When Animal Advocacy Goes Bad

I’ve been involved in companion animal rescue since 1987. The past five years or so, I’ve channeled that passion into animal advocacy. As I’ve made the transition into advocacy, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon. When a rescue group or advocate begins to really start accomplishing things, haters suddenly come out of the woodwork, raise their ugly heads and start campaigning to bring the group down with false accusations. I’ve seen it happen over and over, and it’s happened to some truly amazing groups that work around the clock to make a difference.

This past July, I suddenly found myself a target of just such a clique of haters. When I confided in my friend, Dawn, about it…she said “Congratulations, girlfriend, You have arrived.”

While I appreciated her sentiment and words of support, it’s not what I signed on for.

Those of you who know me personally, know that I struggle daily with depression. I walk a fine line between being a fully functional human being and tumbling headlong into a pit of debilitating despair. It is difficult enough looking at the photos of abused and tortured animals that cross my desk daily and advocating for them, without the added stress and anxiety caused by a group of Internet trolls.

And these people are relentless. I do not know them, and they do not know me, but they seem to have made it their goal in life to post defamatory and libelous lies about me and some of the people in rescue/advocacy that I have a lot of respect for.  I was not their initial target, but because I defended the other people and groups they were trashing, they now consider me fair game.

These haters – these cyber bullies, they are not even people in the AR community. (well, one is. One has a pet advocacy page on Facebook, but she spent the better part of its early existence doing nothing but bad-mouthing reputable rescues and advocacy groups. When all you do in AR is bad-mouth other groups, that’s not being an advocate. That’s being an asshole.) But these others…they are not in the AR community. They have just begun to paint themselves that way to gain the ears and attention of others that are in the AR community, and that’s for the express purpose of spreading lies about the rescue groups they are targeting. But under that false facade of ‘advocating’ what I really think this clique of haters wants is for animals to die.

They have attacked two rescue groups and an advocacy group that I have a lot of respect for.

The purpose of their attacks is to create a mistrust of the groups they write about and stop people from donating to them or the causes they promote. What do they hope to accomplish?  To “take down” these groups. A rescue group without donations cannot operate, and if they cannot operate, animals die – mission accomplished.

As I mentioned above, they have been attacking me since the middle of July. They have accused me of everything from inciting death threats to Internet fraud.

I finally asked them at one point what exactly they wanted from me. I’ve done nothing of consequence to any of them, except criticize their disgusting attack blog. I was told that they want me to sever my ties with, and take a stand against a specific group. And apparently, they will continue to bully me until I do as they say. Well, I don’t take kindly to bullying. And I don’t take kindly to people spreading lies about me.

The animal advocacy site that I write for is a great platform. It has a built-in readership of about half a million people. My articles there have influenced the sentencing of puppy killer Jeff Nally. They have helped stop the gassing at Fairfield Shelter. They have informed pet owners about tainted pet treats; mobilized people to sign petitions that advocate for elephants, ask for stricter sentencing in animal abuse cases, and demand federal investigations of crimes of cruelty; they have educated readers about zoo and circus cruelty, poaching of ivory, and the dog meat trade. From what I can tell, my articles have been making a difference. Why would I want to stop? I am an animal advocate. I am relevant. I educate, help, and build.

What would be gained if I caved to their pressure?

Animals would suffer.

To the harassers, the haters, the bullies and trolls:

You are nobodies.  You are insignificant.  You are irrelevant.  You do nothing but hurt and destroy. Crawl back under the rocks you came from, like the worms and insects you are.

I have important work to do.


About yelodoggie

C.A.Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. She has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. She has written two books about her true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also writes a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and is a contributing editor for AnimalsVote.org. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
This entry was posted in Animal Advocacy, Random Woofs, The Woof on Rescue Groups and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to When Animal Advocacy Goes Bad

  1. Paris Penick says:

    Having haters is one way of knowing your constantly doing something right. It’s always good to have your name in someone else’s mouth, keeps you popular.The most simple way to deal with a hater is not to deal with them at all. They seems to always posses a negative aura around them and it may rub off on you if you’re around them to long, so let a hater do their job, drink haterade!

    Just know that I have respect for all you do and hope you continue on, the animals need a hero!


  2. britta says:

    I wish one hugely supportive comment could negate all this garbage but I know it can’t. However, having learned of you and your partners life’s work in just the past month through gobbling up two amazingly written books, all of you have my most fervent good thoughts and wishes for the wonders you accomplish. If hugs can travel through blots, consider all thoroughly adored and cherished. Keep on knowing you are the best there can be….britta


  3. britta says:

    Blogs not blots…darn the predicitve typing…


  4. I’ve been in animal rescue for about 27 years. I, too, recently have been attacked and thrown under the bus by other rescues that I have done nothing but try to help and mentor. Your article really helped me. I, too, suffer from depression that is acebated by rescue horror and heartbreak, and this juvenile bullying does nothing to help it, but just makes me more hopeless. Thank you for writing this article and for ALL that you do for the animals! I, too, WILL NEVER QUIT what I do! NEVER!!!


  5. Colleen says:

    What you do is hugely appreciated by the masses that matter. Those that love and care for ALL Gods creatures. Animals need our voices and you do a lot of LOUD talking, good LOUD talking. That is why you are targeted. Keep up the good work. Although death threats should be reported…that is taking things too far. These people are unhappy with themselves and their lives and therefore spread dark, deceptive and hurtful words. But that is ALL they are. I commend you for ALL you do. The animals…they say God Bless you…keep it up.


  6. It’s sad. Imagine how much good could be done if people worked together instead of against each other. I have my own hater, an ex-rescue partner and all she has ever been able to accomplish with her slander is to hurt herself. Don’t worry about what anyone says, it is insignificant when the lives of animals are at stake. If they are not working toward helping, they are not worth your stress.


  7. ouacstowohio says:

    I am so glad to see these supportive comments. The haters are unhappy and try very hard to spread hatred and anger. Most joyful, helpful souls do not have the time to hate and excessively harass people.
    The energy required in hating and harassment is a waste of time. As long as you Keep on Keeping on you will prevail!!!! Most recognize the wonderful, honest, soulful things you have done to advocate for animals. They need you! The percentage of people that appreciate you FAR outweighs the haters. The more negativity spread about great work, the uglier and crazier the haters look. Remember that!!!


    • yelodoggie says:

      Would you believe one of the trolls had the gall to try to post comments to my blog? As if I would allow her poisonous and constant rehashing to appear here and trap any of my readers into responding and becoming their next target. Want to hear something really funny? The first line of her first comment is that I “misunderstand – they do not hate me.”

      I’m sure that petitioning (and succeeding) in getting my wiki comic creator bio page removed, and then taunting me about it, is a real reflection of how much they like me. (I’m still trying to figure out how part of my work history unrelated to animal rescue became any of their concern.)

      And I’m sure their false accusation that I haven’t donated any portion of the royalties from my first book to the rescue group I promised them to was yet another gift of good will from them to me. (Of course, when you question a volunteer who answers the phone at a resale shop about official business of the 501 and the store cashier says they have no idea; that’s a perfectly sound basis for making wild accusations. They certainly wouldn’t want to check with an actual board member or the group’s treasurer, because those people might actually be able to provide an accurate answer, and then they’d have nothing to twist into rumor and insinuations of wrongdoing.)


  8. ouacstowohio says:

    I had commented back to your post…didn’t go through? I will say that, YES…I do believe the hater tried to comment. I would expect nothing less from an angry, liar. When will it end? How can one person be evil and damaging to the degree they have? The haters make themselves look so crazy.
    She is the “Fools, Fool.”


  9. Well said, Ariel! Stick to your guns and have faith that there are people out there applauding the good work you do! I’m one of them!


  10. Betty Brown says:

    I am starting to think that all these haters can have only two thing in common, one being haters of course, and I think that these people must have something illegal going on in the animal world. Why else would they hate someone who is trying to help the neglected and abused animals.


  11. lisa says:

    These people should be ashamed of themselves. They are not doing any good in the world, yet they need to bash those who are? Get a life losers! Put your energy into somethiing positive, like saving LIVES. I am in the rescue movement myself, and have no.tolerance. for others who do nothing but bitch./complain about those who are actually DO something.
    Here’s an idea, be a part of the solution, not the problem. If you have issue with the way a person or rescue group operates,then start one of your own and do it better.


  12. Your girlfriend was right. You have arrived when you have your own “fan” club of haters and trolls. I do not understand, why in the name of advocacy they do this. They hurt the very beings that they say they are advocating for? This “hater/troll situation happens with me also. As someone mentioned above, I guess we are making waves, and we stick out more than the average person? Well, waves are transition and change, so then yes, we are making waves. There comes a time when the excellence of what you do requires you to set yourself apart from others. You re-evaluate and find your true friends and supporters. Hang in there!


  13. gaeamoon says:

    Excellently written and well said! Animals come first and the haters, well they just want attention! I say ignore em. Block them blank do it all so they get no attention …..they will get bored and crawl back under their rock!


  14. I see this happen all around me and have no idea why people would spend their precious time spewing hatred about a rescue. If there is a rescue who you feel is not doing what’s best for animals, then talk to them, deal with them personally, listen, do research – if it’s not just about some stupid difference of opinion, or jealousy or whatever, if there really is a problem, then find a constructive way to make changes – what does trolling on blogs and FB pages do except make you look stupid (to most people) or incite crazies to more craziness? The animals continue to suffer, the rescue has to deal with your craziness and it’s all so wasteful.

    Continue with the work you do and please don’t let the crazies get you down!


  15. S. Raymond Parker says:

    Cayr, you have been a big help to our group, APAPTMIC, and we are thankful for you. Haters will always be in the mix, that is just the way the world has turned, to stupidity. It is sad indeed how people think lately. They hate everything that is not Free, and for them. Don’t let them get you down, send the links to me, I will help all I can.


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