Want all the joys of having a dog and none of the responsibility?
You could do the smart thing, and avoid getting a dog.
You could volunteer with a shelter or humane society, or go to dog parks and get your doggie fix by hanging out and bonding with other people’s canines.
Or you could turn to a company — and make no mistake, it is a company — like Hannah the Pet Society.
Based in Oregon, it is a pet leasing company, and more — much more.
Picture a combination of a pet store, Jenny Craig, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motel 6 and eHarmony, with your own personal trainer and what used to be called burial insurance thrown in.
Hannah the Pet Society will match you up with a dog, and provide that dog with what it calls “Total Lifetime Care” — from dog food to boarding, from veterinary care to final arrangements.
All for a start-up fee and “low” monthly payment.
Founded in 2010, it offers a whole new model of pet ownership that really isn’t pet ownership at all.
Hannah retains ownership of all the dogs it places, which means that, under the law, it can apparently do with them as it pleases, including euthanizing them.
Last month, after Seattle Dog Spot exposed some of the questionable practices at Hannah, an investigation began into complaints against the company that include unnecessarily euthanizing three dogs in November.
The Oregonian reported yesterday that the state Department of Justice is looking into the euthanizations and the 10 complaints and two lawsuits filed against the company since 2012.
The euthanizations were brought to light by a dog rescue in Vancouver, Washington, which posted about them on Facebook to warn other shelters and rescues that may be providing dogs to Hannah:
“Two weeks ago Hannah the Pet Society euthanized 3 shelter dogs – Pip, Charlie Bear and Kelso. Rather than offer them back to the shelters they came from or provide the support that they needed to rehabilitate them, Hannah chose to kill them. We’re sending this information to as many shelters as possible to get the word out.
“These may have been dogs that they received from you. I know that you work hard to save as many animals as possible. Unfortunately Hannah does not have the same passionate commitment as you do. When you provide an animal to Hannah, there is no guarantee that they won’t put to sleep an animal that could be re-homed with a little bit of effort. There is no guarantee that they will return an animal to you.
“You may want to reconsider working with Hannah. At the very least, please think twice before putting an innocent life into their hands.”
Hannah chief executive Fred Wich said all three dogs had bitten people and been deemed aggressive. Here’s one of them:
Wich said returning the dogs to the shelters they came from would have been irresponsible.
Those who have gotten dogs through Hannah are required to feed that dog the food Hannah supplies, get veterinary care from the vets Hannah specifies and, to get out of their contract when a dog dies, bring proof of that death — often the dog’s carcass — to Hannah headquarters.
Hannah also offers to provide a dog that is a perfect and “harmonious” match for a potential customer, using a “proprietary placement process was created exclusively by Hannah with the help of psychologists, veterinary behaviorists and personality testing experts.”
Hannah offers, or claims to offer, so many things that it defies simple description.
But we’ll describe it this way — it’s creepy, and becomes even creepier yet when you throw in the fact that company officials decline to say where the dogs it places come from, except to say some come from shelters.
Several shelters in the northwest say they had relationships with Hannah in the past, but have terminated them.
Apparently they’ve come to realize what has been proven over and over again — dog leasing, for profit, isn’t a good idea. It’s a business model that may work with automobiles, but not with family members.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 10th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, complaints, department of justice, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, hannah, hannah the pet society, investigation, leasing, legal, match, oregon, ownership, personality, pets, portland, rent, rental, rescues, responsibility, shelters, total lifetime care
Dog poop is being spray painted bright orange on some forest trails in Oregon to increase public awareness of the problem — as if stepping in it doesn’t make you aware enough.
The campaign from the Oregon State University College of Forestry and local veterinarians is aimed at showing the amount of dog waste owners are leaving behind, and the potential ecological problems that could result.
Both of those are real enough concerns. But — not to question the noble efforts of organizers and volunteers — does spray painting something orange really solve anything?
If so, there are a few things (coming up in a minute) that I want to spray paint orange.
“We’ve been getting dozens of complaints from people noticing the increasing amount of poop on the trails and it’s been getting worse the last couple of years,” explained Ryan Brown, recreation and engagement program manager for OSU Research Forests. “We’re all dog lovers and dog owners and walkers of these trails and we know the opportunity to have dogs out here is super important to the community of Corvallis. And 99 percent of them are really careful and clean up after their dogs. But we want people to be aware that this is causing a lot of problems.”
“There are stream ecology studies happening in the waterways along Oak Creek and anything that gets into the water can drastically change the ecology,” Brown added. “That isn’t natural and it can really throw off the health of the streams and cause certain organisms to grow that aren’t natural to the area.”
So on Saturdays for the past month or so, volunteers had been spray painting any piles of dog poop they spot on trails with heavy duty orange paint, which really isn’t natural either.
Later — in theory, after the orange piles have made their point — volunteers return to pick up the day-glo messes.
On Saturday, about 20 volunteers picked up around 1,000 piles of poop at Oak Creek, Peavy Arboretum, Lewisburg Saddle and Calloway Creek trail, the Seattle Times reported.
I thank them for their service, but I would also note that pollution and annoyances comes in all shapes, sizes and consistencies, from all sorts of human sources, and they regularly taint our air, water and peaceful existence.
Should those get painted orange as well?
What about those signs of political candidates who leave them up for weeks, or months, after the election?
What about the ringing cellphones of people in a theater?
What about those robots who work for companies that call YOU up and ask YOU to hold for an actual representative?
What about utility and credit card companies who, while urging you to go paperless and thereby save trees, send you through the mail pounds of paperwork, credit applications, loan offers, advertising and pamphlets touting themselves?
And, while we’re at it, what about the car windshields of non-handicapped people who park in handicapped spaces, and presidential candidates who spread hate? What about handguns, or maybe just their barrels, and all the lies and bullshit spewed in the course of an average day.
Paint them all orange, I say. You know what that will bring us?
A still troubled, very orange world.
(Photo: Top photo Albany Democrat-Herald)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, corvallis, dog, dogs, feces, forest, forestry, hiking, orange, oregon, oregon state university, pets, pollution, poop, public awareness, spray paint, spray-painted, trails, volunteers, waste
A Bichon Frise fell 14 floors from the balcony of a high-rise apartment in Portland, Oregon, and was caught by a man who was waiting with open arms.
Ted Nelson was in the right place at the right time — but only because he’d seen the little dog climb through the balcony railing from his own high rise apartment across the street.
About then the dog lost his footing and plunged from the balcony.
“I just looked up at it and it was looking at me and it landed right in my chest,” Nelson told KGW.
Nelson admitted to fumbling the dog, which slipped out of his arms and fell to the ground, letting out a yelp.
Still, we’d put his catch right up there with anything you’ve seen in a Super Bowl.
Afterward, Nelson and his girlfriend took the five year old dog, named Mordy, to a vet, who pronounced him fine except for a couple of bruises.
Mordy’s owner told KGW off camera that he was thankful Nelson was there to catch his dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 2nd, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 14, 14th floor, animals, apartment, balcony, bichon frise, catch, catch of the century, caught, dog, dogs, fall, high rise, mordy, oregon, pets, portland, stories, ted nelson
They get about five calls a day at the Farm and Garden Store in Forest Grove, Oregon, about the dog on the roof.
But rest assured, store employees say, he’s not going to jump.
Bojo, a white American bulldog, lives above the store with his, and its, owner, Dennis Crowell.
Crowell commonly leaves a sliding door to the roof open, and Bojo regularly ventures out there — all the way to the edge so he can keep an eye on his owner and anything else he deems worth watching.
Whenever Crowell goes out on an errand, Bojo assumes the position, dutifully awaiting his return.
It’s all cool, store employees say, but those unfamiliar with Bojo’s habits don’t know that.
So hardly a day goes by that the store, or the fire department, or the police department, doesn’t get a call from someone concerned that the dog is in danger, the News-Times reports.
“I don’t think he’ll jump down from there. I’ve been here since he was a puppy, and I think he’s 4 or 5 years old now.”
When Bojo is not on the roof, he can be seen roaming the store, which also has a mural of his likeness on its front wall.
(Photos by Travis Loose / News-Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 29th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american bulldog, animal, behavior, bojo, callers, concerns, dog, dogs, farm and garden store, forest grove, oregon, perch, pets, roof, rooftop, store
When a Labradoodle fell off the side of a 200-foot cliff in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, members of the group she was hiking with all presumed she had died — and held a memorial service right there on the spot.
But Gracie, amazingly, was still alive.
And a rescue team hoisted her to safety.
The dog’s owner, Michelle Simmons, says her Labradoodle was part of a large hiking group. Gracie and another dog were playing on a trail when Gracie went over the side of the cliff.
Her horrified family held a memorial service for the pooch on the cliff.
Afterwards, another hiker heard the dog, contacted authorities, and the Oregon Humane Society sent a 10-person rescue team to the site, on Eagle Creek trail, near Punchbowl Falls.
Bruce Wyse, a member of the team, was lowered down the 200-foot cliff and fitted Gracie with a rescue harness. Team members then hoisted Gracie and Wyse back up the cliff.
She was in fairly good shape, having suffered only bruises and scratches, the Oregonian reported.
The rescue team’s leader., Rene Pizzo, said the incident should be a reminder to other pet owners who hike with their animals to keep their dogs on leashes.
“We strongly urge dog owners to keep their pets on leash all the time in areas such as the Columbia Gorge,” Pizzo said. “Your dog’s leash can save your pet’s life.”
(Photo: Oregon Humane Society)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 8th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, animals, cliff, columbia river gorge, dog, dogs, eagle creek trail, fall, gracie, hiking, hiking with dogs, labradoodle, leashes, memorial service, oregon, pets, punchbowl falls, safety, survival, survives
Or maybe even a life-saver, which is how his partner, Officer Jeff Dorn, referred to him while recuperating in a hospital from two gunshot wounds fired by the same burglary suspect who fatally gunned down Mick.
But according, at least, to an Oregon Court of Appeals decision — issued the very same day Mick died while trying to apprehend the fleeing, gun-firing suspect — Mick, being a dog, was merely “property.”
The court ruling wasn’t about Mick — instead it stemmed from an abuse case — but the timing and juxtaposition of the two stories serve to make a point that society, and lawmakers, and law enforcers, and courts, ought to start heeding.
Dogs aren’t toasters.
Mick joined the Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit in March. After only a few days on the job, police, he captured three suspects within a 10-hour period. On Wednesday, he was with Dorn, chasing down a fleeing burglary suspect, when he was shot.
“Officer Dorn would like the community to know that ‘Mick saved my life,’ ” Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a press release.
“The dog was doing its job. He was out there protecting our community, and it’s tragic that we lost the dog,” said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.
After Mick’s body was recovered, a procession of police cars followed him to a veterinarian’s office, according to a report in Wednesday’s Oregonian, but it was too late.
On the same day Mick died, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling declaring — in line with what all the law books say — that dogs are “property.”
As such, the three-judge panel ruled, dogs can’t be seized and examined without a warrant, even if the purpose is to save a dog’s life.
The legal view of dogs as — above all else — property both degrades and endangers man’s best friend, and can make it difficult for animal-cruelty investigators to provide help to beaten, starved or neglected pets.
Changing that age-old view would require throwing away a lot of law books, and it would require judges to finally start showing half the backbone Mick did.
It’s time to make a legal distinction between inanimate “property” that has no soul, and “property” (if we must call them that) that does have a soul.
The Court of Appeals Wednesday did the opposite, throwing out the conviction of a 28-year-old woman who, based on evidence from a veterinarian who tested and treated the animal without a warrant, was found guilty of starving her dog, the Oregonian reported.
After an informant told the Oregon Humane Society that Amanda L. Newcomb was beating her dog and failing to properly feed it, an animal-cruelty investigator went to Newcomb’s apartment in December 2010 and saw the dog in the yard “in a near emaciated condition.”
Newcomb told the investigator she was out of dog food and that she was going to get some more, but the investigator determined the dog likely needed medical care and brought the dog to a Humane Society vet for an examination.
That exam, according to the appeals court ruling, constituted unreasonable search and seizure of property — namely, Newcomb’s dog.
While the investigator had probable cause to seize the dog without a warrant, the court said, the “search” — i.e. medical exam — of the dog violated Newcomb’s privacy rights because the authorities hadn’t obtained a warrant.
The ruling effectively overturns her conviction on charges of second-degree animal neglect, and the original judge’s orders for her to serve one year of probation and not possess animals for five years.
It could also serve to hamper animal cruelty investigations across the state.
Maybe worst of all, it confirms the foolish concept that dogs — despite their heroics, despite their loyalty, despite their having character traits that we humans can only envy — are, first and foremost, property, a wrongful designation that legally, if not in reality, seems to trump all else.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 18th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, burglary, chasing, court, courts, dog, dogs, jeff dorn, K-9, k9, killed, law, law enforcement, lawmakers, legal, mick, officer, oregon, pets, police, police dog, portland, property, ruling, suspect
An animal control officer who struck a dog with his baton, leading to a cracked skull and the loss of an eye, did not use excessive force, authorities in Oregon have concluded.
The officer, Hoyt Stepp, was defending himself against two dogs when he struck Dojie, a river rescue dog who was running loose when the Washington County animal control officer encountered her.
After an investigation by Hillsboro police, the district attorney’s office said there was not enough evidence to pursue animal cruelty charges against the officer.
Protesters gathered outside a news conference yesterday, where the decision not to prosecute the officer was explained, KOIN reported.
“I am convinced that the responding officer followed a reasonable course of action,” said Deborah Wood of Washington County Animal Control.
Animal Services Field Supervisor Randall Covey said the officer followed his training: “…He created a barrier between himself and the dogs, backing up, yelling at the dogs to go home. That did not deter the dogs. Officer Stepp got to the point the dogs were right on him in full, aggressive attack, and at that point Officer Stepp struck Dojie one time to avoid being bitten.”
Marlin Starr, Dojie’s owner, reported the incident to police after witnesses told him the officer struck his dog, who had escaped from his yard.
While authorities say the dog was struck once, Starr questions how one blow could cause a cracked skull, injured shoulder and complications that led to the loss of one of Dojie’s eyes.
“I am outraged for Dojie and I am outraged for every animal in Washington County. No animal is safe from Animal Control at this point,” Starr said.
Dojie is an experienced river rescue dog trained to help people who fall out of rafts, according to KATU.
She will no longer be able to do that job, Starr said.
Starr said witnesses told him his dog ran into his backyard, followed by an animal control officer, who pulled out a collapsible baton known as a bite stick, and hit Dojie.
The police investigation concluded that the case “did not contain the necessary elements of the crime of animal abuse.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baton, bite stick, charges, cracked, crushed, dioje, district attorney, dog, dogs, dojie, excessive, eye, force, hillsboro, hoyt stepp, investigation, lost, no charges, officer, oregon, pets, police, prosecution, rescue, river rescue, skull, washington county