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Tag: clinic

Kansas law student seeks justice for dogs

In a typical animal cruelty case — on those rare occasions they do get to court — you’ll see an attorney representing the people, and another representing a defendant.

But you don’t see one representing the dog.

Katie Barnett, for one, doesn’t think that’s right.

A third-year law student at Kansas University, she’s establishing an animal cruelty prosecution clinic at the school — one she says is the first of its kind.

Barnett, 30, will work with animal control, animal cruelty investigators at the Humane Society, police and prosecutors to ensure that justice is served in cases of animal abuse.

“This is the chance for me to give the animals a voice and a place in the justice system,” Barnett told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Barnett started researching how to put together the clinic two years ago, after some high-profile animal cruelty cases in Lawrence. She did ride-alongs with the police and animal cruelty investigators and followed cases through the court system.

This spring, Barnett will develop a protocol for how future students can assist in the prosecution of such cases.

“I’m doing a trial run to see how everything works,” she said. “I’m getting out all the kinks and really tailoring the position so everyone knows what to do. There’s never been a person to collect everything.”

The program will begin taking in students in the fall 2011.

Barnett was one of three law students awarded The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships last year for their outstanding work in the growing field of animal law.

A graduate of Missouri State University, she has two pit bull mix dogs, including a three-legged rescue named Leonidas. Both are both Delta Society therapy dogs who visit schools, hospitals, and participate in community outreach programs.

Barnett and her husband, Anthony, also run Game Dog Guardian, a local organization that rehabilitates pit bulls and helps find them adoptive homes.

Courage recovers, owner fired from vet job

A California kennel attendant charged with felony animal cruelty in the case of a starved dog was fired from her job Wednesday.

Kimberly Nizato, of Bellflower, was arrested April 16 after authorities with Southeast Area Animal Control Authority determined she was the owner of Bosco, a dog that was found near death on her property.

Nizato, 26, who worked at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of failure to provide care.

Her 3-year-old German shepherd weighed 37 pounds and was unable to walk or lift his head when a good samaritan stepped in and took the dog to a veterinarian earlier this month, according to the Orange County Register.

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County agreed to pay for the dog’s medical bills and care.

Renamed “Courage,” the dog was treated at Community Veterinary Hospital in Garden Grove before he was moved to a foster home.

Courage continues to improve and has gained 10 pounds in two weeks.

NASCAR driver helps establish N.C. shelter

bifflesFriends of the Animals, a non-profit group in North Carolina chaired by NASCAR driver Greg Biffle and his wife, plans to build a 1.5-acre no-kill animal and education center on the shore of Lake Norman in Iredell.

The center, which will include a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, will be in the planned $800 million Langtree at the Lake community off Interstate 77, according to Thatsracin.com.

Friends of the Animals hopes the center will open within two years.

The animal sanctuary will house 60 cats and 90 dogs that will be available for adoption.

The Langtree Group, a land development company, is allowing Friends of the Animals to use green space in the development for a community dog park and walking trails.

“Friends of the Animals searched for several years to find a location that would be easy for the public to access,” said Nicole Biffle, president of the Friends of the Animals’ board or directors. “ If the location is easy and friendly, we know it will increase adoptions and spay/ neuters for the animals.”

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle founded the Greg Biffle Foundation in 2005 to serve as an advocate to animals.

Used pacemakers are going to the dogs

Jeanne Howell’s parents were dog lovers, and they were both “big into recycling things.”

So Jeanne figures they would have no problem with the decision she made, after they died five days apart in October, to donate their pacemakers for use in dogs.

It’s not as rare as you might think.

The Indiana Funeral Directors Association says donating the pacemakers of deceased humans for use in dogs is “fairly common,” according to an article in the Gary Post-Tribune.

In the case of the Howells, both of whom were in their 90s, the pacemakers went to Purdue University’s Small Animal Hospital in West Lafayette, so the medical equipment could be placed in dogs.

Jeanne Howell said the suggestion came from the owner of Moeller Funeral Home in Valparaiso, where her parents bodies were cremated.

“I’m a Purdue graduate myself, so it was kind of nice that they were going to the Purdue veterinary clinic,” Howell said. “What else are you going to do with it? It’s a shame to waste them.” Read more »

Have you seen this dog?

wooden dog - CopyA dog has gone missing from the Compassion Veterinary Clinic in Marlborough, Mass. He’s described as small, black and plywood.

Debbie Cassinelli, the clinic manager, made the wooden dog silhouette — and several cats, as well — and attached them a couple of months ago to the clinic’s sign.

She suspects kids took the dog, which disappeared just after Thanksgiving. The cats were spared. 

wooden dogCassinelli told Metro West Daily News that she worked on the animals off and on for about three months. The dog was based on her own pet, a border collie-terrier mix. Cats looked down at the dog, which rested its paws on the edge of the sign.

She attached the dog to the sign with steel rods.

Cassinelli said she added the animals to the sign to draw attention to it. People tended to “fly down the road” and not notice the sign before the animals went up, she said.

Cassinelli  does not think she will get the dog back, but she plans to make a new one.

And the Hambone goes to …

toby1After Dennis Bullaro, 65, and his mother, Marie, 90, finished a roast dinner a few months ago, they tossed the round bone that remained to Toby, their one-year-old “cockalier” (cocker spaniel, Cavalier King Charles spaniel mix).

For two months, Toby treasured the bone, flinging it in the air and catching it, dropping it on the ground and rolling over it to scratch his back. But then one day the fun stopped.

Somehow, Toby managed to get the bone stuck around his front teeth and lower jaw, covering his snout and forcing a trip to an Omaha, Nebraska emergency veterinary clinic, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

At the Omaha Animal Emergency Clinic, the veterinarian had to anesthetize Toby and use a hacksaw to cut and  remove the bone.

Of more than 75,000 claims reviewed in May by the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, Toby’s was chosen as the most interesting, putting Toby in the running for the Hambone Award, to be bestowed in September after online voting.hambone

The company says most of the 1 million claims it handles each year are for common pet conditions or routine care. But, a company spokesman said sometimes claim comes up that reminds everyone just how unexpected and sometimes, in retrospect, even funny, pet accidents can be.

The award name was inspired by the case of a dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting to be let out.

The winning pet and owner receives a trophy in the shape of a ham.

The insurance company suggests that pet owners refrain from giving their pets leftover bones.

“Chill out … you can buy another one”

A man and his girlfriend who were rushing their sick dog to an emergency veterinary clinic were pulled over by police in  San Marcos, Texas, and, despite their pleas, forced to wait 20 minutes for a ticket to be issued.

“Chill out,”  the officer reportedly told the speeder. “It’s just a dog. You can buy another one.”

Michael Gonzalez was allegedly driving 95 mph when he and girlfriend Krystal Hernandez were pulled over after midnight Aug. 5 as they headed south on Interstate 35 toward a clinic in New Braunfels. The teacup poodle, Missy, died while the pair said they waited 20 minutes for Officer Paul Stephens to issue a ticket, according to an Associated Press account.

“This was not our finest hour,” said San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams. Williams said the department began an investigation after Gonzalez filed a complaint over the incident.

Gonzalez and Hernandez said the dog started choking at home, then threw up and went limp. After they were stopped, they pleaded with Stephens to allow them to continue and later turn themselves in. They also said they offered for Gonzalez to stay behind while Hernandez drove with Missy to New Braunfels.

Gonzalez said Stephens then talked with two other officers on the scene and didn’t allow him to leave for 20 minutes. By then, Missy was dead.

“It was not handled right by our officer,” Chief Williams said, “but whether there was a violation of our policy that is subject to punishment, I don’t know.”

It seems to me if it’s not, it should be, and Stephens should get his walking papers. If you think taking his job away seems too severe, well, chill out, he can always get another one.

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