My Photo

Keep Up


    christiekeith's items Go to christiekeith's photostream

« Ten pet care questions I won ' t answer | Main | Just me on the pity pot »

12 June 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

nancy freedman-smith

bad rap just blogged that they left. didn't say why


This is a disgrace! Doners should let their voices be heard. The best thing would be if e some of the former emplyees could form their own rescue group and do it the right way. Then the SPCA can run their for profit hospital and the donations can go to actually help the animals.

Cathie Newitt

It appears that Canine Companions for Independence of Santa Rosa has entered into an "alliance" with the SF/SPCA regarding the Hearing Dog program. CCI will now accept the applicants from the individuals who were on the SF/SPCA Hearing Dog list.

Deb I smell the stench of ARs permeating the SF SPCA? When I see valuable and popular programs being cut like this and animals being euthanised for spurious reasons, I have to wonder if the real agenda isn't that money's tight, but that programs which actually benefit the animals are contrary to the avowed goal of permanent severance of the alliance between Homo sapiens and all other species, and therefore Have To Go?!


Deb - what are ARs?

Gina Spadafori

AR=Animal-rights advocates.

The "animal rights" vs. "animal welfare" debate is simplistic and easily exploited by groups that use "animal welfare" to defend horrid abuse practices because they say if you don't accept puppy mills and factory farming you must be "animal rights," choosing animals over people, against pets, a pawn of PETA, etc., etc.

It's the ol' "yur with us or agin' us" crap, blue state vs. red, wedges of division to distract us from real issues, etc.

Many thoughtful people refuse to be pigeonholed and marginalized into one camp or another.

Here's a thoughtful read:

H. Houlahan

Just a point. More charities have been hijacked by a corporate bottom line mentality, the greed of their hired bureaucrats, and the inertia of entrenched interests with sinecures to protect than have been waylaid by political extremism.

Red Cross, anyone? United Way? Lotta money pouring into those troughs -- are we shocked when the pigs show up? (Sorry pigs. No slam on pigs intended.)

I've more or less given up on really big charities. And when the hired executives start coming from the corporate world, or the generic corporate "non-profit" world (not the trenches of whatever mission the charity claims as its own) and drawing six-figure salaries, that's a good cue to find another charity to take your money. (When the BoD justifies some obscene salary for some greasy suit because "non-profits have to compete with the corporate world" -- great time to button your purse.)

Would PeTA *like* to control the policies of the SFSPCA and every shelter in the country? Sure. But they are not as powerful as plain greed and the brainless momentum of an organization whose "mission" has devolved to "bring in more money for salaries."

Gina Spadafori

Never blame on a political agenda what is more likely due to incompetence, laziness and inertia. :)


"Incompetence, laziness and inertia" IS the political agenda of some in this country!


Very revealing from the article in SFWeekly:

The final insult to Hearing Dog supporters came when it was discovered that the SF/SPCA board of directors had given McHugh-Smith a $500,000 low-interest loan to help her purchase a home in Marin. Such loans are common at prestigious nonprofits, but nonetheless it made the firing of the Hearing Dog employees and other service cutbacks harder to take.


I can talk a little about this, as I'm a former SPCA volunteer who's working to help get the SPCA back on track. Basically, it seems like the new pet hospital has become all-consuming for the board of the SPCA and therefore for the new president they hired and the new vice-president she hired. They're taking the easy cases and trying not to deal with the hard ones. They're minimizing the amount of time and money they have to spend on difficult animals (sick, behavior problems) and trying to bring in lots of easy-to-adopt animals to get their numbers and money up and to keep costs down. A whole bunch of concerned citizens are working right now to help San Francisco do what it can to encourage the SPCA to get back to helping find homes for all homeless animals in San Francisco, not just the easy ones. There seems to be some good community support as well as some support from leaders in City Hall. It's not likely to be easy, since the SPCA is a private organization, but we're not giving up hope! The attention from the SF Weekly story seems like it may be helping to change things - it's a good first step.


I have started an online petition drive to call for the firing of Jan McHugh Smith and Dori Villalon. Here is the link


Dori Villalon 'left' the Sonoma county shelter after only 1 year; I wonder if she 'left' willingly. Would love to know the back-story of that...


I was very concerned when I heard that Hugh-Smith was hired out of Colorada into

San Fran SPCA from a kill shelter to no kill. The board failed to do their homework on this one. It is a shame that she is ruining one of the flag ship no kill success stories in the country but she is a hanger on of H$U$ and AHA both over funded and kill happy groups. McHugh Smith was involverd in writting the rather useless and pro kill shelter Asilomar Accords.

"From No-Kill Solutions"

“In August of 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California"

“The mission of those involved in creating the Asilomar Accords is to work together to save the lives of all healthy and treatable dogs and cats.” (Asilomar Accords, Guiding Principles, 1.)

The Asilomar Accords, in fact, do not present a roadmap for saving lives. Instead, they allow—and even legitimize—rounding up and killing feral cats, refusing rescue groups and No Kill shelters access to animals facing death in their facility, and enforcing draconian animal control laws. The Accords even appear to call for the phase-out of the term “No Kill” or “No Kill Shelter.” In return, traditional shelters promise to provide transparency and openness by providing statistics to the public—based on a reporting model that is neither transparent nor an accurate representation of life and death in a traditional animal shelter.

Does the road to No Kill lead through Asilomar? It does not.

It is very obvious that the board failed to do thier homework. What a shame !!!

Barbara Saunders

On "leadership" vs. "trenches": I believe a scary situation develops when you let everyone come "up from the trenches." You end up with a deficiency in training that leaves a big, fat gap for an uncaring raptor outsider to leap in through. There needs to be a mix, all the way up, of "mission" people and more "professionally identified" people. It is the latter people who are best equipped to develop useful critiques. If EVERYONE comes up from the trenches, it is very hard to get away from "the way it's always been done."

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner