Animal Control & Rescue
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:
The National Cat Protection Society, a shelter in
Long Beach, California, has paid $26,500 in civil penalties
and costs for providing misleading information about euthana-
sia policies and adoption rates to donors and people who sur-
render cats. NCPS attorney Richard Tanzer denied the organi-
zation had done anything wrong and said the settlement was
reached to avoid the cost of defending itself against the charges,
brought by the Los Angeles County district attorney.
Chows are now responsible for the most dog bites
of any breed in St, Bernard Parish, Louisiana, according to
animal control officer Ceily Trog––10 of 89 total bites,
through the first half of this year. Other Louisiana animal con-
trol departments also report a rise in chow bites.
The Houston Health Department on August 31 sus-
pended the sale of impounded animals to biomedical research,
largely because new Animal Welfare Act regulations would
have required holding the animals five days prior to sale instead
of the former three days, costing the city an extra $1 million a
year. Houston collected $10,000 from the sale of 1,746 animals
to research in fiscal 1992.
Attorney Shawn Thomas of Springfield, Ohio, is
challenging the Summit County Pound’s right to charge $30
apiece for 553 dogs sold to Akron City Hospital and the
Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine since 1991.
Ohio state law sets the pound seizure fee at $3.00, too little for
sales to biomedical researchers to be worthwhile for most shel-
ters. Summit County dog warden Glenn James says the state
law doesn’t apply because Summit is the only county in Ohio
with an independent charter.
The Jackson County Animal Shelter in Michigan
euthanized 20 wolf hybrids on September 4, when owner
Melanie Lingoes, 41, of Waterloo Township missed the dead-
line set by District Judge Carlene Walz for finding them suit-
able homes. Lingoes was charged with cruelty after deputies
found two dead wolf hybrids at her backyard kennel on July 8.
The wolf hybrids’ presence had seriously disrupted shelter oper-
ations because they had to be kept apart from all other animals,
and did considerable property damage.
The Cuyahoga County Public Library in Solon,
Ohio, offered to donate a dog biscuit to the Cuyahoga County
Animal Protective League for every book local children read
during the summer. Nine hundred children enrolled in the read-
ing drive, earning 13,300 biscuits.
The American Humane Association discontinued
its Standards of Excellence program for animal shelters, effec-
tive July 1, due to high cost––$3,000 to $4,000 per facility
inspected––and low participation. Only about 100 of the 4,000-
odd U.S. shelters applied for the certification.
The Spay/USA Action Conference Book, a compi-
lation of addresses given at the August Spay/USA conference in
Wellesley, Massachusetts, will be available in November,
hardbound, at $22.95 a copy including postage. Order c/o
Presentation Book, North Shore Animal League International,
14 Vanderventer Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050.
Legislation In Support of Animals recently awarded
its first annual Silver Dove Award to Baton Rouge animal
advocate Holly Reynolds, in recognition of 41 years in animal
protection. Reynolds founded the Harrison County Humane
Society in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 1952, and the next year
founded the St. Tammany Humane Society, of Covington,
Lousiana. In 1967 she founded the Capital Area Animal
Welfare Society in Baton Rouge. In addition, she formed the
Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates, a lobbying group.
The Town of Franklinton, Louisiana, signed a
consent decree on August 26, agreeing to cease shooting stray
animals rather than fight a civil suit brought by LISA. A simi-
lar suit LISA brought against Vermillion Parish goes to trial
soon, while negotiations are underway with the city of Ville
Platt to secure improvements in facilities and euthanasia meth-
ods without legal action, if possible. Meanwhile, on
September 9, LISA filed animal abuse charges against New
Iberia shelter worker Russell Sargent, who has repeatedly been
accused of beating, kicking and spraying dogs with chemical
mace since 1988, without the New Iberia city and parish taking
any action. The shelter itself is also seriously substandard,
LISA executive director Jeff Dorson said.
The National Society for the Protection of
Animals, of Kansas City, Missouri, and the Montgomery
Humane Society of Montgomery, Alabama, also spent the
summer cleaning up after substandard pounds. NSPA president
Ann Martin-Gonnerman organized a successful campaign to get
adequate city funding for the city shelter in Independence,
Missouri, after discovering during a June inspection that it
lacked pest control service, a working incinerator for eutha-
nized animals, and cat litter, had holes in the roof, and also
cracks in the concrete floor. MHS executive director Mary
Mansour tackled conditions at the Tuskegee pound after discov-
ering that impounded dogs were apparently starved to death.
The pound budget was just $2,000 a year––and rather than
spend more, the Macon County Commission shut it down.
Sevier County, Tennessee, had no plans to fund
an animal control officer this year, but hunter Rick Maples
brought a bunch of his pals to the budget hearings just to be
sure. “The same people who would support an animal control
officer,” he thundered, “would support abortion, gays in the
military, and even vote for Bill Clinton. We don’t want these
kind of people coming in and telling us what to do.”
Pet abandonments along the New Jersey Shore
tripled this year, shelter officials from Ocean City, Cape
May, Toms River, and Atlantic County all observed––a proba-
ble effect of the New Jersey Animal Population Control Fund
budget crisis described in the June issue of ANIMAL PEO-
PLE, which caused a sharp but temporary decline in neutering.
The Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association recently
published statistics kept on a controlled
feral cat colony at a Louisiana mental
institution. “The mortality rate was
about 25% over three years,” comment-
ed Andrew Rowan of the Center for
Animals and Public Policy at the Tufts
University School of Veterinary Medicine. “This means that a
sterilized and monitored colony can have an average life
expectancy of six years––as good as the owned population,
although not as good as the homebound cat.”
St. Paul, Minnesota mayor James Scheibel on
September 1 approved a Humane Pigeon Control Plan negoti-
ated by the Animal Rights Coalition, Friends of Animals and
Their Environment, the Minnesota Humane Society, and the
Humane Society of Ramsey County. The plan states that,
“The official policy of the city is not to support or to be
involved in the trapping or euthanizing of pigeons. The City
maintains that making building modifications and addressing
the feeding problems are the most effective long-term deter-
rents of pigeons.” Letters of thanks for the precedent-setting
policy may be addressed to City Hall, 15 West Kellogg Blvd.,
St. Paul, MN 55102.
The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society
opened its first shelter in September above a veterinary clinic
in Salisbury, Massachusetts.
The Orlando Humane Society Low-Cost
Spay/Neuter Clinic opened to the public on September 3,
and put a mobile adoption unit on the road at the same time.
The Marin (California) Humane Society has res-
cued and adopted out 200 “surplus” beagles from the
University of California at Davis breeding colony. The effort
included holding an eight-week rehabilitative training pro-
gram for the beagles and their new owners.
An estimated 100 feral cats were evicted from
Sonoma State University in September due to health and lia-
bility problems associated with their use of a child-care sand-
box as a litter box. Members of the neuter/release group
Forgotten Felines called and faxed all over the U.S. in an
unsuccessful bid to rally support for an alternative solution.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service did 27% more inspections of animal dealers,
exhibitors, transporters, and research facilities in fiscal 1992
than in 1991––17,000 in all, resulting in fines totaling
San Francisco SPCA president Richard Avanzino
said September 16 that he plans to seek a city ordinance ban-
ning euthanasia of adoptable animals. The city animal shelter
could save $150,000 a year by turning all adoptable strays
over to the SFSPCA, he said, which will spend an extra $1
million in 1994 to house additional animals and promote adop-
tion. The SFSPCA has not euthanized healthy animals since it
turned animal control duties over to the city some years ago.
Avancino estimated that as many as 6,000 adoptable animals a
year are euthanized by the animal control department, out of
about 9,000 animals in all.
The Peninsula Humane Society, of San Mateo
County, California, claimed September 1 that a 16%
decrease in euthanasias and an 11% drop in
the number of animals received at the shelter
demonstrate the success of the controversial
pet overpopulation ordinance that took effect
in the county on March 1, 1992. PHS sold
1,254 cat licenses, 749 “No intent to breed”
licenses for non-neutered animals, 36 breed-
er permits, and 13 fancier permits, allowing
the owners to keep 10 or more pets.
The New York Humane Association
has named Fort Edward animal control offi-
cer its 1993 Humane Enforcement Officer of
the Year for his efforts in securing the arrest
of two alleged dogfighting trainers.
The Environment Ministry of
South Africa announced September 3 that
after decades of attempts, it had finally exter-
minated the Marion Island feral cat popula-
tion through a combination of sharpshooting
and introducing diseases. Brought to the
island in 1947 to control mice who were deci-
mating the bird population by eating eggs,
the cats went after the birds, too––and
endured in one of the harshest climates cats
have ever been known to inhabit. Snow falls
on the island 300 days a year.