BOOKS: Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January-February 2007:

Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras:
A Menagerie of 100 Favorite Animals
by Jeffrey Mousaieff Masson
Ballantine Books (1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019), 2006
429 pages, hardcover. $ 27.95.

This is a collection of 100 short essays, each about a
different animal. Beyond describing the appearance and habits of the
subject animals, psychologist turned author Jeffrey Mousiaieff
Masson wants to know what kind of “person” each animal is.
Seeking personality in animals is a challenge, requring
much research, but Masson has proved equal to it.

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The case for Ernest Hemingway

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January-February 2007:
Michael Ogorzaly in The Case Against Bullighting appears to
have quoted Ernest Hemingway far out of context. The reference is
from the opening chapter of Death In The Afternoon, in which–from
the first sentence–Hemingway bluntly acknowledged the cruelty of
bullfighting, with emphasis on the injuries done to horses.
Hemingway described his horror at how Greeks evacuating
Smyrna in 1922 broke the legs of their pack donkeys and pushed them
into the sea to drown, an episode he covered for the Toronto
Telegram Syndicate as a young reporter and described again in his
1924 short story On The Quai At Smyrna. Heming-way recounted his
intervention on many occasions (also described by others) to assist
downed horses in the streets, and his fondness for dogs and
cats–especially cats, who were his desk companions for most of his

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2006 saw biggest fighting dog seizure ever

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:

HOUSTON–Among the grimmest jobs in the 71 years that the
Houston Humane Society has operated an animal shelter was
euthanizing 258 pit bull terriers in August 2006, seized from the
property of murder victim and fighting dog breeder Thomas F. Weigner,
Investigators impounded 285 pit bulls in all from the Liberty
County site. Twenty-seven puppies were initially to have been
auctioned, without being sterilized first, by order of Liberty
County justice of the peace Phil Fitzgerald, but the Houston Humane
Society pointed out that Texas state law requires impounded dogs to
be sterilized prior to adoption or sale. Most of the pups were later
found to be ill with either parvovirus or the tick-borne disease

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Shooting dogs is a sensitive subject in the Canadian far north

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
WINNIPEG–“The solution,” to attacks by stray dogs on Native
American reservations in northern Canada, “is to cull the dog
population, and provide spay and neuter services to native
communities at the same time,” Winnipeg Humane Society executive
director Vicki Burns told Brookes Merritt of the Edmonton Sun on
November 19, 2006.
Though Burns apparently said nothing about shooting dogs,
her remark was summarized in the headline of the resulting article as
“Annual dog shoot proposed,” and in the lead sentence as “An annual
‘dog shoot’ would help keep dog packs on native reserves from killing
any more helpless children, says an animal welfare worker in

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Greyhound racing updates

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:

The Alabama Supreme Court on December 1, 2006 ruled
unanimously that the MegaSweeps video sweepstakes gambling games at
the Birmingham Race Course violate the state law against slot machine
gambling. Track owner Milton McGregor asserted that losing the
machines, installed in 2005, might put the track out of business,
costing 250 jobs. Two lower court rulings favored video sweepstakes
gambling. “Soon, small storefront [gambling] operations began
popping up across the state,” wrote Philip Rawls of Associated
Press–and Christian Action Alabama began trying to close them.

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Bonney Brown to head Nevada Humane

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:

RENO–The Nevada Humane Society on December 15, 2006
introduced as executive director Bonney Brown, 48, who directed
Alley Cat Allies’ relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
Brown founded the no-kill Neponset Valley Humane Society in
Massachusetts in 1992, co-organized the annual No-Kill Conferences
1996-1999, was outreach director for the Best Friends Animal Society
1998-2005, coordinated the No More Homeless Pets conference series
1999-2005, and was with Alley Cat Allies for about 18 months.
Michelle Williams, DVM, who preceded Brown at Nevada
Humane, was hired in September 2005 but resigned in May 2006 amid a
dispute that originated when she had a Rottweiler euthanized as
potentially dangerous, unaware that an employee had shown the dog to
members of a rescue group who wanted to take him.
“The groups want seven days notice to rescue an animal. I
wish people surrendering the animals would do the same for us,”
Williams told Frank X. Mullen of the Reno Gazette-Journal. “We have
space one day and 20 animals come in and then we’re full. Logistics
make giving a week’s notice impossible, but [rescuers] don’t want to
After Williams’ departure the Nevada Humane board introduced
new policies to improve relations with rescue groups.

Dog attacks raise issues for lawmakers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
At least 32 U.S. communities adopted or
considered adopting breed-specific dog control
legislation in 2006, responding to attacks
involving pit bulls and Rottweilers.
The debate over whether possession and
sale of pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and
possibly other dog breeds should be restricted to
protect public safety is in essence a debate
about possibly the oldest of all philosophical
questions vexing lawmakers.
Since Biblical times opinions have
conflicted as to whether laws should seek to
prevent harm by forbidding potentially injurious
behavior, or merely punish those whose behavior
results in actual harm.

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Twin Cities societies merge

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
ST. PAUL–The three largest humane societies serving the
Minneapolis-St. Paul area merged, effective on January 1, 2007,
becoming a single entity with five shelters, more than 200 workers,
a combined annual budget of about $8.5 million, net assets of $23.1
million, and as yet no unified name. Former Animal Humane Society
of Golden Valley president Martha McPhee heads the new organization.
Former Humane Society for Companion Animals director Janelle Dixon
will direct operations. The third partner in the merger is the
Greater West Humane Society.
“We all worked together after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,”
said McPhee. “We realized that with collaboration we could do much
more. This merger is driven by our mission.”

ASPCA honors

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
Humane Farm Animal Care founder Adele Douglass, 60, has
received the American SPCA Lifetime Achievement Award. Douglass
handled animal welfare issues as a longtime aide to former New York
City member of the House of Representatives Bill Green, then for 13
years represented American Humane in Washington D.C. Starting
American Humane Farm Animal Services in 2000, Douglass left to found
HFAC at the end of 2002. HFAC is now the largest U.S. program
certifying humane livestock production.
The ASPCA also honored Oklahoma pet sterilization advocate
Ruth Steinberger and Marley & Me author John Grogan, and recognized
firefighters Richard LaPiedra, Thomas Piambino, Thomas Sullivan,
and John Cashman for several daring dog rescues.

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