Letters [Jan/Feb 1994]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:

Shelter work
Last night on my way
home from work, an hour’s ride on
public transportation, I read your
November editorial about the terrible
emotional turmoil people who work
at animal shelters go through.
Though I was riding in public, I
could not hold back my tears. I per-
sonally could not work in an animal
shelter, even as a volunteer. The
last time I adopted two cats from the
SPCA, I didn’t look long (my late
husband too.) We picked the two
cats fast, and got out. I wonder how
people can work day in and day out
in such a depressing atmosphere. I
admire thosed people for what they
do, but I will be honest and admit I
would be sick all the time.
––Marion Friedman
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Earth Day is coming
Please remind your read-
ers that Earth Day, celebrated in late
April, is an excellent opportunity
for activists to get involved and edu-
cate the public. Tabling at the event
itself is a wonderful way to educate
one’s community. Even better is to
get involved in the early planning to
insure that animals’ interests are rep-
resented in the types of food sold
and the types of exhibit permitted.
In Contra Costa County, California,
we have had vegetarian food for the
last two celebrations. Our theme is
Food From Around the World, and
we have featured African,
American, Mexican, Greek, Thai,
and Cajun cooking. Over 30,000
people attended each year, and gave
the food rave reviews on survey
forms distributed by the organizers.
If anyone would like further details
on what we did, please write to us.
––Tammy Wong
The Nature Connection
POB 5143
Walnut Creek, California
Pets in housing
I an writing you regarding
an article you published in
December 1992 about the landlord/
tenant registry operated by the
Whiskers Animal Benevolent
League in Albany, New York. As a
representative of Whiskers, I would
like to contact or be contacted by
other people or organizations who
operate such registries or would like
to start one, for the purpose of
exchanging model rental contracts,
information, and/or ideas.
Whiskers often receives
requests for such information from
people who are moving out of the
Albany area. Contacts from other
areas would be extremely valuable
to them, as well as to animal wel-
fare groups, which have to try to
find homes for animals left behind
by people who can’t provide homes
where they are moving to.
––Carol A. Hall
POB 11190
Albany, New York
Please do an arti-
cle on how to phrase a will
to ensure care of one’s ani-
mals after one’s death.
I have five cats
and a dog and do not
believe any of my sur-
vivors will have the capaci-
ty to care for them in the
manner they have been
accustomed to. Can they
be turned over to a no-kill
animal shelter with a cer-
tain amount of money for
their care? How does one
go about getting a lawyer
to take care of this? Mine
has said it’s too involved or
––Mrs. F.C. Richards
Ashland, Massachusetts
Fire your lawyer
––he works for you, not the
other way around, and if
he isn’t willing to look after
your interests, there are
other lawyers who can. Not
that it’s necessarily easy to
provide for one’s pets in a
will. Attorney Roland
Eastwood, president of the
Lee County Humane Soc-
iety in Fort Myers,
Florida, predicts that pro
viding quality lifetime care
for bereaved pets will soon
become a major growth
opportunity for humane
organizations who can find
a way to do it––and an
avenue to bequests. The
number of reputable orga
nizations providing this ser
vice now is miniscule rela
tive to the need. We cov
ered this and other topics
pertaining to wills intended
to benefit animals in two
recent installments of
Senior Animal People, a
column we syndicate to
newspapers serving senior
citizens. We’ll send copies
to anyone upon request.
Please enclose SASE and a
dollar for photocopying.
A hug from BHG
Belated thanks
for the kind words about
Bunny Huggers Gazette in
your November letters col-
umn. Such comments are
especially appreciated com-
ing from a publication I
consider an invaluable
source of information.
––J.D. Jackson, editor
Bunny Huggers’ Gazette
Temple, Texas
Hunters defend themselves
have hunted since child-

hood with a great number of men
and a few women, none of whom
have been anything like you
described in your December editori-
al, “When hunters come out of the
closet.” I challenge your assertion
that hunters have “penile obsession”
or “a higher rate of divorce.”
“Sexually frustrated impotence”?
What exactly is that? And
“repressed homosexuality”?
Perhaps some of my hunter friends
have been gay. I don’t know and it
certainly isn’t pertinent. “If and
when gay liberation occurs, hunt-
ing will fade into oblivion”––this is
a stretch of imagination beyond
any rational thinking and has no
basis at all.
I am sorry if you were
accosted by brutes who were
hunters. Behavior such as this is
inexcusable and reprehensible. As
a hunter I distance myself com-
pletely from their ilk.
––E. Short, DVM
Chicago, Illinois
I find it extremely offen-
sive and insulting to be accused of
sexual deviance, inadequacy, and
mental bankruptcy just because I
hunt. I don’t drool, scratch myself
in public, shoot everything that
moves, and have never threatened
to rape anyone or anything. I do
profoundly resent being accused of
those things by association. Most
hunters are responsible people who
are as offended by the behavior
depicted in your December editorial
and letters column as anyone with
an IQ above that of a guppy. Every
group has its lunatic fringes. I
refuse to apologize to anyone
because I hunt, eat meat, drink
milk, wear leather, and swat flies.
––Dave Hillier
Phoenix, Arizona
Meanwhile, Ohio game
wardens contacted 3,994 hunters
during the 1993 deer season, of
whom 387 (10%) were arrested for
poaching, trespassing, and break
ing other conservation and safety
laws. Many more got a warning.
Grupo Rima
I wish to call your atten-
tion to Grupo Rima, the Chilean
organization that publishes P r o
Animal, one of the best magazines
in the Spanish language on animal
issues. The Summerlee Found-
ation recently gave them $2,500.
Though a small sum even by
Chilean standards, this money will
help Grupo Rima’s citywide drive
to neuter the animals of Santiago.
With eight million people,
Santiago is home to innumerable
strays, most of whom suffer a fate
as bad as you can imagine.
Animal control techniques are a
joke. The Rima volunteers do
their rounds across all kinds of
neighborhoods, saving animals,
vaccinating cats and dogs, provid-
ing succor to draft animals, and
offering shelter to abandoned ani-
mals of all kinds. This is truly
hard work, believe me. I accom-
panied them on two rounds, and
can attest to the extravagant
amount of effort involved.
At the same time, Grupo
Rima, which only has five really
active volunteers, engages all
kinds of people in education about
animal care, moral issues, the
need for neutering in both poor
and wealthy neighborhoods, and
the larger questions of ecology.
Their address is Grupo Rima,
Casilla 52743, Santiago, Chile.
––Patrice Greanville
Westport, Connecticut
We are a Hong Kong-
based Chinese organization, pre-
viously known as the Environ-
mental Protection, Vegetarian,
and Vegan Society, dedicated to
motivating grassroots support for
environmental and animal issues.
In traditional Chinese culture ani-
mals have no value apart from
their ability to serve man, and few
people think of them as sentient
beings. We know therefore that
we have a serious uphill journey to
achieve our aims and that to do so
we need to have much help.
Please write to us at the address
below. Thank you.
––Ng Wai Yee
President, Earth Care
G.P.O. Box 11546
Hong Kong
Resident goose hunting
I read your article on resident geese on page one of your
November issue with interest and am grateful for the amount of excellent
sleuthing you’re done to come up with statistics regarding the numbers of
geese in existence and numbers to be killed. In my attempts to do the
same, I could find no one who knew anything conclusive.
I’m writing to fill in a few details. In an enlightening book pub-
lished by the Department of the Interior titled Restoring America’s Wildlife,
available free for the asking, one discovers that resident Canada geese
were wiped out by hunters and believed extinct in the 1920s. To shorten a
long story, in the 1960s a biologist discovered a few breeding pairs of the
giant race, which were then bred and distributed to states to build up popu-
lations now called “resident.”
My guess is that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has
jurisdiction over migratory animals, has been a royal pain in the butt for
the states. Conversely, regulating the states’ taking of “resident” Canada
geese is probably a similar pain for USFWS. States would much rather set
their own seasons and bag limits. If they can claim that residents are a sub-
species of the true migratories, they may at some point get around the
Migratory Bird Treaty, which gave the jurisdiction to the feds.
By creating and/or attempting to define a resident goose popula-
tion, states can make universal decisions about Canada geese. They can
also use the exaggerated public antipathy toward the geese to gain support
for special hunts in the summer in areas where the geese seek refuge and
are presently unhuntable.
––Anne Muller
Coalition to Prevent the Destruction of Canada Geese
Tomkins Cove, New York
Pound seizure
You are dedicated, intelli-
gent, and kind. But I must let you
know the facts on why sending lost
pets from shelters to laboratories is
always wrong, evil, tragic, and dis-
astrous. It doesn’t get rid of Class B
dealers! In fact, B-dealers are locat-
ed primarily in areas where pound
seizure exists. Pound seizure is also
a magnet for organized crime. And
pet theft increases wherever there is
pound seizure. Plus it is hard to get
volunteers to go to shelters where
pound seizure exists. And people
abandon animals to starvation rather
than turn them into a place which
sends pets to laboratories. People
feel no confidence in those shelters
and give them no support. It has
been proven that almost 100% of the
dogs and cats who are released to
laboratories from pounds experience
pain in the experiments.
––Flavia Sayner
Mesa, Arizona
We have not advocated
pound seizure, but in the course of
recent book reviews we did recently
describe the positions of three distin
guished humanitarians who see the
possibility of replacing the Class B
dealer network with a highly regu
lated form of pound seizure unlike
the form existing at present, in
which humane societies would have
direct control over what sort of
experiments were performed. For
details of their arguments, see
Animal Welfare and Human Values,
by Rod Preese and Lorna Chamber-
lain, reviewed in November, and In
The Name of Science, by Barbara
Orlans, reviewed in December.
I would like to relate the
experience I’ve had with Anna
Briggs and the National Humane
Education Society. In trying to
establish a humane organization in a
rural midwest area where none
existed, I contacted many groups
and individuals for advice. Most of
the big guys, i.e. PETA, the
Humane Society of the U.S., Doris
Day Animal League, and American
Humane Association, wouldn’t give
me much more than the time of day,
much less guidance. Ms. Briggs
was one of the few people who sym-
pathized with this grassroots effort
and took the time to listen and offer
workable suggestions. Her kindness
and encouragement were invaluable.
––Nadina Carter, President
Friends of Companion Animals Inc.
Kearney, Missouri
The issue involving NHES,
as we reported in July/August and
October, is not Ms. Briggs’ concern
for animals; it is that the organiza
tion, which has virtually no pro
gram activity unconnected with
direct mail fundraising other than
the care of about 750 animals, rais
es about $3,000 per animal per
year, of which only about $450 (a
normal figure per animal) is actual
ly spent on animal care. At least
52% of total income is spent on
fundraising, roughly twice the nor
mal ratio for animal protection
groups, and as we detailed, there
are obvious discrepancies in
accounting on the NHES tax forms.
Pigeon shoot bill
Pennsylvania HB 1415
has been voted out of committee and
is now SB 369 Ban Pigeon Shoot
Bill. Also sitting in committee is
HB 1447 and its companion bill SB
583, which would rebate pet owners
up to 50% of their neutering fees.
These bills have only until the end
of November to be passed into law.
There is much work to be done and
not much time to do it. I am asking
Pennsylvanians to alert their legisla-
tors as to the importance of the pas-
sage of these bills.
––Kathleen Curran
Mobilization for Animals
Saegertown, Pennsylvania
You are the best journalists
working animal issues today. Please
use this letter as you see fit, includ-
ing critiquing me whenever neces-
sary. No problem.
––Dean Franklin Loew, DVM
School of Veterinary Medicine
Tufts University
North Grafton, Massachusetts
You help small contribu-
tors like me tremendously to see that
gifts go to animals, instead of to
organizations with gifts of gab.
Until reading your paper, I never
knew how.
––Barbara Fleming
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cats and dogs
We appreciate your
publication––but are shocked
by your personal discrimina-
tion! Twenty-three cats but
only two dogs? Why not 12 of
each? Or better, two of each
and support for a wolf or a
mustang at a sanctuary or a
dog rescuer? I hope that noth-
ing of our small gift will be
wasted on 23 parasites.
––Elisabeth Arvin
Ojai, California
Since there are 3.5
million cats euthanized for
population control each year,
compared with 1.5 million
dogs, and 10 to 20 times more
homeless cats are at large as
are euthanized, our balance
of cats and dogs quite by acci
dent mirrors the homeless ani
mal population at large. Four
were adopted from shelters;
19 of the rest we personally
Quit picking on PETA
I’m tired of reading your
editorial bias regarding the Fund for
Animals and PETA. Your attitude
exhibits a lack of professionalism
and is consistent with the American
Medical Association plan of dividing
the animal rights movement. I have
worked closely with the Fund and
PETA on campaigns in Michigan
and found them to be supportive,
motivated, and very effective. Let’s
please work together to create a
more compassionate world and stop
the petty bickering.
––Michael Chiado
Plymouth, Michigan
How about giving PETA
credit for some of the things they’re
doing, instead of downplaying
them? They are getting things done
and deserve recognition.
––Chris Anderlik
Empire, Michigan
At deadline, New York
City (under fur trade pressure) was
reportedly about to bill PETA for
allegedly defacing almost every
street sign on 7th Avenue during Fur
Free Friday with campaign stickers
that purportedly removed the paint
and street name when peeled off.
What’s going on at NEAVS?
Some readers of ANIMAL
PEOPLE may be interested to know
more about recent developments at
the New England Anti-Vivisection
Society. While we have gone
through a transition, and change is
seldom easy, we believe our organi-
zation is emerging in a most positive
In life, change is mandato-
ry but growth is optional. NEAVS
could have changed superficially
without any fundamental shift that
would contribute to the growth of our
organization. However, NEAVS is
rising to the challenge and becoming
ever more effective, compelling,
and professional in every aspect of
our operations.
If people wish to judge the
recent transition at NEAVS, we
hope they will do so based on what
we accomplish as an organization,
now and in the future. We thank all
who have contacted us to voice their
continued support and confidence in
our work. We look forward to work-
ing together in the future with other
animal advocates and groups with
whom we share common goals.
––Jon Schottland
Executive Director
Boston, Massachusetts
We reported in September and November 1993 that
all but two NEAVS staffers had been fired or quit as result of
a clash with the board, controlled since 1988 by representa
tives of PETA and the Fund for Animals. In fact, the
turnover involved only program staffers; the fundraising and
business staff was uninvolved. Neither NEAVS nor PETA
responded to our inquiries at the time, nor have they since.
Tired of breeding and statistics
Please spare me from further
enigmatic articles authored by dog breed-
er Margaret Anne Cleek. Dialogue
between breeders who insist on littering
the world and those trying to eliminate the
suffering of unwanted dogs is virtually a
lost cause. Ms. Cleek identifies herself as
an industrial/organizational psychologist
and is enamored of phrases such as “pop-
ulation density,” “systems approach,”
“accomodate market shifts,” and “demo-
graphics.” Give me a break! She could
simply state that there are not enough
homes for all the dogs.
I am pleased to learn that Ms.
Cleek does involve herself in rescue work,
even if it is for the benefit of only one
breed, the Malemute. In the 25 years I
have been rescuing hundreds of dogs and
cats off the streets of New Oreleans, I
have met only one Malemute who needed
help. As a self-proclaimed expert in ani-
mal rescue, I can most emphatically state
there is not much population density, sys-
tems approach, or market shifting in bail-
ing Malemutes out of trouble.
I remain strongly in favor of a
moratorium on breeding dogs and cats.
––Joan Garvey
Independence, Louisiana
Editor’s note: Cleek’s most
recent point of many in her guest columns
is that the gist of dog overpopulation is
not too few homes for dogs per se; it is
too little demand for the large dogs (both
purebreds and mongrels) who are most
plentiful in shelters. The author of the let
ter below also differs with Cleek on some
matters––from a far different viewpoint.
In defense of breeding
I feel a need to defend a hobby
or lifestyle that will cause the euthanasia
of some members of a dog breed that I
respect and love.
I exhibit Rottweilers in perfor-
mance competition. My first Rottie, who
had American Kennel Club papers, was
put to sleep at age two for displasia. My
second Rottie, an owner-release puppy
brought to an animal shelter, has been
spayed. She has no AKC papers, but is
all Rottweiler despite her less than perfect
conformation. She is also relatively
sound. She does have nail dystrophy,
which could be genetically based.
My third Rottweiler is an
unspayed bitch whom I show in carting,
obedience, and herding––a house dog, a
companion animal, and a sheep herder.
I plan to breed her soon, as my second
Rottie is beginning to show her age and I
need to start another pup so that I’ll
always have two dogs fit for competition.
She has been tested for genetic soundness
and came up with flying colors.
Why should I deny breeding
my bitch, a fine representative of her
breed, so that some more than likely
unsound animals with poor conformation
won’t be put to sleep? I am not breeding
for money; I wish to raise a pup from
birth, through carefully planned social-
ization to give the pup the best chance to
adapt to competing away from home.
The pups will have the best possible
chance of genetic soundness, coming
from screened parents. I will keep one or
two. The rest will go to my bitch’s breed-
er, who will keep two or three to raise for
show. And yes, they may sell some.
––Susan Jenalis
Garden Grove, California
Keep annoying people
Please continue to present dif-
ferent views on difficult subjects. I’ve
learned that you don’t have to agree with
someone or even like him/her to gain
valuable information and insight about a
particular issue. If people spent more
time listening to what other people are
saying, more could be accomplished
toward our common goals. Thanks for
providing the means for me to get lots of
useful information about issues that con-
cern me every day in my work as a shelter
manager. I’m giving a gift subscription to
the president of our board, hoping he will
enjoy it as much as I do.
––Alison Hammerbeck
Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley
Hailey, Idaho
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