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
An Oregon judge says an obese celebrity dachshund should remain in the custody of his foster mom until the courts can determine his legal owner.
That means Obie — and we’re guessing the 70-pound dog is fine with the interim ruling — will be staying put for now.
At a court hearing today, a judge decided that the dog will stay with Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster him – and put him on a diet — when his owners decided they could no longer care for him.
The court hearing today — and it’s just a first step — resulted from a lawsuit filed by Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan, who claims that, since the foster arrangement was set up through the rescue, the dog is legally her’s.
Rangan’s lawsuit was filed after Obie and his diet garnered some fame — but she has said she filed it because she didn’t feel Obie was being taken care of properly.
“They say I’m exploiting him,” Vanatta told KATU. “They say I’m misusing his funds and they claim he belongs to them.”
She added, “He’s famous and he’s touched so many people and I think they regret not taking him on in the first place,” Vanatta said of the rescue group.
Oregon Daschund Rescue was asking that the dog be turned over to them until ownership is decided, but the judge declined.
KATU reports that the case will go to arbitration, and could still possibly result in a trial.
Vanatta says Obie has lost 15 pounds in the last two months.
She’s collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and said the money is being used for his care.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 70 pounds, animals, battle, court, custody, dachshund, diet, dieting, dog, dogs, fat, hearing, jenell rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, ownership, pets
A Manhattan man says he is going broke trying to regain custody of his puggle. He says he has spent $60,000 so far. Now he wants your help.
Craig Dershowitz says he considers Knuckles his son, and that’s why he’s hoping to raise another $20,000 over the Internet to continue his legal fight.
“I’ve pretty much gone through my life savings,” the 34-year-old gallery employee said. “It’s worth it.”
According to the New York Post, Dershowitz claims in papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan Supreme Court that his ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him” after they broke up.
Brega responds that Dershowitz gave her the dog as a gift, and that Knuckles is enjoying life in California.
“Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings,” Brega said in court papers.
Dershowitz responds that Knuckles “hates water … He’ll be happy wherever he is — especially if he’s with his dad and the friends he grew up with.”
Dershowitz said he left Knuckles with Brega while looking for a new place after their breakup. She was supposed to return him when he found one, he says.
Brega, a wardrobe stylist, was initially ordered to return the dog, but she then retained her own lawyer to represent her in a case that involves courts in New York and California.
Dershowitz said he believes she’s trying to run up his legal bills. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to keep it going,” he said.
So he started a webpage to raise money for the fight, with his artist friends contributing “perks” for large contributors, like portraits of Knux, “Free Knux” t-shirts and, for $250, a chance to play fetch with Knuckles, once he’s back in New York.
The Post reports his campaign is off to a slow start — with only $85 being donated in the first week.
(Photo of Knuckles by Craig Dershowitz)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, battle, beagle, behavior, boyfriend, california, courts, craig dershowitz, custody, dogs, ex, fight, fund raising, fundraising, funds, girlfriend, internet, knuckles, lawyers, legal, mix, money, new york, pets, pug, puggle, relationships, sarah brega
Just look at him now.
Dubbed Patrick — in honor of St. Patrick’s Day — he defied all the odds.
One year later, he’s looking healthy and happy — though a custody battle is still raging over him.
Meanwhile, his former owner, who turned down a plea deal, is scheduled to appear in court today for her trial on animal cruelty charges.
Patrick was originally taken in and cared for by the Associated Humane Societies, New Jersey’s largest animal shelter organization.
In the months that followed, by virtue of his inspiring story, he’d become a poster boy for the rescue organization, the veterinary hospital, and a few others that hoped to capitalize on his growing fame by using his case and image to fight for stronger animal abuse laws.
Associated Humane Societies is seeking permanent custody, despite earlier rulings that he should remain in the custody of Garden State Veterinary Specialists of Tinton Falls.
Both sides accuse the other of trying to profit from Patrick’s plight.
Patrick weighed 19 pounds when he arrived there, and now weighs 50. He has been staying with Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, the hospital’s administrator, who wants to keep him.
AHS says Patrick should be returned, and that once he is, they would begin the process of finding a home for him. They deny that they are trying to make a profit off of him, and say the veterinary hospital didn’t have the right to take possession of a dog brought in for treatment.
She is not accused of tossing the dog down the chute, only of neglecting and abandoning him.
(Photo credits: Top, The Patrick Miracle Facebook page; middle, Associated Humane Societies; bottom, Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, associated humane societies, battle, bin, chute, cruelty to animals, custody, dog, dogs, emaciated, fight, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, inspiration, kisha curtis, miracle, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, pit bull, profit, recovery, rescued, resilience, st patricks day, story, straving, thin, trash, trial
Likely the oldest dog to ever appear at Crufts — and probably one of few mutts ever allowed entry – the skeleton of a sea dog named Hatch is on display at the prestigous UK dog show before heading to her forever home.
Hatch — a mongrel, believed to have been about two years old — died in 1545 when her ship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent Channel.
After Crufts, she’ll return to the south coast for display at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth.
The dog was likely assigned to catch rats aboard the ship, a common practice at the time because cats were believed to bring bad luck.
According to experts, the formation of her skeleton suggests that she spent almost all of her life confined to the ship’s smallest and darkest areas.
The Mary Rose, the flagship of Henry VIII, sank in 1545 at the Battle of the Solent. Artifacts including clothing, jewelry, furniture, musical instruments, medical equipment and weapons were discovered when the vessel was raised in 1982.
The bones of Hatch were found on board the ship, near a hatch door that led to the carpenter’s cabin, the BBC reported. Staff at the Mary Rose Trust reconstructed her bones, and came up with her name.
John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: “Expert analysis of Hatch’s bones suggests that she spent most of her short life within the close confines of the ship … It is likely that the longest walks she took were along the quayside at Portsmouth, her home town.”
The animal’s skeleton and will go on display March 26 at the Mary Rose Museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. A new museum to house the Mary Rose Collection is scheduled to open in 2012, and will display the preserved hull of the ship.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: artifacts, battle, bones, crufts, dog show, dogs, hatch, henry VIII, mary rose, mary rose museum, mary rose trust, mutt, news, ohmidog!, pets, portsmouth, raised, rats, ratter, reassembled, remains, sank, ship, skeletal, skeleton, solent, sunken, uk, working
It may not look like it, but Chris Rickard, a farmer in Australia, said the fight he put up to save his dog from an angry kangaroo that was trying to drown it, ended in a draw.
Rickard, 49, said he was walking his blue heeler Rocky on Sunday morning when they surprised a sleeping kangaroo in Arthur’s Creek, northeast of Melbourne. The dog chased the animal into a pond, where the kangaroo then turned and pinned the pet underwater. Rickard dove in and tried to pull his dog free, but the kangaroo turned on him, too.
Rickard said he managed to end the attack , and save his dog, when he elbowed the kangaroo in the throat as it tried to hold him under water, The Herald Sun reported.
“I thought I might take a hit or two dragging the dog out from under his grip, but I didn’t expect him to actually attack me,” Rickard said. “I was stuck having to hold onto the dog with both hands because it was half drowned and I couldn’t really see anything because the kangaroo just ripped into me.”
You can see a video of Rickard, recounting the incident from his hospital bed, here.
(Photo via Herald Sun)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, australia, australian, battle, blue heeler, chris rickard, dog, drown, farmer, fight, kangaroo, pet, pets, rescue, rocky, roo, victoria
After 14 months in the Afghan desert, a missing-in-action Labrador retriever — attached to an Australian Army bomb detection unit — was found by a U.S. soldier.
Sabi was declared missing after a bloody battle with the Taliban that began after an ambush of a convoy made up of U.S., Afghan and Australian soldiers. Nine soldiers, including Sabi’s handler, were wounded.
A U.S. soldier found Sabi roaming with an Afghan man in Oruzgan Province last week, Australia’s Townsville Bulletin reported.
The U.S. soldier said it was immediately obvious that the Labrador was specially trained — and understood English. ”I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood,” he said.
Sabi appeared in good health. She was flown to Kandahar to be checked by a veterinarian before her return to Australia.
The Australian Special Operations Task Group had made repeated attempts to discover the fate of the dog and never gave up hope.
”She’s a tough little bugger, absolutely as tough as nails,” Chief Trainer Sergeant Damian Dunne said. “For a dog to be missing for so long to be found … everyone is stoked.”
Sabi, like her fellow bomb detection dogs, came from a dog pound and was trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices. She was first deployed in 2007 and was nearing the end of her second deployment when she went missing last year.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghan, afghanistan, ambush, army, australia, australian, battle, bomb, desert, detection, disappeared, dog, found, labrador, located, missing, missing in action, oruzgan, retriever, returned, sabi, soldier, taliban, u.s., war
A man in Tarpon Springs, Florida, is sticking to his guns — and threatening to use them — in a protracted battle over walking his dog without a leash.
Robert Wirth Jr. has spent $100,000 in legal fees on the case, and may lose his house, all because of walking his dog in a deed-restricted community without a leash.
“We’re running out of time because we’re running out of money,” said Wirth, 52, who works as a real estate broker and continues to walk his black Labrador, Cole, without a leash.
In January 2003, the River Watch Homeowners Association fined Wirth and his wife, Sandra L. Blaker, $1,000 for letting Cole walk without a leash. When the couple didn’t pay, the association filed a lien and, later that year, foreclosed on the home to collect the debt.
Last year, a circuit judge ordered Wirth and his wife to pay the fine, plus interest, attorney fees and other costs or the house would be sold. Wirth now owes more than $40,000, he said. He filed another appeal in February 2008, which has yet to be ruled on.
Wirth argued that the River Watch Homeowners Association deed restriction – “A dog must be kept on a leash at all times when outside” — is too broad and, as written, required even dogs in fenced yards to be on leashes.
Wirth’s frustration have escalated to the point that he not too wisely said he would shoot and kill one of the board members if things don’t go his way. “I am not going to let them ruin me and my wife like this without standing up to them,” Wirth said.
Wirth’s comments were reported to the Tarpon Springs police, which followed up. The agency said the threat didn’t appear imminent, but that authorities would monitor the situation.
The St. Petersburg Times, in an editorial today, comes down on the side of the homeowner’s association, calling Wirth’s defiance of the rule ”stubborn and illogical.”
The editorial argues that the couple, by buying the house, agreed to the restriction and states that, no matter how well-behaved a dog might be “there are no guarantees when dealing with an animal.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: association, battle, court, deed restrictions, editorial, fight, fines, florida, foreclosure, homeowners, leash, lien, police, river watch, robert wirth, tarpon springs, threats, unleashed, walking, wirth