People & deeds

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2000:

Going the extra mile

Building contractor
Rob Heydenburg, 29, of
Jackson, Michigan, on May 23
moved Jackson Animal
Protective Association f o u n d e r
Dorothy Reynolds, 84, and her
three dogs back into Reynolds’
home of 41 years, which was
nearly destroyed by a February
25 arson. Heydenburg didn’t
previously know Reynolds,
but––impressed with her 39
years of unpaid work with JAPA
and aware she had no insurance––he
deliberately underbid
the repairs required by the building
code, and then completely
renovated and refurnished the
house, even adding a first-floor
half bathroom, driveway, sidewalk,
and privacy fence.


Heydenburg paid for most of the
labor himself, he told ANIMAL
P E O P L E, while other Jackson
builders and suppliers chipped in
with donated or significantly discounted
materials. “I started my
business when I was 21,”
Heydenburg said. I learned it
through my father and his father.
I feel that my life has been prosperous,
and that I’ve been
blessed with not only a talent,
but a strong love for building.
Dorothy’s work on earth has
made a difference, and I wanted
to return the favor.”
Returning to the U.S.
on June 8, after six years in
T a i w a n , Taipei Abandoned
Animals Res-cue Foundation
founder Mina Sharpe, 18,
brought 30 dogs with her for
adoption placement. Lastminute
transport complications
due to the onset of summer
weather boosted the total cost of
the airlift, including vet care, to
nearly $10,000–– about three
times the original estimate. The
most dogs, 13, went to the
Arlington Humane Society,
near Seattle. AHS director Linda
Hunter has helped Sharpe place
dogs for about two years.
Sharpe started TAARF, the first
no-kill shelter in Taiwan, at age
12, and ran it until she graduated
from high school. Now living
near San Diego, Sharpe plans to
study veterinary medicine.
Michele Andre-St.
C y r of Rockland, Ontario,
recently put up $2,500 worth of
turtle crossing signs at her own
expense, with an under-cost
contribution of materials by
Western Signs Inc., w h i l e
Florida State University at
T a l l a h a s s e e graduate student
Matt Aresco shelled out to erect
a 2,600-foot nylon mesh fence
donated by the Florida Department
of Transportation t o
direct turtles through a culvert
instead of over a highway. The
fence saved 2,100 turtles and two
alligators in seven weeks.
Veterinarians
The National Zoo, in
Washington D.C., on June 18
named chief vet Lucy Spelman,
37, to succeed retiring director
Michael Robinson. Spelman, a
National Zoo staffer since 1995,
is the youngest person and first
female ever to head the zoo,
which is a branch of the Smithsonian
Institution. She pledged
to improve the “less than worldclass
enclosures,” and to negotiate
the loan of two more pandas
from China to replace those the
zoo had from 1972 until the last
was euthanized due to severe
conditions of age in 1999.
The Australian-based
World League for the Protection
of Animals on May 19 honored
vet students A n d r e w
K n i g h t and Lucy Fish for winning
the right to study veterinary
medicine without killing healthy
animals at Murdoch University
in Perth (1988) and the
University of Sydney (1999).
Fish also founded a now-national
organization called Vet Students
for Animal Welfare.
The USDA on June 8
honored Florida equine veterinarian
Paul Wollenman, 50,
for recognizing screwworm larvae
on a six-year-old polo pony
named G i t a n o, who had just
arrived from Argentina and had
cleared a three-day quarantine.
The deadly parasite was eradicated
from the U.S. more than 20
years ago, after a 20-year effort.
Gitano was safely treated.
Moving on
Colorado Division of
Wildlife chief John Mumma
retired in June to do more hunting
and fishing, he said, but
warned his successors and the
state legislature to realize that
wild animals should no longer be
viewed as either game, pests, or
predators. “You have a populace
interested in the broadest-scale
definition of wildlife management,”
Mumma said. “It has
evolved in this country past
hook-and-bullet.”
Ex-British Columbia
prime minister Glen Clark,
now a back-bencher in the
provincial legislature, followed
his May introduction of a private
member’s bill to ban housing
discrimination against pets with
a June member’s bill seeking to
stop grizzly bear hunting.
Private bills rarely become law,
but do serve to spotlight issues.
Ron Young, for 13
years head of the Mesker Park
Zoo in Evansville, Indiana, has
reportedly begun a boarding kennel
called A to Z Animal Care
Specialists. Young resigned
under fire in April, after the zoo
lost American Zoological
Association accreditation in part
due to animal sales which
appeared to violate the intent of
the AZA Code of Ethics.

Stars
Loretta Swit, an
animal activist since her days
as “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the
1970s TV series M * A * S * H,
on June 21 unveiled the new
Orange County ( C a l i f o r n i a )
Animal Care Services a d o ption
web site.
The Animal Rights
2000 conference hosted by the
Farm Animal Reform Movem
e n t in Washington D.C. on
July 1-5 was to honor actress
Alicia Silverstone for “her
commitment to educating the
public and entertainment
industry about the benefits of a
vegan lifestyle.”
Elizabeth Mitchell,
30, who played the late Linda
McCartney in the CBS TV
movie The Linda McCartney
S t o r y, told P e o p l e m a g a z i n e
that, “In honor of Linda, I
became a vegetarian. I may
not go back to eating meat.”

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