Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1995:

The city council of San Jose, California,
on August 29 approved a plan to turn all pet-related
licensing and complaint response duties over to the
Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley, which has
already handled pickups of dead, injured, or vicious
animals since 1993. The society will be paid $3.5
million to provide the services over the next 22
months. The San Jose cat licensing program, the
revenues of which support neutering strays, meanwhile
started fast, with 850 registrations in July
alone, well ahead of projections that about 3,000 cat
owners would comply with licensing in all this year.
HSSCV licensing manager Feryl Bird said that while
the neutering program is too new to see a decline in
stray cat pickups yet, the rate of increase in San Jose
is already lower than in neighboring communities.

Expecting Hurricane Erin to hit on July
3 1 , and remembering the aftermath of Hurricane
Andrew in August 1992, when animal rescue MASH
units were busy for months rounding up strays and
taking care of the pets of displaced persons, Miami
Metro-Dade animal control euthanized all 48 cats on
hand, and 71 of 111 dogs, so as to have cage room
for new arrivals. Then Eric didn’t hit after all. The
Miami Herald disclosed the mass euthanasia in a
page one story on September 9, as another hurricane
was imminently expected––and also didn’t hit.
Usual Miami policy is to hold stray dogs for at least
five days; cats may be euthanized immediately if
they don’t appear to be owned. After a storm, however,
seemingly owned animals are held for at least
two weeks. That takes cage space, and the Miami
Metro-Dade shelter, built to house 120 animals at a
time, already often holds up to 350.
In a much-publicized crackdown on
puppy mills, the Missouri legislature in 1992 passed
the Animal Care Facilities Act, intended to supplement
USDA inspections conducted under the federal
Animal Welfare Act by establishing a second level of
inspection. On May 3, 1994, however, the Missouri
Department of Agriculture signed a memo of understanding
with the USDA which made the USDA
inspectors the official state inspectors, circumventing
the object of the law. Missouri state veterinarian
John Hunt, technically responsible for seeing to it
that the inspections get done, now heads a panel
appointed by the United States Animal Health
Association to draft “a model state kennel regulation
and inspection bill.” The USAHA bills itself as “the
nation’s leading organization of public and private
animal welfare officials,” but appears to be essentially
a front for breeders. The major goal of the model
bill is to “help insure that professional breeders in
various states are not at a regulatory disadvantage
with other states.” Another panel participant,
American Professional Pet Distributors Inc., has
pledged to “encourage the committee to recognize
that all animal welfare rules should apply equally to
professional and hobby breeders alike.”
Touching off a predictable furor, and
predictions of low compliance, Orlando Animal
Services and the Orlando Humane Society have proposed
a “litter impact fee” of $50 in hopes of reducing
respective euthanasia tolls of circa 9,000 and
3,000 per year, respectively. The fee would be part
of a comprehensive animal control package.
The North Shore Animal League k e p t
from two to four rescue vans near the scene of the
fast-shifting brushfire that ravaged nearly 6,000 acres
of Long Island during the last week in August––the
biggest blaze in the state in 60 years, according to
Governor George Pataki. As the fire changed directions,
families with pets were often evacuated on
short notice, and even some evacuation centers were
evacuated. NSAL arranged for boarding kennels and
shelters as far away as Connecticut to temporarily
house displaced animals, according to outreach
coordinator Charlie McGinley. Some staffers
worked 30 hours straight at the height of the blaze,
McGinley said. The pet displacement problem subsided
as soon as the evacuees were allowed to go
home, but Long Island animal control officers then
braced for a new problem: displaced and disoriented
The St. Charles Parish Humane Society,
of St. Charles, Louisiana, has asked the Parish
Council to adopt language that would give animal
control officers the right to obtain a search warrant,
as part of a new animal control ordinance coming up
for debate in October. The Louisiana legislature
recently stiffened cruelty penalties, but did not
address effective enforcement of the tougher laws.
Effective July 1, 1996, California will
have two levels of humane officer training, under
the amended edition of AB 1571 now adopted into
law. Level 1 officers would be required to have
essentially the same 40 hours of humane law and animal
care training that have been required since 1994,
but would not be authorized to carry firearms. Level
2 officers would also have firearms training, as part
of “the basic training for a Level 1 Reserve Officer”
as prescribed by the state Commission of Peace
Officer Standards and Training. Since no equivalent
standards or training procedure previously existed,
current humane officers will also be required to take
the training to remain certified.
Friends of the Minneapolis Animal
Shelter, formed in the spring to raise a share of the
$4 million estimated cost of a new shelter, was near
collapse at the end of August after the Minneapolis
city administration decided against approving any
funding for the project. The current shelter has been
considered substandard for at least a decade.
Friends of Animals on August 24
announced a grant of $5,000 to the Center for Animal
Care and Control, to be used toward neutering animals
adopted from the CACC shelters. The CACC,
which which took over the New York City animal
control contract from the American SPCA on January
1, has endorsed a dog-and-cat population control
ordinance proposed by city council member Kathryn
Freed on behalf of FoA..
Kelly Hunt of Midland Animal Control
is preparing a disaster planning guide for the Texas
Animal Control Association. She welcomes ideas at
1200 N. Fairgrounds Road, Midland, TX 79706;
fax 915-686-1603.
Rick Collord, executive director of the
Greater Miami Humane Society since January
1 9 9 4 , resigned in August to take a similar job in
Clark County, Washington. GMHS has now had
three executive directors since 1991.

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