A wandering veteran who lost his dog while living out of his camper in Utah has been reunited with him, thanks to a chance encounter, a blog entry, and a woman who had a feeling someone was missing the dog her father brought home.
Rusty Reed woke up on a summer morning earlier this year and tied his dog, Timber, to a 50-foot leash so he could get a little more sleep. When he awoke, Timber was gone, having pulled free of his collar.
Reed searched for three days, until, with wildfires approaching, he was forced to leave the area. He went back to Arizona, grieved, felt guilty and gave up on hopes for finding his dog. Two weeks later, he threw away Timber’s toys and dog food.
But the story – told, quite beautifully, in yesterday’s Arizona Republic, in an article by Scott Craven — has a happy ending.
Here’s the beginning: Reed came into possession of Timber three years ago. He was visiting Washington and ran into a friend who owed him money. The friend asked if he’d rather have cash or a dog.
“The dog,” Reed recalls having said. “A dog lasts longer than money.”
Calling Flagstaff, Arizona, home in the summer, and wintering in Lake Havasu City, Reed would walk Timber every day — either on a six-foot leash, which Reed called the “walkin’ leash,” or a 50 foot leash, which he called the “explorin’ leash.”
And when Reed hit the road in his camouflage-painted 1975 pick-up truck, which it sounds like he did often, Timber would come along.
Earlier this year, while camping, Reed met a woman named Sue Rogers, who was living the gypsy lifestyle as well in a camper with her two dogs, and blogging about her adventures at rvsueandcrew.com.
Four months after she posted about meeting him, Rogers heard from Reed again, who called to tell her about losing Timber.
“Rusty starts a tale I immediately sense is not going to have a happy ending,” she wrote on her blog after the talk.
Shortly after midnight on Aug. 26, Rogers posted a piece about Timber going missing, which led to numerous comments, and a few of her readers turning detective in hopes of helping locate the homeless veteran’s dog.
One of those posted a notice that, according to Fidofinder.com, a shepherd mix had been found July 10 near Loa, Utah. The listing included no photos, but Rogers contacted the poster and forwarded photos of Timber to her.
When Daisy Pettem, of Boulder, Colo., looked at the photos, she tried the name on the dog her family was calling Willy.
His ears went up.
Her father had found the dog as he camped outside Loa in early July and, unable to locate an owner, brought him home.
Pettem said that, given how sociable the dog was, she knew he belonged to someone, and that someone was likely missing him. It was she who posted the ”found dog” notice on Fidofinder.com.
Pettem communicated with Rogers, and then Reed, who, when he called her, asked her to put the phone to the dog’s ear.
“To to Timber, how are you boy? Daddy’s Number One Timber,” Reed said. Timber barked.
After some repairs to his pick-up, Reed headed to Longmont, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. He heard Timber barking when he stopped his truck.
Timber jumped out of an RV and dragged the holder of his leash over to Reed.
“Daddy’s here, boy, daddy’s back,” Reed said.
(Photo: Stephen Root / 12 News)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, blog, bloggers, blogging, camper, daisy pettem, dog, dogs, fidofinders, found, homeless, pets, returned, reunion, reunited, road, rusty reed, rvsueandcrew, sue rogers, timber, traveling, utah, veteran
Salt Lake County Council member Arlyn Bradshaw brought the proposal to the board of health, which voted 12-to-1 Thursday morning in favor of it.
Modeled after an ordinance in Dallas, the new rule lets restaurants that choose to do so permit dogs in their outdoor eating areas, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Board of health member Derk Timothy, the mayor of Bluffdale, originally opposed the measure, but ended up among those approving it.
“My original instinct was I wouldn’t want to eat at a place that had dogs,” he said before the meeting. “You don’t know where the dogs have been or what they’ve licked.”
But he left the meeting believing restaurant owners should make their own decision.
“I think it’s allowing businesses to have a choice,” the mayor said. “They may eliminate some customers and they may be gaining some.”
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Alvin Stosich was among those voting against the change, saying he was worried about diners’ safety.
“I’ve treated many dog bite injuries to the face,” he said. “It’s always family dogs that have done it.”
(Photo: Jarrett Hallas, a supporter of the proposal, with his dogs Ella and Murphy; by Rick Egan / Salt Lake City Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, animals, areas, board of health, county council, dining, dining with dogs, dog, dog friendly, dogs, eating, outdoor, patios, pet friendly, pets, restaurants, salt lake, salt lake county, seating, utah
The policy change — modeled after one in Dallas — would not force restaurants to let dogs sit outside with their owners; it would only permit them to do so if they so choose.
The board of health is seeking feedback from residents on the proposed regulation change, according to the Salt Lake Tribune
In Dallas, a “Paws on the Patio” initiative four years ago led to 64 restaurants deciding to participate, with few problems.
“Every now and then, we’ll get one about a dog in a restaurant or dogs on the patio sitting in a chair,” said Matt Cloninger, Dallas sanitarian supervisor. “But we don’t get a lot of complaints.”
Salt Lake County Council member Arlyn Bradshaw, who brought the proposal to the board of health, said he has received “overwhelmingly supportive” feedback on the idea.
“The general thought in terms of what restaurant owners have told the board is they appreciate the option,” he said. “There probably won’t be a wave of restaurants doing this.”
Cities inside the county that want to participate would have to modify their own law if it’s in conflict with the new dog regulation.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, change, choice, dining, dining with dog, dog, dog friendly, dogs, eating, health laws, law, outside, patio, pets, restaurants, salt lake county, seating, utah
More than four years after Little Red came to Best Friends from the dogfighting ring that operated on NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s property, she has been officially adopted.
Susan, a longtime Best Friends supporter from the Midwest, saw Little Red’s photo not long after she arrived at the Utah animal sanctuary — one of 22 former Vick dogs sent to Best Friends for rehabilitation.
“There was something about her eyes,” said Susan who became a sponsor of Little Red, contributing to her care at Best Friends.
A year after that, Susan visited Best Friends with her sister. She hoped to meet Little Red then, but wasn’t allowed to because all of the former Vick dogs were court-ordered to be kept apart from all non-staff at the sanctuary.
A year later, Susan was back again, and by this time, Little Red had moved to an area where Susan could at least see her from a distance.
Still another year later, in February 2011, Susan returned to volunteer again. This time, she was able to volunteer where Little Red lived, but still wasn’t allowed to interact with her directly.
But she did get to see her every day, for a week.
After that week, Susan began wondering about the possibility of bringing Little Red home with her, and she applied to adopt her.
Last September, Susan was cleared to take Little Red home as a foster dog. According to court orders, all former Vick dogs have to first be fostered for a period of six months before they can be adopted.
Last month, those six months came to an end, and Susan recently returned to Best Friends with Little Red to fill out the final adoption paperwork.
“She’s done fabulously well,” Susan says.
It took a little while for Little Red to feel confident in her new surroundings. She was leery of the wide-open spaces on Susan’s six-acre, fenced property. For weeks, she stayed next to the fence. Now though, Little Red makes full use of the space, and enjoys playing with Susan’s other four dogs.
“She runs like the wind!” Susan said.
(Photo and video courtesy of Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoptions, animal sanctuary, animals, best friends, dog, dog fighting, dogs, little red, michael vick, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rehabilitation, sponsor, utah, vick dogs, vicktory dogs, volunteer
Alan Askwith didn’t mean to shoot his wife. He meant, his own lawyer says, to shoot his dog.
But apparently hitting the right target can be difficult when one is driving, allegedly under the influence, down an interstate highway with three kids in the backseat.
Yesterday, Askwith, 29, of Richfield, Utah, was being held at the Utah County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail on charges that included felony discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cruelty to animals, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune
Highway Patrol Corporal Todd Johnson said the shooting took place somewhere on southbound Interstate 15 in southern Utah County last Friday.
“For some unknown reason, the driver decided to shoot the dog and also hit the female passenger in the lower leg,” Johnson said.
Askwith’s defense attorney, Clayton Simms of Salt Lake City, said Wednesday that Askwith shot the animal when it began snarling. Askwith then pulled over and dumped the dog on I-15, and tossed his handgun out of his SUV.
The dog – a 115-pound pit bull, named “Arby” — was later picked up by relatives, taken for treatment and, according to Simms, is expected to recover.
Simms said Askwith told him he was concerned the pit bull posed a risk to his wife, and to three children sitting in the back of his vehicle.
Askwith drove his wife to Central Valley Hospital in Nephi — see, everybody has their redeeming qualities – where she was treated for what authorities described as a non-life threatening wound.
Another trooper, at the hospital for another matter, arrested Askwith after learning what happened and took him into custody after a brief foot chase.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arby, arrest, askwith, attorney, charges, dangerous, dog, dogs, dumped, hazard, highway, hospital, humans, injured, interstate, pets, pit bull, risk, safety, salt lake city, shooting, shot, snarling, survived, utah, wife
Robert Cottingham was duck hunting when he took a shotgun blast to his buttocks — fired, from all indications, by Piper, a yellow Labrador that belonged to a hunting companion.
The 46-year-old resident of Brigham City, Utah, was was hunting Sunday with his son and brother-in-law at the north end of the Great Salt Lake near a bird refuge, said Box Elder County Sherriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.
The victim told Fox 13 that the dog was in a marshy area of the lake and jumped into the boat, triggering a 12-gauge shotgun resting inside of it.
Cottingham was taken to the hospital where 27 birdshot pellets — most but not all of those he was struck by – were removed from his backside.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blast, boat, box elder county, buttocks, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, duck, ducks best friend, gun safety, hunter, hunting, hunting accident, news, pets, robert cottingham, shot, shotgun, utah, video, yellow lab
Officials say the machine was working just fine, and pumped in the carbon monoxide like it was supposed to.
But when the cat, named Andrea, was removed, she still showed some signs of life.
So they put her in again.
After the second gassing, they checked for vital signs, pronounced her dead, put her in a plastic bag, and put that in a cooler.
But Andrea came back again.
“For whatever reason as time went on the cat came back to life,” said Aaron Crim, the shelter’s director of public relations.
The shelter workers decided not to try a third time. “It was just one of those things where they thought this cat obviously really wants to live,” Crim said. “Let’s give it a chance to find a permanent home.”
Andrea was cleaned up and taken home by Janita Coombs, a volunteer with the Community Animal Welfare Society
“She’s pretty tough, obviously,” Coombs told the Salt Lake Tribune. “She’s definitely got some will to live.”
Coombs is keeping the cat at her home until plans are finalized for a permanent adoption.
“When we first got her, she had some difficulty walking,” said Coombs. “When they found her hypothermic in the freezer she had vomited and defecated on herself, but she has since seemed to recover quite well … If you just look at her she looks perfectly healthy.”
No More Homeless Pets in Utah says about 30,000 animals were euthanized in the state in 2010; nearly 25,000 were adopted.
(Photo by Djamila Grossman / Salt Lake Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrea, animal shelter, animals, carbon monoxide, cats, cheated, death, euthanasia, euthanized, gas, janita coombs, kill, lives, pets, salt lake city, shelters, stray, survives, twice, utah, west valley city
How many times are we going to keep reporting what’s basically the same story — a service dog getting kicked out of a restaurant or other business?
As often as we hear about it — and whether it’s a guide dog, a seizure-detecting dog or just a dog who is helping keep his or her owner on an even emotional keel.
Such was the mission of Junior P. Smith, a registered service dog who helps calm his owner, Don Smith, when he suffers anxiety attacks.
Don and Junior P. (alas, we don’t know what the “P” stands for) were asked to leave a restaurant in Clearfield, Utah, this week.
The owner of the Star Cafe, Litung Liu, told the Standard-Examiner that Junior — a Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix — was running around, trying to play with other customers, prompting him to tell Smith to leave.
Smith called police, saying the restaurant couldn’t kick out a service animal under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Smith’s psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City helped him register Junior as a service animal so he could bring the dog with him everywhere he goes. Whenever he starts to feel anxious, Smith says, he just reaches down and pets Junior, and the anxiety goes away.
“I rescued him when he was a puppy, and now he rewards me the rest of his life by helping me function in society,” Smith said. “He’s given back to me more than I could ever give to him.”
Smith said that although he had been in the cafe several times before with his dog, the owner approached him Tuesday and told him Junior had to leave.
Smith said Junior was on his leash and stayed under a table while in the restaurant.
Restaurant owner Litung Liu defended his actions by saying, “The dog just runs around and goes anywhere, even when I tell (Smith) not to allow it … We are a restaurant, and people are eating here. If the dog is quiet, it’s OK. If the dog goes around and plays around with other people, that is not OK.”
When a police officer arrived at the restaurant, he too told Smith to leave.
Clearfield Police Assistant Chief Mike Stenquist confirmed that, according to the officer’s report, the officer asked Smith to leave at the request of the owner.
“We’ll have to review on our end (to see) if that was appropriate,” Stenquist said.
(Photo: Erin Hooley / Standard-Examiner)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: americans with disabilities act, animals, anxiety, chihuahua, clearfield, disabiliity, disabilities, dogs, don smith, jack russell, junior, junior p. smith, pets, police, service dog, service dogs, star cafe, utah
Fadidle, a miniature pinscher who disappeared from her home in Salt Lake City eight months ago, was found in San Diego and flown home to reunite with her owner.
“It’s wonderful,” Sharalyn Cooper said Saturday as she held the quivering 2-year-old min pin in her arms at Salt Lake International Airport.
Cooper said her dog often roamed the immediate neighborhood, but one day last October she didn’t come home. Cooper searched, put up flyers and checked with area animal shelters, all without luck.
“We had a hard time,” Cooper said. “She’s our baby. It was pretty tough.”
Then, two months ago, came a call came from the San Diego Humane Society.
Athena Davis, an employee at the humane society said the dog was brought to them by a “Good Samaritan.” They placed the animal on a stray hold, but then discovered she had been microchipped and were able to track down Cooper, the Deseret News reports.
Because the dog was on ringworm watch, her return was delayed until this past weekend. Davis accompanied the dog to Salt Lake City.
“She’s the best little girl,” Davis told Cooper when she handed the dog over.
“I’m just so excited we were able to do it and make it happen,” Davis said of returning Fadidle. “It’s one of the more unusual things I’ve done, but I enjoyed it.” She noted that, without Fadidle’s microchip, the reunion might never have taken place.
“We see a lot of different things,” Davis said. “When it works out this way, it’s really touching.”
Cooper said she has wondered a lot about how Fadidle disappeared, and ended up in California. She suspects, she was stolen
“I’d love to hear what she has to say about this whole thing,” Cooper said.
(Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred / Deseret News)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, athena davis, dogs, fadidle, found, lost, microchip, min pin, miniature pinscher, pets, recovered, returned, reunion, san diego, san diego humane society, sharalyn cooper, utah
The University of Utah has announced that it will no longer purchase dogs and cats from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) — or any other animal shelter — for use in medical experiments.
The decision was praised by PETA, which has waged a lengthy campaign against the practice.
“PETA is thrilled for the dogs, cats and people of Utah now that the University of Utah has stopped using animal shelters as dirt-cheap sources of living lab equipment, marking the complete end of pound seizure in the state,’’ said Kathy Guillermo, PETA’s vice president for laboratory investigations.
Until last year, animal shelters in Utah were required to sell cats and dogs in their custody to the university under a practice known as pound seizure. A change in state law made it voluntary for shelters to participate. The North Utah Valley Animal Shelter, however, continued to supply animals for research in the belief that it was helping to ease human suffering and advance medical knowledge.
NUVAS sold the university about 100 dogs and cats a year, Director Tug Gettling told the Salt Lake City Tribune.
The practice, over the years, saw hundreds of former pets and strays sacrificed for purposes of medical experimentation — though not all that were used in experiments were killed. Last year, a pet owner who turned her dog, Sheena (above) over to the shelter was shocked to learn — when she called to see if she had been adopted — that the dog had been sold to the university for experimentation. Later, with help from PETA, she launched a successful campaign to get the dog back from the university and into an adoptive home.
According to the Tribune, the decades-old practice of buying animals from shelters was halted by the university in mid-January.
Thomas Parks, the university’s vice president for research, said the decision was aimed at bringing an end to the campaign against the shelter by animal welfare advocates. Parks said the university will instead obtain dogs bred for laboratory use by certified breeders — a costlier but less controversial method.
PETA’s Guillermo said she hoped the added cost of specially bred animals would lead the university to seek alternatives to using live animals in its experiments.
Parks said employees at the non-profit municipal shelter “have been suffering a lot of harassment” and that the shelter has received thousands of hostile emails and phone calls, several bomb threats and at least three public protests.
A Salt Lake Tribune investigation a year ago found that about 60 percent of all shelter animals the shelter provided to the university between 2007 and 2009 were killed after being experimented on, while the rest entered an adoption program.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, anti-vivisection, biomedical, campaign, cats, dogs, experimental, experiments, laboratory, labs, medical, north utah valley animal shelter, nuvas, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, pound seizure, practice, rescue, research, shelter, strays, university of utah, use, utah, vivisection