To hear Fox 2 in St. Louis tell it, a massive round up of pit bulls was underway last week in the small town of Sikeston, Missouri.
According to the Fox report (above), animal control officers were seizing pit bulls from homes around town — so many that the Sikeston shelter had to send 20 dogs to St. Louis to make room for all the pit bulls they were rounding up.
Other TV news operations, and the Standard Democrat in Sikeston, were quick to report that the Fox News account was a little off the mark.
Sikeston, which does have pit bull restrictions, picked up three dogs it said were not in compliance with the rules — but no roundup took place.
Wednesday’s Fox News report by Chris Hayes that Sikeston held a “pit bull round up day” led to dozens of calls to the newspaper, and a flurry of online alerts and notifications.
Hayes reported that he “found out about the program after learning about a sudden influx of dogs coming to the St. Louis area” and that it was “to make room for seized pit bulls.”
Sikeston City Manager Doug Friend said allegations that the city held a “pit bull round up day” weren’t true.
There are 32 pit bulls registered in Sikeston, according to Friend, and the city audits those on an annual basis.
“It’s not a big process,” he said. “We just basically drive by, verify that somebody that had a registered pit bull still lives at a registered address. Our plan was to just do our annual look.”
During that recent audit, three pit bulls were taken into custody for non-compliance with the city code. It requires that the owners of pit bulls and some other breeds register those pets with the city, carry liability insurance, and keep their dogs in a fully enclosed pen if they are outside.
KFVS also reported that the Fox report was misleading.
According to KFVS, about 30 dogs were shipped from the Sikeston shelter to no-kill shelters across the country, including one near St. Louis.
Friend told KFVS that the transfers, the seizures, and the TV report added up to fear quickly spreading among pit bull advocates, in Sikeston and around the country.
“To suggest and sensationalize the way that the news reporter did is … I’m at a loss for words” Friend said. “I mean, we’re a rural town of 18,000. We try to serve the public to the best of our ability. Everything we do is tailored to the health and safety of our citizens after extensive public comment.”
Of course, none of that is to suggest pit bull bans and restrictions make sense. They don’t.
But for a news organization to suggest, based on a couple of unconnected facts, that a round-up of all pit bulls is underway is a similar sort of fear-mongering — and one that’s neither fair nor balanced.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, bans, breed, breed-specific, dogs, fox 2, fox news, laws, media, missouri, news, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, restrictions, sikeston, st. louis, towns
Compared to his litter mates, all born from a champion, Jim, as a pup, didn’t seem to have what it was going to take to be a hunting dog, so a Louisiana breeder, back in 1925, let him go at half price.
At home in Missouri with his new owner, Sam VanArsdale, young Jim didn’t take to the training, preferring to lay in the shade and watch the other dogs go through drills.
That was just the first of many surprises. Jim, a Llewellin Setter, would go on to become a nationally recognized hunting dog, an expert on a few other things as well, and, as some tell it, exhibit something close to superpowers..
One day, the legend goes, VanArsdale, weary from hunting, said to Jim “Let’s go over and rest a bit under that hickory tree.” Jim led the way — not to just any tree, but to a hickory. VanArsdale asked Jim to go to a walnut, which he did. Then a cedar, which he did. Then to a stump, which he did, and then to a tin can. Again — though he hadn’t been taught any of those words — he did.
According to the website for Jim the Wonder Dog, he could locate a car by make, color, state of origin, or a license number. From a crowd he could select the “man who sells hardware”, and the one who “takes care of sick people”, or the “visitor from Kansas City”.
“He carried out instructions given to him in any foreign language, shorthand, or Morse Code. He was capable of predicting the outcome of future events. He chose the winner of seven Kentucky Derbies, The World Series of baseball and the sex of unborn babies.”
After a performance in 1935, an article was written about his skills, first referring to him as “Jim the Wonder Dog.” Jim performed at the Missouri State Fair, was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and appeared before a joint session of the Missouri Legislature that was called to witness his talents.
Though Van Arsdale spoke only English, Jim seemed to understand, and follow commands, in any language. A University of Missouri veterinarian once said that Jim “possessed an occult power that might never come again to a dog in many generations.”
In 1999, a park in the town of Marshall was opened in his honor, just across from what used to be the Ruff Hotel (seriously), where Jim lived with VanArsdale, its manager.
At “Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden,” there’s a bronze statue of him. More recently, a building has been procured that will serve in part as a Jim the Wonder Dog Museum.
And that, believe it or not, is the story of Jim.
(Photos: From Jim the Wonder Dog website)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, genius, gifted, hunting dogs, jim, jim the wonder dog, llewellin setter, marshall, memorial garden, missouri, museum, pets, powers, predictions, ruff hotel, saline county, sam vanarsdale, skills, under dog, underdog, wonder dog
This political ad opens with Bill Stouffer’s wife seemingly extolling the virtues of her husband, a candidate for Missouri secretary of state.
“He’s very loyal and protects those that he serves. He’s always ready to fight for what is right,” she says. “And he’s always hunting for the truth.”
Not until Stouffer thanks her for the compliment does she say, “Oh Bill, you know I’m talking about Duke.”
Duke is the Stouffer’s bloodhound, who often accompanies the two-term Republican state senator on appearances.
Stouffer’s hoping the dog will help him win his upcoming primary on Aug. 7, in which he’ll face off against two other Republicans running for secretary of state.
Stouffer says bringing the dog along on appearances always gets him attention, leading to questions from voters — but most of the questions are about is dog.
Stouffer is from Saline County, the same county where Jim the Wonder Dog lived.
You don’t know Jim the Wonder Dog?
Guess you’ll have to read our next entry. For now, let’s just say he once appeared before the Missouri legislature, and that, were he alive today, he could probably tell us who the winners will be in Missouri’s primary election.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertisement, animals, bloodhound, campaign, dog, duke, election, ill stouffer, missouri, pets, politics, primary, secretary of state, senator, state, video
He got all the way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa before he realized something was missing — his 9-month-old Yorkshire terrier, named Rambo.
“Didn’t even cross my mind that he might jump out, he never has before,” Michael Siau told the Hannibal Courier-Post. “I jumped back in the truck, put it in gear and drove off. And I just thought he was in the back asleep.”
Fearing missing his deadline could cost him his job, Siau kept driving, stopping only to call the police department he thought was closest to the rest stop, in La Grange, to report his lost dog.
He called them back two days later to check again, at which point they told him Hannibal was the town the rest area was in, and suggested he try the animal control department there.
He did that, and hoped for the best. Three hours later they called back and said they’d found his dog. Rambo had been picked up at the rest area — still waiting for his owner.
He was taken to the Northeast Missouri Humane Society
Siau planned a return trip to Hannibal this week to pick Rambo up.
(Photo: Dominic Genetti / Hannibal Courier-Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cedar rapids, dog, dogs, escaped, found, hannibal, iowa, lost, loyal, loyalty, michael siau, missing, missouri, pets, rambo, rest area, rest stop, truck driver, trucker, wait, waited, waiting, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
Rose Lakey, the Missouri woman who called 911 when her Great Dane collapsed on Easter Sunday, paid a $100 fine this week for what authorities said was a misuse of the emergency number.
Lakey, of O’Fallon, referred to her dog Oreo as her “daughter” on the phone, leading emergency workers to assume they were rushing to save a human.
One paramedic, upon entering the Lakey home, threw her hands up into the air and said, “It’s just a dog,” Lakey said. Other, more soft-hearted paramedics helped Lakey and her husband Randy load the 140-pound dog into their car. Oreo died at the animal hospital.
The next day, O’Fallon police appeared at the Lakeys’ door with a notice for an ordinance violation.
Lakey said that in her conversation with dispatchers she said her dog collapsed, then later used the word “daughter.”
She pleaded not guilty during a court appearance a few weeks ago, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But at a hearing this week — facing the prospect of hiring a lawyer and paying a $1,000 fine if she lost the case — she agreed to pay the $100 municipal fine.
(Photo: Oreo, in a parade; St. Louis Post-Dispatch file photo)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, animals, call, collapsed, court, death, died, dog, dogs, emergency, fine, great dane, health, law enforcement, missouri, ofallon, oreo, paid, paramedics, pets, police, randy lakey, rose lakey, veterinary
Our original plan was to simply post this song and dedicate it to Marylanders who have pit bull type dogs as companions — they being stressed out now over the state’s highest court badmouthing their loved ones, and the implications that might carry.
But then, as sometimes happens, we got fascinated with its backstory, and attempted to pin down the song’s history, which is difficult to do nowadays with all the bogus flotsam — like pit bull myths — that bobs to the surface on the Internet.
We think we got to the root of it, though, and we still dedicate it to Maryland pit bull owners, whose dogs aren’t nearly as “inherently dangerous” as sweeping, ill-informed court rulings.
To them we dedicate all three versions of the song we’re showing you here, even the Yugoslavian one.
We began, above, with one by Lulu Belle and Scotty, a husband and wife, both now deceased, from the mountains of North Carolina. It was recorded during a radio performance, which Lulu Belle only slightly flubbed.
Next we offer you this rendition — combining a 1926 recording by Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers with some Walt Disney animation, circa 1924, in which a dog catcher gets his due. Don’t try this at home, for it would make you a terrorist, and, in the U.S., only courts and governments are allowed to instill terror.
It cuts the song short, leaving out a last verse, so here are the full lyrics:
Me and old Lem Briggs and old Bill Brown
Took a load of corn to town
Old Jim dog, the on’ery pup
He just naturally followed us up
Every time I come to town
The boys go to kicking my dog around
Makes no difference if he’s a hound
Ya gotta quit kicking my dog around
As we driv’ past the country store
A passel of yaps came out the door
Jim he scooted behind a box
Showered him with sticks and rocks
They tied a tin can to his tail
And run him past the county jail
That just naturally makes me sore
Bill he cussed and Lem he swore
Me and Lem Briggs and old Bill Brown
Lost no time a-getting down
We whupped them fellers to the ground
For kickin’ my old dog, Jim, around
Jim seed his duty there and then
He sure let into those gentlemen
He sure messed up that townhouse square
With rags and meat and hide and hair
While Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers are credited with first recording the song, it was written 14 years earlier and copyrighted in 1912 by Webb M. Oungst and Cy Perkins, a pseudonym for Mrs. William Stark, wife of a famous publisher of ragtime music.
Mrs. Stark used the pseudonym, it is said, because she was afraid the song would be rejected if it was known that a woman had written it.
The same year, Champ Clark, a Missouri Democrat adopted it as his theme song in his campaign for the presidential nomination. He lost. Woodrow Wilson won.
Given the exposure, though, the song became briefly popular, and Witmark & Sons purchased the copyright for $10,000. Some accounts say the payments weren’t met, which led to a lawsuit.
The Second Missouri Infantry chose it as their marching song, and there are those who have pushed over the years for it to become the state song, which given the state’s not yet totally forgotten and overcome reputation for puppy mills probably would be a mistake.
I think it makes a better theme song for pit bulls, for no breed or type of dog gets more kicked around than them.
Here’s the original sheet music
And here’s the version recorded by Yugoslavian — back when it was still Yugoslavia — pop singer Diego Varagic, “Krcma Na Putu Za Tenesi.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: appeals court, campaign, campaign song, candidate, champ clark, diego varagic, folk, gid tanner, history, inherently dangerous, lulu belle and scotty, maryland, missouri, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, presidential, ragtime, sheet music, skillet lickers, song, versions, video, walt disney, who wrote, ya gotta quit kickin' my dog around, you gotta quick kicking my dog around, yugoslavia
Fourteen people in nine states have been sickened with Salmonella infections linked to a recalled dog food.
At least five have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported Thursday that multiple brands of Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food are the suspected source of the human illnesses, a result of contact with the contaminated food or handling an animal that has eaten it.
The dog food was all produced at a manufacturing plant in Gaston, South Carolina – the same one that produced mold-contaminated food that killed dozens of dogs nationwide in 2005.
In some recall notices, Diamond Pet Foods has claimed that no dog illnesses have been reported in connection with its three recent voluntary recalls. Those alerts from the company did not reveal that human cases of infection were being investigated, according to Food Safety News.
According to the CDC, state officials in Michigan first detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 2.
PulseNet, a national surveillance system for foodborne illnesses, then found several cases of human Salmonella Infantis infections with a genetic fingerprint identical to that found in the dog food, the CDC said.
Salmonella has also been detected in Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food, found in the household of an ill person in Ohio.
And a sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by the Food and Drug Administration during an inspection at the South Carolina production plant also yielded Salmonella, the CDC said.
Seven of ten outbreak victims interviewed said they had contact with a dog during the week before they became ill. Of five people who could remember the type of dog food they had handled, four said it was a Diamond Pet Foods brand.
The human illness has been reported in Missouri and North Carolina, each with three cases; Ohio, with two cases, and one each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Diamond Pet Foods recalled batches of its Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 6 in what it said was a “precautionary measure… No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected,” the company said.
According to Food Safety News, the announcement came four days after the Michigan test results, confirming the presence of Salmonella in one of Diamond’s brands.
A second recall was announced April 26 for certain batches of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light formula dry dog food, also made by Diamond. After that, a company press release stated “no dog illnesses” had been reported.
On April 30, the company expanded the recall to include Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food.
According to the CDC, dogs and cats infected with Salmonella usually have diarrhea and may seem lethargic, but yhey can carry the infection and not appear to be sick. Humans can become infected by touching the animals, their food, or their environments such as food bowls, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands afterwards.
The CDC said consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products and discard them promptly. Consumers with questions about recalled dog food may contact Diamond Pet Foods at telephone number 800-442-0402 or visit www.diamondpetrecall.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult light formula, alabama, alert, animals, cases, cdc, centers for disease control and prevention, chicken soup, chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, connecticut, consumer, consumers, contaminated, diamond, dog food, dog food recall, dogs, dry, hands, health, humans, infected, infection, inspections, kibble, michigan, missouri, natural lamb meal and rice, new jersey, ohio, pennsylvania, pets, puppy formula, recall, safety, salmonella, salmonella infantis, sick, sickened, south carolina, tainted, tests, urgent, virginia, warning, wash
All three products were made at a Gaston, S.C., plant — the same one that made mold-contaminated food that killed dozens of dogs nationwide in 2005.
Production at the plant was halted April 8.
In a statement Monday, the Missouri-based company said the latest recall involves its Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food. No canine illnesses have been reported.
The product was distributed to customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The company announced in April that it was recalling batches of its Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula and Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult, adult light formula, alabama, animals, chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, company, concerns, diamond, diamond naturals, diamond pet foods, dog food, dogs, florida, food, formula, gaston, georgia, health, kentucky, lamb meal and rice, light, maryland, michigan, missouri, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, pet, pets, plant, recall, safety, salmonella, south carolina, tennessee, virginia, voluntary, warning
Oreo, a 4-year-old, 140-pound harlequin, had collapsed.
“It was so fast and we were so upset, that all I could think of was to tell her we have to call for help,” Randy Lakey told Fox 2 in St. Louis.
When an ambulance arrived, a paramedic, upon seeing the patient, threw her arms into the air and said “It’s a dog, are you kidding me?” Rose said. “Then she turned and walked away. Then she started yelling out to the policeman, ‘it’s just a dog.’”
Another paramedic administered oxygen to the dog, and, along with police, helped the Lakeys get Oreo into the car.
It was too late, though, and Oreo died by the time they reached the emergency animal clinic.
The next day the Lakeys were charged by police with filing a false report. They’re due to appear in municipal court in O’Fallon next month. At worst, they face a fine.
Rose says she originally told the 911 operator she was calling about a dog, but that she might have referred to Oreo as her daughter at some point.
(Note to emergency officials: Many dog owners feel that way abour their pets, and even refer to them that way. Also, they don’t appreciate phrases like “just a dog.”)
Oreo was once featured in a front page photo in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (above), marching in a pet parade while wearing a pink tutu.
The Lakeys have two grown daughters, and say they thought of Oreo as their third. They didn’t purposefully mislead authorities, they said.
Said Randy Lakey, “You know, it was not intentional. We didn’t mislead anybody. We just needed help. There’s nothing false about that,” Randy said.
(Photo of Oreo by Gabe Hartwig / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, ambulance, animals, big dogs, call, dog, dogs, emergency, false report, filing a false report, great dane, health, help, just a dog, medical, missouri, ofallon, oreo, pets, pink, police, randy lakey, rose lakey, tutu, veterinary
Abby Mason hadn’t seen the dog, named Addison, since June, when, on a visit to Florida, the dog got away from relatives and disappeared.
Addison was picked up as stray in Tampa, and Hillsborough County Animal Services identified her through a microchip.
That just left the problem of getting the dog to Missouri, but another dachshund lover stepped forward to help with that.
Crista Banks, after hearing of the dog’s plight, used her Skymiles to escort Addison on the the flight to Kansas City — and, even though dachshunds don’t really need the extra leg room, Delta upgraded them to first class.
(Photo: Keith Myers / The Kansas City Star)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abby mason, addison, animal, animals, crista banks, dachshund, delta, dog, dogs, first class, flight, florida, girl, hillsborough county, kansas city, lost, microchip, missing, missouri, pets, reunion, reunited, services