There’s a new counselor on the staff at Loyola University in Chicago, and he’s helping students cope with everything from homesickness to the stress of final exams.
He’s a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, named Tivo, and he’s on duty every day at the university’s Wellness Center.
Seeing a need for a therapy dog, Loyola last year asked Tops Kennels in Grayslake to help find a candidate. The kennel suggested Tivo, who, after some additional training, became a certified therapy dog.
He’s on duty from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, and lives with the Rev. Justin Daffron, Loyola’s associate provost for academic services.
Already immensely popular with students, college officials expect Tivo to stay busy in the week ahead, the Chicago Tribune reports. Final exams start today at Loyola, and Tivo has a way of helpling students, at least for a moment, shed some of the stress that builds up.
“They’ll come in, pet him, he’ll wag his tail, lick their faces, if they want their faces licked,” said Joan Holden, associate director of the center. “If you’re a dog lover, being with a dog makes you feel better. He’ll show his tummy, wag his tail — all the things to make you feel good.”
But Tivo doesn’t just sit in an office all day, according to an article about him in Inside Loyola.
“We use Tivo with patients for calming, for outreach in the residence halls, and to be sent out with a human counselor in hopes that students can come and pet the dog as a way to connect with the Wellness Center outside the office,” says Diane Asaro, the center’s director. “It is our first time trying it, and he has already gotten such a positive and wonderful response.”
Tivo also serves as a surrogate pet to the many students who are missing the dogs they left behind, noted David deBoer, associate director and clinical psychologist at the Wellness Center.
“Tivo really serves as a comfort, pleasure, and joy for college students; a friendly reminder of the comforts of home,” he said.
Students can keep track of where “Talk With Tivo” sessions are being held through his Facebook page.
(Photo: Tivo gives some counseling to student Marc Rosenbaum; by Mark Beane / Loyola University Chicago)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chicago, colleges, counseling, dog, dogs, exams, final, homesickness, labrador, loyola, pets, retriever, stress, students, talk with tivo, therapy, therapy dogs, tivo, universities, university, wellness center
Chicago’s oldest pet store has decided to stop selling dogs purchased from breeders.
Sonja Raymond, whose family has been operating Collar & Leash since 1956, says the shop will deal only in adoptable dogs from shelters and rescues, according to CBS in Chicago
Raymond said she’d been considering the switch for five years – after noticing animals coming into the store with genetic defects and incurable illnesses, despite the assurances she received from her suppliers that the pups didn’t come from puppy mills.
“You know I had gone on the word of my distributors that I get my dogs from — that ‘Oh yeah these people are reputable, I’ve known them for years,” she said. “Within the past year I have found out they lied.”
Also pushing Collar & Leash to make the switch was the The Puppy Mill Project, a Chicago-based non-profit organization created to raise awareness about cruelty in puppy mills.
“We’d been in touch with the Puppy Mill Project Founder, Cari Meyers, for a long time, and realize it’s time we take this jump with them to help make a statement to put an end to puppy mills,” Raymond said.
“We will no longer buy and sell cats and dogs from mills and are proud to align ourselves with The Puppy Mill Project,” she said.
“It’s my biggest hope that as they become humane, other Chicago pet stores selling dogs and cats will follow in their footsteps, said Puppy Mill Project founder Meyers.
The store will hold a grand re-opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animals, breeders, chicago, collar & leash, dog, dogs, humane, oldest, pet, pet sales, pet stores, pets, puppies, puppy mill project, puppy mills, sales, sonja raymond, store
A Chicago-area man has left $1.5 million to local animal shelters, specifying that the money go only to those that have no-kill policies.
Sylvester Czopek died in October of last year at age 84 in a hospice in Joliet.
Before his death, he set up a trust directing that his estate’s assets be distributed among local animal shelters that — though the definition of “no-kill” can vary — strive to avoid euthanizing pets who don’t get adopted.
Czopek, according to WLS, was the last of five brothers from Lemont, all of whom never married.
WLS reported that the $1.5 million will be split between five no-kill shelters:
- Will County Humane Society in Shorewood
- West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove
- Naperville Area Humane Society
- Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge
- PAWS Chicago Adoption Center
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, animal welfare, Animal Welfare League, bequeath, chicago, dogs, donation, euthanasia, Naperville Area Humane Society, no-kill no kill, PAWS Chicago Adoption Center, pets, shelters, Sylvester Czopek, trust, West Suburban Humane Society, will, Will County Humane Society
Sak, a former Chicago police officer, had sued the city, saying his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated when the town ordered his dog — because it was part pit bull — out of town.
Aurelia’s town council voted 3-2 to accept the settlement, the Des Moines Register reported.
As part of the settlement, the city will pay the couple $30,000 and abide by an injunction issued by a federal judge in December that allows Sak to keep the dog in the city.
Sak and his wife, Peggy Leifer, must keep Snickers inside a fence when he’s home and on a leash when he leaves the property.
The couple moved to Aurelia in November to care for his 87-year-old mother, unaware that the town ban pit bulls.
Snickers has served as Sak’s service dog since a stroke in 2008 that left him without use of the right side of his body.
Snickers was taken from the home after 36 residents of Aurelia signed a petition to remove the dog. When a federal judge granted an injunction, the dog was returned.
Aurelia Mayor Jim Tell said the city agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid further bad publicity.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aurelia, breed bans, chicago, disabilities, discrimination, dog, dogs, exception, iowa, james sak, keeps, lawsuit, negative, pets, pit bull, pit bull ban, pit bull mix, police. officer, publicity, retired, service, service dog, settlement, snickers, stay, stroke, victim
“I could feel it right away,” she told the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. “I was fearing the worst.”
Wiersma, 37, broke her left front tooth in the spill. And it was all the fault of Moses.
The next day, Sunday, she called her dentist in Barrington, Dr. Russ Fitton, who encouraged her to find the missing chunk of tooth and bring it in.
She searched the backyard, but couldn’t locate it.
It was later Sunday afternoon, after being let out in the backyard, that Moses came back inside and dropped something at Wiersma’s feet. It was the missing piece of tooth — about 3 millimeters by 2 millimeters in side.
Wiersma said she isn’t surprised Moses found the chunk of tooth. But she is surprised he didn’t eat it.
“He eats everything,” she said.
The dentist cemented the piece of tooth back in place, returning Wiersma’s smile to its natural state.
Moses is forgiven.
(Photo: Mark Welsh / Daily Herald)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, barrington, broken, chicago, dental, dentistry, dog, dog finds tooth, dogs, falls, finds, found, illinois, leashes, megan wiersma, missing, moses, pets, safety, smile, suburbs, teeth, tooth
Nearly 63,000 people have signed a petition asking Nestle Purina to recall chicken jerky treats manufactured in China — the subject of nearly 1,000 consumer complaints, an FDA investigation and a class action lawsuit.
But not a recall.
The most recent data shows that since November the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has logged over 900 reports of canine illnesses and deaths associated with chicken jerky treats made in China.
“I lost my best friend Sampson on Friday, January 13, 2012,” writes Terry Safranek, who started a petition for a recall of the treats on Change.org . “He died 9 days after ingesting the last food he ever ate: Waggin’ Train ‘Wholesome’ Chicken Jerky.”
While Sampson’s death is one of the cases still under investigation by the FDA, Safranek urges consumers to contact Nestle Purina and ask them to voluntarily recall the product.
Meanwhile, a Chicago area dog owner has filed a class action lawsuit against Nestle Purina, alleging that Waggin Train chicken jerky treats, made in China, were responsible for the death of his 9-year-old Pomeranian.
Dennis Adkins of Orland Park, Ill., filed the lawsuit in April 18 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He said his dog died of kidney failure two weeks after consuming the product.
The suit names as defendants Waggin’ Train LLC, the manufacturer of the product; Nestlé Purina Petcare Co., which is the corporation that owns the brand; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the distributor.
The lawsuit states Nestlé Purina and Waggin’ Train have received more than 500 complaints about dogs becoming sick and dying after consuming the treats, yet continues to market their product as being “wholesome.” Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: chicago, chicken, china, chinese, class action, complaints, consumers, death, dennis adkins, died, dog food, dog treats, fda, federal court, food and drug adminstration, health, jerky, lawsuit, nestle, pomeranian, purina, recall, safety, sick, treats, waggin train, wal mart, walmart, warnings
The town of Aurelia, Iowa, has declined to settle out of court with James Sak, the former Chicago police officer who says he should be allowed to keep the pit bull mix that helps him cope with the effects of a stroke.
Sak, 65, had to relinquish Snickers last year because the municipality bans pit bulls. He sent the dog to a boarding facility outside Aurelia. Later, an Iowa judge later granted an injunction, allowing Snickers and Sak to reunite (see the video above) and stay together in Aurelia until the case is resolved.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping with Sak’s legal representation, said last week that the town has declined to settle the case, and that a trial has been scheduled for July, 2013, more than a year from now.
Earlier this year, Saks, a stroke victim, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been undergoing treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
“The worst part of my [cancer] treatment is not having my dog here,” said Sak, who is expected to return home after his hospital stay.
“Jim has been so strong throughout all of this. We know his strength comes from knowing Snickers is waiting for him at home, waiting to do his job as his service animal and his support,” said said Kim Wolf, community engagement specialist for Animal Farm Foundation.
Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the right side of his body. He was paired at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago with Snickers, who helps him walk, balance and call from help in an emergency.
“We want everyone to realize that Aurelia’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to put Jim through the agony of a trial, especially while he’s battling cancer, does not reflect the sentiments of every resident of Aurelia,” Wolf said. “The outpouring of support and disbelief from Jim’s neighbors has been huge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, cancer, chicago, disability, dog, dogs, hospital, iowa, james sak, kim wolf, law, officer, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, police, scheduled, service, snickers, stroke, treatment, trial, victim
Analise J. Garner, 19, of Lake in the Hills, returned home drunk over the weekend and bit her family’s 80-pound English bulldog at least three times, officers said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, she was also charged with domestic battery and underage drinking.
Police were called to her home about 4 a.m. Sunday after neighbors reported loud noises, Sgt. Mike Smith said.
Garner scratched and hit her 37-year-old mother in the face and also bit her on the right hand. Three bite marks were found on the dog, he said.
“The bulldog finally did bite her back in self-defense,” Smith added. “There were no charges against the dog.”
Garner was released Monday from the McHenry County jail after posting bail on $3,000 bond. She is due in court May 23.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, argument, bites, bulldog, chicago, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, domestic battery, drunk, english bulldog, fight, intoxicated, pets, underage drinking, woman, woman bites dog
The officer is a five-year veteran of the Chicago police department.
He has not been identified. But he has been ticketed and relieved of duty as the department investigates his actions, CBS 2 in Chicago reports.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Audrey Fisher and her 12-year-old daughter took Willy, their 2-year-old, 8-pound Pomeranian-Papillon mix, to the dog beach so he could play with his favorite pink ball.
“A pit bull came out of nowhere and just attacked him, grabbed him by his belly and shook him violently,” Fisher said last month. Willy died three days later.
While park rules stipulate owners of dogs that attack other animals must pay the vet bills, the pit bull owner declined to identify himself and walked off with his dog. Fisher’s vet bills for Willy came to $5,700.
Fisher has spent the past month trying to track him down.
Witnesses were able to get a photo of the pit bull’s owner after the attack and Fisher has been handing out flyers with the man’s photo. The dog owner’s photo also was posted on MonDog.org, a website about the dog park.
Witnesses said the dog owner insisted the smaller dog started the fight and said he showed no remorse about the incident.
Upon learning he was a police officer, off duty at the time, Fisher said, “It scares me. That was my first reaction, was fear. … because I would not expect that kind of behavior from a Chicago police, or a cop of any kind.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, audrey fisher, bills, chicago, dog park, dogs, identified, killed, left, montrose beach dog park, officer, owner, papillon, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police. officer, pomeranian, scene, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, willy
Nio Tavlos believes his 12-pound miniature poodle, Diego, should be permitted to live with him at a 36-story, no-pets-allowed condo development in Lakeview.
The 67-year-old artist says Diego helps him battle bouts of depression. Without the dog, he said, “I spend a lot of time in bed, I’m lethargic, I’m not creative.”
Six years after the dispute began, Tavlos took his case to the Illinois Department of Human Rights. On Tuesday, the agency filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tavlos accusing the condo association of violating anti-discrimination laws.
Tavlos first asked for special permission to keep a dog in 2007 after learning other residents had pets as service and therapy animals, and that others secretly kept pets in the building.
Twice, the request was denied — even after letters from two of Tavlos’ doctors.
Tavlos, who lost another dog last year, is a painter who travels between his home in Santa Fe, N.M., and his wife’s Lakeview condo.
” …I’ve never lived without a dog my entire adult life. I wouldn’t want to live without dogs, to be honest with you … They are like my children,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Department of Human Rights said his depression qualifies as a physical disability under Illinois state law, and that it found “substantial evidence” that the condo association discriminated against him by denying a reasonable accommodation for the dogs.
The suit asks that the condo association create a policy to deal with other requests from disabled residents and that it train employees in fair housing practices. It also asks for an unspecified amount in damages and court costs.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artist, association, chicago, condominium, depression, diego, disability, discrimination, dog, dogs, housing, lawsuit, miniature, nio tavlos, no dogs, no pets, pets, poodle, rights, rules, service, therapy