The dog’s owner, a 78-year-old man who was arrested at the scene, told authorities his family didn’t want the dog and he didn’t know what to do with him.
Union Pacific Railroad officials say the incident took place April 2.
The train’s engineer witnessed someone placing something on the tracks and, once he saw it was a dog, stopped the train in Mecca.
A Union Pacific special agent arrived, untied the 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix and detained the man, CBS in Los Angeles reported.
Charges weren’t pursued because ”the man appeared to be confused, or senile and didn’t fully understand what he had done,” John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said in a statement.
The man was released to family members.
The dog, who was nicknamed Banjo, was taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms where he was examined, treated and bathed.
Anyone interested in adopting Banjo, can email: email@example.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adoptable, adoption, animal control, animals, banjo, california, confused, dog, dogs, elderly, emergency brakes, indio, mecca, mix, pets, poodle, rescued, riverside county, saved, terrier, tied, ties, tracks, train, union pacific, unwanted
A civil rights lawsuit was filed in federal court yesterday on behalf of Gary Hesterberg, the California man who was Tased by a National Park Service ranger after being detained for having one of his two small dogs off-leash.
“There is something seriously wrong when walking your dog off leash in a National Park can get you Tased,” said Michael J. Haddad, Hesterberg’s attorney.
”The law is clear that an officer may only Tase someone who poses a substantial and immediate threat. All Gary Hesterberg did was walk away after receiving his leash warning.”
Hesterburg, an electrician from Montara, California, had previously filed an administrative claim seeking $500,000 in compensation from the United States and the ranger for his injuries and the violation of his civil rights.
That claim — a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit against the government — was rejected by the Department of the Interior on January 25, 2013. The complaint filed in court yesterday is a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Park Ranger Sarah Cavallaro stopped Hesterberg in January of 2012 as he was walking his dogs in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and warned him that both of his dogs needed to be on a leash.
When Hesterberg attempted to walk away with his dogs she shot him in the back with her Taser, caused him to be arrested, and had him taken to jail, the lawsuit says.
Hesterberg, the lawsuit says, told Cavallaro he had a heart condition before she Tased him.
The lawsuit says the type of Taser used can deliver 50,000 volts of electricity. After the ranger pulled the Taser barbs from his back, Hesterberg remained in handcuffs for three hours, and remained in jail until after midnight, the lawsuit says.
The district attorney declined to pursue any charges against him.
The United States Department of the Interior found that Ranger Cavallaro’s conduct was consistent with park service policies: “From our review of the circumstances surrounding the tasing for Mr. Hesterberg, it appears that the officer’s actions were reasonable.”
(Photo: Hesterberg and his dogs, a beagle and rat terrier, San Francisco Chronicle)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, california, civil rights, dog, dog walking, dogs, federal court, gary hesterberg, golden gate national recreation area, lawsuit, leash, national park service, pets, ranger, rules, tased, taser, tasing, unleashed, walking
We love it when a distressing dog story turns into an uplifting one — as is often the case, it seems: Some lowly human mistreats a dog; some angel-like human comes to that dog’s rescue.
We hate it when a feel-good dog story turns bad.
That appears to be the case with the tale of the photographer in California who helped a man get his dog out of a city shelter.
The woman who took the touching photos of Dave Thomas after he learned he didn’t have enough money to retrieve his dog, who posted them on Facebook, and who raised enough money to help him, now says she’s had a falling out with him.
That’s according to KABC in Los Angeles, which helped the photographer find Thomas after the photo went viral and funds started coming in.
Maria Sanchez says she used about half of the donated funds to pay for the dog’s shots, neutering and kennel fees so Buzz Lightyear, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, could go home with Thomas.
Thomas wanted the rest of the money, as well.
Sanchez says she originally planned to let Thomas have the money — but not in cash. Instead she was going to apply it to his unpaid traffic. Thomas asked for all the cash, though. And Sanchez decided to refund what remained to the donors, or use it to help other animals.
That led to an angry voice mail from Thomas, which Sanchez posted on line (click on the video above).
Thomas was arrested last Friday, and animal control picked Buzz up and placed him in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
When Thomas, upon his release, went to the shelter, he was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees to get Buzz back. Sanchez, who regularly visits the shelter to take pictures of adoptable dogs and post them on the Internet — in hopes they will get adopted before their time is up — came across Thomas, who had only $6, as he visited his dog.
When she posted the photos of a sobbing Thomas and his dog on her Facebook page, donations started coming in to help him get his dog back — more money than was needed.
In the view of Thomas, apparently, he deserved that money, too.
That adds a sour note to an otherwise sweet tale. But even though the previously sympathetic character at its center turned out to be something less than gracious, maybe even greedy, it still has a shining one, Maria Sanchez.
Not to mention Buzz Lightyear, who we’d guess is enjoying his newfound freedom, and doesn’t care a whit where the extra money goes.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, biting the hand that feeds you, Buzz, buzz lightyear, california, dave thomas, dogs, facebook, funds, help, maria sanchez. photographer, more, pets, photography, raised, reclaim, san bernadino, shelter, spay-neuter, video, voice mail, wants
After a string of recent deaths, the Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors to Northern California’s coast not to try to rescue their dogs from the ocean.
Five people have drowned since November as they tried to save pets swept into the ocean by rogue waves.
Coast Guard, National Park and SPCA officials held a joint press conference Friday, aimed at spreading public awareness about water safety for pets and their owners.
Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, was among those advising pet owners not to go into rough ocean waters to save their dog.
“Dogs are naturally better swimmers because of their horizontal body mass,” Lindquist said. “They are built better for riding out the current.” She said the best thing to do is to follow the dog parallel to the shoreline and call its name.
“Just let the dog do its thing,” Lindquist said. “When the current subsides, the dog will swim back.”
Rogue or “sneaker” waves have claimed five lives in three separate incidents this winter, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In each case, their dogs survived.
In November, a powerful surf swept a family dog out to sea at Big Lagoon Beach near Arcata in Humboldt County. The teenage son swam out to save the pet. Then the child’s mother and father noticed him struggling and swam out to save him. All three died. The dog made it back to shore.
On New Year’s Day, Charles Quaid, 59, of Richmond, died after attempting to rescue his wife and dog.
Last Sunday, Susan Kay Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, was walking on Little Black Sand Beach with her boyfriend when she was swept out to sea with her dog and drowned. The dog made it back to shore.
Gabe Pulliam, a 13-year veteran of the Coast Guard and rescue swimmer, said most citizens they lack the equipment and training to rescue a dog from rough and frigid waters.
“People who walk their dogs on the beach and notice strong surf should stay above the line where the water laps up,” Pulliam said. “It’s fun to watch the waves roll in, but respect the ocean and never turn your back on it.”
Pulliam is featured in a handout about pets and ocean safety released by the Coast Guard.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaches, california, coast guard, dangers, deaths, dogs, national park service, northern california, ocean, pacific, pets, rescue, rogue waves, safety, sea, sneaker waves, spca, swept, trying, warning, waves
California earned first place for the fourth year in a row, while South Dakota remained in last place in the Humane Society of the United States fourth annual “Humane State Ranking” report.
The HSUS graded all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on the strength of a wide range of animal protection laws, including public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals.
Ohio was the most improved state, leaping ahead in the ranks by passing laws regulating puppy mills and the private possession of dangerous wild animals.
You can find the complete rankings here.
“Members of The Humane Society of the United States want to know what their state lawmakers are doing to improve animal welfare. Our Humane State Ranking report demonstrates which states are falling behind important protections for animals, and which states are leading in the effort to create a more humane and civil society,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
California stayed on top for the fourth year in a row by passing a number of new laws, including banning the hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Other top states included Massachusetts (tied for second place), which passed laws allowing pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, and banning gas chambers for euthanasia.
South Dakota earned the lowest score (51st place). Also in the bottom five were Idaho (50th place), Mississippi (49th place), North Dakota (48th place) and South Carolina (47th place).
South Dakota and North Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only two states in the country with no felony-level penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. North Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure to increase penalties for egregious acts of animal cruelty on the November 2012 ballot.
The rankings are based on 75 different animal protection issues in 10 major animal protection categories including: animal fighting; animal cruelty; wildlife abuse; exotic pets; companion animals; use of animals in research; farm animals; fur and trapping; puppy mills, and equine protection.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, california, cruelty, dogs, euthanasia, farms, fighting, hsus, humane, humane society of the united states, Humane state ranking, hunting, laws, legislation, north dakota, penalties, pets, protection, puppy mills, rankings, south dakota, state, violence, wayne pacelle
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
Charles Quaid, 59, was walking along the beach with his wife when a large wave swept his dog into the ocean.
Quaid’s wife was also swept into the ocean at one point, but she was rescued by bystanders, and the dog managed to get back to shore on its own.
Quaid’s body was recovered in the ocean four hours later, after a search by helicopters and rescue teams from the fire department, U.S. Coast Guard, and National Park Service, according to ABC.
Quaid, who lived in Richmond, was described by his co-workers at a health care consulting firm as “a wonderful man” who “believed very passionately in everyone’s right to have equal access to health care.”
“He had a sense of our appreciation for what we’re doing here,” David Lansky, chief executive officer of Pacific Business Group on Health, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “One of his employees said this morning that he’d never in 30 years had a boss who he’d respected as much … He was honest and earnest and had integrity first and foremost.”
Quaid’s wife and dog were not injured.
The rough surf off the northern California coast claimed three other lives in November when a teenager and his mother and father were swept out to sea trying to rescue their family dog near Big Lagoon. An older daughter and the family dog survived.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, california, care, charles quaid, consultant, death, dies, dog, drowns, golden, health, ocean, pets, point reyes, rescue, retriever, shore, waves
Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota and New Mexico are 2012’s five best states to be an animal abuser, according to the latest report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
The national nonprofit organization compared animal protection laws of every state in the country, analyzing more than 4,000 pages of statutes, to reveal the state’s that are strongest on animal protection and those that are weakest.
The weakest of all? Kentucky, which the ALDF says was the worst state in the nation for animal protection laws for the sixth year in a row.
The report ranks all 50 states, and top honors went to Illinois, for the fifth year in a row. ALDF has been releasing the annual analysis for seven years.
Rounding out the top five states were Maine, California, Michigan, and Oregon, all of which demonstrated strong commitments to combating animal cruelty.
States that ranked poorly either lacked or made limited use of felony penalties for the worst types of animals abuse, had weak laws covering basic standards of care for animals, and no restrictions on convicted animal abusers getting news pets and animals.
In the survey, Kansas saw its ranking drop from sixth to 13th, primarily due to its “ag gag” law. Such laws, now existing in five states, make it illegal to covertly take photos or videos at factory farms and other animal facilities as part of undercover investigations.
Idaho was the fastest rising state, moving up from 52 to 44 due to its enactment of felony provisions for animal cruelty.
Since the first rankings report in 2006, more than half of all states and territories have experienced a significant improvement in their animal protection laws, ALDF says.
“We look forward to further progress in the upcoming year,” said Stephen Wells, executive director for ALDF. “Regardless of ranking, each state and territory has ample room for improvement. We hope lawmakers will recognize the need for immediate improvement in animal protection laws across the nation. Although animals do not vote, those who love and protect them certainly do.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, analysis, animal, animal legal defense fund, best, best and worst, bottom five, california, cruelty to animals, felony, illinois, iowa, kentucky, laws, maine, michigan, new mexico, north dakota, oregon, protection, report, south dakota, states, statutes, top five, worst
As she approached, the bag — tied at the top — began moving.
And when she opened it she found a cream and white- colored Chihuahua mix inside, dirty but alive.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the dog has been named Angel and is being cared for at the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, formerly the Riverside Humane Society.
The volunteer, Debra Jordan, was on her way to work at the center when she spotted the sack, about 9 a.m. Monday, according to center spokeswoman Carrie Ridgeway.
Ridgeway said the dog is believed to be about three years old. Her ears were caked with mud and there were insect bites on her body.
After a bath and a meal, the dog seemed to be fine, she added.
Adoption Center officials reported the incident to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
“It’s not only heartbreaking, it’s also a crime,” Denise Perry, executive director of the adoption center said. “Pets aren’t disposable. They are living, breathing beings.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, alive, animals, bag, burlap, california, center, chihuahua, debra jordan, discarded, dogs, found, mary roberts, mix, pets, riverside, riverside county, tied, trash bag dogs, volunteer
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. We think this one’s worth about eleventy million.
Five years after they arrived in California, seven of the dogs seized from quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation got together for a group photo with their new owners.
The reunion came during a celebration of that anniversary at Bad Rap, one of the two California organizations that took in Vick dogs, determined to rehabilitate the animals some were arguing were violent and aggressive and should be put down.
Here’s a video recapturing the taking of the photo:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, anniversary, bad rap, california, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, pets, photo, photography, pit bulls, pitbulls, rehabilitate, rehabilitated, rehabilitation, reunion, seized, vick dogs