We need your help to stay out of the hole
The time has come for us to speak to you forthrightly and directly about the “elephant in the room,” who is unfortunately not an elephant but a pit bull.
The time has also come for us to ask you forthrightly and directly if you value what we do here at ANIMALS 24-7 enough to help us keep working at it around the clock.
If the elephant were only an elephant
If the “elephant in the room” were only an elephant, a species to which we have paid huge attention in many articles, donors would be rejoicing that the elephant is no longer performing in a circus ring.
Generous people might be showering us with the money we urgently and desperately need to keep on reporting the news from the wide world of animal protection––often news that other media, including the subsidized media of advocacy groups, have whitewashed or ignored.
But, deceptively dangerous as elephants can be, especially when hunted or kept captive and mistreated, pit bulls are hundreds of times more dangerous –– not only to other animals and humans around them, but also to the integrity of the entire humane cause.
Violence & intimidation
Pit bulls, or more precisely their militant advocates, are dangerous to ANIMALS 24-7 as well, through the insidious, indirect effect that pit bull advocacy violence and intimidation has had on our advertisers, donors and funders.
Some former advertisers, donors and funders have admitted to us that even though they deeply appreciate our work, including our spotlighting where the humane cause has completely run off the rails in promoting dogs bred for centuries for the sole purpose of killing and maiming other animals and humans, they are afraid to be seen standing with us.
Some still donate anonymously––and we very much appreciate that.
Unfortunately, staying online and meeting our basic expenses of life requires the help of many more donors than we have. We need committed donors with the courage of their convictions, who will not be intimidated, who will help month after month as we rebuild and redeem the humane and animal rights movements around the concept of “victim advocacy.”
Victim advocacy was in truth the original humane and animal rights concept: standing up as the “voice of the voiceless,” whether on two legs, four legs, or none. And it needs to be again.
Big groups squander public trust
Today much of the humane cause, including six of the biggest, wealthiest animal advocacy nonprofits in the world, collectively worth $1.5 billion a year, have elected to sacrifice the security and well-being of every other animal and person, and nearly two centuries of hard-earned public trust, to the single-minded goal of somehow rehoming every homeless pit bull, at any risk and expense.
At the same time these six biggest, wealthiest nonprofits, who each pay many executives more than we would need to publish for years, are doing little or nothing effective to curb pit bull breeding. Neither are thousands of other animal charities who take their cues from the biggest.
Unrestrained breeding by dogfighters and backyard speculators, taking advantage of the market created by animal advocacy advertising, has crowded almost every shelter in the developed world with pit bulls and pit mixes.
This in turn ensures that pit bulls––less than 5% of the total dog population––continue to account for about two-thirds of the dogs euthanized in shelters, just as they have throughout the 21st century.
You know, because you read ANIMALS 24-7, that shelter adoptions of dogs have fallen steeply in recent years, as the public loses faith in the reliability of shelter descriptions of dogs and dog behavior.
More and more donated money is being paid out to settle liability lawsuits, after people who adopted dogs in good faith have been severely injured, even killed, along with their other pets, children, friends, and family members, because shelter management lied to them about breed identity and characteristics on the advice of the big six animal advocacy nonprofits.
Multi-millions of dollars of donated money, some of it your money, has been spent to subsidize pit bull promotion, in hopes of boosting adoptions of pit bulls who frequently cycle through shelters multiple times without ever finding stable homes.
Encouraging more breeding
The net effect of all of this advertising, public relations activity, and misrepresentation to media has only been to encourage more speculative breeding, producing ever more pit bulls to fail in homes and be repeatedly shuffled through shelters and rescues until they are finally euthanized as incorrigibly dangerous, die at the hands of “rescue hoarders,” or are killed by dogfighters.
What is ANIMALS 24-7 doing about it?
We told the truth, & are still telling it
We knew and reported, even in an era when career animal control directors could retire without ever having seen a pit bull, what pit bulls are and what for centuries they have been bred to do, contrary to the breeding of every other dog line, for whom the primary goals of breeders (even puppy millers!) have included trustworthiness, safety, and reliability.
For 25 years, with little help or encouragement, and against the growth of organized pit bull advocacy, funded largely by pit bull breeders, we painstakingly logged the data from fatal and disfiguring dog attacks, and documented the ever growing volume of pit bulls surrendered to animal shelters.
We tried desperately to alert the humane and animal rights communities before pit bull advocacy succeeded in enlarging what was then just a festering sore into a cancer corrupting the integrity of humane organizations in almost every town.
Long, uphill, often lonely struggle
It was a long, uphill, often lonely struggle. But about 10 years ago, as the numbers of animal and human victims of pit bulls increased exponentially, the first grassroots volunteer organization formed by pit bull victims emerged. We encouraged it, and then helped two more victim advocacy groups to start the next year, twice as many the year after, and more in each year after that.
At long last victim advocacy is a fast-growing cause, representing thousands of pit bull victims and their families, motivated by deeply felt losses of animals, children, and others, whose absence never stops hurting.
Pouring salt into victims’ wounds
While six of the largest animal charities in the world and thousands of misguided others continue to pour salt into the victims’ wounds, and give tacit encouragement to the violent pit bull advocates who have issued as many as 300 death threats to us in individual social media threads, ANIMALS 24-7 has given voice, encouragement, verifiable data and reliable information to victim advocacy.
And, we emphasize, victim advocacy is not just about pit bulls, nor even dangerous dogs.
Ours is the entire scope of bona fide humane work
The ANIMALS 24-7 scope of coverage and concern is the entire scope of bona fide humane work, on behalf of every exploited and tormented animal and human.
When six of the largest animal charities in the world and others acting as their unthinking minions misdirect their resources and their efforts on behalf of dogs who exist only to kill and maim, they are not fairly or adequately representing you, their donors, who expect them to work on behalf of hunted wildlife, factory-farmed pigs and chickens, wild and working horses and donkeys, the mice, rats, and birds incarcerated in laboratories whom the U.S. government does not even legally recognize as animals––and millions of other animals whose plight goes unvoiced and unaddressed.
Diverting $$ from other animals
But “Oh,” you say, “those six big animal charities are also working for wildlife, horses, factory-farmed animals, lab animals, etc.––we get their mailings, e-mails and social media posting about all their victories for those animals every day!”
Unfortunately, none of the big six (and no other major animal charities) have spent even a fraction as much in the past decade to win legal recognition of mice, rats, and birds as animals, to mention just one largely abandoned cause, as they have spent to defend pit bulls who have killed or injured other animals and humans in the last year alone!
Some of those big six animal charities are recently raising a ruckus over the long overdue contributions they are at last beginning to make to help animal advocates in China, India, and elsewhere in Asia to address issues such as eating dogs and cats, albeit often with little understanding of what they are blogging about.
One big charity recently bought dogs from a purported dog meat farm which actually appears to have been breeding and training fighting dogs. Just today the president of one of those big charities managed to mix up India, Nepal, and Tibet in a single sentence, and misrepresented one of his topics too!
These are issues and places that ANIMALS 24-7 had often been addressing, and investigating in person, for nearly 40 years before any of the big six even became involved! And hiring a few people to work in Asia costs U.S.-based organizations a pittance, yet brings in millions in donations, much of the money diverted to helping pay the bloated salaries of the pit bull advocates on their payrolls!
1.1 million readers
Nearly 1.1 million people, yourself included, have read ANIMALS 24-7 news coverage, referenced our research, and shared our statistics and perspective on the most urgent animal issues of the day with friends via social media.
Though we have posted well over 1,000 articles on around 500 different animal topics over the past three years, the hundred-or-so articles addressing the pit bull conundrum have attracted significantly more than half our total audience––more than half a million readers!
Hundreds of other media have quoted and cited us. Medical doctors, personal injury lawyers, public policy makers, and major insurance groups routinely use our data.
Urgently wanted & needed coverage
Clearly this is urgently wanted and needed coverage. No one else has comparably investigated, reported, exposed, and documented all the many facets of pit bull proliferation and the consequences of it––or could, or would.
No one else has our depth of relevant experience, in journalism, humane work, and law enforcement.
But do you really value ANIMALS 24-7?
Do you care?
We really value and appreciate our loyal donors, but donors thus far in 2017 have chipped in less than 20¢ on the dollar of the bare minimum that we need to keep going. We have done odd jobs to help pay the bills, when we could find them. Too often we have not even had that fortune, or have been turned down as too old, overqualified, or (we suspect) as too controversial.
We don’t need or ask for a lot, but we need to make a living. If every reader chipped in just 25¢ per article read, we’d be getting by.
What you can do besides sending money
If every reader forwarded the names and addresses of every friend and relative who has lost an animal or human family member to a pit bull or other dangerous dog attack, we would have the sympathetic and understanding mailing list we desperately need.
If every reader forwarded this appeal to 10 friends and acquaintances, or posted it to social media, that alone could significantly help.
We have not come this far, working as long and as hard as we have, to give up and quit. With your help, we will keep on fighting the good fight and helping you to fight it too, on behalf of all of the animal and human victims who need a cause that genuinely cares about their suffering and forthrightly speaks to it.
Humbly appreciating the opportunity to continue serving you and the animals we all love,
Beth & Merritt Clifton
P.S.––Just $5.00 donated in memory of every known animal and human pit bull victim in the U.S. this year would keep ANIMALS 24-7 going for another year!