Maricopa County sheriff’s officials are investigating the deaths of 20 dogs, most of whom died overnight at a pet boarding service in Gilbert, Arizona.
Deputies say a dog chewed through an electric cord, shutting down the air conditioning and leading to the heat-related deaths of the dogs in the care of Green Acre Dog Boarding.
That temperatures didn’t rise above 80 degrees that night is just one of several suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths.
The caretakers for the dog’s over the weekend were identified by Fox 10 News as the son and daughter-in-law of US Senator Jeff Flake.
The couple were caring for the dogs while the company’s owners — identified as MaLeisa and Todd Hughes — were visiting Florida.
“This is truly an accident,” co-owner MaLeisa Hughes said. “We’re heartbroken for everybody. The biggest misconception out there is we went two days without doing anything.”
Todd Hughes admitted telling some clients that their dogs had run away.
“I wasn’t thinking straight, but I should have thought better than that,” Todd Hughes told the Arizona Republic. “Nobody trained me on how to handle this. I made a bad decision. It was terrible.”
“My mom and all these people have been driving around looking for their dogs for two hours to find out the dogs are dead in the shed,” said Doug Hart, who went to the boarding center to pick up his sister’s two dogs.
Valerie Collins and her husband said they weren’t allowed inside the property when they arrived. She said the owner of the business eventually brought the bodies of her dogs, Carson and Daisy, to them.
“Our dogs have been dead for two days,” she said. “They’re rotten.”
The Hughes said they’d been caring for dogs about six years, but only opened up to the public about a year and a half ago.
They returned to the Phoenix area Friday after learning of the deaths, which included one of their own dogs.
According to the sheriff’s department, workers arrived at the facility at 5:30 Friday morning to find a large number of dogs dead or dying. The workers said they’d last checked on the dogs late Thursday night.
“There is going to be a follow-up investigation … It doesn’t end here,” sheriff’s spokesman Chris Hegstrom told AZCentral.com.” Sheriff’s officials called the deaths “a tragic accident.”
“There are a lot of questions that both this Sheriff and the dog’s owners have and believe me by the time we are done with this investigation, we’ll have the answers to most, if not all of the questions,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press conference yesterday.
“If a crime occurred, someone will be held accountable,” he said.
Arpaio placed the number of dog deaths at 20, three more than originally thought, but other reports said 21 dogs had died.
Outrage over the death extends beyond the families who lost pets. A Facebook page called “The Tragedy at Green Acre Dog Boarding” is serving as a forum for those seeking answers to what happened.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 20 dogs, accident, air conditioning, animals, arpaio, boarding, center, chewed, cord, crime, deaths, died, dog, dogs, electric, gilbert, green acre, green acres, heat, heat related, investigation, kennel, maricopa county, neglect, pets, phoenix, sheriff
A disabled Army veteran whose service dog went missing after a car accident will soon be reunited with her.
“I am totally ecstatic … If I had two legs, I’d do a back flip!” 7-year Army veteran Luke Macner, of Tampa, said upon learning Nina, his German shepherd-Rottweiler mix had been found.
Macner broke his collar bone in the car accident, but in interviews afterwards he was more worried about what happened to Nina, his constant companion since he lost his leg.
“I’m lost without the dog. I really am,” he told WTSP at the time.
“Please, let somebody find you and please bring you back to me,” he pleaded.
After the accident, the dog was found wandering in South Tampa by Amy Abdnour.
While she was playing with the dog another woman, who had seen news reports about the missing dog, approached Abdnour.
“A lady said, ‘Do you know this dog has been on the news?’” Abdnour said.
After a call to the Humane Society, she got in touch with Macner.
Macner plans to reclaim the dog when he gets released from the hospital.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, animals, bond, car, companion, dog, dogs, found, lost, news, pets, reunion, reunited, service, tampa, vet, veteran
It’s one thing for police officers not to offer any help to a suffering dog. It’s another — and maybe even more shameful — for them to prohibit a citizen from doing so.
That’s what happened in Denver last week.
A dog hit by a car spent 90 minutes gasping for air and died as police investigated the accident. A citizen who tried to help the dog was shooed away by an officer and told he was impeding their investigation.
Apparently police considered the dog evidence, as opposed to a living thing. Apparently, protocol was more important than saving his life, or putting him out of his misery.
Video shows the dog, which had a collar and leash but no tags, laying in the middle of Federal Boulevard for nearly 90 minutes, Channel 7 in Denver reported.
Ross Knapp, a bystander who sought to help the dog and bring him water, says he was threatened with being arrested.
“I had one of the officers tell me I had to leave and couldn’t be near it. I tried a couple of times to go back and he just finally said I’m impeding on an investigation and if I came back I’d be arrested,” Knapp said.
Channel 7 reports 15 minutes passed before police called animal control, and that it took the animal control officer an additional 60 minutes to arrive.
“It’s always about the personal safety of that individual. It’s not trying to be cruel to the animal or cruel to the individual. It’s best if we get the animal control people in there, let them do what they do as experts and let them take the actions,” said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson.
“I recognized Harley … I watched the video a couple of times and had others watch it hoping that somebody would say it’s just not him,” Juras said.
Juras contacted Denver Animal Control and confirmed Saturday morning that the dog seen in the 7NEWS video was her missing lab. Now she wants the officer who ignored her dog’s suffering to be held accountable.
“This animal was neglected and neglected by somebody that’s supposed to be there for your safety, supposed to take care of us in times like this,” Juras said.
Denver Police, in response to growing public indignation about the incident, posted a YouTube video in which a veterinarian and animal control officer explain why it’s best to wait for professionals to handle an injured animal.
Meanwhile, an online petition demanding an apology from the police department had nearly 8,000 signatures Sunday night.
Among them is that of Juras, who said she signed the petition before she even knew it was about her dog.
(Photo: Harley with his owner, Dani Juras / provided by Juras family)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 14th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, aide, animal control, animals, arrest, assistance, car, citizen, dani juras, delay, denver, died, dogs, emergencies, gasping, harley, helping, injured animals, lab, law enforcement, mix, neglected, petition, pets, police, policies, protocol, response, struck, suffered, threatened, warned
But the odd part of this story came at the nine-day mark, when Lacy’s owner, Jamie Brill, who’d been searching for days with her boyfriend, spotted her dog in a field, through a pair of binoculars.
Lacy was standing next to two adult whitetail does and two fawns.
“Mark handed me the binoculars and said, ‘Do you believe this?’ I looked, and Lacy was licking the head of one of the fawns,” Brill told Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider.
When Brill tried calling Lacy from afar, she didn’t budge, remaining instead with the deer.
Brill, stationed with the U.S. Navy in Grand Rapids, rolled her Mini Cooper on Interstate 96 on Aug. 11. Her two dogs – Lacy and Koko – were in the car. Brill was taken to the hospital. Koko was taken to a veterinarian, and Lacy ran off.
Two days after Lacy was spotted hobnobbing with the deer, Schneider, the newspaper columnist, got a call from a man who had spotted Lacy — whose disappearance by then had become a big story.
Schneider called Brill in Grand Rapids, and she called a Lansing veterinarian who had been involved in the search and agreed to check out the sighting.
Veterinarian Leslie Ortlieb drove to the vacant house and on its porch saw Lacy, who was described as being a skittish sort even before the accident.
But Ortlieb apparently said the right words: “Do you want to go see Koko?”
The Great Dane walked up to her and got into her car.
Lacy was emaciated and had a small cut on her leg, but otherwise appeared in good health.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, columnist, deer, dogs, found, great dane, jamie brill, john schneider, lacy, lansing state journal, lost, michigan, pets, returned, reunited, search
The mansion whose basement I’m living in has a big back yard, and in that big back yard is a big swimming pool, covered with a big black plastic tarp.
Ace likes to venture deep into the ivy behind the pool to do his business, and he’s always careful to avoid the pool on his way back.
Yesterday — and I blame the Valium — he didn’t.
As I watched — I’m monitoring him closely because he has been diagnosed with a herniated disc – he finished up and started walking straight for the pool. As I yelled “NOOOOOO!,” or words to that effect, he stepped right onto the black plastic tarp, which, unable to hold his 127 pounds, split, causing him to fall into the pool with a huge splash and disappear.
As far as scary moments in our continuing travels, it was right up there, second only to when, while I was holding his leash, he jumped over the railing at Niagara Falls, landing on a patch of grass that led to a sheer unprotected drop off into misty oblivion.
Fortunately, he jumped right back over then. And fortunately yesterday, his head almost immediately popped back up through the same hole he went through, and it was close enough to the side that he could drape his front paws over the edge of the pool and cling to it with a look of panic in his eyes.
On doggie swim days at Riverside Park back in Baltimore, Ace only went into the big boy pool once, preferring to wade in the baby one. When he did try the big one he was unable to get out. It took me and two friends to hoist him up and over the pool’s edge.
Yesterday, thanks either to adrenalin or the harness he’s been wearing instead of a collar since his diagnosis, I was able to pull him up enough for him to be able to get his back paws on the edge of the pool. I pulled, he pushed, and within a few seconds, he was out.
At that point, either invigorated by the cold and slightly green water, or just happy to be alive, he took off, darting around the yard for five minutes over my protestations. He’s supposed to be limiting his physical activity.
Once he calmed down, I noticed how bad he smelled and, with a public appearance scheduled for tonight, a bath was in order. In the middle of that, fully soaped up, he took off again, running in circles around the yard.
His herniated disc seemed far from his mind. I feared the incident would lead to a relapse, but all day, as in the past two days, it appeared to be bothering him less and less, and the yelps have ceased.
Between the tranquilizers and the the NSAIDs — and despite an unplanned morning swim in a yet to be opened pool — I think he’s making progress.
I haven’t yet told the lady of the manor about the damage he did. Earlier, she offered me the job of pool boy, if I end up staying into the summer, which would certainly look good — unlike the actual pasty and balding, pot-bellied, 57-year-old pool boy would himself — on the resume.
Now I may have no choice, needing to work off my debt for the torn tarp. How’s this for a deal? If you pay me extra, I’ll keep my shirt on.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, ace, animals, basement, disappearing, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, drugs, health, herniated disc, mansion, north carolina, pets, pool, pool cover, safety, swimming pool, tranquilizers, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, valium
Seventy-one-year-old Paul Franklin Hudson Sr. got around Pocomoke City in a motorized wheelchair, often with his small dog, Foxy, a three-year-old “chickapoo,” riding in his lap.
On a Saturday earlier this month, they were on their way to McDonald’s — motoring along in the grass on the shoulder of Route 113 – when a black SUV ran off the road and struck him.
The impact knocked Hudson, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, from his wheelchair and killed Foxy. The SUV, Delmarvanow.com reported, fled the scene and police are still investigating.
Hudson said he spent the next day crying.
“She was like a part of my family,” Hudson said of Foxy, described as a Chihuahua and poodle mix. “She slept with me. She ate with me. We did everything together.”
Hudson told police four or five people stopped to help him after the accident — assisting him in getting back in his wheelchair and placing Foxy’s lifeless body on his lap.
Since burying Foxy, Hudson has been looking for a new dog, similar to his old one, and an anonymous donor has come forward to help him find one, Delmarvanow.com reported this week.
“God bless him,” Hudson said. “I’m going to keep looking, because I sure miss my baby.”
(Photo from Delmarvanow.com, by Amanda Rippen White)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, adopt, animals, bond, chickapoo, chihuahua, death, delaware, delmarva, dogs, foxy, grief, hit-and-run, loss, maryland, mix, motorized, paul franklin hudson, pets, pocomoke city, poodle, replace, rescue, shelters, suv, wheelchair
In our final days in Baltimore, Ace and I shifted from a house that was empty to one that was very full – of art, and art supplies, and things that, in the homeowner/artist’s view, could, with a little work and imagination, be turned into art someday.
Artist J. Kelly Lane, having an out-of-town house-sitting gig of her own, offered to let Ace and me stay Thursday and Friday in her South Baltimore rowhouse, which, she warned me ahead of time, had its quirks
You know you’re in bigger trouble when, in a house full of art works, you break one of them.
In the wee (literally) hours of the morning, I rose off the downstairs futon to make my way upstairs to the bathroom. I was stepping carefully through the darkness, but my knee hit a stand-up ash tray and knocked it over.
If that alone weren’t bad enough – it’s hard to find ash trays at all these days, let alone the stand up, three-foot high kind — Kelly had apparently applied her artistic skills to this one.
I’m guessing (and hoping) it was a thrift store find –as opposed to a family heirloom — one that, while already the perfect combination of form and function, she saw as being in needed a bit more pizzazz.
Someone, I’m guessing Kelly, had painstakingly painted both its post and the two serpents that make up its handle, which is the part that broke when it fell to the ground.
Now it’s 4 a.m., and I can’t go back to sleep. In addition to the guilt I feel for breaking it in the first place, I’m feeling guiltier yet for what’s popping into my mind:
Blame it on Ace. With a dog as big as him, in a house filled with so much art, an accident is bound to happen. Right?
Staying at Kelly’s house was like spending a night at the museum. Her paintings cover the walls. Walk in the front door and you’re in what looks like a studio. Enter then next room and you’re in what looks like a studio. Keep going back and you enter what appears to be a studio.
She’s applied her flair to the dwelling, too – like the stair rail and stairway risers painted in leopard skin motif. In addition to painting canvases, Kelly paints house interiors, and she’s into a host of other crafts, like hand-made Valentine’s cards and decorating items like the stand-up ashtray whose handle is now broken.
True, I have in the past blamed him for gaseous eruptions that did not originate from him, but that’s different – dogs are more easily forgiven than humans for that.
Then too, blaming him for the mishap would tarnish his image as the perfect dog. In reality, he’s not perfect – and I wouldn’t want him to be – but he comes a lot closer to it than I do. And when it comes right down to it, I – wrong as it might be – probably care more about his image than mine, except when it comes to farts.
Like a lot of dog people, I worry more about my dog – his health, his reputation, his “proper” behavior – than I do about my own self in those regards.
From previous visits, I knew there would be some risks at Kelly’s house – that a wagging tail, or Ace going into rambunctious “let’s play!” mode, could result in serious damage. As it turns out, it was I, in my pre-coffee, bathroom-seeking clumsiness — as Ace soundly slept — that sent things a kilter. And a standalone ash tray, no less – a true antique that harkens back to the days when smoking wasn’t a misdemeanor, and ash trays were respectable enough to be an entire piece of furniture.
I’d gone more than a month in our previous location – also somebody else’s house — without breaking anything. But then, it being an empty house, there was really nothing to break.
Now I must break the news, and somehow make things right.
Then, and only then, will I be able to go back to sleep.
(Postscript: Kelly was very forgiving, and didn’t seem mad at me. To find out more about her art, contact her at email@example.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, ace, america, animals, art, artist, ash trays, baltimore, blame, broken, damage, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, freeloading, guest, home, houseguest, housing, kelly lane, museum, painting, pets, road trip, studio, travels with ace, visit