A family in northern Maine says it is “overwhelmed” by the generosity they saw from friends and strangers who donated enough money for them to get a service dog for their 5-year-old daughter, Faith.
Faith has spina bifida and experiences seizures. The new dog — a black Lab named Dandy — has been trained to detect when they might be coming.
Bruce and Beverly McNally, of Island Falls, took Faith in as a foster child, then as their adopted daughter. They quickly realized they needed help monitoring her for the seizures, which could be deadly if not addressed.
“The family became very worried, which is why they wanted to get the dog,” Michele King, Faith’s aunt, told the Bangor Daily News.
King is also the chief administrative officer for Brave Hearts, a nonprofit Christian home for young men in Island Falls, and that organization sponsored a fundraiser last month to try and raise the $2,500 that was needed.
King said that donations came from the more than 100 people who attended a benefit supper, and from people as far away as North Carolina.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Beverly McNally said. “We eventually had enough money and we had to gently turn people away. We had to tell them that we had enough for the dog, but that we wanted them to donate the money to a charity of their own choosing.”
Dandy came from CARES — Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services — a nonprofit organization in Concordia, Kansas, that trains and matches assistance dogs with owners.
“Dandy has just been wonderful for Faith,” McNally said on Friday. “She picks up on a chemical change in the body when a seizure occurs. One day when we got back, Faith was very lethargic. She was in the chair with me and needed to be snuggled a lot more. And the dog got up in the chair and started whining. And I didn’t realize what was going on. And 45 minutes later, Faith had a seizure. Then I realized what the dog was trying to tell me.”
(Photo: Michele King)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assistance, benefit, black, brave hearts, canine, cares, dandy, detecting, dog, dogs, donations, education, faith, fundraiser, fundraising, island falls, lab, labrador retriever, maine, rehabilitation, seizures, service, services, spina bifida
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
Revised, reconfigured and ready to get you all the way through 2013, the “Travels with Ace” calendar is back on sale for a limited time.
A heavy-duty, 18-month wall calendar, it’s illustrated with photos from our year-long, 27,000-mile trip across America — from the coast of Maine, where Ace was the first dog in America to see the sunrise one day in October, to the shores of Monterey, where Ace hopped up for a closer look at a bust of John Steinbeck — the author who inspired our journey.
You can buy it and get more information here, or by clicking on that ad to the left.
Fifty percent of profits from the sale of the calendar go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire (and also one of the stops on our trip).
We’ve added photos of one stop that we didn’t include the first time around — the Coon Dog Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
The rest of the calendar is packed with images from some of our other stops:
@Salvation Mountain in California, where Leonard Knight has fashioned and painted a mountain in honor of God.
@Niagara Falls, where Ace — ohmigod! — almost disappeared.
@The Lodge, a gentleman’s club in Dallas, where we met one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, and where Ace briefly took the stage.
@Various points south, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, where we kept running into kudzu dogs.
@The mountains of North Carolina, where we went in search of the elusive — and sometimes not so elusive — white squirrel.
@Rolling Dog Farm, where we reconnected with some old friends.
@John Steinbeck’s former home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., where we began retracing the route the author took in “Travels with Charley.”
@A marina in Baltimore, where we lived on a sailboat for a week, which Ace mostly liked.
Initial sales of the calendar raised $400 for Rolling Dog Farm.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, alabama, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, bandera, calendar, calendars, california, coast, coon dog cemetery, dallas texas, dog, dogs, fathers day, following, gentleman's club, gift, gifts, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, lancaster, maine, monterey, new hamsphire, niagara falls, north carolina, ohmidog!, oregon, path, pets, photography, photos, road trip, rolling dog farm, route, salinas, strip clubs, the lodge, trail, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, trip, tucson, wall calendar, white squirrels, winslow
A Jack Russell terrier headed for Maine got lost in New Jersey, spent 10 days wandering in the woods, was found and returned to North Carolina, and is now destined to go back to New Jersey.
It’s a roundabout route to a forever home, but, for five-year-old Piper, it’s a far better fate than that awaiting her had she remained in the North Carolina shelter she was initially pulled from as her euthanasia date approached.
The pilots — among those donate their time to fly dogs facing euthanasia to friendlier locations — made a stop in New Jersey and were taking Piper for a walk when she got frightened by the noise from a nearby drag strip and, with her leash still attached, ran off, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.
She escaped through a hole in the airport’s fence and ran into the woods. Pilots and local residents searched, and they were joined by volunteers from A New Leash on Life, another North Carolina rescue group involved in transporting Piper and the other dogs to a place they might more likely be adopted.
After 10 days, a woman named Cyndi Albujar who lives near the woods spotted Piper while walking her own dog. She placed cat food in a trap. Piper went for it.
A few days later, Piper was on a plane returning to A New Leash on Life, based in Wake Forest, N.C.
But she hasn’t been listed for adoption.
That’s because Albujar, who took a liking to Piper, wants her back.
So, one day soon, Piper will be flying back to New Jersey again — this time for good.
(Photo: Cyndi Albujar (left), with Danella Anderson of A New Leash on Life, volunteer pilot Terry Friedman and Piper; courtesy of Ruf Creek Ranch)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a new leash on life, adopted, adoption, airport, animals, Cyndi Albujar, dog, dogs, euthanasia, flights, flown, forever home, found, home, jack russell, jack russell terrier, kill, lost, maine, new jersey, north carolina, pets, pilots n paws, piper, pulled, rescue, rescued, ruf creek ranch, shelter, terrier, transport, transported, trapped, woods
Judy Blackington, co-owner of Discount Pets in Salem, decided to stop selling dogs at the end of February.
“Instead of buying our puppies off breeders, we decided to take puppies that are about to be killed,” she said. “We’ve saved seven puppies this week and get about 35 a month.”
According to Life With Dogs, the store has formed a partnership with Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue in Alton, Maine.
“We’ve never worked with a pet store like this,” said the rescue’s director, Nicky Bowman. “I think more pet stores ought to do this. I see every day the gruesome reality of puppy mills. We’re making a point to people that breeding really needs to stop because overpopulation is a problem.”
Shop owner Blackington says the change has been good for her conscience — and great for business.
“The breeder prices have gone up lately and the puppies haven’t been very healthy,” she said. “The customers don’t like paying $900 for a puppy and then have to spend more on the vet. These dogs are healthier than the ones we’ve gotten from breeders. I think it’s going to be better for the business, and people love it.”
Elizabeth Dobbins, director of the Salem Animal Rescue League, said other pet store owners should take note.
“Sadly, there is no shortage of adoptable pets in this country. So there’s room for plenty of us. Maybe that’s a trend of the future, that pet stores would look to go out and rescue animals instead of buying from breeders.”
Potential owners are required to submit an application and submit to a home visit, which Blackington says help ensures a better connection between dog and family.
“We’ve had more people come in than ever,” she said. “They love that we’re an adoption center now and not a puppy store.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptable, adoptions, Alton, animals, breeders, Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue, business, change, discount pets, dogs, health, homeless, judy blackington, maine, new hampshire, nicky bowman, over-population, pet sales, pet store, pets, puppies, puppy mills, rescues, salem, sales, shelters, shift
The Portland Press Herald described Sherwood Campbell as a large man who adored his small dogs.
Sixty-four and living with his parents, upwards of 300 pounds, Campbell (shown above in a family photo from the 1990s) died Tuesday night while trying to save his dogs from his burning home in Canton, Maine.
Firefighters found Campbell’s body Wednesday morning at the entrance to his second-floor bedroom, the body of his dog Whomper with him, relatives told the Press Herald. His second dog, a Pomeranian named Little Dog, also died, as did his parents’ miniature pinscher, Muppet.
Campbell’s parents, both in their 80s, were not at home at the time because his father was hospitalized in Portland with a heart condition. The state Fire Marshal’s Office is still trying to determine what caused the fire, which started in the kitchen.
Mark Blanchette, Campbell’s brother-in-law, who lives across the street, said Campbell ran over Tuesday afternoon, his face covered with soot, yelling that the house was on fire.
Blanchette followed Campbell across the street, and tried to stop him from entering the home.
“He shoved me out of the way and went after the dog,” Blanchette said. “I kept telling him the dog’s not worth it.”
Blanchette said he grabbed Campbell’s leg, but Campbell, who he said weighed 300 to 400 pounds, kept going up the stairs, pulling Blanchette as he went.
“I held it as long as I could,” Blanchette said. “I had to let him go.”
Campbell was a fan of the Boston Red Sox and collected baseball cards, the Press Herald reported. He worked for 20 years in a nearby Bass shoe factory, but left due to health and eyesight problems.
“He just loved his dogs,” said his sister, Cindy Holland. “They were his world.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attempt, Canton, died, dogs, fire, home, house, killed, little dog, maine, muppet, pets, rescue, saving, sherwood campbell, whomper
If in your house you have a wall
In a kitchen, bedroom or a hall
And if sometimes you can’t recall
What day it is — no, not at all
Here’s a gift that will enthrall
Almost each and every one of y’all
It’s about a dog quite tall
Who crossed a country far from small
But here’s the best part of it all
You can skip the shopping mall
Happy Black Friday. I — in exchange for forcing you to ready my hasty poetry — am about to make your life easier. No need to thank me.
The calendar recaptures some of the more memorable moments from our one year and 27,000 miles of travels across the country, about half of that spent retracing the route John Steinbeck, 50 years ago, took with his poodle in “Travels with Charley.”
The way I figure it, if you buy enough copies, you might be able to avoid the mall altogether, and you’ll be contributing to a good cause.
Half of all profits will go to Rolling Dog Farm in New Hampshire, formerly Rolling Dog Ranch in Montana. The sanctuary for blind, deaf and disabled animals relocated last year, and it was one of the stops on our journey across America.
Inside our calendar, you’ll find 18 unusual slices of American life – from our visit to John Steinbeck’s grave in Salinas, California, to dropping in at a gentlemen’s club in Dallas, where Ace spent time with Mel, a former Michael Vick dog.
From Dog Mountain in Vermont (one artist’s tribute to dog) to Salvation Mountain in California (one artist’s tribute to God). From Maine’s magnificent coast to Niagara’s roaring falls. From standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona to spotting dogs in the kudzu in Mississippi.
The calendar allows you to relive our journey, without spending a penny on gas; to see the places we went, the people we met and the dogs we bumped into.One month also features some of our old dog friends back in Baltimore.
It’s $25, plus $3 for shipping and handling, and each copy is hand signed by me – not Ace, though, as he has declared a moratorium on pawtographs.
It’s an 18-month calendar, which will carry you all the way to June, 2013.
And, or so we hope, it will raise a few bucks for Rolling Dog Farm, which you can learn more about here.
To place your orders, visit this page.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18-month, 2012, ace, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, blind, calendar, california, deaf, disabled, dog mountain, dogs, donate, gift, holiday, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, kudzu dogs, maine, mel, michael vick, niagara falls, ohmidog!, pets, photography, photos, proceeds, profits, riverside park, road trip, rolling dog farm, salvation mountain, sanctuary, travels with ace, vick dog
Buying a wolf hybrid has become illegal in Maine, but it’s going to take a while for them to disappear from the state, if they do at all.
The law requires current owners to have the animals neutered and prohibits the purchase of dog-wolf mixes, except by those with special wildlife-in-captivity permits.
The law was passed after concerns arose about a wolf hybrid refuge in Bristol.
“Wolf hybrids are not pets,” said Sen. David Trahan, the bill’s sponsor. “Would people consider bringing a coyote or mountain lion into their home crossed with another cat or another dog?”
Jim Doughty, who operates the Wolf Ledge Refuge in Bristol, says the law is misguided and unfairly brands the animals.
“Any animal, no matter whether it’s a pure wolf or a Chihuahua or a pug or anything else, depends on the person and how they raise it,” he said. “It’s the same thing with your kids. If you’re abusive toward your kids, they’re not going to be so good. If you work with them, they’ll be great.”
According to an Associated Press article, forty states forbid the ownership, breeding and importation of wolf dogs, while others impose some form of regulation upon ownership.
The law doesn’t prevent Doughty from continuing to take in wolf hybrids from people who no longer want them.
Last month, one of Doughty’s animals, Luna, escaped and attacked a chicken next door.
Doughty doesn’t consider wolf hybrids to be dangerous, but said he wouldn’t recommend them for families with small children. He doesn’t think the law will eliminate wolf dogs from Maine.
“Owners are going to list it as another dog,” he said. “The vet might know it and everybody else might know it, but nobody’s going to say a word.”
(Photo: Jim Doughty and a wolf hybrid named Koda; by Kate Collins / Bangor Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, bristol, david trahan, dog, dogs, hybrids, illegal, jim doughty, law, maine, ownership, pets, refuge, wolf, wolf dog, wolf hybrids, wolf ledge refuge, wolves
“I would almost like to see, and I know this is very controversial, to see the city take a stand where they try to prohibit specific breeds,” Chief Joe Massey said.
Massey told WABI that statistics show most attacks happen in victim’s homes and that “the top three biters according to their study are pit bulls, german shepherds and Rottweilers.”
Either Massey didn’t say — or WABI failed to report — whose study he was basing his statements on, as is often the case when breed bans start to blossom.
“In this particular case, where a two-year-old was bitten, a significant portion of his cheek is gone,” Massey said. “I mean gone! It’s appalling.”
The boy had surgery and is now recovering at home. The dog, who earlier bit a 6-year-old boy, has been euthanized.
Paula Mitchell, executive director of the Waterville Humane Society, said she didn’t agree with idea of a ban. But the humane society does refuse to place pit bulls in homes where there are children under 12.
“People should do their research before they buy dogs,” the police chief said. “They should research them and particularly if they’re going to get a dog that’s already grown.”
The chief’s statistics, we can only guess, come from a CDC report on fatal dog bites between 1979 and 1998, which showed “pit bull types” as the breed responsible for most fatalities.
We won’t go into all of that study’s flaws — not the least of which is that pit bull isn’t a breed but a catch-all category that includes numerous breeds and mixes thereof.
As the CDC itself says about the study: ”It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic.”
Most politicians don’t read the small print, though. They’re too busy spreading fear.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bite, biters, bites, breed ban, cdc, dog, dogs, fatal, german shepherds, joe massey, maine, pets, pit bull, police chief, research, rottweilers, study, waterville
Show up with 15 and, as any fool could predict, there’s going to be trouble.
Police in Tewksbury, Mass., say one dog is dead and three more are fighting for their lives as a result of neglect and inhumane treatment at the hands of a 71-year-old Maine woman named Margaret Nickerson-Malpher.
Nickerson-Malpher was arrested at the Motel 6 in Tewksbury Tuesday, where, in addition to four dogs in her room, she had about a dozen more outside in her parked van.
She was scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court today on 17 counts of animal cruelty, Patch.com reported.
Nickerson-Malpher told police she had left her summer residence in Maine Monday night and was driving back home to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when she stopped at Motel 6 to get some sleep.
She checked into the motel around 7 a.m., apparently bringing some of the 15 dogs with her into her room. The rest remained in her van. Police say motel guests saw her carrying the body of a deceased dog from her van to her room that afternoon.
A motel employee went to her room, and after seeing the deceased dog and other dogs that appeared to be ill, called police.
Police say the officer who responded found inside her room one dead dog and three more in critical condition, due to suspected malnourishment and dehydration.
The surviving animals — 14 dogs and two cats –were taken initially to the Tewksbury Pound, then transferred to the Massachussetts SPCA facility in Methuen.
Police in Tewksbury said Nickerson-Malpher appeared to have been living in Maine for at least four years, despite the South Dakota plates on her van, and that state police investigating her for animal abuse there were preparing to seize her animals on Wednesday.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Nickerson-Malpher had been charged with animal cruelty in 2006, when 20 dogs and one cat were removed from her home. She was convicted in connection with that and, under the terms of her probation, restricted from owning more than two dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, arrest, bangor, cats, death, dehydration, dogs, hoarders, hoarding, lodging, maine, margaret nickerson-malpher, massachussetts, motel, motel 6, mspca, neglect, pets, police, spca, tewksbury, travel, traveling with dogs