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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

October 12, 1994|Jerry Hicks and Mark Platte and April Jackson

DOG DAYS FOR THE CAT: It's not dogs that have it bad at the pound, it's the poor cat. New figures show dogs at the county animal shelter are much more likely than cats to be adopted--or redeemed by their owners. One problem: Owners seldom put tags on their cats. . . . But there's a new ID for cats that can be worn like an earring stud. Animal control director Judy Maitlen urges even a cat collar: "Cats don't think 'I gotta lose this thing around my neck.' Cats think, 'I should go take a nap.' "

LESS POMP: The old Santa Margarita Water District board--the one voters pretty much drove out when improprieties surfaced last year--had planned on moving into a new, $12.5-million headquarters in Mission Viejo. Which presented a dilemma to the economy-conscious new board. . . . It studied perhaps even selling the newly completed building. But the final solution: The board soon will move its operations there, but sublease 10,000 square feet of the new building's space. . . . Says board President Jim Holmes: "The new board would have built a different building."

THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS: The spacious Huntington Beach Library has a new plan for fighting budget woes: Out-of-towners wanting a library card must now pay a $20 annual fee. And they're paying it too, about 300 cards the first week--and 60% of those fees go to buy new books. . . . Says library spokesman Ron Hayden: "We are only asking that non-residents help contribute to the support of the library at the same rate that residents contribute."

FAMILY TV? Morton Irvine Smith irked mom Joan Irvine Smith by spilling to the National Enquirer that she may disinherit him over his recent choice of a bride. Now Morton, descendant of the founder of the Irvine Co., will continue the family feud today by talking to the "Today" show's Katie Couric on NBC-TV. . . . Says his wealthy mother, about his planned appearance: "I think this silliness has gone quite far enough."

Animal Fate

Most cats dropped off at the county animal shelter never leave. For fiscal year 1993-94:

Cats Dogs Dropped off 10,228 17,089 Adopted 2,472 5,102 Redeemed by owners 183 5,718 Euthanized 7,573 6,269

Source: Orange County Health Care Agency, Animal Control

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