James Stewart Robinson, 45, of Birmingham, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and was being held in the county jail with bond set at $40,000, Al.com reported.
Sheriff’s investigators charged Robinson Nov. 16 after a five-month investigation that included unearthing the dog’s remains and tests at a University of Florida animal forensics lab.
Robinson is charged with cruelty to a dog, specifically slicing the throat of his American Staffordshire Terrier, Rufus, the subject of a bitter custody battle between him and his ex-wife.
Robinson claimed his estranged wife had killed Rufus to prevent him from gaining custody, but results from a forensic analysis along with data recovered from emails, text messages and voicemails led authorities to conclude otherwise.
According to court records, Robinson texted a picture of Rufus with his throat slashed to his estranged wife, and left her a voicemail that said, “Your day is coming girl.”
“It’s hard to imagine someone being capable of something this twisted yet here we are and he is in jail,” said Randy Christian, a chief deputy. “No doubt there is a special place for people like that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animal cruelty, animals american staffordshire terrier, attorney, battle, birmingham, cruelty to animals, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, email, forensics, investigation, james stewart robinson, jefferson county, lawyer, pets, rufus, sheriff, slashed, surrendered, texts, throat, university of florida, voicemails
Revised, reconfigured and ready to get you all the way through 2013, the “Travels with Ace” calendar is back on sale for a limited time.
A heavy-duty, 18-month wall calendar, it’s illustrated with photos from our year-long, 27,000-mile trip across America — from the coast of Maine, where Ace was the first dog in America to see the sunrise one day in October, to the shores of Monterey, where Ace hopped up for a closer look at a bust of John Steinbeck — the author who inspired our journey.
You can buy it and get more information here, or by clicking on that ad to the left.
Fifty percent of profits from the sale of the calendar go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire (and also one of the stops on our trip).
We’ve added photos of one stop that we didn’t include the first time around — the Coon Dog Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
The rest of the calendar is packed with images from some of our other stops:
@Salvation Mountain in California, where Leonard Knight has fashioned and painted a mountain in honor of God.
@Niagara Falls, where Ace — ohmigod! — almost disappeared.
@The Lodge, a gentleman’s club in Dallas, where we met one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, and where Ace briefly took the stage.
@Various points south, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, where we kept running into kudzu dogs.
@The mountains of North Carolina, where we went in search of the elusive — and sometimes not so elusive — white squirrel.
@Rolling Dog Farm, where we reconnected with some old friends.
@John Steinbeck’s former home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., where we began retracing the route the author took in “Travels with Charley.”
@A marina in Baltimore, where we lived on a sailboat for a week, which Ace mostly liked.
Initial sales of the calendar raised $400 for Rolling Dog Farm.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, alabama, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, bandera, calendar, calendars, california, coast, coon dog cemetery, dallas texas, dog, dogs, fathers day, following, gentleman's club, gift, gifts, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, lancaster, maine, monterey, new hamsphire, niagara falls, north carolina, ohmidog!, oregon, path, pets, photography, photos, road trip, rolling dog farm, route, salinas, strip clubs, the lodge, trail, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, trip, tucson, wall calendar, white squirrels, winslow
Fourteen people in nine states have been sickened with Salmonella infections linked to a recalled dog food.
At least five have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported Thursday that multiple brands of Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food are the suspected source of the human illnesses, a result of contact with the contaminated food or handling an animal that has eaten it.
The dog food was all produced at a manufacturing plant in Gaston, South Carolina – the same one that produced mold-contaminated food that killed dozens of dogs nationwide in 2005.
In some recall notices, Diamond Pet Foods has claimed that no dog illnesses have been reported in connection with its three recent voluntary recalls. Those alerts from the company did not reveal that human cases of infection were being investigated, according to Food Safety News.
According to the CDC, state officials in Michigan first detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 2.
PulseNet, a national surveillance system for foodborne illnesses, then found several cases of human Salmonella Infantis infections with a genetic fingerprint identical to that found in the dog food, the CDC said.
Salmonella has also been detected in Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food, found in the household of an ill person in Ohio.
And a sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by the Food and Drug Administration during an inspection at the South Carolina production plant also yielded Salmonella, the CDC said.
Seven of ten outbreak victims interviewed said they had contact with a dog during the week before they became ill. Of five people who could remember the type of dog food they had handled, four said it was a Diamond Pet Foods brand.
The human illness has been reported in Missouri and North Carolina, each with three cases; Ohio, with two cases, and one each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Diamond Pet Foods recalled batches of its Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 6 in what it said was a “precautionary measure… No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected,” the company said.
According to Food Safety News, the announcement came four days after the Michigan test results, confirming the presence of Salmonella in one of Diamond’s brands.
A second recall was announced April 26 for certain batches of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light formula dry dog food, also made by Diamond. After that, a company press release stated “no dog illnesses” had been reported.
On April 30, the company expanded the recall to include Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food.
According to the CDC, dogs and cats infected with Salmonella usually have diarrhea and may seem lethargic, but yhey can carry the infection and not appear to be sick. Humans can become infected by touching the animals, their food, or their environments such as food bowls, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands afterwards.
The CDC said consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products and discard them promptly. Consumers with questions about recalled dog food may contact Diamond Pet Foods at telephone number 800-442-0402 or visit www.diamondpetrecall.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult light formula, alabama, alert, animals, cases, cdc, centers for disease control and prevention, chicken soup, chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, connecticut, consumer, consumers, contaminated, diamond, dog food, dog food recall, dogs, dry, hands, health, humans, infected, infection, inspections, kibble, michigan, missouri, natural lamb meal and rice, new jersey, ohio, pennsylvania, pets, puppy formula, recall, safety, salmonella, salmonella infantis, sick, sickened, south carolina, tainted, tests, urgent, virginia, warning, wash
The dogs are members of “EcoDogs,” a three-year-old collaboration at Alabama’s Auburn University between the science departments and the school’s Canine Detection Research Institute, which trains dogs to detect explosives.
Environmentalists fear the non-native pythons are upsetting the ecological balance of South Florida. Their spread is generally attributed to irresponsible pet owners dumping their snakes and 1992′s Hurricane Andrew, which destroyed an adjacent exotic snake warehouse.
Now they’ve adapted to the Everglades, and park officials say there’s no way of eradicating them. Instead, with help from dogs, they hope to keep them from further spreading.
In a trial run, the dogs showed they can cover a search area 2.5 times faster than a person.
“People can only see that the snake is there if they can see the snake. The dogs can smell the snake even if it’s not visually apparent to us,” said Christina Romagosa, a biologist at Auburn.
Two black Labrador retrievers from EcoDogs, Ivy and Jake, were sent to the 2,358-square-mile park in 2010 and demonstrated their skills to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a Reuters report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Todd Steury, an Auburn conservation biologist and co-founder of the project, said training a new dog to detect a scent takes six to 10 weeks. Training for each additional scent, he said, takes “about 10 minutes. You can do it by accident if you’re not careful.”
In controlled experiments, the EcoDogs success rate in finding pythons at the park was 75-92 percent, Romagosa said. The dogs helped researchers trap 19 pythons, including a pregnant snake with 19 eggs, according to an EcoDog report.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, auburn university, biology, bomb, burmese pythons, canine detection, conservation, detecting, detection, dogs, ecodogs, ecology, environment, everglades, everglades national park, florida, pets, pythons, research institute, scent, snakes, sniffing, training
All three products were made at a Gaston, S.C., plant — the same one that made mold-contaminated food that killed dozens of dogs nationwide in 2005.
Production at the plant was halted April 8.
In a statement Monday, the Missouri-based company said the latest recall involves its Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food. No canine illnesses have been reported.
The product was distributed to customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The company announced in April that it was recalling batches of its Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula and Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult, adult light formula, alabama, animals, chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, company, concerns, diamond, diamond naturals, diamond pet foods, dog food, dogs, florida, food, formula, gaston, georgia, health, kentucky, lamb meal and rice, light, maryland, michigan, missouri, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, pet, pets, plant, recall, safety, salmonella, south carolina, tennessee, virginia, voluntary, warning
According to a company news release Friday, no illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond products are affected.
The product was distributed to customers in 12 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
Consumers who purchased bags of the recalled food should stop using it and discard it, the company said. Consumers can obtain a refund by contacting Diamond Pet.
Pets with salmonella may have decreased appetite fever and abdominal pain.
People who handle the pet food can become infected with salmonella.
The recalled products are 6-, 20- and 40-pound bags of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice, with a “best before” date of Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, 2013, and the following production codes:
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, consumers, contamination, customers, diamond, diamond naturals, distributed, dog food, dogs, dry, florida, formula, georgia, health, kentucky, lamb and rice, lamb meal & rice, lamb meal and rice, list, maryland, michigan, naturals, new york, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, pet food, pets, production codes, recall, safety, salmonella, South Carolina and Virginia, voluntary, warning
This one’s a lot like the story we told you last this week — about a German shepherd in Baltimore named Jerry Lee — but in our view it’s the sort of thing that can’t happen often enough.
Bear, a two-year-old Labrador retriever mix who months ago was just another mutt in a Kentucky animal shelter, is the newest addition to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama.
Dustain Vance, head trainer for Advance Canine Academy in Scottsville, Ky., adopted Bear from the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society. Bear had been adopted earlier, but returned by a family who had difficulty controlling the dog’s energetic behavior.
“For a drug dog, that’s what we actually look for,” Sheriff Ted Sexton, who swore in Bear as a deputy Wednesday, told Al.com. “We’re looking for a dog that has drives and instincts primarily in play and prey and hunt, and he excels in this particular area.”
The Sheriff’s Office purchased the dog from the training center, and he’s been assigned to a partner, a deputy attached to the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.
Bear has been trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Last week, Bear and his new handler returned from training to Tuscaloosa, where the dog immediately found a pound of marijuana in a FedEx package. He has since made another bust.
Deputy Nick Lolley said he and Bear are getting along well in their first week on the job. “He has to trust you and you have to trust him,” Lolley said. “That’s — I say 50 percent of it, because if a dog trusts you, then he’ll work for you.”
(Photo: Chris Pow / al.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: academy, adopted, advance canine academy, alabama, animals, bear, bowling green, canine, county, department, detection, dog, dogs, drug, drug-sniffing, humane society, k9, kentucky, labrador retriever, mix, narcotics, pets, shelter, sheriff, task force, training, tuscaloosa, warren county, west
After storms and tornadoes passed through North Alabama, Greg Cook rushed home. While there wasn’t much left of it, he was able to find his dog, Coco, in the debris.
Cook crawled through a window of his home in East Limestone and found Coco soaking wet and shaking in a hallway.
“It was just such a relief,” Cook told WAFF. “I love my dog, he’s my best friend and I was just so happy to see him.”
(Photos by Gary Cosby Jr / Decatur Daily)
Daniel, the miracle beagle, has a new home.
The dog who survived an Alabama gas chamber has been adopted by Joe Dwyer, a 50-year-old motivational speaker and dog trainer, his wife, Geralynn, and their daughter, Jenna.
While the family intends to continue the dual missions Daniel has already become part of — encouraging adoptions and ending the use of gas chambers to euthanize dogs — they promised that “his life as part of this family is paramount.”
“We can’t deny he has a purpose,” Dwyer of Nutley, N.J., told the Newark Star-Ledger. But, he added, “he won’t be exploited.”
The Dwyer family has four other dogs, including another famous one – Shelby, an abused pit bull Dwyer adopted and trained as a therapy dog. Dwyer wrote a book about the dog and uses her in presentations at schools about bullying.
Dwyer said Daniel may become a therapy dog some day, but for now the family will allow him to continue to be used, as he has been since his rescue, as the poster child for the campaign to end gas chambers, which are still legal in 31 states.
Estimates are Daniel is around five, but the Star-Ledger reports he was behaving like a puppy as he dashed around the yard with the family’s other dogs.
Daniel was one of a group of dogs being euthanized in the gas chamber at the local pound in Florence, Ala. When the process was completed, though, Daniel walked out of the chamber.
Word of his survival spread across the country, prompting the Rockaway, N.J.- based rescue group Eleventh Hour Rescue to take him in. He was flown to New Jersey by Pilots N Paws.
On Saturday, Daniel made his first official appearance — in Pennsylvania at a rally for a bill to ban gas chambers. That bill is named after Daniel.
(Photo of Daniel and Shelby by Jennifer Brown / Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, alabama, ban, beagle, daniel, dog trainer, eleventh hour rescue, end, euthanasia, euthanized, florence, gas chambers, joe dwyer, lethal injection, miracle, miracle dog, motivational speaker, new jersey, nutley, pit bull, rescue, shelby, survived, survivor
Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky …
– Elton John
Maybe its because those dogs have beaten such overwhelming odds, or because we like to see the underdog (and a dog can’t get more under than this) triumph; or because we all just love to see death get cheated.
Or maybe it’s because it serves as a haunting reminder — penetrating our veil of denial — that we humans shouldn’t be killing dogs by the millions, whether it’s in outdated gas chambers or by lethal injection.
In that vein (cruel pun intended), we present the case of a beagle mix named Daniel.
Daniel was one of four or five dogs (who can keep count) loaded into the gas chamber recently at the Animal Control Department in Florence, Alabama.
“It’s the toughest part of the job,” said Cody Berry, the loader.
Berry turned the death machine on, carbon monoxide seeped into the chamber, and the fumes worked their black magic.
But when Berry went to unload the corpses, Daniel stood up and walked out.
As is often, but not always the case, the pound decided not to re-gas Daniel, and instead took him to a veterinarian before seeking a rescue group that might take the death-defying dog under its care.
On Wednesday, Daniel arrived in New Jersey, where, until a permanent home is found, he’ll live in a foster home provided through the Rockaway-based Eleventh Hour Rescue, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“He’s one in a million,” said Linda Schiller, the founder of the organization.
While finding him a home is the top priority, the group also hopes to make him the next “poster child” in the campaign to end the use of gas as a form of animal euthanasia.
The practice has been banned in some states, including New Jersey.
In Alabama, it will become illegal next year under Beckham’s law, named for another dog who survived the gas chamber.
In far too many other states and counties, it continues.
The American Humane Association, among others, has been lobbying to end the use of gas chambers, which it says cost more than lethal injection and is a crueler form of death.
Daniel arrived in New Jersey, with 11 other rescued dogs, in a single-engine plane piloted by Scott Messinger, a volunteer with the group Pilots N Paws.
As soon as the 5-year-old dog was on the ground, his tail started wagging, the Star-Ledger reported.
He’ll be staying with Jill Pavlik, a volunteer with Eleventh Hour Rescue.
Roger Keyser, another Eleventh Hour volunteer predicted we’ll be hearing more about the 20-pound beagle mix who outsmarted death.
“This dog has got to have some destiny,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, alabama, american humane association, animal, beagle, campaign, cheated, daniel, death, dogs, eleventh hour rescue, euthanasia, euthanized, florence, gas chamber, gassed, home, mix, needed, new jersey, pets, pilots n paws, poster child, survived, survivor