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Franny Syufy

ASPCA Response to Sarah McLachlan Commercial Criticism

By January 4, 2010

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In response to my blog of December 26, 2009, titled "Make a Difference for the Animals," several comments were posted decrying the "waste of money" incurred in the cost of television commercials such as the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA Commercial.

Although my opinion differed, since I can't speak directly for the ASPCA, I posted the question directly to that organization. My email was forwarded to no less than the Senior Vice President, Development, Todd Hendricks. This is his reply:

The ASPCA measures our success by the number of animals we are able to help and by how efficient we are at raising the money that allows us to help those animals. The ASPCA has seen significant growth in revenue and program spending since the launch of the Sarah McLachlan campaign in 2003. Our fundraising revenues have more than doubled while our fundraising ratio has remained constant at $0.20 to raise $1.00. What this in essence means is that our program expenditures to help animals have more than doubled as well. In 2003 the ASPCA dedicated over $33,000,000 directly to caring for animals - in 2008 we spent over $74,000,000 helping animals. Again, this was done without raising our fundraising ratios.
I can't speak for my readers, either, but these are my thoughts: I donate $20/month to the ASPCA as a direct result of that commercial. That means that $4.00 each month goes toward ASPCA's advertising expenses and $16.00 goes toward helping animals. As a long-time advocate, I am certainly aware of the universal need for helping shelter animals. However, what about the tens of thousands of other people who are not Web-wise, and depend on television and print media to stay informed? I consider my $4.00 a month to be a very useful way to help the ASPCA spread the word to those people. The Sarah MacLachlan commercial is so compelling that even a jaded old veteran such as myself is driven to contribute. Think then, of what it can do as an eye-opener to new converts? My four bucks a month can increase exponentially the direct benefits to the cats, dogs, and other animals we all love and care about.

Having said all that, I will always encourage my readers to help support your own local shelters and cat rescue groups, with donations of cash and goods, or volunteer work. We can all make a difference for the animals, each in our own way, both universally and locally.

Comments

January 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm
(1) Nancy says:

They’ve also a beautiful commercial out now with Willie Nelson singing in the background — so beautiful, but so, so sad… I can hardly bear to watch it. But I’m at least slightly comforted to know that my regular contributions to the ASPCA are helping.

January 5, 2010 at 9:53 am
(2) mswilma says:

Without advertising nothing happens. I recieve paper mailings almost daily from solicitors of all types. Consider those costs, paper/trees,ink stamps/paper, ink, glue plant derived or possibly animal derived, transportation to deliver/ airplane, postal van, more CO2. I would say television is likely cheaper in the long run and definitly better for our planet.
The commercials are so touching I can’t tear my eyes away from them even though they are filling with tears. The Sarah McLachlan song intensifies the feeling and catches attention.
If it comes down to more money to help animals, then what is there to complain about?

January 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm
(3) Myra says:

Support your LOCAL shelters. ASPCA is primarily a New York operation. Very few of the contributions received are shared with the rest of the country. Granted..effective PR but not honestly forthcoming with where the money really goes. While so much of the country is struggling with animal care issues, New York is lavished with donations from well-meaning but uninformed contributors who believe that money is being filtered down to their local shelters in a fair manner.

October 29, 2011 at 12:47 am
(4) JULIE says:

NYC HAS MORE ANIMALS THAN PROBABLY ANY OTHER CITY IN THE COUNTRY. ALL THE SPCA’S SHOULD RUN FUNDRAISERS AS WELL. THE COMPLAINTS SOUND WHINY TO ME, FRANKLY. IT’S PATHETIC THAT W/ALL THE $$ OUT THERE, THE ANIMALS EVEN HAVE TO DEPEND ON DONATIONS AT ALL, BUT LET’S NOT FIGHT AMONG THE AGENCIES AND JUST DO WHAT EACH ONE CAN FOR THE ANIMALS.

January 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(5) Franny Syufy says:

Myra, I have to respectfully disagree. Time does not permit my going into a great deal of detail. However, I need to point out that although the ASPCA is *headquartered* in NYC (with a large regional office in Illinois), it indeed covers the rest of the country. Here are a couple of links from the ASPCA web site which evidence that claim:
Your Dollars at Work

National Programs

If you have time to read further, the 2008 Annual Report gives a dollars and cents breakdown on the ASPCA activities nationwide. Page 9 of the report goes into detail on the grants to a S&N program in North Carolina, and there are similar grants nationwide.

I do agree with your recommendation to support local shelters. However, those of us who want to extend our financial help in a larger sense, certainly have the right to both do it and promote it.

January 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(6) RascalsDad says:

Franny Syufy, I think maybe Myra has the Humane Society crossed up with the ASPCA. We have a local Humane Society no-kill shelter but they get no funding from the national Humane Society and are totally dependent on local donations. While our other thwo shelters can get government funding the no-kill shelter cannot due to bureaucratic rules and regulations. The other two do murder (kill is too nice a word) these poor animals regularly but thankfully Humane Society shelter does not.

January 7, 2010 at 4:51 am
(7) E says:

Even so, Franny, looking at the page of “where your money goes”, it is true — VERY few shelters are getting anything out of that. I have to agree, I support LOCAL shelters, who can’t afford to advertise, and struggle desperately to get even the food they need to feed their animals.

January 7, 2010 at 10:25 am
(8) Pam says:

I think the ASPCA does a great job. They need to make people aware of the plight of some very unfortunate animals. A year ago we took in a sick kitten we found on the hi-way. We spent hundreds on him but he is a beautiful, playful, spoiled, fat, very happy cat. I would do it all over again and encourage any in a position to do so also.

January 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm
(9) Nelia says:

As a partner of an animal rescue group in Los Angeles (I”m the cat person), I often wish we had the extra funding to promote what we do and shelter adoption, which is where our cats come from. Spreading the word is the only way to increase our adoptions (which means we can save more) and shelter adoptions (which means we have fewer to save). This costs money. Franny’s article says it perfectly.

January 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(10) Sallie says:

How about showing commercials of dogs licking your face while they wag their tails and of cats, not just kittens, being hugged and taken home. I’m sorry, but those shots of scared, sad animals looking into the camera will NEVER get my money. I cannot keep them on the TV. I turn it off right away as I said before. I agree with the people talking about the no kill shelters. There is no excuse for that kind of torment to the souls of those of us that can see into the eyes of those animals.

January 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(11) Tamara says:

I completely agree with Franny. Those commercials are fantastic and really make people think about the problem. They are sad, yes, but so is the predicament of these animals. I’m GLAD they are shown. I doubt that all the money just goes to New York.

January 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(12) Carol says:

We recently had a very large sanctuary shut down in Florida and the ASPCA, along with University of FL and HSUS, sent people down to help organize the efforts to save as many of the 600 animals as possible. They did an amazing job between medical treatment, direct adoptions, returning some to their owners, locating shelters and rescues that could take the healthy adoptable animals and ferals, and arranging transport to get the animals to those shelters and rescues. They do a lot to help outside of NY, but everything they do isn’t noted on their website. As a Board member at a local shelter of course I want to see local donations, but the big, national organizations are needed too and they do a great service. Remember hurricane Katrina?

January 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(13) Trudi says:

Do whatever you can, whenever, wherever you can. Quit wasting your energy finding fault with those who are trying to reach out and get help from those who can and care to donate. Who are we to judge/ I think most animal-centered organizations do as much as they can to help and to get others to help. Donate to whatever local/national animal cause you care to…there are a lot of resuces that can use the help ongoing. Find one you agree with and support it fully to your best ability. Save those who cannot speak for themselves.

January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(14) Dawn says:

IN my family, we have to change the channel when that commercial comes on. But the first time we saw it we all went silent and stared, spellbound. And we were moved to make an immediate contribution.

January 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm
(15) Tracy says:

I work in veterinary medicine, & I have volunteered in a shelter for over 5 years: I agree with Trudi: don’t complain who gets what and where it’s spent: there are MILLIONS of organizations that need help. Send it to the large group in NY, send it to the county shelter, send it to the lady down the street who feeds the strays & ferals: they all need it. I see those sad, sick (chronically & acutely) animals all of the time.(literally) Support whichever group you feel the most for: just do it.

January 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm
(16) Freda says:

I love Sarah McLachlan’s commercial…and yes, it makes me sad…as I love animals and only want good homes for all of them. Myra’s out to lunch. Everyone has their own way of advertising. All I know is I love the singer and the message in this commercial.

January 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm
(17) Rita says:

I approve of the TV ad. It works! However, I don’t approve of the organization’s unending stream of mailouts. It seems there is a solicitation in the mail from them every six weeks. Think of the trees and animals that could be saved instead of the money ending up in a trash can!

January 7, 2010 at 11:55 pm
(18) Jen says:

I’m with Trudi and Tracy – pick something you can support and support it – and let others do the same.

January 8, 2010 at 12:25 am
(19) Sara says:

Please…let me understand this… Because of a “reality” commercial, that show photos of abused animals, you feel compelled to make a donation? Its really sad it took that much.?!

January 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm
(20) Franny Syufy says:

Sara: Yes, it is sad. However many people are just too focused on their own problems and wear self-imposed blinders to the reality of other needs. These are the folks these commercials are directed at. For me, it was a reminder to do more than I was already doing, as I’m sure it was for others who posted here.

January 8, 2010 at 7:48 am
(21) Lynn D'Ovidio says:

As a long time advocate of helping animals and a person who does a lot of TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) with feral cat colonies, I’m all for anything that gets the word out about the needs of all animals everywhere. That particular commercial makes me cry every time I see it, and over the years I have donated to the ASPCA because of the work they do. But, not everyone is aware of these things and advertisement is the way to make them aware.

January 8, 2010 at 7:57 am
(22) Lynn D'Ovidio says:

In response to several of the comments about the ASPCA not having a widespread program, as a person in Tampa Florida, I can verify that is not true. Three of the rescue groups and our local Humane Society are working off of large grants given to them by the ASPCA, the project known as Mission Orange, has funded a county TNR program, buying traps for people to borrow to do TNR, grants to two of our clinics to further lower the costs of Spay/Neuter programs and given grants to local rescue groups so they can continue to take in, treat if necessary and adopt out animals that would have otherwise been euthanized at Animal Control for lack of space to hold these animals. People please know your facts before you accuse organizations that do great work of not being widespread enough.

January 8, 2010 at 8:28 am
(23) Kathryn says:

The commercials are ESSENTIAL to get support from the public. That is the only way to stop animal abuse. The HSUS has been effective. Donate to BOTH–your local shelter and to those that are legally fighting animal abuse.

January 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(24) Bobbie Jean says:

I don’t know what it is like where you are, or what your laws are, but whenever the humane society is called where I live to help a cat, or to pick up stray cats in my area, we are always told that cats are considered a rodent and they will not pick them up. They will not do anything. They are just left to breed, starve or freeze to death as they are very wild. We live maybe 1/8 mile out of the city limits. Yet they will come for a dog, IF you catch the dog and have it tied. However if it has a collar with tags, they won’t take it unless it is acting vicious. Makes no sense to me.

January 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm
(25) Franny Syufy says:

This is a reply to Bobbie Jean:

Since you have made a very serious allegation, I investigated it, and would like to clarify certain facts. In the first place, the Harrison County HUMANE SOCIETY is not associated with the Harrison County ANIMAL CONTROL department. They are two widely different entities. Also, although I didn’t take the time to look that one up, a GAME WARDEN is not ordinarily responsible for management of stray cats and dogs, no matter where you live. The animal control department is usually responsible for picking up cats and dogs, and each department has its own policies. I agree that it is deplorable *IF* representatives from the Harrison County Animal Control Department have referred to cats as “vermin.” However, according to the FAQ on its site, the HCAC will supply traps for residents to use, then it is up to the residents to take the trapped animals to the department.

The Harrison County Humane Society rescues cats and dogs from the Harrison County Animal Control. I’ve counted at least 28 cats they’ve rescued, which are available for adoption. It’s probably unlikely that they will pick up stray cats, since their mission is to rescue cats and dogs from the AC. However, you can call them at 304-592-1600.

Although this is specifically addressed to Bobbie Jean, it should serve as a reminder to all who comment to make sure of the facts before making blind accusations.

January 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(26) ROBIN says:

THERE WAS RECENTLY A SHAKE-UP REGARDING OUR LOCAL ASPCA HERE IN THE CLEARWATER/ST. PETERSBURG AREA WHERE INFO WAS DIVULGED THAT THEY ARE REALLY NOT A NO-KILL SHELTER. THEY FINALLY CAME OUT TO STATE THEY EUTHANIZE OVER 30 PERCENT (AND CAN SOMETIMES BE UP TO 50%) OF THE CATS & DOGS AT THEIR SHELTER. MANY PEOPLE WERE IN AN UPROAR AND WENT TO THE ASPCA TO DEMAND EXPLANATIONS WHERE IT CAME OUT TO BE TRUE.

I NOW VOLUNTEER AT & MAKE MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO “FRIENDS OF STRAYS” WHERE I KNOW THEY ARE TRULY A “NO KILL” SHELTER!

January 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm
(27) Franny Syufy says:

Robin, I’d like to ask this question: Do you choose to volunteer for the sake of the SHELTER, or for the sake of the CATS & DOGS? Don’t you think those animals at a kill shelter deserve loving care too? Yes, volunteering for a kill shelter can be emotionally painful *for the volunteer*. But consider what it means for the poor cats and dogs there who so sorely need personal attention and caring hands.

January 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm
(28) Tamara says:

Sometimes people need to be reminded of what might be going on in the world. Sad, but true. And where in the world does Bobby Jean live? What she says is shocking! I don’t know exactly what type of action should be taken, but, Good Lord, cats are considered RODENTS??

January 10, 2010 at 10:18 am
(29) Bobbie Jean says:

I am in Harrison County – West Virginia.
Many people have tried to have things done. They just won’t do anything. We have one game warden, and he is pretty much worthless.

January 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm
(30) Rascal'sDad says:

Lynn D’Ovidio, you have no idea what your work with the TNR may accomplish. The beautiful brown and great Tabby that rescued me a short while ago was a TNR cat. He was feral from birth from what my vet tells me and he has turned out to be the greatest cat any senior living alone could ever want for a friend (he’s more than a pet). A little time to get him used to being indoors and having all the food and comforts he could ever want and he has been a God send to me. Thanks to you and all who do this great work. It’s not as good as adoption but it gives them a chance to live which is better than some of the animal control shelters will give them. Had Rascal gone to an animal control shelter instead of being a TNR kitty I would never have known how really sweet he is turning out to be. One more reason to go for the older cats, too.

January 13, 2010 at 9:25 am
(31) Bobbie Jean says:

I went to the links you provided, please check the address to the site, that is in 3132 Hope Lane NW, Corydon, IN. I am in West Virginia.
I do admire you and all you with the information you provide, however, I know how things are done here. It is impossible to get anyone to rescue a cat here. It just will not be done. I have been here since 1985. The only way any cats have been removed from this area is if someone around here gets tired of them and we find them dead from poison that gets put in the weekly trash they tear out. It’s horrible. My sister and I during the spring and summer try to gather the kittens we can find and tame them and re-home them, but the adults, they are another story.

January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(32) Anthony Trott says:

All I know is that the ASPCA uses about 27% of their funding for administrative salaries, they saved about 5,000 animals last year, killed roughly 4% of those including a dog named Oreo that Pets Alive was trying to rescue FROM the ASPCA – along with Max and Justice.

And that the ASPCA wants to kill Oreo’s Law – A law based on the successful law in California, Hayden’s Law.

More about Oreo and what the ASPCA did to her:
http://petsalive.com/oreo.html

February 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm
(33) barbara bull says:

I own and take proper care of 4 cats/2 dogs. This commercial came on in the middle of a children’s movie. That was totally inappropriate. Save the awful pictures and plea for money for an audience that can do something about it The remote is in hand now to switch the channel

February 9, 2010 at 11:53 pm
(34) sophia says:

I can’t understand most of the words Sara McLaughlan is singing. In the arms…… haven’t a clue what her slurring means.
And Franny, no need to say “having said that” after you say something. The cutie phrase is tiresome. You said it, move on, no need to tell us you said something after you say it.

February 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm
(35) mindy fruehauf says:

im a agent for the niagara county spca I work so hard to protect the animals and I just love this song angel. please check out are big raid at pitstop puppys rescue it a terrible story how these poor dogs had to live. also you can read on pitstop rescue tragedy facebook. also on niagara gazette newspaper jan 29th 2010. please keep up all the good work .everyone does to protect the animals thanks mindy

March 4, 2010 at 2:28 am
(36) Lori J says:

I believe that the commercials are important to get much needed donations. I do have to say though, there is one in particular that NEEDS to have a warning before being shown.I’ve seen that one commercial several times and it sends me into a sobbing mess for hours after seeing it.
Please place a warning in that commercial so people have a choice whether or not to view it. Also, what about children who happen to be watching television when that comes on? It should not be aired without a warning Please let people have a choice. Thank You

March 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm
(37) Linda Townson says:

Hello to everyone. I’d just like to make a comment regarding the ASPCA, RSPCA, SPCA in Canada and many of the other so-called Humane Societies – we must stop donating to these – they are run by greedy, non- caring officials. Donate to your local resuers and WSPA who is absolutely wonderful – works for the animals not for themselves. Anything to do with government, politicians, business people running the show is rife with fraud and greed and lies to the gullible public. Yes US! I am Canadian and when I find a way I’m going to let Ms. Sarah Mclachan know how I feel.

May 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm
(38) Bobby Wong says:

Agree with Linda, but for diferent reason. The commercial’s emotional appeal is a false argument:

- Are dogs and cats the only animal subjected to cruelty? For the record most if not all food animals under our industrialized factory farming system suffer immeasurably more than the incidents of pet neglect and abandonment highlighted.

- As a minority citizen in a self-proclaimed diverse, pluralistic society, I object to the narrow-minded, Angelo Western representation of animal cruelty.

Dog and cat are food animal in many cultures; why didnít ASPCA get Ravi Shankar to preach about the greater suffering caused by our consumption of Hindu Gods?

June 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm
(39) ANN ROCHFORD says:

I am disgusted at the response I got from the Humane Scociety and the SPCA.I have a stray cat that I am trying to care for. This poor animal tuned up outside in my shrubs at first I decided to ignore it because I have four cat myself and know that if I were to try and bring this cat in I would have to get it cleared by a vet and I would be looking at a big bill ( I have alredy spoken to my vet and have gotten the price it would cost me 600 dollars ) I got a no room avilable answer from the Humane Scociety and rhe SPCA told me that they would pick it up but it would certainly be put down.I find this in no way humane and think that Sara McLauglin SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HERSELF FOR DEALING WITH ORGANIZATIONS THAT RESPONSES ARE IN NO WAY HUMANE.What I want is someone with an answer other than putting this poor cat down

November 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm
(40) Bryon L Harvey says:

Hi!
My biggest issue is the CEO’s salary. I mean..is this a charity? Or a business? Seems more like a business to me:

Chief Executive : Edwin J. Sayres, President
Compensation*:
$490,315

>>Oh..and that figure is 2007. Care to guess what he brought in last year?

Please.

No..I’m focusing my efforts on more productive means..getting a no-kill shelter built here..educate people to get these strays/ferals fixed..and whatever it takes to solve the problem..instead of giving a person a bonus.

November 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm
(41) deena says:

here is the problem. Those that feel upset and sad about this commercial are only a source of funds to the ASPCA, when the real issue and problem is/are the people that are cruel to animals, those that do not spay and neuter etc etc. Those commercials do NOTHING to correct the true problem which is over population.

I, for one, will NOT give to the ASPCA because of these commercials. There are plenty of animal rescues, rehabilitation facilities, organizations that do not “guilt” me into giving. I am not the bad guy and I feel these commercials place the guilt of those that are really guilty on to innocent bleeding hearts to fund an organization that is throwing good money into a bottomless pit. I would rather give my donation dollars towards places that educate and change people/laws or whatever that needs to be done.
Most places want to just keep funding a bandaid fix when a tourniquet is really what we need.
Enough “guilt-ing” folks and insulting my intelligence. If a commercial like this is what one needs to see that there is a need, then that is sad. Think about all those animals, children, problems that exist with no P.R. firm. pathetic.

December 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm
(42) carlos collazo says:

how is it that u can take a life and then ask for money .So whats the money for , the injection that u stick these puppies with . GIVE THEM A CHANCE .

December 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm
(43) Larry says:

Why is it that so very many dollars are donated to help “animals” yet not one dollar for abandoned/rescued Parrots? I volunteer at the nations largest Parrot Rescue, receive not one dollar for my help and actually pay for the experience. The founder of this Rescue does the same as I. There are currently over 800 hungry Parrots here and not a single dollar comes from any place but private donations which are hard to come by due to the currrent state of the economy.

December 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(44) Rebecca says:

My 6 year old saw this commercial for the first time today and it took me 20 minutes to get him to stop crying. He is a very sweet child who, by the way, loves his 10 month old puppy. This was run not stop during ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas-Santa Coming to Town, Frosty, etc. I think it’s not fair to run this during “happy family” movies

April 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(45) Bugs says:

I have to disagree with the pro-Sarah faction. Just a matter of taste, I guess. I find the commercial heavy-handed and depressing – the images are hopeless and McLachlan’s flat, mournful voice pretty much sucks the joy out the entire universe. One person’s “beautiful” is another person’s “God, make it stop before brain turns to mush.” Let’s not forget, despite the rhetoric about angels this song is about a DEAD person. Sorry, but I don’t respond to this kind of ham-fisted emotional manipulation with charity.

May 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm
(46) Megan says:

Agree agree agree. I DO NOT give to the ASPCA because of these commercials. I find them offensive and intrusive. This problem goes back to overpopulation. If 1/3 of these funds went to TNR programs Sarah could take a permanent hiatus from my TV. Deal with the root problem so you don’t require millions of dollars in band-aid funding to care for unwanted off spring.

August 23, 2011 at 2:05 am
(47) Jacque says:

So how much did Sarah McLachlan donate? Her appearance on the commercial? If she would donate 20% of her sales (along with other stars who beg us to donate to causes), no one else would have to donate! Quit asking the middle class to make donations when we are the ones that have a hard time feeding our own children!

October 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm
(48) Two plus Two says:

I completely agree with Jacque, why can’t the celebrities donate to the causes they endorse? For instance, Sarah has sold over 40 million records, if she is so invested in making the world a better place with her “charities”, then why doesn’t she make more of a contribution? She probably has 2, maybe 3 houses, but she “needs” those, and i’d be very interested in knowing how much she charged for the syndication rights for her song and appearance on the commercial, if I could guess, a cool million. Instead of supporting this foundation, go and adopt an animal from your local shelter.

December 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm
(49) Pro-Animal Anti-ASPCA Donor says:

This commercial does for wounded animals what TV preachers do for wounded souls- it drives away believers and makes a mockery of the cause. Perpetuating cruelty in an effort to stop cruelty is short-sighted and grossly ineffective. Bloated top-heavy organizations rarely disclose the limitations of bloated top-heavy organizations. Monday morning, a local anti-cruelty foundation will receive a sizable donation made in your name ASPCA. ty

December 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm
(50) Lesley says:

Sarah needs to stop doing these commercials. I am a pet sitter and have rescue many animals that now live with me and if I had the money I would have a home for all those animals that need one. Only $1 goes to ASPCA. Stop making them rich. Go to your local rescue and give them money. Thank you.

December 31, 2011 at 12:34 am
(51) cyd peace says:

I appreciate what the ASPCA does, but sometime I think the people in charge are a little out of touch. I once received a dunning letter saying the poor animals were sleeping on the concrete and they needed money for some beds. The beds they wanted? $65 apeice. Many of us line our preciouses’ beds with old blankets and it doesn’t mean we love them less. I wonder just how many more animals could be helped without such high adoption fees, or ridiculous wish-list items like sixty-five dollar dog beds.

January 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm
(52) InTheField says:

If the ASPCA were to measure success by quantifying responsible animal ownership, I would be impressed. As is typically the case, a “rescued” animal is not “rescued” from anything if the results are the same from the first owner in succession to the next. Educate those who are considering owning an animal FIRST.

February 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm
(53) newfield28 says:

this commercial is played here 20 time a day.my grand kids have seen it and now cry and have nightmeres.these could be shown at time when kids are asleep.i will do my best to stop this here in Idaho/Washington.If it means sueing them…well so be it!

February 15, 2012 at 12:11 am
(54) Observer says:

The ASPCA has law enforcement powers in NYC. The City Shelter ACC is a den of abuse. The ASPCA knows this and does nothing about it. Why? Because they ran the shelter system for 100 years and don’t want to take over no matter what the conditions. Don’t believe me: Call the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement hotline and complain about the animal cruelty conditions at ACC. Your call will be ignored.

April 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm
(55) Kathy Thurow says:

As painful as the commercials are, this is what it takes at times to get people’s attention. Some who truly love animals are not aware of the suffering. I think the commercials drive home the pain and suffering of the animals and offer a solution, giving each of us the opportunity to make a difference.
If there was no emotion, we may miss the point.
I am all for spending the money for public awareness. I can’t participate in a cause, if I don’t get it.
Thank you!

May 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(56) John says:

I have a dog I love my dog. But I can’t see myself donating to helping animals. It is sad and heart brekaking for a unloved dog be put down. But I’d rather that then a forgot child to not eat. This country has to many pets there’s better ways to spend your money and much better causes.

November 26, 2012 at 1:42 am
(57) Anne Chapman says:

Christmas again: and Christianity’s most beautiful Christmas hymn is wafting out over the TV. The words are Holy Night … Christ the Saviour is born ….
There is a terrible misrepresentation within all this regarding just this: HOW brilliant would it be if this beautiful precious valued hymn, and all the advertising skills that have gone into breaking people’s hearts about the sweetest creatures being ill treated, etc ….. would it not be a beautiful and spectacular if this were applied to the babies that are being ripped out of their Mother’s wombs, by the minute, throughout the world – RIGHT NOW !!!!
What would Christ our Saviour think about that? If the whole world turned in an instant, and Sarah and her beautiful voice were aimed right at those who not only ill treat babies; but actually set out toe destroy them, in their Mother’s wombs.
Here’s seeds for a line or two: when a woman walks into a baby abbatoir … 2 hearts are beating; the “procedure” is then deemed successful; AND ONLY ONE BEATING HEART LEAVES THE KILLING ROOM.

If and when you all get that bit straight; and can successfully raise your hundreds of thousands of dollars for humans … then I, personally would be happy to donate whatever was required.

God bless us all; and keep us safe from a future that can only become the downfall of a civilization, because children of God are being murdered, and nobody is singing sad songs for them.

Good night, Holy Night, and God bless us all.
Anne

November 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm
(58) Franny Syufy says:

Anne, I know your lengthy comments are heartfelt, and you are certainly entitled to them. I found your fervor touching.

However, the ASPCA is called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to ANIMALS, not to people, nor to aborted foetuses.

I write about CATS, not about pregnant women, nor about the pros or cons of abortion. Although I have definite opinions about those, my site is not the place to air them.

December 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm
(59) Dixie says:

I HATE those commercials. HATE. I will NEVER donate to any society/company which shows animal abuse (like the seal being killed in one of these ads). Why don’t the stupid camera-men/women PUT DOWN their cameras & rescue those animals? Children are being TORTURED seeing the ads. I flip to the next station the Second I hear the first 2 notes of the song. I donate to an animal rescue farm my friend runs. I’ve adopted 6 cats from shelters & from people who save animals. These ads are HORRIFIC & should NOT be on TV. Animal lovers are VERY aware that animals need to be rescued. We DO NOT need endless ads showing horrifically damaged/abused/slaughtered animals. It is SICK

January 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm
(60) Shane says:

I agree that advertising is necessary and it’s a necessary expense. I understand that Sarah M. needs paid but come on. I think that acting as the face of the campaign and taking a huge dollar amount is TERRIBLE. I’m not sure how much it cost to have her endorse it, but if I were in her shoes- I would have done it for free.

January 13, 2013 at 11:15 am
(61) Martha Brooks says:

I supprt our local animal shelter, I know where the money goes and it is an all volunteer shelter! We, (myhusband and I), not only support this with our $$$ but we also work there and see the direct impact on the homeless animals!

January 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm
(62) Beverley says:

Your donation goes to a corporate organization. NOT to a shelter. The commercial is a scam. And so is the ASPCA and the Humane Society of America. DONATE LOCALLY – that way you know where your money is going and who/what it is helping.

June 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm
(63) caroline leiber says:

I want to report cruelity to to pets at a certain place. I want a phone number to call?

July 17, 2013 at 11:14 am
(64) mary ann says:

Charity Navigator now says 36% is spent on fundraising for ASPCA. This is way too much, and the shelter they send many “saved” pets to during some rescue missions is the NYACC….a very HIGH KILL shelter. Saved??? I have read that 2 new shelters were supposed to be built, but have not been. I will give money when I hear WHY, and when the leadership at ASPCA changes!!
In the meantime I will donate locally to shelters that I can visit and see what is going on. Some No-Kill shelters are scams, with people using a home as a sanctuary, but then getting in over their heads. I volunteer at a no-kill shelter, so I see what is going on.
Also, look into New Hampshire’s model for shelters, I believe they have reduced euthanasia rates dramatically.

July 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm
(65) Beverly says:

ASPCA uses its donations to support & promote its political agenda, including donating to political candidates. I have happily & sincerely made donations to ASPCA in the past but when I found this out, I was devastated. My money was meant to provide for the needs of animals, not to elect certain candidates, whether I support them or not. Upon learning this, I immediately scraped the ASPCA sticker off my car & will NEVER donate again.

November 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm
(66) Gretchen16 says:

“Knowing how it breaks your heart to see those ASPCA animals on TV, I made this donation in Bruin’s name, to help.

With love,
Gretchen”

Above is the inscription on a donation made to honor someone very special. Before I donated, I called ASPCA and asked how much went to the administration, education, etc. and how much went to the animals. I was told 20/80. I asked that no T-shirts or other costly items be sent to me; nor did I choose to have follow-up phone or mailings. (No need to cut down trees and pay postage when TV commercials get the message across much more effectively.)

For Christmas, I had wondered what to get for my First Love (see http://www.GoldCupMusic.com). After seeing this TV commercial (sans Sarah Mc.), it struck me I could make a contribution as a gift for him (in the name of his beloved dog Bruin, whom he raised and loved all of Bruin’s 14 year life).

Last month we drove through five states to see, among other things, Bruin’s resting place.

Bruin is missed and thought of every day, by my First Love who said, “The sad thing about having a pet is that we know it will die before we do.”

I read all of your entries with care and especially agree with Rita (17).

PS: I would be willing to benefit these animals with a song/sound recording; perhaps “What Time Is It?” – without charge – but not if the Chief Executive Edwin J. Sayres, President’s compensation is nearly $500K. As (40) Byron L. Harvey says: $490,315 in 2007. Is that verifiable? That was when my SUITE 16 CD was deemed a Billboard Critics’ Pick for 10 Best Albums of the Year, and I don’t suppose I will EVER see that kind of compensation; so I certainly don’t want to donate my royalties to line the pockets of that executive. Your thoughts?

November 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm
(67) Gretchen 16 says:

Three years ago, a feral cat adopted us. She wouldn’t let us touch her – until we disappeared for two weeks to visit Bruin’s old haunts, 2 states away. Now, Kitty values us, loves our petting more than food itself – and will jump up on our laps, if we are sitting outside. But she still will not allow herself to be picked up. The wedge clipped out of her ear makes me guess it’s a sign she was picked up by humans who trapped, neutered and released her, and she’s never forgotten the pain nor fully trusted humans since. Though we feed her 3x a day, she remains thin and athletic and periodically catches and eats rodents, squirrels, and birds, displaying them proudly on our doorstep. But we cannot hold it against her, for she is a wild animal, doing what she instinctively does – and who now honors us by letting us touch (if not hold) her.

December 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm
(68) Francesca Stancati says:

I am an animal lover and have always had a pet. Having said that, I find it the religious songs in the ASPCA commercials quite disturbing and offensive. As a practicing Roman Catholic, Christmas songs and/or other religious songs are for humans…you may not agree, but it is a fact. Those of us who follow our principles and moral believe that only humans have souls not animals. Therefore, these songs with references to heaven is a sacrilege. As much as my heart breaks over these poor abused animals, please stop assimilating them to humans. I do believe in donations; I do believe in helping ….but please, do not insult my essence as a human. Children in this country and beyond die daily because of in curable diseases. I can attest that first hand…that is a tragedy….only those HUMANS who have had that devastating loss can understand. So, do not inflict those commercials on me, I beg you.

December 18, 2013 at 11:57 am
(69) Zara says:

I feel for abused animals as much as the next person, but isn’t money better served helping sick kids who suffer and die, many times because of abuse and lack of funds???… Pleeeeease, stop.

December 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm
(70) Franny Syufy says:

Zara, I also support groups for children with private donations. However, my job and that of the ASPCA are to bring attention to the plight of <strong>animals</strong> (cats in particular, in my case.)
I’d assume you like cats too, or you wouldn’t be visiting my website.

December 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm
(71) Mick Terry says:

I havee to question the Ad costs for those such as Sarah McLachlan, Willie Nelson etc. With the Millons they already own, do they infact do these commercials for free? I essence, donating the advertising cost back to the cause!?
I am touched deeply by these commercials / Ads, etc. althiugh, being on SSDI I have not the funds to donate (I trust you understand) But these people have made MILLIONS in thier carriers. If infact they do not charge for these commercials then I say KUDOS to the Cause the stand behind. BUT, IF infact they get paid for these commercials then I say BOO…! That is so wrong to try to get people like myself on SSDI, etc. to donate and yet THEY infact PROFIT from these Ads.
I wnat to know one ay or another and it needs to be and HONEST answer that we are given.

What is right and just! Mick

December 26, 2013 at 12:52 am
(72) Franny Syufy says:

Mick, you can Google the ASPCA financial records. I’ve found them, and as I recall it does show advertising costs, but doesn’t break down into the specifics.

December 31, 2013 at 11:51 pm
(73) Todd says:

Ok so this article was posted in 2010 and now it is 2014. I have been watching AMC breaking bad and walking dead marathons and I swear that EVERY other commercial break there is an ASPCA commercial running… guessing that out of 20 bucks the advertising is 10 and 10 goes to the animals. Why don’t they concentrate on sending more of that money to the shelters rather than television advertising. All I hear is how the shelters are barely getting by.

January 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm
(74) FS says:

Right on Zara and Mick…whose pockets are being lined here? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We have a private fund for pediatric cardiology and every penny goes there to help those babies without health insurance. The fund is in honour of my beloved grandson who really sleeps in the arms of the angels…..do you get my disdain? How does one characterize a little boy with a dog?…or a cat? …..or ANY animal?……pleeeeease!!!!!!!!!….”gimme” a break!!!!

April 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm
(75) Tina Geer says:

Reading your post I can see that you guys relate to most of us that watching most the Sarah Mclachlan commercials is very hard to sit through. This blogger Ulfat from Marketscene wishes they would stop showing the abused dogs. I personally have a hard time dealing with watching these commercials because one of the dogs on there looks exactly like my chow lab mix. The focus is on animal lovers of course, to pull at your hearts, the problem is not everyone can afford to donate to the ASPCA. This can cause more anger in the world.

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