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January 15, 2010

Talk Back: Obstacles to Animal Protection

You know I hit a wide range of topics on the blog, previewing upcoming fights, analyzing the battles we are in, interpreting the issues of the day, framing the debate in society about animal issues, or calling out animal abusers who throw barbs at The HSUS. I always welcome your comments, and today I post some of your thoughts on a few subjects.

About the Missouri ballot initiative I introduced you to on Tuesday, aimed at cracking down on the state's puppy mill problem:

Kudos to you and the HSUS team on tackling the puppy mills in Missouri. We need you in Minnesota. —Jonathan Gilbert
I applaud the work of the HSUS... I support all your efforts and would like to also see a stop to the abuse of puppy mills in the U.S. and throughout the world. As a dog lover and owner I know that they are sensitive and loving creatures and they deserve our protection and caring. HSUS rocks! —Rich Bouchard
Thank you, Mr. Pacelle, for writing about this in your most recent blog. I read your blog and then read the hyperlinked Missourian article—the article itself was well written and said the facts of what needed to be done to stop puppy mills. I was thoroughly disgusted by the comments the people left, who live in that area, calling the HSUS, in simplest words, a sham, and one person even said that the HSUS will cause food prices to skyrocket. What nonsense! I am sickened and outraged by reading such ridiculousness and I wanted to say thank you, for all that you and your team do to help animals. I hope with all my heart that these new laws in Missouri are passed and I think with that should come education for the sickened individuals who believe puppy mills (and any other sorts of animal cruelty, for that matter) is a way of life. Thank you for all the work you and your team do to end animal cruelty. —Karen
I am disturbed that the AKC would work to oppose such legislation, which would impart nothing more than minimal and ordinary common sense standards to the dog breeding industry. It shows how little I and, I am certain, many others, really know about many of the large, "traditional" organized dog clubs. —Peter Hood
It is incredible to me that the AKC is opposed to the reforms. I had to re-read that to make sure that is what it said. This is from the AKC Mission Statement: "Founded in 1884, the AKC® and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership." "Health and well-being" is clearly stated. I was amazed that they would oppose giving (at the very least) humane treatment to those poor dogs. Unbelievable. —Patricia Feurer

In response to my essay I posted Wednesday from our All Animals member magazine, outlining our strategy at The HSUS:

Thank you for mentioning all that the HSUS does with regard to factory farming, in terms of raising awareness of the horrible and inhumane treatment of animals, and lobbying Congress for changes to this deeply entrenched system. I also love, love, love how you are not afraid to take on the massive corporations that run factory farming in the U.S. It's really a David and Goliath story, as those corporations not only have billions of dollars, but close and dirty ties with many politicians. But speaking of David and Goliath, we know how that story turned out in the end, don't we! Keep up the great work. You are truly a change maker in our society. —Bonnie Shulman, Toronto, Canada
I like the way you don't mince words. Please let us know more about the groups that oppose HSUS's work. I want to carry the word to those who submit to anti-HSUS nonsense and I'd be more effective knowing who and what those group's causes are in particular. Thanks for leading the fight to make this a more humane world for our animal cousins. —Arden Allen

And about the Center for Consumer Freedom, a corporate front group and enemy of animal protection that tries to distort The HSUS's direct care activities (which I recently inventoried on the blog):

I first became acquainted with the activities of the Center for Consumer Freedom lobbying group in my profession as an M.D. CCF has also lobbied for the tobacco industries, and has smeared and vilified public health professionals and groups in the same ways they try to smear HSUS. —Rena
It's a shame the HSUS has to spend any time at all defending itself against attacks by industry front groups and other anti-animal organizations. But since perception is reality, that's unfortunately a legitimate part of your agenda. Says a lot about our uneducated world though that people buy into those groups' rhetoric. Wish more people had critical thinking skills and could connect the dots on their own. —Michelle Ognjanovic
One look at CCF reveals it to be conservative astroturf with no true popular support. The HSUS is a model organization in so many ways; not just because of the exemplary and courageous way you carry out your mission, but because of the way you communicate with your many supporters, who are so proud to be a small part of this crucial work. We will never give up trying to make the world a better, safer place for animals. Thank you, Wayne. —Tai

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