Fifteen-year-old Teagan Marti met the dog yesterday — an English golden retriever who her family has named Charlie, after the actor who’s funding the puppy’s training.
Sheen wired $10,000 to the family in February after a family friend helped contacted him for help.
Teagan, who hopes to become a veterinarian, traveled with her family from Florida to Milwaukee for the visit, according to the Associated Press.
Charlie the dog is being trained in the Fond du Lac area and will be given to Teagan in September for her birthday.
Teagan suffered brain, spine, pelvis and internal injuries when she fell more than 100 feet from the ride while vacationing with her family at Wisconsin Dells.
While initially paralyzed, she can now walk with a walker. You can learn more about Charlie (the dog) and Teagan’s road to recovery at the website Miracles4Teagan.com.
(Photo: Teagan, left, smiles at Charlie, her future therapy dog, as Lynne Sears, a nurse who helped treat Teagan, holds the pup; by Carrie Antlfinger / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, actor, animals, charlie sheen, companion, dog, dogs, florida, golden retriever, paralyzed, pets, recovery, teagan marti, teen, teenager, therapy, wisconsin dells
The canine nose got a vote of confidence Tuesday from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The unanimous decision stemmed from a case in Florida in which defense attorneys questioned a drug-sniffing dog’s credentials and reliability, and whether his alert was just cause to search a truck police had stopped.
The court ruled that, in the case of trained and certified dogs, it is — or as Justice Elena Kagan put it: “The sniff is up to snuff.”
Kagan said a dog’s “satisfactory performance” in a certification or training program provided sufficient reason for an officer to trust its alert, even though errors “may abound” when dogs get put to the test in the field.
The justices said that training records had established the reliability of Aldo, a German shepherd, in sniffing out contraband, and that Florida’s Supreme Court erred in suppressing evidence he found in Clayton Harris’ pickup truck — namely, methamphetamine ingredients.
The ruling, Reuters reports, gives law enforcement greater authority to use dogs to uncover illegal drugs.
“The question – similar to every inquiry into probable cause – is whether all the facts surrounding a dog’s alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime,” Kagan wrote for the court. “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test.”
The Harris case is one of two the court is considering about the validity of evidence obtained by drug-sniffing dogs. The second — which the high court has heard, but not decided — involves a police dog named Franky, who alerted while standing on a home’s doorstep, prompting a search that led to the discovery of marijuana growing inside.
In the case decided Tuesday, defense lawyers for Harris challenged the search by Aldo, a police dog in Liberty County, Florida. The officer handling Aldo — because Harris appeared nervous and declined to approve a search of his vehicle — allowed the dog a “free air sniff.”
Based in part on Aldo’s reaction, a full search was conducted.
Harris’ lawyers challenged the search, questioning Aldo’s certification and whether he was reliable in sniffing out drugs.
Florida’s Supreme Court concluded that the state had not sufficiently established how well-trained Aldo was, and it ruled the evidence of the methamphetamine ingredients should not have been admitted.
Kagan wrote that the officer reasonably believed there was contraband inside the truck based on Aldo’s training, and that defense attorneys failed to show that Aldo was unreliable.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldo, animals, certification, detecting, dogs, drug, florida, harris, ingredients, justice elena kagan, K-9, k9, law enforcement, liberty county, methamphetamine, nose, pets, police, reliability, ruling, scent, search, sniffing, supreme court, training, vehicle
A near-death experience turned into a free ride for an owl that was struck by an SUV on the Florida Turnpike and became lodged behind the vehicle’s grill.
Sonji Coney Williams was headed south on the turnpike when she struck what she thought was a bird.
“I felt so bad but it was very dark and we didn’t pull over,” she said. Instead she drove another 100 miles, to Plantation, Fla.
Not until the next day, when she was parking her car, did she discover what she struck was a great horned owl, and that it was alive, well and winking from behind the grill of her car.
“There was a family that pulled in front of my parking space and flagged me down and said don’t move, don’t move, you have something in the grill of your truck. I said, ‘Yes, what is it?’ And they said, ‘It’s an owl.’ And I said, ‘An owl?’” said Williams.
She called Florida Fish and Wildlife and an officer opened the hood and freed the bird from the vehicle.
The owl’s journey was nearly as long as the maybe-record-setting, 110-mile one taken last year by a dog in California, later named Chevy, in the engine compartment of a pick up truck.
Officers say the owl appeared not to have suffered any injuries. It was moved to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Ft. Lauderdale, which said the owl — after some good meals and more testing — would eventually be returned to its natural habitat in Central Florida.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100 miles, car, fish and wildlife, florida, freed, great horned owl, grill, highway, hit, owl, removed, ride, south florida wildlife center, suv, wildlife
The office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott has shed more light on what happened to Reagan, the dog the governor’s family rescued during his campaign.
Reagan, after his much publicized adoption, disappeared from public view when Scott took office.
The governor said last week that the dog — whose name had been chosen by his fans on Facebook — was returned to the grooming shop where his family got him, due to behavior problems.
The governor told the Tampa Bay Times that the dog never hurt anyone, but it turns out Reagan both barked and bit.
A spokeswoman for the governor said this week that Reagan was returned to the grooming shop after biting a governor’s mansion employee who moved his water bowl.
“The governor and first lady love dogs, and they had to make a hard decision when it was clear that Reagan was very anxious around lots of different people,” Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said.
The dog bite occurred while the governor was in Orlando on Jan. 7, 2011 — three days after he took office.
Mansion grounds employee Jennifer Kinsey was arranging flowers when Reagan bit her on the right hand, according to an incident report released by Scott’s office. The injury required no medical treatment.
Scott introduced the yellow Lab to Facebook readers on Sept. 7, 2010, shortly after he won the Republican nomination. Facebook friends chose the name Reagan from a list of three choices suggested by the campaign and they praised Scott for adopting a dog.
Sellers said Scott flew Reagan back to Naples on his private jet to return him to All Pets Grooming and Boarding. The shop’s owner has told one television station that Reagan’s name has been changed to Pluto and that he now lives on a horse ranch in Collier County.
“The family decided that the best decision for the dog and all those who visit would be to have the grooming business find Reagan a more appropriate home with less people and activity,” Sellers said. “It was a hard choice that sometimes pet owners have to make.”
The Scotts have since adopted Tallee, another yellow Lab.
The governor’s communications directors initially refused to respond when asked about the disappearance of Reagan. Scott, when asked directly, said he returned the dog to previous owners because it barked a lot and frightened mansion staffers.
Sellers said Scott had been out of town and did not recall the biting incident when he talked to reporters.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, behavior, bit, bite, biting, campaign, communications, dog, employee, facebook, florida, governor, groomer, incident, mansion, news, pluto, problems, publicity, reagan, report, returned, rick scott, spokesperson, tampa bay times, yellow lab
A Florida sheriff’s deputy plans to adopt the dog he helped rescue after her owner slashed her throat and stabbed her.
The dog, a 70-pound collie-Labrador mix named Amber, was attacked Sunday night, according to the Jacksonville Times-Union.
St. Johns County Deputy Dan Sorrells arrested her owner and then joined an animal control officer in a search for the dog, following a trail of blood and finding her in a thicket of grass, with her throat slashed and stab wounds to her sides.
When he called her name, she came, he said. “She walked right over to me. She showed no aggression.”
Amber was taken to Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Jacksonville. Sorrells plans to pay Amber’s medical and take her home in about a week.
He told deputies the dog needed to be “put down” because she attacked a kitten.
According to Hart’s two roomates, who reported the incident, he became angry when he thought the dog had harmed the cat.
“He called the dog over to him and stabbed it several times,” they told Sorrells. “Then he cut its throat.”
One of the roommates said he tried to help the wounded dog, but that Hart told him to ”back off.”
The kitten, as it turned out, was not harmed.
Amber is believed to be about 4 years old. Sorrells visited her Tuesday and Wednesday. His family has two other rescue dogs.
“This dog will fit in perfectly with them,” he said.
(Top photo: Amber, far left, visits the vet with Sorrells, far right; by Bruce Lipsky / The Times-Union)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopting, adoption, amber, angry, animal cruelty, animals, attack, cat, county, cruelty to animals, dan sorrells, deputy, dogs, florida, law enforcement, owner, pets, sheriff, slashed, st. johns county, stabbed, throat
Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened
Great Danes Samson and Epic were shot to death in 2010 by a neighbor who felt threatened by them.
In death, they’d go on to be disrespected again.
The cremated remains of the two dogs were snorted by burglars who, for some reason, thought the urn they stole contained drugs.
One of the three men accused of stealing jewelry, a laptop, a flat screen TV and the urns from the Florida home of Holli Tencza was sentenced Friday to more than eight years in prison, Ocala.com reports.
Jose David Diaz-Marrero, 20, was involved in a string of burglaries in Silver Springs Shores with two other men between December 2010 and January 2011, police say.
Detectives investigating the case said the three men told them they thought the urns taken from the Tencza home contained crushed pills and decided to taste and snort the contents.
“I recognize that I’ve made a big mistake,” Diaz-Marrero, who pleaded guilty to four burglaries, said in court Friday. “I wish the victims were here so that I could tell them how sorry I am.”
Upon his release from prison, Diaz-Marrero will be placed on six years probation, during which he will have to pay more than $20,000 in restitution to the victims in the cases, including $9,000 to Tencza.
Tencza’s Great Danes were shot and killed after they got loose from their back yard in August 2010. They wandered down the street and were shot by a man who saw them while working in his garage. He told police he felt threatened by them.
In September, a candlelight vigil — shown in the video above — was held in their honor.
Despite public anger over the shootings, and petitions demanding justice, the shooter was never charged.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, burglars, burglary, cremated, crime, dogs, epic, florida, great danes, killed, ocala, pets, remains, samson, shot, snorted, urn
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever attacked a pit bull mix with an ax in Bradenton, Florida is up to $13,600 — thanks to a big donation from the co-creator of “The Simpsons.”
Hollywood writer, producer and director Sam Simon pledged $10,000 to the reward created to help find those responsible for leaving a 2-year-old red and white pit bull mix named Axel with a two-inch-deep gash in his head, apparently inflicted by an ax.
Simon is founder of the Sam Simon Foundation, which adopts dogs from shelters and trains them as hearing dogs for the deaf, and runs a variety of other programs aimed at saving the lives of dogs and enriching the lives of humans.
Simon announced the contribution Friday morning on the nationally syndicated radio show of Bubba The Love Sponge. (Bubba kicked in $1,000 as well.)
The donations brought the reward to over $13,000, according to the Bradenton Herald.
The veterinarian’s office reports that, except when under anesthesia, Axel’s tail has been wagging constantly.
The wound damaged the dog’s sinus cavity and while pieces of his skull had to be removed during the operation, he is expected to make a full recovery, veterinarian Luke Berglund said.
The $13,600 reward, which will be given to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved
Axel is being given pain medicine and antibiotics, and will undergo treatment for heartworms this week. Based on his other scars, it’s possible he was used in dogfights or as a bait dog.
Anyone with information about the incident, or interested in fostering Axel, can call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933 ext. 8314. Tips can also be reported to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS(8477).
Posted by jwoestendiek December 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, ax, axel, bradenton, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, donation, florida, head, manatee county, mix, pets, pit bull, reward, sam simon, sam simon foundation, surgery, the simpsons, wound
When a guide dog was struck by a hit-and-run driver in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay area residents responded with donations to cover the costs of her medical care.
Abbey, a two-year-old mixed breed, was off leash and playing in the yard of her legally blind owner when she apparently ran into the street and was struck by a car that sped away.
Her owner, Terry Ellrick, 59, was devastated.
“I just want them to have a merry Christmas and a happy Thanksgiving. That’s what I want because I can’t, and she can’t have her turkey either. So I hope it goes down good for them,” he told 10 News.
Ellrick could not give a description of the vehicle, and police said there were no witnesses.
Officers helped Abbey to the car of a friend of Ellrick’s, who drove her to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in North Tampa.
“Abbey is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing well and recovering from her surgery,” James Judge, a spokesman for the animal hospital told Tampa Bay Online.
Judge said to dog enough contributions had arrive by Thursday morning to cover the Wednesday surgery.
Those who still wish to donate can do so through Frankies Friends, which will use the money to help other families who can’t afford veterinary care.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is encouraged to call police at (727) 893-7780.
(Photo by Jim Hockett / Tampa Bay Online)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abbey, animals, blind, bluepearl, car, dog, dogs, donations, florida, frankies fund, guide dog, hit-and-run, injured, pets, seeing eye dog, st. petersburg, struck, surgery, tampa bay, terry elrick, veterinary
Regina Ebey’s dog, Sloopy, a Jack Russell and black lab mix, was more than a pet. Twice, she says, he saved her life — waking her up when, due to a medical condition, she stopped breathing in her sleep.
Last weekend, a neighbor shot and killed him.
The neighbor was arrested by police in Jacksonville, Fla., and charged with cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm.
News 4 in Jacksonville, which featured Sloopy in a February 2011 report, said the Ebeys had just moved into a new home in Jacksonville the night before.
When officers arrived, Martin told them, “I have made the biggest mistake of my life. I have no reason for what I have done.”
Martin was booked into the Duval County jail.
Alex Ebey said her mother-in-law moved into the neighborhood to be closer to her family because of her poor health.
“She was trying to make it easier on her heart, and now she’s lived here eight hours and has a broken heart,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, black lab, breathing, dog, dogs, florida, health dog, jack russell, jacksonville, kenneth martin, killed, labrador, mix, pets, regina ebey, shot, sleep, sloopy, waking