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Archive for June, 2009

Man demands sex in exchange for dog’s return

dempkeyAnd the winner of our Bad Samaritan of the Year award is … Alfredo Jaime Dempkey, who police say found a teenaged girl’s missing dog in the Los Angeles area, then threatened to keep and torture the pet unless she paid him or provided him with sex.

Dempkey, 27, of Lancaster, California, was arrested by Hawthorne Police Friday night.

“I think someone like that is sick,” the 17-year-old dog owner told the Torrance Daily Breeze.

The girl was at work Friday evening when her family notified her that her dog, Pineapple, a 2-year-old cocker spaniel-toy poodle mix, had disappeared. 

Dempkey, calling himself “Anthony,” called the girl — apparently getting the number off the dog’s collar — and told her he had found the dog and wanted $70 for its return.

“At first I was, `OK, someone’s found my dog,”‘ the girl said. “But then when he asked for money and when he said if I didn’t have money he wanted something else, I got scared. He asked for sex.”

The girl said Dempkey also threatened to torture the dog if she didn’t give in to his demands. “I started crying,” she said. “He said, `If you don’t want to do anything or if you don’t want to give up money, I guess you don’t want your dog.”

The girl eventually agreed to meet Dempkey at  the El Pollo Loco restaurant at Hawthorne Boulevard and Imperial Highway.

When Dempkey arrived with the dog, he was met instead by the victim’s father and police. He was arrested and the dog was returned, unharmed, to the owner.

Dempkey, it turned out, was a registered sex offender who served a prison term for forced oral copulation, the Daily Breeze reported.  He was taken into custody on a suspected parole violation, but police say he could face other charges, including extortion.

Finding love at a street festival

I don’t know if it was love at first sniff, but the two dogs in this video clearly took a liking to each other outside Kildare’s Irish pub in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.

The video was shot by Don Groff, a former colleague of mine from Philadelphia, during the Manayunk Arts Festival last weekend.

“I shot it Saturday … while seated at a sidewalk table,” Groff says. “It’s short on plot and dialogue … but viewers might grin over how two urban dogs can turn a patch of Main Street into a gleeful romping field.”

Don also does a blog, which you can find here.

Greyhound races bite dust in New Hampshire

greyhoundGreyhound racing appears headed for an end in New Hampshire.

The state’s two dog racing tracks won permission yesterday to drop all racing dates.

Paul Kelley, executive director of the state Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission said commissioners approved applications from both the Lodge at Belmont and Seabrook Greyhound Park to cease dog racing and operate solely as simulcast betting centers, and as host to charitable gambling events, the Union Leader reported.

The move comes as a new state budget bill  takes effect July 1, allowing tracks to drop their live racing and continue simulcast wagering. The decision could be the end of greyhound racing in the state. A third track, in Hinsdale, closed late last year.

Rick Newman, who represents the Belmont track said the decision was a financial one. “It costs a lot more money to run live racing than we get from it,” he said.

The Grey2K USA group, which fought to end greyhound racing, said the budget bill removed the last reason for tracks to continue dog racing.

Dog, given second chance, takes first place

mekoHere’s a sweet story out of Owosso, Michigan about a somewhat anti-social  stray dog who, given a second chance, became a prize winner.

Heather Good and her son Dylan Davalt found the Chihuahua-terrier mix in April 2008 in the woods south of Owosso, the Argus-Press reports. He was avoiding humans, and had bit one man who tried to approach him. After three weeks of coaxing, and a lot of treats, the dog consented to come home with them.

There, the dog, named Meko, proved to be a bit of a terror.

Meko didn’t get along with Dylan’s other dog, Sassy, and, for the first six months, had to be kept on a muzzle when guests came to visit.

Some people advised Dylan and Good to put down the dog because of his aggressive behavior, including Good’s father, John.

Meko and Dylan’s grandfather “weren’t buddies,” Dylan said.

But the family worked hard to train Meko, teaching him the basics, and working on his aggression. Meko and Sassy were taken to obedience training, and, for socialization, to a 4-H Club training program called “Hush Puppies.”

A year after taking him home, Dylan decided to enter Meko in a dog show at the Curwood Festival, where he dazzled the crowd and took first place honors.

“I didn’t figure that dog would amount to anything but a vicious mix breed,” said Grandpa Good. “He has made a complete turnaround.”

“My thing about Meko is that every dog deserves a chance,” his daughter said.

Tennessee removes ban on dogs in restaurants

Effective tomorrow, dogs in Tennessee’s largest cities can legally join their owners for dinner in restaurants with outdoor dining areas — assuming, of course, the restaurants permit it.

Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen signed the measure into law on last Thursday. A previous state law had banned all but service dogs from restaurants.

The law is limited to cities with a population of at least 100,000 — and a handful of smaller jurisidictions which sought, through amendments, to be added.

Under the law, business owners still have the power to decide whether to allow dogs at their establishments.

The state house approved the bill, in a 64-21 vote, on June 11,according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Amendments adopted in the House would allow Blount, Sevier and Fentress counties to allow dogs in restaurants even though the counties do not meet the population requirements.

23 dead cats pulled from Cecil County home

The Cecil County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. has removed 23 dead cats from a residence outside Chesapeake City, Maryland.

Acting on a complaint about possible cat hoarding in the 900 block of Town Point Road, animal control officers  determined there were at least 100 live cats in the home, and advised county buildings inspectors and Sheriff’s Department officials of the situation.

The agencies went to the home and removed 23 dead cats– wrapped in towels, diapers and plastic bags– all kept in freezers in the house, according to CCSPA officials.

The owner of the cats claimed she was affiliated with a Delaware cat rescue organization.

The house had an overpowering smell of urine, and animal feces were seen on floors, CCSPCA said. Otherwise, there was adequate food and water for the cats and multiple litter pans available on each floor of the house.

Most of the animals appeared to be in adequate medical condition but an upstairs room bore a sign indicating that cats in that room were positive for feline leukemia, a highly contagious, untreatable condition that leads to medical complications and premature death in cats, the CCSPCA said.

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7-year-old beats Shih Tzu, can’t be charged


As if all the recent stories of teenagers abusing, torturing and killing dogs weren’t dismal enough, now comes news out of Las Vegas of a 7-year-old mercilessly beating a Shih Tzu.

The dog was reportedly knocked nearly unconscious, spent two nights at an animal hospital, suffered burst blood vessels in his eyes, a partially broken jaw and lost several teeth, according to KTNV.

The owner of the dog, named Wiggles, says the boy snuck into her yard in North Las Vegas and began beating him.

“I really want justice to be done and somebody to be punished,” said owner Cynthia Carrillo. “Somebody needs to be talked to, to find out what is going through this little kid’s mind to want to do something like that.”

North Las Vegas police say that because the age of intent in Nevada is eight, the child can’t be charged. They are looking into the possibility of charging his parents though.

Wiggles is unable to eat solid food and may have to undergo surgery to fix his jaw.