Thursday, May 31, 2012

South Carolina: Pit bull attacks Rock Hill boy, bites off part of scalp

SOUTH CAROLINA -- A Rock Hill boy was airlifted to a Charlotte hospital after a pit bull mauled him Wednesday night, biting his arms and tearing off a part of his scalp.

Deputies responded to 2060 Ridgecrest Road around 6:30 p.m. after Kenny Allen, 11, went to his neighbor’s house to borrow a [blender to make a milkshake], according to a York County Sheriff's Office report.

The neighbor’s 2-year-old pit bull, named Dallas, broke the clamp on its cable and attacked Kenny, severely biting him on the right hand and arm. It also tore off a large section of the boy’s scalp from the back of his head, the report states.

Officials found 4 inches of Kenny’s scalp in the yard and gave it to EMS in case it could be reattached.

EMS transported Kenny to the Bethesda No. 2 fire station. He was then flown to Carolinas Medical Center. His condition is unknown.

A deputy said that when he arrived on the scene, Dallas lunged at him and it took some time to get the animal under control.

The dog's owner, Angela Marie Oneppo, 31, told officials that Dallas normally stayed in the residence, but that she left it outside on its cable because the weather was nice, the report states.

She signed over the dog to York County Animal Control and he was euthanized this morning, said Steven Stuber, animal control director.

"It was unclear if it had been vaccinated," Stuber said, adding it will be tested for rabies.

Oneppo was charged with violating the county's nuisance ordinance, which Stuber explained allows Animal Control to issue fines if a pet attacks people.

Dallas was housed in Oneppo's backyard, Stuber said, and situated on a cable rigged with a clamp and pair of pliers. The cable, which Stuber said owners probably thought would hold the animal, was covered in plastic, making it easy for the dog to slip out if it had a running start.

"I can't imagine why (the owner) thought that cable could hold that animal," Stuber said. "That is not going to hold a plastic covered cable."

From what he can determine, the cable was "slippery," Stuber said.

Officers on the scene took pictures of the child's injuries that will be used in court, Stuber said.

Officials did not take pictures of the dog.

"It was as bad as I've ever seen," he said.

Stuber expressed sorrow for both the victim and the dog's owner.

Doctor bills, court hearings and other legal ramifications are sure to follow, Stuber said.

The situation may lend itself to a "long and drawn out" affair, he said.

"They just all need to be together on this," Stuber said. "I just hate it for both the victim and the owner. It's unfortunate. Nobody wins in this situation."

Years to recover

For the next several years, Kenny will have to undergo extensive skin restructuring and skin grafting while also receiving hair implants to repair the damage, said his father, Kenneth Allen.

Hours after the boy was attacked, "he's doing a lot better," Allen said. "He's in good spirits."

Now, Kenny lays in a hospital bed with a vacuum attached to his head. The vacuum suctions all the excess blood and skin from the boy's head, Allen said, so the blood vessels can begin repairing.

Though he thanks God for his son's imminent recovery, Allen recalled the situation with precise detail.

At around 6:30 p.m., Allen was preparing to go to church. He realized that the battery to his van wasn't working, so he told his youngest son, Kenny, that a friend would ride by and take the boy to church.

Kenny decided he'd stay home with his dad that night.

"If he would've went to church...," Allen said.

Some minutes later, Kenny decided he wanted to make a smoothie. The family was preparing to leave for a weekend trip to DeLand, Fla., to visit Allen's mother who fell into a coma. Allen told his son not to make a shake as he would "dirty up" the house before his wife -- Kenny's mother, Becky Allen, -- returned home from work.

Kenny said: "No I won't."

He ran out of the house and crossed the street and a couple of yards to borrow a blender from neighbor Oneppo, a family friend.

Before the boy could knock on the door, Dallas leaped at the boy from behind some bushes, latched onto the back of his head with teeth and began biting, Allen said.

Allen, only a few feet away, could hear his son's screams for help.

"I thought someone was beating him up, or trying to kidnap him," he said.

He ran outside and saw Kenny running his way, holding his head. Kenny didn't stop and just ran into the house. Allen turned around and saw that a part of the back of his son's head was gone.

"I'm glad that my wife didn't see it," he said.

Kenny sat on a couch, pressing a towel on his head. Allen called 911. A neighbor, who was a nurse, came over to the house and helped Kenny apply pressure to his gaping wound.

EMS stationed at the top of the street and would not come down to the Allen's house until the dog had been kenneled, Allen said.

Once a dog catcher secured Dallas, EMS placed Kenny in the ambulance and rushed him to the Bethesda fire station.

Inside the truck, Kenny remained strong, his father said. He cracked jokes and told everyone it was going to be OK.

A med-evac copter from Carolinas Medical Center arrived at the fire station and airlifted the boy to Charlotte.

Six hours of intensive surgery later, doctors told Allen and his wife, Becky, that the discarded piece of the boy's scalp would not "take" back to his skin.

Now, surgeons are onto "Plan B," Allen said, which includes months-to-years of extensive rehabilitation.

Allen remains hopeful.

"We serve a mighty God," Allen said. "God saved him (Kenny) for us. He made him a living witness. God is not dead. He is still saving souls"

Modern day Job
Allen compared his family to a modern day version of Job, a Biblical figure who underwent a series of brutal tests to validate his devotion to God. Included in Job's tests were the death of his children and chronic illness.

Last Wednesday, Allen clutched his chest in pain. With a job at U.S. Foods and the owner of his own lawn-care business, Allen assumed he was just suffering from work exhaustion.

Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, his brother called to tell him that their mother had been found on her bathroom floor. She died for 10 minutes before "coming back," Allen said.

Hours later, the pains in Allen's chest didn't subside. He drove himself to Piedmont Medical Center, staggered inside and learned from doctors that he was having a heart attack.

After surgical balloons and stints were planted in his chest, Allen and his family planned to go down to Florida on Thursday and visit Allen's mother, who later slipped into a coma.

That same week, someone hit Becky's new car.

"We've never had anything brand new in our lives," Allen said.

That same week, Allen's application for entering the prison ministry was declined due to offenses stemming from 18 years ago, he said.

All the heartache was a "wake up call" from God, Allen said.

Allen remarked that, in the course of the trials, he told himself he wasn't like Job at all — his three children were still alive.

Then on Wednesday night, Kenny was attacked by a dog.

"God is a loving God," Allen said with a smile. "He's (Kenny's) alive. He's not paralyzed. He's alive."

On Thursday afternoon, Allen returned home after spending the night at the hospital to clean up a bit.

Drops of dry blood are splattered on the living room floor. A towel with Kenny's blood still sits in the front yard. A balled-up bloody towel sits on the couch where Kenny spent minutes crying and waiting for the ambulance.

Standing in his front yard, Allen said he never lets Kenny go too far out of his sight.

"I always keep my eye on my son," he said.

The one time he looked away for a little bit, "this happens," he said.

Angela Oneppo was working a double shift on Wednesday when her dog attacked Kenny, said Anthony Smith, Oneppo's boyfriend and the dog's main owner.

"Dallas" has never been violent, said Smith, who added that he's raised pit bulls for 13 years.

One of them is Gabriel, a pit bull Smith bred. Dallas was the offspring of that breeding.

More than that, there weren't any clamps or pliers attached to Dallas' cable, Smith said. Instead, the dog was tethered by a cable Smith said he purchased only a week ago. The cable was advertised as weighing 100 pounds.

"Dallas weighed 60 pounds," Smith said. "In my mind, I think I'm doing the right thing."

In the years he's had his pits, Smith said Dallas has never been violent or aggressive.

"I never had this happen -- not once," he said.

Even Kenny's father confirmed that Dallas never seemed to be violent.

On Thursday, Smith drove to Allen's yard where he embraced and cried with the grieving father.

"We're friends," said both Allen and Smith.

With tears falling from his eyes, Smith apologized to Allen for the incident.

"I love that boy (Kenny)," he said.

Allen assured Smith that his son would be all right.

He also told Smith something Kenny would most likely tell him once he went to the hospital.

"I love you."

(Herald Online - May 31, 2012)

Mother calls for dog to be put down following attack on her son

UNITED KINGDOM -- A YOUNG boy was left with his nose "hanging off" after he was bitten by a dog.

Daniel Scott-Wright suffered serious facial injuries, and his mother says he has since been struggling to cope with regular nightmares.

The four-year-old underwent a 30-minute operation at Queen Victoria Hospital, where he received stitches to his cheek and eye.

Strips were also placed on his nose to keep it intact.

His mother Rosie Scott said the dog, believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier, had to be prised from Daniel's face during the ordeal in the kitchen of a friend's home in East Grinstead.

"We popped in for a quick coffee and we had only been there about ten minutes when it happened," she said.

"Daniel was throwing toys for the dog, but it wasn't going to get them. Daniel stroked the dog twice, then all of a sudden it went straight for his face. It all happened so quickly.

"At first, all we saw was blood pouring from his eye, then we noticed his nose. My partner had to hold it on until the ambulance arrived. I was getting really worried, because you could see it was barely hanging on."

The incident took place on March 17 but, two months on, his mother says Daniel is still struggling to recover from the attack.

Rosie, 20, of Woodbury Avenue, East Grinstead, said: "He has had a lot of nightmares over it. He woke up the other night, jumped out of bed and was shaking his leg saying 'put my leg back on'.

"He says he keeps dreaming that the dog is eating him. No matter how nice a dog is, he will not go near them now, he's too shaky. It's really upsetting."

Rosie, also mother to 18-month-old Callum, wants the animal to be put down.

"We've found it all quite traumatic," she said. "If I was to come face to face with that dog again, I don't know what I'd do.

"Daniel has been really shaken up, I'm just happy he looks the way he does, because it could have been a lot worse."

Sussex Police confirmed they received a report of a dog biting incident at a home in East Grinstead on March 17 and are continuing to investigate.

The dog owner declined to comment when approached by the Courier & Observer.

(This is Sussex - May 31, 2012)

Man gets 6 months in horrific dog cruelty

IDAHO -- A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.

 Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita - Pit Bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records.

“I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said.

He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.

“I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.

Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.

Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.

Nichols said she told Palmer “You just traumatized my child,” but Palmer “looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head,” according to court documents.

Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.

Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.

Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.

His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction “is following him for the rest of his life,” according to court records.

Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was “stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal.”

( - May 31, 2012)

Dog dies after police department receives compaints

KENTUCKY -- Thursday morning a complaint came into the Benton City police department of a vicious dog on the run. That call turned deadly when a Benton City police officer shot a dog that was coming after him.

Kentucky law reads, 'any vicious dog found at large may be killed by an animal control or peace officer'. However, the dog owner, Donny Moore and his family is upset.

"I'm sure he's upset about it and I'm upset about it but we're just going to have to move on now," says Moore, Lady's owner.

Their 3 year old collie, named Lady was dropped off on their street 2 years ago. They took her in and she remained an outside dog. The family says she's a loving dog that would never attack but the city police office has several complaints about Lady and several other dogs in the neighborhood.

Gerald Whestell walks the neighborhood everyday for exercises, he carriers with him an arrow for protection.

"Last week we encountered 2 dogs at the same time and they were quite aggressive, threatening," says Whestell.

The dog was disposed of by animal control.

Chief Watwood says they will investigate the incident, but preliminary checks show the officer had every right to shoot the dog.

(WPSD - May 31, 2012)

Mom is at center of abandoned dogs case, son says

CALIFORNIA -- A man accused of leaving 30 dogs at a Laguna Hills park a week ago told investigators he was taking them from his mother, who appeared to be hoarding them, officials said.

The man, who witnesses said left two kennels stuffed with the dogs – one with 14, the other with 16 – under trees at San Remo Park on May 20, was tracked by Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators after he abandoned a Toyota truck nearby. The dogs were left under two trees. One kennel held 14 dogs; the other held 16. Dogs were stacked upon atop each other. There was no food or water in the kennels.

Investigators first tracked the truck to a Huntington Beach address but learned the man was no longer living there. They continued their efforts and on Friday located the man who was connected to the truck, said Lt. Tom Behrens, chief of police in Laguna Hills.

The man told investigators he had taken the dogs from his mother's Rancho Santa Margarita home with plans to take them to an animal shelter, but his car broke down in Laguna Hills and he unloaded the dogs there, Behrens said. He told investigators that his mother had had them for a long time and there were many dogs.

According to OSCD Sheriff's Department records, there had been no calls for service to the home in question. The home is in the northern part of the city in a residential neighborhood near the 241 toll road. The man told police his car broke down in Laguna Hills and he unloaded the dogs there. It's unclear whether the man had planned to return and pick up the dogs, he added.

[An earlier article says that after dumping the dogs on the sidewalk the man and two women drove away in a Mercedes Benz. Clearly, they were abandoned. Otherwise, why not load the dogs into the Mercedes?]

According to Sheriff's Department records, there had been no calls for service to the home in question. The department is submitting a report to the county District Attorney's Office to see if charges involving animal abandonment and animal cruelty can stand.

The dogs, identified as Lhasa Apso Chihuahua mixes, have been kept in isolation at OC Animal Care's Orange County shelter. They range from 6 months to 6 years old; most are adult dogs, said Ryan Drabek, director of the animal care agency. The dogs are generally in good health, though some are matted and have ingrown nails.

Animal rescue groups have posted on Facebook and Twitter in hopes of helping to find homes for the dogs. Drabek said that while he appreciates the outreach, the dogs can't be adopted yet.

"There's a whole new angle now, and we are trying to obtain owner information," he said. "We need to determine if the owners can get the dogs back.

Assuming the dogs will be available, we have to do our due diligence to assure they are out property."

Drabek said the shelter follows a protocol on all animals. If a stray comes in with no identification, the dog has to be held for four days before it can be adopted. If animals come in as stray with identification, the shelter has to hold the dog for seven days. Even if an owner surrenders an animal, they still have to be kept for four days before they are available for adoption.

Animal control officers are routinely asked to check on situations where people have more animals than permitted by their cities, Drabek said. Most Orange County cities allow a maximum of three dogs and three cats, some cities allow only three animals, and in all situations anything over the limit requires a permit.

Animal hoarding situations such as 30 or more animals are unusual, Drabek said.

He also emphasized the difference between animal hoarding and animal cruelty. If animal control officers find multiple animals that are well cared for, they will usually work with the owner to reduce the number of animals to a legal limit over time.

If animal cruelty is found, animals are impounded. A case in Stanton in March involved animal cruelty and property that was deemed uninhabitable, Drabek said. The animals were seized.

In Mission Viejo in October 2008, Orange County sheriff's deputies found 70 dachshunds in a home owned by a Karen Stone, who had been breeding the dogs. Most of the dogs' vocal cords had been cut. Most neighbors had no idea Stone had all the dogs. The Mission Viejo Animal Shelter worked with Stone over nearly two months removing the dogs.

Drabek, whose agency oversees 17 Orange County cities (including Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills) and the unincorporated area, said taking in the 30 dogs brings extra burden to an already overburdened shelter. The shelter can house up to 380 dogs, 300 cats, 50 rabbits and numerous exotics.

Once custody of the dogs is likely released to OC Animal Care, Drabek said a special adoption event might be held.

"We want to heighten attention for shelter animals," he said. "Not only for these dogs, but to help increase adoptions in all the shelters."

( - May 30, 2012)

Police identify suspects in 30-dog dumping case

Somerset woman accused of animal cruelty speaks out

PENNSYLVANIA -- A couple from Somerset is facing dozens of animal cruelty charges. Neighbors claim it's still a problem, but the people who live in the home contacted 6 News and said there is more to the story.

On Wednesday, 6 News talked with neighbors who said they were upset the couple had more animals.

But on Thursday, Angela Bartels said all accusations against her are false, and the neighbors are just causing problems.

6 News went back to the couple's Fuller Street home Thursday afternoon and was greeted by Bartels' 2 1/2-year-old dog Gabby.

Neighbors said they're upset Bartels has another dog after several animals were seized from the home just last month. But that's something Bartels said should have never happened.

"I have all the vet records, and I know that when those animals left here, they were healthy," said Bartels. "They were fine and absolutely nothing was wrong with any of them."

She said she's still fighting to get those animals back.

"I love animals," said Bartels. "I'm really upset that people have this image of me that I'm this terrible person"

Authorities said they found one dead puppy infected with the parvo virus. Bartels says that wasn't her fault. She did admit to tossing four other infected puppies in a Dumpster, but said she had no other option.

"Everybody around me here was worried about contracting this disease, so I figured well if they go into a landfill, that would probably be the safest place," said Bartels. "I didn't know what else to do with them."

As for her neighbors, Bartels said she's sick of them turning her in for nothing.

"I'm very fed up," said Bartels. "I'm very upset and tired that people can't mind their own business."

In fact, she said her family is looking to move away.

"I'm getting accused of things not going on, and after you hear it so much, it's just something that you can't deal with anymore," said Bartels.

Documents 6 News received from police on Tuesday show that Bartels and her boyfriend, Jesse Shay, are facing nine counts each of animal cruelty. Bartels claims she hasn't received anything from police to tell her she's been charged. In fact, she said she's been calling them and has not received any response.

(WJAC - May 31, 2012)


Firefighters rescue dog from Coon Rapids townhouse fire

MINNESOTA -- Coon Rapids firefighters rescued a dog from a townhouse fire yesterday (Tuesday, May 29) afternoon.

The department received a call just after 12:30 p.m. of a possible townhome fire on the 12400 block of Eagle Street N.W., and a dog still inside.

According to the fire department run report, on arrival firefighters found moderate smoke coming from the middle of the two-story townhome unit.

A small fire that was found in a large fish tank unit almost self-extinguished when the heat from the fire cracked the tank glass causing the water in the tank to gush out, the run report states.

But the fire was very sooty and there was a large amount of trapped black smoke upstairs, according to Capt. Tim Gilsrud of the department.

When fire crews went upstairs they found a large, 130-pound dog hiding in a closet, Gilsrud stated in his report.

The dog was breathing, but firefighters had to get a leash from the owner to remove the dog, he said.

The homeowner, Jeffrey McCann, and waiting Allina paramedics, who were both basic animal rescue training certified, used blow-by oxygen to treat the dog and a trickling fire hose to wash the soot off the dog.

According to the fire department run report, McCann had been gone for about an hour to take one of his two dogs to the vet and he found the smoke in the townhome when he returned and opened the garage door.

The fire started when halogen lamps on top of the fish tank malfunctioned, Coon Rapids Fire Marshal Todd Williams said.

The smoke and soot left the townhome uninhabitable, he said.

(ABC Newspapers - May 30, 2012)

Mum calls for law change after dog bites daughter

UNITED KINGDOM -- A toddler could be scarred for life after being attacked by a dog.

Mum Kelsey Scutt is calling for a change in the law after her daughter Kenzy was bitten in the face by west Highland white terrier Boots.

The 16-month-old was left bleeding and needed nine stitches.

But the dog’s owner does not face criminal prosecution – as under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 it is not a criminal offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control on its own property.

Owner Tina Jones, 45, apologised after the incident, which happened at her home in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth.

Mum Kelsey Scutt, 19, of Wayte Street, Cosham, said: ’I asked if I could put Kenzy down next to the dog. All of a sudden it just bit her in the face. It just went for her. There was quite a lot of blood.

‘The dog just bit her and ran off.

‘She was crying for a good hour. She was screaming – it was horrible.

‘At the end of the day it could have taken her eye out.

‘What if it does it again to another child? I want to see the dog put down. I think the law needs to be changed.’

Miss Scutt took Kenzy to Queen Alexandra Hospital after the incident, which happened at about 3pm on May 21st. Kenzy later received nine stitches above her left eye. Miss Jones said: ‘He’s never done anything like this before. Unfortunately the bite mark was where he snapped at her. Nobody saw what happened – it was just a matter of seconds.

‘It’s totally got out of control. The dog can’t be put down because it was in its own territory. If he went off and bit lots of kids, obviously he would have to be muzzled or put down. He’s not a rottweiler. It was a total, one-off accident.

‘I was very apologetic when it happened. It was an unfortunate accident, it was awful.’

Hampshire police are now considering whether there are grounds for a civil complaint for an order for the control or destruction of Boots under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1871, which can apply to dogs at home. A spokesman said: ‘In this case officers met with the mother of the injured child as part of enquiries to establish the full circumstances that prompted this dog to bite a child.

‘Advice was given to the dog’s owners about checking on its whereabouts when any children are nearby.

‘There was no evidence to confirm the dog’s behaviour was usually aggressive, or that any criminal offences had been committed under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

‘However, police are keeping an open mind and considering whether a complaint under the Dogs Act 1871 would be appropriate.’

(Portsmouth UK - May 31, 2012)

Las Cruces Animal Control identifies, cites owner of Newfoundland dogs that allegedly attacked man

NEW MEXICO -- The owner of three Newfoundland dogs that allegedly attacked a man Tuesday near an elementary school has been identified and issued four citations for violating the city's restraint ordinance.

Police said Trisha Wright, 45, cooperated with Animal Control officers, and allowed one of her dogs, identified as the one that bit the man on Tuesday, to be placed on 10-day quarantine.

If the dog shows no sign of rabies during the quarantine, it will be returned to Wright, police said.

Around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, a 33-year-old contractor was working on the campus of University Hills Elementary School, at 2005 Locust St., when three adult Newfoundland dogs approached. One of the dogs bit the man, but his injuries were relatively minor, police said.

Animal Control officers said they learned the identity of the dogs' owner and spoke with her Thursday afternoon. Officers said all four of Wright's dogs are current on their vaccinations.

(Las Cruces Sun News - May 31, 2012)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Florida: Angel Roman accused of choking a cat to death, biting the lips off a kitten and burning it with a cigarette lighter

FLORIDA -- Angel Vega Roman, a 28-year-old Florida man, was arrested on Saturday and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly biting the lips off of a kitten and strangling another feline.

The Palm Coast man allegedly told an acquaintance that he accidentally choked a cat to death, and that he also bit the lips off one of the kittens and burnt its ear and whiskers with a lighter, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office report obtained by the Dayton Beach News-Journal.

Angel Vega Roman
Roman admitted to a cop to injuring the kittens, but by accident. “He advised,” the deputy wrote of Roman, “that he has been depressed lately because his girlfriend is gone and that is why he harmed the animals.” Then Roman clamped up, the report notes, at which time Roman was Baker Acted.

The owners of the kittens had rented a room to Roman. They were unaware of the harm to the kittens until May 20. One of the landlords told a deputy that Roman spends a lot of time with the kittens, holding them all the time, and that trouble may have started when the landlords were out of town, leaving Roman alone with the kittens.

At one point Roman called the landlords to let them know that someone was interested in taking ownership of two of them. They granted permission. But a couple of days later, when everyone was back in the house, a kitten was found dead. The landlords initially attributed it to natural causes. But then they noticed another kitten had a few injuries. Those injuries worsened quickly.

When his roommates asked him about the kittens, Roman admitted that he had choked the one that had been found dead weeks earlier, and described how he had injured the other, called Oreo.

On May 20, the animal was turned over to Palm Coast’s animal control division, then examined by a veterinarian on may 21, who confirmed that the injuries had been inflicted as Roman had described it.

The cat, which Roman allegedly tortured by burning and biting but did not kill, was a black-and-white kitten named Oreo, the News-Journal reported.

(International Business Times - May 29, 2012)

Elderly woman's nose eaten away by fleas

TEXAS -- Neighbors are horrified after a Northwest Bexar County elderly woman is hospitalized after fleas ate away at skin all over her body, including most of her nose.

They say the 74-year-old woman weighed just 80 pounds and had been living in a house of horrors that was falling apart around her.

Several neighbors say they saw the warning signs and when they couldn’t help, begged authorities for more than a year and a half.

They’re now outraged she fell through the cracks.

“At one time, this lady had a beautiful, beautiful property,” Tom Towles says.

He lives across the street where he’s watched the house go from a home to a horror.

"The house is gray,” Towles says. “There's no color in the house. Everything is either covered with feces or mold."

He says the elderly homeowner is a longtime widow, her only relative lives overseas and her companions are stray animals.

“She used to do grooming and boarding,” Towles says. “She used to come over and take care of my house when we were on vacation.”

So it’s unthinkable to see feral cats roaming the property, to hear mangy dogs barking uncontrollably, and to feel the itch of fleas that ate her alive.

“This woman is a living dead person,” Towles says. “This person was solid, ashly gray. Not white, but gray."

Towles says he knew when the woman started sleeping outside in the car that the situation inside had spiraled out of control, so he contacted Adult Protective Services.

“They told me how they would fix any roof leaks, give her air conditioning, fans, get her food -- everything you would want to hear,” Towles says.

He says Protective Services visited several times but never made good on those promises.

Towles also contacted the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and says deputies visited about 20 times. The Sheriff’s Office says each time, the woman understood their questions and refused help.

Deputies did not go inside until recently, when she was finally taken to the hospital – and neighbors finally got a good look at the filthy conditions.

"You would probably vomit if you walked into the lady's master bathroom,” Towles says.

He says clothes were piled everywhere, the sink was filled with cigarette butts and rain water collected from holes in the roof.

“We slipped and slid all over the house,” Towles says. “It was solid feces everywhere."

He says raccoons are living in the attic, and he found one of them dead in the living room area.

“I think the neighbors got on all of this to try to save the lady’s life, which I think we failed in,” Towles says.

News 4 asked several agencies how the woman was allowed to get to this point. Protective Services says records are confidential. Sheriff’s deputies say they did all they legally could.

Meanwhile, stray animals are still wandering the property. Neighbors contacted Animal Care Services and learned ACS cannot remove the animals until they’re trapped first.

Neighbors say ACS referred them to the Sheriff’s Office, but deputies don’t have the proper equipment to remove animals. Neighbors are afraid to trap them.

ACS does have two of the women’s dogs in custody but the Sheriff’s Office says ACS representatives did not show up to a hearing Wednesday afternoon that would have determined what happens to the dogs.

Neighbors are furious that an elderly woman fell through the cracks and believe no one will take responsibility for what happened.

(WOAI - May 30, 2012)

Mysterious death prompts Person authorities to seize dog

NORTH CAROLINA -- Questions surrounding a man's death over the weekend prompted Person County authorities to seize a pit bull.

Deputies found the body of Eugene Cameron, 65, of Henderson, under a carport at 1189 Semora Road, west of Roxboro, late Saturday. Family members said he was checking on the house while his friend was out of town.

Person County deputies found the body of Eugene
Cameron, 65, under a carport at 1189 Semora Road,
on May 26, 2012. He has an injury on his right
side consistent with a dog bite, authorities said.

Witnesses said that Cameron was found naked, with his clothes balled up beside him, and bloody dog paw prints surrounded him. He had a severe injury to his right arm that could have caused him to bleed out, and the injury was consistent with a dog bite, according to a warrant.

Person County animal control officers seized an 8-year-old pit bull named DMX from Antonio Ford, who lives next to the house where Cameron was found dead.

Ford insists that DMX was caged up Saturday night.

"Unless he got a key to get out, I know he was in there," he said.

Sheriff Dewey Jones said Tuesday that the preliminary autopsy results indicate that the injuries that killed Cameron were consistent with a dog bite, but he said it could be several weeks before tests determine whether Ford's dog was responsible.

Ford said he saw Cameron's body, and he doesn't believe they look like a dog attack.

"He should have bite marks on his arms, neck, everywhere – all over his body," he said. "A dog is going for you.

"Why was he naked? I guess my dog took his clothes off?" he continued.

Ford and his family said that DMX is on a chain whenever it is outside, but other nearby residents said the dog sometimes roams the neighborhood and tries to attack their dogs.

Ford doesn't deny that DMX goes after other dogs when they're near – "I got a dog. I ain't got no cat. He fights other dogs," he said – but the dog isn't a killer.

He said that whoever or whatever killed Cameron is still out there.

"All that blood that was over there, whatever dog that was in there, that dog still has blood on him," he said.

Neighbors said coyotes are known to be in the area.

(WRAL - May 29, 2012)

Somerset Borough couple facing new animal cruelty charges

PENNSYLVANIA -- A Somerset County couple involved in at least four different cases of animal cruelty have been slapped with over 20 different charges from the most recent incidents.

Somerset Borough police released the details late Tuesday afternoon and said Angela Bartels and Jesse Shay have each been charged with disorderly conduct, nine counts of animal cruelty, and six counts each of failure to vaccinate and license their animals

Bartels starved the animals but certainly didn't
forget to feed herself - lots!

Police said they responded to the couple's home on April 18 after neighbors had complained of sick dogs in the back yard. Officers said they removed two neglected Sheltie pups, which eventually had to be put down. According to court documents a veterinarian determined the dogs were severely infected with the Parvo virus.

6 News was there two days later when police obtained a search warrant and seized five additional puppies, 10 cats and a Chinchilla from the couple's home. Then two days after that, police discovered four dead puppies they said the couple tossed into a Dumpster. On that same property officers said they found three severely malnourished horses.

Throughout the investigation, police said they seized a total of 25 different animals, none of which had proper vaccinations or licenses. Police said the animals that survived needed extensive medical treatment.

(WJAC - May 29, 2012)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lower Valley Woman Arrested for Animal Cruelty

TEXAS -- On 05-26-2012 at approximately 8:30 AM, Saturday morning, a Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to 16800 Eisenberg Ave., in reference to Cruelty to Animal in progress.

Upon arrival, the Deputy found an emaciated horse in a neighbor’s property and saw that the horse’s bones, throughout parts of its body, were visible through the skin. The horse also had trouble standing and dragged its right rear leg. The hooves appeared to also not be kept.

Rosa Lozoya

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit was immediately summoned to the scene.

Further investigation revealed the owner of the horse was not providing adequate food, water or care for the horse due to financial issues.

The owner of the horse was identified as 58 year old Rosa Lozoya. Lozoya was placed under arrest for Cruelty to Animals (livestock) and booked in to the El Paso County Detention Facility.

The horse was released in care of other relatives to care for the horse. The homeowner was advised, to include relatives, to seek medical attention for the horse due to its current condition.

(El Paso County Sheriff’s Office - May 29, 2012)

Woman jailed for animal cruelty after abandoning pets

TENNESSEE -- A 60-year-old woman was charged with seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty after she neglected to care for seven dogs and 12 cats inside her residence at 6510 Fox Den Lane, according to an affidavit.

Elizabeth Ann Ehmling had her bond set at $700 on Tuesday after authorities responded to her residence last week, according to bond documents.

[Seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty and her bond is set at $700?! She must know someone....]

Elizabeth Ann Ehmling (b. 1-5-52)

Five cats and two dogs were found dead at the home. The animals had no access to food or way to exit the residence, according to the affidavit.

Neighbors told police Ehmling left her home five years ago but continued to pay taxes and utilities. From time to time, someone would come by and cut the grass.

Inside the residence, animal waste was inches deep on the floor and, in the kitchen, the head of a large dog was found in the middle of the floor, the affidavit said. Upstairs, a room with penned in with gates, a second dog carcass was found in the bed, according to the affidavit.

Four cat carcasses were found in the basement and a kitten was found in a carrier upstairs.

Ehmling posted bond. Her next court date is set for June 21 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge David Norton.

UPDATE: Per Hamilton County's website, she has another court date scheduled for July 24, 2012.

(Times Free Press - May 29, 2012)


Penned goat attacked by pit bull at popular park

CALIFORNIA -- It has been approximately two weeks since Delilah was attacked by an off-leash pit bull inside her pen near the Mulholland entrance of Runyon Canyon.

Awareness of this incident has been important due to the fact that as this was an unprovoked event, this incident could have happened to a hiker, another dog, or child.

This is not the first attack by aggressive dogs on other dogs or hikers at Runyon Canyon this year. The vast majority of Runyon dog owners are responsible. We need your help educating and encouraging those that are not responsible to become more responsible.

With your help in proactively taking efforts to "know your dog" and encouraging others to abide by laws of the park, we hope this event will be the last. If you see a dog owner being irresponsible, please speak up and encourage them to follow the laws posted within the park.

As in the case with Delilah, dog owners will be held responsible for the actions of their pet. It is important that you "know" your pet before bringing it to Runyon Canyon.

If you have a new dog or have just adopted a rescue animal, take time to learn the animal's temperament and establish a verbal command control relationship with the pet before introducing it to Runyon Canyon (and certainly before taking it off-leash).

The opening entrances (all three) to Runyon Canyon are NOT off leash and fines can exceed $180 which cannot be paid by mail (court date is required). If you are not sure which areas are on-leash vs. off-leash, ask other hikers for guidance (however signs are posted).

If your dog is in any way aggressive or vicious, by law (LAMC 53.34) it may not be brought to Runyon Canyon (or any Los Angeles dog park). Additionally under LAMC 53.34, any dog that exhibits aggression in the park must be immediately removed from the park (you cannot continue on your hike).

In the event of a dog bite or injury to a human or another animal, the owner of the offending dog must provide current tag information, name, and phone number to the victim (LAMC 53.29, 53.38). Bite victim's should report the incident and collected information to the central Ranger's station at (323) 644-6661, General Service Police at (213) 978-4670, and Animal Services at (888) 452-7381.

Please note the intent of this notice is to prevent any additional incidents. For Runyon Canyon to remain an off-leash dog park, these incidents cannot continue.

(Facebook - May 29, 2012)

Owner of mauling dog to spend weekends in jail

CANADA -- Gary Joseph Woods was sentenced Monday to 90 days of weekends behind bars because his dog savagely attacked a woman who dropped by his home last year.

Woods, 41, pleaded guilty Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Yarmouth to one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

It took close to 1,000 stitches to close
the rips on her face and throat

He will be on probation for a year while he is not in jail. He also cannot own or possess a dog while he is on probation and must pay a $100 victim fine surcharge.

His aggressive pit bull terrier, named Zeke, mauled Noella McIntosh last March in Yarmouth before a police bullet dropped the relentless animal. Another pit bull named Zena also attacked but was apparently less aggressive.

The March 26, 2011, attack left McIntosh fighting for her life.

The 45-year-old victim required more than 900 stitches to close wounds on her face, neck and upper body, Crown attorney Josie McKinney told the court.

McIntosh also suffered facial disfigurement, significant tissue loss, deep injuries to her left leg and multiple puncture wounds, said McKinney.

The victim, who required a feeding tube after the attack, also needed plastic surgery.

Woods answered “yes” when Justice Kevin Coady asked if he accepted the facts of the case as presented.

McKinney said the savage attack began shortly after McIntosh went to Woods’s door in search of beer.

UPDATED 5:23 a.m. Tuesday

The RCMP responded to a 911 call regarding the attack at about 4:30 p.m.

“RCMP witnessed a pit bull dog attacking the victim,” said McKinney.

Police officers fought with the dog and attempted to get it away from the blood-soaked victim.

The dog showed no signs of relenting and cops dragged it a few metres away from the woman. An officer was then able to place his pistol against the animal’s head and squeeze the trigger.

Paramedics wrapped up the victim for a quick run to Yarmouth Regional Hospital.

In a statement later obtained from McIntosh, she told police she had been drinking that day and eventually ran out of beer.

“She was going to Gary Woods’s place to get (more) beer,” said McKinney.

Woods had permitted McIntosh to enter his residence for beer in the past. She would simply knock and walk in.

“When she opened the door to call out for Gary, the two pit bulls immediately attacked her,” said McKinney.

“Their names were Zeke and Zena. Both dogs had previously shown aggression.”

On the day of the attack, Woods was not at home but had left the dogs in the dwelling. A sign on a door said Knock Before Coming In.

McIntosh was not in court Monday, but during her evidence last October at a preliminary hearing, she said Woods often sold beer and had a bar in his south Main Street residence.

The day of the attack, McIntosh had no money but went to put some beer on her tab.

“If I ran out of money, I was allowed to charge it,” McIntosh told the preliminary inquiry, referring to the $4 beers Woods was selling.

Although Woods did not intend for the dogs to attack, it was reasonable for him to expect McIntosh and others to come to his home when he was not there, McKinney said Monday.

Defence lawyer Matt Fraser said his client is remorseful.

“He’s a changed man.”

The surviving dog was being held in an undisclosed location and court was not told where.

“I think Mr. Woods does know where the animal is,” said McKinney.

The Crown wanted it forfeited to the attorney general.

“What’s the attorney general going to do with it?” asked Coady.

The dog was eventually ordered to be turned over to Woods’s estranged wife, Wendy, who testified Monday she will take the animal in to live with her and her four chihuahuas.

After court, Woods’s lawyer said the attack was tragic.

“My client demonstrated remorse and accepted full responsibility for the events,” said Fraser.

“He wishes it had never happened.”

(Herald News - May 28, 2012)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

36 dead cats found in home of retired teacher, 65

NEW JERSEY -- Emergency personnel responding to a fire alarm at the home of a retired teacher early Sunday instead found a “nightmare” house full of dead cats, according to an SPCA official.

Lorraine R. Smith, 65, the owner of the house at 511 La Reine Ave., faces at least 36 counts of animal cruelty and an estimated $3,600 in fines for the 36 dead cats found in varying stages of decomposition at the house, according to Victor “Buddy” Amato, chief of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

House of horrors

Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard A. Guida said police and fire officials responded about 2 a.m. to a fire alarm at the home but instead found the house filled with the dead animals.

“I suspect the fire alarm possibly was set off because of the odor of decaying cats,” Guida said.

The SPCA, local code enforcement and Monmouth County Health Department officials all responded to the scene.

“We found dead animals on all three floors,” Amato said. “The house will probably need to be condemned.”

Amato said animal control officer Kevin Rooney also assisted in assessing the severity of the problem.

“When I went into the house, it was just a nightmare,” Amato said. “It looked like a lot of the animals were cannibalizing one another.”

Amato said Smith, a retired educator, will go before a Municipal Court judge sometime next month.

“I spoke to the suspect and informed her she was going to be charged,” he said.

Amato said he released Smith on her own recognizance because he believes she is not a flight risk.

He said she moved to Bangs Avenue in Neptune close to a year ago to take care of for her elderly mother and that is most likely when rescuing the animals became overwhelming.

“These are not bad people,” Amato said. “They have good intention, but then they get overwhelmed and begin to get desensitized to what is going on. I think taking care of her mother became a priority over taking care of the animals.”

[Any sympathy for the cats, which suffered horrific deaths? Yeah, it's just a cat carcass. Toss it into a garbage bag. But, would it be possible for Amato to stop defending this woman - FOR JUST A MOMENT - and consider the horrors that these animals suffered?! Oh, but I guess that's too distasteful. Let's instead talk about how she lovingly cared for her dying mother and was 'overwhelmed'.]

Guida said Smith will face code enforcement violation as well as municipal ordinance violations.

Amato said Smith also faces the house remediation expense according to health department guidelines.

(Asbury Press - May 27, 2012)

Owners of starving horses release ownership, drive back to Miami without being charged

FLORIDA -- Out-of-town owners who [did not properly] care for four malnourished horses have signed over their animals to Highlands County.

"I just got back from there," Animal Control Director Darryl Scott said Friday. "They are here at the compound."

After a citizen alerted Highlands Today and animal control last week, an officer began feeding the horses hay and food supplements, Scott said. "These horses have been severely neglected."

"The owners came up today from Miami," Scott said. He and deputy Fred Tagtmier questioned the owners about why the horses were severely malnourished. Their rib and hip bones were clearly showing.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Nell Hays said arrests have not been made at this time, but Tagtmier is conducting "an active criminal investigation."

"The lack of food has been causing them to lose muscle," Scott said. "They're starving. They're in pretty rough shape; not the worst I've seen, but near it. And their feet are in pretty poor condition."

Horse hooves must be trimmed every few months. If not, they strike the ground and chip away, sometimes into the quick.

"We're going to get the farrier out here and get their feet taken care of and worm them next week, so they'll be on the mend," Scott said.

"I'm going to be real careful how I say this: the owners didn't speak really good English, and it was hard to understand them," Scott said.

"They live in two places, and I think in their minds they were doing the best they could. They had a person who was living on the property that left them, and I don't think they realized how bad things had gotten. They had receipts where they had bought hay, and of course we've come out a hard winter, no rain, and they're living on a top of a sand hill. There were four horses and a cow, and that was too much for that little piece of property."

[Stop making excuses for them! You are not their defense attorney. Exactly how does he know they were 'doing the best they could', if they do not 'speak really good English' and it was hard to 'understand them?']

Confusingly though, Scott said the man spoke as if he had a lot of experience with animals. "So how could you let these horses get like this? It didn't make much sense, to tell you the truth. In the end, the lady said, 'I want what's best for my horses,' and they signed them over to us."

(Highland Today - May 27, 2012)


Texas: Family dog shot and killed after Fort Worth police officer responds to the wrong house

TEXAS -- Cindy and Mark Boling are trying to understand why their dog, Lillie, a Border Collie mix they've had for five years is now dead -- shot and killed in their own yard by a Fort Worth police officer.

"He literally has ripped our hearts out", Cindy Boling said.

Saturday afternoon, the couple had just returned home from shopping and was unloading their truck.

The back gate was open and Lillie and the couple’s other dog, Gracie, were in the driveway with them.

The couple says a Fort Worth police officer showed up and was walking toward the house. The dogs went to meet him.

"I started saying yelling my dogs don't bite please don't hurt them. They're going to come down and just greet you and I'll grab them up and put them in the backyard," Boling said.

Mark caught up to Gracie but Lillie ran up on the porch where the officer was standing. They say within seconds the officer pulled out his pistol and shot Lillie in the back.

"My dog was standing there looking like I got a new friend and he turned and shot her in the back", Mark Boling said.

The dog ran to the backyard where she died within minutes.

The officer was at the house by mistake. He was sent to 4917 Norma Street on a copper theft call. But instead, he showed up two blocks away at the Boling's address which is 4717.

Sylvia Benavides is a neighbor of the Bolings and came to the scene after hearing the gunshot.

"I guess the officer that had shot Lillie I heard him say to the other one he said I was at the wrong house. I shot their dog and he said I thought it was a pit bull", Benavides said.

The Bolings say they didn't get an apology and don't expect to get one, but they do want answers so this doesn't happen to someone else.

"My main concern is if he's going to shoot an animal like that how is he going to react then in a real situation with a weapon”, Mark Boling said.

"We did everything in the world always to protect our girls. We never accounted for a man walking up our driveway with a gun and killing out little girl, our little Lillie", Cindy Boling said.

Here's what Officer Daniel Segura with the Forth Worth Police Department had to say about the shooting:

"The officer responded as an assist unit in the investigation of a copper theft offense that occurred in the 4900 Block on Norma st. The assist officer started looking for suspects in the surrounded area from the offense location; he stopped at 4717 Norma where he made contact with an adult male, the officer waited by the driveway when suddenly two dogs started barking at the officer and in an aggressive manner charged towards his direction. The officer ran towards a pillar and asked the male repeatedly to call back the dogs. The officer jumped on top of the pillar and continued pleading the male to call the dogs back. As the dogs were getting closer to attack/bite the officer, the officer fired his duty weapon striking the dog closest to him.
 "No arrests were made in reference to the copper theft call."
[OK, I normally vigorously defend law enforcement. They put their lives on the line for us every single day. However, the description of what transpired, according to the police, is ludicrous. The officer climbed on a pillar 'pleading' for the man to call his dogs back?? Give me a break. Police officers are not trained to plead with people to do things. They are trained to take charge of a situation and scene, not be seen as a weakling who pleads for the suspects/citizens to do something. If he was on top of a pillar, he had plenty of time to grab a baton to wave at the dog to keep it at bay or to grab his taser or pepper spray.

The police should not be adding insult to injury by flat out LYING about what happened at this address.]

(CW33 - May 27, 2012)

Minnesota: Officer keeps paralyzed K9 partner, graduates a second dog

MINNESOTA -- A Roseville police officer is headed back to his K-9 unit, a year-and-a-half after his dog was stabbed and paralyzed in the line of duty.

Officer John Jorgensen and his new dog "Otis" graduated this week from the K-9 training course run by the St. Paul Police Department.

In November of 2010, Jorgensen's German shepherd "Major" was stabbed four times by a burglary suspect he had pursued. Major lost the use of his hind legs and now uses a set of wheels to get around.

Jorgensen says he had always hoped to work with another dog, while acknowledging it's "kind of bittersweet because of the way it ended with Major."

When therapy failed to bring back Major's movement and his status changed to retired, Jorgensen purchased his former partner from the city of Roseville for a dollar.



Jorgensen's wife Heather says putting Major down was never considered. "Oh, no. wasn't an option even. He's part of our family."

Jorgensen and Major testified in favor of legislation elevating to felony level an act that intentionally harms a police dog. The bill was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton last year.


Both Otis and Major now live with the Jorgensens.

"My son thinks every police officer has two police dogs at home. He's spoiled," laughed John Jorgensen. "We're fortunate that Major survived and I think my family is happy I get to work with another police dog too."

(KARE - May 27, 2012)