From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1992:

Montgomery County, Virginia, on November
10 became the first East Coast community to enact a
comprehensive anti-pet breeding ordinance. Similar to
ordinances recently passed in San Mateo County,
California, and King County, Washington, the ordinance
cleared the county council by a 6-0 vote after language
requiring private breeders to license each animal individual-
ly was removed. Anyone who allows pets to reproduce now
must buy a breeder’s permit, the permit number must be
listed in ads offering to sell or give away the offspring, and
the newborn animals must receive vaccinations. The licens-
ing fee for unaltered dogs and cats will be increased by an
unspecified but substantial amount, while the licensing fee
for animals who have been altered will remain $6.00. Each
license is good for three years. The ordinance also enables
the county to sterilize any dog or cat found roaming at large
at least three times in a calendar year. Whether the ordi-
nance can be enforced is still a matter of debate. A compli-
cating factor is that Montgomery County veterinarians
reportedly charge some of the highest prices for spay/neuter
found anywhere in the U.S.––$200 and up––and even dis-
count coupons available through the county humane society
cost as much as $70. Free coupons are available to low-
income pet keepers.

A tranquilizer dart fired by Akron (Ohio)
Animal Control Department warden Ron Praxta bounced
off a feral dog’s head November 17, flew 60 feet, and
struck resident Carolyn Boggess in the forehead as she
stepped out of her car. Although Boggess wasn’t hurt, she
is reportedly investigating legal action, and the incident has
prompted a number of animal control agencies to review
their use of tranquilizer guns.
A three-year effort to control deer overpopula-
tion by nonlethal means has failed at Sharon Woods, an
urban green space in Columbus, Ohio. Just after the 1989
and 1990 rutting seasons, wardens used dart guns to inject
does with the abortifacient drug prostaglandin. About 100
does were treated each year. But the deer population dou-
bled during the same period, according to Metro Parks
operations assistant Bob Blanke. Metro Parks is now con-
sidering introducing hunting, or hiring sharpshooters.
Meanwhile, the deer have become so tame––and so desper-
ate for food, after devastating the undergrowth––that some
eat from visitors’ hands.
Brooklyn, New York, conducted the latest in a
series of rat-killing drives during the week of November 16.
Largely waged via poison traps placed in parks and public
buildings, the rat-killings have never visibly diminished the
city’s rat population for more than a couple of months, but
are considered essential by politicians. Borough President
Howard Golden told reporters the most recent poisoning
effort was, “An example of our commitment on behalf of
the people of Brooklyn to respond to their concerns.”
First, when Ohio wildlife rehabilitator Donna
Robb asked to see state nuisance trapping records, the
Division of Wildlife discontinued collecting them from the
trappers. Then, when she pointed out that failure to collect
required data could constitute a violation of the Ohio Open
Records Act, the Division of Wildlife told trappers that they
need no longer keep the records. Springfield attorney
Shawn Thomas, a member of the state Open Government
Task Force, called the actions “disingenuous.” Cleveland
Plain Dealer reporter Michael Sangiacoma obtained nui-
sance trapping reports from previous years and revealed
glaring discrepancies in what trappers said they did. The
Division of Wildlife continues to insist, however, that mon-
itoring nuisance trappers’ activity is unnecessary.
The Cincinnati SPCA distributed over 80 tons of
free pet food in 1992 in an attempt to help people on public
assistance to keep their pets. The food is donated by an
anonymous benefactor via the city’s Free Store Food Bank.
Officials in Scranton, Pennsylvania, are per-
plexed by the mid-November discovery of at least 41 cats in
the cellar of a row house owned by Goodwill Industries
employee Denise Matylewidcz. Many of the cats were
recently rescued from animal collectors in nearby Dunmore
by Anne Millen of the Agency of Animal Welfare, and
were purportedly either adopted out or euthanized. Millen is
already in court vs. the city for failing to remove 20 to 25
dogs from an illegal kennel. The dogs have apparently been
there since kennel operator Frank Tunnis was put out of
business for neglecting feeding and sanitation several years
Conditions at Edna Senecal’s Esthersville
Animal Shelter in Greenfield Center, New York, are
almost as bad again as they were last winter when she was
convicted of 100 counts of cruelty, humane volunteers who
participated in last year’s rescue have informed ANIMAL
PEOPLE. The purported no-kill shelter consists of outdoor
cages, minimally protected from the elements. Although
Senecal has faced cruelty complaints repeatedly since 1973,
her facility remains operating because New York state law
does not permit routine public inspection of private shelters.
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