David A. Lewis, 29, died Saturday on a hike in Greenville County with his girlfriend and dog.
“His dog got away from him, and started running for the falls. Then he went after his dog and reached for his dog. And as I understand it, when he reached for the dog, they both went over the falls,” Greenville County Deputy Coroner Kent Dill told WYFF
The dog was able to get his footing and get back to level ground, Dill said.
The girlfriend suffered some bruises while trying to make her way down to Lewis.
Lewis was a landscape architect with Earth Designs in Pickens.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, david lewis, death, dog, dog walking, dogs, falls, greenville, hike, hiking, ledge, pet owner, pets, saves, saving, south carolina, walking, waterfall
A makeshift memorial was constructed Sunday night in honor of a California woman who was struck by a car and killed after rescuing a dog that had wandered into traffic.
Mara Steves, 48, of Laguna Niguel, had coaxed the dog off the highway and was kneeling with it on the corner when two cars collided nearby, one of which went off the road and struck her.
Friends and family decorated the corner with flowers, candles and notes in memory of Steves, a mother of two.
The dog, who wasn’t believed to be the cause of the accident, was not injured and reportedly made its way back home, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Steves was a former PTA president at a local elementary school, was jogging when she saw the dog in the road, a sheriff’s department official said.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, animals, california, car, dog, hit, jogger, jogging, killed, laguna niguel, mara steves, memorial, news, orange county, pets, rescue, rescuing, saved, saving, traffic, woman
In 2007, it was one of the most sickening, disheartening stories of the year — NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s arrest and imprisonment on dogfighting charges. Revelations of what transpired at Bad Newz Kennels showed just how cruel some humans can be.
By 2009, though, the story of Vick’s dogs had become one of the most heartening of the decade. What made the difference? Mainly, the dogs – the pit bulls. For despite what they’d been put through, despite being abused, trained as killers or used as bait, they were — once the decision was made not to euthanize them – amazing the world with their remarkable resiliency.
Saving and rehabilitating the former fighting dogs of Michael Vick was not achieved without a battle, and not without the efforts of a lot of dog-loving, self-sacrificing humans. But the silver lining that eventually shone through the dismal story was provided mainly by the dogs, who showed that, no matter how bad a human messes them up, there’s hope.
Once again, the irrepressible species was teaching us humans a lesson.
Vick’s former pit bulls have gone on to reside in new homes with young children, become cherished pets, serve as therapy dogs and, in many cases, serve as shining examples of what is right with and special about the much-maligned breed.
How all that transpired is rivetingly detailed in a new book by Jim Gorant, “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.”
(For a preview, you can read an article by Gorant in today’s Parade magazine.)
In the book, to be released next month, Gorant expands on his 2008 Sports Illustrated story on the Vick dogs (the one that featured Baltimore’s own Sweet Jasmine on the cover), recounting how they were rescued from Vick’s estate and how — though euthanasia was routine until then for animals seized from dogfighting operations – they were saved from that fate by an outpouring of public appeals.
The outcry helped lead to a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in “restitution” to the dogs — money used to allow a handful of agencies across the country to rehabilitate them.
The book recounts the ASPCA-led evaluations of each dog — and how, though there were a few hardened fighters among them, many more were dogs ready to be loved, ready to forgive and try to forget.
In “The Lost Dogs,” we learn more about Johnny Justice, the former Vick dog that participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get more comfortable with their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs; about Leo, who now spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens; and about Sweet Jasmine, who was coming out of her shell while living in Baltimore until she got loose and was hit by a car.
The book lists the outcomes for all 49 of the surviving pit bulls that were seized in April 2007 from Bad Newz Kennels, the Smithfield, Va., dogfighting ring run by Vick, then quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, now — getting a multi-million dollar second chance of his own — a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
While experts were expecting only 5 percent of Vick’s dogs could be rehabilitated, only two, initially, had to be put down. One was excessively violent and the other was suffering from an irreparable injury. For the rest, though, there was hope, and no small amount of faith – which, more than anything else is what “The Lost Dogs” is about.
Rather than showing aggression, the Vick dogs tended to be “pancake dogs”— animals so traumatized that they flattened themselves on the ground and trembled when humans neared, much like our friend Mel, the former Vick dog we recently met in our travels through Dallas.
Many more seemed to be dogs with normal temperaments, but who had simply never been socialized.
Accomplishing that fell to the handful of animal welfare organizations that stepped forward, offering to take the Vick dogs in and work to rehabilitate them — among them Baltimore’s Recycled Love, California’s BAD RAP, (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), and Best Friends Animal Society in Utah.
As Gorant writes in the Parade magazine article, “… rescuers argued from the start that rather than be condemned as a whole, the dogs should be individually assessed and treated — and this has turned out to be one of the great lessons of the Bad Newz dogs. Generalizations and preconceptions are as unhelpful and counterproductive for pit bulls as they are for people.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, article, aspca, bad newz, bad rap, best friends, book, case, court, cruelty, dog books, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, euthanasia, good dog reads, jim gorant, lesson, lost dogs, magazine, maligned, michael vick, michael vick's dogs, nfl, parade, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, recycled love, redemption, rehabilitation, rescue, resiliency, saving, socialization, sports illustrated, sweet jasmine, temperament, the lost dogs, therapy dogs, vick, vick dogs
In Houston and Philadelphia, sad stories emerged at the end of the last week of humans who, while trying to save the lives of their dogs, lost their own.
In Philadelphia, a woman was struck and killed Friday night as she ran onto a set of railroad tracks to save her dog from an oncoming commuter train, police said.
The woman, who police described as in her 40s and from out-of-state, was standing on the platform of the Bryn Mawr station about 6 p.m. when her dog got loose and bounded onto the rails, according to Lower Merion Township police.
The woman was waiting for a train when her dog got loose. She chased the black Chihuahua onto the tracks as an eastbound SEPTAtrain pulled into the station. She was killed instantly, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The dog was recovered without injuries and taken to an animal hospital.
The 51-year-old officer had pulled up to his home in his patrol unit and was told by neighbors his dogs were running loose near an industrial canal.
Wotipka saw his English bulldog go into the canal and plunged in after her. He resurfaced once then went under again. Wotipka’s body was recovered the next morning about 150 feet from where he entered the canal, the Houston Chronicle reported. The dog also died.
Wotipka joined the department in 1993 and was known as a lover of dogs. While in his patrol cruiser a week ago, he slammed on his brakes to avoid a stray dog in the middle of the road, then ended up bringing the dog, who he named Skidmark, home.
The police officers’ union is planning a fundraiser for the Wotipka family on July 31.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bryn mawr, canal, chihuahua, dead deaths, deputy, die, dog, drowned, drowning, eddie wotipka, english bulldog, harris county, houston, killed, news, officer, ohmidog!, owners, pets, philadelphia, rescue, rescuing, save, saving, septa, sheriff's, train
From Washington’s Olympic Peninsula comes the story of Harley — a Chihuahua found on the side of a logging road with his throat slit.
The dog, bearing a four-inch gash on his tiny throat, was found Feb. 2, bleeding on the side of a road west of Port Angeles by Monte Mogi, a 75-year-old, Harley Davidson-riding, retired Air Force master sergeant.
Mogi took the dog to veterinarian Dr. Charles Schramm of Port Angeles, who threaded tight a 4-inch open slice across the center of the dog’s throat, according to the Peninsula Daily News
The cut appeared to be intentional. By slitting the dog’s throat, “maybe they thought they were euthanizing it,” said Schramm, adding that he’d never seen a similar injury.
Mogi paid the dog’s $464 veterinary bill, then called his daughter, a veterinary technician, and she drove the dog — dubbed Harley by then — back to his house. Already having eight dogs on his property, Mogi called Nancy Woods, who had cared for Mogi’s wife before her death.
Nancy and her husband Herb, though they’d sworn off dogs after their last one died, offered to take in Harley — even though he appeared traumatized and was terrified of children.
Once Harley recuperated, they planned to find him a new owner. In mid-February they handed Harley over to a new family. The next day, they asked for him back.
“I had bonded with him,” Nnancy Woods said. “I was terrified for him. My heart just hurt for the trauma he had been through. I felt like he had been with us for two weeks, and then he was uprooted again. I felt horrible about that.”
Now Harley has the run of the Woods family’s rural property, which he shares with Bob, a rescued cat who’s larger than him. He’s doing well, the Woods say, though he’s timid, shakes when nervous and can’t really bark. He starts coughing when he tries to do so.
Last weekend, the Woods reported, Harley slept under the covers with Nancy’s 7-year-old granddaughter.
Seems he’s beginning to realize that, however evil some of them might be, there are some good humans out there, too.
(Photo: Peninsula Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, behavior, bonding, charles schramm, chihuahua, cut, dog, dogs, harley, harley-davidson, herb woods, humans, monte mogi, motorcycle, nancy woods, olympic peninsula, pets, port angeles, rescue, saving, shelter, slit, throat, trauma, veterinarian, veterinary, washington
A Florida man was hit by a bus and killed when he tried to save a dog that wandered onto the highway.
John Christopher Morgan, 22, of Lakeland, was buying beer at a Plant City convenience store Friday night when he saw a stray dog run onto State Road 60, according to the Tampa Tribune.
According to his friend, Jason Braden, Morgan ran to save the dog and was hit by a bus. The Florida Highway Patrol said the driver of the bus has not been charged.
Morgan moved to Florida from New Jersey about a year ago to take care of his aunt, said Braden. About two weeks ago, both men lost their jobs when the Florida Police and Trooper’s Association went out of business, Braden said.
Braden said Morgan’s remains, will be cremated and sent to New Mexico, where his father lives.
Braden described his friend as “an easy-going guy who would give the shirt off his back to anyone. He was the most caring person I had ever known. If he didn’t have it, he would get it. He would always put others before himself. That is why he is where he is now.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bus, dies, dog, florida, highway, hit, john christopher morgan, john morgan, killed, lakeland, plant city, save, saving, trying
Vasily Fedorouk, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, drowned Sunday after saving his dog, Era, from Horsetail Lake, outside Chicago.
The 2 1/2 -year-old German hunting terrier went into the lake to fetch a ball but got caught in some vegetation. Fedorouk, 59, jumped into the lake and freed the dog, but wound up getting entangled himself, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“He was waving his hands in the water,” his wife, Dilbara Arapova said. “At first I thought he was joking. Then he went underwater and I started to scream. I couldn’t help him. I can’t swim.”
Another man at the scene, who also couldn’t swim, called police on a cell phone. By the time police and paramedics arrived, eight minutes later, Arapova said, it was too late.
Fedorouk was found submerged in 6 to 8 feet of water. An official with the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Fedorouk died of accidental drowning. Arapova said police told her that Fedorouk apparently got caught in fishing line.
On Monday, Arapova and her son, Anton Fedorouk, 24, described the sculptor as a hardworking, passionate artist. “He would work from sunup to sundown on his sculptures,” Arapova said. “That was his passion. He would want to be remembered for his art. He told me that after he dies, his art will still live on forever.”
Fedorouk, who immigrated to the United States with his wife from Ukraine in 1992, attended the Lviv Academy of the Arts, in Lviv Ukraine, in the mid-1970s.
Anton Fedorouk was not surprised that his father risked his life for Era. “He loved our dog. He would do anything to save it.”
(Photo from vasilyfedorouk.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: artist, chicago, dilbara arapova, dog, drowned, drowning, drowns, era, fishing line, horsetail lake, rescue, saves, saving, sculptor, ukraine, vasily fedorouk, weeds
An Alaska man was killed over the weekend when he tried to save his dog from being struck by a train.
Alaska Railroad officials have identified the man as Brett P. Miller, 42, of Anchorage. Both he and his dog were killed when they were struck by a passenger train near Montana Creek north of Wasilla, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Railroad spokesman Tim Thompson said Miller was walking along the tracks Saturday with about a dozen people, all of whom were apparently headed back to a campsite along Montana Creek. The group moved off the tracks when they heard the train coming. But the dog, a Labrador retriever, ran back onto the tracks. Miller was struck when he tried to rescue his pet, Thompson said.
The accident is still under investigation, he said.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, alaska railroad, anchorage, died, dog, dogs, killed, life, owner, pets, relationship, rescue, risk, saving, struck, tracks, train
Snaps was being abused by a group of teenagers in the town of SeaTac, Washington, including a member of the family who owns him, when a good samaritan interrupted them.
She, and another good samaritan, were both bitten by the dog, at the urging of the teens.
Charges are pending against the teenagers, who police said were abusing the pit bull to make him more violent.
Original reports said Snaps would be euthanized, but a spokesperson for King County told the B.Town Blog that a decision on the dog’s fate has not been reached.
Because the case is still under investigation, and the dog may be considered evidence, Snaps may spend more than the required 10-day quarantine period in the care of King County Animal Care & Control.
“The laws are such that when a dog causes such severe and multiple bites, it may be declared a “dangerous dog” and is subject to the local regulations regarding confinement, removal from the area, and/or possible euthanasia,” the spokesperson said. “At this point, we also do not know if the owners or the children of the owners spent time “training” the dog to attack or defend, so we would have to be careful and consider the safety of placing it with another family or organization.”
Posted by John Woestendiek June 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abusing, animal control, attack, euthanasia, good samaritan, king county, petition, pit bull, save, saving, seatac, seattle, snaps, teenagers, washington