Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What a crock of shit - Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

I was one of the probably kajillion people today who received one of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies spring plea's for money in the mail today, and I have to say - I was blown away by it. As a person who is familiar with the lingo and rhetoric of the humane movement - it had all of the catchphrases in there that are so old and boring - and untrue -  I wondered how could a national, and supposedly well-respected organization be taking in any money at all with this promotion.

The only thing I thought of when I read the letter was that I felt slightly dirty, and that the best way to spend my dollars that I set aside for charity - was to give them to my local shelters and rescues - because I know where that money is going - and I can see the results of my hard earned dollars first hand - not giving it to some pencil pushers up in Ottawa who are prostylytzing a bunch of untrue bullshit.

And you may ask - what bullshit is it of which I speak? Well let me break it down for you in a paragraph or two.

#1 is when I was verbally slapped across the face in the 4th paragraph of the letter when the CFHS deigned to tell me "Cat overpopulation in Canada is mainly caused by irresponsible pet owners who let their cats roam free without being spayed or neutered. Their unwanted litters flood animal shelters, especially in the spring and summer, along with cats whose owners have not bothered to provide microchips or other identifications".

I really thought that the humane community had moved beyond blaming pet owners for the problems in the shelter business. Has Nathan Winograd really made no impression at all up here in Canada? Really?

And then on page 2 is where it gets really interesting - because that's where they start to talk about puppy mills.

I don't know if you know this - but there is a conspiracy of sorts within the humane movement in that the Canadian Federation of Human Societies, the CKC. the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and puppy millers - also known as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council "PIJAC" up here in Canada - formed a coalition and it's called the "National Companion Animal Coalition" - according to PIJAC's website -

"The National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC) was formed in 1996 to promote socially responsible pet ownership and enhance the health and well being of companion animals. It is comprised of representatives from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, and the Canadian Kennel Club."

So these 4 organizations have been working together for the last 15 years to make pet ownership - how could we say it - I'd say it as - "making pet ownership more profitable".

If they were working together FOR the animals - they certainly would NEVER have included PIJAC in the mix - because the only reason why PIJAC exists is to give a clean face to puppy mills - EVERY puppy sold at a pet store comes from a puppy mill.  I don't know who could disagree with that statement and still have a straight face.

The CKC have it written into their bylaws that their members are forbidden from selling their puppies to pet stores. NO responsible breeder would EVER sell a puppy to a pet store - so where are they getting their livestock from?  (it's in their code of practice - page 78:  "No breeder shall sell or donate dogs for the purpose of their being auctioned, raffled or to pet stores.")

Which leads me to my next section - I'm going to the "Summit for Urban Animal Strategies" next week here in Halifax - it'll be the 3rd one I've gone to - and this year it's about - shit, I can never figure what they're about - I just go and listen to whatever is happening on the day - but this year - some guy from PIJAC is going to be there giving a talk - and I'll be interested to hear what he has to say.

In preparation for getting people excited about the Summit - they sent a link to a blog post today called "The Industry Drives to Eliminate Illegimate Breeding Practices" - and in that blog post it says the following -

According to the 2008 and 2009 National Urban Animal Surveys there are more than a million cats and dogs being placed into Canadian homes each year. Of these homing episodes it appears that adoptions from legitimate animal welfare organizations account for 11%, registered breeders account for 8% and compliant retail establishments are thought to add another 16% of these placements. Only these 35% of placements come from inside the industry system of compliant homing organizations.

What in the h-e-double hockey sticks do you think a "compliant retail establishment" is?

Do you think that's a pet store that cleans the shit out of the cages every 6 hours instead of every 18 hours? What in the hell is that?

Hopefully next Thursday, I'm going to find out.

I'm also hoping to find out how an organization like the CKC - that forbids it's members from doing business with a segment of an organization - ie pet stores - can still form a coalition with a branch of the organization - ie PIJAC - it's a conflict of interest in my eyes - and to me is sickening - and gives respect and a clean face to PIJAC where they definitely do NOT deserve it.

As for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies - in the letter they sent me today - it's like they're speaking out of both sides of their mouth - they say "The CFHS will also be turning up the heat on puppy mills and online pet sales when we launch our national awareness campaign next month. Thanks to your commitment to animals, we will be alerting Canadians to the dangers of buying pets from disreputalbe sources".

I guess they mean buying pets from pet stores - which is PIJAC - which is their member organization in the National Companion Organization - I sense a circular argument starting to begin....


  1. We have known for years about this - and it does not change because the CKC just seems to want to whore itself out to PIJAC. Being bedfellows when they should be against the sell of animals let alone substandard puppy mill dogs in pet stores etc. Oh wait isn't the CKC broke? Oh right the CKC is ONLY legal registry for pure breds - they are okay with pet store sales as long as the pet store does not say PUREBRED Labs for sale - only the CKC can register a dog as a purebred ... right.

  2. Anonymous8:02 AM

    Last year the CFHS also promised a campaign against online pet sales. I know someone who bought a munchkin mixed with something by auction because the beau was allergic. They got the kitten, never having visited the place of origin, and the beau was horribly allergic. I see all kinds of breed ads on-line (I look at the cat section) on places like kijiji, but only recently saw a change: a tab in the background that has some good warnings. Not sure who will read it, but some people obviously will.
    I, too, have been wondering why the No Kill movement hasn't hit Canada in a big way. We must all work to get the word out. I think it won't be long before you see the American No Kill Manifesto adapted for Canada. In case anyone has read Nathan Winograd's books, I highly recommend them, especially the second one published in 2009. You can get them from Amazon or Interlibrary loan through your public library. I requested my own library purchase the book, but it was published in 2009 so that is too old for them, even though it seems to be the most recent book on the subject, one which the library doesn't have much information on at all.
    Thanks for pointing out the hypocracy of the CFHS letter. I still support what they do in terms of farm animal advocacy, but I'll probably move my small donation this year to CETFA. I may change my mind, as the new ED for CFHS has potential http://cfhs.ca/features/canadian_federation_of_humane_societies_welcomes_new_ceo I'll be watching, and lobbying. And if it takes me ten years to help push the No Kill in my community and my country, so be it! They need to know we will not sit quietly at their private "annual general meetings" anymore!

  3. Anonymous11:58 AM

    The NCAC is a coalition of individuals that volunteer their time and energy to work together on projects that ALL MEMBERS can agree on. These projects included dog bite prevention, breed specific legislation, referral documents for creating municipal bylaws, and standardizing microchip identification. The group was originally formed to try and deal with the collapse of a major microchip company that left a database of animals whose microchips could no longer be traced - their only common concern was finding somebody to manage this abandoned database to ensure recoverability of those pets and to make sure that something like this could NEVER happen again. Of course there are major areas of disagreement between the groups, but they work together on issues that they CAN all agree on.