Philadelphia sports website Crossing Broad posted several photos this week of Vick and his Beligian Malinois, Angel, enrolled in training classes at a New Jersey PetSmart.
It was Crossing Broad that first broke the story — or at least raised the possibility — that Vick’s family had gotten a dog, after a member of its staff noted a box of Milk Bones on the quarterback’s breakfast table in a photo Vick Tweeted.
Several days later, Vick admitted his family had gotten a dog, something that he was legally allowed to do after the probationary period for his dogfighting sentence expired last summer.
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
“Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change,” added Vick, who has been working with the Humane Society of the United States in an anti-dogfighting campaign.
Crossing Broad reported this week that a tipster supplied the photographs of Vick at PetSmart and confirmed that Vick had signed up for a total of six training classes on Monday evenings.
(Photos: Crossing Broad)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angel, animals, belgian malinois, classes, dog, dog training, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, new dog, new jersey, pets, petsmart, philadelphia eagles, prison, probation, quarterback, training
Vivian Peyton, a pit bull mix and former bait dog, was honored as a Purina Therapy Dog Ambassador.
Vivian was in the second graduating class of Philadelphia’s New Leash on Life USA, a program that, unlike some similar ones, actually sees dogs and inmates become cellmates.
It’s aimed at helping both dogs in need of homes and inmates in need of job skills. Poorly socialized or misbehaving dogs, through the training, get a better chance to be adopted; the inmates, in addition to getting a break from their otherwise mostly lonely and idle existence, learn to be dog trainers.
New Leash on Life USA is currently training their fifth class of dogs, with 28 dogs scheduled to graduate, according to a press release.
Vivian, was rescued by New Leash on Life USA and spent three months completing the prison training program.
When she arrived, she was wounded, severely underweight and apprehensive around people, but it only took a few days for her to come out of her shell. She went on to pass her canine good citizen test in prison.
Then she was adopted by Michele Pich, a Veterinary Grief Counselor at PennVet. Vivian, now a certified therapy dog, comforts grieving pet lovers and visits children at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We are incredibly proud of Vivian Peyton for showing the resiliency of animals and what can be accomplished with love and care,” said Marian V. Marchese, the founder of New Leash on Life USA. “She will always be New Leash on Life USA’s ambassador dog.”
(Top photo courtesy of New Leash on Life USA; bottom photo, of Vivian and Pich, by Connie Kang / Daily Pennsylvanian)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, ambassador, animals, bait dog, counselor, dogs, grief, michelle pich, mix, national dog show, new leash on life, new leash on life usa, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, prison, prison dogs, prisons, program, purina therapy dog, rescues, shelters, socialization, therapy dog, therapy dogs, training, veterinary, vivian peyton
A day after declining to respond to rising speculation that he had gotten a dog — prompted by a box of Milk Bones appearing in a family photo he tweeted — Vick released a statement through his publicist:
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
Vick posted a photo on Twitter last week of his daughter and him seated at a table. A box of Milk Bone dog biscuits could be seen on the right side of the photo, next to a book or folder with puppies on the cover. The photo was later deleted and replaced with a similar photo in which the Milk Bones box didn’t appear.
Last Wednesday, he initially evaded questions about it, according to Philly.com, and seemed to say his personal life — even if he Tweets about it — is private.
“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
Vick was barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison, where he served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring. He served an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May.
In July, as the probationary period drew to a close, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having a pet.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, box, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, michael vicks new dog, milk bones, new, pets, philadelphia eagles, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, table, terms, treats, tweet, twitter
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
That sound you hear is the collective bile rising in the throats of hundreds of thousands of Michael Vick-haters, who — if his new clothing line and new book aren’t distressing enough — will surely blow their tops, or lunch, upon hearing this news.
Michael Vick says maybe he’ll get a dog.
And, worse yet, at the end of this month — when the no-dog clause of his sentence for dogfighting expires — he legally can.
Vick makes the comment tonight, during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN.
Above is a segment of what will be airing (with apologies for the 30 second commercial).
In the interview, we’re told, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback “speaks candidly about his fall from grace in 2007 when he was implicated and convicted of participating in the operation an illegal dog fighting ring.”
In his new book “Michael Vick: Finally Free, An Autobiography,” Vick expresses his love for dogs, despite taking part in training them, killing them and watching them fight to the death.
As part of his sentence, Vick was banned from owning a dog for three years, but this month the ban expires.
During the interview, Morgan asks Vick if he will get a new dog.
He says he would — for his children:
“I can’t take that dream away from them. That’s selfish on my behalf. You know, so, gotta find a way to make it right and, you know, I put everything in God’s hands to make it right.”
When Morgan asks Vick what kind of dog he would adopt, Vick replies “I would let them pick it out. Certainly wouldn’t be a pit bull.”
The interview airs at 9 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, autobiography, book, children, cnn, conviction, dog, dogfighting, dogs, finally free, getting a dog, interview, michael vick, michael vick getting a dog, ownership, pet, philadelphia eagles, piers morgan, pit bulls, pitbulls, prison, quarterback, vick
Brody, Diamond and Ella Mae graduated yesterday, meaning they will be leaving the prison where they’ve lived for the past 10 weeks and going to homes with new families.
The three dogs were members of the 16th graduating class of A New Leash on Life, a program in which inmates give shelter dogs the training they need to be welcomed into new homes.
The inmate trainers, all of whom received certificates, also get something more out of the deal — pride, self-esteem, and a job skill, for starters. Several of them spoke about what they’d gotten out of the program during yesterday’s ceremony, noting that dog training requires, above all, patience, compassion and love.
The program at Forsyth Correctional Center, a minimum-security state prison in Winston-Salem, is operated by the Forsyth Humane Society — and it’s one of 16 in prisons statewide.
Dogs from the shelter are referred to the inmates who, with help from professional trainers, straighten out any issues the canines may have, often while simultaneously straightening out their own.
Brody, Diamond and Ella Mae, all wearing bandanas and mortarboards, were each brought in front of the stage with their trainer, and later demonstrated their agility and obedience skills in front of the audience in a nearby field.
Brody, to the left, a one year old pit mix who was originally rescued from a kill shelter as a pup, departed after the ceremony with his new family, Dan and Denise Nelson and their daughter, Mari. They first came across him on the Internet, and later met him at an adoption fair before visiting him at the prison.
Diamond, a Rhodesian ridgeback-boxer mix whose energy level was more than her previous owners could handle, left with her new family, too — but not until after demonstrating her skills on the prison’s agility course.
Ella Mae was destined for a new home as well.
Humane Society officials announced the next three canine members of the program, who will arrive at the prison this week. They’ll include two energetic husky mixes, Jonah and Dude. Dude ended up in the shelter after wandering alone into a pet supply store.
Inmates in the program are guided by professional trainers, provided through the Winston-Salem Dog Training Club, who donate their time to the program. The program receives no state or federal funding, and the humane society covers all medical care, supplies and expenses.
Forsyth Correctional Center launched the program in 2009, but it has been operating at some other North Carolina state prisons since 2004.
You can find more information on the New Leash on Life program — whose slogan is “Changing men’s lives one dog at a time” — here.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a new leash on life, animals, brody, diamond, dogs, dude, ella mae, forsyth correctional center, forsyth humane society, inmates, jonah, new leash on life, north carolina, pets, prison, prisoners, program, rehabilitation, rescue, second chances, shelters, train, trainers, winston-salem, winston-salem dog training club
And that, in itself, would be another crime.
Nally was sentenced last month for torturing and killing dogs, at least 29 of which he collected by perusing Craigslist’s ”free to a good home” ads.
While the sentence isn’t harsh enough for most animal advocates, it’s a pretty significant one, relative to most others meted out in abuse cases, and given it was handed down by a judge in West Virginia.
Then again, Nally, based on court records and witness statements about his heinous acts, seemed pretty close to graduating, as many an animal abuser does, to human killing.
According to his former girlfriend, Jessica Sellers, Nally had been holding her captive in his home in New Cumberland and terrorizing her by torturing and murdering the animals in front of her.
Sellers said Nally told her the only way she was leaving his home was “in a body bag.” On the day of his arrest, she claimed, he forced her to hold a puppy as he bored into its head with an electric drill.
His victims were obtained through Craigslist — dogs advertised as free to a good home. Nally would pick them up and return them to his place, about as far from a “good home” as you could possibly get.
Nally’s house was raided in March of 2011 after Sellers’ mother called authorities. Police found 29 dog carcasses, guns, tools covered with blood and hair, and what appeared to be a beagle’s pelt and eyes in a jar, according to an account in PetPardons.com.
Nally, 20, faced 29 counts of felony animal cruelty, one count of domestic battery, one count of kidnapping and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
In January, he turned down a plea deal, but in April, as his trial neared, he accepted it. He entered guilty pleas to nine of the charges of felony animal abuse and received one to five years for each count. In exchange, all the other charges, except for the firearms one, were dropped.
He will have to serve a minimum of five years before he can apply for an early release.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, beagle, craigslist, cruelty to animals, dogs, drill, eyes, free to good home, jeffrey nally, jessica sellers, new cumberland, pelt, pets, prison, sentence, torture, west virginia
A state judge granted a reprieve Tuesday to a wolf dog hybrid named Chief, sparing him the death penalty, but sentencing to a lifetime of employment at Louisiana State Prison in Angola.
The judge had earlier ordered the dog destroyed for aggressive behavior.
Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court released Chief to the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections at the request of prison officials who want to use him to guard inmates.
Area residents testified before the judge last month that Chief frequently escaped from his owners’ property and “terrorized” them, according to The Advocate. Local law in Pointe Coupee Parish requires all dogs be confined to an owner’s property, or secured on a leash. After hearing from the witnesses, Best ordered the dog — who is part wolf, part German shepherd — to be euthanized.
Best said he was contacted by Angola Warden Burl Cain, who wanted to take Chief into custody for guard dog service at the 18,000-acre maximum security state prison.
“When we saw this dog in the paper, we thought it would be a shame to euthanize,” Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd said.
The state prison has developed a program in which wolf hybrids are deployed at night within perimeter fencing encircling the prison’s individual camps.
The program has helped the prison make do with fewer guards, many of whom have been released due to budget cuts.
The prison also breeds wolf hybrids for the program, Dodd said. More than a dozen are already on duty.
“We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive,” Dodd said. “They become a security measure.”
Chief’s previous owner, Vicky Smith, said she doubts the dog, who she purchased as a 5-week-old puppy for her son, would thrive in his new surroundings.
“He’s not going to do well without us. We’re his family,” she said. “I think he’s going to be really, really stressed. We keep him inside our air-conditioned home. I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. You think they’re going to feed him that?”
Despite witness testimony, Smith said, Chief is harmless and has never “bit or hurt anyone.”
“It’s not right what they’re doing. I was going to sell my house and move out of the parish to keep my dog. I want my dog back, but once he goes to Angola I don’t think I’ll get him.”
Parish officials said Chief was to be taken to Angola Wednesday.
“I’m just glad for the dog,” Judge Best said. “It’s a beautiful ending and the community got some relief. The dog is going to provide good service and be well taken care of.”
(Photo by Travis Spradling / The Advocate)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, angola, animals, behavior, bruce dodd, budget, burl cain, chief, corrections, cutbacks, deputy warden, dogs, fence, german shepherd, guard, hybrid, james best, judge, louisiana, maximum security, mix, owner, penitentiary, perimeter, pets, pointe coupee parish, prison, prisoners, state, vicky smith, warden, wolf dog, wolf hybrid
Patrick Caleb Land, 25, was sentenced Friday to five years and four months in state prison.
“These crimes were committed with callous violence and a serious punishment is warranted,” Judge Charles Rogers said.
The maximum possible sentence was eight years, but the judge took into account Land’s guilty plea, that Land was born to a drug-using mother and that he was beaten in his youth by an adoptive mother, according to 10 News in San Diego.
According to prosecutors, Land called his girlfriend Natasha Strain last year and told her that he had come home to find Josh, her 8-year-old Golden Retriever mix, dead.
Three weeks later, he called her again to tell her that he had found her other two dogs, Jackie, a 9-year-old white shepherd mix, and Pikanik, a 50-pound mixed breed, dead in a bedroom.
No necropsy was performed in the first case, but a veterinarian determined the second two animals were beaten to death.
Prosecutors said there was evidence of attempts to suffocate the animals, and that the defendant’s DNA was found under one of the dogs’ nails.
At a preliminary hearing, a roommate of the couple testified that Land sometimes complained that Strain spent more time with her dogs than she did with him.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accused, animals, beaten, beating, boyfriend, courts, crimes, cruelty, dna, dog, dogs, five years, guilty, killed, natasha strain, patrick caleb land, pets, prison, san diego, sentence, three dogs
Harry Hargrove of Duplin County was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Raleigh on dogfighting charges he pleaded guilty to earlier this year.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence longer than recommended federal guidelines of 10 months to 16 months.
A federal motion says Hargrove has been involved in dog-fighting in the South for about 40 years. He told Judge Terrence Boyle he once had more than 100 fighting dogs, but he’d cut back to 35 by the time he was arrested.
Police found jumper cables used to electrocute dogs on the property, as well as a blood-stained fighting pit and other tools usually used to condition dogs for fighting.
In addition to Hargrove’s five-year sentence, the judge mandated three additional years of supervision after he is released.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, duplin county, federal court, five years, harry hargrove, hurricane hugo, judge terrence boyle, legend, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, prison, sentence, sentenced, thomas walker