Monday, February 28, 2011

Pit bull owner asking for jury trial in dog attack

From WCSC

The woman whose pit bull allegedly went on a killing rampage last week in West Ashley is asking for a jury trial. The owner, 21-year-old Paige Ashley Bird, was cited with vicious animal, animal at large and non vaccination.
The owner of two of the dogs that were attacked say the pit bull came charging from the woods and attacked both the dogs outside his home.
Shortly after, police responded to another attack at the West Ashley park. An owner of a dalmatian says the same pit bull attacked her dog which is now ok.
The pit bull was finally captured in Providence Commons. The dog is being held at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Pit bull saved after 400 foot tumble into Letchworth gorge

By Mark Gillespie, The Livingston County News

A Letchworth State Park “high angle” rope rescue crew brought a stranded pit bull terrier up from the bottom of the Genesee River gorge Sunday after the dog fell approximately 400 feet over a cliff at the High Banks Recreation Area near Mount Morris.
According to Major David Page of the New York State Park Police, Jessica Rollison, 18, of Henrietta was walking with her dog Xena Saturday afternoon when the animal tumbled over the edge after reportedly chasing a deer.
Police were able to see the dog from the recreation area, but fading daylight, cold and icy conditions led rescuers to delay their efforts until Sunday morning. “If it had been a person, we would have given that person immediate attention,” explained Major Page. “However, it’s a balancing act with animals. You have to recognize the owner’s concern with the animal and also address the practicalities of not putting rescuers at extreme risk for a dog.”
“We had some tough decisions to make, but fortunately we had a good result.”
The rope team reconvened at 6 a.m. and lowered officer Mike Anderson to the bottom of the gorge. He worked his way past the ice-encrusted shale of the cliff face, always wary of the danger of falling snow and debris. At the bottom, Anderson was able to secure Xena in a special rescue harness made for dogs and bring her back to the top.
The dog had suffered some visible injuries, but was in good spirits once reunited with its owner, said Major Page.
Page estimates that the New York State Park Police rescues two or three dogs a year. He reminds patrons that all pets must be kept on a leash at all times inside the park.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Huntsville Police Identify Shooting Victim

By Kelly Druley, WHNT

Huntsville Police responded to a call of a shooting in progress around 3:10 this afternoon at 235 Victory Lane and found the victim, 20-year-old Timothy Lanier with a severe wound to his abdomen and left arm.
Lanier was taken by HEMSI to Huntsville Hospital for emergency surgery.
Sgt. Larry Childress said the victim lived in the area but was not a resident at the home where the shooting occurred.
"It appeared to be from a shotgun blast," said Sgt. Childress. He said police had not yet recovered the weapon.
Huntsville Police say Lanier knew the shooter and was asked by the suspect to meet him at residence at 235 Victory Lane to see a pit bull dog. Authorities say the suspect went into the house and re-emerged from the back door armed with a shotgun and fired at Lanier.
Huntsville Police believe the suspect initially fled the scene on foot and they are actively looking for the suspect but can not provide any description or further information at this time as the investigation continues.
HPD said as of 9:20pm Lanier was still in surgery at Huntsville Hospital for his wounds.

Deaf dogs can make good pets with training

By Leanne Italie, from The Daily Reflector

Morgan Shumard and fiance Tim Self are experienced dog owners, but they weren't entirely sure about Norton, a 70-pound pit bull, after they fell in love with him on a website.
It's not the breed. The couple in Burton, Mich., had lost a pit bull and were in search of another. It's that Norton is completely deaf.
They were nervous about whether they could train him, and how he would fit in with their two other dogs, a mid-size English bull terrier and a Chihuahua. They were concerned he might be too skittish and nippy to mix with their young nieces.
They needn't have worried.
A rescue group that saved Norton from euthanasia after he was left with a veterinarian taught him some basic sign language that his new family built on using treats and repetition: an “OK” sign placed on a forehead for “drop it” and a thumbs up for praise.
“In the beginning, when the dogs would all play fight, it would get rougher, and it was a big change from being able to communicate with a dog verbally,” Shumard said. “I was worried about him being startled or running all over the other dogs, but he's very sweet, very tuned in.”
Six months after his adoption, 2-year-old Norton is the hit of the neighborhood. “He uses our other dogs to hear noises for him,” Shumard said. “When he's asleep we tell Gracie, our bull terrier, to go wake him up, and we stomp to get his attention so he can feel the vibrations. I call him my one-in-a-million dog.”
The prevalence of hereditary deafness in dogs, which is the most frequent cause, isn't known across breeds, but the likelihood increases with the presence of white pigmentation, either in patterns or solids, said Dr. George Strain, a professor of neuroscience at Louisiana State's veterinary school in Baton Rouge.
About 90 breeds in all are most affected, he said. There's also a strong correlation between deafness and blue eyes.
Dalmatians have the highest prevalence of deafness in the United States, Strain said. Based on hearing tests he conducted on 5,638 of the dogs, he found 7.8 percent (or 411) were deaf in both ears and 21.7 percent (or 1,226) were deaf in one ear.
“If a Dalmatian is in a pound, there's a very good chance that he's deaf,” Strain said.
The notion that deaf dogs have no hope for happy lives angers some owners and members of the human deaf community. A particular sore spot is a written recommendation from the Dalmatian Club of America that all bilaterally deaf Dalmatians — those deaf in both ears — be destroyed.
Scott Facey of the club's hearing research committee defended the recommendation. “You have people trying to put human traits on an animal. That is not the case,” said Facey, a Dalmatian breeder in Springfield, Mass.

Dog stolen from Humane Society in Port Angeles

By Rob Ollikainen, Peninsula Daily News

A pit bull was taken from the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society on Thursday night or Friday morning.

Humane Society board President Marsha Robin confirmed that the theft occurred.

Staff at the Port Angeles facility declined to comment.

Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said the dog was a white pit bull with missing toes.

Sheriff Bill Benedict said the Humane Society called sheriff's deputies to report a fence had been cut and a pit bull had been taken from the premises. A report was filed at 
8:15 a.m. Friday.

“It's characterized as a burglary and a theft,” Benedict said.

The case remained under investigation.

Deputy Michael Backes, who took the report, could not be reached for comment.

Benedict said the Lower Elwha tribe or the Elwha police turned the dog over to the Humane Society.

“It had been impounded on the reservation by tribal authorities,” he said.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles said the county and tribal police are investigating the incident.

“I'm just sad that it happened,” said Charles when reached by cell phone on her way to Washington, D.C.

Charles said the dog was not well-known among tribal members but was involved in an earlier incident.

She did not elaborate.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Police investigate attempted dog theft

By Phil Anderson, The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka police on Saturday afternoon were sorting out details of a reported attempted dog theft that occurred about noon just west of downtown.
Officers were called to the area of S.W. 6th and Taylor after receiving a report of the attempted theft of a pit bull from a person who was walking the dog.
Police said the would-be thief didn't make off with the dog, which ran from the scene.
No injuries were reported.
It wasn't immediately known whether the dog was reunited with its owner.
Additional information on the incident wasn't immediately available.

NV man pleads to killing roommate's pit bull

From KTVN

A Minden man accused of fatally shooting his roommate's pit bull has pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty to animals and possession of a firearm by an intoxicated person. The Record-Courier of Gardnerville reports East Fork Judge Tom Perkins on Wednesday sentenced 34-year-old John Chan Peery to a 60-day suspended sentence and placed him on probation for two years.
Peery also was ordered to pay $500 for his court-appointed lawyer, and barred from consuming alcohol or controlled substances and possessing firearms.
Peery contends the dog had been sitting in his lap and he shot it after the animal bit his lip.
Douglas County prosecutor Laurie Trotter says Peery and the dog's owner had been drinking for several hours prior to the Dec. 11 shooting.
Peery was accused of chasing and kicking the dog to keep it from escaping from the house. Trotter says the dog was chased into a bedroom, and it was not a "self-defense situation at all."
Information from: Gardnerville Record-Courier, http://www.recordcourier.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hernando deputies arrest 10, seize 38 pit bulls in drug sweep

By John Woodrow Cox, St. Petersburg Times

During an operation that included search warrants for three Spring Hill houses and the use of SWAT Team members, authorities on Friday arrested 10 people on drug charges and seized 38 pit bulls.At 7172 Logan St., Hernando County Sheriff's Office deputies say they found 15.4 grams of crack cocaine, 7.1 grams of powdered cocaine, 56.4 grams of marijuana, $352 in cash, four counterfeit $100 bills, five counterfeit $20 bills, a box of .22-caliber ammunition and several items of drug paraphernalia.
Animal Services removed the 38 pit bulls from the three houses, authorities said.
They arrested four people at 7172 Logan St.: Keavin Moss, 23, charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana over 20 grams; Cynthia Tolbert, 21, charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana over 20 grams; Michael Nazario, 20, charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams; and Danielle Marenghi, 21, charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams.
At 1256 Hanover Court, deputies say they found 5.1 grams of marijuana and arrested three people: Collins Smiley, 21, charged with trafficking in oxycodone and sale and possession of crack cocaine; Kendrick Smiley, 19, charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams; and Jasmine Lee, 21, charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 7146 Logan St., deputies say they found 29.6 grams of marijuana plant material, half a tablet of oxycodone, 11 tablets of tramadol and drug paraphernalia. They arrested three people: Amber Sansone, 21, charged with possession of oxycodone, possession of legend drug without prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia; Keltwon Newberry, 24, charged with sale and possession of oxycodone and sale and possession of alprazolam; and Evan Dubman, 21, charged with two counts of sale and possession of crack cocaine and two counts of unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
A warrant has been issued for Timothy Smiley, 40, on several drug charges. Deputies asked that anyone with information call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office at (352) 745-6830. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call 1-866-990-8477 toll-free.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis was at the scene on all three search warrants, and the report said he told neighbors, "My deputies will continue to be out in full force in a continued effort to give you back your once safe and orderly neighborhood."

Update March 1, 2011 - The following article is from St. Petersburg Times:

Man wanted in Hernando drug busts is arrested

Authorities have arrested a Spring Hill man who was wanted in connection with a series of drug busts conducted late last week.
Timothy Jerome Smiley, 40, was arrested Monday on felony drug charges.
The warrant for Smiley's arrest stemmed from the search of three Spring Hill homes Friday. Hernando County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 10 people on drug charges and seized 38 pit bulls during the operation.
Smiley was being Tuesday without bond at the Hernando County Dentention Center.

Related articles:
10 arrested in Spring Hill drug bust - WTSP
Wanted drug suspect found in Spring Hill - The Tampa Tribune

Pet Dog Killed

By Jennifer Sposato, NBC Connecticut

A Monroe woman wants to know who shot and killed her pet dog with a pellet gun.
The owners let our their pitbull-chocolate lab mix, named Roscoe, on Tuesday morning. When they went to let him back in, he was bleeding from the mouth and collapsed, Carolyn Bacarella told the Connecticut Post.
A veterinarian later found a pellet in Roscoe's lung.
"He's scary to look at," Bacarella told the Post, but no one in her neighborhood has had a problem with Roscoe. "Our concern is  ... what if they shoot another dog or ... kid?"

Dog fighting suspect surrenders to police

From WAFB

A man wanted by authorities on dog fighting, drugs and weapons charges turned himself in to police Friday morning.
The Morgan City Police Department said it had been looking for Irvian Singleton Jr. since last Thursday after a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Detectives searched his home and business, but he could not be found. However, they reported finding a facility used to train and fight pit bulls.
Singleton faces the following charges:
15 counts of cruelty to animals
Dog fighting
Training and possession of dogs for fighting
Dangerous and vicious dogs and keeping a disorderly place
Possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute
Possession of Lortab
Obstruction of Justice
Firearms in the presence of controlled dangerous substances (CDS)
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Possession of a CDS in a school zone

Fresno House Fire Leaves 5 Without Shelter

By Margaret Carrero, KMJ Now

A house fire in Central Fresno sent five people scrambling to safety early Friday morning.
"It was scary," said Renae Bobo, one of the residents of the home on Farris Avenue north of Belmont that erupted in flames around 4:20 Friday morning.
Bobo and her boyfriend, Keith had been staying with some friends who woke them up to evacuate.
"His wife was saying the back room was on fire.. I thought she was joking at first and then when she opened the door you see the flame coming out," said Keith.
Thankfully, all five occupants, along with two pit bulls, Steela and Girl, managed to escape unharmed.

Paul Garnier with Fresno Fire says the house was fully involved with smoke and flames when crews arrived.
"We made a quick fire attack. The fire appeared to be in the rear portion of the structure and running inside the attic as well," said Garnier.

According to the residents, they had been living without electricity, and using candles to light their way.
Fire investigators have determined that an unattended candle in the back bedroom ignited the blaze when it caught some curtains on fire, completely gutting the inside of the single-story home.
D
amage is estimated to be around $88,000.
The Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced residents.

Man attacked by pit bull in Carlisle, police seek information about dog

By Kourtney Geers, The Patriot-News

Carlisle police are seeking information about a white pitt bull they say attacked a 43-year-old man in the the 400 block of Fairground Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The man's face and hands were wounded.

Police say they need to find the owner of the dog in order to determine whether the dog is vaccinated for rabies.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Carlisle police at 717-243-5252.

Update February 25, 2011 - The following article is from WGAL:

Dog Attacks Man In Carlisle

Police Search For Pit Bull's Owner

Carlisle police are looking for the owner of a pit bull that attacked a man.
Ed Jumper, 43, was attacked at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday while walking in the 400 block of Fairground Avenue.Jumper told police he didn't see where the white dog came from or where the animal went after the attack.Police want to find the owner to see if the dog has a current rabies vaccine.Jumper was treated for wounds on his hands and face.

Related articles:
Man Attacked by Pit Bull in Carlisle - WPMT

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pit bull proponents look to overturn 1990 city prohibition

By Ross Romaniuk, Winnipeg Sun

Banned in Winnipeg for the past 21 years, widely dreaded pit bulls might be about to reappear legally in the city.
After launching an e-mail campaign, advocates for ownership of the reputedly vicious dog breed are expected to urge a group of councillors Monday to repeal the municipal prohibition that began in 1990. Coun. Gord Steeves, who met with some of the pit bull supporters in December, says he’ll listen with an open mind when they come before the protection and community services committee.
“They have certain feelings on the breed, and feel that it’s been unfairly treated over time with this ban,” said Steeves (St. Vital), the committee’s chairman. “It’s probably fair that we have the discussion. And then we can ask our people to review it.”
Winnipeg outlawed the breed after several highly publicized and horrific attacks by pit bulls that caused people severe injuries. The dogs have since continued to make headlines in Canada for such incidents, many of which have enraged the public.
But Winnipeg’s Melanie Schmidt, one of many to join a Facebook group advocating for the breed, said the city’s prohibition is a slippery slope.
“It starts with pit bulls and eventually goes to other breeds,” said Schmidt, who doesn’t own a dog. “It’s all about responsible ownership.”
Bill McDonald, executive director of the Winnipeg Humane Society, said outlawing ownership of a breed does no public good.
“It’s all in the person who owns the dog and what they’re doing to train that dog,” he said. “I’ve met dozens of delightful pit bulls. And you can train a cocker spaniel to hurt people.”

Jamie Wyeth dog portrait to be auctioned in NYC

From The Associated Press

A menagerie of animals has wandered in and out of Jamie Wyeth's art studio on his Delaware farm over the years, including his late yellow Labrador, Kleberg. But when the pooch got too close to his easel back in the 1980s, Wyeth painted a black circle around the dog's eye — a la Pete the Pup of the old comedy "Little Rascals."The unusual marking became so "endearing" that the lab became the subject of numerous studies and paintings, the artist said. One of those works, "Study of Kleberg," is scheduled to be sold at Christie's on March 3 for an estimated $40,000 to $60,000. The 1984 mixed media work went on exhibit there on Thursday.
The seller is a collector from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has owned it for 20 years.
Wyeth is the son of the great American painter Andrew Wyeth and the grandson of classic novel illustrator N.C. Wyeth. He paints the animals, people and landscapes in and around his studio and homes in Pennsylvania and Maine.
"I thought it looked so wonderful," he said of the marking he gave the dog.
He said he was a big fan of the series of comedy short films "Our Gang," also known as "The Little Rascals," that featured a pit bull with a black circle around one eye called Pete the Pup.
Visitors to the Wilmington, Del., farm would react in amazement, saying, "'how remarkable the markings are on that dog,'" the 64-year-old artist said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The artist discovered that moustache dye was a better medium than paint for Kleberg's black eye because it would last about a month.
"So every month we would have to touch up his circle," which remained a permanent fixture for the rest of Kleberg's life, he said.
"Study of Kleberg" is a study for a large oil on canvas called "Kleberg," which is at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago.
Wyeth's farm is near the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa., which houses three generations of Wyeth works.
Kleberg, the dog, is now buried in a cemetery on the farm, where horses, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese — all subjects in Wyeth's works — are buried.
"It's getting pretty crowded up there," Wyeth said.

Five arrested for dog abuse in just 10 days

By Ricky Casiano, from Queens Chronicle

Animal protection agents have been busy this month in Queens, arresting five residents over four animal cruelty incidents that left two dogs dead and others seriously injured.
   The incidents come at a time when the city is increasing pressure on animal cruelty suspects and widening protections for dogs especially. A dog tethering bill was enacted last month to limit the time canines may be tied up to three hours and to ban certain collars that can harm them, among other provisions.

   With the recent arrests, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents found that residents reporting animal cruelty helped ensure that those who abuse pets are held accountable.
   “The animals can not speak for themselves,” ASPCA Assistant Director Joseph Pentangelo said. “We need the public to get involved. In these cases the public did and we appreciate that.”
   In the most recent case, Jerry Melendez of Ridgewood was arrested Feb. 18 for allegedly beating and critically injuring a 5-year-old male Chihuahua, which eventually had to be euthanized, according to Pentangelo. On Feb. 10 ASPCA agents responded to a call from a veterinarian at a private hospital. After the Chihuahua was put down, a necropsy revealed that he had sustained a fractured skull caused by blunt force impact. The dog had also suffered from hemorrhage to the left eye.
   As a result, unlike the other cases in which the defendants face misdemeanor charges, Malendez, 33, was hit with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony that can result in twice the prison time and fines that the misdemeanors can bring.
   The seven incidents up to this time are about the same as the number last year. In 2010 there were 51 incidents of animal cruelty in the city, Pentangelo said.
   The other defendants charged this month with animal cruelty in Queens are:
   • Desiree Powell, 27, of Long Island City, arrested Feb. 5 for allegedly beating her Yorkshire terrier puppy, Chibi, who sustained three leg fractures, two broken ribs and a hemorrhage to his right eye. Doctors discovered the injuries after Powell had given the dog up for adoption. She faces one count of misdeameanor animal cruelty.
   • Leroy Shepard, 18, and Nikira Shepard, 20, of Jamaica, both arrested on Feb. 11 for allegedly neglecting and starving two pit bull terriers. The siblings were hit with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty apiece.
   • Cherie Fillmore, 32, also of Jamaica, arrested Feb. 8 after the carcass of a pit bull puppy was found chained to a railing outside her house. The dog had starved to death. Fillmore faces one misdeameanor count.
   In addition to the spate of allegations in Queens, a man in the Bronx was arrested Feb. 12 for allegedly neglecting a starving dog that was still alive.
   If convicted, the people charged with misdemeanors could face up to a year in prison and a $1000 fine; Melendez could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. The misdemeanor suspects were given desk appearance tickets and are due in coGrt later this month, and Melendez is awaiting trial, Pentangelo said.
   Anyone suspecting animal cruelty is encouraged to call (877) THE ASPCA (843-2772) or (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Central Point boy mauled by pit bulls remains hospitalized

By Chris Conrad, The Mail Tribune

A 9-year-old Central Point boy remains hospitalized after he was attacked by three large pit bulls at his father's home Tuesday.
The boy, Ashtin Hedges, was inside his father's home in the 100 block of East Gregory Road when the dogs attacked, Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.
The father, Timothy Allen Hedges, 34, owns five pit bulls. Police believe three of the pit bulls mauled the boy, causing multiple injuries, Carlson said.
"When the deputies arrived, there was a large amount of blood in the living room," Carlson said. "The deputy observed the boy appeared to have between 10 and 15 injuries."
The most serious injuries appeared on the boy's head. The deputy said the dogs appeared to have torn off a large chunk of the boy's scalp.
The boy was rushed to Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, where he remains in fair condition, according to hospital spokesman Grant Walker.
Jackson County Animal Control officers will collect the pit bulls and quarantine them for 10 days to check them for rabies and other issues that might have led to an attack, said Jackson County Animal Care and Control Director Colleen Macuk.
During this 10-day period, animal control officers will conduct an investigation into the case and will determine the dogs' fate, Macuk said.
Carlson said the sheriff's office probably will not lodge charges against Hedges.
"They only way we will step in is if someone purposefully causes dogs to attack someone," Carlson said. "If that's not the case here, then we will not charge."

Related articles:
Pit bulls maul, seriously injure S. Oregon boy, 9 - The Columbian
Oregon boy, 9, mauled by dogs - KVAL

Pit Bull Club: Don't Blame The Breed

By Tori Shaw, WCTI

Twenty-four pit bulls gather with their owners for one purpose. "Socialization is really good for the breed. They love getting out together. We like meeting other pitbull owners. It's fun for everybody really." says pit bull owner, Bianca Killgo.
The Guardians Pitbull Club meets once a week but one meeting is dedicated to the club's "Pet-a-Pit Event". The owners take the dogs to strangers in public places and ask them questions such as, have you ever petted a pit before?. "A lot of people will say 'No'. We also ask them, 'What do you think about a pit bull?'. A lot of them will have mixed emotions because here they are touching a dog, a pit bull. They're confused, but we change a lot of people's minds by doing what we do." says Lee Nollan, founder and president of the club.Some people shy away from the dog while others welcome them with open arms. Interactions between strangers and pit bulls is what the club is all about. Nollan says, "I sit back, and I watch the club members interact with all these other people, these strangers. People say 'Oh, I don't want to touch a pit bull.' The owners fight, and they don't give up. Seeing that touches my heart, and it's hard to fight back tears."
The club meets every Sunday at 2PM in front of the PetSmart on Western Blvd. in Jacksonville. If you would like more information, you may go to Guardians Pitbull Club on Facebook.
TORI TIDBIT: The Pit Bull was so popular in the early 1900's they were the U.S mascot not only in World War One, but World War Two as well. They were featured on recruiting and propoganda posters during this time period.

Battle heating up over pit bull rescue in Old West Ranch

By Claudia Elliott, Tehachapi News

An effort by a reality TV show star to establish an animal shelter in Old West Ranch has come up against opposition from the OWR Property Owners Association.

The Kern County Planning Commission will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. on the request by Tia Maria Torres for a Conditional Use Permit for an animal shelter that will house a maximum of 100 dogs.

Torres operates under the name Villalobos Rescue Center. According to its website, Torres specializes in pairing Pit Bulls and parolees in rehabilitation programs. The operation is the subject of a series of a popular Animal Planet network show called “Pitbulls and Parolees.” The final episode of the second season of the show features scenes of Torres, family members and volunteers on the property with some of the dogs which she plans to move from her current location in Agua Dulce.

After hearing of the plans the president of the OWR POA, Lula Merle King Carnes, began circulating a letter to friends and neighbors, drawing attention to the public hearing, expressing concerns and encouraging people to write the planning commission or attend the March 10 hearing.

Torres posted Carnes’ letter on the Villalobos Rescue Center’s Facebook page — which has more than 48,000 “likes,” a Facebook term for support — and called Carnes “an angry and hateful woman.” She encouraged supporters to contact the planning commission and also admonished them not to respond to Carnes.

On Saturday morning Carnes said she has never met Torres, but that she did receive threats following the Facebook posting.

The Tehachapi News will have continued coverage of this issue next week.

Written comments to county planning staff were due by Tuesday, but additional comments may be submitted until the March 10 hearing, when speakers will be heard.

Pet dog helps man escape burning home Tuesday

From Journal Star

A man escaped injury from his burning mobile home Tuesday after his pit bull awoke him, fire officials said.
Firefighters were called to 127 Hiatt Lane, a mobile home in Hiatt’s Hideaway, about 11 p.m.. The trailer was fully engulfed when they arrived, Spring Bay volunteer fire Chief Dennis Perry said.
The homeowner, Ralph Cody, told Perry he had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette but that his dog woke him up, allowing him to escape, Perry said.
Perry said the mobile home was a total loss, adding the neighbor’s home at 125 Hiatt Lane suffered some exterior heat damage from the fire.
Volunteer firefighters from both Spring Bay and Germantown Hills responded to the fire and were at the scene until 1:30 a.m.
Perry listed the damage at $5,000.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bartlett Police Stand Behind Decision to Enter Memphis, Shoot Dog

By Bonny Kinney, WREG

The Bartlett Police Department is standing behind its decision to cross jurisdictional lines into the City of Memphis, and to shoot a dog in the process of issuing a search warrant.

On Friday, February 18th, Bartlett Narcotics officers went to a home on Willet in North Memphis to issue a search warrant stemming from a drug case that originated in Bartlett.

As a courtesy, they notified Memphis police that they were crossing city boundaries, and Memphis officers arrived on the scene to assist.

The move came after Bartlett officers caught flack last year for failing to notify Memphis of their plans to execute a search warrant in Memphis.

The incident later resulted in a Bartlett officer shooting and killing a Memphis man.

That shooting was ultimately ruled justified, but it reinforced the need to make sure Memphis officers knew what was happening in their own city.

In this most recent case, gunfire erupted again, this time at a pit bull dog. While Bartlett police say the dog "charged and threatened" them, the North Memphis resident says the eight-month-old dog, Lexus, was locked in a bathroom when officers arrived.

"That was my best friend, and they just came in here and killed her," said Maurice Flanagan. "I said my dog is in the back and as soon as I got done saying that, we heard four shots go off. I was like, 'oh my God'," Flanagan added.

No arrests were made Friday, but Bartlett police did confiscate marijuana, a scale, a gun, a cell phone and money from the North Memphis home.

They say the investigation into the drug case is ongoing. 

Old Ridge apartment damaged in fire apparently started by young dog

By Derwin Gowan, Telegraph-Journal

A young dog home alone apparently knocked over a heat lamp, setting fire to an apartment outside St. Stephen Saturday morning.
The tenants, a young couple, set the heat lamp over an aquarium, a home to pet lizards, house owner Peter Grimmer said Monday.
The couple went to Saint John at 9 or 9:30 in the morning, to buy lizard food, St. Stephen Fire Chief Jeff Richardson understood. The pit bull puppy probably knocked the lamp onto the couch, the chief said.
Grimmer lives in the L-shaped house. His tenants lived in a downstairs apartment. An upstairs apartment was vacant.
Late in the morning the owner smelled smoke. The fire department got the emergency call at 11:35 a.m. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about an hour.
Grimmer was glad he was home Saturday.
"Thank God. It would be gone," he said Monday, referring to his home.
He credits the sheet-rock walls with preventing the fire from spreading.
Richardson agreed.
As it was, the downstairs apartment suffered heat and smoke damage, especially the couch and the floor. Smoke damaged the upstairs apartment.
Grimmer has not moved out. He is dealing with the insurance company to repair the apartment so his tenants can move back in, probably in a couple of months.
"If he hadn't been at home it would have been a different story again," Richardson said.
The tenants are staying with family. The Canadian Red Cross arranged emergency accommodations, food and clothing, a news release stated.
The puppy and three bearded dragon lizards survived, the fire chief said. Two other lizards, a tarantula and a gecko did not, he said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Suspect's dog helps Ore. deputy make drug bust, playing with sock full of pot

By Edecio Martinez, CBS News

A sheriff's deputy in north-central Oregon didn't need a drug-sniffing dog to scope out a stash during a recent traffic stop. The suspect's dog did it for him.
KGW-TV reports Sherman County sheriff's Sgt. John Terrel was pulling over a pickup truck Feb. 9 when he saw a sock fly out the window. It turned out to be stuffed with marijuana and hashish.
The driver told Terrel he was trying to hide the sock, but his pit bull mix grabbed it and wouldn't let go, enjoying a tug-of-war game.
The dog won the tussle and tossed the sock out the window, and the 32-year-old driver was indicted on drug possession charges.
Sheriff Brad Lohrey says he wished everyone traveled with their own personal drug dog.

Olanta toddler bitten in the face by pit bull

From SC Now

A Florence County toddler is recovering after being bitten by a dog this weekend. According to Florence County Sheriff's Department spokeman Capt. Mike Nunn, deputies responded to a call at 360 Liberty Street in Olanta around 2:00 p.m. of a child having been bitten by a dog.
When deputies arrived on scene they found a 3 year old child had been bitten in the face by a pit bull kept at that location.
The child was transported to an area hospital for treatment of facial injuries.
DHEC quarantined the dog, which was removed by Florence County Environmental Services.  
No other details were released about this incident.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Officers, device save a life

By Melinda Johnston, from The Charlotte Observer

There were questions about the $2,400 per unit price in 2004 when the Mint Hill Police Department began raising money for Automatic External Defibrillators.
The thinking was that, since police may be first to respond to emergencies, they could begin CPR and hook up the AED if necessary.
An AED is an electronic device that gives an electric shock to the heart to help reestablish contraction rhythms in a person experiencing cardiac arrest.
The Mint Hill Police Department was one of the first in the region to have AEDs for all 12 patrol cars. Officials believed one day they would save a life.
That day has come.
On Feb. 1, Bill Williamson was brought back to life in his front yard by two Mint Hill police officers and the eight-pound, battery powered electronic device that normally rides in the trunk.
Williamson, 63, who had open-heart surgery in March 2010, had called officers to his home after he spotted two pit bulls in his pasture. Just days earlier, the dogs had attacked his 32-year-old horse, Joker, and left her with severe lacerations.
Now the dogs were back.
When officers arrived at his home off Dan Hood Road, the dogs were nowhere in sight so there was nothing they could do. As they were leaving his property, they heard gunshots and turned their cars toward the house.
They found that Williamson's sons had fired rifles in the air to ward off the dogs, and they found Williamson on the ground, unresponsive.
Sgt. Daniel Forster alerted emergency medical services while Officer Keith Mickovic hooked up the AED and started CPR. Going through a series of diagnostic tests, the AED determined that Williamson's heart had stopped. It then took the officers through the prompts necessary to deliver the shock.
By the time EMS arrived, Williamson's heart was beating again.
After two days in the hospital, he was back home, ready to resume his life.
Mickovic said Mint Hill Police Chief Tim Ledford deserves credit.
"I credit Chief Ledford and his training mindset. He believes in providing his officers with as much training as possible to help us do our jobs more effectively," Mickovic said.

Police officer Wes Hanrahan laid up following dog attack

By Michelle Hoctor, Illawarra Mercury

A Nowra police officer has a couple more scars to add to his collection after being bitten by a pit bull terrier at the weekend.Sergeant Wes Hanrahan was attending a call-out at Bomaderry on Saturday morning when the dog leapt from behind a fence and latched on to his face.
The dog's teeth tore two deep cuts from his lips to his chin that required surgery to repair.
Wife Cathy Hanrahan, who was at his side at St George Hospital yesterday, said he would have two more trophy scars to show for his 29 years on the job.
"He's been attacked by plenty of other things, but this is the first time a dog's got him," she said.
Sgt Hanrahan was attending an address in Bunberra St, following inquiries into a domestic-related incident, when the attack occurred at 11am.
Shoalhaven Police Acting Inspector Kevin Henry said Sgt Hanrahan approached the front gate of the house when he was attacked by one of three pit bulls at the premises.
"The sergeant was bitten on the lower face and forced back before the owner eventually secured his pets," Insp Henry said.
Sgt Hanrahan, 48, was taken by ambulance to Shoalhaven Hospital before being transferred to Sydney, where doctors performed surgery for an hour to repair the damage.
Mrs Hanrahan said her husband was "a bit of a mess" but in good spirits.
"He's not speaking too well. His chin is ripped from his lip all the way down in a couple of places. It's not very pretty," she said.
Sgt Hanrahan has made headlines previously, specifically for acts of bravery.
In 2003, the father of two received the Commissioner's Valour Medal after taking a knife off a man who was trying to commit suicide.
Following the weekend incident, a 25-year-old man was charged with being the owner of an attacking dog as well as domestic-related offences including assault and two counts of breaching an AVO.
The dog was handed to the local council and destroyed.

Related articles:
Senior officer attacked by dog - Milton Ulladulla Times

Two injured in pit bull attack

From Heartland News, KFVS

According to the Murphysboro Police Department a 19 year old woman and 59 year old Hector Cano of Murphysboro were attacked by a pit bull terrier early Sunday morning.
Police got the call to the 2100 block of Roblee Ave. at 8:30 a.m. in Murphysboro,  of a woman being dragged by a pit bull on the ground.  A neighbor, Hector Cano came to the woman's rescue by pulling the dog off of the woman.  Cano was able to hold onto the dog as it was biting him on the hand.
The 19 year old woman was taken to St. Joseph hospital in Murphysboro for non-life threatening injuries to her feet, leg, and hand.  Police say Cano had a minor bite to the hand and did not need medical care.
The pit bull is quarantined at this time for observation.
The Murphysboro Animal Control is investigating the pit bull attack.

Related articles:
Neighbor Helps Save Teen From Dog Attack - WSIL

Dogs with microchips reunite with owners

By Cathy Locke, The Scaramento Bee

A dog recovery railroad between the capital region and Pacific Northwest has been extremely active in past week – thanks to microchips implanted by their owners.
Two years after he was stolen from his Oregon home, a mixed-breed pit bull terrier named Willie has been returned to his original owners after a Folsom family found the dog online and adopted him.
And construction worker Bryan Rapozo drove from Rio Linda to the Tacoma, Wash., area Saturday morning to be reunited with his beloved Bear, a rat terrier mix at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. In the first case, the Folsom family found that when they took Willie to a local animal hospital for treatment recently that the dog bore a microchip, implanted for identification purposes. Through the microchip they learned of the dog's two-year ordeal of kidnapping, police seizure and foster families, according to the Folsom Police Department.
After he was stolen from his home in Roseburg, Ore., Willie ended up on the Yurok Indian Reservation near Crescent City, where he was known as Kane.
He was seized by Yurok tribal police, the suspected victim of animal cruelty and abandonment. He was offered for adoption online.
On Tuesday, the dog's Oregon family came to Folsom, where they were reunited with their Willie, and he is now back in his old home.
In Bear's case, a woman who didn't identify herself turned in the 20-pound dog Thursday to the Humane Society, saying she found him roaming in Lakewood. Thanks to Bear's microchip, Rapozo was contacted. He thinks someone took the dog and it got away.
The Folsom Animal Services Department will put microchips in pets for a fee of $20 and provide vaccinations for $5. The services are offered from 6 to 8 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary.
For more information, call Animal Services Officer Cindy Walden at (916) 439-2268 or e-mail her at cwalden@folsom.ca.us.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Police: Child killed in pit bull attack

From WOOD

10-month-old boy mauled by family pit bull terrier

Police in Kalamazoo say a 10-month-old boy was killed Saturday afternoon after an apparent attack by the family pet -- a pit bull terrier.
Police were first called to the house in the 400 block of Garfield at about 4:30 p.m. for a medical emergency.
When they arrived they found the infant had been mauled by the pet.
Police say the boy suffered extensive trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The toddler's mother and his two-year-old sibling were home when the attack happened.
The dog has been removed from the home and quarantined.
Police are continuing to investigate the attack.

Update February 19, 2011 - The preceding article has been updated with a change from '10-month-old' to '10-day-old'.

Update February 21, 2011 - The following article is from WOOD:

Infant-killing pit bull euthanized

10-day-old baby mauled on Saturday

The pit bull who apparently mauled a 10-day-old baby to death on Saturday has been put down, officials said Monday.
The mother laid the infant in a bassinette for a nap, then laid down in another bedroom of the home on Garfield, investigators said in a release. The pit bull pushed open the baby's bedroom door and attacked the baby.
No negligence has been uncovered at this time, and officials said the investigation goes on.
The family had the one-year-old dog for about 11 months.

Update June 3, 2011 - The following article is by Rex Hall Jr., Kalamazoo Gazette:
 
Police report details fatal mauling of infant by pit bull in Kalamazoo

Buster was a hyper, 1-year-old family pet with no history of aggressiveness toward people.

But according to a mother’s account, it took the pit bull 10 minutes or less to enter 15-day-old Darius Tillman’s bedroom, drag him out of his bassinet and maul him to death in February.

A Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety report obtained by the Kalamazoo Gazette under the state Freedom of Information Act shows that detectives sought charges of involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to animals against Darius’ 25-year-old mother, Mallory Wildig, but the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office declined to authorize charges.

The 36-page KDPS report says Wildig sobbed throughout her initial interview with Detective Sheila Goodell on Feb. 19, the day Darius was killed.

Wildig told Goodell she had been staying at her parents’ home on Nichols Road in the days following Darius’ Feb. 4 birth, returning to her home in the 400 block of Garfield Avenue to let Buster outside and give him food and water. On occasions when she was unable to make it home, she had a friend or her father stop by to feed the dog and give him water.

Wildig said that on Feb. 19 she, Darius and her 2-year-old son, Keylin Tillman, arrived at their house on Garfield between 11:30 a.m. and noon and that Keylin fed Buster two to three cups of food. The dog was then let outside and given a bath, she said.

That afternoon, she took her two children to Keylin’s room, where she read books to them then turned on a movie for Keylin while she laid Darius down for a nap in her bedroom, according to the report. Wildig told police she closed the door to her room  then returned to Keylin’s room to lay the toddler down for a nap. She told Goodell the door to her bedroom did not latch, a fact confirmed by crime-lab personnel who examined it after the incident, the report said.

Wildig said that when she laid down with Keylin, the pit bull was on the floor near them in the toddler’s room. She said she fell asleep for about 10 minutes, before the ring of her cell phone woke her. At that point, Wildig said, she went to the bathroom then went to feed Buster.

She said she noticed the dog was in the basement, which she found strange since Buster usually stayed upstairs when she was home and was confined to the basement when no one was home.

Wildig said she decided to check on Darius in her bedroom and “discovered that Darius was dead and had been mauled and partially consumed by Buster,” according to the KDPS report.

Wildig told Goodell that when she found her son, his bassinet was tilted to its side and Darius was on his back on the floor. She called her father for help then placed Darius back in his bassinet, where he was found by officers.

“When I walked into the room, there was blood on the bassinet and he just looked like a little doll on the floor,” Wildig said, according to the police report. “It felt like all of this was a nightmare.”

Sgt. Mark Johncock, one of the first officers to arrive on the scene, noted in his report that the infant showed “no signs of life.”

Wildig told detectives during their investigation that Buster’s feeding schedule changed after she gave birth Darius, during which time she stayed primarily with her parents. She said the dog had usually been fed two to three times a day but that recently it was being fed at least once daily and more food and water were being left for him in the basement.

Buster was euthanized after the attack on the infant and a veterinarian who examined him told police the dog “appeared to be getting the amount of calories it needed,” the police report said. An autopsy performed on the dog the night of Feb. 19 showed its stomach “was full of food,” the report said.

Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein told the Gazette the entire incident “was tragic without question.”
“This was her baby,” Klein said of Wildig. “She loved her baby. She was traumatized by what happened.”

Klein said to charge Wildig with the manslaughter, as requested by police, the investigation would have had to show Wildig acted with gross negligence.

“Nobody ever saw any aggressive or violent tendencies from the pet at all,” Klein said. “There was no way for the mother to know it was going to attack and kill someone. It was not gross negligence on her part to have the dog running loose in the house with the baby in the bassinet.

“She had no way of knowing the dog was going to do what it did.”

Klein also said there was not evidence of neglect toward the dog that would support a charge of cruelty to animals. “I couldn’t say he wasn’t getting at least adequate care,” Klein said. “Maybe it wasn’t at the same level prior to the birth (of Darius) but ... (the dog) was hydrated, it was fed.”

Related articles:
Police: 10-month-old Kalamazoo boy dies after being mauled by family pit bull - The Kalamazoo Gazette
Police say Kalamazoo Newborn was Attacked by Pit-Bull Terrier - WSBT
Pit bull kills baby in Kalamazoo family's home - Chicago Tribune  
Family dog kills Kalamazoo baby - WZZM
Family's pit bull mauls 10-day-old Kalamazoo boy - Detroit Free Press  
Chief: No Negligence in Pit Bull Mauling Case - WKZO

Edmonton dog lovers want beefed animal cruelty laws

By Peter Haight, iNews 880

Dog lovers in Edmonton want to see more teeth in animal cruelty laws.

The call comes after nearly 100 dogs were destroyed in Whistler's dog sled industry last year. On Saturday, Michelle Poitras passed around a petition at the Legislature calling for harsher penalties.

She says there was an incident in Vancouver that she thinks warrants tougher rules.

"It was a little pitbull puppy and he was abused and ended up being killed and the guy pretty much got away with it," explains Poitras. "I think all he ended getting was a fine for it and this poor dog was just tortured."

Poitras wants to see harsher sentences.

"These animals are living things, they shouldn't be treated like this. We're definitely trying to get harsher sentences in so that doesn't happen again so people don't do this to animals and know they're living beings too."

Poitras hopes a private member's bill, which is before the House of Commons, is passed. If MPs support it, anyone convicted of killing an animal without lawful excuse could face up to 5 years in jail.

3 children mauled, Fontana dog owners convicted

From The Kansas City Star

A San Bernardino County jury has convicted a Fontana couple whose mastiff and pit bulls mauled three young children a year ago.
Judith Mendez Lopez, 56, and her husband, Jose Lopez Gonzalez, 49, were found guilty Thursday of seven felony counts of allowing vicious animals to be at large. They face a maximum seven years in prison.
Five-year-old Destiny Colon suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung, her 7-year-old brother Hector needed over 200 stitches in his legs, and 8-year-old sister Princess needed 18 stitches.
One of the dogs was shot by a police officer and the rest were euthanized.
Prosecutor Kent Williams told the San Bernardino Sun the verdict was just. The paper said neither defense attorney could be reached for comment.

Update June 3, 2011 - The following article is by Mike Cruz, Contra Costa Times:

Dog owners sentenced in Fontana mauling

The owners of a pack of dogs that mauled three children last year in Fontana were each sentenced Friday to four years and four months in state prison.
The grisly attack, which left a 5-year-old girl on a ventilator with a punctured lung, torn flesh and an exposed rib, had the children's parents seeking the maximum punishment in Fontana Superior Court.
"All I'm asking for today, sir, is justice for my kids," the children's father Alfredo Colon told the court on Friday.
Sobs could be heard from family members of both the dog owners and the victims during the sometimes emotional proceedings.
Judith Mendez Lopez, 56, and her husband, Jose Lopez Gonzalez, 50, were both sentenced before Judge Arthur Harrison. Lopez was immediately taken into custody, while Gonzalez has been in custody since March 2010.
Both owners were found guilty on Feb. 17 of seven felony counts of having a mischevious animal that caused great bodily injury.
On Friday, Harrison denied a defense motion for a new trial.
The children - 5-year-old Destiny Colon, her 7-year-old brother Hector, and their sister Princess, 8 - survived the attack. But they are left with nightmares and scars, their mother Josephine Arellano told the court.
"I don't think my children will ever be the same," she said.
Prosecutors say the victims were attacked on Feb. 1, 2010, by five dogs - a 91-pound mastiff and pitbull mixes - as they walked along the railroad tracks on Tokay Avenue, south of Arrow Highway. The unlicensed and unvaccinated dogs left the backyard of the couple's home, via holes under a fence, according to prosecutors. Neighbors came to the children's rescue.
Destiny suffered critical injuries to her face, scalp, chest, neck and legs. Flesh was torn from her right side, exposing one of her ribs, and one of her lungs was punctured.
"The testimony (at trial) was very vivid that the dogs were pulling at the child," the judge said.
A dog chewed off part of Hector's leg, and he needed more than 200 stitches.
According to prosecutors, in 2006, a delivery man was bitten.
Given the dogs' nature and the holes under the fence, prosecutor Kent Williams alleged it was forseeable that harm would soon come. He referred to the dogs as "killing machines" and "tree-shredders on legs."
Lopez's attorney, David Currie, disagreed. He also said there was no evidence his client was home when the dogs got out nor that she had trained the dogs to be vicious.
The defendants had no prior criminal history.
Through Spanish interpreters, they told the court they were sorry.
"Unfortunately, I cannot change what happened. I would like to be able to do so," Lopez said. "I'm sorry for everything that happened."
Gonzalez said they have a heart and were not criminals.
"It hurts me to know what happened to those kids," Gonzalez said.

Neglected, starving dogs rescued by Rugaz Rescue in Pasco County

By Janie Porter, WTSP

They're the latest casualties of our country's struggling economy: neglected animals. Dogs rescued: Honey Bun, Barnaby, and Frisco
This year, the number of neglect cases in Pasco County has tripled, according to Rugaz Rescue, which rescues American Pit Bull Terriers.
"[We don't know] whether it be due to the economy, people not able to afford their vet care, job loss, foreclosure," said founder Devilyn Saunders.
She founded the group, which is currently caring for 56 dogs, six years ago.
Honey Bun is one of the latest rescues. She came in about a month ago, weighing a mere 17 pounds and suffering from a severe skin infection.
"She came to us house-broken and crate-trained so somebody loved [her]. It's sad somebody didn't turn her in to a rescue," Saunders said.
But eventually, Honey Bun found her way to Rugaz Rescue. She's gained about 10 pounds, and even though she's still half the weight of a normal pit bull terrier her age, she's alive.
"She's a little miracle girl!" Saunders said.
Rugaz Rescue is looking for foster homes for rescued dogs. You don't have to live in Pasco. Rugaz needs foster homes in all Bay-area counties. Also, not all the dogs are sick. Some are healthy and just need a warm place to sleep.
The group also has a grant program for people who can't afford their pets.
Saunders should be ready for adoption in the next three months.

Victim of fatal dog attack identified, autopsy results expected

From WECT

A 66-year-old Dillon woman has died after officials say two rottweilers attacked her Thursday afternoon, and the owner of the dogs was taken to the hospital for injuries. Capt. Cliff Arnette, spokesman for the Dillon County Sheriff's Office, said deputies arrived at 1556 West Main Street around 2 p.m. in reference to a death.
Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley has identified the victim as Sirlinda Hayes, a neighbor of the dogs' owner. Officials say the attack occurred in the backyard of another neighbor's house.
The dogs' owner, whose name has not been released, was taken to the hospital after suffering injuries in the attack when his dogs suddenly turned on him.
While officials say Hayes' death appears to be the result of a dog attack, investigators are waiting for an autopsy for more details before determining an official cause of death. Grimsley said the autopsy will take place Friday at Grand Strand Regional Hospital.
Grimsley also said results could come back as early as Friday afternoon.
The two rottweilers from the attack were killed, however, investigators have not said exactly who shot the dogs at this point.
Neighbors said they hadn't seen any problems with the dogs before.
"They [were] pretty dogs. He looked like he was taking care of the dogs, and it just, they never bothered anybody," Larry German said.
Investigators have removed three other dogs not involved in the attack from the property, and taken them to a shelter as they continue to investigate the incident.
This is not the first time a dog attack has killed a person in Dillon County. On Nov. 16, 25-year-old Justin Lane of Latta was killed in his home shortly after 11 a.m. when the family pitbull attacked him.
The dog, named Smoke, was later put down.

Related articles:
Deputies: 2 dogs fatally maul SC woman, hurt owner - Technology Marketing Corporation

Friday, February 18, 2011

City counts 17 dangerous dogs in six years

From Kamloops Daily News

A report on dangerous dogs requested by City council shows there have been 17 dogs deemed dangerous in Kamloops since 2005.
Fifteen of those dogs still live in City limits while the other two were stolen from the pound and never recovered.
Of those 17 dangerous dogs, 10 are pit bulls or Staffordshire bull terriers, three are Labs and there’s one each of German shepherd, husky, bull dog and mastiff.
“Our legislation is it’s the deed, not the breed,” City corporate and community affairs director Len Hrycan said Friday.
He said a recent review of the conditions on those dogs shows 41 per cent of the owners weren’t in full compliance. The City is starting enforcement procedures on those owners.
In doing the report, staff noticed a few gaps in the bylaws that prompted some recommendations to go to council for tightening up.
Council will consider those recommendations Tuesday.
The first is to change from the term “dangerous” dog to “aggressive.” It’s not a big deal, but Hrycan explained it has to do with the Community Charter making reference to destruction of dangerous dogs.
The City wants to ensure there’s no confusion between the two, as its bylaw is broader than the charter, he said.
The biggest change is to require electronic microchips for any dog deemed aggressive. Aggressive dogs already have to be on a leash; the revision would not allow retractable leashes that can vary in length and restrict leashes to two metres.
“We’re trying to separate the bylaw from charter definitions,” Hrycan said.
“We’re looking to clarify the wording in the bylaw so there’s no room for interpretation.”

Charges dismissed against ex-Texans Foley in dog attack

By David Barron, Houston Chronicle

Fort Bend County prosecutors have dismissed their case against former Texans linebacker Steve Foley, who was indicted in 2008 on third-degree felony charges stemming from an attack by his two pit bull dogs on a neighbor and the woman's puppy.
Foley, 34, who played nine years in the NFL with the Broncos, Texans and Chargers, was accused of failing to secure his two dogs, which attacked neighbor Twana Schulz on March 26, 2008. Schulz was bitten on the arms and face, and the dogs killed her puppy, named Schnickers, according to court documents.
"(Foley) paid compensation to the victim to satisfy the out of pocket expenses for her injuries, and it was her desire to move on from the situation," said Mark LaForge, a Fort Bend County assistant district attorney.
Foley's attorney, Paul Nugent, said the attack was an "aberration. He (Foley) feels badly that it happened. The dogs had never shown aggression before. This was a tragic accident, but (Schulz) is OK and they remain neighbors and friends."
Foley was not at home at the time of the attack, investigators said. The pit bulls were seized by animal control officers and destroyed.

Dogs attack, kill Manton cattle

By Andrea Wagner, Red Bluff Daily News

East county cattle ranchers have been searching for several dogs that murdered or mangled nearly 20 cattle in the area.

Stan Gordon, 40, of Bonanza, Ore., found one heifer, one calf and three other cows dead in his pasture Jan. 18 off Ponderosa Way in Mineral, according to a Tehama County Sheriff's Office press release.

An unidentified neighbor told Gordon that three dogs had been seen in the area where his livestock had been killed, the release said.

About two weeks later, George Hyrcenko, 70, of Los Angeles, reported his cattle were attacked by dogs on his property on Cedar Ridge Road in Manton, the release said.

Hrycenko, who recently retired with his wife Ingrid, has owned the Manton property since 1980, he said. His livestock were attacked Feb. 1, Feb. 4 and Feb. 8.

A ranch employee saw three dogs attacking Hyrcenko's cattle on Feb. 1, the sheriff's release said.

Hyrcenko's employee described the dogs as a light-colored pit bull with several spots, a brown shepherd-type dog and a third dog of unknown breed, the sheriff's release said.

The pit bull had a large amount of blood on his outer coat, which was believed to be from the killed or injured livestock.

The ranch employee shouted at the dogs during the attack and they fled the area.

Having only 42 head of cattle on his small ranch, Hyrcenko lost three bulls and a calf, he said. Three more of his cattle are pretty chewed up and may not survive.



With cattle prices at between $700 and $1,000 a head, Hyrcenko stands to lose as much as $6,000 worth of livestock, he said.

It's not insignificant, Hyrcenko said.

Other ranchers have lost even more cattle than Hyrcenko.

Judy Ramos, a cattle rancher near Battle Creek Canyon where Gordon's livestock were killed, said the majority of the attacks were at her neighbors' property. They've lost nearly 10 cattle and some are still missing.

Ramos could sometimes hear the attacks.

However, since it can be too dark in the canyon, she and her neighbors were unable to catch and stop the attacking dogs.

The dogs ripped off the cows' ears, mangled their genitals and tore at their tails, Ramos said.

The sheriff's department is investigating the deaths, but don't know who owns the attacking dogs, the release said.

The dogs' owners have to know about it when the dogs come back bloody and tired, Ramos said.

It will be a relief to everyone in the area when the responsible dogs are found, she said.

Posters have been put up in the area offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the owners of the dogs that have been killing cattle in Manton.

The notices say to call Mike at 520-5294.

Anyone with information regarding the dogs or the attacks is asked to contact Deputy Edward McCullough of the Tehama County Sheriff's Office at 529-7920. 


Update February 23, 2011 - The following article is by Andrea Wagner, Red Bluff Daily News:
 
Cattle moved after attacks in eastern Tehama County

In response to recent cattle killings by dogs in eastern Tehama County, some ranchers have moved their livestock to keep them safe.

Stan Gordon, 40, of Bonanza, Ore., and his partners Morgan Rourke and Mike Watnur, relocated their remaining cattle to land in Cottonwood when efforts failed to find the dogs responsible for killing more than 15 of their animals.

"It's been kind of a devastating blow," Gordon said.

Domestic breed dogs have been attacking area cattle in Mineral and Manton, where more than 20 head have been killed.

After spending an unsuccessful week in the canyon pastures off Ponderosa Way in Mineral, including two or three days on horseback trying to find missing cattle or any sign of the dogs, Gordon decided he had to pull the livestock out.

"I was up there for a week straight trying to catch them, and I couldn't even put an eyeball on one of them," Gordon said.

Gordon's group has lost at least $15,000 worth of cattle to the attacks, and at least five other cows, worth $7,000 or more, have gone missing. "It's been a severe financial hit," he said.

Most of the dead cattle were found by following circling vultures in the sky, Gordon said.

The group lost five pairs of cows with calves and five bred cows that were pregnant, Gordon said.

One female cow had gotten her head stuck in a downed tree and her face was chewed off, Gordon said. Another was pulled into a watery ditch and
drowned. Her face and ears were chewed off.

"When you come upon something like this and see what these dogs did, it turns your stomach," Gordon said.

Meanwhile, ranchers in the area have gotten together to put up a $1,000 reward for information leading to the owners of the dogs.

Watnur, Gordon's partner, put up the reward posters with the support of area ranchers, some of whom have not lost cattle, to try to find someone responsible for the loose dogs.

"If we don't get this under control, it could end up being a person," Watnur said.

If an owner is found, there could be a substantial legal claim, Gordon said.

"We're extremely serious about pursuing this," he said. "This is our livelihood."

Cattle prices are at one of the highest levels in history, and the dogs' owners could be responsible for up to three times the value of the animals, Gordon said.

Gordon, a former Shasta College agriculture instructor, has had to make extra trips to get the situation under control, he said.

After hearing about the cattle killings in the Manton area, a local predation control specialist wants to help the ranchers track the dogs responsible.

Chuck Brewer, of Turkey Creek Custom Calls in Cottonwood, has tracked predatory animals for years and wants to lend a hand, he said.

Brewer called Tehama County Sheriff's Deputy Edward McCullough and one of the ranchers to offer his services.

"I don't like killing domestic dogs, because I am a big dog person myself, but it is a necessary evil," Brewer said.

Since growing up near Sonora and Angel's Camp in Tuolumne County, he has hunted coyotes, mountain lions, bears and dogs, Brewer said. Now, he works with neighbors to keep predators away from livestock.

"Dogs have a different body language," he said.

Brewer can tell by the body posture of the dog whether it is looking to kill or just interested in what's going on, he said.

If the intent is to kill, there is nothing to do but to put it down, Brewer said. Once a dog starts killing, it doesn't stop, and it could get dangerous.

"When they get to the point that they're not afraid of you, that's when humans are in danger," Brewer said.

Breeding season is when the dogs are a bigger threat, Brewer said. The dogs go after calves as they are about to drop or soon after.

Other than Gordon's group, the sheriff's department received reports that George Hyrcenko, 70, of Los Angeles had lost cattle to attacks on three different occasions on his small ranch off Cedar Ridge Road in Manton.

Hyrcenko's employee described the dogs as a light-colored pit bull with several spots, a brown shepherd-type dog and a third dog of unknown breed. The ranch employee shouted at the dogs during one of the attacks and the dogs fled the area, according to a sheriff's press release.

There may be more than the three dogs at large.

In his 25 years of running livestock, Gordon has seen natural losses by an occasional mountain lion or other wild animals, but these attacks are different, he said. The amount of cattle killed and the extent of the damage may indicate that there could be five to seven dogs.

Anyone with information about the dogs or their owners, call Deputy Edward McCullough at 529-7920.

Police halt dogfight; teens face charges

From Capital Gazette

County police broke up what they believe was a staged dogfight in Severn Thursday evening.Police got a tip around 5:20 p.m. that five people were grouped around two dogs fighting in a wooded area near Athena Lane and Loving Road.
When officers arrived, the group dispersed into the woods toward Arwell Court.
Police caught two teenage boys as they were running out of the woods onto Arwell Court. Police said one of the teens was carrying a pit bull by the neck.
County Animal Control officers took the animal to a local veterinary hospital for evaluation. The dog was found to be in poor condition, police said.
Officers spotted the second dog running into the wooded area, but could not catch it, or the other three suspects.
The two teens who were caught are 16 years old. They were charged as juveniles with numerous animal cruelty violations, police said.
The Department of Juvenile Services placed the boys into custody at the Cheltenham Youth Facility.
The investigation is ongoing.

Related articles:
Severn Teenagers Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges - Severn Patch

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pit bill attacks 3-year-old girl in Port Royal

From WMBF

Authorities say a 3-year-old girl has been attacked by a pit bull while walking down a Port Royal street with her baby sitter. Police say the dog had the child's head in its mouth when an officer arrived moments after the attack around 8 a.m. Thursday.
Investigators say the officer kicked the dog until it released the child, then shot the animal to death when it lunged toward the girl again.
Authorities say the girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Police say they plan to charge the dog's owner when the person is identified.

Update February 18, 2011 - The following article is by Mary Hashemi, WSAV:

Owner of Pit Bull that Attacked 3-Year-Old Turns Himself In

Police say the owner of a pit bull that mauled a child Thursday in Port Royal has turned himself in.
Kevin Ramsey, Sr. faces charges after his dog brutally attacked a 3-year-old girl that was walking with her baby sitter early Thursday morning, police say.

Update February 20, 2011 - The following article is by Jaime Dailey, from WMBF:
 
Lowcountry toddler attacked by pit bull

What happened on Wayside Lane in the Shell Point neighborhood Thursday morning is something the one girl's family and Melinda Haskell will never forget.
"The dog just kept coming back, biting the baby's head, just would leave off," Haskell said.

She lives nearby and was loading her children into the car when she witnessed the brutal attack.
 
"The dog had the child's head in its mouth," Haskell said. "The lady was grabbing the feet and trying to get the baby away from the dog, but the dog kept grabbing and biting at her head and face."
 
She says she immediately took action, grabbing a nearby stick to help free the little girl.
 
"I put the stick out before it jumped again," Haskell said. "I took it off a couple of times and then I noticed the police got here and they started running out."
 
"If Chris Able hadn't gotten there when he did, I don't think this child would have survived the attack," said Staff Sgt. Andre Massey. "He kicked and kicked until finally the dog released.  Once the dog released and backed off, then he re-engaged back on the child again. Chris started kicking again and when he backed off and re-engaged again, that's when he ended up shooting and killing the dog."
 
"But this isn't the first time authorities have been notified about this dog. Back in January, the Beaufort County Animal Control picked the dog up after neighbors complained. Then three weeks ago, the dog was picked up again."
 
While this time things were much worse, Beaufort County Animal Control says in the other two previous cases, the dog was just running loose and wasn't aggressive.  
 
Haskell said she has only lived here a short time and never saw the dog before the attack, but said the mother of the 3-year-old victim has.
 
"What she told me is that these dogs have been in her house, she's called police numerous times and told them about the dogs," said Melinda. "After that second time, the dog should have never have been returned to the owner because they can't take care of the dog."
 
Port Royal police are pursuing criminal charges against the owner of the pit bull, but those charges are still pending. 
 
The condition of the girl is still unknown at this time.

Related Articles:
Owner of dog that attacked child turns himself in to police - Island Packet

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anniversary is painful reminder for North Coast family

By Chelsea Gorrow, The Daily Astorian

It’s been almost a year since 4-year-old Ashlynn Anderson was killed by the family dog in her backyard in Svensen.
Time that doesn’t make the pain any easier for her grandfather, Don Wing of Warrenton, who has started a nonprofit organization to make sure other families don’t have to endure the same heartbreak.
The organization has invited Clatsop County Animal Control and local veterinarian Brad Pope of Bayshore Animal Hospital to be involved in a campaign they are calling Dads Against Dangerous Dogs (DADD). The idea is to get the word out to people to leave a dog alone when it’s eating and sleeping, as well as not approaching dogs, stray or leashed, that people are unfamiliar with.
“We’re going to get them involved and create an educational program for kids to teach them what to do and what not to do around dogs,” Wing said. “Hopefully, we can prevent any kind of accident. Death by dog is rare but there are all kinds of bites and if we can prevent that, we’ve done our job.”
It is all in Ashlynn’s memory.
“Ashlynn was an amazing little girl,” said her dad, Ryan Anderson. “She was super smart, she loved to sing, she loved to dance, she loved to read books, play with her little brother. She was a very special girl, sneaky in a cute way. She had myself wrapped around her little finger.”
Anderson’s death made national headlines, in part because of the nature of the attack and in part because she was the stepdaughter of Jesse Browning and granddaughter of Jay Browning, who appeared in the History Channel’s series “Ax Men.”

How it happened

Jesse Browning called 9-1-1 at 1 p.m. on Feb. 28 from the family home to report one of the family’s Rottweilers had attacked the girl.
“She had just gotten done eating lunch, and her mom was picking up and clearing the table, when Ashlynn asked, ‘Can I go outside? Can I go outside?’” Anderson said. “She said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be out there in just a second.’ So she went outside and somehow the dog got out of a different part of the yard and somehow attacked her.
“I’d seen that dog many times and I never ever thought something would happen, it seemed like a good dog. We don’t know why or for what reason, but for some reason, her mom, my ex-wife, heard Ashlynn scream and came outside.”
Ashlynn was flown to Portland’s Oregon Health and Science University Hospital via a LifeFlight helicopter as medics attempted to save her.
“They were able to get a pulse back, but they lost her on the flight to Portland,” Anderson said.
Ashlynn was pronounced dead on arrival. The dogs were taken from the home at the request of the family.
“We’re not against dogs in any way,” Anderson said.  “We’re not against any types of breeds of different dogs. Any type of dog can become dangerous from a little poodle to a Doberman or a pitbull. My message is just to be aware, even if it’s your own personal dog, you never know. Especially strange dogs that you don’t know but even your own dog. Look for signs. It was only a matter of seconds, minutes at the most.”

Getting involved

The veterinarian, Pope, was asked to examine the dogs at the animal shelter after Ashlynn was killed.
Wing later invited him to take part in the program. Pope said being a veterinarian has opened doors for resources.
“I absolutely think this will do some great things for kids,” Pope said. “There are a lot of resources available to me that can be made available to them that were not used in the past, at least in our area. It’s been pretty easy to put the program together. As a vet, I hear about dog bites an awful lot, and for us it’s an occupational hazard, even though we know how to handle dogs like that, anything can happen.”
Some people bitten by their own dogs often don’t report it, Pope said. Still, in 2009 some 4.5 million dog bites were reported in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. About one in five required medical attention; 32 were fatal.
According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, 70 percent of the dog bites in 2009 were to children 15 and younger.
Because of these statistics, the third week in May has been declared National Dog Bite Awareness Week.

Helping others

If Anderson and Wing have to travel to teach the program, they will do so, Wing said. But he’d like to have people join DADD in other areas to help spread the word.
For the older kids, Wing said they’ll eventually form a program for them, sharing their story and more of the statistics.
“We teach kids not to touch a hot burner, to look both ways before crossing a street, but we don’t teach them the dangers of dogs,” Anderson said. “Not all dogs would you have that problem, but there is a major risk.”
The organization was just recently launched and a website will soon be completed, selling items and accepting donations to fund a scholarship in Ashlynn’s name.
The website, www.dadd4ashlynn.com, is partially up and running. More will be added to it before the the official launch in September.
“It’s going to be an incredible thing. I mean, I just know it is,” Wing said.
The group will be selling window decals, travel mugs, pens, flower pots, T-shirts and marigold seeds.
Ashlynn’s mom D’ette and stepfather Jesse Browning are putting on a dance scholarship program through Encore Dance Studio. Anderson said they may become involved with the group, too. Wing said the family does not use “step-” or “in-law” titles. Ashlynn saw everyone as one big family and that’s the way they see each other, also.“Something positive is coming out of a tragic situation,” said Don Wing’s wife, Teri Wing. “That’s the big thing.”

Planting miracles

Who knew planting miracles, a little girl’s accidental mispronunciation of marigolds, would be what keeps Ashlynn’s memory alive?
The Wings have planted a memorial garden in their yard for their granddaughter.
Ashlynn had once asked her brother, Patrick, to go plant some “miracles” with her and her grandmother, who had brought home marigold seeds.
“Let’s go plant some miracles” has become the DADD slogan.
The garden became a family effort, led by Wing, who said it helped him to heal.
“It was something to just keep my mind somewhere, give me some focus, help me to heal. I had to do something,” he said.
The project was finished by what would have been Ashlynn’s fifth birthday last May, when the family came together to release balloons and plant flowers.
Flowers are planted in different seasons and marigolds are grown whenever possible. A big sign says “Ashlynn’s Garden.” On top of a fountain that flows down the center, a statue stands of a little girl holding a sliver bubble.
“She would have loved to be the center of attention. She was our world,” Teri Wing said.
Teri and Don Wing have license plates, “ASHY1” and ASHY2.”
“People ask me, because of what I'm doing and with my personalized plate on my truck and our garden, if I'm a bit over the top,” Don Wing said. “I respond ‘I have eight grandkids. Just because one is in heaven doesn't mean she doesn't deserve just as much of my time and attention.’”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Turn Bad Newz into Good Newz

Dog’s Deserve Better (DDB), is an organization devoted to advocating for chained and penned dogs. They are considering purchasing Michael Vick’s former 'Bad Newz Kennels' property and transforming it into a safe haven for abused, neglected and chained dogs that await their new forever homes.
I think that it's a GREAT idea and I say, "do it!"
You can cast your vote on this idea by clicking here: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/ddbcenter.html
Also, check out the DDB Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained Dogs Facebook page.

L.I. Town Offers $250 to Adopt a Pit Bull


There's now a financial incentive to adopting a pit bull in Brookhaven.
Town officials have launched a progam that will pay animal shelters and rescue organizations $250 for each pit bull or mixed-breed pit bull they place in a safe and loving home.
The program, called the "Brookhaven Bully Alliance," seeks to alleviate the overpopulation of pit bulls and mixed pit bull breeds in Brookhaven, town Supervisor Mark Lesko said.
He said shelters have been "overwhelmed with the number of pit bulls that are brought in and must be cared for."
“Sadly, they are coming in to the shelter faster than they are being adopted," he said. 
       
The shelter has been working for months to whittle the number of pit bills in the shelter. Last summer, the shelter had as many as 200 pit bulls. The number currently stands at about 140.
       
Funding for the pit bull initiative comes from the Help the Animals Fund Inc., a not-for-profit organization in the town.
       
All the dogs in the program are professionally evaluated, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and receive identifying micro-chips.