A stray South Bronx mutt who was “discovered” in a shelter and went on to appear in the hit musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” is enjoying his retirement in a posh home on the upper West Side.
Found wandering the streets as an 8-month-old pup, Fred landed at an ASPCA shelter in New York in early 2005.
There Bill Berloni, a theatrical animal agent who has trained stray dogs for Broadway shows for more than 30 years, found Fred, took him home and spent a year working with the dog.
Berloni, who also is a behavior consultant for the Humane Society of New York – a no-kill shelter that supports rescued animals — took Fred, a terrier mix, to try out against dozens of other canine hopefuls at the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” auditions.
The New York Daily News recounted Fred’s “wags to riches” story in an article today.
When the show closed in 2006, Berloni arranged for Fred (third from the left in the photo) to be adopted by Chris Grabenstein and his wife, J.J. Myers.
Grabenstein, an author of adult mysteries and childrens’ ghost stories, has created a character based on him. The couple also built a rooftop dog area, where Fred can continue to enjoy the bright lights of the big city.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agent, animals, aspca, bill berloni, broadway, bronx, chitty chitty bang bang, chris grabenstein, dog, dogs, fred, manhattan, musical, new york, pets, rescue, shelter, stage, theater, theatrical, training, upper west side
The FBI agent who shot and killed his neighbor’s 3-pound Chihuahua last year is no longer an FBI agent.
Ledger, 41, could not be reached for comment, the newspaper said.
Ledger was sentenced to deferred probation for two years and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service in July after pleading no contest to state felony animal cruelty charges stemming from shooting his neighbor’s dog, Sassy.
He shot the dog with a pellet rifle when she appeared in front of his home. The dog belonged to a young girl whose family lives down the street from Ledger.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agent, animal cruelty, bureau, charges, chihuahua, departed, fbi, gone, killed, left, leslie ledger, neighbors, pellet rifle, probation, sassy, sentence, shot, waco
An FBI agent was sentenced yesterday to two years’ probation and 300 hours of community service for killing a neighbor’s Chihuahua last year.
A state district judge in Waco placed Lovett Leslie Ledger Jr. on “deferred adjudication probation,” meaning no conviction will appear on his record if he successfully completes probation, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
Ledger had entered a plea of no contest to animal cruelty charges.
Ledger fatally shot his neighbor’s 3-pound dog with a pellet gun last year as it walked near his house.
FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said that the agency will conduct an internal inquiry to determine whether Ledger will faces any sanctions, ranging from suspension to dismissal.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agent, animal cruelty, chihuahua, community service, court, dog, fbi, inquiry, killed, killing, law, lovett leslie ledger, neighbor, pellet gun, probation, sentence, shooting, shot
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is hoping to find a way to avoid having his it bull, Patron, put down.
The dog bit Harrison’s 2-year-old son, James Harrison III, last Wednesday, and since then has been lodged at Animal Control of McKee’s Rocks, where Harrison originally said he would have him euthanized after a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
The dog became agitated when the toddler began crying last Wednesday at their Franklin Park home. The dog bit both the child, who was released from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and is now home, and the child’s mother, Beth Tibbott. A friend of Tibbots was also injured as they tried to separate dog and boy. Harrison was not at home during the attack.
Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, said yesterday that they were seeking an alternative for Patron, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
With the toddlers improvement — “the baby was actually walking [Monday], there is no muscle or nerve damage, no infection,” Parise said – Harrison wanted to see whether there was a way to avoid putting Patron down.
“I just got done talking to James,” he said yesterday afternoon, “and he would love to find a home for him, but only if it was a home that would provide maximum security. This decision is not being made lightly, and it would have to be in the best interest of the welfare of the animal as well as of people.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agent, bill parise, bit, bite, dog, euthanasia, james harrison, linebacker, pit bull, pittsburgh, quarantine, rescue, save, shelter, son, steerlers, toddler
An FBI agent who shot and killed a Chihuahua named Sassy in front of his Texas home says he deserves probation.
Amazingly, if a judge approves, that’s the sentence he’ll get.
Lovett Leslie Ledger Jr., 40, who lives near Lorena, pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges in exchange for a recommendation from prosecutors that he be placed on probation for two years, according to the Waco Tribune.
The 3-pound dog, which belonged to a neighboring 8-year-old girl, was shot in the neck, just above her rhinestone collar, in February of 2008.
A neighbor, who witnessed the shooting when she went to investigate why her dogs were barking, said Ledger shot the dog with a pellet rifle, as one of his children watched.
Ledger initially lied to investigators about the dog’s death but later told deputies he shot the animal, according to court records. Ledger and his attorney both declined comment after a brief plea hearing Monday, the Tribune reported. The judge has set sentencing in the case for June 23.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agent, agreement, animal cruelty, animals, barking, chihuahua, dog, dogs, fbi, killed, lorena, lovett leslie ledger, neighbor, news, no contest, ohmidog!, pellet, pet, plea, probation, rifle, sassy, sentencing, shooting, shot, texas, waco