Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Most of us are aware of the horrible dog auctions held in Ohio. Spent breeding stock, many needing medical care, not even to mention emotional care. Poor dogs with broken spirits. So, in ride the good guys, those wanting to stop these auctions - the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. This Coalition managed to gather over 150,000 signatures on their petition when only 115,000 were required. Now the signatures have to be verified and if all checks out, legislation has to be introduced within 4 months. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/ohio-dog-auctions-distrubtion-channel-puppy-mill-cruelty

Sounds good, huh? Sounds like the citizens of Ohio are in favor of banning these auctions, huh? Who wouldn't be in favor of something like this? Ask and ye shall receive.


On the Best F(r)iends Network, December 23, 2011, there is a piece about this legislation and this Coalition. Of course, you would expect to see something like this on BF's site, it is news in the humane world. What you don't expect to see is this disclaimer:

**Best Friends Animal Society has not taken a position of support or opposition to this piece of legislation.

**Best Friends supports legislation that promotes humane standards for commercial breeders of companion animals. Specifically, we support quality standards that incorporate strict guidelines to ensure that animals’ physical and mental health thrive. This includes capping the number of dogs in each facility. Periodic oversight by a state or local agency and notable penalties that seriously deters recidivism is important. We also support statutes that prohibit entities that are not in compliance with existing laws and regulations from operating a pet-for profit business.

I ask you how does that read to you? It reads to me that Best F(r)iends is in bed with breeders, "commercial breeders" at that. Puppy mills are commercial breeders. I don't know about you but it would be a cold day in hell before Best Fiends gets my donation dollar.


Mary Shaver said...

Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) has been a great ally to the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions 9CBODA)! Their Staff Writers have promoted our 2012 ballot campaign through multiple articles over the past two years. We applaud their support of the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions legislative efforts to address puppy mills in Ohio!

The 'disclaimer' you reference is noted at the bottom of all articles written on legislative efforts that are not receiving funding from BFAS. CBODA has not received any financial support from the traditional big three - HSUS, ASPCA or BFAS.

HonestyHelps said...

And why aren't the big three offering any funding for that Coalition? Can you explain that?

Besides, when people read that disclaimer, what meaning do you think they get?

And you said nothing about the "coalition" between Breeder Barnette and Best Fiends?

Anonymous said...

Honesty, this is a perfect example of why people should donate to local groups. They get results with litle money and only want publicity for their cause, not for their organization.

The biggys like Best Friends take in milions of dollars and we never see them involved in anything that doesn't put their name first and let them take the credit. And they don't fix any of our local issues. I'm glad they are helping Mary Shaver but if even a small percentage of what the major groups take in was spent on really going after breeders, we wouldn't have any of these problems.

ASPCA and Best Friends both support breeders. ASPCA is at the NY AKC Westminster dog show every year and Best Friends just left a long disclaimer on how they support commercial breeders. Disgusting!

Congrats to CBODA for all your hard work in fighting puppy mills and dog auctions. I've seen these awful spectacles. I had nightmares for months. I will never forget the empty eyes of those dogs.

Tell everybody when they donate charity really does begin at home. Give to the grassroots organizaations that want the problems to go away, not those that just prolong them for more fundraising.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, I agree. I don't believe Mary will do the same, at least not openly. It is the disclaimer that I hate on this, it is made to read that to a layman, this action is not supported by BF. It can be stated no financial help but we do support it. Know who you are donating to and what they actually stand for. Breeders have money, remember that, and money talks.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused and hope that someone could clarify. Is BF in the tax exempt category that allows them to lobby for or against any legislation?

If they can, must they fund a project to be for it? If they must fund it to support it, and they are not funding it (yet do support it), why do they even post a disclaimer? That is, if they really are such great allies to the CBODA, wouldn't such a disclaimer be a lie? Wouldn't it be better to just say nothing?

Something just doesn't smell right here.

Anonymous said...

The very stance in the BFD-isclaimer for oversight is the very thing Congress recently voted for that reversed the de facto ban on US horse slaughter.

Good going BF.
Ban Ohio Dog Auctions.
Ban transport of horses for slaughter. Until you take a stance on those-your support for oversight has deadly consequences-but, my guess is you know that. Right?

Mary Shaver said...

CBODA's decision to not accept funding is by design. From the beginning, our preference has been to rely solely on the generosity of individuals and groups at the local, regional and state level, versus the national animal advocacy organizations. (We have no relationship or affiliation with Breeder Barnette.)

Formed in 2009, CBODA is a citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan Ohio coalition that has come together to address Ohio puppy mill dog auctions through its 2012 ballot initiative, Ohio Dog Auctions Act. We are an all volunteer organization dedicated to addressing dog auctions and their relationship to puppy mill breeding and pet homelessness.

Our supporters include a diverse section of voters from across Ohio, including but not limited to a broad range of dog enthusiasts, veterinarians, breeders, animal care and welfare organizations, animal control representatives, judges, attorneys and government employees who understand state governance.

Should you have questions regarding any financial aspect of our campaign, I would recommend you contact the Ohio Attorney General, Ohio Secretary of State or our legal counsel, Don McTigue (McTigue & McGinnis, LLC). Our financial records are available for review by the general public.

With respect to the disclaimer submitted to articles on the Best Friends Network, my recommendation would be to contact Ledy VanKavage, Sr. Legislative Attorney for BF, at the following address:

Best Friends Animal Society
PO Box 313 Maryville, IL 62062
618-550-9469 CELL
618-345-6542 FAX

Mary Shaver said...

Anonymous, thank you so much! There has been a tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears dedicated to this campaign by compassionate volunteers from across Ohio and beyond. We are incredibly grateful and humbled by their generosity.

Have a wonderful holiday celebration! Many blessings to you in 2012!

Anonymous said...

Of course BFAS would be in bed with the breeders. Without breeders, there wouldn't be a need for their "No More Homeless Pets" crusade.

Come on Honesty, get with the program.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon 06, you are allowed to lobby if the legislation directly affects you and your work as a non profit. And I agree, something doesn't smell right here.

Mary, I don't have any questions about your Coalition except why BF would put that disclaimer on. To someone reading the piece it looks like BF doesn't support you. I think it needed to be written another way. All I got was a lecture on responsible breeding. As far as contacting VanKanvage, I wouldn't contact her to save my life if I were hanging off the side of a cliff. She's a dirtbag in my book and mentioning attorney on this blog doesn't bother me at all if that was the purpose.

Mary, I think you have done a great job but I think the odds are working against you. All I want to point out is the relationship between breeders.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I'm with Honesty. I applaud your work and wish you all the best.

It seems that BFAS would have done a better service to your cause by writing nothing at all instead of that disclaimer. How many BFAS supporters in your area might think twice before helping out because they read BFAS literature? They might be thinking "oh--they aren't really behind this--I guess I'll just wait and see what happens" or, worse yet "oh--they are for 'responsible' breeders, so I'll lobby against this."

I hope I am wrong and their disclaimer doesn't negatively impact your legislative efforts.

All the best to you and your campaign.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon:32, thanks, that pretty well sums it up. These auctions also are attended by rescues, hoping to save what they can. The auctions bring in money that probably wouldn't have been there otherwise and dogs would have died instead. I don't understand why BF or any of them have to fund something in order to show support. Would it be that they are in it for the glory or in this case, they don't want to tick off a funding source? This isn't about the Coalition of good people doing the right thing, it is about who should be supporting it openly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Honesty. Yes, one doesn't need to fund something to support it. There's gotta be something else at play. It's too telling for them to make such a statement now, at such a crucial time.

They have spread out over all of the USA and they won't take a stance on such an important issue? It just ain't right. What othe causes in other states are they imapacting this way?

Mary Shaver said...

HonestyHelps and Anon06, the vast majority of negative feedback which has hit our campaign has been from the puppy mill breeders (those profiting from the dog auctions). To the contrary, the recent BFAS article written by Jennifer Hayes has resulted in 34 new volunteers joining our Coalition (all referenced the BFAS article when asked the question, "How Did You Hear About Us?)!

When we started this initiative in November 2009, we were told, "the odds are working against you. You'll be lucky to collect 1,000 signatures, let alone 100,000 signatures." Well, the opposition underestimated us then, and we proved that a coalition of fiercely determined animal advocates (voters and taxpayers!) can not only collect 1,000 but over 150,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters!

Our base of 940 volunteer petitioners (many of whom are volunteers with/supporters of BFAS) will continue to support us through the end of this ballot campaign. They are dedicated to this issue, and a one-liner disclaimer will not deter these passionate animal advocates from ending a major distribution channel which fuels a tremendous amount of heartbreaking animal cruelty, corruption and consumer fraud!

Again, as for the BFAS disclaimer, I would recommend you contact them directly and present your concerns and questions. When something seems fishy or 'doesn't smell right', I always find it's best to hear it straight from the horses's mouth versus someone else's interpretation who is not initimate with the reasons behind the action. (As mentioned previously, CBODA is not the only campaign/cause that contains this disclaimer; there are numerous articles posted with this footnote across the BFAS Network.)

CBODA lives by the motto, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." - Henry Ford. That motto has served us well, and we will continue to embrace this philosophy until we reach our goal.

HonestyHelps said...

I can appreciate your efforts, Mary, and those of your volunteers. But ask, since you say how many people you got to your side, how many may have been pushed away with that disclaimer. Those could number far more. And those who were attracted to you because of BF, maybe they felt that BF wasn't right and this was their way for making up for it. I understand why you might defend them and the first disclaimer certainly was ample enough. The second one was way too much and further validates my feelings about Best Fiends.

Mary Shaver said...

HonestyHelps, our records reflect an increase in our volunteer base due to the recent media coverage (which included USA Today)of our milestone of collecting over 150,000 signatures. There is no indication the BFAS disclaimer has impacted any aspect of our campaign.

Sadly, I feel the volume and depth of negativity relating to these postings is counterproductive to the goal of helping animals today and tomorrow. I would rather focus my energies on making a positive difference versus engaging in dialogue relating to some 'conspiracy theory' involving BFAS (or any animal welfare organization for that matter).

This is my last post on your Blog.

HonestyHelps said...

But can your records show any negative effect from all this? You don't know that, do you? Granted you did a wonderful job, but could that job have been better and easier without that disclaimer or with their open support? See, that kind of lost of time and effort, when we all should be supporting things such as your Coalition openly, from damages we usually can't see, is counterproductive in my book.

Mary, I don't mean to disagree with you about what good you have done, I just know that BF only acts in their own behalf, not really supporting unless they can get the credit. Maybe that is the reason they aren't on board, maybe you know this already.

Anonymous said...

'Glad you got the signatures to make it on the ballot. I just hope the opposition doesn't use the BFD-isclaimer to further their cause. I can see it now: "We support dog auctions and believe such a ban is business unfriendly during these tough economic times. We welcome inspections and stand by our animals. Even Best Friends, the nation's no kill advocate and rescue center, supports us. Please vote against the ban and help us make Ohio an animal friendly place."


HonestyHelps said...

Anon:42, that speaks to my concern as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, Best Friends has done nothing but hook in with the breeders and puppy mills over and over again.

I'm sorry, but Best Friends OPPOSES dog limits in Kanab Utah itself, and that is in town meeting notes!

They want to expand the number of hoarders that they dump animals with and pretend are "adopted" so they can keep lying to donors and pretending they are No kill.

That enables puppy mills too.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a little confused and hope that someone could clarify. Is BF in the tax exempt category that allows them to lobby for or against any legislation?"

Ledy Van Kavage of Best Friends has done NOTHING but lobby for pit bull breeders, even appearing at a lobbying event with a dog fighter breeding kennel at some fgakey "candlelight vigil." The dog fighters even wore their fighting dog breeding kennel caps and t shirts!

Best Friends does nothing but lobby for more donations!

They have always refused to take drop offs at the sanctuary, and instead let pets get abandoned to die on the desert, or send them to local animal control which is overwhwelmed and has to euthanize. Volunteers after volunteer has posted online about the fact that Best Friends won't even take their rescues!

Best Friends is reducing the number of animals at the sanctuary and gradually making it disappear, and hiring more and more lobbyists and public relations people and fundraisers, to make more money to pay administrative staff.

They aren't doing anything really to help animals anymore. That stopped a long time ago, and it was never as much as they claimed.

Anonymous said...

Mary Shaver, do you know anything about what Ledy Van Kavage is up to?

She arranges vigils with dog fighting breeders and help those psychos breed and persaecute even more pit bulls!

Do you know who Rick Berman is? Do you know that Rick Berman represents people who hurt and kill animals for profit, like the AKC, class B dealers, dog fighters? Did you know that BEST FRIENDS was spewing Rick Berman propaganda and publishing links to Rick Berman's lobbying sites (supporting animal abuse and opposing humane treatment of animals) in their magazine?

What do YOU think is going on when Best Friends links up with Rick Berman to use and trick gullible people?

Anonymous said...

Best Friends is IN BED with Rick Berman and the AKC puppy mills!!


The breeding industry greases a lot of wheels with their blood money!!

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, let's not give Mary too hard a time. She is doing what she should do in order to get her agenda done and her agenda is noble. Even jumping into bed with the devil is acceptable if animals can benefit in this case. So let's give her credit, she may vomit each time she has to acknowledge them for all we know. But understand she can't condemn them in public if it would hurt her cause. I would do the same thing.