After at least five years as a stray, avoiding human contact, surviving in a vacant field and regularly outsmarting animal control officers, a Texas dog named Bear may finally be heading for a home.
And good thing, because construction is expected to begin soon on the field he has called home, which is slated to become a housing development.
Bear is something of a legend in Hutto, a town of about 15,000 people, northeast of Austin. He’s a dog owned by no one, though many residents appreciate him from afar.
But in the past few years, one woman has gotten closer to him than most. Irma Mendoza and her son started bringing him food a couple of years ago, and also built him a dog house on the land.
Now, she is working to find him a home.
“It all started a couple of years ago when my mom found Bear by the block where we live,” said Alfonso Salinas, Irma’s son. ” …After that she just started to feed him and try to take care of him,” he told Fox 7 in Austin
Every day Irma comes to the field to give Bear food. She also gives him his annual medications.
“This dog is pretty much a family member,” Salinas said.
Bear has been seen roaming the neighborhood since 2010. Some think he was left behind when his owners moved.
Over the years, others in the community have pitched in to make sure Bear is taken care of.
“He is a survivor that’s for sure. He’s smart, he stays out of the way, stays out of the street, avoids people, and everybody has grown fond of him,” said Richard Rodriguez, who lives in the neighborhood. “He’s got his own Facebook page so that speaks something to how people like him.”
“No one can get close to him but Irma so we haven’t been able to catch him. He’s gotten wise to our dog traps, he recognizes the animal control truck so he’s very leery about new people,” Cunningham said.
Mendoza is now working with Cunningham to help find Bear a permanent place to stay — with a friend who has spent years helping her care for him.
“He deserves to be in a loving home,” said Niroshini Glass. “He would be so spoiled. He would get anything and everything he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted it. He would be very, very spoiled.”
All this hinges on Bear’s cooperation, of course, but with the progress that Irma has made, the willingness of Glass to provide a home, and the field destined to soon become a construction zone, the time appears ripe to take Bear out of the wild.
Once he is caught, he will be taken to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter to be evaluated before adoption.
A GoFundMe campaign has started to raise money to help pay Bear’s vet costs, and ongoing care.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animal control, animals, austin, bear, dog, dogs, facebook, feral, field, friends, hutto, irma mendoza, pet, pets, rescue, shelter, socializing, stray, texas, training, trust, wild, williamson county
Fourteen more farm dogs from South Korea have arrived in the U.S. and are bound for the Richmond SPCA for eventual adoption.
The dogs arrived Friday at Dulles International Airport after being rescued from a dog meat farm in Jeonju, where they would have faced being slaughtered and butchered after living short and miserable lives.
Working with local animal activists, HSI attempts to persuade the operators of dog farms to relinquish their dogs, close down their business and find a new line of work, sometimes assisting them in the latter.
The dogs who arrived Friday were rescued from a meat farm in Jeonju — likely the same one my new dog was in.
While dog meat farms are legal in South Korea, the latest arrivals — like the 31 that arrived at shelters across North Carolina in October — came from a farm that Korean officials found to be operating illegally (on someone else’s property) and ordered to close.
The latest 14 were sheltered, vaccinated and quarantined in Daegu and Isla before being flown to San Francisco and, eventually, Dulles, according to the Richmond SPCA.
Robin Starr, CEO of the Richmond SPCA, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that some of the dogs will be ready for adoption in about a week.
“When we save the lives of animals that were really facing not only short lives of utter misery but then a terrible death, nothing could be more central to the accomplishment of that,” she said.
(Photos: At top Jessica Bristow carries Mokpo; lower, another Korean dog stretches his legs after arriving in Richmond; by Joe Mahoney / Times-Dispatch)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 5th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog farms, dog meat, dog meat trade, dogs, farm, farmers, farms, humane society international, jeonju, jindos, jinjja, korea, korean, meat, pets, rescue, rescued, richmond, richmond spca, spca, virginia
Laurel Kinder, the head of Kinder4Rescue, says the emaciated Chihuahua was found Friday wandering the streets of North Hollywood.
When a vet checked the dog for a microchip, Faris’ name came up as the owner, as well as information about where Pete had been adopted from.
The rescue organization was contacted, took custody of the dog, and will seek to find him a new home.
Kinder told TMZ that in signing the contract for the adoption of Pete Faris agreed to pay the fine if she ever parted with the dog without informing them.
Faris, in a statement to People magazine, said she gave the dog to another family when her son was born.
“Five years ago I adopted an adorable Chihuahua named Pete, from the Kinder4Rescue Animal Rescue. Unfortunately when our son was born, we discovered that he was allergic to Pete, so I found what I thought was a loving and responsible family to care for him.
“My agreement with the animal rescue required me to contact them first before allowing another family to take Pete in. I failed to do this, and for that I am deeply sorry. I now understand the dangers of giving animals away for free.”
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Pete has been found and is back in the hands of Kinder4Rescue. I feared that he had been lost forever and, although he is malnourished and in need of care, it seems he is going to make a full recovery. For this, I am so deeply thankful…”
Faris is the Baltimore-born star of the CBS series “Mom,” whose numerous film credits include “Scary Movie” and its sequels, “House Bunny,” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
The North Hollywood shelter said it had been unable to reach Faris and her husband, actor Chris Pratt, since the dog was found Friday.
Five years ago, Pratt was widely criticized on social media for getting rid of the couple’s cat.
Before putting the cat up for adoption, he announced on Twitter that he and his wife wanted to “start a family” and “absolutely cannot have an animal that shits all over the house.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 23rd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actor, actress, adoption, animals, anna faris, chihuahua, chris pratt, contract, dog, dogs, emaciated, fine, fined, five thousand dollars, found, homeless, kinder4rescue, los angeles, microchip, penalty, pets, rescue, shelter, starving, stray
Meet … Jinjja???
It’s a Korean word — sort of the equivalent to our “Really???”
He’s a Jindo, or more likely a Jindo mix, rescued from a dog farm in South Korea and transported to the U.S., where he ended up at the Watauga Humane Society — one of five humane societies in North Carolina that recently accepted 31 dogs that were saved from ending up as meat.
The shipment was the latest in a continuing series by Humane Society International, which works with animal welfare groups in Korea to obtain the dogs by persuading the farmers to forfeit them and go into a new line of work.
He came home with me Thursday, and has becoming a little more sociable and playful everyday since.
He spent the first day pacing, and giving me wary sideways looks. The second day he began approaching me without too much hesitation. Saturday was the first day he sat down — at least within my view. Sunday was the first day I actually saw him lay down.
As his shyness recedes, his personality comes forth — playful, loving (once he gets used to you), ultra alert, and I suspect, once he comes entirely out of his shell, highly energetic.
Several times I tried to sneak into the room he has chosen to sleep in — he has opted not to bed down with me so far — but he always hears me coming, gets up and meets me as I enter.
He is fearful of sudden movements and unexpected noises, and seems unfamiliar with things like TV sets and running water — but each day, less so.
The humane society in Boone sent two of the four Korean dogs they accepted home with new owners Thursday. A third is awaiting adoption. And a fourth will stay there a little longer for additional training through the shelter’s Diamond Dogs program.
A video of the turning over of the leashes — it was live streamed on Good Morning America as part of its Mission PAWsible series — is at the bottom of this post.
The woman in charge of the shelter’s Diamond Dog program gave me a few pieces of parting advice — give him a couple of weeks just to get accustomed to his new surroundings, always bring my hand up to pet him from beneath his line of vision, not from above, and don’t try to manipulate or maneuver him. He has shown he doesn’t like that.
(I did look up the Korean word for “sit,” just to see if he’d respond. He didn’t.)
He has shown no destructive tendencies so far, and has declined, even when invited, to jump up on the sofa or bed. He has emitted only a few barks — usually only upon seeing squirrel or cat out the window. He has been good with the handful of people and dogs he has met.
I do my best not to have Ace expectations. It would be unfair to him, especially given his background, to hold him to the standard of Ace, the gentle giant I traversed the country with.
Could Jinnja become a therapy dog, like Ace did, despite Ace’s being the size of a small pony and made up of four breeds commonly labeled “dangerous” — Rottweiler, pit bull, Akita and chow? I think there’s a good chance of that.
The shelter let me spend 15 minutes inside the kennel of each one, even though they were still under quarantine at the time. One came nowhere close to me; two got close enough to give me a sniff. The fourth, Jinnja, was the only one to let me pet him.
Underneath all the fear, I saw something in him, as I did with Ace when I bumped into him at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care. Don’t ask me to put my finger on it, but it was enough for me to apply to adopt him.
My hope is that just as Ace became an ambassador for pit bulls and all wrongly labeled “dangerous” breeds, Jinjja will show that “farm dogs” despite all the cruel treatment they are subjected to and the cruel fates they usually face, can be great pets, too.
Jinjja has a ways to go to become the traveling dog Ace was. Leaving the shelter, he refused to jump into the back of my Jeep. Picking him up, it was decided, should be avoided. So the shelter loaned me a crate. Once inside it, we lifted him aboard, and he was calm and quiet for the whole 90-minute ride home.
Of the four Korean dogs at the shelter, Lucy went home with a Raleigh woman, Jindol (his shelter name) went home with me. Princess is still available, and Murphy will stay a little longer to work on his socialization skills.
Jinjja was supposed to be neutered the day before I picked him up, but when the shelter brought him to the vet it was discovered he already had been. It’s not likely that happened at a dog farm, so speculation is that before that he was someone’s pet and was either stolen or strayed before ending up at the dog farm in Jongju.
It is taking him some time to get used to my house. He gets startled when he sees his reflection in the sliding glass doors, the fireplace doors or the front of the oven.
For three days he avoided being in a room when the television was on.
Based on our time together so far, though, I have the highest of hopes. He still has sides to his personality I haven’t seen, I’m sure, but he’s doing a great job of adjusting — and those who freed and sheltered him deserve all of the credit for that.
Let’s get that part straight right from the start. He’s a rescued dog, but if you ever hear me say I “rescued” him, slap me in the face.
As is the case in any dog adoption, the human is getting far more out of the deal. And any truly noble acts took place before he came to me — by the activists who made efforts to get the dogs off the farm, by Humane Society International, which transported them, by the shelters in the U.S. that took them in.
Those were the noble deeds. Me? I’m just getting a dog, though I do admit to feeling good that I’m a small part of getting one dog off a dog farm.
It was while I was in Korea, researching my book on dog cloning, that I first saw in person some sides of the dog meat trade. I visited an outdoor market where they were on display, packed together in crowded crates, while alive, and butchered on site. One can’t see that sight and not want to do something about it.
So expect more reporting about the campaign to end the practice in the months ahead on this website, and expect more photos and stories about Jinjja’s adjustment.
Given he’s a dog with a story to tell, I will assist in that.
One more thing I cannot take credit for — his name. Looking for something that sounded a little like Jindol — but didn’t remind me of the Louisiana politician I’m not a fan of — I contacted a friend from Korea, who presented the matter to her family.
Among those they came up with were Ginger, which perfectly describes his color (not to mention the way he walks) and Jinjja.
Really??? It’s the reaction most common among those with whom I’ve shared some of his story. Astonishment. Disbelief. Not entirely unlike the phrase “ohmigod!” from which this website derives its name.
So it will be Jinjja, with an optional question mark or exclamation point.
Oh there he is, laying at my feet as I type, just like Ace used to do.
Even though the TV is on.
(Photos by Ted Woestendiek)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 21st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ace, animals, dog, dog farm, dog meat, dog meat trade, eating dogs, ginger, humane society international, jindo, jindol, jinjja, korea, korean, mascot, ohmidog!, pets, really, rescue, south korea, stop eating dogs, watauga humane society
A five-year-old boy in Ireland who became trapped in a running clothes dryer was pulled to safety after the family dog alerted his mother.
Teddy, a cockapoo, or poodle-cocker spaniel mix, alerted the mother by growling and running up and down the stairs after seeing the boy tumbling inside the dryer.
Riley, who has Downs syndrome, was taken to a hospital with burns and bruises.
It was the second time in recent months that Teddy saved the day. He alerted the family to a burning mobile phone charger in a bedroom by displaying the same agitated behavior, Belfast Live reported.
“She’s one in a million,” Riley’s father, Aaron said. “Gillian and I bought her two years ago as a family pet and we all just love her.
Riley crawled into the dryer with his iPad. When he closed the door behind him that triggered the drying cycle to begin.
His mother was running a vacuum cleaner at the time.
After being alerted by Teddy, though, she pulled Riley out of the dryer and doused him with cold water. His father returned home about that time, and an ambulance arrived within minutes.
Four years ago, his parents say, Riley beat the odds and survived surgery to repair three holes in his heart.
The family reports that being tumbled in the dryer did not cause any broken bones and that Riley was expected to be released soon from the hospital.
(Photos courtesy of the family)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 16th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alerted, alerts, animals, boy, clothes dryer, cockapoo, dog, dogs, downs syndrome, dryer, gedge-duffy, ireland, mother, pets, rescue, riley, saves, teddy, trapped
Getting your Huntsvilles confused is one thing, but one website really screwed the pooch when they published a story about a good Samaritan who helped reunite a homeless man and his dog.
In September, in Huntsville, TEXAS, Wilma Price was driving through a Walmart parking lot when she saw a homeless man holding a sign that said, “Dog in pound. Need help.”
Price, who runs a rescue called Mr. K’s Pet Shelter, stopped to find out his story. She learned the homeless man, named Patrick, had been arrested and jailed for trespassing, and that, because of that, his dog ended up in the animal shelter.
She took Patrick to the shelter, and paid the $120 necessary for him to get his dog — named Franklin — back.
Dozens of other websites reprinted or rewrote it — most of them doing a decent job of passing along the facts.
Then there was the Alabama Observer.
It reported that the story took place in Huntsville, Alabama, that the dog’s name was Wilbur, that the homeless man’s name was Mark Spencer, and that the good Samaritan’s name was Elizabeth Masterson.
The story had no links to actual news sources, and little attribution.
It wasn’t the only website to get the facts askew, but it was the only one that appeared to be making up entirely new names for everyone involved. At least three other websites published versions of the story with those erroneous names.
One wonders what might be the motivation for substituting illegitimate names into a legitimate story.
Might the exact same story have happened with different people at a Walmart in Huntsville, Alabama? Clearly not. Might the website be trying to cover its rear, legally? Maybe. Might there be something more nefarious going on, such as diverting donations intended for Patrick (whose last name isn’t Spencer) to some guy named Mark Spencer? We hope not. Might a computer program be doing the website’s writing? Highly possible.
Apparently, a bogus Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds for Patrick was launched by someone neither Wilma nor Patrick knew, and, using photos from Wilma’s Facebook page, it raised $3,000 before the page was removed from Go Fund Me.
That’s $3,000 Patrick and Franklin didn’t get. Wilma Price, meanwhile, started a campaign for him too, and it has raised more than $15,000 for Patrick on GoFundMe.
Price said Patrick has been helping her organization with rescue efforts since the two met, and her Facebook page documents their adventures together.
Snopes.com looked into the story and couldn’t figure out how or why the Alabama Observer version had new names inserted into it.
There is no contact information on the Alabama Observer’s web site, and no description of who operates it. Snopes reported it appears to accept stories submitted by users, as opposed to having its own reporters or freelancers.
We think there’s a good possibility it’s one of those websites that runs news stories through computer programs that rewrite them (with mixed results, or should I say “stirred outcomes?”).
How else could you explain the opening of this recent Alabama Observer story about clown sightings in Ohio?
“The developing rash of reported dangers including clown-faced villains has law authorization offices crosswise over Ohio and somewhere else attempting to recognize true blue dangers while cautioning deceptions are no giggling matter.”
(Photos courtesy of Wilma Price)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 2nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, alabama observer, animals, arrest, dog, dogs, errors, facts, franklin, fraud, go fund me, gofundme, good samaritan, homeless man, huntsville, impounded, mr. k's pet shelter, news, news media, patrick, pets, publishing, rescue, rescue groups, reunite, reunited, reunites, rewriting, shelter, texas, truth, website, wilma price
(Second of two parts)
Their eyes said yes, their feet said no.
All four of the dogs at the Watauga Humane Society — each being held in individual quarantined kennels after their trip from Korea — initially reacted the same when I stepped inside.
They’d take one step forward, their bright eyes shining with what seemed to be excitement, anticipation or maybe curiosity; then they’d take three steps back.
It was understandable. They’d come from a farm in South Korea — one of more than 1,000 such farms there where dogs are raised as livestock and sold as meat, where they’re often mistreated and neglected and have little human contact.
In the weeks since they were rescued from a farm in Jongju, quarantined and, along with 27 others, shipped to the U.S., the four dogs have grown a little more sociable by the day.
Yet clearly, they were still torn between the fear they had learned from experience and that innate something — call it resilience, goodness of spirit, or that seemingly limitless and often unexplainable love for our species — that all dogs are born with.
With dogs, that innate something, given a chance, almost always wins out.
That has been the case with rescued fighting dogs, puppy mill dogs, and those raised as meat. They’re willing, despite whatever mistreatment they endured at our hands, to give our species a second chance.
We sometimes return the favor.
Since the beginning of 2015, Humane Society International has worked with Korean animal activists to remove 525 dogs from Korean dog farms and ship them to the U.S. and Canada to find new homes as pets.
The organization works to persuade dog farmers to forfeit their canine livestock and move on to new careers, often providing financial incentives for them to do so.
The latest shipment was a smaller one — 31 dogs from Jonju, and they’ve been distributed among five different North Carolina humane societies and shelters that serve as emergency placement partners for HSI and HSUS.
All four of the dogs who came to Watauga Humane Society were Jindos, a breed known for their loyalty that originated on the island of Jindo, off the southern coast of South Korea.
The breed has been designated by the Korean government as a national treasure.
Yet they — especially the white and yellow ones — are commonly seen in cages at outdoor meat markets, waiting to be sold, slaughtered and butchered.
At the farms, the dogs spend most of their lives in cages, treated like livestock, at best — and sometimes worse than that.
How does a dog raised in those conditions go on to be a family pet?
In small and hesitant steps, not overnight, and not without some work and patience.
But the proven fact is, they do.
That has been the case with the the four previous batches of farm dogs who have been rescued from Korea and gone on to find adoptive homes in the U.S. and Canada.
“I can give you hundreds of stories of wonderful adoptions that have taken place with them,” said Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for HSI.
The four Korean dogs that came to the Watauga Humane Society had been there three days when I visited. In the quarantine area, I walked into each of their kennels and took a seat on the floor.
One sat in the outside section of his kennel and — no matter how much I gently coaxed — would take more than a step or two inside.
Another trembled in the corner, venturing a little closer after 10 minutes passed, but only close enough for a quick sniff.
One came within a few feet of me and retreated, before lingering long enough to allow herself to be petted.
The fourth would come close, then fall back, finally coming close enough to sniff my hand, and allow it to pet him. He decided he liked it.
“Every day gets a little better,” said the HSI’s O’Meara. “You’ll hear from the shelters, ‘He gets closer, he sniffed me today.’ It’s a big deal for a dog that wouldn’t come within five feet, and now its coming up and licking your hands.
“Some take months but they do get there and when they do, they’re wonderful companion dogs,” she added.
The four are expected to get out of quarantine next week. Then they’ll be taken to Asheville to be spayed and neutered. Depending on how the dogs react to that, the Watauga Humane Society could start taking applications from people interested in adopting them the last week in October.
Details will be announced on their Facebook page.
At the Cashiers Highlands Humane Society, applications are already being taken for the 11 Korean dogs they took in, though the dogs won’t be able to be taken home until after Nov. 7 when they are spayed or neutered.
Other dogs that were rescued from the farm in Jonju — an illegal one because the farmer didn’t own the land he was using — are at Paws of Bryson City, Moore Humane Society in Carthage, and Outer Banks SPCA in Manteo
Laurie Vierheller, executive director of the Watauga Humane Society, said helping the dogs find a home is rewarding in itself, but the benefits to a shelter go beyond that.
Taking in the dogs strikes a chord with the dog-loving community members whose contributions keep local humane societies afloat. It brings traffic to a shelter, and often those who come to see the dogs rescued in a high-profile case end up going home with one, or adopting another resident of the shelter.
The HSI’s O’Meara says some shelters and humane societies avoid getting involved as emergency placement partners because they want to focus on finding homes for local dogs in need.
But those who do take part, she said, have noted “a spike in adoptions, for all dogs, when they receive these dogs…One shelter, within two weeks of the dogs arriving, every dog in facility was adopted out.”
“It highlights the work they do in their communities. These homeless animals come with an incredible story. That brings in traffic, and brings in people who would provide wonderful homes.”
(Part one of this series can be found here)
(Photos: Jindol, at top, and the other Korean farm dogs soon to be available for adoption at the Watauga Humane Society; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, boone, dog, dog farms, dog meat trade, dogs, emergency placement partners, farm, farm dogs, free korea dogs, hsi, hsus, humane societies, humane society international, jindo, jindos, korea, korean, north carolina, pets, rehabilitation, rescue, rescued, resilience, shelters, socialization, watauga county, watauga humane society