So, I haven’t posted a “real” blog entry in a long while … to be honest, blogging is not something I enjoy doing. I prefer FaceBook posts and even Twittering/Tweeting … it’s faster and I just feel more connected that way. But, I’ve got something to say and it’s going to take a lot more than 140 characters … so, here we go …
Some of you may know that I have a penchant for things of the supernatural nature … particularly when it comes to my selection of TV shows (Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, True Blood, Smallville, The Vampire Diaries). It’s a guilty pleasure that is usually accompanied with a nice glass of wine … judge me, laugh at me, that’s OK. I love pop culture and try to pay attention to lots of random things all at once – even to that Bieber kid.
So when an actor currently known for his portrayal of a vampire on TV starts his own foundation to help animals and the environment, you can bet I was following. Ian Somerhalder started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) in 2010 to “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” (from their webpage)
And further, the webpage states some goals, including:
- Ending animal cruelty and promoting programs such as: “species specific sterilization drugs”, transferring and re-training of abandoned animals into assistive and therapy guides.
- Supporting and creating sustainable strategies for “no-kill shelters”.
Well, hot (tofu) dog! A young (yup, younger than me) guy, starting an organization to do great things – woot!! And it does’t hurt that Ian has quite the fan base and is pretty dang hot … but, I digress …
There were tweets this past week from Ian regarding People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) – starting with a post about PeTA killing animals. What?!?! Yup, it’s true folks, PeTA has quite the record of killing cats & dogs which you can read about here and here and here (there are no pictures in the previous three links, FYI).
But then PeTA informed Ian that it’s not THEIR fault, it’s YOUR fault (don’t open the link if you don’t want to see graphic pictures of animal suffering). And by YOUR fault, PeTA means you – the animal loving public. YOU are the problem. I’ll summarize for you: PeTA kills 97% of the animals that enter their Virginia shelter (as far as I can tell PeTA doesn’t even list their adoptable animals on petfinder … which makes me wonder if they even TRY to find them homes … *sigh*), PeTA says that many dog and cat lovers are the problem (not fixing their pets, etc) and PeTA says mandatory spay/neuter laws are essential.
But, let’s just focus on why mandatory spay/neuter laws do not work:
- animal control officers (ACOs) are encouraged to impound (and then kill) animals for violations (not being fixed) rather than help the public to get their animals fixed (low cost clinics, etc)
- the limited shelter funding/resources will be spent on ACO time to enforce the laws instead of on programs that save lives (low cost spay/neuter & vaccination clinics, etc).
Ian and the ISF have not made a statement one way or the other regarding their opinions of PeTA. But, if you are going to promote No Kill, you can’t make nicey-nice with PeTA (on this topic, anyway). Silence and stating that there are “two sides to every story” can be perceived as making nice.
Oh, and by the way, pet overpopulation is a myth. It’s what regressive shelters (and organizations) will tell you so they don’t have to work harder to save animals. Click the link to go through the numbers (no ugly images there either, just numbers that don’t lie) – if you click one link in this blog, let this be the one.
OK, but back to Ian … I’m calling the ISF to the carpet on this because if they are going to “support and create strategies for no kill shelters,” then they need to know what that means. Why call them out at all? Because I KNOW the ISF is going to influence so many people – particularly a whole bunch of youngsters. Lucky for us all, the strategies for No Kill have already been established!
No Kill means:
- Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program
- High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
- Rescue Groups – shelters should work with rescue groups
- Foster Care – to rehabilitate sick/injured animals and/or nurse babies
- Comprehensive Adoption Programs
- Pet Retention
- Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation
- Public Relations/Community Involvement
- Volunteers – encourage the public to help!
- Proactive Redemptions
- A Compassionate Director
This list of mandatory programs and services were developed by The No Kill Advocacy Center.
But, does this “no kill equation” work? Why, yes, yes it does!! (Despite what PeTA will tell you. (no graphic images) … and the ASPCA being a little wishy-washy … and the HSUS being even more wishy-washy)
- Thompkins County, NY – link to an article by an Atlanta writer (you reading this Ian? I’m sure Valerie would sit down and chat with you)
- Austin, TX – Winograd blog … Fix Austin and Austin Pets Alive
- Washoe County, NV – Nevada Humane Society … such awesome people (I’ve heard them speak at a conference) … maybe you’ve seen the “Adoption Entrance Dance” that went viral on YouTube? 😉
- Charlottesville-Albemarle, VA
And right here in NJ, the Monmouth County SPCA is on its way to being a no kill facility … they are just under the goal of 90% saved rate for cats (already well above the goal for dogs). Rock on, MCSPCA – Karma Cat + Zen Dog will help you as much as we can!!
So, Ian and the ISF – please go forth and support the No Kill Equation … I look forward to reading about all the good you accomplish.
Signing off to watch some TVD episodes online while I wait for the new one next week,