HSUS: PROSECUTE CAT RESCUERS BECAUSE FERAL DOGS ARE DANGEROUS

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1994:

According to Humane Society of the U.S. director for overpopulation
issues Kate Rindy, in a March 3 letter to Renee Welch of the Outer Banks
SPCA in Nag’s Head, North Carolina, neuter /release is a bad idea because,
“while feral cat colonies often stay within a confined area, feral dogs form packs
which roam over large areas and which can pose a threat to humans.”
Rindy and HSUS South Central Regional Office director Jim Tedford
also told Welch that neuter/release is illegal in North Carolina.
Welch had inquired in reference to monitored neuter/release of vacci-
nated cats as practiced by the Outer Banks Spay/Neuter Fund in nearby Kitty
Hawk, though she may not have given Rindy and Tedford complete context.
Using HSUS fact sheets on how neutering can cut animal control costs, Karen
LeBlanc of the OBSNF had approached the Dare County Animal Control
Advisory Board two weeks earlier to ask that $5,000 of its annual $104,227 sub-
sidy to the Outer Banks SPCA be earmarked for neutering assistance. The Outer
Banks SPCA objected––even after the OBSNF redrafted the proposal to stipu-
late that no public funds would be used for neuter/release. Armed with the Rindy
and Tedford letters, the Outer Banks SPCA on March 11 faxed a “Statement of
Disassociation” to local veterinarians and on March 13 published it as an adver-
tisement in The Coastland Times. The statement questioned the nonprofit status
of the OBSNF, a chapter of the California-based United Humanitarians, and
echoed without citing the source of the opinion that neuter/release is illegal.

Familiar with the work of the OBSNF, district attorney H.P. Williams
Jr. opined in writing on March 16 that the anti-abandonment law Rindy, Tedford,
and the Outer Banks SPCA all cited “is directed at those people who dump their
pets and those individuals who would move from an area and leave their pets
behind. If an animal is returned to the area where it is being fed,” Williams con-
tinued, “it would be a greater injustice to find that these animals had been aban-
doned so that no action to spay/neuter the animals would be taken by anyone.”
That brought HSUS general counsel Roger A. Kindler into the dispute
on May 22, urging Williams––at length––to reconsider. Williams stood firm,
and there matters stand, except that Rindy’s letter continues to circulate through
the animal protection community as recipients wonder just who, anywhere, ever
in any way advocated neuter/release for dogs.
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