Wayne Pacelle’s current blog post reads, in part:
Preventing cruelty is The HSUS’s number one charge. But we also rush in to help animals in crisis, typically when local groups don’t have the resources to handle large numbers of animals in dire circumstances.
One of the most rewarding parts of our work is seeing the happy faces of formerly abused animals in their new homes.
The actual rescue itself can be harrowing and exhausting. But in the end, it’s the support of local rescue groups and foster homes that helps us complete the mission, ensuring that every adoptable animal has a safe place to rest his or her head at night.
In 2010, The HSUS intervened in more than 50 puppy mills, animal fighting operations, animal hoarding situations, and the like. Of the thousands of animals rescued, each has his or her own unique story. Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared the survival stories of Boomer, Powell and Second Chance.
Good for Boomer, Powell and
Second Chance (see update at end of post). Sadly, sometimes when HSUS staff “rush in to help animals”, the survivors never get to be happy faces in new homes. Because as Mr. Pacelle points out, small rescue groups and troubled shelters are often hard pressed to handle the products of HSUS “rescues”. They don’t have $100 million budgets or millions of donors to fund them. And HSUS doesn’t stick around to assist with infrastructure building on the local level. They simply dump and run.
So while Mr. Pacelle touts the stories of those animals who got lucky after their HSUS “rescue”, allow me to share a few stories of the ones who didn’t. I’m sure these pets would have loved to have a safe place to sleep at night. Tragically, they’re dead. But they are not forgotten.
HSUS and a group called Second Chance Rescue unlawfully seized approximately 200 dogs from a breeder in SD in September of last year. In February 2010, it was revealed that dozens of the dogs had been healthy at the time of seizure but sickened and died in the care of their “rescuers”:
The new court documents show none of the dogs had the highly contagious parvo virus when they were seized. A letter from Veterinarian Laura Byl says none of the dogs had the disease, but another document shows at least ten of the dogs contracted the virus while they were in the care of Second Chance Rescue and some got so sick, they died.
A complete list of all the dogs seized shows a total of 28 dogs under Second Chance’s care have died since last September’s raid.
The search warrant used to seize the dogs was later ruled illegal because an ACO had failed to tell the judge “the animals looked okay just days before the raid”.
They looked ok before the raid. But after being “rescued”, 28 dogs died from a deadly disease they contracted at the facility where they were kept. Ironically, HSUS claimed the dogs had been rescued from unsanitary conditions.
Rest in peace, 28 pups from SD “rescued” by HSUS. You are remembered.
In early December, HSUS went into Marshall Co, AL without involving the county’s sole ACO, took 44 dogs who appear to have been adequately cared for, labeled the owner a “hoarder”, and then distributed the dogs to groups in other southern states (who already face serious challenges themselves).
Ten of the dogs went to a gassing shelter in Lincoln Co, NC. The shelter killed three of the dogs for being “sick” according to shelter records. We still don’t know where many of the other dogs went and how many are still alive. HSUS refuses to say. They are probably hoping people will move on to other matters and forget. I won’t forget. I remember the 146 Pitbulls in Wilkes Co NC, including 19 puppies still nursing from their dams, that HSUS “rescued” and was so intent on killing, they went to court to do it.
Rest in peace Harry, Murray, and male retriever #38805 “rescued” by HSUS. I don’t know how many of your packmates might be with you, but may you all know love and compassion next time around. You are remembered.
Update, 12-30-10: Humane Watch reports that Second Chance – the horse mentioned in Wayne Pacelle’s post – is deceased.