Caught raiding a chicken coop in rural Wyoming, a blue heeler named Bo was shot twice, tossed in a barrel, doused with gasoline and set on fire.
According to the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old neighbor shot the dog — after returning home and finding it was going after the family chickens.
Then, thinking Bo was dead, he asked his father what to do with the dog’s body.
“I said, ‘Burn it,’” the father, Mike Gerber, told the Casper Star-Tribune. ” …We have had other predators come around — and even our chickens that the dog had killed — how we got rid of them was we just burned them.”
His son, Wesley Gerber, dragged the dog to a burn barrel in the front yard, doused the dog with gasoline, and threw in a match.
“The next thing you know, the dog comes popping up out of there in flames,” Mike Gerber told the newspaper. Bo ran around in a circle, and then home.
Ben and Abby Redland, Bo’s owners, said when Bo ran into the house “there was this terrible smell … His hair was melted and fallling out. He was still smoldering.”
Bo was rushed to a vet. Bullets had grazed his cheek and back, and he had third-degree burns over most of his body. “Bo was in such shock, the vet didn’t think he’d make it,” Abby Redland told the Los Angeles Times.
Since the incident — back in December, in rural Worland, Wyoming, 150 miles north of Casper — three-year-old Bo has fully recovered, though he has a few scars.
The Redlands have taken out a restraining order on the Gerbers. And they’re pushing to change Wyoming law and introduce measures that require those who shoot pets to at least contact the animal’s owners.
“I wish it never happened,” Mike Gerber said. “The decisions being made were made fast. Maybe if they would’ve been thought through more clearly, we would’ve done things differently.”
(Photo: By Abby Redland, via Los Angeles Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby redland, animals, ashes, barrel, ben redland, blue heeler, bo, burned, chickens, dog, dogs, doused, gasoline, mike gerber, neighbor, pets, property, shot, survival, washakie county, wesley gerber. shooting, worland, wyoming
With December just around the corner, brace yourself for some doggie Christmas miracle stories.
Dogs, of course, do amazing things all year round, but there’s a tendency this time of year for those stories to get told more often, and generally in a somewhat breathless and hyped up way that gives Christmas, rather than smart dogs, all the credit.
While we’ll hold off on proclaiming it a miracle, how this little dog survived a house fire in Tennessee is pretty amazing.
Abigail apparently took shelter in a crawl space beneath the floor, and, though the house was 90 percent consumed by flames, managed to survive long enough to be pulled out by a firefighter.
“You never see a house that has fully burned to the ground — and 90 percent of the home is gone, I mean it’s up in smoke –- and something lived,” firefighter Pat Boone told News Channel 11
Boone, who pulled the dog out, said firefighters were calling her Miracle, until they learned her name was Abigail.
Her owners, who lost everything else in the fire, were thankful that Abigail was found. “Houses can be replaced, clothes can be replaced; family and animals can’t,” one family member said.
Boone said community members are stepping forward to help the family. An anonymous donor is covering all of the veterinary expenses for Abigail, who’s expected to be fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abigail, animals, christmas, christmas miracle, crawl space, dogs, fire, floorboards, miracle, pets, survival, survives, tennessee
A fact of life — or should we say death? — in this country is that whether or not you, as a human, get executed for a crime can depend largely on where your trial is held.
The same is kind of true of impounded dogs — one big difference being they get no trial, there’s usually no crime involved, and, having been surrendered or abandoned, they’re more often victims than criminals.
With dogs, most executions are not a matter of justice, but population control; and the likelihood of that fate varies not just from state to state, but from county to county. By and large, a dog’s chance of getting out of a county-run shelter alive depends primarily on what county they happen to be held in.
Just how much of a toss of the dice it can be was shown in a story Sunday by the Columbus Dispatch. It analyzed data from 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and found that, in 2011, they had kill rates varying from 1 percent to 81 percent.
Dogs who enter the shelter in Lawrence County, in southeastern Ohio, have less than a two in ten chance of getting out alive. Meanwhile, in Carroll County, in northeastern Ohio, only 1 percent of dogs were destroyed, the lowest rate in the state.
The story included a county-by-county interactive map, showing kill and adoption rates.
It’s some exceptional reporting — the kind newspapers should be doing more of — and it clearly shows that, even when they’re right next door, some places value dogs’ lives more than others, and work harder to place and save them.
Statewide, more than 100,000 dogs are impounded annually in Ohio’s county-run animal shelters, and roughly 30 percent, or 30,000, were euthanized in 2011. (Nationally, it’s estimated that 3 to 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.)
“It looks bad. That’s awful,” Lawrence County Dog Warden Bill Click said of the data showing his shelter had the highest kill rate in the state. He added that the county is working to improve those numbers. Lawrence County, like many others, often euthanizes dogs when the shelter gets too crowded.
The best dog wardens, the story points out, are more than wardens. (Is it time to change that outdated term?) They publicize their county shelters, welcome volunteers and visitors, post photos and profiles of their adoptable online and work with rescue groups.
But while some fight daily to keep euthanasia rates low, it seems a lower priority in many counties: 13 have kill rates higher than 50 percent.
Some dog wardens question whether it’s fair to compare the rates of urban and rural dog shelters, saying urban areas generally take in more aggressive animals that have been trained to guard property or fight other dogs, as well as more dogs that have been injured by cars.
But even among urban areas, some county shelters do a far better job than others.
Of Ohio’s urban areas, Hamilton County had the lowest kill rate, at 30 percent. The county contracts with the Cincinnati SPCA, which has worked to reduce adoption prices, extend foster care and bring animals with heartworm and other medical problems back to health, rather than putting them down.
Pit bulls have been most often destined for euthanasia — at least until Ohio dropped its ban and put a new law in place in May of this year that no longer automatically brands them vicious.
Animal welfare advocates have also succeeded in pressuring two counties, Athens and Fairfield, to stop using the gas chamber to euthanize dogs.
They were less successful in Hocking County, where, despite demonstrations and a call to switch to lethal injection, county commissioners decided to continue using gas.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption rates, animal control, animal welfare, animals, carroll county, chances, columbus, control, counties, county, death, death penalty, dispatch, dog wardens, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, execution, gas chambers, interactive, justice, kill rates, lawrence county, lethal injection, life, location, map, news, newspaper, ohio, pets, population, rescues, shelters, survival, wardens
As medical marijuana grows in popularity, so too does the chance that the dog is going to get into it.
It’s always been something that happens – dogs have been chowing down on their owner’s illegal stashes for decades, sometimes with fatal results.
But with the increasing use of medical marijuana, dogs are more likely to both have access to it and be tempted by it. For one thing, it doesn’t have to be hidden anymore. It can be kept in higher quantities. And, increasingly, those taking it for medical reasons are eating it instead of smoking it.
As a result, instead of a well-hidden bag of green leafy buds, dogs must resist the temptation of such things as rice crispy marijuana treats, cannabis oreo cookie cake, medical snickerdoodles and ganja lasagna.
In Colorado, there has been a spike in the number of cases of dogs getting sick from cannabis since medical marijuana was legalized.
Vets say they used to see dogs who had ingested marijuana a few times a year. Now pet owners bring in doped-up dogs as many as five times a week, CBS4 in Denver reports.
“There are huge spikes in the frequency of marijuana ingestion in places where it’s become legal,” veterinarian Dr. Debbie Van Pelt said.
Most of the time dogs get the medical marijuana by eating food laced with it — either that which their owners have prepared, or pre-laced foods purchased from dispensaries selling the products.
Dr. Stacy Meola, a veterinarian who coordinated a study looking at the numbers, say four times as many dogs have been getting treatment for ingesting marijuana since medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado.
It’s not always fatal, but it can be.
Most dogs survive, experiencing symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, staggering and sensitivity to sound and light.
In addition to accidental cases, veterinarians say some dog owners think it’s funny to get their dogs stoned– and even post videos of it.
“We need people to realize it is potentially toxic and potentially fatal to their pets,” Van Pelt said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, baking, brownies, butter, coma, cookies, cooking, deaths, dispensaries, dog, dogs, eating, fatal, ganja lasagna, grass, health, ill, lethargy, marijuana, medical, medical marijuana, pets, pot, recipes, rice crispy treats, safety, sickness, smoking, snickerdoodles, survival, toxic, treatment, veterinarians, vomiting, warning, weed
Leo fell into a Dumpster and couldn’t get out.
An aging Australian cattle dog mix, Leo apparently climbed a ramp attached to a large Dumpster and, when no one was looking, either jumped or fell in.
Barbara Grabell and her husband George Anderson searched high and low for Leo after he disappeared from their ranch in Alfalfa, Oregon.
“I thought he – sometimes, they just go off to die privately. I was walking the property, looking under trees, the sagebrush,” Grabell told KTVZ.
Grabell said she walked over to the nearby trash transfer station and looked in the 9-foot-tall Dumpster, which has a ramp that allows residents to more easily dump their garbage. It was about two-thirds full of garbage by then, but she didn’t see Leo. She shouted his name, but he’s hard of hearing.
Four days after Leo disappeared, the Dumpster was picked up for the trip to the Knott Landfill in Bend.
There, Paul Decker, a driver for Bend Garbage and Recycling, was watching its contents pour out when he saw, amid the trash, a dog — dazed and confused but alive, apparently having survived on a diet of garbage.
The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, which Grabell had called earlier to report Leo missing. They notified her he’d been found. She picked up Leo, took him to a vet to be checked out, and then back home.
“He’s home and he’s resting comfortably,” she said Saturday night. “I’m so thankful and relieved, you have no idea.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aging, alfalfa, alive, animals, australian cattle dog, barbara grabell, bend garbage and recycling, bin, climbed, disappeared, dog, dogs, dumped, dumpster, fell, garbage, humane society of central oregon, jumped, landfill, leo, lost, mix, old, oregon, paul decker, pets, survival, survived, trash, trash bin
A Salt Lake City woman, critically injured in a car crash that claimed her husband and one of her dogs, has reunited with her other dog, who bolted from the scene of the crash in the Nevada desert and survived on his own for 53 days.
Barbara Bagley says she never gave up hope that her 4-year-old Shetland sheepdog, Dooley, would be found alive.
The dog was tracked down Feb. 18, the Associated Press reports.
Dooley’s weight had dropped from 44 pounds to 20 pounds when he was found, after nearly two months surviving on roadkill. He was once spotted devouring a dead coyote along the roadway, and, after he was found, a long bird bone was pulled from his throat by a veterinarian.
Bagley hadn’t seen the dog since Dec. 27, when she suffered a concussion, broken ribs, a shattered wrist and two punctured lungs in the single vehicle accident on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain, about 225 miles east of Reno.
Delaney, the family’s other sheltie, was killed in the wreck. Her 55-year-old husband, Brad Vom Baur, was critically injured, and died Jan. 6.
That was the same day that a dog’s remains were found near the interstate — presumed to be Dooley’s.
“It was a horrible day for me,” Bagley recalled. “But something inside me told me Dooley was still alive out there. I wasn’t 100 percent sure, but I didn’t grieve for Dooley like I did for my husband and our other dog.”
Three weeks later, though, Bagley’s spirits were lifted when a woman reported spotting “a Lassie-type” dog near the accident scene. Bagley joined in the search that followed, but it turned up nothing. In mid-February, there was another sighting, by a member of a railroad crew.
Finally, the dog was cornered and taken in by friends and others who had joined in the search and reunited with Bagley.
“I was overjoyed that I was going to have him back in my life. I think he felt the same about me,” she said.
Bagley, while still grieving her husband’s death and recovering from her injuries, said Dooley’s presence has helped in the struggle.
“He’s the physical and mental affection that I need to recover,” she said. “I owe him so much for the hope I have now and the renewed faith I have in prayer. Dogs are so great because of their unconditional love.”
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, barbara bagley, battle mountain, car, crash, dogs, dooley, grief, interstate, mourning, nevada, pets, reunion, reunited, road kill, roadkill, search, sheltie, shetland sheep dog, sightings, survival
And, given it’s “National Pet Travel Safety Day” — yes, really — what better time to share that news.
Phil Nichols, 79, was heading back to Arizona from Helena, Montana, on Nov. 28 when he discovered his 6-year-old Lab mix, Buddy, was missing.
Buddy rode in the camper in the bed of Nichols’ pickup — and we won’t debate the safety of that practice here. He was in the camper, Nichols said, when he stopped for gas in Dillon. But on his next stop, Idaho Falls, he checked and found Buddy was gone.
Nichols drove 150 miles back to Dillon and spent a day and a half searching before heading, doglessly, back to Arizona.
In Pocatello, Idaho, Nichols, cut off by another car, hit a guardrail and rolled his vehicle. He wasn’t seriously injured, but the camper was crushed. Nichols wonders if Buddy somehow had a “sixth sense” about the accident and got out of the camper — though he doesn’t know how — before it was too late.
“I think the dog has more brains than I do,” said Nichols, who adopted Buddy from an animal shelter.
One month after Buddy’s disappearance, back in Montana, animal control officers got a call Thursday about a wounded stray dog in the Buxton area, about 10 miles southwest of Butte, according to the Billings Gazette.
Animal control officer Charlie Dick responded, spending 45 minutes coaxing the limping dog toward him with treats, before snagging him.
The dog was emaciated, had scratches on his face, and a wounded rear foot. In addition to freezing temperatures, and having to survive in the wild, Buddy had been shot with BB’s, X-rays by a veterinarian revealed.
“What a little survivor,” Dick said. ” He was out there a long time.”
Animal control was able to locate and contact Buddy’s owner through a lost dog ad on Craigslist, which had been posted by Nichols’ daughter in Helena.
Nichols said he plans to reunite with Buddy once the vet pronounces the dog ready to leave, but that he may call his dog before then.
“I just want them to put the phone to his ear and let him hear my voice,” Nichols said. “I think that would make him feel better.”
(Photo: Buddy and Nichols before they got separated)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animal control, animals, arizona, buddy, butte, buxton, camper, crash, dillon, dog, dogs, emaciated, found, freezing, idaho springs, injured, lab, lost, mix, montana, month, national pet travel safety day, pets, phil nichols, reunion, reunite, shot, survival, survivor, travel, wilds
Glenda Erwin, director of the Carthage Humane Society, told the Carthage Press that the spunky Shih Tzu was found in a field in the town of Diamond Saturday.
Diamond is about 15 miles from Joplin, which was devastated by the May 22 tornado.
It’s suspected Bentley landed there and had been under the debris ever since, judging from the nature of his injuries, which include a nasty scrape between his eyes that shelter officials speculate was caused by flying debris, splinters of wood and blades of grass and carpet fibers embedded under his skin.
Erwin said the dog was brought to the shelter by a woman in tears. She dropped the dog off and left before shelter staff could get her name. She told shelter workers she had heard whimpering from the pile of debris a week ago, but couldn’t locate a dog. She returned Saturday, heard the dog crying again, and found it under the wreckage.
Central Pet Care in Carthage provided medical care to Bentley, as he was named by shelter staff. The dog appears to be deaf and possibly blind, but vets weren’t sure if those conditions are a result of the tornado or were previously existing,
Erwin said the shelter will try to find Bentley’s owner. If not, he’ll be put up for adoption in a week or so.
(Photo by John Hacker / Carthage Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bentley, blind, carthage, carthage humane society, central pet care, deaf, debris, disasters, dog, dogs, found, joplin, missouri, pile, rescue, rescued, shelter, shih-tzu, survival, survivor, tornado
And, even though he’s living in a new state now, Wall-E — with help from an artist — is still raising money to build a new shelter in Murray County to replace the overcrowded one where he was injected with lethal drugs, pronounced dead and tossed in a trash bin.
After he survived euthanasia — he received two lethal doses, one in the leg, one in heart — Wall-E went on to become a much sought after dog, with national publicity leading to thousands of inquiries from people wanting to adopt him.
After months of reviewing the applicants, the shelter has placed Wall-E with a family that lives out of state and wants to remain anonymous, according to an Associated Press report.
“For some reason I had a complete comfort in picking them. They just really stood out,” said Amanda Kloski, the veterinarian technician at Arbuckle Veterinarian Clinic in Sulphur who cared for Wall-E after he was found alive. “They can give him what I can’t give him and what a lot of people probably couldn’t.”
Kloski said that while Wall-E’s story has made more people aware of the need to find homes for stray animals, overcrowding at the local shelter in Sulphur, about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City, remains a problem.
But donations to the shelter in his name, and sales of his portrait, are helping to raise the money needed to build a new shelter in Murray County.
Animal artist Ron Burns painted a portrait of Wall-E, and is donating 40 percent of the proceeds from sales of the prints.
“I believe Wall-E is still with us for a certain purpose, and that purpose is threefold — that through his ‘tail’ of miraculous survival, he is here to help his fellow four-legged friends, to remind us all of the importance of animal adoption and to stress the necessity of local spay and neuter programs,” Burns said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, alive, animals, artist, bin, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, found, garbage, injections, lethal, murray county, oklahoma, pets, rescue, ron burns, shelter, shelters, sulphur, survival, survived, survivor, trash, wall-e
Over at Arbor Acres, the retirement community where my mother lives, there’s a population explosion looming.
Our duck friends, whose importation we told you about last summer, have produced a second generation, and several mama ducks are now poised atop their eggs.
Arbor Acres has always had ducks and geese — sometimes too many, sometimes not enough. They stay along a pond and an azalea-lined canal that feeds the pond. The geese come and go, but most of the ducks seem to like it enough to make it home.
The ducks serve as conversation pieces, and much more. They give residents something to watch that’s far more interesting than television, let them stay in touch with nature, and take part in the excitement of a new cycle of life starting up. When the baby ducks start showing up at Arbor Acres, all other news takes a back seat.
(I am of the opinion that every center for the elderly, a group I am in hopes of joining one day, should get massive and regular doses of two things — young people and animals, and that bringing them together greatly benefits all three. )
Last year, when the numbers dwindled and most of the newborns were being gobbled up by predators — a turtle who lives in the pond is the top suspect — one resident took steps to re-establish a flock.
He bought 16 of various breeds, cared for them at home and released them when they were old enough to get by on their own. The new ducks were all named after residents — one of them after my mother, Jo Woestendiek, whose room overlooks the canal.
For a week now, Jo Woestendiek, the duck, has been laying atop her eggs in a nest she made with pine needles — just outside the window of Jo Woestendiek, the human, who leans over her couch and cranes her neck in hopes of getting a glimpse of them.
The births are always followed by a period of concern for the residents — walking on eggshells would be one way to put it — as they wait to see how many of the eggs, then ducklings, are going to survive the turtle, coyote, fox and heron that see them as breakfast.
One summer a few years ago, my mother — apparently not the first to do so – took a group of newborns in, secretly keeping them in a cardboard box in her room. (Ace, during a visit, was fascinated by them, slowly approaching and giving each a delicate sniff.)
This year, a good batch of eggs has shown up around campus and, depending on how many escape the predators, the duck population could triple, with a strong contingent of what my mother has already taken to calling — even before they hatch — the Woestenducks.
There aren’t too many things in the world cuter than baby ducks, and how they steadfastly follow their mother, on land and water, no matter how much she zigs and zags.
As I watched them Sunday, mother duck swam across the canal, her babies following closely. When the mother duck climbed up a series of rocks and into the pine needles under a bush, the baby ducks struggled, falling over each other, off the rocks, then fighting to get up again, almost reaching the top only to tumble back down.
I wanted to lend a hand, especially to the last one trying to make it up — clearly the klutz of the bunch. He’d slap a webbed foot on a wet rock, only to have it slide off as he somersaulted back into the water.
I kept thinking his mother should get up and help him.
Then I realized, by not going to his aid, she was.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arbor acres, assisted living, babies, baby ducks, birds, birth, communities, cycles, dogs, duck, ducklings, ducks, eggs, elderly, explosion, geese, hatched, independence, instititutions, jo woestendiek, motherhood, mothers, nature, nursing homes, pets, photography, population, retirement homes, survival, wildlife