1. Public pressure actually does have an effect on organizations, at least ones with somewhat sane individuals running them. I have to admit that my expectation with the OSPCA changing its tune was not great going into this thing three days ago after first hearing about the Newmarket cull.
The OSCPA screwed up but at least after all the public outrage directed at them, they've realized their gross errors and are attempting to screw up somewhat less. Not good enough for the animals already dead but better than the initial predicted toll of 350.
On the other hand, the THS took ten years to capitulate and it took handcuffing the senior management and marching them out of the building to do so and some of its board members still can't admit to any wrongdoing or errors. In their minds, it's still all everyone else's fault.
And then there's the Ontario McGuinty government who will probably never stray from their mantra of the only good Pit Bull is a dead Pit Bull and fuck you if your dog isn't a Pit Bull, we might kill it anyways.
2. If you get into this animal welfare racket, you're going to get shit on your shoes. Rob Godfrey, chair of the OSPCA, sure looked uncomfortable taking flak while defending the actions of the organization, not surprising considering they were mostly indefensible. I don't really blame him for this ... much. He probably took the board position thinking it would be just like any other board: meet once a month, discuss the big picture stuff, leave the operations to the salaried people, go to a bunch of fancy fundraisers to glad hand and then fugitaboutit.
Uh, not so fast Mr. Chairman. This is animal welfare. It ain't the Boy Scouts. If you don't know what you're getting into and you don't keep an eye on everything and everyone and all the time, don't be surprised if you wake up one day wondering why your world suddenly turned a nasty shade of slime brown.
All the exec types running in the Toronto Humane Society elections who think animal welfare is just like any other business might want to take note.
3. Death threats are a rite of passage. Doesn't seem to matter which side you're on, you'll know you're a somebody in the world of animal welfare once you get a death threat. If you haven't gotten a death threat yet and want to get chummy with the other players in the big leagues, you might want to consider faking one for yourself or getting your friends to write a few for you otherwise you're just a punk and no one's really going to take you seriously.
4. The public has an opinion and it's wrong. But we live in a democracy so you animal loving types are just going to have to suck it up unless you teach the public different. Until then, those furry creatures we seem to care for so much are going to keep on dying and being killed. Check out The Toronto Sun survey below (click on image to enlarge):
The majority of those who responded think the OSPCA cull is a good thing. The majority of those who responded think killng Pit Bulls is still a good thing.
5. There's been massive media coverage of the Newmarket OSPCA in the last few days. Worthington at the Toronto Sun must be just positively tickled like a little girl trying on her first pink dress. They've had more giddy coverage of the downturn for the OSPCA in the last three days than they've ever had with their begrudging coverage of the THS affair.
Unfortunately, whenever there's animal welfare coverage of any kind, meatheads inevitably come out to disparage anything to do with helping animals. Why help stupid animals when there are hungry children in Africa? they whine.
Why is it these saints never show up in, say, the entertainment section of the newspaper and post comments like, "How dare you go out and watch movies when you could be helping starving children?" I've never seen any of them show up in the auto section with, "Why are you buying new cars when you should be spending your money on starving African children?" Nor have I seen them post in the sports section, "Stop watching hockey and go help starving children in Africa."
There is something intrinsic to animal welfare that brings out the best and worst in people in both those who participate and those who observe. You don't get into hands-on animal welfare for money. You don't do it for popularity. You don't do it for power. You do it solely for compassion. I guess that really pisses off the assholes.