Stockton and SF SPCA Partnership Part 1: The Agreement

In mid-November the City of Stockton entered into an agreement with the San Francisco SPCA, the stated purpose of which was to improve humane outcomes for animals impounded in Stockton and to promote effectiveness and efficiency at the Stockton shelter. Part 1 of this post will look at the terms of that agreement and Part 2 will examine the results after five months of implementation.

The entire text of the agreement is available for anyone to read on the Stockton government website. Here we will excerpt parts of it.

We’ll start by looking at duties that Stockton and the SF SPCA share under the agreement.

Mutual Responsibilities

Stockton and SF SPCA Mutual Duties

Among the prospective collaborative efforts are the implementation of protocols for disease control and cleanliness and the use of electronic records. There are no proposed efforts specifically and unambiguously targeted at life-saving or at improving the live-release rate of the shelter or at improving the overall capacity and success of rescue groups local to Stockton and San Joaquin County.

Next we’ll look at the duties of the SF SPCA under the agreement.

Mou SF SPCA Responsibilities

SF SPCA Duties

The SF SPCA is obligated to provide some consultation and support. However, they do not agree to any specific consultation or support, and they retain the absolute right to provide support as they see fit and not necessarily in response to problems the Stockton shelter is experiencing.

Before looking at the listed duties of the Stockton Shelter under the agreement, we’ll touch on the shelter’s obligations that might arise out of publicity.


Stockton Duties Regarding Publicity

When it comes to talking about the partnership, the Stockton shelter and the City of Stockton are apparently on a very short leash. In our view, the obligation for Stockton to keep quiet is rather extreme, going so far as to prohibit even casual Facebook and Twitter comments and to forbid answering questions from members of the public, including residents of Stockton, who we think are entitled to a lot more transparency than this since they are the taxpayers footing the bill for Animal Services.

Finally we’ll look at the duties of the Stockton Shelter under the agreement.

Stockton shelter responsibilities...

Stockton Duties

Some of the shelter’s duties call for an effort and not an outcome, and are qualified with “as time permits,” or “as other business activities permit.” One unqualified duty, though, and one that ties in with Stockton’s other obligations around publicity, is to notify the SF SPCA promptly of any consumer complaints or media attention.

Another unqualified duty, and though it appears last in the list we think it is by far the most significant one, is the duty to transfer animals to the SF SPCA and to follow specific animal handling procedures established solely by the SF SPCA. This duty is mandatory and is not at the discretion of the Stockton shelter.

While Stockton has the duty to transfer animals, there is no corresponding duty for the SF SPCA to pay an adoption fee for any animal it takes. In fact, there is no mention of possible remuneration at all. Furthermore, the SF SPCA has sole authority over transfers. The Stockton shelter and its supervisor have no designated power under the agreement to refuse a transfer. Despite the stated goal to “maximize opportunities for pet adoption,” apparently the SF SPCA has first claim even when a local rescue group could take and adopt out an animal.

We encourage you to read all the lists of responsibilities from the agreement and weigh them for yourself. In our estimation, the commitment to transfer animals to SF SPCA on demand constitutes the heart of the agreement, and other aspects of the agreement, like the duty to follow specific protocols and the encouragement to maintain electronic records, are in support of this core commitment.

The SF SPCA operates a large and modern adoption center in San Francisco. The adoption fees charged by the center are advertised on their website and are currently $100 for dogs, $250 for puppies, $50 for cats, and $100 for kittens.

According to a San Francisco watchdog group that has compiled publicly available data, the SF SPCA adoption center acquires 61% of its dogs and cats from places outside San Francisco, while treatable and adoptable animals languish and are killed in the custody of San Francisco Animal Control.

Chart courtesy of

Chart courtesy of

If the SF SPCA is taking desirable animals out of Stockton, not paying transfer fees, and then collecting $100 or $250 for each, is that fair and reasonable? Consider that some of the animals impounded in Stockton belong to owners who want them back but cannot afford the numerous and excessive fees levied by Animal Services, which commonly add up to $300 or more. Is it right for a person in Stockton to lose their pet because they don’t have $300, and then for that same animal to be adopted out in San Francisco for $100?

At CCPA, we are concerned that this agreement is short-sighted and does not cultivate programs that will actually help the shelter in the long run to save more animals from pointless and unnecessary death. Regrettably, for the Stockton shelter, this agreement is a lot like being given fish in lieu of being taught how to fish. Transferring animals to a far-flung adoption center on the instruction of a remote master is no substitute for learning how to implement your own local high-volume adoption program.


SF SPCA Mission Statement

Written in the preamble of the agreement is the mission statement of the SF SPCA: “to save and protect animals.” With that noble mission, and with an obvious opportunity to pursue it in earnest, we expect a lot more from the SF SPCA than this agreement delivers. With their great resources they could really make a difference in Stockton.

The agreement between Stockton and the SF SPCA will expire on June 30th, unless it is renewed. We think the City should not renew the agreement as is. We would like to see changes that would give local rescue groups preferred access to adoptable animals, ask the SF SPCA to help animals that require rehabilitation or that are hard to place with local rescue groups, and call on the SF SPCA to use their donor-supported animal-welfare resources to help implement local programs – like high-volume adoption, fundraising, and a foster-home network – that will actually and sustainably save and protect animals in Stockton.

We hope the City of Stockton will renegotiate a better agreement before June 30th, in the interest of the animals and the people of Stockton, and that the SF SPCA will respond positively, in accord with its mission statement.

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Killing is bad for everyone

When you have a 60-70% kill rate, as Stockton does, then killing is your preferred method of animal control. There is simply nothing good about killing as a preferred method of animal control. It is bad all around.

First, it is expensive, in terms of disposal of the bodies, and in terms of the unrecovered cost of housing, vaccinating, and treating animals, only to kill them later.

death is cheap

A page from the Stockton “Euthanasia Log” with photos of some of the animals killed, and what happens to them after death.

Even though dead body disposal via a rendering company is pretty darn cheap, it’s more expensive than recovering some costs through adoption fees and making up for others through fundraising and the grants and donations available to real shelters that inspire the trust, loyalty, and admiration of their communities.

Second, it is bad for the employees involved in the killing. Employees involved in “euthanasia” at animal shelters are subject to high levels of guilt, job stress, work-family conflict, and somatic complaints. Furthermore, and understandably, these employees adopt blame-displacement strategies to protect themselves psychologically. At this point, those employees don’t concern me overmuch, but high kill is bad for everyone, employees included.

A192264 poster

The hand holding this puppy belongs to a Stockton Animal Services staff member. Often, the hand in the intake photo is the same one holding a needle full of Fatal Plus a few days later.

Third, it is bad for taxpaying citizens, because in the end they are left with no answer to the simple question: “Where can I take this stray dog or cat and not have it put down?”

stray dog

Buddy is living in a field in the jurisdiction of a high-kill pound (I won’t say which one). If you are moved to foster, rescue, or adopt him, contact

Fourth, it is bad for the community, because it is an activity firmly rooted in hopelessness. To believe that killing is the only solution is to give up hope for a better way. Circus trainers know that you can keep a baby elephant from wandering off by tying it to a stake in the ground. The baby is too weak to dislodge the stake. Over time, the baby elephant learns to be helpless, and stops trying to pull up the stake, even as it grows into a powerful adult. This is what happens in animal shelters that take in so many animals day after day, and don’t develop the tools to save those animals. The place becomes one of lost hope and helplessness.


A191787 is described in a note as “friendly with small dogs and people. Super affectionate.” He was given no chance at all to be adopted.

Fifth, it is bad for the animals. Yet, these animals are domesticated over thousands of years. They are our friends and companions, and, more often than not, they lay down peacefully and trusting in the shelter euthanasia room, to give up their lives to the shelter staff, which is a cruel business indeed.


A190941, who appears trusting and friendly, is likely to have been one of those who walked to his death expecting only good.

A193926, killed on the 6th day after impound for reasons logged as "time/space, aged," may have expected to go home after five bewildering days in a kennel. Instead, she went to her death with no attempt to find her rescue or an adopter.

A193926, killed on the 6th day after impound for reasons logged as “time/space, aged,” may have expected to go home after five bewildering days in a kennel. Instead, she went to her death with no attempt to find her rescue or an adopter.

Killing is bad for everyone, and as shelters demonstrate when they transform themselves through new leadership and lifesaving programs, saving lives is good for everyone. There are now about 100 communities with open-admission no-kill shelters, meaning that only hopelessly suffering animals and vicious dogs with a poor prognosis are put down. The No Kill Equation is a set of programs that, comprehensively implemented, leads to save rates over 90%, and even if you don’t believe it’s possible to save every healthy and treatable animal, if private fundraising and volunteers make up the new resources, isn’t it worth trying? Sacramento’s Front Street Shelter improves its save rate every month, and while it is not yet saving every healthy and treatable animal, its mission and motto, “We save lives,” has made it a source of pride for the city and a hub of community partnerships. Stockton residents, tell your City Council member you want a real shelter in Stockton, one that saves lives.

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Why pay attention to Animal Services when the city is bankrupt?

Why, when Stockton is bankrupt, should anyone care about just one of its failed city agencies? Because that one agency is part of, and emblematic of, the whole. Anyone can begin to understand the systemic problems that led to bankruptcy by taking a look at one agency: Animal Services.

Bankruptcy is not something that happened to Stockton. It’s not something beyond Stockton’s control. It’s not a self-contained problem that needs to be solved apart from everything else in Stockton. Bankruptcy is not a problem that gives city leaders an excuse to ignore other problems. Bankruptcy is the result of long-term poor leadership and poor decision making. Animal Services is an example. Perhaps most importantly, the example of Animal Services shows us that Stockton is not developing the ability to make better decisions, so bankruptcy is unlikely to be the solution to its fiscal and civic problems.

Let’s take a look at Stockton Animal Services, a division of the Stockton Police Department.

While Stockton’s neighbors in Sacramento city and county animal services have focused on programs that work, with the result that they have made huge improvements in lifesaving, Stockton flounders, doing just about everything wrong. Stockton’s Animal Services director Pat Claerbout was the director in Sacramento County for six years—six years of citizen, employee, and volunteer complaints, six years of a kill rate that hovered around 50% (the adoption rate remained less than 20% from 2006-2009). Since Claerbout left Sacramento County’s animal services, that agency has improved its save rate from about 50% to almost 80%. The opening of a new Sacramento County shelter can’t explain the difference, since the dramatic improvements started not with the opening of the new shelter but with the departure of Claerbout, and lifesaving took a nosedive during the brief period that Claerbout’s crony, Tara Diller, was in charge, and came back up when she was replaced.

Meanwhile, in Stockton, Claerbout is repeating her failed leadership experience, with the difference that she has the backing of the wealthy San Francisco SPCA and the lazy, trusting Stockton City Council. Sacramento agencies have improved lifesaving by 60-100%, while Stockton has remained flat, barely fluctuating around its 70% kill rate. And yet, despite the proof of unlawful practices, despite the dismal performance, despite elected officials’ statements that the killing at the Stockton pound makes them sick to their poor little tummies, Stockton sticks with its incompetent employees and contractors (cronies, all), and refuses to actually solve a problem that has a known solution! What kind of government is that?


There are programs that, as a set, have been shown to increase lifesaving dramatically when implemented comprehensively, intensively, and with integrity. Together, they’re called the No Kill Equation, and they act to decrease intakes in the short- and long-term, improve shelter care, and increase placements. Of those programs, Stockton has nearly moribund adoption, rescue, and foster activities, and its Trap-Neuter-Return program barely scrapes the surface of the need. There are no pet retention, volunteer, community outreach, or medical/behavioral programs, and “proactive redemptions”—efforts to return owned animals to their homes—are a sick joke in Stockton, where the de facto policy is to inform owners of astronomical fees, fees that mount every day, give them a literal deadline, and then kill the pet when the owner cannot afford to pay.

Stockton’s failure cannot be explained by a lack of resources. Stockton wastes $2000 a month on a taxpayer subsidized cat adoption center that adopts out, on average, fewer than one cat per day. The organization that runs that adoption center, Animal Protection League (formerly and more accurately Stockton Animal Shelter Friends) is a staunch supporter of current shelter operations and of Claerbout.

Stockton also spent the time of its animal services director and staff, as well as an assistant city attorney, negotiating an agreement with the San Francisco SPCA that requires the city to make its database and records available and turn over any animal the SF SPCA requests, does not require the SF SPCA to do anything, and has not changed the live release rate for most dogs and cats. The agreement has actually contributed to unlawful breed-specific killing by cutting every pit bull type dog’s chances of survival in half, from about 20% to 10% if you include owner-redemptions, and from a 13% chance of survival to about a 6% chance if you exclude owner redemptions from the mix.

Whether from an animal welfare perspective, concerned citizen perspective, or a fiscal perspective, this is not good government—and this kind of decision making, extended across all city divisions and agencies as it must be, gives a pretty dismal prognosis for Stockton’s future fiscal and civic health.

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The high-kill state of mind

“Mental models are deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behavior.” —Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Science of the Learning Organization  (1990)

Mental models exist at the individual, organizational or group, and even community or societal levels. There was once a prevalent mental model in the United States that justified slavery. There are competing mental models about the role of government in society and whether government should help poor people or get out of the way of entrepreneurs. Those different organizing ideas–mental models–drive very different plans of action. Animal sheltering and rescue practices reflect underlying mental models, too. And the mental models driving shelter and rescue practices are a matter of life or death for the animals under their control.

The high-kill mental model is based on the underlying beliefs that there are too many animals and not enough homes, that people are irresponsible and it’s their fault that shelters “have to” kill so many animals, and that since shelters have to kill, the best they can do is to kill “unadoptable” animals quickly so they don’t languish hopelessly in shelters. You can see that mental model at work in Stockton, where no resources are “wasted” taking photos of the cats or trying to get pit bulls or cats adopted, where they are simply processed through the system, without much care, since they are destined to be killed anyway. I’ve posted this before, but this collection of quotes from Stockton’s director, Pat Claerbout, is a crystal clear illustration of the high-kill mental model.

Called to account for the high kill rate at Stockton Animal Services, Claerbout always has a ready excuse.

Called to account for the high kill rate at Stockton Animal Services, Claerbout always has a ready excuse.

The “no kill” mental model, by contrast, is based on the beliefs that there are enough homes for all the animals coming into shelters and that the shelters’ job is to gain “market share” among people who will get a new pet in any given time period. The programs of the No Kill Equation do deal with decreasing intake in the short and long term, through pet retention and spay/neuter, but they also address care while in the shelter, marketing and community relations to promote foster and successful adoption. The biggest difference between the high-kill mentality and the no-kill mentality is what social scientists call “locus of control.”

The high-kill mental model is based on an external locus of control–the idea that the problem is out there, out of the control of shelters, and all shelters can do in response is control the stray population through killing. The no-kill mental model is based on internal locus of control–the idea that shelters can do a lot to save animals, and that they should! Even if you think there are too many animals and not enough homes, though, if you care about those animals, don’t you have an obligation to at least make a real, sincere attempt to do what has worked to transform other communities from high-kill to no-kill. Isn’t every healthy and treatable animal worth at least trying to save?


This blog is based on findings from my own research as well as the research of others. My own mental model is being challenged lately. Until last week, I had three rescued dogs in boarding (by the way, all three really need good homes)!

S.O.S. Sadie, Ozzie, and Sebastian still need homes!

S.O.S. Sadie, Ozzie, and Sebastian still need homes!

Now I have two in boarding and one in foster at my house, which is making life really, really stressful for us. Sadie’s stress level and behavior in boarding made us have to take her home to foster, where we have to keep her apart from our dogs because two of ours are not guest-friendly. I thought we were going to have to kill her (it wouldn’t be euthanasia, as she is not hopelessly suffering). While no one could say we haven’t tried to find her a good home, a bunch of people did say we have to keep trying to find her the right home. And they’re right. I had to recover from my intial panic-driven thought that we were out of options, and I’m glad people intervened to make me take a deep breath and reconsider, though I am very low on creativity right now and ideas for finding homes are much needed!

Sadie is much happier in foster than in boarding, even though it's hard on us.

Sadie is much happier in foster than in boarding, even though it’s hard on us.

I appreciate that some people challenged my thinking, just as I challenge the high-kill mentality. What I hate though, is being almost alone in the effort. We really need a shelter, an agency and community where the leadership believes in saving lives and is dedicated to creating a community that does save lives.

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We love our “pit bulls”

I believe that the best way to reduce the number of “pit bull” attacks is for responsible, educated people to adopt them in droves and make the pit bull the dog of the independent-minded, thinking dog owner. Change the association from “gangster dog” to “professor’s dog” or “doctor’s dog” or “lawyer’s dog” or “middle-aged lady’s dog” or “family dog” or all of those, show them for the wigglebutt snugglebugs they are (and use those nauseatingly sweet terms for them!) and they’ll start to lose their caché as tough fighting dogs. The vast majority are lovers, not fighters, and even those who have been fighters have been successfully rehabilitated, as the dogs formerly used by Michael Vick and now living in homes show. The overwhelming majority of pit bulls, like the overwhelming majority of all dogs, are thoroughly domesticated and suitable to live as pets with people.


Sadie, the wigglebutt snugglebug, is adoptable!

I rescued Olive from the streets of Stockton, California. 18 months later, she is a happy, well-adjusted pet in a home with a young couple and their baby. Olive's adopters took her to training and socialization classes with Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue, and they continue to be responsible pet owners who love and care for their dog as part of their family.

I rescued Olive from the streets of Stockton, California. 18 months later, she is a happy, well-adjusted pet in a home with a young couple and their baby. Olive’s adopters took her to training and socialization classes with Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue, and they continue to be responsible pet owners who love and care for their dog as part of their family.

The hysterical outcry against “pit bulls”–and the spurious reasoning used to justify it–echoes the racist ideas of eugenics: “Even in its day, many people saw that eugenics was a dubious discipline, riddled with inconsistencies. But…its conclusions told many people what they wanted to hear: that certain ‘racial stock’ was superior to others in such traits as intelligence, hard work, cleanliness, and so on.” (

And, “The notion that crime, genetics and race might be linked has particularly inflamed both proponents and opponents of ‘genetic determinism.’ Because skin colour is a genetic trait, because crime statistics show that blacks are more likely to end up in jail than whites, and because an increasing number of researchers appear to believe in a genetic basis of crime and violence, some commentators have jumped to the conclusion that black people are more likely to be involved in crime because of their genes.” (

Any time there is a fatal bite or attack by a dog labeled a pit bull, there are calls for breed restrictions. The willingness to pin the blame for violent behavior on genes, and to propose mandatory spay/neuter laws, mandatory “euthanasia,” or any other mandatory restriction or punishment based on breed, is worrying and should be opposed by reasonable people. While we’re talking about dogs, the same reasoning could be, and as shown above, has been, applied to people. It’s bad reasoning in either case.

KC Dog Blog posts an annual report on all dog-related human fatalities each year. See the 2012 report here: The most important point to remember, in my opinion:

“Because of the rarity of these extreme cases (36 out of 75 million owned dogs in this country), it is obvious that most dogs, regardless of breed, are not aggressive. Even if every single incident involved the same breed of dog, and it was an extremely rare breed, the majority of dogs of that breed would still have proven to be safe. Given the obvious fact that most dogs are not aggressive, it becomes even more important to look at the human-led circumstances that led up to, and caused, this particular dog to attack in this particular situation.”

It bears repeating: “Most dogs, regardless of breed, are not aggressive.” I have fostered, rescued, and owned pit bulls since 2004, almost ten years, and none has ever attacked a person.  They don’t all like other dogs, just as dogs of any breed don’t necessarily like other animals (dog, cat, or other). I’m not saying that people-aggressive pit bulls don’t exist, but if they were truly born to be aggressive, I think I would have inadvertently rescued a people-aggressive dog by now.

fiona and finnsiouxsie and the cat

Sebastian is adoptable!

Sebastian is adoptable!

Ozzie is adoptable!

Ozzie is adoptable!

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And the cruelty continues unchallenged…

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.” –Robert F. Kennedy

Over the past year and a half, we’ve been contacted by employees and rescues with stories of the callous cruelty, stubborn reliance on killing, and culture of intimidation that are the core features of Stockton Animal Services under Pat Claerbout. None have come forward. None have spoken up publicly. And Claerbout, if you only interact with her once in a while, or if you are not questioning her actions, can come across as a reasonable person. She’s gotten away with breaking the law as long as she has because she doesn’t appear to be someone who chooses to kill instead of to save animals, and of course, most people cannot fathom that someone who works in a “shelter” would choose to kill.

Stockton Police Department investigated the charges of unlawful killing, acknowledged that laws had been broken, and kept the outlaw in her position. More employees and rescues called me with concerns, but still, none has spoken out publicly.

Employees, rescues, veterinary community, every resident of Stockton and San Joaquin, everyone who has access to the evidence and is still silent: the longer you are silent, the more animals suffer and die. This dog, A193487, was impounded three months after the end of the police department investigation and supposed reforms, two months after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Stockton and the San Francisco SPCA. She was taken to a veterinarian, Dr. Song, who, as indicated by her record, diagnosed but did not treat her. Our public records request was for all treatment information, but there isn’t any for this dog. The record indicates Dr. Song diagnosed a leg broken in three places and a possible broken pelvis. There is no indication of pain medication, and the record indicates this dog was held in a kennel in the general population with no care whatsoever beyond a diagnosis, and then killed as soon as her stray hold was up.

Stockton and San Joaquin: this is your “shelter.” What are you going to do about it?

A193487 broken leg diagnosed not treated


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There is no such thing as neutrality

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”   -Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner 

80% of dogs labeled pit bulls are killed at Stockton Animal Services. Sammy was rescued by an individual and organization that speaks up against the killing.

80% of dogs labeled pit bulls are killed at Stockton Animal Services. Sammy was rescued by an individual and organization that speaks up against the killing.

Stockton Animal Services kills 70% of animals. Stockton’s been killing instead of implementing lifesaving programs for a long time. Under the direction of longtime scofflaw Pat Claerbout, and with the tacit approval of City Manager Bob Deis, Police Chief Eric Jones, and City Council members, Stockton Animal Services routinely disregards state and local law, kills animals illegally, withholds veterinary care, causing suffering, and callously chooses killing with lifesaving alternative readily available. Mayor Anthony Silva has visited the pound and voiced an opinion privately, but has not yet spoken up publicly.

A191717--injury noted on intake and not treated

Stockton government is not known for its responsiveness to citizen concerns, for its adherence to the law, or for its wise judgment. So who could make a difference? Who could speak up for the innocent animals that cannot speak for themselves? How about those that say they exist for that very purpose? Have local animal welfare organizations spoken up? How about those rescues that save animals from the Stockton pound, one at a time, while thousands more are killed? Of the ones I know of…

Pups Rescue has spoken up and continues to do so.

Animal Protection League – supports Pat Claerbout and current Stockton Animal Services practices, receives taxpayer subsidies for its own adoption center that adopted out fewer than 100 cats in 5 months, the same period in which Stockton Animal Services impounded over 2000 cats–that’s a 5% save rate.

PUP Dog Rescue of Issaquah, Washington – in collaboration with APL and Stockton Animal Services, provides political cover for the unlawful killing. PUP gets free boarding at the Stockton pound for the dogs it pulls, even as hundreds of dogs each month are killed for space. (The alternative is a foster program, but that would take effort.) PUP volunteers defend the practices of Stockton Animal Services and pretend the unlawful killing isn’t happening, all from 800 miles away. See

San Francisco SPCA – supports Pat Claerbout, gives political cover for killings, SF SPCA vets recommend killing healthy and treatable Stockton animals. See and

Delta Humane Society – silent

Animal Friends Connection – silent

Big Dawgs Rescue – silent

Scooters Pals – spoke up once, providing the video of Pat Claerbout killing Zeus in Sacramento, now silent                    

The Perfect Dog Rescue – silent

What about the pit bull rescues? From a review of the records, it appears that there are no pit bull rescues regularly saving Stockton pit bulls. Of 800 pit bulls in our most recent data set, only 20% made it out alive, and most of those were puppies. Of the 36 adults saved, I and a few other No Kill Equation advocates saved most of them–and I am not a rescue.

I would love to be corrected about this. I encourage readers to ask those organizations what they have done to challenge the cruelty and killing. Ask them to speak up. As any rescue makes a public statement opposing the cruelty and unnecessary killing by Stockton Animal Services, I will edit this to link to that statement. Rescues and other shelters could be making a difference by speaking up to challenge the killing. Silence is complicity. There is no such thing as neutrality.


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”   -Elie Wiesel 

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