Tamira Thayne’s trial in Surry General District Court in Virginia was to have begun Tuesday.
Prosecutors said the misdemeanor charges against the founder and founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, could be reinstated later, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Thayne was charged with animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals in August 2012, after an animal control officer and state veterinarian inspected her Good Newz Rehab Center in response to a complaint.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the court he decided not to prosecute the case because a key witness, a former employee of Dogs Deserve Better who lives in South Carolina, did not show up for the trial.
Thayne, if convicted, faced up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry said charges against Thayne would be refiled “in the very near future.”
“I’m an innocent woman and have always been an innocent woman,” she said. “Right now, I’m free, but there’s still this little bit of weight on my shoulders…. It’s not totally gone.”
Thayne opened the Good Newz Rehab Center in June 2011 at the rural estate on Moonlight Road where Vick once ran a dogfighting business.
Vick served 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to charges related to a dogfighting operation.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, care, charges, complaint, court, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, estate, former, good newz, group, home, michael vick, moonlight road, organization, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, rescue, surry county, tamira thayne, trial, virginia, witness
Patrick Stark says he and his dog Copenhagen, a Queensland heeler, were asked to leave a Wawa store in June.
He’d gone to the convenience store in Millville with his dog — who helps him cope with recurrent seizures – to pick up some sandwiches, but an assistant manager argued that his dog wasn’t allowed.
Other customers reportedly joined in. Copenhagen reportedly sat quietly and watched.
Stark said even when he pointed to the special tags on Copenhagen the assistant manager would not listen to him and called police.
“The police were great when they got there,” Stark said. “They were so nice to me.”
New Jersey state officials announced the settlement Wednesday. Despite the payoff, Stark said he plans to avoid Wawas, or at least that Wawa, in the future. Wawa Food Markets operates almost 600 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The Pennsylvania-based chain has agreed to post signs in its New Jersey stores saying service dogs are welcome and to train employees about state laws regarding service animals. The company didn’t admit any liability as part of the settlement, according to NJ.com.
“Service dogs are permitted in all Wawa stores,” said company spokesperson Lori Bruce. “It is always our effort and intent to fully comply with the law and treat all customers with sensitivity and respect. If for some reason we find out that there was an individual experience that did not reflect that, we will always do our best to look into the situation and address it immediately.”
Stark served in the Army from 1998 to 2000, and began having problems with recurrent seizures three years ago when he was hit in the head during a mugging in Seattle.
“He’s my lifeline,” Stark said of Copenhagen. “Without him I can’t function. Without him I can’t go anywhere and have an independent life.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artist, complaint, convenience store, copenhagen, denied, dog, dogs, heeler, millville, new jersey, patrick stark, pets, seizures, service, service dogs, wawa
A one-foot-tall laboratory monkey is on the loose in North Carolina after escaping from a Wake Forest University research facility, and there are some concerns about how he’s going to react to tonight’s fireworks.
The 8-pound macaque was last seen Tuesday hiding in some tall trees in a residential area, doing her best to stay away from animal control officials seeking to capture her.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the 16-year-old breeding monkey has been at the Wake Forest University Primate Center, on Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Friedburg Campus in Davidson County, since 2008. The primate center is on 38 fenced acres within a 200-acre campus.
She escaped Friday when a housing area was being cleaned. Officials believe the monkey — a crab-eating macaque — went through an open gate, then managed to open asecond gate in a chain link fence.
“She actually hit the latch — hit it just right,” said Richard Young, the director of animal resources and head veterinarian.
Animal control officers got their first call about the escape Monday — from a resident reporting a monkey in her backyard.
Wake Forest officials said they believed the animal hadn’t gone far, and were concentrating their search in and around the primate center.
As of late Tuesday, the officials had set seven traps, using oranges and bananas as bait, but the monkey had not been captured.
PETA says it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asking the agency to investigate the primate center for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
“While we’re cheering for this monkey, who has gained independence from her captors just in time for the Fourth of July, Wake Forest’s ineptitude has led this monkey into a foreign environment that will be especially terrifying and dangerous as fireworks explode in the coming days,” PETA said in a statement.
“These intelligent, sensitive animals deserve better than to be confined to cages for decades and forced to breed, only to have their babies taken from them and subjected to painful and deadly experiments.”
Forsyth County Animal Control officer Ricky Beeson said officers hope to trap the monkey, but added tranquilizer guns would be used if necessary — possibly even real guns, if the monkey is posing a public safety risk.
(Photo: A Forsyth County Animal Control officer uses a spotting scope to search the woods in Clemmons for a missing macaque; by Walt Unks / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, breeding, clemmons, complaint, davidson county, escaped, fireworks, forsyth county, investigation, lab, laboratory, loose, macaque, monkey, north carolina, peta, pets, primate center, research, search, wake forest university, winston-salem
The city council in Willamina, Oregon, voted 4-0 to evict the 14-year-old cat.
The council gave Head Librarian Melissa Hansen and Youth Services Librarian Denise Willms 10 days to find a new home for Agatha Christie.
It’s not the first time Agatha Christie has been on the verge of homelessness.
In the late fall of 2005, the council voted to ban all but guide animals from city-owned buildings. The community quickly rallied to the cat’s defense — and the council ended up making an exception for the cat, but not her hamster buddies, Hamlet and Othello.
Hamlet and Othello found new homes, and Agatha Christie remained in the library. (The controversy was also partially responsible an unsuccessful recall effort against then Mayor Rita Baller and two council members, according to Yamhill Valley News Register.)
Apparently, a local resident claims her two-year-old daughter was bitten and scratched by the declawed and mostly toothless old cat in late September. The cat was resting on a shelf in the library when the child approached and petted her.
“I’m not against animals, but I have a genuine concern,” one complaining resident said. “Animals get grouchy when they get older. I don’t think an animal should be roaming around a public building. The cat needs to live somewhere else. The library is a public building. I think there are allergy issues and sanitation issues. It’s not a good place for a cat to reside.”
Librarian Hansen was surprised by it all: ”She is the most laid back cat there is. She’s been declawed and she hardly has any teeth. She has to eat soft food … Anything a small child can do to an animal it’s been done to Agie. Over the years, I’ve seen all kinds of things happen to her. She has never gone on the offensive. She just gets away and hides under my desk.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agatha christie, animals, bit, cat, cats, child, city council, claim, complaint, evict, evicting, eviction, library, melissa hansen, news, oregon, pets, rescue, scratched, shelter, willamina
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has accused Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) of being overcrowded (which no one is going to argue with), unhealthy (which is debatable) and of allowing an injured cat to sit for hours before it was euthanized (which the shelter adamantly denies).
The criticisms are based on a complaint from a citizen and a follow-up investigation by Teresa Chagrin, a sepcialist with PETA’s cruelty investigations department, which included a visit to the facility.
Chagrin said a resident of Hamilton named Joe Lombardo witnessed the cat get attacked by a dog and called animal control. The cat was neither treated nor put down for seven hours after arriving at BARCS, he said. The cat arrived at BARCS Aug. 8, according to the Baltimore Sun. When Lombardo called BARCS the next day, he says he was told that the severely injured cat was not put down until 8:30 the next morning.
BARCS officials said Tuesday that the cat was immediately evaluated and then euthanized.
“That’s completely wrong,” Debbie Rahl, the shelter’s rescue coordinator, said of the complaint. “There was no delay.”
Chagrin apparently had investigated BARCS before the cat incident. In July, she wrote a letter to the city’s health department, criticizing conditions she had either witnessed or been told about.
“Visitors to the city facility report that several rooms lined with cages from floor to ceiling contain cats housed in high temperatures while small box fans, apparently meant to cool the rooms, simply blow hot air around the floors,” Chagrin wrote. “I visited the facility on June 13, 2010, and verified the complaints. During my visit, many cats showed signs of overheating — the majority of cats were lying on their sides with their eyes closed and were breathing very rapidly. They had no interest in visitors and appeared extremely lethargic.”
Chagrin said Wednesday she’d received no response from the city.
Jennifer Brause, BARCS executive director, called the complaints unfounded and said the cat was evaluated and then put down, a process that took several hours. Brause said the staff and volunteers have increased the number of animals whose lives have been saved at the shelter by 60% over the last few years.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, baltimore, baltimore animals rescue & care shelter, barcs, cat, cats, complaint, conditions, dogs, euthanasia, injured, investigation, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, pets, rescue, shelter
Donald Keith, 56, and Trapper, his German shepherd-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, frequented a park outside St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Toronto, and would sit on its steps as part of their daily routine.
Last month, Rev. Marguerite Rea welcomed both inside and gave them both a wafer during communion — an act of kindness that, as can happen when it comes to religion, created a furor. One parishioner filed a formal complaint with Anglican Bishop Patrick Yu, leading Rea to apologize this week.
“If I have hurt, upset or embarrassed anyone, I apologize,” Rea said on Sunday. “It was a simple church act of reaching out.”
Keith, a 56-year-old truck driver, got Trapper three years ago from a shelter, where, after three previous owners declared him unmanageable, he was likely going to be euthanized, according to the Toronto Star.
Every day, the two sit on the front steps of St. Peter’s for “reflection and spiritual renewal,” Keith told the newspaper. In late June, police urged the two to move off the spot, and Keith stepped inside the church to complain. Rea, the interim minister, invited Keith and Trapper to attend church.
When offered communion, Keith accepted. Trapper only sniffed the wine, but gobbled up the wafer.
Bishop Yu called the act a “misguided gesture of welcoming.”
But Rea says she’s received support through phone calls, visits and emails. The congregant who complained has since left the church, and others have no problem with the minister’s gesture.
“We’re all God’s creatures,” said one of them, Suzette Mafuna. “If a dog goes into a church, he’s entitled to every service that’s offered, including spiritual nourishment.”
(Photo: By Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anglican, animals, apologize, apology, bishop, canada, church, churches, communion, complaint, congregation, dog, dogs, donald keith, marguerite, minister, news, ohmidog!, patrick yu, pets, rea, reverend, st. peters, toronto, trapper, wafer, wine, worship
A Colorado Springs attorney accused of not allowing a disabled woman and her service dog into his office because he feared his new carpet might be soiled will pay $50,000 as part of a consent decree approved by a federal court today.
A November 2009 complaint accused Patric LeHouillier of violating the Americans with Disabilities act by barring Joan Murnane, a veterinarian with brain and other injuries that affect her balance, from entering his law office because her service dog was with her.
That decision, under the consent decree, will cost him $50,000 – $30,000 for Murnane, $10,000 for her husband and another $10,000 for a civil penalty.
“For almost two decades, the ADA has ensured that individuals with disabilities are guaranteed full and equal access to public accommodations, both large and small,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is unrelenting in [eradicating] discrimination against people with disabilities and ensuring that owners and operators of public accommodations recognize their obligations to provide equal access.”
The consent decree was approved by Judge Marcia S. Krieger in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
Under its terms, LeHouillier and his firm will be required to adopt an ADA-compliant service animal policy and post the policy in a conspicuous location, post a “Service Animals Welcome” sign, and provide training to staff.
The press release noted that a service animal is any animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability — and that the classification is not limited to dogs that assist the blind.
It includes, the press release says, dogs who alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, warn persons about impending seizures or other medical conditions, perform tasks for persons with psychiatric disabilities and provide physical supports for individuals with mobility issues.
More information about the ADA, including how to file an ADA complaint with the Justice Department, is available on the ADA home page at www.ada.gov.
The Justice Department also has a toll-free ADA Information Line (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ada, american with disabilities act, attorney, carpet, colorado springs, complaint, consent decree, disability, dogs, federal court, fined, joan murnane, lawyer, news, ohmidog!, patric lehouillier, pets, physical, psychiatric, service animals, service dog, veterinarian
In light of the utterly ridiculous, yet strangely fascinating debate over yellow snow here in Baltimore, we thought it was time for Frank Zappa to weigh in on the subject.
Also, it gives me the opportunity to showcase my art along with the Baltimore-born legend. Call it a joint exhibit. As you listen (above) to Frank, you can view (below) my work, “Yellow Snow,” which, after being showcased here last week, met with rave review. I briefly considered turning it into a streaming video, but good taste (which Frank never let bother him) overruled:
What brought yellow snow to the forefront in Baltimore — in addition to three feet of snow and dogs having to relieve themselves — was an item in Jill Rosen’s Baltimore Sun blog, “Unleashed.”
It focused on the the complaint of one woman whose sensibilities were offended by the sight, and who suggested dog owners make some attempt to remove the yellow snow their dogs created.
More than 75 “Unleashed” readers have commented — some agreeing with her:
“The person who wrote this letter is absolutely right. The replys and comments also shows the stoopidity, selfishness and lazyness of the ignoramous dog owners in Baltimore. I cannot wait to move from my home town. This snowstorm has shown the worst in most of you.”
The majority considered it a fact of winter life, and pointed out the pee is always there; the snow just makes it visible. Others offered suggestions ranging from spray painting the yellow spots white, to requiring dog owners to cover up the yellow snow with clean white snow (something nature may be giving us a hand with by tomorrow.)
That’s right, more snow, which will lead to more yellow snow and, if it’s a large snowfall, more city residents setting out furniture (chairs, usually) to save the parking spaces they shoveled out.
The mayor has asked residents to stop doing that, but she hasn’t taken a stand on the issue of yellow snow yet (and I’m not saying she should). In a way, those who save their spaces with chairs are already paying a price, I’ve noticed. Dogs — though not mine, of course — tend to christen new vertical objects that appear on the street, and a lot of the parking place staker-outers will be lugging those objects back inside.
Among the many things worse than yellow snow, I’d think — and I’m sure Frank Zappa would agree — is yellow furniture.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, baltimore, baltimore sun, chairs, complaint, dog, dogs, feces, frank zappa, furniture, holders, parking, pee, pets, snow, space, unleashed, urine, waste, winter, yellow snow, zappa
Ofcom — the UK’s equivalent to our FCC — has ruled that the controversial BBC documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was mostly fair, but didn’t give Kennel Club officials a chance to fully respond to all of the allegations it made.
“Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which is receiving its first U.S. airing tonight, alleged that events such as the Crufts dog show awarded top prizes to unhealthy and inbred animals and encouraged breeders to place appearance above health concerns.
Ofcom said that the way the film was edited was fair and that the Kennel Club was not, as it claimed, deceived about its purpose.” However, it added, the Kennel Club was “not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party, or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner”.
The Kennel Club made complaints about the program in five areas. Ofcom — here’s the full ruling — rejected complaints in four of these areas stating that there was “no unfairness.”
Only the Kennel Club’s fifth complaint was deemed somewhat valid. The Kennel Club said it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to 15 specific allegations, and Ofcom agreed that was in the case for four of the 15.
In one of those, Jeff Sampson, the Kennel Club’s senior scientific adviser and spokesman, “was not given the chance to show how seriously he took the health problems confronting pedigree dogs,” Ofcom said.
The BBC said it stood by the program. “While we note Ofcom’s findings regarding some aspects of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, we stand firmly by the programme, which was clearly in the public interest, and we stand firmly by its conclusions,” said a spokesman for the BBC.
“The broadcast has accelerated unprecedented reform in the way pedigree dogs are bred, including new limits on inbreeding, changes to the written standards of 78 breeds of dog and a new code of ethics which prohibits the culling of puppies for cosmetic reasons,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allegations, appearance, bbc, breeds, complaint, crufts, disease, documentary, dogs, eugenics, fairness, fcc, genetics, health, hitler, investigation, jeff sampson, kennel club, nazi, ofcom, pedigree dogs exposed, ruling, scientific adviser
Gabriella, the English mastiff scheduled to be executed for biting the wife of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and another woman, has won a reprieve.
A decision issued Friday by Hingham District Court would allow the dog to be sent instead to a New York shelter, where she would serve life, without parole, the Boston Globe reported.
Gabriella was ordered euthanized by Hingham selectmen after a lengthy hearing in late October because of two biting incidents, both of which took place at her owners’ art gallery in Hingham Square.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art gallery, bit, bite, biting, boston, charges, complaint, court, english mastiff, euthanasia, euthanize, gabriella, hingham, leslie badger, life, massachussetts, mastiff, megan ulman, pitcher, red sox, robert ullman, sanctuary, shelter, tim wakefield, wife