An Oregon City man pleaded guilty to shooting a dog that belonged to his father’s neighbor.
Police say the father paid for the hit.
For his involvement in what authorities described as a murder-for-hire, Derek James Walkoski, 31, will spend 28 months in prison for shooting and killing Paws, a black Lab that lived next door to his father in Canby.
In a hearing in Clackamas County, Walkoski told Circuit Judge Robert R. Selander that he shot the dog with a rifle, the Oregonian reported.
“You just shot him?” Selander asked.
“Yes,” Walkoski said.
“Any reason?” Selander asked. “Any justifiable reason?”
“No, your honor,” Walkoski said.
Walkoski pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated animal abuse. He also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and recklessly endangering another.
Paws’ owner, sitting in the back row of the courtroom gallery, did not address the court.
Walkoski’s father, David James Walkoski, 61, whose trial is set for June 18, hasn’t admitted to any involvement in the killing of Paws. But he was arrested during the court hearing when prosecutors informed the judge he, while free on bail, pointed his finger at Paws’ owners and simulated firing a pistol – despite an existing no-contact order issued by the court. He was charged with contempt of court and booked into the Clackamas County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.
According to police reports, the Walkoskis’ neighbor returned to his home in April 2012 to find his dog dead. Police said the father paid his son to kill the animal, but did not offer a motive for the shooting.
(Photos: David James Walkoski (left) and his son, Derek James Walkoski)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, black, canby, court, dog, father, guilty, justice, killed, lab, labrador, law, murder fo hire, oregon, oregon city, paws, pets, plea, retriever, rifle, sentence, shot, son, trial
A family in northern Maine says it is “overwhelmed” by the generosity they saw from friends and strangers who donated enough money for them to get a service dog for their 5-year-old daughter, Faith.
Faith has spina bifida and experiences seizures. The new dog — a black Lab named Dandy — has been trained to detect when they might be coming.
Bruce and Beverly McNally, of Island Falls, took Faith in as a foster child, then as their adopted daughter. They quickly realized they needed help monitoring her for the seizures, which could be deadly if not addressed.
“The family became very worried, which is why they wanted to get the dog,” Michele King, Faith’s aunt, told the Bangor Daily News.
King is also the chief administrative officer for Brave Hearts, a nonprofit Christian home for young men in Island Falls, and that organization sponsored a fundraiser last month to try and raise the $2,500 that was needed.
King said that donations came from the more than 100 people who attended a benefit supper, and from people as far away as North Carolina.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Beverly McNally said. “We eventually had enough money and we had to gently turn people away. We had to tell them that we had enough for the dog, but that we wanted them to donate the money to a charity of their own choosing.”
Dandy came from CARES — Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services — a nonprofit organization in Concordia, Kansas, that trains and matches assistance dogs with owners.
“Dandy has just been wonderful for Faith,” McNally said on Friday. “She picks up on a chemical change in the body when a seizure occurs. One day when we got back, Faith was very lethargic. She was in the chair with me and needed to be snuggled a lot more. And the dog got up in the chair and started whining. And I didn’t realize what was going on. And 45 minutes later, Faith had a seizure. Then I realized what the dog was trying to tell me.”
(Photo: Michele King)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assistance, benefit, black, brave hearts, canine, cares, dandy, detecting, dog, dogs, donations, education, faith, fundraiser, fundraising, island falls, lab, labrador retriever, maine, rehabilitation, seizures, service, services, spina bifida
The Labrador retriever has once again been proclaimed America’s most popular dog.
It’s a title — designated by the American Kennel Club, based on its registration statistics — that the breed has held for 22 years.
While labs maintain their grip on first place — at least when black, yellow and chocolate are combined — golden retrievers are climbing the ranks, having moved up from fourth to third.
Elsewhere in the top 10 breed list, the German shepherd maintained No. 2 position, the beagle slipped from third to fourth , and the Yorkshire terrier – third most popular two years ago — dropped to sixth place. Rottweilers, boxers and poodles all made the top 10.
Taken together, the statistics seem to indicate a growing appreciation for big dogs, said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.
“Bigger breeds are making their move,” she said. ”The popularity of the pint-sized, portable pooch just gave way to a litter of larger breeds in the top 10. These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like Labs and goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love.”
The Lab’s 22-year reign as top dog ties that of the poodle, which was America’s most popular dog from 1960 to 1982.
The AKC says registration statistics also show mastiff-type breeds are becoming more popular, with the mastiff, bullmastiff, cane corso and Neapolitan mastiff all climbing over the last ten years. During that same period the bull terrier jumped from 79 to 51.
(Photo: John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, beagle, big dogs, black, breed, breeds, chocolate, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, labrador retriever, large, list, pets, popularity, top ten, trends, yellow, yorkshire terriers
Who says people don’t want black dogs?
This is the line outside a Kansas Humane Society event in which adoption fees were waived on all of the shelter’s black dogs for Black Friday.
Every single one of them was adopted, according to the society’s Facebook page:
“WOW! We are all out of Black Dogs … EVERY DOG found a new home today! So far 55 pets have been adopted including 26 dogs, 28 cats, and 1 gerbil. Wahoo!”
On hand for the adoption event was Madison Bell, a seventh-grader at Mayberry Middle School, who recently launched the Black Dog Club after noticing while volunteering that black dogs seemed to linger in the shelter longer.
The club’s t-shirt will continue to be available this week. You can find out more here.
(Photo: from Kansas Humane Society’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, black, black dog club, black dogs, black friday, dogs, fees, kansas humane society, madison bell, pets, rescues, shelters, waived, wichita
Madison Bell, a seventh-grader at Mayberry Middle School, recently launched the Black Dog Club after noticing — while volunteering at the Kansas Humane Society — that black dogs tend to get passed over in shelters, at least more often than their multi-colored and lighter-colored counterparts.
“Black dogs are overlooked … You can’t see their faces very well,” said Madison, 12. “When I heard about it, I was shocked. I wanted to so something to help.”
Today, Madison is helping the Humane Society host the Black Dog Adoption Drive, an event geared toward getting more black shelter animals into loving homes, according to Kansas.com. All adoption fees for black animals are being waived, while fees for other animals are being discounted 25 percent.
She’ll also be encouraging visitors to join the Black Dog Club, which she launched last month as her Girl Scout Silver Award project. It has raised about $1,300 to help provide medical services and more for the shelter’s animals. (You can find more information, donate, and get the T-shirt here.)
Most shelter directors concur that black dogs often have more trouble finding a home — their facial expressions are harder to see, and photographs of them tend to not come out as well.
“They don’t grab your eye as quickly as brighter colored animals,” said Jennifer Campbell, spokeswoman for the Kansas Humane Society.
But as Madison points out, they’re just as special. “Black dogs are amazing,” she told KAKE-TV. “They’ve got personality just like any other dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of the Kansas Humane Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopting, adoption, animals, black, black cats, black dog adoption drive, black dog club, black dogs, difficulty, dog, dogs, expression, facial, girl scout, kansas, kansas humane society, madison bell, pets, photography, photos, rescues, shelters, wichita
Reverend Richard Herrin — after a four-year stretch without one — now has a service dog to help him serve God.
Herrin, a Baptist minister who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, lost his most recent service dog in 2008.
After moving from Texas to North Carolina earlier this year, to be closer to family, he began looking for funding to help cover the $25,000 expense of getting a trained service dog and bringing it home.
His new community kicked in $6,000 of that — through a campaign drive headed by a Moravian church in Winston-Salem.
Herrin went to North Dakota in July to pick the dog up from the Great Plains Assistance Dogs Foundation Inc., the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Now, Dakota, a 3-year-old black Lab, is at his side, helping him with everyday tasks and in his ministry.
Due to the costs, Herrin had gone four years without a service dog since his last one, a golden retriever, died when he was living in Texas.
Not long after moving to North Carolina, Herrin visited Trinity Moravian Church, several blocks from his house. The secretary there referred him to the Rev. Russell May, interim minister at Bethania Moravian. May coordinated the fundraising effort, and Trinity Moravian accepted the checks and sent them on to North Dakota.
The dog’s main job is to pick things up and give them to Herrin. She’s learning to help Herrin take off his shirt, and has mastered bringing items to him from the refrigerator. She has also chewed up the television remote, but that’s part of the learning curve, say Herrin and his wife, both of whom are professional dog trainers.
“The dog has to know who you are,” Herrin said. “Can they look into you? Can they trust you are going to be honest? Are you going to be who you are? Without building a relationship, you might as well hang it up.”
On top of the chores a service dog helps with, he says, ” the value is the relationship with it.”
Dakota has made several visits to Herrin’s church, Southside Baptist, but Moravian congregations and others are pulling for him as well.
“The support of the Winston-Salem community has enabled him to get a tool that will challenge him, and that empowers him,” May said. “This is not simple charity. They have given him a responsibility, too… He wants to do ministry. This dog will help him in that.”
(Photo: Andrew Dye / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baptist, bethania moravian church, black, cerebral palsy, church, dakota, disabilities, fundraising, funds, great plains assistance dogs foundation, lab, labrador, minister, money, moravian, north carolina, raised, retriever, reverend, richard herrin, service dog, southside baptist church, trinity moravian church, winston-salem
She rushed to the other side of her house to see her son Stanley in the swimming pool, and Bear, her black labrador retriever beside him, struggling to keep the boy’s head above water.
“We all believe that if it wasn’t for Bear he would have sunk down,” Patricia Drauch told the Sturgis Journal. “It was incredible to see Bear holding him up like that.”
Drauch said her son was unresponsive when removed from the water. Unable to get a cell phone signal, she took him to the Marcellus Fire Department Sunday afternoon. On the way to the hospital, Stanley regained consciousness. He was found to be in good condition and later released.
Drauch said she has had Bear since he was a puppy.
“I’ve always told him (Bear), that these are his babies and he has to watch over them,” she said.
Drauch said she realizes the outcome could have been much worse.
“Don’t leave your kids outside alone no matter what age. Keep your eyes on them at all times,” she said. “It only takes a second.”
(Photo: Sturgis Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, bear, black, boy, dogs, lab, labrador, labrador retriever, michigan, mother, patricia drauch, pets, pool, protection, rescues, retriever, saves, security, stanley, swimming pool, toddler
Attention humans: Today’s lesson comes from Tanner and Blair — two hopeless cases that, together, found some hope.
Tanner is a two-year-old Golden Retriever who was born blind and with a seizure disorder. When Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue was unable to find him a home, he ended up at Woodland West Animal Hospital.
Blair is a one-year-old black Labrador mix brought to the same hospital after she was shot while living on the streets. While recovering physically, she was timid, nervous, and unlikely to find a forever home, either.
“One day they were exercising in a play yard together and they got together,” said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mike Jones. “Blair all of a sudden seemed to realize that Tanner was blind and just started to help him around.”
Seeing the connection, hospital staff began to board Tanner and Blair together, with amazing results.
Tanner began seizing less; Blair came out of her shell.
“His seizure disorder was really, really bad and nothing — no medications — seemed to be helping,” Jones told ABC News. “Anytime he [Tanner] seizes he expresses his bowels.”
Tanner had been seizing almost nightly, Jones said, but after two or three weeks with Blair, “we realized Tanner wasn’t seizing anymore. He’s not completely seizure free but it’s not constant anymore.”
If Tanner has a leash on, Blair will pick it up and guide her friend around. Tanner, meanwhile, has had a calming influence on Blair, making the former street dog — now that she has a mission – less timid and anxious.
Now the hospital and Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue are trying to find the two dogs a home together.
“They absolutely have to be adopted together,” Jones said. “But it’s going to take a special home with someone who understands their special relationship plus understands seizure disorder and is ready to take on the responsibility.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animals, black, blair, blind, cure, disorder, dogs, each other, golden, help, hope, ills, lab, oklahoma, pair, pets, rescue, retrievers, seizure, shelters, shooting, shot, sooner golden retriever rescue, tanner, teamwork, woodland west animal hospital
Names: Buddy Holly (named after the performer) and Peggy Sue (the fawn-colored one, named after Holly’s hit song)
Ages: Buddy is 3; pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue is 4
Encountered: At what’s billed as the largest free-standing cross in America, located near Interstate 40 in Groom, Texas.
Backstory: The two pugs, and the couple who owns them, were headed home to Hobart, Oklahoma after a Christmas visit to Arizona.
The owners of the pampered pugs planned a stop at the cross, which is 19 stories tall and, in the flatlands of the Texas panhandle, visible from 20 miles away.
They were big fans of God, Buddy Holly, pugs and, judging from their racing jackets, NASCAR.
Buddy Holly and Peggy Sue enjoyed a long potty stop on the periphery of the property, then jumped back in the car while their owners went to see the church and gift shop.
To see all our Roadside Encounters, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, black, breed, breeds, buddy holly, church, cross, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounters, fawn, god, groom, largest, nascar, panhandle, peggy sue, pets, pug, pugs, road trip, roadside, roadside encounter, texas, traveling, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
While Denny’s has more than 1,500 outlets across the country, we haven’t stopped at them on our trip across America, vaguely recollecting some of the chain’s restaurants were accused of discriminating against black customers at some point in its 57-year history.
It’s the same reason – 21 years after the oil spill in Alaska – I still don’t gas up at Exxon stations (unless it’s the only choice at the exit, or their prices are the lowest). It’s my way-outdated and somewhat variable sense of social justice – old grudges still held against corporations, often long after I’ve forgotten why I’m holding them, and easily overlooked if the price is right.
I’m willing to let bygones be bygones if you let a couple of decades pass, and tempt me with a “Value Meal.” It helps, too, if you’ve cleaned up your act in the interim.
So, passing through Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, I pulled in under the bright yellow sign, told Ace I’d only be a minute, and went inside for a quick bite — fully intending, of course, as we did with the Waffle House, to share the experience with you, the reader.
By way of history, Denny’s, like the Waffle House, started off as one restaurant — actually a donut shop, named Danny’s Donuts, in Lakewood, California. It had 20 locations by 1959, when the name was changed to Denny’s to avoid confusion with another chain called ”Doughnut Dan’s.” In 1977, it would introduce its “Grand Slam Breakfasts,” reportedly in honor of Hank Aaron.
In the 1990s, Denny’s was named in a class action suit filed by African-American customers who claimed they’d been refused service and forced to wait longer or pay more than white customers. The case resulted in a $54.4 million settlement in 1994.
After that, Denny’s created a racial sensitivity training program for its employees, and began running advertisements featuring Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, from the television show, “The Jeffersons.” In 2001, Fortune magazine named Denny’s the “Best Company for Minorities.”
This year, though, Denny’s came under ethnic fire again, for a commercial that used the 150th anniversary of the Irish potato famine, which left more than a million dead, to promote an all-you-can-eat french fries and pancakes offer. It later apologized and pulled the ad.
My visit to Denny’s was the first in a year or so, so I took some time familiarizing myself with the multi-page menu. There was a page of special entrees for people 55 and over (quite an arbitrary cut off point, in my view), and another page of ”Value Menu” items (not restricted to old farts) – low-priced entrees that the restaurant seems to make up for with higher prices for everything else (including $2 sodas).
Among the Value Menu offerings, at $4, was the “Fried Cheese Melt.”
It’s a grilled cheese sandwich, with mozarella sticks embedded in the American cheese — that’s right, four breaded and deep fried sticks of cheese, on a bed of cheese, between two pieces of sourdough bread, buttered and fried.
Fortunately, the Fried Cheese Melt is not on the senior menu, because it would probably kill us after just a few bites — and by us, I mean both actual seniors and those of us still enjoying that frolicsome, vital and exploratory stage of life known as our fifties.
At 57 — the same age as me — Denny’s should be smart enough, sympatico enough not to thrust us 50-somethings into the category of seniors. Or at least, if they insist on doing so, offer us some sweeter deals.
That, of course, would make everything – even the Fried Cheese Melt — OK.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: african americans, animals, black, cheese, compromising, denny's, dining, discrimination, dog's country, dogscountry, Exxon, famine, fried cheese melt, health, irish, lawsuit, menu, nutrition, pets, potato, principles, restaurant, restaurants, road trip, travel, traveling, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, value meals, value menu