Star, the pit bull shot in the face by New York City police last month, is walking, playing with toys and eating on her own.
But she’s doing all that with one eye — veterinarians had to remove one damaged from the shooting — and her hearing is not what it used to be.
Star was guarding her master, who was having a seizure on a sidewalk, when she lunged at a police officer that stepped toward her. She was shot in the head and left in a pool of blood as a crowd gathered, many of whom who can be heard in a video of the incident questioning why police weren’t doing anything to help the dog, or the man.
Star underwent surgery Monday to remove her left eye and metal fragments wedged in her skull, and was transferred into the custody of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of rescue groups and shelters. The Alliance is not disclosing her specific location.
“She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the Animal Care & Control.
“She has a lot of healing to do,” Steve Gruber, director of communications for the Mayor’s Alliance, told People.com.
The man she was trying to protect the day she was shot, identified as Lech Stankiewicz, hasn’t reclaimed Star.
Gruber said the Alliance hopes to find a caretaker for her “who can really understand what she’s been through.”
To contribute to Star’s care, you can donate here.
(Photo: New York City Animal Care & Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal control, animals, care, dogs, donate, eye, hearing, lost, new york city, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovery, seizure, shooting, shot, star, update, veterinary, victim
And much more quickly than police seemed to go to the aid of anybody when the incident — all captured on video – transpired in the East Village two weeks ago.
An Animal Care and Control spokesman told the New York Daily News Saturday that Star is quickly recovering from the gunshot, and that her medical bills — about $10,000 worth so far — have been paid for with donations to a special fund set up for the wounded dog.
Star was shot when she lunged at a police officer approaching her owner, said to be a homeless man with epilepsy, as he lay on the sidewalk in the throes of a seizure.
For several long minutes thereafter, as more police arrived, none appeared to go the aid of either the dog, or her owner, Lech Stankiewicz.
By Friday, Stankiewicz had not reclaimed Star, giving animal control legal ownership. The agency expects to hand custody over to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals when Star has fully recovered.
The Daily News reported last week that the shooting was not the first encounter Star had with police.
On June 19, according to the report, Star attacked a 22-year-old friend of Stankiewicz when she tried to prevent the dog from lunging at a police officer. The woman was treated for bite wounds to her arms and chest.
Star was seized by authorities after that, but a rescue organization called CollideNYC helped reunite dog and owner two weeks later.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alliance for animals, animal, animal control, bills, collide nyc, condition, dogs, donations, epilepsy, homeless, Lech Stankiewicz, new york, new york city, nyc, owner, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovering, recovery, seizure, shoot, shooting, star, veterinary
This video — and we warn that you might not want to watch it — shows New York City police shooting a pit bull that was seemingly trying to protect her owner, who was in the midst of a seizure.
It was an act that enraged many onlookers when it happened — on Aug. 13 – and many more in the week since the video was posted on the Internet.
Most early reports about the incident were sketchy, and the facts — even 10 days later — still don’t seem to have fully come out. Other than these:
Lech Stankiewicz apparently suffered a seizure and ended up halfway on the sidewalk, halfway on the street. His dog Star stood by him.
As can be seen at the beginning of the video, a female bystander, apparently wanting to offer some assistance to the man, gets too close and is chased off by the dog. The dog then turns around and runs toward a police officer — one of at least two on the scene by then, both of whom had their guns drawn.
The first officer shoots the dog, and it appears the second one fires as well, leaving Star whimpering and writhing on the street.
The nine long minutes that follow are almost equally disturbing. No one goes to the aid of the dog, no one goes to the aid of the man, and police, whose numbers have swelled by then, seem concerned only with crowd control as both man and dog lay in the street.
Some websites were quick to report that Star had been “murdered” by police — like this outraged account on Gather.com – but she’s still alive.
Star was taken to Animal Care and Control (ACC) of NYC, but that organization saw fit, at least initially, to release no information.
The Lexus Project, which provides legal defense for dogs it thinks are being treated unfairly and is looking into the case, released a statement, but it didn’t say much either:
“We know that so many of you are concerned, worried and outraged about Star. This is an update and although I know you want more but please respect this is all we are permitted to say at this time. Star is very much alive and receiving medical care and holding her own. We will update as soon as we are permitted to. Thank you for your support and understanding.”
The video appeared on the Gothamist website and subsequently has been shown on many others.
Not to jump to too large a conclusion, but watching the video — and the inaction of authorities, other than shooting Star — suggests to me that police may need more training for dealing with dogs, not to mention dealing with epileptic seizures.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal care and control, animal control, animals, control, crowd, dog, dogs, epilepsy, law enforcement, Lech Stankiewicz, lexus project, new york, new york city, nyc, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, seizure, shoot, shooting, shot, sidewalk, star, street, training, video
Attention humans: Today’s lesson comes from Tanner and Blair — two hopeless cases that, together, found some hope.
Tanner is a two-year-old Golden Retriever who was born blind and with a seizure disorder. When Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue was unable to find him a home, he ended up at Woodland West Animal Hospital.
Blair is a one-year-old black Labrador mix brought to the same hospital after she was shot while living on the streets. While recovering physically, she was timid, nervous, and unlikely to find a forever home, either.
“One day they were exercising in a play yard together and they got together,” said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mike Jones. “Blair all of a sudden seemed to realize that Tanner was blind and just started to help him around.”
Seeing the connection, hospital staff began to board Tanner and Blair together, with amazing results.
Tanner began seizing less; Blair came out of her shell.
“His seizure disorder was really, really bad and nothing — no medications — seemed to be helping,” Jones told ABC News. “Anytime he [Tanner] seizes he expresses his bowels.”
Tanner had been seizing almost nightly, Jones said, but after two or three weeks with Blair, “we realized Tanner wasn’t seizing anymore. He’s not completely seizure free but it’s not constant anymore.”
If Tanner has a leash on, Blair will pick it up and guide her friend around. Tanner, meanwhile, has had a calming influence on Blair, making the former street dog — now that she has a mission – less timid and anxious.
Now the hospital and Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue are trying to find the two dogs a home together.
“They absolutely have to be adopted together,” Jones said. “But it’s going to take a special home with someone who understands their special relationship plus understands seizure disorder and is ready to take on the responsibility.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animals, black, blair, blind, cure, disorder, dogs, each other, golden, help, hope, ills, lab, oklahoma, pair, pets, rescue, retrievers, seizure, shelters, shooting, shot, sooner golden retriever rescue, tanner, teamwork, woodland west animal hospital
Leo, the former Michael Vick dog who became a therapy dog and an ambassador for his breed, died last week from a severe seizure disorder.
Marthina McClay, president of Our Pack, an advocacy group for pit bulls, announced his death Sunday in a Facebook post:
“It is with great sadness I must announce the loss of a wonderful soul. This week Leo passed away from a severe seizure disorder. Leo was my working partner, friend and family loved one and I will never forget how wonderful he was. He was so many things to many people and to many dogs.
“Leo came to Our Pack from the Vick case and I was lucky enough to later adopt him. Even though he didn’t have a good start in life he made life for others around him better. Just after arriving to us, Leo quickly turned inhumanity into humanity. He gave love that wasn’t even given to him.
“He worked with cancer patients as a therapy dog. He showed kids that no matter what you can still show love and compassion toward others regardless of how life has treated you. He showed the world that one should not be judged based on what property he lives on but on who you are and what you do as an individual. Many dogs are alive today and many people have smiled because of Leo and his work. He gave a second chance to other dogs that may never have gotten one because of who he was and what he did.
“Please join me in remembering the good that Leo has done and pass it on. We’ve suffered a great loss but we’ve also received a wonderful gift in the time we were lucky enough to share with him. Leo accomplished so much in so little time. Thank you Leo, I love you so much and you will never be forgotten….Ever.”
Leo was one of about 50 dogs seized in the raid of Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Smithfield, Va.
Our Pack was one of several animal welfare groups that worked to rehabilitate the dogs. Leo was officially adopted by McClay and became a certified therapy dog, working with cancer patients and others.
(Photo: Leo and McClay, courtesy of Our Pack)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bad newz, death, died, disorder, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, kennels, leo, marthina mcclay, michael vick, our pack, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, redemption, rehabilitation, seizure, therapy dog, vick dog
One dog was killed, one survived and another is fighting for its life after a swarm of bees attacked them in their back yard in Chula Vista, California.
Carissa Musaraca says she went outside just before 2 p.m Tuesday to see her dogs covered in “thousands and thousands” of bees. ““It looked like a tornado of bees. I couldn’t even see the backyard at all. The dogs were covered in coats of bees,” she told NBC in San Diego
Firefighters said 4,000 to 6,000 bees emerged from a hive behind her home.
One of her dogs, Faith, had a seizure and died. Her other two dogs, Girl and Boomer, were taken in for veterinary treatment.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: attack, bees, boomer, california, carissa musaraca, chula vista, died, dog, dogs, faith, girl, killed, seizure, swarm, swarming, tornado of bees, video
“We’re calling on Montrealers to open up their hearts and give a desperately needed second chance to these dogs,” Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International Canada, told The Gazette in Montreal.
On Friday night, officials raided a breeding operation in Clarendon, northwest of Ottawa, and began removing the dogs, a task that took until late Saturday night to complete.
Aldworth appealed for donations of dog toys, dog bowls and bedding. “We want these dogs to be as comfortable as we can make them,” Aldworth said. “We’re also calling on people to volunteer.”
The dogs – of 30 different breeds, some pups, some full grown — are being housed in an emergency shelter in Montreal.
Officials say the animals were malnourished, and that many had skin ailments and breathing problems.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Department said the animals will remain in care until a judge rules on whether they should be returned to the owner or put up for adoption.
The dogs’ owner, Charlene Labombard defended her operation — Paws “R” Us — Friday, and said the investigation was sparked by a disatisified customer.
Labombard says the facility has automated feeding equipment on every animal pen and that the visiting veterinarian would have told her if the puppies were malnourished.
People who want to donate dog toys, dog bowls and bedding, or who want to volunteer, should contact the Humane Society International Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 514-395-2914.
(Photo: Rebecca Aldworth with one of the seized dogs. By Robert J. Galbraith / Montreal Gazette)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, breeds, canada, charlene labombard, clarendon, dogs, history, humane society international, largest, paws r us, pets, puppy mill, quebec, rebecca aldworth, seized, seizure
Codi, before she blacked out, called for her mother, but her mother didn’t hear her.
Her dog Mickey did.
The 8-year-old Alaskan Eskimo dog woke up Codi’s mother, Debbie Denning, who found her daughter in the middle of what doctors would later say was a pregnancy-related seizure.
“She was not responsive, limp, sweaty,” Denning, of Idaho Falls, told Local News 8.
Denning called 911, and Roberston was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where her baby boy was delivered two months premature via C-section.
Doctors told the pair that both Codi and the baby could have died had Denning not reached her daughter when she did.
Codi said the baby, named Wyatt — 10 days old today — will be in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit until November.
As for Mickey: “She’s one amazing dog,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby, birth, codi robertson, dog, dogs, hero, hospital, idaho, idaho falls, mickey, pets, pregnant, seizure, teen, teenager
The owners of the home described themselves as dog breeders, but admitted their operation ”got out of hand,” The Capital in Annapolis reported.
Animal Control officers visited the home in the Green Gables neighborhood after receiving an anonymous tip.
Because homeowners Chuck Richard and his wife, Pam, didn’t have a dog fancier license, laws required they have no more than four dogs. The county plans to give the couple a citation and a $50 fine, police said.
Officers seized dozens of poodles, Yorkshire terriers and other dogs from the two-story home in the 1800 block of Choptank Road. The animals are being housed at the animals at the county shelter in Millersville.
Other than being dirty, the dogs seemed in good shape, and all but one appeared to be well-fed, animal control officials said.
The Richards were visited in 2006 by animal control officials who counted 24 dogs, but didn’t give the couple a citation.
Richard told The Capital that when the recession hit, it became harder to sell dogs.
“It just got harder and harder to find homes,” he said. “You hear about people hoarding, but it wasn’t like that. This just got out of hand.”
“I’m sad to see them go,” he added, “but in a strange way, it’s a relief.”
County Executive John R. Leopold is urging residents to visit the county shelter and adopt the animals. The animal shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal control, animals, annapolis, anne arundel county, breeders, choptank road, chuck richard, county executive, dogs, hoarding, john leopold, pam richard, pasadena, pets, poodles, seized, seizure, shelter, surplus, yorkshire terriers
Tasker, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was shot while on patrol in Helmand province on March 1. His bomb-sniffing springer spaniel, Theo — though not physically injured in that incident — died three hours later.
“I would like to believe he (Theo) died of a broken heart to be with Liam,” said Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy.
This week, as the soldier’s body came home, hundreds of mourners lined the main street to pay respects to both dog and master, the Telegraph reported.
The body of Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and the ashes of Theo had earlier been flown back in the same aircraft.
Tasker suffered fatal injuries in a firefight with the Taliban, while Theo died after returning to Camp Bastion, the main British military base. Tasker was the 358th member of the British Armed Forces to die since operations in Afghanistan began; Theo was the sixth British military dog killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
Theo, not quite two years old, had drawn praise for detecting 14 hidden bombs and weapons caches in just five months on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. His success at finding Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) led to his stay in the country being extended for a month.
Tasker was said to have a “natural empathy with dogs” and was described as a “rising star” within the dog training group. The pair were said to be “made for each other.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, animals, bomb-sniffing, bombs, british, broken heart, dog, dogs, ied, killed, liam tasker, military, royal army, seizure, shot, soldier, spaniel, springer spaniel, theo, veterinary corps, war