Want all the joys of having a dog and none of the responsibility?
You could do the smart thing, and avoid getting a dog.
You could volunteer with a shelter or humane society, or go to dog parks and get your doggie fix by hanging out and bonding with other people’s canines.
Or you could turn to a company — and make no mistake, it is a company — like Hannah the Pet Society.
Based in Oregon, it is a pet leasing company, and more — much more.
Picture a combination of a pet store, Jenny Craig, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motel 6 and eHarmony, with your own personal trainer and what used to be called burial insurance thrown in.
Hannah the Pet Society will match you up with a dog, and provide that dog with what it calls “Total Lifetime Care” — from dog food to boarding, from veterinary care to final arrangements.
All for a start-up fee and “low” monthly payment.
Founded in 2010, it offers a whole new model of pet ownership that really isn’t pet ownership at all.
Hannah retains ownership of all the dogs it places, which means that, under the law, it can apparently do with them as it pleases, including euthanizing them.
Last month, after Seattle Dog Spot exposed some of the questionable practices at Hannah, an investigation began into complaints against the company that include unnecessarily euthanizing three dogs in November.
The Oregonian reported yesterday that the state Department of Justice is looking into the euthanizations and the 10 complaints and two lawsuits filed against the company since 2012.
The euthanizations were brought to light by a dog rescue in Vancouver, Washington, which posted about them on Facebook to warn other shelters and rescues that may be providing dogs to Hannah:
“Two weeks ago Hannah the Pet Society euthanized 3 shelter dogs – Pip, Charlie Bear and Kelso. Rather than offer them back to the shelters they came from or provide the support that they needed to rehabilitate them, Hannah chose to kill them. We’re sending this information to as many shelters as possible to get the word out.
“These may have been dogs that they received from you. I know that you work hard to save as many animals as possible. Unfortunately Hannah does not have the same passionate commitment as you do. When you provide an animal to Hannah, there is no guarantee that they won’t put to sleep an animal that could be re-homed with a little bit of effort. There is no guarantee that they will return an animal to you.
“You may want to reconsider working with Hannah. At the very least, please think twice before putting an innocent life into their hands.”
Hannah chief executive Fred Wich said all three dogs had bitten people and been deemed aggressive. Here’s one of them:
Wich said returning the dogs to the shelters they came from would have been irresponsible.
Those who have gotten dogs through Hannah are required to feed that dog the food Hannah supplies, get veterinary care from the vets Hannah specifies and, to get out of their contract when a dog dies, bring proof of that death — often the dog’s carcass — to Hannah headquarters.
Hannah also offers to provide a dog that is a perfect and “harmonious” match for a potential customer, using a “proprietary placement process was created exclusively by Hannah with the help of psychologists, veterinary behaviorists and personality testing experts.”
Hannah offers, or claims to offer, so many things that it defies simple description.
But we’ll describe it this way — it’s creepy, and becomes even creepier yet when you throw in the fact that company officials decline to say where the dogs it places come from, except to say some come from shelters.
Several shelters in the northwest say they had relationships with Hannah in the past, but have terminated them.
Apparently they’ve come to realize what has been proven over and over again — dog leasing, for profit, isn’t a good idea. It’s a business model that may work with automobiles, but not with family members.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 10th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, complaints, department of justice, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, hannah, hannah the pet society, investigation, leasing, legal, match, oregon, ownership, personality, pets, portland, rent, rental, rescues, responsibility, shelters, total lifetime care
A Bichon Frise fell 14 floors from the balcony of a high-rise apartment in Portland, Oregon, and was caught by a man who was waiting with open arms.
Ted Nelson was in the right place at the right time — but only because he’d seen the little dog climb through the balcony railing from his own high rise apartment across the street.
About then the dog lost his footing and plunged from the balcony.
“I just looked up at it and it was looking at me and it landed right in my chest,” Nelson told KGW.
Nelson admitted to fumbling the dog, which slipped out of his arms and fell to the ground, letting out a yelp.
Still, we’d put his catch right up there with anything you’ve seen in a Super Bowl.
Afterward, Nelson and his girlfriend took the five year old dog, named Mordy, to a vet, who pronounced him fine except for a couple of bruises.
Mordy’s owner told KGW off camera that he was thankful Nelson was there to catch his dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 2nd, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 14, 14th floor, animals, apartment, balcony, bichon frise, catch, catch of the century, caught, dog, dogs, fall, high rise, mordy, oregon, pets, portland, stories, ted nelson
Or maybe even a life-saver, which is how his partner, Officer Jeff Dorn, referred to him while recuperating in a hospital from two gunshot wounds fired by the same burglary suspect who fatally gunned down Mick.
But according, at least, to an Oregon Court of Appeals decision — issued the very same day Mick died while trying to apprehend the fleeing, gun-firing suspect — Mick, being a dog, was merely “property.”
The court ruling wasn’t about Mick — instead it stemmed from an abuse case — but the timing and juxtaposition of the two stories serve to make a point that society, and lawmakers, and law enforcers, and courts, ought to start heeding.
Dogs aren’t toasters.
Mick joined the Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit in March. After only a few days on the job, police, he captured three suspects within a 10-hour period. On Wednesday, he was with Dorn, chasing down a fleeing burglary suspect, when he was shot.
“Officer Dorn would like the community to know that ‘Mick saved my life,’ ” Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a press release.
“The dog was doing its job. He was out there protecting our community, and it’s tragic that we lost the dog,” said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.
After Mick’s body was recovered, a procession of police cars followed him to a veterinarian’s office, according to a report in Wednesday’s Oregonian, but it was too late.
On the same day Mick died, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling declaring — in line with what all the law books say — that dogs are “property.”
As such, the three-judge panel ruled, dogs can’t be seized and examined without a warrant, even if the purpose is to save a dog’s life.
The legal view of dogs as — above all else — property both degrades and endangers man’s best friend, and can make it difficult for animal-cruelty investigators to provide help to beaten, starved or neglected pets.
Changing that age-old view would require throwing away a lot of law books, and it would require judges to finally start showing half the backbone Mick did.
It’s time to make a legal distinction between inanimate “property” that has no soul, and “property” (if we must call them that) that does have a soul.
The Court of Appeals Wednesday did the opposite, throwing out the conviction of a 28-year-old woman who, based on evidence from a veterinarian who tested and treated the animal without a warrant, was found guilty of starving her dog, the Oregonian reported.
After an informant told the Oregon Humane Society that Amanda L. Newcomb was beating her dog and failing to properly feed it, an animal-cruelty investigator went to Newcomb’s apartment in December 2010 and saw the dog in the yard “in a near emaciated condition.”
Newcomb told the investigator she was out of dog food and that she was going to get some more, but the investigator determined the dog likely needed medical care and brought the dog to a Humane Society vet for an examination.
That exam, according to the appeals court ruling, constituted unreasonable search and seizure of property — namely, Newcomb’s dog.
While the investigator had probable cause to seize the dog without a warrant, the court said, the “search” — i.e. medical exam — of the dog violated Newcomb’s privacy rights because the authorities hadn’t obtained a warrant.
The ruling effectively overturns her conviction on charges of second-degree animal neglect, and the original judge’s orders for her to serve one year of probation and not possess animals for five years.
It could also serve to hamper animal cruelty investigations across the state.
Maybe worst of all, it confirms the foolish concept that dogs — despite their heroics, despite their loyalty, despite their having character traits that we humans can only envy — are, first and foremost, property, a wrongful designation that legally, if not in reality, seems to trump all else.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 18th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, burglary, chasing, court, courts, dog, dogs, jeff dorn, K-9, k9, killed, law, law enforcement, lawmakers, legal, mick, officer, oregon, pets, police, police dog, portland, property, ruling, suspect
That 22-pound cat whose aggressive behavior forced an entire Oregon family (including the dog) to take refuge in a locked bedroom is going to get some therapy, according to its owner.
Lee Palmer, of Portland, says the 4-year-old part-Himalayan cat, named Lux, is scheduled to see a veterinarian and to get a house call from a pet psychologist, according to the Associated Press.
Palmer called 911 Sunday to report that the cat had “gone over the edge,” scratching his infant son and chasing the family into a bedroom.
“We’re trapped in our bedroom and he won’t let us out of the door,” Palmer told the emergency dispatcher.
“He’s trying to attack us. He’s very, very, very, very hostile. He’s at our door. He’s charging us.”
You can download an MP3 of the 911 call here.
Palmer says Lux attacked his 7-month-old son, inflicting several scratches, after the baby pulled its tail. He said he kicked the cat in the rear to make it stop, which only led the cat to get angrier.
Officers arrived at the home around 8 p.m., according to the Portland Oregonian, and used a catchpole to snare the cat, who had darted into the kitchen and jumped atop a refrigerator.
Police issued a press release about the incident Monday and by Wednesday it had gained international attention.
Palmer says the family has received proposals from people wanting to adopt Lux, but the family is not taking them up on it
While Palmer told officers the cat has a history of violent behavior, the family plans to keep him, and keep a close eye on him, he said.
“We’re not getting rid of him right now. He’s been part of our family for a long time.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 22 pounds, aggressive, angry, animal control, animals, baby, cat, cats, dog, dogs, family, held, himalayan, hostage, lux, oregon, pets, police, portland, psychologist, scratched, therapy, veterinarian, violent
Here’s the bad: Much as we’d have liked to stay in one of them, much as we are — in our own view — “hipsters,” Ace and I can’t even afford “Bohemian.”
“Minimalist,” it seems, is beyond our means.
We dropped in at the Ace Hotel in Seattle, where the chain got started, and checked out the one in Portland, where it’s now headquartered, but — even with the sliding scale it offers, with lower prices if you share a bathroom — it was out of our league.
So here, I’ve decided, is what America needs — a level of lodging slightly below Bohemian, but slightly above the YMCA, a motel chain that’s dog friendly and mostly free of germs, crawling bugs and psychos. Motel 6 probably comes closest — hopelessly unhip as it is.
The Ace Hotels, from what I saw of them, do minimalist much better, except for the price part. All four are in old buildings with rich histories, and the furnishings– from hotel to hotel and from room to room — are varied and eclectic, as opposed to going the cheap motel route of putting the same cookie-cutter formica furniture in every room across the nation.
Therein lies the difference between Bohemian and Institutional, and who wouldn’t rather spend the night in a place that makes you feel like a beatnik, as opposed to an inmate.
Depending on your own personal economic condition, Ace Hotels are worth checking into if you’re traveling to New York, Palm Springs, Portland or Seattle, because, on top of their dog friendliness, they have some character, which the big chains always lack.
There is another solution to this issue — this issue being getting accurate information on lodging that has character, and is both dog and wallet friendly — and it doesn’t involve chains at all. Instead it involves looking at the world through something other than a corporate lens.
There are some otherwise fine guide books and websites out there that can help one find dog-friendly hotels and motels. The problem is, most of them don’t make much effort to include the non-chains, the mom-and-pop, small independent motels — many of them dog friendly — that don’t charge exorbitant prices for a room. And still have character.
Perhaps it would be too much work for the guidemakers. Perhaps mom and pop aren’t Internet-savvy enough to get their establishments listed. In any case, the result is, from AAA to bringfido.com, the options presented are almost always the big boys — Motel 6, Super 8, Best Western, La Quinta, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt and on up the ladder of chains.
As a result, pup-friendly mom and pop — who are probably much more in need of the boost in business that comes with being known as dog-friendly — are ignored, because they own one motel instead of 500 of them.
Ranting aside, we stopped by the Ace Hotel in Seattle to take a look, and considered staying at the one in Portland. Both, in the parlance of the trade, are considered “boutique” hotels — which is basically a term meaning it hasn’t grown into full chainhood yet and is still small enough to be charming
While both qualified for our hipster seal of approval, both were beyond our budget, even if we shared a bathroom.
The desk clerk at the Ace in Seattle explained that the name was chosen because aces can be both high and low, and the hotel strives to provide lodgings at both ends of the spectrum, as well as provide high quality at low price.
The hotel in Seattle is in a former Salvation Army halfway house located in the Belltown neighborhood. In Portland, the Ace moved into what was the Clyde Hotel, the lobby of which served as a setting for scene in the movie, “Drugstore Cowboy.” The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In Palm Springs, the Ace Hotel is in a converted Howard Johnson’s; and in New York it occupies the Breslin, a former single-room-occupancy hotel at the corner of 29th Street and Broadway. Transforming it meant displacing some longtime residents.
A New York Times review of the hotel called it “shabby chic” before snottily adding, “a bit too redolent of the past.”
Ace Hotels got their start when Seattle native Alex Calderwood and some friends decided to create a hip yet minimalist hotel. The Ace Hotel in Seattle opened in 1999; and in 2007 they opened one in Portland.
Calderwood’s hipsterness went back even further than that. He used to throw warehouse parties for the grunge set, later moving up to hosting events for Microsoft. Today, he holds four Aces, and, at last report, had his sights set on a fifth.
Given that growth, I think it’s time the chain start considering some advertising, and perhaps a spokesdog. I have one in particular in mind, whose services can be obtained for a reasonable fee — a sliding scale even. I’ve got some other promotional ideas, too, such as complimentary slightly used flannel pajamas for all guests, and even a slogan to help get across the message that the hotels are dog friendly:
“We’ll leave the bowl out for you.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace hotel, affordability, alex calderwood, america, animals, bohemiam, chains, character, corporate, corporations, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, hipster, hotel, hotels, lodging, minimalist, motels, new york, palm springs, pet friendly, pets, portland, road trip, seattle, shabby chic, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
The color for today, courtesy of the state of Maine, is red.
There has been no avoiding it since Saturday, when we made our way from Portland to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park amid a dazzling array of fall colors.
Nearly every town we went through was sporting red. Yellow and orange, too, but red seemed to be the dominant hue.
Leaves, vines, shrubs, stop signs and cars, barns and sunsets all seemed to be vying for the honor of reddest red.
Even when I stopped for lunch — and ordered my first lobster roll — the fluffy white meat had red running through it. I sat outside under crisp skies, at a red picnic table, as Ace sat at my side and drooled.
Just across the street sat a red pickup truck, under a tree that was putting its best red forward as well.
The reds especially popped when set against the backdrop of the deep blue sea, as was the case as we made our way through coastal towns like Rockland and Camden.
We saw red antique stores, and red vines climbing up brick buildings, turning redder and redder as if challenging the brick: “You think you’re red? We’ll show you red.”
We saw barns fighting, amid the beating Maine takes from the weather, to hang on to their red, picnic tables with a new coat of red, lobsters soon to depart their deep red shells.
I’m not sure whether Maine is a red state or blue state when it comes to politics. I’m sure I could look it up.
But I’m too busy … enjoying the red.
(To see a synopsis of Ace’s travels so far, click here.)
(To see all of “Travels with Ace,” click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acadia national park, animals, autumn, bar harbor, camden, coast, coastal, color, colors, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, fall, fall colors, lobster, lobster roll, maine, pets, portland, red, rockland, seasons, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
After three drippy days in Portland, Maine, we took off yesterday to see some more of the state, and eventually work our way, like John Steinbeck and Charley did, to its northernmost reaches.
Finally, everything was dried out, so it was just a matter of loading up my new rooftop carrier and heading for Bar Harbor, where we’ve received an offer to bunk for two nights, and where we’ll see how Ace fares amid horses and cats.
He’s already fallen into a routine in Portland — our morning walk to the Clipper Mart next door for coffee, where I’d tie him to a post while I filled my cup; his morning constitutional on the grassy slope to the side of the motel; and frequent stops in the lobby, where he’s developed a bit of a fan club among staff and guests, several of whom ply him with treats.
After three days of rain, Saturday brought clear, crisp skies. Fall colors popped under the bright sun and it was a perfect day, weather-wise, to get back on Steinbeck’s 50-year-old trail. He stopped in Bangor, then backtracked south to Deer Isle to visit a friend with a “hateful” female cat named George: “George is an old gray cat who has accumulated a hatred of people and things so intense that even hidden upstairs he communicates his prayer that you will go away,” he wrote.
From there, he followed the coast of Maine along Route 1, which we’ll be doing for a while as well, arriving Monday in Aroostook County, the massive, remote and northernmost county in Maine.
We’re hoping to avoid the “wet gray aluminum” skies he encountered up that way, for having finally reached a state of dryness (and we don’t mean Maine), we would like to hold on to it for a bit.
Ace, comfortable as he was at the Motel 6, knew, as he always does, that it was time to roll even before I began packing up. Somehow, he reads me. Like a map.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, bar harbor, dog, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, maine, maps, pets, portland, road trip, route, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, travels with charley