A family in northern Maine says it is “overwhelmed” by the generosity they saw from friends and strangers who donated enough money for them to get a service dog for their 5-year-old daughter, Faith.
Faith has spina bifida and experiences seizures. The new dog — a black Lab named Dandy — has been trained to detect when they might be coming.
Bruce and Beverly McNally, of Island Falls, took Faith in as a foster child, then as their adopted daughter. They quickly realized they needed help monitoring her for the seizures, which could be deadly if not addressed.
“The family became very worried, which is why they wanted to get the dog,” Michele King, Faith’s aunt, told the Bangor Daily News.
King is also the chief administrative officer for Brave Hearts, a nonprofit Christian home for young men in Island Falls, and that organization sponsored a fundraiser last month to try and raise the $2,500 that was needed.
King said that donations came from the more than 100 people who attended a benefit supper, and from people as far away as North Carolina.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Beverly McNally said. “We eventually had enough money and we had to gently turn people away. We had to tell them that we had enough for the dog, but that we wanted them to donate the money to a charity of their own choosing.”
Dandy came from CARES — Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services — a nonprofit organization in Concordia, Kansas, that trains and matches assistance dogs with owners.
“Dandy has just been wonderful for Faith,” McNally said on Friday. “She picks up on a chemical change in the body when a seizure occurs. One day when we got back, Faith was very lethargic. She was in the chair with me and needed to be snuggled a lot more. And the dog got up in the chair and started whining. And I didn’t realize what was going on. And 45 minutes later, Faith had a seizure. Then I realized what the dog was trying to tell me.”
(Photo: Michele King)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assistance, benefit, black, brave hearts, canine, cares, dandy, detecting, dog, dogs, donations, education, faith, fundraiser, fundraising, island falls, lab, labrador retriever, maine, rehabilitation, seizures, service, services, spina bifida
Mu Shu was just four pounds and four weeks old when she fell off a livestock truck in Kansas and was picked up off the highway and taken home by the owner of Hunter, a yellow Lab.
That was in April, and Hunter would go on to become best friends with the piglet who, before bouncing off the truck, was likely destined for a growing farm and a future as ham.
Stacie Tonn picked the unconscious pig up off U.S. Highway 50, and with help from her veterinarian husband, Shane, their four daughters and Hunter, nursed Mu Shu back to health.
Hunter licked and nudged the injured piglet, and helped her get around when she regained consciousness. Left blinded — only temporarily — by the accident, the piglet would sniff Hunter out and follow him around, curling up with him for naps, according to Kansas.com.
But she still gets together with Hunter, who visits her once or twice a month.
“She still knows the sound of my truck. When I pull up to her pen, she will pop out with excitement. She knows she’s going to get snacks,” Stacie Tonn said.
Walton Rural Life Center serves 167 students, from kindergarten to fourth grade, and students are responsible for feeding Mu Shu and the other animals and maintaining their pens.
“Pigs are our biggest project,” said kindergarten teacher Rhonda Roux. “If she stays healthy, we are thinking of breeding her and having a litter of piglets.”
As for Hunter, he doesn’t seem intimidated in the least by Mu Shu’s girth, or how she so quickly passed him in size since the days he was licking her motionless body.
“She had a lot of bruising and was pretty unresponsive … Neither one of us thought she would live past 48 hours,” Shane Tonn told Kansas.com in an earlier story
You can see a video of Hunter playing with Mu Shu, when she was still a piglet, here.
(Top photo, taken in April, by Mike Hutmacher / Kansas.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, children, dogs, education, farming, friends, highway, hunter, livestock, mu shu, nursed, pets, pig, piglet, road, school, shane tonn, stacie tonn, students, truck, unlikely friends, walton rural life center, yellow lab
On Sunday May 20th, they’re planning their biggest yet.
Up to 100 participants are expected to showcase their dogs in the wake of the Maryland Court of Appeals Court ruling which labeled all pit bull and pit bull mix dogs to be “inherently dangerous.”
“B-More Dog’s goal for Pit Bulls on Parade is now — and has always been — to introduce people to real pet pit bulls and their people, thereby reducing the stereotype and myths that surround these dogs,” the organization said.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. at Rash Field and continue around the promenade to the Coast Guard Cutter Taney and back.
Participants in the walk will include family pets as well as pit bulls available for adoption at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS). Local rescue groups such as Jasmine’s House, Adopt a Homeless Animal and FurEver Love often participate in the walk as well.
“B-More Dog was extremely disappointed to learn of the new ‘pit bull’ law in Maryland as a result of the Solesky v. Tracey case. B-More Dog has been working around the clock with regional and national experts to determine the best course of action to have this law changed,” said Pauline Houliaras, President of B-More Dog.
B-More Dog provides humane education in Baltimore city by taking trained and well-mannered pit bulls to community centers, after school programs, schools and churches.
For more information about Pit Bulls on Parade or any of the programs offered by B-More Dog, contact Pauline Houliaras at 410-292-3869 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeals court, b-more dog, baltimore, bmore dog, bmoredog, dangerous, dogs, education, events, inherently dangerous, inner harbor, maryland, parade, perceptions, pets, pit bull owners, pit bulls, pit bulls on parade, pitbull, pitbulls, rash field, ruling, stereotypes, training
When a Hollywood movie goes over budget, it’s no big deal.
When one being paid for by taxpayers — or even toll violators — does, it is.
So, as snarky as this investigative report by the 13 Undercover team at Houston’s KTRK is at times, it makes some valid points.
The Harris County attorney’s office hired director Fleming Fuller to produce a public service documentary about the dangers of dogfighting, offering $10,000 for the finished product.
The movie was intended to show the horrors of dogfighting, and get across Ryan’s message that he was going to be tough on people who take part in it.
Normally, we’d applaud something like that, but the movie went 10 times over budget, the county attorney seems to be taking credit for a previous county attorney’s dogfighting bust, and the movie’s director was a good friend of the Harris County attorney’s top assistant.
As the report points out, County Attorney Vince Ryan campaigned as an ethics watchdog: “So you’d figure his office would the first to make sure your money wasn’t wasted, reporter Wayne Dolcefino says. “Instead, they spent money like they were in Hollywood.”
On top of that, the report says there hasn’t been a big dogfighting bust since Ryan took office.
And, in yet another criticism offered by the news report, the documentary includes scenes of Ryan frolicking with his dog at the beach, which gives the film the appearance, at times, of a campaign ad.
The director charged $500 for his time on an overnight trip to Galveston — apparently just to obtain that beach footage — and expenses there included multiple hotel bills and a pricey dinner.
Fuller is a North Carolina-based director who has made a few horror movies, including Prey of the Chameleon and Stranded.
While the county’s contract specified $10,000 would be spent on the film, and that it would be completed in one month, the final pricetag came out to more than $100,000 and the film took nearly a year to make.
The movie was paid for from a special fund consisting of fines imposed on drivers who fail to pay tolls.
Ryan said the video has been used to train law enforcement officers and to show high school students and others that dogfighting is inhumane and illegal.
KTRK says the documentary ended up costing cost $13,000 a minute, and that only 171 people have watched it in on YouTube.
The original documentary, as it appears on YouTube, is in three parts, which, combined, add up to nearly 30 minutes, not seven minutes, as the news report says. (The version being distributed for education purposes has been shortened.)
Here’s part one:
To see all three parts, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, animal cruelty, animals, budget, county attorney, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dangers, director, documentary, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, education, fleming fuller, fund, harris county, heart of texas, horrors, houston, investigative reporting, journalism, media, move, news, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, public education, toll, video, vince ryan, watchdog
Among the honors the documentary “100,000” has received is an Emmy award. Director Juan Agustin Marquez is shown here accepting it, and asking Puerto Ricans to take a pledge.
“We set out to change the world with this film, starting with our island, Puerto Rico,” he said.
“100,000 represents the specific number of dogs who live in the streets of our island nation. But the .. title of the film is more complex than that. What I truly wanted was to reach 100,000 people, humans, with the message of the film. I wanted 100,000 people to sign a pledge at the endof the film to learn about humane treatment for animals, especially dogs — to pledge that they will take care of their pets for as long as they live.
“We have a long way to reach our goal, but I will not rest until I get my 100,000 people to pledge to Puerto Rico’s dogs.”
Here is the pledge.
“100,000,” unfortunately, isn’t available for purchase, and it has yet to appear on American television.
But there is a way to see it, with English subtitles. The director says on the documentary’s website that he will provide a private link to watch it to those who email him. The email address is: email@example.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abused, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, award, beach, beaches, director, documentary, dogs, education, emmy, juan agustin marquez, movie, neglected, pets, pledge, puerto rico, responsibility, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, view, watch
The city of Chicago, which has long let dog owners slide when it comes to licensing their pets, plans to put the “man” back in mandatory.
After a 90-day public education period, the city will begin enforcing its mandatory dog license policy and start ticketing dog owners who haven’t registered their pets.
According to the Sun-Times, the city sold 27,918 licenses last year, less than 5 percent of its estimated dog population of 560,000.
That’s more than $2 million, at the very least, being missed out on.
“We can ticket people . . . that is part of the plan. At the end of the period of time we give people to get the dog license, if they didn’t obtain it, it’s a ticket that ranges between $50 and $200 for not having a dog license,” said Cherie Travis, executive director of the Commission on Animal Care and Control.
The crackdown will follow a 90-day education campaign that will also feature low-cost rabies vaccines at events across the city and an online dog registration contest with prizes donated by local businesses.
To purchase a dog license, owners must show proof that their dogs have been vaccinated for rabies. The dog license is a sticker that affixes to the metal rabies tag.
The dog license fee for neutered dogs is $5, compared to a fee of $50 for non-neutered dogs. For senior citizens, the rates are $2.50 and $5 respectively.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chicago, crackdown, dog, dogs, education, enforcement, fees, fines, license, licensing, pets, rabies, register, registration, tickets, vaccinations
If the school district in Hudson, Wisconsin, has its way, an empty greyhound racing track could be turned into a school.
The school board approved an $8.25 million offer Monday to buy the St. Croix Meadows Greyhound Racing Park, but the purchase is contingent on voter approval.
District officials said Tuesday that the 130-acre property would be used to address long-term space needs for grades six to 12, according to the Pioneer Press.
It has not been determined whether it will be home to a high school or middle school, or what will happen to the building now standing there.
Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said buying the property is a move toward reducing crowding at the middle and high schools.
The district has been in contact since 2009 with a representative from Miami-based Croixland Properties Ltd., the track’s owner. Initially, the sales price for the track was $20 million.
The dog track opened in 1991 and was losing as much as $7 million a year when it closed in 2001.
There was a plan to turn it into a casino, but that was opposed by Indian tribes in Minnesota and Wisconsin who already operate casinos near the Twin Cities.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, crowding, dogs, education, greyhound, hudson, pets, purchase, racing, referendum, school district, schools, st. croix meadows, tracks, wisconsin
Starting on Monday, people who take dog feces they have collected to New Taipei City sanitation units will receive a ticket for a gold-ingot raffle, the Tapei Times reports.
The raffle winners will recieve ingots worth $12,000 to $60,000.
“We believe this innovative measure will raise people’s awareness of the problem,” Chen said Chen Chao-mint, an official with the Environmental Protection Department. “Through the raffle, we expect the public to pay closer attention to environmental sanitation and play a more active role in keeping their surroundings clean.”
The rafffle results will be announced in October.
Dog feces on streets and sidewalks has become a major quality of life concern for residents, the Times reports, and the municipality has been urging dog owners to clean up after their pets.
New Taipei City will also will also offer rewards to those who take videos or photographs of people who leave their pets’ feces in the street. In addition, the city is encouraging residents to form teams to patrol their neighborhoods and educate people on the importance of cleaning up after their dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: awareness, clean up, dog, dogs, education, feces, gold, health, ingots, new tapei city, pick-up, poop, public, raffle, sanitation, scoop, taiwan, waste
Neighborhood Pit Bull Day — a day to love on and learn more about your pit bull — is coming to Baltimore this Sunday (July 10).
The one-day event provides free resources, products, education and services to pit bull owners. It’s one of many being held around the country by Best Friends Animal Society, aimed at defusing the negative stereotype and helping communities “understand what loyal members of the family pit bulls can be.”
The Baltimore event will take place, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carroll Park.
It’s free, and it will offer leash and collar trade-ins, microchipping and low-cost vaccinations, spay and neuter vouchers, a photo booth and advice from trainers and vets. Kids and families and pit bulls are welcome.
The events kicked off June 4 in Tampa, and are being scheduled in communities whose shelters see large numbers of pit bulls.
Upcoming events are also scheduled in Carlsbad, Calif., on August 27; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., on September 10; Salt Lake City, Utah on October 29 and in New York City and Los Angeles on October 30.
“This is a day of celebrating the community and family pet owners. We would like to see all pit-bull-type dogs and their families have a fun way to gain access to the resources that are out there, that’s what this event is all about,” explained Jamie Healy, manager of Best Friends’ Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls program.
Made possible by a PetSmart Charities® grant, this Best Friends program is dedicated to promoting responsible guardianship of pit-bull-terrier-type dogs, as well as reducing euthanasia and improving the pit bulls public image.
Best Friends currently has five shelter partner programs across the country in Tampa, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C. and San Diego and Rancho Cucamonga, California.
(Photo by John Woestendiek: Mike Reed and his three-legged pit bull Topaz, who I met a couple of years ago during a trip to Los Angeles)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelters, animals, baltimore, best friends, carlsbad, carroll park, collars, dogs, education, event, image, leash, los angeles, mike reed, neighborhood pit bull day, neuter, new york, perceptions, pets, photos, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, public education, rancho cucamonga, resources, salt lake city, shelters, spay, stereotypes, tampa, topaz, trainers, vaccinations, veterinarians, vets, vouchers
Lees-McRae College, located in the mountains of North Carolina, has designated its first pet-friendly dormitory, allowing students who live there to bring along their dogs, cats, birds, fish, ferrets, and hamsters.
With the opening of the Spring 2011 semester, Bentley Residence Hall went co-species.
“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet friendly colleges and universities. We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals,” said Barry M. Buxton, president of the Presbyterian college. “We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”
Students living in Bentley Hall are now allowed to bring their pets from home to school with them to live in their rooms. Under the new policy, qualifying students can have fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets, cats and dogs under 40 pounds. (We’d argue dogs over 40 pounds are sacred, too.)
Previously, students were only allowed to have fish in residence hall rooms.
Under the new pet friendly policy, faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their pets to campus.
“It is great to be able to have my two dogs for companionship while I am studying and doing homework in my room,” said student Lauren Lampley, owner of Shih Tzus Heidi and Buckley. “This responsibility also forces me to manage my time well enough to take care of them and make sure I make time to spend with them.”
The approved pets for the inaugural pet friendly program include a Boston Terrier, a small Labrador retriever, two Shih Tzus, a pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, a miniature dachshund, a Maine coon mix, a Siamese mix, a leopard gecko, a Dutch rabbit, two ferrets and two birds.
The new policy represents the latest in a trend toward colleges welcoming pets, noted Joshua Fried, director of Petside.com: “We know how much the companionship of a pet can benefit a college student, particularly in the form of stress-relief and as a remedy for homesickness.”
“Now I have two alarms,” one student joked. “When I ignore my alarm clock, my dog licks my face and my nose until I get up. She really cares about my education.”
Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina in the town of Banner Elk.
(Photo courtesy of Lees-McCrae College)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, allows, animals, banner elk, bentley hall, birds, campus, cats, colleges, dog, dog friendly, dogs, dormitory, education, ferrets, gecko, guniea pigs, hamsters, lees-mcrae college, life, new, pet friendly, pets north carolina, policy, rabbit, stress, students, universities