Ivan, a 3-year-old Belgian malinois, was shot and killed two weeks ago while trying to protect officers from an armed carjacking suspect.
The dog park at Purple Heart Park on East Rita Road, which officially opened over the summer, is where Ivan would go with his handler to unwind after his shift.
“(He) would allow him to run the energy off for the night before taking him home,” TPOA secretary, Officer Paul Sheldon, told the Arizona Daily Star.
Sheldon, at the request of Ivan’s handler, Officer Chris Fenoglio, is spearheading an effort to have the park named after Ivan. Last week, he took petitions to the park, seeking signatures in support of the idea.
The petition will be presented to Tucson’s Parks and Recreation department for approval at its next board meeting, after which it would head to the city council for a vote.
Sheldon said he hopes the approval process can be completed by February.
Ivan was shot on Dec. 13 by a carjacking suspect who pulled out a gun when officers encountered him. Released by Fenoglio the dog ran to the suspect and managed to bite his left arm before he was shot.
Sheldon said Fenoglio has received dozens of letters of support from the community.
If the dog park is named after the hero police dog, it won’t be the first time.
In 2006, a Tucson Police Department dog named Miko died after jumping off an overpass in pursuit of a carjacking suspect.
The dog park at Reid Park was named in his honor — Miko’s Corner Playground.
(Photo of Ivan courtesy of Tucson Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, belgian malinois, bit, carjacking, department, dog park, dogs, honor, ivan, K-9, k9, killed, line of duty, memorial, miko, name, parks, petition, pets, police, police dogs, purple heart park, shot, suspect, tucson
After enrolling fewer than two dozen of a planned 230 dogs in the study — all paired with vets with PTSD — the VA has announced that the study has been suspended, and that, from now on, service dogs will only be paired with veterans with visible disabilities.
The new policy goes into effect today.
For the 400,000 veterans diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder, that means dogs — despite all the positive effects that have been reported — will no longer be part of their treatment and recovery.
Among those blasting the decision is the American Humane Association.
Just days before its second annual celebration of hero dogs, the organization took time to put together a petition, calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse the new policy.
“Our focus on animal-assisted therapy dates back to 1945 when we promoted therapy dogs as a means to help World War II veterans recover from the effects of war,” the AHA said. ”We know from years of experience that the human-animal bond is a source of powerful healing, whether they are children suffering from cancer or military men and women who have suffered the stress of battle.
“Service dogs, in particular, are an amazing, positive resource for assisting our nation’s best and bravest though their physical pain and mental anguish. We call on the VA and the United States Congress to stand up for our veterans…”
Specifically, the new VA policy ends the program that reimbursed veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder for their use of service dogs while in recovery.
“It’s of the utmost importance that we provide our vets with every option available to treat service related ailments,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who was also shocked to learn of the new policy.
“Especially as the wars are winding down, and more and more soldiers are returning home with mental trauma, the VA must continue to allow their doctors and mental health professionals to provide benefits to veterans who need mental health service dogs,” he said.
Congress mandated that additional scientific study be conducted on the impact of service dogs paired with PTSD vets several years ago. But apparently that study never got off the ground — at least not as ambitiously as planned.
Launched in June 2011, the study planned to follow 230 PTSD vets and their service dogs, tracking them and their families through 2014. Only about a tenth of that number were registered for the study, though.
The study was halted, according to reports, because of concerns about dogs biting children, dirty and cramped living conditions, and faulty record-keeping.
According to the VA, there are about 400,000 veterans currently in treatment for PTSD, and that group has higher than normal rates of divorce, substance abuse, unemployment and suicide. There are 32 to 39 suicide attempts daily among vets with PTSD, about half of which result in death, according to a column by the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Dale.
Dale’s column looks at the benefits of programs such as those provided by Paws for Purple Hearts – an improved quality of life, fewer flashbacks and nightmares. Vets paired with dogs are said to be more likely to find jobs; less likely to become recluses.
“One hallmark of PTSD is avoidance (of going outdoors and socializing with others),” says Robert Porter, executive director 0f Paws for Purple Hearts. “That’s hard to do with a 60-pound dog who just wants to go out and play.”
The study was a chance to prove, beyond the anecdotal, just how much therapy dogs could help vets with PTSD. But, for reasons that make little sense, both the study and the concept were canned.
Most of the dogs in the study were from Guardian Angel Medical Services of Williston, Fla., and its founder and director, Carol Borden, says there were no biting incidents reported.
Borden says that in the organization’s history, veterans with PTSD nearly always benefit from having a dog. Some patients have been able to cut their medication in half, or stop taking it altogether, she said.
That has raised questions among some about whether pharmaceutical companies lobbied for the new VA policy. That’s conjecture, of course — conjecture being something that tends to occur when no logical explanation is given.
The VA owes vets, not to mention Congress, an explanation.
And we all owe veterans afflicted with PSTD a chance to get past it, or at least cope with it. Ruling out dogs and dropping the study is an oath broken, a promising avenue bypassed, and a slap in the face to veterans.
“We’ve not experienced a single suicide attempt as far as we know,” Borden said of vets paired with dogs under the Guardian Angels program. “I have letters from wives thanking us because the husband has returned, and it all happens because of a dog who provides unconditional love.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aha, american humane association, animals, benefits, ceased, charles schumer, congress, department, disabilities, divorce, dog, dogs, dropped, drug abuse, employment, funding, guardian angel medical services, halted, paws for purple hearts, petition, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, programs, promised, ptsd, ptsd dogs, reimburse, reimbursement, senator, service, study, suicide, terminated, therapy, va, vet, veterans, veterans affairs
A dog on a hot warehouse roof, spotted by a rider on a commuter train, has become a source of controversy in Miami, with some animal activists saying he needs to be rescued, and warehouse officials saying he’s only doing his job.
“No animal should live on top of a roof … a scalding hot roof,” said Amy Roman Restucci with Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades, who posted an account about the dog on Facebook.
“We do not know why this dog is up there, but we thought of a few different possible scenarios, and can not think of one that would be acceptable for this dog to be there. Not knowing the circumstances, we are torn as to how and go about helping this dog without possibly putting him in more danger or dooming him to death by animal control if called.
“… One thing we do know is that this is NO PLACE FOR A DOG!! The temperatures on that roof alone can cause this dog a heat stroke. We want the dog removed from that roof immediately!
Local 10 flew its helicopter above the building, spotting the dog on the roof. There are some shaded areas, and a doghouse, and several bowls nearby, it reported.
Neither the Miami Fire Department or the Miami-Dade County animal control department planned to get involved, saying it’s not against the law to keep a dog outside, as long as it has food, water, and shelter.
Raudel Hernandez, a worker for G&G Produce, told Local 10 that the dog on the roof, named Burro, is one of two that serve to protec the building from thieves. Burglars have broken in three times, stealing copper wire from the air conditioning units.
A petition to “save the dog on the roof” has been posted on Change.org
Posted by jwoestendiek August 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned dogs of the everglades, amy roman restucci, animal cruelty, animal welfare, burro, copper, dade county, dog, dog on roof, florida, fruit, g & g produce, guard dog, health, heat, heat stroke, miami, petition, produce, protection, raudel hernandez, rescue, roof, safety, save, security, thefts, warehouse
Kieri was on a bird-watching walk with her owner when she stuck her head into a trailside trap intended to instantly kill otters and beavers.
The 8-year-old, 38-pound Wheaten terrier, underwent surgery and seemed to be recovering, according to her owner, Jack Williamson. But in April, her pain returned. She underwent surgery this month, but continued to suffer and was put down Tuesday.
Kieri is among a half dozen dogs reported to have been caught in traps last winter in Central Oregon, three times more than usual,according to an Associated Press account based on a subscriber-only Bend Bulletin story.
State wildlife officials think the increase may be a result of trappers coping with high gasoline prices by setting their traps closer to town.
Williamson wants the state to ban the use of large body-gripping traps on land.
Members of the Oregon Trappers Association have met with Williamson and wildlife officials to discuss rules changes that would keep pets safer. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to review its rules when it meets next month.
According to a petition Williamson started on the website Care 2, current regulations in Oregon allow traps to be set on public land, concealed from view, without penalty of any kind for placement of traps that result in serious injury to people, or pets that are under control of their owner.
You can find more information about Kieri and the petition at Kieri.org
(Photo: From Kieri.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver trap, care2, commission, dangers, death, died, dog, dogs, euthanized, fur, hikers, hiking, hunting, injuries, jack williamson, kieri, land, oregon, oregon trappers association, otter trap, petition, pets, public land, regulations, rules, safety, spinal, spine, state, symbol, trails, trap, trappers, trapping, traps, warnings, wheaten terrier, wildlife
After an outcry from angry pet owners, United Airlines is lifting a ban on transporting nine breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and others the airline previously listed as dangerous.
United had stopped transporting those breeds when it adopted the animal transporting policies of Continental Airlines. The two carriers are merging this year.
“As a result of feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs traveling in a non-plastic, reinforced crate,” United said in a statement.
The carrier previously listed the following breeds and types as ineligible for air travel: pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, Cane Corso, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa (or Tosa Ken) and Ca de Bou.
An online campaign on Change.org collected more than 45,000 signatures on a petition to lift the restriction, according to the Los Angeles Times. The campaign was started by Hawaii resident Jessie Huart, whose 10-year-old pit bull was denied for transportation on the airline.
“This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination,” Huart said in a statement.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, american staffordshire terrier, animals, ban, breeds, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jessie huart, lifted, lifts, merger, pet, petition, pets, pit bulls, policies, policy, presa canario, tosa, tosa ken, transportation, transporting, united
Alley Cat Allies is leading a campaign against Loews Orlando resorts, calling on the hotel to stop the inhumane trapping of feral cats at their properties.
More than 31,000 people have signed a petition, and 68 people protested in front of Loews resorts on April 14, 2012 after the hotel abruptly changed its policy regarding the stray cats living on and around the property.
The hotel had agreed and endorsed a program in which 23 feral cats were trapped, neutered and returned to be managed as a colony.
But now the cats are being removed — trapped and taken to animal shelters where, given they are feral, they are not likely to be adopted, and very likely to be euthanized.
Regular feedings were halted, and Loews threatened to fire any employees who fed the cats. After allowing the cats to co-exist with guests, the hotel hired an exterminator to remove them.
Resort officials said the cats were a public health threat.
“The hotel chain says they are the most pet friendly hotel around and that they love having animals on site, and yet they continue to trap the feral cats and remove them,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
“There’s still time for Loews to do the right thing,” she added.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agreement, alley cat allies, animals, cats, change, colony, euthanasia, feral, feral cats, health, hotel, inhumane, loews, neuter, orlando, petition, pets, policy, protest, released, resort, shelters, strays, trap, trapping
Former Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey and retired military service dog Rex were reunited Tuesday in New York, bringing a successful end to Leavey’s long campaign to adopt her former partner.
“I’m so happy,” Leavey, 28, told the Journal News from her Valley Cottage home Wednesday afternoon. “I was nervous at first that maybe he wouldn’t recognize me, but it was like no time has passed.”
Leavey and the German shepherd served two tours of duty together in Iraq. Both were injured when an explosive device was detonated near them outside of Ramadi, Iraq, in September 2006
Leavey was discharged from the Marines in December 2007, and she tried to adopt her former partner then. But military officials decided Rex could still make a valuable contribution and didn’t discharge him.
Earlier this year, however, Rex, then the oldest working dog at Camp Pendleton, was diagnosed with facial palsy, a nerve paralysis that left him unable to serve.
Leavey renewed her push to adopt the 10-year-old dog, and got help from Sen. Charles Schumer’s office.
Schumer wrote letters to military officials and more than 20,000 people signed a petition urging military officials to allow the adoption.
Officials with the Air Force signed off on the adoption last month.
Wednesday, Leavey and Rex were settling in after flying from California to JFK. By then, she’d introduced him to his new family — a 7-year-old shiba inu named Rocky and a 4-year-old chocolate Labrador named Patriot, and who Leavey handles for a private company.
“It’s like he knows he’s retired. He’s happy,” Leavey said. “We played in the yard the whole morning.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air force, charles schumer, dog, dogs, german shepherd, injured, iraq, K-9, k9, marines, megan leavey, military, military dogs, partners, petition, retired, reunion, reunited, rex, senator, sergeant rex, sgt. rex, united, video, war
United, which recently joined forces with Continental Airlines, has opted to adopt the defunct airline’s backwards pet policy. The new policy is stated on this page of United’s website.
What it all means is that the “friendly skies” of United will no longer transport any of these breeds:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
- Ca de Bou
United will not accept members of those breeds, or mixes containing those breeds, once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds.
Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness.
The restrictions have nothing to do with the airline’s separate policy on short-snouted breeds for whom air travel, specifically in a cargo hold, can cause breathing problems. This is separate category for “dangerous” breeds.
“These kinds of breed discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about dogs like pit bulls that lead to breed bans and the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs,” reads a petition at Change.org, urging United to reconsider the policy.
The petition was started by Jessie Huart after she learned of the ban while trying to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull, Slaw.
“These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression,” the petition site says:
“United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy … when it merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous.”
“But while United is still adjusting to its merger with Continental, the company is listening closely to customer feedback. If thousands of dog-loving United customers sign Jessie’s petition, the airline will have to listen …”
(Photo: Slaw, a pit bull who won’t be flying United; courtesy of Change.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, american staffordshire terriers, animals, ban, banned, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dog, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jesse huart, merger, new, perro de presa canario, petition, pets, pit bull, pitbulls, policy, presa canario, reconsider, slaw, tosa, tosa ken, travel, united
Still, it’s interesting to see how Skechers ad-makers gave an apparent facelift to Tucson Greyhound Park, the site of their “Mr. Quiggly” ad, in which a French bulldog outraces a group of greyhounds thanks to his Skecher’s athletic shoes.
The pictures to the left come from Grey2KUSA, the anti-racing group that sponsored a boycott of the ad, which aired during the Super Bowl.
I’m not sure if the improvements were digital or real, and, if real, whether they were temporary or permanent, but they raise the question: If the track is something to be proud of, as some backers of greyhound racing maintain, why did it need a cosmetic makeover?
Of course, the purpose of the ad was to sell sneakers, not expose the so-called sport’s seamy underbelly. But sprucing the place up beforehand does lend some credence to Grey2KUSA’s concerns that the ad would glorify greyhound racing.
The organization launched a boycott of Skechers before the ad aired and urged its backers to send their shoes back to the company. More than 122,000 people signed its online petition asking the company not to air the ad.
While that wasn’t achieved, Grey2KUSA says the company did make some changes to the ad, including removing “Tucson Greyhound Park” from the footage and digitally replacing it with a fictitious name, “Rexford Downs.”
In addition to altering the sign, the company also spruced up the grounds, the organization says, “bringing in green shrubbery, flowers and other improvements to make this otherwise dilapidated track look attractive.”
“It is not known if the greyhound racing ad will continue to air, but if it does, we ask you to continue boycotting Skechers,” Grey2KUSA informed its members this week.
According to Grey2K, dog racing continues in seven states, and three of those — Arizona, Iowa and Florida — have bills pending in their legislatures to ban it.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertising, animals, boycott, commercial, dog racing, dogs, facelift, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, makeover, mr quiggly, petition, pets, racing, super bowl, truth in advertising, tucson, tucson greyhound park, woof in advertising
The Marlins have welcomed Mark Buehrle to Miami, but his dogs are another matter.
One of the former White Sox pitcher’s four dogs is a pit bull, and “pit bull types” are banned in Miami-Dade.
So Buehrle, his wife Jamie, their two young children and four dogs are residing in nearby Broward County — but making their opinions about the discriminatory law known.
As animal lovers and spokespeople for Best Friends Animal Society, the Buehrles are featured in a new public service announcement in support of legislation (HB 997 /SB 1322) that would overturn the breed-specific law, passed in 1989.
Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida with such a ban, due to an exemption in state law, Best Friends says.
Florida State Representative Carlos Trujillo and Senator Jim Norman are leading the legislative effort, along with the help of Best Friends Animal Society. The bill has yet to be placed on the committee agenda in the Senate.
Jamie Buehrle also has started a Change.org petition urging support of the legislation.
In her blog, she said Slater, their adopted 18-month-old American Staffordshire terrier, is a member of the family:
“We had always agreed to make sure that wherever Mark ended up playing, Slater would be welcome. So, when Mark had the opportunity to sign with the Miami Marlins we were harshly confronted with Miami-Dade County’s 20-year-old pit bull terrier ban and immediately knew we would have to live a county over in Broward.
“Mark and I are fortunate to have the resources to accommodate Slater,” she wrote. “But it breaks our hearts that so many families are faced with losing their family pet simply because a local government has deemed their dog ‘dangerous’ based on nothing more than appearance. We can’t imagine ever having to give Slater up simply because a city says we can’t have him. Not only would we be distraught at that prospect, but our kids would be devastated.”
A spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society says the ban — it applies to any dog resembling a pit bull, without any consideration of a dog’s behavior — causes severe hardship to hundreds of responsible owners of friendly, properly supervised, well-socialized pets.
Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends, says breed-discriminatory laws are expensive and ineffective, citing a study by the economic research firm John Dunham and Associates that estimates Miami-Dade County spends more than $3 million a year to enforce the current law.
“In these tough economic times, laws that waste precious taxpayer dollars while failing to accomplish what they set out to do should be repealed,” said VanKavage. “The simple truth is breed is not a factor in bites. Many studies, along with the experience of Best Friends Animal Society, show that breed discriminatory laws are ineffective and result in the deaths of hundreds of pets in Miami-Dade each year.”
Twelve states, including Florida, prohibit canine profiling, but Florida’s law grandfathered Miami-Dade’s provision. HB 997/SB 1322 would give pet owners in Miami-Dade the same right as pet owners throughout the state.
Ohio, the only state that designates a breed of dog as vicious, is in the process of repealing its breed discriminatory law, with a Senate vote on HB 14 expected next week.
“This is America,” VanKavage said. “Responsible dog owners should be allowed to own whatever type of dog they choose, regardless of appearance. Reckless owners should be prevented from owning any dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american staffordshire terrier, animals, ban, best friends, best friends animal society, bites, breed bans, breed-specific, county, discrimination, discriminatory, dogs, exemption, expensive, family, florida, hb 997, ineffective, jamie buehrle, law, ledy vankavage, legislation, mark buehrle, marlins, miami, miami-dade, ohio, overturn, petition, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pitcher, public service announcement, sb 1322, slater, states, study