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
Lilica lives in a junkyard in São Carlos, Brazil, along with another dog, a cat, some chickens, a mule, and a human caretaker named Neile Vania Antonio, who found her abandoned as a pup and took her in.
Every night, Lilica walks two miles to the home of Professor Lucia Helena de Souza, who takes care of 13 stray dogs and 30 cats.
Lucia prepares a large meal, and Lilica eats some of it. Then she carries the rest two miles back home to share with her fellow junkyard dwellers.
It’s a routine that has been going on every day for three years, according to this report.
When she first started feeding Lilica, Lucia said, ”I realized that she ate and then stared at what was in the bag.” When a neighbor suggested that Lilica might want to take the rest home, Lucia tied up the bag and Lilica carried it home.
“From that day on we do it,” said Lucia.
Lucia meets Lilica every night at 9:30 pm. Lilica eats some of the meal and then carries the rest back down the highway and delivers it to her family.
Lilica’s caretaker, Neile, said the dog’s spirit of sharing is more than she sees in some people.
“People don’t do that. Some people hide and do not want to share what they have with others. She did not. Lilica is an exceptional animal.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, animals, brazil, cats, chickens, dog, dog food, dogs, feeding, food, highway, junkyard, lilica, Lucia Helena de Souza, mule, Neile Vania Antonio, pets, sao carlos, share, sharing, stray, video
Ace and I had a visitor over the holidays — a highly vocal, but not too demanding 12-year-old mutt named Gracie.
My cousin and her husband in Charlotte were headed off on a cruise and they were having problems finding a petsitter for Gracie, who has never been kenneled. So I volunteered.
It wasn’t my first adventure in petsitting. I’d had a handful of canine guests in my home in Baltimore, and served as wrangler for three more while housesitting in Santa Fe. I’d learned, both times, that most issues that come up can be easily worked out, usually by the dogs themselves.
I decided they should eat in separate areas, just to be safe, so I’d fill one bowl, and call one dog. Both, because their names rhymed, came. When I said “stay,” both stayed. When I attached their names to the commands – ”Ace stay, Grace come” — that didn’t work either.
Finally, I got one to the porch, and fed the other inside, confusing them both in the process.
On day two, Gracie stopped eating entirely. Even blobs of liverwurst — in which her pills get hidden — had no appeal to her. Wanting her to get at least a little nutrition, I smeared peanut butter on her nose and let her lick it off.
Eventually, I broke out the most special of my special dog treats, and after a good sniffing, she decided to try one. On day three, she was eating normally again, and I’d figured out that feeding them both at the same time in the same place worked best.
By the second day, I’d noticed Gracie, who spent the first night on an extra dog bed, was eyeing mine. It’s only a foot off the ground, but she just stood by it, put her head on it and looked at it longingly. Being old and arthritic — her, not me – I gave her a boost and she spent almost the whole day there.
I worried that Ace, who likes my bed too, would take offense at her occupation of it, but, once I told him it was OK, he just jumped in and joined her.
If they were positioned right, there was plenty of room for both. With only minor repositioning, I could fit in, too.
For walks, I’d take them both on a short one, then give Ace a longer one. That seemed to suit them fine.
What I never totally figured out was Gracie’s whining/singing. She whines when she’s happy, she whines when she’s not. She whines when she wants something. She whines, I think, when she wants nothing at all, except maybe to hear her own voice.
Ace, puzzled by that behavior, quickly got used to it. At first, he’d rush to her side, but eventually — as I kept saying, “What is it, girl, what do you want?” — she became background music to him.
Just about every worry I had, when it came to the two of them, turned out to not be worth worrying about. As long as I supplied the food, water, walks and love, they’d easily figure out the rest — the less help from me, the better.
It’s us humans who make things complicated.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, attention, beds, behavior, complications, dog, dogs, elderly, feeding, grace, gracie, guest, humans, old, pet sitting, pets, petsitting, visitor, walks, whining, worries
That’s about three times the average weight of a Labrador — and enough that it required four people using towels as slings to lift him when he arrived at the RSPCA’s Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent.
The 12-year-old dog was surrendered to the RSPCA by an elderly owner who kept forgetting he had already fed his pet, according to the Daily Mail.
(I am pretty sure I did that with Ace yesterday, giving him dinner twice.)
Alfie struggled to walk more than a few steps when he arrived, and he couldn’t lift his legs the few inches needed to get into a slightly raised bed at the kennel. He’s now about halfway to his target weight, staff members say.
“He literally could not stand up when he arrived because he was so fat,” said Christine Dooley, center manager. “I have never seen a dog that fat before in my 27 years with the RSPCA … He was just a massive blob with a leg at each corner. He was being fed to death …”
“When he first came in he couldn’t go on walks because of his size, but each day as the weight is coming off he is able to take a few steps further. We have to be careful when staff take him for a walk because if he sits down and refuses to get back up we have to call in extra people to lift him up again.
“We want the weight to come off slowly to give his leg muscles a chance to build up strength and for his skin to shrink … He’s such a lovely dog and his tail never stops wagging. Everyone here has fallen in love with him.’
Once Alfie has reached a manageable weight, the center will put him up for adoption.
(Photo: Ferrari Press Agency, via Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, alfie, animals, britain, canine, diet, dog, dogs, elderly, fat, fattest, feeding, forget, forgot, kent, labrador, loss, obese, obesity, overfed, owner, pets, retriever, rspca, surrender, surrendered, uk, weight, yellow lab
Delegates of the American Veterinary Medical Association voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt a policy encouraging people to avoid feeding their dogs a raw meat diet.
They they went on to attend the AVMA’s four-day convention in San Diego, which featured a performance by Smash Mouth and a party on the USS Midway — all sponsored by, among others, makers of dry dog food.
A lot of people are finding that a little fishy.
An AVMA wrap-up of the meeting says the new policy — which it notes has “certainly been a controversial topic” — was approved last Thursday.
After discussion, the AVMA House of Delegates approved a slightly amended version of the proposed policy on feeding raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets to pets. Instead of using the words “never feed,” the proposed policy was amended to read “avoid feeding.”
(My mind sees no distinction between the two, other than the latter sounding slightly less bossy.)
While the AVMA has said scientific research is behind the decision, comments on the AVMA website criticize not just the soundness of the policy, but whether the sole reason for it relates to the funding the AVMA receives from big dog food companies, like Hills and Purina.
Said one commenter: “Please know that I will be having a discussion with my vet about membership in the AVMA, which is voluntary. I will make sure she knows that I have NO respect for an organization that bases it’s recommendations not on sound science (there have been NO studies on raw vs kibble diets from a canine health perspective), but on the all mighty dollar. So I’ll take my dollars to a vet that believes as I do, that the AVMA is not an organization to support.”
Another called the policy “nothing more than a Hail-Mary pass for a PFI desperate to hold onto their profits and using every bit of leverage they can to do so (how pathetic the AVMA allowed themselves to be so used). It will, I believe, make spreading the word about raw feeding more difficult in the short term… but the truth will prevail in the end.”
Another commenter, who likes capitalizing for emphasis, wrote: “Why don’t you just LOOK at who the ‘sponsors’ of the AVMA Convention are? On the FRONT PAGE of your ‘newsletter’ brief on the convention is a 1/8 PAGE ad from – who else? PURINA! You are all NOTHING more than PAID OFF CRIMINALS! I hope the Illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to become involved. You are NOT a Non-Profit Organization, you are a SHILL for Big pet Food manufacturers (Purina and Hills in particular) … The AVMA has ZERO credibility and I will NOT patronize any vet who is a member. If that means I have to travel, then so be it.”
The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution, the AVMA said.
According to the AVMA website, all delegates in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as connections to dog food companies, before the vote. The AVMA says that is standard procedure in such matters.
“Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets,” the website notes, “and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it.
“It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”
What is it then, one might ask. To point to the risks of one type of dog food and ignore the dangers of another (like the risks of bloating and the nutritional lack of many a dry dog food) might be a good strategy for fundraising, but it’s not good policy when it comes to consumers and dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, association, avma, conflict of interest, consumers, convention, dog food, dogs, feeding, fund raising, house of delegates, influence, meat, non-profit, nonprofit, pets, pfi, policy, public-private, raw, raw diet, san diego, smash mouth, sponsors, undercooked, uss midway, veterinarians, veterinary
The American Veterinary Medical Association next month could give final approval to a policy that discourages feeding pets “raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets” — on the grounds that they are unsafe for dogs, cats and humans.
Some people see the measure as a proactive and well-reasoned stance, aimed at making our dogs and ourselves safer.
Some see it as meddling.
And some see it as a conspiracy.
I, not being a dog food expert, fall into the middle ground — those vast numbers of folks who are highly confused by our dog-feeding options, puzzled over what truly is best for our dogs, befuddled by how so-called experts can be telling us exact opposite things, scared by anything from China, fretting over what we can afford, and, all the while, wondering how something like dog food has managed to become the volatile topic it has.
Emotions about dog food, given all the scares and recalls of the past decade, sometimes seem to run nearly as high as those in the abortion debate, and proponents of one kind of food or another are just about as firmly entrenched in their beliefs.
My dog Ace thrived on a raw diet the two years he was on it. His coat was shinier, his health was good, his stools were less massive, leading a layman like myself to belief that, as its proponents claim, it was a more natural choice for his species, and one he seemed to absorb something from, unlike kibble, which just seemed to go in one end and out the other.
(We switched back to kibble and canned when we entered a refrigerator-less phase of life, and haven’t gone back on raw for budget reasons.)
Even without Ace as a customer, the raw diet has continued to grow in popularity — probably at least in part because of all the issues surrounding other forms of dog food, which, we’d point out, the AVMA hasn’t felt a need to take a stand on.
Next month, at its meeting in San Diego, the AVMA House of Delegates will be voting on a policy discouraging feeding pets a raw diet, based on scientific studies that have shown raw meat, unless it has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens, can be contaminated with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus.
These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and even be life-threatening, the AVMA says.
All that is true enough. Then again, it’s also true of the hamburger meat you bring home from the grocery store. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, avma, bacteria, barf, brenda bax, conspiracy, delta society, director, dog, dog food, dogs, feeding, house of delegates, industry, marketing, meat, meeting, pet food, pets, policy, proposal, purina, raw, raw diet, raw meat, salmonella, san diego, susan thixton, the truth about pet food, theory
The cubs were born in May in a zoo at the Oktyabrsky health resort in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“She’s cleaning them and breast feeding them as if they were her own,” the zoo’s assistant director, Viktoria Kudlayeva, told the Associated Press. “And they also sleep together.”
The cubs, named Clyopa and Plyusha, are also being fed goat’s milk.
Kudlayeva said that the cubs pose no danger to the dog even though they are already showing their claws and hissing.
“They aren’t aggressive and they depend on her for feeding,” she said.
(Photo: Cleopatra feeds two baby tigers; by Igor Okunin / Associated press)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Black Sea, breast, cleopatra, cubs, dog, dog nurses tigers, dogs, feeding, nurses, nursing, Oktyabrsky, pets, resort, russia, shar-pei, sharpei, siberian tiger, Sochi, tigers, Viktoria Kudlayeva, zoo
Sydney, a beagle-terrier mix in Michigan, has taken on the job of nursing five kittens.
The dog’s owner, Heather Rector, of Portage, brought the kittens home last week after they were rescued from a construction site.
Sydney’s maternal instincts — she has had three litters of her own — kicked right in.
And, stranger yet, she started lactating, her owner says.
“Two days of them being here, she was fully lactating, and … she hasn’t stopped lactating yet,” Rector said.
Sydney is feeding and bathing the kittens and won’t let them wander far without bringing them back to her bed.
Rector, a new mother herself, says she’s proud of Sydney’s compassion. ”You don’t see a lot of people or animals do that anymore, and I think she did the exact thing I would have done.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beagle, behavior, construction, dog, dogs, feeding, found, heather rector, interspecies, kittens, lactating, litter, michigan, mix, mother, mothering, nursing, pets, portage, relationships, site, sydney, terrier, video, washing
At least that’s how your dog sees you, says Scientific American.
Unlike their wolfish ancestors, who hunted for their food, domestic dogs have become socially attached to humans, and see us as the route to dinner. Hence, those long, soulful – and, we must insist, no matter what scientists say, loving – stares we get when feeding time comes near.
To which we, being tools, generally respond.
Scientific American takes a look at how wolves and dogs have come to differ — when it comes to the source of dinner and more — in the 15,000 or more years since the domestic dog came into being.
The article focuses on a study done several years ago at Eotvos University in Budapest — aimed at determining whether the differences between dogs and wolves, socially and cognitively, were primarily genetic or experiential.
Scientists hand-raised a group of dog puppies and a group of wolf pups, starting six days after they were born.
For the first months of their lives, the wolf and dog pups were in close contact with human foster parents. They lived in the homes of their caregivers and slept with them at night. They were bottle-fed, and then hand-fed, and the human caregivers carried them in a pouch so that both wolf and dog pups could participate in as much of their daily activities as possible.
Both dogs and wolves traveled on public transportation, attended classes, and had extensive experience meeting unfamiliar humans.
At 9 weeks of age, plates of food were shown to both the wolf and dog pups. But the only way either could get it was to have eye contact with the human experimenters.
After the first minute, the dogs began to look at the humans. The wolves never seemed to catch on, staying focused on the food they couldn’t reach.
“In one sense, this is a remarkable example of tool use. Only in this case, the humans were the tools, and the dogs the tool-users,” the article notes.
In a second experiment, involving opening a bin, dogs spontaneously interacted with humans, while the wolves all but ignored the human caregivers.
“Despite the fact that they had been fully socialized, the wolves treated each of the situations as physical problems rather than social ones. Only rarely did they ever attempt to engage in a communicative problem-solving interaction with a human. It’s not that wolves are unintelligent; it’s quite the opposite, in fact. Wolves are cooperative hunters, skilled at negotiating within their own social networks. It’s just that even after being raised by humans, wolves simply do not see humans as potential social partners.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, cognitive, differences, dog, dogs, domesticated, domestication, experiment, feeding, food, genetics, humans, hunting, interaction, nurture, partners, pets, science, scientific american, social, socialization, society, tool, wolf, wolves
“Absolutely not, no I did not,” Nico Dauphine said after taking the stand in her own defense Wednesday in Superior Court, WJLA reported.
Dauphine is a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.
Prosecutors have presented evidence of her disdain for free-roaming cats, as well as a surveillance tape that they said showed her walking up to a planter where food was kept, reaching into her purse, then reaching into the cat food and leaving.
Dauphine argued in court that she was trying to get rid of the food because it attracted rats: “I went over to the planter, took out the food, put it in a plastic bag and threw it out,” she said.
Prosecutors have entered as evidence a number of quotes and articles in which Dauphine describes cats as an invasive species that should be euthanized. One online lecture by Dauphine is entitled “Apocalypse Meow – Free Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife.”
Both sides presented closing arguments in the animal cruelty trial Wednesday and Judge Truman Morrison is scheduled to give his verdict Monday afternoon.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, says attempts to poison free-roaming cats — not uncommon across the country — often pose a threat to pets and wildlife..
“There are no ‘safe poisons’ and there is no ‘safe way’ to poison,” said Dr. Frank McMillan, director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society.
Says Laura Nirenberg, Best Friends’ legislative analyst for cat initiatives.”The sad truth is that not only is poisoning an indiscriminate and inhumane method of controlling animal populations, it is unnecessary, especially when growing evidence from communities across the country shows that trap-neuter-return, commonly known as TNR, is the most efficient and cost-effective method.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, antifreeze, best friends, birds, cats, dc, feeding, feral, feral cats, free roaming, health, migratory bird center, national zoo, neuter, nico dauphine, poison, poisoning, prey, rat poison, return, safety, smithsonian, tnr, trap, trial, washington, wildlife