The Nevada Supreme Court — no stranger to such matters — will decide whether Onion, the Mastiff mix who killed his owner’s grandson on his first birthday, should live or die.
The court will hear arguments — 30 minutes worth, it has specified — on July 3 before deciding whether the city of Henderson should be allowed to kill the dog.
Another option has been offered by the Lexus Project, a New York-based organization that provides legal representation to dogs.
The Lexus Project intervened in the case and wants to gain custody of Onion, then send him to live at a secure sanctuary in Colorado.
The 120-pound mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix killed Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan by biting him on the head the day of his first birthday party. Later that day, the owner turned Onion over to Henderson animal control officers, who planned to kill the dog in accordance with the city’s vicious-dog ordinance.
The city turned down the Lexus Project’s offer to take responsibility for the dog, and has fought its request to be awarded custody. Onion’s former owner now wants Lexus to have the dog, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
The court battle has been going on for a year now.
Last year, Clark County District Court Joanna Kishner ruled the city of Henderson could proceed with the dog’s execution.
The state Supreme Court issued a stay — it’s second in the case — until arguments could be heard.
Those will take place July 3 at 11:30 a.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 120 pounds, animal control, animals, colorado, death, defense, dog, dogs, euthanasia, execution, henderson, jeremiah, legal, lexus project, life, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, pets, rhodesian, ridgeback, safety, sanctuary, supreme court, the lexus project
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
Lennox the alleged pit bull is scheduled to be euthanized in Belfast this week, despite continuing international efforts to save him.
A protest Saturday in Belfast included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, according to UTV in Belfast, and demonstrations are scheduled at the British and Irish consulates in New York today, organized by No Kill New York.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the U.S., and cover all expenses, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com she has received no response.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 after pit bulls were banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador mix, but dog wardens, after taking measurements, declared him a “possible pitbull type” and claimed that — though he has bitten no one and been the subject of no complaints — he had a personality disorder.
Protesters say they are trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that breed specific legislation is unfair.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bans, belfast, breed, breed bans, breeds, dangerous, demonstrations, dogs, euthanasia, execution, facebook, ireland, laws, lennox, news, offer, pets, pit bull, pitbull, protests, save lennox, twitter, uk, victoria stilwell
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
Our travels have taken us into the past again — this time pretty far, 240 years or so, when my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was captured, convicted for his role in a pre-Revolutionary War uprising and sentenced to die.
Five years before the American Revolution officially began — under orders of North Carolina Royal Gov. William Tryon, being carried out by Col. Edmund Fanning — grandpa James was placed atop a barrel (by most accounts) in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The noose of a rope secured to a tree limb was looped around his neck, and he was permitted a few last words.
“The blood that we have shed will be as good seeds sown in good ground — which soon shall reap a hundredfold!”
On the gallows, grandpa James — and who could blame him for being verbose, given the circumstances — reviewed the causes of the conflict he’d been captured during. He explained that the band of rebellious backwoods farmers he’d been swept up with, known as the Regulators, were seeking only a redress of grievances. And he reiterated the call for an end to unfair taxation and local government corruption, especially in the sheriff’s office.
He had been granted 30 minutes to talk, which might be considered generous were it not for the sentence that was to be carried out when he finished, prescribed by the court thusly:
“That the prisoner should be carried to the place from whence he came, that he should be drawn from thence to the place of execution and hanged by the neck; that he should be cut down while yet alive; that his bowels should be taken out and burned before his face; that his head should be cut off, and that his body should be divided into four quarters, which were to be placed at the king’s disposal, and may the lord have mercy on your soul.”
Speaking from atop the barrel, and apparently still well within his 30-minute time limit, grandpa James worked in one last verbal jab at Col. Fanning — a Yale-educated dandy (my words) — calling him “unfit to hold any office.” Fanning, whose home had been ravaged by rioting Regulators the previous year, ordered a soldier to kick over the barrel, snapping grandpa James’ neck in mid-sentence.
Whether the additional terms of his sentence were carried out — the bowel burning and quartering and such — seems lost to history. But grandpa James, who was convicted not of murder but of violating a government order aimed at quelling uprisings, was later buried, in whole or in parts, along the peaceful green banks of the Eno River, along with five other Regulators captured and hung after what’s known as the Battle of Alamance.
Fortunately — for me anyway — great (times eight) grandpa James had already sown his personal seeds by then, or at least the one from which I, many generations later, would sprout.
I did not learn of grandpa James until I was in my 40′s, which is maybe a good thing because it would not have made for a nice bedtime story.
Once I did, I began researching, sporadically, the history of the Regulators, who over the centuries have been viewed as everything from outlaws to heroes to hillbillies to the true instigators of what would become the Revolutionary War. There are some who have described the bloodshed at the Battle of Alamance — grandpa James being responsible for much of that spillage — as that war’s first battle.
That, I’ve concluded, despite it being engraved on at least one historical marker, is a bit of a stretch. Historical markers, like the Internet, are not to be trusted.
My family connection with a pre-Revolutionary revolutionary, a rabble rouser before it became cool, has prompted some personal speculation.
I don’t put much stock in genes being the force that primarily shape us — at least not when it comes to our hearts (in the non-organic sense) and minds and personalities — yet still I’ve wondered if grandpa James might be the source of my rebellious streak, my disdain for bureaucracies and my belief that public disturbances are often OK, because sometimes the public needs a good disturbing.
Might it explain — even though it existed long before I heard of him — my opposition to capital punishment, not to mention decapitation and bowel burning?
Or, conversely, might his abrupt demise — that rudest of interruptions — be the reason I don’t talk too much? I think not, since learned experiences aren’t passed on through genes (despite what pit bull haters may say), especially those lessons learned a millisecond before, or at the time of death.
Most of all, as I look at the family tree, nooses and all, I wonder: Do I come from righteous activist stock, or rowdy outlaw stock, or is the line between those two sometimes so thin that its hard to separate one from the other? Was great-times-eight grandpa a felon, or folk hero?
(Top photos by John Woestendiek, John and Ace photo by Will Richardson, 14, of Hillsborough)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alamance county, america, battle of alamance, corruption, dissent, edmund fanning, execution, family, family tree, forefathers, gallows, genealogy, government, hang, hanged, hanging, hillsborough, history, insurgents, james pugh, john woestendiek, north carolina, pugh, regulators, revolutionary war, road trip, taxation, travels with ace, william tryon
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed two dogs in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has grown to $11,000.
Rich Britton, a spokesman for the Chester County SPCA, said this morning that the Humane Society of the United States contributed $2,500 of the sum, most of the rest coming from public donations.
The reward started out at $500, grew to $5,000 by the next day, and was up to $11,000 by day’s end, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The dogs, Luna and Emma, both about 2, were killed, and left arranged tail-to-tail along the railroad tracks in Pennsbury Township, Pa. They were found on Sunday. The dogs were owned by a family that has not been publicly identified that lives about three miles from where they were found. They were last seen at the home on Saturday.
Both were shot between the eyes with a small caliber handgun.
Investigators are loking for the owner of a red Ford F-150 pickup truck with a cap that was seen parked beside Brintons Bridge Road with lights flashing sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, he said.
Anyone with information about the crime should call 610-692-6113, Ext. 213, he said.
To contribute to the reward fund, make checks payable to the CCSPCA and mail them to CCSPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, Pa. 19380.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $11, 000, between, chester county, crime, cruelty, emma, executed, execution, eyes, fund, investigation, killed, luna, missing, pennsbury township, pennsylvania, reward, shot, spca
Having convicted dogfighter Ed Faron of cruelty to animals, Wilkes County, N.C. officials, as planned, proceeded to execute about 145 pit bulls — both those seized from Faron’s Wildside Kennel operation and the puppies born in the months before his case came to trial.
If that’s not hypocrisy, what is? In the case of Wilkes County v. Ed Faron, Faron will serve his time and get out of prison, even the paperwork will be maintained in dusty courthouse archives, but the dogs were instantly terminated. When do we execute the victims? When the victim is a pit bull.
Few people see that irony more clearly than Shelia Carlisle — a dog lover, blues singer, and Facebook friend of mine who was one of the few volunteers allowed to help care for the many dogs taken from Wildside Kennels.
“It’s so crazy and insane that there’s just a blanket rule to kill all these dogs. When we look back on this we’re going to say that our attitudes were prehistoric,” Carlisle said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, breed specific legislation, burke county, courts, dangerous dog, dogs, ed faron, euthanasia, executed, execution, law, legal, north carolina, pit bulls, victims, wildside kennels