Sunday, March 29, 2009
A barking pit bull alerted a family of five to a smoldering fire in the basement of an Alexandria townhouse this weekend, fire officials said.
Jasmine, a young pit bull, began barking after a fire broke out shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday in the basement of a brick duplex at 37 South Gordon St. Smoke alarms sounded, but the family only heard the barking before emergency responders arrived.
Firefighters discovered a fire inside a wall behind a washer and dryer, which had started in the dryer vent. Damage was estimated at $20,000. Officials installed new smoke alarms. The family is staying with relatives and friends, officials said.
-- Staff Writer Derek Kravitz
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Cat shot 27 times - and livesBen Blomfield
Monday, March 2, 2009
© The Cairns Post
THE relentless torture of a pet cat that was shot 27 times at point-blank range in the head and neck with an air rifle has outraged animal welfare authorities.
Possum, a two-year-old male domestic cat, somehow survived shocking cruelty after cowards trapped him in a cage about 9pm on Friday.
The gun was shoved in the animal’s face and mouth with two direct shots penetrating his tongue and lodging in his nasal cavity.
Police are investigating the violent attack on the cat, which will have surgery today to remove 15 remaining pellets.
Owner Jodi Mulley pulled out five of the pellets herself while seven other pellets that punctured the skin were not found.
It is believed the animal was caught in a cat trap somewhere at Portsmith and repeatedly shot with the slug gun. One lead pellet narrowly missed the cat’s jugular vein.
Ms Mulley rang four veterinarians who told her they would not see Possum unless they received a $150 emergency call-out fee.
"One vet told me if I didn’t take him to the vet ASAP, they would have me fined for trying to clean him up myself,’’ she said. "I spent the whole night crying because I thought my baby was going to die."
Greencross Veterinarians principal surgeon Max Fargher, who treated Possum around 1.30pm on Saturday, said: "The cat is going to be fixed regardless of the cost."
He said in 18 years working as a vet, he had never seen such a disturbing attack on an animal.
"In general, this is the worst episode of animal cruelty I’ve ever seen," he said.
An RSPCA spokesman said Possum’s incident was part of a new wave of animal cruelty cases reported in the past 12 months.
"We’ve had some instances in the last year where the level of violence has been taken to a new level," he said.
"The extent of the violence of the crimes is getting more intense."
Possum will undergo surgery today, estimated to cost $700.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
By Dan Jovic | email@example.com
March 23, 2009
Vicious or Not ?
Proposed legislation in the Ohio State House would remove pit bulls from the definition of a "vicious dog" in the state of Ohio.
House Bill 79, which was introduced by Rep. Barbara Sears, (R - Sylvania) last week, looks to amend section 955.11 of the Revised Code.
Under Ohio law, pit bulls are deemed dangerous and vicious based on their breed, not based on if the dog has killed, caused serious injury to any person or killed another dog.
"In the 1970's it was German Shepherd, in the 80's Dobermans, in the 90's it was Rottweilers, now it's Pit Bulls. Breed specific legislation does not accomplish the goal." said Sears, "We want to take the focus of the law away from the breed and have it on the behavior of the animal, then hold the owner of the animal accountable."
Under the proposed legislation the following section of the Ohio Revised code would be removed:
"(iii) Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog. The ownership, keeping, or harboring of such a breed of dog shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping, or harboring of a vicious dog."
The proposed legislation has had one staunch opponent in Lucas County Dog Warden, Tom Skeldon, who e-mailed Rep. Sears a case report regarding Pit Bull mauling deaths in Detroit, Michigan over a 19-year period. The email contained an autopsy picture of a child who had been mauled to death by a pit bull.
Skeldon tells Fox 8 News the picture was necessary to show what the animal is capable of doing.
"The [Vicious Dog] law has been a valuable tool in protecting the public, it puts restrictions on Pit Bulls, requires the dog to be fenced or caged and requires owners to have liability insurance." said Skeldon, "That would all go away with this law. This proposal is totally reactive, there is no proactive element involved. The law is proactive, it prevents accidents."
Skeldon says his agency impounded 50 pit bulls in 1993, in 2007 that number was 1354.
Thank you, Representative Sears. We love you! Let her know you feel firstname.lastname@example.org
Research with canines may one day lead to new therapies to benefit humansPosted March 23, 2009
By Amanda Gardner
MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Joe Bauer got the call on a Friday afternoon.
A 10-year-old bichon frise named Oscar had developed anal sac adenocarcinoma, a particularly virulent cancer in dogs, and had been given only three months, at best, to live. The dog's owners, from Milford, Mass., were heartbroken and planned to have Oscar put down the next day.
Instead, Bauer, who at the time was a staff scientist at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Hematology & Oncology Molecular Therapeutics, shipped an experimental cancer drug free-of-charge to Oscar's veterinarian -- essentially enrolling Oscar in a clinical trial that could end up benefitting not only suffering dogs but humans as well.
Treating dogs as a prelude to finding new cancer drugs for humans is an idea that's catching on.
"Dogs are benefiting more and more as [people] recognize the value of studying new cancer therapies -- not just drugs -- in dogs," said Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, a staff veterinarian and board-certified dog/cat oncologist at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. "There are a couple of reasons why the dog is so good."
For one thing, the mice usually studied in cancer research are genetically bred to develop tumors. Dogs, like humans, spontaneously develop tumors.
"The tumors we ultimately want to treat in people spontaneously happen because people have darn bad luck," Hohenhaus said. "The same thing is true for dogs. That aspect of tumors in dogs is fabulous in terms of mimicking what happens in humans."
Also, not only are dogs similar to humans in their genetic makeup (certainly more similar than mice), they are also exposed to the same environmental factors that humans are.
Experimental chemotherapy drugs might garner response rates of 80 percent or higher in mice, but that figure often plunges to 10 or 15 percent when applied to humans, added Bauer, who said he now directs scientific research at the Bauer Research Foundation in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
It's been five years since Oscar's death-sentence reprieve with the new drug, and he's still going strong.
Since then, three other dogs have been treated and have responded to the drug, called nitrosylcobalamin (NO-Cbl), without any negative reactions, Bauer said. He was to present the findings Monday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City.
The research field appears so promising that the U.S. National Cancer Institute has established the Comparative Oncology Program to evaluate chemotherapy drugs in dogs.
And the first U.S. canine tumor tissue bank started accepting tissue and blood samples from dogs with cancer in 2007. The new "biospecimen repository" facility lies adjacent to the National Cancer Institute's own library of human cancer samples.
Since Oscar, Bauer has treated a 13-year-old giant schnauzer named Haley with thyroid cancer and a 6-year-old Golden Retriever named Buddy with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.
Buddy's tumor shrank 40 percent after 10 months of daily treatment, he said. Haley's shrank by 77 percent.
Bauer's group is now doing research with 10 dogs. They will be tracked for a year with the help of their own veterinarians. Based on the results of that research, Bauer said, he hopes to file for an investigational new drug application for NO-Cbl from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a phase I clinical trial on humans.
"There's a great inequity for drugs available for veterinary use and those available for human use," Bauer said. "Most of those used to treat dogs and other pets were developed in the 1950s."
Hohenhaus added: "This helps my animal patients have access to treatments they wouldn't have access to otherwise. We look at this as a benefit to both species."
From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Puppy mill dogs adopted from Everett shelter
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
EVERETT, Wash. -- This time a dog's life was not so bad, at least for 68 animals seized from what authorities believe was a puppy mill near Gold Bar.
Adoptive owners came from as far as Idaho to Evergreen Fairgrounds at Monroe to pick up 68 of the dogs Sunday.
A few prospective owners decided the animal allotted to them was not suitable, but Everett Animal Shelter officials say they'll have little trouble placing those dogs because they got 450 adoption applications.
The dogs were among about 150 that were seized in January from a filthy and overcrowded operation near Gold Bar. About 450 more were seized in related raids in Skagit County.
Officials say the dogs put up for adoption were mostly used for breeding and included very few puppies.
Information from: The Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com
Thursday, March 12, 2009
From the Las Vegas Sun:
By Jerry Fink
Pit Bull rescuers will host a fundraiser this weekend featuring a movie premiere, chef’s dinner, art auction, concert and a VIP after party.
The Great Pit Ball will be held at The Palms and Mandalay Bay to raise money for the Villalobos Animal Rescue Center in Canyon Country, Calif., near Los Angeles.
The Center is a rescue, rehabilitation and placement facility for abused and abandoned Pit Bulls. The facility, the largest of its kind in the world, is owned and operated by Tia Maria Torres and her family who tend to and help rehabilitate the 150-250 Pit Bulls who are in her care at any time. They have a daily average of 200 dogs in their care with an average placement rate of about one dog per month. For more information, visit www.vrcpitbull.com.
Spearheaded by Brandon Bond, renowned tattoo artist and owner of All or Nothing Tattoo in Atlanta, and Ralph Perazzo, award-winning pastry chef and owner of Rare Concepts Group, the Great Pit Ball will feature:
• 5 p.m. - Dining for the Dogs Dinner at The Palms – Ralph Perazzo has gathered some of his favorite Las Vegas chefs, including Rick Moonen of RM Seafood (Mandalay Bay) and Joe Elevado of Social House (Treasure Island), to serve up their favorite dishes at a station-style dinner. Additionally, Nashville sensation Kimber Cleveland will perform a private acoustic concert for guests. $50 per person. Event also features an art auction and private concert by Kimber Cleveland.
• 8 p.m. - Red Carpet
• 9 p.m. - World premiere of "Vicktory to the Underdog" at Brenden Theaters at The Palms – hosted by Bond (the film’s director), with several of the film’s stars on hand, including actors Danny Trejo ("Heat," "From Dusk Till Dawn"), Donal Logue (TV’s “Life,” Zodiac, Ghost Rider), Bob Barker (TV’s “The Price is Right”), Michael Berryman ("The Devil’s Rejects," "Weird Science") and Pixie Acia (TV’s “LA Ink”). The film takes an in-depth look at Bond’s efforts to rescue Pit Bulls, including the infamous Michael Vick dogs. $25 per person.
• Art Show – The nation’s top tattoo and alternative artists have donated an incredible collection of art for sale. Some artists will be present to sign autographs and take photographs with guests who purchase their pieces.
• Concert and VIP After Party – A show after the movie featuring Sick of it All, Madball, The Spyderz and Toetag. The bands will rock at the famed House of Blues. $25 per person.
Animal Planet will film the Great Pit Ball as the season finale for “Outlaw Dogz,” a program currently in production scheduled to air in 2009. The six episode series, based on Villalobos Animal Rescue Center and its work saving Pit Bulls, is being filmed on location at Villalobos.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.allornothingtattoo.com.
Attendees can purchase the complete VIP package for $150, which includes entry into all of the day’s events, reserved VIP seating at the movie premiere, chef’s dinner and concert, as well as a gift bag containing autographed limited-edition copies of the film, the bands’ CDs, a concert poster and more. In addition to bypassing all lines, VIP ticket holders will also receive free drinks at some of the events.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
March 10, 2009 : 1:54 PM ET
A Chihuahua named Little Bebe – missing for two years – has been found 700 miles from home. And she’s about to be reunited with her person.
A Best Friends employee is driving Bebe to Los Angeles to meet up with Renee Clark today (March 10).
Two years ago, Clark took Little Bebe to a Los Angeles-area shelter to get a companion dog for Bebe. She’d already filled out the paperwork and was picking up the dog. She left Bebe in the car while she ran inside. When she returned, her car had been broken into and Little Bebe was gone.
On March 5, Bebe turned up in Salt Lake City at the Humane Society of Utah, after a woman gave her up, telling the shelter she and her husband had a new baby and couldn’t keep the dog. The shelter, in turn, discovered that the three-year-old dog was implanted with a microchip. The microchip company had her listed as stolen and still under her original person’s name, says Jessica Almeida, the rescue coordinator for the shelter.
So shelter staff called the phone number and it was still in service. “We called and Renee was shocked,” Almeida says. “She told us, ‘Oh, my gosh, Bebe was taken from me two years ago!’ She was elated. She was ready to hop on a plane and come up here.”
Coincidentally, a staffer with Best Friends’ Los Angeles Programs was scheduled to transport 31 rescued shelter dogs from Los Angeles to the Humane Society of Utah for placement in foster homes and just happened to be driving up March 9.
“They asked if I’d take Little Bebe to Los Angeles to be reunited,” says Jameson Yu, a Best Friends staffer who is taking Bebe back to California. Yu says he’s happy to be the one to reunite them. “It’s good to get them back together again after so long.”
Check back with bestfriends.org for the reunion story and photos.
Written by Cathy Scott
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I asked the shelter's lone volunteer that was attending to the dogs what was the single dog she could identify that had the most hard luck story she surprised me. Her first response, naturally, was that they all had hard luck stories, and there's no disputing that, but instead of picking one of the numerous Pit Bulls she told me it was it was Nathan, a short-haired Chihuahua mix. Apparently, small dogs are not as adoptable these days. Nathan has been there the longest.
I didn't want to take up any more of the volunteer's time so I didn't ask to visit with him. Unfortunately, the only photos I have of him are behind the metal door of his kennel. Here's a better picture of him from the shelter's website.
Unfortunately, last week's shelter dog of the week, Sheba, was still in her same kennel, right next to Star. Those two have both been there for a while now. If something doesn't happen soon they could be facing an unfortunate end.
Another thing that I found surprising was a cute little puppy named Beauty was still there. I hadn't mentioned her previously figuring that a cute little baby puppy would be adopted quickly. Yet there she still is. If you're a sucker for adorable little puppy dogs Beauty's only 2-3 months old. And she'll certainly be a very pretty girl when she grows up.
Finally, I asked the volunteer for her personal favorite. She told me it was Brie, a 13-month old black and white Pit Bull. She said Brie's sweetness is what made her so special.
All the dogs you see here are available at the Contra Costa Animal Services facility in Martinez, CA. Their telephone number is 925-335-8300.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Dog Comes To Woman's Rescue, Bites Intruder
Westmoreland County Trailer Resident Kicks Attacker In GroinhePittsburghChannel.Comupdated 47 minutes ago
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A woman and her dog fought off an intruder late Friday night who likely has some bruises.
State police said a man wearing all black clothing with a hood pulled over his head and black paint on his face tried to subdue Stephanie Darnell inside her trailer on Apple Jack Lane in Hempfield Township shortly before midnight.
"He didn't even say a word, not one word, not 'shut up.' Nothing," Darnell said.
Investigators said Darnell awoke when the man entered her trailer and subsequently grabbed her around the neck.
"He pushed me down on the bed and we were struggling, and he choked me and went behind and he went to duct-tape my feet together," Darnell said.
Neighbors became worried when they started hearing noises.
"I will never forget that scream as long as I live. I've never heard anything like it," said a neighbor who declined to be identified.
Darnell, 23, was able to struggle with the man, kick him in the groin and pinch his stomach area, according to state police. At some point during the struggle, Darnell's dog, a border collie-German shepherd mix named Dozier, attacked the man and bit him.
"I think the dog bit him really good. He slammed the dog, and then he ran out of the house and screamed out the door," Darnell said. "I'm grateful. I'm so glad I have him."
The break-in has put residents of the Suburban Acres Trailer Park community on edge. They've already formed a neighborhood watch group.
"I don't know if someone was checking the place out. I have no idea. So, many things run through your mind," said George Pitonyak, Darnell's boyfriend, who was at work during the incident.
Since Friday night, Darnell said it's been tough for her to get any sleep. She and her boyfriend plan to move soon.
State police had only a vague description of the man who fled the trailer, saying he is between 5 feet 6 inches tall and 5 feet 8 inches tall.
The Friday edition of the San Gabriel Valley Times ran an article mentioning our blue Pit Bull from the Pasadena Humane Society:
Pasadena Humane Society shelter at capacityBy Sharon Hardwick, CorrespondentPosted: 03/05/2009 04:53:23 PM PST
PASADENA- One of Pasadena Humane Society's longest resident pooches, rumored to be faced with certain death, finally found a home Thursday.
The pit bull of kennel number 112 was getting a new home, but not a new family.
A local rescue group had answered an appeal by the society, which, according to spokeswoman Ricky Whitman, is bursting at the seams.
"We are at capacity," Whitman said. "We are full with some wonderful pet-quality dogs. Many people are turning in animals and we are assuming it has to do with the economy. To them it's setting the animal free; to us it's abandonment."
Taking in animals from seven cities including Pasadena, the shelter has seen an increase of 2000 animals since last year. The rise in relinquishments and rescues has forced the staff to network even harder with outside rescue organizations.
"We weren't built to house animals for long periods of time," Whitman said. These days rescue groups come by more than once a week to collect animals the shelter can't provide for, she said.
But the sinking economy is having a general effect and, she said, the reality is there just aren't enough homes.
Whitman hopes that families will contact the shelter before making the decision to give up their pet.
"We are in a position to provide assistance to someone who wants to give their pet up," she said. "We just ask them to give us a call beforehand, because by the time they get here people have made the decision to relinquish."
The Pasadena shelter can assist pet-owners with veterinary costs, food, counseling and advice on how to take care of their pet. Relinquishing a pet should be a last resort, she said, especially when finding homes is so difficult.
"There comes a time when dogs no longer `kennel' well," she said, and once their behavior and health begin to deteriorate, the animal's future looks bleak.
"The decision for euthanasia is really difficult for staff," Whitman said, adding that discussion is often long and recommendations must come from staff at every level.
However, as the economy worsens and families feel forced to make decisions about where finances are best spent, it's often the pets that get left behind.
The society, she said, is seeing the direct result.
In all Whitman's time at the shelter, she said, "I've never seen anything like this."
Thursday, March 5, 2009
It seemed to be her fate to die unwanted and unnamed. As far as I know she's still just "A244630", but I'm sure she'll be given a name soon. I hope to make contact with them soon and hopefully keep track of her until she finds a permanent home.
You can visit their website at www.thebarkinglot.net.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Jennifer Warner, fellow Pit Bull crusader originally told us this about her.
Yesterday this sweet little girl had so much sadness in her eyes, she is loosing hope after being in a kennel for so long... you can see the video I did of her a few weeks ago and how happy, gentle and adorable she is.
Please post her on your profile so she can find a home before her time is up! Adopters can go to meet her at the Pasadena shelter www.phsspca.org or call 626-792-7151
Earlier today she had this update.
Update 3/4 5pm: authorized for euth tomorrow. Call 626-792-7151 ask for #A244630 if you can adopt or rescue her. She's had zero interest, the shelter is full, and she's been there the longest. :*(
Just looking at her picture doesn't do her justice. Look at her in this video:
I have never been affected by a single dog as much as I have by this one. This adorable little runt is so innocent and charming it's heartbreaking to think of her being put to death. If anyone reading this is in a position to help or knows of someone else that can please tell them about her. She deserves better than this.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
They covered an extremely wide spectrum of subjects from snobby doggy fashions and the latest boutique designs to nitty gritty issues like fighting puppy mills and breed specific legislation. There was a touching story about that little white dog on the cover and what then-Senator Obama helped do for her, expert advice from lawyers, trainers, vets, and even a section from TV celebrity trainer Victoria Stillwell from “It’s Me or The Dog”. Major players like Best Friends, the ASPCA, PETA (boo!), and the HSUS (despite recent events, they still get a “boo!”) also had contributions. Full pages were reserved for ads from shelters, rescues, and PSAs. And NO ads from breeders! Now THIS is what I’d call a perfect dog magazine.
My lone complaint is that it’s just a quarterly. They don’t publish as often as they should.
I noticed that the news rack actually had many dog magazines so I decided to check them out and see how well they all stood up the newly-raised bar that The American Dog had set.
My basic criteria for consideration was that it could not cater to breeders. The magazines that failed that first litmus test were Dog Fancy, Dogs USA, Puppies USA, and local periodical in Hawaii called Ilio. I found that not only did these titles accept ads from breeders there were a fair share of material that promotes breed snobbery, thus further devaluating shelter dogs.
The Bark is winner. This bi-monthly is based out of nearby Berkeley and it shows. There’s a kind a middle-aged, former 60’s hippie driving a Volvo station wagon with an “I support NPR radio” sticker in the window feel to it. That’s not a complaint though. My mother lives in nearby El Cerrito so I’m familiar those folks. They make great dog owners!
There are well-written articles about the efforts of shelters and rescues and rescue efforts. There’s always very strong coverage of dog-related book releases. I found there were very few articles that failed to hold my interest. There’s even a monthly contribution from dog authority and animal behavioralist Dr. Patricia McConnell that never fails to bring up issues that warrant further thought and exploration.
The one monthly feature that really put The Bark over the top is a two-page section filled with dozens of reader-submitted pictures of their smiling dogs. Now of the features of Pit Bulls I’ve always loved are their smiles. No dog has a bigger smile than a pibble. Or so I thought until picking up my first issue of The Bark. There are dogs of every breed in this section. I’ve since changed my opinion about Pit Bulls having cornered the market on the big smiles. You absolutely cannot flip through any given issue and not stop for an extra moment or two to smile back.
Fido Friendly is really a niche magazine. Inside you’ll find standard fare like dog fashion, a vet advice page, etc. The real eye-grabber of the issue I picked up was a picture of Beth Stern, a.k.a. Mrs. Howard Stern on the cover with an accompanying interview inside.
The niche this magazine attempts to fill is for the traveler. There are extensive advertising from pet friendly hotels and other motor lodges. This is a magazine I’d regularly turn to if I traveled more often but based upon the non-travel related material here there just isn’t enough to bring me back otherwise.
If the title “Doggie Aficionado” makes you think of something snooty and superficial you wouldn’t be far off base with this quarterly. Although you won’t find any ads from breeders you won’t find any from shelters or rescues either. There were articles about the top high end products for your dog and high end dog-friendly vacation spots. Most of the ads were for expensive dog jewelry, art, clothing and beds. This isn’t one I’d recommend either.
Modern Dog was a pleasant surprise. It looked much like Doggie Aficionado until I took a closer look. Along with celebrity dog owner profiles, ads for pricey accessories, and a section for a “dog psychic” is some surprisingly gripping articles that included a look at what become of the Hurricane Katrina dogs, the profile of a cartoon artist that does a daily strip featuring shelter dogs as the main characters, and a fascinating look at a prison that has a program where selected inmates are chosen to rehabilitate shelter dogs. All in all, I’d say this quarterly is worth reading regularly.
The final title can’t really be considered a “dog” periodical. It’s the bi-monthly magazine of the Best Friends Animal Society, the largest animal sanctuary in the U.S., and home to the popular National Geographic network show “Dogtown”. Because they rescue animals of all kinds it’s about a lot more than dogs alone. Indeed, the Best Friends magazine writes about all kinds of shelter animals, cats, horses, birds, and more. No, they don’t discriminate. Not only do I wholeheartedly endorse this magazine, I’d urge anyone that has an interest in shelter animals to subscribe to it, as proceeds directly benefit them.
They also had another great suggestion that would be a good idea for any of these great magazines. When you’re done reading pass it on. Leave it at the vet’s office, or the groomer’s, anywhere where people are reading. Spreading the word is where it’s at. What a great idea.