“In today’s movement, it is easier to name organizations rife with incompetence, laziness and in many cases outright fraud, than not”
by Steve Hindi
A commenter on the recent ANIMALS 24-7 article New SHARK CharityCops site exposes Animal Charity Evaluators, about our campaign to improve the truthfulness, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the animal rights movement, concluded that “It would be wise to be extremely careful how we publicly criticize well-known [animal advocacy] organizations lest we shoot ourselves in the foot, align ourselves with the likes of Richard Berman (Humane Watch) and end up fracturing the movement beyond repair.”
I won’t post the words I’d use to describe Mr. Berman. It is sufficient to say they are negative in the extreme. So why are we collectively giving Berman and his ilk the opportunity to tell the truth about the movement, instead of forcing him to making things up?
“Make the movement more effective”
Exposing the truth and uncovering fraud is not denigrating the movement. SHARK’s intent in criticizing certain individuals and organizations is to make the movement more effective by initiating a desperately needed housecleaning. Animals are suffering and dying by the billions, and some of those animals could be saved were it not for tricksters and fraudsters that are bleeding the movement dry like a thousand ticks on a small dog.
I could talk for a good hour naming groups and individuals who have deprived our animal friends of badly needed funding and/or action. Here’s just a sampling off the top of my head:
• PETA co-founder Alex Pacheco has raised millions of dollars on the claim that he is developing biscuits to sterilize cats and dogs. After years of Pacheco’s sales pitch there are not only still no biscuits, but no credible indication whatever that Pacheco is even making an effort to invent them.
(See Alex Pacheco of “600 Million” says he was gunner on a boat with no guns, SHARK circles Alex Pacheco & “600 Million Stray Dogs Need You”, and “600 Million” reasons to toss Alex Pacheco’s alleged spay/neuter cookies.)
• In mid-2014, Will Potter bragged to the world that he would raise money for drones to be used over factory farms. Potter raised the money – over $75,000 according to his Kickstarter page. But more than three years later, there is no evidence that Potter used the money in the way he promised he would. We’ve asked him, repeatedly, and Potter is silent.
• In late 2013, PETA claimed it would use drones to expose animal cruelty, but it was just an attention-grabbing stunt. PETA then offered ridiculous little toy drones for sale for a few hundred dollars, claiming that buyers would be able to fight animal abuse with their PETA toys.
The sucker purchasers had as much chance of exposing animal abuse with their toy PETA drones as a tricycle has of winning the Tour de France.
Pennsylvanians ignoring pigeon shoots
• Pennsylvania humane organizations, which are banded together into a federation of more than 60 groups, all refuse to do frontline work on the state’s most outrageous humane issue: live pigeon shoots, the very issue that helped to build some of those organizations a generation or several generations ago. SHARK travels some 800 miles to address pigeon shoots, while groups just five or ten miles away sit on their butts.
Playing both sides of the fence
• The SPCA of Monterey County, California has very specific policies opposing rodeos on its website, while partnering with California’s biggest rodeo in Salinas, California. Donors just blissfully ignore that the SPCA is playing both sides of the fence. That see-no-evil approach to rodeo animal abuse exists with local humane societies nationwide.
Other than Merritt and Beth Clifton at ANIMALS 24-7 and ourselves at SHARK, I can’t think of anyone willing to stand up and expose what is going on in this movement. As long as that continues, countless more issues and animals will continue to be denied the funding needed to make change.
According to ANIMALS 24-7 research, the U.S. animal advocacy movement annually receives about a half billion dollars, exclusive of donations to hands-on animal care work and animal control contracts. Does anyone see five hundred million bucks in results?
“Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted”
I don’t get paid by SHARK. I am a business owner, and it is part of my job to spot waste. I can tell you that hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted under the banner of animal protection every year.
Imagine the accomplishments/successes for the animals if that enormous fortune was well spent. That level of waste, and the suffering and deaths that result, should have every person who actually gives a damn about nonhumans so angry he/she can’t sleep at night.
In today’s movement, it is easier to name organizations rife with incompetence, laziness and in many cases outright fraud, than not.
“Our CharityCops.com web site will lay it out”
How can I prove that statement? Just give SHARK a few years, and our CharityCops.com web site will lay it out – one after another, for as long as it takes.
We have exposed some bad actors already, but we haven’t even scratched the surface, because at the same time SHARK is doing front line work nationwide that other groups, including those with hundreds of times SHARK’s resources, have abandoned.
Apparently counting all that money coming in from the weekly direct marketing appeals, daily email appeals, schmoozing wealthy donors, and putting on all those conferences, galas, potlucks and other social activities takes a lot of time, to the point that little if any time is left to work for the animals.
“Clueless or uneducated donors”
SHARK is not going to give cover to, much less support, corrupt organizations because some feel these groups are “the best that we have.” The only reason these groups are “the best we have” is because clueless or uneducated donors have enabled incompetence, laziness and fraud.
We have allowed the movement to sink to a level that is almost as low as our opposition. I take that back: I can argue that the “bad guys” are simply doing what they do. They are the bad guys. We, on the other hand, are supposed to be the “good guys,” but when we have groups and individuals who are profiteering and scamming off animal suffering, how are those people better than any other animal exploiters? If anything the exploiters within our ranks are worse, as they have utterly betrayed their cause.
“Don’t worry about Rick Berman”
Don’t worry about Rick Berman “fracturing the animal rights movement beyond repair.” SHARK is going to take that task in hand, because fracturing the movement is the only way we are going to pull out the nuggets of hope, while the garbage gets tossed. There’s going to be a lot of garbage.
As for people getting old, it happens to all of us. I turned sixty-three a few days ago. In ten years I’ll either be dead or on the front line. Tens years after that, I’ll either be dead or on the front line, and so on. I can’t think of a better place to leave this world than from the front line. Beats the hell out of a hospital bed.
That said, most of the people who attend the national animal rights conference are NOT old. Nevertheless, about the only time you’ll see most of those “activists” is at conferences, galas, or other social activities lacking the work, the dirt, the blood, sweat and tears of making real change.
“Animal exploiters dwell within our own ranks”
No matter where SHARK goes around the country dealing with animal abuse, we almost never see conference attendees. Those folks are content to send the occasional check, and the fundraising groups posing as animal protectors are content to take their money. What that scenario leaves out in the cold are the front line activists who actually work to help the animals, and of course, the animals who need the help.
I’ve been fighting some of the lowest, most detestable animal exploiters for some thirty years, including pigeon shooters, bullfighters, rodeo thugs, dog fighters, factory farms, feedlots and a whole bunch more. Our opposition knows that when SHARK comes on the scene, things are going to happen, and the exploiters will be exposed.
Now that it is obvious that some of those animal exploiters dwell within our own ranks, SHARK will deal with them the same way – with vigor – and we’ll do it while getting more done on the front line, where it counts, than organizations with a hundred times our resources.