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Archive for May 29th, 2009

Dog sticks tongue in paper shredder

shredderHere’s a household pet hazard that — dastardly as it is — you don’t hear about too often.

But first the moral of the story: If you have a pet at home, or a child for that matter, don’t ever leave your paper shredder on automatic.

The owners of a mixed breed dog named Diamond found that out the hard way last week, when their 8-year-old dog licked their’s, only to have her tongue pulled into the sharp blades.

“She had licked a paper shredder in the house that was set on automatic,” Dr. Marc Wosar, of Miami Veterinary Specialists, told TV station WPLG.

Fortunately, Diamond’s owners were home and responded quickly. They disconnected the head of the shredder, carefully taking it and the dog whose tongue it held to the animal hospital.

“We anesthetized her first, then reversed the shredder off the tongue and assessed the damage,” said Wosar. “There were a lot of lacerations to the tongue as well as a lot of bite wounds. In her panic, she’d also bitten her tongue.”

It took more than a 100 stitches to repair Diamond’s tongue. A portion that was too severely damaged had to be removed, but doctors expect her to make a full recovery.

“She just won’t have a perfectly round tongue. She’ll have a little nick in it,” said Wosar.

(Photo: WPLG)

Phoenix update: A long road ahead


Phoenix, the Baltimore pit bull that was doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned over 90 percent of her body, is stable but still considered in critical condition at a veterinary hospital in Pennsylvania.

The dog is in the custody of Main Line Animal Rescue in suburban Philadelphia, and is being cared for at a 24-hour veterinary hospital

The primary concern of veterinarians is Phoenix’s ability to fight off secondary infection from the extensive burns. She is on IV antibiotics, pain medicine, and supplemental nutrients, said Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director of Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

Several veterinarians are examining her skin to see if she will need skin grafts, or if it has the potential to heal on its own in some areas.

She is receiving constant bandage changes throughout the day in order to help her body through recovery.

Mead-Brause said Phoenix faces a long battle — “several months, years even …to repair what has happened.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the young female pit bull was found in Southwest Baltimore doused with gasoline and left to burn to death. A Baltimore City police officer put the fire out with her sweater.

Phoenix was brought to the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter, where Mead-Brause said the dog arrived wagging her tail. She was transferred to Swan Harbor Animal Hospital for immediate care.

BARCS was able to begin her treatment through the Franky Fund, which has has helped hundreds of homeless abused and sick animals receive the care they need.

Additional updates on Phoenix and details on the various ways to donate to her care are listed here.

(Photo: Courtesy of BARCS)

Treat your dog, and help another

ohmidog-os-label1From now until supplies run out, all proceeds from the sale of “ohmidog-O’s” will go to BARCS Franky Fund to help offset the medical costs for Phoenix, a pit bull recovering from being doused with gasoline and set on fire in Baltimore this week.

We’re turning our entire inventory — which isn’t a whole lot — over to Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe, which has agreed to pass 100 percent of all ohmidog-O sales on to the Franky Fund at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter.

What are ohmidog-O’s? They’re the healthy, all natural, handmade dog treat that keeps on giving. We cooked them up and sold them to raise money for the Maryland SPCA at last month’s March for the Animals. Since then, they’ve gone to raise money for a couple of other dog-related causes.

Now what’s left of the limited edition treats will be sold at Lucky Lucy’s to raise money for the BARCS Franky Fund, which provides emergency medical care to seriously ill and injured animals.

Stop by Lucky Lucy’s, 1126 S. Charles St., and pick up a bag.

400 American Eskimo dogs seized from mill

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More than 400 American Eskimo dogs have been removed from a puppy mill in Kennewick, Washington in what is being called “one of the worst cases” of abuse animal welfare workers have seen.

“The conditions were not only shocking, but also heartbreaking to veteran deputies,” said Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor, who led the raid Wednesday at the Sun Valley kennel of 66-year-old Ella Stewart.

Stewart was arrested May 12 after a deputy responded to an unrelated call at her neighbor’s home, according to an Associated Press report.

Dogs were found living in wooden crates, shopping carts and other makeshift kennels caked with feces and soaked with urine, investigators said.

Taylor said the dogs weren’t seized at the time because there was no place to put them. Emergency kennels are being prepared at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Inga Gibson, with The Humane Society of the United States’ West Coast regional office, said the raid was “one of the largest in Washington state and close to one of the largest in the country.”

Stewart pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of second-degree animal cruelty in Benton County District Court. If convicted, she faces up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors reviewing the case said they may file additional charges.

HSUS-basher seeks equal time, gets it

Since we reprinted the Humane Society of the United States full response to allegations made in a since-retracted piece of investigative journalism by Atlanta’s WSB-TV, the Center for Consumer Freedom has asked that we reprint their entire response to that response.

So, being entirely responsible, we’re doing so.

It comes from David Martosko, director of Research for the center, who appeared in the WSB report and is a longtime critic of HSUS:

“The level of deception exhibited by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) never ceases to amaze us. Its baseless attacks on the Center for Consumer Freedom are a good indication of the organization’s shrill tone, and the desperation it must be feeling as its house of cards begins (finally) to tumble.

“If there’s a “front group” in this story, it’s HSUS. The organization “fronts” for the PETA-approved vegan way of life while pretending to represent average pet owners. Conversely, we are very open about who we are, what we do, and why. It seems HSUS has no stomach for answering charges — only making them.

“HSUS complains so bitterly about our work because we are the only voice pointing out the dishonesty inherent in raising money for one thing and spending it on another. We’re happy to absorb the rumor-mongering and false innuendo of HSUS and other groups that jealously guard their unearned public credibility if it means we can continue to shine disinfecting sunlight on HSUS and the rest of the animal rights industry.

Read more »

Where there’s smoke, there’s … smoke

My posting of an Atlanta TV station’s “expose” of the Humane Society of the United States — and my labeling of it as shabby journalism — has led to the predictable spate of comments from HSUS-haters.

The WSB-TV report had been removed from the station’s website, and from YouTube as well, after complaints from the HSUS that it was misleading — a bit ironic in that deception is exactly the accusation that the report was making against the HSUS.

Through its name, and its fund-raising efforts, the HSUS leads people to believe that it is associated with local shelters, and that donations will be used to shelter dogs, the report maintained.

As I stated, I thought the report failed to back up any of that “deception,” and was making a very big deal out of a simple, though probably shared by  many, misunderstaning of the organization’s mission. A quick look at the HSUS website shows the kind of work they do, and that they are more about lobbying, enforcement of animal cruelty laws, advocating for animal rights and public education than hands-on sheltering of animals.

But I also thought the “expose’s” disappearance — like any attempt to silence critics — was adding more smoke to the fire, and that, by being able to view it, people could see that there wasn’t any fire there to begin with (except maybe the burning hate some other lobbying groups have for the HSUS because of its animal welfare stands, and its success).

The HSUS says the Center for Consumer Freedom, which they call a deceptively-named front-group for tobacco, alcohol and agribusiness interests, was likely behind the news report.

While taken off YouTube and WSB’s site, the video continued to pop up online — like, in the words of Pet Connection blogger Gina Spadafori, “an Internet game of whack-a-mole.”

Spadafori, by the way, is author of “Dogs for Dummies,” and notes that  even that entry-level primer points out the difference between local shelters and groups like the HSUS.

“This isn’t news … When you give to the HSUS, you’re providing mostly for animal advocacy, lobbying for animal laws and investigations. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that.”

The HSUS, meanwhile, has issued a statement about the report, which we print here in its entirety:

“WSB-TV in Atlanta has issued a correction and removed from its Web site a regrettable report regarding The Humane Society of the United States. Sloppily reported, inaccurate in its facts, and based on a faulty premise, this report should never have aired in the first place. But publishing a factual correction on its Web site and removing the report itself from further circulation are important steps in minimizing damage to the reputation of a charity rated four stars, the highest rating possible, by Charity Navigator and one that has a demonstrated an unmatched record of protecting animals from cruelty. Read more »

One rescued dog helps rescue another

blewittA Lab mix rescued from a mountain pass in Washington two months ago helped rescue another stray stranded near the same spot.

Blewett was rescued — in the true meaning of the word — back in March from Blewett Pass, where he was spotted huddling in the snow.

Several attempts to catch him had failed. The dog would take food, but wouldn’t allow anyone to put a leash around his neck. Backcountry skiers, snowmobile riders, snowplow drivers and U.S. Forest Service employees fed the dog and kept an eye on him until a Wenatchee Valley Humane Society animal control officer teamed up with a snowmobiler, an animal rescuer and a snowplow driver March 10 to capture the dog. Humane Society employees named the dog Blewett.

An article about the rescue effort appeared in The Wenatchee World and was seen by Jay Smith and his wife, Janie, who had lost their black lab the month before. When they saw the picture of Blewett in the paper — and how much he resembled their deceased dog —  Smith went to the shelter and adopted him.

Which brings us back to this week, when the Smiths were walking Blewett on a trail high above the Wenatchee River. Blewett started barking, and raced down the steep bank to find another animal close to the river’s edge.

Smith went home and called the fire department, and rescuers using ropes lowered themselves down to the river. Blewett  ran down and stayed with the dog until the rescuers arrived, the Wenatchee World reported. The dog was weak, old and arthritic, but otherwise uninjured.

As it turned out, the dog had been staying with one of the Smith’s neighbors, Carol Hurt, to whom he was returned.

“The whole thing is a miracle,” said Hurt. The 11-year-old dog, named Pepper, belonged to her visiting daughter and had been lost since Saturday. “One big black lost dog found the other big black lost dog. It’s pretty heartwarming.”

(Photo: Blewett, after his March rescue; Wenatchee World)