Posts Tagged ‘Animal Humane Society’

How many Pine River Puppy Mill Raids will it take to change laws? That’s up to you.

November 11, 2013 9 comments

Puppy mill kennelsOn July 16th of this year, a Minnesota puppy mill was raided and 130 dogs were rescued from horrific conditions. For months, these dogs and their puppies (many born after they were rescued) were kept in limbo as the court case against the puppy mill owner wound its way through the Minnesota court system.

Deborah Beatrice Rowell, was charged with seven misdemeanors and two petty misdemeanors for animal cruelty (misdemeanor charges carry a 90 days in jail and or a $1,000 fine). In the end, she got a plea deal and pled guilty to one count of failure to provide dogs with adequate shade. She was ordered to pay a $135 fine and is now back in business. Unbelievable isn’t it?

Meanwhile the Animal Humane Society (AHS) spent $200,000 caring for the animals and giving them long overdue vet care and vaccinations. A grant from the ASPCA made the raid possible and helped to give these dogs a chance at a new home and a new life. The puppy mill owner responsible for the conditions of these dogs? $135 fine.

If you find yourself saying any of the following right now…

“She should be in jail!”

“How can they let her off with $135 fine? That’s horrible!”

“The laws have got to change. She shouldn’t be able to get away with this.”

“How can they let her be back in business? That’s not right!”

You’re right.

She should be in jail.

She shouldn’t have been let off with $135 fine and allowed to be back in business again.

The laws have got to change.

And you know how that happens?

Through YOU.

It takes you to…

  • Get involved and call a legislator when the puppy mill bill comes up again.
  • Write a quick note to committee members and ask them to support the bill.
  • Share the information with your friends and family and ask them to take action.
  • Join the rally at the capital.
  • Speak up.

Laws don’t change unless someone cares enough to speak up. Elected officials are swayed by their constituents, but only if they speak up.

Words left unspoken fall on deaf ears.

Need motivation? Watch the video AHS put together of the Pine River raid and the dogs they helped.

If care about dogs like Blue #9, then take action. Help us change the laws so this doesn’t have to happen again.

We don’t need another puppy miller getting off with just a $135 fine.


Surrender Your Cat Or Dog… By Appointment?

November 7, 2010 24 comments

I was all set to write an update on on Prop B (which passed!), when this link came across my Facebook wall this evening. Given it’s a local story, I decided to give it top billing.

The story is about a new program the Animal Humane Society (AHS) is implementing called Bound for Home to help “reduce the number of cats left homeless because of abandonment and unchecked reproduction.” The new program will include: “improving access to sterilization to reduce litters, working with pet owners to adopt wisely and keep their animals longer” AND requiring pet owners to make an appointment before giving up their animal. Hmmmm… intriguing.

Already the Animal Humane Society has implemented several other changes in the past year:
– A billboard campaign to promote adoption
– Drastically cut the adoption fees for adult cats
– Training for prospective owners to better prepare them for owning a pet
– Help in deciding which pet is best for a prospective owner’s lifestyle
– Stopped accepting after-hours dropoffs of unwanted pets at its five metro locations (this started last Monday)

I admire AHS’s focus on decreasing the number of pets who are surrendered and euthanized in their shelters, but I wonder if they can change human behavior. I am assuming AHS will provide owners with additional resources that (hopefully) will allow them to keep their pet(s), but most people who surrender their pets aren’t doing so as a last minute decision. Often they have thought about it long and hard. So, will making an appointment to surrender their pet change their minds? And, if someone has already made up their mind, will they even want to make an appointment? Or, are they more likely to go to a smaller and more cash-strapped shelter or dump their pet elsewhere?

Perhaps it’s the skeptic in me. Or, maybe it’s my experience volunteering at a shelter. Or, maybe it’s this recent post, that has me asking more questions about AHS’s decision to require owners to make an appointment to surrender a pet. If it is true that the Animal Humane Society has been hiding behind a shroud of secrecy as this post suggests (Please note: I do not agree with everything this blogger says in his post, but simply included it because it shares information on the secrecy involved with some shelters, like AHS.) – “confidentiality contracts” for employees and volunteers and a “secrecy contract” for members of MnPAW, how will we ever know if the program is legitimately a success? How will we know if AHS is seeing an increase in the number of dump-and-runs (where a pet owner dumps their pet outside a shelter or on a dirt road in the country)? Will they report that too? And, if these numbers do increase, what is their plan to address it? I hope they do have a plan to share their results with the public… and not just the positive results, but ALL the results, good and bad. We shall have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I’d love to know if any of you out there have you seen similar policies implemented at your animal shelters or Humane Societies. What results have you seen? What has been the impact? Please share your experience.

A Little Background
In Minnesota, we have several smaller and independent humane societies and then we have the big Animal Humane Society (AHS), which services the seven five-county metro area of the twin cities, excluding St Paul and Minneapolis. AHS was formed when three animal welfare groups merged together in 2007 (Animal Humane Society, Humane Society of Companion Animals and the Greater West Metro Humane Society). It also is a member of the Minnesota Partnership for Animal Welfare (MnPAW), a coalition of eight other animal welfare groups. AHS and MnPAW wield quite a bit of power and influence here in MN, more than the other smaller shelters who operate independently.

Additional Information on AHS and confidentiality and secrecy agreements:
Animal Humane Society Agrees to Stop Illegally Killing Cats – Sometimes

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