And that’s even more the case after surgery yesterday to remove 2-1/2 pounds of loose skin from the dog who once tipped the scales at 77 pounds.
Obie was recovering at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, in Oregon, after surgery to remove the excess skin that remained after he lost 40 pounds in 8 months.
Obie’s caretaker, Nora Vanatta, says the surgery went well and that she hopes to bring him home today, according to KGW in Portland.
Obie weighed 77 pounds when he was given up by his former owners in Puyallup, Washington, last year and assigned to a foster home by a rescue organization.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue placed Obie — that’s him to the left in his beefier days — in Vanatta’s care. But after his girth garnered national attention the organization asked for the dog back, claiming Vanatta — by publicizing his crash diet and seeking contributions to his care — was exploiting him.
When Vanatta refused to turn him over, they filed a lawsuit, accusing her of using the “sensationalistic promotional value of his unusual obesity” and “earning money off of his public exhibition on national and regional television shows,” while not taking care of his condition.
A settlement in the case was reached in January, allowing Vanatta to keep the dog.
Before the Tuesday surgery, Obie was down to 37 pounds and four ounces.
“We haven’t weighed him since the surgery, but he lost 2 1/2 pounds of skin” Vanatta said. “So he should be around 35 pounds now. I figure his healthy weight is between 28 and 30 pounds.”
For now, he’s resting comfortably at the veterinary clinic (left), from which he’s expected to be released today — a few pounds lighter and his skin much tigher.
Vets will evaluate Obie to determine if more surgery is needed after he loses the last five pounds, a goal Vanatta hopes will be achieved late this summer.
Obie’s fight with obesity can be followed on the Facebook page Vanatta created on his behalf.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 35 pounds, 77 pounds, animals, biggest loser, custody, dachshund, dispute, dogs, doxie, emergency veterinary clinic, excess, facebook, fat, foster, health, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, removed, rescue, skin, surgery, tualatin, veterinary, washington, weight
David Gizzarelli took in more than $17,000 in donations from big-hearted dog lovers in what he described as an attempt to save his dog Charlie, who was deemed dangerous after attacking a National Park Service horse.
But his attorney says Gizzarelli is unable to help out with the $9,000-plus tab for veterinary care, feeding and shelter that Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier, has received since last August, when he was taken into the custody of animal control in San Francisco.
Apparently the $17,000 that was donated was spent on attorney fees, paying for the horse’s vet bills and “other living expenses.” That’s what Gizzarelli’s new attorney says, adding that his client can’t afford to help pay the bill and is currently sleeping in his car.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins ordered Gizzarelli to pay anyway — specifically, half of the costs for boarding and treating Charlie since the incident.
Gizzarelli is still raising money to “help save Charlie” — via a Facebook page and his Help Save Charlie website — even though he has relinquished ownership of the dog, who is now in foster care and will likely end up in an adoptive home or sanctuary.
Until his court appearance, he had not provided any accounting of where the donated money went, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Charlie has been in the custody of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco since August, when he was deemed “vicious and dangerous” by the police department. The cost for housing him and providing veterinary care for an earlier injury totaled $9,808 as of Monday’s hearing.
Gizzarelli, in an earlier settlement, agreed to give up custody of Charlie and attend a hearing to discuss payment for Charlie’s care.
But he kept selling “Help Save Charlie” merchandise and collecting donations even after that. And while Charlie could probably still use help — he hasn’t been deemed adoptable yet — it appears little if any of the donated money has gone for the dog.
Questions during Monday’s hearing revolved around the amount of legal fees Gizzarelli paid to two attorneys, and $3,000 his attorney said was spent on ”food, transportation and housing” — apparently for the human, not the dog.
Gizzarelli’s attorney, Orestes Cross, said his client has no money. “My client is on social welfare, living on $422 a month and sleeping out of his car,” told the judge during the hearing. “He fought the fight because he cares about his dog.”
Rebecca Katz, director of Animal Care and Control, says some donors to Charlie are likely upset. “I don’t believe those who contributed expected that money to go toward personal expenses,” she said. Since the settlement, Charlie has been in foster care. According to Katz, he needs several more months of training before he can be considered for adoption or placed in a sanctuary.
Gizzarelli faced federal assault charges after the attack on the police horse, but according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office those have been dropped.
(Photo: Help Save Charlie Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accountability, accounting, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attacked, avid gizzarelli, bills, care, charlie, court, donations, donatoins, donors, expenses, facebook, feeding, help save charlie, horse, magistrate, money, national park service, park service, san francisco, shelter, veterinary, website
A Raleigh city councilwoman posted a photo of her dog relieving himself on a marble column of the statehouse, and compared her canine’s act of seeming disrespect to the way the Republican-controlled General Assembly is treating North Carolina’s citizens.
“I figured, what better way to get my frustration across than with humor?” said City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin, who used her Maltese-Yorkie mix and Facebook to register her displeasure.
“It shows a little outrage, and I think a little outrage is appropriate right now,” Baldwin said Friday. “I think it’s time for the gloves to come off.”
Baldwin on Friday posted a photo on Facebook of her dog, Jack Bauer — named for the terrorist-fighting agent from the TV show “24″ – relieving himself on a marble column outside the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Democratic councilwoman admits it may be undiplomatic, but she says the image seems to capture the sort of disrespect that, in her view, Republican lawmakers are showing — particularly in regards to a deal the city of Raleigh made with the state to lease the 325-acre grounds of the closed Dorothea Dix mental hospital for a regional park.
Republican lawmakers have moved to kill the deal, which had been signed and approved by former Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.
Bills introduced last week would essentially tear up that contract. Republican lawmakers say the deal is not good for taxpayers, and that the $68 million the state could receive over the decades from the city is too low, according to the Associated Press
“It’s beyond me how lawmakers, who are supposed to uphold the law, can think they can undo a legally binding contract,” Baldwin said. “This is nothing more than bullying and intimidation by some members of the General Assembly.”
“I was hoping for the best, but I think I’m seeing the worst,” Baldwin said of the GOP legislative agenda. “When I think about some of the legislation that has moved forward lately, whether it’s telling local governments what design standards they should have, or getting rid of renewable energy tax credits, and then you through Dix on top of that, you just sit there and say, ‘What are we doing?’”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capitol, city council, column, deal, dog, dogs, dorothea dix, facebook, general assembly, jack bauer, lease, maltese, marble, mary-ann baldwin, mental hospital, mix, north carolina, park, pee, peeing, pees, pets, photo, politics, post, raleigh, republicans, statehouse, urinating, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
An Iowa couple whose dog was stolen when they were visiting San Antonio has gotten her back — though exactly how isn’t clear.
James Maschmann and his wife were visiting the city in February when they stopped to eat, parking their car at a Cracker Barrel and leaving their 4-year-old shih-poo inside, with the windows cracked.
When they returned, Katie Jo was missing along with Maschmann’s cellphone, according to the San Antonio Express-News
Last week, the couple posted an ad on Craigslist, offering $1,000 for the dog’s return. San Antonio police also issued an alert last week, releasing surveillance video of a white pick up truck seen in the parking lot and asking people to come forward with any information about Katie Jo.
Police haven’t said how Katie Jo was found, or whether anyone was charged in the theft.
But according to a Facebook page dedicated to Katie Jo’s return, the animal was recovered and returned early Monday:
“Katie Jo is home safe and sound!! Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! We are absolutely overjoyed to have her back!”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cracker barrell, craigslist, dog, dogs, facebook, iowa, katie jo, owners, parking lot, pets, police, poodle, recovered, returned, reward, san antonio, shih-poo, shih-tzu, stolen, surveillance, video
Vick was set to tour during the off-season to promote his autobiography Finally Free.
But online threats, made on bookstore websites and on Facebook, led the publisher to reconsider.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing, said in a statement.
“We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities,” Williamson added.
The publisher canceled planned signings in Atlanta, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Vick was convicted in 2007 and served 19 months in prison for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring
According to Philly mag.com, recent threats against him includes these remarks:
“I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals.”
“Hope your kids don’t fall in a pool with a battery.”
“I would snap your neck if I met you, your [sic] a piece of trash.”
PhillyMag.com reports Vick has received an increasing number of threats since acknowledging he and his family had brought a dog into their home.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, autobiography, book, book tour, bookstores, canceled, cancels, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, facebook, finally free, football, internet, michael vick, nfl, online, pets, philadelphia eagles, publisher, publishing, quarterback, threats, vick, worthy publishing
As often as we bring you stories of police officers shooting dogs, it’s only right that we pass along news of cops who go out of their way to help one.
Seattle police officer Eric Michl went pretty far out of his way – helping to find a temporary home for the dog of a man he arrested, and driving on his day off from Seattle to Vancouver to place the dog with a foster family.
Last month, Michl pulled over a van that had changed lanes without signaling and arrested the driver, Juan Crespo, on a charge of driving under the influence. Crespo, the officer learned, also had a warrant from San Diego, where he was wanted for burglary. Also in the van was Crespo’s dog — a German shepherd named Liana — who had commited no offense.
Michl loaded her into the back of his police car and, as Crespo was being booked, drove her to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
On the way, Liana stuck her nose through the partition and licked his ear.
San Diego, it turned out, wanted Crespo extradited, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Between that attempt, which Crespo is fighting, and the local charges, it looked like it would be a while before his court cases came to a conclusion — far longer than the amount of time the Seattle Animal Shelter keeps unclaimed dogs.
That weighed on Michl. He checked with the shelter to see if it could hold Liana for the duration of Crespo’s court case. It couldn’t. That’s when Michl contacted Crespo’s defense attorney. Highly irregular. And highly cool.
“I just felt really bad that this dog and her owner would have to be separated,” Michl said. ” … Separating her from her owner would be an injustice. It wouldn’t be fair for the dog and for him.”
Working with the defense attorney, Megan Giske, Michl tried to locate someone from Crespo’s family to foster Liana, but they couldn’t find an appropriate home.
That’s when Michl turned to Facebook.
“She deserves a chance to live a full and happy life,” he wrote in a post. “If you know of anyone interested, please get a hold of me. I can provide details of her evaluation by the kennel manager.”
This past weekend, a friend of the suspect’s sister agreed to take Liana until Crespo is released.
The Seattle Animal Shelter gave Liana vaccinations and installed a microchip, waiving any fees.
He met the new foster parents at the Vancouver police station, and he reports that the friend, her two children and Liana all appeared happy with the new arrangement.
What got into Michl? And why can’t more police officers show canines that kind of compassion? We can’t answer the second question, but the Post-Intelligencer article provides some insight into the first.
In an interview, Michl spoke of his dog, Tommy, who died last last April. When Michl had to leave his son alone for nighttime patrols, Tommy, a black Lab, would sleep on his bed. Tommy died at age 8 of cancer, but the memory of him is still strong.
“Your dogs never leave you, no matter what,” Michl said.
Maybe it was that memory, or the lick from Liana while she was in the backseat. Perhaps even Crespo entered into the equation as well. Maybe, while Michl went far beyond the call of duty, it was just smart police work.
“I’m hoping once he’s out of jail he’ll remember that someone cared enough to do this for him and his dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of Eric Michl, via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelter, animals, arrest, attorney, beyond, burglary, call of duty, compassion, courts, dog, dogs, drunk driving, duty, eric michl, extradition, facebook, family, foster, german shepherd, good cop, juan crespo, law enforcement, liana, officer, pets, police, seattle, shelter, suspect, vancouver
But not until after traveling a pretty bumpy road.
In December, the beagle-German shepherd landed in the Nash County Animal Shelter in North Carolina, where, after going unadopted, the day was nearing when he’d be euthanized.
His cause was taken up by a local animal rescue group, Promoting Animal Welfare in N.C., which persuaded a rescue group in Vermont to take him in.
Arrangements were made to ship him north, where he was deemed more likely to get adopted.
As the Rocky Mount Telegram tells it, Felix and another dog were headed up Interstate 95 in January when the van they were in crashed in Emporia, Virginia. Both dogs were ejected from their crates and the vehicle. The other dog was hit by a car and killed. Felix disappeared.
Felix spent the next three weeks wandering as dog lovers in North Carolina and Virginia joined forces to try and find him. They created “Operation Finding Felix” — a Facebook page that quickly drew more than 1,000 followers.
Frequently, sightings of him were reported, by residents and truckers who also were keeping an eye out for him. But none panned out. Promoting Animal Welfare offered a $600 reward for his return, and a search dog was hired to help track him down, but neither led to immediate results.
Each weekend, volunteers searched for the dog around Emporia, posting fliers, hiking through the woods, and enlisting the help of others, like the manager of a local Burger King who allowed volunteers to post fliers about Felix inside the restaurant.
On Feb. 24, one of the restaurant’s customers, Pat Holland, saw the dog’s picture and realized she had seen him by her apartment earlier that day.
She rushed home and found the dog on a neighbor’s front steps.
“He looked like he was hungry, so I put some food out there for him to eat and put some water out there,” the neighbor, Marty Newkirk said. “The next thing I know he was laying down at my door.”
Newkirk had let the dog inside. He was planning on letting him stay the night, and even thinking about contacting apartment management about the possibility of keeping him.
Newkirk and Holland called police, who had also been cooperating in the search for Felix.
“They were looking for the dog also,” Newkirk said. “Everybody in Virginia was looking for the dog.”
Volunteers from the North Carolina rescue group came and picked Felix up, Newkirk said. “They started crying because they were happy to see the dog, I started crying because they were taking him.”
Back in North Carolina, back where he started, Felix finally found a home.
Before his ill-fated trip north — while Felix was getting neutered, and vaccinated, and treated for heartworm — he was being fostered by a young woman. She’d tried to persuade her boyfriend and his family to adopt Felix. Already having a dog, they declined.
When Felix got back to town, after all he’d been through, they changed their minds.
(Photo: Rocky Mount Telegram)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 95, accident, adoption, animal shelter, animals, burger king, crash, death row, dog, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, felix, interstate, lost, missing, nash county, north carolina, operation finding felix, pets, promoting animal welfare, rescue group, rescued, rocky mount, transport
We love it when a distressing dog story turns into an uplifting one — as is often the case, it seems: Some lowly human mistreats a dog; some angel-like human comes to that dog’s rescue.
We hate it when a feel-good dog story turns bad.
That appears to be the case with the tale of the photographer in California who helped a man get his dog out of a city shelter.
The woman who took the touching photos of Dave Thomas after he learned he didn’t have enough money to retrieve his dog, who posted them on Facebook, and who raised enough money to help him, now says she’s had a falling out with him.
That’s according to KABC in Los Angeles, which helped the photographer find Thomas after the photo went viral and funds started coming in.
Maria Sanchez says she used about half of the donated funds to pay for the dog’s shots, neutering and kennel fees so Buzz Lightyear, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, could go home with Thomas.
Thomas wanted the rest of the money, as well.
Sanchez says she originally planned to let Thomas have the money — but not in cash. Instead she was going to apply it to his unpaid traffic. Thomas asked for all the cash, though. And Sanchez decided to refund what remained to the donors, or use it to help other animals.
That led to an angry voice mail from Thomas, which Sanchez posted on line (click on the video above).
Thomas was arrested last Friday, and animal control picked Buzz up and placed him in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
When Thomas, upon his release, went to the shelter, he was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees to get Buzz back. Sanchez, who regularly visits the shelter to take pictures of adoptable dogs and post them on the Internet — in hopes they will get adopted before their time is up — came across Thomas, who had only $6, as he visited his dog.
When she posted the photos of a sobbing Thomas and his dog on her Facebook page, donations started coming in to help him get his dog back — more money than was needed.
In the view of Thomas, apparently, he deserved that money, too.
That adds a sour note to an otherwise sweet tale. But even though the previously sympathetic character at its center turned out to be something less than gracious, maybe even greedy, it still has a shining one, Maria Sanchez.
Not to mention Buzz Lightyear, who we’d guess is enjoying his newfound freedom, and doesn’t care a whit where the extra money goes.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, biting the hand that feeds you, Buzz, buzz lightyear, california, dave thomas, dogs, facebook, funds, help, maria sanchez. photographer, more, pets, photography, raised, reclaim, san bernadino, shelter, spay-neuter, video, voice mail, wants
An Oklahoma teenager has admitted he shot and killed a pit bull with a bow and arrow and posted a photo of its corpse on Facebook, but says the dog appeared aggressive.
Caisen Green, 18, who had fled his hometown with his mother after outrage over the Facebook post led to threats, was interviewed Tuesday night by Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Chennault said he will add Green’s statement to his report and deliver it to the District Attorney’s Office today. Prosecutors will then decide whether Green will be charged, the Tahlequah Daily Press reported.
Green told sheriff’s officials that the dog was one of two that wandered onto his family’s property as he was practicing with his bow and arrow.
“The pit and a smaller, non-pit bulldog came into the yard,” said Chennault. “The pit bulldog looked diseased.” Green told Chennault that when he tried to scare the dogs away the pit bull growled and began to move toward him. He said the dog ran about 30 yards after he shot him with an arrow.
Green posted a Facebook photo of the dead pit bull with the message, “For all you Pit lovers out there, here’s what happens when one shows up around my house.”
Lou Hays, who volunteers with the Humane Society of Cherokee County said Green bragged about killing when he was contacted about the post, and didn’t indicate that the animal was causing any trouble .
Hays said HSCC would push for Green to be prosecuted and receive community service at the local shelter.
Green’s post was removed after calls, emails and faxes flooded into Cherokee County authorities over the weekend, many of them demanding he be arrested and expelled from school, some of them making threats.
Chennault said his meeting with Green and his attorney had to be set up at an “undisclosed location” because of the threats made toward Green and his family.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, arrow, bow, bow and arrow, caisen green, cherokee county, dog, dogs, facebook, high school, interview, investigation, killed, oklahoma, outrage, pets, pit bull, sheriff, shot, student, teenager, threatening, threats, undersheriff
While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter