Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where Have All the Volunteers Gone?

ISAR first announced its Stop Devocalization Now Project (for a description of the brutal practice of devocalization, see in our Blog of September 18, 2012. Since its inception, there have been 54, 078 page visits.

Following that announcement, ISAR has taken the following actions in support of our Stop Devocalization Now Project:
  • We snail-mailed our quarterly newsletter to thousands of our supporters emphasizing the Stop Devocalization Now Project, included a Stop Devocalization Now bumper sticker, and offered to provide unlimited quantities at our cost. (We received a single request, for 100 bumper stickers.)

  • We announced the Stop Devocalization Now Project to thousands of our supporters in our E-newsletter.

  • We issued a press release about the Stop Devocalization Now Project.

  • We posted information about the Stop Devocalization Now Project on Facebook.

  • We produced an Xtranormal video about the Stop Devocalization Now Project, and received thousands of views.

  • We distributed a YouTube video about the Stop Devocalization Now Project.

  • We interviewed Dr. Nicholas Dodman--world renowned animal behaviorist, and bestselling author--about devocalization and posted it on our website.

  • We appeared on "Animals Today," a weekly online streaming radio show also heard on more than 30 markets around the country, where ISAR's president Susan Dapsis discussed devocalization.

  • We advertised in Best Friends Magazine in connection with the Stop Devocalization Now Project.

  • We solicited interest in the Stop Devocalization Now Project from the Fraternal Order of Police.

  • We reached out to various political action committees concerning the Stop Devocalization Now Project.
In every one of these actions ISAR earnestly and explicitly sought the assistance of volunteers whose sole responsibility would be to obtain state or local legislative support for ISAR's anti-devocalization model statute.

How many expressions of interest did ISAR receive from the countless people throughout the United States who had learned about our Stop Devocalization Now Project?

How many individuals even sought further information about how through little effort on their part they might help end the practice of devocalization?

Exactly none.

There are several ironies here. A major one is that while reasonable people can disagree in good faith about various issues in the animal rights/protection field, no one can honestly quarrel with the proposition that devocalization is a brutal anti-animal procedure that must be ended.

Yet among the countless people who agree with ISAR's position, and doubtless laud our efforts, not one of them has come forward to find out how they could help volunteer their time and efforts to work legislatively to end devocalization.

As ISAR mentioned in our previous publications, a volunteer's task is not difficult:
  • The ISAR volunteer should identify a sympathetic legislator(s) on a municipal, county or state level;
  • The ISAR volunteer should make the legislators aware of and provide to him or her the material contained in this website, especially ISAR's Model Anti-Devocalization Statute;
  • The ISAR volunteer should encourage the legislators to solicit as many co-sponsors as possible in support of ISAR's Model Statute;
  • The ISAR volunteer, once the bill is introduced and assigned to a committee, should identify sympathetic members of that committee and seek their support for the bill.
Ideally, the bill's sponsor and/or at least one co-sponsor will have some leverage with the committee chairperson and legislative leadership so that the proposed legislation will get out of committee and obtain a majority vote of the legislature.

We have provided a lengthy Table of Contents for NIFAA president and author, Julie Lewin's book entitled Get Political for Animals and Win the Laws They Need, which contains detailed information and instruction about how to lobby on behalf of animals.

As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, ISAR cannot lobby for or against the enactment of legislation. However, we can support those who are willing to fight for legislation that will end devocalization throughout the United States. ISAR knows there are willing anti-devocalization advocates in legislative bodies throughout the United States, but we can't find them. But volunteers can.

And, as we have learned, in Massachusetts, New York and elsewhere, there are powerful legislative enemies of efforts to end the barbaric practice of devocalization.

With the help of likeminded people, whose volunteer participation we sincerely solicit, this is one battle dogs and cats can win.

Won't you please help us help them?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not one of our projects, but..................

As ISAR's supporters know, using law, legislation, and publications our organization's mandate is humane education to foster the recognition and advancement of animal rights. Our most recent involvement with the ugly subject of dog fighting was ISAR's attempt to prevent the dog fighting Michael Vick from being reinstated in the National Football League (See Michael Vick and the Presidential Seal of Approval).

After our anti-Vick campaign, we continued to attack breeding and puppy farms, to fight for mandatory spay/neuter and anti-devocalization laws, and to advance our other programs through law, legislation, and publications.

And now a new twist on the reprehensibly barbaric practice of dog fighting has come to our attention -- apparently engaged in by the same kind of human savages who fight dogs in other ways.

Apparently gaining momentum in Florida, there's a new twist on dog fighting. Two dogs, often pit bulls, are thrown into the trunk of a car. The driver turns up the radio, either to aggravate the dogs and/or to muffle the ensuing barking and screaming. About fifteen minutes later, the driver stops, dumps the dead or wounded dog out of the trunk, and proceeds on his way. Police in the southern part of Florida see an increase in this activity.

A newspaper recently reported that "[p]erhaps the worst case of trunking so far was recently uncovered in Miami-Dade County. Five pit bulls and four puppies were discovered at a residence . . . after animal services received an anonymous tip. In the back of the home cages were covered in urine and feces. The dogs exhibited clear signs of fighting and are currently being treated for open wounds and broken bones. The face of the oldest dog of the group, Max, is obscured by cuts and scars."

Trunking is criminal under Florida law, the police have a low tolerance for it, and they make arrests when they can. Prosecutors will enforce the law if the police bring a case to them. Normal citizens can, and should, report evidence of "trunking." Laws raising the penalty upon conviction can, and should be, strengthened. Vehicles used to perpetrate such crimes should be seized and forfeited.

And one last thing can be done: Petitions to the Governor of Florida can heighten his awareness that barbarians are loose in his state, venting their sick psychologies on defenseless animals.