Mexican authorities have identified a fifth possible victim in what they say is a string of fatal dog attacks at a hilltop park in Mexico City.
Gangs of dogs had been blamed for the deaths of four people at Cerro de Estrella national park in connection with attacks authorities say occured on Saturday, and on Dec. 29.
On Wednesday, the city’s attorney general’s office said it is also investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the park on Dec. 16, mutilated and bitten.
Police have rounded up 25 dogs at the park, including seven puppies, and promised sweeps at other large green spaces in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But animal welfare activists say authorities have been too quick to blame the street dogs, more than a million of which roam the city, rarely attacking humans.
Some families of victims have told Mexican news outlets they believe their loved ones might have been attacked by humans.
Atty. Gen. Rodolfo Rios said Tuesday that the four most recent victims were killed by bites. In both cases, the bites the victims sustained were determined to have occured both before and after their deaths. Investigators found dog hair on the victims’ clothing, he said.
Rios said additional tests are being conducted, and that there were no plans to exterminate the dogs that have been swept up and are now in the Iztapalapa pound.
“The dogs will not be sacrificed,” Rios said. “They will be treated well.”
On Dec. 29, the bodies of Shunashi Elizabeth Mendoza Caamal, 26, and an infant believed to be her child were found in the Cerro de Estrella area. On Jan. 5, the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz Garcia, 15, and Samuel Suriel Martinez, 16, were found in the park in a “semi-devoured” state, officials said.
But some animal activists say investigators have been too quick to blame dogs, and should be looking for human suspects.
Antemio Maya, president of an association that protects street dogs, said authorities ”are making a huge error. They’re generating a climate of hate against dogs.”
(Photo: Mexico City Attorney General’s office)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Antemio Maya, attacks, bites, Cerro de Estrella, deaths, dogs, euthanasia, feral, fifth, five, Iztapalapa, mauling, mexico city, park, pets, shelter, strays, street dogs, victims, wild
Police in Osceola, Wisconsin, say a man tied up a teenager he suspected had stolen from him, hung him upside down and commanded his pit bull to attack him.
Police said the 58-year-old homeowner ordered his pit bull to attack the 18-year-old three times — first as part of “interrogating” him, then a second time, then a third time after tying him up, dragging him outside and tying him upside down to the porch rafters.
The 18-year-old was treated at a hospital for for multiple dog bites and released, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.
Police said the young man’s father witnessed, and may have participated in, the “interrogation.”
A third person who saw what was going on at the residence called police.
Charges of false imprisonment, negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, aggravated battery and bail-jumping are being referred to the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office against the 58-year-old man, who is scheduled to be tried on an unrelated charge of child abuse later this year.
The boy’s father is expected to face similar charges, along with failing to aid the victim in reporting a crime.
The dog is being held at the Fond du Lac Humane Society.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bites, dog, dogs, fond du lac, humane society, hung, interrogation, ordered, osceola, owner, owners, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rafters, wisconsin
Queen Elizabeth’s six corgis — those little bundles of sweetness you might have seen in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics — got into a ruckus with Prince Andrew’s three Norfolk terriers, British tabloids are reporting.
If they are to be believed, one of the terriers “nearly lost an ear.”
Eleven-year-old Max, given by Prince Andrew to his daughter Beatrice, suffered numerous bites and was treated by a veterinarian,” according to the Sunday Express
Both the Queen and Andrew were elsewhere in the castle when the fight broke out at Balmoral, the Scottish estate where the Queen spends the summer.
“It was really nasty,” the Express quoted a “royal insider” as saying:
“The Queen’s dog boy was taking the corgis for a walk and they were joined by the Norfolk terriers which came with Prince Andrew.
“They were being taken along the long corridor leading to the Tower Door before being let into the grounds for a walk, and they all became over-excited.
“They began fighting among themselves and unfortunately the dog boy lost control. The next thing we knew there were horrific yelps and screams and it seems the corgis picked on Max. He was very badly injured and had to be taken to the local vet. There was blood everywhere.”
Not to capitalize on the royal family’s misfortune, or to say the fight was as ”savage” as the tabloids have depicted it, or to imply it was the “dog boy’s” fault … but if the Queen is looking for a new “dog boy,” I would be up for the job.
For that matter, I’d also be happy to assume the duties of the “royal insider,” in the event his or her remarks to the news media have left him or her a royal outsider.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, balmoral, beatrice, bites, corgis, dog boy, dog fight, dogs, ear, elizabeth, england, family, fight, news, norfolk terriers, pets, prince andrew, queen, reports, royal, tabloids, uk
Reacting to protests that erupted after a court decision declaring all pit bull type dogs “inherently dangerous,” the Maryland Senate has approved a new dog bite law that holds all breeds — and their owners — to the same standard.
The bill, considered emergency legislation, now goes to House of Delegates. Once signed by the governor, it becomes law, overriding the state Supreme Court decision that singled out pit bulls as dangerous and ended the requirement that, in liability cases, they be shown to have a history of aggression.
That resulted in a different standard for pit bulls, or any dogs deemed pit bull mixes, at least when it came to civil suits. While all other breeds would still have to be proven dangerous, pit bulls would not because, as the judges saw it, they were that way by definition.
Pit bull owners and lovers saw the dangers inherent in that — from the difficulties it could pose for those who rent, to pit bulls being abandoned at shelters — and began campaigning to have elected officials do something about it.
“It’s definitely a win for pit bull owners,” Katie Flory of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) told WJZ in Baltimore. “We really do feel this is really the best way to go … It is very important that we look at the animal as an individual and not just the breed.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, aggressive, animals, bites, breed-specific, breeds, civil, courts, dangerous, decision, dogs, inherently dangerous, laws, legislation, maryland, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, senate, supreme court
“One Nation Under Dog,” the new HBO documentary, doesn’t sound a whole lot like “One Nation Under Dog,” the book from which it borrows its catchy title and inspiration.
But, just as the book was worth reading, the documentary might be worth watching.
The Washington Post calls it “a revealing but difficult documentary about our deep bonds with canine companions,” and, in the reviewers view, its content is at times ”nearly too awful to watch.”
The documentary, which airs tonight (Monday) at 9 p.m., is divided into three themed sections – love, betrayal and loss.
While it covers much of the same ground as the book — the burgeoning pet care industry, the heights we go to in pampering our pets, the depths of our grief when our dogs die – the documentary does its own reporting, lingers longer in the darker areas and presents its findings in a tone less light and breezy than you’ll find in Michael Schaffer’s book.
With plenty of warning to viewers, the documentary shows dogs being euthanized with gas. The scene comes in the “Betrayal” segment, which focuses on overpopulation, abandonment and puppy mills, the importance of spaying and neutering and the work done by shelters and rescue organizations.
In the ”Loss” segment, the documentary looks at fancy pet funerals and the other lengths bereaved pet owners go to, including cloning. One of the stories told is that of the Florida couple who cloned their Labrador, Lancelot.
Each segment includes several stories, and each was overseen by different teams, with different directors.
It sounds like a lot to keep track of – from the tale of a suburban New Jersey man whose five Rhodesian Ridgebacks were accused of terrorizing their upscale neighborhood as they ran unleashed and bit at least two people, to that of a New England rescuer who goes to Tennessee to pull dogs scheduled for euthanization.
“The film grew out of a desire we had, as dog lovers, to explore America’s obsession with dogs and to answer some questions that intrigued and concerned us,” said Ellen Goosenberg Kent, who directed one of the segments.
“We realized that, ultimately, we were doing a film about how far some people would go for a dog — a question we often asked ourselves.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, animals, bereavement, betrayal, bites, book, cloning, documentary, dog, dogs, dogs in america, euthanasia, grief, hbo, loss, love, michael schaffer, one nation under dog, overpopulation, pets, puppy mills, rescue, shelter, television
A Michigan politician was bitten three times by a dog while campaigning — just days before the beginning of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Republican Ann M. Doyle said she passed out on the way to the hospital, where she received one stitch. On the other hand, she got lots of publicity out of it, and what she thinks will be a sympathy vote, from the dog’s owner.
Doyle, who’s running for the 94th District state House of Representatives seat, was handing out literature in Frankenmuth Township when a dog came running ran at her and bit her three times, according to MLive.com. The dog’s owner heard the commotion and called it off.
She said the homeowner helped her into his car to take her to the hospital, but that after that she passed out on the way. At the hospital, Doyle, a fourth-term Saginaw County commissioner who lives in Tittabawassee Township, received one stitch on her right forearm.
“I’m the one that went on their property,” Doyle said. “I put myself into his territory, so if I were a dog, would I try to protect my space? Probably, I don’t know if I would have lunged.”
Doyle received a call from the dog’s owner later that night, who offered to let her put a campaign sign on her property.
National Dog Bite Prevention week started Sunday, accompanid by the traditional release of dog bite statistics from the U.S. Postal Service, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and insurance companies.
About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half of the victims are children, the CDCP says. About 800,000 of those seek medical attention for the bites. Less than half of those require treatment. The Insurance Information Institute estimated that nearly $479 million in dog bite claims were paid by all insurance companies in 2011, up from $413 million in 2010.
(Top photo: Brittney Lohmiller / The Saginaw News)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann doyle, bites, candidate, commissioner, dog, dog bite prevention week, dog bites, dogs, house of representatives, michigan, pets, politician, politics, saginaw county, statistics
Joel Vandouser, 43, was charged with operating while intoxicated,endangering a minor and resisting and obstructing police.
Mason Police Chief John Stressman said officers had spotted the suspect driving, apparently under the influence, with an 8-year-old child in the car. They followed him to his home, according to the Lansing State Journal, where the tussle took place.
Vandouser was taken to a local hospital afterwards. The bitten officers was also treated. News reports don’t indicate whether the dog was taken into custody, but the police chief noted that a pair of police uniform pants were ruined during the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, bit, bites, bitten, dog, dogs, driving, drunk, drunk driving, intoxicated, law enforcement, mason, michigan, officer, pepper spray, pets, police, tasers
A group of dog lovers is working to persuade officials in Henderson, Nevada, to spare the life of a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix who bit and killed a 1-year-old boy last week.
Onion, six years old, is scheduled to be euthanized next week.
“This dog will never harm another soul,” said Les Golden, a Chicago-area dog rescuer who is leading the campaign to spare Onion. “The dog deserves to be saved.”
Golden told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he hopes a flood of supporters calling and emailing Mayor Andy Hafen will persuade him to stay the execution, which could happen Monday or Tuesday after the dog’s 10-day quarantine.
Onion’s family voluntarily gave their pet to animal control officials for euthanization. “For what he did to my son, he deserves to be punished,” father Christopher Shahan said. “I’ve already accepted the fact that he’s dead.”
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was attacked by the dog on April 27 after the family had finished celebrating the boy’s first birthday. He crawled over to Onion and grabbed onto the 120-pound dog to help himself stand up, as his family said he had done many times before
Jeremiah’s grandmother, Elizabeth Keller, was leaning over to pick him up when Onion suddenly attacked. Jeremiah’s father and others freed the child about 30 seconds later and he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He died the next day at University Medical Center.
Henderson animal control officers declared Onion vicious, which requires euthanization following the state-mandated quarantine.
“The dog attacked and killed a child,” animal control spokesman Keith Paul said. “It would be irresponsible of us to allow this dog to be adopted out.”
Lisa Kavanaugh, said she would welcome Onion to her 35-acre ranch near Denver called Blue Lion Rescue, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
“If it’s an accident, why not give him a chance?” Kavanaugh said. “He’s never, ever going to get a chance to hurt anybody else.”
Onion had been with the family since he was a puppy and helped Keller through her battle with lung cancer. The dog had never shown aggression toward anyone, family members said.
“I would love him to be in a sanctuary the rest of his life, but what sort of punishment would that be for killing a human being?” the father said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, attack, baby, bites, blue lion rescue, calls, campaign, child, dangerous, dog bites, email, euthanasia, euthanized, group, henderson, infant, jeremiah eskew-shahan, killed, les golden, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, quarantine, rhodesian ridgeback, sanctuary, save, shahan, vicious
A pit bull that police say killed a 74-year-old man in Santa Fe is expected to be labeled a dangerous dog and put down next week.
Police blame Achilles (pictured above) for the injuries that killed Clifford Wright last Wednesday. The dog belongs to his son, Gavin, who described his father as Achilles’ constant companion and a lover of pit bulls.
Wright, a retired pawn shop owner, was watering his lawn when the dog, for reasons unknown, attacked him, police say.
Lt. Louis Carlos said a preliminary finding by the state Office of the Medical Investigator is that “the injuries sustained by Mr. Wright were from the dog. There were no other medical reasons related to his death.”
“Right now there is too much to speculate on as far as what actually happened,” Gavin Wright told the Santa Fe New Mexican Friday. “No one is going to know exactly why or what took place. But I know that everything that took place prior to that was nothing but good things.”
Wright came home to find his father’s body outside. The family has four dogs — two pit bulls, an English bulldog and an Australian shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix.
Police said Friday that Achilles will remain in quarantine at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society for up to 10 days. Early next week, he said, police will likely ask a judge to declare him dangerous.
The New Mexican said the dog bite death was the 10th in New Mexico in the last 45 years, according to a database kept by Karen Delise, founder of the National Canine Research Council.
The majority of those deaths were not attributed to dogs described as pit bulls.
“We have 78 million dogs in this country and over the last decade there have been an average of 25 fatalities each year,” said Delise. “So, it’s an extremely rare occurrence, and I think we need to keep that in perspective.”
Delise said speculation that a dog’s breed or its neuter status caused an incident is usually erroneous.
(Photo: Santa Fe Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: achilles, aggression, animal control, animals, bites, clifford wright, dangerous, death, dog bites, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, gavin wright, karen delise, national canine research council, new mexico, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, santa fe
Analise J. Garner, 19, of Lake in the Hills, returned home drunk over the weekend and bit her family’s 80-pound English bulldog at least three times, officers said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, she was also charged with domestic battery and underage drinking.
Police were called to her home about 4 a.m. Sunday after neighbors reported loud noises, Sgt. Mike Smith said.
Garner scratched and hit her 37-year-old mother in the face and also bit her on the right hand. Three bite marks were found on the dog, he said.
“The bulldog finally did bite her back in self-defense,” Smith added. “There were no charges against the dog.”
Garner was released Monday from the McHenry County jail after posting bail on $3,000 bond. She is due in court May 23.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, argument, bites, bulldog, chicago, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, domestic battery, drunk, english bulldog, fight, intoxicated, pets, underage drinking, woman, woman bites dog