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Tag: jacksonville

Shelter dog, scheduled to be put down, gets second chance as Marine’s service dog

A three-month old puppy who’d been deemed aggressive and was hours away from being put down is now in training to become a service dog for a North Carolina Marine.

Raven, a Lab-shepherd mix who still has some issues of her own to overcome, is in training to become a service dog for Katie Bales, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It is a great feeling to take a dog that was in a shelter and know that it will change the life of someone who needs it,” Natalie Tayman, the founder and executive director of the rescue group Willow’s Second Chances, told the Jacksonville Daily News.

Raven was only 3 months old when she was labeled aggressive and scheduled to be put down in Duplin County, said Tayman. After hearing about the dog, she gave her a temperament test just a few hours before her scheduled euthanization, removed her from the shelter and placed her in a foster home.

“I know that Raven will do whatever (Katie) needs her to do,” Tayman said. “(Raven) will assist Katie in her daily life and help her do things she can’t do herself. (Raven) will prove to be very valuable to Katie and can potentially save her life.”

Raven, now 7 months old, is still fearful of crowds. She’ll continue to be trained well after she is a year old, Tayman says.

“It meant the world to me getting that phone call from Natalie saying she found me a dog,” Bales said. “It means I get a friend for life, someone to help me on my difficult days.”

“I know in my heart that Raven will bring me happiness and give me a way to focus my energy especially when I’m lost thinking about what’s happened to me. She’ll give me a normal life again,” said Bales, who plans to leave the Marines in June and attend the University of Tampa.

“Because of her I’ll get my life back.”

(Photo from the Jacksonville Daily News; by Chuck Beckley)

Here’s a real nailbiter

Ashley Saks left her dog, Roxy, with a friend when she went out of town, along with  instructions that – due to the 2-year-old basset hound’s habit of getting into things — she be crated when no one was home.

When the dogsitter made a quick trip to the store, without crating the dog, Roxy, sure enough, got into something — a pile of nails, more than 100 of which she swallowed.

“I counted about 130, but I don’t know how many she threw up before she was taken, so it could’ve been more,” Saks said. X-rays showed a clump of about 100 or so nails stuck at the base of Roxy’s stomach, according to News 4 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Saks said a veterinarian sedated the dog and used a device to pull the nails out through the dog’s throat, a few at a time, in a procedure that took more than an hour.

Amazingly, the nails didn’t puncture any of Roxy’s internal organs, and she seems to have recovered fully.

Dog chews toes off infant, parents charged

An Onslow County, N.C. couple appeared in court Tuesday to face charges of child abuse after a dog they were pet-sitting chewed the toes off the left foot of their four-month-old son.

The child is reported in stable condition.

Robie Lynn Jenkins, 20, and Tremayne Spillman, 23, were asleep in their Jacksonville home when the dog, described in news reports as a pit bull, attacked the child.

Authorities say Jenkins was on medication and didn’t hear the attack, which occurred in the same room while the baby was sleeping on a fold-out couch. Jenkins was sleeping in another room and didn’t hear the child crying.

What are the top 10 dog parks in the U.S.?

Dog Fancy magazine has released its annual list of America’s Best Dog Parks – and the winner is …  Freedom Bark Park in Lowell, Indiana.

“It’s never easy to create a dog park, but particularly in a small community that doesn’t even allow leashed dogs in regular parks,” explains Dog Fancy Editor Susan Chaney. “The way dog lovers pulled together in Lowell impressed us. Also factoring into our decision were the digging areas so dogs can do what they love to do and the environmental efforts of the Freedom Bark Park Committee.”

Every year, Dog Fancy asks its readers to submit nominations for America’s best dog park. Parks must have fencing, double gates and free clean-up bags to be considered. Parks are then judged based on a list of standards including: water for dogs and their people, shade, lights, parking availability and accessibility, support organizations and special events, among others.

The rest of the top ten were: