BOOKS: Alligators & Crocodiles

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

Alligators & Crocodiles, by Eric
D. Stoops and Debbie Ly n n e
Stone. Sterling Publishing (387 Park
Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-
8810), 1996. 80 pages, illustrated,
$13.95 paperback.

At about age four, I was terrified
of a mummified baby Cuvier’s Dwarf
Caiman belonging to a student who roomed
with us––in part because he was dead. I
sensed that the caiman no more wanted to be
among us than I wanted him to be there.
Alligators & Crocodiles brought that 40-
year-old memory back with a photo, captioned
“Studies of the contents of the stomach
of the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman suggest
that these caimans sometimes eat their
young.” Adds a second caption, “Probably
the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman is the rarest.”
Small wonder. Most other crocodilians are,
if nothing else, devoted mothers. And this
book tells everything any child is likely to
want to know about them.

BOOKS: The Flight of the Red Knot

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

The Flight of the Red Knot, by
Brian Harrington with Charles
Flowers. W.W. Norton & Company,
Inc. (500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
10110), published in association with
WGBH–Boston and Manomet
Observatory, 1996. 192 pages; $29.95.

Subtitled “A natural history
account of a small bird’s annual migration
from the Arctic Circle to the tip of South
America and back,” this is a beautifully
illustrated book about the remarkable yearly
journeys of a species of sandpiper known as
the red knot. Measuring approximately 10
inches long and weighing about 20 ounces,
this hardy traveller migrates nearly 18,000
miles every year––an awesome distance by
any reckoning.

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BOOKS: Out of Harm’s Way: the extraordinary true story of one woman’s lifelong devotion to animal rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

Out of Harm’s Way: the extraordinary true story
of one woman’s lifelong devotion to animal rescue
by Terri Crisp and Samantha Glen.
Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020), 1996. 394 pages, $23.00 hardcover.
Portions of the proceeds are donated to United Animal Nations.

I remember seeing film footage
back in the late 1950s of people rescuing animals
during a flood, wondering why they
were doing that. Raised on an isolated
Quebec farm, with animals as my constant
and only regular companions, I knew animals
were pretty smart, and I thought they
were capable of surviving or escaping disasters
of all sorts on their own.

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Was MOVE an animal rights group?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

PHILADELPHIA––Jury
selection began April 2 for the
trial of MOVE activist
Ramona Africa’s damage suit
against the city of
Philadelphia.
Ramona Africa and her 13-
year-old son Birdie were the
sole survivors of the May 13,
1985 bombing by Philadelphia
police of the MOVE
headquarters, ending a 90-
minute siege during which the
police fired an estimated
10,000 rounds. MOVE members
had two pistols, two
shotguns, and a .22 rifle. Six
adults and five children were
killed; 61 homes burned.
The siege is widely noted
as a landmark in the history of
Afro-American militant conflict
with authority. Recent
accounts have often added the
claim that MOVE had an
“animal rights” orientation.
From the April 2 edition of
The New York Times:
“MOVE, an interracial
group founded in the early
1970s around the issues of
animal rights and police
brutality, preaches a backto-nature
life.”
The source of this information
seems to be Ramona
Africa herself, who has
claimed in recent writings
and lectures s that MOVE
was vegetarian and animal –
oriented. In an e-mail to
ANIMAL PEOPLE, she
claimed MOVE in the
1970s led demonstrations,
purportedly violently repressed
by police, against
Canadian sealing, the
Philadelphia Zoo and
b a b o o n – h e a d – c r u s h i n g
experiments at the University
of Pennsylvania. She
also claimed MOVE
founder John Africa “did
more to stop dogfighting in
Rochester, New York,
than anybody else up
there,” without citing
specifics as to when or
how.
Elaborating, MOVE
supporter Marpessa Kupendua
said MOVE had a “20-
year history of getting their
asses kicked while protesting
at zoos, circuses, and pet
stores,” and alleged online
that, “Dick Gregory stole his
entire [vegetarian] health
empire from the writings of
John Africa.”
However, A N I M A L
PEOPLE has so far found no
confirmation of these claims in
sources predating the bombing
• The electronic archives
of the Philadelphia Inquirer
and the Philadelphia Daily
News include extensive coverage
of MOVE, which was
locally prominent for more
than a decade before the
bombing, and was involved in
a 1978 shootout that killed a
police officer; nine MOVE
members drew 30 years to life
in prison. The only animalrelated
coverage, however,
pertains to neighbors’ complaints
about apparent animalcollecting,
which Ramona
Africa describes as rescuing,
involving the accumulation of
unneutered, un-vaccinated
dogs in filthy conditions.
• Contemporary animal
rights literature takes no notice
of MOVE, even in seeking
Afro-American links. T h e
Animals’ Agenda m a g a z i n e
apparently never mentioned
MOVE, despite the interest of
longtime staffers in cause linkage
and racial justice.
• Nothing about MOVE
appears in histories of animal
rights activism, including the
works of Rod Preece and
Lorna Chamberlain, David
Helvarg, Rik Scarce, Richard
Ryder, Lawrence and Susan
Finsen, James Jasper and
Dorothy Nelkin, and Andrew
Rowan.
• The extensive ANIMAL
P E O P L E files on the head
injury lab protests and on the
Philadelphia Zoo include nothing
mentioning MOVE.
• Anti-animal rights literature,
which seldom misses a
chance to link animal rights
views with fanaticism, takes
no notice of MOVE, either.
• MOVE did not rate a
mention in the 1993 U.S.
Department of Justice Report
on Animal Rights Terrorism.
Ambiguous references linking
MOVE to some animal
rights concerns were included
in a 1987 book about the
bombing, Burning Down The
House, by John Anderson and

REVIEWS: Tools for humane work

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

New from Doing Things For Animals,
POB 2165, Sun City, AZ 85372-2165:
When Bob Frank of the Society of St. Francis
needed help to find homes for the last of the hundreds of
animals left behind by the demise of Ann Fields and her
Love & Care for God’s Animalife shelter in rural
Alabama, he picked up the 1995 No-Kill Directory, edited
by Lynda Foro, and started calling. It worked. Now
the 1996 edition is out, thicker than ever with approximately
250 listings. Price: $15.

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Fields’ survivors charged in Love & Care case

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

MONTGOMERY, Ala.––
Attorney general Jeff Sessions on
February 28 announced the indictments of
Ronald Lee Denney, 30, Tina Elizabeth
(Fields) Denney, 33, and H. Louis Jones,
DVM, for criminal conspiracy. The trio
allegedly diverted donations to the former
Love & Care for God’s Animalife no-kill
shelter to their own newly formed organization,
Saving Animals From Euthanasia.
They were also indicted for allegedly
receiving stolen property, misrepresenting
themselves in order to adopt eight
dogs and 12 cats who were evacuated
from the Love & Care premises to a temporary
adoption center set up in
Montgomery by the North Shore Animal
League and the Montgomery County
Humane Society. They then claimed in a
funding appeal that they had saved the
animals’ lives.
Earlier, the Denneys and Jones
issued numerous appeals, apparently
using the Love & Care mailing list,
asserting that court-appointed receiver
Alan Cory intended to euthanize the 754
animals who were left after Tina
Denney’s mother, Ann Fields, 49, died
suddenly on October 21, 1995, at home
in Indian Wells, California, while facing
legal action for fraud begun by assistant
Alabama attorney general Dennis Wright
in June 1995. The action originated in
part out of a dossier on Love & Care compiled
by ANIMAL PEOPLE from 1988
to 1994 and forwarded to Wright’s predecessor
on the case.
In fact, 484 dogs and 198 cats
from Love & Care were placed for adoption
or lifelong shelter care, while 27
dogs and 45 cats died or were euthanized.
Other leaders in the placement effort
included the Alabama Federation of
Animal Control and Humane Societies,
the Chicago-based Society of St. Francis,
and the Humane Society of North Pinellas
County, of Clearwater, Florida.
Millions
The Denneys and Jones were all
long associated with Love & Care,
founded by Ann Fields in Rockdale
County, Georgia, in 1963, but not
incorporated until 1976. Sued as an
alleged public nuisance in 1979, Love &
Care was ordered to move in 1984.
Fields and her first husband,
Jerry Fields, opened a second shelter;
turned over management of both facilities
to Ronald Denney; and moved to
California to evade arrest. They already
drew more than $1 million a year in donations,
but still pleaded dire poverty in
“urgent” appeals, often bearing handwritten
notes about fictitious disasters.
The Georgia secretary of state
revoked Love & Care’s charitable status
in 1987. In November 1989, Rockdale
County closed the two Love & Care shelters;
Fields moved some animals to a new
site near Andalusia, Alabama, where it
was soon business as usual.
Fields reportedly visited the
Andalusia shelter just once. She divorced
Jerry Fields and married a much younger
man, Victor Lagunas, in 1993. Some
sources have identified Lagunas to A N IMAL
PEOPLE as being actually the
boyfriend of longtime employee Linda
Lewis. In June 1994, Fields announced
the firing of Ronald Denney, whom she
accused in the Love & Care newsletter of
stealing equipment and running drugs.
Lewis purportedly quit in September
1994, providing damaging information
about Love & Care to the Alabama Office
of the Attorney General.
Suicide
Fields’ body was purportedly
discovered by Lagunas and also identified
by Jerry Fields and Lewis, who told
police she was Fields’ “daughter, but not
by blood.” According to information
received by ANIMAL PEOPLE f r o m
sources close to the investigation, Fields’
death, from an overdose of Propoxyphene
(Darvon), in a horse-sized capsule, was
first classed as a homicide. It was
reclassed a suicide because there were no
marks on her body indicating that the
ingestion of the drug might have been
forced. The body was released by the
coroner on October 24 and buried in
Mexico two days later.
The Love & Care shelter was
burned as a public health hazard following
the removal of the animals.
Authorites continue to seek Fields’ assets;
at her death, she owed more than $1 million
in unpaid taxes.

COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

Money
Allen G. Schwartz, U.S. District Judge for Washington
D . C ., on April 4 issued a default judgement against former H u m a n e
Society of the U.S. board member Irwin H. (Sonny) Bloch, 58, his wife
Hilda, and six of his companies, ordering them to repay $3.9 million they
collected under allegedly fraudulent pretext via the radio talk show Bloch
hosted from 1980 to 1995. Bloch is also charged in Newark federal court
with defrauding investors of $21 million, and in Manhattan with tax fraud
and perjury. HSUS executives have refused to say to what extent HSUS
might have been influenced by Bloch’s financial advice. He was associated
with HSUS for at least a decade, was elected to the board in January
1991, and left coincidental with his indictment early last year.

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Moving fast for turtles to stay ahead of Tauzin

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

NEW YORK, N.Y.––Manhattan is a long
way from Louisiana, but expert intervention by the
New York Turtle and Tortoise Society on March 21
brought 10,000 Louisiana box turtles their biggest break
since they hatched.
As a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service memo put
it, “The Office of Scientific Authority is unable to find
that export of Gulf Coast box turtles and three-toed box
turtles collected in Louisiana will not be detrimental to
the survival of either subspecies. Therefore OSA advises
that an export quota of zero be set for 1996 for box
turtles,” who previously could be taken only from
Louisiana.

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ESA revision bill unlikely to go to vote

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

WASHINGTON, D.C.––
The Biodiversity Legal Foundation
on April 1 led a coalition of grassroots
groups in filing suit against
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
for alleged violation of the
Endangered Species Act and
Administrative Procedures Act on
February 27, when in keeping with
the moratorium on listing new
endangered species agreed to by
President Bill Clinton and
Republican Congressional leaders,
about 4,000 species were dropped
from consideration as “formal candidates”
for protection.

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