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Tag: drowned

Two owners die trying to save their dogs

In Houston and Philadelphia, sad stories emerged at the end of the last week of humans who, while trying to save the lives of their dogs, lost their own.

In Philadelphia, a woman was struck and killed Friday night as she ran onto a set of railroad tracks to save her dog from an oncoming commuter train, police said.

The woman, who police described as in her 40s and from out-of-state, was standing on the platform of the Bryn Mawr station about 6 p.m. when her dog got loose and bounded onto the rails, according to Lower Merion Township police.

The woman was waiting for a train when her dog got loose. She chased the black Chihuahua onto the tracks as an eastbound SEPTAtrain pulled into the station. She was killed instantly, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The dog was recovered without injuries and taken to an animal hospital.

In the Houston arrea, Harris County sheriff’s Deputy Eddie Wotipka drowned late Thursday as he attempted to rescue one of his dogs from a canal near his home in Baytown.

The 51-year-old officer had pulled up to his home in his patrol unit and was told by neighbors his dogs were running loose near an industrial canal.

Wotipka saw his English bulldog go into the canal and plunged in after her. He resurfaced once then went under again. Wotipka’s body was recovered the next morning about 150 feet from where he entered the canal, the Houston Chronicle reported. The dog also died.

Wotipka joined the department in 1993 and was known as a lover of dogs. While in his patrol cruiser a week ago, he slammed on his brakes to avoid a stray dog in the middle of the road, then ended up bringing the dog, who he named Skidmark, home.

The police officers’ union is planning a fundraiser for the Wotipka family on July 31.

Search on for dog woman died trying to save

The search continued yesterday for Gollum, a small Italian Greyhound whose owner died trying to save him and her other two dogs from an icy pond in Texas.

Police say the other two dogs and their owner, Andrea Benua, drowned in the pond Monday.

Gollum is believed not to have dronwned,but he disappeared after the accident. Benua’s family and friends are trying to find him, they say, because it’s what Benua would have wanted. Benua and her husband had no children, only the dogs, WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth reports.

Benua frequently donated to animal shelters and her friends and family asked that anyone wishing to honor her memory do the same.

USDA releases confidential Vick documents

The United States Department of Agriculture, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, released hundreds of pages of new evidence last week from its investigation of NFL quarterback Michael Vick to Atlanta’s WSBTV.

The documents  include summaries of interrogations by federal investigators with member of Vick’s dogfighting ring and confidential informants in the case.

Among the  revelations:

• A confidential informant told investigators that Vick drowned dogs, shot them to death and killed others “with a shovel.”

• A Delta Airlines employee from Virginia was fired “when he attempted to get Vick around security” during the peak of the dog fighting operation. Vick “felt responsible” and went on to hire the employee.

• In 2003, Vick and two other men attended a dog fight in Blackstone, Va., bringing with them two pit bulls. Both lost so the dogs were left with the owner of the property. Vick did not keep dogs that lost matches.

• In April 2007, Vick tested several dogs to determine if they had the predisposition to fight. He ordered six or eight dogs destroyed because they did not meet his standards. The witness said Vick personally helped drown three or four dogs, a process that took two people to hold the animal’s legs while the dog’s head was held under water. Vick also hung dogs.

• The witness told investigators Vick “seemed to get an ‘adrenaline high’ when killing the dogs.”

Vick served nearly two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal animal fighting charge. He was released in 2009 and joined the Philadelphia Eagles.

WSBTV.COM submitted the request for the records in March 2008. The information was delivered by the USDA last week.

Two brothers die trying to save dog from lake

Two brothers died while trying to rescue their dog from an icy Northern California lake.

The men were identified by the Shasta County Coroner’s office as Noel Smith, 38, of Burney, and Nathan Smith, 32, of Citrus Heights, according to the Record Searchlight in Redding.

Three men — all believed to be brothers, possibly on a fishing trip — went into the water after their dog fell through the ice, which was about three inches thick, at the Big Lake boat launch in McArthur. One managed to swim back to shore, but is suffering severe hypothermia.

Paramedics were unable to revive the other two, who had been submerged for several minutes under the icy water as firefighters and volunteers searched for them in a duck hunter’s boat.

Rescuers located the two men and performed CPR, but were unable to revive them.

The dog survived and was later found on shore.

Resurgence seen in “crush” videos, HSUS says

Animal “crush” videos — recorded depictions of extreme, and generally fatal, animal cruelty — have undergone a resurgence, ten years after they led to the passage of federal anti-animal cruelty laws, the Humane Society of the United States says.

With the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of a federal anti-animal cruelty law on Oct. 6, the HSUS revealed the results of a new investigation showing that such videos are widely available on the Internet, despite the decade-old law, and even more so since it was struck down by  an appellate court last July.

The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in 1999 halted the proliferation of animal crushing operations, the HSUS said. The law has also been used to crack down on commercial dogfighting operations.

“The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the only tool available to crack down on this horrific form of extreme animal cruelty,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We wouldn’t allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty.”

Pacelle wrote about the crushing issue on his blog yesterday.

The videos and photographs show, among other things, women, often in high-heeled shoes, impaling and crushing  puppies, kittens and other small animals. Read more »

Artist drowns in lake after saving his dog

VasilyVasily Fedorouk, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, drowned Sunday after saving his dog, Era, from Horsetail Lake, outside Chicago.

The 2 1/2 -year-old German hunting terrier went into the lake to fetch a ball but got caught in some vegetation. Fedorouk, 59, jumped into the lake and freed the dog, but wound up getting entangled himself, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“He was waving his hands in the water,” his wife, Dilbara Arapova said. “At first I thought he was joking. Then he went underwater and I started to scream. I couldn’t help him. I can’t swim.”

Another man at the scene, who also couldn’t swim, called police on a cell phone. By the time police and paramedics arrived, eight minutes later, Arapova said, it was too late.

Fedorouk was found submerged in 6 to 8 feet of water. An official with the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Fedorouk died of accidental drowning. Arapova said police told her that Fedorouk apparently got caught in fishing line.

On Monday, Arapova and her son, Anton Fedorouk, 24, described the sculptor as a hardworking, passionate artist. “He would work from sunup to sundown on his sculptures,” Arapova said. “That was his passion. He would want to be remembered for his art. He told me that after he dies, his art will still live on forever.”

Fedorouk, who immigrated to the United States with his wife from Ukraine in 1992, attended the Lviv Academy of the Arts, in Lviv Ukraine, in the mid-1970s.

Anton Fedorouk was not surprised that his father risked his life for Era. “He loved our dog. He would do anything to save it.”

(Photo from vasilyfedorouk.com)

More cat torture, this time in the county

If you were thinking unthinkably cruel animal torture was strictly an urban phenomenon, take a look — if you have the stomach for it — at this item from the Northeast Booster.

The Booster — an Internet conglomeration of recycled news from Baltimore area newspapers – reports that three men were arrested and charged with animal cruelty Thursday after they allegedly tortured a cat in a microwave, then put it in a freezer, then tossed it into a river.

Kevin Abel, 19, Scott McDowell, 18, and Richard Rioux, 25, were all arrested last week in connection with the cat’s death, which occurred July 31 in the Edgemere area, according to Bill Toohey, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Abel, who lives in White Marsh, was house sitting for a friend when he apparently invited the other two men over.

Toohey said the cat was spun on the floor, beaten, placed on ceiling fan, put in the microwave, and closed in the freezer before being placed in a bag with rocks and tossed into Back River, off Lynch Point.

The next day, the owner of the cat — whose identity wasn’t  revealed – was informed by McDowell that the animal was dead. All three men were intoxicated at the time of the incident, Toohey said.

Abel, Rioux, of White Marsh, and McDowell, of  Sparrows Point, were all charged with animal cruelty.  A hearing for all three is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 in District Court in Essex.

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