Grey, creaky and 18 – pretty darned old for a black Lab mix of his size — Bear Dog is hanging around a little longer.
But then he’s always been a persistent sort.
Bear Dog is pretty well known around Castle Rock, Washington, at the western base of Mount St. Helens. For almost two decades, he has hung out at the town’s riverfront, the ball park — just about anywhere his owner, Don Caulfield, went, and a few places he didn’t.
At the North County Recreation Sports Complex, near Caulfield’s mobile home, there are signs, posted by the city, that read, ”No pets allowed inside baseball complex or on soccer fields, except Bear Dog.”
Since 1996, the highly social dog has been befriending workers — including those who built the sports complex — as well as tourists, hikers, students and fishermen.
Whenever anyone walked by Caulfield’s mobile home with a fishing pole, Bear Dog wanted to join them. He’d also swim out to fishing boats, leading anglers to drop what they were doing, haul him aboard and bring him ashore.
At the ball fields, Bear Dog would meet Janice Vinton, the concession stand manager, in the parking lot, walk her to the concession stand and then sit and wait for a hot dog. He’d always get one, at least until he had a heart attack and Vinton decided he should avoid them. When Vinton would close the concession stand at night, Bear would wait for her and walk her to her car.
At Caulfield’s home, visitors would frequently drop by to take Bear Dog for a hike on the trails, or drop off treats and presents. A Seattle man brought short ribs to him every weekend.
“How he got so popular, I don’t know,” Caulfield, a 62-year-old retired trucker, told the Daily News in Washington. “He done that himself.”
About two months ago, though, sightings of Bear Dog became more rare. His back legs had stopped working, and the only way he could walk was by Caulfield using a towel as a sling to lug him in and out of the house. Even as an invalid, Bear Dog still wanted to go out and meet any visitors that stopped by.
Given the dog’s age and condition, Caulfield’s veterinarian advised him it was time to put Bear down, but Caulfield didn’t have enough money to cover the $150 euthanization fee.
He went home and cried, and then he started digging a hole in the yard.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told the the Daily News, which published an article Sunday about Bear Dog.
But Caulfield couldn’t bring himself to shoot Bear, and when he called friends to ask they do the deed for him, they all declined.
Bear Dog was living out what appeared to be his final days until one day he dragged himself outside and promptly fell down the porch steps. Caulfield heard a pop and feared his dog had broken his back. Instead, Bear Dog got up, walked, and even tried to chase a rabbit.
“Every time I think it’s time, he bounces back somehow,” said Caulfield. “I don’t know how he does it.”
We have a theory: Maybe it’s because so many people are pulling for him — and even more since the newspaper story.
Since the article on Bear Dog appeared, he has received a slew of visitors, gifts and phone calls, the Daily News reported in a follow-up article.
Caulfield returned from church Sunday to find people parked in front of his trailer. One offered a new fishing pole. Another man brought over a top sirloin steak, a roast and a tub of dog bones for Bear. And one woman promised to pay for any medical treatment Bear needs, as well as – if and when it becomes necessary — the cost of putting him down.
“He’s quite the legend out there,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Helenberg said last week of Bear Dog, who became the sports complex’s unofficial mascot by virtue of hanging ot there so much when it was being built.
Some dog-owning residents don’t understand why Bear Dog gets special privileges at the complex, and their dogs don’t, but Helenberg said Bear Dog is something of an institution. He even spoke of building a monument to the dog once he passes away.
“It’s going to be real sad,” the mayor said. “We’ll do something special.”
From the looks of things, Castle Rock, and the friends of Bear Dog, already have.
If you’re going to honor a dog, that’s really the best time to do it, before he’s a memory – not by building a sculpture when he’s dead and gone, but by pitching in and helping out and making him happy while he’s still alive.
Which is not to say a statue of Bear Dog isn’t appropriate — only that one honoring the friends of Bear Dog might be, too.
(Photo: Bill Wagner / The Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18, animals, ball park, bear, bear dog, black lab, castle rock, concessions, daily news, dog, dogs, don caulfield, euthanasia, euthanize, everybodys dog, fishermen, friends, grey, help, helping, hikers, honor, honoring, institution, labrador, lame, mayor, memorial, money, north country recreation sports complex, old, paul helenberg, pets, put down, retriever, sick, statue, support, trucker, washington
For the second time in a year, a mix-up at Hernando County Animal Services in Florida has resulted in the wrong dog being euthanized.
The surrendered dog was scheduled for euthanasia Sept. 7, but the stray was put down instead — two days after arriving at the shelter.
Both dogs were reddish brown females, thought to be lab or shepherd mixes, WTSP reported.
According to a county memorandum regarding the incident, “There appears to be no uniform procedure or checklist in place for administering euthanasia, which does not allow for consistent application.”
In addition to the lack of standard operating procedures for euthanasia at the shelter, the dogs are also moved around frequently, causing confusion.
The dog scheduled for euthanasia was moved from kennel B09 to A23, and the dog brought in as a stray was placed in B09. That wasn’t recorded, though, on the shelter’s “Master List for Dogs,” WTSP reported.
Animal Services staff alerted Public Safety Director Mike Nickerson the day of the incident, prompting an investigation by that office.
Once it was completed, Hernando County Administrator Len Sossamon temporarily placed Nickerson in charge of implementing all of the recommendations.
In April, at the same shelter, another dog was euthanized less than an hour after being dropped off.
An investigation blamed the earlier incident on understaffing and overcrowding.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal services, animals, county, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, euthanized, hernando, investigation, mix up, operations, overcrowding, pets, procedure, put down, put to sleep, recommendations, shelter, shelters, staff, staffing, standards, stray, surrendered, wrong
Lennox, locked up as he has been, hasn’t been running for two years now, but his story has, around the world.
Now it appears, despite a massive online campaign to save him, his time has run out.
After three court hearings, orders to execute him — because of his resemblance to a pit bull — have come down from the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. (Now there’s a scary title.)
The seven-year-old dog was seized in May 2010 from his owner, Caroline Barnes, after amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were extended to Northern Ireland in 2011.
Two lower courts have already ruled that he should be put down because he poses a risk to the public under that legislation, which declares all pit bull types dangerous.
During his year on death row, lawyers presented evidence that Lennox has never bitten anyone and has behaved well since being impounded, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
In the latest, and final, court decision, judges said dog wardens who tried to examine Lennox in May 2010 were told by a man that the dog would “rip their head off.”
An expert dog handler retained by the City Council concluded that the dog had a severe personality defect.
Experts presented in Lennox’s defense, meanwhile, described him as well-handled and a wonderful family dog, who served to comfort the Barnes special needs children before the city took him away.
“Lennox will essentially be killed for looking like a pit bull not actually acting like one,” Patrick Roberts opined in Irish Central.
“It is like saying every Catholic in Northern Ireland should be jailed because some in the past were violent.”
While a date hasn’t been specified, officials say his euthanization is imminent.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bans, belfast, breed specific legislation, campaign, caroline barnes, dangerous, dangerous dogs act, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, execute, execution, internet, ireland, lennox, lord chief justice, online, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, put down, save, save lennox
Onion, the dog that killed a one-year-old boy in Nevada, has gotten another reprieve — this time from the state Supreme Court.
The Nevada Supreme Court on Friday approved an emergency petition filed by the Lexus Project, a non-profit group representing the dog, prohibiting the city of Henderson from euthanizing the dog today.
The Lexus Project asked the court Friday to give it time to file a full-scale appeal or to allow at least two weeks to study a 24-page decision of Clark County District Court Judge Joanna Kishner, who refused Thursday to further delay the euthanizing of Onion.
The Supreme Court’s order stated: “We conclude that a temporary stay is warranted pending receipt and consideration of any opposition to the stay motion.” The order, according to the Las Vegas Sun, enjoins ”respondents (City of Henderson) from taking any action against the dog at issue until further order of this court.”
Favoring the stay were Chief Justice Michael Cherry and Justice Mark Gibbons. Justice Nancy Saitta dissented, saying the Lexus Project had not met the criteria for granting a stay.
The victim, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan, was celebrating his first birthday on April 27 at the home of his grandmother Elizabeth Keller when Onion, a 130-pound Mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, grabbed the boy by the head and started to shake him. The boy died in the hospital, and the family surrendered Onion to the city.
The Lexus Project initially filed suit and sought a stay to prevent the dog from being euthanized. Judge Kishner ruled against the organization, which then first appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court issued a stay at that time and ordered Kishner to take another look at the case, which resulted in her ruling Thursday that the city be allowed to go ahead with plans to destroy the dog.
Kathy McCarthy, an attorney representing the Lexus Project, said Kishner never notified the Lexus Project of that decision.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, boy, clark county, court, destroy, district court, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, henderson, jeremiah, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan, joanna kishner, judge, killed, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, order, pets, put down, spare, stay, supreme court, the lexus project
Onion, the mastiff mix that killed a one-year-old boy in Nevada, is likely to be put down in a matter of days after a judge ruled Friday that outside parties should have no say in whether the animal lives or dies.
Clark County District Judge Joanna Kishner sided with Henderson city attorneys who argued the 6-year-old mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix is vicious, and that an uninvited third party with no ties to the family had no legal right to step in to try to save him.
Lawyers for the Lexus Project, the New York-based organization that hoped to get Onion moved to a sanctuary in Colorado, said they want to appeal.
Kishner declined to issue a formal order postponing euthanasia pending an appeal, the Associated Press reported. But she said there will be time before her order is written, signed and filed.
“Despite good intentions … a party cannot just come in and state on their own that they wish to be a party to this case,” the judge said. “The court has to follow the law. It’s not for me to decide what action Henderson should take.”
Henderson city spokesman Keith Paul issued a statement later saying the dog would remain in the city animal shelter until the order is reviewed by attorneys on both sides and signed.
Outside the courthouse Friday, protesters waved signs, most urging the dog be spared. “Don’t Punish the Dog,” read one.
One man held up a sign with another point of view: ”Let’s Make Dog Tacos,” it said.
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was killed late last month during his first birthday party when Onion, a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix belonging to his grandparents bit him on the head.
The boy’s grandmother signed ownership and custody of the dog over to city animal control officials and said she wouldn’t contest his euthanization.
Family members weren’t in the courtroom Friday.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bit, clark county, court, dangerous, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, hearing, henderson, joanna kishner, judge, killed, lexus project, mauled, mix, nevada, one year old, onion, pets, protestors, rhodesian ridgeback, sanctuary, save, signs, vicious
Hoping to make Los Angeles a no-kill city, a new coalition of animal welfare and rescue groups has come together to try and stop the killing of homeless pets.
It hopes to reach that goal in five years, and that, by ending euthanasia of healthy pets in Los Angeles city animal shelters, it will pave the way for other cities to follow.
Last year more than 17,000 healthy pets were killed in Los Angeles.
Led by Best Friends Animal Society, No-Kill LA (NKLA) is a coalition of animal rescue organizations, city shelters and individuals. It launched last week.
“Our plan is straightforward,” NKLA says on its website. “Provide spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters, and increase adoptions through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes.
“Best Friends is providing grants to coalition partners for every pet they adopt to a new home over the number they adopted last year, as well as finding spay/neuter projects for pet owners who can’t afford to have their pets fixed.
“We’re making this happen because the animals deserve it. Standing united toward this singular goal, our mission will become reality.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, california, cats, coalition, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, launch, los angeles, neuter, nkla, no-kill la, party, pets, psa, public service announcement, rescue, shelters, spay
In yesterday’s clip from the award-winning documentary “100,000” we met a man named Anibal who — though virtually homeless himself — struggles to feed some of the stray dogs that populate the town of Guayama in Puerto Rico.
In today’s, we meet another man named Anibal, this one a shelter worker who sincerely believes he is doing dogs a favor, too – by killing them.
He lethally injects about 100 a day; sometimes the sick or aggressive ones, sometimes, when there are no more empty kennels, the healthy ones. At Puerto Rico’s other shelters — and there are only a handful — the same holds true.
Across the territory, about 500 dogs are euthanized a day — 92 percent of those that enter shelter, according to the documentary.
All this week on ohmidog! we’ve been featuring the documentary, which looks at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico and some of the people and organizations — such as Island Dog — that are working to solve the crisis.
“100,000,” directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, depicts the bleak existence stray dogs face on the beaches and streets of Puerto Rico, where they are commonly abandoned and abused and often die slow, cruel deaths.
“That’s why I prefer euthanasia before these animals end up like they really end up,” Anibal Rodriguez explains as he goes about his duties, hoisting another dog from a kennel to be injected. “If this animal hadn’t been picked up … this animal would have died in agony on the streets.”
As he sees it, he’s preventing suffering.
“When I first started working, it was hard. As a human being, one has feelings. I have seen so many abuses cases that I prefer that it’s done through small lethal injection rather than a dog getting brutally killed by a person…
“It’s a job that has to be done.”
(Tomorrow: Director Juan Agustin Marquez accepts an Emmy award, and asks Puerto Ricans to take a pledge)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abuse, anibal rodriguez, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, beaches, documentary, dog, dogs, emmy, euthanasia, euthanize, island dog, juan agustin marquez, killing, lethal injection, neglect, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, streets, suffering
Bombarded by 18,000 emails and faced with a crowd of more than 100 dog lovers, the Cumberland County Animal Control Board last night dropped a proposal to ban adoptions of pit bulls, Rottweilers, chow chows and other breeds.
About 10 breeds were included in the proposal — as were any mixes of them — all of which would have been euthanized within three days of arriving at the North Carolina county’s shelter.
Instead, the Fayeteville Observer reports, the animal control board directed Dr. John Lauby, the animal control director, to look into ways the county can better screen people who adopt animals to ensure they’ll be responsible owners.
The proposed breed ban was recommended about two months after Cumberland County hired a contractor to round up stray and feral dogs in and around Fayetteville — most of which ended up getting euthanized.
That step, and the breed ban, were prompted by complaints from the public about free-running dogs that posed nuisances and dangers.
In October, the Animal Control board recommended that the county deem “unadoptable” any and all bully breeds, as well as Rottweilers chow chows, Great Danes and German shepherds, according to some reports.
Those breeds, and mixes of them — labeled “attack dogs” by one county official – would have been euthanized within 72 hours, unless other shelters or rescues took them.
By Monday night, Lauby said he had received more than 18,000 emails about the proposal, many from activists who — based on online petitions and erroneous news reports — believed the county was to start euthanizing all such breeds Monday.
“We’re not trying to kill anything,” Lauby said. “We’re trying to adopt animals.”
Among those who addressed the board were pit bull owners, rescuers, trainers and groomers, many of whom voiced their opposition to breed specific policies and laws.
“Some of the best dogs I groom are dogs that are on the list,” said Karin Miller, a groomer in Hope Mills. “We can’t categorize the dogs any more than we can categorize people.”
Troy Duke, who runs a Cumberland County pit bull rescue, said the dogs are “suffering from the same stereotypes that racists label other people with.”
Lauby told the board that dog adoptions have increased from 700 per year to about 2,000, but the county still euthanizes some 11,000 dogs annually.
About 1,000 pit bulls arrive at the county shelter a year, most of which are euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption ban, animal control board, animals, attack dogs, ban, breed, breed-specific, chows, cumberland county, dangerous dogs, dogs, emails, euthanasia, euthanize, fayetteville, feral dogs, german shepherds, great danes, john lauby, meeting, north carolina, petitions, pets, pit bulls, policy, proposal, protests, rottweilers, stereotypes, stray dogs, uproar
Susan Kolb, 60, whose dogs had been adjudged dangerous and impounded after she violated an order to get rid of them, apparently took the dogs from the shelter as it was being evacuated.
“We believe there is evidence she had them but it was in the context of the evacuation of the shelter,” Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio told The Jersey Journal. “It looks like there was a misunderstanding in that somebody other than the owner should have removed the dogs.”
Kolb’s dogs, South African Boerboels weighing 160 and 100 pounds, were tied to several downtown Jersey City attacks that, in 2008 and 2009, sent three adults and a baby to the hospital.
The dogs faced euthanization under the state Vicious Dog Law, but Kolb went to trial to defend them in Jersey City Municipal Court. The dogs’ lives were spared when an agreement was reached in which Kolb promised to send the dogs out of state.
The dogs were seized and impounded again when Kolb failed to follow the agreement.
On Saturday. the shelter was being evacuated when it was found that Kolb’s dogs were missing, police said. Police went to Kolb’s home, but neither she nor the dogs were there. On Sunday, a man brought the dogs back to the shelter, officials said.
(Photo: The Jersey Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animals, attacks, boerboels, court, dangerous, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, evacuation, hurricane, hurricane irene, impounded, irene, jersey city, new jersey, order, owner, pets, reclaim, shelter, south african, susan kolb, violate, violation
Here’s a pretty amazing story out of Sulphur, Oklahoma, about a dog who apparently was euthanized, declared dead and, the next morning, was found scurrying around the trash bin in which he had been dumped.
As a result of his tale of survival, hundreds have expressed interest in adopting Wall-e, as the three-month-old dog is being called.
Wall-e and his littermates were dropped off outside the animal shelter in Sulphur. Because all seemed seriously ill, shelter officials say, they were euthanized. After being pronounced dead by a veterinarian, they were all disposed of in a bin outside the shelter, which was scheduled to be emptied that night.
The next morning, though, Animal Control Officer Scott Prall looked in the bin and saw it still held its contents, including Wall-e, who was alive.
“He was just as healthy as could be,” Prall said.
Amanda Kloski of the Arbuckle Veterinary Clinic, took him in, and word about Wall-e, named after the movie robot, spread on Facebook, leading to hundreds of calls from people interested in adopting him.
The vet clinic said they would review the offers this week and choose a permanent home.
Both the clinic and the animal control officer say Wall-e and the others may not have been put to sleep at all if Murray County had a better animal shelter, according to KWTV.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, alive, animal control, animal welfare, animals, dead, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, euthanized, facebook, internet, oklahoma, pets, rescue, shelters, sulphur, survived, survives, survivor, wall-e