From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1998:

Not doing the job
“Fearing lawsuits charging poor
enforcement” of public safety and
humane laws, Los Angeles city attorney
James Hahn’s office in January moved “to
change city law so that the Animal Regulation
Department no longer is bound to
impound abused or neglected animals on
private property,” Los Angeles Daily News
reporter Patrick McGreevy revealed on
January 29. “The department also would no
longer have to keep detailed records on all
impounded animals, a change that would
reduce the city’s liability is a pet is killed by
mistake,” McGreevy continued. The effort
was delayed, pending public hearings, by
city councillor Laura Chick. Hahn’s office
in late 1997 defended the Animal Regulation
Department against a suit by C i t i z e n s
for a Humane Los Angeles, who alleged
that former Animal Regulation Department
head Gary Olsen for at least eight months
improperly ignored an illegal cat shelter
housing more than 600 cats, to avoid the
political and fiscal fallout that might have
resulted from closing it and seizing the cats.

Superior Court judge Robert O’Brien d i smissed
the case, but said he would allow
refiling if stronger evidence emerged.
Continuing to hound Kentucky
counties toward compliance with a 40-
year-old law that requires them to have a
dog pound, Randy Skaggs of the Trixie
Foundation on January 5 sent letters to 48
counties commending them on fulfilling
their obligations, and asked the 72 others
for copies of their dog pound budgets, dog
warden contact information, intake and exit
statistics, and policies on method of killing
dogs. Only 37 of the 72 even bothered to
respond. “Only four operate a dog pound
that in my view would meet acceptable
standards,” Skaggs told media at the end of
January. Five counties––Adair, Breckenridge,
Hart, L a r v e , and R o b i n s o n– –
admitted in writing that stray dogs are shot.
The 35 nonrespondents, Skaggs said, are
“not only not in compliance with Kentucky
dog laws, but are also in noncompliance
with the Kentucky Open Records Law.”
Skaggs is pushing for a state tax on pet food
that would subsidize pounds. Currently,
pounds are to get 50¢ from the sale of each
$1.50 dog license, but license fees throughout
Kentucky raised only $44,000 in 1997;
animal shelter costs in Shelby County alone
are about $51,000 per year.
The Utah Senate Human Services
Committee on January 29 effectively
killed a bill by state senator Robert Steiner
(D-Salt Lake City) which would have
required that impounded animals be fixed
before adoption. Humane Society of Utah
executive director Gene Baierschmidt t e stified
that of the 134 shelters in Utah, only
nine now require neutering as a condition of
adoption. However, wrote Jon Ure of the
Salt Lake City Tribune, “Mark Byers,
president of the Utah Animal Control
Officers Association, urged senators to
defeat Steiner’s bill because people in small
towns cannot afford the neutering fees.
Small communities already have a difficult
time getting people to adopt animals, Byers
said, and any added expense would bring a
further decline.”

Asking a notoriously frugal
e l e c t o r a t e to approve a $385,000 bond
issue for a new city shelter in Richland
Hills, Texas, animal shelter advisory board
chair Gordon Slagle t o l d Tara Dooley o f
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the eve of
the voting that, “If we had an adequate
facility, we could almost become a no-kill
and certainly a low-kill shelter.” The bond
issue passed on February 7, 300-185.
The San Francisco SPCA i n
February stepped up efforts to prevent “kitten
season” by offering free spay/neuter
plus a reward of $5.00 to any city resident
who brought a cat in––and extended the
offer to pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and
any pets of homeless persons.
DELTA Rescue founder Leo
Grillo on Valentine’s Day announced Spay
America 2000, a drive to spay female dogs
and cats in poor neighborhoods. “I am setting
up an 800 number for national donations,”
Grillo said. “We’ll be working
through existing spay groups around the
country––but we’ll be giving out the spay
certificates by our own means. Most pets
abandoned in the wilderness are from poor
or ghetto neighborhoods. The poor don’t
get their pets vaccinated, let alone spayed,
because it costs substantial money for an
office visit and shots. I will give free vaccinations
as well as spays. I will not pay for
neuters––only spays. With finite money,
we have to concentrate on spays first.
Locally,” Grillo added, the campaign “is
Spay L.A. 2000.”
Jamie Pinn has been named first
fulltime executive director of the H u m a n e
Animal Rescue Team, of Fillmore, California,
operators of a no-kill dog shelter
since 1984 and publisher of M u t t m a t c h e r s
M e s s e n g e r, a tabloid promoting adoptions
of animals from numerous cooperating shelters
in southern California. Pinn formerly
headed the Pet Assistance Foundation.
Seven years after founding, and
two years after cofounder Bill Connelly
died, Jeff’s Companion Animal Shelter
of Westport, Rhode Island, shut permanently
on January 31 due to short funding.
The shelter placed about 50 dogs per year.
Connelly and artist Betsy McDonald started
the shelter in honor of Connelly’s dog
Jeff, a border collie/spaniel mix who
became mascot for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Jeff died a week after Connelly.

Philippine president Fidel
Ramos on February 11 signed the Animal
Welfare Act of 1998, banning dogfighting,
horsefighting, and dog slaughter for meat.
Opposed by indigenous mountain tribes,
the new law exempts dog slaughter as “part
of the religious rituals of an established religion
or sect or a ritual required by tribal or
ethnic custom of indigenous cultural communities.”
Offenders may spend up to two
years in jail, and/or be fined $1,000.
The Universities Federation for
Animal Welfare has relocated to The Old
School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead,
Hertfordshire AL4 8AN, U.K.; telephone
44-1582-831818; fax 44-1582-831414; email

“Any U.S. no-kill group interested
in being mailed an application for a
U.S. Pet Rescue Team grant should contact
me immediately,” says coordinator
Kristina Hemenway. The U.S. Pet Rescue
Team made 15 grants in 1997-1998, in
amounts of $2,500 to $9,000. Reach
Hemenway c/o the International Fund for
Animal Welfare, telephone 508-362-6268
or fax 508-362-5841.
Applications for funding of
humane projects by the William &
Charlotte Parks Foundation are due May
1. The Parks Foundation gives up to $5,000
for “specific programs or projects with a
potential impact on animal welfare, general
operating funds for organizations striving to
reduce animal suffering, and construction
or remodeling of animal shelters.” Grants
“will not normally be made to organizations
with an annual income of more than $1 million.”
Get details from Dr. Barbara
O r l a n s, 7106 Laverock Lane, Bethesda,
MD 20817; 301-229-7525.
United Animal Nations Emergency
Animal Rescue Service training
w o r k s h o p s are set for March 7 in Reno;
March 21 in Lebanon, Tenn.; April 18 in
Buena Park, Calif.; April 25 in Anchorage;
May 16 in Tampa; May 30 in Bloomington,
Minn.; June 6 in Seattle; June 27 in
Charleston, S.C.; July 18 in Portsmouth,
N.H.; July 25, Baltimore; August 8,
Kansas City, Mo.; September 26, Detroit;
October 3, Denver; October 17, New
Orleans; October 24, St. Louis; and
November 7, Philadelphia. Info: 916-429-

Urban wildlife
Told she would have to take a
pay cut, from $30,000 a year to $20,000,
Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center e x e c utive
director Suzie Stratton on January 1,
1998 resigned instead. Stratton founded the
center from her home in 1973. In recent
years a paid staff of four plus 85 volunteers
have helped to treat an annual caseload of
more than 5,000 animals. Stratton told
Deborah Peterson of the St. Louis PostDispatch
that she was ousted by board chair
William T. Shannahan. In 1996 the
Missouri Department of Conservation
contributed $250,000 toward building a
$925,000 headquarters for the center, and
the M.L. Shannahan Animal Cruelty
Prevention Foundation gave $150,000 in
matching funds. Shannahan declined to
comment, Peterson said.
Motivated by surveys that
found residents count the presence of
wildlife as one of the city’s key attractions,
Anchorage planners “are, for the first time,
incorporating urban wildlife habits and
habitats into a new long-range land use
plan,” according to Anchorage Daily News
reporter Peter Forco. State biologist Rick
Sinnott told Forco that the plan is the first of
its kind in Alaska. But urban wildlife habitat
plans aren’t common anywhere.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.