Monday, April 30, 2012

BC woman suffers vicious dog attack at Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre

CANADA -- A BC woman is recovering in a Calgary hospital, after a vicious dog attack.

The attack happened last week, in Golden, B.C. at the Northern Wildlife Wolf Centre.

The victim, Isabelle Simard, works independently for the wolf conservation company as their accountant.

She was at the facility after-hours on Wednesday evening doing some work.

As she went to leave, the single mother of two suffered bites to various parts of her body after the company's two pet dogs went towards her, breaking their leash.

Simard is now about to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair some of her wounds.

The dogs are Kareilian Bear Dogs and are trained to be disciplined, but are aggressive in certain situations. They are used to prevent human and bear conflicts.

It's not known what triggered their behaviour that night.

Fiends of Isabelle say she will be suffering for a long time.

RCMP say they are investigating along with the SPCA and aren't sure if any charges are being considered.

The owners say this was an unfortunate accident, and are sorry for what's happened. They say they've voluntarily put one of the dogs down.

(Global Edmonton - April 30, 2012)

'It's been three years of hell and smell' -- Neighbors relieved Waterford house being cleared of cats

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Wendell Evans and his wife Pam spent the weekend watching the cleanup going on at his neighbor's filthy house where officials removed more than 25 cats and some dead ones on Friday.

"It's been three years of hell and smell and flies," said Wendell, who has lived next door since 1976.

The home in the 3000 block of Airport Road contained feces, mold, trash and "there appear to be dead animals, thousands and thousands of flies and possibly dead rodents," said Waterford Police Chief Daniel McCaw.

Township officials said the house is condemned and no one is permitted to live there. Oakland County officials secured a warrant through the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office to remove the cats Friday afternoon, said Doug Bradley, Waterford's director of building and engineering.

Pam Evans said Oakland County Animal Control staff set live traps to capture more cats inside the house Saturday and Sunday.

"They have more than 30 now," said Pam.

She said officials have to wear Haz-Mat clothing -- covered head to toe -- to go into the basement.

Pam is glad to see something done at the house, which is 30 feet from hers.

"It's best for the animals, and in the long run best for Kim (the woman who had been living at the house)," she said.

"The cats needed medical care. They don't deserve to live in that."

Officials are seeking a warrant for the cat owner's arrest on felony animal cruelty charges, McCaw said.

Pam Evans watched the 50-year-old resident she calls Kim leave in a police car Friday. "She put on a Haz-Mat suit before she got into a police car," Evans said. The suit was needed because of the cat urine odor, she said. "We always noticed it when she came here (to Evans' home)," she said. "She always stayed outside."

Police also mentioned the cat urine smell on the woman in their reports.

Wendell Evans said he complained to police about Kim a year ago.

"She'd get belligerent and nasty," he said. A township official would "write her up," said Evans, for the appearance of the home's exterior.

Evans said Kim even threw feces at a trailer he keeps in his yard.

"Our house has flies, we can't use our patio or cook outside because of the smell."

 Township officials said the next task is to get the interior of the house cleaned so the house's structural integrity can be evaluated, said Doug Bradley.

"Then a complete list of the work that is necessary to lift the condemnation order can be prepared," he said.

"The property owner, who does not live in Waterford, has committed to doing what is necessary to cleaning up the property."

(NH Register - April 30, 2012)

Texas: Victoria animal control responds to 3 separate pit bull attacks in 3 days

TEXAS -- A pit bull attack Monday on Rosebud Street was the third attack in three days in Victoria.

Monday's victim Shawna Bohnstengel was walking in the neighborhood when the loose pit bull attacked her, said Victoria Police Chief JJ Craig.

She suffered a bite on an upper thigh and was taken by ambulance to Citizens Medical Center, where she was treated and released, said Shannon Spree, hospital spokeswoman.

Victoria police question pit bull owner Joe Baldez
following a dog attack outside his home on the
1700 block of East Rosewood Avenue.
Photo: Todd Krainin, The Victoria Advocate

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a 14-year-old boy in the 1900 block of Melrose Street was bitten in the groin by a friend's pit bull. He was taken by private vehicle to a local hospital.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Juan Tijerina, 57, was bitten on the arm above the wrist while in the 3400 of Mulberry Street.

He walked too close to a neighbor's pit bull on a chain, Craig said.

Tijerina refused medical treatment at the scene.

"I don't have an explanation," said Craig. "In most of them, the pit bull escapes from the owner somehow. They manage to free themselves."

"It is the owner's responsibility to keep their dog detained," Craig said. "From our perspective, if you are going to have a pit bull, it is your responsibility to maintain and secure it in a safe manner."

Monday's incident took place at 8:30 a.m. as Bohnstengel walked near the corner of Rosebud and Greenwood streets.

Victoria Patrol Officer Candy Pratt was patrolling the area and Bohnstengel flagged her down for help.

"The dog then charged our officer, who fired one round, but did not strike the dog," Craig said. "The dog ran inside a house."

The dog ownerJoe Baldez refused to hand the dog over to police  until animal control officers arrived. At times, profanity-filled shouts could be heard coming from the home.

When a Victoria County Animal Control officer arrived, dog owner Joe Baldez carried the Pit Bull named Bud Light, out of the home and to the animal control vehicle.

"I didn't want to give them my dog. They are going to kill him either way," said Baldez, who was cited by police for allowing the dog to roam free. "He's a good dog."

Joe Baldez is a moron.

So far this year, the animal control department has issued 30 citations for animals running at large, said Heather Kern, assistant supervisor in the department.

In 2011, animal control issued 25 citations and seven written warnings to animal owners. The agency issued 31 citations and 10 warnings in 2010. Most of the citations were for running at-large

All dogs involved in biting incidents are quarantined 10 days, said Dr. Bain Cate, executive director of the Victoria City-County Health Departments, which oversees the animal control department.

The dog attacks during the last three days are at least the seventh in Victoria since mid-March. The attacks include the death of a toddler and three of the dogs being killed in separate incidents.

On March 26, 4-year-old Skylar Johnson was mauled and killed when he wandered into a neighbor's yard and was attacked.

In separate incidents, two pit bulls were shot to death by Victoria police officers on March 12 and another shot to death following an attack on March 16.

So far in 2012, Victoria County Animal Control has quarantined 36 dogs following reports of bites. About 28 percent of those, 10, were pit bulls, twice as many as any other breed. Another 21 dog bites have been reported this year, that were allowed quarantine with a veterinarian or at home.

Breeds quarantined for biting in 2012:
Akita 1
Bassett Hound mix 1
Boston terrier 1
Boxer 1
Chihuahua 3
Chow mix 5
Corgi mix 1
Dachshund mix 1
Labrador retriever mix 5
Pit Bull 10
Poodle 1
Shepherd mix 2
Spaniel mix 1
Terrier mix 3
Total 36
SOURCE: Victoria County Animal Control

(Victoria Advocate - April 30, 2012)

Parents want Gov. Deal to sign vicious dog law

GEORGIA -- A father in Peachtree City said he is urging Gov. Nathan Deal to sign House Bill 685 into law.

Lee Conner said his 15-year-old daughter was attacked by a dog on April 7 and had to have 17 stitches in her left leg.

"That was our biggest concern is the fact that it was really right there and there is no other way to describe it, it was a vicious attack and it was very scary," said Lee Conner.

Lee Conner was watching his son play baseball about five minutes away when he got the call that his daughter needed to go to the emergency room.

During the attack, Madeline Conner said she never made it out of her garage when the dog rounded the corner and attacked.

"When I saw the dog running up, I knew it was going to do something bad," said Madeline. "It looked like it didn't even see me. It just looked at my dog came up and grabbed my knee and started shaking it back and forth."

Madeline not only suffered bites on her leg, but also had puncture wounds to her wrists and both hands.

Madeline believes the pit bull mix was trying to attack her 110-pound German shepherd. During the attack, "Gracie" actually bit the other dog on the neck and the neighbor's dog let go, explained Madeline.

"I think anytime you have a dog like that has caused liability to you that would be the fairest thing to do for you and the animal because the transfer to someone else is transferring that liability is to put the dog down," said Director of the Fayette County Animal Shelter Fred Sisson. "I was disappointed that the owners gave the dog away to another family in Coweta County because the dog is vicious to other dogs and could attack another dog or person again."

Lee Conner was also upset at his neighbor's decision not to euthanize the dog.

"The dog is out there, it is very aggressive towards other animals," said Lee. "People are always walking their dogs, especially around neighborhoods, and there is the potential that something else could happen and that is really not fair to the other people."

The owners of the dog that attacked Madeline, Bill and Beth Davidson, could not be reached for comment.

Deal's office said they would not "comment on legislation until it is signed or vetoed. We have not gotten to that one yet," according to spokesman Brian Robinson.

(WBCL - April 30, 2012)


Alabama: Bonnie Lieberman has 4 children removed by authorities after dead dog left to rot in yard

ALABAMA -- The Shelby County DHR has removed four adoptive children from their Helena home due to unsanitary living conditions.

In addition, 13 poodles -- four of them puppies between the ages of 1 and 3 weeks -- were taken from the home by an area animal rescue.

Three of the children were removed Friday, according to Department of Human Resources spokesman Barry Spear. The fourth child had been taken from the home earlier, Spear said. All four, three girls and a boy between ages 8 and 15, are now in foster care, he said.

Bonnie Liberman, 56, of 151 Oak View has been charged with animal cruelty in the death of a dog, failure to properly dispose of a deceased animal, operating a business without a license and domestic violence, according to Helena Det. Sgt. Chris Rollan. She is scheduled to appear in court May 8, he said.

"She has been very cooperative," Rollan said of Liberman. "I think she has just bitten off more than she can chew."

Rollan said he visited Liberman at her home on Feb. 10 after neighbors complained that a dog carcass was on her property. The officer said he asked her to bury the dog. He returned a week later, and the carcass had not been moved.

"That's when I made the three charges against her," Rollan said, adding the domestic violence charge occurred at a later date. He would not elaborate on that charge.

On Friday, Rollan said he and a DHR representative visited the home and found it filthy.

"With the smell and the feces all in the house, the children just couldn't stay there," he said.

Rollan said he called Two by Two Rescue to help with the dogs.

Liberman has been operating as an American Kennel Club-approved breeder, first of Dobermans and most recently poodles. The dog that died in February was a Doberman.

Efforts to reach Liberman were unsuccessful.

( - April 30, 2012)


Dog injured in attack

OHIO -- A dog, believed to be a pit bull mix, was taken from an Atlantic Street N.E. home Sunday after it broke its chain and viciously attacked another dog at the home.

The resident, Joseph Goetz, 33, of 529 Atlantic St. N.E., was not home at the time, but police at the scene said six young children were home. None were injured.

Goetz was not cited, but Animal Control Officer John Onatz took the dog to the pound and said a decision would be made today on what to do with the dog. Onatz said it likely would be euthanized.

A call came into police dispatch about 6:40 p.m. requesting an officer with a shotgun. It was unclear where the call originated.

Officer John Wilson arrived, bringing a gun from his cruiser, but neither dog was put down at the home.

The dog that was attacked, possibly a lab mix, appeared to sustain injuries to its hind legs and rib cage.

When police arrived, they said, there was blood everywhere and the attacking pit bull had the other dog by its rib cage and was thrashing it around.

Officers originally believed the dog was dead.

[What about the injured dog that was bleeding everywhere, being thrashed around by its rib cage and which officers 'originally' believed was dead???]

Goetz, according to a search of court records, pleaded guilty or no contest to a dogs running at large charge in 2010. He was fined $170.

One block away, five small children played football in their front yards while two small dogs looked on.

Neighbors Jim and Therese Campbell said they were alarmed by the notion that a vicious dog attack occurred nearby, especially because they had been watching their grandson and granddaughter until March.

"What if one of their kids were outside?" Therese Campbell said. "There's a lot of kids that live around here. That's set up for a disaster.''

Therese Campbell said she was taking her dog, a miniature Schnauzer, out when officers told her about the incident.

Jim Campbell said officers ordered a group of kids inside their homes because the dog was not yet secured.

"When you see a dog like that one, what else is going on with it?" Jim Campbell said. "Those kinds of dogs should not be allowed in houses. It's ridiculous."

(Tribune Chronicle - April 30, 2012)

Dog Owner Upset Over Police Shooting Pit Bull

PENNSYLVANIA -- An Aliquippa resident said she's upset her pit bull was shot by police Monday morning because the dog has never been a problem.

"My dog is laying shot in the head in the middle of the street right in front of my house," Manda Tyson told Channel 4 Action News' Sheldon Ingram.

"He's never been out of the yard, except for with the owner or in the ballpark, playing with the owner," said neighbor Regina Falk.

Tyson said she let Blue out in her family's fenced-in back yard, but the dog got out and roamed the neighborhood, prompting a resident to call police.

Tyson said while she was out looking for Blue, the dog returned home to find police there.

Neighbors said the dog followed an officer off the porch and lunged at him.

"The dog went towards the officer. The officer kept backing up. The dog came again; he kept lunging. The dog was about 18 inches from him, and the officer shot him. He had no choice but to shoot him," said Falk.

Tyson said the dog probably reacted that way because it felt threatened by the officer on the home's porch.

"Even if he was remotely aggressive, you're on his property. That's what a dog does. They protect their property," said Tyson.

Aliquippa's police chief said it was an unfortunate incident, but the officer had to take immediate action.

The department later released dash cam video of the incident. The police chief said officials showed the video to Tyson's husband. The family is divided on whether the shooting was right or wrong.

Family members said they want to know why the officer didn't try to use a Taser or another option on the dog before resorting to deadly force.

(WTAE - April 27, 2012)

Pit bull killed by police after attacking woman

‎CONNECTICUT -- A 40-pound pit bull that attacked a woman Tuesday night was shot and killed Wednesday morning after it showed aggressive behavior to police and animal control officers who were trying to capture it.

Police received a report of a dog attacking a woman -- at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday -- as she was getting into her vehicle at an office building at 1 Forest Parkway, according to Detective Sgt. Kevin Ahern, police spokesman.

Police officers and EMS responded to the scene, he said.

The woman told police the dog kept jumping at her and bit her four or five times in the right arm and then bit her leg as she tried to run away, said Ahern.

She was treated at the scene and then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, he said.

Police officers tried unsuccessfully Tuesday night to capture the animal.

Wednesday, about 8 a.m., police and animal control officers returned to the scene and cordoned off a wooded area where the dog had been spotted the night before. After numerous sightings, the dog was found in the woods around 11:15 a.m. "The dog showed aggressive behavior towards the officers," said Ahern. And based on the incident the night before -- because it had already bit someone -- the dog was shot, he said.

The animal was taken to a local veterinarian where it was determined to have a micro chip. Ahern said information has been obtained from the chip and they will be following up to locate the dog's owner.

(CT Post - April 25, 2012)

New York: Pit bull mix attacked, mauled and killed smaller dog at Putnam Valley obedience school

NEW YORK -- Going to a Putnam Valley dog-training camp was supposed to cure Coco the Cockapoo of her issues. Instead, it killed her, according to a lawsuit filed this week by her owner, and in the way Coco apparently feared the most: at the jaws of another dog.

Without provocation, the pit bull mix sunk his locked jaw through Coco’s skull causing Coco severe pain, lacerations, blood loss, skull fractures, brain damage and ultimately lead to her painful death,” Susan Kahn of Greenburgh asserted in her court papers filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in White Plains.

The dog-on-dog violence sparked Kahn, who also lives in Manhattan, to hire an attorney and a press agent. While Kahn posted her story of Coco’s demise on several pet web sites shortly after her death last month, she wasn’t giving interviews this week, according to her publicist Nina Reeves.

In an email to The Journal News on Wednesday highlighting her lawsuit, Kahn spoke of Coco “being senselessly and brutally killed at a dog training and boarding facility in Putnam Valley.” The suit also said the same dog that attacked Coco later assaulted a child — a possibility supported by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

“It is my hope that no other family should have to suffer a tragedy as bad or worse than ours,” Kahn, a mother of two, wrote.

Known as Dog Obedience Girl, the Putnam Valley camp is owned by Joanne Willard, according to the suit, and the smaller dog was sent there for three weeks. At the end of that period, “Coco would no longer be afraid or anxious about other dogs and that Kahn would be taught how to keep Coco that way,” the suit states.

Willard on Thursday expressed regret over Coco’s death and said she had yet to be served with the lawsuit, which seeks legal, medical and dog-training costs plus $100,000.

Kahn dropped Coco off on March 15 and “went on vacation for a few days with members of her family and friends.”

On March 27, while still on vacation, Kahn said she received a phone call telling her a 40-pound pit bull mix attacked the 17-pound cockapoo and “it doesn’t look good.”

Coco later died at the Animal Medical Center on the Upper East Side.


The larger dog, the court papers said, more recently harmed a child.

Capt. William McNamara of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said a pit bull mix owned by Willard jumped over a fence and into a children’s birthday party on April 4, where she grabbed the wrist of a 4-year-old girl.

The dog “left light marks on the child’s skin,” the police report said. The pit bull mix was found to have all its vaccinations and was returned the next day to Willard.

The matter, McNamara said, was turned over to the Putnam Valley dog-control officer.

Neither Willard nor Patricia Smith, the Putnam Valley dog control officer, responded to telephone messages Friday.

(The Journal News - Apr. 28, 2012)

Police investigate pit bull attack that injured boy

PENNSYLVANIA -- An attack by a Wilkes-Barre resident's pit bulls sent a 10-year-old to the hospital on Saturday.

According to police, the boy was playing with friends at 176 Grant St. around 11:48 a.m. As he was leaving, two pit bulls belonging to Howard Hughes got out of the house and went after the boy.

The dogs bit the child on the hand and on the thigh. He was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township for treatment, police said.

Police said they don't know which of Hughes' two dogs bit the boy. The attack remains under investigation.

(Citizens Voice - April 30, 2012)

Pit bull mauls 8-year-old girl; owners arrested

‎LOUISIANA -- An 8-year-old girl from Hammond was in fair condition Sunday, two days after a pair of pit bulls mauled her face, arms and legs.

Mi'kayja Oliver underwent nearly eight hours of surgery at North Oaks Hospital, her mother, Natasha Oliver told The Daily Star n Saturday.

She said the worst injury was a torn artery. "When I tell you I thought her leg was gone, that's how bad it was," Oliver said.

Bridget Harper, 39, and Natalie Newton, 20, were released on bond after being booked Friday with negligent injury, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said. They could not be reached for comment Sunday because directory assistance has no listing for either.

Oliver said her daughter, a second-grader at Hammond Eastside Elementary School, and a 10-year-old friend were playing Friday when the dogs attacked Mi'Kayja.

Her friend tried to pull off the dogs, then ran to her mother, screaming for her to call 911. Then she ran to Oliver's house, screaming, "They got Mi'kayja! They got Mi'kayja!"

"I don't know who got the dogs off her," Oliver said. "I want to say they (the owners) called them off. She was lying there helpless. It was horrible to see."

She said her daughter was in critical but stable condition Saturday. On Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Melanie Zaffuto said Mi'kayja was in fair condition.

Natalie Newton and Bridgette Harper

Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control took the dogs. "I need to keep the animals for at least 10 days," Director Chip Fitz said Saturday. Had Mi'Kayja died, he said, he would have immediately sought a court order to kill the dogs.

The only way to test an animal for rabies is to check its brain for the virus.

(WWL - April 29, 2012)

Man bitten by neighbor's dog

MICHIGAN -- A 45-year-old man was attacked by a neighbor’s dog at about 8 p.m. April 24 in the 6700 block of Norwood Avenue.

According to police, three German shepherds had gotten loose from a house. Witnesses said that it is a common problem.

The man was attempting to notify the dogs’ owner that they were loose when one of the dogs approached him and bit him on the left calf. The bite tore the man’s pants and made a mark on his leg.

The dog then bit the man’s right leg, leaving puncture wounds.

Witnesses confirmed that the attack was unprovoked and also spoke to officers about concerns for children in the neighborhood if the problem continues to occur.

The dogs’ owner was ticketed for the dogs being loose in the neighborhood and for the dog bites.

(News Herald - April 27, 2012)

Young girl bitten by dog at playground

RHODE ISLAND -- Dana Harrell is calling on Middletown school officials to build a fence around the playground at Aquidneck Elementary School.

Harrell's 5 year old daughter, Saylor, was bitten by a French bulldog and now she tells her mother her leg shakes from the dog bite.


It happened when her daughter was at an after care program run by the Newport County YMCA, but was held at her school, Aquidneck Elementary.

Saylor was on a swing when the dog came up from behind and bit her leg.

"I don't want Saylor to be afraid of dogs, but right now, it's still in her mind," said Harrell.

Harrell, who is a lawyer, says she has received apologies from the dog owner, YMCA, and school staff.

However, she says despite making several calls to the schools superintendent, her calls have not been returned.

Harrell wants the school to build a fence near the playground area, a simple solution she says could stop another child from being attacked again.

"I'm not asking for security guards or cameras, it's a fence, it's a win win situation  I just don't want to worry about it and I don't want it to happen to anyone else," said Harrell.

The Middletown schools' assistant superintendent returned our phone call and said the department had no comment at this time.

(Providence Eyewitness News - April 27, 2012)

Pit bulls who attacked dogs, people quarantined

‎TENNESSEE -- The owner of two pit bull dogs who authorities say are responsible for attacking three people and two other dogs this weekend voluntarily surrendered the animals to a local animal shelter, according to a Knoxville Police Department news release.

The dogs, whose rampage began at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, escaped an enclosed area on Baxter Avenue and attacked another dog being walked by a man, according to the report.

"They've never attacked anybody, I think this was just a
misunderstanding of people trying to get in between a dog fight" 
- pit bull owner, Tasha Wallace

The report states that during that attack the man was able to drive off one of the pit bulls, but sustained several bites to his hand while trying to separate his dog from the other pit bull.

With help from neighbors, the man was able to secure the pit bull, but the dog chewed through its leash and bit a woman on the arm.

The pit bull then entered another yard in the 1200 block of Iredell Avenue and attacked another dog and his owner when the man tried to separate the pit bull from his dog.

The pit bulls' owner surrendered his dogs to Animal Control officers who transported them to Young-Williams Animal Center where they remained under quarantine today.

No charges have been filed as of this afternoon and all injuries sustained during the attacks were non-life threatening, authorities said.

The owner, Tasha Wallace, voluntarily surrendered the dogs. She says they this behavoir isn't typical of her dogs.

"They've never attacked anybody, I think this was just a misunderstanding of people trying to get in between a dog fight," Wallace said.

(Knoxville News Sentinel - April 29, 2012)

Ohio: Pit bull attacks woman and her Beagle while they're in their own yard. Animal Control doesn't bother showing up for more than 2 hours.

‎OHIO -- A pit bull attacked a woman and another dog in Youngstown Friday afternoon.

Nathaniel Riggle said he and Alison Morris were clearing brush in her backyard on Shelby Road when a pit bull charged at them and the dogs in their care.

The 150 pound black and brown spotted pit bull cornered them on the back porch.

Riggle said the dog bit one of Moriss' legs and one of her beagles.

"It was extremely stressful because I was beating this dog with these cutters and it seemed to have no effect. He just kept charging at us and was determined to attack the dog and attack us," he said.

The dog described as having tags and a pink carabiner around its neck, ran away.


Riggle called 911 and followed the dog in his car for about two hours waiting for Mahoning County Deputy Dog Warden Dave Nelson who was tied up on another call.

During that time, Riggle said he saw the dog attack four other dogs and go after a woman who he warned about the animal.

When Nelson did arrive, the dog was not in the area.

Nelson said there were too many incidents at the same time and not enough manpower.

What call were you on that it took you more than 2 hours to arrive? An active dog attack is a Priority 1 call. Show us your call logs and prove you were on something just as serious and not sitting in the parking lot at the shelter eating your lunch.

(WFMJ - April 28, 2012)

Dog hoarder: 'They completely ruined my life'

‎INDIANA -- Donna Montoya’s life has fallen apart in the months since officers with Porter County Animal Control seized dozens of dogs from her Chesterton-area property.

“I go to the store and people say, ‘There is the dog killer,’  ” Montoya said during a recent phone interview punctuated by occasional tears. “They completely ruined my life.”

Law enforcement officials said the case was the worst incident of animal hoarding they had seen in Porter County.

Officers took most of the animals Jan. 11 and 12, and more were taken in mid-February. The dogs bit three people on the first day of the raid.

The sheer number of dogs — 105 in all, including seven puppies Montoya relinquished to the Porter County Animal Shelter a week before officers arrived at her door — overwhelmed the county’s resources to handle them all at one time.

Many of the dogs have found new homes, been placed with foster families or are awaiting adoption at the Porter County shelter and other area facilities.

Meanwhile Montoya has been charged with 11 counts of neglect of an animal and three counts of harboring a dog that has not been immunized; all are misdemeanors.

The publicity of the case went coast to coast; Montoya said her uncle saw it on television in Alaska. The stress, she said, caused her father to have two strokes; he died last month.

She and her companion, George Mitchell, have decided to leave their Westchester Township home behind and find a new place to live, but no one will rent them a home.

She lost her job and hasn’t been able to find the externship she needs to complete her associate degree in business. She has yet to see the court documents charging her with animal neglect and cannot afford an attorney; She has a meeting this week to try to get a public defender.

She had previously been charged with animal neglect, though those charges were dropped and, at one time, Montoya had been working with the shelter and animal control to reduce the number of animals on her property.

Given the charges against her now, Montoya declined to comment on the number of dogs officers seized from her home. On the first day of the raid, as officers corralled her dogs — each of which she had named — Montoya readily admitted she knew she had too many dogs.

Montoya said she never took the time to count the animals she had. She only began to realize the magnitude of the situation as animal control trucks repeatedly returned to the home for more dogs.

“I didn’t really think there would be that many, though I know I had too many,” she said.

Montoya is not allowed to have pets now. That, she said, was part of her bond agreement after she was arrested on the neglect charges.

Immediately after the dogs began arriving at the animal shelter, officials there said some of the dogs would be euthanized because they were too aggressive to be socialized.

That may be what angers Montoya the most.

“They killed 55 of my dogs because they were too big and too strong, but they took my dogs away because they said they were neglected,” she said, adding the dogs had not had recent vaccinations and may have had fleas, but they were not abused. Shelter director Jon Thomas said about 40 of the dogs were put down because they were too aggressive to be adopted.

On weekends, Montoya baby sits for her daughter and son-in-law, driving by the old red brick church on Indiana 2, across from the shelter, where many of her dogs are staying until they are adopted.

When she drives by, Montoya said she doesn’t see lights on in the building, or her dogs outside.

“You’re telling me it’s better for my dogs to be in cages in a nasty church? You’re telling me that’s better than being with me?” she said. “This whole thing has been heartbreaking to me.”

(WLS  - April 29, 2012)

YPD officer shoots aggressive dog

ARIZONA -- ‎A Yuma police officer shot what he considered an aggressive and vicious dog after it charged him Sunday morning. The wounded dog, which had no collar or microchip, was later euthanized.

According to YPD, at about 8:49 a.m., a city of Yuma animal control officer responded to a call for service regarding two dogs at large in a business complex in the 1000 block of West 24th Street. The woman who reported the dogs said that one of them had growled and snarled at her.

While approaching the two animals, the animal control officer was attacked by the vicious dog. The dog is thought to possibly have been Labrador retriever or pit bull mix.

The animal control officer was able to keep the dog at bay with his catch pole. Animal control officers are not permitted to carry a weapon; they instead have an expandable bite stick.

When an assisting police officer arrived, the dog charged at the officer. The officer subsequently shot the animal in the right paw as it reared up on its back legs when it was only about two feet away from him.

The second animal ran away from the area and according to YPD has not been located yet. The owner of the dogs has since been located and the incident is under investigation.

The Yuma Police Department's Animal Control Services assumed responsibilities for animal control within the city limits on Jan. 1.

According to the Yuma Sun's archives, the last time a YPD officer was forced to shoot a dog was in August 2010. There also was an incident in April 2009 when a large male black Lab mix was Tasered after the dog bit a police officer. That dog later died. Prior to that, the only other incident happened in August 2006.

(Yuma Sun - April 29, 2012)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yorkie Recovering After American Bull Dog Mauling

‎PENNSYLVANIA -- A 2-1/2 year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Murphy is recovering after he was mauled earlier this month near a city park in Jeannette.

The dog’s owner, Marybeth Levy, of South Park, was at the airport preparing to take a flight to Europe when she got an urgent call from her girlfriend in Jeannette who had agreed to watch her dogs while she was away.

Levy told KDKA-TV that her friend was devastated when she told her that her dog needed emergency surgery and might not make it after it was attacked by an American Bulldog who had crawled beneath a tennis court fence and attacked Murphy.

“The bulldog had my friend’s dog by its abdomen and was biting it in the middle like it was a hoagie,” Alice Lang, who was caring for Murphy, said. “I mean I can’t even describe it any other way. He was shaking him around and I stood there – I was just screaming.”

Lang said at first, the couple who showed up at the park with the bulldog accepted responsibility for the attack, but then they disappeared.

Lang says they took her phone number, but she hasn’t heard from them. She said they were in an older model, white Jeep Cherokee Sport.

[This is what Craven Desires recently reported as the "dine and dash" phenomenon.]

The woman was described as a tall, white and in her 20s with bleach blond hair. Her companion was light-skinned African American male, about six-feet tall with tattoos on at least one upper arm.

This isn't the actual dog, but is very similar to the
dog that attacked Murphy

After two surgeries to repair deep chest wounds, Murphy’s vet bills have topped $4,500.

Jeannette police are investigating the attack.

(CBS Local - April 28, 2012)

First birthday ends in tragedy when family dog attacks and kills boy

NEVADA -- A 1-year-old boy died early Saturday after being attacked by his family's dog while celebrating his birthday Friday, Henderson Police said.

The boy was at his grandmother's house on the 1600 block of Navarre Lane near Arroyo Grande Boulevard on Friday, police said. It was shortly before 10 p.m. when he crawled over to the family's dog and started to pet him, police said.

The dog -- a 6-year-old Mastiff/Rhodesian mix weighing about 120 pounds –- latched his jaws around the boy's head and began shaking him, police said. The grandmother attempted to pull the boy from the dog while other family members rushed to help, police said.

Henderson rescue workers took the boy to St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus, police said. He was then flown by helicopter to UMC's Trauma Unit.

The boy died from his injuries at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, police said. The boy had turned 1 on Thursday.

Henderson Animal Control officers took the dog to the Henderson animal shelter, where he will be quarantined and observed for signs of rabies over the next 10 days, police said. The dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination but is being declared vicious and will be euthanized after the observation period, police said.

The family, which has owned the dog since he was a puppy, voluntarily relinquished ownership to animal control, police said.

The boy had been around the dog since he was born, police said. The family said the dog has never been aggressive toward people. There were no signs of neglect and no previous calls reported about the dog in the past. Officers are still investigating why the dog attacked the boy, police said.

The Clark County Coroner's Office will release the name of the boy later.

(Las Vegas Sun - April 29, 2012)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

10 dead dogs found in Savannah home

GEORGIA -- Animal control officers have filed charges against a Savannah man after finding 19 dogs abandoned in his home. 

Gena Sullivan, Savannah-Chatham police spokeswoman, said officers were sent to a house on 6902 Howard Foss Drive after a neighbor called Animal Control. She walked in the neighborhood and had noticed a bad smell and did not think anyone had lived in the house for some time, but could hear dogs barking.

Over a span of a week or two police officers had responded to the home a couple of times. They discovered a dead animal in a wood line near the residence and assumed the smell the neighbor was complaining about was coming from it.

On Tuesday, Animal Control officers responded to the residence and could see the conditions inside of the house because the dogs had ripped the curtains down.

It was obvious to them nobody was living there.

A notice was placed on the door by Animal Control giving the owner 24 hours to respond. When they did not, officers contacted the owner of the property. He in turn gave them the name of the tenant, Kirby Campbell, who was contacted and gave police permission to enter the residence. 

Once inside, officers found 10 dead dogs in different states of decomposition. Some were just skeletal remains, and there was evidence the dogs were forced to eat each other to survive.

Nine of the dogs were removed from the house and taken to the emergency clinic to be evaluated. The dogs that were able to be medically released have been taken to Animal Control and will be evaluated for adoption.

After a request by Animal Control to come to police headquarters, Campbell did so and was arrested on numerous charges.

He has been charged with state charges of 10 counts of felony aggravated cruelty, nine counts of cruelty to animals, 19 counts of abandonment. City ordinance citations include one count of keeping of animals sanitation, one count of distance of animal ( too many animals), and 19 counts of no shots, no tags.

Campbell was transported to the Chatham County jail.

This is an ongoing investigation and more dogs may be found, Sullivan said.

(Savannah Now - April 26, 2012)

Oakland County Animal Control removes 30 cats

MICHIGAN -- A Waterford house full of cats and feces has been condemned.

Waterford police say the Oakland County Animal Control rescued 30 cats from a home on Airport Road Friday.

Officers say they initially responded to the home around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, where a 59-year-old female from Taylor who told them she had come to the residence to purchase a Snow Leopard cat from the resident.

The woman told officers she had previously given the resident two of her own Snow Leopard cats to breed and could see them inside the home through the windows. She also told officers she had just spoken with the resident by phone, but could not get her to come to the door.

Police arrived and found a strong smell coming from inside the house. They tried to check on
the animals and anyone else inside but were overwhelmed by the smell of feces.

The Waterford Fire Department responded and entered the house wearing hazmat suits and breathing apparatus equipment. Township officials who entered the house observed the interior conditions to be deplorable and uninhabitable, with the entire bathtub filled with cat feces and cat feces ankle-deep throughout the residence.

The township condemned the home.

Friday, Animal Control was able to get into the house and removed about 30 cats.

The 50-year-old woman who lived in the house could now face charges.

(WXYZ - April 27, 2012)

Alabama: AKC breeder Bonnie Lieberman charged with animal cruelty after leaving dog carcass in yard

ALABAMA -- Helena Police say a dog breeder is facing animal cruelty charges because she left a dead Doberman to rot in her backyard for a month.

Bonnie Liberman is charged with animal cruelty, failure to dispose of an animal, and operating a business without a license.

Neighbors say the dog had heartworms and it eventually starved itself to death.

Will Nall, 11, first discovered the dead dog when Liberman’s kids allegedly showed it to him.

“I mostly saw a dead dog and bones and organs laying out on the ground,” Will said.

Will’s mother took pictures of the Doberman nestled behind the Liberman’s air conditioner unit. Kellie Nall is furious her son was exposed to something like that.

“They told Will they wanted to show him something but not to tell me and they took Will into the backyard where the dog was dead and the youngest boy actually urinated on the dog,” said Kellie Nall.

Nall says she didn’t know what to do so she called police.

“We know the police were out here four times to tell them to get the dog up out of the yard because it was visible from the street,” Kellie said. “They finally did get the dog up but we have no idea what they did with it but I do know they made the oldest daughter clean the dog up and I think that’s terrible too.”

Helena Police Sgt. Chris Rowland says Liberman has two websites selling poodles and Doberman dogs. On those websites Liberman claims to be a breeder registered with the Animal Kennel Club.

FoOX6 contacted the AKC and they sent us this statement:

“If a written, signed, and substantiated complain regarding the care and conditions of a dog is received or if someone is charged by law enforcement and it violates the AKC’s inappropriate treatment of animals policy then the AKC would pursue the matter.”

FOX6 also contacted Liberman. She told us over the phone the allegations are not true. She says there were no dead animals in her yard.

Helena Police say their investigation isn’t over and they’re also looking into living conditions at the house since children live there.

(WBRC - April 27, 2012)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Longview woman sentenced for role in English Bulldog's kidnapping and death

This is the last photo of Jagger, before he was killed.
They sent this photo with the ransom demand.

WASHINGTON -- A Longview woman accused of stealing an English Bulldog and holding it for ransom has been sentenced to nine months in jail.

Ivy Rose Svaleson, 24, pleaded guilty April 12 to first-degree extortion. She admitted stealing Jagger, a 2-year-old English Bulldog, on Oct. 4. Svaleson then sent text messages to the animal’s owner demanding prescription drugs and cash to get Jagger back.

They texted Ms. Thomas a message that said, “If you don’t do exactly as you’re told the next few messages will be of your friend slowly getting tortured to death. And do us both a favor, keep this to yourself, no cops.”

Jagger was tied up on railroad tracks near Talley Way, where he was found dead Oct. 24.

Investigators concluded Jagger was dead before he was placed along the tracks, and Thomas said her privately hired vet concluded he had been tortured. Humane Society investigators found no obvious torture injuries, and the cause of his death was not determined. 

[Obvious simply means it was 100% conclusive. The poor dog's body was run over by a train. If they'd stabbed him to death or beaten him to death, how can you possibly determine that with his poor, battered body? When their stupid extortion plot failed, they could have simply left him somewhere. Look at this dog. What did he do to deserve this?]

RIP Jaggar
Jagger's owner, Jennifer Thomas

The dog’s owner, Jennifer Thomas, told Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies that a pregnant Svaleson had been at her house to collect a donation of baby items the day Jagger disappeared.

Svaleson, who gave birth a few days after Jagger vanished, is not scheduled to begin her jail sentence until June 19.

Her boyfriend and accomplice, Johnny Lee Jordan, 39, of Longview was sentenced to 41 months in prison late last month.

The court case of another alleged accomplice, Jessie James Clark, 38, of Kelso has not yet been resolved.

(The Daily News - April 26, 2012)


Woman's Yorkie mauled and killed in front of owner

COLORADO -- Alda Crill cried Thursday as she stood near large drops of dried blood on the sidewalk near her home and talked about an unleashed pit bull's fatal attack on one of her beloved Yorkshire terriers.

Crill was walking her 10-year-old Yorkie, Zoar, and 8-year-old Yorkie, Bela, on a dual leash Tuesday afternoon, about a half-block from her house in The Shores neighborhood in northwest Longmont, when she saw a pit bull leave the front yard of its home and the control of its owner, who was working in her yard.

At first, she was not concerned as the large dog disappeared around a corner, but suddenly it came back into sight and charged.

It grabbed Bela and dragged Zoar behind because their leash connected them.

"I was screaming louder than I have ever screamed in my life," Crill said.

During the attack, Bela was pulled free of the leash. Her chest was torn open and one leg was ripped almost off, according to police reports.

The pit bull, Chocolate, dropped the small dog and returned to the yard when owner Courtney Ebert-Hein called out to the dog, witnesses told police. A neighbor tried CPR on the small dog, but she died shortly after arriving at Longs Peak Animal Hospital.

RIP Bella

Crill said she did not think twice about walking her small dogs in her neighborhood.

"I have done it a gazillion times. I wasn't alert. It was just an everyday thing," she said. "I wish I would have said, 'Lady, are you going to go get your dog?'"

Animal control officers ticketed Ebert-Hein on suspicion of failure to control an animal and possession of an aggressive animal.

The officers noted in their report that Chocolate happily greeted animal control officers while still covered in the small dog's blood.

Ebert-Hein told officers she adopted Chocolate from the Longmont Humane Society about three months ago and that staff there told her that Chocolate was selective about dogs she got along with and had gotten into a fight at the shelter.

Liz Smokowski, executive director of the humane society, said Chocolate's record shows that she is an English bulldog and pit bull mix with a good record of playing with other dogs. The fight noted in the police report does not show up in her humane society record.

Smokowski said humane society staff counseled the family that Chocolate must remain on a leash.

"It is important that you take precautions," she said. "This is why there are leash laws in effect."

Smokowski noted that pit bulls tend to get a bad rap and that Chocolate's breed isn't the problem.

"So much of it is the owner's responsibility and training, just like any other breed," she said.

Smokowski, shown here, says pit bulls get a bad
rap and this killing has nothing to do with the
fact that it, yet again, involved a pit bull mix

[Well of course she has to make excuses. After all, they're the ones who gave the green light to put this dog out into society.]

Rikk Crill, Alda's husband, said pet owners should not trust animals as they would people.

"If you have an animal that is capable of damaging you, you have a responsibility to take care of that," he said.

Ebert-Hein said Chocolate gets along with her other dog, a bull mastiff, and her two small children, and she was unleashed because she wanted the pit bull to play with her other dog, who did not leave the yard. She said her family plans to keep Chocolate and they have hired trainers to help them work with her.

"It is just a horrible situation, and we just feel so sorry it happened," she said. "It was totally unexpected."

She said she believed Chocolate would be fine in her yard while she worked. When Chocolate left the yard, she said, she felt she would only drive the dog to run if she chased her.

Ebert-Hein said she put her other dog and her children in the house and grabbed a leash. When she went back outside, she heard Crill screaming.

"It all happened in, like, 60 seconds," she said. "We thought we were doing the right thing by adopting a dog. We will definitely never let her off leash again.

She added she hopes the Crills will allow her to apologize in person someday.

The Crills said on Thursday that it is too soon. Rikk Crill hopes the story will make other dog owners think twice about allowing their animals to be off leash.

"If somebody hears about it and thinks about it, that would be a good thing," he said.

(The Denver Post - April 26, 2012)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tennessee: Danny Steen, 26, accused of killing his roommate's Chihuahua

TENNESSEE -- Dyersburg Police recently arrested a man for felony aggravated cruelty to an animal after investigating the death of his roommate's dog.

According to police, officers were called to the 1600 block of Shelby Drive on April 13, in reference to a woman reporting that her roommate killed her Chihuahua. The complainant reported that she left her residence to go to work and was later called by her roommate and informed her dog was dead.

Danny Steen, 26, 1608 Shelby Drive, Dyersburg, is alleged to have killed the dog after it urinated in the house. 

Steen turned himself into police on April 17, after the investigation was completed. Steen was processed and held in the Dyer County Justice Complex pending a court appearance in Dyersburg City Court.

Tennessee State Law states "a person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, the person intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal."

Steen was issued a $5,000 bond and had his first court appearance on April 23. His next court date is June 4 in Dyersburg City Court.

DPD Capt. Steve Isbell stated all cases of animal cruelty or animal neglect will be thoroughly investigated by the department, and charges will be filed if the investigation determines that state law was violated.

"I hope this will help educate people that there are consequences to harming animals," said Isbell. "It is very troubling to me that there are people in society that feel harming a companion animal or any animal is OK. People need to know that we will investigate and take the cases as far as we can for those who can't defend themselves."

(State Gazette - April 25, 2012)

New Mexico: Investigators Find Ducks Swimming in Sewage, Matted Dogs In Man's Home

NEW MEXICO -- Dona Ana County Sheriff's investigators are considering charging a man with animal cruelty for the second time, after removing 25 dogs from his home.

ABC-7's cameras were the only ones at the 500 block of South Fairacres throughout the day Thursday as deputies removed the seemingly matted poodles from Jack Catlan's home.

One dog appeared to be bleeding from his nose and face. A few were too matted to see their faces.
Investigators were granted two search warrants. The first was to check the home after neighbors complained of a foul smell and too many animals. The second search warrant allowed deputies to remove the dogs.

Dona Ana County Spokeswoman Kelly Jameson said investigators found several code violations inside the home. She also said the dogs will be examined by a veterinarian.
"They're all very matted. Their hair is overgrown so we're unable to determine if they're malnourished or not. The floor is covered in newspaper that has been soaked in urine and feces. There's boxes stacked everywhere, food container boxes. What we categorize as trash that hasn't been thrown out."

Catlan, whose animals have been removed before, admitted the dogs may need a haircut, but maintains the animals are well taken care of. "They're very healthy, they're very active. They can hardly wait to go in and out. They just don't like to stay out when they're out. They practically knock me down every time I let them out, they knock me down when they get back in. They're very energetic but they're very happy on the inside," he said during an interview in which he refused to show his face on camera.

Catlan was charged with animal abuse in June 2007 after Dona Ana County deputies removed nearly 50 animals from his home. Some of the dogs were taken to the Animal Rescue League in Canutillo where some were diagnosed with bladder infections and pneumonia. Most also had fleas and ticks, said the shelter's director at the time.

Catlan's case did not go to trial until 2008. By December of that year, a judge ruled the case had taken too long to go to trial, thus violating Catlin's constitutional right for a speedy trial and all charges were dropped.

"We have the same investigators on this case than we did 5 years ago. They're all observing the same violations. Same type of living situations, deplorable for these animals and so we're right back where we started," said Jameson on Thursday. She added Catlan did not have proof of vaccinations for the animals or the permit required to possess more than six animals.

Catlan said he is willing to work with investigators to do whatever is required of him to keep his animals, but also expressed disappointment. "It is my property and the animals are my property. I'm in total disagreement with the whole process. I'm in total disagreement with the laws as they are here in this county. I know other places do not have similar laws like this. But I'm being subjected to this again."

Jameson said Catlan's case has signs of animal hoarding. "They feel a need to care for the animals but they're just unable to do so and it becomes an obsession to them. I don't know if this particular home owner falls into that category right now but it's very common in these types of investigations."

Catlan called the animals his "friends and family" and said the experience was "extremely emotional, very emotional. It's like being bled to death."

Deputies say they also found as many as 100 chickens and ducks on the property. Jameson said some of the animals were allowed to roam and live inside the house in what she called deplorable conditions.

"There's a busted sewer line in the house that has pooled inside. It's also leaked to the outside of the house that has started to collect and leak and pool that the ducks are swimming and drinking from."

When asked to respond to how the deputies described the conditions on his property, Catlan said "no comment, it's their opinion at this point."

Investigators are still assessing whether Catlan will be charged.

(ABC7 - April 26, 2012)

Malnourished Horses Found In Taft; Owner Arrested

CALIFORNIA -- A Taft man has been arrested for animal cruelty after malnourished horses were found on his property.

A viewer contacted 23 ABC Tuesday, saying he was concerned about horses he had seen on a property in Taft. He said he called animal control and when a 23 ABC crew showed up at the property, officers were already there.

Kim Rodriguez, Kern County Animal Control spokeswoman, said officers have had previous contact with the owner who said he runs a horse rescue operation.

Rodriguez said the man showed current paperwork for the horses Tuesday and the horses looked like they were receiving proper care.

Then things changed when officers went to another part of the property.

"We found some other horses and they seemed to be in distress," said Rodriguez. "So we looked for the owner and come to find out the same gentleman that we were out here visiting on the horses that had the paperwork; we found out he was the owner of these horses as well."

Officers took three horses they estimate are about 250 to 300 pounds underweight.

The unidentified man was arrested on three felony counts of animal cruelty.

(KERO - April 25, 2012)