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Archive for May 22nd, 2009

Steelers star’s pit bull attacks his son

Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh is reporting that a pit bull owned by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison attacked the player’s young son on Thursday.

An unidentified neighbor said one of the star player’s three dogs got loose Thursday at Harrison’s Franklin Park home and attacked the boy, James III. His age was not immediately available.

The boy was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital, where his condition is not known. The hospital declined comment.

“We are aware of the situation, but it a personal matter for James,” the Steelers said in a statement.

Harrison, 31, is the NFL Defensive Player of the Year — and the team member that opted to stay home on the day the Super Bowl-winning Steelers met with President Barack Obama.

At home with Michael Vick

Michael Vick spent his first day back home Thursday getting fitted for an electronic ankle monitor, hosting a backyard barbecue for friends and family, and preparing for his new job as a $10 an hour construction worker.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, convicted of financing a dogfighting operation, served 19 months of his 23-month sentence in prison. He’ll serve two more at home, then be officially released from federal custody on July 20.

Study blasts training methods like Millan’s

The debate raging here on ohmidog! — and in the rest of the world, too — just had a little more fuel thrown on it: A new British study says dominance-based dog training techniques such as those espoused by Cesar Millan are a waste of time and may make dogs more aggressive.

Researchers from the University of Bristol’s Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, after studying dogs for six months, conclude that, contrary to popular belief, dogs are not trying to assert their dominance over their canine or human “pack” and aren’t motivated by maintaining their place in the pecking order.

One of the scientists behind the study, Dr. Rachel Casey, in an interview with ABC News, said the blanket assumption that every dog is motivated by some innate desire to control people or other dogs is “frankly ridiculous.”

Read more »

Chow chows rescued from their rescuer

Ninety-two chow chows were seized after authorities this week discovered them living crated and cramped in a small house near Lancaster, Pa.

The chows were discovered in the house, basement, garage and car of Terri Palmer-Roby, founder of Pendragwn Chow Chow Rescue, a shelter for homeless members of the ancient Chinese breed.

Two dead and decaying dogs were removed from at the home during a Tuesday afternoon raid by the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, East Lampeter Township Police, and the Humane League of Lancaster County, according to the Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal.

All the dogs were caged and living in their own waste, many of them emaciated, with open wounds and matted fur, authorities said.

Before Tuesday’s raid, Palmer-Roby was a friend of the Humane League and other area shelters from which she pulled chows in hope of rehabilitating them and adopting them into permanent homes, said Megan Gallagher-Clark, vice president of development at the league.

Six League staff members removed the dogs from the home in shifts Tuesday. Some will be sent to shelters in Berks, York, Bucks and Montgomery counties.

FURminator: Are two blades better than one?

Two new variations on the FURminator are hitting the market, and after sampling them both, I can report that neither is as revolutionary a product as the original. Then again, it’s hard to improve on perfection.

The new models are a double-edged version of the deshedding tool that FURminator says works twice as fast as the original, and an ejectable version that, with the push of a button, moves dog or cat hair out of the blade.

The push button ejector does work — though it sometimes takes repeated pushes — and it frees you from having to manually clear the blade after every five to ten strokes. On the other hand, that wasn’t much trouble to begin with. It only took one quick swipe of the hand, which you need to do anyway if you’re bagging your sheddings.

Having a small yard and a big dog, that’s often what I do; otherwise, as much fur as the FURminator removes, you’ll soon be ankle deep in it. (Better yet is to take dog and FURminator to the park and let the fur fly; the birds like to use it for nests.)

As for the double-bladed FURminator, I found it more trouble than it’s worth — namely because fur can’t be removed from its blades with a simple swipe of the hand. Instead you’ve got to navigate a finger between the two blades. Even if it is removing twice the shedding, the blade clearing slows the process down more than it speeds it up. And it also means you have twice the number of blade covers to misplace, as I seem to do every time I use it.

That said, FURminator remains king in my book, in terms of grooming your dog and cutting down on the in-house shedding. The only down side? Expect to pay $50 or more, depending on the size you need.

Accused Chihuahua dumpers want dog back

Two cousins charged with tossing a Chihuahua out the window of a moving car now say that it was all a big misunderstanding

And they want their dog back.

Jimmy Correa and Jenny Torres were released on their own recognizance after being arraigned Wednesday on animal cruelty charges. Police said that Correa threw Princess, the Chihuahua, out the car window as Torres was driving. They then returned to see if the dog was still there. That’s when residents got their license plate number and called police.

Correa, however, said the dog merely jumped out when he opened the car door, according to NBC 10. (Click the link for a video report.)

Police said Torres signed the dog over to be adopted when she was arrested on Monday, but Correa says she misunderstood what she was signing and wants the dog back. The dog, Correa said, belongs to Torres’ 3-year-old daughter.

“She’s been crying ever since. We want the dog back, but they’re not going to give it back,“ he said.

The dog is currently at the Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River.