Animal welfare vs. animal rights in Vail Valley
Eagle Valley Humane Society director explains the difference for Vail Valley readers
Char QuinnSpecial to the DailyVail, CO Colorado,
VAIL, Colorado — I was speaking to a friend who has volunteered for humane societies in several states, as well as Colorado. We were discussing animal welfare, animal rights, and animal control. I was surprised at her lack of understanding concerning these groups differences and I realized that many people probably have the same confusion.
A dog with a collar and leash is a great example to use to show the difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Animal rights activists do not believe that your dog should have to wear a collar; they believe the dog should have the right not to be restrained by having to wear a collar and leash — even if it puts their welfare in danger. Animal welfare groups promote the use of collar and leash to ensure a dog's safety.
The Eagle Valley Humane Society is an animal welfare organization. We have a variety of programs to help with animal welfare, as well as an agent to enforce state animal cruelty and neglect laws. We work closely with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in Eagle — also an animal welfare organization dealing with abused, neglected and abandoned horses.
Many people are under the impression that local humane societies and rescue groups are under some of the national humane society headquarters. Local groups are not.
National organizations vary greatly. Many of the national organizations for animals are about animal rights, not animal welfare. Some are for both, and some are just for animal welfare. It is important to understand what these national animal groups stand for when looking at the big picture — this is critical when it comes to making a donation. Read More
Many of our local dog and cat shelters are suffering because of the Humane Society of the United States. The reason is that HSUS is deliberately trying to confuse donors as to who they really are. Many people give them money thinking that it will be used to help local facilities, when in fact it only four cents out of every dollar will be used to help animals. Your cash strapped local shelters are the ones that are the boots on the ground doing the work. In the last month, I have had two phone calls from people that were skeptical of helping their local shelters for fear of their association with HSUS. Even though HSUS has no affiliation with local shelters, I urged the callers to visit with the directors of the facilities about the issue. This is another example of how HSUS is doing more harm than good for animals.