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
Eight of the 27 pit bulls seized from a Wisconsin breeding kennel suspected of having connections to dogfighting belonged to a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s not Michael Vick.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown is the owner of Eilis, and her seven puppies, all of whom were removed May 21 from a pit bull breeding kennel near Eau Claire, according to the Leader-Telegram.
Brown had sent Eilis to Northland Pits in February to be bred. After the pups were born, the kennel offered to whelp and wean the pups, and Brown sent them all to Wisconsin for that purpose, according to an affadivit in the case.
While they were there, the kennel was searched, and 27 dogs were seized by the Eau Claire County Humane Association. The owner of the kennel, Joseph A. Sudbrink, has been charged with mistreating animals and running a breeding kennel without a license.
The officer who removed the animals, BeKah Weitz, said the dogs at the kennel had contracted ringworm and possibly had other skin issues and were being kept in substandard conditions. She told the court she saw scarring on the dogs and believed the kennel operators were fighting the dogs. Prosecutors say they are continuing to investigate.
Both Brown and the kennel owner petitioned to get their dogs back, and on Friday a county judge ordered Eilis and her pups returned to Brown.
The 19 other dogs will remain in custody for at least five more days, under the judge’s ruling.
The kennel’s website says it is a breeder of “quality old family red nose pit bulls” and that no dogs are “bred, sold or used for any illegal activities.”
Brown, the running back, has no known connection to dogfighting. The Philadelphia Inquirer says he has friends who are pit bull breeders, and friends whose dogs engage in ”extreme” agility training. He posted the video above, showing him and another pit bull, on his Facebook page, but said “I go to the park with them to be supportive … It’s not really my thing.”
Sheila Kessler, an attorney who represented Brown and also serves on the Humane Society of Portage County board, picked up his dog and puppies from the shelter to return them to Brown.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bred, breeder, bryce brown, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eau claire, eau claire county humane association, eilis, football, investigation, kennel, nfl, northland pits, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, puppies, running back, substandard conditions, unlicensed, weaned, whelped, wisconsin
Citywide pit bull bans are often knee jerk reactions — maybe even more so when a county sheriff”s knees are involved.
One week after Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale was approached in his yard by four dogs “acting aggressive and looking like pit bull breeds” — and fired a shotgun at them, grazing one — the Alabama city of Clay passed a “vicious dog” ordinance banning pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
The sheriff, according to a spokesman, fired a warning shot into the ground, then another round of ”bird shot” in the direction of the dogs, leading them to turn away. Animal control arrived to round up the dogs, and their owner was charged with letting them run at large. The dog hit by Hale’s shot survived, AL.com reported.
That incident prompted the city council in Clay, with a speed seldom seen in government affairs, to pass an ordinance banning pit bulls and other “vicious” or “dangerous” dogs.
The ordinance bans new pit bulls and mixes that include pit bull. Such dogs already kept in the city limits are grandfathered in but must be registered with the city in the next 60 days. The ordinance requires they be kept indoors and mandates owners post a prominently displayed ”beware of dog” sign. Owners are also required to have $50,000 in liability insurance. Violations can be punished with a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
Having sought little public input before passing the law on June 3, the city council has gotten some since, AL.com reports.
A standing room only crowd filled Monday night’s meeting of the Clay City Council, with most citizens arguing the breed is not “inherently dangerous” and criticizing the law for unfairly penalizing responsible owners. Many, including a representative from the Birmingham Humane Society, urged the council to consider a non-breed specific dangerous dog law instead.
One speaker continued to voice his concerns after his turn to speak was over. When told he was interrupting, he continued his comments, leading Mayor Charles Webster — perhaps deeming him to be inherently dangerous — to ban him from the room.
“You are turning us all into criminals,” the man, identified as Mark Lawson, said as a deputy led him outside.
City Attorney Alan Summers said he would try to have a new or modified ordinance for the council to consider at its next meeting on July 1.
(Top photo by Jeremy Gray / AL.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, ban, banned, breed-specific, breeds, charles webster, citizens, city council, clay, county, criticism, fines, insurance, jefferson, knee jerk, laws, legislation, mayor, meeting, mike hale, mixed, ordinance, pit bull, pit bull bans, pit bulls, pit mixes, pitbull, pitbulls, reactions, restrictions, review, sheriff, shooting, shot, signs