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20 November 2009


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Gina Spadafori

Irrational and emotional, Susan. Sheesh. Grow a pair.


So many hearing dog owners have been left in the lurch by the closure of the program. That just adds to anger over everything else.


"Some of them have organized into two groups who are vowing to expose the new policies even if it means that donors, the lifeblood of the nonprofit, stop cutting checks."

Sad. Silly, confused people worsening the plight of companion animals in the US. :( I'll leave you guys alone here, sorry for stirring you up.

Susan Fox

Oh, Drew, what a man you are. I'm sure we are all ever so grateful. Not.

Gina Spadafori

Sad. Silly, confused people worsening the plight of companion animals in the US. :( I’ll leave you guys alone here, sorry for stirring you up.

Comment by Drew — November 19, 2009

No, you're not sorry at all, but you're still leaving. We sad, silly, confused people will just have to muddle on without you.

Susan Fox

Oh, Gina, I think I'm going to cry.

Christie Keith


Tom Cushing

Of course it's difficult to expose a dysfunctional organization, because of the inevitable dollar drop-off from disappointed donors. But the alternatives -- "going along" or working within a system that refuses to change per the collaborative route -- are worse for the victims of the mis-management. If animal welfare guides your actions, a lot of decisions become easy.

IF (as in "big if") The Board hires a capable No-Kill advocate -- and there are some great, proven choices out there -- all will be quickly forgiven. If not, well ... pls refer to Christie's earlier tome about donating to smaller, lower-overhead outfits who haven't lost sight of their mission.

Thomas Cole

Since early September 2009 I have repeatedly tried to interest the Bay Area rescue community in adopting my plan for a cooperative coalition of all rescuers, shelters and the city's pound (ACC).

My clear and comprehensive business plan (disguised by my use of the label "vision statement") outlines in detail how I would, as a competent replacement for the SPCA's outgoing president, revamp the mission of the SPCA, and create a coalition of all animal rescue workers and advocates throughout the Bay Area.

Briefly, it calls for a new "open admission" policy at the SPCA. No animal will ever again be turned away for any cause. I won't accept "no room at the inn."

The SPCA, simply because it's big and visible and can easily attract donations, will coordinate all rescue functions of the San Francisco Bay Area Coalition. This is to help you rescuers stay focused on your important work - saving lives.

The SPCA disappears, leaving Maddie's Adoption Center and the Leanne B. Roberts Medical care Center:

The SPCA and the ACC no longer will warehouse dogs in a kennel area (except for legal or medical requirements). Similar to cats, adoptable dogs (i.e good social behavior) will be moved to new "communal showrooms." They will live and sleep together. SFers can stop by and visit calm, happy dogs in a warm, friendly environment. This replaces the walk of shame past those sweet faces locked in cages.

Dogs not ready for adoption will be transferred into the loving care of all the dedicated independent rescuers (fosters). This includes "dangerous" dogs. (As a foster, I have never met the dog I can't successfully rehab and rehome, given enough time - no shelter director I know of can make that claim). When rehab is completed and the dog(s) can live socially with others, s(he) will be returned to the Coalition's "new car showrooms" at Maddie's Adoption Center for placement.

The medical center will hand back to local vets all for-pay services. Getting out of the business of making money, the medical center will now provide FREE care to all animals in the Coalition's system. Yes, free! No longer will rescuers have to worry about what they have to give up this month to pay for medical care. Eventually, corporate donations will cover care for all low-income family pets.

The Coalition will begin a FREE neuter program for all Bay Area companion animals. Earning levels won't be a factor. ACC officers will "take the point" in getting this vital program to areas most needing it. No longer will we need SB861 to single out any one breed.

Neutering offered for free & done onsite (or with pickup & delivery available) will remove excuses for not participating. Long-term this will serve to reduce unwanted backyard "hobbyist" breeding (the animals, not the people).

The San Francisco Coalition sets a new standard for animal rescue in the world

1) Adoptions will be free - "free-will donations" made will be given directly to the fosters to help eimburse for their expenses.

2) All neutering and medical services offered will be free, paid for by donations from the community.

This takes the burden of support off the individual groups or shelters and places where it belongs - ON THE COMMUNITY!

Voluntary participation, not mandated compliance. I have always found San Franciscans very easy to deal with when not holding a gun to their collective heads!

I am in the process of teaching the board of directors that animal rescue does not qualify as a business: there is no exchange of value which would constitute a business transaction. You donate money, I give you nothing in return. (Good feelings and a tax deduction don't equal a transaction!). Therefore, it is time for Catherine Brown to hike up her Big Girl pants and move away from her beloved business model. No more "revenue stream," "bottom line," or "reasonable return on the shelter's investments."

The board of directors at SF's SPCA needs to learn that this is about saving lives (all lives, not just Muffy and Princess), not running a business.

So, the above is about 50% of my "business plan." Sound good? It meets the expressed desires of all those who complained, moaned and whined at the commission's meetings and in all the articles written over the last year. I have done my homework.

So, here's my concern:

I sent a proposal to most of the rescue groups, the board of supervisors, 3 of the city commissioners, most of the local reporters (including this one), the ACC,, the Hearing Dog Program, Best Friends Animal Society, Best Friends No More Homeless Pets program, the No-Kill Advocacy Center, and even Allison Lindquist at East Bay's SPCA. In return I have gotten ONE response - and that was yesterday. No articles, no reactions, no phone calls, no emails - nothing. And much of this effort was done in Septemeber. I'm now writing this in late January...

Where are all you "concerned" advocates? Quick to complain, slow to help. Want to help now? Contact Catherine Brown, chair of the SPCA, and let her know it's time to hire a leader and visionary, not another failure like Jan McHugh-Smith and her team of fashion statements.

I have offered to do this thankless job, and clean up the mess left behind by her last hire, for less than half of what Jan received and I don't need a half-million dollar interest-free loan for a new Ferrari, even though I really like the red ones.

Contact her at the SPCA and please let her know I'm available. Wait too long, the door closes and I head off to talk to King County (Washington) and Manatee County (Florida). They're looking for my solution.

Phone = 415-554-3000

email =

Or you can just deal with the next "just another shelter director" they are looking for right now. Good luck.

Your humble servant and dedicated rescuer,

Thomas Cole

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