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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 8 March 2004 Issue

PROTEST, WRITE

Group Calls Summit Deer Kill Cruel
Martin Stolz
Plain Dealer Reporter

PART A

Akron - An Illinois group that surreptitiously filmed a deer kill is accusing the Summit County park system of incompetence and cruelty to animals.

Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, also known as SHARK, said his group hid small digital cameras to observe the current sharp-shooting operation in Metro Parks Serving Summit County.

Instead of showing quick deaths, six days of footage show deer suffering after they were shot, missed shots and rangers putting plastic bags over animals' heads as they thrash, Hindi said.

"The practical effect is that they are suffocating the animal alive," he said. "What I don't understand is, why don't you just shoot the animal again?"

Metro Parks spokeswoman Susan Fairweather denied the accusations. The plastic bags are not placed over the heads of living animals, she said.

"All shots have been a direct hit," Fairweather said.

Hindi said his group came to Summit County to observe the work of White Buffalo Inc., a Connecticut- based company headed by Anthony DeNicola, a sharpshooting consultant for parks throughout the world. DeNicola has drawn controversy in some communities in the United States.

The Cleveland MetroParks has hired DeNicola for several years to help cull deer with sharpshooting and to study limiting deer populations with birth control.

DeNicola is "helping to train" rangers for Metro Parks Serving Summit County, Fairweather said. Park rangers are "highly trained sharpshooters," she said.

Hindi said rangers found and seized eight of his hidden cameras. He said they are worth $5,000 and he wants them back. Chief of Rangers Ray Dickson declined to return them and told Hindi that a prosecutor is researching possible criminal charges, Hindi said.

Dickson was not available for comment, Fairweather said, and she declined to comment on the investigation.

Hindi, a former hunter from Geneva, Ill., said county taxpayers deserve to know how their tax dollars are spent.

"If anybody ought to be charged, it's the people who did this to these animals," he said.

The 14-day culling, a first for the Summit park system, began Feb. 22 and ends Saturday at four parks: Sand Run and Cascade Valley, both in Akron; Silver Creek in Norton; and Munroe Falls. It followed 10 years of research, Fairweather said.

Plain Dealer reporter:mstolz@plaind.com , 216-999-4549

Write to Metro Parks (Summit County)
975 Treaty Line Road
Akron, Ohio 44313
1 330 867 5511

Letters should be sent to Ms. Fairweather, Metro Parks spokesperson Michael Johnson and Chief Ranger, Ray Dickson.

website: http://www.neo.rr.com/MetroParks/  

PART B

3/6/04--Ask For Criminal Charges In Sadistic Deer Hunt

http://www.kinshipcircle.org  

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:

Steve Hindi , Jodie Wiederkehr, SHARK, Sharkintl@aol.com  http://www.sharkonline.org  

Contact info Akron City Council: http://www.ci.akron.oh.us  

Experts say deer mistreated; Veterinarians support claim over hunt in parks
By Bob Downing, Beacon Journal: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/8112126.htm  

*DISCLAIMER: The information in these letters is verified with the original source. I cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy of the information or for the consequences of its use.

*Kinship Circle cannot guarantee the validity of email addresses. During a campaign, recipients may change or disable their email addresses.

SAMPLE LETTER

CONTACTS & EMAIL BLOCK FOLLOW

Dear Governor Taft, Mayor Plusquellic, and Akron City Council:

March 6, 2004 marks the scheduled close of the deer slaughter in four parks in Akron, Ohio. Metro Parks enlisted White Buffalo Inc. sharpshooters to thin deer herds that purportedly threaten the area's ecosystem.

As you are aware, SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) monitored the hunt via strategically placed video cameras. SHARK's footage, which has since been exposed in the media, reveals the use of baited sites to lure deer. Drawn to corn and apples, the deer approach their killers undaunted, only to be blown away at close range.

Northeast Ohio veterinarians Alice Jeromin, Bennett Fagin and Richard Slenn have issued public statements backing SHARK's claims of animal abuse in Summit County parks. Jeromin described the two-minute struggle of one deer, who had been shot in the head, as "extremely inhumane."

Another gunned-down animal was left to twitch in obvious pain until one of the killers yanked her from the ground by her ear and wrapped a plastic bag over her head. The killer then cinched the bag around the struggling deer's neck.

Another man grasped the hysterical animal's hind leg and secured the bag to subdue her. Two and a half minutes after the shooting, the man dragged the injured deer beyond the camera's view.

While lethal wildlife "management" techniques are never a solution, why weren't these animals at least shot a second time to end their misery?

I respectfully ask Akron authorities to investigate the handling of deer during this hunt and to pursue animal cruelty charges against all involved parties. I urge Governor Taft, Mayor Plusquellic, and Akron's City Council to ensure that this is the LAST slaughter to occur on park district grounds.

The hunt should never have happened in the first place. Metro Parks' lethal program is not grounded in reasonable science. The deer appear robust; the parks are environmentally sound. Moreover, deer hunting has been shown to actually increase birth rates and reproduction of deer populations. There are many non-lethal options to manage deer on a site-specific basis.

Hunters comprise 4.6% of the entire population. They certainly don't represent the majority who oppose the killing of wildlife. Please keep me informed of any efforts to press criminal charges against the park district and its hired gunmen.

Thank you,

(signature here)


CONTACT INFORMATION

NO EMAIL FOR GOVERNOR TAFT, BUT YOU MAY COMMENT ONLINE AT HIS WEBSITE.

Mayor@ci.akron.oh.us, CityCouncil@ci.akron.oh.us, Vallejo@ci.akron.oh.us  

All council members: CityCouncil@ci.akron.oh.us  

individual council members:

Clerk of Council, John Valle: Vallejo@ci.akron.oh.us
At Large, John Conti: Atlarge1@ci.akron.oh.us
At Large, John Otterman: Atlarge2@ci.akron.oh.us
At Large, Michael Williams: Atlarge3@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 1, Daniel Horrigan: Ward1@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 2, Joseph A. Finley: Ward2@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 3, Marco Sommerville: Ward3@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 4, Renee Greene: Ward4@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 5, Jim Shealey: Ward5@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 6, Terry Albanese: Ward6@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 7, Mary Ellen McAvoy: Ward7@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 8, Bob Keith: Ward8@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 9, Mike Freeman : Ward9@ci.akron.oh.us
Ward 10, Garry Moneypenny: Ward10@ci.akron.oh.us  


INDIVIDUAL CONTACTS

Governor Bob Taft
30th Floor, 77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6117
ph: 614-466-3555 or 614-644-HELP

online comments: http://governor.ohio.gov/contactinfopage.asp  

Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic
Suite 200 Municipal Building, 166 South High Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
ph: 330-375-2345; fax: 330-375-2468

email: Mayor@ci.akron.oh.us (your postal address is required for a response from the mayor)

Council Office
166 South High Street, Room 301
Akron, OH 44308
ph: 330-375-2256; fax: 330-375-2298

Return to Animals in Print 8 March 2004 Issue

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