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Archive for December 18th, 2009

Police dog who attacked officer shot, killed

policedogAn Alameda police officer shot and killed one of her department’s own dogs when the dog attacked her and bit her arm.

Billy, a Belgian Malinois, and his handler were among those responding Thursday to a burglary at a Coast Guard recruiting center. The dog was being used to flush out a  suspect  when he bit a uniformed officer assisting on the call. The dog did not let go when his handler ordered him to do so.

The name of the officer who shot the dog was not released. She was treated for bite wounds to her left arm and released, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Billy had been with the department for more than three years.

On May 5, another police Belgian Malinois died after being left inside an Alameda officer’s personal sport utility vehicle as the officer attended a use-of-force training exercise.

The department has suspended the use of its two remaining police dogs pending a review of “all the facets” of the K-9 program, including the circumstances that led up to Billy being deployed and his death, Scott said.

Chihuahuas driving up shelter population

image001It’s not just Los Angeles, and not just California whose shelters are awash in Chihuahuas.

Phoenix is, too. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters received 821 Chihuahuas in the last two months, according to the Associated Press.

 That’s 230 more than during the same period last year.

As of yesterday, there were 84 Chihuahuas awaiting adoption.

The shelter is offering a special deal this weekend with a Chihuahua adoption fee of only $36.

What I want for Christmas, chapter two

petcover

Here’s a product that — while I could do without the monogram — would make my life easier.

The pet loveseat cover (they make couch and chair ones, too) would be a cozy sleeping surface for Ace, protect the sofa from drool stains (I can’t help it!) and save me from having to vacuum dog hair off of it EVERY … SINGLE … YEAR.

Available from Sure Fit, the throws come in quilted “soft suede,” or cotton, and are machine washable.

The quilted pet throw comes in taupe and chocolate, while the cotton ones come in black, claret or linen. Only the quilted ones are offered with monograms.

The non-personalized throws cost $29.99 for a chair,  $39.99 for a loveseat, and $49.99 for a sofa. The monogrammed ones — up to 15 characters are permitted — run $37.49 for a chair, $47.49 for a loveseat, and $57.49 for a sofa.

Were Santa to bring me one, I would opt for cotton, loveseat size, non-monogrammed, in the color linen. And I’d promise not to drool on it.

Michigan county nixes barking ordinance

We like this little story out of Van Buren County, Michigan.

The county board has rejected a proposed ordinance that would have allowed ticketing of dog owners if their pets barked, yelped or cried for more than 15 minutes straight between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The ordinance, which also required that dogs be on leashes while outdoors, had been debated for more than two years, with critics calling it an intrusion on their rights. Hunters objected, as did those who use guard dogs. Only one member of the county board voted for it.

But the real reason we like it is for its dateline, for the vote was taken in the county seat — a little town called Paw Paw.

(The town is named after the Paw Paw River, which was named by Native Americans after the paw paw fruit that grew abundantly along the river’s banks.)

Chester County vet convicted of cruelty

A Pennsylvania veterinarian has been convicted of animal cruelty after he removed part of a puppy’s tail without anesthesia while holding it under scalding water.

Tom Stevenson of Honey Brook in Chester County performed the procedure on the nine-week-old puppy last March in the washroom of a kennel in Lancaster County.

A prosecutor said Stevenson acted against all “reasonable veterinary judgment” when he used unsterilized scissors and failed to give the animal pain medication or proper treatment for the wound, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Stevenson, whose medical license was suspended by the state veterinary board in May as a result of the cruelty charge, testified that he was performing first aid on a previously injured dog and used the tools he had on hand. Stevenson’s attorney said he would appeal yesterday’s conviction.

Vermont case argues pets more than property

The Vermont Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could create a new precedent for animal lovers who sue over the loss of their dogs.

shadowThe lawsuit was filed by a Maryland couple — Sarah and Denis Scheele of Annapolis, whose mixed-breed dog “Shadow” was fatally shot in 2003, according to an ABC News report.

Lewis Dustin, 76, of Northfield, Vt., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was given a year probation. He also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $4,000 to the Scheeles for the costs of adoption, medical bills and cremation.

The Scheeles, however, say that doesn’t come close to covering the emotional cost inflicted by the incident and the loss of companionship.

“Shadow was our little boy, our son, our child,” Sarah Scheele wrote on her website JusticeforShadow.com. “We loved him as if he were our own flesh and blood.”

The couple filed a civil suit against Dustin in 2006, arguing that the dog was more than “mere property.”

The incident occurred during the Scheeles’ July 2003 visit to relatives in Northfield, Vt., a small town south of Montpelier. Shadow wandered into the neighboring yard of Dustin, who fired an air pellet rifle at the dog to scare him off his property.

The most common (and wacky) pet names

Petfinder.com has announced its annual ranking of the 10 most popular names for adoptable pets in 2009.

For the third year in a row, “Buddy” and “Max” came in at first and second for dogs, with “Lucy” and “Smokey” topping the list of cat names.

While many of the most common names have remained consistent year-to-year, there was one new name turning up on the list for both cats and dogs — “Bella.”

The top 10 dog names were: 1. Buddy; 2. Max; 3. Daisy; 4. Lucy; 5. Charlie; 6.  Bella; 7. Molly; 8. Jack; 9. Sadie; 10. Lady.

The top 10 cat names: 1. Lucy; 2. Smokey; 3. Midnight; 4. Bella; 5. Molly; 6. Daisy; 7. Oreo; 8. Shadow; 9. Charlie; 10. Angel.

Petfinder.com is also sharing its favorite quirky and unusual names of the year, selected from more than 170 submissions received via Facebook and Twitter.  Here are their favorites:

Shyanne Thailand Moo Goo Guy Pan, Mr. Tomfoolery Scardeycat Eliot, Rusty Buckets, KeelHaul, Too Fancy for You, Angry Donut, Maple Syrup, Hoseclamp, Prince Xavier Binxley, Hoku-ho’okele-wa’a.

“While funny names are always a big hit, we are also seeing a trend of pet parents giving their furry friends middle names, such as ‘Sunshine Ray,’ ‘Roxanna Bobanna Little’ and ‘Madison Wisconsin,’ suggesting that these animals are more like family members than family pets,” said Betsy Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.

Petfinder.com is an online, searchable database of animals that need permanent homes, compiled from 12,900 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the USA, Canada and Mexico.