Two Pennsylvania brothers who had 187 dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, seized from their property in July have pleaded guilty to two counts each of cruelty.
Thomas Ambrosia said he and his brother, Albert, pleaded guilty to “get this behind us,” and insisted they treated the dogs “like our boys and girls.”
Acting on tips, state dog wardens and state troopers executed a search warrant at a house in Benton, in Columbia County, last month and found the corpses of 30 Chihuahuas in a freezer. They seized 187 other dogs living there.
Authorities said the deceased dogs apparently died of natural causes. Veterinarians who checked the surviving Chihuahuas and two other dogs removed from the residence found only minor health issues, like eye, tooth and skin problems.
Pennsylvania law requires anyone who keeps, transfers or boards more than 25 dogs to obtain a kennel license and be inspected annually. Thomas Ambrosia, 57, said he and his 54-year-old brother had applied a kennel permit, but had been denied. They now have 10 dogs.
The brothers were fined more than $500 as part of their guilty pleas. One cruelty count involved neglect of a male coonhound with a sore on its leg, and the other involved a long-haired Chihuahua whose hair was badly matted.
At least one dozen shelters in Pennsylvania stepped in to help place the dogs.
(Photo: Some of the seized Chihuahuas; Pennyslvania Department of Agriculture)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambrosia, animal cruelty, animals, Benton, brothers, chihuahuas, columbia county, guilty, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, pennsylvania, pets, pleas
State dog wardens and police removed 206 Chihuahuas – many of them sick – from a home in Columbia County in northeastern Pennsylvania last week.
Dog wardens and state police executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of Albert and Thomas Ambrosia, in Benton, after receiving tips that dogs were being hoarded.
Officials removed several dead dogs from the home, and many more that were suffering from skin, eye and dental issues, said a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture. State police are determining whether to file animal cruelty charges, she said.
The dogs were taken to the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg to get medical treatment and were being divided up among shelters on Friday and over the weekend.
According to the Reading Eagle, two Berks County animal shelters were among those that took in some of the dogs. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County announced Friday that it would take in 30 of the dogs, and the Humane Society of Berks County received six.
“This is one of the worst cases of animal hoarding we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, but through the efficient work of dog wardens, state and county animal response teams and local animal shelters, the dogs are one step closer to finding healthy forever homes,” said Mike Pechart, a deputy secretary who oversees state Dog Law enforcement at the Agriculture Department.
The two men who kept the dogs at their home treated them as pets and identified them by name to law enforcement officials who took them away.
The Animal Rescue League reported that 10 of the 30 Chihuahuas it received are older dogs that require more extensive care and will be placed with the group’s foster home program for older animals.
Officials from both the Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League said it is unclear when the dogs will be available for adoption.
“This is a terrible event, but we’re grateful that the Office of Dog Law Enforcement took the initiative to rescue these dogs,” said Dylan Heckart, Berks County Humane Society director of development and pubic relations. “We plan to offer the Chihuahuas the best veterinary care available and place them for adoption as soon as they’re ready.”
(Photo: Dylan Heckart, director of development and public relations at the Humane Society of Berks County, with Chihuahuas rescued from a Columbia County home; by Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Albert Ambrosia, animal rescue league, animals, Benton, berks county, chihuahuas, columbia county, dead, department of agriculture, dogs, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, humane society, pennsylvania, pets, seized, sick, Thomas Ambrosia
I didn’t tune in to the first couple of episodes of “Dogs in the City.”
Another “Dog Whisperer” ripoff, I assumed; another show that makes transforming a poorly behaving dog appear, through the wonders of editing, magical and instantaneous. Then there was the pretty boy star of the CBS show — far too good looking to have been hired for his dog training skills, I figured.
But, based on the episode that aired last week, I like it, and, so far, him.
Here’s why. Justin Silver, the New York City trainer who’s the star of the show, went straight to the core of the behavioral problems of the three dogs featured — humans, of course, in every case.
Last week’s episode looked at a young couple on the verge of marriage whose dogs didn’t get along, an overly rambunctious family golden doodle, and a lonely woman who complained that two of her dogs, dachschunds both, were manhandling her third, a pampered celebrity Yorkie.
In each case the solution boiled down to three words, or less:
To the doting Yorkie owner whose world revolves entirely around her dogs, “Get a life.”
To the woman who saw her husband’s pit bulls as threatening to her Chihuahua — when actually it was the Chihuahua who was doing all the threatening – ”Chill out.”
And to the husband who encouraged rough play between his two young children and the golden doodle, “You’re an ass.”
He didn’t put it quite that bluntly, but almost, suggesting the husband release his pent-up energies by joining an “over 40 basketball league” rather than allowing and encouraging his children to “play” with the dog in a manner that came across as both cruel and harassing.
True, they were simple, obvious anwers — the kind everyone can see, except maybe the dogs’ owners.
A dog raised with no rules, in a chaotic environment, is most likely to become a chaotic sort, as seemed the case with the golden doodle. Beings that are idle, hardly ever get outdoor exercise and lack any socialization, like the dachshunds, and prison inmates, are going to come up with their own forms of stimulation, appropriate or not. Nervous and fearful dogs most often have a nervous and fearful owner at the other end of the leash.
It was neither rocket science nor miracle working, and while such shows always make canine transormations appear more instant thay they really are, Silver seems adept at getting to the root of the problem, coming up with a plan to address it, and dispensing both brutal honesty and compassion along the way.
Silver explained to the Yorkie owner, who admitted to spending 99 percent of her time in the house, that her dogs were acting out because they got little exercise. Minus stimulation, they created their own, albeit it at the expense of the Yorkie who seemed humped, licked and bitten to no end. He insisted the dogs started getting some walks, and he took their owner to a meet-up group, where she and her dogs had a chance to socialize.
With the Chihuahua owner, it was clear from the start that she had issues with pit bulls — and thus her Chihuahua did, too. The Chihuahua was picking up on her nervousness, and growling and snarling at the mellow pair of pitties. Silver worked to put her at ease around her husband-to-be’s dogs.
And with the golden doodle, it was a mainly matter of teaching the husband and two children that their dog wasn’t a punching bag, and setting some boundaries — for the dog, and kids, and dad.
“Dogs in the City” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, cbs, chihuahuas, dachshunds, dog training, dogs, dogs in the city, golden doodles, justin silver, pets, pit bulls, problems, review, television, trainer, tv, yorkshire terrier
According to Klooff, what I need to do is get a golden retriever, or a Siberian husky, or a French bulldog — and then just wait for women to line up in hopes of dating me.
Based on findings in a survey conducted by Klooff, a new iPhone app for pet lovers, those are among the dog breeds that best attract women.
“Pets are great for lots of different things; for companionship, for fun romps at the park, and even for getting a date,” said Alejandro Russo, co-founder of Klooff. “That’s why we built Klooff, so people can express themselves through their pets. And possibly even find a little romance while at it.”
I find it revolting — maybe not Klooff itself, but this particular avenue the humans behind the app have chosen in a quest for publicity.
It’s dogsploitation at its worst. It reduces dog to an accessory — one that can help you “express yourself” and get you dates. It makes dogs the equivalent of those Axe products that purport to attract women, like flies to dog poop.
If the main reason you are getting a dog is to attract humans of the gender you are seeking — be it for a date or a long-term relationship — don’t get a dog.
If you are getting a dog for other reasons, but want to factor in which breed would serve you best as you go about your courting and woo-pitching, don’t get a dog.
If you think that a dog’s breed is all you need to know — that breed alone determines every facet of a dog’s personality and behavior, thereby making him 100 percent predictable — don’t get a dog, at least until you do a little more research.
Here’s a sample of their pun-laden press release:
Just what are the best breeds for singles?
It’s no secret that taking your dog for a walk during these upcoming dog days of summer is a great way to meet other singles, make a connection, and potentially land a hot date. But what dog breeds give men and women the best chance of getting a “leg up” on the competition in the “dog eat dog” world of dating and romance?
A new international poll on what goes on in one of the hottest singles scenes – at the dog park – suggests certain breeds are the “cat’s meow” in navigating the “ruff” world of dating, whereas others hinder their chances of success. The survey illuminates what types of dogs men and women should own to attract their next girlfriend, boyfriend, hookup, or soulmate…and which dogs to completely stay away from.
I will point out here that my dog Ace has gotten me dates — in fact, pretty much every date I’ve had in recent years. I would go so far to say that, while he smells much worse, he works much better than Axe deodorant, or body spray or hair styling products. But that’s an unexpected benefit, not the sole or even main reason he came into my home.
Although it was once the case, in today’s society most of us no longer choose dogs based on the work they can do for us – unless you are a shepherd, or a hunter, or a dog show ribbon seeker.
Today we choose them for companionship — for the love they bring into our homes, as opposed to the varmints they can chase away, or the potential suitors of our own species they might attract.
The Klooff app, though, is indicative of a mindset that still lingers – despite the evolution of dogs, despite the evolution of our thinking about them:
Looking at dogs solely in terms of what they can do for us.
The notion of getting a dog for the purpose of spicing up your romantic life is selfish — on par with ruining a pristine natural environment to feed your whims.
The notion that you should choose a dog based on how well its breed reportedly attracts humans of the gender you are seeking is equally unwise.
Klooff ranks breeds in terms of their ability to attract dates. The lists are based on a survey Klooff says is ”representative of 1,000 pet owners and non-owners.” It presents the results in countdown style:
The top dog breeds to attract men were:
2. Labrador Retrievers
1. Golden Retrievers
The top dog breeds to attract women were:
5. French Bulldogs
4. Siberian Huskies
3. Labrador Retrievers
2. Golden Retrievers
1. German Shepherds
Klooff is a newly launched mobile app that lets users create profiles for their pets, allowing them to upload pet photos and interact with other pet lovers, “and maybe make the dog park dating scene a little easier.”
According to Klooff, men who own retrievers are seen as “great dads,” men who own a Siberian Husky are seen as “manly,” and men who own bulldogs, boxers or Rottweilers are seen as “just a hook up.”
According to Klooff — and this is the one that bothers us most — the man who owns a pit bull or Rottweiler is seen as ”slimy” or “sketchy.”
Klooff calls their rankings “scientific.”
If you believe that, you probably own a Chihuahua.
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alejandro russo, animals, app, appeal, beagles, breeds, chihuahuas, dating, dating scene, dog, dog park, dogs, dumb, exploitation, french bulldog, gender, german shepherds, golden retrievers, iphone, klooff, love, mates, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, poodles, romance, sex, siberian huskies, sketchy, slimy, stereotypes
As you’ve probably noticed at the dog park, certain names seem to go with certain breeds.
Gizmos are usually shih tzus, Fifis poodles, and Rockys Rottweilers. Trooper is likely a Lab or German shepherd, and chances are Bubba’s a coonhound.
Beyond all the obvious instances — dalmatians named Spot, Great Danes named Marmaduke, beagles named Snoopy and collies named Lassie — there’s a tendency to bestow certain names on certain breeds, notes noted baby naming expert Laura Wattenberg.
So much so that she’s made a word cloud game of it. (You can find it, here)
“The names you like, and the kind of dog you like, seem to inform each other,” said Wattenberg, who has spent some time analyzing name-breed data and found some patterns within. “If you love the idea of a dog named Jethro, it says a lot about the breed of dog you’ll want.”
Wattenberg, best known as an authority on baby-naming trends, poured over the websites of animal shelters and breeders to compile a list of 5,000 dog names and photos. She found the type of name chosen was frequently dependent on the breed, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Wattenberg says she’s considering developing an online name-recommendation engine that takes a dog’s breed into account.
While the biggest trend in naming dogs is still the use of human names, giving them “fitting” names, based on perceptions of their breed, remains a strong tradition.
“Human names are rising across the board. But the kind of name you choose probably depends on the breed and your lifestyle,” she says. “The names reflect either our impression of those dogs or the kind of people who choose them.”
Hunting breeds are likely to get “down-home country names,” such as Bubba, Roscoe or Jethro; Corgis are prone to getting preppy names, like Lacey, Colby and Reggie; and Rottweilers often get macho names, like Rocky, Hunter and Duke, she says.
Pet owners also turn to a breed’s country of origin — or at least that most commonly associated with it — to come up with a name. Thus, there are many Chihuahuas called Chi-Chi, Diego and Pablo; poodles named Pierre, Fifi and Pepe; and Siberian huskies dubbed Sasha, Juneau and Yukon.
(Photo: A Rottweiler named Rocky, by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby names, breeds, bubba, chihuahuas, coonhound, corgis, countries, dog, dog names, dogs, fifi, german shepherd, gizmo, human names, huskies, labrador, laura wattenberg, names, naming, origins, pets, poodle, retriever, rocky, rottweiler, shih-tzu, trooper
In the canine ceremony, two dogs who were surrendered together were united in wholly matrimony. Shiloh, 2, and Trixie, 1, both Chihuahuas, were brought to the shelter because their owner had too many animals to take care of.
The feline wedding saw Otie, 4, a Maine Coon mix and Geo, 2, a calico, tie the knot. (Geo is a female, in case your hackles are rising). They became enamored with each other after both were placed in the humane society’s new communal cat area.
Both are considered bonded pairs, meaning the humane society will require they go to the same home.
If you’re interested in adopting either pair, contact the Baltimore Humane Society.
To read more about the ceremony, see more pictures, and see what items are included on the couples’ registries (said items benefitting all the dogs and cats at the shelter) visit photographer Mary Swift’s blog.
(Photo courtesy of Mary Swift Photography)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, adoption, animals, baltimore humane society, bonded, cats, ceremony, chihuahuas, dogs, geo, married, otie, pets, shiloh, trixie, video, wedding
Animal advocates in North Carolina are hoping last week’s seizure of 160 dogs from a large scale breeding operation in Stokes County helps propel the state legislature to finally pass a puppy mill law.
The dogs were removed from Dan River Bullies in Danbury, described by authorities as a crowded facility where dogs slept in their own waste in makeshift, mouse-infested kennels with exposed wires.
It was a “heartbreaking” scene, in the view of Kim Alboum, director of the Humane Society of North Carolina. She said she hopes it serves as a catalyst that will push North Carolina to demand more regulation of commercial dog breeders.
“My expectation is that our legislators are going to see the outcry from the general public and hopefully help us move something forward and get some regulations in place,” Alboum told the Raleigh News and Observer.
“The majority of people want to have regulations for commercial dog breeders in North Carolina,” she added. “They want to have some level of accountability.”
A bill to regulate commercial breeders passed the state Senate in 2009, but didn’t make it through the House. Alboum said she’s working with North Carolina animal control officers and legislators to come up with a new bill.
The Humane Society of the United States, which took part in the raid, estimates there are 250 to 300 commercial dog breeders operating in North Carolina. While most may be responsible and caring owners, Alboum said, not all are, and the state has been drawing unethical breeders from other states that have passed puppy mill laws.
Nationally, at least 19 states have some level of regulation in place for commercial dog breeders, the Humane Society says.
More than 500 dogs were recovered in the five puppy mill raids in North Carolina last year – in Wake, Caldwell, Franklin, Perquimans and Lincoln counties.
The dogs seized last week have ended up in shelters in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.
Marsha Williams, executive director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, which received 129 of them, said their problems include eye issues, hematomas, heart murmurs, severe dental problems, matting and dermatitis. Some of the dogs have broken jaws and teeth.
The dogs included French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas.
Charges are expected to be filed against the owners, Willis and Lucile Mabe, after veterinarians finish evaluating the dogs.
(Top Photo by Brooke Cain / Raleigh News & Observer; bottom two photos courtesy of Humane Society of the United States)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, boston terriers, breeders, breeding, chihuahuas, commericial, dan river bullies, danbury, dogs, english bulldogs, french bulldogs, humane society, kim alboum, large scale, legislation, legislature, north carolina, operation, pets, puppy mill law, puppy mills, shih tzus, stokes county, yorkshire terriers
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
Breed: Chihuahua mix
Age: About 13
Encountered: At a Sunday street concert in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Backstory: Dart’s owners found him while they were living in Dallas. He was under some railroad tracks. They took him home and named him after the city’s transit system, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART.
He seems to have it pretty cushy now, including his own little lime green beach chair they carry along to make sure he’s comfortable.
(Roadside Encounters are a regular feature of Travels with Ace. To see them all click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, breeds, chihuahuas, dallas, dallas area rapid transit, dart, dog, dogs, encounter, found, north carolina, pets, photography, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace, winston-salem
As reported by the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Playa del Rey resident Kellie Sue Peters was on her way to the grocery store when a dog chasing a rabbit ran in front of her car on the busy highway.
When Peters stopped to try and snag the dog, on the highway near LAX, she noticed other dogs, including one that landed at her feet after it was hit by a car.
“I was horrified,” she said. “I just thought I’ve got to help him. … I’m not the type of person who can just walk away.”
The small white terrier mix nipped her hand when she knelt down to get a closer look.
The dog, who she now calls “Carson,” is recovering. Six others were rescued and are being held at the SPCA shelter in Hawthorne. A few more dogs were found the next day, but others were either killed or remain on the loose.
“They were unkempt,” El Segundo police Lt. Carlos Mendoza said. “They could have been strays, or somebody was hoarding dogs and decided to dump them.”
Two animal welfare organizations — including one run by actress Katherine Heigl — are offering a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the identification of the person who abandoned them.
“We are participating in the reward money being offered to find whoever did this despicable thing,” Heigl said in a statement. “People have to be held accountable for this kind of lack of humanity and compassion.”
Although Facebook comments allude to a white van being involved in the abandonment, authorities have yet to confirm that.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal welfare, carson, cesar millan, chihuahuas, d cups saving teacups, dog, dogs, dumped, el segundo, highway, imperial highway, katherine heigl, kim sill, los angeles, rescue, reward, shelter, terriers, traffic