Thursday, October 18, 2007

Laura Sweet on Mutts and Moms

It never ceases to amaze me how quick people are to throw down the guantlet with me rather than engage in rational discourse. To wit, one Laura Sweet responded to two of my recent carefully considered posts regarding Mutts and Moms with a tone that is anything but civil:
"This controversy is fueled by people who have no idea what it's like to place dogs in proper care and all that is considered in doing so."
I wholeheartedly disagree. This controversy is fueled by sanctimonious control freaks like the proprietors of Mutts and Moms and their apologists like Ms. Sweet who, for all their self-aggrandizing rhetoric, have set back the cause of animal rescue at least 20 years by their irresponsible actions. On that note, please allow me to direct your attention to the statement issued by the ASPCA in re Mutts and Moms actions in this case. To wit:
"We would encourage Mutts & Moms to re-visit their approach to this situation and look forward to a positive outcome that reinforces the importance of pets in our society and the human-animal bond."
Similar sentiments have been expressed by all of the animal rescue volunteers I know, and I know quite a few. In fact, last night, I helped a friend of mine transport a dog from San Francisco International Airport to Sacramento as part of an international dog rescue that specializes in abuse cases from Taiwan, so please get off your high horse.

Ms. Sweet continued:
"Despite your cavalier attitude toward contracts as a result of your own law school training, you must know that they all simply can't be ignored or we'd have a million dogs begin given back and forth to people at whim.
The classic logical "floodgates argument" fallacy, combined with a strawmen argument, and an irrelevant ad hominem attack against me. Why not stick to the facts? To wit, Iggy had been placed in a loving home, and Mutts and Moms removed him from that home in a very unceremonious manner with a rationale that simply does not pass muster.
"You can't just willy-nilly give a dog to whomever you want if you signed a piece of paper, that, as the adopter, if under any circumstances you cannot keep the dog, it is to be returned to Mutts & Moms so that, with their expertise, they can interview and place the dog in the proper home."
Similarly, you can't take the law into your own hands when enforcing a contract. Assuming, arguendo, that you have a valid contract, you still need to go to court to get an order enforcing that contract. Some people have a hard time understanding that.

As for the supposed "expertise" of Mutts and Moms in evaluating potential adopters, there is no evidence that they performed *ANY* due diligence before placing Iggy with Ellen Degeneres. On this note, if there were *ANY* evidence that Ellen had placed Iggy with a bad home, the members of the court of public opinion would not be howling for Marina Batkis' blood. As such, I join with the more responsible members of the animal rescue community in urging Mutts and Moms to reconsider their position and return Iggy to the loving home from which they took him.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

please give us all a little time to think, when you sign an ageement you have to read it . e.d. is not a saint because she cried and has atv show. if the family is worthy , they can adopt the dog. please think about that dog before you judge mutts and moms, i really disresect e.d. for acting like a special person and using her tv show to disrespect a animal shelter she chose to use. thanks to that shelter that dog will go to the best family,hey its really all about the dog. not e.d. hairdressers kids. give me a break. ive heard enough.

8:02 PM, October 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I highly disapprove of Mutts and Moms, Marina Batkis and Vanessa Chekroun's actions. They acted with vengance on goodheartedness and naiivity between a celebrity and deserving children; not with empathy or forethought. Nothing on the news has touched me that i would be actully be reaching out and being an activist.

9:47 PM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Laura Sweet said...

I wish to apologize for comments that may have seemed to personally attack anyone and the 'ad hominem' attack of which you accuse me of. As well as any of my comments that may have not taken a 'rational' position.

Obviously this is a very controversial issue and I do not have all the facts, nor do I know anyone who does.

I wish to make it clear that my original post was merely to speak on behalf of my own positive personal experience with Marina Baktis.

Regarding all the sentiments expressed by both animal lovers, rescue organizations, bloggers, lawyers, spca, etc.'s clear that no one wants to see Iggy unhappy or sad children.

Everyone claims that Iggy was in a 'loving home". My issue with that is how do you know that? Because the little girl cried for Iggy back?

My frustration was fueled by all the people who wanted to see Marina Baktis and Mutts and Moms put out of business when what she was doing for a living was a much-needed and benevolent service.

12:06 PM, October 19, 2007  
Blogger sassycat said...

"How does one know if Iggy was in a good home?"
How do animal rescue organizations know any home they place their pets in will be a good home?
By Research! It wouldn't have taken much time or effort from Mutts and Moms to check out Iggys new family. No doubt they have a vet seeing as they already have a dog. The organization could have done a look see through the house and yard, etc. Any and all research that would be needed to approve of Iggys new home could have easily been done while Iggy stayed where he was.
After that Mutts and Moms could have demanded or asked for ongoing updates by both the vet and the family and they could have visited several times.
Mutts and Moms behavior proved that they were more interested not in Iggys best interest but in their own agenda, whether that meant following their contract to it's letter or another perhaps personal reason.

10:28 AM, October 20, 2007  
Blogger Internet Esquire said...

Laura Sweet wrote:

"I wish to apologize for [my] comments. . . . "

Apology accepted.

"Obviously this is a very controversial issue and I do not have all the facts, nor do I know anyone who does."

I've followed this controversy very closely, and I did not speak out until I had a pretty good grasp of the facts. On this note, Mutts and Moms has/have had numerous opportunities to tell their side of the story, and they have yet to offer a version of events that contradicts any of the factual claims on which my position is based.

"Everyone claims that Iggy was in a 'loving home.' My issue with that is how do you know that?"

There are a number of facts that lend credibility to the claim that Iggy was removed from a loving home, just as there are a number of facts that cast doubt upon the judgment of Mutts and Moms in choosing to remove Iggy from that home without first seeking a court order. However, the most important fact is that Mutts and Moms trusted Ellen enough to place Iggy with her in the first place, and the *ONLY* reason offered up by Mutts and Moms for removing Iggy from the new home that Ellen later found for him was that the new home had two girls in it under the age of 14. When given the opportunity to provide any other reasons, Mutts and Moms has repeatedly failed and refused to do so, which would lead any objective observer to conclude that they don't have any other reasons.

"My frustration was fueled by all the people who wanted to see Marina Baktis and Mutts and Moms put out of business when what she was doing for a living was a much-needed and benevolent service."

I applaud you for your loyalty, but that loyalty makes me question your ability to judge this situation without an unfair bias. Even so, I remain open to hearing any facts that would validate Marina's decision to remove Iggy from his new home without first seeking a court order. I've read through the adoption agreement that Mutts and Moms had Ellen/Portia sign, and I saw nothing in there that would give them the right to act without a court order. Indeed, Clauses 3.h and 9 are clearly written in anticipation of the legal fees that might be incurred by a rescue group in seeking such an order. Moreover, since Mutts and Moms failed to renew its corporate status with the State of California in December of 2006, I would argue that they had no legal authority to acquire dogs for rescue and/or enter into an adoption agreement with Ellen Degeneres and/or Portia de Rossi in the first place, much less enforce the terms of that agreement with a "self-help" remedy.

As for whether Mutts and Moms was doing "a much-needed and benevolent service" prior to getting involved in this controversy, the jury's still out on that one. I'm glad that you had a good experience with them, but God forbid you restrict your dog to your yard for a few minutes (a violation of Clause 3.a), let him run off leash in a dog park (a violation of Clause 3.e), put him on a chain tied to a post when you go camping (a violation of Clause 3.f), let him ride unrestrained in the back seat or cargo bay of your vehicle (a violation of Clause 3.g), get another pet (a violation of Clause 4.p), or bear or adopt a child (a violation of Clause 4.q). If you do, the Mutt Nazis might just come a' callin'.

8:39 AM, October 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the people who run some rescue organizations think THEY are the only ones who can determine what is a "good home" for an animal...I hear stories of
controlling rescue agencies all the time. Have you heard the Dugan and Jake story from Arizona yet?
Check out

11:02 PM, October 28, 2007  

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