Reports from citizens about a lion on the loose in Norfolk led police to check in with the Virginia Zoo to make sure both of its lions were in their cages.
And that piqued the interest of Virginia Zoo Director Greg Bockheim (above) enough to track down the alleged cat, who turned out to be a dog.
It wasn’t the first time that Charles the Monarch — a Labradoodle shaved to look like a lion — has been mistaken for being king of the jungle, or the first time police were called about him.
Police received a morning call about a baby lion on the loose, on Colley Avenue near 50th Street. The first thing officers did was make sure both of Norfolk’s real lions, Mramba and Zola, remained in their cages at the zoo, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
Later, they realized the animal on the loose was Charles, whose owner has him shaved to look like the mascot of Old Dominion University.
Owner Daniel Painter said Charles — who has his own page on Facebook – typically hangs out at his business, Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center, on Colley Avenue.
“I tell people he’s a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that,” he said.
Painter said police have told him before they’ve received reports about the dog from callers who thought he was a lion. Painter says he sometimes takes his dog to the zoo, then watches people run to their cars.
“They think it’s a lion out there,” he said.
(Photo: Virginia Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, animals, callers, calls, charles, charles the monarch, Daniel Painter, dogs, Greg Bockheim, groom, grooming, hair style, haircut, labradoodle, lion, loose, mascot, norfolk, old dominion university, owner, pets, police, reported, shaved, streets, virginia, virginia zoo
It has been nearly four years since Bosnia passed a law banning the killing of stray and wild dogs, but as of this year only one city is respecting it, according to the Associated Press — Sarajevo.
As a result, Sarajevo has become both a dumping ground and, relatively speaking, a safe haven, with people from around the country dropping homeless, stray and wild dogs on its streets.
The law was passed amid a sharp rise in dog killings, but it was largely ignored because the government provided few alternatives, like shelters and sterilization clinics.
In March, Sarajevo became home to a new city-funded dog shelter that also performs sterilizations.
Animal protection advocate Amela Turalic runs the shelter, and she and her team of animal lovers respond to calls to pick up strays, who have been increasingly arriving from other areas
Bosnia remains divided along ethnic lines, and different parts of the country deal with strays differently. Despite the national ban against slaughtering dogs, some local governments have passed laws contradicting it.
In Sarajevo, it took Turalic’s teams three months to get the problem of strays under control last summer with the shelter and sterilizations.
“But then we started noticing ‘new faces’ on the streets daily and people started telling us about overnight deliveries,” she said.
Not everyone in Sarajevo is happy about that, and some don’t think Sarajevo — the one place doing something about the problem — should be getting overwhelmed with needy dogs because of it.
Sounds a little like another country that once welcomed outsiders.
As Turalic sees it, those from other cities who drop off dogs on the streets of Sarajevo aren’t abandoning their own pets, just trying to give a stray a better chance of surviving.
“Let them come,” she said. “People do this with best intentions.”
(Photo: Amel Emric / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Amela Turalic, animal control, animals, bosnia, dogs, dropped, haven, neuter, pets, safe haven, sarajevo, shelter, spay, sterilization, stray, streets, wild
When a dog who’d lived on the streets for three years got hit by a car in Roseville, Calif., a veterinarian treating her new injuries found evidence of some old ones.
X-rays showed the old dog, named Lady, had apparently been used for target practice and shot with a BB gun several times, said Karen Johnson, of the Johnson Ranch Veterinary Clinic.
Lady was about to be rescued from life on the streets when she was hit by a car.
Kristell Stout, who works in Roseville, had been feeding the dog for three years. When she left the job, she couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing Lady anymore and contacted an animal rescuing friend.
He was on her way to catch her when news came she’d been hit by a car, according to Fox40 in Sacramento.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, california, car, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, hit, homeless, johnson ranch veterinary clinic, kristell stout, lab, lady, mix, pets, practice, rescue, roseville, shelter, stray, street, streets, target
“Everyone on skid row — kids, cops, prostitutes, pimps — loved her,” Jeff Dietrich writes about Sheba, in another remembrance of the Los Angeles street dog we told you about after her death a couple of months ago.
Dietrich, a member of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker, focuses his op-ed piece — it appeared in the Los Angeles Times yesterday – on the relationship between Sheba and Georgina (pictured together above).
Sheba’s best friends were the homeless street addicts who live outside the Catholic Worker soup kitchen. And, at least in Georgina’s case, maybe, vice versa.
Georgina ended up on skid row after fleeing an abusive husband. At first she lived with her handicapped, addicted mother in the St. Agnes Hotel, but she soon became addicted to crack cocaine herself and began living on the streets.
She found Sheba 17 years ago, chained to a pole, freed her, and took over the care of the German shepherd mix for the next 10 years — except for those periods she was in prison — until finding a home and entering recovery.
Sheba — still living on the streets, among the homeless – died in June after being struck by a car.
“I can’t say that it was Georgina’s relationship with Sheba that enabled her to enter and successfully complete a recovery program,” Dietrich writes. “But I can say without doubt that the maternal presence of this loving creature was one of the few positive attachment relationships in her life for a time, and that Sheba also touched the shattered lives of many addicts and petty drug dealers on Gladys Street. It’s possible that, for Georgina, the steady, unconditional love she got from Sheba provided just enough stability to make recovery seem possible.”
Dietrich notes that substance abuse can often be traced to early childhood trauma — abandonment, nutritional deprivation, battery, rape, or growing up in an unstable, unloving family:
“A dog is no substitute, certainly, for a loving, stable family or for strong human bonds. But most of the addicts on skid row haven’t known nurturing families for years, if they ever did. Sheba stepped into a void in Georgina’s life, and she made a difference.”
Dietrich, who is the author of ”Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row,” says that when a memorial service was held for Sheba in the dining garden of the soup kitchen, Georgina didn’t attend, upon the advice of her therapist, who feared a possible relapse.
“The gathering was full of fond memories of Sheba, but toward the end there was one awkward moment. Was it theologically correct, we wondered, to pray for a dog? But then someone in the crowd called out, “Let us pray for the loving gift that Sheba was to our community.
“We did. And the people of skid row said, ‘Amen.’”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: catholic worker, cocaine, crack, drugs, food, georgina, homeless, Jeff Dietrich, kitchen, los angeles, love, memorial, recovery, remembrance, sheba, skid row, soup, stability, streets, substance abuse, unconditional
Stray dogs. Stray humans. Lori Weise encountered them both when she started work 16 years ago at a furniture factory on the edge of L.A.’s Skid Row, where homeless dogs and humans were both often treated with something less than respect.
So she created Downtown Dog Rescue — right there in the back of the factory — in the hopes that, through trapping strays, and persuading the homeless to get their dogs spay or neutered, she and her co-workers could make a dent in the homeless dog problem, if not the homeless human one.
She posted fliers promising free pizza for those who brought their dogs in. In addition to paying for thousands of surgeries, the rescue organization has placed or fostered thousands of dogs. And because homeless people can’t a dog license without an address, Weise used the factory’s address to get those dog’s registered. The address of the company, Modernica, was used to license 300 dogs.
The Associated Press, in a story by reporter Sue Manning, took a look this week at Downtown Dog Rescue — both where it has been and where it is going.
The shelter is still located in the back of Modernica, but with homeless people having left downtown Weise now brings shelter services to Compton, where for the last two years it has helped fund a monthly spay and neuter clinic, run by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control.
In 2011, the clinic sterilized close to 800 dogs, according to Weise, and the euthanasia rate for pit bulls at the county shelter dropped 30 percent.
DDR also holds weekly obedience classes at the Los Angeles Coliseum, teaching owners basic commands, agility, and other urban survival skills. The class draws between 30 and 50 dogs a week.
Downtown Dog Rescue has grown from a couple of kennels to 22. The furniture company has grown, too. Owners and brothers Frank and Jay Novak don’t consider themselves activists for either dogs or the homeless, but they say the work Weise has done helps define the company.
“She never talks down to people,” Novak said. “She is so genuine. I think people are impressed by her sincerity and people know none of the money (close to $200,000 in donations a year) goes to administrative costs.”
Eight months ago, Modernica began moving its production plant to Vernon, and they’ve promised Weise a half-acre where she can build a new shelter there. For now, the dogs remain in the downtown factory, where the company’s prop department will stay.
“She is fearless. She will go into neighborhoods nobody in their right mind would go into. She just goes with her conviction and knowledge she is going to help somebody,” said Carole Pearson, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Dawg Squad.
Most of the men Weise befriended 15 years ago are in prisons or hospitals or have died, the Associated Press story notes. But many of them left the streets — voluntarily or not — with the knowledge their dogs would be taken care of.
“I promised a lot of the men as long as their dogs are alive, they will have a good place to live and I’ll love them,” Weise said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, dog licenses, dogs, downtown, downtown dog rescue, factory, furniture, homeless, humans, licenses, licensing, lori weise, los angeles, modernica, neuter, pets, rescue, shelter, skid row, spay, strays, streets
Darak, a white, mixed-breed dog who took three bullets and was run over by a car while living as a stray in Afghanistan, was reunited with one of the men responsible for sending him to the U.S.
“Hey, buddy,” Kyle Huttenlocker, a 30-year-old security company employee just back to Indiana from Kabul said. “Remember me?”
Darak, it appeared, did, according to a story published in the Greenfield Daily Reporter.
In late 2010, Huttenlocker was in Kabul, Afghanistan, working for a security company hired by the State Department to protect the U.S. Embassy.
“There was a stray dog that lived in an alley right behind our camp that we were all very fond of,” said Huttenlocker, a Bloomington native who previously spent a year in Iraq as a member of the U.S. military.
Darak, who Huttenlocker and others named after the neighborhood they were in, was scrounging for food, and doing his best to avoid those who mistreated him. Given the affection he received, and bologna, he started calling the camp home.
“Afghans don’t treat dogs very well,” Huttenlocker said. “They throw rocks at them and hit them with sticks … Darak would hang out with us behind our camp, and bark at the Afghans whenever they walked by.”
One day Huttenlocker heard that Darak had been run over my an Afghan motorist. He and friends rushed to the area and found the dog hiding in a ditch.
Huttenlocker and his friends pooled their money and gave $400 to a dog rescue kennel in Kabul, which housed Darak for three weeks. The kennel contacted the Puppy Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to help American soldiers bring dogs home.
The mission raised more than $4,500 to transport Darak to a veterinary clinic in Pakistan, then to the U.S. for more extensive treatment.
Three months ago, Huttenlocker’s mother, Beth Sherfield, picked up Darak at the Indianapolis International Airport.
Sherfield took Darak to a Bloomington veterinarian, who found he had a fractured spine, and that his abdomen contained three bullets. She then dropped him off at Wayport Kennels, where, as she hoped, another family that had heard his story came forward to adopt him.
“We needed another dog like we needed a hole in the head,” said Kathy Headley, who along with her husband, Steve, already had three dogs and three inside cats. But, she reports, they are all mostly getting along.
The Headleys paid $4,000 to an Indianapolis veterinary hospital to have Darak’s broken spine repaired and the bullets removed.
Upon seeing Huttenlocker, who stopped by for a visit upon his return to the country, Darak limped over to him and began licking his hands.
“How you doing, Bub?” Huttenlocker said, scratching Darak behind the ears. “It’s good to see you again. You’re one lucky dog.”
(Photo: From the Chip-in page for Darak)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopted, afghanistan, animals, bloomington, darak, dog, dogs, indiana, kabul, kyle huttenlocker, mixed breed, mutt, pets, puppy rescue mission, rescue, rescued, security, state department, stray, streets, us embassy
In yesterday’s clip from the award-winning documentary “100,000” we met a man named Anibal who — though virtually homeless himself — struggles to feed some of the stray dogs that populate the town of Guayama in Puerto Rico.
In today’s, we meet another man named Anibal, this one a shelter worker who sincerely believes he is doing dogs a favor, too – by killing them.
He lethally injects about 100 a day; sometimes the sick or aggressive ones, sometimes, when there are no more empty kennels, the healthy ones. At Puerto Rico’s other shelters — and there are only a handful — the same holds true.
Across the territory, about 500 dogs are euthanized a day — 92 percent of those that enter shelter, according to the documentary.
All this week on ohmidog! we’ve been featuring the documentary, which looks at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico and some of the people and organizations — such as Island Dog — that are working to solve the crisis.
“100,000,” directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, depicts the bleak existence stray dogs face on the beaches and streets of Puerto Rico, where they are commonly abandoned and abused and often die slow, cruel deaths.
“That’s why I prefer euthanasia before these animals end up like they really end up,” Anibal Rodriguez explains as he goes about his duties, hoisting another dog from a kennel to be injected. “If this animal hadn’t been picked up … this animal would have died in agony on the streets.”
As he sees it, he’s preventing suffering.
“When I first started working, it was hard. As a human being, one has feelings. I have seen so many abuses cases that I prefer that it’s done through small lethal injection rather than a dog getting brutally killed by a person…
“It’s a job that has to be done.”
(Tomorrow: Director Juan Agustin Marquez accepts an Emmy award, and asks Puerto Ricans to take a pledge)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abuse, anibal rodriguez, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, beaches, documentary, dog, dogs, emmy, euthanasia, euthanize, island dog, juan agustin marquez, killing, lethal injection, neglect, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, streets, suffering
Dr. John Lauby, director of the Animal Services Department, said his animal control officers have shot and killed nine feral dogs in the last two weeks.
“It’s a distasteful thing,” said Lauby, a retired veterinarian. “They are a large problem.”
According to an article in the Fayetteville Observer — and we have to point out that it’s written by Andrew Barksdale — the large number of feral dogs may be a result of more dogs being abandoned by their owners. Dogs can turn become unfriendly to people after being abandoned, Lauby said.
Fayetteville City Councilman Jim Arp has asked that the county animal control office — there is no similar office in the city — help solve the problem. Arp said the feral dogs put children at risk, and some residents say the wild dogs are killing their cats.
Lauby said his department had thinned the packs of dogs over the winter, but new litters in the spring compounded the recent surge. The problem, he said, is compounded by people leaving food out for the dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal control, animals, cats, dog, dogs, fayeteville, feral, hunting, killing, neighborhoods, north carolina, pets, shooting, stray, street dogs, streets, wild
My former cat Miley — the one I took in from the streets of South Baltimore for the winter — is still on the highway, having logged more than 5,000 since joining her new truck driver owner, Kitty.
Miley has now passed through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia — and that’s just to name a few.
Kitty says Miley is doing wonderfully, and has taken well to living in the truck cab, along with Kitty’s other cat, Chuzzle, and two pit bulls.
They were in Louisville when she touched base with me, headed for Waco.
In another week or so, she predicted they’ll be back home in Oklahoma, where she expects Miley will keep her disabled husband John company as he works on CB radios in the garage. It’s not unusual for Kitty to be gone three weeks or more on the job.
Kitty said she kept Miley in her carrier for the first leg of their journey together — from Frederick, Maryland, where I dropped her off, to Bedford, Pennsylvania, where Kitty was taking a load of Oklahoma hot dogs to a Wal-Mart.
She went inside to do the paperwork and returned to the truck cab to find Miley had managed to pop it open and take up a more comfortable spot on a pillow on Kitty’s bunk — “as peaceful as she could be,” Kitty said. She hasn’t been back in the carrier since.
She’s doesn’t mind the noise and rumble of the big rig and is getting along fine with the dogs, but still hisses when Chuzzle, a male Persian cat, gets too close, especially when it’s time to eat.
“I can’t thank you enough,” Kitty told me, when, as I see it, she deserves the thanks for giving Miley a permanent home. “She is just so awesome”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, animals, cat, cats, chuzzle, foster, highways, home, kitty, miles, miley, ohmidog!, oklahoma, persian, pets, rescue, south baltimore, states, stray, streets, temporary, travel, traveling, truck driver, trucks, winter
From all appearances, the stray dog laying on his side in the parking lot was already acquainted with the cruel side of Baltimore: The scars on his face, a tattered ear, a pus-filled eye, the ribs visible through his fur were all signs of neglect, and possible use by dogfighters.
But before the day was over, he’d find Baltimore — despite the high profile stories of dogs set afire and tortured cats — has a sweet side, too.
An employee of Agora Publishing came across the dog Friday in a nearby parking lot on St. Paul Street.
Matthew Wagner took photos of the dog, posted them on Craigslist and his Facebook page, and put a call in to the city’s Animal Control office.
Meanwhile, Michelle Ingrodi, a receptionist at Boston Street Animal Hospital, logged on to Facebook before going to work. She’d been sent a link from a friend she hadn’t seen in 10 years, who happened to be a friend of Wagner’s. It was about the dog Wagner had found.
When Ingrodi arrived for work, one of her first calls of the day was — in true Smalltimore style — from Wagner.
“He said he’d found a dog on the side of the parking lot and didn’t know what to do,” Ingrodi said. “He said he’d called animal control and they hadn’t shown up. I told him, ‘You don’t want to call animal control.’ This dog was old and sick and they might put him down immediately due to lack of space and lack of funds.”
Wagner asked how much it would cost if he were to bring the dog in to be checked, but Ingrodi told him there was no way of knowing. It depended on how extensive his problems were. She suggested that Wagner bring the dog in and — through his friends and Internet connections — ask anyone who was willing to donate to the dog’s care to contact the animal hospital.
Wagner made an appointment for 4 p.m., then went back outside, got the dog, and brought him into the offices of Agora Publishing. He got back on the computer, revised his posts, including the veterinary office’s phone number; then he began asking co-workers if they might be willing to contribute.
At 4 p.m., when he walked into the vets office, Ingrodi told him what had happened, within just a few short hours: The animal hospital had received $1,325 in donations — some form Wagner’s co-workers, most from strangers who’d seen the account he’d posted and photos of the dog on Facebook and Craigslist.
The dog was malnourished, had a bad cut on his eye, and had several infected wounds. He was estimated to be 10 to 12 years old. X-rays showed nothing was broken. His cuts were treated, and the dog — initially dubbed Stinky Madison — was given a bath and, later, an assortment of food and supplies at Dogma. Wagner took the dog home and, after a $500-plus vet bill, still had $700-plus for future care and treatment.
“His co-workers started calling first, making $50 donations,” said Ingroti, who was answering the phones at the animal hospital. “Then people started sharing it on a Facebook, random people – even someone from California. We had $325 within 25 minutes. Our phones have never rung like that. I had to turn down four or five donations.
“Here’s a dog who probably lay down in the gutter thinking ‘this is it.’ Then all these random people come together to save him — just complete strangers. I’m blown away, especially considering the way things are going in shelters now, with a lot of people giving up their pets. Something like this restores your faith in humanity.”
Wagner plans to care for the dog at least temporarily, she said.
Ingroti said the dog left the hospital looking tired but content. “He’s got some tired old bones, and he’s a little apprehensive. You can see in his eyes that something has happened to him, and he’s just not sure it’s a good idea to come near you. But he takes love if you give it.”
Baltimore, this time, gave it.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abused, agora publishing, animal welfare, animals, balitmore, boston street animal hospital, dog, dogfighting, donations, downtown, humanity, injuries, madison, matthew wagner, michelle ingrodi, neglected, parking lot, pets, rescue, rescued, save, saved, scars, stinky, stray, streets