Animal control officer Jodi LeBombard had just stepped into the grisliest investigation of her career — the serial slaying of what would turn out to be 13 Italian greyhounds — when she opened a closet door in the apartment of their suspected killer.
Inside was a white Italian greyhound, bruised and bloodied and weighing about three pounds.
LeBombard, a deputy for Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, removed the shaking puppy from the home of Michigan State University medical student Andrew David Thompson on June 21, 2011.
“I really didn’t believe that she would (survive), but I had hopes that she would,” LeBombard said. “She was pretty injured.”
The dog known as Chloe No. 2, was taken to Southside Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Joyce Heideman diagnosed internal bleeding and fluid in the dog’s lungs. Heideman also doubted the dog would live.
But, to everyone’s surprise, Chloe No. 2 lived, becoming the lone survivor of the 13 Italian greyhounds that Thompson would, at one point, admit to having killed in fits of rage, mostly by throwing them against the wall or floor, or grabbing them by the neck and beating them.
Sometimes they died instantly, sometimes, like Chloe 2, they lingered for a few days. After one Italian greyhound died, Thompson, 24, would buy another.
The State News in Lansing told the story of the lone survivor last week, including it’s happy ending: Renamed Jezabelle, the dog now lives with Heideman and the veterinarian’s five other dogs.
Heidman said it was three days into the lethargic puppy’s recovery that she saw some hope. When taken out to go to the bathroom, the puppy saw a small leaf land nearby and, with a sudden burst of energy, pounced on it.
“That was the first time I knew she would actually live because she showed there was something in there,” Heideman said.
Six days into her recovery, Heideman adopted the puppy, taking her home to live with her two boxers, two labs and a one-eyed pit bull Heideman rescued after he was abused with a baseball bat.
“I never really thought I would actually adopt her, but I kind of fell in love,” she explained. “She snuggles up next to you, and you just feel like, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what happened today, I’m just happy now.’”
Despite her abuse, Jezabelle isn’t skittish or anxious around humans. “She seems to be a very loving and kindhearted dog that wouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone,” Heideman said.
Thompson, who was suspended from medical school after his arrest, faced 13 felony charges of animal killing in Okemos and East Lansing. He ended up pleading guilty to three of the charges and was sentenced in June to five years probation.
Judge Paula Manderfield said she saw little benefit in incarcerating him. She mandated he continue to receive psychiatric treatment, pay more than $5,000 in court fines and restitution, perform 400 hours of community service and work at least 30 hours per week.
Heideman, like many, found that sentence way too light.
“People who write bad checks get more time in jail than somebody who killed (13) dogs,” she said. “There’s something wrong with our legal system.”
More than a year after saving the puppy from a closet, Deputy LeBombard — to whom Thompson initially confessed – still drops by Heideman’s animal hospital to visit the dog.
“I get to go over there and give her hugs,” LeBombard said. “You can’t even hold her she’s so squirmy. She’s a sweetheart, and she couldn’t have gotten a better home.”
(Photos: The Italian greyhound now named Jezabelle; by Natalie Kolb / The State News. You can find more photos of Jezabelle here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew david thompson, andrew thompson, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, chloe, chloe 2, cruelty to animals, dogs, east lansing, italian greyhounds, jezabelle, jodi lebombard, joyce heideman, killed, killer, killing, lone survivor, michigan, michigan state university, okemos, pets, probation, sentence, serial murderer, southside animal hospital, survivor, veterinarian
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
When their dog Scamp was hit by a car, a Washington state family checked his seemingly lifeless body, then put him under a wheelbarrow, planning to bury him the next morning.
Paul McKinlay, 61, had been speaking with his son in his front yard in Yelm when Scamp, an 8-month-old Yorkie-shih tzu mix (not Shiatsu, as ABC News reported) slipped underneath the fence and ran into the street.
McKinlay heard a yelp and a thud and arrived at the street to find the dog motionless and the female driver crying.
“We checked to see if we felt any breathing out of his nose, and we couldn’t feel any heartbeat,” said Reta McKinlay.
Her husband wrapped the dog — who they’d brought home for their granchildren this summer — in a blanket. They placed his body under an overturned wheelbarrow so no animals could get to him, with plans to bury Scamp in the morning.
Then, they broke the news to the 6-year-old twins — granchildren who live with them.
“[Paul] was going to bury him the next morning so we went into the house and just told the kids the dog had gotten hit by a car and that he had gone to heaven like in that movie, ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven.’ My grandson was crying. He asked if [Scamp] evaporated like in the movie and I said, ‘Yes, that’s what happened.’”
But when Paul McKinlay went outside the next morning and lifted up the wheelbarrow, Scamp was sitting up.
Four days and $3,000 in vet bills later Scamp, who’d suffered a concussion, broken teeth and a possible jaw fracture, was brought home by the McKinlays — much to the suprise of their twin granchildren, who, just in case Scamp didn’t make it, hadn’t initially been told that the dog was still alive.
Mrs. McKinlay said her husband had been “distraught” that he left Scamp out in the cold, but vets told the couple that the cold temperatures could have kept the dog alive, by keeping his brain from swelling.
“Sometimes God’s just not ready to take something away,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, alive, animals, body, burial, bury, car, christmas, concussion, dead, dog, dogs, found, heartbeat, heaven, hit, miracle, outside, paul mckinlay, pets, presumed, reta mckinlay, scamp, shih-tzu, sitting, survived, survivor, washington, wheelbarrow, wrapped, yelm, yorkie
I’ve never watched “Portlandia,” but I have watched some dog park behavior — of the human variety — not unlike this.
You know the type — the ones that think they, and their dog, are somehow more important than all the rest, those with newly acquired dogs, who, because they’ve read a book, or watched “quite a few DVD’s,” are experts on all things dog.
Those bossy ones, those know-it-alls, those self-righteous, sanctimonious souls who won’t share balls.
Those overbearing, over zealous, uptight ones who’d prefer it if your dog didn’t bark, or wrestle, or drool, or run, or poop.
Let me be clear — none of my friends are like this. No, not at all. But these sorts are out there. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Except for them.
“Portlandia,” IFC’s original short-based comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, begins its second season Jan 6. It airs Fridays at 10 p.m., 9 p.m. central time.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, ball sharing, behavior, carrie brownstein, comedy, dog park, dogs, fred armisen, humans, humor, ifc, oregon, personalities, pets, portland, portlandia, quicksilver, season, second, survivor, television, tsunami, tv, video
Daniel, the miracle beagle, has a new home.
The dog who survived an Alabama gas chamber has been adopted by Joe Dwyer, a 50-year-old motivational speaker and dog trainer, his wife, Geralynn, and their daughter, Jenna.
While the family intends to continue the dual missions Daniel has already become part of — encouraging adoptions and ending the use of gas chambers to euthanize dogs — they promised that “his life as part of this family is paramount.”
“We can’t deny he has a purpose,” Dwyer of Nutley, N.J., told the Newark Star-Ledger. But, he added, “he won’t be exploited.”
The Dwyer family has four other dogs, including another famous one – Shelby, an abused pit bull Dwyer adopted and trained as a therapy dog. Dwyer wrote a book about the dog and uses her in presentations at schools about bullying.
Dwyer said Daniel may become a therapy dog some day, but for now the family will allow him to continue to be used, as he has been since his rescue, as the poster child for the campaign to end gas chambers, which are still legal in 31 states.
Estimates are Daniel is around five, but the Star-Ledger reports he was behaving like a puppy as he dashed around the yard with the family’s other dogs.
Daniel was one of a group of dogs being euthanized in the gas chamber at the local pound in Florence, Ala. When the process was completed, though, Daniel walked out of the chamber.
Word of his survival spread across the country, prompting the Rockaway, N.J.- based rescue group Eleventh Hour Rescue to take him in. He was flown to New Jersey by Pilots N Paws.
On Saturday, Daniel made his first official appearance — in Pennsylvania at a rally for a bill to ban gas chambers. That bill is named after Daniel.
(Photo of Daniel and Shelby by Jennifer Brown / Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, alabama, ban, beagle, daniel, dog trainer, eleventh hour rescue, end, euthanasia, euthanized, florence, gas chambers, joe dwyer, lethal injection, miracle, miracle dog, motivational speaker, new jersey, nutley, pit bull, rescue, shelby, survived, survivor
Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky …
– Elton John
Maybe its because those dogs have beaten such overwhelming odds, or because we like to see the underdog (and a dog can’t get more under than this) triumph; or because we all just love to see death get cheated.
Or maybe it’s because it serves as a haunting reminder — penetrating our veil of denial — that we humans shouldn’t be killing dogs by the millions, whether it’s in outdated gas chambers or by lethal injection.
In that vein (cruel pun intended), we present the case of a beagle mix named Daniel.
Daniel was one of four or five dogs (who can keep count) loaded into the gas chamber recently at the Animal Control Department in Florence, Alabama.
“It’s the toughest part of the job,” said Cody Berry, the loader.
Berry turned the death machine on, carbon monoxide seeped into the chamber, and the fumes worked their black magic.
But when Berry went to unload the corpses, Daniel stood up and walked out.
As is often, but not always the case, the pound decided not to re-gas Daniel, and instead took him to a veterinarian before seeking a rescue group that might take the death-defying dog under its care.
On Wednesday, Daniel arrived in New Jersey, where, until a permanent home is found, he’ll live in a foster home provided through the Rockaway-based Eleventh Hour Rescue, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“He’s one in a million,” said Linda Schiller, the founder of the organization.
While finding him a home is the top priority, the group also hopes to make him the next “poster child” in the campaign to end the use of gas as a form of animal euthanasia.
The practice has been banned in some states, including New Jersey.
In Alabama, it will become illegal next year under Beckham’s law, named for another dog who survived the gas chamber.
In far too many other states and counties, it continues.
The American Humane Association, among others, has been lobbying to end the use of gas chambers, which it says cost more than lethal injection and is a crueler form of death.
Daniel arrived in New Jersey, with 11 other rescued dogs, in a single-engine plane piloted by Scott Messinger, a volunteer with the group Pilots N Paws.
As soon as the 5-year-old dog was on the ground, his tail started wagging, the Star-Ledger reported.
He’ll be staying with Jill Pavlik, a volunteer with Eleventh Hour Rescue.
Roger Keyser, another Eleventh Hour volunteer predicted we’ll be hearing more about the 20-pound beagle mix who outsmarted death.
“This dog has got to have some destiny,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, alabama, american humane association, animal, beagle, campaign, cheated, daniel, death, dogs, eleventh hour rescue, euthanasia, euthanized, florence, gas chamber, gassed, home, mix, needed, new jersey, pets, pilots n paws, poster child, survived, survivor
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
Now, Mel, one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, has one, too.
As for who’s more deserving, well, you know how I feel.
Mel was only about a year old when he was seized from the Vick estate and dogfighting operation in Virginia, where he was believed to have been used as a bait dog. He was one of 47 survivors, and one of the 22 who, deemed most hopeless, were sent to Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in southern Utah.
After spending nearly two years at the Utah animal sanctuary, Mel was adopted by Richard Hunter, a Dallas radio personality and his wife Sunny, manager of VIP services for a swanky gentlemen’s club called The Lodge.
When our travels took us through Texas we met up with Hunter and Mel, joining them for a ride around town because Mel seems most comfortable in the car. Ace piled in the back seat with Mel and the Hunter’s older dog, Pumpkin.
The next time we heard from Richard Hunter, was in February, after he confronted Vick during a Dallas appearance.
Hunter, one of many who were outraged that Vick was being presented a key to the city by interim Mayor Dwaine Caraway, got as close as he could to him and offered him a chance to see his former dog Mel. Vick didn’t take him up on the offer and Hunter was shoved away by the quarterback’s entourage.
Now we get word that, over the weekend, Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt surprised Hunter by presenting him the John LaBella Award at an Eastlake Pet Orphanage banquet — and presenting Mel with a key to the city.
During the presentation, the Dallas Morning News reports, Hunt had some choice words for Caraway.
“One of my colleagues in the city of Dallas showed a grave lapse in judgment by awarding the highest honor our city an bestow – our key to the city – on someone who was entirely undeserving and someone who has shown serious cruelty and inhumanity,” she said.
Hunt then awarded Mel with a key to the city — an edible one no less.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, angela hunt, animals, bait dog, best friends, confrontation, dallas, dallas city council, dogfighting, dogs, dwaine caraway, former vick dog, interim, key to the city, mayor, mel, michael vick, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, richard hunter, sunny hunter, survivor, texas, travels with ace, vick dog
A dog who survived the tsunami was found atop the rubble of a home that had floated more than a mile out to sea — and, we’re happy to be able to confirm this time, rescued by the Japanese coast guard.
According to a report and video in The Telegraph, the dog apparently spent three weeks at sea before being spotted on the floating roof of a house, about 1.1 miles from the coast of Kesennuma.
It took a rescue team more than an hour to grab the brown brown dog, who they wrapped in a blanket and carried on a stretcher aboard the rescue boat.
Once back on the main ship, the dog, who has no identifying tags on its collar, warmed up quickly — at least to his rescuers.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, canine, coast guard, disasters, dog, dogs, earthquake, floating, japan, japanese, natural, pets, rescue, saved, sea, survivor, tsunami, video