Sheena Cornwell, a 28-year-old home health aide, hung the 15-year-old pit bull, named Lilly, by her collar and leash from a rafter in the garage, police said.
Cornwell lived in Des Moines with her boyfriend. He told police that she’d been annoyed with Lilly for two months, because the dog paced a lot.
“(Sheena) had complained about the dog before, but she never abused her,” Joshua VanDyke told the Des Moines Register. “She wanted to get rid of her, but she never said anything about doing something violent to her.”
Police reports indicate Lilly was barking in the garage when Cornwell left the room, returning a few minutes later to tell VanDyke, “She’s dead, I killed her.”
Animal control officers removed the dog from the home after police were called. Cornwell was charged with one count of animal torture.
ABC News reported Cornwell could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250 if convicted.
(Photo: Des Moines Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, cruelty, des moines, dog, dogs, elderly, garage, hangs, home health aide, hung, iowa, lilly, old, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rafters, sheena cornwell, woman
While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter
The more one learns about dogs in distress – the vast numbers being abused, neglected, fought, churned out in puppy mills, experimented on in laboratories and euthanized by the millions for lack of a home — the more one can get the feeling that the problem is too huge and intractable to ever be resolved.
“What can I do?” you may ask. “I’m just one person.”
Just how much one person can do is laid out in Cayr Ariel Wulff’s new book, “How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy Online.”
Wulff, who speaks from experience, shows how something as big and untenable as the Internet can, with relative ease, be used to make life better for individual dogs, and the species as a whole.
How to navigate the Internet, with an eye towards helping dogs, is clearly and concisely explained in Wulff’s handbook, which should be required reading for animal shelters, rescue organizations and anyone else interested in doing something more about the problems than complain.
Wulff’s books shows how the Internet, in addition to its many ignoble uses, has some noble ones, and how in recent years it has become perhaps the single most valuable tool there is when it comes to saving dogs in trouble.
She covers it all – petition websites, letter writing campaigns, social media, fundraising, apps and more. She points you to websites where you can help animals with one simple click, to search engines that raise money for animal causes every time you use them, to online shopping sites where a percentage of every purchase goes to the animal cause of your choice.
She explores the power of Facebook when it comes to saving animals, including its Pet Pardons App, where users can post about dogs in shelters whose time is running out.
She doesn’t avoid the Internet’s downside when it comes to dogs, such as puppy mill breeders selling dogs online, or the use of Craigslist to buy, sell and give away dogs. As she points out, dogs offered “free to good homes” don’t always end up in such.
Wulff, an artist, author and animal advocate, is a native Ohioan who has been involved in pet rescue for more than 25 years and has five dogs of her own. She writes a pet column and an animal books column for the online publication Examiner.com, and is author of the blog “Up on the Woof.”
Her tips are clearly presented, practical and empowering, whether you want to blog on behalf of dogs, volunteer at a shelter or rescue, foster a dog, report suspected abuse, or help transport adoptable dogs to parts of the country where they are more likely to get adopted.
Combining case histories with practical tips on how to use the Internet to advocate for dogs, Wulff’s book is an inspiring, informative and highly useful volume that anyone who thinks dogs are worth fighting for should have on their shelf.
Best of all it’s a reminder that you – one person — can make a difference.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy Online, advocacy, animal, animal welfare, animals, books, books on dogs, Cayr Ariel Wulff, dog books, dogs, facebook, handbook, How to Change the World in 30 Seconds, internet, pets, rescues, saving dogs, shelters
A Toledo-area rescue group is recovering from storm damage, but it’s facing repair bills nearly as big as its annual budget.
“Our annual operating budget is only about $2,000,” said Jane Huth, founder and president of You Lucky Dog in Oregon, Ohio. “This is really a huge hit for us because we are not very big.”
Storms caused the city sewer drain to back up into the facility, and while insurance covered much of the clean up, it didn’t cover the $1,500 bill to replace the waterlogged drywall and flooring, Huth said.
Huth said she went to the kennels where the group’s rescue dogs are kept after the storm and saw “water creeping toward the kennels … I knew I had to do something fast,” she said. She created a dam in front of where three dogs resided to keep the water from reaching them, according to the Toledo Blade.
The nonprofit organization, funded through donations, rescues about 25 dogs a year, most of which come from the Lucas County dog warden, Huth said. It recently celebrated its 11th year in operation and its 550th adoption.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the group houses about four dogs at a time, and has found homes for many dogs rescued from the county shelter, including litters of puppies, nursing moms and dogs recovering from injuries.
Tax-deductible donations to help the rescue group can be mailed to You Lucky Dog, 1510 Blandin St., Oregon, OH 43616.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, damage, dog, dogs, donations, flooding, insurance, jane huth, lucas county, nonprofit, ohio, oregon, organization, pets, rescue, storm, toledo, warden, you lucky dog
Nearly 150 dogs were seized from a rescue organization in Marion County, Oregon, early Monday, and its director was arrested and charged with 120 counts of animal neglect.
The Statesman-Journal reported that Alicia Marie Inglish, 24, is president of Willamette Valley Animal Rescue in Brooks.
Oregon Humane Society officials said the rescue was one of the largest in the state’s history.
Both the sheriff’s office and humane society had received complaints about the facility.
The dogs, many of which were in need of medical attention, were taken to the Oregon Humane Society in Portland before being transferred to other other local shelters.
Don Thompson, of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said 120 of the dogs were suffering from neglect and that many were malnourished.
After serving a search warrant, deputies found unclean conditions in the building, with some dogs running free, and some caged in crates. Some dog carriers, intended for single dogs, were filled with as many as four. There was no food available, little access to clean water, and one dog had his head stuck in a wire cage, deputies said.
According to its listing on Petfinder.com, the organization held adoption fairs at a local Petsmart. In the listing, it described itself as foster care-based but said it was hoping to open a shelter in 2012.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alicia inglish, animal, animal welfare, arrested, brooks, charged, dog, dogs, malnourished, marion county, neglect, neglected, oregon, pet, president, rescue, seized, shelter, willamette valley animal rescue
A Chicago-area man has left $1.5 million to local animal shelters, specifying that the money go only to those that have no-kill policies.
Sylvester Czopek died in October of last year at age 84 in a hospice in Joliet.
Before his death, he set up a trust directing that his estate’s assets be distributed among local animal shelters that — though the definition of “no-kill” can vary — strive to avoid euthanizing pets who don’t get adopted.
Czopek, according to WLS, was the last of five brothers from Lemont, all of whom never married.
WLS reported that the $1.5 million will be split between five no-kill shelters:
- Will County Humane Society in Shorewood
- West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove
- Naperville Area Humane Society
- Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge
- PAWS Chicago Adoption Center
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, animal welfare, Animal Welfare League, bequeath, chicago, dogs, donation, euthanasia, Naperville Area Humane Society, no-kill no kill, PAWS Chicago Adoption Center, pets, shelters, Sylvester Czopek, trust, West Suburban Humane Society, will, Will County Humane Society
Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota and New Mexico are 2012’s five best states to be an animal abuser, according to the latest report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
The national nonprofit organization compared animal protection laws of every state in the country, analyzing more than 4,000 pages of statutes, to reveal the state’s that are strongest on animal protection and those that are weakest.
The weakest of all? Kentucky, which the ALDF says was the worst state in the nation for animal protection laws for the sixth year in a row.
The report ranks all 50 states, and top honors went to Illinois, for the fifth year in a row. ALDF has been releasing the annual analysis for seven years.
Rounding out the top five states were Maine, California, Michigan, and Oregon, all of which demonstrated strong commitments to combating animal cruelty.
States that ranked poorly either lacked or made limited use of felony penalties for the worst types of animals abuse, had weak laws covering basic standards of care for animals, and no restrictions on convicted animal abusers getting news pets and animals.
In the survey, Kansas saw its ranking drop from sixth to 13th, primarily due to its “ag gag” law. Such laws, now existing in five states, make it illegal to covertly take photos or videos at factory farms and other animal facilities as part of undercover investigations.
Idaho was the fastest rising state, moving up from 52 to 44 due to its enactment of felony provisions for animal cruelty.
Since the first rankings report in 2006, more than half of all states and territories have experienced a significant improvement in their animal protection laws, ALDF says.
“We look forward to further progress in the upcoming year,” said Stephen Wells, executive director for ALDF. “Regardless of ranking, each state and territory has ample room for improvement. We hope lawmakers will recognize the need for immediate improvement in animal protection laws across the nation. Although animals do not vote, those who love and protect them certainly do.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, analysis, animal, animal legal defense fund, best, best and worst, bottom five, california, cruelty to animals, felony, illinois, iowa, kentucky, laws, maine, michigan, new mexico, north dakota, oregon, protection, report, south dakota, states, statutes, top five, worst
The outdated legal view of dogs as easily-replaceable “property” — worth no more than you paid for them — is slowly beginning to catch up with the times.
The latest indication of a change in judicial thinking came last week when California’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled that pets are fundamentally different than other forms of property.
“Given . . . the reality that animals are living creatures, the usual standard of recovery for damaged personal property — market value — is inadequate when applied to injured pets,” Justice Kathryn Doi Todd wrote in her opinion.
She added, “Animals are special, sentient beings, (and) unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die.”
The Court of Appeals ruling came in the consolidated cases of two pet owners — one whose dog was shot by a neighbor, and one whose dog was injured by veterinary negligence. Lower courts had ruled they were entitled to no more than the market value of their pets.
The appeals court decision reversed both cases. The new ruling permits owners of wrongfully injured pets to recover the “reasonable and necessary costs” of treating and caring for an injured animal, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which had filed amicus briefs in the case.
The first case involved a German Shepherd named Gunner, who was shot by a neighbor and whose leg had to be amputated, costing his family more than $20,000. The second case involved a Golden Retriever named Katie, whose intestine was nicked during a surgical procedure. The vet also left a piece of gauze in her body. The errors led to the dog having to receive emergency surgery that cost Katie’s family more than $37,000.
In both cases, the trial court limited the plaintiffs’ recovery to a fraction of what they spent to nurse them back to health — namely, their dogs’ market value.
“This decision is a significant step forward for companion animals and their guardians,” said Matthew Liebman, ALDF senior attorney. “The legal system is finally starting to catch up with how the majority of people feel about the animals with whom they share their lives.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, animal, animal legal defense fund, appeals, court, courts, dog, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, gunner, injuries, judicial, kathryn doi todd, katie, law, lawsuits, legal, market value, pets, property, ruling, value, view, wrongful
Webb shot and killed his neighbor’s black Labrador with a .357 magnum pistol in 1998, entered an Alford plea to charges of cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct and received two three-month sentences, both of which were deferred and later dismissed.
While the court case was sealed, it somehow became unsealed, got circulated on the Internet and was anonymously mailed earlier this week to The Billings Gazette.
“Fifteen years ago, I was attacked by a dog in my own front yard and I defended myself,” Webb, of Billings Heights, said Monday. “I have documentation, because I hired a private investigator at the time, that the dog had attacked a FedEx driver and UPS and the owner’s neighbor.”
Webb said he didn’t know who leaked the sealed documents. They initially appeared Sunday on a liberal political blog and on Twitter.
“I have no idea who is doing that. I have no idea,” said his opponent, Democrat Wanda Grinde.
According to The Billings Gazette, the documents state that Webb struck a neighbor’s black Lab with his pistol and then shot the the dog as it ran away. The bullet killed the dog and ricocheted into a second black Labrador.
Webb told the court that on the night of the incident, the two dogs charged down a hill toward him. He said he jumped in the bed of his pick-up truck until the dogs left. Then, he said, he went inside his house, got his pistol and headed up the hill to talk to their owner. He didn’t see the owner, though, and said the dogs confronted him again on his way home. He struck one of the dogs as it lunged at him and fired his gun.
The owner of the dogs, Lyla Mercer, said she heard the shot while she standing by their kennels, from which they had escaped.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1998, animal, animals, black lab, candidate, court case, cruelty, dog, dogs, election, killed, labrador, leak, leaked, leaks, montana, pets, politics, roger webb, sealed, self defense, senate, shot
You’ll probably see a few familiar faces in this, the newest public service announcement in Baltimore’s “Show Your Soft Side” campaign.
The campaign made its debut in Baltimore last year after several instances of animal abuse in the city, some commited by children. The ads showcase athletes and celebrities cuddling the pets they love and the tagline, “Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.”
The new announcement is a compilation of some old softies and some new ones — among them Baltimore police officer Dan Waskiewicz, who became part of the campaign this month after saving and adopting a pit bull being teased by children.
Others who have been featured include fighter John Rallo, the Ravens’ Jarret Johnson, Adam Jones of the Orioles and Tommy Lee, legendary rocker and founding member of Motley Crue.
The campaign — a project of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Committee – makes use of billboards around town, and posters hanging in juvenile justice centers and other locations where young people are likely to see them.
Tommy Lee was the first celebrity featured from outside of Baltimore, and was snagged thanks to two connections. Rallo used to be Lee’s bodyguard. And a staff member who has worked on the campaign at 98 Rock, which is helping sponsor it, also is friends with Lee.
The newest announcement features photography by Leo Howard Lubow, Amanda Safford (Dizzy Grant) Jonesy Edwards (Henry Rollins) and Myriam Santos (Tommy Lee). The video was shot and directed by Janet Mockard.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adam jones, advisory committee, animal, animal welfare, anti-abuse, athletes, baltimore, billboards, campaign, cats, celebrities, compassion, dan waskiewicz, dog, dogs, influencing, jarret johnson, john rallo, maryland, mayor's, officer, only a punk, pets, police, posters, role models, show your soft side, Tommy Lee, video, youth