This story may sound like it comes out of Bizarro World, but it actually happened in Silver Spring, Md., where a man who was walking his DOG (on a leash) called authorities to report two young, unaccompanied and unsupervised CHILDREN romping freely around a park.
The caller, a Navy corpsman, called the city’s non-emergency line Sunday evening when he saw the two young children walking alone. He followed them, as one might follow a stray dog, providing police with their location.
Officers picked up Rafi Meitiv, 10 and Dvora Meitiv, 6, in a parking lot and turned them over to Children’s Protective Services.
As it turned out, it wasn’t the first time the “stray” children had been picked up. They’ve been sighted as much as a mile away from their home.
Their parents, Danielle and Sasha Meitiv, practice “free-range parenting.” They allow their children to roam the neighborhood on their own because, they say, it instills independence. They’ve defended their parenting style in court at least once before.
Given this website is about dogs, not parenting, we’ll refrain from voicing an opinion on that. But the case does remind me of some of those unaccompanied dogs I used to see at Riverside Park in Baltimore. I’d assume they were lost, wandering strays when in reality they were “self-walkers” — dogs whose owners lived near the park who would let them out the door to take care of business.
They’d head to the park alone, socialize, pee, poop (without a human to clean up after them) and then head home.
How many calls to animal control they, and other unleashed dogs, prompted I don’t know. I admired the independence of those free-range dogs and fretted about their safety at the same time.
But back to those unleashed kids.
Montgomery County police found the brother and sister in a parking lot around 6 p.m. Sunday, less than a quarter mile from their Silver Spring home, and — without calling the parents — turned them over to Children’s Protective Services.
It wasn’t until after 8 p.m. that Children’s Protective Services contacting the Meitivs, who say they had begun to worry when their children didn’t return by 6 p.m. The Meitivs said they had taken the children to the park at around 4 and told them to be home by 6.
Their children were released to them at 10:30 p.m — but not until after the parents agreed to sign an agreement that prohibits them from leaving their children unattended, according to USA Today.
Maryland law prohibits children younger than age 8 from being unattended in a dwelling or car but makes no reference to outdoors. A person must be at least 13 years old to supervise a child younger than 8.
In December, the couple was accused of neglect for allowing the children to walk around their suburban Washington neighborhood unaccompanied by an adult.
In February, Children’s Protective Services found the Meitivs responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect, but the couple has appealed that decision.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, children, dogs, free range, free range parenting, independence, maryland, parent, parenting, parents, pets, silver spring, supervision, unattended, unleashed, unsupervised
For more than a decade, they were a familiar sight around downtown Salisbury, Maryland — the homeless man and his silky white dog.
You could often find them stationed outside Benedict the Florist, or located in what was an even shrewder spot to panhandle — behind the Dunkin Donuts, where cars lined up at the drive-through.
Elwood, the homeless man, and Gladys, his dog, weren’t shooed away too often in Salisbury. That, likely, was in part because of Elwood’s friendly demeanor, maybe in larger part because of his highly sociable dog, who he found as a pup in a box by a Dumpster, or in a bag in the middle of Highway 13, depending on who’s telling the story
In any event, the troubled man and the Wheaton mix became partners in homelessness, and for more than a decade survived off the kindness of friends and strangers in Salisbury.
No one has seen Elwood since last May, though some people still think they see his dog at various locations around town.
Edna Walls had that feeling when she saw a silky white, mid-sized dog at a groomers recently, asked about it and learned it was — sure enough — Gladys.
Elwood Towers died last May of cancer, the groomer explained to her, and since then his dog has been living with the owner of the flower shop outside of which Elwood and Gladys once panhandled. She recounted the encounter in a reader-submitted column published on Delmarva Now.
The Lucky Dog Pet Salon never charged Towers for grooming Gladys, Walls reported, just like some local veterinarians cut him a break when Gladys needed shots or medical treatment.
An obituary on Legacy.com makes note of the kindness the two received. Submitted by his “adoptive family,” it thanks “the business and professional community and the thousands of people that took the time to help him, say a kind word, or give Gladys a pet. Those things are what made his life meaningful.”
The obituary continues, “He leaves behind his dearest and closest companion, Gladys. The ‘homeless man and his white dog’ were well recognized from their travels throughout the Salisbury area in the last 15 years. Elwood loved the outdoors and his ‘WORK;’ the proceeds of which were often shared with others in need.”
George Benedict, who took in Gladys after Elwood’s death, agrees that Elwood was known for being poor, but also for being a giving sort. Once, he got kicked out of an apartment for refusing to get rid of a stray bird he was nursing back to health.
“He was a generous man,” Benedict told ohmidog! “If he took in $100, he’d give half of it away or buy groceries for friends in need.”
Elwood, before he died, took steps to make sure Gladys would be cared for. He asked George Benedict to take ownership of Gladys.
In years of writing about homeless people, and homeless dogs, and homeless people with homeless dogs, it’s something I’ve noticed. A homeless person may not know where their next meal is coming from, but they know where their dog’s is. A homeless person may have no roof over his head, and no plan for tomorrow, but likely they’ve made contingency plans for what will happen to their dog when they’re gone.
Benedict, who had always been fond of Gladys — who’d never suggested the pair move on when they lingered outside his shop — agreed. He’s retired now, and the floral shop — a local institution for 130 years — closed in 2011. Benedict still works with homeless people, though, through an organization called Hope, Inc.
He knew Elwood for almost 15 years, and remembers when Elwood found Gladys — in a box by a Dumpster, he says — and decided to keep the pup. Some people told Elwood that was a mistake, Benedict recalls, pointing out to Elwood that he could barely take care of himself.
Elwood had spent much of his life in prison, including his teens. He looked down on drug use, and while he enjoyed a beer or two, he wasn’t a heavy drinker, Benedict said.
Still, after taking in Gladys, Elwood never had another drink, Benedict said. “She was pretty much his whole life.”
For a while, Benedict said, Elwood lived in an unheated garage, paying $300 a month for it. About the time city inspectors asked him to leave, Gladys had a litter of pups. Elwood gave them away, including one to Benedict.
Benedict said that dog died at age 6, from lymphoma.
“I never imagined I would actually wind up with Gladys,” Benedict said.
In his final years, Elwood was fighting cancer, too. His lower jaw had to rebuilt after one surgery. He called off the fight in 2012, deciding not to seek further treatment.
In Elwood’s final months, Benedict spent a lot of time with him. He died May 17, 2013, at age 75 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake.
Benedict took Gladys to the groomer just before Elwood’s funeral, and she attended the service, along with about 35 humans.
“They were sort of unique in Salisbury,” Benedict said. “I guess it was the combination of him and Gladys. People gave him a lot more tolerance than they might some other folks.”
Gladys is 14 now.
“She’s an amazing dog,” Benedict says. She just instinctively likes to be with people … My wife and I are convinced she has some sort of aura about her. She goes with me wherever I go, and all the stores let her in. Wherever I go, people get out of their car and say ‘what kind of dog is that?’ I tell them she’s a Wheaton mix.
“Some of them say ‘I used to give food to a man who had a dog like that.'”
While Elwood has been dead for a year and a half, donations can still be made in his memory to the organization specified in his obituary: The Humane Society of Wicomico County, 5130 Citation Drive, Salisbury, MD 21804.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 25th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: benedict the florist, cancer, death, dunkin donuts, elwood, elwood and gladys, elwood towers, george benedict, gladys, homeless, homeless dogs, homeless people, homelessness, kindness, lucky dog pet salon, maryland, mix, new home, panhandling, salisbury, tolerance, wheaton
At the end of the 2011 session of the Maryland General Assembly, animal welfare advocates are celebrating passage of five major animal protection bills, and the defeat of two that they say would have had an adverse impact on animal welfare.
And to top it all off, as of July, dogs can legally dine in the outside seating areas of restaurants that opt to permit them.
“In the past animal protection laws in Maryland have been weaker than other states. But now we are making huge progress to improve the treatment of Maryland’s animals,” said Carolyn Kilborn, chair of Maryland Votes for Animals.
Kilborn attributes the gains to animal welfare advocates being better organized and more outspoken.
The General Assembly passed the following bills during the 2011 session:
- Senate Bill 839, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Gladden, D-Baltimore City, which requires commercial dog breeders to be licensed by the county in which they operate, and requires counties to report basic information about these commercial breeders once a year to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. This bill will provide critical information to understand the impact of puppy mills in the state. Companion legislation, HB 990, was sponsored by Del. Tom Hucker, D-Montgomery County.
- Senate Bill 639, sponsored by Sen. Joanne Benson, D-Prince George’s County, which will set up a task force to study the need for funding of spay and neuter programs in Maryland. An estimated 48,000 homeless dogs and cats are euthanized in Maryland shelters annually. Affordable, accessible spay/neuter programs can help prevent this tragedy. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have a public funding mechanism to subsidize the cost of spay/neuter surgeries for those who cannot afford it. The task force will be comprised of representatives from animal control, humane societies, non-profit spay/neuter organizations, the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, the Department of Agriculture and others. Companion legislation, HB 339, was sponsored by Del. Barbara Frush, D-Prince George’s County.
- House Bill 227 sponsored by Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery County, which will allow courts to prohibit someone convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals as a term of probation. This legislation had strong backing from organizations addressing the issue of domestic violence. Companion legislation, SB 115, was co-sponsored by Sen. James Robey, D-Howard County.
- Senate Bill 747 sponsored by Sen. Norman Stone, D-Baltimore County, which allows courts to include protections for pets in domestic violence protective orders. Research has repeatedly shown a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. Children and animals in the family are often threatened, or actually harmed, as a way to manipulate and coerce others in the family. Victims of domestic violence often delay leaving abusive situations because they fear for the safety of their companion animals. This legislation benefits both people and animals and had strong support for organizations which address the problem of domestic violence. Companion legislation, HB 407, was sponsored by Del. Susan McComas, R-Harford County.
- House Bill 897, sponsored by Del. Peter Murphy, D-Charles County, to require the addition of a bittering agent to antifreeze. Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in most major antifreeze brands, has an aroma and a sweet flavor which can tempt animals to drink the highly toxic substance. Adding a bittering agent makes it less attractive to companion animals and wildlife.
- House Bill 941, sponsored by Del. Dan Morhaim, D- Baltimore County, which permits restaurants to allow dogs in outdoor seating areas.
Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) works to create an ever-growing voting bloc of animal advocates who will elect representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2011, advocacy, animal, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, antifreeze, bills, breeders, breeding, commercial, dining with dogs, dogs, domestic violence, general assembly, house, laws, legislation, legislature, maryland, maryland votes for animals, neuter, outdoor, pets, protection, senate, spay
Participants, whether they are hiking the 1.5-mile walk-a-thon or checking out vendors and entertainment, will be helping to support homeless animals in the Baltimore area.
For the walk-thon, registration opens at 9 a.m. and starting line ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m.
The event also features a demonstration by Mid-Atlantic Disc Dogs, pet training tips, an agility course for dogs, low-cost micro-chipping, a “flea-less” market of pet friendly vendors, musical chairs for dogs, and a pet costume contest judged by celebrity guests, food and entertainment.
Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers, including a grand prize trip to the Bahamas. Participants will receive a special “doggy bag” that includes treats, corporate giveaways and other gifts. Dog bandanas will be given to those who raise at least $30, and the 2011 March for the Animals t-shirt will be given to walkers who raise at least $40.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, baltimore, demonstrations, dogs, Druid Hill Park, entertainment, event, events, fundraiser, March for the Animals, maryland, mdspca, pets, rescue, shelters, spca
O’Malley, whose family has two dogs, is expected to sign the bill, the Baltimore Sun reports on its Maryland Politics blog.
The bill permits restaurants with outdoor patios and tables to welcome dogs, if they want to.
Del. Dan Morhaim sponsored the legislation, and said it will provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars heading into the outdoor dining season.
The Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 permits restaurants statewide to have outdoor space for humans and dogs to eat together — as is already the case in Frederick County, for which similar legislation was passed last year.
Opponents of the bill said it could lead to more dog bites and other health hazards.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, animals, bill, dan morhaim, dining, dining out growth act, dining with dogs, dog, dog friendly, dogs, frederick county, governor, health, laws, legislature, martin o'malley, maryland, outdoor, patio, pets, politics, restaurants, seating, signature
After numerous sightings, an elusive stray dubbed “Ducky” — because his snout was wrapped in duct tape — was snagged by animal control officers in western Maryland, and two men have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with his mistreatment.
Ducky, as he has been referred to on the “We Love Ducky” Facebook page, had eluded animal control officers and volunteers for a week.
On Sunday morning, though, he was found resting on the porch of a home in Lonaconing, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
The resident called the county 911 center, which dispatched animal control officials to pick up the dog. By Sunday afternoon, after biting one of the officers, Ducky was being treated at the Western Maryland Animal Hospital by Dr. John T. Fox, according to Elizabeth Care, a volunteer at Ark of Hope Rescue.
Sightings of Ducky had been reported Saturday on U.S. Route 40 near the Garrett County border. Ducky was first spotted near Corriganville more than a week ago.
“Overall, Ducky is in good health and is being treated for parasites,” said a veterinary technician at the animal hospital. Ducky is in quarantine, however, because of the bite, and will remain there for 10 days before a transfer to Ark of Hope.
“We will get him socialized and trusting people, then he will be put up for adoption,” said Care.
No one knows where the dog came from.
Updates on Ducky’s condition will be provided on the Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation Facebook page.
To help with Ducky’s vet expenses, contact Ark of Hope Rescue at 301-478-3300, or by click here.
(Photos: from the We Love Ducky Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, allegany county animal shelter, animal cruelty, animals, ark of hope rescue, arrested, charged, cruelty, cumberland, dog, duck tape, ducky, duct tape, facebook, found, frederick newton lease, lonaconing, maryland, pets, ricky allen adams, search, stray, we love ducky, western maryland, western maryland animal hospital
Seventy-one-year-old Paul Franklin Hudson Sr. got around Pocomoke City in a motorized wheelchair, often with his small dog, Foxy, a three-year-old “chickapoo,” riding in his lap.
On a Saturday earlier this month, they were on their way to McDonald’s — motoring along in the grass on the shoulder of Route 113 — when a black SUV ran off the road and struck him.
The impact knocked Hudson, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, from his wheelchair and killed Foxy. The SUV, Delmarvanow.com reported, fled the scene and police are still investigating.
Hudson said he spent the next day crying.
“She was like a part of my family,” Hudson said of Foxy, described as a Chihuahua and poodle mix. “She slept with me. She ate with me. We did everything together.”
Hudson told police four or five people stopped to help him after the accident — assisting him in getting back in his wheelchair and placing Foxy’s lifeless body on his lap.
Since burying Foxy, Hudson has been looking for a new dog, similar to his old one, and an anonymous donor has come forward to help him find one, Delmarvanow.com reported this week.
“God bless him,” Hudson said. “I’m going to keep looking, because I sure miss my baby.”
(Photo from Delmarvanow.com, by Amanda Rippen White)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, adopt, animals, bond, chickapoo, chihuahua, death, delaware, delmarva, dogs, foxy, grief, hit-and-run, loss, maryland, mix, motorized, paul franklin hudson, pets, pocomoke city, poodle, replace, rescue, shelters, suv, wheelchair