Friday, February 28, 2014

8 lambs, goat rescued in Craigslist ad probe

INDIANA -- Despite 16 years of helping and rescuing animals in Muncie, Animal Rescue Fund founder Terri Panszi encountered a first on Wednesday.

Lambs. And a spirited little goat named Billy, too.

What mostly began as an investigation by ARF into a Craigslist ad of lambs for sale ended with the rescue of nine animals in need of care and an animal neglect citation issued to Catherine Morgan, 29, of New Castle.

According to Panszi, an out-of-town woman who responded to the listing found herself at a home north of Muncie with conditions so deplorable she was compelled to call her own animal control officials in Hancock County.

The woman, according to Panszi, reported dead animals stored in plastic bins outside the home.

Hancock County officials called Panszi to alert her of the home, and Panszi phoned a Delaware County sheriff’s department official to investigate, The Star Press reported (

When the officer did, she said, no one was home. And the officer did not find dead animals outside of the home.

Unwilling to wait longer for answers or help, officials at ARF took action instead.

ARF officials, without identifying themselves as such, showed interest in buying animals via the Craigslist ad. And when an ARF representative arrived at the home on Wednesday, the conditions were confirmed.

“Seeing what he saw, he went ahead and purchased six of these babies thinking that was all that they had there,” Panszi said. “Most of them are only a week old. They still have umbilical cords on them, skeletal, in Tupperware containers covered in feces.”

Panszi reached out to Donna Wilkins at the Delaware County Health Department, asking that they investigate. By Wednesday evening, officials from that agency and from the Muncie Animal Shelter were on scene. Three more lambs were found and placed in ARF’s care.

“The whole condition of the trailer, oh my goodness,” Wilkins said. “I thought the place just needed to be torched.”

“We went in, it was what I expected,” said Phil Peckinpaugh, Muncie’s animal control superintendent. “The home was in pretty rough shape. There was a large collection of debris and trash. They did not have trash service and did not like to throw things away. It was a pretty good mound of trash throughout the house. And if you have farm animals in your house, you’d expect a smell. There was definitely a smell to the home of feces and urine.”

Officials also realized the residence had no running water, and hadn’t for some time. It was also very cold, with just one small space heater running.

“One of the issues we’re concerned with is water,” said Lynnetta Harley, environmental health director for Delaware County who was at the scene Wednesday evening. “They did not have water, so that is one thing we can deem it unfit for human habitation. With that said, yes, we did go ahead and do that.”

The residents – Peckinpaugh believes three adults live there and that Morgan is not one of them, but officials could not get a firm answer – have five days to correct the problem before health department officials re-inspect the home.

As for the animals, by Thursday morning, one of the eight rescued lambs had died. Panszi said it was the weakest of the group when they took control of the animals. The other seven lambs and single goat – named Billy by ARF – seemed to be responding well to bottle feedings from ARF workers.

Peckinpaugh said the citation will advance to the Delaware County prosecutor’s office if a
representative from the state veterinarian’s office confirms his findings. Peckinpaugh said that had the animals in question been dogs, he has no doubt the citation would be advanced, but that because the animals are farm animals, expectations for care are different. Water must be available at all times for dogs, but only twice a day for farm animals, for example, Peckinpaugh said. 

Peckinpaugh did point out that farm animals inside of a home, especially with winter weather so often an issue in recent months, is not uncommon or bad if they’re properly cared for. But in the case of these lambs and one goat, the conditions, he said, were unacceptable.

As for ARF’s adventure into helping farm animals, Panszi acknowledged this incident marks another first for her organization. New or not, though, Panszi was all smiles Thursday morning, sitting on the floor of the cat house with a lap full of lambs and one spunky goat nearby.

“This is the first time we’ve had baby lambs, yes. I’m very, very happy about it,” she said grinning ear to ear. “I’m happy to help anything that needs us. I was just unaware how precious they are. They are beyond anything I ever imagined. They’re like little puppies. They wag their tails and give kisses and love to snuggle. I think it’s safe to say I am just completely and totally in love with all of them.”

(Star Gazette - February 28, 2014)

Man's shock after putting out cardboard box fire then finding the body of a charred hedgehog inside that had been burnt alive

SWITZERLAND -- A man has spoken of his disgust at finding the charred body of a hedgehog that had been burned alive in its cardboard box nest.

Swiss man Peter Specker discovered the badly burned hedgehog after using a bottle of mineral water to put out a fire on a cardboard box burning at the side of the road in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Specker, 58, had been on his way to work in his allotment when he spotted the smouldering cardboard box that was almost completely burnt, sitting on a manhole cover.

Worried that the fire might spread, he had used a bottle of mineral water which he had in his rucksack to put out the blaze, and only then did he realise that there was a partially burnt corpse of a hedgehog inside the box

He said: ‘The poor animal had been killed by the fire and smoke, how sick someone must be to get rid of an animal in this way.’

He called police, who took photographs of the scene and then took the badly burnt box and the body of the dead hedgehog away to see if they could work out how it came to be at the side of the road and who might have started the fire.

Specker added: ‘I have had my allotment here since 1981 and I've never seen anything like this. It was an incredibly cruel thing to do.

'The hedgehog had a sort of a nest in the box made out of old newspapers and that meant it had burnt quickly.’

(Daily Mail - Feb 26, 2014)

Roanoke family fights to keep pet emu

VIRGINIA -- A Roanoke family is fighting to keep their family pet--- an emu named ZaZu. They've filed a special request with the city.

"Skunks killed all of our chickens and we read online that emus will protect the chickens from skunks," said Mike Powell, who lives in Raleigh Court and owns the emu.



The Powell family filed a special exception application with the planning, building and development office. The request falls under agricultural zoning.

The emu lives with other animals in the backyard including a fox, chicken and dog.

"We use the emu's waste to fertilize with, we eat the emu eggs, we eat the chicken eggs. As much as you can do and in a city we would like to make it more self-sustaining so we're not increasing our carbon footprint," said Powell.

Roanoke City says they've never had a request for an emu.

After investigating, staff recommend approving the request noting the approval would be for just one and it falls under the same regulations as other animals. The city says compare the bird to a large dog and if it ran away or became a nuisance the family could be held responsible.

But not everyone is happy.

"I don't think it's an appropriate setting for an emu, generally. My biggest concern is actually safety," said Bruce Knappe who lives next door and says he hasn't had any problems but is concerned and plans on being at the public hearing.

"This is, obviously, a very close neighborhood. It's a very small yard. We have a lot of children in this neighborhood."

"She's probably one of the most quiet, docile, laid-back animals you can have. She doesn't affect anybody else's life or the way they live and I just hope that they understand she's not a nuisance to anybody," said Chelsea Powell.

The family's request gets heard next week.

(WSLS - Feb 28, 2014)

New York: Veterinarian treats sick horses by court order after DA tells judge that Defendant Duane Carpenter not caring for them himself.

NEW YORK -- Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy, III announced today that veterinary and other necessary care was provided this week to horses owned by Duane Carpenter and located at 131 Wilton Road, Town of Greenfield (formerly the farm owned by his sister Ann Arnold).

Carpenter currently faces three charges of Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, in violation of Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353.

Duane Carpenter

On February 11, 2014 at the request of the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office, Greenfield Town Justice Michael P. Ginley issued an amended Order pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law Section 373 to allow Upstate SPCA and its’ agents to make regular visits to 131 Wilton Road, Town of Greenfield to ascertain if any and all horses located there are receiving necessary food, water and care.

The amended Order provides that such visits by Upstate SPCA and its’ agents should also include authority to allow for investigative and diagnostic veterinary care.  A previous Order had only allowed for monitoring of the horses.


The amended Order further provides that:

 if any horse at that location is found to be in need of food, water or medical care, a report should be prepared detailing the deficiencies and that report is to be forwarded by the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office to the attorney for the defendant, Duane Carpenter.  The defendant then has seven days to address the concerns raised in the report.  Failure to do so shall give authority to address and/or treat the conditions set forth in the report, with the ability to subsequently seek restitution from the defendant for the costs involved in treating the horses.

On February 12, 2014, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office transmitted to the Defendant’s attorney a detailed report of the issues and concerns identified by a New York State licensed veterinarian concerning the horses located at 131 Wilton Road, Town of Greenfield.  Upstate SPCA and its agents continued to monitor the horses during the next seven days.  The issues identified in the notice provided the Defendant Carpenter’s attorney on February 12, 2014 were not addressed during the seven day period provided for in Judge Ginley’s Order.

Notice was again provided to the defense attorney and the Greenfield Town Court on February 20, 2014 that the issues set forth in the February 12, 2014 report had not been addressed and that Upstate SPCA and its’ agents would be proceeding to care and treat the horses at 131 Wilton Road.  The following day, treatment of the horses commenced and was completed over the course of four days.

The horses at the property were treated for a number of issues, including but not limited to,  hoof trimming, dental floating, de-worming and administration of rabies vaccinations.  There remain two horses at the property who continue to need treatment, but they are wild and difficult to handle.  Additional personnel are being brought in by Upstate SPCA and its agents to be able to make contact with the two remaining horses and treat them.

The costs for this treatment is estimated to be over $ 2,800.00, and reimbursement to Upstate SPCA will be sought as part of any disposition or sentence regarding the charges pending against Duane Carpenter.  Upstate SPCA and their designated veterinarian continue to monitor the horses.  A licensed veterinarian has indicated that following the treatment noted above the horses there are doing ok.

DA  Murphy said “we will not rest until these horses are protected.  While the law doesn’t require shelter, it does require food and water and that’s why we had a judge sign an order allowing a vet to go on the property, treat and care for the horses and bill the defendant.  We will continue to do this for as long as it takes.  We are not going anywhere nor will we rest until these horses are properly cared for, fed, are healthy and the defendant is brought to justice.”


The veterinarian has also noted that the horses are receiving adequate food and water at this time, and that the law does not require them to have shelter (law enforcement has received a number of complaints from local residents complaining that the horses are left outside in the frigid temperatures without cover or protection).

The Greenfield Town Court has scheduled motions to be filed by the defendant’s attorney within the month and the District Attorney’s Office to respond within two weeks of receipt of those motions.

(District Attorney of Saratoga County - Feb 27, 2014)


Pit bull attacks three joggers and man who comes to their rescue

NORTH CAROLINA -- A pit bull attacked three women runners Saturday, seriously biting one woman twice.

Tonia Lambert, Cathy C. Starnes and Tracey Leary had jogged the Oakboro neighborhood before without incident. On Saturday, however, the run turned unexpectedly violent. As the trio arrived at the corner of Hurley Road and 8th Street, a 50-pound male pit bull charged them.

“Cathy said ‘keep moving, and he’ll leave us alone,’ ” Thomas said.

 That did not stop the 2-year-old dog from biting them.

“Even when we were atop a car, he didn’t leave us alone,” Thomas said.

 Thomas suffered the most severe bites, one to the right thigh and another on the calf, she said.
 Starnes also suffered a bite.

Leary was the only one to escape injury. She said she kept yelling “Stop!” Between her stern command and a pointed finger, the dog bounced back and forth long enough for her to find safety in a fenced yard.

“I’ve never been so scared in all my whole life,” Leary, 47, said.

“When we came around that corner he came right at us.”

Thomas, 27, and Starnes, 45, managed to climb on top a junked car. The dog kept charging them as he did Leary behind the fence.

They managed to flag down a town employee in a pickup truck. When he exited the truck, the dog charged, forcing him to leap into the bed of the vehicle for safety, Leary said.

Otherwise, nobody from any of the neighboring houses stepped outside to help.

“It amazed me that nobody heard anything,” Leary said.

The town employee called 911. An Oakboro police officer arrived on the scene armed with a shotgun. He fired into the air in hopes of scaring the dog away after he couldn’t get a clear shot to shoot the dog, police said.

Shortly thereafter, Animal Control arrived on the scene. When it appeared the dog was going to be shot, the dog’s owner ran from her house yelling “don’t shoot my dog,” Leary said.

The dog came to its owner when she called it, Leary said. She then carried the dog to the Animal Control truck, Leary said.

Thomas said her thigh bite is more bruising, but more painful than the calf wound that punctured the skin.

Doctors thought about stitches, but because dog bites typically lead to infections they decided against it, Thomas said.

Starnes’ bite is said to be a bruising injury.

Dennis Joyner, director of the Health Department that oversees Animal Control, said the owner has since surrendered the pit bull, which will be euthanized because of its aggressiveness.

“I hate that it has to come to that,” Thomas said.

“But if it later bit a child, that would be on my conscience.”

Surrendering the dog will not relieve the dog’s owners of civil penalty, Joyner said. The owner was fined $500 for having a dog run at-large that bit someone. Plus, there’s another $50 fine for violating the county’s restraint ordinance.

“People have to keep control of their animals,” Joyner said.

“I know it can be a challenge.”

Neither had the dog been vaccinated for rabies, Joyner said.

Before the dog is euthanized, Animal Control will monitor the dog’s behavior for the next 10 days per state law to determine if the animal displays evidence of rabies.

Thomas has opted to wait and see what the dog demonstrates, instead of choosing to undergo a series of painful vaccinations unnecessarily. 

(Stanly News & Press - ‎Feb 26, 2014‎)

3-Year-Old Braelynn Rayne Coulter Killed By Pit Bull

NORTH CAROLINA -- A 3-year-old girl was attacked and killed by her family's pit bull on Monday.
Braelynn Rayne Coulter of High Point, N.C., was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to her wounds, WFMY reports.

Coulter's mom tried to save her daughter, but the dog, who is now at an animal shelter, attacked the mother as well.

The toddler's family released a statement to the station:

Braelynn Rayne Coulter was a beautiful, lively three year old young lady. She was full of life. She was the light of her mama and gaga's life and the loss leaves a hole in our hearts. She was smart and vivacious and absolutely loved Dora the Explorer. She enjoyed her time in nature and going to a park was the highlight of her day. She will be missed dearly! Heaven is a little prettier today with Braelynn there!

The family said their pet had never been aggressive before.

But a neighbor told the News & Record that, months ago, the pit bull had broken out of a fence and attacked another neighbor's dog.

“This dog broke through the fence attacked (a) neighbor’s dog in October,” she said. “The dog went down the hill and all of the sudden the pit comes out of nowhere. It took all of us to get those dogs apart. Everyone in the neighborhood has been distrustful and alert since we know that (the dog) can be aggressive that way.”

The dog that killed Coulter will be held at the Guilford County Animal Shelter for the next few days until police finish their investigation and determine the pit bull's fate, according to WGHP.

Pit bull advocates have argued that the breed isn't necessarily prone to violence, but rather, the dogs are sought after disproportionately by bad owners who train them to be aggressive and vicious.
(Huffington Post - Feb 27, 2014)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

California: Ashley Nicole Miller (aka Ashley Boone), who was charged in Texas with animal cruelty, now accused of doing the same thing in San Diego

CALIFORNIA -- Ashley Nicole Miller is posing as a animal rescuer, she's using Facebook & Craigslist to find her unsuspecting victims like myself, my family and even my neighbors & their family. She's selling abused, malnourished, sick and even killer dogs that Animal Control has forbid her to put up for adoption!

We are blessed that we weren't attacked or worse by the 2 dogs she tried to force us to take!

The female "Pudding" Ashley just destroyed recently. Pudding attacked humans including Ashley, killed puppies in Ashley's care and animals. I have a statement from Ashley saying this! She at no time disclosed this information. When we refused she, she told us she's homeless, asked if she could stay with us!!!

My poor neighbors saw a puppy of hers, agreed to foster the poor sick puppy & now Ashley us threatening them, extorting money, doing property damage!!

We have uploaded everything to You Tube, our Facebook pages begging for people to come forward.

There's been police reports, restraining orders ....against her. She's dangerous to humans and animals just like HER DOGS!

Pitties and Kitties Inc
843 Alvin St, San Diego, California

Ashley Nicole Miller aka Ashley Boone, Ashley Miller

2016 Update:
She seems to be in some sort of flame war with a guy who has a Facebook page geared towards her activities. 

(Ripoffreport - Feb 26, 2014)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

South Carolina: Mitchell Driggers, 31, facing charges after his pit bulls attacked a man so severely he was put into a coma

SOUTH CAROLINA -- The owner of two pit bulls that brutally attacked a Department of Health and Environmental Control employee earlier this month has been charged in connection with the incident.

Mitchell Driggers, 31, of 1983 Wilderness Road, Dillon, is charged with Animal Penalties for Owning Dangerous Animals and Attacking and Injuring a Human, according to Cpt. Cliff Arnette at the Dillon County Sheriff's Office.

Eric Rogers, the 28-year-old DHEC employee, was out on a work-related call Feb. 3 when he was attacked by two pit bulls near Driggers’ Wilderness Place residence, which is off Highway 9 between Dillon and the Little Rock community, Arnett said.

“He was out there on a call and encountered these dogs. They were not in a pen or a fence, as far as we can tell. They were out in the open,” Arnett said.

The man was able to call 911 to report the emergency at some point, Arnett said, but he suffered severe injuries in the attack. When deputies arrived at the scene, the dogs were still attacking Rogers so the deputies shot and killed them.

The victim underwent emergency surgery immediately and remains in an area hospital. His mother, Angela Rogers, said doctors kept her son in a medically-induced coma for about a week. He is now awake and remembers everything about the attack, she said.

“He’s making progress and doing better everyday,” Angela Rogers said Tuesday.

“He’s been in the hospital three weeks today and I think he’ll probably be discharged in a few days,” she said. “Of course, he’ll still have a ways to go with his recovery. He had bites and lacerations all over his body, some deeper than others, so the recovery is going to take some time and therapy. But he’s definitely a miracle. The Lord has been with him and His hand was there the day this happened. That deputy got there quickly and saved his life by shooting those dogs. They weren’t going to get off of him. It’s terrible that it happened but we have been blessed. He’s a true miracle.”

Driggers was booked at the Dillon County Detention Center shortly after he turned himself in Tuesday morning. He was later released on a $5,000 surety bond, according to jail officials.

Under South Carolina law, a person who is the owner of a dangerous animal that attacks and injures a human is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years.

(SCNow - Feb 25, 2014)

Most dogs rescued from Durham remain in custody

NEW YORK -- Thirty-five of the 39 German shepherds removed from two Greene County homes earlier this month are still being cared for by the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office removed 39 German shepherds Feb. 9 from two houses occupied by Dawn Verdeschi, of Durham. The dogs were found living in and covered with feces and urine in crates with 2 inches of waste on the bottom, according to police.


 The stench was so bad that investigators and officers had to open all the windows and doors to breathe, according to the Humane Society.

While four of the dogs have been adopted, Humane Society investigator Ron Perez said Verdeschi has not relinquished ownership of the dogs, which has prevented the other dogs from being adopted.

“The remaining 35 dogs are still at the new [Humane Society] facility,” he said Friday.

The dogs are now being housed at the new Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA shelter in Greenport that sits adjacent to the current shelter. The new shelter has not yet officially been opened, but is being used for the rescued shepherds, he said.

“We wanted to open at the end of the month but that will be delayed until we can clear the German shepherds out, so we are running two shelters right now,” Perez said.

Verdeschi kept the dogs at a home she rented at 596 Morrison Road in Durham, and a house at 221 Hervey Sunside Road co-owned by Christopher Cella, who police are still looking for to question. Police said they were tipped off to the plight of the dogs by an anonymous caller.

Some of the dogs were found to be extremely emaciated, dehydrated and unfed. Some dogs were also being kept outside, allegedly without heat or shelter. One male dog had a wound to the face that had gone untreated for months and due to the unsanitary conditions, the infection made its way into the bones, Perez said.

The dog will likely require another costly surgery, Perez said. The cost of surgeries and caring for the dogs has already exceeded $10,000, and Perez said the society is asking the public for donations to help offset the costs.

Verdeschi was arraigned in Durham Town Court charged with one count of failure to provide sustenance, an unclassified misdemeanor. She was remanded to Greene County Jail on $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bail bond. She was not not in custody at the jail as of Friday evening.

House of horrors

Verdeschi was scheduled to appear in Durham Town Court at a later date. She could face further charges, Perez said. Custody of the dogs will be determined in Durham Town Court, Perez said.

Donations to the Columbia Greene Humane Society/SPCA can be made by phone at 518-828-6044, check by mail to 125 Humane Society Road, Hudson, N.Y. 12534 or online via PayPal. Go to for more information on how to donate.

(Register Star - Feb 23, 2014)

Original Info:
Deborah Albanese walked into a shocking scene when she checked on her rental property over the weekend. She said she was disgusted to discover dozens of dogs underneath garbage.

“You didn’t even know where a dog was until it started to bark,” she said. “My eyes started to water. That’s how bad the smell is.”

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant Sunday at the house at 596 Morrison Rd. and began a rescue and investigation into the actions of Verdeschi.

“I can’t close my eyes to that,” Albanese continued. “I had to call the police. I called 911.”

“Really, in my 30-year career in law enforcement, this is the worst animal abuse case I’ve seen,” Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley said. “There was cages on top of cages with dogs in each of the cages. There was feces on top of the dogs that was running down.”


New York: Steven Errante accused of stealing a dog, raping her and then beating her to death

NEW YORK -- A Dix Hills man arrested in December for beating a dog with a baseball bat pleaded not guilty this morning to a three count indictment charging him with the felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty, and two misdemeanors; sexual misconduct.

The investigation found the defendant had sex with RAPED the animal, and a misdemeanor count of petit larceny for stealing the dog, from a fenced-in pen behind a church near Errante’s home on Deer Park Avenue, a couple of months prior to the assault.

Judge Barbara Kahn unsealed Errante’s indictment.

Errante, 26, was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, or $100,000 bond. The court granted a defense request that the defendant undergo a psychiatric evaluation to ascertain whether Errante is an "Incapacitated person", specifically a defendant who as a result of mental disease or defect lacks capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense.

A few days after the December 22nd beating, the Rottweiler-Labrador mix, which was suffering from a fractured skull including fractures to her head, face, trauma to the body and a broken forearm, was euthanized to end her suffering.

The defendant’s attorney is Mary Beth Abbate, Esq.
1600 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park, NY (631) 586-0686


The Grand Jury of Suffolk County, by this Indictment, accuses the defendant, Steven Errante, of the crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, in violation of Section 353-a(1) of the New York State Penal Law, committed as follows:

The defendant, Steven Errante, on or about and between December 21, 2013 and December 22, 2013, in Suffolk County, New York, with no justifiable purpose, he intentionally caused serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty.

The Grand Jury of Suffolk County, by this Indictment, accuses the defendant, Steven Errante, of the crime of Sexual Misconduct, in violation of Section 130.20(3) of the New York State Penal Law, committed as follows:

The defendant, Steven Errante, on or about and between December 21, 2013 and December 22, 2013, in Suffolk County, New York, engaged in sexual conduct with an animal.

The Grand Jury of Suffolk County, by this Indictment, accuses the defendant, Steven Errante, of the crime of Petit Larceny, in violation of Section 155.25 of the New York State Penal  Law, committed as follows:

The defendant, Steven Errante, on or about October 25, 2013, in Suffolk County, New York, stole property from another.

( - Feb 25, 2014)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Florida: Sheriff's deputies borrow kayak to rescue injured pelican

FLORIDA -- MCSO - Florida Keys posted on Facebook on February 24, 2014 ·

Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Duncan and former Sheriff Rick Roth rescued this pelican at the 69 mile marker on Friday.

The bird had two broken wings and had crawled through the mangroves into a marshy area.

They borrowed a kayak in order to reach the bird and rescue it.

The bird was taken to the Wild Bird Center in Marathon for care.

Mum screamed 'the dog ate my baby's head' after six-day-old Eliza-Mae Mullane died

UNITED KINGDOM -- According to neighbors, a frantic mum screamed "the dog ate my baby's head" just minutes after the incident.

Dyfed Powys Police were called to an address in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire in Wales shortly before 8.30am.

A baby - who has now been named as Eliza-Mae Mullane - was airlifted to the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.

Officers confirmed she was later pronounced dead.

An Alaskan Malamute was taken from the property, thought to be on New Road.

Chief Inspector Ieuan Matthews said: "The baby girl was just six days old. Clearly, our sympathies are with the family at this tragic time and we have specialist officers who are supporting them.

"All I would ask is that you give them time and space to grieve. As far as our inquiries are concerned, the investigation is still at an early stage."

Neighbour Patricia Punter, 71, said anguished Sharon John, 42, ran to her in shock. She said: "It was terrible - I've never heard anything like it. Sharon was in a state of shock and just screaming. She just kept on saying: 'The dog ate my baby's head. He's blaming me for it - the baby's gone'."

Mrs Punter said the mum-of-three and her partner Patric Mullane, 33, had owned a Husky-like Alaskan Malamute called Nisha for a few months. She said Mr Mullance brought it home from a night out at the pub.

She added: "Nisha was about five or six years old but looked older. I think it may have badly treated in the past. God only knows what has gone on in there. But Sharon was in bits - she was with a policeman and they wouldn't let her back into the house.

"She came into my house to use the toilet and that's when she told me what happened to the baby. She'd only brought the baby home in the last week. It is just awful - they loved their dogs as much as their children."

Another neighbour, Jennifer Brown, 66, revealed how she caught the dog after the attack as it wandered the street. She said: "I looked outside my front window and saw the dog by the ambulance. The dog was just walking about and I went out and caught it and handed it to the police. It's a big dog and white around the mouth - but I didn't see anything that caught my eye to say anything had gone on.

"It walked along the pavement and I thought it was strange because people don't normally let their dogs wander the street. I hadn't seen the dog on the street before but I called it over from the ambulance. It came to me and I said 'go home' but instead it went to our neighbours porch and ate their cat's food.

"I got it to come back out and led it down to the house where all the police were and handed it over to them. They put it in the back of the police car."

(Daily Star - Feb 18, 2014)

Ohio: Standley Bryant, 59, accused of beating dog with shovel and belt, strangling it and threatening to kill witnesses

OHIO -- A Lincoln Heights man is accused of viciously attacking a dog by striking the animal in the head several times with a shovel and choking it with a chain.

Witnesses told police Standley Bryant, 59, also struck the dog with a belt and then choked it by pulling it off the ground with a chain at his Jackson Street home on Saturday, Hamilton County court records show.

He is held in lieu of $50,000 bond at the Hamilton County jail on charges of cruelty to animals and aggravated menacing.

The arrest apparently did not stop Bryant.

He threatened to shoot his neighbor in the face and kill her kids and family after police released him from jail, police said.

He made the threat in retaliation, thinking she was the one who turned him in, records show.

The dog, a mixed breed, was turned over to the SPCA of Cincinnati.

When Bryant made his first court appearance on the case Monday morning, he claimed police are lying.

He said the dog is a pit bull and would have bit him if he had not attacked the animal.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard said he told Bryant he “is a disgrace to the community” and hopes Bryant does not get out of jail for a long time.

The case returns to court March 4.

( - Feb 24, 2014)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Woman banned from keeping a pet for 20 years after leaving her dog to starve

UNITED KINGDOM -- A woman who left her dog to starve for so long that it started eating its own faeces has been banned for keeping animals for 20 years.

Stacey Moran, 27, from Coatbridge, Scotland, admitted failing to provide proper care for her two-year-old cross breed Sasha.


When SPCA workers found the dog, she was locked in a filthy room covered in rubbish and excrement, with no available food or water.

She was so malnourished that her ribs were sticking out under her fur and she weighed just 10lb, when she should have weighed 15lb.

Incredibly Moran tried to claim she had been away on holiday and left the dog in the care of a family member, and that they had neglected Sasha.

However an inspection by vets found that the level of malnutrition had developed over a much longer period.

Sasha was given a body score of just 1.5, with one being malnourished and five being obese.

Inspector Sam MacDonald said: 'Thankfully, Sasha made a full recovery in our care, gaining 2.35kg through simple, adequate feeding and we were delighted to find her a loving new home with a responsible owner.

'We are pleased Moran received a 20-year ban for the suffering she caused Sasha. She gave no reasonable explanation for Sasha's condition and therefore we considered this to be a case of gross neglect.'

Moran was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court yesterday after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her dog under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

In another case of animal cruelty, last month a cruel owner dumped a puppy in a hedge on a freezing night with a note around its neck which read: 'Please look after me as my owner doesn't want me'.

The 14-month-old spaniel-pointer cross was locked in a cage and left in a bush by the roadside near Downham Market, Norfolk.

Luckily, a passer-by found the abandoned pet before he starved or froze to death, after hearing his yelps for help from the undergrowth.

Attached around his neck was the note, written in a childish scrawl, which continued: 'I'll try to do my best to keep you happy. My name is Snoopi.'

(Daily Mail - Feb 20, 2014)