Animal control & rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:

Michigan governor John Engler
on December 22 vetoed a bill to require
sterilization of pets adopted from animal
shelters. “I believe that mandates from state
government should come only in instances of
protection of the health and safety of the general
public. I am not persuaded that the sterilization
of adopted pets, while a meritorious
goal, meets this standard,” Engler said. He
also claimed that under the state’s Headlee tax
limitation amendment against the imposition
of unfunded mandates, the requirement of the
bill that shelters collect a $25 neutering
deposit and keep sterilization records could
oblige the state to pick up enforcement costs.
Judge Michael Kirby on
November 17 agreed with Legislation In
Support of Animals that Plaquemines
Parish, Louisiana, was violating a 1990 state
law by refusing to issue neutering contracts to
adopters of dogs and cats from the parish
pound. Apparently to spite LISA, parish
president Clyde Giordano announced that the
pound will no longer do adoptions; all animals
not reclaimed by their families will be
To spur dog license sales, the chief
dog wardens of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, are
using license applications as entries in a raffle
for three pairs of seats behind home plate at a
sold-out Indians game. For that, some guys
might license the whole neighborhood.
Veterinarian Robert Cortesi, of
Naperville, Illinois, recently bought the mortgage
on a piece of land for the animal rescue
group ADOPT, which is now fundraising to
repay him and build a shelter. Founded in
1989, ADOPT has placed 5,500 dogs and
cats in homes via a fostering program and a
cable TV show. Cortesi currently boards
some animals for the group in exchange for
help cleaning his cages and bathing pets.
Former British Veterinary
Association president Paul DeVile was on
December 1 appointed chief veterinary officer
for the National Canine Defence League, the
leading dog protection organization in the
United Kingdom.

Animal control officer Ralph E.
H o l m e s , 52, of Granville, New York,
resigned on December 7 and pleaded guilty to
one county of cruelty on December 8 for
drowning a cat in the Mettawee River on
November 11. Holmes has admitted drowning
more than 100 cats to save on vet bills.
Dog-shooting policies are under
fire in Clarksville, Tennessee, where police
officer Jay Skidmore shot an 8-pound
Chihuhua on December 11, claiming the dog
was vicious, and Xenia Township, Ohio,
where a local farmer and Greene County animal
control officer Scott Finley shot two dogs
on December 3 for allegedly chasing cattle.
Realizing the dog he shot survived, Finley
took him back to the animal control office and
notified the owner. Finley took the tags from
the other dog, but didn’t realize he was still
alive, too. That dog was finally rescued 17
hours later.

Fort Wayne, Indiana, nationally
noted for progressive and effective animal
control enforcement based on conflict resolution,
recently elected a city council committed
to privatization––and that has residents
nervous that the animal control unit may be
disbanded in favor of the lowest bidder.
Animal control officers in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, are reportedly
unhappy with a new regulation requiring them
to leave firearms locked up at headquarters
when off duty––a common police policy, usually
implemented to prevent city liability for
accidents involving service-issue weapons.
CAPER, Last Chance For
Animals, and Animal Aid Inc. have posted a
$1,500 reward for information leading to the
arrest and conviction of the person or persons
responsible for recent pet thefts in Linn,
Benton, Marion, and Douglas counties,
Oregon, using a white pickup truck decked
out to look like an animal control vehicle.
Lake Mills, Wisconsin, has
repealed an ordinance limiting residents to
just two pets, in favor of enforcing a nuisance
ordinance against people whose animals
become neighborhood problems.
Oklahoma City on December 12
approved a $2 million bond issue to outfit the
new city animal shelter, 19,997 to 8,524.
The Massachusetts SPCA produced
Preparing Fido For Your Child’s
Arrival, a 30-minute video, upon discovering
that 75 pets were surrendered at just one of the
eight MSPCA shelters in a six-month period
due to the arrival of a new child in the
home––even though none of the pets had actually
injured a child. Info: 1-800-711-6877.
Contrary to widely circulated
rumor, says the Sheriff’s Department in
Adams County, Ohio, 200 dogs did not
starve to death just before Christmas at
Peebles Pet Haven, a private shelter. Instead,
the elderly proprietor went into the hospital,
and local dog wardens, sheriff’s deputies, and
the HSUS regional office teamed up to find
new homes for 55 dogs. No dogs died, and
the proprietor still has her personal pets.
Pat Klimo, of Ringwood, Illinois,
was fined $50 plus court costs on December
19 for continuing to operate her Pets In Need
no-kill shelter from her residential property,
18 months after she was initially notified of
being in violation of zoning. Ironically,
Klimo could legally operate a breeding kennel,
she told ANIMAL PEOPLE midway through
her protracted fight to avoid closure, as “agricultural”
enterprises are allowed.
Morocco killed one million stray
dogs between 1986 and 1994 to fight rabies,
says the Health Ministry, including a peak of
260,000 in 1989, but only 62,986 in 1993 and
65,579 in 1994.
Shanghai, China, reportedly
picked up more than 5,000 unlicensed dogs
in a November anti-rabies sweep. Shanghai
has had 13 human rabies fatalities since 1989,
and had 40,000 known dog bites just last year.

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