LETTERS [Dec 2000]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2000:

JoJo

I have just received a letter from Club Med informing me that they have decided to “assume a leadership role and eliminate waterskiing at Club Med Turkoise at the end of the current season (October 31, 2000). This is a true victory for JoJo, the friendly dolphin in the Turks and Caicos islands, who has been hurt at least 40 times by water skiers since 1992, as I described in my March 1992 letter to A N I M A L PEOPLE seeking help for him.

I want to thank each and every one of you who took an interest in this situation. The volume of letters you sent to Club Med and the Governor regarding JoJo was a great factor in determining the outcome of this campaign.

Our persistence with Club Med brought an assessment of JoJo and his environment by four highly qualified marine scientists. They suggested that the Government of the Turks and Caicos should ban water skiing from all of the coastal areas that JoJo frequents.

A special thanks to Ric O’Barry of The Dolphin Project for his assistance and support, Donald Butler of the Ottawa Citizen, Merritt Clifton of ANIMAL PEOP L E, Donna Hertel and Steve Hindi of SHARK, Ben White of the Animal Welfare Institute, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Celia Ackerman, Donna Breen and countless others. I would also like to thank those who posted this story on their web sites throughout the world. Peter Jennings of ABC World News Tonight, who recently aired JoJo’s story, helped give this campaign the high profile it needed to get Club Med’s attention. I will be happy to e-mail the scientists’ report, along with the press release from Club Med, to whomever wants it.

––Gwen McKenna

Bradford, Ontario

<gmckenna@interhop.net>

 

Ducks

Thank you so much for the great article you wrote about Viva!’s duck campaign. I was really excited by the spread and the adorable photo of the ducks.

Some of the information in our packet might have been a bit confusing and there were a couple of errors in the article:

In the UK, Viva! got all of the grocery stores to pull duck meat from ducks who had been de-billed. We are still working to get all stores to pull non-debilled duck meat.

Also in the U.S. there are 99 slaughterhouses (not farms) that were registered to slaughter ducks in 1999. Because there is no list of duck farms, we are not sure how many there are. They appear to be concentrated in California, Indiana, and on Long Island in New York.

We are having another Week of Action for the Ducks, December 2 – 10. Our focus will be on Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Wal-Mart SuperCenters. Thanks again for getting the word out about our newly formed group and the campaign for the ducks!

––Lauren Ornelas

U.S. Campaigns Director, Viva!

P.O. Box 49023 Atlanta, GA 30359

Phone: 404-315-8881 Fax 404-315-8685

<info@vivausa.org>

 

Hoarders

For almost two years we
tried everything we could think of to
help more than 100 animals living
in appalling, sickening conditions
in the “care” of a hoarder in our
community. We failed miserably.
If anything, we actually made
things worse for the animals, and
for ourselves also.
If any of your readers are
challenging a hoarder in their own
community, I cannot tell them what
to do to succeed, but I am willing to
share ideas on what definitely did
not work for us.
Perhaps knowledge of our
mistakes can help someone else to
be better prepared. At the very
least, it could help them avoid
wasting valuable resources.
––Helen Gaswint
Director
Southwest Montana Humane Assn.
P.O. Box 1364
Dillon, MT 59725
Telephone: 406-683-6414

 

Shelter statistics

I am writing to thank you
for publishing the shelter statistics
that appeared in your September
edition. I distributed them to animal
control agencies and rescue groups
down here in the Inland empire. I
hope you will continue to run comparative
statistics on shelter killing.
I have been working with
the Riverside Humane Society on a
proposal to Maddie’s Fund to take
Riverside, California, to no-kill. I
am also working on a proposal to
take Redlands to no-kill, and Bear
Mountain Dog Rescue has agreed to
submit a proposal for the Big Bear
Valley, where I live. I am still
looking for lead agencies for
Corona, Lake Elsinore, and Palm
Springs, and hope to do proposals
for those areas.
––Dave Wheeler
P.O. Box 448
Fawnskin, CA 9233
Telephone: 909-866-4718

 

TURKEY

We are writing you to express our appreciation to you for kindly sending us the two latest issues of ANIMAL PEOPLE. We plan to translate some of the articles into Turkish so that a larger public can have access to the news.

To give you a brief idea about us, we are a small publishing collective based here in Istanbul . Our magazine Ates Hirsizi focuses on various social, enviromental and animal questions. We also publish books with a similar perspective.

As a society in transition from agricultural to industrial way of living, Turkey is still quite far from having an ideal consciousness toward animals. Nevertheless, numerious voices have risen in the past few years, thanks to which at least a discussion has started.

Last year we published one of Leo Tolstoy’s books against hunting, for example, and since then the hunting issue has been discussed among different circles.

We would like to receive ANIMAL PEOPLE on a regular basis. Any material about animal protection will be appreciated, as we have almost nothing here.

––Cemal Atila

Ates Hirsizi

Dostlukyurdu Sok. Selimbey

Apt. #8, Cemberlitas Istanbul TR 34000, Turkey

Phone: 90-212-5182-562

<mexpe@hotmail.com>

 

Dogs & hens

I finally got around to opening the September issue of ANIMAL PEOPLE. I appreciated your comments about sled dogs and also Chicken Run.

I am a musher myself. I ran the Iditarod in 1974, and I have enjoyed a relationship with these animals for more than 30 years, a blink in the long history of cooperation between wolf/dogs and humans. Too bad that some people and organizations who claim to be dedicated to animal care don’t understand what a resource we could be to encourage proper dog care.

Sled dogs do their work voluntarily as often as kids go to school or clean their rooms voluntarily––more often, in fact, because for the dogs it is fun better than 99% of the time. Sled dogs and mushers are admired by many children and adults who could learn that being kind to dogs is not overfeeding them or letting them run loose. Being kind and considerate of dogs is what we do all the time, giving them as much opportunity for social interaction and exercise as possible, and feeding them the best diet we can.

The subject of diet brings me to my rescued “spent” hens and roosters. I got them to butcher for dog food. As an experiment I added 10% flax to their normal laying mash, to enrich their eggs and meat with omega 3 fatty acid, typical of the natural or “evolutionary” diet of wild animals and people. They have continued to lay well despite moulting, and I have been feeding most of the eggs to my dogs. I eat a few myself. So the chickens are still alive, safe from foxes and weasels in their own yard.

By the way, dog deaths in the Iditarod have averaged under 0.5% for quite a while. A typical year sees over 800 dogs at the start and zero to a maximum of 4 deaths per race in the last five or six years. Compared to a similar sized population of dogs anywhere in the world, that is very good, I would guess.

––Tim White

Grand Marais, Minnesota

<twhite@boreal.org>

 

Indonesia

Thank you very much for sending us ANIMAL PEOPLE. As you know, animal conservation in Indonesia is very weak. Moreover, there is no animal welfare regulation in Indonesia. Many wild animals are slaughtered, such as the sea turtles of Bali island. An investigation by our organization found that 27,000 sea turtles were killed in Bali during 1999 for their meat and shells.

We are campaigning to stop the turtle trade in Bali, but the traders several days ago held a demonstration against us at the Forestry Department Office in Bali.

We believe that international pressure will be effective to stop the sea turtle slaughter. Please support us!

––Rosek Nursahid

Director, Animal Conservation For Life

Jl. Raya Candi 179 Klaseman, Karangbesuki Malang 65146 Jawa Timur, Indonesia

Phone: 0341-570033 Fax: 0341-569506 Email: ksbk@mlg.mega.net.id

 

Old MacDonald

Thanks for your comments in your review of Losing Paradise, by Paul Irwin, in which you exposed the myth of the kind Old MacDonald farmer. As I explained in my book An Unnatural Order, it is the farmers’ worldview and culture that supports most of the cruelty, abuse, and neglect in the world–– and has for thousands of years. Farmers gave us the myth of human supremacy, which destroyed the older sense of kinship with the living world. Farmers want total control over nature for the benefit of humans alone. There’s a saying around here about the farmer’s regard for animals: “If you can’t eat it, f––– it, or make a buck from it, then kill it.” That’s the real farmer MacDonald.

––Jim Mason

Mount Vernon, Missouri

<jbmason@mntvernon.net>

 

RU-486 and pets

Thank you for your
November cover article on RU-486
and what it means for animals. I had
been wondering about the implications
for homeless pets of the federal
approval of RU-486. Your research
and perspective were both interesting
and illuminating.
PETsMART Charities mission
is to eliminate pet population
control killing. We are very interested
in advancements that could bring
a nonsurgical alternative to the market
to help provide a more convenient,
safe, affordable, and permanent
solution to pet sterilization.
I am sending a copy of
your article to my Board of Directors
and others interested in alternatives
to surgical sterilization.
—Joyce R. Briggs
Executive Director
PETsMART Charities
19601 North 27th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Phone: 623-587-2876
Fax: 623-580-6561
jbriggs@ssg.petsmart.com

 

HSUS vs. California’s Hayden Law

Perhaps you can explain why the Humane Society of the U.S. keeps attacking California’s Hayden Law with their party-line articles in their magazine Animal Sheltering. Shouldn’t HSUS be working to get laws to save animals’ lives up and running? Am I being naive here?

––Kel Pickens

Stillwater, Oklahoma

<infinity@brightok.net>

 

The Editor replies: The HSUS position is descended from the founders’ view that killing homeless dogs and cats quickly at shelters was kinder than allowing them to be killed slowly and painfully in laboratories.

Back then, in 1954, labs were believed to be taking more dogs and cats from shelters than were adopted into good homes. High-volume adoption, low-cost neutering, early-age neutering, nokill sheltering, and neuter/return feral cat control were all still virtu – ally unknown techniques.

The first HSUS director for companion animals was the late Phyllis Wright, who fought for decades to abolish the then-standard use of decompression chambers to kill animals at shelters. Wright advocated that decompression should be replaced by lethal injec – tion, which she distinguished from decompression by introducing the term “euthanasia” as euphemism for population control killing.

Wright’s approach, artic – ulated in her much reprinted 1967 essay “Why we must euthanize,” gave shelter workers an emotionally acceptable pretext for killing ani – mals: they were now “putting ani – mals to sleep,” albeit permanently, sparing them the evident pain of either decompression or lab use.

Central arguments in “Why we must euthanize” are that most people are unfit to adopt ani – mals, because they will let them breed or run free, contributing again to shelter intake; no-kill shel – tering is merely warehousing ani – mals, if strict adoption standards are kept; and animals are better off dead than alive on the street.

Teaching needle killing and the rationale for it came to be the heart of the HSUS shelter out – reach program.

Thus HSUS, by Wright’s death in 1992, had painted itself into a corner. It couldn’t favor nokill sheltering, neuter/return, or high-volume adoption without seem – ing to repudiate itself.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk, incidentally, was Wright’s star pupil in her previous role as a Washington D.C.-area ani – mal control officer. That’s why PETA is also adamantly anti- no-kill sheltering, anti- neuter/return, and anti- high-volume adoption, and continues to maintain hit squads who eradicate feral cat colonies.

Wright didn’t live to see the life-saving efficacy of the alter – natives to killing dogs and cats in shelters and the near end of lab use of random-source animals. One cannot make the same excuse for her successors.

 

DARG DAYS

We are the only “no kill” domestic pet rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming shelter in Cape Town, South Africa, apart from a small new group begun by a former employee of ours which covers another area. The only animals we put down are those our veterinarians deem to be incurably suffering. We maintain 54 kennels for homeless dogs, 14 boarding kennels, about 10 “Care for life” sanctuary kennels, 12 cows, a small cattery for about 30 cats, and a shelter for rabbits rescued from research laboratories.

We rescue dogs every week from three municipal dog pounds, where they would otherwise be killed. Since October 1994, when DARG was formed, we have rescued and rehomed more than 5,000 animals, and have never left a single dog behind at the pounds.

A benefactor recently bought the six-acre property which we were renting, and has designated it to be used as a “no kill animal sanctuary in perpetuity.”

However, we must cover our own running costs––a huge problem despite our efforts to increase revenue. We are situated across the road from a squatter camp where the animals have no veterinary care at all. People stream down our driveway with seriously ill and dying animals, pleading for treatment and sterilization.

We are converting a house on the property into a clinic, but each vaccination and deworming costs us about $11 U.S., each sterilization costs about $25, and cumulatively the expense is prohibitive.

We are encouraging the people in the squatter camp to make pet-related products for us to sell, such as leads, collars, kennels, sleeping baskets, blankets, and water and food bowls. We welcome help from anywhere.

––Cicely Blumberg

Domestic Animal Rescue Group

P.O. Box 32074, Camps Bay Cape Town 8040, South Africa

Fax/phone: 27-021-790-2050 <darg@mweb.co.za>

 

 

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