Animals In Print
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10 July 2010 Issue

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Oreo's Law What Went So Wrong -
Where Have You Gone "Best Friends"
By Nathan J. Winograd

Yes On Oreo’s Law

Yes On Oreo’s Law

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As many of you know, Oreo's Law was killed in committee. I assume I am regarded as a person who is rarely at a loss for words. And truth be told, I do have much to say regarding the bill’s demise and the obvious lessons the fight for Oreo’s Law has imparted. But for over a week, I sat before my computer, staring at a blank screen and struggling to find the words to express what needs to be said, to reiterate in part, that which to me and I hope to my readers has by now become so evident that stating it feels simply gratuitous: the enemy is within.

Yes, I am talking about the ASPCA which claims to champion the animals but advocates for their slaughter; and yes, I am talking about groups like the Mayor’s Alliance and the Animal Law Coalition that do the same. And as groups mirror the decisions of their leaders, I am talking specifically about Ed Sayres, Jane Hoffman, and Laura Allen. But those have become the obvious ones and I’ve written no less than 17 blogs and articles about their duplicitous and indefensible role in this saga. And if that was all there was to be said, I would have done it on June 16, the morning after Oreo’s Law was tabled by the legislature.

What has caused me to stare at a blank screen, unable to find the words is trying to put into context the actions of a group which I’ve worked with in the past and whose conferences I’ve been speaking at since their inception. Last week, as thousands of animal lovers throughout New York State flooded Albany with e-mails of support for Oreo’s Law, shutting down the mail server not once, but twice, ASPCA lobbyist Debora Bresch combed the halls of the capitol, working to defeat the bill with lies, misrepresentations and the powerful weight of the ASPCA’s century-old reputation. Covering her back were not only those organizations financially beholden to the ASPCA or those equally threatened by the upset of power which Oreo’s Law would accomplish but, tragically, an organization that for a long time now has been generally regarded within the No Kill movement as the only large national organization that is an ally to our cause: Best Friends Animal Society.

Read "Where Have You Gone Best Friends?" (

And I am not the only one who feels this way. Read what Pets Alive, the group that offered to save Oreo's life, has to say about it in their blog about "being the change" you want to see in the world. Read "Being the Change." (

Read what an activist facing a hostile shelter has to say about what Oreo's Law would have meant for her community (

Read how the ASPCA was caught in a lie in its fear mongering over Oreo's Law (

And read what people are saying to Best Friends and how it is time to make their choice: (

Oreo's Law is dead for this year, and by some estimates roughly 25,000 animals will be summarily executed because of that. But the fight continues. Oreo's Law will be taken up again by the New York State legislature in January. Learn more at

No Kill Blog

The citizens of King County are generous, compassionate animal lovers. They deserve better. And not only are they are not getting it; they will not with the current plan and the current team—especially as the latter has proved to anyone willing to look at the evidence that they are incapable of running a humane shelter and unwilling to protect animals from cruelty. Read "No Hope for the Animals Neglected at KCACC" (

No Kill by the numbers, the decade that changed everything, lessons from an Andy Warhol tote bag, it's a wonderful world, and the truth about the ASPCA, HSUS, and PETA. Read the most influential blog on the No Kill movement (

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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

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