A woman who didn’t want to tell a TV news team “how she felt” about her daughter being shot threw a rock at them, shook a baseball bat at them, and then sent her dogs after reporter Abbey Niezgoda of ABC 6 News in Rhode Island.
The crew was on assignment in Providence, seeking to interview the mother of a teenage girl who was shot at a graduation party over the weekend.
Instead of politely declining to speak on-camera, Melissa Lawrence hurled a rock at ABC6 photographer Marc Jackson, then went inside for a baseball bat. Seconds later, she told her dogs to attack.
As Lawrence shouted commands, the dogs chased Niezgoda into a backyard a few houses away.
Niezgoda was a treated for a bite on her forearm.
Melissa Lawrence was charged with two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon.
Lawrence’s daughter, who was shot in the lower back, has since been released from the hospital.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abbey niezgoda, animals, bite, bitten, chase, crew, dogs, interview, media, mother, news, pets, providence, reporter, rhode island, shooting, team, teenager, television, tv, victim
But, if its lawmakers did, they might find some sound thinking behind Colorado’s new law, mandating police officers get some training in how to deal with dogs they encounter on duty — other than just shooting them.
If we were suggesting, we’d suggest every state look into doing something similar, or even better, than the Colorado law. It requires officers undergo three hours of online training in dog behavior, and how to recognize when a dog truly poses a threat.
While Iowa, at first glance, doesn’t seem to have experienced quite as many questionable shootings as Colorado, there have been at least a few instances a year of dogs being shot and killed by police.
“He wasn’t a ferocious dog,” she said of Tank, her border collie-pit bull mix. “He never bit anyone. He was only a year-and-a-half old. He probably thought the police officer was playing with him,” she told the Quad City Times.
Police Chief Phil Redington said the dog attacked the officer and deadly force was an appropriate response.
On Saturday, Williams’ two dogs, Tank and Cleo, escaped when a gust of wind blew open her door. They had wandered several blocks when they began barking at some dogs at another home.
The owners of that home tried to shoo the two dogs away, and called police when they wouldn’t leave.
The dogs were corraled on the back deck, hemmed in by lawn chairs, when police, and Williams, arrived.
“When he (Tank) saw me, he jumped over one of the chairs, and the officer tried to grab him,” said Williams, who managed to grab hold of her other dog.
The police chief said Tank jumped at the officer “snapping its teeth. The officer brushed the dog away with his arm and the dog attacked again, jumping and snapping at the officer’s face. The officer kicked the dog away, at which time the dog bit his shin, causing minor lacerations. The officer removed his gun and fired at the dog twice. The dog was approximately two feet away when the officer fired in a downward direction.”
“I keep playing the scenario over and over in my mind,” Williams said. ”I blame myself. They shouldn’t have gotten out. Why did he have to shoot him, though? Why not a stun gun or pepper spray?”
Redington said the level of force used to ward off a dog attack is up to an individual officer.
“We all love animals,” he said. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pit bull, border collie or poodle. If he’s attacking a police officer, the officer should defend himself.”
Tank was taken to a veterinary clinic, where he died.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attacked, bettendorf, collie, colorado, dog, dogs, iowa, killed, law, law enforcement, mix, owner, pets, pit bull, police, questionable, questions, shooting, tank, training
Baby Girl, the 2-year-old pit bull shot Saturday by police officers at a park in Staten Island, has died.
Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR) said the dog died Thursday morning five days after she was shot by officers who said they were trying to protect humans from harm.
Attempts to reach the dog’s owner were unsuccessful, but her sister, Kathleen Dixon, confirmed the death, the Staten Island Advance reported on SILive.com.
On Saturday, Patricia Ratz and her sister were walking their three pit bulls at Schmul Park in Travis when two of the dogs – not Baby Girl — began fighting, according to the family. Ratz tried to break up the fight and received a bite on the hand.
Her screams brought police officers to the scene, and several shots were fired. Only Baby Girl, who family members say was running away from the ruckus, was hit.
Police said Saturday that responding officers were trying to help Ratz. The department is reviewing the incident.
Hundreds of people across the country expressed anger and pledged support to the dog through social media, and a website, www.snarrdogpolice.com, was launched to provide updates on Baby Girl’s condition and raise money for veterinary bills.
SNARR’s founder Robin Menard said $7,000 had been collected by the time the dog died.
Menard believes police acted in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, and that the event is another example of pit bull prejudice.
“I will pursue to the end and I will see it’s made right,” she said. “This breed has suffered enough ignorance.”
(Photo: Baby Girl at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J., after multiple surgeries; from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, dog, dogs, garden state veterinary, new york, park, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, robin menard, schmul park, shooting, shot, snarr, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, staten island, surgeries, tinton falls, travis
Baby Girl, the pit bull shot by police officers at a park in Staten Island, is recovering as both donations and complaints about the officers’ actions pour in.
The dog remains in a veterinary clinic, where she has undergone two surgeries, the Staten Island Advance reports.
Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation (SNARR), the rescue organization Baby Girl’s owner adopted her from, said the costs of her medical care have already reached $8,000. About $2,500 has been collected through a Facebook campaign to help cover the expenses.
In addition to a bullet wound, Baby Girl suffered a broken toe.
On Saturday, Patricia Ratz and her sister brought their three pit bulls to Schmul Park for a walk. Two of the dogs began fighting. Ratz, in an attempt to break up the fight, stuck her hand between the two dogs and got bitten.
When police arrived, two officers fired their weapons at Baby Girl, even though she hadn’t been involved in the altercation and was running away, Ratz and her sister said.
Police said the incident is under review.
Ratz adopted Baby Girl, who is about two years old, from SNARR six months ago.
SNARR founder Robin Menard is spearheading the effort to raise money for the care of Baby Girl at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J.
A website – www.snarrdogpolice.com — has been created to provides updates on Baby Girl’s health and collect donations.
“It’s awesome to see how many regardless of race, beliefs, religion, location and so on, have come together to support the family, my rescue, as well as Baby Girl,” Menard said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, care, dog, dogs, donations, expenses, fight, garden state veterinary, injured, law enforcement, new york, officers, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovery, robin menard, schmul park, shooting, snarr, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, staten island, surgery, veterinary
What police describe as a fight between three dogs left one woman bitten and one dog shot at Staten Island’s newly opened Schmul Park over the weekend.
Police officers say they fired shots after one of the dogs “attacked” her owner, but members of the owner’s family say she was bitten while attempting to break up a fight, and that the dog who was shot – her pit bull, named Baby Girl — wasn’t even involved in it.
Witnesses said they heard three to five shots, and WABC reported that police officers shot at all three dogs to prevent the situation from escalating.
But they hit only one, Baby Girl, according to Gothamist,
A brother of the dog’s owner said in a Facebook post that the dog was shot after the incident was already under control, and that Baby Girl wasn’t involved in the incident:
“The bullet entrance and exit wounds show the dog was running away, NOT [TOWARD] the cop like that coward officer claims. The fight was already under control, yet hero cop of the day felt it necessary to pull out her gun and shoot. THIS DOG WASNT EVEN THE ONE THAT WAS FIGHTING.”
The owner’s brother also claims police left Baby Girl unattended in the back of a truck after she was shot, and told the family they couldn’t find her.
Police say three dogs were involved in the incident, and that at least two of them were fighting. When Baby Girl’s owner tried to break up the fight she was bitten on the hand.
“Responding officers tried to help her, and in the attempt to get the dog off her, shots were fired,” a police spokesman said.
The owner was treated for hand injuries at Richmond University Medical Center.
S.N.A.R.R Animal Rescue Northeast, the group that rescued Baby Girl before she was adopted, supported the brother’s account, saying Baby Girl was running away from the two other fighting dogs when she was shot in the stomach.
A post by the rescue group’s founder, Robin Menard, indicates all three dogs belonged to the same family.
“Baby Girl was NOT involved (it was two other family dogs) and was running AWAY from the fight when cops fired 3 rounds. Baby Girl was shot in the stomach. She is now fighting for her life and her adopters are paying for a 6000 surgery. They are doing whatever they can. Baby Girl has never had an issue with people or other dogs. She is best friends with a bunny rabbit… Yes. A bunny!
Donations to Baby Girl’s care can be made through the rescue group and its Paypal account (email email@example.com.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, baby girl, bite, dog, dogs, Freshkills, law enforcement, new york, parks, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, police, Schmul, shooting, staten island
Anyone who follows dog news knows that (A) police departments are turning to dogs more than ever to help fight crime; and that (B) local police officers are shooting dogs more than ever; and that (C) those two trends don’t seem to add up.
You’d think that, as police departments become more dog savvy, reports of officers shooting dogs they feel threatened by would be declining.
Instead, nearly weekly, there’s news of another family pet being gunned down — often pit bulls, sometimes breeds not known for provoking fear, like retrievers.
It’s Arvada. All Arvada police officers are getting dog behavior training, ABC 7 in Denver reports — and they don’t have to go far to get it, considering the experts are often right in the same building.
Officers in the department’s K-9 unit are working with those who patrol the streets in an attempt to give them a better understanding of dog behavior.
“We can be a good resource for them and offer a different perspective,” said Jennie Whittle.
By working with and learning from the department’s K-9s and handlers, the program hopes to better equip officers on the street to deal with dogs, so that fear isn’t the first, and the dominant, reaction.
Often, all a dog that might appear aggressive needs is some time and space.
“Fido just came out here and he isn’t necessarily trying to attack me and if I just give that dog some space then we don’t have any further issue with that dog,” Ron Avila explained.
“Even our patrol officers are, I don’t want to say scared, but intimated at times when we go around our own canine police dogs,” said Arvada police officer Jason Ammons.
Ammons was on bike patrol when a pit bull ran after him and attempted to bite his leg. He used his Taser on the dog instead of his gun, which Arvada officers are being taught is the preferred option.
In light of recent shootings of dogs by officers in other towns, state Sen. David Balmer plans to introduce a bill that would make dog training mandatory for all police officers.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adams county, animals, arvada, behavior, canine, colorado, commerce city, david balmer, dog, dogs, K-9, k9, law, law enforcement, legislation, officer, patrol, pets, police, prevention, program, senator, shooting, shootings, training
The image shows a dark-colored pit bull dead in a field with a pink arrow sticking out from his side.
“For all you Pit lovers out there. Here’s what happens when one shows up around my house,” read the post on the Facebook page of Caisen Green, 18.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said the picture on the Sequoyah High School student’s Facebook page, came to his attention Saturday morning.
“I understand people don’t want to see animals hurt,” Chennault said. “But death threats are not going to help the situation.”
Chennault said he planned to continue investigating.
But even if Green did kill the dog it might not necessarily be a crime, he noted.
“It’s a gray area,” Chennault told the Muskogee Phoenix. “If the dog is threatening livestock or your well-being, you can do what you have to do stop it. I’m going to do my best to get everything done this week, and we’ll forward the report to the District Attorney’s Office.”
Lu Hayes, a volunteer with the Cherokee County Humane Society, said she first saw the picture last Thursday, and began sending it to different animal advocacy groups.
“A girl sent the picture to me, saying she wanted to report animal cruelty,” Hayes said.
“I started messaging (Green) and at first he acted like it wasn’t a big deal, like, ‘So what.’
“But I guess as it started getting spread around, and more people became aware of it, he changed his tune.”
Hayes said she’d like to see the district attorney’s office prosecute Green, who took the offending picture off his Facebook page after anger over it mounted.
(Photos: Caisen Green’s Facebook page)
(An update to this story can be found here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrow, bow and arrow, caisen green, cherokee county, county, cruelty, death threats, dogs, facebook, fled, flees, high school, oklahoma, outrage, pets, photo, pit bull, pitbull, pitbulls, shooting, shot, student, teen, teenager, threats
Fox News is reporting that country singer Mindy McCready’s fatal shooting of her own dog before she commited suicide Sunday was “not an act of malice at all.”
Fox quotes an unidentified friend as saying, “Mindy really loved her dog … It would have been more of a case where she just didn’t want to leave the dog alone.”
Not to speak ill of the dead, or to suggest rational behavior should be expected from those in the clutches of mental illness, but there are better ways of securing a future for your dog when you’ve decided you no longer want one for yourself.
And to describe an act like that as anything close to kind-hearted is just plain wrong.
A better description — even if the misguided thinking behind it was a hope they would end up in the same place in the hereafter – would be selfish.
McCready, who had attempted suicide twice earlier, had reportedly been depressed since the father of her youngest child, record producer David Wilson, died earlier this year from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. That took place on the same front porch where McCready shot the dog and herself.
“Based on what we have found at the scene at this time, we do believe that she took the life of the dog that we are being told by family members belonged to Mr. Wilson before she took her own life,” said Sheriff Marty Moss of Cleburne County.
McCready’s two sons, aged ten months and six, were removed from her home by a judge on Feb. 6. After that, McCready was committed to a rehabilitation facility for mental health and alcohol abuse examinations, but released two days later.
“She didn’t really have a support network and coming home to an empty house seems to be what really did it,” the source told Fox News. “It is tragic. She was a sweet and kind girl at heart.”
Whatever other morals her tragic life holds, however kind her heart was, whatever her legacy might be, one thing stands out — given the course she chose for her beloved dog — about her messy end:
How much more tragic the story might have been had her children not been taken from her.
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: addiction, alcohol, animals, arkansas, children, cleburne county, country, david wilson, depression, dog, dogs, drugs, fox, fox news, friend, heart, irrational, killing, kind, malice, mental health, mindy mccready, news, not, pets, rational, report, shooting, shot, singer, source, suicide
The owner of a dog killed by police in Colorado last month says Chloe had never shown aggression toward anyone.
And his attorney said Chloe — despite Commerce City police officers having repeatedly described the dog as a pit bull — may not have had any pit bull in her at all.
Gary Branson, 58, of Pueblo, said the three-year-old dog who helped him recover from triple-bypass surgery, “was friendly with everybody … She loved being around people, loved attention,” according to Examiner.com.
Chloe was shot repeatedly — while in a garage and on a catchpole — after a neighbor reported a dog running loose. The incident was videotaped by the son of the man who made the report.
Officers said the dog posed a danger, but the incident is being investigated by the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, at the request of police officials.
Branson’s attorney, Jennifer Edwards of the Animal Law Center in Wheat Ridge, questioned whether Chloe had any pit bull in her, and said she hopes to have DNA tests performed on Chloe’s remains to prove that.
Commerce City has an ordinance banning pit bulls.
Chloe was staying with Branson’s cousin in Commerce City while he was away in California. He said he adopted her as a puppy in Pueblo.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, chloe, colorado, commerce city, dogs, law enforcement, pets, pit bull, police, shooting, shot, video
Police in Commerce City, Colo., are reviewing this video, but say they believe officers acted appropriately when they fired five shots at this dog — even though she was secured with a catchpole.
The dog, a three-year-old named Chloe, described by police as a pit bull, died.
Police had been called by a resident who saw the unfamiliar dog loose in the neighborhood. He was unaware that she was being cared for by a neighbor.
According to the neighbor caring for Chloe, she’d secured the dog in the garage before going shopping. Apparently, the dog tripped a sensor, leading the door to open.
The neighbor who reported the dog to police, Kenny Collins, said the dog didn’t appear aggressive, but he was concerned about her running loose. It was Collins’ son who used his cell phone to shoot the video of police shooting the dog.
The dog was sitting inside the garage when police Tased her, got a catchpole around her neck and then, as she squirmed to get free, shot at her five times.
“An animal control agent was able to place a ‘catchpole’ around the dog’s neck,” Commerce City Police said in an intitial statement. “The pit bull remained extremely agitated and continued to attempt to attack the animal control agent. Due to the dog’s size and aggressive demeanor, it could not be controlled on the catchpole. For the safety of the animal control agent and the community, a police officer shot and killed the dog.”
Collins said it appeared to him the dog was simply trying to run away from the officers.
“I totally disagree with it, totally,” Collins said. “The dog was not attacking people and that’s not what I said when I called 911.”
Commerce City Police Detective Mike Saunders said the video is being reviewed: “We need time to look at the video. We need time to look over the officer’s report. And we need time to speak to the officer before we can comment.” Saunders said.
9NEWS dropped off a copy of the video at the Commerce City Police station Sunday.
Alicia Hall, an animal behavior technician with the Dumb Friends League who reviewed the video for 9 News, said:
“The animal could still potentially be a danger, but if the catchpole is being used appropriately, the animal should be restrained safely. As far as I can see from the video, it looks like the dog actually walked right into the catchpole as it was coming out of the garage and was safely restrained.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, catch pole, catchpole, chloe, colorado, commerce city, dog, loose, pit bull, police, shoot, shooting, shot, video