Letters [Oct 2007]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:

Iranian street dog sterilization program is thwarted

As an update to “Dogs symbolize the west in Iran,” in your
September 2007 edition, I should say that the mayor of Hashtgerd was
changed, and the city hall did not keep the promises made by the
former mayor to support a neuter/return program for street dogs
instead of killing them. They did not help the Vafa Animal Shelter
at all. And they are again killing the dogs.
Unfortunately, I think both parties had not thought
very carefully about what they were promising. Sterilizing and
vaccinating the dogs of Hashtgerd will need a lot of space,
volunteers, and financial assistance. But the project saved 74 dogs
while it operated.
Mrs.Samira Moghaddam has called the police on behalf of the
Center for Animal Lovers, and suggested that we could help them to
take care of the dogs whom Radio Free Europe reported were jailed for
being out in public, but the police have not responded yet. We
thought we could both take care of them and find out about their
final destiny.
Unfortunately, you used the former address for the Vafa
Animal Shelter in your article. The right address is #785, Khayyam
Ave., Tehran, Iran.

–Fatemeh Motamedi
Center for
Animal Lovers
Update about Wussie, the Sri Lankan dog

I just browsed your web page and saw a picture of Wussie,
her head held up by someone, as published in your July/August 2007
article “Pound Seizure shocks Sri Lanka.” Thanks!
We are continuing to follow up on the adoption of three of
our shelter dogs under false pretenses, who were subjected to
invasive surgery by parasitologist R.P.V.J. Rajapakse, on the
pretext of seeking an herbal treatment for diabetes.
Wussie, the survivor whose pancreas was removed, is being
cared for and is well, but we find it very difficult to get the
drugs she needs in Sri Lanka, especially a long-acting insulin called
IPZ, now that she is minus her pancreas. We have to give Wusie her
insulin shots morning and evening, 12 hours apart. She is on a
special diet prescribed by the Clinical Department of the Faculty of
Veterinary Medicine of the University of Peradeniya.
Perry, who had 32 sutures and was used as the control in
Rajapakse’s experiments, is fine, and is at the shelter now. A
Buddhist priestess wanted to adopt her, but we are keeping her with
us as the inquiries continue to come. She is also traumatized,
I am happy to let you know that the Sri Lanka Veterinary
Council has started the inquiry we have asked for, and it is
progressing. We are awating the report of the University of
Peradeniya inquiry.
–Champa Fernando
191 Trinco Street
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Still repairing damage from Katrina

Several months ago, the Humane Society of Louisiana
inspected the St. Bernard Animal Shelter. The building sustained
severe damage from the 2005 hurricane season. Exposed wires still
hung from the ceiling where tiles blew off. Broken windows still
lined the back wall. The shelter was still without working
electricity and a functioning drainage system.
We documented the problems and forwarded our report to the
parish administration and parish council. Just last week, we
revisited the shelter and found that while some progress had been
made, Tina Bernard, the shelter supervisor for the past two years,
has operated the shelter almost single-handedly, except for the use
of one volunteer during the week and a handful of volunteers on
Saturday mornings.
Tina has been doing the regular cleaning, the administrative
duties, code enforcement, animal pick-up, adoptions, and feeding
and watering the animals all by herself. It appears that the low
wages offered by the parish fail to attract or retain workers. The
parish is offering to pay kennel workers only $6.35 an hour, about
$2.00 an hour less than the starting wage at nearby fast food
At the September 28, 2007 meeting of the Parish Council
Executive Finance Committee, we pressed for funding to fill the open
Work has begun on some outdoor pens that will reduce the
overcrowded conditions at the shelter, and a team of veterinarians
and students from the Louisiana State University veterinary school
visited the shelter recently and provided free care for the animals.
The group also painted rooms, cleaned the shelter, and created a
surgery room in the back of the building.
–Jeff Dorson, Founder
Humane Society
of Louisiana
P.O. Box 740321
New Orleans, LA 70174
Phone: 901-268-4432
New Orleans region shelter data

Re “U.S. animal shelter data broken down by city, county,
state, and region,” in the July/ August 2007 edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE, and the September 2007 follow-up “More U.S. animal shelter
data by city, county, state, and region,” I have compiled intake
and killing stats for 13 Louisiana parishes in and near New Orleans
in 2004-2005, just before Hurricane Katrina.
Combined, the 13 Parish animal control agencies received
50,225 dogs and cats, achieved 12,361 adoptions, returned 914
animals to their guardians, transferred 680 animals to other
agencies (mostly rescues), and killed 35,849.
The 13 parishes have a combined human population of
1,384,978, for a rate of shelter killing per 1,000 humans of 38.6.
–Garo Alexanian
Companion Animal Network
P.O. Box 750214
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Phone: 718-544-7387
Editor’s note:

Alexanian has been working in partnership with the North
Shore Animal League America for the past two years to rehome dogs and
cats rescued from the rubble left by Hurricane Katrina. The numbers
he has collected project total shelter killing in Louisiana of about
157,070, enough more than the best information previously available
to raise the ANIMAL PEOPLE estimate of the regional rate per 1,000
humans from 21.3 to 24.5: This raises the projected national
shelter killing toll by 111,562, but the national toll still rounds
off to 3.7 million; 12.5 dogs and cats killed in shelters per 1,000
Marchig Awards

It is with pleasure that I write to inform you that our
Trustees were unanimous that the Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award
2007, which acknowledges outstanding practical work either
nationally or internationally by an individual or organisation in the
field of animal welfare over many years, be awarded to Chinny
Krishna. The award takes the form of a $20,000 donation in support
of the work of the Blue Cross of India.
This year the Trustees have made an additional award, to
recognize outstanding practical campaigning. The Jeanne Marchig
Special Programmes Award 2007 has been awarded to Animals Australia,
for its work in relation to the despicable live animal exports trade
where over the years, millions of animals have been and continue to
be sent from Australia to various countries in the Middle East. The
Special Programmes Award takes the form of a $10,000 donation in
support of the work of Animals Australia.
–Les Ward
The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust
P.O. Box 9422
Carnwath, ML 11 8YG
Phone: 0044-1555-840991
Butch the cat

Thank you for the wonderful, lovely tribute to my deceased
cat Butch in the September 2007 edition of Animal People! I cannot
tell you how much it meant to me. It was just beautiful! Several
people e-mailed or sent a note because they saw it. Everyone who met
Butch was charmed, even people who were not cat people. I know we
always lose them too soon, but the cancer was so fast, and he still
seemed so youthful. I cannot thank you enough for honoring Butch in
this amazing way.
One thing I wanted to mention for your future records,
probably just a typo, but I started here at the Nevada Humane Society
in January 2007, not 2006.
–Bonney Brown
Nevada Humane Society
2825 Longley Lane
Reno, NV 89502
Phone: 775-856-2000, x319
HSUS/HSI in Peru and Central America

Concerning your September 2007 feature “Summer 2007 disasters
challenge the global humane community,” we are financially
supporting two groups in the Peruvian earthquake area: Amigos de los
Animales, and Grupo Caridad. Although I won’t be able to go to the
disaster zone, I will be in Lima soon to meet with those groups
personally and make sure they have what they need to continue
As you know, Mexico was hit hard recently by hurricanes. I
went with a Disaster Services team to assess the damage in the
Yucatan peninsula. Although the damage was localized, the town of
Majahual was devastated. We are working with a local group to
develop a long-term plan for spay/neuter and low-cost vet care,
starting in Majahual, Xcalak and Limones.
We also have delivered pet food to the relief aid center in
Majahual, funded repairs to a Chetumal wildlife sanctuary in concert
with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and World Society for
the Protection of Animals.
We are also planning to support the Belize Humane Society &
Animal Shelter, though the details of our support are still being
worked out. They didn’t have major damage from the hurricane, but
could use some help in other areas.
–Jessica Higgins
Program Manager
Latin America & Caribbean
Humane Society Intl.
2100 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 301-721-6491
Fax: 301-258-3082
Political vegetarianism offers promise for fundamental change

I agree with Dr. Richard Schwartz (letter, September 2007):
The U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization report and other studies
make global warming a timely reminder of eco-catastrophe from raising
animals for food.
Advocates determined to establish fundamental legal rights
for all sentient beings on which meaningful secondary rights and
enforcement can be based–the goal of the animal rights
movement–must also remember that some ecological problems caused by
animal exploitation were known as far back as Plato.
Ever-increasing knowledge of humane, health, and
environmental problems resulting from human use of animals has not
brought the appropriate shift in food choices. Wishful thinking is
the only basis for thinking that it will in the foreseeable future,
if we leave it to consumer choice.
The key mistake is thinking people choose what they eat
freely, as pursuers of empirical knowledge acting rationally in
their own best interest, for the common good, and with consideration
for other animals’ suffering.
Most people are less scared of global warming or even
life-threatening disease (let alone far-off animals’ suffering) than
of appearing to be frightened, ceasing to fit in with accustomed
social and family groups, being stereotyped as “fringe,” trusting
people merely because they claim to know, diverging from even the
faultiest received “wisdom” about food, religion, or human origins,
or acknowledging they have been making poor choices for so many years.
Ethical and health vegetarianism are good and right, but we
have seen for decades that they operate at the personal level more
than at the societal or global level. Political vegetarianism
offers more promise for the fundamental change necessary to end
inhumane treatment of animals and the big human problems it is linked
Political vegetarianism means, no matter how daunting the
task or how long it will take, demanding that officials, heads of
major institutions, and other influential people acknowledge the
problems they perpetuate every time they support or endorse the meat,
milk, egg and feed-crop industries, and that they act accordingly.
Ending government, university, school, hospital, prison,
and other major purchases will slice profits. Removing
citizen-funded subsidies, training, research and endorsements will
force the industries to pay all costs themselves, including
advertising and public relations–driving up retail prices and making
hamburgers and the rest less appealing and less “necessary” to defend.
Responsible Policies for Animals’ 10,000 Years Is Enough
campaign has been focusing on our land-grant universities’ giant
bonus to the industries: “animal science.” Many more letters are
needed to their presidents. It will take years’ worth of action on
additional political fronts to get so many other authorities to do
the right thing. They are scared, too. But they can be encouraged
and held accountable, and the vast majority of people won’t eat
plants only until the authorities they are trained to trust okay it,
or create the necessary conditions. We can continue to inform the
majority by showing them what we tell those who pull the strings.
–David Cantor
Executive Director
Responsible Policies
for Animals, Inc.
P.O. Box 891
Glenside, PA 19038
Phone: 215-886-7721

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