ASPCA Tries to Soften the Blow about Oreo

President and CEO of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Ed Sayres issued a press release today in an effort to soften the blow about his organization’s decision to euthanize Oreo – a dog that made national news as a victim of extreme abuse.

 

His statement outlined the detailed process the ASPCA went through in trying to rehabilitate the dog. It was also issued, because of threats made to the organization.

 

On June 18th, the one-year-old Pit bull mix named Oreo was thrown off a 6th floor rooftop in Brooklyn, NY by her 19-year-old owner Fabian Henderson.  The dog broke her two front paws and fractured a rib. Neighbors said they heard Henderson beating Oreo for 20-30 minutes before the final assault.

 

Oreo was taken to the ASPCA hospital and Henderson was placed under arrest by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents.

 

The ASPCA performed reconstructive surgery on her front legs and nursed the dog back to health.  Her owner pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to felony charges of animal cruelty and will be sentenced on December 1, 2009. 

 

Oreo’s story caught the attention of the media which led to a flurry of calls from animal rescue groups and individuals that wanted to adopt her.  Her fame has now led to a public outcry as the ASPCA made their decision to euthanize her.

 

Sayres said when they first notified the public about their decision; their office was bombarded with phone calls and e-mails from people who were confused and wanted to help. The ASPCA sympathized with their sadness and tried to explain. Then the calls got angry and were “laced with profanity” and the ASPCA became the villain in this horrible situation that they did not start.

 

Today’s press release was issued to let the public know how much their good intentions were appreciated and help clarify the great lengths the ASPCA took trying to rehabilitate Oreo. Sayres said, “The details surrounding Oreo’s case are largely unknown.”

So he outlined “the circumstances that led to this most difficult and heartbreaking of decisions.”

 

“After arriving at the ASPCA’s facility, Oreo began to recuperate from her injuries, only to begin showing signs of extreme aggression – with little provocation or warning.”

 

These are the steps taken by the ASPCA:

  • Oreo underwent a comprehensive evaluation to determine the right rehabilitation program for her to get her ready for adoption or a foster home.
  • They actually had two different evaluations performed; one in-house and one from an outside veterinary behaviorist.
  • Both evaluations recommended that Oreo not be placed in a home.
  • ASPCA staff continued with “extensive” behavior training, but Oreo continued to “lunge, growl, snap and attempt to bite.”
  • She alternated with lunging at the behaviorist and then her handler.
  • ASPCA tried to socialize her with other dogs, but she repeatedly attacked them.
  • To keep the other dogs and staff safe, Oreo had to be kept in “relative isolation.”
  • Her violent behavior became so overwhelming that employees were told to “refrain from making sustained eye contact with Oreo so as to not incite aggression.”

 

The ASPCA then decided to look into alternative placement for Oreo in a long-term resident facility.  However they finally came to the conclusion this meant sentencing her to a life alone, away from people and dogs. They worried that her quality of life would be “reduced to virtually nothing.”

 

“Thus, we arrived at the painful yet clear decision to humanely euthanize Oreo,” said Sayres.

 

Sayres also reminded the public that the decision the ASPCA made, is the same decision “dedicated shelter workers throughout the country make each and every day.”

 

“Oreo has come to a place where she can no longer be around people or other animals. We make this decision – and others like it – with a heavy heart and complete understanding that had she been treated with love and respect, Oreo’s fate would be much different.”

 

The ASPCA is worried their decision will make people think they failed Oreo. I hope it opens their eyes that cruelty like Oreo suffered is rampant and sometimes even with the best intentions the damage it does cannot be healed.  Rest in peace – Oreo.

 

 

 

Chernin/AP

431 comments

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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darla h.
darla H3 years ago

I was deeply saddened as well with the ASPCA decision to put Oreo to sleep!! What is abuser did was a horror and he suffered baca use if it!! They should have given him more time to heal!! Just sad! B

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Past Member
Past Member 3 years ago

I wish that the ASPCA had given Chester's House Animal Rescue, Rehabilitation & Sanctuary the chance to work with Oreo before they put the dog down. "Every" dog deserves that right, every dog deserves a second chance. Oreo is no different than any other dog. Any animal can have their Spirit broken by a human, if you can even call people human anymore. Only Love, patience & time can heal these wounds. Don't give up on these guys!!! After what humans do to them, they deserve better. We OWE Them!!!

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linda e.
linda e4 years ago

I can tell by reading the comments that everyone cares deeply about animals, but all have a different opinion on how to care for the animals. And we base beliefs on the knowledge that we know at that given time. But i ask everyone to please keep an open mind and remember that we have not walked in other's shoes.

I respectfully disagree with one of the comments that it would be a matter of time and love. Sadly that is not the case. I have worked with shelter animals who have been traumatized thru abuse and abandonment. The staff and volunteers at the shelter offered love and patience, but some animals were too damaged emotionally and mentally that they could not come out of it. They remain in the shelter till their natural passing, often 10 years or more, still being cared for by loving staff, but having to take precautions so they would not be hurt. These dogs can never be adopted out, and live their life in a kennel, with limited human contact who are capable of handling these animals.

What many do not realize is that these traumas are held within the cell's memory in the animal's body. If they cannot be released or cleansed, it is very difficult for the animal to assimilate within society and move forward in life. And furthermore, there are animals who have been so abused, that they themselves no longer wish to remain alive.
We try so hard to save everyone thinking life is better than death, but death is a means of leaving the physical body and the soul mo

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Holly J.
Holly Jensen4 years ago

this response is based in aggravation at readoing yet another comment about animal welfare organizations killing animals in their care. Sometimes this criticism is deserved, sometimes its very short sighted. sometimes its the only option that time, due to the resources and numbers of animals served allows. The bottom line however should not be drawn at the shelter door, draw the line at the community or town line that accepts the conditions cause the animals to arrive at the shelter door.
There is actually no such thing as a "no kill" shelter. Get over it. Death is inevitable where there is life.
I work at a municipal animal shelter in new england, and we work hard to keep our animals clean, healthy and sane under conditions that they are not designed to live in as we work to find them new homes.

Municipal shelters are on the front lines of care for abandoned and stray animals in many areas, as well as for animals whose owners are unable to keep them for any number of reasons, but who cannot afford the high cost of surrendering their animals to private rescues. Our animals need all the help they can get, and lack of funding ("I will never donate to anything but a no kill shelter") is often the number one reason that so many animals are euthanized at shelters. Lots of animals, lots more waiting for help, limited resources. I did not get into working with animals 30 years ago because I like killing them or caging them but have done both. My job pays near minimum wage, m

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Mike White
Mike White4 years ago

Oreo's sad tale is the main reason I NEVER donate to kill shelters PERIOD. Putting a fake hand on the end of a stick and pushing the dogs face away every time it tries to feed is bringing out a protective instinct in most living creatures, especially those who have been starved. My son rescued a pit bull from an abusive situation over 8 years ago. At the time he had a 2 year min pin named Buddy. The two have been best friends since then. The only precaution my son takes to keep the two best friends from getting testy with each other is to separate them during feeding time. Buddy will fight MAX over the food. If you care about animals and are sickened by the manipulative commercials like the one with Betty and her two pups then you will give your hard earned money to a NON KILL SHELTER and truly save a life.

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