GOOD THINGS KIDS DID

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1997:

As students settle into the 1997-
1998 school year, we hope recognition of
some of the many outstanding youth accom –
plishments during the past school year and
over the summer might inspire more:
Sarika Sancheti, 17, of New Delhi,
India, won a precedent-setting verdict on May
19 when the federal Ministry of Human
Resources Development made classroom animal
dissection optional, after Delhi High
Court justices V.K. Sabharwal and D.K.
Jain agreed with her attorney, R a m
Panjwani, that the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals Act had intended that dissection
should be banned.
Five weeks earlier, Gina Raynor,
14, and Heather Sauders, 15, of
Hagerstown, Maryland, lost a two-year legal
battle when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected
without comment their contention that they
should be compensated for the confiscation
and killing of their pet ferret in a rabies test,
after he bit Christina Lee Heitt, also of
Hagerstown, at a December 1994 slumber
party. The ferret was killed for testing because
Heitt’s mother objected to obliging her to
undergo post-exposure rabies vaccination.


Raynor and Sauders earlier won their first
objective in filing the suit, as the Maryland
General Assembly amended the rabies statute
to permit substituting a 10-day quarantine for
the testing. Only if a ferret showed rabies
symptoms during the quarantine would the animal
be killed under the new law.
Tyler Young, 14, of Tucson, converted
a covered horse corral into a four-cage
aviary for wildlife rehabilitator D a r l e e n
B r a a s t a d as his Eagle Scout project––more
than tripling the 60-hour volunteer time
requirement.
The Charity Club of Six of Us,
formed in July by Katie Viancourt, 9, of
Montville Township, Ohio, raised $75 with
an August 5 bake sale for the Medina County
Animal Shelter. Other members of the club
included Courtney and Jessica Murray, 9
and 12; Melanie and Maranda Rayk, 9 and
12; and Caitlin Leach, 9.
“Kids who went around collecting
money and came to us with pillow cases full”
in June raised the $6,000 cost of new quarters
for the black bears Ben and Bernice at the
Papanack Park Zoo in Wendover, Ontario,
said zoo owner Diane Forgie. Forgie took the
bears after the Sault Ste. Marie city zoo closed
due to budget cuts.
Hearing that city officials might
kill several hundred Mexican freetail bats
who have haunted the Tucson city hall since
1980, Laura Fahr’s third-and-fourth-grade
pupils at Ochoa Elementary School in March
visited Tom Kittle, who was overseeing a bat
ouster, to tell him to leave the bats alone.
Martin Sanchez, 9, and Randy Quijada,
10, brought along a bat house they built themselves,
as alternate bat accommodations––but
Kittle wasn’t persuaded. The Mexican freetail
bats are among the major pollinators of the
endangered giant Saguaro cactus.
High school students from Miami,
New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and
Los Angeles in April took exhibits of wildlife
products confiscated by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to second-and-third-grade
classes at local elementary schools, as part of
a endangered species awareness program
designed by Barbara Taylor Beggs of the
American Zoo Association.
Aspiring to become a veterinarian,
freshman Sean Kunzman of Brown County
High School in Nashville, Indiana, in August
won the grand champion cat trophy at the
Indiana State Fair with Calli, a callico he
adopted from the Brown County Humane
Society, after winning the veterinary science
grand champion award at the Brown County
Fair for a poster to promote neutering pets.
Charlie Matykiewicz, 12, won top
honors at the 14th International Invention
Convention sponsored by the textbook publishing
firm Silver Burdett Ginn last April
with a lead-through dog-washing device,
resembling a scaled-down car wash, which
hoses dogs from 26 different angles and,
Matykiewicz estimated, could be manufactured
and sold at about $35 per unit.
Separately coming upon a burning
house in Barnegat Township, New Jersey last
January, an unidentified 14-year-old girl rescued
a puppy who was tied behind the building
from thick smoke, while Shane Coyle, 17,
and Jimmy Prendergast, 16, rescued another
dog from inside. The teens were alerted to the
plight of the dogs by two younger children,
who lived there and had been left home
alone––but did have the presence of mind to
get themselves out and then get help for the
pets, instead of risking their own lives doing a
search. As ANIMAL PEOPLE d o c u m e n t e d
last March, small children and pets are often
killed in housefires because neither will leave
a burning building without the other; both
dogs and cats are more likely to flee if they see
and hear that their people are already outside.
Find the pets, meanwhile, and one will usually
find a child missing at the scene of a fire.
The Boys and Girls Club of
Sherwood Forest, Maryland, in August
planted oysters in Carr Creek and the Severn
River, two tributaries to Chesapeake Bay.
Down 99% in 100 years, due to aggressive
oyster-digging and pollution, the oysters are
expected to filter pollutants out of the bay and
create shell reefs, which if left alone will gradually
restore the natural estuarian ecology.
Westbrook High School, in
Portland, Maine, in May agreed to scale
back biology class dissections from 130 per
year to just 20, after senior Daniel Davis gathered
374 student signatures opposing the dissections
and obtained a simulated dissection
computer program from PETA. “I am happy
that students recognized this as an inssue, and
found an appropriate way to address it,” principal
William Michaud said. “I don’t think
instruction will suffer.”
President Bill Clinton in May honored
the students of Rochester Mayo High
School teacher Elissa Eliot, of Rochester,
Minnesota, with an Environmental Youth
Award, one of 10 presented nationally, in
recognition of a five-month wolf-tracking project
they carried out using raw telemetry data
provided by the International Wolf Center.
Their findings, useful in understanding wolf
behavior, are displayed on the World Wide
Web at >>http://www.wolf.org<<.
At least one principal deserves a
special mention, too: Paul Smith, of Layton
High School in Layton, Utah, who in
February ordered a halt to traditional pig-chasing
events held by senior football players to
haze sophomores who have just been promoted
to the team.

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