Sheena Cornwell, a 28-year-old home health aide, hung the 15-year-old pit bull, named Lilly, by her collar and leash from a rafter in the garage, police said.
Cornwell lived in Des Moines with her boyfriend. He told police that she’d been annoyed with Lilly for two months, because the dog paced a lot.
“(Sheena) had complained about the dog before, but she never abused her,” Joshua VanDyke told the Des Moines Register. “She wanted to get rid of her, but she never said anything about doing something violent to her.”
Police reports indicate Lilly was barking in the garage when Cornwell left the room, returning a few minutes later to tell VanDyke, “She’s dead, I killed her.”
Animal control officers removed the dog from the home after police were called. Cornwell was charged with one count of animal torture.
ABC News reported Cornwell could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250 if convicted.
(Photo: Des Moines Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, cruelty, des moines, dog, dogs, elderly, garage, hangs, home health aide, hung, iowa, lilly, old, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rafters, sheena cornwell, woman
Iditarod officials says changes are planned to help ensure the health and safety of dogs who get dropped from the race and have to wait at checkpoints — sometimes outside — for transportation home.
The changes were prompted by the death of Dorado, a five-year-old dog found dead at a checkpoint in Unalakleet four days after being dropped from the race because of soreness.
A necropsy showed Dorado died of asphyxiation while being buried in the snow.
Organizers of the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said Wednesday that planned changes include construction of dog shelters at two major checkpoints, and more frequent checks on the animals, according to the Associated Press.
“This type of self-examination is an important part of ITC’s historical commitment to the improvement of the welfare of the canine athletes that annually participate in the Race,” Iditarod Trail Committee officials said in a statement.
Drobny’s husband, Cody Strathe, said this week that the couple asked the Iditarod Trail Committee to develop new protocols for the care of dogs that have been dropped from the race to Nome.
Race officials said they don’t believe Dorado’s death was a result of anyone acting negligently.
More dropped dogs than could be sheltered wound up at the Unalakleet checkpoint because severe weather prevented planes from landing to transport them.
Race volunteers housed more than 100 dogs in a hangar, but up to 30 more were tethered outside.
Unalakleet is one of the two communities where dog boxes will be built for shelter. Officials said they also plan to have more frequent flights to transport dropped dogs from checkpoints.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked that animal cruelty charges be filed in connection with Dorado’s death.
Nome District Attorney John Earthman said he was reviewing the letter.
Dorado’s death was the first since the 2009 race, when six dogs died.
PETA says more than 140 dogs have died since the Iditarod began in 1973.
(Top photo: Dogs await the start of the race, by Rachel D’oro / Associated Press; bottom photo, Dorado, from SquidAcres Kennel)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, announcement, changes, checkpoints, committee, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, dropped, iditarod, injured, monitoring, musher, mushers, officials, paige drobny, peta, pets, planned, race, sled, smothered, snow, trail, transporation, unalakleet
A necropsy has shown that Dorado, the only canine fatality in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, died from asphyxiation, smothering in a snow bank after being pulled from the race.
Dorado, 5 years old, was found dead last Friday in Unalakleet, an Inupiat Eskimo village and race checkpoint on the Bering Sea coast. He was being cared for there after dropping from the race due to sore muscles, Reuters reported.
His death was the first canine fatality in the race since 2009, officials said.
The dog belonged to the team of rookie musher Paige Drobny, who continued with the rest of her team to Nome and finished in 34th place.
The necropsy determined the cause of death was asphyxiation from being buried in snow in severe wind conditions, race marshal Mark Nordman said.
Dorado had been left at Unalakleet and was set to be flown back to Anchorage, Nordman said. The animals were left outside, with their condition checked at 3 a.m. on Friday, he said.
“Between that time and daylight, drifting snow covered several dogs and Dorado was found to be deceased,” Nordman said.
The fatality broke a safety streak that race supporters had cited as a defense against race critics, and as evidence of the good veterinary care animals receive during the contest.
Animal rights supporters say competitors push the dogs too hard and subject them to dangerous conditions.
“Our stance on the Iditarod has always been that people who care about dogs should not support the race. It’s a cruel spectacle,” said Ashley Byrne, campaign specialist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Sixty-six mushers and their dog teams began the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which was won this year by Mitch Seavey.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, animals, asphyxiation, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, fatality, iditarod, musher, necropsy, paige drobny, peta, pets, race, sled, smothered, snow, unalakleet
It’s described as the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty.
The center opened this week as a partnership between the ASPCA and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J., according to a press release.
In addition to working to rehabilitate the dogs who end up there, the center’s findings will be the basis of a research study that will be shared with shelters and rescue groups across the country.
“For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery,” said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team.
“The ASPCA recognized the need for a rehabilitation center that will provide rescued dogs customized behavior treatment and more time to recover, increasing the likelihood that they will be adopted.”
Dogs eligible for treatment at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will be those rescued from animal cruelty investigations conducted by the ASPCA as well as by other shelters and rescue groups.
The ASPCA says dogs admitted to the center will undergo an intensive rehabilitation regimen, including customized behavior modification treatments to reduce fear and anxiety.
Treatment plans will incorporate the use of “scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.”
The primary goal is to improve their well-being and help them become suitable for adoption.
Work conducted at the center will be featured in a research study evaluating successful methods and treatment protocols for rehabilitating undersocialized, fearful dogs. The findings will be shared with animal welfare organizations and scientific communities nationwide.
“Many shelters around the country are doing great work in terms of rehabilitation and behavior modification, but often times they are stretched thin and may not have the resources to work with animals who need more time,” said Kristen Collins, director of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation.
“Our goal is to not only rehabilitate the dogs we admit into the program, but to also collect data for our research study so we can share these findings with other animal shelters and rescue groups. We want others to be equipped to better treat those undersocialized dogs in their care so they can save more animals.”
(Photo: ACPCA photo of Musketeer, a five-year-old pit bull mix, with Pia Silvani, vice president of Training and Behavior for St. Hubert’s, at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, aspca, behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, cruelty, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, evaluation, fear, hoarders, hoarding, madison, new jersey, pets, puppy mills, recovery, rehab, rehabilitation, rescues, research, shelters, st huberts animal welfare center, trauma
The image shows a dark-colored pit bull dead in a field with a pink arrow sticking out from his side.
“For all you Pit lovers out there. Here’s what happens when one shows up around my house,” read the post on the Facebook page of Caisen Green, 18.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said the picture on the Sequoyah High School student’s Facebook page, came to his attention Saturday morning.
“I understand people don’t want to see animals hurt,” Chennault said. “But death threats are not going to help the situation.”
Chennault said he planned to continue investigating.
But even if Green did kill the dog it might not necessarily be a crime, he noted.
“It’s a gray area,” Chennault told the Muskogee Phoenix. “If the dog is threatening livestock or your well-being, you can do what you have to do stop it. I’m going to do my best to get everything done this week, and we’ll forward the report to the District Attorney’s Office.”
Lu Hayes, a volunteer with the Cherokee County Humane Society, said she first saw the picture last Thursday, and began sending it to different animal advocacy groups.
“A girl sent the picture to me, saying she wanted to report animal cruelty,” Hayes said.
“I started messaging (Green) and at first he acted like it wasn’t a big deal, like, ‘So what.’
“But I guess as it started getting spread around, and more people became aware of it, he changed his tune.”
Hayes said she’d like to see the district attorney’s office prosecute Green, who took the offending picture off his Facebook page after anger over it mounted.
(Photos: Caisen Green’s Facebook page)
(An update to this story can be found here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrow, bow and arrow, caisen green, cherokee county, county, cruelty, death threats, dogs, facebook, fled, flees, high school, oklahoma, outrage, pets, photo, pit bull, pitbull, pitbulls, shooting, shot, student, teen, teenager, threats
A Boston terrier who was shaken up in a massive freeway pileup in Detroit was carried to safety by a firefighter who knows a few things about dogs in distress.
Matt Schaecher works as a Detroit firefighter two days a week, and as a cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley for the other five.
When Schaecher came upon a woman’s crumpled car at the mile-long accident scene on southbound Interstate 75, he asked if she needed help. “I think my dog might be injured,” she responded.
Schaecher pulled the dog, named Riley, from the car and checked him out while other emergency workers attended to the driver, Heather Ramsey of Ferndale.
“He was shaking almost uncontrollably,” Schaecher said. “Probably a combination of being extremely scared and cold.” As Shaecher cradled the dog in a blanket, Detroit News photographer David Coates took the photo above.
Riley wasn’t injured, and Shaecher placed the dog in the ambulance with his owner. Ramsey has since been released from the hospital, according to AnnArbor.com
Three people, including two children, were killed in the chain reaction of crashes.
Schaecher, who is the lead cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Washtenaw County’s Superior Township, said the widely distributed photo of Riley and him served as a positive note amid the lingering horror of the crash.
“Obviously any accident scene or any emergency scene that involves children is extremely difficult,” he said. My heart just goes out to the families of the people that have lost loved ones. I can’t imagine being in that position.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boston terrier, chain reaction, crash, cruelty, detroit, dog, dogs, firefighter, Humane Society of Huron Valley, interstate 75, investigator, Matt Schaecher, pets, photo, photograph, pileup, rescue, rescued, riley, whiteout
California earned first place for the fourth year in a row, while South Dakota remained in last place in the Humane Society of the United States fourth annual “Humane State Ranking” report.
The HSUS graded all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on the strength of a wide range of animal protection laws, including public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals.
Ohio was the most improved state, leaping ahead in the ranks by passing laws regulating puppy mills and the private possession of dangerous wild animals.
You can find the complete rankings here.
“Members of The Humane Society of the United States want to know what their state lawmakers are doing to improve animal welfare. Our Humane State Ranking report demonstrates which states are falling behind important protections for animals, and which states are leading in the effort to create a more humane and civil society,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
California stayed on top for the fourth year in a row by passing a number of new laws, including banning the hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Other top states included Massachusetts (tied for second place), which passed laws allowing pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, and banning gas chambers for euthanasia.
South Dakota earned the lowest score (51st place). Also in the bottom five were Idaho (50th place), Mississippi (49th place), North Dakota (48th place) and South Carolina (47th place).
South Dakota and North Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only two states in the country with no felony-level penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. North Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure to increase penalties for egregious acts of animal cruelty on the November 2012 ballot.
The rankings are based on 75 different animal protection issues in 10 major animal protection categories including: animal fighting; animal cruelty; wildlife abuse; exotic pets; companion animals; use of animals in research; farm animals; fur and trapping; puppy mills, and equine protection.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, california, cruelty, dogs, euthanasia, farms, fighting, hsus, humane, humane society of the united states, Humane state ranking, hunting, laws, legislation, north dakota, penalties, pets, protection, puppy mills, rankings, south dakota, state, violence, wayne pacelle
Shot in the face, tossed in a trash bag and tied to a fence post on the side of the road, a dog in Conroe, Texas was rescued, treated and — though he’s expected to have lasting damage — is mostly recovering.
Rescuers named him Buck — after the buckshot left in his face by a shotgun blast.
A driver spotted the bag on the side of the road Saturday on Bulldog Lane, and saw that it was moving.
Once it was was opened a bloody dog crawled out and collapsed on the ground.
When a call to animal control produced no immediate results, Tami Augustyn — known in the area for helping animals in need — was called.
Augustyn took the dog to Animal Emergency Clinic of Conroe, where it was determined he’d been shot in the face with buckshot, according to the Mongtomery County Police Reporter, which broke the story.
Dr. Ron Hendrick, a veterinarian at the clinic, said the mixed breed dog, about three years old, sustained damage to both eyes and also shows signs of hearing loss and brain damage.
The article about Buck — and a Facebook page set up to help him — led to nearly $10,000 in donations towards Buck’s medical care.
This week, the New York Daily News picked up the story.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, bag, bloody, buck, buck foundation, buckshot, conroe, cruelty, cruelty to animals, ears, expenses, eyes, face, facebook, fence, fencepost, medical, rescue, road, shot, shotgun, tami augustyn, texas, tied, trash bag
Warning: This video is graphic and disturbing
A video posted on the Internet reportedly shows soldiers in Colombia using a dog for target practice.
The video, taken with a cell phone, shows four officers joking as they tie the animal to a tree, shoot it and laugh while it yelps.
Later, the dog — identified in some reports as a trained detection dog — is struck with the butt of a rifle and, once it regains consciousness, appears to be picked up and thrown.
The unnamed soldiers are reported to be from Infantry Battalion Magdalena 27.
The New York Daily News said the incident happened four months ago in the jungle near the town of Pitalito, but didn’t come to light until this past weekend when a video clip was uploaded to YouTube.
Army Colonel Fabian Estevez is quoted in the South American press as saying the dog miraculously survived the incident and had since been treated for its injuries and “was doing fine.”
The four soldiers who were filmed shooting at the dog have been identified, but face no charges, according to Colombia Reports.
“But this is a regrettable and despicable act from the point of view of the National Army,” Estevez said. “Some young soldiers in an unusual game committed an act of indiscipline which will be subject to investigation of military justice.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, army, cell phone, cellphone, colombia, colombian, Colonel, cruelty, detection, disturbing, dog, dogs, Fabian Estevez, graphic, infantry, internet, magdalena 27, pets, posted, practice, shoot, sniffer, soldiers, south america, target, video, youtube
North Dakota voters turned down a measure that would have made cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony, leaving it one of just two states without felony penalties for mistreating animals.
The other is its neighbor, South Dakota.
A citizen initiative on Tuesday that would have made animal cruelty punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine was defeated by nearly a 2-1 margin.
That means animal abuse remains a misdemeanor, and the most severe punishment for cruelty in the state will continue to be a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
North Dakota’s two major farm groups opposed the measure, saying it was vague and poorly worded, according to the Associated Press.
The measure would have made it it a class C felony “to maliciously and intentionally harm a living dog, cat or horse.”
North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty says it plans to to continue its efforts to change the law.
(Photo: From the Facebook page of North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, cats, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dogs, election, farmers, felony, horses, increase, measure, misdemeanor, north dakota, north dakotans to stop animal cruelty, opposition, penalties, pets, referendum, vote, voter