Granted, the property looks like the aftermath of one of those aerial shots of somebody’s homestead after a tornado passed through, but the animals themselves look fine.
The real bottom line
So what was really going on here? Was this truly a case of rampant animal cruelty worthy of a media circus of TV reporters and hovering newscopters?
Apparently not. According to the newspaper, Kitsap Humane Society officials said they’re facing a $180,000 shortfall, and indicated that their facility might have to shut its doors if they can’t convince the public “to donate a little more freely and permanently.”
“It would be a shame should it come to that,” the newspaper editorialized. “The low-kill facility provides an indefinite home to animals with no place to call their own.”
As a result, of its fiscal crisis, the society announced that it isseeking 1,500 people to commit to $10 a month. Does anyone really believe that conducting the society’s “largest rescue effort to date” wasn’t part of a kickoff to that fund-raising effort?
And why isn’t the national Humane Society of the United States forking over some of its multi-millions to help out this struggling local agency? Oh, that’s right. HSUS doesn’t actually fund animal rescue efforts; they just talk about their “commitment” to ending animal cruelty—which doesn’t come with a check attached.
One of the local residents commenting on the story summedup the situation perfectly:
“[Calling it] animal cruelty gives the impression these people were beating the animals and allowing them to starve to death. Not the case at all. Multiple complaints were launched over a sickly cow that they probably should have slaughtered a long time ago, but they felt the need to keep doctoring & feeding it when they should have cut their losses. Overcrowding & algae growth in some water bottles is the other complaint KHS has, stating [that] the living conditions were unsanitary. They should have mandated the owners to downsize and given them a timeline in which to do it. Instead, they took every animal these people own and try to present them as monsters to the community.
“They invited every media they could gather with helicopters circling overhead & rolled in with a lineup of vans and trailers that went down half the road and made of circus of the entire situation. If you ask me, someone at the KHS is looking for a promotion, and these poor people, who have been suffering from multiple deaths in their family and illnesses of their own, having each been hospitalized themselves twice in the past two years, provided the perfect medium for them.”
“Looking for a promotion,” indeed. It appears as if this local Humane Society, while it might not be receiving funding from the national HSUS, is downloading and deploying their tactics to a “T.”
And that stands for “tragedy,” which is what you call it when the animal welfare community adopts heavy-handed tactics aimed at making a media splash, rather than righting any wrongs which the animal owners they target might have been guilty.
Review the photos of this animal seizure.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, who is a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.