Evy and Ted Inoue had a most gracious idea for a website — one that would allow people to share their thanks with good Samaritans and others who deserved a pat on the back.
To promote their new business, the New Hope, Pa., couple had their van made over to resemble their dog, Kudos, a basset hound-cocker spaniel mix whose bubbly personality had been the inspiration for it. It was named after him, too — OurKudos.com.
“That was supposed to be our promotional vehicle,” Evy told Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin in an interview, as the vehicle named Waggin Wheels sat in the driveway. It is brown and white, with big soft eyes, furry black ears that droop over the rear doors, and a red tongue that sticks out of the grill.
“By giving it the look and personality of our dog, we hoped it would spread happiness wherever it went,” said Evy, a children’s book author who writes under the pen name Kimiko Kajikawa. “We’d go to events and honor all sorts of heroes. We’d be giving out kudos.”
While the van got 26 miles per gallon, highway, the Inoue’s business was guzzling their time, and not exactly taking off in the manner they hoped. Building a site allowing the grateful to buy gifts for the objects of their gratitude – candy and flowers and such — proved time consuming, and it was hard to be heard over the din that is the Internet. The yet to fully rebound economy didn’t help, either.
But what really caused the Inoues to lose faith in their plan — and sent Waggin Wheels into retirement — was Kudos, himself. He was diagnosed with Lyme disease in March 2011 and died a year ago Monday at age 3.
After that, the idea of using the van was just too painful. So was the idea of selling it.
For months, Rubin reports, it sat in the garage. Then Evy started looking for a charity that might be able to use the pupped-out vehicle.
Out of the blue, she ended up calling Joyce Darrell and Mike Dickerson, founders of Pets With Disabilities, based in Prince Frederick, Md.
“I thought she was pulling my chain,” Joyce said of the call from Evy a month ago.
Pets With Disabilities rescues and fosters disabled dogs, and has been doing so for 10 years, squeezing their dogs into a 1996 Saturn station wagon when the time comes — as it does pretty often – for trips to the vets.
Right now, they have 25 blind, deaf and three-legged dogs, many of whom have spinal injuries that require special wheelchairs for them to get around.
At the Inoue’s invitation, Mike Dickerson drove up to see the Ford van, bringing along Megan, one of the blind dogs.
Long story short, Waggin Wheels will soon have a new home, Pets With Disabilities couldn’t be more grateful, and the Inoue’s managed to dispense some of the good karma their former business was all about.
“We’re being touched by angels,” Joyce said. “They could have sold that van and got their money back. They deserve kudos, too.”
(Photo: Dan Rubin / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, basset hound, blind, cocker spaniel, deaf, disabilities, dog, dogs, evy inoue, ford, handicapped, joyce darrell, kimiko kajikawa, kudos, maryland, mike dickerson, mix, new hope, our kudos, ourkudos, pennsylvania, pets, pets with disabilities, prince frederick, rescue, ted inoue, van, vehicle, website
Less than a week after her owner was charged with animal cruelty for pulling his dog on a leash while driving his van, a mutt named Cricket has a new home — with an officer in the police department that made the arrest.
Cricket now belongs to Michael Lake, a police officer in Warren, Michigan — one of a handful of officers who offered to adopt her after she was taken away from her owner after his arrest Sunday, the Daily Tribune reports.
“I mentioned it first. I guess I drew the lucky straw,” Lake said. “She’s such a lovable dog.”
Police arrested resident Keith John Parker, 43, after several people reported to police that a man was pulling a dog on a leash while driving in the parking lot of the County Line Flea Market.
Some witnesses told police that the dog had difficulty keeping up and apparently tumbled at one point. When confronted by officers, Parker said he felt the dog needed to go for a run, police said.
Parker was arraigned this week on misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and drunken driving.
Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said Parker, who’d had Cricket since October, agreed to relinquish the dog.
Police said Cricket had a wound above one eye, and had lost a claw. Lake was scheduled to take her to a veterinarian yesterday.
Officers aren’t sure what breeds are in Cricket, or how old she is, with estimates ranging from 7 months to 7 years.
Lake has another dog, a German shorthair pointer. “They should get along great,” Lake said.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, charged, cricket, dog, dogs, driving, drunk driving, drunken driving, injured, keith john parker, leash, michael lake, michigan, officer, owners, pets, police, pulled, relinquished, surrender, van, vehicle, warren
An insurance company told a Colorado woman whose dog was hit by a car that if two trips to the vet don’t resolve the dog’s problems, the company will considered the dog “totaled.”
In insurance industry jargon, ”totaled” means the cost to repair a vehicle exceeds the cost of replacing it.
Applying the terminology to a dog or other living thing is pretty reprehensible — leading me to question whether insurance companies are really as neighborly, caring and good humored as their cloying TV ads make them out to be.
Referring to pets as property — despite what our archaic laws say — is such a clear and simple customer relations no-no that, you’d think, even a cave man would know better. In this particular case, I’m wondering if the agent in question even attended Farmers’ University.
Marcia Pinkstaff, of Parker, Colo., told ABC7 News in Denver that Sasha, her 9-year-old lab mix, was hit while walking with her in a crosswalk by a van making a left turn.
“She didn’t see us and she hit Sasha very, very hard,” Pinkstaff said. “Sasha has tears in her lungs, a tear in her diaphragm and liver damage.”
Pinkstaff said the driver’s insurance company, Farmers’ Insurance, told her they’d pay for one or two trips to the vet and then after that the dog would be considered totaled – meaning, in this case, they wouldn’t pay any more.
“I was horrified,” Pinkstaff said. “They said they were totaling out my dog. It broke my heart because she is like a child to me.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, colorado, companies, dog, dogs, farmers' insurance, hit, insurance, lab mix, marcia pinkstaff, pets, sasha, totaled, totaled out, van, vehicle, veterinarian, veterinary
A Labrador retriever died after being left in a car parked outside a Costco in Frederick, Maryland.
A Maltese died after being left in a parked van while his owner went for a swim in a New York park.
A rash of similar cases have been reported across the heat-waved northeast, leading animal advocates to reiterate what they have long said — but apparently not everybody has heard: Dogs should never be left in parked cars, especially not in summer
In the Maryland case, Frederick County Animal Control says the dog was left in a car on Tuesday, as temperatures climbed to 104 degrees, the Washington Post reported. Authorities were notified about the dog, but by the time investigators arrived the dog was dead and the owner of the car was gone. Authorities are still investigating.
Earlier this week, a Bronx man left his Maltese inside his van at FDR State Park in Westchester, while he went for an hour-long swim, the New York Daily News reported.
Someone saw the dog and called park police, but by the time it was moved to the shade, the dog died. The owner of the dog was charged with animal cruelty.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bronx, car, cars, caution, danger, death, dogs, frederick, health, heat, heat stroke, heat wave, maltese, maryland, new york, news, ohmidog!, park, parked, pets, safety, swimming, temperature, van, warning
Opening statements were made yesterday in the Missouri trial of Mary Wild, charged with animal abuse in connection with the deaths of seven show dogs who died when left overnight in a hot van last summer.
Wild, a 25-year-old dog handler from Arnold, Missouri, is charged with eight counts of misdemeanor animal abuse — one for each of the dogs she left in the van after returning from a dog show in Iowa last June.
Only one of the dogs, a Siberian husky, survived.
Defense attorney Brad Dede said he would show that “all reasonable and legal precautions” were taken to ensure the safety of the dogs and that his client is not guilty of a crime, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Authorities say the temperature inside the van could have reached 120 degrees.
Animal abuse is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri, and the maximum penalty is up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal, courts, cruelty, deaths, died, dogs, heat, legal, mary wild, missouri, news, ohmidog!, opening, overnight, pets, seven, show, show dogs, siberian husky, summer, trial, van
They left the choppers at home (too cold), but members of Rescue Ink arrived in Pennsylvania Friday to help search for the killer of a Chester County family’s two dogs — and promote their TV show at the same time.
The tattooed stars of National Geographic’s TV show “Rescue Ink Unleashed” greeted fans at the Chester County SPCA, and later Friday night at a town hall meeting.
Then they set out to search for the killer of Emma and Luna, two dogs found slain in October.
The dogs were reported missing from a Pocopson Township farm on Oct. 25 and were found later that day several miles away in Pennsbury Township by a resident walking in the woods near railroad tracks along the Brandywine Creek, Britton said. The dogs were shot between the eyes and lined up tail to tail.
Rescue Ink had this message for the perpetrator: “Come find us before we find you.”
Joe Panz, one of the members, said the group plans to spend several days canvassing Chester County neighborhoods. “We’re street guys; we know how to get information from people,” he said.
Members of the New York-based group chatted with visitors at the SPCA Friday, many of them members of the animal-rescue community, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Anyone with information about Emma and Luna is asked to call the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113, Ext. 213. A $50,000 reward has been posted.
(Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appearance, big ant, chester county, chester county spca, choppers, dogs, emma, investigation, joe panz, killed, luna, motorcycles, national geographic channel, pennsylvania, pets, promotion, rescue ink, rescue ink unleashed, shot, tattoos, van
Here’s a nutty, and muddy, little story — one we’ll tell in pictures and words.
All the pictures were taken Sunday, at Riverside Park in Baltimore, where after three straight days of rain, sunny skies had finally prevailed, along with temperatures so toasty that the squirrels took a break from hoarding their nuts to eat some, and the homeless guys — usually up and gone by mid-morning — slept in.
It was really more like a spring day, except for the turning leaves, hitting their peak of redness on some trees, burning bright orange on others. Those already brown and fallen, after three days soggy, were starting to regain their crunch under the warming sun.
Football and softball games were getting underway on the sports fields — never mind the puddles. Parents and children filled the swings and slides in the fenced-in play area.
And dog walkers were out in abundance — some with their pets on leash, some of whom had let them off, which, in this particular park, as of now, is against the law.
Nevertheless, a lot of us do it — keeping an eye out for the white animal control van while we let our dogs enjoy a little freedom, exercise and squirrel chasing.
It was one of those free and easy, good to be alive, laid back Sunday mornings — quiet but for the happy squeals of children, the chirping of squirrels and that thwickety thwickety noise of dogs charging through piles of leaves — when what should appear but …
The white animal control van. Usually the animal control van keeps to the paved paths, stopping to warn those with their dogs off leash to hook them up, sometimes writing citations, which carry a $200 fine.
This animal control van was — for reasons unknown — driving through the grass, which, in addition to not being good for the grass, could prove problematic for homeless guys sleeping thereon, not to mention children playing, families picnicking, or squirrels a scurrying.
Anyway, the animal control officer pulled his van to a halt in the grass, apparently to confront some lawbreakers, and when the time came to leave, he couldn’t. The van’s back wheels became mired in the mud, sinking deeper the more they spun.
The officer called for a tow truck and, about an hour later, one arrived. Its operator attached a chain to the animal control van’s axle and hoisted it out of the muck.
While his van was being saved, the animal control officer found the time to take some photos of off-leash dogs running in the distance. That’s what his camera was pointed at, at least. Then again, maybe he was just shooting the foliage.
Once freed, the van departed the park, leaving some big muddy ruts behind.
It’s unknown if the animal control officer issued any citations Sunday morning — and if so, whether the revenue those bring in will be enough to cover the towing fee and other damages left in the wake of his morning patrol.
After freeing the bogged down animal control van, the tow truck operator acccidentally hit a bolted-to-the-ground trash can, which he then used his truck to bend back into an upright position before pulling off.
Maybe sending animal control officers to hunt for unleashed dogs walking in parks with their owners — as opposed to cracking down on abuse, neglect and dogfighting — is a legitimate use of their time. Maybe citing the owners of dogs who are bothering no one, and who no one has, specifically, complained about, makes the city a safer place. Maybe it’s not just a heavy-handed, wheel-spinning waste of tax dollars.
But the only visible marks left by yesterday’s patrol were these:
(Photos by John Woestendiek/ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, baltimore, chase, citations, city, dog, dog parks, dogs, exercise, fall, fines, government, grass, homeless, law enforcement, laws, leash law, leaves, legal, mud, off-leash, officer, parks, photos, recreation, riverside park, run, spinning, squirrels, stuck, tax dollars, tickets, tow truck, trash can, unleashed, van, wheels
John Manard, who escaped from a Kansas prison by hiding inside a dog crate, was sentenced yesterday to another 10 years in federal prison on weapons charges, according to the Kansas City Star.
Manard was sprung from the Lansing Correctional Facility in 2006 by a prison volunteer, who used her dog van to drive him to freedom. Manard was hidden inside a cardboard box placed inside a dog crate.
The volunteer, Toby Young, was the founder of Safe Harbor, a program that rescued dogs from animal shelters and worked with inmates to train the pets and make them suitable for adoption. Married and a mother of two, she became romantically involved with the prisoner while working inside the Lansing Correctional Facility. You can read more about that saga — a Lifetime movie waiting to happen — here.
After leaving the Lansing prison, the two went to Young’s house where they took her husband’s two pistols.
Young, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for giving a firearm to a felon. Manard’s new conviction on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm comes on top of his escape conviction and a previous murder conviction, for which he was serving a life sentence.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: conviction, crate, dog, dog crate, dogs, escape, escapee, firearms, inmates, john manard, kansas, lansing correctional facility, prison, prisoner, program, rescue, safe harbor, shelter, toby young, van, weapons
The handler of seven show dogs who died after being left overnight in a hot van has been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.
Mary Wild, the handler, is free on $2,500 bond, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.
Police said Wild left eight show dogs in the van last month after returning from a dog show in Iowa. Authorities said the temperature in the van could have reached 120 degrees.
Wild, 24, had been hired by the dogs’ owners to present the dogs at a show in Iowa. When she returned got home, about 1 a.m. on June 22, she left eight dogs in the van and went inside to sleep.
Seven of the eight dogs died of apparent heat stroke. The eighth dog, a Siberian Husky named Cinder, recovered and went home last week.
The other dogs, all purebreds and mostly large breeds, included a malamute, a dalmatian, three golden retrievers and an Akita.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, akita, american kennel club, animal cruelty, charged, cinder, dalmatian, dead, die, dogs, golden retreiver, handler, hot, malamute, mary wild, overnight, purebreds, seven, show, siberian husky, van
Only one of the eight show dogs left overnight in a hot van in Missouri survived.
A Siberian Husky named Cinder is now back home with her owners, according to St. Louis Today.
Seven of the show dogs — many big breeds with thick coats — perished from heat stroke after being left in the van on June 22. The dogs were returning from a dog show in Iowa and were left in the van by their handler.
Investigators aren’t certain how many hours elapsed before the dogs were found. Authorities said temperatures in the van could have risen to as high as 120 degrees.
Capt. Ralph Brown of the Jefferson County sheriff’s office said Wednesday that detectives were wrapping up their investigation and would sending a report to the county prosecutor.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cinder, dogs, handler, heat, heat stroke, jefferson county, left, missouri, show, siberian husky, summer, survivor, unattended, van, vehicle