While Amish breeders are notorious for running puppy mills, some of those in southern Indiana are working with Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science to improve their breeding practices and, in the process, their reputations.
“It was time that we as breeders recognize that there are professionals out there that can help us and we need to involve them in our businesses,” said Levi Graber, a member of Odon’s Amish community who helps several breeders in the area.
Though the Amish aren’t known for reaching out, or letting people in, Graber contacted the university a few years ago about improving Amish-run breeding operations in the region. That led to a pilot program in which the operations are reviewed, and suggestions are made on how to improve them.
Already, those behind the program say, they’ve found that improving conditions and practices at the kennels leads to happier, healthier, better behaved dogs.
Under the program, which is open to non-Amish breeders as well, a set of voluntary standards will be created for breeders to follow, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.
“Many folks hear about breeding and animal welfare and they don’t know what (breeders) actually do. They just want to put them out of business,” said Purdue’s Candace Croney, director of the animal welfare center.
Most dogs she and her team of researchers have observed have been in good physical health, Croney said, but some had room for improvement in their behavior. Some facilities’ dogs were loud and dogs became over-excited when they saw people, which Croney said indicated they weren’t used to seeing people often.
The research team advised those breeders to make sure something positive happens for the dogs, such as receiving a treat, every time someone comes into the kennel area. They also suggested letting the dogs out in the yard daily to exercise and socialize.
The changes made a big impact, Croney said. Over four months, the dogs in the kennel with the most behavioral issues became calmer when they saw people, and they physically looked better.
“We’ve seen a very positive impact on some of the things she recommends,” Graber said. “I’ve seen more contented, happy dogs.”
Once the trial program is complete, a third party will audit the breeders’ practices, Croney said.
Breeders who qualify will receive a certification that she said goes beyond the standards mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cover areas such as housing, sanitation, food, water and protection against extreme weather and temperatures.
Graber said the community feels fortunate to work with Purdue and emphasized that the breeders don’t want to sell puppies that disappoint anyone.
Not all Amish-run breeding operations are like those that end up on the news, noted Dale Blier, who works for Blue Ribbon Vet & Supply in Odon and sells supplies to many breeders in town.
“The majority of dog breeders in Indiana treat their dogs the same way they treat making furniture: They want to be the best at it they can,” he said.
(Photo: A child sits with puppies at a breeding operation in Odon that’s working with Purdue’s Center for Animal Welfare Science program; by Levi Graber)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 24th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amish, behavior, breeders, breeding, center for animal welfare, conditions, health, improvements, improving, indiana, kennels, odon, operations, perceptions, program, puppies, puppy mills, purdue university, reputation, southern indiana
There doesn’t seem to be much loving of thy neighbor going on around Anderson Valley Christian Church in rural Indiana.
Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies arrived there Sunday after reports of gunfire and explosions, found a decapitated dog hanging in front of a nearby cross, and unearthed a bit of a feud between a church elder and a former churchgoer.
14 News reported that former churchgoer Damian McBride, who lives next door to the church, suspects a church member was responsible for poisoning his dog.
To send a message, McBride said, he used a piece of heavy equipment to hoist his dog’s headless carcass into the air in front of a large stone cross on his family’s property.
Just in time for it to be seen by families arriving for worship at the church, about 50 feet away.
(The dog’s head had been removed during a necropsy, and the body was later returned to the family.)
Madden claims he was once bitten by one of McBride’s dogs, but the case was thrown out in court.
The McBrides say they suspect Madden or some other church member is responsible for poisoning their dog Bruno — their fourth pet to be poisoned, they claim.
The necropsy results are not in yet, but McBride said he found hot dogs in his driveway and what appeared to be rat poison.
Madden said thinking a church member would harm McBride’s dog was ridiculous.
“There’s not a person in this church who would do something like this,” he said.
“I’m kind of lost for words,” he said. “Hanging a dead dog on a cross that Jesus died on for me and you and everybody else, that’s sad.”
Madden said attendance at services has dropped by half since troubles began with the neighbor.
Deputies say the investigation is continuing. No charges were filed Sunday because the gunfire that drew authorities there came from the home, and the guns were never pointed at the church, according to Dubois County Free Press.
The dog’s body was covered with a blanket and strapped to the cross Sunday — apparently after sheriff’s deputies arrived. On Monday, the dog was still there.
McBride said he used to attend services at the church every Sunday but is now banned from the property.
McBride says two of his cats and two of his dogs have now died mysteriously.
“I just don’t want anyone else’s dogs to be poisoned or killed and I want the people that poisoned by dogs to go to jail,” he said.
(Photos: Dubois County Free Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anderson valley christian church, animals, bite, body, bruno, carcass, church, cross, decapitated, deputies, dog, dogs, dubois county, feud, gunshots, headless, hung, indiana, investigation, necropsy, neighbor, neighbors, pets, poison, poisoned, sheriff, strapped
As any good panhandler knows, a cute dog can help boost donations.
There’s no reason that street wisdom shouldn’t be applied to the kettle as well.
In Indiana, a family raising money for the local Salvation Army has called upon their Leonberger, Alvin, to help the cause — and trained the 155-pound dog to be the bell ringer.
And when he does, they note, he draws the kind of crowd they alone can’t.
The volunteers bring Alvin along for their two hour shifts, such as one last week outside a Kroger, and another one coming up Friday at Walmart.
“People can’t resist,” Julia says. “That’s the plan.”
This is Alvin’s fourth year to ring bells for Salvation Army and he’s still drawing a crowd.
To keep him on task the couple rewards him during the shift with treats of venison, cheese, cookies and turkey, according to the Palladium-Item in Richmond, Indiana.
In addition to being a fund raiser, Alvin, 5, is a therapy dog, and works at local hospitals and rehabilitation centers, and in school programs focused on anti-bullying, reading, and pet care and safety.
Those who recognize Alvin from his therapy work often dig a little deeper and throw a little extra in the pot, the couple says.
Last year, a woman stopped and put several bills in the kettle for herself and her mother each time Alvin rang bells. Alvin had visited her mother while she was hospitalized.
“She said it made her and her mother feel so much better that she wanted to repay us,” Julia Roberts said.
In 2013, Julia said, the couple and Alvin raised about $100 per hour for the Salvation Army during the holiday season.
Alvin also has his own Facebook page called Alvin’s Therapy Fan Club.
(Photo: Joshua Smith / Palladium-Item)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 24th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alvin, animals, bell, bell ringer, bells, dog, dogs, donations, fundraising, hammond, indiana, leonberger, pets, ringer, Salvation Army
A black Lab named Bear is being credited with playing a vital role in building the child pornography case against Subway spokesman Jared Fogle.
While he is not a “porn-sniffing” dog, as some headlines are describing him, Bear is said to be one of only five dogs in the country trained to sniff out electronic media storage devices.
After four months of training, Bear can detect SD cards, thumb drives, iPads and more.
The dog has worked five investigations for the Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the one at Fogle’s Zionsville residence.
Officials divulged yesterday how many electronic items seized from Fogle’s home were examined — 16 smartphones, five basic cellphones, five mp3 players, five tablets, six laptops, one desktop, six hard drives, five cameras, 10 flash drives, 10 memory cards, 46 CDs and 22 DVDs.
Bear sniffed out a thumb drive that humans had failed to find during a search of Fogle’s home — several weeks before he pleaded guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls.
Bear also took part in the investigation leading to this week’s arrest of Olympics gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp.
This week his owner and trainer, Todd Jordan, sold Bear to the Seattle Police Department to help investigate Internet crimes.
Jordan, a deputy fire chief, also trains dogs and sells them to law enforcement agencies.
Jordan gave NBC News a demonstration of Bear’s abilities, walking him through an apartment while repeatedly giving him the command “Seek!”
The dog zeroed in on a kitchen drawer, which Jordan opened to reveal a device. “Good boy!” he told Bear, giving him a treat.
Jordan got Bear as a rescue a year ago and spent four months training him on a food-reward system.
(Photos: (Jim Seida / NBC News)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bear, black lab, cds, child porn, child pornography, devices, dog, electronic storage devices, flash drives, indiana, iPads, jared, jared fogle, labrador retriever, laptops, law enforcement, SD cards, sniffing, spokesman, subway, thumb drives, trained
The police dog purchased by heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his son, Jack, arrived in Indiana last week to spend time with his partner and start training on the streets of Muncie.
“Jack and Ozzy sure came through for the department,” Muncie Police Sgt. Jay Turner said. “The Osbourne family, they donated the money for the dog without even thinking about it, they just did it, which was very nice.”
Turner received two checks, one from Ozzy and one from Jack, each in the amount of $4,500, Muncie’s Star Press reported.
Jack Osbourne spent time in Muncie as a reserve officer during the filming of the CBS reality television series “Armed and Famous” in 2006. He has kept in touch with other officers, and convinced his father to help buy the department a police dog to replace an aging K-9 officer.
In other Ozzy Osbourne dog news, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne last week gave daughter Kelly Osbourne a dog for her 25th birthday. Kelly Osbourne told her Twitter followers: “OK are you guys ready to see what I got for my birthday from my mum and dad? He is called Sid!”
Sid isn’t a police dog, but a black Pomeranian, who has helped Kelly cope with the stress of competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” Dogchannel.com reports.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: canine, dancing with the stars, family, indiana, jack, K-9, k9, kelly osborne, muncie, ozzy, ozzy osbourne, police, pomeranian, rock, sid, television
The Muncie Police Department is getting a new K-9, courtesy of Ozzy Osbourne and son.
The “Prince of Darkness,” who was often shown interacting with his family’s dogs on their MTV reality show, was recently convinced by his son Jack to buy the Indiana police department a new K9 officer, according to the StarPress in central Indiana.
“Jack and Ozzy are sending the check either this week or next week and then we’ll go get him,” said police Sgt. Jay Turner. The department plans to name the new dog Ozzy.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: celebrity, department, dog, dogs, donating, german shepherd, indiana, jack osbourne, K-9, k9, muncie, ozzy, ozzy osbourne, police, rover
We often hear of dogs finding their way back home, but it’s even more impressive when that dog is a statue.
The artwork, called “There is Honour in Being a Dog,” was taken May 20 from outside the east entrance of Purdue University’s Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine, according to the Journal & Courier in Lafayette.
Cox said it appeared that someone used a wrench to unbolt the piece, which is part of “The Dog Days of Summer,” an outdoor exhibit put on by the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.
John Cox, chief of the Purdue University Police Department, said an officer spotted the dog late Wednesday on one of the floors of the Northwestern Avenue parking garage, not far from where it was removed from its concrete base and taken.
“We’re guessing that the dog was in someone’s apartment and they got scared. It probably had a lot to do with the news coverage of the missing dogs,” Cox said Thursday. “We do appreciate that it came back undamaged. It means a lot to the art foundation.
” … From what it looks like, someone waited until no one was in the garage and took the dog out of their car and set it there.”
“Honour” is one of 41 decorated dogs in the exhibit, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the veterinary department and the 100th anniversary of the museum .
“It’s in excellent condition, just a small scratch by its ear, but it should be easily touched up,” said Kevin Doerr, a member of the Dog Days of Summer committee and director of public affairs for the veterinary school.
At least three dogs in the exhibit have been taken, and some vandalized. “Alfie, the Alpha Dog” was stolen on May 10 and remains missing. “Give a Dog a Bone” was stolen the same night but was later found in some shrubbery.
“Dog Days” runs through October, and the dogs will be auctioned off when it ends.
Exhibit officials last week removed 18 dogs from the Purdue campus and West Lafayette sites because of a series of thefts and vandalism. Those and the one recovered Thursday are being stored indoors until safer ways can be found to place them back on display.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, artwork, dog, dog days of summer, exhibit, indiana, lafayette, purdue, returned, statue, stolen, university, veterinary deparment, west lafayette