NAKED TRUTH CALENDAR
What’s the truth behind The Naked Truth
Calendar? Are the concerns about the CaRPOC group that produced and sold the
clever expose’ on HSUS and PETA valid or just idle gossip?
February 10, 2009 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
Little Bird did some pecking around on the California
Calendar but he had about as much success as pulling a pretzel out of a worm
hole. Nobody seemed to know anything but being dog people, they were
speculating. So he asked the Editor to write to CaRPOC (California Responsible
Pet Owners Coalition) and this is what I found out.
Amused and delighted with the participation of some of the best known people in
dogs, I had decided to make a personal donation to CaRPOC and help them reach
thousands of other dog owners through free promotion in TheDogPress. Then I
heard from Little Bird.
So I went to http://www.carpoc.org/index.html to get information but all I found
on the Naked Truth Calendar, other than thanks to the people who helped created
it, was how to order or donate. Is CaRPOC a non-profit? I finally found the
answer under FAQ. Other information was non-existent or frustratingly vague.
Even Operations could find no legislative action by CaRPOC, just promotion about
their PET speakers and the same old rehash about fighting bad legislation, all
of it provided by AKC or other groups.
So I emailed Blecher, Hope, and Norman, the ladies at CaRPOC, and asked them to
fill in the blanks. Dog people know all about PETA and HSUS but the “exposure”
was really clever and we heard the calendars sold like hotcakes. The CaRPOC site
says excess funds will go into a general fund for lobbying and legislative
issues. Several readers wondered how much Naked Truth Calendar income had
actually been spent on specific legislative issues. Good question. So I
specifically asked CaRPOC how much of the income from the Calendar had been
shared and, quoting from their website, which Legislative Groups were they
I explained that TheDogPress asked the same questions of AKC (re AB 1634) in
2007 and that had resulted in a wonderful interview with the AKC Legislative
Dept. Manager. On the other hand, we made the mistake of supporting an
organization which turned out to be less than what it claimed to be and that was
a disservice to our readers. I explained this and asked the ladies to reassure
We received the following from Florence Blecher, CaRPOC President:
“We’re a relatively new organization, incorporated less than a year ago, so
we’re still finding our “sea legs.” Several of us on the board have been
actively involved in legislative battles for over a decade, but under the
auspices of other organizations. When we hit upon the idea of the calendar as a
fund-raising vehicle, we realized the need to incorporate, which in itself,
posed a dilemma. We recognized our own limitations in terms of size, name
recognition and many other factors, yet also recognized our desire and the
potential need to be able to lobby politicians. Ultimately we decided to
incorporate as a 501 © 4, which we felt was the best option – non-profit, but
unfortunately not tax deductible......
“We’re still actively involved in sales, even though our (calendar) run was
relatively limited. We have some definite thoughts about where the proceeds will
go, but no checks have been sent out yet. Until we know where we stand, and what
our shipping as well as production expenses are, we thought it best to wait a
bit longer. Funds will definitely go to other legislative groups large & small,
national as well as grassroots, feline as well as canine.
“We also strongly recognize the pressing need to reach the general public to
counter the vast & ongoing campaigns of the animal rights extremists. With that
in mind, we plan to consult with public relations professionals to get their
advice so that we can strategize & develop a game plan for the future. We know
that it takes a LOT of money to buy full page ads, & even small ads, in general
publications as well as media spots.
“Also, a portion of the proceeds will be earmarked for our next project, which
is yet to be determined. There are standard operating expenses and overhead as
well as support for our Pet Education Team/PET speakers’ bureau, not to mention
lawyers, accountants and taxes.
“Thank you for pointing out that this information needs to be more clearly
available on our web site – that’s another venture that we’re new to too.
“If you have any additional questions, we will do our best to answer them.
Thanks again for your support.”
We thank Ms. Blecher for her response. She was a little vague (which could
explain the lack of specificity on the website) but she was kind enough to
reply. We can understand CaRPOC’s reluctance to mention a specific group under
consideration for support. We respect the decision to incorporate as a 501 C4
because it is indeed, simpler and quicker.
They should know what the Naked Truth Calendar production and shipping costs
are. Why CaRPOC feels the need to support feline groups is a mystery because
TICA and CFA went down in the trenches and fought CA 1634 to a standstill. We
didn’t see any cat people on the calendar. We all dream big but her reference to
consulting public relations professionals seems like a waste of money when
PetPac already has the answers. Florence is right though, full page ads and
media spots take a lot of money.
So we are left wondering if the Naked Truth Calendar was a flop or a raging
success and if CaRPOC can really help fight the ARA (Animal Rights Agenda). We
hope the attorneys and accountants can help the group share information with the
fancy and decide how to spend donation income.
One thing is for sure. Everyone wishes CaRPOC the best of success on the
calendar and that yet-to-be-determined “next project.”