A blind man and his guide dog who were struck by a subway train in Manhattan Tuesday will be able to remain together — thanks to donations from members of the public touched by their story.
Cecil Williams fainted and fell on the New York City subway tracks, taking his harnessed dog, Orlando, with him.
Orlando barked for help and stayed by his side, even as the train passed over them.
In a story about the accident that aired on NBC Nightly News Tuesday night, it was reported that Orlando was slated to retire in January, and that Williams lacked the funds to continue to care for the dog afterwards, when the dog would no longer be covered by his insurance.
Since then, enough donations to their cause have been received by Guiding Eyes for the Blind to help pay for all of Orlando’s retirement expenses, and ensure that the pair’s eight-year relationship continues.
Williams, 61, was on his way to the dentist when he fainted at the 125th Street platform. Witnesses said the dog was barking and tried to stop Williams from falling, as he is trained to do. When they both landed on the tracks, Orlando tried to rouse Williams, who was unconscious. Both lay there as a slow-moving subway train passed above them.
Nieither sustained serious injuries.
“The dog saved my life,” Williams said of his Labrador retriever. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”
Williams, who is on insulin and other medications, was taken to a hospital, where Orlando remains at his bedside.
The Brooklyn man has been blind since 1995. Orlando, his second guide dog, “saves my life on a daily basis,” he said.
At a press conference Williams thanked everyone “for showing their humanity and peace and goodwill” by making donations to the guide dog school that trained Orlando.
“All the people who contribute and donated I think we should take our hat off to them,” he said. “There’s still good people in this world.”
(Photo: Williams and Orlando at press conference; by Carlo Allegri / REUTERS, via NBC)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blind, cecil williams, dog, dogs, donate, donations, fall, guide dog, guiding eyes, guiding eyes for the blind, labrador, labrador retriever, manhattan, nbc, nightly news, orlando, pets, saved, saves, subway, tracks, train, viewers
A dog left tied to train tracks in California last month has found a new home.
Unlike that day last month, when he was secured to the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, he had many options to choose from.
Officials at Riverside County’s Department of Animal Services said they received more than 1,300 emails from people interested in adopting the rescued dog they dubbed Banjo. He was found by a Union Pacific crew in Mecca, where he’d been tied to the rails by a man who told authorities the dog was no longer wanted.
The 11-month-old poodle-terrier mix went home Friday with Jeff and Louisa Moore of Huntington Beach.
“He’s so beautiful isn’t he?” Louisa (above) said to her husband, holding Banjo in her arms for the first time.
Letters of interest came in from as far away as England and Puerto Rico, but animal services officials said the Moores were chosen because they constantly checked in on Banjo via e-mail and live close to the beach and a dog park.
Jeff Moore said he and his wife applied to adopt Banjo after seeing his story on the news and Facebook.
“Tonight we’re just going to go home and hang out,” Jeff told the Desert Sun in Palm Beach. “We have a big field that’s right next to our place that about a dozen of us all go out with our dogs, and they all get along really well, so it’ll be fun introducing him to all the dogs. I’m sure they’ll love him.”
Before the couple left, Jo Marie Upegui, a veterinarian technician at Coachella Valley Animal Campus, explained to them that Banjo liked tortillas and snuggling on the couch and that he feared brooms and men in uniform.
The Moores, who also have a Tibetan terrier named Lali, said they planed to create a Facebook page to keep those interested up to date on Banjo’s new life.
Banjo’s name refers to old traffic signals on rail lines. He was discovered when a westbound train crew noticed a hunched-over man walking away from the tracks, leaving the dog behind. The crew alerted dispatchers, who stopped the eastbound train coming down the tracks to which Banjo was tied.
A 78-year-old man was questioned, but not charged. He appeared confused and possibly suffering from dementia. He told investigators his family no longer wanted the dog and didn’t know what to do with him.
(Photo: Riverside County Department of Animal Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adopted, adoption, animal services, animals, applicants, banjo, Coachella Valley Animal Campus, dog, dogs, emails, home, huntington beach, interest, mecca, mix, pets, poodle, rescue, riverside county, shelters, tied, tracks, train, union pacific, unwanted, wanted
A 60-year-old California man was killed while trying to keep his dog from being hit by a train.
Christopher Gray, of San Pablo, was walking his dog in Pinole Wednesday morning when he saw an Amtrak train coming down the tracks, near Pinole shores Park.
Contra Costa County Coroner’s investigators believe Gray was standing on the other set of tracks trying to hold his dog back from the oncoming train when a second Amtrak train came from behind and struck him.
The impact from the second train launched Gray into the path of the oncoming train, and he was run over, a deputy coroner said. His dog was also killed, CBS5 reported.
Gray was the second person this year to be killed by an Amtrak train in nearly the same spot.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, amtrak, animals, contra costa county, coroner, death, dog, dog walking, dogs, killed, news, ohmidog!, pets, pinole, railroad, rescue, san pablo, save, tracks, train, walking
A stray shih-tzu in Utah got hit by an outbound train, and hit by it again on its return route, then was rescued and taken home by the engineer.
“I saw this little guy between the rail,” said Fred Krause, a Utah Railway engineer, “and of course and it was too late to do anything about it… It breaks your heart. But there’s nothing you can do.”
Krause’s train, on its way to Kennecott, struck the dog Sunday. On his return trip to Midvale, he encountered the dog again, ABC 4 News reported.
It was as if the dog were playing a game of chicken with the train, he said.
“I’m flashing the lights, blowing the horn, trying to get him out of the rails,” Krause said. “And he just ran right down the rails at us. I tried to slow down, got it from 20 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour when we hit, thought for sure we killed him.”
The engineer was required to keep the train moving, but when he got off work, Krause, who has a shih-tzu of his own, went back to the scene to look for the dog.
“I took my flashlight and walked down the rails and saw a heap of fur and thought this is it,” Krause said. “I shined a light on him and he turned around and looked at me.”
Krause took the dog to the vet, then brought him home.
“If he can get along with Milo (his other shih-tzu) we might keep him,” Krause said. “If we can find the original owners we’ll give him back. Or if not we’ll find a home.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, animals, dog, dogs, engineer, fred krause, hit, news, ohmidog!, pets, railroad, railway, rescue, shih-tzu, stray, struck, survives, tracks, train, twice, utah, video
Fifteen years ago, more than 400 people attended the national convention of the American Greyhound Track Owners Association.
This year’s convention, in Las Vegas, is expected to draw 120, the Las Vegas Sun reports — yet another sign that greyhound racing’s days are numbered.
The recession, competition from casinos, state legislatures increasing gambling taxes and public opposition to the sport have combined to threaten the future of dog racing, but the industry’s downfall can be traced to the 1980s and 1990s when state lotteries were introduced and casinos began to spread beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Wagering on greyhound races in the United States declined from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $1.1 billion in 2007, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners.
The continued decline in dog racing has become even more painful for casino owners who are required to subsidize the tracks as a condition of operating casinos with slot machines.
As Roy Berger, executive vice president of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin, which closed last year, put it: “The product became an antique. We were an 8-track cassette store in a world of CDs.”
(Photo: American Greyhound Track Owners Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, association, casinos, closings, closures, convention, dairyland, decline, dogs, dwindling, fading, future, gambling, greyhound, greyhounds, las vegas, news, pets, shrinking, sports, track owners, tracks, wagering, wagers