The old dachshund abandoned with a note at a Los Angeles County shelter, then saved from euthanasia by a rescue group, then offered back to the “poor, sick and elderly” owners who wrote the note, won’t be reuniting with them after all.
Upon further reflection, Toby Wisneski, founder of Leave No Paws Behind, decided life with his original owners — two traveling ministers – might not be best for the 13-year-old dachshund, and apparently Otto’s owners have said they’re good with that decision.
The owners, initially anonymous, have now been identified as Chris Gonzales and his wife, Christine. That’s Rev. Chris in the video above, seemingly speaking in tongues at times, and not appearing too sick, poor or elderly. (Public access to the video was removed after this post appeared.)
The video, and some other interesting information, was unearthed by Mary Cummins, an animal advocate and wildlife rehabilitator who writes a blog in Los Angeles.
Cummins reported Sunday that Wisneski had decided that, in the dog’s best interest, “he will be remaining right here in our care and his humans agree.”
“We are both seniors, sick with no money. We cannot pay for vet bills, or to put him to sleep. He has never been away from us in all those years, he cannot function without us, please put him to sleep.”
Before euthanizing the dog, the shelter called a rescue group, Leave No Paws Behind, which agreed to take him in. They named him Harley, got him treatment for a skin condition and pronounced him healthy enough to be adopted.
Wisneski, the group’s founder, also held out hope, at the time, that she might find the anonymous owners and return the dog to them, along with an offer to pay for all his medical care and food.
When the couple learned of the offer, and about donations coming in to help them, they came forward and agreed to reclaim their dog, whose real name is Otto, when they returned to town at the end of the month.
In an interview with KTLA, Chris Gonzales — though he wasn’t identified by name – said he and his wife were out of town and planned to return to California and pick up the dog once they raised enough money to buy new tires for their car.
What seemed, up to then, a heartwarming story, was slowly getting squirrely — turning into the kind it’s hard to keep the faith in.
Cummins, who had publicized the dog’s story on her blog in an attempt to help reunite him with his owners, did some investigating, and came away less than impressed with the couple.
“They are not senior citizens. They are not disabled. They are merely obese. They are not poor. They are traveling ministers who give little talks then beg for money. They are not a legal church, corporation or non-profit. They make $60,000/year,” she wrote.
“He’s one of those faith healers that puts his hands on people and then everyone shakes like someone having a seizure,” she added. “He likes to spit out mumbo jumbo made up words while doing so. He invites people to meetings at Sizzler or the Old Country Buffet restaurants. People pay for their food, listen to him talk then he asks for money. He calls it a ‘love offering.’”
Cummins now feels, in case it’s not obvious, that returning Otto to his owners would be a mistake.
While that means a detour before Otto finds his happy ending, we think that’s the right choice, too — based on what we’ve heard about his owners and the fact that they abandoned him in the first place.
Despite all that faith they travel the country professing, the couple apparently didn’t have too much in their dog.
Wisneski has said all of Otto’s medical problems turned out to be minor and treatable, and that he’s in good health now.
Here’s hoping Otto finds the home he deserves.
And that the reverends find some tires.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 18th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, baldwin park animal shelter, california, chris gonzales, christine gonzales, church, dachshund, dog, dogs, dumped, faith, gonzales, harley, leave no paws behind, los angeles, ministers, note, old, otto, owners, pets, religion, rescues, reunion, shelter, shelters, sick, traveling, traveling ministers
Given this dog’s situation — dumped inside a plastic bag at a recycling plant that processes 400 tons of debris a day, loaded by bulldozer onto a large conveyor belt, and on her way to a chute that would have dropped her 20 feet into a landfill — you might think nothing short of a miracle would save her.
While there may have been some of that involved, the three-month-old, five-pound poodle puppy has some alert workers to thank as well.
Just yards from the chute, one recycling worker noticed the bag moving. He slammed on the conveyer belt’s emergency brake as another worker climbed onto the belt to remove the dog.
Since named Gem, the dog, rescued — and we do mean rescued — the Friday before Christmas, is recovering from her injuries.
“It’s difficult to imagine how the dog survived this ordeal,” said Robert Reed, a spokesman for Recology, a recycling program in San Francisco that sorts through heavy debris from construction projects, such as concrete, metal and lumber. ”Nothing like this has happened before.”
Reed said the dog was likely thrown, inside the bag, into a bin for construction material, picked up by a garbage truck and hauled to the dump. Once in the dump, the dog likely had large amounts of debris dumped atop her, only to be later scooped up by a bulldozer and end up on the conveyor belt.
While riding along the conveyor belt, Gem went through a shaking process, aimed at removing excess dirt from the debris, and she was yards from passing into the chute when workers stationed along the conveyor belt noticed her.
“I was on the line working on the conveyor belt and there was a black trash bag coming down the line,” Gregory Foster told ABC News. “It had a hole in it and I could see it moving.”
After he activated the belt’s emergency brake, another co-worker climbed up on the belt and pulled the dog — wet, bloody and shaking – out of the bag.
The San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control was called, and Gem is now in its care.
“We’re getting a lot of people calling, wanting to adopt her, foster, and offer donations for her care,” a spokesperson said. The agency received more than 100 telephone calls inquiring about the dog in three hours.
Many remain mystified how the dog survived what she did.
“It’s a miracle, it’s a Christmas miracle. That’s what it is,” Pena said.
But we’d give some of the credit to assembly line workers who managed, amid the monotony of their jobs, to stay alert.
And we’d give at least an equal amount to Gem, one plucky little dog.
(Top photo, CBS News; bottom photo, Arturo Pena)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 27th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, alert, animals, animnal care and control, assembly line, bin, bulldozer, christmas miracle, conveyor belt, dog, dogs, dump, dumped, gem, landfill, miracle, pets, plant, poodle, puppy, recology, recycle, recycling, rescue, rescued, rescues, san francisco, saved, shelters, trash, workers
As reported by the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Playa del Rey resident Kellie Sue Peters was on her way to the grocery store when a dog chasing a rabbit ran in front of her car on the busy highway.
When Peters stopped to try and snag the dog, on the highway near LAX, she noticed other dogs, including one that landed at her feet after it was hit by a car.
“I was horrified,” she said. “I just thought I’ve got to help him. … I’m not the type of person who can just walk away.”
The small white terrier mix nipped her hand when she knelt down to get a closer look.
The dog, who she now calls “Carson,” is recovering. Six others were rescued and are being held at the SPCA shelter in Hawthorne. A few more dogs were found the next day, but others were either killed or remain on the loose.
“They were unkempt,” El Segundo police Lt. Carlos Mendoza said. “They could have been strays, or somebody was hoarding dogs and decided to dump them.”
Two animal welfare organizations — including one run by actress Katherine Heigl — are offering a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the identification of the person who abandoned them.
“We are participating in the reward money being offered to find whoever did this despicable thing,” Heigl said in a statement. “People have to be held accountable for this kind of lack of humanity and compassion.”
Although Facebook comments allude to a white van being involved in the abandonment, authorities have yet to confirm that.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal welfare, carson, cesar millan, chihuahuas, d cups saving teacups, dog, dogs, dumped, el segundo, highway, imperial highway, katherine heigl, kim sill, los angeles, rescue, reward, shelter, terriers, traffic
A 28-year-old Newark woman has been charged with four counts of animal cruelty in the case of Patrick, a 1-year-old pit bull who was found almost starved to death after he was dumped down a garbage chute in a high-rise apartment building.
Kisha Curtis was charged Friday with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, New Jersey SPCA officials said.
The dog was discovered by maintenance workers March 16 inside a garbage bin at Garden Spires, a 550-unit apartment building. Staff at the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park called it one of the worst cases of cruelty they’ve ever seen.
Matthew Stanton, a spokesman for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told FoxNews.com that Curtis, the alleged owner, faces two criminal counts and two civil counts, which he said could result in up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service if convicted.
Stanton said Curtis told authorities she was unable to take care of the dog anymore, but she denied throwing the dog into the chute at the 22-story apartment building. The New Jersey SPCA is investigating whether anyone else was involved in the abuse and disposal of the animal.
Patrick, meanwhile, is slowly recovering at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. Staff there say he is now standing and eating small amounts of food several times a day, though he remains pathetically thin.
AHS, which is paying for Patrick’s continuing care, is continuing to post daily updates on his condition. Most recently, they’ve reported that an ultrasound test found a foreign body lodged found inside the dog, and they speculated he may have swallowed something to quell the hunger that he was experiencing.
AHS also arranged to have Patrick interviewed by an animal communicator, who reported he told her, among other things, ”I am broken, I don’t know why.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, animal communicator, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, arrest, associated humane societies, charges, condition, cruelty, dog, dogs, dumped, garbage, garden spires, garden state veterinary specialists, health, kisha curtis, new jersey, newark, owner, patrick, pets, pit bull, popcorn park zoo, starved, trash chute
And considering the condition he was found in — by a maintenance worker who noticed a soon-to be-compacted plastic bag moving — that’s pretty close to miraculous.
According to Associated Humane Societies, Patrick, as he was later named, was living — and just barely — somewhere in the Garden Spires apartment building, which is equipped with garbage chutes on each floor.
“Someone had no more use for this dog. They had starved it to near death, put it in a garbage bag and threw it down the garbage chute,” AHS reports on its website.
Normally, the contents of the bin at the bottom of the building are sent directly into a trash compacter, but on Wednesday, March 16th, a maintenance worker noticed a bag moving, opened it and found the dog inside – about one year old, pathetically thin and on death’s doorstep.
“His eyelids were moving a little. But he was just lifeless — his body hung there when we picked him up,” Monmouth County animal control officer Arthur Skinner said.
Skinner took the dog to Associated Humane Societies Newark Animal Care Center, and he was sent from there Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, veterinarians and technicians have been giving him transfusions of blood, feeding him intravenously and warming him with heated blankets.
By Monday, Patrick, who was named by hospital staff on St. Patrick’s Day, was able to sit up and walk. He’s now off IV fluids and eating canned dog food.
Patrick — and we’ll warn you now that the picture below, taken shortly after he was discovered, is highly disturbing — is slowly becoming more than skin and bones. He spends most of his time in his cage, napping next to stuffed animals donated by the hospital’s staff. He doesn’t bark or wag his tail, but lifts his head whenever someone passes by, accordingn to the Star-Ledger in Newark.
The Associated Humane Societies reported this week that Patrick is now able to stand, eats little bits of food several times a day and is having normal bowel movements. The organization is accepting donations towards his continued care. You can find AHS updates on Patrick here.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animals, associated humane societies, compactor, cruelty, dog, dogs, dumped, garden spires, garden stat veterinary specialists, monmouth county, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, pit bull, pitbull, popcorn park, starved, trash, trash bag, trash chute
Here’s a blog we’re hooked on, and one we hope comes to an end soon — for, when it does, that will mean Lollie, the 3-year-old pit bull whose adventures in foster care it chronicles, will have found a forever home.
The blog recounts the foster care experiences of Lollie — full name “Lollie Wonderdog” — who was discovered in September by animal control officers after they received a call about an animal making noise in a dumpster. When they arrived and opened the container, there was Lollie, filthy, half-starved, and covered in cuts and bruises.
Lollie licked the hand of the officer who reached in to scoop her up, and she’s been winning hearts ever since — first at the Montgomery County Humane Society, where she was known as Lolita. She spent a month there before being taken in as a foster dog by Aleksandra Gajdeczka and family, in late October, at their home in Takoma Park, Md.
“She had clearly been bred for money, abused, and then thrown away — quite literally,” Gajdeczka writes on the blog, entitled ”Love and a Six-Foot Leash: One family’s quest to open minds, win hearts and save lives through the foster program.”
Lollie’s foster family took things slow, introducing her to their other dog, Chick. They taught her to walk on a leash, sit and cuddle — though that last one seemed to come pretty naturally once Lollie became less fearful and more playful.
Gajdeczka says the blog has multiple purposes, but it’s mainly aimed at finding Lollie a home.
“We have a few humble goals in this pursuit: to find our current foster a great ‘forever home’ by revealing her sweetness and her big personality; to encourage others to fostering by sharing our experience; and to show the gentle, loyal nature of pit bull type dogs when kept as family pets.”
Lollie, believed to be a pit bull-bulldog mix, is available to families within a two hour drive of DC.
“Lollie comes to you with a heart full of love, a clean bill of health, all of her shots/vaccines up-to-date, and already spayed. She is housebroken, does not chew on furniture, shoes, or clothes, and is quiet and cuddly. She is a smart dog, an ultra-fast learner, and has a lot of energy– she would make a great running partner, and may excel in agility training … She is wonderful with adults and children alike, and fine with some dogs– though she would be happiest in a single-dog house. Per MCHS rules, she cannot be adopted by a family with small kids, small animals (cats, rabbits, hamsters . . .), or no prior dog experience.”
The blog tells you all you need to know, should you be interested in adopting Lollie.
It has some great photos (Aleksandra is also a photographer, reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org), some sweet videos, and nicely depicts not just Lollie’s growth during her time in foster care, but all the love she, like all dogs — even those spurned, ditched or dumped — has to give.
Even better yet, it shows that humans do, too.
(Photos and video by Aleksandra Gajdeczka)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adopt, adoptable, adoption, aleksandra gajdeczka, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, blog, dog, dogs, dumped, dumpster, foster, foster care, foster dog, lolita, lollie, lollie wonderdog, love and a six foot leash, maryland, mchs, montgomery county humane society, neglect, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, shelter, video
That X-Man was rescued from a trash can as a puppy didn’t make him all that unusual. It happens way too often.
That X-Man was rescued from a trash can by a girl who — as an infant — was herself rescued from the garbage makes his story, and her’s, a bit more out of the ordinary.
X-Man died last month after a long and happy life he owed, in large part, to Amy Louise Annelle, who in 1983, at only 4 or 5 hours old, was stuffed in a cereal box and dumped in a large trash bin on Nova Road in Daytona Beach.
When Amy was rescued from a garbage truck’s trash compactor by trash collectors, Pat Patten-Carlen followed the news accounts. She was looking for a baby girl to adopt after her daughter died. When “Amy Nova” — the name hospital nurses had given the baby found in the garbage — turned four months old, Patten-Carlen adopted her.
Thirteen years later, Amy came home from school and told Patten-Carlen she’d discovered a puppy in a trash can.
“She said, “It’s in a garbage can like me,’ ” Patten-Carlen told the Daytona Beach News Journal.
After Amy found X-Man, she took him to a shelter. But when no one would adopt him, she and Patten-Carlen came to the rescue again. They got their close friend Carson Allison to bring him home. X-Man lived with Allison until the dog’s death last month.
“We had a special connection,” Amy said. “Up until two weeks ago when he was put down because he was too sick and in pain, I kept close to X-Man.”
A small memorial service for X-Man was held Saturday in DeLand.
Amy, whose birth mother was never found, is now a CVS store manager, married and the mother of a 4-year-old girl, Autumn. She’s expecting another baby, a boy, in four or five weeks.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, adopt, adopted, amy louise annelle, amy nova, animals, baby, daytona beach, discarded, dog, dogs, dumped, florida, garbage, girl, infant, news, ohmidog!, pets, puppy, rescue, trash, X-man
A former animal control officer in Mississippi accused of shooting stray dogs and dumping their bodies in a creek has been charged, according to the Madison County District Attorney.
Last week, the Canton Police Department filed affidavits with the Canton Justice Court against Alonzo Esco for misdemeanor charges of unlawful killing of animals.
Esco was the city of Canton’s animal control officer. As a law enforcement officer, he will have to have a probable cause hearing before a judge before the case can be prosecuted, WAPT in Jackson reports.
A Madison County grand jury failed to indict Esco on felony charges and felt that the charges were misdemeanors and better handled in justice court, the district attorney said.
Esco was fired in January after home video surfaced that allegedly showed dozens of animal carcasses dumped in a creek in Canton. Since then, a group of residents has demanded that Esco be charged.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affidavits, alonzo esco, animal control, animals, Canton, charges, creek, district attorney, dogs, dumped, dumping, filed, killed, madison county, mississippi, news, officer, pets, police, stray
Authorities have no plans to pursue charges against a Mississippi animal control officer suspected of shooting dogs and dumping their carcasses — more than 100 of them — into a creek.
A Madison County grand jury recommended Alzonzo Esco, who worked for the city of Canton, be tried on misdemeanor animal cruelty and illegal dumping charges.
District Attorney Michael Guest, however, said an arrest warrant couldn’t be issued until signed statements from police investigators were turned in.
And that’s not likely to happen. Canton Police Chief Vickie McNeill said she will not authorize her investigator to file the paperwork because he did not actually see Esco commit any crimes, the Madison County Herald reported.
“There are standards regarding a felony, and there are standards regarding a misdemeanor,” McNeill said. “By the standards of a misdemeanor, you must actually see the crime in action to file an affidavit. None of the officers saw any of the dogs having anything being done to them.
“At this point, I don’t see any further action being taken on it,” she said, but if somebody brings it to my attention that there is a way, I’m willing to listen.”
Esco, who worked as an animal control officer in Canton for three years, was fired by the Board of Aldermen on McNeill’s recommendation.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alonzo esco, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, Canton, creek, cruelty to animals, dogs, dumped, grand jury, killed, madison county, mississippi, no charges, officer, pets, police chief, prosecution, shelters, shot, strays, vickie mcneill
It seemed like nearly everybody wanted to adopt Angus T. Loner, a gigantic mastiff who lived for years as a stray outside a Nebraska meatpacking plant.
So the local humane society decided that’s who should have him — everybody.
Angus was known by most in the town of Grand Island as the ”Swift dog” — due to his having lived outside the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant for more than four years. A trucker had dumped the neutered pup while making a delivery to the plant.
For years, plant workers fed the dog meat scraps, bones and their lunch leftovers and set out dinner for him nightly. A neighbor provided shelter by leaving a barn open. Local police and animal control workers kept close tabs on the dog, according to the Grand Island Independent.
Over the years, there were more than 500 attempts to catch him — none of which succeeded until December, when he was tranquilized and brought to the Central Nebraska Humane Society.
The humane society, as Angus became more social, began taking applications from those interested in adopting him. But between the many townsfolk who wanted to take him, all those who had helped care for the dog over the years and hoped to have continued access to him, and Angus’ sometimes unruly behavior, the humane society decided it would be best to keep him, allowing him to serve as its official greeter, mascot and spokesdog — to be, in a way, a community dog.
Angus has become attached to his new caretakers — so much so that “he’s gone from being scared of people to severe separation anxiety,” said Laurie Dethloff, the society’s executive director.
When society staff set him up in the spacious cat play area overnight, Angus chewed the carpet and platform from the cat nesting tree and ripped the sill off the room’s front window.
“We didn’t want to set him up for failure,” Dethloff said of placing him for adoption. Society officials decided keeping him would be a way to continue to share him with the public and honor what he represents. “For one, he has an awesome story to tell — about abandonment and a compassionate, caring community,” said Dethloff, who now takes Angus home with her at night.
Angus, the Independent reports, has come a long way from the dog that cowered in a corner and eluded those who tried to trap him. He still needs to gain a little weight, and the humane society is working on getting him up from six to 10 cups of dog food a day.
Angus is estimated to be about five years old. While the first name the humane society chose for him comes from his size, and the meat he survived on over the years, his middle initial — T — doesn’t stand for anything.
Angus, on the other hand — the dog a whole town adopted — clearly does.
(Photo: Barrett Stinson, The Grand Island Independent)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, angus, angus t. loner, animals, central nebraska humane society, community, community dog, dog, dogs, dumped, grand island, greeter, jbs swift, laurie dethloff, mascot, mastiff, meatpacking, nebraska, pets, plant, rescue, spokesdog, stray, swift dog