Zoning laws often lack logic, but this one, in Davidson County, N.C., seems especially bone-headed.
A rescue organization in Thomasville that shelters dogs while trying to find them homes has been told that county ordinances allow kennels to have no more than 10 animals per five acres.
Exceptions to the rule are made for those who keep show dogs, those who keep hunting dogs, and those who keep or train guard dogs.
But for an organization like Ruff Love Rescue that saves dog’s lives and tries to find them adoptive homes? Sorry. Up to now, no exceptions have been made, and the county has threatened to shut them down.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported yesterday on the rescue, the problems it is facing, and how it is attempting to surmount them.
While the nonprofit rescue has been operating for nearly 20 years, the county issued it a zoning violation in 2015, saying, as a kennel, it is subject to rules limiting the number of animals to 10 for every five acres.
The notice followed an investigation that was prompted by a neighbor’s complaint.
The rescue’s owner, Sue Rogers, appeared before the county’s planning and zoning committee last week to again seek an exception. The committee voted in favor of allowing the rescue to have more than 10 animals as long as Rogers adds trees or other sound barriers.
That still requires approval from the Davidson County Commissioners. They are scheduled to discuss the proposal on April 11.
Rogers has argued that the rescue should receive the same exception that owners of household pets, and trainers of guard animals, show dogs and hunting dogs receive.
“So you can have 71 hunting dogs or 71 show dogs or 71 pets, but because we are a rescue, that’s a problem?” Rogers said. “What are those ‘exceptions’ doing for Davidson County? I’ll tell you what we’re doing, saving a heck of a lot of lives.”
She has a point. Shouldn’t a rescue get at least the same break that the county has granted to the owners of show dogs, guard dogs and hunting dogs? Since when is grooming dogs for beauty contests, or training them to hunt, or teaching them to get aggressive with intruders more important than saving their lives?
Given all the shortcomings over the years at the Davidson County Animal Shelter, shouldn’t the county be appreciating Rogers efforts, instead of punishing her?
The county shelter was one of the last in the state to stop euthanizing animals in a gas chamber. It has had traditionally low adoption numbers. Even after it’s operation was turned over to a nonprofit group, it had its license revoked in 2015 when investigators found, among other things, that sick and injured animals were going untreated.
Rogers started her independent rescue in her 5-acre backyard in the late 1990s. In 2015 she took in about 400 dogs. Last year, she took in 220 dogs, most of which were adopted.
The rescue regularly pulls dogs from the Davidson County shelter and other county shelters.
“I take the dogs that don’t have a chance because no one wants to invest the time and money to get them better,” Rogers said. “A lot of the dogs I take in have medical issues, like broken femurs or fractured pelvis, and would be euthanized otherwise.”
She estimates she has spent $50,000 on legal fees to keep the shelter open.
“It’s been a hard fight, but I’m not giving up,” she said. “This is my passion, this is my life, this is what I do.”
An online petition to keep the rescue open has received 1,400 signatures in a week.
(Photos: At top, Ruff Love Director Sue Rogers loads toys, treats and food donated at an adoption fair Saturday; lower photo, one of Ruff Love’s dogs is greeted at an adoption fair in Greensboro; by Allison Lee Isley, Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 14th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acreage, adopt, adoptions, animals, county commissioners, davidson county, davidson county animal shelter, dogs, exceptions, guard dogs, hunting dogs, kennel, kennels, laws, limit, n.c., north carolina, petition, pets, planning, regulations, rescue, rescue groups, ruff love rescue, show dogs, sue rogers, thomasville, zoning
Until then, outraged owners and an outraged community will try to work through their anger — much of which is being expressed on the Facebook page of the Playful Paws Pet Centre in Saskatoon.
“You better lawyer up,” one irate owner warned. “The fact you knew that overheating occurs and have no temperature monitoring, what the **** is wrong with you. You better get a lawyer because I will make it my personal mission to shut your negligent business down. Absolutely unforgivable my dog dies under your watch. By Christ I will never forgive you.”
The kennel’s post about the deaths has drawn close to 600 comments — some from families of the victims, nearly all expressing outrage.
Despite having knowledge of a faulty heater, the kennel — which boasts of providing 24-hour supervision — left the dogs unattended in an upstairs kennel room overnight Friday.
Though a mild evening, the heater pumped hot air into the room all night and the dogs all died of suspected heat-related causes.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Playful Paws said “staff and management … are devastated to acknowledge the loss of life of 14 dogs on early Saturday morning. We are incredibly saddened by this travesty of life and cannot express enough our sympathy to the families of these dogs…
“A mechanical failure on one of our roof top heating units caused it to continuously push heat into one of our upstairs kennel rooms, to the point that the dogs being kept there passed away.
“We love our dogs and each of our team is trying to personally cope with this terrible loss. Having said that we understand that our pain is small compared to the loss that is being experienced by our dog’s owners. Our sincerest of sympathy goes out to all of these individuals and the family and friends who loved these dogs.”
A former employee of the kennel said management was well aware of ventilation problems and other health issues.
“A proper kennel exchanges its air four to six times an hour. They did not have any type of fresh air exchange for the entire building,” dog trainer Fred Glawischnighe told CBC.
Among the 14 dogs being cared for at the kennel was an autism service dog named Ardie who belonging to 6-year-old Easton Irwin, who waited three years to get him.
Kelsey Friesen said she was informed on Saturday that her four-year-old daughter’s dog, a catahoula mix named Kali, was one of the 14 dogs that perished.
“It’s her best friend and now we have to tell her that her dog is not coming home,” she told CBC News.
Acadia McKague’s Funeral Centre will be holding a public memorial for the families Saturday.
(Photos provided by families)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14 dogs, animals, autism, boarding, canada, dead, deaths, died, facility, faulty, fourteen dogs, health, heat, heat related, heating, ignored, kennel, malfunction, pets, playful paws, playful paws pet centre, safety, saskatchewan, saskatoon, service dog, system, ventilation, warnings
A dog at a Canadian pet motel and foster care center broke out of her kennel and positioned herself outside the kennel of two whimpering foster puppies spending their first night there.
The center’s employees had gone home for the night, but when one checked surveillance cameras they saw that a dog named Maggie had somehow gotten out of her kennel and was sitting in front of the kennels the puppies were in.
When Maggie indicated she wanted to be with the pups, Sandy let her into that kennel.
“Sandy stayed in there for about 15 minutes and then said, ‘Well it looks like they need each other,’ and then let Maggie stay the night in their kennel,” Alex Aldred, who also works at Barker’s Pet Motel and Grooming in St. Albert, explained.
“When we came back in the morning they were all still cuddled up together,” he added.
Turns out Maggie had recently had a litter of her own, and all the pups she gave birth to had been adopted.
“We think that’s why she got so attached to the puppies,” Aldred told ABC News. “We’ve never really seen it before, where a dog sneaks out to some puppies and is so excited to see them.”
Deanna Thompson, who works at the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), the organization that rescued the puppies, said she was not surprised by what Maggie did.
“It’s innate in a lot of female dogs, especially if they’ve had a litter in the past. It’s just in their nature. We’ve seen it in a lot of dogs, even with male dogs, when they hear other puppies crying they want to console them and make sure they’re feeling safe.”
(Photos: ABC News)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 4th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alone, animals, barker's pet motel, cage, cameras, canada, center, comfort, comforts, crying, dog, dogs, foster, foster puppies, kennel, maggie, pet motel, pets, puppies, rescue, shelters, st. albert, surveillance, whimpering
Animal shelter breaks ins — one in Tennessee and another in California — have left four dogs dead and more than a dozen missing.
Three dogs were found dead Sunday – two in a bloodied Jurupa Valley animal shelter, and one on the side of the road – after an apparent break-in at the facility, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
And an East Tennessee animal shelter became the scene of a dogfight last week when a burglar broke in and placed a pit bull and a boxer, both up for adoption, in the same cage.
Shelter staff believe the two normally docile dogs were provoked into fighting by whoever broke in.
The boxer’s injuries were so severe that, after staff discovered him the next morning, he had to be put down.
Sharon Cravens, shelter president at Best Friends Sanctuary in Jamestown, said she believes someone hopped a fence, then unlocked the cage of a pit bull named Sam and placed him in a pen four cages away with a boxer named Bucky.
Volunteers left the shelter around 7 p.m. Thursday. When they returned Friday morning they find both dogs in the same kennel, covered in blood.
“It’s just sad to see that someone would be that evil and put two dogs to watch it for a show, you know, to put them through that,” Cravens told WBIR.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 931-879-5871.
Over the weekend, in Riverside County, California, shelter staff arrived to work Sunday morning to find a bloody scene.
“We found blood spatter everywhere,” animal control spokemsan John Welsh said. “There were some blood markings that were about 3 feet off the ground. We don’t know exactly what caused that, but we don’t suspect that an animal jumped into the air and caused that blood spatter.”
Two dogs were found dead of undetermined causes. They were described as a 5-year-old Chihuahua who had been recently brought to the shelter and a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix that was brought in the previous night.
A necropsy was expected to determine the cause of their deaths.
About a mile from the shelter, the body of a third dog was located. It was described as an adult German shepherd, and Welsh said dog tags showed it had been from the Jurupa Valley shelter.
At least a dozen other dogs remained missing as of Sunday afternoon.
Several cut locks were placed in a pile inside the shelter, and investigators believe it had been broken into between Saturday night and Sunday morning, KTLA reported.
Some 22 kennels were “essentially busted open, probably with bolt cutters,” Welsh said.
Shelter employees were working with Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and reviewing surveillance footage.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, best friends sanctuary, bolt cutters, boxer, burglar, cage, california, dog, dogfight, dogs, dogs killed, jamestown, jurupa valley, kennel, killed, locks, pets, pit bull, riverside county, riverside county animal control, security, shelter, staged, tennessee
A former Pittsburgh Steeler, who made feel-good news last year when his Baltimore Raven brother donated a kidney to him, has let his dog languish in a Baltimore kennel for more than nine months.
Chris Kemoeatu, the former Steeler, and his brother Ma’ake Kemoeatu, a Raven whose decision to donate a kidney ended his career, moved back to their home in Hawaii to open a family gym.
In November, 2014, they dropped Chris’s dog, Zeus, at a kennel intending to retrieve him later.
But the six-year-old Cane Corso hasn’t been picked up from Pooches and Purrs on Holabird Avenue, and the kennel owners are getting tired of footing the Super Bowl veteran’s bill for room, board and veterinary care.
While several have offered to adopt the dog, Chris Kemoeatu has repeatedly asked the kennel owners to wait a little longer for the dog to be picked up.
The situation was described yesterday in a report by WRAL’s I-Team. You can watch the report here.
Pooches and Purrs owners Keith and Renee Mason say the former Steeler’s bill has grown to nearly $10,000 since the dog was dropped off last November, about three months after the transplant surgery.
Renee Mason said she last spoke to Chris Kemoeatu three weeks ago.
“He said he was coming back in about a week or two and then we were going to move forward, and then I didn’t hear from him,” she said. “Technically, I could have found a home after 10 days, but I’m trying to do the right thing for the dog.”
“I have two perfectly good homes for this dog and I said, ‘They really want the dog, just sign the dog over or whatever. I can find a home for your dog. I have two people waiting.’ And he said, ‘Please don’t get rid of my dog,’ and the dog is still here.”
We won’t suggest the Baltimore kennel owners might be more patient if the dog belonged to the former Raven brother — because we think they have been plenty patient already.
“I know that he had medical issues, so I was trying to be understanding, but, I mean, he’s taking advantage, completely,” Renee Mason said.
(Photo: The Kemoeatu brothers at a press conference after the 2014 kidney transplant; by Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 5th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, animals, baltimore, baltimore ravens, brothers, Chris Kemoeatu, dog, dogs, hawaii, kennel, kidney, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, nfl, pets, Pittsburgh Steelers, pooches and purrs, transplant
Justice for the more than 20 dogs who died at an Arizona boarding kennel came one step closer this week with a recommendation from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that both felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges be brought against the kennel’s owners and two caretakers, one of them the son of a U.S. senator.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he is recommending prosecutors file 21 felony charges of neglect against Todd and MaLeisia Hughes, who own Green Acre Dog Boarding in Gilbert; their daughter Logan Flake; and her her husband, Austin Flake, who is the son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.
The final decision on filing charges will be made by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the Arizona Republic reported. He says that process could take a few weeks.
Authorities found 21 dead dogs on the property June 21 when they went to the kennel after customers began learning something was amiss.
Some customers whose dogs had died while cramped with more than 25 others in a 12-by-12-foot laundry room were told their dogs had run away. Later, the kennel owners said there had been a “freak accident” that knocked out the room’s air conditioning.
The sheriff’s department investigation concluded the dogs died of “apparent suffocation and overheating.”
Two other dogs also died, including one who ran away.
The kennel owners were on vacation in Florida when the dogs died, and had left the animals in the care of the Flakes.
Sheriff Arpaio, said to have a soft spot for dogs, vowed at the investigation’s start to get to the bottom of what happened: “If a crime occurred, someone will be held accountable,” he said. It took nearly three months to accomplish that, but Arpaio was being praised this week, by the owners of pets who died and some members of the news media.
Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts commended Arpaio’s actions, saying, “Of course, there are bigger cases to be cracked, more horrifying things that happen to humans every day. But on this day, there is no more important story than this one and the statement that it makes.
“For Parker and Rosie and Zed. For Ellie and Roxie and Francis.For Remy and Buick. For Valor and Patrick and Sonny.
“For a pair of Bernese Mountain dogs named Carson and Daisy.
“For all good dogs everywhere.”
(Photo: A memorial created near the Green Acre kennel in Gilbert to commemorate the more than 20 dogs that died there; by Corina Vanek / The Republic)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 12th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arizona, boarding, charges, cramped, criminal, cruelty, deaths, dogs, felony, gilbert, green acre, heat, jeff flake, joe arpaio, justice, kennel, logan flake, maleisia hughes, maricopa county, misdemeanor, neglect, pets, room, senator, sheriff, son, suffocation, todd hughes
Necropsies conducted on some of the victims, and an intensive search of the Arizona boarding kennel where more than 20 dogs died, have revealed no evidence supporting the belief that a chewed-through electrical cord led to the deaths.
That, ever since the dogs died virtually overnight nearly a month ago, has been the claim of kennel owner MaLeisa Hughes, seen defending herself (and attacking the news media) in the raw interview footage above.
Hughes and her husband, Todd Hughes, were out of town when the dogs died, and had left the dogs under the supervision of their daughter, Logan Flake, and her husband, Austin Flake, who is the son of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.
The dogs — some dead, some dying — were discovered early in the morning on June 20, most of them held in the same 9-foot by 12-foot room.
Upon their return, Hughes’ husband told at least some of the owners of the deceased dogs that their pets had run away — another inconsistency MaLeisa Hughes attempts to explain in this June 23 meeting outside the kennel with the news media.
Last week, Maricopa County Sheriff’s detectives searched Green Acre Dog Boarding in Gilbert, seizing parts of an air conditioning system to determine if it failed.
Necropsies performed on seven of the 21 dogs also found no evidence to validate the kennel-owners’ statement that a dog had chewed through an electrical wire and cut the power to an air conditioning unit.
“On the dogs that were necropsied, there was no evidence found to support or suggesting electrocution,” concluded Dr. Bernard Mangone, the veterinarian who performed the necropsies at Palm Glen Animal Hospital. He said results indicate the dogs suffocated, but that more testing is required to pinpoint a cause of death.
Tissue samples were sent to the University of Arizona for further testing and to the University of Michigan to determine if the dogs were drugged, according to Arizona Republic.
Mangone wrote that it is possible the dogs died of heat stroke or lack of oxygen.
“The dogs begin to pant and become agitated which increases both their oxygen need and the amount of (carbon dioxide) they are producing,” Mangone wrote.
The search warrant indicates that investigators confiscated computers, cell phones and records associated with the operation of the facility, CBS 5 reported. Detectives also took samples of insulation and wiring from the small room where the dogs were found dead.
As of today, no arrests have been made and no criminal charges have been filed.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 17th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air conditioning, animals, arizona, austin flake, charges, chewed, deaths, dog, dog boarding, dogs, evidence, gilbert, green acre, heat, investigation, jeff flake, kennel, maleisa hughes, maricopa county, necropsies, neglect, pets, search, search warrant, senator, wire