His name was Andre, and he was a miniature Pinscher, found in a knotted black trash bag on the side of a street in Tolleson, Arizona.
A man taking a walk noticed the trash bag was moving, and went to open it up.
Doing so would expose a particularly heinous case of what some humans do to animals, but it would also come to show how very many more humans step forward to help them.
Andre would go on to brighten the lives and bring out the best of all those he came in contact with, though, for him, the darkness continued — even once he was out of the bag. In addition to the other abuse he’d been subjected to, his eyes had apparently been gouged out.
Despite that — despite the cruelty with which one or more humans treated him — he’d continue to show love for the rest of the species, and keep capturing hearts for nearly 10 more months.
It all started with Jan. 3, when Cedric Conwright saw a car pull to the side of the road, and watched as a bag was tossed out the window before it drove away. Conwright approached the knotted trash bag and saw that it was moving. He nudged it with his foot and heard a whimper.
When he opened it, he found a small dog in bad shape. He picked him up and took him home. Two days later he took the dog to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in hopes of getting it medical help.
Euthanasia was discussed, but instead vets opted to perform surgery, removing what was left of his eyes. From there he was taken in by Susy Hopkins, a member of the Feathers Foundation, a Paradise Valley non-profit group associated with the Circle L Animal Sanctuary. The foundation raises money for injured and neglected animals.
Her first stop was another animal hospital, where the first thing vets recommended was euthanasia. Hopkins said no, and asked the vet’s office to do what they could.
In addition to infections where his eyes used to be, Andre was anemic and had diabetes, and under his skin were what appeared to be BB’s from a pellet gun.
Over the next few days, Andre started appearing more lively, and his rescuers went to work trying to raise money for the medical care he had gotten and would need. Within days, $13,000 had poured in. A fundraiser at a downtown Scottsdale pizza restaurant brought in another $3,500.
There was something about Andre that brought out the best in people, Hopkins noted.
“People just wanted to see Andre, to hold him, to hug him,” she said. “And no matter how many people wanted to pet him, Andre never resisted. He was so calm, so gentle. It made me wonder even more why someone would treat him so badly.”
On Feb. 11, a permanent home was found for Andre. Sandy Powers had seen his story on TV. “It was love at first sight,” Powers said. “I had never adopted a rescue dog before, but I knew I wanted to care for this one.”
Andre walked carefully at his new home, several states away, and, though he couldn’t see, did his best to stay at the side of his new mom.
“When I talk or sing a little, he stays right with me on my heels,” said Powers.
He continued to get treatment for his diabetes. Amid other complications, there were some weeks Powers seemed to be making daily visits to the vet.
In recent weeks, his condition took a turn for the worse, and Powers did her best to keep Andre’s many fans informed on his Facebook page.
This week, she announced he had died Saturday. Andre has been cremated and his ashes brought home.
The dog who many were surprised didn’t die eight months ago now has — but not before getting a chance to give and get some love, add a few more chapters to his brave legacy and remind us yet again what being human is all about.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, andre, andre the rescue dog, andrea bocelli, animal cruelty, animals, arizona, blind, cedric conwright, cruelty to animals, dead, death, diabetes, dies, dog, eyes, facebook, gouged, memorial, min pin, miniature pinscher, moving, out, page, pets, phoenix, rescue dog, rescued, sandy powers, tolleson, trash bag
The owner of a dog rescued from a Colorado mountain after he had to abandon her has consented to give the German shepherd-Rottweiler mix to one of her rescuers.
“I don’t want to give her up — I love her — but those people risked life and limb to get her out of there, and that has got to be worth something,” Anthony Ortolani told the Denver Post.
Ortolani, 31, was climbing with a friend when a combination of factors led him to decide to leave his dog, Missy, behind.
The dog’s feet were blistered and she was unable to walk. A storm was approaching. And his climbing companion was out of water. They tried carrying the five-year-old, 112-pound dog, but after two hours, he said, they ended up leaving her between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans.
Once down the mountain, Ortolani called a friend who contacted the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office but was told the region was too dangerous and that the department didn’t rescue animals.
Missy was stranded for eight days before a volunteer group of rescuers found her and carried her down the mountain.
After that, Ortolani was charged with animal cruelty for abandoning her, and one of the rescuers expressed interest in keeping the dog.
Ortolani has agreed to plead guilty to a less serious charge, according to his lawyer, Jennifer Edwards, founder and attorney with the Animal Law Center.
Discussions leading to the plea bargain included talk of his giving up the dog, said Edwards, but are not the reason for his surrendering the animal.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14ers, abandoned, animals, anthony ortolani, behind, clear creek county, climbing, colorado, dog, dogs, german shepherd, hiking, left, missy, mount bierstadt, Mount Evans, mountains, owner, pets, rescue, rescued, rottweiler, surrenders
A rescue group in Singapore couldn’t save Ol’ Boy, but they tried to make his final moments happy, fulfilling a wish that he reportedly expressed to rescuers through an animal communicator — to live, however briefly, in a real home.
According to the video, the dog, too far gone to be saved, passed along his desire to spend the final days of his life in a real home.
The dog was thought to have spent years living on the streets, surviving on water dripping from air conditioners and scraps of food from shopkeepers. He was covered with hundreds of ticks, and suspected of having cancer. Many of his teeth were chipped or missing.
Members of the rescue organization, after taking him to a veterinarian, where a blood transfusion didn’t seem to help, declined to have him put to sleep and took him home.
“We stayed by his side, patting him whenever he cried in discomfort,” his caretakers say in their video. “That was all he wanted.”
One night at 2 a.m., Ol’ Boy sat up to take several sips on water, the video says. But he died two hours later.
The group’s members scattered rose petals on Ol’ Boy’s body and, after having him cremated, scattered his ashes in a local field that overlooked a beach — also in accordance with the message the animal communicator received.
Save Our Street Dogs works to rescue Singapore’s stray dogs. They hope that the video will bring more attention and sympathy to their cause.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal communicator, animals, ashes, beach, cancer, cremated, dog, dogs, dying, dying wish, field, final wish, last wish, ol' boy, old boy, pets, real home, rescue, rescued, rescuers, save our street dogs, sick, singapore, stray, stray dogs, street dog, street dogs, video
The man, whose name was not released, accidentally stepped on a lid and fell 40 feet through a chute at an H.J. Baker & Brothers plant.
After falling, his leg got caught in an auger-like device, which complicated the rescue, WRAL in Raleigh reported.
Fire Chief Wayne Barber said the man was hospitalized in Raleigh, and treated for dehydration, but is expected to be fine.
He spent several hours up to his waist in dog food in the silo, which was about a third of the way full.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, contractor, dog food, dogs, factory, fall, fell, JJ Baker & Brothers, job, north carolina, osha, pets, plant, rescue, rescued, sanford, silo, trapped
As if having a broken pelvis, fractured jaw and being shot with a BB gun weren’t enough, a stray dog in Memphis somehow managed to get her head embarassingly and dangerously stuck in a plastic jug.
Spotted earlier this month in a wooded area off Interstate 41, with her head encased in the clear plastic jug, the pit bull mix was photographed by Beth Gresham, who posted the photo on her Facebook page.
“We have to get her,” Gresham told her animal-loving friends. “She’s doesn’t have a whole lot of time with that over her head.” About 20 people joined in searching for the dog.
The next day the dog was caught by Chester Burns, according to news reports.
“I seen him coming down pathway with the jug on his head,” said Burns.
Burns said he cornered the dog against a fence with his Jeep. He used wire cutters to cut the plastic jug and remove it from the dog’s head. The dog has been named Miracle.
Jesse Sidle, an animal hospital technician, said that Miracle ate heartily once the jug was removed — consuming dog food, cat food and a rotisserie chicken. She was 27.7 pounds and she should weight around 45, said Sidle.
X-rays showed the dog had a broken pelvis and fractured jaw, that she may have been hit by a car and she carried pellets from having been hit by BB gun fire.
So far, Miracle, who is being fostered by Sidle, has gained five pounds.
Sidle is bringing the dog to work with her at the clinic every day.
Donations to her care can be made to The Memphis Humane Society at 935 Farm Road Memphis, TN 38134, or online at www.memphishumane.org.
Here’s a CNN report on the dog.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beth gresham, container, dog, dogs, facebook, found, head, jar, jesse sidle, jug, memphis, memphis humane society, miracle, pets, photo, pit bull mix, plastic, rescue, rescued, search, stray, video, woods
A Jack Russell terrier headed for Maine got lost in New Jersey, spent 10 days wandering in the woods, was found and returned to North Carolina, and is now destined to go back to New Jersey.
It’s a roundabout route to a forever home, but, for five-year-old Piper, it’s a far better fate than that awaiting her had she remained in the North Carolina shelter she was initially pulled from as her euthanasia date approached.
The pilots — among those donate their time to fly dogs facing euthanasia to friendlier locations — made a stop in New Jersey and were taking Piper for a walk when she got frightened by the noise from a nearby drag strip and, with her leash still attached, ran off, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.
She escaped through a hole in the airport’s fence and ran into the woods. Pilots and local residents searched, and they were joined by volunteers from A New Leash on Life, another North Carolina rescue group involved in transporting Piper and the other dogs to a place they might more likely be adopted.
After 10 days, a woman named Cyndi Albujar who lives near the woods spotted Piper while walking her own dog. She placed cat food in a trap. Piper went for it.
A few days later, Piper was on a plane returning to A New Leash on Life, based in Wake Forest, N.C.
But she hasn’t been listed for adoption.
That’s because Albujar, who took a liking to Piper, wants her back.
So, one day soon, Piper will be flying back to New Jersey again — this time for good.
(Photo: Cyndi Albujar (left), with Danella Anderson of A New Leash on Life, volunteer pilot Terry Friedman and Piper; courtesy of Ruf Creek Ranch)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a new leash on life, adopted, adoption, airport, animals, Cyndi Albujar, dog, dogs, euthanasia, flights, flown, forever home, found, home, jack russell, jack russell terrier, kill, lost, maine, new jersey, north carolina, pets, pilots n paws, piper, pulled, rescue, rescued, ruf creek ranch, shelter, terrier, transport, transported, trapped, woods
A Labrador mix, trapped on a busy section of Interstate 85 near Atlanta, was rescued by two state troopers who were in the right place at the right time — and with the camera on.
The dog was trapped Thursday in the inside lanes of I-85 northbound, near Spaghetti Junction, according to 11Alive in Atlanta.
Georgia State Patrol Troopers First Class Jason Kent and Dallas Vanscoten were in their cruiser, with their dashboard camera on when they came upon the dog.
The troopers turned on their lights and siren, and straddled the northbound lanes sideways to stop traffic. When they got out of the vehicle, leaving the doors open, they expected the dog to run from them.
“Usually when we pull up on animals like that, that’s gotten caught in the interstate, they’re usually pretty wild and don’t want to have anything to do with humans, and that’s what I was expecting … the dog just to run off,” Kent said.
Instead, they watched as the dog ran to the vehicle and jumped inside, taking a seat in the front passenger side seat.
Kent said it was like, “Okay, I’m ready to go, now. Thanks for saving me.”
Uninjured, she was taken to Gwinnett County’s animal shelter in Lawrenceville.
The officers didn’t have a clue how the dog ended up on the stretch of interstate, which has concrete barriers on both sides.
Her owners have five days to claim her, after which the Gwinnett County animal shelter will put her up for adoption.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal shelter, atlanta, cam, camera, dallas vanscoten, dashboard, dog, georgia, gwinnett county, highway, i 85, interstate, jason kent, labrador, mix, patrol, rescue, rescued, state, traffic, troopers
The heartwarming story of an injured stray dog taken in by students at a Catholic school on the Crow Reservation in Montana came to an abrupt end when someone drove onto school grounds and fired six shots at the dog.
Named Mission, the female Rottweiler mix — who’d been nursed back to health after limping onto the grounds of Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy in St. Xavier six years ago — was fatally wounded.
Students are still grieving her death, more than two months ago, according to the Billings Gazette.
“We’ve had dogs come and go, but never one that stuck around like she did,” said Garla Williamson, the principal at the private school for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. “She adopted us, and we adopted her.”
The shooting is being investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and a small reward is being offered by the school for information leading to an arrest.
Samantha Stoddard said she was watching television and heard through an open window at her campus residence what she heard shots, then heard Mission yelp in pain. She ran outside and saw a white sedan parked at a cattle guard near the entrance to the school property.
Two more shots were fired as she ran to the dog.
She found Mission collapsed on the ground and helped carry the dog to the porch of her residence.
“She was trying to die, and it was really painful,” she said. With the dog sufferering and no veterinarian, a staff member got a gun and put her down.
Several days passed while staff struggled with how to tell students what had happened.
Stoddard said Mission is buried near her residence, and the children have been making regular visits to the grave.
“It’s turned into a little shrine,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: academy, adopted, animals, bureau of indian affairs, catholic, crow, crow reservation, dog, dogs, grief, injured, investigation, mission, mix, montana, mourning, pets, pretty eagle, private, rescued, reservation, rottweiler, school, shooting, shot, shrine, st. xavier, stray, students, taken in
A one-eyed dog, no less.
Last fall, Austin artist Jessica Stone decided she wanted another dog — one in need of a home, maybe even one with special needs.
San Antonio Bulldog Rescue had a candidate — a 7-year-old bulldog named Piper, whose hip dysplasia caused her to walk with a limp, and who often made a mess of herself when pooping.
There wasn’t much known about Piper. “The guy who surrendered her wouldn’t give San Antonio Bulldog Rescue any information,” Stone told KXAN in Austin. “He said that he was afraid of her because she can be grumpy.”
Stone and her husband adopted the dog anyway.
“She gets startled easily. You can’t bug her when she’s sleeping. She doesn’t like to get picked up because it hurts her hips,” Stone said.
Piper immediately took an interest in Stone’s work, watching intently, with her one eye, as she painted, and then, with Stone’s help, taking it up herself.
“…She chews on the brush and I hold the paper and I change her colors,” Stone said.
On a whim, Stone decided to post one of Piper’s pieces on Facebook. It sold within a week. In a matter of months, Piper had sold about 50 paintings.
“She has over, I think, 2,700 fans now on Facebook,” Stone said. “She has her own business card, e-mail, website .”
Piper is making enough money to cover her own medical bills, and a percentage of her income goes back to the rescue group she came from.
Piper will be appearing this Saturday at Austin’s Just for Pets store at 3742 Far West Blvd., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, art, austin, brushes, bulldog, facebook, jessica stone, just for pets, one eye, one-eyed, painter, painting, paints, piper, rescue, rescued, san antonio bulldog rescue, selling, special needs, studio, texas, watchiing birds
A Massachusetts pit bull is being credited with pulling her owner off the railroad tracks, saving her from an oncoming freight train.
And that, lest you find it hard to believe, is according to both the driver of the train and the woman’s son, a Boston police officer.
The woman survived, uninjured, but the dog — named Lilly — was severely hurt and lost a front leg.
Boston police officer David Lanteigne said he rescued Lilly from a shelter to serve as a companion for his mother, who suffers from alcoholism.
“We saved her life and she saved my mom’s life,” he told WCVB in Boston.
Lanteigne’s mother, Christine Spain, apparently fell unconscious onto train tracks in Shirley last Wednesday.
When help arrived, Lilly was covered in blood but still standing guard over her owner.
“Lilly was either pushing or pulling my mother off the tracks,” said Lanteigne. “There wasn’t enough time and … just prior to the train making impact Lilly had intentionally gotten between the train and my mother, and had taken the hit.”
“I’m supposed to be the strong one. I’m supposed to be here for her, but she’s been so great, so tough through all this,” Lanteigne said of his dog. “It almost seems like she’s the one comforting me and being there for me and making me feel better.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Angell Animal Medical Center)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, alcoholism, amputation, angell, animals, boston, christine spain, david lanteigne, dog, dogs, freight train, leg, lilly, lost, medical, mother, officer, owner, paw, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, pulled, rescued, saved, saves, shirley, tracks, train, video