Animal control & sheltering

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2002:

Authoritarian regimes trying to keep a lid on dissidence have
reportedly ordered the massacre of all cats in Tehran, Iran, and
all dogs in Lhasa, Tibet. Neither city has a functional animal
advocacy group, nor an official U.S. presence to direct protest
toward. In each case the killing is done in the name of rabies
control, but is not combined with a vaccination strategy, and
actually appears to be an application of the Chinese proverb, “Kill
the dog to scare the monkey.” House pets are not common in Tehran,
but feeding feral cats is popular among women; killing cats warns
women to stay home and be quiet. In Lhasa, free-roaming Lhasa apso
dogs are widely believed to be the reincarnations of high lamas.
Thus when the Chinese Commun-ist occupiers kill Lhasa apsos, they
strike at Tibetan Buddhism and traditional leadership.

Researchers from the Tabriz Univ-ersity of Medical Sciences
in Tehran reported recently in the medical journal The Lancet that
the use of insecticide flea collars on dogs can cut transmission of
the flea-borne disease leishmaniases by 40%. Monitoring 18 Iranian
villages, the Tabriz team saw leishmaniases caseload drops of 42% in
children and 50% in dogs.

Singapore SPCA executive officer Dierdre Moss on September 29
reported a record drop in animal intake during fiscal 2001-2002, to
10,500, from more than 13,000 in 2000-2001. The SPCA and the
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore kill about 9,000 dogs
and 12,000 cats per year between them, about the same as a decade
ago, which indicates significant net improvement relative to the
growth of the human population and estimated numbers of owned pets.
Now helping to place adoptable animals and sterilize and vaccinate
feral cats are the Metta Cattery and Cat Welfare Society, founded in
1999; Action for Singapore Dogs, founded in 2000; and the Animal
Lovers League and House Rabbit Society of Singapore, started in
early 2002.

South African humane societies and animal control shelters
kill about 500,000 dogs and cats per year, the Cape Town Argus
recently determined, for a national rate of 11.4 dogs and cats
killed per 1,000 human residents. The toll could be many times
higher if the humane societies and animal control shelters received
all the unwanted puppies and kittens born in slum districts, where
animal control tends to be on a do-it-yourself basis.

A coalition of 11 animal shelters and 26 veterinary clinics
headed by the Alachua County Humane Society has qualified for a
start-up grant of $336,000 from Maddie’s Fund, as first installment
of $3.1 million it can receive during the next five years if it meets
all interim goals during a planned five-year drive toward making
Gainesville, Florida, a no-kill city.

Maddie’s Fund also recently awarded $1.25 million in $250,000
installments over the next five years to the College of Veterinary
Medicine at Western University, to support a new shelter medicine
program. “The Univ-ersity intends to integrate no-kill philosophy
and methods into its core curriculum for veterinary students;
provide medical consultation and other services to animal shelters,
including no-kill shelters; and make clinical experiences at no-kill
shelters a significant component of its program,” said the
announcement.

The Richmond SPCA in Richmond, Virginia, is to open a new
300-animal shelter on October 19. Modeled after Maddie’s Adoption
Center, built by the San Francisco SPCA in 1997, the $14.2 million
new shelter is expected to enable the Richmond SPCA to boost
adoptions from the present 3,500 per year to as many as 8,000 per
year. Richmond SPCA executive director Robin Starr has also emulated
San Francisco in returning the municipal animal control contract to
the city and taking the organization to no-kill, as intended
preliminary to making Richmond a no-kill city.

Marilyn Haggerty-Blohm, director of the New York City Center
for Animal Care and Control since 1997, was terminated on September
26 after testifying to the CACC board about the effects on the agency
of a 13% budget cut imposed after the terrorist attacks of September
11, 2001. All three CACC shelters were formerly open to the public
24 hours a day. Haggerty-Blohm cut the operating hours in half in
July 2002. New York City activists claim this brought an immediate
surge of animals being abandoned in public places. Responded New
York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, “If you cannot bring a stray
animal into one of our shelters or adopt in the middle of the night,
that’s just one of the compromises we have to make.”

The Humane Society of Indianapolis on October 2 hired former
Minneapolis animal rescue volunteer Martha M. Boden to succeed Marsha
Spring as executive director. Spring, 59, held the post from 1988
until February 2002. She resigned after the Indianapolis Star
exposed her use of a shelter credit card to make personal purchases.
The Animal Foundation, of Las Vegas, Nevada, has hired
former Albuquerque animal control director Robert Hillman as interim
executive director, succeeding founder Mary Herro, who continues to
have executive duties but will no longer oversee personnel.

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