Mack, a much-loved mutt in Michigan, spent this past week as he has spent the last 10 years — hanging out with the regulars at O’Duffy’s Pub in Kalamazoo, enjoying his favorite snacks and the company of friends.
Last Sunday, though, was Mack’s last Sunday — the 13-year-old German shepherd-collie mix is scheduled to be euthanized today after vets found a large tumor on his liver and other complications.
Jamie Kavanaugh, owner of O’Duffy’s Pub/Cosmo’s Cucina, took Mack to the veterinarian Tuesday and received the diagnosis. “His body is shutting down,” Kavanaugh said.
Mack spent most every day of the last 10 years at the Irish pub in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, according to MLive.com.
“He’s been a big, calm boy for all of his life. He’s very laid back, good with other dogs, people, kids. He’s very tolerant and loving,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s enjoyed being here. He makes his rounds, eats some treats. St. Patrick’s Day won’t be the same without him.”
Since learning of Mack’s illness, Kavanaugh said he’s showered the dog with companionship and treats. On Wednesday night, when Mack stopped by the pub, a customer ordered a filet and gave the first bite to Mack. Kavanaugh planned to bring Mack to the pub last night for a final goodbye.
“The number of people who love this guy, I can’t imagine what the actually number is. It’s people I don’t even know who love him, that come here and enjoy his company. It’s a real testament to the love of this community,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh lost his wife, Kim, the restaurant’s co-owner, just over two years ago
“When my wife passed away … I was really afraid he was going to follow her. Instead, he stuck by my side, stayed by my side and he’s been with me on this journey ever since,” Kavanaugh said of Mack. “Now, I think he feels his work is done. And he’s tired. All I can do is pass the love on.”
Kavanaugh said he plans to have Mack cremated and may take his ashes to Ireland to scatter off the coast of the Irish Sea.
(Photo: Erik Holladay / MLive.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bar, collie, cosmo's cucina, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, irish pub, jamie kavanaugh, kalamazoo, liver, mack, michigan, mix, mutt, o'duffy's pup, oduffy's, owner, pets, put, st patricks day, tumor
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
A concerned citizen saw this dog and, fearing she was being neglected, snapped a photo, posted it online and called animal control.
But the attempt to do good ended badly.
As it turned out, the family that owned her knew she had terminal kidney failure, and was letting live out her final days quietly at home.
All those who saw the picture, and went on to post nasty comments and threaten the dog’s owners, didn’t know that.
To make matters worse, the animal control department in Sparta, N.J., after picking up the dog, euthanized her.
This week, authorities in Sparta, in an attempt to stop the threatening and mean-spirited comments that continue to be directed at the family, issued an official statement to set the record straight.
The press release noted that the dog, Zoey, a Neapolitan mastiff, had been diagnosed with terminal kidney failure in April, and there were no veterinary options to save her life. Her owners, Roni and Elysia Amiel, chose to keep her home to live out her days among those who loved her.
On June 6, a neighbor who saw Zoey lying on the grass near the Amiel home took a photo of her and contacted animal control, believing that the dog had been abused or neglected.
“The investigation concluded that there was NO abuse whatsoever by the Amiel Family and they were only trying to make Zoey as comfortable as possible in her final days at their home,” the police press release said.
Because the dog wasn’t wearing tags, and the neighbor didn’t know who she belonged to, she was assessed at a local animal hospital and euthanized because of her poor health.
“The Sparta Police Department issues this news release not only to set the record straight on behalf of the Amiel Family but to also serve as an absolute warning that this department will not tolerate harassment to any of our residents and these matters will be aggressively investigated and brought to their logical conclusion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animal welfare, animals, bad, civility, comments, do gooder, do gooding, dog, dogs, dying, euthanized, internet, investigation, kidney failure, nasty, neglect, new jersey, online, owners, pets, police, posting, rescue, sparta, threats, tumblr, zoey
A fact of life — or should we say death? — in this country is that whether or not you, as a human, get executed for a crime can depend largely on where your trial is held.
The same is kind of true of impounded dogs — one big difference being they get no trial, there’s usually no crime involved, and, having been surrendered or abandoned, they’re more often victims than criminals.
With dogs, most executions are not a matter of justice, but population control; and the likelihood of that fate varies not just from state to state, but from county to county. By and large, a dog’s chance of getting out of a county-run shelter alive depends primarily on what county they happen to be held in.
Just how much of a toss of the dice it can be was shown in a story Sunday by the Columbus Dispatch. It analyzed data from 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and found that, in 2011, they had kill rates varying from 1 percent to 81 percent.
Dogs who enter the shelter in Lawrence County, in southeastern Ohio, have less than a two in ten chance of getting out alive. Meanwhile, in Carroll County, in northeastern Ohio, only 1 percent of dogs were destroyed, the lowest rate in the state.
The story included a county-by-county interactive map, showing kill and adoption rates.
It’s some exceptional reporting — the kind newspapers should be doing more of — and it clearly shows that, even when they’re right next door, some places value dogs’ lives more than others, and work harder to place and save them.
Statewide, more than 100,000 dogs are impounded annually in Ohio’s county-run animal shelters, and roughly 30 percent, or 30,000, were euthanized in 2011. (Nationally, it’s estimated that 3 to 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.)
“It looks bad. That’s awful,” Lawrence County Dog Warden Bill Click said of the data showing his shelter had the highest kill rate in the state. He added that the county is working to improve those numbers. Lawrence County, like many others, often euthanizes dogs when the shelter gets too crowded.
The best dog wardens, the story points out, are more than wardens. (Is it time to change that outdated term?) They publicize their county shelters, welcome volunteers and visitors, post photos and profiles of their adoptable online and work with rescue groups.
But while some fight daily to keep euthanasia rates low, it seems a lower priority in many counties: 13 have kill rates higher than 50 percent.
Some dog wardens question whether it’s fair to compare the rates of urban and rural dog shelters, saying urban areas generally take in more aggressive animals that have been trained to guard property or fight other dogs, as well as more dogs that have been injured by cars.
But even among urban areas, some county shelters do a far better job than others.
Of Ohio’s urban areas, Hamilton County had the lowest kill rate, at 30 percent. The county contracts with the Cincinnati SPCA, which has worked to reduce adoption prices, extend foster care and bring animals with heartworm and other medical problems back to health, rather than putting them down.
Pit bulls have been most often destined for euthanasia — at least until Ohio dropped its ban and put a new law in place in May of this year that no longer automatically brands them vicious.
Animal welfare advocates have also succeeded in pressuring two counties, Athens and Fairfield, to stop using the gas chamber to euthanize dogs.
They were less successful in Hocking County, where, despite demonstrations and a call to switch to lethal injection, county commissioners decided to continue using gas.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption rates, animal control, animal welfare, animals, carroll county, chances, columbus, control, counties, county, death, death penalty, dispatch, dog wardens, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, execution, gas chambers, interactive, justice, kill rates, lawrence county, lethal injection, life, location, map, news, newspaper, ohio, pets, population, rescues, shelters, survival, wardens
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
That’s when one or more of the five dogs in her care attacked and killed the 23-year-old woman at her home in Decatur, police say.
Despite that, and the euthanization of all the dogs, her family has set up a fund in her name to support rescue efforts at Loving Hands Animal Hospital, where Carey worked.
“Since the second grade when she read the book ‘Throw Away Pets,’ she vowed to be a voice for all animals,” her parents, Greg and Ellen Carey, said in a statement. “Upon placing her first abandoned animal in a permanent loving home in 2003, she volunteered countless hours with rescue networks and animal shelters. There she did what she loved the most: rescuing animals from untenable situations to find them safe, loving homes.”
LuAnn Farrell, the co-founder of the non-profit Angels Among Us Pet Rescue,” said Carey was known for taking in hard to place animals.
“She was one of the good ones because she did take in the ones nobody else would help,” Farrell told 11 Alive in Atlanta.
Farrell said the young woman’s death “kind of makes us all slip back just a little bit and say this is something that can actually happen,” but that she hopes it doesn’t dissuade people from helping animals in need.
“You know that’s the one thing she wouldn’t want people to do, shy away from rescue. It’s already hard enough. We’re already having thousands of them being put to sleep every day. There’s only so many of us that can do it,” said Farrell.
Carey had one of the rescue organization’s animals, a boxer mix, living with her at the time of her death, as well as two Presa Canarios and two pit bulls, one of which, Napolean, she had adopted six years ago when he was eight weeks old.
She was dogsitting one of Presa Canarios, and it was that dog’s owner, Jackie Cira, who discovered Rebecca’s body after she failed to show up for work at Alpharetta’s Loving Hands Animal Clinic.
Police originally investigated her death as a homicide, but last Thursday they announced she was killed by multiple dog bites.
The dogs were all euthanized Wednesday, with the consent of Carey’s parents, a police spokesperson said.
Cira, in remarks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, questioned whether it was necessary to put all the dogs down, and why animal control officials made no apparent effort to determine which dog or dogs inflicted the bites leading to Carey’s death. Cira’s dog, Danai, was also euthanized.
Tim Medlin, interim director of DeKalb Animal Control, said public safety was the priority: “I won’t put another person at risk,” he said.
Donations in Carey’s name can be made to www.angelsrescue.org, by putting Carey’s name in the remarks section. They can also be mailed to Loving Hands Animal Hospital, 13374 Hwy 9, Alpharetta, GA, 30004.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, alpharetta, angels among us, animals, attacked, bitten, boxer, care, contributions, death, decatur, dogs, euthanized, five dogs, foster, fund, georgia, investigation, killed, loving hands animal hospital, pets, pit bulls, police, presa canarios, provider, Rebecca Carey, rescue, rescuer, shelter, throwaway pets, tragedy, volunteer, volunteers
Activists say an animal shelter in Lewisburg, Tennessee, put down nine dogs even though officials knew rescue organizations were on the way to pick them up.
The activists held a protest in the town square of Lewisburg, demanding changes in how the local animal control department operates.
The protesters say Lewisburg’s city manager Tommy Engram last week ordered 13 animals to be put down at animal control, nine of which had rescue organizations on the way to claim them, NewsChannel 5 reported.
The animal shelter only holds about 20 dogs, but the protesters said it was only a matter of hours before rescuers would have been there.
“… We’ve been told multiple times that we are the crazy dog people, but we are. We are here for the dogs, and we aren’t going to let this go away,” said Ronnie Van Zandt, one of the protesters. “We want answers. We want to know why they put the dogs down; we want more transparency in their practices and procedures,”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, lewisburg, pets, protest, rescue, rescuers, shelters, tennessee
The dog whose only crime was resembling a pit bull was euthanized today, after a deadline for legal appeals expired.
His execution – despite 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve — brings an end to an international effort to save him.
The BBC reports that the city council issued a statement that read:
“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.”
“The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
In June, after two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down, Northern Ireland’s highest court rejected Caroline Barnes’ legal bid to overturn an order calling for the destruction of her pet.
Ms. Barnes insisted that Lennox was not dangerous, and her battle to save Lennox snowballed into an often-heated international campaign to save his life.
One Belfast councillor has received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction, the BBC reported, and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating messages.
Lennox was impounded by Belfast City Council’s dog wardens in May of 2010, when a new breed specific law went into effect, banning pit bull types in the UK.
Among those calling for Lennox to be spared were boxer Lennox Lewis, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and television dog training expert Victoria Stillwell, who had offered to have Lennox re-homed in America where he would not be in contact with the public.
Stillwell said she was “absolutely devastated” that Lennox had been put down. “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” she said.
Stillwell said requests that the family be allowed to visit the dog one last time before he was put down were declined — as were requests to allow the family see the dog after he was euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: belfast, belfast city council, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, dangerous, denied, dog, dogs, euthanized, executed, global, international, ireland, killed, laws, lennox, news, pit bull, pit bull type, put down, put to sleep, resemblance, uk, victoria stillwell, visits
Austin Rhoades met Delilah, a Lab mix, Friday at the Cleveland Animal Shelter and filled out paperwork to adopt the dog.
He paid the adoption fee and agreed to come back Monday to pick up the dog after she received the necessary vaccinations.
But by Monday morning, Delilah had been euthanized.
When he arrived at the shelter, staff brought out another dog instead, Rhoades said. “We asked them had they put our dog down and they said yes.”
Animal Control Director Gene Smith told WRCB in Chattanooga that it was ”an honest mistake.”
He said Delilah was mistaken for a similar dog, and that that disciplinary action was being taken against the kennel worker responsible.
Animal rescuer Beth Foster said it wasn’t the first time that has happened: “There have been several occasions where we have said we are coming to get that animal in the morning. We went and it was dead.” Foster is part of a group called Cleveland For A No Kill City, which organized last month and is calling for a change in the shelter’s euthanization and adoption policies.
“We need to change this culture of our local animal control to one about saving lives and facilitating adoption, instead of kill and dispose, which is where we are now,” Foster said. She and others are pushing for a policy change that would increase the three-day holding period before strays could be put down.
Smith says the shelter complies with all state guidelines, and that any change in policy would have to be approved by the police department.
In other bad news for dogs, the Cleveland City Council announced this week that a special fund that has been used to reduce the cost of adoptions has run out of money, meaning the $50 fee will probably go back to as much as $100.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, animal shelter, animals, austin rhoades, cleveland, delilah, dog, dogs, euthanized, fee, gene smith, holding, lab, mistake, mix, paid, period, pets, put down, rescue, shelter, tennessee
Ellen, one of the oldest of the dogs seized from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation, passed away earlier this month at Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in Utah.
“Ellen’s health is failing,” Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Patti Patterson, said of the 11-year old dog. “Although we do not know the cause of her illness and deterioration, we have exhausted all diagnostic and treatment efforts that we feel could help Ellen.”
An unknown disease was causing weight loss and muscle loss and preventing her stomach from emptying. Despite a barrage of tests, the medical team couldn’t determine the source of the problems. With her quality of life deemed no longer at an acceptable level, the decision was made to euthanize her.
During her final two days, Ellen had a steady stream of visitors, according to the Best Friends website.
“I’ve never had a dog who was so affectionate,” says caregiver Maddie Haydon. “She bonded with everyone she met.”
Most people Ellen met, though, were met from a distance.
In accordance with court orders, the former Vick dogs taken in by Best Friends were not allowed to interact directly with Sanctuary visitors, or even volunteers – at least not until they were upgraded from “red-collar” status.
For Ellen, that day finally came last month.
Some visitors were hesitant to meet Ellen, even from afar, but when they did, she generally altered any mistaken notions they had about pit bulls.
“You could just see them change their perception,” said caregiver Tom Williams. ”She went a long way toward helping not only the Vick dogs that are here, but pit bulls in general. She helped to dispel the myths about them.”
One volunteer figured out early that Ellen was a lover, not a fighter.
Betty Grieb, though a fence separated them, spent more than three years reading to Ellen.
When Ellen’s status was upgraded, and Grieb got to meet her in person, “It was like a dream come true,” she said. ”I really loved her. She was such a sweet girl, so full of life.”
(Photo and video courtesy of Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, best friends, dead, dies, dog, dogfighting, dogs, eldest, ellen, euthanized, ill, medical, michael vick, oldest, passes, pets, pit bulls, red collar, rehabilitation, status, tests, vick, vicktory dogs, video