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
Not that we have any problem with that.
The New York Daily News reports that Manhattan publicist Melissa Kusick has sued the upstate “dog camp” where her mutt Matilda was mauled by other dogs while being boarded.
Given the three bylines, we assume that either this is a big story or that Kusick is pretty prominent, or at least a darned good publicist.
Kusick sent her dog to the Glencadia Dog Camp in February, and was at the Grammy Awards when she learned of Matilda’s injuries.
The attack left the dog’s face ”so swollen it was almost unrecognizable,” Kusick said in court papers.
The News revealed — and here’s what makes it a slightly bigger story — that at least two other dogs have been mauled at the dog camp in Columbia County, one of whom died.
Kate Dwyer, a Manhattan stylist, said her pit bull-vizsla mix was injured during a two-week stay at Glencadia last July. Another customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said her dog died in 2011 after being attacked by four other dogs.
Glencadia Dog Camp owner Will Pflaum promised Kusick he’d pay Matilda’s medical bills, but reneged after Kusick described the incident on Yelp.com and reported the owner to the Better Business Bureau, the suit says.
Kusick is suing for the vet bills and $500,000 in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The dog camp owner told the newspaper that Matilda was attacked after she was left unsupervised in a pen with another dog.
“We’re very sorry about this,” he said. “We’re making changes so it doesn’t happen again.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, bitten, boarding, dog, dog camp, dogs, glencadia dog camp, injuries, kennels, lawsuit, manhattan, matilda, mauled, melissa kusick, new york, new york daily news, pets, publicist, yelp
The dog has been named Rookie.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Jennifer Fisher plans to bring him home to her family, News9 reports.
The search for the person who threw the dog onto the highway in Oklahoma City — it was witnessed by a truck driver — continues, and the reward for information leading to an arrest has grown to $7,500.
Rookie had a fracture to his rear left leg and internal bleeding, and was treated and operated on at Oklahoma State University Veterinary College Teaching Hospital.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office at (405)-869-2501.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 40, adopt, adopted, adopting, bridge, cruelty to animals, fractured, german shepherd, highway, injuries, interstate, jennifer fisher, leg, oklahoma city, oklahomas, overpass, rookie, state trooper, thrown
A starving dog with a coffee can around her neck was dropped off Sunday at Dallas Animal Services, along with a second dog who appeared to be looking after her.
Both dogs were brought to the shelter by a citizen who who didn’t wish to be identified. He said he found the two dogs.
Officials at the shelter say the emaciated dog, named Java by its rescuers, has had the can around her neck for some time. It had cut into her ears, nearly severing one. The can was removed and Java was transferred to Metro Paws Animal Hospital for treatment.
The shelter posted on its Facebook page that “the next few days are critical. We have to get her stable enough for surgery and watch out for organ failure due to her starved condition. But that tail is wagging.”
The second dog, who was dubbed Joshua, is healthy and up for adoption.
“He was shy and frightened at all that was going on,” the Facebook post says, “but he was determined to be a reassuring presence for the girl.”
(Photo: Dallas Animal Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal allies of texas, animal cruelty, can, coffee, coffee can, cruelty to animals, cuts, dallas, dallas animal services, dog, dogs, dropped, ears, emaciated, found, injuries, java, joshua, metro paws animal hospital, neck, shelter, starving, stray, texas
The outdated legal view of dogs as easily-replaceable “property” — worth no more than you paid for them — is slowly beginning to catch up with the times.
The latest indication of a change in judicial thinking came last week when California’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled that pets are fundamentally different than other forms of property.
“Given . . . the reality that animals are living creatures, the usual standard of recovery for damaged personal property — market value — is inadequate when applied to injured pets,” Justice Kathryn Doi Todd wrote in her opinion.
She added, “Animals are special, sentient beings, (and) unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die.”
The Court of Appeals ruling came in the consolidated cases of two pet owners — one whose dog was shot by a neighbor, and one whose dog was injured by veterinary negligence. Lower courts had ruled they were entitled to no more than the market value of their pets.
The appeals court decision reversed both cases. The new ruling permits owners of wrongfully injured pets to recover the “reasonable and necessary costs” of treating and caring for an injured animal, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which had filed amicus briefs in the case.
The first case involved a German Shepherd named Gunner, who was shot by a neighbor and whose leg had to be amputated, costing his family more than $20,000. The second case involved a Golden Retriever named Katie, whose intestine was nicked during a surgical procedure. The vet also left a piece of gauze in her body. The errors led to the dog having to receive emergency surgery that cost Katie’s family more than $37,000.
In both cases, the trial court limited the plaintiffs’ recovery to a fraction of what they spent to nurse them back to health — namely, their dogs’ market value.
“This decision is a significant step forward for companion animals and their guardians,” said Matthew Liebman, ALDF senior attorney. “The legal system is finally starting to catch up with how the majority of people feel about the animals with whom they share their lives.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, animal, animal legal defense fund, appeals, court, courts, dog, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, gunner, injuries, judicial, kathryn doi todd, katie, law, lawsuits, legal, market value, pets, property, ruling, value, view, wrongful
“It’s the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this,” East Providence Animal Control Officer Will Muggle told East Bay Newspapers.
”Considering the speed the driver said he was going and the distance he traveled, for her to survive is definitely a miracle.”
Authorities said the Toyota was traveling about 50 miles per hour when the small dog — a poodle-Bichon Frise mix — darted in front of it. The driver said he had little time to react. Unsure whether his car had struck the dog, he stopped, got out, checked the front of the car, saw nothing and assumed the dog had run off. He continued on his way from Taunton to East Providence.
But the dog was there, stuck in the recessed air intake section just below the car’s front grill and above the car’s license plate frame. Eleven miles later, when another motorist told him at a stop light that there was a dog in his grill, the driver headed straight to the East Providence police station.
Animal control officer Muggle was called to the scene.
“It was difficult to get her out of there, not only because of how she was stuck in there, but because she was grabbing on pretty tight,” Muggle said.
“The driver of the car was pretty shaken up about the whole thing,” he added. “He came back the next day to check on her to make sure she was alright.”
The dog — she’s being called Lucky — was taken to the East Bay Animal Hospital and later transferred to Bay State Animal Hospital for additional testing.
Muggle said the dog had a concussion, a small cut above her eye and a slight tear in her intestine. She has recovered and been returned to the custody of animal control. A search for the dog’s owner is underway.
An electronic tracking device implanted under her skin indicated she may have at one point lived in Kentucky, but no registered owners were listed.
If no owner is found likely by the end of the week, the dog will be put up for adoption.
Anyone with information about the dog’s owner, or interested in adopting her, can call East Providence Animal Control at 401-435-7675 or 401-435-7676.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 11 miles, animals, bichon frise, car, dog, dogs, east providence, embedded, grill, hit, injuries, lucky, mix, pets, poodle, recovered, rhode island, ride, struck, stuck, survives, wedged
Seeing some doggie dance moves it finds inappropriate, the Kennel Club in the UK is cracking down, outlawing some “extreme” and “unnatural” steps it says could injure dogs.
Effective next year, certain moves, though they haven’t been outlined yet, will be banned when it comes to dancing dogs – a pursuit that has become increasingly popular since Pudsey (above) appeared on and won “Britain’s Got Talent.”
“Heelwork to music,” as it’s called has been regulated by the Kennel Club since 2002. There are about 90 affiliated clubs that offer dog dancing events.
The Telegraph reports that the rule changes are in response to the rising number of people and dogs taking part in the activity after 16-year-old Ashleigh Butler and her dog wowed the judges on “Britain’s Got Talent.” There has been a 20 per cent increase in the activity since then, and the club is worried that, amid stiffer competition, too much might be demanded of performing dogs.
The Kennel Club has taken steps to ban moves that could injure dogs, as well as treatment it considers ”degrading” to the dogs, such as putting them in fancy costumes for performances. (Fancy costumes can still be worn by their human dance partners, though).
While no list of accepted and banned moves has been released yet, those that reportedly concern the Kennel Club include the “wheelbarrow,” where the dog’s hind legs are held by the owner as it walks; the “footstand,” where the dog stands on the raised feet of the handler while the human lies on the ground; walking on front paws; walking on hind legs for more than 10 seconds; and “shoulder jumps,” in which a dog leaps from the owner’s shoulders.
“We know that the more people we get into the sport, the more they are going to have to look to other types of moves in order to make an impact,” said Caroline Kisko, the club’s secretary. “We are trying to pre-empt that. The priority is the dog’s safety.”
Most dog shows feature two categories — “heelwork”, which is more structured, and “freestyle,” which involves more innovative tricks. The dances are scored on content, accuracy and musical interpretation.
The new regulations will formally take effect next year, when judges will disqualify any pair whose routine is deemed extreme, unnatural or degrading. Until then, the Kennel Club has asked competitors to observe them “in spirit … with immediate effect.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, ashleigh, ashleigh butler, britain's got talent, costumes, dancing, dancing dogs, dangerous, degrading, demeaning, dog, dogs, extreme, heelwork, injuries, kennel club, moves, performances, pets, pudsey, rules, tricks, uk, unnatural
A second person with a disability says she and her service dog were asked to leave the McDonald’s restaurant in Alberta, Canada, that reportedly kicked out a man and his dog last week.
Carla Schneider says she was waiting in line to buy coffee in January 2010 when she was approached by an employee of the McDonald’s in Wetaskiwin who asked her about her St. Bernard.
Schneider’s disability stems from a traffic accident that left her with a brain injury and without the use of her right eye, CBC News reported.
McDonald’s said in an email that Schneider was asked to remove her dog, Angus, from the restaurant because she couldn’t “provide the required information for the service dog.”
Schneider says that isn’t true.
“I produced my government of Alberta certification card that qualifies Angus as a service dog and he asked me to explain my disabilities to him,” Schneider said. “Why do I need a dog and why do I have to use a dog that big?”
She said she chose a large breed as her service dog because it helps her with the balance problems caused by her disability.
Schneider complained to McDonald’s at the time of the incident, and received an apology letter and $20 worth of gift certificates, she said.
The McDonald’s is the same one that asked John Dignard and his service dog, Eve, to leave the premises last week because, according to Dignard, customers had complained that the dog smelled.
The manager of the McDonald’s denied last week that Dignard was asked to leave, saying he had departed voluntarily after he was told about customer complaints regarding his “behaviour and the well-being of his service dog.”
“It’s really disheartening to hear the message is falling on deaf ears,” said Alison Ainsworth, the Alberta woman who lobbied the province to make it illegal for businesses to deny service to disabled people with service dogs. “I think the Alberta government came up with the Alberta Service Dogs Act but passing such a legislation in absence of credible, meaningful information being communicated isn’t going far enough.”
Ainsworth says the government needs to do more to get businesses to comply.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alberta, angus, animals, brain, canada, denied, disabilities, disabled, dog, Eve, injuries, mcdonald's, pets, restaurants, saint bernard, service, service dog, st. bernard, Wetaskiwin
Kieri was on a bird-watching walk with her owner when she stuck her head into a trailside trap intended to instantly kill otters and beavers.
The 8-year-old, 38-pound Wheaten terrier, underwent surgery and seemed to be recovering, according to her owner, Jack Williamson. But in April, her pain returned. She underwent surgery this month, but continued to suffer and was put down Tuesday.
Kieri is among a half dozen dogs reported to have been caught in traps last winter in Central Oregon, three times more than usual,according to an Associated Press account based on a subscriber-only Bend Bulletin story.
State wildlife officials think the increase may be a result of trappers coping with high gasoline prices by setting their traps closer to town.
Williamson wants the state to ban the use of large body-gripping traps on land.
Members of the Oregon Trappers Association have met with Williamson and wildlife officials to discuss rules changes that would keep pets safer. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to review its rules when it meets next month.
According to a petition Williamson started on the website Care 2, current regulations in Oregon allow traps to be set on public land, concealed from view, without penalty of any kind for placement of traps that result in serious injury to people, or pets that are under control of their owner.
You can find more information about Kieri and the petition at Kieri.org
(Photo: From Kieri.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver trap, care2, commission, dangers, death, died, dog, dogs, euthanized, fur, hikers, hiking, hunting, injuries, jack williamson, kieri, land, oregon, oregon trappers association, otter trap, petition, pets, public land, regulations, rules, safety, spinal, spine, state, symbol, trails, trap, trappers, trapping, traps, warnings, wheaten terrier, wildlife
Veterinarians and animal welfare workers today euthanized at least nine of the 300 pit bulls rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Philippines — and they expect to euthanize dozens more — primarily because of there are no facilities in which to rehabilitate them.
Anna Cabrera, of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, said 17 of the seized dogs had been put down a day after the raids.
Noting that some of the rescued dogs had been seized before from dogfighting operations, Cabrera said she feared many of them — if simply adopted out — could again end up facing “a fate worse than death.”
How many more will still be euthanized depends on their health, behavior, their potential to be rehabilitated, and the animal welfare group’s supply of drugs — reportedly only enough to euthanize 70 animals, the Associated Press reported.
Police arrested eight South Koreans suspected of running an illegal online gambling operations in which players outside the Philippines bet on dogs fighting at the compound.
Welfare society veterinarian Wilford Almora said many of the pit bulls had injuries from previous fights, including ripped ears and tongues.
He said his group had enough drugs to euthanize 70 dogs, and had put down at least nine Tuesday afternoon with 13 more planned before they finished later in the evening.
“We are not in a hurry. We just want to make sure that the ones we put to sleep are the ones that deserve to be put to sleep based on their medical condition,” he said.
Cabrera said it was not possible to care for all the pit bulls that were rescued and it would be irresponsible to allow the injured animals to be adopted.
Most of the dogs were seized from a 5-acre coffee plantation in San Pablo city, where they were kept in metal fuel drums and tied to heavy steel chains. Police also recovered 30 dogs from an arena in the nearby town of Calauan where a dogfight was about to begin.
More than 300 dogs were rescued in the separate raids. The eight suspects, charged with animal cruelty and gambling, are being turned over to immigration officials.
If convicted of illegal gambling, they face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The charge of animal cruelty carries a penalty of up to two years. No one in the Philippines has ever served time for animal cruelty, the Associated Press reported.
(Photo: Philippine Animal Welfare Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 300 dogs, animal cruelty, anna cabrera, arena, arrests, cruelty to animals, death, dog farm, dog fighting, dogfighting, euthanasia, euthanized, facilities, farm, fate worse than death, gambling, injuries, internet, lack, manila, operation, paws, philippine animal welfare society, philippines, pit bulls, pitbulls, put to sleep, raids, rehabilitation, ring, steel drums