Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter
"I was told by two employees that theirs is a no-kill facility and that foster homes would be found for the kittens. If I had thought they'd be sent somewhere else to be killed, I would never have given them those babies."
-- Kimberley Marshall
Given the disturbing fact that the much ballyhooed no-kill movement is largely comprised of slick double-talkers and scam artists, it is easy for even knowledgeable individuals to be deceived. That was the painful, not to mention nearly catastrophic, lesson that recently was foisted upon kindhearted Kimberley Marshall of San Luis Obispo.
A couple of weeks ago she was visiting her mother in Vallejo when she stumbled upon a litter of eight abandoned kittens in a yard. She then telephoned the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society (BVHS) which came and took possession of them.
She shortly thereafter discovered a second litter of kittens in the same yard and this time around she contacted Cat Tales of Vacaville. That was when the organization's Lisa Hart disabused her of everything that she thought she knew about BVHS by informing her that the so-called no-kill shelter likely had fobbed off the kittens on Solano County Animal Control (SCAC) in Fairfield to be exterminated.
Horrified that she had been duped, Marshall raced to SCAC in order to reclaim the kittens only to be told upon arrival that doing so was going to cost her $25 apiece or a cool $200. Determined to make amends for her earlier inadvertent mistake, Marshall was not about to be dissuaded.
"I cried and screamed until the supervisor there said I could have the kittens back," she related to the Vallejo Times-Herald on July 19th. (See "Kittens Rescued Twice from Death.") "I was there for four hours in the blazing sun."
At last report, Marshall was caring for the eight kittens at her home. (See photo above of her with one of them.)
Quite understandably, she was outraged at BVHS's deceitfulness. "I was told by two employees that theirs was a no-kill facility and that foster homes would be found for the kittens," she told the Vallejo Times-Herald in the article cited supra. "If I had thought they'd be sent somewhere else to be killed I would never have given them those babies."
The bigwigs at BVHS quickly circled the wagons and in doing so wasted little time in exposing themselves to be every bit the equals of Mr. Samuel Pickwick's opposing counsel whom Charles Dickens described as "the slickest of the slick and the sharpest of the sharp." To slightly update the analogy, it is as if the honchos at BVHS had studied rhetoric from such skilled prevaricators as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Barack Obama.
"We do our best to handle what we can at our facility. We are a small facility subsisting on donations," shelter director Peter Wilson told the Vallejo Times-Herald. "We have about ninety fosters (temporary homes) now and our facility is full." (See photo of him on the left below.)
It should be noted first of all that although Wilson declares that his shelter is full, that is not necessarily the case with his foster homes. In fact, it is BVHS's policy to dispatch kittens to SCAC to be killed even when foster families are available and willing to take them.
Unfortunately, the killing of cats and dogs when both permanent and temporary homes are readily available is a common practice all across the country. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")
BVHS board member Roberta Grubbe also joined the fray and in doing so soon demonstrated that she is every bit as deceptive a speaker as Wilson. "This is a no-kill facility for adoptable animals," she told the Vallejo Times-Herald in the article cited supra. "We don't have the space to isolate an infinite number of kittens. (See photo of her on the left below.)
At long last something remotely resembling the truth is finally told. BVHS is a no-kill shelter but only for so-called adoptable animals as opposed to the strictly no-kill facility that is advertises itself to be. It accordingly merely classifies some animals as adoptable and has the remainder killed without the public's knowledge.
Moreover, it is a sure bet that the ones it decides to save are those that it strongly believes it can sell back to the public for a handsome profit. In particular, it sells cats for $125 and dogs for $200. Plus, it no doubt rakes in a pretty penny from gullible individuals who falsely believe that their donations are saving lives. The organization therefore should change its name to Murder for Profit Incorporated.
More of the same leger de main can be found in droves on BVHS's web site. For instance, when it comes to killing cats and dogs it states that "we do not euthanize at our facility."
Technically speaking, that is a true statement. It is only when it is revealed that BVHS outsources the killings of animals to SCAC and possibly other killing factories that the true extent of its crimes and lies comes into focus.
A little further along on its web site more talk of adoptable animals is to be found. For example, "...our adoptable animals remain at the shelter until adopted or sent home with a foster family." Also, "our facility is limited to holding a certain number of adoptable animals."
Compounding matters further, it is difficult to believe that BHVS saves very many of the animals that it designates as being adoptable in that it is only open for business from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and those limited days and hours are hardly sufficient for any bona fide rescue group serious about placing animals in new homes. It is even conceivable that it is too cheap to hire anyone to watch over the animals when the shelter is closed to the public.
The well-being and care of the animals at BVHS also is called into question by the facility's unwillingness to employ a veterinarian. From that it only can be assumed that it allows sick and injured animals to either waste away on their own or farms them out to SCAC to be killed.
Nevertheless, on its web site it has the audacity to declare that its raison d'etre is to "offer refuge, medical care, nourishment, and an opportunity for a second chance for life to unwanted animals." In light of such glaring hypocrisy and lies it would be interesting to know exactly how many of the animals that it takes in ever make it out alive.
SCAC likewise does not have any business killing cats and kittens under any circumstances. Moreover, it should not be doing BVHS's dirty work for it.
It also would be interesting to know if female inmates at the Solano County Sheriff's Claybank Sentenced Detention Center in Fairfield are still fostering kittens. If so, homeless kittens could be given to the inmates to nurture instead of being unconscionably killed. (See Cat Defender post of October 27, 2005 entitled "Inmates at Women's Prisons in California Save Lives by Fostering Feral Kittens.")
BVHS's unscrupulous and ruthless killing of kittens and cats is a logical extension of the ingrained hatred of the species that its harbors in its malignant bosom. On its web site it falsely accuses them of, inter alia, smelling bad, making too much noise, killing wildlife, spreading diseases to other animals, driving off domestic cats, and of harboring fleas and other parasites.
Because of all the cats that it has had systematically murdered and for its fleecing of the public under false pretenses, BVHS should be immediately padlocked and its principals arrested. Since that is not about to happen, the best that individuals who love cats can do is to stop funding these fraudsters and cat killers.
As for the cats now at the shelter, they either should be immediately released into managed colonies or placed in permanent homes. Dogs and other animals either should be found permanent homes or sent to sanctuaries.
It is well established that conventional shelters murder approximately ninety-nine per cent of all cats that pass through their portals. That, however, is far from being the entire story.
In Atlantic County, New Jersey, and elsewhere, many cats never even make it to shelters because Animal Control officers trap and shoot them at point-blank range in the field. Accordingly, the number of cats killed each year actually is far greater than statistics would tend to indicate.
Most shelters likewise are overcrowded and filthy and whenever a cat catches so much as a case of the sniffles that provides it gaoler with yet still another excuse to snuff out its fragile life. Still others die from injuries that shelters categorically refuse to treat.
The farming out of the killing of cats is not the only ruse that so-called no-kill shelters employ. Others, such as Kitty City in La Luz, New Mexico, vociferously support bans on the feeding of homeless cats.
They therefore cruelly starve to death thousands of needy and hungry cats just so that they can take in a handful of others and proclaim to the world that they are no-kill. (See Alamogordo Daily News, July 23, 2010, "Kitty City Encourages People Not to Feed Feral Cats.")
Kitty City additionally plays BVHS's deceitful adoptive cat game albeit with a decidedly wicked Evelyn Waugh twist. Whereas BVHS takes in cats from the public and then slyly passes them on to SCAC to kill, City Kitty's owner and operator, Ed Denton, visits Animal Control in Alamogordo and asks the killers to set aside for him the so-called adoptable cats. As far as he is concerned, unadoptable or unprofitable cats can go to Hell.
"I take a look at all the cats because Animal Control does euthanize, so I put names on the cats that I can find good homes for," he confessed to the Alamogordo Daily News on November 7, 2009. (See "Kitty City Near La Luz Provides Haven for Felines Facing Euthanasia.") "I tell them to call me before they euthanize so I can go and pick them up."
While Kitty City charges only $45 for its cats, it stipulates that they must be cruelly imprisoned indoors for the remainder of their brief sojourns on this earth. C'est-a dire, those cats that it gets its hands on are to have no other existence than that dictated by Kitty City.
It therefore is clear that Kitty City, like BVHS, has its own agenda and that feral and stray cats, those that it chooses to arbitrarily classify as unadoptable, and outdoor cats are not part of its business model.
Recently, Delaware passed a law that outlaws the killing of companion animals whenever there is either a rescue group or a foster family willing to take possession of them. The law also bans the killing of animals when either cage space is available or two animals can share the same quarters.
In a July 23rd press release, Nathan J. Winograd of the No Kill (sic) Advocacy Center called the act "the most sweeping, progressive companion animal protection legislation in the United States." (See "Delaware Passes Landmark Legislation.")
While the statute is undeniably a big step forward in some ways, Winograd's exuberance is misplaced in that it will not stop the wholesale slaughter of cats and dogs in Delaware. Shelters, for instance, still will be able to murder to their black hearts' content after the legally-mandated holding period expires and no one or group steps forward and ransoms those animals left on death row.
It is even doubtful that rescue groups will be willing to save very many companion animals. It also is a sure bet that, like BVHS and Kitty City, those that they do save will be the ones that they find profitable.
That is all terribly wrong and morally indefensible. The decision as to which animals are to live and which are to die should not be based upon either pulchritude or profitability. Any orphanage that operated on such principles soon would be shuttered and its proprietors jailed.
Furthermore, shelters in Delaware still will retain the prerogative to kill upon arrival any animals that they deem to be either sick or a threat to the staff and other animals because of either disease or aggression. As in the case of all exterminations, the decision as to which animals to kill is left exclusively in the hands of veterinarians and shelter officials with absolutely no outside oversight whatsoever. Such an arrangement is tantamount to placing the care of young women in the hands of Jack the Ripper.
After thoughtful consideration, it thus appears that Winograd and his no-kill movement are largely a fraud. He makes considerable money from his books, conferences, and lectures and is able to travel the world preaching the gospel of no-kill but that is about all that he ever has accomplished.
Just about all shelters that pass themselves off as being no-kill are frauds. Moreover, although Winograd is alleged to have transformed the shelter in San Francisco into a no-kill facility, it reverted to its old killing ways almost as soon as he was out the door.
That is not to say that some good may yet come out of the no-kill movement but even that is not about to occur until Winograd and other apostles in the movement learn to tell the truth and stop lying to the public. Above all, no-kill should mean exactly what the name implies.
In the final analysis, no one or group involved in the no-kill movement can be taken at face value. As far as it is known, all of them kill cats and kittens right and left and lie about doing so. Worst still, they make money off of their despicable crimes and blatant lies.
Kimberley Marshall, however, is the real deal. Thanks to her compassion, dedication, and fighting spirit, eight kittens are alive today. She went to the mat in order to save them and in doing so became a real-life hero.
There are not many people like her in this crooked and inhumane world but it is precisely individuals of her caliber who believe in the sanctity of all feline life that the animal rights movement so desperately needs. Phony-baloney frauds, such as BVHS, Kitty City, and Winograd, are cancers that are eroding the movement's credibility.
Photos: Mike Jory of the Vallejo Times-Herald (Marshall and kitten) and BVHS (Wilson and Grubbe).