The cat, named Mittens, was trapped by two teenage boys in a milk crate, doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last January.
She managed to escape from the crate, extinguish the flames and return to what she had been doing — nursing her newborn kittens.
Mittens was rescued by police and animal control officers and, along with her kittens, brought to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where she slowly recovered from the loss of her ears as well as third and fourth-degree burns covering 70 percent of her body.
Despite her injuries, Mittens continued to care for her kittens during recovery. Her story resulted in extensive media coverage and helped lead to stronger animal welfare laws in Maryland. Named the ASPCA’s Cat of the Year, she now resides in the home of Cindy Wright.
After a pit bull named Phoenix was doused with gasoline and set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009, Griffin, who previously had a private law practice, devoted her life to advocating for changes in Baltimore’s policies and procedures to better protect animals and prosecute their abusers. She was appointed by then-mayor Sheila Dixon to chair a new Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, which went on to become a permanent standing Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, the first of its kind in the country.
Griffin’s work heightened media and public awareness of animal abuse, and let to increased coordination and cooperation between agencies and individuals concerned about the problem.
“Through Caroline’s unrelenting work, the Commission has not only helped Baltimore become a more humane community, but also serves as a model for other cities across the country,” the ASPCA said in a press release.
Griffin is one of two recipients of the ASPCA Presidential Service Award. Also receiving the honor is Subaru of America, Inc. for its unprecedented commitment to animal welfare. Through the Subaru “Love a Pet” Adoption Drive program, the ASPCA works with Subaru dealers across the country to team them up with local shelters to host co-branded ‘Love a Pet’ adoption events.
“The ASPCA is humbled by the commitment and compassion displayed by this year’s Humane Awards winners,” ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres said. “The distinguished achievements of these advocates are prime examples of the ASPCA’s mission of preventing cruelty to animals. This year’s event will be a celebration of all that has been done to bring us closer to our goal while reminding us that there is still much work ahead.”
The ASPCA’s Annual Humane Awards Luncheon — sponsored by the Hartville Group, Inc., provider of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance — will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Others to be honored are:
– Ricochet, the surfing golden retriever who raises money and helps the disabled. Rejected as a service dog, Ricochet and her owner, Judy Fridono, took another route to helping people. Ricochet is now a ‘SURFice’ dog for disabled surfers. On top of that, Ricochet has helped raise more than $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes, including childhood special needs, arthritis, breast cancer, canine cancer and animal rescue. Ricochet will be honored as the ASPCA Dog of the Year.
– Stevie Nelson, a five-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. After his family’s two black Labs went missing, Stevie, upon seeing an ASPCA commercial on television, decided he wanted to help needy animals find homes. He set out to raise $6,000 for the humane society’s campaign to build a new shelter, but to date has raised more than four times that. Stevie will receive the ASPCA’s Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year award — named after a nine year old boy who died trying to save his dog from a house fire in 2007.
– Sgt. David Hunt of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. Hunt has served as a leader in uncovering the link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes such as drug dealing, gambling and racketeering. Since 2002, Sgt. Hunt has executed 51 search warrants resulting in 67 felony dogfighting arrests. He has trained law enforcement officers in 28 states, and helped make dogfighting a crime law enforcement and lawmakers take more seriously. Hunt is receiving the ASPCA Public Service Award.
– Green Chimneys, a New York organization that helps children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges. A leader in animal-assisted activities, Green Chimneys operates an innovative special education school and residential treatment facility with programs to strengthen the emotional health and well being of children by promoting a harmonious relationship with animals and the environment. Green Chimneys is receiving the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.
(Photo of Mittens, courtesy of BARCS; photo of Caroline Griffin by Mary Swift)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, anti-animal abuse task force, aspca, attention, awards, awareness, baltimore, barcs, caroline griffin, cat, cats, columbus, cruelty to animals, david hunt, dog, dogfighting, dogs, environment, green chimneys, honors, humane awards, judy fridono, law enforcement, lawyer, luncheon, mittens, nebraska, ohio, pets, phoenix, protect, ricochet, service dogs, set on fire, shelters, stevie nelson, surf, surfing, therapy dogs
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bicycle, bike, bite, bitten, bob downey, capitol humane society, cattle dog, chase, chased, director, dogs, humane society, labrador retriever, lincoln, nebraska, news, ohmidog!, pets, shoe, snarling
It 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)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, angus, angus t. loner, animals, central nebraska humane society, community, community dog, dog, dogs, dumped, grand island, greeter, jbs swift, laurie dethloff, mascot, mastiff, meatpacking, nebraska, pets, plant, rescue, spokesdog, stray, swift dog
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandonment, animal law, animals, appeals court, case, chihuahua, courts, custody, dispute, dog, dogs, friends, heather linville, lancaster county, law, legal, lola, natasha combs, nebraska, ownership, pets, petsitting, ruling, travis derr
After 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.
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, animals, award, bones, cats, clinic, cockalier, contest, dogs, emergency, funny, ham, hambone, nebraska, omaha, online, pets, roast, toby, veterinary, veterinary pet insurance
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.
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airway, animals, ball, bite, bitten, choke, choking, dog, fetch, finger, fingertip, gag, heimlich, hospital, lodged, mouth, nebraska, omaha, pets, priorities, priority, robert larsen, severed, vet, veterinarian
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
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, american airlines, basenji, crash, dog, family, killed, nebraska, nebraska humane society, returned, returns, robert sheilds, san diego, truck driver, zak