Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pennsylvania man attacked by Pit Bull

From The Post-Journal

According to Tidioute Borough Police, a 58-year-old man was taken to Warren General Hospital on Wednesday after he was attacked by a pit bull. Police said the man had a puncture wound on his forearm. Police reported that, as they arrived, the pit bull attempted to attack police but was subdued. The Tidioute Borough Police and the state dog warden are still investigating the incident.

Fire damages duplex, kills family’s dog

By Paul Minnis, The Republic

A fire that investigators believe began in a utility room Saturday severely damaged a duplex and killed the family’s pit bull. City firefighters were called about 5 p.m. to 902 Short Wilson St., where flames rose and smoke billowed from the roofline.
Resident Justin Irwin and fellow adults Kristen Brown and Christopher Reed escaped with three children, ages 3, 1 and infant, according to Matt Noblitt, public information officer for Columbus Fire Department.

Puppy given as gift from dad deploying to Afghanistan is stolen from boy's yard in Davenport


A puppy that a 10-year-old Davenport boy got from his father just before he deployed to Afghanistan has been stolen from his front yard.

The Blue Nose Pit Bull puppy named Caleb was taken the same day that Cameron Valle's father left for his yearlong deployment.

That's according to Cameron's mother, Gina, who says her son doesn't want to sleep or eat after the puppy's theft.

Gina Valle says two men approached the puppy as if to pet it Wednesday afternoon but instead snatched it and took off in a car.

She's asking for the puppy's safe return and says she'll buy the culprits a new one if that's what it takes.

Update August 2, 2010 8:46am - The following article is from KQWC:

Stolen Puppy Returned

A local soldier leaves a puppy with his son to keep him company while his dad is deployed. But someone stole that puppy. And now, we can tell you, Caleb is safe at home with his family.
The eight-week old Blue Nose Pit Bull was supposed to keep 10-year old Cameron Valle from being quite so lonely while his dad is in Afghanistan.
But just hours after he shipped out Wednesday, two men stole Caleb right from the family's front yard. Mom Gina says, "They took the puppy the day his dad said goodbye to leave for a year. His dad left at 11:00, they took the dog at 4:00."
But at 9 Friday night, someone brought Caleb back. As you can imagine, Gina Valle says her son is ecstatic.
The family had called police, who say the dog may have been an attractive target because he is a sought-after breed. Officers are still investigating.

Dog saves family in Hammonton house fire, but dies in blaze

By Martin DeAngelis, Press of Atlantic City

A young pit bull woke up its owners to warn them of a fire in their Pleasant Mills Road home early this morning, but the dog itself died in the fire, which destroyed much of the ranch house, police say. Nine people who had been sleeping in the home shortly before 4:30 a.m.all got out unhurt, Hammonton Detective John Panarello said.
"The people we spoke to said the dog was barking," Panarello said. "They went back to see why, and saw that the house was pretty much engulfed in flames."
Investigators haven't determined how the fire started, but the detective said he contacted the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office "to rule out any foul play."
All Panarello was sure of was that the blaze started in the back of the house, but he couldn't even say what room it was in because "it was all burnt."
Property records list the owner of the house as Mary DeMarco, but the detective said the occupants are renting the home. A Miguel Rodriguez is the head of the household and the nine survivors included children and adults. Panarello said that friends of the Rodriguez family were apparently visiting with their children.
"Nobody got hurt, but the pit bull just didn't make it," he said. "They had it wrapped up in a tarp when I got there," so he couldn't see exactly what had happened to the dog.
The detective credited a delivery person for The Press of Atlantic City with calling 911 to report the fire. He had no details on firefighters' efforts to control the fire, and officials of the Hammonton Volunteer Fire Department couldn't be reached today.

Officer takes down pit bull

By Mark Katz, Dayton Daily News

A pit bull was mortally wounded by a police officer after he was called twice during the day about the dog barking and growling as people walked by.Although the dog had a collar on, it did not have any tags. On the second call, the dog was found sitting on the curb in front of a grassy shoulder and a tree line behind. When the dog did not respond to the officer, he began walking toward the dog, which immediately stood, began barking and growling.
Feeling threatened, the officer pulled his duty handgun and fired two rounds into the dog, then a third to put it out of its misery. There were no homes within 500 feet of the incident and the Trotwood Street Department later removed the animal.

Dog Shot, Man Charged In Yellow Creek Lake Incident

By Jen Gibson, Times-Union

A North Manchester man faces criminal recklessness charges after an incident at Yellow Creek Lake Tuesday.

Hugh F. Fuller, CR 1400N, North Manchester, was arrested around 2:55 p.m. Tuesday and booked into the Kosciusko County Jail for criminal recklessness. His bond was set at $500. An additional charge of pointing a firearm also is being considered against Fuller.

According to a report from the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department, Fuller reportedly shot a dog at his lake residence on Yellow Creek Lake and refused to let the man retrieve it for treatment until police arrived.

Initially, police were called to Fuller's residence at 8616 S. Valentine Court, Yellow Creek Lake, around 12:48 p.m. Tuesday to take a report about the theft of two fish finders and damage to his boat.

Fuller reported that someone used a blunt object to hit both sides of the hull of his boat, poured a jar of hot peppers inside the boat, broke the windshield and poured charcoal lighter fluid inside the boat. Fuller believed the suspect(s) intended to set the boat on fire.

Fuller reportedly told police he believed that his neighbors had damaged the boat because he hit their dog in the head with a hammer a few weeks ago because the dog reportedly came at him.

Police talked with the neighbor, Leonard Greer, Wooster Road, Winona Lake, who said he had been inside his cottage all night playing video games.

About an hour later, police were called to the residence again for a report about a dog being shot.

When police arrived, Fuller was refusing to allow Greer to retrieve an injured pit bull from his yard. Fuller reportedly told police the dog was in his yard so he shot it.

Once police arrived, Fuller allowed Greer into the yard to get the dog and take it to a veterinarian.

Fuller reportedly told police he shot the dog with a 12 gauge shotgun, but said he did not point the gun at his neighbor.

Greer reportedly told police Fuller pointed the gun at his shoulder and said Greer could not come on his property to get the dog until after police arrived.

The incident remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department.

Wilmington woman searches for stolen dogs


A college student in Wilmington needs your help to find her stolen puppies.
On Tuesday, Kasey Lawrence came home to her apartment to discover that someone had broken in.  Virtually everything was left untouched, including a new laptop computer and a flat screen television.  Her two pit bull mix puppies, however, were missing.
"I am scared," said Lawrence. "The only reason someone would take them is for fighting." 
The two dogs, named Blizzard and Tyson, are actually pit bull/mastiff mixes.
Police believe the thief broke into the apartment using a sliding glass door.  It is very likely the thief knew exactly what he or she was looking for.
If you have any information about this crime you are asked to called the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 341-0111.

Woman reports pit bull attack

From Tracy Press

A distraught woman called police at 9:25 p.m. Thursday and said that she was walking her two dogs on the 100 block of Manzanita Lane when two pit bulls came out of a house and one of them attacked and killed one of her dogs. A man told police that the pit bulls belonged to his sister, and he brought the dogs back inside their house. Police got information on both dog owners and took a report.

Woman fears dogs after bite

By Lindell Kay, ENC Today

An Onslow County woman said she is now frightened of dogs and worried whether she has any diseases after being bitten by a pit bull earlier this week.
“What if I get rabies?” an anxious Chris Alvarez asked rhetorically Friday afternoon.
Alvarez, who has lived on Pony Farm Road for 15 years, said she was walking with her daughter on Murrill Hill Road when a pit bull jumped over a small fence and attacked them.
“I think the dog was after my daughter because I’ve been by there before and this never happened,” she said. “But when I walked by with my daughter the dog tried to get her, I pushed her out of the way and got bit on the leg.”
An ambulance responded, but Alvarez was not transported to the hospital.
Onslow County Animal Control Director Dino Einsig said the bite was not as serious as it could have been.
“This was not a mauling, but the dog did bite her and we are keeping the dog contained for 10 days,” he said.
The 10-day quarantine is the only way to check a dog for rabies without taking a brain tissue sample, which would require the animal to be euthanized.
Alvarez said the pain goes deeper than the injury to her leg.
“I am genuinely afraid of dogs now,” she said. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Alvarez said she does not hate pit bulls, but people should be more responsible with them.
It is a law in Onslow County that dogs must be fenced or on a leash. It was not immediately clear whether the owner of the pit bull faces any possible criminal charge.

Dog threats delay York bus service

From The Press

A RUSH-HOUR bus service was delayed by 30 minutes after a man allegedly threatened queuing York bus passengers and a conductor with a pitbull terrier-type dog.
Duncan McGraw, spokesman for bus operator First, said the man was refused entry on to one of its ftr services at 6pm on Thursday at Clifford Street, after using the dog “to frighten people at the bus stop”.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers later found the man and gave him “suitable advice”, before passing his details to City of York Council’s dog warden.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dog-slashing suspect threatened to do same to Wadena woman in 2006

By Steve Schulz, Wadeena Pioneer Journal

A man wanted in Otter Tail County for slitting a dog’s throat has a history of violence in Wadena County, including a conviction for threatening to slit a woman’s throat. Benjamin James Stavaas, 23, Battle Lake, faces six animal cruelty crimes in Otter Tail County for allegedly cutting his own German shepherd-pit bull mix dog’s throat. Stavaas originally told authorities the dog, Star, had been hit by a car and he slit the throat to put the animal out of its misery.
But Star was found and brought back to life by Battle Lake Veterinary Clinic, which described the dog as “bright, alert, responsive” and with normal locomotion, all inconsistent with Stavaas’ story of the dog being hit. Under questioning at the Perham Police Department, Stavaas allegedly changed his story and admitted slitting the dog’s throat because he was mad the dog was chasing cars. Stavaas cut a 6- to 7-inch gash the shape of a Y in the dog’s throat. He was set to appear on two felony, two gross misdemeanor and two misdemeanor counts of animal torture and animal cruelty July 26, but failed to show up for court. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Stavaas also has a conviction for stealing a car in 2005 in Wadena, and a 2006 charge of domestic assault and terroristic threats. On Feb. 3, 2006, Stavaas struck and choked a woman and said he was going to kill her. He threatened to “slit her throat,” according to court documents.
There were 20 letters in Stavaas’ court file asking the court to impose harsh penalties for the animal torture and cruelty, including requests for the judge to impose the maximum penalty.

Pit Bull Attack Prompts Hightened Police Patrols

By J. W. Johnson Jr., The Intelligencer

As communities across the Ohio Valley work to draft new and comprehensive dog ordinances, two Wheeling Island residents discovered first hand the dangers of vicious canines.
Wheeling police Chief Robert Matheny said officers responded to South Penn Street on Wheeling Island about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after two people were bitten by two different pit bulls.
"A resident was walking by, and one of the pit bulls came out of a gate that had been left open," he said.
The dog attacked the woman, prompting a concerned neighbor to rush to her aid. At that time, a second pit bull from the same yard attacked the neighbor. As a result, the owner of the pit bulls, Samantha Demello, was cited for not complying with the city's vicious dog ordinance. Matheny said this is not the first time the department has dealt with Demello and her dogs.
"Earlier this month we had cited the owner for not complying with the same ordinance," he said, adding court action for that incident was still pending and an investigation into Demello and her dogs was ongoing before Wednesday's attacks occurred.
Because of that earlier problem and concern voiced by residents of Wheeling Island at Monday's crime watch meeting, Matheny said he had ordered patrols of the area to be focused on identifying vicious dogs and making sure their owners are in compliance with the vicious dog ordinance.
"We take the ordinance very seriously and make sure our officers do as well," Matheny said. "We want to make sure we enforce it to the fullest extent."
The ordinance is "extensive," Matheny said, and includes a number of rules for owning a vicious dog. This includes requiring a muzzle for the dog while it is being walked and a 6-foot fence around the owner's property if the dog is outside. Matheny said he is making the effort to fully inform the department on the content of the ordinance, which was approved about four years ago by City Council.
The attack occurred on the same day a Shadyside woman appeared in Eastern Division Court after her pit bull attacked at least one person in June.
During a village council meeting after the attack, a number of residents shared stories of their encounters with the pit bulls, prompting Shadyside Village Council to form the Vicious Dog Ordinance Committee.
Earlier this week, the committee updated residents on the status of what they have termed a "comprehensive dog ordinance" to be introduced at the next council meeting. The pit bull remained at the residence after the attacks, as the dog can not legally be seized without a judge's order.

Update July 31, 2010 2:02pm - The following article is by Leigh Ann Towne, The State Journal:

Two People Recovering After Pit Bulls Attack on Wheeling Island

Two Wheeling Island residents are recovering after being attacked by two pit bulls on Wheeling Island.
The incident happened just before 7 p.m. Thursday near the corner of Florida and 312 S. Penn St.
Mary Jane McKenzie claims she was in the alley way between her Florida Street home and where the dogs live at 312 S. Penn St., when she noticed a gate was opened in a yard.
That’s when McKenzie said a pit bull named Coco came charging after her. A neighbor yelled for help. McKenzie said she was able to make it to her front porch, but was bitten. Neighbor, Desmond Lekandus saw what was happening and tried to help McKenzie. That’s when, he said, a second brown and white pit bull came after him, biting him on the hand. McKenzie has a gash on her arm and a pretty severe bruise. Lekandus said it was, “by the grace of God” that the pit bulls took off.
Both McKenzie and Lekandus went to the hospital for treatment and tetanus shots.
Those bitten along with several other neighbors, City Manager Bob Herron and Councilman Vern Seals met out in front of McKenzie’s home Friday morning to address the issue. Herron claims that the home owners at 312 S. Penn St. have been cited in the past for the dogs and were cited once again after Thursday night’s attacks.
Herron said, that the city does have provisions under a pit bull ordinance to deal with some of those issues and he plans to address the dogs right away.
Residents are calling on city leaders to remove the dogs. WTRF tried to talk to those at the pit bull’s home, but were told, “Go mess with someone else, people out here doing worse than this. Go somewhere else!”
Chief Matheny said that the two dogs were removed from the home late Friday afternoon and they are impounded, per the vicious dog ordinance. Samantha Demello has been charged with two counts of vicious dog violation, Matheny said.


Update August 24, 2010 9:23pm - The following article is by Shelley Hansen, The Intelligencer:

Biting Dog To Be Put Down

Will be first dog in four years to die under ordinance

The first canine to be euthanized under the city of Wheeling's vicious dog ordinance will be a pit bull that bit a Wheeling Island man and woman in July.
During an Island Community Association meeting Tuesday, Councilman Vernon Seals said he believed the dog either had been euthanized or was going to be euthanized soon. After the meeting, via telephone, City Manager Robert Herron said the dog had not yet been euthanized. He said arrangements for who would euthanize the dog still needed to be made.
The owner of the pit bull, Samantha Demello, was cited for not complying with the city's vicious dog law. She could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
Herron said Demello did not appeal the decision to euthanize the dog. It was determined Demello's other pit bull was not the aggressor during the attack and will be allowed to live. However, that dog can no longer live in the city, Herron said. Seals believes the dog was taken out of state.
"After speaking with animal control and the police department, it was determined the first dog was the aggressor," Herron said.
Since being enacted by City Council four years ago, 19 dogs have been registered as vicious dogs with the city. Breeds automatically deemed vicious by the law include Canary dogs and any Staffordshire bull terrier or American pit bull terrier.
While Demello's dog currently is being held at the county animal shelter, County Dog Warden Doug McCroskey said late Tuesday that he does not know if he will be asked to euthanize the canine.
"They're my bosses. If they tell me 'do it,' I do it," he said of county commissioners. McCroskey said he doubts any veterinarian would be willing to euthanize the pit bull because it is so aggressive.
Regarding the vicious dog ordinance, McCroskey told residents at the Island meeting he is not required by law to enforce the city's vicious dog ordinance because currently there is no agreement between the city and county compelling him to do so. If an agreement is reached, McCroskey said he would "be more than happy to enforce it."

Update September 6, 2010 11:19am - The following article is by Shelley Hanson, The Intelligencer:
Pit Bull Scheduled To Be Euthanized Thursday

A pit bull that bit a Wheeling Island man and woman in July is scheduled to be euthanized Thursday.
It will be the first canine to be euthanized under the city of Wheeling's vicious dog ordinance, adopted by City Council about four years ago.
Ohio County Dog Warden Doug McCroskey said because he is not required by county or state law to enforce the city's vicious dog ordinance, county officials asked the city to issue a court order for the action. The order was necessary because there is no agreement between the city and county compelling McCroskey to enforce Wheeling's vicious dog ordinance, including euthanizing a dog seized because of the ordinance.
McCroskey is licensed to perform euthanizations, which involve sedating an animal then giving it a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital.
He noted each decade it seems a different breed of dog becomes popular, which often leads to more negative incidents related to that breed.
"During the 1970s and '80s, it was the Doberman pinscher, and the mid-'80s and early '90s it was the rottweiler. And from the mid-'90s to now, it's the pit bull," he said. "Ten years ago the dog with the most number of bites in the country was the cocker spaniel."
McCroskey said after the dog dies, it will be cremated with the cost being covered by the shelter. McCroskey said he did not know if the pit bull's owner, Samantha Demello, planned to appeal the decision. She could not be reached for comment. City officials determined her other pit bull was not the aggressor during the attack. While that dog will be allowed to live, the city has ordered that it be taken out of the community.
Last Friday, the female pit bull scheduled to be euthanized was being held in a cage in a separate room from the general population of dogs. In the same room were smaller cages containing litters of kittens mewing for attention. In the cage next to the pit bull were two dogs that workers said had just been brought to the shelter. When the animal's cage was approached, the canine simply wagged her tail and rear end in a happy manner.
Since the ordinance was enacted by City Council, 19 canines have been registered as vicious dogs with the city. Breeds automatically deemed vicious by the law include Canary dogs and any Staffordshire bull terrier or American pit bull terrier.

Pups Thrown into Trash and Left to Die

By Andrew Colgrove, WSAZ

Trash collectors are used to seeing gross things, but employees of the New Boston Service Department say they were disgusted with what they found earlier this week.
Two pit bull puppies were found nearly emaciated in a box Tuesday behind a New Boston home. They were set out with trash, waiting to be picked up by a garbage truck.
New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton says whoever left the pups in the trash faces second-degree misdemeanor charges for abandoning them. It is against local ordinances to abandon domestic animals.
One of the puppies was put in a foster home and the other taken to the Pike County Ohio Animal Shelter.


Qld rules staffies not same as pit bulls

From The Sydney Morning Herald

Queensland will amend its Animal Management Act to clarify that American Staffordshire terriers are not restricted dogs, contrary to a recent court ruling.
The move follows a Queensland Supreme Court case in April which ruled that an American Staffordshire terrier (Amstaff) involved in a case on the Gold was the same as the restricted American Pit Bull terrier breed.
Local Government Minister Desley Boyle said pit bulls had been prohibited by many Queensland councils under their local laws, listed as restricted under state legislation and banned from importation by the Commonwealth.
"The amendment will state categorically that for the purposes of the Act, Amstaffs will not be considered the same as the restricted pit bulls," Ms Boyle said.
She said there were an estimated 4,000 Amstaffs in Queensland, some 230 on the Gold Coast.
"This will give Amstaff owners, especially on the Gold Coast, certainty about their rights and obligations," she said.
"Yet it will give Queenslanders peace of mind that the legislation's tough penalties remain for irresponsible pet owners whose dogs cause fear or harm," she said.

Update September 15, 2010 7:36pm - The following article is by Maria Hatzakis, ABC News:
Qld Parliament declares AmStaf dogs are not restricted

Dog owners and breeders have welcomed new Queensland Government legislation which declares American Staffordshire terriers are not restricted dogs

A Supreme Court ruling recently concluded the breed is the same as American pit bull terriers.
But State Parliament has passed legislation clarifying they are separate breeds.
Dogs Queensland spokeswoman Mark Sheppard says it is a relief for owners.
"What it means is that once and for all the Government has laid to rest the question of whether an AmStaf, as we call them, is the same breed as the restricted pit bull terrier," she said.
"We've maintained all along that they are quite distinctly different breeds and now the government has recognised that."

Authorities Believe Three Dead Dogs Died From Neglect

By Manuel De La Rosa, KIII

A bad smell from a home prompted a neighbor to call animal control this morning near Morgan Street. When officers arrived, they found three dead dogs, believed to be victims of neglect.
Neighbors said the dogs looked bad and hadn't been fed for awhile. They said the owner hadn't been seen for a week and the dogs perished from that care.
"This is devastating (and) this is just uncalled for," said Matt Ray, a Corpus Christi Animal Control Officer.
Animal control officers said the three pit bulls suffered before dying. One was still on the chain, while two others laid in their bedding area.
Residents said they would cry at night for food and water. One neighbor fed them when she could, but it wasn't enough as these dogs finally died from the hot weather and lack of food and water.
"You could tell they were very malnourished," said a resident who wanted to remain anonymous. "You could tell nobody was feeding them. One dog in particular couldn't bark anymore. His voicebox was gone. He was moaning. That's all he could do."
"They were hungry," said Lorenzo Garza, a neighbor living two doors down. "They were thirsty. It looked like the skin was coming off. The one dog he tried to give me you could tell he was so neglected. You could see scrapes on his arm where with just patches of hair."
Animal control officers got a warrant to go on the property to remove the animals this afternoon. A veternarian will determine their cause of death. Police have identified the dog owner, who they will interview about how these animals died.
Neighbors said they should have called earlier to save these pit bulls, but nobody wanted to trespass onto the property. Many said they're sad these dogs died and they feel a little guilty about what happened.


Dog Left Tied To Tree In Heat

From News 4 Jax

Dog And Puppies Saved By Animal Control

Four puppies and their mother are now safe after investigators say they found the mother dog near death and her babies struggling to survive in the afternoon's sweltering heat.
Animal Control told Channel 4 they found an extremely emaciated pit bull with the puppies with her. Animal Control said they got a call from someone who saw the dogs suffering in the 100-degree weather.When Animal Control got to the scene, they say the mom and puppies were in the yard, with no water. The puppies are expected to be okay, but the mom had to be rushed in for veterinary care.The dogs owner, Joanne Symore agreed to sign the dogs over to animal control; but said the mother dog has looked like this before."The dog basically looked like a skelton with skin, it's probably the worst body condition an animal can be in before death," Animal Control said.

Off-duty trooper shoots neighbor's dog

By Frank Graham, North Platte Bulletin

A Nebraska State Patrol trooper shot and killed his neighbor’s dog Friday morning after the dog threatened him, according to the North Platte police.
Trooper Justin Buhlke and his wife were loading up their truck for a quick trip out of town when three dogs approached just before 9 a.m., according to a police spokesman. Buhlke’s truck was backed up next to his garage. Buhlke exited the garage with the last items to go into the truck – his badge, an off-duty .40-caliber handgun, and his own dog, officials said.
Buhlke’s dog was wearing a shock collar and Buhlke had the controller in his hand.
Officials said Buhlke recognized the dogs as they lived across the alley from him. They were Missy, an American Bulldog and pit bull cross that was two-years-old; Norman, a Jack Russell terrier and Sadee, a Cocker Spaniel. The dogs belonged to Dinah Johns, who lives on West Third.
Nebraska State Patrol Lt. Greg Vandenberg, who also investigated the incident, said Missy ran up Buhlke’s driveway and chased his dog behind a shed. He said Buhlke set the gun, his badge and the shock collar controller on the back bumper of his truck.
Vandenberg said Buhlke reported hearing growling and snarling but couldn’t see what was happening due to the shed. Then Buhlke said he heard a yelp and his dog ran around the shed and back into the garage, according to Vandenberg.
“Buhlke yelled at Missy to ‘go home, go home,’” Vandenberg said. “Instead, the dog growled, bared his teeth and approached closer.”
Vandenberg said Buhlke felt threatened when the dog was two or three feet away, picked up his gun and fired once, striking the dog in his neck. All three dogs then ran back to their yard, Vandenberg said.
Johns, who had just arrived home from work, said she had gone to bed when her cousin let the dogs out.
“I heard them barking then a gunshot,” Johns said. “I ran downstairs and my cousin was yelling, ‘Your dog just got shot.’”
Johns said Missy crawled back through the back door and collapsed in the kitchen. They took Missy to the vet but she had to be put down, Johns said.
Johns said Buhlke’s story didn’t make sense to her.
“Missy was supposedly facing him and growling when she was shot,” Johns said. “How could he hit her sideways through her neck?”
“I find it hard to believe,” Johns said. “To me his story is confusing. It doesn’t add up.”
Johns also wondered why Buhlke didn’t come to them and explain what happened.
“We first thought someone was just randomly shooting in the alley,” Johns said.
Vandenberg said Buhlke knew it would be an emotional scene so waited for the police to arrive to calm things down.
Johns said her eight-year-old and 19-year-old daughters were crying.
Johns said Missy was a gentle dog who grew up around kids.
Sgt. Dan Shea, who investigated the incident, said the Johns dogs had been loose before and said an animal control officer said Missy once advanced on him.
Vandenberg said the Johns invested in a six-foot privacy fence to insure their dogs stayed in the yard.
“That’s the tragedy of this situation,” Vandenberg said. “Someone left the gate open, which led to all of this happening.”
Buhlke was not issued any citations. Neither were the Johns.
“He was on his property and he was in fear the dog was going to attack him,” Shea said.

83-year-old woman recovering from dog attack


An 83-year-old east Texas woman is recovering after being attacked by a pit bull mix authorities say may have been used in illegal dog fighting.

Glynda Hulsey and her two dogs were attacked as she walked to her mailbox in Smith County last week. She made it back to her house, with the dog following, and her husband shot the dog.

She told the Tyler Morning Telegraph on Thursday that she had more than 50 stitches and is still using a wheelchair. Her dogs have recovered.

Smith County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Middleton says they're investigating. He says dog fighting occurs in the county, but the locations move around.

He says, "We have to find the location while the fights are going on to catch them." He says animal control officers are catching pit bull mixes each day.

Man accused of hogtying pit bull to stand trial

From The Bakersfield Californian

A Lamont area man accused of hogtying a pit bull and abandoning it in a field will be arraigned Aug. 6 on two felony counts and a misdemeanor charge.
James D. Worley, 52, was ordered to stand trial on two counts of cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor count of abandoning a dog following a preliminary hearing Wednesday in the Lamont division of Kern County Superior Court.
The crimes are punishable by up to three years in prison.
Worley has admitted to investigators that he dumped the pit bull, since named England, in a field after it bit someone and the property owner told him to get rid of the dog, according to investigative reports.
However, Worley denied tying up the dog.
The dog was found April 22 in a muddy field southwest of Lamont. It had boot laces wrapped tightly around its mouth, neck and legs.
An animal rescue group associated with actress Katherine Heigl picked up the dog with the intention of rehabilitating it for possible future adoption.

Update October 26, 2010 2:04pm - The following article is by Steve E. Swensen, Bakersfield Californian:

Man in hogtied pit bull case could get work release

A Lamont man was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail, but he was given the opportunity to apply for the work release program in an animal cruelty case stemming from an April incident in which a pit bull was hogtied and abandoned in a muddy field near Lamont.
A defense attorney for James D. Worley, 52, asked again that the felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor, but Judge Michael Lewis refused as he did a month ago when Worley pleaded no contest to animal cruelty.
The jail sentence was delayed to Nov. 30 to give Worley a chance to apply for work release, a program in which a qualified person works on various public projects rather than serving time in jail, sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said.
For example, work release crews clean grounds, perform gardening or wash vehicles at sheriff's headquarters, he said.
The case attracted a lot of public attention, with petitions signed by thousands asking for the maximum prosecution of Worley, who has no prior criminal record.
It also led to the rescue of the dog, since named England, by a group associated with actress Katherine Heigl.
The dog was named after Kristen England, the animal control officer who found the dog in a field. A tractor driver alerted officers to the dog.
Worley admitted to investigators that he dumped the pit bull in a field after it bit someone on property where Worley worked. The property owner asked him to get rid of the dog, Worley said, according to sheriff's investigation reports.
Worley denied tying up the dog.
The dog was tied so tightly with shoe laces that animal control officers were afraid to remove the tie for fear they could cut the dog, investigative reports say.

Update October 26, 2010 4:11pm - The following article is from KERO:

Man Convicted Of Hog-Tying Pit Bull Sentenced

Man Gets 3 Years Probation

The man who hog tied a pit bull and left it for dead in a south county field was senteneced to three years of probation.
On April 22, Kern County Animal Control officers said they received a call regarding an abandoned dog on Adobe Road, between Sandrini Road and Teale Road.
The responding Animal Control officer said they were horrified to find a dog in a muddy field with its mouth and legs bound. The animal was unable to move and suffered injuries from the abuse, they said.
James Worley, 52, plead no contest to one felony count of animal cruelty in September. Two other counts against him were dismissed.
The case garnered attention from actress Katherine Heigl and her animal rescue organization eventually took in the dog.
Worley had no previous criminal record and prosecutors said they are happy that he was charged with a felony and not a misdemeanor.
Officers with animal control said they want this to serve as a reminder to the public that animal cruelty will not be tolerated and offenders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Update October 26, 2010 7:53pm - The following article is from KGET:
Man sentenced for animal abuse

It's a case that grabbed national headlines and pulled on heart strings.

Tuesday, the man accused of hog-tying a dog and leaving it to die learned his punishment in a Kern County Court.

James Worley, 52, was sentenced to 120-days of work release and 3-years of probation.  Worley was charged with felony Animal Cruelty for hog-tying a pit bull on a rural road in Lamont.

Worley must register for work release by Nov. 30 or he will be sent to jail for 120-days.

The dog, now named England, is doing well and has been adopted by an animal rights foundation co-founded by actress Katherine Heigl.

City Seizes 9 Pit Bulls, Cites Owner

By Hilda Munoz, Hartford Courant

A 26-year-old man was ticketed and fined Thursday night after police seized three adult pit bulls and six puppies in poor health, police said.
Mark Anderson was issued six infractions for failure to vaccinate and failure to license. He was also fined $1,111.
Police responded to reports of two dogs fighting at 120 Westbourne Parkway at 7:55 p.m. The officers separated the pit bulls. Both had bad bite wounds, police said.
An animal control officer noticed an adult female pit bull in poor health and six pit bull puppies, police said. All of the dogs were seized and taken to area veterinary hospitals for treatment.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Owners don’t think dog dangerous

By Elizabeth Barrett, Gothenburg Times

Davis family questions designation after pit bull bites neighbor

The owners of a dog deemed dangerous don’t think she is.
For the second time in a row, Joseph and Krista Davis approached the Gothenburg City Council about their pit bull that bit a neighbor on July 7 which required a visit to the emergency room.
At the time of the incident, the neighbor—Adam Hays—was trying to separate his dog from the Davis pet.
Under city code, dogs or other animals are declared dangerous when they:
inflict severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property;
kill a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property;
Been previously found to be potentially dangerous, the owner having received notice of the finding and the dog or other animal again aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.
If declared dangerous, owners must do certain things including payment of $250 initially and a $100 renewal fee to the city each year, obtaining insurance and insuring the animal is properly confined.
At issue was whether or not the chain holding the pit bull was long enough to allow the dog to go into the neighbor’s yard.
“Their (neighbor’s) dog was loose,” Davis said.
Gothenburg police officer Ryan Randolph, who investigated the incident, said there are conflicting reports about what happened.
Randolph said Brenda Hays told him that their dog was on their property and the pit bull grabbed the animal and dragged it to the Davis yard where it was attacked.
Krista said her dog couldn’t reach the Hays yard on the chain.
“Possibly to the property line but not over it,” she said.
City attorney Mike Bacon said if the dog didn’t leave the property it shouldn’t be declared potentially dangerous.
Bacon suggested adjourning the meeting and measuring the chain.
Randolph said there could be issues because the trampoline to which the dog had been chained had been moved.
“All you can do is look at probably evidence,” Bacon said.
The council directed Randolph to measure the chain and try to get the Hays family to attend the Aug. 3 meeting to talk about the incident.

Officer kills pit bull after being bit

From The Enquirer

A stray pit bull bit a Colerain police officer Thursday evening, causing minor injuries to the officer.
According to the Colerain Police Department, Officer Steven Karwisch arrived in the 2900 block of Atwater Drive around 6:30 p.m. for a report of an aggressive dog in the area.
As he tried to contain the dog until an official with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals arrived, the dog attacked, biting Karwisch in the leg.
The officer was "forced to discharge his firearm to defend himself," according to a news release issued by Colerain police spokesman Andrew Demeropolis.
The dog, which was not wearing identification tags, died. His owner is unknown, according to authorities.
Karwisch was treated at the scene by Colerain Township Life Squad personnel.

AHA: 3 animal abuse cases in days

By Crystal Gutierrez, KRQE

Animal Humane Association officials said three badly injured pit bulls, possibly abused, were checked into their Albuquerque shelter in the past two days.

Veterinarian Michael Neal performed a very important surgery Thursday morning on a pit bull named Georgia. The happy, playful adult pit was brought to the Animal Humane Association in Albuquerque Wednesday. Georgia’s left eye was ruptured and badly infected.
“Just hurting and becoming more and more infected by the day,” Neal said. “They're tough and they're glad to get some help.”
The surgery was a success. While Georgia’s left eye is now stitched completely closed it will be able to heal.
Animal Humane Association Executive Director Peggy Weigle said she doesn’t know for sure if Georgia was abused because they can’t find here owners. However, she said the signs are there.
“She was brought in as a stray,” Weigle said. “She looked just like this, so she obviously had been cruelly handled.”
Weigle said unfortunately it's not unusual to get cases like these. However, it is unusual to get several in a matter of days.
Georgia is one of three pit bulls that were taken into the shelter in the past two days.
“It's been a little unsettling for the staff,” Weigle said.
The two other pit bulls are named Pup and Cocoa. They both have horrendous scars; some are still healing, down the middle of their backs.
“It could have been acid, it's really hard to say what it was,” Weigle said.
Cocoa's Albuquerque family was ordered to take her to the vet or be cited by animal control. The family took her to the shelter and said they would not be coming back to pick her up.
“She also had some bitey type wounds on her ears,” Weigle said.
Vet assistants tracked down Pup’s family in El Paso, Texas. The family said it didn’t know how the pit bull ended up in Albuquerque. They also claim he was not abused.
Animal Human Association officials are questioning that story.
“It looks like a chemical burn, the dog has spots on his head,” Weigle said. “It’s really hard to believe that’s from a fence.”
Weigle said the Albuquerque family may still be cited for animal cruelty. If they had not lived in the city they may have been scott free.
Weigle said for now there is not a statewide law enforcing punishment for animal cruelty.
During the last legislative session a proposed bill to change that didn’t pass. Weigle said she hopes the next time lawmakers meet that will be changed.

The pit bulls will be ready for adoption in a few weeks. For more information call (505) 255-5523.


Portland officer sues handlers of pit bull who attacked and bit him

By Aimee Green, The Oregonian

A Portland police officer who lost part of his thigh after a pit bull bit him is suing the dog's keepers for $883,500.

Stephen W. Gandy  filed suit this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court for pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages caused by the April 12 bite, which became seriously infected. Surgeons removed part of his thigh the following week.

Gandy was investigating a suspected drug house in the 220 block of Southeast 148th Avenue and chased a suspect on to the porch.  Gandy grabbed the man's jacket, but The man opened a door to the home and slipped away. "Caesar," the pit bull, ran out and bit Gandy without provocation, the suit states.

Gandy's Portland attorney, Lori Deveny,  said the state's worker compensation fund has paid Gandy some money, but it doesn't cover all of his losses. Deveny said the fund pays for medical bills, lost wages and permanent disability that prevents someone from working, but it doesn't pay for pain and suffering.

The suit names Delores, Jonathan and Laurette Pierce who lived in the house and had control of the dog. and claims that the dog was a public nuisance and a dangerous dog. It had previously attacked another police officer, who shot it, said Gandy's Portland attorney, Lori Deveny.

Deveny said the homeowner "refused to provide his insurance information, saying it was just a scratch."

According to police, Gandy finished his shift that day before driving himself to Adventist Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Days later, he went to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center because the wound became infected. He was admitted there, then taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Today, Gandy's health has greatly approved and he's back to patrol. The dog was destroyed because it was determined to be dangerous, Deveny said.

Owner faces three charges in pit bull hanging


A Fort Myers dog owner faces three citations for animal cruelty in the hanging death of his pit bull.
Lee County Animal Services says George Cochran was negligent in leaving his pit bull, Kiki, tied outside while he was at work.
LCAS reportedly had contact with Cochran previously about the way his dog was tethered, and had recommended the use of a pulley.
However, Animal Services will actually seek a lesser sentence of community service and restriction from owning another animal, according to public information officer Ria Brown.
"We're not sure how much this particular individual understood, so that's why we're recommending community service," explained Brown. "We want him to understand what happened. And we want him to take responsibility for it. But we don't believe he intended his dog to die."
Cochran faces a mandatory court appearance and a maximum $500 fine.

Death sentence for pit bull

By Mark E. Vogler, Eagle-Tribune

Police Chief John Romero has condemned Asia the pit bull to death for biting a Chester Street woman in her yard last week.
"I have determined that the animal should be euthanized, given its vicious history and its action in this incident," Romero said following a 25-minute dangerous dog hearing in his office.
Romero said he gave the dog's owner, Juan Serrano of 80 Bowdoin St., the option of turning the dog over to the MSPCA to determine if Asia, a two-year female, can be rehabilitated and given to a new owner.
"Since he's unwilling to do that, our only recourse is to have the animal destroyed," the chief said.
Asia has been in the city pound since last Thursday, when animal control officer Ellen Bistany had the dog seized. Witnesses said it attacked Liris Nunez, 62, of 75 Chester St.
Nunez said she was picking green beans in her garden when the dog crawled under the fence that separates her backyard from the neighbor's yard and charged at her, biting her on the thigh and then on the thumb.
She received 13 stitches to close the thumb wound. Nunez also said she had dental work to replace three front teeth that she chipped after falling to the ground and banging her mouth on bricks surrounding her garden.
When reached by telephone last night, dog owner Serrano said, "They lie. What they're saying is not true. My dog didn't bite anybody. They just want to kill my dog.
"I don't believe what the lady says,'' Serrano said. "She was spraying water at the dog, throwing rocks at her and doing things to the dog."
Serrano said Romero gave him 72 hours to consult with a lawyer and decide whether to appeal the chief's decision in Lawrence District Court. Serrano said he planned to talk with Lawrence attorney James Landy today to determine what to do next.
"I love my dog, and I want my dog back," Serrano said.
During yesterday's hearing, Serrano accused Nunez of taunting the dog and untying her, according to a police department report of the proceeding. Serrano told the chief he had an argument the previous week with Nunez when she complained about the dog's constant barking, the report said.
The report said Romero told Serrano he was "unable or unwilling to properly secure this animal and this has put your neighbors at risk."
"Your assertion that the victim is somehow responsible for the attack by untying the dog and allowing it into her yard is not credible," Romero said.
"As Chief of Police, it is my responsibility to protect the residents of this city,'' he continued in the report. "We have a confirmed dog bite as well as numerous complaints from neighbors and the U.S. Post Office as to how this animal has terrorized the neighborhood .... The dog is banned from Lawrence."
Romero later said his decision to have the dog euthanized would be postponed if Serrano appeals, pending the outcome of any court action.
During the last 10 years, Romero said four dogs in the city have been destroyed, in each case, after the MSPCA determined the dogs could not rehabilitated. In at least one instance, an owner sued police, but lost the case.
"Clearly, this dog is bad for Lawrence," Romero said of Asia. "And clearly, this was the right option to take. The clincher was the dog's history and the fact that the woman was bitten in her own yard. That was enough. Then, there are lots of kids in that neighborhood. The people in that neighborhood live in fear of that dog."
Serrano said the chief was not interested in hearing his side of the story.
"Six people came with me yesterday to testify, but only two were allowed to be there (at the hearing)," Serrano said. "He's (Romero) not interested in the truth."
Romero said, "Let him take me to court if he wants. That's his right."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Man, dog taken to hospital after Pit Bull attacks


A Woodcliff Lake resident and one of his dogs were taken to area hospitals July 23 after being attacked by a Woodcliff Avenue resident’s pit bull. Officers responded to Arcadia Road on a report of a person being attacked by a dog Friday, July 23 at 8:56 a.m. On arrival, officers observed two German Shepherds and numerous people standing in the roadway. After interviewing the parties involved, police determined what had happened.
A Rose Avenue resident was walking his two dogs west on Woodcliff Avenue and turned north on Arcadia Road. As he proceeded down Arcadia Road, he and his dogs approached a house on the corner of the two streets. At the same time, the owner of the pit bull at that residence exited the home to put items into her vehicle, which was in the driveway. When she left, the door closest to the driveway was apparently left ajar and a 2-year-old pit bull was able to exit the home.
The pit bull ran toward the German Shepherds at the base of the driveway, ran into the roadway and began attacking the smaller of the two dogs, according to the police report.
When both owners ran to separate the dog fight, the pit bull latched onto the Rose Avenue resident’s right hand, knocking him to the ground. Contractors from a nearby property ran across the street to assist.
One of the contractors ran to help the man and began to strike the pit bull in the head with a hammer he was holding. According to police, he struck the dog numerous times in hopes of freeing the man and after several strikes with the hammer and kneeling on the dog’s head, the pit bull released the victim’s hand.
The pit bull’s owner was able to get the dog into her vehicle and lock the doors.
The man’s right hand was severely wounded in the attack. The tip of his right middle finger was severed from his hand. Tri-Boro Ambulance responded to render first aid and transport the victim to Valley Hospital for treatment. The severed portion of the finger, with the nail intact, was found in the lawn and placed in a bag of ice for transport.
The injured dog was transported by a friend to Park Ridge Animal Hospital and the preliminary examination revealed two deep lacerations to the neck area requiring sutures, one laceration to the leg area requiring sutures, a laceration to the head/ear area, numerous front teeth (incisors) were broken and required removal and one canine tooth was broken and required removal.
The officer issued summonses to the owner of the pit bull for not having her dog on a leash and for having a dog running at large. A date at the Woodcliff Lake Municipal Court is set for Aug. 19 at 4 p.m.

Cowboy hero, 6, saves puppies

By Oliver Sheehan, Corsicana Daily Sun

A budding young cowboy saved two puppies from starvation Tuesday when he used his rope skills to lasso them to safety from under his house.

When Kyler Mckeen, 6, heard the pit bull terrier puppies crying from below his bedroom, the police and animal control were called, but due to health and safety reasons, were unable to help.

Mckeen saw no option but to crawl under the house with a rope to get them out, as he was the only one small enough to fit through the hole.

With the help of friends Teresa Alvarado, 12, and Eduardo Alvarado, 9, Mckeen crawled into the one foot by one foot gap at the side of his home in Corsicana.

While lying among insects and broken glass bottles he created a lasso and cast it down into the 12 foot by 10 foot deep hole for five hours until he had retrieved both the puppies.

“I think he is a total hero,” said his mother Caleigh Mckeen. “I am so proud of him. He was very brave.

“For a 6 year old kid to do what he did and lasso them even though he couldn’t even see them was great.”

McKeen presently hones his lassoing skills on sheep at the Cowboy Church on Highway 22 in Corsicana, and has been learning his trade for two years.

“There was a 10 foot hole under the house, I got my rope and I put it down there and got the puppies out,” said Kyler.

“I want to get one little puppy,” he added.

Kyler McKeen said he was not scared of falling into the hole and just wanted to help the puppies. He also added that he wants to be a real cowboy when he grows up.

Both puppies are now back home safely with their owners, and Kyler was not injured during the rescue.

Man convicted of killing pitbull

By Chase Purdy, Waynesboro News Virginian

The question facing attorneys in court Wednesday was less about the dog’s character and more about whether Donald Lee Moats had the right to use his rifle.
He didn’t.
Augusta County Judge Victor V. Ludwig found Moats, 50, guilty of fatally shooting a pitbull without cause.
Moats told deputies in September that he shot the dog and threw it into the woods after the animal attacked one of his goats, said Deputy Matthew Carter, of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office. The dog had been tied to an axle near a doghouse in a yard where three of Moats’ goats roamed.
“I noticed that the leash had been clean-cut,” Carter said.
According to statements and testimony by Moats, he ran for his rifle after the pitbull named Tequila attacked one of his goats. Virginia law leaves room for people to shoot dogs in the act of killing or injuring livestock.
But Moats was the only witness to the event, he blew a 0.18 percent blood-alcohol level into a Breathalyzer – more than twice the legal limit for driving – and the allegedly attacked goat was never seen again.
At one point in the trial, the dog’s disposition became a focal point.
Amber Wenzel, the dogs owner, took the stand carrying a small stack of photos, each depicting Tequila during various stages of her life.
“Can you describe the dog’s character?” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Robin Boylan asked, gazing sympathetically at Wenzel.
“I’ve got pictures…” Wenzel replied.
Assistant Public Defender Linda Czyzyk stirred in her seat.
“Objection, your honor,” Czyzyk said.
Boylan interjected.
“This goes to the dog’s character, your honor – this goes to show this was a gentle and sweet dog,” he said.
Layered beneath the laughter of bailiffs and onlookers, Ludwig asked the attorneys to move on.
“A person has the absolute right to kill any animal that’s attacking their livestock,” Czyzyk said. “They haven’t proven that Mr. Moats killed that dog without justification.”
Ludwig recalled the facts: Tequila was killed by a rifle shot, her leash cut and body tossed into the woods.
“What we have here is a guy who was drunk,” the judge said, “making some judgment about what happened between a dog and a goat.”
Moats’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28. Moats remained free on bond.

Are Pit Bulls Especially Violent?

From My FOX Twin Cities

Nearly 3,000 letter carriers are bitten every year in this country, but they're hardly alone. The city has declared 105 dogs as dangerous or potentially dangerous this year alone. There have been 741 dogs since 2007. That's the year a pit bull attacked and killed 7-year-old Zachary King in the family basement. Dan Nizolek is with the Minneapolis Animal Control.
“All dogs bite,” said Nizolek. “Unfortunately, when a pit bull bites, the consequences are so much greater."
A 25-year study of dog attacks showed pit bulls lead the pack, along with rotweillers and presa canaries. Together, they are responsible for 74 percent of all dog attacks. Of 88 fatal dog attacks in the U.S., pit bulls were the culprits nearly 59 percent of the time.
Part of the pit bull problem is their connection to crime. Investigators say it’s not uncommon for pit bulls to be used to guard drug houses or to be used in dog fighting.
But pit bull converts, like Melissa Smith, say it's not the breed, it's the owners, who use them for some kind of masculine validation.
“They don't understand what wonderful animals they are, they want them to look mean, and to crop their own ears," said Smith.
The dangerous dogs in Minneapolis include pit bulls, but several other breeds as well.


Mailman Attacked by Unleashed Pitbulls in Mpls

By Lief Knutson, My FOX Twin Cities

A mailman was attacked by two pitbulls during his route in Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon, said a neighbor who witnessed the attack. The mail carrier fled across the street on the 3300 bock of Colfax Avenue after the dogs showed aggressive behavior just after 2 p.m. He jumped a fence, but could not escape the dogs. He suffered over 33 wounds on his arms as well as puncture wounds on his torso, said a North Memorial Hospital spokesperson. A neighbor helped fight off the dogs with a baseball bat, and another beat the dogs back with a yard sign.
The owner of the dogs was reportedly not home at the time. The owners claim the dogs are less than a year old and have never attacked anyone. The sister and cousin of the owners were home and witnessed the attack.
The mail carrier ran across street, climbed over a fence. neighbor use basebal bat to help beat the dogs, someone else grabbed a yard sign.
The dogs' owners were cited for $675 in fines for unlicensed pets, unleashed pets, unvaccinated pets and a lack of public protection from pets.
More details are to be released in a police report to be made public Wednesday.

Update July 28, 2010 7:57pm - The following article is by Abby Simons, Star Tribune:

Minneapolis mail carrier attacked by two pit bulls

Mail carrier Bryan Bloomquist survived a harrowing attack by two pit bulls, with help from neighbors and police who killed the dogs.

The adversarial relationship between mail carriers and dogs is well-known.
But as two pit bulls tore relentlessly into Bryan Bloomquist's arms and legs outside a north Minneapolis house Tuesday, the mail carrier didn't think about clichés. He thought about dying.
Bryan Bloomquist
"I had no fight left in me at that point," said Bloomquist, a 6-foot 3-inch, 300-pound Iraq war veteran said from his hospital bed Wednesday. "I thought it was over."
It almost was. Bloomquist, 31, of Mounds View, ended up with 41 wounds, which took hours of trauma surgery and stitching to close.
He said the dogs attacked him a good five minutes while neighbors tried beating them back with yard signs, a bat, even a car. Police eventually shot and killed the dogs when they charged officers who arrived at the scene in the 3300 block of Colfax Avenue N.
Minneapolis Animal Care and Control cited the dogs' owner, Otello Pitts, 48, for failure to license the dogs, failure to properly leash them and failure to vaccinate them for rabies, totaling $475 in fines.
Animal Control manager Dan Niziolek said he also could face criminal charges for harm caused by a dog. Records indicate officers have not had contact with the dogs or their owner in the past, Niziolek said.
A phone number for Pitts was not in service. No one answered the door at the house, which had a "Beware of Dog" sign in the window. Blood on a fence across the street showed where the dogs cornered Bloomquist and he slumped against it.
Neighbors say the dogs, each 9 months old, had occasionally run loose in the neighborhood but were not known to be aggressive toward people. Children lived in the house with them.
Bloomquist said he survived because of his size, his instincts and help from the people who heeded his screams.
Bloomquist has been a mail carrier for five years after serving in Iraq in 2003. As he approached the house about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, he knew it had pit bulls, and he could see them standing behind a storm door with a ripped screen. He decided to skip the house.
Silent, horrifying attack
He was giving the yard a wide berth when the dogs pushed the door open and charged him. A woman followed them out and tried unsuccessfully to call the dogs back inside.
As they bit him, Bloomquist tried to fight his way across the street to his postal van. He screamed for help, hoping someone would call 911. At one point, he grabbed one of the dogs by the throat and threw it against the other, knocking them both to the ground.
Bridgett Shepard ran outside and frantically drove her car into the yard, trying to block the dogs from Bloomquist while laying on the horn. But they ran around the car and returned. The dogs, like Bloomquist, were covered in blood.
"It was horrifying," she said. "To see it and to hear it."
The strangest part was how quiet the dogs were, said De'Angelo Boldt, 21, who came running with a baseball bat.
"There was no growling, no barking, only his screams for help," Boldt said.
Bloomquist had made it to the chain-link fence across the street and tried to climb it. But both dogs jumped up and pulled him back down. It was then, he said, that he began to accept that he might be killed.
"I'm sure they would have killed that man," said Lawrence Blackful, 60, who hit the dogs with a yard sign. "They'd go back at him again and again. They just kept coming, and I just kept swinging. That mailman was in real bad shape, I could see he was bleeding everywhere, and he couldn't get off the ground. He was at the dogs' mercy."
Finally, the neighbors' efforts drove the dogs ran back to their front step. Bloomquist, exhausted, cried out for a drink of water.
"Then I heard the gunshots go off," he said. "It was the sweetest sound that I've ever heard. Those dogs got what they deserved."
Carriers trained to be wary
Postal Service spokesman Peter Nowacki said this was the 10th dog incident this year involving Minneapolis carriers, compared to eight this time last year and 16 in all of 2009. Nationwide last year, there were 2,900 dog incidents involving mail carriers.
Nowacki said carriers are trained to recognize signs of a dangerous dog and to avoid houses with them, as Bloomquist did.
"We're talking about a guy who did absolutely everything right," Nowacki said. "That's what's frustrating for everybody...What if it was an 11-year-old girl or a 65-year-old woman bringing in groceries? What then?"
Niziolek said state statutes don't allow the city to enact breed-specific ordinances, such as the pit bull regulations in some other states. But over the past three years, he said, stricter statutes have been in place for owners of dogs that have shown themselves to be dangerous.
"It comes down to the owner being responsible for their dog," he said. "And clearly a larger dog has a greater propensity for harm."
As Bloomquist recovered in the hospital, his wife, Jenni, by his side, blood continued to seep through some of the gauze covering his wounds. Besides the punctures, he had a paw-shaped bruise on his back. He could be released from the hospital in a couple of days.
He said he'll probably stay with the Postal Service, but not likely as a carrier. He's sure of one thing, though:
"Iraq was a piece of cake compared to this."


Update August 13, 2010 9:39am - The following article is from KAAL:

Charges Filed Against Pit Bull Owners

Two pit bull owners are facing criminal charges for their dog's attack on a mail carrier in Minneapolis.
The city attorney has charged Otello Pitts and Gidget Nicks with misdemeanors for a July 27 attack on mail carrier Bryan Bloomquist. The dog attack left Bloomquist with 41 wounds, which required surgery and stitches.
Police shot and killed the dogs.
The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.
Phone numbers for Pitts and Nicks were not listed. The city attorney's office did not immediately return a call for comment.

Pit bull left behind in Old West Ranch

By Mark Powell, Tehachapi News

I was driving on Summers Drive through Old West Ranch this morning and saw that reporters from Los Angeles news station KTLA Channel 5 had discovered a white, female pit bull with no collar walking alone by the road.
It appeared the dog had possibly been left behind during an evacuation.
The KTLA staff fed the dog and gave it water.
The picture of the dog is to the left. If you know who the owners are, please contact Tehachapi News or KTLA.
When I left the scene, KTLA was still taking care of the dog and I hope they transported the dog from the area.

Animal control takes pit bull into custody in Fitchburg

From Worcester Telegram & Gazette

A pit bull that authorities said attacked a Leominster man Monday night was taken into custody by an animal control officer yesterday.

According to police, a 45-year-old Leominster man was on Oak Hill Lane with his dog when he was attacked by a pit bull.

Mark Gilbert, the owner of three pit bulls who lives at 32 Oak Hill Lane, let his dogs out in the area without a leash, according to police. Mr. Gilbert told police he usually puts his dogs on a leash, but did not this time because he did not see anyone in the area.

While the dogs were out, Mr. Gilbert saw Patrick E. Godley down the street. The three pit bulls ran toward him and one of them attacked him, police said. Mr. Godley suffered cuts on his legs, chest and head. The incident occurred about 9:15 p.m. Monday. The injuries were not life-threatening. Police continue to investigate.

Pit Bull Shooting Caught On Camera


Firefighters Heard Laughing After Dog Shot By Police

A Fort Pierce firefighter won't be disciplined for using a personal cell phone to capture the shooting of a dog by police, West Palm Beach TV station WPBF reported.
Police on Tuesday released the video recorded by one of three firefighters stranded in their rescue truck because of the pit bull.
The video shows a pit bull running in the direction of a police officer, the officer taking a step back and then firing a round that grazes the dog's face. After the dog is hit, firefighters can be heard laughing and commenting about the dog being shot.
"It's a reaction to the situation," St. Lucie County Fire Chief Ron Parrish said of the firefighters' comments. "We don't condone the comments, but it's a reaction."
A fire rescue spokeswoman said it is against department policy for employees to use their personal cell phones or cameras while responding to a call.
Officials said they spoke with the firefighter and reminded him of the department's rules. No disciplinary action has been taken.
Meanwhile, police were commending the actions of the officer. Police said the dog could not be stopped, even after being shocked twice with a stun gun.
"We had rescue workers trapped inside their vehicle and a Comcast vehicle with a worker inside fearful to step out, " police Capt. Gregory Kirk said. "It was a menace and a threat. So the officer's actions were appropriate and actually commendable for him to react so quickly."
The dog was put down and will be tested for rabies.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fighting pit bulls seized in Plant City, officials say

From Plant City Courier & Tribune

A Plant City man was arrested this afternoon and eight pit bull dogs used in a dog-fighting ring seized from his home, Hillsborough County Animal Services said. James Craig Jenkins Jr., 32, faces 22 charges, including felony animal cruelty.
At least half of the pit bulls seized were used in a dog-fighting ring that stretched from Miami to New Jersey, officials said.
Investigators also have seized drugs, stolen guns and cash from the home, located at 1301 Peregrine Drive, Plant City.
The agency has been investigating the case for two years.
Jenkins, an unemployed truck driver, may face more charges, said Marti Ryan, an animal services spokeswoman. The dogs are being evaluated, she said.

Update July 27, 2010 7:49pm - The above article has been updated to include the following:

The drugs are used to nurse and treat the wounds of injured dogs and to give them energy to fight, Ryan said. Investigators found records of fights Jenkins officiated, with some fights lasting more than an hour, Ryan said.
James Jenkins
Video of dogfights were also found in the home, she said.
"These videos are painfully graphic," Ryan said. "It's difficult to watch; it's difficult to listen to."

Pictures of the dogs 

Update July 28, 2010 9:59pm - The following article is by Neil Johnson, The Tampa Tribune:
Man faces 22 dogfighting charges

A man arrested Tuesday afternoon on 22 charges related to dogfighting was released from jail Wednesday after posting $45,000 bail.
Six adult pit bulls and two hound-mix puppies were seized when James Craig Jenkins Jr., 32, was arrested at his Plant City home, Hillsborough County Animal Services said.
Jenkins faces 24 charges, Hillsborough County Jail records show. All except two relate to dogfighting.
The charges include having equipment for animal fighting and possession of animals for fighting, records show. He also faces two misdemeanor drug charges.
Some of the dogs had missing teeth, puncture wounds, skin issues and neurological damage, said Marti Ryan, an Animal Services spokeswoman.
The pit bulls will be evaluated by a team trained to assess fighting dogs before a decision is made about whether they can be adopted. Seized fighting dogs are not automatically euthanized, Ryan said.
Investigators also seized animal medications, stolen guns and cash from the home, at 1301 Peregrine Drive.
Jail records show no charges related to the guns.
The medications are used to nurse and treat the wounds of injured dogs and to give them energy to fight, Ryan said.
Investigators found records of fights Jenkins officiated, with some fights lasting more than an hour, Ryan said.
Video of dog fights were also found in the home, she said.
"These videos are painfully graphic," Ryan said. "It's difficult to watch; it's difficult to listen to."
The agency has been investigating the case for two years.
Jenkins is an unemployed truck driver, Ryan said.

Pit bull attacks leave five cows dead

By Tim Pratt, The Dispatch

Five dairy heifers are dead and more than a half-dozen were injured in two pit bull attacks Sunday off Oktoc Road.
Mactoc Farm farmer Bill McGee was asleep Sunday just before 3 a.m. when he was awakened by the sound of a heifer in distress. When McGee went outside to investigate, he saw a tan pit bull "clamped down" on the head of one of his 3-month-old heifers, he said.
McGee shouted at the pit bull, then fired his 20-gauge shotgun at the dog and it ran away.
But the damage was done. One heifer was dead, two were maimed and another received minor injuries.
McGee eventually went to bed and woke up later Sunday morning to discover three more heifers were dead in another pasture and a half-dozen others were injured. Several were missing ears and tails, and chunks of meat were visible through torn skin.
"That tan pit was a powerful dog," he said. A small black and tan pit bull accompanied the tan pit bull during the attack, McGee said.
Sunday night, family friend Mark Murphy kept watch over the farm's approximately 420 heifers in case the dogs came back. They did and they brought friends.
Just before 10 p.m. Sunday, the tan pit bull returned with the small black and white dog and two others. Murphy shot the black and white dog, McGee said, and the remaining dogs scattered. But the group had killed another heifer, which brought the death total to five, McGee said.
Outside Starkville city limits, Oktibbeha County has no leash laws or vicious dog laws, Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy George Carrithers said. The county doesn't have an animal control officer either, so Sheriff's Department deputies sometimes take "wild" dogs to the county animal shelter, Carrithers said.
"But if you've got wild dogs chasing livestock in Mississippi, the law allows you to take care of the problem," Carrithers said. "It's not illegal to shoot a dog if it's chasing your livestock."
Sitting in their home Monday afternoon, Bill and Patsy McGee were distressed.
"I don't know what the solution is, but county-wide, something needs to happen," Bill McGee said. "It's just horrible to find these heifers all mangled up. It was just very depressing and distressing and now you've got that feeling like, 'I can't go to bed without somebody being on guard.'"
Monday afternoon, McGee was preparing for another encounter with the dogs.
"If they come back tonight, we'll be ready," McGee said. "We're going to have a lot of firepower out here."
The Sheriff's Department has been patrolling the area and questioning neighbors in an attempt to find the dogs, Carrithers said.
Bill McGee says he has contacted residents of the Browning Creek subdivision, located directly across Oktoc Road, and warned them to be wary of the wandering pit bulls.
"We've been out here 31 years and we've never had anything like this before," Patsy McGee said.
The largest heifer killed in the attacks weighed nearly 400 pounds.
Tim Pratt is based in the Dispatch's Starkville Bureau. His e-mail address is

Pitbull kills owner

By Shellee Geduld, IOL

A young Cape Town man is dead after one of the pit bulls he owned mauled him to death.

Jason Waverly died on the stoep of his Retreat home on Sunday afternoon after one of his three dogs bit him in the neck.

But neighbours say they are not surprised that the fearsome dogs turned on Jason.

A neighbour says she often witnessed the 21-year-old being physically abusive towards the animals.

"Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon I saw him coming out of the house with one of the dogs on a leash then the smaller dog came and jumped through the gate," said the neighbour.

"Then when I looked again, he had all three dogs and he was going to take them for a walk.

"I told him it was dangerous and it wasn't safe for him to go alone with all three dogs but he didn't listen."

The neighbour said Jason often kicked and beat his pets.

"What happened is really tragic but it was just a matter of time before one of the dogs turned on him," the neighbour told the Daily Voice.

"He used to kick those dogs and hit them and you don't treat animals that way."

Steenberg police spokesman Warrant Officer John Bartlett said police were called to the Petal Street home at 2.50pm after a friend found Jason's bloody body on the stoep.

"It is alleged that the dog bit its owner in the neck," said Bartlett.

He added that the pit bull was taken away by the SPCA.

Steenberg police are investigating an inquest docket.

The SPCA's Allan Perrins said they were concerned about the amount of pit bulls on the Cape Flats but stressed that the breed made wonderful pets if treated properly.

"The deceased's family asked to remove the dog along with two other pit bulls and put them all to sleep," he said.

"Owners of this breed must be aware that most strive to dominate and at the first sign of weakness, they may react." - Daily Voice

Dog owner says attack not ‘big deal’

From The Chronicle-Telegram

Police say a Bell Avenue man told them it “wasn’t a big deal” after his pit bull was accused of attacking a neighbor’s dog Sunday. When officers arrived to the home of Donald R. Battiste, the man admitted that his dog got loose earlier and went toward his neighbor’s house.
“Mr. Battiste stated that dogs are dogs and that it wasn’t a big deal,” according to the police report.
The victim dog, also a pit bull, had blood dripping from its muzzle and chest area, according to the report.
Battiste, 60, could not pro­vide proof of insurance for owning a pit bull, which is a requirement under Ohio law, and was charged with not hav­ing the insurance.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Photographer's Sandwich Lures Dog from Roof


You've heard of cats stuck up in trees, but how about a dog stuck on a roof?

That's what happened in Youngstown's Brier Hill area Monday. A officer spotted the pitbull on the roof of an abandoned warehouse.

The roof wasn't in the best of condition so the officer couldn't go out and just grab the pooch. At first he tried using water to lure the dog but it was our photographer, TJ Renninger, who helped out by giving up his chicken breast sandwich to lure the dog to safety.

Pit bull involved in June attack euthanized

By Skye Kincaid, Mount Shasta News

The pit bull who fatally attacked another dog in downtown Mount Shasta last month has been euthanized, said Mount Shasta animal control officer Gordon Howard.

Rhonda Bryant’s 15 year old cocker poodle, Nikki, had to be put to sleep after being mauled while walking on Mount Shasta Boulevard June 8.

Initially the pit bull’s owner, who was a transient from the Los Angeles area, couldn’t be located after his dog was quarantined, Howard said.

Eventually Howard located the owner and explained the situation, convincing him to sign ownership of the dog over to the city, he said.

After an evaluation into the dog’s adoptability, the pit bull was determined to be dangerous and was euthanized, said Howard.

The dog had been involved in at least one other violent incident in the Los Angeles area, Howard said. During the attack on Nikki, several people, including the pit bull’s owner, attempted to stop the fight. It took two sprays of mace before Howard was able to control the dog and take him into custody.

To help with Nikki’s vet bills, the Siskiyou Humane Society is currently accepting donations to help Bryant, who is on a fixed income.

Before making the difficult decision to say goodbye to her dog, Bryant had accumulated about $600 to $700 in vet bills, said shelter manager Kim Latos.

Those wishing to make a donation to for Bryant may do so at the Siskiyou Humane Society. Call Latos at 926-4052 for more information.

Neighbors mad dog that killed a poodle is back

By Rob Parsons, Colusa County Sun-Herald

Residents of a Williams neighborhood are outraged after a pit bull was returned to its owner last month, a day after it reportedly attacked and killed a smaller dog that was leashed to a teenage girl.
“We just don’t want any dogs like that around here,” said Mayra Vega-Salazar, who lives in the 1000 block of Nicolaus Drive in Williams.
Vega-Salazar’s neice and nephew were walking their 2-year-old poodle, Spider, on a leash around 10 a.m. on June 30 when a blue-nose pit bull that was roaming freely reportedly attacked the poodle, grabbing it by the neck and shaking the animal to death, the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office reported.
It is not clear why the Sheriff’s Office returned the animal to its owner. A phone call to the Colusa County
Animal Control Office was not immediately returned.
Cynthia Pineda said she is still traumatized by the memory of the sudden attack.
“I think about it everyday,” Pineda said Monday. “I can’t even walk down that street anymore because I see it all again in my head.”
Relatives said Pineda, 17, was eventually taken to a Colusa Regional Medical Center after experiencing panic attacks following the incident.
Pineda was walking with her younger brother, Noe Ramirez, 12, and said she saw the pit bull charging and tried to pick Spider up in her arms and run away, but said the pit bull was too fast.
“He just grabbed him out of my arms and I tried to keep kicking him to let go, but he wouldn’t let go,” Pineda said.
The pit bull, whose name is Chino, is owned by Luis Alberto Ramirez, who also lives in the same neighborhood.
Ramirez, 29, declined to comment when contacted by telephone Monday.
The Sheriff’s Office said Ramirez told investigators the dog has never had any problems before the incident, describing him as “friendly.”
Ramirez reportedly told animal control officers he was surprised and said he had never seen the dog act aggressive before.
Ramirez is set to appear in Colusa County Superior Court for arraignment on the animal control code violation “dog at large.” He faces a fine of about $215, court records state.
Pineda said she is extremely angry the pit bull was not destroyed.
“It sucks because that dog killed my dog and I’ll never get to see him again, but they get to see their dog everyday,” Pineda lamented. “It just hurts a lot.”
Vega-Salazar said she “very worried” the dog may attack, again.
“What about all the kids that live here,” Vega-Salazar said. “We don’t want what happened (in Martinez) to happen here.”
Last week, a 2-year-old Martinez boy was killed when three of his grandfather’s pit bulls suddenly attacked, Vega-Salazar said.
“They are very dangerous, powerful dogs.”

Firefighters Rescue Puppy From Burning Home


Grady, a Pit Bull puppy, was rescued by Rocky Mount firefighters after they learned the dog was still inside the burning mobile home.

Firefighters managed to save a puppy from a burning home early Sunday.
Grady, a Pit Bull puppy, was rescued by Rocky Mount firefighters after they learned the dog was still inside the mobile home on Biltmore Place. The two people inside the home had already safely made it outside.

Grady and her hero
Firefighters say due to the heavy smoke, they had trouble finding the puppy. During a secondary search they discovered Grady in a back bedroom. She had climbed into a large pocketbook.
The puppy was lethargic, but still breathing. Firefighters took Grady outside where she was given oxygen and some water to drink. The fire department says the puppy made a quick recovery and quickly began running around in the yard.
The fire department says it believes unattended cooking started the fire which caused heavy fire damage to the kitchen as well as smoke damage throughout the home.

Update August 6, 2010 10:13pm - The following article is by Brie Handgraaf, The Rocky Mount Telegram:

Residents reassemble life after fire

Sarah Johnson moved to Rocky Mount in December for a fresh start. She worked two jobs and saved enough to rent a mobile home. It wasn’t near her jobs or the bus line, but she made do. She was getting by and helping her brother, Sedric Vines, at the same time. The pair got a pit bull puppy named Grady and settled into a routine.
All of her progress was undone on July 25 when a grease fire spread as quickly as it had started. Johnson and Vines were able to get out, but firefighters had to rescue the 2-month-old puppy, who had crawled into Johnson’s pocketbook for sanctuary.
The puppy made a full recovery, but nearly everything they owned was destroyed.
“We were not really able to salvage anything,” Johnson said. “What the fire didn’t get, the smoke got.”
The Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross helped by putting up the trio at a local hotel and directing them to agencies who could offer more long-term help.
“The Salvation Army added her to a waiting list because they are overloaded,” said Connie Lilley. “I got her in touch with my church, the Church of the Good Shepherd, and they helped her file for food stamps.”
Lilley and Katy Cohen with Animal Crackers, a Rocky Mount-based nonprofit advocacy group, stepped up to help when they heard about the fire. They contacted Shelly Midrowsky, the operations manager at the Rocky Mount PetSmart, who was able to get Grady a bath, food, toys and services at the Banfield veterinarian.
“(Cohen) called me with the details of what happened, and we rallied our resources to try to give this pup a fresh start even though she had somewhat of a bad beginning,” Midrowsky said.
Johnson said she really appreciated all the help offered to Grady, but she said they still are struggling. Lilley and others have come together to pay for a hotel room every night, but Johnson said she really wants to be self-sufficient again.
“I want to get back into a place of my own and back on my own two feet,” she said.
Johnson said she is looking for a place to rent but is struggling to come up with the necessary money while paying for daily living.
“If I don’t get help soon, I’m going to end up on the street and lose my dog,” she said.
Lilley said her resources are reaching an end and hopes others will step up to help.
“The community needs to kick in and help her,” Lilley said. “She is trying to make do with what she has, but they need more. They need clothing and food. They need someone to step up and cut them a break.”
Johnson said she really appreciates the support she has received, especially from Lilley.
“(Lilley) has been outstandingly wonderful,” Johnson said. “I really feel like God sent her to help me through this.”
For more information on Animal Crackers, go to To help Johnson, Vines or Grady, call Johnson at 406-4809.