Bad day in the Rockies
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1996:
DENVER––Colorado state veterinarians had a bad
day on August 20, as in El Paso County district judge Thomas
Kane thwarted a bid by Keith Roehr, DVM, to permanently
close the Colorado Animal Refuge, while in Boulder, Rocky
Mountain Animal Defense filed a cruelty complaint against
John Maulsby, DVM, chief of the state Department of
Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Protection.
After five days of testimony, Kane ruled that
Colorado Animal Refuge founder Mary Port and staff have
made a good faith effort to comply with state laws, giving
them until January 1 to finish construction of 20 to 25 more
pens, in addition to the 45 already built; provide shade to the
pens; improve the refuge plumbing; provide heated winter
accommodations; and build a perimeter fence––mostly stipulations
that she earlier failed to meet at the former refuge site in
Elbert County. Port moved to El Paso County in January after
almost a year of battling fix-or-vacate orders in Elbert County.
Severely unsanitary conditions at the refuge and evidence of
animal neglect came to light as result of an April 1995 fire that
killed more than 50 animals.
Maulsby was charged for an unsuccessful attempt to
break the neck of an elk calf at the hunting ranch of one John
Avery, whose whole herd of 200 elk is to be killed due to suspected
exposure to tuberculosis. Failing to kill the elk calf by
cervical dislocation, which the American Veterinary Medical
Association approves only for euthanasia of “poultry, other
small birds, mice, and immature rats and rabbits,” Maulsby
then cut the calf’s throat. The incident was videotaped.
According to an RMAD press release, “Dr. Wayne
Cunningham of the Agriculture Department claims the animal
was stunned by a hammer blow, although Colorado law
explicity forbids this method.”
RMAD said its prosecution is supported by PETA
and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.