An Alabama state board denied parole this week to a man convicted of spraying a dog with lighter fluid, setting him on fire and beating him with a shovel.
The star witness at the hearing? The victim himself — Louis Vuitton, an 8-year-old pit bull who, now in the care of a local couple that adopted him, still bears burn scars over much of his body. The dog was led into the hearing room, consenting to being petted along the way.
The board voted 3-0 to deny early release to 23-year-old Juan Daniels of Montgomery, who was sentenced in 2009 to nine years and six months in prison, according to the Associated Press. The sentence was a record in Alabama in an animal cruelty case.
It’s believed to have been the first appearance by a dog at an Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles hearing. “I don’t recall every having one here before,” said Cynthia Dillard, the board’s executive director.
Daniels’ family and supporters aruged that he had been sentenced far more harshly than criminals who harm human beings.
After the September 2007 attack on the dog, the Montgomery Humane Society got as many as 50 calls a day about the case, some from other countries.
The dog was named “Louis Vuitton,” in honor of another abused dog, named “Gucci,” whose torture case in Mobile in 1994 led to passage of “Gucci’s law,” which made animal cruelty a felony in Alabama.
More than 60 law enforcement officers, animal rights advocates and other supporters of Louis crowded into the hearing, where Montgomery County District Attrney Ellen Brooks asked parole board members to make Daniels serve his entire sentence.
She said he tortured the dog, which belonged to his mother, because he was angry at her for not letting him use the car.
Daniels will be eligible for another parole hearing in July 2012.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopt, alabama, animal cruelty, animals, appearance, beaten, board, courts, crime, cruelty, cruelty to animals, denied, denies, deny, dogs, felony, fire, gucci, juan daniels, lighter fluid, lit, louis, louis vuitton, montgomery, parole, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, record, rescue, sentence, shelter, shovel, tortured, witness
For nearly a decade, Ruger was at the side of Kevin Coughlin as the two went up against taxi drivers, restaurants and other establishments that illegally denied them entry.
Coughlin, 48, undertook several high-profile cases against businesses in the city that to refused to open their doors to guide dogs, including two complaints against the Taxi and Limousine Commission for refusing Ruger a ride.
In 2002, Coughlin filed a discrimination complaint against a coffee shop for throwing his dog out, leading to a $1,000 against the owner.
The “CBS Evening News” once followed Coughlin and Ruger with a hidden camera and recorded business owners and taxi drivers giving him a hard time because of his dog.
Ruger, who had retired as a guide dog in 2008 and was living in Warwick, N.Y., died Wednesday at the age of 13, the New York Times reported.
“After losing my vision, I truly felt like I wasn’t going to experience joy again,” Coughlin, who became blind in 1997 as a result of a genetic condition, said Thursday. “But Ruger was just so full of joy. It was this in-your-face, all encompassing feeling. That was the biggest gift. He allowed me once again to experience joy.”
Mr. Coughlin held a retirement party for Ruger in 2008, but has not seen him since. He said it would have been too difficult emotionally.
Coughlin has been working with a new guide dog, a black Lab named Elias, but Coughlin’s e-mail handle remains “misterruger.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advocate, animals, blind, dead, death, denied, dies, disability, discrimination, dogs, entry, guide dog, kevin coughlin, law, new york, news, ohmidog!, pets, restaurants, rights, ruger, taxis, yellow lab
The team may be named after a symbol for freedom, but the Philadelphia Eagles apparently don’t want fans practicing it.
Eagles security staff squashed a suburban fan’s freedom of speech at the gate before Sunday’s game, telling her she couldn’t enter the arena unless she covered up the anti-Michael Vick sentiments expressed on her T-shirt.
Kori Martin, 32, of Broomall, was wearing a shirt bearing the words “Losers fight pit bulls” on the front, with Vick’s name and No. 7 crossed out. On the back were the words “You don’t deserve a second chance,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At the gate, she was told by security guards at Lincoln Financial Field that she could not wear the shirt because it was offensive to players and that the policy came from top management.
Martin was allowed into the stadium when she agreed to wear the shirt inside out — but she doesn’t consider the issue resolved.
“Not only has (Eagles owner) Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles organization supported a dog murderer by signing this convict,” she said, “but now they want to take away my freedom of speech just because I don’t agree with them?”
Pamela Browner Crawley, the team’s senior vice president of public affairs, told the Inquirer she knew of no specific policy banning such shirts.
(Photo: T-shirt from Pitbullgear.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anti-vick, banned, denied, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagle, eagles, entry, fan, football, freedom of speech, keffrey lurie, kori martin, nfl, pit bulls, security, shirt, sports, t-shirt
Workers in the employ of Renfro Productions — apparently unfamiliar with the concept of service dogs, and the federal laws that guarantee them access – kicked an epileptic veteran and his Labrador retriever out of Pepsi Coliseum last weekend.
Robin Davis and his 5-year-old Lab, ”Doc,” who helps him cope with seizures, were first turned away from the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show at the gate.
They managed to get in through another door, but were stopped 30 minutes later, he says, by a woman who said she was with the Boat Show asked him and Doc to leave, according to WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.
Twenty minutes later, a third employee told him he and his dog weren’t welcome. Finally, Davis says he went to the office and talked to an employee for the show’s organizer, Renfro Productions. “She was sorry that I thought it was federal law that I could have my dog in there. That she didn’t care,” says Davis.
Renfro Productions issued this statement:
“The long standing policy of Renfro Productions has always been to allow service dogs of any kind into our consumer product shows, such as the Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel show. Our company and our employees continually strive to provide the highest level of customer service and convenience to all of our patrons and exhibitors.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: admittance, assistance dog, barred, boat show, denied, disabilities, dogs, exhibition, federal law, indianapolis, kicked out, pepsi coliseum, renfro productions, robin davis, service dog, sport, travel