Welcome to your next issue of


An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

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October 7, 2005                                                                                                Volume III, Number 9


Eastern Screech-Owl
©Peter S. Weber

In This Issue

·  Registration Deadline (Prices Increasing)

·  Send Your Staff!

·  Hotel Rooms Selling Out

·  Hire a New Employee at the Job Fair

·  Breed Specific Ban Considered in Chicago

·  More Information on Dog Flu

·  Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act

·  About This Photo

Index of Links

·  Convention Program

·  DVM Registration Form

·  Non-DVM Registration Form

·  Job Fair Information

·  Eastern Screech-Owl Photo

Contact Us

Register Now Before Cost Increases!


Note: Additional Tickets Available for Dinner at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and for the Dental Radiography Wet Lab!


We're hoping to set attendance records at the 2005 ISVMA Annual Convention and we need your help! This meeting has been designed to provide you a high quality learning experience, social activities to maximize your networking opportunities and fun events (and entertainment) to make this an exciting and memorable experience.


If you haven't read the program materials, they are available online at http://www.isvma.org/Convention/2005ConvetionProspectus.pdf.


The deadline for regular registration is Wednesday October 12, 2005. All prices will increase for any registration not received or postmarked before next Thursday.


*Click here for DVM Registration


*Click here for non-DVM Registration

Have You Encouraged Your Staff to Participate?


Remember to let your staff know that there are many opportunities for them at this year's convention:

  • Expanded veterinary technician and practice personnel program

  • All-day practice management seminar (on Friday) that will inspire and motivate your staff

  • All programs are open to registered attendees (i.e. a veterinary technician may attend any program designed for veterinarians or vice versa)

  • General session featuring the incomparable humor of Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (your staff deserves the opportunity to experience this talented comedian's show)

  • Social events with great entertainment and wonderful raffle prizes



Convention Hotel Rooms Almost Sold Out

There are only a few rooms still available at the Crowne Plaza Springfield (217) 529-7777. If you wish to stay in the convention hotel, call as soon as possible. 



Remember that the ISVMA Block Discount rate expires on October 13, 2005. Make sure to contact the Crowne Plaza prior to that date to make your room reservations. Call (217) 529-7777 and as for reservations and require the ISVMA Block Discount.

Job Fair

Space is limited so reserve your table early!

The Job Fair (Linking Employees and Employers at the ISVMA Convention) has expanded this year! The Job Fair will now be open throughout convention.

The Job Fair allows prospective employees at every level of veterinary care to visit your table and pass along a resume to you.  Private interview space has been set up away from the crowd if you want to find out more about a candidate right onsite. 

Get more details and reserve a table at the Job Fair by contacting dana@isvma.org.

Chicago Considers Breed Specific Ban

The following is an ordinance proposed and under review by the City Council of Chicago:


Section 1. Chapter 7-12 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by adding a new Section 7-12-3 87 as follows:


Section 7-12-389 Restrictions on Pit Bulls


(a) For purposes of this section only the following definitions apply:

"Pit Bull" means any pit bull terrier, which shall be defined as any American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, transport, carry, own, keep or otherwise possess any live pit bull within the city. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the following:


(1) any person who import transports, carries, owns keeps or otherwise possesses any pit bull for zoological, educational, medical or scientific purposes if the person has obtained all applicable licenses or permits and has provided notification to the executive director; or


(2) any person who is not a resident of the city transporting a pit bull through the city limits for a period of less than one hour.


(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $1000.00 or may be incarcerated for a period not to exceed six (6) months, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.


SECTION 2. This ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and approval.



Alderman Rugai, who introduced the proposed ordinance, reportedly wishes to model the Chicago Pit Bull Ordinance after the Denver Pit Bull Ordinance. The Chicago VMA Legislative Committee has compiled information on the AVMA, CDC, AKC stances on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Dog Bite Prevention, as well as a volume of information on Breed Specific and Breed Restrictive legislation.


AVMA - Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human Canine Interaction




The AVMA supports dangerous animal legislation by state, county, or municipal governments provided that legislation does not refer to specific breeds or classes of animals. This legislation should be directed at fostering safety and protection of the general public from animals classified as dangerous.


CDC - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control




A CDC study on fatal dog bites lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years (Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998).  It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic. Each year, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. These bites result in approximately 12 fatalities; about 0.0002 percent of the total number of people bitten. These relatively few fatalities offer the only available information about breeds involved in dog bites. There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill.

Many practical alternatives to breed-specific policies exist and hold promise for preventing dog bites. For prevention ideas and model policies for control of dangerous dogs, please see the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions: A community approach to dog bite prevention. 

AKC - Position on Dangerous Dog Legislation


The American Kennel Club supports reasonable,
enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the
ownership of dogs. The AKC believes that dog owners
should be responsible for their dogs. We support laws
that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs
are identified as "dangerous" based on stated,
measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on
irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined
method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous.
We believe that, if necessary, dogs proven to be
"dangerous" may need to be humanely destroyed. The
American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation
that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on
specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.

Background on Canine Influenza


Science Express published a detailed analysis of canine influenza last week. To download a copy of this comprehensive article click here.

Lantos Legislation Will Ensure That in Future Disasters, People Will Not be Forced to Abandon Household Pets


Thursday, September 22, 2005


Washington, DC - Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) and co-sponsors Christopher Shays (R-CT), Don Young (R-AK) and James Oberstar (D-MN) and Barney Frank (D-MA), today introduced legislation to ensure that in any future disaster, federal officials will not separate people from their household pets and service animals such as seeing-eye dogs, as they did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act, H.R. 3858), requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include in their evacuation plans how they will accommodate household pets or service animals in case of a disaster.  Local and state authorities must submit these plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


"The devastation in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama brought unbelievable images into American homes every night," Lantos said.  "The losses of life and property were simply staggering.  And on top of all that, the sight of evacuees choosing between being rescued or remaining with their pets, perhaps even having to leave behind the trained and faithful helping animals that some people with disabilities rely on every day, was just heartbreaking.  Our legislation will put an end to that." 


Lantos is the co-founder of the Friends of Animals Caucus; he currently co-chairs the caucus with Rep. Shays.


"Katrina taught us the hard lesson that, as we prepare for future emergencies, it's important we include in our plans ways to protect our pet owners and their pets," Shays said.  "The common-sense bill we are introducing today requires state and local preparedness groups to include in their protocols plans for evacuation of pet owners, pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster so that owners don't have to make a choice between their personal safety and their pets' safety."


At a news conference announcing the bill, officials from the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Doris Day Animal League and the Best Friends Animal Society emphasized their support for this initiative.


Lantos is a cosponsor of a dozen bills addressing issues raised the Gulf Coast disaster. Among these bills are measures to give Medicaid to those affected by the disaster, to provide additional funds to local and educational agencies to support elementary and secondary schools for displaced students, to assist vulnerable children in foster care by providing states maintenance payments on behalf of foster children in areas affected by the hurricane, and to let natural disaster victims declare bankruptcy as needed without having to enter newly-enacted repayment programs.


About the Photo in This Issue...


The Eastern Screech Owl is a small, nocturnal, woodland Owl. There are two color morphs, a gray phase and a rufous phase.

The Eastern Screech-Owl flies fairly rapidly with a steady wing beat (about 5 strokes/second). They rarely glide or hover, but may fly with erratic movements, when maneuvering through wooded areas. Their wings are broad and the head is held tucked in giving the bird a stubby appearance when flying.

When threatened, an Eastern Screech Owl will stretch its body and tighten its feathers in order to look like a branch stub to avoid detection, but will take flight when it knows it has been detected. In open roosts, gray-phase birds tend to roost next to a tree trunk, whereas red-phase birds tend to roost in outer foliage, possibly because of thermal requirements.

Eastern Screech Owls hunt from dusk to dawn, with most hunting being done during the first four hours of darkness. They mainly search for prey while in flight, rather from a perch. They hunt mainly in open woodlands, along the edges of open fields or wetlands, or makes short forays into open fields. When prey are spotted, the Owl dives quickly and seizes it in its talons. They will also capture flying insects on the wing. Small prey will usually be swallowed whole on the spot, while larger prey is carried in the bill to a perch and then torn into pieces. An Eastern Screech Owl will tend to frequent areas in its home range where it hunted successfully on previous nights. They are opportunistic hunters and will switch to almost any suitably-sized prey when abundant. An extremely wide range of prey species is captured, the most favored being small microtine rodents and deer mice. Other mammals taken include wood and Norway rats, chipmunks, cotton rats, squirrels, shrews, bats, and moles. Large flying insects are also taken. Birds, including many species of small songbirds, and larger birds such as Northern Bobwhite, Rock Dove, Ruffed Grouse, and other screech-Owls comprise about 7% of an Eastern Screech Owl's diet.


Eastern Screech Owls inhabit open mixed woodlands, deciduous forests, parklands, wooded suburban areas, riparian woods along streams and wetlands (especially in drier areas), mature orchards, and woodlands near marshes, meadows, and fields. They will avoid dense forests because Great Horned Owls use that habitat. They will also avoid high elevation forests. Eastern Screech Owls roost mainly in natural cavities in large trees, including cavities open to the sky during dry weather. In suburban and rural areas they may roost behind loose boards on buildings, boxcars, or water tanks. They will also roost in dense foliage of trees, usually on a branch next to the trunk, or in dense scrubby brush.


This common owl is found in eastern North America from East Montana and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, South to Tamaulipas in Northeast Mexico; also South Ontario to Florida.


I photographed this rufous-phased Eastern Screech-Owl near my home in Rochester, IL in December 2002.



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