From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:

* Wildlife officer Ric Nattrass of the Queensland (Australia) National Parks
and Wildlife Service has concluded that, “Based on data collected by wildlife staff
at the Moggill Centre (in Brisbane), there is no evidence to date that the domestic
cat is a major threat to the long term survival of the city’s native fauna. From a
purely conservation point of view, neither the numbers nor the species taken by cats
are cause for alarm when compared with the losses to urbanization, industrializa-
tion, motor traffic, and the creation of the horse paddock.” Nattrass’ report is
based on the experience of a single metropolitan area, as critics are quick to note,
and flies in the face of conventional belief; but it is worth pointing out that the only
other major study of domestic cat predation to date, by John Lawton and Peter
Churcher, was also based on the experience of a single location, a village in thesub-
urbs of London, England, and also concluded that while cats kill significant num-
bers of animals, the overwhelming majority are common mice, voles, and birds
(principally sparrows).

* The Canadian government on September 12 invoked a 75-day comment
period under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement to delay
implementing regulations that would bar animal brokers (Class B dealers) from
importing dogs. “Importation would be restricted to Class A dealers only, the actu-
al breeders of the puppies,” according to Animal Alliance of Canada director Liz
White. “And even permitting Class A dealers to ship the puppies would be subject
to restrictions on the animals’ age, vaccinations, traveling time, and veterinary
care. The Humane Society of the U.S. says at least 50,000 animals enter Canada
annually, but some industry estimates place the number closer to 100,000, since not
all points of entry are monitored. Closing off Canada as a destination could there-
fore put a big dent in the total number of animals being bred in the U.S. The delay
could be used to give the Canadian pet supply industry time to readjust to the new
rules, or find alternate sources of animals. Of course the puppy mill and pet supply
industry will use the time to try to derail the regulations.” Which is exactly what Pet
Industry Joint Advisory Council Canada executive director Louis McCann has urged
PIJAC members to do. (McCann, ironically, was formerly investigations director
for the Canadian Society for the Protection of Animals.) Letters of support for the
Canadian regulations may be sent to Bill McKnight, Minister of Agriculture, c/o
Agriculture Canada, Sir John Carling Bldg., 930 Carling Ave., Ottawa, Ont. K1A
0C5, Canada.
* Teresa Martinez, 8, and several other children from her neighborhood in
Loveland, Colorado, found themselves in desperate trouble September 13 after dis-
turbing a rattlesnake den. Her dog Lady, 9, a husky-retriever mix, rushed to the
rescue, and though bitten three times, fought off the snakes until the children
escaped. Receiving prompt veterinary treatment, Lady was expected to fully recov-
* Pursued by police on September 23 for allegedly pointing a loaded shotgun at
a 12-year-old boy, Brian Breton, 37, of Cohoes, N.Y., dropped the gun and
dashed into the nearby home of Deb Waz—whose 8-year-old Labrador/collie mix,
Sadie, promptly cornered Breton and held him there until he was handcuffed.
* The Cat Fanciers’ Association offers a pro-spay/neuter bumper sticker for
fifty cents plus a business-sized SASE. Address P.O. Box 1005, Manasquan, NJ
* Two organizations are pushing for Congress to recognize the 30,000 dogs
who have served in the U.S. military with a special monument. The National War
Dogs Memorial Project, of Jacksonville, Florida, headed by former K-9 Corps
handler Joseph J. White, seeks funds to build a monument in Washington D.C.,
while the Hartsdale Canine Cemetery of Hartsdale, New York, seeks to have the
existing War Dog Memorial on its grounds placed on the National Register of
Historic Places. The existing memorial was built with funds donated by school-
children after World War I, when heroic dogs got extensive good press—although
the K-9 Corps wasn’t officially begun until 1932. The memorial includes a bronze
statue of a German shepherd wearing a Red Cross blanket.
* The Los Angeles Police Commission has recommended that K-9 unit officers
be required to shout verbal warnings before setting dogs upon suspected criminals.
Such warnings are already required in most other cities that employ police dogs.
The American Civil Liberties Union recently sued Los Angeles, alleging that police
dogs have been used in a discriminatory manner.
* An orange tomcat named Mierko who lost his tail to shrapnel but never
stopped braving the shelling to chase pigeons has become “a heroic mascot” to resi-
dents of the main municipal shelter in war-torn Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, according
to New York Times correspondent Michael T. Kaufman.
* An unidentified 80-year-old man in Moscow, Russia, tried unsuccessfully to
insure his cat; the man claimed the pigeons the cat catches are a vital part of his
diet. He has reportedly appealed the state-run insurance company’s decision to
Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who reputedly keeps both cats and dogs.
* Pets and People, a nonprofit residence home in Baltimore, enables three
senior citizens who require full-time care to keep up to three companion animals
each; guarantees continued care for the animals if the people are hospitalized or
transferred to a nursing home; and already has a waiting list of 20 would-be resi-
dents. The residents pay $950 a month. The home was established by the Animal
Welfare League of Greater Baltimore through a bequest by the late Tom Heghinian,
who “just gave up,” according to AWLGB president Elizabeth Kirk, when he had
to be separated from his two dogs.
* Willis and Debra Payne of Springfield, Ohio, on August 14 sued to overturn a
Common Pleas Court ruling that their dog should be disinterred from a local ceme-
tery because the space is for humans only. The suit alleges that numerous animals
have been buried there without objection during the past 40 years. The Common
Pleas Court ordered the dog disinterred after several other plot owners argued that
the burial amounted to desecration.
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