Letters [Nov 2006]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
As ANIMAL PEOPLE reported in your September edition, many
people and animals were killed in Ethiopia in severe summer floods.
A man who lives in the city of Diredawa gave witness to the Ethiopian
news agency that when flood waters swept over his house and took him
away, he shouted for his family, telling them that he was already
gone, but his dog immediately took action, tightly holding and
pulling him away from the flood. After 30 minutes of all this
struggle he managed to save the man’s life.
The person said sadly, “I am finally rescued and taken to
the refugee camp because I am a human being, but my dog whom I took
from the street and raised, who saved my life, is left alone.”
P.O. Box 2495
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Had there been a humane organization in Diredawa to help the
dog, he would have been eligible for the Lewyt Award for Heroic &
Compassionate Animals, presented four times annually by the North
Shore Animal League America, announced inside the back cover of
ANIMAL PEOPLE. More than 50 dogs and cats who have rescued humans or
other animals and have been rescued themselves have been honored with
Lewyt Awards since the program started in 1999. Unfortunately, the
Homeless Animals Protection Society, founded in 2001, is still the
only dog-and-cat rescue organization in Ethiopia, and was more than
200 miles away. We can only hope the dog found the help of a
compassionate individual, amid disasters that tested the relief
capacity of the entire nation.
Still gassing in Johnston County, N.C.
I would like to make a correction to your October
2006 article, “Could Carbon Monoxide Gas Chambers Make a Comeback?”
The Johnston County Animal Shelter, in Smithfield, North Carolina,
still uses a gas chamber. The county told news media that they
would change to lethal injection for many animals as of January 2006.
They later said that they were “waiting for guidance from the state”
to make that change. The shelter is still gassing.
The state Department of Agriculture sent a letter
to municipal animal shelters in November 2005, which says, “Please
attempt to refrain from making decisions regarding the types of
euthanasia your facility will employ until such time that we have
completed the rule-making process.” A year later, these regulations
still have not been written.
However, the current law, NC GS 130a-192, says that if an
animal who is not reclaimed during the required impoundment period is
killed, the animal must be “put to death by a procedure approved by
the American Veterinary Medical Associ-ation, the Humane Society of
the U.S., or the American Humane Association.” All three
organizations say that animals under 16 weeks, or sick animals,
should not be killed by carbon monoxide.
Still many shelters in North Carolina gas all animals,
regardless of age or health. Young or infirm animals may not breathe
in enough gas to die quickly. Some are merely unconscious, assumed
to be dead, and awaken later to go through the process again. Even
healthy adult animals have been known to survive gas chambers. Is
this acceptable to any compassionate human being?
–Michele King, Secretary
North Carolina Coalition
for Humane Euthanasia
P.O. Box 881
Garner, NC 27529
That Johnston County continues gassing animals underscores
the concern of veteran shelter director Warren Cox, quoted in the
ANIMAL PEOPLE coverage, that handling increasing numbers of
dangerous animals might result in more animal control shelters
continuing to use carbon monoxide, or even reintroducing it, to try
to minimize staff contact with the animals. Built to hold 52 dogs,
the Johnston County shelter in February 2006 reportedly held 66 dogs
plus 60 gamecocks, after 47 pit bull terriers were seized from the
home of Tristan Hinson, 35. Hinson was charged with felony
dogfighting after the county sheriff’s department found the dogs
while investigating the fatal shooting of Danny Ray Edwards, 31.
Keon Kentell Rowe, 25, was charged with murder. The gamecocks had
arrived earlier from a separate and unrelated raid in Wilson.
Trying to stop gassing in Texas
Carbon monoxide chambers are, sadly, still approved for use
in Texas. However, last year, after much pushing, the Texas
Federation of Humane Societies was able to get San Antonio Animal
Care Services to suspend their use. This was done by my putting data
together proving that if shelters use chambers as the state statute
requires, it is cheaper to use injection. TFHS board member Sallie
Scott took the information to San Antonio mayor Phil Hardberger and
all the council members and forced their hand. Hardberger decreed
that the use of chambers would be discontinued in October 2005.
Unfortunately, doing this city by city in a state the size of Texas
is not feasible and there is no way we can get a ban on carbon
monoxide chambers through the legislature.
Texas Department of State Health Services, veterinarian
Cather-ine Tull, of Uvalde, praises people who use carbon monoxide
chambers, and introduced me to a guy from Gonzales who had built his
own chamber for $500, that she thought was wonderful. I have seen
shelters that have passed her inspection where the chamber was a
plywood box with no openings for viewing and inexperienced people
doing the gassing. During training sessions on euthanasia at Palo
Alto College in San Antonio, Tull stood in front of the class and
advocated for chambers and against injection, according to attendees
from the Bexar County Humane Society, who wrote letters telling what
happened and said the class was a waste of their time and the
of Humane Societies
P.O. Box 1346
Manchaca, TX 78652
Tull verified to ANIMAL PEOPLE that she does endorse the use
of carbon monoxide chambers.
The Best Friends Animal Society has recently begun a
Government Affairs team headed up by lawyers Laura Allen and Russ
Mead, Best Friends Network News director Michelle Buckalew of
Memphis, and David Phelps, our director of community programs and
services, to help get legislation passed and promote public
awareness. One effort will include our new “Ban the Gas Chamber”
community, at <http://network.bestfriends.org/bangaschambers/news/>.
& Services Coordinator
Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, Utah 84741
Phone: 435-644-3965, x4122
About Tammy Grimes’ arrest for saving dog
Thank you for a well thought out story about Tammy Grimes’
moral crisis and actions in the September 2006 edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE. My thought: ethical rescue does not entail stealing animals
but does not walk away from animals in need of help. It acknowledges
that laws regarding trespassing do not apply if someone is drowning
on the other side of “no trespassing” signs.
I agree with Tammy’s taking Doogie, but I would return the
dog to lawful authority when asked. If the dog was again tethered
outside, I would arrange protests ranging from “honk as you go by”
to candlelight vigils, and seek other creative but legal ways to
embarrass the dog’s guardians, along with pressing humane
investigators to take action. Focusing attention on the animal might
help the animal and help the guardian see the light, or at least
reform to avoid further exposure.
I would like to convey to Tammy Grimes my admiration, appreciation,
and love–which is what thousands of us must be feeling. If there is
any way we can help, please let us know.
My heart goes out to Dogs Deserve Better founder Tammy Grimes and the
dog Doogie. May God watch over them and bring justice to both! I
support Tammy and the action she took to help Doogie. I feel it was
the right thing to do. I believe the wrong person was arrested.
Just because something is the law in this society doesn’t mean that
the law is right in a certain situation.
–Helen R. Kett
Calarasi shelter rescue
I am extremely grateful for the long space dedicated to our
activity in Romania and especially to Calarasi in the October 2006
edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.
On October 9 we delivered to Calarasi 20 new kennels and
started vaccinating all the dogs of the shelter. Our Italian
voluntaries from Unisvet, together with our Romanian mobile clinic
team, spayed some females, treated dozens of sick dogs, and
provided surgery to a stray hit by a car. So far, we have
distributed 300 kilograms of dry food at the Calarasi shelter. Many
of the dogs getting assistance are visibly improving.
Next week we are going to take to Calarasi 50 pallets to
allow dogs to sleep on wood instead of a cold concrete floor.
Even with these improvements, the shelter has many unsolved
problems, especially because of the uncontrolled introduction of
healthy dogs among the sick. I am meeting with members of the board
and I hope also the mayor of Calarasi, to discuss taking over the
shelter management and starting a neuter/return project.
Save The Dogs
Via Nenni 5
Vizzolo P. (MI), Italy
The Thai coup
Re “Thai coup may hit wildlife traffic,” in your September
2006 edition, I’ve been in Thailand working for animals for 19
years. I believe that under the new reform of the government we will
get better conditions for animals. I have a farm animal sanctuary,
but I also work at a law office helping to initiate new animal
welfare legislation in Thailand. We plan to launch a compassion
campaign on King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday, December 5. I hope
we can get as much international support as possible.
— Marianne Willemse
Love Animal House Club & Sanctuary
PO Box 48 Mae Rim
Chiangmai, Thailand 50180
Pakistan honors animals
Animal Save Movement Pakistan celebrated International Animal
Welfare Day on October, 2006 with a fruitful gathering at which many
healthy, beautiful children, prominent lawyers, political and
social workers, and animal friends participated. Participants took
an oath to protect the welfare of animals and birds, to not eat meat,
and to continue peaceful compaigns against cruelty to animals and
–Khalid Mahmood Qurashi, President
Animal Save Movement
H.#1094/2, Hussain Agahi
Multan, Pakistan 60000
Japan Dolphin Day
Re “Marine mammal exhibitors join protest against Japanese
coastal dolphin killing,” in your October 2006 edition [which
described a media release sent by New York Aquarium marine mammal
research director Diana Reiss one day after “Japan Dolphin Day”
protests were held in 32 cities worldwide] we invited the New York
Aquarium, Alliance of Marine Parks and Aquariums, American Zoo and
Aquarium Society, the four New York zoos and other marine mammal
exhibitors mentioned in the above article to join us in protesting
the dolphin slaughter.
None did. Not one even mentioned Japan Dolphin Day to their huge memberships.
So far, the involvement of the captivity industry in this urgent
issue seems to be nothing more than a token effort to look
politically correct. As of this writing, the only tangible thing
that they have done is start up yet another petition and sign it.
Marine Mammal Specialist
Beaten by butchers on Friday the 13th
On Friday the13th of October 2006, representatives of the
Karuna Society for Animals & Nature and the Manju Nath International
Animal & Birds Welfare Society, of Guttur, went to the cattle market
in Gorantla to start a medical camp for cattle.
Our veterinarian and assistants started preparations when our
truck arrived at 7:00 a.m. When I arrived at 7:15 by car, within
five minutes a huge organized mob approached us. First they damaged
the car. Then they attacked with iron bars. The men tore my
clothing and I escaped to our truck, which was also attacked. All
the windows were broken and they tried to hit my face with the bars.
A Muslim man helped me out the other side and I ran for my life with
two of our assistants.
They hurled stones on my head and back. Our other attendants
and veterinarian were also beaten up. My elbow is injured and I am
black and blue. Outside the cattle market I ran into a house to hide
in a bathroom until the police took me out. The police registered a
case for attempt to murder and many more things. Arrests were made.
Since 2002 we have been active at this market without much
success. A month ago we went again, after a newspaper complained
about the cruelty of the market. We found that the market is without
governance, as the village council and the market management are
having a dispute in court. For six months it has been a free transit
point for animals going to slaughter, including many cows with
calves and pregnant cows who are transported to Bangalore, Tamil
Nadu, and Kerala.
During our first visit, we spoke to the local authorities
and stressed that it is an unlawful situation.
On our next visit we came upon a large group of animals all tied up,
painted with big letters for identification. With the help of the
police, we took 41 animals to the Karuna and IABWS sanctuaries.
After the rescue of the 41 cattle, I was visited by a Mr. K.
M. Asadullah an assistant to Member of Parliament G. Nizamuddin,
who asked me to return the 41 animals. We gave him a clear picture
of the real situation and he told me we could expect difficulties.
Our activities at the grass root level have no meaning if
they are not supported by the people who are responsible and in power.
for Animals & Nature
Prasanthi Nilayam, AP
515 134, India
Because of a calf
I came into the animal rights movement because of a calf. I
was only two at the time, but she impacted my life greatly and
influenced much of my future. My mother, a nurse, was diagnosed
with tuberculosis. My twin brother and I were sent to my
grandparents’ farm while she went to a sanatorium. My twin brother
and I shared a play pen with Adah, a so called runty Ayershire calf.
We had lost our mother and she had lost hers. We bonded. We loved
each other. But this was a farm after all. One day she was taken
away from us and slaughtered.
Over many, many years I have never forgotten Adah and the love we shared.
–Caryl McIntire Edwards
Voice for Animals
460 Buckfield Road
South Paris, Maine 04281
I have just read your September 2006 editorial “Culture,
coonhunting & child hunters,” and just wanted to echo your dismay at
this practice. Only last week my wife, a second grade teacher,
came home disgusted with an interaction she had with a girl in her
class. The girl told my wife that it was her birthday. My wife
asked her whether she had received a present and she replied “a BB
gun.” My wife asked her if she had wanted one and the girl replied
“No. My dad wants to teach me how to hunt.” What a sad world.
Capital Area Humane Society
7095 W. Grand River Ave.
Lansing, MI 48906
Phone: 517-626-6821, x17
Mexican-American social justice icon Cesar Chavez, who
peacefully fought on behalf of overworked and underpaid farm-workers,
was also a humane vegetarian who denounced bullfights, dogfighting,
rodeos and cockfighting because they were all rooted in violence and
irreverence for life. Chavez was America’s Catholic “Gandhi Of The
Fields.” California rightly commemorates his March 31 birthday as a
state holiday. The rest of the U.S. should do the same. If we have
national holidays for men who had slaves and killed Native Americans,
it is high time to have a national holiday for a paragon of
compassion who would not even kill a mouse.