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Pet adoptions surge during Christmas as people open their hearts and homes to shelter animals but there’s a dark side to the adoption racket.


December 9, 2013 | TheDogPress.com

Stella Starr, Pet Columnist


How much will adopting a shelter pet for Christmas cost you?USA Today, quoting Tufts University, ran an article confirming that many shelters are “importing dogs from other countries to meet demand for animal adoptions.” I’m not a breeder, just an average person who was shocked by a particularly rotten con game and, as an animal lover, I couldn’t let it go. With the cost and risk of shipping today, my first thought was that the story was reporting gone wild. Not so.


"Animal shelters in the USA are casting a wide net - from Puerto Rico to as far as Taiwan - to fill kennels," reported USA Today. The reason? Through education and financially supported pet sterilization programs, many shelters "have solved the stray problem in their own area - but rather than shut down, they become de facto pet stores. Some charge more than $200 per adoption for imported dogs."


Obviously the animal rights “guilt” campaign is working. People don't buy a purebred because PETA says they will be condemning an innocent shelter dog to death. Of course that isn’t true but the average pet-seeker has been persuaded. What they are not told is this that many are dumped at shelters because they have health or behavioral problems that owners found impossible to deal with.


With just a little research, I learned shelters actually capitalize on cats and dogs with obvious physical defects. They are extremely marketable. Everyone wants to save the one that would otherwise be euthanized. I’m all for that but not for using those poor animals as bait to get people in to the store...


My accountant confirmed the obvious. Shelters (and animal rescue people) have morphed into big business entities which unlike me and you, get to keep all the money because they are IRS charitable organizations. Whether “adoption fees” or donations, it is all tax free income. While you’re thinking about that, consider this… When it comes to animal “rights” no one speaks with more authority than Patti Strand, founder of NAIA (National Animal Interest Alliance) who explained the new gimmick in a recent Dog News article. It’s called CONFLICT FUNDRAISING and it works like this: “The technique used by these fundraising groups to generate public scorn against a chosen target actually has a name it’s called conflict fundraising and it requires only three things:

The owners were not charged with anything. No charge, no crime - just illegal confiscation of valuable property. It’s no different than seizing and selling your new Mercedes because some bystander said you ran a red light.

  1. an apparent victim of animal abuse that can be used to evoke sympathy from the public;

  2. someone or some recognizable targets that can be vilified as being responsible for the abuse; and

  3. a vehicle (media outlet) the fundraising group can use to promote itself as the one capable of saving the victims… If the money arrives in time.”

I'm sure The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) is the leader in sympathy-generated donations. Who can resist those heartbreaking appeals on TV? Do they get a cut rate? My accountant said there are companies who do nothing but raise money for “charitable” organizations! The tax-exempt organization that hires the professional fundraisers winds up with only 1 to 2% of the money raised but 2% of 50 million dollars is pretty good. He tweaked my memory about Senator Dole’s wife Elizabeth Dole who was the national head of the Red Cross and had to resign over a huge fund raising scandal.


According to Patti Strand, shelters and animal rights/ animal protection groups have become masters at changing consumer protection perceptions with pitches “that simultaneously disparage existing sources of dogs-in particular purebreds and breeders-while positioning rescues and shelters as the only humane alternative. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy but it is lethal to the future of dogs and widespread dog ownership.” I thought that was a very accurate view of what’s going on.


I’m a little old for “surfing” but I learned that many private animal shelters have acquired police powers and the right to immediately sell animals they have seized. Excuse me! If the animals are in poor condition, starved, sick, abused-whatever was the premise for the seizure-how can they suddenly be healthy and adoptable within 24 hours? This is outright theft. Shelters and animal rights groups are illegally seizing valuable property with no warrant and no probable cause other than some (paid) zealot’s opinion. I found a current case in North Carolina where over 100 animals were seized; miniature horses, cats, purebred dogs, and even “mistreated and neglected” chickens.


I confess to being a cat lover. Cats don’t get the publicity that horses and dogs get. I remember seeing on TV many years ago where in Texas, they broke into a house and seized a dozen Bengal cats. The camera caught a close-up of beautiful, friendly house cats in excellent shape. It then cut to the vet where they were being spayed. There was a magnificent male stretched out on the stainless steel table, limp from anesthesia. It was clear that he was in prime coat, weight, and condition. I attempted to follow up as I would like to have had one of those cats. The Bengal had just been TICA recognized but I knew about them and thought one would fit in well with my Persians.


No luck. I made several calls but no one wanted to talk or return my call. I now realize with the national television coverage, I would’ve been at the end of a long list of eager adoptees. Bengals were selling back then for well over $2000 so I guess that shelter made out pretty well.


Dog and cat breeders have a problem and it appears no one is sticking up for them. I'm getting better at researching material online but I couldn't find a single concrete instance of any fight either registry won except perhaps CFA's against a couple of bills in California.  I used to donate to HSUS (before I learned better) and I would donate to the dog or cat registries but they don’t seem to want our money to fight animal rights, or the adoption racket. As my grandson says, go figure.

13121612  http://www.thedogpress.com/Columns/Christmas-Adoption-Racket_Carter-1312.asp


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