Friday, May 28, 2010

Ends and Means

ISAR supporters know that the fundamental goal driving our organization is to reduce, if not eliminate, the overpopulation of companion animals through humane education, emphasizing spay/neuter as a major solution to the problem.

To that end, in addition to our other programs, ISAR recently produced a study and model law--Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales--dealing with the vice of puppy mills and other wholesale and retail breeding and sale of dogs and cats. The ISAR-proposed statute has, no pun intended, teeth, because among other provisions some sections impact heavily on breeders in general and puppy mill operators in particular.

Since publication of our study/model law, we've received considerable positive reaction from ISAR supporters and others who understand the nature of the overpopulation problem, and grasp why ISAR's solution has merit.

Yet, apparently not everyone understands what we're trying to accomplish.

ISAR has recently received the following comment, reproduced below in its entirety.

I read your puppy mill book and there is no way I can support your group's extreme, government imposed goals which sounds ultimately like dog extinction. In reality, there is the very real potential to turn people against more moderate and constructive solutions by association with your solutions. I can't speak for the rest of the people in our Rescue.
The "Rescue" to which the writer refers, according to its website, is a "a licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to saving the lives of dogs and cats."

If that's true, and we assume it is, it should be unnecessary for us to point out that a major way to save the lives of dogs and cats is through the kind of breeder and other restrictions the ISAR model statute proposes.

ISAR doesn't hide from the characterization "extreme," nor from the fact that amelioration of the overpopulation problem rests at least in part on the power of government.

While ISAR respects the important, usually very difficult work, of rescue groups, they need to understand that laws such as that proposed by ISAR will go a long way to making their work easier.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ISAR's International Homeless Animals’ Day 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010 will commemorate ISAR’s 19th Annual International Homeless Animals’ Day® and Candlelight Vigil observance.
In 1992, ISAR introduced National Homeless Animals’ Day and Candlelight Vigils as an educational vehicle to raise awareness of the pet overpopulation epidemic and its simple solution to spay/neuter.

Since that time, National Homeless Animals’ Day has grown international in scope with every third Saturday in August reserved to commemorate this Day. ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day 2009 observances brought more than 20 states and 6 foreign countries together to alert communities about pet overpopulation and to promote spay/neuter. The need for companion animal sterilization to end the senseless killing has been revered by dedicated individuals and organizations and captured through events including candlelight vigils, spay/neuter clinics, blessings of the animals, adopt-a-thons, dog walks, open houses, information stalls, heartfelt speeches given by council members, local veterinarians and shelter personnel, and much more.

ISAR's International Homeless Animals' Day and Candlelight Vigils are so successful, in fact, that as a direct result of this worldwide effort, countless shelter animals find permanent and loving homes.

Individuals and organizations wishing to organize an International Homeless Animals’ Day and Candlelight Vigil observance on August 21, 2010 can contact ISAR by email to receive our 34 page, downloadable candlelight vigil packet. Our vigil packet includes guidelines for organizing a successful vigil event with tips on site selection, suggestions for speakers and vigil events, reaching target audiences, poems, songs, sample press releases and more!

In addition to ISAR’s downloadable vigil packet, you will receive through the U.S. Postal Service, our International Homeless Animals’ Day posters to advertise your event, Proclamations to be signed by your governor and mayor declaring August 21, 2010 as International Homeless Animals’ Day, coloring sheets and more. ISAR will also guarantee advertisement of your organization’s event to thousands of people on ISAR’s website,, as well as promotion on ISAR’s online communities including Facebook and Myspace.

Our animal friends need us now more than ever! Please join us in our crusade to stop the killing of our faithful companions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Will lack of "standing to sue" once again rear its ugly head?

ISAR's supporters know that the bane of animal rights litigation has been the problem of "standing to sue"--the question of what individuals or organizations have the right to sue in behalf of animals (see, for example, Animals and "Standing to Sue" and Jones v. Butz.

Here we go again . . . perhaps.

The Gerber Animal Law Center of Raleigh, North Carolina, announced earlier this month that it has commenced a lawsuit against the county shelter. Although Gerber's press release is sketchy on details, the case seems to be grounded in a recent North Carolina statute promoting fostering rather than euthanizing, and the shelter's alleged failure to abide by the law.

Be that as it may--and when the complaint is available we'll know exactly what Gerber is alleging, factually and legally--unfortunately the case's announcement is silent about on whose behalf the lawsuit has been brought. That question is critical, because whatever the merits of Gerber's complaint, it will go nowhere unless someone has "standing to sue."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Massachusetts Ban On "Devocalization" Becomes Law

Two months ago ISAR brought to the attention of our supporters the pendency of House Bill 344 prohibiting under most circumstances the "devocalization" of animals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The thrust of our blog was not merely that the bill sought to address a serious moral issue of animal rights, but to deconstruct the specious and anti-animal position of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association.

To its everlasting shame, the MVMA persisted in its unprincipled and indefensible opposition to HB 344.

No matter.

The governor has signed the bill.

"Devocalization" is now a crime in Massachusetts.

And the MVMA has disgraced itself.