Ellen, one of the oldest of the dogs seized from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation, passed away earlier this month at Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in Utah.
“Ellen’s health is failing,” Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Patti Patterson, said of the 11-year old dog. “Although we do not know the cause of her illness and deterioration, we have exhausted all diagnostic and treatment efforts that we feel could help Ellen.”
An unknown disease was causing weight loss and muscle loss and preventing her stomach from emptying. Despite a barrage of tests, the medical team couldn’t determine the source of the problems. With her quality of life deemed no longer at an acceptable level, the decision was made to euthanize her.
During her final two days, Ellen had a steady stream of visitors, according to the Best Friends website.
“I’ve never had a dog who was so affectionate,” says caregiver Maddie Haydon. “She bonded with everyone she met.”
Most people Ellen met, though, were met from a distance.
In accordance with court orders, the former Vick dogs taken in by Best Friends were not allowed to interact directly with Sanctuary visitors, or even volunteers – at least not until they were upgraded from “red-collar” status.
For Ellen, that day finally came last month.
Some visitors were hesitant to meet Ellen, even from afar, but when they did, she generally altered any mistaken notions they had about pit bulls.
“You could just see them change their perception,” said caregiver Tom Williams. ”She went a long way toward helping not only the Vick dogs that are here, but pit bulls in general. She helped to dispel the myths about them.”
One volunteer figured out early that Ellen was a lover, not a fighter.
Betty Grieb, though a fence separated them, spent more than three years reading to Ellen.
When Ellen’s status was upgraded, and Grieb got to meet her in person, “It was like a dream come true,” she said. ”I really loved her. She was such a sweet girl, so full of life.”
(Photo and video courtesy of Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, best friends, dead, dies, dog, dogfighting, dogs, eldest, ellen, euthanized, ill, medical, michael vick, oldest, passes, pets, pit bulls, red collar, rehabilitation, status, tests, vick, vicktory dogs, video
But he was pretty unlucky when — the evening before he and three friends were to depart — he found his dog had eaten them.
Sierra, a Swiss mountain dog, gobbled up pretty much everything but the strings.
It appeared Berkman’s once in a lifetime opportunity had vanished.
Frantic, Berkman, who lives in Seattle, called his girlfriend, who recommended he give Sierra some low-concentration hydrogen peroxide solution to induce vomiting.
Not long after that, with just hours to go before a 6 a.m. flight east, Berkman was sifting through Sierra’s vomit and trying to piece together the passes. Sierra hadn’t eaten much recently — other than the tickets — so it was “not as bad as you’d think,” Berkman said on Thursday.
Hoping the reconstructed passes would be accepted once they arrived in Augusta, Berkman didn’t tell his three friends about what the tickets had been through.
The foursome made a stop in Myrtle Beach to play some golf, and then headed for Georgia.
On Monday, Berkman called the ticket office and sent them photos of the original tickets and an e-mail verification of his purchase. He offered to present the passes that had passed through Sierra as well.
Berkman said he was hoping they would be ”gracious Southern folks” and let him and his friends attend the event.
He also shared his story with “Mitch in the Morning” on sports radio station KJR.
Two days later, Berkman and his friends picked up their graciously reprinted tickets and watched the final practice round for the Masters.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, animals, ate, augusta, dog, dogs, eats, golf, hydrogen peroxide, masters, passes, pets, reconstructed, reprinted, sierra, swiss mountain dog, ticket office, tickets, tournament, vomit, vomiting
Sen. Al Franken’s first piece of legislation — aimed at increasing the supply of service dogs for veterans – has been passed and is headed to the White House for approval.
Under the legislation, the Veterans Administration would develop partnerships with organizations that provide disabled veterans with service dogs. Franken said the measure will cost about $5 million and is designed not to interfere with non-profit organizations providing service dogs.
“The government is going to pay for essentially every other dog. What I didn’t want to happen was to dry up the funding for the organizations like Hearing and Service Dogs in Minneapolis and all of these non-profits who have been providing dogs to some vets.”
Franken said about 200 veterans will get dogs as a result of the legislation. The legislation was passed yesterday as apart of the Defense Authorization bill, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Franken introduced the legislation after meeting Luis Carlos Montalvan, a veteran who said his service dog improved his quality of life.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: act, al franken, approved, authorization, defense, dog, dogs, law, luis carlos montalvan, minnesota, passed, passes, sen., senate, senator, service, soldiers, veterans, vets, white house
The North Carolina Senate narrowly passed a bill that will require licenses and set of basic standards for large dog breeding operations.
S.B. 460, intended to crack down on abusive puppy mills, passed the state senate by a vote of 23 to 22.
The bill calls upon the Department of Agriculture to establish basic humane care standards. It requires facilities with more than 10 female dogs and more than 30 puppies to register with the state, undergo yearly inspections and provide proper veterinary care.
The Humane Society of the United States applauded the bill’s passage.
“Citizens in North Carolina want to see the state crack down on puppy mills,” said Amanda Arrington, The HSUS’ North Carolina state director. “We urge the House to move quickly to enact this important legislation to prevent further animal suffering and protect consumers.”
In February, The HSUS and local authorities rescued more than 300 dogs from two abusive North Carolina puppy mills. The dogs were housed in filthy, cold, cramped cages without access to exercise, adequate veterinary care, or human contact. Many of the dogs were covered with feces and suffered from severe skin and eye infections. Some had chain collars embedded in their necks.
A similar bill was passed in Virginia in 2008 after a large puppy mill raid there.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, breeders, breeding, dogs, house, hsus, inspections, law, legislature, licenses, north carolina, passes, pets, politics, puppy mill, puppy mills, senate