Jordan Biggs, the Oregon State University student who found a dog on the loose in Portland, took him home, and refused to give him back to his owner, is on the verge of giving up her fight for custody of the husky mix she named Bear.
The Portland Oregonian reports that Biggs, – facing $30,000 worth of legal bills and a possible felony conviction — has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of second-degree theft, serve 80 hours of community service, and concede that the dog is not hers.
If she meets those conditions, the charge would be expunged from her record after six months, allowing the 20-year-old to continue with her plans to become a teacher.
Biggs was visiting Portland when she found the dog and took him home to Corvallis.
More than a year later, the dog’s original owner, Sam Hanson-Fleming, spotted Biggs and the dog he knew as Chase in Southeast Portland.
County animal control officials ruled that the dog belonged to Hanson-Fleming, who said his dog had jumped a fence and run away. But Biggs still refused to relinquish custody of the dog.
In July of last year, police in Corvallis seized the dog and charged Biggs with theft. Bear, or Chase, spent 75 days in a shelter after that — until a judge in October ordered the dog returned to Hanson-Fleming.
Biggs filed a lawsuit seeking to regain custody of the dog, who she trained to serve as an asthma therapy dog, alerting her to oncoming asthma attacks. As part of her plea agreement, the lawsuit would be dropped.
Both Biggs and Hanson-Fleming find the apparent outcome of the case less than acceptable.
“There is no way she should not have to have this on her record — she’s a thief,” Hanson-Fleming said. “It’s no different than if you went to Walmart and stole a bunch of shirts. … She should be treated like any other criminal.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animals, asthma, bear, chase, corvallis, courts, custody, deal, dispute, dog, dogs, found, husky, jordan biggs, judge, lost, mix, oregon, oregon state university, owner, pets, plea, portland, sam hanson-fleming, student, therapy
He may be the world’s fattest dachshund, but apparently there’s not enough Obie to go around.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue has filed a lawsuit against Obie’s current caretaker, Nora Vanatta, claiming that the Portland resident doesn’t own him, was only fostering him for the organization, and must return him.
“The dog was surrendered to me,” the rescue organization’s president Jenell Rangan told the New York Daily News. “Nora is just a foster. I trusted her to bring him back.”
Vanatta, a veterinary technician, offered to take care of Obie when his former owners — who couldn’t seem to stop feeding him — decided they could no longer care for him. He was 77 pounds at the time.
The owners’ grandchildren contacted Rangan, who asked her volunteers to find a foster. Vanatta stepped forward, and the rescue organization approved the arrangement.
Vanatta agrees that the original plan was for her to foster the dog. “Initially, I said that I would foster him for a little while because I would not be able to take care of him financially,” Vanatta told the Daily News. “But I had no idea how obese he was. It’s going to take a year for him to get to a healthy weight, and I’ve committed to his rehabilitation.”
Vanatta started featurning Obie’s fight to lose weight on a Facebook page, “Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition,” which has led to donations and made Obie a celebrity, with appearances on ”Good Morning America” and the “Today” show.
Obie has lost 15 pounds and has about 25 to go.
Rangan said she wants the 5-year-old dog because Vanatta isn’t caring for him properly.
“I don’t want a dime,” she said. “I just want Obie … He’s a dog. He’s not a celebrity.” She objected to the fact that Obie flew in cargo, and not first class, on his six-hour trip to New York.
Vanatta said all money she has received for Obie has gone to his care.
She said no papers regarding his custody were ever signed, and that she wants to keep Obie at least until he reaches his goal weight.
Rangan and Vanatta are expected to appear in court Monday.
“It makes me sick because he was never in her custody,” Vanatta said. “I can’t understand why she’s spending money fighting this because he’s so happy.”
(Photo: Obie’s “Biggest Loser” Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, biggest loser, contributions, custody, dachshund, diet, donations, doxie edition, facebook, fat, fattest, foster, jenell rangan, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, portland, rescue, technician, veterinary
A standard dachshund who weighs more than twice what he probably should is drawing fans from around the world who, rather than laughing at his dilemma, are supporting his quest to lighten up.
Obie, formerly named A.J., was 77 pounds when he surrendered by his elderly owners, who were in declining health, in Washington state last month.
That, for a dachshund, is too fat to go on walks, and far more weight than their dainty joints, little legs and elongated backs were meant to bear.
As his new owner puts it, Obie’s humans were “loving him with food” and “they just couldn’t say ‘no’ to those big brown eyes.”
Nora Vanetta, a Portland veterinary technician, adopted Obie — formerly named A.J. — after learning about him through Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
She explains on Obie’s new Facebook page, “Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition:
“Our story began when a relative of this boy’s family stepped in and asked for help … Through many tears, the owners relinquished him. It is very frustrating and sad but we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now moving on with his new life.”
Until 5-year-old Obie arrived on Aug. 18, she wrote, she wasn’t sure he, at that weight, could really be a dachshund.
“I had no idea what to expect. I thought a basset hound would show up … to my astonishment he IS a dachshund and he actually weighs 77lbs. He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with.”
Vanetta is working to get Obie down to 30 to 40 pounds,and plans to incorporate hydrotherapy and a treadmill into his regimen once he lightens up enough to be mobile.
Meanwhile, his Facebook page – where Vanetta hopes fans can both track Obie’s progress and get advice on slimming down their own overweight dogs – Obie has accumulated more than 30,000 likes, and thousands of comments, and he regularly receives photos and words of encouragement from owners of dachshunds and others dogs.
Vanetta, who has a degree in animal science, has has also set up a Paypal page (you can find it through the Facebook page) to encourage people to donate money to pay for his continued care.
She has put Obie on a specially formulated diet, and she’s hoping her other two dogs — a nine-year-old Labrador and five-year-old Dachshund — serve as role models for him.
“‘I feel tremendously blessed to be involved in his rehabilitation and I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support that I have received … My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.”
(Photos: Nora Vanetta)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, aj, animals, canine, dachshund, diet, dog, dogs, donate, doxie, exercise, facebook, fat, fat dogs, health, nora vanetta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, paypal, pets, portland, standard, technician, veterinary, washington
Jordan Biggs, 20, was booked into a Corvallis jail Friday, and later released — but without the dog she calls Bear.
Bear, or Chase, as he was previously known, is in the custody of animal control as officials look into the claims of the Portland man who says he’s the original owner and allegations that he treated the dog in an abusive manner.
Biggs has said she found the dog earlier this year in Portland and took him with her to Corvallis. She trained the dog to assist her when she has an asthma attack, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times
When she returned to Portland for a visit in May, the original owner spotted the dog and asked that Siberian husky mix be returned.
When she declined, Sam Hanson-Fleming, 30, filed a complaint with police.
Biggs, meanwhile, hired animal rights attorney Geordie Duckler, who has filed a civil suit alleging Hanson-Fleming was abusive to the dog and asking a judge to grant custody to his client. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s has opened an investigation into whether Hanson-Fleming was abusive toward the pet.
Duckler said the dog would remain at a humane society shelter in Corvallis while the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office investigates the allegations.
Hanson-Fleming told The Oregonian in Portland on Saturday that the allegations of animal abuse and neglect are false: “I’ve never hit Chase, I’ve never kicked him. The only thing I’ve done is swatted him with a rolled up newspaper,” he said.
Duckler said a private investigation through his office revealed Hanson-Fleming kicked, slapped, beat and urinated on Chase in order to show “who was in charge.”
The lawyer also said Hanson-Fleming regularly kept the dog in a cage that was too small, and that he regularly made the dog “inhale significant amounts of marijuana smoke in order to amuse himself and his friends.”
(Photo: Jordan and the dog she calls Bear; by Amanda Cowan / The Corvallis Gazette-Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, animals, arrest, asthma, attorney, bear, chase, corvallis, custody, dispute, district attorney, dog, dogs, found, geordie duckler, investigation, jail, jailed, jordan biggs, lost, mistreated, mix, multnomah county, neglected, oregon state university, ownership, pets, portland, private investigator, sam hanson-fleming, service dog, siberian husky, student, theft
Here, again, the television show “Portlandia” shows us how abrasively sanctimonious some dog lovers can be.
Portlandia, an original short-based comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, is in its third season on IFC. It airs Fridays at 10 p.m., 9 p.m. central time.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, carrie brownstein, clip, dog, dog tied to pole, dogs, fred armisen, ifc, pets, pole, portland, portlandia, series, television, tv, video
I’ve never watched “Portlandia,” but I have watched some dog park behavior — of the human variety — not unlike this.
You know the type — the ones that think they, and their dog, are somehow more important than all the rest, those with newly acquired dogs, who, because they’ve read a book, or watched “quite a few DVD’s,” are experts on all things dog.
Those bossy ones, those know-it-alls, those self-righteous, sanctimonious souls who won’t share balls.
Those overbearing, over zealous, uptight ones who’d prefer it if your dog didn’t bark, or wrestle, or drool, or run, or poop.
Let me be clear — none of my friends are like this. No, not at all. But these sorts are out there. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Except for them.
“Portlandia,” IFC’s original short-based comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, begins its second season Jan 6. It airs Fridays at 10 p.m., 9 p.m. central time.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, ball sharing, behavior, carrie brownstein, comedy, dog park, dogs, fred armisen, humans, humor, ifc, oregon, personalities, pets, portland, portlandia, quicksilver, season, second, survivor, television, tsunami, tv, video
A four-year-old Pomeranian named Mango slipped out of her collar and brought Interstate traffic to a standstill in Portland, Oregon, this week.
Police dispatchers began getting calls from drivers around 4 p.m. Monday reporting a dog on the loose along 1-405.
Video captured by Oregon Department of Transportation cameras show drivers blocking the road to protect the dog as cars came to a halt, and both the dog’s owner and others tried to catch Mango.
After 15 minutes, Mango exited the highway and entered a neighborhood.
Owner Dan Dowdy — who Mango didn’t appear eager to return to — said the dog is closer to his wife, whose companion she has been since suffering a stroke two years ago.
Dowdy had brought the dog with him that afternoon to pick up his wife from first day of school at Portland’s Mount Hood Community College.
Eventually, animal control officers realized Mango would only respond to Linda. When she showed up, Mango ran into her arms.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chase, dan dowdy, dog, dogs, highway, interstate, mango, news, oregon, pets, pomeranian, portland, traffic, tv, video
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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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