A Florida sheriff’s deputy plans to adopt the dog he helped rescue after her owner slashed her throat and stabbed her.
The dog, a 70-pound collie-Labrador mix named Amber, was attacked Sunday night, according to the Jacksonville Times-Union.
St. Johns County Deputy Dan Sorrells arrested her owner and then joined an animal control officer in a search for the dog, following a trail of blood and finding her in a thicket of grass, with her throat slashed and stab wounds to her sides.
When he called her name, she came, he said. “She walked right over to me. She showed no aggression.”
Amber was taken to Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Jacksonville. Sorrells plans to pay Amber’s medical and take her home in about a week.
He told deputies the dog needed to be “put down” because she attacked a kitten.
According to Hart’s two roomates, who reported the incident, he became angry when he thought the dog had harmed the cat.
“He called the dog over to him and stabbed it several times,” they told Sorrells. “Then he cut its throat.”
One of the roommates said he tried to help the wounded dog, but that Hart told him to ”back off.”
The kitten, as it turned out, was not harmed.
Amber is believed to be about 4 years old. Sorrells visited her Tuesday and Wednesday. His family has two other rescue dogs.
“This dog will fit in perfectly with them,” he said.
(Top photo: Amber, far left, visits the vet with Sorrells, far right; by Bruce Lipsky / The Times-Union)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopting, adoption, amber, angry, animal cruelty, animals, attack, cat, county, cruelty to animals, dan sorrells, deputy, dogs, florida, law enforcement, owner, pets, sheriff, slashed, st. johns county, stabbed, throat
James Stewart Robinson, 45, of Birmingham, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and was being held in the county jail with bond set at $40,000, Al.com reported.
Sheriff’s investigators charged Robinson Nov. 16 after a five-month investigation that included unearthing the dog’s remains and tests at a University of Florida animal forensics lab.
Robinson is charged with cruelty to a dog, specifically slicing the throat of his American Staffordshire Terrier, Rufus, the subject of a bitter custody battle between him and his ex-wife.
Robinson claimed his estranged wife had killed Rufus to prevent him from gaining custody, but results from a forensic analysis along with data recovered from emails, text messages and voicemails led authorities to conclude otherwise.
According to court records, Robinson texted a picture of Rufus with his throat slashed to his estranged wife, and left her a voicemail that said, “Your day is coming girl.”
“It’s hard to imagine someone being capable of something this twisted yet here we are and he is in jail,” said Randy Christian, a chief deputy. “No doubt there is a special place for people like that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animal cruelty, animals american staffordshire terrier, attorney, battle, birmingham, cruelty to animals, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, email, forensics, investigation, james stewart robinson, jefferson county, lawyer, pets, rufus, sheriff, slashed, surrendered, texts, throat, university of florida, voicemails
The man who, by his own count and admission, killed at least 70 sled dogs — some of which lingered in pain after he shot and slashed them — was sentenced to three years probation yesterday in British Columbia.
Robert Fawcett, 40, said the sled dog tour company he managed in Whistler ordered the cull, which came to light after Fawcett filed a workmen’s compensation claim stating that carrying out the orders had caused him post traumatic stress disorder.
As part of an investigation, 54 dogs were unearthed and examined, though estimates were that as many as 100 were involved.
Yesterday, Judge Steve Merrick ruled that Fawcett had the “best interests” of the dogs at heart when he culled the pack near Whistler after a slump in business following the 2010 Olympic Games, the Globe and Mail reports.
Fawcett was not charged with killing the animals — that’s, unfortunately, legal — but with “causing unnecessary pain and suffering” to nine of the animals, namely those that lingered after he wounded them, and, in some cases, were thrown into graves before they died.
Graphic testimony at Thursday’s hearings left some in tears, and Judge Merrick’s ruling was slammed by the British Columbia SPCA.
Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the BC-SPCA, said Fawcett “basically walked away,” and, through his injury claim, “he was paid taxpayer dollars in compensation for committing the crime.”
“We put forward strong evidence that animals suffered, and that this occurred over a few days,” Moriarty said. “When you look at other animal-cruelty cases in Canada … I think the sentence here is not reflective of what Canadians feel.”
The defense recommended no jail time for Fawcett, who they noted was carrying out orders when he began culling the herd at Howling Dog Tours, the owners of which had put an “absolute freeze” on spending.
In a statement, read in court, Fawcett described killing Susie, who was the mother of his family’s dog. He described what he called “execution-style” killings, in which he wrestled some of the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them. He described one dog who survived the first bullet, and how he had to climb into the grave in which he had tossed the dog to finish the killing.
“I will never stop feeling guilty for the suffering that the dogs endured that day. I feel like part of me died with those dogs,” Fawcett’s defense lawyer, Greg Diamond, quoted his client as saying.
The defense supplied a list of 30 character references to the judge that described Fawcett’s dedication to the dogs.
The prosecution didn’t push for the maximum sentence — five years in prison — and noted Fawcett had no criminal record. Crown lawyers emphasized that he was charged in connection with the suffering of only nine of the dogs, not with the mass euthanization.
“Many dogs suffered from the reckless acts of Mr. Fawcett. However, it’s important to bear in mind that he has not been convicted of and is not being sentenced for euthanizing sled dogs generally,” said Crown lawyer Nicole Gregoire. “This is not a sentencing of the sled dog industry, or a discussion of the morality of the euthanization of sled dogs. The fact is that whether the court and the public like it or not, it is lawful to euthanize animals.”
The killings occurred in April, 2010. The bodies of the dogs were exhumed, after the ground thawed, in May, 2011. They were reburied at a memorial ceremony earlier this month.
(Photo: By Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, buried, canada, charges, claim, company, compensation, cull, dogs, euthanasia, exhumed, howling dog, investigation, pain, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, probation, robert fawcett, sentence, shot, slashed, sled dogs, spca, suffering, three years, touring, tours, whistler, workers, workmens
Two and a half years after the manager of a sled dog tour company shot and slashed the throats of scores of no-longer-needed huskies, he’s scheduled for sentencing in court.
Bob Fawcett — who claims the owners of Howling Dog Tours ordered him to cull the herd, and that doing so gave him post-traumatic stress disorder — is to be sentenced tomorrow in British Columbia’s Provincial Court in North Vancouver.
The animals, owned by the Whistler-based tour company, were killed in April 2010, but were exhumed more than a year later after an SPCA investigation. They were reburied earlier this month in a memorial ceremony.
Fawcett entered a guilty plea in August to charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and faces maximum sentence of five years in prison and $75,000 in fines.
The mass slaying came to light after Fawcett filed a workman’s compensation claim, stating that shooting, slashing and dumping the bodies of about 100 dogs over a two-day period had left him with post traumatic stress disorder.
He said the cull was ordered by company owners after the demand for sled dog tours dropped after the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Since the slaughter, the province has revised its anti-cruelty laws to provide new protection for sled dogs, and established more severe penalties for cruelty.
After being dug up and examined, the bodies of 56 of the sled dogs were reburied at a pet cemetery near Penticton, British Columbia, earlier this month at a memorial ceremony.
Fifty-six separate stones were placed individually on a memorial stone which read, “In loving memory of the Whistler sled dogs,” according to the Penticton Herald. Mourners attending the ceremony brought their own dogs, and some wore T-shirts that read, “Justice for the Whistler sled dogs.”
“You (dogs) will never be forgotten, and we pledge that in your memories that we will fight any form of animal cruelty and abuse,” Marylee Davies, president of the BC-SPCA, said during the service.
As Fawcett’s sentencing neared, a former volunteer BC-SPCA investigator has come forward to question whether the organization — based on what she saw on a 2000 visit to Howling Dog Tours — could have prevented the tragedy.
Eleanor Matthews visited Howling Dog Tours in January of 2000, when 73 dogs were under Fawcett’s car, and, described inhumane conditions in a report submitted to the SPCA, according to the Edmonton Journal.
She took photos of dogs, some emaciated, cramped in cages, and crammed into crates on two trailers — including this one:
Matthews says she joined the SPCA as a voluntary investigator about 14 years ago. She quit when the SPCA failed to act on her report, declining to take it to prosecutors so charges could be brought.
BC-SPCA officials, however, said earlier investigations at Howling Dog showed no evidence of abuse, cruelty or neglect, and that while they did order improvements in conditions for the sled dogs there, the company had complied with those orders.
(Top photo by Jeff Bassett / The Canadian Press; bottom photo by Eleanor Matthews)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bcspca, bob fawcett, bodies, british columbia, charges, claim, cull, culled, culling, death, dogs, dumped, howling dog, howling dog tours, investigation, killings, memorial, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, reburied, sentence, sentencing, service, shot, slashed, sled, sled dogs, spca, stabbed, whistler, whistler sled dogs, work
Monika Wesolowski wanted to adopt the pit bull mix she became a foster mom to this summer, after he was found in northwest Georgia with his throat cut.
But, given his ability — once he recovered — to jump over her chain link fence, there was no way she could keep him unless a fence was to magically appear.
Now it looks like a fence is going to magically appear.
The dog was brought into Murray County Animal Control in July with a slash across his neck so deep his trachea was visible. A Facebook post about the dog, named Braveheart by animal control staffers, led the Animal Rescue League of Northwest Georgia to pick him up, take him to a veterinary clinic for surgery and search for a foster home.
When Braveheart was to be put up for adoption last month, she told the Rome News-Tribune, “I just had a meltdown. I was like, ‘I can’t do this.’”
She wanted to keep the dog, but, with two dogs of her own and a backyard fence Braveheart could easily jump, she felt he’d be better off elsewhere.
When she described the dilemma on Braveheart’s Facebook page, suggestions poured in, and when she followed one of them, establishing an online fund drive, money poured in, too – enough to build a new fence.
Wesolowski has raised $1,500 to help build a privacy fence around the back yard of her home, and Walker Landscape and Fence, LLC, has offered to build it and charge her only for materials. A Lowe’s store in Rome agreed to give Wesolowski the materials for the fence at cost.
By the end of the first day, more than $400 had been donated to Braveheart’s fence fund on GoFundMe.com.
“I cried for three days straight, probably because it just blows my mind,” Wesolowski. “I know people give money all the time to charities but a dog just hits people right in the heart.”
Dogs Deserve Better,the Virginia rescue now heaquartered in Michael Vick’s former house, donated $200. About 60 other donors gave money to the fund. Wesolowski said she wants to have a plaque with a list of donors put on the fence.
Braveheart has a scar on his neck, but whoever is responsible for it hasn’t been arrested. The Animal Rescue League has offered a $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
“I just can’t see how anybody could hurt a creature like this,” Wesolowski said. “He’s such a nice dog.”
(Photos: Braveheart’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, animal control, animal rescue league, animals, braveheart, cut, dogs, donations, facebook, fence, foster, fund drive, funding, georgia, gofundme, lowes, mix, monika wesolowski, murray county, new fence, pets, pit bull, rome, slashed, slit, throat, walker landscape
A London police officer who left two police dogs in the back of his car tried to kill himself upon learning both of them had died, The Toronto Star is reporting.
The two dogs, a Belgian Malinois named Chay and a five-month-old German shepherd puppy called Milly, died Sunday after Sgt. Ian Craven allegedly left the animals in the back of an unventilated car at the police force’s dog training centre in the London suburb of Keston.
The RSPCA told the Star that officers were somehow made aware that the two dogs were in the back of the vehicle during the day. They smashed the windows, pulled the animals out and doused them with water. By the time the dogs were taken to a vet, they had died.
The Star cited British media reports that claimed Craven slashed his wrists when he learned that the two dogs had died. Police refused to confirm whether those reports were true.
“Two dogs have died that shouldn’t have,” Police Commander Bob Broadhurst told Reuters.
The incident is being investigated by the RSPCA, and Craven, 49, could face animal cruelty charges.
This is the second time the officer — a 30-year veteran of the force — is alleged to have left animals to die in the backseat of his car. In 2004, he was reprimanded for allegedly leaving a spaniel in a car on a July day. That dog also died, the Star reported.
According to The Guardian, police did confirm that an on-duty officer had abruptly left his post on Sunday, the same day the dogs died, causing other officers to fear for his safety. He was found with hand injuries and taken to a hospital.
Police would not identify the officer and said it wasn’t known if the wounds were self-inflicted.
“While we do not doubt that this was a tragic accident, we would have thought that the Met Police dog unit should be setting an example to others,” said Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, attempt, belgian malinois, chay, death, die, dogs, dogs left in cars, german shepherd, guardian, heat, heat-related deaths, ian craven, K-9, keston, left in car, london, london police, milly, news, police dogs, reports, rspca, slashed, suicide, toronto star, uk, wrists
There are hundreds of North American businesses offering dog sled rides as part of winter vacation getaways — from New England to Alaska — but the industry is not regulated or licensed, and kennels go largely uninspected.
And some animal welfare activists suspect that the kind of “culling” that took place in British Columbia takes place regularly, if on a far smaller scale.
“I don’t think society is willing to accept that animals, particularly dogs, should be killed just because they are surplus or don’t suit the purpose they were born for,’’ said Debra Probert, executive director of the Vancouver Humane Society, which has called for a provincial ban on tour businesses.
The 100 dogs killed last April belonged to Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc., and its parent company Outdoor Adventures Whistler, located in British Columbia. The dogs were killed by a company employee, who shot some dogs and slit the throats of others.
The incident came to light when he applied for workers’ compensation, saying he has suffered posttraumatic stress since carrying out the orders from his boss.
Documents from the workers’ compensation probe said the company acquired the dogs in anticipation of extra business during the Olympic Games in Vancouver, and that the animals were destroyed after bookings fell. But in a letter to the editor published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper, Howling Dog’s owner, Joey Houssian, said “some old and sick dogs needed to be put down’’ and the company thought the worker assigned the task would perform the culling “in a professional and humane manner.’’
Posted by jwoestendiek February 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, culled, culling, debra probert, dogs, employee, howling dog tours, killed, killing, outdoor adventures, pets, posttraumatic, shot, slashed, slaughter, sled dogs, stress, throats, tourism, vancouver humane society, whistler, winter, workers compensation