(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
Pretty enough to be a postcard, this photo was taken Sunday during a group dog walk in Salt Lake City.
It was one of the regular bi-weekly walks staged by the organization, SLC StrutABulls, which seeks to improve the image of pit bulls by holding walks in various public locations.
Organizers chose the State Capitol this week to raise awareness about House Bill 97, which is headed to the state Senate for review, according to KSL.com. The bill would prohibit municipalities from enacting or enforcing breed-specific rules, regulations, policies or laws.
About 10 Utah cities now outlaw pit bulls or pit bull mixes, according to Natalie Schun, with SLC StrutABulls.
About 60 dogs — mostly pit bulls or mixes — and their owners walked around the grounds of the Capitol on Sunday.
“The (bad) ones that you hear about are just (a few) out of who knows how many,” said event co-organizer Kelly Lawson. “Any dog can be mean if it doesn’t get the proper socialization, exercise and attention that it needs.
“We are out to show that these are good dogs and can be good dogs no matter what breed they are.”
(Photo: Scott G. Winterton./ Deseret News)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breed-specific, breeds, capital, capitol, discrimination, dogs, group walk, house bill 97, laws, municipalities, pets, photography, pit bulls, pitbulls, policies, rules, salt lake city, strutabulls, utah, walk
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
Animal control officers who picked up a stray last month in Greenville, S.C., face a double mystery as they try to track down the identity of a dog, and of a man pictured in an old black-and-white photo found inside the dog’s collar.
Susan Bufano, community relations coordinator with Greenville County Animal Care, said the dog was not neutered or microchipped.
There was no identification on the dog’s collar.
Under the collar, though, a wrinkled black-and-white photo, carrying no name or date, was found.
The stray dog, described as skinny and well-behaved, was given the name Soldier.
Bufano said the dog’s is about two years old, and the collar appeared relatively new.
“It’s so bizarre,” she said. “Absolutely anything is possible.”
Bufano told ABC News that the collar was an unusual one — extra wide, with a built in pouch.
The shelter posted photos of the dog, the collar and the unidentified man on its Facebook page, but no substantial leads had surfaced as of last night.
Bufano hopes that publicity about the dog and the mystery photo could lead to some answers, including who owned the dog.
“This photo should mean something to somebody,” she said.
Soldier is, as of now, available for adoption.
But the shelter has limited space, and it’s possible Soldier could be euthanized if he goes unclaimed.
Anyone with information about Soldier is encouraged to contact Greenville County Animal Care at 864-467-3990.
(Photos: Courtesy of Greenville County Animal Care)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 23rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal care, animal control, animals, black and white, collar, dog, dog carrying photo, dogs, greenville, greenville county animal care, identity, investigation, mystery, pets, photo, photograph, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pouch, soldier, south carolina, stray, who, wide
Faced with eviction unless she got rid of her pit bull, a Florida woman got rid of her pit bull — by strangling her and burying her in her mother’s yard, authorities say.
Shelly Bezanson, 28, of Osprey, told police she choked the dog to death with her own leash because she didn’t want anyone else to have her, the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota reports.
“The vet would not put Diamond down, so I did,” Bezanson said, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
After learning she faced eviction, Bezanson repeatedly asked a veterinarian to euthanize the otherwise healthy 7-year-old dog. When the vet repeatedly refused, suggesting rescue groups that would take the dog in and find her a new home, Bezanson took matters into her own hands.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose called the incident a “horrible story — particularly when you have so many willing rescue groups to help take the dog and give it a forever home.”
Bezanson told officers she did not want anyone else to have the dog.
“I promised Diamond we would be together until the end,” deputies quoted Bezanson as saying. “And this was the end.”
In later interviews, she told deputies that she regretted what she did and wished she would have found someone else to take care of the dog.
Bezanson also owned a kitten and a domesticated rat when she was arrested, and she told officers she planned to adopt another dog.
Charged with animal cruelty, she is being held at the Sarasota County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Judging from the comments the article is generating, she might want to stay there.
(Photos: Mug shot of Bezanson, and undated photo of Bezanson with Diamond, provided by Sarasota County Sheriff’s office)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 22nd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, apartments, bans, chain, charges, choked, cruelty to animals, diamond, dogs, eviction, florida, killed, landlords, leash, osprey, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, sarasota county, selfish, shelly bezanson, sheriff, strangled, tenants
A stray and injured pit bull who was discovered, just before Christmas, sleeping soundly in a small Ohio town’s nativity scene is recovering from his injuries and living with a foster family.
The dog, now named Gabriel, was taken in after a citizen reported him sleeping in the straw, in the company of replicas of a goat, a cow, a camel, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.
The rescue group Cincinnati Pit Crew arranged for Gabriel to be placed in a foster home.
He’ll be put up for adoption once he recovers from his injuries.
“Knowing that he’s warm and he’s not curled up in a ball somewhere looking for food, I think is awesome,” said Tarah Ross, who along with Mike Berning, took the dog into their home in Anderson Township.
Gabriel got gifts and spent Christmas morning snuggled next to her on the couch, Ross told WKRC in Cincinnati.
“He really, I think, gives us the meaning of Christmas. I mean look at him. He’s got the unconditional love and that’s what it’s all about. So he’s really our gift instead of the other way around,” Ross said.
Cincinnati Pit Crew said Gabriel might end up staying with the couple, if he continues to get along with their other dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, christmas, dogs, found, glendale, injured, jesus, joseph, manger, mary, nativity, nativity scene, ohio, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, resting, shelter, straw, stray
Heidi Diedrich said the two-year-old dog, who she adopted from a county shelter eight months ago, chased off as many as five of the wild animals after they charged her and knocked her to the ground in Scottsdale on Thanksgiving day.
JoJo, the pit bull, received more than 100 sutures for his wounds but is recovering.
Diedrich said she and the dog were walking before sunrise in a park near her Scottsdale Ranch condo when she heard hooves behind her and was knocked to the ground.
“I couldn’t see anything,” she told the Arizona Republic. “I just know I kicked something.”
JoJo wriggled out of his collar and both he and the javelina disappeared in the darkness. Diedrich didn’t see what happened next, but she heard fighting and yelping in the distance.
When JoJo reappeared he was covered with blood. Vets found about 10 cuts and gore wounds from the animals’ tusks.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Javelina attacks are rare, state wildlife officials say. While capable of inflicting serious harm with their razor sharp incisors, they generally avoid pets and humans.
Jim Paxon, a spokesman with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said Diedrich and JoJo were likely attacked because the javelina felt threatened.
“They might have been running from something else and already … felt threatened,” he said. “But when they came in contact with the lady and her dog, they were reacting to a perceived threat and they were acting like wild animals.”
Paxon advised anyone who encounters a javelina to quietly move away. If it’s too late for that, he recommends climbing a tree or fence, or running away in a direction perpendicular from them.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, attack, attacks, dog, dogs, javelina, pack, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rescues, saves, scottsdale, wildlife, woman
A story of brotherly love — canine style — has spread from Philadelphia across the world after a shelter volunteer posted a photo of two snuggling pit bulls, one of whom helps his blind brother get around.
The photos of Jermaine and his blind brother Jeffrey have received more than 3.2 million views.
Kimberly Cary, a volunteer with the Chester County SPCA posted pictures on Facebook late last week of the 8-month-old puppies, their legs wrapped around each other as they slept at the shelter.
“It has just touched the hearts of people all around the world,” Tom Hickey, a board member with the Chester County SPCA, said Sunday
Jeffrey is completely blind in one eye and probably sees only shadows in the other. He leans on Jermaine and follows him around when they are in unfamiliar territory. The pair is considered inseparable.
“These guys are bonded, and Jeffrey really is dependent on Jermaine at this point,” said Ray Little, lifesaving director of Philadelphia’s Operation Ava animal shelter. “When they are separated, they get really insecure.”
As of Sunday afternoon, no one had completed an application to adopt the brothers, but people from as far away as the U.K. were expressing a desire to take them in.
“I wish people realized that just because you’ve seen them doesn’t mean they’ve been adopted,” said Cary, 28, who posted the Facebook photos Thursday and Friday on the request of Operation Ava. “They still need somebody to come rescue them.”
Jermaine and Jeffrey both had mange when they were rescued, but they are “happy” and in “very good health now,” Little said.
The dogs will be held at Operation Ava until they are adopted as a pair.
“They obviously have some sort of innate bond,” said Emily Simmons, executive director of the Chester County SPCA, “and it will be wonderful to see them adopted together.”
To learn more about adopting the pair, contact Operation Ava at 215-240-1240.
(Photos: Chester County SPCA)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, blind, brotherly love, brothers, chester county spca, dogs, facebook, jeffrey, jermaine, loyalty, operation ava, pets, philadelphia, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, posts, rescues, shelters, snuggling, viral
A pit bull shot by police and left for dead in East St. Louis was scooped up by an animal advocate the next day, rushed to the vet and may survive.
Fox 2 News reports that police were called to the 900 block of East Broadway in East St. Louis on Tuesday after an eight-year-old boy was bitten by a black and white dog who witnesses say the boy had been throwing rocks at.
On Wednesday, Jaime Case, the executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians, was driving through the area and saw the dog moving in a field. She and her husband, who feed stray dogs in East St. Louis, loaded the dog in their truck and rushed him to Hillside Animal Hospital in St. Louis.
Why the dog remained in a field nearly 24 hours after police shot him, why no one apparently checked the dog after he was shot, why what was thought to be his lifeless body wasn’t hauled away are questions police haven’t answered. But on the surface it all seems to show a huge lack of respect — both for dogs and the community.
At least one department official wasn’t happy about it. Police returned to the street the next day, after neighbors who had gathered to watch the dog get rescued started expressing anger about how the police had handled the incident the day before. Fox News 2 caught one officer on video, who was wearing a hat reading ‘Asst. Chief’ and shouting into his phone at someone about the incident.
“We should have down something proper. How do we shoot a dog and leave a damn dog in a field?” the officer asked. “And you wonder why these people say the (expletive) they say about us.”
X-rays of the dog, who the rescuers named Colt, reveal he was shot once in the shoulder and once in the head.
But animal rescuer Case said when they arrived at his side he seemed to have some fight left in him.
“He was fighting us to get in the car so he has got some oomph left in him,” she said. “I am hopeful all those things mean he is on his way to recovery.”
Because the dog was found alive, the child who was bitten may be able to avoid a series of five rabies shots.
The dog, who was wandering at the time of the incident, is microchipped, and is registered to a home in Belleville.
If the dog survives, there’s still a good chance he could be put down if he is deemed dangerous.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: anger, animals, bit, bite, bitten, child, dog, dogs, east st. louis, gateway pet guardians, killed, law enforcement, left for dead, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rescue, rises, rocks, shot, survival, survivor, throwing, undead
Elle, a 5-year-old pit bull who helps children become more confident about reading, has been named the 2103 Hero Dog by the American Humane Association.
But it wasn’t just her listening skills that won her the honor. She also helps teach children about dog safety, and overcoming prejudice and stereotypes – “something a pit bull knows too much about,” the association noted in announcing the award.
The therapy dog and her owner started a reading program called “Tail Wagging Tales” that helps students at two North Carolina schools — Vaughan Elementary in Macon and Chaloner Middle School in Roanoke Rapids — become stronger readers. Students take turns reading out loud to Elle for 20 minutes.
“She provides confidence for students and a comforting ear,” Leah Brewer, 42, told TODAY.com.
Elle and the other finalists for the American Humane Association award attended a ceremony Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It will air as a 90-minute special on the Hallmark Channel on Oct. 30.
After a six-month natonwide search, 141 dogs from across the country were nominated. More than one million Americans cast votes for the eight finalists online. Those results, along with the choices of a panel of celebrity judges and animals activists, were combined to determine the winner.
Among other nominees were Carlos, an explosive detector dog who worked in Iraq and Afghanistan; John D, a rescue dog who uses his scenting capabilities to detect cancer in patients; Cassidy, a three-legged dog who visits rehabilitation centers to comfort children with disabilities; and Lola, a rescued guide dog who connects her deaf owner to the surrounding world.
“Choosing a top dog is difficult because they are all so terrific, but we are proud to announce Elle as the top American Hero Dog for 2013,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association.
“As an organization that for years has fought breed-specific legislation (BSL), we are also pleased to honor a breed that has been often been unjustly maligned. We hope that Elle’s story will help to underscore the many tremendously positive qualities of this breed.”
(Photo: American Humane Association)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2013 hero dogs, aide, american humane association, animals, assistance, awards, carlos, cassidy, ceremony, disability, dog, dogs, elle, guide, hallmark, helps, hero dog awards, image, leah brewer, lola, macon, maligned, misconceptions, north carolina, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, reading, rescue, roanoke rapids, robin ganzert, special, stereotypes, students, tail wagging tales, therapy, therapy dog, working dogs