For this Just One Day we are asking shelters across the USA to stop killing and instead embrace the 300 million citizens of the USA who would like them to do so. Even if it is for Just One Day.
I’ll admit, my skeptical side said “Yeah. They’ll stop killing for one day, and on June 12th the killing begins again.”
But, after looking at some of the materials and the people who are supporting this campaign, I am having a change of heart. Yes. It is just one day. But this one day could mean so much for so many animals.
On this one day, June 11th, those who have the unfortunate task of killing shelter animals will instead be taking pictures of them and posting them on the internet, Facebook, and on Twitter. They will host adoption events and promote the pets they have in their shelters to help them get adopted. In their own words “On average, if each animal shelter in the USA adopts out or transferres to rescue groups an extra three animals on June 11, the USA can become a no kill nation, even if it is for Just One Day.” A worthy cause, don’t you think?
To me, this is more than a campaign, this is about saving lives. It’s also a great way to bring attention to the plight of many of our shelter animals.
So I am asking you to join the campaign for Just One Day.
Here is what you can do:
1. Join the campaign – “Like” their Facebook Page
2. Spread the word – Share the map and the message on Twitter and Facebook
Example: Join me and thousands around the nation in asking animal shelters to stop killing animals for Just One Day. http://www.justoneday.ws/
3. Ask your local animal shelter to take the pledge.
4. Blog about it.
5. On June 11th, retweet and share the images of the pets that these shelters are sharing. Join in and support their efforts.
The map is changing every day as more and more shelters take the pledge. This may be a focus on just one day, but bringing awareness and encouraging people to adopt on this day makes a difference – for every pet who’s life is saved. Won’t you join me and others for Just One Day?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Take Action Day – a day dedicated to asking people to contact their state legislators to ask them to support puppy mill legislation (recently introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate). What I did not know at the time was that there was quite the kerfuffle developing in the Minnesota animal welfare community over the fact that two sets of bills (H.F. 388/S.F. 384 and H.F. 702/S.F. 462) had been introduced within a day of one another. Both sets of bills are aimed at the same goal – regulating and inspecting puppy mills, but with a few differing provisions.
I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that two sets of bills had even been introduced if not for the fact that one animal group decided to attack another, publicly, in an attempt to discredit them. They even went one step further and questioned the motives of the other group in introducing the second set of bills, and seemed to imply that they were some sort of “shadow” group of unknown people (see below).
“A private individual apparently authors the web site AnimalFolksMN.org. She claims to represent a “broad coalition” of organizations, but has continually refused to say who they are. She has reportedly worked with the Humane Society of the United States. However, an email received today from the President of HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, clearly states his organization has nothing to do with these competing bills. Furthermore, AnimalFolksMN.org does not appear to have a legal lobbying presence at the legislature.
So, the question remains: Who is AnimalFolksMN.org? Who are they representing? And why would they be working to sabotage the puppy mill bill?“
The simple truth is that the group attacking the second group (AnimalFolksMN.org), knows very well who is behind the group and who they work with. How do I know this? Because I started poking around myself to find out what was going on. In my attempt to get at the truth, I spoke with the head of the group making the claims against AnimalFolksMN. During that conversation, he shared with me that he knew who was behind AnimalFolksMN and who he suspected had authored the second set of bills. Well, this was certainly a surprise to me since the blog post and Facebook postings seemed to imply otherwise.
Through the help of some friends, I was also able to speak with a few people from AnimalFolksMN.org and had all of my questions answered. Guess what? They are not some “shadow” group of unknown individuals. They did not introduce a second set of bills out of some ulterior motive to kill puppy mill legislation, in fact, quite the opposite. They aren’t even some group of ego-maniacs looking to get a lot of attention.
So who is AnimalFolksMN.org?
– They are a small group dedicated to researching inhumane dog and cat breeding in MN and collecting data and facts that can be used to help legislators and the public better understand this issue.
– They are also a resource for the media and the public on inhumane dog and cat breeding – they educate, provide legislative support (in the form of numbers, data, personal stories, etc.), and conduct research (i.e., sales tax revenue paid by breeders, tracking sales and shipments from MN breeders, collecting data on inhumane animal investigations, etc.). I have even used some of their data in the past to write some of my own blog posts.
– They are part of a large coalition of animal welfare groups across the state of Minnesota who support the second puppy mill bills introduced into the legislature (S.F. 462 / H.F. 702). The coalition includes: A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society (AHS), Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pet Haven of Minnesota, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM), Second Chance Animal Rescue, Tri-county Humane Society – plus numerous other supporters, including humane societies, rescue groups, animal control, veterinarians, law enforcement, students, legislators, businesses and community members representing the interests of Minnesota.
– They even go as far as to educate the public on how a bill becomes a law! Did you know that on average it takes about 7 years for a controversial bill to pass and become a law?
After speaking with AnimalFolksMN, I feel less concerned about who they are and what they are trying to accomplish – they’ve been at this for years and understand the legislative process thoroughly. But I was confused by the attacks. Why attack a group that is so focused on educating legislators and the public about inhumane breeding? Why question their motives and imply that they are somehow not on the up-and-up when you know this not to be the case? And, what about the assertion that by introducing competing bills you are killing any chance of legislation passing? Is that really the case? Not necessarily. Each bill is assigned to a committee (sometimes more than one) in each house of the legislature. The Committee Chair then determines whether each bill will be granted a hearing, at which point public and expert testimony can be given and amendments can (and likely will) be made. The reality is that anything can happen. One or both sets of bills could not get past the Committee Chair. Or, both bills could be heard and amendments made to incorporate the wording from one bill into another. This is the way our government works.
So if this isn’t really about the killing of puppy mill legislation in MN, what is it about? I simply can’t answer that question. Only one group can. I invite them to share their perspective (in a respectful way please).
As for AnimalFolksMN.org all I can say is that I have a renewed respect for a group that has continued to remain focused on the goal at hand – stopping inhumane breeding of cats and dogs. Not once during this whole kerfuffle have they made any disparaging remarks about the other group. They haven’t even engaged them. Why? Because they are focused on gathering the data and information needed to help the legislature and the public better understand why we need this legislation. I completely support that and AnimalFolksMN.org.
Call, e-mail, write a letter – it doesn’t matter which (Heck, do all three!) but it is important that you let your legislators know that you want them to pay attention to and support this bill. Don’t know who your state representative and senator are? Go HERE.
The 2011 Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill (S.F. 462/H.F. 702) will provide:
• Licensing — Require commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to be licensed
• Inspections and Enforcement — Give the Minnesota Board of Animal Health the authority to inspect
commercial dog and cat
breeding facilities and enforce existing State laws to ensure the health and safety of dogs and cats.
• Penalties — Impose civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law
Both the Senate (S.F. 462) and House (H.F. 702) bill are what is called companion bills. This means, when first introduced, the bill language for each is identical. As the bills move through the process, the language for each may change through amendments — depending on what Senators or Representatives want.
Have more questions? You can go here to learn more.
You can also watch the debate (link below) over the legislation that appeared on Fox 9 News on March 2nd.