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On October 3, about 40 members of the San Diego Animal Defense Team gathered in front of San Diego Humane Society and SPCA to protest. According to the Animal Defense Team website, the demonstration was a "Call for Truth and Transparency" after several former boardmembers accused Dr. Mark Goldstein, president of the humane society, of improprieties.

Signs carried by the demonstrators questioned Goldstein's use of behavioral assessments to euthanize adoptable animals and asked why a sexual harassment lawsuit was settled with donations intended to help animals.

Three large men who attended the event identified themselves as off-duty officers of the San Diego Police Department. They said they were hired by the humane society to "make sure things go well"; however, they refused to disclose how much money they were earning for the day.

Earlier in the week, a video circulated among the animal-rescue community; it showed 30 animals that had been marked for death by the society due to alleged behavior problems. Each animal was allegedly rescued and, according to the video, displays none of the symptoms it was to be euthanized for. The video was titled "Dead Dog Walking" and urged people to attend Sunday's demonstration.

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