NSPA president charged with hoarding
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:
KANSAS CITY, Mo.–National Society for the Protection of
Animals president Barbara DeGraeve, 55, was charged on October 10
with cruelty, failure to vaccinate, failing to provide adequate
shelter to as many as 60 cats, and letting a dog be a nuisance.
Told by police to obtain veterinary care for several cats who
were sneezing, with runny noses and eyes, “DeGraeve hired a
veterinarian to take care of the sick cats,” Kansas City Star
reporters Richard Espinoza and Brad Cooper wrote, “and people who
said they were NSPA volunteers began taking away the healthy cats,
Kansas City animal control supervisor Ted O’Dell said.”
Espinoza and Cooper remembered that in June 2001, NSPA
volunteers including DeGraeve “helped trap neglected cats in east
Kansas City,” on property belonging to an elderly woman named
Rosemary McCort. “On their first day of work,” Espinoza and Cooper
continued, “they trapped about 10 cats, took them to veterinarians
for sterilization and vaccination, then paid $65 to rescue each cat”
from the animal control department.
The animals DeGraeve allegedly neglected were found in a
house at 9456 Connell Drive, reportedly unoccupied by humans but
listed on the 1998 NSPA filing of IRS Form 990, the most recent
available, as site of DeGraeve’s home office. NSPA had cash income
of only $26,768 for the year, barely over the $25,000 threshhold for
mandatory filing, but also received a “donated building” valued at
$60,785, believed to be the Connell Drive property. Cash
expenditures were $22,511, including $11,283 for veterinary care,
sheltering, and adoption placement of about 350 animals.
DeGraeve, NSPA vice president 1997-1998, succeeded Susan
Mitchell as president when Mitchell stepped down only one year after
taking over from former Kansas City insurance agent Ann
Martin-Gonnerman, who founded the group in 1983.
Martin-Gonnerman, previously a field representative for the
Humane Society of the U.S. and an officer in the Kansas/ Missouri
Federation of Humane Societies, retired in 1997. During her 25
years in humane work, she was known primarily for her nonstop
crusade against puppy mills, animal hoarders, and people who
claimed to be operating no-kill shelters without providing quality
care to the animals in their custody.
In February 1994, as the San Francisco SPCA and Department
of Animal Care and Control signed the Adoption Pact which two months
later made San Francisco the first U.S. no-kill city,
Martin-Gonnerman asserted that “No-Kill = Cruelty to animals” on page
one of the NSPA newsletter.