Tag Archives: reclaimed

Dog rescued in L.A. river reclaimed by owners

The dog pulled from the rain-swollen Los Angeles River a week ago has been reclaimed by his owners after they recognized him in a video of the dramatic rescue on YouTube.

The dog, dubbed Vernon after he was pulled from the river by a firefighter dropped from a helicopter, is actually named Spikey. His family had searched their neighborhood in Maywood for him, but found him on the computer.

“Somebody from the family noticed that the dog was on YouTube, and that’s how we finally figured out that was the dog, ” said Ramon Medina, son of the dog’s elderly owner.

The family contacted officials at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority on Monday to claim the dog, officials said.

“We’ve interviewed him at the animal care center, we’ve gone to his house, interviewed neighbors, verified dog license and vaccination records,” said SEAACA director of operations Captain Aaron Reyes. “Vernon went nuts when he saw him. His whole demeanor changed — like he found a long lost friend.”

Spikey will be released as early as next Tuesday, after he is cleared from his quarantine, NBC in Los Angeles reported.

Spikey’s older brother, a yellow lab named Polo, also escaped from the home last week and was found loose Saturday in the same area where Spikey was rescued. Polo is also being held in an animal control facility. Officials believe young children may have left the gates open at their grandmother’s home, allowing the dogs to escape.

“Maybe he was looking for Vernon/Spikey,” Reyes said. “We don’t know.”

Dog miraculously survives Baghdad bombing

One hundred and twenty-seven human lives were lost, but a dog miraculously survived a massive bombing in Baghdad Tuesday — even though the building she was chained to collapsed.

The dog was first spotted chained to a roof railing after the Tuesday bombing, standing on a wall ledge over the collapsed home.

The owner of the dog, Farouq Omar Muhei, returned to his destroyed home and was reunited with the ginger-colored mutt today, the Associated Press reported.

“Lots of neighbors thought I was dead,” he said  after his dog, Liza, was carried down to the street.

Officials initially said Muhei and his family were among the victims. But, to the surprise of neighbors, already marveling over the dog’s survival, he returned with his 14-year-old son, Omar, after being treated for cuts and other injuries. They were the only family members home at the time of the attack.

Only a few portions of the home remained standing — including one section of the roof where Liza was chained. The dog’s water bucket was by her side, but was empty when Muhei’s brother, Fuad, climbed over the rubble to unchain the dog. The dog, waiting calmly, yawned as Fuad approached.

Once carried down to the street and reunited with Muhei, 46, the dog — who he purchased as a puppy six years ago in Baghdad’s main pet market –shook with joy and lapped water from a puddle, according to the AP report.

“After we crawled out of the rubble of our home, I said to my son, ‘the dog is dead’,” said Muhei, who sells candy and small items in the local market. “But my son said, ‘No, I saw her.’ I came back today to rescue my dog.”

Katrina dog documentary gets raves in Austin

For thousands of New Orleans pet owners who became separated from their pets during Hurricane Katrina, the pain still lingers, and a new documentary shows how deep and complicated the hurt can be.

Mine: Taken by Katrina, premiered at a film festival over the weekend in Austin, Texas and proved a crowd favorite.

The documentary highlights a few of the tens of thousand of animals who were displaced by Katrina, the dedicated volunteers who risked their lives to rescue them, the adoptive families that have taken these pets into their homes and the original owners who lost them — some of whom are still fighting for their custody.

Director Geralyn Pezanoski, herself the adopter of a Katrina animal, began documenting animal rescue efforts in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina, and has followed the stories of several pets and animals over the last two years.

The documentary, which won the Audience Award for best documentary feature at last weekend’s South by Southwest film festival in Austin, has some heartwarming moments and some anguishing ones, such as those of pet owners still trying to reclaim their animals from adoptive homes that have grown to love them.

Those include a man named Malvin, who built his dog Bandit a new dog house next to his FEMA trailer — in case the dog’s adoptive parents in Pittsburgh ever agree to return the pooch. Another, Jesse James Pullins, a downtown hotel worker, was still mourning his separation from his Akita mix when he saw him show up on Cesar Millan’s The Dog Whisperer.

Like the aftermath of Katrina, the documentary is a testament to the intense bond between people and their pets. In this case though, those bonds are often shared by the guardians who lost their pets and want them back, and the well-meaning adoptive guardians who have taken them in, nursed them back to health and don’t want to part with them, even when the real owner surfaces.