“One Nation Under Dog,” the new HBO documentary, doesn’t sound a whole lot like “One Nation Under Dog,” the book from which it borrows its catchy title and inspiration.
But, just as the book was worth reading, the documentary might be worth watching.
The Washington Post calls it “a revealing but difficult documentary about our deep bonds with canine companions,” and, in the reviewers view, its content is at times ”nearly too awful to watch.”
The documentary, which airs tonight (Monday) at 9 p.m., is divided into three themed sections – love, betrayal and loss.
While it covers much of the same ground as the book — the burgeoning pet care industry, the heights we go to in pampering our pets, the depths of our grief when our dogs die – the documentary does its own reporting, lingers longer in the darker areas and presents its findings in a tone less light and breezy than you’ll find in Michael Schaffer’s book.
With plenty of warning to viewers, the documentary shows dogs being euthanized with gas. The scene comes in the “Betrayal” segment, which focuses on overpopulation, abandonment and puppy mills, the importance of spaying and neutering and the work done by shelters and rescue organizations.
In the ”Loss” segment, the documentary looks at fancy pet funerals and the other lengths bereaved pet owners go to, including cloning. One of the stories told is that of the Florida couple who cloned their Labrador, Lancelot.
Each segment includes several stories, and each was overseen by different teams, with different directors.
It sounds like a lot to keep track of – from the tale of a suburban New Jersey man whose five Rhodesian Ridgebacks were accused of terrorizing their upscale neighborhood as they ran unleashed and bit at least two people, to that of a New England rescuer who goes to Tennessee to pull dogs scheduled for euthanization.
“The film grew out of a desire we had, as dog lovers, to explore America’s obsession with dogs and to answer some questions that intrigued and concerned us,” said Ellen Goosenberg Kent, who directed one of the segments.
“We realized that, ultimately, we were doing a film about how far some people would go for a dog — a question we often asked ourselves.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, animals, bereavement, betrayal, bites, book, cloning, documentary, dog, dogs, dogs in america, euthanasia, grief, hbo, loss, love, michael schaffer, one nation under dog, overpopulation, pets, puppy mills, rescue, shelter, television
Despite their plea of poverty, despite maintaining they’ve sidestepped the crisis, our verdict remains.
As does the evidence: a police memo that instructed officers, when it came to stray dogs, to serve as judge, jury and executioner for any that seemed sick or violent; and transport and dump the others elsewhere — all while assuring any concerned citizens they were going to “a nice farm in the country.”
In the fall of last year, the cash-strapped capital city found itself unable to keep up with the terms of its contract with the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area, which operates the key animal shelter in the area.
About $6,300 in arrears, the city quietly waltzed out of the contract, with no announcement to the public, Amy Worden at the Philadelphia Inquirer’s dog blog, Philly Dawg, reports.
As a result of police having nowhere to take abandoned or stray dogs, Capt. Annette Books gave police supervisors the following instructions in a Dec. 5 memo:
If the animal is vicious and a danger to the public and/or officers, or if the animal is obviously sick, injured or suffering the animal may be destroyed in as safe a manner as possible. The animal will then be taken to the Agriculture Bldg. (near the loading dock area) on Cameron St. for disposal.
The memo went on to add:
If the animal is determined to be a “found” animal, the officer can ask the complainant if they want to keep the animal or if they know someone who will adopt the animal, or the officer can adopt the animal for himself/herself, or the officer can place the animal in a prisoner van and release it to an area where it will be safe for the animal.
If you choose to adopt the animal yourself or release it in a safe environment, DO NOT inform the complainant of your intentions.
Instead, the memo suggested that officers tell citizens the dog is “going to a nice farm in the country.”
Animal welfare advocates, rightfully, were enraged and called the policy both inhumane and illegal. Abandoning an animal is a crime in Pennsylvania, and here was a police official ordering that officers do exactly that, or worse, as a matter of policy.
“Police officers cannot play judge, jury and executioner in the case of a stray dog,” said Tom Hickey, a member of the governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board.
By the end of December, the city publicly declared the matter resolved, making the memo’s instructions a “moot” point, a spokesperson for the city’s mayor said.
We’d disagree with that. We’d say it’s not moot at all. And we’d suggest that the police captain who wrote the memo be driven somewhere out in the country, perhaps to a nice farm, where she would be safe.
It’s not entirely clear what, if any, definite terms have been agreed upon by the city and the humane society, but they are reportedly meeting and talking.
Worden reports that, according to animal rescuers, the shelter continues to turn away stray animals and that “police officers are telling the public they cannot help unless the dog is aggressive. In which case, according to the memo, they will be shot.”
Worden also reports that a Facebook petition drive has been started, called “Stop the Shooting of Dogs in Harrisburg.”
All that considered, Dusty Rose, the dog pictured at the top of this post, is lucky to have seen 2012.
A female pit bull, she was found outside a convenience store on New Year’s eve by a volunteer with Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance (CPAA). The volunteer called 911, and a police officer arrived to tell her the only thing he was authorized to do was shoot the dog if it was aggressive.
Wadsworth told him she’d prefer to do without his services and called fellow CPAA volunteers to help round up the dog.
Dusty’ Rose is now receiving medical care at a veterinary hospital in York, where she is recovering from surgery to fix a prolapsed uterus. Donations to her care can be sent to CPAA or made through its website.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, animal shelters, animal welfare, animals, budget, central pennsylvania animal alliance, contract, cpaa, crisis, destroy, disposal, dog law, dogs, dusty rose, email, finances, found, harrisburg, humane society, humane society of harrisburg, illegal, inhumane, memo, nice farm in the country, pennsylvania, petition, pets, philly dawg, pit bull, police, policy, release, rescues, shoot, stray dogs, strays
If you’re Justin Bieber, you auction it off for charity — thereby avoiding the venom of animal lovers and Internet commenters who might raise questions like:
Aren’t you the same guy who talked, all sweet and sensitive like, about the importance of adopting, loving and never leaving your pets in that PETA public service announcement a little while back?
Where did you get your snake? A pet store? An exotic animal dealer? And did you feed live mice to your boa constrictor, and what might PETA think of that?
Bieber’s baby boa constrictor, which he procured a few months ago and named Johnson, is being auctioned off by charitybuzz. Proceeds will go to Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools in developing nations.
Fine a cause as that may be, this strikes us as some slithery behavior on the part of the self-professed animal lover.
Bieber introduced his new snake to the world at the MTV Video Music Awards back in August. Now, months later, he’s parting with it. The sale is expected to bring in more than $1,000.
The charitybuzz page where the snake is featured is loaded with disclaimers.
The winning bidder, for instance, will be screened carefully before receiving the snake, it notes. (Too bad the first owner wasn’t.)
The website further acknowledges, ”Keeping a pet snake is a long term responsibility. Before making any decision about keeping one please ensure you have the money, space, knowledge, time, resources and enthusiasm required to properly care for the species you intend to keep, for the duration of it’s life.” (Again, unlike the first owner.)
“The welfare of this snake is the sole responsibility of the adopter. The adopter agrees to give the snake good care which includes quality premium food, fresh water, sanitation and grooming, clean and secure indoor housing, clean and secure outdoor housing and overall safety. Winner must sign a Personal Injury and Limited Liability release, and must guarantee necessary vet care will be provided.”
In the two PSA’s he made for PETA, Bieber goes on and on about his love for animals, and our obligations to them.
Last month, he was the news — or at least in what passes for news when it comes to celebrities – for adopting a dog in Canada with his girlfriend Selena Gomez. He later said he had no role in that: “I didn’t adopt a dog, no. A friend of mine did. I don’t take credit for the dog. I don’t have anything to do with that dog.”
There’s a snake in this story, alright. I’m just not sure who it is.
(Photo from CharityBuzz)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandonment, adoptions, animals, auction, bids, boa constrictor, celebrity, charity, charity buzz, charitybuzz, johnson, justin bieber, mtv, pencils of promise, pet stores, peta, pets, public service announcement, reptiles, snake, snakes, video music awards
Multum in parvo.
That’s Latin for “much in little,” and it’s a term often used to describe pugs — big personalities in small, smush-faced packages that many of us humans seem to find endearing, despite their penchant for snoring and snarfling with each breath.
As a result many shelters see an influx of surrendered and abandoned pugs in summer.
In the Mid-Atlantic states, when public animal shelters (often high-kill animal control facilities with 48 hour euthanasia policies) get a pug into their custody, they call Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue (MAPR), an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and forever home placement of mistreated, abused and abandoned members of the breed.
The reasons people give for giving up their pugs vary. Sometimes they’re frustrated by the health issues, and lack the knowledge and resources to handle them. Sometimes pet owners hit financially rocky times, lose their homes and feel they can no longer take care of their dog. Sometimes the reasons are even more complex.
To understand the rescue/rehabilitation/placement process a bit better, let’s use the example of Stewie (left), a pug that was surrendered by his mom to a local animal control facility in a remote Maryland county.
She explained to shelter workers that she was surrendering Stewie to keep him safe, since every time her husband got mad at her he beat Stewie. Stewie was undernourished (most likely not eating out of fear and anxiety), potentially suffering from internal injuries, and was deathly afraid of all humans.
With a dedicated band of volunteers up and down the east coast, MAPR immediately turned to email blasts and social media to coordinate a pickup by vounteers from this far-away county. Meanwhile, other volunteers were working behind the scenes to arrange a foster home, veterinary care, behavioral help, and any other resources necessary to ensure that Stewie could enter into a stable living situation while awaiting adoption into his forever home.
Within 24 hours, a foster home in North Carolina with the behavioral know-how to deal with Stewie’s fear, an additional behavioral specialist to do more intensive training, and a vet all willing to take on his case were secured. After that, it was back to the social media and email blasts to arrange transport. Less than 48 hours later, Stewie was on his way to his new beginning, as five volunteers donated their time (and gas money) to relay Stewie on the 500-plus mile trip.
Even then, the work was only halfway done. Other volunteers perused adoption applications to see if any potential homes that had already been approved would give Stewie the environment he needed to thrive once he’s been rehabilitated by our trainers and foster family. Other volunteers made home visits and phone calls to check the references of potential adopters — those with a soft spot for that multum in parvo personality.
Why all this rigamarole? Why the FBI-esque background check? The answer is simple. We at MAPR are dedicated to placing every single pug in a home that will last them forever. We want to ensure that every pug that comes through our rescue goes to a home that will provide the highest quality of care and love possible. We want to prevent the Stewies of the world from ever having to suffer or be afraid of humans again.
MAPR has coordinated the placement of over 60 pugs in six states (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina) in the last 30 days alone.
However, as of July 21st, 2011, the Stewies of the world will just have to wait.
Due to extenuating circumstances — chief among them, shrinking resources — MAPR has had to close their doors to all intakes until further notice. Our foster homes are overflowing, and our resources for vet care are rapidly dwindling.
Due to the recession, more and more dogs are deteriorating with preventable health conditions like heartworm disease. By the time they come into our care, the cost to stabilize them medically is in thousands of dollars.
Adoption fees offset some of that. MAPR charges adoption fees of $400 for a pug under six months, $250-$350 for pugs between 7 months and 10 years old and $100 for a pug over the age of 10. Sometimes that covers some vet expenses — updated shots, wellness checkups and the like. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Take Honey Bun (left), who came from West Virginia, where she was forcefully bred for ten years every heat cycle. While each of her puppies fetched between $500-$1,000 apiece, her owners kept her in an outdoor pen year-round and couldn’t be bothered with providing her with heartworm preventative.
When she arrived, in addition to some serious man-hating behaviors, she had such a severe case of heartworms it necessitated a series of medications being injected directly into her spine. Even with a phenomenal network of vets who give us great rates on care, her treatment costs were upwards of $2,000.
That’s why we rely on our “pug angels” – those who donate anything they can for the care and treatment of our foster pugs. MAPR has seen a severe decline in donations.
Not every case is as severe as Stewie’s, or necessitates the extensive treatment that Honey Bun required. Take my current foster pug, Cosmo (left). He’s a 3-year-old ball of energy that was simply too much for his aging mom to handle.
Many times, owners who just cannot care for their pugs will turn to MAPR instead of taking them to the local shelter in hopes they can avoid euthanasia. Cosmo is in perfect health, has a great disposition, is fully housebroken, and will most likely be a quick adoption.
I work with MAPR because I believe that the Stewies, the Honey Buns, and the Cosmos deserve a second chance at a good home that will love them forever. This is why I asked my good friend John if I could write a piece for ohmidog! I’m hoping to find like-minded people in the mid-Atlantic region that would like to donate their time and energy as a foster or volunteer.
Equally beneficial would be like-minded people in any part of the country or world that would like to be a “pug angel” for any of our foster pugs. On our website, you can apply to volunteer, or click on that donate button! You can find us on Facebook, too.
If you know people who have pugs, or like pugs, or have ever mentioned a pug, tell them about us too. The pugs thank you!
LaRee McCuan, a volunteer with Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue, lives in Baltimore, where she completed her Masters of Social Work degree this year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her forever pug, Mikey, who recently became a therapy dog with Karma Dogs, is pictured atop this post.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, adopt, adoption, animals, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cosmo, difficulties, dog, dogs, donate, economy, forever homes, foster, homes, honey bun, laree mccuan, mapr, mid atlantic pug rescue, multum in parvo, neglect, pets, pug, pug angels, pugs, rescue, respiratory, shelters, stewie, summer, surrender, volunteer
Antique Benjamin, 27, of the 2100 block of Dagget Street, was arrested last week on charges of cruelty to animals, disorderly conduct and dog abandonment, The Delaware County Times reported.
The dog, a shepherd-pit bull mix named Skyye, survived.
Witnesses flagged down a Darby police officer last Wednesday and told him they had seen the dog being beaten with a chain until it stopped moving, near Main Street and MacDade Boulevard. The witnesses said that when the suspect walked across MacDade Boulevard trying to leave the dog behind, the dog got up and began following him.
The suspect returned and beat the dog some more, police said.
Officers, while interviewing the witnesses, saw a man with a chain. When they questioned him, officers said, he admitted beating the dog and said he did so because his stepmother told him to “get rid of it.”
The dog was taken to the Delaware County SPCA and treated for head wounds.
“She is very, very sweet. The minute she walked in, she climbed into the lap of one of our staff members,” a spokesperson said. “She is pretty resilient.”
SPCA officials said Skyye was receiving pain medication and is being closely monitored at the shelter. Until she is formally turned over to the SPCA, Skyye is still the property of Benjamin’s stepmother and is not available for adoption.
Benjamin’s preliminary hearing is scheduled this afternoon.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, abuse, animal cruelty, animals, antique benjamin, arrested, beaten, chain, charged, cruelty to animals, darby, delaware county, delaware county spca, dog, follows, get rid of it, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, police, shepherd, skyye, torture
Two western Pennsylvania residents have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with the burning and abandoning of a 1-year-old mixed breed dog named Chance.
Raelynn Van Tassel, 23, and Shannon Clarke, 34, both of Sharon, are accused of keeping the dog in a basement for several days without medical treatment after inflicting what are believed to be chemical burns. Days later, they abandoned him in the streets.
In addition to burns over two-thirds of his body, the dog also was found with three broken teeth and a laceration to its mouth, according to WYTV.
The dog was found by a police officer on April 10 and turned over to the Mercer County Humane Society, which took Chance to a local veterinarian for treatment.
He has since been adopted and is expected to survive.
The Mercer County District Attorney’s office and the humane society conducted the investigation.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, arrests, burned, chance, charged, chemicals, dog, dogs, mercer county humane society, pennsylvania, raelynn van tassel, shannon clarke, torture
A 28-year-old Newark woman has been charged with four counts of animal cruelty in the case of Patrick, a 1-year-old pit bull who was found almost starved to death after he was dumped down a garbage chute in a high-rise apartment building.
Kisha Curtis was charged Friday with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, New Jersey SPCA officials said.
The dog was discovered by maintenance workers March 16 inside a garbage bin at Garden Spires, a 550-unit apartment building. Staff at the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park called it one of the worst cases of cruelty they’ve ever seen.
Matthew Stanton, a spokesman for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told FoxNews.com that Curtis, the alleged owner, faces two criminal counts and two civil counts, which he said could result in up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service if convicted.
Stanton said Curtis told authorities she was unable to take care of the dog anymore, but she denied throwing the dog into the chute at the 22-story apartment building. The New Jersey SPCA is investigating whether anyone else was involved in the abuse and disposal of the animal.
Patrick, meanwhile, is slowly recovering at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. Staff there say he is now standing and eating small amounts of food several times a day, though he remains pathetically thin.
AHS, which is paying for Patrick’s continuing care, is continuing to post daily updates on his condition. Most recently, they’ve reported that an ultrasound test found a foreign body lodged found inside the dog, and they speculated he may have swallowed something to quell the hunger that he was experiencing.
AHS also arranged to have Patrick interviewed by an animal communicator, who reported he told her, among other things, ”I am broken, I don’t know why.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, animal communicator, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, arrest, associated humane societies, charges, condition, cruelty, dog, dogs, dumped, garbage, garden spires, garden state veterinary specialists, health, kisha curtis, new jersey, newark, owner, patrick, pets, pit bull, popcorn park zoo, starved, trash chute
That X-Man was rescued from a trash can as a puppy didn’t make him all that unusual. It happens way too often.
That X-Man was rescued from a trash can by a girl who — as an infant — was herself rescued from the garbage makes his story, and her’s, a bit more out of the ordinary.
X-Man died last month after a long and happy life he owed, in large part, to Amy Louise Annelle, who in 1983, at only 4 or 5 hours old, was stuffed in a cereal box and dumped in a large trash bin on Nova Road in Daytona Beach.
When Amy was rescued from a garbage truck’s trash compactor by trash collectors, Pat Patten-Carlen followed the news accounts. She was looking for a baby girl to adopt after her daughter died. When “Amy Nova” — the name hospital nurses had given the baby found in the garbage — turned four months old, Patten-Carlen adopted her.
Thirteen years later, Amy came home from school and told Patten-Carlen she’d discovered a puppy in a trash can.
“She said, “It’s in a garbage can like me,’ ” Patten-Carlen told the Daytona Beach News Journal.
After Amy found X-Man, she took him to a shelter. But when no one would adopt him, she and Patten-Carlen came to the rescue again. They got their close friend Carson Allison to bring him home. X-Man lived with Allison until the dog’s death last month.
“We had a special connection,” Amy said. “Up until two weeks ago when he was put down because he was too sick and in pain, I kept close to X-Man.”
A small memorial service for X-Man was held Saturday in DeLand.
Amy, whose birth mother was never found, is now a CVS store manager, married and the mother of a 4-year-old girl, Autumn. She’s expecting another baby, a boy, in four or five weeks.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, adopt, adopted, amy louise annelle, amy nova, animals, baby, daytona beach, discarded, dog, dogs, dumped, florida, garbage, girl, infant, news, ohmidog!, pets, puppy, rescue, trash, X-man
An Ohio man will spend five days in jail for abadoning a pregnant dog at a farm in February.
Darryl Lawson, 45, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals and abandoning animals. A judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail, but suspended 85 of the days, the Dayton Daily News reported.
He was also was ordered to pay a $750 fine and serve 40 hours of community service at an animal shelter — even though the judge barred him from having pets in his own household during an additional two years probation.
Lawson’s lawyer said his client is “very remorseful” for abandoning the beagle mix, who later gave birth to puppies while huddled in some in hay.
Lawson immediately regretted his decision and even went back to the farm in an attempt to find the dog. He then called the sheriff’s office and Animal Friends Humane Society, where the dog and pups were taken by a farmer who found them. He turned himself in to animal shelter authorities.
The mother dog and her five puppies were cared for and are thriving in a foster home.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandoning, abandonment, animal cruelty, animals, beagle, darryl lawson, dog, dogs, guilty, hamilton, jail, misdemeanor, mix, mother, news, ohio, ohmidog!, pets, pregnant, puppies, sentence
A couple agrees to care for a friend’s Chihuahua for the weekend.
The dog’s owner doesn’t pick her up when the weekend’s over; in fact, she doesn’t try to reclaim the Chihuahua, named Lola, for 10 months.
What’s the couple who cared for the dog owed?
According to the Nebraska Court of Appeals — the third court to hear the case — absolutely nothing.
The saga of Lola, a four-pound, black-and-tan Chihuahua, began Aug. 22, 2007, when Heather Linville of Lincoln asked her friends Travis Derr and Natasha Combs to care for her dog for the weekend, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Linville’s new apartment complex didn’t allow dogs, and she explained she needed time to make arrangements for her pet.
When, 10 months later, Linville asked to get Lola back, Derr and Combs said they wanted to keep the dog.
Linville summoned police, and the dog was returned to her, but Derr and Combs filed a small-claims court case, asking to be paid $2,700 for boarding the animal for 320 days.
A Lancaster County judge ruled in favor of Derr and Combs, a decision later upheld by a district judge. But the appeals court overturned the $2,700 judgment in a 3-0 ruling — proving, in my view, three heads aren’t better than one. What Lola’s owner did sounds to me like abandonment, pure and simple.
The court said Derr and Combs did not ask for compensation when they agreed to keep the dog for the weekend. They should have notified Linville if they were no longer willing to keep Lola for free, the panel said. The court said the couple was entitled only to reimbursement for a $152.98 veterinarian’s bill.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, animal law, animals, appeals court, case, chihuahua, courts, custody, dispute, dog, dogs, friends, heather linville, lancaster county, law, legal, lola, natasha combs, nebraska, ownership, pets, petsitting, ruling, travis derr