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Tag: nebraska

Dogs cited after chasing humane society head

The executive director of the Capitol Humane Society in Lincoln, Nebraska escaped unharmed in a high speed chase involving his bicycle and three pursuing dogs.

“It just scares the daylights out of you,” Bob Downey said after the Saturday afternoon incident.

Downey, the Lincoln Journal Star reports, was riding westbound on West Fletcher Avenue when three dogs started after him. Two of them, a Labrador and a cattle dog, pursued for perhaps half a mile, Downey said.

While the Labrador wasn’t behaving in a manner Downey deemed threatening, the cattle dog was snarling and showing its teeth. Downey said the dog bit his bike and shoe.

The pursuit came to an end several blocks later when when Downey threw his water bottle at the dog.

The dog took the bottle and ran off.

The sheriff’s depapartment said the owner of the cattle dog was cited for having a dog at large.

Angus T. Loner is a loner no more

angustlonerIt seemed like nearly everybody wanted to adopt Angus T. Loner, a gigantic mastiff who lived for years as a stray outside a Nebraska meatpacking plant.

So the local humane society decided that’s who should have him — everybody.

Angus was known by most in the town of Grand Island as the ”Swift dog” — due to his having lived outside the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant for more than four years. A trucker had dumped the neutered pup while making a delivery to the plant.

For years, plant workers fed the dog meat scraps, bones and their lunch leftovers and set out dinner for him nightly. A  neighbor provided  shelter by leaving a barn open. Local police and animal control workers kept close tabs on the dog, according to the Grand Island Independent.

Over the years, there were more than 500 attempts to catch him — none of which succeeded until December, when he was tranquilized and brought to the Central Nebraska Humane Society.

The humane society, as Angus became more social, began taking applications from those interested in adopting him. But between the many townsfolk who wanted to take him, all those who had helped care for the dog over the years and hoped to have continued access to him, and Angus’ sometimes unruly behavior, the humane society decided it would be best to keep him, allowing him to serve as its official greeter, mascot and spokesdog — to be, in a way, a community dog.

Angus has become attached to his new caretakers — so much so that “he’s gone from being scared of people to severe separation anxiety,” said Laurie Dethloff, the society’s executive director.

When society staff set him up in the spacious cat play area overnight, Angus chewed the carpet and platform from the cat nesting tree and ripped the sill off the room’s front window.

“We didn’t want to set him up for failure,” Dethloff said of placing him for adoption. Society officials decided keeping him would be a way to continue to share him with the public and honor what he represents. “For one, he has an awesome story to tell — about abandonment and a compassionate, caring community,” said Dethloff, who now takes Angus home with her at night.

Angus, the Independent reports, has come a long way from the dog that cowered in a corner and eluded those who tried to trap him. He still needs to gain a little weight, and the humane society is working on getting him up from six to 10 cups of dog food a day.

Angus is estimated to be about five years old.  While the first name the humane society chose for him comes from his size, and the meat he survived on over the years, his middle initial — T — doesn’t stand for anything.

Angus, on the other hand — the dog a whole town adopted — clearly does.

(Photo: Barrett Stinson, The Grand Island Independent)

Little Lola’s free ride

A couple agrees to care for a friend’s Chihuahua for the weekend.

The dog’s owner doesn’t pick her up when the weekend’s over; in fact, she doesn’t try to reclaim the Chihuahua, named Lola,  for 10 months.

What’s the couple who cared for the dog owed?

According to the Nebraska Court of Appeals — the third court to hear the case — absolutely nothing.

The saga of Lola, a four-pound, black-and-tan Chihuahua, began Aug. 22, 2007, when Heather Linville of Lincoln asked her friends Travis Derr and Natasha Combs to care for her dog for the weekend, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Linville’s new apartment complex didn’t allow dogs, and she explained she needed time to make arrangements for her pet.

When, 10 months later, Linville asked to get Lola back, Derr and Combs said they wanted to keep the dog.

Linville summoned police, and the dog was returned to her, but Derr and Combs filed a small-claims court case, asking to be paid $2,700 for boarding the animal for 320 days.

A Lancaster County judge ruled in favor of Derr and Combs, a decision later upheld by a district judge. But the appeals court overturned the $2,700 judgment in a 3-0 ruling — proving, in my view, three heads aren’t better than one. What Lola’s owner did sounds to me like abandonment, pure and simple.

The court said Derr and Combs did not ask for compensation when they agreed to keep the dog for the weekend. They should have notified Linville if they were no longer willing to keep Lola for free, the panel said. The court said the couple was entitled only to reimbursement for a $152.98 veterinarian’s bill.

And the Hambone goes to …

toby1After Dennis Bullaro, 65, and his mother, Marie, 90, finished a roast dinner a few months ago, they tossed the round bone that remained to Toby, their one-year-old “cockalier” (cocker spaniel, Cavalier King Charles spaniel mix).

For two months, Toby treasured the bone, flinging it in the air and catching it, dropping it on the ground and rolling over it to scratch his back. But then one day the fun stopped.

Somehow, Toby managed to get the bone stuck around his front teeth and lower jaw, covering his snout and forcing a trip to an Omaha, Nebraska emergency veterinary clinic, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

At the Omaha Animal Emergency Clinic, the veterinarian had to anesthetize Toby and use a hacksaw to cut and  remove the bone.

Of more than 75,000 claims reviewed in May by the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, Toby’s was chosen as the most interesting, putting Toby in the running for the Hambone Award, to be bestowed in September after online voting.hambone

The company says most of the 1 million claims it handles each year are for common pet conditions or routine care. But, a company spokesman said sometimes claim comes up that reminds everyone just how unexpected and sometimes, in retrospect, even funny, pet accidents can be.

The award name was inspired by the case of a dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting to be let out.

The winning pet and owner receives a trophy in the shape of a ham.

The insurance company suggests that pet owners refrain from giving their pets leftover bones.

Nebraska man puts dog above digits

Robert Larsen was playing fetch with his chocolate Lab, Nick, when a ball got lodged in his dog’s throat.

Rushing to his side, Larsen reached into his dog’s mouth. Nick bit down, severing Larsen’s fingertip.

What happened next is why we like Robert Larsen, 72, of Lincoln, Neb. – even though we don’t know him.

Rather than looking for his severed fingertip, uttering a few choice curse words, or rushing himself to the emergency room, Larsen took his dog to the veterinarian first.

The ball was still lodged in the dog’s throat when he arrived at Omaha Animal Medical Group. Vets removed the ball and revived the dog, and Larsen was taken to Methodist Hospital, then transferred to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Larsen was visiting a family member’s home in Omaha when the accident took place.

Part of Larsen’s index finger was found in his coat pocket, where it apparently had fallen off when he reached for his keys to rush Nick to the vet. Because doctors couldn’t guarantee the operation would be successful, he opted not to have the fingertip reattached.

“The finger was secondary,” Larsen told WOWT-Channel 6 News. “The dog was priority.”

Experts don’t recommend sticking your hand into your dog’s mouth if he’s choking, advising instead a Heimlich maneuver or blows to the dog’s back.

Trucker’s dog returned to family after crash

Zak, the San Diego Tribune reports, is back.

The 1-year-old dog, who had been the traveling companion of truck driver Robert Shields for the past year, was returned to San Diego after Shields was killed in a crash in Omaha, Neb., on Sunday.

“It means everything to all of us,” said Shields’ daughter, Jamie Pickett, 25. “It’s the only thing we have left of my father.”

Shields, 59, a longtime Poway resident, had driven trucks for 14 years. His son, Bobby Garrison, 22, said his father traveled with Zak for companionship and to deter thieves at rest stops.

Zak was with Shields in Omaha Sunday when his big-rig drifted on Interstate 80 and hit a bridge support, witnesses told police. Shields, who may have suffered a heart attack while driving, was pronounced dead at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

When rescuers arrived at the crash, they found Zak, a 20-pound basenji mix, in the truck’s cab, said Pam Wiese, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Humane Society.

Pickett called the humane society Monday morning, trying to find out how to get Zak back. An Omaha TV station did a story on him, Wiese said, and news of the family’s plight quickly spread.

Donations were pouring into the humane society until Michele Henry, Omaha general manager for American Airlines, donated a flight Tuesday morning. Zak suffered only a scratched nose in the crash.

Photo: EARNIE GRAFTON / San Diego Union-Tribune