Another disabled veteran and service dog have been kicked out of a business establishment — this time in Virginia, where Pat Horan and his dog Wilson were asked to leave a restaurant in Centreville.
As often isn’t the case, Horan’s ejection got some news coverage, thanks to his Facebook friends and the fact that his sister-in-law is a TV reporter.
After a visit with his dentist earlier this week, Pat and his wife, Patty, stepped into a restaurant next door, the Village Café , for lunch.
Upon seeing the dog, the restaurant owner’s wife ordered them to leave the premises.
“I tried to explain to her that this isn’t just a regular pet, this is a service dog,” Patty Horan said. “My husband is disabled. She really didn’t want to listen to any of it. She just wanted us to leave the restaurant.”
They were offered the option to order and sit outside and eat, but there were no tables or chairs set up, she added.
The Horan’s posted what happened on Facebook, leading to angry comments from their friends, and the involvement of WUSA reporter Peggy Fox, who’d done a series of stories on her brother-in-law’s recovery. He was shot in the head in Baghdad, resulting in brain injury, seizures and instability.
Fox went to the Village Café and interviewed Mo Aminfar, the owner.
Aminfar said his wife, Mary, didn’t understand that Wilson was a service dog.
“She doesn’t speak very well in English,” he said.
Aminfar said it was a regrettable misunderstanding: “Pat, we apologize and are really sorry for what happened.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aminfar, animals, apology, brain injury, centreville, disability, disabled, dog, dogs, head, iraq, media, news, pat horan, peggy fox, pets, service, shot, vet, veteran, village cafe, virginia, war, wilson, wusa
A Chihuahua mix born with deformed front legs — causing her to scoot across the floor like a baby kangaroo — is about to get a leg up, thanks to the Dearborn Animal Shelter and lots of kindly donors.
Found slip-sliding her way around the streets of the Michigan city a few weeks ago, she was named Victory.
“We thought that she needed some name that really described how she looked at life and the fact that she survived when many animals with deformities don’t,” Elaine Greene, executive director of Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, told Today.com.
When no one came forward to claim the one-year-old dog at the shelter, staff began to consider equipping her with an orthopedic device that would help her get around — all of which cost $2,000 or more.
When the shelter mentioned Victory in its newsletter, the Detroit Free Press picked up on the story.
Within a week, $7,000 in donations had come in.
The money will be used to purchase a protective vest for Victory, a sled like device allowing her to move around on carpet, and a set of wheels.
While she’s out of the shelter — Greene took her home to stay temporarily — she’s still up for adoption.
“We’re all very attached to her, and she to us, so we’re looking for a very special situation,” she said.
“I would really like her to get a job working with people with disabilities,” she said. “If I could find a way to add that into her new life, that would be great.”
(Photo: Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chihuahua, dearborn animal shelter, detroit free press, device, disability, dog, dogs, donations, elaine greene, friends for the dearborn animal shelter, handicap, mix, orthopedic, pets, sled, victory, wheels
We’re not sure how big a role her dog Jack plays in helping Tisha out, or, for that matter — given her determination and what she has accomplished – if she even needs any.
On her YouTube channel, “Tisha Unarmed,” the irrepressible 25-year-old demonstrates how she texts, showers, ties her shoes, drives, gets dressed and more — even how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — all without arms.
In some of them, like this compilation, Jack, her black Chihuahua, can be seen standing by — at least until she turns on the vacuum cleaner:
Tisha — born without arms, and with one of her legs eight inches longer than the other — lives alone with Jack, and we don’t know if he inspires her, or she inspires him, or if perhaps a little of both goes on.
She was born in St. Louis, the oldest of five children, and grew up all over. Her father’s family is from Jordan, and she spent a few years in the Middle East before moving back to the United States by herself when she was a teenager, according to a story about her on Yahoo! Shine.
Last year, she graduated from St. Louis Community College with an associates degree in graphic design, the field in which she’s now seeking employment.
She’s also an artist and member of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists. She uses her toes to draw and paint.
She started making YouTube videos — demonstrating everything from how to eat with chopsticks to how to put on make-up — to showcase her graphic design skills, but now sees that she’s serving to educate a lot of people, able and disabled.
“If I can educate more people to be a little bit more open minded about disabilities and conditions, then I’ve done my job,” she says. “Not only am I educating abled people, but I’m also educating handicapped people to be more independent.”
Her her first video was titled “Eating a sandwich with my feet.” Since then, she’s added more videos and attracted more than 300,000 hits. She begins each video with the same introduction: “Hi everyone, this is Tisha Unarmed and I’m here to answer all your questions about not having arms. As you can see, I don’t have any arms.”
“I was just being silly and funny at home,” she said. “I just never expected to have so many views in so little time.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abilities, abled, adaptability, adapting, animals, armless, channel, chihuahua, demonstrations, disabilities, disability, dog, dogs, feats, feet, humans, inspirational, inspiring, jack, no arms, pets, spirit, tisha, tisha unarmed, unarmed, videos, youtube
The town of Aurelia, Iowa, has declined to settle out of court with James Sak, the former Chicago police officer who says he should be allowed to keep the pit bull mix that helps him cope with the effects of a stroke.
Sak, 65, had to relinquish Snickers last year because the municipality bans pit bulls. He sent the dog to a boarding facility outside Aurelia. Later, an Iowa judge later granted an injunction, allowing Snickers and Sak to reunite (see the video above) and stay together in Aurelia until the case is resolved.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping with Sak’s legal representation, said last week that the town has declined to settle the case, and that a trial has been scheduled for July, 2013, more than a year from now.
Earlier this year, Saks, a stroke victim, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been undergoing treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
“The worst part of my [cancer] treatment is not having my dog here,” said Sak, who is expected to return home after his hospital stay.
“Jim has been so strong throughout all of this. We know his strength comes from knowing Snickers is waiting for him at home, waiting to do his job as his service animal and his support,” said said Kim Wolf, community engagement specialist for Animal Farm Foundation.
Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the right side of his body. He was paired at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago with Snickers, who helps him walk, balance and call from help in an emergency.
“We want everyone to realize that Aurelia’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to put Jim through the agony of a trial, especially while he’s battling cancer, does not reflect the sentiments of every resident of Aurelia,” Wolf said. “The outpouring of support and disbelief from Jim’s neighbors has been huge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, cancer, chicago, disability, dog, dogs, hospital, iowa, james sak, kim wolf, law, officer, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, police, scheduled, service, snickers, stroke, treatment, trial, victim
Nio Tavlos believes his 12-pound miniature poodle, Diego, should be permitted to live with him at a 36-story, no-pets-allowed condo development in Lakeview.
The 67-year-old artist says Diego helps him battle bouts of depression. Without the dog, he said, “I spend a lot of time in bed, I’m lethargic, I’m not creative.”
Six years after the dispute began, Tavlos took his case to the Illinois Department of Human Rights. On Tuesday, the agency filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tavlos accusing the condo association of violating anti-discrimination laws.
Tavlos first asked for special permission to keep a dog in 2007 after learning other residents had pets as service and therapy animals, and that others secretly kept pets in the building.
Twice, the request was denied — even after letters from two of Tavlos’ doctors.
Tavlos, who lost another dog last year, is a painter who travels between his home in Santa Fe, N.M., and his wife’s Lakeview condo.
” …I’ve never lived without a dog my entire adult life. I wouldn’t want to live without dogs, to be honest with you … They are like my children,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Department of Human Rights said his depression qualifies as a physical disability under Illinois state law, and that it found “substantial evidence” that the condo association discriminated against him by denying a reasonable accommodation for the dogs.
The suit asks that the condo association create a policy to deal with other requests from disabled residents and that it train employees in fair housing practices. It also asks for an unspecified amount in damages and court costs.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artist, association, chicago, condominium, depression, diego, disability, discrimination, dog, dogs, housing, lawsuit, miniature, nio tavlos, no dogs, no pets, pets, poodle, rights, rules, service, therapy
The manager of a Marietta, Ga., McDonald’s punched a mother of two autistic boys in the face after a dispute that started when the manager ordered the twin boys’ service dog, Barkley, out of the store, police said.
The boys’ mother, Jennifer Schwenker, said the incident took place on July 12 when she took the boys to the McDonald’s on Bells Ferry Road to have lunch, WSBTV reported.
The family was about to leave when Tiffany Denise Allen, an off-duty store manager, told them there were no dogs allowed, police said.
Schwenker explained that Barkley is a service dog, allowed by federal law in all public places including restaurants. Schwenker offered to provide proof of the permit for the dog, Marietta police said.
A surveillance tape from the store shows Allen following the family around the McDonald’s. When Schwenker tried to leave, she lost track of one of the boys. She threw her drink on the floor and it splashed on Allen, police said.
The tape shows Allen running after Schwenker in a rage, police said.
Allen has been charged with battery assault and disorderly conduct.
The store issued a statement saying the manager had been fired.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: autism, autistic, barkely. twins, customer, disabilities, disability, dog, georgia, jennifer schwenker, manager, marietta, mcdonald's, mother, punch, restaurant, service dog, tiffany denise allen
This one is out of the Boston area, where a disabled dog’s “wheelchair” was stolen from the front yard of his owner’s home Sunday.
David Feeney, 63, of West Roxbury, said the cart used by his 12-year-old Belgain Malinois, “Lucky,” was taken after Lucky enjoyed some playtime in the front yard.
“Somebody must have grabbed it right away,” he told the Boston Globe. “Who knows why this happened.”
Feeney called police, and searched the neighborhood with them that night, looking for the cart, but with no success.
On Monday, though, HandicappedPets.com, a New Hampshire-based company that aids handicapped and injured pets, offered Feeney a free replacement. The carts can run $500 or more.
“We wanted to do anything we could to right a wrong,” said HandicappedPets.com spokeswoman Lisa-Marie Mulkern, who said the company was notified of the theft Lucky’s chair by a former customer who had read about it.
The story was first reported by WBZ-TV.
Feeney, a Boston native, rescued Lucky several years ago while teaching and doing humanitarian work in Bogotá. The dog had been hit by a car. Feeney took him to a vet. After Lucky became able to get around, Feeney began taking the dog with him on his trips. “He brought a lot of joy and happiness to a lot of sad children in these places,” he said. “He’s been the light of my life.”
Lucky was able to walk and even run for a while after the accident, but eventually required surgery, which left him immobilized without the help of a cart.
“To me that’s OK,” Feeney said. “As long as he’s alive that’s what matters. I love him.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belgian malinois, boston, carts, david feeney, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, handicapped, handicapped pets, humans, lucky, pets, steal, stolen, theft, thieves, wheelchairs, wheels
It’s probably safe to assume she meant well, but a 70-year-old disabled woman has been cited by police for letting her dog walk run down the street while she followed it in her car.
The woman’s car was stopped by police in Madison, Wisconsin, and she was ticketed for permitting her dog to run at large, according to Madison.com.
Police had been tipped off about the woman’s habit by neighbors, who had complained about the dog running free.
“At the time of the complaints, the officer tried, without success, to contact the pet owner,” said a police spokesman. “Now, after seeing the little white dog strolling down East Mifflin with a car following close behind, it rang a bell and he had the chance to talk to her.”
The woman explained to the officer that she walked her dog that way because she is disabled.
“The officer was sympathetic but explained she had to find another way to exercise her canine,” the police spokesman said. “He suggested putting up a fence and then issued a citation for permitting a dog to run at large.” The ticket is for $114.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, car, citation, disability, disabled, dog, dog walking, dogs, leash, madison, pets, street, ticket, unleashed, walking, wisconsin
And that’s why the dog she adopted — born with ectrodactyly, or “lobster claw syndrome” — no longer goes by “Claude.”
A 2-year-old, 60-pound pit bull mix, Claude’s now named Cody. He was left at a shelter as a pup, then rescued by Even Chance, a San Diego-based pit bull advocacy center, which paid for surgery to help correct the deformity by fusing his two toes together.
Now, Cody lives happily with what’s called a “mitten” paw. He’s found a forever home with Sulier. And he’s been certified as a therapy dog, PeoplePets reports.
Working with New Leash on Life Animal Rescue’s Lend a Paw program, he’s the first of his breed to be certified as a therapy dog through the organization, which Sulier hopes will set the record straight about other dogs of his kind.
“Pitties are sweet, loyal dogs, and the reason they become mean dogs is because they’re so loyal, they will do anything you ask them to,” she says. “People need to see that they really are extremely loving dogs.”
Every other week, Sulier and Cody head to the Jewish Home for the Aging in their hometown of Los Angeles. Sulier feels Cody, who walks with a slight limp, has a personal connection to those he comforts.
“He’s been pretty special ever since [I adopted him],” she says. “For some reason, from the bottom of my heart, I know I’m supposed to have Cody.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal, barbara sulier, claude, claw, clawed, cody, congenital, defect, deformity, disabilities, disability, dogs, electrodactyly, even chance, handicaps, lobster, lobster claw, new leash on life, ohmidog!, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, rescue, shelter, syndrome, therapy dog
Surf Dog Ricochet continues his amazing work in California, where he recently hit the waves with Ian McFarland, a 6-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury in a car accident that claimed the lives of his parents.
Ricochet, who we first showed you last year, was a service dog reject — he was just too prone to chasing birds — who went on to become a “surf-ice” dog, raising money for charities through surfing demonstrations and assisting people with disabilities in other ways.
Most recently, he helped Ian, who used to surf with his dad, overcome his fears and get back in the ocean.
On top of the individuals he has helped, Ricochet’s website says he has raised more than $30,000 in an 8-month period.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adaptive, animals, california, charities, demonstrations, disabilities, disability, disabled, dog, dogs, ian mcfarland, pets, ricochet, service, surf, surf-ice, surfer, surfing, therapy, video