But, if its lawmakers did, they might find some sound thinking behind Colorado’s new law, mandating police officers get some training in how to deal with dogs they encounter on duty — other than just shooting them.
If we were suggesting, we’d suggest every state look into doing something similar, or even better, than the Colorado law. It requires officers undergo three hours of online training in dog behavior, and how to recognize when a dog truly poses a threat.
While Iowa, at first glance, doesn’t seem to have experienced quite as many questionable shootings as Colorado, there have been at least a few instances a year of dogs being shot and killed by police.
“He wasn’t a ferocious dog,” she said of Tank, her border collie-pit bull mix. “He never bit anyone. He was only a year-and-a-half old. He probably thought the police officer was playing with him,” she told the Quad City Times.
Police Chief Phil Redington said the dog attacked the officer and deadly force was an appropriate response.
On Saturday, Williams’ two dogs, Tank and Cleo, escaped when a gust of wind blew open her door. They had wandered several blocks when they began barking at some dogs at another home.
The owners of that home tried to shoo the two dogs away, and called police when they wouldn’t leave.
The dogs were corraled on the back deck, hemmed in by lawn chairs, when police, and Williams, arrived.
“When he (Tank) saw me, he jumped over one of the chairs, and the officer tried to grab him,” said Williams, who managed to grab hold of her other dog.
The police chief said Tank jumped at the officer “snapping its teeth. The officer brushed the dog away with his arm and the dog attacked again, jumping and snapping at the officer’s face. The officer kicked the dog away, at which time the dog bit his shin, causing minor lacerations. The officer removed his gun and fired at the dog twice. The dog was approximately two feet away when the officer fired in a downward direction.”
“I keep playing the scenario over and over in my mind,” Williams said. ”I blame myself. They shouldn’t have gotten out. Why did he have to shoot him, though? Why not a stun gun or pepper spray?”
Redington said the level of force used to ward off a dog attack is up to an individual officer.
“We all love animals,” he said. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pit bull, border collie or poodle. If he’s attacking a police officer, the officer should defend himself.”
Tank was taken to a veterinary clinic, where he died.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attacked, bettendorf, collie, colorado, dog, dogs, iowa, killed, law, law enforcement, mix, owner, pets, pit bull, police, questionable, questions, shooting, tank, training
Sheena Cornwell, a 28-year-old home health aide, hung the 15-year-old pit bull, named Lilly, by her collar and leash from a rafter in the garage, police said.
Cornwell lived in Des Moines with her boyfriend. He told police that she’d been annoyed with Lilly for two months, because the dog paced a lot.
“(Sheena) had complained about the dog before, but she never abused her,” Joshua VanDyke told the Des Moines Register. “She wanted to get rid of her, but she never said anything about doing something violent to her.”
Police reports indicate Lilly was barking in the garage when Cornwell left the room, returning a few minutes later to tell VanDyke, “She’s dead, I killed her.”
Animal control officers removed the dog from the home after police were called. Cornwell was charged with one count of animal torture.
ABC News reported Cornwell could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250 if convicted.
(Photo: Des Moines Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, cruelty, des moines, dog, dogs, elderly, garage, hangs, home health aide, hung, iowa, lilly, old, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rafters, sheena cornwell, woman
An Iowa couple whose dog was stolen when they were visiting San Antonio has gotten her back — though exactly how isn’t clear.
James Maschmann and his wife were visiting the city in February when they stopped to eat, parking their car at a Cracker Barrel and leaving their 4-year-old shih-poo inside, with the windows cracked.
When they returned, Katie Jo was missing along with Maschmann’s cellphone, according to the San Antonio Express-News
Last week, the couple posted an ad on Craigslist, offering $1,000 for the dog’s return. San Antonio police also issued an alert last week, releasing surveillance video of a white pick up truck seen in the parking lot and asking people to come forward with any information about Katie Jo.
Police haven’t said how Katie Jo was found, or whether anyone was charged in the theft.
But according to a Facebook page dedicated to Katie Jo’s return, the animal was recovered and returned early Monday:
“Katie Jo is home safe and sound!! Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! We are absolutely overjoyed to have her back!”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cracker barrell, craigslist, dog, dogs, facebook, iowa, katie jo, owners, parking lot, pets, police, poodle, recovered, returned, reward, san antonio, shih-poo, shih-tzu, stolen, surveillance, video
Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota and New Mexico are 2012’s five best states to be an animal abuser, according to the latest report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
The national nonprofit organization compared animal protection laws of every state in the country, analyzing more than 4,000 pages of statutes, to reveal the state’s that are strongest on animal protection and those that are weakest.
The weakest of all? Kentucky, which the ALDF says was the worst state in the nation for animal protection laws for the sixth year in a row.
The report ranks all 50 states, and top honors went to Illinois, for the fifth year in a row. ALDF has been releasing the annual analysis for seven years.
Rounding out the top five states were Maine, California, Michigan, and Oregon, all of which demonstrated strong commitments to combating animal cruelty.
States that ranked poorly either lacked or made limited use of felony penalties for the worst types of animals abuse, had weak laws covering basic standards of care for animals, and no restrictions on convicted animal abusers getting news pets and animals.
In the survey, Kansas saw its ranking drop from sixth to 13th, primarily due to its “ag gag” law. Such laws, now existing in five states, make it illegal to covertly take photos or videos at factory farms and other animal facilities as part of undercover investigations.
Idaho was the fastest rising state, moving up from 52 to 44 due to its enactment of felony provisions for animal cruelty.
Since the first rankings report in 2006, more than half of all states and territories have experienced a significant improvement in their animal protection laws, ALDF says.
“We look forward to further progress in the upcoming year,” said Stephen Wells, executive director for ALDF. “Regardless of ranking, each state and territory has ample room for improvement. We hope lawmakers will recognize the need for immediate improvement in animal protection laws across the nation. Although animals do not vote, those who love and protect them certainly do.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, analysis, animal, animal legal defense fund, best, best and worst, bottom five, california, cruelty to animals, felony, illinois, iowa, kentucky, laws, maine, michigan, new mexico, north dakota, oregon, protection, report, south dakota, states, statutes, top five, worst
President Obama made his first public reference to Seamus — the dog his opponent once strapped to the roof of his car for a family trip — while on the campaign trail in Iowa.
Appearing in Oskaloosa, a town named after all those actors who were nominated but didn’t win Academy Awards — (that’s a joke) — Obama referred to Seamus, though not by name, while discussing energy policy, specifically windmills.
Appearing in front of the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum and touting the job-creating potential of wind energy in Iowa, Obama criticized Romney for saying, “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”
“Now, I don’t know if he’s actually tried that,” Obama said. “I know he’s had other things on his car.”
Romney in 1983 toted his Irish setter on the roof of the family station wagon, in a crate, on a trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada, for a family vacation.
In response to Obama’s remark, reported by ABC News and many others, the Romney campaign said the president “continues to embarrass himself and diminish his office with his un-presidential behavior.”
“This election is about creating jobs, turning around our economy and helping the middle class. The President’s policies have failed on all counts and he will do anything to distract from his abysmal record,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement.
Obama’s appearance in Iowa came as the GOP nominee campaigned in coal country.
“Gov. Romney said, let’s end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let’s get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy, like wind, are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad,” Obama said
The president, who is pushing Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy companies, added, “These jobs aren’t a fad. These are good jobs. And they’re a source of pride that we need to fight for.”
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, campaign, car, crate, dogs, energy, family, iowa, irish setter, mitt romney, obama, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, reference, romney, romney's dog, roof, seamus, speech, station wagon, strapped, trip, windmills
Sak, a former Chicago police officer, had sued the city, saying his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated when the town ordered his dog — because it was part pit bull — out of town.
Aurelia’s town council voted 3-2 to accept the settlement, the Des Moines Register reported.
As part of the settlement, the city will pay the couple $30,000 and abide by an injunction issued by a federal judge in December that allows Sak to keep the dog in the city.
Sak and his wife, Peggy Leifer, must keep Snickers inside a fence when he’s home and on a leash when he leaves the property.
The couple moved to Aurelia in November to care for his 87-year-old mother, unaware that the town ban pit bulls.
Snickers has served as Sak’s service dog since a stroke in 2008 that left him without use of the right side of his body.
Snickers was taken from the home after 36 residents of Aurelia signed a petition to remove the dog. When a federal judge granted an injunction, the dog was returned.
Aurelia Mayor Jim Tell said the city agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid further bad publicity.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aurelia, breed bans, chicago, disabilities, discrimination, dog, dogs, exception, iowa, james sak, keeps, lawsuit, negative, pets, pit bull, pit bull ban, pit bull mix, police. officer, publicity, retired, service, service dog, settlement, snickers, stay, stroke, victim
He got all the way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa before he realized something was missing — his 9-month-old Yorkshire terrier, named Rambo.
“Didn’t even cross my mind that he might jump out, he never has before,” Michael Siau told the Hannibal Courier-Post. “I jumped back in the truck, put it in gear and drove off. And I just thought he was in the back asleep.”
Fearing missing his deadline could cost him his job, Siau kept driving, stopping only to call the police department he thought was closest to the rest stop, in La Grange, to report his lost dog.
He called them back two days later to check again, at which point they told him Hannibal was the town the rest area was in, and suggested he try the animal control department there.
He did that, and hoped for the best. Three hours later they called back and said they’d found his dog. Rambo had been picked up at the rest area — still waiting for his owner.
He was taken to the Northeast Missouri Humane Society
Siau planned a return trip to Hannibal this week to pick Rambo up.
(Photo: Dominic Genetti / Hannibal Courier-Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cedar rapids, dog, dogs, escaped, found, hannibal, iowa, lost, loyal, loyalty, michael siau, missing, missouri, pets, rambo, rest area, rest stop, truck driver, trucker, wait, waited, waiting, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
The town of Aurelia, Iowa, has declined to settle out of court with James Sak, the former Chicago police officer who says he should be allowed to keep the pit bull mix that helps him cope with the effects of a stroke.
Sak, 65, had to relinquish Snickers last year because the municipality bans pit bulls. He sent the dog to a boarding facility outside Aurelia. Later, an Iowa judge later granted an injunction, allowing Snickers and Sak to reunite (see the video above) and stay together in Aurelia until the case is resolved.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping with Sak’s legal representation, said last week that the town has declined to settle the case, and that a trial has been scheduled for July, 2013, more than a year from now.
Earlier this year, Saks, a stroke victim, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been undergoing treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
“The worst part of my [cancer] treatment is not having my dog here,” said Sak, who is expected to return home after his hospital stay.
“Jim has been so strong throughout all of this. We know his strength comes from knowing Snickers is waiting for him at home, waiting to do his job as his service animal and his support,” said said Kim Wolf, community engagement specialist for Animal Farm Foundation.
Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the right side of his body. He was paired at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago with Snickers, who helps him walk, balance and call from help in an emergency.
“We want everyone to realize that Aurelia’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to put Jim through the agony of a trial, especially while he’s battling cancer, does not reflect the sentiments of every resident of Aurelia,” Wolf said. “The outpouring of support and disbelief from Jim’s neighbors has been huge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, cancer, chicago, disability, dog, dogs, hospital, iowa, james sak, kim wolf, law, officer, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, police, scheduled, service, snickers, stroke, treatment, trial, victim
The story is far from over — and there’s still a lawsuit to be resolved — but Snickers the pitbull is back for now in Aurelia, Iowa.
The dog, who helps former Chicago police officer Jim Sak cope with the effects of a stroke, was reunited with him Thursday after a two week absence.
Aurelia ordered Snickers out of town because of its ban against pit bulls, and after a city council vote to not make an exception to the rule for Sak.
Sak says, “He’s a part of me. This right side don’t work, but he does.”
A federal judge ruled that Sak can keep his dog in Aurelia until Sak’s lawsuit is decided.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, chicago, disabilities, dog, federal, injunction, iowa, jim sak, judge, laws, lawsuit, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, returned, reunion, service, snickers, video
Jim Sak, the retired Chicago cop and stroke victim who the town of Aurelia said couldn’t keep his service dog, is getting Snickers back — likely today.
Northern Iowa District Court has granted the motion for a preliminary injunction allowing the dog to come back to town.
Snickers had been banned from the city limits earlier this month because he was a pit bull, and Sak had benn boarding him at a kennel outside town.
The city council of of Aurelia had voted that Sak, though he depended on the dog to help cope with the effects of his stroke, should not be allowed to keep his dog because it was a violation of its breed ban. The city threatened to seize and kill the dog if it remained.
During a two-hour hearing today, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ruled Snickers was an exception to the citywide ban because Sak uses a wheelchair and depends on the service dog.
According to Kim Wolf, Animal Farm Foundation community engagement specialist, Snickers will be returned to Sak’s residence later this afternoon.
Wolf said many came to the hearing to support Sak and Snickers, including strangers who drove hours to be there
“Animal Farm Foundation is thrilled that Officer Sak will be reunited with his service dog, Snickers, and his safety will no longer be compromised,” Wolf said. “This case is a sad example of what happens when cities discriminate against dogs based on breed or appearance.”
“Today I got my peace of mind back,” Sak said after the hearing. “I hope that nobody else has to go through what we went through.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, breed ban, breed-specific, dogs, exception, hearing, injunction, iowa, jim sak, judge mark bennett, keep, pets, pit bull, pitbull, pitbulls, return, returned, ruled, ruling, service dog, snickers, u.s. district court