The ASPCA should be ashamed of themselves when it comes to the welfare of animals. Although some of their programs do good in the community, these are usually efforts taken on by their local brances, not the main corporate ASPCA. When you donate to the ASPCA from the “hot line” number on their commercials featuring Sarah McLaughlin that show pitiful cases of animal abuse and neglect sure to jerk many tears from your eyes, this money is spent primarily on their corporate offices and very little is seen by ASPCA local branches. All local branches must do their own fundraising for the lions share of their operating budget. Yet, corporate ASPCA pledged a whopping $5.2 million to open NEW spay/neuter clinics across the country, instead of supporting those already under the ASPCA.

Yeah, we fell for the sad commercial too. Now we are diverting the monthly “membership” from the ASPCA to MEOW CAT RESCUE, an organization in Washington State that helps cats (and dogs through their dog division) find homes. They often take on animals who have extra issues like FeLV, amputations or CH. They are solely funded by donations and receive no grant money.

Here are some disturbing facts about the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Center and their Professional Services department, particularly to their conflict of interest with reporting correctly to the EPA the cases of pet poisoning and adverse reactions to flea and tick products.

  1. The ASPCA Toxicology Pet Poison Control Center is one of the largest in the nation. They charge a hefty $65 for their services. Despite other similar agencies, like the Humane Society, stating that over-the-counter flea & tick products are harmful, the ASPCA maintains that although their call volume has increased tremendously, their reports of adverse incidences have not increased. The ASPCA official blame goes, again, to pet owners for misusing the products such as titrating doses from large animals to smaller ones or applying dog products to cats. Manufacturers (known as stakeholders or registrants in EPA lingo) and the PPCC also seem to feel the majority of pet owners cannot follow label directions. According the EPA’s recent findings, “user error” accounts only for 12% of incidences of adverse reactions based on 2008 figures. However, the ASPCA’s last Press Release on this subject from March 2010 shows support for the mitigation plan of spot-on products designed by the EPA with manufacturers. The plan focuses on re-labeling efforts, again because they hold that owners have mis-applied the product, though the numbers don’t add up to the empirical data of the study. Re-labeling efforts have not worked in the past and don’t make the product any safer. As a side note, manufacturers sigh a huge sigh of relief. They want the EPA to chase tail for years on re-labeling efforts instead of pulling or restricting the use of these products on market.
  2. Dr. Steven Hansen, who was the VP of the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, and promoted to Senior Vice President of Animal Health Services, a division “dedicated to providing pet health and wellness information to pet owners”, came to the ASPCA from Wellmark. Wellmark owns many companies that make over-the-counter flea & tick products that have a high incidence of adverse reactions, such as the brand Zodiac. He was was the Director of Veterinary Research and Support for Bensenville, IL-based Wellmark International (Sandoz Agro Animal Health Division). – That should be interpreted as instrumental in getting and keeping bad flea & tick products into the open market.
  3. Dr. Steve Hansen also received the Vet of the Year award twice, lastly in 2007, sponsored by none other than Hartz.
  4. And why shouldn’t Dr. Steve Hansen receive an award sponsored by Hartz when he worked a sweetheart deal with the company. All calls that come into the PPCC regarding Hartz products go directly to Hartz and the $65 dollar fee is waived. Hartz, in return, gets to skew it’s reporting information by filtering all complaints first. No other company had such a deal with the ASPCA PPCC at the time.
  5. Dr. Steven Hansen was promoted to ASPCA’s COO on July 21, 2010. I see many more dubious brokered deals in their future.
  6. Dr. Steven Hansen brokered a sponsorship deal with IAMS for the ASPCA. In return, he “reviewed” the care of the animals in one facility in the face of an outcry of foul and inhumane treatment of test animals. IAMS is well known for it’s horrific experimentation practices, despite there being other models available to gather information. One example is an experiment to see how much sawdust an animal could take in before dying. You make PET FOOD.
  7. He is not the only conflict of interest story at the ASPCA. Dr. Jill A. Richardson also worked for the ASPCA PPCC while working for Hartz Mountain Corporation. Dr. Jill Richardson was the Associate Director, Consumer Relations & Technical Services of Hartz while apparently also working for the Pet Poison Control Center. As such, when a consumer complained about a Hartz product, it was part of her job to sent them a very standard letter letting them know that a Hartz product, for a variety of reasons she could insert into the empty space, could not have been responsible for the adverse reaction.
  8. In addition, to make sure Hartz had the monopoly on special treatment from the PPCC, they gave an incentive to NOT include other flea & tick manufacturers in their sweetheart deal. The ASPCA accepted a large volume of in-kind donations and corporate sponsorship from Hartz Mountain. Yet the ASPCA fails to disclose all their corporate sponsors on their website as most charitable organization of any size do. They also fail to disclose that their major food sponsor is IAMS.
  9. The ASPCA recently started a new partnership with WalMart to sell ASPCA licensed carriers and pet products in their stores. WalMart is a major player in selling and promoting flea & tick products with the highest incidences of adverse reactions. The flea spray that caused Timmy’s neurological harm was “only $2 at WalMart”. The flea powder that kill Oliver was also purchased at WalMart. WalMart also sells “packages” for a bulk price of flea & tick products to promote over use of these harmful chemicals. These packages may contain a collar, spray, fogger and lawn treatments all for one price. One of the largest arguments a manufacturer makes is that if other treatments are used, it could be a contributing factor to adverse reactions due what is known as Body of Burden – or the amount of toxins built up in the body from all sources. Many of these products state clearly NOT to use them in conjunction with other treatments. All the “bulk packaged” products are made and marketed by Hartz.
  10. According the ASPCA financial statement for 2008 their mission statement is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” They spent over $74 million on their different programs, including the largest amount to communications of $23.1 million. Anti-cruelty programs came in second to last of spending at $8 million. Apparently they launched 5,227 animal cruelty investigations and only made 78 arrests relating to animal cruelty. Meanwhile, in 2007, Edwin J. Sayres, the President of the ASPCA earned $490,315. If you only take the excess of his salary over $400,000 and applied it to spay/neuter programs and rescues at $50 allocated for spay/neuter and vaccines, that would help 1,806 animals. The ASPCA brought in a total  of $105.2 million in income. I am curious as to where the other $31.1 million went to? They claim 2% or $1.7 million goes to administrative expenses and that they had 525 paid employees. Apparently in 2008, they also state they “joint costs” for fundraising of $28 million, with only $25,706 going to administrative costs and they received nearly $1.8 million in in-kind donations, including media resources and another $25,000 in pet food (There’s IAMs again!).

Do not be fooled. If you think your donation to the corporate ASPCA seen on TV and in print ads is going to help stop animal cruelty, you are wrong. Only a small portion does. If you think you are helping your local ASPCA with your donation to the larger ASPCA, only a tiny portion goes to help them. Never think that a non-profit status means NO PROFIT. Your donation would be better served with a small local rescue who depend on donations for operating costs, or your local branch of the Humane Society.

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  • Nemesis919

    You are a conspiracy theorist not a journalist.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Nemesis! These things I have stated are all backed up by facts. Then again, you should know that the Professional Services division of the ASPCA is paid by manufacturers to do things like testify on their behalf in court. Then again, maybe next time you should write this comment from home because when I reverse look up your IP address, 155.91.28.231, it gets traced right back to Merck, the makers of Frontline and soon, a new pill for fleas & ticks. See below for the hostname look up:

      NetName: MERCK1
      OrgName: Merck and Co., Inc.
      OrgId: MERCKA
      Address: 126 East Lincoln Avenue
      City: Rahway
      StateProv: NJ
      PostalCode: 07095
      Country: US
      RegDate: 1992-03-17
      Updated: 2005-12-21
      Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/MERCKA

      With comments like that and choosing such an interesting screen name, it speaks volumes to yourself and your industry. Particularly since it is clearly a conflict of interest having the ASPCA, who is paid by manufacturers/registrants/shareholders to testify on their behalf in lawsuits (among other things) to then have any type of neutrality in reporting incidences of adverse reactions to the EPA.

      The ASPCA does some wonderful things – but their relationship with manufacturers like yourself is not one of them.

    • Echo72593

      thats it…thats all u can come up with…?…man u must feel like dirt after getting busted….

      • Anonymous

        And to think… I almost deleted the comment! So glad I looked up the IP address. The sad thing is that this type of stalking behavior is exactly what makes articles like this viable.

    • For months your company and those like it have invaded companion animal health activists cyber space by writing ridiculous comments on notes, blogs & social networking sites.

      We don’t hide behind surnames, neither should you.

      It is unfortunate that once again bloggers/activists like Timmy have to deal with cowards like you.

      • Anonymous

        I am proud to be in this with you, Aundria. You know that already, my friend.

    • Tiny Timmy is my friend, and far from a conspiracy theorist. TT is a SURVIVOR!
      HE SURVIVED THE DEADLY ONSLAUGHT FRONTLINE MADE ON HIS LITTLE BODY. HE IS A HERO.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you Kaliegh! To be fair, though, it wasn’t Frontline itself that hurt Timmy so badly. It was Sergeant’s Flea & Tick Spray for Cats. TT asked me to give you his *headbonks*

    • Charlie_elton

      Conspiracy Theorist??? Are you kidding me?? Tiny timmy has done more to save countless lives of innocnet, trusting animals than any human I know.
      I can speak from personal experience, my 13 yr old dog had a reaction to a OTC flea prevention product. fortunately, I treated him and got him to the ER before permanent damage was done. But I am one of the fortunate. Many have not been so fortunate, and have lost their precious pets to these products.
      Get your facts straight, buddy, before you start picking on an innocent little cat whose people have spent thousands of dollars and hours helping him regain some of the use of his lilmbs.

      • Anonymous

        I am just going to say… YOU ROCK!

    • duffyspal

      Dani, why would you say this? I have absolute proof that this is correct and would be glad to share it would you. Please take a look at Hamishdad’s post (above) and the links will take you to that proof. It’s a terrible conflict of interest that has hurt many pet owners that believed the ASPCA was an independent organization with the best interests of animals and pet owners as their primary objective. Unfortunately, their consulting services organization is far from that.

      Please take a look for yourself.

      • Anonymous

        Did I miss something? I don’t see a Dani on this thread & couldn’t find it on my comment moderations panel. I always back up what I say and if it’s an opinion I say so. I would hope that everyone who doubts these things do exactly what you have advised, DuffysPal, and do their own homework. It’s been too long that these companies have been able to bury how these come to market, how they stay on the market and the corporate structures (including the ASPCA Professional Services) that keep them there.

        • duffyspal

          Yes–these posts are viable for exactly the reason you posted–Hartz Mountain (particularly), Sergeant’s, BioSpot, Summit VetPharm and others watch these posts very carefully. They’re concerned about the media but they believe they’re winning. Just look at the track record of the EPA over the last 25 years! And they’re talking (that’s right–talking) about labeling changes? How many times are they going to repeat something that has failed. It’s not the package label–it’s the products!

          • Anonymous

            I really think the tides are turning – albeit slowly – thanks to people like yourself and Hamishdad and Aundria sticking to your guns despite a lot of adversity from the industry. Eventually their billions can’t stop a wave of awareness and the educated choices of consumers.

            The label changes are a joke. They are requiring them because they keep stating “user error” is the cause of most issues, when the EPA themselves came up with the amount of issues from “user error” being 12%. That leaves 88% of incidences where it WASN’T user error. How is a label change going to fix that?

  • As a biologist and biochemist, I can attest that TinyTimmy’s statements are well documented by scientific studies. There is a difference between sharing knowledge and promoting conspiracies.

    • Anonymous

      Dee – Thank you! Your expertise is much needed in this cause!

  • API

    Hi Timmy! Thanks for posting the truth so pet owners won’t buy products that can injure or kill their beloved pets. The companies that sell dangerous pet products should be ashamed of themselves but they’re not because they only care about making money, not about selling safe products.

    Keep up the good work, Timmy!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks API – Sadly, it isn’t just this industry that puts out products known to be a hazard for pets and humans. Most of these products come from the agricultural pesticide market, and often those pesticides that are heavily restricted end up in our homes on our pets.

  • Dsavory

    Think local – support local!

    • Anonymous

      $10,000 means a lot to small local rescues. It’s a drop in the bucket for the big ones.

  • Amethyst Di

    I am so proud of being a part of spreading the word about adverse reactions to over the counter flea and tick products. Over the last year with thanks to the Tiny Timmy Healing Journey Campaign and reading the rellevant research I have learned so much about the dreadful reactions and how they need to be avoided and also how the word needs to be spread. If it is so important to companies to make their millions and go to sleep with a guilty conscience they need to think about what if this happened to their own loved pet. Perhaps they practise “denial” because it is easier and they don;t have to think about it. Well, as a big company executive or organization why not show some grit and don’t practise denial..stand up for justice and say NO..WE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE…WE WILL STOP THIS DANGEROUS USE OF CHEMICALS THAT AFFECT THE HEALTH OF ANIMALS NOW!!! I think you might find respect from the community and whats more, you might even find respect for yourself! Go Tiny Timmy!!!! Keep the lesson going!

    • Anonymous

      Well said Di! There are many companies that started to hop on the bandwagon for transparency and safer products in other areas. There’s a good market for safer alternatives, but they have to actually be safer. (ie. Sergeant’s “all natural” flea & tick product is actually not-so-safe when you look up the patent.)

  • Wonderfully written and researched article!! Thank you TT for helping me, as a groomer, to save pets from harm. And I loved the way you slammed Nemesis!!! I’ve shared the article.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for yous ongoing support! Let us know when you need some more Sudz. I predict this year will be a bear, at least in the Pacific Northwest, for fleas. We had warmer winter and shorter freezing, then something that felt like spring when it should have been winter, and now I am not quite sure how to describe it… except WET!

  • duffyspal

    Thank you very much for having the courage to tell the truth. It’s a shame the ASPCA has manipulated and obfuscated the truth on this subject for many years. I could show you documentation I’ve received from their CEO that is incredible in its lack of transparency. I revere much of the work of the ASPCA, but this issue of their professional consulting services organization, under Dr. Steven Hansen, working with the the product manufacturers is a clear conflict of interest and has been harmful to pet owners.

    The ASPCA should be ashamed. They know it and have been attempting to hide the truth for years.

    • Anonymous

      You have to wonder why they feel the need to hide it, rather than be open, especially since they are a non-profit. I wonder if these manufacturers get a tax write off for using their “professional” services?

  • Pingback: Mandy Moore, Pet Safety, PetArmor and the ASPCA - What you should know | Tiny Timmy's Healing Journey from Scottsdale, AZ, United States()

  • Cjmonte143

    This is a great post.  I just had two dogs with reactions to the BioSpot flea and tick shampoo….one of which is my  beloved Papillon and she is still not right.  After complaining to Biospot who told me to send them the upc from the shampoo and vet bills for reimbursement they made me speak to the ASPCA Product Safety Division to report it.  They told me that their top vet Dr. Haze said that this is in no way caused by their product, it is completley safe and that the rain must have sprouted wild mushrooms in my yard that my dog ate!! They are IDIOTS!  two dogs have been shaking since their baths and one is still at it and on muscle relaxants.  I need to find who is above these morons and get justice.  I do not know yet if my dog is suffering neuroligical effects….and I am not a happy camper!  I told them they need warnings on their label and was told that the product has such low doses of this stuff that they don’t need it.  We need to file a class action suit and get this stuff off the market FOR GOOD!  They do not care that for some of us, our pets are our children!  I followed the instructions….and I think I know how to give my dog a proper bath!

    • Anonymous

      Hi CJ – I am so sorry you and your dogs are going through this. Sadly it is not unusual for the manufacturers (and the ASPCA) to come with all sorts of silly reasons why it isn’t these products. They are legally supposed to report to the EPA, however based on your experience, you can imagine how skewed those figures are. Please also contact the EPA. It’s very VERY important. For info on reporting, you can go here http://tinytimmy.org/fleas/reporting/

      There is also a site with great info here http://www.biospotvictims.org It explains a little more about how Biospot works (or doesn’t).

      As to a class action, please contact Jacqui Mottek at Positive Legal Group jmottek@positivelegalgroup.com 415.302.5371 (cell) and tell her Tiny Timmy (and Claudia) sent you. She is involved in several class actions after a personal experience herself. She is a heavy hitter and has an excellent track record taking on large corporations. She involved in a Biospot class action as well.

      If you need some hints as to how to detox your dogs, let me know. We had to do it with Timmy, and continue to do so as his system is so screwed up.

      Please consider sharing your story here under the “Your Stories” tab. It helps others to hear what other people have gone through as well.

  • Taylor

    It’s Sarah McLachlan…

  • Vanskivershannon

    So im writing a business report on ASPCA for my business class.This is something good that I could add to my report of you dont mind me using it?

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely! I emailed you, but received no response. Please share your paper when you are done. I would love to read it.

      Feel free to use anything here with attribution to tinytimmy.org

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely! I emailed you, but received no response. Please share your paper when you are done. I would love to read it.

      Feel free to use anything here with attribution to tinytimmy.org

  • Pipelinechick

    So, are you in league with Richard Berman????

  • Your local SPCA is not funded or has any connection to the ASPCA. That is just what the ASPCA wants people to think. This goes for your local Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States. No connections. If you want your money to go to animals in shelters then donate to your local shelters.

  • What do you suggest, donating to the Humane Society that spends most of it donation fund on retirement programs for their employees? I do not deny there is corruption in all charities but for my money I trust the ASPCA more than many of the other charities out there!

    • TinyTimmy<span class="comment-author-location"> from Portland, OR, United States</span>

      It’s completely your choice who to support and who not to, however personally the Humane Society has slightly lower compensation than the ASPCA does for the top 10 employees, particularly when you include the vast amounts paid by industry for ‘consulting’ to the ASPCA execs. Also, the HSUS has come out against harmful flea & tick products, the ASPCA denies any issues. The HSUS advocates a central reporting system not run by industry, the ASPCA cashes in on theirs. Personally I don’t send my rescue dollars to either. I send it to my local shelters and rescues.