A heartwarming little story in the University of Rhode Island student newspaper — about a janitor who brings his dog to work — has apparently led to a cold-hearted response by administrators: Ivy must go.
Mike LaPolice, who keeps Peck Hall clean, started bringing Ivy to work with him soon after he adopted her a year and a half ago.
The Siberian husky followed LaPolice, who has worked for the university for 25 years, as he performed his duties at the dormitory, and she quickly became popular among students, who enjoyed petting her and taking her picture.
LaPolice got Ivy certified as a therapy dog — though in reality she was probably bringing students comfort and relieving their stress even before she got her degree.
Almost immediately, LaPolice received word from the university’s Department of Housing and Residential Life that — if he wanted to keep his job — his dog needed to leave the campus and not come back.
“Nobody will tell me who has a problem with Ivy,” LaPolice told the student newspaper in a follow-up piece. “All of the … staff that I’ve talked to keep referring to some person who doesn’t like her being here, but I don’t know who that is.”
Even before Ivy got banned from campus, LaPolice was aware his dog’s presence was a concern among some administrators. That was part of the reason he got her certified as a therapy dog. Dorm residents knew the dog was an issue, too. Last year they presented a petition to school officials, urging she be allowed to stay in the residence hall.
But for the past seven months, the issue seemed to have subsided, and it appeared school officials were willing to overlook Ivy’s presence in the dormitory, which, technically, is a violation of school rules.
Somehow, the newspaper story reignited the drive to remove Ivy from campus.
“I’m trying not to regret running this piece, because we never could have anticipated this outcome,” the newspaper’s editor, Allison Farrelly, said in an interview with CollegeMediaMatters.com. ”I feel sick about it though, that we could have played a hand in negatively impacting not just this man’s life, but the lives of all the students Ivy touched.”
“It still doesn’t make sense to me that HRL could have reacted so strongly to our article, but I don’t feel defeated yet because I don’t think we’ve done everything we can to right this. I told my staff this, but I think there is a good chance if the student body gets behind our reporting, we can right this.”
LaPolice told the student newspaper he might talk to his doctor to figure out if he can be permitted to keep Ivy with him because of a medical need.
“I’ll go to a psychiatrist if I have to,” he said.
Another petition is being talked about among those students who want to keep Ivy in Peck Hall — many of whom say they’ve benefited from her presence.
The Department of Housing and Residential Life issued this statement yesterday:
“Staff members of the University’s Department of Housing and Residential Life became aware of an employee bringing a dog to Peck Hall late last summer. Since that time, housing staff has met repeatedly with the employee to ask him to leave the dog at home. The University does not permit its employees to bring their pets to work, unless they are service animals.
“While we understand the bond students may have formed with an animal brought into their residence hall, the University must consider the precedent that this sets and the welfare of the entire community, including potential liability in the event of a dog bite and issues around sanitation, pests and allergies.
“There are avenues for addressing employee accommodation requests under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the employee was referred to Human Resources for that process. To date, Human Resources has not received an official request from the employee for accommodations under the federal law.”
There are no reports of Ivy biting anyone, provoking any allergic reactions, or bringing any “pests” into the dorm.
Instead, students say she has brought comfort and cheer.
“In September, a relationship that I was in came to an end and hit me pretty hard with the feels,” said one. “Ivy jumped up on the couch and laid down next to me with her head on my chest because she could sense that I was upset.”
“On a particularly tough day, Ivy wandered into my office and just put her head on my leg,” said another, who serves as a resident assistant at Peck Hall. “How could I possibly stay focused on such negativity in my life with that beautiful, loving dog looking right up at me?”
(Photo: By Donald Reuker / The Good 5 Cent Cigar)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: administration, animals, banned, bans, college, dog, dogs, dormitory, feature, ivy, janitor, newspaper, pets, rhode island, siberian husky, story, students, the five cent cigar, therapy dogs, university of rhode island, uri
The city of Minneapolis has taken protecting its residents from “dangerous dogs” to a whole new level with the publication of an interactive map on its website that pinpoints where dogs that have had run-ins with the law live.
The website lists each dog’s name, breed and their offense — everything from “killed a cat” to “muzzle violations” and bites to humans or other dogs, KARE 11 reported.
It also lists the full names and addresses of the owners, and photos of each dog.
Seems dogs deemed dangerous have about the same rights to privacy as a sex offender — that is, virtually none.
“In order to keep our residents safe, we post pictures of these animals and their addresses,” the website states, referring to dogs, of course.
To see the map and interact with it, click here.
Connie Bourque, of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, says it’s all about public safety.
“If you live in a neighborhood, you have a visual that lets you know where animals that have had incidents in the past, who have been aggressive in the past. You have a sense of where you would maybe be more cautious based on the fact that you can see that information right on the website.”
Given all the other restrictions those with dogs deemed dangerous face, it strikes me as a little heavy-handed, almost as if it is meant to shame the dog owners.
Under city law, residents whose dogs have been deemed “dangerous,” or “potentially dangerous,” already face a variety of measures, from having their dog exterminated to requirements like liability insurance, sterilization, eight foot tall fences, warning signs posted at the front and rear of their home; and, when their dogs go out, muzzles, three-foot leashes and collars that carry a warning tag.
The new website, as of yesterday, lists 35 dangerous dogs in Minneapolis (compared to 146 people on the map of sex offenders residing in the city).
Unlike sex offender maps, which don’t specify the offense or use photos of the offenders, canine offenders have their photos posted, as well as a brief summary of their dangerous behavior.
Sephy, for example, a beagle from Longfellow, bit a person; Briggs, a Lab mix from near Lake Nokomis, killed a cat; and Bernadette, an American Staffordshire terrier in Loring Park, bit another animal.
It is possible for a dog to be taken off the list, but first it must be proven by their owner that they have received training and have been rehabilitated. A home inspection is also required for that.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attacks, bites, bitten, cat, dangerous, dangerous dogs, dog, dogs, interactive, killed, location, map, minneapolis, pets, pinpoint, public safety, safety, sex offenders
That Boston terrier who boarded a city bus and went on a 20-mile ride in Houston last month has landed in a forever home, according to news reports.
The dog, as you can see in the surveillance video above, hopped on the bus in northwest Houston with some other passengers, though he didn’t belong to any of them.
Twenty miles later, at Metro’s downtown transit center on Main Street, he exited the bus with other passengers — one of whom escorted him to the transit authority police station.
“He was a very friendly little guy. He was very sociable. But he was a gentleman,” Metro Police Officer Ida Schoener told KHOU.
Schoener, on her lunch break, took the dog to the Bayou City Veterinary Hospital, which agreed to care for the dog — by then nicknamed “Metro” — until an owner or foster family could be found.
“He’s pretty calm but also excited to go out on walks,” said Bayou City veterinarian Kristy Kyle. “He is not afraid of the world. We’ll put it that way.”
The transit authority released surveillance footage recorded on a camera on the bus of the dog being welcomed on board, as well as footage of the dog arriving at the transit center.
After no one called to claim the dog, a Boston terrier rescue group was called and a temporary home was found.
There, the dog’s long strange trip finally came to an end, the veterinary hospital reports, when the person serving as his foster parent decided to adopt him.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, animals, bayou city veterinary hospital, boarded, boston terrier, bus, dog, dogs, foster, houston, metro, news, passengers, pets, public transportation, rescue, shelter, stray, surveillance, transit, video
A physician’s organization led a rally this week urging Wayne State University to end its long-running series of cardiac research experiments on dogs.
About 45 people joined in the protest, led by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
According to the nonprofit organization, the heart failure experiments have been going on for 20 years, at a cost to taxpayers of about $8 million, and have provided no information beneficial to treating human heart disease.
No dogs leave the program alive.
“These research experiments have not garnered anything that has advanced human health,” said Jennifer Giordano, a Detroit-area doctor representing the committee. “We want them to use human-relevant research methods.”
In the experiments, heart problems are induced in the dogs by the use of implanted electrodes, which cause their heart rates to more than double.
The dogs are then put through multiple surgeries and are required to run on treadmills. About 25 percent of the dogs die during or after the surgery. Those who do survive are euthanized when their participation is no longer needed.
The experiments are funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.
At the Wednesday rally the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine presented a letter signed by actress Lily Tomlin to Wayne State University officials, calling on them to end medical experiments on dogs. Tomlin is a Detroit native and attended the university.
In the letter, Tomlin wrote: “I understand that Wayne State is spending millions of taxpayer dollars using dogs in heart failure experiments that have not benefited human health in any way. I urge you to end these senseless experiments as soon as possible.”
A copy of the letter was given to Matt Lockwood, a university spokesman who came to the rally and a read a statement defending the experiments, the Detroit News reported.
“Almost every medical advance in the last 100 years was due to research on animals — chemotherapy, hip replacements, transfusions, dialysis — was all tested on dogs,” Lockwood said. “We need to continue to do research to advance science.”
He said the animals in the experiments are under the constant supervision of veterinarians.
“There’s a committee that’s sole purpose is to ensure the animals are as comfortable as possible,” he said. “We’re also under the oversight of the federal government and the state. Never once has any animal been found to have been mistreated at any time.”
He said the dogs are euthanized after taking part in the experiments, but he declined to provide numbers.
(Photo: Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 10th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cardiac, cease, detroit, disease, dog, dogs, end, experimentation, experiments, failure, heart, induced, laboratory, letter, lily tomlin, medical, pets, physicians committee for responsible medicine, protest, rally, research, science, stop, surgery, wayne state university
One out of every six fast food customers pick up a little something for the dog at the drive-thru window, according to a study by a marketing research company.
“These visits translate to a staggering number of trips (over 1,000,000,000 annually) where the dog is the one ‘lovin’ it,’” concludes a recent study on dog ownership and fast food habits conducted by Relevation Research.
The study found just over one third of canine owners have visited fast food drive-thrus with their dog — and, of those, four-fifths claim to have ordered menu items specifically for their dogs.
McDonald’s is visited most often by dog owners, followed by Burger King and Wendy’s.
With dog ownership, and dog pampering, expected to continue to grow — especially among baby boomers and millenials — QSRs (or quick service restaurants) would be well advised to put healthy dog treats on the menu, it suggests.
“Because of disposable incomes and empty nester status, Baby Boomer owners could be strong candidates for QSR,” said Nan Martin of Relevation Research. “But the Baby Boomer also has an evolving focus on health. That means menu items specifically targeted for dogs or dog-friendly in terms of ingredients will resonate best.
“QSR and dog food/treat manufacturers should team up to design dog-safe offerings. Companies catering to the dog will win with owners who want to, guilt-free, feel like they’re spoiling the dog.”
(Photo: Relevation Research)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 9th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, burger, burger king, dining, dog, dogs, drive thru, drive-through, eating, fast food, food, fries, market, mcdonald's, order, pampering, pets, qsr, research, study, wendys, windows
Julius, a 10-year-old Maltese, was chewing on a treat when he began to choke inside of his Jersey City home on Easter Sunday.
His owners, Michael and Lindsay Torres, after unsuccessfully trying to dislodge the treat, borrowed their building concierge’s car to rush to Manhattan in hopes of finding a vet’s office that might be open on the holiday.
But traffic on the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel was barely moving, and Julius’ tongue was turning blue. As their car crept toward the toll booth they told Port Authority police officer Thomas Feuker about their plight.
“I really need your help. He’s choking. We need to go to an animal hospital,” Lindsay Torres says she told the officer.
Feuker tried to clear the dog’s airway. Unable to do that, he let the couple and their dog into his car and drove them seven miles to an emergency veterinary clinic.
“It definitely made it faster. He knew the easiest way to go and they were actually blocking off some roads (on the route),” she told the New York Daily News. A motorcycle cop from Rutherford, N.J., also joined the emergency motorcade.
A vet was able to clear the treat from the dog’s esophagus, and Julius is back home.
“He’s doing great. He’s eating, he’s drinking, he’s really looking good,” Lindsay Torres said Monday.
She said she was grateful for the officer’s assistance.
“Without him, I don’t know if Julius would be here.”
(Photo: Provided by Lindsay Torres)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 8th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, choking, dog, dogs, emergency, escort, health, jersey city, julius, law enforcement, maltese, new jersey, new york, officer, pets, police, port authority, safety, thomas feuker, treat, veterinary, veterinary clinic
Dog owners in Chicago are being warned to keep their pets away from the city’s dog-friendly parks and beaches to help control the spread of the dog flu, which has killed five dogs in the area and sickened more than 1,000 more.
On Friday, the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control urged pet owners to avoid not just dog parks, but group training activities, doggy day care, groomers, boarding facilities and other environments where dogs congregate or socialize until the outbreak — or epidemic, as some are calling it — subsides.
Signs posted at dog-friendly parks and beaches read:
“The Canine Influenza Virus (the Dog Flu) is causing illness throughout the Chicago area. All unvaccinated dogs may be at risk. Even dogs showing no sign of illness may carry this virus.
“PLEASE ENTER THIS DOG FRIENDLY AREA (DFA) AT YOUR OWN RISK.
“The virus is extremely contagious. Unvaccinated dogs exposed to the Dog Flu are more likely to contract the disease.”
The signs go on to list the symptoms of the dog flu: coughing, lethargy, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge and lack of appetite.
While people can’t catch it from dogs, the dog flu is is extremely contagious between dogs that come into close contact with each other.
Forty states have experienced outbreaks of the dog flu since the virus was discovered in 2004.
Experts say nearly every dog exposed to it will get the virus. About 25 percent of those don’t show signs of the sickness, but can still pass it on to other dogs.
Limiting socialization with other dogs is the best way to fight the illness, said Dr. Cynda Crawford, who helped discover the virus in 2005.
Crawford, with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, told Steve Dale’s Pet World, a blog on ChicagoNow.com, that owners often aren’t aware their dogs are ill.
She advises limiting all socialization, including letting your dog be walked by a dog walker who takes dogs out in groups.
While there is a vaccine for dog flu, it is new, expensive, requires multiple shots and, as with the human vaccine, fails to guarantee a dog won’t catch the virus.
Chicago animal control officials said the outbreak could last several more weeks.
(Photo: from ChicagoNow.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canine influenza, chicago, contact, dog, dog flu, dog friendly, dogs, epidemic, health, limit, outbreak, pets, socialization, symptoms, warning