Friday, April 29, 2011

Frederick County officials urge residents to vaccinate pets after dog is found to have rabies

From The Republic

Frederick County health officials say a dog has been found to have rabies — the first such case in a county dog in 13 years.
Authorities said a stray pit bull-Chihuahua mix was sent for testing after it bit to adults in Ijamsville.
Officials say the dog was found on a farmette, and livestock there are under a six-month quarantine.
Residents are urged to get their pets vaccinated and to call Animal Control if they see an animal acting strangely.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lewiston man faces cruelty charges after binding dog with duct tape

By Mark LaFlamme, from Bangor Daily News

A local man was charged Wednesday after his children found their dog with duct tape wrapped around his mouth and eyes.
Donald Otis Hebert IV, 46, of 70 Googin St., was arrested on a warrant charging him with two counts of cruelty to animals.
Hebert’s children discovered the pit bull bound in tape earlier in the month, police said.
The children had arrived at the Googin Street home and went looking for the dog. They found it, an investigator said, in the bathroom.
The animal had duct tape wrapped around its mouth so it could not eat, drink or bark. More tape had been used to cover its eyes, police said.
“The children had the presence of mind to remove the dog from the home,” Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout said.
The kids took the pit bull to their mother, who removed the duct tape and took the dog to the Animal Emergency Clinic on Strawberry Avenue, Strout said.
As the dog was being examined, a number of cuts were found on its legs, Strout said. The cuts were reasonably deep. Strout said he has not determined how the dog suffered those injuries.
Strout said there were distinct patches around the dog’s face where the tape had been placed.
Police went to Hebert’s home so Strout could interview him about the incident. Hebert refused to talk, Strout said. Police got a warrant and arrested Hebert early Wednesday morning at a home on Pierce Street.
In the warrant, Hebert is charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, one count alleging that he failed to provide medical attention for his dog’s cuts, the other charging that he subjected the animal to unnecessary suffering.
Investigators said they believe Hebert used duct tape on his dog because he did not want to deal with it. Strout convinced a judge to apply conditions to Hebert’s bail forbidding him from having contact with animals and from using drugs or alcohol.
“The animal shelter is five minutes away from his house,” Strout said Wednesday. “If he was incapable of taking care of the dog, he could have brought it there. They would have taken it. Instead, he chose to handle things his own way and this is the outcome.”

117 displaced dogs, cats return to Franklin County shelter

By Amy Wilson, Lexington Herald-Leader

In a hopeful sign for an entire region that has been ravaged by too much rain and wind in too little time, 117 dogs and cats that were displaced from their modest riverside shelter home in Franklin County went home Thursday.
Last Saturday around 4 p.m., relentless water began to seep inside the front door of the Franklin County Humane Society shelter and quickly rose four to five inches.
It wasn't long before shelter manager Diann Wellman decided she had no choice but to get all of the animals out the door and living elsewhere. The cats were being kept inside the Frankfort Convention Center. The dogs got more open-air digs at the Franklin County Farm Bureau Pavilion in Lakeview Park.
It has been a short week, filled with valuable lessons and good feelings, said workers at both the temporary cat and dog facilities.
"The stress on the animals was the hardest thing," said Angie Stewart, a veterinary tech for the shelter. "They are used to a certain routine and we tried to keep them on it, but we had more volunteers come out than usual and the dogs got more one-on-one attention than ever."
The cats, said Geneva Smith, animal care specialist, were more cooped up, as they usually do get to wander, a few at a time, over cat towers and indoor trees.
"I look at the silver living in this," said Wellman. "We've gotten our animals out in the public. A lot of people can't make it to the shelter."
That, said Wellman, has led to quite a few more than usual being adopted and fostered out.
On Thursday, while the dogs waited their turn to ride back home, an agriculture class from Franklin County High School showed up to spend a half-hour with them. Kylen Douglas' said he asked his class who wanted to come and help some dogs and "everybody's hand went up."
He said this week's lesson was actually about vet supplies and equipment so this fit right in.
Even the city's animal county officer has been out to see the dogs in their temporary facility four to five times a day. Mark Pardi admits he has to bring some animals out there, per his job description, but he also has come to help walk the animals that need the attention in this special circumstance.
Wellman said nothing that employees or volunteers on hand last Saturday did to fix the rising water changed the situation and that's what made a bad situation into one that was near disaster.
"We tried sweeping and squeegeeing it out and nothing mattered," she said.
It was obvious, said Wellman, that the facility, which is about 25 yards from the the Kentucky River, wasn't going to outrun the problem.
"The dogs were sitting in water," said Stewart.
Still, said Wellman, the problem wasn't flooding of the river, it was the inability of the shelter's 40-year-old drains to properly function.
"We've given the shelter a good deep cleaning and pressure washing now," said Wellman.
Wellman, who has a background in disaster relief for animals, said once she contacted city, county and farm bureau officials to make the arrangements, everyone cooperated.
"We had just gotten our bus back from having its seats removed and being painted Saturday morning," she said, "and we loaded it with animals on Saturday evening."
The bus made its second trip — this time back to the shelter — on Thursday. On board were a loud musical chorus of happy barkers, a beagle named Homer, a pit bull terrier named Emily, a border collie mix named Lucky, a labrador-shepherd named Chance and a chow mix named Fantasia.
If you missed the concert, you could not have missed the bus, it's an unmistakable lime green.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Local teen attacked by own dog

By Travis Morse, The Journal-Standard


Local police and animal control officers continue to investigate a brutal dog attack last Friday, where a 19-year-old Freeport man was bitten and injured by his own pit bull.
The owner and victim, Michael Zellweger, has relinquished control of the animal to the City of Freeport, and the dog is currently being held for observation at the City Yards facility in town. The animal will be euthanized, officials say. Zellweger was bitten severely on his forearm during the attack, but authorities Tuesday were not sure of his medical status.
Freeport Deputy Police Chief Jeff Davis said the severity of the attack was quite unusual, especially considering that the dog’s owner was the victim in this case. Zellweger was unavailable for comment for this story.
“We do respond to several reports where the family dog bites a child or the owner, but nothing to this extent,” Davis said. “This was a severe case in terms of the circumstances.”
The incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday at Zellweger’s residence in the 1200 block of South Oak Avenue.
Zellweger was in the process of leading the pit bull out of the house when the dog reportedly latched on to his shoe. Then Zellweger tried to take the shoe back from the dog, and the animal bit his forearm and held on, Davis said.
As Zellweger struggled with the dog, the two of them made their way outside the house. At some point, Zellweger was able to break free and he ran back inside, shutting the door behind him. The dog then broke through the front window of the house and tried to force its way inside, Davis said.
Zellweger was able to prevent the animal from entering the house by using a long-handled tool to hold the dog at bay, Davis said.
While he kept the dog from coming inside, Zellweger yelled to his roommate to call for help.
Freeport police and firefighters, along with an ambulance, responded to the scene initially. When officers arrived, Zellweger was still trying to keep the dog from entering the house through the window.
At that point, Zellweger was telling officers to shoot the dog, Davis said. One of the officers drew his weapon, but decided not to shoot because he wasn’t sure what was “in the background,” and was concerned about injuring someone, Davis said.
One of the firefighters on scene entered the residence with an animal control stick known as a “snare.” The firefighter was then able to get the snare around the dog’s neck through the window, Davis said. Soon, animal control officers arrived and the animal was captured and detained, Davis said.
History of Fights
No charges have been filed in connection to this case. Zellweger allegedly told police that the dog has a history of being used in fights, but denied that he was ever involved in those fights, Davis said.
Since the dog has been “signed over” to the city, it will be put down after an observation period, said Shelly Griswold, Freeport’s community development director. The dog is not up to date on its vaccinations, so has to be observed closely and quarantined before it is euthanized, Griswold said.
“I don’t know what the risk is (for rabies),” Griswold said. “We do have to quarantine the dog for a period of time.”
Dr. William Condie of the Freeport Animal Hospital will determine how long to observe the animal before it is put down, Griswold said. Condie was unavailable for comment.

Fighting dogs shot after they injured woman trying to break them up

From WNDU

Two pit bulls were shot and killed Wednesday by police after one bit its owner as she tried to break up their fight, that according to our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth.
The Truth says a male and female dog were fighting, and their female owner received non-life threatening injuries after trying to stop their fight.
The dogs were two of four adult pit bulls living in an apartment at 228 W. Jackson Blvd.
The woman was taken to Elkhart General Hospital.
The Truth reports that police were called to the apartment just after noon Wednesday. The Apartment was cleared out and the dogs, who were still fighting, were shot. The two remaining pit bulls were taken to the Humane Society of Elkhart County.
Police are still investigating the incident.
Read The Elkhart Truth's full article.

Animal cruelty charge for man who tied dog to dumbbell dropped in river

From The Kingsport Times-News

According to The Smoking Gun, a Florida man was arrested yesterday after taking a dog named Blackie out for an evening swim--except the pooch was anchored in four feet of water by a 30-pound dumbbell to which the animal was tethered by a rope around its neck, police charge.

William Bell, 41, allegedly took the two-year-old pit bull mix with him when he went to a boat ramp on the Manatee River to do some fishing. That is where Bell “tied his dog to a 30lb dumb bell and walked it into the water that was about 4 feet deep,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Bell then “set the weight in the water and left the dog to swim,” according to Palmetto Police Department Officer Micah Mathews, who added that the animal “was unable to touch the ground and was not able to move the weight.” Blackie was literally left to doggy paddle for his life.

Cop Beats Handcuffed Perp, Avoids Jail

By John Del Signore, Gothamist

You can repeatedly punch a handcuffed man in the face and not do any jail time if you're an NYPD officer, a judge essentially ruled yesterday when he declined to sentence ex-cop John Cicero to jail. Cicero, you may recall, was caught on video last year beating a handcuffed man during a roundup at a Bronx housing project. The incident happened after undercover narcotics cops were hit by bullet fragments fired by a colleague at a pit bull. Cicero admitted to repeatedly slamming Jonathan Baez's head into the ground because Baez reportedly told him it should have been Cicero, not the dog, who should have been shot and killed.
Prosectors had sought a 60-day sentence for Cicero, but even that was too much for Judge Stephen Barrett, who ordered Cicero to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, the Daily News reports. Although he acknowledged that Cicero "did cross the line," Judge Barret ultimately decided "the defendant has lost a lot already. He's lost his position and his pension."
Baez's attorney tells the News, "We dispute any allegation the judge made about this being a lawful arrest. It was brutality." Drug charges against Baez were later dropped, and he's filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the NYPD. Three other cops were suspended after the incident came to light, and the dog's owner, 22-year-old Louis Miranda, says that after the plainclothes cops shot his dog, they beat him, his uncle, and his father while they were handcuffed. Unfortunately for Miranda, there was no video footage of his alleged beating.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Police say man bitten by own pitbull after trying to get dog to attack neighbour

From The Record

A 25-year-old man faces charges after police allege a pitbull was urged to attack a homeowner, but ended up biting its owner.
Police in Sudbury, Ont., say a man was walking a pitbull Monday night and stopped to urinate in a neighbour’s yard, leading to an argument with the homeowner.
It’s alleged the dog owner tried to have the animal attack the neighbour — but the dog attacked him instead.
Another person pulled the dog away, and the dog owner left after the homeowner fended off an attack.
Investigators say the dog owner returned with another man for a second assault, but at that point police arrived.
The pitbull owner is charged with assault, assault with a weapon and breach of probation.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Owner said he killed pit bull to avoid a tragedy

By Paul Peirce, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A 31-year-old Loyalhanna Township man said he thought he was averting a potential tragedy when he took the life of his own 7-month-old pit bull by slitting its throat after it broke loose from its choke collar.
Stanton T. Spaugy, of 342 Moween Road, near Saltsburg, yesterday waived his right to a preliminary hearing on animal cruelty charges filed in connection with the March 11 incident.
"I know now what I did then was wrong, but the dog was acting so aggressive. ... I thought it would break loose again and hurt some child in the neighborhood, my girlfriend or my 6-year-old son," Spaugy said.
State police at Kiski charged Spaugy with animal cruelty.
Police allege Spaugy's pit bull broke loose and chased two females down Moween Road about 11:30 p.m. Spaugy was able to catch the dog, but it scratched him and continued to act aggressive when he got the dog to his home.
"Spaugy brought the dog to his residence and slit its throat with a 3-inch Winchester hunting knife he kept in his pocket, leaving it to die in the front seat of his pickup truck parked in his driveway," Trooper Nicholas Pelc wrote in an affidavit of probable cause filed before Washington Township District Judge Elise Glenn.
"I didn't want to do that, but I felt it was the best for the people in the neighborhood the way the dog was so aggressive. There's 25 kids waiting at a bus stop just a house away, and I thought I was looking out for the safety of human life," Spaugy said.
A week before the incident, Spaugy said the dog had broken away from its outdoor chain in a similar incident. Spaugy brought pieces of the broken metal chain collar and the broken outdoor tie to the courtroom.
Spaugy's attorney, Chris Haidze, of the county public defender's office, said his client felt remorse at having to "put down" his dog, but at the time thought he was doing the right thing.
Haidze said no plea bargain agreement has been finalized, but Spaugy hopes that a judge will allow him to pay a fine and enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program for first-time offenders.
Entry into ARD is not an admission of guilt, and completion of the program requirements could result in getting his record wiped clean.

Police: Woman sets pit bull on another during argument

By Matt Kawahara, Sacramento Bee

Sacramento police arrested a 20-year-old woman Sunday who was pushing her infant child in a stroller when she allegedly got into an argument with another person, brandished a gun and turned her pit bull on that person, according to police department activity logs.
Alissa Clark, 20, left, was pushing the stroller and walking her dog in the 3700 block of Astoria Street in the north area when she started arguing with the victim, police reported. Clark allegedly pulled a gun and then ordered her dog to attack the victim, who suffered bite wounds to the upper thigh, police reported.
The dog did not puncture the victim's skin, said police spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck.
When officers arrived, they located and detained Clark. They reported finding the gun in a diaper bag next to the infant.
Clark was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and endangering the life or health of a child, jail booking logs show. She is being held in lieu of $67,000 bail.

Related Articles:
Argument leads to Sacramento woman ordering pit bull attack - KXTV

4-year-old attacked by pit bull, airlifted to NHRMC

From WECT

A young child in Pender County was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center Monday after being attacked by a pit bull.
According to Sheriff Carson Smith, the 4-year-old was attacked in the 6000 block of Piney Woods Drive in Burgaw.
It appears the dog was on a chain during the incident, but Pender County Animal Control is investigating.
The condition of the 4-year-old is unknown at this time.

Pit-bull goes ballistic on Easter, sends 2 to hospital

By Ryan Eldredge, WHP

On Sunday, police in New Holland reported to a report that a pit-bull had attacked three people and other dogs near 146 East Franklin St. Police arrived and found the dog still attacking people.

Police say a crowd of 20 people had amassed to watch. A police officer, who was approached by the dog, Tazed it to get it under control.

The dog was then transported to the New Holland Police Dog Kennel. Two people were taken to the hospital for bite wounds.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reading with Ruby at Stillwater library

By Tim Harlow, Star Tribune

Dogs are helping children to become better readers by providing an audience

Grace Colwell and her sister, Rachel, could not wait to get to the Stillwater Public Library to see their friend Casey and tell her a few stories. When it was time to go, they wanted to stay longer.
Casey is a dalmatian and a favorite of children who participate in the library's Read to A Dog program, which is aimed at helping kids become better readers by having them read out loud to a gentle pet.
The library offers the program from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, but recently expanded it to include Saturday sessions to give families who can't make it on a weekday an opportunity to participate.
"It's fun because you get to read to animals," said Grace Colwell, 8, of Lake Elmo, who on a recent Monday read Dr. Seuss' "Fox in Socks" aloud to Casey. "Sometimes they try to kiss you," she said.
The Washington County Library system offers a similar program at its Mahtomedi, Forest Lake, Cottage Grove and Oakdale branches.
In Stillwater, kids get 15 minutes in a brightly lit, glassed-in room with a specially trained dog who is accompanied by a handler. During that time, kids can talk to and pet the dog or they can read a book of their choice in a relaxed atmosphere without any pressure of having to pronounce words correctly.
"The dog won't say 'you said that wrong,'" said Kelly Ellis, of Stillwater, who brought her sons, Jake, 8, and Mitch, 7, to the library.
Librarian Angela Petry said she has witnessed how, by having a non-judgmental furry friend at their side, children can develop an excitement for reading and improve their literary skills. That echoes a University of California-Davis study in 2010 that found that third-grade public school students who regularly read aloud to dogs over a 10-week period improved their reading fluency by 12 percent.
Theresa Person, Casey's handler, said some of the kids she has seen have started reading to their dogs at home.
Unbeknownst to most participants is the fact that sometimes they are interacting with a celebrity. Five trained therapy dogs visit the library on Mondays and Saturdays, and one is Ruby, the once abandoned pit-bull terrier whose rise to the theater stage and fame is retold in the book, "Ruby's Tale: A True Rags to Riches Story." The author, Patrick Bettendorf, of Stillwater, brings Ruby to the library also visits area nursing homes, schools and fundraisers.
In addition to helping kids read, handler Chris Cowen, of Stillwater, said the program has had other benefits. He recalled when one autistic child overcame fears about dogs after interacting with his lab, Bailey. He said another shy girl started to come out of her shell around the dog.
"I see the joy she can bring," Cowen said. "It's fun to see the kids reading and learning. It's great to see her encouraging them to read."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wis. senator wants felons banned from vicious dogs

From Chicago Tribune

A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to ban many felons from owning vicious dogs.

The bill being circulated by Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay would make it a misdemeanor for someone convicted of a violent or drug-related felony to own a dog that has been declared vicious by law enforcement or a humane officer.

The misdemeanor could carry up to nine months in prison. If that dog attacks another person and the owner didn't try to control the dog, the owner could be charged with a felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison. The prohibition would last 10 years after the felon is released from prison or until the end of the felon's extended supervision.

A dog could be determined "vicious" if it caused serious injury or death to a person or another animal, bit a person without being provoked or is seen as reasonably threatening by another resident. Hansen introduced versions of the bill in the last two sessions, with both bills dying at the end of the Legislative sessions.

The bill includes a provision allowing felons to apply for an exemption based on their livelihood. Hansen said the language was added to protect those who may run breeding operations or require a guard dog for their business. It also allows a felon to appeal the determination of viciousness.

Green Bay Police Lt. Bill Dongle said vicious dogs are being used mostly by felons involved in drug trafficking and those involved in dog fighting operations. Dongle cited one incident in which a SWAT team on a local drug bust was attacked by a pitbull, which police then had to shoot.

The department's animal control officer, Sharon Hensen, said drug task force and probation officers have encountered dogs in at least half of the visits they make. Hensen said felons who use their dogs as weapons should be punished.

"To me it's a very necessary legislative tool," Hensen said. "If a convicted felon cannot hold a gun, why can they have a dog that's so dangerous?"

The Dog Federation of Wisconsin, an advocacy group for dog owners and breeders, opposed the bill in past sessions. Tracey Johnson, the group's vice president, said previous versions prevented a felon from owning a dog that was not spayed or neutered and that such a law ignored the fact that the felon has "served their debt to society."

Johnson said the group had not yet decided whether to support the latest version, but said she thought the definitions of vicious were difficult for a humane officer to interpret.

"In order to have a credible finding, the person observing and or testing the dog would have to be knowledgeable about canine behavior," Johnson said. "The current State of Wisconsin Humane Officer training does not begin to provide those officers with the necessary education to make a vicious dog declaration."

Hensen dismissed the criticism, saying that humane officers know these situations better than normal law enforcement officers.

"I'm very proactive, I don't want to see children get harmed, I don't want to see the elderly get taken down," Hensen said. "If they don't take steps to correct that behavior, they're leading down that path." 

The risk of having Pit Bulls as pets

From WZZM

After all of the recent attacks by Pit Bulls running loose in West Michigan, why would anyone choose a dog from that breed for a pet?
"They are some of the nicest dogs we get," explains Humane Society Of West Michigan animal behavior specialist Lyndsey Kubik.
"They aren't vicious, that's for sure," adds HSWM veterinarian Dr. Wendy Swift. "They love their people."
Over the last several weeks, Pit Bulls have killed a baby in Kalamazoo, mauled a man in Wyoming, killed a poodle in Grant and attacked a jogger near Morley in Montcalm County.
"It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive," says Newaygo County Chief Animal Control Officer Arlene Sterling. "They can be very nice dogs,  but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous."
The experts say the difference between a good Pit Bull and a bad Pit Bull is usually how it is trained and kept by its owner. Some dogs are mistreated, making them aggressive and angry.
"To get them to be protection type dogs, usually there is some mistreatment," says Dr. Swift. "People are purposely mean to the dog and any dog, regardless of breed, if you were to beat it, to starve it, anything like that, will change its temperament."
There is now an overpopulation of Pit Bulls in West Michigan. Many owners don't have their pets spayed or neutered because they can sell the puppies for hundreds of dollars. The more pit bulls, the more problems.
"There are so many of them you are bound to have more incidents," says Kubik. "The more you have of anything the more incidents you are going to have."
"The answer is population control," says Officer Sterling. "There are more pit bulls than ever before."
Staff at the HSWM say the majority of dogs they receive are Pit Bulls. Most of them they spay or neuter and put up for adoption, but about 45 percent are euthanized because of medical or behavior issues.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sheriff: Meth lab found in Lacey’s Spring

By Tiffeny Owens, Decatur Daily

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department took four people into custody Thursday night after finding a meth lab inside a mobile home, authorities said.
A search warrant was executed at the home on Arvida Drive in Sherbrook Trailer Park at 7:30 p.m., said Steven Ziaja, an Alabama Beverage Control Board agent. Authorities found the residents, Katherine Kmetz and Jerimy Jenkins, inside along with a meth lab, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, he said.
“Six pit bulls were roaming around so we have to get animal control to come out to the scene so we could get in,” Ziaja said.
The sheriff’s department launched its investigation after receiving complaints from other residents. Then authorities conducted an undercover operation at the home which allowed them to secure the search warrant, he said.
Kmetz was charged with first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jenkins was charged with first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance.
Authorities also arrested a man and woman inside the home and charged them each with loitering in a drug house, he said.
All four were in the Morgan County Jail Friday morning, corrections officers said. No bail had been set for Kmetz or Jenkins, and the two others were being held on $300 bail each.
“This is the second time we’ve busted Kmetz for making meth at the same house,” Ziaja said. “The lab looked like a combination of the red phosphorus method and the shake-and-bake method for cooking meth.”
Decatur police and the ABC Board assisted the sheriff’s department in the investigation.

Related articles:
2 arrested for making meth at Lacey's Spring home - WAFF

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glendale puppy killed by swarm of bees; boy also stung

By Alexa Chrisbacher, from AZ Central


A swarm of bees killed a puppy Wednesday and stung three others and a boy, Glendale fire said.
A Glendale man tried to save the pit bulls from bees around 5 p.m. in the backyard of his home near 62nd Avenue and Ocotillo Road, but the bees managed to sting the dogs several times, fire spokesman Daniel Valenzuela said. The man had seven puppies in total, but three were inside his home.
While outside, the man was stung several times and his son was stung once, Valenzuela said. Neither victims were allergic to bees and were not taken to a hospital.
The man mentioned seeing a bee hive in the area, Valenzuela said. Firefighters extinguished the bees using foam.
Anyone who notices a hive and does not feel threatened should call a beekeeper to take care of them, Valenzuela said. Those who do feel threatened should call 911.
There were two bee attacks Wednesday in the Phoenix area.

Ike the Dog Loving Life After Rescue

By Britni Day, NBC Chicago

A year ago, Ike the dog ran amuck on the Eisenhower Expressway. Today, he's happy in his new, quiet life

Just a year ago, a four-legged friend captured hearts and news cameras in Chicago as he weaved in and out of rush hour traffic for two days on the Eisenhower Expressway. 
The dog, named Ike after the expressway he was rescued on, has come a long way from dodging and skittering away from heavy traffic.The pooch is now lavished with love by everyone from fans on his Facebook page to Gov. Pat Quinn.
Yet, it wasn't that long ago when people were glued to their TVs, worried the little guy wouldn't make it.
The brown and black pit bull evaded IDOT trucks, jumped barriers and even went for a dip in the Des Plaines River before police finally coaxed him into their car. Choppers followed the whole doggie drama as news outlets broadcasted the story live.
Not long after, Ike was placed in foster care with Steve Zorn of Precious Pets Amost Home. Zorn sorted through hundreds of emails and phone calls of people interested in the dog before he found the right family in the north suburbs. Today, the only time Ike sees a highway is from the safety of his adoptive family's car windows.
Ike now spends his time attending fundraisers, promoting animal adoption and supporting his K-9 friends in the news. On his days off, he snuggles with his friends on his own futon or plays in his yard. 
Fans can read the latest on Ike's new, quiet life and all that he's been up to on his Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Salt Lake police shoot, kill two dogs in drug bust

By Aaron Falk, The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City police say they shot and killed two aggressive dogs while executing a narcotics search warrant Tuesday night.
About 9:15 p.m., officers entered a home near 150 E. Edith Ave. and were attacked by the pit bulls, police said. Officials on Wednesday said they were unsure how many officers fired at the animals.
Inside the home officers found heroin and drug paraphernalia, police said.
Police booked three people, ages 24 to 29, into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of drug possession. The trio were also booked on suspicion of child endangerment because there were two young children inside the home, police said.

Sheriff: Dogfighting ring busted in Va.

From The News-Times

Halifax County's sheriff says authorities have busted a dogfighting and drug trafficking ring.
Sheriff Stanley Noblin says 41 dogs, mostly pit bulls, were seized Wednesday's in the northern end of the county. Noblin says many of the dogs had scars and other wounds. Authorities also found dog carcasses and skeletal remains on the site.
The investigation led to four arrests. A federal grand jury charged 26-year-old Jonathan Williams and 23-year-old Jermaine Thaxton with dog fighting and other charges. A separate indictment charged 60-year-old William Thaxton with gun and drug counts. Also, 23-year-old Levar Adams faces state drug charges.
Drugs, guns, cash and dogfighting paraphernalia were seized in Wednesday's raid.
Noblin says local and federal authorities began investigating after receiving complaints from residents nearly a year ago.

Update June 28, 2011 - The following article is from The News & Advance:
 
Nathalie man pleads guilty in connection to dog fighting

One of the men arrested in April’s dog fighting raid in Halifax County pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Danville.
Jermaine Thaxton accepted a plea agreement where he admitted guilt for conspiracy to sell a dog for the purpose of an animal fighting venture in interstate commerce, a felony, according to court documents.
Thaxton was involved in the sale of a “pit bull fighting dog” to a confidential informant for $400 in August last year, according to the indictment.
Sentencing has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30. The maximum penalty is a fine of $250,000 and/or a prison term of five years.
In April’s raid, agents seized 41 dogs, firearms and narcotics from a Nathalie residence.
Jonathan Williams was also arrested and charged, but did a hearing has not been set.

Judge rules Pit Bulls will live, stay at shelter

By Andrew Keller, WPBN-WTOM

The Crawford County District Court Judge has ruled the two Pit Bulls who have been in the court system for two and a half years will live the rest of their lives at the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter.
This is a story 7&4 News has been covering since it began.
The roller coaster ride started in 2008 for Pit Bulls Riley and Shelby, when a man claimed the two dogs that were puppies at the time chased him on his bike and acted aggressively.  Later that year, animal control took the dogs.  In December, 2008, the judge ordered the dogs to be killed.  January, 2009, the dogs were given a stay while an appeal moved through the courts.  In January, 2010, three different experts testified the dogs weren't vicious.  In April, 2010, the judge again ordered the dogs be put down.  that order was appealed, and the case ended back in court in January of this year.  The court finally agreed to let the dogs be adopted.
“We've suited their needs for the last two and a half years, we've made really good dogs out of puppies," said Cheryl Postma, Director at the Ausable Valley Animal Shelter.
Do you agree with this decision? Tell us "Your Point of View" by voting in the poll and leaving your comments.

NW Iowa girl attacked by pit bulls released from hospital

By Sarah Moon, KTIV

Hospital officials at Children's Hospital in Omaha say a Siouxland girl who was attacked by two pit bulls has been released. Last week, ten year-old Brianna Buenger was playing outside a home on Highway 3 near Le Mars when two pit bulls were let outside.
Law enforcement says Buenger received several bites and wounds to her head, but she was able to get away.
The dogs are being held at the Town and Country Veterinarian Clinic in Le Mars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coon Rapids police kill attacking pit bull

By Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press

A detective with the Coon Rapids police department shot and killed a pit bull Tuesday after the dog allegedly bit him in the knee.
The detective, who works for the drug task force, was conducting a search warrant in the 9700 block of Foley Boulevard when the animal attacked him, according to Shelley Peetz, Anoka County 911 dispatch supervisor. The officer then shot and killed the dog.
The detective, whose name has not been released, received medical treatment and was released.
The dog's owner was cooperative with police and provided paperwork about the dog's shots, Peetz said.
An investigation is ongoing.


Related Articles:
Pit bull that bites police officer is shot dead - ABC Newspapers

Shih Tzu bites Home Depot greeter's nose

From UPI

Home Depot Canada is considering policy changes after a greeter lost part of her nose when she tried to pet a customer's pet Shih Tzu dog in suburban Ottawa. Greeter Anne Riel, 39, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. the little dog was in a shopping cart being pushed by its unidentified 74-year-old owner Friday when the dog bit her.
"No sooner had I slightly bent down … [when] the dog bit my nose with its entire mouth," Riel said.
A small piece of her nose is missing after emergency plastic surgery and Riel will need more procedures, the report said.
The owner of the dog tried to leave, but was stopped by paramedics. City officials said they expect to charge the owner. The maximum fine is $600 and the court could also order the dog to be euthanized, the CBC said.
"Please, please understand it's not only the pit bulls and German shepherds and the big dogs that are nasty," Riel said. "The small dogs can be just as nasty and that's what's deceiving."
She said she is considering suing the dog's owner.
Meanwhile, Home Depot said while it has signs up saying only service dogs for the handicapped are allowed in the stores, the policy hasn't been strictly enforced and that is being reviewed at head office.

Deputies Receive Training To Prevent Dog Attacks In Warren County

By Navideh Forghani, WJBF

Dog bites are up nationwide. According to the CDC, 800,000 Americans are attacked by dogs every year. Some of these attacks may be directed towards law enforcement.

Man's best friend is hard to predict. One minute they're full of affection. The next, they're making a full-on attack.

You don't know what the dog will do. If your nerves are shot, all you're thinking is defend yourself,” said Trevor Franklin, Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers say they run the risk of getting attacked every time they respond to a scene.

“If you walk up to a door to serve a warrant and the person gives the dog an order to attack, a deputy doesn’t have enough time to grab your weapon,” said Sammy Purvis, Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement officers are using two liter bottles to represent the size of a dog's torso which is where the officers need to target.

“It's very hard to hit. But it's the only way to demonstrate a dog coming at you,” said Joey Akers, Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

While officers are using weapons in this training, the standard policy is officers must first use a taser to deter the dog before pulling out their firearm.

According the CDC, pit bulls and rottweilers account for most of the attacks.

The training was put on by the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Thomson and Warrenton police departments and the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office participated in Monday's event.

Polk Co. Woman Injured In Dog Attack

From WESH

Victim Attacked While Walking Her Dog

A Polk County woman was seriously hurt on Monday when two dogs attacked her while she was walking her own dog.
Authorities with the Lake Wales Police Department said Tammy Little, 46, was attacked while walking on a lakeside path.Some other people witnessed the attack and managed to get the dogs away from her. Officials described the attacking dogs as mixed-breed pit bulls.
Little was flown by helicopter to a Lakeland hospital for treatment. Investigators said her injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Officials with Polk County Animal Control said the two dogs involved in the attack were taken into custody and had been roaming free before the incident.The owners of the dogs were cited, but no criminal charges were filed.

Update April 20, 2011 - The following article is by Sarina Fazan, ABC Action News:

Two women are hailed guardian angels for saving a minister's wife from pit bull

Ashley David and Emma McGriff didn't know eachother until Tuesday. But, now the women feel bonded.
Both returned to the path along Lake Wailes where they rescued Tammy Little, a minister's wife from a pit bull that's now in Polk County custody.
Emma was on the path when she saw Tammy lying near a bush
"All we could see was this white dog on top of this lady, it wouldn't let her go we heard her screaming," David said.
Another pittbull, now also in custody, was chasing after one of Tammy's two dogs. Ashley was actually in her car, taking her son and niece to school, when she saw Tammy trying to rescue her other dog
"I thankfully noticed her on the path with her little dog above her head. I really thought I was getting out to protect her dog but when I got out of my car she was yelling for help," she said.
Ashley had nothing on her so she used the only weapon she had-her hands. "I was just beating him on the head , yelling at him to let go of her."
Emma grabbed her umbrella and started poking the pit bull.
"He meant to hurt her and maybe us to if we did not continue to do what we were doing because he was drooling at the mouth," she said.
Tammy was badly hurt and is still in the hospital. Her husband Charles said her arms and legs were savaged and she has undergone hours of surgery.
Doctors told they are not sure if she will completely recover. That is hard for her to hear because she plays the piano and plays it well.
But Charles feels blessed she is alive and thanks Ashley and Emma for that.
Both women don't see themselves as heros. They said they were just at the right place at the right time.

Video

Related Articles:
Pitbulls maul woman as she walks Lake Wailes - Lake Wales News

Monday, April 18, 2011

Officer Shoots, Kills Dog After It Attacked K-9 Partner

From WSOC

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed a pit bull after it got loose and attacked his K-9 partner Monday, CMPD said.
Police said the officer and the K-9 were helping with a drug call on Cedar Glen Drive, off Monroe Road, when the pit bull attacked.
Officers aren't sure who the dog belongs to.
The officer was bitten, but his skin was not broken, police said.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Camden residents concerned over pit bull shooting

By Vernon Odom, WPVI

There is controversy over the police shooting of a pit bull dog in Camden Saturday night.
There are several issues surrounding the shooting death of a neighborhood dog. Many believe the dog did not deserve to die, but many are also shaken by the number of stray bullets.
Neighbors say the dog was hit on one side of the street, but they found damage from police bullets on the other side of the street and several houses down. They say the officer's bullets hit vehicles and even houses where there were innocent bystanders.
Sherronda Aycox was devastated over the loss of her 8-month old blue pit bull Capone, and for what she and her neighbors believe was dangerous and irresponsible behavior by Camden Police.
Residents say officers responded to a fight between teenagers around 9:00pm Friday night.
Aycox says Capone darted out of the partially opened door and toward the officers several houses down, who, according to residents, shot and killed the dog.
Aycox says police investigators told her 33 rounds were fired.
"The cop said he felt like he was going to attack him," said Aycox, "and he just shot at him. The one cop hollered 'don't shoot him', but he shot him. When he shot him, the dog fell to the ground, was shaking and crying, but he just stood over top of him and kept shooting repeatedly."
"He just came running out of the house," said neighbor Kelly McCulley. "He plays with the kids all the time. He saw all the kids up there and that's what he thought, that he was coming to play, and they just shot him over and over and over."
The dog was hit and fell in one area, but the bullets sprayed elsewhere, shooting out the window of a van that several women were getting ready to get into. The women say there were children everywhere.
Neighbors say several other vehicles were hit, and the bullets pierced a nearby home, hitting a window and a wall inside.
The family was inside watching television and had no idea what was going on.
"It was just crazy. It was like a war zone out there," said the resident of the home.
Several attempts were made to speak with Camden officials, but there has been no response.

Video

Search In 4th Day For Dogs Who Attacked 66YO Woman

From KTVU

The search continued Sunday for a pair of dogs that severely attacked a 66-year-old woman and her husky Thursday during an early morning walk at a San Jose park, an animal control spokesman said.
Late Wednesday night, San Jose resident Dawn Wilson took her white Siberian husky, named Shadow, out for a walk at Cataldi Park as she rode her tricycle, animal control Sgt. Jay Terrado said.
Shortly after midnight, Terrado said, "Out of nowhere, two dogs started attacking her dog." Wilson tried, for nearly half an hour, to break up the fight, even using a bicycle chain to hit one of the dogs, Terrado said.
At some point, the dogs stopped attacking and scurried away, but not before biting Wilson on the front and back of her hands, her wrist, and her face. She also suffered bruising on her knees and legs.
Wilson was treated for minor lacerations and severe bites at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs hospital and has been released.
Shadow, however, suffered a much harsher fate. His injuries - among them a broken leg and broken jaw - were so bad that he had to be euthanized that morning at an emergency veterinary clinic in Fremont, Terrado said.
After the attack, the dogs fled and remain at-large. Wilson described one as a tan pit bull and the other as a black, larger dog similar to a pit bull. Neither dog was wearing a collar or identity tag. Terrado said animal control officers were canvassing the neighborhoods near the park and talking to residents since the attack, but there were no solid leads on the owner of the dogs Sunday.
Animal control planned to send out letters to residents of those neighborhoods asking if they have information about the dogs or its owner, Terrado said.
The owner could face a citation or criminal charge, depending on the history of the dogs, Terrado said.Furthermore, the dogs could be euthanized if they were found to be vicious.
"We urge people to use caution out there," Terrado said. He advised residents to immediately call 911 if they see the dogs, or San Jose Animal Care and Services at (408) 578-7297 if they have information.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pit Bull Spotted On Metro Bus Raises Questions

By Andrea McCarren, WUSA

A mystery is unfolding in DC surrounding a Metro bus and train passenger who seems to be getting some unwanted attention. Photos of him have surfaced on the Internet, and there is now debate over whether he's protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act. One photograph shows the pit bull sitting on the back of the D-6 Metro bus that runs from Sibley to Stadium-Armory.
9NEWS NOW showed the picture to people on the street. Many were shocked.

"OMG. Oh my God," said one person.
"I wouldn't get on the bus," said another person.
Still, another person said, "It's kind of crazy. I never seen that in my life."
The pit bull has been spotted around Washington for several weeks now, riding on Metro buses and trains. He's often dressed in a red harness and vest, and appears to be a service dog.
"I'm like pit bulls on the train? Nah. I know of Labrador retrievers and things like that, but not a pit bull," stated Metro rider Mike Suggs.
By all accounts, the dog is perfectly behaved.

Metro rider Shaunya Owens shared, "She told him to sit, he was set. Then she told him to get in the chair. He got in the chair. We saw him."
The pit bull and the woman with whom he travels gained Internet notoriety a week ago. According to witnesses, she attempted to board a bus at 3rd and E Streets, NW. The Metro bus driver allegedly asked for documentation he was a service dog, but she didn't have any. The driver refused to let her get on board, so she protested by standing in front of the bus and refusing to move, with her pitbull.

"I never seen one as a service dog walking, not even with a blind person," stated bus rider Norris Little.
"People do have the right to have service dogs, and she should be able to ride, but I wouldn't ride it," said bus rider Hope Little.
In fact, according to the Americans With Disabilities Act, any business that serves the public must let in a person with a disability, along with their service animal. Businesses do have the right to ask if it is a service dog, but the owner is not required to provide special identification. So, is the pit bull traveling around Washington a service dog? That part of the mystery remains.

Video

Competency evaluation ordered for man accused of starving dog

By Patricia Wolff, The Northwestern

Jenny Pask of Oshkosh and two of her friends happily shelled out $15 each for T-shirts with messages remembering the 5-month-old pit bull dog his Oshkosh owner starved to death because he didn't want to care for it.The dead puppy was found on the sidewalk in the 500 block of Oak Street on March 31.
The women attended Thursday morning's preliminary hearing in Winnebago County Circuit Court for Bryan I. Hutcherson, 19, who was charged April 4 with animal mistreatment in connection with the dog's death.
Court Commissioner Daniel Bissett postponed the hearing and at Hutcherson's lawyer's request ordered Hutcherson to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
People crowded into the hallway of the Oshkosh Public Safety Building prior to the 9 a.m. hearing, but not all those who arrived were allowed into the small courtroom due to lack of space. A group of concerned citizens set up shop in the hall with a stack of neatly folded T-shirts, each tied with a red ribbon. They said the proceeds would go to the animal food pantry at the Oshkosh Area Humane Shelter.
Pask and her friends slipped their T-shirts on over their other clothing. The message on the shirts said "Support Gabriel" and each one bore a sketch of a pit bull and the words "Animal Neglect" underneath.
Gabriel was the name given to the puppy by the Oshkosh Area Human Shelter immediately following his death. After police received a tip from an informant they learned the owners had named the dog Snoop.
The informant told police that Hutcherson and his girlfriend had been keeping a brown and white pit bull in a metal cage in their living room in the 800 block of Bowen Street. The informant had not seen anyone give the dog food or water and the dog's ribs were visible by the end of February. On March 29, the dog was in the kennel, shaking and had feces covering its coat and hind legs, the informant said.
An examination of the dog after death determined it had died from systematic organ failure due to extreme malnutrition complicated by dehydration and exposure.
After police found the dead dog they circulated photographs to the media in an attempt to find the owner. The photos depicted a severely emaciated dog, with all its bones clearly visible under its glossy coat.
"It was wrong that he was starved to death. Animal cruelty is wrong," Pask said. "If a dog is too expensive to feed why not give it to someone instead of leaving it in the living room and watching it waste away?"
Her friend, Julie Watson of Oshkosh, said she came to the hearing to "stand up" for the dog. "I hope the court can control (Hutcherson) from ever having a pet again, but that's probably not possible."
Hutcherson's age is no excuse, said Tamara Mortensen of Rosendale. "A 19-year-old should know enough to feed an animal. Animals are defenseless. They need us."
Police executed a search warrant April 1, and spoke to Hutcherson and his girlfriend, who both identified the dead dog as their dog Snoop.
Hutcherson told police he bought the dog four months earlier and had kept him in a kennel at the residence. He fed him for the first three weeks, but decided to stop because it was too stressful and cost too much money, according to the criminal complaint.
Hutcherson was charged April 4, with mistreatment of animals causing death, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of three years and six months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Bissett ordered a competency evaluation for Hutcherson after his attorney Bryan Keberlein requested one by a psychologist who could test his IQ.
Bissett ordered the competency evaluation be done within 15 days. He denied a request from Keberlein to remove the cash bond of $1,000 because Hutcherson has limited ties to the community and could be deemed a flight risk.
The cash bond represents the minimum amount to insure his continued appearances at future proceedings, Bissett said.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Ceman said charges are pending against Hutcherson's girlfriend.

Update June 1, 2011 - The following article is from The Northwestern:
 
An emaciated pitbull puppy named Diamond rescued from Oshkosh home is ready to be adopted

An emaciated pitbull puppy police removed from an Oshkosh home in April is ready to be adopted.
Police removed Diamond from the home of Bryan Hutcherson and Samantha Braatz and placed her in the care of the Oshkosh Area Humane Society. Officials said her bones no longer protrude from her body and she has doubled in weight.
“She’s gotten lots of TLC since she arrived,” said Joni Geiger, executive director of the OAHS in a written press release received Wednesday. “We’ve been socializing her with other dogs, working on basic commands…She’s a sweet, social girl and we can’t wait to see her with a new family.”
Diamond’s housemate, Snoop, also a pitbull puppy, was found dead in the 500 block of Oak Street March 31. A necropsy determined the dog died from organ failure due to extreme malnutrition that was complicated by dehydration and exposure. Hutcherson is charged with mistreatment of animals causing death. He is due back in court July 14. Braatz faces up to four years, three months in prison for felony mistreatment of an animal and misdemeanor mistreatment of an animal during an arraignment.
Anyone interested in adopting Diamond can visit her at the humane society, 1925 Shelter Court.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aggressive Pit Bull Terrier Pulls Man off Bicycle

By Monica Landeros, First Coast News

A Westside man was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital after a dog pulled him off his bicycle on Wednesday afternoon. According to a police report, the 51-year-old man told police he was riding his bike around the 100 Block of Jackson Avenue in the Marietta area. He told police he stopped to talk to someone, and that is when a pit bull terrier walked into the street and began circling him several times.
The man said when he got on his bike to leave, the dog bit his flip-flop sandal. He said he tried to use his bike to shield the dog from him, however the man said the dog bit him on his right calf.
The police report said the man fell after being bit on the calf, and that the dog bit him on the forearm once he was on the ground.
An 18-year-old neighbor caring for the dog told police the owner of the dog is currently in jail. The neighbor said he had the dog, named Shadow, for about three days. The neighbor told police the dog slipped out of the chain and ran into the street.
The dog was seized by animal control.
No other information was available.

Puppy found abandoned, tied to a tree

By Henry Metz, NewHampshire.com

Jim Scanlon has one word to describe the person who left a 6-week-old puppy tied to a tree beside busy Meetinghouse Road last week – “nitwit.”
“If someone didn’t want that dog, there are a thousand different ways that could have been handled,” said Scanlon, a town councilor who learned about the puppy’s plight from reading last week’s police reports – a regular practice of his. “It’s unfortunate, but people do stupid things.”
The black and white pitbull puppy was discovered tied to the tree by a 29-year-old woman who was driving along that stretch of Meetinghouse Road at about 1:40 a.m. on April 4.
“I was actually just going to my dad’s house to drop some things off,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be published. “I caught him out of the corner of my eye as I drove past him, but then I stopped and backed up and there he was. It was obvious that he wasn’t just caught on the tree. You could tell his (retractable) leash had been intentionally wrapped around the tree.”
Steven Paul, Bedford’s animal control officer, wants people to know that abandoning a dog and tying it to a tree beside a busy road is not only illegal, it’s inhumane.
Paul said that abandoning domesticated animals is not uncommon, but in difficult economic times it seems to happen more frequently.
“Obviously, the economy has a lot to do with these kinds of things,” said Paul. “But if you find that you can’t afford to care for an animal, you can always bring it to the SPCA, or they can call me and I can give them options. To dump it out on the side of the road – that’s just not right.”
In the case of the 6-week-old pit bull, the woman who found the puppy brought him home and cleaned him up, fed him and snipped off the collar that she described as being too small – probably one meant for a cat.
The next morning, she brought the dog to the Police Department, which then notified Paul.
“I, in turn, brought it to Bedford Animal Hospital to have him checked out,” said Paul. “He’s a cute little thing. For the most part he’s healthy. He does his typical puppy stuff – like any puppy would.”
Under state law, the dog will have to remain in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for 10 days before it can be released for adoption.
Attempts to find the dog’s owner have been unsuccessful, said Paul.
The woman who found the dog said she would like to have an opportunity to adopt the animal once the 10-day hospitalization is over.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pit bull among seven breeds banned in Subang Jaya

By Edward R. Henry, The Star

SEVEN dog breeds — Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanesa Tosa and American Pit bull — are set to vanish from households in Subang Jaya soon.
The dogs classified under the “big” category are predisposed to aggressive or dangerous behaviour. The council is enforcing a directive from the Selangor Veterinary Department, according to which the dogs are “unmanageable or possibly dangerous”.
MPSJ director Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin said the ban was with immediate effect.
He said the council had begun operations to check residential areas in the township for such dog breeds. They have even given out brochures with regard to the ban.
“Our officers who scout around the neighbourhoods have been advised to look out for such dog breeds. Once we have ascertained that a dog is from the banned list, we would inform the Veterinary Department, which would confiscate the dog and take the necessary action,” he said.
Dr Roslan said no dog from among the banned breeds had been found yet.
He believes that people could be raising these dogs behind high fences so that the canines would not be easily spotted from outside.
“Our Health Department does not have any record of those having such dogs because the owners might not have taken a licence for their canines. At present, we have 4,000 registered dogs but based on our observation the actual population of dogs in Subang Jaya homes could be around 6,000,” he said.
Dr Roslan believed the ban on the seven breeds was to prevent attacks on people.
“It is being done to ensure the safety of the people as these dogs could be aggressive. Even a small dog can bite and some homes have Rottweillers. These dogs should be put on a leash when taken out for walks,” he said.
On Jan 8, Maurice Sullivan, 50, died after he was mauled by two dogs at a farm in Penang while he was taking photos at an organic orchard.
In November 2003, a Rottweiler attacked M. Devaraj, 10, in Island Glades, Penang. He was seriously injured. Also, in November 2001, a neighbour’s pet mongrel bit a nine-year-old South Korean boy Lee Han-eul in Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. The boy sustained 15 wounds on his right arm and chest that needed several stitches.
In 1994, a three-year-old Rottweiler named LeRoq, mauled a grandmother Neoh Kim Lean to death.
The 70-year-old woman, who lived in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, died on the way to the Universiti Hospital. Part of her scalp and an ear was bitten off.
Dr Roslan added that MPSJ received 2,287 complaints from January to November last year, out of which 1,506 were dog-related complaints.
“The complaints were mostly related to safety — where owners fail to put their dogs on a leash while taking them out for walks. Others include incessant barking, not cleaning up dog excrement, no dog licence and leaving their dogs outside the homes without supervision,” he said.
He added that the council had acted on the complaints and 148 compounds were issued during that period.
Dog owners were slapped with a maximum fine of RM1,000 under the Licensing of Dogs and Kennel Establishments By-laws 2007 under the Local Government Act 1976 for not having a licence for dogs above three months old, for not abiding sanitary requirements in keeping dogs, keeping dogs in apartments and failure to immunise the canines.
Dr Roslan said MPSJ also restricted dog owners from bringing their dogs for a walk in public places, shopping complexes, religious places, all government and private offices, government and private schools and on public transport.
MPSJ has distributed brochures to Subang Jaya residents with a warning that the council has the right to impound or confiscate dogs that are taken to public places.
“Our operations on dogs are ongoing and our men will confiscate dogs found roaming without a leash and muzzle, with or without a licence. No prior notice will be issued and the onus is on the owners to keep their dogs on a leash,” he said.
Paws Animal Welfare Society Malaysia rescuer Molly Brown said the state veterinary department and MPSJ should rethink its action of wanting to confiscate dogs from the seven breeds from their owners based on their aggressive predisposition.
“Even people are aggressive and bite but we must see what leads to such tendencies. Little dogs like Shihtzu or Maltese are aggressive and can bite but this could be due to inbreeding or ill treatment while it was a pup. So, the authorities cannot just take away a dog,” she said.
Brown added that a Pit Bull, Rottweiler or even a Akita can be lovely pets if they are given love while a pup and not traumatised in its surroundings.
“Big dogs need good care, must come from a good gene line and trained to be sociable, so they are familiar with the people and its surroundings.
“The Selangor Veterinary Department and MPSJ should just get the owners to neuter the existing dog breeds as it is unfair to confiscate the animals,” she said.

Deputy Shoots Charging Pitbull

By Jessica Sick, NBC Miami

A pitbull was injured after being shot by a BSO deputy Wednesday.
According to BSO, the deputy arrived at 3791 NW 27 St. in Lauderdale Lakes after being notified that there was a group of loose dogs running around the neighborhood. When the deputy arrived, no one was home and the gate to the yard of the home was open.
The deputy managed to get two of the three pitbulls back into the yard. The third pitbull, however, reportedly charged at the deputy, at which point he shot the dog. 
Animal Control transported the dog to Hollywood Animal Hospital, where the dog is expected to survive.
In February, a Broward man shot and killed a neighbor's pitbull after he claimed the dog charged him and his rottweiller.

Abused dog gets new lease on life

By Colin Campbell, The Herald

Pit bull might have been used in fighting

A 50-pound pit bull had little chance of survival after it was abandoned by a roadside, its ears and part of its face torn off.
With so many injuries, some passersby might have thought it best to put the dog out of its misery. But the pit bull lucked out - the next car to pass on the rural roadway was a Johnston County veterinarian.
She picked him up and treated his injuries. She covered the cost of his treatment, which included a series of sutures on his neck. And she contacted the Johnston County Animal Protection League, which is helping find him a home. They're calling him Bumper because of where he was found.
Cathy Adams of the Animal Protection League thinks Bumper was a victim of dog fighting. She says a blue paint mark on his head indicates he was cast off from the fighting ring.
"Our suspicion at this point is that he's a bait dog," Adams said. "He's proven to be very social and very submissive. That's another indication that he was not the fighter."
Adams said local animal-rescue groups often get pit bulls and other "bully breeds" that might have been fighters, but unless they're injured, it's hard to know for sure.
"There's so many pit bull rings locally that we don't know about and that law enforcement doesn't know about," Adams said, adding that the Humane Society of the United States offers a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a dog-fighting conviction.
According to statistics from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, no one in Johnston County was charged with dog fighting in 2010. Bumper was found just across the Harnett County line, but no arrests were made there either last year. Statewide, 22 people were charged, and six were convicted in 2010.
Though he's recovering quickly, Bumper's not out of the woods yet. The Animal Protection League is trying to find him a foster home or permanent home, and pit bulls with his background aren't exactly in demand.
But since Bumper was probably wasn't a fighter, the organization thinks he'd do well in a home - provided no other dogs are around. Whoever adopts Bumper will need the strength to handle a strong dog. But Adams stressed that Bumper can overcome his past.
"The breed has a bad wrap," she said. "They all deserve a chance, and they deserve a responsible owner."
Johnston County Animal Services doesn't typically offer pit bulls and Rottweilers for adoption, so rescue groups often take them, Adams said. Still, many have to be euthanized.
And Bumper's not the only dog in Johnston County looking for a home. The Animal Protection League needs foster homes that can take animals for a few weeks.
"If we can't pull the dogs into foster homes, we can't pull them from the shelter," Adams said. "If someone could make a commitment to take one dog a year, we could rescue a lot more dogs and cats."
For more information on the rescue group, go to jcapl.org.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hopkinton council votes down ban of Rottweilers

By Erik Hogstrom, Telegraph Herald

Changes to dangerous-animal ordinance are resisted despite dog-mauling death of 3-year-old

There will be no additional dog-breed ban in Hopkinton, after the City Council agreed Monday night not to change its dangerous-animal ordinance in the wake of 3-year-old Vanessa Husmann's death.
In a decidedly less-tense council chambers than the March 7 meeting held two days after the tragedy, the council listened to citizen input on whether a change -- such as adding Rottweilers to the list of banned animals that already bars pit bulls and a pit bull-mixed breed from inside city limits -- was needed.
"I don't think it's fair to ban certain breeds," said Hopkinton resident Jacque Sternhagen, who owns a husky. "Granted, yes, it's a big tragedy what happened, but at the same time you can't blame all dogs. A small dog can attack somebody."
Husmann was attacked and killed by two family-owned Rottweilers who were fenced in her backyard. No one from the Husmann family was at the meeting.
"We've had one unfortunate incident; we haven't had any other incidents with any other large type of dogs," said council member Bob Ristow. "I think it just takes more of our time, more of our expense to make a change."
Despite the unanimous vote, council member Bob Porter said some dogs have more potential for real harm than others.
"A little dog will not rip your throat out and break your neck, so there needs to be some awareness," he said.
Council member Sarah Helle said the town should emphasize cracking down on some of the areas included in the current ordinance, such as regulations for kenneling and leashes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Utah dog's death raises animal testing concerns

By Chi-Chi Zhang, From Greenwich Time

The death of a stray dog whose heart was removed by University of Utah researchers conducting cardiology tests has spurred a renewed call from animal rights groups to stop the practice of selling some shelter animals for research nationwide.Thirty-six states, including Utah, allow stray dogs and cats to be sold to research facilities if they are scheduled for euthanasia at animal shelters.
But animal activists say the shelters should be safe havens, and fear that if the practice continues, people may stop bringing in their unwanted pets.
"We do a lot of work in communities to garner trust in their shelters," Kathleen Conlee, of the Humane Society of the United States, said Monday. "If, for whatever reason, people are not able to take care of their cat or dog anymore, we don't want people to be fearful of taking their animals to a shelter."
The Humane Society says just 14 states, including California, Maine, Maryland and Hawaii, prohibit the sale of strays for research.
Rose Bentley, board president at Salt Lake City's Utah Animal Adoption Center, a no-kill facility, said she was shocked to learn that Sunny, a shy female pit bull once housed there, had been euthanized by the University of Utah last June.
She said the dog had a microchip that showed it was owned by the center, even though the facility had already adopted out the dog to a new owner. Somehow, the animal later ended up a stray again at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter and was slated to be euthanized, but was instead sold to the university for lab tests. The dog then had her heart removed and was put down.
Bentley and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with the state Health Department, claiming the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter never contacted the Utah Animal Adoption Center — as required under state law — before selling the dog to the school for $50.
"Think about it, what if this was your dog or cat ... if this happened to you. What would you do?" Bentley said. "I just want ensure that this never happens again."
The Utah Department of Health is now investigating the complaint but said Monday the agency likely wouldn't sanction the university and had no authority over the shelter.
"State laws leave it up to the shelter to contact the owner and it is not the responsibility of the university," said health department spokesman Tom Hudacho. "We've contacted the shelter, but they are not under our jurisdiction and required to answer to us."
The University of Utah ended its contract last month with the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter and now buys cats and dogs from specialized breeders — about $2,000 for a dog and $1,000 for a cat. The school said it stopped using stray animals in its tests because of protests against the shelter.
Jack Taylor, director of the university's Department of Comparative Research, said Monday they only accepted Sunny after receiving confirmation from the animal shelter that the owner had been contacted and relinquished their rights. Repeated telephone calls and an email to the director of the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter were not returned on Monday.
"Heart bypass surgery — one of the most common surgeries today — was first made possible with surgery experiments on dogs," Taylor said. "The bulk of what we know in human medicine today was derived from research in animals and we learn enough from them to engage in clinical trials on humans. You cannot argue what kind of value comes from that research."
Nearly 100,000 cats and dogs provided by breeders and shelters were housed and used in research labs in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In some states, like Wisconsin, research institutions can buy a dog from a shelter for as little as $1 for experiments, according to PETA.

Attack on alpaca leads to Winlaw grow-op bust

By Greg Nesteroff, Nelson Star

Two dogs attacked and killed an alpaca in Winlaw last week, resulting in the discovery of an indoor grow-op and raising questions about the lack of an animal control by-law in the area.
Slocan Lake RCMP say last Wednesday, a German Shepherd and pit bull that lived across the street jumped into the alpaca’s fenced compound.
“The alpaca suffered significant wounds to its head and hind end which lead to its death shortly after,” Cpl. Bryson Hill said in a news release.
Alpacas resemble small llamas.
Police received a complaint about the two dogs before from someone concerned that they were running loose and appeared to be aggressive.
“Unfortunately police were left with their hands tied as there are absolutely no animal control bylaws in this area,” Hill says.
Police are left to rely on the Community Charter or Livestock Act, which give them the authority to seize a dog — but not until it has killed or seriously injured an animal or person, or is about to.
“This is obviously not ideal and does not allow for preventative measures that many community bylaws address,” Hill says.
The investigating officer went to the home where the dogs lived and noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside. A search warrant was obtained and police entered. Neither the dogs nor their owner was around, but they discovered a multi-room grow-op, which consisted of 258 plants in a “relatively sophisticated” set-up.
Hill says they further made the “disturbing” discovery of a weed oil lab, “one of the most dangerous types of clandestine labs due to the extremely flammable evaporating solvents used in the process of the extraction.”
Police seized several ounces of oil as well as packaging materials and scales.
They are seeking one suspect, a man in his 30s, who is expected to face charges of drug production and possession for the purpose of trafficking. They are still trying to find the dogs that attacked the alpaca.
Regional director Walter Popoff, whose area includes Winlaw, says he has not heard any calls from that community for an animal control bylaw, although there have been requests from New Settlement, Krestova, and South Slocan.
In the latter case, Popoff says there was “considerable interest” and he explored the possibility, going so far as to investigate costs and hold public meetings.
However, when the price of subcontracting services from neighbouring areas was reported back, “the residents felt it was cost prohibitive and did not want me to pursue it any further.”
Popoff says any animal control would involve taxation. While a single bylaw covering his entire area, which stretches from Summit Lake to Bonnington, would spread the tax burden, it would also be more expensive overall.
Regardless, Popoff says it is up to residents to decide whether they are willing to pay.
“I definitely would not impose taxation on an area for dog control without the area’s approval,” he says. And obtaining approval comes with significant costs itself if it’s done through referendum.
Popoff further adds a bylaw could not guarantee that tragic incidents like the one in Winlaw last week would be prevented.

Related articles:
Dog trouble leads cops to grow op, lab - Castanet

Dogs found dead in trash bags in Coolbaugh

From Pocono Record

Pocono Mountain Regional Police said they responded to a call Friday and found what appeared to be two fully grown pit bulls, both dead, in black plastic trash bags in Coolbaugh Township.
Police said the dogs were found at 3:59 p.m. on Green Road, near Route 196.
One dog was female with a white body and black head, while the other was a dark brown male with brindle striping. The dogs had no collars or tags.
A pit bull was found dead in a cage in the same area on Jan. 14.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 570-895-2400.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sacramento man swings hammer at dog, smashes friend's face

By Michael Bott, ABC News 10

A drunk Sacramento man tried attacking his pet pit bull with a hammer Saturday, but smashed his friend's face instead. Sacramento police arrested Theodore Saunders, 50, after his drunken exploits injured his friend and dog.
Sacramento Police Sgt. Norm Leong said the incident started when Saunders and his friend were drinking large quantities of alcohol at a residence on the 2500 block of San Fernando Way.
Saunders, for unknown reasons, unleashed a barrage of punches against the pit bull.
The assault escalated when Saunders began swinging a hammer at the dog, while his friend sat nearby.
Police said one of Saunders' hammer swings struck his friend near the right eye, causing serious damage.
Police took Saunders into custody a short while later, arresting him for mayhem, felony assault, and animal cruelty.
The pit bull was found in better shape than Saunders' friend, sustaining only a minor cut.

Related articles:
Man Smashes Drinking Buddy's Eye With Hammer - KCRA

Nine people hurt, dog killed in lightning strike at fairground in North Carolina

From Pocono Record

Nine people were hurt Saturday night after a lightning strike at a dog show at a fairground in Morganton, N.C., the Charlotte Observer reported.
Officials in Burke County said those injured were struck by lightning while at the county fairgrounds about 6:10pm.
An American Dog Breeders Association show was being held at the grounds, and a dog -- believed to be an American pit bull terrier -- was also killed in the incident.
Seven of those hurt were transported to the Grace Hospital, where a supervisor later said two were admitted, two were treated and released and one was transported to the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Rita Bond, who was at the fairgrounds, said people were sheltering under a canopy when it was struck by lightning, causing the injuries and killing the dog which was waiting to be shown.
Heavy storms pummeled the region Saturday evening -- with Burke County issuing a tornado warning -- and showered Morganton with hail.
The Observer reported that wind gusts of up to 60mph (96kph) were recorded in the region and hail the size of baseballs fell at Gastonia Airport, west of Charlotte, damaging several planes.
Morganton, which has a population of about 17,000, is about 75 miles (120km) northwest of Charlotte.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pit bull, police dog help foil suspected burglar

By Casey Grove, Anchorage Daily News

A pit bull and a police dog each helped in the arrest of a suspected burglar who police say broke into two South Anchorage homes Friday morning and wouldn't come out of a bathroom at one house when police officers tracked him there.
Police eventually arrested Patrick Edward Marrs, 48, charging him with burglary, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, drug possession and harming a police dog.
The tense arrest caused Huffman Elementary administrators to keep kids in their classrooms and Grace Christian School to put staff and students on "lock down," police said.
A woman who lives on Heritage Heights Drive reported at about 10:45 a.m. that a man claiming he was passing out fliers for Fred Meyer stores had just approached her at home. The woman called Fred Meyer, who told her no such person was working for them, and the woman called police dispatchers to give a detailed description, police said.
An officer in the area spotted a man later identified as Marrs, who seemed to be avoiding them, police said. He ducked into a wooded area, and police set up a perimeter.
A short while later, a woman on Shiloh Road just off Huffman Road called 911 to report a break-in. She and her pit bull had chased the man out, she said.
Officers searching the area found a home next door with a broken window and they could hear movement inside, police said. Reached by phone, the man who lives there said the house should have been unoccupied.
The initial responders called for more units, SWAT officers and a police canine.
Dog-handling Officer Frank Stanfield and police dog K9 Erl, a Dutch Shepherd, arrived about five minutes after the first dog chased Marrs out of the one house and into the other next door, Stanfield said.
Stanfield, Erl, and members of the SWAT team made contact with a man barricaded in the bathroom. More than an hour later, the man still hadn't surrendered after repeated warnings about the dog, police said. That's when they smashed open the door and sent in Erl, his handler said.
"And the dog did what he was supposed to, which is called 'bark and detain,'" Stanfield said. "So he began to detain the guy, and at that point Marrs began to try to hit the dog with his fists and he was also trying to kick the dog."
Officers used a Taser on Marrs as he fought them and Erl, police said. Officers had Marrs in custody at about 12:45 p.m., Stanfield said.
Marrs had a no-bail warrant for his arrest for an earlier escape charge. Police added three counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, one count of resisting arrest, one count of misconduct involving a controlled substance and one count of harming a police dog.
For the new charges, Marrs was held on $25,000 cash bail with a third-party custodian required.