Pacelle: It depends on how you define animal shelters. We run the largest trade show in the nation that services animal shelters. We publish the magazine of the field called Animal Sheltering, we do shelter evaluations, we give millions of dollars in grants, but when there is a puppy mill in Washington State or a dog fighting operation in Colorado, and the shelters can’t handle that, we typically do the investigations, find out where the problem is and then send our emergency services unit in that helps shelters. The Shelter Pet Project alone – which is a national advertising campaign to drive adoptions to shelters – is expected to be $40-80 million a year worth of advertising value. You can’t quantify the work that we do, but again if people want us to spend all of our hard dollars on animal shelters, they can support their local humane society. We think that is fabulous and we support the shelters and we hope all of your listeners support their local animal shelter, but we have other issues we want to work on.
Dogs and cats are less than 1% of the animals in society. There are horses, there are farm animals, animals used in research, wild animals. We have program that address all of those issues. That’s what the founders of the organization imagined the organization doing when it was created in the 1950s. It’s how every CEO of the organization has imagined the work. It’s how our entire 27-member national volunteer board of directions imagines the work of the organization. We’re totally transparent in our work.
Adams: If you find an operation, whether it a livestock operation or a puppy mill or whatever, to be in violation of animal welfare regulations, if they are in the wrong, do you immediately put hat word out or is there a lag time there? Are you waiting for the most publicity you can get out of it? If you know about things that are wrong, why aren’t you right now saying this is wrong, something has to be done? Why is there a lag time on these things?
Pacelle: I’m preaching from the top of the mountain that there is something going wrong. That’s why we are concerned about inherently inhumane systems that deny an animal the opportunity to move or stand up. If you are talking about the Hallmark/Westland case where it was HSUS that documented terrible abuse, where USDA had five inspectors and was allowing terrible abuse to go on, where there were 17 third-party audits hired by the slaughter plant and they basically got A+ ratings, we did not have confidence at that point that USDA would handle the situation appropriately.