It would be easy to blame the disappearance of Fluffy on Craigslist. Too easy.
Fluffy’s owner deserves some of the blame — for leaving her four-year-old shih tzu-Maltese mix with a woman who responded to her Craigslist ad for a pet sitter, without ever visiting the home her dog was going to be staying in.
But the real culprit, police in Florida say, is the woman they are now looking for — the one who identified herself as Keyana Morales when she responded to the pet owner’s ad, and who was hired after meeting with Fluffy and her owner a couple of times in a local park.
Fluffy’s owner hired Morales to care for Fluffy while she and her family were on vacation out of the country. When she returned from vacation, Fluffy — and Morales — were nowhere to be found.
Her phone calls and emails went unanswered, and the address the pet sitter gave her turned out to be a vacant house, Local10 reports.
Police in Boynton Beach say Morales’ name was phony as well. They are now seeking the woman they believe absconded with the dog after posing as a pet sitter — Shamari Patrick, 23.
Police say Patrick lives out of her car, a burgundy Grand Marquis. (Anyone with information about Patrick or Fluffy is asked to call police at 561-742-6135 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.)
Police say they believe stealing Fluffy was Patrick’s intent from the start, which, unless she was paid up front, doesn’t make much sense, and doesn’t explain why Patrick, as Morales, stayed in touch with the pet owner during her trip, and emailed her photos of Fluffy.
We don’t know if police are jumping to conclusions, but Fluffy’s owner sure did before leaving on vacation in July when she decided to hire a pet sitter without exercising hardly any of the diligence that was due.
Maybe that’s why she’s seeking not to be identified by name. News reports refer to her as Fluffy’s owner, or “the victim.” Perhaps she’s a little embarassed about having done so little homework before entrusting her dog to a stranger.
Craigslist, and the Internet, make everything seem so quick and easy that we no longer see them as what they truly are — crapshoots, unreliable and dangerous, in large part because they make us think answers and solutions are just a click away.
Craigslist, and all the rest of the Internet, should be seen as a starting point, from which to move on to further research. Otherwise they can lead to endings that, as could be the case for Fluffy, are not at all happy.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 18th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, craigslist, dog, dog sitter, dogs, find, florida, fluffy, health, hired, internet, maltese, pet sitter, pets, safety, shamari patrick, shih-teese, shih-tzu, stolen, theft, vacation
Don’t know what took them so long, but Wildwood, N.J., officials appear headed to allowing some unrestricted beach access to dogs — unleashed and year-round.
Like many New Jersey beach towns, Wildwood has long had numerous rules when it comes to dogs on the beach, limiting them to winter months, off hours and requiring they be on leashes.
But two weeks ago the Wildwood City Commission — in an effort to boost tourism — voted unanimously to amend the city’s ordinance banningunleashed dogs from the beach and from cross over pathways on the boardwalk in the summer.
If the amendment is approved in a final vote scheduled for Wednesday, dogs would have year-round access — starting this Memorial Day — to a block and a half long, 190-yard-wide piece of beach in the city’s north end, probably around Poplar Avenue, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
It would be South Jersey’s first official year-round dog beach.
The designated dog beach in Wildwood would have water stations, poop bag stations and signs reminding owners to clean up after their pets.
“I’m going to bet that at the end of the summer, the public works crews will report that they had far less issues with doggie messes than they had with finding dirty disposable diapers left all over the beach,” said Peter Byron, a city commissioner, father of seven children and dog owner.
Some local motels — generally the already dog-friendly ones — are looking forward to the change.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing that the city is opening a dog beach,” said Bob Ferguson, who estimates 70 percent of the guests at his motel, the Rus Mar on Ocean Avenue, show up with dogs.
“It just says Wildwood is dog-friendly, which is a good thing for business.”
“Wildwood is not a fly-to, it’s a drive-to place. And people really want to be able to travel with the pets these days,” Commissioner Byron noted. “We think this will be a huge boost for tourism because visitors will have the chance to do that if they come to Wildwood.”
(Photo: By Tom Gralish / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amendment, animals, beach, boardwalk, commissioners, dog, dog beach, dog beaches, dog friendly, dogs, first dog beach, memorial day, new jersey, ordinance, peter byron, pets, poplar avenue, restrictions, south jersey, summer, tourism, vacation, wildwood
Calling all rich fools: Two British companies have partnered up to offer your dog a spectacular luxury dog holiday.
The cost is $73,000, which we assume covers a week’s worth of boarding along with all the other perks — surfing lessons, reiki sessions, grooming, a new wardrobe, a personal chef and much more.
These, mind you, are services the dog will receive, presumably while his or her owners are on vacation somewhere else, assuming they have any money left to take one.
Behind the ridiculous gimmick are Paw Seasons, a luxury dog hotel in Bristol, England, and VeryFirstTo.com, a company specializing in luxury experiences.
It will be made available to only one dog, said VeryFirstTo.com founder Marcel Knobil.
“It’ll definitely be an individual or couple who enjoy an extravagant lifestyle. While they go off to the Caribbean they want their pet to have an equally enjoyable, extravagant stay where they are,” Knobil said. “It’s for those who enjoy the finer things in life and have a sense of humor. They have a soft spot for their dog and want them to have the best time possible.”
Highlights of the “Spectacular Luxury Dog Holiday” include chauffeured rides by the Paw Season’s hotel driver, a private suite showing dog movies on a screen, a doghouse built to replicate the one the dog has at home, local beach and countryside walks, a running session with hurdles World Champion Dai Greene, a day with author and dog behavior expert Stan Rawlinson, and a grooming at the Pet Spa at Harrods that includes aromatherapy bath and body massage.
No one has signed up yet, but Knobil told ABC News. “We’re pretty hopeful. We know it’s extravagant, but it’s a fabulous time for the dog and benefits two very good causes.”
The companies say $10,000 from the sale of the package will be split between two charities — Cancer Research U.K. and Battersea Dogs Home.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, doggie, dogs, england, gimmicks, grooming, holiday, hotel, luxury, massage, paw seasons, personal chef, pet industry, pets, rich, spa, spectacular, surfing lessons, travel, uk, vacation, veryfirstto, wealth
Josiah Allen and Erin Docking were sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta when the small white dog came up, sat down next to them and stayed all day long.
By the time their 10-day vacation ended, the couple had determined to take the dog, who they’d named Paco, back to Canada.
They filled out paperwork, took him to a veterinarian for treatment of an eye infection and tick infestation, and paid to get him the necessary shots.
But on their flight home, Delta Airlines somehow lost the dog, the Detroit News reported.
On May 3, the couple placed Paco in a pet carrier and flew from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City. At the airport there, they ran into trouble getting approval for Paco to fly to Detroit. Airline officials questioned whether the carrier was large enough for Paco but approved him for the flight once Allen signed a waiver protecting Delta from any claims if the dog was injured.
When Allen and Docking arrived in Detroit, Paco was nowhere to be found.
“After waiting around for two hours, they told us (Paco) was in Mexico City and would be flown in on the next flight,” said Allen, 19, a kinesiology student at the University of Waterloo.
But Paco — described as a mix between a “wiener dog and a Jack Russell terrier” — didn’t arrive the next day, and hasn’t since.
After Allen went public with the story, Delta officials called and offered to cover the expenses he’d incurred with Paco and throw in some extra cash, Allen said.
“Our staff has conducted exhaustive searches to locate the dog,” Delta officials said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the dog’s owner to inform them of the situation and to offer our sincere apologies that we have been unable to recover the dog…”
Some reports say Paco broke out of his cage at the airport and ran away — meaning he may once again be a stray, only this time in Mexico City rather than Puerto Vallarta.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airline, airlines, airport, animals, beach, canada, canadian, couple, delta, dog, erin docking, flight, home, josiah allen, mexican, mexico, mexico city, news, ohmidog!, paco, pets, puerto vallarta, rescue, rescued, stray, travel, vacation
An Ohio firefighter who was fired for executing his two dogs walked out of an appeal hearing yesterday in which he was seeking to get his job back.
Santuomo, 43, was waiting for the hearing to begin, but left after a television news crew set up a camera in the commission’s hearing room.
“He came here with the intention of going forward but changed his mind,” said Barbara McGrath, the commission’s executive director. The commission had agreed to postpone the original hearing in the fall and informed Santuomo that his appeal would be dismissed if he didn’t attend today’s hearing.
Santuomo was fired in July after being convicted of two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them so he wouldn’t have to put them in a kennel while he went on a vacation cruise with his girlfriend. He dumped the bodies in a trash bin behind his fire station
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $4,500.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, cameras, civil service commission, columbus, crew, david santuomo, dog, dogs, executed, fired, firefighter, firing, hearing, job, killed, news, ohio, pets, shooting, shot, television, two dogs, vacation
Sometimes the news media is just soooo cynical.
Case in point: Pfizer, the drug company, is extolling the benefits of taking the family dog along when traveling for the holidays. The holidays are stressful times, Pfizer notes. Dogs can help relieve stress. Why leave a beloved member of the family behind?
In an email worthy of Hallmark that was sent to various news media outlets, Pfizer makes note as well of the “tough economic times” and how “the unconditional love from your dog can go a long way toward helping your family manage that extra stress.”
How thoughtful. Imagine, a multi-national corporate giant like that being so full of holiday spirit that they are thinking about us little people/dog owners when they could be obsessing, Scrooge-like, about profits.
Pfizer even launched a Twitter feed called “Dog On Board” to “help families talk about including their dog in their family holiday.”
Leave it to the Wall Street Journal, in the newspaper’s “Health Blog,” to suggest Pfizer might have an ulterior motive when it suggests you pack your dog along in the car or airplane when you make your holiday trip.
Pfizer sells Cerenia, a drug that prevents motion sickness and vomiting in dogs.
But is that so terrible? So what if Pfizer stands to profit more if more dogs are going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, preferably by winding roads?
Lest that make you — like all the cynical news media and bloggers — question Pfizer’s sincerity and compassion, allow me to remind you that Pfizer is the same company that offered this summer to give away more than 70 of its most widely prescribed human drugs, including Lipitor, Zoloft and Viagra, for up to a year to people who have lost jobs since Jan. 1 and have been taking the drug for three months or more.
Of course, there were cynics when they did that, too — those who speculated the company was doing it for a tax write-off, to gain favor in Washington, or to ensure that those who are hooked on Pfizer’s fine products, maintain their, shall we say, allegiance.
While the news media and bloggers are having a field day with what they see as Pfizer’s awkwardly see-through attempt to drum up business, I, for one, salute the drug company — not just for bringing relief to the estimated one in seven dogs who get carsick, and not just for ensuring that an unemployed man can get, if not a job or health care, at least a boner, but for being able to fool so many of the people so much of the time.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, campaign, carsick, carsickness, cerenia, companies, company, dog on board, dogs, drug, drugs, holidays, humor, marketing, motion sickness, pets, pfizer, profits, public relations, satire, stress, thanksgiving, travel, twitter, vacation, viagra, vomiting
A dog breeder who abandoned 99 St. Bernards to go on vacation has been sentenced to 18 weeks for animal cruelty.
Mary Collis, 51, admitted to seven counts of causing unnecessary suffering to 85 dogs and failing to meet the needs of 14 dogs at an earlier hearing, according to a BBC report.
Collis, a trained veterinary nurse, was also banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.
One of the 99 St. Bernards had to be put to sleep the night they were found, nearly a year ago. Another died the following day at a vets. Twelve more died after that, as a result of their abandonment, according to testimony. The remaining 83 dogs have since been adopted after a campaign by the RSPCA.
Collis, who had declared bankruptcy in 2007 and was facing eviction, abandoned the dogs to go on vacation with her partner. RSPCA inspectors and police went into the kennels five days later, after receiving public complaints.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 99, abandoned, abandonment, animal cruelty, breeder, courts, dogs, jail, mary collis, neglect, nurse, rspca, sentence, sentencing, st. bernards, uk, vacation, veterinary