Star, the pit bull shot in the face by New York City police last month, is walking, playing with toys and eating on her own.
But she’s doing all that with one eye — veterinarians had to remove one damaged from the shooting — and her hearing is not what it used to be.
Star was guarding her master, who was having a seizure on a sidewalk, when she lunged at a police officer that stepped toward her. She was shot in the head and left in a pool of blood as a crowd gathered, many of whom who can be heard in a video of the incident questioning why police weren’t doing anything to help the dog, or the man.
Star underwent surgery Monday to remove her left eye and metal fragments wedged in her skull, and was transferred into the custody of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of rescue groups and shelters. The Alliance is not disclosing her specific location.
“She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the Animal Care & Control.
“She has a lot of healing to do,” Steve Gruber, director of communications for the Mayor’s Alliance, told People.com.
The man she was trying to protect the day she was shot, identified as Lech Stankiewicz, hasn’t reclaimed Star.
Gruber said the Alliance hopes to find a caretaker for her “who can really understand what she’s been through.”
To contribute to Star’s care, you can donate here.
(Photo: New York City Animal Care & Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal control, animals, care, dogs, donate, eye, hearing, lost, new york city, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, recovery, seizure, shooting, shot, star, update, veterinary, victim
Topaz, the pit bull who lost a leg after being caught in a barrage of police gunfire in Inglewood more than three years ago, is in need of a home in the Los Angeles area.
The health of her human, a formerly homeless man named Michael Reed, has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer care for her, and can barely care for himself, say those trying to help out the once inseparable pair.
I met the two of them three years ago in Los Angeles, after spotting Reed, his shopping cart and his three-legged dog walking down the sidewalk.
They were homeless at the time, and just recently reunited.
He told me their story: how police opened fire on another homeless man they thought was pulling a gun in Inglewood. The gun turned out to be a toy, but that wasn’t discovered until, 47 shots later, Eddie Franco had been killed, and Topaz had been struck by four or five bullets.
Reed, by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, was taken into custody, and his possessions, Topaz included, were confiscated.
He was later released – but he was given no information about his dog. Having watched as she went down in the hail of gunfire, he presumed she was dead.
Two days later, though, a message was relayed to Reed that his dog was alive.
Months before the incident, Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, founder of Streetsmarts Rescue, had seen Reed and his dog on the street, collecting recyclables, and stopped to talk to him. She placed one of her organization’s rescue tags on Topaz, who otherwise had no identification, and Reed gave her his stepmother’s phone number.
When the animal shelter in Carson — where Topaz was taken after the shooting — saw the tag, they called Ingrid and she relayed the news to Reed.
Ingrid started trying to raise money for the pair then, to cover the cost of Topaz’ veterinary care, and — because of their additional misfortunes – she hasn’t stopped since.
For a while, things were looking up. Michael got off the streets and moved into a trailer, but not long after that he learned he was terminally ill with cirrhosis of the liver, and that Topaz had cancer.
Topaz had surgery again, and Michael has been in and out of the hospital. During one recent stay, another member of the rescue was caring for Topaz when he noticed a mass around her vulva, which led to yet another operation for Topaz.
Ingrid – that’s her narrating the video at the top of this post — says that operation went well, and early signs, though biopsy results are still pending, indicate Topaz may be cancer free. Her hospital stay, surgery and treatment cost more than $3,500, which Ingrid is still trying to raise.
Michael, meanwhile, has continued to decline, mentally and physically – so much so that the man who so graciously let me take photos of him and his dog three years ago, isn’t allowing his photo to be taken anymore.
He gets incommunicative, and neglects to take his medications, friends say.
“We have no more money for rent for him,” Ingrid said, “and unless his SSI kicks in soon, he will need to move out of the trailer … He has no family and he really needs care every day to maintain him.”
That’s led the rescue to intensify its efforts to find Topaz a new home, preferably one that will allow the dog to continue to make visits to Reed.
It’s also still trying to pay off the veterinary bills. Donations can be made via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, california, cancer, care, cirrhosis, costs, dog, dogs, donations, expenses, health, home, homeless, illness, inglewood, ingrid hurel-diourbel, liver, los angeles, michael, michael and topaz, michael reed, needs, pets, pit bull, police, rescue, shooting, shot, streetsmarts rescue, surgeries, terminal, three-legged, topaz, update, veterinary
With a promised break in the stifling heat, I decided to put Ace to the test on Saturday — giving him that long walk he has seemed to be wanting but I, due to his episode last week, wasn’t permitting.
It was only about a two and a half mile trek, round trip, and I planned a stop for lunch before we returned. What I hadn’t planned on — based on the TV weatherman’s promise of a cooler day — was the heat. (I assure you nothing bad is ahead, don’t worry.)
Our destination was Reynolda Village — part of what was once tobacco baron R.J. Reynolds estate — and in particular a little restaurant there with outdoor seating that we go to regularly, though by car.
It’s about a 1.5 mile drive, but I figured a shortcut through the grounds of another famous Winston-Salem mansion, Graylyn, would shave about a half mile off our round trip walk.
We cut through a residential area and into the immaculately landscaped grounds of Graylyn, where, of course, Ace — who tends to hold his bowel movements in until we arrive at immaculately landscaped areas — dropped his load.
I, of course, then got to tote it across the sweeping grounds, past the 46,000-square-foot home, and all the way to the next mansion, where we finally found a Dumpster.
Graylyn, like Reynolda, was owned by a tobacco executive. The 87-acre plot was purchased from R.J. Reynolds, by Nathalie and Bowman Gray.
Bowman Gray, a son of the founder of Wachovia, was chairman of R.J. Reynolds, Inc., when construction started in 1927. The 60-room home was completed a year and a half later. In 1932 Gray and his family moved in. Three years later, Bowman Gray died aboard a ship in the northern Atlantic while vacationing with his family.
In 1946 his widow and sons gave the estate to Wake Forest University’s medical school, which now bears his name. At the time, the university was located in Wake Forest, N.C., but, 10 years later, it would move to Winston-Salem.
Operated by the medical school, Graylyn served as a teaching psychiatric hospital until 1959, and was then used for academic programs.
In 1980, during an outdoor concert at Graylyn by the Winston-Salem symphony, the third floor of the mansion caught fire, and more than 7,000 people are said to have watched it burn. The next day, the president of the university said it would be rebuilt and restored to its original condition.
I’ve never been inside — for a peek you can check out this slide show — but the grounds are impressive, with sweeping laws, massive weeping willow trees, outlying cottages, bridges, fountains and ponds.
We ambled through, then crossed Reynolda Road, into the former estate of R.J. Reynolds, known as Reynolda.
By then our slow pace had slowed even more, Ace was panting and I was watching him like a hawk, while assuring him we were almost at our destination.
At Simply Yummy, we grabbed an outside table and were brought some much needed water, which Ace slurped down before meeting the dog at the next table, a mixed breed named Kelpie, adopted from a shelter in Florida.
We’d walked so slowly that breakfast was no longer being served, so I opted for a bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich, which Ace shared with me.
Ace got most of the bacon, while the toxic-to-dogs avocado (didn’t I tell you to stop worrying?) was all mine.
We lingered over more water, then got up for the long trek home. Back at Graylyn, we stopped and sat for a while in a shady spot under a weeping willow tree, then kept walking, keeping to the shade as much as possible.
By the time we were back on our own road, we were both dragging, but when I unleashed him, Ace broke into a trot until he got to the front door. Inside he lapped up water, then collapsed with a harrumph on the air conditioner vent.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, bowman gray, dogs, graylyn, health, heat, mansions, north carolina, pets, recovery, reynolda, reynolda village, road trip, simply yummy, travels with ace, update, wakek forest university, walk, winston-salem
After a brief hiatus due to copyright infringement concerns, “Dog Wars” — the controversial game app for Android smartphones — is back on the online marketplace, where it’s being offered under the new name of “KG Dogfighting.”
Google’s Android Market website began offering the renamed app Saturday. While originally available for free, it’s now listed at $2.99.
A Google representative said the application was removed last week ”based on a trademark infringement complaint” but did not say at the time whether it would be sold again if those issues were resolved, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The game application allows players to raise and train a virtual pit bull to fight other virtual dogs, garnering streed “cred” and “money in your pocket,” according to its developers.
Among those who have filed complaints about the application with Google is the president of Los Angeles police officer’s union.
In the letter sent to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber urged Google “to do the right thing and ban this game permanently.”
“The game teaches users how to breed, train, fight, medicate and kill virtual dogs,” Weber wrote. “The entire concept is repulsive and sickening.”
Animal welfare groups, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have voiced concerns about the game and urged it be removed from the market.
Kage Games, the creators of the Dog Wars application, said in an email to The Times that the game was meant to educate the public on the evils of animal cruelty.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animal cruelty, animal welfare, ap, application, aspca, controversy, dog wars, dogfighting app, game, gamers, games, google, hsus, kage games, kg dogfighting, los angeles, market, marketplace, news, peta, pit bulls, police, return, smartphone, union, update
A year ago he was a hapless stray, dodging traffic on Chicago’s Eisenhower Expressway.
Ike, as he was dubbed after his rescue, is no longer living life in the fast lane, but instead enjoying all the comforts of a new home, the Chicago Tribune reports. He’s even had some face time with the governor, Pat Quinn.
“He’s very, very happy and very healthy,” said Steve Zorn, who owns Precious Pets Almost Home, which handled Ike’s adoption.
A year ago, those who viewed video of the black and brown pit bull dodging morning traffic — for two days in a row, as TV helicopters tracked him — wondered if he’d make it out alive.
A Broadview police officer finally snagged him when Ike exited the expressway. When no one claimed him, he was put up for adoption and now lives in the north suburbs, where his best friend is the family cat.
“They cuddle up and sleep together,” Zorn said.
Ike has his own Facebook page, which features this photo and more.
(Photo: Ike and the governor, by Steve Zorn, of Precious Pets Almost Home)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, cars, chicago, dodging, dog, dogs, eisenhower, expressway, governor, highway, ike, ike update, illinois, news, pat quinn, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, precious pets almost home, rescue, rescued, steve zorn, traffic, tv, update, video
Patrick, the dog found starved nearly to death after he was dumped down a high-rise apartment building’s trash chute in Newark, now weighs in at more than 35 pounds.
And that’s without the petrified hairball that was surgically removed from his stomach this week.
Dr. Jason Pintar, an internist at Garden State Veterinary Specialists, removed the long flat hair mass from Patrick’s stomach using a video endoscopic procedure while Patrick was under anesthesia.
After the hair mass was removed, Patrick was transferred to another surgery suite for neutering, Associated Humane Societies in New Jersey reportsAfter surgery, he’ll still need treatment for mange, and physical therapy for weak rear legs, AHS says.
The non-profit organization says it’s receiving thousands of emails a day — and that it has been contacted by several people who say Patrick was their dog. Some say he ran away, some say he was stolen, and one told AHS they’d contacted an attorney.
Also casting a cloud over Patrick’s story is the emergence of people hoping to profit off his name and image.
The number of Internet sites related to him — some well-intentioned, some not — has steadily grown, and some are selling ”Patrick” items such as t-shirts, keychains and posters, and using his story to ”solicit funds for their own use,” AHS says.
(Photos: Courtesy of Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, associated humane societies, chute, cruelty to animals, discarded, dog, dogs, hair mass, hairball, neutered, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, recovery, scams, surgery, trash, treatment, update
Here’s a video update posted by the Newark Star-Ledger yesterday on Patrick — the starved, abused and discarded pit bull who has captured America’s heart.
Two weeks have passed since Patrick was rescued — minutes before the bin he was in was headed to the trash compactor — after being tossed down a garbage chute in a high-rise Newark apartment building.
Caregivers at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls say Patrick continues to improve, but an ultrasound shows that he has an object lodged in his stomach.
Once he gains a little more weight, vets will perform an endoscopy to remove whatever might be lodged inside him.
The Associated Humane Society of Newark, which has official custody of Patrick, will determine who adopts Patrick once he is completely healed. Thousands across the country have expressed interest.
Kisha Curtis, who has been identified as the dog’s owner, has been charged with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, according New Jersey SPCA officials. The charges — two criminal counts and two civil counts — carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service.
Curtis told police that she couldn’t take care of Patrick anymore, but she denies responsibility for tossing the 1 year-old dog down the apartment garbage chute.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adopt, animal welfare, animals, apartment, arrest, associated humane societies, bin, charges, chute, compactor, cruelty, dog, dogs, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, kisha curtis, neglect, new jersey, patrick, pets, pit bull, rescue, trash, update, video
We don’t know the story behind these two dogs — other than they are obvious victims of the tsunami in Japan.
We don’t know the outcome — whether they’ve been rescued or not.
We don’t know what the commentator is saying.
But we do know this: It’s going to make you cry.
The video was brought to our attention by Karen, an American living in Yokohama, Japan.
“I’ve been a fan of your blog for some time, and today I want to bring your attention to a news footage uploaded on YouTube about two dogs surviving in the ruins of a city destroyed by the tsunami.
“It was filmed by a TV crew of Fuji Television, who mistakenly attributed the dog’s behavior as ‘stay away’ when in fact it was probably seeking help for the second dog, which the reporter assumed was dead.
“The dogs apparently were just left there, and there is no update as to whether they were subsequently rescued (I doubt they were). People have been writing to Fuji Television asking that they disclose the whereabouts of the dogs and assist in their rescue.
“I hope you can write about this the dog that stayed behind to take care of its friend, and ask your readers to pray for the dogs’ safety.”
UPDATE: An unconfirmed report states the two dogs have been rescued. Kenn Sakurai, whose Facebook page describes him as the president of a Japanese pet food company who is helping with the rescue of animals, reports on Facebook that the two dogs have been rescued:
“We have already got these dog … Both dogs brought to Mito, Ibaraki. One is staying at the vet clinic and the brown and white one is at the shelter,” he wrote.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aid, animals, dogs, earthquake, fuji television, help, japan, kenn sakurai, loyal, pets, tsunami, two dogs, update, video
One year after he was rescued from an ice floe, Baltic remains on the high seas — just not in them.
The crew of a Polish ship, named Baltica, pulled the dog from the icy waters of the Baltic Sea after observing him struggling. The dog was first seen on an ice floe in the Vistula River. Some estimated at the time that he traveled 70 miles atop the floe on the river, then another 20 miles out to sea.
Several people came forward wanting to adopt Baltic after his story gained headlines around Europe, but his rescuer Adam Buczynski decided to keep him.
Despite his bad experience, the dog is now there regularly at sea, serving as the research ship’s pet and mascot. He shows signs of anxiety when the sea is rough but sails around happily with the crew when it is calm, Buczynski said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adam buczynski, animals, baltic, baltic sea, baltica, dog, dogs, floe, headlines, ice, mascot, news, one year later, pets, poland, polish, rescued, research, saved, sea, ship, update, video, vistula river
It’s time for an update on Hector — the scraggly and toothless American Eskimo dog who, when we first met him, looked every bit as down on his luck as he was.
Since then, Hector, as we reported, found a new long term foster care home, has been enjoying free K-9 Kraving Raw Diet dog food (easier on the gums), has been checked out by more vets and specialists — with more visits ahead — and got himself spiffed up with a grooming (also contributed by K-9 Kraving) from Kelly at Dogma.
Here’s what he’s looking like these days.
In addition to the before and after, we’ve gotten some information that predates before. We still don’t know anything about Hector’s life prior to BARCS — though suspicions are he may have had his teeth removed so he could be a bait dog for dogfighters. But we do have new information on how he ended up at BARCS.
Tom Askey, who teaches American Government to 10th graders at Patterson High School, said Hector was found lingering around the door to the school, cold and shaking.
“When I tried to get close to him to see if he was okay, he ran from me towards the ball fields and Lombard Street. He then ran across a busy Kane Street into an area that was fenced in by the City Sanitation facility. He was cornered and super-sweet. Just layed down in a pile of garbage. I called a friend at school who I knew wasn’t teaching and owned a dog while I stayed there and talked to him. He drove over to us, gave me his dog’s leash and we fashioned a leash without a collar…
“But I didn’t have a break till 1:30 and it was only 10:30. I left my car running (a little dicey in that neighborhood and with 1500 high school students there), gave him my lunch, and then had my students go out and periodically check on him. They brought him water and all kinds of love. I brought him down to BARCS and prayed for the best. I called BARCS once, but didnt want to get bad news about him so I kind of let it go.”
Askey continued: “I was so touched by your posts/video on him and the progress videos that are posted on the K-9 Kraving website. The fact that people are doing such great things with him really moves me. In a town full of stray animals and badly-behaving humans, Im still struggling to grasp that this little dog I found is getting so much attention and love. Really really heart-warming.”
Hector was pulled from BARCS by Sallyann Jennings, on behalf of the rescue group Stop Killing Dogs. Since then, a number of people have stepped in to help him out. Tobey McGuinness provided short term foster care, and Hector’s now living in a long term foster home with Dave Adams, owner of FlexPrint Graphics.
Several veterinary organizations have also offered to assess Hector’s issues. He’s a little wobbly on the back end, and may have some hearing problems, which could be related to sinus issues and gaping holes in his mouth from tooth extraction. We’ll keep you updated on those as well in the weeks ahead.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american eskimo dog, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue and care, barcs, dave adams, dogma, hector, k-9 kraving, ohmidog!, patterson high school, pet project, progress, rehabilitating, rehabilitation, stop killing dogs, tom askey, update