Spurred on by a viral video of a Long Island dog trainer viciously poking a crated pit bull with a broomstick, two New York legislators are calling for state regulation of dog trainers.
On Monday, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, Assemblywoman-elect Missy Miller and members of the Nassau County SPCA proposed a law that will require a license for dog obedience trainers.
The proposed legislation was announced at the home of Tommy Marrone, the Oceanside man who posted the video online.
(The video was removed from YouTube yesterday for violating its policy against “violent or graphic content.”)
“I am horrified by the animal abuse that has taken place in our backyard,” Kaminsky said. “… What happened in Oceanside can happen anywhere, and it is our job to protect consumers and their dogs from devious and abusive practices.
“When consumers send their pets to training school, they have no assurance of the trainer’s credentials or professional experience – and that’s simply unacceptable,” he added. “By creating streamlined licensing practices for dog obedience trainers, we are protecting our four-legged family members who cannot speak and shield themselves from abuse.”
The proposed legislation will deny licensing to any individual convicted of animal abuse and allows for enforcement of violations by police officers and professionals who specialize in detecting animal abuse, such as the SPCA.
“I treat my pets as members of my family. We simply cannot allow another animal to be abused and have a duty to protect innocent consumers,” said Assemblywoman-elect Miller, who intends to sponsor this legislation in the Assembly.
The call for regulation is in response to the furor created by the video of a man abusing a pit bull, according to LongIsland.com.
The man in the video is reported to be Brian De Martino, the owner of NY Dogworks. DeMartino runs the business out of his home.
The video was recorded by De Martino’s girlfriend, and was originally made public by Marrone, a former NY Dogworks customer.
“My dog was beat worse than that dog,” Marrone told PIX11 News. Marrone said that he’d posted the video online in an attempt to warn others.
On Monday afternoon, Nassau County police and building inspectors visited DeMartino’s home — just hours after DeMartino appeared in court on charges of assaulting the woman who recorded the video.
PIX11 News reports that De Martino is being investigated for illegal use of his home, operating without a permit, and possible animal abuse charges.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 22nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, assemblywoman, broomstick, crate, crated, cruelty, dog, dog trainers, dogs, legislation, legislature, long island, missy miller, nassau county spca, new york, ny dogworks, obedience, pets, pit bull, proposal, senator, Todd Kaminsky, tommy marrone, train, trainers, training, video, viral
Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons handed John Burrow a sentence of 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service, cleaning the cages at Cumberland County Animal Control.
A light sentence — but one with a twist:
Ammons also ordered Burrow to keep a photo of the eight-month-old pup in his wallet for the next two years, while serving his probation, according to WTVD.
Police said Burrow, a paratrooper, used parachute cords to tie the legs of the pup, named Riley, and looped the rope around his muzzle before throwing him into MacFadyen Pond around Thanksgiving in 2014.
The dog’s body washed ashore on Jan. 2, 2015.
Yesterday’s sentencing followed a guilty plea by Burrow.
Investigators said Burrow told them the mixed lab-shepherd pup had run away from home several times, and he and his wife could not afford the veterinarian bill after the dog was hurt during a previous escape.
Kelsey Burrow told Cumberland County sheriff’s investigators then that Riley had stood on a privacy fence and opened the latch on the gate.
Investigators said she put false posts on Facebook saying Riley was suffering from organ failure, and told a friend in a Facebook message that the dog died while undergoing surgery.
Kelsey Burrow has been charged as an accomplice and is still awaiting sentencing.
In court Tuesday, John Burrow, 24, apologized, the Fayetteville Observer reported.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “so very sorry, and sorry to Riley. I did love Riley. I did love that dog. I have no excuse.”
As part of the plea arrangement, Burrow agreed not to own another animal during his probation period.
(Photos: WTVD and the Fayetteville Observer)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, court, cruelty, cumberland county, dog, dogs, drown, drowned, drowning, fayetteville, felony, jail, jim ammons, john burrow, judge, justice, kelsey burrow, lenient, macfadyen lake, north carolina, pets, photo, probation, riley, sentence, superior court, wallet
Garmin, a company that makes devices that tell us how to get from here to there, has unveiled its latest gadget aimed at “teaching” your dog good behavior — by shocking him when he misbehaves.
The Delta Smart is a small, smartphone-compatible gadget that fits over a dog’s collar, enabling an owner, through an app, to keep track of their dog’s activity levels, and how much barking they are doing while we’re away.
It’s not the first Garmin product for dogs, and not the first to include a shock feature — but it is the first to spark such widespread protest and an online petition asking the company to remove the feature.
The product promises to “reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors” and make your dog a “more enjoyable member of the family.”
It gives dogs warnings by beeping, vibrating or by applying what the company likes to call “static” or “stimulation” — which is a nice way of saying a jolt of electricity.
As the petition points out, it’s not the right way to train a dog:
“For example, a woman wants her dog Bowser to learn to not jump on the couch. Bowser trots into the family room, jumps up on the couch, and climbs into her daughter’s lap — at which point the electric shock hits him. She has now put her child in serious danger.
“Bowser will not associate the act of jumping up on the couch with the pain; he will associate her child with the pain and could very well become aggressive toward her.”
Like all the makers of shock collars, Garmin says the jolt does not hurt the dog.
“What is missing from this argument is the fact that aversive methods only work if they scare and/or hurt the dog. If the zap doesn’t bother the dog, then the dog will not learn. Electric shock collars do hurt and scare dogs. If they didn’t, no one would use them,” says the author of the petition, dog trainer and freelance writer Tracy Krulik.
We haven’t seen the CEO of the company try one out (but then again maybe he or she hasn’t misbehaved). To the company’s credit the new device has put some cushioning over the two metal probes that, in earlier versions, stuck into the dog’s neck.
The Delta Smart is basically a combination of a FitBit-like device and the company’s “Bark Limiter,” which has been on the market for a while.
In the ad above, various dogs are shown, each labeled for the kind of bad behavior they engaged in — barking too much at the mailman, shredding the blinds, stealing food off the kitchen counter, knocking over the trash can, chewing up the slippers.
The “dog activity trainer and remote monitor” can correct all those problems — even when you’re not home, the ad says.
It can monitor barking and activity levels while you’re away, and it comes with tags that can be placed on items and in areas you don’t want the dog near that activate warning tones when the dog approaches.
In other words, it is a control freak’s dream — and it’s only $150.
After the video was posted on Facebook, it had nearly 2,800 comments, most of them condemning the product as cruel, and the wrong way to train a dog, according to the Washington Post
On YouTube, the company has disabled public comments on the video — and if you try to leave one, you receive an electrical shock. (OK, we made that last part up.)
You’ve got to wonder, though, technology being what it is, if the day will come when we get shocked for making wrong turns or for not taking enough steps during the day, for failing to do our sit ups or eat our vegetables — and if someday, by a family vote, we can equip a bratty nephew or an annoying uncle with such a device.
For his own good, of course, and just to make him a “more enjoyable member of the family.”
Posted by John Woestendiek September 15th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, app, bark limiter, barking, behavior, behavior modification, collars, control freaks, cruelty, delta smart, device, dog training, dogs, electric, electrical, electricity, garmin, jolt, modification, monitor, petition, pets, shock, shock collars, technology, training, zap
An animal control officer in Durham declined to free a dog from a hot parked car for about two hours Saturday, despite the pleas of the woman who reported the situation.
As temperatures inside the car climbed to 117 degrees, Jennifer Miller urged the officer to take action, angrily posted pictures on her Facebook page, and pushed ice cubes through the cracked window of the car to the panting pit bull inside.
Miller, of Danville, Virginia, had called animal control Saturday afternoon after seeing the dog in the car, parked at The Streets of Southpoint Mall.
The officer who arrived checked the car, stuck a probe inside to take the temperature, but declined to take any action to remove the dog.
Instead, Miller said, he sat in his air conditioned vehicle and waited for the owners to return.
Miller, who serves on the board of a wildlife rehab center and volunteers with a humane society, said the dog, about six months old, was showing signs of heat stroke, but the animal control officer seemed unswayed by her opinion.
“He (the dog) was panting. His gums had actually already started to turn white,” she said. “It looked like he was kind of foaming at the mouth, that really thick saliva. And he was unsteady.”
The owners of the car, which had Maryland license plates, finally showed up about 4 p.m. The officer filed no charges, but told them to take the dog to a vet to be checked out.
Miller wasn’t satisfied with that ending. She continued to complain about how the incident was handled — and it paid off.
On Monday evening, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office announced a change in policy concerning animals left in vehicles.
Officers will no longer have to wait for animals to show signs of distress.
Under the revised policy, deputies will document the interior and exterior temperatures of a vehicle at least twice, and the deputy will use his or her discretion in determining whether the animal should be removed from the vehicle.
The new policy also allows deputies to decide whether to return the pet to its owner or pursue criminal charges after taking the animal to the local shelter.
“The Durham County Sheriff’s Office appreciates and listens to feedback from concerned citizens,” said the statement from the sheriff’s office statement.
Miller, despite winning a victory of sorts, sounds like she continues to be disturbed by it all.
“It is very clear that they could have charged this person. They did not have to wait two hours to get the dog out,” Miller told ABC11. “But the officers were not listening. They were very rude and belligerent. And it was very sad the dog suffered for two hours at least.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, animal control officer, county, cruelty, deputies, dog, dogs, durham, heat, heat stroke, hot cars, law, mall, north carolina, owners, parked, policy, sheriff, southpoint, suffering, unattended
One abused dog comforted another this week at a veterinary clinic in South Carolina, and this saintly image of their meeting is one for the scrapbook.
Sammie, on the table, is a three to four-month old puppy who has dragged behind a car, shot in the head and spray painted.
He was dropped off at a shelter by a woman who claimed he was a stray and said she had brought him there “because he wouldn’t die,” according to Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.
While that’s still a possibility, Sammie, a boxer mix, is being treated for a bullet hole in his head and two seriously injured legs, one of which he may end up losing. He underwent three hours of surgery on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, another dog at the clinic, a border collie named Simon, found his way into the room where Sammie was, and offered what — to human eyes — appears to be some comfort.
Simon also was a victim of some abuse and neglect, and is currently being treated for mange.
Both were rescued from shelters in South Carolina, and ended up at the same vet in Columbia, thanks to the efforts of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.
You can read more about Sammie’s story on the organization’s Facebook page.
Contributions to help pay for Sammie’s continuing medical care can be made through a YouCaring page set up by Rescue Dogs Rock.
Rescue Dogs Rock is a not for profit animal rescue founded in 2015 whose mission is to raise awareness of the plight of homeless animals — both those in shelters and those who are strays.
(Photos: Rescue Dogs Rock NYC)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 6th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, animals, columbia, comfort, comforting, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, dragged, neglected, painted, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, rescue dogs rock, rescue dogs rock nyc, sammie, shelter, shot, simon, south carolina, veterinarian
If you live in North Carolina, and you care about dogs and other animals, here’s a number to program into your cell phone.
It’s the state’s new Animal Welfare Hotline and it’s now in service, fielding calls from citizens who have seen animals being mistreated.
“As a pet owner, I understand how important it is that our animal companions get the care they need,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said in announcing the new hotline. “I encourage North Carolinians to use this new tool if they have information to report about animals being harmed.”
The Attorney General’s Office will review animal welfare complaints submitted via the hotline and refer them to the appropriate authority. North Carolinians can report animals experiencing physical harm under the care of an individual, pet shop, kennel or animal shelter.
Complaints can also be filed by mail: P.O. Box 629, Attention: Animal Welfare Hotline, Raleigh, NC 27602.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 7th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animal cruelty hotling, animal welfare, animal welfare hotline, animals, attorney general, complaints, cruelty, dogs, hotline, neglect, north carolina, north carolina animal welfare hotline, pets, roy cooper
The number of animals taken from a no-kill shelter in Hoke County, N.C., has risen to nearly 700.
Hoke County sheriff’s deputies and about 140 ASPCA staff members cleared the last of the animals off the 122-acre property Saturday, officials said Monday.
The state shut down The Haven – Friends for Life shelter on Jan. 27, charging its owners, Linden and Stephen Spears, with four counts of animal cruelty and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
The Spears, who had been barred from their home by court order, are now able to return, said sheriff’s Capt. John Kivett.
“The investigation is still continuing, and possibly more charges will be brought in the very near future,” Kivett told the Fayetteville Observer.
The ASPCA has taken temporary custody of the animals — more than 300 dogs, 250 cats, as well as horses, birds and pigs — and they are being cared for at undisclosed locations across North Carolina.
Investigators also found the remains of 15 dogs buried on the property.
As of Monday, about half of the adult dogs and 182 cats were in isolation due to respiratory illnesses and other contagious conditions. Ten veterinarians have been treating the animals, some of which have open wounds and some of which appeared malnourished.
“Hopefully, they’ll continue to recover,” ASPCA spokeswoman Kelly Krause said. “We will be making sure they are staying healthy, treating them and making sure they have care.”
Once healthy the ASPCA hopes to make the dogs and cats available for adoption, but that can’t happen until a court determines the custody of the animals, she said.
The next court appearance for the Spears is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal shelter, aspca, birds, cats, court, cruelty, dogs, friends for life, hoke county, horses, investigation, linden spears, neglect, north carolina, pets, pigs, raeford, seized, shelter, stephen spears, the haven