What at least one doctor prescribed, a New York housing complex says must go — a Shih Tzu that helps a seven-year Army veteran cope with his post-traumatic stress.
Eugene Ovsishcher returned from a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan suffering nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety, leading a psychiatrist and his family doctor to advise he get a dog.
Last August he did — a Shih Tzu puppy that he named Mickey because he crawled like a mouse. Mickey woke him from nightmares and served to calm him down when he was alone and anxious.
“Take a look at his face,” Ovsischcher told the New York Times. “You can’t stay anxious or angry or whatever. You look at that face and you start laughing.”
But those in charge at his housing complex, Trump Village in Coney Island, aren’t laughing. They’ve ordered him to get rid of the dog, in accordance with their no-pets policy, or leave.
Ovsishcher says he’d rather give up his home, where he lives with his wife, Galina, and their two children, Philip, 15, and Yaffa, 10.
“I can’t get rid of a family member,” said Ovsishcher, 42, who enlisted in the Army five years after immigrating from Moscow in 1994. “If they asked me which I want to keep, the kids or the apartment, I would keep the kids. Same thing with the dog.”
Ovsishcher says that the building staff has seen him with his dog since Mickey showed up in August and that nothing was done to remove him until February, when he received a warning letter. Under New York law, a loophole allows dog owners who don’t receive notification to get rid of a dog within 90 days to keep their dogs. He also says he applied to register Mickey with the building as a comfort dog, but he was turned down.
A subway repairman, Ovsishcher served with NATO troops in Kosovo, and then as a field artillery sergeant in Afghanistan, where enemy rocket fire took a toll on him psychologically.
Ovsishcher’s lawyer, Maddy Tarnofsky, has filed a federal housing discrimination complaint on his behalf.
“The heart of this story is that there is a guy who comes to this country and enlists and puts himself in harm’s way,” Ms. Tarnofsky said. “He didn’t have to do this, and he comes back damaged and they spit on him. A doctor recommends he have a support animal, and for some unknown reason they decide that they’re not doing this for him.”
(Photo: Ángel Franco / The New York Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, animals, army, brooklyn, co-op, comfort, coney island, doctors, dog, dogs, eugene ovsishcher, evict, eviction, health, housing, kosovo, new york, no pets allowed, pets, post traumatic stress, psychiatry, ptsd, service, shih-tzu, subway, support, therapy, trump village, veteran, worker
A large brown “ghost dog” who has been repeatedly sighted wandering alone in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park may have been caught.
Brooklyn animal rescuer Sean Casey, who has been trying to corner the dog for years, caught what might be the mysterious dog last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
New York City Animal Care & Control spokesman Richard Gentles said the organization received five reports in four years of an unaccompanied animal matching the description of the creature.
“We responded each time but were unable to locate the dog or he/she was gone upon arrival,” Gentles said in a statement. “However, there is no way for us to know for sure if this is the same dog.”
Casey had been getting calls from concerned parkgoers about the dog since 2008, but every time he’d go to the park, the dog was done. “He would be there one minute, and he’d just disappear in the blink of an eye,” Casey said
The dog is the subject of a thread —”large dog living in Prospect Park”— on Brooklynian.com, and was the subject of a short documentary called “Roaming Wild.”
Casey said the dog is a Cane Corso, weighs 109 pounds and is believed to be about five years old.
The dog has proven to be gentle since his capture and willingly walks on a leash.
Casey said catching the dog was a low priority until he started hearing reports in recent weeks that the dog was limping, staying out in the open and allowing people to get closer to him than he once did.
Casey enlisted helpers, including another mastiff, to catch the dog. They formed a circled around him, spread treats on the ground, used the other dog to distract him, and snagged him with rabies poles — metal rods with nooses.
Taken to a veterinarian, the dog was found to have bone fragments floating in a knee, requiring an operation, and Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that can cause lethargy and body aches. His medical care is expected to cost several thousand dollars.
(Photo: Brooklyn animal rescuer Sean Casey on Monday with the dog he caught last week in Prospect Park; by Peter J. Smith / The Wall Street Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, brooklyn, cane corso, caught, dog, dogs, ghost, italian mastiff, new york, parks, pets, prospect park, sean casey, sightings
After decades of delays, New York City and state officials opened part of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Monday, making available a portion of what may one day be a self-sustaining, multi-use, 1.7-mile-long green space.
But the newly opened area has no space for dogs.
The Pier 1 greenspace won’t be wholly usable until mid-April, when the new lawn — which accounts for almost half of the six-acre pier — is strong enough to open to the public. According to the New York Post, picnics and Frisbee will be allowed on the grass next month, but dogs — even those on leashes — will be banned permanently from the section of park.
Despite city zoning rules that allow leashed dogs at all parks before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., the new city-state park has established special rules to bar canines from the sitting area at all times.
“There will be no dogs, no chairs and no big soccer games on the lawn,” said Jeff Sandgrund, director of operations for the park. “It’s a passive lawn — people can use it within reason.”
“Passive lawn?” Poop on that, some dog lovers say.
“Leashed dogs only allowed on the concrete? How about giving us 10 feet of grass along the border where we can picnic with our dogs, or watch the boats sail by?”complained Bob Ipcar, president of FIDO, a Prospect Park-based dog advocacy group.
Mayor Bloomberg allocated $55 million in city money, on top of the city’s $139-million share of the $350-million cost to build along all six of the waterfront piers. But who will bear the cost of maintenance — estimated at a whopping $16 million per year — is is still being figured out, the Post reported.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: banned, barred, bob ipcar, brooklyn, brooklyn bridge park, city, dogs, fido, green space, jeff sandgrund, new york, new york city, news, no dogs, not allowed, opening, opens, parks, passive lawn, pier 1, recreation, state
Residents who have snuck dogs into a no-dogs-allowed Brooklyn housing co-op are being told to get rid of their dogs, or face monthly $100 fines and the loss of their parking spaces.
The co-op board notified residents of Trump Village of the new enforcement policy in a notice last month.
“I think it’s totally ridiculous,” Marylyn Langsdorf, 66, who lives with her 6-pound Yorkshire terrier, Chelsea, told the New York Daily News. “I think the whole point is to just get money from us.”
Langsdorf and other residents with dogs have already been fined, but they’ve yet to have their parking spaces revoked.
About 1,700 residents live in the three-building complex, and a dozen already have contacted a Manhattan attorney who specializes in pet-related tenant rights.
“It’s a way to extract money from these folks and scare the hell out of them to give up dogs they’ve had for years,” said attorney Maddy Tarnofsky.
Warren Hirsch, a spokesman for the Trump Village co-op board, said “a small number of residents have surreptitiously smuggled in dogs in defiance of the rules and regulations binding them. They have thumbed their noses at their fellow cooperators and dared the co-op to do something about it.”
(Photo: Langsdorf, left, with Chelsea, and another dog-owning resident; New York Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, brooklyn, co-op, dogs, enforcement, fines, forbidden, housing, new york city, news, no dogs allowed, not allowed, parking, parking spaces, pets, residents, revoking, rules, trump village
Sugar has been missing more than five days now, and it’s looking more like her Brooklyn family’s initial suspicions are correct — that the French bulldog, basset hound mix is being held for ransom.
Drucie Belman’s dog ran off into the snow in Prospect Park Wednesday. About five hours later, a stranger called the number listed on the dog’s collar, and seemed to be demanding payment.
When the stranger asked how much she would give him for the dog, Belman offered $50. The caller hung up, and his callback number was blocked. Another call came yesterday morning. “Good luck with your dog,” was all they said.
“It looks like someone has Sugar and they’re just trying to get money from us,” said Albert Belman.
The family rescued Sugar from a shelter in Hong Kong before moving to Brooklyn, and she had never seen snow before. When a snow day off from school was declared Wednesday, Belman and her two sons — 10-year-old Henry and 7-year-old Leo — took Sugar to the park.
The boys say the dog was so excited by the sight of snow that she pulled free and took off. The Belmans gace chase, then followed her tracks in the snow, but couldn’t find her.
Sugar was wearing tags and has a microchip.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: albert belman, animals, basset hound, brooklyn, crime, demand, dog, dogs, drucie belman, french bulldog, kidnap, lost, missing, mix, money, new york, park slope, pet, pets, ransom, sugar, video
Stray voltage has zapped another dog in New York, but the 7-year-old mixed breed named Princess appears to have survived the shock.
Matthew Voto, 80, of Brooklyn said his dog was shocked by the stray current as a friend walked her along a sidewalk on Union Avenue Monday morning. The dog yelped and started to bleed from the mouth, Voto told the New York Daily News.
Con Ed sent a crew of workers to the building yesterday and found that the building’s owner had installed electrical equipment that caused a “burnout” of a connector inside a basement circuit breaker. Due to the burnout, readings of 60 volts and 110 volts were recorded near the sidewalk where Princess was zapped.
Con Ed said the weekend storm may have helped bring about the situation because water and salt conduct electricity.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: brooklyn, con ed, death, dog, dogs, electricity, humans, injury, matthew voto, new york, princess, shock, stray voltage, street zaps, zapped
A Baltimore animal control officer was shot on duty Tuesday night after he seized a dog from a house in the city’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
Jermaine Barnes, 37, who has been on the job four years was shot in the hand as he sat in his vehicle doing paperwork on Patapsco Avenue.
A police spokesman told the Baltimore Sun it was unclear whether the shooting was random, related to the dog he had seized, or connected to another stop he had made on Pontiac Avenue in response to a citizen complaint about five dogs living in a residence. No dogs were found in the home.
Police said Barnes and was sitting in the driver’s seat completing a report when he heard gunshots. One shot shattered his window and hit him in the hand.
Bob Anderson, the director of the city’s Bureau of Animal Control, refused to comment.
A disabled veteran is suing McDonald’s for $10 million, claiming he was harassed, beaten, and told that he couldn’t take his service dog inside.
Former Army captain Luis Carlos Montalvan, who inspired Sen. Al Franken’s first legislative victory — a service dog program for disabled veterans — claims in the lawsuit that he was confronted by restaurant workers on two separate visits, and beaten with garbage can lids when he returned with a camera.
Franken, in an e-mail message to Montalvan last week, called it an “awful, bizarre story,” according to the Star-Tribune.
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s USA said the matter is under investigation.
Montalvan, 36, of Brooklyn, filed the lawsuit in October, a week after Congress approved Franken’s provision establishing a pilot program to pair 200 wounded veterans with service dogs from nonprofit agencies.
Franken said Montalvan and his service dog, a golden retriever named Tuesday — both of whom he had met at a presidential inaugural ball — inspired his proposal.
“Captain Montalvan made great sacrifices fighting for our country in Iraq,” Franken said. “I’m not entirely familiar with the facts of this case, but what I do know underscores both the need to help our returning veterans and to raise awareness and increase access for service dogs.”
Montalvan suffered spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injuries during two tours of duty in Iraq that also left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Tuesday, his service dog, helps him with balance, mobility and emotional support.
Montalvan’s lawsuit recounts a series of events that began last December, several weeks after he completed service dog training. Visiting a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, Montalvan was told by employees that pets were not allowed. He complained and a supervisor later apologized in writing and assured Montalvan that his dog was welcome.
Montalvan’s dog was barred from the restaurant again in January. Two days later, when Montalvan returned with a camera, the restaurant had been closed due to health code violations, but two McDonald’s workers confronted him and beat him with plastic garbage can lids, he says.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: access, al franken, army, banned, barred, brooklyn, captain, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, handicapped, lawsuit, luis carlos montalvan, mcdonald's, new york, senator, service dogs, veteran, veterans
Despite a last-minute barrage of pleas from animal rights supporters, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today euthanized Oreo, a pit bull that survived a six-story plunge after being thrown off a Brooklyn rooftop.
Despite four months spent trying to modify her behavior, Oreo was too dangerous and aggressive to be put up for adoption, the ASPCA said.
Oreo was recovering from the two broken legs she sustained when she was tossed from the roof of a six-story apartment building in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. Her owner, Fabian Henderson, 19, pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court last month to a felony charge of animal cruelty and will be sentenced on Dec. 1.
But because of all the abuse she underwent as a pup, the 1-year-old dog was unfit to be around people or other dogs, the ASPCA said.
Shortly after she was euthanized this afternoon, and amid continued messages of outrage from those hoping the dog would be placed in a sanctuary, ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres issued a lengthy press release, which appears here in its entirety:
On June 18th, a one-year old Pit Bull Mix named Oreo was thrown off a 6th floor Brooklyn roof top by 19-year old Fabian Henderson. Oreo sustained two broken legs and a fractured rib in the horrific incident.
Amidst a flurry of media coverage and public outcry, Oreo was taken to the ASPCA hospital to be treated for her injuries, and Mr. Henderson was placed under arrest by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents. The circumstances that led to this most difficult and heartbreaking of decisions are not widely known. In fact, details such as these are usually closely guarded. And yet, what is even more tragic about this story’s ending is that it is an all-too-familiar outcome in shelters across the country. It is the true face of the fight against animal cruelty.
Oreo was a victim of cruelty at the hands of Mr. Henderson. The details surrounding these incidents are largely unknown. However, after Mr. Henderson’s arrest in July, it was learned that several of his neighbors reported hearing the sounds of the dog being beaten for at least 20-30 minutes — and the dog whimpering as a consequence.
After arriving at the ASPCA’s facility, Oreo began to recuperate from her injuries, only to begin showing signs of extreme aggression — with little provocation or warning. As is customary at the ASPCA, the dog underwent a series of comprehensive behavior evaluations. This evaluation system has been used to assess many other dogs and is used to determine the rehabilitation programs needed to prepare them for foster care or placement.
In the case of Oreo, we also sought the assessment of an outside veterinary behaviorist. The outcomes of these evaluations were all the same: the dog was not able to be placed in a home.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal welfare, aspca, brooklyn, cruelty, dog, ed sayres, euthanasia, euthanized, fabian henderson, new york, oreo, pit bull, pleas, red hook houses, rescue, sanctuary, shelter
With Michael Vick’s return to the NFL this week, and all the bitter and sickening emotions it evoked, I thought we could use some slightly more upbeat and dog-friendly sports news:
More than 700 dogs and their owners showed up for the Brooklyn Cyclones “Bark in the Park” Game.
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Brooklyn Cyclones hosted “Bark in the Park” on Wednesday — an event that drew more than 6,000 guests at KeySpan Park, where the Cyclones fell to the Vermont Lake Monsters.
But it was still a victory — eight dogs from Animal Care & Control of NYC and Animal Haven were successfully adopted to new homes.
In addition, many pet-owners took advantage of the low-cost microchipping services held the day of the event. “Maddie,” the 6-foot not-so-miniature schnauzer mascot for Maddie’s Fund, entertained the families and the Cyclone’s players.
“Wednesday night’s event drew more fans that brought their dogs than the previous two years, so it appears that the event is growing. We can’t wait to enhance the event next year in conjunction with the Brooklyn Cyclones’ 10th anniversary,” said Steve Gruber, communications director of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by the pet rescue foundation, Maddie’s Fund, is a coalition of more than 160 animal rescue groups and shelters that are working with the city of New York to find homes for dogs and cats.
(Photo by Rick Edwards, courtesy of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animal care & control, animal haven, bark in the park, baseball, brooklyn, cyclones, keyspan park, maddie, maddie's fund, mascot, mayor's alliance for animals, minor league, new york, new york city, rescue, schnauzer, shelter, vermont lake monsters