Target: Mary Wallick, spokesperson for the Humane League of Lancaster County
Goal: Demand that Lancaster County, Pennsylvania hire an animal cruelty investigator and revise its no-kill policy.
The Humane League of Lancaster County recently laid off one-third of its staff. Among of them was their only remaining animal cruelty investigator, leaving the city unable to properly respond to cases of abuse and neglect. This is only one of a few decisions the town has made in the past year that will put local dogs and cats at risk and something must be done immediately.
Lancaster is not only the center of Pennsylvania’s dog breeding industry, it is also home to the largest livestock auction east of the Mississippi River and more farm animals than any other county in the state. Kennels in Lancaster housed more than 114,000 dogs last year. Trucks of animals are moved to slaughter every week at auctions, including horses. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) has rescued thousands of animals from Lancaster County in the past four years alone. These are mostly horses and other work animals on Amish and Mennonite farms where they are brutally worked and abused until they are no longer “useful” and then placed on “kill trucks” for slaughter. In short, this is the last place this decision should have happened.
The decision came as side effect of the shelter implementing a no-kill policy. It is certainly true that no-kill policies can mean financial setbacks for shelters, but the Humane League’s policy is also flawed. Rather than changing the way the organization functions so it can be more efficient and reduce euthanization rates, as many other towns have done successfully, its answer was to simply close its doors to strays. If the shelter doesn’t take in strays, there are no animals to euthanize. So not only did Lancaster fire the one person responsible for investigating cases of animal cruelty, the animals who need it most no longer have sanctuary.
Bob Baker, who has conducted numerous investigations for animal rights groups throughout Lancaster made a statement saying, “I can’t think of another county in the state where animal abuse is so prevalent with hundreds of puppy mills, an active trade in horses destined for slaughter, a notorious livestock auction, and countless farms utilizing horses often inhumanely.”
Please take a moment to sign the petition below to demand that the Humane League of Lancaster County reverse its policies and protect the thousands of animals that will now be in danger every day.
Dear Mary Wallick,
You recently fired Keith Mohler, the Humane League of Lancaster County’s only remaining animal cruelty investigator. The decision was the result of the implementation of an incredibly flawed no-kill policy. The current animal welfare situation in Lancaster, one of the worst counties in the nation for animal cruelty, is an absolute travesty.
Lancaster contains hundreds of breeders and puppy mills, moves thousands of animals to slaughter every day, and its farm animals are forced to endure some of the most brutal working conditions. It is not a place where the absence of animal cruelty protection or a refusal to take in strays should ever be tolerated.
You blame this decision on your newly implemented no-kill policy. Yes, it is true that no-kill policies often place a greater financial burden on shelters, but a no-kill policy does not mean refusing to accept strays. Hundreds of shelters across the country have successfully implemented these policies by gradually improving their efficiency so they can reduce the number of dogs and cats they euthanize. They do not, however, stop taking in strays so there aren’t any dogs to euthanize. No-kill policies are supposed to help animals, not leave them to fend for themselves.
Please do something to right this terrible injustice. The animals of Lancaster need all the help they can get.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chimothy27 via Flickr