Suspect Arrested In High Profile Dog Killing

A little over a year ago the case of Leo the dog was everywhere. You probably remember it — a woman claimed that she had gotten in a minor fender bender with a man in California. The man got out and began arguing with her and suddenly grabbed her bichon frise and threw it into oncoming traffic.

I have to admit that after seeing interviews with the woman and contradictory media reports about witnesses to the event I was convinced the whole thing was a hoax. The BBC reports, however, that a man is about to be charged with the crime. It reports that Andrew Burnett, 27, who was already in jail on other charges, is going to be charged with the killing today.

If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison for the crime on top of whatever he’s facing for theft and weapons charges. If Burnett is the person responsible, hopefully he’ll get the maximum three years for his actions.


Road-rage dog killing suspect charged. The BBC, April 13, 2001.

Animal Rights Terrorism Update

Detroit school teacher
and animal rights convict Gary Yourofsky went on a hunger strike immediately
after being ordered to serve a six month sentence in a Canadian prison
for participating in an April 1997 fur farm raid. Yourofsky said he would not
eat for 40 days to protest the killing of 40 million animals each year
for fur. Other imprisoned animal rights activists were reportedly joining
in with sympathy hunger strikes of their own.

Numerous activists were arrested
involving protests during World Lab Animals Week at the end of April.
Six activists were arrested and charged with burglary for freeing animals
and damaging equipment at laboratories at Southern Methodist University
in a protest sponsored by Animal Liberation of Texas (can someone spell

Animal activists broke into
three research labs at the University of California at San Francisco,
overturning refrigerators and ruining at least one medical experiment
according to UCSF officials. Three activists were arrested by UCSF police
and charged with burglary. Ironically one of the labs compromised included
one where experiments were being conducted aimed at reducing the number
of animals being used in medical experiments.

Correction: this article originally described Gary Yourofsky as a “convicted felon.” Yourofsky’s conviction was in Canada whose legal system does not use this particular way of classifying crimes, and this claim was inaccurate.

The PETA Files

  • Busty ex-Baywatch Babe Blasts Animal Acts: Pamela Anderson
    Lee, a member in good standing of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote a letter to the National
    Association of Television Program Executives urging the organization
    to ban traveling animal acts such as that of Jack Hanna who makes frequent
    appearances on late night talk shows. In her letter, Lee says she
    “refuses to be a party to their [animals] suffering.” Someone might
    want to mention to Lee the large number of animals that have been killed
    testing silicone implants.
  • According to an email posted on an animal rights mailing list, PETA’s
    Jane Garrison was arrested on Jan. 26 for trespassing at a private lake
    where coots, small migratory birds, were being poisoned and trapped
    by a local home owners association. The association obtained a permit
    from the California Department of Fish and Game to kill up to 200 coots
    which were eating the grass and defecating on the property.
  • What will PETA do now? According to a Wall Street Journal report,
    almost all film sold in the United States contains ground up animal
    parts (bones from dead cows are ground up to create gelatin used in
    the film). I guess PETA will be on the lookout for vegan film for its
    next photo that purport to show animal cruelty.


‘VIP’ star backs animal display ban. Associated Press, January 31, 1999.

Kodak grinds cow remains, keeps costs close to the bone. Alec Klein, Wall Street Journal, January 18, 1999.

Pig cell transplant a possible treatment for severe epilepsy

At the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in San Diego, California, researcher presented
preliminary results of using fetal pig cells to treat severe epilepsy.

Neurologists Steven Schacter and Donald Schomer treated two epileptic patients who were both in their forties. Both patients suffered from severe epileptic seizures that failed to respond to anti-seizure medications.

The neurologists implanted fetal pig cells in the brains of the patients. The purpose of this small study was to explore the feasibility and safety of such a transplantation. Schacter and Schomer reported there were no observed side effects, and both patients saw a reduction in the number of seizures following the transplantation.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Schacter emphasized that although the results are encouraging, much more research remains to be done to establish whether or not such
xenotransplantation will provide a long-term solution.


Seizure reduction could be credited to pig cell brain implants. The Associated Press, December 14, 1998.

Renewed fight between Chinese merchants and animal rights activists

Just when it looked like animal
rights activists and merchants in San Francisco’s Chinatown had reached
an uneasy truce, once again the two groups are squaring off over the sale
of live animals in Chinatown’s markets.

For a brief recap, the animal
activists charged live animals being offered for sale in the markets were
being treated cruelly. The merchants argued the activists were interfering
with their traditional cultural practices. The activists sued, but the
whole issue appeared to be resolved when the merchants agreed to abide
by a voluntary code of conduct and the activists agreed, in return, not
to appeal a judge’s ruling against the activists.

The whole agreement broke
down, however, over hard-shell turtles. The merchants currently remove
the turtle’s shell and then cut off the animal’s head, which the
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals considers cruel. Instead,
it wants the merchants to cut off the turtle’s head first and then remove
the shell. The merchants argue that because turtles instinctively withdraw
their heads into their shells, trying to cut the head off before removing
the shell is too dangerous.

The markets are very crowded,
and “when you try to chop off (the head)while your finger is right
next to the butcher knife, you have to beware of the workers walking back
and forth behind you,” said Michael Lau who works in the market.
“Sooner or later you’ll chop off something besides the head.”

The ASPCA accuses the merchants
of failing to meet an October deadline for adopting humane practices on
the storage and slaughter of frogs and soft-shell turtles. The merchants,
in response, say the ASPCA never really gave them a fair shot at resolving
the implementation problems.

The ASPCA is now apparently
going to join animal rights groups appealing to the California Fish and
Game Commission seeking legislation to regulate the markets’ treatment
of live animals.

Animal rights activists back California anti-trapping measure

Animal rights groups are supporting
Proposition 4 on California’s November 3 ballot which, if passed,
would make it “unlawful for any person, including employees of the
federal, state, county or municipal government, to use or authorize the
use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, padded or otherwise, to capture any
game mammal, fur-bearing mammal, non-game mammal, protected mammal, or
any dog or cat.” According to the initiative’s supporters,
the use of the steel leg traps is cruel.

“There’s two distinct
kind of cruelty,” said Proposition 4 supporter Aaron Medlock. “There’s
the initial impact that can cause broken bones, abrasions and swelling.
Then the second injury when the animals struggle to get out.”

On the other side of the issue
are wildlife conservationists who argue the bill will make it extremely
difficult to effectively manage wildlife. W. Dean Carrier, president of
the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, recently sent out a letter
to that group’s members urging California voters to vote against Proposition
4 for precisely that reason.

a report on the impact of the ban prepared for its members, the Western
Section of the Wildlife Society claimed,

Banning padded leghold traps would eliminate the most humane, selective,
and effective means of capturing non-native red foxes. Padded leghold
traps, also called “soft catch” traps, can be set to the target
species’ size and weight, thereby reducing the likelihood of capturing
pets and non-target wildlife species.

The report goes on to note
that studies of the effectiveness of various trapping methods indicate
it takes anywhere from 3 to 9 times longer to trap a red fox with a cage
trap than with a padded steel leg trap. This is a highly significant difference
that could severely impact endangered species. Again from the Wildlife
Society’s report,

In situations where foxes are preying on endangered species, wildlife
managers cannot afford the time to use less effective capture methods.
Predation must be curtailed as soon as possible. An entire colony’s
or population’s nests could be destroyed if an animal is allowed
to predate endangered birds for one or two extra nights.

Leave it to animal rights activists
to oppose an important technology in the fight to preserve endangered