Friday, October 31, 2014

Pit Bull Rescued from Animal Shelter Attacks 5-Year-Old Boy 2 Weeks After Adoption

UTAH -- Instead of preparing for the fun of Halloween festivities, a 5-year-old Clearfield, Utah, boy is hospitalized in serious condition on Thursday, after surgery to repair internal damage and close the serious wounds he suffered when he was attacked on Wednesday by the family’s newly adopted Pit Bull, reports KSL.

The attack occurred about 1:00 p.m. at the family’s home in the 1100 block of South State in Clearfield, the report says. No one actually saw what happened, according to Davis County Animal Care and Control Director Clint Thacker.

 The 2-1/2-year-old neutered, male Pit Bull and the child were reportedly alone together in the yard playing. When the mother went outside she found the dog on top of the mauled body of her child. 

Police officials believe the Pit Bull attacked the child and dragged him through the yard, Thacker said. The boy's family had just adopted the dog from the local animal shelter two weeks before, according to KSL.

Thacker told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the boy sustained broken ribs, a gash over his eye, a facial bite that nearly removed an ear, and multiple slashing wounds on his stomach so severe that paramedics found him with his intestines on the point of spilling out, Thacker said.

"I heard that there were some intestines that came out," he said. "It was a through-bite that tore into the inner part of the child — the actual cavity. It didn't just break the skin; it punctured into the bowels."

Animal control officers captured the Pit Bull in the back yard. The owners  relinquished the animal to Davis County Animal Care and Control and requested that it be euthanized.  Rabies tests will be conducted on the dog.

The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City by ambulance and AirMed, according to Thacker.

Thacker said doctors anticipate that  the 5-year-old will stay hospitalized for at least another week. He is expected to physically recover. However, Thatcher said he fears deep, psychological wounds will affect the boy for a lifetime.

"It was very severe and very unfortunate,” he said, “this child may now be afraid of dogs for the rest of his life."

(Opposing Views - Oct 31, 2014)


Authorities refuse to release information regarding fatal Rottweiler attack on boy

WISCONSIN -- Three days after a 7-year-old boy was killed by a dog, Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann is continuing to refuse to release details of what she has called a "tragic incident."

Logan T. Meyer was "severely bitten" by a Rottweiler about 5:20 p.m. Friday, according to an updated press release issued by Ninmann late Monday morning. The release also indicated the dog was owned by the family.

"At this time, further names, addresses, and any additional information in regards to the nature of the incident and the animal will not be released out of respect to the family," Ninmann said in the release.

Ninmann also noted in the release that the family had no interest in speaking to the media and she went on to say "the Sheriff's Office would like to express our sincere sympathies to the family in regards to this terribly tragic incident. Sheriff Ninmann asks that you keep the family in your thoughts and prayers."

The Reporter asked Ninmann several questions about the incident, including its location, what happened and the name of the family. She declined to release those details, claiming the incident is "under investigation."

Over the weekend, Dodge County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brian Loos told media the sheriff's office does not anticipate filing criminal charges. So it is unclear at this time what is under investigation.

Balancing test?
Ninmann said she had weighed the release of information against the public's right to know and the public's right to know did not outweigh withholding information.

In a written statement emailed to The Reporter, Ninmann said:

"Pursuant to s. 19.35 (1)(a), Wis. Stats., a balancing test will be conducted, by the custodian of the record, when statute nor case law absolutely requires release of a record(s). Application of the balancing test must include the weighing of competing interests involved and determine whether the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by public interest favoring non-disclosure.

"Elements of our record are currently being withheld after current review and application of this balancing test. The benefit to public at large is currently outweighed by potential emotional impact to those citizens involved if certain aspects of the record is [sic] released at this time.

"Further, this is, at this time, an open and on-going law enforcement investigation. We will withhold those elements of record that, if released, could negatively impact any future witness statements or gathering of evidentiary information."

Ninmann declined to comment when asked how release of the address of the incident or the family's name/occupation would negatively impact the investigation.

Platinum K9
Online records indicate the family recently moved to the area to open a "dog protection" business called Platinum K9 Protection.

Magon Tomasiewicz, who identifies herself as Logan Meyer's aunt, created an online donation option through to assist the family. She set a goal of $20,000 and there was more than $6,000 pledged by Monday morning.

"Words cannot express how loved this little boy was and how much he will be missed by his parents: Tiffany Smith, Rob Meyer and Jessie Smith; and his siblings: Jordan, Izzy Jr. and Halee; as well as all his extended family," she said.

Tomasiewicz noted that her brother and his wife recently moved and started their own business and were in between insurance. She thanked people in advance for financial contributions, saying it will help her family "worry about one less thing."

The site includes a photo of a boy, presumably Logan, and the same boy in what appears to be a family photo: mother, father and two siblings.

The family photo shows them in front of a business listed as Platinum K9 Protection on Highway 67 in Iron Ridge. The company Facebook page opened Oct. 14.

Jessie Smith is listed as the owner of Platinum K9 Protection since Oct. 12. His Facebook biography lists him as a former Dougherty County, Georgia, police officer and a U.S. Army veteran.

Information roadblocks
While Sgt. Dale Schmidt would not comment on the dog bite incident, the sheriff-elect said roadblocks with the media will be lifted when he officially takes office in January. Schmidt defeated Ninmann by a margin of 300 votes in the Republican primary election in August. However, Ninmann has launched a write-in campaign for Nov. 4.

"The employees here are aware of (Ninmann's withholding of information)," said Schmidt. "(Former Sheriff Todd Nehls) had a very good relationship in working with the media, and I plan to go back to doing some of the same things he did when he ran the sheriff's office."

Schmidt said he would not restrict the flow of information.

"I'm not going to restrict media releases to be issued just through me," Schmidt said. "While the information will come out as I see fit, it will be released as soon as possible. But honestly, we've never seen anything quite like this."

This isn't the first fatal dog attack in Dodge County in recent years. In 2010, a 4-year-old girl was killed in the town of Hubbard when she was attacked by a boxer. Information on that incident was released by then-Sheriff Todd Nehls.

Ninmann also refused to release details when a child was severely injured in a lawn mower incident in Theresa earlier this year.

Warning signs?
Certified professional dog trainer Jake Guell of Lomira said he is interested in learning what transpired before the fatal attack. Without the information, it is hard to tell what went wrong, he said.
"The biggest thing I would say, is usually dogs aren't unprovoked," Guell said, adding it is likely there was a missed communication between dog and human.

Guell said a dog may perceive a person, a child in particular, as threat or as prey. Previous warning signs often are missed by families. Growling is common and a tell-tale sign of stress but "displacement behaviors" in dogs may include tongue flicking, excessive yawning, excessive scratching or tightening the corners of the mouth.

"(Tongue flicking) doesn't mean they're hungry, it means they're stressed," he said.

A dog who doesn't get results from warning behaviors, may go to the "next level" of behavior that could include biting.

"Once a dog learns what works, they will rehearse it," Guell said. "If a threat goes away, and a warning sign didn't work, they will use (a behavior) that worked."

Guell said it will be very important to learn what the child was doing, what the dog was doing and what the environment was like before the attack.

"(Rottweilers are) powerful and have one of the strongest psi (pounds per square inch) of bite pressure (of dog breeds)," Guell said. "They are strong and bred to protect. A lot of them now are being bred to be companions. (But) any dog can be provoked."

(FDL Reporter - Oct 28, 2014)


Woman left terrified to leave the house after being mauled by pal's pet

UNITED KINGDOM -- A WOMAN has been left terrified to leave her house after being mauled by a dog.

Lindsay Pearson’s eyebrow was “hanging off” after being attacked by the dog earlier this month.
Now she faces months of hospital visits to monitor her injuries, with the college graduate needing corrective surgery in six months.

Lindsay was left with blood streaming down her face after trying to clap a new puppy at a house - the owner of which she knows well.

As she tried to show affection to the new addition, the owner’s existing dog, a bull mastiff / bulldog cross, lunged for her, biting her above her eye.

Now the 26-year-old has been left scarred for life after the attack.

A distraught Lindsay, of Kilmarnock, said: “The dog was always kept behind the gate, but the owner said it was good with people, just not other dogs. It’s been fine with me before, but I’ve found out since it has attacked the owner and others. I was going to clap the pup and the dog has gone for me and bit me on the face.”

Lindsay’s dad and partner, Chelsea, were in the car and came to help her, grabbing a towel to stem the blood pouring from her face.

“I can’t really remember what happened, everything was just a blur because of the pain,” she added. “I asked if I was bleeding and dad said my eyebrow was hanging off. They took me to Crosshouse hospital – I was there for over six-and-a-half hours”

Lindsay was left needing 40 stitches to the wound and has been in and out of hospital for check ups. Surgery to fully repair her injury is inevitable, but to what extent, she doesn’t yet know. That will see her go for an x-ray to determine whether, as suspected, her bone has been chipped.

She added: “The left side of my face is numb and the scar is really sore.”

Lindsay didn’t want to press any charges over the incident, but has been left upset at the owner, who has blamed her for the attack.

Her partner said the police gave the owner the dog back with a warning, saying if it were to bite anyone else it would get put down. Now Chelsea wants to make people aware of dangerous dogs, especially this one.

She said: “After the attack we heard it had bitten someone before. Lindsay nearly lost her eye and will be scarred for life, as well as having to have surgery to correct her eyebrow due to part of the tissue been ripped out.

“I have a dog myself, so would hate to see anyone’s pet put down, but it’s known to everyone as being a dangerous dog and the police aren’t taking us seriously.”

Now Lindsay is scared to leave the house. Even a dog barking makes her jump.

She said: “I went to the shops with my dad the other day, but I felt really scared and nervous. I couldn’t wait to get home. My neighbour’s dog was attacked by another dog the other day and I heard the barking - it scared me. I’m okay with our dog, but I don’t feel confident around others now.”

But Lindsay is also concerned for the safety of the children in the house where she was attacked, as well as others who may come across it. A Staffordshire bull terrier owner herself, Lindsay has no issues with the breed of dog but admitted she is concerned about what the dog could do next.

She added: “I think it should be put down, but it hasn’t been yet. The police gave the dog back to the owner – I don’t want to create any problems, but then I started getting the blame.

“It wasn’t my fault I was attacked. There are kids in the house and I don’t want it to happen to them. The owner says it is fine with them, but that doesn’t mean anything – it’s attacked before and it’s unsafe to have a dog like that near kids.”

(Scottish Daily Record - Oct 30, 2014)

Clearfield boy severely mauled by family's pit bull

UTAH -- A 5-year-old boy was severely mauled by his family’s pit bull Wednesday, officials said.

The boy was outside playing when he was attacked by the dog, said Clint Thacker, director of Davis County Animal Control & Services.

Emergency personnel were called to the residence at about 1100 S. State St. at 12:30 p.m., Thacker said.

A woman at the home looked out the window and saw something suspicious, Thacker said. When she ran outside the dog was standing over the boy.

“He received multiple lacerations to the stomach and to the side, to the point the intestines were coming out,” Thacker said.

The boy’s ear was almost torn off, his ribs were broken and he also had a bite over his eye, Thacker said.

The boy was flown by LifeFlight to Primary Children’s Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. Thacker said he was told the boy would recover, but would be staying at the hospital for the next week for observation.

The dog’s rabies shots were not up to date.

“We have had no prior histories with this dog,” Thacker said.

The family turned the dog over to officials and it has been euthanized, Thacker said. Tests will be done to see if it had rabies.

“We don’t know the circumstances as to why the dog attacked the child,” Thacker said.

Thacker said parents should teach children not to bother dogs when they are sleeping, eating or playing with their favorite toy because these could trigger an attack.

(Standard-Examiner - October 30, 2014)

Delaware: Surgeons Reattach Emily Ruckle's Arm After Pit Bull Attack

DELAWARE -- Nine surgeries and four weeks after a pit bull attack nearly ripped the arm off an 8-year-old girl, the child returned to her Delaware home with her limb reattached to her body.

"First he bit me on the hip to knock me down and then he grabbed my arm, but he was going for the back of my neck," described Emily Ruckle, the daughter of Newark, Delaware city councilman Todd Ruckle.


Emily, who spent the past month at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was viciously attacked Sept. 27 by an abandoned pit bull named Frank, who her family was housing in a separate in-law suite at their Adelene Drive home in Newark, Delaware.

Her 15-year-old sister fought the dog off before police arrived and carried Emily, who was critically injured, past the violent pit bull.

The girl was airlifted to CHOP that afternoon and underwent a 12-hour surgery, the first of nine operations, to save her right arm.

Doctors said more procedures and treatment are necessary for Emily to regain use of her limb, but the young girl was happy to be heading home.

"I'm really, really, really, really excited," said Emily, who planned to celebrate with dinner at Chick-fil-A.

"She's a tough cookie," added her mom, Maria McGuinness Ruckle, who told concerned friends and relatives in a Sept. 28 Facebook post, "The doctor told us this was the worse dog [attack] she has ever seen and this is her specialty."

"I collapsed after I saw her," Maria said. "There's nothing that can compare to seeing your child unconscious in that kind of condition."

Newark Police, who credited Emily's older sister with saving her life, fatally shot the pit bull shortly after the brutal attack because its aggressive behavior prevented medics from treating the child.

When Emily left the hospital Tuesday, she headed directly to the police station to personally thank the officers who came to her aid.

Emily's father, Todd, was elected to his first-term as councilman in April 2014, according to the Newark city website.

(NBC 10 Philadelphia - ‎Oct 29, 2014‎)


Centerville man accused of hanging mother’s dog, blaming estranged wife

GEORGIA -- A Centerville man is accused of hanging his mother’s dog to death and then planting false evidence to blame his estranged wife, police said.

Antonio Robert Aquino, 29, was charged Wednesday with aggravated animal cruelty and false statements and writings, both felonies, said Centerville police Chief Sid Andrews.

Aquino was also charged with tampering with evidence and false report of a crime, both misdemeanors. He was being held at the Houston County jail.

On Oct. 20, Centerville police were summoned by Aquino to the Montrose Lane home he shares with his mother.

He showed police the dead dog, a Dachshund named Dixie, hanging from a vacuum cleaner cord that was wrapped around the door knob of an outdoor utility closet, Andrews said.

Aquino laid the blame on his estranged wife and continued to call investigators throughout the week, including a call in which he claimed he found evidence, Andrews said. Aquino is accused of planting hair he claimed belonged to his estranged wife on a privacy fence. He told police he thought she climbed over the fence and killed the dog.

After ruling out the estranged wife, police began to look at Aquino. He was asked to speak with detectives Wednesday. He first denied his involvement but ultimately confessed, Andrews said.

Aquino said he killed the dog to get back at his estranged wife, Andrews said.

( - Oct 29, 2014)

Checotah man charged with animal cruelty after more than 30 dogs found starving, filthy at his home

OKLAHOMA -- A Checotah man faces 10 counts of animal cruelty after authorities rescued dozens of dogs from his home.

Deputies from the McIntosh County Sheriff's Office arrested 62-year-old Jackie Welch after they received a complaint about animal neglect.

In an affidavit, a deputy says when he went to investigate the complaint, he saw several dogs in the yard as well as one already dead and decaying.

He wrote in the affidavit, "There was a foul odor coming from the residence that smelled of fecal matter, urine and decaying carcasses."


Upon closer inspection, the deputy says in the affidavit that he also saw several dogs in cages inside the home that were "clearly neglected to the point of near starvation."

Deputies got a search warrant and called in local firefighters to help remove the animals. Because of the overwhelming smell, the deputy says in the affidavit that the men "removed the dogs while wearing hazardous material suits with external breathing apparatus."

Deputies called volunteers at the Checotah Animal Shelter to help find temporary shelter for more than 30 dogs rescued from the home.

"All, except for a few, were in cages," says Kate Paris, the director of the Checotah Animal Shelter. "Most of the cages were too small, and they had a lot of urine and feces in there about six inches deep."


Paris says none of the dogs had any food or water, and most of them had very little hair left on them because of all the fleas. She says many of the dogs are now blind or suffer from serious eye problems due to the amount of animal waste found in the home.

Paris says she dealt with only two other animal cruelty cases that could compare to this one.
"This is the worst (though)," she says. "This is the worst."

Despite their terrible condition of the animals, Paris says they proved to be friendly and even joyful to see her and the other volunteers.


"I've never seen anything like it -- they were so happy," she says. "It was like they just couldn't believe that somebody was helping them."

A few of the dogs are now staying at the Checotah Animal Shelter, while Paris sent some of the worst cases to foster homes as well as another shelter in Eufaula. She says the dogs are nowhere ready to adopt, and most of them will end up going to a shelter in Colorado for animals with special needs.

(KJRH - Oct 29, 2014)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New York: Serial hoarder Bertha Ryan caught abusing cats again; this time more than 150 found stuffed inside her home

NEW YORK -- Animal rescuers in upstate New York are finding themselves overwhelmed after finding 150 cats in the home of a known hoarder.

Police were called to the home for a safety check on the residents when they found the felines. The cats were in the walls and packed into the house.

"The house is in a deplorable condition. This is not what we expected to find," said Sgt. S.P. Dauphinais.

The teams had to wear hazmat suits as the house was infested with fleas.

'The house has a very strong ammonia smell to the amount of burning your eyes,' said the humane society's director of operations, Tina Murray.

'It cannot be good for you long term, I mean it's obviously not good for the animals so it cannot be good for humans,' said Murray.

The cats were found to have eye infections, respiratory infections and to be anemic.

'They are all sick. We are finding in the first few the vet has looked at, that they are all covered in fleas, worms, respiratory infections. The kittens are in especially bad shape,' said Brad Shear, Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

The rescuers at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society are seeking canned cat food donations and monetary donations to purchase antibiotics.

The house belongs to Bertha A. Ryan, who was stopped in 2010 with her sister Regina Millard and 77 cats in two cars while driving in Vermont. 

In 2012, 130 suffering cats were removed from Bertha and Mary Ryan's home. Bertha's husband, Arthur Millard and their son Earl Millard have also been involved.

A further 100 cats were removed from the family's other home in Halfmoon.

A total of 450 cats have been involved in incidents with the Ryans.

(UPI - Oct 30, 2014)

After it attacked a little girl, owner wants American Bulldog euthanized. Animal Control won't let her

OHIO -- The family of an Elyria girl, who was mauled by a dog last month, turns to the FOX 8 I-Team after authorities refuse to euthanize the animal.

It was on September 9 that Roxie Hamilton, 11, was mauled by an American Bulldog, while visiting the home of a friend in Elyria.

Roxie told the I-Team, “As I was bending over, the dog just ran at me, and grabbed my face, and I grabbed his jaw, and I tried ripping him off of me and he got my finger.”

The dog only released his grip on the child’s face after her 15-year-old sister began striking the animal.

Autumn Hamilton was horrified by the injuries suffered by her little sister, but she knew she had to stabilize Roxie, who was on the verge of passing out. Autumn Hamilton told FOX 8, “She was just like dripping blood everywhere. That’s when I pushed her face up; it was hanging and so I put it up and put as much pressure as I could on it.” Roxie Hamilton said, “She saved my life.”

The child’s face was wrapped in bandages, when her mother arrived at the scene and found her daughter on a stretcher in a life squad.

Beth Hamilton told us, “I just lost it. I broke down into tears.” After her daughter was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland for emergency surgery, Hamilton confronted the owner of the American Bulldog, Sarah Long, who is a friend of the Hamilton family.

Hamilton told the I-Team, “I looked at her and said ‘sorry your dog has got to die, that’s first, I mean I said your dog’s got to die, and she’s like ‘I want them to take him.’ She begged them to take the dog.”


Hamilton and Long both said employees with the Lorain County Dog Warden’s Office refused to take the dog, even though the owner was adamant that she wanted the dog euthanized. Long told us, “I told them I want the dog out of here, after he did that and he tasted blood, I don’t know what he’s capable of.”

Beth Hamilton added, “You know, then he tells me ‘I can’t just go take a dog. It has an owner.’ You know, it ripped my daughter’s face off, so why would, that is enough reason right there, owner or no owner, to take the dog, especially when the owner is begging them to take the dog.”

According to the Lorain County Dog Warden’s Office, the dog was not seized immediately because by law, it had to be quarantined by the owner for 10 days.


Owner Sarah wants them to take the dog - and they won't

When the quarantine was up, Sarah Long said she again told the dog warden that she wanted to have the dog euthanized, but was notified by the Elyria Health Department that the dog could not be put down, because he had never been given a rabies vaccine by a veterinarian.

Long was also warned that she could be prosecuted if she had him euthanized before he received the vaccine.

“It’s sad because honestly we’ve been ready for this,” said Long.

When the I-Team asked Elyria Health Department supervisor David Oakes why the dog had not been put down 23 days after the mauling, Oakes told us, “That is because the owner of the animal has not proceeded to either do so, or provide us with the rabies vaccination information.”

Oakes maintains the handling of the mauling of Roxie Hamilton has been by the book. When asked if he could see why someone would think it was idiotic to get the dog vaccinated, and then have the animal euthanized, Oakes responded, “The follow-up vaccination is to meet city ordinance that all animals shall be vaccinated.”

But the family of Roxie Hamilton said the city’s policies are causing them undue anguish. “I don’t know what the dog’s going to do and it just bothers me that it attacked my child and could have killed her, and it’s still breathing. I mean, that’s just, it bothers me,” said Beth Hamilton.

As of Wednesday night, the dog was still being held at the home of his owner.

( 1, 2014)

170+ animals seized in North Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI -- Close to 170 animals were removed from a suspected puppy mill in Alcorn County, MS Wednesday. And it wasn't just dogs and cats. Horses, ducks, chickens, roosters, bunnies, goats, a donkey and a miniature pig were all found living in filthy conditions without proper food or clean water.

Officials with the Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter said they became concerned after receiving several complaints about animals being sold at a flea market in Tupelo.


Wednesday morning, the Alcorn County Sheriff's Department served warrants on two properties and found nearly 123 dogs and puppies in wire cages.

Officials said many of the animals were underweight and suffering from untreated medical conditions, including dental, eye, ear and skin problems. Two dogs were found dead.

Humane Society of the United States Public Information Officer Kaitlin Sanderson said a second site held 71 dogs, along with cats, goats, a donkey and a pig. HSSM's

Krystyna Schmitt described the trailer where the animals were found as, “the worst case of hoarding, plus some.”

The two sites were unrelated, but only about 10 minutes apart. The owners agreed to surrender most of the animals.


"These animals were living unimaginable lives for far too long – no animal should ever have to suffer like they did," said Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "We're thankful to Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter and the Alcorn County Sheriff's Department for stepping up to help these animals."

Workers with the Humane Society of South Mississippi were in Alcorn County helping with the rescue. Schmitt said 53 dogs were removed from the first site and taken to the shelter in Gulfport. Of those, Schmitt said 15 were puppies.


Schmitt said the dogs were held on a large piece of property in unsanitary and inhumane conditions. She said the barn where the animals were held had no ventilation, and there were maggots swarming under the kennels.

This was the second largest rescue in HSSM history. Schmitt said the total cost of the rescue is $65,000.

Charlotte Doehner, director and board president of Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter, said, "This rescue really exemplifies the need for stronger animal cruelty laws. I'm grateful that we could provide relief for these animals today. And I'm so appreciative of all of the groups that came together to help give them the care they deserve."


The animals will be thoroughly examined by teams of veterinarians and receive any necessary medical treatment. The dogs will be moved to the Humane Society of South Mississippi and the other animals will be moved to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League and other care providers in the state.


The HSUS, Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter, All Animal Clinic, Atlanta Humane Society, Heinz Veterinary Services, the Humane Society of South Mississippi, Loving Friends Transport, Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Southern Pines Animal Shelter and local veterinarians assisted law enforcement with the rescue and removal of all the animals.

HSSM is asking for donation of paper towels, bleach wipes and bath towels. They are also accepting monetary donations.

(WLOX - Oct 29, 2014)

"There's a reason why I don't bow hunt"

TENNESSEE -- Tennessee's deer archery season opened Sept. 27, and thousands of bow hunters took to the woods. I wasn't among them.

I'm certainly not anti-archery -- more on that in a minute -- but it's not for me. I gave up bow hunting in the mid-1960's after I shot a little buck, it ran off and died, and I couldn't find it.

I made an apparent perfect shot at about 20 paces, burying the arrow up to the feathers behind the deer's shoulder. But the triple-bladed broadhead didn't kill the deer. It went bounding away through a dense red-brush thicket.

I spent hours futilely searching for the deer. It left no blood trail. I managed to follow its tracks into a swamp, where I lost them.

I crisscrossed the area looking for fresh tracks and/or blood, but could find nothing. I was certain I'd killed the deer, but I couldn't find it.

About a week later another hunter in the area (my uncle's farm) found the dead buck by following circling buzzards. It had run deep into the swamp and collapsed into a thick tangle of honeysuckle vines and brush, buried from sight.

That's when I quit bow hunting.

Back then just seeing a deer was a big deal. You might hunt for years -- as I did during one stretch -- without getting a shot.

To finally kill one and lose it was, for me, unconscionable. I wasn't going to do it again.

Even today, with deer plentiful, I feel the same way. No matter how many deer I kill (I got eight during my best season) I don't want to risk wounding and losing one.

Granted, I occasionally miss with my muzzleloader or old 30-30. But very seldom. I wait for a good, close shot and make a clean kill almost every time.

With a bow -- with which I occasionally target-shoot -- I can hit the kill zone eight or nine shots out of 10 at a reasonable range. Some might think that's good enough. I don't.

Instead of being content with the eight or nine deer I'd have killed (maybe), I worry about the one or two I'd have wounded.

Unfortunately, there are some bow hunters who don't feel the same away. I was talking to one a few years ago, explaining that I don't consider myself a consistently good enough shot to bow-hunt. He chuckled and said he's not a great shot either, "but I've got plenty of arrows and I just keep shooting till I hit something."

The late Bob Steber, Tennessee's greatest outdoor writer, called archery season "pin cushion season," because so many deer were wounded. Steber believed bow hunters should be required to pass a proficiency test to get an archery permit. This was back before modern advancements in archery equipment made for more accurate shooting.

There are articles online that discuss how 50% or more of animals shot don't die right away - AND ARE NEVER FOUND by the morons who shot at them in the first place. They get shot in the gut or the eyeball or they have a broken leg, punctured lung... and die of thirst and starvation. It is rarely a "clean shot" where the deer is standing there minding its own business and then boom it's dead.

I'm sure that the majority of today's bow hunters are proficient. They practice long and hard and make sure their shots are vital. Most of my gun-hunting buddies are also bow hunters, including one, Barry Stricklin, who uses flint-tipped home-made arrows shot from an Indian-vintage bow. Last season he shot one arrow and killed one deer.

At the other end of the archery spectrum from primitive bows and arrows are compound bows and crossbows, the latter legalized by the TWRA a few years ago. I support their use. I'm for anything that helps a hunter make a more accurate shot. As proficient as crossbows have become, I might give one a try at some point.

But for the time being, I'll stick with my muzzleloader and old 30-30.

When I squeeze the trigger I'm confident that the deer I'm aiming at will meet a quick and humane death. I lack that confidence with a bow -- and just one wounded deer is one too many for me.

(Lebanon Democrat-Oct 14, 2014)

Animal cruelty charge dropped against woman taking care of neighbor's dog

PENNSYLVANIA -- It's a story that has created a firestorm of emotions from the community after a dog was taken from a Gallitzin Borough family's porch while they were away on vacation.

A neighbor said she was taking care of the dog, but police said the 15 year old Labrador Retriever German Shepherd mix  was found in filthy conditions and was near death.

The dog died just days later at a humane shelter in Altoona and police filed charges against the neighbor for animal cruelty. On Tuesday, those charges were dismissed.

It's the outcome that Favre the dog's owners and the neighbor taking care of him wanted. The charges being dropped was the best scenario for them, they just didn't expect it happening the way it did.

The summary hearing for Jenny Wills had been rescheduled three different times while the Cambria County District Attorney's Office investigated the case. On Tuesday though, an assistant district attorney was there representing Borough Police Chief Gerald Hagen.

Hagen is the officer who allegedly took a call about Favre from a concerned neighbor in August. He said when he showed up, he found the dog lying in puddles of vomit and feces, left alone without food or water and wearing a spike collar around his neck. And on Tuesday, he brought pictures that he said proved it. Hagen said in August he called Paul Gottshall, a humane officer in Blair County, to help him take Favre to a vet because the dog appeared to be near death.

Wills, who told 6 News in August she was caring for the dog, brought her own attorney Tuesday and so did the dog's owners, Chris and Renee Myers. They also brought friends and family who were hoping for answers as to why the dog was taken in the first place and how a humane officer from another county had jurisdiction to do so.

Those questions never came up though. In fact, none of the witnesses subpoenaed to court to testify Tuesday afternoon even took the stand because prosecutors were not allowed to use a statement by the neighbor, before first showing evidence she committed a crime. It's evidence they either didn't have or weren't ready to show Tuesday afternoon.

"If they can't establish that a crime was committed, the defendant's statement, or my client in this instance, wasn't admissible," said Joel Peppetti, who represents Wills. "We hope that they decide not to refile the citation and they're looking at the interests of justice and not necessarily for convictions."

The owners left their sick, elderly dog outside in the elements while they went
on vacation. Then they complain when officers take it to be seen by a vet.
The charge Wills was facing was only a summary citation -- another reason why the judge said the hearing was a "one-shot deal." He said the hearing was scheduled for Tuesday and he wasn't going to prolong it when the prosecution asked for a continuance.

So the prosecution withdrew the charge. But that doesn't mean they can't refile. They have two years to do so.

(WJACTV - Oct 7, 2014)