Tag: montgomery county
At least 38 dogs entrusted to a Texas pit bull refuge whose mission was to provide them with care and find them new homes never came out, perishing instead from heat stroke, and being buried in a mass grave on the ranch.
Not too much news has been coming out of Spindletop Refuge in Willis, either.
Since authorities last week seized nearly 300 dogs, mostly pit bulls, and removed them from conditions generally described as cramped and unhealthy, there have been a lot more questions than answers.
On Friday, after hours of private negotiations, Spindletop owner Leah Purcell agreed to relinquish ownership of the 287 dogs, and through her attorney, she agreed to terms prohibiting her from future rescue and boarding in the county.
That court action was related strictly to the custody of the dogs. No charges have yet been filed against Purcell, and there has been no clear word that they will be.
Instead, there are a heap of questions unanswered — most of them from rescue groups around the country that sent animals to Spindletop, and now want to find out if they’re still alive, and reclaim them if they are.
On top of that, there’s another all-important one — what led what was once such a highly respected refuge to end up keeping dogs in conditions more like those you’d find at a puppy mill or the home of a hoarder?
Members of at least 50 rescue groups attended a Friday custody hearing in Conroe, but it was behind closed doors that an agreement was reached between prosecutors and Purcell. Except for 11 dogs that belonged to her mother, she surrendered the rest, and custody was awarded to the Humane Society of the United States and Montgomery County.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that a grand jury, also meeting behind closed doors, will decide whether Purcell will face criminal charges.
According to the Houston Press, several rescuers learned Friday then that the dogs they had surrendered to Spindletop — and were told had been adopted — died of heat stroke last summer.
“It was definitely not a sanctuary. Definitely not. Those dogs were left in a living hell,” said former Spindletop employee Brandon Louth, who says he’s the one who contacted authorities about conditions at the refuge.
Of the mass death he said, ”The dogs had suffocated, because the building was not ventilated. The electricity had gone off in the building, and basically I had to bury the dogs, put the dogs in sacks and dig a mass grave for them.”
Officials are still working to catalog all the rescued dogs, and were putting together a website where they’ll be posting photos of all of the dogs. The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping coordinate the effort, said this week on its Facebook page that approximately 40 dogs have been claimed and returned to owners or places of origin, or will be in the next few days.
They advise those seeking dogs that were in Spindletop’s care to:
“If you have not already done so, please send extremely detailed information about dogs you wish to reclaim to email@example.com and to Constable Tim Holifield at firstname.lastname@example.org . Include a phone number and an email address. Put the word SPINDLETOP in the subject line. Animal Farm Foundation is coordinating the communication with owners and places of origin and schedules appointments for reclaiming dogs.”
At Friday’s court hearing, Montgomery County Constable Tim Holifield assured the crowd that the animals were being well cared for and that the Humane Society of the United States, which assisted in the Spindletop seizure, is committed to not euthanizing any of the dogs.
“It’s especially painful to see people and places that purport to help animals do precisely the opposite,” HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle wrote yesterday on his blog, A Humane Nation.
“We tell people shopping for a dog from a breeder to go see the parents of the dog, to make sure the place is not a puppy mill. With so many of these cases of neglect by those who say they are helping animals cropping up, it’s also wise to do background work or a site visit to any self-described rescue or sanctuary. There are so many good rescue groups and sanctuaries doing important work for animals every day, and every one of them would agree with me on that point … Calling yourself a sanctuary or a Samaritan isn’t enough. You have to act like one.”
It’s also important, we’d point out, to get to the bottom of what happened — what made such good intentions go astray — and for that information to be public. So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening with Spindletop, which only increases the chances that, sometime soon, somewhere else, we’ll be hearing the same story again.
(Photo: One of the rescued pit bulls in Texas; by Scott Dalton, via A Humane Nation)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, catalog, custody, deaths, dogs, hsus, leah purcell, location, mass grave, montgomery county, news, ownership, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, private, public, refuge, rescue, sanctuary, seized, spindletop, surrender, texas, wayne pacelle, willis
About 300 dogs found living in cramped and unsanitary conditions were removed by authorities this week from Spindletop Refuge, the largest pit bull rescue organization in Texas.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s department on Tuesday served a search warrant at the refuge in Wills, removing dogs from five buildings, including one two-story structure that housed 80 dogs.
Almost all of the dogs were pit bulls, many of them sent there after being rescued by other organizations.
Teams from the Humane Society of the United States were assisting in relocating the dogs. Animal Farm Foundation said it also plans to assist in rehoming the dogs.
“We share HSUS’s goal of ensuring the best possible outcome for each of the dogs, and we’re grateful that HSUS stepped up to oversee a humane and just outcome for all of these dogs. Once the dogs have been triaged at an undisclosed safe location, Animal Farm Foundation will work with HSUS to individually evaluate each dog for rescue or adoption placement.”
The Montgomery County Police Reporter said the dogs were being taken to an undisclosed location to be evaluated by veterinarians.
No charges have been filed yet.
(Photo: Scott Engle / Mongtomery County Police Reporter)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 300 dogs, animal farm foundation, animal welfare, animals, cramped, crowded, dogs, feces, hsus, montgomery county, pets, pit bull, pitbull, refuge, removed, rescue, sanctuary, shelters, sheriff, spindletop, texas, unsanitary, urine, wills
Lollie Wonderdog, the pit bull mix reclaimed from a Maryland trash bin and lovingly fostered for nearly five months in a Takoma Park home, has been adopted.
Lollie, whose experience as a foster dog was recounted in the blog Love and a Six-Foot Leash, was adopted by a family of four — a family (that’s part of it to the left) whose mom saw in Lollie a fellow survivor.
It’s a lovely ending to a tale well told by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, whose family took Lollie in temporarily and blogged about the experience — partly in an attempt to find a permanent home for the three-year-old dog, partly to tell the world about the joys of fostering.
Including, last week, the bittersweet and often tearful feeling that accompanies the successful conclusion of that experience.
In a letter to her departed foster dog, she wrote, “You pass through the world with a carefree grace that I have rarely seen in a dog, and have never seen in a person. Your ability to make everybody like you and the whole world smile, paired with your ability to overcome anything with a wagging tail and a flapping tongue is truly remarkable. I hope you don’t remember the specifics of how you ended up in that dumpster in September, bruised, half-starved, and filthy, but I hope you always remember that you have overcome so much — and come out a shooting star. An eternal firework.
“Lollie Wonderdog, it’s an amazing thing when a sad little dog can teach a bunch of humans so much about perseverance, patience, and overcoming the odds. You have touched our lives forever, and we love you very much.”
Emotions ran strong on the receiving end, too. After Lollie — whose new name is Lily Fireworks — was situated in her new home, her new owner wrote down her thoughts about it all, which were published on Love and a Leash this week:
“I had breast cancer at 24, had a few breast surgeries, lost all my hair, all that fun stuff … Fast forward six years, and we’re looking for a dog. We found Daisy, a beagle with giant “udders.” A breast cancer survivor finds a dog with udders…it was meant to be! Last year I went through chemo again when my cancer returned, and Daisy beagle was the sole reason I got up and got any exercise some days. She lay next to me on the couch when I felt pukey, she sniffed my head when my hair fell out again, she saw me through the whole year of chemo. That’s a lot of walks together … Sadly, we lost Daisy very unexpectedly a few months ago, and I didn’t want another dog …”
Then she came across Lollie’s blog, through the Montgomery County Humane Society website.
“We contacted Aleksandra and set up a time for John and me to meet her Lollie Wonderdog. If we thought she’d be a good family member, then we’d tell the little ones. We went to meet Lollie. I couldn’t get over her itty bitty waist. She was adorable. Those giant eyes … she licked my stinky shoelaces, and it was love. How could a dog who had been through so much still have so much love to give? I thought about it — Lollie and I are both survivors …”
(Photo by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, courtesy of Love and a Leash)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aleksandra gajdeczka, animals, blog, breast cancer, dogs, dumpster, forever home, foster, foster care, fostering, humane, lolita, lollie, lollie wonderdog, maryland, montgomery county, new home, permanent, pets, pit bull, rescue, shelter, society, surviving, survivors, takoma park, temporary, wonderdog
The puppy that was stolen from a 13-year-old Montgomery County boy on Saturday was reunited with him on Sunday, authorities said.
Montgomery County police said a man in the Montgomery Village area discovered the missing 8-week-old puppy on his porch Sunday morning, recognized it from television reports and telephoned police.
Police later brought the dog to the boy’s home in the Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village area, the Washington Post reported
The dog, whose name is Yeti, was taken about 2 p.m. Saturday as the boy was walking with the 8-week-old puppy near Snouffer School Road and Ridge Heights Drive, police said. Montgomery County Police said the unnamed boy was approached by two other youths, who grabbed the puppy and ran.
A neighbor said the boy was “pretty distraught,” after the robbery, but ”very excited” to have the puppy back. Neighbors said the boy and Yeti were out playing again in their neighborhood Sunday.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boy, crime, dog, grabbed, maryland, missing, montgomery county, news, pets, police, puppy, returned, reunion, reunited, robbed, stolen, taken, theft, yeti, youths
A Valentine’s Day sting operation by Montgomery County Police led to the arrest of a man they say stole two dogs from a Silver Spring woman, then demanded she pay a ransom.
Police arrested Najie S. Walker, 21, at a Friendly’s Restaurant, where he was found hiding in a bathroom, Gazette.net reported.
Gloria Chicas, of the 12000 block of Bronzegate Place in Silver Spring, said two of her four dogs — Scooby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, and Scrappy, a 13-month-old French poodle — disappeared from her back yard Sunday morning.
After that she received a series of phone calls from a man demanding hundreds of dollars to return the dogs.
Chicas agreed to pay, but she said noone showed up at the designated meeting spot. Later, he called later to say that he wanted more money for the dogs. That’s when Chicas called the police. When officers responded to the call, they found a dead dog that had been hit by a car near her house. The dog matched the description of Scooby, and Chicas was brought out to identify the body, officers said.
After sconfirming the dead dog was Scooby, police arranged the sting, aimed at getting Scrappy back and catching the dognapper. Several phone conversations took place between Officer M. Rodriguez, an undercover officer posing as Chicas’ nephew and the caller, who was told Chicas would meet him and swap the remaining dog for $300.
When Rodriguez’s partner pulled up in a marked police car, Walker fled to the Friendly’s restaurant and was found sitting in the stall of the men’s bathroom, Rodriguez said. In the nearby McDonald’s parking lot, police said they found his accomplice in a car with Scrappy.
Walker was charged with theft under $1,000 and is being held on a $1,500 bond. The State’s Attorney’s Office is working with the Animal Services Division to further charge Walker and the woman for extortion.
(Photo: Montgomery County Police)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, crime, dognapped, dogs, french poodle, gloria chicas, golden retriever, kidnapped, maryland, montgomery county, najie walker, pets, police, ransom, scooby, scrappy, silver spring, steal, stole, theft
Nathan App was sentenced in Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania to five years of probation and 60 hours of community service after trying to drown a woman’s dachshund in a backyard swimming pool.
Under a plea agreement, App, 20, of Douglass Township, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.
“His conduct was disgusting. It was a small, helpless dog. He was basically torturing the dog by repeatedly dunking the dog in water and dragging it by its leash in the water,” Assistant District Attorney Abby Silverman said of the July incident.
Judge William R. Carpenter, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered App to undergo a psychological evaluation, and prohibited App from owning any animals, according to an article in the Delaware County Daily Times.
App apparently has a history with the dog’s owner — a previous court order had prohibited him from having any contact with her. Apparently, her dog was another matter.
The dog’s owner, who rushed the dog to a veterinarian for treatment after the incident, told police she was alerted to the attempted drowning by her neighbors who had witnessed the cruelty.
Two neighbors reported they observed App pull the dog by a leash into the pool area and then throw the dog into the water, according to the arrest affidavit. One witness claimed App tossed the dog into the air and watched the dog land in the pool, then repeatedly dunked the dog under the water.
Neighbors yelled at App and he pulled the dog out of the water, police said.
The dachshund survived.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, app, court, dachshund, dachsund, dog, drown, drowning, dunk, dunked, law, misdemeanor, montgomery county, nathan app, pennsylvania, probation, swimming pool, torture
Add one more to the growing list of dog parks in Maryland – Cabin John Dog Park in Bethesda.
Located in Cabin John Regional Park, at 10900 Westlake Dr., the dog park is free and open from sunrise to sunset.
A grand opening celebration is slated for Oct. 31, but the park is already accepting dogs. It will be closed from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays for maintenance.
“I’ve been receiving phone calls and inquiries about this for quite some time,” C.J. Lilly, a landscape architect and project manager for Park and Planning’s park development division told the Washington Post. “Even when I go out to the site, people walking their dogs are very curious and anxious to know when the dog park is going to open, so there was a certain clamor and excitement building up around this.”
The $158,000 park is slightly more than an acre and features separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, as well as a rock climbing structure.
It joins three other Montgomery County dog parks – Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds, Ridge Road Recreational Park in Germantown and Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton.
A fifth dog park, slated for Olney Manor Regional Park in Olney, is under construction, and the county is evaluating other sites as well.
(Photo: Montgomery-National Capital Park & Planning Commission)
As summer fades away, there are only a few chances left to take your dog for a dip.
The 4th annual Pooch Pool Party at Montgomery County’s Wheaton/Glenmont Pool will be Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and registering in advance is suggested. All 275 slots sold out last year. If there’s any space left for this summer’s dip, walk-ins will be allowed.
The Wheaton/Glenmont Pool is at 12621 Dalewood Dr., in Wheaton. The fee is $5 per dog. Dogs must have written proof of current rabies vaccination (a tag does not count). Dogs from Montgomery County must also have a dog license. If your dog doesn’t, police will be selling licenses at the event.
For information call 240-777-6840. To register online click here.
The City of Rockville will hold a Doggie Dip Day, also with a $5 fee, on Sept. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center, 355 Martins Lane. For more information call 240-314-8750 or click here.
For Northern Virginia doggie swimming opportunities, go to www.nvrpa.org, and click on “events,” then on “calendar of events,” then click on “next” to get to September. Doggie swims are listed under “see events” for Sept. 12.
A Pennsylvania woman, unable to cope with financial hardships, tried to kill her 29 cats, her dog and herself, authorities in Montgomery County, Pa., say.
The woman, Linda Muchnick, of Harleysville, was arrested on charges of cruelty to animals.
District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Lower Salford Township Police Chief Thomas A. Medwid and Towamencin Township Police Chief Paul T. Dickerson announced the charges yesterday. They stem from an incident last week when police were called by a local veterinary clinic.
The clinic had “received information” that Muchnick intended to kill herself and her animals due to financial hardships, the district attorney’s office said in a press release.
Towamencin Township Police entered Muchnick’s home and found 29 cats in a locked bedroom with no open windows. Officers found D-Con rat poison had been placed in the food bowls of the cats.
Muchnick was found, unresponsive, in a separate, locked bedroom with a sick pit bull. More rat poison was found in the room, authorities said. Muchnick was treated at a local hospital.
One cat died as a result of ingesting rat poison.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, arrest, cats, dog, economy, financial, hardship, harleysville, linda muchnick, montgomery county, pennsylvania, poison, poisoning, rat, suicide attempt
A group of Montgomery County residents have come together to push for a new dog park in Randolph Hills Local Park, near Rockville. You can keep up with their efforts on the Randolph Dog Club’s new website.
The club describes its mission as working with the Montgomery County government to build an off-leash dog park on land within the park.
According to the club, Montgomery County, with 25,000 licensed dogs, has only three dog parks; that’s a ratio of 8,333 dogs per park.
“Dog parks have many advantages: they promote responsible dog ownership, reduce criminal activity in adjoining areas, properly socialize dogs and provide an exercise outlet which keeps dogs physically and emotionally healthy,” the website says.
The proposed park would serve communities such as Kensington, Garret Park, Aspen Hill and North Bethesda, where dog owners now must travel miles from their home to find the nearest dog park.
Mongtgomery County’s three existing dog parks are at Black Hill Regional Park, 20930 Lake Ridge Drive in Boyds; Ridge Road Recreational Park, 21155 Frederick Road in Germantown; and Wheaton Regional Park, 2000 Shorefield Road in Wheaton.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bethesda, dog, dog park, dog parks, dogs, maryland, montgomery county, parks, pets, randolph dog club, randolph hills, randolph hills local park, rockville, washington