An Idaho family has launched an online petition aimed at outlawing the government’s use of cyanide traps like the one that sent their son to the hospital and claimed the life of their dog last month.
The devices are used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in remote areas to control predators by exposing them to a blast of cyanide gas.
Canyon Mansfield, 14, was knocked to the ground last month when a cyanide trap, also known as an M-44, spewed cyanide gas into his face and killed his dog, Casey, within seconds.
Although the government has said the devices are only planted with the permission of property owners — and only after neighbors are warned — the Mansfield family says it had no knowledge of the device, installed about 350 yards from their home.
The USDA maintains the devices help resolve conflict between wildlife and people in the safest and most humane ways possible, but “the nature of the cyanide bomb is neither safe nor humane,” Canyon’s father, Mark Mansfield, a doctor in Pocatello, wrote in an online
“Cyanide gas has been used throughout history to murder masses of people,” he said.
The M-44s, also known as “coyote-getters,” are designed to lure animals who smell their bait. When an animal tugs on the device, a spring-loaded metal cylinder fires sodium cyanide powder into its mouth.
Over the years, thousands of non-target animals — wild and domestic — have been mistakenly killed by the lethal devices.
Four conservation and animal-welfare groups announced Tuesday they are suing the Trump administration for “failing to protect endangered species from two deadly pesticides used to kill coyotes and other native carnivores.”
“Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers,” said Collette Adkins, an attorney and biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity.
“In just the past several weeks they’ve injured a child and killed an endangered wolf and several family dogs. These dangerous pesticides need to be banned, but until then, they shouldn’t be used where they can hurt people or kill family pets and endangered wildlife,” Adkins said.
The government, meanwhile, has called the accidental death of family pets from M-44s a “rare occurrence,” and said Wildlife Services posts signs and issues other warnings to alert pet owners when traps are placed near their homes.
(Photos by the Mansfield family)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 6th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, casey, center for biological diversity, control, cyanide bombs, cyanide traps, department of agriculture, dog, dogs, endangered, federal, government, idaho, kill, killed, lawsuit, m-44s. m44s, mansfield, outlaw, petition, pets, pocatello, predator, species, use, wildlife
It looks like a harmless sprinkler head, but it’s a bomb, filled with poison — and your own federal government planted it.
They are called predator control devices, or M-44s, and they are placed — generally in remote areas in the West — by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to control fox and coyote populations.
Last week, one of them killed another dog, a three-year-old lab named Casey.
The devices release a burst of cyanide when activated.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office says the cyanide bomb, or cyanide trap, as they are most commonly called, detonated Thursday, killing the family dog.
The incident occurred on a ridge line located above a residence on Buckskin Road in Pocatello.
Fourteen-year-old Canyon Mansfield was walking his dog on land neighboring his property when he saw what he thought was a sprinkler head protruding from the ground.
He bent down and touched the pipe. There was an explosion and a hissing sound. The boy noticed his clothing and face were covered with an orange, powdery substance. He washed his face off with snow, then called his dog.
Spotting his dog on the ground, the boy ran to him and “saw this red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy and he was having a seizure.” The dog died within minutes, he said.
Canyon, the son of a doctor, was checked out and released, but advised to report back for monitoring of his cyanide levels, according to the Idaho State Journal,.
The devices consist of spring-loaded metal cylinders that are baited with scent that shoot sodium cyanide powder into the mouth or face of whatever or whoever touches them.
There have been calls to ban them, but APHIS says they have been deemed by the EPA to be necessary tool to reduce losses livestock owners face due to predators.
“Wildlife Services has removed M-44s in that immediate area. Wildlife Services is completing a thorough review of the circumstances of this incident, and will work to review our operating procedures to determine whether improvements can be made to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences happening in the future,” the statement said.
A spokesman for APHIS said that the “unintentional lethal take of a dog” is a rare occurrence.
The statement also said that M-44 devices are only set with permission from property owners or managers, and that this is the first unintentional take of an animal with an M-44 device in Idaho since 2014.
“The USDA’s statement regarding the horrific incident that happened to my family yesterday is both disrespectful and inaccurate,” Canyon’s sister, Madison, said. “The USDA intentionally refers to the brutal killing of our dog as a ‘take’ to render his death trivial and insignificant.”
According to Predator Defense, one of the organizations working to halt the use of the devices, two dogs were killed earlier this year near Casper, Wyoming, while on a family hiking trip.
(Photos: At top; Canyon Mansfield holds up Casey’s collar, by Jordon Beesley / State Journal; at center, the cyanide bomb that went off, provided by the Mansfield family; at bottom, Casey in a family photo)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 20th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, aphis, bannock county, Canyon Mansfield, coyotes, cyanide, cyanide bomb, cyanide trap, deputies, device, dog, dogs, face, fox, foxes, government, hazard, health, idaho, killed, kills, m-44, m-44s, pets, pocatello, predator control, predators, safety, sheriff, spray, warning, wildlife
During our year traveling across America in search of all things dog, Ace and I missed this place — a B&B in Idaho that resembles a giant beagle.
The Dog Bark Park Inn is located in the city of Cottonwood, population less than 1,000.
Sullivan, a chain saw artist who specializes in dog designs, built the dog shaped unit, named Sweet Willy, and his smaller sidekick, Toby.
You can’t sleep inside Toby, but Sweet Willy contains two bedrooms and a bathroom, and rents for about $100 a night. (Pets are welcome for an extra $15 fee.)
The two-acre property also includes a sculpture garden featuring other works of art, including a 12-foot fire hydrant with a portable toilet inside, the Huffington Post reports.
At the Dog Bark Park Inn, guests check in at the owners’ studio and gift shop, located nearby.
They say their “big break” came in 1995 when their carvings were featured on QVC. With the fame came more hard work.
“We did nothing but carve wooden dogs for 18 months (our children barely remember seeing us during those days!), made what seemed like a bundle of money, invested it all in developing and building Dog Bark Park.”
In 2003 they received the Take Pride in Idaho Cultural Tourism Award for a large carved art exhibit depicting the story of Seaman, the dog who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their exploratory journey to the Pacific two hundred years ago.
(Photos: Dog Bark Park Inn)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 9th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, artists, b&b, beagle, bed and breakfast, carvings, cottonwood, Dennis J. Sullivan, dog bark park inn, dogs, Frances Conklin, giant, idaho, like, pets, sculptures, shaped, sleep, tourism, travel, travels with ace, wood, wooden
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said an internal review found that the shooting of Arfee by officer Dave Kelly — the bullet went through the window glass —was unjustified.
A separate Use of Deadly Force Review Board unanimously concluded that Kelley’s actions “were in violation of the department policies reviewed.”
Officer Kelly remains on duty, though, and city officials aren’t saying what disciplinary action, if any, he might face, according to the Associated Press
“An argument can be made that Officer Kelley’s decision to shoot was reasonable when the dog lunged through the partially open window mere inches away from his face and throat,” White said. “However, given the totality of the circumstances, the use-of-force reviews found Officer Kelley’s use of force to be out of policy in this incident.”
The department initially reported that an officer shot and killed a “vicious pit bull” that lunged at him from inside a van on July 9 — but later corrected the breed. Arfee was a lab mix. Kelly was not identified by name by the department until last week.
The dog’s owner, Craig Jones, had left Arfee parked in the shade with the windows partly open while he went to a coffee shop.
City Attorney Mike Gridley declined to comment on whether any disciplinary action would be taken against Kelley, who has 17 years of law enforcement experience, the last seven with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
Officer Kelley, in an incident report filed immediately after the incident, said the van was being checked due previous reports in the area of a person in a similar van trying to entice children. He said he drew his weapon as he approached the driver’s side door of the van.
“I was at the driver’s side door/window, when suddenly I saw a black dog’s head and neck lunge through the open window,” Kelley wrote. “The dog was aggressively barking and growling, and its mouth was within inches of my face. I had the split second thought that this dog is going to bite me, and bite me immediately.”
The use-of-force investigation said that, even if Arfee’s head was outside the window, Kelley’s response — firing a bullet, that went through the window glass — was not reasonable.
“Officer Kelley, a seasoned officer of over 15 years of experience, was in an open parking lot with an open business, in the middle of the day, with citizens around and (another) officer … on the other side of the van. This was a case where Officer Kelley did not have anything behind him to prevent him from gaining distance,” police Lt. Robert Turner wrote in the report.
Police Chief White said the shooting has shaken the community’s confidence in the police department, but added, “… The relationship between our community and our department will ultimately be strengthened as a direct result of how we respond to the situation and how we improve our agency to prevent similar situations from occurring.”
Posted by John Woestendiek September 9th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arfee, couer d'alene, craig jones, dave kelly, department, dog, dogs, idaho, killed, lab, labrador, law enforcement, mix, officer, pets, police, shot
“We as a city again want to offer our complete apology to Mr. Jones,” Mayor Steve Widmyer said at last night’s City Council meeting.
Widmyer said the city will “take full responsibility” for the death of the 2-year-old black Lab mix, named Arfee, if the investigation determines mistakes were made.
Arfee was alone in a parked van when a police officer — as yet unnamed — approached it from the rear during an investigation. The officer says the dog lunged at him when he neared the partially opened window. He fired one shot — through the window glass — hitting Arfee in the chest and killing him.
Police Chief Ron Clark also spoke at the start of last night’s council meeting, calling the shooting “a regrettable tragedy.” He said he has spoken to the dog’s owner, Craig Jones, a former Coeur d’Alene resident now living in Colorado who was visiting the Idaho city during the 4th of July weekend.
“I told him how sorry I was about this incident,” the chief said. “And we had a good conversation. We discussed the entire situation and also about how it was unintended.”
Jones left Arfee in the van while he went out to breakfast and returned to find a bullet hole through the window, according to the Spokesman-Review.
In a news release after the shooting, police said they were responding to a report of a suspicious van, possibly containing someone watching young children. When an officer approached the van on the driver’s side, “a vicious Pit Bull dog lunged out the open driver’s side window toward the Officer’s face,” the release said.
Police removed the dog’s body and left before Jones returned to this van. Police later said the dog was a Lab mix, not a pit bull.
A witness to the shooting also spoke at last night’s council meeting.
“Everything that I witnessed appeared to be a complete cover-up,” Jessi Johnson told the council. “Everybody watched and nobody did the right thing.”
Police Chief Clark said the department’s investigation will be reviewed by the city’s legal department, the administration and an outside authority yet to be identified. The results will he shared with the public, he said.
“I’m going to do everything I can to avoid anything like this happening in the future,” he added.
The officer involved will be reassigned from patrol to office duty until the investigation and reviews are completed, Clark said. The city has withheld the officer’s name and the officer’s report on the incident, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arfee, car, coeur dalene, craig jones, dog, dogs, idaho, investigation, killed, killing, lab mix, law enforcement, officer, parked, pets, pit bull, police, shot, van, window
Not every white van is driven by a child predator.
Not every large dog is a pit bull.
Why police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, wanted to check out a white van parked near a coffee shop Wednesday morning is understandable: It fit the description of one being used by a child predator, and the coffee shop owners had called to report someone inside it was watching young children from a nearby parking lot.
Why the officer shot the van’s only occupant — a dog — is a little less understandable.
And why investigators called the dog a “vicious pit bull” makes even less sense.
Arfee was a black lab, according to his owner, Craig Jones, who was eating breakfast at a nearby restaurant — not scoping out children — when the officer approached his van from behind with his gun drawn.
When the dog lunged toward him out of the partially open driver’s side window the officer fired one round, through the window, hitting Arfee in the chest. He later died.
Jones said Arfee, who was two years old, did not have a mean bone in his body. “This still isn’t even real to me,” Jones told KREM 2 News.
“If my dog is barking and wondering who’s peering through the windows he doesn’t care if you’re a cop, an attorney, or President Bush,” said Jones. “He doesn’t know any difference.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark said the department is reviewing the shooting, and said initial police reports describing the dog as a pit bull were erroneous.
“Animal control officers originally identified the dog as a pit bull,” he said. “The Police Department had a veterinarian examine the dog and it has been identified as a lab mix.”
“We understand the grief the family is dealing with due to the loss of their pet. We also understand the distress this has caused for citizens,” Clark said. “The officer who shot the dog is also distraught over this incident.”
Arfee’s owner, who formerly lived in Coeur d’Alene, was visiting for the 4th of July weekend, according to the Spokesman-Review.
“Best 4th of July weekend in cda eva,” Jones, who now lives in Colorado, posted on his Facebook page earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, he posted this: “Cda cops just shot my dog while I ate lunch at Java?”
Yesterday, he thanked his Facebook friends for their support. “Today is definitely harder than yesterday. Just seeing his ball in my rig tears me apart,” he wrote. “This cop left a hole in both of (us) that can’t be fixed.”
(Photo: Craig Jones’ Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arfee, arfie, black lab, child, coeur dalene, craig jones, dog, dogs, idaho, investigation, killed, lab, labrador, labrador retriever, law enforcement, parked, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, predator, profiling, shot, stereotypes, van
If you think dogs don’t play a role in politics, consider Hooch.
Shot and killed by a police officer in February in the tiny town of Filer, Idaho, the seven-year-old black Lab is the force behind a petition to recall the town’s mayor and all four members of its city council.
Residents — and more than a few outsiders — are still angry over Officer Tarek Hassani’s shooting of the dog, recorded by his patrol car’s dashboard cam and since seen, thanks to the Internet, around the world.
In the video, he can be seen arriving to investigate a report of a dog on the loose, yelling and kicking at the barking animal, shooting it, and then confronting the dog’s owner in a belligerent (and that’s putting it nicely) manner.
An “outside” investigation found no wrongdoing on his part, and Hassani, on paid leave pending the results of the investigation, returned to regular duty this past Saturday.
On Tuesday, the effort to recall the mayor and council started, the Twin Falls Times-News reported.
After the shooting, there were demonstrations, and officials in the city of just over 2,500 people held public hearings that led to some changes, including scheduling training sessions for officers on how to deal with dogs.
“I think they’re going to do their best to make the recall work,” said Mayor Rick Dunn. “They only needed 20 (signatures) to start the process, and they’ve gotten that far.”
Gathering 20 signatures for each city leader’s recall petition is only a first step. Organizers now have 75 days to gather 201 signatures for each official — 10 percent of the number of voters registered in the last city election — to bring about a recall election.
An investigation by the Nampa Police Department, about 150 miles northwest of Filer, found the shooting was justified, but it did question why the officer didn’t stay in his vehicle, call the owner of the dogs or call for backup.
Town officials have scheduled a mandatory eight-hour training session on how to deal with aggressive dogs for Filer’s police officers on May 3.
Mayor Dunn said fallout from the shooting has placed the town in a bad light.
“I hate to see that,” he said. “Filer is a nice town: We have good staff, good people here. Give Filer a little more credit than this.”
(Photos: Top, Mike Preston and his wife, Brenda, sign a recall petition, by Ashley Smith / Times-News; bottom, citizens who, because of the size of the crowd, couldn’t get into a town hearing on the case in February, by Drew Nash / Times-News)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 10th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, black, cam, city council, dashboard, dog, dogs, drive, filer, hooch, idaho, killed, lab, labrador, mayor, officer, petitions, pets, police, recall, retriever, rick dunn, shooting, shot, tarek hassani, video