San Francisco, Sep 17 2009:
We are happy to provide you with additional information about the inaccuracies reported in the Northside article. In addition to providing facts and figures that directly contradict many of the assumptions made in the Northside article, we’ve tried to add a bit more context, so that you can understand the multidimensional nature of the issues at hand. Armed with these facts and a view of the bigger picture, I do hope that you will be inspired to advocate for the good work The SF/SPCA is doing everyday—from writing a letter to the editor (email@example.com) to expressing your opinion through personal blog posts, Twitter, and/or Facebook.
First, let’s start at the beginning. Why did The SF/SPCA choose not to participate in Susan Reynolds’ article? It was actually a very easy decision. From the very first correspondence from Ms. Reynolds, which was filled with accusations and inquiries into employee’s personal lives, it was obvious the reporter was approaching the article with a preexisting bias against The SF/SPCA. When we received disturbing, overwrought statements from Ms. Reynolds such as: “ …the needle simply reaches across the street to ACC where you let them be the executioner while you truck in dogs from other counties (and other states),” we knew that it was in our best interest not to be involved in an article that was being reported without objective journalistic standards. We aren’t afraid of answering tough questions, but we demand those questions be communicated in a professional manner. We stand by our decision. That said, please find an audit of many of the facts stated in the Northside article below.
The SF/SPCA is committed to working together to save as many animals lives as possible and we are focused on our mission to do this using the resources available to us. San Francisco remains one of the safest communities in the U.S. for homeless cats and dogs.
While philosophical differences among organizations exist, ultimately, we share the same mission of wanting to save as many lives as possible. Infighting among organizations ultimately hurts the animals. We believe there’s room for all of us to work together in solving the problem of saving our animals.
|Northside Mistruths||SF/SPCA Facts|
|About Our Organization|
|The SF/SPCA has one of the highest rates of public donations of any private shelter in the country.||This is unsubstantiated, but if it's true it makes us realize we must be doing something right: people donate to charities they believe in and they continue donating when they see their contributions making a difference. The SF/SPCA has earned and maintained the trust of well-educated, involved donors who help support our work.|
|The SFSPCA is receiving over $23M a year in donations.||Our 990's are available on www.guidestar.org. In fiscal year 2007/2008, we received $2.6M in general contributions and just under $10M in bequests – contributions generously left in estate plans by individuals. Estate contributions vary year to year. We expensed $13.8M to support our services. We also received contributions from donors for our capital campaign.|
|About Our Adoption Pact with ACC|
|The SFSPCA is violating the Adoption Pact with ACC||
|Using Our Resources to Help the Community|
|The SFSPCA isn't using its resources to fund education and spay/neuter surgeries.||
|About Out-of-County Transfer|
|The SF/SPCA rescues animals from shelters outside of San Francisco||
|Taking animals from out-of-county shelters is merely a band-aid and does not meaningfully address the root causes of overpopulation.||Our transfer provides these shelters a way to increase their adoptions, put more resources into the animals at their shelter that need treatment, and improve their community programs. Every shelter we transfer from has low cost spay/neuter programs or voucher systems to help reduce overpopulation. We take the pressure off, so that they have an opportunity to solve their community's animal issues.|
|The SF/SPCA returns dogs to high-kill shelters.||We honor agreements with our transfer partners who sometimes want to be notified if a dog is not going to adapt to our shelter environment. Instead of euthanizing the animal, we will return the animal to the source agency if alternative options are available. If there are no other options, we will not return an animal if we know it is going to be euthanized. This is a common practice with rescue groups and shelters here and throughout the U.S.|
|Dr. Scarlett is allowed to transfer dogs from her work with Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS).||Dr. Scarlett's work with RAVS centers on RAVS' mission to provide medical care and spay/neuter to impoverished communities. RAVS' goal is to lessen the animal suffering in those communities as well as to teach veterinary students and expose them to the plight of rural poverty in the US—its effect on people and animals. On one such trip, Dr. Scarlett brought back animals who were victims of hoarding, abandonment, and neglect. Not only did her selfless act underscore her commitment to animals, it saved lives.|
|About Working with SF Rescue Groups|
|In response to criticism from Rocket Dog Rescue related to payment of SF/SPCA services||We invited Rocket Dog Rescue to become part of our rescue partnership program. The SF/SPCA offers a 50% discount on spay/neuter services (not 30% as reported in the article) and 30% discount on medical care with the expectation that they will pay at the time services are provided. Rocket Dog Rescue indicated that they wanted to be part of the partnership and used our services. Our goal was to set-up a payment plan with Rocket Dog Rescue that would take into consideration their financial situation.|
|What is SF/SPCA's attitude toward rescue groups?||
Rescue groups have an important role to play in saving animals in our community and their efforts are focused on a smaller group of dogs. Rescue groups can place dogs whose behavior necessitates they be managed over time and in a non-shelter environment.
We are committed to working with our partners, including San Francisco ACC and local rescue groups. We also recognize that The SF/SPCA has a responsibility to ensure the safety of our community. In addition to providing discounted services for local rescue groups, The SF/SPCA also accommodates dogs for 24 hours on behalf of local rescue groups who have made arrangements with out-of-county shelters.
|Facts about Dori Villalon, vice president of The SF/SPCA|
|Villalon was appointed in November 2006 as Director of Sonoma County Animal Care & Control, not Sonoma County Humane Society. She completed one year of service and resigned her position in good standing to accept the position of VP at The SF/SPCA in 2008. Upon her departure, the Sonoma County Press Democrat noted "...Villalon's decision to take a job as vice president of the SPCA in San Francisco is the county's loss." For the full article, please view http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20071204/NEWS/712040326|