LETTERS [Sept. 1994]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1994:

Burned
On April 28, Jennifer O’Connor, the acting president of
Voice For All Animals, was walking a few blocks from her home
with one of her dogs. A truck driver pulling a tub of hot tar lost
control of his 1965-vintage truck, which had Mexican license
plates, and splashed Jennifer and the dog with the tar. Jennifer
received second and third degree burns over 36% of her body and
needed to be taken to the hospital. Even though she was in
tremendous pain, she would not allow the paramedics to take her
until she had made sure someone she trusted would take the dog to
her veterinarian. Realizing how expensive even a day in the hos-
pital can be, and despite her intense pain, Jennifer did not stay
overnight. Still, she had to go for painful and costly treatments
on a daily basis. Several weeks later, because the cost of the $300
treatments were getting out of reach, and against the better judge-
ment of the doctor, she started doing the treatments herself.
Jennifer will also need some skin grafts which she cannot afford.

Because Jennifer works only part-time as a substitute
teacher, she is not entitled to health insurance benefits. The truck
driver responsible for this accident does not have liability insur-
ance, nor is he able to pay her bills. Jennifer, through no fault of
her own, is stuck with an enormous bill, unable to work for the
time being and scarred for life not only physically but emotional-
ly. Contributions to assist Jennifer may be forwarded to her via
Voice For All Animals, POB 17894, El Paso, TX 79917.
––Socorro (Sukie) Sargent
El Paso, Texas
Voice For All Animals, having no paid staff, has no
group medical plan. This is understandable. However, some
national organizations with numerous employees also lack med
ical plans, along with countless regional groups and humane
societies, which could and should establish medical plans imme
diately. The accident to O’Connor exemplifies the consequences
of being uninsured. Groups that pride themselves on spending
every penny above fundraising costs “for the animals” are being
pennywise but pound-foolish when they risk calamity to their often
irreplaceable personnel rather than pay insurance premiums.
Nailing down boards
Your editorial on the roles of boards of directors, board
chairs, and executive directors was on target. Too often an orga-
nization’s potential for effective progress is undermined by a
micromanaging board and/or board chair. Many boards, unfortu-
nately, do not want strong leaders, choosing instead to memorial-
ize the status quo, with the exception of fundraising. Good works
become secondary to bottom lines, and executive directors in
such organizations tend to model for their staff the debilitating
principle, “Don’t rock the boat.”
––John Kullberg
Tenafly, New Jersey
Board should intervene
While I generally agree that a board must give latitude
to senior management in the day-to-day running of an organiza-
tion, I emphatically disagree that the hiring or firing of staff is
none of the board’s business. For non-unionized and middle-man-
agement staff, the board is the last hope for fairness.
I once worked for a shelter whose director docked an
untrained and poorly paid investigator two weeks pay because she
refused to break the law by signing an application for a search
warrant that contained incorrect information and could have left
her vulnerable to a lawsuit. That sort of abuse of power bothers
me, and were I a board member, I would want to know about it.
On an earlier occasion, when I was a board member of
a humane society with a pound, I discovered an impounded dog
who had serious injuries, which had gone untreated for many
weeks. While I would agree that a board member ought never to
have become involved in such a situation, since such a situation
ought never to exist, in fact it did exist precisely because of well-
intentioned but poorly thought-out board policy. The need to
change policy would never have been discovered but for the brav-
ery of a staff person coming to me.
I am not minimizing the negative results of factions
developing between board members and friends on staff; I’m sim-
ply saying that there are times when boards should take an interest
in certain day-to-day affairs and management decisions.
I do agree with you that staff members should not attend
board meetings except when invited to discuss a specific issue,
but I would suggest that social mingling between staff and boards
is both acceptable and desirable––and often unavoidable.
––Barry Kent MacKay
Markham, Ontario
Corrections and clarifications

Figures on ASPCA construction cost overruns sup-
plied to ANIMAL PEOPLE and other media by former
ASPCA president John Kullberg, cited in our July/August
editorial, inadvertantly added the $1.9 million cost of land
acquisition to the estimated overrun. Kullberg wrote prompt-
ly to make the correction, but we had already gone to press.
United Animal Nations program director Vernon
Weir wishes to clarify that although he is the current coordi-
nator of the annual Summit for the Animals, he does not
have a vote on the Summit Executive Committee. Weir was
mentioned in our June issue for voicing UAN opposition to
the Revised Management Plan for commercial whaling, The
article noted that the 1994 Summit didn’t discuss whaling.
Hunter claims he’s not a pervert
Addressed to Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals:
First of all some of the work you do is great.
To save the whales and other endangered species,
stop chemical testing on animals, pet abuse, etc., I
am all for. I have 15 dogs of my own and I think of
them as my kids.
Now the part you don’t want to hear. I am
29 years old and I have been hunting since I was 6.
You talk about evolving and people changing their
attitudes toward the treatment of animals. People have
also changed their attitudes toward homosexuals in the
last 20 years but that sure don’t make it right. It is still
just as wrong and sick as it always was. You say that
some hunters over 30 lose interest in “stalking, shoot-
ing and beating nature into submission.” Thats not
what I do. I hunt. That’s just like you refering to
hunting as “slaughter.” That’s bull! Lots of men lose
some sex drive when they get over 30, that don’t
mean it’s wrong! Speaking of sex, to me hunting is
better and more thrilling than sex, especially
bowhunting.
You refer to how I define myself and how I
define my relationship with nature. I know my rela-
tionship with nature and I don’t project myself. I pro-
ject arrows into deer.
Come on out with us and get a few tick bites
and maybe a few mosquitos and chiggers. Get a little
dirt on you and then define your relationship.
Addressed to ANIMAL PEOPLE:
Let me repress and sublimate something for
you: you are crazy trying to link hunting to sexual
misconduct. You are the sicko, not me.
If you animal people want to have a war,
we’re ready. I suggest though you let sleeping dogs lie
because these dogs will bite the @#$% out of you. If
you want to continue to use me as your example, I
welcome it. One thing you and your boy and girl-
friends better not do is come south. It could be
unhealthy.
––Mitchell “The Hitman” Gaither
Quitman, Arkansas
Corrigan vs. Amory
Re your “Woofs and
growls” item in the July/August
issue entitled “Amory vs. Corrigan,”
it is inaccurate to state that I was
attempting to get two grants made
“outside of normal channels.” In one
case I was requested by a majority of
the New England Antivivisection
Society board of directors to call for
a vote on a grant application from
the Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine in my capaci-
ty as secretary of the organization.
The bylaws of NEAVS allows the
board to vote by telephone or fax, as
was done in this case.
The second request was an
emergency allocation of $25,000
from a special fund, called the
defense fund, that the NEAVS
board set up three years ago to fund
important legal cases without going
through the standard grants
review/approval process. The
money was for the Rutgers Animal
Rights Law Center to initiate a fed-
eral lawsuit under the Freedom of
Information Act to open access to
the minutes of Institutional Animal
Care and Use Committees and to
research protocols that they evaluat-
ed. However, Cleveland Amory,
the president of NEAVS, and Jon
Schottland, its executive director,
refused to allow the use of the
defense fund for this case.
Cleveland was in the minority of
opinion on this and I requested and
received approval from the board to
hold another vote by fax, which was
done and the grant was approved.
It is also inaccurate to say
that I was ousted from my position
as secretary/treasurer for having
called for these two votes. I was
ousted because I refused to accept
Amory’s unilateral decision to disre-
gard these two proper and legal
votes of the board. I felt his actions
were outrageous and I called for a
boycott of the upcoming annual
meeting unless and until he agreed to
abide by the valid and legal deci-
sions of the board. No one would
join me and apparently a deal was
struck between Amory and other
members of the board that he would
allow the PCRM grant only if I was
removed from the board and the
Rutgers grant was put on perpetual
hold. Rutgers later withdrew its
request, and to date has been unable
to initiate the lawsuit.
––James Corrigan
Northport, New York
James has the right to see
things as he sees them––but we
believe here that the problem with
him began in June 1992, when we
discovered a pattern of overspending
in our petty cash account for the pre-
vious four months. We immediately
initiated more foolproof petty cash
account controls, confronted the
individual responsible, and were
told that the money had been spent
on weekend stray cat rescue. The
individual was not fired, but was
reprimanded and offered to resign.
When apprised of this, James sug-
gested as a replacement his wife,
Elisabeth Colville.
Her stay was not a happy
one. She was interested in running
an office in one manner, and our
small staff immediately resented
it––a pattern which seemed to be
repeated the next year when she was
hired as a New York fundraiser for
NEAVS, and (former NEAVS exec
utive director) Becky Taksel had
problems with her assumption of
authority. After about six weeks,
when our chief bookkeeper
informed us that she might not be
able to remain with the Fund any
longer in that situation, we asked
Elisabeth to move over to the posi-
tion of Long Island Coordinator.
She was nice about the change, but
James was extremely
unhappy––especially when we
rehired the person who’d had the
petty cash problems, who has since
repaid every cent that was missing,
with interest, works assiduously,
and is tremendously valuable.
All that history carried over into
the situation at NEAVS and into the
clash between James and Elisabeth
and the Boston staff [which led to
the departure of Taksel and all but
one other program staff member in
late August 1993. Corrigan depart
ed nine months later. ––ed.]
–– Marian Probst
Whales
ANIMAL PEOPLE had
the best coverage of the
International Whaling Commission
meeting (and all of the wheeling and
dealing involved) of any publication
I have seen. Your thoroughness is
both amazing and a breath of fresh
air.
––Joe Roberts, president
The Dolphin Alliance
Melbourne Beach, Florida
No one sells Seychelles
by the shore
You wrote in your July/August article “Whales for
Missiles” that “Yet another [Caribbean nation], the Seychelles,
withdrew from the International Whaling Commission when 14
years of endorsing Japanese proposals in exchange for foreign
aid became a national political liability.” The Republic of
Seychelles is not a Caribbean state. The truth is that Seychelles
joined the IWC in 1979 and that same year succeeded in getting
the Indian Ocean declared a whale sanctuary. Its proposal for
the cessation of all sperm whaling having failed the following
year, in 1991 it led a group also including the United Kingdom,
the Netherlands, and France in obtaining a permanent moratori-
um on sperm whaling. In those years Seychelles also persisted
in trying to get the North Pacific Baird’s beaked whale (hunted
only by Japan) accepted as within the competance of the IWC;
it was thwarted by the countries that engage in hunting smaller
cetaceans, led by Denmark.
This did not endear Seychelles to Japan, nor did the
fact that the general moratorium adopted in 1982 was a
Seychelles proposal. Japan began to exert more and more
diplomatic pressure and offered huge financial inducements
both to change Seychelles’ policy and to prevent activity––to no
avail. In the interregnum between the adoption of the moratori-
um and its coming into force in 1986, the Seychelles took the
lead, both politically and in providing the scientific rationale,
in reducing the Antarctic minke whale quotas then being set.
Only after the end of the Cold War, when Seychelles
no longer played a key role in impeding occupation of the
Indian Ocean by the Soviet navy and so was economically aban-
doned by the U.S. and most of the European Community did it
inevitably begin to fall into the Japanese orbit. In the IWC it
adopted a noncommittal position and eventually took the honor-
able way of leaving the IWC rather than the dishonorable one of
St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
––Sidney J. Holt
Scientific Advisor
Intl. Fund for Animal Welfare
Citta della Pieve, Italy
Holt was scientific advisor to the Seychelles delega
tions to the IWC and Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species from 1980 to 1991.
The contextual error re the record of the Seychelles
within the IWC resulted from incomplete contextual information
supplied by a May 24 International Press Service dispatch. The
apparent geographical error resulted from the inadvertant
omission of the words “small nation” from the sentence in ques
tion during copy-editing (where Holt wrongly guessed the
words “Caribbean nation” were implied).
We of course regret both mistakes.
High salaries
In response to Richard Moore’s defense of the
International Fund for Animal Welfare’s high salaries
(Letters, July/August), let me say that a humane organi-
zation is not an industry. Therefore its officers should
not be compensated on a par with industrial officers. In a
humane organization the animals should come first. This
is not possible if the officers draw such high salaries that
an immense budget must be appropriated for this purpose
before any money goes toward animal welfare. Officers
should receive a living wage, and that is all. I find pay-
ing officers in humane organizations salaries in six fig-
ures (or even salaries far above average) to be obscene,
and I never contribute to such organizations.
––Greta Bunting
St. Petersburg, Florida
Many well-paid officers of animal protection
groups delude themselves as well as donors in asserting
that their salaries are no higher than they could earn in
the for-profit sector. We know of several former high-
salaried animal protection executives who far from being
in demand have now been out of work for a year or more.
Shelters shouldn’t stink
In response to Pam Frizelle’s letter published in
the July/August issue titled “Shelters ought to stink,” I
am horrified to read that anyone who has even basic
knowledge of animal health could recommend compro-
mising the cleanliness of animals in a shelter. Anyone
with even the slightest background in animal care real-
izes that the odor noticed in many shelters is due to
urine, feces, and rotting food. What they may not real-
ize is that it is not the waste itself that stinks, but rather
the bacteria and viruses growing in them. Most animals
in a shelter are already compromised due to stress and
the addition of these germs could be deadly. A shelter
full of disease is not the way the public wants to view
animals for adoption. After an 11-year career in nursing,
I became the coordinator of a no-kill shelter. Odors and
diseases are not acceptable in the shelter that I manage,
and it’s hard for me to imagine that they are acceptable or
tolerated in any organization that calls itself “humane.”
––Traci T. Nagy, R.N.
Shelter Coordinator
Pet Guards, Inc.
Akron, Ohio
Pet theft
Did you really say the USDA is now
moving effectively to stop pet theft? Did you
say that amendments to the Animal Welfare
Act have gradually curbed pet theft? The little
the USDA has done, such as revoke the
license of Wisconsin animal dealer Erv
Stebane (after ignoring 30 years of complaints
against him) has been accomplished not
because the USDA is anxious to do its job,
but on the contrary because of aggressive
organizations such as Last Chance for Animals
and Committed to Animal Protection,
Education, and Rescue, who do all the inves-
tigating, all the leg work, and stay on the
USDA’s back.
You are completely out of touch
with reality, with the rest of the animal com-
munity, with the realities of pet theft. With
friends like you, the animals don’t need ene-
mies.
––Pat Russell
West Hollywood, California
The Editor responds:
Last Chance for Animals won the
1991 conviction of pet thieves Barbara
Ruggiero, Frederick Spero, and Ralf
Jacobsen; CAPER won the 1992 conviction of
free-to-good-home pet thieves Brenda Linville
and David and Tracy Stephens (under Oregon
rather than federal law). However, LCA’s
attempt to prosecute Stebane last year resulted
in an acquittal on grounds of entrapment and
a judicial order that all dogs seized from him
be returned. (Humane groups and concerned
citizens bought most of the dogs instead.) The
USDA finally shut Stebane down and has suc
cessfully prosecuted more than two dozen
other long suspect animal dealers over the
past two years because the 1990 Pet Theft Act
amendments to the AWA, which took effect in
1992, allow the prosecution of dealers not
just for possessing animals positively identi
fied as stolen, but also for possessing animals
of undocumented origin. Nor was the USDA
exactly goofing off before:
the
Linville/Stephens operation, for instance, was
a spinoff of one begun by James Hickey. In
1988 the USDA fined him $40,000 for 71 vio
lations of the AWA and suspended his Class B
dealer’s permit for 25 years. Hickey’s son
Joseph took over the firm––and was fined
$10,000 in 1991 for similar violations, lost his
license for one year, and was barred from
transferring the title to his wife, Shannon
Hansen.
The editor has probed and publicized
pet theft for 15 years; did the only controlled,
scientific study of pet theft rates, motivations,
and methodologies; and provided information
to the USDA that brought about a ban on the
import of dogs and cats from Canada for labo
ratory use, effective since February 18, 1993.
Despite much current hoopla, pet
theft is today at the lowest level of the past 35
years, largely because laboratory use of dogs
and cats has declined 92% since 1964. As of
1992, about 800,000 dogs and cats were
stolen each year in the U.S., of whom about
75% were for laboratory use. Sadistic abuse,
including dogfighting training (three to five
percent) accounted for virtually all of the
remainder.
Violence prevention
I have been asked by a local judge to
put together a program focusing on the role of
pets in the socialization process to help prevent
family violence. Is anyone else doing this in
parenting classes at child protection or devel-
opment agencies? If so, I would like to know
how they are doing it and what materials they
are using.
My audience will be counselors who
will work with parents, many of them in pre-
natal classes. My program is intended to show
how responsible pet ownership helps teach par-
enting skills, resulting in healthier children
and more reliable adults.
––Patricia Tway, Ph.D.
1712 Landings Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34231
Early neutering video
Regarding Dr. Larson’s critique of
Dr. Mackie’s video on early neutering (Review,
July/August), Dr. Mackie requires that a cover
letter dated June 1989 accompany the tape,
and while transcribing it, I omitted the entire
page that covered the gas evacuation problem.
“Since the taping,” it explains, “an effective
anesthetic gas evacuation system has been
installed. Cal-OSHA has seen it and approved
it…We are constantly changing and improving
to assure the best possible service.”
––Tiffany Curry
Cats In Need of Human Care
Pomona, California
Animals in captivity
Converting zoos into “good zoos”
seems to be a practical step in the right ethical
direction. Zoos can be an invaluable resource
in the area of species preservation. I get great
satisfaction out of my volunteer time as a zoo
docent: I can see the difference that animal
enrichment programs make. Let’s hope they
become a standard, required practice.
Many animal rights folks tried to
dissuade me from contributing to a zoo. Due
to the inherent imprisonment of the animals,
they suggest a boycott of zoos. I feel this
could only add to the suffering of the animals.
––Sandra Stahlman Elliott
San Francisco, California
Jared’s death
It was with great sadness that I read
of Jared Tamler Schottland’s death (Obituaries,
July/August). I had the privilege of meeting
this brave little boy many times. His mom
Julie and his dad Jon brought him to many of
my protests at the Green Mountain racetrack in
Vermont and the Hinsdale racetrack in New
Hampshire. This child taught us about love for
animals and about patience and endurance. He
was there when it was hot and when it was
cold. His loving parents made him comfort-
able and let him hold a sign, which he enjoyed
tremendously. I am so sorry that I will not be
able to see him again. I will never forget him.
––Erika Hartman
San Antonio, Texas
Wild burros shot
Inaccurate information is circulat-
ing throughout the animal rescue/rights/wel-
fare network to the effect that the burros in
the soon-to-be-finalized Mojave National
Park area face no immediate threat. This is
quite untrue and minimizes the fact that
California National Park Service superinten-
dent Edwin Rothfuss already routinely shoots
burros at Death Valley National Monument,
under a direct reduction policy. Since 1987,
300-plus burros have been shot at a yearly
rate of 40-plus. Rothfuss will be responsible
for wild burro removal on lands transferred
from the Bureau of Land Management when
the Desert Protection Act becomes law.
Also, China Lake Naval Weapons Center in
California has killed hundreds of wild burros
and continues to practice direct reduction.
This ongoing killing is unaccept-
able to Wild Burro Rescue.
––Gene and Diana Chontos
Wild Burro Rescue
665 Burnt Ridge Road
Onalaska, WA 98570
This letter was accompanied by
National Park Service policy documents
establishing that wild burros are indeed
already being killed on NPS land, and will
be killed in greater numbers when the BLM
transfers management of the future Mojave
National Park to NPS, perhaps as early as
this fall. Wild Burro Rescue welcomes help
in arranging a large-scale burro evacuation.
Lying down with dogs
The following letter came with a
copy of an announcement of an open house
at the Victoryland Greyhound Park in
Montgomery, Alabama, held on June 12 to
benefit the Montgomery Humane Society and
Greyhound Pets of America:
I think these people are too thick
with the greyhound track owners. The grey-
hound racing business’ addition to pet over-
population is reason enough to oppose it. In
addition, there is the cruelty of live-lure
training. Even if you discount the rumors of
sanded feet, forced feeding and/or food
deprivation, enemas, etc., the reports of
greyhounds being shot, starved, and beaten
to death, and rudely dumped in fields and
landfills, have been documented.
To my knowledge there are no
“retired” greyhounds. The word “retired” is
a euphemism for useless, and it is most
often applied to dogs under the age of two
years.
––Eleanor Jones
Cottondale, Alabama
Knowing that Montgomery
Humane Society executive director Mary
Mansour enjoys an outstanding cruelty pros
ecution record, we asked her to respond:
I look at animal sports in two cate-
gories––legal and illegal. This is NOT to say
that I either like or condone those that are
legal, only that they must be dealt with in a
so-called civilized manner. I have never said
publicly or otherwise that I LIKE dog rac-
ing––only that it is legal, and because it is,
there is damned little that I can do about it
other than keeping communication open in
order to monitor track activities.
Milton McGregor, the biggest
track owner in Alabama, knows my prose-
cution record. He spends millions on
Greyhound Pets of America programs and
has never hesitated to shut down within 48
hours any kennel or breeder that I deem
unsatisfactory. We got to this situation by
my not embarrassing him publicly about
small greyhound kennels, instead letting him
handle the situation. These cases were all
cleaned up without the shouting and holler-
ing that usually accompanies humane society
relations with the greyhound industry.
The Greyhound Pets of America
program is a good one. Of course not all
greyhounds are adopted out, but let’s be fair:
neither are all the poor little cast-offs from
John Q. Public, and the former racing grey-
hounds, adopted out for a fee of $150, are
no threat to the adoption prospects of our
mutts, who go for $32. The markets are
mutually exclusive.
If a dogfighter is in my neighbor-
hood, I go in with cleats on. I show no quar-
ter and have gotten some of them as much as
six years in the cooler. But this approach is
not appropriate with greyhound racing. The
picketing and other tactics that are used by so
many humane groups only close the doors on
progress in communications between humane
workers and greyhound racing personnel.
––Mary Mansour, executive director
Montgomery Humane Society
Montgomery, Alabama
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