New Animal Control.Org
This page is part of the More Information section of New Animal Control.Org
This article builds on information presented in a previous page titled The Focus on Animal Rescue as an Impediment to the Fight For Meaningful Reform. The information that follows will make more sense and be easier to follow if you read the other page first.
The Animal Welfare Agency as an Institutional Impostor
If you read the page that precedes this one in the sequence of presentation, then, you already know that working to rescue individual dogs is a very different thing from working to bring an end to the abuse of the canine species.
These days, to rescue a dog means to take an abused, neglected, or abandoned animal into a shelter or into someone's home as a means of getting him out of a bad situation and/or keeping him out of the death chamber.
Rescuing a dog is obviously a good thing, because by so doing, you can help that one, individual animal. However, if your goal is to minimize the amount of suffering experienced by the canine species, then, dog rescue is really not the most efficient use of your time and resources.
If your goal is to prevent canine suffering to the maximum extent possible, then, you need to work to change the system that is resulting in all these dogs being killed and or abused and neglected in the first place.
Animal rescue is good, but it can only help some individual dogs after they have already been traumatized. To really bring an end to the suffering of our canine population, we need to change the rules and regulations so all these dogs won't ever be in a position to be abused, neglected, and abandoned to begin with.
What Needs to Change Before the Canine Species Can Truly Be Rescued
The enormous rate of death and suffering among our canine population is due to the fact that we have a back-loaded dog management system that is one hundred percent reactive. The way the system is set up, no effort whatsoever is made to avoid problems before they have a chance to develop.
There is no screening or training required before a person gets a dog. Even someone with the express intention of keeping his dog-to-be in cruel and unsanitary conditions is still permitted to acquire the animal, because as a matter of fact, anyone can acquire a dog with the blessing of any government entity around the globe with no questions asked.
Worse than having low standards for dog ownership - we have no standards. And that is what is laying waste to our canine population.
It is not an accident. It is not a coincidence. We have the slaughter that we do because we have the rules and regulations that we do. To end this decades-old carnival of death and misery we must first change the rules and regs that govern our animal control system.
The Great Failing of Our Animal Welfare Agencies
The great disgrace of our animal welfare agencies is that they are not doing anything that has any real chance of making significant inroads against the current level of canine abuse. After all, when it comes to the tribulations of the canine species, the system is the problem. Indeed, the animal control system itself is the wellspring of canine suffering. And unfortunately, when it comes to the system, not only are the established agencies not leading the fight to change it, they are not even participating.
Of course they are doing rescue work, but then really, that amounts to little more than the equivalent of saving the lives of a few wounded soldiers without doing a damn thing to stop the endless war that almost killed them - and did kill millions and millions and millions of others like them who were not rescued. The real question is, what are they doing to bring a stop to this decades-long, ongoing catastrophe? The answer is that they are doing absolutely nothing to change the system that perpetuates this ongoing misery year after year.
Quite to the contrary, to judge from the solicitations of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), as well as those of the Humane Society of the United States for their never-ending rescue work, it appears that since they found their own niche of wealth and power within the system, that they have stopped struggling against the monster and settled in instead to feeding at its teat.
To be sure, the system we have in place for managing our canine community is having a catastrophic impact on that population. Indeed it is the methodology of the system that drives the butchery, just as surely as it is the system itself that now serves to perpetuate all of the problems it was created to prevent.
As an animal welfare society, if your real priority is to stop the dog slaughter and stem the suffering, then obviously, you are going to put the lion's share of your time, energy, and resources into educating the public and pressuring the politicians in order to build the political will necessary to get that system changed to one in which the authorities work proactively to ensure the welfare of the species.
On the other hand, if your priority is to build the power, wealth, and influence of your institution, then, you will want to put your efforts into something like rescue work, because rescue work ensures the welfare of your organization, and it is a cash cow that has proven over and over again that it can be milked endlessly for the kind of big bucks that every institution craves. Rescue work only helps a relatively few number of dogs, of course, while leaving millions of others to die or endure a hardscrabble existence of horrific suffering. But if you are some version of an animal welfare agency, then, rescue work will allow you to position your organization as the saint - the tenderhearted savior of the species. That, of course, makes it a whole lot easier for the people at the top of the agency to meet the payroll, and it means real job security for everyone in the organization.
And the best thing about rescue work is that it never solves the problem, so you can go back and milk it for yet more and more money every year - without end. If you are the head of an animal welfare organization with a family to feed and an institution to nurture - and those are your priorities - then, rescue work really is infinitely better than reforming the system - because reforming the system would bring an end to our canine apocalypse - and for the animal welfare agencies whose power and position depend on there being an enormous number of dogs in need of rescue, that would kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
Silver or Lead
It needs to be recognized, however, that there is another powerful factor in play here.
The ugly truth is that you absolutely cannot save the canine species by rescuing cute puppies, or through any sort of rescue work for that matter. You can only save the species by regulating an ugly beast - an ugly human kind of beast who gets real pissed off and awfully god-damned vindictive as soon as anybody starts trying to tell him what he can and cannot do in regard to any aspect of his life, but especially when it comes to anything having to do with his dog.
That, then, is the dilemma. If you focus on rescuing puppies, everyone will love you and shower you with money. The problem is that rescuing puppies can only help a few individual dogs. One can never emancipate the species in that fashion. To truly rescue the species will require well crafted, highly effective, strictly enforced regulation.
However, almost all animal welfare societies are dependent on public donations and/or on money from some sort of external entity for their funding, so none of those agencies ever want to face the firestorm of hate and venom that washes tsunami-like over any individual or any organization who dares to propose the regulation of dogs or dog owners.
If you are unaware of the zeal of the dog lobby, then, let's just say that in comparison, they make the National Rifle Association look like a lazy, easy to get along with do nothing bunch of lay arounds. The animal welfare societies simply do not have the backbone or the financial independence necessary to stand up to that bunch.
In Mexico there is a saying: silver or lead. It is a choice the drug traffickers give the police: Either accept this bribe (silver), or we are going to kill you (lead). With great regularity, the authorities accept the silver, which appears to be the choice that our animal welfare agencies have made.
They had to choice between doing the easy thing - pursuing rescue work - and doing the right thing - which is supporting and vigourously lobbying for the kind of regulation that could stop the slaughter and suffering of the canine species.
The easy thing (rescue programs) brought them power, money, influence and adulation. The right thing on the other hand (supporting regulation) would have brought them financial ruin and more rage than they could handle.
That's why they made the choice they did, and that's why the animal welfare agencies are all but useless in the struggle to rescue the species.
For information on what you personally can do to hurry along the reformation of the system and, thereby, bring genuine salvation to the canine species, please read the introductory page to the Dog Science Network.
Written by Craig
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