From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:
“The Animal Liberation Front planted nine incen-
diary devices in four Chicago department stores which sell
fur,” media were told in a November 28 fax communique.
“The incendiaries were designed to start a small fire which
would in turn set off the stores’ sprinkler systems and cause
water damage. This action signals the start of a new, more
intense campaign of economic sabotage.” Five of the fire-
bombs went off November 28 and 29, doing minor damage at
Marshall Field, Carson and Saks. Three more were removed
by police and FBI agents. The ninth apparently never turned
up. Copies of a British ALF manual describing how to make
firebombs arrived in the mailboxes of numerous animal protec-
tion groups during the next few days, postmarked Palatine,
Illinois––a Chicago suburb. The incident gave furriers a con-
siderable volume of media time in which to denounce the anti-
fur movement generally.
Jacques Cousteau, 83, and the Cousteau Society
on December 24 sued Clover-Stornetta Farms of Sonoma
County, California, an advertising agency, and Marine World
for their involvement in mounting a billboard that caricatures
the diver as “Jacques Cowsteau.” Cousteau is seeking $1.2 mil-
lion in damages, claiming the billboard wrongfully implied his
endorsement of Clover-Stornetta milk and Marine World.
Tyson Foods Inc. on November 26 sued Capital
Cities/American Broadcasting Co. and the producers of the
news program 20/20, seeking to prevent the program from air-
ing any video of poultry slaughter that may be taken by USDA
poultry inspectors using hidden cameras. Tyson claims such
videos may reveal trade secrets.
Garo Alexanian, founder of the Companion
Animal Network, was convicted November 3 in Queens
Criminal Court of harassment of a peace officer, obstructing
governmental administration, and disorderly conduct, in con-
nection with his attempted intervention in an American SPCA
animal control pickup in Queens, New York, during March
1992. Alexanian, a strident critic of the ASPCA, had sued the
ASPCA for false arrest, seeking $20 million in damages.
U.S. District Senior Judge Malcolm Muir on
November 30 dismissed a long-pending $10 million class action
lawsuit against the organizers of the annual Labor Day pigeon
shoot in Hegins, Pennsylvania, filed by activist James Harman
on behalf of all Hegins property owners and “all life forms any-
where.” Muir ruled that Harman lacked standing to sue because
he couldn’t prove he really represented the purported plaintiffs.
Former Class B animal dealer Gladys Davis and
Holco Inc., both of West Fork, Arkansas, have been barred
from selling animals for five years and fined $5,000 for a string
of Animal Welfare Act violations filed in connection with
alleged pet theft.
The first-ever trial in France of a dog dealer for
allegedly stealing animals and selling them to laboratories
ended in early December with the convictions of all defendants.
The ringleader drew six months in jail. Ninety-seven dead dogs
were found on his property.
Attorney Shawn Thomas of Springfield, Ohio, on
December 22 advised Ohio attorney general Lee Fisher than the
Summit County dog pound is illegally selling dogs to biomed-
ical research laboratories for ten times the price set by law.
Summit County dog warden Glen James claims his facility is
exempt from the law due to a fluke in the incorporation of the
county. The matter is likely to be resolved in court. If the
pound is obliged to charge only the legally mandated price, the
sales will not be profitable.
The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society
in Menands, New York, agreed in late November to abide by
state law in holding dogs for at least five days before euthana-
sia, and has agreed to extend the same protection to cats,
according to Albany attorney Sam Rosenberg, president of
Animal Rights Litigation Inc. of Schenectady. Rosenberg won
an injunction against early euthanasias in September, after ken-
nel manager Wayne Tufts said in a sworn deposition that the
humane society was handling strays brought in by citizens as
owned pets brought in specifically for euthanasia.
Superior Court judge Kevin Booth of New Haven,
Connecticut, ruled November 8 that the Connecticut Cat
Society had proven a proprietary interest in two cats belonging
to a neuter/release colony the society maintained for nearly 20
years in the foundation of a local store. The store hired a trap-
per to evict the colony after a recent change of management.
The CCS removed nine cats themselves before they were barred
from the property. The trapper then caught and killed five cats.
Booth’s verdict allowed the CCS to remove the remainder.
The Quarry Valley Farm petting zoo in Bucks
County, Pennsylvania, went out of business December 1, after
failing to meet USDA exhibition permit requirements for the
second time in less than a year.
Police in Rochester, New Hampshire, charged
Christopher Rockett, 19, with criminal mischief on November
23 for killing more than 3,000 fish, reptiles, and rodents on the
night of September 29 after breaking into a local pet store.
Rockett was not charged with cruelty, according to Peter
Saunders of the New Hampshire SPCA, because the mischief
charge carries a heavier penalty: property damage in excess of
$20,000 is a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment.
Police officer Bill Grijalva, 41, was fatally shot-
gunned by pit bull terrier owner Luke Grinage, 21, o n
December 15 in Oakland, California. Grinage and his father
Rafael were also killed in the ensuing shootout with other
officers. It was uncertain whether Rafael Grinage, who was
confined to a wheelchair, was killed by his son or by police.
Grijalva was attempting to collect Luke Grinage’s pit bull for
a 10-day quarantine. The pit bull had bitten at least three peo-
ple, and lacked current rabies vaccination. Two animal con-
trol officers had been rousted from the property the day
before. Grijalva was married, with two children, and was
close to retirement after 19 years on the beat.
Kevin Lahey, age 3, of Townshend, Vermont,
was killed by a wolf hybrid on December 12 while playing
with another boy outside a daycare center. The hybrid, who
was reputedly 75% wolf, bore nine pups 10 days earlier.
Owned and bred by Ozzie Clark, a neighbor of the daycare
center, she was a daughter of a wolf hybrid who severely
injured a four-year-old boy in East Jamaica, Vermont, two
months earlier. The hybrid and her litter were destroyed by
animal control officers.
Joey Jacobs, age 9, of Chester Township, Ohio,
lost both ears and was mauled beyond recognition o n
December 30, but survived despite near-fatal blood loss,
after he tried to calm a 120-pound Rottweiler wearing a
shock-collar who ran across a buried electric fence to attack
brothers Jason and Justin Mitskavich, ages 9 and 6. The
three boys were playing in the back yard of the dog’s owner,
Ursula Baroni, who was also the Mitskavich boys’ babysitter.
Jacobs said he attempted to pet the dog because although he
was menacing the other boys, his tail was wagging. Baroni
initially dismissed the Mitskavich boys’ account of the attack,
believing the Rottweiler wouldn’t cross the buried fence, but
found Jacobs on her second trip outside to investigate.
Animal control officers consulted by ANIMAL PEOPLE are
unanimous in advising that buried electric fences will not
contain either an aggressive dog or any dog who really wants
David Mack Flinn, of Hugo, Oklahoma, com-
plained to the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Department on
Friday, December 17, about a dog belonging to his neigh-
bors, Luke and Mary Sheehan; then bought an assault rifle
by lying about his extensive criminal record, killed Luke and
Mary Sheehan, each 52, who may or may not have owned
the dog in question, and then committed suicide.
After an hour-long debate on December 2, the
New Jersey state assembly put off a vote on whether to par-
don Taro, a five-year-old Akita who injured a 10-year-old
girl at Christmas 1990. Because Tara had already killed a
neighbor’s dog and severely injured two others, she was con-
demned to euthanasia under New Jersey’s vicious dog law.
Her owners, Lonnie and Sandy Lehrer, of Haworth, have
spent $30,000 in legal fees trying to overturn the death order.
The cost to taxpayers to hold Tara exceeds $18,000.
Anti-gay neighbors trying to roust a women’s
retreat called Camp Sister Spirit from Ovett, Mississippi,
made Newsweek’s December 20 issue by gut-shooting a
female dog and shoving her into the retreat mailbox.
Crimes against humans
The Canadian public learned about one of the
most gruesome serial murder cases in the nation’s history
in early December, after Canada Customs tried to enforce a
judicial ban on pretrial publicity by barring the import of
U.S. publications that included articles about it––bringing
heavy U.S. media attention that spilled over the border.
While details remain under wraps, the case is also believed
to have involved extensive animal abuse. Toronto accoun-
tant Paul Bernardo, 29, faces trial on an unspecified date for
multiple rapes dating back to 1982 and the murders of Leslie
Mahaffy, 14, and Kristen French, 15. His wife, veterinary
assistant Karla Homolka, 23, drew 12 years in prison with
parole eligibility in four years last July for her part in using
veterinary surgical tools to hobble the girls. She is believed
to be the lead witness against Bernardo, whom she left due
to alleged abuse. Bernardo and Homolka both allegedly
raped, tortured, and videotaped Mahaffy’s suffering for two
days before she was strangled and dismembered on the eve
of their lavish 1991 wedding. They then showed the videos
to French, who died after 13 days of rape and torture. Both
Bernardo and Homolka may be further charged with killing
Tammy Homolka, 14, Homolka’s sister, whom she
drugged with an animal tranquilizer and gave to Bernardo as
a Christmas present on December 23, 1990. The sister
choked to death on her own vomit as the defendants took
turns raping her and videotaping their acts.
Cocaine king and international animal traffick-
er Pablo Escobar, 44, was killed in a shootout with police
December 2 in Medallin, Colombia, his home town. He
left behind a 7,000-acre estate stocked with giraffes, camels,
bison, llamas, a kangaroo, and a collection of rare parrots.
Darvin Ray Peachey, 23, pleaded guilty
December 15 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to burning
eight Amish barns in 1992, killing 181 animals. Peachey’s
father was convicted of a similar arson in 1965.