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Tag: dropped

Charges dropped against veteran in Georgia who broke car window to save dog

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Authorities have dropped the charges filed against a veteran who was arrested after breaking a window to save a dog left inside a hot car in a shopping center parking lot.

Michael Hammons, 46, an Iraq War veteran who lives in Athens, Ga., used a leg support from his wife’s wheelchair to smash out the window of a Mustang.

At the insistence of the angry dog’s owner, who said she’d only let the dog alone for five minutes, Hammons was arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

Thousands subsequently came to his defense online and called Hammons a hero, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which announced last week it will be awarding Hammons its Compassionate Action Award.

PETA officials noted that temperatures inside a parked car can jump quickly to 100 to 120 degrees — even on a mild, 78-degree day like Saturday, May 9, when the incident took place.

A local Ford dealer in Athens offered to replace the broken window for free, WXIA in Atlanta reported.

Current Georgia law allows someone to break a window to save a person, but not an animal. Hammons arrest led to a call to change that law, as a handful of other states have.

“The laws need to be changed to protect the animals, not necessarily the people,” said Mark Martin, a pet store owner who rallied around Hammons’ cause. “We are the voices for the animals; they can’t speak for themselves.”

Ken Mauldin, district attorney for the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties, said the car’s owner agreed with his decision to drop the charges.

German photographer drawing flak for her “flying” dogs photos

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A German photographer is taking some heat — at least on the Internet — for a series of photos capturing dogs in mid-air.

Dogs used in the photo shoot didn’t plummet too far, apparently only a couple of feet or so, after being dropped by their (off camera) owners onto a mattress.

slide_383962_4580588_freeBerlin-based photographer Julia Christe came up with the idea of photographing dogs while they were airborne during an assignment shooting photos for an undisclosed animal pharmaceutical product.

The photos were picked up by more than a few media outlets, including the Daily Mail, which called them “hilarious,” and the Huffington Post, which termed the dog’s faces “precious,” pointed out no dogs were injured and noted, “We’re betting some of them even wanted to go again, since dogs are just awesome.”

Readers, almost unanimously, had, an entirely different view of it. Almost all those leaving comments on the Huffington Post post, called it animal cruelty, with many noting the fear they say is evident in the dog’s eyes.

Nearly 100 dogs and their owners turned up at Christe’s studio after she issued a call for canine models — and none of the owners apparently had any problem holding their dogs in the air and dropping them onto a mattress.

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Christe (left) said she was seeking a unique perspective for her dog photos, and that all the dogs who took part seemed to have fun doing so.

“The dogs were dropped by their owners onto a mattress from as low a height as possible, and the impression of flight was enlarged by wind machines,” the photographer explained in the Daily Mail.

But as some commenters noted, even light landings can be hard on small dogs like dachshunds, and — regardless of how far they’re falling — the stress and fear it causes constitutes cruelty, some say.

“It’s actually incredibly dangerous for doxins to jump, let alone be dropped,” wrote one. “Their backs are very fragile and can break. This is more about a photographer wanting the spotlight, than it is art. Shame on you for putting your ego before these dogs’ safety and well being.”

We’d go a step further and say it’s also about websites who pander to dog lovers without pausing to think about what they’re pasting onto their sites — the ones that, in their haste to get more hits, slap an “adorable” label on anything dog-related and share it, failing to apply anything close to critical or responsible thinking.

2351CC9300000578-2842131-Behind_the_scenes_at_the_photoshoot_this_bearded_collie_prepares-24_1416480491504Was Christe’s project cruel to dogs? That’s debatable. Was it stupid? Definitely (and that applies to the volunteer dog owners, too).

“I really love animals, and so everything was safe, I would never take a chance on them getting hurt,” Christe said in the Daily Mail article. “…I feel the photographs show off both the grace and elegance of the dogs, which makes them appear in a slightly different way than usual.”

For all those pet photographers who would put a dog at risk so that they may achieve a new artistic perspective, we’d suggest they fling their own selves through the air, or turn their own selves upside down.

Because all those down-to-earth dogs are perfectly happy with the perspective they already have.

(Photos: Julia Christe  / HotSpot Media)

Plans for whale meat dog treats dropped

A Japanese company has canned its plan to buy the meat of endangered whales killed in the waters around Iceland and sell it in the form of luxury dog treats.

An Icelandic firm, Hvalur hf,  set to resume commercial whaling next month, had planned to kill up to 174 endangered fin whales and sell the meat to Tokyo-based Michinoku Farm, the Telegraph reported.

Protests from environmentalists prompted the Japanese company to cancel its order, but the whale hunt is still on.

“It’s outrageous,” said Claire Perry of the Environmental Investigation Agency. “It is grotesque to kill an endangered species and then ship it half way around the world in order to feed it to dogs.”

Takuma Konno, head of Michinoku, confirmed that plan has been scrapped.

“Dogs are like family members for many people in Japan,” he said. “We just wanted to supply a wide variety of food for them. We consider dogs as just as important as whales. But it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people.”

That hasn’t changed plans for whalers in Iceland, who, after a three year break, will resume hunting for fin whales next month.

Iceland, along with Norway and Japan, refuses to abide by the moratorium on whaling.

Pup-tossing girl won’t be prosecuted

The Bosnian girl seen in a video throwing puppies into a river, and laughing while she did it, will not face any charges, the New York Daily News reports.

The News, citing as sources members of PETA in Europe, said police have dropped the case because the girl — whose identity hasn’t been released — is too young to be prosecuted.

While it was reported that allof the puppies were rescued down river by an old woman who found them along the shore, animal rights activists said they doubted that story was true.

“This is outrageous,” a PETA spokeswoman, Nadja Kutscher, told a German newspaper. “The puppies that the old woman was with were completely different ones to those thrown into the river in the video. The puppies would never have survived.

Gun charges dropped in dog burning case

Gun and drug charges against the Baltimore twins accused of setting a dog on fire were dropped this week.

The two still face animal cruelty and mutilation charges in a separate case accusing them of setting fire to a pit bull puppy, named Phoenix after her rescue.

Police searching the twins’ home during the animal cruelty investigation said they found a gun and some marijuana, leading to drugs and weapons charges against twin brothers Tremayne and Travers Johnson and their father.

Because of difficulties proving who owned the gun, prosecutors decided to drop all those charges and focus on the animal cruelty case, WJZ reported.

Phoenix was found on fire by a city police officer, who extinguished the flames with her jacket. The dog survived several days, but had to be euthanized.

The animal cruelty trial for the twins is scheduled for June.

Groomer cleared of animal cruelty charges

Baltimore County prosecutors have quietly dropped the dogfighting and animal cruelty charges leveled against three occupants of a townhouse in North Point, one of whom cared for and groomed dogs at a local doggie day care facility.

Police, after the January arrest, held a press conference showing off evidence they had seized and contending both a dogfighting and drug dealing operation were based in the home on Lange Street.

Now police have dropped all charges related to mistreating dogs against Nicole Marie Caruso, 26, and her two housemates. 

According to a Baltimore Sun article, State’s Attorney Adam Lippe said veterinarians disagreed with the police conclusion that pit bulls Dutch, Whezzy, Lucia, Bruno, Gotti and Kane were used for fights. The dogs — some owned by Caruso, others by her roommates — were all spayed or neutered and healthy, though some displayed aggressive tendencies.

Defense attorney, Brian G. Thompson, said police were overzealous in their investigation and unfairly dragged his client, Caruso, a respected dog groomer “through the mud in public as some kind of Michael Vick character.”

Caruso, who was active in animal rescue, still faces drug and theft charges as do her housemates.

Bill Link, owner of SoBo Dog Day Care in Locust Point, where Caruso worked for six months, said this week that he would wait until all the charges are adjudicated before deciding whether to bring Caruso back to work.

Caruso, meanwhile, said on her Facebook page: “To everyone that has supported me, THANK YOU!! my most exciting news to report is … the cops had to admit they were wrong about dog fighting. … They put me through the ringer and now who is going to announce on the news that they lied ??????”

Caruso’s dogs are now at a shelter, but her attorney said they won’t be destroyed and she might get them all back.

Charges dropped in home surgery case

zoeA Florida man who used glue and dental floss to perform surgery on a dog that was injured while under his care has seen the animal cruelty charges filed against him dropped.

Although the dog died, the Broward State Attorney’s Office said it reviewed the case and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to convict William Ralph Jones Jr., of Oakland Park, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Jones, 55, was arrested in January on two counts of felony animal cruelty. He was accused of using glue to seal a 3-inch cut that the dog suffered when she escaped from Jones’ yard. When that didn’t work, he allegedly stitched up the dog with dental floss and used chloroform to knock her unconscious, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Jones’ acts caused Zoe — a 2-year-old hound-retriever mix who was left in Jones’ care by his daughter’s friend — to suffer excessive and unnecessary pain, the sheriff’s office said.

Upon reviewing the case, the State Attorney’s Office issued a memo stating that Jones “executed extremely poor judgment, but did not intend to hurt the animal.

“I’m just in shock that they’re allowing him to get away with this,” Danielle Vecchio, Zoe’s owner, told the Sentinel Tuesday. “They’re basically saying that he can’t be charged for stupidity.”

The attorney general’s office said, “The fact that he did this while she had an injury is evidence to the fact that he was trying to help the dog — albeit in a painful manner.”