A New, New Low for So-Called Sportsmen’s Group

By on June 2, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

You may remember the campaign by the so-called U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA)—a front group for the arms and ammo makers, bowhunters, and hunting retailers—to block an HSUS program with Meijer, a department store chain, to provide up to $5,000 for the fund we created to help people and pets who were victims of home foreclosures. USSA went after Meijer upon learning about the collaboration, and the department store caved to the hollow threats from USSA and short-circuited the program.

In response, I put out a call to HSUS supporters and asked for donations to two funds—1) to the foreclosure fund and 2) to our wildlife abuses campaign, which seeks to end the most repugnant forms of sport hunting such as canned hunts, killing threatened polar bears, and live pigeon shoots and other contest kills. Just 48 hours later, we had raised more than $50,000—not only to help animals, but to teach the folks at USSA a lesson that we’ll not sit still when they launch their petty campaigns.

Donate $10 for every pet you love -- then add your pets' photos to our wall of support!

Well, the folks at USSA have gone and done it again. First they tried to hurt pets abandoned by the mortgage crisis, and now they’re trying to hurt dogs abused in puppy mills. As usual, they’ve opened their mouths, and out comes a crackpot, mean-spirited fabrication. So today, I’m asking our supporters to step up again and make a special $10 donation for every pet they love.

Here’s why: In a recent news release, the USSA falsely claimed that The Humane Society of the United States “wants to end all ownership and use of animals…” USSA has also invested its resources to start a group in Pennsylvania that is fighting legislation to impose modest limits on puppy mill operations in the state, and it’s also fighting legislation that promotes the spaying and neutering of pets.

As the nation learned on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which was rebroadcast last week, puppy mills are abusing millions of dogs like a cash crop. The HSUS has been working to address the pet overpopulation problem by setting restrictions on overbreeding at these factories, increasing spaying and neutering of pets to prevent homeless animals from being born, and encouraging people to adopt animals from their local shelters.

USSA, however, really is the gang that can’t shoot straight. Not when it comes to taking sight of the facts. The Humane Society of the United States against pets? Come on. And what does hunting have to do with cracking down on puppy mill abuses or promoting spaying and neutering?

We celebrate dogs and cats every day of the week, and in countless ways. We’ve been doing it for more than 50 years. We are sworn foes of anyone who would cause pets harm.

But as nutty as the USSA’s ideas sound, we can’t let them go unanswered. We’ll answer the call, and we’ll engage the radicals at USSA for the second time in recent weeks.

You might have guessed the USSA would learn its lesson.

Well, not yet. This bunch is as thick as ten planks. So let’s try again.

Will you share a $10 contribution in the name of every dog and cat in your household, or more if you can? Let’s show the USSA that it cannot make headway at our expense. It’s not just the group’s rhetoric. It’s USSA’s active lobbying against the most reasonable legislation to curb abuses at puppy mills. Imagine. The USSA wants to complicate our efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of dogs and cats who wind up in shelters for lack of loving homes.

We can’t let the radicals at USSA disrupt our efforts to protect pets, and we can’t let them get away with their lies.

The USSA claims to represent the interests of hunters. But increasingly, hunters want no part of a radical agenda that advocates such unsporting practices as shooting semi-tame animals while they are held captive inside pens. Now, with these inexplicable moves against the welfare of dogs and cats, the USSA has really slipped its moorings. I hope you’ll enjoy showing these “sports” that they’d better lay off pets, period.

To get the ball rolling, staffers at The Humane Society of the United States are voluntarily passing the hat in our offices. Many of them bring their dogs to the office each day. The rest of us enjoy the atmosphere where animals are part of our workday as well as the cause that brings us to work.

So every time the USSA spouts its poison, we’ll strike back. But we need your support to make it stick. Please spread this message around, and please make a donation for every pet you protect.

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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