Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1995:

A 1988 law forbidding population
control euthanasia at the city pound in Rome,
Italy, “leaves many a beast to serve a life sen-
tence without hope of reprieve in the city ken-
nels,” reports Celestine Bohlen of The New
York Times, but has also encouraged
neuter/release. Rome has an estimated 200,000
feral cats in about 10,000 colonies; about 500
colonies including 7,000 to 8,000 cats are now
under official veterinary supervision.
Villagers displaced by Turkish
attacks on Kurd rebels left behind as many as
1,000 sheepdogs and 150 donkeys near the
town of Tunceli in early January. Authorities
who have shown little hesitation about killing
human enemies, real or suspected, were
reportedly reluctant to put the animals down
and were investigating the possibility of truck-
ing them elsewhere for adoption.

Humane Society of Greater Akron
executive director Rick Hirt quit on February
3, after a little over a year on the job, to return
to teaching fulltime at the University of Akron,
where he has taught since 1980. Hirt and
HSGA president James Noonan denied that the
resignation had anything to do with a $34 mil-
lion lawsuit filed against the society on January
25 by convicted horse abuser Tom Donnelly,
who claims investigators defamed him and vio-
lated his right to privacy on January 31, 1994,
by allowing a TV reporter to videotape a raid on
his premises. The raid found three dead horses
plus four horses who were in bad condition
from lack of food, water, and proper hoof care.
Donnelly said the situation resulted from his
being preoccupied with the care of his wife,
who had been hospitalized for most of the pre-
ceding four months, and from the shortcomings
of a mentally handicapped farmhand.
The 1994 Florida Animal Control
Association recently honored Carmen Shaw, a
wildlife rehabilitator since 1960; Ken Curtis,
donor of $45,000 to neuter pets in Hendry
(paid through 10/95)
out.” Low veterinary standards are a prob-
lem in Israel, where some immigrants
bring DVM degrees obtained with no
hands-on experience and re-education pro-
grams for vets practically don’t exist. Not
opposed to neuter/release in principle,
Natelson says CHAI has had to oppose it
in Israel because of the lack of coordina-
tion among rescue groups and trap-and-
euthanize groups, and the poor quality of
some of the neutering surgery. But advo-
cating euthanasia is particularly difficult in
Israel, due to psychological associations
with the Nazi extermination of Jews. In
Tel Aviv, an SPCA of Israel humane edu-
cation program that brings Arab and Israeli
children together has lost Jewish partici-
pants, Natelson said, when they’ve
learned the SPCA euthanizes.
Pounding the beat
Taking over New York City animal
control duties from the American SPCA on
January 1, the newly formed Center for Animal
Care and Control answered 700 calls and picked
up 206 animals during its first six days. “We
had a smooth transition,” said information offi-
cer Sybelle Fisher-Koppel––but by February 9,
when a hearing was held on a neutering ordi-
nance proposed by Friends of Animals, the
same critics who long held that the ASPCA
couldn’t do anything right were already eager to
redirect the subject to ousting CACC chief
Marty Kurtz, in part due to grudges begun dur-
ing Kurtz’ administration of the NYC Bureau of
Veterinary Services. In that capacity Kurtz dis-
patched animals for rabies testing, enforced
bans on pit bull terriers and ferrets, and
inspected carriage horses. ANIMAL PEOPLE
was repeatedly asked to probe rumors that all
animals at the Brooklyn shelter were massacred
as part of the transfer of jurisdiction from the
ASPCA (no); that shelter adoption hours had
been cut back to just four hours a week (the
Manhattan shelter is open for adoptions 49
hours a week and the four others in the system
offer adoptions from 15 to 30 hours a week);
that Kurtz had packed the payroll with his rela-
tives (none work for CACC); and that Kurtz
had hired a shelter worker whom the ASPCA
had fired for sodomizing dogs (yes––he lied on
his job application––but he was recognized and
dismissed as soon as he reported for duty).
Owed more than $250,000 by the
city of Washington D.C., which has a project-
ed 1995 deficit of $722 million, the
Washington Humane Society came within 24
hours of having to close its main shelter on
February 8 due to insolvency. At the last hour
the city paid $97,000 as part of a 45-day emer-
gency extension of the WHS animal control
contract. Publicity about the impending closure
brought a rush of adoptions, temporarily emp-
tying the cages; the shelter handles about
12,000 animals a year. Had it closed, animal
control duties would have reverted to the
already understaffed police department, and the
only shelter in D.C. would have been a very

small WHS temporary holding facility.
Rather than upset residents b y
either allowing off-leash time in existing parks
or barring dogs outright, the city of Ashland,
Oregon, recently put up $1,000 worth of fenc-
ing around a large vacant lot and called that a
dog park. It’s reportedly a huge success.
A stray pit bull terrier on January 4
thwarted the third burglary in two weeks at the
Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, in San
Martin, California. “The pit bull wasn’t
vicious,” said shelter supervisor Linda Platt.
“It just wasn’t overly friendly.” The pit bull
and an Australian shepherd were found loose in
the building after the fleeing burglars tripped an
alarm. On December 19 and 20, burglars got
away with 11 dogs, including six Rottweilers
and a boxer.
Palm Beach County Animal Care
and Control is believed to be the first animal
control agency in Florida to scan for all types of
microchip ID used in North America as part of
the routine admission procedure for every
incoming dog or cat.
Despite a 1954 law requiring every
county in Kentucky to have an animal
shelter, 36 of the state’s 120 counties do not.
The lack of a shelter came to the attention of
Letcher County residents in January, when
someone released more than 20 Chihuahuas and
Chihuahua mixes from the backyard kennel of
Denver and Ona Church, an elderly and ailing
couple who were unable to care for the dogs.
The Humane Society of Letcher County had
reportedly been threatening to sue over lack of a
public shelter for about eight months.
Years of city-sponsored high-vol-
ume low-cost neutering have produced a
puppy shortage in Las Vegas, while
Indianapolis has an 85% euthanasia rate for
puppies. On February 6 the Las Vegas-based
Animal Foundation International and the
Johnson County Animal Shelter, of
Indianapolis, announced a multi-party deal
whereby American Trans Air will fly up to 50
puppies a week to Las Vegas in carriers provid-
ed by PetsMart. AFI will take care of neutering
the puppies and adopting them out.
The Pennsylvania Auditor General
has reportedly found misspent funds and defi-
cient record-keeping within the state Bureau of
Dog Law Enforcement, a division of the
Department of Agriculture. “We’re delighted to
see in print what we’ve suspected all along,”
said Hilda Schmidt of the York Kennel Club,
who requested the audit after the bureau tried to
raise licensing and kennel fees.
The Illinois senate agriculture com-
mittee voted February 8 to recommend pas-
sage of a Vietnamese Potbellied Pig Act,
which would bar communities from regulating
ownership of the pigs more stringently than
they regulate dog ownership.
The Hands-On Handbook, a 24-
page guide to pet overpopulation, is available
for reprint under humane societies’ own logo,
@ $447 for the first thousand copies plus ship-
ping. Inquire c/o Jennifer Clanahan, PAWS,
POB 1037, Lynnwood, WA 98046.
Doing Things For Animals, pub-
lisher of the annual No-Kill Directory, will
host a day-long retreat to discuss “No-Kills In
The ‘90s” on September 23 at the Holiday Inn
Corporate Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Confirmed speakers include Faith Maloney of
the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, ANIMAL
P E O P L E editor Merritt Clifton, and DTFA
founder Lynda Foro. Get details from POB
10905, Glendale, AZ 85318-0905.
The no-kill Elmsford Animal
Shelter, of Westchester County, New York,
which has kept up to 450 animals at a time on
just a third of an acre, expects to be settled in a
new 5-acre location by March 1, with capacity
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