Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dogs Attack Minivan in Pursuit of Cat

ALABAMA -- When an Alabama couple came out of their home to find their minivan with its bumper torn apart and blood, scratch marks, and dents all over the exterior, they were stunned. They’d been packing for a fishing trip, and now it looked like a madman had set upon their vehicle.

“I saw the Dodge symbol [lying on the ground] and then turned and looked and saw the carnage,” said Emily Morck, on FoxToledo.

“We thought maybe a disgruntled former employee of mine might’ve done something crazy,” Adam Morck said.

They called 911. Adam Morck said investigators checked out all the damage, including some odd paw prints and bite marks. “[The investigator] looked up like a deer caught in the headlights and said, ‘Guys, I think a dog did this.” According to animal control, the perpetrators were two dogs, and they were after at least one of the Morcks’ cats, who was hiding under the van’s hood.

That cat ran away and hasn’t been seen since the Saturday night incident. The couple’s other cat ran up a tree and stayed there. When firefighters showed up to help get him down, he just went higher up the tree.

Adam Morck, who contacted Dogster to fill us in on the details, says animal control told him the the dogs who attacked were a pair of escaped pit bull-mastiffs who broke free from their owners when left tied up by a rope at the nearby hospital. “There was a white one which remains at large, and a red-brown one which they hit with a tranq gun, but he ran away unfazed and they didn’t catch him. The police have not yet given us their names, but once the dogs are captured we will be requesting DNA samples to validate the dogs and make sure appropriate parties are held responsible,” he wrote.

“The pit bulls were human shy and wearing sharp pointed collars, so animal control suspects they were captive bred fighting dogs — which would explain why they’d be capable of doing the damage they did while going after my cat. I have seen a ‘busted’ fighting dog farm years ago, and these poor animals are kept on the brink of starvation at all times to keep them lean and rabidlike at all times.”

He hopes the owners come forward, help find their dogs, and take responsibility. “My primary concern is that no human or other animals are harmed while these now wild dogs are running loose in downtown Foley,” Morck wrote.

Poor kitties. It’s a sad situation all the way around. If the story is as the animal control staffers tell it, the dogs probably weren’t in the the best of circumstances either.

I originally wrote the story thinking it was the couple’s own pooch who did something odd, and it was a semi-lighthearted “ha-ha, dogs are accused of eating homework, now they’re accused of eating minivans” post. But now that I have the facts, it’s no longer amusing.

(Dogster - Feb 28, 2012)

Pit bull attacks common, animal control officers say

CALIFORNIA -- Three violent incidents involving pit bulls in one day in Salinas is a statistical anomaly, said animal control officers, but dog attack cases involving the pit breeds and other large dogs are common.

In the three cases Saturday, one dog is being held at Salinas Animal Services under quarantine, another was treated at a pet hospital for a gunshot wound and the third has been returned to its owner, said police Cmdr. Dave Crabill.

What happens to dogs taken into custody after an attack depends on their attitude and whether an owner reclaims them.

Crabill said the three Saturday incidents began about 5:30 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a vicious dog attacking another animal on Maple Street.

The dog was found on a front porch, blood dripping from its mouth. When it charged one of the police officers, another officer drew his gun and shot it, Crabill said.

That dog was reclaimed by its owner after being treated, said Cynthia Burnham, executive director of Salinas Animal Services.

"That dog did not bite anyone," she said, adding that animal control officers are trying to determine if the dog hurt another animal, possibly a cat.

At 7:40 a.m., a 57-year-old woman was walking her poodle in the 200 block of Osage Drive when a pit bull ran through an open gate and attacked her dog, police said. She and her dog were injured and the pit bull is being held in a 10-day quarantine to determine if it is rabid, Burnham said.

What happens after that, she said, depends on whether an owner comes forward to claim the dog. Otherwise, it will be euthanized.

At 11:30 a.m., a patrolling officer saw a pit bull attacking a Chihuahua at Northgate Village on Cherokee Drive. Both owners were present and exchanged information, Crabill said. The pit bull was released to the owner. The woman walking her Chihuahua was not injured, and her dog was taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

"It's not a typical weekend in Salinas," Burnham said.

The two most common breeds received at the Salinas animal shelter on Hitchcock Road and the SPCA for Monterey County shelter on Monterey-Salinas Highway are Chihuahuas and pit bulls, said Burnham and SPCA Executive Director Gary Tiscornia.

Chihuahuas are No. 1, pit bulls are No. 2, Burnham said.

"Thank you, Paris Hilton and 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua,'" Tiscornia said. "Any dog that appears in movies or social media, everybody wants to go out and buy one.

"They're not thinking further than image or vanity. When they see what the temperament is, they say, 'I didn't want that,' and bring it to us."

Pit bull buyers "buy them for macho," he said. "They can't carry a gun, so here's a silver bullet on a leash."

Pit bulls — there are several breeds, including American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bulldogs and Staffordshire bull terriers — are not inherently aggressive toward humans, Burnham said, and they aren't the only dogs that can be vicious.

"It's not to say we don't get nasty dachshunds or Chihuahuas," she said, "but with larger dogs it's a safety issue."

If pit bulls are trained as guard or attack dogs, they can be very aggressive, she said.

"It's not just genetics. They are very big, strong dogs. They have a high prey drive. They can be aggressive with smaller animals," she said. The same is true of huskies, she said.

"But there are very nice pit bulls and very mean Labradors," she said. "There are a lot of pit bulls in Salinas."

Many are given to the shelter because the owners have lost their home to foreclosure and landlords won't rent to pit bull owners, and homeowners' insurance providers penalize owners, Burnham said.

Chihuahuas, on the other hand, show up as strays, and if they have no tags or microchip implants, they are adopted out or euthanized. Most of them, however, are reclaimed by owners, Burnham said.

Pet owners who go from living in their own house to renting frequently come in to the SPCA shelter with "small mammals, all sorts of breeds of dogs and cats, because they're moving from a home that's been foreclosed," Tiscornia said. "Too many rentals are very restrictive — insurance companies are not favorable to pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Dobermans, breeds they consider a potential liability."

But, he said, "it's our position that every dog can bite. Perhaps the most dangerous dog is an unneutered male, chained in a backyard."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta reports about 4.5 million dog bite cases in the United States each year, Tiscornia said, and one in five bite victims needs medical care.

"The larger, more muscular breeds get the most attention," he said, "because they do the most damage."

The SPCA safety-tests dogs for aggressiveness, Tiscornia said, and won't adopt one out that doesn't pass. Those are euthanized.

The latest wave of dogs brought in are poodle crossbreeds, he said.

"People think they won't be allergic to them, but it's not true," he said. "Crossbreeding doesn't make the dogs hypoallergenic."

As for outlawing pit bulls, Tiscornia said the SPCA opposes breed-specific legislation.

"If they outlaw one breed, then another breed pops up: Dobermans, German shepherds, Rottweilers," he said. "The common feeling among many people who are up close and personal with them is that a great pit is a great dog, but just looking at one, you're not going to know which is which."

(Monterey Herald - Feb 29, 2012)

Miniature horse attacked by dogs again

TEXAS -- A miniature horse in Lubbock has survived a brutal dog attack. Again.

Pepperjack was attacked Monday morning in his paddock by two unknown dogs. Kauli Sparks heard a pounding at her door around 7:30 A.M. A neighbor told her two dogs were dragging the horse around.

Sparks' owns the mini-horse as well as two others and says she was shocked to see it happen again.

"I was holding pressure on his wounds and I was just in shock that this could happen again" Sparks said.

Pepperjack fell victim to another attack back in 2008 when two pit bulls went on a violent rampage, killing two miniature horse and seriously injuring four others. The horses were part of Hearts and Hooves of Lubbock, a non-profit organization that provided them to patients for therapeutic purposes.

Pepperjack suffered most of his wounds on his face and throat. He was rushed to the veterinarian, who said he had never put so many stitches in a horse. Sparks says Pepperjack still has a long way to go, but she is hoping for another full recovery.

"I was surprised they got to do so much damage to him because he's so strong" Sparks told us.

Sparks believes the dogs that were involved in this attack were not strays. She described one as a brown German shepherd mix and the other as a black pit bull. Animal control was called to the scene, but was not able to locate the two dogs. She's concerned they are going to come back.

"I haven't slept... after they get that taste, they continue doing that and we are so afraid they were going to come back" Sparks said.

Tim Polk has been a veterinarian for eleven years. He doesn't believe the attackers were strays.

"They could be somebody's pets, they could be pets that people dumped because they didn't want they anymore, we see that a lot. The chance of them being wild is there, but probably not since they were in city limits" Polk said.

Sparks' says it hurts her to see her horse in so much pain, but that he's been eating and holding up his head. She says although there is a long road ahead of him, she is confident he will make a full recovery.

(KCBD - Feb 29, 2012)

Pomeranian killed by American bull dog in latest attack

COLORADO -- It was supposed to be a happy outing to the Palmer Park dog park for Blue, the 9-pound Pomeranian who loved to run like the wind.

He was nicknamed Mr. Suave, because he strutted like a perky handsome show dog. But last Saturday he was killed during a dog altercation at the park.

The incident is the most recent in a series of vicious-dog incidents in the region.

Rick and Marge Nunez said that they took Blue and their two other Pomeranians into the park’s enclosure for small dogs. They were talking when people began to shout.

‘We turned around and Blue was hanging from another dog’s mouth, said Rick Nunez. The man who brought the attacking dog to the park got hold of its dragging leash. He and Rick Nunez tried to pry the dog’s mouth open. Finally, the larger animal let the Blue go.

“We rushed him to the vet. On the way I gave him mouth to mouth and pressed on his little chest. But he was limp. It was horrible,” said a tearful Marge Nunez.

The veterinarian pronounced the little dog dead.

“We hadn’t even noticed the big dog in the enclosure or we wouldn’t have gone in,” said Rick Nunez. “Later, we had asked him why he put the big dog in the area for little dogs instead of in the enclosure for big dogs. He said because he was aggressive with big dogs.”

The attacking dog later was identified as an American bull dog named Bruno. The breed has powerful jaws and muscular bodies, weighing from 60 to 120 pounds. They have been banned in some cities, including Aurora along with pit bulls and other dogs deemed dangerous.

The dog’s ownership is unclear.

The man who had Bruno at the park said the dog belonged to someone else and asked that his name not be used. He said Bruno was in that particular enclosure because they were “being safe.” They wanted to socialize him, let him view the other large dogs, and make sure other dogs who usually rush the main gate, would accept him.

A gate and chain link fence separates the small dog enclosure from the area used by larger dogs. The gate to the fenced area where the attack occurred is clearly marked that it is only to be used by dogs weighing 30 pounds or less.

“I’m sorry. My heart goes out to them,” the man said. He asserts that the Pomeranian struck first.

“The little one got tough. He got my dog’s leg ... and my dog responded. It was two unfixed males. Bruno went dog, not crazy,” the man said. He believes that when Nunez tried to get the dog from Bruno’s mouth that the dog’s neck was broken.

Nunez disputes that. He says the dog was chasing his other two Poms and turned on Blue.

“The dog was shaking him hard. When we reached him, I made sure I was holding Blue up and didn’t pull on him because I was scared it would hurt him.”

They called police who referred them to El Paso County Animal Control. “We are afraid that the dog could hurt a child, too,” Rick Nunez said.

Erica Meyer, spokeswoman for Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region said that the incident is under investigation.

Bruno lived in a home with two cats, a Pomeranian, rabbits and two small children, the man said. “He pulled the kids around on their tricycles, slept with them. he has never been aggressive to dogs.”

The man said that Bruno was “gone,” but would not elaborate.

The Nunezes got Blue as a Christmas present when he was a puppy. He loved to carry around a squeaky toy mushroom. His favorite treats were string cheese, and oddly enough, shrimp. For the past couple of days neighbors have come by with flowers, cards and tearful condolences.

Their other dogs are grieving, she said. Fiona won’t eat, and Baby keeps looking all over the house for Blue.

They had Blue cremated and are awaiting the urn and a memorial impression of his pawprint.

“They asked if we wanted his ashes scattered, but we want him here with us always. he was one of our kids,” Marge Nunez said.

Recent Dog Attacks

•A 9-month-old girl was hospitalized Feb. 19 with serious injuries after a pit bull attack near Rush. The dog, belonging to the child’s grandfather, was euthanized.

•The owner of two dogs, a pit bull mix and a husky, was cited Feb. 24 for having loose dogs after the animals attacked a deer in northwest Colorado Springs. Police found the deer in the ditch with a severe neck injury and shot it to “end the suffering,” the  Humane Society said.

•A man shot a pit bull Feb. 23 after the dog and a boxer jumped his 6-foot fence and attacked his German shepherd in his backyard. After getting his dog inside, he went to warn neighbors and saw the animals attacking two dogs being walked by a woman. When the man went to her rescue, the pit bull lunged at him, and he shot the dog. The pit bull’s owner was charged with unlawful ownership of a dangerous animal. The boxer was unharmed.

• KyleDyer, a Denver television anchor had to have 70 stitches after an Argentine mastiff bit her face while she was interviewing the owner in the studio on Feb 8. The dog had been offleash when he fell in an icy lake while chasing a coyote and was rescued. The owner was cited for disobeing the leash law and for not having the dog vaccinated for rabies.  Dyer told the Denver Post she should not have bent so close to the dog’s face to pet it. The breed, which is used to hunt boar, is banned in some cities.

(Gazette - Feb 29, 2012)

Mississippi: After being convicted of animal cruelty in 2006, DIY rescuers and operators of "Choctaw Ridge Farms Rescue", Jean Norton and Beverly Greenwood caught dumping nearly 100 sick, injured and old animals at shelters in the middle of the night and driving off

MISSISSIPPI -- Sadly, more and more people are abandoning dogs and cats at animal shelters across the country. And while there are proper and humane ways to surrender your pet, the INSIDE EDITION I-Squad has spent months tracking heartbreaking cases of animal cruelty caught on tape.

Surveillance cameras caught Beverly Greenwood and Jean Norton dumping dozens of dogs and cats, many of them sick, at a Louisiana animal shelter in 2011.

But they're not alone. Cameras at a closed Alabama shelter were rolling when a man carried puppy after defenseless puppy by the scruffs of their neck and left them outside the front door. Scared and confused, the puppies scrambled under the man's truck as their heartless owner drove off.

Just four of the six puppies were ever found.

INSIDE EDITION obtained surveillance footage from an Oregon Humane Society shelter that caught a different man ditching a diaper box at the front door; written on the front of the box: "Free Dog." That's right, the man had taped shut the box with an adorable pooch inside.

But Greenwood and Norton may be the worst serial dog dumpers in the U.S.A.

Despite clearly posted warning signs, night after night, Norton and Greenwood abandoned dog car loads of sick and mangy animals at the Capitol Area Animal Welfare Shelter (CAAWS) in Baton Rouge, LA.

But what the dog dumpers didn't know was that a surveillance camera was recording them every time they showed up.

And shockingly, over the past year alone, the camera caught Norton and Greenwood abandoning almost one hundred animals all in the dead of night.

"I'm 100% positive they knew they were doing something wrong. All of the animals that we've received have been in horrible, horrible condition," said Glenda Parks, who manages CAAWS.

They only dumped the sick, old, dying animals. 

Another CAAWS volunteer told INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero, "You get angry, you get very angry. They need help. They're obviously hoarders."

So where did all those abandoned dogs come from?

INSIDE EDITION has learned that Jean Norton and Bev Greenwood, who have been convicted of animal cruelty charges in the past, surprisingly run their own animal adoption program at their farm located in Mississippi – a two hour drive from CAAWS.

When INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero caught up with them, the dog dumpers had a hard time explaining themselves.

Guerrero asked, "Why would you do this?"

"All I'm doing is the best I can do for these animals," said Greenwood.

"But you do admit that you have been dumping animals?" asked Guerrero.

"Oh yeah. Of course. I was wrong, it was illegal. I shouldn't have done it," answered Greenwood.

Sadly, Parks says many of the dogs they abandoned were so sick they had to be euthanized. But there is some good news: CAAWS volunteers say a handful of dogs have been nursed back to health and are now in loving homes.

Jean Norton has since plead guilty to animal cruelty charges for the dumping incidents and was banned from owning any pets for eighteen months. 

There is still an outstanding warrant for the arrest of Beverly Greenwood.

(Inside Edition - February 28, 2012)

Dog owner in shock as new pet savaged by greyhounds

UNITED KINGDOM -- A JACK RUSSELL terrier was savaged by two greyhounds last Saturday morning, and died in front of his devastated owner.

Rona O'Neill, who lives at Glenthorn, explained that she was out walking her dog Rexie on Saturday.

The two greyhounds were on the Gaelic pitch nearby and managed to get at the small dog through a fence.

'They punctured his lungs. He died right there,' explained Rona, who said that a kindly passer-by drove her home after the incident as she was in such shock.

'He was only a year old and I had just gotten him from the animal sanctuary at Sharpeshill,' said the life-long dog lover. 'He had just been microchipped and given his shots.'

She added that a man who seemed to be with the attacking animals had kicked them to try to get them away from Rexie, who had a black head and white body.

Ms. O'Neill also has a female pug that was with her at the time of the attack.

'It was extremely traumatic, I haven't been right since,' she said.

Anyone who witnessed the incident can contact Bray Garda Station on (01) 6665300.

(Bray People - Feb 29, 2012)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Washington: Rose Valley man, Steven Yaroslaski, 60, animal abuse trial set for April

WASHINGTON -- The case of a Rose Valley man who allegedly neglected dozens of dogs in an unlicensed breeding operation will go to a jury trial in April.

Steven Yaroslaski, 60, is charged with 27 counts of second-degree animal cruelty for allegedly keeping 34 dogs outdoors in muddy, excrement-caked kennels. Each charge, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.


Yaroslaski initially pleaded guilty, but at Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Cowlitz County District Court, he moved to withdraw that plea, claiming he wasn’t aware he would be barred from owning any dogs for two years after his conviction. The court granted his motion and set a trial date for April 16. His readiness hearing will be April 5.


Last March, Humane Society officers seized the dogs after receiving a complaint of animal cruelty at 141 N. Bodine Rd. They reported many dogs had matted fur, rotten and missing teeth, ear infections, fleas, dehydration, overgrown nails and red, irritated feet from standing in feces. Some were pregnant, and a few dogs’ collars were embedded in their necks with skin grown around them.


By state law, shelters must be built to allow dogs to remain dry and clean, and feces must be removed daily. The Humane Society cited Yaroslaski for running a kennel without a county permit.

The Humane Society cleaned up the dogs, had them spayed and neutered and provided them with medical treatment. All have been adopted.


(TDN - Feb 26, 2012)


Dog found 'near death,' owner charged with cruelty

FLORIDA -- A dog named "Lagniappe" was found weighing only 10-lbs. (half of what she should weigh) and suffering from hypothermia, anemia and malnutrition.

The poor pooch also had an infection in both her ears, swollen gums and was infested with parasites, according to a news release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

The dog's owner, Ynid Marie Fitzwilliams, 48, denied owning the dog, saying Lagniappe belonged to a male acquaintance. However, Fitzwilliams refused to provide a name or contact information for the acquaintance. Court documents later confirmed she had owned the dog for years, records state.

Ynid Marie Fitzwilliams

[They should also be charging her with hindering an investigation/tampering with evidence for having lied about this "male acquaintance".]

When Fitzwilliams was a no-show at an ex parte petition for animal cruelty hearing to determine if she was fit to have custody of the animal, a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Now she gets to stay in the dog pound.

And there is some good news: Lagniappe appears to be on the mend, eating ravenously after being taken in by PAWS and gained more than six pounds, according to a deputy.

[The probable cause narrative stated that the dog was weak and stumbling when she tried to walk. The dog gained 6.2-lbs almost immediately after being rescued from the Defendant.]

(Sun Sentinel - Feb 26, 2012)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NC man loses $49k collection of poison snakes

NORTH CAROLINA -- A Henderson County man is losing his exotic reptile collection worth nearly $50,000 after law officers found dozens of venomous lizards and snakes stashed in a western North Carolina mobile home.

Walter Kidd, 51, of Hendersonville, pleaded guilty Friday to 30 misdemeanor charges of possessing endangered animals and failing to properly label containers of poisonous snakes.

Police seized the reptiles in August after Kidd was bitten by an exotic venomous snake and rushed to a hospital. Officers said the trailer was packed with snakes in plastic containers that represented a potentially lethal situation.

Kidd’s attorney said the animals including vipers and Gila monsters were not a danger because they were kept inside his home.

The creatures were taken to the state natural sciences museum in Raleigh after being confiscated.

(myFox8 - February 25, 2012)


Newfoundlands attack Jack Russell

CANADA -- Black Creek resident Edith Manseau wants two things: her two young Newfoundland dogs back in her possession, and to be left alone.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), meanwhile, would like to see the courts decide what happens with Manseau's dogs, as they are involved in a legal battle following a situation last month when an animal control officer arrived at her property and seized her dogs. The dogs are being held at the Comox Valley SPCA.

The incident that spurred the seizure began on Jan. 5, following a complaint of a vicious dog attack, said Derald Lewis, bylaw compliance manager for the CVRD.

"The injured dog was a small Jack Russell terrier that belongs to the Manseaus' next door neighbour. This was a vicious attack where the terrier had been dragged through a wire fence and received serious injuries to the throat and back area," he explained.

"The dog was immediately taken to the vet where it underwent hours of surgery. The Comox Valley District bylaw department conducted an investigation and subsequently applied .... (under the) Community Charter and ... Local Government Act that the dangerous dogs be destroyed."

Manseau said her dogs, whom she has raised for years, are "gentle giants."

"The (breed) is known for their gentleness. (One of the dogs) was called Gentle Mount, and the other, Black Mount," explained Manseau. "They are the sweetest, most gentle dogs you've ever met."

Manseau said along with the past few years, the last month or so "has been hell," following the incident with her neighbour, which she said was the catalyst for the seizure.

She describes last month while sitting at her kitchen table, a member from the Comox Valley RCMP along with an animal control officer showed up at her door.

"They handed me a piece of paper and said we're taking the dogs — they're vicious. The regional district took the dogs to the SPCA and are in a kennel. The vet can't see the dogs ... I'm not allowed to see the dogs, and all they (CVRD) will tell me is that they are well looked after," she said.

"They are possibly confining the dogs by themselves and another dog might in the confined space with them. They are going to do anything possible to make sure my dogs are dead."

Lewis confirmed the dogs were taken to the Comox Valley SPCA and will be kept there until the matter is heard in provincial court, with an initial date scheduled for March 1.

He added the regional district was in court in December with a couple of Manseau's [dogs]  on a separate incident involving them chasing calves. They were unable to get scheduled court time, and the matter was stayed.

Manseau said she and her neighbour have had issues with animals in each other's property for years, but added it was the incident last month with the Jack Russell that led to the complaint that has resulted in the seizure.

She explained her husband Jacques walked to another house on their property with the two dogs and heard a yelp. She noted it would not be possible for her dogs to put their heads through a four-inch wire and grab the Jack Russell by the head.

"My dogs couldn't even get their noses through the page wire. They are highly bred dogs. They next things I know, they are being taken away. Why didn't the regional district do an investigation?" she asked.

Lewis noted the injured dog's owners had previously constructed a second fence on their property because of past disputes.

"The terrier had probably been dragged through two difference fences. Maybe it stuck its neck through the fences, but it was a vicious attack," he said. "I looked at a four-inch square (in the fence) and it's not a four-inch square anymore. It's a round hole, so the fence had been altered when they were dragged through that particular fence.

"The bottom line is that the terrier was near that fence. He didn't get injured by crawling through the fence. It's logically impossible that it could have happened."

Manseau admitted she is concerned about what is being told about her to other residents living in the area.

"There is a rumour going around that my dogs are vicious. It's gotten to a point where it's absolutely unbelievable," she added. "(Stories are going around) not so much by what they see ... but it's what they've been told."

Manseau noted she feels as though she has been harassed both in person and online, where she said negative comments and accusations have been posted to Facebook.

"All I want is my property, my two dogs and to be left alone. The dogs never go off the property without someone there."

Lewis said he has received complaints from more than just one neighbour.

"We have an obligation to look into this matter and ensure the public is safe and the animals in that neighbourhood are safe, too," he noted.

(Comox Valley Record - February 21, 2012)

Pomeranians rescued from Buffalo house

NEW YORK -- Dozens of animals were pulled from a home on Buffalo's East Side Thursday afternoon, and now the owner of those dogs is facing criminal charges.

"Very very poor, in fact, conditions are terrible in there," City of Buffalo Animal Control Officer Chuck Loubert said.

"This is unbelievable. I have feces all over my boots.. I'm not kidding you. It was like 2 inches thick on the floor."

"No heat, no water running... I didn't see an ounce of food in there."

That is what SPCA and Animal Control officers found inside a home on Fillmore Avenue, as they rescued 30 pomeranians, living in deplorable conditions.

"It was an overwhelming smell of urine and feces, there were dogs running everywhere, there wasn't a clean spot on the floor that you could walk without stepping in animal waste," Aaron Kandefer, SPCA Cruelty Investigator, said.

Sixty-one year-old Ronald Geska now faces 30 counts of animal cruelty. He is due back in court next month. Officers believe the homeowner was hoarding the dogs.

Ronald Geska

"He just says he let them go. He came, fed them, went, came back. And no heat, no water running. I didn't see an ounce of food in there," Chuck Loubert added.

The dogs are now in the custody of the Erie County SPCA. A judge will decide if they will be put up for adoption.

(WKBW - Feb 23, 2012)

Wounds still fresh for mom of pit bull attack victim

FLORIDA -- Pilar Moreira doesn’t see the dog. Not at first. Not before Melissa opens the car door and steps onto the driveway.

By then, it’s too late. Pilar can only gasp, “Don’t move.”

Pilar Moreira holds a picture of her daughter
Melissa, who was severely injured in the
pit bull attack. The mother was bitten in
the arm while trying to stop the dog.
 Roberto Schmidt/Miami Herald

She still gasps 23 years later, as she tells her story, still overwhelmed by that brutal sense of helplessness. “All…all I could do was say, ‘Don’t move.’ ”

It’s Presidents’ Day, 1989, and she and 7-year-old Melissa are returning from a weekend visit to Disney World. What awaits them, lurking in the front yard of their home in West Kendall, is the culminating horror after a series of pit bull attacks across South Florida.

It’s this incident, as much as any, that prompts the Dade Metro Commission (as it was then construed) to unanimously pass an ordinance with this preamble: “Whereas, in recent months Dade County has experienced a tragic series of incidents in which citizens have been attacked and seriously injured by pit bull dogs.”

The Florida Legislature, led by Rep. Carlos Trujillo of Miami, seems bent on undoing Miami-Dade’s ban on pit bulls. Bills in both the House and Senate are moving toward eventual passage. The House State Affairs Committee approved Trujillo’s bill on Friday. (Trujillo and his cohorts in the legislature ignored an offer by the Miami-Dade Commission to, instead, allow county voters decide whether to retain the pit bull ban in a referendum.)

Trujillo’s meddling in local government stunned Pilar Moreira (now Pilar Garcia, after remarrying).

“When I heard this I was very, very angry. Don’t they know how dangerous these dogs are? What kind of damage they can do?”

She knows. The memory’s stuck in a perpetual loop. That horrible moment when the dog charges her daughter. It remains, always, in the present tense.

Her neighbor has been keeping a number of pit bulls penned in his unfenced back yard, a long source of unease, Pilar says, but she and her husband are reluctant to confront the man. Someone embedded in the savage, violent culture of dog fighting does not invite confrontation.

She knows when she sees the animal that one of his fighting dogs escaped its backyard pen. Without warning, it attacks Melissa.

“It goes right for her face,” she says. The dog knocks the girl over and rips at her head. Pilar screams and tries, futilely to pull it away. The pit bull momentarily turns on Pilar, slashing her left arm. Amada Pozo, her mother-in-law, rushes out of the house and tries to help. The dog goes after Pozo’s face, severing her nose. John Amat, 22, tries to wrestle the pit bull off Melissa. The dog bites his hand and turns back on the child.

The dog seems oblivious to human efforts to dislodge him from the girl. And in that frenzied moment, the animal perfectly reflects the creature that would be described in the county ordinance — the ban Rep. Trujillo seeks to abolish — just a few months later.

“Whereas, to increase its effectiveness as a fighter, certain pit bull traits have been selected and maximized by controlled breeding, including 1) a set of powerful jaws with an exceptional ability to grip, lock and tear when the dog bites; 2) a unique insensitivity to pain that causes pit bulls to be exceedingly tenacious in the attack; 3) an unusually aggressive temperament towards human beings and animals; and 4) an extraordinary directness in their method of attack that does not include the common warning signs such as barking or growling displayed by other breeds.”

Nothing deters the dog until Pilar throws a canvas car cover over the frenzied animal. Then a neighbor, running up with a pistol, shoots the dog four times before killing it.

Melissa, covered in blood and dog saliva, has lost her lower lip. Her face seems to have been nearly ripped away from her skull. As they rush her inside the house, pieces of her scalp fall to the floor. Both arms had been savaged.

At Kendall Regional Medical Center, pronounced in critical condition, Melissa’s very survival is in question. Over the next months, eight surgeries would be required to reconstruct her face. The scars never go away.

Pilar and her mother-in-law both must undergo their own surgical procedures. The hospital bills exceed $50,000.

Twenty-three years later, Pilar says her daughter, now a hospital administrator in Miami, still carries the physical scars but recovered, at least psychologically, better than her mother. The horror of those moments, unable to pull that relentless dog off her little girl, haunts Pilar.

This talk of rescinding the ban exacerbates her old fears. The dogs effected by the ban in Miami-Dade County, of course, are only hypothetical dogs. No actual pit bulls, 23 years after the ban was enacted, can reside in the county. Not legally anyway. Pit bull enthusiasts, unless they’re flouting the law, want the right to own a dangerous breed, not a particular animal. Not an actual pet.

Their argument that “pit bull” is a vague, too loose, inexact definition that entails at least three breeds was dismissed back in 1989, when a coalition of pit bull owners challenged the new ordinance in federal court. U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler noted, “Despite plaintiffs’ contention that there is no such animal as a pit bull, plaintiffs’ own experts have written articles about their pedigreed dogs referring to them by the common nickname of pit bull.”

“At trial,” the judge wrote, “these experts identified photographs of dogs as pit bulls, rather than delineating the dogs into any one of the three breeds recognized by the kennel clubs. Moreover, veterinarians commonly identify dogs as pit bulls — rather than one of the three recognized breeds — by their physical characteristics.”

Judge Hoeveler added, “There was ample testimony that most people know what breed their dogs are. Although the plaintiffs and their experts claim that the ordinance does not give them enough guidance to enable owners to determine whether their dogs fall within its scope, the evidence established that the plaintiffs themselves often use the term ‘pit bull’ as a shorthand method of referring to their dogs. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including articles in dog fancier magazines, refer to pit bull dogs. Veterinarians typically refer to the three recognized breeds and mixed breeds with conforming characteristics as pit bulls.”

Pit bulls are not a mystery designation. Nor are their dangers attributes a fictional invention. And when they attack children or pets after Tallahassee lifts the ban, Rep. Trujillo should get all the credit.

“Before we had this ban, people had to pay so much, financially, emotionally, psychologically, because of these dogs,” said Pilar Garcia. “Don’t they know?”

(Miami Herald - Feb 25, 2012)

Salinas police respond to three pit bull attacks

CALIFORNIA -- Salinas police had their hands full with pit bulls Saturday, responding to three attacks before noon.

About 5:30 a.m., officers responded to a call of a vicious pit bull attacking another animal in the under 100 block of Maple Street. The dog was found on a front porch, blood dripping from its mouth.

The dog charged toward an officer, and a second officer, fearing that the pit bull was going to attack, shot the dog in the shoulder, Cmdr. Dave Crabill said. The dog was taken to a pet hospital for treatment.

A witness said the dog had attacked a cat, which was not found, Crabill said.

About 7:40 a.m., a 57-year-old woman was walking her poodle in the 200 block of Osage Drive when an aggressive pit bull ran through an open gate and attacked her dog, police said.

The woman sustained numerous severe lacerations to her hands, face and scalp when she attempted to protect her poodle from the attack. She was admitted to a local hospital for laceration repair surgery.

Her injuries are non-life threatening.

Her poodle was taken to a local pet hospital for treatment of lacerations.

The pit bull, whose owner was notified, was quarantined at the Salinas Animal Shelter, Crabill said.

Then, a half-hour after receiving a call at 11 a.m. about a loose pit bull on Pueblo Drive in North Salinas, an officer on patrol witnessed another dog attack a Chihuahua at Northgate Village on Cherokee Drive.

The pit bull and the Chihuahua were being walked by their owners; the smaller dog was on a leash, but the pit bull was not, Crabill said.

The Chihuahua was taken to a pet hospital for treatment of lacerations. Its elderly owner was unhurt.

Crabill said calls about pit bull attacks are common.

(Monterey County Herald - Feb 25, 2012)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Search for devil-dog that mauled family pet Shep

UNITED KINGDOM -- A couple who witnessed their much-loved family pet being viciously mauled by a pit bull-type ‘devil dog’ said the crazed animal needs to be found and destroyed before it targets a child.

Adrian and Mary McAuley were speaking to the Andersonstown News after their mild-mannered border collie Shep was attacked outside their Laurelbank house as they returned home from a taking him on a late night walk around midnight.

The injuries sustained in the attack on the six-year-old collie were so severe that Shep  received three separate layers of stitching to horrific tissue-tear wounds down one side of his body during a day-long operation in the wake of the February 6 attack.

Shep’s now back home and recovering, but Adrian and Mary are calling on the owner of the dog to turn himself in and to take his animal off the streets.

“We had come back from a walk and left Shep on our front porch while I went and fetched a towel to dry him off,” said Adrian. “Then we heard this terrible screaming coming from the front.  We ran to the front door and saw this dog who had Shep by his back and was trying to tear him apart.  Shep was trying to hide under the car but it was no use.”

On spotting Mr and Mrs McAuley, the owner of the pit bull dragged his animal away.

“When he saw us he pulled his grey hood over his head and grabbed his dog by his back legs. He had the dog’s lead in his hand the whole time,” said Adrian, who described the out-of-control dog as being golden-coloured with a brown mark on its head.

“I couldn’t get a good look at him as I was trying to get my wife back into the house in case it turned on her.  I’m sure it would have killed her had I not brought her back into the house.  That dog was literally foaming at the mouth, you could see the venom in its eyes.”

Mary said their vet told them the family pet was “lucky to be alive”.

“He said it was one of the most terrible injuries he’s ever seen,” she said. “His big coat saved him.  He’s back home now but he’s nervous.  He’s getting better as the days go on.”

The local grandparents pleaded with the dog owner to hand his dog over to the proper authorities.

“That dog is a killer – it was its intension to kill Shep,” said Mary. “God forbid a child had been there as it could easily have turned on it. That dog needs to be off the streets.”

(Andersontown News - February 20, 2012)

Dog Attacks Elderly Greenville Couple

SOUTH CAROLINA -- George Grepaly says a walk with his wife and three small dogs quickly turned terrifying Monday afternoon.  "I saw the pit bull walking out steadily," Grepaly remembers. 

"Not running, or racing, but very determined."  Before he knew it, Grepaly says he was surrounded, and fighting off what neighbors call a "vicious" dog.  "I said hey stop and go back," says Grepali. 

As Grepali was knocked down by the dog, neighbor Larry Hand rushed in to help.  "I was working on the sidewalk and heard the commotion," says Hand, who ran after the dog with a hammer.  "I didn't know what it was going to do."

Grepali got away with scratches and bruises on his legs from the incident, but neighbors on Avon Drive in Taylors are frustrated. 

"It's not a good situation," says Hand.  They claim the family that rents the home at 606 Avon Drive owns two animals, one "pit bull" looking dog and a boxer/pit mix.  Residents claim both dogs have come after neighbors since they've lived there. 

"We're at our wit's end," says Sandi Newell.  "We walk with sticks and clubs in our hands, and they don't care."  Newell says the dogs are kept in the family's back yard on "tethers" or short leashes, but often break free.  "I want to know what has to happen for animal control to do something."

According to Greenville County Animal Control, officers have responded to the home twice in the last year, "warning" the residents both times.  The reason no citation was issued in those cases is because officers did not have enough evidence against the dogs. 

"The important thing for residents to understand is it takes two sources, two independent sources for us to further an investigation," says Bob Mihalic, with Greenville County.  "It can't be a he said she said situation."

On Tuesday, the pit bull was not in the family's yard, but the boxer mix remained.  The owner told Seven on your Side she was giving the pit bull away to the Humane Society, and "planned" to give away the other dog as well.

"We need our neighborhood back," says Newell.

(WSPA - Feb 21, 2012)

Owner helpless to stop pit bulls from mauling Jack, her Shih Tzu, to death

CANADA -- An Okanagan neighbourhood is in shock following Monday’s dog attack.

On Monday afternoon, a small dog was killed by two marauding Pit Bulls in West Kelowna, right in front of its owner.

Kirsten Petersen says she threw rocks at the dogs and her tenant threw a chair but to no avail.

The dogs carried the Shi Tzu, named Jack, back to their home on Webber Road from McIvar Road, leaving it dead on the neighbouring lawn.

The two dogs were euthanized by Central Okanagan Dog Control only hours after the attack, after the owner agreed to have them put down.

CHBC News has learned this is not the first time the dogs had escaped the back yard where they live on Webber Road.

The Central Okanagan Regional District says the Pit Bulls were found wandering their neighbourhood last year.

“Everyone knows my dogs,” says their owner, who only identified himself as Robert. “They've always been out playing around and stuff like that. They've never barked or growled never caused any problems.”

When CHBC News asked Robert if he thought it was safe for his Pit Bulls to be wandering the neighbourhood like they were Monday, he answered, “I guess that's a ‘Catch 22’.”

Petersen is taking Robert up on his offer to buy her family a new dog.

He will not be fined for the attack because he agreed to cooperate with Dog Control and have his animals destroyed.

(CHBC Okanagan - Feb 21, 2012)

Venice residents living in fear of dog they say is dangerous

FLORIDA -- A Venice woman's small dog was attacked and killed by a pit bull Sunday. Authorities issued citations, but nearby residents say they are living in fear.

Sunday, Jeanne Menendez was walking her mother's dog Louie down their Venice neighborhood street.  "I look to my right and the next thing I know here comes this pit bull."  She says the 12-pound rat terrier didn't stand a chance.  "He just came and grabbed onto my mothers dog and he just bit into him a shook him.  He killed my dog."

Jeanne says her 90-year-old mother Jean Dawn is heartbroken.  Louie had belonged to one of her other daughters who recently passed away.  "This was just a little crate trained dog.  It gave her a sense of purpose to get up in the morning.  We walked the dog three times a day."

Residents ABC 7 talked to say they are concerned it will happen again and don't know if there is anything they can do.

According the Venice Police report, proper citation was issued by Sarasota County Animal Services.  A knock on the door followed by large barks Monday indicate the dog is still at home.

"We don't really know because we don't know exactly what the laws are," says neighbor Diana Lucker.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, in order for a dog to be declared vicious there must be two cases of the dog causing serious injury on another pet or one attack on a human.

That's little assurance for those the neighborhood, located near the intersection of Venice Avenue and the Venice Bypass.  "It's terrifying.  There are a lot of small children and a lot of dogs.  Now we don't even feel like we are safe in our own neighborhood," says Lucker.

Someone did eventually come home to the house where the dog came from Monday.  They didn't want to talk to ABC 7.

A neighbor across the street who has small children says the dog has chased him into his home and is always on guard while his kids are outside.  Other neighbors say they have been concerned for awhile.

Menendez says they could use more help.  "I would have been happier if they would have at least observed the dog to make sure that he didn't have a brain tumor or was rabid.  I don't know why a dog would just run after and attack an innocent dog and kill it."

Neighbors helped bury Louie in the backyard Sunday, and are concerned it could happen to another pet or worse. "I just don't want that to happen to anyone."

Neighbors we talked to say the dogs owner was issued three citations after the attack.  Due to the holiday, the sheriff's office could not confirm that information.

(ABC7 - Feb 20, 2012)

Price Hill boys survive vicious pit bull attack, but scars remain

OHIO -- Two Price Hill boys continue to recover from a frightening pit bull attack over the weekend.

The brothers were first attacked on their street, and then the dog chased them into their house.
According to a District 3 police report, the children were playing in front of their home and in the street when they were suddenly attacked by a pit bull. The boys then ran into their house and the dog followed them, trying to continue the attack.
It was a frightening escape that Cortney and Curtis Mitchell may remember for the rest of their lives.
"I couldn't think, like, I didn't feel nothing in that arm. I couldn't think," said 10-year-old Cortney.

"It was scary and I was scared, especially when the dog ran in my house. That's what scared me the most and then when I couldn't get the dog off my son, it was even more scarier," said the boys' mother, Kenya Taylor.

Cortney and his younger brother, 6-year-old Curtis, are both back home from the hospital. Cortney needed seven stitches on both arms. Curtis had surgery and will need physical therapy to regain use of his arm.

The family has cellphone video and photos of the dog's capture and confinement by the Cincinnati SPCA.

Just before 3 p.m. Friday, the family says the dog came out of a neighbor's house and started biting both boys. When they ran into the house, the dog chased them inside continuing to bite them.

"I don't know. It was just so crazy. It felt like I was in a dream or something. He was in my house and he was tussling with the dog. I was trying to get Curt because there was blood all over my house. It just didn't seem real. It just seemed unbelievable that it had ran into my house afterwards," said Taylor.

Fortunately, Taylor and other neighbors were able to stop the pit bull and confine him to the basement until police and animal control arrived.

Taylor says she'll press authorities to prosecute the dog's owner.

"Something has got to be done because my son has to live with this for the rest of his life. Something has got to be done," said Taylor.

The dog's owner, Dekila Britten, now faces charges of possession of a vicious dog and failure to keep a vicious dog on a leash.

9 News went to Britten's house Monday night, but we were told she was not there, and none of the occupants said they knew about the attack.

(KY Post - Feb 20, 2012)

Carson City deputy attacked by dog, shots fired

NEVADA -- Just before 2:30 p.m. today, during a traffic stop near the intersection of Roop Street and Little Lane, an officer was attacked by a large dog described as looking similar to a pit bull.

The officer sustained minor injuries to his right leg and was directed to obtain medical treatment. The dog was shot and killed.

The officer pulled over a vehicle driven by a female identified as Terra Smythe. The passenger in the car was identified as Kevin Parrish.

Upon running both names, the officer discovered that Parrish had a felony warrant out for his arrest.

He began arresting Parish. According to reports, Smythe became confrontational and agitated and opened the drivers-side door to her car, allowing a large dog to escape and attack the officer.

The officer attempted to ward off the dog, who continued to attack. The dog was shot - there are conflicting reports at this juncture as to whether the officer being attacked shot the dog, or whether another deputy did so.

"It's horrible to read about this sort of thing, because we read it and we picture our own pets," said sheriff Ken Furlong. "The animals cannot be held at fault. The owners must maintain control."

This is the second incident this week in which a dog has been fired at. In the first incident a local property owner was attacked. The dog survived in that incident.

Sheriff Furlong indicated in a phone interview that eyewitness accounts were consistent with the accounts of all officers involved.

Both Smythe and Parrish were arrested. This case is under ongoing investigation.

(Carson Now - Feb 24, 2012)

Pit bull injures woman

NEBRASKA -- A 33-year-old woman picking up a child from school was bitten Friday by a dog, authorities said.

The woman was bitten on her right leg and on both arms.

She was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center after the 4 p.m. incident near 42nd and Vinton Streets, said Nebraska Humane Society spokesman Mark Langan. He declined to release her name.

The dog, a pit bull named Kilo, was impounded at a Humane Society shelter.

It is owned by Emma Rodriguez, 31, of Omaha, Langan said. She was ticketed on suspicion of harboring a dangerous animal, among other offenses.

Langan said Rodriguez told authorities the dog ran out a door as she opened it. The victim was bitten outside nearby Jefferson Elementary School.

(Omaha World Herald - February 25, 2012)

Pit Bull Boards Bus, Bites Boy

ARIZONA -- A boy on a school bus is bitten by a pit bull Friday morning.

The dog had been running loose in a neighborhood, and it tried to follow some students onto the bus. The driver closed the door on the dog, but eventually, it was able to push its way into the bus.

"She tried to shut the door on it, kind of struggled with it, she actually had to get up trying to force the dog back off the bus and when she did that it was able to get through the door, come on up and chase some kids around," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Gary Bradley.


The dog was chasing kids around on the bus and bit an 8-year-old.

The vehicle pulled over in the area of Thomas and 63rd Avenue so the boy could be treated by Phoenix fire crews. Fourteen other students were on the bus at the time.

The 8-year-old first grader was the only student bitten by the dog. He was bitten on the leg and is expected to be okay.

The bus driver stepped in to help the boy by grabbing him and picking him up. She was able to get the students off of the bus, but she was also bitten by the dog.

Both bites were "only" superficial.

The dog was removed from the Cartwright School District bus, and students on the bus were transferred to another bus to go to school.

Animal Control took the pit bull out of a squad car. The dog will be quarantined for 10 days to make sure that it does not have rabies.

(KSAZ - Feb 24, 2012)

Man arrested for puppy torture

INDIANA -- The alleged beating of a puppy led Speedway Police to arrest a man on Thursday.

A resident and a maintenance worker at an apartment complex had both reported seeing or hearing a man beating a puppy inside one of the apartments in the 2300 block of Hermitage Way.

One maintenance worker reported seeing the man holding the dog down, lifting his arm up and repeatedly punching the puppy on and off for about 30 minutes, according to a Speedway Police Department report. When the fist fell, the worker heard the dog’s cries.

A witness also reported seeing the dog outside with an injured leg, the report said. The puppy appeared to be avoiding putting weight on the leg.

Speedway Police officers knocked on the door of the apartment and smelled marijuana, before a man tried closing the door in their faces, the report said. The man admitted to smoking marijuana and told the officers where they could find it in the apartment.

Some of the marijuana was under a couch cushion where a puppy was sitting, and officers noticed a towel over the dog’s swollen, lacerated leg. While talking to police, the man admitted having a dog was a bad idea and that he’d punish the dog, according to the report. The man admitted hitting the dog with his shoes and holding the dog’s face in its own urine and feces.

The man surrendered the dog to police, and the puppy pit bull mix was given to a pit bull rescue that immediately gave it medical care.

Officers arrested 28-year-old Kenarda Smith on preliminary charges of torturing a vertebrate animal and possession of marijuana. He was not a resident of the apartment complex.

(WISH - February 24, 2012)

Echo Valley Ranch horse investigation continues

COLORADO -- The Park County Sheriff’s Office, while conducting an investigation into a number of possibly abused horses, removed a number of horses from the Echo Valley Ranch in the Bailey area on Feb. 19 over concern stemming from public comments about the animals.

“The horses in question were moved to an undisclosed location in Park County Sunday afternoon,” said a Feb. 19 press release from the Sheriff’s Office. “The Sheriff’s Office felt this was necessary to avoid any complications that could arise and [ensure] the safety of everyone involved.”

Park County Undersheriff Monte Gore told The Flume on Feb. 20 that the horses were moved after the Sheriff’s Office received comments from some members of the public indicating that they would go get the horses themselves.

“There were some statements that were concerning,” he said.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office is in the middle of an investigation into a number of sickly looking horses found on the ranch. The investigation began after the Park County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office concerning the condition of the horses. Routt County was working with a Conifer-based horse rescue to take possession of a young horse that was at the ranch.

It was during that repossession that other sickly horses were discovered.

Gore said no determination has been made as to why some of the horses were in their current condition.

“At present we do not know if their condition is due to an illness of some kind, neglect, or a combination of both,” he said.

Gore said it was possible that some of the horses were infected with botulism, a serious condition caused by toxins from bacteria.

“If something has botulism, their muscles don’t work, so they can’t eat and they can’t function,” he said.

He said a forensic investigation is under way to determine the cause of the animals’ condition, and an investigation is also under way to determine what medical treatment the owner of the animals sought.

Gore also said the owner of the horses has many horses on the ranch that were in perfect health.

“Ron Swift, the owner of the horses, has been cooperative with our investigation,” said the press release.

Swift couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office is working with Colorado State University, local veterinarians, and the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office to “determine the cause of the [horses’] severe medical condition,” said the Feb. 19 press release.

Barbara Wright, co-founder and chief executive officer of Harmony Horseworks, a Conifer-based horse sanctuary, said a horse that was seized by Routt County deputies and transported to her organization was doing much better since it was seized.

The horse, nicknamed Little Big Man, was in dire condition when it was brought to Harmony Horseworks, she said.

Had the authorities not intervened when they had, said Wright, Little Big Man would have died.

Even after the animal had been seized, there was some concern that it wouldn’t survive.

This horse was taken from the Echo Valley Ranch in Bailey
by Routt County Animal Control officers after it was
discovered in a poor body condition.

“Definitely, there was a question,” she said.

The 2-year-old horse was 300 pounds when it came under the care of Harmony Horseworks’ veterinarian. A horse that age should be between 700 pounds and 750 pounds, Wright said.

She said the horse was doing very well recently.

“As of yesterday, it was very good, which shows you the ability of the horse to bounce back,” she said.

Since it’s been seized, the horse has shown a good appetite, and improving health.

Wright sad her veterinarian ruled out botulism as the cause of the horse’s problems.

The horse now known as Spencer, seized from
 the Echo Valley Ranch in Bailey, is in
much better condition, said its
current owner, Eugene Ferraro.
This photo was taken in June 2012.

Wright said she doubted that the animals at the Echo Valley Ranch could be suffering from botulism, which she said is fatal to horses unless they are treated rapidly.

When asked what it could be, Wright said she wasn’t sure.

“We do not know; however we do believe the authorities are doing what they can do, and they are doing the right thing,” she said.

(The Flume - Feb 24, 2012)

Valencia County man scalped by vicious dogs

NEW MEXICO -- A Los Lunas man said part of his scalp had to be re-attached after he was mauled by his neighbor's dogs.

The three dogs are now in quarantine in Valencia County.

Victor Sarracino said this happened Friday afternoon as he biked past his neighbor's house. He said the gate was open, and two of the dogs ran out and started biting his tire.

Sarracino said he was knocked over and a third dog bit a chunk of his scalp off.

"The big pit bull came out of the yard like a bullet and the next thing I know, he grabbed a piece of my scalp and it sounded like velcro...just ripped it off," Sarracino said.

He called 911 and was transported to the hospital. Sarracino said he received more than 30 stitches and at least 25 staples on his head to close the multiple gashes.

The dogs will be quarantined for 10 days. Sarracino said then it is up to a judge to decide what happens to the dogs.

(KOB - Feb 22, 2012)

Killed in its own yard: Pit bulls mauls Bichon to death

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- A local woman said she is devastated after a pit bull terrier killed her 14-pound Bichon Frise, Monty, on Tuesday.

At 4:30 p.m., police were called to 101 High St., where an officer confirmed a pit bull had "slipped" through his harness and attacked Monty, who was barking in a yard.

RIP Monty

Bonnie McGrenaghan, 65, let Monty and P.J., a West Highland terrier, out her front door and into her yard Tuesday afternoon. Minutes later, P.J. was at the door, scrambling to get inside, she said.

McGrenaghan said she walked outside and found Monty lying in a pool of blood. She said a pit bull out for a walk with its owner got loose and mauled her pet.

"(Monty) never growled in his life and he certainly didn't do anything to provoke this, and he was just mutilated," she said.

She said the pit bull's owner claimed Monty ran out in the street.

"I have an Invisible Fence," McGrenaghan said. "(Monty) has never been able to cross it; he is a house-hugger. My other little P.J. has never crossed it, and they never have their collars off."

Officers confirmed the electric fence did keep the Bichon Frise contained to McGrenaghan's yard.

When the pit bull slipped its harness, the dog-walker ran over and attempted to intervene, according to Police Chief John Scippa.

The pit bull belongs to Donald McElreavy, of Lovell Road, who must pay a $100 fine for the incident, police said. McGrenaghan said McElreavy offered to pay her veterinarian bill. The pit bull had been vaccinated against rabies and, by law, the owner is required to keep the dog under watch for the next 10 days in his home to make sure it is not sick.

"The owner of the pit bull has already paid all the vet bills and clearly stands ready to accept whatever civil penalty is imposed, and is still very upset about what happened," Scippa said. "This case is a clear example that this was an accidental situation and all the dog owners are being very responsible and very reasonable to resolve this."

The $100 fine is a statutory fine for an animal, either alone or in a pack, that attacks any domestic animal or person.

Scippa said, in a case such as this, McGrenaghan can appeal to the court and seek other forms of compensation, however, she cannot seek the death of the attacking dog. Only police may seek the euthanization of an attacking dog. Scippa said police officers will continue to investigate to determine the appropriate response.

"The Police Department is going to do the investigation, based on the outcome of the investigation, it will dictate how we resolve this," the police chief said.

McGrenaghan said she does not intend to take the issue to court. She said she wants the laws in New Hampshire to be more clear.

"I confess, I love animals and dogs, and I am quite sure (the dog's owner) is sorry," McGrenaghan said. "There should be some rules and laws in Stratham. I'd like to see some rules, laws or something, so that other people are protected. If two months go by and this dog is allowed to live, he might get one of the kids playing in the yard."

(Seacoast Online - February 24, 2012)

Already in prison, man gets no extra time for starving dogs

UNITED KINGDOM -- A cruel dog owner has been jailed after letting his pet starve to death in “deplorable conditions”.

When bailiffs forced their way into Alan Smith’s flat in Westmorland Court, Hebburn, to serve an eviction notice, they found his mastiff Sam lying dead in a living room surrounded by dog dirt and rubbish.

They also found an emaciated Staffordshire bull terrier called Lily in the room, which South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard had only survived by eating flesh from the dead dog.

The bailiffs called in the RSPCA who took the surviving dog to a vet and had a post-mortem examination carried out on the mastiff, which revealed both dogs had been starved of food and water for about a month. Smith, 30, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the mastiff by failing to give it a nutritious diet.

He appeared by videolink as he is already serving a three-year prison sentence for an unrelated crime.
No charges were brought regarding the terrier, after Smith told magistrates it belonged to his girlfriend.

Denise Jackman, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “When the bailiff opened the door to the living room, a small dog ran out and went to the toilet to drink water.

“A large emaciated dog was dead in the corner of the room. The smaller dog had been living off the corpse, as half of its face was missing.

“The room was strewn with faeces, empty beer cans and other rubbish. Both dogs were almost skeletal.”

A statement from Smith’s ex-girlfriend was read out in court, which said they had lived together at the flat but that she moved out two months before the dogs were found and they were in good health when she left.

Smith told magistrates he thought his ex was looking after Sam.

But David Hatfield, defending, told the court Smith had moved out of the flat and a friend was looking after the animals.

Mr Hatfield said: “He lived in the flat but had let it to a friend, and had made arrangements that he would also look after the dog that subsequently died.

“He was a trustworthy man and it seems he did indeed look after it for a period of time, and it was only in the last month that it was subject to significant cruelty.”

Magistrates heard that Lily had now been nursed back to health.

Chairman of the bench Harry Metcalfe said: “The dog lived in deplorable conditions.”

Smith was jailed for 17 weeks, to run alongside his current sentence. He was also banned from looking after animals for 10 years.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Claire Hunt said: “This was an extremely shocking and upsetting case.

“It is sad that one dog died, but we’re happy the other dog found in the house has new owners and has plenty of time to enjoy a loving home.

“Smith being jailed is a very good result for us.”

South Tyneside Chief Inspector Brian Walker added: “This was a particularly shocking case involving a defenceless animal who was left to fend for itself, ultimately resulting in its death.

“We condemn anyone who would intentionally cause harm to an animal and work closely with the RSPCA to put offenders before the court.”

(Shields Gazette - Feb 25, 2012)