Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a device that allows blind people to better monitor the health and well-being of their guide dogs.
The researchers are fine tuning a vibrating harness that monitor a dog’s breathing and heart rate and shares the information with the dog’s handler, according to NC State News.
“Our goal is to let guide dog handlers know when their dogs are stressed or anxious,” said Sean Mealin, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the technology.
Mealin is blind and works with his own guide dog, Simba.
“This is important because it is widely believed that stress is a significant contributing factor to early retirement of guide dogs and other service animals,” Mealin said. “The technology may also be able to help handlers detect other health problems, such as symptoms of heat exhaustion.”
The researchers developed a specialized handle, equipped with two vibrating motors, that attaches to a guide dog’s harness.
When the dog’s heart rate increases, so does the rate at which the motor beats.
The second motor is embedded in the handle near the handler’s pinky finger, and vibrates in synch with the dog’s breathing. The vibration increases and decreases in intensity, to simulate the dog breathing in and out.
“Dogs primarily communicate through their movements and posture, which makes it difficult or impossible for people who are blind to fully understand their dogs’ needs on a moment-to-moment basis,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of the paper.
“This challenge is particularly pronounced in guide dogs, who are bred and trained to be outwardly calm and avoid drawing attention to themselves in public.”
The paper, “Towards the Non-Visual Monitoring of Canine Physiology in Real-Time by Blind Handlers,” was presented yesterday at the Second International Congress on Animal Computer Interaction, in Johor, Malaysia.
(Photos: NC State News)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 17th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beat, blind, breath, breathing, device, dog, dogs, guide dogs, harness, health, heart rate, monitor, motors, north carolina state university, pets, pulse, sean mealin, technology, vibrations
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 John Woestendiek 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
Baltimore police are searching for three boys — believed to be ages 10 to 12 — who were seen beating a young pit bull to death at Carroll Park golf course Saturday.
And if that’s not a disturbing enough new chapter in Baltimore’s continuing saga of animal abuse, consider this: According to a Baltimore Sun report, Animal Control officers didn’t arrive at the golf course until more than five hours after the incident was reported to police.
A golf course maintenance worker, Rob Whiderman, saw the youths beating the puppy with a tree branch at the municipal golf course in Southwest Baltimore.
Screaming at them to stop, he drove his golf court to where they were, chased them to the railroad tracks and lost them.
He said he called police, who notified animal control, but they didn’t arrive until about 5:30 p.m., five hours after he called.
“It looked like every bone was broken in its body,” Whiderman told WJZ. ”It looks like it broke its back, legs. We tried to pick it up and nothing was attached. It was like he didn’t have bones. Like jelly.”
Whiderman said the youths were between 10 and 12 years old. Police later found a red-and-white-striped polo shirt, a tree branch and a cell phone that might have been dropped by one of the youths.
But between the two agencies, the police department and animal control, there seemed to be little urgency in responding to the call of an animal being tortured, and even less once the dog had died.
Whiderman said he returned to the golf course Sunday morning and found the dead dog still lying in the woods. He called police again, who responded and wrote a report.
The police report confirms that animal control did not remove the dead puppy when they arrived Saturday afternoon, the Sun reported.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10, 12, abuse, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, beat, beaten, beating, carroll park, crime, golf course, kids, news, ohmidog!, pets, pit bull, police, puppy, rob whiderman, slow response, torture, youngsters, youths
The boyfriend of Broadway actress Ashley Yeater has been charged with whipping and kicking her Yorkshire terrier after the 6-pound dog bit him.
Joseph Graves, 30, admitted to investigators he beat the dog, named Emmit, in January, the New York Daily News reports.
“I flew into a rage. Emmit bit me, so I hit him with a belt buckle and kicked him,” prosecutors quote Graves as saying.
Graves took Emmit to a veterinary hospital two days later, after the 4-year-old terrier was vomiting and had stopped eating. Hospital staff, after determining the dog suffered six broken ribs and bruised kidneys, contacted the ASPCA. The dog also lost his left eye as a result of the Jan. 16 attack in Graves’ midtown apartment.
“The pet was nearly killed because a person couldn’t control his temper,” ASCPA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said. “It’s inexcusable.”
Graves was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, and criminal mischief.
Emmit was treated at the West Chelsea Veterinary Hospital and is staying with relatives of Yeater, who was appearing in a Florida performance of a “A Chorus Line” when the dog was beaten.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, actress, animal cruelty, ashley yeater, aspca, beat, beating, belt, bit, bitten, boyfriend, broadway, buckle, charged, cruelty, emmit, eye, joseph graves, lost, new york, terrier, yorkie, yorkshire
Glynn Johnson, a retired Los Angeles County assistant fire chief, was found guilty of animal cruelty Tuesday in connection with the death of Karley, a neighbor’s puppy that he punched and beat with a rock.
“Karley, this one’s for you!” a tearful Shelley Toole shouted outside Riverside County Superior Court after the verdict was read. “This is for you, girl!”
Johnson, 55, faces up to four years in prison for killing the 6-month-old, 42-pound German shepherd mix.
Johnson told investigators that the dog attacked first and he was defending himself. The former firefighter said the dog grabbed him and nearly ripped off the top of his thumb, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Prosecutors, while noting there was a long-running feud between Johnson and the Tooles, said they didn’t believe Johnson acted in self defense.
“I don’t think this was a self-defense case at all,” Riverside County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Robinson said. “It was done out of rage and anger at the Toole family and his actions were wildly inappropriate.”
Johnson remains free on bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 8.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, assistant, beat, beaten, chief, convicted, fire, fire department, german shepherd, glynn johnson, karley, los angeles county, punching, riverside, rock, shelley toole
Testimony is underway in the trial of a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief accused of beating a neighbor’s dog in Riverside so badly it had to be euthanized.
Glynn Johnson, 55, is charged with felony animal cruelty and use of a deadly weapon in the beating death of Karley, a six-month-old female shepherd mix.
Prosecutors say the dog’s brutal beating was the culmination of a long-standing feud between neighbors, KTLA in Los Angeles reported.
During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors said Johnson put dog feces in his neighbors’ mailbox with a letter warning them to keep their dogs off his property. The defense argued that the dog’s owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole, are the “neighbors from hell” who routinely take in stray animals and then don’t take care of them. Johnson’s attorneys say the fire chief was defending himself from the puppy.
Neighbor Travis Staggs took the stand Tuesday, testifying that he watched as Johnson punched the dog 10 to 15 times in the head with his fist before using a large rock to bash Karley’s head another 10 to 15 times.
Staggs says he kept shouting for the fire chief to stop, and tried to pull him off the dog, but that Johnson pushed him away.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, assistant, beat, chief, county, court, dog, feces, fire, glynn johnson, karley, law, los angeles, neighbors, prosecution, riverside, rock, testimony, trial
A man who beat his girlfriend’s dog to death last year was sentenced in California to six months in county jail Tuesday.
Ryan Reeser, 27, of Burlingame, repeatedly punched Godiva, a 7-pound miniature pinscher, dislodged an eye from its socket and then let the dog bleed to death, prosecutors said.
He pleaded no contest to one count of felony animal cruelty in San Mateo County Superior Court after striking a plea bargain with prosecutors, according to the Oakland Tribune.
Reeser’s girlfriend’s father found Godiva dead in a plastic storage container a few blocks from Reeser’s apartment.
Reeser had been mad at his girlfriend and annoyed with the dog, which nipped him, spurring the fatal attack, prosecutors said.
Reeser faced a maximum of three years in jail. Under the plea agreement, he will be on probation for three years after serving his six-month sentence.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animals, beat, beating, burlingame, california, court, courts, crime, cruelty, dog, dogs, godiva, killed, killing, law, legal, miniature pinscher, plea, ryan reeser, san mateo