Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taunton dog euthanized after fatal attack on terrier

MASSACHUSETTS -- The owner of a dog that attacked and killed a much smaller dog Tuesday morning has decided to have her pet euthanized.

Police say the woman opted to have her dog put down following the incident.

The dog, who has already been killed, was described Taunton Animal Control Officer Manny Massa as a Shepherd mix.

Massa said the woman explained that she and her dog were walking together up basement steps at around 11 a.m., when the dog became excited and jumped a fence enclosing the backyard at 93 Hart St.

The animal attacked a Yorkshire Terrier, biting its neck and shaking it, police said.

The Yorkie was taken to Wessels Animal Hospital on Summer Street where it was pronounced dead, Massa said.

He was not able to confirm whether the larger dog had been euthanized at Wessels, which was closed on Wednesday.

The tiny terrier was attacked while being walked on a leash by its owner’s daughter, Massa said.

Massa said he spoke to the respective owners, both of whom he said were visibly upset.

“I don’t wish this upon anybody. It’s just a sad thing,” he said.

Massa said the Shepherd mix was a female. He did not know the Yorkie’s gender.

(Taunton Daily Gazette - Oct 31, 2012)

Man loses testicle in bulldog attack

CANADA -- A man has lost a testicle after being bitten by his girlfriend’s pet bulldog.

The 52-year-old man was attacked by the 70-kilogram (appx 150-lbs) American Bulldog, Bully, in the Avenue Rd. and Davenport Rd. area on Tuesday.

Toronto police Det. Murray Barnes said the man was feeding the dog treats when the 3-year-old bulldog attacked his face, neck and groin.

“The animal had to be beaten off him with a mop,” said Barnes, “and it was eventually secured in a bedroom by the owner.”

Paramedics were called and the man was treated for his injuries. He is well on his way to recovery, police said.

The dog was removed from the home and placed under quarantine for 10 days and an investigation is underway.

Toronto Public Health will gather details about the incident and the animal to determine if the animal is rabid.

When there are issues related to animal neglect and abuse, enforcement officials can take custody of the animal and a court order to permanently remove the dog from its owners could be filed.

(Toronto Star - October 31, 2012)

Residents on alert, 'dangerous dog' loose in Orange City

FLORIDA -- A dangerous dog is on the loose in Orange City on the same night kids will hit the streets to go trick-or-treating.

The dog is one of three blamed for viciously mauling several animals.

Two of the dogs were caught, but the third one is still out there.

Now, those two pit bulls may seem harmless, caged in an animal shelter, but Orange City police say the dogs were part of a trio that killed five of Patricia Brock's goats.

One of the goats was just a few weeks old.

“They're not hungry, this is sport. This is a spree killing," described Brock.

A neighbor, Harold Sauer, witnessed the attack.

"And all of a sudden a little baby goat come out. And the three dogs spotted it and immediately started attacking it," said Sauer.

A neighbor's surveillance video captured on camera the same three dogs killing a cat.

Orange City lawmakers ordered animal control to capture the dogs responsible.

Two were captured Sunday and labeled aggressive.

Because of that classification, authorities say both will be put down.

"Oh, there's still one out there. It's Halloween," said Sauer.

Police plan more patrols to prevent that dog from attacking innocent trick-or-treaters.

Brock has her own plan to protect her remaining goats.

"I go out with a shotgun when I let my dogs out in the backyard. I don't know where they may be hiding. They're stealthy, they're sneaky and they will attack," said Brock.

Homeowners said those same three dogs attacked a horse and a donkey in the neighborhood as well.

(Central Florida News 13 - Oct 31, 2012)

Pit Bull Bites Off Ear of Teen Owner Defending Pet from Attack

AUSTRALIA -- A 19-year-old man was walking his dog on Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 p.m., when his pet was suddenly attacked by two loose Pit Bull Terriers in the Bankstown area of southwestern Sydney, according to

The teenager tried to rescue his pet from the dogs, but the Pit Bulls then started mauling his legs so savagely that he fell to the ground. As he did, the Pit Bulls turned their attention to biting him on the head and one bit off his left ear, witnesses at the nearby bus stop reported.

Residents of the area on Lehn Road in East Hills heard his screams and rushed to help the young man.

They finally managed to scare the dogs away. Paramedics responded to the emergency call and took the victim to Liverpool Hospital, where he is reported in stable condition.

The victim’s ear was found nearby and surgeons attempted to reattach it, according to officials at the hospital. The young man is also being treated for severe bites to his left leg, a spokesman for Ambulance Service of NSW said.

The Pit Bulls were captured after the attack, around 3.20 p.m. The owner was identified and is cooperating with police.

The owner said the dogs had escaped from his yard without his knowledge and they are American Staffordshire Terriers. Inspector David Firth, from Bankstown police told ABC702 News this morning, that it is his understanding that the dogs jumped or climbed over metal fencing.

"He has owned them both since they were puppies and…there was not any history of them attacking anyone in the past," Firth stated. He also advised that the breed is not on the restricted dog list and the dogs had not been declared dangerous.

Residents in Lehn Road said they often saw the owner of the AmStaffs walking the dogs on leads.

(Opposing Views - Oct 31, 2012)

No charges for owner of escaped pit bull shot in New Port Richey

FLORIDA -- No charges will be filed against the owner of a pit bull that was shot and killed by police after the dog escaped from its home and lunged at an officer, New Port Richey police said Tuesday.

Officer Greg Williams had no choice but to shoot Sky, the 85-pound female pit bull that charged at him Monday near its home at 5324 Luna Vista Drive, police Chief James Steffens said.

"It's an unfortunate thing, but he did what he had to do," Steffens said.

Williams said he met with Sky's owner, 33-year-old Sarah Wagner, who was emotional over the loss of her dog but also understood the officer's decision to open fire. Wagner could not be reached for comment.

Because no one was injured and Wagner showed remorse, she will not face charges, Williams said.

The fate of Wagner's other pit bull, which was also involved in the incident Monday, remains to be seen.

On Monday, just before noon, the city's new volunteer Animal Protection Unit received a call from a man who said two pit bulls had tried to attack him. The man said he managed to fight off the dogs with a trash can and escaped.

Williams and the city's volunteer animal control officer, Jeff McReynolds, went to the area and found Sky and Wagner's other pit bull standing over the body of a cat that also lived with the dogs. Police believe one or both dogs mauled the cat and dragged it into a field near the home.

The dogs took off when the officers arrived. Williams and McReynolds found the pit bulls a short time later, and McReynolds tried to restrain one dog with a control stick. The other dog, Sky, charged toward Williams, who shot the dog in the head.

"I feel bad. I'm a dog lover," Williams said. "When you go out to something like this, it's not the outcome you want or expect."

The other dog took off. It's still unclear how the pit bulls got out of their home, but Williams believes one of the dogs may have jumped on a push-down handle on the front door, which was open when officers arrived.

Several hours after the shooting, Wagner called Williams and said her other dog had returned. Williams said the owner is deciding whether to surrender the dog to police.

Police cannot seize the dog because neither officer saw which dog killed the cat or attacked the pedestrian, Williams said. But if Wagner decides to keep the dog, animal protection will make sure the dog is licensed, has tags and is properly vaccinated, he said.

( 30, 2012)

'Dog-fighting' remark angers defendant

INDIANA -- Jurors for the first time heard from Rahsaan Johnson on Wednesday, and it wasn’t from the witness stand.

The 37-year-old Muncie man — standing trial this week on 26 charges stemming from a March raid at a northeastside mobile home where authorities allege he had set up a dog-fighting training facility — took exception to a comment made by a prosecution witness.

Phil Peckinpaugh, superintendent of the Muncie Animal Shelter, was being questioned by defense attorney Mike Quirk about his decision to have 11 of the 25 pit bulls seized from Johnson’s property euthanized.

Peckinpaugh noted those dogs’ aggression toward other animals, and the difficulty in finding new homes for canines removed “from a dog-fighting ring.”

“A dog-fighting ring!” Johnson shouted from the defense table. “Where’s the dog-fighting ring?”

Quirk told jurors in his opening remarks Monday there was no evidence “whatsoever” that his client was a participant in dog fighting. He maintained Johnson instead enjoyed entering his canines in weight-pulling competitions.

Witnesses called to the stand this week by Deputy Prosecutor Joe Orick, including three veterinarians, have discussed finding bite wounds and scars — in some cases, several of each — on 17 of Johnson’s dogs.

Peckinpaugh said Wednesday the dogs were “in very bad shape” at the time of the March 29 raid.
The animals — held in crates or cages, or on chains — had no access to food or water when authorities arrived, he said.

He also said the pit bulls were “very fearful.”

“They were very dog-aggressive,” he added. “It was sad.”

Quirk objected to Peckinpaugh’s use of the word “sad.”

The animal shelter superintendent said the heavy chains used to restrain dogs kept in the property’s backyard were “the type you would use to tow a car, or to tow a boat.”

“It seemed excessive,” he added.

That prompted Quirk to produce a photo that appeared on the front page of The Star Press the day after the raid, showing one of the chained pit bulls leaping high in the air.

Peckinpaugh acknowledged the chain hadn’t kept the canine — identified in court as Dog Nine, since euthanized — from jumping, but maintained it was “not what I would put on my dog.”

That remark prompted Johnson to shake his head and look at the courtroom ceiling.

His later angry retort to Peckinpaugh’s testimony came a week after Johnson briefly disrupted a pre-trial hearing as Peckinpaugh testified, telling the witness, “You’re lying!”

While on the stand Wednesday, Peckinpaugh discussed temperament tests administered to the 25 seized dogs, a factor in his decision to euthanize some of the canines.

“(Some) dogs started showing severe signs of dog-aggressive behavior,” he said, describing an incident that saw one of the pit bulls escape from its pen at the animal shelter and kill a smaller dog.

“I run a municipal shelter,” Peckinpaugh said. “We do euthanize. It’s very emotional. It’s very sad when it happens. ... I never take the decision lightly.”

Johnson might get an opportunity to tell his side of the story today. Orick is expected to complete the state’s case this morning, and Quirk has indicated he intends to call his client to the stand.

Delaware Circuit Court 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees told jurors they would likely be given the case for deliberations on Friday, presumably after hearing final arguments from the attorneys.

(Star Press - Oct 31, 2012)

Police call Camarillo dog set on fire 'horrible, horrible crime'

CALIFORNIA -- The owner of a dog set on fire and killed near Camarillo and officials investigating the crime said Wednesday they didn't know who was responsible.

James Delgado, owner of the 3-year-old basset hound named Buddy, said Wednesday his family was upset but trying to move on after the incident Saturday.

"We are sad it occurred, and we are trying to get past it right now," Delgado said, adding that he did not know who would do such a thing.

The family has two other basset hounds, he said.

The incident, which occurred about 3:20 a.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of Mesa Drive, was under investigation, and authorities had not made an arrest, Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow said.

Authorities said someone poured lighter fluid on the dog before setting it on fire in a Camarillo Heights ravine. How the dog got out and into the ravine was unclear.

A neighbor saw the fire and called the fire department. The dog had severe burns when found by emergency personnel and later died.

Arson investigators from the county Fire Department and Sheriff's Office collected evidence and are investigating. A bomb squad also responded to the incident.

"There have been cases of animal cruelty, but I've never heard of someone pouring fluid on an animal and lighting it on fire," Buschow said. "It's a horrible, horrible crime."

He said those responsible could face felony animal cruelty and arson charges.

Donna Gillesby, interim director of Ventura County Animal Services, said her agency was not notified but typically assists in investigations of animal cruelty.

"I don't know why anyone would do that," Gillesby said Wednesday. "I hope they can find somebody and prosecute them for it."

She said animal shelters regularly see abused animals, including cats that have survived being burned.

"Every single one is awful, and we do our best to care for the animals here, to ease their suffering and to get them to a better place," she said.

Basset hounds are docile, Gillesby said.

"I don't think I've ever met an aggressive basset hound," she said. "They are very easy, kind and family-oriented dogs."

Jolene Hoffman, shelter director of the Ventura County Humane Society in Ojai, said she was disgusted.

"The torture that poor animal suffered — it makes you sick," she said. "The cruelty that goes on — it still completely blows you away no matter how much you see or how much you witness."

Hoffman, who has been working with the organization for 30 years, said she has seen burned animals but not recently.

Anyone with information on the incident may call Detective Darren Smith at 383-8740 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and criminal complaint.

(vcstar - Oct 31, 2012)

Laurel County man facing animal abuse charges

KENTUCKY -- A man faces charges because police say he kept his dog in horrible conditions.

The Laurel County sheriff's office arrested 43 year old George Bowling.

They say they found a pit bull tied up with no water or food outside Bowling's home on Bert Allen Road.

We're told the dog was in bad shape. Animal control took the dog away.

Bowling is charged with animal cruelty.

(WKYT - Oct 31, 2012)

California: Family fearful of neighbor's vicious dog

CALIFORNIA -- Josh and Randi Mason say they're frustrated their neighbor's dogs constantly get into their backyard, and the owners don't do anything to stop it. They say the dogs are violent and dug a deep hole in their yard.

"A year ago, we had a dog killed in our backyard. Now, we've had another dog attacked in our backyard, and we don't feel safe back here," said Randi Mason. "We have a two-year-old and a six-month-old, and we want to feel safe in our backyard. We don't feel safe with vicious dogs living behind us that are able to get into our backyard."

Mason said they tried to fix the hole with new fence boards and chicken wire, but lately she said the dogs have turned her yard's playground into a fighting ring. There's still blood on the concrete where, she said, her neighbor's two dogs fought each other.

"The blood was from their dog," she said. "Their dog attacked its own dog."

Bakersfield Animal Control Services took both dogs to the pound Monday, but the Masons said they were back in four hours.

"Nobody's doing anything about them," said Randi Mason. "Animal Control said they wouldn't get them back for ten days and that they would have to pay fines, but a few hours later they were already back."

She said an officer told her if their neighbor's dog attacks them, they can either shoot it or sue the owner. The dogs' owner, Nick Lidgett, said his pets are far from vicious.

"They've never shown any sign of aggression towards anything," said Lidgett, who lives behind the Masons. "I have four small children myself, and they sleep in the house with us every night."

Lidgett took his injured boxer to the vet for a bruised arm. He doesn't believe his mutt, Ginger, was the one who attacked it.

"The animals, in question, going into their backyard come from all sorts," he said. "I'm never going to call anybody a liar, but I wasn't there to witness it. That's their accusation, but I would sit there and argue against it. There are multiple houses around this entire neighborhood and many have dogs."

Bakersfield Animal Control cited Lidgett for unlawful tethering and keeping a noisy animal. He was told to fix the Mason's fence this week. Until then, the Masons are staying inside.

"My two-year-old loves to play out here in her sandbox, and I can't leave her out here, and I don't even want to be out here," Mason says. "Why would I want to be back here knowing that these dogs can get into my backyard, and who knows what they would do to me, my daughter or my dog?"

(KGET - Oct 30, 2012)

Louisiana: Christopher Verdin, 35, found poaching and illegally killing wild birds. Oh yeah, he's also not supposed to have a gun b/c he's a convicted felon. Duh.

LOUISIANA -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a man for allegedly possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and migratory game bird violations on Oct. 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Verdin, 35, of Georgia who recently moved from Chauvin, for possessing a 12 gauge shotgun by a convicted felon.  Verdin was convicted of distributing cocaine in 2006.

Agents received a complaint from the public about Verdin duck hunting in the Chauvin area.  Agents arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27 and observed Verdin hunting ducks.

At 8:30 a.m. agents made contact with Verdin and found him in possession of one mottled duck, one teal and four ibis.

Agents cited Verdin for hunting ducks during a closed season, killing taking ibis for which there is no season, violating the non-toxic shot requirement, field possession of migratory game birds (MGBs), killing harvesting MGBs during a closed season, hunting MGBs without the required harvest information program (HIP) certification, hunting MGBs with an unplugged shotgun, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting MGBs without state and federal duck stamps.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Hunting without a basic license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  For the remaining eight charges, Verdin faces a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each charge.

During the background check, agents learned that Chris Verdin had three outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for back child support and traffic violations.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Louis Burnett.

(Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries - Oct 30, 2012)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Missouri: Ronnie Guthrie charged with animal cruelty

MISSOURI -- Ronnie G Guthrie was booked in Greene County, MO. This Official Record was collected from a Law Enforcement agency on 10/30/2012. Unable to locate any additional information.

Name: Ronnie G Guthrie (aka Ronald Guthrie) ID: 23629241
Height: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Gender: Male
Eye Color: BLU
Hair Color: GRY
Race: White
Jail ID: 155417
Pod: D


Bond: $1,000

Two Suspects Charged With Injuring Police Horses

ILLINOIS -- One teenager has turned himself in and another was arrested after police say both boys broke into the mounted unit’s stable in South Shore six weeks ago and injured horses.

Chicago Police say a 16-year-old boy showed up at Area 1 police headquarters over the weekend at 51st and Wentworth.

And then four hours later, police arrested a 14-year-old boy at his home.

Police say each boy is charged with felony burglary and five counts of felony injury to a police animal.

Officers say that on Sept. 16, the boys used a fire extinguisher and hit at least one horse – and sprayed the extinguisher into another horse’s eyes.

Police say 27 horses were found outside their stalls at the stable, which is on the property of the South Shore Cultural Center.

(CBS2 Chicago - Oct 29, 2012)

Palmyra couple charged with Animal Cruelty

NEW YORK -- Following an investigation and the seizure of a dog on September 20th, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest on Wednesday (10/24) of Christina Mulcahy, age 21 and Kyle Jopson, age 26, both of 2666 Lyon Road in the Town of Palmyra for Cruelty to an Animal.

Animal Abuse Investigator Tom Littlefield seized a dog that was severely underweight. The brown lab, named Hershey, was severely emaciated. “The dog was literally a skeleton, nothing but skin over bones,” said Littlefield.

The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Wayne County. “Over a period of 13 days, the dog gained 25.3 pounds,” added the Investigator. He also told Mulcahy to take another dog to a veterinarian to assess its condition. He also questioned the condition of horses that were being boarded at the farm. Since the initial investigation, the owners of two of the horses have removed their animals from Mulcahy and Jopson’s care.

Littlefield said “Hershey” has now been adopted by a loving family and is doing very well. “There was no reason that dog was not fed.”

Mulcahy and Jopson were released on appearance tickets to appear in Palmyra Town Court. The investigation is continuing.

( - October 28, 2012)

Chatham man warns ‘It’s only a matter of time’ before another dog attacked

CANADA -- Kim Scruton’s front gate was still swinging closed when the 80-pound pitbull attacked his little dog, Sophie.

“We barely got five steps out of my gate and all of a sudden the dog was right on her,” the 53-year-old Chatham man said. “I could hear Sophie’s bones break.”

The incident happened the afternoon of Oct. 21. By the time Scruton got his eight-pound pooch out of the pit bull’s mouth, Sophie was severely injured. Her ribcage was crushed, and many of her organs punctured.

The owner of the other dog drove Scruton and Sophie to an animal hospital in nearby Dresden. Once there, it took the vet three tries to convince Scruton that Sophie had to be euthanized.

“She wasn’t just my dog. She was my little girl,” said Scruton.

The pitbull’s owner apologized profusely and paid the $600 vet bill.

According to the Ontario SPCA, the owner has been charged under municipal bylaws for having a dangerous dog and for having an animal at large. Other charges under the provincial Dog Owner’s Liability Act could be forthcoming, said the OSPCA’s Brad Dewar.

The fate of the pitbull is uncertain, but Scruton says the owner told him that he had already given the dog to a friend.

“That’s not good enough,” Scruton said. “I want that dog put down.”

Scruton bears the owner no ill will, but is upset the dog was outside without proper precaution or supervision. Under Ontario law, all pitbulls must be muzzled when in public.

The province banned the breed on Aug. 29, 2005, following a series of high-profile attacks, including one on a mail carrier in Chatham. However, dogs already owned by residents, or those born within 90 days of the ban were exempt.

Although the ban has frequently been challenged as unnecessary or cruel, Scruton says it should be more strict.

“We should review the ban, so that people that have pitbulls have to get rid of them,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time until this happens to someone else.”

According to spokesperson Alison Cross, the OSPCA seized six pit bulls in 2011. However, that number does not provide a complete picture, as the Dog Owner’s Liability Act is primarily enforced at the municipal level.

Where possible, Cross said, the OSPCA tries to move the dogs to provinces where they are not illegal rather than euthanize them.

(Metro News - Oct 29, 2012)


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ohio: Puppy mill breeder Norman Hale Jr was convicted of animal cruelty in 2004. Hale is now accused of running a new puppy mill.

OHIO -- ACTION ALERT - SUSPECTED 'PUPPY MILL' BREEDER, NORMAN HALE (STAFFORD, OH)! The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (CBODA) has received a report that this convicted animal abuser is currently operating a "kennel" consisting of approximately eight rabbit hutches with Pomeranians and is selling the dogs via the internet and through local classified ads.

(It's our understanding he has been reported to the Monroe county dog warden, Ronda Piatt, "multiple times" with no success.)

CBODA will continue to watch this situation closely and keep everyone posted on updates as they are received from the field.

Mr. Hale ran a kennel out of his home. He kept between 90 and 100 dogs in four by six wire cages in four buildings on his property, with multiple animals in each cage. Hale would try exercising these animals every day or every other day.

When he wasn't present, a friend would exercise the dogs for him, but the friend only believed that Hale owned approximately forty dogs.

In March 2004, the Monroe County Humane Society received a complaint about Hale's property. Apparently, a dog had hung itself on a fence at Hale's home and had begun to decay. A few days later, after another complaint, Humane Society representatives and the Monroe County dog warden visited Hale's home. He told them that he first noticed the dead dog that morning. The dog warden then inspected Hale's kennel and, based on the conditions of the dogs, he doubted that the dogs were being exercised regularly.

On March 30, 2004, Hale was charged with twelve counts of animal cruelty under R.C. 959.13(A)(4), a second degree misdemeanor. After a bench trial, the trial court found Hale guilty of each count. 

It then sentenced Hale to thirty days in jail, suspended that sentence, and placed Hale on two years of probation. As conditions of that probation, the trial court revoked Hale's kennel license and ordered that he reduce his collection of dogs to no more than four animals.

COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO, SEVENTH DISTRICT, MONROE COUNTY (State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Norman Hale, Jr., Defendant-Appellant; Court Date:
12/23/2005; Court Citation: 2005 Ohio 7080; Docket Number: No. 04 MO 14; Judges: Judge Degenaro, Presiding Judge Donofrio, Judge Vukovich).

Defendant-Appellant, Norman Hale, appealed the decision of the Monroe County Court that found him guilty of multiple counts of cruelty to animals in violation of R.C. 959.13(A)(4). Hale argued that this statute is unconstitutionally vague, that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence, and that the trial court imposed improper sanctions upon him.

The court disregarded Hale's constitutional argument since he failed to provide legal argument in support of this claim. Hale's argument that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence was also found to be meritless since the evidence in the record supported the trial court's decision that he recklessly failed to provide these dogs with wholesome exercise.

Finally, it was determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when imposing the sanctions since the conditions of his probation were related to the underlying offense and served the ends of rehabilitation.

For these reasons, the trial court's decision was affirmed and Hale's animal cruelty conviction remained.

(Puppy Mill Awareness Facebook group - October 28, 2012)

'She was my everything'

CANADA -- Kim Scruton buries his face in his hands.

The 53-year-old Chatham man is seated at his kitchen table, trying not to break down as he recounts the last time he took his small dog for a walk Oct. 21.

Scruton and three-and-a-half-year-old Sophie had barely made it out the backyard gate of their Grand Avenue East property when a neighbour's dog “came out of nowhere and clamped its jaws on her,” he told The Chatham Daily News on Saturday.

His tiny mop-a-poo (maltipoo) didn't stand a chance against the 80-lb pit bull, he said.

“It was a minute-and-a-half before we could even get Sophie out of her mouth and she totally crushed Sophie,” Scruton said.

Alesha Brown lives three doors away.

She heard the commotion in the alley behind her home.

“I heard a guy yelling and saw my neighbour grab his dog. The other dog had chunks of blood coming out of his mouth,” she said.

The owner of the pit bull drove Scruton and Sophie to a veterinary clinic where Scruton said he had to make the hard decision to have his beloved pet euthanized.

“Every bone in her rib cage was broken and her lungs were punctured. The vet told me it was the worst attack he had ever seen,” Scruton said.

The owner of the pit bull paid the medical expenses and told him he was sorry, Scruton said.

But in the days following the attack, concern turned to the children living in the neighbourhood.

“My kids play in that alley,” Brown said. “I don't want that dog there. I don't feel comfortable having that dog there.”

Scruton said he reported the attack to the Kent Branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which he believed did an investigation, only to learn later he would not be notified of any decisions made in the matter.

“That's not right,” Scruton said.

The local OSPCA office was closed on the weekend when contacted by The Daily News.

Scruton said he told the owner of the dog on numerous occasions to fix his fence gates.

“They blow open in the wind,” Scruton said.

When his landlord came to winterize the house just prior to the attack, Scruton watched over the gate while the landlord worked outside.

The landlord told The Daily News he didn't want to be identified, but he confirmed Scruton helped to keep him safe while he worked in the yard recently.

The landlord went on to describe Sophie as “a kind of dog everybody would love.”

“She was my everything. She loved me every bit as much as I loved her,” Scruton said, sobbing.

Scruton called The Daily News Sunday afternoon to say he had just learned the pit bull had been given to a friend, but he didn't know where it went.

“Has the problem just moved to a different neighbourhood?” he wondered.

(Chatham Daily News - Oct 28, 2012)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Arizona: Gabriel Habre charged with animal cruelty

Full name: Gabriel Luciano Habre
Gender: MALE
DOB: 7/25/1985
Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Hair Color: BLACK
Eye Color: BROWN
Booking Number: P916672
Arrest Date: 10/28/2012
Agency: Maricopa County, Arizona

Florida: Tina Sandlin called her children to come to her and then beheaded their pet bunny right in front of them

FLORIDA -- The Bay County Sheriff's Office arrested a local woman yesterday, September 24, 2012, for allegedly beheading a pet rabbit in front of two young children.

Tina Michelle Sandlin, DOB 12/13/76, was taken into custody by the BCSO Warrants Division at about 8 pm. Deputies discovered her hiding under a mobile home at 320 Newman Point Road in Southport.

According to the two victims, Sandlin was in their home on July 15, 2012, and called them out of their bedroom.

The victims described to investigators that Sandlin held their family pet rabbit up by the ears and then took a knife and cut the animal's head off in front of them. 

The victims described how the rabbit was kicking and stated there was "lots of blood".

The victims did not immediately report the incident to family members. Eventually they went to their father to tell him what had happened. Their father stated the children were crying and extremely upset.

Sandlin has been charged with two counts of Child Abuse for Affliction of Mental Cruelty, Felony Cruelty to Animals, and Resisting an Officer without Violence.

Sandlin, also known as Tina Michelle Byng, also had an outstanding warrant for VOP on a DUI and DWLSR conviction.

(WMBB - Oct 9, 2012)

Family reunited with Chihuahua

NEW YORK -- But a pet snake, taken at the same time as the dog, was found dead.

Jazzy the Chihuahua was returned to her owners Thursday morning, after an Albany police detective found her safe and sound in a local woman’s apartment.

The dog and a ball python had been stolen from an Albany family during a burglary on Monday.

“We got her back,” exclaimed Casey Stradley, as her husband hugged Jazzy at the police station.

But the reunion wasn’t completely joyful: Son Gajen, age 7, hung his head and cried. On Tuesday, his snake, Killer, was found in the 1700 block of Geary Street S.E. The ball python, dumped in a plastic bag on the sidewalk, was dead.

David Stradley, Gajen’s dad, assured his son that he would get another snake.

Jazzy was found after police received a tip from Kathy Graveline, 59, who saw the dog Tuesday night outside her apartment doorstep in the 1500 block of Geary Circle S.E.

After seeing news coverage about Jazzy on Wednesday, she called police to report her information.

A neighbor of Graveline’s, Sharon Anderson, 59, ended up taking Jazzy inside and out of the cold and rain on Tuesday.

“It was terrible out. ... I couldn’t just close the door and let her stay out there whimpering,” Anderson said. “She stayed here three nights. I didn’t know what to do with her. I was going to take her to the humane society, but I don’t have transportation.”

On Thursday morning, a detective talked with the woman who called in the tip, then knocked on Anderson’s door. Jazzy started yipping and yapping from inside.

“I’m so glad that the puppy is home,” Anderson said.

The man who allegedly committed the burglary, Blaze McCormick, 39, of Brownsville, remains behind bars.

Blaze McCormick

McCormick is a former friend of the Stradleys, who said he was acting vindictively against them. He had recently broken up with a friend of theirs.

Linn County Jail logs indicate that McCormick is being held on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft and resisting arrest.  His bail is set at $25,000.

David Stradley asked the police Thursday if McCormick would face an animal abuse charge for the death of Killer, and police weren’t sure if that was a possibility.

(Democrat Herald - Oct 26, 2012)

Kentucky: Franklin May, Owner Of Hurt Dog Found In Dumpster, Charged With Animal Cruelty

KENTUCKY -- Animal-cruelty charges were filed Monday morning against a Nicholasville man in the case of a chihuahua-mix dog found in a garbage bin last week.

The dog, whose name is Sable, was found in a Dumpster at the Helmsdale Apartment complex Sept. 25th. 

According to, Sable had animal bites on her body that had been left unattended and were seriously infected. Veterinarians estimated the bites were a few days old.

Franklin May of Nicholasville called the animal shelter on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and came to the shelter Thursday, Sept. 27, claiming that the dog was his, according to Mike Cassidy, director of Jessamine County Animal Care and Control.

Authorities verified that the dog belonged to May and filed second-degree animal-cruelty charges against him based on evidence at the apartment complex and an interview with May, Cassidy said.

May voluntarily surrendered ownership rights to Sable to animal control.

At a news conference Monday afternoon at the animal shelter, Cassidy said he could offer no details on the specifics of the interview with May, conducted by animal-control officer Taylor Bourne, except that the results yielded enough evidence to file charges. May did not come to the shelter to turn himself in, Cassidy said.

May had not been arrested as of Monday afternoon; Cassidy said it would be up to the district judge to decide whether the charges warranted an arrest or just a court summons. Cassidy said a background check showed no previous animal-cruelty charges against May, who Cassidy said owns other animals.

While Sable is expected to recover, the bill for treatment for the severe infection is expected to be “quite substantial,” Cassidy said, with veterinarian fees already at around $600 last Friday. Animal control is asking for donations but has only received one gift of $50 as of Monday afternoon, Cassidy said.

Donations can be sent to Jessamine County Animal Care and Control at 120 Fairground Way in Nicholasville. The dog is expected to be available for adoption at the shelter after she has fully recovered.

“Everybody’s really wanting to adopt the animal; we got a lot of calls asking to adopt,” Cassidy said. “On the donation end of things, we haven’t gotten that much help.”

(Jessamine Journal  - Oct 1, 2012)

9/24/12: Buckeye man arrested for alleged animal cruelty

ARIZONA -- A man is in custody on suspicion of animal cruelty after authorities say they found seven malnourished horses on his Buckeye property.

Maricopa County Sheriff's officials say 72-year-old Karie Hooks was arrested Monday and is facing a number of charges including two felonies.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his Animal Crimes Unit seized the horses Friday while Hooks was away.

In July, sheriff's detectives seized one malnourished horse from the property and told the owner what needed to happen to bring the other horses to good health.

When authorities recently went back to check on the health of the remaining horses, they say seven appeared to be up to 300 pounds underweight.

They were taken to an equine vet clinic for rehabilitation. Hooks doesn't have a lawyer yet for his case.

(abc15 - Sept 24, 2012)

Groton Man Attacked by Dog Struggles with the Memories

CONNECTICUT -- For weeks, Ralph Conwell could not sleep.

He had this image in his mind that wouldn’t go away: His dog, Lacy, laying six feet away, covered in blood, looking at him with pleading eyes, as if to say, “Help me.”

But Conwell couldn’t help. He lay on the ground for 35 minutes, hanging onto the dog that attacked them both, trying not to pass out, his arms torn apart and bleeding. Lacy later died.

“I keep thinking it’s my fault,” he said.

It’s been a little more than eight weeks since Conwell, 74, and his 3-year-old Silky Terrier were attacked Aug. 28 at Calvin Burrows Field in Groton.

Conwell was rushed by ambulance to the hospital with torn arms and legs. He was so seriously injured that emergency personnel considered airlifting him to a trauma center in New Haven, but a helicopter was unavailable, so they brought him to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.

Lacy was brought to Companion Animal Hospital and died that evening.

Two hospital stays
The dog involved in the attack, a 4-year-old Boxer Pit Bull mix named Bronson, was euthanized after the required 14-day quarantine. Another dog owned by the same family that owned Bronson was relocated elsewhere.

The Conwells said they decided not to press charges against their neighbors, but retained a lawyer to go after the family’s homeowner’s insurance to cover medical bills. Ralph Conwell said he doesn’t know how much they’ll be, but he guesses at least $50,000.

He spent six days in the hospital after surgery to clean and staple his wounds, then another five days later, after infection set in. His legs are all right now. His arms are healing. He still has one surgery left, to repair a knuckle he had replaced due to arthritis, and he’s not sure if one of his other fingers will ever work the way it used to.

The worst part, he said, was losing his dog, and knowing he could have been more prepared.

Two earlier attacks
Conwell said Bronson had attacked them twice before but he didn’t report it.

“The first time it happened, I failed to do three things,” he said. “See the owner and insist on better control of that dog, call the dog warden, and arm (myself).”

He could have carried a stick or a knife, he said. He has a stun gun, but under the law, he’s not allowed to use it outside. Conwell is a former Marine who worked for 20 years at Electric Boat, then as a contractor for nuclear plants.

The Conwells live on South Road, across from a neighbor whose daughter and son-in-law moved in with their four children and two dogs. One was Bronson, a Boxer Pit Bull mix.

In the summer of 2011, Conwell said the children were walking the dogs, lost control of them and started yelling. Conwell said he saw the Pit Bull coming at Lacy, so he snatched her up and dropped her on the other side of a fence. She had small cuts, perhaps from the fence, but was otherwise unhurt. He grabbed Bronson by the collar and the children took the dog away.

Then in the winter, he was walking Lacy again when he heard dogs barking and children yelling. One dog knocked him to the ground and he hit his head, but he grabbed Lacy, he said. Bronson bit him, but he had on a heavy winter coat, and it didn’t break the skin. The neighbors came over later to make sure Lacy was all right.

Attack at the field
On Aug. 28, Conwell took Lacy out for one of her usual daily walks at Calvin Burrows Field. As he finished his loop and began walking down a steep hill, Bronson broke off his leash from the house nearby. Conwell said the dog knocked him over, and he rolled down the hill maybe 12 feet, by the stilts of a small building where announcers keep score at the games.

He got up next to Bronson, heard a horrible yelp, and saw Lacy in his jaws. Conwell said he jumped on the Pit Bull, punching him in the face as hard as he could, and the dog dropped Lacy and grabbed Conwell's arm. He reached for pepper spray but it didn't help.

Conwell tried to get between Lacy and the Pit Bull, and the dog grabbed his other arm, twisting and shaking it in his mouth.

“I just remember screaming,” he said.

Then somehow, he said he got Bronson's collar. “We started rolling around on the ground, and that tore my legs up from my knees to my toes,” he said.

They were on top of each other, wrestling on the ground, the dog on top of him, and Conwell said he started biting the dog’s chest. He said at one point he thought the dog might go for his throat. Then he bit the dog's ear.

“That hurt him I guess, because he came up and I got both hands on his collar and I pushed myself on my back. So now he’s on his back, on me, and I start pushing (us) up the hill,” Conwell said.

Bleeding and waiting for help
Then he spied about six feet of metal rope still attached to Bronson, and thought of a plan. He held the dog down with his legs, wrapped one end around the building post and pulled.

Blood was flowing out of his arms and he thought he was going to pass out. He knew the road was there, but he couldn’t see it, he said. And he began to cry out for help. Lacy had her eyes open, and sprinklers went on at the field. Water began running over her.

He lay there, bleeding, looking at Lacy. He knew he couldn't let go, or Bronson would finish her. Maybe 35, 40 minutes went by.

The Conwells know it was this long, because Ralph Conwell’s wife, Lorraine, knew when he left, and she was worried. The couple had an appointment to get a car, and she’d left the house looking for him. She went to the field but saw nothing, then figured he’d walked down Poquonnock Road.

A passerby stops
Meanwhile, Conwell lay on the field. A car went by with its windows closed and he called for help but the driver couldn't hear. Then Conwell remembers a second car, and it stopped.

He learned later that the man stopped because he saw water in the field where he thought it shouldn’t be, and decided to investigate. He hadn't heard Conwell yelling.

Then the passerby found Conwell and Lacy.

“And I remember saying, ‘I need an ambulance, a cop, and help my dog, Lacy down there,’” Conwell said.

Around this same time, Lorraine Conwell decided she was getting in her car and driving to look for her husband. And as she went to get in the car, two police cars and an ambulance, sirens blaring, passed her house and turned into the park. And she knew.

She ran across the street, and saw Ralph with his arms bleeding, his legs torn, being loaded into an ambulance. They wouldn’t let her near him, she said. Then she said the animal control officer picked up Lacy, wrapped her in a blanket, and put her in Lorraine Conwell’s arms.

The officer said she was taking Lacy to Companion Animal Hospital.

The woman who owned Bronson came to the park.

“Her husband was crying and saying ‘Oh my God.’ That’s all I heard all day long, was ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” Lorraine Conwell said.

Screaming in pain
Then Conwell’s son came to the house. Throughout the day, he brought her back and forth between Lawrence & Memorial and Companion Animal Hospital.

She said the doctor warned them it was bad, and when they first reached Ralph Conwell's room, he was screaming, 'I’m in pain,' she said.

Lorraine and Ralph Conwell have been married 53 years. She said she's never heard him like that. He was headed into surgery.

By evening, the doctors at Companion Animal Hospital told Lorraine Conwell Lacy wasn’t going to make it. She'd seen her several times, and Lacy had looked at her; but the dog was bleeding into her stomach. She said goodbye to Lacy.

She said she felt so alone.

Memories of Lacy
Lacy used to make a bed in the walk-in closet in their house, and she loved to wear clothes. She’d run to the window if someone approached the house, and always seemed to know which window was closest, so she was smart that way.

Her favorite toy was a football.

“Everyone loved her,” Ralph Conwell said.

Just this week, he’s been able to sleep. Probably five out of seven days now. It’s just that he thinks about how he should have been prepared for what happened, and how he wants other people to be prepared.

“If a Pit Bull comes after you right now, what are you going to do, really?” he said. “What’s your defense?”

Lorraine Conwell said the worst part of it all is having lost their dog, and knowing her husband feels like it's his fault.

“When he’s feeling better about things, then I’ll feel better about things,” she said. “But he’s blaming himself for everything.”

(Groton Patch - Oct 25, 2012)


Police shoot 'attack dog,' tase and arrest owner

FLORIDA -- An officer with the Lake City Police Department shot an "attack dog" after they say it was released by a man fleeing cops.

The incident started when police tried to pull over a vehicle for trying to run another vehicle off the road shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Lake City Police Department.

Police say a 26-year-old man called 911 Thursday night to report a truck was driving recklessly behind him and trying to run him off the road.

When police got to the intersection of U.S. 90 and S.W. Baya  Drive, they allegedly watched as both vehicles drove by and noted that the truck did not have its headlights on.

Officers tried to pull the truck being driven by 47-year-old Timothy Schultz over, but Schultz reportedly did not stop for police.

Schultz drove the speed limit as officers pursued, but he kept slamming on his brakes for an unknown reason.

He continued driving until he reached his home in the 500 block of N.E. Jacksonville Loop where police saw him drive into his yard.

Once out of his truck, Schultz stood and stared at the officers, before being ordered to get onto the ground several times.

At that point Schultz reportedly opened the door to the back seat of his truck, releasing his dog, a German Shepherd.  Once out of the truck, the dog ran aggressively toward police.

One of the officers then shot the dog, which then ran from the area.

Officers then turned their attention back to dealing with Schultz, who was still not obeying officers' commands.  Police used a Taser on Schultz, but there was no effect.  In fact, officers said Schultz even tried to remove the prongs from the Taser.

A second officer used his Taser on Schultz, this time causing him to fall to the ground.  As police attempted to handcuff Schultz, he allegedly continued to fight with officers until they finally subdued him.

Officers contacted the animal shelter to treat the wounded German Shepherd.  Schultz's injuries were treated by paramedics with Lifeguard EMS.

Schultz was arrested and taken to the Columbia County Jail. While at the jail, corrections officers tried to get Schultz to give relevant samples, since police suspected him of DUI.  Schultz refused the test, resulting in his driver's license being automatically suspended for 12 months due to his refusal.

As the investigation continued, police learned that Schultz's German Shepherd was receiving training to become a "personal protection" K-9 at Von Seestadt Kennels located in Lake City.

This is not the first incident between Schultz and police. On September 15 of this year, Schultz had a similar altercation with police.

At that time, officers were sent to the Rountree-Moore Ford on U.S. 90 due to a disturbance being caused by Schultz in which he threatened employees.  Police ordered Schultz and two other men with him to leave the car dealership.  When he refused and continued to make threats, Strickland said police tried to arrest him.

While trying to handcuff the combative Schultz, officers tried to use a Taser on him but at that time it also had no effect.  As he continued to fight with police, officers tried to pepper spray Schultz, but he turned away and tried to get into his truck.

As one officer reportedly tried to arrest Schultz, another officer prevented Schultz's 17-year-old son and his son's 18-year-old friend from physically intervening.

Schultz was able to be removed from his vehicle and handcuffed after a Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputy heard the altercation over the police radio.  Shultz at that time was also taken to the Columbia County Jail. 

Schultz was out on bond for the September arrest when officers arrested him again Thursday night.

From his most recent run-in with the Lake City Police Department, Schultz is facing numerous charges; Schultz was booked on charges of reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, cruelty to animals, resisting an officer without violence, DUI and refusal to submit to a test.

Steve Shaw, Public Information Officer with the Lake City Police Department said the dog did not die and is recovering from it gunshot wound.

(WTLV - Oct 26, 2012)

9/12/12: Cat hoarder charged with animal cruelty

CONNECTICUT --A Norwich man is facing animal cruelty charges, after authorities found at least 19 cats at his home.

The smell from one Vergason Avenue home is easily detected, even with all the doors and windows closed. 47-year-old Walter Cooper did not answer, but from outside the empty beer boxes and unsanitary conditions can be seen, as described in court papers charging him with 20 counts of animal cruelty.

Walter Cooper
"He says I don't know what it is, but he says all the cats seem to flock here," one neighbor said. "He says I don't go looking for them, they just seem to show up."

Police say the cats now number 19, along with a small dog. Police report from outside they "could smell the odor...50 feet away." While the inside was "covered wall to wall by cat feces...between four inches and two feet" high. A state social worker visiting the Norwich home says he became "infested with live flees...two of them had bitten him on the chest."

Cooper did not answer the door when News 8 went to the house, but standing on the stoop there were plenty of flies just flying around right outside the front door. Apparently he didn't answer for police either, who contacted him in June for a second inspection.

"People don't generally want to live in conditions like that," said Patrick McCormack, Uncas Health District, "so we try to provide as many supports as we can to make sure that issue gets resolved."

Police offered to bring the animals to a cat rescue, but Cooper never followed through.

"If you have unsanitary conditions such as being described then definitely a result of that could be that you could enhance illness that's already there," said McCormack, "or you could create illness that doesn't exist already."

McCormack says if the animal issues are not taken care of the health district may also take legal action.

(WTNH - Sept 12, 2012)

3/29/12: Police chief saves granddaughter from violent dog attack

TENNESSEE -- A Tennessee police chief and grandfather was released from the hospital on Thursday following a brutal pit bull attack over the weekend in Benton County, about 100 miles west of Nashville.

Chief Ronnie Stewart was at his daughter's home on Sunday playing with his two-year-old granddaughter, Abigail Grace when the violent incident occurred.

Stewart told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that his daughter's 50-pound pit bull, Chance, came around the corner growling, snarling and showing his teeth as he was coming towards the young child.


"I could tell things were not right, it was growling like a death growl. I threw my granddaughter on a nearby trampoline and then I felt the teeth go through my hand," he recalled.

Stewart continued, "The dog drug me on the ground and it ate my arm up, tearing, snapping bones and stuff. I got him in a choke hold and choked him out." 

The police chief said his 15-year-old daughter immediately called 911.

According to the family, Benton County deputies were forced to shoot the animal after he threatened them upon their arrival to the scene.

The Stewart family said they are at a loss at why Chance suddenly became vicious.

"We have been there many, many times and [the dog] never bothered us," Ronnie's wife, Lisa Stewart said from her husband's hospital room. 

She continued, "Something snapped. He had Abby in his sights and he headed right for her. Ronnie threw her so hard up on the trampoline; it threw one of her shoes off."

Following the incident, Chief Stewart was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he underwent three surgeries in four days.

He is still recovering from a broken bone in his hand and muscle and tissue damage in his arm and shoulder.

Lisa Stewart told Nashville's News 2 Investigates she considers her husband a hero.

"I think he is a hero. Had he not done what he done we would not have our Abby. She's having a hard time [with] what she saw. She had to come up [to the hospital] to see him, and she came through the door, and she yelled, ‘Pappy, Pappy, Pappy.' They kissed and it was special moment. If he didn't do what he done, we wouldn't have had that moment," she said with tears in her eyes.

Chief Stewart added, "I feel wonderful that she didn't have injuries and kept her out of the way of the dog."

The family said Chance tested negative for rabies.

A benefit is scheduled to be held on Friday, April 6 for the police chief from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bruceton Fire Department building located behind the Bruceton City Hall.

Money raised from the bake sale and silent auction will benefit the family.

Donations can also be made to the Ronnie Stewart Benefit Fund at First Bank.

(WKRAN - March 29, 2012)

Eight-year-old Antioch boy attacked by pit bull

TENNESSEE -- An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being attacked by a neighbor's pit bull.

The attack happened Tuesday on Lipton Place in Antioch.

The boy's father, Anthony Klingenberg, told Nashville's News 2 the dog got free from his chain.

"He just broke off his collar off the tree and came straight after me," victim Adam said, adding, "I was thinking he might tear off my arm."

Anthony says he called Metro police and Metro Animal Control Tuesday night while Adam's mother took him to the hospital.

According to the father, neither department responded to investigate the matter further.

"I think somebody should have been out here immediately last night with a viscous pit-bull on the loose and that was what the report was when I called in," he told Nashville's News 2.

He continued, "After several hours of sitting here, I called back to find out is somebody coming or what and after a few phone calls back with the police department they just finally told me they didn't need to come out last night and fill out a report."

On Wednesday, animal control officers responded to the scene and took custody of the dog.

Adam was treated and released at an area hospital. He is expected to recover.

Nashville's News 2 spoke with Metro Animal Director Judy Ladebauche regarding the incident on Tuesday.

"We do have an on call officer 24 hours a day for animal bites. Hospitals and medical facilities are supposed to notify us, I know they get busy and they don't always do it. Really the parent or victim needs to contact us the next morning and make sure we have all the information," she explained.

The dog will be held in quarantine for 10 days. If the canine is healthy at the end of the time period, the owner can pay the fines and re-gain custody of the dog.

State law requires any dog that has bitten a person to be micro-chipped.

(WKRN - Oct 24, 2012)

10/16/12: Hunter faces criminal charges after death of horse

HAWAII -- A Waialua man accused of animal cruelty made an appearance in court Tuesday morning.

David Ramirez III had hunting dogs that prosecutors believe attacked and killed a horse.

David Ramirez III

Aurora, a two year old horse who belonged to Raleigh Craighead, was killed by a pack of dogs who attacked her in her pen.

It's a story that brings back memories for Senator Clayton Hee.

"The horse I had before him, he got whacked by hunting dogs up in my pasture. And fortunately I was home and I got to the horse before the dogs could bring the horse down," said Sen. Clayton Hee.

It was experiences like that and a rash of dog attacks which led Senator Hee to redraft Hawaii's animal cruelty law.

"In 2007, 2008 when hunting dogs were killing [pet] pot bellied pigs I wrote the law that moved pigs and equine as livestock, the cruelty to animals would cover those two livestock animals," said Sen. Hee.

Hee has always been around farm animals and says he's a hunting enthusiast as well. The recent reports of hunting dogs attacking other animals concerns him.


"We as hunters can understand when dogs go and follow the pig into a neighborhood. But regardless, ultimately, the care and responsibility of the dog always belongs to the hunter," said Sen. Hee.

Ramirez faces numerous animal cruelty and dangerous dog counts. He remains free on $1400 bail, and his arraignment and plea was continued until October 30th.

If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.

(KHON - Oct 16, 2012)

Dog doing well after rescue from being tied up amid filth

OHIO -- The 4-year-old brindle Mastiff found on Oct. 20 chained to a table surviving off garbage is recovering at the Lorain County Friendship Animal Protection League.

The dog has been named Caesar and will be available for adoption in a few months.

“He was in pretty bad shape when he was brought here,” said Greg Willey, FAPL director. “We’re trying to ease him back into a normal diet. He’s gained two pounds since he has been here, but he won’t be back up to normal weight for a few months.”

Caesar was found by police while searching a home at 216 E. 29th St. after breaking up an underage party.

“I observed a dog (Mastiff) tied up to a table inside, the dog appeared to be unable to move due to being wrapped around the table with a cable rope, therefore I opened the side door of the garage to further check the welfare of the dog,” wrote reporting officer Craig Payne. “A very foul and putrid smell emitted from the garage due to a large amount of garbage that had been piled up.”

The dog was lying on top of garbage infested with maggots and flies and appeared malnourished and filthy, he wrote. The dog had sores on his legs, around its neck near the collar and was later found to have sores inside its mouth.

“The vet said based on their assessment they believe that the dog has not had food or water for a month or longer,” Payne wrote. “They advised that the dog has only survived this long because of the garbage that he was most likely eating.”

Willey said a Mastiff of Caesar’s size should weigh between 120 to 140 pounds. Caesar weighed 100 pounds when he was brought to the adoption shelter last Saturday.

“We have to use a lot of caution and common sense to make sure neglected animals get the proper nutrition,” he said. “We’re giving him a high fat and protein diet and he’s being fed small portions several times a day.”

The FAPL brings in 2,100 animals each year and takes in cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. An average of 90 animals are adopted each month after they receive the proper care and training.

Caesar may undergo a 16-week training program at the Grafton Prison where inmates teach neglected dogs basic commands.

“Some of the dogs who are in severe situations go through the prison program so they know how to sit, stay and heel,” Willey said. “It gives the dogs the opportunity to be domesticated and acclimated to human contact.”

Caesar will be available for adoption after he is neutered and gains more weight.

“He was really shy and nervous when he first got here, but in a week he has really come out of his shell,” Willey said. “He’s a pretty clever dog, he seems to know some basic commands but he still has a long way to go. “

For further information on the Lorain County Friendship Animal Protection League, visit their location at 8303 Murray Ridge Road, Elyria.

( - October 27, 2012)

Pit bull shot, killed by Storm Lake, IA police officer

IOWA -- Storm Lake, Iowa police have shot and killed a pit bull that was acting aggressively towards an officer.

Thursday morning, police responded to a call about an "aggressive pit bull" running loose. Officers arrived to find the pit bull, they say, had gotten loose before.

Officers first used a device called a "catch pull" [catch pole] ... then used a Taser to stop the dog. Neither one worked. When the dog tried to bite the officer, he shot the dog, killing it.

The dog's owner, 26-year-old William Reyes, of Storm Lake, faces a charge of "allowing a dog run at large."

It was the second pit bull-related incident in two days involving Storm Lake police. On Wednesday, police tasered a pit bull, which was running loose, and threatening officers. The dog's owner, in that case, also faces charges.

(KTIV - Oct 26, 2012)

Owner cited after dog bites woman at Helena bank

MONTANA -- Danielle Nicole Porter of Helena will appear in court on Monday after her dog reportedly bit a 56-year old woman at a Valley Bank of Helena location on Thursday.

Porter, 23, was showing off the dog at the Fuller Avenue location when it reportedly bit the woman on her face.

The woman was treated and released from St. Peter's Hospital after the incident; her name has not been released.

Immediately after the incident, the dog, described as an adult male pit bull, was taken to a veterinarian for quarantine.

Porter was cited for not having a current rabies vaccination for the dog, having a nuisance animal, and a potentially dangerous dog.

Tom Kandt, a dog behavioral consultant who works with the Humane Society in Helena, says dogs can bite for various reasons, but that stress in a new environment can be a key factor.

Kandt noted, "If you have a new dog, until you get to understand it and it gets to know you and bond with you, you shouldn't put it in a lot of new or stressful situations, or situations that it isn't used to. And it's a matter of knowing the dog, too, what a dog's triggers are. Every dog has different triggers according to their genetics and their environment."

The dog will remain under quarantine by a veterinarian pending the results of rabies tests.

(KXLH Helena News - Oct 26, 2012)

Child Injured By Dog

MARYLAND -- A local child was severely injured last weekend when attacked by a chained dog in Berlin.

Last Saturday afternoon, Berlin Police responded to a residence on N. Main Street for a reported animal bite.

Responding officers discovered an 11-year-old boy had been playing with a chained pit bull dog when the dog bit the child in the face. The child sustained severe facial injuries, according to police reports.

Worcester County Animal Control was requested to respond and took possession of the dog. The child was taken by Berlin EMS first to PRMC in Salisbury and was later flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

(The Dispatch - Oct 26, 2012)

Guide dog is savaged in street attack mauling

UNITED KINGDOM -- A savage attack by an out-of-control dog which left a retired guide dog with a 12-inch scar has sparked a call for a change in the law.

Jo Cottam was forced to use all her strength to pull the dog away from her partially-sighted mum’s faithful companion, Greg, as they walked along a Doncaster street.

She is now backing a campaign by charity Guide Dogs for the Blind to allow the authorities to punish an attack on a guide dog under the same guidelines as an attack on a human.

Restaurant supervisor Jo, aged 43, was walking along Surrey Street with her 68-year-old mum Eileen Thompson, her mum’s partially-sighted partner Kelvin, 49, and their two dogs when the attack dog – believed to be an American bulldog – ran out and plunged his teeth into 12-year-old Greg’s side.
She said: “I was screaming and shouting but no-one came to help.

“I was absolutely appalled. The dog came back and tried to attack my mum’s current seeing dog, Dexter. My mum was sobbing and Greg was really traumatised.

“The dog just came running out of nowhere. I hate to think what would have happened to my mum if I wasn’t there with her.”

Jo, of Dickson Crescent in Balby, added: “Greg is just like a member of the family. Everyone who meets him loves him and he is an absolute gentleman.

“Though they did later take more action, I was shocked when I first phoned the police and they said there was nothing they could do about it as, ‘That’s just what dogs do’.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers did speak to the owners whose dog was believed to have carried out the attack, which happened on October 11.

He also confirmed that while criminal proceedings could not be brought over the matter, officers were planning to issue the suspected owners with a court summons in which a judge could decide to have the dog destroyed.

Kirstie Bower, mobility team manager for Guide Dogs in South Yorkshire, said: “Ultimately we want the law changed to enable the authorities to treat an attack on a guide dog and other assistance dogs like an attack on a person, in recognition of the full impact of these attacks.”

The incident is not the first of its kind on Doncaster’s streets.

Earlier this year Angela Davies, of Chappell Street in Bentley, told how her guide dog, Vance, was attacked three times in two years.

Nationally, eight guide dogs are attacked by other dogs each month.

RSPCA North spokeswoman Leanne Plumtree added: “A comprehensive approach is needed to tackle irresponsible dog ownership that prevents serious incidents from occurring rather than waiting for them to happen before action can be taken.”

A Doncaster Council spokesman confirmed they had received a report about the attack, adding dog owners have a responsibility to keep pets under control and dogs can be removed by a dog warden if they are allowed to roam.

(The Star UK - Oct 28, 2012)