Tag: new york
Since January of 2010, Houston police have gunned down 187 dogs, killing 121 of them.
And last year alone, law enforcement officers in Houston and Harris County shot more dogs than New York City police officers shot in 2010 and 2011 combined.
All of those shooting were deemed by police to have been justified, but it’s not too hard to find families that disgree with that.
The KHOU 11 News I-Team did, and its report this week is more evidence that, across the country, requiring police to be trained in dealing with dogs could save dogs, and their families, a lot of pain.
Colorado passed a law requiring that, and it was signed by the governor this week.
The KHOU report, when it looked at the police-involved dog shootings for all of Harris County found at least 228 dogs had been shot by officers and deputies since 2010, 142 of them fatally.
“If the dog turns and comes at a citizen, or the deputy, they have all right to use lethal force,” explained Dpt. Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Records show Harris County deputies shot 38 canines in the last three-and-a-half years.
When asked if all those shootings were justified, Gilliland said: “The justification is, in that matter, and at that moment the deputy had to choose the decision to use lethal force against that animal.”
Sgt. Joseph Guerra, who works as a cruelty investigator for the Houston Humane Society, said it teaches some officers how to safety interact with threatening dogs. But the training isn’t mandated for all officers.
“A lot of times, officers are not sent to training to get that type of certification to feel comfortable enough to deal with these animals,” he said. “We need to get those officers involved in some mandated training in how to defend before going to deadly force.”
The Arlington and Fort Worth Police Departments started mandatory dog training for officers last fall, and state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the training for officers across Texas.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aggressive, animals, arlington, behavior, canines, colorado, dangerous, deputies, dogs, fatal, fort worth, harris county, houston, interact, killed, law enforcement, new york, officers, pets, police, police shooting dogs, shoot, shot, texas, threatening, training
Mention the idea of food stamps for dogs and you’re likely to get one of two reactions:
Those touchy-feely animal lovers (such as me) will say it’s a great idea that could help keep dogs from being surrendered to shelters, abandoned, or worse, by owners who can’t afford to feed them anymore.
Those “It’s-just-a-dog” types will say its ludicrous, that they’d hate to see their tax dollars used for something like that, and that, if you can’t afford a dog, don’t get one in the first place.
When the idea does float to the surface, there’s usually some quick debate — then it vanishes as quickly as a bowl of kibble.
Now, in a way, the concept is back, and it’s being carried out on a national scale — with no involvement from government, and no use of tax dollars, it should be noted. It’s the mission of a nonprofit organization formed by a New York man who describes himself as a stockbroker, journalist, entrepreneur and business consultant — a frightful combination if ever there was one.
The organization is called Pet Food Stamps, though no stamps actually appear to be involved. Instead, low income individuals can submit applications, which, if approved, lead to six months worth of deliveries of dog food from Pet Flow, an online pet food store. It’s all to be funded through private donations, founder Marc Okon says.
Pet Food Stamps and Pet Flow announced their “exclusive partnership” in February:
“Pet Food Stamps aims to provide pet food for pets of families receiving public assistance and for food stamp recipients who otherwise could not afford to feed their pets. Based in New York City, the program is open to anyone in the United States. More than 80,000 pets have already been registered …”
Okon, 36, said the idea was inspired in part by a friend going through some economic hard times who told him “she sometimes fed her cat before herself,” Wall Street Journal columnist Al Lewis reported. Also, he says, doing something philanthropic helps remove the bad taste that remains from some of his previous employment experiences in corporate America.
Okon says he briefly worked for a firm that sold dubious medical benefits to seniors in the South. “Their whole corporate philosophy was to manipulate seniors who didn’t have any type of insurance,” he said. “I could only do that for about a week and half,” Okon said. The article calls him “a man so disgusted with the lack of ethics he witnessed in private enterprise that he founded a nonprofit to hand out dog food.”
While many a humane society operates similar programs on the local level, Pet Food Stamps says it has been swamped with applications — 45,000 in the first two weeks alone, according to a press release.
Okon says the applicants often describe how they’ve lost their jobs and homes.
“Millions of pets are surrendered to shelters each year and euthanized because their owners can’t afford to feed them,” he said.
Okon says he isn’t against the idea of the government providing food stamps for dogs, but that it’s not part of the current picture.
“We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon told ABCNews.com. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”
It seems a noble idea, and we hope it’s nobly carried out — with enough transparency that dog lovers who make donations know exactly how much money the organization is receiving, how much of that is going to buy and ship dog food, and what profits, if any, the private dog food company is making.
We’d point out, too, that people unable to afford to feed their pets can check with their local humane society or SPCA to see what programs might be available in their area. Some food banks distribute dog food and cat food, and some chapters of Meals on Wheels deliver pet food, too. In 2006, Meals on Wheels started the We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) initiative after finding some of their clients were sharing their meals with their pets because they couldn’t afford pet food.
For a state by state list of programs offering free and discounted services — from food to veterinary care — check out this Humane Society of the United States link.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aid, animals, assistance, cat food, dog food, dogs, food banks, food stamps, food stamps for dogs, help, humane society, marc okon, new york, pet flow, pet food, pet food direct, pet food stamps, pets, shelters, spca
A pit bull saved a woman from a fire in a Long Island home Friday, barking to alert her as flames began to engulf the house.
Then the woman returned the favor.
Jackie Bonasera said she was drying her hair in an upstairs bathroom of a home in East Norwich when she heard the dog barking. She ran downstairs and saw the flames on the side of her garage, according to NBC Channel 4 in New York
She ran out of the house, but then returned to save her dog, a pit bull named Cain.
“So I just put my robe over my face and I ran back in and I grabbed the dog and then I stood out here and I watched my house burn,” she said.
Bonasera believes she would have been trapped upstairs if the dog, named Cain, hadn’t alerted her to the fire. Her daughter, Alexus Stallworth, called Cain “the town hero.”
More than 70 firefighters fought the fire, the cause of which hasn’t been determined.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alerts, animals, barking, barks, burning, cain, dog, dogs, east norwich, fire, house, Jackie Bonasera, long island, new york, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rescues, saves
The grieving owner of Baby Girl, the 2-year-old pit bull killed by police on Staten Island earlier this month, is suing the city and the officer who fired the shots.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was being filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
Baby Girl’s owner, Patricia Ratz, took her and two other pit bulls for walk at Schmul Park on April 6. When the two other dogs — Bo and Missy — began snapping at each other, Ratz intervened and was bitten.
Police say she was screaming for help when an officer arrived.
The lawsuit says more than 10 shots were fired at the dogs, one of which hit Baby Girl, who was running away from the ruckus, in the back. She died five days later. Police say the officer, who is still on active duty, fired seven times when the dog charged her.
“We are seeking to fundamentally change the way the NYPD deals with pets,” he said. “When a dog is fleeing the scene, it’s because the doggie is afraid, not because the dog is concerned about getting arrested. That’s the reason people flee, not doggies.”
(Photos: A photo of Baby Girl posted at a memorial for her at Schmul Park in Staten Island; Patricia Ratz and fiancé Pat Guglielmo, along with their dog Bo; by Mark Bonifacio / New York Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, courts, dogs, killed, lawsuit, new york, officer, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, schmul park, shot, staten island, suit
Baby Girl, the 2-year-old pit bull shot Saturday by police officers at a park in Staten Island, has died.
Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR) said the dog died Thursday morning five days after she was shot by officers who said they were trying to protect humans from harm.
Attempts to reach the dog’s owner were unsuccessful, but her sister, Kathleen Dixon, confirmed the death, the Staten Island Advance reported on SILive.com.
On Saturday, Patricia Ratz and her sister were walking their three pit bulls at Schmul Park in Travis when two of the dogs – not Baby Girl — began fighting, according to the family. Ratz tried to break up the fight and received a bite on the hand.
Her screams brought police officers to the scene, and several shots were fired. Only Baby Girl, who family members say was running away from the ruckus, was hit.
Police said Saturday that responding officers were trying to help Ratz. The department is reviewing the incident.
Hundreds of people across the country expressed anger and pledged support to the dog through social media, and a website, www.snarrdogpolice.com, was launched to provide updates on Baby Girl’s condition and raise money for veterinary bills.
SNARR’s founder Robin Menard said $7,000 had been collected by the time the dog died.
Menard believes police acted in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, and that the event is another example of pit bull prejudice.
“I will pursue to the end and I will see it’s made right,” she said. “This breed has suffered enough ignorance.”
(Photo: Baby Girl at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J., after multiple surgeries; from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, dog, dogs, garden state veterinary, new york, park, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, robin menard, schmul park, shooting, shot, snarr, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, staten island, surgeries, tinton falls, travis
Baby Girl, the pit bull shot by police officers at a park in Staten Island, is recovering as both donations and complaints about the officers’ actions pour in.
The dog remains in a veterinary clinic, where she has undergone two surgeries, the Staten Island Advance reports.
Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation (SNARR), the rescue organization Baby Girl’s owner adopted her from, said the costs of her medical care have already reached $8,000. About $2,500 has been collected through a Facebook campaign to help cover the expenses.
In addition to a bullet wound, Baby Girl suffered a broken toe.
On Saturday, Patricia Ratz and her sister brought their three pit bulls to Schmul Park for a walk. Two of the dogs began fighting. Ratz, in an attempt to break up the fight, stuck her hand between the two dogs and got bitten.
When police arrived, two officers fired their weapons at Baby Girl, even though she hadn’t been involved in the altercation and was running away, Ratz and her sister said.
Police said the incident is under review.
Ratz adopted Baby Girl, who is about two years old, from SNARR six months ago.
SNARR founder Robin Menard is spearheading the effort to raise money for the care of Baby Girl at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J.
A website – www.snarrdogpolice.com — has been created to provides updates on Baby Girl’s health and collect donations.
“It’s awesome to see how many regardless of race, beliefs, religion, location and so on, have come together to support the family, my rescue, as well as Baby Girl,” Menard said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, care, dog, dogs, donations, expenses, fight, garden state veterinary, injured, law enforcement, new york, officers, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovery, robin menard, schmul park, shooting, snarr, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, staten island, surgery, veterinary
What police describe as a fight between three dogs left one woman bitten and one dog shot at Staten Island’s newly opened Schmul Park over the weekend.
Police officers say they fired shots after one of the dogs “attacked” her owner, but members of the owner’s family say she was bitten while attempting to break up a fight, and that the dog who was shot – her pit bull, named Baby Girl — wasn’t even involved in it.
Witnesses said they heard three to five shots, and WABC reported that police officers shot at all three dogs to prevent the situation from escalating.
But they hit only one, Baby Girl, according to Gothamist,
A brother of the dog’s owner said in a Facebook post that the dog was shot after the incident was already under control, and that Baby Girl wasn’t involved in the incident:
“The bullet entrance and exit wounds show the dog was running away, NOT [TOWARD] the cop like that coward officer claims. The fight was already under control, yet hero cop of the day felt it necessary to pull out her gun and shoot. THIS DOG WASNT EVEN THE ONE THAT WAS FIGHTING.”
The owner’s brother also claims police left Baby Girl unattended in the back of a truck after she was shot, and told the family they couldn’t find her.
Police say three dogs were involved in the incident, and that at least two of them were fighting. When Baby Girl’s owner tried to break up the fight she was bitten on the hand.
“Responding officers tried to help her, and in the attempt to get the dog off her, shots were fired,” a police spokesman said.
The owner was treated for hand injuries at Richmond University Medical Center.
S.N.A.R.R Animal Rescue Northeast, the group that rescued Baby Girl before she was adopted, supported the brother’s account, saying Baby Girl was running away from the two other fighting dogs when she was shot in the stomach.
A post by the rescue group’s founder, Robin Menard, indicates all three dogs belonged to the same family.
“Baby Girl was NOT involved (it was two other family dogs) and was running AWAY from the fight when cops fired 3 rounds. Baby Girl was shot in the stomach. She is now fighting for her life and her adopters are paying for a 6000 surgery. They are doing whatever they can. Baby Girl has never had an issue with people or other dogs. She is best friends with a bunny rabbit… Yes. A bunny!
Donations to Baby Girl’s care can be made through the rescue group and its Paypal account (email email@example.com.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, baby girl, bite, dog, dogs, Freshkills, law enforcement, new york, parks, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, police, Schmul, shooting, staten island
A German shepherd, Ape was shot in the chest when he walked through a door with cameras attached to his body. Officers returned fire, killing Kurt R. Myers, who was suspected of killing four people.
They performed CPR on Ape, then rushed him in an armored vehicle to a nearby veterinarian.
“We were trying to do everything we could to try to save its life,” said Dr. Emily M. Green, one of the veterinarians at Herkimer Veterinary Associates.
Ape was 2 years and 4 months old, and had been on active duty for the FBI for a little over two weeks, according to the New York Times.
“Ape was doing what he was trained to do and made the ultimate sacrifice for his team,” the agency said in a statement released by Special Agent Ann Todd. “His actions were heroic and prevented his teammates from being seriously wounded or killed.”
Ape will be buried at the agency’s headquarters in Quantico, Va., and his name will be added to a memorial wall dedicated to dogs killed while on duty.
Ape was the second FBI tactical dog killed in the line of duty. In 2009, a 2 ½-year-old Belgian Malinois named Freddy was killed while accompanying agents attempting to make an arrest.
The FBI and police declined to discuss the specifics of how Ape was used in the raid. While a police robot equipped with a camera was ready, it might not have been able to navigate the gunman’s debris-strewn hiding place, the Times reported.
Agents sent Ape, equipped with a camera, into the building first. The cameras allow a handler to see what the dog is seeing from as far as 1,000 yards away. The gunman had been holed up for hours in the empty building in Herkimer, N.Y.
The FBI said that Ape had just started working on active duty on Feb. 25.
“He will be missed by his FBI family,” the agency said.
(Photo:by Ann Todd / FBI)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, Ape, bar, cameras, dogs, fbi, gunman, herkimer, herkimer veterinary associates, killed, kurt myers, law enforcement, new york, pets, raid, robot, shot, suspect, tactical dog, upstate
Not that we have any problem with that.
The New York Daily News reports that Manhattan publicist Melissa Kusick has sued the upstate “dog camp” where her mutt Matilda was mauled by other dogs while being boarded.
Given the three bylines, we assume that either this is a big story or that Kusick is pretty prominent, or at least a darned good publicist.
Kusick sent her dog to the Glencadia Dog Camp in February, and was at the Grammy Awards when she learned of Matilda’s injuries.
The attack left the dog’s face ”so swollen it was almost unrecognizable,” Kusick said in court papers.
The News revealed — and here’s what makes it a slightly bigger story — that at least two other dogs have been mauled at the dog camp in Columbia County, one of whom died.
Kate Dwyer, a Manhattan stylist, said her pit bull-vizsla mix was injured during a two-week stay at Glencadia last July. Another customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said her dog died in 2011 after being attacked by four other dogs.
Glencadia Dog Camp owner Will Pflaum promised Kusick he’d pay Matilda’s medical bills, but reneged after Kusick described the incident on Yelp.com and reported the owner to the Better Business Bureau, the suit says.
Kusick is suing for the vet bills and $500,000 in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The dog camp owner told the newspaper that Matilda was attacked after she was left unsupervised in a pen with another dog.
“We’re very sorry about this,” he said. “We’re making changes so it doesn’t happen again.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, bitten, boarding, dog, dog camp, dogs, glencadia dog camp, injuries, kennels, lawsuit, manhattan, matilda, mauled, melissa kusick, new york, new york daily news, pets, publicist, yelp
A Jack Russell terrier is worth $1.11 less, but feeling much better, after 111 pennies he gulped down were removed from his stomach.
The 13-year-old dog, named Jack, underwent a two-hour operation at BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
The coins were fished out five at a time, said Jack’s owner, Tim Kelleher, who reported that Jack was back to normal after the operation:
“He’s driving me crazy again,” he said.
Kelleher who lives in Manhattan and works on Wall Street, said Jack climbed onto a desk to reach a bag that had a bagel in it, and knocked the change over the floor. He said Jack must have swallowed the pennies while licking the bagel crumbs off the floor.
When Jack became ill and started vomiting last Friday, Kelleher took him to the vet, where an X-ray showed the pennies clustered in his belly.
Surgery was advised because the zinc in the coins posed a lethal threat to the dog’s kidneys and liver.
“If Jack would not have had the pennies removed the consequences would have been fatal,” said Dr. Amy Zalcman, who helped treat the dog.
The New York Daily News reports that the dog’s owner let the vet keep the change.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 111, animals, bluepearl, copper, dog, dogs, eats, health, jack, jack russell, kidneys, lethal, manhattan, new york, pennies, pets, safety, surgery, swallows, terrier, veterinary, zinc