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« Of video and the written word | Main | Wherein I bark and growl »

24 June 2008


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Why does this sort of thing always happen to the places that are trying to do some good whereas all the greedy business men keep getting fatter and fatter.

Share the money around.


It is really sad that they didn't go to their donors and even to the press before they realized that the program was in need of financial support.

If they have turned to the public I'm sure they would have got the money they need, seems like the financial difficulties are really not the true story

H. Houlahan


Martha Hoffman's book Lend Me An Ear is one of the most valuable resources I've got, an alternative view of how to select a working dog. (Different from the standard paradigm derived from police/military selection.) It's one I've recommended to many hearing-impaired people who think it would be fun 'n' easy to get one o' them hearing dawgs you can take on the bus.

And if trainer Julia Priest says a dog is meant to be a working dog, then he is. How would a Pennsylvanian know such a thing? Maybe because of the rocket-powered, monkey-navigated, human-finding machine of a German shepherd I got from Julia a few years ago. Most focused and easy-to-train SAR dog I've ever seen. Was little Tofu the signal dog equivalent of Sophia? I pity the pet owners who thought it would be kewl to adopt a "trained dog" and are now living with an unemployed workaholic; but I pity the dog much more.

Two trainers whom I respect for their service to humans in need, and expertise in building up the right dogs to do the job, are saying that those people and dogs got screwed. Gotcha sisters.

Since when does a major charity work by ensuring that every charitable program generate enough direct revenue to cover its operating costs? That's not even good business practice. It is the sort of thing that pinhead B-school grad consultants (hee hoo does not have to live with the organizational consequences) will come up with, in order to justify their tremendous fees.


I am confident that if the SF SPCA had tried, they could have saved this program. I've seen communities step up and help shelters for a lot less compelling reasons.

I find it hard to believe that in all of SF, there wasn't a single organization they couldn't have partnered with to transition this program to another shelter or organization. But I guess if you don't look you don't have to do the work involved.

I'm also disturbed to think that people gave donations to this program which are not apparently now being used for other purposes. Hello: I think the Attorney General for CA ought to be looking into the possible misuse of these funds.

Finally, there are other programs around the country who train dogs for hearing impaired invidivuals. The fact that the SF SPCA apparently made no attempt to transfer the partially trained dogs to one of the groups is unconscionable.

Shame on you SF SPCA, your community deserves better than that.

Gina Spadafori

I fixed 'em. Thanks for mentioning.


The last 3 links no worky for me. I get "sorry, no posts matched your criteria" when I click.

Gina Spadafori

I once placed a little stray I found with the SF SPCA Hearing Dog program. All people benefit from having animals in their lives, but service animals are truly special.

What a shame, indeed.


How terrible! Its such a shame that there wasn't the financial support to continue this program. I read the full article and I still have to wonder - why weren't there fundraising activities geared toward saving the shelter? If that info was disclosed, perhaps they would have had a better chance of saving this all too important program...

Lost for Words

H Houlahan took the words right out of my mouth.


This really makes me mad. Being deaf does not help. Geewillikers that was short sighted of San Fran SPCA.

grrr.... as my aussie would say.

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