As often as we bring you stories of police officers shooting dogs, it’s only right that we pass along news of cops who go out of their way to help one.
Seattle police officer Eric Michl went pretty far out of his way – helping to find a temporary home for the dog of a man he arrested, and driving on his day off from Seattle to Vancouver to place the dog with a foster family.
Last month, Michl pulled over a van that had changed lanes without signaling and arrested the driver, Juan Crespo, on a charge of driving under the influence. Crespo, the officer learned, also had a warrant from San Diego, where he was wanted for burglary. Also in the van was Crespo’s dog — a German shepherd named Liana — who had commited no offense.
Michl loaded her into the back of his police car and, as Crespo was being booked, drove her to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
On the way, Liana stuck her nose through the partition and licked his ear.
San Diego, it turned out, wanted Crespo extradited, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Between that attempt, which Crespo is fighting, and the local charges, it looked like it would be a while before his court cases came to a conclusion — far longer than the amount of time the Seattle Animal Shelter keeps unclaimed dogs.
That weighed on Michl. He checked with the shelter to see if it could hold Liana for the duration of Crespo’s court case. It couldn’t. That’s when Michl contacted Crespo’s defense attorney. Highly irregular. And highly cool.
“I just felt really bad that this dog and her owner would have to be separated,” Michl said. ” … Separating her from her owner would be an injustice. It wouldn’t be fair for the dog and for him.”
Working with the defense attorney, Megan Giske, Michl tried to locate someone from Crespo’s family to foster Liana, but they couldn’t find an appropriate home.
That’s when Michl turned to Facebook.
“She deserves a chance to live a full and happy life,” he wrote in a post. “If you know of anyone interested, please get a hold of me. I can provide details of her evaluation by the kennel manager.”
This past weekend, a friend of the suspect’s sister agreed to take Liana until Crespo is released.
The Seattle Animal Shelter gave Liana vaccinations and installed a microchip, waiving any fees.
He met the new foster parents at the Vancouver police station, and he reports that the friend, her two children and Liana all appeared happy with the new arrangement.
What got into Michl? And why can’t more police officers show canines that kind of compassion? We can’t answer the second question, but the Post-Intelligencer article provides some insight into the first.
In an interview, Michl spoke of his dog, Tommy, who died last last April. When Michl had to leave his son alone for nighttime patrols, Tommy, a black Lab, would sleep on his bed. Tommy died at age 8 of cancer, but the memory of him is still strong.
“Your dogs never leave you, no matter what,” Michl said.
Maybe it was that memory, or the lick from Liana while she was in the backseat. Perhaps even Crespo entered into the equation as well. Maybe, while Michl went far beyond the call of duty, it was just smart police work.
“I’m hoping once he’s out of jail he’ll remember that someone cared enough to do this for him and his dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of Eric Michl, via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelter, animals, arrest, attorney, beyond, burglary, call of duty, compassion, courts, dog, dogs, drunk driving, duty, eric michl, extradition, facebook, family, foster, german shepherd, good cop, juan crespo, law enforcement, liana, officer, pets, police, seattle, shelter, suspect, vancouver
The dog was shot when deputies responding to a burglary call went to the wrong address.
Deputy Wilfred Europe III has been reassigned to administrative duties, according to the Denver Post.
CBS 4 in Denver reported last week that it was the second time Europe had shot a dog during his five years with the sheriff’s office. The first shooting wasn’t fatal.
In a news conference Friday, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said the case is still under investigation, but that certain details “need to be set straight.”
According to Darr, two deputies were dispatched to a burglar alarm call Monday at Thoutt Bros. Concrete at 5384 Tennyson St. The address of the business wasn’t clearly marked and, upon seeing an open door at 5460 Tennyson Street they approached it.
When the occupant of the building opened the door, Ziggy, his 8-year-old blue heeler/border collie mix, ran outside.
Darr said Ziggy was “barking and growling” and that the deputy retreated about 25 feet before kicking him. Ziggy continued toward the deputy, who fired two shots, one of which hit and killed the dog.
Jeff Fisher, the dog’s owner, says the officers told him to calm down when he reacted to the dog’s shooting, and that he could “get another dog.” Darr confirmed the deputy made those comments.
Fisher is being represented by an attorney from the Animal Law Center, Jay Swearingen, who says the sheriff’s account differs from that of Fisher. Fisher says Ziggy was running away from the deputy, not charging toward him, when he was shot, and that three shots were fired.
Fisher said he asked the officers after Ziggy was shot why they couldn’t have used a taser, and was told “It is what it is.”
Many citizens have expressed outrage over the shooting — much of it on the sheriff department’s own Facebook page:
“We’re really pleased that the public is concerned,” Swearingen said. “Our client can’t get his dog back, but what happened with Ziggy can … prevent this from occurring again to another family with their dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adams county, alarm, animals, burglary, colorado, deputies, deputy, dogs, doug darr, get another one, it is what it is, jeff fisher, killed, law enforcement, pets, police, reassigned, reassignment, sheriff, shootings, shot, Wilfred Europe, wrong address, ziggy
David Stoddard was indicted Thursday for aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in connection with a home invasion in Barberton on Oct. 6.
Three masked men burst into a house, robbed the occupants and shot and killed the family’s pit bull mix after it bit one of the intruders on the arm, according to News Channel 5.
Police investigating the crime swabbed the inside of the deceased dog’s mouth in hopes of finding DNA evidence that would lead to the bitten suspect.
On Dec. 5, Barberton police learned the sample had led to a potential match to Stoddard and began trying to find him — both at his home and through his attorney, who said Stoddard would turn himself in.
That didn’t happen, and police did not issue a warrant for Stoddard’s arrest, in part because they were hoping to confirm the DNA results first with a second test.
On Jan. 6, Stoddard allegedly broke into an Akron home and shot and killed 16-year-old Anna Karam, who was 4-months pregnant.
Stoddard is being held in the Summit County Jail. He’s facing multiple charges, including aggravated murder in connection with the Akron killing.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akron, animals, arrest, barberton, burglary, crime, david stoddard, dna, dogs, forensics, girl, home invasion, investigation, killed, law enforcement, mix, murder, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, pregnant, robbery, shot
Ten thousand dollars worth of supplies were stolen from a California rescue organization that helps homeless and low-income people care for their pets.
Mohave Desert Animal Rescue, based in the Victorville area, said their warehouse in Apple Valley was broken into twice over the weekend.
The organization’s founder, Annie Lancaster, said the stolen supplies would have lasted for a year, and if there aren’t enough new donations, the non-profit organization may have to close.
The rescue provides food, leashes and care so the homeless, sick and recently unemployed can keep their pets. It also dispenses clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags and tents to the homeless, according to KABC in Los Angeles, which last year featured the organization in its “Pay It Forward” campaign.
“How low on the food chain do you have to go to find somebody who will steal from homeless people and their animals?” Lancaster said. “It makes me sick.”
“One thing people don’t seem to realize about homeless people is they take incredible care of their animals,” Lancaster added. “They’ll go hungry to feed their own animals. That pet is their everything, it’s their heart, it’s their best friend, it’s their confidante.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, annie lancaster, burglary, california, food, homeless, kabc, leashes, mojave desert animal rescue, news, non-profit, nonprofit, organization, pay it forward, pets, poor, rescue, sleeping bags, supplies, tents, theft, victorville, warehouse
She’d left the dog inside her Toledo home when she went to work that day. She’d secured the gate of the fence around her yard. And Duke, even if he did manage to somehow get out of her house, had never left the yard before.
Curry returned home from work to find Duke was gone.
A note was left on her door by the Lucas County dog warden. When she called the phone number on it, she was informed that she was being charged with failure to confine her dog.
Toledo Police had been to her home earlier that day, back in August, after a man said he had been bitten by Duke while strolling down the sidewalk. The man said Duke pushed open the gate, attacked him then returned to the yard.
Duke was seized by the Lucas County dog warden, labeled a potentially dangerous dog, and quarantined for ten days.
She faced a misdemeanor charge that could carry a penalty of 30 days in jail.
She worried about losing her job, and her home, and having to pay hefty insurance fees as the owner of a “dangerous dog.”
And — even though she had left the door to her home unlocked — she still had no idea how her dog got out of it, or the yard.
She heard from neighbors who had seen the man walking through the neighborhood. One said she never saw Duke leave the yard — but did see the man enter it.
It was looking more and more like Duke, as opposed to miraculously escaping both house and yard, had actually just been defending his home, as Curry suspected from the start.
This week, at a pre-trial hearing, the ”failure to confine” charge against Curry ws dropped.
She still faces a charge of “failure to vaccinate.” While she claims she has the paperwork, she was unable to present it within the two days the dog warden gave her. That charge was upheld in court.
And Duke still faces a determination on whether he’s a “dangerous dog,” which could lead to restrictions that include being muzzled, having signs posted to that effect in his yard, and having to kept in a pen with a roof, according to DogHeirs.com.
The Lexus Project is handling the case against Duke and representing him in court. You can learn more about Duke, and help support his cause by visiting these links:
You can read Curry’s explanation of what’s transpired so far in the comments below.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american bulldog, animals, bite, bulldog, burglary, carissa curry, dangerous, defending, defense, dog, dog bites, dogs, duke, home, home protection, legal, ohio, pets, protecting, seized, toledo
Great Danes Samson and Epic were shot to death in 2010 by a neighbor who felt threatened by them.
In death, they’d go on to be disrespected again.
The cremated remains of the two dogs were snorted by burglars who, for some reason, thought the urn they stole contained drugs.
One of the three men accused of stealing jewelry, a laptop, a flat screen TV and the urns from the Florida home of Holli Tencza was sentenced Friday to more than eight years in prison, Ocala.com reports.
Jose David Diaz-Marrero, 20, was involved in a string of burglaries in Silver Springs Shores with two other men between December 2010 and January 2011, police say.
Detectives investigating the case said the three men told them they thought the urns taken from the Tencza home contained crushed pills and decided to taste and snort the contents.
“I recognize that I’ve made a big mistake,” Diaz-Marrero, who pleaded guilty to four burglaries, said in court Friday. “I wish the victims were here so that I could tell them how sorry I am.”
Upon his release from prison, Diaz-Marrero will be placed on six years probation, during which he will have to pay more than $20,000 in restitution to the victims in the cases, including $9,000 to Tencza.
Tencza’s Great Danes were shot and killed after they got loose from their back yard in August 2010. They wandered down the street and were shot by a man who saw them while working in his garage. He told police he felt threatened by them.
In September, a candlelight vigil — shown in the video above — was held in their honor.
Despite public anger over the shootings, and petitions demanding justice, the shooter was never charged.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, burglars, burglary, cremated, crime, dogs, epic, florida, great danes, killed, ocala, pets, remains, samson, shot, snorted, urn
Thieves stole more than 20,000 pounds of dog food from an Atlanta warehouse last week, and the owner of the kibble says the loss may put him out of business.
James Galloway, owner of Intown Healthy Hound, told WSBTV that the stolen food was worth $35,000.
It was stored in a warehouse that was broken into Wednesday. Police said the thieves apparently cut a hole in the fence of the next-door property, climbed through the warehouse window and used a forklift to move pallets filled with the dog food and load it onto a vehicle.
There was no camera or alarm on the property, police said, and Galloway said he didn’t think his insurance covered items being stored outside of his shop.
A collar belonging to Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, was stolen this week from the former president’s historic home in Ohio.
Strangely, it was apparently the only item taken in the Tuesday heist at the Harding Home and Museum in Marion.
“I don’t think there is a single item in this collection that matters more or is more important or special to the thousands of schoolchildren who pass through this home each year,” Sherry Hall, site manager, told the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s a real connection to history for them” added Hall, who has overseen the site for nearly13 years. “They see that collar and learn about Laddie Boy and say, ‘Look. I have a dog, too. I’m just like the president.’”
On Tuesday morning, a groundskeeper found a ladder leaning against the home and a second story window open. A pry bar was found close by.
Hall, when she arrived at work, found a jewelry box belonging to Harding’s wife, Florence Kling Harding, broken and on the floor and other rooms in disarray.
Marion police distributed photos of the collar, hoping that if a thief tried to pawn it or sell it, it would be reported.
“I would say whoever stole it had been in there before, knew what it was and where it was and went in to get that and only that,” Marion Police Lt. Mark Beaschler said.
The dog collar, made from Alaskan gold nuggets, was fashioned especially for Laddie Boy, whose name is written in raised letters on the center.
During Harding’s term as the country’s 29th president, Laddie Boy had his own chair at the White House, which he sat in during cabinet meetings.
(Photos: Ohio Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airedale, alaska, animals, burglary, chair, collar, curator, dogs, gold, harding home and museum, historic, historical, home, investigation, ladder, Laddie Boy, manager, marion, museum, nuggets, ohio, pets, police, president, presidential, presidents, pry bar, sherry hall, site, stolen, terrier, warren g harding, warren harding, white house, window
Last week, police said, someone broke into a house in the 100 block of Cameron Way in the Bayview neighborhood and ransacked it, stealing a laptop computer, a television and all four puppies.
During the burglary, the parents of the puppies were badly beaten, apparently with some kind of blunt object, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The day after the burglary, someone contacted the dogs’ owner, offering to sell the puppies back for $200. The woman told police she didn’t have the money to do so.
The four-week-old puppies are tan and black-colored miniature Doberman Pinscher and Beagle mixes, and were still nursing, according to police.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Sgt. Neil Cunningham of Bayview Station at (415) 671-2300 or the station’s anonymous tip line at (415) 822-8147.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, bayview, beagle, beaten, burglary, crime, cruelty to animals, dogs, kidnapping, min pins, miniature pinschers, mixed, pets, puppies, pups, ransom, san francisco, stolen, taken, thief
Rocky, a K-9 with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department in New York, died Sunday night after falling from a five-story building while pursuing a burglary suspect.
The 2 1/2-year-old German shepherd attempted to leap over a 3-foot retaining wall and fell 60 feet into the parking lot.
Rocky, a tracking and narcotics dog, graduated at the top of his class in the spring of 2009 and often assisted other police agencies, the Buffalo News reported.
Recently, he uncovered key evidence in a murder investigation at the Walmart store in Orleans County, and this past summer, he helped track a murder suspect in Albion. When he wasn’t chasing bad guys, Rocky visited children at the Niagara County Fair and through the DARE program.
Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John R. Chella said police got a call from residents who thought they heard someone inside the vacant building. His department requested two K-9s from the sheriff’s office to help in the search.
Following the search, Marcus A. Johnson, 24, of Fillmore Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested by the Niagara Falls Police Department. Police said he was trying to steal copper wiring from a vacant building.
Rocky worked with his handler, Deputy Craig Beiter, whose previous K-9, Zeus, was also injured in a fall. Zeus was tracking burglary suspects at Lockport’s Old City Hall in 2007 when he fell 30 feet down an old shaft leading to the original Erie Canal Locks. He worked three more years, retiring in 2010.
Rocky was buried by Beiter at a private location, the sheriff’s department said, but a memorial service is being planned.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: burglary, craig beiter, crime, deputy, fall, fell, k9, killed, line of duty, narcotics, niagara county, niagara falls, police department, police dog, pursuit, rocky, rooftop, sheriff's department, suspect, tracking, zeus