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Tag: dogs

Burned dog adopted by fire department


A dog who was severely burned in a house fire in Georgia that killed her owner and another dog has been adopted by a fire department in Florida.

Ruby was only a few months old when she was burned in a house fire in Blakely, Ga., and spent more than a week in critical care with third-degree burns.

After recovering, she was taken in by the Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor.

After several months with a foster mom, she has been adopted by the Palm Harbor Fire Department, Bay News 9 reported.

“Ruby is ridiculously smart, learning to sit, give paw, lay down and roll over in a matter of days,” said the foster mom, Karey.

With the support of Fire Chief Craig Maciuba the Board of Fire Commissioners and Firefighters, the decision was made to adopt her.

On Sept. 12, Ruby’s adoption became official.

“She already knows how to stop, drop and roll and we’ve been teaching her to crawl low (under smoke),” said Elizabeth Graham, public education officer. “She’s a part of the family now and I can’t wait to see how many lives she will touch, she’s a survivor.”

Ruby will be a member of the Palm Harbor Fire Department family and will assist with public education outreach programs teaching fire prevention and safety.

She will be sworn in during an official public ceremony on Oct. 12 where she will receive her official fire department badge.

The Palm Harbor Fire Department will be collecting donations for Ruby to provide for her care, medical bills and a large fenced in area for her to run and train in.

(Photos: Palm Harbor Fire Department)

Congress extends limits on VA dog research


Congress has voted to extend its restrictions on dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs through fiscal year 2019.

In the experiments at McGuire VA Medical Center, dogs were implanted with pacemakers and forced to run on treadmills until they collapsed or died.

The practice came under restrictions last year after WRIC (8News) in Richmond brought it to the public’s attention. This week, WRIC reports, Congress has voted to continue those restrictions.

Under the legislation to continue limiting the research, federal tax dollars can not be used for the deadly dog experiments like the testing uncovered at McGuire unless there is absolutely no other alternative to using dogs.

If that is the case, the study will need direct approval from the VA Secretary.

8News first exposed the experiments in March of 2017.

In July, it reported that an employee at the medical center had come forward with photos of the experiments.

In September of last year, amid threats to defund the research, the VA announced it would be restricting and increasing oversight of the experiments in Richmond and similar experiments at two other VA facilities.

WRIC documented 39 cases in which dogs at McGuire, some of them puppies, had been surgically implanted with pacemakers and forced to run until they collapsed.

The VA says the research part of an on-going study into heart disease.

Over 50 house members on both sides of the aisle requested the measure to de-fund the animal testing be extended through fiscal year 2019.

The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk.

Flo notes: Hurricanes can bring out the best and worst in TV news reporters


Used to be the way for a local TV reporter to win the hearts of viewers was to show him or herself struggling against the elements during a violent weather event.

Or so they seemed to think.

Most assuredly, that mindset is still at work, or at least it was with the newsman below, whose on air performance to stay on his feet during Florence — while regular folks in the background walk casually by — has gone viral.

What most reporters have come to realize, though, is that the way to viewers’ hearts — especially during hurricanes — is to show dogs and cats, preferably being rescued.

Better yet, if you’re a TV reporter, help rescue a dog yourself.

A reporter for WTVD in Raleigh dispatched to New Bern, N.C. interrupted a Facebook Live video to “help” rescue a dog in knee-deep floodwaters.

Julie Wilson saw a woman trying to save her Rottweiler — her daughter’s therapy dog — from the water and offered to help.

Wilson didn’t enter the house with the woman, waiting outside instead, but she can be seen on the video assisting, helping to carry the dog to safety while assuring her “You are OK baby girl.”

Later, she says, “Nobody is leaving the dog in this mess. That’s what we are doing out here.” You can see the full live stream here.

Unlike the wobbly reporter higher up in this post, Wilson isn’t being criticized online, only praised as a hero.

Comments on the story online suggest that she be given everything from a raise to the blessing of God. Read one retweet: “Saw this today.. and i was so moved.. her co workers said how she was a animal lover and didn’t even drink coffee… . just gave from her heart….a true everyday hero…

Mike Seidel, the Weather Channel reporter, meanwhile, is being lambasted, but the Weather Channel defended him in a statement: “It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted.”

What’s clear is that simply braving the elements doesn’t cut it anymore. A TV reporter who wants to feel the love needs to be shown with a soggy dog, or a drenched cat — preferably one he or she helped rescue, optimally with the cameras rolling.

None of this is to say Julie Wilson didn’t do a fine reporting job, or that her intentions weren’t pure, or that she didn’t do the right thing in helping out the woman and the dog.

Only that I could do without TV reporters — even though they are doing a brave and noble job — trying to hammer home how brave and noble they are during a crisis.

The tragedy is bad enough without blatant heartstring-tugging, which, like blatant price-gouging, always tends to come after a hurricane like Florence passes through.

Freelance journalist Marcus DiPaolo got into the heroics as well, tweeting this rescue of kenneled dogs he said he took part in:

We assume that is DiPaolo holding the camera, and it’s not clear what more he did beyond grab the collar of one of the freed dogs and say “C’mon, puppy,” but from the tweet and his use of the word “we” he apparently wants some credit for the rescue as well.

Amid all the social media promotion of their own heroics, it’s important to remember that — honorable as those might be — it’s rescue workers and homeowners, not journalists, who are doing most of the rescuing out there, which brings us to the kitty at the top of this post.

It is of Robert Simmons Jr. and his kitten being evacuated in New Bern on a rowboat Saturday.

It was taken by a newspaper reporter, Andrew Carter, with the Raleigh News & Observer.

No, Carter didn’t pluck the cat out of raging floodwaters himself. No he wasn’t rowing the boat. But he did do his job.

Because, yes, covering a hurricane is vital, noble, heroic and all that stuff, too — just on its own.

If a reporter can help save a life — human or animal — by all means do it, but do it out of compassion, as opposed to reasons such as going “viral,” self-promotion, or over-sized ego.

An apartment complex that will require dogs

In a world where landlords commonly refuse to allow renters to have dogs, it’s worth noting that an entrepreneur in Denmark is building a complex that will REQUIRE renters to have dogs.

An 18-apartment complex is under construction in Frederikssund Municipality in northern Zealand — and it will only rent to people who have dogs.

It is being built by Niels Martin Viuff, according to The Local.

“There is demand from some dog owners who are tired of there being so many places where dogs are not allowed,” Viuff says. “We want to meet the needs of dog owners. Many are very lonely.”

The complex will be called Hundehuset (“The Dog House) and, while it will require dog ownership, it plans to restrict the size of dogs — none over 100 pounds.

“We will be avoiding the largest breeds, so (the apartments) won’t be crowded with dogs. But if you have small dogs, more than one is fine,” he said.

Viuff said that potential tenants would be required to bring their dogs to see him before signing rental contracts.

Cats will also be allowed to live in the apartments, and Viuff said he’s also building another complex aimed at cat owners.

An official with the Danish Kennel Klub, Denmark’s largest association for dog owners, praised the concept, and said it served as a consultant on the project.

“This is super exciting, it’s innovative, and we look forward to following progress and seeing how the project develops,” Lise Lotte Christensen said.

Christensen was part of an advisory group that made suggestions as to how to make the apartments more canine-friendly, including by installing tougher flooring and a dog bathing area in the gardens.

Lucky dog!!! New York man wins $10 million when he stops to buy Slim Jims for his dog


A New York man scratched off a lottery ticket and learned he’d won $10 million after stopping in a convenience store to buy some Slim Jims for his dog.

New York Lottery officials said Monday that 73-year-old Dale Farrand won the $10 million prize on a $30 “Cash Spectacular” scratch-off ticket.

The Fort Edward man says he bought the ticket while at a Cumberland Farms convenience store buying Slim Jims snacks for his dog Boots.

Farrand, 73, scratched the ticket in his car, realized he was a winner and drove straight home to have his wife double check it.

He collected his winnings Monday, the Albany Times Union reported.

“I went into the Cumberland Farms to buy some Slim Jims for my dog Boots and decided to buy a ticket,” Farrand said. “I scratched it in the car and started shaking when I realized I won.”

Farrand will receive a lump-sum payment of $6.7 million after required withholdings.

He plans to use the money to pay off his mortgage, make home improvements and help his children and grandchildren.

We’d guess Boots will be getting all the Slim Jims he can eat, as well.

(Photos by Skip Dickstein / Albany Times Union)

Movie industry does what World War I could not: It silences Stubby, the heroic canine

The animated, true story of Stubby, the most decorated dog of World War I, was overshadowed by big studio releases when the movie came out this Spring, and now it appears to be getting overlooked when it comes to DVD sales.

As the film’s writer and director sees it, his movie about the underdog who became a military hero, is finding itself in an underdog position as well.

The movie was the first release by Fun Academy Motion Pictures Studios, which writer-director-executive producer Richard Lanni describes as a new company “carving a new niche for real-life storytelling in a crowded family entertainment landscape of fantasy and fairytale.”

But judging from open letters he has written to fans on the movie’s website, that has been tough going.

Stubby was saved from the streets in New Haven, Connecticut, where Private First Class Robert Conroy was training for duty nearby on the grounds of Yale University. When Conroy was sent overseas, he snuck Stubby along with him.

He would go on to serve as a messenger, guard and more. Over the course of his life, Stubby served in 17 battles and is credited with finding wounded soldiers, catching a German spy and, thanks to his sharp sense of smell, warning an entire platoon of a mustard gas attack.

When he returned home, Stubby was the center of attention at parades and met three presidents, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

Stubby merited a half-page obituary in the New York Times when he died in 1926 in the arms of Conroy at his home.

Stubby’s remains were gifted to the the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where the public can visit a stuffed version of him at the National Museum of American History.

The animated movie, while it got decent reviews, didn’t sell too many tickets upon its release and theater chains all but snubbed it after that.

“Everyone who saw the movie fell in love with Stubby, but there were far too many empty seats in theaters nationwide,” Lanni wrote. “Despite the enthusiastic responses we’ve received from parents, dog lovers, teachers, military families, history buffs, and kids of all ages, we simply can’t guarantee the film will remain available …

“After a challenging opening weekend, we must remember the story of Stubby. He was tenacious, resilient, and determined, and we must be the same. We’re not dead, but we are wounded and must stay in the fight.”

Now Lanni is finding the Blu-Ray version is difficult to get to consumers, as well.

“…We find ourselves fighting yet another uphill battle to make this film available to the wide audience it deserves,” Lanni wrote on the website, saying, because his new studio isn’t recognized, he has been denied the opportunity to sell DVDs on both Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

“The rationale, it seems, stems from those stores’ vendor approval policies. To put it simply, they don’t accept that a company capable of producing and distributing an award-winning animated feature film on four continents is also capable of delivering product to their store shelves…

“To put it another way, we are not recognized as a film studio in our own right and have not been presented with a process to apply for consideration as a film studio.”

As a result, he is offering it on his own, through the movie’s online store. The DVD will come out in early November, but you can pre-order it here.

U of Houston president adopts campus stray

The popular president of the University of Houston became a little more popular this week with her announcement that a stray dog who had been wandering around campus had been adopted.

By her.

President Renu Khator announced on Twitter Tuesday, “To all those concerned about the stray dog on campus for a week, don’t worry. I have brought her home from BARC to foster and adopt. Her name is Ruby!” Khator wrote.

BARC is the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility and is responsible for animal control in the city.

The stray had become something of a celebrity in the week she spent wandering the campus, and some students referred to her as “Professor.”

Apparently, after the dog was taken in by BARC, Khator made arrangements to foster and eventally adopt the dog.

Khator’s followers flooded her Twitter thread, sharing their own photos, praising her generosity and calling her the ‘best president’ a university could have, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“Just another reason to love our prez,” wrote one student.

By Wednesday morning, the dog appeared to be fitting easily into her new role as an unofficial UH mascot. Khator shared photos of her sporting a Cougar-red collar embroidered with a UH logo, as they walked together.