Home > Animal Rescue, Backyard Breeders, Pet Adoption, Pet News, Pet Topics, Puppy Mills > Playing on Both Sides of the Fence. Again? Sigh.

Playing on Both Sides of the Fence. Again? Sigh.

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

My Response to BlogPaws can be seen here.

I was all set to write something witty or something funny tonight, but all I feel is let down, disappointed and somewhat defeated. I was looking up something on the BlogPaws website tonight and happened across the guest speaker list. Sigh. There he was again, Michael Ayalon, the Pet Web Designer. The man I had written about last summer. The man I had first followed on Twitter because I thought he was in business for the animals. The man who seemed like such a “nice guy” until I started looking into a questionable veterinarian for a friend and I came across “his” name. And it was EVERYWHERE. Or, should I say his name and his internet aliases were everywhere?

You can read the full details from my blog post, Dogs: Playing on Both Sides of the Fence, but it probably won’t hold as much weight now as it did back then. As soon as he realized he was exposed, he started changing all his aliases and taking down websites to hide his other work. Oh no. Not the work he did for animal welfare organizations, like the ASPCA, I mean the work he did/does for puppy mills and internet-selling-puppy-mill-breeders. You see, this man was promoting himself to animal organizations while also creating websites for what I consider the lowest scum of the earth, puppy mills breeders.

He’s so good that he even won an award from the ASPCA for his good works. Although, it appears that he’s the only one promoting that fact since it appears the ASPCA has removed him from their list of recipients for 2010 (my kudos to the ASPCA). Now the only one promoting the fact that he won is him. See here. Or just look at the whole list and see how he promotes his award.

He was also named one of the Top 25 Pet People of 2010 by Petside.com. Perhaps, Petside and I just define “Pet People” differently. I prefer to think of pet people as the people who love pets enough to want to stop puppy mills and promote animal welfare and pet adoption. Either way, it was a disappointing to see his name on their list.

But hey, he’s public about it now so no big deal right? After all, all his client kudos and testimonials are right there on his website for everyone to read. He even includes a link to some of the sites on his testimonial page. You can check one out here. Or maybe here, and if you do check this one out, don’t miss all the different kinds of puppies they have available. Great work huh?

The only difference between now and last year is that it appears he’s diversified his client list a bit (if you are going off the his list of testimonials). His page now include all sorts of pet businesses who may or may not know about his other work. Legitimacy? Apparently.

For someone who adopted and rehabbed a former puppy mill breeding dog, and has tried her best to educate people about puppy mills, it is beyond disappointing to see that once again the puppy mills win. I am deeply disappointed to see that BlogPaws would include people like Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and Krissie Newman, co-founder of the Ryan Newman Foundation, on the same guest speaker list as this man. Perhaps the fight is too big. Perhaps the avenues available to puppy millers are just too many and all I am doing is playing whack-a-mole with no hope of success in sight. Yes. Tonight I am disappointed once again. Sigh.

  1. September 14, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    Well – that *is* depressing. But of course we know that integrity doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It is always interesting to me to hear the various justifications for actions that seem always to end with “because it’s business” as if the ends justify the means:-/ Calling people out when you see something wrong is a principled stance.They should take the opportunity to respond – unless of course it is impossible to refute. I guess it was!!

    Ignoring a legitimate blogger’s research and findings does not make it disappear. That’s why I shared your post on FB and I hope others do, too. (I know a good web designer/seo/marketing person if anyone needs one;)

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 6:45 AM

      Agree Mary. I guess the ends do justify the means = $$$
      I’m really disappointed. I was looking at going to BlogPaws in Utah (a state I love), but now I think I will skip it. I am guessing they won’t respond since one of the founders knew his background last year.
      Sigh.

      • Ash
        September 15, 2011 at 11:12 PM

        I would LOVE to know which one of the founders knows his background….

      • Mel
        September 16, 2011 at 7:39 AM

        Perhaps this person will come forward when BlogPaws responds as they tweeted they would do.

    • September 16, 2011 at 3:44 AM

      And by “they should respond” I meant Ayalon should have responded to you directly.

      • Mel
        September 16, 2011 at 7:39 AM

        He didn’t last time Mary, so I don’t expect him to now. I quote your words from your post today on Humane Watch “Animal care is an odd duck – people look at this work in a very different way. Business as usual is not acceptable. In the public mind, what is ethically, morally right applies. A peculiar notion to attach to business, but this “business” holds the life or death of sentient beings in the balance.” That is where Michael went wrong. He forgot that animal people look at this work differently. Playing on both sides of the fence is not what most of the animal loving public wants to see.

  2. September 15, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    I think that I’m more disappointed in the Blog Paws organizers. Blog Paws is supposed to be this animal loving, touchy feely, kisses and love convention for animal lovers. You’d think that they would have done their research before inviting a web designer that makes a living designing websites for puppy mills!!

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 6:42 AM

      I agree Karen. I think what disappoints me most is that I contacted one of the organizers last year when I started working on the first blog post about him and asked her for help to let the Anipals know they were following someone who was not what he said he was. This person expressed doubt that he had been building websites for puppy mills in their email to me until they looked at the links I sent.
      So even knowing his background, he gets invited to speak at BlogPaws?

  3. September 15, 2011 at 4:07 AM

    It would be great if blogpaws could pick this up as a subject as well. It would be a great way to help you informing about this guy and I cannot imagine otherwise than that they would be interested to do so. I can remember your earlier posts and I think it is great you keep your eyes open and continue to warn people for him.

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 6:38 AM

      It is a nice idea Leo, but I doubt they will since one of their founding members knew his background when I did my story last year. I fear I have not kept my eyes open. I made the assumption that people would actually notice who he was creating websites for when they saw his testimonial page and not promote him. I guess not.

      • September 15, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        That is so disappointing … Who would have thought of that. It puts things in perspective of what Blogpaws is about. So sad.

      • Mel
        September 15, 2011 at 11:09 PM

        I agree Leo. It made me so sad.

  4. September 15, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Oh, I remember that guy. Unfollowed as soon as I realized what was what. I couldn’t make to BlogPaws this year, so I did NOT know he’d been invited to speak. Thanks for the intel.

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM

      I do too Roxanne. Hard to believe he was at BlogPaws. You’re welcome.
      BlogPaws tweeted they would have “LOTS to say” on this, so I will share once I see it.

  5. September 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Will be passing this on. Being well informed is crucial ♥♥missPhoebe♥♥

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 11:06 PM

      Thanks Miss Phoebe. Much appreciated.

  6. September 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Ugh, that’s so gross. Thank you for your work to get the word out there!

    I wasn’t at BlogPaws, and I know a lot of good people were there, but I’m not surprised that the corporate breeder-world was represented too.

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 11:06 PM

      Yeah. I thought so too. What bothers me most is this is the one area in which puppy mills operate without threat of inspection – over the internet. Congress has a bill on the table that could change that, but it’s not in place yet. You can find out more about it on the ASPCA site. It’s called P.U.P.S.

  7. September 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    This is really disappointing and I am so grateful to you for pointing it out. I had not heard of this person’s past before so had no idea who he was. I’ve seen the website but didn’t think anything of it. Now that I know, I cannot un-know and I have to admit I am very surprised at the organizers’ decision to involve him in their conference. A conference that is supposed to be about – among other things – promoting animal welfare. Shame on Blog Paws. It really changes my opinion about the whole thing, that’s for sure… I don’t know if I can be silent about it either.

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 11:04 PM

      It was very disappointing to me too. It literally took the wind out of my sails ya know?
      I know what you mean about “cannot un-know.” That was my dilemma the first time around. I never intended to look into his business. It literally just appeared while I was researching a veterinarian for a friend. Once I realized what I was seeing and what I was reading (on the testimonials page), I couldn’t not say something. It would have been like being complicit in the deceit.

  8. September 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I’m trying to figure out if he’s just a really bad webpage designer or if those hokey pages are suppose to make people believe some grandma built it.

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM

      Thanks for the laugh Deb. I needed that.

    • September 20, 2011 at 12:54 AM

      I think he is a bad web page designer. when you go to his brags page, there are hardly any links to the sights that people are bragging about. Looks like he made it all up. shouldn’t a web designer have links to his design. when you do follow them, they are all pretty bad, one pagers.

      • Mel
        September 20, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        Actually, I posted some added info at the bottom. Someone told me he isn’t a website designer by someone who does link farms. It made sense once I looked it up.

  9. September 15, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    I can understand your distress, but I thank you for your vigilance and will share this post everywhere. The only complaint I have is that you don’t mention MICHAEL AYALON’S name so it’s easy to forget who you’re talking about. And that makes it easy to invite him to conferences.

    Last year Blogpaws was held in Denver, BSL capital of Colorado. I blogged about it and was willing to concede it was a fluke, since it was a fait accompli and there was no getting money back, I believe Yvonne wrote, but since you pointed out the problem before the conference, there’s no excuse and I’m sensing a pattern. For shame.

    That’s MICHAEL AYALON we’re talking about, right?

    • Mel
      September 15, 2011 at 10:59 PM

      Thanks Edie. I guess I should have mentioned him by name. Seeing it all in caps made me laugh. Thank you.
      I wondered about the BSL thing too. Seemed odd to me, but maybe there was a good reason behind it?

      BTW – I added his name. 🙂

  10. September 15, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    Wow, I am totally shocked. I WAS at BlogPaws this year but did not go to his session as Im fine with design right now and there were other, more interesting sessions.

    That’s besides the point.

    So this guys is going around flaunting false awards and double crossing the animal welfare community? I cannot imagine that he will have any type of deliverance when the time comes. Until then, I vow to keep abreast of his activites and to keep reading your blog. Thank you for the info – I GUARANTEE there are lots of people who do not know about this.

    I am just in shock right now, I cant believe it.

    • Mel
      September 16, 2011 at 7:45 AM

      I am sorry that you did not know TFP. I am sure there are a lot of people who do not know. It’s made me sad to watch him exalted on various websites and by various groups.

      I have been wanting to go to BlogPaws since it began, but never had the time or money. I really thought of it as a great gathering of folks and a place to learn more from some really great speakers. I was deeply disappointed to see he was one of them. It took away I looked at BlogPaws. I’m not sure I would want to go if I could now.

  11. September 16, 2011 at 10:42 AM
  12. September 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I went to the conference, and I am a BlogPaws fan. However, friends convinced me to go to Michael’s talk. I left after about 15 minutes. It was so basic–really geared to beginners. I don’t think he said anything new. I am going to look at Tom’s link.

    • Mel
      September 16, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Thanks Michelle. Stop back here later for my response.

  13. September 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Mel, I responded to Tom’s post, which I thought was vastly unfair to you, on the BlogPaws site.

    • Mel
      September 16, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Thanks Edie. I saw your response and will be adding my own soon. I am deeply disappointed that this is the stance BlogPaws took. I never intended, nor do I feel I attacked them. It saddens me to think that what I took as asking the questions no one else had asked would be referred to as an “attack.”

  14. Patti K.
    September 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I don’t even know you Tom, but your tone alone offends me. I also don’t know Mel. I just like to read dog blogs. As an unbiased reader, I would say Mel has taken the higher road. Your response to her is embarrassing. I’ll let it all play out to see the truth – I’m betting on Mel.

    • Mel
      September 17, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      Thank you for your comments Patti. I would ask that you give Tom, Yvonne and Caroline a break.
      Let’s all of us move on and work together to help the animals.

  15. September 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Wow. Of all the sessions I attended this past BlogPaws…his was my least favorite, and not just because of the presentation but his lack of real ‘animal feel’ to me. I wasn’t sure what it was, but now have an inkling of why…

  16. Ginger from MD
    October 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    I just posted the link on a friends’ FB wall who is a very vocal advocate for animals as well as on my own wall. The more we get this ‘out there’ the harder it will be for them to hide.

  1. September 16, 2011 at 2:10 PM
  2. September 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM
  3. June 7, 2012 at 10:33 PM

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