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Karen Rasmussen
July 9th 05, 08:18 PM
Connecticut Humane Society?

Picking up the mail today, I found a pink-hued solicitation letter for the
Connecticut Humane Society's Spring Fund Drive, reminding me to send a
donation, assuring me that the animals they take in "are cared for in a
kind and loving way".

This after I had just finished a phone call from a friend consumed with
grief. She had recently brought two young, friendly cats to the Society's
Westport branch, certain they would be safe there. She was stunned to find
they had been put to death, along with over TWENTY other cats on Saturday,
April 30, 2005.

Why? Because they had caught colds. Not rabies, not distemper, not FIV or
feline leukemia. Just easily treated colds. It was more convenient and
less costly for the staff to kill the cats than administer antibiotics.

The Connecticut Humane Society (CHS) is a privately run organization
operating from its main headquarters in Newington. They have 3 branches.
The Westport branch IS NOT Westport Animal Control, as is commonly thought.
The Westport town-run pound is located off of South Compo Road in a small,
dilapidated cement block structure.

The CHS permanently closed their Stamford branch several years ago without
notice, leaving a huge void for homeless animals in that area. They closed
their Westport branch in 2003 for a year-long renovation, again with no
notice or outreach to other shelters and rescue groups who were forced to
absorb a staggering influx of unwanted animals during that time.

The CHS is not obligated to report their euthanasia statistics to the
State. We have no idea how many cats and dogs are "humanely" put to death
at their four locations annually, but they are NOT no-kill shelters for
companion animals.

As reported by Animal People, a watchdog publication for animal protection
charities, the CHS had $61 million of discretionary income at its disposal
and another $14 million in investments held by others, yet only spent $3.7
million on programs and overhead in 2000. www.guidestar.org, the national
database for nonprofit organizations, has the CHS' 2003 IRS form 990 which
shows little change from 2000. The Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org)
suggests a standard of not accumulating unrestricted net assets more than
three times the size of the current year's budget.

The P.S. at the bottom of the solicitation letter I received, signed by CHS
President Richard Johnston read, "With your help we will provide the
security of a warm place to sleep, food for the starving, and medical
attention if necessary". If my money is not being used for antibiotics, I
certainly don't want it being used to purchase sodium pentobarbitone to
kill the animals in their purported care. On April 30th they strayed far
from their Mission Statement of "promoting humanity and kindness".
Marketing themselves as something they aren't is an injustice not only to
the Mission they are legally obligated to operate under, but to the
thousands of dogs and cats in our community.

You can order a subscription to Animal People's annual "Watchdog Report"
which lists the financials of over 100 animal charities by going to
www.animalpeoplenews.org/watchdog_report.html

Be informed, know where your money goes. I know mine will no longer go to
the Connecticut Humane Society.

Karen Rasmussen

Wilton, CT