Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holly Hill pays vet bill for dog shot by officer

FLORIDA -- The city of Holly Hill is paying more than $3,000 in veterinary bills to a local clinic that attended to a dog shot by a police officer late Friday night.

The dog, a 4-year-old Rottweiler named Lady, is home recovering after its bullet wounds were stitched. Although the 95-pound canine underwent surgery to remove the bullet, a fragment remains in the animal's neck, owner Richard Stotler said Monday.

“Meet the mean dog the cops said they had to shoot,” Stotler said Monday night, as the dog walked out of the door looking for a pat on the head.


She wagged her tail and licked a reporter's hands after a rub on the top of her head. A white sock on the dog's left foot prevents her from scratching the injuries, Stotler said.

“She has three bullet wounds and one nearly took her left eye out,” Stotler said.

Holly Hill police officials said an officer had to shoot the dog after they went to the home at 11:04 p.m. Friday to look for Josey Bobbitt, a woman wanted for violation of probation for solicitation of prostitution.

Police went to the home after a driver's license showed Bobbitt lived at 409 Elsie Drive, a department news release states.

While at the house the officer was confronted by two dogs in the fenced backyard of the home. The dogs started barking at the officer, who attempted to retreat from the yard. As the officer backed away from the dogs, the Rottweiler lunged aggressively at the officer, police said. When the dog lunged at the officer a second time, the officer was in fear of being attacked and fired his service weapon two times at the dog, police officials said.

Stotler said Monday he did not see any reason for the officer to enter his backyard, especially after he told them he did not know who Bobbitt was and that she did not live there. After about 10 minutes of talking with officers, Stotler said he closed the door and went back to watch television in his living room with his back door open. Two minutes later, he heard gunshots, he said.

“I ran through the front door with my hands raised asking them what they had done,” Stotler said. “They started yelling at me to get on the ground, handcuffed me and put me in the back of a car.”

Stotler said his girlfriend, Crystal Hightshoe, followed a trail of blood and found Lady hiding in their bedroom closet and started putting ice packs on her wounds. After officers realized what was going on , they released Stotler and started shouting at him to get the dog to take it to a an emergency animal clinic.

According to police, the dog was taken in a police car to the Emergency Animal Care Center at 696 S. Young St. in Ormond Beach. The city is picking up the vet bill, said police Capt. Steve Aldrich.

“The bill right now is $3,018.76,” Stotler said. “But she has to go back in 10 days to be checked out and get her stitches removed.”

Aldrich declined to release more details on the incident Monday, saying his department is conducting a thorough investigation of all aspects related to the call for service at the home. The captain also declined to release the name of the officer who shot the dog, citing the ongoing investigation. Police still have not been able to find Bobbitt, Aldrich said Monday.

Meanwhile, Stotler said he is upset about the shooting of the friendly dog he rescued from a Rottweiler organization in Miami in August 2012. That was the same time he bought the home on Elsie Drive and moved in there.

Stotler said his girlfriend and his two dogs are traumatized and Lady refuses to go outside at dark now. In an effort to bring attention to what Stotler called “a senseless and reckless shooting” by police, Stotler launched a Facebook page “Justice for Lady” on Sunday and has already gotten 648 likes, he said. “This is an effort to stop acts like this,” Stotler said of his social media page. “This happens all the time against, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Doberman and other big dogs and we need to stop these acts based on appearance.”

Editor's note: Bobbitt lived at 409 Elsie Drive and the animal hospital is at 696 S. Young St. in Ormond Beach, and not as originally reported.

(Daytona Beach News-Journal - Dec 30, 2013)

Dying horse found by ISPCA

UNITED KINGDOM -- ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons responded to a call from a member of the public in Co. Roscommon to find a distressing scene.

The young piebald cob in the photograph was still alive, but only just. It was evident that this horse had been down for a prolonged period of time.

Karen called on the assistance of the closest vet and local GardaĆ­. On examination, the vet recommended that the unfortunate horse be put to sleep on humane grounds.


Commenting on the condition of the animal Inspector Lyons said “He was very underweight and like so many young equines that we have found in recent times it looks like he was suffering from a severe worm burden. That eventually caused him to weaken so much that when he lay down he had not the strength to get back up.

"It is very distressing for any us to find an animal in this state, so far gone that nothing can be done and the kindest act is to end its suffering”

Investigations are ongoing to establish who was responsible for the horse and the ISPCA is preparing a file for presentation to an Garda Siochana.

“I can't overemphasize the importance of regular worming in regards to an equine thriving” added Inspector Lyons, “It is also vital that animals should be checked on at least once, if not twice, a day. Again it seems that the value of these animals determines the care that they receive”.

(ISPCA - Dec 27, 2013)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Deputy acted appropriately in shooting attacking pit bull, says Sheriff

ARKANSAS -- A deputy in Fayetteville killed a dog last week with five shots after the animal attacked him while he was serving a warrant to a suspect, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

While the Sheriff’s Office determined the deputy followed proper protocol during the shooting, the family told 5NEWS they disagree and miss their pit bull named Duke.


“He was one of us. He was a part of our family. He even got a present under the tree for Christmas, just like my children did,” said David Green, the dog’s owner.

Deputy Cyrus Behnia was attempting to serve a warrant Dec. 18 at 4080 Wyman Road to a woman who had allegedly not showed up to her court-ordered community service, when the tan pit bull came out from around the corner of the home, according to Behnia’s report to the Sheriff’s Office.

“The dog stopped and began growling and rutting at the ground. The dog began running in my direction, continuing to behave very vicious,” Behnia states in the report.


After commands to the dog to stop went unnoticed, “I fired three shots, striking the dog in the head and body,” Behnia states.

Five people in the house came out and started comforting the dog, who was still alive. The dog’s owner asked the deputy to shoot the pit bull again “to put it out of its misery,” said Deputy Kayla Cone, Behnia’s partner at the scene.

Cone said Behnia shot the dog again, “but it continued to make moaning and gasping sounds, so an additional fifth and final shot was taken before the pit bull deceased.”

“I walked out there and said my goodbye, and I had blood all over my pants,” Green’s nephew told 5NEWS.


A neighbor called 911 during the shooting and told the dispatcher she heard several people yelling, including a woman who still had not stopped screaming.

Another person called 911 to report that the dog had been deemed vicious before, and he saw the dog charge at the deputy, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office report.

The deputies had been attempting to serve an arrest warrant to Cynthia Green after she allegedly did not show up to her community service. After the dog was killed, deputies decided not to serve the warrant, and instead wanted to give the woman time to bury her dog, the report states. Green agreed to come to the jail the next day to settle the community service issue, Behnia’s report states.


No one, other than the animal, was hurt in the incident, Behnia said.

[Apparently, the deputy has been to their house so often that Joyce Green considers the deputy to be "familiar with the pit bull" so therefore I have added a "familiar with dog" tag.]

“He knows their (the dogs’) personalities, and he knew he could tell if Duke was vicious. But he wasn’t,”  said Joyce Green, David Green’s mother. “He would never harm no one.”

Joyce Green witnessed the shooting and does not agree with how deputies handled the situation.


The Washington County Sheriff’s Office policy on deadly force allows a law enforcement officer to discharge a weapon “to destroy an animal that represents a threat to public safety, or as a humanitarian measure where the animal is seriously injured.”

“I don’t want to see the officer get fired,” David Green said. “I would just like them to look at some other way of handling things, but something safe for them of course.”

(5NEWSOnline.com - December 26, 2013)

Deputy shoots pit bull in driveway in north Harris County

TEXAS -- A dog owner is upset after her beloved pet was shot Friday by a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy.

The deputy was called to Dellbrook Drive in north Harris County for a complaint of a vicious pit bull.


 
He said when he got out of his car the dog charged him in the driveway and knocked him over.

The deputy ran to his car and then shot the dog.



The dog's owner believes the deputy overreacted.

“My dog was just like, he was just like trying to protect me and barking at him to go away and the cop got scared and he shot him,” said Vanessa Mora.


After the shooting the dog ran to the backyard through the hole in the fence where he got out. He was expected to survive.

The owner was given a ticket for having an aggressive animal.

(KHOU - Dec 28, 2013)

West Texas man hospitalized after pit bull attack

TEXAS -- Authorities say a 28-year-old West Texas man was hospitalized with puncture wounds to his arms and legs after being attacked by five pit bulls while riding his bicycle.

Chief Deputy Dale Pearce of the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office tells the San Angelo Standard-Times that the man was attacked Thursday afternoon in the small community of Carlsbad, located about 16 miles northwest of San Angelo.

Pearce says deputies found the owner of one of the dogs but were unable to find the owners of the other four. He says the owner who was tracked down was advised to quarantine the animal.

(abc13 - Dec 27, 2013)

Three-Year Old Boy Attacked by Neighbor's Pit Bull

TEXAS -- The owners of a pit bull that attacked a three-year old boy Friday morning have 24 hours to turn over their dog to be quarantined before a warrant could be issued for them.



The attack happened in the 700 block of West Cornelia. Three-year old Elija Rocha and his mother were walking down the street when a neighbor's pit bull attacked. Luckily, the boy's mother was able to grab him before the dog could do more than leave a puncture mark on the boy's hand.



The mom, who did not want to go on camera, said loose dogs are a problem in her neighborhood.

"Thank God I was able to pick him up fast enough, because the dog is bigger than him," the mother said. "They need to clean up the streets with these loose dogs, because they snap and growl. They need to get rid of them."



Animal Control was called out to the scene but were unable to capture the dog because it went under its house. Now, a warrant could be issued for the dog's owners if they do not turn the dog in to Animal Control within 24 hours.

(KIII - Dec 27, 2013)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Three-year-old girl attacked by husky dog at grandmother's home

UNITED KINGDOM -- A three-year-old girl has had 80 stitches in her face after she was mauled by a husky dog at her grandmother's home.

Maddison Green, of Trebanog, Rhondda, was bitten when she went to pet the dog as she was being taken to bed while staying at the house in Newport.


Maddison is now recovering - but her father is now calling for a loophole in the law to be closed. As the attack happened on private property, the husky does not have to be put down.

Maddison's father, Craig Green, claims that the dog's owner is refusing to have his beloved pet, called Zeus, put down.


Mr Green claimed Zeus jumped forwards and bit Maddison's face.

She underwent a two-hour procedure in the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport to have 80 stitches in her left cheek.



Mr Green is calling for the dog to be put down - but says his stepfather, Dave Sellwood, 41, has said no.

Mr Green, 28, said: "I cannot believe that there is nothing we can do to prevent this dog from attacking again. My stepfather is refusing to put the dog down. He regards it like a child. But it could have killed my daughter. Maddison has been brought up to call him granddad."


A loophole in the law means attacks on private property cannot be prosecuted, though that is due to be changed next year.

Mr Green said: "The law should be changed right now. We have to stop this from happening. How can a little girl be injured and no one be held responsible?"

Mr Green said that on the night of the attack last Saturday, Maddison was staying with her grandmother, Catherine Sellwood, at their home in Coedkernew, Newport.


Mr Green and his partner, Cerys Shirley, 24, had left her with their son, David, 4, and his brother's children to stay the night.

He said: "When we got the call about what had happened it was horrible. Cerys is devastated - it seems utterly unfair that no one is responsible for this in the eyes of the law."
 

More than 6,400 people a year are admitted into British hospitals for micro-surgery to life-changing injuries caused by dogs. One in six victims is under 10.

Mr Sellwood said: "Craig wasn't even here when it happened, whatever he says is just hearsay. Apart from that, I've got nothing else to say."

(WalesOnline - Dec 27, 2013)

Dogs attack and kill Bichon / Lhasa mix in its own yard

UNITED KINGDOM -- Bill Volk was clearing snow off of his forklift just outside of his family home on Monday, Dec. 9 when he heard a chilling sound coming from the front of the house.

“At first I didn’t know if it was (our dog) Snap. Then I heard squealing, and Snap got bit by a coyote about five years ago out here and he made the same noise. I knew it was Snap. I started running, but you can only run so fast… When I got up top (to the driveway), there were two large dogs, a white one and a black one,” Volk recalled.

Grasped firmly in their jaws, the two unidentified dogs reportedly had Volk’s family dog, Snap, a 14-year-old bichon frise / lhasa apso, pinned to the ground.

RIP Snap

“One was pulling on his butt and the other was choking him,” he said.

Although Volk chased the two dogs away, the white dog, returned shortly thereafter in an attempt to finish the job, Volk alleged.

Protecting his dog once more, Volk chased the white dog halfway down the driveway.

“He just stood there and wouldn’t move,” Volk said.

Volk then rushed his beloved dog, whose shoulder and right side had been torn open, to a local veterinarian. There, Volk was told that as a result of Snap’s injuries, his blood pressure was too low to attempt experimental surgery that could have repaired his wounds.

“If I had been within a few feet I probably would have been able to save him,” Volk said. “It brings tears to your eye every once in a while, but what can you do? He was 14; he probably would have made it another four years. He was pretty healthy.”

With the help of some neighbours, Steve and Sarah Hanson, Volk was able to track the white dog back to a home in the area.

“Yesterday we got a phone call that Sarah had seen the white dog again at the church where she parks to pick up her kids from school,” Volk said. “I dropped what I was doing and ran over there. We followed the dog back to a neighbour’s house just north of here.”

Within 10 minutes of having phoned the Strathcona County RCMP, the white dog had been apprehended.

“Charges have been brought forth to the owner of the white dog under the Dog Bylaw for the dog attack,” said Wilf Gillis, supervisor of Strathcona County Enforcement Services.

Those charges include two charges for the dog at large and one charge for the attack.

Volk and his family have not yet spoken to the dogs’ owners, but would prefer to see the white dog destroyed.

“They were pack hunting, basically, and the white dog was definitely the leader of the pack. I’d like to see that white one put down, I really would. I don’t think he needs to be in this neighbourhood for any reason. The white dog is the one that I want.”

The decision to destroy the dogs, Gillis said, would have to be one ordered by the courts.

“If a child were attacked, it would definitely go under the Dangerous Dogs Act. In this case here, it’s not in our bylaw to have the dog destroyed,” he explained.

(Sherwood Park News - Dec 27, 2013)

Man suffers several bites in dog attack

OHIO -- A Green Street man who was visiting a neighbor was bitten multiple times by a dog Thursday afternoon.

Michael Slaughter, 58, suffered injuries to his hand and elbow area, Zanesville police said.

Slaughter’s pants also were torn during the attack, but bites to that area didn’t break his skin, police said. Slaughter was taken to Genesis Good Samaritan Hospital by Community Ambulance.

His son, Marcus Slaughter, said his father received stitches in five places.

County Dog Warden Bryan Catlin said it was the second time in the past year he was called to 109 Green St. to investigate a dog complaint.

The dog’s owner, Josh Davis, said Slaughter had stopped by for a visit to see how Davis’ son, Malachi, was doing. Malachi’s mom, Sara Havens, died Dec. 16.

But when Slaughter walked into the mobile home, the Staffordshire bull terrier got out through a hole in its cage. There also are two puppies in the home.

“They usually don’t act like that, unless it’s someone they don’t know or is wearing a hood,” Davis said. “If I had known that was going to happen and that he was walking down to see me, I would have met him outside.”

Slaughter ran back up the street to his home at 46 Green St. and then called police.

After speaking briefly with Slaughter while he was being treated by paramedics, officers called for Catlin and interviewed Davis.

Catlin cited Davis for three counts of failing to license a dog and one count of dog at large, all misdemeanors. Davis is scheduled to appear Jan. 10 in Zanesville Municipal Court.

Catlin informed Davis that if he purchases licenses for the dogs in the next couple of weeks, the judge would take that into consideration.

He said it seems as if there have been more dog complaints recently, but the frequency varies and many incidents are not reported.

“A lot of times, we’re not called, the victims don’t seek treatment or it happens after hours or on the weekend,” Catlin said. “Sometimes it will get turned over to the health department for more investigation.”

Catlin said he recalls being at the Davis’ residence before, after Davis was attacked and injured.

He had a broken arm in two places and the dog attacked me,” Catlin said.

Police said the health department would be in contact with Davis because of the incident and the fact there are children living in the home.

(Zanesville Times Recorder - Dec 27, 2013)

United Kingdom: Victim feared Doberman would kill her

UNITED KINGDOM -- A terrified mother mauled by a seven-stone Doberman says she feared it would tear her throat out.

Anna Robinson, 39, told a court how the dog sank its teeth into her legs and dragged her to the ground – as its university lecturer owner insisted: "He's only playing with you."



The harrowing account of the attack in Chartham was heard by Canterbury magistrates at the trial of Dr Sharon Money, who denied allowing her Doberman Blitzen to be dangerously out of control.

But the 53-year-old, who lost her job because of the pending prosecution, was found guilty by the three-strong bench.

The court was told the attack happened in a field off Baker's Wood, where Money and Miss Robinson would sometimes see each other while walking their dogs.

Fighting back tears in the witness box, Miss Robinson, of Bakers Lane, Chartham, said: "Her dogs were off their leads and I let mine off and went over.

"I said it was unusual to see both her dogs out and commented on how big the male was. It was just general chitchat.

"The big dog kept running up and barging into me. I started to feel very uncomfortable and walked away.


"It then ran after me and bit me on the thigh. I threw the plastic ball catcher I was holding at it, which snapped.

"She said, 'thank you, he needs to be told off'. She said nothing to her dog. I was in a state of panic at that point. The dog continued to circle us and I ran towards Dr Money because I wanted some protection.

"There was nowhere else to go. I stood behind with my hands on her shoulders and she said 'he's only playing with you'.

"I think I was saying, 'please control your dog'. Then it came round behind me and took a massive bite out of my left thigh.

"I realised I wasn't getting any protection from Dr Money so I ran down the field. I was running and screaming and she made no attempt to control her dog."

Miss Robinson wept as she described how the Doberman then chased her and jumped on her back, dragging her to the ground by her coat.


She said: "I was screaming, 'get him off me'. I thought he was going to tear my throat out and I would die."

The attack only ended after Money forced her fingers into the dog's mouth to get it to release and then got him on a lead.

Miss Robinson, who had been walking her spaniel Flash, said: "Dr Money was saying 'please don't call the police – I'll pay for any damage'."

The court was shown pictures of the bite marks and puncture wounds to the legs of Miss Robinson, who had to have a tetanus jab following the attack.

She went to Money's house with police and identified Blitzen as the dog who had bitten her, a fact accepted by the defendant.

Money, of Woodside Avenue, Chartham, claimed the dog was trying to protect her.


She insisted Blitzen was not aggressive or dangerous, saying in a police statement: "He jumped up, but was definitely trying to get the ball catcher. She was hysterical and he got hold of her coat. I guess he thought she was trying to attack me.

"He was not out of control, but I was being prevented from putting him on his lead by Miss Robinson grabbing and clinging on to me."

She admitted Blitzen was boisterous, but in a friendly way – a claim supported by another dog walker, Alan Lawrence.

She added claims the dog had bitten Miss Robinson before she started clinging to her were "false".

Pat Cuffe, defending, said to magistrates: “Miss Robinson was hysterical and is it not likely that Blitzen acted in a protective way, and in those circumstances it doesn't make him out of control or dangerous."

He said Money had been traumatised by the ordeal of coming to court.  Mr Cuffe added: "She has maintained her innocence and the verdict is a terrible blow and she is devastated.

"She has lost her job as a result of the pending prosecution and it has been a very salutary and embarrassing experience.


"It is the first time the dog has bitten anyone and she has bought a muzzle and the dog will not go out unleashed.

"Her husband has multiple sclerosis and I ask the court for a measure of leniency and consideration of a conditional discharge."

Passing sentence chairman David Griffiths said the bench had considered the culpability of Money relatively low, but the resulting injury high.

He ordered her to do 50 hours' unpaid work and pay £500 compensation for Miss Robinson’s injuries, £95 for damage to her clothes, £350 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

He also said the dog must be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public places.

Miss Robinson says she will donate £100 of the compensation to Victim Support and £50 to the Dogs Trust.

(Kent Online - Dec 13, 2013)

Horses recovering after dog attack

CALIFORNIA -- Two horses attacked by domestic dogs on the night of Dec. 3 in Malibu Park are healing and are expected to make a full recovery. The owner of the dogs has still not been identified, but there have been no other reported incidents.

"At this point, the case is dead in the water," Ralph Waycott, the owner of the horses, said. Waycott added that he filed a full report with Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and remains in contact with the agency, but that there has been no sign of the dogs since the incident, and no leads.

"We heard our horses' unusual voices and saw the dust from a disturbance," Waycott said, describing the incident in an email. "When we turned the lights on at the barn we saw a short-haired black dog of pit bull/ Labrador mix and a golden retriever-ish breed. The golden left rather quickly, while the black dog slowly examined me as he followed the golden onto our neighbor's property where young children live.

"We have lived in Malibu Park for 20 years and have never seen these dogs before. I have lived with horses in the Santa Monica Mountains for the better part of 60 years and have never experienced an incident like this before."

"We've placed inquiries with neighbors," Waycott said. "One had seen the dogs and claimed they were responsible for harm to wildlife on his property. No one we've contacted knows the dogs' owners. These dogs are dangerous and I'm hoping that someone in Malibu Park can help to establish ownership and responsibility."

Although unconfirmed, rumors have circulated that a third horse in the Malibu Park area was attacked and killed during the same time period.

Waycott said Tango, his 26-year-old thoroughbred, required extensive veterinary care for bites on his face, as well as front and rear legs. The second horse escaped without major injury.

"I hope as we get back on the trails that they are going to be all right with other dogs after this experience," Waycott said.

"We want to make sure people are aware," Waycott added. "There are many horses and other livestock in Malibu Park that could be at risk," he said, adding that he is also concerned for the neighborhood children.

Waycott said that he wants to dispel the rumor that coyotes were responsible for the attack. "Coyotes pass through the property every night within feet of our horses, but never bother them," he said.

Animal behaviorists say that even the friendliest and most well-socialized dog can be a serious treat to horses and other livestock. A dog can reportedly maim or kill a horse within seconds during an attack. The psychological trauma to a horse that survives an attack can impact the animal for the rest of its life, creating a serious safety risk for the horse and its rider.

Anyone with information on the two dogs involved in the Dec. 3 incident is encouraged to contact Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control at (818) 991-0071.

(Malibu Surfside News - Dec 23, 2013)

Dog left two breaks in boy’s arm in Smethwick attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- An out-of-control dog left a boy with ‘life-changing injuries’ in Smethwick after it broke his arm in two places, a court has heard.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, called Diesel, attacked the 13-year-old and a passer-by who tried to help, while the boy was out walking it in a children’s playground in Smethwick.

The dog’s owner Kelly Farrell, aged 36, pleaded guilty to allowing it to be dangerously out of control in a public place, during a hearing at Sandwell Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Farrell had been visiting family from her home in Melbury Lane, Northampton, on November 3 and allowed nephew Nathan Hackett to walk the dog in Londonderry Park, Londonderry Road, before returning home. It was then that the dog, which is now in police custody, attacked.

Prosecuting solicitor Mr Roger Bleazard told magistrates: “One of the victims received life-changing injuries, which I think gives you a flavour of what we are talking of. “It is a serious attack by a dog.”

Mr Bleazard said the boy was walking towards the exit of the park’s play area with the dog when it grabbed him by the arm. He was punching it in the face to try to fight it off when passer-by Thomas Willetts tried to intervene, himself then being bitten.

Defending, Mrs Dawn Foxall did not enter any mitigating evidence on Farrell’s behalf. Sentencing will take place at the same court on January 23.

(expressandstar.com - Dec 26, 2013)

Owner of a dog mauled to death in an Exeter park welcomes the death sentence given to a pit bull which carried out the attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- The owner of a dog mauled to death in an Exeter park has welcomed a decision by a judge to destroy the pit bull terrier which carried out the attack.

The five-year-old pit bull called Riley was made subject of a destruction order after he attacked and killed the much smaller dog called Folly.




Pensioner Diana Walton, 90, was left heartbroken after nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier Folly was mauled to death by Riley, which was being walked off the lead in Belmont Park in Exeter in August.

Magistrates made an order for Riley to be put down after police experts certified he was a pit bull type dog and subject to the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Owner Kimberley James appealed the decision to Exeter Crown Court and asked for the order to be made contingent, meaning it is not carried out so long as strict safeguards are put in place.

Speaking after the hearing Ms Walton said: she still has nightmares four months after witnessing the attack.

She said: “I can bury it during the day but it comes back at night and it is the last thing I see and I wake up at night seeing Folly’s poor little body.

“It was a very traumatic experience and I do think the dog should be destroyed.

“It could so easily have been a small child. I also think that dogs should be kept on the lead in parks.”

During the case Miss James told Judge Erik Salomonsen at the time of the attack Riley was being walked by a boyfriend who ignored her request to keep him on a lead.

She said she would ensure he is always muzzled and kept on a lead in the future. She works as a part time carer and said she would make sure no-one else took Riley out.

Her plea failed to persuade Judge Erik Salomonsen, who dismissed the appeal and ruled that Riley must be destroyed.

He said: “Riley is a pit bull type terrier and this matter comes before the court because when the dog was being walked off the lead in Belmont Park it killed a Yorkshire Terrier by continually shaking it by the neck in a way one witness said was like a rag doll.

“We are urged to make a contingent order. We have to uphold the destruction order unless we are satisfied the dog would not constitute a danger to public safety.

“The dog displayed an extreme and unusual tendency when it killed another dog. We note the owner of the Yorkie was a lady of 90.

“It is with very great regret we find we cannot be satisfied this dog would not constitute a risk and therefore we dismiss the appeal.”


The judge, who sat with two lay magistrates, imposed £750 costs.

Eleanor Perkis, prosecuting, said the destruction order should be enforced because it was the only way to ensure the safety of the public and there was a risk someone else may take Riley out without the muzzle.

She said other owners may be put at risk if there was another attack and they intervened to try to separate the dogs.

Police dog expert Pc James Johnson said: “In my experience it is very rare for one dog to kill another and I do not believe a contingent order is sufficient to deal with the extreme mode of behaviour.”

Former police dog trainer Ian McParland showed the Judge a six minute video of behavioural tests he carried out with Riley and claimed the dog had no aggression.

(Exeter Express and Echo - Dec 22, 2013)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lhasa apso puppy rescued from trash at Long Island gas station

NEW YORK -- A PUPPY has been rescued from a commercial Dumpster on Long Island.

The small pooch was discovered in the trash at a gas station in West Islip about 1 a.m. on Tuesday, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

Officials believe the dog, a 1-year-old Lhasa apso, chewed its way out of a plastic bag.


The female pup was wearing a pink leash and a pink collar. The dog was transported to a 24-hour animal hospital.

The animal was severely matted and dirty but otherwise in good health, the SPCA said. A gas station surveillance video taken nearly 24 hours before the dog was found shows a person carrying a plastic bag that appears to contain a box and placing it in the Dumpster.

(New York Daily News - Dec 24, 2013)

Judge rules that pit bull involved in fatal dog attack must be put down

CALIFORNIA -- A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a 3-year-old pit bull must be euthenized following a fatal dog attack that resulted in two human injuries this summer.

After hearing testimony from Upland residents who witnessed the incident and authorities who investigated afterward, Judge Joseph Brisco said Johnny Rango is a dangerous and vicious dog who is to be destroyed immediately.

Fagundes pleads for the pit bull next to a photo of the 15 year-old
Golden Retriever which was mauled to death by said pit bull

Brisco also ruled that Johnny Rango’s owner, Alicia Fagundes of Upland, must pay all storage and fees for the dog who has been at the Upland Animal Shelter for about four months awaiting a decision and reimburse the city for their investigation into the incident.

“I think it’s a just decision,” said Daniel Garcia, whose 15-year-old golden retriever was killed in the attack. “Justice has finally been served.”

Garcia was walking Lazer around 8:15 p.m. Aug. 25 through his Colonies neighborhood when he saw the pit bull approaching.

Without provocation the pit bull attacked the Golden Retriever on his shoulder and neck area and latched on to the other dog for about 10 minutes [this is called the death grip in which the victim animal is unable to breathe and sometimes has its windpipe crushed].

He finally released after several neighbors made attempts to remove the dog’s grip.

Such as beating it with a baseball bat, tire iron, stick, piece of rebar...

During that time, two neighbors were injured — one man had several deep bite marks on his hand and another man tore his shoulder, which has permanent damage as a result.

Neighbors took Garcia and Lazer to a hospital, where the dog was given a 50/50 chance to live, but due to his age and the extent of the wound, he died about 4 a.m.


Jennifer Calderon, an Upland animal services officer, was one of the witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, describing Johnny Rango as a tan and white pit bull, not neutered, between 90 and 100 pounds.

Calderon testified that the pit bull had attacked another dog in 2012, which resulted in one human injury.

Following that incident, Johnny was labeled a potentially dangerous dog and assigned several restrictions.

“Johnny is extremely animal aggressive,” Calderon said. “He wants to attack other animals.”

Other witnesses called to the stand — recounted the gory details of the attack —as well as the injuries to the dog and two men. They also confirmed that the attack was unprovoked.

Fagundes has fought the decision as long as she could, saying Johnny Rango is a good dog who does not deserve to die.

In October, the Upland city prosecutor made the recommendation to label the pit bull as a vicious dog and authorize his euthanasia.

Fagundes appealed that recommendation, and the matter was sent to the City Council, which upheld the recommendation in November.

Fagundes again appealed, sending the case to court.

She was not present at Tuesday’s hearing. Her lawyer, Dennis Assuras, said she was sick and had doctor’s orders to stay home. His request for a continuance was denied, and the judge proceeded with the hearing absent any witnesses for the defense.

“How can someone go forward with the hearing when I’m not there?” Fagundes said during a phone interview after the hearing.


She wanted to know if there was anything else she could do to save her dog’s life.

“If there’s something else I can do, I’ll do it,” she said.

Fagundes said she was planning to take Johnny Rango to a trainer, specifically a pit bull camp, to work on the animal aggression and then send him to live in Arizona.

“She wants very much that her dog not be executed without at least having the opportunity to have her dog trained... to show it’s not a vicious dog and it’s not a threat to the community,” Assuras said.

(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - ‎Dec 24, 2013‎)
Earlier:

Stanly County Animal Control kills loose dog

NORTH CAROLINA -- An Albemarle family returned home Wednesday morning to learn that Animal Control had fatally shot their dog five times.

An animal control officer killed the pit bull with a 12-gauge shotgun after the first officer on the scene spent about one and a half hours chasing the dog around its owners’ Fourth Street residence.

After the officer was unable to catch the dog, the animal was killed in its yard.

Witnesses of the events say that animal control went too far and that the killing was not necessary.


“He was chasing him around with a stick in his hand. What’s the dog supposed to do?” said Josh Byrd, who witnessed the event from across the street.

“He could have probably caught him if he had put the stick down.”

Animal control and police describe a different set of circumstances.

Animal Control officer Dean Lambert said the dog exhibited signs of aggression, including growling and lunging toward him as he tried to catch the pit bull with a control pole.

“He was aggressive enough, but not super aggressive toward me. It’s fight or flight just like with humans,” Lambert said.

Because he was unable to catch the dog to ensure public safety, Lambert ordered the pit bull be killed. “You don’t allow an aggressive animal in a public setting,” Lambert said.

“If they (witnesses) would have walked up to the dog they would have understood,” he added, referring to the dog’s aggressiveness that might not have been visible from witnesses’ vantage point.

Police also say the pit bull showed aggression toward Animal Control, also citing details from the original 911 call.

Communications confirmed that the 8:41 a.m. call reported that the pit bull had earlier chased a pedestrian onto a porch.

Witnesses contend that police as well as animal control officer Charles Hartsell simply looked on as Lambert gave chase to the dog, suggesting efforts to capture the dog were lame. The other officers offered no assistance in corralling the animal, witnesses said.

Nearby witnesses said the dog ran around its property for the duration of Lambert trying to catch him with a pole in his hand.

“We never saw the dog doing anything out of the way,” Charlie Helms said.

“The dog just ran around and around his house.”

Lambert said usually a dog will tire out then retreat to an area that allows for easy capture, but the pit bull never obliged.

He said while other types of trapping are used on strays, they’re not an option for aggressive dogs, especially when their adrenaline is high.

Lambert defended the killing of the dog as necessary in the interest of public safety. He said buckshot was used to prevent the spray of the blast from reaching any nearby bystanders or houses.

“The original shot was a killing shot,” Lambert said.

“The dog was retreating (after the first shot) and we wanted instantaneous death so the dog wouldn’t suffer.”

Witnesses said they were appalled that Animal Control opted to kill the dog, adding that five shots seemed excessive.

“To shoot him five times was overkill,” Byrd said.

Officers carted the dog’s carcass from the scene and then left a note in the front door of the owner’s residence around 10:30 a.m..

Twenty minutes later Yadira Carbajal arrived home to learn her family’s dog, Chato, was killed.

“I don’t think they had to shoot,” she said. “They could have waited.”

Lambert said Carbajal called Animal Control and admitted that the dog had become loose from his clasped chain in the yard before she left home earlier in the morning.

 Had she secured the dog before leaving, the ordeal could have been avoided, Lambert said.

 Byrd suggested the dog was likely killed as much for its breed’s perceived reputation for meanness.
 The dog’s nature was anything but mean, Carbajal said.

“He was sweet. He loved to play with my children,” she said with tears filling her eyes as she picked up Chato’s water dish near the blood stained area where the dog was killed.   
(Stanly News & Press - Dec 24, 2013)

Dead, Emaciated Animals Found in Roy

WASHINGTON -- Pierce County animal control seized more than a dozen animals after finding them emaciated at an abandoned farm in Roy last Friday.

Officers found seven dead pigs on the farm, located in the 100 block of 394 St. S. in Roy, said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, whose office oversees the Animal Control department.

All told, she said the Roy farm contained 16 pigs, including the seven dead ones; three piglets; two dogs; a horse; a cow; a steer and a cat.

The animals belonged to Fagatulu’imalemalo Fa’Agata, she said.

Anderson said her office has a duty to contact the animal owner and notify the animals have been seized, while providing an inventory of animals on the property that were taken. The property owner then has a specified amount of time in which to petition the court to have the animals returned. If a petition to return the animals is filed, the owner would have to pay a bond for their care, and the cost of veterinary bills and boarding expenses while the animals are held in custody pending a hearing would be “quite large,” Anderson estimated.

Technically, the animals are evidence of a crime, Anderson said. They must be sequestered as evidence at contracted facilities in the county. The county maintains contracts with several facilities, she said. Some of the animals seized in Roy are at veterinary hospitals receiving care, and others are at boarding facilities, she said.

Anderson said the county has seized just about every kind of animal imaginable, but said this is the largest livestock seizure she remembers.

“In cases like this, I always like to remind the public that animal control officers are part of the law enforcement community,” Anderson said. “We’re constantly having to balance property rights and Constitutional rights of individuals with the best welfare for animals. That means we can’t just welcome ourselves and stroll around on 20 acres of property looking for problems when we don’t have reasonable cause or a warrant to do so. We have restrictions, but they’re important restrictions to observe.”

Since 2008, Pierce County Animal Control received 20 calls at the Roy address. More than half were for loose or roaming animals, and about 20 percent were complaints of dangerous or aggressive animals — aggressive pigs, in this case. There were also five calls of animal abuse or neglect, but those were all several years ago.

Anderson said Animal Control officers happened to be on the property for another complaint and were able to observe emaciated animals from the vantage point of a cooperative neighbor’s property.

“We’re always looking for opportunities like that,” she said. “We want our cases to hold up and violators to be prosecuted. That means we can’t contaminate cases … by violating the law.

Procedural law is more important in animal control than people would like to think. We definitely want to prosecute this man to the fullest extent possible.”

Anderson added they may seek to deem Fa’Agata’s behavior “habitual” in court, which would mean he can’t own animals again.

Fa’Agata has an outstanding bench warrant, issued in July 2013, for a dangerous animal violation, Anderson said. Two of his dogs had been declared dangerous in May 2011, she said. One dog was impounded on a warrant in June 2011 and the other animal’s location was unknown, she said.

(Nisqually Valley News-Dec 24, 2013)

Rhode Island: Pawtucket shelter receives more than 100 calls about pup left in Dumpster

RHODE ISLAND -- The plight of the puppy left in a parking lot dump container in Pawtucket has drawn an “overwhelming” response, Animal Control Supervisor John Holmes said Tuesday.

His office received “well over 100 calls” Tuesday morning from people concerned about the dog and looking to adopt him.


The 10- to 12-week-old Jack Russell terrier mix was discovered when a passerby heard whimpering in the trash bin behind an apartment building at West Avenue and Harrison Street early Friday morning, Police Maj. Arthur Martins said Monday. The puppy, in a filthy pet carrier, was hungry and thirsty but otherwise unhurt.

Holmes figures the puppy had been in the trash container for 24 hours.

Workers at the city animal shelter fed and cleaned the puppy, who is friendly and appears to be in good shape, Holmes said.

He said he has received 50 adoption applications, “but we can only find one home for the dog. … Unfortunately, 49 people’s hearts are going to be broken.”

Holmes said his office would begin screening applications on Thursday.


“We want to see this puppy go into a home where he’s going to get a lot of love. He’s been through a lot,” he said. “It’s going to be tough” to select the family. “We’ve got a lot of nice people” who applied to adopt him.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Pawtucket police at (401) 727-9100 or the shelter at (401) 722-4243.

(Providence Journal - Dec 24, 2013)

Earlier:

Pit Bull fatally shot after attack man, boy and charging at officers

CALIFORNIA -- Police shot and killed a pit bull that was attacking residents in a Fremont neighborhood on Saturday.

Officers were called to a residence on Blaisdell Way after residents reported a gray and white pit bull had attacked an elderly man and his grandson, police said.

The man suffered a severe hand injury and the dog bit the child's foot, police said.

Police were told that the dog had been attacking everything in the yard of the house, including a basketball, tetherball, shoes and other outdoor equipment.

The residents had locked themselves into cars and inside the house to avoid the dog, police said.

The man and grandson were able to get inside a neighbor's home after the attack, police said.

When an officer arrived the dog charged at him, but the officer used his baton to fend off the canine and tried to get the dog into the back of his patrol car.

Instead, the dog grabbed onto the baton and ran off with it and destroyed it, police said.

The officer advised all nearby residents to stay inside and away from windows until the dog was caught, police said.

Fire crews also responded to tend to the injured man and grandson and did not know that the dog was still loose in the area, police said.

The dogs then charged at three firefighters who had exited their truck to treat the two victims, police said.

Two of the firefighters scrambled into the truck cab, while a third climbed on top of the truck, police said.

Then dog then charged at the police officer once again, which was when the officer shot the dog once.

The pit bull died at the scene, police said.

The dog had no tags on and residents were not familiar with the animal.

The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital while the child was taken in a car. They were both treated at a hospital and released, police said.

The Fremont Animal Service Department is investigating the incident, police said.

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call Fremont police (510) 790-6800.

(KTVU - ‎Dec 24, 2013‎)

Pit bull propaganda: "Pit bull happily living in New York State"

GEORGIA -- Apart from disliking the cold, a pit bull that attacked a 5-year-old Effingham County boy in July 2012 is adjusting well to living at a rescue center in New York State.

The dog whose name was “Kno,” is now known as “Noah,” said Liz Keller, the owner of Glen Wild Animal Rescue in South Kortright, N.Y.

Liz Keller and the 'perfect gentleman'



He was neutered and lives with Keller at the rescue center. As part of a court agreement, the dog is not allowed to be near children and can’t be adopted by anyone.

“He’s not a fan of Upstate New York winter,” Keller said. “He runs out, goes to the bathroom and comes right back in. … He gives a face like, ‘I’m from Georgia. Can you get me inside, please?’ He doesn’t like the cold.”

She said he is a “perfect gentleman” and seems appreciative of his current living situation.

The dog spent a year living in a 6-foot-by-5-foot pen at the Effingham County animal shelter, while a court-appointed, pro-bono lawyer argued for his life to be spared.


Wesley Frye, who was 5 years old when he was attacked, had facial paralysis and scars and was terrified of dogs, his mother said last summer.

A judge ruled that Kno was not vicious and that the boy’s injuries “were the result of a series of unfortunate events.”

The dog’s attorney, Mickey Kicklighter, said in court that one report was that the dog had a sore on its back that Frye and two other boys were told to leave alone, but didn’t, and the second report was that the boys were screaming in the dog’s face.

[NOTE: This was the "dog's attorney" which alleges it was the little boy's fault that the dog attacked him and caused him 'permanent facial paralysis'. Typical defense: blame the victim.]


Keller said she appreciates all the help the public has given toward the dog’s flight to his new home and his upkeep.

[How many of these people - who donated money to this pit bull - also donated money to the little boy? My guess would be none.]

(Savannah Morning News - ‎Dec 24, 2013‎)

Earlier:

Great example of a caring Animal Control officer

MONTANA -- This great story is being shared with anyone needing a smile; and to offer compliments to Officer Mary Johnson at Animal Control.

There was a mystery pipe under a house, about 5 inches across, that went 5 to 6 feet straight down, and somehow a kitten fell in (please spay and neuter!). After hearing intermittent cries overnight, the homeowners finally located him. Attempts were made using rope, a shop-vac and dangling pantyhose with tuna in the toe. With time ticking, and temperatures dropping, the homeowner began digging.

Animal Control was contacted, and even though it was getting close to 5 p.m., Johnson arrived.

Digging was slow, through hard ground full of roots and rocks. However, continuing to dig, exposing the pipe, and cutting it off would allow Johnson to maneuver a control stick into the pipe. A towel was pushed inside the pipe to protect the kitten from debris while the homeowner cut it with a saw.

He wasn’t crying much anymore and the angle of the control stick was still too tight.

After more digging and sawing, Johnson worked the control stick into the pipe. Three paws were stuck, so she could only secure his neck. Not knowing how deep the pipe went, we held our breath.

She carefully lifted. He hadn’t opened his eyes for a while, and this needed to work. Gently, the pole came up. The kitten didn’t slip, and Johnson grabbed him. After releasing the kitten, a neighbor warmed him in her coat while Johnson climbed out of the hole. The pipe was immediately sealed.

After a night in an incubator, and as much warm wet food as a tiny kitten can hold, “Digger” has a happy home, because the homeowners adopted him.

Thank you, Animal Control and Officer Johnson!

A. Sienknecht, Missoula

(The Missoulian - Dec 26, 2013)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rhode Island: Weeks-old puppy rescued from dumpster

RHODE ISLAND -- A weeks-old puppy locked inside of a pet carrier was rescued from a dumpster on Thursday morning.

Police are actively searching for suspects after the 10-week-old jack russell terrier mix was discovered when a passerby heard the animal crying and called police. The puppy was abandoned in a carrier that was filthy and full of feces.


According to Animal Control Director John Holmes, police are investigating but currently have no suspects.

Holmes said the puppy has been examined and appears to be healthy. He will be held at the Pawtucket Animal Shelter for the time being.

Anyone interested in adopting the puppy can come by the Pawtucket Animal Shelter in Slater Park to see him.

Holmes said the person responsible will be charged to the “fullest extent of the law”.

(WWLP - Dec 23, 2013)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Judge Dave Tobben orders rabbits and other animals to be returned to abuser Velma Muessemeyer

MISSOURI -- A Franklin County judge has ordered a large number of animals seized in an investigation last month returned to a St. Clair area woman.

Associate Circuit Judge Dave Tobben heard testimony and arguments Wednesday from both sides in the case of Velma Muessemeyer, 75, known locally as the “Rabbit Lady,”

After taking the case under advisement, Tobben issued his judgment Thursday.

Dave Tobben says this isn't cruel confinement

Tobben, in his ruling, noted that while the state’s experts stated that “generally there was indication of neglect,” and that some of the animals were underweight and/or ill, “there was no evidence that the vast majority of the animals were in danger.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, members of the Missouri Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Task Force and Franklin County deputies removed 253 animals from Muessemeyer’s property off of Parkway Drive just east of the St. Clair city limits.


An investigation led to a warrant ordering removal of the animals, including 192 domestic rabbits, 25 goats, 10 cats, 21 chickens, four dogs and a duck.

Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said the humane society reported that a number of the animals were in such poor health that they had to be euthanized.

Parks said he was “extremely disappointed” with Tobben’s ruling but that will not stop his office from proceeding with criminal charges against Muessemeyer.




Free to continue to abuse animals, thanks to Dave Tobben

Muessemeyer is charged with 21 separate misdemeanor counts of animal abuse based on reports filed by the humane society.

Parks said he issued charges in the “worst cases” of animal abuse documented by humane society workers. Criminal summonses were issued in the case.


The prosecutor said the misdemeanor charges are based on individual cases of alleged animal neglect and are separate from the hearing to decide custody of the animals.


The penalties for misdemeanor animal abuse range from one day to a year in the county jail, and up to a $1,000 fine on each count.

The prosecutor said his office will ask the court to order restitution payments to the humane society for removal, treatment and care of the animals.

Parks said as of Friday, that bill had increased to more than $80,000.

Muessemeyer told The Missourian that she raises rabbits for sale and she denied that the animals were housed in unsanitary conditions.



 Authorities, however, alleged that the rabbits were housed in raised wire-bottom cages with feces piled in the cages as well as underneath them. Many of the cages were encrusted with dirt and hair and had little to no shelter from the weather.

Most of the cages held multiple rabbits with some housing as many as 10. Water for many of the animals was frozen, dirty and contaminated with feces, authorities alleged.

(Missourian - Dec 20, 2013)

Earlier:
"Nearly 200 rabbits, dogs, cats and other animals rescued in Franklin County"
Nov 12, 2013 -- Velma Muessemeyer said she has been raising rabbits for more than sixty years and there was nothing wrong with her methods.  But authorities described the conditions for nearly two hundred rabbits and 25 pigmy goats as ‘deplorable.’

As many as thirteen domestic rabbits were crowded into one wire cage. 

Muessemeyer said she was getting ready to butcher some of them.  ‘This was part of my living cause I don`t  get a lot of Social Security so this was to help me out,’ she explained.

The woman admitted, ‘rabbits are messy, yes they are messy and they are a lot of work, but I go through fifty pounds of feed a day.’

Woman charged with animal cruelty after dog found frozen

MASSACHUSETTS -- Kristen Leigh Meninger, 27, of 2113 Horns Point Road was served a criminal summons for multiple charges involving animal cruelty after a pit bull was found chained outside of her home, apparently frozen to death, Dec. 12, according to Dorchester Sheriff James W. Phillips Jr.

Phillips said Dorchester County Animal Control Officers found the dog had an open wound on one leg and was being kept outside without food or water.

The sheriff said Meninger was cited on charges of animal cruelty, inflicting unncessary pain and suffering; animal cruelty, failure to provide food and water; aggravated animal, restraining a dog outside in a manner that restricts access to food and water; and unsafe and unsanitary restraint of a dog.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled Jan. 27, 2014, in Dorchester County District Court.

(My Eastern Shore - Dec 24, 2013)

Tilles Park Clydesdale horse dies while pulling carriage

MISSOURI -- A sad event at a most unfortunate time:  that is what most are calling the death of a carriage horse Saturday night in the middle of the Winter Wonderland Christmas Light display in Tilles Park.

A witness in the carriage the horse was pulling tells Fox 2 the animal began acting strangely a few minutes after pulling into the light display, then fell.  The horse died moments later.



Jerry Kirk, the owner of Brookdale farms who provides the carriages, says the horse essentially had a heart attack.  He got the call moments after it happened.

“Obviously you get the big lump in your throat and want to see what’s going on.  Of course I’m right there on site, and I had personally just loaded the people on the carriage like four minutes prior to that.”

The horse, named King, was 22 year old Clydesdale.  Kirk purchased him four years ago, possibly saving him from going to slaughter.  He had reached a fairly advanced age for a horse so large.  Kirk says King had shown no signs of distress, and was only worked a couple of days a week due to his age.  He was also checked regularly by a veterinarian, just like all the horses at the stable.

“The thing about these draft horses is they live to do this.  That’s what they’re bred for.  That’s what they’re here for.  They love their work. They love to be out in the public.  They get all the attention.”


County officials say the incident was simply unavoidable.

Acting Parks Director Tom Ott issued a statement saying, “According to eyewitness accounts, the horse stopped, stretched and went down of an apparent heart attack. We are saddened by the loss of this beautiful animal but truly believe it died of natural causes.

“St. Louis County Parks works with Brookdale to ensure that the horses are being taken care of and aren’t in danger, especially during inclement weather.  Our parks staff makes sure roads are cleared of any snow or ice, and we have even cancelled the event on occasions when roads would put the public or the horses in danger. During Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park thousands of carriage rides are provided each year, and this is only the second time in our 28 years of the event that a horse has been lost.”


In this case, Kirk says it appears to have just been the horse’s time.

“Anytime you have animals sometimes things like this will happen.  And when it does happen in this kind of a situation it’s really, really bad.  It’s bad for us. It’s bad for the public. It’s bad for the people there.  But it’s just a part of life.”

We spoke to the Missouri Humane Society, and officials there also say the death appears to have been of natural causes.  No one we spoke to is alleging any sort of wrongdoing.

(FOX2NOW - Dec 23, 2013)