, California, and a Utah feed co-op
that nearly killed a family, Goodwin stated, “We're ecstatic!”
Then, there is the PETA connection ...
repeatedly hired PETA employees in their organization. Their head of
investigations, several investigators, a computer programmer, just to name
a few. Sorry folks, my opinion is, once a terrorist, always a terrorist.
When HSUS hires these people, they appear to support the crimes these
individuals may have been involved in.
In 2003, HSUS VP Martin
Stephens was asked to recommend three people to serve on an EPA “pollution
prevention and toxics” panel. Two of his three choices were PETA
All Talk and No Action
While HSUS will
admit they don't run or fund any shelters, you usually find it at the
bottom of the page or tucked away somewhere near the end of a statement.
As I mentioned before, they don't put their money where their mouth is.
Get this …
In 1995, when the Washington DC animal shelter was
going to have to close due to a budget shortfall, HSUS (based in DC)
offered to build and operate a DC shelter at its own expense to serve as a
national model. There were, of course, conditions.
HSUS wanted the
city to give it 3-5 acres of land and tax exempt status for all of its
real estate holdings in the District of Columbia. (Remember, they buy some
executives homes to live in among other property holdings.)
government offered a long-term lease but HSUS refused to proceed unless it
would “own absolutely” the land. The district declined, and the only HSUS
funded animal shelter never materialized.
HSUS, who makes and has
enough money to fund a shelter in every state, as well as subsidize
spay/neuter programs, declined to help the dogs in its own back yard. Why?
Money is all I can think of. Perhaps they were afraid they would soil
their Armani suits by actually working with a dog.
The New CEO
Rather than go on a tirade about the new President and CEO of
HSUS, I have put some quotes from him below. Read them, and you decide.
"I think they wanted the aggressive approach," he says. "They
wanted someone who was going to think things up. And they got him." June
2004, Washington Post when asked about his selection as CEO.
have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are
creations of human selective breeding." Quoted in Animal People, May, 1993
I could go on for days about HSUS, but I will
stop here. In my opinion, they are little more than an organization whose
main agenda is filling the coffers and pushing an extremist agenda through
misinformation and exploitation. Again, my opinion, they have done nothing
but profit from the contributions of people who don't know any better. I
have tried to see it otherwise, I simply can't.
I highly recommend
you go to activistcash.com and see what they have there about HSUS and
their connection with PETA. There are several other sites I found
interesting, as well as many stories about HSUS in the archive of the
Would I give anything to the Humane Society of
the United States? Yes I would. A pooper-scooper, they can use to go clean
my yard. At least then we would know they actually have done something for
a dog this year.
This article may be republished using the
following attribution box:
Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
Development System (IDS) for Puppies
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