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Tag: st. louis

Diablo, a Doberman, rescued from icy lake

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We’re not sure every firefighter in America would, without so much as a second thought, rush into an icy lake to save a panicky Doberman named Diablo.

But these two members of the St. Louis Fire Department’s Rescue Squad 1C did, and as a result Diablo has lived to chase geese another day.

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Diablo was with his owner at O’Fallon Park Sunday afternoon when he spotted a goose and ran onto the lake after it, falling through the ice and struggling to get out.

Firefighter Demetris Alfred said the dog was in he icy waters for about 25 minutes. Firefighter Stan Baynes said the dog was clearly struggling: “He kept rolling over and submerging.”

rescue5The two firefighters managed to reach the dog, get him aboard a ladder, and pull him to shore, where owner Jason Newsome was waiting with a blanket.

After warming the dog up, he took him to a veterinarian to be checked out.

The scene was captured by St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer J.B. Forbes.

You can see the entire slideshow here.

(Photos: J.B. Forbes / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Owner gets probation for tossing out dog

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.

The boost that dogs can provide a community

stlouisDowntown 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)

BBB confirms Missouri is tops in puppy mills

missouriMissouri 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.

FDA reviewing complaints about dog treats

boneReal 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.

Laid off worker finds silver lining — in treats

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.

Since then, Boxador Bites, have taken off, KMOV in St. Louis reports.

Four Missouri dogfighters sentenced to prison

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.

“That face and their eyes tell the story”

Here’s a look inside the cavernous warehouse in St. Louis that has served as the emergency shelter for the hundreds of dogs seized in this summer’s massive five-state dog-fighting raid — the largest in U.S. history.

The Humane Society of Missouri, at one point, was sheltering more than 400 dogs, and 100 newly born puppies, at the emergency shelter, the first public access to which was granted last week to the Associated Press.

More than 120 of the seized pit bulls have been placed in foster homes, but about that many still remain in the temporary shelter. Another 160 dogs were put down because of injuries, illness or behavior.

“They are not a vicious animal. They are the victims of abuse,” said Debbie Hill, vice president of operations for the Humane Society of Missouri. “That face and their eyes tell the story. They only want to be in someone’s home, on a couch, or sleeping at someone’s feet, maybe chew up a rug or two for entertainment. They’re learning for the first time how to be a dog.”

Animal behaviorist Pamela Reid, who was part of the team that evaluated the dogs, said a surprising two-thirds tested well for nonaggression and adoptability. She’s fostering one puppy, although one of her favorite dogs had to be euthanized because he showed aggression toward men.

Dogs seized in record raid head for new homes

 

Dozens of rescued dogs — among the 400 pit bulls that were rescued in July in the largest dog fighting bust in U.S. history — left St. Louis yesterday morning for new homes across the country, Fox2 News in St. Louis reported.

The dogs were brought to the Humane Society in July after being seized in a five-state raid that led to nearly 30 arrests.

Twenty-six of the pit bulls left in the morning to be dropped off at adoptive homes in Utah, Oregon and California.

Another 31 dogs were leaving St. Louis yesterday for homes on the east coast.

An abandoned dog in an abandoned building

A dog stranded for days on the second floor of an abandoned North St. Louis building was rescued by firefighters.

The yellow-Lab mix was spotted on the ledge of a second floor window of a home that had been empty since a fire years ago, Fox 2 in St. Louis reported.

“The dog was in the front window, teetering on the window ledge there,” said St. Louis firefighter, Warren Sleep. “She’d been up here probably about a week with definitely no way down on her own.”

Randy Grim of Stray Rescue, an animal shelter and rescue group, had been checking on the dog. Each day she refused to come down the rickety stairway inside.

“It was terrifying to see her constantly going into the window sill and looking like she might jump. So we started leaving food, throwing food [up into the window],” Grim said. “The look in her eyes was pure panic and terror: fear…I tried to get up there one time. I fell through one of the stairs and a beam hit me in the head.”

A short time later, Grim flagged down a passing fire truck from Engine Company 9. Firefighters coaxed the dog off the ledge and inside. Grim named the dog “E-9″, after the firefighting team that rescued her.

Just how close E-9 came to going off the ledge can be seen in this video:

E-9 is up for adoption, and neighborhood leaders have planned a “board-up” party this weekend, to seal the windows and doors of the abandoned building and another one next-door.