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Tag: manhattan

Cecil Williams will keep his guide dog; help pours in after they’re hit by subway train

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A blind man and his guide dog who were struck by a subway train in Manhattan Tuesday will be able to remain together — thanks to donations from members of the public touched by their story.

Cecil Williams fainted and fell on the New York City subway tracks, taking his harnessed dog, Orlando, with him.

Orlando barked for help and stayed by his side, even as the train passed over them.

In a story about the accident that aired on NBC Nightly News Tuesday night, it was reported that Orlando was slated to retire in January, and that Williams lacked the funds to continue to care for the dog afterwards, when the dog would no longer be covered by his insurance.

Since then, enough donations to their cause have been received by Guiding Eyes for the Blind to help pay for all of Orlando’s retirement expenses, and ensure that the pair’s eight-year relationship continues.

williamsand orlandoWilliams, 61, was on his way to the dentist when he fainted at the 125th Street platform. Witnesses said the dog was barking and tried to stop Williams from falling, as he is trained to do. When they both landed on the tracks, Orlando tried to rouse Williams, who was unconscious. Both lay there as a slow-moving subway train passed above them.

Nieither sustained serious injuries.

“The dog saved my life,” Williams said of his Labrador retriever. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”

Williams, who is on insulin and other medications, was taken to a hospital, where Orlando remains at his bedside.

The Brooklyn man has been blind since 1995. Orlando, his second guide dog, “saves my life on a daily basis,” he said.

At a press conference Williams thanked everyone “for showing their humanity and peace and goodwill” by making donations to the guide dog school that trained Orlando.

“All the people who contribute and donated I think we should take our hat off to them,” he said. “There’s still good people in this world.”

(Photo: Williams and Orlando at press conference; by Carlo Allegri / REUTERS, via NBC)

When dogs are behind the camera

Maybe any monkey can’t be a photographer, but any dog can.

At least when its collar is equipped with a camera that’s programmed to snap photos at regular intervals.

The photos from just such experiment are the subject of a new exhibition in New York called “Dogtography: A Dog’s Eye View of New York.”

The idea was dreamed up by McCann Erickson, a public relations agency that was trying to gain some attention for a pro bono client – Mighty Mutts, an animal shelter and adoption service.

The company outfitted dogs with “collar-cams,” small digital cameras that can be mounted on canine collars.

The resulting photos show the world from a dog’s point of view — a lot of “feet and fire hydrants,” Sean Bryan, a group creative director at McCann Erickson told the New York Times blog “Media Decoder.”

The exhibit opens today, with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Hendershot Gallery at 195 Chrystie Street in Manhattan. Proceeds from the sale of the photos will go to Mighty Mutts. The exhibition is being sponsored by Mighty Mutts along with Biscuits and Bath, a chain of dog-grooming facilities in New York.

Each photo has a title, and the dogs who wore the collar cams get photo credits.

Dogs are invited to the event.

NYC terrier survives five story fall

It was like a scene from the Wizard of Oz, and it most likely left Alfie wondering what it was all about.

A silky terrier in Manhattan, swept off an 11th floor terrace by high winds, survived a five-story fall with only minor injuries.

Sarann Lindenauer, 67, had opened her terrace door to let in some air, left her apartment for five minutes and came back to find Alfie — a 4-year-old, 10-pound silky terrier — had vanished.

“I ran all over the house calling his name,” she told the New York Post. “I looked down on the plaza and onto the landing of the town houses.”

The dog was swept from the Independence Plaza complex on May 3 during a thunderstorm, landing five stories below, and 30 feet to the east, on a rooftop.

“It was like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and he was Toto,” said Jessica Gould, a neighbor who rescued Alfie.  Gould, who lives in a different tower of the complex, had been looking out at the storm from her seventh-floor window and spotted Alfie.

Gould retrieved the dog and brought him to the lobby.

“‘This is Alfie. Oh, my, God … He came from the 11th floor,” she recounted the doorman saying. Lindenauer was called and reunited with the dog, who  sustained only a few bruises and scratches and a cut lip.

“It had to be a horrible, horrible quick wind because he definitely doesn’t jump,” said Lindenauer, who added that Alfie no longer likes going out on the terrace.

“Nightclub” for dogs opening in New York

fetchclubManhattan’s dogs will soon have a place to enjoy a night on the town — the Fetch Club, a  3,000-foot indoor dog park/canine club offering spa services, homemade meals and a “doggie disco.”

Scheduled to open next month in a renovated former tobacco factory one block from the South Street Seaport, the establishment will also include a “high-end” boutique, and a lounge where humans can drink coffee, schmooze and Twitter while their dogs frolic.

The New York Post reports that permission to open the club didn’t come easy: After concerns about noise were expressed by neighbors, the  Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order in early April. The department reviewed Fetch Club’s permits and ruled the building wasn’t zoned for kennels — meaning it can’t board dogs overnight.

Owner Peter Balestrieri invested $50,000 in additional noise insulation for the club, adding about 8 inches of padding to his walls and ceiling.

While the club won’t board dogs overnight, Balestrieri says it will be the perfect stop for clubbing humans to drop off their dogs. He says he hopes to equip the doggie dance club with a disco ball.

“We’re serious about the well-being of animals, but we also want them to have fun,” said co-owner Jenna Lee, a former finance worker now taking veterinary courses.

Life after Broadway is fine with Fred

*Feb 27 - 00:05*

A stray South Bronx mutt who was “discovered” in a shelter and went on to appear in the hit musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” is enjoying his retirement in a posh home on the upper West Side.

Found wandering the streets as an 8-month-old pup, Fred landed at an ASPCA shelter in New York in early 2005. 

There Bill Berloni, a theatrical animal agent who has trained stray dogs for Broadway shows for more than 30 years, found Fred, took him home and spent a year working with the dog.

Berloni, who also is a behavior consultant for the Humane Society of New York – a no-kill shelter that supports rescued animals — took Fred, a terrier mix, to try out against dozens of other canine hopefuls at the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” auditions.

The New York Daily News recounted Fred’s “wags to riches” story in an article today.

When the show closed in 2006, Berloni arranged for Fred (third from the left in the photo) to be adopted by Chris Grabenstein and his wife, J.J. Myers.

Grabenstein, an author of adult mysteries and childrens’ ghost stories, has created a character based on him. The couple also built a rooftop dog area, where Fred can continue to enjoy the bright lights of the big city.

Prosecutor laughs during Tiara Davis hearing

sparkyThe assistant district attorney prosecuting the case against Tiara Davis, accused of beating her Pomeranian on the elevator at a New York City housing project, broke into laughter in the courtroom yesterday.

While reading Davis’ statement about how she beat the dog, Assistant District Attorney Steven Constantiner began chuckling, the New York Daily News reported.

“He was laughing and had to turn away because he couldn’t control the laughter,” said, Stacy Schneider, a Legal Aid lawyer representing Davis. “I didn’t see any humor in the statement.”

Davis, 31, is charged with beating a 9-pound Pomeranian named Sparky into unconsciousness in an elevator at the Grant Houses in Manhattan. Police quoted her as saying: “It wasn’t like I was killing him or anything like that. I mean I wasn’t gonna really hurt him.”

Constantiner started laughing when he was reading part of Davis’ statement that described the dog relieving itself in the elevator.

“The assistant district attorney laughed briefly and unexpectedly while reading to the court the vulgarities the defendant used in her statement to police,” acknowledged Erin Duggan, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office. Constantiner declined comment.

Davis, a vocational counselor, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges. Her lawyer denied she  made the statements to police. Davis, who has since surrendered Sparky, was caught on video beating the 4-year-old dog and was arrested by the ASPCA. She faces up to a year in jail.

Her arrest came just after another resident of the Grant Houses, Chris Grant, was charged with animal cruelty in connection with beating a dog — an incident police say was caught on the elevator surveillance cameras earlier.

How Jane lost her Angel

When Jane Guardascione, a 94-year-old Queens grandmother, lost her pet collie and constant companion, Angel, her granddaughter got on the phone, placing several calls to Animal Control and Care to see if the dog turned up in the city’s shelter system.

Angel wasn’t there, the agency repeatedly told her Friday.

On Saturday, though, she was told the 13-year-old dog had been euthanized at Animal Control and Care’s Manhattan shelter — the same day she arrived.

Shelter officials said Angel had collapsed at the shelter, had no identification and fit no description of any dogs reported lost. Because of her age and deteriorating condition, a veterinarian at the facility decided to euthanize Angel in an effort to prevent any additional suffering, the New York Daily News reports.

In a statement, the agency expressed ”deepest sympathies” to the family. “It is our goal to avoid euthanasia unless we deem it absolutely necessary,” the statement read.

Family members say, while Angel suffered from arthritis, she was able to get around just fine —  and was probably frozen with fear in the shelter. Jane’s daughter, Carole Miller, a collie breeder, gave her mother the dog when Angel was just over a year old. The dog was her constant companion, she said.

AC&C, which operates city shelters under a contract with the Health Department, is required to hold lost and stray animals for at least 72 hours before putting them up for adoption or euthanizing them. Exceptions are made if an animal is critically injured or gravely ill.

Outraged animal rescue groups said such mistakes are not unusual at AC&C and charged the nonprofit organization is plagued by mismanagement. In January, the Daily News reported that one rescue group sued the city because it was breaking its own law by not providing animal shelters in all five boroughs. The suit charged that facilities are overcrowded and disease-ridden and that animals are being euthanized in “unconscionable numbers” because there is no space.