Dog Day At Shea : Mets Continue Support Of Screwy Operation

Posted in Baseball, Dogs at 5:33 pm by

The press release from Mets.com :

On Saturday, September 23, the Mets are hosting the 2nd Annual Dog Day at Shea event, presented by Four Paws and Nylabone. Bring your dog to Shea Stadium and enjoy the game in the Picnic Area.

Due to popular demand, tickets for the Picnic Area bleacher seats on September 23 are no longer available. A portion of all tickets from this event will benefit the North Shore Animal League.

Dogs and their owners attending the Dog Day at Shea event will be able to participate in a pre-game parade around Shea’s warning track.

Please note dogs are not permitted in regular ballpark seating.

The following item appeared on CSTB, August 18, 2005 and against last May 30.

(they don’t care where the money is going…though perhaps they should)

On the surface, the New York Mets’ announcement that tomorrow night (Saturday, 8/20) is “Dog Day In The Park” at Shea, seems like fun-fun-fun for everyone. Canine fans of Jose Offerman, Gerald Williams and Braden Looper, can accompany their human guardians to Shea’s Picnic Area, where free Snausages will be offered to the dogs (Looper, however, has to buy his own).

There’s just one catch, however. Some of the proceeds from this event are being given to Port Washington, NY’s North Shore Animal League, the venerable non-profit organization that touts themselves as “the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption center.”

CSTB has tried over the past several days to find out a little more about NSAL. Remarkably, very few persons in the tri-state area’s animal rescue and/or animal rights community were willing to speak on the record, one woman citing NSAL’s alleged “$50 million war chest against litigation”.

John Contino (above) of New York’s Mighty Mutts, however, did not mince words in his characterization of NSAL :

“If i didn’t pick up a thousand animals with a NSAL tag on it, I didn’t pick up one. They simply don’t care who they adopt to. “

They claim that they’ve placed over 33,000 animals a year in homes…that they refuse 3 out of every 10 applications.” Contino, by contrast, says he approves adoption requests by fewer than 10 percent of those wishing to take home a rescue dog.

Then again, Contino doesn’t have a massive fund-raising apparatus to maintain, nor could an individual animal lover have anything whatsoever to gain by bringing thousands upon thousands of stray puppies and kittens into the NYC area and leaving other rescue organizations to deal with the aftermath of unwanted, unspayed or unneutered pets who’ve been abandoned.

I adopted a cat from NSAL in 1985. The process was slightly less arduous than buying a pack of gum.

Said Contino earlier today, “…if they (NSAL) were put out of business, New York City would be a better place.”

Finally, if the Mets’ association with NSAL wasn’t lame enough, consider the sordid history of Sunday’s sponsor, Nylabone.

5 Responses to “Dog Day At Shea : Mets Continue Support Of Screwy Operation”

  1. Will Leitch says:

    Hey! Quit using my journalistic techniques! I thought I was the only sports blogger who spreads baseless rumors without any solid evidence. But I have to give it to you — nice technique in getting NSAL’s competitor to badmouth them without even bothering to have NSAL provide a response or even a “no comment.” I’ll use that in the future.

    Your pal,


  2. GC says:

    crunchy — if that’s really you —

    there’s nothing baseless about this. I had my own personal experience with NSAL more than two decades ago. I’m hardly the first person to question their practices. If the organization would like to refute Contino’s claims, they have ample opportuinity to do so in this very space. I won’t even make them register for my comments section.

    This was the _3rd time_ I’ve run this item. I’ve lost track of the number of people who have an axe to grind with NSAL, yet Contino is the only person I’ve spoken to willing to have his name attributed.

    anyhow, I am very skeptical that I’m corresponding with Will The Real Deal Leitch. The Genuine Screech has already demonstrated with his marital plans, that he cares just as much about animals as I do, if not more.


    from the New York Times, December 29, 1991 :

    After reading “Rescuing Stray Pets From Other Regions With Long Island Adoptions” [ Dec. 8 ] , one can only conclude that the North Shore Animal League is engaged in a cynical, self-serving and counterproductive exercise which is the antithesis of everything that responsible people have been striving for years to achieve.

    As anyone who cares about animals and has the slightest acquaintance with the situation well knows, the No. 1 pet problem on Long Island is overpopulation. Simply put, there are too many animals and too few homes to go around. Nine out of 10 animals born here are destined to be destroyed as surplus and unwanted. Importing more into our area does nothing to solve the problem; on the contrary, it only exacerbates it.

    While the shelter in Greenville, S.C., may have to euthanize fewer animals, many more will have to be put down here, as a result. It should be noted that a portion of the onerous taxes Long Islanders pay is used for this needless and wanton destruction of innocent lives.

    In addition, puppies (and kittens) are notoriously easy to place. The real problem arises when they get a little older and outgrow their cuteness. The North Shore Animal League does not release figures on how many of these grown-up babies are returned, or how many would be returned if it would accept them back, which it does not. A visit to any municipal shelter will corroborate this fact.

    North Shore, as all other private shelters, has a waiting list months long to accept pets that owners cannot or will not keep any longer. To import thousands of pets from other regions under these circumstances is the height of irresponsibility, to say the least.

    North Shore has not “saved” one animal, let alone 40,000. The only way to “save” animals is to prevent them from being born. Adoptions do not “save” animals. Every time a pet is placed it displaces another one equally deserving that will never find a home and will eventually have to be destroyed.

    Those who really care about animals are the ones addressing the root causes of the problem. They are the ones who lobby for limits on breeding; they offer affordable spay-neuter programs; they inform and educate the public and tell the truth about the tragedy. They do not delude or confuse the public with fairy stories about fantastic adoption numbers and a false sense that all’s well with “never destroy” policy.

    It is they, and not North Shore, with $51,000,000 in cash assets in the till, who need and deserve our support. Isn’t it about time you told the other side of the story?

    KENNETH ALLEN North Merrick (The writer is a volunteer with the Pioneers for Animal Welfare Society in Hicksville.)

    another letter from the 12/29/91 times,

    For the past 15 years, I have been associated with a small humane group on the eastern end of Long Island, the Animal Rescue Fund.

    One of our primary goals has been to reduce the dog population in order to achieve some sort of parity between the number of animals that need homes and the number available for them.

    Another objective has been to encourage the public to adopt older animals, the healthy young adults — most of them puppies themselves a few short months earlier — that are being destroyed by the hundreds in local pounds. Along with other humane groups, we have had some hard-won success on both fronts. There are fewer puppies on Long Island than there were 15 years ago, and more of the adult dogs are finding homes.

    Given these modest but real accomplishments, you can imagine how we feel upon hearing the news that the North Shore Animal League has just imported 3,000 puppies from South Carolina.

    The North Shore Animal League is America’s wealthiest animal group, with assets of $51 million. They spend 40 cents of every dollar on overhead.

    We are glad, of course, that some of the money actually expended on animals saved the lives of those puppies. There would be even more reasons for rejoicing, in our opinion, if North Shore spent some of its assets, a mere million perhaps, on spay/neuter programs, here and in South Carolina, either through clinics or, as we do, in cooperative programs with local veterinarians. (Now they do not even spay or neuter their adult animals before they put them up for adoption, as we and many other shelter groups do.)

    We would also like to see North Shore agree to take back puppies when the adoptions do not work out. (According to the most recent call we had from someone who had adopted a puppy from North Shore that was now “too big” — the chief offense of puppies — the return option holds only for one month.)

    In short, the North Shore Animal League, with its vast resources, its vigorous fund-raising and promotion programs, and its access to the media could — and in our opinion should, assume a role or real leadership in solving the overpopulation problem. Their present activities are not reducing the numbers of animals destroyed, just shifting the demographics.

    HELENA CURTIS, Sag Harbor

  3. Rog says:

    Great, this whole time I thought I was being a good guy by giving money to North Shore every month. I was under the impression that they spayed/neutered, but apparently all they offer is a free referral service for low-cost services in your area. The place where we got our kitties did provide spaying/neutering services (as well as shots) as part of the cost of the adoption, which was a tiny fraction of what it would cost at a vet.

    But I’d also like to point out that city shelters will place an animal to anyone with a pulse. John Contino seems to be a rare exception to the rule; even the place where we got our kitties (which used to have the rep of being waaay too picky in their screening process, as documented in a hilarious clip in one of the local tabs a couple of years ago) doesn’t turn away that many people anymore. Seems to me that a more agressive animal lobby might think about helping pass a state law requiring all shelters to spay/neuter because that would get to the root of the problem.

  4. Eric says:

    I adopted two cats a few years ago and NSAL required multiple references. While I in the waiting room I saw a family get denied a dog adoption because they had previously adopted elsewhere and given that dog away.

    Also NSAL spays and neuters ALL adopted pets for free.

    Plus if you read the financials on the website, NSLA actually spends 70 cents of every dollar on the animals, not 60 as is stated.

    Check your facts before you slander a great place.

  5. GC says:


    from my original post :

    “I adopted a cat from NSAL in 1985. The process was slightly less arduous than buying a pack of gum.”

    That’s a fact and it is based on my own personal experience with NSAL. I’m glad you had a better experience, but I’m not alone in my tale. It’s great that NSAL spays and neuters all adopted pets, but the question remains, should they be held accountable for all of the abandoned dogs and cats that they help bring to the region in the first place? With so many strays on Long Island and NYC, why has NSAL ever engaged in the practice of importing dogs into the state?

    I’m sorry you consider my efforts to be slander, but other than correcting the 70 cents vs. 60 cents factoid, you’ve done nothing to refute any of Contino’s charges, nor the stuff from the New York Times article.

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