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Kimberly v ASPCA Ads | Bring On the Online Bullies and Trolls

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Rodrigo & Sydney playing in the yard, cherry blossoms

A year ago after watching commercial after commercial by the ASPCA showing sad and abused animals, I wrote a post about why I choose not to donate to the ASPCA despite the good work that they do.  It’s because of the ASPCA ads.  They break my heart, they make me cry, they give me nightmares, and they don’t inspire me to donate.

However, I do believe that that these ads did work; I believe they do what they were intended to do and that’s to inspire us to Do Something.

Thoughts on ASPCA Commercials

For the past few days, I’ve been dealing with people who are not just disagreeing with the title of the article, but they’re attacking me and my character for having written it.  One person has threatened to report me to the editor (I’m not sure which one) for this article.

What I find interesting is that it doesn’t seem like either person has read beyond the words “why I won’t donate to the ASPCA” and insist that I’m bashing and attacking that fine organization while encouraging my readers not to donate the the ASPCA.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.   So I thought I’d revisit the article here to point out the positive things that I wrote about the ASPCA in the article in question…

  • I know that the ASPCA does a lot of great work
  • The ASPCA knows what their doing, because those commercials work!

  • I imagine that the ASPCA is run by some brilliant people
  • The ASPCA is a little bit brilliant!

I am honestly baffled by how these statements can inspire such venom from strangers.  It absolutely blows me away that saying I don’t like the ASPCA ads has lead to these comments.

Here is a taste of what I’ve had to read about myself this week…

“I found your post to be very negative in tone and I dislike it even more since you expressed how much support they gave you and you turn around and say something that could discourage support of the ASPCA. It just seem ungrateful.  I take exception to this blog because it has lately become a habit for people to trash the ASPCA and when I say I love animals and speak of the ASPCA, people tell me I DO NOT SUPPORT THE ASPCA and then say they choose instead to support the local animal shelter. I wish that instead, we’d say something like, I’m so glad you do that! I also support animals through the local animal shelter.” ~ Alben R

I didn’t say I don’t support the ASPCA, I said that I don’t donate to the ASPCA.  I very much support the ASPCA and what they’re doing.   It’s important that people raise awareness.  With too many images of animal cruelty, I believe we become desensitized; with no images, we find it easier to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that there isn’t a problem.  I think the ASPCA has found a nice balance and it’s that balance that has helped me see that I can do more.  But I don’t like the commercials; I wish that they would mix in a few images of rescued dogs with their new families.

I believe supporting local rescue groups would not only be supported by the ASPCA, but encouraged by them as well.  Every little bit counts.  If anyone reading my blogs sends money to the ASPCA, I don’t think negatively about them – I think we should all do what we can.  I just choose to focus my donations locally.

“I’ve seen Kimberley state on forums that she has no compunctions about slandering small businesses, either. There’s a level of passive aggression here that I find really disturbing. It isn’t limited to the ASPCA. She bashes others on forums in a disingenuous way that is quite cutting. When confronted, out comes the, big eyes, the “Who meeee?” and the First Amendment. What you need to know about the First A: Free Speech is NOT slander nor innunendo. Free Speech is a right; slander is legally actionable.” ~ Animal Lover

I have no idea what this person is talking about.  I’ve never slandered a small business online or otherwise.  (1) I believe deeply in Karma and (2) I believe in treating people how I want to be treated.  If I don’t want people slandering me, then I won’t slander others.  However, this person has no trouble hiding behind a online name and slandering me.  If I had this online reputation, would I have such a large following, would brands be willing to risk their reputation working with me, and would I have been invited to speak at BlogPaws and to local small business groups?

online bully, mean comments, ASPCA ads

The comments have also gone offline to my personal email and it hurts, because I love dogs, I support all forms of animal rescue, and I’m stunned that these strangers are making up stories about me – painting me as this wicked person.  What I find interesting is that people can fire off hurtful things to one another online and feel justified.  We’re all animal lovers, so why are we so quick to tear each other down?

My first instinct is to give up – this is the part of blogging that I absolute can’t stand, but then I think of my Online-BFF Don Jones aka Deej.  I can hear him now saying “comments like these just mean that you’ve arrived, congratulations.  When do we celebrate?”  There is room in this huge world for all kinds of opinions.  I welcome all of them, but ask that they be polite.  I don’t attack anyone here or anywhere else online.  Attacks don’t inspire anyone to change their mind; they don’t teach anyone.  Did “Animal Lover” think that when she wrote those comments, I would have a change of heart and come around to her way of thinking?  No, I think she (or it could be a he) wrote those words specifically to hurt me.  But why?

I want to say thank you to the people who left polite comments and inspired a great discussion…

“Of all the big organizations, I do prefer the ASPCA. I won’t get into why the Humane Society is corrupt (the corporate side of things, NOT the local Humane Societies) but I also choose to give my time, resources and money to local rescues.  I always appreciate your point of view, Kimberly. Keep fighting the good fight. There will always be someone out there that disagrees with you. We only hope that we can all remain civil and discuss these topics like grown ups and agree to disagree when necessary.” ~ Kendra Dempster, local dog trainer

“In regard to the ASPCA commercials, I cannot watch them without tearing up – I also cannot watch the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital commercials either (and I am a “Partner in Hope” donor). I am a former employee of Habitat for Humanity (and I still volunteer regularly both at home and across the world); what I loved about Habitat’s videos (never really have been commercials) is that they start just like the ASPCA, or St. Jude…with scenes of poverty housing but they always conclude with Habitat’s success stories in that region/area/etc. If only some of the other nonprofits would follow suit….then, I may be able to watch their commercials (though I would probably still tear up).” ~ Oz the Terrier, fellow pet blogger

“i dont watch tv but i do alot of computer sweeps and so on and see those ads from the aspca and YES it did lead me to become a monthly guardian at 20$ a month..i dont know exactly where my money goes,i do know that i feel i am helping them and it is a small percentage of my rescue donations..with that said i believe one purpose of having your own blog is to be able to express your opinion and to encourage discussion not attacks.” ~ Dixie Bracken, reader

“I don’t agree with everything that I read on this blog but I am sure you don’t agree with everything I say. That is what makes bloggers real. Thank you for donating to your local rescue, those are the ones that need it the most.” ~ Carma Poodale, fellow pet blogger

I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say and do.  Life is like a never ending sociology class; we’re constantly learning and being tested.  Graduation days come as we master a lesson just in time for the next one to be presented.  From this experience, I’ve learned that not everyone will agree with me and there will be some that express their disagreement in cruel and hurtful ways.  I can do one of two things…

  1. I can tuck my tail, run and hide.  Crying and licking my wounds, because a stranger doesn’t approve of me or
  2. I can respond to the comments, block the bullies, and keep doing something that I love and truly believe is making a difference.


This is a passionate topic.  I understand that there will be many people who hold opposing points of view.  I ask that everyone share their thoughts respectful and refrain from personal attacks.  Comments that detract from the discussion and seem to be an attempt to go after someone personally will not be approved and the individual(s) will be blocked from future commenting.  I really want this to be an opportunity for us to share our opinions and experience on the topic in this post – by sharing, we are given the opportunity to consider a new point of view, which, in my opinion, makes us better dog parents.  Thanks!


  1. I fully agree with you, I would like to see followup’s with their new owner, then I wouldn’t sit there sobbing!

    • Thank you, Anne

  2. Please keep on and block the bullies! Personally I hate those commercials too as I find them very disturbing. I hate looking at dogs who have been abused. I am a dog lover and currently have four rescue dogs. One of my rescue dogs was found on the side of the road, clinging to life at just 6 weeks of age. A local pet rescue found him, took him to the vet, who provided the necessary treatment, to which the local rescue footed the bill. They eventually adopted the dog out to which the dog once again became deathly ill, the adoptive family returned the dog to the rescue. Upon taking the dog to the vet, the rescue once again this little one once again was fighting for his life. Much treatment and several thousand dollars later the dog was once again healthy. At this point the first adoptive family wanted to re-adopt this little guy however the rescue refused. By time I met his little fighter he was just 3 months old. I fell in love with Jersey and adopted this little lab/boxer mix. I took Jersey home and discovered that he had been born on the same day I received my pacemaker. Jersey’s name was changed to Pacer and given the middle name of Maxwell and yes his initials are PM, but this little fighter is now three years old, healthy, happy, a great kisser, and most of all the best dog around my 4 grandchildren. I am thankful that the first family returned him and I was the lucky person to adopt this great dog. Keep writing and always remember you cannot please all of the people all of the time!!!

    • THAT’S THE STORY that inspires me to donate money. If I saw a commercial sharing Pacer’s story, how much of a fighter he is and telling me that this is what my donation does – it rescues and saves dogs so that they can find their perfect family. God Bless your rescue for making the choice not to re-adopt him to the family that gave up on him. I don’t judge their choice, vet bills are scary, but when you adopt, it’s for life and it’s important for people to understand that dogs get sick.

      I just think that commercials showing these great stories are important too. You can show the beginnings, how sick he was, where he was found, how much it cost to rescue him; but then show me how happy he is with his new family. I’d have my checkbook out before the commercial ended. Crying as I happily wrote it out.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing this story. You’ve absolutely turned my day around. An hour ago, I was just fed up and sad; right now, I’m so energized and happy, because Pacer is an amazing example of what rescue can do.

      PM, huh – I first thought “preventative maintenance” – I swear my dogs are my PM and keep me from going insane in this nutty world.

  3. I’m with you on this Kimberly – and Vicki is right – why don’t they focus on the success stories…well we know why because the heart strings and guilt open the pocketbooks more. More power to them for finding the right marketing strategy and making it work. It doesn’t mean you have to support it. There are SOOO many positive outcomes – I just have to look next to me at Jack & Maggie. Those makes good stories too – I mean Jack is the inspiration behind our whole App & Blog!

    • So very true. That’s how I feel. I know that put a lot of thought into their marketing campaign and I truly think it’s smart, because it does open up wallets and for those of us who can’t stand the images, we direct our focus in other ways – to local rescue, to businesses that support rescue, to creating Apps that make dogs more adoptable!

      It’s a win all around.

  4. Any time you’re successful enough to attract an audience that includes “strangers,” you’re going to kick up some hate.

    I’m sorry you’re the subject of people’s negativity resulting from your points about the ASPCA’s negativity. Ironic, huh?

    As for successful fundraising–what makes people give is feeling they can make a difference. You don’t need sad stories to make people feel they are helping.

    There are plenty of places we can give our time and money to help animals. But bickering on the internet never saved a single animal (or person).

    So keep advocating for animals, supporting organizations you feel make a big difference, and sharing your opinion. And try not to get too drawn into arguments that distract you from what’s truly important.

    • Thanks, Pamela

      My favorite part of your comment is “bickering on the internet never saved a single animal (or person).” It’s a wonderful reminder to me not to get pulled into these back and forths.

      Thank you :)

  5. Hi Kimberly,
    I have followed this blog, as rescue is near and dear to my heart. I completely agree with you, those ads turn me off as well, as I love animals and it affects me emotionally , so I leave the room or switch the channel. I have see abuse first hand as I was brought up outside this country where animals were not valued. I have given money in the past (and present)to large and small organizations, however I try to my money where my mouth is and step up to foster or get involved when needed and when I can truly help. As with everything else right now, folks are passionate about what they believe in, it is however sad that now a days, bad language, crude remarks and cursing, etc have to be used to get a point of view across. When did lack of respect take over? It always amazes me when those who have the biggest voice do the least.

    • It’s nice to read that so many people get where I’m coming from. I love that you not only donate; but that you foster too. That’s amazing, because I know how hard it is. I got so attached to our fosters. But the bigger picture is finding homes for those sweet souls and that’s amazing. I would love to foster more, but I’ll need to be working from home so that I can make the time. We have plenty of room; the next is the create more time. My goal is to be there in 2-3 years!!!

  6. As a former fundraiser I can tell you the reason they make those videos is because they work – not with everyone, but with enough people to justify making them! They also make other, more upbeat videos – and you can check them out on their YouTube channel. The ASPCA does good work, and even though I had their sad commercials, I fully support their mission of preventing cruelty and abuse.

    • So true Vicki – and they people of the ASPCA are so amazingly generous with their time. I just wish that people would have understood that I wasn’t bashing the ASPCA, I was explaining that although I won’t donate to them, doing so (to me) feels like I’m supporting those ads, that they have inspired me to do more. Oh well; you can’t win them all.

  7. I cannot watch those commercials or really allow into my energy anything like that because I’m an animal empath and it feels like my heart is being stabbed. That doesn’t stop me from supporting agencies I feel are doing worthwhile work and, like you, I understand the reason behind the commercials.

    I know you know that the criticism levied against you is much more about those who levy it rather than you. (And yes, I also know it’s easy to say that when you’re not the one being slammed in said criticism.) You’ve always kept the level of discourse at a civil place here (and elsewhere when I’ve seen you online) and continue to do so. That (and filter crap emails out somehow) is all you CAN do. What’s that saying “the kids” use? “Haters gonna hate” – you just be you. :)

    • These commercials bum me out and make me sad; I can’t imagine what they do to your psyche. And you’re right. I do understand that it’s about them and not about me; but I keep trying to understand why. Why today? I go back over the week and wonder what I was vibing that attracted these attacks, but I guess it’s all connected. I had drama with my boyfriend’s parents again and I can only imagine that this energy is the residual from that. I think what really gets me is the blatant lie about my online behavior. But that’s just what some people do; they get off on riling people up and that’s what the block feature is all about.

      Thanks for weighing in and sharing your POV. It’s a nice to read your perspective. Imagine the empaths who don’t know they’re a empath yet?

    • “What’s that saying “the kids” use? “Haters gonna hate” – you just be you.”

      My sister and I were taught from young ages that if someone is spewing hate toward us in school, just look them in the eye and say this:

      “I forgive you for your reaction to your unhappiness with me,” and then walk off. (Not adults of course at that time.)

      You’d be surprised at how well that works for shutting them up and for feeling good about yourself inside~~and you don’t need strong religious convictions for it to work.

      • OMG Dee – I so WISH I would have said that; especially to the woman who called me passive aggressive. She went on to leave more comments, but they’re all now directed towards spam. I see now that she’s not interested in educating me, she’s interested in tearing me down. There’s no “making up” with people who do that over and over.

        I hated the idea of blocking people, because I wanted to create a forum. I don’t mind people telling me that I’m wrong, or disagreeing with me. But when you’re abusive in your comments and follow up with nasty emails – that just goes too far.

        I’m just grinning from ear to ear thinking about your zinger. That’s so beautiful!

  8. Hi Kimberly, I’m a proponent of not donating to ASPCA. I don’t know your personal email or otherwise I would write there to comfort you knowing that many of us who do rescue from kill shelters and hoarders know the horror first hand and when we turn to be transporters and foster parents, we don’t want to see the horror anymore. We’ve spent so much money in our lifetime just helping that I don’t donate at all unless it’s to organizations that are small and verified that I might be helping with fostering and transporting. I’m 53 now and hubby is 64 and we’re ready to keep doing what we are doing and always on the lookout for the right foster that works with our dog. Most times the fosters are not here that long and they don’t even meet. If you would like, I would love to say some things that I don’t want to say here because of privacy, would you please write to me at the non public email address please that you have from this entry? Thanks!! You rawk and open people’s eyes to things that they may have never read because you will cover it. Always a super fan! Carolyn

    • I can only imagine Carolyn – I have friends who work heavily in rescue and I can see the toll it takes on them. But I’m also a happy ending so I know that their work is for good. The stories I’ve heard have been tame when compared to what rescue workers deal with and I’m already at a point where I can’t hear anymore; so I can understand what you’re sharing.

      Thank you :)

      My email is :)

  9. Thanks Kimberly! It takes courage to speak the truth sometimes but I’m happy you did. I feel the same way and can’t watch the commercials at all. I mute the TV whenever they come on because now even the music makes me sad. I use that time to run to the kitchen or take care of anything I need to do, as long as I’m not looking at the TV. The pushing of sad and negative images is the main reason I decided to share good dog news. We live in a society of negative imagery and you’re right that people become desensitized to it. I’m more inspired by positive images and would love to see more commercials that highlight the many wonderful things about having a dog, families whose lives were changed by rescuing a dog or the victorious results of the ASPCA’s efforts. At a previous non-profit, we decided one year to change our donation marketing strategy. Rather than telling people the reason’s we needed their donations and trying to pull at their heart strings, we showed them the unbelievable progress we made through their donations from previous years. That year the donations increased 27% and that strategy has been much more effective than the previous. When people are stressed and struggling every day just to survive, it’s hard to turn on the TV and see such sadness. As much as I love all animals and will advocate for them in any way that I can, such sadness and misery doesn’t make me want to pull out my wallet.

  10. We do animal rescue, pretty much full time, and for what it’s worth I agree with you. We never watch those commercials for the same reasons. I see all of that daily and showing animals in such a distressed way is nothing more than a fund raising ploy. It works big time and they do lots of good with the money. We can’t watch them though.

    • Brian, thank you. This means a lot. Thank you.

  11. I so agree with you. I cry and my heart aches each time I watch the ads. I too wish they could sprinkle them with the happy side. After all it would show what a great job they do and the end result of happy homes. Please do not pay attention to the bad comments. When one is in the public eye, there will always be some that disagree and misunderstand. Anyone that has followed your work knows you love dogs with all your heart. It shows in your photos. Keep on doing what you do. We love you.

    • Thank you, Debi! I appreciate it so much.

  12. There was a meme going around that I shared long ago that had the picture of Sara McLachlan in the ad, with the phrase that went something like “Damn it – Day Ruined.” I thought it was funny and that’s why I posted it.

    They really should focus on the turn around on some of those desperate souls. It would show that they can actually DO something about the horror.

    I’ve been preparing myself for the backlash I may get for getting a purebred dog instead of a rescue. I’ve seen the maliciousness directed at breeders and those who choose to buy a dog. Even if it’s from a hobby breeder and they don’t intend to breed the dog themselves. “Crazy Dog Ladies on the dark side”, I call them. It caused me to be so extremely defensive on a blog (that maybe 3 people read – I’m just starting out) about picking a breed, my husband said I should cool it down a bit. Point taken.

    I have watched other bloggers go through attacks and it’s sad how we all have to be prepared for it. You have been handling it well and you are doing a great job!

    Chin up and carry on!

    btw – we will be getting a rescue eventually… ahem…

    • Thanks so much, Julie

      I don’t understand the maliciousness that is directed towards breeders or people who buy their dog either. I’ve been attacked myself for suggesting that there are reputable breeders out there. We don’t get anywhere by attacking each other. Dog lovers are dog lovers. If you buy, I just hope that you did your homework and bought from a reputable breeder; but I hope the same when you adopt. I recently learned that a local rescue group buys puppies from a hobby breeder to adopt out. I try to focus on dogs finding happy homes, no matter where they start. From there, I hope to be one of the many voices that banishes puppy mills. :)

      Thanks, Julie – and hugs to your pure breed from my rescues :) LOL We love all dogs here!

  13. People will always find reasons to attack anyone who is successful or has a chance at being successful. I’ve read your posts on this topic and you clearly love animals and are a proponent of contributing to animal welfare. The kinds of ads that are sometimes shown about animals are deeply distressing to animal lovers and I personally have felt very traumatised from many of them. Sometimes I get little flashbacks of those images and find it difficult to sleep. I can imagine many people feel this way. Thanks for having the courage to speak out. In the first week of starting my blog, I posted on a dog forum asking people to look at the first page of my blog to give constructive feedback. Some people, from the safety of their computer screen, were absolutely horrid in their ‘feedback’, saying I had no right to be talking about animal rescue and getting angry with me for a post i’d written where I’d outlined pros and cons of dog ownership. After I wrote about all the ways my dogs enriched my life, one of my ‘cons’ was that ‘you better get used to dog fur’ and I got absolutely villified for that comment, with people saying I would put people off getting a dog (one commenter wrote “nobody needs to hear about your dirty dog”). Anyway, it was a very distressing experience and I learnt my lesson the hard way. I need to stay true to myself and write about things I’m passionate about. In the end, I was the one laughing because I’m starting to grow my audience and I’m really enjoying blogging. Part of the reason I enjoy your blog is that you write in a very honest way. Don’t change that to please everyone else. Sorry for the essay!

    • I appreciate the essay so very much. Thank you!!!

  14. We dislike their commercials too – they make my mom cry and she doesn’t want to see that abuse. Maybe for people that have no idea what is going on they are a good thing but we don’t like seeing that. We know what goes on and we help in our own way and locally when we can. Mom gets so mad at those that insist you donate to their cause. We have our causes that we choose to support, end of story. If someone has something new we may join but we can’t support everyone, big or small. Stay strong and stick to what you believe in. It is hard but it is the best solution!

    • Thanks so much and hugs to your mom :)

  15. Hi Kimberly, I am sorry to hear that you have received rude comments and emails. It’s hard, but you will have to learn to ignore the haters. Each one of us has the right to decide which organizations we will donate our money to. I had poor experiences donating to the ASPCA in the past, so I no longer support them. Like you, I do donate to other great pet rescue groups. Not sure why this would upset anyone out there in ‘internet land?’ Keep your chin up and focus and the positive comments! Corinna

    • Thanks, Corinna!

  16. After reading this I got the feeling that I was glad I wasn’t aa popular as you…Not sure how I would have handled the haters…Hang in there and know you have many supporters

    • Yeah, it doesn’t feel good, I can tell you that. This person said such cruel things in her messages, but I guess it’s easy to be cruel when you’re typing from a computer.

      If anything, it makes me want to be careful of how I treat others. I don’t think I would call people names, but I know that when you get angry, you can behave in a way that isn’t ‘you.’ I want to make sure I never get there.

  17. When I was teaching creative writing classes, I used those commercials to illustrate how to tug on heartstrings simply because they’re SO extreme. I can’t watch them, and it irritates me that they resort to those tactics when there’s plenty of research that shows positive messages can be more successful. (As an aside if you’re interested, here’s a compelling case study that shows just that: If you’re going to send your money to an organization, you want to be in support of not only their mission but their tactics. Heck, your donations could be paying for the production of those commercials. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your money to go somewhere of value to you. As for the negativity… my mom said something to me once after I was telling her about some hurtful comments I received on a post: Just be glad you don’t have to know them in real life! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    • Thanks for the link, Maggie – I can’t wait to check that out. And thank you for the sage advice. I couldn’t imagine if these people were following me around town hurling insults at me – yikes! :)

  18. I will NOT support the ASPCA…the advertising they do is nothing less than lies to get your hard earned cash and splurge it in doing nothing with animals. They own and operate ONE yes that is a (1) shelter in the US…it is in New York.

    • I didn’t know that, Jennifer. I thought they had shelters all across the US, but I never looked, I just assumed, because it’s such a huge organization. I do love the work of the people I’ve met through the ASPCA, but I just really think that it’s more important that my money goes to local rescue groups. It’s amazing when you can SEE the good your donations and time does. There’s nothing like it; but I bet you know that too :)

      Thank you so much, Jennifer

    • Jennifer Vaughn Hartman will not support the ASPCA because she is a backyard breeder of unregistered dogs. She also has euthanized dogs she with health problems that she couldn’t use for breeding. Hartman would not waste one dime on a rescue dog.

      • Thanks for the comment, Vonnie

        I do know Jennifer and don’t agree that she’s a backyard breeder. I think she’s one of the good ones. I don’t agree with advertising puppies online (not sure if she does this), but that’s just my opinion and I don’t like people telling me how I should run my business and since I don’t know anything about the business of breeding, I don’t lecture others on how to run their business.

        I do see that she has healthy, gorgeous puppies and the parents are equally gorgeous. In all the homework I’ve done on reputable breeding, backyard breeding, and puppy mills – I’ve come across people who claim to have registered AKC puppies and when you see them, they’re too young to be away from their parents, they’re being sold out of a car, and some are visibly sick. It breaks my heart, because so many people out there don’t realize that these people are monsters.

        I can’t speak with Jennifer’s rescue work. I can only hope that she is also one of those breeders who will take their dogs back after 1 month, 1 year, or even 10 years. We have several of those people where I live and the love they have for their dogs is astounding. They are not getting rich like a woman one state over who has claimed $250k per year breeding and selling labradoodles.

        Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.


        • Thank you Kim,

          Yes we do take all our dogs back for life. It is required by signed contract from every owner. I also help rescue dogs find homes on a daily basis. One of my loves for dachshunds was due to a beautiful black and tan long hair that I got from the San Diego Shelter and had for 13 years. She was one of many… I am grateful for organizations like yours in rescue…People like you are needed <3 Keep up all your hard work and let no one hold you down!!

      • Vonnie ~ Real Name Sonia Eva Berg. 2+ years ago I refused to sale you a puppy. That simple! Stop the attacks on me at once as you have all ready been warned by the State College Police to do so.
        I have every right to refuse the sale of any puppy to any one I choose.

  19. Gotta admit, I don’t handle this kind of thing well. I want to speak my mind, but sometimes it’s difficult for me because I also want everyone to like me. But unfortunately, that’s not going to happen even if I DON’T speak my mind. Somebody’s always gonna hate…

    I always like and appreciate the way you take these things on – you let people know that no matter what they say or think, it’s not going to stop you from doing YOUR job. That’s courageous.

    That said, I get what you’re saying about the ASPCA commercials. There was a time when I believed that showing the pain and agony of homeless and abused animals would motivate people to action. I no longer believe that, because quite honestly, I think that stuff causes people to turn away BEFORE they’ve heard the message. That’s why nowadays I’m very selective about the message I convey, but like you said, it does seem to be working for the ASPCA.

    One last thought in defense of the ASPCA: I think they are doing (and have done) really good things to end dog fighting. I was very fortunate to be included in an event they held at the Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, DC during the Blogpaws conference, and I’m impressed with how hard they work to fight this crime, as well as how they work to educate people about it. I really have no idea how many shelters the ASPCA runs, or exactly what they’re doing with all the money that is donated to their organization, but I have seen that they’re doing good things to stop dog fighting and to punish those who participate in this heinous crime.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Christina – I had no idea and love knowing that about the ASPCA. I don’t know how this spun so out of control. People seem to think I don’t support the ASPCA; I just don’t support those ads. I won’t donate to an organization that makes them. I also don’t donate to local rescue groups that post an abundance of these images online. I think that it’s important to educate people, let them know that rescue is still needed; but when that’s all we see, we stop looking, because it’s too hard for me.

      It’s disappointing that a person can’t share an opinion without this drama following.

      Oh well. I guess that’s life, right? :)

  20. Just the other day I was in the living room and the TV started playing some sad music. I wasn’t watching it but thought in my head “I bet it’s and ASPCA commercial”… looked up and bingo! I think there are much better ways to promote helping pets in need. A dog or cat with a nice picture is much more attractive.

    I’m sure you’re aware of the possible “heat” you can attract with writing articles like that. But I think it’s great that you’re willing to voice your opinion regardless. I’m still trying to avoid controversial topics myself, for now anyways. Mostly because I’m not ready for the drama!

    • I hear you. I honestly didn’t expect drama from the article that was written a year ago. I just said that I don’t like the commercials and I wish that the showed more happy endings. I’m blown away that this was twisted into comments of me attacking the ASPCA, telling people not to support them, and attacking small businesses with my negativity and passive aggressiveness. I think I’ve finally gotten over it. But this sucked – LOL

  21. It is very hard not to take negative replies personally. Remember the internet brings the power of words to everyone, and for some, it is the only way they think people will listen to them.
    I, too, leave the room when those commercials come on. I also do not read the hundreds of cries for help because there is little I can do monitarily. I understand it works for many rescues, though. I find other ways to help and I do it locally.
    You hit the nail on the head when you said you doubt if she (they) even read the whole post. Pet bloggers have compassion for animals – and people. Your naysayers probably do not really have either, or they would not attack as they have.

    • Thank you for understanding where I was coming from; this has been truly perplexing for me and all of the comments have just shown me that the words of a few strangers who have never commented on my blog before and came here strictly to attack are a waste of my time. We all have a right to our opinion. I think the important thing is that we do what we can to help.

      Thank you again.


  22. I personally dislike the ASPCA commercials. I understand why they do it, but I don’t like making people cry on purpose. (I force my husband to change the channel on the TV every time they come on or I’ll start bawling uncontrollably.)

    I don’t give money to the ASPCA – I give money to my local rescue instead and help them out as much as I can. That way I know my contribution actually helps animals. I feel better about getting in my car and driving a rescue dog to the vet, pitching in to help pay a bill, or arranging for a bag of food than sending cash to an anonymous organization far away. I’m sure they do some really good things, but I’m more of a hands-on person myself. LOL.

    Anyway, there will always be trolls, and it’s easy to be mean in writing when you don’t have to face the person you’re talking to. I know it’s easier said and done, but ignore them. (It’s easier to ignore people if you tell yourself they don’t know any better. They don’t understand the damage they do to both themselves and the organization they claim to defend.)

    • Thanks for weighing in, Maria – I’ve experienced the joy of giving locally too. It’s awesome to see where the donations go and it feels great to be able to give since we’re not able to bring home a new dog. Someday :)

  23. Girl, don’t worry about it! People will ALWAYS have something to say ALWAYS. Everyone isn’t going to have the same opinion…I don’t know why people don’t understand this. If they don’t like what you are blogging about…they don’t have to read your blog! They can simply click the [x] in the right hand corner and keep it moving. I just don’t understand people sometimes and probably never will. Keep doing what you’re doing with the blog! You’re doing a good job and it’s YOUR blog which means it’s what YOU think and FEEL. HMPH LOL :)

    • Thanks, Kia

      Congratulations on making the list of Top 10 Influential Blogs!!!

      I appreciate what you have to say. And I know this. I tell other people this. But damn it was hard to just let it go. Especially the woman who just out and out lied about me. And the other person came back and said more. Another friend told me that I will never change their mind. Another friend reminded me that some people have hot topics set up on Google Alerts so they can go to blogs and start this type of trouble.

      It was definitely eye opening.

  24. I like what you said here, “With too many images of animal cruelty, I believe we become desensitized; with no images, we find it easier to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that there isn’t a problem.” I personally don’t like to see these kinds of images. But if no one shared them, how would we ever know what’s really going on? Also, just because someone doesn’t donate to a cause doesn’t mean they don’t believe in it. There are thousands upon thousands of organizations that help animals, homeless people, children, medical research, etc. I would love to be able to help everyone but I can’t. So I choose the ones that touch me the most.

    • Thank you! It feels amazing when someone get’s what I’m trying to say. Thank you so much!

  25. Hi Kimberly, I’m really sorry to hear that you were bullied. Thank you so much for the nice comments about the work that we do here at ASPCA. Just like you, we love animals and do everything in our power to help them. As sad as the commercials are, they have enabled us to help more animals and save more lives. But we’re not always sad around here, as we *love* to showcase adorable pets: :o) Hope you have a nice holiday weekend! — Olivia M., ASPCA Social Media Manager

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Olivia! Eh, bullying is just part of my online experience and it thickens my skin. At least you guys get to have Take Your Dog to Work Day every day! Luckyyyy

      • Hehe yes, that is definitely a perk around here :) Although I can’t bring my pup to work because she is not a big fan of cats and I happen to have some office foster cats close to where I sit. Hope you had a nice 4th!

        • Had a fantastic Fourth! The dogs did GREAT with the fireworks this year. The cats barely noticed.

          Thanks again for weighing in on this topic. This was a tough one for me, but it was nice giving room for everyone to comment including the ASPCA :)

          Have an amazing weekend!

  26. Kimberly, I think you are doing an amazing job as a blogger by providing your readers with interesting and informative articles. You do your job well and me agreeing or disagreeing with you won’t change that fact. Dialogue is a wonderful thing, learning about other points of view is enriching and one of the best things about the internet.

    I truly admire you for “going there” and writing about a potentially “charged” subject. You do your thing and let the haters hate!

    • Thanks so much :)

  27. Hi KIm-
    And happy 4th.:)
    This goes to show that the topic you’ve chosen to write about (dogs in general not just this post) is one that people are passionate about. But I think people have the right to make their own choices and decide who they support with their wallets. And that includes you. ha!

    I think attacks on characters from people you don’t know, should be ignored at least in your reaction to them. Because any reaction gives fuel to the bully who spewed them. They’re being a bit ironic if you ask me. They beat up on YOUR character. What does that say about theirs???

    So of course you should ignore them. Don’t you even think about putting your “tail between your legs” and sulking off. That would mean they won. And you’re voice deserves to be heard. Love your friend Deej’s point of view. :)

    Obviously you have made the decision to continue blogging since there are two other posts after this (at the time of my writing this.)

    So about the ASPCA. As I said, an individual has the right and ability to make their own choices about who to donate to. If every animal advocate participated LOCALLY, there may actually not be a need for the national outfits. But that’s another story.

    As for commercials like theirs, yes, I am too sensitive to even watch those. I personally don’t need images, even when I read of tragedies I can feel the pain of those involved. Seeing images and commercials is traumatizing. The ASPCA commercials could definitely use some images of happy endings. It would show what they do and what is possible on the positive end as well.

    Got a little wordy here. Lol.
    Happy holiday Girl. Keep writing. :)

    • Thank you so much, Laura

      This one was just plain annoying to me simply because two people read a title, not a blog post, and went on the attack. Things like this will always happen so everyone here is so very right; ignore them and move on. So I’ve moved on (and blocked the two bullies). hee hee

  28. I am so so so so so so sorry this happened to you. A friend of mine sent me your post to encourage me because I have been receiving the same response to a post I wrote about the Zimmerman trial. I understand exactly how you feel.

    I love dogs too,, my wiener, Tubby Lumpkins, is my life. I appreciate what you do and I hope you don’t let the haters get you down. Easier said than done, but there is a need for your blog and your posts.

    Bless your heart!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by. It truly did suck, but then it went away. I keep telling myself that I need to ignore people like this; people who don’t read posts, they just react to a couple of words and then attack. I ended up blocking both people, because they just wouldn’t stop the insults, but when I stopped responding to them, I guess they moved on to attack other bloggers.

      What bugs me about people like that is that we didn’t really disagree. They just wanted to beat someone up and feel good about it. People like that would never attack someone in person; they hide behind fake names online to do their damage. So I really need to learn to leave the alone – ha ha.

      I’m sorry that you experienced something similar. I just don’t understand why we can have opinions. It’s funny that as a nation, we cherish freedom of speech, but in reality, for some it’s a freedom only if you agree with them; disagree and they will flip the hell out – LOL

  29. You are so on point. Just ignore those trolls. That’s what they do best: troll.

    • Thanks so much :) – I had to pull out the Four Agreements – don’t take things personally


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