Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cops Had Cause to Lock Up Suspected Dog Abuser

By Jack Bouboushian, Courthouse News Service

A man suspected of abusing his pit bulls and training them to fight cannot sue police officers for false arrest and malicious prosecution claims, a federal judge ruled.
     After arresting Anthony Mason and charging him with misdemeanor offense of violating animal owners' duties under Illinois law, none of the witnesses subpoenaed for trial appeared in court.
     Cook County prosecutors struck the charge with leave to reinstate, leading Mason to file suit against Chicago and four arresting officers.
     U.S. District Judge Morton Denlow agreed last week to dismiss two of the counts, concluding that the police had a basis to arrest and try Mason.
     In May 2006, four Chicago police officers conducted a search of Manson's home pursuant to a valid warrant for drugs possessed by one of his tenant boarders. During the search, the officers found four adult dogs - Midnight, Nasty, Big Red and Little Red - in puppy cages without adequate food or water.
     The officers reported that two of the pit bulls appeared to have fighting injuries and removed the animals after also noticing a "spring pole" in the backyard. "Dog fighters commonly use spring poles to strengthen the biting grip of their dogs in preparation for fighting," according to the ruling.
     At animal control, an evidence technician took pictures of the dogs, and that technician confirmed his work with an affidavit and in deposition.
     "Tendered pictures of Midnight show a black pit bull with scars and open wounds covering its head and at least one front leg," according to the ruling. "A tendered picture of Big Red depicts a light brown pit bull with a torn ear and scars or open wounds on its head."
     In his lawsuit, Manson claimed that the dogs in the photos are not his dogs. In support of this claim, Manson pointed out that he made the same protest in deposition when "confronted with one of the alleged pictures of Midnight."
     Manson said that the dog in one picture might not be Midnight because Midnight "didn't look like that when he left my house," according to the deposition quoted in the decision. Manson continued that Midnight has a "shorter nozzle, bigger head, nowhere near that many scar, if he had any. ... It might be [Midnight], it just don't look like him."
     The former suspect also claimed that an officer from animal control failed to recall specifics from the investigation, including how many officers were present or the condition of Manson's pit bulls.
     Denlow rejected Manson's claims, finding that the suspect's "denials do not even rise to the level of plausibility," and calling his skepticism about the photographs "too equivocal and self-contradictory to qualify as genuine evidence of a factual dispute."
     "Most obviously, the injuries to Plaintiff's dogs would have led a reasonable person in the Officers' position to believe that Plaintiff had failed to provide 'humane care and treatment' for his dogs ... by causing them to fight," Denlow wrote.
     "The pictures of Midnight are a particularly sad sight," he continued.
     Manson's malicious-prosecution claim fails under that finding, as well as the tolling of the 160-day statute of limitations under Illinois' "speedy trial" statute, according to the ruling.
     Litigation is set to continue with regard to Manson's claims of unreasonable search and failure to intervene.

Mahopac woman faces animal-cruelty charge after dog found with embedded collar

From The Journal News

A town woman faces a misdemeanor animal-cruelty charge after an animal-control officer found her male pit bull dog roaming in town with a collar from an "invisible fence" embedded in its neck.
The dog owner, Lynne C. Schiller-Petti, 49, of 612 Route 6N, was charged Wednesday with animal cruelty and will have to appear at Carmel Town Court at later date.
The way in which the collar was embedded caused investigators to theorize that the collar was on the dog so long that his neck may have grown around it, an obvious case of cruelty, Putnam County SPCA Chief Ken Ross said
Carmel Animal Control Officer Krickett Dyckman found the dog roaming in the area of Route 6N on Tuesday night and took it to the Mahopac Animal Hospital after seeing the collar, which is used to give electric shocks to the dog when it leaves its property, deeply embedded in the dog's neck.
A veterinarian removed the collar, which had a PetSafe logo on it, and found three infected wounds that extended deep into the dog's neck. The three wounds matched the three electric prongs on the collar.
The dog, named Zeus, was seized by officers with the Putnam County SPCA and is being treated with antibiotics, Ross said today. It will remain for now in the custody of the SPCA.

SPCA investigates abuse of starving pit bull

By Elizabeth Evans, The York Dispatch

The York County SPCA's executive director can't fathom why no one alerted authorities that a pit bull was being starved to death.
"More people should have cared about her. All of us have a responsibility to do the right thing when it comes to a situation like this," Melissa Smith said. "It's rare when this happens that no one knows it's happening. ... People knew this dog was starving."
The future is still uncertain for the 3- to 4-year-old pit bull, found dumped in York City's Bantz Park on Monday evening, Smith said. SPCA staffers have named her Ava.
"This dog was so near death and, honestly, she still is," Smith said. "(Tuesday) night, I was really worried about her. She was just so listless. ... But (Wednesday) morning, she was sitting up, bright and alert, wagging her tail and happy to see us. ... So today is a hopeful day."
Still, Smith said, Ava's condition is touch-and-go.
"Has it gone too far? Has it affected her organs? I guess time will tell," she said. "You never know how far is too far gone."

Anguished eyes: Smith is trying to be optimistic about Ava's chances.

"She has very telling eyes," she said on Wednesday. "Yesterday I saw fear and anguish, but today I saw a little glimmer of hope - and of recognition. There was a tail wag, and she was as happy to see us today as we were to see her."
Ava weighs 27 pounds, primarily skin and bones. She's also suffering from significant pressure sores.
"If I were to speculate, I would say they're probably from her being confined to a crate or a cement basement," Smith said.
"We feel very strongly this dog was confined somewhere. Someone was purposely neglecting to give this dog water and sustenance."
It would have taken weeks for Ava's body to wither to this point, according to Smith -- weeks of what amounted to torture for the dog.
Smith said Ava's former owner is facing misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges, and urged anyone with information about the case to call the SPCA. "All complaints are treated as anonymous here," she said. "A lot of times I think people don't report (abuse) because of fear. The way people retaliate these days? I can understand that fear."

2 dogs, 1 park: Ava was found at the southeast end of Bantz Park, near the intersection of West College and Belvidere avenues, Smith said. It's the same park where, in January 2010, a school girl found and saved a badly abused dog that had been thrown in a trash can.

In Ava's case, someone saw her in the park and notified authorities. Police picked her up, and she was eventually taken to the Animal Emergency Clinic, then transferred to the SPCA shelter, Smith said.
"Whoever was responsible for getting help for this dog literally saved her life," Smith said. "She was very close to death ... and probably would've died if she had gone 24 more hours without care.
"This dog did not get up on Monday evening and run away from home -- she could barely walk," Smith said. "So I believe she was dumped in Bantz Park."

Never gets easier: Seeing dogs as badly neglected as Ava never gets easier, according to Smith.
"Every time we get a case like this, we think we can't be surprised anymore by what we see," she said. "But we are still shocked by the cold and callous behavior we see."

Ava's former owner could have dropped her off at the SPCA's Emigsville shelter, rather than starve her, Smith said.
If Ava can physically recover, and if her temperament remains good, she could be ready to be adopted in as little as three months, according to Smith.
"Right now, Ava seems very sweet," she said. 

Update July 5, 2011 - The following article is by Andrew Shaw, The York Dispatch:

Abused pit bull Ava's condition improving

Ava, the pit bull found nearly starved to death in York City last week, has two great pieces of news now going for her.
Most importantly, her health is getting better and better, according to Melissa Smith, executive director of the SPCA.
"We're very pleased with how she's coming along," Smith said. "If she had any underlying health issues, they would have presented themselves by now."
A woman found the 3- to 4-year-old pit bull dumped in York City's Bantz Park last week, possibly just a day or so away from starving to death and suffering from pressure sores. SPCA workers named her Ava.
Smith said Ava isn't quite in the clear yet, and still isn't much bigger than the skin-and-bones 27 pounds she weighed at the time
of her discovery. Her last weigh-in was about 28 pounds. As for the other good news, Ava might be one of the most popular dogs on Facebook right now.
A "Justice for Ava" Facebook fan page sprouted up to support the dog and to help find the person responsible for her.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it had more than 4,800 fans and was gaining more every hour from around the world. The page is not affiliated with the SPCA, and Smith said she can hardly believe how popular the page has become.
The Justice for Ava owners are keeping fans updated on Ava's condition and are urging anyone with information on Ava's owner to call the SPCA at 764-6109, ext. 127. The person responsible for Ava is facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Smith said she's also received some donations to help cover the cost for Ava's care, "which are greatly appreciated."
To make a donation or more learn about the SPCA, visit 

Update August 17, 2011 - The following article is by Elizabeth Evans, The York Dispatch:

Starved pit bull ready for new home

Ava, a pit bull that nearly starved to death before being dumped in a York City park, has gained more than just weight since being rescued by the York County SPCA about seven weeks ago.
In addition to a worldwide following of more than 6,050 well-wishers on the Facebook page "Justice for Ava," the 3- or 4-year old dog has made lots of young friends in York City and has just started "school," according to SPCA Executive Director Melissa Smith.
In the days after first meeting Ava, Smith remarked about the dog's soulful eyes -- and how those eyes initially told a story of anguish and fear.
"I don't see any sadness in her anymore," Smith said on Tuesday. "It seems now she's always excited and happy, and ready to go. That's very rewarding for us."
Ava weighed just 27 pounds when she came to the SPCA's Emigsville shelter on June 27 from Bantz Park. On Tuesday afternoon, she weighed 42 pounds, Smith said.

Forever home: Next up for Ava? Hopefully, a real home with a loving family.
"We are now taking adoption applications for Ava," Smith said. "And as of (Monday) night, she was officially enrolled in our Canine Good Citizen training program."
Although she's very playful and friendly, Ava is a bit high-strung and needs guardians who will provide her with the significant exercise she needs, plus calm, consistent discipline.
"She's still a little nervous sometimes when people approach her quickly and she's not expecting it," Smith said. "We're looking for somebody with pit bull experience ... someone who is assertive and knowledgeable."
Ava would do fine in a home with larger dogs, but she's a bit iffy with small dogs and cats, according to Smith.
"She would probably do OK with older kids, maybe young teens and up," Smith said. "This kennel environment is not providing her with everything she needs. Adequate exercise will help her tremendously."
Smith feels confident Ava will flourish in a stable home.

Celebrity appearance: The York County SPCA recently wrapped up its pit bull training and awareness program for York City youths, and Ava made a guest appearance at the last class, Smith said.
"A couple of the kids in the program had been asking about Ava," Smith said. "So on our last visit, on Aug. 5, we decided to take Ava as the finale of the program."
The youths were thrilled, and crowded around Ava waiting for the chance to pet her and have their pictures taken with her, Smith said.
"Ava did so great with the kids ... jumping around and happy and healthy," Smith said.
It was also a great way to end the program, she said, because Ava is a perfect example of the positive changes that can be made by being a voice for animals.
"It was a great day for Ava as well," Smith said. "I think she had a good time."

Reward: A $500 reward is still being offered for tips that lead to the arrest of the person who neglected Ava. Tipsters can remain anonymous, Smith said.
"We do have a good lead at this time that we are pursuing," she said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: To adopt Ava, visit the York County SPCA's Emigsville shelter at 3159 Susquehanna Trail North; to make a donation or for information on hours and adoption applications, go to Anyone with information about who neglected Ava is urged to call Animal Humane Office Nicole Boyer at 764-6109, ext. 127.

Man injured, two pets die, in Lakewood house fire

By Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post

A man was injured and a dog and cat were killed in a house fire Wednesday night in Lakewood.
The injured man, who suffered slight burns, accidentally started the fire while lighting a cigarette after spilling grain alcohol, said Micki Trost, a West Metro Fire Protection District spokeswoman.
"The homeowner, who was in the basement, knocked over alcohol and went to light a match to a cigarette - it flashed," Trost said. "It spread through the basement."
The man who started the fire shouted out to alert four other adults in the home, including a woman who was asleep at the time.
The fire broke out about 9:15 p.m. at 5403 W. Mississippi Ave., Trost said.
The fire spread quickly upstairs into the main level of the ranch home, which was destroyed by the blaze. "When firefighters arrived there were some flames coming from the basement area and heavy smoke," Trost said. There were no working smoke alarms in the home.
A dog named Kicks died in the fire, along with a cat named Hartley. Another dog, named Shelby, was revived by firefighters who used a pet oxygen mask on the animal. A total of four dogs, all pit bulls, were in the home. Two of the dogs were not harmed.
The five adults who have been displaced by the fire are being aided by the American Red Cross.
Forty-five firefighters put out the blaze and crews wrapped up the scene at about 12:55 a.m., Trost said.
No firefighters were injured.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reward offered for cat killer

By Daniel Suddeath, News and Tribune

Cat was allegedly purposely let loose in room full of dogs

The New Albany-Floyd County Animal Control and Shelter is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the individual or individuals involved in the alleged inhumane killing of a cat in April.

According to NA-FC Animal Control Director David Hall, the shelter was contacted by a New Albany resident who alleged his cat was stolen about April 22 in the 1700 Block of East Oak Street.

Though the accounts have not been officially substantiated, Hall said the individual was later told by residents in the neighborhood the cat was stolen by people living in the area who then placed the animal in a room of dogs where it was mauled. It was a solid black cat named Shadow, according to Hall. He said the cat was allowed to roam outside, which was how it was likely abducted.

“Evidently, it was picked up by unknown individuals, then the individuals, I don’t know for what reason, decided it would be fun to toss it in a room with a bunch of dogs,” he said.

While the pet owner was alerted to the fate of the cat “through several different ways,” including conversations with people in the neighborhood, Hall said a witness has yet to come forward with enough information to pursue charges.

“That’s our downfall. We said this has happened but nobody has really come forward with anything positive,” Hall said. “Until we have somebody like that, it’s going to be very difficult for us to move forward.”

Police have investigated the claim but have run into the same issues as the shelter, Hall said. The shelter and police have leads and the pet owner has a good idea of who committed the crime, Hall said, but he added evidence is needed.

The shelter is putting up $500 for the reward, and the remainder has been committed by the Indiana chapter of the National Humane Society. It’s unusual for the shelter to offer a reward, but Hall said this situation needs to be rectified.

“Yes, it probably did happen, and yes it’s a heinous situation, but we have to have something to back it up with,” Hall said. “We wouldn’t have gone further if we didn’t think there’s someone who can help us.”

Reports from the pet owner and the shelter’s investigation tabbed pit bulls as the dogs that were likely involved in the incident, Hall said. He added harassment of the pet owner by the suspected parties involved may also have been a factor in the alleged crime.

Due to safety concerns, the News and Tribune declined to include the pet owner’s name in the story. The individual was contacted about the story and asked to comment, but had not returned the message as of press time.

If the allegations are true, Hall faults the people involved, not the breed of dog for the incident. He cautioned that letting pets roam outdoors has consequences.

“It makes an opportunity available for people to do something like this,” Hall said. “We really feel bad about this, and we don’t want to think there are people in New Albany like this but there are.”

Contact the animal shelter with information by phone at 812-948-5355.

Update July 6, 2011 - The following article is by Valerie Chinn, WDRB:

$2,000 offered for arrest of cat killer

The reward is even larger now for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of a violent cat killing in New Albany.
The pet owner has an idea of who killed his cat, but he doesn't have the evidence to prove it.
At the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter, there are many cats that need good homes. But what may have happened to one black cat has the shelter in shock.
Shelter Director David Hall says, "Our community is a very animal friendly community and it's very disappointing something like this would occur in our community."
A New Albany resident on East Oak Street says his black cat who was roaming outside was taken in late April and locked in a room with a pit bull, while people watched the dog maul his cat to death. Then he says his cat was thrown in the trash. He says the people who did this bragged about it to his neighbors.
Hall says, "Someone has to come forward. Right now, it's an unwitnessed crime. It's a crime that we know about it, but can't prove that anyone actually did it."
The reward posters are up all over the neighborhood. It was $1000 for information leading to an arrest and prosecution, but now the reward is $2000.
The money is coming from the New Albany-Floyd County shelter, the Humane Society of the U.S., and a private donor.
A pit bull owner lives on the street and says his dog always stays in a kennel, calling the mauling "evil." He's not sure who would've have hurt the cat.
Hall says, "Was this done to keep everyone else at bay? If you report it, similar things will happen to you... and that's scary."
Anyone with information can call police or the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter.

Update July 12, 2011 - The following article is from WDRB:
Reward increase for cat killer suspect

With no leads on a violent cat killing in New Albany, the Floyd County Humane Society has added another $500 to the reward money being offered.
That makes the reward is $2500 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of a suspect.
A New Albany resident on East Oak Street says his black cat was taken in late April and locked in a room with a pit bull while people watched the dog maul his cat to death.
He says he has an idea of who is responsible, but lacks the evidence to prove it.

Woman Bit, Small Dog Killed in Carlsbad

By Michael Gehlken, NBC San Diego

Owner: "It took it, shook it, tore it open and ripped it apart"

A Palm Springs woman was bit and her small dog was viciously killed by a large golden retriever mix Wednesday afternoon on a Carlsbad boardwalk, the victim's husband said.
The dog's handler, believed to be in his early 20s, idly watched the dog bite Rene Hillman, 55, above the right wrist and kill her dog before outrunning witnesses from a park north of Carlsbad Village Drive after 12:30 p.m., Bill Hillman said.
Hillman says he saw the attack while walking to purchase food. He ran to assist his wife and their white, six-pound Pomeranian, kicking the attacking dog twice in the head before it finally released, he said.
"It took it, shook it, tore it open and ripped it apart," Bill Hillman said. "The owner did nothing but hold his skateboard as his dog mauled my dog after mauling my wife. Then he ran away, and that's what made me the most upset ... It's just really sad. I can't believe a human being would do that. It's just very, very sad."
Hillman believes the dog weighed 110 to 120 pounds and was a golden retriever-Labrador mix. Witnesses told him the dog's barefooted owner was a local, he said.

The Hillman family lives in Palm Springs where they run Cool Dawg Store, a dog apparel company. Their dog, named Ewok, appears on the cover of the couple's company website.
Hillman said they were in town delivering merchandise to a San Diego County Fair vendor and stopped in Carlsbad to have a picnic with fish and chips.
Bill Hillman said Rene didn't see the dog charging until it was too late, but the couple's Pomeranian hid between her shortly in the final moments before the attack.
Rene Hillman may need rabies vaccinations if the man and dog are not located, he said, adding she has sustained six puncture wounds and was knocked down during the attack.
Bill Hillman said he hopes the man and dog are found.
"I don't want my wife to go through rabies shots or for this to happen to another person or another dog," he said.
Wednesday's attack was the latest in a series of incidents around the county.
On Tuesday, a 1 1/2-year-old pit bull bit his 40-year-old friend in Mountain View. The victim's father said his son was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday night after the dog bit "chunks" from his right arm.
On Friday, a dog attacked a 1-year-old in Chula Vista. The baby was taken to the hospital and animal services euthanized the dog, which a family member said was a pit bull. The pit bull was one of five dogs that lived in the house with the baby. A family member said the dog was “stupid and aggressive."
Earlier that day, a woman walking her dog in Grant Hill was attacked by a pit bull and a boxer. The woman’s dog was injured in the attack, and the boxer and pit bull were impounded by animal services and placed into quarantine.
A much more serious incident occurred on June 18, when Emako Mendoza was attacked at her home in the 5800 block of Alleghany in Paradise Hills around 6:30 a.m. when she went outside to get a newspaper. Mendoza's husband said the 75-year-old woman lost a leg and was in danger of losing an arm as a result of the attack by two pit bulls in her backyard.

After vicious pit bull attack, community rallies for Izze

By Shawn Smith, Shore News Today

The generosity and outpouring of support from the community has Lauree Fogelman feeling better these days.
She and her dog, Izze, are still recovering from a pit bull attack June 2 that left her with a fractured hand, tendon damage and puncture wounds.  Izzie is still being treated for an open wound to the chest left by the pit bull’s relentless attack.
Fogelman was walking Izze in her North Newark Avenue neighborhood the afternoon of Thursday, June 2 when a pit bull came barreling down the sidewalk at them. When she picked up Izze to protect him, the pit bull jumped and pulled her dog out of her hands, Fogelman said Monday, June 27.
Fogelman grabbed the pit bull by the head and tried to pull its jaws open while a neighbor came to the rescue before police arrived on the scene.
“I knew if I took my hands out of that dog’s mouth my dog would die and I wasn’t going to let my dog die that day,” Fogelman said. “This dog is like my baby.”
According to a police report, it took six police officers striking the dog numerous times with their batons before it released its grip and ran home to its owner, Omar Paz Juraez of North Newark Avenue.
“The Ventnor police were amazing,” Fogelman said. “They were relentless with trying to get dog off of us. They called Dr. (Jessica) Grant ahead of time and told her they would be bringing dog in that had been attacked. They had surgical team waiting for him and the surgery saved his life.”
She said five minutes yelling for help felt like five hours as she tried to wrestle the pit bull away from Izze, a cockapoo, which is cross between a cocker spaniel and poodle.
“They called me afterwards to see if I was OK and they called Dr. Grant to check on Izze. They were very, very compassionate and very kind,” Fogelman said.
And that was just the beginning of the support she has gotten from the community.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. there will be a fundraiser at the Log Cabin in Margate to help pay for Izze’s veterinary bills with hopes to continue a fund to help rescue dogs and other victims of dog attacks. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be bought by calling (609) 442-0072.
“Something good is going to come out of it for people who go through this and don’t have an amazing community of support network like I do, I’m fortunate,” said Fogelman.  “It’s been an amazing, eye-opening experience on so many levels.”
A social worker who works with hospice care, Fogelman said the attack has left her out of work through July due to hand surgery that was done June 7. She hopes to receive an update on her progress on Thursday.
“I understand needing help and the difficulties in asking for it,” she said.
She said she also knows that people can endure with the strength of themselves, their faith, the community, friends, and her case, a fiancée who is extremely loving and supportive.
“It makes you look to those things to see how lucky you are and fortunate you are,” Fogelman said.

“It’s really just wonderful for the local neighborhood community to help and giving money for a good cause, as far as helping rescue dogs.”
She said donations have already started coming in for the Aug. 14 event in the way of donated gift baskets, gift certificates and other items that will be raffled off.
She also said she hopes to find to way to prevent dog attacks from happening in the future.
“Have awareness to be careful when walking dogs because you never know,” she said. “Your life could change in a matter of 10 minutes. Knowing things like this can happen, something could be done and put in place to at least make owners more liable and responsible to protect people. I would never want this to happen to anyone again,” said Fogelman.
The fine that could be imposed on Paz, the dog owner, is capped at $1,000 according to police. Fogelman said she is awaiting a summons to appear in court.

Roseville man euthanizes dogs that allegedly killed neighbor's dogs

By Gordon Wilczynski, Daily Tribune

The Roseville owner of two dogs who allegedly mauled a neighbor’s mini-pinscher to death last week had the dogs euthanized over the weekend.

“I hated to do it, but I just cannot put up with this anymore,” said Louis Morin who was charged by Roseville police late last week with a probation violation. “No one saw my dogs kill her dog and I don’t think they did it.”

Morin was ordered last October by 39th District Judge Marco Santia in Roseville to keep his dogs under control in his backyard when they got into neighbor Jewel Kadelak’s back yard and killed one of her dogs. Santia put Morin on probation and set a fine.

Kadelak, who lives next door to Morin on Roseville Boulevard, said she came home last Wednesday and found her other dog dead in her backyard.

She called Roseville police and once again Morin was accused of letting his dogs roam and was arrested for violating the terms of his probation.

Roseville Deputy Police Chief Anthony Cona said both of his dogs were confiscated. They were taken to the Macomb County Animal Shelter where they were euthanized over the weekend, Morin said.

“I am trying to be a good neighbor, but nothing satisfied her (Kadelak),” Morin said on Tuesday. “Police said they saw a large hole under the wooden fence, but anyone could have dug it.”

Morin said one of the dogs that was euthanized was a Rottweiler and the other a pit bull.

“My dogs were not mean and were great with kids,” Morin said. “I don’t know why Jewel feels they were vicious.”

Rick Ross Sued After His Pit Bulls Kill A Neighbor's Dog

By Steven J. Horowitz, Hip Hop DX

Ricky Rozay is yet to apologize for his dog's deadly behavior, prompting his neighbor to file suit for $15,000 in damages

A neighbor is suing Rick Ross after three of his pit bulls escaped from his Atlanta, Georgia mansion in April and mauled her pet Yorkshire Terrier, who died in the attack.
The neighbor claims that the three-year-old puppy had “three large bit wounds on his back” as well as a “very large bit wound” around his neck. Police arrived on the scene freed the dog from the attack, but the owner was forced to euthanize the dog since the wounds were so extreme.
Ross was cited for the incident, but the neighbor also filed a lawsuit against the Teflon Don demanding $15,000 in court costs and damages. The neighbor claims that Ross is yet to apologize for the incident.

Update July 22, 2011 - The following article is by Andrew Winistorfer, Prefix:
Rick Ross Dog Lawsuit Case Dismissed

Back in June, it was reported that Rick Ross was being sued by one of his neighbors, who was alleging that one of Ross' pitbulls killed her yorkie. Today comes the news that, well, maybe Ross' pitbull did kill a yorkie, but his neighbor didn't serve the lawsuit to Ross correctly, so a judge has dismissed the case. But the neighbor is free to file the lawsuit again, and we could be very soon subjected to the sight of Ross in a court room. I wonder if he'll wear a shirt. [TMZ]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Father and son charged in pit bull attack

From Mercury News

Prosecutors have charged a Whittier father and son after they allegedly attacked a man and unleashed the family pit bull on him. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Tuesday that 51-year-old Richard Rudy Aragon and his 17-year-old son face assault with a deadly weapon and other charges in the case.
Prosecutors say the teenage boy tried to steal a man's wallet outside a Whittier apartment building. When the man resisted, the pair started fighting, at which point Aragon came to his son's aid and released the pit bull.
The dog bit both ear tips off the victim and the father and son allegedly kicked the man while he was being mauled.
The son's name was not released.
Aragon was being held in lieu of $130,000 bond.

Investigation continues into dead pit bulls

From The Island Packet

Two dead pit bulls found June 21 on property near Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head Island do not appear to have died from trauma, according to sheriff's Sgt. Robin McIntosh.
Beaufort County Animal Control officers continue to search for their owner, McIntosh said.
The full-grown male and female pit bulls were found wrapped in a towel June 21 and removed by Critter Management. The cause of death has not been determined. The dogs appeared to have been well cared for before their deaths, Joe Maffo, owner of Critter Management, has said.

Webb City council grants extension for pit bull owners

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni, The Joplin Globe

The City Council on Monday night amended its newly approved pit bull ban to establish a grace period for current residents or those now moving to the city.

The new ordinance provides an extension through 5 p.m. July 12 for residents to register their pit bulls. After that, no pit bulls will be allowed in the town.

After the ordinance was adopted on June 13, city leaders had discussed concerns that some residents might not have been aware of the requirement that they register their pit bulls. The earlier ordinance made it unlawful for anyone to have an unregistered pit bull in the city as soon as that ordinance was adopted.

The penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine of $200 to $500.

Councilmen Jerry Fisher and Don Darby requested that the ordinance be placed back on the council agenda so the extension could be added.

Pet owners seeking to register their pit bulls must provide proof of vaccinations including those for rabies and distemper. The cost for registration, good for one year, is $5. If the pet owner can provide proof that the animal has been spayed or neutered, the cost for registration is 50 cents.

Once an animal is registered with the city, the owner must renew the registration each year on June 1.

Animal welfare group upset with MPP

By Pat Cochrane, from The Independent

It is my opinion as well as the Coalition Against K9 Profiling that people talk the talk but rarely walk the walk regarding animal welfare issues.
This area's new animal awareness group has sent over three months of information packages on animal welfare to Lou Rinaldi MPP and has continually been denied an appointment with him. As a taxpayer for over 45 years, I am baffled that an MPP would refuse an appointment regarding animal welfare. In retrospect, Mr. Rinaldi did support Bill 132 to ban pit bull-style breeds which are seized and killed daily. Our beloved four-legged family members deserve much better. This archaic Liberal Bill 132 our MPP supports is akin to human racial profiling. Profiling of any group is unacceptable in Canada. Do we really want an MPP who supports killing of our dogs and won't grant an appointment to an animal welfare group?
People stand up and be a voice for the voiceless. Get involved in your community. You can make a difference. Contact or for more information.

Pit bull attacks woman, her dog on Queen Anne

From Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Kelli Rader was walking her dachshund 'Captain' on Monday evening when they ran into trouble.
They were on Nickerson Street in Queen Anne when a pit bull came charging at them.
"It leaped up and got my dog," Rader said. "And I wasn't going to let go of my dog."
A vicious struggle ensued as the pit bull tried to attack the dog Rader was desperately trying to protect.
"(The dog) dragged us around and made a mess out of us," said Rader. "And it grabbed on for more of a secure bite."
Rader sustained bruises, puncture wounds and cuts on her limbs and face. Captain sustained a gash on his nose.
But before things could get worse, help arrived.
"Then I look up .... and I'm like, 'Oh, thank God. Thank God!" said Rader.
James Lai and Ben Chuter say they didn't know exactly what was going on, but decided to find out. When they saw the pit bull, they grabbed a stick and stepped in to help.
"We saw the pit bull attacking her dog, and we started beating it until it ran away," Lai said.
Rader says she's seen this dog on the loose before. She said she tried to alert its owners, but nobody was home. The dog is believed to have slipped out by digging under the fence around its home.
A tearful woman came forward and claimed ownership of the pit bull. The woman said the dog, which she'd rescued from the pound, had never before hurt a person, but has had problems with other dogs.
Seattle police are turning the investigation over to animal control. The dog has not been seized.

Owner hangs pit bull cross after attack on boy

By Larissa Johnston, from The Gazette

A dog owner in Shirley, B.C., hanged an animal to death Friday after it attacked a five-year-old boy.
After the attack, police arrived on the scene. The chocolate lab-pit bull cross was dead and the owner, 39, admitted to hanging it in his backyard with its leash.
Neighbours had heard screaming and crying from up the street during the attack.
"It was the sound of human despair. It was like nothing I ever heard before," said Matt Robertson, who lives in the community some 35 kilometres west of Victoria.
"It was awful. It was absolutely chilling."
The young boy was sent to hospital, suffering a severe cut to his right cheek, and required emergency surgery.
He is expected to make a full recovery, but his current condition is unknown to police, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright.
The family knew the neighbour's dog, and the boy had been playing with it before the attack.
The owner grabbed the dog right away and hanged it without anyone seeing him do so.
RCMP passed the matter to the SPCA, which will investigate the case. Police have not released the dog owner's name because charges have not been laid.
If there is evidence of an offence, SPCA constables could recommend charges to the Crown, said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations.
But because it happened during the weekend, they have not yet received the file.
Dog owners are allowed to stop their pet during an attack, but cruelty after the attack is illegal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Seattle law cracks down on dangerous dogs

By Vanessa Ho, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Seattle officials will be able to destroy or banish dangerous dogs more easily, after the City Council toughened an animal law Monday by lowering the severity of injuries required to invoke enforcement.
The move was a response to a hearing examiner decision this year, involving a Madison Park pit bull that bit three people in the span of an hour.
Seattle animal officials had declared the dog dangerous and ordered it to be put down. But the examiner overturned the order, saying the dog had not inflicted enough damage to invoke Seattle's narrowly written dangerous dog law.
Under that law, a dangerous animal was one that inflicts a "severe injury," defined as death, broken bones, or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
None of the victims in last year's pit bull attack had wounds so severe.
"We have no vested interest in declaring more animals as dangerous," Seattle Animal Shelter director Don Jordan said Monday.
"But we need the latitude to do so. We need the abilty to keep our streets safe."
In toughening the law (pdf), the council broadened the definition of a "severe injury" to at least one broken bone, or one disfiguring wound requiring medical attention, such as sutures or sticky strips.
It also included nerve damage as a severe injury.
Jordan said a police officer had suffered permanent nerve damage after a dog bit the officer's hand. But there was little Jordan could do with the dog.
Another dog, a pit bull in Magnolia, had bitten off the lower lip of a man who tried to pet it this year. Jordan had declared that dog as dangerous and ordered it banished from the city. But the owner appealed, partly on grounds that the victim had suffered only one disfiguring wound.
"One could potentially argue that it was just one, and not multiple lacerations," Jordan said. The case is now pending before a hearing examiner.
Seattle receives about 600 "aggressive animal" complaints a year, of which 300 involve a bite. Seven dogs were administratively declared dangerous last year, a designation requiring that they be euthanized or sent to live outside the city.

Woman Behind Bars After Dog Found In Heat

By Candace McCowan, WREG

Vanessa Hogan says the sight was sickening. Sunday she says her family found her neighbors pitbull, once playful and healthy, now sick.

"The dog had no water, no food. The dog was chained up, had a thick chain on him and it was going through his skin. My brother was the one who saw it," said Hogan.

Hogan said the dog was in such bad shape she called Memphis Police.

"We stood in front of her house; it was about ten of us. She was talking crap telling us to go. There is a no trespassing sign, but we ignored. We barged in her gate and were feeding the dog a pack of hot dogs and a bucket of water," said Hogan.

According to the affidavit the dog was taken to the Memphis Animal Shelter. Doctor's there say the dog appeared to have suffered a heat stroke. The dog's condition was so bad, he had to be euthanized. 38 year old Debra West is now facing charges of animal cruelty.

Veterinarian Susan Heartsill says it takes only minutes for dogs to suffer in the heat

"Breathing really fast like they can't catch their breathe collapse, if they can't get up that is a big sign that there is a problem," said Heartsill.

She says already this season she has treated animals for heat stroke.

It's dangerous, even deadly and can be prevented.

"Make sure they have plenty of access to fresh water, and that they're not in what we call the oven affect, which would be a building or plastic encasement, because when the sun shines on that, it creates an oven environment," added Heartsill.

West is behind bars on a $3,500 bond. She is due in court Tuesday morning.

Naples woman shoots, kills boyfriend's dog


A Naples woman has been arrested after allegedly shooting her boyfriend's dog during an argument on Sunday.
Kelly Gresham, 43, has been charged with cruelty to animals, shooting a firearm indoors, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and battery.
According to a report from the Collier County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to 11141 Laakso Lane around 2:45 a.m.
A gray pitbull was found deceased in the front yard of the home due to an apparent gunshot wound.
Deputies spoke with witnesses Alexis A. Story, and Blake E. Wyatt, who say they had been to a bar earlier in the evening with Gresham and her boyfriend, Carlos Jesus Ramos.
Both witnesses told deputies that Gresham and Ramos started arguing at the bar and the group decided to leave.
On the drive home, they say the fighting continued and Gresham began punching Ramos on several different occasions.
When they arrived back at Gresham's residence on Laakso Lane, verbal arguments reportedly continued as Gresham disappeared into the bedroom.
It was at this time, witnesses told deputies, that several gunshots were heard coming from the bedroom.
An investigation of the bedroom revealed .380 caliber magazine, bullets, and one bullet casing as well as a plastic bag containing a wet bathing suit, a bloody towel, a bullet, and fecal matter.
No firearm was recovered.
Collier County Domestic Animal Services responded and removed the deceased dog from the scene.
Ramos advised deputies that the dog had been pregnant.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Judge to decide if dog is dangerous following attack complaints

By Lydia Wheeler, The Post-Star

A judge will decided the fate of a dog that allegedly bit a 7-year-old girl and an 85-year-old woman on separate occasions in less than one month’s time.
Brittany Creel told police her daughter Kadyn needed 36 stitches after Michael Christon’s pit bull bit her in the right cheek around 7:30 p.m. on May 27.
Kadyn was staying the night at her grandparents’ house at 118 Feeder Dam Road. She wanted to have a friend from the neighborhood sleep over and walked down the road to the friend’s house to pick up pajamas.
But when they passed Christon’s house at 142 Feeder Dam Road, Creel said a black pit bull ran past flags that marked the yard’s invisible electric fence, and tackled Kadyn.
The dog control officer and police were called and reports were filed, but Creel said the dog was never removed from Christon’s home until June 16.
Around 9 a.m. that morning, Julia Scoville, 85, of 163 Feeder Dam Road, was finishing a walk through the neighborhood when two dogs acting aggressively ran out of the front yard of 142 Feeder Dam Road, jumped on her from behind and knocked her down, according to court records.
Scoville refused to speak to a reporter about the incident last week, but the court records say she was taken to the Glens Falls Hospital by the Moreau Emergency Squad and treated for severe lacerations just below her right eye as a result of a dog bite.
After the second bite, it was discovered the dog’s rabies vaccination had expired on July, 14, 2010, according to court records. The dogs were tested after the second incident, and neither had rabies.
Town Dog Control Officer Dan Styczynski said the dog was taken to the Ballston Spa SPCA after the June 16 incident. It will be held there until after the dangerous dog hearing at the Moreau Town Court on Monday at 9:30 a.m.
According to New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, if the judge deems the dog dangerous, the court can order the dog to undergo a behavioral evaluation at the expense of the owner; be confined for a period of time; be on a leash with someone at least 21 years old or muzzled whenever in a public place; order the owner to obtain a liability insurance policy in an amount to be determined by the court, but not to exceed $100,000 for personal injury or deal resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog; or order the dog to be euthanized.
But Christon said his dogs are far from dangerous.
"My dogs are jumpers, half the dogs I know are. ... I have a 1-year-old and a 10-year-old that roll around on the floor with them. This whole thing is being blown out of proportion," he said.
Christon claims the black pit bull mix allegedly responsible for biting both Kadyn Creel and Scoville is really a mutt named Ares.
"He does have some pit bull in him, but he’s a mutt," he said.
Christon claimed he saw both incidents happen and had actually warned Kadyn Creel about the dog the day before.
"The two little girls keep walking in front of my house throwing sticks at my dog, and I told them the day before the incident happened that my dog would run out if they didn’t stop and the next day my dog ran out and tackled her," he said.
Christon claims Ares was only trying to lick both Kadyn Creel and Scoville when he accidentally caught them with his claw.
Accident or not, Creel said she has spent over $10,000 in medical bills because of Christon’s dog, and her daughter will now have a scar.
She said she feels both Christon and the dog control officer were both negligent.
Christon, she said, should have kept the dogs in the back yard where there is a privacy fence after her daughter was bit. The dog control office should have realized the rabies shots were out of date after the first incident, she added.
Creel’s lawyer, Tucker Stanclift of Glens Falls, is investigating whether a negligence lawsuit can be brought against Christon or the town of Moreau, or both.
The purpose of a negligence claim, Stanclift said, is to compensate the injured party for their losses, including medical and past and future pain and suffering.
"I wouldn’t want to be a young girl with a scar on my face for the rest of my life," he said
As for Monday’s hearing, Christon said there is no reason for the judge to order his dog to be euthanized.
"He’s not vicious. If he’s guilty of anything, it’s being stupid," he said.

Update June 28, 2011 - The following article is by Jon Alexander, The Post-Star:
Moreau dog will not be euthanized

A pitbull mix that recently bit a child and an elderly woman will not be euthanized, according to a decision rendered Monday in Moreau Town Court.
Judge Timothy Alden declared the 2-year-old pit bull mix dangerous. The court imposed a $400 fine on the dog's owner, Michael N. Christon, of 142 Feeder Dam Road.
According to court documents, the dog bit 7-year-old Kadyn Creel in the cheek after escaping from Christon's yard on the evening of May 27.
On June 16, the dog bit 85-year-old Julia Scoville after again escaping from the yard.
Both victims reported facial lacerations and incurred medical bills because of the incidents.
Alden could have had to dog euthanized, but instead ordered five conditions, including the payment of the $400 fine, that will allow
Christon to keep the canine:
- Christon must erect a fence that won't allow the dog's escape;
- The dog must be muzzled, leashed and under the control of an adult aged 21 or older whenever off premises;
- The dog must be neutered;
- The dog must have a microchip implanted beneath its skin within 30 days.
Christon will be responsible for financing the last two procedures and providing proof to the town animal control officer.
An invisible, electric fence is currently the only barrier between the dog and the outside world.
Tucker Stanclift, the lawyer for the young girl's mother, Brittany Creel, is investigating whether a negligence lawsuit can be brought against Christon or the town of Moreau, or both.
Christon said late last week that he witnessed the first incident and believes the dog was trying to lick the girl's face.

2 Ohio cities judge dogs on behavior, not breed

From Westport News

Two of Ohio's largest cities have decided not to label dogs as dangerous simply because they're a certain type of dog, and a proposal being considered by Ohio lawmakers would make a similar change to state law.
The Blade in Toledo reports the city council in Cleveland has decided to change its vicious dog rules so the animals are classified by their behavior, not because they're a specific breed or type of dog, such as a pit bull. Toledo made that change when it revamped its dog regulations last fall.
Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone pushed for the changes there and says it seemed wrong to categorize a whole breed of dogs as being bad.
Supporters of existing regulations that single out pit bulls say it's better to be overly cautious.

Time to get tough on animal abuse

By Donn Esmonde, The Buffalo News

There is a lot wrong with this picture, and I am not just talking about what was on YouTube.
David Roman was arrested last week and charged with animal cruelty for pummeling his sister’s dog, Diamond, on a Black Rock street. The stomach-turning beating of the pit bull mix—who did not resist—was covertly recorded by a passer-by, who briefly posted it online.
The recording led police to Roman’s door. He is in the Erie County Holding Center until a Monday court hearing. Even if convicted, that may—sadly—be all the jail time he gets.
I saw the recording of the dog—who is recovering—being kicked, then repeatedly punched as it lay on its back. I think the sicko who did it (Roman reportedly claims it wasn’t him) should be locked up for more than a long weekend. But the state’s animal cruelty laws are weak, and judges seldom bring down the hammer. Even a recording of the beating of a leashed dog may not be enough to slam the cell door.
Something is wrong, and state lawmakers need to fix it.
The heartbreaking thing about the recording is, no matter how hard he tries, the abuser cannot beat the trust out of the dog.
“He kept saying [on the recording], ‘Come here, Diamond,’ and the dog kept coming back,” the SPCA’s Barbara Carr said. “That’s how we got [Roman]. Once we had the dog’s name, we went into the neighborhood and knocked on doors.”
Unfortunately, the punishment in these cases seldom fits the crime. Unless the pet is killed or maimed, abuse is not a felony. Even when there is a corpse or broken bones, it usually is prosecuted as a lesser-charge misdemeanor. To get a felony conviction, prosecutors have the tough job of proving the abuser wanted to badly hurt the animal. Unless the victim is Mr. Ed, convictions are tough to come by.
It is beyond ridiculous—yet it is the ice upon which many an abuser skates out of court.
The other problem, to my mind, is judges who do not take animal abuse seriously. Look around. Aurora’s Beth Hoskins is accused of hoarding thoroughbreds. It has been fifteen months since the SPCA seized 73 horses on her farm. The SPCA’s care bill exceeds a half-million dollars. Yet the case remains stalled in Judge Joseph Glownia’s civil court, and in Town Judge Joseph Marky’s criminal court.
Recall the tortured rationale by which Buffalo Judge Phillip Marshall last year turned loose Gary Korkuc, who was accused of marinating his cat in his car trunk. Nor can we forget the gentle hand West Seneca Judge Richard Scott extended two years ago to Fred Grasso, Lackawanna’s poor excuse for an animal control officer. Grasso claimed self-defense after shooting dead a mother cat and two “attack kittens” in an apartment building basement.
The beat goes on—as do the beatings.
The law and the courts have yet to catch up to the grim reality of animal abuse. I think there is an analogy to how domestic violence cases were dealt with 25 years ago, and the tougher stance that cops, courts and prosecutors take today. It took a while, but eyes were opened. Unfortunately, the legal view of animal cruelty remains blind.
Frank Sedita III, Erie County’s district attorney, thinks that animal abuse should be treated like the crime it is. It has for a century been part of Agriculture and Marketing law—not criminal law.
“Place [animal abuse] under the penal law, so everyone understands it is a crime,” Sedita said. “Give it different degrees of punishment, depending on the seriousness of the offense—like we do with assault. “Then the legal community will take it seriously.”
It sounds like a plan. If Diamond could talk, I think she would agree.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dog survives gunshot near Michael Jackson’s Las Vegas home

By Ashley Kringen, KVVU

A celebration of Michael Jackson's life turned chaotic after a Metro officer was forced to shoot a pit-bull that chased after him, according to Officer Weiskopf.
Metro was called to 2710 Palomino Lane to regulate anxious patrons trying to bypass property gates to go inside Michael Jackson's Las Vegas home.
After Metro made contact with some patrons, a group of individuals left on foot down Shetland road, a street that intersects with the 2700 block of Palomino Lane.
The officer that made contact with the individuals noticed that one of the patrons might have a warrant and started to follow the group down Shetland Road.
As the officer pursued the group, a black pit bull in a nearby yard started running towards the officer.
A gate separated the dog from the officer but somehow the dog forced itself through the gate and started after the officer.
The officer tried to retreat but the dog continued to gain speed, which forced the officer to release fire, hitting the dog.
Owners of the dog rushed their pet to the veterinarian to receive care.

Put blame for dog tragedies where it belongs

By Sherry Davis, from The Bakersfield Californian

On June 19, a 75-year-old San Diego woman had a leg amputation, suffered a heart attack, and may still lose one of her arms and the other leg after two neighbor dogs broke through the fence and attacked her in her own backyard, according to a report from NBC's KNSD 7/39 San Diego.
On June 16, two next-door neighbor dogs escaped their yard and attacked a 74-year-old Florida man while he was working in his yard, according to a report at
They ripped off one arm, nearly detached the second one, and severely disfigured his face. Suffering brain damage from blood loss, he later died, reported.
These dogs had allegedly attacked a man in 2010, but the owner was never charged, the report said.
In February 2010, three Fontana children were mauled by five dogs that attacked them while they were walking with their mother along the railroad tracks, another report said.
A 5-year-old girl was hospitalized in critical condition with a crushed chest, her 6-year-old brother received more than 250 staples to close a wound in his leg, and her 7-year-old sister was treated for bite wounds and released.
The dogs' owners were sentenced to four years and four months each after prosecutors proved that the owners knew the aggressive nature of the dogs and showed that the dogs had escaped through what Animal Control officers described as "well-worn holes dug under the fence" where the dogs were kept as yard dogs and constantly charged passersby in barrier frustration, stated.
While the first two occurrences were attacks by pit bulls, the five-dog attack was committed by a 91-pound mastiff, two pit bulls and two mixed-breeds.
All of the attacks were by multiple dogs.
And all of the dogs had escaped their yards.
Although attacks like these have caused some breeds to be labeled as "bad," I refuse to buy into that theory. I have trained many of the bully and mastiffs breeds and have certified quite a few as therapy dogs.
These so-called "power breeds" get their bad raps and sensationalistic headlines because of the damage they do when they bite. Not because they are more likely to bite.
When you don't socialize these breeds, yet confine them without sufficient exercise in inadequate and frustration-provoking enclosures, and don't provide training and mental stimulation for dogs that are high-prey and/or bred to work, you are laying the groundwork to create their aggression.
Add multiple dogs to a dynamic that builds over months or years, throw in a gate left unlatched or a loose board and you can see how these tragic attacks play out time and tine again in a perfect storm.
Once in a while I will run across a dog who by nature of its breeding is such a genetic mess that nothing can be done to change its aggressive nature, and that is no more likely to show up in one breed than another.
But the majority of the dogs involved in these attacks don't fall into that category; they weren't born that way. They were simply the products of ignorance and mismanagement by owners who gave no thought whatsoever to how their complete lack of responsible dog ownership would tragically alter other people's lives forever.
A study performed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, The Center For Disease Control and The Humane Society of The United States released in June 2010 analyzed dog bite statistics from the last 20 years and found "the statistics don't show that any breeds are inherently more dangerous than others." The study showed that the most popular large breed dogs at any one time were consistently on the list that bit fatally.
"There were a high number of fatal bites from Doberman Pinchers in the 1970s for example, because the Dobermans were very popular at that time, there were more Dobermans around, and because the Doberman's size makes their bite more dangerous. The number of fatal bites from pit bulls rose in the 1980s for the same reason, and the number of bites from Rottweilers in the 1990s," the study says.
The study also noted "there are no reliable statistics for non-fatal dog bites so there is no way to know how often smaller breeds bite."
It went on to say that "biting has more to do with the circumstances, behavior, training (or lack thereof), and ignorance on the part of human beings."
In 2001 a small Pomeranian killed a six-week old baby when the child was left unattended by its caretaker.
Let's put the blame for these tragedies where it belongs.

Family says rare puppy was stolen

By Meg McNamara, KLEW

Why would anyone take a puppy that didn't belong to them? That's the question a Lewiston family is asking.

Jayare Gallegos and Linda Baker said their valuable pit bull puppy was stolen on Monday. They said Tundra is rare because she's white with blue eyes.

The puppy and the family's two Jack Russel Terriers got out through a gate that had been accidentally left open.

A family friend said they saw two women in a red Ford Windstar minivan pull over in front of their house and take Tundra, leaving the other two dogs behind. And that, according to Lewiston Police Captain Tom Greene, is what makes it a theft.

Greene said stolen puppies are a very rare occurrence in town.

12-year-old Hannah's worst fear is that someone may be mistreating her puppy.

"We don't want that because if people are gonna treat her badly then she's gonna treat other people badly," said Helm.

"I miss her being with this family," said Helm.

"Whoever has our dog, please return her," said Gallegos. "She belongs to our family and she should be at home with her family."

"There's four kids that miss her and two more dogs that are a little confused right now," said Baker.

If you have any information about this reported theft, you can contact Lewiston Police.

Related articles:

  • Stolen N. Idaho puppy pit bull has rare combination of traits - Daily Reporter

Ohio Pit Bull owner issued summons for harboring a 'dangerous animal'

From Mansfield News Journal

200 block of Lexington Avenue, Mansfield -- Police responding to a report of a suspicious person Wednesday night tried to stop a 36-year-old man, who reportedly ran inside a residence. Officers knocked on the door but got no answer, so they forced entry. A 52-year-old man who was sitting on the couch told police he didn't answer the door because he does not live there. The 36-year-old was arrested for obstructing official business. The 52-year-old was issued a summons for the same charge but was released. A 22-year-old woman who arrived and admitted ownership of a pit bull-mix was issued summonses for harboring a dangerous animal and failure to register a dog.

Man Tased After Drunk Driving Chase


A drunken driver was arrested early Saturday morning after he hit a squad car and needed to be tased.
Police were called to a fight at the Pup Bar in the Village of Dane at around 1 a.m.
When authorities arrived, 54-year-old suspect Rollien Brown grabbed his pit bull terrier and took off, driving drunk down Highway 113.
Police pulled over Brown at the intersection of Highway 113 and County Road V. Police approached but Brown refused to exit his vehicle. Instead, he pulled a U-turn and ended up striking a squad car.
Brown continued down Highway 113 and police laid down spike strips. His front tires were punctured, but Brown continued to drive on his rims all the way back to his house in Dane.
Brown finally got out of his car when he arrived at his home on North Street. He continued to resist police and needed to be tased and taken into custody.
Brown faces charges of 5th Offense Felony OWI, Evading, Resisting Arrest and Causing Property Damage. His dog was taken into custody by a neighbor.

Update June 25, 2011 - The preceding article has been updated with additional details including that a neighbor had taken control of the dog at the time of Rollien Brown's arrest.

Q-C man recovering from dog attack

By Steve Martens, Quad City Times

Nursing a broken collarbone and covered with scrapes and bite marks, Ted Woodruff said Friday he felt fortunate not to have been more seriously injured when he was attacked by two pit bulls Wednesday while riding his bicycle at Credit Island Park in Davenport.
Woodruff, 63, said he was riding his bike in the park late Wednesday afternoon when he noticed two dogs coming toward him from the side.
Woodruff, who lives in Davenport and is a professor of economics at St. Ambrose University, said he frequently rides his bike or jogs and has encountered dogs before. He said experience taught him that if he kept riding, the dogs likely would chase him. But if he got off his bike and confronted them, they would leave him alone.
“Not with these,” he said.
Woodruff said as the dogs attacked him, he used his bike to try to fend them off. But as he held one dog at bay, the other would circle around behind him and bite him.
Woodruff said as he began turning in a circle, holding the bike in front of him, he became dizzy and fell to the ground. After he got up and fell again, Woodruff said he stayed down.
“I just laid on the ground, thinking they would eat me alive,” he said.
To his surprise, once he laid down and stopped moving, the dogs stopped attacking him, he said.
Fortunately for Woodruff, Mike and Jen Allen, Davenport natives who now live in Austin, Texas, were in town visiting their parents. Mike had decided to show friends from Texas who had come along on the trip his old fishing spots at Credit Island.
Jen Allen said they were in their car when they came across Woodruff, and initially thought he had fallen off his bike. She said they then saw the dogs, and thought Woodruff was playing with them.
“Then we saw he was bloody,” she said.
She said her husband called 911, and the group waited with Woodruff until paramedics arrived.
Animal control officers took the dogs into custody. They must remain at the Humane Society of Scott County for 10 days to make sure they don’t have rabies, said Pam Arndt, the organization’s executive director. She said the owners of the dogs have been identified.
Arndt said the owners are the subject of another investigation being conducted by the Humane Society, and it has not been determined if the dogs will be returned to them.
Woodruff spent Wednesday night in a Quad-City hospital, but said Friday his most painful injury was the broken collarbone he believes he sustained when he fell on the ground.
He said he was grateful for the help he received.
“I was just so lucky,” he said.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Largo woman thinks grudge led to her pit bulls being shot; one fatally

By Lorri Helfand and Shirl Kennedy, St. Petersburg Times

Mary Green thought she heard gunshots early one morning last week. But when she peeked out the window, she didn't see anything unusual.
A few hours later, she went out to the kennel beside her house to feed her 2-year-old pit bulls, Sheba and Reba. She expected them to jump up and greet her. But Sheba was limping around the cage. Reba was dead, lying in a pool of blood.
"I literally fainted," said Green, 58. "It was a sight to see. My dogs didn't bother anybody."
Authorities say Marquise C. Haynes shot both dogs. Haynes, who also uses the last name Lumpkin, didn't like that Green's nephew was talking to his girlfriend, according to an arrest report.
"He was having a beef with one of my nephews. I guess he thought the dogs were his," said Green, who lives on Ulmerton Road in an unincorporated area near Largo. "But that didn't give him any reason to come and shoot my dogs."
Wednesday, Haynes was arrested on two charges of animal cruelty. Reba, the dog that died, was shot in the neck, while Sheba was shot on her left side just below the chest, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is collecting evidence in the case.
The wounded Sheba was initially taken to an animal hospital, but Green couldn't afford to pay for surgery. She signed her rights to Sheba over to the SPCA so the dog could get medical care, said SPCA Tampa Bay lead investigator Jill Purl. SPCA veterinarians were able to remove the bullet. And Sheba's "doing fine," Purl said.
"She's a sweet little dog," Purl said, and will definitely be eligible for adoption. But she won't be ready until her wound heals. Purl said Green can't adopt Sheba because she relinquished her rights.
Haynes was also arrested on suspicion of burglary at another location on Wednesday. He was already in jail when law enforcement tried unsuccessfully to question him. He had been arrested by Largo police on June 14 on a charge of domestic battery by strangulation.
Haynes has been arrested about 20 times in Florida, according to law enforcement records. Bail was set at $40,000.
The dogs were shot on June 13. Someone later called Green and told her that Haynes was the shooter.
Green said Haynes used to come over and play video games with her nephew. "I am going to press charges because he had no business coming in my yard and shooting my dogs," she said.

Nuisance dog disposed of

By Jeremy Pittari, The Picayune Item

A dog that has been a nuisance to residents along Cooper Road is  no longer a problem.

That dog, which has been terrorizing residents in subdivisions along Cooper Road for the past two years since its owner abandoned it, was captured by an individual on Wednesday.

Picayune Police Public Information Officer Capt. Chad Dorn said he received a report Wednesday that the dog became vicious with an individual that day and that the individual defended themselves, killing the dog. The animal’s remains have been sent off for rabies testing.

Twelve Oaks resident Betsy Gobuzzi said the dog, described as a pitbull, had been roaming the area of Cooper Road for the past two years, and at times had been vicious. In the past two years the dog has had two litters, one of which Gobuzzi said she and her brother took to the local animal shelter. Recently the dog had a second litter of puppies, Gobuzzi said. Dorn did not have any information on the whereabouts of the puppies but suspects they are still in that area.

Gobuzzi told the Item Tuesday that she has tried several times to get the local animal control officer out to capture the animal, but they were unsuccessful.

She said Monday she received a call from a Woods resident who had been bitten by the dog while taking a morning walk. That neighbor also told Gobuzzi that another person in the same subdivision was bitten by the same dog the same day.

Dorn said the Police Department received a couple of calls that the dog had bitten people on Monday, but the callers declined to file a report.

Dog killed

From Democrat Herald

A pit bull and a yorkie were both on leashes with their owners in the 600 block of Third Avenue about 7 p.m. Wednesday when the two dogs met up. The pit bull bit the yorkie, killing him. No charges were filed against the pit bull owner because there was no negligence, said Lt. Marv Hammersley.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dog attack puts woman in hospital

By Susan McFarland, Star-Telegram

A 35-year-old Fort Worth woman was taken to the hospital early Thursday after being attacked by dogs, police reported.
Officers were sent at 3:13 a.m. to the 1700 block of Vaughn Boulevard, where they found the woman lying on a curb with injuries on her neck, back and legs.
Witnesses told police that they saw five pit bulls attack her as she walked down the street.
The dogs were described as a black adult, a brown adult and three smaller dogs. The witnesses pointed out a house where they believed the dogs live.
There, officers found two black and one white mastiff.
Each was secure in a cage, and there was no apparent way the dogs could have escaped, the report said.

Trenton pit bull survives after being shot in the head by police during foot chase of drug dealer

By Alex Zdan, The Times

Two police officers were injured and a pit bull shot in the head during a foot chase of an alleged crack cocaine dealer on Walnut Avenue Thursday morning, police said.
Two detectives from the Trenton Anti-Crime (TAC) unit were driving on the 100 block of Walnut Avenue when they saw 30-year-old Abdul Tatilla of East Orange allegedly involved in an apparent drug transaction with a woman.
Tatilla bent down and placed a baggie allegedly containing crack cocaine in his right sock, police said. When the detectives approached him, he allegedly elbowed one in the face before taking off running, police said.
“The arrestee kept striking the detectives several times about the face and body,” police spokesman Sgt. Tom McDonough said, before he ran up Walnut toward Monmouth Street.
Backup officers converged on the scene as Tatilla ran into an open doorway further down the block and tried to slam the door on the detectives before he ran out of the house into the backyard. One of the detectives was able to follow him, but Tatilla allegedly tried to hide behind a large pile of chopped wood in the backyard, police said.
The detective found Tatilla, and Tatilla allegedly began fighting with the detective. At that moment Detective Eliezer Ramos ran up Morton Alley on the other side of the fence from the two men. He tried to get over the fence and into the yard, but a large black and white pit bull came at him, police said.
With the dog displaying signs of aggression, Ramos shot it once in the head and the dog ran away. Ramos was then able to get into the yard.
Tatilla continued struggling until other officers arrived and took him into custody, police said.
The dog survived the bullet wound and did not need medical treatment.
Officers recovered the crack cocaine and $367 cash from Tatilla. Police said they believe the money to be cash from drug sales.
One of the TAC detectives suffered a broken right hand and a laceration to his chin, while the other sustained brushing to his left hand and thumb.
Tatilla was sprayed with pepper spray during the struggle but did not need to be treated at a hospital. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, and multiple drug offenses.
Internal Affairs detectives were called out to investigate the shooting of the pit bull, as is the procedure any time an officer discharges his weapon.

Associated Humane Societies to appeal Patrick the pit bull custody ruling

By Eunice Lee, The Star-Ledger

The Associated Humane Societies is appealing a judge’s ruling made earlier this month in the custody battle for Patrick the pit bull. AHS submitted an application June 16 seeking to remove Patrick from Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls.
The application, submitted by attorney Harry Levin on behalf of AHS, says Patrick is being "sequestered" in a place "lacking essential services and conditions to rehabilitate the animal."
AHS also claims that keeping Patrick at the hospital "will result in a ‘constructive adoption’ as a staff member wants to keep the dog." Hospital administrator Patricia Smillie-Scavelli has said she wants to adopt Patrick.
AHS wanted to move Patrick to its facility at Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River but a judge ruled June 2 that the dog should stay at the hospital during the trial of Kisha Curtis.
Curtis, 27, of Newark, was accused of animal cruelty after the 1-year-old pit bull was found starved and weighing just 19 pounds in an apartment Dumpster March 16. He now weighs 44 pounds, the hospital says.

Update June 27, 2011 - The following article is by Eunice Lee, The Star-Ledger:
Associated Humane Societies try to gain custody of Patrick the celebrity pit bull

The Associated Humane Societies had its latest try to gain custody of Patrick the pit bull.
Superior Court Judge Clarkson Fisher Jr. affirmed Thursday that Patrick will stay at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls during the criminal trial of Kisha Curtis, who faces animal cruelty charges. The dog is considered evidence in the case and is now in legal custody of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
AHS applied June 16 to remove Patrick. In the past, humane society officials said they wanted to move the pit bull to its facility at Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River.
The judge, sitting in Newark, said the appeal by AHS was "devoid of evidence even suggesting this dog’s health or welfare are at risk in the hospital where its condition has improved."

Presa canario breed ban

From Hawkes Bay Today

An import ban has been imposed on the fighting dog breed perro de presa canario under an order approved by Parliament this week.

The breed is commonly known as presa canario and none of the dogs are known to be in New Zealand.

Associate Local Government Minister Craig Foss said the ban, recommended by the local government select committee, was a precautionary measure to stop the breed becoming established here.

"It is a large, heavy dog with powerful jaws ... the breed originates from the Canary Islands, where it has been used for organised dog fights," he said. "There have been two known fatal attacks in the United States involving the breed since 2001."

The presa canario is now on the banned list along with several other breeds, including the American pitbull.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When is enough, enough?

I've just read, with profound anger, sorrow, and disgust, about seven-year old Javon Roberson, attacked and critically injured while playing on the swings AT A CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND in East Savannah by two "pit bulls."
I would hope that most who follow my blogs and social media can sense and understand how much I love my dogs, as well as dogs and animals in general. I would, literally and figuratively, fight to the death in order to protect my dogs.
If you go to websites such as, whether you think it biased or not, you can see the FAR TOO MANY tragic incidences by pit bull-type and non-pit bull-type breeds, alike.
According to the latest report by Merritt Clifton, posted here yesterday, in a period just ninety days shy of 30 years, 4,131 dogs have been involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on 1,609 children and 981 adults in the U.S. and Canada. The results: 410 dead, 1,814 disfigured.
Mr. Clifton's report goes on to state that of  the 4,131 attacking dogs, 1,920 were pit bulls.
Some pit bull advocates will continue to call to attention the fact that this study is a product of media reports and therefor inaccurate as to the dog's breed, among other arguments and threat-filled rhetoric.
Some pit bull 'haters' will continue to use this study to suggest banning the breed or advocating for breed-specific legislation, among other arguments and insult-fests.
Meanwhile, today the total number of attacking dogs continues to rise along with the number of victims.
We need laws that enact severe penalties against offending dog owners, and we need tough laws put in place that would have had the ability to stop 4,133 attacking dogs, not just 1,922.
The laws in Mississippi's 2011 SB 2775 are a great starting point.
We have failed Javon Roberson and the almost countless other dog attack victims before him.
We need to do this NOW. Everywhere. For the people's safety and for the safety of our dogs. All of our dogs.
Then we can go back to calling each other out on our ignorance, intelligence, and penis sizes.

Billings entertainer Ian Elliot survives knife attack

By Jaci Webb, Billings Gazette

With a 7-inch gash down his neck, the left side of his face bruised and swollen, Ian Elliot was wisecracking in his hospital room at St. Vincent Healthcare on Tuesday, just four days after he was attacked by a tenant early Saturday.
He was released from the hospital Tuesday evening.
But the story he told of the attack by a 20-year-old man who overpowered him as Elliot tried to protect the man’s 19-year-old girlfriend and Elliot’s 85-year-old mother was horrifying. Elliot, a familiar face on the local arts scene who organizes Koncerts for Kids and has led various theater groups, tried to temper the grisly details with a few jokes.
“I’m a strong Scot,” Elliot said. “If you play bagpipes, you can survive anything.”
Elliot, 59, said he rented his basement apartment to a young couple about a month ago, selecting them because the woman said they’d have to sleep in their car if he wouldn’t rent them the apartment. Right away, Elliot wasn’t fond of the woman’s pit bull, but he said he felt sorry for the couple.
“I wasn’t just their landlord. I tried to be like an uncle to them. Just the day before, Dustin came upstairs and asked me for some salt for a casserole he was cooking. I tried to help these kids out,” Elliot said, referring to the woman’s boyfriend, Dustin Greg Kaufman.
Elliot had moved his elderly mother into his home in February and because she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, she often wakes up disoriented in the middle of the night. That’s what she did around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Elliot said he heard his mother call for help on a baby monitor that he keeps in his bedroom. Elliot said he went into his mother’s room on the main floor of his West End home to comfort her. That’s when he heard loud voices coming from the basement apartment, he said.
“I heard ‘If you leave me, I’ll kill you.’ It led me to believe that something major was going on. I called 911 before I intervened, and that was important that I did that first,” he said.
Elliot said he asked the couple to quiet down, but the woman yelled as she ran up the stairs, ‘Just leave. He’s gonna kill me.’”
Elliot said he tried to calm Kaufman down and asked him to leave the house.
“He almost bought it and started back down the stairs, but then he turned and headed up. That’s when she got behind me,” Elliot said.
He said the three of them ended up in the kitchen next to the dining room, which Elliot had converted into his mother’s bedroom.
“She pulled me into the other room and we shut the door. I put a straw chair against the door, but it was too late. Dustin outweighs me by 60 pounds and he hit me hard. I turned to Mom and she was splattered with blood. It turned out to be mine,” Elliot said.
Elliot didn’t realize it at the time, but he had been stabbed in the neck. He had a gash in his neck just inches from his jugular vein. Elliot also was stabbed twice in the back and had lacerations on his face.
Elliot said he grabbed pans from the kitchen and hit Kaufman three different times, and the last time Kaufman stayed down for half a minute.
“I thought, ‘What if I killed him?’ But he got back up, and I figured maybe I should buy a cast iron pan.”
Three Billings police officers arrived minutes later. Elliot, his mother, and the 19-year-old woman all survived the attack. Elliot believes that without his intervention, the woman and perhaps Kaufman would be dead.
“I told the officer, ‘I want to press charges.’ I want him to get locked up, but I also want him to get treatment,” Elliot said.
He said he warned the young woman to break off the relationship.
“When they wheeled him out on the stretcher, he said, ‘I love you, babe.’ I told her, ‘You know this is not love.’ She said she knew that.”
Elliot expects to make a full recovery and though he is having trouble sleeping, he believes he will be well enough to celebrate his 60th birthday on July 2 with friends at his annual jam session bash. The young woman’s adopted family has offered to pay medical expenses for what Elliot’s insurance doesn’t pick up, and another donor paid to have Elliot’s home cleaned after the attack. A friend was cooking him dinner.
“I’ve had near-death experiences before,” Elliot said. “Sometimes I think, ‘What else are you going to do to me?’’’

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hazel Park police shoot, kill pit bull during domestic assault arrest

By Michael P. McConnell, Daily Tribune

Police shot and killed a pit bull after they say it attacked an officer who was struggling with the dog’s owner during an arrest.

“While the officer did not want to have to take the life of the animal,” said Hazel Park Police Chief David Niedermeier, “he was justified in using the necessary force to eliminate the threat that the animal posed.”

The dog’s owner, Kevin Graves, 49, of Hazel Park was charged Friday in Hazel Park 43rd District Court with misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and marijuana possession. He is free on $1,500 bond.

A day earlier police said they were called to Graves’ girlfriend’s house in the 23300 block of Davey on a domestic assault complaint.

A fight started inside the house after the daughter of Graves’ girlfriend pulled a marijuana plant he was growing out of the ground, police said.

Neidermeier said Graves then assaulted the daughter’s boyfriend and threatened to kill him.

Police investigated the incident and determined they would arrest Graves for domestic violence.

“Graves was visibly upset, appeared intoxicated and began to resist the arresting officer as the officer struggled with Graves to gain control of his hands,” Niedermeier said.

The officer struggled with Graves as they both went out the back door of the house into the rear yard, police said. The dog, described as a large pit bull, came out of the house and charged at the officer just as he finished handcuffing Graves, police said.

“The animal continued to advance on the officer and pinned him against a large wooden fence,” Niedermeier said. “As the dog advanced the officer discharged his weapon at the animal, striking and killing it.”

Graves entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Hazel Park District Court at noon July 14.