A former Marine sniper’s support dog was shot by police in Dacono, Colo., after escaping from his yard and acting in what police say was an aggressive manner.
Mongo, a 3-year-old pit bull, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest.
His owner, James Vester, is seeking an explanation and an apology from police, whose behavior, he noted, seemed more like something you’d see on the streets of Iraq.
“I didn’t think I would see that again. You see it in Iraq — and then you see your best friend here get shot,” said Vester, who got Mongo, a certified emotional support dog, to alleviate stress after returning from combat.
Vester said he was doing yard work when Mongo got loose. A neighbor called police because Mongo began barking at her dogs from across a fence. When two officers arrived, Mongo barked and growled and lunged at one of them, according to police reports.
Some neighbors disputed the police account, according to Fox 31 News in Denver.
“There was no noise at first, I just heard the gunshot — then the dog started crying,” said Heather Viera, who was told by police to go back inside her home when she stepped outside.
Another neighbor, Jenny Stevens, says she was a few hundred feet down the road, walking her dogs, when she heard the shot. She said she didn’t hear any barking or growling before it was fired. “It was dead silent. There was not a bark, there wasn’t a growl. The cop did not say stop to the dog, the cop didn’t yell anything.”
Dacono Police Chief Matthew B. Skaggs said an investigation was being conducted.
“I think it is important to remember these things develop very quickly,” the chief said. “If you look in the report, the officer did say specifically that the dog got within six feet of him and at that point he felt like it was his only option.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aggressive, animals, barks, behavior, colorado, dacono, emotional, growls, investigation, iraq, james vester, law enforcement, marine, mongo, pets, pit bull, police, police shoot dog, service, shoot, shot, sniper, support dog, veteran
A hearing on the request to move the dogs out of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control’s shelter is scheduled for Friday.
Prosecutors want to place the dogs in a private kennel, which they say would be better equipped to provide long term care until the court case is resolved.
The dogs were seized two months ago in what local authorities described at the time as one of the largest dog-fighting operations they’d ever encountered.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they found 27 pit bulls, tethers and a fighting arena in east Mecklenburg County, and they arrrested two men.
Lefonze Williams, 42, was indicted on 36 counts of dog fighting, and Melvin Smith, 46, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit dog fighting, according to the Charlotte Observer. Both were identified in court documents as the dogs’ owners.
Police said the property, near J.H. Gunn Elementary School, was used for training and fighting dogs.
Assistant District Attorney Glenn Cole says the city’s shelter “is not meant for long-term placement of animals, and seized canines may suffer behavioral and physical harm if maintained in this space.”
A court hearing on what to do with the pit bulls is set for Friday.
Prosecutors are also asking the judge to order Williams and Smith to pay for the cost of shelter, food and care, according to court documents.
If Williams and Smith decline to assume responsibility for the animals, prosecutors have asked that the dogs be forfeited. In that event, it would be up to the animal shelter to determine whether the dogs are suitable for adoption or will be euthanized.
(Photo: John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, care, charlotte, dog fighting, dogfighting, euthanasia, expense, forfeit, health, investigation, judge, kennel, mecklenburg county, moving, operation, ownership, permission, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, private, raid, responsibility, seized, shelter, well being
Police in new York hope a surveillance video will help them find three men who tossed a bag containing a dog and four puppies in a secluded industrial area and then set it on fire.
Just after midnight on Monday, a van stopped on 91st Street near Ditmas Avenue in Canarsie, police said. Three men got out and tossed a large black garbage bag near a trash bin.
Four dogs were later found inside the bag, WABC reported.
“I couldn’t stand to look at it. I don’t even like to talk about it. It was a horrible thing to do to a dog,” said Sammy Omar, a beverage distributor who found the remains. “It was torture. The puppies were all burned up.”
Investigators are not sure if the dog were alive or dead when the bag was dumped and set on fire.
An ASPCA spokesperson says the dogs were taken to Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan for a necropsy.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, burned, canarsie, ditmas avenue, dogs, dumped, fire, investigation, necropsy, new yorik, pets, police, puppies, surveillance, trash bag, video
“It was bad people who killed them,” 5-year-old Ethan Stalcup said after the bodies of his family’s two dogs were found, apparently killed with an axe.
“I don’t understand why anybody would do this,” his mother, Rose Stalcup, said in an interview. “It really hurts to know that we live in a world where people can be this cruel.”
Her husband, J.P. Stalcup, wondered what the killers might do next: “What happens if, you know, they do that a couple more times and all of the sudden they’re not happy with – it’s not giving them as much jollies as it was the first couple times …”
That was before Japheth (J.P.) Daniel Stalcup admitted to police that it was he who killed his dogs — because, he said, he couldn’t afford to take care of them.
Now, as Stalcup awaits trial on charges of aggravated animal abuse, KATU – the station that aired the earlier interviews with the family — reports Stalcup has another dog, despite a judge’s order prohibiting it.
One of the conditions Stalcup agreed to in order to be free from jail until the trial was ”no possession or living with any animals.”
Stalcup, of Eagle Creek, Oregon, initially reported his dogs — Duke, a black Lab, and Buddy, a Lab-blue heeler mix — missing last November. Two days later he reported to police that he had found their bodies, about 100 yards from the house. Stalcup told investigators the dogs appeared to have been hit with an axe several times. One of the dogs was tossed from a cliff, deputies said.
As the police investigation progressed, Stalcup eventually admitted to killing the dogs. His trial date is March 25.
Acting on a tip from a viewer, KATU visited his home on Monday, confirming the family had a new puppy.
J.P. Stalcup told a reporter that his lawyer had cleared it with a judge for him to have pets at home, but prosecutors were unaware of any such permission being granted.
(Photo: The Stalcup’s new puppy (at top) and one of their previous dogs, Duke / KATU)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 27th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, ax, axe, buddy, charges, condition, dogs, duke, eagle creek, heeler, investigation, jail, japheth stalcup, jp stalcup, judge, katu, killed, lab, news, no pets, order, oregon, pets, police, trial
An Oklahoma teenager has admitted he shot and killed a pit bull with a bow and arrow and posted a photo of its corpse on Facebook, but says the dog appeared aggressive.
Caisen Green, 18, who had fled his hometown with his mother after outrage over the Facebook post led to threats, was interviewed Tuesday night by Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Chennault said he will add Green’s statement to his report and deliver it to the District Attorney’s Office today. Prosecutors will then decide whether Green will be charged, the Tahlequah Daily Press reported.
Green told sheriff’s officials that the dog was one of two that wandered onto his family’s property as he was practicing with his bow and arrow.
“The pit and a smaller, non-pit bulldog came into the yard,” said Chennault. “The pit bulldog looked diseased.” Green told Chennault that when he tried to scare the dogs away the pit bull growled and began to move toward him. He said the dog ran about 30 yards after he shot him with an arrow.
Green posted a Facebook photo of the dead pit bull with the message, “For all you Pit lovers out there, here’s what happens when one shows up around my house.”
Lou Hays, who volunteers with the Humane Society of Cherokee County said Green bragged about killing when he was contacted about the post, and didn’t indicate that the animal was causing any trouble .
Hays said HSCC would push for Green to be prosecuted and receive community service at the local shelter.
Green’s post was removed after calls, emails and faxes flooded into Cherokee County authorities over the weekend, many of them demanding he be arrested and expelled from school, some of them making threats.
Chennault said his meeting with Green and his attorney had to be set up at an “undisclosed location” because of the threats made toward Green and his family.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, arrow, bow, bow and arrow, caisen green, cherokee county, dog, dogs, facebook, high school, interview, investigation, killed, oklahoma, outrage, pets, pit bull, sheriff, shot, student, teenager, threatening, threats, undersheriff
After a Valentine’s Day hearing, a Texas judge will decide who should have custody of Victory, a bearded collie who is missing her nose.
Victory was found last month wandering in Hutto, Texas, outside of Austin. Her fur was heavily matted. She’d sustained puncture wounds. And her nose appeared to have been cut off.
Since then, an owner has stepped forward, saying Victory (not her original name) had run off a month earlier, and that the loss of her nose was the result of an autoimmune illness she was being treated for.
After she was found, the 4-year-old dog was treated by a local veterinarian, then placed in a foster home by Austin Pets Alive, which began a fundraising campaign and raised $2,000 for the dog to undergo skin graft surgery on her nose last week.
The surgery was canceled after a man called saying he owned her and wanted her back, said Laura Stromberg Hoke, a spokeswoman for Austin Pets Alive.
A judge will hear the matter Thursday, deciding whether the dog should be returned to her owner or remain with Austin Pets Alive, according to the Austin American-Statesman. No charges have been filed in the case, but police say they “wanted a judge to hear the information they had gathered during the investigation.”
Hutto animal control officers found the dog Jan. 9, and initially suspected she’d been the victim of abuse. The owners of the dog — who authorities refused to name — said she had run away around New Year’s, according to Hutto Police Chief Peter Scheets.
Police say they are still investigating whether the dog lost her nose due to medical neglect or abuse. Veterinary records show that the dog was last treated for lupus nine months ago but had no follow-up treatment, the police chief said.
One type of lupus that occurs in dogs can cause redness, scabs and ulcerations on a dog’s nose.
Scheets said there is also a possibility that the dog was injured after she escaped from her home and before she was discovered by police.
The hearing is open to the public and will be at 4 p.m. Thursday (Feb 14) in Hutto Municipal Court, 401 W. Front St.
You can find an update on this story here.
(Photo: Austin Pets Alive)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, austin, austin pets alive, bearded collie, courts, custody, cut off, disease, dog with no nose, dogs, foster, found, hutto, investigation, lupus, missing, no nose, nose, noseless, owner, pets, texas, victory
David Stoddard was indicted Thursday for aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in connection with a home invasion in Barberton on Oct. 6.
Three masked men burst into a house, robbed the occupants and shot and killed the family’s pit bull mix after it bit one of the intruders on the arm, according to News Channel 5.
Police investigating the crime swabbed the inside of the deceased dog’s mouth in hopes of finding DNA evidence that would lead to the bitten suspect.
On Dec. 5, Barberton police learned the sample had led to a potential match to Stoddard and began trying to find him — both at his home and through his attorney, who said Stoddard would turn himself in.
That didn’t happen, and police did not issue a warrant for Stoddard’s arrest, in part because they were hoping to confirm the DNA results first with a second test.
On Jan. 6, Stoddard allegedly broke into an Akron home and shot and killed 16-year-old Anna Karam, who was 4-months pregnant.
Stoddard is being held in the Summit County Jail. He’s facing multiple charges, including aggravated murder in connection with the Akron killing.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akron, animals, arrest, barberton, burglary, crime, david stoddard, dna, dogs, forensics, girl, home invasion, investigation, killed, law enforcement, mix, murder, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, pregnant, robbery, shot
Of the more than 50 street dogs rounded up after five humans were found dead in a Mexico City park, almost half have had tests done on their stomach contents, and none have shown any evidence of having eaten human flesh.
Sources in Mexico City told the Associated Press that initial tests on 25 strays showed none had human remains in their stomachs. An unnamed employee of the city prosecutors’ office said officials were still awaiting results from tests on the dogs’ fur and paws to see if any human DNA was present.
Authorities in Mexico City have blamed five deaths on stray or wild dogs that roam Cerro de la Estrella park, where five mauled human bodies have been found in recent months.
Fifty-seven dogs, including the one pictured above, were swept up in and around the park, prompting protests from animal activists and others who believe authorities aren’t looking closely enough at the possibility that the bodies were killed by drug gangs and dumped there.
Dozens of protesters chanting “free the dogs, arrest the criminals!” and “the dogs aren’t criminals, the police are inept!” demonstrated outside Mexico City police headquarters Friday, demanding the release of the stray dogs.
Authorities say autopsies determined that three women, a teenage boy and a baby found in the park since mid-December died of loss of blood due to bites from multiple dogs.
The protesters, while acknowledging dogs might have fed on the victims after their deaths, say the dogs are being unfairly blamed, and many suspect the victims were killed by humans, then dumped in the park in hopes the stray dogs would destroy any evidence.
Jose Luis Carranza, of the Citizens Front for Animal Rights, was one of those critical of the round-up of strays:
“If the authorities really want to crack down on the overpopulation of dogs, then they should go after the clandestine puppy sellers,” he said. “Every day there are people selling dogs on the streets, and the police don’t do anything.”
The 57 dogs rounded up at the Cerro de la Estrella park, located in a poor Iztapalapa neighborhood, are mostly small to mid-size dogs, and include beagle and border-collie mixes. Twenty-three are puppies or very young dogs, according to the Associated Press report.
On Friday, authorities in Iztapalapa announced that the dogs taken into custody would, once tests are completed, be put up for adoption. They had earlier promised animal rights groups that the dogs would not be killed.
The dogs will get shots, baths and medical treatment before being given away, they said.
(Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adoption, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, bitten, Cerro de la Estrella, citizens front for animal rights, contents, dna, dogs, five, humans, investigation, Iztapalapa, Jose Luis Carranza, killed, mauled, mexico city, pets, police, remains, roudup, round up, stomach, strays, street dogs, tests
OFF THE MARKET AT LAST
It was a long time and hundreds of dog deaths coming, but Del Monte and Nestle Purina announced this week that they will cease to market Chinese-made chicken jerky treats sold under their brand names.
Del Monte’s Milo’s Kitchen products and Nestle Purina’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats will all be pulled from the market after the New York State Department of Agriculture found possible contamination by an antibiotic that is illegal in the U.S.
The treats have been anecdotally linked to kidney failure, illness and death in hundreds of dogs, and the FDA — while never going so far as to recall them — has issued three different warnings to pet owners in the past five years about possible risks.
FDA tests for toxins and heavy metals have found no explanation for the alleged illnesses, and its unclear if the banned antibiotic is the culprit in the hundreds of dogs deaths in which the treats were suspected to be a factor.
Nevertheless, Nestle Purina and Del Monte decided to pull their products after New York officials announced they had found trace amounts of the banned antibiotic in tests of the products, ABC reported.
“Pet safety and consumer confidence in our products are our top priorities,” said Rob Leibowitz, Del Monte’s general manager for Pet Products. “While there is no known health risk, the presence of even trace amounts of these antibiotics does not meet our high quality standards. Therefore, today we decided to recall both products and asked retailers to remove the products from their shelves.”
Nestle Purina also stressed that “there is no indication that the trace amounts of antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canyon creek ranch, chicken, china, chines, deaths, del monte, dog food, dogs, fda, gone, hazards, health, illness, investigation, jerky, kidneys, market, milos kitchen, nestle purina, off, pet food, pets, pulled, recalls, related, safety, suspected, tests, treats, waggin train
Last week, the Humane Society of the United States released an undercover investigation documenting the connections between pet stores and puppy mills (above) — and it threw a little praise Ohio’s way for passing new measures to curb abuses among high volume dog breeders.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio lawmakers for working to pass this commonsense law to protect dogs and address the worst problems at puppy mills,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the HSUS “Stop Puppy Mills” campaign.
“No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small wire cage with no human companionship or comfort,” she added.
Ohio’s new law requires the licensure and annual inspection of high volume breeders that sell 60 dogs or produce at least nine litters in a single calendar year.
It creates a Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board to assist the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in developing standards, including rules on housing, nutrition, exercise, waste management, grooming, whelping.
It also prohibits anyone convicted of animal cruelty in the last 20 years from obtaining a license – a provision designed to stop the influx into Ohio of puppy mill operators who have been forced to close their operations in other states.
“For too many years, the state of Ohio has been known as a haven for low-quality, high-volume breeders that we call ‘puppy mills.’ This is kind of careless treatment of animals is not a reputation that should be attached to our state,” said Ohio Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus.
Ohio is home to 174 federally-licensed dog breeders and brokers – fifth most in the nation – and to at least another 1,000 additional high volume dog breeders, the HSUS says.
Puppy mills are commonly defined as breeding operations that mass-produce puppies for sale through pet stores, over the Internet and directly to the public. Dogs are often kept in crowded, filthy conditions where they receive little or no socialization, affection or exercise.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering applying minimum federal animal welfare standards to breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers. Such breeders are currently exempt.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, connection, department of agriculture, direct, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, internet, investigation, large scale, law, ohio, passed, pet stores, pets, puppy mills, regulations, sales, tougher