Monday, November 16, 2009

ASPCA Euthanizes "Oreo"

Some of you may have been following the story of "Oreo", a Pitbull mix in NY who survived terrible cruelty thanks to the care of the ASPCA. On Friday, the ASPCA euthanized her due to aggression:
Because adoption was not an option, the ASPCA looked at placing Oreo in a long-term resident facility. However, because of the aggressive behavior displayed, it is almost certain that Oreo would have lived out her entire life in seclusion from other dogs and people. Her contact with the outside world would have been minimal at best. Her quality of life would have been reduced to virtually nothing. Thus, we arrived at the painful yet clear decision to humanely euthanize Oreo.

I don't know that I disagree with euthanizing a dog with extreme aggression, especially when extensive rehab efforts have been made as in Oreo's case. But it is hard to support the decision to euthanize when a reasonable alternative exists. Pets Alive, a no kill shelter in NY with a proven track record regarding difficult dogs, had offered to take Oreo:
We offered to take Oreo to our facility and work with her. If she was adoptable we would adopt her out. If not she would live at the sanctuary for the rest of her life. That’s our standard offer.
As an outsider, it seems to me the ASPCA should have at least considered the offer and taken a tour of the facility where Oreo would live. This would give them a concrete idea of her potential quality of life, rather than the assumption they were basing their decision on. By refusing to consider the offer, the ASPCA comes off as irresponsible to my mind. The ASPCA must be held to a very high standard due to their size and influence and they must set an example for preventing cruelty to animals, like the name says. I can't see how they've met this burden or fulfilled their obligation to Oreo by refusing to consider a reasonable alternative to her death.

14 comments:

EmilyS said...

well, almost half (160 so far of 400 ) of the dogs "rescued" in the big multistate dogfight bust have been killed, for reasons totally undisclosed. At least one of those dogs had a potential rescuer, with experience

I'm not hearing any outrage from Pets Alive or the Oreo crowd about that.

Do you know if "pets alive" is actually a legitimate, experienced rescue organization and what are the conditions in its "sanctuary"?

YesBiscuit! said...

The only "first hand" info I have about Pets Alive is someone I know (online) who used to volunteer there and says they are A-OK w/aggressive dogs and as a sanctuary.
To me, the main thing is the ASPCA refusing to even consider the offer. For the sake of argument, let's say the offer came from "Joe's Rescue" in NY and the ASPCA had no clue who they were. I'd still say the same thing - they have an obligation to check the place out and see if it's a reasonable option.

jan said...

If I remember there was even one of the Vick dogs that "they" decided was beyond rehabilitation.

In spite of all the publicity Oreo received, I think some dogs may have been made too psychotic to save, as hard as it is think about.

EmilyS said...

There WAS a Vick dog that was beyond rehabilitation for temperament reasons. I've never read anyone disagreeing with that assessment. Of course a different case; the first big dogfighting bust where all the victims were truly given a chance (and Vick's money helped). In the more recent multistate. case, IMO, there were so many dogs and such few resources, that they probably made lethal decisions about dogs that might have been salvageable.

Anonymous said...

PA is also open to the public; go see for yourself! 30 years old, adopts those that it can, lifetime sanctuary if necessary in a caring environment where they will get human contact and affection if that's appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Odd that she didn't show any aggression when the ASPCA was parading her in front of the press...

Rinalia said...

EmilyS - Pets Alive is the same sanctuary that was "taken over" by Best Friends a couple years ago after the owner let it get REAL bad (she was dying from cancer): http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&mode=entry&entry=C2B72EEC-BDB9-396E-944C35C638EB90F5

The conditions are obviously better now. I don't have any first hand experience with them, btw.

EmilyS said...

http://badrap-blog.blogspot.com/2009/09/celebrating-life-ritualizing-death.html

that dog had another place to go.. but must about everyone celebrated the "sensitivity" and "honesty" of this blogpost.

What's the difference between Oreo's fate and this other one's?

Paula G from Indiana said...

How much in donations did the ASPCA make off Oreo's publicity?

Anonymous said...

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Ang said...

I think what makes this case disturbing to people is that Oreo had somewhere else to go and the ASPCA seemingly didn't even consider that option. Based on the photos and research I did on Pets Alive, it didn't seem like she would have a bad quality of life there even if she couldn't be rehabilitated, and poor quality of life is the reason she was killed. What also makes this case unnerving is that all the photos in the media of Oero, she looks beautiful and friendly.

I don't really understand why the ASPCA would take all the time and money nursing her back to health from her physical wounds and not try to also heal her emotional wounds, so I can only assume that they did... but I still can't understand why they wouldn't at least give Pets Alive a chance to give Oreo a second chance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Emily,

Perhaps you should volunteer at Pets Alive and see for yourself.

EmilyS said...

hey, anon... why don't YOU?

Anonymous said...

Hey Emily...I RUN THE PLACE.