Spiked collars, break sticks and Michael Vick’s indictment papers are among items on display at a new exhibit at the Crime Museum in downtown D.C.
The dogfighting exhibit, put together by the ASPCA, is scheduled to run through September.
“We want the public to see that dogs used in dogfighting are the victims of the crime, not instruments of the crime,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it’s the greatest violation of the human-animal bond.”
Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at the Crime Museum, told WTOP the exhibit seeks to expose the public to the brutality of dogfighting, but that attempts were made to keep it rated “PG.”
The exhibit features artifacts and evidence seized by the ASPCA during dog fighting raids, including the largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history, carried out in 2009.
The exhibit, “Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims,” also looks at the work of ASPCA veterinary forensic experts in investigating such crimes.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is the indictment naming Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who served time for his participation in dogfighting and has since worked to speak out against it and rehabilitate his image.
“Personally, I have difficulty in forgiving him, but if he can be helpful in the fight against dog fighting, we welcome whatever help we can get,” Lockwood said.
Also on display are a treadmill used to condition dogs for fighting; a “rape” stand used to immobilize female dogs for breeding purposes; breaking sticks used to force a dog’s release on another dog; a spring pole used to strengthen a dog’s bite, neck, and leg muscles as he pulls or hangs from the end, a handmade nailed collar used to antagonize fighting dogs; an electrocution device used to kill dogs who lost a fight or failed to show sufficient aggression; and a pit bull skull excavated from a dogfighting crime scene.
Lockwood says pit bulls have suffered most from dog fighting.
“Too often, pit bulls in general are demonized as the weapons of dog fighting, but from our perspective they are the victims of dog fighting,” he said.
The exhibit does have some upbeat notes, including the story of Dragon, a dog rescued from a Virginia dogfighting ring who has since been adopted into a new home.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, aspca, break sticks, crime museum, dc, devices, displays, dog fighting, dogfighting, exhibit, forensics, indictment, investigations, michael vick, mueseums, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, randall lockwood, spiked collars, tools, torture, washington
On Wednesday, an arrest was made in the case. Sean D. Branch, 24, was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty.
Branch, who was arrested in Clinton, Md., faces up to five years in jail and a $25,000 fine, the Washington Humane Society said in a press release.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 31.
Officer Michael Triebwasser of the Washington Humane Society said that the 6-month-old dog, King Tut, a brindle-and-white male, fell asleep about 9 a.m. in the shade behind the Circle Seven Express store on Mount Olivet Road.
The assailant, described by witnesses as a man in his late 20s, picked up a large concrete slab, held it chest-high and then let it fall on the dog’s head, the Washington Post reported.
According to court documents, the dog’s owner is Willie Starkey, who has no address.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, concrete, cruelty to animals, dc, dogs, felony, killed, king tut, pets, puppy, slab, sleeping, washington, washington humane society
D.C. animal control officers are seeking the two dogs captured on this surveillance video, chasing a group of youngsters to the top of a car and, later, biting a man who came to their aide.
The incident took place Friday on the 1200 block of Queen Street in Northeast D.C.
“It was scary and amazing,” one of the youths told Fox News.
Andre Hawthorne, a 54-year-old usher at Nationals Park, suffered bites when he used a pocket knife to try and keep the dogs away from the youths.
“When one of the dogs came, I let him have my left arm,” Hawthorne explained. “… And while I stuck him with the knife, then the second dog comes.”
Hawthorne’s stepson came to help him, swinging a baseball bat at the dogs.
“If it wasn’t for him, I might be worse then I am today,” Hawthorne said.
“I’m just glad to be alive,” he added. “But I’m sad that the owner allowed this to happen.”
The dogs and their owner were not home when a D.C. animal control officer visited Monday evening.
The D.C. Department of Health says it has ordered the dogs be impounded and will have animal control officers patrolling the neighborhood until the dogs are taken off the street.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andre hawthorne, animal control, animals, attack, bite, bitten, camera, car, dc, dog, dogs, pets, security, surveillance, top, video, washington, youths
On 35 acres in Washington, D.C., dogs romp among the remains of 80 members of Congress, cabinet members, generals, foreign diplomats, J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa.
Strange as it sounds, Roll Call reports that, at the Historic Congressional Cemetery, “the dogs and dead coexist in an arrangement that works for both of them, particularly when it comes to the graveyard’s operating expenses.”
About 25 percent of the two-centuries-old cemetery’s operating budget comes from the dog-walking members of what’s called the K9 Corps.
As explained by Patrick Crowley, former chairman of the cemetery association’s board and now interim senior manager, people have been walking their dogs in the cemetery for more than 30 years, but up until around 2000, the area was avoided by many.
“In 1990, it was a drug war zone,” Crowley said. “The early dog walkers would stick to the main loop and band together,” he said. “… The morning dog walkers, their job was to clean up the hypodermic needles. They had to [do it] very carefully to not stick yourself.”
By around 2001, with improvements to the neighborhood, Crowley said he started charging dog walkers dues. The K9 Corps became an official organization of the preservation association in 2007. Membership costs $200 per family and $50 per dog.
Dog owners are also asked to volunteer at least 12 hours per year, picking up trash, pulling weeds and policing the area to make sure non-member dogs don’t use the grounds.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, burial, cabinet, cemetery, congress, congressional cemetery, dc, diplomats, dog walkers, dogs, fees, generals, historic congressional cemetery, j edgar hoover, john philip sousa, k9 corps, membership, patrick crowley, pets, remains, washington
“Absolutely not, no I did not,” Nico Dauphine said after taking the stand in her own defense Wednesday in Superior Court, WJLA reported.
Dauphine is a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.
Prosecutors have presented evidence of her disdain for free-roaming cats, as well as a surveillance tape that they said showed her walking up to a planter where food was kept, reaching into her purse, then reaching into the cat food and leaving.
Dauphine argued in court that she was trying to get rid of the food because it attracted rats: “I went over to the planter, took out the food, put it in a plastic bag and threw it out,” she said.
Prosecutors have entered as evidence a number of quotes and articles in which Dauphine describes cats as an invasive species that should be euthanized. One online lecture by Dauphine is entitled “Apocalypse Meow – Free Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife.”
Both sides presented closing arguments in the animal cruelty trial Wednesday and Judge Truman Morrison is scheduled to give his verdict Monday afternoon.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, says attempts to poison free-roaming cats — not uncommon across the country — often pose a threat to pets and wildlife..
“There are no ‘safe poisons’ and there is no ‘safe way’ to poison,” said Dr. Frank McMillan, director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society.
Says Laura Nirenberg, Best Friends’ legislative analyst for cat initiatives.”The sad truth is that not only is poisoning an indiscriminate and inhumane method of controlling animal populations, it is unnecessary, especially when growing evidence from communities across the country shows that trap-neuter-return, commonly known as TNR, is the most efficient and cost-effective method.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, antifreeze, best friends, birds, cats, dc, feeding, feral, feral cats, free roaming, health, migratory bird center, national zoo, neuter, nico dauphine, poison, poisoning, prey, rat poison, return, safety, smithsonian, tnr, trap, trial, washington, wildlife
A Washington D.C. resident says one of several police officers chasing a man on a bicycle shot her dog twice without provocation.
Blue, a three-year-old male pit bull, was shot in the shoulder and hip.
“This is wrong. This is animal cruelty, this is excessive”, his owner, Tiffany Reynolds, told ABC7.
Last week’s shooting comes nearly a year after a pit bull mix was pushed or thrown into a stairwell by a D.C. police officer trying to break up an altercation between dogs during a street festival. The officer said the dog was charging toward him when he fatally shot him.
That dog, named Parrot, was being fostered while awaiting adoption through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
In last week’s incident, Reynolds said an officer came up an alley, near the 900 Block of Crittenden Street, NW. His gun was drawn, and he told her to grab her dog, who wasn’t on a leash.
She said she was reaching for her dog when the officer fired what neighbors say was five shots: “As I’m grabbing him,” she said. “The officer could’ve shot me. I’m grabbing toward toward the dog and he’s shooting my dog.”
Thursday night, an police spokesman confirmed that an officer did fire his weapon, that a dog was shot, and that an internal investigation is underway.
Blue ran off, and was discovered by a neighbor several blocks away. He was treated at an animal clinic and is expected to survive.
Reynolds was issued a citation and faces a $100 fine for not having her dog on a leash.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blue, dc, dog, dogs, investigation, lucky dog animal rescue, mpd, officer, parrot, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, shoot, shooting, shot, tiffany reynolds, washington
The Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington is hosting a fundraiser today for Trooper, the dog who was rescued from a dumpster after losing a dog fight.
The event will feature tours, games for children, face painting, raffles and more. It starts at 11 a.m. at the Friendship Hospital for Animals, 4105 Brandywine Street, NW.
The dog was found barely alive, duct taped inside a trash bag. Washington Humane Society officials said the dog had apparently been discarded after being used in a dogfight.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, bag, dc, dogfighting, duct tape, dumpster, event, fundraiser, trash, trooper, washington, washington humane society
Veterinarians in Washington DC are nursing a dog back to health after it was found barely alive, duct taped inside a trash bag and tossed into a dumpster.
Dubbed “Trooper” by the Washington Humane Society’s Eve Russell, the dog was found swollen, scarred and bloody, apparently having been dumped in a trash receptacle outside an apartment complex after a dogfight.
The dog was taken to surgery immediately, and veterinarians say more could be required.
“I was in a bit of disbelief when the dispatcher was describing to me what it sounded like the witnesses were seeing. And when I got to the scene it was even worse than I had been expecting and I was shocked. It was probably one of the most pathetic things i’ve ever seen,“ said Russell.
The Washington Humane Society is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animals, bagged, cruelty, dc, dog, dogfight, dogfighting, dumpster, garbage, injuries, pit bull, recovery, trash, trooper, washington, washington humane society
Police believe that two youths ran off with the poodle-shih tzu mix Tuesday evening, the Washington Post reported.
After the theft drew widespread media attention, an unidentified man familiar with the dog and his owner found Sparky on Saturday and returned him to his owner, Charles Boyd, of Columbia Heights.
“Sparky means my life to me,” Boyd told NBC news in Washington. “He’s like a child to me. I don’t have any children, so he’s my son.”
Boyd, who has had the dog for about five years, said two teens took the dog while a friend was watching him.
Aging and nursing a broken leg, Boyd said he was unable to sleep after Sparky was taken.
Police in Washington plastered the neighborhood with flyers to help Boyd find his dog, and a $1,000 reward was offered. The man did not tell Boyd who he was, but said he’d seen two kids playing with Sparky and decided he needed to get the dog back to its owner.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 92, charles boyd, columbia heights, dc, dog, dogs, elderly, pet, poodle, returned, reunited, shih-tzu, sparky, stolen, theft, washington
A Metro bus driver in Washington D.C. stepped out of his bus and punched McGruff the Crime Dog.
Driver Shawn Brim, 38, told police he thought his act was funny, but children who witnessed it were reportedly horrified, according to the Associated Press.
Brim got back on his bus and drove away after taking a whack at McGruff, who was actually police officer Tyrone Hardy. Hardy, dressed as the crime dog, was handing out fliers to children.
Brim was later pulled over and charged with simple assault. He will also undergo drug and alcohol testing and his future with the agency is under review, a public transportation spokesperson said.