Caught raiding a chicken coop in rural Wyoming, a blue heeler named Bo was shot twice, tossed in a barrel, doused with gasoline and set on fire.
According to the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old neighbor shot the dog — after returning home and finding it was going after the family chickens.
Then, thinking Bo was dead, he asked his father what to do with the dog’s body.
“I said, ‘Burn it,’” the father, Mike Gerber, told the Casper Star-Tribune. ” …We have had other predators come around — and even our chickens that the dog had killed — how we got rid of them was we just burned them.”
His son, Wesley Gerber, dragged the dog to a burn barrel in the front yard, doused the dog with gasoline, and threw in a match.
“The next thing you know, the dog comes popping up out of there in flames,” Mike Gerber told the newspaper. Bo ran around in a circle, and then home.
Ben and Abby Redland, Bo’s owners, said when Bo ran into the house “there was this terrible smell … His hair was melted and fallling out. He was still smoldering.”
Bo was rushed to a vet. Bullets had grazed his cheek and back, and he had third-degree burns over most of his body. “Bo was in such shock, the vet didn’t think he’d make it,” Abby Redland told the Los Angeles Times.
Since the incident — back in December, in rural Worland, Wyoming, 150 miles north of Casper — three-year-old Bo has fully recovered, though he has a few scars.
The Redlands have taken out a restraining order on the Gerbers. And they’re pushing to change Wyoming law and introduce measures that require those who shoot pets to at least contact the animal’s owners.
“I wish it never happened,” Mike Gerber said. “The decisions being made were made fast. Maybe if they would’ve been thought through more clearly, we would’ve done things differently.”
(Photo: By Abby Redland, via Los Angeles Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby redland, animals, ashes, barrel, ben redland, blue heeler, bo, burned, chickens, dog, dogs, doused, gasoline, mike gerber, neighbor, pets, property, shot, survival, washakie county, wesley gerber. shooting, worland, wyoming
Dogs Deserve Better — the rescue organization that took over Michael Vick’s old house — has won state approval to reopen its shelter in Surry County, Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said that, based on an inspection last week, DDD’s Good Newz Rehab Center can begin providing shelter again to chained and abused dogs. It had been operating without the required state permit since June 2011.
“The state’s approval on her facility doesn’t have any bearing on the local charges,” Surry County’s Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry told the Daily Press in Hampton Roads. ”They are not going to be dropped … If she is found guilty on the local charges, the state will have to revisit its decision to let her have dogs.”
Thayne was charged with one count each of animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals days after a state veterinarian and Surry Animal Control made an unannounced visit in August.
Surry County deputies removed nine cans of pepper spray from the house, along with two Tasers. They also seized a 1-year-old pit bull. Ten days later, the courts awarded custody of the dog, named Jada, back to Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs Deserve Better, which seeks to helps dogs living lives on chains, is based out of the house on Moonlight Road where quarterback Michael Vick ran a dogfighting operation, known as Bad Newz Kennels.
Attorney Fred Taylor, who was representing Thayne on the permit matter, said Dogs Deserve Better initially believed it was in compliance with state regulations. The organization was not assessed any penalty for lacking a permit.
“I would argue that the state’s not filing any civil penalties … speaks volumes for the services that Dogs Deserve Better provides,” said Taylor, who is not representing Thayne on the criminal charges.
(Photo of former Vick estate by ohmidog!; photo of Tamira Thayne, from WAVY.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, agriculture, animal cruelty, bad newz kennels, chained, charges, department, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs deserve better, good newz rehab center, house, inspection, michael vick, moonlight road, property, rescue, shelter, state, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia
The outdated legal view of dogs as easily-replaceable “property” — worth no more than you paid for them — is slowly beginning to catch up with the times.
The latest indication of a change in judicial thinking came last week when California’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled that pets are fundamentally different than other forms of property.
“Given . . . the reality that animals are living creatures, the usual standard of recovery for damaged personal property — market value — is inadequate when applied to injured pets,” Justice Kathryn Doi Todd wrote in her opinion.
She added, “Animals are special, sentient beings, (and) unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die.”
The Court of Appeals ruling came in the consolidated cases of two pet owners — one whose dog was shot by a neighbor, and one whose dog was injured by veterinary negligence. Lower courts had ruled they were entitled to no more than the market value of their pets.
The appeals court decision reversed both cases. The new ruling permits owners of wrongfully injured pets to recover the “reasonable and necessary costs” of treating and caring for an injured animal, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which had filed amicus briefs in the case.
The first case involved a German Shepherd named Gunner, who was shot by a neighbor and whose leg had to be amputated, costing his family more than $20,000. The second case involved a Golden Retriever named Katie, whose intestine was nicked during a surgical procedure. The vet also left a piece of gauze in her body. The errors led to the dog having to receive emergency surgery that cost Katie’s family more than $37,000.
In both cases, the trial court limited the plaintiffs’ recovery to a fraction of what they spent to nurse them back to health — namely, their dogs’ market value.
“This decision is a significant step forward for companion animals and their guardians,” said Matthew Liebman, ALDF senior attorney. “The legal system is finally starting to catch up with how the majority of people feel about the animals with whom they share their lives.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, animal, animal legal defense fund, appeals, court, courts, dog, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, gunner, injuries, judicial, kathryn doi todd, katie, law, lawsuits, legal, market value, pets, property, ruling, value, view, wrongful
Ahhh, the many noble uses of DNA testing — to free a wrongly convicted prisoner from death row, to nail down a rape conviction, to match a baby daddy to a baby and make him take some financial responsibility.
Then there’s using it to determine ownership of dog poop.
Call it the science of waste, or a waste of science, but increasingly apartment and condo management companies are considering and in some cases signing up for a service that, through DNA testing, matches unscooped dog poop to the offending dog who left it behind.
A recent report in the Pioneer Press says the service arrived in the Twin Cities area two months ago.
Rosedale Estates North, a 180-unit apartment complex in Roseville, is now sending samples of unscooped poop to a laboratory in Tennessee, where it’s compared to DNA that has been supplied by every dog owner in the complex, usually via a swab that has been swiped in the dog’s mouth.
The first offending sample was picked up Tuesday, May 15. Once the dog who dropped it is determined, its owner will face a $100 fine. Second offenses bring another $100 fine. A third offense leads to an order to get rid of the pet.
Jim Simpson, owner of BioPets Vet Lab in Knoxville, said the company started offering the dog-DNA service called PooPrints in 2008. He charges $30 for each DNA sample to be registered and $50 for each stool sample that is tested later.
In some cities, the service is managed through Rent 411, an apartment-finding company. Its owner says there are seven PooPrint customers in Minnesota.
Another townhouse complex considered signing up, according to the Pioneer Press, but dropped the plan when a volunteer offered to pick up poop herself every week.
Sometimes, it seems, we turn to technology when far simpler, cheaper, less intrusive solutions are available. Do we really need forensic poop spies when we could just pick it up?
(Photo: Tenant Daniel Allen cleans up after his 6 1/2-month-old puppy Creed at the Roseville apartment complex. Allen supports the “PooPrints” program and says the complex is cleaner since it started; by John Doman / Pioneer Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apartment, biopets, biopets vet lab, dna, dog poop, dogs, droppings, feces, fines, knoxville, lab, laboratory, management, minnesota, owners, pets, poop, pooprints, property, registry, samples, science, science of waste, stool, technology, tennessee, testing, tracking, twin cities, waste, waste of science
The officer, he says, pointed a gun at him and told him to put his hands in the air. That was about the time Cisco ran over and started barking at the officer, KXAN reports.
Paxton says he assured the officer that his dog would not hurt him, but when Cisco approached the officer fired, killing the dog with one shot.
The entire incident took place Saturday afternoon on Paxton’s property in Austin.
While there are reports that the officer, answering a domestic disturbance call, responded to the wrong house, Austin police would neither confirm nor deny that over the weekend, saying only that they were reviewing the incident.
Paxton and friends, meanwhile, have set up a Justice For Cisco Facebook page that has more than 14,000 likes.
APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said an investigation is continuing, and told the Austin American-Statesman, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
Paxton insists the officer had no reason to question him or shoot his dog.
“He had a Taser. He had pepper spray. I don’t understand why, in broad daylight, he pulled a gun on me. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t hiding,” Paxton told ABCNews.com today. “I was just saying, ‘I live here.’ I was panicking. I was afraid for my life.”
Paxton said the officer said he was responding to report of a man choking a woman. Paxton does not have a girlfriend and believes the report came from his neighbor’s house.
Paxton said the officer did not apologize; nor did a sergeant who arrived and told Paxton the officer was within his rights to shoot the dog. Paxton said he has not heard from the police since the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, austin, australian cattle dog, blue heeler, cisco, cop shoots dog, dogs, domestic disturbance, facebook, frisbee, justice for cisco, killed, law enforcement, michael paxton, mistake, officer, pets, playing, police, property, shooting, shot, texas, wrong address, wrong house, yard
Eugene Alfonso, 58, of Myakka City was arrested and charged with armed trespass, shooting into an occupied dwelling and cruelty to an animal, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
According to the Bradenton Herald, Alfonso fired a shot at the shepherd mix while it was attacking his small dog, but missed.
When the shepherd mix went home, police say Alfonso walked to the house of his 70-year-old neighbor and shot her dog as it stood near the porch.
Charges are expected to be pursued against her as well for the original attack, authorities said.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, attack, charges, dog, dogs, florida, german shepherd, killed, mix, myakka city, neighbors, pets, property, shooting, shot
In any case, when it comes to the seventh dog shot and killed by St. Petersburg police officers this year, the public anger is not subsiding.
Boomer’s death is still echoing — and doing so well beyond Florida.
Between his vocal owner, a Facebook page called “Boomer’s Voice,” and a petition at Change.org that has drawn more than 4,000 signatures, Boomer’s death has already gotten more attention than the previous six dogs that were shot, combined, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Roy Glass, a prominent personal injury lawyer, says he wants the police to know how much the dog’s violent death hurt his family. He wants the agency to admit the officer was wrong, and he wants police to change how they deal with dogs.
“What I want is for police to not be so trigger-happy in blowing away an obvious family pet,” he said.
Boomer escaped from his fenced yard Oct. 1 after a worker removed some wire that kept the dog from digging his way out. That night, he approached a woman walking her dog. The woman says he growled and snapped at her when she tried to check his tags.
When the woman called police, officers Misty Swanson and Michelle Fotovat responded. According to their police report, the dog was sociable at first, but bared his teeth when Swanson reached for the dog’s tags.
“Officer Swanson was about two feet from the dog when I observed her pull out her gun and fire one shot at the clearly now vicious dog,” Fotovat wrote in the police report.
Glass says — despite the dog’s tags — police never called him. On Oct. 2, he reported his dog missing. On Oct. 3, the SPCA called to tell him what happened to Boomer.
When Glass and his wife, Lauren, started hearing from other residents whose dogs had been shot and killed by police, they started a campaign.
They began a Boomer’s Voice Facebook page, featuring a photo of the dead and bloody Boomer, which already has over 2,500 followers. A California animal activist started a petition on Change.org calling for St. Pete’s officers to be better trained to handle animals.
“When a police officer’s first line of defense in restraining an animal is to reach for a weapon, it is sending the wrong message to the community that they swore to uphold and protect,” the petition says. “The ‘uncooperative animal’ that the police officer may kill could be someone’s senior pet who could be afraid, deaf, or in pain and not able to respond to the officer’s request.”
Boomer’s shooting is under investigation by the Police Department’s internal affairs division, and police aren’t commenting until the investigation is completed.
A police spokesman did point out that, after a September 2010 shooting that killed two leashed dogs, all officers were ordered to go through two hours of training with the SPCA.
Boomer’s owner believes that’s not enough. Glass wants to see officers undergo more extensive training, and lawmakers rewrite existing laws that define pets as property.
“As the law stands, our pets are nothing but chattel,” he said. “They’re personal property, and if somebody violates them, or abuses or maims or kills (them), you’re not entitled to any compensatory damages other than value of the dog. That’s so antiquated these days.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: attorney, boomer, boomers voice, campaign, change.org, death, facebook, florida, golden retriever, killed, laws, lawyer, officers, petition, police, property, roy glass, shot, st. petersburg, training, trigger-happy
Pity the poor dogs of El Cerrito — at least those who go for walks.
It has long been illegal for dogs in the northern California city to have a bowel movement, unless they — and by that we mean both dog and bowel movement — were in their own yard.
At least it was until yesterday.
The city council was expected to approve last night a proposal to change the old law, amending it to allow dogs to “excrete” off the dog owner’s property — as long as the person in possession of the dog cleans it up.
The old law was never enforced, but city staff apparently thought it needed to be revamped to better fit modern times, according to Patch.com.
Under the city’s muncipal code, it was illegal for anyone in possession of a dog to allow it to engage in “excreting on property other than that of its owner.” Under the revised ordinance, scheduled for a vote last night, it would only be illegal if a dog’s owner failed to clean it up
We are assuming, by excretion, they mean what is more scientifically called No. 2. If not, and owners are now expected to clean up No. 1, or urine — and it too is excreted, at least according to my dictionary — that could be even more problematic than the old law.
Here’s how the old law read:
It is unlawful and shall constitute a nuisance per se for any person having possession of any dog to permit the same to disturb the public peace and welfare by barking, teasing other pets or animals, jumping fences, spilling garbage cans, excreting on property other than that of its owner, giving birth on the street, lying on the sidewalk so as to block it, burying objects of any sort on property other than that of its owner, or running loose on school property.
The new law still uses the term “excrete,” which, for clarity’s sake probably should have been updated as well. Perhaps an excess of discretion led to using “excretion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, city council, dogs, el cerrito, excrement, excrete, excreting, excretion, fecal matter, illegal, laws, ordinance, pee, pets, poop, property, revised, waste
As public relations professionals go about rehabilitating Michael Vick’s image, his old place is getting a makeover, too.
Inside the home that once served as headquarters for Bad Newz Kennels in Surry County, Virginia, the quarterback’s cream colored carpet has been ripped up and replaced with rubberized flooring; his oversized tiled shower is now being used for doggie baths.
Dogs Deserve Better, which bought Vick’s former home, continues its work to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and abused dogs, assisted by generous donors and volunteers who are showing up regularly, including a group from Baltimore who arrived there this weekend.
According to a Sunday report in the Newport News Daily Press, nine dogs are now living at Good Newz Rehabilitation Center, with five more expected in coming weeks.
“It takes most dogs that have spent their lives in pens or on chains about three months to learn to play, to learn to chase a ball, because they are so traumatized,” said Tamira Thayne, founder of the Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs will spend three to six months in rehabilitation before they are put up for adoption on Petfinder.com, and adoption fees will range from $75 to $150, depending on the pet’s age and size.
Vick’s former house will also serve as headquarters for Dogs Deserve Better, which formerly operated out of Thayne’s hous in Tipton, Pennsylvania.
The Daily Press article says Dogs Deserve Better was able to raise $180,000, within weeks of annoucing their intention to buy the property. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000, a private business donated $18,000, and one contributor, Monica Severy of Virginia Beach, has pledged to donate $5,000 a month for the next decade — more than enough to cover mortgage payments.
Dogs Deserve Better received a $10,000 grant to make the house more dog-friendly. Thayne installed the rubber flooring, added a dog door, bought tarps and fencing for yard areas so some dogs could stay outside during the day. All the yards have shaded areas and plastic, bone-shaped swimming pools to keep the dogs cool on hot days; all of the dogs sleep inside at night, Thayne said.
Thayne said Vick’s old living room will be used to provide dogs with obedience training.
Thayne said few have been made in the four buildings where Vick’s pit bulls were trained to fight and kill other dogs. All of them are painted black, windows included.
One of them has eight kennel runs, and some of the vestiges from the property’s past remain – unused syringes, which once were used to inject dogs with steroids and antibiotics, and a ”rape stand” used for breeding purposes.
Thayne says she’s not sure if she’ll take down the buildings, but that she doesn’t plan to use them for rehabilitation.
“I feel like they need to be seen,” she said.
The Daily Press also reported that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the property’s new use.
Neighbor Earnst R. Hardy Sr. said at least one of the dogs has ended up on his property.
“All the time he (Vick) was over there fighting and breaking the law, he didn’t disturb me,” said Hardy. “I’ve had more problems with them in the six weeks they’ve been here than I ever had with Vick.”
Thayne told the newspaper she feels the house has been rehabilitated.
“Dogs are living in the house and people say Michael Vick is rehabilitated. I hope he is … and I hope people will focus on the beautiful stuff happening here instead of the hideous crimes that occurred here in the past.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bad newz, center, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, donors, good newz, house, kennels, makeover, michael vick, moonlight road, pets, pit bulls, property, rehabilitation, remodeling, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, volunteers
The first eight rescue dogs have arrived at the home once owned by Michael Vick in Surry County, Virginia.
“We want this place to be a memorial to all the dogs who lost their lives here,” said the groups founder, Tamira Thyne, who acknowledged the property’s past is a haunting one. “It’s creepy,” she told WAVY.
Dogs Deserve Better, formerly based in Pennsylvania, will use the property as its new home base as it begins renovations aimed at turning it into “a state of the art” facility for dogs. The organization is seeking both volunteers and donations to help meet that goal.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, chained, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs deserve better, estate, michael vick, moonlight road, penned, property, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, wavy