A Texas judge ruled yesterday that a dog who was missing her nose when she was found wandering in a field should not be returned to her original owners.
“I find that this dog was unreasonably deprived of care,” Hutto Municipal Judge Lucas Wilson said of the dog, named Victory by her rescuers.
Animal control officers initially believed she’d been the victim of abuse, but Victory’s owners, when they came forward to reclaim the dog, said she suffered from an autoimmune disease that ate her nose away.
The court ruling, which came after a four-hour hearing, means the bearded collie will remain in the care of Austin Pets Alive, which will place her in a new home.
Josh Fogelman, an attorney for the owners, Shawn and Candice Lance, said after the ruling that the owners took good care of the dog, who they called Olive, and never abused her.
“I believe this is a witch hunt,” he said after the ruling. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Fogelman was unsure whether the Lances would appeal the ruling.
Hutto police found the dog wandering in early January and took her to a local veterinarian. She was later placed in foster care by Austin Pets Alive, a local animal welfare organization that raised $15,000 in donations for her. Victory was scheduled to receive a skin graft, but that was canceled when her owners called police in February to reclaim the dog.
Shawn Lance, who recently moved from Amarillo, said he had taken the dog to a veterinarian there three times after her nose started to scar and lose color. The medicine the vet prescribed made the dog sick, though, so he took her off it, he testified.
Lance, a financial adviser for Edward Jones who said he worked for several years as a veterinary technician, testified that he and his wife tried to find the dog after she disappeared by putting up a missing poster at a community mailbox and calling an animal shelter.
He said that the dog lost her nose when he took her to a veterinarian.
No charges were filed against the Lances, but a judge was asked to intervene to determine whether Victory should be returned to them.
Judge Wilson said that Shawn Lance made an unreasonable decision to “wean her off of medication” and said veterinary records don’t indicate the dog, at the time of her last visit, had lost her nose.
“If you look at the veterinary records they say the nose is raw but still there,” he said.
While it’s possible the dog lost her nose to disease, the judge said, evidence indicated the pet was being deprived of proper care.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animals, austin pets alive, autoimmune, bearded collie, care, denied, disease, dog, dogs, hutto, judge, lost, lucas wilson, neglect, no nose, nose, noseless, pets, proper, ruling, suspected, victory
Patrick Stark says he and his dog Copenhagen, a Queensland heeler, were asked to leave a Wawa store in June.
He’d gone to the convenience store in Millville with his dog — who helps him cope with recurrent seizures – to pick up some sandwiches, but an assistant manager argued that his dog wasn’t allowed.
Other customers reportedly joined in. Copenhagen reportedly sat quietly and watched.
Stark said even when he pointed to the special tags on Copenhagen the assistant manager would not listen to him and called police.
“The police were great when they got there,” Stark said. “They were so nice to me.”
New Jersey state officials announced the settlement Wednesday. Despite the payoff, Stark said he plans to avoid Wawas, or at least that Wawa, in the future. Wawa Food Markets operates almost 600 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The Pennsylvania-based chain has agreed to post signs in its New Jersey stores saying service dogs are welcome and to train employees about state laws regarding service animals. The company didn’t admit any liability as part of the settlement, according to NJ.com.
“Service dogs are permitted in all Wawa stores,” said company spokesperson Lori Bruce. “It is always our effort and intent to fully comply with the law and treat all customers with sensitivity and respect. If for some reason we find out that there was an individual experience that did not reflect that, we will always do our best to look into the situation and address it immediately.”
Stark served in the Army from 1998 to 2000, and began having problems with recurrent seizures three years ago when he was hit in the head during a mugging in Seattle.
“He’s my lifeline,” Stark said of Copenhagen. “Without him I can’t function. Without him I can’t go anywhere and have an independent life.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artist, complaint, convenience store, copenhagen, denied, dog, dogs, heeler, millville, new jersey, patrick stark, pets, seizures, service, service dogs, wawa
The dog whose only crime was resembling a pit bull was euthanized today, after a deadline for legal appeals expired.
His execution – despite 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve — brings an end to an international effort to save him.
The BBC reports that the city council issued a statement that read:
“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.”
“The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
In June, after two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down, Northern Ireland’s highest court rejected Caroline Barnes’ legal bid to overturn an order calling for the destruction of her pet.
Ms. Barnes insisted that Lennox was not dangerous, and her battle to save Lennox snowballed into an often-heated international campaign to save his life.
One Belfast councillor has received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction, the BBC reported, and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating messages.
Lennox was impounded by Belfast City Council’s dog wardens in May of 2010, when a new breed specific law went into effect, banning pit bull types in the UK.
Among those calling for Lennox to be spared were boxer Lennox Lewis, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and television dog training expert Victoria Stillwell, who had offered to have Lennox re-homed in America where he would not be in contact with the public.
Stillwell said she was “absolutely devastated” that Lennox had been put down. “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” she said.
Stillwell said requests that the family be allowed to visit the dog one last time before he was put down were declined — as were requests to allow the family see the dog after he was euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: belfast, belfast city council, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, dangerous, denied, dog, dogs, euthanized, executed, global, international, ireland, killed, laws, lennox, news, pit bull, pit bull type, put down, put to sleep, resemblance, uk, victoria stillwell, visits
A second person with a disability says she and her service dog were asked to leave the McDonald’s restaurant in Alberta, Canada, that reportedly kicked out a man and his dog last week.
Carla Schneider says she was waiting in line to buy coffee in January 2010 when she was approached by an employee of the McDonald’s in Wetaskiwin who asked her about her St. Bernard.
Schneider’s disability stems from a traffic accident that left her with a brain injury and without the use of her right eye, CBC News reported.
McDonald’s said in an email that Schneider was asked to remove her dog, Angus, from the restaurant because she couldn’t “provide the required information for the service dog.”
Schneider says that isn’t true.
“I produced my government of Alberta certification card that qualifies Angus as a service dog and he asked me to explain my disabilities to him,” Schneider said. “Why do I need a dog and why do I have to use a dog that big?”
She said she chose a large breed as her service dog because it helps her with the balance problems caused by her disability.
Schneider complained to McDonald’s at the time of the incident, and received an apology letter and $20 worth of gift certificates, she said.
The McDonald’s is the same one that asked John Dignard and his service dog, Eve, to leave the premises last week because, according to Dignard, customers had complained that the dog smelled.
The manager of the McDonald’s denied last week that Dignard was asked to leave, saying he had departed voluntarily after he was told about customer complaints regarding his “behaviour and the well-being of his service dog.”
“It’s really disheartening to hear the message is falling on deaf ears,” said Alison Ainsworth, the Alberta woman who lobbied the province to make it illegal for businesses to deny service to disabled people with service dogs. “I think the Alberta government came up with the Alberta Service Dogs Act but passing such a legislation in absence of credible, meaningful information being communicated isn’t going far enough.”
Ainsworth says the government needs to do more to get businesses to comply.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alberta, angus, animals, brain, canada, denied, disabilities, disabled, dog, Eve, injuries, mcdonald's, pets, restaurants, saint bernard, service, service dog, st. bernard, Wetaskiwin
Dr. Priya Punjabi told Phillyburbs.com that a large animal could scare or upset her patients — though the couple with the guide dog were the only ones in her Bensalem office when they arrived. The doctor also said she is afraid of dogs.
Lat week, Joseph Cichonski, 58, who is visually impaired, accompanied his wife to Punjabi’s office, where she was scheduled to receive a physical.
Cichonski said his guide dog, Hero, a golden retriever/Lab mix, was lying calmly at his feet in the waiting room when the doctor approached and told him pets weren’t allowed in the office.
“We simply asked him to step outside,” the doctor explained later. “I have my rights and my phobias, too.”
“I told her that it’s not a pet, it’s a guide dog, but she still said I couldn’t have him in there,” Cichonski said.
Cichonski said he and Hero stepped outside the office because he didn’t want to cause a scene. His wife, who was told she wouldn’t be treated while the dog was in the office, also left.
The Cichonskis called police, who interviewed the parties involved and filed a report. Cichonski said Wednesday that he’s exploring his options.
“I’m not trying to cause a fuss,” he said. “I just want to let people know that things like this are happening and I’d like to prevent them from happening to other people with disabilities.”
Rocco Iaculla, an attorney with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, said the doctor’s actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“You cannot exclude service animals except in very specific situations,” he said. “Unless the animal is out of control or not housebroken or someone nearby has a severe allergic reaction, you must permit them in any area that the public is permitted. It has to be more than someone feeling uncomfortable with an animal present.”
(Photo: Kim Weimer / Phillyburbs.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: americans with disabilities act, animals, bensalem, bucks county, denied, disabilities, disability rights network, doctor, dogs, fear, guide dogs, hero, joseph cichonski, pets, police, priya punjabi, report, service dogs
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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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