All the terrible things humans do to dogs is another.
ohmidog! – as regular readers know — is not all fluffy, feel-good dog news all the time. We think it’s important not to turn a blind eye to animal abuse, in any of its forms, because only when the public fully knows what is going on can steps be taken to do something about it.
A case in point: Patrick, the starving New Jersey pit bull tossed down a trash chute at a high-rise apartment in Newark.
His reprehensible treatment, and subsequent resiliency, is not just tugging at the heartstrings of dog lovers everywhere, it’s uniting them to demand that those who abuse dogs be subject to punishments more in line with the ones received for violent crimes against humans.
If no one had seen those disturbing pictures of what Patrick looked like when he was taken in by Associated Humane Societies, there probably wouldn’t have been the outcry that has ensued. Publicity about his case has led not just to donations for his care, and that of dogs similarly abused, but to the sprouting of grassroots movements aimed at strenghtening animal abuse laws.
Patrick’s story, amid signs he’s continuing to recover, appears headed for a happy ending.
There was one in North Carolina this week that didn’t:
A female retriever mix, believed to be about 4 years old, was found wandering in the 6500 block of Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro on Tuesday after apparently being scalded with boiling water.
She was wearing a collar and a rabies tag, but the numbers could not be read, according to Marsha Williams, the animal shelter’s director. The nameless dog was responsive when she arrived at the animal shelter, but she was emaciated and suffering third-degree burns on her face, ears and legs. She died 30 minutes later.
The Greensboro-Guilford County Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible. The Crime Stoppers number is 336-373-1000.
Very little is known about the dog, or what happened to her — and given as she has no known name, given that she didn’t survive — she’s not likely to emerge as a poster child or Internet sensation.
We share her story — or at least the sparse details known – for the same reason we passed along Patrick’s story; and that of Phoenix, a pit bull burned in Baltimore; and Susie, a puppy tortured in Greensboro; and Louis Vuitton, burned and beaten in Alabama; and Buddy, dragged to death behind a truck in Colorado.
And that’s because the public needs to know — the non-sugar-coated truth, unfathomable as it is, painful as it may be to see and hear.
That’s the only way change happens. Our hope would be that change would involve more than just harsher sentences for animal abuse. More severe sentences will send a message, serve as a deterrent and satisfy our need for vengeance, but they don’t address the underlying causes that, without making compassion for animals part of every school’s curriculum, ensure such incidents will continue.
ohmidog! tries not to be one of those websites that shoves animal abuse down your throat daily (sometimes the days just don’t cooperate, though). Similarly, it tries not be one of those blissfully ignorant websites that look only at the happy dog news, pawsing only for bad puns.
If you want to be totally shielded from the sad and gory, the depraved and the troubling, don’t come here.
Because when humans sink this low, whether they be punks in an alley, breeders at a puppy mill, or scientists in a laboratory, we will make note of it and, if we can, more than likely include a photo, too — not for the purpose of sensationalizing, but to inform and spark action.
That said, to see the photo, continue. To avoid it, don’t click, don’t scroll, just go back to our main page.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused dogs, animal cruelty, animals, boiling, buddy, crime, cruelty, dead, details, dog, dog websites, dogs, gory, greensboro, killed, law, louis vuitton, media, news, north carolina, ohmidog!, patrick, pets, phoenix, photos, pictures, pit bull, scalded, sentences, susie, torture, water, website
Steven Clay Romero, the man who dragged a dog named Buddy to his death at the Colorado National Monument, received the maximum sentence of three years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, will spend three years in federal prison, followed by 12 months of supervised parole for aggravated animal cruelty in the dog’s death Dec. 30, 2009, the Montrose Press reported.
He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay $343 in restitution to Buddy’s owners.
The dog, reported stolen from the back of a pickup truck in Delta, Colorado, was found with a rope tied around his neck at the monument. Surveillance photos and marks in the snow indicated Buddy had been dragged behind a pickup truck while still alive.
Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, is charged as an accessory after the fact to aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly attempting to cover up Buddy’s death. Conviction could bring up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A theft complaint filed against her for stealing the dog was dismissed June 10, court records show.
The torture and killing of Buddy triggered a Facebook site, Demand Justice For Buddy, which as of Friday had 267,713 members.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, death, delta, dog, dragged, dragging, facebook, grand junction, justice for buddy, lockhart, maximum, melissa, melissa lockhart, news, ohmidog!, pets, pickup, prison, romero, sentence, steven, steven clay romero, steven romero, stolen, three years, truck
Buddy, the dragged dog in New Jersey – not to be confused with Buddy, the dog dragged to his death in Colorado — has been removed from the Burlington County Animal Shelter and taken to an undisclosed location by the New Jersey SPCA.
“We took him out because outside intervenors who have no business with the dog, who were very opinionated, were putting a lot of pressure on the shelter,” state SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton said. “We’re focused on Buddy. We don’t care what people have opinions about. Buddy’s in a good place. Buddy’s doing well and will continue to do well.”
That remark was an apparent reference to animal rights advocate Charlene Pedrolie and others who have called for placing the dog in a foster home immediately. Pedrolie, of Monmouth County, has said she would pay thousands of dollars to help fund such a stay.
The SPCA has funded Buddy’s $4-per-day stay at the Westampton shelter since October. Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Victoria Shilton tried to adopt Buddy, but it was not permitted because of the dog’s aggression issues, the Camden Courier-Post reported.
In addition, the dog’s owner, William Jefferson, still hopes to get the dog back.
On Sept. 5, Buddy was dragged a half-mile behind Jefferson’s car, according to the SPCA. Prosecutors say Jefferson closed the car’s trunk on the dog’s leash.
Jefferson, 63, faces a pretrial hearing this month on charges of fourth-degree animal cruelty. The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in jail, five years probation and fines.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal shelter, animals, buddy, burlington county, charlene pedrolie, dog, dragged, dragging, moved, new jersey, new jersey spca, news, ohmidog!, pets, spca, william jefferson
Steven Romero pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of aggravated animal cruelty in connection with the death of Buddy, a stolen German shepherd mix who was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in the Colorado National Monument.
While the charge carries a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, it was expected that prosecutors would offer a reduced sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
Buddy was found dead on Dec. 30. Romero is accused of putting a rope around the dog’s neck and driving until the dog was dead.
Romero, 38, will remain in custody until his sentencing, scheduled for July 30, according to 9News.
“It’s a good day for animal lovers and I’m happy to see this happen. It was the right thing for him to do to accept responsibility,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Meyer said.
Prosecutors say Romero’s sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, stole the pup from a pickup truck in Fruita and told him to “get rid” of it. Lockhart faces a felony charge for lying to investigators. She will appear in court on May 10 in Grand Junction.
A Facebook page was created in the wake of Buddy’s death. It is called “Demand Justice for Buddy” and has more than 260,000 members around the world.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 30th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, court, deal, death, dog, dragged, dragging, facebook, federal, fruita, grand junction, justice for buddy, melissa lockhart, monument, news, ohmidog!, pets, plea, steven romero, stolen
It looks like something straight out of Lassie — a dog leads Alaska State Troopers down a series of winding back roads to a fire in his owner’s property.
It was all captured on a dashcam video that shows the German shepherd — Buddy — running to meet the trooper’s vehicle, then racing to the house on Caswell Lakes on April 4.
Troopers say Buddy and his owner, 23-year-old Ben Heinrichs, were in the family workshop when a heater ignited chemicals. According to the Associated Press, Heinrichs told Buddy: “We need to get help.”
The dog eventually found a trooper responding to a call about the fire and led him to it. Heinrichs suffered minor burns on his face, and his workshop was destroyed.
Buddy is receiving an award from the State Troopers today — an engraved silver-plated dog bowl in Anchorage.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alaska, alaska state troopers, anchorage, animals, ben heinrichs, buddy, dashcam, dog, dogs, fire, german shepherd, hero, heroics, leads, news, ohmidog!, owner, pets, troopers, video, workshop
In a quiet ceremony Thursday, the dog’s owners, the Leber family of Delta, again said goodbye to Buddy, whose death touched thousands, and later toured the humane society, according to The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction.
“It’s pretty cool to see people think about animals the way we do,” Sasha Leber said.
The stone, etched with paw prints heading toward a setting sun, was donated and placed in a bed of flowers by Snyder Memorials of Grand Junction. It reads, “In memory of Buddy, and all the animals who have no one to weep for them.”
Steven Romero, 38, is expected to change his plea to guilty to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with Buddy’s Dec. 30 death. A hearing is scheduled April 29 in federal court in Denver.
The Lebers plan to attend the court hearing, and in the days before, a candlelight vigil at the humane society.
Buddy was cremated and his ashes are in an urn at their home, Sasha Leber said.
After more than three months since Buddy was stolen from the back of their pickup in Delta, the family still questions why Buddy, and their other dog, Max, a black Labrador retriever and pit bull mix, were taken. Neither knew Melissa Lockhart, 32, of Fruita, who is accused of taking the dogs.
Lockhart, who is Romero’s sister, has pleaded not guilty to stealing the dogs and is slated for trial Aug. 16.
(Photo: Christopher Tomlinson / The Daily Sentinel)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, buddy, colorado national monument, cruelty to animals, death, delta, dogs, dragged, dragging, grand junction, joe leber, marker, melissa lockhart, memorial, monument, news, ohmidog!, pets, roice-hurst humane society, sasha leber, steven romero, stolen, stone, truck
Tater Tot, a 6-year-old yellow lab, was found alongside the northbound side of Interstate 93 in New Hampshire, not far from where she had bolted after the car she was riding in rolled over Thursday evening, the Union Leader reported.
On Thursday, Trish Dale of Warren, Vt., suffered a concussion and a broken nose when she fell asleep and lost control of her car. Two of her four dogs, Tater Tot and Buddy, were in the back seat, and both ran from the car after the accident.
Buddy was found quickly, but Tater Tot disappeared.
When Dale’s husband, John Dale, put out word that he was going to search for the dog about 100 people, including Cassandra Gatsas, wife of the city’s mayor, showed up to help look.
John Dale said Gatsas, who is on the board of directors of the Manchester Animal Shelter, had sent out e-mails to people and had posted messages of Facebook.
“I thought how wonderful this is,” John Dale said. “Where in the world could something like this happen?”
The search party produced results: Judy and Bob Sylvia, a Manchester couple who decided to help look for the dog after reading about Tater Tot’s disappearance, spotted Buddy curled up near a fence by Exit 9, about a mile north of where the accident occurred.
He was reunited with his family Monday.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 30th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, bob sylvia, buddy, car, cassandra gatsas, dogs, found, help, john dale, judy sylvia, labrador, lost, manchester, mayor, missing, new hampshire, news, ohmidog!, pets, rescue, retriever, reunited, search party, tater tot, trish dale, yellow lab
Federal prosecutors have struck a plea agreement with Steven Clay Romero, the Colorado man accused of dragging a stolen dog to his death at Colorado National Monument.
Romero faced a maximum of three years in federal prison for allegedly tying Buddy, a German shepherd mix, to the back of his pickup truck in the predawn hours of Dec. 30, 2009, and dragging him several miles.
Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, is expected to plead guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, the lone count lodged against him by a federal grand jury earlier this year, according to court filings. The terms of the plea agreement aren’t yet known, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported.
Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, still faces state charges for allegedly stealing Buddy and another dog from the back of a pickup truck in downtown Delta on Dec. 29.
Lockhart told her brother to “get rid” of the dog after it had attacked a family cat, according to an arrest affidavit.
As of Friday afternoon, Romero, who had entered a not guilty plea, was in custody in the Mesa County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on drug charges in connection with another case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer has said she would pursue a stiff penalty in the case, which brought international attention to Grand Junction. “This isn’t just the United States of America v. Romero,” Heldmyer told a judge in January. “This is the world v. Romero.”
(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animal cruelty, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, death, dog, dragged, dragging, german shepherd, grand junction, mix, news, ohmidog!, pickup truck, plea, reached, romero, steven clay romero
On April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.
With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.
The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.
The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.
In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.
To pre-order the stamps, go here.
Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:
Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.
Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat.
Trevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.
They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.
Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.
Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet.
Bindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.
Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.
Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly.
Jake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.
The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, australian shepherd, awareness, bindu su, boston terrier, buddy, cats, connecticut, derry noyes, designer, designs, dogs, donating, ellen degeneres, golden retriever, halo, jack russell terrier, jake, meals, million, new milford, news, order, pets, photography, photos, post office, postal service, rescue, rescued, sally andersen-bruce, shelter, shelters, stamps, teddy, ten, trevor, yellow lab
Steven Clay Romero — accused in dragging a dog named Buddy to his death at Colorado National Monument– pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in federal court Wednesday.
His sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, failed to appear at her hearing, and a warrant for her arrest was issued.
Romero is accused of dragging the dog for three miles behind his pick-up truck last month. Lockhart, who allegedly stole the dog from a couple in Delta, reportedly told Romero to get rid of Buddy after he mauled a family cat. She is also charged with animal cruelty.
In court yesterday, Romero’s attorney asked for more time to review the case. He told the judge he has received more than 930 pages of discovery evidence including numerous CD’s and DVD’s, according to KJCT in Grand Junction.
Before the hearing, supporters of Buddy delivered to the U.S. District Attorney petitions with more than 100,000 signatures the suspects receive the maximum sentence if convicted.
(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, buddy, colorado national monument, death, dog, dragged, dragging, federal court, killed, melissa lockhart, not guilty, plea, steven clay romero