Mack, a much-loved mutt in Michigan, spent this past week as he has spent the last 10 years — hanging out with the regulars at O’Duffy’s Pub in Kalamazoo, enjoying his favorite snacks and the company of friends.
Last Sunday, though, was Mack’s last Sunday — the 13-year-old German shepherd-collie mix is scheduled to be euthanized today after vets found a large tumor on his liver and other complications.
Jamie Kavanaugh, owner of O’Duffy’s Pub/Cosmo’s Cucina, took Mack to the veterinarian Tuesday and received the diagnosis. “His body is shutting down,” Kavanaugh said.
Mack spent most every day of the last 10 years at the Irish pub in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, according to MLive.com.
“He’s been a big, calm boy for all of his life. He’s very laid back, good with other dogs, people, kids. He’s very tolerant and loving,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s enjoyed being here. He makes his rounds, eats some treats. St. Patrick’s Day won’t be the same without him.”
Since learning of Mack’s illness, Kavanaugh said he’s showered the dog with companionship and treats. On Wednesday night, when Mack stopped by the pub, a customer ordered a filet and gave the first bite to Mack. Kavanaugh planned to bring Mack to the pub last night for a final goodbye.
“The number of people who love this guy, I can’t imagine what the actually number is. It’s people I don’t even know who love him, that come here and enjoy his company. It’s a real testament to the love of this community,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh lost his wife, Kim, the restaurant’s co-owner, just over two years ago
“When my wife passed away … I was really afraid he was going to follow her. Instead, he stuck by my side, stayed by my side and he’s been with me on this journey ever since,” Kavanaugh said of Mack. “Now, I think he feels his work is done. And he’s tired. All I can do is pass the love on.”
Kavanaugh said he plans to have Mack cremated and may take his ashes to Ireland to scatter off the coast of the Irish Sea.
(Photo: Erik Holladay / MLive.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bar, collie, cosmo's cucina, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, irish pub, jamie kavanaugh, kalamazoo, liver, mack, michigan, mix, mutt, o'duffy's pup, oduffy's, owner, pets, put, st patricks day, tumor
Supporters who showed up to back a proposed dog park in Ann Arbor learned it had been taken off this week’s city council meeting’s agenda — apparently out of of concerns that its location across the street from a historically African-American church would be viewed as culturally insensitive.
Ann Arbor officials pulled the plug on the proposal after New Hope Baptist Church leaders raised concerns about noise and safety and what they called “cultural differences,” according to AnnArbor.com. It reported:
“Leaders of the historically black congregation communicated to city officials that a number of the church’s members were born in the South and have different attitudes about dogs, and they simply see a dog park as incompatible with their ability to worship freely.”
I don’t think southerners and northerners, or for that matter blacks and whites, have widely varying attitudes about dogs. People do. Some look at dogs and see joy; some look at them and see danger, or at least a nuisance. That is, most often, a product of their environment and experiences — rather than their region of origin or skin color.
A well-maintained dog park in the neighborhood doesn’t lower home values, it raises them. It’s neither direspecful or insulting.
Tabling the plan seems to send the opposite messages, and to lend credence to the faulty preconception that one can’t be both black and a dog lover.
Sometimes — maybe even especially in progressive communities like Ann Arbor – sensitively tiptoeing around a subject can land you in a big pile of stereotype. No matter which side you’re on.
In expressing the church’s opposition to the dog park’s location in West Park earlier this month, The Rev. Rodrick Green said:
“There’s no reason why it has to be placed in an area that’s going to be offensive to us as a people and as a church, and right now it’s offensive,” he said earlier this month.
That, with all due respect, seems a leap — whether he’s talking about African-Americans, Baptists, or members of his congregation.
But apparently it was enough for the council, not wanting to appear politically incorrect, to take the matter off its agenda.
Despite doing so, council members still got an earful from supporters of a new and centrally located off-leash playground for dogs in Ann Arbor.
One of the speakers at the city council meeting, John Lawter, a former parks commissioner who has led the effort for more dog parks in Ann Arbor, went so far as to suggest that church members work to overcome any fear they have of dogs.
“Let’s break this culture of fear,” Lawter added, calling fear “an ugly thing” that should be put down whenever possible.
Lawter said he believes members of New Hope Baptist Church are sincere in their concerns, but he still feels they are founded in a “gross misunderstanding of canine behavior.”
Several residents noted that the Arise Church, a United Methodist congregation in Pinckney, established a two-acre dog park on its property and that it led to increased church membership.
“We believe that God created people to be in community, and that we are at our best when we’re in relationship to one another,” the church’s website reads. “Therefore, we provide this dog park not only as a fun safe place where dogs can get good exercise, but our greatest hope is that dog owners will make friends here and enjoy great conversations together.”
” … These folks in Pinckney have grown their congregation by having people first come visit the dog park and then decide, ‘Geez, these are good Christian values of inclusion, tolerance, charity and love,’ and then they join the congregation,” said Ann Arbor resident Harold Kirchen.
City officials say a dog park close to downtown remains a priority, and that other locations will be reviewed.
Ann Arbor has two-off leash dog parks — one at Swift Run in the southeast part of the city and one at Olson Park in the northeast part of the city.
Lawter said he believes the city should have stuck with an initial proposal to construct a dog park at West Park as a temporary facility that can be removed after a year if there are problems.
“Ann Arbor is a culturally diverse city,” Lawter said. “Our dog owners are a culturally diverse group, and our parks should be open to all cultures, including the four-legged variety.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: african american, animals, ann arbor, baptist, city council, compalints, concerns, congregation, cultural, differences, dog park, dogs, insensitive, location, michigan, new hope baptist church, pets, West Park
A dog park next to a church? Heaven forbid!
The leaders of New Hope Baptist Church say a dog park that has been proposed across the street would disrupt their services and pose a safety hazard to parishioners.
“It upsets the dignity of our worship services,” the Rev. Rodrick Green told the Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission last month. “It’s going to be a noise problem because we’re conducting our services at the time when people are going to be bringing their dogs, and dogs make noise. You can’t control dog noise.”
Green and church trustee Thomas Miree have both spoken out against the city’s proposal to establish a small off-leash dog park at the Chapin Street entrance to West Park, directly across the street from the church.
The city council will take the matter up at its next meeting, on Jan. 22, according to AnnArbor.com.
The park commission is recommending approval of the dog park — it would become the third in the city — under the condition that it be reviewed one year after it opens.
City park officials said the proposed dog park is a response to public demand that one be located close to downtown. Ann Arbor’s existing dog parks are located at Swift Run in the southeast part of the city, and at Olson Park in the northeast part of the city.
But church leaders at New Hope Baptist are still hoping the city will rethink the location.
“We have a situation where children, who are sometimes afraid of dogs, are put at risk, and maybe now they have a disincentive to use the park because of the dogs,” Rev. Green said. “There are so many reasons for them not to do it, and only a couple of reasons in favor of it.”
City Council Member Christopher Taylor says the dog park would be fenced, with a double-gated entry system.
“As for the noise and so forth … dog parks … are not particularly disruptive — certainly less disruptive than unsupervised dog play,” Taylor said.
Green says the church would have no complaints if the dog park would be located farther back on the piece of property.
“West Park is a large park,” he said. “There’s no reason why it has to be placed in an area that’s going to be offensive to us as a people and as a church, and right now it’s offensive.”
(Photos: New Hope Baptist Church and the proposed location of a dog park, across the street; by Ryan J. Stanton / AnnArbor.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann arbor, church, city council, dog, dog park, dogs, michigan, new hope baptist church, objections, parks, parks advisory commission, pastor, pets, proposal, proposed, reverend, West Park
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
A Great Dane from Michigan has been proclaimed the world’s tallest dog.
In the 2013 edition of “Guinness World Records,” published Thursday, Zeus is said to stand 7 feet, 4 inchest tall when he’s on his hind legs.
From foot to shoulder, he’s 44 inches tall.
The 3-year-old dog lives in Otsego, Mich., with his owners Kevin and Denise Doorlag.
Zeus is an inch taller than the previous record-holder, Giant George. He weighs 155 pounds and eats a 30-pound bag of food every two weeks.
You can watch a video of him here.
(Photos: Guinness World Records)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, denise doorlag, dog, dogs, giant george, great dane, great danes, guinness world records, kevin doorlag, michigan, pets, records, tallest, tallest dog, world's tallest dog, zeus
Animal control officer Jodi LeBombard had just stepped into the grisliest investigation of her career — the serial slaying of what would turn out to be 13 Italian greyhounds — when she opened a closet door in the apartment of their suspected killer.
Inside was a white Italian greyhound, bruised and bloodied and weighing about three pounds.
LeBombard, a deputy for Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, removed the shaking puppy from the home of Michigan State University medical student Andrew David Thompson on June 21, 2011.
“I really didn’t believe that she would (survive), but I had hopes that she would,” LeBombard said. “She was pretty injured.”
The dog known as Chloe No. 2, was taken to Southside Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Joyce Heideman diagnosed internal bleeding and fluid in the dog’s lungs. Heideman also doubted the dog would live.
But, to everyone’s surprise, Chloe No. 2 lived, becoming the lone survivor of the 13 Italian greyhounds that Thompson would, at one point, admit to having killed in fits of rage, mostly by throwing them against the wall or floor, or grabbing them by the neck and beating them.
Sometimes they died instantly, sometimes, like Chloe 2, they lingered for a few days. After one Italian greyhound died, Thompson, 24, would buy another.
The State News in Lansing told the story of the lone survivor last week, including it’s happy ending: Renamed Jezabelle, the dog now lives with Heideman and the veterinarian’s five other dogs.
Heidman said it was three days into the lethargic puppy’s recovery that she saw some hope. When taken out to go to the bathroom, the puppy saw a small leaf land nearby and, with a sudden burst of energy, pounced on it.
“That was the first time I knew she would actually live because she showed there was something in there,” Heideman said.
Six days into her recovery, Heideman adopted the puppy, taking her home to live with her two boxers, two labs and a one-eyed pit bull Heideman rescued after he was abused with a baseball bat.
“I never really thought I would actually adopt her, but I kind of fell in love,” she explained. “She snuggles up next to you, and you just feel like, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what happened today, I’m just happy now.’”
Despite her abuse, Jezabelle isn’t skittish or anxious around humans. “She seems to be a very loving and kindhearted dog that wouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone,” Heideman said.
Thompson, who was suspended from medical school after his arrest, faced 13 felony charges of animal killing in Okemos and East Lansing. He ended up pleading guilty to three of the charges and was sentenced in June to five years probation.
Judge Paula Manderfield said she saw little benefit in incarcerating him. She mandated he continue to receive psychiatric treatment, pay more than $5,000 in court fines and restitution, perform 400 hours of community service and work at least 30 hours per week.
Heideman, like many, found that sentence way too light.
“People who write bad checks get more time in jail than somebody who killed (13) dogs,” she said. “There’s something wrong with our legal system.”
More than a year after saving the puppy from a closet, Deputy LeBombard — to whom Thompson initially confessed – still drops by Heideman’s animal hospital to visit the dog.
“I get to go over there and give her hugs,” LeBombard said. “You can’t even hold her she’s so squirmy. She’s a sweetheart, and she couldn’t have gotten a better home.”
(Photos: The Italian greyhound now named Jezabelle; by Natalie Kolb / The State News. You can find more photos of Jezabelle here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew david thompson, andrew thompson, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, chloe, chloe 2, cruelty to animals, dogs, east lansing, italian greyhounds, jezabelle, jodi lebombard, joyce heideman, killed, killer, killing, lone survivor, michigan, michigan state university, okemos, pets, probation, sentence, serial murderer, southside animal hospital, survivor, veterinarian
She rushed to the other side of her house to see her son Stanley in the swimming pool, and Bear, her black labrador retriever beside him, struggling to keep the boy’s head above water.
“We all believe that if it wasn’t for Bear he would have sunk down,” Patricia Drauch told the Sturgis Journal. “It was incredible to see Bear holding him up like that.”
Drauch said her son was unresponsive when removed from the water. Unable to get a cell phone signal, she took him to the Marcellus Fire Department Sunday afternoon. On the way to the hospital, Stanley regained consciousness. He was found to be in good condition and later released.
Drauch said she has had Bear since he was a puppy.
“I’ve always told him (Bear), that these are his babies and he has to watch over them,” she said.
Drauch said she realizes the outcome could have been much worse.
“Don’t leave your kids outside alone no matter what age. Keep your eyes on them at all times,” she said. “It only takes a second.”
(Photo: Sturgis Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, bear, black, boy, dogs, lab, labrador, labrador retriever, michigan, mother, patricia drauch, pets, pool, protection, rescues, retriever, saves, security, stanley, swimming pool, toddler
Andrew David Thompson, the former Michigan State University medical student who admitted killing about a dozen Italian greyhound puppies, was sentenced yesterday to probation.
Thompson, who admitted to beating, kicking and throwing the puppies against walls when he became angry with them — and buying new ones to replace those who died — will serve five years of probation.
At a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court, Judge Paula Manderfield rejected prosecutors’ request for a prison sentence of two to four years, the Lansing State Journal reported.
“I am disgusted and embarrassed and have so much remorse for what happened,” Thompson told Manderfield during the hearing, which his mother, father and other supporters attended. “I’m shocked I even let it get to this point.”
Thompson pleaded guilty in April to three counts of animal killing. Two of the charges were for killing two different dogs while he lived in East Lansing. The third charge was for killing nine dogs when he lived in Meridian Township.
Stacia Buchanan, Thompson’s attorney, argued that his offense was a ”property crime” and that he had no prior criminal record. She said he has mental health issues for which he hasn’t receive treatment.
Under the sentence, he will.
The judge ordered Thompson to undergo mental health treatment, perform 400 hours of community service and not own or care for any animals while on probation.
Technically, Manderfield sentenced him to a year in jail, but she gave him credit for the 107 days he has served and suspended the remainder of the jail term pending successful completion of probation .
Manderfield said she didn’t believe a prison sentence would serve anybody’s interests. Probation, she told Thompson, would allow her to “always hold the hammer of prison over your head… I’m not convinced society would be served spending thousands of dollars to incarcerate you for two to four years,” she said.
(Photo: Paul Henderson / Lansing State Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, andrew david thompson, andrew thompson, animal cruelty, animals, cruelty to animals, dozen, five years, former, italian greyhounds, judge paula manderfield, killed, lansing, medical, mental health, michigan, michigan state university, pets, probation, problems, puppies, school, sentence, sentenced, student, torture, treatment
A Michigan politician was bitten three times by a dog while campaigning — just days before the beginning of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Republican Ann M. Doyle said she passed out on the way to the hospital, where she received one stitch. On the other hand, she got lots of publicity out of it, and what she thinks will be a sympathy vote, from the dog’s owner.
Doyle, who’s running for the 94th District state House of Representatives seat, was handing out literature in Frankenmuth Township when a dog came running ran at her and bit her three times, according to MLive.com. The dog’s owner heard the commotion and called it off.
She said the homeowner helped her into his car to take her to the hospital, but that after that she passed out on the way. At the hospital, Doyle, a fourth-term Saginaw County commissioner who lives in Tittabawassee Township, received one stitch on her right forearm.
“I’m the one that went on their property,” Doyle said. “I put myself into his territory, so if I were a dog, would I try to protect my space? Probably, I don’t know if I would have lunged.”
Doyle received a call from the dog’s owner later that night, who offered to let her put a campaign sign on her property.
National Dog Bite Prevention week started Sunday, accompanid by the traditional release of dog bite statistics from the U.S. Postal Service, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and insurance companies.
About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half of the victims are children, the CDCP says. About 800,000 of those seek medical attention for the bites. Less than half of those require treatment. The Insurance Information Institute estimated that nearly $479 million in dog bite claims were paid by all insurance companies in 2011, up from $413 million in 2010.
(Top photo: Brittney Lohmiller / The Saginaw News)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann doyle, bites, candidate, commissioner, dog, dog bite prevention week, dog bites, dogs, house of representatives, michigan, pets, politician, politics, saginaw county, statistics
Joel Vandouser, 43, was charged with operating while intoxicated,endangering a minor and resisting and obstructing police.
Mason Police Chief John Stressman said officers had spotted the suspect driving, apparently under the influence, with an 8-year-old child in the car. They followed him to his home, according to the Lansing State Journal, where the tussle took place.
Vandouser was taken to a local hospital afterwards. The bitten officers was also treated. News reports don’t indicate whether the dog was taken into custody, but the police chief noted that a pair of police uniform pants were ruined during the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, bit, bites, bitten, dog, dogs, driving, drunk, drunk driving, intoxicated, law enforcement, mason, michigan, officer, pepper spray, pets, police, tasers