First-time violators would receive a written warning or a fine of up to $250, if the animal is injured. A repeat offender could face a $500 fine and up to three months in prison, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Tethering an animal for an extended period of time is cruel and unusual,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. “This bill will not only prevent this type of unnecessary cruelty, but also increase public safety for pedestrians throughout the City.”
The council voted 47-1 in favor of the bill, which prohibits leaving an animal tied up for more than three consecutive hours in any continuous 12-hour period.
The council also approved an increase in the cost of annual license for dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered, raising the fee to $34 from $11.50.
Revenue generated from the incnrease will be used to subsidize animal population control programs.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, bill, city council, dog, dogs, fees, increase, jail, law, license, neuter, new york, new york city, news, overpopulation, pets, population, prison, sentence, spay, term, tether, tethered, tethering, tying
Perturbed by the praise Michael Vick has been receiving for his performance on the field, guitarist Nils Lofgren has written an open letter to sports reporters, arguing Vick doesn’t deserve all the cheerleading, an MVP award, or even a place in the NFL.
“I am so disheartened and disappointed by your collective, lopsided praise of Michael Vick due to his recent spectacular on-field performance,” Logfren, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, begins.
“I support his right to earn a living. But, while I can’t fault him for taking great advantage of the opportunities afforded him by playing in the NFL, I feel he does not deserve that lofty a place in our society and culture. However repentant he may be, he committed acts whose vileness will resonate down the years. When you do what Vick did, a second chance should never include the rare gift of an NFL career and the potential bounty it offers.
“Shame on the NFL for not banning him permanently.”
Apparently the letter was prompted by a comment made by Jemele Hill on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters,” that if Josh Hamilton could win one of baseball’s MVP awards after recovering from alcohol and drug abuse, why couldn’t Vick win the award in the NFL?
“Well, for one thing, Hamilton has neither tortured dozens of dogs nor murdered defenseless animals,” Lofgren wrote. “ … In Vick’s case, I believe his second chance should certainly allow him to be free and to love and raise his family. I think he should make speeches about the error of his ways and help animal groups. I understand that he is doing some of these things and I applaud that. He’s also admitted to being haunted by his dogfighting days. That growth is welcome and necessary, but comes too late for me and those dogs.
Vick, formerly quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted on dogfighting charges and served nearly two years in prison. After his release he was signed last year by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“How can we justify this saga to our children?” Lofgren asked in the letter. ” …Well kids, although doing those things is wrong, two years after you admit to doing them the NFL will let you have a job that may lead to an MVP award and many millions of dollars in a new contract.
Lofgren added, “…(T)he cynic in me thinks maybe if Vick were a third-string lineman, the NFL would have set an example and banned him for life. Maybe many of the other significant charges Vick was facing wouldn’t have gone away if he didn’t have the prestige of being an NFL quarterback who can afford high-priced lawyers to wrangle pleas and deals.
“For the NFL to be that forgiving of evil, vicious behavior is a terribly inappropriate act of forgiveness and has brought a sick, sad, dirty feeling to many of us fans who have loved the game for so long.
“And to you reporters, whom I enjoy and respect, the sentiments in this letter are suspiciously absent in your hundreds of hours of Vick coverage … Just because the NFL lost its spine and common sense on this matter doesn’t mean you reporters have to get in line and go along.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, bruce springsteen, conviction, coverage, deaths, dogfighting, e street band, football, guitarist, letter, media, michael vick, musician, news, nfl, nils lofgren, open letter, performance, philadelphia eagles, praise, prison, quarterback, reporters, sports, torture, vick
Steven Clay Romero, the man who dragged a dog named Buddy to his death at the Colorado National Monument, received the maximum sentence of three years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, will spend three years in federal prison, followed by 12 months of supervised parole for aggravated animal cruelty in the dog’s death Dec. 30, 2009, the Montrose Press reported.
He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay $343 in restitution to Buddy’s owners.
The dog, reported stolen from the back of a pickup truck in Delta, Colorado, was found with a rope tied around his neck at the monument. Surveillance photos and marks in the snow indicated Buddy had been dragged behind a pickup truck while still alive.
Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, is charged as an accessory after the fact to aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly attempting to cover up Buddy’s death. Conviction could bring up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A theft complaint filed against her for stealing the dog was dismissed June 10, court records show.
The torture and killing of Buddy triggered a Facebook site, Demand Justice For Buddy, which as of Friday had 267,713 members.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, death, delta, dog, dragged, dragging, facebook, grand junction, justice for buddy, lockhart, maximum, melissa, melissa lockhart, news, ohmidog!, pets, pickup, prison, romero, sentence, steven, steven clay romero, steven romero, stolen, three years, truck
A Wisconsin man has received a stern lecture and a sentence of six years in prison for cooking his ex-girlfriend’s dog.
A jury found Terry Kleiman of Green Bay guilty of burglary and mistreatment of animals after he broke into his former girlfriend’s apartment and put her 5-month-old Pekingese-poodle mix into an oven set at 350 degrees to get back at her following their break-up.
When the girlfriend, Alex Rouse, arrived home from the Oval Office Gentleman’s Club, where both she and Kleiman worked, she found the dog dead inside the oven, according to the Associated Press.
Kleiman was also ordered to pay Rouse $1,500 in restitution.
“I was almost nauseous when I thought about what you did,” the judge said in pronouncing the sentence. “I can’t imagine what that dog went through.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, argument, boyfriend, break up, cooked, girlfriend, green bay, mix, news, ohmidog!, oven, pekingese, pets, poodle, prison, restitution, sentence, six years, terry kleiman, wisconsin
Electric shock collars have been banned in Wales.
Under the ban — the first in the UK – owners who zap their dogs for misbehaving face a fine of up to £20,000 or six months in prison.
Around 500,000 electric collars are in use in the UK, including some 20,000 in Wales, the Daily Mail reported.
Pet welfare groups, including the RSPCA and the Kennel Club, say the electronic devices cause unnecessary pain and suffering, and that they’d like to see the ban extended across Britain.
Proponents of the collars say they can improve the behavior of dogs that would otherwise be put down, train excitable pets to stop running into traffic and stop them from worrying sheep or inflicting other damage. Banning the collars, they say, could lead to shelters being inundated with unmanageable pets.
The RSPCA counters that, rather than using pain and punishment to train dogs, pet owners should use rewards such as treats and balls. It called The Welsh Assembly’s decision “a historic day for animal welfare.”
“‘Wales has proven it is truly leading the way,” Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said, “and we hope the rest of the UK will follow by example to outlaw these cruel and unnecessary devices.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, banned, behavior, cats, collars, correcting, dogs, electric, electric collar, electric shock collar, electronic, fines, illegal, kennel club, news, ohmidog!, pain, pets, prison, punishment, rspca, shelters, shock, suffering, training, uk, wales, welsh, zap
As 100 to 150 sign-carrying protesters stood outside, convicted dogfighter Michael Vick received the Ed Block Courage Award at a Baltimore banquet hall tonight.
Vick, who served a 21-month prison sentence for dogfighting before getting signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, has said he feels he deserves the award. He was the unanimous choice of his teammates.
“I think everybody has a right to their own opinion. I feel like I’ve done everything I said I would do,” Vick said in an interview with WBAL during the ceremony. “My peers felt like I was doing the right thing … that I displayed courage and sportsmanship and leadership.”
Protesters began gathering at Martin’s West in Woodlawn before 4 p.m., carrying signs that said, among other things, ”No awards for dog killers” and “Cowards abuse animals.”
“I am here to protest that the Eagles have given Michael Vick a Courage Award and everyone else has gone along with it,” said Darlene Sanders Harris, an organizer of the protest. “I don’t think he exudes courage or any of the qualities they are looking for in an Ed Block recipient.”
Animal advocates have voiced their dismay at Vick being named to receive the honor since last December when his teammates chose him for the award.
When Vick confirmed he would be attending, the foundation had to boost security for the event and scrap the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans to sign autographs.
Every year 32 NFL players receive the honor, which is named after a longtime Baltimore Colts trainer who also worked as a physical therapist at a hospital for disabled children. The award honors players who are “role models” and “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”
Maryland SPCA’s Executive Director Aileen Gabbey released the following statement about the decision to give the award to Vick:
“The Maryland SPCA remains shocked and disappointed that Michael Vick will, indeed, receive an award for courage from the Ed Block Foundation after being nominated by his team. Mr. Vick does not deserve this honor. He has been convicted of horrific crimes against living creatures; he has served jail time; he has somehow been re-employed. His attempts to speak on behalf of animals have been half-hearted and disingenuous. None of this warrants a special award.
“No truly courageous or honorable person would say ‘Yes, I deserve an award.’ Yet, this is precisely what Mr. Vick has done, defending his nomination and claiming that he has suffered hardships. He has never suffered the hardships, or torture, that his poor dogs did at his hands. The honorable thing for Mr. Vick to do would be to not accept this award. This would actually show some courage and that he is serious about being on the road to atonement for his terrible actions against innocent lives.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal advocates, animal cruelty, awards, baltimore, banquet, darlene sanders harris, demonstration, dog fighting, dogfighting, ed block courage award, michael vick, news, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, prison, protest, protestors, sentence, vick
The sun will come out tomorrow — at least it did for Macy.
Macy was a scruffy little mutt, picked up as a stray and taken to Pontotoc County Animal Welfare Society in Ada, Oklahoma — a facility that generally holds dogs for three days before “deciding their future.”
(Meaning, especially in times of shelter overcrowding, whether they are going to have one.)
Macy, though unadopted and unclaimed, managed to stay there for several months, but as time passed her chances were growing dimmer.
She caught a break when she was chosen for a prison dog program called New Leash on Life at the CCA-Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville, Okla. But it turned out to be a temporary reprieve.
“Unfortunately, despite being a model student, Macy was the only dog at the end of the program scheduled to return to a kill shelter instead of an adoptive home or no-kill rescue,” according to RockySpot Rescue in Newcastle.
Macy’s future was looking pretty bleak again when, after her time in the prison program, RockySpot rescue took her in. RockySpot put a photo of Macy on its website, in hopes of finding her a home.
Another three months had passed when her picture was spotted by Bill Berloni, who trains animals for Broadway shows.
Berloni flew in from New York to look at her, and he liked what he saw.
Macy will be performing on Broadway, playing the role of Sandy in the musical “Annie.”
The moral of the story? Every time an orphaned dog is “euthanized,” a potential happy ending bites the dust.
(Photo: RockySpot Rescue)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ada, animals, annie, bill berloni, broadway, dog, dogs, happy ending, homeless, macy, mutt, new leash on life, newcastle, oklahoma, orphan, orphaned, performing, pets, pontotoc county, prison, program, rescue, rocky spot rescue, rockyspot rescue, sandy, shelter, stray
PETA is asking the New York District Attorney’s office to “vigorously prosecute” Chris Grant and Tiara Davis — two residents of a city housing project that police say were caught on elevator surveillance videos abusing dogs.
“The viciousness shown in the abuse of these animals must not go unpunished,” said PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “New York residents have reason to be concerned. According to leading mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals, including humans.”
Grant and Davis face charges of cruelty to animals stemming from separate incidents in which they were allegedly each caught on surveillance video repeatedly kicking and violently yanking their small dogs at the Grant Housing Development in Upper Manhattan.
Grant is accused of abusing Chuvi-Duvi, a 12-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix belonging to his girlfriend; Davis is charged with jerking and beating Sparky, her 9-pound Pomeranian, until it lost consciousness.
PETA is asking that the defendants, if convicted, be sentenced to periods of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, charges, chris grant, chuvi-duvi, district attorney, dog, dogs, elevator, evaluations, grant housing development, housing project, new york, peta, pets, prison, prosecution, psychological, sentences, sparky, surveillance, tiara davis, videos, violence
A jury in Richmond has found Richard E. Robinson guilty and recommended a 10-year prison sentence — the longest prison term in Virginia’s history for a dogfighting conviction.
The jury deliberated two hours yesterday to reach its verdict, only 40 more minutes before coming back with a recommendation of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Robinson, 32, was found guilty of three felonies and one misdemeanor related to a dogfighting operation at his South Richmond home.
Richmond prosecutors and animal-control authorities said they are unaware of any dogfighting sentences in Virginia longer than four years. The 10-year sentence, if upheld by Circuit Court Judge Beverly W. Snukals, would be twice as long as any handed down in the state, and more than five times longer than Michael Vick’s federal sentence. Formal sentencing is scheduled for March 5.
The conviction and sentence recommendation came after prosecutor Alex Taylor introduced evidence from the property where Robinson lived with his mother, including heavy chains that had been tied around the necks of dogs to help them build strength.
One of the chains weighed 52 pounds — more than the dog to whom it was attached. The prosecutors brought the chain to court in a red plastic bucket, and while arguing for a lengthy sentence, Taylor carried the pail over to the jury box and dropped it with a thud.
“This,” he said, “is no way to treat man’s best friend.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10 years, animal fighting, animals, beverly w. snukals, chains, circuit court, convicted, conviction, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, judge, jury, law, michael vick, penalties, penalty, pets, prison, prosecution, recommendation, record, richard e. robinson, richmond, sentence, virginia
America’s toughest sheriff seems to have a soft spot for pooches.
That, in part, explains why Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs an animal shelter out of the old Maricopa County jail in Phoenix — one complete with air conditioning, a luxury Arpaio has never seen fit to afford the incarcerated humans entrusted to his care.
Arpaio — a strong supporter of the death penalty, cracking down on illegal immigrants and providing the bare minimum, or slightly less, for inmates – has long been criticized for inhumane practices in the county jail, from the use of chain gangs to housing inmates in tents to mandating all inmate underwear be pink.
He once told CNN he was proud of the fact that the no-frills county prison system spent $1.10 each a day to feed its guard dogs, but only 90 cents each to feed its inmates.
His no-kill animal shelter, on the other hand — called MASH (Maricpopa Animal Safe Haven) – offers a cool and comfortable, supportive and nurturing environment for pets.
Prisoners help run the shelter, and news reports recently highlighted the story of two emaciated Rhodesian Ridgebacks who were nursed back to health by female inmates. The dogs were taken in after their owner, 34-year-old Jonathan Eder, was arrested on animal cruelty charges in August, ABC15 in Phoenix reported.
Named Bazzele and Frank, the dogs had been deprived of food and water for so long that the outlines of their rib cages were “drastically visible.” Bazelle reportedly weighed only 48 pounds, Frank 57. At the shelter, both have recovered. Bazzele now weighs 71 pounds and Frank 73. Both are up for adoption for $100 each.
The shelter was created to house and care for animals that, because of abuse or neglect by their caretakers, have been seized by the county’s Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit and must remain in custody until the court cases are resolved. After that, the sheriff’s shelter finds adoptive homes for the dogs.
Arpaio opened the shelter in the First Avenue Jail, which was closed for repairs in December 1999, then reopened for pets after getting refurbished.
“Some critics have said that it’s inhumane to put dogs and cats in air-conditioned quarters when inmates don’t have air conditioning,” the sheriff’s website says. “A good answer came from one of the inmates assigned to care for the dogs. When asked if she was resentful about not having air conditioning, she gestured to some of the dogs and said, ‘They didn’t do anything wrong. I did.’”
Consider the case of Schultz, the mastiff pictured to the left, also known as #1001.
“My owner kept me locked in a crate so I wasn’t allowed to go outside to use the bathroom, they also failed to provide me with the necessary food & water,” he says on the sheriff’s shelter web page that lists available animals. “I was brought to the MASH Unit in August, 2007, in which I received the medical attention and the love I needed to get better and recover …”
You won’t find many testimonials like that from the humans Arpaio oversees.
In Maricopa County, for an inmate to be treated like a dog would, literally, be an improvement — and, contrary as nurturing an inmate would be to the highly popular Arpaio’s philosophy, maybe it would keep some of them from biting again, once they are eventually released from their crates.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioning, animal shelter, arizona, arpaio, county, dogs, humane, inhumane, inmates, jail, joe, maricopa, mash, no-kill, pets, phoenix, prison, rescue, rights, sheriff