Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:

New legislation
An update of Louisiana animal
protection laws long sought by
Legislation In Support of Animals, the
Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates,
and other state groups includes the stiffest
felony cruelty statute in the U.S., mandat-
ing a fine of not less than $1,000, up to
$25,000, plus from one year in prison up
to 10 years at hard labor; fines for misde-
meanor cruelty of up to $1,000 and 48
hours of community service plus jail time;
the extension of the cruelty law to cover
parrots, parakeets, and lovebirds (but not
fighting cocks); the extension of the state’s
anti-dog theft law to cover other pets, with
stiffer penalties; and the creation of a fund
to help save the scarce Louisiana specta-
cled bear, funded by sales of a special
license plate. Known for gung-ho effica-
cy––on a budget of just $50,000/year––
LISA celebrated by bringing the
Spay/Neuter Assistance Program mobile
clinic from Houston to New Orleans for a
weekend of providing free neutering to
low-income families.

New York governor George
Pataki on August 10 signed a bill impos-
ing a surcharge of $3.00 on licensing fees
for unaltered dogs, expected to raise
$840,000 a year, of which $715,000 will
be used to subsidize neutering and rabies
vaccination of animals adopted from shel-
ters, pounds, and animal protection soci-
eties. A similar program in effect for 13
years in New Jersey has helped lower shel-
ter dog intakes by 40,000 a year, saving
taxpayers an estimated $3.6 million a year
in animal control costs. The subsidized
neutering fee will be $30, while the vacci-
nation fee will be $10.
Maine governor Angus King
on July 3 signed into law a bill allowing
pet owners over the age of 18 to shoot
their animals for any reason, so long as
they don’t cause “undue suffering.”
Farmer Lee Houghton couldn’t wait; on
June 23 he shot his nine-year-old border
collie in front of Union town manager
Andy Hart and animal control officer Paul
Wyman, rather than pay a $17 license fee.
The Greenhill Humane Society,
in Eugene, Oregon, following realign-
ment of the board of directors, on July
20 fired executive director Mert Davis.
Since Davis joined Greenhill Humane a
decade ago, the shelter had achieved a
96% rate of compliance with its neutering
requirement; annual animal intake fell
from 9,389 to under 6,000; and adoptions
soared from 401 in 1986 to nearly 2,000
last year, through the use of promotional
methods borrowed from the North Shore
Animal League. Given the board politics,
Davis said, he might miss the job less than
his full set of ANIMAL PEOPLE b a c k
issues, which a board member trashed in
evicting his possessions from the office.

Davis intends to remain in humane work.
The park board of Harvard,
Illinois, on July 13 voted against recom-
mending that 10 acres of parkland be
donated to the JES Exotics sanctuary,
which is trying to relocate from Sharon,
Wisconsin, due to zoning conflicts. JES
Exotics applied for the land at the invita-
tion of Harvard mayor Bill LeFew.
The Wayne County Humane
S o c i e t y, of Wooster, Ohio, is to break
ground soon for a $400,000 expansion.
The Lazarian Society, a 15-
year-old no-kill shelter housing 200
dogs, run by self-styled monk Victorian
Mattison in Cochecton, New York,
issued an emergency appeal on July 5,
claiming to be facing foreclosure due to

nonpayment of $18,353 in back taxes.


Wildlife rehab
Special Judge John P. Williams
on July 28 threw out a suit filed by the
City of Berry Hill, Tennessee, against
Walden’s Puddle, a wildlife rehabilitation
center, for alleged zoning violations. “The
judge ruled that the City of Berry Hill,” a
square-mile enclave within the Nashville
city limits, “has not complied with the
requirements set by Tennessee state laws to
have its cases heard in Metro General
Sessions Court,” said Walden’s Puddle
assistant director Howard Ezell. The case
brought the resignation of the Berry Hill
mayor and city manager.
Accusing McHenry County
(Illinois) Conservation District executive
director Steve Weller and other officials
of “intimidation and unwarranted
a t t a c k s against her, wildlife rehabilita-
tion specialist Sally Joosten on August 1
resigned from the district’s Animal Rehab
Center, effective September 30, after
almost 20 years on the job. Among the
points of dispute were Joosten’s position as
a member of the board of the nonprofit
group Wildlife In Need, which has donat-
ed much of the ARC equipment but whose
president, Monica Young, has had signifi-
cant disagreements with district policy.
The last straw was apparently a June memo
ordering Joosten to keep the ARC cat
locked in the center basement at all times.
The 80-plus ARC volunteers, who donate
7,000 hours of labor annually, reportedly
are aligned behind Joosten.

Municipal policy
Miami Beach city manager Jose
Garcia-Pedrosa on July 26 scrapped a plan to
pay Jennifer Hammer of Humane Animal
Removal $35 apiece to remove feral cats from
the boardwalk area, and instead proposed an
approach combining removal of adoptable cats
and kittens with neuter/release of healthy
adults. While Hammer had intended to eutha-
nize all adults, offering only kittens for adop-
tion, under the new plan only ailing cats
would be euthanized. Mayor Seymour Gelber
named former mayor Harold Rosen to head a
cat care committee, already heavily endowed
by an anonymous donor, also to include Irma
Baron of SoBe Spay and Neuter and crime
novelist Edna Buchanan, who, outraged,
first made the catch-and-kill plan public. The
boardwalk cat colony has existed since 1912,
when according to J.N. Lummus, the first
Miami Beach mayor, in his memoir T h e
Miracle of Miami Beach, “I advertised for
cats and the people brought me bags full of

cats. I just turned them loose on the beach,
and they cleaned up the rats,” who had dis-
couraged tourism.
The Rutherford County Animal
Shelter in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on
July 17 raised the reclaim fee for unaltered
strays from $14 to $100, $25 of which will be
refunded if the animal is fixed within 30 days.
The reclaim fee for altered animals was
increased to $50, plus $10 for rabies vaccina-
tion if the owner doesn’t have proof of vacci-
nation. Whether the high differential will
encourage neutering or just cut the reclaim
rate remains to be seen. The shelter euthana-
sia rate is already a high 80% for dogs; 90%
for cats.
The Chicago City Council is at
work on a new dangerous animal law,
which would require dogs so designated to be
caged, obedience-trained, and insured for up
to $100,000 liability. One catch is distin-
guishing truly dangerous dogs from dogs who
are merely guarding an owner’s home or prop-
erty. A proposed amendment would limit pet
ownership without a kennel or cattery license
to three animals per household.

Animal control in DuPage
County, Illinois, may job out sheltering
and adoption duties to cut the euthanasia
rate. Bids from outside agencies will be
reviewed in September. One potential bidder:
Pets In Need, of Ringwood, a no-kill in
McHenry County whose permit expired June
30 and will not be renewed due to alleged
zoning violations. Ordered to relocate all ani-
mals by October 2, the shelter recently
flunked a state Department of Agriculture
inspection; founder Pat Klimo’s protests
brought a re-inspection by Department of
Agriculture animal welfare bureau chief
David Bromwell, whose report is officially
confidential pending resolution of court cases
involving the shelter.
Fed up with roaming dog com-
p l a i n t s, the city council of Cannelton,
Illinois, population 1,800, on August 4
ordered the three town police officers to start
shooting strays. “I don’t like killing any-

thing,” objected officer Kenneth Kellems.
Mayor Mark Gerlach allowed that the police
would probably just take loose dogs to the
local humane shelter, which gets an annual
grant of $10,000.
Milpitas, California, opting for
breeding regulation instead of subsidized
n e u t e r i n g, had a reported 17% increase in
spring stray cat pickups; neighboring San
Jose, which does subsidize neutering, had a
3% increase.
To save $20,000, the city of
Saratoga, California, in June axed pickups
of stray and dead animals by the Humane
Society of Santa Clara Valley. After two
months of paying city employees overtime to
remove roadkills, and fielding complaints
from both workers and citizens about risks
posed by roaming animals, the city on August
9 rescinded the cut.
Unincorporated Santa Clara
C o u n t y in July used unclaimed neutering
deposits to fund canvasing for unlicensed
dogs. The jurisdiction has an estimated licens-
ing compliance rate of just 16%.
Founded on April 12, 1875, the
Port Elizabeth Association for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of South
Africa, recently celebrated its 120th anniver-
sary by opening a new shelter in Motherwell.
The administration of Bucharest,
Romania, pledged on July 24 to poll citi-
zens as to what should be done about an esti-
mated 200,000 stray dogs who roam the city of
2.3 million people, biting about 1,000 resi-
dents a month.
Responding to 58,961 dog bite
cases in 1994, Beijing last November
imposed stiff new permit requirements includ-
ing a registration fee of $700, triple the aver-
age resident’s annual income. Taking effect
May 1, the measures caused owners to dis-
pose of 120,408 of the known population of
213,261 dogs; 49,489 were licensed.
Unlicensed dogs are killed on discovery.
Through June, 19,462 people had been bitten
in 1995. The reported Chinese ratio of circa
one bite per four dogs/year (or fewer) is extra-
ordinarily high; the normal U.S. ratio is one
reported bite per 75 dogs.
Disaster relief
Cleveland’s two-year-old Animal
Disaster Team handled its first hometown
emergency on July 19 when founder Sue
Gundich pulled a terrier with a burned belly
and two broken legs from the rubble left after a
mystery explosion razed the home and garage
of owner William Criswell, a decorated para-
medic, who was burned over 92% of his
body. Another 20 homes were damaged.
The American Humane
Association on July 20 graduated its first
class of Certified Animal Relief workers,
including Paul Miller of Monterey, Calif.;
Lesley Lichko, of San Francisco, Calif.;
Barbara Bellows and Trina Hudson, of
Lake Helen, Fla.; Shirley Minshew, of
Macon, Ga.; Amy Suarez, of
Gainesville, Fla.; Doug Trowbridge, of
Houston, Tex.; and Fred Freeland,
DVM, of Tifton, Ga.
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