Thursday, March 31, 2011

Depressed Okla. woman hoping city will let her keep severely disabled kangaroo as therapy pet

By Kristi Eaton, from The Republic

An Oklahoma woman suffering from depression has found solace in the company of an unusual companion, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet — a partially paralyzed kangaroo — could become a public safety risk. Christie Carr is seeking an exemption from the Broken Arrow City Council to keep Irwin, a 25-pound Great Red kangaroo that she cares for much like a child. Irwin rides in a car seat, is dressed in a shirt and pants each day and is rarely away from his doting caretaker.
At the advice of her therapist, Carr began volunteering at a local animal sanctuary, where she met Irwin, then just a baby. Less than a week later, the kangaroo named for famed Australian animal expert Steve Irwin ran into a fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage.
Carr volunteered to take the animal home and, while nursing him back to health, developed a bond. Irwin cannot stand or walk on his own, although he is slowly gaining back mobility and can hop three or four times in a row with assistance, she said.
"Irwin will not live if I have to give him up," Carr said, adding that she would rather leave town. "I can't imagine a day living without him."
Native to Australia, healthy male Great Red kangaroos can grow up to 7 feet tall, weigh more than 200 pounds and bound 25 feet in a single leap. But because of his accident, Irwin isn't expected to get larger than 50 pounds, his veterinarian, Dr. Lesleigh Cash Warren, wrote in a letter to the Council supporting Carr's request to keep him.
Neutering has also lessened any chance he will become aggressive.
"Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo," Warren wrote. "He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare."
Carr, who is unable to work because of her health, changes Irwin's diaper several times a day. She feeds him salad, raw veggies, kangaroo chow, popcorn and the occasional Cheez-Its or a handful of Cheetos.
The marsupial never leaves the house without first getting dressed. The clothes — a little boy's shirt cut and sewed to accommodate his neck, sometimes a tie, and jeans or slacks with a hole cut for the tail— are necessary for therapeutic reasons and to protect him against germs, Carr said.
The 1-year-old animal never leaves Carr's side for more than an hour, often accompanying her on errands and going out to eat. He rides in a car seat before being placed in a pouch when going out in public. Carr's therapist certified the animal as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Broken Arrow Mayor Mike Lester said he worries what could happen if Irwin is able to regain full mobility. The council last week delayed considering the issue until an April 19 meeting, to give City Attorney Beth Anne Wilkening and other staff time to research the issue.
"There's just a myriad of things we need to consider," Lester said.
Every exception made sets a precedent, and the council must take that into consideration, Wilkening said. The council may decide to create an exotic animal review committee that would look at each animal on a case-by-case basis, he said.
Broken Arrow Nursing Home owner Joanna Cooper said she doesn't understand why keeping Irwin has become an issue. Carr has brought Irwin to the nursing home in the past for residents to hold and pet. Several residents of the nursing home plan to attend the upcoming council meeting with signs to show their support for Carr and Irwin.
"Why are people giving her problems when people have tigers and pit bulls?" Copper said.

Pit Bull Impounded Following Dog Bite Incident

From Memphis Democrat

Pit bulls are back in the news in Memphis after a canine owner was ticketed for possessing a vicious dog following a dog bite incident on March 24th.

According to the Memphis Police Department, the dog's owner, Anthony Schultz of 217 E. Jackson Street, was ticketed after the animal allegedly bit a juvenile.

Officers took the dog into custody and it remains impounded in the city dog pound.

According to investigators, the animal left the owner's property and the attack occurred on private property. The juvenile sustained a bite wound to his leg. Investigators indicated the dog's owners contend the dog was provoked.

Under Memphis City Code 210.010 pit bulls are automatically classified as vicious dogs.

Section 210.020 denotes that it is illegal to keep or harbor a vicious dog in Memphis except under the following provisions:

The dog cannot be allowed outside its kennel or pen unless the dog is secured on a leash of no more than four feet in length and is wearing a muzzle.

The dog must be confined indoors or in a secure enclosure. It cannot be kept outdoors on a rope or chain. Any pen must have four walls, a roof and either a floor or walls embedded no less than two feet underground. The pen must be locked.

Ownership of a vicious dog also requires that the property owner display a sign in prominent fashion warning others to beware of the dog.

Once a vicious dog is taken into custody by law enforcement within the city limits, the animal may not be released until the associate judge makes a determination on whether the animal needs to be disposed of to promote public safety.

Any dog may be deemed vicious if it bites or attempts to bite any person, not a trespasser, without provocation. It can also be deemed vicious if it kills another dog, cat, or domestic animal. Any unrestrained dog that has placed a person, not a trespasser, in apprehension of serious physical damage, also can be deemed a vicious animal.

City code also requires all dogs be licensed and show proof of rabies vaccination. The annual fee is $3 and renewable on July 1.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ingham County prosecutors file charges in pit bull abuse, death cases

By Kevin Grasha, Lansing State Journal

Prosecutors have filed charges in two recent cases involving cruelty toward dogs.
Authorities are looking for one suspect, Kitayi Hiram Burks, 27, of Lansing, in connection with a pit bull found dead Jan. 21 in a Lansing park.
Burks faces an animal killing/torture charge, a four-year felony, but is also wanted on other felony charges in unrelated cases.
A second man, Ray Emmanuel Potter, 24, of Dimondale, faces a misdemeanor animal abandonment charge in connection with a pit bull found frozen and bound with electrical tape Jan. 19 in a wooded lot in Lansing. Potter has been arraigned.
Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said today the cases are not believed to be connected.
Check lsj.com for updates.

Update April 29, 2011 - The following article is by Lindsay VanHulle, Lansing State Journal:

Lansing man charged in connection with dog found dead, frozen in park

A Lansing man has been arraigned on charges he left his pit bull to die in a city park, Ingham County prosecutors said today.
Kitayi Hiram Burks, 27, is charged with animal killing and torture and third-degree home invasion, both felonies. He also faces misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and abandonment and driving with a suspended license.
Burks' dog was discovered Jan. 21 frozen and dead in a carrier at Lansing's Ingham Park.
Burks on May 9 will be in 54A District Court for a pre-examination conference on the animal and home invasion charges, prosecutors said. A preliminary hearing is set for May 13.
The driving charge will be handled in 55th District Court, with a pretrial hearing set for May 16.

Dog attack

From Savannah Morning News

March 25, 6 p.m. – RHPD Officer Tiffany Christian responded to a Parkside address in reference to a dog attack. Upon arrival she was told by the complainant that when she returned home that day her neighbor told her, that his pit bull had broken through the wooden fence and attacked and killed her Yorkie. The woman said she then went inside her house to check on her other dog and found it on the kitchen floor shaking and bleeding.
The neighbor said that when he discovered the incident about 10:45 a.m. he put his dog inside his house, covered the hole in the fence, as he had two other pit bulls; wrapped the deceased dog in a towel and took his dog to Richmond Hill Animal Hospital to have it euthanized. The man also agreed to pay for medical bills and cremation of the two dogs his pit bull attacked. Both parties indicated there were no hard feelings and to handle the financial aspect civilly. RHPD

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Woman Charged With Starving Pit Bull

By Brian Thompson, NBC New York

A Newark woman will be in court Thursday to face animal abuse charges for stuffing her emaciated pit bull dog in a plastic bag and dumping him down the garbage chute of her apartment building.
"Patrick," so named because he was discovered by a maintenance man the day before St. Patrick's day, is recovering at a Associated Humane Society facility in Monmouth County.
His former owner, Kisha Curtis, 27, will now appear in Newark Municipal Court to face the charges against her.
"This is a very sad case of a helpless dog left unattended," Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said in a statement.
She added "The information we have now indicates the defendant tied the dog to a railing and left the state of New Jersey for more than a week."
Apparently after her return, Curtis is believed to have sent her dog down the chute to a trash compactor where the maintenance man noticed movement in a plastic bag and opened it up to discover a breathing dog.
Curtis is currently being held in the Passaic County Jail on charges of receiving stolen property.

Update March 31, 2011 - The following article is from News Times:

A New Jersey woman is due in court to face charges she abused a pit bull that was found dumped down a trash chute.Kisha Curtis is scheduled to be arraigned in Newark Municipal Court late Thursday morning.
Authorities believe Curtis tied the 1-year-old dog to a railing in her Newark apartment building and left the state for more than a week.
A janitor later found it in a trash bin.
The dog, who caretakers have named Patrick, is receiving treatment at an animal hospital.
The 27-year-old is charged with animal abuse. The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had already charged Curtis with four counts of animal cruelty.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office will determine whether to bring felony charges against Curtis.

Update March 31, 2011 - The following article is from CBS New York:

Newark Woman Accused Of Starving, Dumping Pit Bull Pleads Not Guilty

A New Jersey woman accused of starving a dog that was found at the bottom of a trash chute pleaded not guilty Thursday to animal abuse charges, as letters and donations poured in from the around the world in support of the 1-year-old pit bull nicknamed Patrick.
Kisha Curtis appeared by video feed from the Essex County jail wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. Attorney Kelly Lerner, who represented Curtis for the arraignment, entered the plea on her behalf.
Meanwhile, Essex County’s courthouse has received more than 200 letters and faxes from around the world expressing concern for the dog and urging swift and harsh punishment for Curtis.
“She should not be treated with kid gloves,” a writer from Colorado says. “Throw the book at her,” another writes. One letter came from New Zealand.
Curtis is charged with two fourth-degree offenses for “tormenting and torturing” an animal by failing to provide food and water, the prosecutor’s office said. Those carry a maximum jail sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000, but the prosecutor’s office still has to determine whether those charges will be presented to a grand jury.
She also faces two abandonment charges that are disorderly persons offenses and are punishable by up to six months in jail with a $1,000 fine. Curtis, whose only previous brush with law is a 2003 shoplifting charge in Passaic County, could receive probation or community service, prosecutors said.
Municipal Court Judge Amilkar Velez-Lopez continued Curtis’ bail at $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash. She faces another court hearing in early May.
Authorities say Curtis tied the dog to a railing in her Newark apartment building and left the state for more than a week. A janitor later found the emaciated dog in a trash bin.
Curtis’ mother was in court Thursday and said her daughter was in Albany, N.Y., when the dog was believed to have been abused.
“Somebody gave her that dog but she couldn’t take care of it, so she tied it up outside hoping somebody else could take it,” Tammie Curtis said. “Somebody took that dog and did whatever they did to it.”
Patrick, named because he was found the day before St. Patrick’s Day, is being treated at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. On its website, the center wrote that is has received so many donations that it has discontinued accepting them and is urging people to donate to local animal shelters.
On March 16, the dog was found in the garbage of a Newark apartment building after apparently having been thrown down a trash chute in a plastic bag in the 22-story building.
When a maintenance worker discovered him, the pup was rushed to the trauma unit at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists.
It was determined the dog was severely anemic and malnourished. He received a blood transfusion and was later named Patrick.
Patrick’s progress also is being chronicled on a Facebook page. The page is crammed with messages from people interested in adopting him.
“He’s walking, which is a big symbol of hope, because he couldn’t walk in the beginning,” Assisstant Prosecutor Cheryl Cucinello said.

Listen to 1010 WINS News radio report
YouTube Video: Patrick Enjoys A Meal

Update April 19, 2011 - The following article is by Pamela Black, Change.org:

Patrick the Pit Bull Inspires Campaign to Change New Jersey's Animal Cruelty Laws

Last month, the story of Patrick, the one-year-old pit bull who had been starved and thrown down a garbage chute in New Jersey, spread across the world like wildfire. His near-death experience sparked a multitude of fan pages and groups looking for justice in his case and changes to animal cruelty laws nationwide.
New Jersey ranks in the bottom tier of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s annual ranking of state animal protection laws. These weak animal protection laws are something that Keith Stoeckeler is calling on New Jersey lawmakers to change. After hearing about Patrick, Keith felt he could no longer sit on the sidelines as animals are abused. He told me that Patrick’s story was the catalyst that “has only made me more passionate to [make] a difference in animal cruelty.”
In just over a month, Keith’s petition on Change.org has received over 4,000 signatures. Gaining in momentum, celebrities like Eva Longoria and Nathan Fillion have tweeted their support of the petition and ask others to do the same.
Here’s the condensed story of Patrick, the lucky pit who was rescued the day before St. Patrick’s Day:
Patrick was given to Kisha Curtis by a friend. Unable to provide for the dog, she tied him to a railing from her apartment for over a week while she was out of town. She claimed that she was trying to get someone to adopt him.
Nice try, Curtis. But stealing a dog from someone’s property is a crime. There are plenty of ways to rehome a dog, all of which somehow eluded this woman. Then again, we are talking about someone who couldn’t fulfill the simple act of giving her dog any food for at least a month.
After returning to town and finding Patrick still tied up, Curtis placed him in a garbage bag and dropped him down the garbage chute of her apartment building in Newark, New Jersey. Surviving the 19-story fall, the emaciated dog's fight for life got the attention of a maintenance worker who rescued him and immediately called for help.
While Patrick continues the slow process of healing and gaining weight (when found he weighed 20 pounds instead of the 50 pounds normal for his age and breed), the momentum to protect other animals from this fate is growing. You will be amazed by the recent photos showing how far he has progressed while under the watchful care of Garden State Veterinary Specialists.
Other websites have been set up in honor of Patrick. The Patrick Miracle has a Facebook page to keep the public informed of Patrick’s healing process. The Patrick’s Law website pushes for changes in animal cruelty laws in New Jersey and beyond.
It is truly incredible how much one little dog can help save the lives of countless others. Patrick had the will to survive and has certainly inspired all of us to be more compassionate toward animals. Sign the petition asking New Jersey to support harsher penalties for animal abuse.

Update April 22, 2011 - The following article is by Paul DeBenedetto, NBC New York:

Starved Pit Bull Recovering, Could Be Adopted By July

Patrick is said to be doing "absolutely wonderful" after operation

Patrick, the pit bull that was rescued after it was starved and discarded down a trash chute, is making progress and could be ready for adoption by July, his caregivers told NBC New York on Thursday.
Associated Humane Societies, the group handling the adoption of the animal that won the hearts of dog lovers everywhere, has received thousands of requests from people wanting to give him a home.
Bruce Sanchez, the organization's general manager, said it hopes to find Patrick a home by early July.
The pup will spend the next few months recovering from the devastating abuse he suffered. His caregivers say he has made great strides, and is now able to run and play with toys -- many of which have been donated from well-wishers.
He is "absolutely wonderful," said Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, administrator at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton, N.J.
On Tuesday, he had surgery to remove a solid, three-inch-long hairball from his stomach.
"It looked more like a big, flat rock," said Smillie-Scavelli. "It was very heavy."
The dog was also neutered and given a dental examination.
Associated Humane Societies said that Patrick's medical milestones are the promising first steps toward adoption.
But animals recovering from abuse and neglect often need to work on social behavior, such as growling and snapping, before moving on to a new home.
"This was just the first half of the battle," Sanchez told NBC New York. "Once they start to feel well, they start to have issues."
Patrick, named for being discovered the day before St. Patrick's day, was originally found by a Newark housing complex maintenance worker, who alerted the Associated Humane Societies.
The dog was allegedly tied to an apartment balcony and starved for more than a week by its owner, Kisha Curtis. The dog was then tossed in a garbage bag and shoved down the garbage chute of the 22-story building.
When the employee found the dog, Sanchez said the dried saliva in his mouth caused his mouth to fuse shut, and it had to be pried apart. He was "almost skeletal and clinging to life," Sanchez said in March.
The organization immediately put the dog on intravenous fluid and covered him with heating pads before transferring him to Garden State Veterinary Specialists.
Curtis, 27, pleaded not guilty to four counts of animal abuse on on March 31. Her mother said someone gave her the dog and she couldn't care for it.
The response from the public has been even greater than the Garden State Veterinary Specialists expected. Donations came in so rapidly via a PayPal account set up on the veterinarians' website that they had to shut down the account.
The center would not say how much was raised.
"The money received would far exceed what he would need," Smillie-Scavelli says. "The response has been overwhelming."

Police: Dog thrown from moving car in central Pa.

From WFMJ

Police say a dog was thrown from a moving car by someone who had swiped it after its owner let it out of his central Pennsylvania home. Harrisburg police say the pit bull was seriously injured when it was thrown from a speeding Cadillac late Monday. A witness called police who found the dog with an apparently broken leg.
The dog's owner soon arrived at the scene and reported he'd let the dog, Dallas, out earlier.
It was the second time in the last month a dog was thrown from a moving vehicle in central Pennsylvania. The dog injured March 5 is recovering from its injuries.

Pinellas County deputies uncover possible dog-fighting operation in Largo

From WFTS

Deputies and animal control workers are scouring a home where a drug arrest turned into an even larger investigation. Pinellas County deputies uncovered what looks like a dog-fighting operation on 126th Terrace North in Largo Monday night. Deputies discovered several pit bulls when they arrested Michael Hearns on drug and weapons charges.
Deputies found dog fighting equipment in the home as well.
Efforts to get the dogs out of the home safely are underway right now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pit bull attacks Mesa officers

By Nicole Klauss, AZ Central


Mesa Police officers shot and killed a pit bull that attacked them while they were responding to a vicious dog call, police said Monday.
The officers received a call on Saturday from a resident on the 8000 block of East Iran Avenue near the U.S. 60.
The caller said he saw a black pit bull try to attack his neighbor. The neighbor was able to run into his home, where he had a gun, according to police.
The caller was able to identify the dog as belonging to another neighbor.
The first neighbor's home had a four-foot fence surrounding the yard, and when police arrived on scene they were able to close the gate to contain the dog. Officers attempted to catch the dog with an animal noose while standing outside the fence.
While they were attempting to catch the dog, Mesa police said a white pit bull climbed the second neighbor's backyard fence and entered the driveway. Officers approached the second dog and were able to lasso it with the noose. While attempting to take the dog to the car, the first dog climbed the first neighbor's fence and approached the officers.
Officers tried to TASER the dog twice, but it did not affect dog either time.
Police said the dog tried to bite one of the officers, but only ripped the officer's glove off. When the dog charged at a second officer, officers shot the dog.
No officers were injured.
Charges against the owner were pending investigation.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Man's best friends find best friends

By F.T. Norton, Nevada Appeal


On the brink of his eighth birthday, James Gardner was hesitant about a mop-topped dog his family had apparently taken a liking to Saturday at a pet adoption event at Michael Hohl Subaru.

Upon seeing Einstein's eyes peeking out from beneath a mane of half-curly, half-straight hair, James couldn't have cared less. But dad Gerald Gardner — ignoring an earlier admonition to himself that he shouldn't adopt a dog — immediately fell in love with the 7-month-old, floppy-eared pup. And the bulk of the Gardner clan — mom Stephanie, Bennett, 9, and 2-year-old Julia — had quickly followed suit. Still, James wasn't going to be so easily conned. Einstein would step toward him, and James would back away. Someone gave James a treat to feed the dog, and when Einstein went for it, James dropped it.

“I've been dropping things all day,” he explained, dismissing the notion he was afraid.

Stephanie said the family once rescued a dog, which refused to accept Gerald into the fold, but when it started nipping at the kids, they had to find it a new home.

She suspected James' hesitation was because that other hound scared him.

But Einstein was different. He just wanted to play and flop and rollover in search of a belly scratch. James, however, was unimpressed.

Then something happened. With Gerald holding the leash, and James' indifference apparent, the crew of five took Einstein outside for a test walk.

The volunteers taking part in the adoption event watched from the dealership showroom with fingers crossed that the Gardners would be the first to adopt a pet this day.

After a short time they all came back inside.

Gerald knelt down next to his middle child and asked once again what he thought.

“You're the only hold out,” said Dad, “Can we take him home?”

James paused and eyed the fluffy nemesis, then stated simply, “OK.”

The family cheered and James grabbed the leash. As they left the dealership, James walked Einstein to the car.

The adoption clinic was part of Carson High School student Nathan Bartosz's senior project.

Partnering with the dog-friendly Subaru dealership, and enlisting help from the Carson Tahoe SPCA, Carson City Animal Shelter and Pups on Parole, Bartosz set up kennels to house six adoptable dogs.

“This is not a typical Saturday here,” said Subaru General Manager Matthew Hohl.

By 2 p.m. Cassidy, a pit bull mix puppy with a muzzle the color of gray flannel, and Dixie, from the Nevada State Prison's Pups on Parole program, also had been adopted.

Bartosz was pleased with the success of the event.

“Half the ones we brought here got adopted,” he said. “That makes me feel awesome. Just to find one a home makes it worthwhile.”

Pit Bull Beheaded On Walking Trail

From KCCI

A dog was found beheaded on a walking trail near the Iowa River in Marshalltown.
Heidi Drager with the Marshalltown Animal Rescue League said the dog was a pit bull less than 6 months old.
The dog's body was found lying in the branches, and hatch marks and blood spatter were found on a log nearby. Drager said a machete or an axe was used to kill the dog. Its head is still missing.
"(We're) trying to find some information out from the community if anybody knows who might have done this, so we can get some answers for this dog," Drager said.
The Marshalltown Animal Rescue League phone number is 641-753-9046.

Video

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bad dog now good citizen: Woman's dedication saves Josie from death

By Carol McGraw, The Gazette

Josie has had many labels placed on her:
Stray. Dog-aggressive. People-aggressive. Dangerous. Untrainable. Unadoptable.
And the worst of all — Dead Dog Walking — when she was just hours away from being euthanized at the local shelter.
But now, 31/2 years later, Josie has received a new label: Canine Good Citizen. The American Kennel Club certificate, not all that easy to come by, means Josie has passed a 10-step test that evaluated her good manners at home and in the community.
The story of how Josie was transformed from a feared, aggressive dog to a model of canine politeness is a story of how trust can overcome fear. It’s a story of how some bad dogs are just misunderstood and untrained. And it’s a story of patience. Lots and lots of patience, extended by her owner, Heike Munday.
“Heike was the only hope for Josie,” said Kristin Dearden, volunteer coordinator at Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, who was there when Josie’s fate appeared to be sealed.

Saved in the nick of time

The Gazette last reported on Josie on April 25, 2008, in an article titled “Saving Josie.” She had showed up in a west-side neighborhood on a snowy day. She ran from gestures of friendship — growling, raising her hackles and hiding under junk in a vacant yard.
Munday, a pet groomer who lives in the neighborhood, spent hours sitting quietly on a concrete slab in the alley, trying to gain Josie’s trust and offering food. “She was so elusive it broke my heart,” Munday said at the time.
Josie began following Munday on her daily walks with her own three shelter dogs. Eventually, Humane Society animal-control officers captured the dog. Munday was relieved because she feared the dog might have been run over on busy Colorado Avenue.
But things did not go well at the shelter. Josie hid in the back of the cage, growled and tried to bite as the clock ran out on the five-day wait period for an owner to show up.
Even socialized strays can act up in a shelter. But Josie failed the all-important temperament test called the Safety Assessment for Evaluating Re-homing, or SAFER. She was also considered too dangerous for the Twice Loved Canine program, where expert volunteers spend up to a month training dogs with potential for adoption.
When a dog fails the SAFER evaluation because of aggression, the shelter does not offer it for adoption.
But Munday, who had been visiting Josie, asked to take her home just hours before the dog was to be put down.
“After all that time in the alley hanging with Josie, fearing for her, I wasn’t going to let that be the end of it,” she said. “I knew it was possible because she had started trusting me.”
Shelter officials say they would never put such a dog in the hands of just anyone.
Canine aggression can be extremely serious, so if someone wants to take on training, they must have experience, said Humane Society spokeswoman Erin Carroll.
Munday was a Humane Society regular, from her occasional volunteer grooming and adoption of difficult rescues, including a semiferal Hurricane Katrina stray.
She signed a waiver, releasing the shelter of any responsibility, and agreed to protect the community while she rehabilitated the dog, including keeping her leashed or in the house.
Munday hadn’t been in the market for a dog. She was training Theodore, an 8-year-old mill dog with health issues that she had adopted. Theodore became Josie’s first friend.
“They helped each other. He was not a threat, so it made Josie feel confident,” Munday said.
Josie grew to trust the rest of her new family, including two other dogs, and three cats. But she did not like to be petted. “At first I did everything without hands,” Munday said. “I’d call her over and not grab for her. I’d rub or push against her with my knees, like dogs do.”
It was Munday’s husband, Tracy, who had a major breakthrough, roughhousing on the floor with Josie.

No walk in the dog park

Still, it took months to establish a solid relationship with Josie. On the leash she would bark at people and dogs, and would try to bolt.
“The physical aspect of this is where I could get frustrated, 58 pounds of muscle pulling on the leash,” Munday said. “I had down periods. Not that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but thinking, ‘This is really hard.’ You have to keep your motivation and vision up when you are down in the trenches.”
She consulted with several trainers and read books to better understand the psyche of fear-aggressive dogs.
On their training walks, Munday and Josie would encounter homeless people in America the Beautiful Park.
“They were her first outside contact,” she said. “They weren’t afraid of her; they were used to pit bulls. And when everybody heard her story, they automatically bonded with the story and sympathized. They always gave her cookies. Josie and I owe the homeless community a big thank-you for that acceptance.”
Munday also took the dog to the skateboard park, to pet stores, Prospect Lake, downtown. That first summer, Josie spent a lot of time under a bench in Acacia Park, too wary to come out and greet high school kids who at noon hour fussed over Munday’s other dog, Nina. Last year, Josie did not sit under the bench. She waited expectantly for dog treats.
At first, it was a struggle to get Josie into the building for obedience classes. Once there, she was skittish and barked. “That’s typical of fearful dogs. It’s ‘I’m tough. Don’t try anything,’” Munday said.
Eventually, she began to wait excitedly at the door when it was time to go to class, which included agility drills. “She loves the tunnels and cookies, and it has given her lots of confidence,” Munday said.
On the day of the Canine Good Citizen test, Josie pranced around the training ring, black coat shining, eyes glued on Munday.
As part of the test, Josie accepted pats from a friendly stranger, sat politely, and stayed in place even when her owner disappeared from sight for several minutes. She heeled on a loose lead calmly through a crowd, sat patiently for grooming, came when called, and showed only casual interest in other dogs. When a folding chair purposely was dropped and a person with a walker jerkily approached — all part of the test — Josie showed interest, but didn’t bark or panic.
After the test, friends hugged Munday and praised Josie. Later, at home, Josie was rewarded with her favorite: crunchy Baa-Baa-Q lamb treats.

‘It takes a special person’

“Josie is awesome. She’s happy and socialized and likes people,” said Georgeanne Steffens, a part-time instructor at Canine Solutions, who has tested not only Josie, but many other dogs for the Canine Good Citizenship certificate.
“It takes a special person who can rescue a dog in the first place. But not everyone can deal with the issues Josie had and get her to where she is. Munday was intent on saving Josie and had the dedication and patience to do it.”
Munday explained it this way: “You get from a dog 100 percent of what you put in. How you get there is different with every dog.” There is always room for improvement, so there will be more training, maybe even agility meets. “If I become a better trainer, she will become an even better dog,” Munday said.
Josie’s pal Theodore died, but there is a new guy at home — a part-retriever puppy named Hannes, also from a shelter, whom Munday is training. Hannes, unlike Josie, has from the start believed everyone is his best friend.
Josie’s days are filled with walks, classes, cheese treats, napping with the cats, romping with Hannes. It is a life different from the one either Josie or Munday lived when she arrived at the shelter.
“Josie was being rehabilitated,” she said, “but I was the one being trained. It has been a growth process for both of us.”

Pictures

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cottonwood man arrested after sick, injured dogs found

By Dylan Darling, Sean Longoria, Scott Mobley and Dylan Darling, The Record Searchlight

Bedrooms converted to kennels, officers say

Redding police arrested a Cottonwood man after finding 13 emaciated pit bulls and a dead puppy at his home.
Acting on a tip about an unlicensed dog-breeding business on the 17400 block of Marianas Way in Cottonwood, California Highway Patrol officers and Redding investigators Wednesday conducted a probation search at the home Larry Leon Fultz III, 26, said investigator Will Williams of the Redding Police Department.
The home was in deplorable condition, and the stench was overwhelming, Williams said. Bedrooms had been converted into makeshift dog kennels, and the floors were covered in dog urine and feces, he said.
They also found the pit bulls, many of them dying from disease and injury, police said. A 14th dog was found dead inside the garage.
The dog's owner said the puppy had died of parvo, said Mayra Morris, who manages the Animal Care and Enforcement Unit. Like Williams, Morris said the house was rank with urine and feces.
"It smelled. It reeked. It was hard to breathe," Morris said. "You had to keep going inside and out so you won't get overwhelmed," she said.
Despite the conditions inside, she said the home was in a nice Cottonwood subdivision off Happy Valley Road.
Animal control officers took the pit bulls, and county building code enforcement representatives found several violations at the home, Williams said.
Fultz was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and parole violation. He's being held in Shasta County jail without bail.
Shasta County Animal Control has dealt with Fultz a number of times since 2005, Morris said.
Fultz's earlier offenses were nothing like the inhumane suspected dog-breeding operation authorities discovered Wednesday, she said.
"The house was essentially being used as a kennel," Morris said.
Fultz originally had two pit bulls when he lived at a different address. They would occasionally run loose and cause a nuisance, Morris said.
One of the pit bulls was vicious, and animal control launched dangerous dog proceedings against Fultz in 2006, she said. Fultz gave up the dog, and it was euthanized.
Animal control got four more complaints about the other dog and its puppy running loose in 2008 through January 2009, after Fultz had moved to the Marianas Way address, Morris said. Authorities haven't had any more contact with Fultz since then. Animal control officers saw no evidence of multiple dogs when they last visited Fultz's home in early 2009, Morris said, though they did not go inside.
Five of the 14 dogs discovered Wednesday were puppies as young as 6 weeks. The nine adult dogs included the pit bull from the original pair and its one offspring, Morris said.
She said that Fultz turned the dogs over to the county and that they would likely be put up for adoption. Most of the dogs appear to be friendly to people, but their temperament may be different toward other dogs, she said.
"We were told they didn't get along with each other so they had to be kept separate," Morris said.
A detective unit in the Redding Police Department that investigates gangs and conducts probation and parole checks got involved in the Fultz case after visiting the home several weeks ago.
Redding police and the CHP were there on an unrelated probation check and suspected Fultz was harboring pit bulls in inhumane conditions then, said Sgt. Walt Bullington, Jr.
Redding police and CHP officers returned Wednesday to check out the situation with the dogs, Bullington said.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Katherine Heigl's Little Dom's Relaxation

From Gossip Center

Enjoying a smoke and a glass of good wine, Katherine Heigl dined with a friend at Little Dom's in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday afternoon (March 23).
The 32-year-old kept it casual in the rainy L.A. weather, wearing a loose gray sweater, cute and colorful scarf, dark gray pants, and off-white flats during the early evening get-together.
In related news, kindhearted Katherine is reportedly nursing a pit bull named Rufus back to health after she learned the pooch amassed serious injuries while being used as bait in a dog fight.
The animal-mad actress founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in honor of her late brother who died in a car accident, while she also fronts the charity's "Hounds of Hope" operation, which rescues cats and dogs from shelters.

Doctors reattach Ind. girl's ear after dog attack

From WXIX

Doctors at a northern Indiana hospital were able to reattach a 5-year-old girl's ear after it was bitten off by her grandfather's pit bull. Sarah Bailey was listed in good condition Thursday at Memorial Hospital in South Bend. Her grandfather, Troy Gladura, tells WSBT-TV in South Bend that Sarah was playing with the 80-pound dog named Spike Wednesday morning when it suddenly attacked her.
He says he stepped in to stop the attack. Police say the dog bit through the girl's ear, pulling it off her head.
Gladura says the 2-year-old dog was never aggressive before. He says he owned the dog since it was 6 months old.
Gladura says the dog was euthanized after the attack.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Man sentenced in dog fighting case

From WALA

A man facing 27 counts of felony dog fighting charges has plead guilty, receiving a 10 year sentence for the crime. Investigators say an anonymous tip led them to Terrance McNeil and the dog fighting "arena".
In June 2008, that tip led the Atmore Police Department and the Humane Society of Escambia County, Alabama to Sunset Drive.
When they got there, they found several vehicles parked outside a trial that led to a thickly forested area. The trail ended at a plywood pit with a carpeted floor, surrounded by makeshift floodlight running off a portable generator.
Investigators also found dog fighting paraphernalia including buckets of water for washing down the pit bulls prior to the fight, scales for weighing the dogs to verify fighting weight, fighting dog pedigrees, and a handgun with two bullets for the losers of the two fights scheduled for that night. Two dogs in crates were also recovered.
McNeil and Johnathon Stallworth were arrested. A grand jury indictment was eventually handed down for Patrice Marshall for felony dog fighting.
Stallworth and Marshall have yet to go to trial.
A raid was conducted on McNeil's residence in September 2008. Twenty dogs were seized, along with seven puppies.
McNeil and Marshall were arrested again, along with Terrell McNeil, McNeil's twin brother, and Shantay Larissa Robinson. All four face 27 counts of felony dog fighting. Each count carries a sentence of one to ten years in prison and/or up to $15,000 in fines for each count.
When McNeil was as if he had anything to say why the sentence of the law should not be imposed upon him, he had nothing to say.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Woman charged after pit bull bites neighbor

From Houston Herald

A Houston woman faces charges after her dog bit a neighbor.
Annie M. Clish, 32, of 1020 Thomasville Road in Houston, was cited for allowing an animal to run at large.
The citation was issued after an officer responded to a call from a neighbor regarding a dog bite. The neighbor told the officer that she had seen Clish's black and white pit bull running loose and was approaching the owner's house to advise them. She stated that the dog lunged at her and bit her on the chest and shin.
The officer determined that Clish actually had two dogs running loose, which she confirmed. She stated the dogs were each going to be living with out-of-state family members.

Police chief calls for changes to the way ‘devil dogs’ cases are dealt with

By Mark Cowan, Birmingham Mail

WEST Midlands Chief Constable Chris Sims has called for changes to the way ‘devil dogs’ cases are dealt with to save the drain on taxpayers’ money.
The force had seized so many dangerous dogs that the cost of looking after them was almost twice what had been planned for.
Mr Sims said “procedural wrinkles” were costing the force an “unreasonable amount” of money.
The increased number of dogs – deemed dangerous by breed or by nature – being seized puts pressure on already tight police budgets as the force is expected to meet the cost of kennelling the animals while their legal status is checked.
West Midlands Police had set aside £150,000 to pay for the care of seized dogs in the nine months to the end of January.
But in that time, it had spent £281,000, almost 90 per cent more than it had planned. The cost of dealing with dogs is now deemed one of the top six “risk sensitive” funding issues across the force.
Officers are liaising with prosecutors and the courts to ensure dangerous dog cases are dealt with as “expeditiously” as possible to protect the public purse.
Mr Sims said it was one of those “secondary” areas of service that could be looked at as the forced faced up to swinging Government budget cuts.
“It is a good example where it is a secondary requirement on us but because of wrinkles in the system it costs police an unreasonable amount with the storage of dogs and the practical procedures that follow seizure,” he said.
“We will be very challenging with partners because we can’t afford to divert valuable resources into these kind of procedural wrinkles. We have got to get things like that sorted out so we still fulfil the lawful needs but are not abusing taxpayers’ money.”
Police have removed 300 dangerous animals in the region over the last 12 months.
The Birmingham Mail first revealed the growing problem in November 2009, with suspected pit bulls increasingly being seized from gang members and young street thugs using them as a “status symbol” to menace communities and intimidate their rivals.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pit bull bites APD officer while making a call

By Pete Skiba, Albany Herald

An Albany Police Department officer encounters confusion on a domestic violence call and is bitten by a pit bull

An officer suffered a pit-bull bite to his left leg above the knee, the dog was uninjured and everyone on the street had an opinion.
This much is certain — an Albany Police Department officer responding to a 500 block of Ninth Avenue domestic violence call at about 4:20 p.m. Saturday was bitten by “Bird,” a pit bull, and the officer fired at least two shots.
Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman, did not immediately release the officer’s name.
“Every time an officer fires his weapon, an investigation is undertaken,” Banks said. “Internal affairs is on the scene and an investigation will determine what happened and when the shots were fired.”
According to people on the street and police reports, an officer hopped about a 3-foot fence around the wrong house and encountered a red pit bull that weighs at least 60 pounds. After that, what happened depends on who is talking in the neighborhood.
The dog’s owner, Alexander Brown, said he doubted officers would respond in the same way if they were called to a domestic on an affluent neighborhood’s street.
“If this happened in Doublegate, they wouldn’t be shooting,” Brown said. “He started shooting and all my friends hit the ground and left.”
There were more than 20 people on the street, including mothers and toddlers standing, walking and talking.
With all the activity, some yelling and numerous police personnel, the atmosphere was confusing a half-hour after the officer was bitten.
A couple people, such as Earl Bridges, said the officer began firing at the dog and missed several times. At least two spent cartridges sat on the ground inside the fence.
“He jumped the fence, and we kept yelling and pointing at next door, the fight was next door,” Bridges said. “All the other cops listened to us. He didn’t. He didn’t have to start firing.”
Bridges had about 12 people in his 523 Ninth Ave. backyard when the police began arriving to quell a domestic disturbance next door at 525 Ninth Ave. There were no alcoholic beverages spotted on a backyard table where Brown and friends had gathered.
“We didn’t have nothing to do with it,” Brown said as he showed the required rabies tags on Bird’s collar. “Now they are impounding my dog. The dog isn’t hurt, the only thing hurt is my feelings.”
There was no information immediately available about the domestic violence call.

Granny mauled

By Joe Walker, Doug Auer and Cynthia R. Fagen, New York Post

Prospect Park Rottweiler fury

An elderly Brooklyn woman was mauled in a terrifying, unprovoked Rottweiler attack as she took an early morning walk through Prospect Park yesterday.
"I was just walking on the sidewalk [inside the park], and two dogs ran after me. They attacked me on the hands and face," the still-trembling, 80-year-old victim, Yuk Ho Chan, told The Post after she was released from Methodist Hospital.
"They were clawing at my face."
The dogs were on a leash, as per the park's regulations, but the unidentified owner was issued two summonses for failing to have a city Health Department-issued license and failure to control a dog after the 7:40 a.m. incident.
The owner was allowed to leave with the animals.
"It was very scary. I didn't know what happened," said Yuk, who had dried bloodstains smeared on her jacket. "He [the owner] couldn't control the dogs. They were mean-looking and they were furious."
Yuk, who lives across the street from the park, was bitten out of the blue about 100 yards from the 15th Street entrance on Prospect Park West.
Police sources said the dogs' owner managed to pull them off Yuk, who collapsed to the ground bleeding from her hands and the left side of her head.
The Health Department will decide the fate of these dogs.
Yuk said she doesn't blame the 54-year-old owner.
"I'm OK now. It wasn't the man's fault. It was the dogs," said Yuk, whose son translated for her.
Christie Smythe, 28, who walks a Jack Russell terrier mix in the same area of the park, said, "My dog isn't always fond of elderly people. They move differently than other people and that seems to set off a reaction."
"He'll see older people power walking and he snaps. He growls and snarls, and I have to yank him back."
Juan Diego Castro, 29, who has a Lab mix, said "It all depends on the owner. You have to raise [the dogs] correctly. If the owner is aggressive, the dog will be aggressive."
The city's most vicious breed -- measured by the number of bites on humans reported last year -- was the pit bull, with 815 reported chompings, The Post first reported.
That's nearly a quarter of the 3,609 bites recorded in 2010 by the Health Department. The pit bull was followed by the Rottweiler, Shih Tzu and Chihuahua.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baby injured during dog attack in Waterloo

From KIMT

Police say a baby suffered minor injuries during a dog attack in Waterloo.Police told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the baby was in a stroller, which overturned when two pit bulls escaped from their fenced-in backyard on Thursday.
Police say the baby's mother was pushing the stroller and walking a Labrador, which the other dogs attacked. Police say the child wasn't bitten but received minor injuries in the fall.
The mother and the pit bulls' owner, who rushed out to help, also received minor injuries, as did the lab.
Animal control officers are investigating.

Elderly man mauled by pitbull

From iol News

An elderly Durban man was in a serious condition after being mauled by his own pitbull terrier at his home in the Bluff on Saturday, paramedics said.
The 75-year-old man had apparently gone out to give the dog water when it attacked him, said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha.
The man was severely mauled by the dog. He sustained serious bites to his arms, legs and abdomen.
Almost all the flesh had been stripped off on his one hand, Botha said.
A neighbour saw the attack and called for help.
The man was taken to the St Augustine's hospital for emergency treatment.
The dog was shot by police.

Friday, March 18, 2011

2010 Stats Released, Labs Top Of Omaha List For Biting

By Erika Summers, KMTV

A dog attack sparked quite a debate on KMTV Action 3 News' Facebook page earlier this week. Many people believe a dog's behavior is the result of how the owner raises the animal. New statistics are out for which breeds bit the most in 2010 in Omaha. The Nebraska Humane Society records every dog bite people get and what breed of dog did it. Labs have been the biggest biters for the last two years. "That surprises me because labs are usually the most playful, maybe they nip in play because that's what he does," said golden retriever owner Gale McKenna. "I'm kind of surprised by that. Everybody talks about how dangerous pit bulls and rottweilers are but that is kind of surprising," said dog owner Matt Salter.
The Nebraska Humane Society recorded 79 dog bites from labs last year, 44 from German shepherds, 42 from pit bulls and 33 from Chihuahuas. The humane society says Omaha has a high population of labs in the metro area. "We have a lot of labs, one of the most popular breeds but we also encounter a lot of serious bites from labs so they're not to be taken lightly," said Nebraska Humane Society's Mark Langan. "I almost thought pit bulls would be number one and Chihuahuas are kind of hyper and I can see them bite," said dog owner Cheryl Derks.
In the last two years, statistics show pit bull bites have plummeted since the humane society started holding owners accountable. "We're seeing a dramatic decrease of pit bull bites from 115 in 2008 to 42 reported in 2010 which tells us people are taking the muzzle harness law very seriously," said Langan.
Ultimately, the humane society says a dog's behavior is the owner's responsibility.

Baby Dies In House Fire, Parents Injured

From WFMY

A fire in East Spencer has claimed the life of a 10-week-old baby. Fire investigators said the fire call came in around 5:18 a.m Friday and the home was completely engulfed when they arrived. The father, identified as, Joey Doolittle was able to grab his three-year-old son and run across the street to his brother's house for help. Doolittle and his wife were injured trying to get back into the home to save their 10-month-old infant.
Crews said the family was renting the home which was a total loss. Investigators said the family's car was also destroyed.  A pit bull reported to be in the home was not found. 
The parents were airlifted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center's burn unit in Winston-Salem.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Rowan Fire Marshal's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Want a friend, Mr. Mayor? Get a dog

By Eric Hartley, Hometown Annapolis

She's not yet as famous as Bo, the Obamas' dog, but Annapolis' first family also has its own new pet.
The Cohens adopted Tula, a boxer-pit bull mix, in January. She's 5 months old.
Mayor Josh Cohen was dubious about the news value of this development.
"Are people's lives so boring that they need to know about my dog?" he asked.
Well, yes. At least we hope so.
Before his election, President Obama promised his daughters they could get a dog if they moved to the White House.
Being mayor of Annapolis doesn't come with a cool new house. But Cohen's two daughters, now 2 and 6, also had been asking for a dog.
Cohen said he and his wife, Lesley, who both have had dogs before, wanted their girls to have the experience.
And so, the mayor joked, "Just when we were starting to get some sanity back into our daily lives," they got a dog.
Tula, adopted from a family in Hagerstown, is "very sweet," Cohen said.
"This is an opportunity to help change the public perception of pit bulls," Cohen added. "Pit bulls are the sweetest, most loyal dogs."
They're only mean when owners make them mean, he said.
As for the name, 6-year-old Naomi came up with it. Her dad said he doesn't know what it means, but Naomi was clear about the spelling: T-U-L-A.
President Harry Truman famously observed, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."
Between budget battles, fence spats, Market House, losing the Blue Angels and ... well, let's just say the same might apply to being mayor of Annapolis.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Brevard Woman Attacked By Neighbor's Dogs

From WESH

1 Dog Expected To Be Destroyed

A Brevard County woman called on authorities to destroy two pit bulls who attacked her Wednesday.
Debra Connor, 57, hobbled on bandaged legs after the attack, which occurred in front of her home on Hess Street in Canaveral Groves.
"I thought I was dead," Connor said. "I was terrified."
Connor said she noticed the two dogs, named Scooby and Rusty, in her yard as she was about to go for a walk. The dogs live across the street and are owned by Cynthia Phillips, according to a Brevard County Animal Services official.
Connor said the dogs were wagging their tails and willingly followed her as she took them back to their owner's yard. The owner was not at home at the time.
When Connor turned to leave, she said the dogs attacked.One of the dogs left a wound on the back of her leg that was several inches long. She eventually fought off the dogs with a stick and managed to make it back to the pool enclosure in her yard.
But the dogs tore through the enclosure, Connor said, and gnawed the screen door to her house in an attempt to get back to her.
When paramedics arrived, Connor said the dogs pinned them in their trucks, leaving them unable to help her until deputies arrived and secured them.
Brevard County Animal Services officers quarantined one of the dogs, Rusty, and plan to destroy it, a spokesman said.
Phillips was fined $675.
The other dog, Scooby, is not believed to have bitten Connor and was returned to Phillips.
"That dog should go away," said Connor in reference to Scooby. She believes the second dog is also dangerous and should be destroyed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pit Bull Attacks K9 Out On Case

From KCCI

A Polk County Sheriff’s K9 was hurt during a pit bull attack, while out on a case.
Polk County Deputy Mark Mohr and his dog Damian had been called to assist Des Moines officers in a search for two robbery suspects in Des Moines.
After the search was called off, Mohr and Damian were walking back to their squad car, when Damian was attacked by a pit bull.Mohr was unable to pull the dogs away from each other, so a Des Moines officer had to use his Taser to subdue the pit bull. The dog ran away.
"It kind of startled me because it was right under me. I noticed it was there, it came from behind me," said Mohr.
The pit bull lunged at Damian and they started fighting locking up immediately."My reaction was to pull Damian back then as I was pulling him back, I fell to the ground," said Mohr.
Mohr said he's thankful the officer was there and the Taser worked.
"More than likely, I would have had to shoot the pit bull if I had been by myself," said Mohr.
The pit bull hasn't been found despite extensive searches of the neighborhood.
Damian didn't suffer any serious injuries.

Does it really take 30 police officers - many of them armed - plus a lion vet from the zoo THIRTY hours to round up two dogs (even if they are very dangerous)?

From Daily Mail

An incredible 30-hour stand-off between 30 police officers in riot gear and two dangerous dogs unfolded after a teenager was horrifically injured in a sustained attack by the animals.
The officers used Tasers to free the victim as he was being savaged and even called in armed response units to deal with the dogs but eventually had to resort to calling a vet trained in using tranquillisers on lions.
The out-of-control dogs were eventually sedated with a dart and then given a lethal injection by the vet summoned from the local zoo, more than 30 hours after the initial attack.
Police are now investigating whether the two dogs were of a banned pitbull-type breed after the prolonged 'siege' in which they tried a variety of unsuccessful tactics to capture the pair.
The drama began at 9am on Monday when 19-year-old Daniel Boardman called an ambulance to say he was being attacked. 
Armed response officers were sent to a house in  Blackburn, Lancashire, where they found the victim being mauled and pulled in opposite directions by each dog.
They broke down the door of a boarded-up house where Mr Boardman was minding the pets and used their stun guns to repel the dogs and drag him to safety. 
But because of the danger the dogs posed to police officers, they were left in the house for 24 hours with a police guard outside. 
At 10am on Tuesday, several police support units with riot gear, armed police, the RSPCA, and a specially trained vet from a zoo in Cumbria arrived at the scene.
With the dogs 'roaming' through the house, officers were not sent into the premises for their own safety, but began trying to lure the dogs out of the open back door into the rear yard. 
Two marksmen on ladders were poised with guns as officers tried a variety of tactics. 
The dogs were called by their names, whistled for and, at one point, dog food was thrown over the wall into the yard.
One officer had a long clothes prop and another used a yellow ball to try to get their attention.  As they did, another officer was waiting with wire attached to the back door to close it once the dogs were out. 
At the front door was a pile of bloodied tissues and used plastic gloves. Through the downstairs front room window, a large empty metal dog cage was visible and the door frame was covered in bloody smears. 
But after two hours, the dogs had not been drawn out. Officers with padded 'dog suits' went in through the front door with the animals trapped in an upstairs front bedroom, distracted by an officer on a ladder borrowed from a resident banging on the glass.
At 1.30pm, a panel in the bedroom door was removed and the vet shot each dog with a tranquiliser dart.
They were then both given a lethal injection. The dead dogs were finally brought out around 2.10pm. 
Chief Superintendent Bob Eastwood praised Sergeant Mark Pass and PC Martin Wyatt who were first on the scene.
He said: 'Both officers were confronted with a difficult situation in which a young man was being subjected to a ferocious attack by two large and dangerously out of control dogs. 
'I applaud their bravery and it is thanks to the quick and decisive action of these two officers that this man was saved from even further serious injury.'
Initial reports suggested there were 60 officers involved in the operation but this was denied by a police spokesman.
He added: 'It was a protracted incident which was due to the circumstances and the need to consult experts around the best way to humanely destroy the dogs.'
Speaking at the scene yesterday before the dogs were destroyed, owner Mark Rowland said he had got the dogs as puppies two-and-a-half years ago. 
He said: 'They are Bullmastifs, not dangerous dogs. They are insured, registered and have never fought in their life.
'They're well behaved and this has just been an accident.'
The 24-year-old from Accrington, Lancashire, was arrested on suspicion of possessing a banned dog and has been bailed pending further inquires. His mobile phone was seized by police.
Victim Mr Boardman has been left with what police have described as 'life-changing' injuries with bites to his arms, legs and buttocks. 
The severe bites to his limbs, particularly on his arm, are down to his tendons and bone and will require major surgery.

Adult, toddler bitten by dog in suburban West Palm Beach

By Alexandra Seltzer and Cynthia Roldan, The Palm Beach Post

An 18-month-old girl and her father are victims of a dog bite in suburban West Palm Beach.
Tim Kelly, who said he is the dog’s owner, said the girl was bitten on the side of her stomach. He did not know the extent of her injuries.
Ryleigh Sills was flown to Delray Medical Center, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Kelly said the father was transported to Palms West Hospital with bites to his arm.
Authorities at the scene did not immediately know the condition of the two.
Kelly said the child is the daughter of his girlfriend, Robin Sills.
The dog, 5-year-old Stormy, is a pit bull-German Shepherd mix, Kelly said, and remained in the house as of mid-morning.
The incident occured on the 900 block of Sumter Road East.
The Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control also has responded to the scene. Kelly said Stormy was adopted from the animal shelter. He also said he intends to euthanize the dog.
Another dog, a 4-year-old Border Collie, also is in the home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SPCA Assists in Triage, Placement of Nearly 100 Dogs Surrendered by Overcrowded Animal Rescue in Fulton County, N.Y.

From The Oneida Daily Dispatch

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department in Johnstown, N.Y., is assisting in the triage and placement of 97 dogs surrendered from a non-profit animal rescue known as Help A Hound Canine Rescue in Oppenheim, N.Y., approximately 35 miles east of Utica.

“The ASPCA is currently examining and assessing all the dogs that were signed over to the Montgomery County SPCA and providing much-needed resources to help these displaced animals,” said Jeff Eyre, Northeast director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Our goal is to quickly assess the animals and place them with various animal welfare agencies as soon as possible to minimize any stress on both the animals and the community.”

Help A Hound Canine Rescue has gradually accumulated 80 dogs in an area allocated to house just 25. Public complaints and numerous visits from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department ultimately led Help A Hound Canine Rescue to close its operation. Various breeds were discovered on the property, including pit bulls, basset hounds, bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and shepherd and Lab mixes. Eyre reported that some of the dogs appear underweight and have skin problems, among other medical conditions. The dogs were relinquished to the Montgomery County SPCA.

ASPCA responders arrived Wednesday and are assisting local officials in triage and placement of the dogs. The ASPCA also deployed its fully equipped Northeast “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit,” a specially-designed vehicle on which the dogs are being examined, evaluated and treated. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools and medical equipment tailored for animal patients.

Agencies assisting the ASPCA on scene and with placement include: Lollypop Farm (Fairport, N.Y.); Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society (Menands, N.Y.); SPCA Serving Erie County (Tonawanda, N.Y.); Ulster County SPCA (Kingston, N.Y.); SPCA Serving Allegany County (Wellsville, N.Y); Columbia Greene Humane Society (Hudson, N.Y.); Saranac Technical Rescue Team (Plattsburgh, N.Y.); St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center (Madison, N.J.); Finger Lakes SPCA (Bath, N.Y.); Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter (East Hanover, N.J.); and Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association (Ledgewood, N.J.). As part of the emergency relief efforts, PetSmart Charities® provided supplies, including pet transport carriers and crates.

“It’s a tremendous strain on local agencies when they’re suddenly faced with caring for a large number of animals,” added Eyre. “The Montgomery County SPCA stepped up to the plate where resources were severely lacking, and the ASPCA is committed to helping them care for these dogs and place them with the appropriate rescue groups.”

Dog Fighting Operator Makes Guilty Plea In Federal Court

From WITN

A Duplin County man, who authorities say ran one of the worst dog fighting operations that they have seen in recent years, has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Harry Hargrove made the guilty plea Monday before U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle.
Last April 35 pit bulls were confiscated and several other dogs were found dead at the man's Duplin County home outside of Mount Olive.
During a raid of the property, officers says they found tools of the dog fighting trade that included a treadmill used to condition fighting dogs, a spring pole which was used to strengthen the a dog's jaws, extensive amounts of veterinary supplies, and a blood-stained fighting pit.
The feds say 34 confiscated dogs had to be euthanized because of injuries or aggressive behavior. Officers also found a battery and jumper cables that had been modified to allow for the electrocution of dogs.
Hargrove faces up to five years in federal prison. Sentencing will be in June. 


Update June 20, 2011 - The following article is by Brian Shrader, WRAL:
 
Mount Olive man to be sentenced in Duplin County dog-fighting case

A Mount Olive man who admitted to running one of the largest dog-fighting operations in the United States will be sentenced Wednesday.
Harry Hargrove pleaded guilty in March to federal dog-fighting charges. He faces up to five years in prison.
Federal prosecutors recently released new photos of the dogs and the operation, many of which are too graphic to show on WRAL.com.
The Duplin County Sheriff's Department conducted a raid in April 2010 and found 35 pit bulls, as well as equipment used to train dogs for fighting and a ring, at the home along Buck Hill Road in Mount Olive.
All but one dog had to be euthanized because of their injuries or aggressive behavior.
Investigators said Hargrove had a long history, possibly as long as 40 years, and many connections in dog fighting. The dogs found at the home were trained to fight, and some were worth as much as $10,000 in the underground ring, investigators said.
Two veterinarians checked and treated each animal seized. Most of the dogs had scarring consistent with dog fighting.
One photograph showed the blood-stained face of a dog, Hugo, which an undercover investigator bought from Hargrove in April 2010. Other photos showed dogs with open wounds and diseases.
The most graphic photos showed dog carcasses, skeletons, mud and trash in a debris pit. Other pictures showed blood on walls, a treadmill used to condition the dogs and a spring pole to strengthen the dogs' jaws.

Video 

Update August 4, 2011 - The following article is by Martha Waggoner, from ENC Today:
 
Dog-fighting 'legend' sentenced to 5 years in prison

A 78-year-old North Carolina man described as a legend in the dog-fighting world will spend five years behind bars, the maximum a federal judge could impose.
Harry Hargrove of Duplin County was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Raleigh on dog-fighting charges. Hargrove pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, and prosecutors sought a sentence longer than recommended federal guidelines of 10 months to 16 months.
A federal motion says Hargrove has been involved in dog-fighting in the South for about 40 years.
Hargrove told Judge Terrence Boyle he once has more than 100 fighting dogs, but he'd cut back to 35 by the time he was arrested. All 35 dogs found on his property in April 2010 were euthanized.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rochester police officer kills charging pit bull

By Victoria E, Freile, Democrat & Chronicle

A Rochester police officer shot and killed a pit bull last night after the dog charged at the officer.Rochester Police Cmdr. Timothy List said a resident called officers to a residence on Sobieski Street about 11:50 p.m. because two pit bulls were fighting in the house. The homeowner told police that one of the two dogs had recently given birth and had been acting aggressively since then.
Once at the house, officers, moved between the residents and the dogs and attempted to subdue the animals. One of the two dogs charged at an officer, who fired once at the pit bull. The dog died.
The second dog, also a pit bull, suffered extensive injuries from the fight and was removed from the house by city animal control officers, List said. That dog was euthanized due to the extent of its injuries, he said.
No people were injured.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pitbull beaten to death with golf club

From Stuff

A 44-year-old Te Kuiti man faces a series of charges after allegedly beating his pitbull cross dog to death with a golf club yesterday.
The man then locked himself inside his Te Kuiti Rd house, armed with several weapons including a spade and a metal bar before he eventually surrendered following the arrival of armed police.

Update March 14, 2011 - The following article is by Aaron Leaman, Waikato Times:

Dog killer accused smiles

 A 44-year-old Te Kuiti man has appeared in court after allegedly beating his pitbull cross dog to death with a golf club yesterday.
Mathew Kawhi George appeared briefly in Hamilton District Court this afternoon on three charges relating to the incident on Te Kuiti Rd.
They included one charge of wilfully ill treating an animal, one of offensive behaviour and another of possessing an offensive weapon  an axe.
Police alleged George attacked his dog in front of about 80 people with a golf club, killing it.
He then locked himself inside his Te Kuiti Rd house, armed with several weapons including an axe, spade and golf clubs.
Threats of the use of a taser fell flat until armed police arrived when he eventually surrendered.
The Times understands he is a patched Mongrel Mob member.
George did not enter any pleas to the charges and was remained in custody until Thursday for a bail hearing.
Dressed in a blue boiler suit with arms crossed in front of him, he smiled and appeared quite calm in the dock.
However, he tried to hide his face from cameras when an application by the media to photograph him was approved, pulling the hood of the suit over his head.

Update June 28, 2011 - The following article is by James Ihaka, New Zealand Herald:
 
Pitbull-cross puppy killer jailed

A Te Kuiti man who bludgeoned a six-month-old pitbull-cross puppy to death with a golf club has been sentenced to two years and four months.
Mathew Awhi George pleaded guilty in April to charges of willfully ill-treating an animal, possessing an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.
His prison sentence on the three charges is to be served cumulatively.
George had told the court he killed the dog because it "bit the hand that fed him".
Police had arrived during the attack but George threatened them with an axe, a shovel and a steel bar during a stand-off lasting 35 minutes.

Knox City weighs tougher dog laws

By Michael Gleeson, Knox Leader

KNOX Council is considering tightening its dog laws as attacks across the city continue.
Eighty-two attacks have been reported in Knox since August, an average of more than 10 a month.
Two incidents one involving an Australian kelpie cross and the other a pit bull rottweiler cross have been successfully prosecuted during that time.
Council acting director of corporate development Rod McKail said a further three attacks were under investigation with court action pending.
He said local laws officers had been given power to issue fines for minor dog attacks, and the council would be reviewing all local dog laws.
RSPCA state president Hugh Wirth said amendments to pet laws in December made it much easier for councils to investigate and press charges following dog attacks in public areas.
“There are no roadblocks now to prosecuting public dog attacks. We expect local councils to do what is needed,” Dr Wirth said.
“If the Knox community, or any other community for that matter, feels their municipality is not doing their job, they need to go to the state ombudsman,” he added.
But Dr Wirth said the amendments did nothing for incidents in private homes that account for about 80 per cent of dog attacks.
He said the attack epidemic was an issue that refused to go away.
Dog attacks in Knox reached a high last August when 20 were reported.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dog attack investigated in Pueblo

By Andy Koen, KOAA

Pueblo police are investigating a suspected dog attack a home on the city's south side. Officers were called to the house in the 3500 block of Bison Lane near South Park Elementary School.
The police were call at about 8:45 Saturday morning on a report of two pit-bulls attacking a pregnant dog. Animal control officers are also on scene.

Update March 12, 2011: The preceding article has been updated with the following:

The owners of a pair of pit bulls in Pueblo have been ticketed for registration violations after one of their dogs bit the other at a home on the south side. Police responded to the home in the 3500 block of Bison Lane at about 8:45 Saturday morning after a neighbor called to report the fight.
Both dogs are females and the injured dog is pregnant. The dogs apparently had begun to dig under a fence and were involved in a fight with a neighbor's pitbull. At some point the two females began fighting with each other.
Pueblo Animal Services was also called to the home to investigate. The animals were all returned to their owners.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vicious pit bull strikes again

By Mary Reeves, Times-Gazette

The dog that mauled 8-year-old Ashlynn Vandergriff in October has bitten another victim -- but not the one it was apparently wanting.
"He was ignoring me and going after my little girl," said Tony Farrar.
According to Farrar, he and his daughter, 3-year-old Jasmine, were taking a walk down Oak Street on March 3, where Tony's grandfather lives, when they stopped to look at some kittens playing in a neighbor's yard.
"I saw a dog running around the house," he said. "The dog leaped through the air like it was flying."
He sad the dog, a caramel-colored pit bull, lunged for the toddler, who he picked up and swung out of the way.
"I had to pick her up and hold her in the air," said Farrar, "The dog was growling and snapping ."
When it ran between his legs, still jumping for the girl, Farrar tripped and fell, he said.
"I covered the baby and started yelling," he said.
"She didn't get bit because Tony was there," said Teri Farrar, Tony's mother.
He had help. Farrar said a meter reader nearby, Carl Brent Cooper, saw what was happening and started to run toward them with a tool in his grip. Another man, one who lived at the house where the kittens were, also came running.
The second man, whose name the family never got, swooped the girl out of Farrar's hands and got her to safety. The dog went for the child again, said Farrar, and Cooper intercepted it and was bitten on the arm.
He said a woman came out of another house and grabbed the dog and took it back in with her. By the time the police and animal control showed up, it was out of sight.
"The dog catcher said it was the same dog that bit that little girl, the one with about 70 stitches," said Farrar. He said it was supposed to be put down."
Randy McCullough of Shelbyville Animal Control confirmed that it was the same dog, although he was not on the March 3 call.
In the earlier case, the victim had gone inside the home where the dog lived. She was bitten on the face, arm and elbow and beneath the arm, resulting in 87 stitches. But because she had entered the house without the owner knowing she was there and the dog was current on its shots, the dog was not destroyed.
"We can only take a dog when the judge tells us to," said McCullough. "You have to have a court order."
Had the dog been running loose, the animal control officers would have been able to pick it up, he said.
The Farrars said Ashlynn was not the first victim, but the second.
"It bit some little blond-haired boy and he had to have stitches in his lip," said Teri Farrar.
"We had no record of a prior bite," said McCullough.
This time, however, the dog was running loose before animal control arrived and Stone received a citation for that. She will have to appear in court on March 21.
On the police report for the March 3 incident, officer Jeff Goodrich reported that the owner told him the dog would be destroyed the next day. On Thursday, McCullough said she still had the dog and was trying to place it with a friend.
"She said she wasn't going to do anything with it unless the court told her to, but she was going to get the dog out of the neighborhood," he said.
He said the dog has been in in-house quarantine even though its shot record is current, but that quarantine ends Saturday.
The Farrars are concerned, not just about Jasmine, but other children in the neighborhood, should the dog get free of its chain gain.
"There are lots of little children in this neighborhood, lots of elderly," said Teri Farrar. "I saw a little girl out there the other day, about two years old. If that dog got out again, she could be killed."
"The school bus lets out and you see a bunch of kids, all 6 to 12 years old, get out," said her son.
"What are they waiting for?" asked his wife, Brittany, Jasmine's mother. "For somebody to get killed?"