An Oregon judge says an obese celebrity dachshund should remain in the custody of his foster mom until the courts can determine his legal owner.
That means Obie — and we’re guessing the 70-pound dog is fine with the interim ruling — will be staying put for now.
At a court hearing today, a judge decided that the dog will stay with Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster him – and put him on a diet — when his owners decided they could no longer care for him.
The court hearing today — and it’s just a first step — resulted from a lawsuit filed by Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan, who claims that, since the foster arrangement was set up through the rescue, the dog is legally her’s.
Rangan’s lawsuit was filed after Obie and his diet garnered some fame — but she has said she filed it because she didn’t feel Obie was being taken care of properly.
“They say I’m exploiting him,” Vanatta told KATU. “They say I’m misusing his funds and they claim he belongs to them.”
She added, “He’s famous and he’s touched so many people and I think they regret not taking him on in the first place,” Vanatta said of the rescue group.
Oregon Daschund Rescue was asking that the dog be turned over to them until ownership is decided, but the judge declined.
KATU reports that the case will go to arbitration, and could still possibly result in a trial.
Vanatta says Obie has lost 15 pounds in the last two months.
She’s collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and said the money is being used for his care.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 70 pounds, animals, battle, court, custody, dachshund, diet, dieting, dog, dogs, fat, hearing, jenell rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, ownership, pets
Star, the pit bull shot in the face by New York City police last month, is walking, playing with toys and eating on her own.
But she’s doing all that with one eye — veterinarians had to remove one damaged from the shooting — and her hearing is not what it used to be.
Star was guarding her master, who was having a seizure on a sidewalk, when she lunged at a police officer that stepped toward her. She was shot in the head and left in a pool of blood as a crowd gathered, many of whom who can be heard in a video of the incident questioning why police weren’t doing anything to help the dog, or the man.
Star underwent surgery Monday to remove her left eye and metal fragments wedged in her skull, and was transferred into the custody of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of rescue groups and shelters. The Alliance is not disclosing her specific location.
“She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the Animal Care & Control.
“She has a lot of healing to do,” Steve Gruber, director of communications for the Mayor’s Alliance, told People.com.
The man she was trying to protect the day she was shot, identified as Lech Stankiewicz, hasn’t reclaimed Star.
Gruber said the Alliance hopes to find a caretaker for her “who can really understand what she’s been through.”
To contribute to Star’s care, you can donate here.
(Photo: New York City Animal Care & Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal control, animals, care, dogs, donate, eye, hearing, lost, new york city, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovery, seizure, shooting, shot, star, update, veterinary, victim
Onion, the mastiff mix that killed a one-year-old boy in Nevada, is likely to be put down in a matter of days after a judge ruled Friday that outside parties should have no say in whether the animal lives or dies.
Clark County District Judge Joanna Kishner sided with Henderson city attorneys who argued the 6-year-old mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix is vicious, and that an uninvited third party with no ties to the family had no legal right to step in to try to save him.
Lawyers for the Lexus Project, the New York-based organization that hoped to get Onion moved to a sanctuary in Colorado, said they want to appeal.
Kishner declined to issue a formal order postponing euthanasia pending an appeal, the Associated Press reported. But she said there will be time before her order is written, signed and filed.
“Despite good intentions … a party cannot just come in and state on their own that they wish to be a party to this case,” the judge said. “The court has to follow the law. It’s not for me to decide what action Henderson should take.”
Henderson city spokesman Keith Paul issued a statement later saying the dog would remain in the city animal shelter until the order is reviewed by attorneys on both sides and signed.
Outside the courthouse Friday, protesters waved signs, most urging the dog be spared. “Don’t Punish the Dog,” read one.
One man held up a sign with another point of view: ”Let’s Make Dog Tacos,” it said.
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was killed late last month during his first birthday party when Onion, a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix belonging to his grandparents bit him on the head.
The boy’s grandmother signed ownership and custody of the dog over to city animal control officials and said she wouldn’t contest his euthanization.
Family members weren’t in the courtroom Friday.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bit, clark county, court, dangerous, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, hearing, henderson, joanna kishner, judge, killed, lexus project, mauled, mix, nevada, one year old, onion, pets, protestors, rhodesian ridgeback, sanctuary, save, signs, vicious
Max, the Argentine mastiff who was impounded last week after biting a Denver television news anchor on the face, is headed home and won’t face any serious consequences.
Denver environmental health spokeswoman Meghan Hughes said Thursday the dog will go home this weekend after completing a 10-day mandatory quarantine, the Associated Press reported.
Kyle Dyer of KUSA-TV received 70 stitches after she was bitten in the face by the 85-pound dog while doing a live in-studio interview with the dog’s owner and a firefighter who had rescued the dog from an icy pond the day before.
Hughes says the dog’s owner, Michael Robinson, was cited with failure to have his dog on a leash. He’s due in court Feb. 29.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anchor, animal control, animals, argentine mastiff, bit, bite, bitten, citation, court, denver, dog, dogs, firefighter, going home, hearing, home, interview, kusa, Kyle Dyer, leash law, live, max, michael robinson, news anchor, owner, pets, quarantine, rescue, studio, television, violation
Jim Sak, the retired Chicago cop and stroke victim who the town of Aurelia said couldn’t keep his service dog, is getting Snickers back — likely today.
Northern Iowa District Court has granted the motion for a preliminary injunction allowing the dog to come back to town.
Snickers had been banned from the city limits earlier this month because he was a pit bull, and Sak had benn boarding him at a kennel outside town.
The city council of of Aurelia had voted that Sak, though he depended on the dog to help cope with the effects of his stroke, should not be allowed to keep his dog because it was a violation of its breed ban. The city threatened to seize and kill the dog if it remained.
During a two-hour hearing today, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ruled Snickers was an exception to the citywide ban because Sak uses a wheelchair and depends on the service dog.
According to Kim Wolf, Animal Farm Foundation community engagement specialist, Snickers will be returned to Sak’s residence later this afternoon.
Wolf said many came to the hearing to support Sak and Snickers, including strangers who drove hours to be there
“Animal Farm Foundation is thrilled that Officer Sak will be reunited with his service dog, Snickers, and his safety will no longer be compromised,” Wolf said. “This case is a sad example of what happens when cities discriminate against dogs based on breed or appearance.”
“Today I got my peace of mind back,” Sak said after the hearing. “I hope that nobody else has to go through what we went through.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, breed ban, breed-specific, dogs, exception, hearing, injunction, iowa, jim sak, judge mark bennett, keep, pets, pit bull, pitbull, pitbulls, return, returned, ruled, ruling, service dog, snickers, u.s. district court
In what’s billed as the first-ever TV commercial for dogs, Nestle will be testing an ad for Beneful dog food that contains squeaks, pings and high-frequency noises the company hopes will capture the attention of dogs.
Apparently, the company thinks owners who see their dogs react and wag their tails when the ad airs will jump to the conclusion that their dogs want some Beneful.
That’s a pretty long jump, but — as our “Woof in Advertising” series shows — appealing to dog lovers has proven a good way to sell products. Appealing to dogs, much like candy makers do to kids, is maybe just the logical next step.
“Dogs’ hearing is twice as sharp as humans. They can pick up frequencies which are beyond our range and they are better at differentiating sounds,” Dr. Georg Sanders, a nutrition expert and consumer consultant at Nestlé Purina PetCare in Germany, explained in a company press release.
The advertisement uses a squeak, similar to the sound dog toys make; a high pitched ping, also audible to both dogs and people, and a high frequency tone, similar to a dog whistle, that humans can barely hear.
“We wanted to create a TV commercial that our four-legged friends can enjoy and listen to, but also allow the owner and dog to experience it together,” said Anna Rabanus, Brand Manager of Beneful for Nestlé Purina PetCare Germany.
The commercial was first broadcast on German TV channels, national internet sites and the Beneful website during the summer months.
The 23-second TV spot will be shown in Austria this week.
The ad isn’t the first campaign in which Nestle takes aim at dogs’ sensory powers. Last year, the scent of Beneful dog food was incorporated into posters and advertising boards in German cities, in hopes of attracting dogs out for walks with their owners.
The philosophy behind the campaigns seems to be that if dogs show interest in Beneful, owners will oblige and buy them some — much like a parent might do for a child who, based on advertising, wants a particular kind of cereal.
There’s one major difference, though. Dogs, I’m pretty sure, won’t whine and nag their owners about it constantly until they cave in.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, austria, beneful, commercial, commercial for dogs, dogs, germany, hearing, high frequency, marketing, nestle, pings, purina, reaction, scent, smell, sound, sounds, squeaks, tail, wag, whines, woof in advertising
Rolled into a North Carolina courtroom in a green wagon, a pit bull mix named Chamberlin watched as one of two people accused of neglecting him so severely he’ll likely never fully recover was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Chamberlin, who Guilford County Animal Shelter officials said spent more than two months chained in a yard with little or no food — along with another dog who didn’t survive — was neglected to the point that his muscle tissue deteriorated, his bones fused and his claws circled back into his footpads.
Chamberlin, whose case led to a proposed law to make prosecution of neglect cases easier, called “Chamberlin’s Law,” entered the shelter over a year ago, and remains there, normally getting around on a cart that supports his front legs.
While he does have occasional outings, Wednesday’s might have been the most unusual of all.
Chamberlin was accompanied by shelter staff to today’s sentencing of Wilburt Morrison, Jr., 56. Morrison and his former live-in companion, Nellie Brock, were arrested last September and charged with two counts of animal cruelty each.
Chamberlin arrived at the Guilford County Courthouse in High Point atop a pink cushion in a heavy duty wagon, flanked by shelter staff and about 20 animal advocates.
When Morrison’s hearing began, the dog was rolled into the courtroom to the front row of seats.
(Brock rejected a plea agreement and will stand trial on the charges.)
Morrison’s attorney told the judge that Brock, not Morrison, was the owner of the dogs, and that Morrison had been ”under the impression that she would bring food to the dogs.”
He said the case was not as “black and white” as it appeared, and pointed out that, contrary to some earlier news reports, it was Morrison who called animal control to come get the dog.
Prosectors allowed a representative of Susie’s Miracle Fund — named after a burned dog whose case led to laws imposing harsher penalties for animal abuse in North Carolina — to read a statement. Upon its completion, the prosecutor said, “Finally, I would present Chamberlin.”
The black pit bull mix was wheeled into the middle of the courtroom, poking his head over the rails. After about 20 seconds of silence, he was pulled back to the front row.
Superior Court Judge John O. Craig, III, while he had some strong words for Morrison, accepted the plea agreement prosecutors offered.
Morrison in exchange for pleading to one count of animal cruelty (a second was dropped) was given a suspended 7 to 9-month prison sentence. He will spend 30 days in jail, and three years on probation. He was also ordered to make $1,000 in restitution to help cover Chamberlin’s medical bills.
The plea agreement also prohibits Morrison from having pets during his three-year probationary period.
“I don’t want him even to have a guppy,” the judge said. “Not even a pet rock.”
The maximum penalty Morrison could have received was 15 months in prison, because “Susie’s Law” had yet to go into effect at the time of his arrest.
Calling the dogs’ treatment “deplorable,” Craig said who owned the dogs was not the issue: “Even though the dogs may not technically have been owned by you, they were on your property and in your care.”
“They’re like children or elderly adults who can’t fend for themselves,” the judge added. “They are totally dependent on humans,” he added — and even moreso when they are chained, and unable to reach or seek their own food.
Judge Craig thanked Chamberlin’s backers for coming, but lamented that the same kind of support isn’t shown in cases involving the abuse and neglect of children and the elderly.
After the hearing, Nellie Brock spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, saying that, while the dogs belonged to her, Morrison was responsible for them.
“He put me out in May. He was responsible. Where I was at I could not take those dogs,” she said. She said she turned down a plea bargain because, ”I’m not guilty … I didn’t abuse my dogs.” A trial date has yet to be set.
In the most awkward moment of the afternoon, Brock approached the dog outside the courthouse, knelt down and spent several minutes petting and hugging him before an animal shelter official interrupted.
“He’s a strong dog and he has a good will and he knows in his heart that I didn’t do anything,” Brock said. “I pray every night for him.”
(Photos by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 30 days, abuse, animal cruelty, appearance, chained, chamberlin, chamberlin's law, courtroom, deal, englect, guilford county, guilford county animal shelter, hearing, high point, jail, neglected, nellie brock, north carolina, pit bull, plea agreement, probation, restitution, rolled, sentencing, starved, susies miracle fund, wagon, wheeled, wilburt morrison
A not guilty plea was entered Friday on behalf of Kisha Curtis, the Newark woman accused of animal cruelty charges stemming from the discovery of a dog who’d been tossed down a trash chute and left to die in a garbage bin.
The 1-year-old pit bull, whose rescuers named him Patrick, continues to recover at an area animal hospital.
Public defender Regina Lynch entered the plea in Superior Court in Newark on behalf of Curtis, 27, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. She appeared at the hearing via a video hookup from the Essex County Jail.
Curtis faces two counts of tormenting and torturing a living creature by failing to provide sustenance and two counts of abandonment, said Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Cheryl Cucinello.
After the hearing, Kisha’s mother, Tammie Curtis, said her daughter didn’t discard the dog, but only left him tethered at the high-rise Garden Spires apartments in Newark — while she went on a trip to Albany. She implied that the dog was stolen.
“Anybody would take that dog,” the mother said. “If she tied the dog, she didn’t leave the dog to die.”
A security guard at the 520-unit complex told the Star-Ledger that the dog had been seen tied to a railing with a leather leash, and had been the subject of resident complaints for more than a month.
“It would whimper, and it would yelp when you would come up to it,” Ortman said.
A custodian found Patrick on March 16, inside a trash bag at the bottom of a 22-story garbage chute.
Judge Amilkar Velez-Lopez kept Curtis’ bail at $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash and forbid her to have contact with pets. If convicted, she faces 18 months in prison, a $3,000 fine and community service.
Patrick has been recovering at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, where he has gained two pounds since being found.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, bail, bin, bond, charges, chute, courts, entered, essex county, garbage, garden spires, hearing, justice, kisha curtis, neglect, newark, news, not guilty, patrick, pit bull, pitbull, plea, sentence, tormenting, torture, trash, video
Time to reopen the annals of stupid human behavior and make room for Stacey Champion — a Minneapolis woman who attempted to air-mail a puppy to her 11-year-old son in Atlanta.
Champion, 39, was charged with animal cruelty after postal workers discovered the 4-month-old puppy inside a sealed package she had dropped off, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Champion told a postal clerk the box contained a toy robot. A Minneapolis police spokesman said the puppy would not have survived the trip.
The Star Tribune says that, while the package was still in the post office, it moved by itself and fell to the floor, surprising postal workers. Within minutes, postal employees unwrapped the tightly sealed box and pulled out the panting puppy.
The dog, described as a poodle-Schnauzer mix, named Guess, was placed in a shelter, costing Champion $250 in fees. Today, Champion tried to convince an administrative hearing officer to return Guess to her custody. (See the hearing in its entirety in the video above.)
Champion said in the hearing that she didn’t know dogs couldn’t be mailed. “They say they deliver,” she noted. She further explained to the judge, “If there weren’t no mistakes in life, society wouldn’t be what it is now.”
We can’t argue with that one.
Champion also went back to the post office and demanded she be refunded the $22 priority mail fee, according to the Star Tribune. That request was denied.
The judge called her actions disgraceful and declined to return the dog to her.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air-mailed, animal cruelty, animals, atlanta, custody, dog, dogs, guess, hearing, judge, live, mailed, mailed dog, minneapolis, pets, police, poodle, post office, postal, postal service, puppy, return, schnauzer, stacey champion, stupid, stupidity, video
Worcester County Commissioners voted down a bill that would have established fines for owners of barking dogs, leading at least one citizen who supported the measure to howl.
Jack Davis, a Bishopville resident, made barking noises as he left the commissioners Tuesday night meeting in Snow Hill — in an attempt to show just how annoying the sound can be, according to DelmarvaNow.com.
“It’s really rough when you retire and you want to sit on your porch and in your yard, and hear dogs barking all day long,” Davis said.
In a 4-3 vote, the commissioners nixed legislation that would have levied fines on dog owners for uncontrolled barking and howling in the Maryland county.
“At what point do you start legislating cats and frogs and everything else?” said Commissioner Virgil Shockley.
Worcester County Animal Control would have been responsible for enforcement of the law, charging owners with a civil infraction, and up to a $500 fine, if their dogs barked for more than an hour.
Of the half-dozen residents who spoke at a public hearing on the issue, all were in favor of the law.
Animal Control Officer Susan Rantz said the county commissioners would be better off looking at the county’s chained dog law. ”I don’t understand how a fine is going to stop the dogs from barking,” Rantz said. ”There are reasons the dogs bark, and I think it’s because they are on
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, barking, commissioners, dog, dogs, fine, fines, hearing, jack davis, law, legislation, maryland, news, nixed, nuisance, ohmidog!, pets, proposed, snow hill, susan rantz, virgil shockley, vote, voted down, worcester county