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Tag: update

“Dog Wars” is back as “KG Dogfighting”

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.

Expressway dog Ike is thriving a year later

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)

Patrick’s gets surgery; hair mass removed

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. 

Hair mass removed from Patrick

 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)

Patrick: A video 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.

Dog keeps vigil amid tsunami’s devastation

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.

Baltic, the dog, still on the high seas

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.

Hector: Before and after

 

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.

For a video on Hector’s progress, put together by K-9 Kraving, which is documenting Hector’s response to a raw diet, combined with ample portions of love and care, click here.

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.

No way to treat a hero

Alfie the German shepherd — deemed a hero in Philadelphia a few years ago when she alerted her owners that their 2-year old son had climbed up on the roof — has been found abandoned, dehydrated and living in the feces-filled basement of an empty house.

Alfie made news 2006 when she barked to alert neighbors and parents about the child on the roof. You can find that account here.

Now she’s been found in the same home — apparently no longer occupied — where she was left to fend for herself.

SPCA officials say neighbors reported hearing barks again from the home. Alfie was found living in the basement with only two bags of food, no water and feces covering the floor. She was 15 pounds underweight and dehydrated, according to CBS 3 in Philadelphia.

“Her skin is a little bit of an issue now. She has been affected by fleas. She’s got some hair loss,” said PSPCA Veterinary Technician Angela Messer.

The SPCA said the home appears to have been unoccupied for over two months. SPCA officials told CBS 3 Alfie’s owner was cited and fined in 2004 for animal cruelty. Alfie was taken away from her owners, but later returned.

The Pennsylvania SPCA first feared Alfie’s behavior would make it difficult to put her up for adoption, but officials said she is warming up. Offers have been pouring in to put the heroic canine up in a welcoming home.

“Medically she’s OK. She’s still a little scared,” said Heather Redfern with the Pennsylvania SPCA. “We’re going to have volunteers and staff work with Alfie to try and get her to a place so that when she is out of protective custody, we can send her to a rescue or someplace that she’ll have an awesome life.”

Update: The Pennsylvania SPCA reports that Alfie is doing well and has been placed with a foster family.

 

(Photo courtesy of CBS 3)

Dog saves dog update: One died, one vanished

Officials in Santiago, Chile say they have lost hope of finding a dog whose attempted rescue of an injured animal on the highway inspired worldwide admiration — though more than eight months after it happened.

Jorge Rivas, operations manager for Vespucio Norte Highway in Santiago, said police and highway workers had searched for the dog several times to no avail, according to the Associated Press.

He said too much time has passed since the video was recorded on March 23, when a surveillance camera captured images of the apparently homeless dog pulling the body of an injured dog through busy traffic to the relative safety of a freeway median strip. The injured dog, which had been hit by vehicles, died.

Rivas said earlier reports that the incident happened on Dec. 4 were based on confusion with the date the image was first shown on local television, then picked up on numerous websites.

Broadcast of the images came on the heels of an animal welfare scandal in the Chilean capital, where officials raided an Animal Protection Society accused of mistreating and killing dogs and cats in its care. Four employees of the society face charges of animal abuse.