Will the city of Watertown, N.Y., pull a fast one and, in a blatant quest for profits, sell land intended for a dog park to a developer?
The city council is considering it, though it took no such action Monday night.
Even though signs announcing the new park are already up, even though citizens have raised $3,000 of the $80,000 needed to open it, even though the land has been designated as parkland and the city accepted grants to accomplish that … a developer’s offer of money for the land is being considered.
Last week, the city received an offer from developer P.J. Simao to buy the land allotted for a dog park at Factory Square, Fox 28 in New York reported.
Simao’s offer came after plans started months ago to turn the site from some unused green space with a trail going through it into what some say would be a focal point for the city’s efforts to revitalize the Factory Square Park neighborhood.
So who will win out? Dogs, dog owners, citizens, community revitalization and the environment? Or one developer, and the city’s hunger for bucks — both from the immediate sale and in terms of future property tax revenue?
“To have that property back on the tax rolls, I think, would be beneficial to us,” council member Steve Jennings said at the Monday night meeting.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that Jennings introduced the proposal to sell the land to the developer, saying the city could use the money generated from the deal for the dog park and relocate it someplace else.
We’ll assume he’s talking about relocating the park, and not the money.
Fortunately, there are a few obstacles in the way of what Jennings probably sees as progress.
And it will probably be one of those obstacles — as opposed to lying to and deceiving dog owners and all those who have donated to the project — that, if anything can, stops the sale.
Factory Square is designated park land and was built with grant money, and selling it would involve going through the state and the National Parks Service.
“I think it’s intentionally made to be a difficult process,” City Planner Ken Mix said. “The purpose for putting the money into park land was to provide park land and to keep it as park land.”
“It’s not that I’m anti-development or anti-free money,” Mayor Jeff Graham said, “it’s just I don’t see that park land hurdle as something the city can overcome.”
The city’s consideration of the offer also hamstrings those trying to raise money for the dog park.
“We’re at a halt right now,” said dog park supporter Erin Gardner, who’s also director of the city’s Parks and Recreation department.
“There’s nothing that we can do,” Gardner said. “I ask that council not delay the decision-making process in this so that we can stay on this momentum.”
A better question to ask might be why the offer is even being considered — given the commitment the city had already made to the dog park. Why wasn’t the developer just told that land is not for sale?
The city council of Watertown should keep its promise — they should take a lesson from dogs and should show those they are serving a little loyalty, no matter how much money drooling developers are dangling in front of them.
(Photo: Watertown Daily Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, city council, developer, dog park, dogs, factory square, factory square park, greed, land, loyalty, new york, pets, profits, promise, sale, watertown
A non-profit organization has launched a campaign to sell dog collars and leashes to raise money to place therapy dogs in homes and shelters serving sex trafficking victims.
Eye Heart World, an organization that creates products to raise funds and awareness for social causes, is launching a campaign called “Walk the Cause” this week.
The sale of every leash and collar set will go toward purchasing therapy dogs to help victims of human trafficking.
The dogs will be placed in aftercare homes for victims and used in court during the interview process.
“These wonderful pups provide a sense of security, comfort, and something these girls will desperately need in this time of restoration,” the organization said in a press release.
It’s similar to a project the organization started in January of 2010 — called “Carry the Cause” — which sold handbags. All American made, each handbag bears an orange rose, the color representing human trafficking awareness.
Under the “Walk the Cause” project, $100 from the sale of every leather leash and collar set goes toward placing therapy dogs in homes and facilities to help victims of human trafficking.
The first dogs will likely placed at facilities in Atlanta and Denver, according to Eye Heart World founder Season Russo. The dogs will be purchased from Smeraglia, a dog breeding company, and will be trained by Teddy Bear Goldendoodles.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 4th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aftercare, animals, collars, counseling, court, dogs, eye heart world, goldendoodles, homes, human trafficking, leashes, leather, pets, sale, sex, sex trade, sex trafficking, shelters, smeraglia, support, teddy bear goldendoodles, therapy, therapy dogs, trafficking, walk the cause
Chances are you could find an unemployed party clown who would make you a balloon dog for a pretty reasonable price, if not for free.
Or you could buy this one — for $35 million or so.
Artist Jeff Koons has made five “Balloon Dog” sculptures over the years, but this one — his first — will be auctioned off by Christie’s in November. “Balloon Dog (Orange)” has an estimated price tag between $35 million and $55 million.
And if you think that’s too hefty a price to pay for a 12-foot, stainless steel sculpture of a balloon dog, consider this: Koons, while he conceives his works, often doesn’t do the actual hands-on work himself, relying instead on a team of assistants.
Koons set a personal record last year when his sculpture, “Tulips” sold for $33.7 million at Sotheby’s.
“Balloon Dog (Orange)” is being sold on behalf of the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut. Proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund future activities of the foundation, according to ABC News.
It is one of five metallic dog pieces produced by Koons. The other dogs are yellow, blue, magenta and red and are owned by wealthy businessmen who, we’d guess, probably don’t have time for real dogs.
On its website, Christies calls the work ”one of the most recognizable images in today’s canon of art history…
“This monumental work, with its flawless reflective surface and glorious color, is the most beloved of all contemporary sculptures. Its spectacular form has been celebrated around the world, having graced the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venice’s Grand Canal, and Versailles Palace outside Paris. It has become an icon of Popular vernacular, adored by the public and collectors for its unabashed celebration of childhood, hope and innocence.”
If a symbol of unabashed innocence isn’t worth $55 million, what is?
Posted by John Woestendiek September 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $55 million, animals, art, artist, auction, balloon dog, bidding, bids, brant foundation, christie's, dog art, dogs, for sale, jeff koons, orange, pets, sale, sculpture
Three judges of the Superior Court upheld a conviction for animal cruelty of a dog groomer who had offered “gothic” kittens for sale on eBay.
An investigation into the pierced kittens began in 2008 when a citizen saw the animals being offered for $100 each on eBay, inquired about them and reported it to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County, according to the Times Leader in Wilkes Barre.
A citizen tipped off PETA, as well, which conducted an investigation of its own and passed on information to the SPCA.
Accompanied by state police, SPCA officials visited Pawside Parlor, located at the home of Holly Crawford in Sweet Valley, Pa. They removed three kittens and a cat. While at the home, police also found a dog with pierced ears.
A jury found Crawford guilty of animal cruelty, and last year she was sentenced to six months of home detention and electronic monitoring, followed by probation.
In her appeal, Crawford argued that Pennsylvania’s cruelty statutes were too vague, and pointed out that many accepted veterinary procedures like declawing cats and cutting a dog’s vocal cords could fall under the same category she was being prosecuted under.
The law forbids “acts that maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure the animal.”
This week, the Superior Court panel upheld the lower court’s findings, the New York Times reported.
In a 19-page opinion, Judge Kate Ford Elliott wrote that “metal protruded from the kittens’ small bodies, pierced through their ears and necks, and at least one of these kittens also had an elastic band tied around its tail, an attempt at docking …”
Crawford, who was described in the opinion as being “enthusiastic about piercing,” had admitted to piercing the kittens without anesthetic.
“Appellant’s claims center on her premise that a person of normal intelligence would not know whether piercing a kitten’s ears or banding its tail is maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal.” Judge Elliott wrote. “We disagree.”
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, cats, decision, disfiguring, ebay, goth cats, gothic, gothic kittens, holly crawford, kittens, luzerne county, maiming, mutilating, opinion, pennsylvania, peta, piercing, sale, spca, superior court, upheld, wilkes-barre
Maybe it’s in part to pay respects to those who died and suffered, in part to remind ourselves of how evil man can be – that whole business about keeping history fresh enough in our minds that we don’t allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Maybe (last maybe, I promise) that’s also why you still find Michael Vick stories on ohmidog! and elsewhere – not so much because we want to keep punishing a man who has paid what the courts decided was his debt, but because we think the public, and public officials, need to keep it fresh in their heads, and do all in their power to wipe out the ongoing scourge of dogfighting.
Our travels having taken us to Virginia — and having recently finished reading “The Lost Dogs,” the new book by Jim Gorant that recounts the horrors that took place at Vick’s country estate and the redemption of the dogs that survived them — a trip to 1915 Moonlight Road seemed, while morbid, somehow in order.
So Ace and I headed from Norfolk up Highway 10 through Virginia’s tidelands, past the meatpacking plant in Smithfield, and turned left down the narrow road, where homes are few, far apart and – unlike the one Vick had built — mostly modest.
It’s a two-story, 4,600-square-foot, white brick home, with five bedrooms, four and a half baths and master bedroom suites on the first and second floor. It has several outbuildings, a pool and a basketball court; and the real estate listings — which make no mention of the former owner — note that there’s a kennel, too.
Yes, Michael Vick’s former house is available, and has been ever since Vick sold it before heading off for his prison sentence.
The private individual who bought it then has it listed at $595,000 – a price that is $152,000 under its assessed value. In other words, it’s a bargain – if you don’t mind the fact that it’s haunted. How could it not be – after what the 51 dogs seized from Bad Newz Kennels had gone through, not to mention the eight more murdered dogs that were dug up behind the home and removed as part of the investigation?
The house, which has sat empty for nearly three years, has more recently — amid the sluggish real estate market — been offered for rent as well. The price is $2,500 a month.
There was no open house on the day we dropped by — no one around at all. Taking heed of a sign on the gate that warned “Keep Out, Private Property, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted Even the U.S. Army,” Ace and I kept to the perimeter of the property, across the street from a small white Baptist church.
Usually, when Ace gets out of the car he commences to sniffing and excitedly exploring for minutes on end. But here he behaved differently. He walked up to white metal gate, sat down and stayed perfectly still, staring inside for what had to be three full minutes.
I won’t read anything into that.
Vick bought the 15-acre property in 2001 – for the purpose of setting up a dogfighting operation. For two years, only a trailer occupied it. In 2003, he had the custom built house constructed, though he never lived in it full time.
A Long and Foster agent told me yesterday that the house’s prolonged period on the market is probably more a result of the housing slump than its shameful legacy — my words, not her’s. She said there is a prospective renter, but that a deal has yet to be finalized.
Not too many who have looked at it have been driven away upon learning its history, but then again, that history is not on the property sheet.
While there was an animal welfare group that sought to raise funds, buy the property and turn it into a sanctuary for animals, the agent said that plan was apparently dropped. The group thought that it would be a triumph of sorts to turn Michael Vick’s old house into a place that helped dogs.
But it’s hard to get over an awful past — whether you’re a dog, a person or a house. While Vick’s dogs have shown it can be done, and while Vick insists he has reformed, his former house remains in limbo.
As for Ace, he eventually came out of his trance, sniffed around the shrubs in front of the house and did his business.
I won’t read anything into that, either.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1915 moonlight road, ace, ace does america, animal welfare, bad newz kennels, dog fighting, dog's country, dogfighting, dogscountry, empty, estate, for rent, for sale, history, house, legacy, mansion, memory, michael, michael vick, moonlight road, nfl, past, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, real estate, redemption, rent, rescue, sale, smithfield, surry county, unoccupied, vick, vick's house, virginia
How much is that puppy in the window?
He might not even be in the window, in another month, if the West Hollywood City Council approves a proposal that makes it illegal to sell a dog or a cat in a pet store.
The council unanimously approved the ordinance earlier this month. If officially passed tonight, as expected, the law would go into effect on March 19th, KTLA reports.
The ordinance is aimed at eliminating the demand for commercially bred dogs and cats and reduce inhumane conditions in the breeding industryt. It will include exemptions for those shops that can show they are selling humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals.
According to the city, existing pet stores will be given time “to adjust” to the new law.
“This ordinance represents an important step toward ridding our nation of the cruelty of puppy mills and other commercial assembly-line animal breeders,” Councilman Jeffrey Prang said. “The ordinance not only contributes to the fight against animal cruelty it also recognizes the enormous cost of pet overpopulation in our society, both fiscal and humanitarian impacts. I urge those seeking pet companionship to consider adoption from municipal shelters and other nonprofit rescue agencies.”
The city of West Hollywood has traditionally been ahead of the curve when it comes to animal welfare. It made headlines in 2003 when it banned cat declawing.
The new ordinance is backed by the Companion Animal Protection Society, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, animal legal defense fund, animals, ban, breeding, california, caps, cats, city council, commercial, companian animal protection society, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, industry, jeffrey prang, law, news, ordinance, pet, pet stores, pets, puppy mills, sale, sales, west hollywood
If you’re not noticing Greenies on your store shelves these days, that’s because their maker, Nutro Products, Inc., has restricted those selling them to veterinary hospitals and pet specialty retailers.
In a press release issued last week, Nutro announced the change applies to Greenies canine and feline dental chews, Pill Pockets and Smart Biscuits.
“…We believe that pet medical professionals at veterinary hospitals and well-trained, knowledgeable staff at pet specialty stores are best equipped to answer pet owners’ questions about our products, and to make the right recommendation, said Carolyn Hanigan, Vice President of Marketing, Nutro Products, Inc.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: benefits, chews, choking, dangers, dental, esophagus, greenies, hazards, intestine, lodged, nutro products, professionals, restricts, retailers, sale, specialty, treats, veterinarians, veterinary, vets