WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO? SHELTERS "FORCED" TO KILL ANIMALS, YET REGULARLY BUY THEM
Often reported on by those who uncover corruption in the ranks of supposed ‘animal rights’ activists is the number of animals that are put down each year by their organizations. We ourselves have cited in several articles the statistic provided on HSUS’s website that estimates over 2.4 million animals that die in kill-shelters, and PETA being personally responsible for over 33,000 animal deaths. They have always come to defense of their actions, though, claiming the death of these animals is better than living out their lives in the shelter, or that they simply do not have the funding to provide shelter for these animals until they are adopted.
To directly quote a PETA blog post about this very issue, they say “we will never turn our backs on neglected, unloved, and homeless animals—even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn’t have enough heart or homes with room for them.” They claim that there simply are not enough homes for these animals, so they must die. Or that death would be better than life in a cage, even if those who kept the cages were animal shelters.
HSUS on the other hand, claims that it is “committed to achieving an end to the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals” and that they “work ceaselessly to help shelters reduce the need for euthanasia.” Sadly these claims are mostly PR. Not only do they refuse to support shelters who cannot keep animals for financial reasons with their hundred million dollars of annual revenue, they instead use that money to fight legislation that would have ended kill shelters all together.
Other shelters claim what seems to be the most obvious (but misleading) reason for euthanasia – overpopulation. Pets Adviser states that pet overpopulation is a serious problem in the United States, “leaving animal shelters over capacity and overwhelmed.” This seems to make a marginal amount of sense for many shelters; unfortunately, some of them inexplicably buy animals to fill their ranks.
It has become an increasingly popular practice among animal shelters and animal rights organizations to attend animal auctions and purchase animals that would otherwise go to good homes, under the banner of animal advocacy. They claim that the chance of the animal going to a puppy mill or breeder, and the possibility of suffering there, is enough reason to spend their hundreds of thousands of donation dollars to buy animals instead of spending it on food and medical assistance to the ones already in their care. Yes, hundreds of thousands (many of the dogs they buy are past show dogs and bring top dollar, which is a lot).
One shelter, the Clark County Humane Society in Wisconsin, proudly purchases animals in the name of ‘puppy mill rescue.’ This past December 1st, they purchased 28 dogs. This program has been a part of the organization since fall of 2006. They are a ‘no-kill’ shelter, but the money that they used on these animals still could have been better utilized. They could help support the many dogs and cats at the Wisconsin Humane Society who face euthanasia because of disease. They could increase the size of their shelter to support more abandoned animals, or alleviate the high cost of spay and neutering for consumers that many organizations cite as the main cause of domestic animal overpopulation. They do none of these things.
In response to an Oklahoman dog breeder auctioning off 40 Papillon dogs, two shelters have raised over $35,000 to purchase them, with plans to raise up to $200,000. This again, was said to be stimulated because of the fear that other dog breeders would purchase them, but the auctioneer thinks differently. With other groups having previously risen over $400,000 to purchase dogs from auctions in the area, despite the fact that most refuse to sell to mills, he believes they are making the purchases for their own gain. That is a lot of money that would have been better used to end kill shelters or provide for animals that have been abandoned, instead of those who would have gone to good homes anyway.
A coalition of these groups, led by the Alabama branch of Cavalier Rescue USA, raised and spent over $220,000 to purchase 98 dogs at an auction in Missouri. They bought all but two of the animals, and then approached the man who bought the others and bought them off of him as well. Again, money that could be used to stop the needless killing of shelter animals was misused.
Other organizations like PuppymillRescue make it their sole priority to ‘save’ animals from breeders. Since 1998 they have attended countless auctions to spend money on animals instead of supporting local shelters.
The pattern continues. There are countless examples spanning decades of time where animal shelters have gone to auctions to purchase animals, all while killing others to give them a “release from a world that doesn’t have enough heart or homes with room for them.”
If shelters have the money to go out and actively purchase animals, they should not facilitate the death of others. It is unethical and inexcusable.
They have been wasting donor money and disregarding the lives of the animals that have been put in their care. Yes, sometimes abuses happen in animal agriculture or with other pet ownership, but the difference is that these situations are not produced by an atmosphere of corruption and perpetual cruelty under the veil of animal rights or even compassion. The agriculture industry does all that it can to stop those outliers who work around the system. These specific shelters cover their tracks and work under secrecy so that the public will keep funneling them money.
These radical organizations would rather have animals die in kill shelters than elsewhere. Often times, the horrid conditions that they claim dogs undergo are false. Hundreds of thousands of dollars individually and millions of dollars in totality - all that could be going to animals in need instead goes to the purchasing of animals - and the shelters have the audacity to claim they kill because of overpopulation.
Even though some of the organizations that purchase animals from auctions are in fact ‘no-kill,’ you would think that the animal rights community would, or at least should, work together to end the needless killing of domestic animals first, before buying. If these animal advocacy groups truly care about animals, the priority should be using their budgets to end the needless killing. Instead, they believe it is better spent on purchasing animals that would otherwise go to good homes or on legislation to fight the end of kill-shelters.
In a perfect world, animal welfare enthusiasts and the agriculture industry would work together. On the surface it seems like we share a common goal. Farmers, ranchers, and in this case breeders, know that the better we take care of our animals, the more they will produce and thus ensure our livelihoods. Our industry strives to better the lives of the animals we care for while simultaneously feeding the world and providing needed services for Americans.
These values should align with those who claim protection of animals is what they want. The problem is that time and time again animal rights organizations have shown that they care less about the lives of animals and more about public relations.