Monday, January 31, 2011

Bystanders save Eugene woman & service dog from dog pack attack

By Chris McKee, KMTR

Bystanders save Eugene woman & service dog from dog pack attack

A Eugene woman has three strangers to thank for escaping serious injury on Monday afternoon, after a pack of three dogs attacked her and her service dog.
It happened near west 8th Street and Polk in west Eugene on Monday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.
The victim was heading to job interview with her 6-month old black Labrador-retriever service animal, which she has because of an epileptic condition.
Witnesses say the woman was walking down 8th street when three pit-bulls ran up to her and her dog, knocking the woman to the ground and attempting to bite her.
One of the dogs bit the victim’s dog in the pit of its right leg. The woman avoided injury.
Two people in a car driving by saw the attack happen and stopped to help the woman, grabbing two of the three dogs. Another man working on his home nearby, Scott Downey saw the attack as well. Downey fought off another one of the dogs with a recycling bin.
“I just know that if it was happening to me, I would hope that people would come running, and a lot of people did come running and good for everybody for helping out,” said Downey.
Eugene Police responded to the incident, detaining two of the dogs. A third one ran into the backyard of a nearby home. Police say the dogs escaped from a hole in the fence at that house, near Almaden and 8th Street.
Once the animals were separated, Eugene Police officers say they had no problem detaining the dogs responsible for the attack.
“They're playful and lovable dogs, you know so we didn't have to be very aggressive at all,” said Sergeant J.R. Webber.
“I mean, took a while to get the dog in the back of the patrol car but luckily one of the officers had his lunch bags there,” said Sgt. Webber.
Eugene Police will forward the police report to Lane County Animal Services. It will be up to Animal Services as to what happens next. Eugene Police say the owners will likely face a citation related to having dogs at large.

33 dogs discovered in Alamogordo home

By Kayla Anderson and Taryn Bianchin, KOB

Cages at Albuquerque’s Westside Animal Shelter are full after animal welfare was called to a home in Otero County on Sunday. There, they found 33 large breed dogs on the property living in deplorable conditions.
Animal welfare officials say this hoarding case appears to be a breeding situation that got out of control. They say some of the dogs hadn’t had human contact in years. “They were living in their own feces and probably had been for quite some time,” explained Mary Knight with animal welfare.
Mary Knight was called to Otero County on Sunday. Deputies there desperately needed someone to rescue dogs from an Alamogordo home. “It was quite a scene,” said Knight.
There were a total of 33 dogs found at the home. Knight tells us the dogs just became too much for the elderly man that lives there. “And then it just got out of control because he’s old and couldn’t take care of them and then of course none of them were spayed and neutered,” Knight said.
The dogs are all large breeds, mostly pit bulls and bull mastifs. The biggest one seized is a gentle giant, weighing 160 pounds. The man had as many as three per 5’x5’ cage. “As they came, they just started stock piling them wherever they were at,” Knight added.
Animal welfare took nine adults and six puppies and brought them to Albuquerque’s Westside Shelter. More than a dozen dogs were left behind, many of them are too unsocialized to be saved. The Alamorgordo animal control will care for them.
“When you drive off and have to leave some behind, it really affects you. But we can only save so many,” Knight said.
The dogs will be evaluated, fixed and given a full medical exam. Then, they’ll be available for adoption beginning February 8th. If you’re interested in saving one, you can go to the Westside Animal Shelter and put a priority hold on a puppy or dog as early as Saturday.

Video

Animal Services seeks two dogs believed to have killed sheep in Larkin Valley area

From Mercury News

Animal control authorities are searching for two dogs said to have killed five sheep and severely injured two others Saturday in a pasture on Old Adobe Road.
The two injured animals had to be euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.
"These two dogs have acted in a severely aggressive and startling manner," field manager Todd Stosuy said in a press release. "It is alarming that two domesticated dogs hunted and killed seven large livestock animals."
A witness saw the dogs leaving the pasture, and, according to authorities, the pair are believed to have attacked and killed other animals in the past.
The dogs are described as medium-sized with short fur. One is mostly white with dark spots, possibly a pit bull mix. The other is light brown and has a spitz-like tail that curls over its back.
Stuosy said authorities are asking for the public's help to find the dogs before they attack again. Animal Services asks anyone with information can to call 454-7303 ext. 1 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Update February 1, 2011 - The following article is from KSBW:
 
7 Sheep Killed In Dog Attack

2 Dogs Caught By Animal Control

Two dogs accused of killing seven sheep during an attack in Watsonville were caught by Santa Cruz County Animal Control Services on Tuesday.
Witnesses said that a pit bull mix with a brown spot and a husky with a curly tail went into a pen over the weekend and attacked the sheep, killing seven -- including two ewes -- and injuring another, animal control officials said.
The sheep's owner, Christine Kelsey, said her yard was fenced in when the attack occurred on her Barbados black belly sheep.
Kelsey was on vacation when the attack took place.
"It's a real economic impact because all our ewes were three months pregnant, ready to deliver in about a month and a half," Kelsey said.
Santa Cruz County Animal Control Officer Todd Stotsuy said the attack is a concern.
"For a dog that takes down animals as big as a sheep, it's (concerning) for the neighbors in that area," Stotsuy said. "If dogs can hurt and kill live livestock animals, then they're able to do it to smaller animals and we're concerned about the safety of other animals in our community."
If the dogs' owners are identified and want to keep their pets, they must ensure that the dogs can't escape from the property. Otherwise, the dogs could be put down, animal control officials said.

Related articles:
Seven sheep dead after dog attack - Register-Pajoronian

Hope Animal Rescues dog inspired book

By Jill Moon, The Telegraph

Tommy, a tail-wagging dog famous for his struggles, has inspired a children’s book that focuses on kindness — instead of the abuse he suffered.
"What keeps me going is the kindness of strangers," said author Laura Marlowe, 49, of Tarzana, Calif., who wrote "Tommy the Throwaway Dog," about the pit bull found in a Cahokia, Ill., trash can when he was approximately 10 months old. "That’s what I do my best to focus on — it’s not always easy because sometimes it becomes very emotional — but it’s the kindness of strangers that I’m very grateful for."
While Marlowe perused online headlines one evening in October 2009 at her home in Southern California, one caught her eye that she could not forget. She eventually wrote "Tommy the Throwaway Dog" about the pit bull cared for and returned to health and happiness by Hope Animal Rescues in Alton. Portions of the book’s proceeds go to help shelters and rescues, including no-kill Hope Animal Rescues, co-founded by Jackie Spiker and Kim Lee, both of Alton.
"A headline popped out at me that really disturbed me, and because I am an animal lover and animal welfare activist, I couldn’t get it out of my mind," Marlowe recalled. "It led me to an article, which just hurt and devastated me, and that led me to the website of Hope Animal Rescues shelter, the photos (of Tommy prior to rescue) and — wow — I was completely saddened and overwhelmed with what happened to this dog."
A sanitary employee with Waste Management Systems discovered the pit bull thrown in the trash by his abuser and called the Cahokia Police Department. The Cahokia Mayor’s Office secretary called Hope Animal Rescues and Spiker picked up the dog and took him to Horseshoe Lake Animal Hospital in Collinsville. Subsequently Tommy returned to Hope Animal Rescues at Club Paws until his adoption by Timothy and Sue McGowan of Lenzburg.
"We hand-delivered Tommy to his new home, drove to Lenzburg, and visited his new home to make sure everyone liked each other, and then left Tommy with his new family," Spiker recalled of that day, Dec. 13, 2009.
Tommy is named for Spiker’s late golden retriever, Tommy Girl, who died in March 2008 of cancer.
"I was happy they kept that name," Spiker said. "That was my very special dog, Tommy Girl; he got that name, so he had to be special, too."
Marlowe, a 30-year animal welfare activist, made a donation to Hope Animal Rescues because she said she simply had to do something.
"I just wanted to get on a plane, go to the shelter and throw my arms around this dog," she said. "I wanted to tell him I was so sorry, and cared about what happened to him. And, on the other hand, I was grateful to the people who found him and helped him."
Mirror Publishing out of Milwaukee, Wis., published Marlowe’s first book, "Tommy the Throwaway Dog," in May 2010. Since then, it has sold very well and Marlowe has given numerous readings, including in December at AfterWords Books in Edwardsville, where all of the profits of more than $1,000 for the $12.99 book went to Hope Animal Rescues, and Marlowe met Tommy for the first time. Between 1 and 4 p.m., Dec. 11, 177 copies of the book sold.
"I met Tommy and almost every person portrayed in the book," Marlowe said. "I came to Missouri to do a TV interview, then to Illinois to do the book signing. Almost every person who is in the book was at the signing, along with customers and fans."
Marlowe sat with Tommy on the floor while he gave her a kiss and leaned against her.
"I wanted to hug him for so long," she recalled. "Seeing that he was happy and healthy is what made me the happiest."
As of this month, the book is available in Spanish.
"The idea to write this book combined my passion for writing, writing children’s stories and animal welfare in general," she explained. "I thought I not only would have this story for children, so that they could learn about animal welfare, but also something that could generate funds for animal welfare organizations, including Hope Animal Rescues."
Mirror Publishing released the book in September, when it began selling at stores and online sites. Marlowe told Spiker and Lee about the published work when the book actually was released.
"When I contacted them, they were absolutely floored," Marlowe recalled. "They were just amazed and beyond happy."
Since its release, the book has been the subject of numerous readings by Marlowe at schools, book stores and libraries in Los Angeles and the southwest United States.
"The Q and As at schools in L.A. have been absolutely phenomenal; the questions and stories I engage in with the children are amazing," she said.
Countless children have asked Marlowe if they can meet Tommy, who she hopes someday visits her in California with his incredibly loving family.
"I say, ‘Well, sweetheart, he lives far way, but someday he might be able to visit California,’" Marlowe recounted of what she tells pupils to whom she reads. "They act like it’s Christmas and they just stamp their feet and say, ‘Yeah, when can I meet him? When can I hug him?’ We’re hoping someday that happens."
Tommy’s story is illustrated by South American artist Javier Duarte. Duarte’s heartfelt portrayal of Tommy from his tearful puppy-dog eyes peeking outside a trash can to all of Tommy’s tail wagging is touching from beginning to end.
"He’s a wonderful artist who was assigned to this project, and his illustrations have been so well received and complimented by so many people, from adults and children. He’s a very busy, working artist who does artistic work in quite a few different styles and works freelance. We were very fortunate to have him for this project."
The story dwells not on the animal abuse of Tommy, but on all of the people who gave a second chance to the once-abandoned canine. Tracie L. Johnson, who was 34 at the time, of Cahokia, was accused of dumping Tommy into the trash. She was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Tommy was found by a sanitation worker who thought he was dead, which is not a part of Marlowe’s children’s story.
Spiker said studies show that animal cruelty leads to human abuse. She said animal cruelty is family violence.
"Children are very moved and love to talk about their experience with animal welfare, their companion animals, and the abuser of Tommy, of whom they are absolutely shocked that someone could do that," Marlowe said. "They say they wish the abuser was still in jail, but I steer away from that because I don’t want that to be the focus. I want the focus to be for good and the value of kindness and how that affects everyone, not only to animals, but to everybody. We engage in dialogue about the value of kindness to everybody."
"Tommy the Throwaway Dog" is available at AfterWords Bookstore in Edwardsville and in circulation at the Bethalto Library. Visit www.hoperescues.com for more information about Tommy and its rescues.

Greenfield shelter owner complains about lack of progress in case of abandoned dogs

By Drew Kerr, The Post-Star

The owner of a Greenfield animal shelter says she is upset that town officials and police have not done more to look into her concerns about two pit bulls that showed signs of fighting and were abandoned at her facility last month.
Tracy Palmateer, the manager at the Estherville Animal Shelter on Russell Road, said a shelter volunteer reported on Jan. 20 that two pit bulls were thrown from a slow-moving red sport-utility vehicle as it passed the shelter.
Palmateer said one of the dogs ran off into the woods and has not been found, while the other has been treated for "severe wounds" on his face, chest and tail that she says indicate he may have been used to train other dogs for dog fighting.
"This is an animal abuse case," said Palmateer, who said the dog, named Mallicki, is still recovering at the shelter but is not yet ready for adoption.
Palmateer said police and the town's dog control officer have done little to help look into the case, or to help find the missing dog, which she fears may now have been attacked by coyotes.
Supervisor Dick Rowland said the town's dog control officer has been gone on medical leave, though, and that there has been little information to go on in looking into the case.
The volunteer did not get a license plate number and cannot remember the car's make or model. Rowland said there are also questions about whether there is a second missing dog because no tracks were seen leading into the woods and there have been no reports of a wayward dog.
"Nobody can say for certainty much of anything really," he said. "So are we going to go traipsing through the woods looking for Spot? No, we're not."
Still, Rowland said the town would act on any information it received about the case.
"If someone has information on this, we'd love to have it," he said. "If it was found that there was a dog-fighting operation in this town, it would be met with very severe consequences."
Palmateer is now spreading information around the community in hopes that someone will come forward with information. She has seen several pit bulls at the shelter over the years that show signs of being used in dog fights, and fears the practice will continue if nothing is done.
"Pit bull fighting in this area is very common, which is scary," Palmateer said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the shelter at 893-7451 or e-mail info@esthervilleanimalshelter.net.

Pit Bull Attacks Upstate Mail Carrier

By Graeme Moore. WSPA

A pit bull attacked, but did not bite, a mail carrier over the weekend in Gaffney, according to the Gaffney Police Department.
Sandy Henderson was delivering mail Saturday around 4:00 p.m. to a home at 302 Walnut Street when the homeowner's pit bull got loose, ran into the street, and jumped on the woman, according to the police report.
Henderson told police she was injured when the dog knocked her to the ground, and she is now on medical leave, according to a US Postal Service spokesman.
Gaffney Animal Control ticketed the dog's owner, Shirley Bolin, for allowing an animal to run at large, a charge that carries a potential fine of $470.
The pit bull, according to police, was tethered, and when Bolin saw the mail carrier, she tried to unhook the animal to move it to the back yard. However, the dog broke free and charged Henderson, according to the report.
Bolin yelled at the dog, grabbed it off the carrier and took it into the home, police said.
A USPS spokesman said Monday that such incidents have increased in the area over the past couple of years.

Related articles:
Police: Pit Bull Injures Gaffney Mail Carrier - FOX Carolina

Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Dangerous' pets come in all shapes, sizes in Gaston County

By Michael Barrett, Gaston Gazette

Forty-four domestic pets that have been deemed “dangerous” by Animal Control are now living within Gaston County’s borders (see list).
Twelve pit bull mixes are on that list, representing the most of any single breed. But there are also other types that many people might find surprising, such as two Chihuahua mixes, a Jack Russell terrier, a Dachshund and a Cocker Spaniel.
And along with the 43 dogs, there’s even a domestic short-haired cat.
Across the region, animal control policies for both preventing and responding to domestic pet attacks have come under scrutiny of late. The owner of two pit bulls that killed a 5-year-old girl in Waxhaw two weeks ago has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The dogs were shot and killed by police, but Waxhaw leaders have since discussed strengthening animal control ordinances or even banning pit bulls entirely there. In light of the fatal attack, city leaders in Shelby have also pondered a pit bull ban.
Just last week, a 7-year-old boy in Lincoln County was also bitten in the head and face by a pit bull. The child is recovering from his injuries, while a hearing will soon be held to determine if the dog should be labeled as dangerous and allowed back in the hands of its owner.
The reasons that Gaston County’s 44 dangerous pets were given that designation run the gamut. Most, if not all, stemmed from the animal in question biting someone.
Just as varied are the restrictions that have been placed on those owners for being allowed to continue owning a “dangerous” animal. Some must muzzle their pets whenever they’re brought outside, while others may only have to keep the dog on a leash.
Regardless, there have been no serious discussions among Gaston County civic leaders this month to strengthen animal control oversight. And Animal Control administrator Reggie Horton believes the current system is addressing human safety as well as it can be.
“Things such as dog bites are going to happen,” said Horton. “It’s difficult to be able to legislate in a way that there are never any accidents. But I certainly feel like the laws we have in place are effective and are being aggressively enforced.”

‘Dangerous’ pets bring baggage

Gaston County Animal Control received 1,117 calls about dangerous domestic or wild animals in 2010. As a result, 33 hearings were held to consider whether pets should be declared dangerous, and six animals were designated as such.
In 2009, there were 1,485 calls to Animal Control, followed by 38 hearings, and 12 animals being declared dangerous.
“Not every call ends up being an actual dangerous animal,” said Horton. “Sometimes we get called about an animal that’s trying to bite, but hasn’t bitten.”
In each circumstance, Horton alone oversees each dangerous animal hearing and makes a decision based on the facts of the case. The pet owner may appeal his decision to the Animal Control Task Force Advisory Board. Many decide not to get the animal back, due to cost issues, which leads to it being euthanized.
Animals can be declared “vicious” and be euthanized without question if they kill or inflict life-threatening injury upon a person, Horton said. Attacks that involve less serious injuries may simply prompt a dangerous animal hearing.
Owners that want to reclaim a pet that has been deemed dangerous must comply with restrictions, all of which are based on the circumstances of the complaint, Horton said. For example, if a dog attacked someone after digging its way under or leaping over a backyard fence, the owner might be required to confine the animal within a covered fence with a concrete or electrified wire base.
Other requirements might include neutering a male dog, or having a micro chip embedded under its skin for identification purposes.
“We also do quarterly inspections of all of the animals that have been declared dangerous, to ensure compliance,” said Horton.
Pet owners that don’t comply are subject to fines that start at $500 and go up sharply. An owner with a dangerous animal that injures another animal or a human again may be fined from $1,000 to $2,500.

Breed specific ban?

Of the 18 animals deemed dangerous in Gaston County in the last two years, nine were pit bull mixes. And a Centers for Disease Control study of fatal dog bites from 1979 to 1996 found pit bulls or pit bull crossbreeds responsible for 60 percent of fatalities in which the breed was known.
But Horton is not an advocate of breed-specific bans like those that some cities and counties across the country have enacted.
“So much about a pit bull has to do with how it’s raised,” he said. “I think the age old consideration from animal control’s standpoint is that if it has teeth, it can bite. And any time a larger dog is involved in an attack, the likelihood of human injury is stronger.”
The lone cat on the list of dangerous pets in Gaston County was one that had bitten several people who had visited its owner’s home. The owner was told that when guests come by, the cat must be placed in a different room, Horton said.
Instead of targeting breeds such as pit bulls, Horton said it makes more sense to consider the actions of the animal and its owner after a complaint or an attack.
“I favor having ordinances, as we do, that allow Animal Control to address the situation that has transpired, not basing it only on the breed,” he said. “I think that’s the smartest and fairest way to go about it.”

Young boy mauled by pit bull

By Wainwright Jeffers, WALB

A 6-year-old boy is recovering after he was attacked Friday by a pit-bull. The mauling left the child with serious injuries after neighbors say the dog bit the child's neck.
It happened in Mitchell County not far from the Dougherty County line.
The 6-year-old lived in a mobile home on Briarwood Rd. We spotted four other dogs in the yard on Sunday.
A neighbor who lives on the same road didn't want to be on camera but told us what he's heard from family members.
"First I was told the kid wasn't going to make it, then I talked to someone else they said he'll make it, but he may not be able to speak again," said Unidentified Neighbor.
Dylan was taken to Phoebe then transferred to the Medical Center of Central Georgia, he now faces a long recovery.
According to the Sheriff's Office the dog that bit the child was chained up but the child got too close. The dog has been taken away.
Right now there are no charges in the case.
While the dog was secured, Mitchell County Investigators tell us the county currently has no leash ordinance.
Dylan Spinks is good condition at Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Video

Lufkin shelter two years into policy of not adopting out pit bulldogs

By Larissa Graham, The Lufkin Daily News

Officials at Lufkin facility believe they lack resources to assess temperament of breed that has a bad reputation

About two years ago, Lufkin Animal Control officials decided to stop putting pit bulldogs up for adoption at Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter. Instead, they chose to send adoptable pit bulls to other shelters or rescues that can better assess each individual dog’s temperament to see what kind of home it needs.
“When we did adopt pit bulls, not many were adopted. Now, the ones that we would have thought could be adopted are sent out to rescue,” said Animal Control Director Rhonda McLendon. “We’re usually successful.”
When a dog is taken into a rescue, McLendon said, it is usually sent to a foster home, where its personality is assessed to determine if it can be in a home with other pets or children. It’s difficult to assess a dog’s personality while it’s in the shelter because it tends to be a noisy, stressful environment.
“Most dogs don’t act the way they would at home,” McLendon said.
In addition, rescues often have the manpower to perform screenings on potential dog owners to make sure the dog will be cared for. That might even include a visit to the potential owner’s home.
Because pit bulls have a reputation as a tough, fighting dog, it is important to ensure that the owner plans to treat the dog right once it is in their care, McLendon said.
“Some people who want pits want them for the wrong reasons,” she said. “And Animal Control can’t do home inspections or as thorough a screening.”
Unfortunately, McLendon said, pit bulls, Labradors and mixtures of the two are the most common dogs that come in to animal control. That overpopulation means not every pit bull, lab or mix will be able to stay, simply because Animal Control doesn’t have the room to house them.
At the same time, not every pit bull that comes to animal control is adoptable. They might have health issues, or they might have been used in dog fights or have been bred for aggression.
“A lot of the time you could tell they had been breeding for aggression,” McLendon said. “We have a lot that come in with temperament issues, or they have health issues or scars from dog fights.”
Pit bulls as a breed need human attention, McLendon said, and should not spend their lives on a chain.
“They need to be properly socialized with humans and other animals as puppies,” McLendon said.
“Potential pet owners need to ask themselves whether they’ll have time for obedience training, and if the dog will get along with kids, cats or other dogs.”
Blue, a pit bull mix, was picked up by Animal Control in Lufkin on Monday and was transported to Nacogdoches Animal Control, where he has a chance at being adopted. Nacogdoches Animal Control Supervisor Jamie Shelton said someone has already expressed interest in adopting him. When he was brought out of his holding pen, Blue acted like any other rambunctious puppy, grabbing pine cones off the ground and begging for attention from Shelton and anyone else who happened to be close.
“We love pit bulls here,” Shelton laughed, referring to the handful of pit bulls vying for attention in the adoption stalls.
For more information on how to get involved with fostering, contact Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter at (936) 633-0218 or Nacogdoches Animal Control at (936) 560-5011.

3Q'S: Clint Mauney, Lee County animal control officer

By Danza Johnson, NEMS Daily Journal

Clint Mauney is a Lee County animal control officer. In his brief time on the job the 36-year-old has dealt with pit bulls. Daily Journal reporter Danza Johnson asked him questions about pit bulls and aggressive dogs after a man died in Pontotoc County on Wednesday after being attacked by pit bulls.

Q: As an animal control officer you often are called out to deal with dogs that are aggressive. Have you ever dealt with this breed of dog or heard any horror stories from any of your colleagues about pit bulls?

A: The Sheriff's Office has had numerous calls concerning pit bulls and other breeds. We have dealt with dog calls involving aggressive Dachshunds, Great Danes, and every type of breed in between, including pit bulls. There have been some pretty gruesome injuries caused by pit-type bulldogs in our county; however, I would have to say that a greater number of animal-attack injuries reported in Lee County have been caused by dogs other than pit bull and pit mixes, in my experience.

Q: You see a lot of dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes. In your opinion, what makes this breed such a danger to people?

A: Pit bulldogs and pit mixes in particular can pose a threat because of their extremely powerful jaws and their unpredictability. They are very strong, tenacious dogs that do not give up easily under pressure. The nature of a pit bull attack tends to be very destructive very quickly. I recall a fairly recent case where a young lady was at a good friend's house, was petting the friend's pit bull with which she was familiar, and for no apparent reason the dog lunged at her face a few moments later. She had been around the dog several times before and had never had any problem with it until then. They can be unpredictable, even if you are around them regularly. However, in my experience, our department has handled more calls of pit-type bulldogs showing aggression toward other animals rather than toward people.

Q: Do you feel that pit bulls get a bad reputation?

A: Pit bulls do have a bad reputation. Have they earned it? Yes and no. Some of the sweetest, funniest, most well-behaved dogs I have ever been around were pit bulls. Some of the meanest, most terrifying dogs I have ever been around were pit bulls. In my opinion, it is not wise to categorize all of one breed as dangerous or vicious. There are always exceptions. The demeanor of an animal is developed by a complex mixture of nature and nurture. If you own a dog, it is imperative that you know how to properly raise, train and handle the dog.

Also, some dogs are lumped into the pit bull category that are not technically pit bulls. I have dealt with purebred pit bull terriers, Staffordshire terriers, and all sorts of mixes among them and other breeds. Some dogs I have encountered that were supposed to be "pit bulls" were not even close, but were assumed to be pit bulls because of cropped ears, or some other feature common to the breed. This type of "mistaken identity" has helped contribute to their bad reputation.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man killed at Yazoo County dog fight: Family speaks out

By Julie Straw, WLBT

A Jackson man was killed during a dog fight in rural Yazoo County Saturday.  His family spoke out about his life and death.  Forty-three- year old Earl Riptoe loved to breed big dogs.  He gave two Pitbull Terrier, Great Dane, Neopolitan Mastiff mixes to his sister.  Sonja Riptoe claimed he never used the dogs for fighting, but did attend a dog fight in rural Yazoo County Friday night.
"He thought he could make a wager, a quick wager, make some money or something," said Sonja Riptoe.
According to Coroner Ricky Shivers, Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of shots fired in the east part of the county around midnight. Shivers said deputies came across a car in Benton and made the driver pull over. In the back seat investigators found Earl Riptoe fatally shot.
"The direction in which they were going was in the opposite direction of the hospital. We believe they were attempting to dispose of his body," said Sonja Riptoe.
She said her family received 30 of calls from people on the scene.  She was told about 150 people were at the dog fight. The man who shot her brother and the people in the car were longtime friends.
The Yazoo County Sheriff's Department would not give any information to WLBT.
"Maybe the people that go to these types of events are hardened by them to the point they don't really consider human life as much as they would an animals life," said Sonja Riptoe.
A dog fighting ring was discovered in Copiah County two months ago and another in Warren County back in October. Now a felony cruelty bill is being introduced to state lawmakers that would create tougher penalties for people who harm cats and dogs.
"He could take his life, but he could not take his memories from us. That is something we'll always have," said Sonja Riptoe.

Pit Bull Litter Rescued From Fire At Pot Grow House

From KRXI

An early morning fire at a marijuana grow house in Oakland resulted in the discovery and rescue of a litter of pit bull puppies Saturday.
The Oakland Fire Department received calls around 9:30 a.m. of a structure fire at 1938 104th Avenue in Oakland, according to Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Adrian Sheppard.Fire crews arrived at the house 2 minutes later to find Smoke coming from roof.
No one appeared to be home so firefighter made a forcible entry inside and quickly determined the source of the fire.
Sheppard said crews had the incident under control 10 minutes later, though the situation was complicated by the fact that the house was being used to grow marijuana – the electrical wiring was not up to code and a pit bull was discovered inside, making the circuit panel difficult to access.
Crews later discovered the dog was protecting a litter of puppies, just hours old.
“Units did, when they made entry, find a pit bull and a litter of pups, which had probably been born within the last 24 hours,” said Sheppard. “So it was a good rescue for them, at least in that regard. “Sheppard could not provide much information on the pot grow operation, but described it as “medium-sized.”
No one was injured fighting the fire, according to Sheppard. Oakland Animal Control arrived minutes after the fire was extinguished to take the dogs back to a shelter and care for them.

Video
Slideshow

MARINA POLICE LOG: Failure to restrain pit bull

From The Salinas Californian

1430 CASE 6.04.040A MC FAILURE TO RESTRAIN \ REINDOLLAR AV MG1100088
SUSPECT PANES, OSCAR 07/12/27
OSCAR PANES WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR FAILURE TO RESTRAIN HIS PITBULL DOG THAT ATTACKED A SCHNAUZER BEING WALKED ON A LEASH. PANES WAS BITTEN ON THE RIGHT HAND BY THE SCHNAUZER DURING THE DOG ATTACK AND SOUGHT MEDICAL ATTENTION. THE SCHNAUZER WILL BE QUARANTINED FOR TEN DAYS.

Kentner gets 14 years for child abuse

By Michael Smothers, Pekin Daily Times

For punching his 9-month-old son repeatedly and breaking his ribs and arm while babysitting him, Anthony Kentner of Pekin was sentenced this week to 14 years in prison.
Kentner, 27, will serve four additional years behind bars for an unrelated vehicle burglary, under the sentences imposed Thursday by 10th Judicial Circuit Judge Stuart Borden at the Tazewell County Courthouse.
The punishment came 16 months after Kentner, whose address was listed in court records as 2439 Lakeshore Drive, Apt. 13, admitted pummeling his son and dragging him by the arm across a bed while the child’s grandmother was away at work.
Because the victim is a juvenile, court documents detailing the child’s name and the location of the attack remained closed. Kentner’s wife at the time, the mother of the victim, filed for divorce a day after the incident, according to court records.
Before his sentencing, Kentner pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a child, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and to burglary for breaking into a vehicle six weeks prior to the beating incident. He had remained in the Tazewell County Justice Center under $500,000 bond since his arrest.
Available court records revealed that shortly after 5 a.m. on Sept. 28 last year, police were called to Pekin Hospital, where the child had been taken. His grandmother related that she had been summoned from work and that Kentner told her the child was injured when her dog, a pit bull, jumped into his crib.
Kentner at first told the same story. He was unaware the child was being injured, he had claimed, because he was playing computer video games in another room.
Pressed by police, Kentner then admitted he punched his son several times with his knuckles in the head, face and chest and then dragged him by an arm across a bed. Court records did not reveal why he attacked his son.
The child was hospitalized for several days after the attack.
Kentner was given 122 days of credit for time served in jail since his arrest.

Black Mountain man charged with abusing pit bulls

From Asheville Citizen-Times

Buncombe County animal control officers arrested a Black Mountain man on charges that he abused 10 pit bulls.Scott Anthony Allen, 45, of Carver Avenue, was charged with violating four county animal ordinances, according to warrants filed Friday. Bond was set at $2,000.
Warrants state that Allen failed to provide adequate shelter to prevent suffering for one adult female and nine puppy pit bulls.
He also was charged with failing to get rabies vaccinations for seven dogs, obstructing an officer during an inspection and concealing two pit bulls from law enforcement.

Related articles:
Buncombe County animal control charges Black Mountain man with pit bull abuse - Asheville Citizen-Times

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vicious Dog Attack Has Victim Petitioning For County Leash Law

By Natasha Chen, WREG

A woman attacked by her neighbor's pit bull and two other dogs is now petitioning for a leash law in Crittenden County.

She and her neighbors live very close to the Marion city limits. But in county territory, there are no leash laws that prohibit dogs from running loose.

On Jan. 18, Linda Stanford was walking down her street to a nearby pond.

"I didn't even make it to the pond. That pit bull and those other two dogs come out at me, and they surrounded me. And they just started biting me," she said.

Stanford said she screamed for help, and a neighbor got the dogs off of her. But the dog owners, she said, didn't seem to have much reaction.

"It hurts. When you get bit by a dog, it hurts. And they don't know what I've been going through, because they haven't even apologized," Stanford said.

The pit bull's owner, Daniel Norwood, said, "I tried to go down there and apologize to her, and they wanted to get all loud and cuss, and make a scene out of it, so I just stopped going down there."

Norwood and his brother own the three dogs that attacked Stanford. They said that they felt bad for what happened.

Another neighbor, Jessie Misskelley, said that the same pit bull bit him on the hand two weeks ago.

"At that time I already had my gun and was going to shoot the dog, and he grabbed the dog and ran in the house," he said.

Misskelley said he was the first to sign a petition that Stanford wrote up, aiming to create laws that would prevent further injuries.

The Norwoods admitted the pit bull has been a bit aggressive in the past, but they said it may be because the dog is currently pregnant.

They also said they agree the county could benefit from a leash law, since another neighborhood dog attacked their dog not too long ago.

On Monday, the Stanfords will be meeting with the Crittenden County sheriff to see if the dog owners could possibly be prosecuted under the vicious dog ordinance.

Sheriff Mike Allen told News Channel 3 even the ordinance does not have clear guidelines as to whether dogs must be leashed. Allen said that future amendments or additional ordinances may be considered.

Three injured in pit bull attack

From KTNV

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Animal Control are investigating a pit bull attack in a neighborhood near East Sahara and South Lamb that occurred Friday night just before 6 pm. Officers say the dog first attacked a 55-year-old woman. She is said to be seriously injured; she lost a few fingers and may end up losing a foot.
After the dog attacked a second woman, a man intervened, and he too was bit by the pit bull before shooting the dog to death. The extent of his injuries is unknown.
The three victims were taken to Sunrise Hospital.
Police initially believed that two female children were attacked by the pit bull but officers later confirmed that it was two adult women.

Update January 31, 2011 - The following article is from KTNV:

Expert weighs after pit bull attacks three people

After a pit bull attacks and nearly costs a woman her life, experts explain how a family pit bull can turn at any time.
Friday night a 55-year old woman is attacked at a home, near Sahara and Lamb, by the family dog.  A second woman steps in gets attacked.  Then a man, the dog's owner, is also bitten.
That's when the owner got a gun and shot the dog at least four times, killing it.
"Nobody ever knows what brings on an attack but its very sad and very scary," founder of pit bull rescue group, Bully Buddies of Las Vegas, Lisa Kirk says.
The 55-year old woman lost fingers and may end up loosing a foot and part of her arm.
"Even if they don't start a fight or anything, they're going to finish it," Kirk says.
Kirk says even if an owner does everything right, complete with training and correct socialization, a pit bull can still snap.
"Unfortunately yeah, unless you really know how the dog has been bred or raised you don't know.  Unfortunately they're so inbred and over bred you don't know their temperament," Kirk says.
Pit bulls were bred to be dog on dog aggressive.  No one knows why they sometimes go after humans.   Kirk says make sure if you get a pit bull you have a dominant personality and you put the work into it to make sure its properly trained.

Video

Related articles:
Woman suffers potentially life-threatening injuries in pit bull attack - Las Vegas Sun
Family Injured in Pit Bull Attack - KLAS
Woman severely injured in pit bull attack - Las Vegas Review-Journal 

Police communicate with barricaded suspect

From WSVN

Police are communicating with suspect who may have barricaded himself inside a home after he reportedly assaulted an officer.A Hallandale Police officer made a traffic stop in the area of Northwest Fifth Avenue and Foster Road, Friday night.
Reportedly, the driver jumped out of his vehicle and ran from the officer. The officer gave chase, and the suspect slammed the officer's head against a wall. The suspect fled again.
The officer was transported to a nearby hospital for his head injury. He is in stable condition.
As police searched for the suspect, officers came across a pit bull that they believed was advancing toward them. Police shot the dog three times.
According to the dog's owner, Delvin Foster, his pet did nothing wrong. "They said they were chasing somebody. Something else was going on, and they said they were pursuing the guy, but we never saw anyone. Next thing we know, two cops, a lady officer and a gentleman officer, they shot my dog. They said they were looking for someone. The person that they're looking for isn't even on my back street," he said. "I was feeding my dog. I was actually feeding him. I was mixing his food in the backyard. I guess they were coming around the corner, and the cars were down the street, so when my dog came out, they said they were in fear of their lives. My dog didn't do anything."
The pit bull will be taken to Hollywood Animal Hospital.
Authorities are currently trying to communicate with the suspect who, they believe, is barricaded inside a home in the area.

Video 

Update January 29, 2011 - The following article is by Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel:
 
Hallandale police officer and pit bull wounded during manhunt

Dog was shot twice by police in separate incident

A city police officer and a pet pit bull required hospital treatment following a manhunt Friday night.

The officer had head injuries and a broken finger and the dog was shot twice by another officer, according to police and the dog's owner.

It all started around 8 p.m. on Friday when Officer Eric Bruce tried to pull over a car that ran a stop sign near Northwest Sixth Avenue and Foster Road in Hallandale Beach, according to the police report.

Police say that after a brief pursuit, the suspect – 29-year-old Jarvis Barnes – jumped out of a Toyota Avalon and wrestled with Officer Bruce during a foot chase. That's when the office was injured.

According to the police report, Barnes ran off and a SWAT team surrounded a house on the 500 block of Foster Road where the suspect was later arrested.

Barnes was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. Police also found cannabis in the car Barnes was driving. He had a suspended license and was on probation, according to the report.

During the incident, Delvin Foster was feeding his 5-year-old, 80 pound dog Adam in the backyard of his girlfriend's home on the 500 block of Northwest Sixth Street when he heard the commotion out front.

According to Foster, the dog "trotted" toward the noise and he called the dog back.

"Soon as I said 'Adam, get over here,' I heard a couple of shots; three or four shots," he said.

Foster said he ran around the corner and was confronted by two officers. "The cops put guns in my face telling me to get down, so I complied," Foster said.

The dog had been shot in the shoulder and the back.

Foster claims one of the two officers admitted to shooting his dog, saying "he was in fear for his life."

"My dog was retreating back to me and that's why he was shot in his back," he said. "I really don't understand."

Girlfriend Catherine Runyon says the two police officers allowed her to put the wounded dog back in his cage but would not let her take the dog to a veterinarian for medical attention.

"They said they had to wait for people to come and take pictures of the dog and it was almost two hours before they did finally come," Runyon said. "And, the dog is just sitting there bleeding to death."

A friend eventually took the dog to the Hollywood Animal Hospital where vets were waiting for a $1,000 down payment before beginning any surgery, Foster said. The dog is expected to survive its wounds.

Foster was at police headquarters Saturday morning trying to get the city to pay the estimated $2,500 vet bill.

Hallandale Beach Police Capt. Paul Robert said a neighbor corroborated the officers' version of what happened and no report would be released regarding the dog shooting.

ABC7 TV news reporter and cameraman assaulted while reporting in East Oakland

By Angela Woodall, from Mercury News

A reporter and a cameraman for ABC7 TV were assaulted and robbed Thursday evening in East Oakland while reporting about efforts to find new homes for a pack of severely abused pit-bull dogs.
The two men had finished interviewing neighbors in the 600 block of Capistrano Drive, near where officers found the abused and neglected animals in December, about 7:10 p.m. when two men approached them. One forced the reporter, Tomas Roman, to the ground at gunpoint and threatened his life. The other armed man confronted the cameraman, Stan Wong, and beat him with a gun. The robbers ran away with Wong's Panasonic P2 video camera. The victims were taken to a hospital. Police have made no arrests and the camera has not been recovered.
ABC7 News Director Kevin Keeshan said the attack was traumatic for the victims, but he could not discuss their condition because of ABC policies. "They had no reason to think they were in danger," he said.
As is the case with other victims of violent crimes, the Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $5,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call 510-238-3326, or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211. 


Related articles:
KGO-TV crew roughed up in East Oakland - San Francisco Chronicle
TV Reporters Migged and Robbed in E. Oakland - The Bay Citizen

Abused dogs found in Oakland in December get new homes

By Angela Hill, The Oakland Tribune

Several of 33 dogs removed from squalid conditions in an East Oakland house in early December had to be euthanized because they were in such bad shape. But others were rehabilitated and adopted out through various agencies and are now in loving homes, Oakland animal control officials said Thursday.
In fact, only three still remain at the Oakland Animal Shelter, awaiting adoption.
"We still have Goofy, who we believe is about a year old, Amaryllis, also a year, and Jody, who's about 5," said Megan Webb, director of Oakland Animal Services.
"Some were placed through the East Bay SPCA and other rescue groups. One sweetheart, Edna, who was about 12, has found a home up in Oregon," Webb said. "We're very happy to have been able to place these dogs that had such a horrible existence for so long."
The dogs, mostly pit bull and terrier mixes in a range of sizes, were rescued by animal control workers Dec. 9 after numerous complaints from neighbors about barking noise and a terrible odor coming from a home on Capistrano Drive, owned by 68-year-old Arthey Yancey.
Oakland police Officer Sarah Whitmeyer, now assigned full time to animal services, was able to get a warrant and enter the property, describing the scene as "horrific," Whitmeyer said. Most dogs were in crates, stacked on top of each other in one of the rooms of the two-bedroom house. Some were chained. Many were soaked in urine, their crates overflowing with excrement. Many were bloody and had possibly been used as fighting dogs, Webb said. Feet and legs were splayed on some of the animals. And then a few were in surprisingly good condition."One of the worst things when we went in there was the sound," Webb said. "These 33 dogs in desperation and fear, barking nonstop. It was awful."
Yancey, who claimed he was picking up lost dogs from the neighborhood, was charged earlier this week in Alameda County Superior Court with felony animal cruelty. He was released on his own recognizance.
"We believe he was breeding dogs, but we're still looking into that at this point," Webb said. "It looks like it could have been some kind of hoarding or dogfighting thing."
With the addition of a sworn police officer at animal services, more investigations into suspected cruelty cases have been undertaken, Webb said. In 2010, five felony abuse cases culminated in charges and two convictions, she said.

Lancaster Mayor Wants Bird Songs Broadcast

By Kate James, Gather

A mayor wants bird songs broadcast. The plan is for the city of Lancaster, California to pipe in recorded bird twittering through its streets. This would apparently make the city a brighter and happier place to be.
R Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, presented this idea as part of his State of the City address on Monday. It sounds like a bit of a crazy idea. Parris wants the bird songs broadcast over the loudspeakers on Lancaster Boulevard. Do you think this is a good idea? Would it make you feel happier to be in the city?
This is not the first wild idea that Mayor Parris has had. Other strange ideas from the city official include giving Lancaster the right to castrate pit bulls, having city officials learn Mandarin Chinese in order to entice business and working to grow the city into a Christian community. Wow! These are an eclectic group of plans from the mayor to say the least.
There is no word on if his latest proposal will go into effect any time soon.

Related articles:
Mayor wants bird songs broadcast on city streets - USA Today
Mayor R. Rex Parris has an idea for the birds - Examiner

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fighting Suits Saves Money For Chicago

By Kari Lydersen, Chicago News Cooperative

After a Chicago police officer fatally shot Beverly Thurman’s dog, Roscoe, after getting a call about a loose pit bull, Ms. Thurman filed a lawsuit alleging that the officer had acted wrongfully.
“He should have just hollered out on his bullhorn for someone to get the dog,” said Ms. Thurman, 30.
But a jury decided last week that the officer, John Gorman, and the City of Chicago should not be held liable for damages in the 2008 shooting. The city paid $50,000 to a private firm to litigate the case, even though Ms. Thurman’s lawyers said before the trial that they would have settled for less than $10,000.
Two years ago, the city would most likely have agreed to settle, whether city lawyers believed that the officer was culpable or not. But under a policy adopted in late 2009 to discourage lawsuits seeking less than $100,000, the city takes almost all such cases to court.
As in Ms. Thurman’s situation, litigating the cases often costs the city more than it would to settle them — even if the city wins. If Ms. Thurman had won, a judge could have ordered the city to pay damages and legal fees that her lawyers estimate at more than $100,000.
Even though the city stands to lose money litigating every case under $100,000, a spokeswoman for the law department said that recently compiled figures showed the strategy seemed to be saving taxpayer money by dissuading lawyers from suing the police unless they are confident of victory.
In 2010, there were 47 percent fewer lawsuits against the police than in 2009, said Jennifer Hoyle, the spokeswoman. The city still settled some lawsuits under $100,000 in 2010, for a total of $1.7 million. But under the new policy, the city took most cases under $100,000 to trial, paying private law firms $4.8 million to litigate them. By comparison, the city spent an average of $9 million in settlements each year in 2008 and 2009. Ms. Hoyle said the city saved roughly $2.5 million in taxpayer money last year because of the new policy.
“We decided to take a firmer line on these cases, to try more of them and be more aggressive,” Ms. Hoyle said. “If we settle, we’re sending the message that even if the officer acted appropriately, we’re still going to pay out money on this case.”
Ms. Hoyle said the city used a similar strategy regarding lawsuits from people who had slipped on sidewalks.
Normally, the city would have spent much more on litigation, but with law firms hurting for business because of the economic downturn, the city was able to negotiate a two-year “bulk deal” with 14 private firms to handle suits against the police for $35,000 each, plus a $15,000 bonus for winning.
Some lawyers say the policy discourages suits by citizens who have strong cases. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are typically paid only if they win a settlement or a trial, so they are more reluctant to press difficult cases if they know they will have to go to trial.
“It has forced us to be much pickier,” said one of Ms. Thurman’s lawyers, Barb Long, who thought Ms. Thurman’s case was winnable.
Though Ms. Thurman is angry that the jury decided against her, she is glad that her case went to trial.
“Even though we lost, I feel like I got some justice for my animal,” she said. “Hopefully they will be more considerate in the future before taking an animal’s life.”

Families of pit bull victims combine efforts for change

By Michelle Boudin, WCNC

After two separate pit bull attacks on children, one of them deadly, two families are joining together for change. 5-year-old Mikayla Woodard and 6-year-old Jakob Clark share a bond that no parent could ever want to be a part of, both were attacked by pit bulls.
“When do we need to wake up, do something, and protect our children? It’s just gotten outrageous, I don't understand it,” said Jakob’s father Thomas Clark.
Jakob was in the hospital recovering from a pit bull attack when his family heard about what happened to Mikayla. She was killed after 2 pit bulls went after her and attacked her.
“We were horrified, thought it was a misprint, [it] even mentioned a grandmother” Clark said. “Then we read the article and just cried. We’ve thought about that family ever since.”
Today the two families spoke.  Mikayla’s family started a petition for tougher laws to ban pit bulls or force owners to register.
“They wanted to know if we could pool our efforts, I said anything I can do to protect our children. I’m a dad and I wish I’d done this before it happened to my child,” Clark explained.
Clark even had a heart-to-heart with his son about the families teaming up.
“We prayed about it and talked to him, right after Mikayla lost her life. I said ‘what do you think Jakob, should we try to prevent from happening to someone else?’ ‘Why wouldn't we daddy?’” Clark says.
Clark knows his family is lucky, though they have been in the hospital since Christmas and have a long road ahead, they’re heading home as a family.

Video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Man Apparently Mauled By Dogs; Cause Of Death Undetermined

By Celina Avila, KVIA

El Paso County Sheriff's investigators say a man found dead was apparently mauled by dogs.
He was well known in the small community of Socorro as Jim, homeless man who many considered a friend.
He was found dead this morning on the 700 block of Janis in far east El Paso county.
The gruesome discovery was made by some passers-by.
The homeless, elderly man, face down, with severe injuries to his upper body.
It was about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday when sheriff's deputies were called out on a report of a dog mauling.
He was found near a make-shift home on a desert lot...neighbors tell us that's where he lived.
That area has long had problems with stray dogs.
One neighbor tells us of a couple of pit bulls she had recently seen nearby.
Neighbors say Jim was nice, often seen with a walking stick, looking out for his neighbors and their property.
He never caused any problems and would stop by the nearby Mcdonald's every day to fill his thermos up with coffee.
"I think I saw him in the area a couple of days ago, so it's pretty shocking, pretty sad it ended up that way. It's going to be sad not see him walking around," said McDonald's Supervisor, Carlos Elguea. Sheriff's deputies are not ruling out foul play and are waiting on an autopsy to find out what time Jim died and if it was during the dog mauling or before. The dog or dogs have not been found.

Dangerous Animals Running Loose In Asheville

By Steven Jones, WSPA

The Asheville Animal Services Unit says two pit bulls are running loose in the Miami Circle area.
The two dogs, both female, have been running loose since January 25. It is believed the two animals attacked another dog and killed it.
They are known to live in the area.
The dogs are described as Venus, a brown pit bull, 10-years-old, female, and Diamond, a gray pit bull, two-years-old and also female.
Anyone with information on where the dogs can be found please contact Asheville Animals Services at 828-252-1110.

Police arrest man for drugs and animal neglect

From WRCB

Narcotics officers arrested a man on multiple drug and weapons charges. The Sheriff's office calls the arrest of Cornelius Birt a "high risk."
They say he had loaded guns and crack cocaine in his home on East 32nd Street. Police also found a hand-held radio belonging to Norfolk Southern Railway.
When police went out back ,they found a starving pit bull chained up.
Birt has a laundry list of charges including: assault on an officer, possession of crack cocaine and animal neglect.

Miracle dog survives two near-death experiences

By Brandon Richards, from KLTV

A Lake Charles dog is back in the comforts of home after surviving two near-death experiences over the weekend. "Solo" the pit bull somehow managed to slip through the fence of his owner's property on Saturday morning.
"It's not his nature to go out of the property," said Sandra Woodard, the mother of Solo's owner. "We raised this dog from the time he was two weeks old, so he's part of our family."
As the hours passed, "Solo's" owners searched frantically for him, posting "MISSING" signs all over their neighborhood, but had no luck.
Meanwhile, Calcasieu Animal Services control officer Angela Sullivan was on duty near LeBleu Settlement when a call about a dog that had been hit by a vehicle came in.
"We received a phone call through CPSO that a dog had been hit at the Prien Lake exit off of I-210," said Sullivan.
As she was en route, Sullivan received another call from someone who said the dog had crept over to the I-210 beach at LeFleur Park.
"And when we get there we speak to them and they tell us ‘Oh the dog just drowned.' And we're like ‘What do you mean the dog drowned," recalled Sullivan. "We took off all of our equipment, went out into the water and took the dog out."
When they recovered the dog, he wasn't breathing.
"He was ice-cold," said Sullivan. "We performed CPR on him and were able to get a heart beat."
The dog started breathing on its own as it was rushed to Lake Area Animal Hospital, where doctors were able to stabilize his injuries.
On Monday morning, Woodard's family received the news they had been waiting for.
"Solo" had been found.
He was at Lake Area Animal Hospital. He had survived two near-death experiences.
"Not knowing if we would ever find him was really disheartening," said Woodard. "Then to get there to the vet's office and have him walk-in was miraculous, just miraculous."
Later that afternoon, a computer-tracking chip was put inside of "Solo," just in case he ever disappears again.

Video

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dogs returned to owners

By Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times

Someone broke into Navor Garcia’s auto repair shop two months ago and stole his Doberman Pinscher, Rudy.
Rudy was the face-licking type, and Garcia’s 10-year-old daughter, Debra, missed him badly.
Hope was fading until a call came Monday to the Cicero family: Rudy had been found.
But there was more.
Another dog, a German Shepherd named Tarzan that was stolen a year ago from an enclosed yard next to Garcia’s auto shop in the 4100 block of West Ogden, also had been found.
And amidst a flurry of scratching, hugging and a hearty “Good booooy!”—Rudy was reunited with his family Tuesday afternoon at Chicago Animal Care and Control. After a nervous and anxious moment, Rudy recognized his owner and answered the “shake” command by putting his paw in Garcia’s hand.
Tarzan can expect the same treatment this weekend — when he returns from an animal rescue in Iowa — where he was sent accidentally.
Rudy and Tarzan were two of 10 dogs removed from the home of John Blue who lives in the 1400 block of South Kilbourn. He has been convicted in the past for dog fighting.
Blue, 24, has been charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty and neglect of owner’s duties.
Acting on a tip, Cook County Sheriff’s police obtained a search warrant and found eight dogs at Blue’s home and two in a garage down the block: three Doberman Pinschers, one Mastiff, two Cane Corsos, two Pit Bulls and two German Shepherds, according to Cherie Travis, executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Four of the dogs were found in small cages on the back porch in freezing temperatures with no food or water, according to Travis.
A third dog was identified as stolen from a South Side yard last year. Rabies tags and microchips helped in the identification process — and investigators from the Sheriff’s Animal Crimes Unit are trying to determine the owners of the other dogs.
All were a bit skinny, but in decent condition, Travis said.
It’s unclear what his intentions were, but Blue has a criminal history tied to dogs.
In 2007 he was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals when police found 12 dogs in his South Kilbourn home -- 11 of which were Pit Bulls. All had injuries on their bodies and Blue admitted to using them for dog fighting. He plead guilty and was sentenced to three years probation, according to court records.
And in August of 2009 Blue was convicted of stealing a German Shepherd from a home on the 4700 block of West Chicago. He received a two-year prison sentence. According to court documents, Blue broke a hole in the fence and used a female German Shepherd to lure the male German Shepherd out of the yard.

Broward overturns tough dog-attack law

By Brittany Wallman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dogs will get second chances before euthanasia

Broward County overturned a strict but controversial dog law Tuesday that had sentenced dogs to die after just one serious attack or killing of someone else's pet.
Despite emotion-wracked stories about pet killings, commissioners were unanimous in agreeing to bring the county in line with the more lenient state law, with some tweaks. Dogs will now have to seriously attack or kill at least two domesticated animals before being eligible for euthanasia.
Commissioners were concerned over the legality of the county's strict dog law, which is being challenged in court.
The county's 2008 zero-tolerance law resulted in the euthanasia deaths of some 56 dogs in Broward County, the vast majority of them pit bulls or Rottweilers who attacked family pets.
Then the plight of two dogs on Broward's dog death row, Brandie and Gigi, caught the public's attention. One woman even asked the governor for a canine pardon. Their lives will be spared.
New Commissioner Chip LaMarca pushed for the law's loosening, after promising on the campaign trail that he would. His opponent, former Commissioner Ken Keechl, had championed the stricter law in the first place.
Under the law passed Tuesday, a dog will be declared "aggressive'' after one serious, unprovoked attack on another domesticated animal, and the owner will have to get the dog spayed or neutered, photographed, registered with the county, and kept in a muzzle when it's not fenced. It couldn't be taken to a dog park or commercial establishment.
A second attack would lead to a "dangerous'' designation, and another set of requirements, including having the dog implanted with an animal identification microchip, putting up "Dangerous Dog'' and "Beware of Dog'' signs, and hiring an animal behaviorist to check the dog out. The owner would also have to pay restitution to the owner of the pet that was attacked or killed. If the owner doesn't comply with those and many other requirements, or it attacks again, the county could take the dog and euthanize it.
Just one attack on a human makes a dog eligible for the dangerous dog designation.
Passions were high on both sides. Owners of dogs or cats who were killed or maimed said a second chance shouldn't be given. One woman wrote to Commissioner Kristin Jacobs to say that her "little girl'' Mitzi was killed, and that "if an aggressive dog attacks once, they will only do it again.''
Speedy, Mojo, Marbles, Slugger, Chico, Lucy – they're just a few of the many pets who were killed by runaway dogs in the past two years, according to the county's files.
Natalie Cooke sobbed as she recounted to commissioners an invasion in her yard of three runaway pit bulls who swam a waterway to get to her property. Her cat, Marbles, and dog, Coco, are dead now.
But owners of larger dogs told commissioners that small, barking dogs set their dogs off. They said it wasn't fair to doom dogs for following their nature.
Many people criticized the county's investigations of the bite cases, and questioned the county staff's ability to properly cast judgment that could end a pet's life.
"Dogs have instincts,'' Richard Castillo, owner of a Mastiff, said. "When provoked, they respond.''
Dogs don't have "human consciousness,'' attorney Jason Wandner reminded.
Wandner represents Mercedes, the sole dog left on Broward's dog death row. The pit bull will be spared.

Man Charged With Felonies After 3 Dogs Found Dead From Starvation

By Deveta Blount, WFMY

Tuesday, a man in Caswell County became the first person in that county to be charged with animal cruelty under Susie's law. Deputies with the Caswell County Sheriff's Office served three felony warrants on Jimmy L. Spears, Jr. for killing an animal by starvation.
Kim Alboum, the NC State Director of Humane Society of the US, told WFMY News 2 that the three dogs, all Pit Bulls, were found dead inside a doghouse. She said the dogs were all huddled together.
Alboum said it was "a horrible case of animal cruelty and we can do better than this in North Carolina". She said another puppy was confiscated from the home but is okay.
Spears was placed in the Caswell County Jail and his bond was set at $7,500.

Man sought for allegedly cropping dogs' ears for fighting

By Bill Lindelof, The Sacramento Bee

A reward has been offered for the person who allegedly used scissors and fishing line to crudely crop the ears of two dogs in Monterey County.
The ears of the pit bulls, which were left painfully infected due to the cropping, are now being treated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The $1,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the person who cropped the ears of the two dogs in Monterey. The cropping was done a makeshift table using a small pair of scissors to cut ears short and fishing line to suture, The SPCA said.
A Sacramento SPCA official said cropping of ears is often performed on dogs trained to fight.
Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento SPCA, said that ear-cropping is standard practice among those who illegally pit dogs against each other for sport. Dog-fighters also crop tails.
Johnson said people who fight dogs want an animal without a tail or flapping ears because without those parts it is harder for another dog to bite and gain an advantage in the fighting ring.
Johnson is aware of crude-cropping efforts but he has not seen evidence of the practice in the Sacramento SPCA shelter for the past couple of years.
"You can tell in the look of the animal, because the cropping is tighter to the head," he said.
The SPCA does not support any cropping of ears. The organization only supports the cropping of tails when a veterinarian determines it is in the best interest of the animal, such as when the tail is being bloodied because it is striking objects in a home.
The Monterey SPCA said that ear crop surgery requires a skilled veterinarian and owners willing to provide follow-up care. The pit bulls mutilated in the Monterey case, now known as Frankie and Anna, are reported to be bright, alert and taking antibiotic and pain medication.
The Monterey SPCA has four full-time humane officers with peace officer status to investigate crimes involving animals. They suspect a man named Damian Maldonado performed the surgery while representing himself as a veterinarian, the SPCA stated.
His business card, reading "El Cartel Bully Kennels," shows a 209 area code number, the SPCA stated.
The Monterey SPCA wants to get the word out in the Sacramento area because the 209 area code extends into southern Sacramento County, said Beth Brookhouser, director of community outreach for the Monterey SPCA.
"We believe he is traveling around," said Brookhouser. "Hopefully, somebody knows where he is and can contact us."
The Monterey SPCA can be reached at (831) 373-2631.

Related articles:
Monterey SPCA offers reward in dog ear-cropping - The Fresno Bee

Aberdeen Officer Wants Ban On Pit Bulls

From KDLT

Aberdeen's animal control officer wants the city to ban pit bulls.
   
John Weaver has asked the City Council to disallow the animals that some consider dangerous. Under his proposal, current owners of pit bulls would be allowed to keep their pets as long as they met certain conditions such as registering the animals with the city and providing proof of rabies vaccinations.
   
Many residents oppose any type of ban. The American News reports that an online petition of protest has more than 700 signatures.
   
Police Department records show eight bite or attack incidents in
the city last year involving pit bulls, and two the previous year.

Peek-A-Pom Puppy Attacked, Killed by Pit Bull in St. Paul Alley

By Maury Glover, FOX 9 News

A young couple’s puppy was attacked by a pit bull in a St. Paul alley, and the pit bull is still on the loose. Blia Xiong and Nhakou Yang just got their 4 1/2 year old Peek-A-Pom puppy last month. Xiong and her little sister were walking the dog, named Jacob, in the alley behind their East Side house Saturday evening when a pit bull came out of nowhere and attacked him.
Xiong says she couldn’t pull her puppy from the pit bull’s jaws, and by the time she got help, both dogs were gone.
"I feel terrible,” Xiong said. “I feel like I couldn't do anything to help him. He was such a big dog. I couldn't grab him. I was afraid. I was afraid."
Within hours, a woman who said she found Jacob outside her apartment building brought him to an emergency veterinarian, where he was pronounced dead. But police believe the woman actually owns the pit bull, and St. Paul Animal control is looking for the dog to see if it should be classified as dangerous, which would mean it could be put down.
The dog’s owner could also face a misdemeanor charge for failing to prevent bodily harm to another animal.

Video

7-year-old boy recovering after being mauled by pit bull mix

By Rad Berky, from Charlotte Observer

A 7-year old Lincoln County boy is recovering after being mauled by a pit bull mix Friday afternoon. Investigators say John Ellis Nixon had gone to see a friend at the house on Rolling View Lane in Pumpkin Center where the dog’s owner, Doug Queen, lives with his family.
His mother says the boy was just outside the door of the house when the dog attacked him.
“Bit him twice in the face and head and backed away, by the grace of God, because pit bulls don’t ordinarily do that,” said Amy Nixon.
Nixon drove her son to Carolinas Medical Center in Lincoln County and from there he was transferred to CMC Main in Charlotte.
“I couldn’t even look at his injuries they were so bad. The whole side of his face was covered in blood,” she said. Lincoln County Animal Control has ordered the dog to be kept in the house for 10 days while there is an investigation. If it is determined the dog is dangerous and a threat, the dog will have to be relocated outside of the county. There was no answer Monday at the Queen’s home, but a dog could be heard barking inside.
Next-door neighbor Casey Still said the dog had growled at her before.
“I’ve always been afraid that dog was going to do something like that,” she said of the dog that she often saw running loose in the yard.
Surgeons were able to save the 7-year-old boy’s eye and his ear that had nearly been torn off by the dog.
On Monday, the boy was back home with his family.
“He slept a good while this morning. He is resilient and he is doing well,” said his mother.

Video 

Update January 27, 2011 - The following article is by Diane Turbyfill, Gaston Gazette:
 
Boy recoverying from dog attack, family wants animal put to sleep

Amy Nixon won’t rest easy until the dog that nearly ripped her son’s ear off is put to sleep.
“We plan to follow the proper measures and see that this dog never has the chance to hurt anyone else. That’s all we can do,” she said.
Nixon’s sons left on their bikes Jan. 20. Not 10 minutes later her son Joshua peddled back in a panic.
Nixon expected a scraped knee or elbow. Then Joshua told her his 7-year-old brother, John Ellis, had been bitten by the neighbor’s dog, Silo.
“I get chills just talking about it. All I could do is get in the truck and go down there,” she said. “I ran with him to the truck, I don’t know how my legs carried me.”
The little blond boy was taken to the nearest hospital and later transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
But the little boy’s resilience was on display Thursday. He was up and darting around the house despite the sewn-up gashes in his head and a fractured cheekbone.
John Ellis Nixon’s plastic surgeon has been pleasantly surprised by his recovery. But the emotional wounds for Amy Nixon may take a little longer to heal.
Nixon and her husband, Michael Nixon, want action.
They want their child’s medical bills paid for, and they want assurance that the shar-pei/pit bull mix that bit their son on the face won’t ever return to the neighborhood.
Lincoln County Animal Services responded to the dog bite call at 3587 Rollingview Lane. They confiscated the dog and continue to hold onto the animal.
Pet owner Doug Queen has requested a hearing so he can get his dog back.
Queen maintains that his dog is not dangerous and that the attack was a fluke.
Silo has been impounded by Animal Services once before for biting a woman inside the house. Queen said the first and second bites were not an indication of a bad animal. The male dog is a family pet, he said.
The dog typically stayed in the house and sometimes would be let out to run in the neighborhood, said Queen.
Nixon said she and other neighbors have asked the Queens to keep the dog restrained. She thought the family kept the dog tied up when children came over.
“We are quite upset that the responsibility hasn’t been taken to keep an aggressive dog at bay,” she said. “We know that the Queens would never have wanted this to have happened. On the other hand they know that they have an aggressive dog.”
If Queen loses his appeal, Silo will not be able to live in Lincoln County.
Nixon said Silo shouldn’t be able to live at all. The animal is unpredictable and aggressive, she said.
“It is our wish that the dog be euthanized,” said Nixon.
The incident happened after school when Nixon’s sons and two little girls went to the Queens’ house to see if one of the children wanted to come out and play.
Silo was outside and growled at one of the children, then bit John Ellis Nixon twice on the head, according to his mother.
The boy suffered a 4-inch cut on the top of his head down to the bone. He has stitches above his eyebrow and below his eye. His cheekbone under his eye socket is fractured and internal stitches were used behind his ear, his mother said.
“We are so blessed that he wasn’t killed or injured worse than he was,” she said. “His ear was nearly ripped off.”
Nixon was thankful to all of the calls, visits and prayers the family has received in the past week. She felt strongly that prayer has helped her son in his recovery.
After the attack, John Ellis Nixon asked his mother if God wanted Silo to attack him.
“I said, ‘No. God is the only reason that dog only bit you twice and backed away,’” she said.
A hearing to determine if Silo will be labeled a dangerous dog has not yet been scheduled. A date will be established that all parties can agree on.
Nixon said she wants to attend the hearing, and once the issue in her neighborhood is addressed she wants to go a step further. The Maiden woman wants to push legislation that would put restrictions on owners of dangerous dogs.