Hawk to watch ASPCA

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1999:

NEW YORK, N.Y.––The American
SPCA on January 5 named Larry Hawk,
DVM, as president, to succeed Roger Caras,
now president emeritus after a seven-year
presidential tenure.
Hawk, 43, “started his career as a
small animal veterinary practitioner before
working in the sales, marketing, and development
of products for Hill’s Pet Nutritiion,”
said ASPCA spokesperson Peter Paris.
“Most recently, Hawk served as president of
PETsMART Veterinary Services and
President of PETsMART Charities.”
Hawk’s appointment put former
PETsMART Charities chiefs in charge of the
oldest humane societies on either coast, as
Ed Sayres became president of the San
Francisco SPCA, succeeding Richard
Avanzino, just four days earlier.

Unlike Sayres, however, who
inherits one of the best-reputed organizations
in the field, Hawk inherits a legacy of corruption,
mistrust, and scandal. Caras won
kudos for axing at least seven senior staffers
for serious cause, but like his predecessor
John Kullberg was repeatedly embarrassed
by board members who shot cage-reared
birds and wore furs, and new allegations of
staff corruption kept popping up as well.
Even as Hawk was selected, the
ASPCA withheld comment on a case in
which Suffolk County legislator Maxine
Postal was fined $250 for allegedly attempting
to conceal the source of funds she funneled
to Joseph May, a fellow Democrat
who lost his bid for a Suffolk County legislative
seat in 1997.
Nassau district attorney Denis
Dillon testified that ASPCA law enforcement
agent Gary Rogers gave Postal seven blank
$500 money orders to relay to other
Democrats in the legislature. The legislators
declined the funds, but Postal then “gave six
of the money orders purporting to be signed
by the six legislators to Joseph May,” Dillon
said. “The legislators never authorized Postal
to make such a contribution to the Friends of
Joseph May,” his campaign organization,
“in their names.”
Rogers, the son of Republican
fundraiser Barney Rogers, founded the
Suffolk County SPCA in 1984, but resigned
in 1995 during a dispute with the board,
moved over to the ASPCA, and took a
$35,000-a-year animal control contract
financed by dog licensing fees with him. The
Suffolk County SPCA sued in an unsuccessful
effort to keep the contract; SC/SPCA
attorney Linda Fowle told Carole Paquette of
The New York Times that “There is reason to
believe that the SC/SPCA director was threatened,
in some manner, by Mr. Rogers, with
some harm to the society.”
Postal co-sponsored the Suffolk
County resolution to switch the contract to
the ASPCA.
Perhaps the oddest aspect of the
ASPCA assuming the contract was that it had
just voluntarily given up the New York City
animal control contract, after 100 years.

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