As often as we bring you stories of police officers shooting dogs, it’s only right that we pass along news of cops who go out of their way to help one.
Seattle police officer Eric Michl went pretty far out of his way – helping to find a temporary home for the dog of a man he arrested, and driving on his day off from Seattle to Vancouver to place the dog with a foster family.
Last month, Michl pulled over a van that had changed lanes without signaling and arrested the driver, Juan Crespo, on a charge of driving under the influence. Crespo, the officer learned, also had a warrant from San Diego, where he was wanted for burglary. Also in the van was Crespo’s dog — a German shepherd named Liana — who had commited no offense.
Michl loaded her into the back of his police car and, as Crespo was being booked, drove her to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
On the way, Liana stuck her nose through the partition and licked his ear.
San Diego, it turned out, wanted Crespo extradited, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Between that attempt, which Crespo is fighting, and the local charges, it looked like it would be a while before his court cases came to a conclusion — far longer than the amount of time the Seattle Animal Shelter keeps unclaimed dogs.
That weighed on Michl. He checked with the shelter to see if it could hold Liana for the duration of Crespo’s court case. It couldn’t. That’s when Michl contacted Crespo’s defense attorney. Highly irregular. And highly cool.
“I just felt really bad that this dog and her owner would have to be separated,” Michl said. ” … Separating her from her owner would be an injustice. It wouldn’t be fair for the dog and for him.”
Working with the defense attorney, Megan Giske, Michl tried to locate someone from Crespo’s family to foster Liana, but they couldn’t find an appropriate home.
That’s when Michl turned to Facebook.
“She deserves a chance to live a full and happy life,” he wrote in a post. “If you know of anyone interested, please get a hold of me. I can provide details of her evaluation by the kennel manager.”
This past weekend, a friend of the suspect’s sister agreed to take Liana until Crespo is released.
The Seattle Animal Shelter gave Liana vaccinations and installed a microchip, waiving any fees.
He met the new foster parents at the Vancouver police station, and he reports that the friend, her two children and Liana all appeared happy with the new arrangement.
What got into Michl? And why can’t more police officers show canines that kind of compassion? We can’t answer the second question, but the Post-Intelligencer article provides some insight into the first.
In an interview, Michl spoke of his dog, Tommy, who died last last April. When Michl had to leave his son alone for nighttime patrols, Tommy, a black Lab, would sleep on his bed. Tommy died at age 8 of cancer, but the memory of him is still strong.
“Your dogs never leave you, no matter what,” Michl said.
Maybe it was that memory, or the lick from Liana while she was in the backseat. Perhaps even Crespo entered into the equation as well. Maybe, while Michl went far beyond the call of duty, it was just smart police work.
“I’m hoping once he’s out of jail he’ll remember that someone cared enough to do this for him and his dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of Eric Michl, via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelter, animals, arrest, attorney, beyond, burglary, call of duty, compassion, courts, dog, dogs, drunk driving, duty, eric michl, extradition, facebook, family, foster, german shepherd, good cop, juan crespo, law enforcement, liana, officer, pets, police, seattle, shelter, suspect, vancouver
It’s not one of Seattle’s most beloved works of outdoor art, but Gyro Jack has been a fixture at Belltown’s Denny Regrade Park for more than 30 years.
When part of the park, including the cement sculpture, was designated as an off-leash area for dogs, Gyro Jack became, in addition to all else he symbolizes — and don’t ask us what that is — a dog toy as well.
Some say it’s one that’s hazardous to their health.
In April, a six-month-old collie named Bailey broke one rear leg and injured the other after taking a dive off the top of the sculpture, KIRO reported last month.
Dog owner Jesse Wise said he walked to the top of the sculpture with Bailey. When he turned around to go back down, the dog either jumped or fell onto the pavement around the statue. Wise says the area with the sculpture should be made safer for dogs, possibly by laying mulch around it.
Apparently unconnected to that, the city Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily closed the park for improvements. In a press release, the department said plans include removing old surfacing and improving drainage.
The Belltown Local reports that the city plans to remove the wood chip mulch that serves as a ground cover around much of the dog park and replace it with pea gravel.
Whether the area at the base of the sculpture will be cushioned is not mentioned in the plans.
The off-leash area closed May 7, and will reopen Monday, May 28.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, belltown, collie, denny regrade park, dog parks, dogs, gyro jack, outdoor, parks, pets, public, sculpture, seattle
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
A Seattle woman who saw two dogs with their noses pressed against the window of a burning home jumped out of her car, hosed her shirt down, broke a window in the house and saved the two dogs trapped inside.
Kim Swanson suffered smoke inhalation in the process and was treated at the scene, a spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department said.
Swanson and Karen Jacobs were driving home after dinner when they saw the fire. Jacobs called 911 while Swanson sprung into action.
After breaking the window, she entered the home, picked up the two small dogs, named Angus and Babu, and passed them through the window to Jacobs. Both dogs escaped injury.
“I had taken off my shirt and sprayed it down with a hose I found in back, and then put it over my face and head,” Swanson told KOMO.
The fire was mostly contained to the attic, where an electrical problem started the blaze.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: angus, animals, babu, burning, dogs, fire, house, karen jacobs, kim swanson, komo, news, pets, rescue, saved, seattle, smoke inhalation
Sure, you can extract DNA samples from every dog in your community, establish a database, pick up and pack up samples of any unscooped poop, send it to an out of state laboratory, pay a fee, and then await test results that will identify the poopetrator, assuming he or she is in the database in the first place.
Or, you can gently and wittily remind dog owners of their responsibility.
I’m more comfortable in a community that does the latter.
Earlier this week we told you about an apartment complex in Lebanon, New Hampshire, that will begin testing the DNA of unscooped dog poop found on the premises.
The video above, I think, reflects a far more civilized, less Big Brotherish approach to the problem.
In a effort to remind people what uncollected dog poop does to the region’s health, a Seattle area organization called Puget Sound Starts Here launched “Dog Doogity,” a music video to encourage people to pick up after their pets, according to KING 5 in Seattle.
Puget Sound Starts Here is a coalition of state and local agencies that works educate the public on protecting the health of the Sound. The coalition says pet waste contains disease-causing organisms that can carry into the Puget Sound and other local waters.
“For every four and a half people there is one dog in the Puget Sound area and almost all of that is going outside,” said campaign coordinator Suzi Wong Swint. “People just don’t think about dog poop and the major contributions it has on the quality of our water. So, this campaign is trying to encourage people to pick up their dog’s poop in their backyards as well as on their walks.”
The music video features Puget Sound locations in Seattle, Everett and Tacoma. It was inspired by Blackstreet’s 1996 hit, “No Diggity,” and features soul singer Martin Luther and dog Lola.
For more information on the campaign, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apartments, blackstreet, campaign, dna, dna testing, dog doogity, dog poop, dogs, everett, feces, lebanon, martin luther, music video, new hampshire, no diggity, pets, pick-up, poop, public awareness, public education, puget sound, rap, rap song, scoop, seattle, tacoma, testing, washington, waste
The problem with using a mathematical formula to pick the dog-friendliest U.S cities is that math is cold and calculating and fails to take into account life’s little nuances, or sometimes its big ones, or sometimes humanity at all.
I’d guess that explains how Petside.com picked Dallas — where the mayor recently gave Michael Vick a key to the city — as the second dog friendliest in America.
Petside reported last week that “after scouring the country” and compiling statistics, it has chosen San Diego as America’s dog friendliest city, with Dallas in second place and Seattle third.
Petside, a website for pet owners and pet enthusiasts, released its list of “Top 10 Pet-Friendly U.S. Cities” last Thursday. The rankings take into consideration the number of dog parks and major pet stores, vets per population and pet-friendly establishments and events.
How Dallas snuck in between two truly dog friendly cities, I don’t know. It has two parks where dogs can romp unleashed. Beyond that, Petside cites only the fact that Dallas has lots of dog-related official activities.
San Diego, on the other hand, has more than a dozen dog-friendly beaches and parks, eight major pet stores, more than 800 veterinarians and more than 50 restaurants that allow pets on their patios.
Rounding out Petside’s top 10 were Minneapolis, Denver, Tuscon, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Sacramento and Phoenix.
Petside also announced a new app, called Pet Places, that allows dog owners to look up vets, kennels and other pet-related businesses in cities around the country.
If you don’t like Petside’s list of dog-friendly cities, you can always find another one, some better researched than others.
Dogfriendly.com, though it provides little information on how they arrive at their choices, puts out an annual list. (Earlier this month, it also picked San Diego first, with Portland, Oregon second and Austin third.) Dog Fancy, which last year named Provincetown, Mass., the dog-friendliest city will be coming out with its annual listing soon. Foodandwine.com puts out a dog-friendliest city list too, but, given they are also busy with matters of food and wine, I guess, only takes time to choose five.
My advice? Taken any list of dog-friendly cities, if not with a glass of wine, with a grain of salt.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, charlotte, cities, dallas, denver, dog friendliest, dog friendly, florida, fort worth, friendliest, key to the city, list, lists, math, measure, measuring, michael vick, minneapolis, money, perceptions, petside, provincetown, sacramento, san diego, seattle, statistics, top ten, tucson, u.s.
According to the King County Sheriff’s Department in Washington, witnesses reported a man and a woman were playing with two dogs when one of the animals got pulled into a whirlpool in the river below Snoqualmie Falls.
The woman, also 29, apparently went into the water to save the dog also, but was rescued, the Seattle Times reports.
Neither the man nor the woman were identified by name.
King County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said the waters of the Snoqualmie are “very fast and very cold and not conducive to survival this time of year, even for the strongest of swimmers.”
He said people should think twice about going into water to rescue their animals. In this case, he was right, the dog who went into the river managed to get out and is reported to be fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, disappears, dog, hiking, king county, man, missing, rescue, river, search, seattle, snoqualmie, snoqualmie falls, washington, whirlpool
You know we can’t pass up a homeless person and dog story — whether it’s one we stumble upon, or one somebody else has.
Erik Lacitis, of the Seattle Times, came across such a pair living in a 14-foot aluminum rowboat, anchored in a foot of water, under the pillars of the Highway 520 bridge.
There, William Kaphaem — who prefers his Mohawk name, “Three Stars” — lives, cocoon-like, with his dog, Lulu, under a brown plastic tarp that, inside, affords a few feet of headroom and, outside, blends in with the muddy shore.
The story appeared in the Times yesterday.
Inside his rowboat home, Three Stars, who is 51, reads by lantern light and listens to baseball games on a battery-powered radio. Across the boat’s benches, he has laid a sheet of plywood that serves as his bed. Three Stars has five spinning rods he uses to catch perch, bass and the occasional trout, and a collapsible trap for catching crawdads.
Among the some 2,400 homeless counted living outside this January in the Seattle area, the newspaper says, his one of the more unusual living arrangements.
Three Stars told the reporter he moved onto the rowboat because he needed someplace to store his stuff.
“I’ve got a lot of stuff. I didn’t want to schlep it around town like some tramp,” he said. “I’ve got more dignity than that.”
He lives on $636 a month SSI, and until last year he was renting a room. But when the owner of the home died, he had to look for a new place.
Three Stars told Lacitis he’s prone to talking too much. He said he has held ”40 jobs in two years, and I got fired in all of them … Burger King, grocery store … sometimes I can’t shut my face.”
He grew up in Massachusetts and Florida, and came to Seattle to be a street musician. He used to play, with Lulu at his side, on the sidewalk outside of Pacific Place in downtown Seattle — until his wrist started falling asleep. Three Stars says Lulu is a mixture of wolf and husky, and is almost 10 years old.
Three Stars says he likes the solitude of the living arrangement he shares with Lulu.
“It’s a very peaceful experience.”
(Photo by Mark Harrison / Seattle Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boat, bridge, companion, dog, dogs, erik lacitis, highway 520, home, homeless, homeless dogs, lulu, mohawk, pets, rowboat, seattle, seattle times, solitude, street musician, stuff, three stars, william kaphaem
Here’s the bad: Much as we’d have liked to stay in one of them, much as we are — in our own view — “hipsters,” Ace and I can’t even afford “Bohemian.”
“Minimalist,” it seems, is beyond our means.
We dropped in at the Ace Hotel in Seattle, where the chain got started, and checked out the one in Portland, where it’s now headquartered, but — even with the sliding scale it offers, with lower prices if you share a bathroom – it was out of our league.
So here, I’ve decided, is what America needs — a level of lodging slightly below Bohemian, but slightly above the YMCA, a motel chain that’s dog friendly and mostly free of germs, crawling bugs and psychos. Motel 6 probably comes closest – hopelessly unhip as it is.
The Ace Hotels, from what I saw of them, do minimalist much better, except for the price part. All four are in old buildings with rich histories, and the furnishings– from hotel to hotel and from room to room – are varied and eclectic, as opposed to going the cheap motel route of putting the same cookie-cutter formica furniture in every room across the nation.
Therein lies the difference between Bohemian and Institutional, and who wouldn’t rather spend the night in a place that makes you feel like a beatnik, as opposed to an inmate.
Depending on your own personal economic condition, Ace Hotels are worth checking into if you’re traveling to New York, Palm Springs, Portland or Seattle, because, on top of their dog friendliness, they have some character, which the big chains always lack.
There is another solution to this issue — this issue being getting accurate information on lodging that has character, and is both dog and wallet friendly — and it doesn’t involve chains at all. Instead it involves looking at the world through something other than a corporate lens.
There are some otherwise fine guide books and websites out there that can help one find dog-friendly hotels and motels. The problem is, most of them don’t make much effort to include the non-chains, the mom-and-pop, small independent motels — many of them dog friendly — that don’t charge exorbitant prices for a room. And still have character.
Perhaps it would be too much work for the guidemakers. Perhaps mom and pop aren’t Internet-savvy enough to get their establishments listed. In any case, the result is, from AAA to bringfido.com, the options presented are almost always the big boys — Motel 6, Super 8, Best Western, La Quinta, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt and on up the ladder of chains.
As a result, pup-friendly mom and pop — who are probably much more in need of the boost in business that comes with being known as dog-friendly – are ignored, because they own one motel instead of 500 of them.
Ranting aside, we stopped by the Ace Hotel in Seattle to take a look, and considered staying at the one in Portland. Both, in the parlance of the trade, are considered ”boutique” hotels — which is basically a term meaning it hasn’t grown into full chainhood yet and is still small enough to be charming
While both qualified for our hipster seal of approval, both were beyond our budget, even if we shared a bathroom.
The desk clerk at the Ace in Seattle explained that the name was chosen because aces can be both high and low, and the hotel strives to provide lodgings at both ends of the spectrum, as well as provide high quality at low price.
The hotel in Seattle is in a former Salvation Army halfway house located in the Belltown neighborhood. In Portland, the Ace moved into what was the Clyde Hotel, the lobby of which served as a setting for scene in the movie, “Drugstore Cowboy.” The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In Palm Springs, the Ace Hotel is in a converted Howard Johnson’s; and in New York it occupies the Breslin, a former single-room-occupancy hotel at the corner of 29th Street and Broadway. Transforming it meant displacing some longtime residents.
A New York Times review of the hotel called it “shabby chic” before snottily adding, ”a bit too redolent of the past.”
Ace Hotels got their start when Seattle native Alex Calderwood and some friends decided to create a hip yet minimalist hotel. The Ace Hotel in Seattle opened in 1999; and in 2007 they opened one in Portland.
Calderwood’s hipsterness went back even further than that. He used to throw warehouse parties for the grunge set, later moving up to hosting events for Microsoft. Today, he holds four Aces, and, at last report, had his sights set on a fifth.
Given that growth, I think it’s time the chain start considering some advertising, and perhaps a spokesdog. I have one in particular in mind, whose services can be obtained for a reasonable fee — a sliding scale even. I’ve got some other promotional ideas, too, such as complimentary slightly used flannel pajamas for all guests, and even a slogan to help get across the message that the hotels are dog friendly:
“We’ll leave the bowl out for you.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace hotel, affordability, alex calderwood, america, animals, bohemiam, chains, character, corporate, corporations, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, hipster, hotel, hotels, lodging, minimalist, motels, new york, palm springs, pet friendly, pets, portland, road trip, seattle, shabby chic, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
Dogs are too smart to hold elections, and it would be presumptuous of us to do it for them. But if there ever were a vote for which breed to make class clown, the bull terrier would be a strong contender.
I say this having only limited experience with the breed – virtually all of it through a woman named Marilyn Bailey, and most of it in the last three days, during which time her two dogs kept a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud and even brought Ace out of his diarrhea doldrums enough to play.
Ace is better now, thanks in large part of Marilyn, who spoiled him with cottage cheese, eggs, rice and other forms of pampering, and to Browser (above left) and Ivy (above right), whose goofiness — though young Ivy is far goofier than old Browser — is, while laughable, also somehow soothing, like an old sitcom.
Marilyn and I worked together at a newspaper in Lexington, Kentucky. That was 30 years ago, and I believe her bull terrier then was named Hot Shot. In the interim, I’ve seen her maybe three times. Yet, when she heard about our travels, she invited us to stay when we came through Seattle, and she treated us like family — in the good and functional, kind and caring sense of the word.
She’s a serene and laid back sort, which can be an advantage when one is raising bull terriers, or when one is married to Carleton W. Bryant, as she is.
If Marilyn and Carl were a Chinese food entree, they’d be sweet and sour something.
If Marilyn is the epitome of graciousness, Carl is the personification of sarcasm, prone to hilariously biting comments, skewering those in need of a good skewering, and a bluntness that can leave you disarmed. Acerbic and gruff as he is, though, there are signs that, deep down, he’s actually a tender-hearted soul.
Marilyn is a copy editor for the Seattle Times, Carl is a media consultant whose current projects include a website he developed called MrThoughtful.com.
It offers a solution for those men who just can’t seem to remember to acknowledge significant dates – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. — with a card, or, at best, wait to the very last minute to do so.
The website serves as an automatic, surrogate card buyer.
Users register and create a profile of events and relationships — who in their lives they should send what cards to when. Then, as the significant dates approach, they receive by mail the appropriate card and envelope, as well as an email reminder to make sure it gets to the intended recipient.
Magically and with little effort, they appear to be thoughtful guys, fooling everybody. (There’s also a MsThoughtful.com, but the marketing pitch is slightly different. It’s for the woman too ”busy” to buy cards, as opposed to just being a negligent oaf.)
But back to their dogs, dog show quality both, and members of what, to me — with their huge and sloping, football-shaped heads — is one of the more unusual looking breeds of dogs. It was rare, back in Baltimore for Ace to run into a bull terrier. The one time he did, he approached it slowly, almost as if he wasn’t sure it was a member of his species.
Browser, 11, is a mellow sort, content to sidle up to you and stay there – for days, it seems. Ivy, not yet two, is contagiously playful. By the second day of our stay she had Ace fired up. Of course, they chose to let loose in the formal living room, where she’d run up to Ace, jump on him, then scurry away, somehow managing, while traveling at high speeds, to slide her whole muscular body under the sofa, before repeating the process.
Ace, who likes to softly bite the legs of the dogs he’s playing with, or stick their entire head in his mouth, had some difficulty with the latter, but that didn’t stop him from trying.
Both Browser and Ivy have an endearing habit of approaching when you are seated, bowing their head and pushing it softly into our stomach. Ace will do this from time to time, but only for half a minute. Browser seemed happy to stay in that position for five minutes.
While speedy dogs, as Ivy showed, they are also very adept at standing still — perfectly still. It’s almost as if they become statues, motionlessly pondering what to do next and whether it’s worth the effort.
Both loved to snuggle, Browser for extended periods, Ivy only briefly before nibbling your ear, climbing your torso or scooting off in search of something more interesting.
Once seated in Marilyn’s lap at their home in Kirkland, though, she settles down, almost as if hypnotized.
Marilyn sent us off with a huge care package — sandwiches, beverages and apple cobbler for me, and for Ace, dog biscuits, atop which she spread peanut butter. Carl, who provided us with several great Seattle area tours, sent us off with a list of places to see on Oregon’s coast and one of his website’s promotional caps, allowing me to show the world just how incredibly thoughtful I am. Ivy and Browser — members of a breed whose faces seem to say, “Yes, I’m a dog, and I plan to engage in some dog-like antics. You want to make something of it?” — sent us off with a warm and giggly feeling.
One day soon, I’ll need to thank them for all that southern hospitality, Seattle-style.
Maybe I’ll send them a card.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, antics, behavior, breed, breeds, browser, bull terrier, bull terriers, carl bryant, clowns, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, greeting cards, hosts, ivy, marilyn bailey, mr. thoughtful, mrthoughtful.com, pets, reminders, road trip, seattle, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace