Saturday, March 31, 2007

Virginia: Akita attacks two women and Dachshund at dog park

VIRGINIA -- The attack marked the first time since the Newport News park opened in April that a person was bitten, an official said.

A dog attack this week at the city's only off-leash park left a miniature Dachsund with serious injuries and two women with bite wounds.

Christine Hyatt and her daughter, Kathy, were walking their three small dogs through Fido Field, an off-leash dog park at Riverview Farm Park, Tuesday when they heard someone holler.

Hyatt, 67, spun around and saw an Akita mix sink its teeth into the neck of her 2-year-old Dachsund, Maddy, and start shaking.

Maddy broke free, but the dog attacked again.

Christine Hyatt and her daughter tried to intervene, and the Akita mangled Christine Hyatt's middle finger and bit her daughter's hand, Hyatt said.

Eventually, she said, the Akita's owner helped pull the dog off.

Hyatt's dog remained in an animal hospital Thursday, but a doctor said Maddy could be released this weekend, Hyatt said.

Hyatt, meanwhile, underwent treatment for her sliced and fractured finger at an emergency medical clinic.

She worried about the risk of rabies, since she didn't know whether the Akita had been vaccinated.

On Thursday, as she sat at the intersection of Menchville Road and Warwick Boulevard, Hyatt said, she saw the Akita's owner drive past.

It was "divine intervention," she said.

She and her daughter followed him to a Bryan Court home, where she confronted the driver, according to a city animal services report.

The driver, James Coleman, admitted owning the Akita, Hyatt said.

She's hoping Coleman will cover her dog's medical bills.

Coleman couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, but Bill Wise, the city's animal services superintendent, said Coleman reported his dog, "Kita," was registered and up-to-date on its shots.

The incident marked the first substantiated report of a person being bitten at the park since it opened in April 2006, said Andy Lunsford, the city's parks operations superintendent.

At Fido Field on Thursday, Josh Biskey, 27, watched his German shepherd, Dakota, roll through the dirt with a terrier mix.

He described the park as a great place for both dog owners and dogs to socialize. Most people, he said, recognize when their pets become aggressive.

"You have to step in before something happens," Biskey said. "You need to know what your dog's capable of."

Properly training a dog is crucial to helping it get along with others at places such as an off-leash park, Biskey said.

He often walked Dakota through PetSmart to help socialize the dog, and he also has a miniature pinscher that plays with Dakota, he said.

Leonard Schneider, 63, of Newport News, said that his daughter's Miniature Pinscher, Rusty, was attacked by a pit bull at the park in November.

He said the dog now often clings to his leg during their daily outing there.

"The dogs really are social," Schneider said, as Rusty sniffed the ground a few feet away.

"They like each other. Once in a while you get a dog that's not sociable."

When he sees an aggressive dog, Schneider said he takes Rusty to a one-eighth-acre, fenced area that's adjacent to Fido Field's main off-leash area.

Christine Hyatt doesn't plan to do that.

Her visit to Fido Field on Tuesday was her first and last, she said.

"I'm not taking my dogs out of the yard anymore."

(Daily Press - March 30, 2007)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Akita mauls woman's foot at dog show

FLORIDA -- Animal control agents took a large Akita into custody after it attacked a woman at a dog show in Melbourne.

The dog attacked 70-year-old Marie Larry-Tatman, injuring her left ankle. Police say the adult dog began dragging the woman before several men pulled the animal away.

The Akita was not one of the nearly 200 dogs competing in the Space Coast Kennel Club of Palm Bay competition. Police say the dog's owner, Sally Jaffe, was given several citations by animal control agents, including one for a bite causing injury.

A Brevard animal control spokesman says the dog will be the subject of a dangerous-dog hearing in 10 days.

The victim was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center, where officials say she was listed in good condition.

(WSVN - March 27, 2007)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Florida: County insists it was a "clerical error" that vicious Pit Bull that mauled woman was put right back on the adoption floor after being brought in

FLORIDA -- Animal Services in Orange County, Fla., said a clerical error led to a pit bull being made available for adoption hours after it attacked a woman.

Tootie Francis said she spent 13 hours in the emergency room after the dog attacked her, WKMG-TV, Orlando, reported Tuesday.

"He was ripping into my flesh and pulling my pants leg and he let go of that leg and came around and did the same thing to my other leg," Francis told the television station.

The dog was taken by animal control authorities but Francis said she saw the dog was listed on the county Web site as available for adoption.

"It was a clerical error," Orange County Animal Services representative Vanessa Bouffard said. "The dog should not have been labeled as a stray animal. It should have been labeled as an unavailable animal, thus keeping it from the Web site automatically."

Animal control officials said they would not have allowed the dog to be adopted because the attack was clearly stated in its file, WKMG-TV reported.

The pit bull was euthanized after her owner declined to claim the dog and pay the required fines.

(UPI - March 27, 2007)

Jefferson Co. horse owner, Dennis Danley, 54, faces cruelty charges

WEST VIRGINIA -- A Charles Town man was charged Monday morning with 10 counts of cruelty to animals after Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputies found five dead horses on a farm off Huyett Road south of town and discovered that about 10 horses on the property were malnourished, according to court records.

Dennis B. Danley, 54, of 44 Colorado Court, was released on a $7,500 bond, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

Each of the cruelty to animals charges carries a possible punishment of a fine of $300 to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to six months, court records indicate.

Cpl. Vincent Tiong said a worker at Charles Town Races & Slots went to the sheriff's department Feb. 9 and told him about the horses. Tiong said the track worker told him there were 10 to 15 horses in a field off Blakeley Farm Lane that were not being properly fed and did not have water.

(Herald Mail - March 27, 2007)

Friday, March 9, 2007

New York: Corrupt and/or lazy prosecutors let Long Island Serial Cat Killer Richard DeSantis plead guilty to a single charge of false reporting

NEW YORK -- As expected, he has gotten away with it! Serial cat killer and bird-loving psychopath Richard DeSantis, 58, of 656 Hyman Avenue in West Islip, Long Island received only a $250 fine and six-months of probation for purposefully trapping his neighbor's cat and turning it over to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter to exterminate.

In a plea bargain worked out between his ambulance-chasing attorney, Eric N. Naiburg, and prosecutors, Desantis was allowed to plead guilty to one count of making a false written statement. After he has served his probation the charge will be reduced to disorderly conduct and he will then pay the fine.

When he was arrested in June of 2006, he was additionally charged with cruelty to animals, possession of stolen property, falsifying records, and criminal mischief. He was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty in a Riverhead court on June 13th.

The case began on April 2nd of last year when DeSantis illegally trapped a four-year-old Russian Blue male cat named Coal belonging to his next-door neighbors, Jesse and Regina Fagone. Coal and the family dog, Nala, are pictured below with the Fagones' children, Samantha, 13, and Nicholas, 12.

Through the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the shelter, the Fagones learned of DeSantis' criminal behavior and he was subsequently arrested. For his part, DeSantis has never admitted to any wrongdoing.

With Naiburg serving as his mouthpiece, he claimed that Coal was harassing -- not killing -- birds in his backyard and that as a licensed hunter he had a right to kill him. He also lied through his teeth by arguing that he thought the cat was feral.

DeSantis not only loves killing cats but he also gets a kick out of tormenting the Fagones' children. For instance, as soon as he was released after his arrest he immediately began taunting them by yelling in their direction, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty."

His attorney was likewise just as remorseless after his victory in court.

"My client made one mistake in his life," Naiburg told Newsday on February 28th. "When he started having problems with that feral cat, he should have dug a hole, broken its neck, and put it in."

Commenting upon his callous endorsement of feline homicide and animal cruelty, Moggies said on its website, "Eric Naiburg should be thrown off the benches ... how an attorney can say this and get away with it is beyond me!" (See

Moggies has raised an interesting point. Naiburg's reprehensible comments should be brought to the attention of the New York State Bar Association for disciplinary action. As an officer of the court, he should not be allowed to advocate the killing of innocent animals and the theft of private property. If he were proposing that men and women should be treated in a like-minded manner, his license to practice law surely would be promptly revoked.

DeSantis' conduct in this case is not an isolated incident. Au contraire, like most cat-hating, bird-loving psychopaths, he had made a career out of killing cats.

Through another FOIA request, the Fagones learned that back in 1998 he trapped two more of their cats, Corky, a male, and Grady, a female, and also turned them over to the local shelter to exterminate. He is also suspected in the disappearance of a fourth cat from the Fagone household back in 2002.

The Fagones are not the only family in the neighborhood to be victimized by DeSantis. Neighbor Tom Blaser has accused him of the Christmas Eve 1998 pellet gun murder of his daughter's cat, Kelly. He also surrendered an unnamed black and white cat to the shelter to be killed on March 21, 2006.

More than likely this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as DeSantis' crimes are concerned in that many other cats from the neighborhood have disappeared without a trace during the past ten years.

In addition to pursuing disciplinary action against Naiburg, the Fagones should also file civil lawsuits against both DeSantis and the Town of Islip Animal Shelter. It should be rather easy to win a hefty judgment against the latter because of its negligence.

More to the point, the Fagones should have their shyster subpoena the records of the shelter in an effort to determine exactly how many cats DeSantis has killed over the years. It is inconceivable that the shelter did not know what he was up to especially since he is not an animal control officer. Since it has been complicit in his crimes, the shelter is therefore liable as well.

Moreover, it is both alarming and inexcusable that animal rights groups on Long Island have not rallied to the defense of the Fagones and other cat owners victimized by this monster. They also should be demanding a shakeup in the management of the shelter as well.

As for DeSantis, he is no doubt laughing up his sleeve at the gullibility of the courts. Tragically, he will soon be killing more cats one way or another. People like him never reform; their successes serve only to encourage them to do more evil.

His only discomfort is the pretty penny that he has been forced to fork over to Naiburg to get him out of this jam. It is not anything to gloat about, but it is nonetheless a real pleasure to know that he is squealing like a stuck pig because of the hit that he has taken in the pocketbook. Naiburg, it might be remembered, is the high-powered shyster who represented the so-called Long Island Lolita (Amy Fisher) about fifteen years ago and his services do not come cheap.

Finally, the inaction of cat lovers boggles the mind. Bird-lovers, wildlife proponents, and PETA are committed to ridding the world of all cats and yet just about all cat advocacy groups remain silent in the face of this threat. One has to wonder how many more cats will have to die before they finally locate their tongues.

It is time that all cat lovers woke up and confronted these fascist cat-killers. Remaining silent and turning the other cheek in a misguided hope that these evildoers are going to go away is no longer an option. The time for concerted action is now.

(Cat Defender - March 9, 2007)


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Florida: "I thought I was dead," says man with more than 2,000 stitches after attack by pack of pit bulls

FLORIDA -- Robert Wall thought he was a dead man.

Two powerful dogs had jumped on his back, two others latched on to his arms and a fifth dug its teeth into a leg.

"I thought I was dead already," the 5-foot-7, 160-pound tree cutter said from his bed at the North Broward Medical Center. "I've never been in such a dark place in my life."

More than 2,000 stitches later and grateful to be alive, Wall, 28, told Monday of his brush with death.

The attack happened before dawn Friday as Wall took a shortcut home to Deerfield East Apartments from a gas station at Southeast 10th Street and Federal Highway, where he went to buy cigarettes.

When he reached Southeast 13th Street, he said he saw five dogs "frolicking" in the dark. He took a step back, but not fast enough.

The dogs, mostly pit bulls, came at him within seconds, he said. He punched and tried to throw them off, but they dug in their teeth, drawing blood. Wall said he struggled to run to a well-lit area where people could see him, but the dogs continued biting, slowing him down.

Finally, Wall made it close enough to a Denny's restaurant and patrons heard his screams.

"I just gave up and hit the ground," he said.

"I started yelling to God, `Please help me!'"

Broward sheriff's deputies arrived as Wall lay on the ground. An officer fired a stun gun that scattered the dogs. Paramedics rushed Wall to North Broward Medical Center. Doctors there said he had been bitten 182 times, according to plastic surgeon Dr. Bose Yalamanchi.

As Yalamanchi operated, deputies and an animal control officer searched for the canines.

A few hours before Wall was attacked, deputies had responded to a report of the dogs mauling a pet rabbit and guinea pig.

(Sun Sentinel - March 6, 2007)