It looks like a harmless sprinkler head, but it’s a bomb, filled with poison — and your own federal government planted it.
They are called predator control devices, or M-44s, and they are placed — generally in remote areas in the West — by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to control fox and coyote populations.
Last week, one of them killed another dog, a three-year-old lab named Casey.
The devices release a burst of cyanide when activated.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office says the cyanide bomb, or cyanide trap, as they are most commonly called, detonated Thursday, killing the family dog.
The incident occurred on a ridge line located above a residence on Buckskin Road in Pocatello.
Fourteen-year-old Canyon Mansfield was walking his dog on land neighboring his property when he saw what he thought was a sprinkler head protruding from the ground.
He bent down and touched the pipe. There was an explosion and a hissing sound. The boy noticed his clothing and face were covered with an orange, powdery substance. He washed his face off with snow, then called his dog.
Spotting his dog on the ground, the boy ran to him and “saw this red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy and he was having a seizure.” The dog died within minutes, he said.
Canyon, the son of a doctor, was checked out and released, but advised to report back for monitoring of his cyanide levels, according to the Idaho State Journal,.
The devices consist of spring-loaded metal cylinders that are baited with scent that shoot sodium cyanide powder into the mouth or face of whatever or whoever touches them.
There have been calls to ban them, but APHIS says they have been deemed by the EPA to be necessary tool to reduce losses livestock owners face due to predators.
“Wildlife Services has removed M-44s in that immediate area. Wildlife Services is completing a thorough review of the circumstances of this incident, and will work to review our operating procedures to determine whether improvements can be made to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences happening in the future,” the statement said.
A spokesman for APHIS said that the “unintentional lethal take of a dog” is a rare occurrence.
The statement also said that M-44 devices are only set with permission from property owners or managers, and that this is the first unintentional take of an animal with an M-44 device in Idaho since 2014.
“The USDA’s statement regarding the horrific incident that happened to my family yesterday is both disrespectful and inaccurate,” Canyon’s sister, Madison, said. “The USDA intentionally refers to the brutal killing of our dog as a ‘take’ to render his death trivial and insignificant.”
According to Predator Defense, one of the organizations working to halt the use of the devices, two dogs were killed earlier this year near Casper, Wyoming, while on a family hiking trip.
(Photos: At top; Canyon Mansfield holds up Casey’s collar, by Jordon Beesley / State Journal; at center, the cyanide bomb that went off, provided by the Mansfield family; at bottom, Casey in a family photo)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 20th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, aphis, bannock county, Canyon Mansfield, coyotes, cyanide, cyanide bomb, cyanide trap, deputies, device, dog, dogs, face, fox, foxes, government, hazard, health, idaho, killed, kills, m-44, m-44s, pets, pocatello, predator control, predators, safety, sheriff, spray, warning, wildlife
This confrontation between a dog and a sheriff’s deputy didn’t come out well for anybody.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy, who was not identified by name, was attempting to contact the dog’s owner following the mauling of a homeless man when she was attacked.
The incident took place over the weekend at a homeless encampment in Hudson, Fla.
Deputies had received a report about a pit bull at the encampment attacking a homeless man and responded to interview the owner, according to Fox13.
As the deputy approached, the dog broke its leash and went after her, grabbing her pant leg and causing her to trip.
The deputy fired several shots at the dog, killing it, but one of the shots grazed her own hand, injuring a finger.
“I shot my finger off,” she can be heard saying in the body cam video the sheriff’s office released.
Her injury was treated a local hospital.
The sheriff’s office says the deputy has three pit bulls herself and she is familiar with the breed.
No charges have been filed yet.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 30th, 2016 under videos.
Tags: animals, attacked, body cam, deputy, dog, dogs, encampment, florida, homeless, hudson, injured, killed, law enforcement, officer, pasco county, pets, pit bull, police and dogs, released, sheriff, sheriff's office, shoots, shoots self, video
An animal control officer in Durham declined to free a dog from a hot parked car for about two hours Saturday, despite the pleas of the woman who reported the situation.
As temperatures inside the car climbed to 117 degrees, Jennifer Miller urged the officer to take action, angrily posted pictures on her Facebook page, and pushed ice cubes through the cracked window of the car to the panting pit bull inside.
Miller, of Danville, Virginia, had called animal control Saturday afternoon after seeing the dog in the car, parked at The Streets of Southpoint Mall.
The officer who arrived checked the car, stuck a probe inside to take the temperature, but declined to take any action to remove the dog.
Instead, Miller said, he sat in his air conditioned vehicle and waited for the owners to return.
Miller, who serves on the board of a wildlife rehab center and volunteers with a humane society, said the dog, about six months old, was showing signs of heat stroke, but the animal control officer seemed unswayed by her opinion.
“He (the dog) was panting. His gums had actually already started to turn white,” she said. “It looked like he was kind of foaming at the mouth, that really thick saliva. And he was unsteady.”
The owners of the car, which had Maryland license plates, finally showed up about 4 p.m. The officer filed no charges, but told them to take the dog to a vet to be checked out.
Miller wasn’t satisfied with that ending. She continued to complain about how the incident was handled — and it paid off.
On Monday evening, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office announced a change in policy concerning animals left in vehicles.
Officers will no longer have to wait for animals to show signs of distress.
Under the revised policy, deputies will document the interior and exterior temperatures of a vehicle at least twice, and the deputy will use his or her discretion in determining whether the animal should be removed from the vehicle.
The new policy also allows deputies to decide whether to return the pet to its owner or pursue criminal charges after taking the animal to the local shelter.
“The Durham County Sheriff’s Office appreciates and listens to feedback from concerned citizens,” said the statement from the sheriff’s office statement.
Miller, despite winning a victory of sorts, sounds like she continues to be disturbed by it all.
“It is very clear that they could have charged this person. They did not have to wait two hours to get the dog out,” Miller told ABC11. “But the officers were not listening. They were very rude and belligerent. And it was very sad the dog suffered for two hours at least.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, animal control officer, county, cruelty, deputies, dog, dogs, durham, heat, heat stroke, hot cars, law, mall, north carolina, owners, parked, policy, sheriff, southpoint, suffering, unattended
Many of those 650 dogs and cats removed six weeks ago from an unlicensed shelter in Hoke County, North Carolina, will be available for adoption, starting this Friday.
In what sounds like it could be the mother of all adoption events, the ASPCA will make the dogs and cats available through the weekend at the temporary shelter in which the animals have been living in Sanford.
Adoption fees will be waived during the event, and each animal will have been micro-chipped, and spayed or neutered.
Adoption counselors, as well as behavioral and veterinary experts, will be staffing the event, and adoptions will take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 2215 Nash St. in Sanford.
Those wanting to adopt a dog or cat should bring identification, proof of address and an appropriate-size carrier for the animal they adopt.
The ASPCA and Hoke County authorities seized nearly 700 dogs, cats, birds and horses in January from The Haven – Friends for Life shelter.
Its operators, Linden Spear and her husband, Stephen, were charged with four counts of animal cruelty and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, stemming from an animal medication not authorized on the property.
The Haven failed state inspections for more than a decade but was never shut down.
During the seizure, dozens of animals were found buried on the property. One dog and one cat had to be euthanized because of health problems.
Numerous animals were treated for emaciation, open wounds, ringworm, respiratory illnesses and other issues.
ASPCA officials said the raid at The Haven was the largest companion-animal raid they’ve conducted nationwide in the last 20 years.
(Photo: Courtesy of ASPCA)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 16th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 600, adopt, adoptable, adoption, adoptions, animals, aspca, buried, cats, dead, department of agriculture, dog, dogs, fee, free, friends for life, hoke county, lindan spear, no fee, north carolina, pets, raeford, raid, remains, rescue, sanctuary, seized, shelter, sheriff, stephen spear, the haven, unlicensed, waived
There doesn’t seem to be much loving of thy neighbor going on around Anderson Valley Christian Church in rural Indiana.
Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies arrived there Sunday after reports of gunfire and explosions, found a decapitated dog hanging in front of a nearby cross, and unearthed a bit of a feud between a church elder and a former churchgoer.
14 News reported that former churchgoer Damian McBride, who lives next door to the church, suspects a church member was responsible for poisoning his dog.
To send a message, McBride said, he used a piece of heavy equipment to hoist his dog’s headless carcass into the air in front of a large stone cross on his family’s property.
Just in time for it to be seen by families arriving for worship at the church, about 50 feet away.
(The dog’s head had been removed during a necropsy, and the body was later returned to the family.)
Madden claims he was once bitten by one of McBride’s dogs, but the case was thrown out in court.
The McBrides say they suspect Madden or some other church member is responsible for poisoning their dog Bruno — their fourth pet to be poisoned, they claim.
The necropsy results are not in yet, but McBride said he found hot dogs in his driveway and what appeared to be rat poison.
Madden said thinking a church member would harm McBride’s dog was ridiculous.
“There’s not a person in this church who would do something like this,” he said.
“I’m kind of lost for words,” he said. “Hanging a dead dog on a cross that Jesus died on for me and you and everybody else, that’s sad.”
Madden said attendance at services has dropped by half since troubles began with the neighbor.
Deputies say the investigation is continuing. No charges were filed Sunday because the gunfire that drew authorities there came from the home, and the guns were never pointed at the church, according to Dubois County Free Press.
The dog’s body was covered with a blanket and strapped to the cross Sunday — apparently after sheriff’s deputies arrived. On Monday, the dog was still there.
McBride said he used to attend services at the church every Sunday but is now banned from the property.
McBride says two of his cats and two of his dogs have now died mysteriously.
“I just don’t want anyone else’s dogs to be poisoned or killed and I want the people that poisoned by dogs to go to jail,” he said.
(Photos: Dubois County Free Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anderson valley christian church, animals, bite, body, bruno, carcass, church, cross, decapitated, deputies, dog, dogs, dubois county, feud, gunshots, headless, hung, indiana, investigation, necropsy, neighbor, neighbors, pets, poison, poisoned, sheriff, strapped
Authorities in Hoke County, N.C., yesterday unearthed the remains of 15 dogs on the grounds of a “no-kill” animal shelter from which 600 animals were seized this week.
A day after Hoke County deputies and the ASPCA raided The Haven — Friends for Life shelter near Raeford, authorities on Thursday dug up the remains of 15 dogs that had been buried on the property.
Shelters owners Stephen and Linden Spears were released on bond after appearing in court on charges of neglect and possession of a controlled substance, but authorities says more charges against them are possible.
They’ve been banned from returning to the shelter.
Representatives of the ASPCA continued to remove some of the more than 600 neglected animals from the shelter yesterday, taking them to a warehouse near Raleigh where they could be checked by veterinarians and cared for.
ASPCA officials called the raid the largest companion-animal raid they’ve conducted nationwide in the last 20 years.
More than 300 dogs, 250 cats, 40 horses and numerous farm animals were living at the 122-acre shelter in Raeford, the ASPCA said in a press release.
“What we found today at this facility — self-described as ‘North Carolina’s most successful no-kill shelter’ — is unacceptable,” said Tim Rickey, senior vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response.
“This is one of the largest animal seizures the ASPCA has ever conducted in our 150 years as an organization,” he added. “We have a team of nearly 140 responders on the ground to remove and care for these hundreds of neglected animals who have clearly not been receiving adequate care. Our goal is to help them become healthy and ultimately find them homes.”
The ASPCA’s assistance was requested by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, which began an investigation into the shelter after receiving complaints about sick animals and unsanitary conditions.
The Haven was operating without a license for about a decade, according to the ASPCA, and past inspections by the state Department of Agriculture had deemed the facility “inadequate.”
The population at the facility has fluctuated over the years, reaching more than 1,000 animals.
According to the shelter’s Facebook page, it was often seeking donations to improve the shelter, and had recently launched a GoFundMe drive to build roofs over the outdoor pens where dogs were kept.
The seized dogs, cats and other animals will be held at an undisclosed location, and the ASPCA will continue to care for them until custody is determined by the court,
“The condition of these animals is pressing and required immediate attention,” said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin. “In addition to protecting Hoke County citizens, law enforcement has an obligation to ensure the safety and well being of Hoke County animals at all times. We cannot and will not allow this type of mistreatment to continue any longer. All persons involved will be held accountable.”
No deceased animals were found on the property Wednesday, but yesterday investigators found at least 15 dead dogs and “dozens” of animals buried on the property, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
(Photos of shelter courtesy of ASPCA; photos of Spears family courtesy of Hoke sheriff’s department)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 29th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 600, animals, aspca, buried, cats, dead, department of agriculture, dog, dogs, friends for life, hoke county, linden spears, north carolina, pets, raeford, raid, remains, rescue, sanctuary, seized, shelter, sheriff, stephen spears, the haven, unlicensed
A week after Guilford County prosecutors declined to pursue felony charges against the former county animal shelter director, Sheriff BJ Barnes was back before the cameras to announce new charges, and with a new ally at his side.
Barnes announced yesterday that former shelter director Marsha Williams has been served with five new misdemeanor citations for animal neglect.
He made the announcement with North Carolina’s First Lady, Ann McCrory, sitting next to him, and, next to her, Guilford County Board of Commissioners chairman Hank Henning.
Barnes was critical of the district attorney’s decision to not pursue felony animal cruelty charges against Williams and other two other former staff members he says were responsible for “horrendous” conditions at the shelter.
McCrory said she supports the effort and asked the district attorney to reconsider prosecution of the case.
On November 1, the district attorney’s office said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against the former Guilford County Animal Shelter employees who had been charged after an investigation by the sheriff’s office.
Similar charges have been filed, and are still pending, against Williams and two other employees of the shelter in Davidson County, which was also operated by the nonprofit group United Animal Coalition.
In Guilford County, Sheriff deputies spent several months investigating allegations of animal abuse, mismanagement of funds and potential drug violations.
But officials in the district attorney’s office said the evidence to pursue cruelty charges was insufficient, showing a “systemic failure,” but pointing to no particular culprits who could be held responsible.
Sheriff Barnes voiced displeasure with that decision when it was made.
And yesterday, according to the Greensboro News & Record, he insisted the charges should be pursued, at least against the shelter director.
“Marsha Williams, as the manager, was in complete control. There was no decision made, live or die, without her being involved in the process,” he said.
Barnes also requested the cases in the two counties be consolidated, and be prosecuted in Davidson County.
McCrory, an animal rights advocate, said she’d requested to meet with Barnes to discuss the charges and show support for the case.
“This went beyond anything I’ve ever heard of in my life,” she said. “It’s basically torture. It’s beyond me that the Davidson County district attorney is going to prosecute. If that person has enough to charge and make a case … why don’t we have that in Guilford County?”
(Sheriff BJ Barnes, left, First Lady Ann McCrory, and Guilford County Board of Commissioners chairman Hank Henning; photo by Andrew Krech / Greensboro News & Record)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal shelter, animals, ann mccrory, bj barnes, charges, davidson county, district attorney, dog, dogs, first lady, greensboro, guilford county, marsha williams, neglect, new charges, north carolina, pets, prosecutors, sheriff