From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:

Wildlife and habitat

The U.S. Court of Appeals in
Washington D.C. on March 11 upset jurispru-
dence concerning endangered species protec-
tion by ruling in a case pertaining to timber rights
and spotted owl protection in the Pacific
Northwest that the government lacks authority to
protect wildlife habitat on private land. The U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service said that pending further
clarification of the ruling, perhaps by the U.S.
Supreme Court, it would make no policy changes.
The March 11 ruling directly contradicts the out-
standing precedent in such situations, established
by the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled
February 24 that Hydro Quebec must complete
environmental reviews before building the $964
million Great Whale hydroelectric project in
northern Quebec, which would create a flooded
area the size of France. The decision puts the pro-
ject, already delayed by financial uncertainty, on
indefinite hold––but does not necessarily mean it
won’t eventually go ahead.
A Taiwan court on March 18 sen-
tenced Bhutanese princess Dekly Wangchuck,
43, to serve 10 months in prison for illegally
importing 22 rhino horns and nine bears’ gallblad-
ders last September. The prison term was a depar-
ture from diplomatic protocol, under which digni-
taries accused of a crime are usually just expelled
from the host nation.

Dog crimes

A 100-pound Rottweiler and an 80-
pound husky mix escaped from their backyard pen
on February 13 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, severely
mauling Ronald Lucas, age 6. Police chief William
Alston shot the Rottweiler to halt the attack. The
husky mix fled, but was found and shot later.
Arthur Sevilla, of Fremont, California,
received only a leash-law citation on March 4 after
his two Rottweilers severely mauled 9-year-old
Victor Ross on a city sidewalk. Two neighbors beat
the dogs off the boy with baseball bats. Criminal
penalties don’t apply to such attacks in California
until the second offense, a police spokesman said.
Police from all over Ohioburied a short-
haired Belgian sheepdog named Spock with full hon-
ors on February 19. Spock was shot in the head
February 15 while apprehending armed robbery sus-
pects Bruce Turner, 18, and Chris Fraley, 19, on
command from Scioto County sheriff’s deputy Allan
Lewis. Within two weeks Ohio adopted a law mak-
ing assaults on police dogs and assistance dogs a
fourth-degree felony.
Philadelphia police seeking a murder
suspect broke into the home of state correctional
officer Elmer Miller by mistake on February 25 and
shot both a Rottweiler and a golden retriever before
discovering their mistake.
Calvin Lynn, 28, of Evanston, Illinois,
told police he killed his pit bull/boxer cross with a
meat cleaver on February 28 to protect his girlfriend
Yolanda Banks when the dog attacked her during a
domestic quarrel. Banks, 22, was treated for multi-
ple bites to her arms.
Humane Enforcement
Massachusetts SPCA director
of law enforcement Walter Kilroy cred-
its the introduction of a statewide toll free
number for reporting animal abuse with
increasing the number of abuse com-
plaints received from 5,083 in 1990 to
5,878 in 1983. The rise in complaints
also coincides with the successful prose-
cution of a high-profile dogbeating case
in 1990 that brought offender Kevin
Deschene six months in jail––the first jail
sentence for cruelty in Massachusetts in
at least 20 years, and the beginning of a
national trend toward giving violent ani-
mal abusers at least token jail time.
Ryan Robbins, 20, of
Danville, California, drew the stiffest
sentence for violent cruelty that A N I-
MAL PEOPLE heard about while this
issue was in assembly: 60 days in jail
and three years on probation for torturing
and killing his family’s cat as a party stunt
on December 11, 1993.
Timothy Bilka, of Garfield
Heights, Ohio, was barred from pet-
keeping for life in mid-February for
yanking four teeth from a year-old
Labrador retriever’s mouth to “teach him
a lesson.” The case was prosecuted
through the vigilance of the Public
Animal Welfare Society, an 18-year-old
rescue group best known for fostering
and placing strays.
Snowmobiler Randy J.
Schaefer, 26, of Wonder Lake, Illinois,
was fined $500 on March 1 for running
over 35 ducks on January 20, and may
also face related federal charges with
stiffer penalties.
Beaver County, Pennsyl-
vania, on February 11 dropped
charges of carrying a gun without a
p e r m i t and failure to comply with the
state Lethal Weapons Training Act that
were brought against Movement for
Animal Rights humane agents Darla Ann
Carson and brothers Barry and Joel
Hamilton in November 1992. However,
Beaver County refused to return the con-
fiscated weapons. Carson and the
Hamiltons were authorized humane offi-
cers in Alleghany County. The incident
highlighted jurisdictional conflicts and
gaps in standards for humane officers that
are now subject of numerous competing
bills before the Pennsylvania legislature.
Petting zoo owner Ann
Bushnell, 54, of San Martin, California,
was to begin serving 90 days in jail on
April 4, and was barred from owning ani-
mals for three years, after pleading guilty
February 18 to felony cruelty to a collec-
tion including two boa constrictors, 50
guinea pigs, a goat, and four gerbils,
who were found crammed into rusty
cages amid a three-inch layer of maggot-
infested excrement.
Philadelphia police and the
Pennsylvania SPCA seized 29 fighting
cocks on February 19, valued at $2,000
to $3,000 apiece. Five men were charged
with animal cruelty and conspiracy. By
contrast, because cockfighting is not a
felony in Ohio, the Lorain County
Sheriff’s Department was obliged to
return 44 cocks to their owners after a
March 14 cockfight raid––the depart-
ment’s first in 20 years––that resulted in
minor misdemeanor charges against 67 of
the 80 people present.
In a case exemplifying the
frequent futility of trying to prosecute
animal collectors, Frances Palermo, 62,
of East Meadow, Long Island, was
charged February 26 with violating pro-
bation for continuing to keep about 175
cats in a three-bedroom condominium
after a judge gave her 60 days on proba-
tion for cruelty last September––on con-
dition she get rid of all but three cats.
Experts agree that animal collecting is a
disease, and that the cure––if there is
one––will require psychiatric treatment.
Maria Gruter, a retired
Cincinnati teacher, was released to the
custody of relatives on February 18 after
schoolchildren found her living in a trash-
filled car with an immense number of
semi-pet rats, and reported her to police.
The USDA on February 24
charged exotic animal farmer Ron
Morrow of Champaign County, Ohio,
with eight counts of cruelty re 45 Animal
Welfare Act violations noted during three
inspection visits last summer. Morrow
was also charged with acting as an exotic
animal dealer without a license. His
menagerie of more than 200 animals
included bears, caymans, water buffalo,
cougars, potbellied pigs, antelopes,
skunks, deer, and domestic livestock.
Damien Wayne Echols, 18,
drew the death penalty on March 19
and Charles Jason Baldwin, 16, got life
in prison plus 40 years for the rape, tor-
ture, mutilation, and murder of three
eight-year-old boys near West Memphis,
Arkansas, on May 5, 1993. A third
defendant, Jesse Lloyd Misskelley Jr.,
17, got life-plus-40 earlier after testifying
that the three killed the boys after forming
a cult whose initiation involved killing
and eating dogs.
Jurors deliberating the sen-
tencing of confessed serial killer Danny
Rollingon March 10 heard a tape includ-
ing a gory description of how to kill a
deer that he made minutes before killing
the first two of his five victims. Rolling
in 1990 tortured and mutilated four young
women and a man near Gainesville,
Civil suits
The American Humane Association on
March 11 accepted $315,000 to end a libel suit
filed in 1989 against game show host Bob Barker,
Nancy Burnett of United Activists for Animal
Rights, the City of Los Angeles, and former Los
Angeles animal control director Robert Rush.
Barker, whose deceased wife reportedly left a
large sum to AHA but allowed him to live off the
interest, alleged that AHA Hollywood office
director Betty Denny Smith ignored cruelty on the
sets of two films, The Tenderand Project X. The
latter, made in 1986-1987, was loosely based on
work ex-primate researcher Donald Barnes did for
the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s and 1970s. Barker
offered $5,000 to bring forth witnesses to rumored
chimp abuse during the filming. When purported
witnesses came forward, Rush said he would pros-
ecute the chimp trainers, but the statute of limita-
tions had expired. Barker, Burnett, and Rush
then tried to remove the AHA from the oversight
authority over use of animals in films it has held
since 1939 through a contract with the Screen
Actors Guild. After Barker lost a motion for sum-
mary judgement against the AHA in June 1993,
and lost appeals at both the appellate and state
Supreme Court levels, his insurer moved to settle
and the other parties agreed to the terms. The
chimps have lived at the Primarily Primates sanc-
tuary since 1987; Barker pays their expenses.
A series of actions by Friends of
Animals cofounder and former president Alice
Herrington seeking to regain control of FoA
apparently ended March 4 when a New York State
Supreme Court justice rejected all charges in a
1990 suit Herrington filed against her successors
under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act. Among eight other listed
plaintiffs was Holly Hazard, executive director of
the Doris Day Animal League. Herrington and
Hazard, then an FoA senior staffer whom
Herrington purportedly once chose to succeed her,
objected to the means by which the board of direc-
tors restructured FoA in 1986-1987, after encour-
aging Herrington to step down. Current president
Priscilla Feral was elected after the restructuring.
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.