Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pit bull's owner may face charges

Mailman lost skin on forearm, had several bites on wrist, leg

KENTUCKY -- A prosecutor says he’ll decide next week if charges could be brought against the owner of the pit bull who attacked a mailman Thursday morning.

County Attorney Rick Sparks says he will work with the animal control officer to gather details about the dog and its history before deciding whether to prosecute.

Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Chris Lombardi was attacked by the large, brown pit bull and severely injured on his left forearm and leg at 214 Swigert Ave., Frankfort Police say.

The dog ripped a large area of skin from his forearm and multiple bite marks were found around his wrist and leg, Maj. Fred Deaton said.

“Frankfort Police and animal control confiscated the animal and in the process the dog bit the animal control officer (on his boot), but caused no injury,” Deaton said.

“The report noted a large amount of blood on the gate, sidewalk and paved parking area in front of the home.”

Lombardi was listed in fair to good condition at Frankfort Regional Medical Center this morning, according to hospital administration. He was in surgery Thursday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

“Officers gathered statements at the scene from neighbors who said this is the second time the dog has bit someone, and that happened several years ago,” Deaton added.

Bullasan, the brown pit bull, has lived with its owners for seven years and is around children often, a woman – who would not provide her name, but was in the home – told The State Journal around noon Thursday.

“We’re praying for the mailman,” the woman said while crying.

It is unclear if the woman was the dog’s owner or a family member of the owner, because she would not give her identity. Police have identified the dog’s owner but won’t release it publicly. Polk City Directory listed a telephone number for the residence that is no longer connected.

“Nothing like this has happened before,” the woman said from the front doorway of the residence.

The family had a couple guests over that morning, and the woman said a second gate – which holds the dog in the back yard – was accidentally left open by one of the children.

“He’s a sweet dog; he was just sticking up for his family.”

Lombardi has worked for the Frankfort post office for about two years and was previously a carrier in Florida.

(The State Journal - June 29, 2012)

Gates Police: Officer Justified in Shooting Dog

NEW YORK -- Gates Police said an officer was justified in shooting a loose dog on Crestwood Boulevard this week.

The dog’s owner questions the actions of police and insists his dog was no threat to anyone.

"No, Chino was a big pussy cat," Jerome Johnson said of his three-year-old pit bull / mastiff. "He'll bark, he'll growl at you if you come in my yard but he's never bitten anybody. There is not one person in this neighborhood that can say he's bitten anybody, never."

Gates Police addressed the issue with local media late Friday morning. The encounter happened around 9 a.m. Monday after a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report an aggressive dog loose in the area of Crestwood Blvd. Police claim the neighbor said the dog attempted to attack his dog and once he got inside he made the emergency call.

The encounter was caught on videotape thanks to a body camera attached to the responding officer.

Police would not release that video as it is part of an ongoing prosecution but they did show it to members of the local media and agreed to release one still image that shows the dog just a few feet from the officer who had his gun drawn and was using his patrol vehicle for cover.

"The officer was behind the fender of his police car trying to create some distance between him and the dog and then at the last minute the dog was about three-feet away from being attacked he shot once and struck the dog in the leg," Lt. Jim Vanbrederode of the Gates Police Department said.

Johnson insists his dog was tied to a chain that is anchored on his property. Police say the chain was broken, which explains why the dog was feet from the police officer, who was positioned on the far side of his police vehicle in the middle of the road.

Chino was struck in the leg and Jerome Johnson said he was quoted a $6,000-$8,000 medical bill. He opted instead to have the dog euthanized.

[What kind of vet charges $8,000 to amputate a leg?? There are plenty of 3-legged dogs who get around just fine. And it didn't cost them 8 grand. Sounds like he simply chose to have the dog put down.]

(WHAM - June 29, 2012)

Roommate who kicked Yorkie to death gets jail

OREGON -- Kaylan Aleshire  used a credit card to buy Max, a Yorkshire terrier who became her best friend during their four years together.

The $1,200 she paid was "the best money I ever spent," Aleshire told Clackamas County Circuit Judge Ronald Thom. "I still make monthly payments on the best friend I will never see again."

Kaylan Aleshire (right) and her
mother with Max
The six-pound dog died a violent death last summer when a roommate, Charles Joseph Cliff III,  kicked the dog like a football.

Max died in Aleshire's arms shortly afterward as she and her boyfriend rushed from their Government Camp home to a veterinarian.

Cliff admitted he booted Max. He even demonstrated by kicking a heavy duffel bag, Aleshire said.

"He did a back flip," Cliff told her.

Aleshire called the cops. Cliff, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree animal abuse this week. Judge Thom sentenced him to 30 days in jail, five years on probation and ordered him to complete an anger management program. Cliff also has to reimburse Aleshire for the purchase price of the dog.

Aleshire tearfully recalled the last time she saw her dog alive. "I returned home a little while after Chuck kicked my little Max in the side of his face with deadly force ... snapping his neck and breaking his little back."

She said she later discovered photos and other information showing that Cliff had tormented the dog:  Putting the animal in the refrigerator, blowing marijuana smoke in his face, holding the dog as it dangled over a second-floor balcony and hanging Max on the wall by placing a hook through the dog's sweater.

Cliff said he was surprised to see Aleshire in the courtroom. He apologized.

As Judge Thom spoke, Cliff interrupted him. Judge Thom cut him short.

"Shut up," the judge said. "I don't think you have a clue what you have done here."

Charles Joseph Cliff III
Likewise, when Cliff's attorney offered an explanation -- the dog was aggressive and nipped at Cliff's heels -- Judge Thom would have none of it.

"I wouldn't be going there," he cautioned the lawyer.

Animals bring us joy and they help us, Judge Thom said. In return, we are their guardians.

After Max died, Cliff moved to Pennsylvania. He will return there when he is released next month.

"I have no qualms about him leaving the state," Judge Thom said. "In fact, I wish he would."

(The Oregonian - June 29, 2012)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stray dog rescued from tar pit in Snowflake

ARIZONA -- Workers found a dog stuck inside a tar pit in Snowflake on Tuesday morning.

The men jumped in to rescue the dog, and then took him to a pet-grooming shop in Show Low named Classic Canine.

Employees at the shop say the stray, found with a collar but no tag, had about three inches of tar covering his entire body.

They say it took two days to get enough tar off to shave the dog.

During that time, the 78-year-old shop owner says numerous customers who learned about what happened tried to help by bringing in their own tar removers and remedies.

In all the pulling and tugging on the dog to try to get him clean, employees say he never showed any sign of aggression.

An animal rescue group, Pet Allies, is rehabilitating the dog because he suffered some skin damage. He will go up for adoption soon.

(AZFamily - June 29, 2012)

Woman accused of dragging dog to death

TEXAS -- A woman has been accused of horrendous animal cruelty.

Authorities say 44-year-old Herlinda Trigo tied her dog to her truck bumper and dragged the dog until it died.

A witness told police he yelled at her to stop, but she swore at him and sped up.

When police caught up to Trigo near General McMullen Dr. and Ceralvo Street she admitted that she dumped the dog's body after the rope snapped it's neck.

Trigo was arrested on Wednesday and charged with cruelty and animal torture. She was released after posting bail.

(WOAI - June 29, 2012)

Girl Injured In Dog Attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- A 16-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after she was attacked by a family pet at her home in Co Clare late on Wednesday night.

The teenager sustained multiple injuries to her upper body after she was attacked by a dog at around 10.30pm in Inagh.

The girl suffered bite and puncture wounds to her upper arms in the frenzied attack by the dog believed to have been a husky. It was the second serious attack involving a husky in Clare in just two months.

It's believed that a family member or neighbour tried to beat off the animal in an effort to save the teenager.

An ambulance from Ennis and a rapid response advanced paramedic unit rushed to the scene. The girl was taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. She was transferred to University Hospital Galway early yesterday for further treatment.

(The Clare Herald - June 29, 2012)

Boy mauled by pit bull mix, owner appealing euthanization decision

CONNECTICUT -- The parents of a 10-year-old boy who was viciously attacked by their neighbor’s pit bull mix dog are furious over the dog owner’s decision to appeal the dog’s pending euthanasia.

The boy, Brian Ozenne, was running towards his Bloomfield, Connecticut home on June 17 when the neighbor’s dog (described by police as a pit bull / mastiff mix) named Dutch, ran after the boy, severely injuring him after mauling him for several minutes. The boy suffered bite and puncture wounds to his head, neck, back and buttocks. The dog also severed part of the boy’s ear. He is now recovering with multiple staples in his head.

The boy was rescued by his father, who fought off the dog by punching and kicking it.

The boy’s parents, Yvonne and Brian Ozenne Sr.,  said their son will have to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair the ear he almost lost.

Now the dog’s owners are fighting the decision to put the dog down. The dog’s owners have reportedly retained an attorney to fight the police department's decision.

The victim’s parents believe the dog is dangerous and doesn’t understand why the owners would spend money fighting to have a vicious dog in a neighborhood with children.

Mr. Ozenne told the Hartford Courant, “This dog was on a mission to kill my son. If I thought he was going to still live I’d have killed him.”

‎Mrs. Ozenne said, “I respect animal lovers, but to want to keep a vicious dog that almost killed my son in my front yard…”

The dog owner was ticketed for harboring a nuisance doge and failing to have the dog vaccinated.

(Imperfect Parent - June 29, 2012)

Animal owner fined for mistreating his pets

MAINE -- A 56-year-old Warren man was fined, ordered to pay medical costs and prohibited from having animals after entering a guilty plea Thursday to mistreating his animals.

Judge Patricia Worth ordered Foster Sullivan to pay fines and fees totaling $660 and ordered him to repay the Humane Society of Knox County $790 for care they provided animals taken from his property on March 24.

Sullivan also is prohibited from having any animals in his possession for one year.

Two Husky mix dogs were among the animals removed from his home after Knox County Sheriff Deputy John Hansen received a complaint of animal neglect.

One of the dogs was in very poor condition. He found the dogs, 14 chickens and six ducks with inadequate food and water and otherwise suffering from severe neglect. The water in the dog pen was green and unfit to consume, the deputy reported.

The dog in worst shape, Jake, has recovered and is in foster care. The other dog, Liza, is at a new home and doing well, according to the Humane Society.

(Bangor Daily News - June 28, 2012)


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Family dog mauls 4-year-old Kodak boy

TENNESSEE -- A four-year-old Kodak boy was severely injured Wednesday night when he was mauled by his family's dog.

The attack on Wyatt Wilcoxson was reported around 8:30 p.m. at his family's home, 2753 Kentwood Drive.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office said the family's 11-year-old Rottweiler named "Moose" attacked the boy while he was outside playing with a ball.

The boy's mother and grandfather were with him when the dog attacked and pulled it off him. He was flown to UT Medical Center for treatment.

Wyatt's injuries include: around 20 staples to his head and neck, facial lacerations, part of his right ear was torn off and puncture wounds to his neck and legs. One of his eyelids was torn off, but it was re-attached.

The family told the sheriff's office they had the dog from the time it was six weeks old, and they had never seen it behave aggressively before. They said they didn't know why it attacked Wyatt.

The dog was euthanized Thursday morning, at the family's request.

(WATE - June 28, 2012)

Great Dane that attacked little boy allowed to be given to another family

PENNSYLVANIA -- A 39-year-old woman tearfully apologized Thursday to the mother of a 5-year-old Whitehall Township boy who was mauled by the woman's Great Dane last month.

Rebecca Frey had just pleaded guilty to one count of harboring a dangerous dog and another dog law violation against her was dismissed before District Judge Robert C. Halal.

Rebecca Frey says she sorry, but puts more people
in danger by giving the dog to someone else. She
should have put the dog to sleep. 

"I can't apologize enough," Frey told the boy's mother after the hearing had ended.

Whitehall police said Frey's dog attacked the 5-year-old boy in her Catasauqua Road home in Whitehall on May 20. The boy and his sister were at the home to play with other children there, police said.

Frey told police she was moving her dog, Ivan, into the basement, but the children went into the house before she could, police said.

Police said the boy was playing when the dog grabbed him by the throat. When officers arrived, they found that the boy suffered bites to his neck and throat and he was rushed to the hospital.

The boy's family said his injuries included a punctured eardrum, an injury to his eye and several bite wounds that required almost 50 stitches to close.

The Great Dane was removed from the house and was taken by another family member, police said.

Frey was later charged with two summary dog law violations, one for having a dangerous dog that inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on private property, and one for failure to confine the dog.

When she got to court Thursday, Frey first said she was pleading not guilty to both charges.

She explained to Halal that she was told that if she gave up her dog, she would not be charged.

"I didn't know this was going to be a circus," she said. "I'm taken aback by all this."

But when the summary trial was about to begin, Frey changed her mind.

She was ordered to pay a fine, plus $795 in restitution to cover the boy's medical expenses.

(The Morning Call - June 28, 2012)

Judge Todd Burke says starving an animal to death isn't malicious

NORTH CAROLINA -- In the end, the court proceedings against Angelanetta Gladden — she was charged with felony cruelty to animals — wound up mimicking the death of the dog she was accused of starving to death.

They were slow and painful, gruesome and gut-wrenching. And ultimately, the case came to an unfair and unjust end.

Gladden, 33, walked out of the Forsyth Hall of Justice on Tuesday with a mere misdemeanor conviction, with no jail time and no fine imposed — a slap on the wrist administered by a soft-hearted judge.

Angelanetta Gladden and Judge Todd Burke

"I think you know how the state feels, and obviously the court disagreed," prosecutor Matt Breeding told Judge Todd Burke, who dismissed the felony. "But this goes beyond mere neglect.

"Neglect means you leave a dog outside in a rainstorm while you take a nap or forgetting to change the cat's litter box. … This was systematic starvation and dehydration of a defenseless animal. It was cruel and malicious and deserves an active sentence."

Ruling things out
The case against Gladden began Jan. 10, 2011, when she called Forsyth County Animal Control to report that her dog, Diamond, a black pit bull, had died [and wanted it removed from her property].

Michael Gainey, the sheriff's deputy who responded, found an extremely emaciated animal lying dead inside a dog house with no roof. He took photographs, wrote up a report that included Gladden's statement that neighborhood kids might have been feeding candy and chips to Diamond and gathered up the corpse for a forensic exam.

That process took about 10 days, a fact seized upon by defense attorney Stephanie Goldsborough, who asked Gainey why he didn't charge Gladden immediately. Goldsborough also said her client knew something was wrong with the dog and gave her worming medication but lacked the expertise to know exactly what was wrong.

Gladden was initially cited for misdemeanor cruelty to animals; a grand jury indicted her on the more serious felony in September after Breeding learned about the case.

"I'm not an irrational person," Gainey testified. "If it was this serious, I didn't want to charge her when I didn't fully understand (the cause of death)."

In other words, he wanted to have a veterinarian conduct a necropsy to make sure the dog didn't die of worms, parasites or another disease.

What the vet found — and what was repeated in court — was that Diamond was so severely malnourished and dehydrated that she began to digest the lining of her stomach and bone marrow tissue.

That doesn't happen overnight; the process could take several days, if not weeks.

"I ruled out just about everything I could think of. … In my opinion, the animal died of starvation," testified Dr. Darrell Rector of the N.C. Department of Agriculture.

Soft sentence
While gruesome, the testimony offered was also straightforward. The case turned, in the judge's view, on whether Diamond's death was malicious.

Goldsborough made a motion asking Burke to toss out the felony. "There may be an argument that there was some neglect but not maliciousness," she said.

Breeding countered by reading a legal definition of the felony cruelty to animals charge, which includes the phrase "condition of mind that can prompt a person to inflict or allow seriously bodily harm without excuse or just cause" to describe malice.

"We don't have a device in the defendant's head that can determine the level of hatred, spite or ill will," he said. "Surely at some point she looked out the window and saw the dog starving. The state contends she did nothing, and that's malice."

Burke disagreed. He chucked the felony, said he credited Gladden for calling animal control herself, then started leaning on Gladden to make up her mind about whether to plead guilty to the misdemeanor. He even told her he was not going to send her to jail.

"You've had I don't know how many months to think about this," he said. "You take this plea, or we can proceed to trial (on the misdemeanor)."

After dithering and consulting with supporters in the courtroom, Gladden took the deal. Then Burke sweetened it even more than promised: a suspended sentence with no jail time (Breeding had asked for the maximum 45 days for the misdemeanor), three years of unsupervised probation, and waived fines and court costs. Gladden's lawyer said she didn't have anything to say to this columnist.

Oh, Burke did impose one small thing that could be construed as punishment: Gladden isn't allowed to own another pet until [first] she does 24 hours of volunteer work at the Humane Society.

Too little, too late for a dog named Diamond who died a painful, lonely death in a dilapidated dog house.

(Winston-Salem Journal - June 27, 2012)

Arizona: Shane Walker, 38, and Sarah Dae Walker, 33, plead guilty in Craigslist bestiality case

ARIZONA -- A Pinal County couple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bestiality in a case where Craigslist was used.

Shane Walker, 38, and Sarah Dae Walker, 33, entered the plea in Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Sara Dae Walker and Shane Walker

They were arrested Feb. 27 along with Robert A. Aucker, 29, of Gilbert, after trying to use the website to find a dog for the woman to have sex with, according to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The three allegedly contacted an undercover deputy for the services of a male, golden shepherd canine mix.

Shane Walker was a flight attendant, Sarah Walker a self-employed photographer and Aucker a car salesman, according to a news release.

Sgt. Brandon Jones said the Walkers described themselves as "swingers" who enjoy an "open marriage." Aucker told detectives he and Sarah Walker have had a sexual relationship for the last month and that she shared with him dreams of having sex with a dog.

"People who do this for enjoyment are a different breed, that's for certain," Arpaio said.

Detectives said the three drove to an agreed upon location and even offered the undercover detective and owner of the dog to join in the act.

In 2011, two similar cases involving resulted in convictions, according to the release. Bestiality is illegal inArizona, but not in other states.

"I remain extremely disappointed in the leadership at for refusing to do what they can to stop this," Arpaio said. "While they aren't doing anything to stop it, I will continue to enforce all animal cruelty laws."

(CBS5 - June 27, 2012)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lamont charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals

MONTANA -- Randi Lamont, the owner of horses involved in a possible animal neglect case, has been arrested in Great Falls.

Lamont was taken into custody Monday afternoon, and is charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals.


The case involves five horses at a local stable that were allegedly left without food for long periods of time.

The stable owner tells us the horses began eating the wood on a barn, causing damage to the structure.

Lamont told us last week that she had plans to move the horses to Missoula.

In 2010, Lamont's father, Michael Old Turtle, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty.

The stable owner says the horses will be kept in separate pens for now.

Hay has since been donated by the Montana Horse Sanctuary and the animals are being fed.

(KRTV - June 26, 2012)

Animal control investigates dog attack in Red Deer

CANADA -- An animal control officer is investigating after a toddler was bitten by a dog in Red Deer.

Her wounds are healing, but the child’s parents are concerned that the dog may be free to bite again.

Christina Fitzpatrick of Blackfalds says she and her husband, Devon, and their two young daughters were visiting friends in Red Deer on June 9 when one of the host family’s three dogs bit their two-year-old, Mikenna, in the face.

Everyone was relaxing after dinner at the home and both Devon and Christina had turned away for a moment when they heard Mikenna’s screams, said Fitzpatrick.

They turned around to see blood streaming down Mikenna’s face where the family’s border collie had grabbed her.

The dog let go after Mikenna started to scream, Fitzpatrick said.

“Nobody heard the dog growl or bark at her or anything.”

The dog’s owner declined comment on Wednesday.

(Red Deer Advocate - June 28, 2012)

Girl Mauled by Pit Bull in Oceanside

CALIFORNIA -- An unsupervised 6-year-old girl was mauled by a pit bull inside an Oceanside apartment Tuesday, police said.

The girl and her sister were left unattended around 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at an apartment on Canyon Road when the apartment resident’s pit bull began attacking the girl, according to Oceanside Police authorities.

Lt. Leonard Mata of the Oceanside Police Department said one of the girls went to allegedly hug the dog when it attacked her.

“The sister, when the dog started biting, she ran outside to call for help,” explained Lt. Mata.

The Oceanside apartment belonged to a friend of the girls' father. The two adults reportedly left momentarily to bring in groceries, and returned to find the pit bull attacking the girl.

They pulled the dog off and called paramedics, who provided first aid to the girl while San Diego Humane Officers took custody of the dog.

The girl suffered facial and head injuries and was airlifted to Children's Hospital.

There was also a German shepherd inside the apartment where the girls were left unsupervised. Police said the dogs’ owner was not home when the attack happened.

The Oceanside Police Department's Family Protection Unit is investigating the attack. The father could face criminal charges for allegedly leaving the girls in the apartment with the animals, according to authorities.

"You can't knowingly put your child in a situation that could be dangerous. So there's a misdemeanor and felony section of that,” said Lt. Mata. “Everybody should supervise their children around animals, whether it's a poodle or a pit bull. There should be supervision. They're animals. Things can happen.”

On Wednesday, one neighbor at the Oceana Apartments where this dog attack occurred told NBC 7 San Diego she heard the girl’s screams at the time of the mauling.

“I heard some screaming and crying, but I didn't expect it to be something serious,” recalled neighbor Kayla Garcia.

Meanwhile, another neighbor said the owner of the pit bull should be held accountable for the attack on the young girl.

“Dog owners need to become more responsible and realize the seriousness of what a dog can do,” former mail carrier Teresa Casey told NBC 7 San Diego.

This is the second pit bull attack reported this month in the San Diego area. On June 14, a pit bull in Lemon Grove mauled to death an 8-month-old baby. The pit bull believed to be responsible for that attack was later euthanized.

The owners of the pit bull have not been charged in the attack.

(NBC San Diego - June 27, 2012)

Pit bull attacks two teenagers, Roselle Park police officer that came to their aid

NEW JERSEY -- A pit bull loose on Locust Street attacked two teenagers and a police officer that came to their rescue, sending all three to the hospital, police reported.

Patrolman Alexander Lanza got the call for help and responded from just two blocks away at 8:48 p.m. He said that when he arrived the dog was "viciously biting" a teenage boy from Elizabeth in the middle of Locust Street, near the 7-11 store at West Webster Avenue.

The boy's friends, Roselle Park police said, were "desperately trying to fend off the attacking pit bull" by hitting it with a bicycle. The patrolman sprayed the 85-lb dog with pepper spray and then grabbed it, allowing the teen to escape.

Patrolman Gregory Polakoski pulled up to assist, said police, and as he was getting an animal snare from the trunk of the car, the dog turned on Lanza, biting the officer in the thigh and refusing to let go.

Lanza unholstered his gun to shoot the dog, but he could not do that without endangering a half-dozen children who were in range, Dima said. The collarless dog didn’t let go of Lanza until Polakoski hit it several times with his baton and grabbed it by the nape of its neck.

Polakoski held on, even as the dog lunged several times, while Lanza went to get the snare, police spokesman said. Though ensnared, the dog still fought back and bit Lanza again, this time on the ankle, as he took it to the patrol car.

The pit bull was taken to the Woodbridge Health Department, Division of Animal Control for quarantine.

Polakoski found that two 17-year-olds has been bitten by the dog, the one from Elizabeth and another from Roselle. The teens were taken by ambulance to Overlook Hospital-Union campus for treatment of puncture wounds to their arms and legs, said police, while Lanza was treated at the hospital for wounds to his thigh and ankle.

Detectives are trying to find who owns the dog.

(Suburban News - June 27, 2012)

Officials: Muncie Man Has 9 Pit Bulls Living In Poor Conditions

INDIANA -- A Muncie pit bull owner is under fire from neighbors who say his backyard pit bull breeding operation has created a nuisance for the community.

More than 30 people in the East Central neighborhood have signed a petition raising concerns about John Ewing's home, which is empty, with the exception of the pit bulls.

John Ewing and one of his breeder stock

Ewing will appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals Thursday night at 6:30 in the hopes of legalizing it as a kennel.

"People can't have their windows open at night to sleep," said Mark Nichols, who started the petition. "We hear the dogs all night long."

Animal Care and Control told RTV6's Kara Kenney that Ewing has nine pit bulls and is breeding them for $400 a puppy.

"There's a limit of three dogs you can keep in the city of Muncie, so he is already six over that limit," said Phil Peckinpaugh, director of the Muncie Animal Shelter.

Animal Care and Control has received half a dozen complaints about the animals regarding noise, smell and their living conditions.

Research shows that chained dogs have issues.

"The doghouses they're in are all dilapidated," said Peckinpaugh. "They have fly marks on their ears from fly bites. It's just not a good situation for these dogs."

Peckinpaugh said the city is already grappling with an animal overpopulation problem.

"I don't want any more dogs to come into the shelter, but I do want people to act in the best interest of animals," said Peckinpaugh.

RTV6 set up a 7:30 p.m. appointment with Ewing Wednesday night, but he did not show up or answer his phone.

[A few neighbors stressed that they liked Ewing, but not what he's doing].

"I know the guy; he's a good guy," said Corey Kates, a neighbor. "But a kennel in a neighborhood -- to me, in my opinion -- that's something you do out in the country."

Retiree Wanda Thompson is one of the neighbors opposed to the kennel. She lives half a block away.

“I’m tired of listening to those dogs bark day and night,” she told The Star Press. “It’s not just me. It’s other neighbors who hear it. I’ve lived here for 56 years and I’m not going to be worried with those dogs.”

There is no way these sad-sack looking pits
produce $400 puppies like he says.

Thompson has spoken to Ewing about it. She says he doesn’t even live in the house.

“He’s been working on that house for over a year,” Thompson said. “He’s done an awful lot of work over there. It’s 100 percent improved. But he was supposed to move in before Christmas and he has not moved in there yet. I told him, ‘If you was to move in, then you can hear what I hear.’ I asked him how many dogs he has. He told me, ‘Nine.’ I told him, ‘That’s nine too many. You got no business with that many dogs. Nope. Too many.’

"I know they’re not fighting dogs. I know he takes care of them. I know he walks them and feeds them. And I have nothing against John. He’s a good person and a nice person.”

He says he sells the puppies for $400 each, but can't
be bothered to buy fly ointment for their ears.

If Ewing loses his case Thursday night, Animal Care and Control will likely issue fines, and Ewing will have to appear in court.

Members of the zoning board were unable to speak with RTV6 due to a policy discouraging them from discussing issues before public meetings.

(RTV6 - June 27, 2012)

Tennessee: Patricia Loveday and Boyd James charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty and drug charges

TENNESSEE -- Two residents on Big Creek Road in Grassy Fork were arrested Friday, June 22, and charged with manufacturing marijuana in three patches near their residence, the Cocke County Sheriff's Department reported.

Officers with the sheriff's department and animal control officers also rounded up 12 severely neglected dogs.

Boyd Ragon James, 56, of 4546 Big Creek Road, in Grassy Fork, was arrested on the scene and charged with manufacturing marijuana (a felony) and 12 counts of animal cruelty and neglect.

Also arrested was Patricia Ann Loveday, 28, of the same address. She was charged with manufacturing marijuana (a felony) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The investigation began as part of a large marijuana eradication campaign carried out by the sheriff's department and officers from the Governor's Taskforce for Marijuana Eradication. Officers seized nearly 3,700 marijuana plants valued at nearly $3 million, according to Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.

(Newport Plain Talk - June 26, 2012)

Crews rescue trapped turkeys at inn

NEW JERSEY -- The Fairfield Inn, located off Delsea Drive, usually welcomes drop-in guests.

But when those guests turned out to be six distressed baby turkeys, the inn’s management rallied a rescue that united the talents of three municipal departments.

After about a two-hour operation, the chirpy sextet was plucked from the bottom of a storm drain and safely whisked to the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Inn guest Michael Mata of San Antonio, Texas, was in town for his son’s U.S. Coast Guard graduation. He thought something was amiss on Sunday when a turkey didn’t run off into the woods when his car traveled along Bluebird Lane.

Instead, the turkey remained curbside. Mata was intrigued and even pulled over to snap some pictures of the turkey, accompanied by one small baby, called a poult.

On Monday morning, Mata and his family were taking a stroll down the road through the wooded area behind the inn when they heard a commotion coming from the storm drain. When he peeked in, he saw the huddled mass of furry babes.

Turkeys are frequent visitors to the inn’s grounds, said Kevin Winter, the Fairfield Inn director of sales.

“They look at the guests and the guests look at them,” Winter said, noting the fowl have developed their own fan following and are even listed on a travel website.

But this was the first time, he said, the attraction had gone underground.

Public Works employee Chris Finch arrived to pop the storm drain grate and Animal Control Officer Anthony Cills jumped into the drain to grab four young ones while the two others ran into opposing pipes well beyond reach.

That required Finch to open two more manhole covers to give Cills access to more of the pipe.

They tried tapping on the pipe and even turkey calls from cellphone apps but the duo evaded capture.

Public works supervisor Michael Stevanus brought his turkey calling device to try to lure the poults toward the light of the drain opening.

Using a pitch fork, Finch gently nudged a soaking pile of leaves toward the opening and found a baby in the muck.

The sixth proved to be a feisty fugitive.

Millville Fire Department Engine 30 arrived on scene and gently flushed the poult toward the opening. They started with a booster line and worked up to a 1.5-inch hose to deliver the lone holdout into Finch’s hands.

Cills had hoped to reunited the poults with their mom but she was not visible at the site. So, he said, the SPCA will arrange for them to go to into wildlife rehabilitation.

The babes were about a week old and pretty cute.

If they weren’t illegal to own, Stevanus said he’d be tempted to take them home.

(Daily Journal - June 26, 2012)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3-year-old mauled by dog left in heat; mom threatens lawsuit

TEXAS --A mother is threatening to sue her former employer after she says her 3-year-old daughter nearly lost an eye to a dog that was left chained to a tree in the brutal Texas heat.

"Her cheek fell down," Amanda Anderson said.

Anderson, who works as a nanny, had brought her daughter Tatiana to work with her the day of the attack. She said Tatiana was playing with another child in the backyard, where her employer's uncle was suppose to be keeping a close watch.

[You are the only person tasked with protecting your child. Why would you leave your 3 year-old daughter in the hands of your "employer's uncle"? Do you know if he is responsible? Do you know if he has a record? Do you know if he has been drinking today? Do you know anything about him that would give you a reason to leave your child alone with a grown man??]

But somehow, Anderson said, the family's Labrador-mix was able to tear into the little girl's face.

Tatiana was covered in blood after the attack. Anderson said they had to hold her face together while they rushed her to a doctor.

"There was a pocket of skin missing in corner," Anderson said.

She blames her employer for tying the dog to a tree in the brutal heat. She said that's enough to turn any friendly dog into an aggressive one.

"He may not have been violent before," Anderson said. "Chaining a dog up in the Texas heat... He broke his previous tie downs."

Anderson said she plan to sue her employers over the attack.

According to her employers, Animal Care Services has collected the animal. It is unknown if the dog has been euthanized.

"Apparently there were no warnings of the dog," said Joseph Hoelscher, Anderson's attorney. "In this type of case we are seeking damages for pain and suffering and disfiguring."

Tatiana has since had plastic surgeries and stitches, but the scars still remain.

"I'm just thankful she got to keep her eye," Anderson said.

(KENS 5 - June 26, 2012)

Deputies: Pit bull owner charged after his dog mauls and kills pet

‎LOUISIANA -- A 27-year-old man faces charges after his pit bull allegedly attacked and killed a neighbor's dog Saturday afternoon.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office said Jean Paul Bourgeois of Charenton was charged with animal running at large.

He was arrested and issued a summons to appear in court in September.

Deputies said the neighbor told them she was walking with her dog on Pan Am Lane when the incident happened.

She reported the pit bull ran toward them and attacked her dog, killing it.

St. Mary Parish Animal Control picked up Bourgeois' dog.

(WBXH - June 25, 2012)

Pit bull kills Chihauahua in Austin

TEXAS -- The Austin Police Department has been busy taking reports involving dogs the past couple days.

Including the case of the pit bull which killed a Chihuahua at Austin's dog park Sunday, police have responded to four incidents involving dogs this week.

At about 8 p.m. Sunday a pit bull confronted two people and trapped them on the front stoop of a house in southeast Austin, according to the police report. The 30-year-old man who owns the pit bull will be served a potentially dangerous dog notice from the incident, said Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger.

If a dog gets more than one potentially dangerous dog notice, it then gets bumped up to a dangerous dog, Krueger said.

"It pretty much acts as a warning," Krueger said, of the potentially dangerous dog notice.

Officers responded to the 1800 block of Second Avenue Southwest just before 11:30 a.m. Monday for a dog fight between a boxer and a golden retriever. According to the report, the 52-year-old woman and owner of the golden retriever was walking the dog in front of a house, when a young child opened the door of the house, letting the boxer out.

The boxer [attacked] the golden retriever, which was crossing the driveway of the house at the time, [and began mauling the Retriever]. The owner of the golden retriever was able to [rescue her dog] and she received minor scratches on her arm as a result. The boxer had a few abrasions on its front legs, according to the report. No citations were issued, Krueger said.

Monday evening at about 6:30 p.m., a 51-year-old woman was walking her dog in the 2000 block of First Avenue Northeast and crossed paths with a couple walking their Rottweiler. Both dogs were leashed. According to the report, the Rottweiler charged the woman's little dog and grabbed it. The woman intervened, separated the dogs and then got tangled up in the leashes.

The owner of the Rottweiler, Eric Uher, 27, said his dog did not grab the smaller dog, it just pinned it to the ground, according to the report. The man said his Rottweiler was just trying to play with the smaller dog. Uher was served with a potentially dangerous dog notice, Krueger said.

(Austin Post-Bulletin - June 26, 2012)

Attorney Newell Hired by Bucks Pit Bull Attack Victim

PENNSYLVANIA -- On June 25, 2012, Attorney Thomas J. Newell was hired to represent a 13 year-old Bucks County PA pit bull attack victim.

The teenager was an invited guest at a neighbor’s home when their male pit bull viciously attacked him.

The pit bull only released its grip of the boy’s leg after it was kicked in the head.

The Bucks County dog bite victim was treated at Doylestown Hospital for dog bite wounds to both hands and right leg. He received a total of 9 stitches.

The Bucks County PA dog warden, Verna North, is investigating this vicious unprovoked attack.

(Newell Law - June 25, 2012)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dog 'ripped to pieces' in Nottingham park

‎UNITED KINGDOM -- A woman has told how she saw her dog "ripped to pieces".

Beverley Beard was distraught after 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier [named] 'Boston' was mauled to death in Southglade Park, Top Valley.

Beverley Beard with her three Yorkshire terriers
Misty, Sasha and Benji. A fourth, Boston, was put down
after being savaged by a Staffordshire bull terrier.

She said a dog warden told her it was unlikely a prosecution would be brought against the owner of the other dog because it had not attacked a human.

Notts Police say they will investigate the case.

Ms Beard, of Ridgeway Walk, Top Valley, was walking 'Boston' in the park when the bull terrier, which was not on a lead, attacked.

"It grabbed him by the back and wouldn't let go," said Ms Beard, 47. "The owners tried once to stop him. People were shouting at him. When it let go, they just walked off with the dog. They didn't ask how I was or how he was.

"He was literally ripped to pieces. I took him to the vet and two people who helped me were basically holding him together."

Ms Beard said that Boston was "barely alive" when she took him to the Vets 4 Pets centre in Bulwell and he had to be put down.

"It is so upsetting and traumatic," said Ms Beard, who has four other dogs. "I am on medication at the moment. These are not just dogs, these are my babies. They are part of my family.

"I have got a lot of friends who walk their dogs on that field and we shouldn't be at risk.  They are dangerous dogs and a little Yorkshire terrier is no match."

The Staffordshire bull terrier was put down after the attack on May 26, but Ms Beard said she also wanted to see the owner prosecuted.

"They are dangerous dogs and I think that owners need to pay for what their dogs have done.

"I was told by the dog warden that it was unusual to see dog owners prosecuted for this type of offence. They said in their experience it was unlikely any action would be taken."

She added: "People should be safe to walk their dogs and there are so many young lads with these dangerous dogs."

Police told the Post they were investigating.

A spokesman said: "We assess every case on its merits. If we can identify the owners of the animals involved, we will speak to them and make a decision, in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, to determine whether it is appropriate to bring a prosecution."

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, it is an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.

A dog is deemed to be dangerously out of control if it injures a person or behaves in a way that makes a person fear they could be injured.

It is also an offence if the dog injures another animal, or causes someone to fear for the safety of their pet.

Anyone found guilty of an offence under the act might face prison or a fine, and the courts could disqualify them from owning a dog.

In addition, the ownership of certain types of dog is prohibited. The four banned types are the pit bull terrier, the Japanese tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.

(This is Nottingham - June 25, 2012)

8-year-old attacked by dog in York

SOUTH CAROLINA --An 8-year-old boy is expected to be OK after being attacked by a dog on Friday.

According the York Police Department, a boy suffered several bites and scratches to his arms, legs, chest and back while playing with a Chow dog on Friday.
A woman inside a nearby laundry mat across the street told police she saw the boy and the dog playing, but then saw the dog jump on the boy and heard him scream, according to a York police report. She began throwing rocks at the dog. A neighbor across the road struck the dog with a bat to get it off the boy.

Read more here:
They were able to help the child escape, according to the police report. The victim was taken to Piedmont Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries.
York Police Chief Andy Robinson said the boy, a neighbor to the dog's owner, was known to play with the dog regularly

Read more here:
This is the second dog attack in the York County area in the last two months.
In May, 11-year-old Kenny Allen was mauled by a pit bull when he went to his neighbor's house to borrow a kitchen utensil.
The Chow dog was taken from the owner and placed in the custody of the York County Animal Control. It is scheduled to be euthanized today.

Read more here:

Mount Vernon mayor defends police decision to shoot pit bull

‎NEW YORK -- The mayor defended police officers’ decision to shoot dead a pit bull that had attacked a would-be Good Samaritan who mistakenly thought the dog was attacking a 12-year-old boy.

“If the police did not shoot the dog, the victim would have suffered even more severe injury,” Mayor Ernest Davis said. “Witnesses reported that the dog was savagely working his way up the victim’s arm.”

Police also said this afternoon that they believe they’ve previously had contact with the dog and its owner, Jamal McDowell, who has apparently been issued various violations of city ordinances in relation to animal control.

The would-be good Samaritan, Jason McCrae, 29, was badly bitten on the arm and was taken to Jacobi Hospital Hospital in the Bronx, officials said.

Police shot dead the 5-year-old dog named "Mike". The dog was the 12-year-old’s family pet and was jumping on the boy to play when the incident began, the boy’s uncle, Lance McDowell, said.

The attack happened about 12:30 p.m. today on the 300 block of Union Avenue, which is around the corner from the boy’s home.

Neighbors said they heard screaming during the attack and were unable to stop the dog from attacking McCrae.

When police arrived, the dog refused to follow commands to release the victim and “was shot three times before the victim was released from its grip,” according to a release from Davis’ office.

McDowell, who did not see the attack, said the owner tried to stop Mike. He said Mike was not vicious, he was playful. He said Mike was trying to protect his owner and was acting territorial.
“It was all a misunderstanding,” McDowell said of the attack.

McDowell said he understood why police shot Mike, but said they could have used a tranquilizer.
He believed the boy and his father would be “destroyed” that Mike was killed. The boy’s brother, Malcom Easley, 19, agreed with McDowell.

“He’s going to be upset for a while,” Easley said.

Easley said the dog was part of the family. He said Mike would run loose and play with other children on the block without problems

(The Journal News - June 25, 2012)

Pit bull put down

‎NORTH CAROLINA -- A pit bull that bit two women on Farmville Boulevard June 12 was put to sleep by the city on Monday.

The dog escaped Anthony Columbus and attacked Warnell Dancy and Shermika Nicholson while it was running at large in violation of the city law, police reported.

Both women were treated for injuries at Vidant Medical Center.

Columbus was cited on June 12 for a leash law violation. Columbus was keeping the dog for Victoria Moore of New Bern, the animal’s owner. The dog had been banned from New Bern because of an attack there.

Based on the actions of the dog and the injuries it inflicted, Greenville authorities immediately declared it to be vicious and seized it, police department spokesman Joe Friday said in a news release.

An administrative hearing was to be scheduled to determine whether vicious designation would be sustained. Before the hearing could be scheduled, Moore, elected sign the dog over to the city.

Without a hearing request by the owner, the dog could be euthanized after a quarantine period of 10 days, police said.

Greenville Animal Control authorized the action, carried out by the Pitt County Animal Shelter about 12:30 p.m.

(Greenville Daily Reflector - June 25, 2012)

Family says toddler mauled by dog

CANADA -- A woman, who says her niece suffered serious facial injuries after the two-year-old was mauled by a dog, is angry that the animal in question was not euthanized despite a previous reported biting incident.

"This shouldn't have happened," Angela Michaud said through tears, as she looked over at Nova Finora, her head covered in heavy bandages.

"That little girl could have been killed."

Michaud says her boyfriend Tyler Pinkerton and his niece sustained multiple puncture wounds Thursday after they were attacked by a dog in the backyard of home on Ryerson Cr.

She said Nova, who turns two next week, suffered numerous bites to her head. She underwent surgery on Saturday.

Tyler required dozens of stitches to close gashes to his face and arms.

Michaud said the family has since discovered the same dog was the focus of a bite complaint last month.

"Something should have been done before," she said.

Janelle Nystrom reported in May that she had been bitten by the dog. She described the animal as a pit bull or pit bull mix, which are prohibited in Ontario under the controversial pit bull ban.

An amendment to the Dog Owner's Liability Act in 2005 made it illegal to own dogs such as Staffordshire bull terriers or "dogs that have an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs."

Jay Desroches, general manager of the Niagara Falls Humane Society, said the owner has provided documentation that the dog is an American bull dog which exempts it from the prohibition.

According to a report by the Niagara Regional Police, a man was holding the toddler in the backyard of the dog owner's home when he tripped and fell to the ground.

"After he tripped and fell, the dog attacked," said NRP Sgt. Mike Woods.

Police said no criminal charges will be laid in connection with the incident.

The dog's owner, Tammy Chappell, insists her dog named Isabella did not bite the child. She said the child scraped her head on playground equipment.

She described her dog as "loving and playful" and a member of her family.

The dog was seized by the humane society the night of the incident and retrieved by the owner the following day.

"We had no recourse to legally hold the dog," Desroches said.

The City of Niagara Falls, not the local animal shelter, is responsible investigating dog bite complaints.  Franco Piscitelli, manager of enforcement operations at the city, said a formal complaint had not been filed as of Monday morning.

Bylaw enforcement officers investigate dog bite complaints and it is up to the regional prosecutor to determine if any charges will be laid.

If charges are laid, a hearing is held and a Justice of the Peace decides if there should be controls put on the dog such as requiring the animal to be muzzled. The Justice of the Peace can also order the dog be destroyed.

The humane society returned to the property on Saturday and seized the dog on an unrelated matter.

It will remain under quarantine at the shelter until Sunday.

"The dog still belongs to the owner," Desroches explained.

"It will be held here for the duration of the quarantine period and then a decision will have to be made whether the dog will go back home or gets surrendered to us," he said.

(Niagara Falls Review - June 25, 2012)

Teen needed 101 stitches after New Addington dog attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- A teenage boy was hospitalised for three days and needed 101 stitches after a vicious dog dragged him to the ground and bit chunks out of his legs.

C-Jay Hall, 13, from Thursley Crescent in New Addington, was playing on the skate ramps outside the Timebridge Centre last Thursday with a friend when a girl came into the park with a puppy and full grown dog, thought to be a pit bull.

Before the owner could call him away he started to attack C-Jay, who tried to fight him off with his scooter.

"I was so scared – the pain was shocking," he said. "My only thoughts were trying to get the dog off. I kept trying and trying but he wouldn't leave me alone."

His mother, Rebecca Carey, said: "The dog just bit on his thigh and wouldn't let go. He and his friend were trying to push him off and then the owner grabbed the dog and told C-Jay to run.

"He ran out of the park but the dog kept catching up with him, he bit him again and again and dragged him to the ground twice.

"He had to run across the road and almost got run over but again the dog got there first. It wrestled him to the ground and was just biting and biting. He even bit into his calf muscle."

C-Jay feared he would never escape the fearsome attack when he heard a resident call him from across the road. They had seen the furore and told him to run into their house. As he did so the dog continued to chase after him and had to be kicked back out of the door by the resident.

An ambulance and police were called, as was C-Jay's mum.

"He was in hospital for three days and had to have a four-hour operation to fix the puncture wounds," said Ms Carey. "He had 101 stitches and was on morphine the whole time he was in hospital because he was in so much pain. When I got home I looked at the tracksuit and there were chunks of C-Jay's flesh stuck to the rips in the material."

C-Jay is now off school and has told his mother he is too scared to go out and play with his friends. Speaking of the dog he told the Advertiser: "I want it put down."

The animal is now understood to be in custody but police had not commented on the incident at the time of going to press.

(This is Croydon - June 23, 2012)

Mum calls for dog that savaged daughter, 11, to be destroyed

UNITED KINGDOM -- An 11-year-old girl had to have surgery following an attack by a dog in Newport.

Now mother Claire Marshall wants the dog she claims attacked her daughter Courtney Nurden destroyed.

Courtney was bitten when she was in a friend’s garden in Duffryn on June 18, according to Ms Marshall, 37.

Ms Marshall said Courtney was sitting on a bench when her friend went into the house to get food.

“The dog came up to her and launched at her face,” she said. “She hit the ground and screamed.”

Courtney’s friend grappled with the dog, said by Ms Marshall to be a Rottweiler, and kicked him away.  She ran straight to her home in Kestrel Way, Duffryn, where an ambulance was called.

The attack left her with puncture wounds and cuts to her face, Courtney’s mother said.

A paramedic called for the police, but Ms Marshall said police told her that there was no way they could put the dog down because the incident happened on private property.

At the Royal Gwent Hospital Courtney’s wounds were cleaned with iodine, Ms Marshall said, and a specialist doctor stitched up the wound.  She was sent home, but an infection developed and Courtney was re-admitted to hospital last Wednesday.

Ms Marshall said her daughter underwent surgery late on Friday night to open the wound and clean it out. She claimed her daughter had lost feeling in the top of her jaw as a result of the bite.

Courtney’s mum told the Argus she wanted the dog destroyed: “If a person harms another person they go to prison for it.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service control room said an ambulance took an 11-year-old, who was bitten by a dog, from Kestrel Way to the Royal Gwent Hospital at around 4.50pm on June 18.

Gwent police were unable to confirm to the Argus whether they had received a report of the incident.

The Argus also tried to contact the alleged owners of the dog without success.

(South Wales Argus - June 25, 2012)

Dogs off leash a danger

AUSTRALIA -- Concern over leash-free areas is growing as figures collated by Melbourne's councils show the number of attacks on dogs eclipsed the number of those against people.

In Moreland there were 57 incidents reported in which a dog attacked another animal compared with 28 against people in 2010-11.

Two of Jennifer Fraser's dogs have been attacked while she's been walking them.

 "You can feel a bit powerless in that situation but I don't like to show fear," the Mornington resident said.

 The first incident happened six months as ago at Dunns Rd Reserve, when an alaskan malamute "took a chunk" out of Ms Fraser's chihuahua, Ruby.

"The vet said she was very lucky."

This month, at the same leash-free reserve, Ms Fraser's fox terrier, Puck, was attacked when he growled at an approaching staffordshire terrier.

"The staffy latched on and they had a massive fight," Ms Fraser said.

But she said that both dogs were at fault and she picked her dog up.

Severe recent examples include a german shepherd which jumped the neighbour's fence and killed a small dog in the Yarra Ranges, while a boxer-like dog attacked and killed a maltese/shi tzu at Dunns Rd Reserve.

(White Horse Leader - June 25, 2012)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Firefighters rescue family and pets from burning home

TEXAS -- Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue firefighters rescued the residents and their pets from a burning Brownsville home Tuesday morning.

Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam determined the fire began in an unattended pan of grease in the home's basement.

The fire destroyed the home, and the Red Cross is assisting the home's residents.

(Kitsap Sun - June 19, 2012)

Bethlehem PA Home Depot shows heart

PENNSYLVANIA -- I summarized this letter to the editor from a Moore Township woman in my column Thursday, but I also promised to run the whole thing here on the blog.

I can give you a little backstory as well. Lisa Hochline’s Weimaraner, Boomer, died unexpectedly at the same time she was dealing with a serious injury suffered by her younger dog, which had collided with a tree, resulting in some paralysis of his back legs. That double tragedy made the kindness you’ll read about that much more welcome.

Here’s her letter. As I wrote in the column, it was too long to run as a letter to the editor.

Thursday evening I found myself unexpectedly having to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to my dog & loving companion of 11 yrs. His body was placed in my car that evening & remained there until I got help the next morning.

I called the Home Depot the next morning to ask if they could cut plywood since I wanted to bury him in a box. When I got to the lumber dept. the man I had asked on the phone was the one that helped me.

When he finished cutting the pieces, I asked him to explain to me how to put it together. As he was explaining, the tears started streaming and the purpose for the box came flowing. He asked me to wait a minute and before I knew it he had summoned a helper and they proceeded to start putting the box together for me.

As I watched and graciously thanked them in amazement for their kindness, I felt compelled to share my story somehow. I asked if they were going to get in trouble for taking the time to build the box to which they replied, “We OK'd it with the assistant manager.”

They loaded the box on the cart, and I proceeded to the checkout counter with tears still welled up in my eyes and as I was about to pay, the same man came running up to the cashier and flagged her to stop.

As he stood in front of me, in my confusion as to what was going on, he just smiled with a tear in his eye and said, “Take it home, there is no charge.”

As I left the store, loaded the box and drove home I could not help but think about all the bad things we read & hear about in the news & on TV every day, and how the small acts of kindness so often go unnoticed or even known. I had NO Idea how I was going to manage building the box because I had no tools and a bad shoulder - both of which this man was not aware of.

To these men I say “Thank You” for your acts of kindness.

Blessings to David Nolf, Kevin Rego (his assistant) & Jason (asst. mgr.) at the BETHLEHEM HOME DEPOT.

Lisa Hochrine & Boomer

(Blogging with Bill White - June 20, 2012)

Dog stuck in quarry found kindness, comfort in last days

PENNSYLVANIA -- The Morning Call wrote about an old dog rescued in April from a quarry at Keystone Cement in Bath. Company employees used a human stretcher to get the weak, dehydrated dog out of the area where he was stuck in the rocks.

Liz Jones of the animal welfare group The Sanctuary at Haafsville agreed to take the dog to Quakertown Veterinary Clinic. Professionals there shaved his heavily matted coat, cleaned his wounds, scrubbed the maggots out of his skin and gave him IV fluids.

They called him C. Ment, because of where he was found.

That was the end of the newspaper story. Here's what has happened since then.

Jones contacted Virginia Reiss of Haycock Township, who has taken in other foster dogs, and she agreed to take him. She and companion Fred Calabrette renamed him Bogey — for Humphrey Bogart — and helped him slowly get some of his strength back.

"This was a really, really old dog," Reiss told me. "When I got him from the veterinary clinic, you literally had to have him walk with a towel under him. He couldn't walk on his own." In the weeks that followed, he gained some weight and strength and his hair started growing back.

They found that he was housebroken, comfortable with cats and obviously had been someone's house pet. They'll probably never know if his owners dumped him at the quarry, discarded him elsewhere or just lost him, but no one came to claim him. The bottom line is that he was old and alone.

The dog, which had the configuration but not quite the size of an Irish wolfhound, took over the center hall of their home, where they set up a rug, quilt and other bedding to keep him comfortable. Once they figured out that he couldn't walk far, they left the front door open so he could go in and out on his own.

"He basically lived to eat and sleep," Reiss said.

Last Sunday night, Bogey had his dinner, settled on his bed and ate his nightly treat.

Fifteen minutes later, they discovered he [had passed away]. Jones suspected all his systems had been weakened by his age and his ordeal.

The nice part of the story is the way so many people — Jones, Reiss and Calabrette, Keystone Cement, the veterinary clinic, all the people and organizations who contributed to pay the bills for his initial treatment and subsequent surgical, teeth-cleaning and other procedures — came together to save this dog and ensure that his final days were spent in comfort.

Reiss said, "At least he knew, in however many months we had him, he had a family and we loved him."

The Sanctuary created a nice video about him , which also has information about the organization. I'm in awe of the work that many of the area's animal welfare groups do to find homes and better lives for stray dogs and cats.

If you want to support the work of the Sanctuary, which is in Upper Macungie Township, consider visiting its Furry Fest 10-4 Saturday at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Fogelsville near Routes 100 and 78. There will be rescue organizations with dogs and cats needing homes, vendors selling animal products, entertainment, food, games and what Jones calls an Un-Run in which you can sponsor someone who will not run up to 50 miles.

Yes, there are people who abandon their four-legged friends when they get too old or just too inconvenient, and it makes me sick. But there also are people who open their homes, their hearts, their wallets, their very lives to answer that cruelty with kindness. If you can help any of them, please do so.

(The Morning Call - June 20, 2012)