And taking his dog.
Tony Pulliam said he and his dog Seven were offered shelter by two women during the hottest days of summer. In exchange he offered to paint their basement.
Eventually, though, the women kicked him out and kept his dog, later giving it to a relative.
When he objected and asked for his dog back, “they said, ‘No, you can’t have your dog,’” Pulliam told Fox News in Kansas City.
“I want my dog back” he said. “I don’t function without my friend … I don’t even want to get up in the morning.”
Pulliam met the women while panhandling with his dog at Interstate 435 and Front Street. “They seen my dog and seen how well I was taking care of my dog. They have been helping me out ever since.”
A friend of Pulliam’s, Don Faudel, said Pulliam always took care of Seven.
“He had a raincoat for his dog in the rain,” he said. “I just don’t understand how anybody could decide that anyone is not worthy of owning their dog. He took good care of his dog.”
Faudel and others are trying to find Seven, and get him back to Pulliam.
“As the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover,” said one of them, Brenda Berger. “Just because it was unconventional doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve the dog,” she said.
One anonymous donor has offered a $200 reward for the return of Seven.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, homeless, kansas city, panhandling, pets, seven, shelter, stole, street, taken, tony pulliam, took, women
This week, I was accompanying a friend who was shopping for a car when I noticed this gentleman and his dog seeking handouts on an Interstate 40 exit ramp in Winston-Salem.
Given the alternative was dealing with a car salesman, I left Ace and my friend at the dealership, explained that I had to go take some photos and walked down the road to meet the man with a cardboard sign and his dog, tied to the guard rail.
When I asked if his dog was friendly, he said, “No, she can be a little temperamental,” which, he added, is how he wants her to be. He was fine with me taking some pictures, though.
He explained that he got Dog in Wytheville, Virginia, where he “camped” — his preferred term — before he and Dog hitchhiked down to Winston-Salem.
Dog was among several dogs that were being transported from a southern shelter to a northern one, where they had a better chance of being adopted.
She wasn’t part of the original shipment, but apparently was picked up as a stray along the way, he said.
He admired her for a while and felt a connection — “She was a stray and so was I,” he said — and he asked the driver if he could have her.
They’ve been together ever since, about a year and a half now.
She’s a barker, and helps protect his sleeping bag and other belongings, he said.
Dog barked nearly the whole time I was taking her picture, and when she wasn’t barking at me, she barked at trucks that passed by.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cardboard, dog, dogs, exit ramp, guard rail, guardrail, handouts, hitchhiker, hobo, homeless, money, north carolina, panhandling, pets, photography, photos, sign, winston-salem
But when it comes to San Francisco’s plan to pair shelter dogs with formerly homeless people living in temporary city housing, we say go for it.
Despite concerns from PETA and others, the city is proceeding with plans for a program it has dubbed WOOF (Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), in which residents of what the city calls “supportive housing” will be paid a $75 a week stipend to take in and care for a dog.
Starting on a trial basis in August, residents who have no history of violence, mental illness or addiction, will be allowed to temporarily take in a shelter dog and serve as foster parent.
On top of the stipend, they’ll receive training, and free dog food. In the pilot phase of the program five pairs of residents will care for one dog each.
Bevan Dufty, a former supervisor ’s who now serves as the mayor’s homelessness chief, came up with the proposal as a way of addressing two problems at once — overcrowding in animal shelters and panhandling in the streets.
The idea is, with the stipend, those residents who are chronic panhandlers will avoid that behavior.
That’s a big hope, and, as any seasoned panhandler can tell you, there’s no better way to reel in potential donors than by having a dog at your side.
Even if it doesn’t wipe out panhandling, though, even if it is fraught with risks and has a high potential for exploitation, even though it’s not keeping dogs in the safest possible environment, we think it’s an innovative idea worth taking a chance on.
Because when needy dogs and needy people are brought together, miracles can happen.
PETA has come out squarely against the idea, saying the city would be experimenting with the lives of puppies, and placing them in dangerous situations. The organization compared the program to playing “Russian roulette.”
In a letter to the mayor, PETA wrote that most panhandlers are substance abusers or have mental health issues: “Placing any animal with them is risky at best.”
And if people receive animals that have been difficult to adopt out, or judged unadoptable, that could spell more even trouble, PETA says.
“Putting these two troubled populations together is very likely to result in disaster,” Teresa Chagrin, PETA’s animal care and control specialist, is quoted by ABC News as saying.
PETA has offered San Francisco $10,000 — the initial cost of the pilot program — to hire the homeless to do something else, such as handing out leaflets urging people to spay and neuter their pets.
Dufty, who is director of San Francisco’s Housing Opportunities, Partnership, and Engagement (HOPE) initiative — the city goes to great lengths for catchy acronyms — said that the housing residents chosen for the program are trying to get their lives back on track, and that they are fully able to care for pets.
“These are individuals who have been through job readiness programs, who live in our buildings. They were individually interviewed, went through orientation, and have gotten a gold star of approval,” Dufty said.
San Francisco’s Animal Care & Control, a partner in the program — its initial funding is through a $10,000 grant from Vanessa Getty– said those residents taking part will be fully screened.
“You have this image of us pulling up in a van full of dogs handing them out to people,” director Rebecca Katz said. “We would not be putting animals at risk. Our job is to investigate animal abuse and neglect. We are going to have a lot more oversight during this fostering program than if they were to just adopt dogs on their own.”
PETA’s Chagrin counters: “You can’t put dogs with people who are battling their own demons.”
Having heard so many tales of people whose dogs helped them beat their demons, and vice versa, we think — whether it solves the panhandling problem or not — the program deserves a try, in a very well-monitored way. It creates a chance for some magic to happen, for some love to bloom, for some lives to change.
“In order to be effective in responding to homelessness, you can’t ignore the humanity of people,” Dufty said. “Ultimately this program is about giving dogs and people a second chance, and I don’t see how you can argue against that.”
(Photo: Michael Reed, with his dog Topaz, both of whom were homeless when we encountered them in Los Angeles in 2008; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $75, animal care & control, animal control, animal shelters, animals, bevan dufty, care, dog, dogs, foster, homeless, homelessness, hope, monthly, overcrowding, panhandlers, panhandling, peta, pets, residents, russian roulette, san francisco, shelter, stipend, supportive housing, wonderful opportunities for occupants and fidos, woof!
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.
Is Norberto Fernandez exploiting his dog? Maybe. Is he abusing her? No — at least that’s the opinion of an ASPCA investigator who looked into the treatment of Coffee, a pit bull who poses for donations outside New York stadiums during baseball games.
Animal welfare officials have examined the dog often seen panhandling outside Mets and Yankees games and say she bears “no signs of abuse or neglect,” NBC News reported.
The dog, typically dressed in baseball jerseys and often seen wearing a Groucho Marx disguise, or with a pipe in her mouth, was examined Wednesday by the ASPCA.
“It was determined that she bore no signs of abuse or neglect,” the ASPCA said in a statement. “The ASPCA will continue to monitor this situation and be prepared to take action, in the event that any New York State animal cruelty laws are being violated.”
The owner, Norberto Fernandez, of Queens, spoke told NBC New York on Tuesday that he is a professional dog trainer who rescued Coffee from the streets and taught it to pose and hold a pipe in its mouth. He said they make about $75 with each appearance.
“All I do is train dogs and people are starting to hate on me — they’re surprised of all the tricks my dog can do,” Fernandez said.
Some animal lovers have claimed Coffee works without water or rest, and that her behavior is controlled through use of a shock collar — all allegations Fernandez denied. An ASPCA veterinarian found no evidence of a shock collar on Wednesday.
Concerns about the dog’s situation prompted the creation of a Facebook page, “Stop Abusing Coffee.”
Judging from the comments there, not everybody is satisfied with the ASPCA’s investigation, in which Coffee was visited at her home, rather than during one of her appearances at the ballparks.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, apsca, ballpark, baseball, campaign, coffee, complaints, concerns, costumes, disguises, dog, dogs, facebook, investigation, mets, new york, norberto fernandez, panhandling, performing, pipe, pit bull, stadiums citi field, stop abusing coffee, tricks, yankee stadium, yankees
Coffee, a dog of many disguises, can be spotted outside the stadiums before, during and after many Mets and Yankees games. But what some New York baseball fans see as cute, others see as cruel, and one of the latter has launched a Facebook page campaign aimed at ending what he’s calling Coffee’s abuse.
For Mets games, Coffee is attired in a Wright No. 5 jersey, a baseball cap, and usually sunglasses or a Groucho Marx disguise, according to Gothamist.
She sits outside Citi Field, sometimes holding a pipe in her mouth, while her master, who places a donation jar in clear view, awaits contributions. The dog’s owner tells people the donated money goes to rescuing other dogs, training them, and finding them homes
According to Deadspin.com, the “Stop Abusing Coffee” Facebook page was founded by Jason Long, who works in marketing and social media. Long has provided photographic evidence to some media outlets of what he says is a shock collar around Coffee’s neck.
“The owner sets up Coffee two hours before every Mets game and stays until the game is over. Coffee does not receive food or water or any rewards. This is in spite of the fact that Coffee is forced to sit there in that ridiculous outfit, complete with a pipe in her mouth,” the Facebook page says.
“Coffee can do this because she is forced to wear a shock collar — that’s why there are so many bandanas around her neck. The shock collar is visible in one of the pictures … Her owner shocks her every time she moves. She is unable to take a rest or get the pipe from her mouth because she is immobilized.”
While Coffee’s master would hardly be the first pet owner to humiliate a dog, exploit a dog, or zap a dog, that adds up to three strikes to me. If the final allegation is true — that Coffee is being constantly shocked – it’s time to call Coffee’s owner out.
(Graphic by Gothamist.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, baseball, campaign, citi field, coffee, disguises, dog, dogs, exploitation, facebook, fans, games, groucho marx, humiliation, jason long, mets, new york, new york mets, new york yankees, panhandling, pets, pipe, shock collar, stadium, stop abusing coffee, sunglasses, yankee stadium, yankees