Activist Believes Vandalism Due to Her Animal Rights Activities

The Sun Chronicle in Massachusetts reported in September that an animal rights activist had her minivan vandalized and that the activist believes the vandalism is related to her animal rights activities.

Tami Myers, president of The Angry Parrot, reported that the rear and left rear windows of her minivan were smashed around 10 a.m. on the morning of September 8. According to Myers, a similar incident occurred in November of 2003.

Myers, who is a veterinary technician, told the Sun Chronicle that she believes both acts of vandalism are tied to her animal rights activities. Regardless of the motivation, such violence is uncalled for and hopefully the perpetrators will be caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

The Angry Parrot is a Massachusetts-based animal rights group. According to its website,

The Angry Parrot is an organization dedicated to ending live animal retail sales. Pet stores nationwide continue to thrive despite the public awareness of breeding mills. Puppy mills, once a well known term, seems to be a forgotten topic. We intend to see that the public once again is well aware of these breeding mills, not only of puppies, but of all the animals sold in retail. Puppies, Kittens, Parrots, Ferrets, Rabbits, Small Mammals, Reptiles and Fish all arrive at retail stores by breeding mills.

What is a breeding mill? We consider a breeding mill to be a company who sells animals to retail stores. By our definition this could be a huge warehouse breeding facility or a small breeder having a litter or a clutch sold to retail stores a few times a year.

Myers and her group protest at local pet stores in the North Attelboro area. The Enterprise reported on one such protest in late December 2003,

Two TAP demonstrators picketed the store on Saturday, Dec. 20, following an undercover sting operation in which they claimed to have discovered overcrowded conditions, inadequate cage sizes, filthy drinking water, lack of food and poorly bred “puppy mill” puppies.

“Park Avenue Pets, you’ve been TAPPED,” read one of the signs. More pickets have been planned, organizers said.

“It was disgusting,” said TAP activist Mary Margison of Providence. “It just breaks your heart.”

Not so, counter employees, customers and a veterinarian who all said Park Avenue Pets has nothing to hide.

“These are bold-faced lies,” said Michelle Anderson, Park Avenue Pets store owner. “There is nothing wrong with this store.

“She runs an exemplary business. It certainly is disheartening to see her go through this,” said Bernard Centofanti, a Hanson Animal Hospital veterinarian who provides care for the animals at Park Avenue Pets.

Anderson considered suing for defamation of character when TAP protesters mailed images of dead dogs with her business name as a masthead to area veterinarians and animal hospitals in November.

“I give up with these people,” she said.


Animal rights activists target pet store in West Bridgewater. Mike Melanson, The Enterprise, December 27, 2004.

Activist: I’m target of vandals. David Linton, The Sun Chronicle, September 8, 2004.

Massachusetts Governor Vetoes Anti-Dissection Bill

The New England Anti-Vivisection Society reports that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney vetoed a dissection choice bill over the weekend.

The bill would have required all Massachusetts public schools that include dissection as part of a class activity to offer non-animal alternatives for those who object to dissection.

NEAVS quotes Romney as saying in his veto message,

. . . biomedical research is an important component of the CommonwealthÂ’s economy and job creation. This bill would send the unintended message that animal research is frowned upon

NEAVS’ Theodora Capaldo replied in a press release that,

Governor Romney didn’t even attempt to hide his fiscal
priorities using the typical rhetoric that his decision was for the health and well being
of the people. Rather, he told it like it is: itÂ’s all about money, period.

. . .

In allaying the irrational fears of the biotech
industry, the governor may have shot himself in the foot with a large contingent of voters
who care more about studentsÂ’ rights to be compassionate than a wealthy companyÂ’s
profit margin.

The full text of the proposed law can be read here.


Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — Busy Signing Books While Refusing to Sign Laws. Press Release, New England Anti-Vivisection Society, August 3, 2004.

Tufts vs. NEAVS and Boston Herald on Dog Experiments

Earlier this year, I noted the controversy created by animal rights activists and groups over canine bone research at Tufts University that involved killing five dogs in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the surgical procedure being tested.

Tuft’s Dr. Robert Bridges was unhappy at a story on the controversy that appeared on January 3rd in the Boston Herald and fired off the following letter that the Herald published on January 22,

The Herald’s portrait of Tufts Veterinary School’s canine research project was unbalanced and unjustified, causing undeserved harm to an institution with a history of caring animals (“Dogs now gone: Tufts destroys five research canines,” Jan. 3).

The four non-veterinary students who first went to the press did so with the urging of a local anti-vivisection chapter and did not represent the veterinary students. Inspections following the lodged complaint of cruelty were determined to be without merit by multiple regulatory agencies, including the US Department of Agriculture, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Moreover, the experimental protocol had received critical and careful review by Tuft’s internal animal care committee prior to being approved.

The Herald did not engage in responsible journalism. The result: damage to a compassionate institution.

Frankly, it’s difficult to know what Bridges was so upset about, as the article appeared fairly balanced to this reader. It didn’t mention all of the above, but it quoted Tufts officials on the need for such research as well as outlined some of the layers of oversight that oversee animal research in at institutions such as Tufts.

New England Anti Vivisection Society president Theodora Capaldo wrote a letter in response saying, in part,

We must be precise: it is what Tufts allowed to be done to those dogs that did “damage to a compassionate institution” not the students, not NEAVS and not the Herald. Once Tufts accepts responsibility with policy that prevents this kind of experiment from ever happening again, its esteem will be restored.

Well, to keep with Capaldo’s desire to be precise, she and NEAVS claimed that the research at Tufts was unreasonable and unjustifiable and that Tufts’ Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee was derelict in approving the experimental protocol. But as Bridges noted in his letter, that was nonsense and several external organizations that examined the protocol agreed with the IACUC that the experimental protocol was appropriate.


Letter to the editor. Theodora Capaldo, New England Anti Vivisection Society, February 2004.

Rap on Tufts Unfair. Robert Bridges, Boston Herald, January 22, 2004.

Dogs gone now; Tufts destroy five research canines. Elisabeth J. Beardsley, The Boston Herald, January 3, 2004.