Woofs and growls

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:

It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy (not!)
U.S. Surgical Corporation chairman Leon Hirsch, 67, was
sued on June 16 by his former housekeeper, Gizella Biro, 40, for alleged-
ly keeping her in virtual sexual slavery from November 1989 until May of
this year. Hirsch is noted in animal protection circles for funding pro-vivi-
section groups and for having purportedly set up an alleged assassination
attempt on himself in 1988 to discredit antivivisectionists. Biro’s husband
of 20 years, former U.S. Surgical groundskeeper Denis Sebastian, made
similar allegations to acquaintances during his divorce from Biro in 1990,
while Biro formally charged Sebastian with sexual abuse. According to
Biro, a Romanian immigrant who lived next door to Hirsch in a million-
dollar mansion that Hirsch provided, and drove cars furnished by Hirsch,
she was forced abouty once a week to have non-consensual sex with Hirsch
and sometimes his wife, U.S. Surgical executive vice president Turi
Josefson, as well as with other women. Biro further alleged that Hirsch
sexually asaulted her two daughters, whose education Hirsch paid for,
along with her friend and fellow former housekeeper, Eva Kale, whom
Biro invited to join the staff. Kale is reportedly preparing a similar suit.
Biro is asking $21 million to drop her charges, all of which Hirsch denies.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club is resisting what
Cavalier Defense Group spokesperson C. Anne Robins calls “the hostile
takeover of a small, independently registered breed of dog by the American
Kennel Club, despite the consistent and unequivocal vote of CKCSC mem-
bership against any form of AKC affiliation.” According to Robins, AKC
affiliation was rejected by 78% in 1977, 81% in 1982, 82% in 1988, and
91% this year. “If this coerced recognition by the AKC succeeds,” Robins
warns, “the numbers of Cavalier registrations will increase rapidly,
through mass production by puppy mills, with distribution of Cavalier pups
through brokers and pet shops.” Similar confrontations have occurred
when the AKC began registering other breeds, including the Bichon Frise
and the Australian shepherd, both of which suffered immediate puppy mill
population explosions along with resultant degenerative health problems.
The U.S. Border Collie Club recently headed off an attempted AKC
takeover. For details, contact the Cavalier Defense Group c/o Robins, 53
Cat Rock Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807, telephone 203-629-3496, fax 203-
869-2273; or the USBCC, c/o N. Hebb, 228-1 Alexandrine, Dearborn,
MI 48124-1003, telephone 313-562-6747.
$1.94 million of your taxes will be spent to subsidize fur export
promotion this year via the Market Promotion Program of the USDA’s
Foreign Agricultural Service. Fur exporters will be reimbursed up to 50%
of their promotional costs for pitching pelts to China, Japan, Korea, Hong
Kong, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and Mexico. Protest to your
Congressional representatives.
The United Nations Environment 500 program on June 3 hon-
ored Thai primate rescuer and rehabilitator Leonie Vejjajiva––and Prince
Philip of England, honorary head of the World Wildlife Fund, whose
predilection for killing captive birds en masse was described in the June
ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial.
Amory vs. Corrigan
A year-long clash between Fund for Animals and New
England Anti-Vivisection Society president Cleveland Amory and
James Corrigan of the AR-Alerts electronic bulletin board exploded
into public view in mid-May when Corrigan sought to get NEAVS to
make two grants outside of normal protocol and was instead ousted
from both the Fund and NEAVS boards of directors. Corrigan, who
had run AR-Alerts with NEAVS sponsorship, issued an online
notice that he was having to shut it down at least temporarily––which
was picked up and amplified two weeks later by the National
Association for Biomedical Research newsletter. Corrigan and AR-
Alerts got back online within another two weeks, now sponsored by
the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Center, a project of Gary Francione
and Anna Charlton. While on the NEAVS board, Corrigan reputed-
ly had a key role in the late August 1993 purge of all of the program
staff except for current executive director Jon Schottland, who had
just been hired. Said Amory, “I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t
approve of the way things were handled last summer.”
ANIMAL PEOPLE has received several inquiries about
the legitimacy of Memorial Animal Centers of America, Inc., pro-
moted by Tennessee resident Deanna Reid, which is supposed to be
a for-profit chain of adoption centers, grooming salons, pet supply
stores, pet cemeteries, and obedience schools, with cruelty officers
on staff as well. Reid told ANIMAL PEOPLE that her start-up cap-
ital came from undisclosed sources in Palm Beach, Florida, where
people familiar with the regional animal care donor network had
never heard of her, and said that additional capital would come from
the sale of plaques memorializing pets, which would hang in MACA
facilities. Two such facilities, she said, would open later this year,
hinting that U.S. vice president Albert Gore and the governor of
Tenessee might attend the first opening. Reid further claimed that
her firm, incorporated in 1991, is listed on the New York Stock
Exchange. (It isn’t.) Other callers have been told that four facilities
are to open this year, that MACA is a closed corporation, and that
individual shares cost $50, “minimum major investments” $10,000,
and “maximum major investments” $50,000. Reid purportedly told
other callers that her backers include Ivana Trump, Bob Barker,
Betty White, and ATT Inc.––but when questioned by Barker’s media
representative, Henri Bollinger, denied having used his name. By
coincidence, one of the best-known nonprofit fundraisers in
Tennessee is Diana Reid, of United Cerebral Palsy, in Memphis,
who said she too had never heard of Deanna Reid––and indeed the
only people ANIMAL PEOPLE could locate who had heard of her
either knew of her strictly through the MACA pitch, or as a disgrun-
tled former board member with at least one rural humane society.
American SPCA stories of the month
The heat on the American SPCA over a variety of man-
agerial problems will get hotter on July 15, as the Henry Bergh
Coalition airs the first of a projected bimonthly expose series called
Eye on the ASPCA on channel 16 in Manhattan. A prototype was
broadcast three times on channel 34 during mid-June.
One apparently baseless rumor about the ASPCA con-
cerns a supposed takeover of the Los Angeles SPCA. That story,
convincingly denied by many sources, seems to have started in mid-
April when former ASPCA west coast representative Madeleine
Bernstein succeeded Ed Cubrda as LASPCA executive director.
Cubrda retired after 25 years. Bernstein promptly halted Cubrda’s
popular Litter Abatement Program, begun to assist low-income peo-
ple with neutering and recently heavily used by neuter/release feral
cat rescuers. Bernstein said the program was under review, and
would likely be resumed within several months, under stricter con-
trols––possibly excluding neuter/release practitioners.
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