Not that we have any problem with that.
The New York Daily News reports that Manhattan publicist Melissa Kusick has sued the upstate “dog camp” where her mutt Matilda was mauled by other dogs while being boarded.
Given the three bylines, we assume that either this is a big story or that Kusick is pretty prominent, or at least a darned good publicist.
Kusick sent her dog to the Glencadia Dog Camp in February, and was at the Grammy Awards when she learned of Matilda’s injuries.
The attack left the dog’s face ”so swollen it was almost unrecognizable,” Kusick said in court papers.
The News revealed — and here’s what makes it a slightly bigger story — that at least two other dogs have been mauled at the dog camp in Columbia County, one of whom died.
Kate Dwyer, a Manhattan stylist, said her pit bull-vizsla mix was injured during a two-week stay at Glencadia last July. Another customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said her dog died in 2011 after being attacked by four other dogs.
Glencadia Dog Camp owner Will Pflaum promised Kusick he’d pay Matilda’s medical bills, but reneged after Kusick described the incident on Yelp.com and reported the owner to the Better Business Bureau, the suit says.
Kusick is suing for the vet bills and $500,000 in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The dog camp owner told the newspaper that Matilda was attacked after she was left unsupervised in a pen with another dog.
“We’re very sorry about this,” he said. “We’re making changes so it doesn’t happen again.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, bitten, boarding, dog, dog camp, dogs, glencadia dog camp, injuries, kennels, lawsuit, manhattan, matilda, mauled, melissa kusick, new york, new york daily news, pets, publicist, yelp
A Colorado State University study suggests classical music might be the best way to calm an anxious dog, and that heavy metal — no big surprise — seems to do the opposite.
The study, reported in the latest Journal of Veterinary Behavior, found that classical music was more soothing than any other music, even “psychoacoustic” music and pet CDs designed to calm animals.
Dogs listening to classical music — whether they were rescued dogs being sheltered, or pets being kenneled — barked and shook less often, slept more and had slower heartbeats.
The authors of the study say playing classical music may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for dogs being kenneled as well as those awaiting adoption in stressful shelter environments.
Their research analyzed the behavior of 117 dogs of various breeds, all at one kennel in northern Colorado. Of the group, 83 were boarders of different breeds and 34 were rescued dachshunds. Lead author Lori Kogan and her researchers did thousands of behavioral assessments over a period of four months.
The dogs were exposed to 45 minutes of three different genres of music while their behavior was recorded every five minutes.
Classical music was linked to more relaxed and restful behavior, while heavy metal was linked to greater anxiety and unrest.
Dogs listening to heavy metal had speeded up heartbeats: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” led to 140 beats a minute, while “Turbo Lover,” by Judas Priest, resulted in 151. In contrast to that, Beethoven’s “Für Elise” produced average heart rates of 111 and Bach’s “Air on a G String” a relatively mellowed out 100.
In addition to heartbeats, researchers recorded the amount of time the canine listeners spent sleeping, barking, shaking, and whining.
Both boarded and rescue dogs responded to all the classical music selections by sleeping more. The dogs were most silent while listening to classical music, and noisiest when no music was playing at all.
Researchers said the results are consistent with human studies showing music can reduce agitation, promote sleep, improve mood and lower stress and anxiety.
“It is suggested that shelters play classical music as a cost-efficient, practical way to enhance the environment and, therefore, the welfare of shelter dogs. Classical music can reduce dogs’ stress levels and potentially increase the likelihood of adoption.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, bach, background, behavior, boarding, calm, classical, colorado state university, dogs, heavy metal, judas priest, kennels, listening, motorhead, mozart, music, pets, rescues, shelters, slayer, soothing, strauss, stress, study
That dog-themed mural painted on the side of an Arlington, Virginia grooming shop is being painted over, but the owner of the shop says a new one will go up — one she assures won’t be construed, like the first one, as advertising.
The whimsical, 960-square-foot mural on the side of Wag More Dogs ran alongside the Shirlington dog park, and was commissioned by store owner Kim Houghton for $4,000 shortly before the shop opened in 2010.
Even before the opening, Arlington decided the mural was not art, but advertising. Given city rules permit signs of only 60 square feet, they ordered it reduced or covered.
Houghton covered the mural with a blue tarp and sued Arlington in federal court.
In February 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema issued a 31-page opinion, siding with Arlington.
The judge concluded that Houghton “cannot reasonably assert that the dog mural is anything other than a business sign, erected as part of a business strategy to advertise and promote the Wag More Dogs brand.”
Houghton, a former advertising representative for The Washington Post, appealed, but this May the 4th Circuit federal appeals court upheld Brinkema’s decision.
Houghton’s attorney said this week that he disagreed with that decision.
“Today, Arlington County has muzzled free speech. If the mural displayed cats, dragons or ponies, it would be fine,” he told the Washington Post. No further appeals are planned, he said.
Houghton started painting over the mural Tuesday.
“I’m sad to see the mural that was an expression of my joy of being on this dog park, of my love of dogs, be wiped out, after a long struggle,” she said.
She said a new mural would replace it, free of commercial content, and unrelated to the shop, which grooms and boards dogs. The original mural contained some of the same cartoon dogs in her company’s logo.
(Photo: Tom Jackman / The Washington Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisement, animals, arlington, art, boarding, court, dog park, dogs, federal, freedom of speech, groomer, grooming, kim houghton, mural, over, painting, pets, removing, ruling, shirlington, sign, virginia, wag more dogs
Some take their dogs with them; some get family members to help out; some, unfortunately, have to surrender them.
But in Pennsylvania, there’s an ex-Marine lending a helping hand.
Kevin McCartin, who operates Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary & Canine Corps in Perry County, takes care of dogs for free for members of the military from Pennsylvania, no matter how long they’re away. Since establishing the service in 2007, McCartin has witnessed some 90 dog-owner reunions.
And he can assure you that dogs, when it comes to their owners, never forget.
Last weekend, Matthew Chapman and his wife, Debbi, returned from South Korea, where military orders sent them last February. When they reunited with their dog Dehlila, a four-year-old mixed breed, it was as if they’d been apart just a few days, as opposed to 13 months, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported.
“She went right at them and went ballistic,” McCartin said. “She was all over them. We’ve had dogs up to 15 months, and it’s the same thing every time. The dogs go bonkers.”
While it’s heartwarming to watch, McCartin says he can’t help but feel a little upstaged when the owners come back.
Suddenly, he says, “We’re chopped liver. The dogs want to get right into the car and go home.”
The Chapmans headed for Georgia after picking up Dehlila, where they will be based at Fort Stewart for a while.
The Canine Corps website says it accepts donations, food, medication, cleaning products and other supplies. McCartin also takes in geriatric dogs from central Pennsylvania as part of his Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary.
“We are currently caring for six geriatric and special needs dogs and eleven military pets. Thirty-nine of our guests have been adopted into loving homes, and we have reunited 61 guests with their military owners,” the website says.
(Photo: Matthew Chapman and Dehlila, when he dropped her off at Canine Corps and Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary; by Joe Hermitt / Harrisburg Patriot-News)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armed forced, boarding, boards, canine corps, cares, dehlila, deployed, deployments, dogs, elderly, geriatric, kennel, kevin mccartin, members, military, paw prints sanctuary, pennsylvania, perry county, pets, reunions, service
For almost two years now, a big blue tarp has covered the backside of Kim Houghton’s dog grooming shop, Wag More Dogs in Arlington, Va., as courts try to figure out if what’s beneath it is art or advertising.
Since Wag More Dogs’ backside faces Shirlington Dog Park, Houghton thought it would be a good idea to turn the boring cinderblock wall into a mural. She spent $4,000 to commission a painting of cartoon dogs, bones and paw prints. It was intended as gesture of goodwill, she says, and a gift to the community.
The Arlington County Zoning Board saw it differently.
In the fall of 2010, the board informed her that it considered the mural a sign for her business, and that it violated the neighborhood size limit of 60 square feet — even though the mural itself doesn’t mention her business. Houghton said she was told to cover the mural at her own expense, face fines or closure, or make the mural a government sign by adding “Welcome to Shirlington Park’s Community Canine Area” in four-foot-high letters.
In December, 2010, she filed a lawsuit, saying the county was violating her right to free speech. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema disagreed and dismissed her lawsuit in February of 2011.
The following June, Houghton field an appeal, with the backing of the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit, Arlington-based libertarian law firm.
It’s scheduled to be heard this week by a federal Court of Appeals in Richmond, WTOP reports.
Her attorney says he will argue that Arlington’s sign code “unconstitutionally gives government bureaucrats the power to play art critic.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, appeals court, arlington, art, boarding, building, dogs, first amendment, free speech, groomer, institute for justice, kim houghton, mural, pets, shirlington dog park, virginia, wag more dogs, wall, zoning board
Whether you’re looking for a homey environment in which to board your dog, or want to make some money by hosting one in your home, a new company called DogVacay.com is offering to help hook you up.
The site launched March 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will soon be adding other cities to its listings, through which dog owners and dog sitters can connect.
“Right now there are kennels and there are private pet sitters,” said Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay.com with his wife, Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “And we realized there was a need for a marketplace to bring together responsible dog lovers with causal and professional dog sitters who can provide a more affordable and better experience for dogs.”
Hirschhorn said that rates offered by hosts on DogVacay.com can be as little as half of those of boarding kennels.
On the site, each dog sitter sets his or her own prices with assistance from DogVacay.com. Listings are free. The site takes a 3 percent to 10 percent transaction fee from dog sitters, according to MSNBC.
For customers, fees include insurance coverage for veterinary emergencies. Pet sitters are vetted via reviews, social network connections and direct interviews by DogVacay.com staff.
Pet owners who take their dogs along on trips may also use the service to find sitters or host homes in cities they visit. “We think this will help free people up to travel because some people don’t want to kennel their dogs while they’re away and don’t want to bother their friends,” said Hirschhorn. “This way, more dogs can go along.”
Like Airbnb.com, the site allows customers to rate the hosts, and hosts are encouraged to go online after the stay and rate the behavior of their guest.
The Hirschhorns say the idea for the company came from experiences with their dogs.
“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need,” said Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform.”
(Photo from MSNBC.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron hirschhorn, animals, boarding, care, community, connecting, dog sitting, Dog Vacay, dogs, dogvacay, homes, hosts, karine nissim hirschhorn, kennels, los angeles, marketplace, pet sitting, pets, private, providers, san francisco, sitting, travel, vacation
An upper Manhattan animal clinic let a woman’s dog “bark itself to death,” the New York Post and other news media are reporting.
It’s not an entirely accurate description, and to make matters worse the Post originally misidentified the veterinary office named in a lawsuit that charges it covered up the cause of the dog’s death.
A veterinarian at Riverside Animal Clinic — not Riverside Animal Hospital, as the newspaper first reported – told Marie Moore that X-rays showed her bulldog, Cowboy, had died from congestive heart failure.
A necropsy, however, showed that the dog’s heart was fine, and that he actually suffocated. The lawsuit says Cowboy was suffering from ”severe laryngeal edema and airway obstruction” and that his life could have been saved with proper emergency procedures.
While barking didn’t cause his death — even the Post story eventually points out a dog can’t die from over-barking – it could have contributed to the difficulties he was having breathing.
“Defendants ignored obvious signs of Cowboy’s distress, allowing Cowboy to continue barking for days without proper care or intervention, until his severely swollen throat suffocated him and caused his death,” Moore said in her suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. It charges the clinic and kennel with veterinary malpractice.
“Moreover,” the lawsuit says, “the X-rays Dr. [Javier] Ramos claims to have relied upon to substantiate his claim that Cowboy died from heart failure actually show that Cowboy’s heart was normal.”
Moor took Cowboy, an English bulldog “who was in good health,” for boarding at the clinic in March.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bark, barked itself to death, barking, boarding, bulldog, clinic, cowboy, death, dogs, english bulldog, health, lawsuit, manhattan, new york, pets, riverside animal clinic, veterinarian, veterinary
Hoping to breathe new life into his business, a Colorado kennel owner bought an old hearse and converted it into a pet limo, adding pick-up and delivery to the services he offers pooches.
Merle Maser, owner of Land of Ah’s Kennel in Fountain, spruced up the old funeral limo with a paint job and uses it to deliver animals to and from the kennel at a cost of one dollar per mile.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, boarding, business, colorado, delivery, dog, dogs, fountain, funeral, hearse, kennel, land of ah's, limo, limousine, merle maser, pets, pickup, transportation, video
It’s 2010 and I’m down to one dog.
The last of my holiday guests has been returned to her owners, leaving Ace and me on our own again. However tested we might have felt at times, I think we both agree it’s way too quiet now.
I’d like to think that Ace and my guests gained something from the experience — that Darcy will remember to relieve herself outdoors; that Cheyenne will remember how Ace helped guide her to the park; that Lucas will never forget that I can bark louder — though not for as long — as him.
Maybe I taught them a thing or two, but they — as often happens when humans and dogs connect – have taught me much more.
Hence, my New Year’s resolutions:
Be more like Ace: Share. Allow new beings, after a good sniffing out, into my life. When others get on my nerves, just walk away. Don’t whine. Don’t get cranky. Take things in stride. Adjust.
Be more like Lucas: Speak up when circumstances so dictate, or maybe sometimes even when they don’t. Keep plodding along, despite any aches, pains or inconveniences. And, if there’s a particularly attractive mud puddle, do not hesitate, even if wearing white, to jump on in and splash around. Get dirty once in a while.
Be more like Cheyenne: When I bump my head, keep going — with quiet grace. Persevere. Don’t whine about the obstacles; find a way around them. Step lightly, but keep moving forward.
Be more like Darcy: Seize the day. Live in the moment (even though, at the moment, I’m quite sick of that phrase). Grab the bone. Fart loud and often. Explore. Stay excited — maybe not to the extent she does — but stay excited by life.
Be more like Ace and Cheyenne: Be willing to help and be helped, to guide and be guided.
When you can cushion the blows somebody is taking, cushion them.
Don’t hesitate to hold somebody’s hand. Let others lean on me. Allow myself to lean on others.
Be willing to adjust my gait, my habits and my routines for good purposes.
Share the couch.
Share the bowl.
(To read all of the “Company for Christmas” series, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, adapt, adjust, animals, assistance, behavior, blind, boarding, cheyenne, christmas, company for christmas, darcy, dependence, dogs, guests, help, holidays, learn from dogs, lessons, lucas, new year, new years, pets, resolutions, visitors
Could dogs have prevented Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab from boarding a plane with explosives hidden in his underwear?
CNN asked the question yesterday — the answer to which is, with enough properly trained dogs, probably.
But explosives-detecting dogs, the report points out, aren’t generally trained to sniff out humans, and having them do so might raise some privacy concerns.
Still, those quoted in the report say, something as low-tech as dogs could be our best solution to the problem.
“The fact that this individual showed up with a one-way ticket, purchased with cash and no checked baggage — he should have been pulled aside,” said security expert Larry Berg, a consultant with Berg Associates. “And at that point, if inspected by a dog, he literally could have been detected.”
“A well-trained dog and a very good, well-trained handler can find explosives with little or no false alarms,” said trainer Patrick Beltz said. “And if they had been doing it, it might have deterred him from trying to get on the plane in the first place.”
About 700 bomb-sniffing dogs currently work at U.S. airports, and they are trained to detect up to a dozen different explosive compounds, including PETN, the compound that AbdulMutallab is alleged to have smuggled aboard Northwest flight 253 to Detroit on December 25.
The report also looks at research underway at Auburn University in Alabama, where dogs are being used to sniff not people, but the air they leave in their wake when they pass by. The Auburn trainers believe their dogs can detect very small traces of explosives and then follow the trail to the person carrying a bomb.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abdulmutallab, airport, auburn university, boarding, bomb-detecting, bombs, detroit, dog, dogs, explosive-detecting, explosives, flight 253, inspections, international, K-9, k9, larry berg, national, northwest, patrick beltz, plane, search, security, threats, underpants, underwear