From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Leo K. Bustad, DVM, 78, died
from pneumonia on September 19 in Pullman,
Washington. Born in Stanwood, Washington,
Bustad earned a B.A. in agriculture at
Washington State University in Pullman in
1941, and on the same day became a lieutenant
in the U.S. Army. He married Signe
Byrd, a WSU classmate, in June 1942 at Fort
Benning, Georgia, shortly before shipping out
to fight in Italy and Germany. Captured by the
Nazis, Bustad spent 15 months at a Germanrun
prison camp in Poland. Reunited in June
1945, Bustad and Byrd thereafter remained
together until her death in March 1998.
Postwar, Bustad returned to WSU to earn an
M.A. in animal nutrition (1948) and his DVM
(1949). From 1948 until 1965, Bustad did
invasive radiation research on animals at the
Hanford National Laboratory, often collaborating
with faculty of the University of
California at Davis. Bustad himself headed
the radiobiology and comparative oncology
labs at U.C. Davis from mid-1965 until 1973,
helping direct work involving as many as
1,200 beagles at an off-campus location now
listed as a top-priority Superfund toxic waste
cleanup site. The experiments ended in 1986,
when the last beagle died. The dogs’ radioactive
remains were removed to Hanford in
1990. Rheem Araj, a beagle care technician
1972-1973, alleged in a 1994 lawsuit while
fighting a life-threatening lymphoma that news
coverage of the carcass removal was the first
word she received that she might have been
extensively exposed to radiation. Araj further
alleged that the radiation was responsible for
her cancer. ANIMAL PEOPLE found no
information about the outcome of either the
case or her illness. From 1973 until 1983,
Bustad served as dean of the WSU College of
Veterinary Medicine. Upon retirement, he
became president of the Delta Society, founded
in 1976 by Michael J. McCulloch, a psychiatrist
in Portland, Oregon, who pioneered
the use of animal-assisted therapy. Keeping
his main office at WSU, as dean emeritus and
professor emeritus of veterinary physiology,
Bustad moved the Delta Society to Renton,
Washington, where it maintains the National
Service Dog Center and carries out other programs
on behalf of service dog users and pet
keepers. Recipient of various humanitarian
awards late in life, Bustad wrote two books,
Animals, Aging, and the Aged (1980) and
Compassion: Our Last Great Hope (1990), as
well as co-authoring Learning and Living
Together: Building the Human-Animal Bond.

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From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Cleveland Amory, 81, founder of
the Fund for Animals, died in his sleep from a
cerebral aneurism on October 14.
Born in 1919 in Nahants,
Massachusetts, and identified by the official
Fund obituary as “scion of a long line of
Boston merchants,” Amory was often
assigned a much less blueblooded and possibly
canine pedigree by the irritated targets of his
wit––especially hunters, whom he argued
should be hunted themselves, to prevent
hunter overpopulation and to undo the effects
of inbreeding.
“We don’t want to wipe them out,”
Amory stipulated. “We only want to cull
them.” His most famous slogan is memorialized
by the Fund’s popular “Support your right
to arm bears” bumper sticker.

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International briefs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

The South African
Department of Agriculture
was so impressed with a recent
South Africans for Abolition
of Vivisection report called A
Call for Transparency and
Accountability in the Vivisection
Industry, the Cape Argus of
October 26 reported, that it
incorporated it into the official
government discussion document
on a proposed law which
would parallel the U.S. Animal
Welfare Act. South Africa
reportedly has no laws at present
which regulate the care and use
of animals in research.

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BOOKS: Ratzo

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:


by Marty Crisp
Rising Moon (c/o Northland
Publishing, POB 1389, Flagstaff, AZ
86002-1389), 1998. 160 pages,
hardcover $12.95; paperback $6.95.

“While digging for dinosaur bones
in the desert,” the back cover of Ratzo
explains, “an awful stench leads 13-yearold
Josh Marks and his best friend Bernie to
discover a shed full of abandoned greyhounds.
Bernie goes for help while Josh
stays behind to free the surviving dogs from
their prison. Josh becomes attached to a
blue-eyed greyhound named Ratzo, who is
starving and far too sick to race. But that
doesn’t keep Josh from dreaming of turning
this rescued greyhound into a champion.”

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BOOKS: Problem Solving

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Problem Solving
by Marty Marten
Western Horseman (POB 7980, Colorado Springs, CO 80933),
1998. 247 pages, paperback;
$17.95 plus $2.00 postage and handling

Marty Marten, a Colorado
horse trainer, has worked around
horses for almost as long as he has
been alive––but unlike the authors of
other recent popular horse how-to
books, he does not waste time and
pages telling his life story.
Instead, he presents workable
and humane approaches to the
seven problems which tend to generate
the most complaints to humane
organizations about horse abuse:
crossing water, spooking, hard-tocatch
and herd-bound horses, barn
sourness, pulling back while tied,
and the most stressful issue of all,
trailer loading.

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No pork barrel for D.C. pigs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Hanor Farms, one of the fastestgrowing
pork producers in the U.S.,
brought some of the realities of factory
farming to Washington, D.C.,
on October 1 when a trucker working
for an independent company
inexplicably left a load of 172 fivemonth-old
pigs on a city street.
The trucker was arrested
later in the day in connection with a
separate incident, and will reportedly
be charged for leaving the pigs.

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S.F. live markets dispute reheats; California may yet ban turtle and frog imports

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

SAN FRANCISCO––California Fish and Game
Commission assistant executive director Ron Pelzman ended an
October 2 hearing in Monterrey on the sale of live animals as
food by announcing that the commission will ask the state legislature
to require that all animals be killed before leaving the
market––and said the commission will in February again consider
banning the import of live turtles and frogs.
Pelzman said “live food” merchants would be asked
to obtain a $36 permit, revocable on evidence of violation.
The CFGC was moved toward action in part by the
mid-September seizure of 892 undersized red-eared slider turtles
who were illegally offered for sale at street fairs in
Mountain View and Berkeley.
“There is strong suspicion,” Action for Animals
president Eric Mills reported, “that the illegal baby turtles are
coming into the state in the same shipments as the currently
legal market turtles.”

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API, Oregon Humane paid poacher for evidence

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

New Mexico––Former Animal
Protection Institute wildlife programs chief
Bob Hillman and an unnamed former Oregon
Humane Society executive in 1993 allegedly
paid $9,000 to poacher Donald “Scott”
Dungey, 48, “for videos, photos, and other
information about illegal and legal methods
used by bear and cougar hunters,” M e d f o r d
Mail Tribune writer Mark Freeman disclosed
on October 23.
Some of the material was used,
Freeman said, to support the referendum
campaign that in 1994 banned hunting bears
and pumas with dogs in Oregon.

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Witch hunts & wildlife

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Alleged sadists and Satanists were sought for purportedly stealing, killing and dismembering cats and dogs in at least nine states as Halloween 1998 approached. The supposed crimes drew sensational media coverage, lent emphasis to humane society warnings against letting pets run at large, and rewards of up to $10,000 were posted in some cases for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers.

An accurate description of the suspects, however, in all but a handful of the animal deaths and disappearances, would include either four legs and a tail, or wings, and none would be either werewolves or griffons.

Similar panics have developed each summer since the editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE began tracking them about 10 years ago. They coincide with the emergence of young foxes and coyotes from their mothers’ dens and with the first hunting by newly fledged raptors. The panics gain momentum approaching Halloween, as public attention to witches, ghouls, goblins, and other things that go bump in the night rises toward a crescendo. The panics virtually stop each year after
Halloween, however, distinctly unlike cases involving actual human sadism, which surge just before and after Christmas.

Trained to investigate human-inflicted cruelty, police detectives and humane officers typically have little background in  predator behavior. Veterinarians tend to expect –wrongly–that injuries done by coyotes, the most frequent wild predator of pets, will resemble those done by domestic dogs. Forensic evidence is thus misread by sincere people, acting in good faith, who incite witch-hunts at possible expense to professional credibility.

Marks of sadists

Human sadists tend to disable their victims by blinding them and/or by tying, breaking, or removing limbs. They then subject the victims to prolonged torture, often using fire or hot objects. They tend to focus on the face, especially the eyes, genitalia, and the anus. They often kill in a ritualistic manner, in which case the use of props such as candles or crosses may be evident. Often the remains are crucified. Dismemberments and disembowelings are characteristically bloody; the blood itself may be used to draw graffiti or symbols. If witnesses hear the victim, they will typically hear more than just a single cry.

Body parts removed from victims may include the ears, tails, genitals of male animals, and feet or claws. Internal organs of small animals are rarely if ever removed. Larger animals may be field-butchered, in essentially the same manner that a hunter field-butchers a deer.

Knife wounds made by sadists are typically crude, especially when they hack into bone. Sadists tend to do repetitive, frenzied stabbing, rather than clean cutting. Sadists do occasionally skin animals, after the manner of trappers, but–for the safety of the sadists, who also tend to be cowards–they usually begin only after the animal is dead and incapable of clawing or biting. Trappers use several different skinning techniques. They have in common that the initial incision is made from either a paw or a bodily orifice, and continues as far as possible in an unbroken line, avoiding any cut  across a marketable portion of the pelt. Even when the pelt is not to be sold, they tend to make the cuts of habit.

The ANIMAL PEOPLE files on thousands of cruelty cases indicate none in which a human sadist has been convicted of a crime against animals that was distinctively different in modus operandi from either sadistic crimes commonly committed against people, or routine hunting, trapping, and butchering practices.


Predators, in contrast to human sadists, are astonishingly quick and efficient. Except in instances when predators take
disabled but still living prey back to a den or nest to teach young how to kill their own food, predation victims tend to make little sound, if any, rarely even having time to know what hit them. Predators try to avoid wasting time and energy inflicting uncessary injuries. Their teeth and claws usually cut more cleanly than any knife. Predators don’t leave much blood behind: that’s food. If interrupted in mid-attack, they run or take flight with the parts they most want to eat. If able to eat at their leisure, they consume the richest organs, such as the heart, and leave what they don’t want.

Coyotes and foxes typically attack small prey such as cats and rabbits from behind and to one side, with a scissors-like jaw snap to the backbone and midsection which frequently cuts the victim in half. If startled, they tend to flee with the larger back half and whatever internal organs come along, leaving the head and forepaws. These are among the cases most often misread by investigators, who mistake the discovery of the head as an indication of ritualistic crime.

Coyotes have an entirely different attack pattern against prey larger than themselves, such as sheep and deer. Against these animals, they go for the throat and belly. They then consume the viscera first.

Cats, both wild and domestic, tend to leave inedible organs in a neat pile. Cats also have the habit of depositing carcasses, or parts thereof, at the doorsteps of other cats or humans they are courting. When cats kill much smaller animals, such as mice, they consume the whole remains, but when they kill animals of almost their own size, such as rabbits, they may leave behind heads, ears, limbs, and even much of the fur.

Tomcats, especially interlopers in another tom’s territory, often kill kittens. Instead of eating them, however,
kitten-killing toms sometimes play with the carcasses as they would with a mouse, then abandon the remains in an obvious place, possibly as a sign to both the mother and the dominant tom.

Coyotes, foxes, and both wild and domestic felines often dispatch prey who survive a first strike with a quick skull-crunching bite to the head. ANIMAL PEOPLE has resolved several panics over alleged sadists supposedly drilling mysterious parallel holes in the skulls of pets by suggesting that the investigators borrow some skulls of wild predators from a museum, to see how the mystery holes align with incisors.

Any common predator, but especially coyotes and raptors, may be involved in alleged “skinned alive” cases. The usual victims are dogs who–perhaps because parts of their bodies were hidden in tall grass–are mistaken for smaller prey. The predator holds on with teeth and/or claws while the wounded victim runs. The result is a set of sharp, typically straight cuts which investigators often describe as “filets.” The editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE once saw a cat
pounce and nearly skin a rabbit in such a case, and unable to intervene in time to prevent the incident, euthanized the victim. The attack occurred and ended within probably less than 30 seconds.

Raptors tend to be involved in cases where viscera are draped over cars, porches, trees, signs, and mailboxes: they take flight with their prey, or with a roadkill they find, and parts fall out. They return to retrieve what they lose only if it seems safe to do so.

Birds, especially crows, account for many cases in which eyes, lips, anuses, and female genitals are removed from fallen livestock. Sometimes the animals have been killed and partially butchered by rustlers. Others are victims of coyotes or eagles. The combined effects of predation and scavenging produce “mutilations” which may be attributed to Satanists or visitors from outer space, but except where rustlers are involved, there is rarely anything more sinister going on than natural predators making a living in their normal way.

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