I agree about keeping money local to donate to your local shelters and rescues. Every time we see their commercial with the sad music, DH and I say, "Wow, what clean, large cages. That's a really nice shelter. Imagine pulling clean dogs from that kind of facility. Must be nice." Compared to the broken down, decrepit, filthy, over-croweded southern shelters we visit, where nearly every dog is covered in its own urine and feces....That one in that sad commercial looks like a pet spa to those of us visiting unfunded public shelters.
That said, it simply isn'ttrue that the ASPCA gives no money to other shelters. They have a robust grant program for shelters. They've funded an enormous number of transports of dogs from our local southern shelters up north. They also fund community speutering programs. You can find their grant program on their "Pro" site for shelters at the bottom:
ASPCA Professional | ASPCA Professional
They report as follows:
- Since 2008, over $89 million has been granted
- This is nearly 8,200 grants to date (as of September 30, 2015)
- In 2014, the ASPCA awarded nearly 1,300 grants totaling $14.4 million to 850 organizations
The other big thing the ASPA does for other shelters is research into shelter protocol guidance. They're really the only one doing that kind of research. Some of it is helpful to shelter managers who literally have no idea how to run a shelter, manage disease, or disinfect properly. They are essentially the protocol-making body for most public shelters, since nobody else is doing it.
Some of their other work is less helpful. Their behaviorist/statistician makes my brain hurt. They developed the (badly designed) temperament test nearly all shelters use, and have online training for shelter employees to use it. They also research into adoption policies and are strongly advocating for open adoptions (= not saying "no" to anybody who wants a dog), adopting pets as gifts, etc. They claim this is data-driven, by looking at outcomes in shelters where this has been done, and that the outcomes are just as good as shelters who have adoption standards. To my thinking, their data-crunching is full of data-set bias, from what I can tell, selecting data that will omit all the problems. I keep telling them they're externalizing the costs of failed shelter adoptions to private rescues who have to deal with the messes the shelters create with these policies....and they keep ignoring me. I regularly post comments on their blog to point out the statistical errors, data bias, and outright falsehoods in her posts, and they never respond. I've even linked to pictures of the state of some of these "shelter adopted dogs" a year later--emaciated, demodex infested, HW positive when we got them from their previous "shelter adopters." Those pictures get ignored too.