Tag: san francisco
David Gizzarelli took in more than $17,000 in donations from big-hearted dog lovers in what he described as an attempt to save his dog Charlie, who was deemed dangerous after attacking a National Park Service horse.
But his attorney says Gizzarelli is unable to help out with the $9,000-plus tab for veterinary care, feeding and shelter that Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier, has received since last August, when he was taken into the custody of animal control in San Francisco.
Apparently the $17,000 that was donated was spent on attorney fees, paying for the horse’s vet bills and “other living expenses.” That’s what Gizzarelli’s new attorney says, adding that his client can’t afford to help pay the bill and is currently sleeping in his car.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins ordered Gizzarelli to pay anyway — specifically, half of the costs for boarding and treating Charlie since the incident.
Gizzarelli is still raising money to “help save Charlie” — via a Facebook page and his Help Save Charlie website — even though he has relinquished ownership of the dog, who is now in foster care and will likely end up in an adoptive home or sanctuary.
Until his court appearance, he had not provided any accounting of where the donated money went, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Charlie has been in the custody of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco since August, when he was deemed “vicious and dangerous” by the police department. The cost for housing him and providing veterinary care for an earlier injury totaled $9,808 as of Monday’s hearing.
Gizzarelli, in an earlier settlement, agreed to give up custody of Charlie and attend a hearing to discuss payment for Charlie’s care.
But he kept selling “Help Save Charlie” merchandise and collecting donations even after that. And while Charlie could probably still use help — he hasn’t been deemed adoptable yet — it appears little if any of the donated money has gone for the dog.
Questions during Monday’s hearing revolved around the amount of legal fees Gizzarelli paid to two attorneys, and $3,000 his attorney said was spent on ”food, transportation and housing” — apparently for the human, not the dog.
Gizzarelli’s attorney, Orestes Cross, said his client has no money. “My client is on social welfare, living on $422 a month and sleeping out of his car,” told the judge during the hearing. “He fought the fight because he cares about his dog.”
Rebecca Katz, director of Animal Care and Control, says some donors to Charlie are likely upset. “I don’t believe those who contributed expected that money to go toward personal expenses,” she said. Since the settlement, Charlie has been in foster care. According to Katz, he needs several more months of training before he can be considered for adoption or placed in a sanctuary.
Gizzarelli faced federal assault charges after the attack on the police horse, but according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office those have been dropped.
(Photo: Help Save Charlie Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accountability, accounting, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attacked, avid gizzarelli, bills, care, charlie, court, donations, donatoins, donors, expenses, facebook, feeding, help save charlie, horse, magistrate, money, national park service, park service, san francisco, shelter, veterinary, website
A Pomeranian in a tuxedo, taking the train back home from an SPCA fundraiser in San Francisco, was stolen after his owner fell asleep.
Kerrin Lanahan was riding a BART train back to her San Bruno home Wednesday night when she dozed off — her purse on one side of her, her Pomeranian, Archie, in a travel bag on the other.
When Lanahan, 31, woke up, she found someone had snatched the bag containing Archie, who is trained to help her cope with anxiety.
“If only they had taken the purse,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lanahan says she has struggled with extreme anxiety, especially while traveling. She survived a plane crash as a child.
She said Archie was trained to be ”really calm in public in general. When we’re out, it’s all about me and him. He goes everywhere with me. When my anxiety level spikes, he knows to jump into my lap.”
Lanahan said she and Archie left the San Francisco SPCA Bark and Whine Ball fundraiser at Fort Mason late Wednesday, taking a cab to Montgomery BART station and getting on a train at about 11:15 p.m.
UPDATE: Archie is back with his owner, ABC 7 reports. After receiving an anonymous text message, Lanahan passed the address on to BART detectives, who found the dog at a home near the Balboa BART station. They were able to confirm it was Archie through his microchip. Police were questioning a person at the house and said charges were pending.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, archie, ball, bark and whine, bart, dog, dogs, event, fundraiser, kerrin lanahan, owner, pets, pomeranian, san francisco, search, service, sleeping, spca, stolen, taken, theft, train, travel bag, tuxedo
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
But when it comes to San Francisco’s plan to pair shelter dogs with formerly homeless people living in temporary city housing, we say go for it.
Despite concerns from PETA and others, the city is proceeding with plans for a program it has dubbed WOOF (Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), in which residents of what the city calls “supportive housing” will be paid a $75 a week stipend to take in and care for a dog.
Starting on a trial basis in August, residents who have no history of violence, mental illness or addiction, will be allowed to temporarily take in a shelter dog and serve as foster parent.
On top of the stipend, they’ll receive training, and free dog food. In the pilot phase of the program five pairs of residents will care for one dog each.
Bevan Dufty, a former supervisor ’s who now serves as the mayor’s homelessness chief, came up with the proposal as a way of addressing two problems at once — overcrowding in animal shelters and panhandling in the streets.
The idea is, with the stipend, those residents who are chronic panhandlers will avoid that behavior.
That’s a big hope, and, as any seasoned panhandler can tell you, there’s no better way to reel in potential donors than by having a dog at your side.
Even if it doesn’t wipe out panhandling, though, even if it is fraught with risks and has a high potential for exploitation, even though it’s not keeping dogs in the safest possible environment, we think it’s an innovative idea worth taking a chance on.
Because when needy dogs and needy people are brought together, miracles can happen.
PETA has come out squarely against the idea, saying the city would be experimenting with the lives of puppies, and placing them in dangerous situations. The organization compared the program to playing “Russian roulette.”
In a letter to the mayor, PETA wrote that most panhandlers are substance abusers or have mental health issues: “Placing any animal with them is risky at best.”
And if people receive animals that have been difficult to adopt out, or judged unadoptable, that could spell more even trouble, PETA says.
“Putting these two troubled populations together is very likely to result in disaster,” Teresa Chagrin, PETA’s animal care and control specialist, is quoted by ABC News as saying.
PETA has offered San Francisco $10,000 — the initial cost of the pilot program — to hire the homeless to do something else, such as handing out leaflets urging people to spay and neuter their pets.
Dufty, who is director of San Francisco’s Housing Opportunities, Partnership, and Engagement (HOPE) initiative — the city goes to great lengths for catchy acronyms — said that the housing residents chosen for the program are trying to get their lives back on track, and that they are fully able to care for pets.
“These are individuals who have been through job readiness programs, who live in our buildings. They were individually interviewed, went through orientation, and have gotten a gold star of approval,” Dufty said.
San Francisco’s Animal Care & Control, a partner in the program — its initial funding is through a $10,000 grant from Vanessa Getty– said those residents taking part will be fully screened.
“You have this image of us pulling up in a van full of dogs handing them out to people,” director Rebecca Katz said. “We would not be putting animals at risk. Our job is to investigate animal abuse and neglect. We are going to have a lot more oversight during this fostering program than if they were to just adopt dogs on their own.”
PETA’s Chagrin counters: “You can’t put dogs with people who are battling their own demons.”
Having heard so many tales of people whose dogs helped them beat their demons, and vice versa, we think — whether it solves the panhandling problem or not — the program deserves a try, in a very well-monitored way. It creates a chance for some magic to happen, for some love to bloom, for some lives to change.
“In order to be effective in responding to homelessness, you can’t ignore the humanity of people,” Dufty said. “Ultimately this program is about giving dogs and people a second chance, and I don’t see how you can argue against that.”
(Photo: Michael Reed, with his dog Topaz, both of whom were homeless when we encountered them in Los Angeles in 2008; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $75, animal care & control, animal control, animal shelters, animals, bevan dufty, care, dog, dogs, foster, homeless, homelessness, hope, monthly, overcrowding, panhandlers, panhandling, peta, pets, residents, russian roulette, san francisco, shelter, stipend, supportive housing, wonderful opportunities for occupants and fidos, woof!
To be able to order a purebred golden retriever with just a few clicks of the mouse? How great is that? They ship them nationwide!
And judging from the pastoral setting, Bluespring has got to be one of those “respectable” breeding operations.
Click on the image above, and watch the video. As you can see, they have nothing to hide.
At the end of the video, you’ll find out who’s behind it.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bluespring, bluespring valley, bluespring valley dog breeders, bluespring valley dogs, breeders, commercial, dog breeders, dogs, golden, labrador, pets, puppy mills, respectable, retrievers, san francisco, san francisco spca, spca, video
Whether you’re looking for a homey environment in which to board your dog, or want to make some money by hosting one in your home, a new company called DogVacay.com is offering to help hook you up.
The site launched March 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will soon be adding other cities to its listings, through which dog owners and dog sitters can connect.
“Right now there are kennels and there are private pet sitters,” said Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay.com with his wife, Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “And we realized there was a need for a marketplace to bring together responsible dog lovers with causal and professional dog sitters who can provide a more affordable and better experience for dogs.”
Hirschhorn said that rates offered by hosts on DogVacay.com can be as little as half of those of boarding kennels.
On the site, each dog sitter sets his or her own prices with assistance from DogVacay.com. Listings are free. The site takes a 3 percent to 10 percent transaction fee from dog sitters, according to MSNBC.
For customers, fees include insurance coverage for veterinary emergencies. Pet sitters are vetted via reviews, social network connections and direct interviews by DogVacay.com staff.
Pet owners who take their dogs along on trips may also use the service to find sitters or host homes in cities they visit. “We think this will help free people up to travel because some people don’t want to kennel their dogs while they’re away and don’t want to bother their friends,” said Hirschhorn. “This way, more dogs can go along.”
Like Airbnb.com, the site allows customers to rate the hosts, and hosts are encouraged to go online after the stay and rate the behavior of their guest.
The Hirschhorns say the idea for the company came from experiences with their dogs.
“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need,” said Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform.”
(Photo from MSNBC.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron hirschhorn, animals, boarding, care, community, connecting, dog sitting, Dog Vacay, dogs, dogvacay, homes, hosts, karine nissim hirschhorn, kennels, los angeles, marketplace, pet sitting, pets, private, providers, san francisco, sitting, travel, vacation
Last week, police said, someone broke into a house in the 100 block of Cameron Way in the Bayview neighborhood and ransacked it, stealing a laptop computer, a television and all four puppies.
During the burglary, the parents of the puppies were badly beaten, apparently with some kind of blunt object, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The day after the burglary, someone contacted the dogs’ owner, offering to sell the puppies back for $200. The woman told police she didn’t have the money to do so.
The four-week-old puppies are tan and black-colored miniature Doberman Pinscher and Beagle mixes, and were still nursing, according to police.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Sgt. Neil Cunningham of Bayview Station at (415) 671-2300 or the station’s anonymous tip line at (415) 822-8147.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, bayview, beagle, beaten, burglary, crime, cruelty to animals, dogs, kidnapping, min pins, miniature pinschers, mixed, pets, puppies, pups, ransom, san francisco, stolen, taken, thief
Professional dog walkers in San Francisco would need to acquire permits, and possibly face limits on how many dogs they can walk at a time, under legislation being considered by the Board of Supervisors.
For years, city officials have been considering regulating the dog-walking industry, mainly because of concerns about people walking too many dogs and failing to adequately control or clean up after them, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
New regulations on the industry, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, were heard yesterday by a committee of the Board of Supervisors.
The legislation calls for, among other things, limiting to seven the number of dogs that one dogwalker could walk at a time.
Some dog walkers say that would prohibit them from making a good living.
Under Wiener’s proposal, a permit would cost $250 for the first year and $100 a year after that. Violations of the law would result in fines of up to $500.
The full board of supervisors is expected to vote on the legislation as early as January.
The regulations would go into effect in October, 2012.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, board of supervisors, businesses, dog, dog walkers, dog walking, dogs, dogwalkers, dogwalking, legislation, limits, number, permits, pets, professional, regulations, san francisco, small business, walkers, walking
The San Francisco Arts Commission has terminated one of its two contracts with New York artist Tom Otterness after a public outcry from animal lovers enraged that the city would cut a deal with a man who, nearly 35 years ago, killed a dog and called it art.
The commission yesterday voted to void its $750,000 contract with Otterness to create and install 59 bronze sculptures at Moscone station, part of the Central Subway project.
Otterness will still receive $700,000 for his sculpture, “Mother with Children,” at the new San Francisco General Hospital.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, the city has already paid the artist $365,750 for that unfinished sculpture and would lose the money if it terminated that contract.
“I think a prudent decision … is to penalize him pretty severely for the loss of this major, major creative as well as financial opportunity, but not penalize the San Francisco Department of Health and its hospital and not cost the city an extraordinary amount of money …” said Arts Commission chairman PJ Johnston.
One commissioner said she felt both contracts should have been terminated. ”It’s not about forgiveness. I respect his license to make such a piece, but I can’t stand behind it,” said Jessica Silverman, a local artist and gallery owner. “By approving such a thing you make it OK. And it’s not OK.”
Otterness procured a dog from an animal shelter in 1977, tied it to a fence and shot it, turning the film footage into a work of “art” he called “Shot Dog Film.”
“I am disappointed they didn’t cancel both,” said Sally Stephens, chair of San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission. “But at least we got the one.”
Stephens said the city should have terminated the hospital contract, even if it meant taking a loss.
“It’s the cost of (the Arts Commission) not doing their homework,” she said.
(Photo: “Large Sad Sphere,” a sculpture by Otterness that has been displayed in New York City parks)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, artist, arts commission, contract, dog, dog killer, dog lovers, dogs, killed, otterness, outcry, pets, san francisco, sculpture, shot dog film, terminated, tom otterness
San Francisco is considering terminating its $1.4 million in art contracts with Brooklyn sculptor Tom Otterness, who once shot and killed a dog on film and called it art.
San Francisco’s Arts Commission, which is in charge of publicly funded art projects, will hold a meeting today to vote on whether to rescind the contracts, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The commission awarded Otterness earlier this year with a $750,000 contract for 59 bronze sculptures in the Moscone station of the proposed Central Subway project. That was in addition to a $700,000 contract he received last year for a sculpture at San Francisco General Hospital.
The commission said it was unaware of the incident in his past when they approved the contracts, the second of which was signed in September.
Apparently they missed out on the hubbub on the east coast when, in May, Otterness was awarded $750,000 to sculpt a set of lions to sit outside the Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library.
Otterness, when he was 25, shot and killed a small black and white dog he adopted from a shelter for an art project — basically a repeated loop of film showing the execution. He called it ”Shot Dog Film.”
The incident has repeatedly surfaced during the career of Otterness, who is famous for his whimsical sculptures of people and animals, and it did again after he received the second San Francisco contract. After media reports and amid public complaints, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee placed a hold on both contracts, pending review.
Arts Commission Chairman PJ Johnston said that review is completed, and discussions have been held, but he declined to discuss them and said he was unsure how he would vote. He said he was concerned with the commission “getting into the position of judging the artist rather than the art.”
If I may boldy opine: I don’t understand that statement, or piece of one, but I’m not a real artist. I see nothing wrong with judging both the artist and the art, or, for that matter, the actor and his acting, the football player and the football play, the author and the book, or the arts commissioner and the art he commissions. Doing something well should not relieve one of the responsibility of being a decent human being, or following the rules everyone else lives by.
End of bold opining.
It’s unclear whether the city, if it terminates the contract, will be able to redeem the $365,750 in payments it has already made to Otterness, the Examiner reported.
The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission, called for the termination of the contracts in an Oct. 14 letter sent to the mayor and the Arts Commission.
“The city of St. Francis cannot display, with public funding, art from someone who has committed such an unconscionable act of animal cruelty,” the letter said.
St. Francis, after whom the city is named, is the patron saint of animals.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, artist, arts commission, central subway, commissions, complaints, contracts, dog, dogs, ed lee, filmed, funding, haunted, judging, killed, mayor, moscone station, new york public library, past, pets, public art, san francisco, san francisco general hospital, sculptor, sculpture, shot, shot dog film, st. francis, termination, tom otterness