The company that brought you the Emmy Award winning A&E show “Intervention” is starting production of a new “documentary-reality” show to be called “Animal Hoarders.”
GRB Entertainment says the new series will be “an unflinchingly honest look at animal hoarders, the people and pets affected by them, and the challenges of confronting their unusual condition.”
Each episode, we will “delve into the hearts and minds” of two animal hoarders, according to the show’s website.
“We will witness the torment friends and family experience as they see their loved ones spinning out of control. We will take a gritty and often heartbreaking look at the pets trying to survive in an unsuitable environment. And in the end, we will be there as friends and family confront the hoarders, forcing them to get help, and let go of their animal hoard in the interest of a healthier life for the animals and themselves.”
The show is now seeking subjects, and has issued the following “casting call:” Read more »
Posted by John Woestendiek October 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A&E, animal hoarders, animals, casting call, cat lady, cats, cornwell casting, documentary, dogs, entertainment, GRB Entertainment, hoard, hoarders, hoarding, intervention, pets, program, reality, television
Three people have been convicted for their roles in one of Europe’s largest dog-fighting syndicates — offenses brought to light by a BBC program called “Panorama.”
Claire Parker, 44, from Lincolnshire, Mohammed Farooq, 33, from Birmingham, and a 17-year-old boy were convicted at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, the BBC reported.
The RSPCA said it was one of the biggest cases of dog-fighting it had prosecuted. Read more »
Posted by John Woestendiek September 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bbc, charges, claire parker, convictions, court, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, england, europe, law, mohammed farooq, panorama, program, rspca
A World War II veteran who was held for a year in a Nazi prisoner camp has made it his mission to help supply wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with service dogs.
Irwin Stovroff, the subject of a recent Fox News report, has raised nearly $2 million dollars to help train and match up service canines with wounded combat vets.
The 85-year-old resident of Boca Raton, Fla., is also pushing lawmakers for federal funding to finance the program.
“It is a shame.” Stovroff says about the lack of an official federal program that pairs up battle-injured veterans with guide and therapy animals that can greatly improve their rehabilitation. “I wanted to do something about it.”
Stovroff, the recipient of a Distinguished Flying Cross, was shot down behind enemy German lines on his 35th bombing flight. He threw his dogs tags away before his plane crashed to hide his Jewish faith from his captors.
Stovroff says dogs can help the injured soldiers in a number of ways.
“The dog can become his eyes. He can become his legs. He can bring him anything he needs.” Stovroff said. “A dog is probably the best thing that can happen to these soldiers … They need a guide (but) they need the help and love of a dog as well.”
(Photos courtesy of Intimesofwar.us)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, assistance, breed specific legislation, camp, distinguished flying cross, dogs, federal, florida, german, hero, iran, irwin stovroff, nazi, prisoner, program, service dogs, soldiers, therapy, world war II, wounded
The Decatur Correctional Center in Illinois is looking for a dog groomer, willing to work behind bars.
The center runs a dog-grooming training program, and Kim Schwalbach, the woman who has led it since 2002 is stepping down, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The program is known as CLIP, which stands for Correctional Ladies Improving Pets.
Thirty-six year-old Katrina Williamson went through the program and says it changed her life. She landed a job grooming dogs right out of prison. Prison official Mike Dooley says few of the women who have worked with Schwalbach have returned to prison.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, clip, correctional, decatur, dog, dogs, groomer, grooming, help, illinois, improving, job, ladies, pets, prison, prisoners, program, rehabilitation, training, wanted, women
Melinda Merck, the ASPCA’s forensic vet, has teamed up with the University of Florida to establish a new animal forensics program— the first of its type in the nation.
Merck, who has helped solve some of the most notable animal crimes in history, including the Michael Vick dogfighting case, is moving to Gainesville to teach at the University of Florida. Her class was the subject of a feature story Friday in the St. Petersburg Times.
As the Times story points out, crimes against animals have gained increasing attention in the past few years. Police are charging more people with animal hoarding, dogfighting, abuse and neglect. And there’s a growing recognition that people who hurt animals often go on to commit more serious crimes against humans — Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler) and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), to name a few.
While more law schools are offering animal law classes, the animal forensics program at the University of Florida will be the first of its kind, but likely not the last.
Florida, the Times report notes, seems to have more documented animal cruelty cases than most states — or maybe it does a better job of bringing them to light. Just in the past few weeks, a man in Miami was accused of being a serial killer of cats; a Tampa woman was jailed after she left her puppy in a hot car while shopping at Ikea; and another man was arrested for leaving two dogs in the bathroom of his apartment while he went to Las Vegas for two weeks.
In her partnership with the University of Florida, Merck will teach at the school’s College of Veterinary Medicine and continue her animal forensic investigations. The school plans to establish an animal forensic degree program that likely will start online this fall. Read more »
Posted by John Woestendiek July 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal, animals, aspca, cats, crime scene, cruelty, csi, degree, dogfighting, dogs, forensic, investigation, investigator, melinda merck, michael vick, neglect, pets, program, university of florida
Inmates at the Arizona State Prison in Kingman are being teamed up with dogs in hopes of changing lives — both human and canine.
The prison collaborated with Mohave Companion Animal Rescue Efforts Network almost a year ago to partner inmates with unwanted dogs that have been rescued by local organizations, some of them just before they are scheduled to be euthanized.
Its the second go-round for a program of this type at the prison; an earlier one was shut down, according to Kingman Daily Miner.
Ten inmates are chosen for the six-week program, in which the inmates train the dogs in basic commands, thereby making them more adoptable.
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s more excited, the inmates or the dogs,” said Warden Darla Elliot.
Each dog is paired with two inmates, who feed, walk, clean up after and train them for about six weeks. The only time the dogs and the inmates are separated is when the inmates go to eat or if an inmate has to go to the infirmary.
“Each new dog is a new challenge,” said Randy Barrow, who has worked with four or five dogs since entering the program. “It teaches a great deal of respect. It changes your behavior. You can’t be harsh with a dog. You can’t yell at them or they’ll start to absorb those traits. And those aren’t traits that people want in dogs.
“If you want to train a dog with problems you have to humble yourself,” he said. “You have to learn patience.”
Barrow said he plans to become a dog trainer when he is released and returns to his home near Phoenix.
(Photo: Inmates Ernest Zarza, Rod Knagge, Randy Barrow and Theo Randall talk about the Friends of the Pen program and their new dogs; courtesy Arizona State Prison)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arizona state prison, corrections, dog, dogs, kingman, prison, prisons, program, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, train, trainer, training
Citing a budget shortfall, Los Angeles animal control officials say they will end a voucher program that enabled residents to get low cost spaying and neutering for their dogs.
The program started last year, when the city voted to require all Los Angeles dogs and cats be neutered or spayed, with the exception of show animals, law enforcement and service dogs, and those deemed too old or sick for the surgery.
L.A. Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks says the agency was compelled by the city to make up a budget shortfall of $414,000. Ending the spay and neuter vouchers will save about $150,000, he said.
Animal welfare advocates, and some city council members, are displeased with the decision to end the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Councilman Dennis Zine’s office said he ”strongly opposes the recent decision made by the department to halt the voucher program” and will move later this week for the council to reinstate the program.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, budget, cats, city, city council, control, dogs, ed boks, los angeles, low cost, low-income, mandatory, neuter, neutering, pets, population, program, shortfall, spay, spaying, sterilization, voucher
Soldiers recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and homeless dogs at the Washington Humane Society are helping each other out.
The arrangement — the dogs and soldiers get together twice a week at the Washington Humane Society — is producing benefits for both, according to an Army press release.
The soldiers get some time out of the hospital, and something to get their minds off their injuries. They take classes in animal behavior, learn grooming and practice training dogs. The dogs, meanwhile, get some attention and, through the training, become more adoptable.
The program got its start last spring when volunteers walking dogs for the Washington Humane Society — located across the street from Walter Reed’s main gate — noticed how patients would brighten up when the dogs came buy.
“They’re right across the street and we have an entire campus of recovering soldiers who have a lot of time in their days for the most part, and we have a lot of dogs and animals who need that extra human interaction and training and companionship,” Kevin Simpson of the Humane Society said. ”So it was just seeing that need and figuring out a way to put the two together.”
“We’ve learned how to make dogs sit, recognize their names, how to heel, how to leave things alone without bothering it. Just a lot of training of dogs and their reactions and personalities,” said Staff Sgt. Ladeaner Williams after completing a lesson in dog agility and guiding dogs through a series of obstacles.
Williams is undergoing treatment at Walter Reed for post traumatic stress disorder. She thought that working with the dogs would be a good way to develop her interest in becoming a veterinarian. The dogs also have the added benefit of helping her relax.
“I look forward to this every Tuesday and Thursday,” she explained. “The dogs look forward to it. It’s kind of sad. You train the dogs and you come back the next week and they may be adopted, so you don’t get to work with them again. But it’s nice to know that they are being adopted and that the training is paying off.”
(Footnote: A staff member at the Washington Humane Society reports that a dog she impounded was adopted by a graduate of the “Dog Tags” program. “They’re making each other’s lives better than they ever could have been otherwise. The dog was sure to die (as five of her puppies had) where she had been left before I found her, and her dad has found a new reason to get up in the morning.”)
(US Army photo by Elizabeth M. Collins)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, army, attention, behavior, casualties, companionship, dogs, injured, medical center, patients, program, shelter, sick, soldiers, therapy, training, walter reed, war, washington humane society
Karma Dogs, the therapy dog group with which Ace and I volunteer, is looking for a few good dogs — particularly in the Harford County area.
The new reading program will be held at the library in Aberdeen — meaning Karma Dogs founder Kelly Gould either has to talk her volunteers, most of whom are in Baltimore, into doing some traveling, or line up some new Karma Dogs in Harford County.
The Karma Dogs reading program — one of several the organization is involved in – is pretty light lifting, at least for us volunteers. Ace and I have taken part in several sessions — and I think we both find it more relaxing than laborious. Basically, we sit and have kids read to us.
The thinking behind the program is that, through reading to dogs, children who have difficulty can gain new self-confidence, not to mention some practice, and new dog friends.
To see more about what’s involved in joining Karma Dogs, you can view the video I did for the Baltimore Sun about Ace becoming a therapy dog.
Most of the Karma Dogs, like Ace, are former shelter or rescue dogs, who, in accordance with the philosophy behind the organization, are giving back to the community.
If you’re interested, and think your pooch is Karma Dog material, sign up for the next evaluation session, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at the St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at 1834 East Joppa Road in Towson. To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details on the evaluation process and becoming a volunteer, please visit the volunteer section of the Karma Dogs website.