Monday, July 7, 2008


I've been spending a good deal of time recently trying to educate myself on the varieties of dog rescue organizations and the more I delve into it, the more I realize that a lot of money and time isn't dedicated to dog rescue at all but to politics. There's a huge PR war surrounding hot button issues like breed specific legislation or mandatory spay neuter or anti-tethering laws, between no-kill vs kill shelters, animal welfare vs animal rights, to more local issues like trademark usage problems (, and finger pointing at and between the Toronto Humane Society and the Ontario SPCA (eg.

These issues are important and creating awareness around these issues is important but here's the thing: awareness is not action, nor does it always translate into action. In fact, more often than not, it just leads to, well, more awareness ( I'm not going to load you up with examples. Just look around at all the things we do, individually and as a society, which we know are bad yet continue to do. Yeah, I'm so happy we're so aware of all the crappy things we do; now let's go have lunch.

Someone does needs to look at the bigger picture in order to solve the bigger problems but I believe the biggest problem is simply that dogs and all other living things on our planet will forever be at our mercy to do with as we please and what pleases us is often what hurts the other and because no law or lobby or jingle will ever change that (hasn't worked for murder, war, genocide or saving the environment), there will always be a large population of dogs in desperate situations that need a helping hand, not just helping words. When a dog is in someone's backyard dying from neglect, it doesn't need two people arguing over whether or not it's humane to have it tethered or kenneled, whether or not it should be spayed or left intact, whether or not it should be given rights or welfare. It needs action.

Am I suggesting that we should totally stop trying to inform and educate? No, absolutely not. I am saying, though, that awareness does not always lead to action. I am saying that spending exorbitant amounts of money on PR instead of on food, shelter and medical care is uncharitable. I am saying that salvaging one's ego isn't saving a dog's life. I am saying that ideology means fuck all to an animal in need. I am saying that at some point, sooner than later, instead of fighting like typical humans, we get back to the task at hand and give that hungry dog a bone (raw, meaty and politically correct, of course). If you want to help animals, then help animals otherwise your ass is just getting fat from sitting and yakking all day.

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