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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
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is investigating the treatment of a dog frequently seen in costume outside New York’s baseball stadiums, raising money for her pandhandler owner.
Coffee, who some fans believe is being made to obey commands with help from a shock collar, is put on display at both Yankees and Mets games, often wearing sunglasses, a Groucho Marx disguise or holding a pipe in her mouth.
MSNBC reports that the ASPCA sent investigators to Yankee Stadium Sunday to look into the allegations.
The ASPCA said Monday it was unable to locate the dog or its owner.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and remain prepared to take appropriate action, as warranted,” the organization said in a statement.
Concerns about the dog led to the creation of a Facebook page, “Stop Abusing Coffee.” As of yesterday, its fans numbered close to 7,000.
“Coffee is FORCED to sit outside Citi Field with a pipe in her mouth every Mets home game for hours on end with a shock collar on & no food, water or rest,” the page reads. “Something needs to be done about this.”
The website Gothamist, meanwhile, which is following the story closely, has published a photo of Coffee’s owner, and also reported that Coffee has no teeth.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, aspca, baseball, citi field, coffee, dog, dogs, donations, exploitation, facebook, glasses, groucho marx, investigation, investigting, mets, new york, new york mets, new york yankees, pandhandling, panhandler, pets, photos, pictures, pipe, stop abusing coffee, tips, 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
One dog came to the aid of another last week, leading rescuers to a drainage pipe where a 15-year-old miniature schnauzer named Casper had been stuck for up to three days.
The hero? A rat terrier named Rowdy, who belongs to a neighbor.
“He caught the scent and he just started barking, barking, barking,” said Rowdy’s owner, Patty Monk, whose dog led her to the 8-inch wide storm drain pipe in which Casper was stuck.
Seeing Casper inside, Monk, who is friends with Casper’s owners, ran a block to their home and notified them. They sought help from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department.
Firefighters, not wanting to injure the dog, wrapped a teddy bear around the end of a fire hose to push him out the end of the pipe.
Casper’s owners, who had searched for days and put up posters after Casper went missing, took him to a nearby animal hospital to have him checked out.
“We have one of these storm drains right in front of our house. He may have fallen in that one and crawled all the way here, we don’t know,” said Wayne Hernandez.
“We’ve been kind of taking him for granted, he’s been around for so long,” Hernandez told News 10 in Sacramento. “But we’re going to have to try and pamper him a little more. He deserves it after this.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, casper, department, dog, dogs, drainage, drainpipe, fire, firefighters, metro, miniature, patty monk, pets, pipe, rat, rescue, rescued, rowdy, sacramento, saved, schnauzer, stuck, terrier, wayne hernandez
A six-inch wide piece of steel pipe had sat in Kay Simmons backyard in Colorado for a long time, but only this week did her wolf-dog hybrid, Marina, decide, for reasons unknown, to stick her head in it.
The 3-year-old dog is recovering from cuts, scrapes and bruises after spending more than seven hours Tuesday with her skull wedged in the 8-foot-long pipe.
“It was a pretty terrible day,” Simmons, 73, told the Boulder Daily Camera Wednesday before leaving to pick up her pet from the veterinarian.
On Friday, though the Daily Camera reported that Simmons has had a lot of terrible days:
She has a lengthy history of animal violations, and last year authorities killed five of her wolf-dogs after they attacked neighborhood pets, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Simmons, who lives on the Boulder County side of the border with Jefferson County, has at least four open “animal violation” cases in Jefferson County, into which her wolf hybrids sometimes wander.
“She has the largest file in the office,” said Camille Paczosa, animal control officer and supervisor.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has taken more than 50 complaints about Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her dozens of times since 1985. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has taken at least 16 reports of “dangerous animals at large” and similar violations since 1986.
One neighbor said he’s glad the animal is OK, but he finds it “ironic, if not insulting,” that the Sheriff’s Office and firefighters spent so much time and money “to save one of these animals but let the documented hazard to humans go on for almost 15 years.”
Simmons told authorities this week that one of her dogs started “making a racket” about noon Tuesday. When she went outside she found Marina squirming to free herself from the pipe.
Nearly 20 people from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the Coal Creek Fire Department and the Boulder Emergency Squad tried to free her, using everything from vegetable oil to a spatula. Finally, one of the firefighters — who also works as a plumber — used a pipe saw to cut off most of the steel, leaving just one foot of pipe covering the dog’s head. That allowed crews to transport her safely to the veterinary clinic.
Once at the clinic, a “grinding tool” was used to cut a triangle out of the pipe. When Marina was finally freed from the pipe she “sprang up” and appeared to be fine. She’s expected to make a full recovery.
But Wednesday’s feel-good story took a turn later in the week.
Steve McAdoo, who has lived near Simmons for about six years, told the Daily Camera he’s afraid for his 3- and 5-year-old children’s lives after four of Simmons’ wolf-dogs “ripped to shreds and almost killed” his 35-pound spaniel, Molly, in August.
After the attack on that same night, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the wolf-dogs attacked other animals and caused property damage. As a result, the Sheriff’s Office killed five of the hybrids.
“Two weeks later, she got five more,” McAdoo said. “And she’s been doing this for years.”
In August 2003, Jefferson County animal control officers took three of Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her with having a dangerous dog. In 2000, authorities took a report of a dog being killed by wolves in that area, but they were unable to identify the wolves that attacked, according to Jefferson County officials.
(Photo: Paul Aiken/Boulder Daily Camera)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, boulder, boulder county, boulder daily camera, colorado, complaints, cut, dog, dogs, emergency, fire department, freed, head, hybrid, jefferson county, kay simmons, killed, marina, pets, pipe, recovery, rescued, saved, saw, sheriff, steel, stuck, video, wolf, wolf hybrid
Firefighters used jackhammers, bolt-cutters, a spy camera and lots of patience to rescue nine newborn pups from a drainage pipe in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to the Tulsa World, residents first noticed a pregnant dog wandering the neighborhood during a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Attempts to catch her didn’t succeed until Wednesday, when Tiaunna Hooper and Virgil Dowline managed to trap her — by which time she was no longer pregnant.
When they realized that the dog had given birth in the past few days, they called for help in getting her puppies out of the drainage pipe the mother was using for a home.
Fire rescue crews used a spy camera to figure out where the puppies were, then drilled into the drainpipe to remove them.
All of the dogs, just days old, were pulled out of the trash-filled pipe, placed in a cardboard box lined with a blanket and whisked to a veterinarian.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cam, camera, dog, dogs, drainpipe, firefighters, newborn, news, nine, oklahoma, pets, pipe, puppies, pups, rescue, rescued, saved, tulsa, video
A week-old cocker spaniel was trapped in a waste pipe for almost four hours after twin boys decided he need a bath — and opted to give him one in the toilet.
Four-year-olds Daniel and Nicky Blair had taken the pup for a walk in the garden, according to Alison Blair, the mother of the twins and five other children.
“About an hour later I realized the dog was missing and asked the boys where he was, Alison told the Daily Mirror. “Daniel told me it had got muddy so they put it in the toilet and pulled the chain to give it a wash. I ran into the bathroom but the dog was nowhere to be seen. I assumed it was dead.”
Alison decided to check the drain outside. When she lifted the cover, the dog couldn’t be seen, but he could be heard whimpering.
Firefighters were the first to respond to the home in Northolt, Middlesex, but were unable to reach the pup. The Royal SPCA sent a representative as well. But it took a plumber to perform the rescue.
Will Craig, 22, a plumbing specialist for Dyno-Rod used a special camera to locate the pup – wedged in the pipe 20 yards away under a neighbour’s house. Then, apparently using the camera, on a telescoping rod, they gently nudged him towards the nearest manhole cover where a firefighter pulled him to safety.
After a night at the local vets, named “Dyno,” after his rescuers, was given a clean bill of health.
“I never thought a dog could survive being flushed down the loo.” Alison said. “He’s a real little fighter.” As for Nicky and Daniel, they’ve promised not to give the dog a bath in the loo again.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: bath, cocker spaniel, dog, drain, dyno, dyno-rod, firefighters, flush, flushed, loo, news, ohmidog!, pipe, plumber, plumbing, pup, puppy, rescue, saved, toilet, twins, video, waste
The pup, named Romeo, fell into the well — actually a narrow drainage pipe — during the weekend.
After three hours trying to rescue him, firefighters hooked up an industrial-strength vacuum, latched on to Romeo’s leg and hoisted him out, Pittsburgh television station WPXI reported. You can see a video here.
“It was a miracle,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Scuffle.
The pup wasn’t breathing when it came came out of the well, but firefighters performed mouth-to-snout resuscitation on the way to veterinarian and Romeo awakened and started to breath on its own.
The veterinarian gave the puppy a clean bill of health.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: dogs, firefighters, pennsylvania, pipe, pittsburgh, plum, pup, puppy, rescue, rescued, romeo, save, saved, shih-tzu, vacuum, veterinarian, veterinary, well