The battle over Obie is over, for the time being.
Under a judge’s ruling this week, the obese dachshund at the center of a custody dispute will stay put with his caretaker, Nora Vanatta, who garnered national attention when she put the obese dog on a diet.
But the case could still go to trial later in the year, KATU reported.
At a court hearing Monday morning, a judge said it’s legally unclear who owns the dachshund, whose previous owners clearly overfed him and eventually reached the point of being unable to care for him.
Obie was surrendered by his original owners to Oregon Dachshund Rescue. Through that organization, Vanatta became his foster mom. Later, after Obie had gained fame, the rescue organization’s owner Jenell Rangan, filed a lawsuit seeking custody of the dog.
She’d asked that Obie be turned over to her until a trial is held. The judge declined to do that, ruling that temporarily, at least, Obie remain with Vanatta.
The case will now go to arbitration, and, if that fails, on to a trial.
“We’re just really happy about the outcome of the case,” said James McCurdy, who represents Obie’s caretaker. “Like the judge indicated in the courtroom, it’s far from over and we understand that. We’re just really ecstatic Obie can stay in the fantastic situation he’s in.”
Oregon Dachshund Rescue originally heard the dog was in need of a home and put out an online plea for help. Vanatta offered to foster the dog, and an Oregon Dachshund Rescue volunteer picked up Obie from his former owners’ home and delivered him to Vanatta.
“He’s doing well here,” Vanatta says. “It just doesn’t make sense to take him away now.”
Rangan said she believes Obie belongs to her, and that Vanatta is not providing good care.
Vanatta disagrees and says Obie, who once weighed in at 77 pounds, has lost more than 15 pounds since being in her care.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, case, court, custody, dachshund, dog, dogs, foster, jenelle rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, pets, rescue, rescued, ruling
Derek Shifflett, 20, of Verona, became a suspect in the case after a friend’s dog found the money — $12,000 — hidden under a bed.
Sgt. David Lotts, of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, said Shifflett posted a Honda Civic for sale on Craigslist, and made arrangements to meet an interested buyer.
The victim, from a car dealership in Hendersonville, N.C., traveled to Verona Monday afternoon and met with Shifflett, who told him the vehicle was being cleaned and filled with gas.
At one point, authorities say, Shifflett pushed the prospective buyer, a 64-year-old man, snatched an envelope containing $12,000 from his coat pocket, and ran off.
A few hours later, a Verona woman called the sheriff’s office after her dog pulled an envelope full of cash from beneath a bed in her home and began playing with it.
“The dog drug it out,” Lotts told Newsleader.com. “I guess he thought it was a new toy.”
Lotts said the woman’s son is friends with Shifflett. Shifflett turned himself in at the sheriff’s office late Monday night.
Lotts said the ad was fictitious and that Shifflett ” just took a random picture with a cell phone.”
“I figured that money was long gone,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, arrest, augusta county, bed, car, car buyer, case, charge, craigslist, derek shifflett, dog, envelope, fictitious, finds, for sale, hendersonville, loot, money, north carolina, photo, posting, robbery, scam, sheriff, under, verona, virginia
An Ohio judge who called a man convicted of dogfighting “a monster” and sentenced him to six months in jail received a standing ovation Tuesday from a courtroom packed with animal welfare activists.
Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula sentenced Collin Rand Jr., 33, to six months in jail, five years community control, and more than $12,000 in fines, restitution and court costs, according to News Channel 5.
Additionally, the Cuyahoga County judge ordered that he never be allowed to own a dog again.
If Rand violates the sentence, the judge said she would send him to prison for more than 12 years.
“If I had the freedom and the discretion, you’d be serving a lot longer sentence, Mr. Rand. Much, much longer. In fact, probably like 27 years — a year for each dog,” the judge said.
Rand, as part of a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to six counts of dogfighting, four counts of cruelty to animals, one count of drug trafficking and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
The activists applauded the judge, who sentenced Rand to the maximum amount allowed under current law. (House Bill 108 would make animal abuse a felony in Ohio and allow lengthier sentences.)
Activists in the crowd wore T-shirts with the phrase “Hope for the 27,” a reference to the number of dogs found tied up at Rand’s home on Dec. 22, 2011. The dogs were malnourished and had open wounds and scars. Officers also found a fighting ring and a treadmill with plywood sides to contain the dogs.
According to testimony, some of the dogs had spent their entire lives enclosed in small cages. Some needed immediate medical care and some had to be euthanized.
Rand had claimed the dogs were in bad condition when he found them, and that he was trying to find them new homes.
“I find your explanations and your statements to be totally incredible,” said Judge Sutula, who has a rescued dog. “They are not worthy of belief. No one with a heart could look at these animals and not get help … You are a monster, Mr. Rand.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, case, collin rand jr, county, cuyahoga, dogfighting, dogs, guilty, hb 108, hope for the 27, judge, kathleen ann sutula, law, maximum, monster, ohio, ovation, pets, plea, sentence, standing, video
The sperm-sniffing dog, reported to the only one in southern Sweden, is named Rapports Opus.
The suspect is charged with forcing a woman to perform oral sex in a park in Karlskrona, according to Sydöstran, a regional newspaper. The dog found traces of semen at the scene of the crime. They were sent to a lab for analysis and were found to match the 23-year-old suspect’s DNA.
Rapports Opus underwent a year’s training to become a certified sperm-sniffing dog, graduating from the dog academy last year, according to The Local, an English language publication in Sweden.
“He’s the only dog in southern Sweden specialised in tracking sperm,” said B.G. Carlsson, the police officer who trained the dog.
Carlsson will be testifying in the trial against the 23-year-old. The case is the first in which evidence found by Rapports Opus will be used in court.
The Bosnian girl seen in a video throwing puppies into a river, and laughing while she did it, will not face any charges, the New York Daily News reports.
The News, citing as sources members of PETA in Europe, said police have dropped the case because the girl — whose identity hasn’t been released — is too young to be prosecuted.
While it was reported that allof the puppies were rescued down river by an old woman who found them along the shore, animal rights activists said they doubted that story was true.
“This is outrageous,” a PETA spokeswoman, Nadja Kutscher, told a German newspaper. “The puppies that the old woman was with were completely different ones to those thrown into the river in the video. The puppies would never have survived.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animals, bosnia, case, charges, cruelty, dogs, dropped, peta, pets, prosecution, puppies, pups, river, teen, thrown, video
In 2007, it was one of the most sickening, disheartening stories of the year — NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s arrest and imprisonment on dogfighting charges. Revelations of what transpired at Bad Newz Kennels showed just how cruel some humans can be.
By 2009, though, the story of Vick’s dogs had become one of the most heartening of the decade. What made the difference? Mainly, the dogs – the pit bulls. For despite what they’d been put through, despite being abused, trained as killers or used as bait, they were — once the decision was made not to euthanize them – amazing the world with their remarkable resiliency.
Saving and rehabilitating the former fighting dogs of Michael Vick was not achieved without a battle, and not without the efforts of a lot of dog-loving, self-sacrificing humans. But the silver lining that eventually shone through the dismal story was provided mainly by the dogs, who showed that, no matter how bad a human messes them up, there’s hope.
Once again, the irrepressible species was teaching us humans a lesson.
Vick’s former pit bulls have gone on to reside in new homes with young children, become cherished pets, serve as therapy dogs and, in many cases, serve as shining examples of what is right with and special about the much-maligned breed.
How all that transpired is rivetingly detailed in a new book by Jim Gorant, “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.”
(For a preview, you can read an article by Gorant in today’s Parade magazine.)
In the book, to be released next month, Gorant expands on his 2008 Sports Illustrated story on the Vick dogs (the one that featured Baltimore’s own Sweet Jasmine on the cover), recounting how they were rescued from Vick’s estate and how — though euthanasia was routine until then for animals seized from dogfighting operations – they were saved from that fate by an outpouring of public appeals.
The outcry helped lead to a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in “restitution” to the dogs — money used to allow a handful of agencies across the country to rehabilitate them.
The book recounts the ASPCA-led evaluations of each dog — and how, though there were a few hardened fighters among them, many more were dogs ready to be loved, ready to forgive and try to forget.
In “The Lost Dogs,” we learn more about Johnny Justice, the former Vick dog that participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get more comfortable with their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs; about Leo, who now spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens; and about Sweet Jasmine, who was coming out of her shell while living in Baltimore until she got loose and was hit by a car.
The book lists the outcomes for all 49 of the surviving pit bulls that were seized in April 2007 from Bad Newz Kennels, the Smithfield, Va., dogfighting ring run by Vick, then quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, now — getting a multi-million dollar second chance of his own — a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
While experts were expecting only 5 percent of Vick’s dogs could be rehabilitated, only two, initially, had to be put down. One was excessively violent and the other was suffering from an irreparable injury. For the rest, though, there was hope, and no small amount of faith – which, more than anything else is what “The Lost Dogs” is about.
Rather than showing aggression, the Vick dogs tended to be “pancake dogs”— animals so traumatized that they flattened themselves on the ground and trembled when humans neared, much like our friend Mel, the former Vick dog we recently met in our travels through Dallas.
Many more seemed to be dogs with normal temperaments, but who had simply never been socialized.
Accomplishing that fell to the handful of animal welfare organizations that stepped forward, offering to take the Vick dogs in and work to rehabilitate them — among them Baltimore’s Recycled Love, California’s BAD RAP, (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), and Best Friends Animal Society in Utah.
As Gorant writes in the Parade magazine article, “… rescuers argued from the start that rather than be condemned as a whole, the dogs should be individually assessed and treated — and this has turned out to be one of the great lessons of the Bad Newz dogs. Generalizations and preconceptions are as unhelpful and counterproductive for pit bulls as they are for people.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, article, aspca, bad newz, bad rap, best friends, book, case, court, cruelty, dog books, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, euthanasia, good dog reads, jim gorant, lesson, lost dogs, magazine, maligned, michael vick, michael vick's dogs, nfl, parade, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, recycled love, redemption, rehabilitation, rescue, resiliency, saving, socialization, sports illustrated, sweet jasmine, temperament, the lost dogs, therapy dogs, vick, vick dogs
A couple agrees to care for a friend’s Chihuahua for the weekend.
The dog’s owner doesn’t pick her up when the weekend’s over; in fact, she doesn’t try to reclaim the Chihuahua, named Lola, for 10 months.
What’s the couple who cared for the dog owed?
According to the Nebraska Court of Appeals — the third court to hear the case — absolutely nothing.
The saga of Lola, a four-pound, black-and-tan Chihuahua, began Aug. 22, 2007, when Heather Linville of Lincoln asked her friends Travis Derr and Natasha Combs to care for her dog for the weekend, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Linville’s new apartment complex didn’t allow dogs, and she explained she needed time to make arrangements for her pet.
When, 10 months later, Linville asked to get Lola back, Derr and Combs said they wanted to keep the dog.
Linville summoned police, and the dog was returned to her, but Derr and Combs filed a small-claims court case, asking to be paid $2,700 for boarding the animal for 320 days.
A Lancaster County judge ruled in favor of Derr and Combs, a decision later upheld by a district judge. But the appeals court overturned the $2,700 judgment in a 3-0 ruling — proving, in my view, three heads aren’t better than one. What Lola’s owner did sounds to me like abandonment, pure and simple.
The court said Derr and Combs did not ask for compensation when they agreed to keep the dog for the weekend. They should have notified Linville if they were no longer willing to keep Lola for free, the panel said. The court said the couple was entitled only to reimbursement for a $152.98 veterinarian’s bill.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, animal law, animals, appeals court, case, chihuahua, courts, custody, dispute, dog, dogs, friends, heather linville, lancaster county, law, legal, lola, natasha combs, nebraska, ownership, pets, petsitting, ruling, travis derr
The first case of a dog contracting swine flu has been confirmed by veterinarians in White Plains, N.Y.
The H1N1 influenza was found in a 13-year-old mixed-breed male who is now recovering, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The virus has previously been been found in other pets, including several cats and ferrets, all of which are suspected to have contracted the disease from their owners or handlers.
These incidents “are not a reason to be concerned,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “A rare occurrence in other species is not a problem.”
The symptoms of flu in pets are the same as they are in humans: fever, lethargy, runny nose, lack of appetite, coughing and sneezing.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canine, case, centers for disease control, confirmed, disease, dog, dogs, first, h1n1, health, influenza, new york, pets, swine flu, veterinarian, veterinary, white plains
The city Friday submitted plans that include broadcasting the sound of barking dogs for use if and when it is ordered to stop harbor seals from congregating at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool beach, where their numbers have raised health concerns and precluded children’s play.
A lawsuit against the city claims the seals’ presence violates the terms of the 1913 trust that established the beach as a safe wading area for children. Attorneys representing the plaintiff filed a motion last week asking that the seals be immediately dispersed. The lawsuit was filed not against the seals, or Mother Nature, but against the city.
If the order comes, according to the La Jolla Light, the city would use loudspeakers to broadcast the sound of barking dogs to attempt to disperse the seals. Other steps outlined include having employees or contractors harass the seals from afar, possibly spraying water at them.
The plan, at an estimated cost of $688,934, would require personnel to walk the beach from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week for a year, .
(Note to the city of San Diego: Ace and I hereby volunteer for that contract; for half that price, we’d even be willing to camp there at night. Ace would bark at seals and act intimidating, while I would patrol the shore, saying, “Move along now, seals, nothing to see here.”)
The plan submitted to the court also includes steps to protect the public, noting that dispersing the seals “has a high potential to create an environment requiring a police response.” It includes facilitating traffic flow, monitoring demonstrations, keeping the peace and responding to calls. Animal welfare activists have spoken out against evicting the seals.
For a closer look at the plan, you can find it on a council member’s website.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal welfare, bark, beach, california, case, childrens pool, court, disperse, environment, filed, harass, harbor seals, la jolla, lawsuit, loudspeaker, nature, noise, plan, san diego, seals, wildlife
Criminal charges were dismissed Monday against a Seattle area woman who registered her dog to vote, according to the Seattle Times.
Jane Balogh, 67, a grandmother and Army veteran had registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix as a voter to protest lax standards for voters to prove their identity and citizenship. She used a utility bill in the dog’s name â€” Duncan M. MacDonald â€” as identification.
A King County District Court judge dropped a misdemeanor charge of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, based on Balogh’s completion of the terms of a plea agreement reached in September 2007.
She paid $240 in court costs and completed 10 hours of community service at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
According to the Times, Balogh made no attempt to hide the deception, telling a number of elected officials what she had done and putting a pawprint instead of a signature on an absentee-ballot envelope.
She didn’t try to vote using the dog’s registration.