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Tag: escape

Fugitive pit bull found in Reno, owner cited

Max, the fugitive pit bull, is back in custody, and he’s scheduled to be euthanized next week.

The a 3-year-old, 70-pound red nose pit bull — sprung from an animal shelter in Alameda, California — was located at a Reno motel and placed in a local shelter.

An Alameda animal control officer will drive to Reno on Monday to retrieve Max, after which the dog will be destroyed, Alameda police Sgt. Jill Ottaviato said Friday.

Max’s co-owner Melissa Perry, 38, was found with the dog and was cited by Reno police for possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An arrest warrant was also issued for Perry in Alameda County Friday on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.

Police say Perry and her boyfriend, Richard Cochran, 57, conspired to free Max from the Alameda shelter the day before he was to be euthanized in connection with having bitten two people.

Cochran appeared in an Oakland courtroom Friday on charges of second-degree commercial burglary and receiving stolen property, both felonies, and he is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Perry, in a phone interview with the Chronicle Friday morning from Reno,  said someone had tipped animal control officials to Max’s whereabouts.

“I don’t care about going to jail,” Perry said. “It’s not about me, it’s about Max. He’s my protector. That’s my companion. That’s my best friend.”

Perry said neither she nor Cochran had anything to do with the break-in at the animal shelter Wednesday — the day after an Alameda County Superior Court commissioner ordered Max destroyed.

But after the hearing, police say, Cochran bought a set of bolt cutters, and the couple’s pickup truck was seen on surveillance video taken outside the animal shelter the morning of the break-in.

Cochran told police that two other people were involved in the plot to free Max, but investigators said they now doubt that story.

“There are people all over this country who form strong emotional attachments to their pets, particularly dogs, and I think many people feel as though that dog, that animal, is part of their family,” said Demetrius Costy, Cochran’s attorney.

“The idea that a pet is going to be executed could cause someone to be very distraught,” Costy said, “which could lead someone to act out of character.”

Owner charged in dog’s death row escape

A California pit bull was sprung from death row by the couple who owns him, police say, and he’s apparently being driven across the country in an attempt to elude euthanasia.

Police say an Alameda couple concocted a scheme to free their pit bull, Max, from the Alameda Animal Shelter, which, because he’d been deemed a dangerous dog, was planning to euthanize him Wednesday.

Authorities arrested one of the suspects, Richard Cochran, 57. Cochran admitted to formulating a plan to steal the three-year-old dog from the shelter with Melissa Perry, 38, his girlfriend of 17 years, and two other people whose identities haven’t been confirmed, police said.

He denied playing any other role in stealing the dog, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Perry, meanwhile, called the Chronicle on Thursday evening, saying Max was with her and that a friend was driving them across the country. “I’m almost to Kentucky,” she said.

Perry told the newspaper that, while neither she nor Cochran had anything to do with the break-in, she had told friends she wished someone would “break him out.”

“Max doesn’t deserve to be euthanized. Considering the circumstances, I think he deserves a chance.”

Police say the dog is dangerous. “If anyone comes into contact with the dog and this woman, I really want to stress that they should take caution,” said police Sgt. Jill Ottaviano. “This is a very dangerous animal. It is very protective of this woman.”

Max had bitten two people. While being examined at an animal hospital in Oakland, he bit a veterinary technician. The dog was ordered to be quarantined at his home in an Alameda motel after that, but during the quarantine he bit a friend of the couple.

The animal shelter was ready to euthanize Max on Tuesday, after a court order was issued. The court commissioner agreed that the dog would be kept alive one more day to allow Cochran and Perry to say goodbye.

When shelter staff arrived for work Wednesday morning they discovered someone had used bolt cutters to cut through a cyclone fence and break the lock on the kennel where Max had been staying.

(Photo: Alameda Police Department)

Dogs trapped in gold mine manage to escape

goldminedogsTwo dogs trapped inside a Colorado mine shaft since Monday managed to escape on their own.

Christy Huffman told KRDO that her border collie and Chihuahua escaped from her home Monday, along with a third dog who is still missing.

The two who ended up in the mine pit at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine in Teller County got out and are now in the care of the local animal control office.

Rescue crews had been trying to reach the animals since Tuesday, and Animal control officers Wednesday tried coaxing the dogs out of the mine shaft with food, treats and water, but had no success.

CC&V Gold Mine spokesperson Jane Mannon says the dogs were able to make their way out of the mine on their own.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mikel Baker said officials were worried about  sending a search-and-rescue team down the 500-foot Ironclad Mine because the ground is unstable.

The dogs’ owners have been cited for letting their dogs run loose.

Police dog mistakenly euthanized

felonyA black Lab named Felony who worked for the police department in Howard Lake, Minnesota, escaped from his kennel, ended up at the local humane society and, after getting labeled aggressive, was euthanized.

Felony, 10 years old and nearing the end of his police career as a drug sniffer, was discovered missing on October 30 when a police officer arrived to pick him up for work.

Police immediately called the Wright County Humane Society. The dog wasn’t there. But he did end up there a day later when a Howard Lake resident found him and called the local dog catcher, KARE11 in the Twin Cities reported.

“Our officer contacted the Animal Humane Society on Friday evening shortly after contacting the dog catcher, said Chief Tracy Vetruba. “Unfortunately, at that time the dog catcher still had the dog, who he did not believe was our dog, and it ‘was’ our dog.”

With no tags or microchip on the dog,  a spokesperson for the Animal Humane Society said workers had no idea Felony was a K-9 officer. Felony was placed on a 5-day mandatory hold, during which he demonstrated aggressive behavior. Tests determined that he was dangerous and unadoptable, and Felony was euthanized, the humane society says.

“Our officers were devastated to learn that he was put down,” said Cheif Vetruba. “He will absolutely be missed by our officers.”

Howard Lake’s police chief will look into the events that led to Felony’s death as part of a larger examination of the department’s K-9 program, and he hopes to get a new dog for the department.

Dog and owner reunite after 10 years

 
Gary Rowley hadn’t seen Brindle since 1999, when his dog nosed open a door and disappeared into the night.

This past Sunday — thanks to a microchip, Facebook and an animal lover who volunteered to drive the dog  1,300 miles back home from Oklahoma – they reunited at Rowley’s home in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

“He needed a way home,” said Laurie Swain, who flew from Virginia to Oklahoma, then drove the dog back. “If the dog can wander 1,300 plus miles in 10 years I can certainly spend a few days driving.”

Rowley had given up on finding the dog in the decade since he went missing, shortly before the Super Bowl in 1999.

Then, last month, he received a message on Facebook: “Did you ever have a dog named Brindle?”

The question came from an Oklahoma military family who had discovered Brindle hiding under a bush, NBC News in Washington reported. After a local veterinarian found a microchip in Brindle’s neck, the family tracked Rowley down.

“I don’t know what to say. I just can’t believe someone would do this,” Rowley said.

Rowley has no idea how Brindle managed to wander so far from home, but he says it won’t happen again.

“For him to get out now, he’s going to have to turn a knob and flip a dead bolt,” Rowley said. “I’m still thinking about some of those child safety locks.”

The Crate Escape: 10 more years for inmate

manardyoungJohn Manard, who escaped from a Kansas prison by hiding inside a dog crate, was sentenced yesterday to another 10 years in federal prison on weapons charges, according to the Kansas City Star.

Manard was sprung from the Lansing Correctional Facility in 2006 by a prison volunteer, who used her dog van to drive him to freedom. Manard was hidden inside a cardboard box placed inside a dog crate.

The volunteer, Toby Young, was the founder of Safe Harbor, a program that rescued dogs from animal shelters and worked with inmates to train the pets and make them suitable for adoption. Married and a mother of two, she became romantically involved with the prisoner while working inside the Lansing Correctional Facility. You can read more about that saga — a Lifetime movie waiting to happen — here.

After leaving the Lansing prison, the two went to Young’s house where they took her husband’s two pistols.

Young, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for giving a firearm to a felon. Manard’s new conviction on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm comes on top of his escape conviction and a previous murder conviction, for which he was serving a life sentence.

AKC launches Pet Fire Safety Day

Yesterday marked the first “National Pet Fire Safety Day,” proclaimed by the American Kennel Club to increase awareness about the risks pets face when left home alone.

To help reduce the estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year, The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services released a series of prevention, escape and rescue tips for pet owners.

Pet proofing the home, developing pet-friendly escape routes and alerting rescuers of your pets’ presence with window clings is the best way to keep your four-legged family member from harm, said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.

Some tips:

– Extinguish Open Flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame.

– Pet Proof the Home – Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards.

– Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.

– Practice Escape Routes with Pets — Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.

– Use smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center, providing an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.

– Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling — Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. You can obtain a free window cling here. More details are available at the AKC website.

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