Not every white van is driven by a child predator.
Not every large dog is a pit bull.
Why police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, wanted to check out a white van parked near a coffee shop Wednesday morning is understandable: It fit the description of one being used by a child predator, and the coffee shop owners had called to report someone inside it was watching young children from a nearby parking lot.
Why the officer shot the van’s only occupant — a dog – is a little less understandable.
And why investigators called the dog a “vicious pit bull” makes even less sense.
Arfee was a black lab, according to his owner, Craig Jones, who was eating breakfast at a nearby restaurant — not scoping out children — when the officer approached his van from behind with his gun drawn.
When the dog lunged toward him out of the partially open driver’s side window the officer fired one round, through the window, hitting Arfee in the chest. He later died.
Jones said Arfee, who was two years old, did not have a mean bone in his body. “This still isn’t even real to me,” Jones told KREM 2 News.
“If my dog is barking and wondering who’s peering through the windows he doesn’t care if you’re a cop, an attorney, or President Bush,” said Jones. “He doesn’t know any difference.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark said the department is reviewing the shooting, and said initial police reports describing the dog as a pit bull were erroneous.
“Animal control officers originally identified the dog as a pit bull,” he said. “The Police Department had a veterinarian examine the dog and it has been identified as a lab mix.”
“We understand the grief the family is dealing with due to the loss of their pet. We also understand the distress this has caused for citizens,” Clark said. “The officer who shot the dog is also distraught over this incident.”
Arfee’s owner, who formerly lived in Coeur d’Alene, was visiting for the 4th of July weekend, according to the Spokesman-Review.
“Best 4th of July weekend in cda eva,” Jones, who now lives in Colorado, posted on his Facebook page earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, he posted this: “Cda cops just shot my dog while I ate lunch at Java?”
Yesterday, he thanked his Facebook friends for their support. “Today is definitely harder than yesterday. Just seeing his ball in my rig tears me apart,” he wrote. “This cop left a hole in both of (us) that can’t be fixed.”
(Photo: Craig Jones’ Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arfee, arfie, black lab, child, coeur dalene, craig jones, dog, dogs, idaho, investigation, killed, lab, labrador, labrador retriever, law enforcement, parked, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, predator, profiling, shot, stereotypes, van
Here’s Zeke, a recently rescued pit bull, and his new friend.
Zeke’s owner said the deer approached their backyard fence one day.
After the animals checked each other out, the dance began.
She was able to capture the scene on her cell phone.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, deer, deer and pitbull, deer and pitbull video, dogs, friends, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, play, unlikely friends, video, wildlife
A pit bull received a diploma at Idaho State University’s graduation ceremony last Saturday, walking on stage in place of his master, who died in February.
Cletus, a black and white pit bull, belonged to Joshua Kelly, and was the geology student’s service dog.
Kelly, who had epilepsy, was finishing his final two classes when he was hospitalized and died on Feb. 13.
Cletus accompanied Kelly to school daily, walking two miles to catch a 6:30 a.m. bus from Idaho Falls to ISU.
When Kelly suffered a seizure and fell, as he did a few times, Cletus would stand over him until the seizure ended.
On Saturday, Cletus, accompanied by Kelly’s father, Terrell, walked on stage to claim Joshua’s diploma. Joshua received a bachelor of science degree in geology posthumously, KIDK reported.
Terrell Kelly said he’d never been a fan of pit bulls, until Cletus.
“I’ll be honest. I was one of them that was giving them (pit bulls) a bad rep until I met Cletus. And he allows our little grandchildren to climb on him, pull his ears, pull his tail. He’s just great.”
After accepting the diploma, with Cletus at his side, Terrell held the folder in the air and said, “This is for Josh.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 19th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cletus, dog, dogs, epilepsy, epileptic, graduation, idaho state university, joshua kelly, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, seizures, service dogs, student
I’m not sure what I love more about this artist — her paintings, her name, her theme or her determination.
Levity Tomkinson is a Kentucky artist who has tackled a serious project — painting all 51 of the dogs seized from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation in 2007.
She’s more than one-fifth of the way there.
Finding herself struck by the resiliency of those Vick dogs who were rescued and rehabilitated, Tomkinson got the idea in 2012 and started what she calls The Re51lient Project.
Tomkinson had started painting dogs — beginning with her own, a pit bull mix named Rinlee – in 2010, when, after graduating college, she found herself without any good job leads.
After reading an article about Vick dogs who had been rehabilitated and adopted, the project began.
“I thought of the idea during a time in my life that was really unpleasant, where I was trying to find meaning and happiness and purpose again, and these dogs were absolutely a part of my healing process. They inspired me to be positive, to smile and look at the world and appreciate all different kinds of beauty …. I am forever indebted and grateful to these dogs for changing my life.”
Like many dog lovers, Tomkinson was moved how many of the dogs taken from the NFL quarterback’s Bad News Kennels managed to overcome the horrors inflicted on them there.
As she explains it on her blog, “I cannot begin to fathom the daily lives of the 51 dogs who were rescued, and those before who weren’t. I paint for the 51 …
“I paint for the dogs … that didn’t win in a fight they never wanted anyway, dying from injuries with punctured skin and a mauled lip and face that became raw meat. I paint for the dogs … with that were forced into a rape stall to unwillingly bring more dogs into the world of dog fighting. I paint for any dog who has been, is, or will be a part of this heinous world. The resiliency of the 51 is my courage, my push, my determination, and my love for this project.”
Tomkinson, according to the Huffington Post, hopes to turn the project into a book, with portraits of all 51 dogs — those who were adopted and those who spent the rest of their lives in sanctuaries.
“Every single dog has importance and a story to tell, something to teach us, and either their passing or not being adopted doesn’t lessen their message or them,” she said.
“If Re51lient can empower one person to choose positivity over negativity, triumph over fear, allow them to let go of past hurt or add one more pit bull lover to this world, then my heart is happy. ”
(Photos: Lucas, a former Vick dog who died last year at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary; Tomkinson, from her Facebook page; and Ray, a Vick dog adopted this year)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 7th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, artist, artists, dog, dog art, dog artists, dogfighting, dogs, kentucky, levity tomkinson, michael vick, paintings, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, re51lient project, rehabilitation, rescue, resilience, resiliency, resilient project, vick dogs
A spectator’s pit bull dashed onto the field during a women’s softball game last week, and snatched the mitts off the hands of two players, but nobody seemed too mad, or too scared.
During a game Sunday between Simon Fraser University and Western Oregon University, the dog ran on the field in the middle of a play, took the shortstop’s glove first, then ran around the field before snagging an outfielder’s mitt.
A grounds crew member finally retrieved the glove from the dog’s mouth, allowing the teams — if not the pit bull — to resume play.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 5th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: baseball, dogs, field, game, interrupted, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, simon fraser university, softball, sports, video, western oregon university, women
(Warning: The video above, which begins after a commercial message, is graphic and disturbing)
In January, a pit bull named Tiger was surrendered to a Louisiana shelter by an owner who complained the dog was behaving aggressively.
Last month, sheriff’s officers in St. Bernard’s Parish arrested the man seen in the video above, Asani Woods — Tiger’s owner.
And people wonder why some pit bulls turn mean.
Woods was videotaped beating Tiger in December. She was surrendered in January, and put down at the shelter that month.
In March, the video was found on cellphone of a man arrested on drug charges — a friend of Woods.
An investigation led to the arrest late last month of Woods, 21, of Violet, on charges of animal cruelty, according to the Times-Picayune
St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann released the video, which shows Woods scolding the dog for getting into the trash, choking her, hitting her with boxing gloves and slamming her to the ground.
Pohlmann on Monday called the video “graphic” and “disturbing … In my 30 years of law enforcement I never saw an incident such as this captured on video.”
He added, “You hear often times about pit bulls attacking individuals, you know, well, this is probably one case where you would like to see the pit bull defend himself, with such a brutal attack.”
Woods was arrested March 28, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and was being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Under questioning from sheriff’s officials, Woods said he was only disciplining his dog: “Yeah that was me. What you going to arrest me because I beat my dog because it shit and pissed all over my house?” Woods is reported to have said to the arrresting officer.
The video was found on the cell phone of a drug suspect who was one of Woods’ neighbors. Johnny Dominick, 21, admitted videotaping the beating, the sheriff said.
In addition to drug counts, Dominick was charged with aggravated cruelty.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 9th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, aggression, animals, arrest, asani woods, beating, brutal, cellphone, cruelty, disturbing, dog, dogs, euthanized, graphic, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, sheriff, surrendered, tiger, video
When three elderly nuns who live together in New York lost their dog, they mourned for a week before heading to an animal shelter, determined to pick a dog that needed them as much as they needed her.
They adopted one that fit the bill — a 9-year-old pit bull who’d been at the shelter for three months.
“As soon as I saw the sign that said ’9 years,’ I said, ‘This is the one,’” said Sister Veronica Mendez, 71. “No one is going to want this one.”
Being old, and being a pit bull, Remy hadn’t been getting much attention from potential adopters during her stay at the Hi Tor Animal Care Center in Pomona, N.Y.
That all changed when the sisters — Mendez, Virginia Johnson and Alice Goldsmith, all of whom live together in Nyack, N.Y — walked in.
A grey and docile old girl, Remy made an immediate connection, leaning her head into Sister Virginia’s chest and sighing.
“She just got right up there,” said Sister Virginia, 79. “She said, ‘This must be my new family.’”
As reported by Today.com, the nuns had spent the previous week grieving the loss of their beloved Kate, a 7-year-old mutt who died suddenly from apparent lymphoma.
“I was furious. I was so angry. I cried!” Sister Veronica said. “Oh, how we loved that creature.”
At the end of last month they drove to the shelter and told the director they were seeking a dog that nobody else wanted.
He introduced the sisters — who between them have served 179 years as nuns — to Remy.
“It just worked out so well,” shelter director West Artope said. “We did a follow-up with them and went to the house, and the dog is so comfortable in that environment, you wouldn’t believe it. It was like a match made in heaven.”
“Our feelings were that she was in danger of being euthanized, and we wanted to give her the best three of four years she has left,” Sister Veronica said.
“Here we are, three senior sisters, so we adopted a senior pet!”
(Photo: Remy with Sister Virginia Johnson; by Pauline Jarney / Hi Tor Animal Care Center via Facebook)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 6th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, animals, elderly, elderly dogs, hi tor animal care center, new york, nyack, old dogs, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pomona, remy, rescue, shelter, sisters, uns