Courtesy of the blog ModifiedK9, and courtesy of Dan Waskiewicz, here’s a police officer meets pit bull story with the best kind of ending.
Modified K9 is a pit bull-loving group in Pennsylvania that works to improve the image and future of pit bulls through education, training, rescuing, rehabilitating, rehoming.
Dan Waskiewicz is a Baltimore police officer, who wrote Modified K9 a letter about his experience a few months back responding to a vicious dog call in the city.
Here’s his note:
I’m a Police Officer in Baltimore City. I am originally from Wilkes-Barre, and I am a fan of your organization and Pit Bulls. Today I received a call while on duty about a vicious dog chasing kids.
Going on my own approach, being a dog lover, I got out of my car and called the “vicious dog” over to me.
The dog came over with it’s tail between it’s legs and panting. I grabbed my water bottle and the dog sat down next to me and began licking my pants. I started giving the dog water. I brought the dog over and waited for the pound to show up.
My partner was not a fan of dogs and was startled by my approach. I suggested to him that this dog cannot be put down, and should be taken to a shelter. We took it upon ourselves to take the dog to the shelter, and transported it in the back seat in the back of our patrol car.
Then I decided that I wanted to keep the dog, and spoke to the shelter about the steps to take to adopt it. The dog was originally kept outside and was filthy, and now it just might have a new home…”
That new home was with Waskiewicz, where the pit bull, now named Bo, resides with his other dogs.
His act drew praise from Modified K9, and lots of commenters.
“Instead of assuming the dog to be vicious and shoot it dead, (as we see so many times before) he analyzes the situation, and sees a nervous dog that needs help,” the blog post reads. “Instead of letting animal control pick up the dog, and let it disappear, or be put down, he personally takes it to a shelter, IN HIS CRUISER!!! Finally, he offers the pup a new forever home!”
We couldn’t agree more: Dan is the man.
(Photos: Dan Waskiewicz, via ModifiedK9)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: account, adopted, animals, baltimore, blog, call, city, dan waskiewicz, dogs, image, law enforcement, modified k9, modifiedk9, note, officer, perceptions, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, police, rescue, shelters, stereotypes, vicious, vicious dog
It’s not every day a police dog is subpoenaed to testify in court, and rarer yet, we’d guess, for a judge to actually approve such a thing, but that’s what happened in Florida last week.
A Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department K-9, named Azor, was brought into Judge Peter Bell’s courtroom when his presence was requested by a man fighting a traffic ticket.
The defendant, Rodney McGee, subpoenaed the dog as a defense witness after he was stopped in February for failure to use a turn signal.
Azor’s handler, suspecting McGee might have had drugs in the car, brought the dog along to give the car a sniff or two. No drugs were detected, and McGee was sent on his way with a traffic ticket.
McGee said he wanted the dog brought to his hearing so he could test its sniffing skills.
“I was hoping they would let me plant marijuana in the courthouse to see if he could find drugs,” McGee said. What relevance that has to his alleged failure to use his turn signal isn’t clear.
Judge Bell apparently saw it that way, too, declining McGee’s request and letting Azor depart the courtroom.
McGee lost the case. He was fined $300 for failure to use his turn signal.
That, as you can see in this news report, didn’t seem to bother him too much.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, azor, called, charlotte county, citation, defense, dogs, drug-sniffing, drugs, failure to signal, judge, K-9, k9, marijuana, news, officer, peter bell, pets, police dog, rodney mcgee, sheriff, subpoena, testifimony, traffic stop, traffic ticket, video, weird, witness
Days after an animal control officer in Columbia County, Pennsylvania resigned her position, authorities seized dozens of dogs and cats from her home.
Jinece Loughry suddenly resigned her position in Berwick last week.
Her small house on Thirteenth Street was filled with 40 dogs and 24 cats, WNEP reported.
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It makes me very sad because you realize she had a good heart and was an animal lover who has gotten herself way out of line,” said Linda Bird with the Animal Resource Center.
The center near Millville is now home to twice as many dogs after taking in the 33 that were seized from the home.
Bird said the dogs were dirty and matted, and some could barely walk because the animal waste was so thick.
Loughry was allowed to keep a few animals that she or family members personally owned, WNEP reported, and so far, no charges have been filed.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal resource center, animals, berwick, cats, columbia, county, dogs, found, hoarding, home, Jinece Loughry, officer, pennsylvania, pets, rescue, resigned, shelter
Joel Vandouser, 43, was charged with operating while intoxicated,endangering a minor and resisting and obstructing police.
Mason Police Chief John Stressman said officers had spotted the suspect driving, apparently under the influence, with an 8-year-old child in the car. They followed him to his home, according to the Lansing State Journal, where the tussle took place.
Vandouser was taken to a local hospital afterwards. The bitten officers was also treated. News reports don’t indicate whether the dog was taken into custody, but the police chief noted that a pair of police uniform pants were ruined during the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, bit, bites, bitten, dog, dogs, driving, drunk, drunk driving, intoxicated, law enforcement, mason, michigan, officer, pepper spray, pets, police, tasers
A Massachusetts pit bull is being credited with pulling her owner off the railroad tracks, saving her from an oncoming freight train.
And that, lest you find it hard to believe, is according to both the driver of the train and the woman’s son, a Boston police officer.
The woman survived, uninjured, but the dog — named Lilly — was severely hurt and lost a front leg.
Boston police officer David Lanteigne said he rescued Lilly from a shelter to serve as a companion for his mother, who suffers from alcoholism.
“We saved her life and she saved my mom’s life,” he told WCVB in Boston.
Lanteigne’s mother, Christine Spain, apparently fell unconscious onto train tracks in Shirley last Wednesday.
When help arrived, Lilly was covered in blood but still standing guard over her owner.
“Lilly was either pushing or pulling my mother off the tracks,” said Lanteigne. “There wasn’t enough time and … just prior to the train making impact Lilly had intentionally gotten between the train and my mother, and had taken the hit.”
“I’m supposed to be the strong one. I’m supposed to be here for her, but she’s been so great, so tough through all this,” Lanteigne said of his dog. “It almost seems like she’s the one comforting me and being there for me and making me feel better.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Angell Animal Medical Center)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, alcoholism, amputation, angell, animals, boston, christine spain, david lanteigne, dog, dogs, freight train, leg, lilly, lost, medical, mother, officer, owner, paw, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, pulled, rescued, saved, saves, shirley, tracks, train, video
The town of Aurelia, Iowa, has declined to settle out of court with James Sak, the former Chicago police officer who says he should be allowed to keep the pit bull mix that helps him cope with the effects of a stroke.
Sak, 65, had to relinquish Snickers last year because the municipality bans pit bulls. He sent the dog to a boarding facility outside Aurelia. Later, an Iowa judge later granted an injunction, allowing Snickers and Sak to reunite (see the video above) and stay together in Aurelia until the case is resolved.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is helping with Sak’s legal representation, said last week that the town has declined to settle the case, and that a trial has been scheduled for July, 2013, more than a year from now.
Earlier this year, Saks, a stroke victim, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been undergoing treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
“The worst part of my [cancer] treatment is not having my dog here,” said Sak, who is expected to return home after his hospital stay.
“Jim has been so strong throughout all of this. We know his strength comes from knowing Snickers is waiting for him at home, waiting to do his job as his service animal and his support,” said said Kim Wolf, community engagement specialist for Animal Farm Foundation.
Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the right side of his body. He was paired at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago with Snickers, who helps him walk, balance and call from help in an emergency.
“We want everyone to realize that Aurelia’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to put Jim through the agony of a trial, especially while he’s battling cancer, does not reflect the sentiments of every resident of Aurelia,” Wolf said. “The outpouring of support and disbelief from Jim’s neighbors has been huge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, cancer, chicago, disability, dog, dogs, hospital, iowa, james sak, kim wolf, law, officer, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, police, scheduled, service, snickers, stroke, treatment, trial, victim
The officer is a five-year veteran of the Chicago police department.
He has not been identified. But he has been ticketed and relieved of duty as the department investigates his actions, CBS 2 in Chicago reports.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Audrey Fisher and her 12-year-old daughter took Willy, their 2-year-old, 8-pound Pomeranian-Papillon mix, to the dog beach so he could play with his favorite pink ball.
“A pit bull came out of nowhere and just attacked him, grabbed him by his belly and shook him violently,” Fisher said last month. Willy died three days later.
While park rules stipulate owners of dogs that attack other animals must pay the vet bills, the pit bull owner declined to identify himself and walked off with his dog. Fisher’s vet bills for Willy came to $5,700.
Fisher has spent the past month trying to track him down.
Witnesses were able to get a photo of the pit bull’s owner after the attack and Fisher has been handing out flyers with the man’s photo. The dog owner’s photo also was posted on MonDog.org, a website about the dog park.
Witnesses said the dog owner insisted the smaller dog started the fight and said he showed no remorse about the incident.
Upon learning he was a police officer, off duty at the time, Fisher said, “It scares me. That was my first reaction, was fear. … because I would not expect that kind of behavior from a Chicago police, or a cop of any kind.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, audrey fisher, bills, chicago, dog park, dogs, identified, killed, left, montrose beach dog park, officer, owner, papillon, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police. officer, pomeranian, scene, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, willy
In addition to taking a closer look at the incident, in which a blue heeler named Cisco was shot by an officer who had responded to wrong address, the department says it is re-examining its policies.
“This incident has drawn a lot of attention,” Assistant Police Chief David Carter told the Austin American-Statesman.
“We’ve received a lot of calls, a lot of emails from people who are very concerned. And we are, too,” he said.
Cisco, owned by Michael Paxton, was shot by officer Thomas Griffin, who was responding to a call about a domestic disturbance. Griffin arrived at the wrong address by mistake and said he shot the dog after it charged him.
Paxton denies that Cisco behaved aggressively, but reports indicate that at least two complaints had previously been filed with animal control about the dog — one by a woman who claimed she’d been bitten when she tried to pet him in a parking lot.
While originally discounting Paxton’s version of events and saying the officer acted properly, police officials showed a more conciliatory tone Wednesday.
“The bottom line is, we have a citizen who was going about his business, who was not involved in criminal or suspicious activity,” Carter said. “And he loses his dog. … That’s a big deal, and we recognize that.”
Carter said the official review includes the 911 call and how dispatchers responded to it, the officer’s tactics and what happened afterward. Carter said the department is also examining its policies and training for animal encounters.
The review will also look at whether the recent shooting death of an Austin officer might have resulted in “hypervigilance” on Griffin’s part when he encountered the dog, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
The shooting garnered national attention. A Facebook page called “Justice for Cisco” has more than 71,000 supporters that have left messages of support and, often, outrage.
Acevedo offered condolences to Cisco’s owner during an interview on the “Dudley and Bob Morning Show” on KLBJ FM Radio.
“My heart goes out to him. I think if you ask everybody in the department, believe it or not, we’re animal lovers, just like everybody else,” Acevedo said
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, apology. animal control, art acevedo, austin, behavior, bites, biting, bitten, blue heeler, cisco, dog, dogs, killed, michael paxton, officer, pets, police, police chief, shot, texas, thomas griffin
The officer, he says, pointed a gun at him and told him to put his hands in the air. That was about the time Cisco ran over and started barking at the officer, KXAN reports.
Paxton says he assured the officer that his dog would not hurt him, but when Cisco approached the officer fired, killing the dog with one shot.
The entire incident took place Saturday afternoon on Paxton’s property in Austin.
While there are reports that the officer, answering a domestic disturbance call, responded to the wrong house, Austin police would neither confirm nor deny that over the weekend, saying only that they were reviewing the incident.
Paxton and friends, meanwhile, have set up a Justice For Cisco Facebook page that has more than 14,000 likes.
APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said an investigation is continuing, and told the Austin American-Statesman, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
Paxton insists the officer had no reason to question him or shoot his dog.
“He had a Taser. He had pepper spray. I don’t understand why, in broad daylight, he pulled a gun on me. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t hiding,” Paxton told ABCNews.com today. “I was just saying, ‘I live here.’ I was panicking. I was afraid for my life.”
Paxton said the officer said he was responding to report of a man choking a woman. Paxton does not have a girlfriend and believes the report came from his neighbor’s house.
Paxton said the officer did not apologize; nor did a sergeant who arrived and told Paxton the officer was within his rights to shoot the dog. Paxton said he has not heard from the police since the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, austin, australian cattle dog, blue heeler, cisco, cop shoots dog, dogs, domestic disturbance, facebook, frisbee, justice for cisco, killed, law enforcement, michael paxton, mistake, officer, pets, playing, police, property, shooting, shot, texas, wrong address, wrong house, yard
Ingo was taken from the home of former Watsonville police officer Francisco Ibarra.
Sgt. Stacy Sanders of the SPCA told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that an anonymous tip led them to Ibarra’s home in Salinas.
There, they found Ingo, who weighed just 55 pounds, about 25 pounds less than he should. His ribs and hipbones were showing, and there was no food in the back yard, the SPCA said.
Ingo has gained 15 pounds since SPCA officers seized him on Feb. 17.
“He is slowly recovering and gaining weight on a specialized diet on a prescribed feeding schedule,” said Beth Brookhouser of the SPCA.
The Monterey County district attorney’s office said Ibarra has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of failing to take care of an animal. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 18. The penalty, if he’s convicted, is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The SPCA said that, while it hasn’t determined if the dog is adoptable, he won’t be euthanized.
Ibarra, who was fired from the force in 2010, is seeking to be reinstated by the Watsonville Police Department.
(Photo: SPCA of Monterey County)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, california, cruelty to animals, dehydrated, dog, dogs, emaciated, fired, ingo, K-9, k9, law enforcement, monterey county, neglect, neglected, officer, pets, police department, police dog, retired, spca, watsonville