Animal Control & Rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:

New Hampshire has followed
New Jersey and Connecticut in establish-
ing a statewide low-cost neutering pro-
gram. The New Hampshire program, man-
aged by the state department of agriculture
and funded by a $2.00 surcharge on dog
licenses, will subsidize neutering animals
adopted from shelters and those belonging
to people of low income.
The percentage of purebreds
among dogs received by pounds and shel-
ters appears to be edging up, e.g. from 22%
in 1991 to 25% in 1992 at the SPCA of
Monterey County, California, which keeps
some of the most comprehensive records on
purebreds. Other shelters claim to be
receiving as many as 30% purebreds. The
percentage may be up simply because total
admissions are generally down while the
number of dogs surrendered by owners is
holding even, and owned dogs are more
likely to be purebred.

Humane activists in Dallas,
Texas, are cracking down on backyard
dog breeders by reporting suspected tax
evaders to the Internal Revenue Service and
by participating in the Volunteer
Opportunities in Code Enforcement pro-
gram of the Dallas Department of Housing
and Neighborhood Services. VOICE autho-
rizes volunteer citizens to help enforce zon-
ing, construction, and sanitation codes as
inspector assistants, researchers, and case-
workers, who help code violators to bring
their premises up to standard. Applicable
Dallas ordinances include bans on home-
based retail businesses; commercial animal-
rearing on sites of less than three acres; the
sale, adoption, or giveaway of dogs or cats
from unauthorized sites; and a limit on yard
sales of two per year, none to last more
than three consecutive days. Any sale from
a residence is considered a yard sale.
Breeders are identified via their advertising.
While the Dallas push is relatively new,
similar efforts in Denver have reportedly
been successful for more than a decade.
Advises Tawana Couch-Jurek, whose May
letter to ANIMAL PEOPLE about hitting
backyard breeders for tax evasion drew
wide attention, “Contact your city’s zoning
enforcement department. Codes to look for
cover home occupations and animal produc-
tion. In most cities it is illegal to advertise a
home-based business. Advertising is used
as evidence in court against the alleged vio-
lator. You may look at the home occupation
ordinances and not see the word ‘animals.’
That doesn’t matter. A breeder may claim
to breed animals as a hobby, but if there is
money made, it is a business by law…The
animal control department does not handle
enforcement of these ordinances. Code
enforcement is the department in charge.”
Michigan senate bill SB605,
awaiting action, would delete the phrase
“beasts of another” from the state felony
anticruelty statute, enabling felony prosecu-
tion of animal abusers whether or not the
ownership of the victims is established. The
amendment would make the bill potentially
effective against Santerians, as well as indi-
vidual animal serial killers. A second pend-
ing Michigan bill, SB189, would add “san-
itary conditions” to the existing definition of
“adequate care,” as well as closing loop-
holes in the misdemeanor anticruelty laws.
The Massachusetts House of
Representatives committee on Natural
Resources and Agriculture has recommend-
ed passage of H5092, a bill to ban the pri-
vate possession or sale of hybrid exotic cats
and wolf hybrids. The bill is supported by
the North American Wolf Foundation,
based in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and pro-
filed on page 8.
Bills to make attending an illegal
dogfight a misdemeanor have cleared both
houses of the Louisiana legislature, but dif-
ferences must still be resolved before a final
version becomes law.
Because behavioral problems are
the leading cause of failed adoptions, the
San Francisco SPCA now requires dog
adopters to attend an obedience course.
The Metro Animal Control
Shelter in Birmingham, Alabama, was
scheduled to close July 2, after the City of
Birmingham refused to renew funding of
$600,000 for the facility, which also serves
Jefferson County and nine suburbs. Pending
a last-minute reprieve, all staff were to be
laid off, and most of the animals in custody
were apparently to be euthanized.
More than a year after the
Newnan TimesHerald revealed that three
dogs had been cannibalized at the Newnan
city pound, pound conditions have actually
deteriorated, according to recent follow-
ups. The pound reportedly lacks appropriate
fencing, running hot water, wind barriers,
and winter heating; impounded dogs
allegedly sleep in their own feces; and the
use of drugs for euthanasia is restricted
because labor is supplied by jail inmates.
The 1993 Meacham Foundation
grants for animal shelter improvement have
been awarded to the SPCA of Monterey
County and the Humane Society of
Humboldt County, in California; the
Humane Society of Willamette Valley, in
Oregon; and the Kitsap Humane Society
and Bellingham-Whatcom County Humane
Society and SPCA, in Washington.
Recipients of the $4,000 grants are chosen
semi-annually by the American Humane
Association (63 Inverness Drive East,
Englewood, CO 80112-5117).
Philadelphia reputedly has the
most rats per capita of any U.S. city: 1.6
million, one for each person. Sanitation
officials blame the use of kitchen sinks to
dispose of food waste and the popularity of
bird-feeding. Even where rats can’t raid the
feed trays, they feast on spillage (and the
eggs of any birds whose nests they find).
City officials in Cairo, Egypt,
are putting out arsenic to kill an estimated
seven million homeless dogs and cats,
along with 50 million rats. A similar
slaughter several years ago brought a rodent
population explosion, as rats, mice, and
shrews replenished their numbers far faster
than the dogs and cats who prey upon them.
The House Rabbit Society finds
homes for abandoned rabbits and distributes
information to assist rabbit rescuers.
Membership is $16/year. For details, write
P.O. Box 49356, Los Angeles, CA 90049.
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