This combines so many of my favorite things — springtime, Philadelphia, cartoons (the hand-drawn kind) and dogs — that I feel compelled to share.
He intended to draw some people. But most of the people had dogs attached to them.
Auth, after 40 years as editorial cartoonist at the Inquirer, serves as the first “digital artist in residence” at NewsWorks, the online home of WHYY News.
You can find more of his work at TonyAuth.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, cartoonist, cartoons, dog, dogs, dogs and owners, drawing, editorial cartoons, newsworks, owners, park, pets, philadelphia, rittenhouse square, sketches, spring, springtime, tony auth, walk, walking
The movie based on the story of a dog whose mistreatment led to changes in North Carolina’s animal cruelty laws had its world premiere in Winston-Salem over the weekend.
“Susie’s Hope” kicked off the RiverRun International Film Festival Saturday, and if you missed that showing there are two more — Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Hanesbrands Theatre, and Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Main Theatre at UNC School of the Arts.
Susie, a pit bull mix, became a poster puppy for fighting animal abuse when she was found burned, beaten and close to death in Greensboro’s Greenfield Park in 2009.
The woman who adopted her, Donna Lawrence, was once a pit bull victim.
Lawrence began feeding a dog near her home in High Point whose owners had moved away. After several days, the dog attacked her, latching on to her left leg and going for her throat before she was able to push it away and seek help. The wound left her bone exposed, and she’d receive 45 stitches.
She didn’t blame the animal: “I blame the owners who turned their dog into what it was,” she writes on the movie’s website. “Their neglect and abuse made their dog fearful and territorial.”
The attack left Lawrence, a long-time dog lover, with a fear of dogs and nightmares, even after her physical recovery.
“Then one day I met Susie, and she changed my life forever,” Lawrence writes. “So now you can see Susie and I shared something in common: she was a pit bull mix that had been had been tortured by a human and I was viciously attacked by a pit bull just a few months before we met. Our similar experiences allowed us to go from being victims to living victorious lives. I forgave the dog for my wrongful attack, and Susie forgave the human for hers.”
She was found with second- and third-degree burns on 60 percent of her body, a broken jaw, her teeth knocked out and her ears all but burned away. Her wounds were infested with maggots and she’d been surviving by eating sticks and drinking from mud puddles.
Lawrence and Susie would go on to foster awareness of animal abuse and push for increased penalties for the crime. Susie would become a therapy dog and a Canine Good Citizen.
In 2010, the state legislature passed Susie’s Law, which increased the penalty for anyone who “maliciously” kills an animal by “intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, and raised the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. Susie’s abuser received a sentence of 4-6 months in jail for burning personal property and a 4-5 month suspended sentence for animal cruelty.
Susie — though a puppy portrays her in her younger years — plays herself in the movie.
Filmed locally, the movie has some actors you might recognize – Emmanuelle Vaugier, best known as Charlie’s ex-fiance Mia on the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men,” plays Lawrence; Burgess Jenkins (“Remember the Titans”) plays Roy Lawrence; and, in our favorite bit of casting, Jon Provost (Timmy from the TV show “Lassie”) plays state Sen. Don Vaughan, who sponsored the bill that became Susie’s Law.
(Photo: Courtesy of Susieshope.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, animal cruelty, animal shelter, animals, attack, burned, dog, dogs, donna lawrence, Emmanuelle Vaugier, felony, film festival, fire, found, greensboro, guilford county, jon provost, lassie, law, movie, neglected, north carolina, park, pets, pit bull, pitbull, premiere, river run, riverrun, set on fire, susie, susie's law, susies hope, timmy, victim, winston-salem
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
A Raleigh city councilwoman posted a photo of her dog relieving himself on a marble column of the statehouse, and compared her canine’s act of seeming disrespect to the way the Republican-controlled General Assembly is treating North Carolina’s citizens.
“I figured, what better way to get my frustration across than with humor?” said City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin, who used her Maltese-Yorkie mix and Facebook to register her displeasure.
“It shows a little outrage, and I think a little outrage is appropriate right now,” Baldwin said Friday. “I think it’s time for the gloves to come off.”
Baldwin on Friday posted a photo on Facebook of her dog, Jack Bauer — named for the terrorist-fighting agent from the TV show “24″ – relieving himself on a marble column outside the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Democratic councilwoman admits it may be undiplomatic, but she says the image seems to capture the sort of disrespect that, in her view, Republican lawmakers are showing — particularly in regards to a deal the city of Raleigh made with the state to lease the 325-acre grounds of the closed Dorothea Dix mental hospital for a regional park.
Republican lawmakers have moved to kill the deal, which had been signed and approved by former Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.
Bills introduced last week would essentially tear up that contract. Republican lawmakers say the deal is not good for taxpayers, and that the $68 million the state could receive over the decades from the city is too low, according to the Associated Press
“It’s beyond me how lawmakers, who are supposed to uphold the law, can think they can undo a legally binding contract,” Baldwin said. “This is nothing more than bullying and intimidation by some members of the General Assembly.”
“I was hoping for the best, but I think I’m seeing the worst,” Baldwin said of the GOP legislative agenda. “When I think about some of the legislation that has moved forward lately, whether it’s telling local governments what design standards they should have, or getting rid of renewable energy tax credits, and then you through Dix on top of that, you just sit there and say, ‘What are we doing?’”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capitol, city council, column, deal, dog, dogs, dorothea dix, facebook, general assembly, jack bauer, lease, maltese, marble, mary-ann baldwin, mental hospital, mix, north carolina, park, pee, peeing, pees, pets, photo, politics, post, raleigh, republicans, statehouse, urinating, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
After a dalmatian owner showed some spotty behavior in Central Park, he has been sued by the man who claims he was attacked by him — aptly enough, the owner of a pointer.
The New York Daily News reports that Jeffrey Drogin, owner of a German shorthaired pointer who has competed at Westminster, is suing the owner of the dalmatian he says he was trying to save his dog from.
Drogin said he had just pulled the dalmatian off his dog when the dalmatian’s owner, Ralph Wachtel, 74, “cold cocked and pummeled” him “without provocation or warning,” according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
“His dog was on top of my dog, attacking my dog, and I lifted him off by the collar and was walking him away from the fight,” Drogin, a 59-year-old Manhattan engineer, told the Daily News.
Drogin said Wachtel punched him in the head, back and face, breaking one of his teeth. “I made a point of not hitting back. I didn’t want to hit a man that was 10 years older than me.”
Apparently there was some ill will between the dogs, and the dog owners, even before the March 8, 2012 incident, which the Daily News said led to assault charges against Wachtel.
Drogin said Wachtel’s dalmatians had previously gone after his dog Homer, and some of his puppies, too.
Drogin is seeking an unspecified monetary award.
The Daily News said no comment was offered by either Wachtel, or his wife — who the newspaper’s “puparazzi” confronted as she left the couple’s apartment to walk the dalmatians, Arrow and Target.
(Photo: Andrew Savulich / New York Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assault, behavior, breeds, central park, dogs, fighting, german short-haired pointer, homer, humans, jeffrey drogin, lawsuit, leashes, new york, park, pets, prizewinning, ralph wachtel, westminster
Mexican authorities have identified a fifth possible victim in what they say is a string of fatal dog attacks at a hilltop park in Mexico City.
Gangs of dogs had been blamed for the deaths of four people at Cerro de Estrella national park in connection with attacks authorities say occured on Saturday, and on Dec. 29.
On Wednesday, the city’s attorney general’s office said it is also investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the park on Dec. 16, mutilated and bitten.
Police have rounded up 25 dogs at the park, including seven puppies, and promised sweeps at other large green spaces in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But animal welfare activists say authorities have been too quick to blame the street dogs, more than a million of which roam the city, rarely attacking humans.
Some families of victims have told Mexican news outlets they believe their loved ones might have been attacked by humans.
Atty. Gen. Rodolfo Rios said Tuesday that the four most recent victims were killed by bites. In both cases, the bites the victims sustained were determined to have occured both before and after their deaths. Investigators found dog hair on the victims’ clothing, he said.
Rios said additional tests are being conducted, and that there were no plans to exterminate the dogs that have been swept up and are now in the Iztapalapa pound.
“The dogs will not be sacrificed,” Rios said. “They will be treated well.”
On Dec. 29, the bodies of Shunashi Elizabeth Mendoza Caamal, 26, and an infant believed to be her child were found in the Cerro de Estrella area. On Jan. 5, the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz Garcia, 15, and Samuel Suriel Martinez, 16, were found in the park in a “semi-devoured” state, officials said.
But some animal activists say investigators have been too quick to blame dogs, and should be looking for human suspects.
Antemio Maya, president of an association that protects street dogs, said authorities ”are making a huge error. They’re generating a climate of hate against dogs.”
(Photo: Mexico City Attorney General’s office)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Antemio Maya, attacks, bites, Cerro de Estrella, deaths, dogs, euthanasia, feral, fifth, five, Iztapalapa, mauling, mexico city, park, pets, shelter, strays, street dogs, victims, wild
“Experts have established that due to the gravity of the wounds, at least 10 dogs were involved in each attack,” Mexico City prosecutors said in a statement.
Authorities have begun rounding up dogs living in the park to conduct tests aimed at determining if they were involved in the attacks.
In one case, the Associated Press reports, a teenage girl called her sister with her cellphone to plead for help as the attack took place.
“Several dogs are attacking us, help me!” the girl screamed before the call was disconnected.
Despite that, some animal activists are questioning whether the deaths should all be blamed solely on wild dogs, and Diana Ruiz, who received the phone call, still doesn’t believe dogs were responsible for her sister’s death.
“What kind of dog can tear the skin from your whole arm and leave just bone and if it was an attack dog why didn’t it attack her neck?” Ruiz told Milenio Television. “What’s most shocking is that one of her breasts was mutilated.”
“There needs to be a thorough investigation,” she added.
The attacks occured in the Cerro de la Estrella, a hilltop park surrounded by the city’s Iztapalapa district.
The first two bodies — a 26-year-old woman and a 1-year-old child — were found there Dec. 29, authorities in Mexico’s capital said.
The woman, Shunashi Mendoza, was missing her left arm, and prosecutors said that both she and the boy had bled to death and been partially eaten.
On Friday, visitors to the park found the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz, 15, and her boyfriend Samuel Martinez, 16. Both had bled to death.
“It’s not the behavior of street dogs to kill humans,” said Maya, adding that blaming street dogs for the deaths could make life difficult for the thousands of homeless dogs in the city.
“A lot of people get tired of their dogs and they simply throw them on the streets,” he said. “This is going to create a terrible hate for street dogs and that’s going to lead to even more abuse.”
It’s estimated that, in the city of 9 million people, the number of dogs range from 1.2 million to 3 million.
Mexico City Public Safety Secretary Jesus Rodriguez told Milenio Television that the four victims were not dumped in the area as some had suggested. He said all the bodies had bite wounds, and that the bites were inflicted both while they were alive and after they had died. He warned against visiting the park.
According to Maya, the trapped dogs included beagles, Maltese and poodles and most were probably abandoned pets or their offspring.
Experts will test the dogs’ hair for traces of human blood and also test their stomach contents. Authorities haven’t said what they plan to do with the dogs.
Previous attacks by feral dogs have occured in Mexico City’s famed Chapultepec Park, but none fatal. After one attack there, authorities rounded up dogs, spayed and neutered them, and then either returned them to the park or found them homes.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, Alejandra Ruiz, animals, Antemio Maya, bitten, blood, Cerro de la Estrella, child, contents, deaths, dogs, feral, homeless, Iztapalapa, killed, mauled, mexico, mexico city, park, pets, roundup, Samuel Martinez, Shunashi Mendoza, stomach, street, Street Dog Protection Association, street dogs, teenagers, tests, wild
A suburban Cincinnati dog park is getting a massive mural — and no, it’s not advertising — that celebrates dogs, covers up an unsightly old lock-testing chamber alongside the Ohio River, and gives local artists some paying work.
The makeover is being done by a team of artists and students from ArtWorks, a local organization that connects student apprentices with professional artists to create public art around the Greater Cincinnati area.
About 20 dogs will be featured on the wall – all of them depictions of real pets who visit the members-only dog park — along with a famous quote from Plato:
“Life must be lived as play.”
The idea of painting the concrete structure that sits in the middle of Kellogg Park’s dog field in Anderson Township was put forth by resident Claudia Cline, who regularly visits the dog field with her beagle-mix, Pflash.
“I absolutely love it, … and it represents the dogs beautifully,” Cline told the Community Press & Recorder. “Not only does the park benefit, but the kids get jobs as artists. The whole area looks totally improved and like somewhere you’d want to hang out.”
Student apprentices are working with lead artist Elizabeth Hatchett and assistant teaching artist Laura McNeel to put a new face on the former lock-testing facility.
“We wanted it to be fun and whimsical, and we wanted to show the playfulness of dogs,” said Susan Romer, one of the student artists working on the mural. “It represents the dogs’ personalities and we tried to show each dog as they really are.”
The mural should be finished by November.
Cline said about $2,500 still needs to be raised for the project. About $32,000 has already been taken in through private donations from the owners of the dogs on the wall or those who support public art.
(Photo: Lisa Wakeland / The Community Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anderson township, animals, apprentices, art, artists, artworks, cincinnati, claudia cline, concrete, dog park, dogs, donations, employment, kellogg park, lock testing chamber, mentors, mural, ohio river, painting, park, pets, plato, program, work
The Arizona Daily Star reports that there’s no record of any exemption being granted by South Tucson, the municipality in which the track operates, or by Pima County.
An ordinance in South Tucson requires dog owners pay a $45 licensing fee.
Under the ordinance, any unaltered dog kept within the city for 30 consecutive days each year is required to have a license.
Yet Tucson Greyhound Park, a home of sorts to more than 700 dogs, hasn’t gotten a license for any of them in six decades. At $45 per license, given all those dogs and all those years, that’s a pretty significant savings.
Kim Janes, manager of Pima County Animal Care, said he doesn’t know why the park considered itself exempt. He said his office began investigating the matter about a year ago.
His office found no state statutes that spared greyhound tracks from paying the fee.
The South Tucson’s City Attorney’s Office contacted his office last week, informing him that dogs at the park should be licensed, and Janes planned to send officers to the park this week.
“We are going to be talking to the track and say they need to have some information for us,” he said. “When we come out, we will need to see rabies vaccinations and proof of when the dog got here. If (they) don’t have proof, we are going to assume it has been here more than 30 days.”
Tucson Greyhound Park CEO and General Manager Tom Taylor said the greyhounds don’t need a license because the state requires every greyhound to receive a rabies vaccination before entering the state or being qualified to race. Since rabies vaccinations are the primary reason for licensing, he said, there’s no need for the park to register the dogs locally.
“Since 1944, we have never had to have them licensed,” he said.
Taylor said he suspects negative media coverage about the track, and animal welfare organizations seeking to ban greyhound racing, are behind the crackdown.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal care, animals, arizona, avoided, crackdown, dogs, fee, fees, greyhound, greyhounds, licenses, municipal, ordinance, park, pets, pima county, racing, registration, south tucson, tucson, tucson greyhound park
That wolf-like creature that state wildlife officials are trying to capture in Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park may be somebody’s pet.
Kasey Lyons, 21, says it looks a lot like Levi, the timber wolf-Alaskan malamute mix he bought in Florida on Valentine’s Day for his then-fiancee. (That’s him above in his street clothes.)
A month later, while visiting Lyons’ mother, the couple lost the dog in Pennypack Park. Lyons placed ads and put up posters, but to no avail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Tuesday night, Lyons saw a photo of the animal (left) and a story about the mystery creature on Philly.com.
He says it looked just like Levi, whose name is the same as Lyons’ middle one.
On Wednesday evening, Lyons searched a section of Pennypack Park where the animal had been spotted repeatedly over several months, bringing along Levi’s old leash, and his other dog, Tiny, a Lab-bulldog mix.
Lyons was living in Florida when he got the hybrid pup. He and then-fiancee Brittany Hopkin were training Levi when, according to Lyons, she let him loose and the hybrid ran off.
The couple have since broken up. Lyons lives in Philadelphia now, and Hopkin has relocated to Georgia.
Still, he wants to find the dog and return him to her. In Pennsylvania, though, one needs a special permit to own a hybrid wolf-dog. While Lyons says he bought the dog legally, for $400, in Florida and has papers and receipts, he doesn’t hold a permit.
Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the wolf-dog, once found, would have to be forfeited.
(Photos: Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capture, dog, dogs, fiancee, gift, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lost, malamute, mix, officials, park, pennypack, pets, philadelphia, trap, valentines day, wandering, wildlife, wolf