COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1999:

Dog-related
Federal judge David Down of
Portage County, Wisconsin, on June 2
reduced to $300,000 an April jury award of
$940,000 to county dog warden Beverly
Kirkhart as an alleged victim of gender discrimination
when she was rejected for permanent
appointment to the post in 1994––after
she had been a member of the dog warden’s
staff on an interim basis since 1984, and had
been acting dog warden for about six months.
A man, Jon S. Barber, was hired instead, at
$3.00 more per hour. Kirkhart was then fired
in 1996, because of purported physical disabilities.
Kirkhart returned to work as dog warden
on May 17. Barber was offered a job in another
county department.


Upholding the verdicts of a
Calumet County Circuit Court jury and the
2nd District Court of Appeals that guard
dogs can be dangerous weapons, the Wisconsin
Supreme Court on June 18 affirmed the
conviction of Forest Junction resident J e n e
B o d o h for negligent handling of a deadly
weapon in the June 1995 mauling of G r e g
Burns, 14, by Bodoh’s two Rottweilers.
Patricia Mumper, 57, a member
of the Town of Holland Animal Control
C o m m i s s i o n, pleaded innocent on June 6 to
allegedly burning the dilapidated four-run
wooden shed that formerly served as the dog
pound in Holland, Massachusetts. The shed
erupted in flames on June 1, soon after
Mumper argued vehemently at a town meeting
that a new pound should be built, reportedly
threatening to “embarrass” the town if it continued
to balk. Holland dogcatcher Christian
P e t e r s e n told the town in his May annual
report that the pound was in “deplorable condition.”
Explained Dog Adoption Network
president Stephen Dean, to Jeff Donn o f
Associated Press, “The only thing worse than
being a lost dog in Holland was being a found
dog––and being put there.”
National Greyhound Adoption
Program volunteers Robert C. Reeves, 30,
and Franz J. Schneider, 45, of Bonita
Springs, Florida, were arrested on June 11 in
Howard County, Maryland, for allegedly
transporting 20 former racing dogs in a poorly
ventilated homemade trailer, in which two of
the dogs died en route to the NGAP adoption
shelter in Philadelphia. “They didn’t drive fast
enough,” NGAP founder/director David Wolf
reportedly told Naples Daily News staff writer
Mari Kelli Bridges. “That was their biggest
mistake.” Reeves, reported Bridges, said “If I
could get those two dogs back, I would. But I
saved 18 dogs.”

Information, please
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
must disclose to the Alliance for the Wild
Rockies, based in Missoula, Montana, the
names of all 2,500 people who commented on
the proposed reintroduction of grizzly bears to
the Bitterroot range in Idaho, ruled U . S .
District Judge for the D.C. Circuit Stanley
Sporkin on June 28. The Fish and Wildlife
Service claimed that commenters from the
Bitterroots might be harrassed if other people
knew where they stood. Sporkin agreed, however,
that the Freedom of Information Act
requires that citizens be able to see how public
comments are used in decision-making.
USFWS is still withholding the names, however,
while deciding whether to appeal.
Forest Guardians, of Albuquerque,
New Mexico, on June 1 sued in an attempt to
force the U.S. Forest Service to disclose information
pertaining to holders of grazing leases
who use their leases as collateral to obtain
bank loans. The suit is believed to be preliminary
to an action in which Forest Guardians
will contend that a lease to use public land is
not private property and the Forest Service
should therefore should not allow ranchers to
use leases as collateral. New Mexico public
lands ranchers contend that such a suit, if
won, could force them out of business.

Activism
Progressive Animal Welfare
Society staffer Will Anderson on June 4
accepted an award of $64,500 for alleged false
arrest and loss of both a camera and the visual
portion of videotape, after he was accosted by
four deputies while documenting a fatal injury
to a horse during an August 1996 running of
the Omak Suicide Race, in which horses are
repeatedly raced down a steep hill and across a
river during the annual Omak Stampede
rodeo. Okanogan County is to pay Anderson
$50,000; former Omak Stampede director Ted
Huber, who allegedly threw Anderson’s cameras
into the river, is to pay $12,500; and the
Omak Stampede is to pay $2,000.
Last Chance For Animals b o t h
won and lost rounds in San Diego Superior
Court on June 11, as Judge John S. Meyer
told the Fashion Valley shopping mall that a
rule against protesters telling customers not to
patronize stores in the mall is unconstitutional,
but refused to vacate a restraining order that
the mall obtained in November 1998 to
exclude antifur demonstrators. LCA was not
involved in the protest that caused the mall
management to seek the restraining order, but
was named as a restrained party.
In another First Amendment case,
Last Chance for Animals on June 17
announced that it is suing the C o u l s t o n
F o u n d a t i o n, the world’s largest supplier of
chimpanzees for biomedical research, alleging
that Coulston unlawfully used the threat of litigation
to intimidate a World Wide Web hosting
service into cancelling the LCA account.
Coulston argues that the very name of the LCA
site about its facilities, >>http://www.coulstonkillschimps.com<<,
is defamatory.
“About 30 hog farmers and members
of pork grower groups filled the courtroom,”
the Akron Beacon Journal reported of
the June 9 arraignment of St. Paris hog farmer
and vocational agriculture teacher Steven L.
Jenkins, 41, on cruelty charges. Jenkins on
May 6 allegedly bashed several runt piglets on
the head and took them to Graham High
School in St. Paris for dissection. One piglet,
however, survived. A student bashed the
piglet on the school parking lot pavement.
Students who saw the bashing summoned
teacher Molly Fearing, 36, who rushed the
piglet to a veterinary clinic for injection
euthanasia, then called PETA. Outrage built
via the Internet for 12 days before local authorities
filed charges. “If this goes against the
teacher,” Champaign County hog farmer Bob
C o r b e t t said, “it could be devastating to the
commercial livestock business.” But Urbana
City prosecutor Gil Weithman, handling the
case, told the Beacon Journal that he doesn’t
see head-bashing, per se, as cruelty; that the
issue is only that Jenkins didn’t bash hard
enough to kill the piglet quickly.
New Jersey Coalition for Animals
president Angela Skiendziel, 36, was arrested
for alleged “possession of a prohibited
weapon––specifically a stun-gun” on May 29
during a protest against a rodeo held in
Montgomery, New Jersey. As in a 1998
Wisconsin case brought against Chicago
activist Marla Rose, who was acquitted, the
purported “stun-gun” was actually an electric
cattle prod which was displayed as a prop,
Skiendziel told ANIMAL PEOPLE– – a n d ,
she said, it seemed to be identical to the
device that one of the rodeo personnel was
caught on videotape using. At NJCA urging,
the town of Montgomery only one week earlier
adopted an ordinance forbidding the use of
electrical shocking devices in rodeos. But the
rodeo left town before NJCA could bring the
video evidence of violation to the attention of
law enforcement, Skiendziel said.
A six-member jury in Gallatin
County Justice Court declared on June 22
that they were unable to reach a verdict in the
trial of Buffalo Field Campaign p r o t e s t e r
Pete Leusch, 32. Leusch was charged with
trespassing on January 7 for trying to padlock
himself to a bison capture pen, built and managed
by the Montana Department of Livestock,
but located on the property of West Yellowstone
resident Dale Koelzer.

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