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Tag: indiana

This Salvation Army bell ringer has 4 legs, and he seems to hit just the right notes

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.

alvinJulia and Steve Roberts say it took just a few minutes to train Alvin to ring the bells on a special stand they made for him.

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)

The dog that brought down Subway’s Jared


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.

bear1Prosecutors said the dog’s discovery of a hidden flash drive was vital to the investigation.

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)

Ozzy’s gifts: A dog for Muncie, and for Kelly

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,” reports.

Osbournes help Muncie police buy a new K-9

ozzybabyThe 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.

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Stolen dog statue finds way back home

statueWe 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.

“Dog Days of Summer” turns into bummer

So many of the life-size dog statues set up as part of a community art fundraising project in Lafayette, Indiana, have been stolen and damaged that organizers of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit are moving most of the works inside.

“I’m disheartened by the lack of respect for creativity,” said Joanne Kuhn Titolo, who had two pieces in the outdoor exhibit. “Because of the increased thefts, our artwork isn’t safe. This is horrifying.”

A total of 41 dog statues were installed in Lafayette, West Lafayette and on Purdue University’s campus. Two, as we told you last month, were stolen before the exhibit even offically started.

Altogether, seven have been stolen or significantly damaged, with most of the problems coming at Purdue or in West Lafayette near the Wabash River, according to Channel 6 News in Indianapolis.

As of Friday, organizers had moved 18 of the dogs, including “St. Joan of Bark,” to the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette until suitable indoor homes can be found for the work. Some dogs in Lafayette will remain in their original spots.

The “Dog Days” event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

(Photo: courtesy of Dog Days of Summer)

Bolted down dog art disappears in Indiana

Two of the 41 decorated dog sculptures that have been placed in and around Purdue University as part of a community art project were stolen before the exhibit officially started, and a third was almost stolen early Sunday.

A student was arrested, but Purdue University police don’t believe he was responsible for the earlier two thefts, the Journal and Courier reported. Police said Adam Sachs, 20, a sophomore engineering major, was carrying a toolbox when an officer saw him at 3:30 a.m. attempting to steal one of the sculptures.

The decorated, life-sized dog statues, bolted to 600-pound concrete bases, have been placed throughout  Lafayette, West Lafayette and on the Purdue campus as part of a community art project and fundraiser sponsored by the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

The “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit officially opened Saturday. Artists from Indiana and other areas decorated the fiberglass dog forms, and the works will be auctioned when the exhibit ends in October.

The two stolen statues were entitled, ”Give a Dog a Bone,” located outside the Veterinary school’s Lynn Hall and “Alfie the Alpha Dog,” which was in front of the West Lafayette Public Library. Whoever took the initial two statues loosened all but one bolt, breaking a leg off on “Give a Dog a Bone.”

Kevie Doerr, director of alumni relations and public affairs with the School of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the Dog Days of Summer committee, said they will offer a reward of up to $250 for safe return of the artwork.

(Photo: One of the dog sculptures is bolted down, prior to exhibit opening; courtesy Dog Days of Summer Committee)