The Atlanta Falcons have waived linebacker Prince Shembo after his arrest on animal cruelty charges filed in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s Yorkshire terrier.
Shembo is accused of kicking the dog, named Dior, after she bit him.
“We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo,” read a statement from the Falcons — the team Michael Vick was quarterbacking when he was arrested in connection with a dogfighting operation.
Shembo’s attorney, Jerry Froelich, who appears in the video above, said Shembo was in tears over his arrest and release from the team.
“He didn’t mean to kill the dog,” Froelich told reporters outside the Gwinnett County jail.”
Shembo, 23, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and released from jail after posting $15,000 bond, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
He was waived by the Falcons within two hours.
That was a far swifter reaction by the team than was the case with Vick.
He wasn’t formally released from the team for years — not until after he had served the prison portion of his sentence.
Shembo’s girlfriend — now former girlfriend –called police in April to report that Shembo had killed Dior while caring for her in his home.
The dog died shortly after she took her to an animal hospital.
The following day, she told police, Shembo made comments to her about killing the dog, and she broke up with him.
Police said Dior had significant internal injuries and the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
The dog had a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries, police said.
Shembo, a linebacker who played at Notre Dame, was a fourth-round pick for the Falcons in 2014.
The Atlanta newspaper reported that Shembo was investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting a Saint Mary’s College freshman in his dorm room in 2010. The 19-year-old woman killed herself 10 days later by taking an overdose of the antidepressant Effexor.
“Pretty much it was an unfortunate event,” Shembo told reporters after being drafted. “My name was pretty much cleared. It’s behind me now. I just want to focus on playing football for the Atlanta Falcons.”
Posted by John Woestendiek June 1st, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, atlanta, atlanta falcons, dior, dog, dogs, girlfriends, kicked, kicking, linebacker, nfl, pets, prince shembo, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
How a hospital service dog brightened — and maybe even prolonged — the final days of sick little boy is the subject of this poignant report by WXIA in Atlanta.
Creed Campbell spent more than half of his life in the hospital, battling illness since the day he was born and missing out on many of the joys of childhood.
Then, while in the hospital, he met Casper, a service dog from Canine Assistants who visits young patients.
Casper was the new therapy dog at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Creed was one of the first children he’d be assigned to. The bond was instant, the family says.
“I don’t think he ever saw Casper as a dog,” Creed’s father, Jon Campbell, said.
Creed’s mother, Stephanie, put her son’s motionless hand on Casper’s paw, then saw her son’s hand begin to move.
“That dog just saved your son,” a nurse later told the family.
Because Casper visited him in the hospital, Creed felt he should go along when the dog went to the vet for a check up. In fact, he insisted on doing so, his mother, Stephanie wrote in a blog post about Casper and Creed for the hospital’s website.
Creed’s health improved, but only for a while.
Not long after Creed died, a new litter of puppies was born at Canine Assistants. They named one for Creed.
Stephanie went to meet the dog named after her son.
“I picked that dog up and … It was something tangible that I could hold again that brought me to my baby,” she said. “Everything he’s lived through all of his heartache, all of his hardship, I get to hold it right here with this little warm fuzzy pup.”
(Photo: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, atlanta, canine assistants, casper, children, childrens healthcare of atlanta, creed, creed and casper, creed campbell, dog, friendship, hope, hospital, patients, pets, service dog, therapy dogs
Time to reopen the annals of stupid human behavior and make room for Stacey Champion — a Minneapolis woman who attempted to air-mail a puppy to her 11-year-old son in Atlanta.
Champion, 39, was charged with animal cruelty after postal workers discovered the 4-month-old puppy inside a sealed package she had dropped off, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Champion told a postal clerk the box contained a toy robot. A Minneapolis police spokesman said the puppy would not have survived the trip.
The Star Tribune says that, while the package was still in the post office, it moved by itself and fell to the floor, surprising postal workers. Within minutes, postal employees unwrapped the tightly sealed box and pulled out the panting puppy.
The dog, described as a poodle-Schnauzer mix, named Guess, was placed in a shelter, costing Champion $250 in fees. Today, Champion tried to convince an administrative hearing officer to return Guess to her custody. (See the hearing in its entirety in the video above.)
Champion said in the hearing that she didn’t know dogs couldn’t be mailed. “They say they deliver,” she noted. She further explained to the judge, “If there weren’t no mistakes in life, society wouldn’t be what it is now.”
We can’t argue with that one.
Champion also went back to the post office and demanded she be refunded the $22 priority mail fee, according to the Star Tribune. That request was denied.
The judge called her actions disgraceful and declined to return the dog to her.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air-mailed, animal cruelty, animals, atlanta, custody, dog, dogs, guess, hearing, judge, live, mailed, mailed dog, minneapolis, pets, police, poodle, post office, postal, postal service, puppy, return, schnauzer, stacey champion, stupid, stupidity, video
As part of its new ground transportation center, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has opened its first dog park — a place for traveling pets to get a little romp time before and after flights.
Originally slated to be open green space, the idea evolved into a dog park, according to the airport’s website.
“This seemed to be a good step forward to serve our customers traveling with dogs and our customers wanting to enjoy the flowers,” said Kathryn Masters, project manager for the dog park.
The fenced, 1,000-square-foot area on the south end of the ground tansportation center contains rock as well as grass, benches, biodegradable bags for pet waste and even some artwork, though this particular scrap metal sculpture looks like an accident waiting to happen. (That’s not a comment on its artistic value, just on what appear to be its sharp edges.)
Only two dogs are allowed at a time because of the area’s size, but owners can let dogs off leashes.
(Photo from Atlanta-airport.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airport, art, atlanta, dog, dog friendly, dog park, dog parks, dogs, fenced, ground transportation center, hartsfield-jackson, off-leash, sculpture, travel, unleashed
The Atlanta Humane Society added $5,000 to the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot and killed a Griffin Police Department German Shepherd.
The dog’s handler, Griffin police Cpl. Chad Moxon, and his family had already put up $1,000 , according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Moxon discoverd Jimi, the police dog, and his own dog, Yeager, missing from their kennel at his home in Lamar County last week.
Moxon said he searched all Monday night and most of Tuesday night for the dogs, handing out about 300 flyers. On Wednesday morning he received a call about a German shepherd found dead in a ditch. It turned out to be Jimi. The 3-year-old dog was shot in the side with a shotgun and dumped there.
“I just sat down in the ditch for the next 30 minutes. I didn’t have the energy to get him out,” Moxon said.
Shortly after he got home a neighbor called with the news that Yeager had been found, badly beaten, but alive.
“Hes still at home recovering,” Moxon said of his 2-year-old dog, also a German Shepherd. ” I’m hoping he’ll recover in the next few days.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arrest, atlanta, chad moxon, dog, german shepherd, griffin, humane society, information, Jimi, K-9, killed, Lamar County, police dog, reward, shot, Yeager
A contractor who spray-painted a dog who barked at him was found not guilty of animal cruelty by a DeKalb County State Court jury yesterday.
Dario Harris maintained he was afraid of the black lab mix, named Bear — and worried that, even though the dog was in a fenced backyard, it could have jumped the fence and attacked him, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Harris was marking utility lines with fluorescent orange paint outside Jeffrey Tompkins’ Stone Mountain home.
In an interview before the trial, Harris said he loves dogs and “was just trying to protect myself.”
“You have to look at what’s reasonable under the circumstances,” said Harris’ attorney, Gerald Griggs. “The jury got to hear his actual intentions that day. There were two dogs, both weighing over 60 pounds, jumping at a fence. You don’t know if they were nice dogs or mean dogs. He did not intend to injure Bear in any form or fashion. He was just scared.”
Harris wants to pay the veterinary bill, Griggs added.
Solicitor Robert James said he was disappointed in the verdict. “This is not going to change the way we do things in DeKalb County,” he said. “We take animal abuse very seriously, it’s wrong, and we’re going to continue to stand up for pet owners and animals, continue to hold people accountable.”
Two animal rescue organizations are each $12,500 richer after the television show TMZ took singer-songwriter John Mayer up on his challenge to track down his mug shot.
After Mayer made the $25,000 challenge on Twitter, Harvey Levin and company tracked down a 2001 mugshot, taken in Atlanta after Mayer’s arrest for driving with a suspended license. The case was dismissed one month later.
Ace of Hearts is an organization dedicated to rescuing dogs on the day they are to be euthanized from various Los Angeles shelters and placing them in loving homes.
Pet Orphans of Southern California is a 30-year-old non-profit that also rescues and finds home for dogs and cats and works to educate the public on responsible pet ownership.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace of hearts, animal welfare, arrest, atlanta, bet, challenge, checks, contributions, donation, harvey levin, john mayer, mug shot, pet orphans of southern california, rescue, shelters, singer, songwriter, suspended license, tmz