It shouldn’t take a whole lot of common sense to realize high-rise living can be perilous for pets, but this story out of Chicago serves as a vivid and tragic reminder.
A dog named Duke fell to his death from a 43rd floor balcony Wednesday morning — just three days after a cat, spooked by the dog, fell from the same balcony.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the two cats lived in the 43rd floor unit with a man identified only as Ryan, and they commonly hung out on the balcony.
“I’d convinced myself thoroughly that there’s no way these cats would even slip off because they had that instinctual fear that right over this edge is a big drop,” Ryan said.
But during a visit from his parents, and their dog, Duke, one of the cats got startled when he saw the dog through the glass door, lost his balance and fell to his death.
Three days later, Ryan and his visiting family members had left the apartment, leaving the dog inside and, apparently, leaving the sliding glass door open.
Ryan, a 26-year-old musician who manages a video production company, said he was preparing to move, and had left a few boxes and chairs on the balcony.
“It created a ladder that no one was thinking of,” he said.
He, his mother, stepfather and sister went out to get breakfast and run errands. When they returned, Duke, a medium sized mixed breed dog, wasn’t there.
Ryan and his stepfather went to the balcony and peeked over the edge and saw police cars pulling up to the front of the building.
“He was in shock,” Ryan said of his stepfather, “and he was like, ‘Where’s the dog?’ and since this had just happened to the cat . . . I already figured the worst.”
Police are investigating the dog’s death, but are preliminarily classifying it an accident.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apartments, balconies, balcony, cats, caution, death, dogs, duke, fall, hazards, high rise, highrise, living, perils, pets, safety
Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada has taken issue with a report in the Brownsville Herald, later picked up by the Associated Press (and referenced in ohmidog!), that states he entered an apartment without a tenant’s approval while trying to help a great dane he thought was stranded on a second floor apartment balcony.
“Your story titled ‘Mayor Responds to Dane in Distress’ was so inaccurate, no wonder people do not want to get involved with pets or humans that are in need of our assistance,” the Texas mayor said in a letter to the newspaper that he also placed on his website.
Ahumada said that, although he called the fire department, he didn’t scale a ladder to enter the apartment — as some subsequent reports stated — but instead entered at at the tenant’s invitation. He also says the dog clearly appeared to be in need of assistance.
“Your reporter should have taken the time to speak with witnesses and the Channel 5 crew (not Channel 23 as I mistakenly reported earlier), Rita Garcia and cameraman Ricky Rodriguez, who called me to help with what appeared to be an injured dog with the owner not available to help by all accounts at the scene of a very frantic situation. We all believed the dog had a broken leg because he was frantically trying to get up but could not and appeared to be in a lot of pain (see for yourself at www.krgv.com “Dog seen dangling helplessly from second story balcony).
“When I got there, I concurred with Channel 5 and the bystanders’ assessment of the need to contact public safety to help rescue the pet that by all accounts could not get up because his whole hind leg was hanging down from the balcony and jammed between the iron balcony railing and the walkway. The pet was frantic and it was distressful.
“Your Herald article states I climbed the balcony, which I did not, but was given access to the apartment by the owner who invited me in and explained the situation that, unbeknownst to anyone watching the dog in distress, the dog was 14 years old, arthritic and on pain medication. It also became obvious that the owner of the dog was home but was totally unaware of the situation that his dog was lying in his feces and was trapped between the iron balcony and the walkway or his dog’s frantic efforts to withdraw his entire leg that was trapped and hanging from the balcony for over an hour.
As it turned out the Dane wasn’t in distress after all, but Mayor Pat Ahumada didn’t find that out, according to the Brownsville Herald, until after he scaled called for a fire department ladder and surprised the apartment owner in his kitchen.
Overzealous? Maybe a little. Still, it’s good — especially after reports about Don Call, the dog-shooting mayor in Kansas — to hear a tale about a mayor with compassion, as opposed to a murderous streak, when it comes to dogs.
According to an Associated Press report, Ahumada, mayor of Brownsville, alerted animal control, the fire department and police when he received a report from a local TV station about a dog apparently stranded on a second story balcony.
He then went to the location himself, the AP reported, scaled a fire department ladder and entered the apartment to help the dog.
“He looked to be stuck on the balcony,” Ahumada said. “I didn’t know the condition of the dog or if the building was abandoned … The animal’s paws were hanging out from the railing and he was struggling to get up.”
As it turned out, the 14-year-old dog was fine. According to his owner, he has little mobility, and enjoys passing the day on the balcony. “He broke into my house,” the owner, who asked not to be identified, said of the mayor. “My dog is very well taken care of. He shouldn’t have done that.”
Brownsville’s NEWSCHANNEL 5 had an entirely different take on the incident. Its website reports that a reporter and photographer spotted the dog “dangling helplessly from a second story balcony” and rushed to the rescue. After the two were not able to locate the owner, they called Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada for help.
The mayor’s zeal for animals has caused problems before. In 2007, the city informed Ahumada that his six dogs were twice the city’s legal limit for one home. That same year, Ahumada picked up a dog thinking it was stray and gave it to a family. When the original owner asked for the dog back and the family refused, the issue ended up in court.
Two years earlier, before he was elected mayor, Ahumada was charged with theft after taking a dog from the Brownsville Animal Shelter. He claimed the dog was not being properly cared for and the charge was dismissed.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apartment, balcony, brownsville, dog, dog in distress, fire department, great dane, help, krgv, mayor, mistake, news, pat ahumada, police, rescue, rescues, texas, tv