Friday, April 10, 2009

New HSUS Policy: Getting to Know You

My initial impression of the new HSUS policy on bust dogs is positive BUT (everyone I know has a big BUT), it's in my nature to ask questions. Lots of questions.

1. If this is in fact the new HSUS policy, why is Best Friends announcing it? Why does the HSUS website still say, for example:
Dogs used for fighting have been bred for many generations to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals. The presence of these dogs in a community increases the risk of attacks not only on other animals but also on people. Children are especially at risk, because their small size may cause a fighting dog to perceive a child as another animal.

For me to believe that HSUS has done a 180 on their attitude toward bust dogs, I need to hear it from them in clear, unequivocal terms. That's for starters.

2. I'm a detail person. I appreciate the summary provided but it lacks specifics. Maybe those specifics haven't been developed yet, I don't know. But I'd like to know all the details before making a judgment. I'd like to see the final draft, signed by the HSUS. I'm such a pain, I know.

3. I can guess with a certain amount of confidence that not everyone at HSUS believes in the new policy of evaluating bust dogs and adopting the approved ones out. Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler, who just testified to a judge in the Wilkes Co case that all bust dogs must die, clearly wouldn't believe in the new policy. John Goodwin has an extensive record on advocating for death with regard to seized fight dogs. Obviously as the HSUS "Dogfighting Czar", he would have to be 100% behind the new HSUS bust dog policy, right? Can the HSUS effectively implement the new policy with people like these working with law enforcement and testifying in court? It seems unlikely to me.

4. How soon can dogs start being saved? Is right now too soon or do we need to kill some more bust dogs while we update websites and circulate paperwork in triplicate? How about these 7 Pitbulls seized in a Hampton, VA dogfighting case? Or the 9 Pitbulls seized in Washington, GA? Then there are the 22 dogs seized in Blue Ridge, GA in connection with a recent conviction obtained after an investigation arose via the HSUS dogfighting tipline. And there are other seized dogs sitting in animal control facilities right now, waiting for help. Can we help them? Can we reach out to law enforcement and animal control involved with these cases and educate them on the value of individual evaluations and adoptions for suitable dogs? Is the HSUS prepared to walk the walk?

This is my speed dating version of being introduced to the new policy. No doubt I will have further (annoying) questions and thoughts over time. Similarly, time will tell us if this policy is for reals or just something to do in a Vegas hotel to justify a tax write-off.

***

UPDATE: BAD RAP posts their statement from the Vegas meeting.

Bringing up from the comments (thanks EmilyS) - Winograd updates his posts

13 comments:

Stephanie E. said...

I don't know about the HSUS Web site in general, but Pacelle did just announce the agreement on his blog at least.

YesBiscuit! said...

Stephanie - Thanks. Pacelle sounds a bit dodgy to me on the whole "commitment" issue. From his blogpost:
"In the past, animals seized from these operations have been routinely euthanized. This may still be the outcome for the animal victims of dogfighters, but we agreed as a number of groups that all of us should do our best to evaluate dogs seized from these operations and adopt those dogs who can be saved."

Anonymous said...

http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2009/04/meeting_of_the_minds.html

I guess the best we can hope for is that they "disappear" their own history of calling pit bulls "natural born killers" and demanding the death of puppies

Stephanie E. said...

I hear ya'. I noticed that particular line in the post too and referred to it in my own write-up at Change.org. I didn't seize upon it too much because I want to wait and see what happens and what more we learn, but it did give me pause.

Samantha Laine said...

Statement re new policy is posted on HSUS site as well as blog. Link in blog to same.
http://www.hsus.org/acf/news/best_friends_hsus_pit_bull_summit_041009.html

YesBiscuit! said...

Just to clarify, I did check the HSUS website at the time I was writing my post and saw no statement there. I'm not a complete knucklehead. At least that's what I say in the mirror 10 times every morning. ; ) Thanks all for pointing out there is a statement now. I'm glad.

Michael said...

Who gives a damn? They aren't going to change see, JP Goodwin and the rest of the ass clowns at the HSUS are on their witch hunt and they are loving it. They get their jollies off of killing APBTs.... I believe they've proven that time and time and time and time again...... how many 100s.... no 1000s of dogs is he single-handedly responsible for murdering? Well maybe not him personally... I doubt he has the intestinal fortitude to actually put down a dog himself... he'd rather hire a hit man to do it for him.

The Wilkes County judge was correct in labeling them the INhumane society.... they are a cancer on dog owners everywhere.

sfox said...

Feet to the fire time for HSUS. I know that you're more than willing to hold the torch ;-)

YesBiscuit! said...

Michael I think we shall know very soon if the HSUS has ACTIONS to match their WORDS. As I said in the post, there are bust dogs ready, willing and able to be saved *right now*. tick-tock, tick-tock

audrey said...

I wish you wouldn't be self-deprecating with all the asides about your questions somehow being "annoying" -your are putting to paper what others out there are thinking.. own it!

EmilyS said...

naughty Nathan!
He removed his earlier blogposts blasting HSUS based on the second hand report of someone listening to Godwin .
or maybe, "good" Nathan!

lol

YesBiscuit! said...

Oh Audrey, nobody ever gets my sense of humor. Which is utterly tragic because I am fall down funny. I swear!

EmilyS said...

Wingrad explains and elaborates today:

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?page_id=166