Those New Zealand shelter dogs we told you about last week — the ones being trained to drive a car — succeeded. And two of them may soon be moving to new adoptive homes.
The New Zealand Herald reports that adoption offers have been pouring in for two of the three dogs that made their driving debuts on Campbell Live.
Monty and Porter seem to be in high demand, while Ginny, a 1-year-old whippet mix — though she can drive as well as the others — isn’t generating lots of interest.
The dogs underwent eight weeks of training, culminating in piloting a Mini Cooper around a track Monday.
It was all part of a promotional campaign by the Auckland SPCA to show how intelligent, and worthy of adoption, shelter dogs can be.
Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin said many adoption offers have been received for two of the driving dogs – Porter, a 10-month-old beardie cross, and Monty, a giant schnauzer cross.
She thinks Ginny receiving less “airtime” might be the reason there is less interest in her.
As for Porter and Monty, the SPCA is still determining which of the many applicants will get to adopt them.
“The key issue for us is about finding the best home possible for those dogs because they’ve done an exceptional job of being ambassadors for all SPCA animals throughout the country,” Kalin said.
You can find more details at the Auckland SPCA website.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, animals, applicants, auckland, car, dog, dogs, drive, driving, driving dog, driving dogs, drove, ginny, intelligent, monty, new zealand, pets, porter, shelter, spca, success, trained, video
Three shelter dogs in New Zealand have been taught to drive a car by a local SPCA, and one of them will be demonstrating his skills behind the wheel on live television next week.
The SPCA in Auckland had the dogs trained in how to shift gears, brake and steer — all part of a marketing campaign aimed at demonstrating the intelligence of rescued dogs.
The SPCA hired animal trainer Mark Vette to teach driving to the dogs — Monty, an 18-month-old giant schnauzer whose owner was unable to control him; Ginny, a one-year-old whippet cross who was rescued from abusive owners; and Porter, a ten-month-old bearded collie cross who was found roaming the streets.
The dogs underwent five weeks of indoor training to encourage them to touch and move brakes, gear sticks and steering wheels, and received treats along the way, New Zealand’s TV3 reported. Once they mastered the basics, they were given a mock car to practice with.
“No animal has ever driven a car before so what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a straight and we’re going to head off, so we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon along the straight and then stop.”
(Not speaking New Zealandese, we can’t tell you what “hoon along” means.)
“In this case we’ve got ten behaviors we’re all putting together, so each behavior is a trained behavior and then you put them into a sequence,” Vette said. “So it’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time.”
On Monday, Monty the dog’s driving abilities will be tested on the television show Campbell live, shown nationally in New Zealand. (You can learn more about the project on its Facebook page.)
“I think sometimes people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal, SPCA Auckland chief executive Christine Kalin to Newscom.AU. “This really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets.”
(Photos: Auckland SPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animals, auckland, bearded collie, brake, car, dog drives car, dogs, drive, driving, gear, giant, ginny, learn, mark vetter, mix, monty, mutts, new zealand, pets, porter, rescue, schnauzer, shelter, shift, spca, stray, taught, trainer, whippet
Chevy, the dog that survived a 110-mile journey last week in the engine compartment of a Chevrolet Silverado, is up for adoption at the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter in California.
And the contractor who pulled him out of the car engine is among those interested in taking him home.
No owner has come forward to claim the 25-pound mixed breed, said Kim Cholodenko, the shelter’s general manager.
Adoption applications are available at petprojectfoundation.org or at the shelter, which plans to review all of them before making a decision.
Applicants will be asked to visit the shelter, and bring any dog they have, to ensure that Chevy’s new home is a better fit than the last place he was found hanging out — under the hood of a pick-up truck.
Jaime Magaña, a building-restoration supervisor from Chino, found the dog under his hood after driving from Chino to Orange to Camp Pendleton to San Clemente on Oct. 1. When he parked at McDonald’s and turned off the engine, he could feel movement. Stepping outside, he saw some fur and opened his hood.
Chevy, as he’s been named, was uninjured, just a little scared and thirsty.
“He’s doing great,” Cholodenko told the Orange County Register. “He’s just such a good-natured dog.”
Magaña, 52, voiced interest in adopting Chevy, but the shelter says it plans to review multiple applicants before picking a new home for Chevy, who they say is a Keeshond-Tibetan spaniel mix.
To contact the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter, call 949-492-1617.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 110 miles, adopt, adoption, animal shelter, animals, available, california, chevy, compartment, dana point, dog, dogs, drive, engine, hood, keeshound, miracle, mix, pets, pick-up, ride, san clemente, silverado, tibetan spaniel, trip, truck, under
Earlier this year, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to set aside land for a dog park, and selected Bennett Cerf Park, located off Route 27, across the street from the Random House Publishing Co.
The county has agreed to provide the space, but dog park supporters will have to buy equipment and maintain the park.
Supporters of the park will be at the Carroll County Pet Expo on June 16, at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, hoping to raise money.
“We have given pamphlets out around different animal places and at various veterinarians,” said Laurie Walters of Westminster, one of the organizers of the project, told the Baltimore Sun.
The town of Mount Airy has its own dog park, but the Bennett Cerf location would become the first county-owned dog park. The dog park will be about an acre in size and will be located where the park’s tennis courts were before they were removed last year.
Supporters estimate it will cost about $15,000 to get the park ready to open. Initial plans call for building a fence, a double-gated entry and resurfacing the area with grass and stone dust.
“It will be a ‘bare bones’ dog park,” Walters said. “… We won’t have, at the beginning, benches or running water.”
The park will be restricted to members who pay a yearly access fee, probably around $30. Before becoming a member, owners must show proof of their dogs having and license and proper vaccinations.
Walters first approached the City of Westminster in 1997 about creating a dog park. While the city was in favor of the idea, it had trouble finding a suitable location, she said.
The Carroll Kennel Club has pledged to match donations up to $7,500 through the end of 2012, Walters said.
Supporters of the Bennett Cerf Dog Park project will be at the Pet Expo on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Those wishing to donate to the project can also write to Bennett Cerf Dog Park, Carroll County Recreation and Parks, 300 S. Center Street, Westminster, MD 21157.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bennett cerf, bennett cerf park, campaign, carroll county, carroll kennel club, dog, dog park, dogs, donate, donations, drive, fundraising, laurie walters, maryland, park, parks, pet expo, pets, random house, recreation, westminster
But it apparently concerns one state legislator enough that he has proposed making it illegal.
Dogs would be forbidden from sharing the driver’s seat with motorists under a bill introduced in the General Assembly by Rep. Peter G. Palumbo, D-Cranston.
The proposed fines are $85 for a first offense, $100 for the second and $125 for subsequent offenses, according to the Providence Journal.
Palumbo said he submitted the proposal on behalf of a constituent who told him of a near accident she said was almost caused by a driver sharing the front seat with a dog.
Early results of a reader poll on the issue showed more than 70 percent supporting such a law.
The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
(Photo: John Freidah / Providence Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dog on lap, dogs, drive, driver, driving, fines, front seat, illegal, lap, law, legislation, pets, proposed, rhode island, safety, tickets
The petition, being sent to Sam Lamantia, CEO of the foundation, reads:
Recently the Philadelphia Eagles have elected Michael Vick as their recipient for this year’s Courage Award. Given Mr. Vick’s crimes and felony conviction, we do not believe he is worthy of this honor. For several years, in addition to promoting dogfighting, Vick himself tortured, abused, and murdered innocent dogs for his own profit and apparent enjoyment. This is not courage. This is inhumanity, immorality, and sheer brutality and does not warrant giving Vick this or any other reward.
Many of us have protested Vick’s reinstatement to the NFL. There has been strong media and PR influence in trying to diminish his past actions and erase the public’s memory of his sadistic behavior. We encourage you to stand up for the rights of animals everywhere and the memory of the dogs who endured Vick’s cruelty…
The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, based in Baltimore, is dedicated to promoting awareness and assisting in the prevention of child abuse. Vick’s promotion and financing of dogfighting activities and his conviction in 2007 of felony dogfighting charges run counter to that mission, petition backers say.
“In no way does Michael Vick represent courage and inspiration,” the petition’s organizer said. “Rather, he exemplifies cruelty and inhumanity, and is not deserving of reward or recognition. We the undersigned strongly encourage the Ed Block Foundation to demonstrate the true substance of bravery, morals, and ethics. Deny Michael Vick the honor of the Courage Award.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: award, baltimore, campaign, cancel, child abuse, courage, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, drive, ed block courage award, ed block foundation, honor, michael vick, nfl, petition, philadelphia eagles, rescind, revoke, stop, teams, vick, withdraw
Of the 139 police dogs killed by guns in the line of duty in the last 40 years, 29 of those deaths were – euphemism alert! — due to “friendly fire.”
The figures weren’t broken down into how many of those ”friendly fire” deaths were a result of dogs being caught up in the middle of a gunfight, as opposed to cases of mistaken identity — like the one that led to a Baltimore police dog being shot by an officer he jumped on during a pursuit this week.
But either way, even without adding in the number of injuries, the figures show society could be doing a better job of protecting its police dogs.
On top of the nationwide toll of friendly-fire deaths, and far more common, are police dogs being killed by suspects — as has happened 110 times (with guns) and 25 times (with knives).
So there are really two issues here. One, as evidenced by the case of Baltimore police dog Blade, is whether all police dogs should be distinctly marked as such, by virtue of a vest, collar or other means.
The other, larger one is whether police dogs (and the dogs of the FBI) should be outfitted — like their human counterparts — in bullet-proof vests, something that hasn’t been a priority with municipal officials in Baltimore and lots of other financially-strapped cities.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: association, baltimore, blade, bullet-proof, bulletproof, campaign, canine, collars, deaths, drive, fatalities, friendly fire, identification, identify, K-9, killed, officers, police dogs, shootings, shot, statistics, suspects, vest, vests
Nitro, a police dog in Aberdeen, Washington whose job was eliminated in a series of budget cuts, will be back on the beat next week.
Police Chief Bob Torgerson said a community fund-raising drive netted $57,000 — enough to rehire Nitro and also pay for a car, kennel and equipment for the department’s K-9 program.
Nitro’s job was eliminated in May, amid growing unemployment in Grays Harbor County and the closing of a Weyerhaeuser plant, which left the city with fewer tax dollars.
Officer Steve Timmons, Nitro’s partner, said the dog didn’t understand what was happening when he was first laid off.
“When I go to work, he runs to the door like we’re leaving and I have to leave him there. So it’s tough,” Timmons told TV station KOMO.
When members of the community heard about Nitro’s layoff, they raised enough money through private donations to reinstate the program.
In his four years on the force, 6-year-old Nitro has helped bring nearly 40 suspects to justice.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aberdeen, bob torgerson, budget, community, deficit, dog, drive, economy, fundraising, job, K-9, k9, laid off, layoff, nitro, police, police chief, rehired, returns, washington
The Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank is experiencing a blood shortage and has scheduled a series of blood drives to replenish its supply.
To be a blood donor, a dog must weigh at least 35 pounds, be in good health and be between the ages of 9 months and 7.5 years. Dogs weighing 55 pounds or less give a half pint of blood, while dogs that weigh more than 55 pounds give a full pint. Technicians draw blood from the jugular vein, and do not muzzle or sedate donor dogs.
EVBB is one of a few of private blood banks for dogs in the country.
If you and your dog are interested in donating, call the blood bank staff at 1-800-949-3822, or drop by one of the drives. Here’s the schedule:
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: blood, blood bank, dog, dogs, donate, donation, donor, drive, eastern veterinary blood bank, evbb, hospital, maryland, shortage, surgery, veterinary, vets
A dog left in his master’s idling van somehow shifted the vehicle into gear and wound up crashing into a Long Island coffee shop last week.
Bentley, a 50-pound boxer-Sharpei mix that musician Bryan Maher rescued from a shelter about a month ago, “drove” the vehicle through the front window of Cool Beanz in St. James, Long Island, according to the New York Daily News.
“I ran inside the coffee house to sign up for open-mike night, and I left my car running because it’s cold outside and I didn’t want my dog to freeze,” said Maher, 60. “The next thing I knew, I looked up to see my van coming at me in the window, with Bentley in the driver’s seat grinning at me.”
The crash left the shop’s glass front window cracked, some patio furniture busted and the van with minor damage, but there were no injuries.
Maher said he’d learned his lesson, and wouldn’t leave the dog in an idling vehicle again — even if it is cold outside. Instead, he plans to get him “a nice doggie coat for Christmas.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 24th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, advice, car, cars, coffee shop, cold, crash, dog, dogs, drive, gear, heat, idling, long island, parked, pet, tips, vehicles