From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1998:

Newly appointed City of Los
Angeles Animal Services chief Dan
Knapp in September opted against retaining
Animal Foundation International t o
provide low-cost neutering under a city
contract. AFI opened a neutering clinic by
agreement with L.A. Animal Services in
November 1997, modeled after the AFI
clinic in Las Vegas, which has fixed more
than 100,000 animals since 1989. After
complaints about the quality of care at the
Los Angeles branch surfaced in May 1998,
amplified by local activists, AFI president
Mary Herro shut the clinic and dismissed
the whole staff––although clinic statistics
indicated the AFI clinic had no higher a rate
of post-operative complications than the
average (4%) for all U.S. veterinary hospitals.

In recent years AFI also started branch
clinics in Dallas, now run by the Fund for
Animals, and in Phoenix, in cooperation
with PETsMART Charities, now under
independent management, but will no
longer do outreach to other states, vice
president Richard Herro told ANIMAL
PEOPLE, to avoid entanglements in local
animal protection politics. Instead, AFI in
June announced that it intends to try to
make Las Vegas a no-kill city within the
coming year. Taking over the Las Vegas
animal control contract three years ago,
AFI has tripled the adoption rate, now at
44% of intake, and has cut the rate of shelter
killing in half, but as of the end of 1997
it remained at 17.4 animals per 1,000 residents,
barely under the U.S. average and
still triple the rates (5.8) achieved in San
Francisco and New York City.
Larry Sconyers, mayor of
Augusta, Georgia, in September ordered
Richmond County Animal Control t o
cease using and dismantle a carbon monoxide
gas chamber, used to kill 10,788 animals
in 1997, after an Augusta Chronicle
expose documented how slowly and
painfully the animals died. The American
Veterinary Medical Association no longer
lists carbon monoxide poisoning as an
acceptable method of killing dogs and cats.
The Illinois Department of
Natural Resources is to hold an October
14 hearing at the State Fairgrounds in
Springfield on proposed amendments to
nuisance wildlife trapping regulations
which would enable nonprofit organizations
to obtain nuisance wildlife control permits
apparently without requiring individual
members to meet state trapper training standards;
expand the list of traps which may
be used; mandate that striped skunks must
be killed; and mandate that raccoons must
be killed unless released on the same property
within 100 yards of the capture site.
Critics of the amendments contend that they
have been proposed chiefly so that hunting
clubs can get nuisance wildlife control permits,
enabling members to “control”
wildlife for farmers and others who might
invite them in.
General Motors on August 20
unveiled an infared night vision screen that
will become optional equipment for the
Cadillac DeVille in the 2000 model year.
Mounted at the bottom of the windshield,
the screen allows drivers to see people or
animals up to five times beyond the range
of halogen headlights. Bosch meanwhile
introduced a line of xenon headlights in
advertisements featuring night photos of
animals, with the claim that the new lights
“should bring a little relief to everyone on
the road, however small.” The S a n
Francisco SPCA and the A n i m a l
Protection Institute are also promoting
roadkill awareness––a topic attracting little
concern before ANIMAL PEOPLE pointed
out in a November 1992 cover feature
that most roadkills can be prevented by
species-appropriate defensive driving; science
teacher Brewster Bartlett o f
Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New
Hampshire, began the Dr. Splatt project to
quantify roadkills; and ANIMAL PEOP
L E board member Patrice Greanville
founded the National Anti-Roadkill
P r o j e c t, which––only briefly active––
brought attention to the hope of preventing
roadkills from The New York Times.
Kansas City Animal Control i s
still killing cats after only two days, instead
of waiting five days as required by the
Missouri Animal Control Facilities Act,
the Kansas City Star revealed on September
4. Missouri Department of Agriculture
officials confirmed that KCAC has been
warned to comply before.
Believing it held a three-year
lease on a site provided by the city of San
Jose for $1 per year, the Wildlife Center
of Silicon Valley built two new aviaries in
March––only to receive an eviction notice,
obliging relocation by December, so that
the city can use the land to build a golf
course. Fouded in 1994, after the Humane
Society of Santa Clara Valley d i s c o n t i nued
wildlife rescue, the privately funded
wildlife center handles about 5,000 birds
and small mammals per year.
San Francisco SPCA president
Richard Avanzino had scarcely announced
his retirement to head the Duffield Family
Foundation (see page one) when S a n
Francisco Animal Control and Welfare
C o m m i s s i o n president Richard Schulke
and Department of Animal Care and
Control chief Carl Friedman pushed a
proposed bylaw through the city Health,
Family, and Environment Committee
which would require veterinarians to inform
the DACC whenever they vaccinate a dog.
This would help the DACC to enforce dog
licensing. Similar bylaws are reportedly in
effect in all other San Francisco Bay-area
counties, but are criticized by Avanzino for
allegedly creating a disincentive to vaccination.
Avanzino argued in an April 1995
guest column for ANIMAL PEOPLE that
licensing when combined with fines for
noncompliance and high reclaim fees tends
to discourage reclaims, especially when the
animals belong to people of limited income.

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