A heartwarming little story in the University of Rhode Island student newspaper — about a janitor who brings his dog to work — has apparently led to a cold-hearted response by administrators: Ivy must go.
Mike LaPolice, who keeps Peck Hall clean, started bringing Ivy to work with him soon after he adopted her a year and a half ago.
The Siberian husky followed LaPolice, who has worked for the university for 25 years, as he performed his duties at the dormitory, and she quickly became popular among students, who enjoyed petting her and taking her picture.
LaPolice got Ivy certified as a therapy dog — though in reality she was probably bringing students comfort and relieving their stress even before she got her degree.
Almost immediately, LaPolice received word from the university’s Department of Housing and Residential Life that — if he wanted to keep his job — his dog needed to leave the campus and not come back.
“Nobody will tell me who has a problem with Ivy,” LaPolice told the student newspaper in a follow-up piece. “All of the … staff that I’ve talked to keep referring to some person who doesn’t like her being here, but I don’t know who that is.”
Even before Ivy got banned from campus, LaPolice was aware his dog’s presence was a concern among some administrators. That was part of the reason he got her certified as a therapy dog. Dorm residents knew the dog was an issue, too. Last year they presented a petition to school officials, urging she be allowed to stay in the residence hall.
But for the past seven months, the issue seemed to have subsided, and it appeared school officials were willing to overlook Ivy’s presence in the dormitory, which, technically, is a violation of school rules.
Somehow, the newspaper story reignited the drive to remove Ivy from campus.
“I’m trying not to regret running this piece, because we never could have anticipated this outcome,” the newspaper’s editor, Allison Farrelly, said in an interview with CollegeMediaMatters.com. ”I feel sick about it though, that we could have played a hand in negatively impacting not just this man’s life, but the lives of all the students Ivy touched.”
“It still doesn’t make sense to me that HRL could have reacted so strongly to our article, but I don’t feel defeated yet because I don’t think we’ve done everything we can to right this. I told my staff this, but I think there is a good chance if the student body gets behind our reporting, we can right this.”
LaPolice told the student newspaper he might talk to his doctor to figure out if he can be permitted to keep Ivy with him because of a medical need.
“I’ll go to a psychiatrist if I have to,” he said.
Another petition is being talked about among those students who want to keep Ivy in Peck Hall — many of whom say they’ve benefited from her presence.
The Department of Housing and Residential Life issued this statement yesterday:
“Staff members of the University’s Department of Housing and Residential Life became aware of an employee bringing a dog to Peck Hall late last summer. Since that time, housing staff has met repeatedly with the employee to ask him to leave the dog at home. The University does not permit its employees to bring their pets to work, unless they are service animals.
“While we understand the bond students may have formed with an animal brought into their residence hall, the University must consider the precedent that this sets and the welfare of the entire community, including potential liability in the event of a dog bite and issues around sanitation, pests and allergies.
“There are avenues for addressing employee accommodation requests under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the employee was referred to Human Resources for that process. To date, Human Resources has not received an official request from the employee for accommodations under the federal law.”
There are no reports of Ivy biting anyone, provoking any allergic reactions, or bringing any “pests” into the dorm.
Instead, students say she has brought comfort and cheer.
“In September, a relationship that I was in came to an end and hit me pretty hard with the feels,” said one. “Ivy jumped up on the couch and laid down next to me with her head on my chest because she could sense that I was upset.”
“On a particularly tough day, Ivy wandered into my office and just put her head on my leg,” said another, who serves as a resident assistant at Peck Hall. “How could I possibly stay focused on such negativity in my life with that beautiful, loving dog looking right up at me?”
(Photo: By Donald Reuker / The Good 5 Cent Cigar)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: administration, animals, banned, bans, college, dog, dogs, dormitory, feature, ivy, janitor, newspaper, pets, rhode island, siberian husky, story, students, the five cent cigar, therapy dogs, university of rhode island, uri
I’m all for dogs on college campuses, and all for campus security.
But news that the governor of Ohio wants every campus in the state to have its own bomb-sniffing dog troubles me — mostly for what it says about our times.
Youngstown State University was presented a bomb-sniffing dog Monday as part of a pilot program that officials eventually hope to expand throughout the state’s public universities, the Associated Press reported.
Bomb sniffing dogs were to be presented at Ohio State University yesterday and at Bowling Green State University today.
Kent State University already has one, and wants to get another.
Ohio’s public safety director, John Born, says it’s all part of Gov. John Kasich’s plans to strengthen school safety for students — from preschool to college age.
Born says the dogs can respond to threats and conduct security sweeps for large-scale events, such as athletic games or visits by dignitaries.
It costs more than $12,700 to buy each animal and pay for initial training and equipment. Ohio Homeland Security is covering the costs with federal grant money.
The universities provide the officers who become the dogs’ full-time handlers.
“There’s just not enough explosives dogs in the state for the need depending on where you are, so this is hopefully the beginning of a more comprehensive effort,” Born said.
Participating universities have to agree that the dogs will be available if there is an off-campus need, such as a threat at a high school.
(Photo: Ohio State University police officer Joanna Shaul and her canine, courtesy of Ohio State University)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bomb, bombs, campus, canines, college, detecting, dogs, explosive, explosives, governor, john kasich, ohio, pets, police, school, security, sniffing, universities
Last week we told you about the New York tattoo artist who decided his dog needed to be inked.
This week we learned that two college students in New York introduced a dog to the practice of kegstanding, or drinking beer from a keg while being held upside down.
File both stories under the category of people inflicting their own dopey and uniquely human behaviors on dogs.
The two 20-year-olds, who we’ll call Dumb and Dumber, posted a photo online of the dog being forced to kegstand.
Being college students, they were smart enough to do so anonymously. But one was wearing his College of Brockport T-shirt, which led authorities to that institution, where it took little time to track down the party boys.
“Through a joint investigation between the SUNY Brockport Police, the Brockport Police Department and the Sweden Dog Warden, it was learned that a dog was held upside down, and apparently forced to consume beer from a keg during a party that occurred on Saturday March 8, 2014 at a house located on Monroe Avenue in the village of Brockport,” police said in a news release.
Shane Oliver, of Bergen, and Robert Yates, of West Seneca, were ordered to appear in Sweden Town Court next month to face charges of torturing and injuring an animal, according to the Post-Standard in Syracuse
They are both enrolled at the College at Brockport, part of the State University of New York (SUNY).
Brockport police said Oliver is the person pictured holding the dog, and that Yates took the photo and posted it.
The event occurred off the Brockport campus, authorities said.
The dog, a black Labrador retriever named Mya, belonged to someone else. She was taken by the local dog warden and is in good physical condition, according to the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester.
The tweet was sent out from @SUNYPartyStories, a Twitter feed devoted to chronicling how hard hearty SUNY students party.
We have no problem with those who want to decorate their own skin with ink, or imbibe until they can no longer think straight. That’s every stupid human’s right. But keep it to your own species, boys.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 12th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, beer, behavior, college, college of brockport, dog, dogs, drink, forced, harming, keg, kegstanding, lab, labrador, mya, party, pets, photo, photograph, state university of new york, students, stupidity, suny, torturing, twitter, upside down, upside down drinking
No other place — and I’m just speaking for myself now — is, at once, so stimulating and soothing. Give us the sound of pounding surf, the sight of gliding pelicans and the smell of salt water and, of course, access to some air conditioning, and we are happy souls. All my senses, and perhaps even my brain, seem to to work better at the beach.
And this wasn’t just any beach. This was — in what was perhaps my biggest freeloading coup to date – a gated beach community, part-time home to North Carolina’s rich and famous, good old boys like Andy Griffith and not-so-good, not- so-old ones like John Edwards.
Figure 8 Island near Wilmington is a private paradise – not accessible to the beach-going hordes, private enough that celebrities (usually) find solace there, and dotted with mansions that seem to think they’re big enough to defy hurricanes.
Exclusive is what it is — the sort of place I’d be prone to make fun of, unless of course, I was invited in.
Once Ace and I were, we didn’t want to leave.
I’d made a point to time our continuing travels so that we’d be able to take advantage of an invitation to visit my former University of North Carolina classmates Steve and Louise Coggins, year-round residents of the island who were holding a mini-reunion for some college friends, most of whom I hadn’t laid eyes on in — as someone felt it necessary to point out — 35 years.
Steve, a lawyer, and Louise, a psychotherapist, are hard core dog lovers, and hard core people lovers as well. Earl, their Cavalier King Charles spaniel, is the latest in a long line of rescues. If rescuing dogs weren’t enough, Steve has also hauled some humans out of the ocean, and I’m guessing Louise, in her job, has pulled a few humans back from the riptides of life they were caught in as well.
They, and the other old friends I reconnected with, seem to remain just about as wacky as they were in college — Louise, who once tracked down Paul Newman on the island and talked him into posing for a picture, in particular. They seem to remain — despite all you hear about the vanishing idealism of my greying generation — just as idealistic and committed as they were then, too. Maybe even more so. If there’s a liberal cause, or a Democratic candidate, you can probably find its, his or her bumper sticker on the back of Louise’s car. (“Who would Jesus execute?” was my favorite.) And, beyond lip service, both she and her husband seem still up for a fight when it comes to what they think is right.
That, to me, was even more refreshing than getting slapped and tickled by a cold ocean wave, though I must report that the ocean is not cold at all. It’s the warmest I’ve ever felt it. (This continues to be the summer I came to believe in global warming.)
Ace and Earl hit it off immediately — Earl being a low key little dog who likes to sit in a lap, or other comfortable spot, and observe the humans, often with a quizzical stare that makes you think he’s still trying to figure out the species.
Ace — though he’s not big on swimming in the ocean, prefering to wade, was in his element, too.
He seems most content when among multiple friends, kind of like Steve and Louise. Their beach house — rebuilt after Hurricane Fran claimed their first — seems to have a steady stream of visitors coming and going. If it were a bed and breakfast, it would be doing a thriving business. I think there are long stretches between the times only they and Earl are there.
I hung around for two days, evening out my one-sided driving tan and pondering how I might extend my stay. I offered to become Steve and Louise’s live- in gardener — especially appropriate because, at their wedding, I, having gone attired in blue jeans, was mistaken for a gardener. I considered altering the dates of my visitor’s permit, or stowing away on the island, sleeping on the decks of unoccupied mansions during the night, frolicking in the surf by day.
But finally, and with great effort, I tore myself away.
Ace was even harder to tear away. For the first time on this trip, he didn’t come when I called him to jump in the car. Instead he walked up to the front door of the beach house and sat down — not the momentary, ready-when-you-are-sit, but that determined, try-and-budge-me sit dogs do.
But after taking in two days of good friends, good food, good sun, good surf, and a breezy oceanfront porch swing nap that — until Ace came over and started licking my hand — was perhaps the most restful nap ever in my entire history of napping, we forced ourselves back in the hot old car and headed north, headed in search of another piece of my past.
That story is coming soon. Suffice to say that — unlike my college friends, and their principles — it didn’t hold up so well.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, beach, cavalier, college, community, democrats, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, exclusive, figure 8 island, freeloading, friends, gated, king charles, liberal, north carolina, ocean, pelicans, pets, private, reunion, road trip, shore, spaniels, traveling with dogs, wilmington
Classes are underway at Dog College.
What is Dog College? It’s a series of free online courses — not for real college credits — being offered by Dog Fancy magazine in conjunction with DogChannel.com. It’s sponsored by Iams Healthy Naturals brand dog food.
This semester has already started, and includes nine courses that pet owners take over three months — including classes on physiology, natural nutrition, communication, genetics, environmental science, health science and art history.
Each course includes advice and information from dog experts, and includes reading material, video or slide shows. To graduate, students must complete all of the quizzes with a passing score of 60 percent or higher. To receive top honors, students must take all of the quizzes and score 90 percent or higher on each one.
A valedictorian, chosen from those who score 100 percent on all quizzes, will win a year’s worth of Iams Healthy Naturals dog food provided by PETCO. To learn more and sign up, visit at DogChannel.com.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, classes, college, courses, degree, dog, dog college, dog fancy, dogchannel.com, dogs, education, free, iams, news, ohmidog!, online, pets, school
If you watched last night’s Final Four in Indianapolis, you may have caught a glimpse of Butler Blue II, the mascot of the Butler University Bulldogs, a school that apparently — as the home team — got some special treatment from the NCAA.
The NCAA made an exception to its rules prohibiting live animals on the basketall court, allowing Blue II to make an appearance before the game, which saw Butler beat Michigan State for a spot in the final game against Duke.
Bulldogs, quickly growing in popularity — they’re now No. 7 on the AKC’s most popular breeds list — also serve as the mascots for Yale, Georgetown and the University of Georgia, not to mention the U.S. Marine Corps.
Butler University adopted the Bulldogs name in the 1920s, but never had a bulldog on campus other than as an occasional fraternity pet.
Then, in 1998, Kelli Walker, a Butler graduate, went to work for the school’s alumni office as the associate director of alumni and parent programs. Walker began researching the possibility of getting an actual bulldog donated to the school to serve as mascot.
Instead, she found an alumnus who donated money, allowing Walker to purchase the original Butler Blue from a local breeder, according to the Morris Daily Herald.
The original Blue retired in 2004 and now lives with Walker in Morris, Ill. Blue’s breeder offered to donate the school’s second mascot, Blue II.
Butler Blue II celebrated his sixth birthday on March 27 — the same day his teamed earned their final four berth. Blue both Tweets and blogs, and his favorite treats are milk and ice cream, but, as the video above shows, clearly not watermelon.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, basketball, blue, blue II, bulldog, bulldogs, butler, butler blue, butler blue II, butler university, championship, college, dogs, final four, indianapolis, mascot, mascots, ncaa, news, ohmidog!, pets, sports, tournament, video
Starting in fall 2010, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University will no longer use dogs and other healthy, live animals to teach surgical skills.
The college in East Lansing will no longer require “terminal surgery labs” in which animals are killed after being used to practice surgical techniques.
Instead of the controversial labs, the college will use more humane teaching methods, including sophisticated models and animal cadavers — a change that has been initiated at more than half of the 28 other veterinary medical schools in the U.S.
“We are ecstatic that MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has made this compassionate change to their curriculum and we hope to work with them in the future to make additional advances such as an ethically sourced cadaver program,” said Mitch Goldsmith, President of MSU Students Promoting Animal Rights (SPAR).
Laura Ducceschi, Director of Animalearn, a national program that provides resources for humane science education, commended MSU for “taking this positive step towards joining the many other prestigious veterinary institutions that have ended terminal surgery labs and replaced them with humane alternatives and shelter medicine programs that benefit students and animals.”
Animalearn, the educational division of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), works with educators, students and others to achieve quality humane science education without harmful use of animals.
Both SPAR and Animalearn advocated to end animal use at MSU following revelations of the extent of the university’s use of dogs in Animalearn’s 2009 report, Dying to Learn: Exposing the Supply and Use of Dogs and Cats in Higher Education.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aavs, alternatives, american anti-vivisection society, animalearn, animals, cadavers, cats, college, curriculum, dogs, dying to learn, education, healthy, higher education, humane, live, medicine, michigan state university, models, msu, news, practice, science, surgery, surgical, techniques, terminal surgery labs, veterinary