From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1992:

Humane Enforcement
The U.S. Supreme Court is be-
lieved likely to overturn the city of Hialeah,
Florida’s five-year-old ban on animal sacri-
fice. The Supreme Court heard arguments
in the case of Church of Lukuki Babalu Aye
vs. Hialeah on November 3. The church
practices the Santeria religon, popular
among Caribbean immigrants, in which ani-
mal sacrifice is central to many rituals. The
Santerians’ argument that the ban violates
their freedom of religion is backed by the
Presbyterian Church, the American Jewish
Committee, the Catholic League for
Religious and Civil Rights, and other groups
representing Mormons, Mennonites, and
Seventh Day Adventists. The latter church
includes vegetarianism and kindness to ani-
mals as central tenets, but like the others
fears legal precedents that could open the
way for other laws proscribing worship. If
the Hialeah ban is overturned, similar bans
in San Francisco and Los Angeles will also

The courts may be asked to
decide whether Kentucky does or doesn’t
permit cockfighting. In 1980 the Kentucky
legislature passed a bill exempting birds
from the anti-cruelty statute, thus making
cockfights legal. Then-governor John Y.
Brown vetoed the bill, but in 1990, former
state attorney general Fred Cowan ruled that
he hadn’t done so within the requisite 10
days. However, Greenup County attorney
Mike Wilson pointed out recently that the
1980 bill has never been added to the state
law books, and that Cowan’s opinion did
not carry the weight of law, inasmuch as he
was not a judge. Thus Wilson has refused to
recommend that the Greenup County fiscal
court should approve an application to open
a cockfighting pit in a former schoolhouse.
A November 11 raid on a dog-
fighting meet near Saginaw, Michigan,
netted 126 suspects from six states and 21
scarred pit bull terriers. The pit bulls were
taken to the Saginaw County Humane
Society, where society president Melanie
Jungerheld recommended them for euthana-
Dogfighting trainer Donnie Best,
35, of Orange County, North Carolina,
drew two years on probation October 28 and
surrendered 22 pit bulls for euthanasia. The
dogs were seized in August. Best was also
fined $500, half the maximum, and ordered
to pay the Orange County Animal Control
shelter $4,500 for boarding the dogs pending
resolution of the case.
City officials in Taylor,
Michigan, are trying to draft a special ordi-
nance to deal with John Curcio, 23, who
claims to be “teaching kids to love and care
for animals” via a menagerie of 80 pheas-
ants, two silver foxes, and three raccoons,
but who allegedly also sells live birds to dog
Verl Sowards, 36, of Danbury,
O h i o , was charged with criminal trespass-
ing and disorderly conduct on Halloween
after trying to recover a four-month-old
Labrador retriever who was adopted out to
the local police chief by the Ottawa County
Humane Society before the mandatory
three-day waiting period expired. The chief
passed the dog along to another family, who
in turn gave her to relatives in Pennsylvania,
who refused to return her to Sowards––who
found out she had been picked up as a stray
the day the holding period would have
The SPCA of Anne Arundel
County, Maryland, asks that letters be
sent to Judge Vincent Fernia, protesting a
lenient sentence given to a man who was
convicted of beating a puppy to death in
front of witnesses on a sidewalk. The man
got one night in jail; the maximum was 90
days in jail plus a fine of $1,000. The
address is c/o Circuit Court, 14735 Main
St., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.
Crimes Against Humans
The Knox County, Tennesee
sheriff’s department is holding elephant
trainer Thomas Dee Huskey, 32, as a sus-
pect in the murders of at least four prosti-
tutes, whose remains were found in
October. Apparently known to local prosti-
tutes as “The Zoo Man,” Huskey worked at
the Knoxville Zoo for two years but was
fired in November 1990 for allegedly abus-
ing elephants. He later worked for contro-
versial menagerie keeper Kevin Antle, and
is believed to have recently traveled to
Boston, Mass., and Rochester, N.Y., with
King Richard’s Renaissance Faire. Four
prostitutes found dead near Rochester in
September were killed in a similar manner
to those killed in Knox County. Only last
February, Knoxville police charged Huskey
with two counts of aggravated rape, aggra-
vated kidnapping, and robbery after being
called by one victim and arriving at the
scene to find him allegedly in the act of
attacking another. The charges were
dropped when one victim failed to appear to
testify while a grand jury refused to indict in
the other case.
Air National Guard squadron
commander Lt. Col. John Meacham, 46,
of Palmyra, Pennsylvania, told his neigh-
bors that their son, Lester Frank Landes Jr.,
36, was a menace to his seven children
because of his habit of shooting wild ani-
mals in their yard. Walking in on the con-
versation, Landes shot Meacham dead,
then killed himself.
Michael Kagen, 37, was arrest-
ed November 22 in San Francisco for
allegedly shooting to death rock-and-roll
star Phillip Bury, 38, of Buck Naked and
the Bare Boys, apparently because Bury’s
dog chased pigeons in Golden Gate Park.
Robert Carroll, 48, of Green-
wood County, Pennsylvania, was arrested
November 23 for threatening to shoot a man
who was walking his dog near Carroll’s
mother’s grave. Carroll had been upset since
finding feces on the grave a year before.
U.S. Customs on October 26 inter-
cepted a shipment of portable dog kennels
from Columbia molded from a cocaine-
based resin. Similar kennels were intercept-
ed twice in 1991. Smugglers retrieve the
cocaine by grinding the kennels into dust,
then applying chemicals.
Alleged Animal Liberation Front
member Darren Thurston, 22, is sched-
uled for trial January 11 in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada, for allegedly taking 29
cats from a University of Alberta neurologi-
cal laboratory kennel and doing $50,000 in
property damage last June 1. Charges
against alleged accomplice Grant Horwood,
24, were stayed for up to one year on
November 12, meaning they can be refiled
and prosecuted at the Crown Attorney’s dis-
cretion. The FBI is seeking another alleged
accomplice, David Nathan Barbarash, 27,
in Oregon. Police believe a fourth raid par-
ticipant, identity unknown, is also still at
large. It isn’t known whether the individuals
at large are considered suspects in the
November 9 firebombing of five trucks
belonging to Swanson Meats Inc., of
Minneapolis, Minnesota––also attributed to
the ALF.
Bird shoot protesters Myer Taksel
and Jacqui Hindi were arrested three times
each while objecting to a pheasant hunt
November 3 at the Des Plaines Fish and
Wildlife Area in rural Illinois. Protest orga-
nizer Steve Hindi meanwhile filed cruelty
charges against one of the hunters for
allegedly beating his dog. Hindi was hit by
a pickup truck aggressively driven by a
hunter at a similar protest near Joliet two
weeks later, but escaped injury––and was
himself arrested for disorderly conduct.
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.