Commissioners in Fairfield County Ohio voted unanimously to stop gassing dogs to death at the county shelter in Lancaster — but not until after allegations surfaced that some dogs who survived the gas chamber were being incinerated while still alive.
In a 3-0 vote, the county commissioners yesterday approved immediately switching the euthanasia procedure at the dog shelter to lethal injection, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
The campaign to euthanize by injection in Fairfield County had gone on for more than 10 years. Fairfield County was among about 10 of the state’s 88 counties that still use gas to euthanize dogs. It’s also where, witnesses say, there have been instances where dogs who survived the procedure were cremated while still clinging to life.
Fairfield County Dog Warden Mike Miller has said he euthanizes four to six individually caged dogs at a time with carbon monoxide because it is cheaper than injection and avoids the liability of someone getting hurt. The dog carcasses are then burned in the crematory located next to the gas chamber, the Dispatch reported.
The Dispatch story makes no mention of the alleged burning of live animals, but in a piece on Examiner.com, written by Ariel Wulff, a correspondent we know and trust, says citizens at the commissioner’s meeting spoke of some cases where dogs came out of the shelter alive, only to be thrown into the incinerator with the dead:
“… Eyewitnesses and former workers at the shelter have said that the gassing is fraught with problems; from overfilling the gassing cage with as many as twice the allotted animals, to untrained workers being forced to euthanize, and animals being burned alive.”
The shelter has destroyed more than 180 dogs this year.
Wulff also authored a post at PetPardons.com, which has additional disturbing details, and recounts the shelters other problems over the years.
Other reports say as many as 16 animals have been gassed at once, and that exceeding the limit of six animals at a time is probably the reason some dogs survived the procedure.
(Photo courtesy of PETA)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, allegations, animals, burned, claims, commissioners, dog, dogs, ended, euthanasia, fairfield county, gas, gas chambers, gassing, halted, incinerated, ohio, pets, shelter, stopped, survivors
Officials say the machine was working just fine, and pumped in the carbon monoxide like it was supposed to.
But when the cat, named Andrea, was removed, she still showed some signs of life.
So they put her in again.
After the second gassing, they checked for vital signs, pronounced her dead, put her in a plastic bag, and put that in a cooler.
But Andrea came back again.
“For whatever reason as time went on the cat came back to life,” said Aaron Crim, the shelter’s director of public relations.
The shelter workers decided not to try a third time. “It was just one of those things where they thought this cat obviously really wants to live,” Crim said. “Let’s give it a chance to find a permanent home.”
Andrea was cleaned up and taken home by Janita Coombs, a volunteer with the Community Animal Welfare Society
“She’s pretty tough, obviously,” Coombs told the Salt Lake Tribune. “She’s definitely got some will to live.”
Coombs is keeping the cat at her home until plans are finalized for a permanent adoption.
“When we first got her, she had some difficulty walking,” said Coombs. “When they found her hypothermic in the freezer she had vomited and defecated on herself, but she has since seemed to recover quite well … If you just look at her she looks perfectly healthy.”
No More Homeless Pets in Utah says about 30,000 animals were euthanized in the state in 2010; nearly 25,000 were adopted.
(Photo by Djamila Grossman / Salt Lake Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrea, animal shelter, animals, carbon monoxide, cats, cheated, death, euthanasia, euthanized, gas, janita coombs, kill, lives, pets, salt lake city, shelters, stray, survives, twice, utah, west valley city
Arizona’s Cosmo Dog Park may soon be using dog waste to shed some light.
The town of Gilbert is looking at teaming up with Arizona State University students to build a “digester” — like one we showed you last year — that will create methane gas to power, for starters, one street lamp at the park.
The project is scheduled to go before the Gilbert Town Council next month for approval.
Students from Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa hope to design and create the “dog waste digester,” according to the Arizona Republic.
The town is seeking a corporate sponsor for the project, estimated to cost $25,000.
Former Gilbert Councilwoman Linda Abbott has been pushing the project after learning of the machine installed last year as a public-art project in a park in Cambridge, Mass.
(The Cambridge machine was a temporary project and is no longer in operation.)
Gilbert officials have held three meetings with ASU on the plan to design the machine, which would consist of a repository tank and digester.
“The principals of anaerobic digestion are the same,” he said. “We’re going to challenge the students to come up with innovative solutions that are unique.”
Rather than tossing poop bags into the park’s trash can’s, dog owners would collect their dogs waste in biodegradable bags, deposit it in the digester and turn a hand crank to stir the mixture so the methane rises to the top.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arizona state university, asu, cambridge, cosmo dog park, cosmo park, digester, dog parks, dog waste, energy, environment, feces, gas, gilbert, innovation, kiril hristovski, light, linda abbott, methane, parks, poop, poop power, power, professor, project, streetlamp, students, town council, waste
One of the best parts of being on the road was being off the grid.
For a full year, as Ace and I traveled around America twice, we paid not a penny to electric companies, gas companies, water companies, cable companies.
Liberating? You betcha.
Now, as we settle in for a period of undetermined duration in Winston-Salem, N.C., we are back on the grid. As much as I hate the grid, I do love air conditioning, and Ace loves it even more. I was holding off on turning it on, but this week did the trick, with record high temperatures that left both Ace and me panting.
The summer of 2010 was, or at least seemed to me to be, the hottest ever — maybe because we spent so much of it outside. If we’re in for another one of those, I’m happy to be indoors, and on the grid.
The grid, I’m sure, is equally grateful to have me back. You may say the grid can’t be grateful, the grid has no emotions, but keep in mind, the person who operates the grid does have feelings — that being the man.
The man, through individual networks, operates the grid for the system — the system being even bigger and fuzzier than the grid.
You may not entirely understand — just like you don’t understand your monthly bill — but the truth is we’re not supposed to. It’s all part of the matrix of vague terms, undefineable dimensions, innumerable options and indecipherable formulas thrown at us to keep us confused, subservient, feeling inadequate and paying the monthly bill.
I decided to restrict my patronage of the grid as much as I could — to electricity, gas and water.
Rather than add home internet, I decided to just keep my mobile version. Rather than get a landline, I just use my cell phone. (So, actually, by using those on the road, I was still on the grid, but the grid didn’t know my address, and neither did the man, since I didn’t have one).
In my new place, I checked into getting cable television, but the prices for that start at $60 a month, and I balked as well at the slightly lower prices of ot
her options. I nixed the idea of having a large satellite dish attached to house, and receivers installed inside. That would have given us 800 or so channels, but, as we all know, those recievers are also programmed to read our brain waves, and report our thoughts back to the man. That’s just the sort of thing the grid does.
I briefly considered bundling, in which the man has been so kind to arrange for you to receive multiple services from the grid for one low price, provided you agree to pay for the duration of your life, don’t mind your brain waves being monitored, and sign your soul over to the grid upon your death.
Instead, for television, we’re using the digital antenna. They run about $40 at Radio Shack, are generally unsightly space-age looking contraptions, and allow you to sporadically pick up a channel or two, if the weather is good.
I’m getting four or five channels in the living room, though on most the signal gets lost every time a car passes down the street outside — the picture either disappears entirely or turns into something that looks like an Impressionist painting getting struck by lightning. I get two channels in the bedroom, depending on where Ace sleeps.
The digital antenna is actually even more infuriating than the grid, the man, and the system.
The signal will go out at key moments, prohibiting me from learning whodunit, and more, and it’s especially bad during storms:
“I know who did it. It was ….”
“President Obama has scheduled a statement to announce the killing of …”
“Three tornadoes have been spotted in the county in the area of …”
??? ??? ???
The thing about digital antennas is it’s not just how you position them — and one can spend hours at that pursuit – but how you position you.
In the bedroom, I can get myself into a position where the TV signal comes through, and I’m somewhat comfortable. But Ace inevitably throws a wrench into things, jumping into bed and interrupting the signal.
Sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting the antenna again; sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting Ace. Usually, just as I get everything settled into proper position, Ace decides to get up, spin around and lay in another direction.
That’s about when — with the TV playing ten seconds on, ten seconds off, amid sporadic bursts of Jay Leno, in a nether world with no punch lines — I fall asleep.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, bundling, cable, digital antenna, dish, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, electric, electricity, frustration, futility, gas, grid, home, internet, matrix, pets, positioning, radio shack, reception, road trip, satellite, settling, system, television, the grid, the man, travel, travels with ace, tv, utilities, utility, water, whodunit
Another pit bull story? Nope. The ferocious beast at the center of this confrontation – a nine-pound ball of fluff named Benny — was a Lhasa Apso. Earlier reports that labeled the dog a Shih Tzu were incorrect, his owner, Frank Perlongo, told MySuburbanLife.com.
Daniel Maskill, 53, of Riverside, Ill., was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and assault after the Tuesday night confrontation.
According to Riverside police, Maskill was bicycling home through Harrington Park with a can of gas he had just purchased gas for his lawnmower when he encountered the dog.
“He was upset it was off leash,” Riverside Chief Thomas Weitzel told the Chicago Tribune. “He said he felt intimidated.”
Maskill threatened to set the dog and its owner on fire, and, although he never struck a match, Maskill did douse the 9-pound dog with gas, Weitzel said.
Weitzel said the assault charge stemmed from Maskill’s alleged threat to the owner.
The owner told police he likes to let his dog romp in the park, but town rules require dogs be on leashes. The owner was issued a citation.
(Photo: This is not the Lhaso Apso involved in the incident, but one we met in our travels — Tugg, of Seattle)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, argument, assault, charges, chicago, confrontation, daniel maskill, dispute, dog, dogs, doused, frank perlongo, gas, gasoline, harrington park, leash, lhasa apso, park, parks, pets, riverside, shih-tzu, unleashed
We took the shortcut John Steinbeck couldn’t.
And it wasn’t because he didn’t have Mapquest. It was because he had a dog.
Steinbeck, once seeing Niagara Falls, had hoped to scoot west across southern Ontario, re-entering the U.S. at Michigan. But Canadian border officials told him that, while Charley was welcome in Canada, the author might have some problems getting his poodle back into the U.S.
Steinbeck lacked papers documenting that Charley was vaccinated against rabies, and — 1960 being pre-email, pre-fax — getting sent an instant copy wasn’t a possibility. His only choice, other than waiting on the U.S. mail, would have been to drive back into America and get Charley re-vaccinated.
So he opted to turn around. Even that proved problematic. While he never got through the gate to Canada, he got a good grilling once he was back at the entrance to the U.S., and, from the sound of it, got it bit frustrated with the U.S. officials. Steinbeck didn’t like government bureaucracies. “Government can make you feet so small and mean that it takes some doing to build back a sense of self-importance.”
Ace and I on the other hand would have no problem on either end. I had his paperwork, but wasn’t asked for it at any point.
We zipped right through Ontario, traveling less than four hours, and under 200 miles, as opposed to the seven hours and more than 400 miles it would have taken had we stayed in the U.S., veering south and north again.
The scenery, once we got outside of Niagara Falls, wasn’t much different than what Pennsylvania and Ohio would have offered — a lot of the same flat land and fast food franchises. The only real difference was the money and the metric system. I stopped for some 99-cent gas — even though I knew it was that much per liter. And even though it cost about the same to fill my tank, it still felt good to get something — ephemeral as it was — for under a dollar.
I popped inside the gas station to get some cigarettes, and asked when I didn’t see the standard racks of them behind the counter. The employee pulled open a big drawer — law requires them to be kept out of view — revealing numerous brands I’d never heard of in funny boxes. I asked her what was cheap.
She recommended “Next.” I paid in American, got change in Canadian. The pack’s government-required warning — one of several really hard-hitting ones — showed a burned cigarette, with all its ash hanging on, though in a very limp manner, and a written reminder that the cigarettes I intended to smoke could make me impotent.
That not being a big factor in my life right now, I lit one up. They were shorter than American cigarettes, which is how America would want it, but there are more to the pack.
I would have liked to spend a night in Ontario, smoking my Nexts, and the only reason I didn’t was fear of big roaming charges if I got on my phone or my computer.
Leave it to America to come up with roaming charges (I’m assuming we invented them). What’s next? Freedom fees. Wanderlust taxes? Curiosity tolls? America seems to like us to stay put and spend money, and if we go somewhere, have a destination and reach it, thruway style. Do what the GPS lady says. Don’t you dare stray from the path. Stay within the parameters of your network.
I’m sure there are good reasons for roaming fees, I just don’t like the name. The word “fees” should just not be attached to a concept as free and wide open as “roaming.”
I feel a song coming on:
Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam (fees may apply)
And the deer and the antelope text.
As a society, partly because of our increasing tendency to take directions from computers, we have grown less likely to be vacilando. It’s a Spanish word, from the verb vacilar. As Steinbeck notes in Travels With Charley: “If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but doesn’t greatly care whether or not he gets there.”
Steinbeck said there is no English equivalent for the Spanish word. I would argue “roaming” comes pretty close, though.
Vacilando as we’ve been on our journey, we didn’t wander much in Ontario, and managed to get to Sarnia and the U.S. entry gate just as the sun was going down. There was no search, there were no seizures, just a flash of the passport, a peek at the dog and a few polite questions about whether I’d purchased anything in Canada (“Just these funny little cigarettes,” I replied).
We stopped for the night right there — in Port Huron — and took off the next morning for the other side of Michigan and step two of our shortcut: a ferry ride across Lake Michigan.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, border, bureaucracy, canada, charley, cigarettes, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, gas, government, john steinbeck, metric, niagara falls, officials, ontario, papers, rabies, road trip, roaming, roaming fees, sarnia, shortcut, tourism, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, vaccination, vacilando, wandering
Dog feces is being used to keep the lights on — well, one light, anyway – at a park in Cambridge.
Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta, through an MIT-funded project known as Project Park Spark, is the brains behind the scheme, in which a “methane digester” is used to to convert freshly scooped dog waste into methane.
Dog owners simply collect their dog waste in a special biodegradable bag and throw it into an air-tight cylinder. The feces are broken down by anaerobic bacteria. The process produces methane, which is then released through a valve and burnt as fuel — in this case to power an old-fashioned gas-burning lamppost in the park.
Mazzotta is open to other suggestions on how to use the flame, and suggestions have included a teahouse, popcorn stand and shadow-projection box.
It’s a pretty brilliant use of dog waste, which, when it goes into landfill, releases methane into the atmosphere. Harnessing it is a far better idea, considering methane is a potent greenhouse gas more than times more harmful than carbon dioxide, WIRED reports.
Mazzotta hopes to install permanent underground digesters in parks throughout the United States.
(Photo: Project Park Spark)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, digesters, dog, dog feces, dogs, environment, feces, gas, lamp, light, mathew mazzotta, methane, mit, park, pets, poop, power, powered, project park spark, science, waste
An Amish commercial kennel owner in New York rigged a hose up to a farm engine to euthanize 93 dogs that he had been ordered to have tested and treated for brucellosis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Depopulating” is how David Yoder, owner of Black Diamond Acres kennel in Romulus, described the process to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.
Yoder, according to a report on Philly Dawg, said he created an airtight chamber out of a wood whelping box (where nursing puppies are typically housed with their mothers) by fitting the opening with a metal door with a small hole for an exhaust pipe which was attached to a 3 horsepower farm engine.
He gassed “approximately” 78 adult dogs and 15 puppies in groups of five or six, then buried them, Yoder told a USDA inspector in July.
Yoder said he left the barn during the gassing because he had a headache from the carbon monoxide fumes.
“The manner of mass euthanasia caused potentially high levels of behavioral stress and unnecessary discomfort to all the dogs in the kennel,” said the USDA report, written by inspector Andrea D’Ambrosio after a July 15 visit to the kennel.
It is against federal law for a licensed kennel owner to perform their own euthanasia.
Mary Anne Kowalski, a board member of the Seneca County SPCA, told Philly Dawg she was not aware of anyone from the USDA reporting the case to local authorities. The dogs were killed sometime after a June 29 inspection where Yoder had been ordered to get his dogs tested and treated for Brucellosis and before the inspector returned on July 15.
Kowalski discovered the report of the gassing on the USDA website, and reported the incident to the sheriff and district attorney in the hope that cruelty charges will be brought against Yoder.
“I hope these dogs did not die in vain,” she said.
Romulus, located 60 miles southeast of Rochester, passed an ordinance last year outlawing commercial kennels, or puppy mills, but Yoder was allowed to continue operating because his kennel was grandfathered under the new ordinance.
Yoder breeds poodles, Bichons, Maltese and Boston Terriers.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amish, animal, animals, black diamond acres, breeder, brucellosis, cruelty, david yoder, dogs, euthanasia, euthanization, euthanized, gas, gassed, gassing, hose, inspection, kennel, mass, new york, pets, puppy mills, report, romulus, seneca county, united states department of agriculture, usda
One month ago today, a man and his dog left the comfort of their Baltimore rowhouse and set forth across America on a journey with no firm destination and of no definite duration.
An unemployed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and soon to be published author (the man, not the dog), he decided he could keep doing his website and look for jobs just as easily on the road as he could from home — and in the process feel a little less dejected and rejected, a little more alive, perhaps, even, at 56, a little less old.
Don’t get him wrong, he loved his routine, and so did his dog — but within routine, you can also find the word rut, and sometimes there’s not much different between the two.
Rather than pay for housing, he decided to pack up his website, his dog and himself and hit the road, documenting their adventures — a la John Steinbeck and Charley, but with the modern-day benefits of Mapquest, Google, WordPress and cellphone – all while trying to get by on the amount he once paid for rent, roughly $1,000 a month.
After one month, and 3,300 miles, he — who, in case you haven’t figured it out, is me — can report that he nearly met that goal; that his dog, himself and, we hope, the website are all better for the experience; and that the journey is going to continue for a period that, like the man, will be indefinite.
Life on the road has its downside — the constant packing and unpacking; the where did I put my so and so; the heat; the where am I going to stay tonight; the expense, which we try our best to mitigate; and the uncertainty, which can be both good and bad.
But the gypsy in us — and there’s more gypsy in us than perhaps we thought — is loving it as we drive across America, through cities large and (preferably) small, checking its pulse (it still has one), revisiting some people and places and getting acquainted with some new ones.
So far, I can report, Ace, car and I are holding up well, though just this week a “Malfunction Indicator Light” started flashing (on the car, not me or Ace). It’s a little disconcerting since we’re contemplating crossing a few empty deserts in the week ahead, and according to my owner’s manual it could be a sign of major engine or transmission problems, or perhaps nothing at all. I think I’m glad I don’t personally have a malfunction indicator light.
So far, healthwise, my only problems have been dental, even though some have questioned whether they might be mental.
A trip to the dentist would have sent me over budget, so I decided on do-it-yourself dental work. Since no pain was involved, at least if I refrained from eating, I bought a product called Dentemp O.S., and, after locating my detached cap in a pocket of last week’s pants, glued it back on. I used some more of the product to fill the cavity.
Health insurance for me, like a lot of Americans, is still — despite all that reform (is it done yet?) – something my finances won’t permit.
Looking at our overall spending since we departed, our biggest expense has been gas ($580 worth), followed by lodgings (eight nights in motels at $334), then food, which — if you subtract the amount spent on buying dinner for those who took me in (about $200) – was $120. That comes out to $1,034 — less than I was spending on rent and electricity during my stay-put existence.
The key to staying within my self-imposed limits is going to be mooching accommodations when I can, camping when I can, couchsurfing some more, continuing to avoid dentists, and not covering so much ground that gas eats up my budget.
Ace and I have both lost a little weight — not a bad thing for either of us — and he seems to be enjoying the trip so far. He’s as eager to meet new people as he ever was, and with all the new dogs he has met, he’s becoming even more sociable and reliable.
No matter where we are, he has taken to giving me a look around 11 a.m. that — and maybe this is just my imagination — seems to ask, “Is it checkout time?”
He’s getting used to being a rambling dog, and next week we plan to get motoring again, heading out of Phoenix for a while and going north and then west, or maybe west and then north.
We’re trying to set up doing some volunteer work at Best Friends, the Utah animal sanctuary, hoping to visit the Circle L animal rescue ranch in Prescott, and maybe will venture into California, where I’ve been feeling the urge to revisit Salvation Mountain — a man-made, hand-painted, mostly garbage monument (to God, not Dog) I wrote about nearly two decades ago when I traveled the country (sans dog) as a newspaper reporter. It’s near the Salton Sea in an area known as Slab City, which attracts an interesting mix of vagabonds and nomads.
Our trip may or may not be a neverending journey, and it may or may not someday evolve into a second book, but this much is for sure, there’s a neverending supply of stories — dog ones and people ones — out there.
And we’re off to find a few more of them.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, america, animals, arizona, camping, dog friendly, dog's country, doggin it, dogs, dogscountry, expense, food, freeloading, gas, highways, home is where the dog is, john woestendiek, lodging, miles, motels, new mexico, ohmidog!, pets, road trip, salvation mountain, slab city, travel, traveling with dogs, trip
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, hoping to tie down the dog lovers’ vote in his re-election bid, appeared at the 109th International Kennel Club Dog Show in Chicago Saturday and spoke out against a bill introduced by his likely Republican rival, state Sen. Bill Brady.
Earlier this month Brady, introduced legislation that would have allowed mass euthanizations of unclaimed and unadopted shelter dogs.
Brady, after objections from the animal welfare community, later backed off the bill, which would have allowed up to 10 dogs at a time to be gassed to death with carbon monoxide.
Quinn, attempting to keep the controversy alive, appeared at the 2010 Chicago dog show at McCormick Place over the weekend to voice his displeasure over the proposed legislation, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“As long as I am governor, we’re never going to pass any kind of legislation that allows cruelty toward animals, whether it be dogs, cats or any other living things,” Quinn said.
“The governor has a veto pen and we’re going to make sure we protect our animals from any kind of cruelty,” he said, then added, “There are some folks in our society unfortunately they have dollar signs for eyes, and that’s all they think about is money. We’re not going to let that kind of monetary compulsion get in the way of treating our animals in a proper, dignified, friendly manner.”
Asked if that was a shot at Brady, Quinn said, “That was a terrible piece of legislation and I think everybody in Illinois knows it. A bill was put in to allow a mass killing of dogs and cats in the gas chamber. Putting all those animals together … for them to be subject in their last minutes on earth to that kind of cruelty, is just plain wrong … There may be firms out there that think they can make money by mass killings of dogs, puppies and kittens. But that’s not what our state stands for and that law will never be approved.”
Quinn, who owns a 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Bailey.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill brady, carbon monoxide, chicago, dogs, euthanasia, euthanizations, gas, governor, illinois, killing, legislation, mass, mass killing, news, pat quinn, pets, politics, proposal, proposed, senator, shelters, spca international, unadopted, unclaimed