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Tag: hospital

Creed and Casper: A boy and a service dog


How a hospital service dog brightened — and maybe even prolonged — the final days of sick little boy is the subject of this poignant report by WXIA in Atlanta.

Creed Campbell spent more than half of his life in the hospital, battling illness since the day he was born and missing out on many of the joys of childhood.

Then, while in the hospital, he met Casper, a service dog from Canine Assistants who visits young patients.

Casper was the new therapy dog at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Creed was one of the first children he’d be assigned to. The bond was instant, the family says.

“I don’t think he ever saw Casper as a dog,” Creed’s father, Jon Campbell, said.

CreedonCasperCreed was thought to be nearing death one day when Casper came for his visit and jumped in his bed.

Creed’s mother, Stephanie, put her son’s motionless hand on Casper’s paw, then saw her son’s hand begin to move.

“That dog just saved your son,” a nurse later told the family.

Because Casper visited him in the hospital, Creed felt he should go along when the dog went to the vet for  a check up. In fact, he insisted on doing so, his mother, Stephanie wrote in a blog post about Casper and Creed for the hospital’s website.

Creed’s health improved, but only for a while.

Not long after Creed died, a new litter of puppies was born at Canine Assistants. They named one for Creed.

Stephanie went to meet the dog named after her son.

“I picked that dog up and … It was something tangible that I could hold again that brought me to my baby,” she said. “Everything he’s lived through all of his heartache, all of his hardship, I get to hold it right here with this little warm fuzzy pup.”

(Photo: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)

Courage recovers, owner fired from vet job

A California kennel attendant charged with felony animal cruelty in the case of a starved dog was fired from her job Wednesday.

Kimberly Nizato, of Bellflower, was arrested April 16 after authorities with Southeast Area Animal Control Authority determined she was the owner of Bosco, a dog that was found near death on her property.

Nizato, 26, who worked at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of failure to provide care.

Her 3-year-old German shepherd weighed 37 pounds and was unable to walk or lift his head when a good samaritan stepped in and took the dog to a veterinarian earlier this month, according to the Orange County Register.

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County agreed to pay for the dog’s medical bills and care.

Renamed “Courage,” the dog was treated at Community Veterinary Hospital in Garden Grove before he was moved to a foster home.

Courage continues to improve and has gained 10 pounds in two weeks.

Dog takes self to the emergency room

hospitaldogMaybe it was a coincidence, or maybe it was one smart dog. In any event an injured dog in New Mexico walked through the automatic doors and into the emergency room at San Juan Regional Medical Center over the weekend.

Staff and patients were stunned to see the unaccompanied German shepherd mix, about 7 to 8 years old, walk through the doors with blood on his nose and paw, and a small puncture wound on a rear leg.

Animal control officer Robin Loev responded to the hospital, where he found people gathered around the dog, giving him water, according to the Daily Times in Farmington.

Loev couldn’t find the source of the blood and it didn’t appear the dog was hit by a car. The puncture wound, probably from being bitten by another dog, didn’t require treatment.

Loev took the dog to the Farmington Animal Shelter, where it was vaccinated and given water and a warm blanket.

“Some of these situations that come up make you wonder just how intelligent these animals are,” Loev said.

 (Photo: Xavier Mascareñas/The Daily Times)

Deaf dog found a week after escaping hospital

lunaLuna, a deaf but resourceful bulldog mix who escaped from a veterinary hospital in New York and was missing for more than a week, has been returned to her owners.

A surveillance tape at Shaker Veterinary in Latham showed Luna pushed open her crate door on Jan 2. She went through several more doors and then managed to open the main door of the hospital by pulling down a handicapped handle and pushing it open.

After the dog, who had been at the hospital for a couple of days, was reported missing, her owners, Ralph Rataul and his wife, Shelley, put up an $800 reward, which included their money, a contribution from Shaker Veterinary Hospital and donations from friends.

A story on her escape appeared in the Albany Times Union, and concerned citizens in the area are believed to have left food out for the dog after hearing about her — Dee Dee’s Tavern, for one, which put out some prime rib. Over the weekend, 200 volunteers searched  for Luna, and family members and friends spent hours driving around  on lunch hours and after work looking for her, the newspaper said.

On Monday, a couple found Luna in their backyard in Loudonville — more than a week after her disappearance — a couple of miles from the veterinary hospital.

Recognizing her from a story in Sunday’s Times Union, the couple tried to lure Luna inside, but she resisted. They called the veterinary hospital and the hospital staff called Rataul, who came and picked her up.

“I’m overjoyed,” Rataul said Monday. “This is unreal. She’s home, she’s safe.”

The couple, who adopted the dog three years ago, had feared the worst, due to the dog’s handicap.

“She’s not an outdoors dog, not a hunting dog, but some instinctual stuff must have kicked in”  said Ken Wolfe, assistant director of the hospital. “Whatever she was doing, she was doing it right.” Luna lost 12 pounds but  was in good shape, the vet said.

The couple who found Luna in their backyard, meanwhile, turned down the reward money, asking that it go to charity. Rataul said half of the reward will be donated to the ASPCA and the other half to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

(Photo: Luna and owner Ralph Rataul. By Skip Dickstein/Albany Times Union)

Delaware loses a police dog, another recovers

patchWhile a  Delaware police department worried about the fate of one of its police dogs — shot in the line of duty last week — it suddenly lost another one.

Bandit, a 6-year-old German shepherd who had served four years in the K-9 unit of the New Castle County Police Department, was euthanized Monday after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, according to Delmarvanow.com.

The dog had worked Saturday, and became ill Sunday night. He was rushed to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital — the same hospital where another of the department’s dogs, Diablo, was being treated for two gunshot wounds sustained in the line of duty four days earlier.

Diablo was shot twice last Wednesday in Wilmington while chasing down a suspect who police said had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend. Diablo, who developed pneumonia at the hospital, remains in stable condition.

Bandit was surrounded by his handler Cpl. Paul Chickadel, family and friends when he died, police officials said.

In 2008,  Bandit sniffed out $32,445 in connection with drug investigations, responding to 389 canine calls and assisting in four arrests. In June, the team was certified in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol work by the National Police Canine Association.

The department said arrangements have not been finalized for a memorial service.

Owner saves her dog from dissection

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At least two stolen pet dogs were found in an operating room used for dissections at the medical school of South America’s oldest university.

Carmen Valverde’s dog Tomas was stolen by two men while she was walking in the working-class Brena district of Lima, and a friend who works at the University of San Marcos spotted him by chance in a surgery room where dogs are dissected.

Valverde donned a lab coat and snuck into the hospital to rescue Tomas. Video her friend shot a week ago, aired on local television, shows him sedated, splayed, and strapped to a stainless steel table.

After local newspapers published the story, other people missing dogs rushed to the hospital’s door and one owner found her dog Chico.

“The University of San Marcos still hasn’t apologized for what it has done,” Valverde told Reuters  Thursday. According to the article, The University of San Marcos does not have access to enough human cadavers for its students, so they sometimes cut open dogs instead.

Ricardo Rubios, dean of the medical school, acknowledged that stolen dogs had wound up in the surgery room, but said the school only uses strays for classes.

“I assure you we would have returned the dog. All our experimental surgeries are done to dogs that don’t have owners,” Rubios told Reuters.

Romila Briones, a member of ASPPA, a Peruvian animal rights group, said the law does not protect strays. “In Europe, they don’t kill animals for education, they use dummies. Unfortunately, animals are just property in the eyes of the law here, like furniture,” Briones said.

Stump visits young cancer patients

Stump, the Sussex spaniel who claimed top honors at Westminster this year, made an appearance at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center yesterday to the delight of a half dozen young cancer patients.

Stump — along with  J.R., a bichon frise from Houston who won Best in Show at Westminster eight years ago — were there to help celebrate the unveiling of the newest Children’s Art Project products, including a flag-inspired canine bandana.

Stump was chosen to model the new bandana, in part, because of his heart-lifting life story, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Stump, at 10,  was the oldest dog in the judging’s history to win Best in Show, and the first of his breed to take top honors. Even more inspiring to the children at M.D. Anderson, said hospital spokeswoman Sara Farris, was Stump’s ability to overcome a near-fatal bacterial infection five years ago.

Stump spent 19 days in a Texas A&M University veterinary clinic, art project director Shannon Murray told the kids. “But he never gave up the will to live,” she said.

Typically,  groups of seven to 25 children work on each art project, the sales of which raise about $1.5 million a year for programs directed at young patients.

“When the children create it gives them a sense of control when they may not have a feeling of a lot of control in their lives,”  said Murray. “Giving back to the other children at M.D. Anderson — it’s a great way to make a contribution and to feel better.”

Son of Steelers linebacker stable after dog bite

Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison’s toddler son was believed in stable condition at a Pittsburgh hospital after being bitten on the thigh by the family’s dog.

The boy’s mother, Beth Tibbott, was also treated and released for a bite she received when she tried to get the dog off the child, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Harrison, 31, the NFL defensive player of the year last season, could not be reached for comment. He was not home when the incident took place, friends said.

At the Harrisons’ home on Matterhorn Drive, a family friend said that Harrison was at the gym in the late afternoon when she, Ms. Tibbott and the child, James Harrison III, were outside in the fenced yard, where the dog was kept in a crate.

The friend said the dog, a pit bull, bit the baby on the thigh when it was released, and that Ms. Tibbott began screaming and threw herself on top of the baby.

Steelers management said in a statement Friday: “We are aware of this unfortunate situation. We express our concern for his family and hope that everyone involved makes a complete recovery.”

Steelers star’s pit bull attacks his son

Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh is reporting that a pit bull owned by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison attacked the player’s young son on Thursday.

An unidentified neighbor said one of the star player’s three dogs got loose Thursday at Harrison’s Franklin Park home and attacked the boy, James III. His age was not immediately available.

The boy was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital, where his condition is not known. The hospital declined comment.

“We are aware of the situation, but it a personal matter for James,” the Steelers said in a statement.

Harrison, 31, is the NFL Defensive Player of the Year — and the team member that opted to stay home on the day the Super Bowl-winning Steelers met with President Barack Obama.

Week aims to take a bite out of bites

What do children, the elderly and postal workers have in common?

They are the most frequent victims of the estimated 4.7 million dog bites that occur a year — about  386,000 of which require a trip to the emergency room, and 16 of which prove fatal.

If you haven’t already figured it out, it’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week — time to roll out the sobering statistics, and make the point that, with nothing more than education and common sense, those numbers could be reduced dramatically.

Perhaps the most effective way to do so is by educating children — or educating parents to educate their children — on how to behave around dogs.

“Approximately half of the 800,000 Americans who receive medical attention for dog bites each year are children. And when a dog bites a child, the victim’s small size makes the bite more likely to result in a severe injury,” says Dr. James O. Cook, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Statistically, children ages 5 to 9 years old are at the highest risk of being bitten followed by adult males.

While many people are under the impression that certain breeds are more likely to bite, the American Veterinary Medical Association says there’s little scientific evidence to support that claim.

Here are some tips on preventing dog bites, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not run from a dog and scream.
  • Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.
  • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
  • Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.