Tag: st. louis
To hear Fox 2 in St. Louis tell it, a massive round up of pit bulls was underway last week in the small town of Sikeston, Missouri.
According to the Fox report (above), animal control officers were seizing pit bulls from homes around town — so many that the Sikeston shelter had to send 20 dogs to St. Louis to make room for all the pit bulls they were rounding up.
Other TV news operations, and the Standard Democrat in Sikeston, were quick to report that the Fox News account was a little off the mark.
Sikeston, which does have pit bull restrictions, picked up three dogs it said were not in compliance with the rules — but no roundup took place.
Wednesday’s Fox News report by Chris Hayes that Sikeston held a “pit bull round up day” led to dozens of calls to the newspaper, and a flurry of online alerts and notifications.
Hayes reported that he “found out about the program after learning about a sudden influx of dogs coming to the St. Louis area” and that it was “to make room for seized pit bulls.”
Sikeston City Manager Doug Friend said allegations that the city held a “pit bull round up day” weren’t true.
There are 32 pit bulls registered in Sikeston, according to Friend, and the city audits those on an annual basis.
“It’s not a big process,” he said. “We just basically drive by, verify that somebody that had a registered pit bull still lives at a registered address. Our plan was to just do our annual look.”
During that recent audit, three pit bulls were taken into custody for non-compliance with the city code. It requires that the owners of pit bulls and some other breeds register those pets with the city, carry liability insurance, and keep their dogs in a fully enclosed pen if they are outside.
KFVS also reported that the Fox report was misleading.
According to KFVS, about 30 dogs were shipped from the Sikeston shelter to no-kill shelters across the country, including one near St. Louis.
Friend told KFVS that the transfers, the seizures, and the TV report added up to fear quickly spreading among pit bull advocates, in Sikeston and around the country.
“To suggest and sensationalize the way that the news reporter did is … I’m at a loss for words” Friend said. “I mean, we’re a rural town of 18,000. We try to serve the public to the best of our ability. Everything we do is tailored to the health and safety of our citizens after extensive public comment.”
Of course, none of that is to suggest pit bull bans and restrictions make sense. They don’t.
But for a news organization to suggest, based on a couple of unconnected facts, that a round-up of all pit bulls is underway is a similar sort of fear-mongering — and one that’s neither fair nor balanced.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, bans, breed, breed-specific, dogs, fox 2, fox news, laws, media, missouri, news, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, restrictions, sikeston, st. louis, towns
As often as we report incidents that reflect law enforcement’s lack of compassion when it comes to dogs, it’s good to pass along a story like this one — about a cop in St. Louis who showed some heart.
More inspiring yet, Officer Cheryl Goede saw fit not just to seek help for the two German shepherds she found living in a car, but for their homeless human, too.
Last week, Officer Goede was investigating a call about a “suspicious vehicle” in St. Louis.
She approached the car and questioned the man inside, who had two German shepherds with him.
He didn’t immediately volunteer the information, but, as reported on Examiner.com, the man, identified as A.J. Hawk, eventually admitted he’d lost his job, then his home, and was living in his car with his dogs.
Hawk, while he went to school to become an architectural drafting artist, is now working odd jobs to pay for gas and food, and he and his dogs have been living in his car about a month.
Officer Goede is a dog-lover herself, and particularly a German shepherd lover. She puts out a Facebook page, called the German Shepherd Dog Community.
Goede didn’t haul Hawk in, or tell him to get out of town. Instead, she told him she admired him for not dumping his dogs at a shelter.
“I could never do that,” he responded. “They are my family.”
When her shift ended, she logged on to Facebook to share Hawk’s situation with her readers. And she decided to donate to him some recent winnings from a contest her own German shepherd, Kato, was in.
She also set up a Chip-In account so others could donate to Hawk and his dogs, Caesar and Houdini.
Anyone interested in making a donation can do so by either using the Chip-In, or mailing it to: PO Box 140003, St. Louis, MO 63114.
(Photos: Top, Houdini and Caesar; bottom, Cheryl Goede and Kato; From the Facebook page of the German Shepherd Dog Community)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aj hawk, animals, caesar, car, cheryl goede, chip in, compassion, dogs, donate, economy, facebook, german shepherds, help, home, homeless, houdini, job, kato, law enforcement, living, loss, lost, pets, police. officer, st. louis, suspicious, unemployment, vehyicle
Here’s a memorable scene from the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals, held earlier this month in St. Louis.
That’s Bracken, a border collie owned by Diane Allen, competing in the Incredible 30-Weave Up-and-Back competition.
The event featured dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes in Olympic-style competitions, such as Freestyle Flying Disc, Head-to-Head Weave Pole racing, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, large and small dog agility, Speed and Catch, and the crowd favorite – dog diving.
The world record for dog diving was broken during the finals, with a leap of 31 feet, 8 inches.
A few days later, some of the competitors traveled to New York for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (Oct. 6).
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, animals, border collie, bracken, competition, david letterman, diving, diving dogs, dog challenge, dogs, flying disc, huurdle, incredible, incredible dog challenge, pets, purina, racing, st. louis, video
I’m over-stating, and over-generalizing, but it’s interesting to me — and indicative of our collective schizophrenia when it comes to dogs — to compare what’s going on in the two cities when it comes to strays.
Fayetteville is making plans to round them up. The city council is considering contracting with a private outfit out of Texas that will send four “hunters” to track them down, shoot them with tranquilizer darts and turn them over to the county animal control office, where, most likely, they will be euthanized.
St. Louis is having an art exhibit.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis, an organization that rescues and adopts out dogs that have been abandoned, abused or found wandering the streets (all, amazingly, without the aid of tranquilizer guns), is holding it’s second installment of “Urban Wanderers,” a fundraising exhibition in which area artists paint, photograph and sculpt images of dogs in its care.
In conjunction with the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, the exhibit opened July 15 and runs through August 28.
The focus of this year’s exhibit is the bully breeds, and the misconceptions surrounding them.
“Urban Wanderers will showcase pit bulls’ many positive characteristics, such as gentleness, loyalty, attentiveness, and athleticism, and attempt to dispel the false perception that the pit bull is born aggressive and dangerous. The pit bull is proof that dogs thrust into dog fighting and other deplorable conditions are victims of human callousness and cruelty.”
The artworks include the painting above, by Michelle Streiff, of Pietra, a dog who was found abandoned in the backyard of a vacant house at the age of six months.
Despite being on her own, living as a stray, in the wild, she’s “outgoing, playful, friendly, loving and just an all around wonderful girl,” according to the staff of Stray Rescue’s shelter, where she’s available for adoption.
(You can find and bid on all the featured artwork — including some by the dogs themselves — via this page.)
The art displayed in the exhibition, at Saint Louis University Museum of Art, can be bid on until August 28. All proceeds will benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis, funding its efforts to pull dogs off the streets, socialize them and find them new homes.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis was founded by Randy Grim, a former flight attendant-turned groomer-turned full time dog rescuer. He has written two books, Miracle Dog and “Don’t dump the Dog,” and is the subject of another, “The Man Who Talks to Dogs.”
“Feral dogs are the untouchables; they are the ones who ”belong” to no one,” he writes. “They are the hold-outs, the animals under-funded pounds can’t catch and overburdened humane shelters can’t deal with. They colonize whatever neighborhoods afford them the best shelter, the most food and the least amount of contact with human beings. They exist, like genetic castaways, in the evolutionary no-man’s-land between domesticity and wildness. They are completely, utterly, alone.”
For more of his take on feral dogs — the extent of the problem, how to capture them, and rehabilitate them, and how to address the problem without nooses, guns, violence and euthanasia — you can look at this web page he put together.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animal control, animals, art, art exhibit, bully breeds, darts, dogs, euthanasia, fayetteville north carolina, feral, guns, hunters, pets, pit bulls, randy grim, rescue, shelter, shooting, st. louis, stray, stray rescue of st louis, tranquilizer, urban wanderers, wild
One year’s probation is all the sentence a judge deemed proper for a woman who threw her 18-month-old dog in the garbage, leading to him almost being crushed in a trash truck.
The dog, named Tommy, has had an extension cord wrapped around his neck since he was a puppy. His owner reportedly wrapped the cord around his neck because he kept breaking lose from his chain. Eventually it became embedded in his skin.
Prosecutors say 34-year-old Tracia Johnson of Cahokia, tossed the dog in the trash because she thought he was dead, according to KSDK in St. Louis. A garbage man found him and he was nursed back to health at Hope Animal Rescue.
Wednesday, Johnson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty and was sentenced to one year probation, 250 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors had asked for 60 days in jail.
“From my perspective I really would have liked to see her get the sixty days in jail to think about it,” says Jackie Spiker with Hope Animal Rescue. “I just think in order to change the way things are we have to start holding people accountable.”
Tommy made a full recovery and now lives with new owners, who keep a scarf around his neck to hide his scars.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, cahokia, dog, dogs, extension cord, garbage, hope animal rescue, news, ohmidog!, pets, probation, sentence, st. louis, thrown, tommy, tossed, tracia johnson
Downtown St. Louis has joined the growing list of cities and neighborhoods that are catching on to the fact that dogs can improve a community’s health — both socially and economically.
The city held a ribbon-cutting for its new Lucas Park Dog Park Saturday – a $125,000 project that created a three-quarter-block long area where dogs can run unfettered.
It was a small and little-noted event, but it’s another sign of the growing awareness — reflected recently in Frederick, Maryland; Santa Cruz, California; and Hollywood, Florida – that being more dog friendly can increase an area’s appeal to humans, both as a place to live and a place to visit.
And that, city, business and neighborhood leaders are realizing, can help a community trying to pull itself out of recession-related doldrums.
For downtowners in St. Louis, “the renaissance of their neighborhood arrived on four legs,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
On top of being good for business, becoming more dog friendly — and creating areas where dogs and their owners can congregate — can also help lead to a stronger sense of community.
“We may not know all of our neighbors,” said Todd Wise, a radio producer who moved downtown with his wife and Delilah, a basset hound, 18 months ago. “But we know the owners by their dogs.”
“The idea is get people out of their apartments, said downtown-dwelling law student Sarah Hunt, owner of Roxie, an 8-month-old beagle-pug mix. “…When you get people out of their apartments, things happen.”
(Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch /Elle Gardner)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boost, business, california, community, dog friendly, dog park, dogs, downtown, economic, economy, florida, frederick, health, hollywood, lucas park, maryland, neighborhoods, news, ohmidog!, pets, recession, santa cruz, st. louis
Missouri is the puppy mill capital of America — even the St. Louis Better Business Bureau says so.
A study by the BBB says the state — home to 30 percent of the nation’s large scale, federally licensed puppy sellers – has no hope of keeping the industry in check.
The state has four times more puppy mills than the next highest state, according to Chris Thetford, of the St. Louis BBB.
“Consumers end up with diseased animals from the outset, which ultimately end up costing them large amounts of money in veterinarian bills, and that was what motivated our study,” Thetford told KMOX News.
According to the BBB study, Missouri law mandates yearly on-site checkups of the state’s 1,800 licensed dog breeders, but there are only about a dozen inspectors, who also have other duties.
“Ultimately the issue is that there are so many puppy breeders in the state of Missouri, and a lack of ability of the state government to keep up with those, which leads to an ineffective enforcement of the laws.”
The bureau recommended raising annual licensing fees, which have stayed the same for nearly two decades, and better educating consumers to adopt pets from a shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, bbb, better business bureau, breeders, breeding, capital, disease, dogs, fees, inspections, missouri, news, pets, puppy, puppy mills, sellers, shelter, sick, st. louis, states, study
Real Ham Bone for Dogs — dog treats made in Missouri from the femurs of pigs — are under review by the Food and Drug Administration after complaints of them causing serious injury and death in dogs.
If warranted, an FDA spokesman said, the FDA will take appropriate action and notify the public, the Associated Press reported.
The product — a smoked pig femur sold as a dog treat or chew bone — is distributed nationally under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick’s Quality Meats in Washington, Mo.
The company said Thursday it was saddened to learn of the illnesses and deaths of customers’ pets, and that quality and safety remain priorities. The packaging contains a warning about the product not being for all dogs, and the possibility that it could splinter.”
“That is why every package contains a label that provides detailed instructions to owners on how they can help their pets best enjoy our products,” the company said in a statement. “We strongly encourage owners to supervise their pets with any treats or snacks.”
The Better Business Bureau of St. Louis said consumers have complained about the bones splintering, and pieces obstructing dogs’ intestines. Consumers reported their dogs had become lethargic or were vomiting. One man came home to find his dog dead, bleeding from the mouth.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alert, animals, better business bureau, bone, chew, choking, complaints, consumer, consumers, danger, death, dogs, fda, femur, food and drug administration, frick's quality meats, hazard, health, illness, investigation, missouri, news, pets, pig, real ham bone for dogs, recall, review, st. louis, treat
Lee Williams, one of 4 million Americans who lost their jobs last year, used the time to devote his full energy to his hobby — making dog treats for his allergy-prone Boxer-Labrador mix.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: allergy, boxador bites, boxadorbites.com, boxer, business, dog, dog treats, dogs, economy, home business, labrador, lee williams, snacks, st. louis, treats, unemployed
A federal judge in St. Louis sentenced four Missouri men who admitted taking part in a multi-state dogfighting ring to more than a year of prison each today.
“These dogs were subjected to the kind of cruelty that is sometimes unspeakable for the purpose of entertainment,” U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson said during the sentencing hearing. “Most people would find it difficult to take pleasure in watching two animals tear each other apart. Unfortunately, there are people like you who facilitate this activity.”
Teddy “Teddy Bogart” Kiriakidis, 50, and Ronald Creach, 34, were sentenced to 18 months. Michael “Missouri Mike” Morgan, 38, and Robert Hackman, 56, were sentenced to one year plus one day in federal prison, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The sentences exceeded federal recommendations.
All four men pleaded guilty in September to a charge of conspiracy to violate federal animal fighting laws. Kiriakidis and Creach received longer sentences because they both have prior felony convictions.
“Animals were severely maimed and killed as part of this conspiracy,” Jackson said. “I have to fashion a sentence that deters … and I hope people think twice about getting involved in this kind of activity.”
The defendants were among more than two dozen people in Missouri, Illinois and other states arrested this summer after an 18-month federal investigation into dogfighting. More than 400 dogs were seized and handed over to the Humane Society of Missouri in July in what has been called the largest crackdown on dogfighting in U.S. history.
Hackman operated Shake Rattle and Roll Kennel, Morgan operated Cannibal Kennel, and Creach operated Hard Goodbye Kennel.
In their pleas, Hackman and Creach said that after a Jan. 3 fight, Kiriakidis helped electrocute the losing dog, a female pit bull named Roho. Creach admitted that he killed a dog named Shady because she didn’t perform well in a practice fight.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cannibal kennel, crackdown, cruelty, dog, dogfighting, electrocute, federal, federal multistate, fighting, hard goodbye kennel, investigation, judge, michael morgan, missouri, pets, prison, robert hackman, ronald creach, sentences, shake rattle and roll kennel, st. louis, teddy kiriakidis