Michelle is the first of what’s known as the “Pit 6” to be cleared for adoption. She was among a group of dogs seized from Larry Alston when he was arrested at a home in the Woodlawn area on charges of animal cruelty and mutilation.
Baltimore County police said there was evidence the dogs had been used for fighting.
Humane Society officials don’t know if Michelle was used in dog fights, but she was apparently used to produced litters of fighters while Alston was living in South Carolina.
She has scars on her nose and above her left eye, and marks on both of her front legs suspected to have been left by the metal grips of a device used to hold her still for forced breeding.
Alston, 37, was charged with 22 counts of violating various animal cruelty laws, including charges of mutilating the animals.
On Monday, he was sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court to three years in prison for animal cruelty.
Michelle and Alston’s other surviving dogs spent nearly two years in the Baltimore County animal shelter, as Alston’s criminal case dragged on. They were released late last year to animal advocates, and eventually taken in by the shelter to be rehabilitated.
The Humane Society is still working to rehabilitate and socialize the other dogs, Shelley, Meme, Tippy, Meris and Bridgett.
Michelle is 4 1/2 years old, and shelter officials want to see her go to a home without other dogs, and without young children.
A humane society press release describes her this way:
“Michelle is a petite Staffordshire with a beautiful smile when she greets you at the front of her kennel. The “Pit 6,” five females and one male, were found by the police locked in undersized cages. They are believed to have been used as bait dogs. Bait dogs are typically less tough than others and used as practice targets for dogs training to fight. The “Pit 6” were all emaciated with multiple burn and bite scars. They also showed signs of overbreeding – in other words they were repeatedly raped. In dogfighting rings it is not unusual for bait dogs to endure severe pain. Frequently they are wounded, drowned, electrocuted, slammed to the ground, shot, or left to die a slow and painful death from their open wounds.”
The humane society added, “It’s always cause for celebration when an abused dog gets a second chance at a good life, but in the case of the Pit 6 it’s a landmark. That’s because animals held as evidence in severe animal abuse and dog fighting cases are typically euthanized once the case is complete.”
In the case of the Pit 6, animal rescue advocates and Baltimore Humane Society were able to convince the Baltimore County Attorney, State’s Attorney, and Baltimore County Animal Control that the dogs deserved a second chance.
“Michelle demonstrates that even dogs who come from such violent, abusive backgrounds can become loving family pets. Baltimore Humane Society hopes she and the remaining Pit 6 will be used as an example for dog fighting and other animal abuse cases across the nation.”
For more information about Michelle and other dogs at the Baltimore Humane Society, visit www.bmorehumane.org or call 410-833-8848.
(Photo by Mary Swift, Mary Swift Photography)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, bait dogs, baltimore county, baltimore humane society, breeding, bridgett, charges, cleared, court, cruelty to animals, device, dogfighting, dogs, forced, larry alston, maryland, meme, meris, michelle, pets, pit 6, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rape, rehabilitated, reisterstown, shelley, shelters, socialized, staffordshire, terrier, tippy
When Kathy Wilkes-Myers of Love Me Tender Animal Rescue found a Rottweiler on the side of a highway in Tennessee, she immediately got the feeling the dog belonged to somebody — she wasn’t as timid and untrusting as most abandoned dogs.
“I could just tell right away she was somebody’s baby. She just didn’t act like a stray dog to me,” said Wilkes-Myers, who found the dog a few months ago, emaciated and drinking from a drainage ditch along the road.
Wilkes-Myers suspected there was more to the dog’s story, and began doing some detective work.
She returned to where she found the dog, and found the first clues - broken glass and tail lights. Not far away she found a pile of personal items — a toothbrush, comb, razor, and a candle with “Michelle” written on it — that had been gathered, apparently by the dog.
“It was like she was sleeping with them – or waiting with them,” Wilkes-Myers told Steve Hartman of CBS News.
It was then she remembered driving by a bad accident on the same stretch of highway, two weeks earlier. A car had flipped over and landed on the side of the road, crunched up so badly she was sure there were no survivors.
But it led her to wonder — might the dog have been in the car?
When the highway patrol told her the names of the victims — including a mother named Michelle, the pieces came together.
Ella apparently spent 13 days scavenging for food along the highway – and 13 nights bedding down with whatever she could find that smelled like her lost family, Hartman reported.
Wilkes-Myers also found out that all five members of the family survived the crash. After two weeks believing that their dog, Ella, had died, the Kellys got the good news and were reunited with their dog.
Because of their medical expenses, the Kelly family has had to relocate to temporary housing that doesn’t allow dogs, but Wilkes-Myers has promised to keep Ella for as long as they need.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, animal rescue, animals, behavior, car, cbs, crash, dogs, ella, family, gathered, highway, items, kathy wilkes-myers, kelly, love me tender, loyalty, michelle, mystery, personal, pets, rottweiler, steve hartman, tennessee
President Barack Obama’s daughters have settled on a pup — a six-month-old Portuguese water dog they’ve named Bo.
The dog is a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who owns several Portuguese water dogs. The Washington Post reported the story first in its online editions Saturday night.
“Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee,” the Post reported.
The black-and-white puppy is is scheduled to make his public debut Tuesday.
Obama’s daughters chose the name Bo because first lady Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed Diddley, after singer Bo Diddley, the Post said.
White House aides told The Associated Press that the office of the first lady arranged an exlusive deal on the dog story with the Post. They said the dog was not in the White House as of Saturday evening.
Celebrity Web site TMZ.com also reported Saturday that the Obamas would get a black-and-white Portuguese Water Dog from the same lineage as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s pets. TMZ said the six-month-old pet was named Charlie. Instantly, FirstDogCharlie.com went online.
Obama promised his daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, a puppy during the campaign.
According to the Washington Post report — you can find a version of it here — the family met the dog a few weeks ago at a secret White House session:
“The visit, known around the White House as ‘The Meeting,’ was a surprise for the girls. Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toilet errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys’ dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington.
“When the president walked across the room during the visit, Bo followed obediently.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barack, bo, charlie, dog, first dog, first family, kennedy, labradoodle, malia, michelle, obama, obama dog, portuguese water dog, president, pup, puppy, sasha, white house
President-elect Barack Obama and family have narrowed their choices for first pooch, and are leaning toward a Labradoodle or Portugese water hound, according to an exchange on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Stephanopoulos: “What kind of a dog are we getting and when are we getting it?”
Obama: “They seem to have narrowed it down to a Labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound.”
Stephanopoulos: “A medium-sized.”
Obama: “Medium-sized dog, and so, we’re now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up.”
Stephanopoulos: “So, you’re closing in on it?”
Obama: “We’re closing in on it. This has been tougher than finding a Commerce secretary.”
Obama said his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, had decided they wanted a medium-sized dog, and that they also wanted a shelter dog. Their choices of dog breeds are limited because because of Malia’s allergies.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abc, barack obama, breeds, children, choice, dog, dogs, family, first dog, first family, first pooch, george stephanopoulis, hypoallergenic, labradoodle, malia, michelle, narrow, news, obama, pets, portugese water dog, president, rescue, sasha, select, shelter, this week, white house
Barack Obama — on top of all the other history he made last night — may have been the first president-elect to mention a dog in his election speech.
“I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”
A Discovery Channel blog says the “brief puppy mention may represent the first time that an animal has been referenced in a presidential victory speech. If not, use of the word ‘puppy’ would certainly seem to be a rarity.”
Acknowledging his family’s contributions to his campaign, Obama brought up the promise he’d made earlier to his daughters — to get a dog once the campaign was over — and indicated he planned to make good on it.
The family has said they plan to adopt a shelter or rescue dog.
Joe Biden may be adding a dog to the family as well.
He told reporters traveling with his campaign earlier that his wife had promised him a “big dog” if he got elected, according to Reuters. That promise was made in connection with his presidential campaign, but Biden said his wife later said it would apply to a vice-presidential victory as well.
Jill Biden had taped pictures of different dogs on the back of the seat in front of him on his campaign plane to inspire the candidate as he criss-crossed the country in the final sprint to election day.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 5th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, barack obama, dog, election, family, joe biden, malia, michelle, obama, president, presidential, promise, pup, puppy, rescue, sasha, white house
The Obamas’ promise to their children that they’d get a dog, once it became public, led to three animal welfare organizations and thousands of petitioners urging them to adopt a dog, rather than buy a purebred from a breeder or pet store.
PETA, Best Friends Animal Society and the Humane Society of the United States had all publicly urged the Obamas to adopt a dog.
“Senator, no one needs to tell you that this country is proud to be a melting pot and that there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog. Millions of Great American Mutts â€” the dog that should be our national dog â€” are set to die in our nation’s extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes. When you are ready, please adopt a homeless pound puppy,” PETA said in a letter to Obama.
Best Friends says more than 50,000 signed its online petitions urging the Obamas to adopt a rescue dog.
“The Obama family’s decision to adopt will be a great example, and will result in many dogs and cats being saved from euthanasia across the country. This is exactly what we hoped for when we launched obamafamilydog.com and we hope you feel as proud as we do about this development,” Best Friends said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, barack, best friends, dog, dogs, family, hsus, michelle, news, obama, obamas, peta, petition, plans, rescue, shelter