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Tag: burns

Mother cat set on fire in Baltimore

In yet another case of animal abuse in Baltimore, a teenager doused a young female cat with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

The cat, and the kittens she recently gave birth to, were taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) after police responded to a call in the 3300 block Saint Ambrose Street.

The cat, who has been nicknamed Mittens at the shelter, is suffering from burns on most of her body.

Witnesses told police that, earlier this month, a juvenile placed the cat in a milk crate on the back porch, doused the milk crate and the cat with lighter fluid and then struck a match and threw it in the crate.

In flames, the cat broke free from the milk crate and ran from the yard, running in circles until the fire was extinguished, BARCS said. She then returned home and hid under a table.

Police have not reported whether any arrests were made at the residence, which they said still smelled of singed skin when they arrived.

The cat and her kittens are residing in “Critter Care” at BARCS. Mittens has third and fourth degree burns. She is expected to survive, but will need long term treatment.  It will be months before she is healed and her fur may not grow back

“This is another horrible case of animal abuse in Baltimore City, ” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS’ Executive Director. “Mittens is a wonderful cat, who despite her injuries is still caring for her kittens and is very affectionate to the staff.”

Mittens’ medical bills will be covered by BARCS’ Franky Fund, a fund that relies on donations from the public to pay the veterinarian and medical bills of injured animals that come to the shelter for care.

Donations to the Franky Fund are accepted through the BARCS website, or at the shelter, located at 301 Stockholm Street in South Baltimore (near M&T Bank Stadium).

PETA seeks probe of Texas researchers

PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an immediate investigation of how the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston is treating the dogs, monkeys, sheep, goats, ferrets and mice being used in experiments.

PETA says a whistleblower has informed them that the animals are being intentionally burned, mutilated, and cut open for experiments the organization describes as “cruel.” Also at issue, PETA says, are claims that the animals are receiving inadequate veterinary care, and are being neglected and handled carelessly by improperly trained staff.

The unidentified whistleblower told PETA that researcher Daniel Traber has subjected sheep, pigs, and mice to third-degree burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies and forced the animals to inhale smoke from burning cotton. UTMB experimenters also intentionally caused spinal cord and sciatic nerve injuries in sheep, PETA says.

“Our source also reports the following: UTMB faculty members cut open dogs and surgically implanted tubes into their colons for irritable bowel experiments. One dog reportedly died during surgery, and another died in pain following surgery when staff members did not provide anesthetics and were apparently unable to use the monitoring equipment correctly.”

PETA says it has has repeatedly reached out to UTMB through letters and phone calls to discuss the alleged violations, but has gotten no response. A PETA petition urges  UTMB to “immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the university’s laboratories and dismiss any employees whose incompetence, negligence, or outright cruelty are found to have contributed to increased pain and misery for animals.”

PETA highlighted Traber, of UTMB Department of Anesthesiology, two years ago in its “Vivisector of the Month” column, which reported that:

“Traber … has made a living for almost three decades by burning animals’ skin off. In a recent experiment, he either torched mice with a Bunsen burner until more than 40 percent of their bodies was charred or forced them to inhale smoke. A few select mice got the full treatment—they were both burned and forced to inhale smoke. Some died during the experiment, and survivors were subsequently killed.

“In another study, Traber heated an aluminum bar to nearly 400 degrees with a Bunsen burner and roasted the skin of live pigs on it for 30 seconds, creating a series of deep burns that covered 15 percent of their bodies. In order to repair the deliberately injured animals, Traber and colleagues then removed skin from the pigs’ legs to graft over the areas that had been burned off. After living through all this torture, the pigs were killed. Again, this is only his most recent work—Traber has been burning, mutilating, and killing sheep for years.”

Spurned and burned, Wolfie bounces back

About four months ago, two dogs were found wandering the streets of Phoenix, both with what appeared to be fresh and severe chemical burns on their backs.

One of them was a puppy, a pit bull mix named Ash, who was featured in news reports and, after medical treatment and some time in foster care, adopted out to a new home.

The other was this fellow to your left, a one-year-old pug mix who has also recovered from his burns — though his back, too, remains scarred  – but hasn’t gotten as much press as his partner.

Maybe it was because his pug-something mix didn’t have the media appeal of a pit bull. Maybe someone found his underbite, which makes him look a little like a miniature wolfman, camera-unfriendly.

When I ran into Wolfie, as he has been named, at an adoption event/fundraiser in Cave Creek, Arizona, Saturday, he seemed eager to flash his grin and happy to pose for my camera.

But, by weekend’s end and after appearing at two adoption events — one at For Goodness Sake, a thrift store in Cave Creek whose sales benefit animal rescue groups, another at an area pet store — Wolfie remained in need of a permanent home.

He’s an affectionate little dog who — though he still gets scared by strange objects and sudden motions — gets along well with both other dogs and humans, according to Paula Monarch, who’s serving as his foster mom through Little Rascals Rescue.

Wolfie has been in Paula’s care since September — about a month after he and Ash were found in South Phoenix, both with severe burns that were believed to have been caused by chemicals, acids or pool cleaners.

Officials suspect it was an intentional act, but no arrests have been made.

Wolfie spent three weeks at the vet’s, getting his wounds flushed and cleaned several times a day, and his burns coated in silver sulfide.

They’ve healed over and no longer cause him any pain, but because of the hairless streaks on his back, he’ll probably need to wear sun screen or a T-shirt if he spends much time outside.

Paula said she suspects Wolfie may have suffered other abuse, as well. He gets nervous when she picks up the remote control, and will scurry away with his tail between his legs.

Before long, though, he’s over it and cuddling again.

Already, the tale of Wolfie is a brighter one than that of a Phoenix, a pit bull who was set on fire in Baltimore last year. Despite a valiant fight, she died several days later, but her case led to an ongoing re-examination of how best to fight animal cruelty in the city.

Wolfie made no headlines, and he’s still waiting for that one person or family who see courage in his bald spots, beauty in his underbite, and will ensure the next chapter of his story is a happy one.

If you’re interested in adopting Wolfie, email bu.ter.fly@hotmail.com, or call Jen at 623-210-6578, Ryan at 623-606-4855, or Patti at 602-943-7059.

Another dog dragged — charges filed

A year-old pit bull is recovering after being dragged for nearly two miles behind a pick-up truck in Florida.

Holly, as the dog was named by the veterinarian treating her, had two toes surgically removed yesterday but “is doing really well,” Dr. Leonard Fox in Port St. Lucie said. “I really do believe that six weeks from now she’ll be running around like nothing happened,” he told TCPalm.com.

dogdraggedWhen she was brought in, the dog had severe road rash, particularly on her feet, which Fox said “look like ground beef.” She’d been dragged so long the big toes on her rear paws were worn down to the bone, necessitating the amputation.

Fox said the road rash will have to be treated like burns, with fresh bandages every few days. More surgery may be required Thursday or Friday to remove dead skin, and Holly may get a cast on her left hind foot as well.

The driver of the truck, Napoleon Zarah Davis, 31, of Port St. Lucie, was released from the St. Lucie County Jail Monday after paying $2,500 bond on a felony charge of animal cruelty.

The story is similar to one  recently reported in Tennessee.

Davis told police he was taking the dog to the Humane Society of St. Lucie County Monday when the dog jumped out of the truck bed. The dog was dragged 1.9 miles, before a man caught up to Davis and got him to stop the truck, according to police.

Davis  told police he didn’t know the dog, whose 15-foot leash was tied to a post in the truck bed, had jumped out.

(Photo: Port St. Lucie Police Department)

Cat set on fire, twice, in Baltimore

burnedcat2An 8-month-old cat deliberately set on fire — twice — by what a witness described as a group of young people was treated for serious burns and is now being montiored at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter.

The city office of Animal Control received a call from a citizen who said she saw several children throwing rocks and bricks at the cat in the Garrison Avenue neighborhood. The witness said the children then poured liquid on the cat. The witness said she turned away, but when she looked back the cat was burning.

The cat was able to roll and put the flames out, but the children caught it and set it on fire a second time.

Despite her condition the cat, now named Gabrielle, was purring as the BARCS staff evaluated her, according to Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director of BARCS.

BARCS, using money from its Franky Fund, sent Gabrielle to Everhart Veterinary Hospital for further evaluation.burnedcat

Gabrielle is back resting at the shelter now, and a local animal rescue organization, Recycled Love, has agreed to take over the care of Gabrielle.

This case is being referred to police for further investigation.

Twin brothers, 17, arrested in pit bull burning

Baltimore police  have charged two teenagers with dousing a pit bull with gasoline and setting it on fire, but a press conference on the arrests was canceled yesterday.

Police said the arrests were made over the weekend.

The suspects were charged as juveniles, and their identities have not been made public. One TV report, however, identified them as 17-year-old twin brothers.

A WBAL-TV report identified the boys’ mother as Denise Griffin. Mrs. Griffin said her sons were taken in for questioning on Friday night.

“I know they didn’t do it. I keep hearing different things around the neighborhood about the dog ran up to there. The dog — nobody said the dog was right there. So, I feel as though I know my boys didn’t do it. It’s a reward out and then wasn’t nobody picked up around there until they said something about a reward,” Griffin said.

The case had raised the ire of animal welfare advocates across the country, and between public donations and those from humane organizations, thousands of dollars poured into a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who killed the dog, who was named Phoenix after she arrived at the Baltimore animal shelter.

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Baltimore’s burned pit bull loses fight

phoenix3Phoenix, the Baltimore pit bull who was set on fire last week, has died.

The dog, who showed signs of having been used in dogfights, was doused with gasoline and set on fire Wednesday afternoon in Southwest Baltimore. A police officer, upon spotting her, put the fire out with her sweater. No arrests have been made.

The dog was taken to BARCS, treated locally at Swan Harbor Animal Hospital, then sent to Pennsylvania for additional treatment.

Officials at Main Line Animal Rescue, in whose care the dog was placed, said yesterday that Phoenix experienced increased creatinine levels, causing her kidneys to shut down.

The dog,  who arrived at BARCS with her tail wagging even though she’d received burns over 90 percent of her body, was put down at 8:45 this morning.

” She had a strong will to live but her physical problems were just too extensive,” a MLAR representative said. “Thanks to all the caring people who will hold her in their heart.”

 ”She touched the hearts of everyone that came in contact with her and anyone who heard her story,”  said Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director of BARCS.  “We can only hope now that someone will come forward so that there can be a conviction on this case.”

As Mead-Brause explained it, Phoenix’s kidneys couldn’t cope with the natural chemicals her body was producing to fight off infection.

“As her body was trying to heal, her muscles were producing natural chemicals that are excreted through the kidneys. Unfortunately her kidneys could not handle the process and began to shut down. Due to kidney failure, and the long road still ahead for recovery, the veterinarians that were caring for her decided it would be best to euthanize her.”

BARCS has set up a reward fund, which now stands at $3,000, for information leading to the suspects.

For information on how to donate to the reward fund, or the Franky Fund, which helped pay for the initial emergency care Phoenix received, visit the BARCS website.

She wouldn’t leave fire without her dog

A woman who refused to leave her burning apartment without her dachsund remained in critical condition in a Houston hospital yesterday.

Relatives say Claudia Harris was cooking Saturday when the fire started inside her unit at the Hearthwood Apartments near Reliant Stadium. The landlord tried to get her out, but she wouldn’t leave without first finding her dachsund, Minnie, TV station KHOU in Houston reported.

“I’m not surprised that she would do something like that because I know how she feels about this dog and she will risk her own life for this dog,” said Charisse Harris, the victim’s daughter. “She treats the dog like a person. It’s like her other daughter.”

By the time firefighters arrived, Harris was unconscious and they had to carry her out. Minnie, the dog, managed to escape on her own and she wasn’t injured.

(Photo courtesy of KHOU-TV)

Unnecessary entanglements

Every once in a while an invention comes along that seems quite brilliant, makes life easier for a while then — with more frequent use — turns out to be more trouble than its worth.

Such, I think, is the case with the retractable leash.

After one brush with death — fortunately not my own — and lots of time spent disentangling other pets and my own, I put my retractable leash away more than a year ago, and haven’t used it since.

I had bought it at the recommendation of a friend, but after several uses, the disadvantages (entanglements, rope burns and the flying hockey puck effect) seemed to outweigh the advantages (giving the dog a wee bit more freedom, having my arm nearly jerked off less often.)

Evidence is mounting that retractable leashes — technically illegal in Baltimore, as they extend more than the mandated 8 foot leash maximum — may not be as good an idea as they originally appeared.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced one recall of retractable leashes. Last September, 223,000 “Slydog” brand retractable leashes were found to have metal clips that broke and flew off — like the one that struck and became lodged in the eye of Dereka Williams, a Dallas-area girl whose family has filed a lawsuit against Worldwise, Inc., the maker of the SlyDog retractable leash.

“She was like, ‘Mom, I can’t see! I can’t see!’” her mother Joy Williams told ABCNews.com

Slydog has since fixed the problem and changed to plastic clips.

But according to the March 5, 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, retractable leashes — often banned from many dog events — have been causing ongoing injuries for years.

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This prevents capture the trade, and I will frighten him.