Letters [Sep 2003]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2003:
Thank you very much for the mention of PICAS USA in your
July/August 2003 edition.
PICAS USA has already evolved considerably since I provided
the information published then. Our first official consultation has
been for an architectural firm in Chicago that is renovating the
landmark Ambassador Hotel. We are also doing an exploratory study for
the city of Duluth, Minnesota, and are assisting private citizens
who have contacted us hoping to start PICAS projects in New York
City, Philadelphia, and Pompano Beach, Florida, among other
I have also uncovered some misconceptions about the European
method of pigeon control:
1) Ever-unassuming, PICAS’ director Guy Merchant only
recently revealed to us that he had implemented the nestbox/egg
removal approach nearly a decade before the Swiss study that made it
2) Some of the greatest successes come from the U.K. and
other locations besides Switzerland.
3) The Swiss study began with the flawed premise that it was
necessary to cull many pigeons first. They ended up proving that
culling does not reduce flock size for long, sometimes less than a
4) I am amassing statistics from various successful PICAS
implementations in the UK, like the estimated drop from 1200 to less
than 600 pigeons in about a half year at the Nottingham City Hospital
complex using discarded lockers for nestboxes. This is a tremendous
success story that has received little attention from the media.
Route 3, Box 3080
710 E Bayfield St.
Washburn, WI 54891
I was very impressed by the letter in the June edition of
ANIMAL PEOPLE from retired pastor Frank Hoffman, headlined
“Harden-ing hearts through slaughter.”
As a retired teacher, I am disgusted with the 4-H Clubs that
teach boys and girls to gain a living creature’s love and trust,
only to sell the animal to slaughter. How do they expect young
people to grow up to be trustworthy, truthful, and loyal if they
are taught that it is all right to betray an innocent animal?
The 4-H Clubs should be ashamed of themselves.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Did you know that besides his many other progressive,
compassionate stands that Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is a
Did you know that as a member of Congress, Kucinich (D-Ohio)
received a 100% rating from the Humane Society of the U.S.?
I am taking it upon myself as an ordinary citizen to contact
my friends in the animal compassion world to let them know what a
once-in-a-lifetime possibility we have to elect a president who truly
cares about animals.
Accompanying is information about our use of a $2,500 grant
from the city of Folly Beach, North Carolina, to assist residents
in sterilizaing their pets and to support our Folly Beach feral cat
TNR has been very successful at Folly Beach, which is a bird
sanctuary, and the program has not hurt our bird population. I am
appalled at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and their recent
call for the destruction of feral cats in Florida wildlife habitat.
This was a typical bureaucratic government response to a problem
caused by human development, destruction of habitat, and use of
We have accomplished more to reduce feral cat populations,
protect habitat, and control rodents (who menace ground-nesting
birds] through TNR than can ever be achieved by means of shooting,
trapping, and killing.
My mother, Ellie Booth of Hobe Sound, Florida, has worked
for the past 15 years to save, sterilize, release, and feed and
care for feral cats on Jupiter Island. Her original two feral cat
colonies have all passed on, with no new cats in those areas. With
Maris Sine, who established Domino’s House for Feral Kittens, my
mother cofounded the Hobe Sound Animal Rescue League. Through their
work, for the first time in many years, no feral kittens were born
this year on Jupiter Island.
1430 Folly Road
Charleston, SC 29412
The British founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was a
vegetarian for the last several decades of his life back in the 18th
century. He converted to vegetarianism because he had profound
compassion for animals and detested cruelty.
Wesley also preached sermons which asserted that the entire
animal kingdom would ultimately ascend to an idyllic life after their
deaths in this world of strife and suffering.
Wesley was a benevolent supporter of animal rights and the
belief in animal resurrection who is overlooked by many scholars.
Poisoning is stopped in Israel
As a result of a conference co-sponsored by Concern for
Help-ing Animals in Israel and Israel’s Ministries of Health,
Environment, and Agriculture, the Veterinary Services Division of
the Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to replace slow, painful
strychnine poisonings of animals with humane animal capture and
control measures. This is the first time that Veterinary Services
has joined forces with an animal protection charity to improve the
treatment of animals.
Israel is a rabies-endemic country. Potentially rabid dogs,
especially from Bedouin camps or from neighborhing Arab regions where
there is no rabies control, enter inhabited areas at night, in
packs, seeking food and posing a threat to human health. For this
reason municipal veterinarians claimed the poisonings were necessary.
Among other important initiatives to emerge from the
conference, CHAI/Israel will partner with Israel’s Nature Reserves
Authroity, a government agency, to provide humane education within
the Bedouin community and to sterilize and vaccinate their dogs.
CHAI/ Israel will bring our mobile clinic into the desert for this
P.O. Box 3341
Alexandria, VA 22303
ANIMAL PEOPLE is an incredible publication. Revealing what
is really happening instead of what the money-grabbers would like
everyone to believe is rare in the media, and it is no surprise that
one money-grabber has tried to sue you.
Here in Pueblo, officials have made it against the law to
help stray or feral cats. Some animal control officers act like the
Gestapo. One even came into PETsMART in early June and gave several
tickets to a man whose puppies we were adopting out. The man was
from South America and was having trouble with the language,
supporting his family, and paying his bills, but he loves his dogs
and was willing to do anything to help them. He didn’t have a litter
license and the dogcatcher left with $40 of his money.
We have recently received a grant from PETsSMART for pet
sterilization, and will distribute a flyer to promote our services
in some of Pueblo’s poverty areas.
–Marilyn June Barkhoefer
Volunteers for Inter-Valley Animals
2039 Randall Road
Pueblo, CO 81008
Why no shelter in Kampala?
I first thought of writing to you when I was in Uganda.
ANIMAL PEOPLE gave me a sense of sanity there! Often when
people moved to Uganda-from the U.K., U.S., Australia, South
Africa, Kenya-they’d call the Uganda SPCA and ask, “Where’s the
shelter?” I’d explain that we have no shelter. Starting a shelter
in Kampala would make no sense right now. There are few dogs and
cats on the streets, and there is only the start of a pet owning
culture. Irresponsible expatriate pet keepers would make us their
dumping ground. Very little money is available for humane work. Few
[in-country] people want to donate, and there are even fewer
The main problem in Uganda is lack of education about how to
care for dogs and cats. A shelter would eat up our minimal resources
and take away the time and energy we use to work in the communities
on educating people about dog and cat care. ANIMAL PEOPLE echoed a
lot of this and I also used your paper to get these points across to
our board and local vets.
Gorillas are in steep decline
Thank you for your recent coverage of the plight of gorillas.
My sister, Greyhound Friends founder Louise Coleman, recently sent
you some information to refute a recent Boston Globe article about
tourists seeing increased numbers of gorillas in Uganda.
Unfortunately, it is a very small population of gorillas which have
experienced an increase in numbers. Friends of mine working in the
field in eastern Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda report that the numbers
are down in most gorilla populations. The quest to mine coltan [used
to make cell telephones] in their habitat is only the most recent and
severe reason for a decline in gorilla numbers that has been ongoing
I have lived and worked in Africa studying lowland gorillas
in the Central African Republic. I know first-hand the dire
situation for people in these areas. They are interested in
surviving the day. The forest has always provided. They think it
–Dr. Lyna Watson
Tourism director Claude Seruhungo of Volcano National Park,
Rwanda, told Agence France-Presse in late July that, “For nearly a
year a troupe of between 50 and 70 rare golden monkeys has become
used to the presence of humans, and tourists now can see them.”
Also endangered, Rwandan golden monkeys share habitat with mountain
gorillas, and making them accessible to visitors is an important
step in expanding the ecotouristic appeal of the region, long
recommended by Bill Weber and Amy Vedder, whose work is discussed on
Ebola virus killed hundreds of lowland gorillas and
chimpanzees in the Congo during early 2003. Rick Callahan of
Associated Press reported on August 6 that the National Institutes of
Health and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious
Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, “have developed a fast-acting,
single-shot Ebola vaccine that makes monkeys immune to Ebola six
times faster than an earlier version.” The vaccine protected eight
monkeys from a lab-induced form of Ebola during a 28-day test, while
eight unvaccinated monkeys died horribly. The previous Ebola
vaccine, developed in 2000 by NIH Vaccine Research Center director
Gary J. Nabel, required six injections at month-long intervals.
Nabel and microbiologist C.J. Peters of the University of Texas
Medical Branch in Galveston predicted that the new vaccine might be
used by health workers and researchers. It will not help people who
have already been infected. Princeton University research fellow
Peter Walsh expressed doubt that the vaccine could be given to wild
gorillas and chimps because of the difficulty of darting them. Walsh
headed a group of 23 researchers funded by the Wildlife Conservation
Society and other institutions who reported in the April 6, 2003
edition of Nature that the wild gorilla and chimp populations may
have been halved since 1995 by Ebola and bushmeat hunting. However,
as Weber and Vedder describe, many Rwandan wild gorillas viewed by
tourists were vaccinated against measles in 1989. Six gorillas died
from measles before the vaccination started; none died afterward.
“Part of my life”
I’ve been meaning to ‘talk’ to you guys for a long, long time, as
your newspaper is phenomenal. It’s amazing the information you
acquire and the articulate projection thereof. And I can never find
the right words for your bravery and courage when you went to the
Korean dog markets.
I was devastated to learn that you were hit with a lawsuit. It seems
a lot of organizations who speak up for voiceless animal victims get
slapped with suits in efforts to silence them and destroy them
economically. It is the job of the status quo to keep the
compassionate minority silenced!
Your newspaper has become an integral part of my life and without it
I would feel a little more empty, a little more lost.
Lake Worth, Florida
Congratulations on the resolution of the lawsuit brought
against you. I’m so sorry for your financial and personal stress,
and for the reduction of vital services to animal protection that
fighting the lawsuit necessitated. Thank you for refusing to be
–Veronia R. Ferguson
Niagara Falls, New York
These are just two among hundreds of similar messages that we
continue to receive from around the world, including from
fundraising professionals who endorse the ANIMAL PEOPLE code of
ethics for fundraising on behalf of animal charities, outlined in
our May 2003 editorial, accessible at <www.animalpeoplenews.org>.
Following the June 2003 judicially directed settlement of his
initial lawsuit against ANIMAL PEOPLE, detailed in our June 2003
edition, fundraiser Bruce Eberle filed new motions seeking to
suppress distribution of that edition for allegedly improperly
revealing proprietary financial information about his companies in an
Ironically, ANIMAL PEOPLE had only office copies left of
that edition, whose cover feature about feral cat interactions with
wildlife was in high demand, and the table was never formatted for
Rulings on the motions are due after our September 2003 edition goes to press.
Two animal charities represented by Eberle, Noah’s Lost Ark
and Tiger Missing Link Foundation, also known as Tiger Creek, were
among five cited in July by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving
Alliance for either failing to meet the Wise Giving Alliance
standards or supplying insufficient information to enable the
Alliance to determine if the standards were observed.
Also cited for failing to provide adequate information were the
Gorilla Foundation and International Fund for Animal Welfare. PETA
was cited for failing “to clearly disclose how the charity benefits
from the sale of products or services that state or imply that a
charity will benefit from a consumer’s purchase or business
transaction,” and for failing to meet a standard pertaining to board
structure which ANIMAL PEOPLE believes is inappropriate for animal
charities, as well as any charities still directed by their
founders. This standard was reviewed in our May 2003 editorial.
The Wise Giving Alliance web site, <www.give.org>, cites
two more animal charities represented by Eberle for flunking Alliance
standards. Tiger Haven flunks eight of 20; Wildlife Waystation
flunks four. Both flunk the standards requiring that “A reasonable
percentage, at least 50%, of total income from all sources shall be
applied to programs and activities directly related to the purposes
for which the organization exists”; and that “A reasonable
percentage, at least 50%, of public contributions shall be applied
to the programs and activities described in solicitations, in
accordance with donor expectations.”
The Wise Giving Alliance has not published an evaluation of
Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, another charity represented by Eberle,
which according to ANIMAL PEOPLE review of IRS Form 990 filings has
never spent less than two-thirds of its annual budget on fundraising
Neither the Alliance nor ANIMAL PEOPLE has published an
evaluation yet of the Peaceful Valley Donkey Sanctuary, represented
by Eberle in recent mailings.