Letters [May 1994]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1994:

I just wanted to write and
say that I think you do a great job. I
read ANIMAL PEOPLE cover to
cover. Through ANIMAL PEO-
PLE I found out about the North
Shore Animal League. Last July a
flood damaged homes and property
in Denison, Iowa. I run the
Denison Animal Shelter, and the
shelter building had nearly four feet
of mud and water go through it. No
animals were injured or drowned,
but we lost all our supplies and pet
food and had damaged doors,
pens, etc. I contacted NSAL, and
Glenn Kachetsky was very helpful.
We received financial assistance
from NSAL in a short time, and
that made a big difference. Thank
you North Shore Animal League,
and thank you ANIMAL PEOPLE,
for caring.
––Brynne Cue
Denison Animal Shelter
Denison, Iowa

Read in high places
Thank you for taking the
time to provide Mrs. Gore’s office
with ANIMAL PEOPLE. It has
been very helpful and we are grate-
ful that you have added us to your
list of readers.
––Skila Harris
Chief of Staff for Mrs. Gore
Office of the Vice President
Washington, D.C.
Tipper Gore is recipient of
a gift subscription from Liz
Grayson, of New York City.
I guess you have to print
an occasional letter from a racist,
sexist homophobe. However,
Donna La Ferrara’s homophobic let-
ter (March issue) is so extreme that I
can’t help wondering if and why
she’s personally threatened.
––Jean Austin
Clinton, Iowa
Include San Diego
On page eight of your
April issue, I noticed that San
Diego County was not listed as one
of the eight largest animal control
jurisdictions in the U.S. Based on
the figures reported, the County of
San Diego Department of Animal
Control is at least the fifth largest
such agency. We serve a population
of approximately 1.9 million people
in an area of about 4,000 square
miles. Our animal intake last year
was 35,246, the lowest number
we’ve had in years. During this
same year we euthanized 21,387
––Hector R. Cazares
San Diego County Animal Control
San Diego, California
Our apologies. The San
Diego County euthanasia rate of
61% is the lowest we have on record
for any major city except San
Francisco (see page one).
Donor cards
We are all seeing
more articles lately about
genetically altered animals
who are being “designed” to
serve the wants and needs of
the human animal. One use
that is particularly disturbing is
the breeding of animals with
some human genes so that they
can be warehoused to serve as
an inexhaustible supply of
blood and organ donors. While
we have been somewhat suc-
cessful at creating public dis-
satisfaction with the use of ani-
mals in medical experiments
by pointing out that there are
better alternatives, it will be
much more difficult to con-
vince someone whose spouse,
parent, sibling, or child is
waiting for, say, a liver trans-
plant that this should not occur,
especially if these operations
become fairly successful and
there are no human organs
available. The best manner in
which animal activists can fight
this is by reducing the need and
therefore the profit potential for
these products. This can be
accomplished if all of us who
are eligible become regular
blood donors, fill out organ
donor cards, and convince as
many other people as possible
to do the same. I see no other
viable option for slowing down
this holocaust.
––Elaine Johnson
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
March was great
Your Watchdog criticism
of the 1990 March for the Animals
was exaggerated and suspect. Does
the media ever give any animal rights
event wide coverage? And Congress,
you must know, rarely passes any
effective animal protection bills.
Your cost analysis of $7.2 million is
ridiculous. (I think you failed to fac-
tor in shoe depreciation. The March
for the Animals was an extraordinary
experience and I look forward to the
next one. The organizers should
make sure you get a front row seat
next time.
––Bill Dyer
Venice, California
Our estimate of what the
1990 March cost is based on 24,000
participants multiplied by $300, the
average cost of participation stated
by activists who told us at the time
how much they spent for travel,
food, and lodging.
March was waste
In my opinion the first
March used up a lot of money that
could have been invested more effec-
tively in local projects: money spent
for transportation, accomodations,
time off work, child care, etc.
I heard from people who
greatly enjoyed the first March and
were inspired and energized by it,
but I also heard from people who
were disappointed and felt the several
hundred dollars and time they spent
to participate could have been used
more advantageously.
If the general media cover-
age had been better, the March could
have served to educate the public,
but marches in Washington D.C. are
too common to be an exiting media
event, so they wind up being a con-
gress of the converted.
––Bina Robinson
Editor, The Civil Abolitionist
Swain, New York
Marching to a different beat
Accolades to you for your
assessment and commentary in your
April issue on a possible second
March for the Animals. I, along
with others, attended the 1990
March for the Animals in
Washington D.C. All we remember
is that Superman (Christopher
Reeve) was invited, and then booed
when he spoke his mind. To us, this
event merely represented an opportu-
nity for movement celebrities and
would-be celebrities to take the stage
and preach to the choir in return for
instant applause. Unfortunately, nei-
ther the applause nor the amount of
money spent for this extravaganza
helped our cause. In fact, it brought
a great deal of negative media cover-
age. The only ones who thought it a
historic occasion were those pontifi-
cating from the stage.
You mention that this bril-
liant idea comes from the Summit for
the Animals. From the little I know
about this annual happening, it
sounds like a get-together for move-
ment misleaders, careerists, and
bureaucrats who need to feel impor-
tant. Actually accomplishing any-
thing that will benefit animals doesn’t
ever enter the picture.
Several years ago, with
much fanfare, it was announced that
the Summit had arranged a national
boycott of Bloomingdale’s depart-
ment stores, for continuing to sell
ur. This boycott was extensively
publicized. But to this day
Bloomingdale’s continues to sell fur.
The point, however, is not that they
are still selling fur, but rather that so
far as I can remember, not one single
action or initiative was ever attempt-
ed at Bloomingdale’s. If it ever was,
the effort was quickly given up.
Once again, the movement hierarchy
thinks that all they have to do is sim-
ply address an issue, not actually
accomplish something to stop atroci-
ties inflicted on animals.
––Linda Petrie
New York, N.Y.
Discussion of an encore
march at the 1994 Summit ended
inconclusively. The prospect was
raised, we’re told, shortly after sev
eral male organization heads nearly
came to fisticuffs, disrupting a dis
cussion of nonviolent tactics––at
least the fourth such incident in the
past eight years. Asserting that they
were “stampeded” into contributing
to the 1990 march, representatives of
several major groups expressed
opposition to a repeat performance.
However, Peter (Linck) Gerard of
the National Alliance for Animal
Legislation, who organized the 1990
march, is said to have declared his
intention of pressing ahead with
plans for a march in 1995, with or
without help from anyone else.
American SPCA counsel
Eugene Underwood’s letter in your
April issue implied that the ASPCA
cannot prosecute its own summonses
and that their humane agents are merely
witnesses “under the law in New York
State.” Perhaps Mr. Underwood, in his
capacity as counsel to the ASPCA,
should re-read Section 371 of the
Agricultural & Markets Law. This sec-
tion states that SPCAs may aid in pre-
senting the law and facts. It does not
prohibit SPCAs from prosecuting their
own summonses. To the contrary, it is
common knowledge of virtually every
other SPCA in the state with whom we
have spoken that SPCAs have prosecu-
torial powers, if the District Attorney
permits it. Indeed, the District
Attorney of Albany County sued the
ASPCA in 1982 for refusing to prose-
cute its own summons. Judge
Lawrence Kahn in his decision chas-
tised the ASPCA for “its failure to
assume its statutory functions.”
If Mr. Underwood were to
check the ASPCA’s onw law library,
he would also find that the ASPCA did
2,091 prosecutions in 1910, 2,297 in
1911, and 2,578 in 1912. The ASPCA
even prosecuted over 100 arrrests for
cruelty to animals for the New York
City Police Department in each of these
In 1912 the ASPCA had
dozens of humane agents in New York
City and over 200 agents in the rest of
the state. Today, it has none in the rest
of the state and perhaps three to six in
New York City, after subtracting the
board members who had themselves
deputized in order to carry guns without
legal permits, whether or not they per-
formed any cruelty investigations.
––Garo Alexanian
Executive Director
Companion Animal Network
New York, New York
Care for the poor
I was most interested in your
March editorial, “Wanted: vets on
wheels at combat pay.”
In 1918 in wartime England a
woman named Mia Dickin founded the
People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals
when she became aware of the suffering
of dogs, cats, horses and donkeys in
the slums of London. She herself could
afford veterinary care for any animal of
her own, but she realized that those
with barely money enough to care for
themselves had no way of helping their
pets or working animals should they
become sick or injured. Mrs. Dickin
started in a very small way by enlisting
the help of one veterinarian willing to
give his time. They actually set up their
first dispensary in an unused cellar.
Word soon spread. People brought their
animals in such numbers that they were
lying outside on the sidewalk.
Eventually dispensaries were
opened all over London, then all over
England and Scotland, and finally in
Egypt, France, South Africa,
Morocco, Jamaica, Ireland, Greece,
Romania, and what was then Palestine.
The PDSA, now helping
nearly two million animals annually, is
supported entirely by voluntary contri-
butions. Their centers are operated by
veterinarians, trained technicians and
veterinary nurses. They provide free
care for sick or injured animals whose
owners cannot afford private fees.
Anyone interested in knowing
more should write to the PDSA head
office: Whitechapel Way, Priorslee,
Shropshire TF2 9PQ,
––Sheila M. Dines
New York, N.Y
Hunters and molesters
In the article “Hunters and molesters” that appeared in the
March 1994 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, Merritt Clifton offered
a few comments and criticisms concerning a paper I wrote some 10
years ago. His observations suggest that there were perhaps a num-
ber of misunderstandings. He indicated that I did not examine county
data. In fact, I did evaluate county data in all 15 states where com-
plete county data was available. It was suggested that I did not make
any urban and rural differentiations when in fact this was done. I
went even further than the traditional urban/rural dichotomy, divid-
ing counties into three categories based on population: urban, subur-
ban, and rural. Not content with this trichotomy, I conducted an
additional population evaluation, a partial correlation analysis, on
the entire county data and state data sets. It was suggested that I did
not distinguish among types of violence that might be related to hunt-
ing. In fact, I did look at four different types of violence, and con-
ducted a separate evaluation of each.
There are obviously more types of violence that could have
been examined, and there are clearly other limitations to my study. I
never meant to suggest or imply that mine was “the definitive work.”
In point of fact, it serves as merely one of the first quantitative evalu-
ations of the possible hunting/violent crime relationship. It is, as
noted on page 15 of the original study, “an exploratory, preliminary,
aggregate review.” Some possible relationships were uncovered, but
as noted in the original paper, they could well be spurious relation-
ships masquerading as causal links. Consequently, as I wrote nearly
a decade ago, “more carefully delineated evaluations must be con-
ducted before any firm conclusions can be drawn.” Unfortunately lit-
tle work in this area has been done since, and the exact nature of the
links, if there are links at all, remains unknown.
If there are any readers who would like a copy of the origi-
nal study, I would be more than happy to send it to them at no cost.
––Chris Eskridge
Department of Criminal Justice
University of Nebraska at Omaha
1100 NRC
Lincoln, NE 68588-0630
Trappers’ views of animals
Your intriguing report on the statistical association of
hunters and molesters reminded me of an apparent inconsistency in
two of Stephen Kellert’s reports on dominionistic attitudes toward
animals. In the familiar 1979 study, Kellert reported that no animal
user group revealed marked dislike or disinterest toward animals.
By contrast, in a 1975 paper entitled Perceptions of
Animals in American Society, Kellert stated, “Trappers were among
the most negativistic of all groups studied, revealing a general disin-
terest and lack of affection for animals. Additionally trappers were
highly dominionistic, supporting such activities as cockfighting,
training animals through strong physical force, and trophy hunting.”
Some time ago I wrote to a woman who then worked with
Dr. Kellert, regarding the inconsistency. She asked Kellert for an
explanation, and then replied to me, “What he said was that the
study where the trappers were negativistic was based on an extreme-
ly small, inadequate sample size. In the later study, an adequate
sample size was surveyed, and no particular negativism toward ani-
mals was noted in the survey results.”
––Linn Pulis
Gardiner, Maine
In fact, the profile of trappers Kellert presented in 1975
was based upon the trappers he found in a random sampling of the
general public. The 1979 profile was based on written responses to
a questionaire sent to members of the National Trappers Association.
The use of a written questionaire and a group membership list
undoubtedly elevated the average age and level of education of the
respondents. At that, trappers still proved to be four times more
inclined toward dominionism as the general public; twice as
inclined toward dominionism as most hunters. Dominionism, the
feeling that dominating another being is pleasureable, is a quirk
also found to a strong degree in rapists, spouse abusers, and people
(overwhelmingly men) who sexually assault children.
Lev Le Chai
During the past year, while in Israel,
I spotted three emaciated cats and a homeless
dog at Caesaria, a site of Roman ruins, locat-
ed halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv, plus
a small, thin dog at an Israeli military base. All
five were rescued through the help of a young
woman named Tamara More, who recently
founded an animal rescue group called Lev Le
Chai, which means “heart for all living crea-
tures.” One of a growing number of Israeli
rescue groups, Lev Le Chai includes about 20
active volunteers, some of whom pick up ani-
mals while the others provide foster care until a
permanent home can be found for each animal.
Because they do not have a shelter, they can-
not help as many dogs and cats as they would
like. Moreover, they are in desperate need of
money, medicine, and equipment. They have
no traps, so use cages, which make rescues
incredibly difficult and time-consuming. Lev
Le Chai does have a veterinarian who performs
surgery at half price if the group supplies self-
melting sutures, needles, and antibiotics.
Tamara advised me that each year
more than three million kittens are born in
Israel because there is little awareness of the
need to neuter. Also, because there are few
low-cost neutering clinics in Israel, persons
who are aware often cannot afford it.
Consequently, millions of animals die from
disease, starvation, the elements, accidents or
deliberate poisoning.
Tamara More may be contacted at
Box 23100, Tel Aviv, Israel.
––Greta Marsh
Lanesboro, Massachusetts
How to help
I would like to clarify certain state-
ments in Greta Marsh’s letter about the animal
situation in Israel, copies of which have made
their way to numerous groups and publications.
Low-cost neutering is available in
Israel at the SPCAs in various cities, including
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rehovot (through the
cooperation of the nearby veterinary school),
and at Mapet, a cat boarding facility near Kfar
Saba. In addition, Jerusalem municipal veteri-
narian Tommy Sade promises he will soon
open Israel’s first municipally run low-cost neu-
tering clinic.
Many individual vets would like to
participate in low-cost neutering, but are pre-
vented from doing so by the Association of
Small Animal Veterinarians in Israel, which
threatens to bring any vet participating in such
a scheme before their ethics committee, to bar
him/her from the association, and to seek revo-
cation of his/her license to practice veterinary
medicine. Like many vets in the U.S., the
ASAVI sees the potential loss of income to vets
from low-cost neutering as more unethical than
permitting the animal suffering that results
from overbreeding. This situation will change
when, perhaps with the aid of public pressure,
enough vets are willing to take a stand against
the ASAVI threats.
Israel now has its first animal protec-
tion law, and a new Federation of Israeli
Animal Protection Organizations, which
receives a small amount of money from the
Agriculture Ministry for use in promoting ani-
mal welfare. These funds could be used for a
neutering campaign if the ASAVI would coop-
erate, but they will not. Concern for Helping
Animals in Israel has requested grants to assist
with neutering in Israel from various organiza-
tions, but so far these have not been awarded.
Re the poisoning of animals in Israel,
some years ago CHAI stopped the poisoning of
animals at municipal pounds by providing them
with free sodium pentobarbitol. Poisonings in
the streets and fields continued because the
Veterinary Services Department falsely claimed
they were necessary to combat rabies. CHAI’s
attorney argued successfully in court that areas
where no rabies existed should be free of poi-
soning. There is now no poisoning in Tel Aviv
and certain other areas. CHAI also encouraged
switching to the humane oral rabies vaccine
proven successful against rabies in Europe,
and field trials of that vaccine have begun.
CHAI has sought publicity in the Israeli press
to educate the public about the cruelty and use-
lessness of poisoning in combatting rabies.
Again, public pressure is needed to force the
hiring of minicipal workers to catch dogs and
either place them through adoption or eutha-
nize them instead of poisoning them.
Anyone wishing to purchase surgical
suture, needles, or other veterinary supplies to
donate to animal shelters in Israel can send
them (and take a tax donation) through CHAI.
One place to buy these items at a reasonable
cost is Arista Surgical Supply Co. in New York
City (800-223-1984). Veterinarians have size
preferences for suture, so please check with us
about which size to buy. We can also help
with finding people travelling to Israel to hand-
carry these materials, so that the recipients
will not have to pay customs duties on them.
Establishing shelters in parts of Israel
where there are now none will help to ease the
suffering of animals. CHAI is helping to set up
an animal shelter at the Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi
in the Galilee, the northern part of Israel. If
anyone is interested in helping with this or
other projects to help animals in Israel, please
contact us at POB 3341, Alexandria, Virginia,
22302; telephone 703-658-9650.
––Nina Natelson
Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
Alexandria, Virginia
Says Canadians hoodwinked Temple Grandin
We would appreciate the oppor-
tunity of clarifying certain statements
made in the April issue of A N I M A L
P E O P L E, relative to Canadian slaughter
practices. Through no fault of her own,
livestock handling expert Temple Grandin
in both 1981 and 1993 was whisked
through a small number of registered fed-
eral plants, accompanied in each case by
Agriculture Canada officials, at sites pre-
viously notified of her planned visits.
Predictably, during both tours, “time and
budget constraints” eliminated from her
schedule not only all of the 200-odd
provincially inspected slaughterhouses,
but also all of the small abattoirs across
this country, which have no system of
inspection whatever, and where accord-
ingly animals in any condition may be
accepted and processed.
Further, Dr. Grandin was taken
to three provinces only in 1993––the three
(Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario) where
meat inspection is legislated right across
the board. Not a single visit was made to
any of the many regions where our triple-
tiered system of meat output is routine,
regardless of humaneness or health hazards
to the consumer.
Thus Dr. Grandin may have been
misled from the outset of her Canadian
tours. We hope she will be back, more
aware of the pitfalls of working from the
inside in this country, where over a 10-
year period virtually the same abuses con-
tinue to occur on a mega-scale in all but a
handful of plants.
––Tina Harrison
Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of
Food Animals
Vancouver, British Columbia
It is true that Grandin visited
only 11 of the 169 slaughterhouses inspect
ed by Agriculture Canada. However, they
do 44% of all the slaughtering done in
Praise for Doll Stanley-Branscum
On February 10, 1993, In
Defense of Animals director of investiga-
tions Doll Stanley-Branscum arrived in
Mississippi, and let me tell you she has
been kicking butt. Her first undertaking
was an investigation of two USDA-
licensed Class B animal dealers. Both
have been exposed in the media, and are
now under investigation by the USDA,
with mega-charges pending against one of
them, Jerry Vance. At least two TV
exposes have used Doll’s courageously
acquired video footage.
This was just the start. Rewards
for information leading to the arrest of ani-
mal thieves and abusers were posted all
over Mississippi. One led to the arrest of
one of a pair of teenaged boys suspected of
shooting three horses on Christmas night.
Microchip identification equipment was
provided to Grenada County, bringing a
wave of attention to this technology,
which was new to the state. The Mid-
South office of IDA, which Stanley heads,
has rescued, adopted, and cared for more
than a hundred animals, including 24
chickens, three goats, a pony and a rabbit.
Doll and her husband Louis cele-
brated IDA’s first anniversary in
Mississippi by busting a puppy mill in the
middle of an ice storm. Then, on March
10, after leaving court with a conviction
against the owner and sharing evidence
with prosecutors who are trying to convict
the owner’s boyfriend for battering and
breaking the leg of one of the owner’s four
young children, Doll went to a neighboring
county to seek warrants for the arrest of the
owner of a chase pen [where dogs are set
on captive foxes and/or coyotes]. The next
day Doll and I assisted DeSoto County law
enforcement with the removal of 32 dogs
and saw the owner arrested on 96 counts of
animal neglect and cruelty. Community
members had tried unsuccessfully for near-
ly a year to get action in these two cases.
––Darlene Williams
Hernando, Mississippi
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