Thursday, October 28, 2010

Miniature horse the new deputy in Geauga County

OHIO -- The lesson Midge has taught the Geauga County Sheriff's Office: Sometimes, it's OK to think small.

Midge — a tiny terrier - Chihuahua mix — has been sniffing for narcotics as a K-9 deputy for five years. She also has served as an unofficial mascot for the Sheriff's Office.


However, her reign as the most adorable, fun-sized animal on staff has been challenged.

The Sheriff's Office unveiled its newest junior deputy, a miniature horse named Rick O'Shay, at a pair of community fairs during the summer. He was immediately popular with kids, Sheriff Daniel McClelland said.

"He's an automatic draw," the sheriff said. "People like to come up and see the little horse. We think that's important. All too often, law enforcement, particularly to children, is perceived as this big, tough presence. (They see) law enforcement officers as large individuals who carry firearms and night sticks. They can be quite intimidating to a little child."

Though Rick O'Shay is technically part of the mounted unit, he's too tiny (34 inches tall, about 300 pounds) to ride. Instead, he serves a more informal role. He helps ingratiate the Sheriff's Office toward children and their families.


McClelland said that O'Shay "can demonstrate a different side of law enforcement, a softer side, maybe a fun side."

Jim Fields, the assistant commander of the Sheriff's Office's mounted unit, owns and cares for Rick O'Shay. It was his idea to add a miniature horse to the unit.

Rick O'Shay was rescued from a slaughterhouse.

While still a foal, he became sick. However, the people at the slaughterhouse said they could not use a sick horse for its meat.

Consequently, Nancy Zagin of Ravenna stepped in to save Rick O'Shay.

"She said he was skin and bones, picked him up and put him in her garage," Fields said. "She didn't know what was wrong with him. She said it took him three weeks for him to even lift his head. Gradually, with her care, she was able to bring him back. She had him for about three years."

Midge and Rick O'Shay

Rick O'Shay is healthy now. He's an even-tempered equine who went through the same certification tests other horses in the mounted unit receive. The certification involves nuisance training, including seeing how he reacts to loud noises like gunfire.

"Our feeling here is if Rick O'Shay was going to be spending time with children he needed to demonstrate that he wasn't easily spooked, that he was docile, well-behaved, worked well with people," McClelland said.


McClelland added that he hoped Rick O'Shay, like Midge, would provide one more way for people to get to know the Sheriff's Office.

"We wanted something that represented the true spirit of community policing, and we think Rick O'Shay can help do that. Rick O'Shay can make it OK for young children to come and talk to law enforcement," he said.

(Morning Journal - October 27, 2010)

Related:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Girl, 3, savaged by famly's pet terrier that turned on her in a vicious attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- Toddler Lilly Llewellyn suffered 50 stitches in her face after a family pet snapped and turned on her in a vicious attack.

Breeders describe Cairn Terriers like eight-year-old Smokey, as "the best little pal in the world". But he mauled Lilly, 16 months, after she accidentally stepped on his tail.


The startled Terrier sank his jaws into the child's face and tossed her around in a savaging that nearly cost her an eye.

Smokey has been put down. And yesterday Lilly was trying to be brave after a painful operation to repair her scarred face.

Her dad Lyn Llewellyn, 40, said: "The attack came from nowhere. We would never have expected it from Smokey. We don't know if the dog had a bad day or was unwell in some way.

"It is very traumatic for Lilly and for all the family. Once an animal has done that, though, you can't take the chance again.

"It's been awful. We didn't know at the time if she had lost her eye."

Mum Leanne Austin, 37, said: "She's been so brave and is recovering well. We hope the scars will fade." Mr Llewellyn added: "Obviously Lilly's face was swollen and one eye was closed.

"The doctors hope the scarring will fade because she is so young.

"But she will have to go to hospital for regular checks with the possibility of reconstructive surgery or laser treatment on her cheeks." Lilly's grandparents, who owned Smokey, were described as "distraught" at the sudden and ferocious attack and the terrible injuries.

All the family were full of praise for the paramedics who arrived and tended to Lilly at their home in Beddau, Mid Glamorgan, before she was taken to hospital for a four hours of surgery on her face.

Paramedic Steven Roberts, 50, said: "I could see the absolute terror in the dad's eyes. Her face was very swollen, but she was very, very lucky.

"The fang had gone in just above the eye and the lower mark was into the cheek. Another quarter of an inch and she could have lost her eye."

The Cairn Terrier Club refers to the breed as "the best little pal in the world". But committee member Sybil Berrecloth admitted they can snap and should not be left alone with a child.

She said: "They are adorable little pets and I've had them all my life. But one has to remember they are terriers and all terriers can be rather sharp. They can snap very quickly. They aren't the most patient of breeds.

"Usually they are wonderful with children, provided the child isn't allowed to tease them. The lesson is you should never leave any young child alone with a dog."

(Mirror UK - Oct 20, 2010)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Girl attacked by Alsatian

SOUTH AFRICA -- With eyes filled with sorrow she asks her mother why she does not look like other girls.

Her hair has been shaved off and her face is stitched up. She does not smile like she used to because it hurts to do so.

Her days are spent in and out of hospital and she rarely gets to play like before.

GABRIELLA (5) of Glen Marais was attacked by an Alsatian. The animal
has not been removed from the property where the incident took place.
Gabby after the dog attack.

Five-year-old Gabriella of Glen Marais was attacked by an Alsatian. The dog tore her face open, damaging her facial muscles and nerves.

Gabriella has had to undergo over 10 hours of facial surgery and is due for more constructive surgery.
Her mother Nikita said on the weekend of October 30 her family was invited for a braai at her fiancé's family's home on Atlas Road.

"We were all standing in the yard while the children were playing. All of a sudden the dog jumped on my daughter.

"The men tried to get it away from her and in those seconds the damage was done. I had my daughter's blood all over me and we rushed her to hospital," said Alberts.

Two days later Alberts reported the incident to Kempton Park SAPS with the intent of having the dog removed from the property.

She said she assumed the police would immediately remove the animal or inform her on the steps to take to have it removed.

Instead, a week later a police officer contacted Alberts, reprimanding her of being an unfit mother.

"He accused me of being a negligent mother. He said I did not deserve to have a child. He was rude and didn't tell me his name. I kept asking but he refused.

"I found his conduct shocking and appalling. Does he know what we've been through? There were witnesses to the incident. We were all standing around the children when the dog just attacked," said Alberts.

The next day Alberts received an SMS stating a case had been opened and an investigation would be conducted.
According to her she was informed by the police that the dog could not be blamed. Alberts believes the police are purposely making it difficult for her to get the dog removed.

"What if the dog attacks another child or person? I can't even reassure my daughter that the dog is gone. She asks me every day whether it is still there. My daughter now has to live with the physical and emotional scars for the rest of her life."


Capt Jethro Mtshali, Kempton Park SAPS spokesman, said the police did not have the authority to remove the dog.

"An investigation will be held, statements taken from the dog owner and people who were there. The docket will then be sent to court for a decision to charge the owner of the dog or not.

"As for the allegations that Nikita was accused of being unfit, we refute this and do not have any record of her being contacted by our police officers," said Mtshali.

(Kempton Express - Oct 17, 2010)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nebraska: Residents question if new dog ordinance is strict enough

NEBRASKA -- Several local residents questioned the effectiveness of new dangerous dog regulations in Blair during a public hearing about the proposed rules at the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Jane Straube, who initiated the request for tougher dog laws after her dog was attacked by two pit pulls from a neighbor's house in July, asked the council what the difference would have been in her family's case had the new law been in effect in July.

Straube and her husband, Bill, had asked the city to consider banning pit bulls in town. The proposed new ordinance requires that pit bulls and similar breeds be kept in a securely fenced yard or be on a leash and muzzled if they are outside the fence, but does not ban them.

Straube wondered if the new law would have helped prevent the attack on her dog.

Patti Plugge told the council her dog was attacked Saturday morning by two border collies at Black Elk/Neihardt Park. She said it was "lucky I can kick hard," and that someone heard the screams and came to help.

Plugge said it was not the first time the two dogs had attacked another dog. She said she filed a report with the police and the other person whose dog was attacked had filed a report. She said she was told one of the dogs would be destroyed, but the other one was not deemed aggressive.

Plugge wondered why and who deems dogs to be aggressive.

Council members said the proposed new law would give police officers more discretion about dangerous dogs and would put more responsibilitiy on owners, leaving them subject to court appearances and fines, being forced to take classes on responsible pet ownership and even banning them from pet ownership for up to four years if they are deemed "reckless owners."

Councilman Jon Stewart said the proposal is not perfect, but he hoped it would be an improvement for both police and residents.

Lt. Aaron Barrow of the Blair Police said a new records system would generate a report that would include the owners' name, whether the dog was licensed and any legal history of the dog and owner.

If the new law were in effect, Councilman Hal Kephart said, the owners of the dogs that attacked the Plugge dog would have been subject to a Class A misdemeanor along with having the dogs impounded (which the owner would have to pay for).

Ken Stier, a neighbor who helped the Straubes fend off the dogs that attacked their dog, wondered if allowing dogs "two strikes" before they are impounded or destroyed would be a good idea.

He said the new law would not have prevented the attack on the Straubes' dog. One of the dogs previously had been identified as dangerous.

Straube agreed that dogs be given one strike - taken away from their owners or destroyed after one attack.

Jim Keller, a pit bull owner, said he was glad the city was not trying to ban pit bulls and other breeds. He said pit bulls are "some of the nicest dogs you will ever want to meet if you get to know them."

Councilman Hal Kephart said the proposed new law is based on laws in Omaha and Gretna. He said it appeared to be a better alternative than to ban pit bulls.

For the first time, cats would be included in the animal regulations and two people had questions about that and about pet limits.

The new proposal would limit households to four cats and Darrel Boesiger wondered what would happen to people who already might have more than four cats.

City administrator Rod Storm said if the new law were approved, the city would work with owners over a period of time to bring them into compliance.

Stewart said the goal of the new law was responsible pet ownership, for dogs and cats, both of which would be required to be licensed.

Cindi Heng also wondered if owners would have some initial leeway. The new law would limit owners to three dogs, three cats or a combination of four pets. Heng also said collars with tags on cats can be a potential danger to the cat.

The city council plans to consider the new pet regulations on first reading at its Oct. 26 meeting. By law, the ordinance must be approved at three different meetings, unless that rule is waived by the council.

(Pilot Tribune & Enterprise - October 15, 2010)

Earlier:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Illinois: Illegal alien Albino Periz-Garduno, 33, arrested in horrific animal cruelty case

ILLINOIS -- On Friday, police in Granite City, Illinois arrested Albino Periz-Garduno, 33, and charged him with aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly stabbing a cat with a samurai sword.

When police arrived at the home of Periz-Garduno, they found a cat in severe pain from a large gash, apparently from a sword. The cat could not be saved and was euthanized.

According to Assistant Police Chief Jeff Connor, the illegal alien had been drinking. Someone inside the residence left when the cat was stabbed and called police.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on Periz-Garduno.

(National Examiner - Oct 13, 2010)



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pit Bull Owner Charged In Attack Of Xenia Woman

OHIO -- Charges have been field against the owner of two pit bulls who attacked and seriously injured a Xenia woman.

Anthony Hill lives on King Street and owned two dogs that attacked Linda McGaughey last month while she was walking her dog on West Second Street.

The woman who was attacked is still recovering, and according to her co-workers, is haunted by the whole ordeal.

Brenda Stacy said, “Linda’s a good person. She didn’t deserve this. No one does.”

“She is still upset. Cries when she talks about it,” Stacy said.

News Center 7 talked with McGaughey just a couple of days after the attack. “I was just praying. I thought they were going to kill me,” she said.

At the time of the attack, she said she wanted two things done. She said she wanted to heal quickly and she wanted to see Anthony Hill, the owner of the dogs, be punished.

McGaughey said, "He needs to pay retribution. He needs to be held responsible and accountable."

Since the day she was attacked, Greene County Animal Control officers have cited Hill on two counts each of failure to control a vicious dog, failure to have insurance and failure to register.

Reporter Gabrielle Enright went to Hill's house to talk to him about the case, and he was not home. She also tried to call him, but, so far, has not been able to talk to him.

Xenia police shot one of the pit bulls on the night of the attack, and investigators said Hill gave up custody of the other dog, allowing it to be euthanized.

Stacy said, “I’m glad the dog was put down, even though I am an animal lover.”

Stacy said her only concern is her friend, and said the fact that it appears that Hill is working with authorities will help her appeal.

Animal control officers said Hill have been very cooperative with the investigation. “I’m glad he’s cooperating. That helps Linda. She deserves justice. She really does,” Stacy said.

According to court records, Hill's next court date is Oct. 15.

(WHIO - Oct. 12, 2010)

Earlier:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Girl scarred after dog attack

AUSTRALIA -- FIVE-YEAR-OLD Lillian Fraser's appalling injuries are now healing, but for her parents the scars of a dog attack in September that disfigured their little girl's face are still all too real.

Lillian was visiting a relative in Springfield with her mum, Susan Cameron, and her two younger siblings, when the relative's dog attacked her.

Her parents are calling for the dog to be put down, but have heard Ipswich City Council may return it to its owner.


“As soon as we got to the house it just attacked her,” Ms Cameron said.

While the family is trying to move on, Ms Cameron and Lillian's father, Russell Fraser, said they were outraged the dog may be returned to its owner.

“Council took the dog off them, but we've heard they're going to give it back,” Mr Fraser said. “This dog could kill a child.”

Lillian has already undergone surgery during her stay in hospital, but her parents said she will undergo more as she gets older.

“She's already had surgery to pull her lip back over and to fix the holes in her arm,” they said.

“We're very lucky, it could've killed her if it had gotten her by the throat.”

While physically she is healing, Mr Fraser and Ms Cameron said their young daughter has been having nightmares since the attack.

Ipswich City Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the matter was still being investigated, and council was looking at trying to have the dog declared dangerous.


“The circumstances of this matter were that the attack occurred on private property, so it's not a matter of public safety,” he said.

“The dog is likely to be returned to its owner, but it's currently still with council.

“It will only be returned once council is satisfied the dog can be confined to the property.”

(Queensland Times - Oct 6, 2010)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Escaped cow takes to Wellesley streets

MASSACHUSETTS -- It was the middle of the night on Sept. 30 when Star — a brown-spotted Holstein — made her escape from Wellesley's Hunnewell Farms by nudging open a gate and hurdling a small fence.

And just like that the cow was on the lam.

“It’s quite strange to see a cow in the middle of the roadway eating acorns,” said Sgt. Scott Whittemore, who along with a number of others officers went toe-to-hoof with the incorrigible heifer last week.



Whittemore was helping officer Ron Poirier finish up some paperwork at around 4:15 a.m. when the call came in: a cow was on the loose in the middle of Washington Street.

He (his trusty camera in hand), and officer Poirier hopped in their cruisers and headed off the scene. When they arrived they found Star calmly nibbling the fallen nuts.

A few years back Whittemore said he’d come across a similar scene, complete with another escaped cow. That time the cow had run away when they attempted to corner it so he was inclined to handle the situation cautiously. Poirier was a bit more gung-ho.


“Ron grabbed a bunch of acorns and approached it slowly and he was able to make contact with the cow,” Whittemore said. “After we established that the cow wasn’t going to go anywhere another officer shot down to the farm and woke the people up there.”

While a third officer drove his cruiser alongside Star (to make sure she wouldn’t run out further into the road) Poirier slowly drew the cow back to the pasture.

“We kind of coaxed it along with the acorns,” Whittemore said. “Officer Poirier did a fantastic job and we managed to get it back in the corral.”

It was only after Star was safely back in her pen that Poirier explained he’d worked on a farm as a kid.


While Whittemore is no stranger to odd animal sightings (he captured a battle between a skunk and a fox over the summer) Star’s escape made for an exciting shift.

 “It’s extremely unusual,” Whittemore said. “Not something you expect to see—even in the middle of the night on the night watch.”

(Wellesley Townsman  - Oct 5, 2010)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Despite criminal conviction, pit bull that attacked dog remains in same Saline neighborhood

MICHIGAN -- The owner of a dog that was mauled by a neighbor’s pit bull over the summer said she and other family members remain concerned a vicious animal still lives in their Saline neighborhood.

Christa Wilde followed through on charges against Amber Calo for owning the animal that seriously injured her dog outside her home on June 22. She just didn’t expect at the end of the criminal case that Gringa, the 2-year-old female pit bull that attacked unprovoked, would stay her neighbor.

Calo was recently sentenced to four months of probation after pleading guilty to one count of owning a vicious animal last month, court records show. She was allowed to keep Gringa, but was ordered to keep her penned while unattended inside her home and to have the dog muzzled anytime she’s outdoors. Her case will be reviewed in January.

Calo voluntarily covered the veterinary bills for Dolly, the 7-year-old beagle mix that was hospitalized overnight with several wounds, reports said. District Judge Richard Conlin also ordered her to pay fines that were not specified in court documents.

However, Wilde said she thought Calo’s dog would be considered dangerous and thus prohibited by Saline’s municipal code.

“I cannot express how disappointed I am with the ruling,” she wrote in e-mail. “Gringa has attacked my dog twice since April of this year. I thought that I was protecting my family and my dog by documenting the attacks with the police.”

In an earlier interview with AnnArbor.com, Calo said she intended to move Gringa to a friend’s home in Ann Arbor. Calo declined to comment for this story, and it's unclear whether that ever happened.

Wilde said Gringa remains in her neighborhood and is often at the forefront of her children’s minds when they pull into their driveway or get ready to play outdoors. She and Calo are next door neighbors in a complex of attached condominiums.

“Still, my daughters wait for me to go outside to make sure that Gringa is not out, to give an ‘all clear’ sign before we go out to play,” she said. “Physically, Dolly is okay, but she has become nervous and fearful since the attack.”

(AnnArbor.com - Oct 4, 2010)

Earlier:

Two miniature horses dead after dog attack

TEXAS -- A dog attack in Terry County killed a miniature horse Wednesday morning, and seriously injured three others.

What a sad sight to see, four miniature horses attacked. The youngest, a baby just four months old is barely hanging on, but another baby is dead. They were all found after being attacked by what the owner called a pit bull mix.

"We've got some tears right there at the base of the skull, just a big open wound.  We see a lot of attacks. It's a huge problem around here," said Dr. Jim Ridenour with the Terry County Vet Hospital.



For more than six hours, Dr. Ridenour nursed the miniature horses back to life.

"The little guy is touch and go. The two bigger ones are doing great, they are going to be fine, we're going to have to just see how it goes with the little one though," said Ridenour.

Their owner, Tommy Smith was shocked when saw what happened.

"They are just like a pet, it is disgusting to see this happen and nobody is here to foot the bill other than us," said Smith.

All of Smith's eight miniature horses stay at a nearby farm. When they were discovered Wednesday morning the dog was still roaming around the pen before he was shot. Now Smith is urging pet owners to be responsible.

"Somebody just dumping off a dog is the biggest thing. Why do we have to continue to do this and have these situations here," said Smith.

Dr. Ridenour says especially out in rural areas it's far too common for dog owners to just let them go free when they do not want to take care of them anymore.

What's going on with his front hooves? Look overgrown

"They've got to find a way to survive and unfortunately sometimes they turn to attacking livestock," said Ridenour.

"Don't just dump these guys off and expect someone else to take care of this dog, because this is what happens," said Smith.


THURSDAY UPDATE:
On Wednesday KCBD NewsChannel 11 broke the story that a stray dog attacked miniature horses in Terry County, killing one and injuring others.  The owner of the horses found the dog, a Pitbull mix, roaming around the horses' pen and he killed it.

On Thursday the owner, Tommy Smith, gave us an update on the surviving horses, one of which was at grave risk as of Wednesday evening.   He says they are doing well, just slow moving and sore.  He thanks everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.

FRIDAY UPDATE:
Friday morning, the owner of the miniature horses in Terry County contacted KCBD NewsChannel 11 to let us know that the little foal passed away during the night. He says that the others are doing ok, but they are still very sore.

(KCBD - Oct 4, 2010)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Neglected horses seized in Stanly County

NORTH CAROLINA -- Two neglected horses along with two dogs were removed from a residence in Stanfield on Monday.

Vet services body scored one horse (using the Hennke Body Scale Score) at a one body score with extensive injuries to the right hind quarters.

After rescued, this horse survived one week before dying


 
The Stanfield Police Department along with Stanly County Animal Control served a warrant after complaints had been filed about malnourished and injured horses on August 27.

Officers seized two horses along two dogs that were surrendered.
 
Both horses were severely malnourished. One suffered extensive injuries to the right hind quarters while the second horse had a deep and severe laceration to the right hind leg.



All animals have been turned over to the Stanly County Humane Society for further medical treatment and will remain with them until further disposition from the Courts.

(WBTV - Oct 3, 2010)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Woman charged with animal abuse after dogs die

NORTH CAROLINA -- A Thomasville woman has been charged with failing to care for two dogs and allowing them to die.

Bonnie Johnson, 35, of 203 Montlieu Ave., was charged by Thomasville police with felony cruelty to animals. She was given a $500 secured bond and has a Nov. 19 court date in Thomasville.

According to an arrest warrant filed in the Davidson County Clerk of Court’s Office, Johnson failed to provide food and water for two mixed-breed dogs, which resulted in their deaths. The date of the offense is listed on the warrant as Sept. 25.

(the-dispatch.com - Oct 1, 2010)