Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arizona: Diane Habener found guilty of animal cruelty involving 120 animals

ARIZONA -- A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that a 63-year-old Phoenix woman is guilty of 9 of 16 counts of animal cruelty stemming from accusations that she neglected as many as 120 animals she kept at shelters in two Valley homes.

Diane Habener who was running a rescue called "Tuffie's Animal Rescue" said Thursday she plans to appeal the verdict.

Per this petition: "This woman has a long history of abuse and hoarding. She was arrested in 2011 by Sheriff Joe and put on parole afterwards. Her parole has ended and she is starting to collect dogs again."

Habener was arrested in November 2009, accused of neglecting the 96 dogs and 16 cats she rescued from Valley shelters and kept at her two homes. Habener said two volunteers tended to more than 60 animals at one of her homes and she cared for nearly 30 animals at her other home.

Habener was initially charged with one felony of cruel animal mistreatment and 77 misdemeanors of cruel animal neglect. Habener was later charged with 142 additional misdemeanors, including abandonment and failure to provide medical attention. During Habener's trial, the prosecution dropped all but 16 midemeanor charges of animal cruelty.

The initial ruling released by the judge included a clerical error that said Habener was guilty of 10 counts of animal cruelty, but a later correction stated that Habener was convicted of nine counts, said Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Habener turned down two plea deals throughout her 22-month trial. The first would have required her to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges. The second would have required her to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

In February, Habener spoke out about the trial saying that it is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies visited the shelters before Habener was arrested to advise her on how to care for the animals. Deputies reported inadequate shelter, food and water. They took pictures of the shelter with Habener's consent.

The 114 animals that were taken from Habener's shelters were taken to the sheriff's no-kill animal shelter. Sixty-eight animals were taken from one of her homes and 46 were taken from the other home. Fifty of the animals have been adopted from the Sheriff's department.

Authorities removed Habener's five dogs along with the other animals and agreed not to adopt them out to other families or euthanize any of the animals, Habener said. Habener is only allowed to care for her two horses.

At a press conference at the Superior Court House Building in Phoenix Thursday, County Attorney Bill Montgomery said that Habener will be sentenced in April and could face up to six months in jail, three months of probation and a $2,500 fine.

"The conduct involved here wasn't simply being overwhelmed by the care for animals," Montgomery said. He added that an investigation only revealed that three or four animals were adopted out by Habener.

"I don't care what your motivation is," Montgomery said. "If you're not ultimately caring for animals the way you should be, you're going to be held accountable."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was also at the press conference and added that he and his deputies would continue to "crack down" on animal cruelty cases.

"I'm not going to criticize the lady," Arpaio said. "She probably has her own side of the story. She may even love animals."

Habener also attended. She said she wanted to ask why her case was made such a big deal by the Sheriff's office.

"I'm just trying to prove my innocence and get my animals back and restore my reputation," Habener said. Habener added that her reputation has been "pretty well cremated."

Habener tried to ask a question of Montgomery and Arapio as they entertained questions from the press. Montgomery would not answer Habener.

"I would advise [Habener] that anything she does say here can and will be used against her in a court of law and we do have sentencing pending," Montgomery said. "Out of respect for the judicial process and the fact that [Habener] is represented by counsel, I will not engage her in a conversation."

Habener said she was going to ask how much money the county has spent prosecuting her case over two years.

(AZ Family - March 31, 2011)


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Illinois: Diane Eldrup, 48, denies newest charges in animal abuse case

ILLINOIS -- A Deer Park woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the latest charges filed against her in an animal abuse case.

Diane Eldrup, 48, is charged with multiple counts of animal torture and aggravated cruelty to animals based on her operation of the Muddy Paws Dog Rescue on the 2000 block of Rand Road.


She was arrested Dec. 17 after police found the corpses of 20 dogs, three birds and an opossum that had apparently starved to death.

She was indicted on the new charges earlier this month after her estranged husband, Kurt Eldridge, found the corpses of two other dogs when he was on the property collecting some of his belongings.


Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Suzanne Willett said a veterinarian chip implanted in one of the dogs identified it as Lucha, Diane Eldrup's personal pet.

Police said the animals were living among tons of animal waste that made the kennel and the house attached to it uninhabitable.

Eldrup entered her pleas to the new charges during a hearing before Circuit Judge James Booras.


Animal torture carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, and aggravated cruelty to animals is punishable by up to three years.

Sentences of local jail time and probation can be imposed for convictions for either crime.

Eldrup was released from custody following her arrest when she posted $25,000 for bond and is scheduled to appear in court April 11.

(Daily Herald - March 29, 2011)


Woman held after horses, llamas found severely neglected

OREGON -- The Marion County sheriff's office says deputies have seized 14 starving llamas and three malnourished horses from a farm outside Stayton, Ore.

It's the fourth seizure this year of neglected horses and farm animals in the county.

Senior Deputy Brenda Lumley seized a malnourished colt from the same farm in January and offered the owners resources to avoid further seizures.


But Lumley says the remaining animals' condition continued to worsen. A judge authorized Wednesday's seizure.

Mikerrra Lee Lane, 35, is being held on animal neglect charges.


In addition to malnutrition, the sheriff's office said Thursday the animals suffered from skin conditions, parasite infestations, rain rot and hoof abscesses.

Rescue organizations are caring for them.

(KVAL - Mar 28, 2011)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Geauga County sheriff's drug-sniffing dog Midge makes her debut in Playboy

OHIO -- Imagine his surprise when Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland got a call informing him that the department's famous drug-sniffing dog was pictured in the latest issue of Playboy, wearing nothing but a skimpy police vest.

"I was like, 'Yeah, right,' " said McClelland. "Then I started getting people calling with the page number."

Midge, his Chihuahua-rat terrier, had been featured in a one-page spread in People in 2007. After all, she is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smallest working police dog.

But Playboy?

"I had to get one, but I wasn't going to go do it in uniform," he said. "So I called my wife."

And there was Midge, the Chihuahua-rat terrier in all her glory on Page 131, tongue hanging out, of course.

It was a tiny forum piece trumpeting the "new K-9 in town." New, of course, is relative. Midge is 5 (which is 35 in dog years, way too old for Playboy) and has been a cop since she was 1.

The sheriff says he had no idea the piece was being printed and said his friends and colleagues are giving him a lot of ribbing.

"I always thought hanging out with someone in Playboy would be more glamorous," he said.

"People ask if we've been invited to Hef's mansion. Do you really think they're going to invite a drug-sniffing dog to the mansion?"

( - March 28, 2011)


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Boy savaged after being jumped by friend's dog

NEW ZEALAND -- A 9-year-old boy is recovering with 88 stitches after being savaged in a dog attack.

Surgeons operated for four hours, putting 70 stitches in
Cameron Pita's face, 12 in his arm and six in his chest
after he was attacked by a friend's dog.
Cameron Pita was visiting a friend near his home in Palmerston North when he went to pat the family dog, a Weimaraner / [German] Short-Haired Pointer cross. 

"It's usually real nice...I stopped patting it and knocking [on the door] and then it just jumped at me," said Cameron. "It happened pretty fast. It bit my face first then went to the other spot."

The frenzied attack lasted only seconds, but Cameron was left with a huge tear in his cheek and bites to his arm, chest and stomach.

RECOVERING: Cameron Pita, 9, was visiting a friend's
house, two weeks ago when he was attacked by their dog.

After hearing his screams, the owners called the dog off, comforted Cameron and ran to get his parents, Andrea Tyson and Matt Pita.

"I didn't really feel much," Cameron said.

"It just felt like a little grab but when I saw blood coming off I just yelled."

His mother Andrea Tyson saw Cameron's injuries when ambulance officers arrived.

"My legs gave away.. If [Matt] hadn't been there to catch me, I would have been on the ground... I was in a state of shock. At least he's alive. At least his face was fixable."

"The ambulance staff arrived and said, `Can you take your hand away?' and then his cheek just fell open."

He was taken to Palmerston North Hospital, and then flown to Hutt Hospital by the Palmerston North rescue helicopter.

Cameron Pita with his mom Andrea Tyson

Surgeons operated for four hours, putting 70 stitches in his face, 12 in his arm and six in his chest.

She said the dog's owners were "devastated" and had the animal destroyed immediately.

The dog was a Weimaraner and German Short-Haired Pointer
mix. These are example breed photos, not the dog in the story

(New Zealand Herald - March 27, 2011)

Similar Stories:

Two kids mauled by dogs in separate incidents

NEW ZEALAND -- A 3-year-old-boy was savaged by a stranger's dog as he patted it outside a video store.

Oracle Brampton had a hole in his cheek big enough to put a finger through after the incident in West Auckland.

The owner has apologised and pleaded with authorities not to kill his "best friend".

Oracle Brampton "frightened' his dog, prompting the attack -
according to the dog's owner

It was one of two attacks by apparently docile dogs a few days apart, prompting campaigners to call for compulsory registration of owners.

In the second incident, Cameron Pita, 9, from Palmerston North, needed 88 stitches after being attacked by a friend's family pet. The owners surrendered the animal so it could be put down.

Oracle was taken to hospital by ambulance after being bitten by a Staffordshire terrier cross outside Video Ezy on Lincoln Rd, Henderson, on March 16.

He was sedated for three hours while doctors washed his injuries with saline and gave him nine stitches. A doctor told the family the bite narrowly missed an artery.

Police attended the 111 emergency, but referred the matter to Auckland Council dog control officers, who told the family it could take six months to determine the animal's fate.

Asked if they had taken steps to ensure public safety in the meantime, such as muzzling the animal, the council did not respond.

Oracle's family fears his face could be disfigured. His wounded right cheek is starting to go numb and an infection is spreading.

He will return to Waitakere Hospital today and could face more surgery if a second round of antibiotics fails.

Oracle Brampton at home with his mother and Nana.

His mother, Athena Wepiha-Reo, and nana, Moana Wepiha-Reo, said they took Oracle and his three siblings to the video store for a PlayStation game as a treat for being good. But the outing ended in horror when Oracle and his sister Nataliyah, 9, went to pat the dog as it lay in the shop doorway.

Security camera footage shows a girl patting the dog seconds earlier without problem.

When Oracle and his sister bent down to pat it, the animal attacked. The owner ran out of the shop, grabbed his dog and fled.

"Oracle was screaming and holding his face and everyone else around him was screaming at the blood pouring out," said Moana. Video store owner Jay Patel said the video footage showed that "the dog just lunged".

Athena almost fainted at the sight of her bloodied son, but held him and applied pressure to the wounds, until the ambulance arrived.

Athena said she was overcome with emotion in the hospital and unable to watch her "baby" getting treatment. Oracle's nana held his hand while he was sedated.

"I'm pretty strong and I can handle some stuff. But it was a horrific thing to watch a child go through," said Moana.

"My grandson had tears rolling down ... I held his hand to calm him, while his mum was bawling her eyes out."

Three-year-old Oracle Brampton with his new puppy Kush

Waitakere area police commander Inspector Gary Davey said the matter was referred to the council because the dog and its owner had left by the time officers arrived.

He said it was important to let the council investigate thoroughly but he considered the case serious.

The dog's owner, 29-year-old film and TV cameraman Toby Conway, said he had run away because the scene was emotionally charged.

He had no idea the injuries were so bad and pleaded with the authorities not to put down Stan, the dog he got as a puppy 10 years ago.

Conway said he thought the boy must have frightened his dog.

"To the family I want to give my utmost condolences and I'm really upset.

"Please don't make me kill my best mate."

Oracle is still having nightmares about the attack but has been given his uncle's puppy to help him overcome his new fear of big dogs.

(New Zealand Herald - March 27, 2011)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Turner woman arrested after Marion County seizes 3 horses and 14 starving llamas

OREGON -- A Marion County Sheriff's deputy arrested the owner of three malnourished horses and 14 starving llamas seized from a farm just outside of Stayton on Wednesday morning. It was the fourth seizure of neglected farm animals in Marion County this year.

Mikerrra Lee Lane, 35, was taken into custody at her home on Duckflat Road SE in Turner on Thursday evening. Lane was booked at the Marion County Jail on 15 counts of animal neglect.

Mikerra Lane

The seized horses are receiving care at the Lighthouse Animal Sanctuary in Scio. The llamas are under the care of volunteers at the Willamette Valley Llama is scheduled Association. It is anticipated that their recovery will take months.

Lane will appear in court at 9:30 a.m. April 21 in Salem.

According to the sheriff's office, Senior Deputy Brenda Lumley seized a malnourished colt from this same farm in January. She offered the owners resources and options to avoid further seizures. "We really try to work with animal owners to avoid having to seize their animals. There are options available. Owners who can't care for their animals shouldn't delay action." Lumley said.

Unfortunately, the remaining animal's conditions continued to deteriorate, according to the sheriff's office. Lumley had photographs of the animals examined by a veterinarian. As a result of that examination, Judge Dale Penn issued a search warrant authorizing their seizure.

The llamas and horses were in poor condition, rating 1-3 on a body condition evaluation with 1 being the poorest condition and 9 being the best. They were suffering from skin conditions, parasite infestations, rain rot and abscessed hooves.

Volunteers from the Willamette Valley Llama Association, and the Marion County Sheriff's Posse assisted with the seizure. The Brand Inspector's Office for the State of Oregon provided needed portable equipment to corral the animals until they could be transported to rescue organizations.

The Lighthouse Animal Sanctuary in Scio   was again called upon to care for the horses. Director Wayne Geiger urged owners who are unable to care for animals they own to seek help.

"These horses don't need a lot; just some basic care and feeding. If you suspect a medical condition, call a veterinarian. Many will offer advice over the phone at no cost.

"The Oregon Hay Bank  in Gresham offers hay and feed assistance. Rescue Blankets in Sandy Oregon provides recycled horse blankets to needy owners".

Funding for these organizations comes from donations. 

Anyone faced with the inability to care for their horses or farm animals can contact Senior Deputy Lumley for advice or assistance in connecting with resources. 

(The Oregonian - March 25, 2011)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tennessee: Dog ruled 'vicious' by Shelbyville officials

TENNESSEE -- The dog that attacked a Shelbyville Power meter reader has been officially declared a vicious dog by the city.

The animal, described in the police report as a "carmel (sic) colored pit bull," bit Carl Brent Cooper when he intervened in the dog's attack on 3-year-old Jasmine Farrar and her father, Tony.

The owner, Betty Stones of 536 Oak St., was cited and had to appear in court Monday.

There were two pit bulls chained to dog houses in Betty Stones' yard.
One dog of hers bit a child in October and a Shelbyville Power
employee on March 3. (T-G Photo by Mary Reeves)

"The dog has to be kept on a chain and behind a fence," said Animal Control Supervisor Randy McCullough.

Only months before the March 3 attack, the same dog savaged a 6-year-old girl, resulting in 87 stitches. 

Because the girl had entered the home where the dog was unattended, no charges were pressed at that time.

On March 3, the dog, off its chain, lunged at Farrar and his daughter. Farrar picked the child up and held her out of the way, but tripped over the dog as it continued to lunge for the girl. A neighbor pulled the girl out of danger even as Cooper intervened, said Farrar.

Representatives from Shelbyville Power were at court Monday, but the Farrar family was unable to attend due to illness and being out of town. Paul Farrar, the child's great-grandfather, said a neighbor was at the session and said the judge did not look at pictures from the previous attack.

"They didn't do anything about it," said the great-grandfather.

According to the city charter, Stones will have to pay the $90 court cost, and be required to keep the dog in the house or chained behind a fence, and she has to get $100,000 liability insurance. The charter also states, "It shall be unlawful for any person negligently, willfully, or knowingly to: (a) Permit an animal to run at large, attack people or other animals, bite or attempt to bite any person..."

One of the requirements in the charter is that there must be signs with reflective lettering warning of a dangerous dog, not only on the residence, but on the kennel where the dog is chained. Currently, there is a "Beware of Dog" sign on Stones' front porch.

The enclosure in which the dog should be kept should have secure sides and top, according to the charter, and if the sides are not connected to flooring, then they must be embedded no less than 2 feet in the ground.

If Stones does not comply with the requirements set forth by the court, as determined by animal control, the dog can be taken.

The charter also states: "If any dog which has previously been found to be 'dangerous' as is described herein shall be at large and shall attack or bite a human being, upon report to the animal control officer said dog shall be impounded and shall be confined the number of days as prescribed by the state health department and after said time shall be destroyed in a humane manner upon notice to the owner of said dog..."

"If it gets loose again, we can pick it up and take her back to court," said McCullough. "I hope it doesn't get loose again. Who knows what will happen?"

(Shelbyville Times-Gazette - March 24, 2011)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Illinois: More charges for Diane Eldrup, owner of Muddy Paws Dog Rescue, where 17 dead dogs found rotting

ILLINOIS -- A Lake County grand jury on Wednesday approved additional charges against a woman accused of allowing the deaths of multiple animals in her care at a Deer Park shelter.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Mermel said new counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and animal torture have been filed against Diane Eldrup, 48, after the bodies of two more dogs were found on her property.


Eldrup was arrested Dec. 17 after police found the corpses of 20 dogs, three birds and an opossum on the grounds of Muddy Paws Dog Rescue in the 2000 block of Rand Road.

Police said the animals apparently starved to death and were in many cases living amid tons of animal waste that made the kennel and the house attached to it uninhabitable.


Eldrup's estranged husband, who has not been charged in the case, was at the property earlier this month collecting some of his belongings, Mermel said.

While there, Kurt Eldrup found the skeletal remains of two additional dogs, Mermel said, one of which was identified through a veterinarian chip as Diane Eldrup's personal pet, Lucha.

Eldrup was released from custody following her arrest when she posted $25,000 for bond, and is scheduled to appear in court March 28.

She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of animal torture and up to three years for aggravated animal cruelty, but both crimes are also punishable by probation.

(Daily Herald - March 23, 2011)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Man attacked by pit bulls in Phoenix speaks out

ARIZONA -- From his hospital bed, Dave McGee tells ABC15 how his Air Force training helped him control two pit bulls that were viciously attacking him and his small dog "Baby".

"I heard our dog, Baby start yelping and screaming," said McGee. "I saw two pit bulls just chewing on her, I mean chewing."

McGee says he developed a plan to get the first pit bull off his little dog.

"Soon as I pushed it back it lunged forward and bite me in the face," he recalled.

The Phoenix father then tried again to push the animal away, but this time it went after his arm.

"He lurched forward and got me here in the arm," he says, pointing to his underarm. "Nice couple of puncture wounds there."

Trying to remain calm, McGee says as soon he got one dog off him, he hit the second pit bull as hard as he could with his fist.

After that he says he put his severely injured Baby in the kitchen.

The dogs took off and McGee realized he, too, had been seriously injured in the attack.

RIP Baby

"They severed an artery in the face right here and they had to do reconstructive surgery," he said.

But the real hurt he has inside is for his beloved Baby, who didn't make it.

"Baby was a rescue dog, kind of a cocker mix," he said. "She was blind, had diabetes herself and we were taking care of her. She was happy and didn't deserve to go like that."

McGee says he's in support of a new bill called "Fabien's law" that's getting unanimous support in the legislature.

It would hold pet owners accountable for vicious dogs.

"If you're going to keep a dog like that that's your business, but you better have a policy because stuff like this will happen, and you'll be responsible," said McGee.

The two pit bulls have been taken by Animal Care and Control and are expected to be put down.

(abc15 - Mar 23, 2011)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pit bulls attack 3 people, dog in Phoenix neighborhood

ARIZONA -- Two pit bulls running loose in a north Phoenix neighborhood Tuesday morning attacked three people and another dog before being captured.

Phoenix police and fire departments responded to a home near Union Hills Drive and 22nd Avenue at approximately 8 a.m. where the pit bulls [viciously] attacked a small dog in the front yard.

The small dog's 49-year-old owner tried to break up the dogfight and was bitten on his face and arm. His son tried to help and he was also bitten.

[When your pet is viciously attacked, mauled, torn to pieces and ultimately killed by a pit bull, it is not a "DOGFIGHT" it is a slaughter.]

Suzanne McGee told ABC15 the pit bulls broke their dog Baby's back and they had to euthanize her because of her extensive injuries. McGee said she was deeply saddened by the loss.

“I’m really mad at myself for leaving her alone,” McGee said through tears.

"Just blood everywhere, all over the floor, all over my Dad, all over BAby, like her whole side just blood all over her fur. It was just disgusting and so sad. I felt so back for her," said Charise McGee, Suzanne's daughter.

RIP Baby

The pit bulls then ran about a half mile and attacked a 63-year-old man who was working on remodeling a nearby home.

David Mercado said he watched the dogs bite his co-worker's arm.

"He was rifling through his truck looking for tools and the dog just lunged at him on the arm. It was good sized bite wounds. He has five or six puncture marks on his forearm," Mercado said.

One of the pit bulls, which was black with white spots, was captured at the scene by police and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

Police officers followed the white pit bull to a neighborhood near Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road where it was cornered and captured.

All three victims were transported to local hospitals, according to Lt. John Reynolds with Animal Care and Control.

The small dog that was attacked was taken to a veterinarian and had to be put down due to her injuries.

The family had owned Baby, who was blind and diabetic, for eight years.

At this time, there is no word on who or where the dogs' owner is. Neither dog was wearing a license.

The owner could face charges.

(AZFamily - March 22, 2011)

Pet dog mauled in vicious attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- A savage dog attack has left a pet Yorkshire terrier with horrific injuries.

Another dog, believed to have been a Staffordshire terrier, attacked tiny 11-year-old Dot in Meadow Road, Rothwell, sinking its teeth in and shaking her around “like a toy”.

Lucky to be alive: little Dot

Dot was rushed to the vet and received surgery. Vets at the practice said they had never seen a dog with injuries as bad as hers survive.

Jacqueline Burford was walking Dot with granddaughter Robyn Rowe at the time of the attack.

She said: “We only got as far as the next house before another dog came up behind us.

“It was getting right in our dogs’ faces and Dot was trying to get away.

“Robyn was worried and picked Dot up to take her home – the dog lunged at her, knocked her over and got hold of Dot.

“It had her in the middle of the road and was shaking her like a toy.”

Eventually the dogs were separated, but she said: “Dot crawled away on to the pavement and Robyn collapsed when she saw the state of her leg.

“Her muscle had been shredded right down to the bone and she’ll never be able to walk properly again.”

Mrs Burford had trouble finding out who exactly she should complain to about a dog-on-dog attack, with the council, the police, the RSPCA and the dog warden all giving her different answers.

After Mrs Burford’s daughter Jamie Rowe wrote to Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, she received a visit from the police, who are investigating the incident.

Inspector Dick Aistrop of Kettering police said: “We have been in contact with Philip Hollobone about this incident and are looking into what happened and to find out if everything that could have been done was.”

Mr Hollobone added: “I would have to say I am getting more and more inquiries from people who have either had their pet attacked by another or they themselves have been bitten.”

(Evening Telegraph - March 21, 2011)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dog savaged in Ilfracombe beach attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- An Ilfracombe woman has called for a crackdown on dangerous dogs after her own pet was savaged in an horrific attack on Wildersmouth Beach that left one leg hanging by a thread.

Pauline McFarland was walking her Pomeranian dog Chesney on the beach with a friend Eileen Whetter and her dog when he was attacked by a much bigger animal, unaccompanied and thought to have been an English bull terrier.

As the terrifying scenario played out, four-year-old Chesney was first bitten on the leg before being seized by the throat and shaken, as his scared owner desperately tried to get the bigger dog off him and her pet screamed in agony.

After what seemed like an eternity of horror for Pauline, the small group of people who had gathered were able to drive the attacking dog away.

“I thought Chesney was dead, his eyes were so glazed and there was blood everywhere,” she said.

The dog had bitten through both bones in his right front leg and it was literally hanging by the skin and flapping around, it was awful.

“Christine at the Wheel Inn was really helpful, she found out what vets were open and called a taxi for me. On the way Chesney was in agony and crying - he was very distressed. He had blood coming from his ear, puncture wounds around his nose, face, neck and chest and the blood vessels around his eye had ruptured. He was covered in saliva, sand and grit.

“I was so frightened he would die. Eileen and I were sobbing and shaking.”

A desperate dash to Charter Vets at Mullacott resulted in the little dog’s leg being pinned back together, but three weeks later he is battling infection and may yet lose his leg.

Pauline has heard of other attacks - she wants people to be aware the rogue bull terrier could still be around and has urged anyone attacked or threatened by a dog to contact the North Devon Council dog warden or the police.

“I’m frustrated that I didn’t know there was potentially a vicious dog around that area,” she said.

“I’m concerned the dog is still loose – we’re coming up to Easter, people use the area with their children and tourists visit with their dogs. I don’t want it to end up hurting a child and I don’t want any other dogs attacked.

“I want people to be aware when walking their dogs and they need to report any incidents to the dog warden and the police.”

Pauline has only had the good natured rescue dog for a few weeks after she got him from the Dogs Trust and without the pet insurance that came with him she would be facing a bill of more than £3,000.

Carl Williamson, Environmental Health Technician at North Devon Council said: “The council is cracking down on irresponsible dog owners and we have increased our patrols around the district. We urge people to report any dog incidents to the council, whether this is dog fouling or dangerous dog behaviour. Contact our Customer Service Centre on (01271) 388870.”

(North Devon Gazette - Mar 18, 2011)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Texas girl gets more than 100 stitches after pit bull attack

TEXAS -- A 10-year-old Austin girl was mauled by a pit bull this week. It was the third time the animal has drawn blood.

Peter Aills and his daughter Gracyn had just pulled out of their driveway for a bike ride Sunday afternoon, when a neighbor’s dog attacked.

“All the sudden, this blur tears out at Gracyn and I. She screamed,” Aills said.

Aills says the dog latched onto Gracyn’s right leg and tossed its head back and forth as if it was trying to tear her leg off.

"I can't have it stop reeling in my mind; the dog not so much, but her screaming ‘Daddy!’” Aills said.

Aills snapped photos of Gracyn's wounds in Dell Children's Hospital. Doctors had to give her more than 100 stitches.

He says the cheerleader and gymnast is in immense pain and cannot bend her leg.

"She's worried she's never going to walk again,” Aills said. "I call her "Teacup." That's my nickname for her. I can't believe this happened to my little Teacup."

Gracyn is the dog's third victim.

In March of 2009, the dog got out and sunk its teeth in Suzi Stern as she was jogging.

"I was afraid to take a walk or run through the neighborhood for a year,” Stern said

A person who came to Stern's aid was also bitten.

At that time the owner, Verna Cooper, had two pit bulls. That year the dogs were deemed dangerous by the city.

Cooper sent the male to live with her daughter out of state. She had to buy $100,000 insurance to keep the female.

Also required by law, Cooper had to make a special enclosure in her backyard to keep the dog secure.

Still, on Sunday, investigators say the dog was able to get out through an unlocked side door.

Since Gracyn's wounds were so severe, the city seized the dog and euthanized it Wednesday morning.

The victims feel it was too late.

"I was angry. I was absolutely infuriated,” Stern said.

"I don't think they are protecting the good citizens of Austin, Texas and their best interests,” Aills said.

Animal Control Lt. Micheal Parsons, who was also nearly attacked by Cooper's dogs, says he did all that he could.

"We follow those laws and take the action we need to take,” Parsons said.

Under city ordinance, if a dog bites three times it can be removed from the city limits.

A new state law, Lillian's Law, named after a Thorndale woman killed by dogs while mowing her front lawn, allows officers to instantly seize dogs involved in attacks with serious injury. That is how officers were able to remove Cooper's dog after Gracyn was mauled.

Attempts by KENS 5's sister station, KVUE News, to speak with Cooper were unsuccessful.

Lillian’s Law allows officers to charge her with a third degree felony for the attack.

If charged, she could get up to 10 years in jail.

"I tell you, being a father in Texas, no one hurts my baby, and I'm going to make things right about this,” Aills said.

(KVUE - March 17, 2011)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Farmer faces more animal cruelty charges

NEW YORK -- History is repeating itself on a southern tier farm.

State Police have charged 35-year-old Keith Middaugh of Scio with five counts of animal cruelty and 18 counts of failure to dispose of domestic animals after finding dead and malnourished cows and horses on his town of Amity farm.

He was arrested on similar charges in 2005.

(WIVB - Apr 14, 2011)