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Tag: sheriff

Dog rescued, and re-rescued, from Lake Erie

Koozie, an 8-year-old mix-breed was rescued — and then re-rescued — from icy Lake Erie in New York. Monday.

After wandering away from her owner’s home outside Buffalo, she was spotted Monday night about 30 miles away, trapped on the ice off Westfield.

An Erie County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was summoned, but the rescue effort was put off until yesterday, when a crew member was lowered in a basket and plucked Koozie from the ice.

After being brought to shore, the dog immediately trotted back out onto the ice and had to be rescued a second time by the helicopter crew, according to the Associated Press.

She was checked out by a veterinarian and returned to her owner.

Dog shoots hunter in the back

A California man was treated and released after being shot in the back by his dog.

The unidentified 53-year-old man was hunting in Merced County when he set the safety on his loaded shotgun and put it on the ground while he grabbed his decoy ducks, according to the Fresno Bee.

Merced County sheriff’s officials say the hunter’s black Lab stepped on the loaded shotgun, causing the safety to release and the gun to fire.

Dog’s head in pipe was tip of the iceberg

A six-inch wide piece of steel pipe had sat in Kay Simmons backyard in Colorado for a long time, but only this week did her wolf-dog hybrid, Marina, decide, for reasons unknown, to stick her head in it.

The 3-year-old dog is recovering from cuts, scrapes and bruises after spending more than seven hours Tuesday with her skull wedged in the 8-foot-long pipe.

“It was a pretty terrible day,” Simmons, 73, told the Boulder Daily Camera Wednesday before leaving to pick up her pet from the veterinarian.

On Friday, though the Daily Camera reported that Simmons has had a lot of terrible days:

She has a lengthy history of animal violations, and last year authorities killed five of her wolf-dogs after they attacked neighborhood pets, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Simmons,  who lives on the Boulder County side of the border with Jefferson County, has at least four open “animal violation” cases in Jefferson County, into which her wolf hybrids sometimes wander.

“She has the largest file in the office,” said Camille Paczosa, animal control officer and supervisor.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has taken more than 50 complaints about Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her dozens of times since 1985. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has taken at least 16 reports of “dangerous animals at large” and similar violations since 1986.

One neighbor said he’s glad the animal is OK, but he finds it “ironic, if not insulting,” that the Sheriff’s Office and firefighters spent so much time and money “to save one of these animals but let the documented hazard to humans go on for almost 15 years.”

Simmons told authorities this week that one of her dogs started “making a racket” about noon Tuesday. When she went outside she found Marina squirming to free herself from the pipe.

Nearly 20 people from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the Coal Creek Fire Department and the Boulder Emergency Squad tried to free her, using everything from vegetable oil to a spatula. Finally, one of the firefighters — who also works as a plumber — used a pipe saw to cut off most of the steel, leaving just one foot of pipe covering the dog’s head. That allowed crews to transport her safely to the veterinary clinic.

Once at the clinic, a “grinding tool” was used to cut a triangle out of the pipe. When Marina was finally freed from the pipe she “sprang up” and appeared to be fine. She’s expected to make a full recovery.

But Wednesday’s feel-good story took a turn later in the week.

Steve McAdoo, who has lived near Simmons for about six years, told the Daily Camera he’s afraid for his 3- and 5-year-old children’s lives after four of Simmons’ wolf-dogs “ripped to shreds and almost killed” his 35-pound spaniel, Molly, in August.

After the attack on that same night, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the wolf-dogs attacked other animals and caused property damage. As a result, the Sheriff’s Office killed five of the hybrids.

“Two weeks later, she got five more,” McAdoo said. “And she’s been doing this for years.”

In August 2003, Jefferson County animal control officers took three of Simmons’ wolf-dogs and charged her with having a dangerous dog. In 2000, authorities took a report of a dog being killed by wolves in that area, but they were unable to identify the wolves that attacked, according to Jefferson County officials.

(Photo: Paul Aiken/Boulder Daily Camera)

Dog leads owner to man frozen to ground

effieA hunting dog on a walk with her owner in Minnesota led him to a 94-year-old neighbor who was unconscious and frozen to his driveway.

Brett Grinde and his German shorthair, Effie, were on a late afternoon walk Monday when the old hunting dog suddenly began pulling to the right, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Grinde, a Pine County sheriff’s investigator, let Effie off the leash and she ran to a driveway 40 yards away, stopping at the body of Grinde’s neighbor, William Lepsch, who apparently had fallen while retrieving his mail.

Lepsch’s wife, Marjorie, who uses a wheelchair, had looked outside and seen her husband on the ground. She tried dialing 911, she said, but had repeatedly misdialed out of panic.

“Nobody’s around and I’m out there hollering ‘Somebody please help me!’ but there was no one,” she said. “In the meantime this dog ran up and began licking his face.”

Grinde called 911, then started CPR.  Lepsch initially regained consciousness and was taken to North Memorial Medical Center.

Update: A North Memorial nursing supervisor says Lepsch passed away Wednesday morning.

America’s toughest sheriff coddles dogs

arpaio_underwearAmerica’s toughest sheriff seems to have a soft spot for pooches.

That, in part, explains why Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs an animal shelter out of the old Maricopa County jail in Phoenix — one complete with air conditioning, a luxury Arpaio has never seen fit to afford the incarcerated humans entrusted to his care.

Arpaio — a strong supporter of the death penalty, cracking down on illegal immigrants and providing the bare minimum, or slightly less, for inmates – has long been criticized for inhumane practices in the county jail, from the use of chain gangs to housing inmates in tents to mandating all inmate underwear be pink.

He once told CNN he was proud of the fact that the no-frills county prison system spent $1.10 each a day to feed its guard dogs, but only 90 cents each to feed its inmates.

His no-kill animal shelter, on the other hand — called MASH (Maricpopa Animal Safe Haven) – offers a cool and comfortable, supportive and nurturing environment for pets.

Prisoners help run the shelter, and news reports recently highlighted the story of two emaciated Rhodesian Ridgebacks who were nursed back to health by female inmates. The dogs were taken in after their owner, 34-year-old Jonathan Eder, was arrested on animal cruelty charges in August, ABC15 in Phoenix reported.

Named Bazzele and Frank, the dogs had been deprived of food and water for so long that the outlines of their rib cages  were “drastically visible.” Bazelle reportedly weighed only 48 pounds, Frank  57.  At the shelter, both have recovered.  Bazzele now weighs 71 pounds and Frank 73. Both are up for adoption for $100 each.

The shelter was created to house and care for animals that, because of abuse or neglect by their caretakers, have been seized by the county’s Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit and must remain in custody until the court cases are resolved. After that, the sheriff’s shelter finds adoptive homes for the dogs.

Arpaio opened the shelter in the First Avenue Jail, which was closed for repairs in December 1999, then reopened for pets after getting refurbished.

“Some critics have said that it’s inhumane to put dogs and cats in air-conditioned quarters when inmates don’t have air conditioning,” the sheriff’s website says. “A good answer came from one of the inmates assigned to care for the dogs. When asked if she was resentful about not having air conditioning, she gestured to some of the dogs and said, ‘They didn’t do anything wrong. I did.’”

It all makes for a fascinating contrast — the touchy feely tone of the sheriff’s animal shelter website versus the record and rhetoric of America’s toughest sheriff.sheriff

Consider the case of Schultz, the mastiff pictured to the left, also known as #1001.

“My owner kept me locked in a crate so I wasn’t allowed to go outside to use the bathroom, they also failed to provide me with the necessary food & water,” he says on the sheriff’s shelter web page that lists available animals. “I was brought to the MASH Unit in August, 2007, in which I received the medical attention and the love I needed to get better and recover …”

You won’t find many testimonials like that from the humans Arpaio oversees.

In Maricopa County, for an inmate to be treated like a dog would, literally, be an improvement — and, contrary as nurturing an inmate would be to the highly popular Arpaio’s philosophy, maybe it would keep some of them from biting again, once they are eventually released from their crates.

Drug-sniffing dog ingests a snoutful of meth

baluBalu, a police dog for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in California, accidentally ingested a snoutful of the drug methamphetamine during a search.

The  4 1/2-year-old German shepherd, was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic early Monday when he began having seizures, about two hours after a drug bust in Moorpark, KTLA reported.

During the arrest, the suspect was seen tossing two bags of drugs. Deputies found one. Balu found the second, torn one. Deputy Dean Worthy said Balu, his partner of three years, seemed fine until they got home and the dog began convulsing. He rushed the animal to the clinic for treatment.

Worthy said Balu is doing well and a full recovery is expected.

CNN tags along on dogfighting raid in Georgia


Nearly 100 dogs, mostly pit bulls, were seized in a raid of a house in East Dublin, Georgia, whose owner is suspected of raising dogs for dogfighting.

The Sheriff’s Office in Laurens County, based on an investigation triggered by information received on a telephone tip line, executed a search warrant at the property — and CNN was there to watch it unfold.

Private investigators with Norred and Associates Inc. worked alongside sheriff’s deputies and volunteers from the Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society. Greg Norred has been donating his firm’s time and expertise and his own money to rescuing dogs for the past two years, helping to save almost 300 dogs in at least 16 raids.

A good reason to have two bloodhounds

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A bloodhound in the employ of the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office ran away from her handler in Waldorf last week, but was returned yesterday.

Zoey, a 5 1/2 -year-old bloodhound, is expected to resume full duty, the Washington Post reported.

Authorities said the missing dog was found wandering the streets by a man who contacted Zoey’s trainer after seeing an Internet posting about her disappearance.

 Zoey slipped out of her collar on Aug. 5 while on a walk with her handler. Police searched for Zoey, trained as a search and rescue dog, for six days.

Zoey, who has been with the sheriff’s office for 3 1/2 years, was trained to search for people in distress and had most recently helped locate missing children and Alzheimer’s patients who had wandered away from their homes, authorities said.

Pit bull chases off home invader in Florida

A pit bull attacked and chased off an intruder from a home in Bradenton, Florida.

Manatee Sheriff’s deputies said two adults and two children were sleeping in the home when the adults heard someone break into the home and get attacked by the family pit bull.

The robber fired one shot at the dog, but apparently missed, deputies say. As the residents huddled in a closet, the intruder entered their bedroom, but was attacked by the dog again.

The residents heard the robber shout “get off of me,” before he fled the home without taking anything.

The adults and the dog were not injured; the two sleeping children never awoke during the attack.

Mayor Calvo files lawsuit against PG County

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo filed a lawsuit Monday that accuses the Prince George’s County police and sheriff’s office SWAT teams of entering innocent people’s houses without a proper warrant and “randomly and routinely” killing family pets.

Calvo, whose two black Labrador retrievers were killed in a SWAT team raid on his home, is asking a judge to order the county to change its policies because the county’s leaders have shown “they lack the will and credibility to do so,” Calvo said. “I’m tired of being embarrassed by Prince George’s County government. Our communities are tired of being embarrassed by this county’s failed leadership.”

Calvo’s house was raided last July after county police incorrectly identified his wife as part of a drug ring.

Sheriff Michael Jackson has defended his department’s actions, and last week said that an internal investigation had shown that his deputies had acted in a “professional and acceptable manner” by shooting the dogs because they had posed a threat.

Deputies opened fire on Calvo’s 7-year-old dog Payton immediately after entering the house, Calvo’s lawsuit said, and then they shot Calvo’s other dog, 4-year-old Chase, in back as he was running away, the Washington Examiner reported.

Spokesmen for the sheriff’s department and the police departments declined to discuss the lawsuit, which seeks uspecified damages.