Monday, February 23, 2009

Recognition in Wilkes Co Case

In recognition of some who were involved in the Wilkes Co case...


From the Winston-Salem Journal:

John Goodwin, the manager of animal-fighting issues for The Humane Society of the United States, said yesterday that a judge will decide the fate of the dogs later. The Humane Society worked for three years on the investigation, in cooperation with Wilkes County Animal Control and the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office.


Goodwin said that the dogs have been bred for fighting and it would very difficult and expensive to re-train the dogs, even the puppies, so that they could be adopted.

You can learn more about Goodwin at Blue Dog State but he is not one of the HSUS peeps who testified at the hearing to decide the Wilkes Co dogs' fate. He did respond to inquiries from folks who were upset at the killings.

Winston-Salem Journal:

Wilson ordered the dogs destroyed yesterday after hearing from a prosecutor, the attorney for Wilkes County government, Wilkes County's animal-control director and two representatives from The Humane Society of the U.S., who all called for the dogs be euthanized.

Amanda Arrington, N.C. director for The Humane Society of the U.S., and Chris Schindler, the agency's deputy manager of animal-fighting law enforcement, both told the judge that these particular dogs have been bred for aggression. [emphasis added]

I wanted to check out the expertise these folks had on evaluating seized Pitbulls. I picked up a few bits of info from the HSUS, first on background:

Amanda Arrington is the North Carolina state director of The Humane Society United States. Prior to joining The HSUS in May 2008 she was an office manager.

Then a quote from Amanda Arrington:

"I am committed to making a difference for the animals."
So in summary, in case you blinked, the first HSUS "expert" to explain to the judge why 146 dogs, including pups still nursing from their dams, needed to die joined the HSUS 10 months ago after leaving her office manager job. Congratulations, you have made "a difference for the animals".

The HSUS on Chris Schindler:

Besides arresting illegal animal fighters and rescuing animals from cruel deaths in the fighting ring, Chris gained valuable insight into the motivations and mentality of dogfighters.

Apparently the phrase "rescuing animals from cruel deaths" means something different to HSUS than it does to me. Because killing unevaluated dogs, including puppies still nursing from their dams, which is what Schindler recommended to the judge, doesn't seem like "rescuing" to me. Further, the HSUS contends that Schindler has insight into dogfighters - I'll take them at their word on that one. But what about the dogs? Any valuable insight on the dogs about which he was providing the recommendation in court? Does kill-them-all fall under the "valuable insight" category?

Schindler teaches a course for law enforcement, animal control, etc on cruelty investigations. For a $50 - $75 fee, attendees can learn, among other things, about dogfighting cases and the "disposition of seized animals". I assume that chapter is pretty short: K-I-L-L.


Sheila Carlisle of Morganton said she has been helping to care for the grown pit bulls and many puppies, and that the dogs are adorable.

"I've fallen in love with them," she said. "I don't want to cause anybody any problems with the court system, but I want these dogs saved."

I have no idea if this person is a shelter volunteer or what - all I know is, I'm thankful these dogs had her to care for them in their final days in this world. Thank you.

And thank you to the rescue groups who tried to intervene on behalf of the dogs, including Best Friends.

And last but absolutely not least, thank you to all my fellow pajama bloggers who continue to shine a light on this dark secret of the "Humane" Society of the U.S. It's because of you folks that I do believe we are a humane society and we can affect change for the better.


Anonymous said...

Hold on, so Amanda Arrington started the Coalition to Unchain dogs where she claims that with proper care (ie: bring them in the house) all dogs can be great pets, yet testified against these dogs? And how, is a little girl who builds fences, all of a sudden an expert witness on dogfighting rehabilitation? What qaulifications does she have in this area?

Caveat said...

Pajamas? I don't need no stinkin' pajamas.

Besides, I can't afford them since I joined this battle to save the dogs from the evil ones.

Anonymous said...

hey, it's all good now!
HSUS has called for a meeting.
I'm so relieved (snark)

YesBiscuit! said...

Anonymous - I am wondering these same things.

Selma - Admit it, you are in your pajamas right now.

EmilyS - I think if it was a case of the HSUS "adjusting" their views on bust dogs, I might have more hope but a complete 180 shift would be needed to get from the present "all must die without question" to the hoped for "all must be evaluated as individuals and placed accordingly". A leopard doesn't change its spots in my experience.

Anonymous said...

YB, I agree with you 100%.

Susan Fox posted over at PetConnection her experience with HSUS IRT feral cat policy; where they DID change. The cynics (realists) of course believe its only about the money. I'd bet that a number of their big donors called Wayne and asked him WTF????

YesBiscuit! said...

As I often say in these situations, I would be happy to be proven wrong. But Goodwin has got to go. I don't see any way forward for the HSUS regarding their policy on bust dogs with Goodwin at the helm. And while I'm pink-slipping here, Schindler is out too. Both of them have way too much on the record about how bust dogs - and in the Wilkes Co case, puppies born to bust dogs after the dams were seized - must die.

Anonymous said...

here's a nice feature on Sheila and the effort to help the poor victims:

sfox said...

EmilyS, that wasn't me posting about the feral cats. There's another Susan who comments on Pet Connection. Maybe it was her.

What I did post about the HSUS in the past was that on their homepage I clicked on the "donate to help shelter the Vick dogs" on the assumption that I was giving money for that, and then found that I had become a "member". Which really pissed me off. A classic bait and switch.

I think that Gina is right and that they can change, mainly because their operating principle seems to be to follow the money. However, Goodwin needs to go back to PETA, or whatever rock he crawled out from under.