Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1994:

New York prepares
The $5,253,894 1995 budget for the
newly formed New York City Center for
Animal Care and Control includes a far
lower salary scale than that of the American
SPCA, which is reliquishing the NYC animal
control contract it has held since 1895 on
January 1. The yet-to-be-named executive
director will get $75,000, the chief veterinari-
an $60,000, and animal pickup and care
salaries will peak at $44,000. Duties will be
limited to basic animal control service.
Objects the Coalition to Oversee Animal Care
and Control in NYC, a watchdog group
formed by local animal rescuers, “New York
City is treating lost and homeless animals as
primarily a public health problem. Killing
over 40,000 animals each year without taking
actions to humanely reduce that number, is
unacceptable.” The Coalition argues that, “A
significant portion of the CACC budget must
be allocated for low-cost spay/neuter,” along
with public education about the need to neuter;
the CACC should have “an aggressive and
well-advertised adoption program”; each of
the five NYC boroughs should have its own
shelter; strays should be held longer than the
present 48 hours before euthanasia; the CACC
should offer 24-hour-a-day animal pickup ser-
vice; and the CACC board should include
humane representatives. The ASPCA has
promised to redirect resources into low-cost
neutering, public education, and adoption
promotion, once out of the animal control con-
tract, but Coalition members say they’ll
believe it when they see it.
Foreign
A five-week effort to find a mew-
ing kitten somehow trapped in the walls of a
house in London, England, ended sadly on
November 11, as the kitten died just minutes
after removal by members of the International
Rescue Corps, who used thermal imaging
equipment to find her. The kitten had already
evaded teams of firefighters, builders, and
members of the Cats Protection League.
The city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe,
on November 14 enacted perhaps the first anti-
pet overpopulation law in Africa: a fine of $19
for allowing a bitch in heat to roam free.
The Japan Health Ministry is test-
ing the prototype of a proposed mandatory
national microchip identification system for
dogs. The Japanese Veterinary Medical
Association objects that the microchip injec-
tions may have negative side-effects, but the
Health Ministry argues that better ID of
Japan’s 4.1 million registered dogs is essential
to further reduce stray pickups and euthanasias.
Already, stray dog pickups in Japan have fall-
en from 463,088 in 1987 to just 243,207 in
1993. About 7,000 strays per year are returned
to their owners, up to 60,000 are sold to labo-
ratories, and most of the rest are euthanized.
Pet overpopulation isn’t a problem
in Cuba, says Cuban Association for the
Protection of Animals head Nora Garcia, but
pet theft is. “You won’t see cats in gardens,
and it is very hard to find stray cats roaming
the streets because people are hunting them for
human consumption,” Garcia told the 14th
Symposium of the Animal Protection
Federation, held in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on
November 16. “The few cats that are left must
be placed in cages or locked up inside homes.”
The cat shortage is reportedly enabling rodents
to overrun Havana.
Shelters
The Humane Society of the U.S.
has updated its General Statement Regarding
Euthanasia Methods for Dogs and Cats, for
the first time since 1985. The statement fol-
lows the recommendations of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, agreeing
that intravenous injection of sodium pentobar-
bital is the most humane method now avail-
able. (Contact HSUS at 2100 ‘L’ St., NW,
Washington, DC 20037; 202-452-1100.)
The San Francisco SPCA is a
world leader in training shelter dogs to
help the deaf––but training the dogs seems to
be easier than training the San Francisco
Municipal Railway. “Any number of signal,
service, and guide dogs for the disabled are
allowed to ride Muni Free and Unmuzzled,”
according to railway policy. Yet practice is
often different, charges SFSPCA executive
director Richard Avanzino, even a year after
Muni settled a federal discrimination suit
brought by three hearing dog owners, and
issued a formal pledge to train drivers to rec-
ognize the distinctive SFSPCA-issued hearing
dog vests and collars. Further legal action is
apparently possible, arising from summer
incidents in which passengers were not
allowed to board with hearing dogs.
The Dallas-based SPCA of Texas,
with the highest adoption rate of any shelter
in the state, is now taking in adoptable sur-
plus from 16 other shelters, using a truck
bought with the aid of the Bernice Barbour
Foundation. During the first six months of
the Adoption Transfer Program, the SPCA of
Texas placed more than 120 animals a month
who would not have been adopted otherwise.
Innovating in multiple directions, the SPCA
of Texas has also opened a permanent
humane education exhibit, Tom Thumb
PetPal Central, at the Dallas Zoo. Why
there? Because that’s where children often
are when they decide they want an animal.
The Bucks County SPCA, of
Lahaska, Pennsyvlania, has collected more
than $10,000 in contributions to the Duke
Memorial Fund, honoring the memory of a
Dalmatian whom three youths now on trial
for cruelty allegedly stole via free-to-good-
home fraud, used as live bait for a pit bull,
and then tortured to death. The money will
be used to assist cruelty investigations.
Honors
Terri Crisp, director of the
Emergency Animal Rescue Service division
of United Animal Nations, is profiled as a
“Hero of Today” in the December edition of
Reader’s Digest.. Two weeks earlier, Crisp
and 25 EARS volunteers were given a place
of honor in a parade held by the town of
Liberty, Texas, to thank all who helped the
region recover from recent flooding.
Humane Society of Sonoma
County shelter manager Carol Rathmann
has been named the Outstanding Registered
Animal Health Technician of the Year by the
California Veterinary Medical Association,
in recognition of her innovations in animal-
assisted therapy. Earlier in 1994, the
California Consortium for Prevention of
Child Abuse honored HSSC for accomplish-
ments in pet therapy for abused children. The
children start out growing and learning to care
for plants, progressing to pet animals as they
develop empathy.
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