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Tag: boston

One month later, Lola rises from the ashes

Lola, a long-haired dachschund who had been missing since a fire gutted her owner’s house a month ago, has turned up alive and, for the most part, well.

Terisa Acevedo initially thought that Lola had somehow escaped the blaze and was wandering her neighborhood in Hyde Park. She posted fliers and walked the neighborhood, but, as weeks passed, her hope dwindled.

On Monday, nearly 30 days after the fire, Acevedo, a 24-year-old EMT and Northeastern University student, returned to the house and heard a scratching noise at the front door.

She yelled out her pet’s name and, as neighbors joined in, ripped off the plywood that had been placed over the home’s entrance.

“It was a miracle,” Acevedo told the Boston Globe, hugging her dog at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, where Lola is being treated.

(Photo: By Brian Adams / MSPCA-Angell)

Pit BULL: “No place for them in our society”

Boston’s six-year-old ban on pit bulls has proven to be “all bark and no bite,” according to a review by the Boston Herald.

While the city has issued tickets in more than 518 cases since the law went into effect in 2004 — all to owners who failed to register or muzzle their pit bulls, as the law requires – the vast majority of them (four of every five)  have refused to pay their $100  fines.

Instead, many of them have opted to turn their dogs over to the city, meaning that, in addition to not collecting the fine money, the city’s burdened with the expense of caring for dogs whose owners have deemed the expendable.

“It’s a disposable commodity, and they don’t care. They’re not good dog owners,” said Sgt. Charles Rudack, director of Boston Animal Control, which has no authority to force scofflaws to pay the $140,000 in unpaid fines.

Rudack said about 1,000 violators have chosen to turn over their pit bulls to Animal Control rather than pay the fine.

Pit bulls under the care of Animal Control are put up for adoption. Those that aren’t adopted or taken in by other rescues are euthanized.

City Councilor Rob Consalvo, who co-sponsored the pit bull ordinance — it requires pit bulls to be registered, muzzled in public and for their owners to display “beware of dog sign” at their homes — defended the law.

“We never said this ordinance was going to be a magic wand that would make the problem go away. What we did say is that this would be a new tool that animal control and police could use to get a better handle on what I see is a problem with pit bulls.”

State data shows pit bull and pit bull breed attacks in Boston increased between 2006 and 2008, from 25 to 46. But that trend reversed last year, when the city recorded just 30 attacks from pit bull and pit bull breeds.

Still, people like Donna Fitzgerald, whose Shiba Inu “Rocky” was attacked by an unleashed pit bull in South Boston in 2004, say banning the breed seems to be the only solution.

“I’m a dog lover and I don’t mean to sound cruel about a certain breed, but there’s just no place for them in our society,” said Fitzgerald, who now lives in Florida.

(Photo by John Woestendiek)

Pekingese died from being trapped in own fur

pekeVeterinarians in Boston say a neglected and abandoned Pekingese died from being trapped in his own fur.

The dog was found in Waltham on March 6, unable to move or walk because of severe matting of his fur, WCVB-TV reported. He was taken to Kindness Animal Hospital, but could not be saved and died a few days later.

“This is probably one of the most extreme cases of neglect we’ve encountered in our practice,” said Susan Rosenblatt, chief of staff at Kindness. “We’re concerned that there may be other animals in the same household that are being similarly neglected.”

The Pekingese was between 9 and 12-years-old, tan and blind in his right eye. The left eye had been surgically removed. His fur had become so completely matted around its body that the dog was trapped within itself, veterinarians said.

The dog’s teeth were rotten and his muscles had atrophied because he was unable to move for so long. His nails had grown in a complete circle because they had not been cut in years, the vets said, and he had pneumonia.

The veterinary hospital staff and other animal welfare advocates asked for the public’s help to find the dog’s owners. Anyone with information can contact Kindness Animal Hospital at 718-893-2800 or e-mail kindnessah@gmail.com.

Dog who bit pitcher’s wife wins reprieve

gabriellaGabriella, the English mastiff scheduled to be executed for biting the wife of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and another woman, has won a reprieve.

A decision issued Friday by Hingham District Court would allow the dog to be sent instead to a New York shelter, where she would serve life, without parole, the Boston Globe reported.

Gabriella was ordered euthanized by Hingham selectmen after a lengthy hearing in late October because of two biting incidents, both of which took place at her owners’ art gallery in Hingham Square.

Read more »

Food & Wine mag picks 5 dog friendliest cities

71034227_43e5d06c50_o-copyFood & Wine magazine has named what it considers the top five dog-friendliest cities in the U.S. They are: Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.

The article in the magazine, published by American Express, focuses mostly on dog-friendly dining and lodging opportunities. Here’s what it had to say about the top five:

Boston: Dogs are allowed on the city’s public transit system, and there’s an off-leash dog park in Boston Common. Dog-friendly restaurants include Rocca Kitchen & Bar (around the corner from Peter’s Park dog run), where a section of the patio is set aside for diners with dogs, lined with water bowls and treats from nearby Polka Dog Bakery. Dogs are also welcome — when the Red Sox aren’t playing at home — at La Verdad Taqueria.

Chicago: The city’s park system includes the 18-mile Lakefront Trail and three dog beaches. Dog-friendly restaurants include Brasserie JO, which offers complimentary house-made dog biscuits.

Miami: Most shops on Lincoln Road Mall put out water bowls, and many local restaurants allow dogs, including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink,  where dogs can feast on dog treats baked by the pastry chef.

San Diego: In addition to its numerous dog beaches, the city abounds with  dog-friendly restaurants, including Nine-Ten and Cafe Chloe, where 75 percent of the staff volunteers at animal-rights agencies.

San Francisco: The pedestrian walkway on the Golden Gate Bridge and the historic streetcars both allow dogs. Dog-friendly restaurants include Pizzeria Delfina and Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, with a dog-friendly patio that’s ideal for watching sunsets.

(Photo via San Francisco Citizen)

Dog parks cut crime; so let’s build some

signThose pushing for more dog parks in Boston are playing the crime card — pointing out that a park filled with people and their pets cuts down on drug deals, violence, vandalism and loitering.

It’s a card well worth playing.

In Fields Corner, one of the main arguments local residents made as part of an effort to raise $200,000 for Dorchester’s first dedicated dog park was that it would reduce crime, the Boston Globe reports. 

“This is considered a crime hot spot in Boston,’’ said Paige Davis, who lives near Ronan Park, where the dog run will be located. “People who are out walking their dogs are going to meet everyone using the park. If you want to know what’s going in the neighborhood, it’s the dog owners who know everything.’’

Residents in Charlestown have  been making a similar argument in their push to build a dog playground in Paul Revere Park. And J. Alain Ferry, founder of BostonDOG, said his group has been making the anticrime argument in its push for a dog park on Boston Common.

“Certainly one of the most appealing aspects of a dog park’’ is the antic-rime component, he said. “It’s going to help clean up the neighborhood, and you might not have a lot of people loitering or late night cruising.’’

City police, the article reports, like the idea, too.

“It’s an effective tool,’’ said Boston police Superintendent William B. Evans, who heads the department’s bureau of field services. “People with dogs who are out in the neighborhood – that’s more eyes and ears for us.’’

Boston has only three parks where dogs can play off leash – two in the South End and one, which is newly opened, in South Boston. Boston Common has some off-leash hours as well.

Chihuahua thrown from car; two arrested

Two people were arrested Tuesday after they threw a dog out the window of a moving SUV in New Bedford, Mass., police said.

At first, witnesses thought it was an accident, but then they saw the driver yelling at the dog, according to Fox News

According to police, the pair threw Princess, a 1-year-old Chihuahua, from the window of their SUV as the car was speeding down the street. The couple then drove back around the block.

“These people were overheard laughing, saying that the stupid dog was still there waiting. Turns out that the dog wasn’t so stupid at all, because that allowed witnesses the opportunity to give us the license plate,” New Bedford police Lt. Jeffrey Silva told WCVB-TV in Boston.

Princess wasn’t injured in the incident and will be put up for adoption at a local animal shelter.

Jenny Torres, 31, and Jimmy Correa, 24, were arraigned Wednesday on felony animal abuse and abandonment charges.

Austin to Boston, a walk for canine cancer

Luke Robinson set out on a walk with his dogs in March of last year — a 2,000-plus-mile walk, from Austin to Boston.

He’s still going.

Robinson and his two Great Pyrenees dogs — who have made it as far as Ohio — are trekking across the country to to call attention to, and raise funds to combat, canine cancer, which claimed one of his dogs in 2006.

After that, Robinson, who was working a 90-hour week at his high tech and life science business firm, did some re-evaluating, during which he came upon the idea of the walk.

Accompanying him are Murphy, who is about 7 years old, and Hudson, who’s 2.

They set out Austin in March, headed for Boston, which is Robinson’s home. In July, the passed through Arkansas; in August they made it through Memphis. They’re stopping to volunteer at shelters and humane societies along the way, which Robinson says gives him a chance to interact with animal lovers, experts, caregivers and those doing research into canine cancer.

“Definitely it has made the experience richer and fuller after hearing all of the stories,” he told the Willliamson Herald in Tennessee. “People want to know what is causing canine cancer and we have found that canine cancer is a crisis. Not only is cancer significant in dogs, but it is also hitting them at a younger age. It is so prevalent that some dogs are having their life spans downgraded.”

Malcolm was only 6 when he was diagnosed, Robinson said, and 8 when he was put to sleep. On the trip, Robinson wears one of his Malcolm’s claws and some of his ashes around his neck.

They average eight to 10 miles per day, he said. “When we are walking, we are working,” Robinson said. “When I get on the road with them and they get a rhythm, we work well together…the first 15 minutes, they are just pulling me.”

Robinson’s website, keeps track of his travels, and contains information about the walk and products you can buy to support it.

Stomped dog video leads to investigation

Security-camera footage that appears to show a man kicking and jumping on a puppy’s crate has landed on YouTube, prompting an investigation by the Massachusetts SPCA and threats of a boycott of the liquor store in which the incident apparently occured.

The Boston Globe reports the stomping of a beagle appears to have taken place in Blanchard’s Liquors, a popular store in Allston.

The one-minute clip was posted to YouTube Thursday last week. The incident, according to a recording stamp on the security camera footage, took place Feb. 6.

The video shows a man stride past the register of a liquor store, kick a crate containing a small dog, then jump on the crate, partially crushing it, before walking away. A person in a baseball cap then goes to check on the puppy, before a younger man walks into the frame, grabs a leash from the counter, and takes the dog away.

“It’s a horrible thing,” said Christine Moore, a 25-year-old former Allston resident and Blanchard’s customer who called for a boycott on Craigslist and her Facebook page.

A YouTube member named “ericword” posted the original clip. Reached by the Globe through YouTube e-mail, ericword identified himself in a phone interview as a 20-year-old Blanchard’s worker.

Giving his name only as Eric, he said he was suspended from his job for posting the clip. A Blanchard’s manager declined to comment to the newspaper.

The MSPCA’s law enforcement division, which has police power to bring felony charges, is investigating the matter, said Brian Adams, a spokesman.

“To the best of our knowledge, the dog in the video is OK,,” said Adams, encouraging those with information about the case to call the MSPCA at 800-628-5808.

Are things looking up for dog art?

Art (or more precisely, artists) can take a hit in hard economic times, but dog art — especially of the non-traditional variety — may be escaping the recession’s full impact. In fact, things might even be, like this dog, looking up.

Portraits of cats and dogs have long been a staple, but now “hipper, more affluent pet owners are commissioning more adventurous, less-kitschy portraits that can even find a home on gallery walls,” the Boston Globe reported this week.

“I enjoy trying to catch their personalities or a certain sense of dignity I believe animals have into their portraits,” said Jane O’Hara, who sells prints at www.janeohara.com and donates part of her proceeds to PETA. “It’s quite a thing these days. Pets are big business.”

O’Hara, whose “Dog Looking Up” (acrylic on wood block) is featured above, is one several artists taking part in “Best In Show: Artists and Their Dogs,” an exhibit at Boston’s Brickbottom Gallery.

O’Hara originally painted portraits of people, the article notes, but got tired of “the extra layer of trying to figure out how this person wanted to be seen or how they see themselves.” She’s been painting animals for six or seven years.

The article quotes Brian Henderson, editor of DogBoston.com, as saying many young couples are postponing having children, giving them more attention and disposable income to lavish on their dogs.

Speaking of dog artists, our friend (and designer of our website) Gil Jawetz — painter of dogs and other things — will be part of Talking Heads… Figuratively Speaking, an exhibit opening Saturday at Baltimore’s  Gallery 321, 321 Madison Street. The opening is from 7 to 9 p.m.

(Photo from janeohara.com)
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