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 John Woestendiek 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 John Woestendiek 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 John Woestendiek 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 John Woestendiek 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 John Woestendiek 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
A truly ugly act took place this morning in a truly beautiful place: A dog was dragged two miles to his death at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.
The dog – a German shepherd, or shepherd-blue heeler mix — was found with a silver and blue rope around its neck by the chief of maintenance at the monument about 4:30 a.m., according to a park press release.
“This was an incredible act of cruelty done to a defenseless animal,” Joan Anzelmo, superintendent of the monument told The Denver Post. “It is a sickening, sickening type of crime. We are leaving no stone unturned.”
In terms of despicability, we’d have to rank it up there with the dog thrown off a bridge in Lithuania — and it’s a reminder, too, that we in America, despite all the do-gooding when it comes to dogs, have a long way to go as well when it comes to protecting animals from the depraved individuals among us.
Anzelmo said tracks left in the snow clearly show the dog initially walked behind the car, then ran and then was dragged when it couldn’t keep up with the vehicle. Once dead, it was untied from the vehicle and dumped.
She said the dog was pulled up one of the steepest hills at the monument, through two inches of snow and multiple switchbacks, and either ran or was dragged as the car climbed 1,000 feet in elevation.
The animal was neutered and showed no signs of previous abuse, she said. A veterinary pathologist from Colorado State University will perform a necropsy on the dog.
Anzelmo said rewards will be offered to apprehend the persons responsible, and that some tips have already come in over a tip line established as part of the investigation: 970-712-2798. Callers may remain anonymous.
“The employees of Colorado National Monument are sickened by this heinous act and are determined to find the person who committed this cruel crime,” the park press release said.
(For subsequent posts and all of our coverage of Buddy, click here.)
(Photos: National Park Service)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, car, colorado national monument, crime, dog, dragged, dragging, extreme, grand junction, graphic, heeler, hills, joan anzelmo, monument, necropsy, pulled, rope, shepherd, superintendent, switchbacks, tied, tracks, two miles, warning
Greyhound rescuers in Wisconsin are preparing to find homes for hundreds of racing dogs that will lose their jobs when Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, the last of Wisconsin’s five greyhound racing tracks, closes at the end of the year.
Pat Zimmerman of Fond du Lac, a member of Heart Bound Greyhound Adoption, estimated between 300 and 900 dogs will need to find homes. The group will be taking many of the dogs into foster homes to prepare them for adoption, according to the Post Crescent in Appleton.
Zimmerman said that some of the racing greyhounds will go home with their owners, others will be relocated to out-of-state racetracks, and a third group will go back to racing farms to be bred.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reported, the state chapter of Greyhound Pets of America is trying to quell a rumor being circulated through email and Facebook claiming 900 greyhounds could be killed if they’re not adopted soon.
In addition to the closing in Wisconsin, hundreds more greyhounds will be in need of homes in connection with the closing at the end of this year of Phoenix Greyhound Park, one of three remaining dog tracks in Arizona.
For a list of links to greyhound adoption websites, visit Grey2kusa.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, arizona, close, closing, closures, dairyland, euthanasia, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhound park, greyhound pets of america, greyhounds, heart bound, homes, kenosha, needed, phoenix, racers, racing, rumor, tracks, wisconsin
Greyhound racing is nearing the finish line in Wisconsin.
Dairyland Greyhound Park, in Kenosha — the last operating track in the state – announced Tuesday it will close its doors after racing ends Dec. 31.
Dairyland was one of five Wisconsin tracks that opened after a 1987 amendment to the state constitution allowed for a state-run lottery and legalized parimutuel betting. The others closed earlier, unable to compete with the state’s tribal casino offerings that began to emerge in the 1990s.
According to the Kenosha News, the 19-year-old track has lost $17 million over the last seven years.
Dairyland has remained in operation in recent years with the hope that the Menominee Nation wins federal and state approval to develop a $1 billion casino complex on the site. The tribe is now in litigation to overturn a January denial of the project.
Closing the track will put about 180 people out of work, and, track officials say, leave the 900 dogs that race at the facility in need of homes.
If you’re interest in adopting, here’s how to find a greyhound rescue near you.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopting, adoption, animal welfare, betting, cease, closing, dairyland, dog, dogs, ending, gambling, greyhound, greyhound rescue, greyhounds, homes, industry, jobs, kenosha, needed, racing, rescue, shutting down, stop, track, tracks, wisconsin
Twenty greyhounds died or were euthanized after races in Texas last year, according to records obtained by GREY2K USA, a Massachusetts-based group seeking to end dog racing nationally.
The 20 were among more than 310 that had minor-to-major injuries.
Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of Grey2K, said the figures from the Texas Racing Commission show the need to halt an industry in which dead and injured dogs are considered “a cost of doing business.”
Breeders and track proponents say the injuries and deaths represent just a tiny percentage, when compared to the tens of thousands of times dogs collectively race around tracks. Nearly two-thirds of 2008 injuries were rated as minor, according to the commission.
“For us, that’s like saying no dogs should be athletic,” Diane Whiteley, a breeder and executive director of the Texas Greyhound Association, told the Houston Chronicle. “Anybody that’s ever had a greyhound that’s been injured feels awful about that. They’re like your kids.”
Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, the only Texas track that currently has live dog racing, accounted for most of the 2008 injuries with its year-round racing schedule. Valley Race Park in Harlingen raced part of last year and since has taken a break in live racing.
(Photo by Denise McFadden, courtesy of Grey2kusa.org)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, christine dorchak, deaths, dogs, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhounds, gulf greyhound park, harlingen, injuries, la marque, races, racing, texas, texas racing commission, tracks, valley race park
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has purchased controlling interests of dog racing tracks in Mobile and Pensacola, according to at least one racing official.
The purchase still requires approval by the National Indian Gaming Association, according to Al.com.
The tribe owns two casinos in Alabama — the Riverside Entertainment Center in Wetumpka and the Tallapoosa Entertainment Center in Montgomery.
Gov. Bob Riley has been strongly against gambling in Alabama throughout his two terms, and has stirred controversy in recent months with his opposition to so-called bingo machines. Riley’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling has confiscated a number of gambling machines.
The tribe had long been one of the primary opponents of allowing gambling machines at the dog tracks in Mobile and Pensacola.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, creek indians, dog, florida, gambling, greyhound, mobile, national indian gaming association, pensacola, poarch band, racing, tracks