Tamira Thayne’s trial in Surry General District Court in Virginia was to have begun Tuesday.
Prosecutors said the misdemeanor charges against the founder and founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, could be reinstated later, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Thayne was charged with animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals in August 2012, after an animal control officer and state veterinarian inspected her Good Newz Rehab Center in response to a complaint.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the court he decided not to prosecute the case because a key witness, a former employee of Dogs Deserve Better who lives in South Carolina, did not show up for the trial.
Thayne, if convicted, faced up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry said charges against Thayne would be refiled “in the very near future.”
“I’m an innocent woman and have always been an innocent woman,” she said. “Right now, I’m free, but there’s still this little bit of weight on my shoulders…. It’s not totally gone.”
Thayne opened the Good Newz Rehab Center in June 2011 at the rural estate on Moonlight Road where Vick once ran a dogfighting business.
Vick served 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to charges related to a dogfighting operation.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, care, charges, complaint, court, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, estate, former, good newz, group, home, michael vick, moonlight road, organization, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, rescue, surry county, tamira thayne, trial, virginia, witness
A dog was shot in the head and left on the doorstep of a worker for Dogs Deserve Better, the animal rescue organization that moved into Michael Vick’s old house in Surry County, Virginia.
Melissa Wischmeier with Dogs Deserve Better said the dog was taken to Roger’s Veterinary Hospital in Smithfield.
Wischmeier said the dog, named Leah, was left in front of the home of a Dogs Deserve Better worker.
Dr. Kathryn Bouvier at Roger’s Veterinary Hospital said x-rays showed a trail of bullet fragments from Leah’s snout all the way to her spinal cord.
Bouvier said the the dog was recovering, but concerns remained about shifting bullet fragments and infection.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, dogs deserve better, doorstep, dropped, left, michael vick, pets, recovering, rescue, roger's veterinary hospital, shot, shot in head, surry county, video, virginia
Susan Lee, of Wake Forest, independently rescued animals for 35 years, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
Lee, 55, had undergone radiation twice – each time coming back to the home where she grew up to care for her animals, hundreds of which she took in over the years. She learned in December that the cancer had spread to her brain.
In an interview with WRAL News last week, Lee said she wanted to make sure her “fur kids” were well cared for if something happened to her. She’d set up a website before her death in hopes of finding homes for the animals still in her care.
In the interview, she said she would stay home and look out for her pets as long as possible, even though she was growing weaker.
“I love this place. My mom has been blessed, I’ve been blessed to live here,” she said as a dog walked over to lick her face — one of the eight dogs and six cats she was still trying to find homes for last week.
Lee said her cancer strengthened her faith, made her grateful for each day and strengthened her bond with her animals, which included special-needs horses.
“I hope there will never be a day that I’m alive that I don’t have an animal with me,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, cancer, cats, death, dogs, fur kids, homes, horses, north carolina, pets, rescue, rescuer, susan lee, wake forest, website
After a string of recent deaths, the Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors to Northern California’s coast not to try to rescue their dogs from the ocean.
Five people have drowned since November as they tried to save pets swept into the ocean by rogue waves.
Coast Guard, National Park and SPCA officials held a joint press conference Friday, aimed at spreading public awareness about water safety for pets and their owners.
Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, was among those advising pet owners not to go into rough ocean waters to save their dog.
“Dogs are naturally better swimmers because of their horizontal body mass,” Lindquist said. “They are built better for riding out the current.” She said the best thing to do is to follow the dog parallel to the shoreline and call its name.
“Just let the dog do its thing,” Lindquist said. “When the current subsides, the dog will swim back.”
Rogue or “sneaker” waves have claimed five lives in three separate incidents this winter, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In each case, their dogs survived.
In November, a powerful surf swept a family dog out to sea at Big Lagoon Beach near Arcata in Humboldt County. The teenage son swam out to save the pet. Then the child’s mother and father noticed him struggling and swam out to save him. All three died. The dog made it back to shore.
On New Year’s Day, Charles Quaid, 59, of Richmond, died after attempting to rescue his wife and dog.
Last Sunday, Susan Kay Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, was walking on Little Black Sand Beach with her boyfriend when she was swept out to sea with her dog and drowned. The dog made it back to shore.
Gabe Pulliam, a 13-year veteran of the Coast Guard and rescue swimmer, said most citizens they lack the equipment and training to rescue a dog from rough and frigid waters.
“People who walk their dogs on the beach and notice strong surf should stay above the line where the water laps up,” Pulliam said. “It’s fun to watch the waves roll in, but respect the ocean and never turn your back on it.”
Pulliam is featured in a handout about pets and ocean safety released by the Coast Guard.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaches, california, coast guard, dangers, deaths, dogs, national park service, northern california, ocean, pacific, pets, rescue, rogue waves, safety, sea, sneaker waves, spca, swept, trying, warning, waves
Firefighters rescued a dog Sunday from an icy pond in Florence, Kentucky, after the one-year-old husky fell through the ice.
Brandon Kilby, of the Union fire department, is shown here pulling the dog, named Ali, to safety.
According to the Kentucky Post, six fire departments responded to the call at a trailer park near Mount Zion Road.
Fire officials said the rescued dog was treated and returned to her owners.
(Photo: Kentucky Post, courtesy of William Fletcher)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ali, animals, brandon kilby, ce, dog, dogs, falls, firefighters, husky, icy, kentucky, lorence, pets, pond, rescue, rescued, safety, through, union
A dog was rescued from the side of a cliff near Fort Funston in San Francisco last week.
Firefighters responded Wednesday to a report of a woman and dog going over the side of a cliff, NBCBayArea.com reported. The woman managed to get down to the beach, but firefighters had to work their way to the dog, place it in a harness and hoist it to safety.
The National Park Service said they have to rescue dogs and people from the cliff several times a year, and that Wednesday’s rescue was their second in a week.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cliff, dog, dogs, firefighters, fort funston, national park service, pets, photo, rescue, safety, san francisco
A Boston terrier who was shaken up in a massive freeway pileup in Detroit was carried to safety by a firefighter who knows a few things about dogs in distress.
Matt Schaecher works as a Detroit firefighter two days a week, and as a cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley for the other five.
When Schaecher came upon a woman’s crumpled car at the mile-long accident scene on southbound Interstate 75, he asked if she needed help. “I think my dog might be injured,” she responded.
Schaecher pulled the dog, named Riley, from the car and checked him out while other emergency workers attended to the driver, Heather Ramsey of Ferndale.
“He was shaking almost uncontrollably,” Schaecher said. “Probably a combination of being extremely scared and cold.” As Shaecher cradled the dog in a blanket, Detroit News photographer David Coates took the photo above.
Riley wasn’t injured, and Shaecher placed the dog in the ambulance with his owner. Ramsey has since been released from the hospital, according to AnnArbor.com
Three people, including two children, were killed in the chain reaction of crashes.
Schaecher, who is the lead cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Washtenaw County’s Superior Township, said the widely distributed photo of Riley and him served as a positive note amid the lingering horror of the crash.
“Obviously any accident scene or any emergency scene that involves children is extremely difficult,” he said. My heart just goes out to the families of the people that have lost loved ones. I can’t imagine being in that position.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boston terrier, chain reaction, crash, cruelty, detroit, dog, dogs, firefighter, Humane Society of Huron Valley, interstate 75, investigator, Matt Schaecher, pets, photo, photograph, pileup, rescue, rescued, riley, whiteout
The battle over Obie is over, for the time being.
Under a judge’s ruling this week, the obese dachshund at the center of a custody dispute will stay put with his caretaker, Nora Vanatta, who garnered national attention when she put the obese dog on a diet.
But the case could still go to trial later in the year, KATU reported.
At a court hearing Monday morning, a judge said it’s legally unclear who owns the dachshund, whose previous owners clearly overfed him and eventually reached the point of being unable to care for him.
Obie was surrendered by his original owners to Oregon Dachshund Rescue. Through that organization, Vanatta became his foster mom. Later, after Obie had gained fame, the rescue organization’s owner Jenell Rangan, filed a lawsuit seeking custody of the dog.
She’d asked that Obie be turned over to her until a trial is held. The judge declined to do that, ruling that temporarily, at least, Obie remain with Vanatta.
The case will now go to arbitration, and, if that fails, on to a trial.
“We’re just really happy about the outcome of the case,” said James McCurdy, who represents Obie’s caretaker. “Like the judge indicated in the courtroom, it’s far from over and we understand that. We’re just really ecstatic Obie can stay in the fantastic situation he’s in.”
Oregon Dachshund Rescue originally heard the dog was in need of a home and put out an online plea for help. Vanatta offered to foster the dog, and an Oregon Dachshund Rescue volunteer picked up Obie from his former owners’ home and delivered him to Vanatta.
“He’s doing well here,” Vanatta says. “It just doesn’t make sense to take him away now.”
Rangan said she believes Obie belongs to her, and that Vanatta is not providing good care.
Vanatta disagrees and says Obie, who once weighed in at 77 pounds, has lost more than 15 pounds since being in her care.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, case, court, custody, dachshund, dog, dogs, foster, jenelle rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, pets, rescue, rescued, ruling
A Toledo-area rescue group is recovering from storm damage, but it’s facing repair bills nearly as big as its annual budget.
“Our annual operating budget is only about $2,000,” said Jane Huth, founder and president of You Lucky Dog in Oregon, Ohio. “This is really a huge hit for us because we are not very big.”
Storms caused the city sewer drain to back up into the facility, and while insurance covered much of the clean up, it didn’t cover the $1,500 bill to replace the waterlogged drywall and flooring, Huth said.
Huth said she went to the kennels where the group’s rescue dogs are kept after the storm and saw “water creeping toward the kennels … I knew I had to do something fast,” she said. She created a dam in front of where three dogs resided to keep the water from reaching them, according to the Toledo Blade.
The nonprofit organization, funded through donations, rescues about 25 dogs a year, most of which come from the Lucas County dog warden, Huth said. It recently celebrated its 11th year in operation and its 550th adoption.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the group houses about four dogs at a time, and has found homes for many dogs rescued from the county shelter, including litters of puppies, nursing moms and dogs recovering from injuries.
Tax-deductible donations to help the rescue group can be mailed to You Lucky Dog, 1510 Blandin St., Oregon, OH 43616.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, damage, dog, dogs, donations, flooding, insurance, jane huth, lucas county, nonprofit, ohio, oregon, organization, pets, rescue, storm, toledo, warden, you lucky dog
Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened