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Tag: hanging

Woof in Advertising: VW’s “Woofwagen”

Pawlitically incorrect as it might be, I do permit my dog to stick his head out the car window from time to time.

While there are those who say that’s putting him, and particularly his eyes and ears, at risk, I can’t bring myself to forbid him from sticking his nose out the window. To ban him from that activity would be the equivalent of taking someone to an art museum and blindfolding them.

So when traveling at reasonable speeds, and once in a while traveling at unreasonable speeds, I power down the back window halfway to let Ace sniff in the surroundings for a minute or two, usually at his urging — as in, “If I keep smushing my greasy nose into this closed window, he will open it a bit.”

I, unsafe and risky as it is, love to see the dog head protruding from the car window, almost as much as dogs seem to enjoy sticking their heads out the window.

To me, the dog head protruding from a car window, while maybe not as iconic as that torch Lady Liberty holds up, is a symbol of freedom and possibilities and soaking up all life has to offer. I have even tried it myself, but I got something in my eye and no longer take part in that behavior. Ace still gets to, though, within limits.

Admitting that will probably bring some criticism my way, just as I’d expect this new ad from Volkswagen might take some heat.

The ad features more than 15 dogs — all hooked up to seat restraints, it is said — but still managing to get their heads out the car window, in some cases well out the window.

(If you’re wondering why some dogs appear to be in the driver’s seat, that’s because the ad was filmed in the UK, for the British market.)

Twenty-two dogs were involved in the filming of the ad, and none of them were equipped with doggy goggles.

Thus those dogs, like my dog, were exposed to the danger of dirt, rocks, dust and debris that could harm their eyes; or ear damage that can result from them flapping too fiercely in the wind; or the possibility of falling out of the window.

The ad makers, judging from this behind-the-scenes “making of” video (below) seemed to exercise care and take precautions with the dogs.

But I’d be interested in hearing what you think. Will the ad be viewed as putting dogs in danger, or letting dogs be dogs? Is it joyous, or worrisome, and do you think it’s going to sell many Volkswagens? As for me, I was too busy looking at the dogs to notice the cars at all.

Dead pit bull found in bag hanging from tree

Animal control officers in Connecticut are asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery of a dead pit bull found in a trash bag hanging from a tree near a highway.

Authorities say bloody clothing, needles and syringes were also in the bag, found near a highway in the town of Orange on Saturday. It’s not clear how the dog, a 1- to 2-year-old female, died, according to the Register Citizen in Litchfield County.

The pit bull had puncture wounds on its shoulder and officials are looking into whether it was used in dogfighting rings. A necropsy is being conducted at the University of Connecticut.

The resident who found the bag called police about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers took pictures of the bag in the tree and left it with the resident, who buried the dog with the bag and its other contents in his yard, Assistant Animal Control Officer Linda Schaff said.

After being called about the incident, Schaff went to pick up the dog Sunday, which is when the resident disinterred the animal and turned it over to her.

Anyone with information on the dog is asked to call the shelter at 203-389-5991.

NC Highway Patrol to revamp K-9 unit

North Carolina’s State Highway Patrol said Monday that it will use dogs solely to sniff out narcotics, and avoid the kind of rough training tactics – swinging, suspending and kicking of patrol dogs — that caused a national furor when one trooper’s treatment of his dog showed up on Youtube.

“This is rebuilding the unit from the ground up,” said Capt. Everett Clendenin, a patrol spokesman.

The patrol suspended the canine unit in April after several troopers testified in a personnel hearing that the dogs had been subjected to disciplinary tactics such as swinging them around by their leads, suspending them until they nearly passed out, shocking them with stun guns and throwing plastic bottles filled with pebbles at them.

The troopers defended Sgt. Charles L. Jones, who was fired last year for kicking his police dog, Ricoh, several times after suspending him so that his hind legs barely touched the ground.

The Raleigh News and Observer reports that the patrol plans to acquire six Labrador retrievers, which are known for being passive, obedient dogs with good noses for narcotics. The dogs will be paired with newly trained officers who were not part of the previous canine unit. The new unit should be up and running by mid 2009.

The patrol said that the new program will not use dogs to track down suspects or defend their handlers. As a result, the patrol does not need aggressive dogs such as Belgian Malinois or German shepherds, nor does it need to use strict disciplinary measures so the dogs will obey, Clendenin said.

“Our dogs are going to strictly be sniffing and searching for narcotics,” he said.

Read more »

Vick hung and drowned dogs, report says

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick used family pets as “bait dogs” to train his pit bulls, and he took part in hanging three fighting dogs who did not perform well, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

The 17-page report, released Friday, provided new details on Vick’s participation in Bad Newz Kennels — including the revelation that pet dogs were used for training purposes, according to an ESPN report.

“Vick, (Purnell) Peace and (Quanis) Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs,” the report by the USDA’s inspector general-investigations division says.

Vick is serving a 23-month sentence in a minimum-security federal prison camp in Leavenworth, Kan., on a conspiracy charge relating to the interstate dogfighting operation he helped run on a property he owned in Surry County, Va. He is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2009.

He still faces two state charges — one count of torturing and killing dogs and one count of promoting dogfighting. Each carries a five-year maximum prison term. He is expected to plead guilty to those at a hearing Tuesday in Surry County Circuit Court and, under the terms of his plea agreement, and will receive a three-year suspended prison term and a $2,500 fine (which would be suspended if he pays court costs and maintains good behavior for four years).

By resolving the pending state charges, Vick would qualify to be moved to a halfway house to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Read more »