Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pair kept 69 animals in family home

UNITED KINGDOM -- A husband and wife with five children kept 69 animals, including 56 large dogs, as family pets in their four-bedroom semi-detached home, a court has heard.

When the RSPCA raided the house where James and Nicola Hood lived with their young family they were "swamped by a sea of dogs" in the living room and "too many to count" in the back garden.

In addition to 56 dogs, including huskies, German shepherds, rottweilers and Staffordshire bull terriers, they also found three cats living in the bathroom, six birds including love birds in various dirty cages, and four chinchillas.

They also found one of the couple's children, just nine months old, in a bed whose sheets were soiled with bird droppings, the court heard.

Mr Hood, 40, and his 31-year-old wife admitted nine animal cruelty charges at Taunton Magistrates' Court relating to animals kept at their home in Queen's Road, Minehead, Somerset.

Magistrates were told that the majority were animals in danger of being put down by owners who could not cope with them, but that they themselves had become overwhelmed by the number of animals in their home.

Prosecutor Neil Scott said RSPCA officers visited the house on October 17 last year and were immediately hit by a "strong smell of ammonia" as they entered the "dirty" house and opened a door into the living room.

He added: "She (the lead inspector) described at that point her and her colleague being swamped by a sea of dogs that came running towards them."

The couple both admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and six of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals were met.

Ian Denley, defending them both, said they thought of the house as an "animal sanctuary", taking in animals from friends and from people contacted via the internet which might otherwise have been put down.

Sentencing was adjourned to a hearing next month and the couple were released on bail.

(Standard UK - March 31, 2012)

Number of animals found in possible hoarding case up to 80s

MISSOURI -- There are new developments in a dog hoarding case that started with a woman's arrest last week in Jackson County. KCTV5 visited the latest group of dogs as the tally rises.

Eight-week-old Johnny is one of at least 65 dogs found in a second location for Shirley Lafferty's unlicensed organization that she called Black Dog Rescue. That brings the total now to almost 90.

Thirty-three of the dogs are now at the Heartland SPCA in Merriam, KS. Included amongst those dogs are puppies as young as 2-weeks-old, still nursing, who were crowded into the home.

"Some rooms had 20 to 25 dogs in them. Other rooms had moms nursing 2-week-old puppies surrounded by five or six other dogs," said Joe Hinkle with Heartland SPCA.

The home near Butler, MO was rigged with plywood gates in an attempt to replicate a shelter. But the conditions – four puppies to a crate and wire crates stacked atop each other – concerned animal welfare advocates who said there were simply too many dogs for one, or even two, people to care for.

"They need to ask for help," said Hinkle.

A KCTV5 crew was at that home Tuesday when a Department of Agriculture Investigator was there to assess the 65 dogs and one goat reported through the Animal Care Program's Operation Bark Alert.

Hinkle said the home was yet another location for Black Dog Rescue, an unlicensed organization run by Lafferty. The woman was arrested last week and charged with 16 counts of animal abuse and neglect.

Investigators seized 17 dogs from Lafferty's home in unincorporated Jackson County last week and condemned the feces-covered house. Those dogs, now at Wayside Waifs, cannot be adopted because they were seized and the court case is still pending.

The Butler, MO dogs were surrendered voluntarily by the woman renting there - so many dogs that the placement process is still underway.

"I know another group went out to pull some yesterday, I think some more got pulled today, and the goat went home today," said Hinkle.

He said what happened is a classic case of rescue turned hoarding.

"It seems like they really have their hearts in the right place to begin with and then it just gets out of control. And once it starts spiraling out of control, they're really afraid to ask for help. I think once they realize it's gotten out of control, they start to get embarrassed," he said.

The puppies like Johnny are going to need at least one more week at the shelter or in foster homes before they can be adopted, but quite a few of the surrendered dogs are already ready to go to their permanent homes.

Anyone can stop by the Heartland SPCA Adoption Center located at 9800 West 67th Street in Merriam, KS from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The organization will also be offering free vaccinations Saturday March 17 and March 24 at its Animal Medical Center at 5428 Antioch Drive. The clinics go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(KCTV - Mar 31, 2012)

New York: Dustin White, 22, intentionally ran over three puppies, say police

NEW YORK -- State Police at Ithaca have charged a 22-year-old man with felony animal cruelty for intentionally running over three puppies with his vehicle.

Dustin S. White of 708 Old 76 Road, Caroline for aggravated animal cruelty  in violation of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.

The charges stem from an investigation that was conducted by State Police in after patrols responded to a report of animal abuse at White’s address in Tompkins County.

Police said an investigation into the matter revealed that White was backing his Pontiac Grand Am out of a driveway around noon Sunday on Old 76 Road in Caroline NY, when he was warned not to back up; that the Husky mix puppies were in the driveway.

For whatever reason, White continued backing up, running over the puppies. he then drove off, but later called the home to apologize for what he had done, say police.

Two of the puppies were killed instantly and the third was seriously injured.

Tompkins County Animal Control responded to the scene and toko the puppies to Cornell University. The surviving puppy suffered broken ribs.

White was issued an appearance ticket ordering him to appear in Caroline Town Court on April 2 at 5 p.m.  3-30-12

Caroline is a rural community about 10 miles southeast of Ithaca, NY.

(North Country Gazette - March 30, 2012)

Pit bull attack victim shares her story

CONNECTICUT -- An 88-year-old woman who survived a brutal pitbull attack almost two weeks ago is sharing her frightening story with News 8.

Lena Poidomani's family said that it wasn't until recently she remembered being mauled by two pitbulls outside of her Waterbury home.  

Poidomani is now at the Cheshire House recovering, and sharing her memory of the attack with News 8 exclusively.

"To tell you the truth I've got awful pain in my leg, scratched my leg, it was terrible," said Poidomani. "I feel very depressed, very depressed."

Angelo Garafolo, a close friend, said it wasn't until this visit that she remembered she was taking out the garbage at her home, when two pitbulls escaped from a cage next door and attacked her.  The dogs were so aggressive, police had to shoot them both.

Poidomani doesn't remember the neighbors helping her during the attack.

"This dog bit my arm I said, 'I can't believe it out in my yard, bit my legs.' I can't walk, it's a very terrible thing that happened," she said.

She remembers falling down, and misses her yard very much.

"I can't believe it. I've got a nice place, a nice yard," she said.

Every day Poidomani would walk to the grocery store and to church. She will be saddened if she can't walk again, but appreciates what she does have.

"I've got a nice family, nice neighbors too, I can't complain," she said.

Her family and close friends along with Alderman Ernest Brunelli are pushing for stricter dangerous dog laws.

Poidomani will be recovering at the Cheshire House for a while.  Family and friends said they're just glad she's alive and recovering.

(WTNH - March 30, 2012)


Friday, March 30, 2012

Dozens of animals removed from OC mobile home

CALIFORNIA -- Dozens of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens and lizards, were removed from a Stanton mobile home by animal control officers.

Orange County Animal Care officers were contacted by an anonymous caller who led them to the residence at Beach West Mobile Estates in Stanton on Wednesday.

The female resident granted access to officers, who found dozens of animals in the residence in squalid conditions.

Wednesday night, authorities removed nearly 40 animals, including eight dogs, 16 cats, two chickens, lizards, mice, a crow and a raccoon.

Animal Care Sgt. Kyle Werner described "hoarding-type conditions" inside the mobile home, with "a lot of fecal matter, urine, a strong smell of ammonia," he said. The officers had to use respirators because of the smell.

The 45-year-old woman was identified by neighbors as "Karen." She stopped at her residence with her mother Thursday, upset after losing her animals.

"Obviously I do care for the animals, but that's all I have to say," said Karen.

"I knew she had a few animals because she loves them, but we never expected that she had that many," said neighbor Karen Dutton.

"When you walked by you could smell the ammonia smell, whatever it was, it was very bad," said "Marilyn," another neighbor.

"That is not healthy, not for the animals, not for her because, I mean pretty much she had a zoo inside the house," said Dutton.

Authorities say two dogs needed treatment for age-related problems, but none appeared to be mistreated or malnourished. The animals are now being cared for at Orange County Animal Care.

"We've had hoarding situations with a lot of cats, a lot of dogs, but in this particular instance with a variety of animals, that is quite unusual," said Ryan Drabek, director of OC Animal Care.

The mobile home has been red-tagged, deemed not safe to enter. Authorities say the home is not livable. It has no proper bathroom and no proper exit.

Investigators say the resident could face charges for improper care of animals.

(abclocal - March 29, 2012)

Dead Horses Suffered Abuse In Rural Galesburg

ILLINOIS -- Rescuers are calling it one of the most shocking cases they've seen to date. Two horses were found dead on a property in Galesburg. Officials say they've been dead for months, possibly even a year. Another two were found living in horrible conditions.

The Knox County Sheriff's Department arrested 52-year old Sara Feighner (aka Sara J. Feighner) on one count of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of cruelty to animals. Authorities say it happened in the 100 block of Moshier Hill Road in rural Galesburg. 

Rescuers from the Hooved Animal Humane Society based in Woodstock, Illinois found two horses dead in a barn late last week; the other two roaming the lands with no food still on the property as of Wednesday night.    

"That horse right there, it's not right," Neighbor Sam Rogers says, "That's not right at all; no animal should have to go through that."

Rogers' property looks out onto a startling sight of starving horses that haven't seen food for months. 

"Their manes, that's what keeps the flies off them," he says, "They're full of bugs and stuff, and they're just getting worse and worse and worse."

Sheriff's reports state the owner claims one of the horses got its hoof caught in the fence so she left it there until it died. The report also says the dead carcasses were found in a barn on the property hidden from view.  

"I was mowing the lawn here a couple years ago and it was just rotten, you could tell something was dead," Rogers says.

Neighbors say they've called authorities about the problem, but nothing really came of it until someone thought to contact the Hooved Animal Humane Society which specializes in these types of rescues, but wasn't prepared for this. 

"We had no idea that when we stepped onto the property we would find two decomposing animals," Executive Director Tracy McGonigle of the Hooved Animal Humane Society says, "One was completely decomposed; one was a skeleton of a horse, completely picked clean."

Representatives from the Hooved Animal Humane Society say the woman was reported by drivers passing down the road. They say it's just another reminder to be on the lookout for animal mistreatment and report it when you see it. 

"If you see something wrong, if you see an animal in poor condition, if you see wounds, if you see animals in a field and you don't see any food source or water source," McGonigle says, "A lot of it is common sense."

The Hooved Animal Humane Society tells us the horses have been transferred to their care, and they are scrambling to make arrangements to transport them to Woodstock, IL as soon as possible. Calls by KWQC to the Knox County Sheriff's Department asking for comment on the owner's previous offenses were not returned.

(KWQC - March 29, 2012)

Dog That Killed Another Dog Might be Classified "Dangerous"

OREGON -- An Albany family is anxiously awaiting a verdict to find out if their dog will be labeled as "dangerous". It recently killed another dog in their neighborhood.

The incident happened Friday afternoon between the two homes. What we do know is that the larger dog killed the Chihuahua, but both of the dog's owners have different stories as to whose dog was at fault.

Pupster's owner says he was out playing fetch with his dog, when a Chihuahua from a cross the street came running towards Pupster growling and provoking.

That's when owner Earl Brock says Pupster ran towards the Chihuahua, grabbed it, and killed it.

[Yes, the old, "I was provoked!" defense. Why do people think this is OK?? If you ran up to me in a bar, waving your arms in front of me, screaming and yelling does that give me the right to attack and kill you? Do you think the police would let me use the excuse that I was provoked by you? Ridiculous.]

However, the Chihuahua's owner, Cassandra Jimenez, says that's not true.

She says her dog Cookie was minding her own business when Pupster ran up, grabbed and killed her.

"I love my dog more than anything, she wouldn't even bite nobody or nothing, that's why I can't believe he's saying she attacked him, she's this little, how could she attack anybody," said Cookie's Owner Cassandra Jimenez.

"He's not a dangerous dog, he's not dangerous unless he's provoked.  You really have to provoke him, this is the first time I've seen him ever like this," said Pupster's Owner Earl Brock.

Pupster is now at Linn County Dog Control while he awaits his fate.

Albany police are still investigating and interviewing witnesses to try to get to the bottom of this case.  They hope to have a final determination as to what will happen to Pupster, whether or not he will be labeled "dangerous," by early next week.

(KEZI - March 29, 2012)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Family Loses Friend in Sudden Dog Attack

CONNECTICUT -- Brookfield resident Margaret Carcaldi was at work on Monday, March 19, when she received a frantic phone call from her daughter: while walking the family dog, six-year-old Benji, a neighbor’s rottweiler had broken loose and attacked, killing the 14-pound Bichon Frise.

RIP Benji

Carcaldi’s two children -- daughter age 14 and son age 12 -- were taking Benji for a walk around their Tower Road neighborhood at 3 p.m. on March 19, as they did every afternoon. After they rounded the corner of Old Woods Road back onto Tower, they crossed to the opposite side of the street before continuing home, Carcaldi said.

“They would always cross the street because every time they passed the dog would lunge and the leash is long enough for him to get his paws on the street,” she said.

Last Monday, as the children crossed on the west side, the rottweiler lunged and the chain gave way, letting it loose on Benji.

“It got my little boy [the Bichon Frise] in its mouth and ripped him off the leash, then tried to take him back inside the house,” according to Carcaldi, who said that the small dog was killed instantly and only suffered briefly. “He just yelped and didn’t give up a fight.”

The rottweiler finally released the dog after an adolescent resident of 45 Tower Road, the only person home at the time, came outside and coaxed it away with a bone. Carcaldi’s kids scooped up Benji and ran to the neighbor’s home, where they called their mother and Brookfield police.

Police fined the owner $600 and the rottweiler was evaluated by Regional Animal Control officer Audrey McKay, who said in an interview that the dog had no prior history of attacking other animals or showing aggression toward humans.

The rottweiler is “fine with people,” McKay said. “There are some dogs that just do not like other dogs -- they’re great with people but really bad with other dogs.”

As this is the first offense, the dog will not be killed. However, “If it broke free again, it would be taken and put down,” McKay said.

Instead, the rottweiler must now be inside the house or in a fenced-in area when not with an owner. It must also be on a leash and wear a muzzle when outside.

Carcaldi said she wishes the laws were more aggressive and has contacted state Rep. David Scribner (R-107) to see what can be done.

“If you’re going to own a vicious dog, I’m going to try to change the laws in Connecticut,” she said, including mandating higher homeowner’s insurance and tougher consequences for offenses.

Carcaldi said the family may eventually get another dog, but they won’t be walking it around the neighborhood.

(Fairfield Patch - March 28, 2012)

Neighbor rescues girl from dog attack

TEXAS -- A Friendswood resident is being credited with saving a young girl from a dog attack.

As a U.S. Marine, Huff is always ready for action. So on Wednesday night when he heard a neighbor's dog barking in front of his house, he knew something was wrong and rushed outside.

"I just screamed bloody murder and just ran right at the dogs and luckily, they ran right off," Huff said.

 Huff says the dogs were attacking his neighbor's 10-year-old daughter. Police say the two dogs got out of another neighbor's backyard, charged the young girl and started biting her while she was outside getting the mail.

"It's any parent's worst nightmare," the girl's father said.

 The girls' parents were finishing dinner when they heard screaming. By the time they raced outside, Huff had already chased the dogs away.

"She was actually in shock. She was just shocked. She didn't cry. She didn't say anything for a couple of hours," the girl's mother said.

 Huff saw bite marks all over her body.

"On her legs, her torso, her shoulder, it was pretty grizzly," he said.

Friendswood EMS arrived and treated the child. She was then transported to a hospital, where she was treated and released.

Now, the dogs owner, Shannon Berg, could face charges.

 "I'm sorry for everything that happened and we never meant for anybody to get hurt. They're great neighbors, I hope the little girl has a full recovery and wish her the best and we're going to do anything we can to help her," Berg said.

Friendswood police and an animal control officer followed up with the victim's family. Investigators say Huff's quick thinking saved the little girl's life.

"Fight or flight and I was fighting. It was scary," Huff said.

 Huff is happy he could help and so are the girl's parents.

"We are just very, very grateful to him. He's very humble," the girl's father said.

 The two dogs were seized by animal control and will be quarantined for the next 10 days.

As a U.S. Marine, Huff is always ready for action. So on Wednesday night when he heard a neighbor's dog barking in front of his house, he knew something was wrong and rushed outside.

"I just screamed bloody murder and just ran right at the dogs and luckily, they ran right off," Huff said.

 Huff says the dogs were attacking his neighbor's 10-year-old daughter. Police say the two dogs got out of another neighbor's backyard, charged the young girl and started biting her while she was outside getting the mail.

"It's any parent's worst nightmare," the girl's father said.

 The girls' parents were finishing dinner when they heard screaming. By the time they raced outside, Huff had already chased the dogs away.

"She was actually in shock. She was just shocked. She didn't cry. She didn't say anything for a couple of hours," the girl's mother said.

 Huff saw bite marks all over her body.

"On her legs, her torso, her shoulder, it was pretty grizzly," he said.

Friendswood EMS arrived and treated the child. She was then transported to a hospital, where she was treated and released.

Now, the dogs owner, Shannon Berg, could face charges.

 "I'm sorry for everything that happened and we never meant for anybody to get hurt. They're great neighbors, I hope the little girl has a full recovery and wish her the best and we're going to do anything we can to help her," Berg said.

Friendswood police and an animal control officer followed up with the victim's family. Investigators say Huff's quick thinking saved the little girl's life.

"Fight or flight and I was fighting. It was scary," Huff said.

 Huff is happy he could help and so are the girl's parents.

"We are just very, very grateful to him. He's very humble," the girl's father said.

 The two dogs were seized by animal control and will be quarantined for the next 10 days.

(KTRK - March 29, 2012)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woman Cited in Cat Hoarding Case Investigated Again

MISSOURI -- Authorities removed several cats from the home of a Northland woman who was cited months ago for hoarding hundreds of dead and live cats after neighbors again complained of the smell, and said that Delores Metcalf was again hoarding cats.

Metcalf was cited last September for animal cruelty after Kansas City Animal Control officers seized more than 150 cats and kittens, one dog and a ferret from her Northland home. In addition, officers took over 50 dead cats from the property.

Under Kansas City ordinance, Metcalf is not allowed to have more than four cats on her property at any one time.

Metcalf admitted to FOX 4 on Thursday that there were more than four prowling around her property.

“I will take them to my farm,” she told FOX 4.

Animal Control officer Aaron Porter told FOX 4 that they obtained a search warrant for the property on Thursday, March 22nd.

“We got a search warrant, just checking on the welfare of the cats, but she won’t answer the door,” said Porter, who said that he’s not sure if there are any more dead cats inside the home.

Animal Control officers returned to the home on March 27th and confiscated 10 adult cats, six kittens.

(FOX4 - March 27, 2012)

Owner of dog involved in death of poodle cited

MAINE -- Police have issued a summons to the owner of a dog that fatally attacked another dog last week.

Susan Pullen's Greyhound-yellow Labrador mix escaped her Central Street home while she was not home and attacked a poodle being walked on High Street Thursday afternoon, police said.

The poodle was eviscerated and its pelvis was broken.

Pullen returned home late Sunday night and was summoned on Monday for keeping a dangerous dog and damage to livestock or pets by an animal, according to Police Chief Eric Nason.

Pullen, who owns Willow Run Bed, Biscuit and Bath "country inn for dogs" in Belgrade, said she felt terrible about what happened.

"I'm just trying to make sense of something that doesn't make any sense," she said Monday.

She said the Lab mix, Nick, sometimes barks at other dogs but has never shown aggression in the 10 years she has owned him.

Dog-sitter Lynda Hinds, who also works at Willow Run, stopped at Pullen's home on Thursday to let the dog into the fenced backyard, according to the police report. When she let him back in shortly after 3:30 p.m., he pushed through a door and ran toward High Street, where Ann Michaud was walking her poodle.

Hinds told police that she could tell by the Lab mix's posture that he was going to attack the poodle.

Hinds said she attempted to warn Michaud, yelling "Pick up your dog and don't move," before the Lab mix bit the poodle in the abdomen and shook it violently for a few seconds.

After pulling the Lab mix off the poodle, Hinds took him back to Pullen's house, the police report says. Police arrived on the scene, near 18 High St., at about 3:40 p.m.

Pullen returned to the scene and took Michaud and her poodle to the Kennebec Valley Animal Clinic. The poodle died of massive blood loss, according to the veterinarian, David Bronder.

Animal control officer Christopher Martinez retrieved the Lab mix and placed him in quarantine for 10 days.

(Kennebec Journal - March 27, 2012)

Process Server Said Owners Sent Dog To Attack Her

FLORIDA -- A process server who delivers court papers to Broward homes said she was bitten and bruised by a dog after its owners sent it to attack.

“The only thing I recall is doing this to protect my face,” said Yindra Lopez. “The dogs kept biting over here and over here and they were not stopping the dogs.”

Lopez said she was attacked by a 200-pound Bull Mastiff named Riley, who she said bit her on her arms and upper legs.

[In the video clip, the dog is described as a pit bull mastiff]

“I noticed that my arms started bleeding,” Lopez said. “I take the phone and I called 911.”

Lopez told NBC 6 that she followed court procedures when she arrived to serve papers at the Broward home. She said she identified herself with her ID card and her legal papers through the window.

One of the dogs attacked when homeowner Michele Henderson opened the door, according to Lopez.
“Her and her husband were saying, ‘Get her! Get her! Get her!’” Lopez said.

The Hendersons denied the claim. They told NBC 6 that Lopez opened the driveway gate and that they were concerned she was a burglar because she never identified herself.

“We would have accepted the paperwork,” Henderson said.

The couple also said that their Bull Mastiff Riley is friendly and that they had the gate locked and a “beware of dog” sign on their property.

Lance Randall of the Florida Association of Professional Process Servers said he thinks the homeowners should be prosecuted.

“I think the residents who let the dogs out to intentionally attack the process server should be arrested,” said Randall.

The final Broward Sheriff’s Office report has not been completed and an official bite complaint has not been filed with Animal Control.

Lopez is on antibiotics and wants the dog checked out.

(NBC Miama - March 27, 2012)

Runaway dogs maul Lebanon man, kill his dog

INDIANA -- A Lebanon man continued his recovery Tuesday. Police said Joseph Stapleton suffered bite marks up and down both arms and both legs after he and his dog were attacked by two other dogs Monday, March 26.

Stapelton told police he was walking his Yorkshire Terrier on the back side of Memorial Park in Lebanon. When he saw two Boxers running at him, he picked up his terrier to keep it away from them.

It didn't work, and the two Boxers ripped the dog out of his hands. They then killed the terrier. The dog was found in the grass, "severely mauled."

The dogs then came after Stapleton. Cops said it looked like the dogs "chewed on the victim."

Lebanon Police Lieutenant Brent Wheat said he has never seen anything like it.

"Over the years I have handled a lot of dog bites, I would term this a dog attack," said Wheat. "It is definitely the worst one that I can remember in Memorial Park and probably one of the worst ones I have seen in my career."

Lt. Wheat said when he got to the park the dogs charged at him, that is when he pulled out his gun.

"I had to make a decision very quickly as they were coming for me," said Wheat. "It is unfortunate, I am a dog lover, I hate to do something like that, but we did not need more people getting bit. It had to happen."

Bryan Huntsman, the man who was supposed to be watching the dogs, was able to calm the second Boxer down. Huntsman said the dogs took off out of the owner's house on Grant Street earlier in the day. The dog that was shot and killed is being tested for rabies. The second dog is being quarantined at a veterinarian's office until a decision on the dog's future is made. Lt. Wheat said he has no doubt what that decision should be.

"For some reason, in these dog's minds they felt it was okay to do that and I have a hard time with leaving them out on the streets," said Lt. Wheat.

According to Lebanon Police, the owner of the dogs, Brian Lesser, told them the dogs were not current on their rabies vaccinations and have not been vaccinated for several years. Lesser has been charged with two counts of harboring a non-immunized dog.

(WSBT - March 27, 2012)

Military foster dog attacked

TEXAS -- Tom Hunt went on a daily dog walk on Sunday with his puppy Edge, when things took a violent turn.

"We continued to walk and I heard another boom and the dog had pushed the fence down and attacked my dog and myself," said Hunt.

A pit bull broke out of a neighbor's fence, and bit his dog Edge in the face. Hunt was also bit in the process of trying to get the attacking dog off of Edge. Authorities were not able to capture the dog that day.

To make matters worse, Edge is a foster dog. The Hunt's foster him as part of a government training program. Dogs like Edge go through vigorous training and end up in war zones.

"It's going to be a military dog, and nothing has been done about this," said Hunt. "These people have been warned two times previously about this animal and had previous attacks."

Pflugerville police say they've written two citations at the home for previous dog attacks.

"We've issued animal at large citations and what we call vicious animal that basically make an un provoked type aggression and attack," said Lt. Bill Anderson.

Hunt says the tickets aren't enough and tougher penalties should be enforced. He now has to get a series of 40 rabies shots because of the attacks; officials are unsure if the dog that attacked him is current on its vaccinations.

"Why has this been happening a third time?," said Hunt. "What if it were a 12-year-old, or a mother walking their baby and they got attacked? This should have never happened a third time."

Police say they are currently trying to contact the dog's owners in order to hand down tougher penalties, which could end in the pit-bull being put down.

"If we feel like the animal is such a danger to public safety, then we can request that the animal be seized and humanely euthanized," said Lt. Anderson.

Hunt hopes police will finally be able to put a stop to the string of attacks in his neighborhood.

"What does it take to get something done?," said Hunt. "Do we have to go through death before the police finally apprehends this dog?"

KXAN News tried getting in contact with the neighbor but like everyone else, we were not able to get in touch with anyone at the home.

(KXAN - March 22, 2012)

Spaniel killed by pit bulls

PENNSYLVANIA -- Two blue pit bulls mauled a neighbor’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the backyard of its home in the Highland Park section on Monday, police said.

A police officer responding to the scene fired at the dogs who were charging at him.

“The initial call came in as animal complaint,” police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said of the 5:30 p.m. 911 call Monday to the 100 block of Ardsley Road.

“Officer Matthew Rinderer responded and saw a woman crying and (a) small, white dog, motionless in the driveway,” Chitwood said. “It was covered with blood. She says the dogs are still loose and the officer told her to go inside for her safety.

“With that, the two pit bulls came running, full charge, towards the officer. He drew his pistol and fired one shot towards the dogs when they were about 10 feet away. The dogs were scared off and ran.”

The spaniel, named Zoey, was taken to University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia for treatment of the bite wounds.

“The dog was unable to survive the wounds and died,” Chitwood said.

According to Chitwood, the owner of the two dogs was not home at the time of the attack. Zoey’s owner is upset at the loss of her pet, which was in the backyard when it was attacked.

“It looks like the dogs chewed their way out of the house,” Chitwood said. “There’s evidence of that.”

According to Health Department Officer Matt Verdi, the township’s animal control officers, Fred Eckman and Frank White, captured the pit bulls and transported them to Keystone Animal Hospital in Havertown for a 10-day quarantine.

“There was no one home at the property,” Verdi said. “I know the pit bulls came from West Philadelphia.”

“The owners will receive a citation for violation of the state’s vicious animal ordinance,” Chitwood said. “The dogs were supposed to be euthanized in Philadelphia. The people were taking care of the dogs and not doing a good job. The two dogs killed a dog and charged at a police officer.

“This is still under investigation.”

Police are considering lodging criminal offenses of recklessly endangering another person against the caretakers of the dogs for charging at the officer.

Officials did not release the names of the dog owners involved.

(Delco Times - March 28, 2012)

Woman, dog attacked by pit bull

PENNSYLVANIA -- A woman walking her dog said she and her pet were attacked by a pit bull running loose.

West Wyoming police have been investigating the dog attack since it happened over the weekend.

Now the state dog warden is involved.

Jenelle Potter said she was walking her little dog along a route she follows all the time through her neighborhood, but this time, she said, a pit bull she never saw before attacked her and her Yorkie.

"And then he just attacked out of nowhere. I didn't do anything. My dog was barking and he wanted my dog so bad," recalled Jenelle Potter of West Wyoming.

Her arms are all bandaged, covering wounds that are too graphic to show. The wounds are bites and scratches she says she got from a pit bull while out for a walk over the weekend.

Her Yorkie, Coco, wears a protective cone because of stitches and wounds all over his rear end.

"I stopped. I saw him. I picked my dog up. I was holding my dog tight. I didn't want to make too much of a movement. I didn't want to run or anything," Potter added.

She said it happened along Fairview Street. She walks there all the time, but this time, she said, the pit bull ran out from near a home, its owners home.

"He wouldn't give up. He was so strong he wouldn't stop. He just wanted to kill me or him I don't know. I thought I was dying. I thought it was it," said Potter.

While Newswatch 16 was at potter's house Tuesday, a state dog warden showed up to talk with her about what happened. The state has ordered the attacking dog quarantined while he investigates.

Potter doesn't have any animosity toward pit bulls, she just wants to send a message they need to be trained and cared for correctly.

"Animals are so innocent to begin with, no matter what breed. I'm a dog lover. I don't hold it against pit bulls. I think he just wasn't taken care of the right way he should have been," Potter said.

West Wyoming police said charges are likely against the pit bull's owner.

Jenelle Potter said she doesn't know yet if there is any muscle damage after the attack, but she does have a lot of wounds.

She also has to get rabies shots because she said the attacking dog didn't have proper paperwork.

(WNEP - March 27, 2012)

Family Looking For Owner Of Pit Bull That Killed Their Pet

ILLINOIS -- It took just seconds; a dog that was supposed to be playing on the beach ended up dangling from the jaws of another dog, dying and unable to fight back.

Now, there’s a huge push to find the owner of the animal that reportedly attacked.

As CBS 2′s Pamela Jones reports, it’s a case that has devastated a suburban family.

Willy was a healthy Pomeranian; just two years old when his owners say another dog attacked him at a Lakefront dog park, leaving willy with injuries so massive he had to be put down.

“I was horrified. I was helpless,” owner Audrey Fisher said. “And there was nothing I could do, but hold my daughter and shield her from this.”

Fisher and her 12-year old daughter watched the whole thing. They said they’d brought Willy to the Montrose Dog Beach on St. Patrick’s Day.

They were on the sand and Willy was playing with his favorite pink ball. In a flash, it all turned tragic.

“A pit bull came out of nowhere and just attacked him, grabbed him by his belly and shook him violently,” Fisher said.

Dog walker Larry Rose was one of several others who saw it too.

“It was very traumatic,” he said.

But even more traumatic, according to Willy’s family, was the way they say they were treated by the man who owns the dog.

They’ve posted his photo on flyers and the Internet in an effort to find him, because they said he simply left the scene.

“He wasn’t giving up his name. He wasn’t giving up his phone number, nothing,” Fisher said.

Linda Bober rescues and trains pit bulls and other breeds and said, to a pit bull, the smaller dog might have seemed like a toy; but that doesn’t excuse its owner.

“I think it’s appalling. No matter how you look at the situation, it’s tragic on both sides,” Bober said.

Dr. Annette Litster, a veterinarian with PAWS Chicago said, “Little dogs should stay with little dogs, rather than big dogs.”

Litster said there should be sections in dog parks according to dog size.

Willy’s family doesn’t disagree, but they said their focus is finding the owner and animal responsible for their loss.

The ordeal has been posted on, a community website for people who use the Montrose Dog Park. That story has been read more than 3,400 times.

“I think he knows I’m looking for him, if he’s on the Internet at all,” Fisher said.

Some people on said they believed the Pomeranian started the incident with the pit bull, and that the pit bull’s owner was stunned when he left.

But a police report has been filed and police said they want to talk to the man in the photo.

Fisher has been left with more than $5,000 in vet bills.

(CBS Local - March 27, 2012)

Grandma attacked by dog on path

AUSTRALIA -- Dorothy Jacobsen and her 10-year-old maltese Snowy were recovering yesterday after being attacked by another dog, in the driveway of their Gympie home.

Apart from cuts and bruises Dorothy received during the attack, her dog Snowy needed staples in his neck to repair a tear after coming to her rescue.

Snowy also received a gash on his side and a bite to his bottom.

The attack happened mid-morning Monday as Mrs Jacobsen was about to set off on her daily walk with her dog.

"I was in my driveway about to step on the road to take Snowy for a walk," she said.

"This dog came and knocked me back and was on my chest.

"I thought it was going to go for my throat.

"Fortunately a council truck was going by and they stopped to help me and one of my neighbours came to help me out of the gutter."

Mrs Jacobsen wasn't sure what type of dog attacked her, only that it easily escaped its yard.

Apart from the physical pain both endured, Mrs Jacobsen said vet fees and money spent on a taxi, as she could not drive after the attack, have added to her suffering.

She may be 80 but Dorothy is as fit as someone her age can be.

She goes to the gym five times a week, does tai chi and walks Snowy each day.

"I've got to keep fit," she said.
"Until Snowy gets the staples out next Tuesday, I can't put a leash on him to walk.

"He was trying to protect me when he got attacked.

"I won't go walking without a stick now."

Gympie mayor Ron Dyne said the dog in question is a mini bull terrier and while "a lot of people came out" to help Dorothy, council's ongoing investigation involved talking to possible witnesses and getting in touch with Dorothy's family.

(Fraser Coast Chronicle - March 28, 2012)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Man uses feet to fight off, trap attacking pit bulls

OHIO -- A man on a family walk Monday night with his wife, their 2-year-old daughter and the family German short hair pointer ended up fighting off two attacking pit bulls that left his pet with several bites and him with scratches to his legs.

John Riegel, who managed to coax the dogs into chasing him after he kicked one of them, led them to his backyard where he said he was able to pen them in until a Montgomery County Animal Resource Center officer came to round up the dogs and take them away.

Two pit bulls got out of this home on Ashland Avenue
and attacked a family out on a walk in the neighborhood.

“As we were walking down the street, two pit bulls burst out of a house and attacked my dog and myself,” said Riegel, who lives in the city’s Belmont neighborhood.  “I was able to run home and separate them from my wife and child.”

The ARC officer offered no comment, but did confirm to News Center 7 videographer Jim Noelker that the pit bulls would be detained at the county facility and that their owner would be cited.

Neighbors have had a lot of problems with the dogs in the past, Riegel said. “They’ve gotten out several times, chasing people around. People in the neighborhood are just sick of it.

"I wasn’t scared for me. My wife had my 2-year-old in a stroller… she weighs about 30 pounds and one of those pit bulls could have taken her down pretty easily," Riegel said.

His dog was bitten several times. Riegel said he was scratched several times. “Nothing  severe. I was able to kick the dog several times to get it off mine.

"I was put in a position tonight where I had to kick this dog a couple of times, and thankfully it backed off, although it did continue to chase us. When people don’t take care of them, they are a real danger."

The owner of the dogs told News Center 7 that the dogs have been returned. The owner also said that he feels terrible about the incident, and said that the dogs do not get out often. He told News Center 7 that there has only been one other incident where the a dog got out.

(WHIO - March 26, 2012)

Investigation widens in case of possible dog hoarding

MISSOURI -- The scope of the investigation is getting wider in a case of possible dog hoarding.

Now, businesses - big name pet stores - are under the microscope due to reports of adoption clinic involving a woman's unlicensed organization. That woman is Shirley Lafferty.

KCTV5 got a look Monday at the sad condition of the dogs seized from her "rescue group."  The dogs don't show it, but Wayside Waifs said they all had skin conditions.

Many of them were still in quarantine, and one of them, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said had to be put down due to what a spokeswoman called "untreated medical concerns."


Shirely Lafferty, 55, is now in jail on a $46,000 cash-only bond.

County charges, similar to a municipal charges, but in an unincorporated area, were filed Monday connected to health and nuisance violations as well as 16 counts of animal cruelty.

Jackson County Sheriff's deputies seized 17 dogs from Lafferty's home in Blue Summit, near Interstate 435 and Truman Road on Thursday, along with some cats and turtles and condemned the place.

Neighbors say she seemed to truly love the dogs, but just took in too many and got in over her head.
The sheriff's office says Lafferty ran Black Dog Rescue, sometimes called Last Chance Black Dog Rescue, and fraudulently claimed it was a licensed rescue.

A sheriff's spokeswoman says the office has received multiple complaints about adoptions run by her group at "several large chain businesses."

KCTV5 found her name on listings for Black Dog Rescue on two internet adoption sites.

One clearly claims the group is licensed and advertises adoptions every Saturday at the Belton PetSmart. KCTV5 called that PetSmart and were told they were not doing adoptions there anymore.

As for the dogs, they won't be available for adoption until the court case against Lafferty is resolved, or she surrenders them voluntarily.

KCTV5 has also received complaints from viewers about many more dogs associated with Lafferty's rescue efforts in at least two other, more rural, locations that have been reported to the appropriate authorities.

The licensing issue is why the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Division was involved.

Rescues have to go through inspections dealing with health and sanitation before getting a license, and retail business locations have to check for and display those licenses when doing adoptions.
And there could be more enforcement to come on that end as well.

(KCTV - Mar 27, 2012)


'Rottweiler shook our Sam like a rag doll'

UNITED KINGDOM -- PET dog Sam has needed more than £1,500 of treatment after it was savaged by an "out-of-control" rottweiler.

The six-year-old lhasa apso is recovering after undergoing a two-hour emergency operation to repair deep bite wounds following the mauling.

Sam also lost two teeth in the attack in Newchapel.

Now owner Lynda Dawson is warning other dog owners to be on their guard.

The mother-of-two, a company director, of Jasmine Crescent, Newchapel, said: "My daughter Hollie was walking Sam down an alley next to our house and came across a rottweiler.

"It picked up Sam, violently shaking him like a rag doll.

"The rottweiler then dropped Sam, which knocked two of his teeth loose.

"It had a lead on and was with an old man, but he was not holding on to the lead.

"He was nearby talking to another elderly man and the attack only stopped when that second man hit the rottweiler with his walking stick.

"Sam has a lot of bruising, a four-inch gash to his side, his genitals are badly bitten and the two teeth knocked loose in the attack had to be removed.

"He is a mess and the vet doesn't know how long it will take him to recover."

The family has already forked out £1,500 in vet bills, but expect the figure to continue to rise as Sam still needs aftercare appointments every other day and may yet have to undergo a second operation.

Mrs Dawson said Sam is insured but is hoping the rottweiler's owner will foot the bill.

She added: "The rottweiler was out of control.

"It's difficult to see your pet so traumatised. He's not eating much, we're feeding him by hand and he may never be back to his old character again.

"I can't describe how difficult it is for our family. And it could happen again. That rottweiler is regularly in the area and I believe it has caused difficulties for other dog owners.

"It could be a child next time. I don't want it put down, just muzzled and walked by someone who can control it properly."

Congleton High School pupil Hollie was walking Sam on a lead when the attack happened a week ago.

The 16-year-old, said: "It was really upsetting. I used to walk Sam twice a day, but now I feel scared to take him out on my own because it could happen again.

"It's really distressing because he's yelping all the time because of the pain but we cannot pick him up and give him a cuddle because his injuries need to heal."

The police and dog warden have been informed about the incident.

Craig Brown, dog warden at Newcastle Borough Council, confirmed the rottweiler's owner had been given advice on how to keep it under control by using a muzzle, head collar, body harness and a better lead.

He added: "He was fully co-operative and agreed to the measures.

"I gave Mrs Dawson advice about pet insurance and posted a witness statement for her to complete, which we will submit to the police.

"The borough council doesn't have powers to enforce advice, however it can enforce control orders issued by the courts."

(The Sentinel - March 27, 2012)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kelso dog owner in more trouble following another attack

WASHINGTON -- A Kelso man suffered wounds to his groin and hand when four German shepherds attacked him in the wee hours last Sunday morning at the same South Kelso home where two other dogs mauled a woman in November.

Assisted by Kelso police, the Humane Society impounded the dogs Tuesday night and placed them in 10-day quarantine. Their owner, Ingrid Sacha, 43, faces an initial fine of $1,542 for not licensing six of her seven dogs, according to animal control supervisor Mike Nicholson.

At this point, all seven of Sacha's German Shepherds have attacked people. The Humane Society declared two of them "potentially dangerous" after November's mauling, but a legal glitch resulted in the case's dismissal.

Nicholson said as soon as the four dogs involved in last week's attack are released from quarantine, he will issue a "potentially dangerous" declaration for all seven of Sacha's dogs. The legal term requires the dog owner to meet several conditions within 72 hours to prevent the animal from being impounded and destroyed.

According to Nicholson, Bryan Silva went to Sacha's house at 809 Elm St. after midnight Saturday and knocked on the door. Someone in the house opened it, and four dogs lunged outside and attacked him on the porch, Nicholson said.

Silva, who is in his 30s, was treated at the hospital for his injuries. He did not return a reporter's phone calls requesting a comment.

Silva told the Humane Society that Sacha called the dogs off him, but Sacha denies being at the house, Nicholson said.

"Conflicting stories. No one knows who did what," he said, adding that Silva hasn't cooperated with the Humane Society's investigation following his initial report.

A similar attack happened at the home Nov. 15, when two of Sacha's dogs, Marley and Lug, attacked a neighbor who walked into Sacha's house carrying cups of coffee. The dogs bit Elizabeth Elders, 49, on the thighs and face, inflicting deep puncture wounds.

Both dogs have bitten people before, and Sacha has racked up thousands of dollars in citations for the animals. The dogs involved in last week's attack were Zoey and her 1-year-old pups, Madison, Abbey and Sadie. Nicholson wasn't sure which dogs did the biting, but he impounded all of them. No previous bites have been reported for those four dogs.

The Daily News has been unable to reach Sacha for comment.

After November's attack on Elders, the Humane Society released Marley and Lug from 10-day quarantine and declared them "potentially dangerous." Sacha had 72 hours to outfit Marley and Lug with orange DANGEROUS DOG collars, get them microchipped and pay the $100 annual fee per dog to list them on the dangerous dog registry.

To meet the court's threshold for "dangerous," a dog must kill a domesticated animal or human or inflict severe injury without provocation, or attack someone after being designated "potentially dangerous," Nicholson said. Dangerous dogs cost $250 a year to register and must be contained in a padlocked kennel when outdoors. Their owner must post DANGEROUS DOG signs on the property and buy $250,000 in additional homeowners' insurance coverage, he said.

Sacha missed the 72-hour deadline, and the Humane Society confiscated the dogs again. Sacha prevented Marley and Lug's euthanasia by filing an appeal of their "potentially dangerous" label in court.

However, also in November, the state Court of Appeals decided that certain parts of animal control ordinances that declared dogs dangerous or potentially dangerous were unconstitutional for complex legal reasons. The Humane Society requested the court dismiss its case against Sacha and released Marley and Lug to Sacha in late January.

In February, the Kelso City Council revised the city's ordinance to comply with the reworked state law, which says pet owners can't be charged a fee for their initial appeal of the dangerous dog declaration. Now that the legal matters have been cleared up, the Humane Society can declare Marley and Lug potentially dangerous without waiting for them to bite anyone again, Nicholson said.

When the four dogs who attacked Silva are out of quarantine, Nicholson will declare them potentially dangerous, along with a fifth dog, Cowboy, who bit a mail carrier last year. Cowboy and Marley also are accused tearing a leg off a neighbor's dog in 2008, when Sacha lived in Silver Lake. Lug bit a woman on the arm in 2010.

"They all have bitten. It's time for them to be all declared (potentially dangerous) and let the courts figure it out," said Nicholson, who plans to issue the potentially dangerous designation to all seven dogs at once.

"I want people to know that we're trying our damndest to do what the ordinance says," he said, adding that he would prefer Sacha take the dogs out of Cowlitz County "to save my time and the court's time."

Anyone who's been bitten by the dogs is urged to notify the Humane Society, Nicholson said. The number is 360-577-0151.

(The Daily News Online - March 24, 2012)

100 Stitches And Several Surguries Helped Reconstruct Her Face

VIRGINIA --  6-year-old Nebraska Nuckels was playing in her yard on a pleasant Sunday afternoon when, according to her mother Michelle, a neighbors dog approached and changed all of that. "She went to pet the dog that we knew and before we knew it he just attacked her."

Leaving a scar on her tiny face, requiring more than 100 stitches and several surgeries to repair.

The dog owner, 19 year old Seth Taylor, is charged with dogs running at large and harboring or owning an unvaccinated dog.

The dog, named Tyson, is now quarantined in the SBK Animal Control Center.

Director of the center, Rich Crino, tells me if the community wants tougher animal control laws, the state gives them the power to do so. "The state will make general rules that are open to interpretation. They depend on the municipalities and the counties to tighten them up."

Crino goes on to say that they are currently working on enacting several ordinances including one focusing on aggressive dogs.

Something that may need to be done considering the number of cases the county handles annually.
We did some digging at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department and we discovered that in the past year alone there's been 75 complaints against dogs.

36 of those have been bites.

averaging out to 3 per month.

Michelle Nuckels hopes this case will bring the change necessary to protect her family and children across the county. "I want some kind of justice out of it. A dog like that and not to have it chained up and it could just happen to any kid out there. And I just thank the Lord that it didn't get, wasn't worse than it was."

(WCYB - March 26, 2012)

Couple’s appeal after pet dog attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- A Scarborough couple have made a plea for the owner of a dog that attacked their pet to come forward.

Black and white border collie Meg was bitten by a large light-coloured alsatian at Moor Lane in Newby on March 15.

The alsation’s owner left the scene, without giving his details to Meg’s shocked owners, Alan and Denise Mills.

Mr and Mrs Mills later discovered that the bite left a deep puncture mark and vets’ bills have spiralled to £230.

They hope to speak to the alsatian’s owner and ask if he will help with the fees.

“The alsatian snapped its lead, it was a vicious attack,” Mrs Mills said. “The owner got his dog under control and was very apologetic.

“At the time we didn’t know what the damage would be.”

Mr Mills added: “The man was very upset. I think people should be aware of this type of thing. It could have been a child.”

(Scarborough Evening News - March 26, 2012)

Sheriff: Missing 4-year-old boy found dead

TEXAS -- Authorities have confirmed that the search for a missing four-year-old boy has ended with a tragedy.

According to officials in Victoria County, four-year-old Kylar Johnson was outside his home on Old Goliad Road with his father when he disappeared Sunday night. He was wearing a t-shirt at the time. On Monday, the Victory County Sheriff's Department confirmed the child was found dead.

About 25 deputies searched by foot, along with search dogs and volunteers. Kylar was last seen around 8pm Sunday.

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said it was unfortunate they didn't find Kylar alive.

Teams had searched through the evening and resumed the search late this morning. Sheriff O'Connor said at about 10:30am a resident discovered Kylar dead in the backyard of a neighbor's home.

A family friend says Johnson was mauled by pit bulls kept in a neighbor's enclosure. The sheriff hasn't confirmed that report or the cause of death, and says the investigation is ongoing.

(KTRK - March 26, 2012)

Search continues for pit bull that mauled boy, 2, in Oxnard

CALIFORNIA -- Animal control officers were continuing to search today for the pit bull that mauled a 2-year-old boy in Oxnard on Sunday.

Oxnard Animal Control and Ventura County Animal Services officers were looking for the dog, authorities said. The county department will quarantine the dog if it is found.

The boy was bitten about 1:35 p.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of South J Street, according to the Oxnard Fire Department.

The boy was at the home of a baby sitter when he was attacked by the dog, which belongs to the baby sitter's brother, said Oxnard police spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz. The boy apparently had food in his hand when the dog attacked him, police said.

The boy suffered multiple bites, including some to his face and neck, Muñoz said. Police said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

After the dog attacked the boy, the owner threw the animal out of the home and it ran away, police said. The dog's owner was cited for several animal control violations.

The dog was described as a white male pit bull, said Donna Gillesby, deputy director of Ventura County Animal Services.

(Ventura Star - March 26, 2012)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Woman attacked by dogs, pushes for new law

ALABAMA -- Mary Katherine Carroll has always been an animal lover, especially of dogs. She grew up around dogs and always had dogs growing up.

She even got her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences.

It was the very animals she loved that would cause her the greatest pain she’s experienced in her life.
Carroll was out jogging at night recently when she noticed a pit bull coming toward her.

She yelled at the dog to go home.

“I’m familiar with dogs and usually, if you speak to them in an authoritative voice, they’ll go on,” Carroll said.

The dogs didn’t go away.

One of the dogs bit Carroll on the back of her leg, and then, four other dogs jumped her.

Carroll was able to stay upright and was trying to make her way to a front porch, so she could get help.

“I remembered I had my phone, and I tried to make a call, but before I could, one of the dogs jumped up and bit my bicep and pulled me to the ground,” Carroll said.

She was able to get back up, all the while the dogs were biting and tearing the flesh and muscle on her legs, groin and arms.

Carroll said a lady familiar with the animals emerged and began to yell at them.

She told Carroll to put her arms around her neck, and the lady put her arms around Carroll’s waist to hold her up.

It wasn’t until a man in a pickup truck stopped, got out and asked what was going on that the dogs ran away.

“The lady put me in her car, brought me to DeKalb Regional Medical Center and stayed with me until my husband, Jayson, got here,” Carroll said.

Once at the hospital, Carroll underwent about five hours of surgery to sew tissue, muscle and skin back together. When she arrived, both of her calf muscles and her left bicep were hanging from her body, and she had suffered lacerations all over her arms, legs and groin,

All together, she had about 100 centimeters of lacerations, with several of them being all the way down to the bone. Several of the wounds were mere centimeters away from major arteries.

“I’m so fortunate to be alive,” Carroll said. “The doctor told me he could stick his fingers all the way to the bone in the wound on my bicep and could feel my brachial heartbeat. If the dog had severed either my brachial artery or my femoral artery, I probably would’ve bled to death.

“I thank God for watching over me. I’m truly blessed to be alive. I’ve had two children, and this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. I could’ve lost my job over this, because I’m, as a nurse, I’m not going to be able to work for a while, but everyone at Highlands Medical Center has been so great in making sure my job is secure. I’m so thankful to them. I also thank all of my friends and family who have been praying for me.”

Now, she is pushing for cities to adopt leash laws.

“Cities need laws,” Carroll said. “If this had happened to a child, the child would be dead. I’m an animal lover, but it’s taken this for me to realize that the rights of my dog are less than the rights of my neighbors.

“People need to be held accountable on a criminal level if they have animals running lose. Dogs should never be loose, and they shouldn’t be allowed in packs, especially male dogs. Dog packs can be very dangerous. It’s important that people be responsible pet owners.”

Her daughter, Katie, read a letter aloud to the Rainsville City Council on Monday urging them to adopt a leash law.

“I’m worried for the citizens of this city,” her letter said. “Owners should have consequences.”

Carroll said she intends to take her concerns to the state level and make it a requirement statewide that owners have greater responsibilities when it comes to animals.

The owner of the pit bulls, Steven Nance, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. The dogs were sent to Auburn University for rabies testing.

(Times Journal - March 20, 2012)

Officer shoots, kills dog that attacked woman

CALIFORNIA -- A Willows police officer is being hailed as a hero for risking possible injury Thursday to help a woman who was being attacked by two large dogs.

Sgt. Carl Walter, a veteran of the Willows Police Department, jumped between two dogs attacking Tamera Hanni, 48, in the backyard of a North Lassen Street home around 6:30 p.m., before he drew his gun and fired.

Hanni used this shovel to keep the pit bulls away from her

The dogs were described as a male Pit bull and a female Pit bull - Bulldog mix.

"(Walter) did a good job," said Willows police Chief Bill Spears. "He didn't go there intending to use his gun. He tried to dissuade the dogs from their attack, but they wouldn't stop."

Hanni's neighbor, Penny Thompson, says she "heard her screaming and so I came out and she was yelling 'Help me, help me. Somebody help me. Please help me.'"

Hanni was pinned against the backyard fence, and was trying to defend herself with a shovel when Walter responded to the 911 call from Penny Thompson.

As Hanni continued to try and push the dogs way, they continued to lunge and bite at her and the shovel, Spears said.

Walter first pulled his baton and yelled at the dogs to try to draw them away from Hanni and toward him.

Walter continued to poke his baton in their direction, until the dogs finally released hold of Hanni's shovel.

The dogs then moved a few feet away from Hanni, but continued to growl at both of them.

Walter attempted to move Hanni behind him, but she stayed frozen in her position next to the fence.

When both dogs squared off and turned as if to attack Walter, he moved between Hanni and the dogs, and when he felt he had a clear shot, he pulled his gun and fired, Spears said.

One of the dogs was struck multiple times and died immediately.

The second dog was wounded and fled to a nearby residence, where it was captured by Glenn County Animal Control.

Although shaken by the attack, Hanni was not injured, Spears said. Walter was not injured either.

Because it was an officer-involved shooting, Spears has asked the Glenn County Sheriff's Department to conduct the shooting investigation.

It also will be the Sheriff's Department that will decide if the owners of the dogs will face charges.

The pit bull resided on Shasta Street with its owner, Edvarda Navarro. The female mixed breed was owned by Victoria Hogan, who lives in west Willows.

One of the dogs had a prior history of aggression, sheriff officials said.

When asked whether or not she thought shooting the dogs was justified, Thompson replied, "Oh, definitely. He had to. He had to to save her life and maybe his own because those dogs were vicious."

(Appeal Democrat - March 24, 2012)

Girl treated at UT Medical Center after pit bull attack at North Knox home

TENNESSEE -- An 11-year-old Knox County girl was rushed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center this morning when she was attacked by a relative's pit bull dog, the Knox County Sheriff's Office said.

According to a news release by KCSO spokeswoman Hillery Cowart, Sydney Gilreath, 11, was transported by Rural Metro to UT Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries. UT Medical Center personnel had no record of her being a patient early this evening.

Cowart said that shortly before 11 a.m., deputies responded to Old Andersonville Pike in North Knox County after a pit bull attacked the girl.

According to the news release, the girl was playing outside on a relative's deck when the relative's pit bull, kept on a 15-foot-chain, walked up to her and bit her two to three times on the left thigh.

Cowart reported that the dog then walked back into his doghouse. The dog was surrendered by its owner, Doyle Nicely Jr., and taken to the Young Williams Animal Center, according to a report.

Elisabeth Williams, intake supervisor with Young-Williams, said there is a process for dealing with animals who have bitten someone.

"If an animal is brought in as a bite quarantine, regardless if they are going to be claimed, we do a 10-day rabies observation," she said.

When contacted, a family member of the victim did not wish to comment.

(Knoxville News Sentinel - March 23, 2012)

Friday, March 23, 2012

California: Champion Shih Tzu show dog found neglected in East Oakland

CALIFORNIA -- Once upon a time in Tulsa, Okla., there was a flaxen-haired princess with a coterie of loving attendants, a three-hour-a-day grooming regimen and a room full of trophies.

Fast-forward seven years to East Oakland. That princess - a champion shih tzu show dog named Pup-Pourri's Briana - was found this week staggering along one of the city's meanest streets, tangled in chicken wire and dirt-encrusted dreadlocks, one of the most bizarre animal-neglect cases Oakland animal control officers have ever seen.

"Our best guess is that she was enclosed in chicken wire so tightly she couldn't move, for months if not years," said Oakland Animal Services Director Megan Webb. "But she seemed to have all this training. This air about her. It was strange."

Oakland animal control officers have started piecing together Pup-Pourri's Briana's trajectory. After veterinary staff shaved off the chicken wire and matted fur, treated her skin infections and fed her a decent meal, they checked to see if she had a microchip. She did, and it was registered to a woman named Cheryl Baer in Tulsa.

She's a winner
Baer wept when she heard the fate of one of her favorite show dogs, a creature so beautiful, proud and charming she won best-of-breed competitions in five states. Baer was Pup-Pourri's Briana's groomer for five years, primping her for hours a day with shampoo, conditioner, curling irons and special latex bands for her topknot.

"I am absolutely appalled at what happened to her," said Baer, choking back tears Friday when reached by phone. "A dog that was so loved. ... It's a miracle she's alive."

According to Baer, Pup-Pourri's Briana was born in 1998 in Tulsa, the daughter of a four-time best-in-show sire. Her owners, an older couple who bred and showed shih tzus, hired a handler, as well as Baer, to shepherd the dog to stardom.

A star for 5 years
And a star she was. For five years, Pup-Pourri's Briana swept through AKC dog shows in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas, collecting ribbons for her smooth gait, spunky disposition and perfect proportions - wide-set eyes, flat high-set nose and luminous locks.

But then the wife developed Alzheimer's and the husband sold the kennel to a breeder in California. After that, no one's quite sure what happened to the pampered pooch.

Well, all you have to do is work your way forwards in time from the time the kennel was sold to the California breeder. This dog would not have been sold without its registration being updated with the AKC. The seller would have records. Find that person. If they resold the dog, find out who they sold it to. Go to that person. If that person had resold the dog, you keep following the trail until you find the criminal who did this to this poor little dog.

Until Wednesday. That's when a resident of East Oakland saw Pup-Pourri's Briana hobbling along Thermal Street, just off 98th Avenue, barely able to walk because of the chicken wire enmeshed in her underbelly and rear legs.

Someone had apparently freed the dog from her chicken wire prison with snippers, leaving her to fend for herself on the tough streets of East Oakland.

Animal control officers are asking anyone with information about the dog to call (510) 535-5602. Friends of Oakland Animal Services is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the dog's most recent owners for neglect.

Meanwhile, Baer hopes to make her first-ever trip to California to adopt Pup-Pourri's Briana and take her home to Tulsa.

"She was such a magnificent show dog," she said. "But now she's up there in age, and she's been through so much. I just don't want to risk seeing anything bad happen to her again."

(SF Gate - March 23, 2012)

Man charged with neglecting 70 animals gets probation

WISCONSIN -- A man who kept nearly 70 malnourished animals in a barn where he lived with his wife has been sentenced to probation.

Tarry L. Smithey, 52, was sentenced last week to three years probation after pleading guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court to five counts of misdemeanor animal mistreatment.

Tarry and his wife, Renee A. Smithey, 59, were charged in November after authorities rescued 67 animals in various stages of neglect from the barn in which they were living with the animals, according to court records.

The dogs, horses, mules, cats, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, duck and a pig had been receiving little to no water, and many of the animals were kept in small cages or tied to walls, according to the criminal complaints.

A section of the barn was used as a living space. Other portions had manure so high that animals’ backs were nearly touching the ceiling. The structure had no indoor plumbing but housed satellite television, a computer and a bed where the Smitheys slept, according to the complaints.

Judge Thomas Lister formally ordered Tarry to surrender all animals with the exception of two adult mules and his wife’s choice of two adult dogs. He also was ordered to immediately take steps to correct the “deplorable sanitary conditions” in and around the property, according to online court records.

[I'm fairly certain that the mules that were given back to him are seen in his Facebook photo below.]

The home initially was placarded by the Jackson County Public Health Department when authorities found the conditions to be hazardous. However, Tarry and Renee quickly met requirements for correcting the sanitation issues at the residence, health and human services interim director Chris Hovell said.

Tarry Smithey's Facebook site says he's now separated
from his wife and living in Akron, Colorado.
This photo was added March 14, 2012.

Tarry Smithey added this photo to his Facebook page on July 13, 2011.

Lister also sentenced Tarry Smithey to pay $1,215 in court costs and other fees.

Renee Smithey is set to appear in court for a plea and sentencing hearing April 16.

(Jackson County Chronicle - March 22, 2012)