Animal Control & Rescue
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:
Animal shelters, public or private, must hold
animals at least five days including a Saturday before
releasing them to Class B dealers or researchers, under an
amendment to Animal Welfare Act enforcement regulations
that took effect August 23. Written certification that the
holding period has been met must accompany each animal.
The Bronx SPCA, recently incorporated by
American SPCA officers Stephen Zawistowski, Eugene
Underwood, and Harold Finkelstein, exists “to make sure
we would have consistent law enforcement authority” with-
in the whole of New York City, Zawistowski told ANI-
MAL PEOPLE. The ASPCA was incorporated before the
Bronx was, and therefore the charter granted to the ASPCA
by the state of New York does not specifically authorize it
as the sole animal protection law enforcement agency for
the Bronx, as it does for the other New York City boroughs.
The ASPCA has nonetheless always served the Bronx under
the general authority of the Bronx incorporation agreement,
which extended all city services to the Bronx. “If another
organization had incorporated as an SPCA in the Bronx, it
would have made our enforcement work more complicated,”
Zawistowski said. He denied that the Bronx SPCA was
formed to counter legislation proposed by Garo Alexanian
of the Companion Animal Network, which would allow
each borough to have its own SPCA. Under New York law,
an SPCA differs from other humane societies in having law
Under a timetable proposed by the New York
City Department of Public Health, a plan for taking over
animal control service from the ASPCA is to be finalized
September 24 and published October 4. Proposals from
potential service contractors are due by December 6. A bid
will be accepted by March 21, 1994, negotiations are to be
finished by May 16, the contract will be discussed at a
September 8 hearing, and the new contractor should be
doing animal pickups by November, roughly 18 months
after the ASPCA announced it would drop the city pound
contract it has held since 1894.
New York governor Mario Cuomo on July 28
vetoed a bill to allow emergency technicians to practice
intubation on cats who have been anesthetized for surgery
at the ASPCA clinic. The ASPCA supported a similar bill
last year, but took no position on this year’s bill.
The Dallas-based SPCA of Texas has assumed
management of the two Humane Society of Texas shelters
in the towns of McKinney and Wylie, and the financially
troubled HST has effectively disbanded. Former HST vol-
unteers have formed a new group, the Humane Society
Adoption and Rescue League, with a cat adoption center in
North Dallas and about 30 available foster homes in subur-
ban areas surrounding Dallas. The new group and the SPCA
immediately clashed, after SPCA staff euthanized more
than 100 sickly dogs and cats at the McKinney shelter. The
volunteer group said the euthanasias were unnecessary.
Arlington, Texas, has tabled a bill to license
pet breeders, in favor of forming a 15-to-20-member com-
mitte of breeders, humane workers, and uninvolved resi-
dents to investigate other approaches to pet overpopulation.
The Humane Society of Greater Akron has
elected an all-new board of directors headed by James
Noonan, DVM, ending a three-year feud between volun-
teers and management that culminated in the resignations of
executive director Dee Durst and former president Bob
Lovell last May.
Legislation In Support of Animals has sued the
Town of Franklinton, Louisiana, seeking a temporary
restraining order to prevent animal warden Earl Varnado
from continuing to shoot impounded animals upon receipt.
Franklinton officials closed the Franklinton Dog Pound in
1991, under pressure from LISA to rectify inhumane condi-
tions there, and pledged to build a new shelter. Animals
were to be boarded with local veterinarians meanwhile.
However, shelter construction was never funded, and ani-
mals were apparently never boarded, either. LISA learned
of the perfidy in early July, after Varnado shot three dogs in
front of five small children.
Under pressure from the the Logan County
Humane Society and the Champaign County Humane
Association, led by veterinarian Charles Wingfield, the
commissioners of Champaign County, Ohio, finally made
$4,782 worth of improvements to the county shelter that
were initially discussed a year ago––including removing a
chute through which people dropped off animals. Wingfield
also noted severe sanitation and ventilation problems.
Parvo virus recently hit eight of the 36 dogs at
the Lake County shelter in Painesville Township, Ohio,
when a heat wave aggravated an air circulation problem
shortly after an ailing stray was impounded and died. Dog
warden Nancy Talamantez appealed to the public for dona-
tions of powerful fans to blow the airborne virus out.
Dog warden Tom Skeldon, of Lucas County,
Ohio, credits a 1987 state law restricting ownership of
vicious dogs with reducing the pit bull terrier population in
the Toledo area by more than 80%.
Veterinarian Peggy Larson of Green Mountain
Animal Defenders, profiled in the July/August ANIMAL
PEOPLE, and her partner Roger Prior, DVM, have begun
neutering all animals adopted from the Burlington County
Humane Society, of Burlington, Vermont. The GMAD
team is helping another low-cost neutering clinic to get start-
ed in Vermont––at West Haven, under Arnold Brown,
DVM, who neutered 326 cats in Connecticut during 1991-
1992 for ANIMAL PEOPLE publisher Kim Bartlett’s
neuter/release project, described here several times.
Increased pressure on illegal badger baiters and
dogfighters is driving them out of England and Wales, into
less populated Scotland, according to British police. From
9,000 to 10,000 badgers per year are killed in staged fights
with dogs, says Jerry Brookes, chair of the National
Federation of Badger Groups. “A fully grown badger is
more than a match for any single dog,” explains wildlife
liaison officer Sgt. Graham Young, “but they are usually
faced with two dogs and fresh dogs are put in all the time.
The outcome is always death for the badger.” Poachers sell
badgers to baiting rings for as much as $2,000 apiece.
Four of Spain’s 17 regions including Madrid
now mandate microchip identification of dogs. Fifty
thousand animals received microchip ID in Madrid within
the first six months after the requirement was adopted.
Rangers at Olympic National Park in
Washington reluctantly shot a 94-pound puma on August 9
who had lost fear of humans after being fed by staff at the
Kalaloch Lodge campground––and then showed the lodge
staffers the remains of a pet cat found in the puma’s stom-
ach, lecturing them on the consequences of attracting a big
predator into proximity to people, including small children.
Colin McClelland, 24, shot a 240-pound male
black bear through the door of his camping trailer near
Salida, Colorado, in early August. The wounded bear then
crashed into the trailer, killed McClelland, and spent the
Chestnut Lane ad
next three days eating him before being discovered and
killed by state wildlife officials.
An ultrasonic alarm developed by Phoenix
Aerotech of Truro, Nova Scotia, and a 104-decibel “elec-
tronic scarecrow” invented by two University of Cincinnati
exterminators reportedly show promise in driving birds
away from airports and areas sensitive to droppings. Both
devices use sound variations to maintain effectiveness.
The Maine Department of Transportation has
admitted to error in allowing a bridge repair crew to hose
swallows’ nests full of chicks out of a ramp at the Maine
State Ferry Terminal in Lincolnville on July 10. Ferry pas-
sengers who saw seagulls devouring the chicks alive flood-
ed the DOT with complaints.
The City of Los Angeles voted June 28 to dis-
continue all coyote trapping, after a year of attempting to
control coyotes with cage traps instead of the traditional
leghold traps. The number of coyotes caught fell from 93 to
37, while the number of reported coyote attacks on pets
rose from 146 to 218. However, the Department of Animal
Regulation commissioners noted that the city is not legally
responsible for coyote attacks if it does not purport to con-
trol coyotes, and that the use of leghold traps also involves
a liability risk. “My thought is that if we leave the coyotes
alone, they will leave us alone,” said DAR commissioner
Jaime Velasco, DVM. The vote culminated a 23-year
campaign on behalf of coyotes led by Lila Brooks of
California Wildlife Defenders, based in Hollywood.
The Non-ReleasablevAnimal Placement
Program , a computerized clearinghouse for permanently
injured or human-imprinted wildlife, was begun by the San
Francisco Zoo in 1980 and has been coordinated by Karen
Starr Wakeland of the Animal Rehabilitation Center since
1985. Membership is $10/year. Get details from ARC,
POB 629, Midlothian, TX 76065; 214-775-6228.
New Bureau of Land Management head Jim
Baca, a longtime critic of the federal Animal Damage
Control program, is trying to solve two problems at once by
adopting feral burros removed from western rangeland out
to sheep ranchers, for use as guard animals. Burros terrify
coyotes because instead of fleeing a threat, they face it.