Friday, September 23, 2016

Florida: Horse named Mercy freed from septic tank by rescue workers

FLORIDA -- Officials say animal rescue workers have freed a horse that fell into a septic tank hole in central Florida.

Local media outlets report that Mercy, a 24-year-old quarter horse, fell through the tank's fiberglass cover Tuesday morning behind a home in Bunnell.


Rescuers workers from Flagler and St. Johns counties spent about three-and-and-half hours working to free her.

Jennifer Lockwood, a lead veterinarian at Shelton Veterinary Clinic, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Mercy sustained minor cuts and scrapes on her left shoulder and knee.


Lockwood said she will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to help with the wounds, but expects the horse to fully recover.

(WBTV - Sept 22, 2016)

Virginia: A Virginia Beach dog ate 7 corn cobs, and they nearly took her life — until a charity stepped in

VIRGINIA -- Roxie the boxer has been known to eat strange things.

Last year, the dog’s owner rushed her to the animal hospital after she ate a pack of cigarettes. Then there was the time that she ripped up a water snake after it bit her several times.

On Saturday, Roxie got into the trash.

Her find this time? Seven corn cob halves from the previous night’s dinner.

Several hours later, the dog began throwing up. She continued vomiting Sunday and Monday, expelling six cobs in all, said owner Dakota Hudson, who lives in Sandbridge.

By Tuesday morning, Roxie was sluggish and refused to eat. That’s when Hudson took her to the hospital.

“They told us they were going to do X-rays and blood work,” she said. “When they called us back, they said the corn cob was as clear as day on the X-ray and that they would have to do surgery to get it out.”

The next big shock came when Hudson learned how much it would cost: $5,000 – more than the 21-year-old or her family could afford to pay.

“I started bawling,” Hudson said. “It got to the point where I was considering euthanizing her because I didn’t want her to be in pain and suffering.”

Just as Hudson was preparing to sign an authorization to euthanize Roxie, veterinarian Beth Tynan told Hudson that the surgery would be performed at no charge to her.

Tynan had contacted Frankie’s Friends, a national pet charity that helps raise money for animals in situations like Roxie’s, and the organization agreed to help. Within less than 24 hours, the entire amount had been raised.

“The surgeon fell in love with her and said, ‘We can’t let a dog like her go. We have to do something,’ ” Hudson said. “That meant the world to me.”

The 8-year-old purebred was recovering Wednesday morning and should be able to return home soon, said Carrie O’Brion, communications manager for BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a national company with 50 emergency and specialty veterinary care centers in 18 states. Roxie was treated at the company’s location on Independence Boulevard.

Roxie’s is not the first corn-cob case vets at the animal hospital have seen, nor was it the strangest thing they had discovered a dog had eaten, O’Brion said.

“Dr. Tynan said she’s seen quite a few corn-cob cases this summer,” she said. Bathing suits, hair ties, a spoon and a plastic figurine of the “Star Wars” character Boba Fett are among some of the more unusual items BluePearl vets have found in dogs, O’Brion said.

“In some cases, we can use endoscopy to get things out, which is a lot less invasive and a lot less expensive,” she said.

Hudson said she and her family will be keeping a closer eye on what Roxie and her brother, Quigley, get into, but it’s not going to be easy.

“Her mind is controlled by food,” Hudson said. “If you’re eating something, she is in your face trying to get it.”

(The Virginian-Pilot - Sep 21, 2016)

Michigan: Pit bull attacks woman and her dog. Owner says if his pit really meant business, they'd have been a lot more hurt

MICHIGAN -- A pit bull was removed from a Sterling Heights home Tuesday afternoon after the dog bit one of the neighbors and her Shih Tzu on Monday.

Phil Russo, the husband of the victim and their dog, Cici, said the incident happened while his wife and dog were out on a walk.


"It's the scariest thing I've ever walked outside to. I ran outside and right at the base of my driveway, my wife and dog laying just covered in blood, screaming and waling, and it was just the most God-awful scene I've ever seen," said Russo.

His across-the-street neighbor, Jason Defillippo, said he believes his foster dog, Blue, was just trying to play.

"She's a good girl. She's only 10 months old. She's a puppy. She likes to play. When she busted out the front door, she was maybe going out there to be curious, to play maybe, I would say yes, as far as attacking, no. She wouldn't hurt anybody," Defillippo said.

Russo doesn't see it that way. His wife and dog, Cici, were bitten above their eyes.


"The dog had the taste of blood in its mouth," Russo said.

Animal Control officers picked up Blue from Defillippo's home today.

"She's not a bad dog is all I can say, she's not a bad dog," Defillippo said.

Defillippo does not want pit bulls to get a bad name and wants to try to resolve the issue.


"These are one of the most loyal dogs to humans you could possibly get. I do feel bad 100 percent that somebody got hurt in this situation," Defillippo said.

Russo said they plan to move out of the neighborhood now.

"I'm not comfortable. My wife doesn't want to go outside. My family was attacked and now has mental issues, not feeling safe to walk outside in their own home. You're supposed to feel safe at your home. I'm gonna have to put my home up for sale and find a new place to live," Russo said.


Blue will be taken to a rescue where she will be quarantined and evaluated to make sure she can return to society.

What's the point? At 10 months old, its true temperment has revealed itself. Imagine if she were full grown and weighed 60 pounds when she attacked the woman and her small dog.

(ClickOnDetroit - Sept 20, 2016)

Ohio: Police say Raymond Harris stranged and then beat tiny 16 year-old dog named Mitzi with a rock, causing her death

OHIO -- Just one week after Goddard's Law went into effect, Vermilion police have used it to charge a suspect.

Police said Raymond Harris was at the home of someone who had a 16-year-old dog. The owner decided to his little 20-pound dog named Mitzi needed to be euthanized due to her increasing health issues and was calling veterinarians to find someone to do it humanely.


In the meantime, Harris is accused of taking the dog outside and trying to choke it to death.

When the owner found out, he called police.

The dog, which was found unconscious and barely breathing, was later put to sleep.

In the video, the owner said he found her "with her eyes bulging out, barely breathing and with the blood vessels to her eyes burst". He also says Harris beat Mitzi in the head with a piece of concrete, which was lying in his yard. Poor Mitzi was still alive, through all this torture. 

Harris pleaded not guilty.

Goddard's law makes it a fifth degree felony to cause serious physical harm to a companion animal.

Note: This is the LEAST serious felony charge; typical of aggravated animal cruelty charges in most states. You face actual prison time for burning an abandoned building than for doing something like this to a little dog - likely this guy will receive no jail/prison time and will just get probation.

(Fox8 - Sept 22, 2016)

New Jersey: After police rescue dog that had been hit by train, another officer adopts it

NEW JERSEY -- A German Shepherd that was hit by a train last month will get a new home with a police officer in the near future.

The dog was rescued by the Westfield Police Department when four officers brought him to All Pets Vet in Branchburg after the accident.


He ended up losing a leg, but the dog, who has been given the name "Coal," has been adopted by a Westfield undercover police officer.

Coal will leave veterinarian care and go to his new home next week

(News12 - Sept 23, 2016)

Massachusetts: K-9 Dany’s Story - Supporting Our Retired Heroes on Cape Cod

MASSACHUSETTS -- Imagine sitting in a doctor’s office with your partner: He is laying on a table unable to speak to you. He can’t tell you why he was so lethargic this morning or why he fell down in the driveway and couldn’t get back to his feet.

This is your best friend and a decorated hero who has saved lives and brought down countless violent criminals, and you don’t know what’s wrong with him. The doctor doesn’t know either, and she wants to run some tests. She tells you that the diagnostics alone could cost over a thousand dollars and surgery could cost triple that. What do you do?

Is there health insurance? Unfortunately, this loyal partner who keeps raising his head to watch you pace back and forth is a highly trained K-9.  This dog has been at your side from the time he was 9 months old and here he is at 9 years old.

Just last week he was in your living room letting your daughter dress him in a tutu and bunny ears… A year ago he was taking down an armed felon. Today, something just isn’t right and it could cost several months’ pay to help him. You aren’t going to say no. You’ll figure out the money later. Maybe refinance your house if you have to. This K-9 never gave up on you and you won’t give up on him!

Sadly, this is not an unusual story among K-9 officers on the Cape. In fact, it’s a very common story here (and across the country). Please don’t get me wrong. The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department and the town police departments from across the Cape do everything they can to support their K-9 officers.

Unfortunately, sometimes the need goes beyond what is feasible for the departments.

Did you know that when a K-9 retires from service, there is no financial support for them? There is no such thing as a retirement plan or a pension for a K-9.

So what do you do? If you work for one of the departments on Cape Cod or the Islands, you call Joe Ambrosini. Joe was one of the best K-9 officers on the Cape for many years and there is no doubt that Joe loves dogs more than people.

Joe Ambrosini founded the Cape & Islands Police K-9 Relief Fund specifically to help officers cover veterinary bills associated with aging K-9s. No one else was stepping up, so he did. By comparison to other non-profit groups on the Cape, the K-9 Relief Fund is not a very big fund. Normally there is just enough to cover one major or a couple minor surgeries in a given year. There is no other fund like it anywhere in the country, which seems wrong. These are special dogs. These are heroes who save lives and find criminals and help lost children.

They work hard and because of this, they can age faster than a family Labrador.
I spent an afternoon with Barnstable County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Martin and his wife Melissa Martin (who works for the Falmouth Police Department). Deputy Martin has had a few K-9 partners over the years, but clearly, his best friend was Dany. Dany was a German Shepherd from the Czech Republic. He had broad shoulders and a large bear-like head.

Deputy Martin told me several stories about Dany including one about a call they got for back up after an officer was assaulted by an assailant who had fled the scene. In Deputy Martin’s words “this was a bad guy… a very very bad guy. We didn’t know how bad he was until after it was over.”

Deputy Martin and Dany tracked the ‘bad guy’ through the dark where the situation escalated and Dany was sent in. Dany took the guy by the leg and held on. This was enough for Deputy Martin and another officer to eventually take down the ‘bad guy’- and it took all three of them to do it.

During the struggle, Dany took several direct blows to the head, but still never let go. Because of Dany’s tenacity, the focus of the dangerous situation was directed away from the officers, giving them a safer upper hand.

Unfortunately, the repeated punches to his head took a toll on Dany. Later, during a training exercise, Patrick noticed Dany wasn’t reacting well to a particular situation. It turned out that Dany had a detached retina and could no longer see properly.

At this point, the decision was made to retire the K-9. He would spend the rest of his life as part of the Martin family. Both Patrick and Melissa began to tear up as they told stories about Dany with their children. He lived with them for several more years, until his years on the job caught up with his body.

“Anytime you call Joe (Ambrosini) from the vet’s office, especially at the end… Joe just says ‘don’t worry, we got this’”.

Deputy Martin introduced me to Dex, his current K-9 partner. He is a sleek and Belgium Malinois with quite a personality. “There is something about a K-9,” he said looking at Dex’s kennel. “They don’t know fear. They can’t. If there is some guy waving around a samurai sword, they have to be able to rush in to do what they do. They can’t know it’s dangerous.”  It’s because of that “no-fear” attitude that we owe them everything we can give them.

Deputy Martin has been on scene with Dex for some unimaginable events, including the ambush style attack on police officers in Bourne which left one Coast Guard officer dead, her partner wounded and Bourne Police Officer Jared MacDonald shot in the back.

Recently, Dex helped locate a despondent woman who went missing in Cotuit. Dex is also about to be certified as one of the few duel-purpose K-9’s in the area.  And some day, Dex will retire, as these heroes do. With the help of organizations like the Cape and Islands Police K-9 Relief Fund, Deputy Martin, along with the other K-9 officers from across the area, will know there is a safety net when they need it.

The safety net for these officers will only be there with financial support from the public.

If you would like to learn more about the Cape and Islands K-9 Relief Fund, please join several hundred supporters at the annual charity motorcycle run on Saturday September 24th. Staging will be at the Patriot Square parking lot in Dennis on Rte 134 from 9am to 11am. The ride will go all the way to Provincetown ending on MacMillen Warf. Non-riders of all ages are welcome to meet members of the K-9 units from across the Cape. Donations will also be accepted before and after the ride.

(Cape - Sept 23, 2016)

California: Pit bull which attacked neighbor who was in her yard working, set to be euthanized

CALIFORNIA -- A dog that bolted from its owner’s East Oakland home and mauled a neighbor, hospitalizing her, was to be euthanized Tuesday, according to a city official.

The attack occurred Monday morning in the 4800 block of Lowry Road, near Chabot Park, said Rebecca Katz, director of Oakland Animal Services.

The severity of the unidentified victim’s injuries was not available, but they were “significant enough that the victim had to go to the hospital,” Katz said. The dog had a current vaccine for rabies, according to Katz, but the animal services agency planned to conduct tests to confirm the animal’s vaccines were up to date.

The owner of the pit bull didn't want to talk

Described by police as a 4-year-old, unneutered male pit bull mix, the gray-and-white canine escaped its owner’s house through an open door and attacked the neighbor. The dog’s owner was “fairly shaken up,” Katz said, and has “done everything she should be doing” in terms of cooperating with authorities. - [surprised owner tag]

The victim appeared to be doing yard work before she was attacked by the dog, which locked its jaws locked around her arm, the East Bay Times reported.

He didn’t let go of her arm, and that’s what all the screaming was about,” Roberta Beoris, a neighbor, told the newspaper.

Another article stated the victim was bitten on the arm, on her chest (breasts?) and on on her torso. Clearly this was not a 'simple bite' -- it was an attack, a mauling.

Several other neighbors have in the past complained about the “aggressive unneutered dog, noting that he has rushed people and other animals in the past,” Beoris said. - [repeat offender tag]

Katz said that pit bulls are often "unfairly stereotyped" as an aggressive breed. She noted that all unneutered male dogs — not pit bulls specifically — are known for undue aggression.

“The vast majority of dog bites occur by unaltered male dogs, so we encourage people to fix them” to curb that aggression, Katz said. - [bad shelter tag]

Rebecca Katz has an agenda. Do you know what it is??

(SF Gate - Sept 22, 2016)