September 27, 2005
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
We were disturbed to read the following statement, attributed to you, on HSUS.org this morning: “We are strongly discouraging rescuers from picking up highly aggressive animals, since they will probably be euthanized. We are also discouraging people from trapping feral cats, since these animals cannot be adopted through the system in place at Gonzales.�?
While we are delighted that homes can be found for many of Hurricane Katrina’s animal victims and have helped in that process, those on the front lines may need a reminder that euthanasia means mercy killing, putting animals out of their misery, and protecting animals from fates worse than death and from painful, traumatic deaths.
It is no service to animals for a humane organization to abandon to starvation, dehydration, death by shotgun, and so on those who are unsocialized and who are biting out of fear or who may have been abused in a variety of ways, including by being trained to fight. Locking these animals out of the Lamar-Dixon center and leaving them to reproduce and be cruelly disposed of is unacceptable by any humane standard.
On behalf of everyone at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has never—and never will—abdicate the responsibility of euthanizing animals when it is the kindest option available to them, we urge The Humane Society of the United States to take the high road by doing what is right for these animals. We appeal to you not to abandon these animals to die horrible deaths but to instead—despite what the public relations fallout might be from those who do not understand the cruelty involved in turning away from the problem—step up to the plate and advocate a peaceful, painless release for them if there is no room at Lamar-Dixon and there are no adoption prospects.
Ingrid E. Newkirk