More tactics taken by PETA, in an attempt to smother the No Kill Movement.
Caboodle Ranch, a feline sanctuary located in Madison County, Florida became part of the PETA witch-hunt to seek out and shut down “no-kill” organizations throughout the country. Tallahassee.com, a division of the Tallahassee Democrat reported today that “hundreds of cats” are being “removed from Madison County Ranch”. Caboodle Ranch is located on a secluded 30-acre property and was founded and operated by Craig Grant. Grant began the sanctuary in 2003 when he decided that saving lives was much more important than having material things. Grant states on the Caboodle Ranch website, “…material items aren’t important to me anymore….Caboodle Ranch is now a permanent sanctuary for cats who have been kicked around by heartless people. There are many sad stories between all the cats I’ve taken in. Some almost starved to death, some of them wounded strays. I’ve seen many locked in cages for months in animal shelters and have taken in some of those too.”Varied reports have been published stating that the number of cats on the outdoor sanctuary/property that have now been seized range anywhere from 300-700. PETA has produced articles and videos declaring “Victory!” The question being, who is the victor?
The PETA videos show a handful of felines who are in great need of medical care- infected with Upper Respiratory Infections, eye issues and more. The felines shown in the video are without question, in need of immediate medical attention by a professional veterinarian. The conditions shown from inside one of the trailers (cats at the sanctuary were allowed to roam in and out of the trailers/buildings) are difficult to watch. It appears that one individual’s good intentions overwhelmed him to the point that the pets were not receiving the quality and standard of care they deserve. However, we all know there are two sides to every story and at this point we are only hearing one side of the story, and that is PETA’s. PETA claims “victory” but we are not sure just who the victor is. The cats shown in undercover PETA videos are certainly in dire need of medical care, however, PETA’s Shelter located in Virginia has a documented 97% kill rate- yes, you read that correctly, 97% kill rate. Nathan Winograd posted the following information his blog on February 23, 2012, “The numbers are in. In 2011, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) impounded 760 dogs. They killed 713 of them. Only 19 were adopted. An additional 36 of them were transferred to kill “shelters” where their fates and the fates of those animals they displaced are unknown. In 2011, they impounded 1,211 cats. 1,198 were put to death. A paltry 5 of them were adopted and another 8 were transferred to kill “shelters” where their fates and the fates of those animals they displaced are unknown. They also took in 58 other companion animals, including rabbits. 54 were put to death. Only 4 were adopted. All told, 2,029 companion animals were impounded. 1,965 were put to death. Only 28 were placed in homes. That’s a 97% rate of killing. If the animals transferred to kill shelters were themselves killed or displaced other animals who were then killed to take in the ones from PETA, the death toll could be as high as 99% (2,009 of the 2,029 animals they impounded). Only 1% were adopted into homes. While the No Kill movement is having unparalleled success and with No Kill communities now dotting the American landscape—in California, Nevada, Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Texas, Virginia, and elsewhere—PETA continues to be little more than a slaughterhouse.”
PETA uses their donated funds to pay for the unnecessary killing of nearly every companion animal they come in contact with. Nathan Winograd’s March 29, 2009 blog, stated, “PETA paid $9,370 of its members donations in order for them to install a large walk-in freezer to store all the bodies of dead animals PETA kills at its headquarters.”PETA decided it would be wise to use their donated funds to purchase a freezer to house the loads of dead animals they produce…Which beckon’s the question- what now will become of the cats who once lived at Caboodle Ranch? Now that PETA has had their self-proclaimed “victory”- what happens to the cats?
The cats who came to Caboodle Ranch were unwanted by owners or had spent time sitting behind the cold bars of an unfriendly shelter. They had already endured a difficult start in life. They came to Caboodle Ranch hoping for a second chance at life- a chance to live a long, healthy and loved life. Apparently taking on too much, Grant got in over his head and as it has been shown in PETA released videos, did not provide a proper standard of medical care or environmental care for the cats in his care. So now, PETA steps in and seizes hundreds of cats- and where are they now? Are they safe? Are they being “medically treated” as necessity deems- or are they becoming part of the 97% of annual PETA deaths? Are they too being added to the PETA freezer purchased with donor funds?
PETA paints the picture that all no-kill rescue organizations and sanctuary’s are just like Caboodle Ranch. In one video released today, PETA stated, “Don’t be fooled by the No Kill Myth.” Furthermore, they called rescues “unregulated”. What about PETA and their 97% kill rate? Who is regulating them? PETA says to support “open intake shelters”, not “rescues”. So, to be clear, PETA says we should support open-intake shelters like the New York ACC who have allegations of neglect and as Sarah Wallace reported on November 24, 2010, “Insiders say animals under the care of Animal Care and Control are housed in deplorable conditions – cats stacked in small cages and dogs often not walked for days.” According to PETA, we should send our donations to shelters like the New York ACC to help promote daily killing and abuse? If you’re an animal lover, and you probably are if you’re reading this article, do you feel confused about where to donate your money to truly help the animals? You’re not alone.
The media loves to glorify “hoarding” stories. They love drama and they love a story that will bring out people’s emotions. But why is it that we have to side with one or the other- kill shelters or no-kill efforts? Why isn’t the effort instead, focused on helping the animals? Why, when local grassroots rescue organizations ask to work together with local humane society’s and county pounds, do they get turned down? Why do organizations like the HSUS, ASPCA and PETA seem to only care about money and not about the welfare of the animals they have pledged to help? Instead of claiming “victory” for shutting down a fellow animal advocacy organization, why not take a different approach- Why not collaborate?
Should we focus our energy on the countless shelters and county pounds who have a 90%+ kill rate, or should we focus our attention on the shelters and rescues who are saving 90%+ of the animals? Doesn’t it make sense to focus on what IS working and move towards that model- rather than focusing on what’s not working and dwelling on what isn’t being done on behalf of the animals. Let’s focus on what can be done if the public, county pounds, shelters and rescue organizations all work together in an effort to save more lives and provide top of the line care for the animals. And this effort should not exclude the large organizations such as the HSUS, ASPCA and PETA- they should not be above the principal of good old fashioned collaboration- we’re all in this together, right? If we ALL work together in an effort to save the lives of animals in need, provide proper medical care and proper environment’s- and adopt, adopt, adopt- isn’t that the goal after-all? If the goal is not to save more lives- then tell me what all the bickering is about?
It’s not cut and dry- it’s not that shelters are bad and rescues are good or visa vera.
Animals never choose where they end up. Animals don’t choose to be in the arms of an abuser, behind the cold bars of a county pound placed on the death row list, at an overcrowded sanctuary or surviving as a stray on the streets. They don’t choose. The cats at Caboodle Ranch certainly didn’t choose to live in less than proper conditions and they didn’t choose to leave their fate up to PETA. But we – you and I- we choose who we support and who we donate to. We choose our beliefs and our morals. We choose to educate ourselves or to follow media gossip. We choose to focus on the countless positive’s that occur on behalf of the animals every single day- because of wonderful volunteers and directors at both no-kill rescues and at open-intake shelters. We choose to focus on the positive and the “can-do’s” instead of the negative things that can not be changed. PETA chose to close down Caboodle Ranch and seize the hundreds of cats instead of providing proper intervention, counseling/education and outside assistance from other rescues and shelters, to truly show a focus on the needs of the cats. They chose to declare “victory” on closing down a rescue organization with good intentions that had gone awry, instead of finding a way to work collaboratively with others to truly help the cats. They could have asked local residents to temporarily foster cats, asked local grassroots rescue groups and shelters to each take in a few cats—this would constitute working together and in all honesty, this would be a victory for the cats. It should never be about a victory for anyone but them. The cats are what all concerned organization’s and citizens claim to be worried about- so why not then, collaborate to save them?
Whether an animal rescue organization is a no-kill rescue group, a no-kill shelter, an open-intake shelter or a kill-shelter- it takes an outstanding leader to head the organization. A good leader is an individual who is not overly swayed emotionally- but one who is compassionate. You have to use both your heart and your brain- but not one of those more than the other. Craig Grant certainly never intended to become overrun with cats, keeping them in less than proper conditions. You don’t become a 501c3 non-profit organization because it’s easy; it takes time and effort. Grant’s emotions ran too high, he couldn’t say “no” to those who called asking him to help with their cats. Intervention was needed, without a doubt. Intervention- not seizure. Collaboration- not domination. It should have been a facilitative effort, not a witch hunt.
To learn more about the amazing feats that are being accomplished in regards to saving the lives of animals- please read more about the No Kill Movement and No Kill Shelter Reform here.