Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Trooper' on the road to recovery

By John Crane, Go Dan River

The Pittsylvania County man who found Trooper, a mauled pit bull believed to be a “bait” or “match” dog used in dog fighting, said he has been inundated with e-mails, Facebook messages and phone calls since discovering the wounded animal in his trashcan Sunday afternoon.
Trooper is still recovering at Vinton Veterinary Hospital, where he underwent surgery Monday and had an operation for a mouth infection Thursday, said Steve Chatham, the Cascade-area man who found the dog.
“He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s miles away from where he was (Sunday),” said Chatham, who has been in touch with the hospital and has acquaintances affiliated with animal-rescue organizations.
Trooper has also been staying with Angels of Assisi, a Roanoke animal-rescue organization that admitted the dog Monday.
Chatham said Trooper would have had to traverse a long distance through a harsh environment to have made it to his Cascade-area home in southwestern Pittsylvania County on Sunday.
“He definitely had a will to live,” Chatham said Thursday.
Chatham attempted to feed the dog that had found shelter in a trashcan in Chatham’s shed. The animal was fearful, appeared about 20 pounds underweight and would not come near Chatham or let him approach him.
Trooper had injuries and puncture wounds on and inside his mouth, on his muzzle and legs, Chatham said.
John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues with the Humane Society of the United States, said Trooper’s injuries indicate he could have been a “bait” dog, a dummy for dog-fighting practice, or used as a match dog.
“These are the exact same sorts of injuries you’ll see on dogs that have been used in fighting,” Goodwin said Thursday.
“When these dogs fight, they’re going to bite the face, bite the legs and the chest,” Goodwin said.
Southern Virginia, including Danville and Pittsylvania County, and parts of North Carolina have a high concentration of important, well-known figures in the world of dog fighting, Goodwin said.      
At one point, there were about 40,000 people involved in serious, organized dog fighting. But that number took a downward turn after the Michael Vick case, Goodwin said. About 250,000 dogs are used in the underground industry each year, Goodwin said.
The HSUS has a tip line, 1-877-TIP-HSUS, and offers a $5,000 reward for those providing information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of those involved in dog fighting or cockfighting.

Update November 19, 2010 12:30pm - The following article is by John Crane, WSLS:
Bullet fragments found in Trooper the pit bull

Trooper, the pit bull found mauled in southwestern Pittsylvania County in September and believed to have been used in dog-fighting, had a bullet fragment removed from his chin at a veterinary hospital in Roanoke last week.
The dog had five bullet fragments, including one in his mandible that caused a fluid-filled seroma to form, said Melody Pope, who has fostered and adopted the dog. The remaining bullet fragments are lodged in his head but will not be removed unless they cause problems, Pope said.
John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues with the Humane Society of the United States, said canines like Trooper that are used for dog-fighting are put through “game tests” so dog-fighters can evaluate their “gameness” or prowess, endurance and their willingness to fight to the death. If the dog is not up to par, it is executed and dumped, Goodwin said.
“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” Goodwin said when he learned of the bullet fragments.
Shooting less vicious dogs in rural areas — commonly with a .22 caliber — is mostly done in rural areas where gunshots are less likely to arouse suspicion, Goodwin said.
Executions of the dogs can include ghastly methods in urban areas where firing a gun may be unusual or illegal. Electrocution, drowning and bludgeoning with a hammer are preferred means in cities, Goodwin said.
“This is just one more nasty aspect of dog-fighting,” Goodwin said.
Before the bullet was discovered, Goodwin had originally said Trooper’s injuries indicated he could have been a “bait” dog — a dummy for dog-fighting practice — or used as a match dog.
Major players in dog-fighting are in North Carolina, and some of the industry spills over into Southside Virginia and South Carolina, Goodwin said. About 250,000 dogs are used in dog-fighting at a given time. Goodwin said he did not know how many are executed.
Paulette Dean, executive director of the Danville Area Humane Society, estimated the shelter receives about 10 calls per year regarding dogs that have been shot.
“I would suspect most of the dogs that are shot, we would never find out about,” Dean said.
Shortly after county resident Steve Chatham found him on his property in September, Trooper was first treated at Angels of Assisi in Roanoke and sent to Vinton Veterinary Hospital. He underwent surgery there and later had an operation for a mouth infection. Trooper has been recovering at Pope’s home since. 
Trooper was fearful, appeared about 20 pounds underweight and would not come near Chatham or let him approach him when he was found. Trooper had injuries and puncture wounds on and inside his mouth, on his muzzle and legs.
Today, Trooper has a shiny new coat of hair, has gained 10 pounds and loves people and other animals, Pope said.
“He’s awesome,” said Pope, who is studying to be a veterinary technician. “He’s the best dog I ever had.”
Pope, who is a veterinary assistant at Big Lick Veterinary Services in Roanoke where the bullet was removed, said she believes the fragments are from a single bullet that shattered. The removed fragment was the size of the nail of her index finger, Pope said.
Pope said she plans to inform the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office about the bullet fragment. Lt. Todd Barrett said whether a case like Trooper’s is investigated depends on the type of bullet fragment, its quality and the presence of marks identifying the firearm.
Barrett said anyone with such evidence needs to turn it over to the sheriff’s office so it can be examined.

Local animal shelter helping abused dog found with broken leg

By Natalie Rivers, KTVK

The Arizona Animal Welfare League and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking the public to help with an abused puppy.

A volunteer for AAWL & SPCA rescued the lab/pit bull-mix puppy named Henrietta who has a broken leg and brought her to the shelter.

The puppy has a badly broken front leg that was out of its socket and in so much pain the veterinary staff had to sedate her.

Abuse is suspected as the cause of the puppy's broken leg.

AAWL and SPCA is taking the puppy to a specialist who will perform surgery in hopes of saving her leg.

Anyone wishing to help the nonprofit organization with medical expenses for the puppy can visit or call 602-273-6852.

The organization are also urging anyone who recognized the signs of animal cruelty to contact a law enforcement.

Dead puppy, other malnourished dogs found at home in Nicholasville, Ky.

By Christine Wright, WHAS

Seventeen starving dogs and a dead puppy were found as a Central Kentucky deputy attempted to serve a warrant.  The dogs were found Wednesday afternoon at a home in Nicholasville.
  The homeowner wasn’t home at the time, but officers discovered 11 Pit Bull dogs, two Chihuahua mixes, a Jack Russell Terrier and three puppies in the yard.  One puppy was dead and all of the dogs were malnourished.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Update October 1, 2010 10:08am - The following article is from WKYT:

Shelter receives help caring for injured dogs

The dogs were taken from a Jessamine County home where police say a possible dog fighting operation was taking place

More than a dozen dogs were rescued from a Jessamine County home earlier this week, after officials discovered what appeared to be a dog fighting operation.
As police continue to look for the man allegedly responsible for the operation, the shelter where the dogs were taken is getting some help caring for them.

However, shelter officials say more help is needed.
Donations are starting to come in at the SAVE Center in Jessamine County.
Workers there say they're pleased with the response they are getting. They are trying to keep the dogs that were brought to the shelter on Wednesday fed and treated.
Jessamine County sheriff's deputies went to the home of 40-year-old Marty Stevens Wednesday to serve a warrant.
Stevens wasn't there, but authorities say they found the dogs at the home.
Investigators say the dogs appeared to be neglected and starving. The dogs included 11 pit bulls, some chihuahua mix dogs, some puppies, and a Jack Russell terrier.
They say they also found one newborn puppy that was dead.
Investigators say it does appear the dogs were being conditioned for dog fighting, but that is still under investigation.
Stevens faces at least ten counts of animal cruelty. One of the dogs died at the shelter after being brought there.
Jessamine County officials say they have received reports of Stevens being spotted in Garrard County, but they're still looking for him.
If you can help the SAVE Center by donating money, or your time, you can give them a call at 859-881-0821.

Three charged in Madison break-ins

By Jonathan D. Austin, News-Record & Sentinel

Three people were arrested Wednesday after an alert neighbor saw suspicious behavior in a Madison County community.
The three – a father, daughter and her boyfriend – face a variety of felony charges related to thefts in the Little Pine community, Sheriff Buddy Harwood said.
The investigation began when “a neighbor observed a white pick-up truck stop and drop a white male off” along Little Pine Road. She thought it was suspicious,” Harwood said. “When the truck returned, the man loaded items into it and they left.” The items turned out to have been stolen from a nearby home, according to a complaint.
“Another neighbor had seen a red pressure washer in the back of the truck, and he thought, ‘hey, that looks just like mine,’” Harwood recounted. When the neighbor checked his barn he saw that his pressure washer was missing, as were other items.”
Arrested and charged in the case were Richard Seldon Sawyer, 27; Glenda Darlene James, 32; and Anthony George James, 64, all of 1278 Dry Pond Road. Sawyer was charged with two counts, felony larceny, felony breaking and entering, felony safe cracking, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Glenda James was charged with felony larceny, felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of methamphetamine. Her father, Anthony James, was charges with felony possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana, records show.
Detectives took out warrants based on the witness statements and arrested the three Wednesday afternoon. But while officers were searching the scene, located on Dry Pond Road, they found evidence that tied them to the case over Labor Day weekend in which cars, climbing gear and a safe were stolen, Harwood said.
In fact, the sheriff said the Dodge truck identified by the witnesses had on it a tag taken from one of five vehicles stolen in that Labor Day spree. That led detectives to question Sawyer about any connection to the earlier thefts and Harwood said the suspect “admitted having the safe from the earlier breaking and entering. He’d tried to break into it, and had tried to take it to sell at a scrap yard, but they wouldn’t take it.” He said Sawyer told officers he had nearly lost three fingers while trying to get into the safe.
Detectives also said they found four fishing poles that had been reported stolen at a pawn shop in Leicester.
While searching the James’ home officers found marijuana and methamphetamine, Harwood said.
Madison County Animal Control was also called to take four pit bulls that appeared to have been used for fighting. One of the dogs had bite marks on its body and it walked with a limp.
Deputies seized two guns at the home, and impounded the Dodge diesel pickup and a scooter that had been reported stolen.
Harwood said he was happy to make the arrests and find the items that had been stolen. “I’m tired of our residents coming home to find it vandalized and their things stolen, targeted by a group of no-good dopers.”
He said Buncombe County officials are investigating the individual who had received some of the stolen property, and that more arrests are possible.
Anthony James was released from jail due to health issues, Harwood said. His daughter was jailed under $10,000 secured bond while Sawyer was held under $30,000 secured bond.

Pit bull attack badly injures miniature poodle

By Elaine Thompson, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

A Knowlton Avenue pit bull got out of its owner's yard yesterday afternoon and critically attacked a leashed miniature poodle that was being walked by its owner.

Stephanie A. Moran, of 110 Harrington Farms Way, said she was walking her 8-year-old dog, Beau, down Knowlton to meet a friend who lives on the street and her dog, when all of a sudden the pit bull came charging out the yard “like a bull” and hit Beau with his head, knocking him on his back and side and began to clamp onto his belly and viciously shake him.

“There was nothing my dog did to attract this dog's attention. Beau didn't bark. He didn't run.
We were not even close to their property. He saw my friend and her dog, and his focus was there,” Ms. Moran said in a telephone interview this morning, her voice still raspy from yelling for help from neighbors.

She said her dog sustained multiple puncture wounds, one which ripped open its abdomen and severely damaged its intestines and colon. He underwent a four-hour surgery at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, where he remains.

“There are other complications as well. They said within the next four to five days we'll know if he will survive,” Ms. Moran said. “We're approaching $6,000 right now, and that's not even close to the projected total. He probably will have to have another surgery.”

Lisa and Christopher O'Connor, who live at 19 Knowlton Ave., said the gate of their fenced-in yard is normally latched and secured, but somehow the gate came open and their pit bull, named Dugg, ran out. They said they are now putting another security feature on the gate.

“This shouldn't have happened. Our dog should not have run out of the yard. But, it's not as though we allow our dogs to roam. We feel horrible about what happened,” said Mr. O'Connor, who was not at home during the incident.

Mrs. O'Connor said she ran out when she heard someone yelling. “I saw the two dogs engaged. Our dog had his mouth on their dog, and I tried to pull my dog off her dog,” she said.

She said that during her attempt to intervene, Ms. Moran's dog severed about 95 percent of the top third of her left ring finger. “As I tried to hold my finger together, her dog started chomping on my other hand,” she said.

Mrs. O'Connor said she went to UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus in Worcester to have the tip of her finger reattached. She said her dog was treated at VCA Northboro Animal Hospital for bites on its legs and face and contusions and cuts from two neighborhood men hitting it on the head with a wrench and clamping a large hedge clipper on its face to get it off the smaller dog.

Leona Pease, the towns' animal control officer, said the pit bull is vaccinated for rabies, but it will have to undergo the routine 10-day quarantine at its home. She said the Board of Selectmen will also probably have a hearing to determine if the dog is vicious.

The 3-year-old pit bull and a 2-year-old boxer-Boston terrier mix the O'Connors adopted from the Milton Animal Rescue League at the end of June are not licensed with the town. All dogs must be licensed by age 6. Mr. O'Connor said he thought he had six months after he got the dogs to have them licensed.

The O'Connors said they will try to do what they can to help with paying the vet bill for Ms. Moran's dog.

“I have to check my (insurance) policy. I have to see what my resources are,” Mr. O'Connor said. “I'd love to take care of it. I don't know if I can afford it. I have to check my finances.”

Update November 27, 2010 7:54am - The following article is by Elaine Thompson, Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

Dog owners’ appeal rankles

Euthanize order goes to hearing

The owner of a pit bull that killed a miniature poodle has appealed the selectmen’s order that the dog be euthanized.

The Board of Selectmen on Oct. 14 unanimously voted to have Dugg, a 3-year-old pit bull, euthanized after an attack Sept. 29 that led to the death of Beau, an 8-year-old poodle owned by Stephanie A. Moran of 110 Harrington Farms Way.

The appeal was filed in Westboro District Court and a hearing before a clerk magistrate is expected to be held sometime in January.

Yesterday, Ms. Moran, who says she is still “heartsick” over losing her companion, was surprised to learn of the appeal.

“I’m furious and I’m perplexed. I just can’t understand, with the few months they had invested in that dog —what would cause them to have such a strong commitment to that dog is just beyond me, when clearly their dog killed my dog,” Ms. Moran said during an interview in her home while Sam, the 19-month-old nephew of Beau, sat on her lap. She said the Florida poodle breeder from whom she purchased Beau felt so bad about what happened to the dog that he offered to give Ms. Moran Sam — the spitting image of Beau — if she flew down to pick up the dog.

No one answered the door yesterday at 19 Knowlton Avenue, the home of Chris and Lisa O’Connor, who own Dugg.

Ms. Moran was walking Beau on a leash in late September to meet a friend when Dugg escaped through an unlatched gate at the O’Connors’ yard and attacked the poodle, allegedly unprovoked. The pit bull grabbed the poodle’s stomach and violently shook the dog, ripping its abdomen and severely damaging its intestines and colon. Beau died at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton a few days after he underwent a four-hour surgery.

The O’Connors paid $1,250 toward the veterinary bill. But, Ms. Moran said yesterday that she has had to take out a second mortgage in order to pay the approximately $8,000 bill. She said she has hired a lawyer who is working with the O’Connors’ homeowners insurance company to get reimbursed.

Mrs. O’Connor suffered a partially severed finger when she tried to intervene between the two dogs. Dugg was bitten by Beau and he suffered contusions and cuts to his head after two neighbors used a wrench and large hedge clippers to try to get him to let go of the poodle.

After the attack, town officials ordered the O’Connors to remove the dog from their home, which is next to Walter J. Paton School. Some neighbors had complained that they would protest outside the home if the dog were not removed. The couple returned the pit bull to the Milton Animal Rescue League, where they got it and another dog in June.

Update January 25, 2011 12:33pm - The following article is by Elaine Thompson, Telegram & Gazette:

Court upholds order to euthanize Shrewsbury pit bull

A clerk magistrate today affirmed the Board of Selectmen's decision to order the euthanizing of a pit bull that attacked and killed a miniature poodle in September.

The Board of Selectmen on Oct. 14 unanimously voted to have Dugg, a 3-year-old pit bull, euthanized after a savage, unprovoked attack Sept. 29 that led to the death of Beau, an 8-year-old 22-pound miniature poodle that was being walked on a leash by its owner, Stephanie A. Moran of 110 Harrington Farms Way.

The next month, Dugg's owners, Chris and Lisa O'Connor of 19 Knowlton Ave., filed an appeal in Westboro District Court.

The O'Connors had adopted Dugg and another dog from an animal shelter three months earlier.

The two sides presented three hours of testimony before Assistant Clerk Magistrate Dennis P. Sargent in Westboro District Court on Jan. 6.

The O'Connor's attorney, Steve M. Wise, an animal-rights attorney and law professor, did not refute that Dugg escaped from his owner's fenced-in yard without their knowledge and attacked Beau. He said the board's decision should be reversed because selectmen did not follow the letter of the law. He said Chapter 140, section 157 is a nuisance-abatement statute, not a canine criminal statute.

Mr. Wise argued that no one had filed a written complaint before the hearing that the dog was a nuisance because of a vicious disposition, as required by the statute. He also said that, in determining whether Dugg has a vicious disposition, selectmen should have considered not only the one attack, but testimony and letters from several residents who said Dugg is not an aggressive dog.

In his decision today, Mr. Sargent, noted that Dugg continued to hold onto Beau even after neighbors struck it repeatedly on the head with a 12-inch wrench, “an act indicative of extremely aggressive behavior.” He also said that “… the severity of the attack alone demonstrates that the dog has acted and can act again in an extremely vicious manner.”

Update February 3, 2011 - The following article is by Elaine Thompson, Telegram & Gazette:

Second appeal filed for condemned Shrewsbury pit bull

A second appeal has been filed in the case involving a pit bull that was ordered euthanized after it viciously attacked and killed a miniature poodle being walked on a leash by its owner in September.

After a hearing in October, all five members of the Board of Selectmen agreed that Dugg, a 3-year-old pit bull, be humanely euthanized. The dog's owners, Chris and Lisa O'Connor of 19 Knowlton Ave., appealed that decision to a clerk magistrate at Westboro District Court. Assistant Clerk Magistrate Dennis P. Sargent upheld the board's decision on Jan.25.

The O'Connor's attorney, Steven M. Wise, an animal-rights lawyer and law professor, this week appealed Mr. Sargent's decision. He has requested a trial before a judge in Westboro District Court. Mr. Wise, reached at this Coral Springs, FL., office, this afternoon said: “It's a trial that starts everything all over. It's not a review of the clerk magistrate's decision or the Board of Selectmen's decision.”

He said his appeal is based on Dugg not being a nuisance by reason of a vicious disposition, as required by the state statute. He said this was the dog's only attack.

“Even if he were vicious, it's not necessary to kill him,” said Mr. Wise. “You can do what I've done in so many other cases like this one: Order that their yard be secured so we don't have something like what happened the last time with the gate that blew open.”

In his decision, the assistant clerk magistrate said that “the severity of the attack alone demonstrates that the dog has acted and can act again in an extremely vicious manner.” He noted that after Dugg came out his fenced-in yard and without provocation attacked Beau, a 22-pound miniature poodle owned by Stephanie A. Moran of 110 Harrington Farms Way, he continued to hold onto Beau even after he was repeatedly struck on the head with a 12-inch wrench.

Dugg is being held at the Milton animal shelter where the O'Connors adopted him and another dog about three months before the attack.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dog attack on kangaroo could cost owner

From Busselton Mail

THE person responsible for the dog which killed a kangaroo at Wonnerup recently could be up for hefty penalties if Busselton shire rangers catch up with her.A Wonnerup resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, witnessed a pit bull-type dog break loose from its owner to chase a kangaroo through the coastal scrub and on to the beach on Sunday, September 19.
The dog caught the kangaroo in the ocean where it mauled and fought with it, eventually drowning it, after which the dog’s owner whistled and it returned to her.
“This calls for a greater need to apprehend and deal with this sort of hunting dog,” the witness said.
Shire ranger Tim Wall said the owners of dogs who are not under effective control in exercise areas, or held by a leash in non-exercise areas can be fined up to $1000. In the event of a dog attack, the owner is liable for a penalty is $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.
“In this case the dog owner clearly did not have control of her dog and I ask anyone with information about this particular attack at Wonnerup to contact the shire’s ranger and fire services.”

Animal dumping grounds disturb Hickory Hill residents

By Jason Miles, WMC

The odor along Heather Ridge Drive in Hickory Hill alone was enough to get your attention. Tom and Debra Singleton smelled it for weeks while walking past a wooded area both to and from busy Winchester Road.  But what disturbed them, beyond the disgusting aroma, was what they saw in the woods, just feet from the sidewalk: a pile of dead dogs.
The dogs, which appeared to be pit bulls, were piled like fire wood, one on top of the other, in various stages of decomposition. The "top dog" appeared to have been the most recently tossed.
"I think it's disgusting," Tom Singleton said.  "And that people should not treat animals in that way.
Neighbors and others said the doggie dumping site has long been a problem. In fact, landscapers who cut the grass for the property owner said they've encountered skulls, bones, and even dog bodies stuffed inside plastic bags.
While there is no proof the animals dumped here were used in dog-fighting, it's something many suspect, including Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin.
Godwin recently announced a plan to strengthen the department's animal cruelty task force.
"It's like anytime you see an animal that's been abused. It's extremely sad," he said.

Hours after Action News 5 alerted Godwin about the dogs, the pile was cleaned up.  In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the city of Memphis said, "It's technically the owner's responsibility for site clean-up, but due to the initial prospect of possible health issues, the city went ahead and did it for this particular case."

Similar sites in other parts of the city have been cleaned up by Memphis Animal Services, such as when dozens of dead dogs were found dumped along Benjestown Road in Frayser.

Generally, police work with the shelter to investigate cases of animal neglect, cruelty, and suspected cases of dog fighting.

"You know, if you can't afford to take care of puppies or dogs, then have them taken care of the humane way - not like this," Debra Singleton said.

Neighbors were satisfied the city finally took action at this doggie dumping ground after Action News 5 got involved.

The property owner did not want to speak on camera, but said calls to animal services had gone unreturned in the past.

If you know anything about this case OR suspect dog fighting in your neighborhood, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH. Call the Mayor's Citizen Service Center at (901) 576-6500 with complaints about dead animals or other property concerns.

Couple appeals ruling on pit bull liability

By Margaret Baker, Sun Herald

A Moss Point couple is appealing a Circuit Court ruling that did not hold the owner of a rental property where two pit bulls lived financially liable for an attack at a Dantzler Street home in April 2007.
The state Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments today at the Thad Cochran Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
The Rev. Randall “Randy” Kimbrough and his wife, Ruth Kimbrough, filed suit in 2008 against Delores Keenum. Keenum is the owner of a rental property at 5019 Weems Street, where Keenum’s daughter, Margaret Younts, kept two pit bull terriers.
Younts also was named in the suit, though attorneys said litigation against her is on hold pending the outcome of the appeal regarding Keenum.
The dogs attacked the Kimbroughs outside their parsonage next to the Moss Point Presbyterian Church on Dantzler Street the morning of April 15, 2007.
Ruth Kimbrough was hospitalized for six days, underwent reconstructive surgery and had a metal plate and 12 screws put in her left forearm. She also underwent physical rehabilitation.
The Rev. Kimbrough was not hospitalized but suffered a bite wound to his right leg. The couple sued for unspecified actual, compensatory and punitive damages from Keenum and the trust of her late husband, Will Ray Keenum, but Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey issued a summary judgment in favor of Keenum in December 2009.
“It is common knowledge that pit bulldogs are especially aggressive and ferocious animals, and that harboring such animals is not without difficulties,” Harkey said in his ruling.
“However, our state law ... has yet to extend liability for personal injuries caused by dangerous animals beyond its owner, and imposes liabilities on lessors only for injuries or damages.”
Pat Buchanan, the Kimbroughs’ lawyer, said he hopes the higher court will return the suit to a lower court for a jury to rule.
“We’re appealing because we disagree with the court’s ruling,” Buchanan said.
“I think it’s an important case. The Kimbroughs did not do anything wrong. They were attacked.”
Keenum’s attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Postal worker attacked by dog


A San Jose Postal worker has been hospitalized after a dog attack Wednesday morning. The incident reportedly occurred around 10:45 AM in the 5100 block of Camden Avenue.

    A postal spokesperson says the letter carrier was in a residential neighborhood when a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull burst through a fence. The carrier suffered multiple bite wounds to the arm and leg.

    It remains unclear how the postal worker was able to escape. Animal Control Officers were called to the scene and impounded the animals.

    The carrier's condition remains unknown.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Town drops plans for dog policy review

By Chris Simon, Innisfil Scope

Innisfil staff have ditched plans to review the town's dangerous dog regulations.
Town clerk and legal services director Jason Reynar recommended a review of the policy be halted, during a meeting last week. Alcona resident Diane Sykes called for the review several months ago, after her dog Teddy sustained three broken ribs and a punctured lung. The incident occurred while Sykes was taking the dog for a walk along Adullam Avenue, about one block from her home. She noticed an unleashed and unmanned dog, described as having 'pit bull' characteristics, approaching. The animal started charging in Sykes' direction, and attacked Teddy.
The 'pit bull' was eventually voluntarily euthanized by its owners. Those owners have been charged as a result of the attack, with a pre-trial date set for Oct. 4.
"Sykes informed staff that South Simcoe Police laid charges against the attacking dog's owners," said Reynar, in a report to council. "This matter is proceeding to resolution and staff do not recommend taking any action at this time."
Innisfil already has one of the most strict animal control bylaws in the province. Once a dangerous dog is designated, it must be implanted with a microchip for identification, be spayed or neutered,
muzzled in public places, and restrained with a maximum targeting driving one-metre leash. Owners must also post warnings on their properties, and secure the dogs with strict enclosure requirements. Owners can be charged, if found in violation of bylaws, with punishment including ownership bans, fines, a maximum six month imprisonment, or the euthanizing of the animal, said Reynar.
"Council directed that staff contact the police regarding the attack, and conduct a review of the licencing process to ensure that there are policies in place to deal with owners of dangerous dogs. As a result of a request from Sykes to postpone the report on the status of the police investigation, staff delayed it until now."

Ashante Goodwin, woman who got $30K settlement from city in police brutality case, shot to death

By Barry Paddock and Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News

A Brooklyn woman who received $30,000 from the city to settle a police brutality case this year was shot to death in the vestibule of her building.
Ashante Goodwin, 23, was sitting on the Herkimer St. stoop before the 8:15 p.m. Monday shooting, relatives said. They believe she ran inside to try to escape her assailant.
Police have not determined a motive and have made no arrests. Goodwin had nine arrests on her records, including busts for drugs and weapons.
Goodwin's mother, who lived with her daughter in Brownsville, found her with a torso wound. The victim was taken to Brookdale University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"She was a good person," said her brother, Johnathan Goodwin, 16. "She had no problems. I don't know what happened."
Ashante Goodwin sued the city in federal court last year, accusing two cops of entering her apartment on March 9, 2008, shooting her two dogs dead, dragging her through their blood, roughing her up, and unlawfully arresting her.
The incident stemmed from complaints her dogs were outside off their leashes, her lawyer said.
Last February, Goodwin agreed to a $30,000 settlement in which the city admitted no wrongdoing.
Relatives described the victim as an animal lover who had a new 5-month-old pitbull, Hypnotic, her family said. She was set to attend LaGuardia Community College with hopes of becoming a veterinarian.

Portland police probe case of stolen puppy

By David Hench, The Portland Press-Herald

Portland police are trying to locate a woman who appears to have stolen the dog of a man who was homeless until recently.
Stephen Osborne said he was shooting a game of pool in Matthew's on Free Street Sunday and had left his 10-month-old, black labrador-pit bull mix tied to a post outside. When he came out at 6:05 p.m., Maverick was missing.
He called police and they examined security video that showed a middle-aged woman untying the dog and walking off with him.
Osborne said he is devoted to his dog. The pair were homeless when he came to Portland earlier this year looking for work and though he has since found a place to live, he said losing the dog has been devastating.
Police asked that anyone with information call 874-8533.

Kitten-killer dogs 'could have mauled kids'

By Leighton Keith, Taranaki Daily News

An Inglewood woman is urging anyone having problems with dangerous dogs to report it to authorities immediately.
Nicola Rae, of Dudley Rd, watched helplessly as her neighbour's two pitbull-cross dogs killed her six-month-old burmese kitten, Oscar, on Saturday after he had ventured on to their property.
"The dogs were standing up mauling something cream and I knew it was Oscar," Mrs Rae said.
"One had the head and the other had the tail and they were basically mauling him."
Mrs Rae said the dogs had attacked other dogs about a year ago and she now regretted not reporting it.
Her neighbours were moving at the time of the attack on Oscar and have now left but Mrs Rae wanted the dogs classed as dangerous.
However, New Plymouth District Council enforcement manager Lloyd Crow said prosecuting the dogs' owner would be difficult as the kitten was on their property.
"It does make it more difficult to assess and determine the right course of action."
It was a tragic situation for both parties, he said.
Mrs Rae urged anyone having problems with aggressive dogs to report it immediately.
"We are lucky it was only the cat that was hurt and not one of the kids. Do something about it, it's too late after the fact, you can't rewind time."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ypsilanti Township man accused of selling pit bull puppies for dog fighting goes on trial

By Art Aisner, from

The trial for an Ypsilanti Township man accused of torturing dogs and trying to sell them to an undercover investigator for dog-fighting is scheduled to begin today in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
B.J. Jarrell, 33, is charged with two counts of possessing animals for dog fighting and one count of animal torture. He was arrested earlier this year after he and accused accomplice Daniel Ryback were caught in a sting operation coordinated by the Humane Society of Huron Valley.
Authorities answered a suspicious ad on the Internet for pit bulls for sale in the Ypsilanti area late last year, said Matt Schaecher, the Humane Society's lead cruelty investigator. With the help of the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team, they arranged several phone calls and a meeting, all recorded and expected to be key evidence presented during the trial.
During those conversations, both Jarrell and Ryback made statements and references consistent with dog fighting, such as discussing the animal’s lineage and even classification based on an ancestor’s fighting history, Schaecher said.
Investigators purchased two puppies from them for between $50 and $100 in late December. A subsequent search of Ryback’s home in the 2100 block Woodale Avenue revealed other dogs living in deplorable conditions, Schaecher said. Authorities seized the animals and condemned the property due to health code violations.
During their investigation, Schaecher said they learned Jarrell and Ryback would “crop” the ears of their dogs for sale, which involved slicing the ears so other dogs would have less to grab onto during a fight.
They allegedly used razor blades and no anesthetic, which led to animal cruelty charges.
“They were getting calls from buyers who had questions about cropped ears, and they decided to do it themselves,” Schaecher said.
Ryback, 33, pleaded no contest in July to one count of possessing an animal for fighting, court records show. Prosecutors agreed to drop counts of possessing animals for fighting and animal cruelty at sentencing, which was initially scheduled last week. Court officials said the hearing was delayed until Tuesday, and Ryback is expected to testify at Jarrell’s trial.
Court records also show Jarrell was arrested in February on assault charges. He pleaded no contest to a second-offense domestic violence charge in March and was placed on probation, court records show. He and Ryback were arrested on the animal complaints on April 2.
David Goldstein, Jarrell’s attorney, declined to comment.
Schaecher said all of the animals involved were adopted.

Update September 27, 2010 4:02pm - The following article is by Art Aisner,
Ypsilanti Township man pleads guilty to possessing dogs for fighting

An Ypsilanti Township man pleaded guilty to charges related to dog fighting to avoid trial this morning in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
Court officials said B.J. Jarrell, 33, pleaded guilty as charged to two counts of possessing animals for dog fighting before jury selection began. Prosecutors dropped one count of animal cruelty and won't prosecute Jarrell as a habitual offender.
Investigators said they caught Jarrell and his business partner, Daniel Ryback, trying to sell pit bull puppies online for the purpose of dog fighting. Authorities set up a sting operation and purchased two dogs. They also seized five others.
Ryback, 33, pleaded no contest to one count of possessing an animal for fighting in July and will be sentenced Tuesday, records show.
The charges are punishable by up to four years in prison, but Jarrell entered into a sentencing agreement with Circuit Judge Donald Shelton that will keep him out of prison, officials said. He could still be sent to jail pending the findings of a pre-sentence report.
Jarrell was on probation for a domestic violence conviction when charges were filed in April, court records show. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2, and Jarrell remains free on bond.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

75-year-old Dearborn Heights man rescues girl from pit bull attack

By Christine Ferretti, The Detroit News

Gerald LaMonica was planning a quick walk Saturday evening, but opted instead for a longer route.
He's glad he did.
The 75-year-old Dearborn Heights man rounded the corner onto Colgate Street just in time to see a dog run out from behind its owner's gate, knock down a child and bite her. He ran over.
"I hollered in a loud voice and kicked it in the chest," LaMonica said. "It grabbed my leg."
The dog retreated to its owner's yard. And both LaMonica and the 10-year-old girl were transported to Oakwood Hospital. LaMonica has 15 stitches in his right calf. He said the child suffered bites to the forearm and knee.
"Anybody with any brains at all would not have stood and watched something like that," he said. "I thank the Lord that I was there at the right time. If not, he could have went for her throat."
Relatives at the girl's home today declined to comment about the attack and her condition. Neighbors say the girl, who is the daughter of a Dearborn Heights Police officer, appears to be doing all right.
But the owner of the 2-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier named Tigger says she's devastated.
Laura Langston, 37, said animal control officers took her dog away. Police have since informed the single mother of three that he will be euthanized -- and she will be facing charges.
Dearborn Heights Police did not release any information today about the incident.
Langston said the attack occurred around 6 p.m. Saturday while she was cooking dinner. She said her 10-year-old daughter, Rini, went out into the front yard to play with the victim, who lives several houses down. Rini accidentally left the gate unlatched and Tigger snuck out, Langston said.
"He never got out before," she said. "I didn't know the dog was outside until I heard screaming and commotion. I don't know why he went after that little girl."
Langston said Tigger normally loves children, including Rini, her oldest daughter, Jenna, 16, and her toddler son, Robert, 2. The dog hadn't bitten anyone before, she added.
"We've never had any problems with this dog. If he was vicious, he wouldn't be in my house," Langston said. "If he had showed any aggression, he would have been gone a long time ago."
The incident is the latest among a series of pit bull attacks in Metro Detroit in recent months in Warren, Westland, Sterling Heights, Waterford Township and Rochester Hills.

Update November 30, 2010 11:05am - The following article is by J. Patrick Pepper, Press & Guide:

Woman pleads guilty to owning dangerous dog

A woman whose pit bull terrier attacked two people in September pleaded no contest Monday to having a dangerous animal causing serious injury.

Laura Langston made the plea in front of Wayne County Circuit Judge Carole Youngblood. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20 and the maximum penalty for the charge is four years in prison.

By pleading to one count, Langston avoids possible conviction on the two counts she initially was charged with.

The charges stem from an attack in the 24000 block of Colgate in the city’s south end. Langston’s pit bull terrier, Tigger, attacked a 10-year-old girl who was riding down the street on a scooter Sept. 25.

As Tigger was biting the girl, a passerby intervened. The passerby, 75-year-old Heights resident Gerald LaMonica, managed to get the dog to release the girl, but was bit in the process.

Both victims escaped with moderate injuries. The girl required 14 stitches for cuts on her arms and legs, while LaMonica had one wound on his leg that required 15 stitches to close.

Langston blamed the incident on her daughter. She said her daughter, who is friends with the 10-year-old victim, forgot to shut a backyard gate, allowing the dog to roam free. Langston is quoted in published reports saying the dog always had a sweet disposition and never showed any inclination to vicious behavior.

The incident, and another a few days later involving two other dogs, served as a catalyst for the Dearborn Heights City Council to review the city’s dangerous dog ordinance. City attorneys currently are researching the constitutionality of banning.

The fallout has extended past Heights city borders, too. The Dearborn City Council is studying a pit bull ban this week.

Update December 24, 2010 9:54am - The following article is by J. Patrick Pepper, Press & Guide:
Woman to serve probation in pit bull attack

A woman whose pit bull attacked two people in September was sentenced Monday to two years probation for having a dangerous animal causing serious injury.

Laura Langston, 37, was sentenced in front of Wayne County Circuit Judge Carole Youngblood. The maximum penalty she could have received was four years in prison.

Langston pleaded no contest to the charge Nov. 29 and in doing so avoided possible conviction on the two counts she initially faced.

On Sept. 25 Langston’s pit bull, Tigger, escaped her backyard in the city’s south end and attacked a 10-year-old girl. The girl was saved when 75-year-old Heights resident Gerald LaMonica, who was walking by, managed to get the dog to release his bite, but LaMonica was bit in the process.

The girl required 14 stitches to close bite wounds on her arms and legs, while LaMonica needed 15 stitches to close a leg wound.

Tigger was destroyed.

In related news, Heights resident Eugene Runco, whose pit bulls also were involved in a recent attack, is headed to trial on a number of charges.

He’s charged with two counts of dangerous animals causing serious injury, a four-year felony and two counts of allowing dangerous animals to run at large, a 90-day misdemeanor.

Runco, 51, was arraigned on information Dec. 15 in Wayne County Circuit Court

Runco’s pit bulls got loose Sept. 23 and bit a neighborhood woman in a vicious attack. The mauling hospitalized the woman for days afterwards and was only broken up when a neighborhood man stopped and intervened.

Making the Case for Pit Bulls

By Adria L. Henderson, Newtown Patch

Pit bulls and their owners often live in secrecy, but the fear they often instill is unwarranted

The decision to write a column about pit bulls was easy.
Finding owners willing to be interviewed about their dogs was a challenge.
"I really try to keep a low profile about the fact that I have pit bulls. I live on a back lot so very few people, including my neighbors, know that they're here," said a Newtown resident, who asked to remain anonymous and who owns two perfectly behaved pit bulls.
I heard this or similar stories from several other pit owners in Newtown.
Mention to friends and family that you're planning to adopt a pit bull and the reaction is immediate, most often negative and sometimes downright outrage. Propagating this viewpoint are the insurance companies who refuse to write homeowner's policies for the owners of pit bulls.
No wonder many pit bull owners live in secrecy. Many pit owners, as well as pounds and shelters, often refer to the dogs as boxer-terrier mixes to avoid the common harsh reaction to this breed.
Pit bulls that arrive at the Newtown pound usually stay longer than any other breed before being adopted. The continued "bad press" awarded this breed continues the fallacy that all pits are bad. In addition, many of the pit bulls that end up at the pound have been abused, adding sometimes serious behaviorial issues to the mix.
Matt Schaub, who works at the Newtown pound, said, "You have to remember their full name is pit bull terrier. People tend to forget that the terrier part of their breed usually means that they're tenacious, active and head-strong, in addition to being powerful. It's not the breed for everyone, just as a really small dog may not be the best breed for families with small children. People should educate themselves about a breed before they adopt a dog."
Some of the pit bulls at the pound would make wonderful pets according to Schaub, who is quick to add, "for the right family."
And, there have been amazing success stories for many of the pit bulls that have been adopted at the pound, due in part to the patience and attention of Animal Control Officer Carolee Mason and the pound staff, as well the diligent training and socialization that each dog gets there.
Jim Gorant's newly released book, The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption, takes the reader on the journey of the 51 pit bulls found and removed from Vick's property, many of whom were long-time dog fighters, with the scars to prove it.
That journey has been nothing short of amazing — 47 of the 51 dogs that were rescued have made remarkable progress, due to the landmark decision handed down by the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia who originally heard the Vick case.
In that landmark decision, Judge Hudson ruled that each dog would be individually evaluated by a group of trainers and behaviorists. Each dog would then be placed in the setting that would be in the "best interests" of the dog. Allowing the dogs to be assessed individually gave them each that necessary second chance.
In addition, Vick was required to pay $928,000 for their care and treatment. Under the law, this damages award amounted to restitution, defining the dogs, for the first time, as more than just a piece of property and, therefore, entitled to compensation.
Michael Vick did prison time for his crime, and was recently named the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, resurrecting his football career. If Vick deserved a second chance after his horrendous treatment of his dogs, didn't his dogs deserve that same opportunity?
Fortunately for the 47 pit bulls that were successfully rehabilitated, the courts believed they did.
So goes the old saying, "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners."

Pit bull bite sends North Vancouver man to hospital

From The Vancouver Sun

A 31-year-old man was sent to hospital after a pit bull bit his hand during an argument with a woman in North Vancouver on Saturday night.
North Vancouver RCMP are looking into the dispute to see if it's a case of domestic violence, Cpl. Peter Devries said Sunday.
Neighbours of the home on West Fifth Street in lower Lonsdale called police around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night to say that a neighbour was bitten by a dog.
Police responded to find both occupants, a man and a woman, were bitten by the pit bull.
The man got the worst of it, "which was a bite to the index finger on his left hand." The finger was not severed, but it was serious enough that the man was taken to Lions Gate Hospital.
The incident was reported to animal control, DeVries said.

Owner cited for loose dog

By Vince Faro, The Suburbanite

On Sept. 14, a Plaza Court woman reported a brown pit bull dog lunged at her as she was leaving for work. An officer called to the scene spotted the dog running loose in the trailer park. As he was trying to get the dog under control, the owner’s niece arrived and said she was searching for the animal. The owner, a 66-year-old Plaza Court man, was cited for an animal control violation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ogden officials revisit pit bull restrictions

By Cathy Mckitrick, The Salt Lake Tribune

Of the 126 dogs quarantined in Ogden’s Animal Shelter last year for biting someone, 40.5 percent were either pit bulls or pit-bull mixes.
That statistic, from shelter manager Bob Geier, spurred city administrators to draft an ordinance cracking down on the breed that the city council will consider Tuesday.
“People are training dogs to be aggressive, and the dog of choice in this area is the pit bull,” Councilman Brandon Stephenson said.
Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner said officers have handled a number of dog-bite calls involving pit bulls, although his department did not request the ordinance.
“It’s tough as a dog owner to put all the blame on a breed of dog when invariably it has a lot to do with how a dog is raised and handled,” he said. “In this circumstance, it’s the breed as well as those who choose this breed because of its aggressive tendencies.”
The council discussed a similar proposal a year ago, but abandoned that effort after significant outcry from canine advocates who, among other things, opposed pinning the problem on a specific breed. The proposed statute takes a less stringent approach but still has breed-specific language — and that could be problematic.
Regulations targeting specific dog types are “canine-profiling,” said Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative analyst for Kanab-based Best Friends Animal Society.
“You do want a generic dangerous dog law that addresses any dog behaving badly,” VanKavage said, adding research places blame on reckless owners more than particular breeds.

Update September 28, 2010 10:03pm - The following article is by Cathy Mckitrick, The Salt Lake Tribune:

Dog owners make a plea for pit bulls

About 18 months ago, Sandra Leavitt adopted a full-bred pit bull from the Ogden Animal Shelter. Leavitt, who battles epilepsy, considers her now-constant canine companion, Nikki, to be her lifesaver.
Nikki, now 3 years old, underwent yearlong service training to become Leavitt’s seizure-alert dog.
“My concern is that they could take her away from me,” Leavitt said of Ogden’s breed-specific legislation that would target pit bulls as inherently dangerous and aggressive.
Residents crowded into City Hall on Tuesday night to speak out against the proposed ordinance presented by Animal Services Director Bob Geier and Assistant City Attorney Mara Brown.
City Council members first waded into the thorny topic over a year ago in response to alarming statistics from Ogden’s shelter.
In 2005, of the total number of dogs quarantined for biting someone, Geier identified 36 percent as pit bulls or pit-bull mixes. That figure rose to 40.5 percent in 2009. To date, the rate for 2010 is 39.3 percent, he said.
Tuesday’s fact-finding session included several presentations and detailed discussion of breed-specific language that, if approved, would be inserted into the city’s existing dangerous-dog ordinance.
Geier painted a picture of the aggressive tendencies that he said pit bulls inherently possess — and the problems they pose to Ogden neighborhoods.
“They’re a good dog that needs to be restrained by a responsible owner, but they can be bad at times,” Geier said, describing their Houdini-type abilities to dig or jump their way out of almost any enclosure.
Geier expressed gratitude for his small but well-trained staff, which he says is adept at identifying pit bulls.
That statement evoked skeptical laughter from the crowd gathered in City Council chambers. And Hank Greenwood, president of the American Dog Breeders Association, questioned their ability to identify pit bulls by sight.
“You don’t have a pit bull problem,” Greenwood said. “You have an identification problem. Pit bull is not a breed, it’s a slang word that describes two to 30 different types of dogs.”
Greenwood, who opposes breed-specific laws, showed slides of several dogs being held in the Ogden Animal Shelter that he believes have been misidentified as pit bulls.
South Jordan’s 1999 pit-bull ban has been ineffective in reducing dog-bite incidents, said Melissa Lipani, of Kanab’s Best Friends Animal Society.
Instead, such incidents have increased 112 percent since city officials enacted their breed ban, Lipani noted.
“This is not a community-based approach,” Lipani said of Ogden’s targeted ordinance. “It will dramatically increase your euthanasia rates and will open your community to costly litigation.”
Ogden resident Diana Taylor shared Leavitt’s fear that such regulations would make it too expensive for her to keep her pit-bull mix pup, now 7 months old.
“The most dangerous thing about her is her tongue — she’ll lick you to death,” Taylor said, pleading with council members not to punish her for irresponsible owners who make their dogs mean.
Kitty Williams, who owns two pit bulls, warned the council that the slim Animal Services budget could be better used for expanding spay-and-neuter services rather than enforcing an ineffective law.
The council made no decisions Tuesday but agreed to give the issue due deliberation.

Update January 17, 2011 1:16pm - The following article is from KJCT:

Ogden: Rules For Dangerous Dogs Proposed

The Ogden City Council will vote on stronger rules for potentially dangerous dogs, but will not single out pit bulls.
The Standard-Examiner of Ogden says that the council will vote Jan. 25.A potentially dangerous dog would be one that is impounded twice in a 12 month period, attacks a leashed animal or acts in a highly aggressive manner without provocation in a fenced area.Owners would have to register their dog, implant a microchip and use a special colored collar. Liability insurance for the dog would be required.Last year, the city council considered rules that targeted pit bulls as dangerous. Those did not pass, and the new proposal is not breed specific.

Update January 25, 2011 9:08pm - The following article is by Cathy Mckitrick, The Salt Lake Tribune:

Ogden passes dangerous dog ordinance
City Council members may have stripped any references to pit bulls from the city’s new dangerous-dog ordinance, but they left enough bite in the new law to put dog owners on notice.
The ordinance, in the works since early 2009, passed 5 to 2 Tuesday, with council members Doug Stephens and Amy Wicks voting against it because portions will need to be tweaked as city administrators devise a “good pet-owner program” over the next few months.
Prior to the vote, Ogden resident James Humphreys voiced concerns about the ordinance being too specific and urged the council to table the matter for a couple of weeks.
“You’re very specific about the definition of what a dangerous dog is and the process to determine that,” Humphreys said. “But in practical application, the enforcement officer or animal services director makes that determination.”
According to the new law, a dog is potentially dangerous if its owner has been cited twice or more in a year’s time for letting the dog run loose. It also applies to a dog who, unprovoked, exhibits highly aggressive behavior from its enclosed area.
The ordinance requires that these dogs be micro-chipped and their owners carry $50,000 in liability insurance.
Bob Geier, former director of the city’s no longer functioning animal shelter, pointed out that all dogs are territorial and this new classification could mark any dog as potentially dangerous.
“This will be used [by] neighbor against neighbor,” Geier said, warning that by summer, people will be taking videos and using surveillance equipment to get their neighbors ticketed. 
Councilwoman Susan Van Hooser felt it was urgent to get the new law in place by spring.
“I would hope we’d be able to trust our officers about determining some of these situations,” Van Hooser said. “There has to be some control because you have small children in backyards.”
Alene Evans, Ogden’s code enforcement/animal control supervisor, was pleased with the vote and the council’s agreeing to further tweak the ordinance in the next few months.
Evans said that the good pet owner program should be ready to roll out in March and could allow discounts for residents who undergo pet-care training.
“We want people to have pets, to love them and to properly care for them,” Evans said.
The new ordinance also contains an unlawful tethering section that prohibits inhumane or unsafe restraint of dogs and limits tethering time to 10 hours per day.

Related articles:
Ogden puts bite in dog ordinance - Standard-Examiner

Dog euthanized after police pursuit in Milton

By Neil Johnson, The Janesville Gazette

When Milton resident Jillian Beaty got home from work late Tuesday afternoon, she found blood in her house, a window knocked ajar and her 8-year-old Shar-Pei dog, Magoo, missing. Beaty went out to look for her dog, fearing the worst. Her instincts proved true.
Magoo was dead.
Beaty and her husband, Dale, soon learned that their family dog had been euthanized because of injuries he suffered while forcing his way out of the window and later when he was intentionally struck by a city vehicle that was pursuing him.
In a report Friday, the Milton Police Department said the dog was seen running about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on the city’s west side, blocks from the family’s one-story home on Wildfire Lane. Officers responding to citizen reports of a bloody pit bull found Magoo near Milton High School.
The dog had no collar or identification and ran from officers and a public works employee who was helping police.
Worried that the bleeding dog had attacked someone and that it was near a school, police chased Magoo on foot and then began to pursue the dog south through Schilberg Park with a police squad car and a public works truck.
According to the report, public works employee Donnie Zimmerman was driving the truck, with school resource officer Jim Martin riding along and another officer following behind in a squad car.
After unsuccessful attempts to lasso the dog from vehicles, police said Zimmerman bumped the dog with the front of his truck, sending the dog rolling.
Police said the maneuver was an attempt to “slow the dog down, or to stop it so that we could catch it.”
But Magoo kept running, finally collapsing on a deck at a house on Tower Hill Drive, east of Schilberg Park and blocks south of his family’s home, police said.
Police subdued the dog there and contacted the Rock County Humane Society, which contracts with the city for removal of stray animals.
Magoo showed no aggression toward officers during the incident, police said.
James Hurley, operations manager at the humane society, said he took Magoo from Milton to the shelter in Janesville late Tuesday morning and decided to euthanize it there because the dog was bleeding heavily and was in shock.
Hurley said Magoo was having trouble breathing, but he said police hadn’t told him they had hit the dog with a vehicle.
“I was only there for five minutes. It was a scoop and go,” he said.
Hurley said he checked Magoo for microchip identification and found no hits on the humane society’s database for missing Shar-Peis.
Since Tuesday, the Beatys have been distraught over losing their dog. It was only on Friday, however, that they learned Magoo was hit by a city vehicle.
Dale Beaty said he now believes Magoo was mistreated by police because the dog looked like a pit bull or a fighting dog. Beaty said Magoo actually was gentle and skittish and often cringed or ran from strangers.
“He never so much as nipped at anyone,” he said.
The Beatys don’t know what led to Magoo getting loose while they were at work Tuesday, but they said common household noises sometimes scared the dog. They think something spooked him, causing him to ram the window Tuesday and injure himself.
The Beatys also said they left Magoo’s collar and identification off indoors because it irritated the wrinkles on the dog’s neck.
Cassandra Fowler, a veterinarian at the Janesville Animal Medical Center, said she conducted a necropsy on Magoo on Friday at the Beatys’ request.
She told the Gazette that the dog appeared to have major internal injuries to his lungs, the kind of injuries an animal would normally suffer when hit by a vehicle.
She said it’s unlikely the dog would have gotten lung injuries from ramming open a window, and she said the humane society made the correct decision to euthanize Magoo.
Beaty said he’s seeking a police investigation into the incident.
“All we can do is be part of making sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” he said.
Police Chief Jerry Schuetz said police were trying to keep a bloody, unidentified dog away from people, but he declined further comment.

Update October 20, 2010 4:28pm - The following article is by Neil Johnson, The Janesville Gazette:

Investigation shows Milton dog was intentionally hit

An investigation showed that city of Milton employees who on Sept. 21 hit a stray dog with a city-owned truck did so intentionally, Milton Police Chief Jerry Schuetz said in a statement Wednesday.
The discovery came out of an investigation by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office into how the Milton police handled the stray dog incident, Schuetz said.
A Milton police officer and a Milton Department of Public Works employee reportedly admitted to sheriff's investigators they'd purposely hit a stray family dog with a city truck in attempt to catch it, Schuetz said.

The investigation was prompted by the dog’s owners, Milton residents, who had requested the Milton Police Department have another agency independently investigate the incident after they learned in a police report their dog was hit by a vehicle.
The dog, an eight-year-old Shar-Pei, had gotten loose from its owners' home in Milton and was running on the city’s west side. Officers at the time were responding to reports the dog was a “pit bull.” Police said they’d found it with a bloodied face running near Milton High School, and feared it was a threat to the public.
The dog was later euthanized by the Rock County Humane Society, and a necropsy later showed it had lung injuries similar to those an animal would sustain after being hit by a vehicle, a local veterinarian reported.

In the wake of the sheriff's investigation, the Milton Police Department is suggesting a slew of policy changes to city animal control procedures, including directives on use of deadly force in capturing stray dogs.

Update October 21, 2010 10:06am - The following article is from Channel 3000:

Officers, Public Works Employee Won't Face Discipline After Hitting Dog

Milton city officials said that they're not recommending any punitive action after a Milton Department of Public Works employee and Milton police officers admitted to striking a bloodied pit bull running loose around Milton High School with a public works truck last month.
Milton Police Chief Jerry Schuetz issued a news release on Thursday summarizing an investigation into the incident that occurred on Sept. 21.
Authorities said that incident began after the dog, which apparently had blood on its face, was spotted near the high school. Milton police officers responded and with a Department of Public Works worker, attempted to capture the animal.
"The dynamics of this situation created uncertainty for our employees," Schuetz said in a statement. "Testimony from the three employees suggested the dog posed no immediate threat, yet based upon facial injuries to the dog and the uncertainty of what caused those injuries, there seemed to be an underlying need they felt to capture this animal."
This prompted them to "intentionally striking the dog with a department of public works truck in an effort to slow it down and capture it after other efforts were discussed and did not appear appropriate or feasible," according to the chief.
Schuetz said after interviewing them, they said that they never acted with malice.
He said that he wasn't recommending any formal discipline, citing "several areas where existing policy, ordinances and operating procedures have failed our employees." He said those policies are now in need of revision.
Milton's mayor and the police chief have met with the dog's owner, the Beaty family, to express their remorse for this incident, according to the news release.
"We have promised them and extend that promise to all of the citizens of Milton that we have taken immediate corrective action to correct our mistakes and shall make recommended changes to our code of ordinances that will help guide our employees in their response to these types of incidents and hopefully prevent a tragedy like this from happening in the future," the chief said in the statement.
Schuetz said that the Rock County Sherriff's Office conducted the independent investigation into the incident.

Case of the missing Crofton dogs has happy ending as pooch found

By Danielle Bell, Nanaimo Daily News

A Crofton family is overjoyed after the second of two dogs stolen more than a month ago turned up in Nanaimo on Thursday.
The safe recovery of Jersey, a four-year-old Staffordshire pit bull, ends a dognapping tale.
Gracie, a two-year-old boxer, was found alone wandering in Cathedral Grove, near Port Alberni, in late August. Both dogs were stolen from a backyard pen in Crofton on Aug. 16. Late Thursday afternoon, owner Brooklyn Mann got the call she had been waiting for since being devastated by the disappearance.
The Nanaimo SPCA contacted the Manns after someone along Jingle Pot Road found Jersey and brought her to the shelter. Jersey had lost her collar but was identified through a tattoo. Other than an ear infection, the dog is fine and even gained weight. The mystery continues since the person who dropped off Jersey did not leave a name or contact number.
Police investigated after the dogs disappeared but so far no one has been charged in the case, according to Mann. How the dogs travelled dozens of kilometres remains unclear but for now, the Manns are just happy to have their family back.
"She just fell into our arms," said Mann of the reunion. "It was so nice to see them together again."
When Gracie arrived home after her rescue, albeit down five pounds with a skin infection, family said it was heart-wrenching to watch as she searched for Jersey. Family and friends launched an extensive search effort for the dogs, which included posters as well as Facebook and media coverage in a quest to find them.

Woman injured by bullet fragment when cops shoot dog at Port Orange home

By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel

Doctors pulled a bullet 'sliver of bullet fragment' from the leg of 32-year-old Toby Beute, police say

A woman was injured by a stray bullet fragment on Friday, police said, when officers shot a dog at a Port Orange home.
Port Orange police said they went to the Bayridge Lane home to follow up on a prior investigation into a missing child.
When they knocked on the door, police say 32-year-old Toby Beute answered, holding a pit bull/Labrador-mix named "Boomer" by the collar. Police say the dog was barking "aggressively."
Police say the dog broke free from Beute's grip, charging toward an officer.
"Fearing harm by the advancing dog," Assistant Chief Wayne Miller said in a statement, "[the officer] pulled his service firearm from his holster and fired two rounds at the dog."
Police say the shots hit the dog in the chest area, causing Boomer to collapse immediately. The dog later died.
Shortly after, Beute told officers she "felt some pain in her right leg and noticed bleeding below her knee." She was taken to Port Orange Hospital.
According to Miller, doctors there discovered "a small sliver of bullet fragment" about three inches below Beute's right knee. Miller said the woman did not require stitches and would not need surgery.
Police said Friday they have a long history with the home, and the dog.
In December 2008, police say the dog broke out of its collar to attack another dog. In November 2009, officers used a fire extinguisher to subdue Boomer and another dog when they responded to the home to investigate a shots-fired call.
Investigators called to the home in late February were told that a child attacked by the dog had suffered facial injuries that required surgery.
Just last week, police say, the dog attacked and killed a cat at a nearby home. Police said they were called to the home after the dog was seen running around the property with the cat in its mouth.

Update September 25, 2010 2:05pm - The following article is from Central Florida News 13:

Port Orange officer kills dog, injures owner

A Port Orange police officer opened fire and killed a dog and accidentally injured a woman in the process.
Investigators said Officer Theodore Kurtz was following up on an investigation when he knocked on the door of a home on Bayridge Lane.
The officer said homeowner Toby Beute opened the door holding the pit bull Labrador mix but Kurtz said the dog then broke free and came towards him.
That's when he opened fire. The dog was shot and killed and a bullet fragment hit Beute in the leg.
The victim's mother said the whole thing was unnecessary.
I yelled to the officer the dog wouldn't hurt him and the shots were fired and everyone started screaming. It just went nuts and then my daughter ran back in and she had blood coming down her leg, screaming she had been shot," said the mother of the shooting victim.

Police said the homeowner has been cited several times for the dog's actions, including an attack on another child and another dog.


Update September 26, 2010 4:11pm - The following article is from WESH:

Family Seeks Lawyer's Help In Dog Shooting

Family Threatens To Sue Police Department Over Shooting Incident

A local family has threatened to sue the Port Orange Police Department after one of its officer shot their family dog and a bullet fragment hit the dog's owner.
Toby Beute is recovering from a gash on her right leg after a bullet ricocheted off her front porch on Friday.
Officer Theodore Kurtz said he had to open fire because Beute's pet dog, a Labrador/pit bull mix, charged at him when he was called to Beute's home.
Beute's lawyer, however, said the officer used excessive force and claimed that the police were not telling the whole truth.
Police, on the other hand, said they have been to Beute's home several times in the past because of reports that the family pet has caused facial injuries to a child that required surgery, attacked another cat and killed a neighbor's cat.
Beute's lawyer denied the police allegations.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pit bull bites Albertville animal control officer

By Elizabeth Summers, The Sand Mountain Reporter

An Albertville animal control officer is recovering after being bitten by a pit bull Tuesday.
Albertville Police Chief Benny Womack said the incident happened Tuesday as the officer was responding to a call about a pit bull being in a resident’s yard, trying to get at the family’s pet in an outdoor pen.
The officer, clad in appropriate protective gear, was bitten on the hand and suffered minor wounds, Womack said. The incident occurred on East Alabama Avenue, Womack said.
The pit bull was confiscated and officers later discovered the animal had not been registered in compliance with the city under the dangerous animal ordinance.
“Under the ordinance, pit bulls must be registered as a dangerous animal, as do animals that are aggressive by nature or fall into one of the many categories of the ordinance,” Womack said.
Since this dog was not registered, animal control officers have confiscated the dog and will place him in quarantine for 10 days. Once the owner meets all ordinance requirements, such as purchasing a permit, erecting the proper animal confinement system and providing proof of liability insurance, the animal will be returned.
An animal control officer must inspect the animal’s enclosure or pen and pet owners must submit a photo of the animal, complete a registration application and provide proof of $100,000 in liability insurance coverage, Womack said.
“The owner was issued a citation for failure to register the dog and failure to secure a permit,” Womack said. “The incident has been reported to the health department.”
The dangerous animal ordinance, adopted in 2009, defines dangerous animals as any mammal, amphibian, and reptile or fowl which, due to size or vicious nature to constitute a danger to human life, physical well being or property. The ordinance goes on to list a variety of animals, including snakes, alligators, bears, wolves, monkeys, dogs and cats with genetic history of crossbreeding, animals of wild nature and dogs containing any element of Pit Bull Terrier.
“The ordinance is rather lengthy so any pet owner may call the records division of the police department or stop by and we will get them a copy of the ordinance,” Womack said.
“There are lots of requirements owners must meet so it is not something to be taken lightly.”

Dearborn Heights woman attacked by pit bulls

By Cecil Angel, Detroit Free Press

A Dearborn Heights woman is in the hospital today after being severely injured when two pit bulls attacked her, police said.

Dearborn Heights Police Sgt. Michael Petri said the attack occurred at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Stanford and Telegraph and that the woman was bitten all over. He said his investigation was just beginning and that he would be interviewing the victim and others about the incident.

Update September 24, 2010 11:59am - The above article has been updated to include the following:

A neighbor said the woman was gardening in her backyard when the attack occurred. Another neighbor driving by stopped and yelled at the dogs to stop the attack.

Update September 25, 2010 1:13pm - The following article is from Detroit Free Press:

Woman mauled by 2 pit bulls still in hospital
A woman remained in a hospital Friday, a day after being severely mauled by two pit bulls, police said.
Sgt. Michael Petri said the dogs escaped from a fenced-in yard at Stanford and Telegraph and attacked the woman while she was in front of a house two doors away. "Apparently, they dug under the fence," he said.
Petri said the dogs were placed in quarantine at a pound in Taylor.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vigil for Tyson set on Sunday

By George W. Rhodes, The Sun Chronicle

Volunteers from Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter who were stung by the death of Tyson, a mixed-breed pitbull they nurtured for six months, plan to hold a candlelight vigil Sunday at LaSalette Shrine.

The vigil is dubbed "A Voice for Tyson."

Tyson was euthanized an hour after being picked up by an animal control officer in Providence and just eight hours after he went missing.

Friends member Kim Penque said the vigil is open to anyone who would like to express their sympathy for the loss of Tyson or anyone who has ever suffered the loss of a beloved pet.

The vigil will be held at 5:30 p.m. near the Rosary Pond. Attleboro shelter volunteers allege Tyson was illegally killed and are pushing for changes in the way the Providence Animal Control Center operates. They have filed suit against the Providence shelter.

"The time for change is now and Tyson's tragic death will be the voice for that needed change. Let there be no additional stories like Tyson's to tell," Penque said. "We are a voice for Tyson."

Update September 27, 2010 10:17am - The following article is by George W. Rhodes, The Sun Chronicle:

Remembering Tyson

At least 100 gather, pledge to let pit bull mix's 'voice be heard'

Those who loved Tyson, a fun-loving pit bull who's bark sounded like the quack of a duck, joined with those who never knew him Sunday to mourn his loss and marshal a force to fight the killers of the popular pooch.

"My promise to (Tyson) is we'll let your voice be heard," said Attleboro Animal Shelter volunteer Kim Penque to at least 100 animal lovers, many teary-eyed, who gathered for a candlelight vigil in the cool and cloudy twilight at LaSalette Shrine's Rosary Pond. "And we'll never stop loving you."

Tyson, a five-year-old, mix-breed pit bull who spent six months in the shelter waiting for a home and quickly wended his way into the hearts of shelter volunteers, went missing Aug. 28 in Providence touching off a frantic four-day search by more than a dozen Friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter.

The effort was in vain as soon as it started because Providence animal control officers had picked up Tyson about six hours after he got lost and ordered him killed, claiming he had parvovirus, a contagious, but treatable, disease.

The killing, which took place ignoring a state law that requires animals to be held for five days, was nothing more than the murder of an innocent dog based in a deep-rooted prejudice against pit bulls, volunteers allege. A lawsuit has been filed to sort out the charges in court, but the vigil, dubbed "A Voice for Tyson" was all about the love felt for Tyson and the change in attitude and procedures it is hoped his death will spark.

Candles were lighted to the strains of Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel," just one of many sad and emotional songs played by a DJ in the gathering gloom of the early fall night.

Two white doves were released, pennies were tossed into a fountain with wishes for justice and heartfelt poems were read.

"Rest in peace our dear, sweet boy, knowing you filled out hearts with joy," went one.

While pit bulls often get a bad rap, they are not naturally bad and should not be presumed bad, Penque said.

Tyson's bark was anything but ferocious. Penque said it sounded like a duck and often fooled people who walked into the shelter. "Maybe that was his way of telling people not to judge him because of his breed," she said. "He was a good boy and he gave me so much in such a short time."

Tyson was a loving dog, who just wanted a good home, she said.

"From the moment his paws entered the shelter they left footprints in our hearts," Penque said. "That's the kind of dog he was."

He had just gotten a home the day he got lost. His new master took him to Providence to meet friends when Tyson got loose and ran away.

Dennis Tabella, founder of Defenders of Animals Inc., summed up the goal.

"The loss of that sweet soul is a sin and crime," he said. "Let's make sure his voice is heard loud and clear."