Animal control & rescue
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:
Consistent with previous studies done in
Portland and Minneapolis, which have found that
German shepherds make up about 14% of the canine popu-
lation but do about 27% of the biting, a Denver study of
178 first-time biters and 178 nonbiters issued June 9 by the
Centers for Disease Control found that German shepherds,
chows, and collies were the dogs most likely to attack; the
least likely were golden retrievers and poodles. Only one
pit bull terrier, a nonbiter, was included in the sample.
Despite the frequency of German shepherd bites, which
may reflect their frequent use as sentries, the ANIMAL
PEOPLE log of dog attacks causing death or serious injury
indicates that German shepherds are responsible for under
2% of the attacks in those categories, while pit bulls,
Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids together account for 79% of
the deaths and 92% of the maimings.
German dog owners are fined $3,000 each time
their pets bite a mail carrier, but dog bites still account
for 10% of postal service work-related accidents, authori-
ties reported June 18. In just four central and southwestern
states, 650 dog bite incidents cost the German postal ser-
vice $9 million in 1993 alone.
While many agencies are reluctant to confront
Santerians following last summer’s Supreme Court ruling
that animal sacrifice in and of itself is a constitutionally
protected religious exercise, Chicago Animal Control on
May 29 raided a feces-filled house in the midst of an ongo-
ing Santerian ritual to seize more than 200 severely neglect-
ed birds and mammals who were apparently being held for
eventual sacrifice. The Supreme Court did make clear that
their ruling was not an exemption for Santerians from all
health and humane laws.
Under pressure from the Fund for Animals,
the town of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, in June temporarily
suspended its policy of shooting stray cats on sight.
Ridgway has shot stray dogs on sight for 20 years, says
borough manager Martin Schuller, but only began shooting
cats in February to enforce a new cat licensing law.
Bicyclist Mark Manson of New Orleans w o n
the Legislation In Support of Animals Golden Heart Award
on Memorial Day by jumping into Bayou St. John to rescue
a severely scalded dog whom an unknown person or per-
sons had chained to a cement block and heaved into the
water from a bridge. Manson––who can’t swim––was
helped back to shore, with the dog, by jogger Doug Fowler.
Models of cat reproduction developed by the
National Pet Alliance from survey data gathered in the
Santa Clara Valley of northern California indicate that of a
population of 1,000 adult homeless cats, 333 will die with-
in a year; 658 kittens will survive to maturity; 94 of the
kittens will be adopted into homes; and 564 will be added
to the homeless population, for a 23% growth rate. Of
1,000 owned cats, 143 will die within a year; 47 kittens
will survive to maturity; and without the adoption of home-
less cats, the owned population would therefore decrease
9.4% per year. “If all stray and feral cats were caught and
altered or killed,” writes NPA founder Karen Johnson,
“owned cats would have to produce an additional 22 litters
per year per thousand cats to sustain the present population.
This is twice the current reproduction rate.”
Colorado kennel inspection authority has been
transferred from the state health department, which ceased
doing inspections several years ago due to a budget crunch,
to the state Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal
Protection. Enforcement regulations are still being worked
out by a committee including animal control officers, shel-
ter management, pet store owners, and animal breeders.
New Hampshire governor Steve Merrill o n
May 27 signed a bill making a felony of repeated cruelty
convictions and providing for felony prosecution of all
deliberate animal torturers, with a maximum penalty of
seven years in prison.
After 126 years in Philadelphia, the Women’s
Humane Society relocated on June 9 to a new $4.1 million
shelter in Bensalem, of nearby Bucks County. The reloca-
tion ends a long rivalry with the Pennsylvania SPCA and
may begin one with the Bucks County SPCA. All three
agencies report fast-falling intake and euthanasia rates.
The Los Angeles Animal Regulation
Commission has amended a year-old suspension of coy-
ote trapping to allow homeowners to contract for trapping
upon payment of $200, if they have first taken a series of
recommended steps to prevent coyote problems, including
building fences and removing food sources.
A bear whose shooting in Azuza, California, on
May 20 touched off public protest was apparently driven
from his home in a nearby canyon by brushcutting.