The “K-9 Comfort Dogs” are part of a Lutheran Church Charities program in which the specially trained therapy dogs serve to calm and connect with injured survivors.
As was the case in Newtown, the comfort they provide tends to extend far beyond hospital room visits.
“We have people simply walking by on the sidewalk who see the dogs … and with the memory of Monday, they break into tears,” said Rev. Ingo Dutzmann, senior pastor of First Lutheran Church in downtown Boston, which is serving as home base for five of Lutheran Church Charities’ dogs.
“It’s the dog that allows them to express their emotions in that way,” he told NBC, “and if you’re hurting, you’ve got to let it go. With a dog, people are not afraid to do that.”
On Tuesday, three comfort dogs flew from Lutheran Church Charities’ headquarters near Chicago to Boston, where they joined two golden retrievers who had been working with grieving pupils and parents at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The five dogs and their handlers will spend the rest of this week visiting bombing survivors at Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and they’ll keep making hospital rounds next week if needed. The dogs will also be present at First Lutheran Church of Boston at noon today for a memorial service and on Sunday morning for worship services.
“It’s relaxing — takes my mind off of what happened,” said David Yepez, 15, who is recovering from surgery at Tufts Medical Center after being hit in the leg by shrapnel in Monday’s blast. “It’s good to have my mind away from the accident, the doctors. To have a moment of peace. [I haven’t] had many moments of peace.”
The dogs paid a visit Wednesday to Lee Ann Yanni (seen above), just before she underwent surgery on her shattered leg.
“My stress level has gone way down,” said Meghan Bennett, a 25-year-old nursing student who has been caring for bombing victims. “I just love dogs … and this is a distraction from the reality. Patients’ faces light up when a dog walks into the room.”
(Photos: Lutheran Church Charities)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bombing, bombs, boston, boston marathon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, calming, comfort dogs, community, david yepez, dogs, emotions, golden retrievers, goldens, grief, hospital, injuries, k-9 comfort dogs, lee ann yanni, lutheran church charities, marathon, Massachusetts General Hospital, newtown, pain, pets, sandy hook, school, staff, therapy dogs, tufts, Tufts Medical Center, victims, visits
Officer Willie Bryant is a member of a multi-jurisdictional gang task force that was serving a drug-related warrant at a home in north Memphis.
He was wearing a bulletproof vest when the shot — intended for a Cane Corso police said was charging at officers — struck him in the back last Thursday.
Two men inside the home were arrested and charged with possessing a handgun during attempted commission of a felony, and possessing crack cocaine and marijuana with intent to sell.
The dog, along with three others, were later picked up by Memphis Animal Services.
When police entered the home, two dogs — a pit bull and a Cane Corso — were inside, James Rogers, administrator of Memphis Animal Services, told the Commercial Appeal. The Corso was loose and the pit bull was in a kennel.
Police say the loose dog charged at them, leading officer Byron Willis to fire his weapon. The dog was not struck, and apparently, after the shot was fired, didn’t cause problems requiring officers to use lethal force .
That dog, the pit bull, and two more Cane Corsos in the backyard of the property were taken in by animal control.
Bryant, 32, who has been on the force for nine years, was rushed to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Willis, 43, who has been with the force since July, was been placed on leave pending an investigation.
During a search of the home, officers found crack cocaine, three body armor vests, and five handguns, police said.
“Dogs, armed parties, you never know what you are going to encounter when you kick a door in,” Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said. “We have to make life or death decisions, not only about our lives, but about other people’s lives, in less than a second’s notice.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrests, cane corso, critical, dogs, gang, home, hospital, law enforcement, north memphis, officer, pets, pit bull, police, raid, shooting, shot, shotgun, task force, unit, warrant, willie bryant, wounded
Last Thursday, John Dolan picked up his ringing cell phone and was told to come get his dog, who was standing outside Good Samaritan Medical Center in Islip, N.Y.
A hospital employee had come across the dog, checked the tags, found Dolan’s number and called it.
What the hospital employee didn’t know was that Dolan was, at the time, a patient in the hospital — and that his dog, Zander, had somehow tracked him there from home, even though home was two miles from the hospital.
Zander is a 70-pound, 7-year-old samoyed-husky mix, with a history of escaping from their home. Dolan and his wife had rescued him from a shelter five years ago. This time though, he appeared to have escaped for a reason.
In the days since Dolan entered the hospital, the dog had been acting sad, Dolan said his wife told him.
“He was moping around for the days I was already at the hospital, sitting in my seat and rolled up and depressed. My wife said he had water in his eyes and looked like he was really sad,” Dolan, 46, told ABCNews.com today.
After Dolan got the call that Zander was outside the hospital, he called his wife, Priscilla, who hadn’t realized Zander was missing.
She drove to the hospital to pick up Zander, who had never been to the hospital before.
Dolan’s back home, too, now, and he reports Zander is not leaving his side.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dogs, find, finds, found, hospital, hospitalized, husky, john dolan, loyalty, mix, owner, patient, pets, samoyed, sniffed, tracks, two miles, zander
The mixed-breed dog was discovered by employees at the Animal Clinic of Rogue River on Friday, alive and alert, but laying in a pool of his own blood.
“It looks like the muzzle of the gun was stuck in the dog’s mouth and it was shot execution-style,” Rogue River police Chief Ken Lewis told the Medford Mail Tribune.
“He had a large hole in his face, just under the chin,” the police chief said.
The dog, believed to be about two years old, had no identification. He was rushed to Best Friends Animal Hospital in Talent for emergency surgery.
“He had two fractures in his jaw that had to be fixed with a wire,” Dr. Margarita Garcia said. “The wound is still leaking, but he can now eat watered-down food.”
Best Friends Animal Hospital workers say the dog has a friendly disposition. “We all have fallen in love with him,” said veterinary technician Erin McCreary.
The animal hospital will continue to treat the dog until he is fit for adoption, Garcia said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Rogue River police at 541-582-4931
(Photo: Bob Pennell / Medford Mail Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal clinic of rogue river, animal cruelty, animals, best friends animal hospital, clinic, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, face, hospital, mouth, oregon, prets, rogue river, shot, tied, veterinary
The police department in Union, S.C., is investigating the death, which occured sometime between May 2 and May 8 at Classy Pet Grooming, WYFF reported
John Johnson, of Whitmire, told police that he had dropped his dog off and, soon after, became ill and was hospitalized and treated for a stroke.
Unable to reach the business on the phone, he dropped by after he was released from the hospital. No one was there, so he peered through a window, spotted his unmoving dog inside and called police.
Officers arrived at the business establishment, where they talked to the owner by phone.
Shelly Vinson told an officer that she had tried to take Johnson’s dog for a walk on a leash, but it got away from her and ran away. She said she later found the dog dead under some bushes.
She told officers she carried the dog back to building and, before leaving, turned the air conditioner down low “so it wouldn’t stink inside the business.”
Police reports referred to the inside of the shop as “unsanitary.”
News Channel 7 reported that Vinson was issued a citation for animal cruelty.
An animal control officer removed four other dogs from the business, two of which have been returned to their owner.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, border collie, business, classy pet grooming, cruelty to animals, death, died, dies, dogs, groomer, hospital, john johnson, owner, pets, shop, south carolina, stroke, union, whitmire
The town of Aurelia, Iowa, has declined to settle out of court with James Sak, the former Chicago police officer who says he should be allowed to keep the pit bull mix that helps him cope with the effects of a stroke.
Sak, 65, had to relinquish Snickers last year because the municipality bans pit bulls. He sent the dog to a boarding facility outside Aurelia. Later, an Iowa judge later granted an injunction, allowing Snickers and Sak to reunite (see the video above) and stay together in Aurelia until the case is resolved.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping with Sak’s legal representation, said last week that the town has declined to settle the case, and that a trial has been scheduled for July, 2013, more than a year from now.
Earlier this year, Saks, a stroke victim, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been undergoing treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
“The worst part of my [cancer] treatment is not having my dog here,” said Sak, who is expected to return home after his hospital stay.
“Jim has been so strong throughout all of this. We know his strength comes from knowing Snickers is waiting for him at home, waiting to do his job as his service animal and his support,” said said Kim Wolf, community engagement specialist for Animal Farm Foundation.
Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the right side of his body. He was paired at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago with Snickers, who helps him walk, balance and call from help in an emergency.
“We want everyone to realize that Aurelia’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to put Jim through the agony of a trial, especially while he’s battling cancer, does not reflect the sentiments of every resident of Aurelia,” Wolf said. “The outpouring of support and disbelief from Jim’s neighbors has been huge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, cancer, chicago, disability, dog, dogs, hospital, iowa, james sak, kim wolf, law, officer, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, police, scheduled, service, snickers, stroke, treatment, trial, victim
The Saturday incident proves what he has been saying all along.
Both on his website and on signs he puts up in the park, he warns that dog poop can be dangerous; and urges that dog owners pick it up.
We have no disagreement with that.
According to his report in the New Haven Independent, a family on a picnic returned home and noticed their daughter “had a smelly substance under her fingernails … Upon further inspection, the 4-year-old had some of the same substance in her mouth and ears…
“Yep, you guessed it. The substance was dog feces. They cleaned her up but overnight had to take her to the emergency room because she was vomiting … Upon testing the little girl, they found her stomach swarming with coliform bacteria …”
A good doggie defense lawyer might point out here that, unlikely as it is to have come from another source, there’s no proof that the poop came from a dog. As one slightly less than sensitive commenter on the Ross post says, “there are a lot worse things than dog poop (needles for instance) littering the parks and streets of New Haven – you’re lucky that it was only dog poop and not something worse.”
As another chimed in “the girl could have pricked herself with a heroin needle, suffocated on a used condom or cut herself on broken beer bottles.”
A good doggie defense lawyer might further raise the question in the jury’s mind as to why the family, on top of not noticing their daughter when she was playing in poop, didn’t detect the presence of the substance until their return home.
But that’s not the point, at least not to Andy Ross, who had the misfortune of bearing the wrath of mom.
On his signs urging dog walkers to pick up the poop, he lists his email address and phone number. The mother, for some reason, called to yell at him.
“At first she blamed me until I pointed out that I am the one trying to stop this disgusting and total irresponsibility on behalf of dog owners,” he reported. The woman was threatening to sue the city, he said. ”She was piping mad and I do not blame her.”
“I hope that every group that has the ability to get out this horrible story to residents does,” Ross wrote. “Spring is here and children play in the park. Others just enjoy walking around the park with out having to navigate their way through dog feces. This is not just a Wooster Square Park problem; I am sure it is prevalent in other city parks too. This is both a health and quality of life issue we all need to pay attention to.”
Comments on his report are evenly divided between those who agree what happened to the four-year-old was horrendous, and those who point out it could have been worse, and ask why no one in the family noticed when the child was smearing poop on herself.
“Um, I can’t speak for everyone – but I grew up with a dog that poo’d all over the lawn, spent A LOT of time playing on said lawn, and even at 4 I knew not to touch that s#!t … Sounds like questionable parenting to me.”
“People who don’t pick up after their pets are selfish and uncivilized,” said another. “I would recommend to the upset mother that she needs to take the time to teach her child not to eat things off the ground, or at least be more attentive to what her child is doing.”
“Careless dog owners stare at their iPhones while the dog is defecating and completely miss it,” wrote another “… My real question is, why own a beautiful animal if you’re not going to give it your attention? Put down your phone and love your puppy … you’ll feel better.”
I’d agree that both the owner that failed to pick up their dog’s poop, and the parents of the child who failed to notice their daughter toying with it, share the blame. And I especially like the idea of blaming the iPhone as well.
Many people tend to get so absorbed in whatever it is they are doing on their phones that they fail to notice both the subtle things and the blatant ones going on around them, whether it’s what a dog might be dropping or what a child might be picking up.
Even though hand-held communication devices may not be to blame for this particular incident, they — or is it our dependence on them? — do seem to take us out of the moment we’re in.
So pick up the poop. Monitor your dog. Watch your children. Enjoy the company of both. And leave the stupid phone at home.
Let a day in the park be a day in the park.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andy ross, animals, consideration, daughter, dog, dogs, droppings, feces, girl, grass, health, hospital, law, mad, mother, new haven, park, parks, pets, pick-up, picnic, played, playing, poop, responsibility, safety, sanitation, scoop, sickened, signs, vigilante, warning, wooster square park
The Colorado news anchor bitten on the air last week received 70 stitches and is unable to speak because her mouth is sewn shut.
That’s according to her Facebook page.
Kyle Dyer, morning news anchor for NBC’’s Denver affiliate, KUSA, was doing an in-studio interview with a firefighter and the owner of a dog who had been rescued from a frozen reservoir. When Dyer bent down to kiss the dog, an 85-pound Argentine mastiff, named Max, turned and bit her.
On her Facebook page, she says she spent four hours in surgery, receiving 70 stitches in her upper lip, lower lip and nose.
“I am unable to talk because my mouth is stitched shut to allow for the skin graft to take and get the blood circulating in my lips again.”
Dyer was released from the hospital Thursday.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anchor, bit, bite, bitten, denver, dog bite, facebook, frozen, hospital, interview, kusa, Kyle Dyer, lake, lips, mastiff, max, mouth, news, released, rescue, reservoir, sewn, stitches, surgery
Alan Askwith didn’t mean to shoot his wife. He meant, his own lawyer says, to shoot his dog.
But apparently hitting the right target can be difficult when one is driving, allegedly under the influence, down an interstate highway with three kids in the backseat.
Yesterday, Askwith, 29, of Richfield, Utah, was being held at the Utah County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail on charges that included felony discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cruelty to animals, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune
Highway Patrol Corporal Todd Johnson said the shooting took place somewhere on southbound Interstate 15 in southern Utah County last Friday.
“For some unknown reason, the driver decided to shoot the dog and also hit the female passenger in the lower leg,” Johnson said.
Askwith’s defense attorney, Clayton Simms of Salt Lake City, said Wednesday that Askwith shot the animal when it began snarling. Askwith then pulled over and dumped the dog on I-15, and tossed his handgun out of his SUV.
The dog – a 115-pound pit bull, named “Arby” — was later picked up by relatives, taken for treatment and, according to Simms, is expected to recover.
Simms said Askwith told him he was concerned the pit bull posed a risk to his wife, and to three children sitting in the back of his vehicle.
Askwith drove his wife to Central Valley Hospital in Nephi — see, everybody has their redeeming qualities – where she was treated for what authorities described as a non-life threatening wound.
Another trooper, at the hospital for another matter, arrested Askwith after learning what happened and took him into custody after a brief foot chase.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arby, arrest, askwith, attorney, charges, dangerous, dog, dogs, dumped, hazard, highway, hospital, humans, injured, interstate, pets, pit bull, risk, safety, salt lake city, shooting, shot, snarling, survived, utah, wife
Topaz had surgery earlier this month to remove a cancerous tumor in her neck, an operation that involved removing part of her jugular vein.
Michael, meanwhile, has been in and out of the hospital since being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatitis C.
But, for now, both, when they’re not under the care of doctors, are still living together in the trailer in Torrance that Michael — once he confirmed Topaz could stay there, too — moved into after years on the streets.
Michael and Topaz were homeless when police opened fire on another homeless man they thought was pulling a gun in Inglewood. The gun turned out to be a toy, but that wasn’t discovered until, 47 shots later, Eddie Franco had been killed. Topaz was struck by four or five bullets and would lose her leg.
Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, the founder of Streetsmarts Rescue who helped reunite Topaz and Michael, reports that Topaz has been spending days at the home of a Streetsmarts member, and nights at the hospital.
A permanent home for the 6-year-old dog is still being sought, as Michael’s illness is considered terminal.
In the photos provided by the rescue (above), I can see how Michael has physically declined since I met him three years ago and took the photo to the left.
To contribute to the care of Topaz, visit the ChipIn page that Hurel-Diourbel established.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, homeless, hospital, inglewood, los angeles, michael, michael and topaz, michael reed, pets, pit bull, police, shooting, surgery, three-legged, topaz