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Tag: divorce

Man runs over estranged wife’s Chihuahua

A California casino manager was charged with animal cruelty after police reviewed a surveillance video they say shows him purposefully running over his estranged wife’s Chihuahua with his car.

Michael David Parker, 45, was arrested Jan. 3, a day after police found the remains of a dog inside a bag in an alley in Hawthorne.

The police investigation led to the surveillance tapes, which authorities say show Parker opening the trunk of his car, in which the dog was apparently being held, getting back in his car and running the dog over.

cowcowKTLA in Los Angeles, which aired the less gruesome portions of the video this week, reported that Parker’s estranged wife, Olga, believes her husband killed “Cow Cow” in retaliation for not giving him money from their retirement fund.

“If someone would do that to a dog… what would he do to my kids?” she told KTLA.

The couple’s divorce settlement is reportedly still pending, and they have three children, aged 6, 12 and 15.

According to the Daily Breeze, Parker is the facilities director of the Hustler Casino in Gardena. He posted $20,000 bail and faces a March 25 arraignment. Parker told detectives it was an accident, and he didn’t see the dog.

parkerPolice say the video indicates otherwise. “You can see him swerving toward the dog,” Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said. “Parker backs his vehicle up, and then appears to accelerate rapidly, steering directly toward the dog. Cow Cow is run completely over.”

The couple’s two dogs, Cow Cow and Lucky, lived in their vacant house in San Pedro, and Olga Parker stopped by every day to feed them. Lucky is missing, she says.

Md. couple will share custody of Lucky

Maryland law — apparently one written back in medieval times — requires that a divorcing couple that can’t agree on who should get custody of the family dog sell the dog like any other disputed marital property, and then split the proceeds.

Fortunately, that resolution didn’t seem right to a judge in Calvert County, Maryland, who instead ordered a divorcing couple to split the custody of their dog, Lucky.

Retired Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Graydon S. McKee III made the decision last month in the case of Gayle and Craig Myers, the Associated Press reported.

The judge, presiding over the limited-divorce proceeding by special assignment, decided last month that the childless couple should split custody of Lucky, meaning every six months the dog will back and forth.

“It was very clear that both of them love this dog equally,” McKee said. “The only fair thing to do was to give each one an equal chance to share in the love of the dog.”

Cesar Millan and wife file for divorce

Cesar and Ilusion Millan have announced they are filing for divorce.

“We are sad to announce that after 16 years of marriage we have decided to file for divorce. The decision was made after much consideration and time. We remain caring friends, and are fully committed to the co-parenting of our two boys,” said a statement posted on Millan’s website Friday.

People magazine reports that Ilusion Millan filed for divorce at Los Angeles court Friday, citing irreconcilable differences. She is seeking primary physical custody of the kids with visitation for Cesar, 40, as well as spousal support from the longtime host of the National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer.”

Millan came to the U.S. from Mexico with $100 in his pocket and a dream of becoming a famous dog trainer. He succeeded – with the help of some famous Hollywood clients — establishing an empire that includes dog products, a television show, a new magazine and several best-selling books.

His show begins its sixth season Oct. 9 and his fourth book, “How to Raise the Perfect Dog,” is in stores now.

Millan and his wife also founded the nonprofit Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, which promotes animal welfare by supporting the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abused and abandoned dogs.

A mystery unravels in dog trainer’s death

stoverThe body of the Pacific Northwest’s most famous dog trainer still hasn’t been found, but authorities have charged his ex-wife’s boyfriend with his murder.

T. Mark Stover was the Seattle area’s dog-trainer-to-the-stars, with clients that ranged from members of Pearl Jam and Nirvana to  Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who entrusted Stover with his Shiba Inu.

Last month, employees at the kennel, Island Dog Adventures, 55 miles north of Seattle, found Stover’s dog, Dingo, shot in the face, but authorities could find no signs of Stover, other than smears of his blood in a downstairs bedroom and hallway.

Prosecutors have charged his ex-wife’s boyfriend,  Michiel Oakes, with murder, according to an Associated Press report.

Stover, 57, and ex-wife Linda Opdycke, 45, opened Island Dog Adventures in the early 1990s on an island owned by her wealthy family. Her father was one of the founders of Washington’s biggest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Read more »

Heidi Fleiss’ “Dirty Dog” hits a snag

HeidiFleissLas Vegas residents eagerly waiting to get their pups cleaned by Heidi Fleiss are going to have to wait a little more.

The 43-year-old former Hollywood madam’s attempt to open a dog grooming business — called the “Dirty Dog” — was blocked Wednesday by a District Court judge, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The judge ruled in favor of Jeffery Marvian, who alleged his estranged wife, Nickol, conspired to sell Fleiss their dog grooming business — named Little Buddy Bath and located in a Kmart shopping center — in violation of the couple’s ongoing divorce action.

Under the ruling, the shop will remain closed pending completion of the divorce proceedings.

Nickol Marvian said Fleiss had threatened and bullied her in text messages. “She basically threatened me (that) she would go to Family Court and try to get my daughter taken away from me and she also wanted all of her money back.”

Jeffery Marvian’s attorney, Shelley Lubritz, said Fleiss entered into the deal with Nickol Marvian knowing it was wrong.

“Ms. Fleiss’ hands are as dirty as the name she wants to put on the business,” Lubritz said after the hearing.

Porn star Kendra Jade Rossi was also involved in the deal, but the judge dropped her from the complaint because she was not with Fleiss and Nickol Marvian when the agreement was reached.

Dog custody case headed back to court in N.J.

Doreen Houseman is headed back to court to gain custody of Dexter, the pug that a New Jersey court awarded to her ex-husband, deeming the dog merely another piece of property.

Today, a second trial beings on the custody of the nearly six-year-old dog, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In March, a three-judge appeals panel ordered the new trial, saying Superior Court Judge John Tomasello should not have treated Dexter as just another piece of furniture during the first trial, in Gloucester County, in 2007.

Gina Calogero, Houseman’s attorney, said the appeals paned issued a “landmark decision” on pet custody. 

Tomasello originally ruled Dexter was simply property and should go to the person possessing it. “Dogs are chairs; they’re furniture; they’re automobiles, they’re pensions. They’re not kids,” he said. “Canine affection” is irrelevant, he said.

Houseman’s ex, Eric Dare, a Williamstown police officer, was awarded the dog, and would compensate Houseman $1,500 – the pedigree dog’s purchase price – the judge said.

Houseman says she is happy she won another chance to prove she should be reunited with her dog.

“I hope he remembers me. I keep hearing that a dog never forgets your scent and your voice,” she said, with a nervous laugh.”

Sperm warfare: Couple fights over dog semen

When Karen and Anthony Scully filed for divorce, determining custody of the six dogs wasn’t too difficult. He got four, she got two. The sticking point came later — with a feud, still going on five years later, over who should get the dogs’ semen.

The matter –  or perhaps issue is a better word — landed before Family Court Judge Cheryl Matthews Wednesday morning.

Karen Scully, who lives in Florida, and her ex-husband, Anthony Scully of Oakland County, Michigan, are feuding in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac over who has the legal right to the semen belonging to Cyrus, Regg and Romeo, all AKC-registered bullmastiffs.

Bull mastiff pups fetch $2,000 each in the marketplace.

The Scullys were hobby breeders in Oakland County until their divorce in 2002, and they had banked sperm from their mastiffs in a freezing center in Sterling Heights. Both still raise bullmastiffs.

Anthony Scully, through his attorney, said the semen is his — or rather, is property that should belong to him — and that his ex-wife, in moving to Florida, gave up claim. Karen Scully, who appeared in court via teleconference, claimed she has ownership, since the dogs that provided the semen once belonged to her.

Judge Matthews said she thought the case was a prank at first. “I asked, ‘Am I Being Punk’d … Is this a Candid Camera thing?” she said.

Matthews ruled that it was not a divorce matter and told the couple they would have to fight it out in civil court, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press.

The case has been assigned to Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman.

(Photo: Anthony Scully with Romeo, family photo)

Ben Stein on the divinity of dogs


Watch CBS Videos Online

Here’s Ben Stein, on CBS’s Sunday Morning, with some advice on how to get through the recession — or just about anything else.

Who gets the dog? Bring in the mediator

More evidence that our dogs are becoming more like our children: The emergence of the “pet custody mediator” – counselors who help couples who have called it quits work out a custody arrangement for the dog.

Tails of the City, the San Francisco Chronicle’s animal blog, had an interview with one such practitioner last week, Charles Regal.

Regal’s fee is $350 for the first hour, and $150 for each additional hour. He tries to meet with the animal, but says he keeps the pet out of the room when that actual negotiations are underway.

“It’s not a good idea to have the animal present during the mediation because it can be incredibly stressful for them. But having a photograph of the pet in the room can be an effective way of keeping the discussion focused. I like to say that there are three hearts involved. Reminding my clients of this can often help to diffuse a potentially competitive situation.”

Most often, a shared custody arrangement is worked out — at least in the case of dogs. Cats, he says, aren’t so keen on being shuttled back and forth.

Divorce insurance (for dogs)

Don’t look now, old chap, but England seems to be getting quite ahead of us in terms of progressive dog thinking.

For starters, they’re taking a hard and long-needed look at the questionable practices some breeders of show dogs use to meet arbitrary “ideals” of appearance. The Kennel Club and its big show, Crufts, have been put under the spotlight for breeding animals in a way that compromises not just the health of individual animals, but the future health of entire breeds.

Now comes news that Sainsbury’s, a renowned bank and insurance company, is offering insurance for dogs affected by what it calls “Master Separation Syndrome” — a behavioral disorder brought on by a pet’s owners splitting up.

Sainsbury’s estimates that over 60,000 cats and dogs in Britain could suffer from “Master Separation Syndrome,” and it offers a policy that pays benefits of up to £1,000 per condition for treatments and £250 a year for damage brought on by such behavioral problems.

Over the past year, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance says it has seen a 28% increase in the number of claims linked to behavioral problems, and the company believes that Master Separation Syndrome is one of the reasons. 

“If a couple separating have pets, their animals can also suffer from the anguish and stress caused by the breakdown,” said Neal Devine, Sainsbury’s pet insurance manager. “Cats and dogs can be very susceptible to their owner’s feelings and if they sense they are unhappy they can easily become agitated and depressed.”

“Also,” he adds, “if you suddenly become reliant on one income to look after a pet the need for pet insurance will usually be greater as it will help you to cope more easily with any large unexpected vet bills.”

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