Aug 13 2012

Why are you here?

Valerie Hayes
One of the kittens from that first foster litter.

One of the kittens from that first foster litter.

In the (very few) quiet moments I’ve had since arriving in DC for No Kill Conference 2012, I’ve been thinking about why I’m here.

When I was eight years old and I found out that homeless animals were killed at the pound simply for being homeless, that knowledge preyed on my mind until, finally, one night I just broke down crying and couldn’t stop until my parents agreed to take me to the pound to adopt a dog.  Saving one dog brought   some relief, and I would be a completely different person had I not grown up with Muffin at my side.

But, basically, I’m here because I was there, because the shelter I volunteered at killed two of my foster kittens, and with them the illusion that I had that nobody would kill healthy, adorable kittens that had a place to go.

No way to un-ring that bell.

Painful and glorious, that experience was two object lessons.  Physics tells us that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  Two lessons so diametrically opposed cannot either, but they came rapid-fire, so very close together, that they were almost simultaneous.  The ugliest and best of humanity can  exist side-by-side, at least for a time.

Lesson 1:   “Nobody wants to kill” is the biggest damn lie in animal welfare.   The current sheltering system is so mired in gratuitous killing and abuse that only a complete fool could possibly argue that it could fix itself, even if it wanted to, which, in general, it does not.  Why would someone kill two healthy, adorable kittens who were wanted by someone who they knew personally and saw every week?  How could she?  How dead does your soul  have to be to choose the needle over the telephone?   I have had twelve years to ponder this.  Those kittens lived with me for a month and I will remember them forever.  Of the millions of animals killed in shelters in 2000, or before or since,  none were any less worthy of life than my kittens.   The current “sheltering” model is abusive and degrading to all involved, to all humans and animals that come into contact with it.

Lesson 2:  Normal people do not tolerate this crap.  We are human beings, not doormats.  We unapologetically demand to be treated like human beings.  When people reject this affront to their humanity, they can make some pretty amazing things happen.  Thousands of animals are alive and Tompkins County is a much better place for people and animals because a couple dozen ordinary people rejected the lies and the abuse.  The sea change of 2001 was more and faster than anyone dared hope.

A new documentary on the No Kill movement will be  released this fall, and Nathan Winograd showed a trailer of it as part of his closing remarks at the conference.  Of course, it includes the story of Tompkins County.

When asked what it was like when the killing stopped, Bob Wise (whose stalwart advocacy was a crucial factor in making the transition happen) said that it was like we’d been living in darkness and “the sun came up.”

What made you a No Kill advocate?


No Kill Conference 2012 logo

The theme of No Kill Conference 2012 is ‘Reaching Higher’. Lifesaving success offers a new vantage point from which to see ways to expand the safety net for shelter pets–the ‘expanded possible’.


Feb 27 2012

Protected: The real PETA letter

Valerie Hayes

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Feb 24 2012

PETA went down to Georgia

Valerie Hayes

Think PETA cares about homeless pets?

Think again.

Let me get my violin.

PETA went down to Georgia, they were looking for some souls to steal.
Ingrid’s in a bind ‘cos she’s way behind and she’s willin’ to make a deal.
When she came across some people savin’ animals and bloggin’ on the ‘net.
So she jumped up on a Piggly Wiggly dumpster and said: “Mayor, let me tell you what:
“I guess you didn’t know it, but I’m an animal killer too.
“And if you’d care to take a dare, I’ll make a bet with you.
“Now you tell some a pretty good lies, Mayor, but give Old Ingrid her due:
“I bet a needle of gold against your soul, ‘cos I think I’m better than you.”
The people said: “We’re just regular folks, and it might be a sin,
“But if she takes your bet, she’s gonna regret, ‘cos we’re the best that’s ever been.”

Mayor, you do your “research” and fight those advocates hard.
‘Cos hell’s broke loose in Georgia and the PETA don’t deal the cards.
And if you win you get this shiny needle made of gold.
But if you lose, well, either way, the Butcher of Norfolk gets your soul.

Old Ingrid opened up her case and she said: “I’ll start this show.”
And fire flew from her fingertips as she pulled up the blue juice, you know.
Then she pushed the plunger down and it made an evil hiss.
And a band of morons joined in and it sounded something like this:

[Hoarders! Dogfighters! Irresponsible public! Pit bulls! Feral cats! Pet overpopulation! We have to kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! KILL!!!]

When she’d finished, the people said: “Well, if it was about money, you’dve won.
“But sit down in that chair, right there, and let us show you how it’s done.”

Feral cats in the community?  T-N-R
Puppies in homes gettin’ foster care.
Volunteers at an offsite, adoptin’ out pets.
“Boss, are we done now?”
“No, not, yet.”

Old Ingrid wouldn’t bow her head, couldn’t admit that she’d been beat.
She snatched that golden needle from the ground at the Mayor’s feet.
The people said: “PETA, just come on back if you ever want to try again.
‘cause we done told you once, you son of a bitch (no offense to female dogs), we’re the best that’s ever been.”

And they went: Feral cats in the community? T-N-R
Puppies in homes gettin’ foster care.
Volunteers at an offsite, adoptin’ out pets.
“Boss, are we done now?”
“No, not, yet.”

"I bet a needle of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."

"I bet a needle of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."

With apologies to the great Charlie Daniels.

Feb 24 2012

Truth is stranger than fiction, or: When a Georgia politician cites PETA as a reason to kill shelter pets

Valerie Hayes

“The most potent and cost-effective outreach vehicle is the development of a creative volunteer program. Were shelters to place a high priority on this area through attracting, training, and skillfully utilizing a volunteer outreach corps, they could begin the transition from killing site to a community resource center. A true shelter should be a place where life is affirmed, both in teaching and practice, not a building permeated with the odor of death”  ~Ed Duvin, “In the name of mercy,” 1989


Lexie was killed in Columbus, GA this week despite being friendly and having an adoption committment.

PETA has some advice for communities looking to end the population-control killing of homeless pets:  keep right on killing.

My head hurts.  My heart hurts.  I am not surprised.

Some weeks have a theme.  This week’s theme has been cognitive dissonance, that feeling you get when presented with inconceivably mind-bending scenarios. It can lead to a search for answers, a further exploration and questioning of oneself and the world, to a desire to reshape the world and oneself, or it can lead to a distortion of thought, forcing it to fit where it does not.  What you choose to do with it makes all the difference in the world.

To become a No Kill advocate is to step through the looking glass of animal welfare, into a world where what is is so often the opposite of what is logical, just, and common sense.  Every day is filled with cognitive dissonance.  Killing is kindness.  Nobody wants to kill, yet shelters kill 3-4 million pets every year—half of all they take in.  Shelters kill animals with rescue on the way.  People calling themselves animal lovers make excuses for these things.  Killing healthy and treatable and friendly pets is “euthanasia.”  We call the places that do the killing “shelters.”  Pets are labeled “unwanted,” blaming them for their own killing.  And so on, and so on.

And the organization billing itself as the “largest animal rights organization in the world,” the one known for extremism in advocating against the wearing of fur, the eating of meat, and the testing of cosmetics on animals, the one known for its founder’s statement that “animals are not ours to eat, wear or experiment on,” the one for which no ad campaign in the name of veganism is too tasteless, makes excuses for the killing of homeless pets, advocates the killing of homeless pets, and kills thousands of homeless pets every year.

How do “animal rights” and “needless killing” manage to peacefully coexist within the same organization and within the individuals that comprise it?  The right to live is fundamental to all others.  Without that, there are no other rights.  How are they unable to see the hypocrisy of this, even when it is pointed out to them repeatedly, even when the evidence piles as high as the stack of dead bodies in that infamous walk-in freezer?  How do they recognize the role cognitive dissonance plays in how other people justify what they do to animals, choosing to keep the same old beliefs when confronted with conflicting information, yet can’t see it in themselves?

Up is down and black is white.

The excuses are a slow-moving target, but a moving target nonetheless.  There’s the irresponsible public, which has enjoyed perhaps the longest popularity–over 35 years; pet overpopulation, another classic; and, more recently the notion that animal rescue is often a front for hoarding and dog fighting has been on the ascent, perhaps as the previous two are losing some of their old appeal.  These excuses all have a few things in common—they are false—myths created from gross exaggerations and deliberate misrepresentations, but with small grains of truth that have given them traction.  A minority of pet owners are irresponsible, that is true, and those who work in shelters or rescue will see a disproportionate number of this minority, but that is not why shelters kill.  There are a lot of homeless animals, but that is not the same thing as ‘overpopulation.’  Hoarding and dog fighting exist, but to say that they are epidemic in animal rescue is nothing but a lie concocted to serve a nefarious purpose.

Hoarding is a mental illness, and hoarding of animals is a relatively rare mental illness.  Mental health experts have yet to reach a consensus as to its underlying cause.  Animal hoarding cases receive an increasing amount of media attention because they are so freakish and unusual.  A search of the Pet-Abuse website, a site that tracks all manner of cases of pet abuse, for hoarding cases* with the keyword ‘Georgia’ yielded 12 cases in the entire state in over 10 years.  Of those, two involved rescue—one was a volunteer (but not a foster care volunteer) at a rescue, the other, was the Loonie Farms case.

The state of Georgia, unlike many, requires that animal shelters and rescues be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture.  There are currently over 400 nonprofit rescue groups licensed in Georgia.  Suffice to say, that rescue hoarding is very, very rare.

Shelter killing is commonplace.  A report prepared by the Georgia Voters for Animal Welfare estimates that Georgia’s taxpayer-funded animal control shelters kill 62% of the animals they take in–260,000 dogs and cats every year, so in the past 10 years, Georgia shelters killed upwards of 2.6 million animals. (The overall trend nationwide is that killing is declining, so would likely have been even higher in the years prior to the GVAW report.)  Many thousands of animals die in Georgia shelters for every one that may end up in these bad rescue situations.

And how many dogfighters would want to get a rescue license from the Department of Agriculture and deal with paperwork and inspections so that they could pull animals from shelters when they could steal them or get them from ‘free-to-good homes’ ads?  Clearly these risks are grossly overstated.

Which brings me to a letter sent from PETA to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson of Columbus, GA.  You can read it by clicking here.  Apparently the No kill advocacy going on in Columbus caught PETA’s attention and they wanted to offer the beleaguered mayor some advice that only an organization that kills nearly every animal they get their hands on can.  They hope their letter finds her well.  They always hope their letters find the recipient well.  It’s like they don’t have the social skills or brainpower to come up with a different opening line.

Things have been heating up in Columbus in recent months as a growing number of its citizens become aware of the mismanagement and rampant killing there, and of the fact that there is a better way.  This past week a dog named Lexie was killed despite having an adoption commitment.  Further background on the Columbus situation is available here, here, and here.  The local TV station aired this piece recently, and the public response to it led to another one airing February 22 in which the Mayor cited this letter from PETA as support for her claim that not killing would be harmful to animals.

And this during not just any week, but the very week that PETA’s own kill stats for 2011 were released.  PETA kills the animals it seeks out and takes in to its Bates Motel for pets so-called shelter (they alternately refer to it as a ‘shelter’ or an ‘office building,’ depending on the situation) at a rate of 97%–far worse than all but a handful of Georgia animal controls.  This is despite, or perhaps because of its budget of over $30 million.  Bill yourself as a champion of rights, build a relentless publicity machine, and you too can get away with murder.

In 2011, PETA took in 2029 animals (mostly dogs and cats, and some “other” animals such as rabbits) “for purpose of adoption.”  They killed 1965 of them.  Only 28 were adopted and 11 reclaimed. PETA transferred 34 to kill shelters, where they may or may not have been adopted and other animals may or may not have been killed to make room for them.  PETA’s adoption rate in 2011 was 1.4%.  One-point-four percent. 97% went on to occupy the walk-in freezer in PETA’s headquarters.  Keep in mind that over 90% of pets entering shelters are healthy or treatable, and there is no evidence that the pets taken in and killed by PETA are any different.  PETA has been consistently unable to produce evidence otherwise, even when pointedly asked.

PETA would prefer that the status quo continue.  Though they apparently aren’t aware that rescues are licensed and inspected in GA, they disparage concerned citizens, animal rescuers and  No Kill advocates (some of whom are or have been shelter directors themselves) as “individuals and groups unfamiliar with the inner workings of animal care and control facilities (or the daily challenges and heartbreaks that shelter workers face).”  Really?  What is it about these “inner workings” that cannot be understood by ordinary people not inducted into the mysteries?  They don’t explain that but present a collection of straw men, falsehoods and a couple of articles, one of them poorly written fear mongering about hoarding, the other one they apparently didn’t read very carefully.  It concludes with the story of how Best Friends, perhaps the best-known no-kill animal sanctuary in the country, and host of the annual No More Homeless Pets Conference, orchestrated rescue and adoption for the hundreds of feline victims of the FLOCK hoarding case in Pahrump, NV.

They cite cases where No Kill has not succeeded, but fail to mention that none of those were following the No Kill Equation, the only proven method for ending population control killing in open-admission shelters.  They ignore the growing list of communities where No Kill is succeeding—28 as of this writing.  They ignore that we have known that it can be done for almost 11 years.

The letter is signed by Jennifer Brown, who notes that she can be reached at (630)966-8895 or

On one side we have the product of the nation’s oldest animal welfare organization, the ASPCA’s Tactics of the Extremist Agenda, and on the other the product of an organization over 100 years younger, one that prides itself on being seen as extremist in the name of animal rights, yet which kills and rehashes excuses for killing that mostly date from before it was founded.  PETA has nothing of substance to offer.  It is weak, derivative and backward, trading off the false image it has crafted.

Why would anyone want to take advice (and say so on TV!) on animal sheltering from an organization, which, despite a budget of over $30 million, has an even worse kill rate than all but a very few in Georgia?  Why align oneself with an organization that is unpopular with those who don’t care about animals and is doubly so with informed people who care about homeless pets?  Why do so while claiming to be “the most progressive”?  That is not a winning situation no matter how you look at it.

PETA anti-TNR ad

PETA uses lies to try to prevent a bill that would clarify that TNR, the most humane and effective way of managing feral cat populations, is not prohibited in Virginia.

Ed Duvin, who sparked the No Kill movement with his 1989 essay “In the Name of Mercy,” could have been rebutting PETA’s campaign against the No Kill movement in general, and against Virginia’s S.B 359 in particular when he wrote “Speciesism:  Alive and Well”.  Heck, I hope this finds them well:

“Instead of recognizing our movement’s historical and contemporary role in this holocaust, many leaders continue to rationalize it on the basis of a “humane” death being preferable to a “miserable” life – further arguing that we are best able to provide this “merciful” end. Desperate humans are grievously suffering by the tens of millions all over the world, but who can imagine relief agencies endorsing systematic euthanasia as an acceptable policy. A vastly different ethic applies for companion animals, however, and most of our movement remains silent.”


“Deciding that death for other beings is preferable to a risk-filled life is not euthanasia in its traditional form, but rather a lethal manifestation of speciesism that projects our own fears and values onto another species, and then proclaims – as though we were omniscient gods – that death is our loving “gift” to them.”


“A recent issue of the leading shelter publication spared no effort in denigrating progressive programs to support feral cats. The thrust of this dogmatic criticism was that euthanasia is preferable to neuter-and release programs, claiming such programs expose ferals to the risk of “terrifying lives and tragic deaths.” Here again, we see the “kill, kill, kill” mentality – arrogantly presuming that certain death is a kinder fate for ferals than uncertain life. How ironic, as Thoreau pointed out, that the most desperate lives are lived quietly by humans, and yet no one is euthanizing us for our own protection!”


“During the past few years, I have witnessed more anger from the Shelter Establishment directed at critics than the grotesque slaughter, and this sorrowful lack of priority and proportion is indicative of a malignancy in the soul of our movement.”

The thing is, he wrote that back in 1990.  It’s 2012 and they still don’t get it.

If you are from Virginia, please join Alley Cat Allies, No Kill advocates, and some of the best-performing shelters in the country in voicing your support for S.B. 359, which clarifies that TNR is not prohibited in Virginia by clicking here.

Feb 21 2012

A reply to my open letter to Mary Jo White, Chair of the ASPCA Board of Directors

Valerie Hayes
Ernest--That Face

Ernest says, "If the ASPCA wants to be my voice, they're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than this."

Early last Thursday morning, I published  an open letter to Mary Jo White, Chair of the ASPCA Board of Directors, and emailed a copy to her at her law office.  Earlier this afternoon (its Tuesday), I received a reply, not from her, but from the ASPCA Public Information Office.

A form letter.  How rude.  How disappointing.  How unsurprising.  How typical.

I would like to note that although in my original letter, I had specifically requested that my intelligence not be insulted, they went ahead and did it anyway.  Notably absent from this form letter are any links to the full text of the Amy Paulin/ASPCA Quick Kill Bill (the A5449 that the ASPCA is touting below) or to the Kellner CAARA Bill.  That is because anyone of normal intelligence would be able to see that the ASPCA’s bill is comprised of nothing but loopholes allowing the continuation of the status quo, while the Kellner bill would result in genuine reform.

The letter appears to assume that the recipient is some sort of  babe in the woods–utterly uninformed and lacking in even the most basic critical thinking skills.  Perhaps this is who the ASPCA’s Public Information Office is accustomed to writing for–the superficial check-writer who will believe anything she is told as long as it contributes to her desired self-image as an animal-lover.  That ain’t me, as I explained pretty clearly in the letter that got this rot for a reply:


Dear Friend of Animals:

Thank you so much for your interest in the ASPCA.  The ASPCA has always encouraged open dialogue and the thoughtful exchange of ideas, and I appreciate your contacting us with your concerns regarding the shelter access legislation in New York. There is a lot of information circulating on this bill so allow me to explain what it does and does not do.

The ASPCA applauds efforts to foster cooperation and to save lives through shelter-rescue partnerships.  We support shelter access legislation crafted to accomplish the twin goals of saving lives and preventing suffering caused by hoarding, cruelty and neglect, and animal fighting. We think that A. 5449-A and S. 5433-A strike a good balance by instituting some positive procedures to help lost pets find their way home, enhancing shelter care for animals, fostering collaboration between shelters and rescue organizations, and ensuring that animals are not placed in harm’s way by incorporating necessary safeguards to prevent animal suffering.

Here are some of the advances A. 5449-A and S. 5433-A make that will save lives:

1) Establishes new procedures to help ensure that lost animals are reunited with their owners;

2) Requires appropriate vaccinations and emergency care to prevent pain and suffering for animals brought into shelters;

3) Prevents euthanasia if an appropriate rescue option is available;

4) Requires every shelter to establish a list of rescues to notify prior to euthanasia to ensure that as many animals are provided rescue as possible;

5) Strikes current law allowing euthanasia if an animal is “unfit for any useful purpose” and instead requires that the animal be suffering incurably; and

6) Includes safeguards that would help prevent animal fighters or hoarders from being able to pose as a rescue organization, thereby avoiding sending animals to situations that would experience intense suffering and death.

Criticisms of this legislation have been generated by individuals who support a different, competing bill that would require that shelters hand over animals to organizations without the shelter having authority to inspect the facility where animals are taken to ensure their health and well-being. While we support the broader goal of saving as many lives as possible, we believe it must be done with protections that ensure animals are not put at risk and placed in situations where they will experience tremendous suffering. That is why we have determined that A. 5449-A and S. 5433-A is the best way to instigate cooperation and rescue work without jeopardizing our homeless and lost animals.  There has been confusion regarding some of the language in this bill and we are actively working with Assemblywoman Paulin to make amendments.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again.  Thank you for being an animal welfare advocate and for all you do to help.


ASPCA Public Information

P: (888) 288-0028

The information contained in this e-mail, and any attachments hereto, is from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) and is intended only for use by the addressee(s) named herein and may contain legally privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of the contents of this e-mail, and any attachments hereto, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify me by reply email and permanently delete the original and any copy of this e-mail and any printout thereof.
Reply from the ASPCA to my Open Letter to their BOD Chair

The ASPCA's reply to my appeal to Mary Jo White, their Board Chair to do the right thing. Click to enlarge.

I’ll plod through it paragraph  by paragraph.  Care to guess how many lies I’ll find?

Paragraph 1:  The ASPCA does NOT encourage discussion or the open exchange of ideas.  They block anyone on their Facebook page who questions or criticizes them.  They call shelter reform advocates ‘extremists’ and work both publicly and clandestinely to fight desperately-needed reforms.  They have yet to engage in any meaningful discussion with anyone on the issues of Oreo or rescue access or the deplorable state of NYCACC or any of a host of other issues.  I do get a kick out of the “There is a lot of information circulating on this bill so allow me to explain what it does and does not do” line.  A lot of information.  And just who is ‘me’?  This form letter is not signed with a person’s name.  Will no one at the ASPCA take responsibility for the Quick Kill Bill or even this stupid little pack of lies form letter?

Paragraph 2:  The folks in Austin had to fight the ASPCA tooth and nail for the reforms needed there.  I don’t think that what the A tried to do while Fix Austin and Austin Pets Alive! were trying to save animals and reform the shelter would be characterized by them as “applause”  nor would they be likely to call it “fostering cooperation.”  As if that weren’t enough, they trot out the “rescuers are hoarders and dog fighters in disguise” argument, because lobbing baseless insults at rescuers is such a good  way to promote cooperation and lifesaving.  Everyone just loves it when you insinuate that they are mentally ill or criminals.  The Quick Kill bill does not “strike a good balance”  (love that phrase!) between anything.  It leaves all of the power in the hands of those who have shown themselves least able to use it responsibly–the shelters that kill as a means of population control.  It grants none to those who would take responsibility for saving lives, those who would speak out about the abusive conditions they witness when visiting shelters to pull animals–the rescues.   Then there’s the hidden subtext–why do we need shelter reform and shelter access legislation now?  Where has the ASPCA been all these years?  Shouldn’t the mighty A have demanded years ago that shelters be true to the name, that they save lives, work with rescuers, and refrain from abusing the animals in their care?  The ASPCA is reacting to something, not leading.

Paragraph 3:  The ASPCA bill does none of the things listed.  If anything,  it does just the opposite.  That is why numerous animal advocates have characterized it as dangerous.   The points advocates have found most objectionable are those that allow animals deemed to be in “psychological pain” to be killed immediately, and rescues to be excluded from a shelter’s list of approved rescues for arbitrary reasons.  This would allow frightened and lost family pets to be killed before their families could possibly get to the shelter to reclaim them.  Points 5 and 6 are perhaps the most egregious lies on the list, as the bill does not require that an animal be suffering incurably to warrant euthanasia, and it is not aimed at keeping animals out of the hands of abusers, but would allow shelters to retaliate against rescues that speak out against abuses they witness at the shelter by excluding them from rescuing, thereby keeping them out of the hands of people with a conscience.

Paragraph 4:  Actually criticisms of the Quick Kill Bill have “been generated” by a great many individuals and organizations.  Furthermore, we support CAARA, which is not a “competing bill,” but the original bill in this scenario.  The Quick Kill Bill was put together by the ASPCA to compete with it, not the other way around as they are trying to imply.  Furthermore, CAARA spells out specific, standardized,  and meaningful requirements for rescues, and it does not require shelters to just hand animals over to just anyone.  They go on to qualify support for saving as many lives as possible, a classic “yes, but” statement.  Whenever someone consistently makes “yes, but” statements, particularly when they make the same ones over and over despite having the “but” part of the statement addressed or refuted, I am forced to conclude that they do not really want change, at least not this change.  What do they really want?  They want us to shut up and go away, but keep those checks coming.

And “instigate cooperation and rescue work”?  I have to see that as a Freudian slip.  The word “instigate” is generally used in reference to getting negative things started–riots, strife, stuff  like that.  So the A really sees cooperation and rescue work as negatives.  That explains a few things.

As for the alleged “confusion” about this bill, that “confusion” is not on the part of its critics.  We’re critics of it because we care about animals and we can read.  And Assemblywoman Paulin did not cook up her bill by herself.  It was written by and for the ASPCA.  Please do not persist in insulting advocates’ intelligence like this.  It makes me testy.

Paragraph 5:  Contact who, precisely?  And why?  Do you have other form letters I might want to add to my collection?  And what do you think you’re thanking me for?

Signature:  “ASPCA Public Information,” I doubt that is what your mother calls you, just as I doubt your sincerity and that of the Chair of your Board of Directors, and that of your CEO.

So, Mary Jo White got my email but failed to get its message.  Rather than take responsibility for replying herself, she passed it along and “ASPCA Public Information” got my email but failed to get its message.  To both of them I say:  You cannot choose to hear only the ‘ka-ching!’ of money rolling in, the sound generated by all of those sad-eyed puppy ads, that self-reflective sound you yourselves have orchestrated, that fun-house mirror you hold up to ask “who is most humane of them all?”   To both of them I say:  The sounds of checkbooks slamming shut, of people demanding real change, of people making real change happen, these sounds are growing louder every day.

Listen to them, even if it is only out of enlightened self-interest.