The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is investigating the treatment of a dog frequently seen in costume outside New York’s baseball stadiums, raising money for her pandhandler owner.
Coffee, who some fans believe is being made to obey commands with help from a shock collar, is put on display at both Yankees and Mets games, often wearing sunglasses, a Groucho Marx disguise or holding a pipe in her mouth.
MSNBC reports that the ASPCA sent investigators to Yankee Stadium Sunday to look into the allegations.
The ASPCA said Monday it was unable to locate the dog or its owner.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and remain prepared to take appropriate action, as warranted,” the organization said in a statement.
Concerns about the dog led to the creation of a Facebook page, “Stop Abusing Coffee.” As of yesterday, its fans numbered close to 7,000.
“Coffee is FORCED to sit outside Citi Field with a pipe in her mouth every Mets home game for hours on end with a shock collar on & no food, water or rest,” the page reads. “Something needs to be done about this.”
The website Gothamist, meanwhile, which is following the story closely, has published a photo of Coffee’s owner, and also reported that Coffee has no teeth.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, aspca, baseball, citi field, coffee, dog, dogs, donations, exploitation, facebook, glasses, groucho marx, investigation, investigting, mets, new york, new york mets, new york yankees, pandhandling, panhandler, pets, photos, pictures, pipe, stop abusing coffee, tips, yankee stadium, yankees
If Leona Helmsley was betrayed as much in life as she is being betrayed in death, it’s easy to understand why she might have become the bitch — and we’re not talking female dog — she was so often portrayed as.
In the latest development with the wealth she left behind, a second judge has ruled, in effect, that the foundation divvying up her fortune among charitable groups need not follow her express wish that much of that money be spent on the care of dogs.
The judge denied a bid by the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and other animal groups to get a larger share of Helmsley’s billions.
Although Helmsley directed a share of her massive fortune go to “the care of dogs” — that being in addition to the $12 million she asked be left to her own dog — the Helmsley Foundation’s trustees have seen fit to dispense most of the foundation money among organizations that have little or nothing to do with canines.
According to the animal welfare groups, only about $100,000 of the $450 million the foundation has given away has gone to dog causes.
The dog charities argued they should have standing to challenge how the foundation gives away its money in light of Helmsley’s written statements and last wishes. Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, called the $100,000 received so far ”a trifling amount, and contrary to Helmsley’s intentions.”
Surrogate’s Court Judge Nora Anderson in Manhattan rejected the bid by the animal welfare organizations to intervene in the case, agreeing with a judge who ruled earlier that the trustees have sole discretion in how to distribute the money, the New York Post reported yesterday.
She said she feared the groups’ challenge could open the floodgates to countless lawsuits from dog organizations around the world.
It’s hardly the first time Helmsley’s last wishes have been overruled since her death: Of that $12 million she left in her will for the care of her Maltese, named Trouble, a judge reduced the amount to $2 million.
Beyond what she intended to leave for the care and feeding of Trouble, Helmsley had another $5 to $8 billion, according to estimates of the trust’s worth.
Helmsley, who died in 2007, wrote in a 2004 mission statement for the trust that she wanted that money used for “1) purposes related to the provision or care of dogs and 2) such other charitable activities as the Trustees shall determine.”
In 2009, though, the Surrogate’s Court found that the mission statement did not place any legal restrictions on what donations could be made from the trust.
Later that year, the ASPCA, the Humane Society and Maddie’s Fund, filed a motion asking the court to vacate its earlier order and allow them to intervene. The primary interest of those groups was not, of course, in seeing solely that Helmsley’s wishes were honored, but neither, it seems, are the foundation’s. The animal welfare groups’ goals seem more aligned with her wishes, though.
By all descriptions, the so-called ”queen of mean” was a hard-hearted woman, with one soft spot — dogs.
The foundation doling out her fortune doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of respect for dogs, or for Helmsley.
I’m no legal expert, just a dog lover, and I’m not asking for Trouble. But if I arranged to leave my fortune – non-existent though it may currently be — to my dog Ace, or anywhere else, and you didn’t carry out my wishes, you can be sure I’d be back to haunt you.
I’d show you mean.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, aspca, bequeath, bequest, billions, bitch, charities, death, dogs, editorial, fortune, groups, helmsley foundation, hsus, humane society of the united states, inheritance, intervene, judge, leona helmsley, mean, organizations, pets, queen of mean, ruling, trouble, wayne pacelle, will
After a brief hiatus due to copyright infringement concerns, “Dog Wars” — the controversial game app for Android smartphones — is back on the online marketplace, where it’s being offered under the new name of “KG Dogfighting.”
Google’s Android Market website began offering the renamed app Saturday. While originally available for free, it’s now listed at $2.99.
A Google representative said the application was removed last week ”based on a trademark infringement complaint” but did not say at the time whether it would be sold again if those issues were resolved, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The game application allows players to raise and train a virtual pit bull to fight other virtual dogs, garnering streed “cred” and “money in your pocket,” according to its developers.
Among those who have filed complaints about the application with Google is the president of Los Angeles police officer’s union.
In the letter sent to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber urged Google “to do the right thing and ban this game permanently.”
“The game teaches users how to breed, train, fight, medicate and kill virtual dogs,” Weber wrote. “The entire concept is repulsive and sickening.”
Animal welfare groups, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have voiced concerns about the game and urged it be removed from the market.
Kage Games, the creators of the Dog Wars application, said in an email to The Times that the game was meant to educate the public on the evils of animal cruelty.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animal cruelty, animal welfare, ap, application, aspca, controversy, dog wars, dogfighting app, game, gamers, games, google, hsus, kage games, kg dogfighting, los angeles, market, marketplace, news, peta, pit bulls, police, return, smartphone, union, update
Check out Cinderella: Not too long ago she was one of numerous dogs living lives of neglect with an animal hoarder in Tennessee. Tonight, she’s going to be the belle of a ball in New York City.
Specifically, it’s the ASPCA’s Annual Bergh Ball, the theme of which is “Fairy Tails,” which takes place at the Plaza Hotel. The ball draws a crowd of animal lovers, including community leaders and celebrities, who come to dine and dance in support of the ASPCA’s mission: “To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
Rescue by the ASPCA from a hoarding situation, Cinderella, now about 4 years old, went on to be lodged in a New York City shelter before being adopted by a New York City resident. She now lives in a penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park, which she visits every day.
Yesterday, Cinderella received the royal treatment at the Ricardo Rojas Salon in preparation for tonight’s big event.
(Photos: Courtesy of the ASCPA)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aspca, ball, bergh ball, cinderella, dog, dogs, fairy tales, hoarder, hoarding, new york city, pets, rescue, shelter, story, tennessee
Anti-dog racing groups say Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Nitro, West Virginia, has had an alarming number of greyhound injuries over the past six years — more than one a day.
West Virginia Racing Commission records analyzed by Massachusetts-based Grey2K USA show that, in addition to 1.4 injuries a day, 152 dogs were euthanized during that period, only seven of those because of illnesses.
Carey Theil, executive director of Grey2K, the anti-dog racing agency that spent years trying to obtain the records, told the Charleston Daily Mail that the numbers are the highest the group has seen at any U.S. track.
An ASPCA spokesperson called the figures “appalling.”
Track executive Dan Adkins said the number of injuries has dropped the past two years and is near the national average.
Adkins insists dog health is a top priority for the track’s parent company, Hartman and Tyner Inc. of Hallandale, Fla. Out of more than 43,400 racing starts last year, he said, there were only 25 deaths.
The records show about 750 broken bones, and more than 300 career-ending injuries.
Grey2K says the true number could be even higher than state records indicate because more than 13 months of data is missing. The Racing Commission told the Daily Mail it could not find those records.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, aspca, carey theil, cruelty to animals, deaths, documents, dogs, euthanasia, grey2k, grey2kusa, greyhound, injured, injuries, mardi gras casino & resort, nitro, pets, racing, records, west virginia, west virginia racing commission
The ASPCA has made its first felony arrest of the year — a 265-pound Queens man accused of punching his 8-pound Chihuahua, the New York Post reported.
ASPCA officials say Jerry Melendez, 33, struck his dog, Spotty, hard enough to fracture his skull and cause a hemmorhage to his left eye.
Melendez took the dog to a veterinary clinic, but, being unemployed, was unable to pay for the medical care vets said would be necessary to save him. So Spotty, 5, was euthanized.
Veterinarians notified the ASPCA about the case, and a necropsy determined Spotty died of blunt-force impact.
“It appears he was just frustrated and became angry at his family dog,” ASPCA Assistant Director Joe Pentangelo said of Melendez, who recently lost his job at a pharmacy.
Melendez’ wife, Lillian Vargas, said her husband only yelled at the dog after discovering the couch had been soiled. The dog, she said, jumped off the couch and ran into the leg of the dining-room table. Authorities didn’t buy that account.
Melendez was charged with animal cruelty and faces a maximum two-year sentence and a fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, aspca, beat, beaten, charge, chihuahua, cruelty to animals, dogs, fracture, hit, jerry melendez, necropsy, new york, pets, punch, punched, queens, skull, spotty, violence
You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows — at least not if you have a dog.
Two-thirds of American pet owners say their pets have a sixth sense about bad weather, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press and Petside.com.
Seventy-two percent of dog owners said they’ve gotten weather warnings from their pets, compared with 66 percent of cat owners.
More than 40 percent of pet owners say their animals can sense the arrival of bad news, according to the poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.
“A sixth sense is something we can’t explain but we tend to trust. It’s a matter of belief and faith,” psychologist Stephanie LaFarge, the senior director of counseling services for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Associated Press.
Some scientists believe animals sense bad weather because of changes in barometric pressure, and that they can sense seizures, low blood sugar or other medical problems through changes in their owner’s hormone levels.
How some pets know when earthquakes are coming, or that bad news is on the horizon, remain more mysterious.
The ASPCA’s LaFarge says she has personally experienced the latter.
“I have been awakened in the middle of the night by a dog,” she said. “Very shortly after that, I received some very, very shocking bad news. I was awake when the phone rang. I couldn’t explain why I was awake except the dog was next to me nudging me. How did the dog know my father died at midnight?”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, aspca, associated press, bad news, behavior, cats, dogs, earthquakes, intuition, pet owners, pets, petside.com, poll, science, seizures, sense, sixth, sixth sense, storms, warnings, weather
Well this is beyond cool.
It’s the official music video for OK Go’s ‘White Knuckles’.
The dogs — many of them rescues — were trained by Lauren Henry and Roland Sonnenburg and their team of trainers from Talented Animals.
If you buy the video, proceeds go to the ASPCA.
You can learn more here.
In 2007, it was one of the most sickening, disheartening stories of the year — NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s arrest and imprisonment on dogfighting charges. Revelations of what transpired at Bad Newz Kennels showed just how cruel some humans can be.
By 2009, though, the story of Vick’s dogs had become one of the most heartening of the decade. What made the difference? Mainly, the dogs – the pit bulls. For despite what they’d been put through, despite being abused, trained as killers or used as bait, they were — once the decision was made not to euthanize them – amazing the world with their remarkable resiliency.
Saving and rehabilitating the former fighting dogs of Michael Vick was not achieved without a battle, and not without the efforts of a lot of dog-loving, self-sacrificing humans. But the silver lining that eventually shone through the dismal story was provided mainly by the dogs, who showed that, no matter how bad a human messes them up, there’s hope.
Once again, the irrepressible species was teaching us humans a lesson.
Vick’s former pit bulls have gone on to reside in new homes with young children, become cherished pets, serve as therapy dogs and, in many cases, serve as shining examples of what is right with and special about the much-maligned breed.
How all that transpired is rivetingly detailed in a new book by Jim Gorant, “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.”
(For a preview, you can read an article by Gorant in today’s Parade magazine.)
In the book, to be released next month, Gorant expands on his 2008 Sports Illustrated story on the Vick dogs (the one that featured Baltimore’s own Sweet Jasmine on the cover), recounting how they were rescued from Vick’s estate and how — though euthanasia was routine until then for animals seized from dogfighting operations – they were saved from that fate by an outpouring of public appeals.
The outcry helped lead to a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in “restitution” to the dogs — money used to allow a handful of agencies across the country to rehabilitate them.
The book recounts the ASPCA-led evaluations of each dog — and how, though there were a few hardened fighters among them, many more were dogs ready to be loved, ready to forgive and try to forget.
In “The Lost Dogs,” we learn more about Johnny Justice, the former Vick dog that participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get more comfortable with their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs; about Leo, who now spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens; and about Sweet Jasmine, who was coming out of her shell while living in Baltimore until she got loose and was hit by a car.
The book lists the outcomes for all 49 of the surviving pit bulls that were seized in April 2007 from Bad Newz Kennels, the Smithfield, Va., dogfighting ring run by Vick, then quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, now — getting a multi-million dollar second chance of his own — a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
While experts were expecting only 5 percent of Vick’s dogs could be rehabilitated, only two, initially, had to be put down. One was excessively violent and the other was suffering from an irreparable injury. For the rest, though, there was hope, and no small amount of faith – which, more than anything else is what “The Lost Dogs” is about.
Rather than showing aggression, the Vick dogs tended to be “pancake dogs”— animals so traumatized that they flattened themselves on the ground and trembled when humans neared, much like our friend Mel, the former Vick dog we recently met in our travels through Dallas.
Many more seemed to be dogs with normal temperaments, but who had simply never been socialized.
Accomplishing that fell to the handful of animal welfare organizations that stepped forward, offering to take the Vick dogs in and work to rehabilitate them — among them Baltimore’s Recycled Love, California’s BAD RAP, (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), and Best Friends Animal Society in Utah.
As Gorant writes in the Parade magazine article, “… rescuers argued from the start that rather than be condemned as a whole, the dogs should be individually assessed and treated — and this has turned out to be one of the great lessons of the Bad Newz dogs. Generalizations and preconceptions are as unhelpful and counterproductive for pit bulls as they are for people.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, article, aspca, bad newz, bad rap, best friends, book, case, court, cruelty, dog books, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, euthanasia, good dog reads, jim gorant, lesson, lost dogs, magazine, maligned, michael vick, michael vick's dogs, nfl, parade, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, recycled love, redemption, rehabilitation, rescue, resiliency, saving, socialization, sports illustrated, sweet jasmine, temperament, the lost dogs, therapy dogs, vick, vick dogs
Subaru of America, Inc. has donated a custom-designed Outback to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), to help them collect and process evidence at animal crime scenes.
The modified 2010 Outback has specialized lighting, a radio, computer, exam table, roof rack and refrigerator in which to store evidence.
“We created the Subaru Outback CSI vehicle to transport the ASPCA’s Veterinary Forensics team to hard-to-access crime scenes,” said Todd Lawrence, promotions and sponsorship manager for Subaru of America, Inc.
“We needed a vehicle that allows us to reach some of the crime scenes where our larger unit cannot,” said Dr. Melinda Merck, senior director for Veterinary Forensics at the ASPCA.
Dr. Merck said the older unit was primarily used to examine animals, but the new response vehicle focuses more on examining evidence from animal crime scenes. The new unit will be based out of Gainesville, Florida, home of the ASPCA’s veterinary forensics program.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal cruelty, animals, aspca, car, crime, crime scenes, dogs, donates, donation, forensics, gainesville, investigations, news, ohmidog!, outback, pets, subaru, vehicle, veterinary