James Stewart Robinson, 45, of Birmingham, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and was being held in the county jail with bond set at $40,000, Al.com reported.
Sheriff’s investigators charged Robinson Nov. 16 after a five-month investigation that included unearthing the dog’s remains and tests at a University of Florida animal forensics lab.
Robinson is charged with cruelty to a dog, specifically slicing the throat of his American Staffordshire Terrier, Rufus, the subject of a bitter custody battle between him and his ex-wife.
Robinson claimed his estranged wife had killed Rufus to prevent him from gaining custody, but results from a forensic analysis along with data recovered from emails, text messages and voicemails led authorities to conclude otherwise.
According to court records, Robinson texted a picture of Rufus with his throat slashed to his estranged wife, and left her a voicemail that said, “Your day is coming girl.”
“It’s hard to imagine someone being capable of something this twisted yet here we are and he is in jail,” said Randy Christian, a chief deputy. “No doubt there is a special place for people like that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animal cruelty, animals american staffordshire terrier, attorney, battle, birmingham, cruelty to animals, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, email, forensics, investigation, james stewart robinson, jefferson county, lawyer, pets, rufus, sheriff, slashed, surrendered, texts, throat, university of florida, voicemails
Childhood memories of a pig being led to slaughter prompted Chinese lawyer and businessman Lu Xun to fight for the welfare of animals.
“I remember the horrible screaming from the pig as it knew it was nearing its end,” Lu told China Daily.
Now 47, Lu is the man behind The Benevolence Foundation, which he says is China’s first fund dedicated solely to the welfare of animals. Lu invested $315,000 to set up The Benevolence Foundation in January 2010.
“To some extent, the way a country treats its animals reflects the standards of civilization in that country. China in this aspect should improve itself,” Lu says.
The foundation made headlines in April of last year when it helped save 280 dogs being sent to restaurants in Changchun, Jilin province.
The foundation has also worked to make slaughterhouses more humane, and in at least one case donated a quarter of the funds one company needed for more modern equipment.
Getting government to support his efforts is difficult he says, and some in China question his priorities.
“Some people do not agree with what I’ve done. They say in China there are lots of people who are suffering from poverty, and you are creating a foundation for animals?”
Before setting up his animal welfare foundation, Lu took part in other charities in China, including those that helped children and the elderly. There are far fewer charities in China working to protect animals, he said.
“I’m glad I can help. When you do things that touch others, you are also touched. As a child, I could do nothing about it when I saw animals being slaughtered terribly on the farm. But now I am capable of doing something to improve their situation.”
(Photo: China Daily)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, benevolence foundation, businessman, china, chinese, dogs, foundation, lawyer, lu xun, pets, philanthropist, reform, restaurants, slaughterhouses, trucks
Blue’s not totally destitute. He has an air conditioned dog house, $1,800 in savings, a Facebook page and a lawyer, who’s now working to get him an exemption from local leash laws so he can continue his free and rambling lifestyle.
Abandoned as a puppy 10 years ago, Blue, also known as Bluedog, was left at Casa Taco and cared for by the owner, who died two years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Janice Conner, co-owner of Butte General Store and Marina, took over feeding Blue after that. But when a citizen complained about Blue following her and her dog on walks, someone in the city decided that Blue should receive a citation for being off leash, and issued it to Conner’s husband, Bob Owen.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin offered her legal services, and is trying to get Owen, who doesn’t officially own the dog, off the hook — and win an exemption that would allow Blue to live out the rest of his years, preferably untethered, in front of the store he now calls home.
“He’s one of my favorite clients,” says Noskin. “He is a sweet, sweet dog. He doesn’t meet any vicious dog standards. Somebody said he snarls … but I am not sure I believe that.”
City Manager Alan Briley says the city has received complaints about Blue snapping and growling and almost being hit by cars crossing the street.
Blue has resisted efforts to adopt him, always making his way back to the store. Local residents have donated more than $1,800 his care, Conner said, and they’ve also built him a dog house with heating pads for the winter and air conditioning for the summer.
“Everybody just loves this dog. People who can’t afford a dog bring their kids here to play with Blue. … He is the only dog I know who got four plates of Thanksgiving dinner at his dog house,” she said.
Conner says she has collected more than 1,100 signatures in support of Blue, who is on Facebook as Bluedog EB-Mascot.
“He was here before we became a city” she said, “so all we are asking for is for the city to grandfather him in as a representative of the community.”
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioned, australian cattle dog, blue, blue dog, bluedog, butte general store, casa taco, citation, citizens, city council, communal dog, dog house, donations, elephant butte, everybodys dog, exemption, facebook, heated, hilary noskin, homeless, janice conner, lawyer, leash laws, new mexico, off-leash, residents, savings account, stray, wanderer
In any case, when it comes to the seventh dog shot and killed by St. Petersburg police officers this year, the public anger is not subsiding.
Boomer’s death is still echoing — and doing so well beyond Florida.
Between his vocal owner, a Facebook page called “Boomer’s Voice,” and a petition at Change.org that has drawn more than 4,000 signatures, Boomer’s death has already gotten more attention than the previous six dogs that were shot, combined, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Roy Glass, a prominent personal injury lawyer, says he wants the police to know how much the dog’s violent death hurt his family. He wants the agency to admit the officer was wrong, and he wants police to change how they deal with dogs.
“What I want is for police to not be so trigger-happy in blowing away an obvious family pet,” he said.
Boomer escaped from his fenced yard Oct. 1 after a worker removed some wire that kept the dog from digging his way out. That night, he approached a woman walking her dog. The woman says he growled and snapped at her when she tried to check his tags.
When the woman called police, officers Misty Swanson and Michelle Fotovat responded. According to their police report, the dog was sociable at first, but bared his teeth when Swanson reached for the dog’s tags.
“Officer Swanson was about two feet from the dog when I observed her pull out her gun and fire one shot at the clearly now vicious dog,” Fotovat wrote in the police report.
Glass says — despite the dog’s tags — police never called him. On Oct. 2, he reported his dog missing. On Oct. 3, the SPCA called to tell him what happened to Boomer.
When Glass and his wife, Lauren, started hearing from other residents whose dogs had been shot and killed by police, they started a campaign.
They began a Boomer’s Voice Facebook page, featuring a photo of the dead and bloody Boomer, which already has over 2,500 followers. A California animal activist started a petition on Change.org calling for St. Pete’s officers to be better trained to handle animals.
“When a police officer’s first line of defense in restraining an animal is to reach for a weapon, it is sending the wrong message to the community that they swore to uphold and protect,” the petition says. “The ‘uncooperative animal’ that the police officer may kill could be someone’s senior pet who could be afraid, deaf, or in pain and not able to respond to the officer’s request.”
Boomer’s shooting is under investigation by the Police Department’s internal affairs division, and police aren’t commenting until the investigation is completed.
A police spokesman did point out that, after a September 2010 shooting that killed two leashed dogs, all officers were ordered to go through two hours of training with the SPCA.
Boomer’s owner believes that’s not enough. Glass wants to see officers undergo more extensive training, and lawmakers rewrite existing laws that define pets as property.
“As the law stands, our pets are nothing but chattel,” he said. “They’re personal property, and if somebody violates them, or abuses or maims or kills (them), you’re not entitled to any compensatory damages other than value of the dog. That’s so antiquated these days.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: attorney, boomer, boomers voice, campaign, change.org, death, facebook, florida, golden retriever, killed, laws, lawyer, officers, petition, police, property, roy glass, shot, st. petersburg, training, trigger-happy
The cat, named Mittens, was trapped by two teenage boys in a milk crate, doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last January.
She managed to escape from the crate, extinguish the flames and return to what she had been doing — nursing her newborn kittens.
Mittens was rescued by police and animal control officers and, along with her kittens, brought to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where she slowly recovered from the loss of her ears as well as third and fourth-degree burns covering 70 percent of her body.
Despite her injuries, Mittens continued to care for her kittens during recovery. Her story resulted in extensive media coverage and helped lead to stronger animal welfare laws in Maryland. Named the ASPCA’s Cat of the Year, she now resides in the home of Cindy Wright.
After a pit bull named Phoenix was doused with gasoline and set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009, Griffin, who previously had a private law practice, devoted her life to advocating for changes in Baltimore’s policies and procedures to better protect animals and prosecute their abusers. She was appointed by then-mayor Sheila Dixon to chair a new Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, which went on to become a permanent standing Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, the first of its kind in the country.
Griffin’s work heightened media and public awareness of animal abuse, and let to increased coordination and cooperation between agencies and individuals concerned about the problem.
“Through Caroline’s unrelenting work, the Commission has not only helped Baltimore become a more humane community, but also serves as a model for other cities across the country,” the ASPCA said in a press release.
Griffin is one of two recipients of the ASPCA Presidential Service Award. Also receiving the honor is Subaru of America, Inc. for its unprecedented commitment to animal welfare. Through the Subaru “Love a Pet” Adoption Drive program, the ASPCA works with Subaru dealers across the country to team them up with local shelters to host co-branded ‘Love a Pet’ adoption events.
“The ASPCA is humbled by the commitment and compassion displayed by this year’s Humane Awards winners,” ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres said. “The distinguished achievements of these advocates are prime examples of the ASPCA’s mission of preventing cruelty to animals. This year’s event will be a celebration of all that has been done to bring us closer to our goal while reminding us that there is still much work ahead.”
The ASPCA’s Annual Humane Awards Luncheon — sponsored by the Hartville Group, Inc., provider of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance — will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Others to be honored are:
– Ricochet, the surfing golden retriever who raises money and helps the disabled. Rejected as a service dog, Ricochet and her owner, Judy Fridono, took another route to helping people. Ricochet is now a ‘SURFice’ dog for disabled surfers. On top of that, Ricochet has helped raise more than $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes, including childhood special needs, arthritis, breast cancer, canine cancer and animal rescue. Ricochet will be honored as the ASPCA Dog of the Year.
– Stevie Nelson, a five-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. After his family’s two black Labs went missing, Stevie, upon seeing an ASPCA commercial on television, decided he wanted to help needy animals find homes. He set out to raise $6,000 for the humane society’s campaign to build a new shelter, but to date has raised more than four times that. Stevie will receive the ASPCA’s Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year award — named after a nine year old boy who died trying to save his dog from a house fire in 2007.
– Sgt. David Hunt of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. Hunt has served as a leader in uncovering the link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes such as drug dealing, gambling and racketeering. Since 2002, Sgt. Hunt has executed 51 search warrants resulting in 67 felony dogfighting arrests. He has trained law enforcement officers in 28 states, and helped make dogfighting a crime law enforcement and lawmakers take more seriously. Hunt is receiving the ASPCA Public Service Award.
– Green Chimneys, a New York organization that helps children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges. A leader in animal-assisted activities, Green Chimneys operates an innovative special education school and residential treatment facility with programs to strengthen the emotional health and well being of children by promoting a harmonious relationship with animals and the environment. Green Chimneys is receiving the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.
(Photo of Mittens, courtesy of BARCS; photo of Caroline Griffin by Mary Swift)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, anti-animal abuse task force, aspca, attention, awards, awareness, baltimore, barcs, caroline griffin, cat, cats, columbus, cruelty to animals, david hunt, dog, dogfighting, dogs, environment, green chimneys, honors, humane awards, judy fridono, law enforcement, lawyer, luncheon, mittens, nebraska, ohio, pets, phoenix, protect, ricochet, service dogs, set on fire, shelters, stevie nelson, surf, surfing, therapy dogs
Luna, the Siberian husky who has spent more than a month in solitary confinement and faced the death penalty for attacking two chickens at a neighbor’s property in Connecticut, has won a reprieve with help from a lawyer.
Luna on Thursday was signed over to New York lawyer Richard Rosenthal, co-founder of the animal defense group The Lexus Project, who became involved in her case after learning about it on Facebook.
According to the Hartford Courant, Luna was to have a court hearing Thursday, but the town of Tolland and Rosenthal came to an agreement prior to the hearing.
The town withdrew the “disposal order” issued by Tolland animal control officer Tina Binheimer in June, and the judge approved the agreement.
Rosenthal said he will in turn give the dog to Ruth Hanley of Double Dog Rescue in Massachusetts, who will care for and rehabilitate Luna until the organization can find her a new home.
According to the settlement, Luna can return to Connecticut — but not to Tolland.
“Luna’s now spent over a month in solitary confinement and it does take a toll, they are very social animals,” said Rosenthal. “I’m told by people that visited last week she’s starting to show some apprehension, a little bit of fear of people. So she just needs to quietly be reintroduced to being around people and see that it’s OK.”
Luna has been in the Tolland animal pound since June 20, after she escaped from owner Paul Doyle’s property and twice killed chickens belonging to a neighbor.
After the first incident Doyle was ordered by a judge to build an enclosure, but he never did and Luna escaped a second time, killing a second chicken. After the second attack, animal control officials issued an order of disposal for the dog, which stipulated that Luna had to be put down by June 21.
A Facebook page in support of Luna attracted the attention of Rosenthal and his group. Rosenthal filed a civil lawsuit and received a temporary restraining order against Binheimer and Tolland Animal Control. On Thursday he planned to challenge the legality of the order issued by Binheimer before coming to an agreement with Tolland’s town attorney Richard Conti.
As part of the settlement The Lexus Project, which worked for free, agreed to pay the town $660 to cover fees for Luna’s stay in the dog pound.
(Photo: From the “Save Luna from Tolland” Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal welfare, animals, chickens, connecticut, disposal order, dogs, double dog rescue, euthanasia, facebook, killed, lawyer, lexus project, luna, pets, rescued, richard rosenthal, saved, siberian husky, the lexus project, tolland
But you don’t see one representing the dog.
Katie Barnett, for one, doesn’t think that’s right.
A third-year law student at Kansas University, she’s establishing an animal cruelty prosecution clinic at the school — one she says is the first of its kind.
Barnett, 30, will work with animal control, animal cruelty investigators at the Humane Society, police and prosecutors to ensure that justice is served in cases of animal abuse.
“This is the chance for me to give the animals a voice and a place in the justice system,” Barnett told the Lawrence Journal-World.
Barnett started researching how to put together the clinic two years ago, after some high-profile animal cruelty cases in Lawrence. She did ride-alongs with the police and animal cruelty investigators and followed cases through the court system.
This spring, Barnett will develop a protocol for how future students can assist in the prosecution of such cases.
“I’m doing a trial run to see how everything works,” she said. “I’m getting out all the kinks and really tailoring the position so everyone knows what to do. There’s never been a person to collect everything.”
The program will begin taking in students in the fall 2011.
Barnett was one of three law students awarded The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships last year for their outstanding work in the growing field of animal law.
A graduate of Missouri State University, she has two pit bull mix dogs, including a three-legged rescue named Leonidas. Both are both Delta Society therapy dogs who visit schools, hospitals, and participate in community outreach programs.
Barnett and her husband, Anthony, also run Game Dog Guardian, a local organization that rehabilitates pit bulls and helps find them adoptive homes.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, attorney, clinic, court, delta society, dogs, game dog guardian, humane society, investigations, investigators, justice, kansas, kansas university, katie barnett, law, law school, law student, lawrence, lawyer, legal, mixes, pets, pit bulls, prosecution, students, therapy dogs
A Colorado Springs attorney accused of not allowing a disabled woman and her service dog into his office because he feared his new carpet might be soiled will pay $50,000 as part of a consent decree approved by a federal court today.
A November 2009 complaint accused Patric LeHouillier of violating the Americans with Disabilities act by barring Joan Murnane, a veterinarian with brain and other injuries that affect her balance, from entering his law office because her service dog was with her.
That decision, under the consent decree, will cost him $50,000 – $30,000 for Murnane, $10,000 for her husband and another $10,000 for a civil penalty.
“For almost two decades, the ADA has ensured that individuals with disabilities are guaranteed full and equal access to public accommodations, both large and small,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is unrelenting in [eradicating] discrimination against people with disabilities and ensuring that owners and operators of public accommodations recognize their obligations to provide equal access.”
The consent decree was approved by Judge Marcia S. Krieger in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
Under its terms, LeHouillier and his firm will be required to adopt an ADA-compliant service animal policy and post the policy in a conspicuous location, post a “Service Animals Welcome” sign, and provide training to staff.
The press release noted that a service animal is any animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability — and that the classification is not limited to dogs that assist the blind.
It includes, the press release says, dogs who alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, warn persons about impending seizures or other medical conditions, perform tasks for persons with psychiatric disabilities and provide physical supports for individuals with mobility issues.
More information about the ADA, including how to file an ADA complaint with the Justice Department, is available on the ADA home page at www.ada.gov.
The Justice Department also has a toll-free ADA Information Line (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ada, american with disabilities act, attorney, carpet, colorado springs, complaint, consent decree, disability, dogs, federal court, fined, joan murnane, lawyer, news, ohmidog!, patric lehouillier, pets, physical, psychiatric, service animals, service dog, veterinarian
Leigh Mcmillan, author of ”It All Started with a Dog,” is offering sex to the person who buys the 1,000th copy of her novel.
Specifically, and to be perfectly clear, she’s offering the unpublished sex scene she “took out of the book because it would have offended my mother.”
The novel tells the tale of a Washington, D.C. lawyer who has spent a lifetime protecting her heart from the dangerous possibilities of love. When she finds a ragged stray dog on the streets of Georgetown and brings him home with her, it leads to a sequence of startling events that send her down a path she’s never explored.
Since Mcmillan admits to it in an email sent to fans and others, we’ll go ahead and reveal it here: No dog dies in the book. So, as a holiday gift, it’s not a downer.
Mcmillan will be doing a book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Gallery of the Arts at 411 W. Fourth St. in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: author, bonus, books, books on dogs, deleted, dog, dog books, dogs, gallery of the arts, it all started with a dog, lawyer, leigh mcmillan, leigh somerville mcmillan, marketing, north carolina, publishing, sex, sex scene, stray, winston-salem
A retired Annapolis lawyer whose assistance dog helped her cope with hearing loss is now training dogs to help the elderly and disabled.
Ilene Caroom, 56, recently opened Canine Solutions for Seniors, a service focused on training dogs to perform tasks to help the elderly.
“This is what I wanted to do with retirement. This is immensely gratifying,” Caroom says in a feature story in Sunday’s Annapolis Capital.
Caroom helps train dogs to do everything from picking up a dropped cane, to delivering a note, to helping with the removal of clothing — depending on the needs of the client.
“The idea is that most people have dogs, and dogs love to do this,” she said. “The very things that (people might have) problems with can be turned to an advantage.”
Caroom has trained animals, including her own pets, for more than 20 years. She and her former “Super Hearing Dog,” Noah, who accompanied her to the law firm she worked at, were featured in the United States Border Collie Club newsletter, back 1996.
Caroom now has two border collies — Strike, a hearing assistance dog, and Moss, who is trained to do a variety of tasks.
For more information about Canine Solutions for Seniors, call 410-533-2832 or e-mail email@example.com.
(Photo: Annapolis Capital, by Colleen Dugan)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annapolis, annapolis capital, assistance, border collies, canine solutions for seniors, dog, dogs, elderly, help, ilene caroom, lawyer, training