From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1995:

Humane enforcement
The Alabama Office of the Attorney
General’s probe of the affairs of the Love and Care
for God’s Animalife no-kill shelter in Andalusia,
Alabama, was apparently lost in the shuffle when
newly elected Republican attorney general Jeff
Sessions purged the staff of Democrats, including
Greg Locklier of the consumer affairs division, who
had been assigned to the case. A “Mr. Billings” pur-
portedly inherited the dossier, but failed to return
calls pertaining to it.
The SWAT team in East Cleveland,
Ohio, on January 10 killed a Rottweiler and skirted
a pit bull terrier plus numerous snakes, baby alliga-
tors, tarantulas, and lizards while arresting Savalas
Crosby, 19, and Shawntel Gibson, 21, in connec-
tion with a December 29 drive-by shooting. Police
commander Charles Teel said the animals were
apparently being raised for sale to drug dealers as

Five show dogs found dead on December
28 at a kennel in Concord, California, electrocut-
ed themselves by chewing on a heater cord while
standing in a puddle, police said on January 27 after
receiving necropsy reports from the University of
California at Davis. Kennel owner William Young
initially said the dogs were poisoned, and claimed
he’d found four decapitated puppies inside a chalk
circle in the kennel area just before Halloween.
Police said they had no record of that incident.
More than 250 counts of animal abuse
and neglect filed against miniature poodle breed-
ers Don and Charlotte Spiegel of Oroville,
California, were consolidated into just eight felony
counts and two misdemeanors on January 30 as their
trial began, 18 months after 300 allegedly starved,
filth-matted dogs were removed from their kennels
on June 27, 1993. The Spiegels have been repeated-
ly cited for neglect in various locales since December
1990, when 200 allegedly neglected poodles were
seized from their premises, but escaped conviction
in the one previous case that got to a jury trial.
Pet breeder Lawrence Frey, 57, of San
Jose, California, was arrested on January 27 after
officers from the Humane Society of Santa Clara
Valley found 107 dead animals on his property, most
of them rabbits, and euthanized another 78 animals
on the spot due to illness or injury. The Rabbit
Connection, a local rescue group, took in another
hundred animals, primarily rabbits and guinea pigs.
The Duke-the-dalmatian dog-theft-by-
case concluded on
January 11, as a Bucks County, Pennsylvania jury
convicted defendents Jason Tapper, 21, and Roy
Elliott, 21, of both cruelty and conspiracy while co-
defendant Jan Pyatt, 23, was convicted only of cru-
elty. The three were to undergo psychological evalu-
ation prior to sentencing for the crime, which includ-
ed tying the Dalmatian to a tree with his mouth taped
shut, to be attacked by a pit bull terrier, and exten-
sively mutilating him afterward. The trial was moni-
tored by hundreds of Philadelphia-area citizens.
Officers of the Suffolk County SPCA on
Long Island made two big dogfighting busts in three
days during the fourth week in January, seizing 13
pit bulls and five Akitas while arresting eight adults
and a juvenile. Among those arrested was New York
State correctional officer Mark Hunter, 32, found in
possession of eight pit bulls plus alleged dogfighting
Robert Homrighous, 41, of Oakland
Park, Florida, was charged January 26 with three
felony cruelty counts and six misdemeanor counts of
animal abandonment for burying nine Rottweiler
puppies alive in his yard because he didn’t want them.
Their mother broke free from her chain the next day
to dig them up, and was witnessed by a neighbor,
who called the police. Three died; six, plus the
mother, were seized by animal abuse investigator
Sherry Schleuter of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and
will be put up for adoption.
Vermont state’s attorney Patricia
Z i m m e r m a n said December 23 that she would not
prosecute Melinda Power, of East Bethel, for
allegedly allowing 22 sheep, two horses, and a ram
to starve to death last April and May, because the
investigators used a flawed search warrant. Despite a
conviction for passing bad checks, Power is the most
often appointed guardian Ad litem for juveniles in
Orange County family court cases, provoking local
suspicion of favoritism in the disposition of the cruel-
ty case, and a call by local papers for reform of the
guardian Ad litem system.


Wildlife trafficking
A federal grand jury in Greensboro, North Carolina o n
December 21 handed down a nine-count felony indictment against four people
for illegally trafficking in coyotes and foxes. Named were Roy Harker, 53,
and Hilda Harker, 53, of Jonesville, N.C.; James Wright Jr., 50, of
Hillsville, Virginia; and Hugh Love, 60, of York, South Carolina. The four
allegedly took as many as 500 animals per year from Kentucky, Montana,
Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and the Dakotas to chase pens in Virginia
and the Carolinas without permits, where they were sold for use as quarry by
houndsmen. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents confiscated and put down
100 red foxes found in the alleged traffickers’ possession. About 20 of the
foxes were subsequently found to have been carrying a tapeworm transmissible
and potentially deadly to human beings.
“The matter continues under active investigation and a significant
number of other law enforcement actions can be expected in the near future,”
Justice Department public affairs director Carl Stern told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Crimes against humans
Patrick Ray Curtis, 34, of
Ostrander, Ohio, was charged with
felonious assault on January 31 for
allegedly pointing a 12-gauge shotgun
at his wife Jackie, 30, and two chil-
dren, Tasha, 8, and Brandy, 10,
then pulling the trigger. When the gun
misfired, he reloaded and pulled the
trigger twice more, getting two more
misfires. As the intended victims fled,
they ran into a bow-and-arrow rigged
as a boobytrap, but it didn’t work
either. But Mrs. Curtis said it was all
just a drunken misunderstanding.
“He’s a hunter and has hunted all his
life,” she said. “He could have killed
me if he wanted to. He’s really a nice
guy and good father when he’s sober.”
Bowhunter Brian Nemeth,
16, of Steubenville, Ohio, was
charged January 17 with murder for
shooting his mother Suzanne, 40, with
four arrows from eight to 10 feet away
as she lay on a couch 10 days earlier.
Investigators didn’t suggest a motive.
Tammy Payette, former
private nurse to the late tobacco
heiress Doris Duke, alleged January
20 in a Manhattan Surrogate’s Court
affidavit that Duke’s doctor, Charles
Kivowitz, killed her on October 28,
1993, with massive doses of mor-
phine, in purported collusion with but-
ler and principal heir Bernard Lafferty,
whom Duke also named as her coex-
ecutor. Kivowitz, who attributed the
death to pulmonary edema, denied the
charge. Duke, who tried unsuccess-
fully to start an anti-vivisection society
in 1991, left large portions of her still
unsettled and bitterly contested estate
to animal and habitat-related causes.
Police found at least one
videotape allegedly depicting bestial-
i t y in the pornography collection of
James Austin, 26, of Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, who is charged with the
early January murder of his five-week-
old son by a surrogate mother. The
boy died January 17 after nine days of
with severe head
Biochemistry lecturer and
vivisector Paul Agutter, 48, o f
Napier University in Edinburgh,
Scotland, drew 12 years in prison on
February 1 for trying to poison his wife
Alexandria, 39, with a spiked gin-
and-tonic and trying to cover the crime
by placing bottles of similarly spiked
tonic water on the shelves of a super-
market. A security camera caught him
in the act.
The 9th District Court of
Appeals on February 8 upheld the
1994 conviction of an Akron, Ohio
woman for feloniously sexually pene-
trating her seven-year-old son with a
broom handle as punishment for soil-
ing his pants. The woman then
claimed his severe rectal injuries were
the result of a sexual assault by the
family pit bull terrier.
Gen Sakine, 53, consid-
ered Japan’s top breeder of Alaskan
Malamutes and Rhodesian Ridgebacks,
and his ex-wife, pet store owner
Hiroko Kazama, 37, were arrested
January 6 in Tokyo for allegedly
killing four of their dissatisfied cus-
tomers during 1993. The case parallels
that of an Osaka dog trainer who was
charged with murdering four unhappy
clients last year.
Benny Schlesinger, found-
er and president of the Israeli anti-
shelter euthanasia group Let The
Animals Live, was arrested in Israel
on December 29 for allegedly sexually
abusing a 17-year-old boy. Authorities
withheld details of related charges
believed to be pending. Schlesinger
has led attempted takeovers of a num-
ber of humane societies, but succeeded
only once, at Raanana in 1993.
“Benny’s forceful personality seems
ideally suited to starting a humane offi-
cer program,” PETA executive director
Ingrid Newkirk wrote in the December
1993 edition of the Israeli magazine
Pro-Animal, after a visit to the facility.
Newkirk was less impressed with his
shelter management, noting over-
crowding, sick and well dogs mingled
together, filth, and lack of adoption
screening. Soon afterward the shelter
was closed as a public health hazard.
Lewis Lent Jr., of North
Adams, Massachusetts, known to
neighbors for his love of hunting, drew
20 years on January 14 for kidnapping,
assault with a deadly weapon, assault
and battery, and theft in connection
with the January 7, 1994 attack on
Rebecca Savarese, 12, that brought
him to police attention after Savarese
escaped. He will be tried later for the
alleged kidnap/murders of 12-year-olds
Jimmy Bernardo, of Pittsfield, in
1990, and Sara Anne Wood, of
Frankfort, New York, in 1993. Lent
has been investigated but not charged
in connection with numerous other
child murders and disappearances up
and down the Atlantic seaboard, dating
back to 1973.
Animals & Rights
“The Constitution simply does not
guarantee owners of ferrets regulatory status
precisely equal to the status of owners of other
a n i m a l s, even potentially dangerous animals,”
U.S. District Judge Allen Schwartz ruled on
February 8, dismissing a Friends of Ferrets chal-
lenge to the New York City ban on ferret-keeping.
“Here the undisputed evidence has ample basis in
public health concerns regarding the propensity of
pet ferrets to bite, particularly infants and small
The First District Court of Appeal i n
Tallahassee, Florida, on January 24 ruled that a
Jacksonville divorce judge had no authority to grant
visitation rights with a dog to Kathryn R. Rogers,
of St. Louis, Missouri, after awarding custody of
the dog to her former husband, Ronald G. Bennett.
Bennett successfully protested the divorce court
verdict on grounds the dog was property, not a per-
son, and therefore could not be involved in matters
legally pertaining only to persons.
The U.S. Supreme Court on January 5
agreed to review Sweet Home Chapter of
Communities for a Great Oregon v. Bruce Babbitt,
Secretary of the Interior, a March 1994 Court of
Appeals ruling that the Endangered Species Act
does not grant the broad authority to protect habitat
that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other
courts have assumed it does since 1981.
Contrary to local reports, summarized
in the January/February edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE, Fund for Animals staffer Mike
Markarian and fellow activist Todd McDonald
on November 23 did not became the first protesters
charged under the new federal hunter harassment
law. Instead, possible charges resulting from the
protest at the Cape Cod National Seashore
remained pending until February, and then were
dropped, Markarian said. The National Park
Service also refused to press charges against a
hunter who Markarian claimed punched him, as
there were no uninvolved witnesses.
The Supreme Court on January 9
declined to review the Fund for Animals’ appeal of
lower courts’ rulings upholding the constitutionality
of the Montana Act to Prohibit Harassment of
Hunters and Trappers––one of the first hunter
harassment acts, adopted in 1987, and believed to
have been among the most vulnerable.
Craig Valentine, of Grand Rapids,
Ohio, on February 9 became the first person con-
victed under the three-year-old Ohio hunter harass-
ment law. He drew a year on probation.
Friends of Animals on January 6
alleged in a “Counterclaim and Third Party
Motion for Judgement” filed in response to a civil
suit brought against FoA by Class B animal dealer
Noel Leach of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, that
a “plan to financially destroy FoA by protracted and
costly litigation was developed and put into action
in early 1993 following a meeting held for that pur-
pose,” and that, “It is believed representatives of
U.S. Surgical and Carolina Biological Supply,” two
longtime targets of FoA-led investigations and
protest, “were present at that meeting and partici-
pated in the planning.” FoA is seeking $3 million
in actual and compensatory damages. Leach, who
sold animals to Carolina Biological Supply, sued
FoA on May 24, 1993, for purportedly illegally
trespassing in gathering evidence that led to USDA
charges against him for 46 alleged Animal Welfare
Act violations.
According to recent Internet postings
by the Animal Liberation Front Supporters
Group (U.K.), two firebombs were found on
Christmas morning at the Chiddingford Fox Hunt
kennels in Hampshire, England, while another
“was planted in a branch of Woolworth’s in Belfast,
Northern Ireland, in the second week of January.”
No one was charged in those incidents, but on
January 31, activists Gillian Peachey and Jeanette
McCullan were charged with planting a firebomb at
a hotel that was to host a meeting of the Hursley
Hambledon Fox-hunt.
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