BOOKS: One At A Time: A Week in an American Animal Shelter

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:

One At A Time: A Week in an American Animal Shelter
by Diane Leigh & Marilee Geyer
No Voice Unheard (P.O. Box 4171, Santa Cruz, CA
95063), 2005. 146 pages, paperback. $16.95.

One At A Time is a heartbreaking account
of one week in an animal shelter. While many
animals will find a new home, many other
exquisite animals will not. The pictures of the
cats and dogs at the shelter are compelling; it
is tempting to recommend that this book should be
part of a national humane education curriculum at
schools.
“This is how companion animal
overpopulation works,” Leigh and Geyer write.
“Simple math, where the numbers are lives and
those responsible are unaccountable┼á”

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World Wildlife Fund chopper crash kills 24

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
KATMANDU, Nepal–A helicopter chartered by the World
Wildlife Fund crashed on September 23 near Gunsa, 250 kilometers
east of Katmandu, the Nepalese capital, killing all 24 people
aboard.
The flight was transporting officials to a ceremony at which
management of the Kanchenjuna Conservation Area Project was to be
turned over to the community. The region attracts birders trekking
to see Himalayan monal, emerald doves, and maroon orioles, among
other rare high-elevation species.

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Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
Pegeen McAllister, 85, died on
September 24. As longtime Dublin SPCA secretary,
McAllister with Edna Ardagh formed the Irish SPCA
in 1949. “She served for many years on the
Society’s executive council, representing the
Wicklow SPCA, and holding at different times the
offices of chair, president and trustee,”
recalled World Society for the Protection of
Animals director general Peter Davies. Among her
projects, Davies listed, was passage of
legislation in1986 “which provided for setting up
pounds throughout the country and employing dog
wardens to collect strays. Perhaps her most
significant achievement,” Davies said, was
“ending of the export of horses for slaughter in
1960. This trade involved terrible suffering for
animals, often ill or injured, who were shipped
to continental Europe in all weather. Supported
by Margo Dean, Nancy Hatte, and Molly Meyers,
Pegeen visited docks and ships, and saw at first
hand the cruelty involved. She was also closely
involved in setting up the Richard Martin
Restfields, which provide sanctuary for horses
and donkeys.”

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Animal obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
Jesse, 13, a trained service dog, on October 15, 2006
alerted Jamie Hanson, 49, to a housefire started when her cat
knocked over a candle, took Hanson her artificial leg and a
telephone, led her outside, then returned inside and was killed
trying to rescue the cat, who also died.

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BOOKS: Pigeons

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:

Pigeons
by Andrew D. Blechman
Grove Press (841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003), 2006. 256 pages. $23.00

An enthralling study, this book covers the whole spectrum of
topics associated with pigeons, once revered and respected as
messengers, now often reviled as “rats with wings.” Author Andrew
Blechman explores both the methods and motives of pigeon fanciers,
who often devote their whole lives to breeding and racing their
birds; military messengers, some of whom still use pigeons in
places and situations where electronics are impractical; and
recreational pigeon shooters, to whom the birds are no more than
challenging targets. Read more

Bang the drum slowly for Irish greyhounds

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
DUBLIN–The Irish Greyhound Board reportedly used DNA
profiling to trace the owner who abandoned a racing greyhound in
Tramore, County Waterford, in April 2006, after cutting off her
ears to remove her tattoos. The Waterford SPCA found the greyhound
roaming at large. The owner was located in Munster. No further
information about the case has been disclosed.
A furor broke meanwhile when John O’Connor, manager of
Custy’s Traditional Music Shop in Ennis, County Clare, admitted
selling bodhran drums covered with greyhound skin. “We sell
greyhound,” O’Connor told Mark Tighe of the London Sunday Times,
“but the majority of our bodhrans are sourced locally and made from
goat or calf skin. In every tourist shop you go into, those
mass-produced bodhrans would be from the subcontinent and would
generally be greyhound or some other poor-quality skin.”

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Class action in greyhound theft for sale to labs case

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
MILWAUKEE–Greyhound racing trainer George Panos, of Hudson,
Wisconsin, in mid-October 2006 filed a class action lawsuit on
behalf of as many as 1,000 racing dog owners against former Greyhound
Adoption of Iowa president Daniel Shonka for allegedly selling dogs
to laboratories without the owners’ consent. Shonka claimed to be
placing the dogs in good homes, the suit alleges.
Shonka on February 6, 2003 pleaded guilty to both felony and
misdemeanor theft of greyhounds by fraud. The owners were told
either that Shonka was racing their dogs at the now defunct St. Croix
Meadows Greyhound Racing Park in Hudson, Wisconsin, or that he had
placed the dogs in homes.

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BOOKS: The Medici Giraffe And Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:

The Medici Giraffe
And Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power
by Marina Belozerskaya
Little, Brown & Co. (1271 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY
10020), 2006. 412 pages, paperback. $24.99.

Marina Belozerskaya has given us a diverse collection of mini
histories beginning in ancient Egypt. She examines exotic
animal-keeping in the Roman Empire, Renaissance Florence, Aztec
Mexico, Bohemia, Napoleonic France, and the early 20th century U.S.
Through time and across continents, Belozerskaya reveals the
use and abuse of exotic animals by powerful people.
A postscript about the sale from China to the U.S. of two
giant pandas, at an exorbitant price, in order to cement relations
between the two global powers, shows that when it comes to using
animals to advance the goals of ambitious people, nothing has
changed in two and half thousand years.

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BOOKS: The World of the Polar Bear & Among Wild Horses

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:

The World of the Polar Bear
by Norbert Rosing
Firefly Books (P.O. Box 1338, Ellicot Station, Buffalo, NY 14205), 2006.
202 pages, hardcover, illust. $45.00.

Among Wild Horses:
A portrait of the Pryor Mountain Mustangs
Photos by Lynne Pomeranz. Text by Rhonda Massingham
Storey Publishing (210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247),
2006. 134 pages, hardcover, illustrated. $16.95.

The World of the Polar Bear and Among Wild Horses are a world
apart from most of the other coffee table books we’ve seen lately.
First of all, the exquisite photos show authentic wild
animals, in panoramic views of the wild, except for some mustangs
in Among Wild Horses who appear to be in a holding corral after a
recent round-up.
Second, the text actually describes what the photos show,
and often explains how the photographer captured the scene. Neither
The World of the Polar Bear nor Among Wild Horses is a recycled
thesis, going into depth and detail about biological facts while
evading the controversies surrounding their subjects.

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