Animal Control & Rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1993:

Wildlife biologist Carol
Crane, president of the Calvert
Animal Welfare League in St.
Leonard, Maryland, has published
a survey of shelter intake and
euthanasia rates in 21 of the 23
Maryland counties, which include
95% of the state population. Her
findings “further confirm new
national estimates that animal care
and control facilities are not han-
dling as many dogs and cats as was
thought previously,” according to
Phil Arkow of the Peggy Adams
Animal Rescue League in West
Palm Beach, Florida. Arkow and
Andrew Rowan of Tufts University
have recently published estimates
that population control euthanasias
of dogs and cats probably don’t
exceed six million a year––half the

estimates of the American Humane
Association and the Humane
Society of the U.S. The AHA and
HSUS figures are based on annual
random-return mail surveys of
under 200 shelters at a time, while
the Arkow/Rowan figures come
from shelter-by-shelter counts cov-
ering whole states. Adding in New
York data gathered by Elizabeth
Forel for Spay/USA, ANIMAL
PEOPLE estimated in October that
the euthanasia total could be as low
as five million a year. The shelter-
by-shelter counts now cover 40%
of the total U.S. population, with
human demographics closely
matching the U.S. norms for race,
income, education, and urban/
rural balance.
Indian Creek, Florida,
on November 24 adopted the
most stringest breed-specific ani-
mal control law in the U.S.––ban-
ning outright all American
Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire
bull terriers, German shepherds,
Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers,
and American pit bull terriers. The
ordinance is directed at Rottweilers
owned by Prince Turki bin Abdul
Aziz, a part-time Indian Creek res-
ident. Data collected by ANIMAL
PEOPLE since 1992 indicates that
while pit bulls and Rottweilers
probably bite no more often than
any other dog, they are together
responsible for 89% of all severe
and fatal attacks because of their
style of biting. German shepherds
are the most likely to bite of the
large breeds, mainly because they
are the dogs of choice for guard
duty, but are also the least likely to
inflict serious harm because they
bite to hold rather than to kill or
injure. Dobermans, prominent in
fatal attacks during the 1950s and
1960s, no longer are involved in a
significant number of cases.
Sacramento, California,
has become the latest city to offer
discount microchip identification
of pets via municipal animal shel-
ters. The city charges $16.50 per
animal, using the AVID chip sys-
tem. Local veterinarians––who
generally support the program
––charge $28 to $40 for the proce-
dure, partly because they pay more
for the blank microchips.
Night deputy Bill Lane
of the Montgomery County
Humane Society in Montgomery
County, Alabama, has a common-
sense explanation of why cats get
stuck in trees. “Probably what has
happened,” he says, “is that there
is a nest up there with baby birds in
it. The cat is trying to remain invis-
ible to the parents, because every
time she moves, they swoop.”
Tim Greyhavens, execu-
tive director of the Progressive
Animal Welfare Society in Seattle,
Washington, is crossing town to
become executive director of the
International Snow Leopard Trust.
Police in Johnson City,
Tennessee, want to question one
Patricia Joy McKinney, age 40,
believed to reside in North
Carolina, in connection with two
break-ins at the municipal animal
shelter and alleged multiple
attempts to solicit harm to animal
control officer Jan Dillinger. An
individual thought to be McKinney
called ANIMAL PEOPLE repeat-
edly in early November in a bizarre
early-morning effort to reach the
Animal Liberation Front, saying of
Dillinger, “I’d like to kill that damn
bitch. I want this woman eliminat-
ed.” The episode began in October
when Dillinger euthanized a pair of
pit bulls belonging to one Billy
Allen Laws, after they seriously
mauled a jogger. McKinney, with
no other known connection to the
case, allegedly tried unsuccessfully
to adopt the pit bulls, under the
aliases “Dr. Anita Coe” and
“Tammy Shelton.”
Struggling to keep a
staff of 58, less than half the num-
ber of a decade ago, Chicago
Commission on Animal Care and
Control commissioner Pete Poholik
recently warned the city council
that, “If this department does not
maintain the proper level of care for
the animals in custody, we become
no different than the individual
offenders and groups that we prose-
cute.” If he can’t have more full-
time staff, Poholik said, he’d like
to add 12 seasonal workers, to
enable the department to run two
animal rescue shifts from April 1
until November 1, the busy period,
when many calls now go unan-
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