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The Animal Person Minute:: There’s Hope for the Animal Planet Series


Our photo today is of Violet Rays. That’s her excited face. She’s going to the completely fenced in middle school grounds that has four different fields for her to run in, and no, she doesn’t run on the baseball fields or dig holes, and yes, she has already been for a walk and pooped for the morning.

Unfortunately, her three different kinds of eye medications are still fresh on her face here, sort of staining her eye, but other than that I think she’s beautiful.

Now, onto my topic for today. At various points in the Michael Vick saga, I’ve heard that the HSUS had the dogs and the ASPCA had the dogs. I even heard that the dogs would be euthanized within 48 hours. That was last week. And as I wrote about a couple of days ago, Wayne Pacelle was on NPR talking about the options for the dogs, assessment and rehabilitation basically being expensive and improbable.

Meanwhile, the ASPCA now has the dogs and is assessing them and won’t say more and it’s all very double secret, hush-hush. I think we should flood the ASPCA with e-mails regarding that Animal Planet series with Cesar Millan I had conjured up. I’m sure they are documenting the assessment of the dogs meticulously (or at least I would hope so), but I don’t know if they’re filming it in any way.

So here’s the deal, we e-mail, comment, call and suggest:

  • Filming the assessments
  • Enlisting the help of Cesar Millan for the rehabilitation (whether you like him or not)
  • Making a season-long Animal Planet series out of the process
  • Highlighting dogfighting
  • Addressing breed specific legislation
  • Addressing dogs that are considered pit bulls and how many are in shelters and what they’re like when they haven’t been trained to fight
  • A percentage of the advertising dollars would go as a donation to the ASPCA (that’s why they’d do it–they need to get something out of it and I don’t know if publicity is enough. I know lots of people don’t like the ASPCA, particularly because of their failure to help carriage horses, but I’ve got to make this idea workable for them, and a large donation seems like the way to do it).

If you’re a member of the media, you can contact Shonali Burke, Vice President of Media and Communications at or 212-876-7700, ext. 4565. Everyone else, I went through the dozens of ways to contact the ASPCA and I think that leaving a comment on their blog is a fine idea. If you’ve got a way to make this hypothetical TV series more appealing, let them know. And let me know.

As far as I know, the dogs aren’t dead yet, so maybe we can save them.

UPDATE: I left a rather lengthy comment on the ASPCA blog, pending approval, introducing this idea. If it gets approved, all you have to do is add your own message of support, fill in any details I neglected to mention, and add some of your own.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ellie #

    Here's what I've learned about these welfare groups: The ASPCA and HSUS are signatories of the "Asilomar Accords". Together with the Maddie's Fund and other organizations, they claim they are building a No Kill system, but their position actually guarantees many animals will be killed, and it attempts to justify it.

    These groups support "temperament testing" which most dogs (including my own) couldn't possibly pass. And when the dogs and cats fail, that is supposedly reason for "justified euthanasia".

    If the ASPCA is going to test Vick's dogs, I agree this should be filmed. After all, they get donations based on their treatment of animals. So let's see them in action. If they don't allow filming, I think it's because they don't want to deal with advocates who won't agree with their decisions.

    But even if animals are really too aggressive to be adopted, I think these groups should admit they are killing them because the welfare system they have cultivated has failed. That they haven't appropriated enough funding to rehabilitation illustrates how little they value animals they claim to protect.

    They should take responsibility for that, without resorting to euphemisms like "euthanasia". Killing aggressive animals to protect humans is primarily done for our benefit, not theirs.

    Here's something from No Kill Solutions on the Asilomar Accords:

    And here's the text and signatories of the Asilomar Accords:

    August 28, 2007
  2. Deb #

    I keep checking their blog, and so far there are no comments on the pit bull evaluation post. Could you (or anyone who happens to notice) let us know when your comment gets approved? I'm afraid I'll stop remembering to check, and lose an opportunity!

    August 28, 2007
  3. Lidia Belknap #

    Just wanted to thank you for giving this great suggestion about filming the dogs evaluation and let you know that right after i read this post i went to ASPCA blog and left my comment there. I hope that the dogs are still alive.

    September 2, 2007

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