From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2000:
Golf: facing nature with a club
Since I started golfing
about a year ago, I have often wondered
why no one has ever done
anything about preventing injuries to
animals from balls. Some are killed;
lots are maimed. I move ducks and
geese into ponds away from golfers
when I am playing––and I let the
course management know I will take
the injured ones. Some golfers brag
about injuring birds and doing nothing
or killing them—this is something
that should be exploded! And
we don’t know how many foul balls
end up clunking a bunny or squirrel
over the head. Balls are bullets flying
at over 200 miles per hour. It is
very sad to see beautiful animals
walking with a dangling broken leg.
Also, cheaper-run courses
use pesticides that get into the water
and kill small animals.
Then again, predators
clean the course of dead animals by
feasting on them. The ducks and
geese would argue that the courses
afford ponds and feed where there
were none. Rabbits would argue
that the fairways are an abundant
food source too. And don’t forget
the fish! One course I play has 18-
inch bass and bluegill in their water
trap. Whole ecosytems are alive and
well because of the courses: frogs,
waterfowl, small animals and
hawks, and I have even seen deer
herds and coyotes within the Los
Angeles city limits, who exist only
because the courses preserve green
space which would otherwise be
taken over by homes. Mostly the
animals live in peace and harmony.
I do meet the best people
while golfing––people who have
become donors to DELTA Rescue
or are helping me to accomplish
some larger organizational goals. I
keep animals out of harm’s way
when I play, holding up the entire
course while doing it at times, daring
anyone to tell me not to!
Nobody ever has.
On the 18th green last
week, after a particularly grueling
17 holes, a golden retriever ran
around wagging his tail and picking
up everybody’s ball and running
with it, dropping it back out on the
fairway! Some golfers would shoot
the dog, especially if money was on
the line, as it usually is. Our group
laughed and tossed out extra balls so
we could finish the last hole!
I have only two regrets
about playing golf. One is the occasional
injury to animals. The other
is that I didn’t start golfing sooner.
P.O. Box 9
Glendale, CA 91209
Fighting U-boat for endangered sea turtles
I wish to convey my extreme gratitude to ANIMAL PEOPLE for your June cover article “fighting U-boat for endangered sea turtles lands Visakha SPCA founder in hot water.” Your support enables me to think and act more boldly for the rights of the innocent and exploited animals.
I am also very grateful to Lily Venezelos of the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles for taking up the issue with the concerned people so quickly.
The Indian Navy, whenever they get the chance, describes to the media their efforts to protect the sea turtles of Orissa. Yet we find thousands of olive ridley turtles dead and their nests destroyed all along the coast. Now the Indian Navy is destroying a complete habitat of the endangered sea turtles just to display a decommissioned submarine which could easily have been accommodated elsewhere.
We support the cultural heritage of the Indian Navy and also seek to encourage tourism to this area, but not at cost of the environment. We need green tourism.
Now the Orissa state tourism minister has categorically stated that hotels will be built all along the turtle nesting beaches. I think we have another battle coming up. Meanwhile, this submarine project must be stopped to avoid setting a destructive precedent.
Meanwhile, the police harassment we are enduring is horrible. On May 21, the sub-inspector of the city Special Crime Branch asked me to come to the police station and bring our files. I along with our president and treasurer met him with the records, going without having received any written communication from the police to show our cooperation with the investigation, because we have nothing to hide. The sub-inspector started to accuse me of eating away the funds of the Visakha SPCA, asserting that I am a government servant and that the SPCA is a side business. He threatened to arrest me immediately and lock up our office. He also promised to see to it that I lose my job. I told him to do what he likes and that I am prepared for any consequences. He snatched a file from my hand and put it in his drawer, and got our signatures forcibly on a blank white paper. I overheard him telling his subordinate that we should be taught a lesson because we wrote to so many that the police were not cooperating with our efforts. But the worst torture came in the form of the inspector abusing our treasurer, who is a dedicated volunteer.
The constable asked us to return the next day, and said the problem would be resolved. This raised our suspicion that someone wants money. I have already spent nearly 20,000 rupees on this case and do not know how much more I can spend.
We believe these pressure tactics are being applied on behalf of the National Ship Design and Research Centre, who are executors of the construction on the turtle nesting beach, and appear to be working closely with the Navy and the Forest Department.
This, then, is our saga so far, and I shall keep you posted.
––Pradeep Kumar Nath
26-15-200 Main Road
Visakhapatnam, India 530 001
The Visakhapatnam Commissioner of Police has not responded to our inquiries.
Watchdog Report on animal charities
I am simultaneously grateful
and disheartened at receiving
ANIMAL PEOPLE. I probably
contribute to as many as 25 different
animal-oriented charities. It is dismaying
to learn that some to which I
contribute do relatively little, and
that some engage in practices seeming
contrary to their tenets. It was
particularly disturbing to me to learn
that PETA, which fought vehemently
against trapping and killing feral
pigs, itself traps and kills feral cats.
It has also been disappointing to read
what you have reported about Joe
Parker of Tiger Haven [Parker has
done time for defrauding charities],
the Humane Society of the U.S.
[also favors catch-and-kill, and
does not financially support local
humane societies], and the Animal
Legal Defense Fund [proclaimed a
special prosecutor program for cru –
elty cases in Portland, Oregon, a
great success when it had never even
handled a case].
I have just consigned to
the recycling bin a number of mailers
from these organizations, and
am instead enclosing $20 for the current
edition of your W a t c h d o g
Report on Animal Protection
Charities. I may even take the time
to write to the organizations to
which I no longer contribute, to
inform them why.
I am often disappointed by
human behavior, but am encouraged
to read about individuals such as Leo
Grillo and his wife, and others
whose work you report about.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Editor’s note: Please do
write to the organizations to which
you no longer contribute. If they
deny anything we report, we will
cheerfully document our accuracy.
PETCO vs. PETA
We saw your mention of
PETCO in your June edition, and
want to share our perspective
regarding in-store adoptions and our
communications with PETA.
PETCO dates back to
1965, when we opened our first
store in La Mesa, California. We
decided then not to sell dogs or cats,
and instead opted to partner with
community-based adoption groups.
We applaud PETsMART
for partnering with adoption groups
to promote adoptions in their stores.
However, these programs were a
fixture in PETSO stores long before
Re PETA, we have asked
them to immediately contact us
when they hear about alleged animal
abuse in our stores. We have asked
that they give us specific information
so that an immediate investigation
can take place and appropriate
action be taken. They prefer to contact
local law enforcement. We are
fine with this and have told PETA
that. However, it takes longer this
way to deal with concerns.
Since PETA has been following
this path, only one agency
has contacted us. Their perception
of the quality of our animal care was
quite different from what we heard
Director of Communications
9125 Rehco road
San Diego, CA 92121
Dropped 50 orgs
Thanks to the 2000
Watchdog Report on Animal
Protection Charities, guesswork
concerning who to give to is no
longer a problem. I have dropped
about 50 organizations, and am
focusing on those which actually do
something to help animals.
Thanks so much for your
June article “Feds find out that
force-feeding white phosophorus to
mute swans kills them,” mentioning
the U.S. Geological Survey role in
torturing animals. This work is
funded by our taxes and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
through grants made with
major corporate sponsorship.
The USGS “Federal Partners”
web page lists the U.S.
Defense Department as a “partner”
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service in some of this, along with
another eight Federal arms.
Old Lyme, Connecticut
I very much enjoyed and
wholeheartedly concur with your
June editorial “Small primates on a
limb.” [The editorial attacked cul –
ture-based defenses of cruelty.] As
a member of a multicultural minority,
I would like to applaud your
honesty, compassion, and lack of
bias. You may well receive criticism
from other members of minority
groups, and others, for such
plain speaking. I hope this will go
to counteract it, and to encourage
you in your very important work.
El Monte, California