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Archive for May 5th, 2009

Baltimore leash law debated on radio

Baltimore city’s leash law – and the new $1,000 fine violators of it face – was alternately blasted and defended on WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show last night as four guests and numerous caller-inners voiced their opinions and offered solutions.

The city increased the leash law fine from $100 to $1,000 in February, then followed up with a crackdown on violators.

William Cole, the city councilman who, though he was among those approving the increased fines, is now seeking to have them lowered, and said last night that the majority of the council feels the same way.

Cole has also introduced an amendment to allow the city Recreation and Parks Department establish off-leash hours in designated areas of city parks.

Cole said he favors fines of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second, and $1,000 for a third. But he also said, at one point, “I would hope that any animal control officer responding to a complaint is first going to give a warning.”

Cole also displayed some excellent hair-splitting skills when he said that the new law, while it does produce new revenue for the city, “is not a revenue-producing bill.”

And he was slightly off the mark when he assured listeners that a dog park in Latrobe Park in Locust Point – the first the city has chosen to take part in opening – would be ready in “in the next couple weeks … two months?” Mary Porter, design planner for the city Department of Recreation and Parks, then corrected him, saying, “end of the summer.”

Also on the program were Judith Kunst, a single mother and dog owner involved in the petition effort to reduce the fines (1,316 signatures so far), and Robert Joyce, a dog owner and lawyer who has offered to represent, pro bono, anyone fined $1,000 for having their dog off leash.

You can hear the podcast here.

Cole admitted that the city council wasn’t aware it was increasing the off-leash fine when it approved the bill, saying it was included in a category marked “other offenses” that no one seems to have bothered to look into. “Quite frankly, we didn’t pick up on it,” he said.

Read more »

Casting call goes out for a three-legged dog

Filmmaker Geoff Talbot is looking for a three-legged star.

Through his blog and Twitter, Talbot — an actor, filmmaker, writer, comedian and veterinary surgeon — is searching for a dog to play Scrap, a role in his new movie, “Lucky & Rich.”

The ideal candidate is missing a hind leg, is medium-sized, non-aggressive and has “big cinematic doggie eyes,” according to an entry on his blog, “seven sentences.” The blog entry also carries pictures of the contenders so far.

The movie is described as a “24-hour Bohemian love story between a Czech prostitute called Lucky and a homeless New Zealand bum named Rich.”

The film will be shot in Prague from November 2009 to February 2010 and both dog and guardian will be transported there by the moviemaker. The dog playing Scrap will be under constant veterinary supervision and care, he assures candidates.

Photos of possible candidates can be sent to help.find.scrap@gmail.com.

(Photo: Frankie, one of the dogs submitted for consideration, from Talbot’s blog)

Mailman mauled, dogs executed, owner ???

A postal worker was hospitalized with 22 puncture wounds and broken bones after he was attacked by two pitbulls while on his route in Norwich, Connecticut.

The two pitbulls have been euthanized.

The owner meanwhile, if this video from News Channel 8 is any indication, seems to have taken it all in … belch …. stride.

David Holland, who owns the dogs, says they got loose through the back fence. He told the TV reporter that it was the neighbor’s fault for not reporting it.

“Why she didn’t report it to me or call the police, like they usually do.”

Holland, according to the reporter, was laughing and joking while looking at the yard smeared with blood. Police say they have been called to the house 28 times and the history extends to the dogs two parents, who were put down after a vicious attack on a Meals on Wheels driver.

“They was protecting this house,” Holland said in explaining the dogs’ attack on the mailman.

The mailman was rescued from the dogs by a carpenter who was working nearby, heard the screams and ran to his aid, using a hammer to drive the dogs off.

“Of course I feel bad, who wouldn’t feel bad? It’s a grown man, like, if you saw the way he was screaming you would feel bad,” the dog’s owner said. When the reporter pointed out that Holland was smiling, he said, “I’m smiling because you pissing me the f— off.”

Police say they have arrested Holland and charged him with the dog attack, but there could be more serious charges pending, including a possible felony because of his history.

The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook

In the foreword to “The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook,” author Betsy Brevitz, DVM, mentions a few of the new veterinary tools, treatments and procedures that — while rare five years ago — have become commonplace since then: CT and MRI scans, joint replacements, radiation therapy and a host of new drugs and vaccines.

All those advancements in veterinary medicine are one reason she wrote the book — a revised version of the “Hound Health Book,” published five years ago. “The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook” was released last month (Workman Publishing, $18.95).

It’s a handy volume, well-organized and highly readable, with easily located advice on dealing with everything from digestive issues to behavioral problems. Written mostly in question and answer format, and in a straightforward, no-bull style, it’s the kind of book that could save you an unnecessary trip to the vet, and ensure you make a necessary one.

Brevitz spent 10 years as a magazine journalist before deciding to switch careers and enrolling in veterinary school at at 35. She practices in northern New Jersey. The first book was an offshoot of an “Ask the Vet” column she started writing for the website Urbanhound.com, not long after it was launched in New York.

The book devotes chapters to digestive problems; skin problems; fleas, ticks and worms; eyes and ears; heart and circulation; respiratory problems; bone and joint problems; and behavioral issues, among others.

Every dog owner should have a place to turn for quick and up-to-date answers to questions about their dog’s care, and this book — while it doesn’t replace the veterinarian — fills that role nicely.

Be the first person to leave a comment on this entry, and we’ll send you a free copy. (Be sure and provide us with a way to get in touch with you.)

Otherwise, you can always order it from Amazon.com.