Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1994:

Budgets
Reviewing animal control budgets
and staffing levels in more than 50 cities,
ANIMAL PEOPLE has discovered an aver-
age annual tax expenditure per animal control
district resident of $1.18, exclusive of expen-
ditures for special programs such as low-cost
neutering and humane education. The average
staffing ratio is one fulltime animal control
officer per 57,000 residents. However, ani-
mal control department heads indicate that
optimum staffing should be circa one fulltime
animal control officer per 25,000 residents.
Jurisdictions allocating more public support
for animal control almost invariably raise
more in public contributions, as well, as
improved animal control service produces
greater appreciation of the agencies––public
and private––that provide the service.
Lack of funding to hire adequate
staff seriously inhibits cruelty investigations
in Vermont, according to Central Vermont
Humane Society executive director Connie
Howard. Covering three counties, the CVHS
investigated 120 cruelty complaints in 1993,
filing charges in five cases. Most other
Vermont humane societies rely on part-time or
volunteer investigators.
Resignations
Executive director Gerri Bain,
board president Steve Kahn, five trustees,
and two staffers all resigned their associations
with the Capital Area Humane Society of
Columbus, Ohio, in mid-September, amid
allegations of improper euthanasia and general
mismanagement. The board had voted to
place Bain on paid leave pending completion
of an audit by the Humane Society of the U.S.
Humane Society of Greater
Burlington (Vt.) director Susan Aschenbach
and shelter manager Pat Clark resigned in
early September, a month after they were
obliged to return four donkeys, 26 dogs, and
seven cats to a woman from whom they were
seized on May 4. The seizure was criticized
by veteran Franklin County humane officer
David McWilliam. Both Aschenbach and
Clark said the failure of the attempted prosecu-
tion in that case was not a factor in their depar-
ture. Earlier in the year they caught flak in a
series of articles by Burlington Free Press
hunting writer Lawrence Pyne, who quoted
complaints about allegedly excessively strict
adoption criteria and about their practice of
having puppies and kittens neutered at eight
weeks of age via Peggy Larson and Roger
Prior of Green Mountain Animal Defenders.
ANIMAL PEOPLE profiled Larson in
July/August 1993.
The DuPage County Animal
Control shelter in Wheaton, Illinois, held a
successful open house and reunion for adop-
tors of animals on September 14. The open
house was held one day after DuPage County
animal control chief Daniel P. Boyle, DVM,
resigned after eight years because most other
county department heads got raises of about
2% while he did not. Boyle, who was paid
$57,500 a year, was controversial for his
strong stand against leghold trapping, and for
pushing the county board––unsuccessfully––
for funds with which to improve the shelter.
Rescue groups
U.S. Air flight attendent Bonnye
M a n f r e d i formed the Albert Foundation in
1987 to aid homeless cats she found at the
National Airport in Washington D.C.––after
established humane societies refused to help.
The group now has 30 volunteers, with addi-
tional chapters at the Los Angeles and San
Francisco airports plus an active neuter/release
project in southern New Jersey. The founda-
tion rescued 1,000 animals from August 1993
to August 1994, adopting out 478, including a
pregnant burro. Adoptions are done through a
halfway house for cats set up by Washington
D.C. high school teacher Lydia Estes.
Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, found-
ed by Shannon Lentz from her living room in
October 1991 with two volunteers and one fos-
ter home, now has 40 volunteers who handled
5,000 calls and adopted out 300 animals in
1993. Still growing, and still staffed entirely
by volunteers who have other jobs and family,
KAR is on a pace to handle 10,000 calls this
year––and was just listed in the local telephone
book for the first time in August.
Circa 300 greyhounds assembled at
Core Creek Park near Langhorne, Pennsylv-
ania, on September 10 for the second annual
National Greyhound Adoption Program picnic.
Directed by David G. Wolf, the program has
adopted out 1,500 greyhounds since 1990.
No-kill shelters
Judge Harvey Goldstein of Dade
County, Florida, on September 16 authorized
the county Animal Services Division to close
Save Our Orphan Strays, an allegedly over-
crowded no-kill shelter northwest of Miami.
Of 130 dogs at the site, only 20 were adopted
out by September 19, when the closure order
was to be enforced and the remaining dogs
taken to the county pound.
Maite Kropp and her perennially
struggling Harmony Kennels Foundation
no-kill shelter north of Vacaville, California,
avoided foreclosure in August for at least the
third time in as many years when a story about
her in the San Francisco Chronicle r a i s e d
$15,600 in donations––enough to catch up on
missed mortgage payments with $3,000 left
over. Kropp houses 12 cats, 13 dogs, and 100
chickens.
Laws
The California Supreme Court
ruled 6-1 on September 2 that condominium
and other homeowner associations have the
right to ban pets. The verdict, indexed as
Natore A. Nahrstedt vs. Lakeside Village
Condominium Association, reversed an earlier
ruling by the Los Angeles district Court of
Appeal, which had held that such bans could
not be enforced if they were “unreasonable.”
With a limit of two pets per house-
hold, San Jose has the toughest restriction on
petkeeping in California––but the city council
is considering increasing it to five, because
roughly 20% of pet-owning households are in
violation of the limit, making nondiscriminato-
ry enforcement virtually impossible.
Washington Borough, New Jersey,
is reportedly moving to back up the state anti-
cruelty law with a local ordinance that spells
out shelter requirements plus definitions of
abandonment, cruelty, and neglect. The more
specific language is expected to expedite the
prosecution of routine types of animal abuse.
A confused interpretation of the
New York state law requiring rabies vacci-
nations of all animals adopted from shelters
who are over three months of age caused the
Brookhaven Animal Shelter to cease adopt-
ing out puppies and kittens during August.
To avoid euthanizing puppies and kittens,
the shelter tried to hold them until they were
old enough to be vaccinated, resulting in
overcrowding and the spread of diseases that
led to euthanasias anyway. The matter was
finally straightened out circa September 1.
Overseas
ANIMAL PEOPLE found no
evidence to support a recent anonymous
allegation that Singapore was massacring
cats, but did obtain extensive information
on Singaporan animal control laws and prac-
tices, which closely resemble those of most
U.S. cities. According to Fiona Lau of the
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in
Washington D.C., whose account was veri-
fied by others, Singapore licenses 40,000
dogs per year; cats are not licensed.
“Unwanted animals, mainly dogs and cats,”
Lau said, “are collected both by the health
department and the SPCA,” which is a pri-
vate charity. “The health department col-
lects about 5,400 stray dogs and 7,300 stray
cats annually,” she continued. “The SPCA
receives about 4,800 dogs and 7,200 cats a
year. About 88% of the animals are eutha-
nized and about 12% are adopted annually.”
The euthanasia rate compares closely to that
of Houston, Texas (82%); both Singapore
and the Houston/Harris County area have
human populations of 2.8 million. However,
Houston shelters both take in and euthanize
four times as many animals. “Adopted ani-
mals are required to be sterilized,” Lau
added. Cruelty to animals is prosecuted with
a maximum penalty of six months in jail and
a fine of $500. Only one small dog of
approved breed may be kept in public hous-
ing; cats are barred.
A draft animal control law
under consideration in Beijing, China,
would ban dog breeding except to produce
dogs for the military, police use, and guid-
ing purposes; bar commercial sales, repro-
duction, and exhibition of dogs; ban big
and fierce dogs; and establish a formal
licensing procedure. The law in effect codi-
fies current practice, established through a
series of governmental edicts.
The British-based Royal SPCA
has begun an outreach effort to assist the
formation of humane societies in Poland,
the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia,
Bulgaria, and Romania. The RSPCA, with
about 180 international affiliates, recently
disaffiliated the Lusaka SPCA because “of
the inactivity of the SPCA, which was no
longer contributing to animal welfare in the
region,” according to an official statement.
Miscellany
Albert French, the only neigh-
bor of the St. John Humane Society i n
LaPlace, Louisiana, recently made local
newspapers with complaints about the
stench of animals buried in the field the
shelter uses for corpse disposal in lieu of an
incinerator. Although SJHS president
Heidi Hogan said that LaPlace parish
should consider funding another method,
parish president Arnold Labat dismissed
the idea. “We’ve been doing this for 20
years,” he said. “It’s not a problem.”
The Geauga County Humane
S o c i e t y in Ohio has distributed to local
police and sheriffs an animal rescue kit
containing a blanket, a lead and halter for
livestock, and an adjustable collar for dogs
or cats. The kits are reportedly getting fre-
quent use, as police and sheriffs rather
than humane officers are often first on the
scene of animal emergencies.
Training
Forthcoming training events
for humane officers include a Level I ses-
sion of the National Cruelty Investigations
School to be held October 24-28; a Level
II session October 31-November 4; and a
National Animal Control Association
Training Academy Level I course (NACA
100) December 5-9, all at the University
of Missouri, Columbia campus. Addi-
tional programs are to be held in Wilming-
ton, North Carolina, November 14-18.
Get details from Michael Gillingham, 800-
825-6505. Since the curriculum was begun
by the American Humane Association in
November 1990, more than 500 personnel
from 300 animal care and control agencies
have received accreditation.
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