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Pleas to "invisible AKC" for
Help and Answers to Questions re HSUS

from Am. Bullmastiff Club V.P.

It is with great sadness and despair that I make this post. For the past week I have worked to no avail to help recover some of our breed from the clutches of the Lamar-Dixson rescue facility in Gonzales, LA. Today (9/19/05) we are told they are no longer there. At this point we don't know where they have been sent.  It is possible they have been claimed by their families. More probable is the reality they have been moved to other shelters. Whether they are private, kill, or no-kill shelters we don't know. We have no way of finding out. We know there have been five we have lost track of. There was one reunification that was facilitated by a volunteer. For that we are most grateful.

The bottom line is Parent Club Rescue programs are being turned away from the HSUS run relief operations in Gonzales. Don't get me wrong. The under taking there is of a magnitude that I can't even begin to describe. It is truly the Super Dome of the dog world right now. I will say that conditions are significantly better now than they were four days ago. There are many working countless hours without much sleep but there are more running around wanting only to be seen. In other words the bright blue shirts with the boldly imprinted yellow letters of the HSUS were not covered in feces or sweat. There are way too many chiefs and not enough Indians present. It's easy to condemn the efforts of some but I don't want that to be the case here. They are there and they are working in what ever capacity that FEMA and the USDA has requested.
 
My issue comes with what we the member clubs of AKC are doing to protect our own. Tough words one would think. Fighting words for those of the HSUS that are there. I don't think I have been living under a rock. I take the phrase of "The Preservation of Purebred Dogs" very seriously. Members of our national rescue have been repeatedly turned away by HSUS workers with harsh words. "There are more dogs here to be helped than just your breed", "You people are partly to blame for this mess", and "We don't want you here" are just a few of the comments that were directed at us. All the while we have been trying to find out how we can retrieve brachycephalic dogs from the heat and chaotic environment of Lamar-Dixson.
 
One would think that among the many tents displaying the logos and banners of state and regional rescue groups, HSUS, ASPCA and PETA you would find an AKC tent or table. AKC DOES have a good man making the rounds of the shelters. There is still not a visible AKC presence to be seen. Our calls to AKC have been received with conciliatory mannerisms consistent with a well trained public relations approach. But have left us feeling even more helpless. AKC's explanation of simply being a facilitator doesn't seem to work for me right now. Nor the fact that they claim their hands are tied. They may very well be. All I ask is that you don't tell me how wonderful things are right now according to a report you have received or what has been done. If you haven't been there personally or experienced it first hand then let's just leave it at that.
 
My questions are why do we have to settle in this situation? Why can't we rock the boat just enough to get our dogs out? Why have you sent out press releases spinning the situation toward what has been given rather than address the needs of the breeds that are trapped at the facility? Why hasn't someone attempted to contact the Parent Clubs and started a formal request for volunteers to help there? The random emails stating they are in need of volunteers may make us feel good but that is all it is doing. Can you the AKC help us find what shelters our breed dogs have been sent to? Why has the AKC missed an opportunity to show publicly that we care? Or at minimum be proud enough to display our colors.

 

Seemingly simple questions although pointed and revolving around a tragic situation. Our clubs did and are responding to the September 9th request from AKC for help with funding. I do care about all the dogs,cats, horses, and various other pets that are housed at this facility.  We as a club did donate funds to AKC/CAR for these purposes. It almost makes to much sense to get what we can out of there to make room for those who are still coming in. In a report on CNN today they claim there is no more room at the shelters. I understand we are dealing with HSUS and a large problem however can't we find a way at the top to help our own? Why can't we help the tens of Goldens, the barn full of Rotties(Rottie rescue is present but they have been limited as to what they can do), the Boxer bitch ready to whelp, the old Pointer that is struggling in the heat, the Chesie, the Danes, and the countless other pure bred dogs that are there? I understand the Dobies are getting out.

If someone is reading this and knows how I would love to hear from them.
 
I have no grandiose ideas that the AKC can or would be a knight in shining armor or the keeper of all dogs. Any effort at all should be rewarded and they have and are making efforts. But I can't help but ask is the effort enough? Our rescue groups are now having to search the many pictures posted to the various web sites containing the dogs that have been moved on to the various shelters in hopes of finding the ones that are now out of the facility. Maybe this is the way we are supposed to find them.
 
The latest report from the Chairmen of the Board contained the following statement: "Through the AKC/CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund we continue to assist those who reach out to us for help no matter how large or small the request." Well, we are requesting. We are reaching out. We do need your help.
 
I want every one to know this issue is about the dogs. I don't intend to make it more than that. I don't want to make this a "whose fault is it" situation. If you share in our breeds concerns with any of these issues or your club has an opinion. I would ask that you go on record by asking your questions or voicing that opinion to AKC. If this is a hopeless battle then maybe we could at minimum be more prepared for the future.


Here is how. Send an email to one or both of the following.
 
Dennis Sprung  DBS@akc.org
Lainie Cantrell LWC@akc.org
 
Yours in dogs,

Mark Essary, Vice President, American Bullmastiff Association
 

Albers Early Katrina Report Aug 2005

Albers Katrina Update Sept 2005

HSUS Holds Dogs Hostage Sept 2005

Bullmastiff Club Pleas For Help

Please go to Offers and Needs or call directly to your local kennel club, or to Diane.  Be sure your time, supplies, or money winds up in the right hands.