Animal control & sheltering

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:


Pressured for a decade by the Animal Rights Coalition,
helped in recent months by visits from the SHARK “Tiger” video truck,
the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is to
discontinue using two gas chambers to kill animals, and effective in
October 2001 will instead use injections of sodium pentobarbital,
board president Sharon Decker announced on August 28. Board member
Wayne Popham told Dan Wascoe Jr. of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that
he thought the pivotal protest tactic was publishing board members’
names, addresses, and telephone numbers in a July 10 ad placed by
ARC in the Lakeshore Weekly News, enabling readers to voice their
feelings. Handling about 20,000 animals per year, killing about
40%, AHS was among the largest nongovernmental shelters in the U.S.
still using gas. The switch to injections encouraged similar efforts
by activists trying to stop the use of gas at the city shelters in
St. Joseph, Missouri, and Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

Maddie’s Fund announced in October 2001 that the No More
Homeless Pets in Utah coalition led by the Best Friends Animal
Sanctuary had qualified for second-year funding of $1.8 million,
after receiving first-year funding of $1.5 million to start a
five-year statewide drive toward no-kill animal control modeled on
the approach of the San Francisco SPCA, which in 1994 made San
Francisco the first U.S. no-kill city. Utah animal shelters placed
25% more animals through adoption during the first year of the
program, and killed 10% fewer animals.

Gary Ruckle, appointed founding director of the newly
created Department of Animal Services in San Jose, California, in
September 2000, after previously heading the Los Angeles Department
of Animal Regulation, resigned the $100,000-a-year San Jose post in
mid-October 2001 for undisclosed reasons. San Jose formed the
department after the Humane Society of the Santa Clara Valley gave up
its animal control contracts with local communities to concentrate on
dog and cat sterilizations and adoptions, following the San
Francisco SPCA model.

Ken White, first director of the San Francisco Department of
Animal Care and Control and former head of companion animal programs
for the Humane Society of the U.S., has accepted $170,000 a year
base pay, a $10,800-a-year car allowance, and a year-end
performance bonus to leave his post since 1995 as president of the
Arizona Humane Society, in Phoenix, and become executive director
of the Peninsula Humane Society, serving San Mateo County,
California–just south of San Francisco. PHS said it had received an
anonymous $50,000 donation to help lure White from Phoenix. In
Arizona, White drew compensation of $151,887 during fiscal 2000. He
had a paid staff of 143, with 900 volunteers; PHS has a paid staff
of 90, with 400 volunteers. Once seen as a leader against pet
overpopulation, PHS pushed a legislative approach instead of the
no-kill direction of the SF/SPCA, which White bitterly criticized.
San Francisco (all shelters) now kills just 2.6 animals per 1,000
residents; San Mateo County shelters kill animals at about five
times that rate.

The British Columbia SPCA fired Vancouver regional branch
executive director Doug Hooper in mid-August, after news media
disclosed that his pay had risen from $76,798 (Canadian dollars) to
$203,578 since 1996. Nicholas Read of the Vancouver Sun reported
that according to BC/SPCA president Michael Steven, “the wage
package was approved without the full knowledge of the Vancouver
branch’s board, and only board president Michael Dear, DVM, was
aware of its terms.” The entire Vancouver branch board was suspended
in May 2001 pending the findings of an audit.

The Ontario SPCA seized 150 dogs and 30 puppies on August 25
from a breeder of small terriers in Vaughn, Ontario, and seized 51
dogs five days later from a breeder of American Eskimo dogs in
Fenelon Falls. Ontario solicitor general David Turnbull on August 30
gave the SPCA $50,000 in provincial funding to help close puppy and
kitten mills, along with an annual grant of $119,000 for inspector
and agent training, and urged Ottawa to pass a long-delayed update
of the Canadian anti-cruelty code.

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