Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Letter to the editor

The euthanasia of the St. Anthony cats removed from a hoarding situation without taking time to properly evaluate their condition or the options for their care is, unfortunately, just another instance of the death of adoptable pets given over to the care of the Animal Humane Society.

Organizations and individuals were offering their assistance as soon as they were aware of the problem. No effort was made by AHS to even contact their own foster caregivers to see if they could help with these cats in this lightest cat season of the year.

It is very clear that these cats were used as a vehicle for advertising AHS and raising funds. My hope is that these cats have not died in vain and will finally reveal to the public at large the policies of AHS.

There are numerous misconceptions about the Animal Humane Society. Many mistakenly believe that AHS is associated with a larger national organization such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Many also mistakenly believe that AHS is an “official” or governmental controlled or approved organization. Many would be shocked at the percentage of the funds they donate to you in the multiple millions of dollars each year that are spent on highly paid administrators.

Finally, most assume that AHS is a “humane” organization and that the stray, sick, and unwanted animals that come in to you will be evaluated, cared for and adoptable animals will be offered for adoption. The public is not aware that 40-60% of the animals surrendered to AHS are euthanized immediately. Only the young and healthy and desirable even get a chance. Occasionally, a young and desirable injured animal gets special treatment with a dramatic surgery like removal of an infected eye or amputation of an injured limb, but I have come to believe that those acts of seeming generosity are simply fundraising gimmicks like the St. Anthony cats. Wonderful rescue stories keep those donations rolling in.

It's time the Twin Cities became a "no-kill" zone which simply means all adoptable animals go up for adoption. Only suffering and truly unsocialized animals are euthanized. Much larger metropolitan areas than the Twin Cities (New York City, for instance) have already made the commitment. It won’t happen overnight, but it's time for all the animal rescue organizations to work together to make the changes necessary to achieve that goal.

"Humane" Society board meeting tomorrow--Thursday

From: Andrea Lee Lambrecht []
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 3:53 PM
Subject: Animal "Humane" Society Board meeting tomorrow-Thursday

Most of you are well informed about the St. Anthony cat situation. I just got off the phone after a very upsetting conversation with Deb Balser, HS public relations. When I inquired, she said every single cat had ringworm AND UR and FIV was present. I had many questions and she had no sane response. When I asked her if any rescue groups or individuals familiar with hoarding and rescue offered to take some of the cats, she said “No, not until after they were euthanized.” I was outraged. When I told her I didn’t believe all the cats were beyond help and that the HS did not appropriately consider options. She told me I was entitled to my opinion and hung up on me when I asked for her last name.

Please consider the following:

The 26 board members will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 26 at noon) in Golden Valley. The next board meeting will not be held until April. The meeting is NOT open to the public.

However, people can call (763-522-4325) and register their outrage at how this situation was handled and the tragic result.

You may also e-mail your comments to board members to Megan Pelka (, who is the assistant to Janelle Dixon, CEO/President. I was told by Megan e-mails she receives that are directed to board members will be forwarded to those board members. Considering the meeting is less than 24 hours away, I asked if she would also print out a hard copy to distribute to the board members at the meeting tomorrow. She said that would be done.

In spite of my anger, I feel it is important to not only state my thoughts on the matter, but also to say a new protocol should be established regarding contacting rescue organizations and individuals when decisions are being made to destroy EVERY animal.

Also, be sure to state your experience with cats, animals, feline disorders/diseases, hoarding and rescue, so they know you are well informed on the issues. Otherwise, they may think you are clueless and doing a knee-jerk to the bad publicity.

Right now I am too mad to carry on, but I ask you to please flood the HS office phone & board member e-mails. This is especially important they hear from the public prior to the meeting.

Pass the word and carry on.

Andrea Lee Lambrecht

Animal Humane Society: "Humane" in name only

Dear friends:

You've probably heard about the Animal Humane Society's recent "rescue" of 130 cats in St. Anthony, Minnesota. This was a case of a couple hoarding a ridiculous number of cats in a small trailer. However, pictures released by the AHS show cats who appeared to be pretty well socialized and well fed. Various people who have been involved in seizures of hoarders' cats say these were in better shape than they expected.

The AHS invited all the media to come see the cats in their cages at the Golden Valley site. Their press person said they would spend 2-3 weeks evaluating the cats for illness and socialization. The AHS later admitted that they killed them within 48 hours. Every single one. As people and organizations from all over started contacting them to offer help, they were already busy killing cats. They say now it was a public health issue, but have not explained: 1) why the timeline was changed; 2) whether they actually tested cats for illness; and 3) if the cats were so critically ill, why they even brought them to the shelter. (Hint: the Star Tribune article didn't ask people to volunteer, but did ask for money.)

This Saturday, 2/28, we will be protesting at the Humane Socy in Golden Valley -- 1 p.m. to 2 or 2:30 (depending on how cold!) at Highway 55 and Meadow Lane North. Please join us and wear thermal underwear & bring signs! It is one exit west of Theodore Wirth Parkway. There are several parking lots nearby. Note that this protest is not sponsored by any organization, but just an ad-hoc group of extremely pissed off citizens!

Can't make it? Can make it & want to be even more helpful? Here is a link for more information & a list of contacts for AHS board members. Please ask them to investigate thoroughly and make necessary personnel changes. (That would be a polite way of saying that they need to fire CEO Janelle Dixon, who has presided comfortably over the deaths of tens of thousands of animals, first at the St. Paul shelter & then at the head of the 5-shelter AHS system.)

Feel free to share this with anyone interested. If anyone outside the area has a moment to write a few board members, it would be very helpful. Let them know there are people watching everywhere.

Thanks so much!
Ellen Weinstock
St. Paul, MN

More info:

Jeff Ament
Smith Barney
445 E. Lake Street, Ste. 320
Wayzata, MN 55391
(952) 475-4304
(800) 433-0147

Emilie Buchwald
6808 Margaret’s Ln
Edina, MN 55439
(952) 941-5993

Ed Clausman, DVM
Southdale Pet Hospital
3910 W 70th St
Minneapolis, MN 55435
(952) 926-1831

Barb Colombo, Esq.
Hamline University
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 523-2800

Kerry D’Amato
502 Grand Hill
St. Paul, MN 55102-2613
(651) 222-6441

Lisa Goodman
Minneapolis City Council
350 S 5th Street, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2207

Dean Hedstrom, VP Engineering
Aetrium, Inc.
2350 Helen Street
North St. Paul, MN 55109
(651) 770-2000

Cyndi Lesher, President
Xcel Energy, Inc.
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(800) 328-8226

Teresa Morrow, Senior VP
Bremer Financial Services
445 Minnesota Street, Ste. 2000
St. Paul, MN 55101-2135
(651) 227-7621

Ned Patterson, DVM
C339 Veterinary Medical Center
1352 Boyd Avenue
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN 56345

Nicholas S. Pifer, CFA
RiverSource Investments
70100 Ameriprise Financial Center
Minneapolis, MN 55474
(800) 817-4647

Wayne Popham, Esq.
Popham Law Office
33 S. 6th Street, #4100
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3601
(612) 333-7680

Boyd Ratchye, Esq.
970 Wagon Wheel Trail
Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1316

Damon Schramm, Esq.
Lakes Entertainment, Inc.
130 Cheshire Lane
Minnetonka, MN 55305 US

Kristi Skordahl, Esq.
Family Law Services
2139 Carroll Ave
St. Paul, MN 55104-5043
(651) 644-1443

Robert Washabau, DVM
1352 Boyd Avenue
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN 55108

You can contact the following board members c/o Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Lane N., Golden Valley, MN 55422. (763) 522-4325
Don Jacobsen

Sheila Kennedy

James Lane

Linda Lee

Walt McCarthy

Murphy McKee

Lia Melrose

Deborah Patterson

Carolyn Smith

Stephanie Swanson

You may also wish to contact the Humane Society’s sponsors. All of them have links here: