Rex, 12, whose nickname was “Fluffy,” was was laid to rest at the East-West Police K-9 training grounds and cemetery in Sauget.
“He was a phenomenal dog. Amazing. He saved my life at least two times,” said Rex’s hander, patrolman Keith Lewis.
Lewis, shedding tears, spoke at the service, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
He recalled how Rex once took down a suspect attacking him with knives, and how, on another occasion, the dog found a man hiding in a pile of leaves with a rifle and night-vision goggles.
Rex served the department from 2001 to 2009, fighting crime and also winning numerous awards in Police Canine Association trials.
Rex retired in 2009 and stayed with Lewis and his family.
Rex had been suffering from herniated disks as well as a degenerative neurological disorder. He was put to sleep early Monday morning.
His final resting place in Sauget is with other police dogs, not far from the center where police K-9s are trained.
(Photo: St. Clair County Sheriffs deputy Calvin Savage salutes Rex during the funeral; by Steve Nagy / Belleville News-Democrat)
Former Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey and retired military service dog Rex were reunited Tuesday in New York, bringing a successful end to Leavey’s long campaign to adopt her former partner.
“I’m so happy,” Leavey, 28, told the Journal News from her Valley Cottage home Wednesday afternoon. “I was nervous at first that maybe he wouldn’t recognize me, but it was like no time has passed.”
Leavey and the German shepherd served two tours of duty together in Iraq. Both were injured when an explosive device was detonated near them outside of Ramadi, Iraq, in September 2006
Leavey was discharged from the Marines in December 2007, and she tried to adopt her former partner then. But military officials decided Rex could still make a valuable contribution and didn’t discharge him.
Earlier this year, however, Rex, then the oldest working dog at Camp Pendleton, was diagnosed with facial palsy, a nerve paralysis that left him unable to serve.
Leavey renewed her push to adopt the 10-year-old dog, and got help from Sen. Charles Schumer’s office.
Schumer wrote letters to military officials and more than 20,000 people signed a petition urging military officials to allow the adoption.
Officials with the Air Force signed off on the adoption last month.
Wednesday, Leavey and Rex were settling in after flying from California to JFK. By then, she’d introduced him to his new family — a 7-year-old shiba inu named Rocky and a 4-year-old chocolate Labrador named Patriot, and who Leavey handles for a private company.
“It’s like he knows he’s retired. He’s happy,” Leavey said. “We played in the yard the whole morning.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air force, charles schumer, dog, dogs, german shepherd, injured, iraq, K-9, k9, marines, megan leavey, military, military dogs, partners, petition, retired, reunion, reunited, rex, senator, sergeant rex, sgt. rex, united, video, war
Leavey served as the dog’s handler for more than three years until a roadside bomb blast in Ramadi, Iraq, took them out of commission in 2006, MSNBC reports.
“Rex is my partner; I love him,” said Leavey, 28, who lives with her father in Rockport, New York, and works as a dog handler. “We have been through so much together … I’ve spent day and night with this dog. It’s a very strong bond.”
Leavey first applied to adopt Sgt. Rex as she was completing her Marine Corps service in 2007, but the military determined the dog had recovered and should return to duty.
About a month ago, though, Leavey heard that Sgt. Rex had been deemed ready to retire after developing facial palsy, which was affecting his equilibrium. She again filed paperwork to adopt him.
“An official request for retirement has been submitted,” said Matthew Stines, press officer for the Air Force, which has jurisdiction over the Military Working Dog Program. He said that action on that request is expected to take about two weeks.
The dog still has to be evaluated for “adoptability” at Camp Pendleton, where he is now kenneled. Approval also has to come from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Military dogs aren’t commonly euthanized upon retirement — at least not anymore — except in cases where they have health or behavioral issues or are otherwise deemed unadoptable.
Leavey is hoping Sgt. Rex passes those tests, and that there’s an end to the red tape.
“(Rex) is just hanging out in his kennel,” Leavey said. “I know the Marine Corp has other more important issues. But it’s important to me. And he deserves it.”
Sgt. Rex is the subject of a 2011 book written by his first handler, Mike Dowling — “Sgt. Rex: The Unbreakable Bond between a Marine and his Military Working Dog.”
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is encouraging the the Air Force to act quickly to approve the adoption.
“Marine Corporal Leavey and Rex are true American heroes who saved countless American lives uncovering roadside bombs and booby traps in Iraq,” he said in a statement. “I’m strongly urging the Air Force to do the right thing, cross the T’s and dot the I’s so that Rex gets the home he deserves, and Corporal Leavey can be reunited with her faithful companion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, air force, animals, bomb, bomb-sniffing, bond, bureaucracy, camp pendleton, charles schumer, deployment, dog, dogs, evaluation, german shepherd, handler, iraq, K-9, k9, lackland, marines, megan leavey, military, military dog, pets, red tape, retired, rex, senator, sergeant rex, service, sgt. rex, working dog
In today’s world people are quick to pick a side, but, as this story seems to show, it’s sometimes best to avoid that — especially when both sides are stupid, and/or heartless, and/or negligent.
Stu Grimes got drunk Sunday night and, while his dog was in his car, fell asleep inside an International House of Pancakes in Sterling, Va.
Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies showed up to roust him, and arrested him on charges of being drunk in public and resisting arrest, according to WJLA.
Grimes said he told officers his dog, Rex, was in the car and that they ignored him.
Grimes bailed himself out Monday, but by then Rex, a four-year old Labrador-boxer mix, had died, after spending at least 15 hours inside the car.
Grimes alleges he repeatedly asked the deputies to get Rex out of his SUV, and that deputies at one point removed his keys from his pocket and hit the panic button to determine which vehicle was his. Grimes says he continued to ask about his dog after being jailed.
But the sheriff’s office said in a statement, “…our records show no indication that Mr. Grimes mentioned a vehicle or a dog to the arresting deputies or the corrections staff at the Adult Detention Center.”
Later, after ABC7′s inquiries, the sheriff’s office changed its position, saying they did know about the car but maintained Grimes didn’t say a word about Rex.
Search the Internet comments on this one and you’ll find people saying the sheriff’s office is responsible for Rex’s death, that Grimes is, and even that IHOP is.
It’s like an all you can eat special on blame.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bail, blame, boxer, car, death, deputies, dog, drunk, fault, heat, ihop, international house of pancakes, jail, labrador, left in car, loudoun county, mix, retriever, rex, sheriff, sleep, sterling, stu grimes, virginia
The trial of Abby Toll, the former University of Colorado student accused of taping a dog to a refrigerator during a dispute with her boyfriend, came to a dramatic end last week, with a guilty verdict and protests from Toll that she didn’t act alone.
Minutes after a jury convicted her on a felony charge of animal cruelty for sticking her boyfriend’s shiba inu upside-down on the side of a refrigerator, Toll insisted she was not solely responsible for the abuse.
“Bryan Beck knows what he did to that dog,” the Boulder Daily Camera quoted Toll as saying, referring to her ex-boyfriend. When asked by a reporter if Beck taped the dog to the refrigerator, she answered, “Yes he did.”
Neither Beck nor Toll testified in the case.
The shiba inu — then named Rex — had his legs, snout and tail bound with hair ties and packing tape before being taped upside down to a refrigerator in a Boulder apartment last April.
The guilty verdict came after two hours of deliberation. Toll, who now lives in Chicago, faces up to 18 months in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 28.
Her attorney, George Kokus, said Colorado’s felony animal cruelty statute was misapplied in the case. Before the law was put on the books in 2002, animal cruelty violations were treated as misdemeanors in Colorado.
“The legislature’s intent was that this law should be used on serial animal abusers,” Kokus said. “The serial murderers of cats and dogs, that has a systematic torture plan to it.” Kokus, in the interview in the video above, also seems to imply that Beck played a role in the taping.
During the trial, animal-rights advocates stood outside the Boulder County Justice Center with signs protesting animal abuse.
The dog has since been adopted and is living in a new home, under a new name.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abby toll, abuse, animal cruelty, argument, boulder, boyfriend, court, dispute, felony, packing tape, prosecutors, reaction, refrigerator, rex, shiba inu, taped, taping, torture, university of colorado, video
The sight of a puppy stuck to the side of a refrigerator with packing type left a Boulder police officer so “caught off-guard” that he momentarily lost control of the scene he was there to investigate.
“I see this thing and it doesn’t register as a dog to me. “I’m looking at it and I see it starts to move,” Officer Rick French testified during the first day of Abby Toll’s felony animal cruelty trial in Colorado.
French described the early-morning hours of April 14, 2009 — a year ago today — when he responded to a report of a couple fighting at a Boulder apartment.
He testified that he was in the middle of interviewing Toll’s boyfriend, Bryan Beck, when Toll began to pull the animal — then named Rex — off the fridge in a “brusque and abrupt” manner.
“I’m not going to have this dog torn down and hurt any more than it appeared it already was,” the officer said. He stopped her and took the dog down himself.
French was one of only two witnesses called by the prosecution Monday in what is expected to be a three-day trial, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. Prosecutors rested their case at the end of the day.
Toll, 21, a former University of Colorado student, is being tried on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. Her attorney told the jury of seven men and six women that his client was a victim of domestic violence.
“This bizarre behavior by Abby was taking place at the same time Mr. Beck was not allowing her to leave the apartment,” he said.
Prosecutor David Cheval told the jury the case was one of deliberate animal abuse fueled by Toll’s jealous perception that her boyfriend cared more about his dog than he did about her.
Cheval said the defendant took her time gathering up hair ties, scissors and tape at Beck’s apartment in preparation for binding up the 8-month-old puppy.
“She collected her tools, her tools of torture,” Cheval said.
Toll systematically bound the dog’s feet, tail and snout with the hair ties and then wrapped the animal in packaging tape before taping him to the fridge upside-down, Cheval said.
“Think about the time, the effort, and the deliberate effort it would take to do that act,” he said to the jury. “Is that torture?”
Rex showed obvious signs of pain as he was set free from his “tomb of tape,” French testified.
The dog has since been adopted.
(Photo: Boulder Daily Camera / Paul Aiken)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby toll, animal cruelty, animals, boulder, bryan beck, colorado, court, cruelty, david cheval, dog, dogs, ohmidog!, packing tape, pets, refrigerator, rex, stuck, student, tape, taped, testimony, torture, trial, university of colorado
Abby Toll, the former University of Colorado student accused of taping her boyfriend’s dog to a refrigerator, did not have an “impaired mental condition” at the time that would excuse her behavior, a state mental health doctor says.
Toll, 20, has entered a not guilty plea, claiming she suffered from an impaired mental condition as a result of being an “ongoing victim of domestic violence.”
Her case goes to trial April 12, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. The doctor’s conclusion came in a pre-trial report.
Toll, who now lives in Chicago and is no longer enrolled at the university, is accused of binding her boyfriend’s 2-year-old shiba inu, Rex, in hair bands and packing tape and sticking him upside-down to a refrigerator during a fight.
Her boyfriend, Bryan Beck, also was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. In exchange for a guilty plea, he was given a one-year deferred sentence and 50 hours of community service.
The dog has since been adopted by another family.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby toll, argument, boulder, boyfriend, bryan beck, colorado, court, defense, domestic violence, duct tape, impairment, mental condition, packing tape, plea, refrigerator, rex, shiba inu, stuck, taped, trial, university of colorado
Abby Toll, the University of Colorado student accused of taping her boyfriend’s dog, Rex, to the refrigerator during an argument, entered a not guilty plea to animal cruelty and drug charges Friday.
Toll arrived at the Boulder County Justice Center to see animal-lovers, many with their pets, toting signs demanding justice for Rex.
Toll, 20, who is now is living in Chicago, had the drug charge filed against her after police said they found heroin on her when she was booked into Boulder County Jail on April 14, according to Coloradodaily.com.
Toll’s attorney, George Kokus, said he might file a change-of-venue request because “of the amount of hate mail we’ve received.” He said Toll’s case should be viewed as a “domestic violence” matter and said “she was the human victim.”
Her boyfriend, Brian Beck, 21, also faces misdemeanor animal-cruelty and false-imprisonment charges. Kokus said Beck wouldn’t let Toll leave their apartment and took away her cell phone.
“How would any woman react?” he said.
(Editorial comment: I can think of several alternatives that might be slightly more effective than taping a dog to the refrigerator.)
Beck is scheduled to accept a plea deal on his charges July 15. Toll is due back in court for a motions hearing Oct. 27.
Toll was arrested April 14 on suspicion of binding her boyfriend’s 2-year-old shiba inu, Rex, in packing tape and sticking him upside-down to the refrigerator during a fight. At the time of her arrest, Toll told police, “I know this looks bad. We were going to get rid of him anyway. We usually don’t do this.”
Rex is now in a new home in Castle Rock. Her new owners held a contest in May to rename the abused puppy. Online voters chose Yoshi — a Japanese word for “good luck.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby toll, animal cruelty, argument, boulder, boyfriend, brian beck, court, demonstrators, dog, drugs, fridge, hearing, justice, not guilty, ohmidog!. news, packing tape, plea, refrigerator, rex, shiba inu, signs, student, taped, taping, university of colorado, upside down, venue, yoshi
The college student accused of taping her boyfriend’s dog to a refrigerator will be allowed to spend the summer at her mother’s home in Chicago — even though her mother has a dog, a judge has ruled.
Abby Toll, 20, an environmental design major at the University of Colorado, will be required to participate in a monitored sobriety program in Chicago as a condition of her release on bond. “I think the defendant’s mother can look out for the family pet,” a judge in Boulder said.
Toll was arrested in April on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. She is accused of binding her boyfriend’s 2-year-old shiba inu, Rex, in packing tape and sticking him upside down to the refrigerator during an argument. She also faces a felony charge of drug possession after police said was found with a trace amount of heroin while being booked into jail.
Her boyfriend, Bryan Beck, also faces a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty. He is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference Thursday, according to Coloradodaily.com.
Rex is living with a Denver-area foster family awaiting adoption. Another dog living with Toll and Beck, a Chihuahua named Peanut, remains in the care of the Humane Society of Boulder.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby toll, animal cruelty, arrest, binding, bond, bryan beck, dog, dogs, drugs, felony, fridge, heroin, jail, judge, refrigerator, rex, student, summer, tape, taped, university of colorado. shiba inu
Police found an 8-month-old puppy taped to the side of a refrigerator in a Boulder, Colorado home Tuesday morning, the apparent subect and victim of a domestic dispute between his owner and his girlfriend.
Abby Toll, 20, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty after telling police she taped the puppy, a shiba inu named Rex, to the fridge because she was angry at her boyfriend for not getting rid of his pet after it had bitten her, the Colorado Daily reported.
“There’s a dog taped to the fridge,” she reportedly told an officer who responded to a call about a domestic incident at the apartment in the 2900 block of East Aurora Avenue around 5 a.m. Tuesday. “I know this looks bad. We were going to get rid of him anyway. We usually don’t do this.”
The dog’s feet, snout and tail were bound in clear packing tape, a plastic bag and elastic hair ties, and he was taped to the side of the refrigerator with more packing tape. He was taken to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for safekeeping.
CEO Lisa Pedersen said Tuesday that Rex was doing fine and the Humane Society would take care of him until the legal case is resolved, at which time he may be put up for adoption.
Toll, a University of Colorado sophomore majoring in environmental design, faces felony charges of animal cruelty and domestic violence. She was being held at Boulder County Jail in lieu of a $12,500 bond.
Police said Toll slapped her boyfriend, 21-year-old Bryan Beck, in the face and threw several objects at him after taping the dog to the fridge.
Beck, who has been dating Toll for about a year, returned to his apartment Monday evening to find dog poop and urine throughout. Toll told Beck to get rid of Rex, saying he bit her a few days earlier. The couple argued, but made up. The next morning, Toll tried to apply cream to an old wound on Rex and he growled and bared his teeth at her. Upset, she decided to get back at her boyfriend and “teach the dog a lesson.”
When Beck saw the dog, he told Toll: “Take him down. You are so sick.” To which she replied: “No, you are sick for not caring enough about me to get rid of the dog.” A fight ensued, and the dog remained taped to the fridge for about 20 minutes, until police arrived in response to someone reporting the couple’s yells.
Toll’s Chihuahua, Peanut, was also taken to the Humane Society after the couple’s arrest.
(Photo: Police mug shot, via Colorado Daily)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby toll, abuse, animal, argument, arrest, boulder, colorado, dog, dogs, domestic, fight, fridge, humane society, news, ohmidog!, packing tape, police, puppy, refrigerator, rex, shiba inu, taped