Two Tibetan mastiffs owned by a South Dakota state senator were seized by animal control officials after they attacked a woman in the senator’s Sioux Falls neighborhood.
The mastiffs, a large, protective and powerful breed that has been called the world’s most expensive dog, belong to Sen. Blake Curd, who is also a prominent orthopedist who specializes in hand surgery and reconstruction.
The victim was walking near the 1300 block of South Elmwood Avenue Friday morning when she encountered the dogs, who were running loose in the ritzy Riverview Heights neighborhood.
She received bites to both legs and her right arm, and was treated at a local hospital.
Curd and his wife, Debbie, issued a statement to the Argus Leader after the incident.
“We are distraught over what has happened and thankful it wasn’t worse. We hope for all to recover quickly and applaud the quick actions of the Sioux Falls Police Department, EMS personnel and Milo the animal control officer who responded to render assistance in this unfortunate circumstance.”
One of the police officers responding to the call was bitten on the thigh, but shook himself free and fired two warning shots when one of the dogs approached him again. Neither dog was hit by the gunshots.
The woman managed to escape by running into a garage.
“It occurred to a few of us that had she not managed to get into my garage, she could very easily have been killed,” said Jon Arneson. “There is virtually no way she could have defended herself.”
“It was a pretty unnerving experience for anybody who loves dogs,” said Arneson, who is a lawyer for the Argus Leader. “I obviously have no idea what triggered the dogs’ reaction this morning, but I assume they hadn’t shown any vicious tendencies before this. I doubt Dr. Curd would have risked keeping them if they had.”
Both dogs are now in the custody of animal control. Both were up to date on vaccinations. The police chief will determine if they are vicious, a finding that could lead to restrictions on their owners, including having to display a dangerous dog sign on their property.
It will be interesting to see how this case plays out, given some Internet commenters are already raising questions about whether Curd is receiving special treatment — or at least less than heavy-handed treatment — from police.
“The cop must have been told who the dogs belong to,” reads one comment on DakotaFreePress.com. “Otherwise if this had happened in the ‘hood, I’m sure both dogs would’ve been shot dead on the spot.”
(Photo at top by Megan Raposa / Argus Leader)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bites, bitten, blake curd, dangerous, doctor, dog, dogs, pets, politician, senator, south dakota, state, surgeon, tibetan mastiffs, vicious
The city of Minneapolis has taken protecting its residents from “dangerous dogs” to a whole new level with the publication of an interactive map on its website that pinpoints where dogs that have had run-ins with the law live.
The website lists each dog’s name, breed and their offense — everything from “killed a cat” to “muzzle violations” and bites to humans or other dogs, KARE 11 reported.
It also lists the full names and addresses of the owners, and photos of each dog.
Seems dogs deemed dangerous have about the same rights to privacy as a sex offender — that is, virtually none.
“In order to keep our residents safe, we post pictures of these animals and their addresses,” the website states, referring to dogs, of course.
To see the map and interact with it, click here.
Connie Bourque, of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, says it’s all about public safety.
“If you live in a neighborhood, you have a visual that lets you know where animals that have had incidents in the past, who have been aggressive in the past. You have a sense of where you would maybe be more cautious based on the fact that you can see that information right on the website.”
Given all the other restrictions those with dogs deemed dangerous face, it strikes me as a little heavy-handed, almost as if it is meant to shame the dog owners.
Under city law, residents whose dogs have been deemed “dangerous,” or “potentially dangerous,” already face a variety of measures, from having their dog exterminated to requirements like liability insurance, sterilization, eight foot tall fences, warning signs posted at the front and rear of their home; and, when their dogs go out, muzzles, three-foot leashes and collars that carry a warning tag.
The new website, as of yesterday, lists 35 dangerous dogs in Minneapolis (compared to 146 people on the map of sex offenders residing in the city).
Unlike sex offender maps, which don’t specify the offense or use photos of the offenders, canine offenders have their photos posted, as well as a brief summary of their dangerous behavior.
Sephy, for example, a beagle from Longfellow, bit a person; Briggs, a Lab mix from near Lake Nokomis, killed a cat; and Bernadette, an American Staffordshire terrier in Loring Park, bit another animal.
It is possible for a dog to be taken off the list, but first it must be proven by their owner that they have received training and have been rehabilitated. A home inspection is also required for that.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attacks, bites, bitten, cat, dangerous, dangerous dogs, dog, dogs, interactive, killed, location, map, minneapolis, pets, pinpoint, public safety, safety, sex offenders
I don’t remember seeing this Doritos ad during the Super Bowl. Maybe it came later in the game, after the outcome was clear and I tuned out, which as I recall was shortly after the first snap.
Had I seen it, I would have squawked in a more timely manner, because — even though fans chose it as a favorite — I do not like it at all.
Dog riding, like dogfighting and dog racing, is cruel.
And even though special effects were used in this depiction of a kid saddling up on the family mastiff — so he can beat his brother to the bag of Doritos — it sends a bad message to kids (and grown-ups) who don’t know any better.
The ad was one of five finalists chosen in the Crash the Super Bowl ad contest, in which Doritos invites the public to submit their home-made Doritos ads and awards $1 million to the winning commerical.
The “Cowboy Kid” ad came in second, but that was enough to win its creator, Amber Gill, a 34-year-old vocal coach from California, $25,000, a trip to the Super Bowl and a movie contract — and a little criticism from animal welfare types.
Both “Cowboy Kid” and the winning fan-made commercial, “Time Machine,” aired during the Super Bowl and were viewed by an estimated 100 million viewers, minus those who gave up on the big game early on.
Still, given a few of those 100 million are likely stupid or naive enough to try this at home — as any regular reader of this website knows – I’d have to side with those who are complaining about the ad. While making it didn’t involve any dog being ridden, it’s irresponsible ad-making.
Gill told the Orange County Register the idea was inspired by her owns sons, aged 3 and 1, meaning — we’re pretty sure — the sibling rivalry aspect, as opposed to the dog-riding one.
So we’ll have to give this ad a failing grade, and point out — because, unfortunately, it’s not entirely needless to say — don’t try this at home.
If junior needs to get his cowboy on, we’d suggest a saw horse, or daddy’s back. Otherwise, that crunch you hear might not be Doritos.
(To see more of our Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, children, commercials, cowboy, cowboy kid, crash the super bowl, dangerous, dogs, dogs in advertising, doritos, marketing, pets, riding dogs, safety, super bowl, super bowl ads, woof in advertising
Since January of 2010, Houston police have gunned down 187 dogs, killing 121 of them.
And last year alone, law enforcement officers in Houston and Harris County shot more dogs than New York City police officers shot in 2010 and 2011 combined.
All of those shooting were deemed by police to have been justified, but it’s not too hard to find families that disgree with that.
The KHOU 11 News I-Team did, and its report this week is more evidence that, across the country, requiring police to be trained in dealing with dogs could save dogs, and their families, a lot of pain.
Colorado passed a law requiring that, and it was signed by the governor this week.
The KHOU report, when it looked at the police-involved dog shootings for all of Harris County found at least 228 dogs had been shot by officers and deputies since 2010, 142 of them fatally.
“If the dog turns and comes at a citizen, or the deputy, they have all right to use lethal force,” explained Dpt. Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Records show Harris County deputies shot 38 canines in the last three-and-a-half years.
When asked if all those shootings were justified, Gilliland said: “The justification is, in that matter, and at that moment the deputy had to choose the decision to use lethal force against that animal.”
Sgt. Joseph Guerra, who works as a cruelty investigator for the Houston Humane Society, said it teaches some officers how to safety interact with threatening dogs. But the training isn’t mandated for all officers.
“A lot of times, officers are not sent to training to get that type of certification to feel comfortable enough to deal with these animals,” he said. “We need to get those officers involved in some mandated training in how to defend before going to deadly force.”
The Arlington and Fort Worth Police Departments started mandatory dog training for officers last fall, and state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the training for officers across Texas.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aggressive, animals, arlington, behavior, canines, colorado, dangerous, deputies, dogs, fatal, fort worth, harris county, houston, interact, killed, law enforcement, new york, officers, pets, police, police shooting dogs, shoot, shot, texas, threatening, training
Traditionally frowned upon and grudgingly tolerated by Islamic leaders, having a dog would become a crime if the bill is passed by Parliament, punishable by fines and confiscation of dogs.
According to a Time magazine report, backers of the bill warn that dogs pose health hazards, and their increasing popularity as pets is “a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the West.”
Those caught walking and keeping ”impure and dangerous animals” would have their dogs confiscated and face fines of $100 to $500.
What would become of confiscated dogs isn’t spelled out.
Dog ownership has become more popular in Iran with the rise of an urban middle class, and Time reports that “these days, lap dogs rival designer sunglasses as the upper-middle-class Iranian’s accessory of choice.”
A senior Iranian cleric last year decreed dogs are “unclean” and issued a fatwa ordering they not be kept as pets.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, confiscate, confiscation, criminalize, dangerous, dirty, dog, dog ownership, dogs, fatwa, fines, illegal, impure, iran, islam, law, ownership, parliament, pet ownership, pets, tolerance, western culture
It took eight years to build the Glen Canyon Dam — far less to construct the scenic overlook that sits on the edge of the canyon, about a mile south.
Unlike the dam itself, a massive and complex project, building the overlook was a simple matter of putting in a road and parking, adding some steps to make the sandstone trail down to the overlook easier to negotiate, and putting up a stone wall at the base — to keep tourists from plunging from the top of the sheer canyon walls to the river 400 feet below.
The wall is short enough to look over, but its actual height varies, depending on where the wind blows the sand. Yesterday it was about four feet high in some spots, with one tiny section that, for reasons unknown, was built shorter than the rest — only about two feet high. Above the short wall, there’s a steel grate that rises vertically — bolted and cemented firmly into place.
And hidden on that grate — visible only if you look closely — are two names, scrawled with a soldering iron: Cisco and Sadie.
As you might guess, there’s a story behind that grate – previously untold, and very sad.
The ballad of Cisco and Sadie began in Idaho, which is where Dail Hoskins was living before he decided on a change of scenery and moved to Page, Arizona in 2000, bringing his two dogs with him.
Page, less than 50 years old, had emerged as a popular recreation spot by then, thanks to construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, which allowed — or forced, depending on your point of view — the Colorado River to back up and form Lake Powell.
Construction on the dam began in 1956. It’s the reason the town of Page exists, and it provides water and electricity to much of the west. It was also very controversial, and still is. While completion of the dam in 1964 allowed water and electricity to be harnessed, it also represented a huge disturbance to the ecosystem and meant the loss of much of the beautiful scenery of Glen Canyon. The controversy surrounding the building of the dam is viewed by some as the beginning of the modern-day environmental movement, and it still sparks debates pitting nature against industrial progress.
Partly to showcase the government-built dam — one of the largest in the U.S. — the overlook was built later. It’s part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, falling under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
The trail down to the overlook is less than a mile. The view, minus the power lines, is magnificent. To Hoskins, who after arriving in Page had bought a little motel, the overlook seemed a good place to take his dogs, Cisco and Sadie, for a hike.
It was about ten years ago that he took the dogs there, and let them both off their leashes. They were generally good about sticking close by and not wandering off.
But, after a few minutes, when Hoskins looked around to find Cisco and Sadie, both had disappeared. He feared the worst, and what happened turned out to be just that. One of the dogs, not being able to see over the wall, had — maybe in pursuit of wildlife — leapt over that shorter section, plunging hundreds of feet to his death. The other immediately followed.
Hoskins blamed no one but himself, and watching his face as he retells the story, it’s clear he still lives with the guilt. In the days after losing his dogs, he hired a river outfitter to take him to retrieve their corpses, then gave them a proper burial.
Hoskins later learned that at least four other dogs had met the same fate, plunging over the same short section of wall. When he called government bureaucrats to tell them what happened to his dogs and see if that short section of wall could be built up, he was told that his dogs should have been on leashes.
He agrees that much is true, but the hazard remained. So he decided to handle things himself. He welded together slabs of steel, forming a large, barred grate, about five feet wide and five feet high. And without getting anybody’s approval, he snuck down to the site with a friend in the dark of night, carrying along the grate, cement, water and tools.
Amazingly, this being just after 9/11, and amid a period of heightened security at the dam, no one noticed he was there. He secured the grate deep in the ground using concrete, filling the gap that existed over the short section of wall. It took a few hours.
No one has ever traced the work to him, and apparently no one was angered by his addition. The park service has affixed a sign to the grate that reads: “Defacing natural features destroys our heritage. Graffiti is unsightly and illegal.”
It appears Hoskins got away with his dark-of-night, do-it-yourself construction project.
“I did it so it wouldn’t happen to any more dogs … or kids,” he says, though one gets the impression the covert project also served as both an outlet for his grief and a tribute to his dogs.
On one rail of the grate, he inscribed with solder the names of Cisco and Sadie.
Ten years later, the blowing sandstone has yet to brush their names off, and the grate still stands firmly in place, solid as a rock.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: area, arizona, canyons, cisco, cliffs, colorado river, construction, dail hoskins, dam, danger, dangerous, deaths, dogs, environment, environmental movement, fall, glen canyon, grate, hike, hiking, hiking with dogs, lake powell, leash, leashed, national park service, national recreation area, overlook, page, plunge, rail, sadie, safety, scenic, scenic overlook, unleashed, wall
Budget cuts at the local humane society have forced sheriff’s deputies in Wicomico County, Maryland to take on dog-related duties, and some animals may be dying as a result.
Reports of aggressive animals — once the domain of animal control officers — are now falling to deputies, who often don’t have much training in dealing with them.
Sheriff Mike Lewis says deputies have been forced to kill aggressive animals that in the past might have been subdued.
“We have to shoot it with a .45 – nobody wants to do that,” Lewis said.
In addition to lacking training, deputies don’t have the proper equipment, such as tranquilizer guns, Lewis told the Daily Times.
A year ago, the Wicomico County Humane Society had three full-time animal control officers. It now has one who works four hours a day. Under next year’s budget, the Humane Society will receive $248,000 from the county, compared to the $327,000 budgeted last year.
Executive Director Linda Lugo said the Humane Society took in 2,030 stray animals from the county from July 2009 through May of this year. The animals are held for at least six days, under law, before being put down or transfered elsewhere — at a cost of about $122,000, Lugo said.
Funding from the county pays for three-fifths of the Humane Society’s operating budget. The city and independent fundraising by the Humane Society help cover the rest.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, aggressive, animal control, animal welfare, animals, budget, costs, cuts, dangerous, deputies, dogs, euthanize, humane society, kill, maryland, mike lewis, news, ohmidog!, pets, rescue, shelter, sheriff, shoot, stray, wicomico county