2006-03-16 / News

By Barbara Szepatowski

Shelter News

Our roofers are back! Saturday morning we were happy to see Bob, the roofer, walk into Paws & Claws.

Their job in Newport is complete, so this weekend, if the weather co-operates, the skylight installation and roof shingling will begin. We don't expect it to take more than two weekends to complete. Another roofer has come forward to volunteer his time to get the project rolling, so between the two companies, we should be back in business. Gail Hines offered us some lovely floor tiles, which will help the inside of the shelter look clean, but pretty. Also, a big thank-you to Joc from Wickford, and Chris Marley and Angus McColl from Jamestown who all donated electric hot water heaters to the project. Now we will be able to beautify every pet available for adoption.

Animal Welfare Legislation

There are 18 animal related bills under consideration in the General Assembly. Eight of these bills are endorsed by most of the animal protection groups in Rhode Island, they are listed below. Out of these eight bills, there are two bills we are watching the closest as they directly effect animals in Jamestown.

The first is Senate Bill No. 2214, which would help reduce the cat population by requiring mandatory spaying and neutering of all cats. This bill is before the Senate Constitutional and Gaming Issues Committee. If you believe in this legislation, please contact committee members Alves, Stephen Alves, 65 Primrose Hill Rd., West Warwick, RI 02893, 246-1379, senalves@ rilin.state.ri.us, or David E. Bates, 34 Sweet Briar Lane, Barrington, RI 02806, 828-4604, sen-bates@rilin.state.ri.us.

The second bill of great interest to us is House Bill No. 6901, introduced by Representatives Lewiss, Gallison, Lima, Ajello, and Handy. This bill entitled An Act Relating to Animals and Animal Husbandry - Dogs provides for penalties for any person that keeps a dog outside tethered, penned, caged, fenced, or otherwise confined without adequate shelter from the elements. This is a problem that we constantly receive complaints on. Please consider calling or writing the sponsors of this bill so we can help to protect the few but sad cases of neglect which exist in Jamestown. The bill was introduced on January 25 and referred to the House H.E.W. Committee.

Deer management

The March 2006 Newsletter of the National HSUS contained an informative article pertinent to Jamestown. It discusses Nantucket's first February deer hunt last winter. The link to the article: http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/cap e_wildlife_center/wildlife_advocacy/ hot_topics_on_the_cape/na ntucket_february_deer_hunt.html

The part of the article which concerned me the most, because it is not to hard to see the same scenario in Jamestown, was a statement that "Several hunters ventured too close to houses, and even a school, apparently because of their unfamiliarity with the island. Police arrested three hunters for trespassing on land marked "No Hunting," and for hunting in camouflage rather than in blaze orange. Someone shot a vehicle, and the ... Nantucket Police Department received nearly 100 complaints concerning the hunt."

In regard to RIDEM wanting to assist Jamestown with the deer overpopulation, I have to ask, "do we really want to extend our hunting season into February, and worst of all do we really want off island hunters lurking in our woods?

The article also states, "the data available didn't support the supposed reason for the hunt: that increasing deer mortality would decrease the incidence of Lyme disease, which is carried by ticks that live one stage of their lives on mice and another on deer." The article goes on to say, "this hunt likely had little impact on the ticks' reproductive cycle because it occurred months after the ticks have already mated and dropped off the deer. Actually, what scientific studies do show is that even when you take out as much as 75 percent of a deer population, the impact on the tick population is negligible."

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