From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:

WASHINGTON D.C.––August 10 dawned bright
for the Humane Society of the U.S., as newspapers across the
country carried a photo of HSUS director of legislative affairs
Wayne Pacelle and Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) decrying
puppy mills at a press conference held the day before to
announce that Santorum and 14 other Senators had jointly
signed a letter to Agriculture Secretary Daniel Glickman,
seeking stiffer enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.
Then someone noticed that the letter Santorum sent
was markedly different from the letter sent by 110 House
members and three Senators in the same cause––and the
effect of Santorum’s letter was to undercut the House letter,
whose signers were rallied by Rep. Glenn Poshard (D-Ill.)
The Poshard letter, circulated to potential signers
on June 27 and delivered to Glickman on August 8, asked for
Glickman’s “strong support” in imposing ten specific new
standards for puppy and kitten breeding facilities: “Increase
basic cage size for companion animals permanently housed in
the facilities; improve flooring within the primary enclosures
by requiring plastic-coated wire of a specific width; increase
the size and material of the resting surface for each animal in
a primary enclosure; require constant access to potable water
for all animals housed in the facility; limit the number of
times/frequency breeding stock can be bred over a certain
time period; strengthen the sanitation requirements for the
primary enclosure; eliminate the ability to tether animals;
reexamine temperature guidelines; require more specific
daily exercise of animals at the facilities; exclude ‘another
dog’ as acceptable exercise.”

The requests for specific regulations were based on
the findings of an internal review of USDA Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service/Regulatory Enforcement Animal
Care activity, which found that the present regulations leave
so much to the judgement of facility owners and veterinarians
as to be unenforceable against all but the most egregious
abuse. Apparent violations of basic care standards often can’t
be prosecuted because the regulations allow the alleged
offenders to hold that they are following professional advice.
Santorum, Poshard, and humane groups were to
present the letter to media on August 9.
“Unfortunately,” American Humane Association
legislative director Adele Douglass wrote in an alert to mem-
bers, “the Washington Post chided Senator Santorum for
wanting stronger puppy mill regulations, especially since, as
a Republican, he is traditionally anti-regulation. We believe
that the Washington Post blurb, combined with pressure from
the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary
Medical Association, resulted in a change in the original let-
ter’s content. On August 4, just days before the letter was to
be sent to the USDA, Senator Santorum’s letter was changed
to ask for enforcement of current regulations only.”
AKC cuts letter’s demands
Congressional and Senatorial aides who spoke to
ANIMAL PEOPLE––some of whom called b e f o r e t h e i r
offices were asked for comment––confirmed that this is exact-
ly what happened: after 124 other legislators had already
signed on, Santorum huddled with AKC lobbyist Jim Holt,
AVMA lobbyist Pamela Abney, and Pacelle, deleting the
requests that cage sizes be increased, water be always avail-
able, tethering be banned, temperature guidelines be re-
examined, flooring follow specific material requirements,
and the number of times an animal may be bred be restricted,
and putting the onus on the USDA to enforce the existing reg-
ulations that it had already found to be unenforceable.
Balking, Poshard, the 110 members of the House,
and Senators Paul Simon (D-Ill.), Carol Mosely Braun (D-
Ill.), and Paul Wellman (DFL-Minnesota) sent the original
letter––but the damage was done, in that Santorum and
HSUS drew national publicity for ostensibly seeking tougher
USDA-APHIS-REAC enforcement, even as Santorum’s
rewritten letter sent the message to Congress that efforts to
help APHIS-REAC get the regulatory tools it needs won’t get
Republican support in the Senate.
Also at the Santorum/Pacelle press conference,
APHIS staffer Cynthia Eck was left to lament that the USDA
lacks the authority to regulate either pet stores or breeders
who only sell directly to the public, and that lack of person-
nel limits APHIS to inspecting the 4,600 federally licensed
breeders and dealers only once a year, on average.
Santorum had seemed a strange sponsor for a crack-
down on puppy mills: a member of the Congressional
Sportsmen’s Caucus, with little if any record in support of
pro-animal legislation, from Pennsylvania, which state sena-
tor Stewart Greenleaf described in 1993 as “The puppy mill
capitol of the world.” Greenleaf was author of an unsuccess-
ful state bill to police puppy mills, many of which are located
in the northern and western parts of the state––Santorum’s
base of support as a member of the House, 1991-1994, and
in his 1994 election to the U.S. Senate.
While the AKC position on puppy mill regulation is
consistent with the organization’s position as the voice of dog
breeders, the AVMA and HSUS positions were somewhat
more surprising. No one at HSUS was talking, on the record,
but ANIMAL PEOPLE was given to understand by well-
placed persons that Pacelle opted for

the highest possible profile on the issue,
instead alignment with other humane groups
and the signers of the Poshard letter, as some
HSUS staff purportedly favored.
Abney, of the AVMA, told ANI-
MAL PEOPLE that, “I feel that if those
facilities required to be licensed were
licensed and inspected, with follow-through
enforcement [of existing regulations], then
the majority of problems seen with commer-
cial breeding facilities would disappear. If
USDA-APHIS-REAC were to allocate time
and resources toward properly enforcing the
current regulations, the welfare of the ani-
mals would rapidly improve. However, if
USDA was forced to labor through a cost-
benefit analysis pending the introduction of
new regulations, there would be far less
resources to enforce the current regulations.
Moreover, if the regulations were found to
be wanting after proper enforcement, then
the specific deficiencies could be addressed
While the House has passed a bill
requiring cost-benefit analysis of new regula-
tions, which Santorum strongly favors, the
bill has not cleared the Senate, and even if
passed by the Senate, is almost certain to be
vetoed by President Bill Clinton. Abney’s
response further overlooked that APHIS-
REAC has already declared a lack of essen-
tial resources and has reported on specific
regulatory deficiencies; that’s what occa-
sioned Poshard’s letter in the first place.
So advised, AVMA assistant direc-
tor of scientific activities John Boyce reiterat-
ed that, “Dr. Abney and I, along with sever-
al of our colleagues, are attempting to repre-
sent the official position of the AVMA on
this issue, namely that our first priority
should be to see that USDA receives ade-
quate funding to allow proper enforcement of
existing animal care regulations.”
Yet not one word in the Santorum
letter even hinted at making more funding
available to the USDA.

That left another possible explana-
tion: specific regulatory requirements
applied to breeding facilities might also be
applied, as a basic care standard, in various
pending state efforts to regulate boarding

kennels––a common sideline of veterinary
clinics. The veterinary community is sensi-
tive to regulation of boarding kennels right
now due to a series of tangles with the
American Boarding Kennel Association over
alleged conflict of interest in regulations
which require facilities to be approved by a
veterinarian or have a “veterinarian of
record.” ABKA officers in Connecticut and
North Carolina recently persuaded state agri-
culture authorities to suspend veterinary
approval requirements, because veterinarians
could potentially protect a monopoly on pro-
viding boarding service by refusing to
approve kennels run by non-vets.
Perhaps significantly, the Santorum
letter includes in place of the Poshard letter’s
request for a specific requirement that dogs
get daily exercise, the phrase “Exercise
guidelines, as determined by the attending
veterinarian, must be followed.” Thus, if a
vet runs a breeding kennel, he could do
about exercise whatever he/she pleases.
VP David Wills fired
The puppy mill flap was just one
headache for HSUS president Paul Irwin and
Humane Society International president John
Hoyt, whose organization is the umbrella for
HSUS and several affiliated organizations.
On August 9, they were obliged to put HSUS
vice president David Wills on administrative
leave. On August 11, after rumors about the
circumstances raced through the animal pro-
tection community, Wills was fired.
Just weeks earlier, in June, Hoyt
and Irwin, both former clergymen, presided
over a lavish Mexican wedding for Wills and
Laurie White, former wife of PETA presi-
dent Alex Pacheco, now a volunteer for the
Washington Humane Society. Some sources
told ANIMAL PEOPLE that Pacelle and
Ark Trust Genesis project assistant Kirsten
Rosenberg, who were married at about the
same time, were wed at the same ceremony.
Wills’ departure came as
HSUS/HSI board members questioned the

use of HSUS/HSI funds to pay wedding-
related costs and cover Wills’ personal debts.
Insiders told ANIMAL PEOPLE that Wills
had drawn significant loans against his
$70,000-plus salary, had taken a female sub

ordinate abroad without prior authorization,
had submitted expense accounts including
business lunches and other meetings that
never took place, and had transferred a
female staffer to longtime friend Pacelle’s
office in an purported attempt to keep people
with knowledge of his personal affairs from
comparing notes. Details of some of the
alleged transactions were recorded by current
and former employees, who also alleged sex-
ual harassment by Wills at various times over
a three-year period. Several serious charges
were detailed in a 21-page affidavit, while
further charges, by other plaintiffs, may be
included in affidavits yet to be filed.
On August 9, an e-mail message to
HSUS staff announced that Wills’ duties as
director of companion animals and investiga-
tions would be temporarily handled by John
Kullberg, president of the American SPCA
1979-1991, and head of the HSUS Wildlife
Land Trust since October 1994.
Earlier in the summer, Wills
accepted the June 30 recommendation of cir-
cuit court mediation judge Steven N.
Andrews of Oakland County, Michigan,
that he should pay $42,500 restitution and
damages to Sandra LeBost, of Royal Oak,
Michigan, who allegedly loaned Wills
$28,311 and her father’s gold watch, with a
claimed worth of $10,000, and was not
repaid, when Wills left his former post as
executive director of the Michigan Humane
Society to form the National Society for
Animal Protection in mid-1989. Wills head-
ed NSAP, now dormant, for two years
before taking his HSUS job.
A mediation judge is believed to
have recommended that Wills pay $21,000 to
William and Judith McBride, of Ortonville,
Michigan, who allegedly loaned Wills
$20,000 in May and June, 1991, and were
also not repaid. That case, however, will
apparently go to court. Meanwhile, a pre-
settlement probe of Wills’ ability to pay the
recommended sums reported that according
to the Washington D.C. registrar of deeds,

the street address Wills furnished to the court
apparently does not exist.
Wills’ fall from grace after several
years as Hoyt’s heir-apparent left in doubt the
positions of Pacelle and lobbyists Aaron
Medlock and Bill Long, whom Wills recruit-
ed from the Fund for Animals in April 1994.
Also in question was the further association
with HSUS of DeDay LaRene, a longtime
Wills pal who joined HSUS to do community
service after spending a year in federal prison
for helping Joey Giacalone conceal $410,000
from the IRS. LaRene had represented
Giacalone since a 1975 grand jury probe of
the disappearance of former Teamster boss
Jimmy Hoffa, and in 1988 represented
Robert Miles, Michigan grand dragon of the
Ku Klux Klan. Yet another HSUS staffer
believed likely to be packing was Joan Witt,
LaRene’s wife, who followed Wills from a
humane society post in Nashua, New

Hampshire, first to MHS and then to HSUS.
ANIMAL PEOPLE was told by
senior persons within HSUS that negotiations
over a possible HSUS takeover of the
Washington D.C. animal control contract,
begun by Wills, will continue. The
Washington Humane Society contract expired
in May. The major obstacle to the deal is
purportedly the intention of WHS to keep
responsibility for anti-cruelty enforcement,
granted to it by Congress, which adminis-
trates Washington D.C.
Stumbling Bloch
was still investigating whether either HSUS
or HSUS senior officers took investment
advice from financial radio talk show host
I.H. “Sonny” Bloch, and if so, what the
result was. Bloch, 58, was associated with
HSUS for at least a decade, first as host of a
TV program about pets and later, from 1991
until spring 1995, as a member of the HSUS
board of directors. Bloch is now in federal
prison in Manhattan, awaiting multiple trials,
beginning with a federal court suit filed in
Newark, New Jersey in December 1994 by
280 investors from 33 states, alleging Bloch
fraudulently induced them to invest $9.38
million in a worthless wireless cable system.
A longtime resident of Tampa,
Florida, Bloch fled to the Dominican
Republic in March 1995, purportedly to
avoid “persecution” by federal agents who
were probing accusations of financial mis-
dealings and statutory rape. Bloch declared
his innocence.
Statutory rape charges have appar-
ently not been filed to date. However, on
May 26, as Bloch was still broadcasting
daily from Santo Domingo, the Securities
and Exchange Commission charged him and
four others with bilking investors of $3.8 mil-
lion by selling $21 million worth of member-
ships in firms set up to buy three radio sta-
tions. Later that day, Dominican authorities
arrested Bloch at request of the FBI and

returned him to the U.S.
Then, on July 7, federal prosecu-
tors in Manhattan indicted Bloch on eight
counts of tax fraud, perjury, and obstruction
of justice, regarding his financial dealings
from 1991 through 1993 with Broadcast
Management Corporation, the producer of
his financial talk show, which aired on 170
stations from 1980 until earlier this year.
HSUS notes
Dennis White, recently dismissed
after 19 years as head of the American
Humane Association’s animal protection
division, has been hired to represent HSUS
in Dallas, Texas. HSUS field reps are
reportedly now being asked to work from
their homes, without secretarial service.
Several regional posts are vacant, and the
HSUS service regions are apparently being
realigned to cut the number of regional reps.
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