should I report this to Ingrid Newkirk? sorry for the long post - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-28-2015, 06:50 AM
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should I report this to Ingrid Newkirk? sorry for the long post

I am about to make a complaint to PETA's Ingrid Newkirk about my experience with trying to get help from her group but before I do I just wanted to get some insight from others if you think I have a legitimate gripe??..

As some on here probably already know from my previous posts there is a terrible problem where I live in regards to dog chaining and the laws where I live do little to protect these poor dogs here.

Anyway, PETA has a department that is supposed to help with this sort of thing so I reported several cases to this department and I am extremely dissapointed in the lack of help I have been receiving, especially since I have donated to them, even just recently.

Anyway, the first person at PETA that I was put in contact with was the absolute worst. I would have to send 3 or 4 different messages to her before she would even respond to me and then when she finally did respond she would forget the last piece of advice that she would give to me. They must have finally transferred the case to another lady that I eventually heard from. Initially she seemed like she was really going to help. She advised me to take some pics of these dogs (keep in mind, these are bad areas that she wanted me to go to to take the pics). Based on these pics that I would send her she would send out literature that would target anything that she would find needed addressing based on the pics but it almost seems like she was unwilling to send out info unless I risked my life to get these pics first. I explained that these were bad/drug infested areas and that it was difficult for me to get these pics for her. She seemed unfazed by this.

In addition to asking for the pics her other advice that she offered was that instead of calling animal control to help with these dogs that I would better serve them if I were to sort of "befriend" the dog owners and try to make inroads to help the dogs that way. I explained that I was willing to do this but would prefer to not do so alone as I am a female and would feel very uneasy trying to do such a thing in this very bad neighborhood so I asked if she would be able to find someone to go with me as I know they periodically put out Action Alerts to try and mobilize area activists. I thought she would surely be aware of others in my area that might be willing to go with me but she said she could not help with that.

Then I asked if I started my own "meet up" group in my area to try and help these chained dogs through "befriending" owners, activism and maybe even fundraising for PETA ..if I I could use the PETA name to try and attract others to come out and that maybe her or someone there can kind of lead the group remotely through advice. She said that since there was no PETA office in my area that this could not be done either.

Finally I asked if someone there could offer me advice on a petition I was trying to circulate to help chained dogs. She advised that I contact another lady at PETA who would help with that. I had to email this lady about 3 or 4 times before she finally responded to me and the only advice she gave me was a "cut and paste" job that anybody could find on the PETA site. This lady told me if I would give her my address she would mail me something and of course she never did, she also said if I had any further questions I should not hesitate to ask..I then attempted again to ask her for the advice on the petition and she once again completely ingnored me.

The basic message that the lady kept sending to me in almost all of her correspondence to me was just how grateful she was that the dogs in my area have me to look after them! To me this was very sad...since I was hoping that the dogs would also have PETA on their side too. I mean, how can any group expect one person to help all the dogs in a town alone??!! isn't this why people donate to them and not me???

Overall the only help that these dogs received from PETA so far was the "owners" receiving some letters in the mail from them and offers to spay and neuter the dogs. I was really expecting more from them, especially since I donate and told them that I was willing to donate more money if they helped with these dogs and that I was also willing to take action to help these dogs but just did not want to do it alone. I feel very disappointed in the way they have handled these cases and the whole thing has made me second guess supporting them any longer. I kind of feel like Ingrid Newkirk should be made aware of all of this.

What do others think?? Do you think I have a legitimate gripe against them?
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#2 Old 08-28-2015, 07:07 AM
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What exactly did you expect PETA to do? Roll up in a van, jump out in ski masks and hoodies to steal the dogs off private property? I'm not a big PETA fan but I think they gave pretty sounds recommendations that stayed within the scope of the law. They are a legitimate organization and can't recommend nor condone illegal activities to people who contact them (which to me is what it sounds like you were looking for their "blessings" to do). Unfortunately, if laws in your area don't ban dog chaining and the dogs aren't being otherwise abused (in the eyes of the law) there isn't anything animal control can do nor anyone else (including PETA) BUT to befriend the owners and try to help them see there are better options. Sometimes a little understanding and education goes a long way, especially to folks in poorer areas who may not understand why chaining is not the best option for their dogs.
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#3 Old 08-28-2015, 09:50 AM
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Do I think you have a legitimate gripe? No, sorry.

First, what was it exactly that you were expecting PETA to do? When writing to people/companies with complaints, make sure that you make what you want known--outline it well: describe the problem, potential solutions, what you want, and request their help. Otherwise, you're going to get a generic response.

Second, before shooting off several emails, you need to make sure that the first one isn't still sitting in someone's inbox. Frankly, if you sent me 4 emails before I had the chance to respond to one, I'd be pretty annoyed. If you find that people are continually not responding to you, it may be the way you are going about it. Patience goes a long way. Wait a few days, if not a week, before following up. If you feel these animals are in such grave danger that a response is needed immediately, then contact animal control.

Third, just like kiwibird said, PETA will not do anything illegal or condone any illegal activities. Sending the dog owners a letter is really the only thing they can do. If you want to submit a complaint with animal control, that's probably your next step (aside from befriending the owners).

Fourth, just like kiwibird said, befriending people is sometimes the best option. Years ago we were in a similar situation. A neighbor of my mother's had a dog (rottweiler) chained up outside, only on pavement, during the winter with only a blanket. It was a real bad winter, with temperatures in the single digits, if not below 0, and wind chills well below 0. No dog house, no water that wasn't frozen, nothing. Aside from asking PETA to send a letter, my mother went over and started talking with them, and believe it or not, they had no clue. Seriously, they had no idea. Within a few days, the dog was taken indoors during the cold and at night, during the day he had a dog house and grass to walk around on to use the bathroom. Plenty of blankets in the dog house. It was a case of misunderstanding.

Fifth, PETA will not let you use their name for anything, because you're not affiliated with them. No hard feelings. I'm pretty sure Bill Gates won't let me use his name when going to the bank. All I would want is enough to pay off the house and some credit cards--it might not make a dent in his account. But, it's his money, he earned it. I have no right to it.

Sixth, PETA is going to send you 'cut and paste' emails, because they don't have the time and/or resources to respond personally to every single email they get, especially if they get 4 of them. You said you just donated to them. Now, they have to spend all the money you just donated to them responding to your 8 emails.

Seventh, I don't think Newkirk will care (outside of being generically apologetic for "bad" customer service), but that's just me. Plus, I'm sure she's getting a lot of mail and won't read yours right away, so you better follow up with a few more letters within a day or so.

Eighth, I lost my train of thought.
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#4 Old 08-28-2015, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiwibird08 View Post
What exactly did you expect PETA to do? Roll up in a van, jump out in ski masks and hoodies to steal the dogs off private property? I'm not a big PETA fan but I think they gave pretty sounds recommendations that stayed within the scope of the law. They are a legitimate organization and can't recommend nor condone illegal activities to people who contact them (which to me is what it sounds like you were looking for their "blessings" to do). Unfortunately, if laws in your area don't ban dog chaining and the dogs aren't being otherwise abused (in the eyes of the law) there isn't anything animal control can do nor anyone else (including PETA) BUT to befriend the owners and try to help them see there are better options. Sometimes a little understanding and education goes a long way, especially to folks in poorer areas who may not understand why chaining is not the best option for their dogs.
where exactly did you get that i was expecting them to do something illegal?? I just wanted them to find someone to assist me with what they suggested I do instead of laying it all on me.

Why are people on this site so combative? this is why I dont really like coming on here very much and does not make animal rights activists look to good to the general public in all honesty JESUS!
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#5 Old 08-28-2015, 10:41 AM
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Why are people on this site so combative? this is why I dont really like coming on here very much and does not make animal rights activists look to good to the general public in all honesty JESUS!
I wholeheartedly agree with you on this statement. Lots of people on this site are very... enthusiastic.
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#6 Old 08-28-2015, 10:43 AM
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Do I think you have a legitimate gripe? No, sorry.

First, what was it exactly that you were expecting PETA to do? When writing to people/companies with complaints, make sure that you make what you want known--outline it well: describe the problem, potential solutions, what you want, and request their help. Otherwise, you're going to get a generic response.

Second, before shooting off several emails, you need to make sure that the first one isn't still sitting in someone's inbox. Frankly, if you sent me 4 emails before I had the chance to respond to one, I'd be pretty annoyed. If you find that people are continually not responding to you, it may be the way you are going about it. Patience goes a long way. Wait a few days, if not a week, before following up. If you feel these animals are in such grave danger that a response is needed immediately, then contact animal control.

Third, just like kiwibird said, PETA will not do anything illegal or condone any illegal activities. Sending the dog owners a letter is really the only thing they can do. If you want to submit a complaint with animal control, that's probably your next step (aside from befriending the owners).

Fourth, just like kiwibird said, befriending people is sometimes the best option. Years ago we were in a similar situation. A neighbor of my mother's had a dog (rottweiler) chained up outside, only on pavement, during the winter with only a blanket. It was a real bad winter, with temperatures in the single digits, if not below 0, and wind chills well below 0. No dog house, no water that wasn't frozen, nothing. Aside from asking PETA to send a letter, my mother went over and started talking with them, and believe it or not, they had no clue. Seriously, they had no idea. Within a few days, the dog was taken indoors during the cold and at night, during the day he had a dog house and grass to walk around on to use the bathroom. Plenty of blankets in the dog house. It was a case of misunderstanding.

Fifth, PETA will not let you use their name for anything, because you're not affiliated with them. No hard feelings. I'm pretty sure Bill Gates won't let me use his name when going to the bank. All I would want is enough to pay off the house and some credit cards--it might not make a dent in his account. But, it's his money, he earned it. I have no right to it.

Sixth, PETA is going to send you 'cut and paste' emails, because they don't have the time and/or resources to respond personally to every single email they get, especially if they get 4 of them. You said you just donated to them. Now, they have to spend all the money you just donated to them responding to your 8 emails.

Seventh, I don't think Newkirk will care (outside of being generically apologetic for "bad" customer service), but that's just me. Plus, I'm sure she's getting a lot of mail and won't read yours right away, so you better follow up with a few more letters within a day or so.

Eighth, I lost my train of thought.
ok, thanks for messaging all of this. I will take your advice and if I dont hear back from Ingrid Newkirk I will keep trying.
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#7 Old 08-28-2015, 10:46 AM
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unfortunately they dont realize that they are making people not want to come on here and it is sad because people who are new to vegetarianism and/or veganism can use support ..it is not easy to be a veg in the society we live in and they come here for support and instead they get rudely attacked by people. This unfortunately will likely HURT the cause and not HELP it. Honestly, admin should not really allow it!
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#8 Old 08-28-2015, 10:59 AM
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unfortunately they dont realize that they are making people not want to come on here and it is sad because people who are new to vegetarianism and/or veganism can use support ..it is not easy to be a veg in the society we live in and they come here for support and instead they get rudely attacked by people. This unfortunately will likely HURT the cause and not HELP it. Honestly, admin should not really allow it!
I think the one 'issue' is that a lot of people on here are very passionate about their cause. A problem arises when a newcomer joins and makes some generic comment that doesn't fit some preconceived notion. They get attacked. Sometimes we can say so much more by saying less. Instead of a barrage of questions or so-called 'facts', a simple link to another source may actually help.

Sometimes I wish people would slow down for a second and realize that baby steps are needed. Sometimes people can just abruptly quit eating dairy or eggs or whatever, but for most people, it's a slow process with baby steps. Anyone remember What About Bob? Baby steps.

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I don't know. I'm a fairly active user on a photography website, and we don't see nearly the amount of 'enthusiastic' comments as there are on here, even when we get the typical bonehead troll.

For the most part, newcomers are very ignorant because they literally don't know. So instead of biting their head off, we need to massage the ideals into them.
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#9 Old 08-28-2015, 11:08 AM
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#10 Old 08-28-2015, 11:20 AM
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where exactly did you get that i was expecting them to do something illegal?? I just wanted them to find someone to assist me with what they suggested I do instead of laying it all on me.
Well, seeing as they offered numerous viable options on how to help the dogs and in finding local people to assist you, none of which you seemed to have any desire to follow through with, that leads one to the conclusion you were *perhaps* fishing for help on more "extreme" options. Perhaps that was presumptuous of me to assume, but it's a very common mindset for some "passionate" vegans to want to storm in and "take action" in ways that may be arguably "right" for the animals but are still totally illegal.

Secondly, an organization like PETA does not have the resources to send teams out to every potential situation of animal abuse, no matter how much they receive in donations. They barely have resources to deal with severe individual cases of abuse and getting the word out about animal welfare issues. Even if they did have more resources, they'd still have to prioritize. Otherwise cared for dogs who are chained are likely of a low priority to them. That's more the kind of issue to give some generic advice about and let the concerned party handle themselves. Not to mention the "staff" you dealt with were most likely minimally trained volunteers or unpaid interns. Dog chaining is a prevalent practice, even amongst people who very much care for their dog, and not particularly the worst thing someone can do to an animal (in most cases). PETA likely deals with hundreds of emails just like yours regarding chained dogs in their neighborhood/town and has a set procedure of what advice to offer and documents to send over.

You contacted them for advice on a animal welfare concern you had, they offered multiple perfectly legitimate solutions pertaining to the situation to you. Just because it doesn't appear you got the ideal solution (whatever that may be) you were hoping for isn't a reason to complain IMO.
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#11 Old 08-28-2015, 11:41 AM
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Resources are very limited and people have a lot on their plate. So, not really. They are not a govermental organization, they have no duty to help you.

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#12 Old 08-28-2015, 11:47 AM
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unfortunately they dont realize that they are making people not want to come on here and it is sad because people who are new to vegetarianism and/or veganism can use support ..it is not easy to be a veg in the society we live in and they come here for support and instead they get rudely attacked by people. This unfortunately will likely HURT the cause and not HELP it. Honestly, admin should not really allow it!
My best "tidbit" of advice for new vegetarians and vegans- grow a thick skin because your going to need it.

That isn't an "attack", but it is a good piece of advice to keep in mind. Overly sensitive personalities do not do well with this lifestyle. You would be more likely to be accepted by society if you stripped naked and ran through the streets smoking crack than opting to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. That's the unfortunate reality of it. As a vegetarian or vegan, you will be attacked, frequently by omnis who desire to push their meat-eater agenda on you. You will also find a lot of very firmly held vastly differing opinions within the veg/vegan community itself, not always expressed in a "delicate" way or a way that aligns with your personal opinions/feelings. Yes, there is support offered on forums like this but there is also a steep learning curve some pragmatic people try to help get new members up on quicker so they don't have quite as rough of a time getting their goals accomplished. Pragmatism and realism over emotionalism and idealism is often a better course to take in veganism.
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#13 Old 08-28-2015, 12:04 PM
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where exactly did you get that i was expecting them to do something illegal?? I just wanted them to find someone to assist me with what they suggested I do instead of laying it all on me.

Why are people on this site so combative? this is why I dont really like coming on here very much and does not make animal rights activists look to good to the general public in all honesty JESUS!
Peta relies on volunteers, and does not sadly have the staff to help every animal personally. Maybe calling animal services or the humane society could help.
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#14 Old 08-28-2015, 08:58 PM
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I do think you have a legitimate gripe. Their correspondence should be better. OP wasn't asking to do anything illegal, she was asking for help. If they couldn't offer it properly they should've said that.
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#15 Old 08-28-2015, 10:10 PM
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Moderators, please ask everyone to avoid insulting the OP, who is conscientiously trying to help animals. This advice is for me, too.


It's likely that there are trolls on this forum who pretend to be vegan. Every forum has such people. By passively insulting and/or frustrating other people, they are attempting to push people away from veganism.
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#16 Old 08-28-2015, 11:54 PM
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OP

I actually do think that you have a legitimate gripe with them, and I do think that you should make contact with regards your issue.

I had a similar issue with RSPCA where there was a dog in a garden a few houses away from me which cried to get into the house when it is raining and cold - but I have known it be out there for hours on end - crying with no response. The RSPCA said they would look into it. 3 months later "winter was coming" and I realised I had to do something myself. I didn't want to break the law similar to yourself, so I knocked on their house and said I was getting rid of my old shed - did they want it? Of course they did, the smack heads. They took it, I assembled it, and I screwed a kennel onto the back of it with a few blankets inside.
It wasn't the perfect solution, but I achieved more in one Saturday afternoon than the RSPCA had managed in 3 months.


I am not trying to paint myself as some kind of saint, because I am not. I'm just trying to use that example to show how I felt the same as you, like I had reported, and emailed, and called, but it achieved nothing. Eventually I was at my wits end and I did what I said above.
Although I felt good in myself for what I had done, I'm not going to lie, I also felt like "why did I have to do this myself", "what did they do", "what are they being paid for".


This is where my issue lies. I often think that it is so easy to overlook an issue which seems so small (such as a chained dog) when there are massive issues such as factory farms, fur industries, puppy and kitten farms & dog fighting. I get the impression that they think that individual case of one animal is so small that they are not worth the effort.

But this is my stance on it both mine and your situation. All of the houses which neighbour these abuse cases eventually become numb to them. They see a dog abused and it bothers them at first, but eventually they get used to it. That's where the problem lies.

If people become used to seeing abuse, it only reinforces the attitude amongst most that animals are a lesser species. People become so used to seeing animals treated a certain way that it becomes the norm, and therefore it doesn't bother them enough to care about having anything done about it, or about helping the animal.
Yes it is one dog, but it may affect the minds of 50 neighbours, so the impact is far greater than the wellbeing of that one dog.

So yes, send a letter. Mention the amount of times you had to contact them, and measure it against how many responses you got back. If the difference is great in number then this shows that not only are they neglecting the animal, but also those who inform them of abuse.


My one gripe: You mentioned that you donate a few times, be careful of mentioning that too often as by donating you do not necessarily own them, or their response to your issues. Donating does not make them accountable to you. I know that's not how you meant it, but if they think it comes across that way it may cause the issue to veer away from the original problem.
Neglect of response is the issue here - just leave out the donations bit.

OP your doing great - keep your chin up and keep fighting the good fight! That dog is lucky to have you
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#17 Old 08-29-2015, 12:10 AM
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It's like that there are trolls on this forum who pretend to be vegan. Every forum has such people. By passively insulting and/or frustrating other people, they are attempting to push people away from veganism.


That's some statement to make David, I've never really even considered that. I really hope this isn't the case, but I can see why those against veganism would do that.
Looking at the people that have commented on this thread, I have seen them comment on other threads and they all seem pretty genuine to me.

Your right though, it may be worth monitoring in a general sense moving forward.
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#18 Old 09-20-2015, 11:43 PM
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Wow!! thanks so much for the interesting responses.=) I was so afraid to check this thread thinking it would just cause me more stress than I care to feel at this point but instead it is so nice to see others that really understand this situation and also helps me to realize that there is so much help and support on here despite all the negativity. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.
rasitha.wijesekera, David3 and roark..thanks so much for seeing my point of view on this and defending me! It really means alot!=)


David3...I could not agree with you more..I have often wondered if there could be trolls on this and other similar forums as well! I have experienced similar things on other veg forums too. It really gets me wondering about the whole thing.

I think what upsets me most about it is that some people come on forums like this for support (it might be the only veg support they have to turn to...some areas of the world have so little veg networking) and they get run right off the forums to never return. To me that is very sad! Nobody should feel alone when they become a veg.. I know when I started out the forums were all I had as well. Thankfully I found a very supportive forum that has since closed down but I can handle it now because it has been so long for me but it is so unfair for newcomers. I can not imagine that those that put this forum together had that in mind. I believe there is a seperate section on here for those that want to argue all day long. I think that is where that kind of behavior should stay, in my opinion.

Thanks David for the support.=)

roark...wow! What you did for that dog was so wonderful!! Thankyou so much for that! I know that is not why you posted about it but I just had to make mention of what a wonderful thing it is that you did! You really do understand where I am coming from with all of this!=) You really have made such terrific points in your post too!! It is soooo true!!! And I think you are right...it sometimes feels as if the animal rights community sometime overlooks the importance of issues such as dog chaining since they are not as notorious as issues like factory farming and fur farming but yet it still perpetuates the idea that animals don't matter and I believe it can very much contribute to their overall view of all animals in general, even just one single case. I have also found that when your forced to help an animal alone the motivation tends to die out as well. It just becomes too overwhelming and a person can then become numb to the whole thing themselves and once again the animal is left without anybody. I find that this does happen to me at times. I sometimes have to kind of force myself and push myself to help the animals. In fact, your post kind of served as a motivational tool...so thanks for that part of it as well! It is just so easy to become like the rest of society when you feel overwhelmed. You should not of had to do that alone and neither should I. Thanks once again for the very uplifting post. It feels so much better to simply have someone understand! Thanks again=)


=)

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#19 Old 09-21-2015, 12:20 AM
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Welcome back. How is the dog?

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#20 Old 09-22-2015, 02:47 AM
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Welcome back. How is the dog?

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Hi Led Boots...thanks for the warm welcome back.=) and also for asking this.=) Well, I have to admit I think I have noticed some progress for some of the dogs (ie, longer leashes, periods of time off the chain, etc) . Sadly, It is actually a bunch of them that I am trying to help now.

PETA has actually stepped in a bit more lately and I think it is making a difference. They are actually in contact with a family that has agreed to allow PETA to pay for their dogs to be spayed/neutered. I thought this was a very good step in the right direction for that particular case. I am thinking of asking PETA to relay a message to this family since they are in contact with them (they are spanish speaking only and I dont speak spanish) that I would be willing to walk some of the dogs (not sure about that part though since I dont know the dogs temperament on a leash) or maybe just give them free food/treats. Maybe I can make inroads for the dogs this way.=)

PETA has also given me really good advice on who I should be writing letters to to make changes in local laws. This was extremely helpful because I was apparently writing to the wrong people all this time..lol. At least now I feel like my pleas will be heard by the correct party. They also offered other tidbits of info on how to get laws changed in my community that I was not aware of so I am grateful for how they have been proving to be a bit more helpful these days. =)

I may still try and contact Ingrid Newkirk though but not to complain but really just to make some suggestions on things we can possibly do together to help these dogs even more.

Anyway, thanks again for asking Led Boots. That was very sweet.=)
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Last edited by Johnsally; 09-22-2015 at 03:03 AM.
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#21 Old 09-23-2015, 11:50 AM
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Hi Led Boots...thanks for the warm welcome back.=) and also for asking this.=) Well, I have to admit I think I have noticed some progress for some of the dogs (ie, longer leashes, periods of time off the chain, etc) . Sadly, It is actually a bunch of them that I am trying to help now.

PETA has actually stepped in a bit more lately and I think it is making a difference. They are actually in contact with a family that has agreed to allow PETA to pay for their dogs to be spayed/neutered. I thought this was a very good step in the right direction for that particular case. I am thinking of asking PETA to relay a message to this family since they are in contact with them (they are spanish speaking only and I dont speak spanish) that I would be willing to walk some of the dogs (not sure about that part though since I dont know the dogs temperament on a leash) or maybe just give them free food/treats. Maybe I can make inroads for the dogs this way.=)

PETA has also given me really good advice on who I should be writing letters to to make changes in local laws. This was extremely helpful because I was apparently writing to the wrong people all this time..lol. At least now I feel like my pleas will be heard by the correct party. They also offered other tidbits of info on how to get laws changed in my community that I was not aware of so I am grateful for how they have been proving to be a bit more helpful these days. =)

I may still try and contact Ingrid Newkirk though but not to complain but really just to make some suggestions on things we can possibly do together to help these dogs even more.

Anyway, thanks again for asking Led Boots. That was very sweet.=)
Good news, Johnsally! I think writing to Newkirk is a great idea.
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#22 Old 09-25-2015, 02:01 AM
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Good news, Johnsally! I think writing to Newkirk is a great idea.
Thanks LedBoots. Yes, I figured it could not hurt to try and see what she thinks of my suggestions. Thanks again for the supportive message=)
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#23 Old 10-21-2015, 10:02 AM
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Sorry if I am reviving a dead thread, but I feel like enough people have connected with this situation that others in the future might find it helpful.

PeTA is an organization that has its pet issues, most of them being animals used in large scale commercial endeavors.
They do some work with animals as pets, but from what I have read and heard about, they aren't very effective in that. I think that in situations that require immediate action like neighborhood pets, finding organizations that are closer geographically and that have a smaller scope is going to be most effective. Start by having conversations with your neighbors, maybe offering to help construct shelters that would prevent tying or chaining. If that doesn't work, start leafleting and putting up posters about humane pet care and then maybe have a local animal shelter or something help with an educational event.
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