Best Friends Blog
 

What’s happening in Oklahoma is not OK for the animals

Sad looking Yorkshire terrier The Oklahoma State House of Representatives recently passed bill HB 2250 with the specific intent of preventing national animal welfare organizations from advancing humane policies and practices within the state.

HB 2250 prohibits national animal organizations from raising money in Oklahoma for any purpose outside the state or any “animal rights” organization from raising money in Oklahoma for political purposes inside or outside the state. It should be noted that there is no formal or legal distinction between animal rights, animal welfare and animal protection organizations.

Puppy mills, which are plentiful in the state, would be protected by this bill, as would other factory farming practices. Likewise, efforts by national organizations to tighten laws related to dogfighting and cockfighting would be curtailed. Oklahoma was the last state to outlaw cockfighting. The same goes for wildlife and equine issues.

It doesn’t stop there. If passed by the Oklahoma Senate, HB 2250 would have the effect of restricting Oklahomans’ ability to support national and international animal issues and stifling their ability to choose the charities and charitable work they support.

While such a law would clearly violate First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech on the part of national animal organizations, challenging such laws in court is onerous and expensive — unconstitutional or not.

The hypocrisy of this type of legislative overreach in a state where elected officials rail against big government would be comical, if its impact weren’t so damaging.

The agriculture industry profits off the pain of the animals trapped within its practices. Pain and suffering are the immediate and automatic consequences of treating living, feeling intelligent animals like commodities to be crowded, prodded, bred, sold and slaughtered like unfeeling objects. These practices are wrong, and the agriculture industry knows that when the public becomes aware of such practices, they oppose them.

It’s not animal welfare organizations that the agriculture industry should fear. Rather they should fear the public, the smartphone and the universal demand for transparency.

To paraphrase a great American: “They can run but they can’t hide.”

Together, we will Save Them All.

If you live in Oklahoma, please take action now.

If you don’t live in Oklahoma, make sure you’re signed up to receive Action Alerts from Best Friends. Anytime we need you to speak up for animals where you live, we’ll send you an email with instructions on how you can take easy action. Click here to sign up now.

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Gregory Castle
CEO Best Friends Animal Society

  • Janet Diehl

    This bill offends my understanding that all animals, including humans, as being created by God and therefore deserving to be treated with respect. That includes proper healthy food, clean water & shelter from weather extreams; proper medical care & preventative vaccines; freedom to move about and act like the animals God created them to be; freedom from cramped shelter & from physical hitting, rape, beatings, kickings, etc. God created all and called it good; later God so loved the World (not just humans, but the whole of creation) …..

  • Steffanie Goltra Byrnes

    In Best Friends defensive though, they do help poor pet owners in the Los Angeles area. When I got one of my cats neutered at a low cost clinic, a women had a cat with a infected uterus. She was low income. She was nice enough to take a cat in that was abandoned. She was disabled, and her son died leaving her the caretaker of a four year old grandkid. This clinic arranged for Best Friends to help this cat. They do help many low income with similar issues in LA area. They are much more focused on helping animals than HSUS, which just is about stealing money. At least they are giving help to animals who would otherwise be placed in a shelter and be killed. I do appreciate that they help animal’s and are not just using them to further they ideology like HSUS. Thank you for helping that lady. She made me cry, it was so sad.They even called the clinic to let the concerned vet techs know the Cat was okay.

  • Steffanie Goltra Byrnes

    This law is about HSUS lying about helping animals displaced during a natural disaster, and then refusing to use the funds they collected for it. How is that right in anyway? What about the lies you all tell to get your unfair laws past? Oh, these exotic animals will be grandfathered in, yet there are so many regulations, good luck! If you are not abusing your animals it is not your business. Period. I am glad some state is giving animal right groups the finger. It is about time someone does. The only reason you have any power is you have money. It is truly disguising how many animals that die because of your agenda. Not like you care.

  • Donwanna Behere

    A few state on the Humane Society of the U.S. They fund raise with commercials filled with sad eyed puppies and kittens and pleas to “help the animals” leading 78% of donors to conclude that they primarily support local shelters. WRONG. HSUS is not affiliated with local shelters, and give only about 1%, or $1.25 million to local shelters nationwide, mostly in very small grants for spay/neuter clinics. Almost none of their money goes to direct care. At the same time, in the last three years alone, HSUS has stashed more than $100 MILLION into Caribbean hedge fund accounts. Another 20% of their revenue or so goes to Humane Society International, which imports dogs from foreign countries and dumps them in California shelters. This is the practice that started the Asian dog flu epidemic that is killing dogs all over the country. Altogether, HSUS sends more than 40% of their revenue overseas.

  • jang1108

    Abusive breeding practices are already illegal. We need to enforce the laws we have. We need to donate directly to local shelters, not to national organizations who line their own pockets and try to get new, subjective, and deliberately vague laws in place so they can force good people out of business until they are the only source of pets.

    • jondunn

      Jang,

      I would agree with you to a point. There’s no question that our existing laws are not enforced as they should be, but the Animal Welfare Act that governs the treatment of animals at the federal level is woefully out of date – it was created in 1966.

      Again, this is the Best Friends blog, and I work for Best Friends, so I can only comment on our work – but as a national organization, we work directly on the ground in communities all across the country and directly support local shelters and rescue organizations. You can see more about who we are, and what we do here:

      http://bestfriends.org/our-work

      Thank you,

      Jon Dunn
      Senior Manager of Policy
      Best Friends Animal Society

      • jang1108

        Has animal biology changed since 1966? I’m sorry, but the laws do not need updated, we just need to enforce them. As for your organization, good for you, but you can raise funds locally through your local chapters, this law will not prevent that. It will prevent other, abusive national organizations from continuing their deceit, and that is a good thing.

        • jondunn

          Animal biology hasn’t changed, but our understanding of it has. We know so much more about animals than we did in 1966.

          • jang1108

            Their basic needs have not changed.

      • Good Night

        So.. What excalty do you do the save animals?? I mean Excalty what do you do??
        Lobby for more laws???
        Do you help the owners to educate them to better animal care??

  • Tracy

    First of all…these groups are NOT animal “welfare: groups at.all..but animal RIGHT grous…extremists who see everything in the interaction between humans and animals as abuse…and 3rd and most important. .AMEN to the legislators who are finally catching on to the greed and lies and corruption of these groups. Way to go Ok!!!

    • Chet Kenney

      FACT: The first child abuse case was actually trough animal abuse laws. And do YOU really want to have the government telling you where and how you spend your own money, FACT: The bill for horse slaughter that passed was put together by elected official that also has large investment in slaughter houses. So who here is really the greedy ones?

  • Kathi

    I am a volunteer at Best Friends and can say firsthand, the animals are well loved and very taken care of. I see improvements at the sanctuary every time we are there, which is 3 times a year since 2009. If you think the citizens of Oklahoma are going to keep animal advocacy on the front burner, you’re not thinking straight. The last state to outlaw cock fighting? There’s a forward thinking group.I am an ex-Okie and I see what things are like there.
    Whatever happened with the HSUS, if that’s indeed the case, shouldn’t be a blanket policy against all animal welfare groups who are truly trying to make a difference.

  • Lving42day

    This bill needs to go nationwide and I give kudos to the state of Oklahoma for starting the initiative of making these organizations accountable for the donations they rake in. If donations are collected in a state, then that state is where the money should be spent, it’s as simple as that.

    • jondunn

      Lving42day,

      So by your rationale, if there’s a natural disaster in Florida, someone in Ohio couldn’t give money to help because any donation coming from a Ohio resident could only be spent in Ohio?

      If you refer to my earlier response to Mr. Schreibvogel, I explain how restricted and unrestricted donations to a nonprofit organization work.

      Freedom means choice. In this case, people can do their homework on nonprofit organizations using sites such as Charity Navigator, and then decide if they want to donate to that organization or not. As I’ve also said previously, this is pretty simple issue. HB2250 bill is unconstitutional, and unquestionably will be thrown out in court – all at the expense of an unnecessary cost to the taxpayer.

      Jon Dunn
      Senior Manager of Policy
      Best Friends Animal Society

      • Lving42day

        There are many things that happen in this country that are unconstitutional. Take for instance animals that are removed from their homes under the color of law without their owners being given due process in a court of law. The taxpayers already pay lots of unnecessary costs due to frivolous lawsuits that the HSUS and PETA push into the court systems.

  • Jackie Russell

    It is time for organizations to quit stealing money from people of the United States to line their pockets and not help the animals. They all say they are there to help the animals but have proven more and more to be lying. I hope to see HB 2250 in every state across the country to make sure that if money is actually donated in each state, it actually goes to that particular state to help the animals and not to just line the pockets of so called organizations that are supposed to be helping the animals. I support Joe Schreibvogel 100%.

    • jondunn

      Jackie,

      Last year, Best Friends directly impacted the lives of 207,000 animals. We do a high level wrap up each year – here’s the post about our impact in 2015: http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2016/01/07/2015-another-banner-year-for-best-friends-and-homeless-pets-with-207000-animals-directly-helped/

      As far as your claim that nonprofits are “stealing” money. There are lots of resources where donors can do research on the organizations they are considering donating to. Charity Navigator is one of the better known, but there are many others. You can see the Charity Navigator information about Best Friends here: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3356#.VvWT8xIrJgc

      National organizations, like Best Friends, do work all across the country. Animals in need don’t understand or abide by state boundaries. Our donors give to us knowing that we will wisely use their money to help animals wherever it is needed the most. There’s no obfuscation. We’re very clear about who we are, what we do, and how we spend donor dollars.

      Jon Dunn
      Senior Manager of Policy
      Best Friends Animal Society

      • Jackie Russell

        Jon, Nonprofits are stealing money from American citizens. Making all kinds of sad stories that have been staged to grab heart strings of some. I have no idea about your organization and honestly do not care. I care about animals and people that actually care and take care of said animals. HB 2250 will make sure that money will not be able to be used to line pockets of organizations as HSUS and PETA. This comment: [Our donors give to us knowing that we will wisely use their money to help animals wherever it is needed the most.] tells me a lot.

        • Mike Earwood

          He keeps saying to go to charity navigator,well i did..and charity navigator rates big cat rescue at 4 stars…bwhahahahahahaha….i’m supposed to take that seriously….really…smh

          • Mike Earwood

            That makes your argument invalid sir…

          • Jackie Russell

            Yea, Mike it looks like to me they are about in the same category as BCR, and that is not saying much.

  • Mike Earwood

    I think it’s funny. these people cry about constitutional rights when it benefits them…they sure are not worried about them at all when they are being taken away from the regular people of this country…the only reason why they are mad is because they wont be able to steal money out of the people of oklahoma’s pockets and pay themselves six figure incomes and pay off congressmen and senators to pass their legislation that benefits them in the middle of the night sessions so use normal people don’t know what’s going on….

  • Tig Nite

    I am behind you Joe 1000%, A “Title” to lure people in for the money I cannot see any law being approved for so called Puppy Mills as they are all over the place, they all need to be stopped. The idea is to stop all this animal abuse and to stop people from making money off and not do anything what so ever but line there own pockets. Just where is this money going that you want donations for?? This is why I back Joe for President, He IS the VOICE for the ANIMALS and the American People

    • jondunn

      Tig Nite,

      You can see all of our financial information here, where we are very clear about how we spend the generous donations we receive each year.

      Jon Dunn
      Senior Manager of Policy
      Best Friends Animal Society

  • Joe Schreibvogel

    First of all this has nothing to do with animals being abused or cared for in the State of Oklahoma. HB2250 is to keep you people raising money honest and out of the State of Oklahoma. During the May 3, Tornado the HSUS raised 1.7 million dollars exploiting the animals of the Tornado and then not spending it on the animals of Oklahoma, so the HSUS and any other animal rights orgs, has been evicted from the State of Oklahoma. Trust me on this one, this is not going to stop here, We will push for this bill to be introduced into every State we can. And I am introducing a couple more. Its just like this election, people are sick of crooked politics, and people are sick of living by others opinions.
    I love how all of you write stories like this with a donate link on the same page. Who is exploiting who?

    • jondunn

      Joe,

      Obviously since I don’t work for HSUS, I can’t comment as to what they have or have not done in terms of their fundraising.

      At Best Friends, we do work all across the country and we raise money from generous, animal loving donors from every state. They understand that when they give to national organizations like Best Friends, the money they give helps animals all across the country, not always necessarily in their own state. With that understanding they can then choose to donate or not. It’s pretty simple.

      Nonprofits can essentially take in two types of donations. Restricted, and unrestricted. The first is when we ask for money for a specific project, such as a natural disaster. We are audited every year, and submit extensive paperwork to the IRS to prove that the money we raise is spent in the way we said it would be. If you have a specific concern about how a nonprofit organization has raised and spent donations, then there are already systems in place for you to file a complaint. Pushing for a clearly unconstitutional piece of legislation to prevent Americans from giving to organizations of their choice is waste of taxpayer time and money.

      Not really sure how to respond to your charge that we are “exploiting” people by having a donate link on our blog. I assume in this case, your definition of exploit is to use in an unfair or selfish way? Best Friends impacted the lives of 207,000 animals in 2015 – and in 2016, we’d like to see that number rise. We do that through donations. We have to ask in order to receive. I suppose you could see that as being selfish, but I can guarantee the animals we help don’t see it that way.

      You’re welcome to look at our financial information – we offer it very clearly on our website: http://bestfriends.org/about/financial-information

      Thank you,

      Jon Dunn
      Senior Manager of Policy
      Best Friends Animal Society

      • Joe Schreibvogel

        The problem I have with people like you and others is you put out this article that Oklahoma is not ok for the animals, but yet you have a donate button on this very page. What is not ok in Oklahoma? and what are you going to do to help finance any change in Oklahoma? Or are you just putting out another story to make money like the rest and the animals will see nothing? As a Presidential Candidate it is my mission to shut down all of these kind of sites raising money saying there is a problem when there is not and the money raised does not go to the real cause, bettering the life of animals instead of taking peoples rights away with it. I intend on taking HB2250 across the entire United States. It is time this all gets shut down. And yes in time we are going to abolish the IRS and all of this completely. People in this country and others need to find another way to get rich instead of lying about animals and their owners.

      • Mike Earwood

        I clicked on the link and went through the financials,funny thing happened,i couldn’t find what the top officer’s compensation was for 2014… i seen how many hours each one worked per week, but not what they were paid, seems a little strange if you ask me….

        • jondunn

          Mike,

          That information is available in the IRS 990 forms that are linked on that page.

        • Lving42day

          Did you see how much they spend on lobbying? Hmmm

    • Mr Hollywood

      I did notice you were asking for donations