Letters [May 2008]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2008:
Fostering instead of sheltering

Since the local Ontario SPCA shelter closed, I started–with
a group of like minded people–It’s A Dog’s Life Fostering Network.
We take dogs from the local pound who have not been claimed by their
owners, after their 4-day holding time expires. We have taken all
the dogs who would have been killed, had them spayed or neutered,
and placed them in foster homes. Since February 2008 we have taken
in 12 dogs. Of these, four were surrenders who probably would have
ended up on the streets of Kenora, and ultimately at the pound. We
have adopted out 10 dogs. We just received one dog today, so we
presently only have two dogs up for adoption.
This all came about from your November 2003 editorial
“Sheltering is pointless until the need is reduced.” I now promote
fostering over shelters.

–Chris Madison
Kenora, Ontario, Canada
Enderby Island feral animals

Your September 1997 article “Biotech can’t bring ’em back
alive without DNA,” mentioned the efforts of the Rare Breeds
Conservation Society to preserve wild shorthorned cattle and Agente
de Champagne or French blue rabbits, after rescuing a single cow and
about 50 rabbits from a New Zealand Department of Conservation purge
of non-native species from Enderby Island.
The cow has produced three cloned calves, and there are now
about 300 Enderby Island rabbit descendants.
I breed the rabbits. I set about breeding them naturally,
out in the open, and found that they can give birth to new litters
every month if the doe wants, so there is a chance that they won’t
die out.
I hope to find how they arrived, in the early 19th century,
not the official date of 1865.
–Christine Lyon
Rotorua, New Zealand
Windchill the colt

Thank you for your excellent reporting on the lot of animals
around the world. I read each issue cover to cover.
There were errors in your April 2008 obituary for Windchill,
the 9-month-old colt. First, South Range is not in Minnesota; it
is just south of Superior in Wisconsin. Perhaps the confusion
occured because of the report in the Duluth News Tribune. Superior,
Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota are twin ports at the tip of Lake
Superior. We constantly read and report each others’ news.
Also, Windchill could not have been boarded since September
1997, since at the time of his death in February, 2008, he was only
9 months old.
–Norma Stevlingson
Animal Rescue Federation
1225 Tower Ave.
Suite 301
Superior, WI 54880
Phone: 715-394-7387
Yellowstone bison

Thank you for again covering this issue in Animal People.
Two in a row! We really appreciate your helping get the word out!
–Stephany Seay
Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Phone: 406-646-0070
Editor’s note:
More than 1,700 bison from Yellowstone National Park were
sent to slaughter or were shot by hunters after wandering from the
park into Montana seeking forage during the first four months of
2008. Another 700 bison are believed to have died in the park during
the winter, chiefly from effects of harsh weather. With only 2,300
bison remaining in the park, less than half the population in fall
2007, park officials captured and held 255 bison cows and calves at
Stephens Creek, to be returned to Yellowstone until spring green-up
enables the park grazing habitat to sustain them.
Representative Tom Lantos

Thank you so much for the editorial feature in the March 2008
edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE about the late U.S. Representative Tom
Lantos. I knew he was a strong advocate of animals, but was happy
to read about all that he and his wife had done. His passing is a
loss to the animal-loving community worldwide. Reading about him
inspires me to keep going. Enclosed is a donation in his memory.
–Marcia Davis
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sri Lanka pound seizure update

The Sri Lanka Veterinary Council has informed us that it has
concluded an inquiry into the case described in the July/August 2007
ANIMAL PEOPLE article “Pound Seizure shocks Sri Lanka,” and has
taken “appropriate action” against University of Peradeniya
veterinarian R.P.V.J. Rajapakse and government veterinarya Wasantha
Kumara. Rajapakse and Kumara did invasive surgery in May 2007 on
three KACPAW shelter dogs, Perry, Polly, and Wussie, who were
“adopted” under false pretenses. Polly died a couple of days later.
Wussie died of conditions resulting from the surgery after six months
of treatment. Perry is still with us. We are looking for a home for
her, where she could live for the rest of her life in a safe and
loving environment.
We understand that the two vets have been severely warned and
that their activities will be monitored. Since we have not been
officially told the nature of the “appropriate actions” against the
two vets, we will be asking the SLVC to be more specific. We have
urged the SLVC to make a public statement regarding the outcome.
We are immensely satisfied that in the words of the SLVC
registrar, Dr Kenderagama, “a committee has been appointed to
formulate a set of regulations which will clarify veterinary
professional ethics and responsibilities.”
It is hoped that the University of Peradeniya will now be
encouraged to publish the results of its own inquiry
KACPAW’s greatest wish is that this incident will bring
about strengthened laws against animal cruelty. An Animal Welfare
Bill has been gazetted as a private member’s bill by Athureliye
Ratana Thero, Member of Parliament. This bill could enable Sri Lanka
to provide a legislative model for other Asian countries.
–Champa Fernando
Secretary, KACPAW
191 Trinco Street
Kandy, Sri Lanka

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