Another disabled veteran and service dog have been kicked out of a business establishment — this time in Virginia, where Pat Horan and his dog Wilson were asked to leave a restaurant in Centreville.
As often isn’t the case, Horan’s ejection got some news coverage, thanks to his Facebook friends and the fact that his sister-in-law is a TV reporter.
After a visit with his dentist earlier this week, Pat and his wife, Patty, stepped into a restaurant next door, the Village Café , for lunch.
Upon seeing the dog, the restaurant owner’s wife ordered them to leave the premises.
“I tried to explain to her that this isn’t just a regular pet, this is a service dog,” Patty Horan said. “My husband is disabled. She really didn’t want to listen to any of it. She just wanted us to leave the restaurant.”
They were offered the option to order and sit outside and eat, but there were no tables or chairs set up, she added.
The Horan’s posted what happened on Facebook, leading to angry comments from their friends, and the involvement of WUSA reporter Peggy Fox, who’d done a series of stories on her brother-in-law’s recovery. He was shot in the head in Baghdad, resulting in brain injury, seizures and instability.
Fox went to the Village Café and interviewed Mo Aminfar, the owner.
Aminfar said his wife, Mary, didn’t understand that Wilson was a service dog.
“She doesn’t speak very well in English,” he said.
Aminfar said it was a regrettable misunderstanding: “Pat, we apologize and are really sorry for what happened.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aminfar, animals, apology, brain injury, centreville, disability, disabled, dog, dogs, head, iraq, media, news, pat horan, peggy fox, pets, service, shot, vet, veteran, village cafe, virginia, war, wilson, wusa
A one-eyed Pekingese who ran off from his home nearly two years ago was reunited with his family in Arizona this week — after running out of another home and into the side of a police car.
Buddy had been missing since May 2011 when, during a monsoon, a gate flew open and he darted off the property of his owner, Jessica Rowe of Mesa.
Rowe searched, but was unable to find the small black and white dog.
On Friday — 22 months later — Buddy ran out the door of a home in Phoenix and into the street, AZFamily reported.
“That’s when I heard this really horrible sound as if a large stone or some object hit the driver side of my patrol vehicle, looked out the rear view and saw the dog down on the road,” Phoenix police officer Don Martin said.
Martin and another officer wrapped up the dog and took him to a vet, where a microchip was discovered, showing the dog was owned by Rowe.
Police called her and she reunited with Buddy Monday.
Martin said a citizen found Buddy about a week ago and had been caring for him up until his run in with the police cruiser. It’s unclear where Buddy had been before that.
“… We all like being police officers, because of moments like this,” Martin said as he watched dog and owner reconnect. ” … This is what you live for.”
Officer Martin also paid the dog’s vet bill.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, buddy, car, dog, dogs, don martin, found, hit, jessica rowe, lost, mesa, microchip, officer, one-eyed, pekingese, pets, phoenix, police, returned, reunion, vet
After enrolling fewer than two dozen of a planned 230 dogs in the study — all paired with vets with PTSD — the VA has announced that the study has been suspended, and that, from now on, service dogs will only be paired with veterans with visible disabilities.
The new policy goes into effect today.
For the 400,000 veterans diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder, that means dogs — despite all the positive effects that have been reported — will no longer be part of their treatment and recovery.
Among those blasting the decision is the American Humane Association.
Just days before its second annual celebration of hero dogs, the organization took time to put together a petition, calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse the new policy.
“Our focus on animal-assisted therapy dates back to 1945 when we promoted therapy dogs as a means to help World War II veterans recover from the effects of war,” the AHA said. ”We know from years of experience that the human-animal bond is a source of powerful healing, whether they are children suffering from cancer or military men and women who have suffered the stress of battle.
“Service dogs, in particular, are an amazing, positive resource for assisting our nation’s best and bravest though their physical pain and mental anguish. We call on the VA and the United States Congress to stand up for our veterans…”
Specifically, the new VA policy ends the program that reimbursed veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder for their use of service dogs while in recovery.
“It’s of the utmost importance that we provide our vets with every option available to treat service related ailments,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who was also shocked to learn of the new policy.
“Especially as the wars are winding down, and more and more soldiers are returning home with mental trauma, the VA must continue to allow their doctors and mental health professionals to provide benefits to veterans who need mental health service dogs,” he said.
Congress mandated that additional scientific study be conducted on the impact of service dogs paired with PTSD vets several years ago. But apparently that study never got off the ground — at least not as ambitiously as planned.
Launched in June 2011, the study planned to follow 230 PTSD vets and their service dogs, tracking them and their families through 2014. Only about a tenth of that number were registered for the study, though.
The study was halted, according to reports, because of concerns about dogs biting children, dirty and cramped living conditions, and faulty record-keeping.
According to the VA, there are about 400,000 veterans currently in treatment for PTSD, and that group has higher than normal rates of divorce, substance abuse, unemployment and suicide. There are 32 to 39 suicide attempts daily among vets with PTSD, about half of which result in death, according to a column by the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Dale.
Dale’s column looks at the benefits of programs such as those provided by Paws for Purple Hearts – an improved quality of life, fewer flashbacks and nightmares. Vets paired with dogs are said to be more likely to find jobs; less likely to become recluses.
“One hallmark of PTSD is avoidance (of going outdoors and socializing with others),” says Robert Porter, executive director 0f Paws for Purple Hearts. “That’s hard to do with a 60-pound dog who just wants to go out and play.”
The study was a chance to prove, beyond the anecdotal, just how much therapy dogs could help vets with PTSD. But, for reasons that make little sense, both the study and the concept were canned.
Most of the dogs in the study were from Guardian Angel Medical Services of Williston, Fla., and its founder and director, Carol Borden, says there were no biting incidents reported.
Borden says that in the organization’s history, veterans with PTSD nearly always benefit from having a dog. Some patients have been able to cut their medication in half, or stop taking it altogether, she said.
That has raised questions among some about whether pharmaceutical companies lobbied for the new VA policy. That’s conjecture, of course — conjecture being something that tends to occur when no logical explanation is given.
The VA owes vets, not to mention Congress, an explanation.
And we all owe veterans afflicted with PSTD a chance to get past it, or at least cope with it. Ruling out dogs and dropping the study is an oath broken, a promising avenue bypassed, and a slap in the face to veterans.
“We’ve not experienced a single suicide attempt as far as we know,” Borden said of vets paired with dogs under the Guardian Angels program. “I have letters from wives thanking us because the husband has returned, and it all happens because of a dog who provides unconditional love.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aha, american humane association, animals, benefits, ceased, charles schumer, congress, department, disabilities, divorce, dog, dogs, dropped, drug abuse, employment, funding, guardian angel medical services, halted, paws for purple hearts, petition, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, programs, promised, ptsd, ptsd dogs, reimburse, reimbursement, senator, service, study, suicide, terminated, therapy, va, vet, veterans, veterans affairs
The officer is a five-year veteran of the Chicago police department.
He has not been identified. But he has been ticketed and relieved of duty as the department investigates his actions, CBS 2 in Chicago reports.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Audrey Fisher and her 12-year-old daughter took Willy, their 2-year-old, 8-pound Pomeranian-Papillon mix, to the dog beach so he could play with his favorite pink ball.
“A pit bull came out of nowhere and just attacked him, grabbed him by his belly and shook him violently,” Fisher said last month. Willy died three days later.
While park rules stipulate owners of dogs that attack other animals must pay the vet bills, the pit bull owner declined to identify himself and walked off with his dog. Fisher’s vet bills for Willy came to $5,700.
Fisher has spent the past month trying to track him down.
Witnesses were able to get a photo of the pit bull’s owner after the attack and Fisher has been handing out flyers with the man’s photo. The dog owner’s photo also was posted on MonDog.org, a website about the dog park.
Witnesses said the dog owner insisted the smaller dog started the fight and said he showed no remorse about the incident.
Upon learning he was a police officer, off duty at the time, Fisher said, “It scares me. That was my first reaction, was fear. … because I would not expect that kind of behavior from a Chicago police, or a cop of any kind.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, audrey fisher, bills, chicago, dog park, dogs, identified, killed, left, montrose beach dog park, officer, owner, papillon, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police. officer, pomeranian, scene, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, willy
Somehow, he was able to get out the front door — even though it had a dead bolt lock.
Somehow he managed to do all this despite having been attacked earlier in the day by four dogs, despite the bleeding wound and a large bandage around his belly, despite being sedated, despite the cone around his head, and despite the intravenous tubes dragging behind him when he was spotted walking down West Sylvania Avenue in Toledo.
Micah Risher stopped his car, and he and his passenger, Cara D’Amato, got out to help him, according to the Toledo Blade.
“Once he calmed down a bit, he stopped panting and lay down on the pavement next to me and started to relax,” D’Amato said, noting that he was bleeding through his bandages. “He really seemed to be more stressed out than anything. He was very sweet.”
Risher walked to the animal hospital, just down the road, and saw the front door unlocked and smeared wih blood. He called police, who arrived not long after a member of the veterinary hospital’s staff did. According to Bob Dunlap, the veterinary hospital’s business manager, Fritz had been sedated and was to undergo surgery Thursday, but escaped before the operation.
“I should have warned them to put extra locks on his cage,” said Fritz’s owner, Jeannie Pilatowski of Toledo.
Fritz has severe separation anxiety and hates being caged, she said. “I was upset when I first heard about [his escape], but I don’t blame them because I have seen what he can do. This dog is a magician.”
Even when they secure Fritz’s crate with clips, or wire it shut, Pilatowski said, he still manages to get out.
Pilatowski said she was walking Fritz and her other dog, Gomer, when they were attacked by a pack of four dogs.
Fritz had his surgery late last week and is now back home.
(Photo: Toledo Blade)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal hospital, attacked, bandaged, cone, crated, dead bolt lock, escape, escaped, escapes, fritz, german shepherd, houdini, injured, kenneled, magician, ohio, toledo, vet, veterinary, west toledo animal hospital, wounded
Lisa Ison was going through a rough time four years ago when she met Bella, a Pekingese-Pomeranian mix, at an animal shelter in Denver.
“I was depressed. I was lonely. It was a real hard time and she saved my life,” said Ison, who was recovering from a back injury, a divorce and getting laid off. “I live alone, so having her there, she is always happy to see me and she is so loving. My life would not be the same without her.”
So when Bella became severely ill earlier this week after eating a ham bone, Ison was understandably distraught when a vet told her that trying to save her dog was going to cost around $1,800, half of which would be required up front.
“She was dehydrated, vomiting and not eating,” Dr. Jeff Steen at the Alameda Vet Hospital told 9 News in Denver. “She could have gotten septic and died.”
Ison didn’t have that kind of money. “I live paycheck to paycheck … I was hysterical. I was crying,” she said.
Ison stepped into the rest room to compose herself, and when she came out, a middle-aged couple she had met in the lobby gave her a hug and told her not to worry.
When she went to the front desk, the $900 had been paid.
After a few days, Bella pulled through. Ison still has the other half of her bill to pay, which she plans to do over time. Her donors remain anonymous.
“I was so touched and so moved that somebody would randomly do something so kind and so giving in these hard times. It restored my belief in human kindness,” Ison said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alameda veterinary hospital, bella, bill, costs, denver, donation, donors, emergency, ham bone, health, illness, kindness, lisa ison, mystery, pekingese, pomeranian, strangers, vet, veterinarian, veterinary
I don’t know which one of your prayers or well wishes did the trick, or if it was the power of them combined, or if it was the puking, or if perhaps it was the nap (I think they can cure about everything), but six hours after he could barely walk, Ace was unexplainedly up and running.
“Stop running,” I told him.
But given I was smiling, tearing up and having difficulty working up the stern tone sometimes required for him to obey, he apparently didn’t feel the need to pay attention. Either that, or he was as happy as I was.
Six hours after he could barely stand up, he was ready to romp.
What befell him yesterday morning is a mystery, and your conjecture is welcome, because I’d like to figure it out.
You’ll recall, maybe, that he had some disc problems a few months back. Those, treated with steroid pills, vanished after the second round of drugs. While that ailment didn’t affect his ability to walk, it was clearly painful and led him to yelp out, whereas yesterday he didn’t seem to be in any pain at all.
After sleeping in yesterday — til almost 11 a.m. — he got up to find he couldn’t get up. It seemed to be just one front leg affected at first, but then I noticed his rear leg on the same side was dragging, splaying out, and clearly not following his brain’s command.
The vet, who had recommended he see a dog neurologist, came out to the car, tied an IV bag to my roof rack and administered what’s called a subcutaneous drip to restore his fluids.
During it, I noticed some slight signs of improvement. Ace sat up, and seemed to be putting weight on the bad side. Once back home he seemed even better, though the right front paw still seemed to have a mind of its own, flopping down on the ground in an exxagerated motion.
After the nap, he insisted on going outside, where he proceeded to walk 99 percent normally, run 99 percent normally and pester me to play 100 percent normally.
I calmed him down, insisting that he chill, and told him we would withhold any celebrations until tomorrow — after seeing whether he gets up with the same problems or not.
It was a scary day, and I can’t tell you how many roads my mind went down. Was it going to be something as serious as it appeared, could I afford the tests to have it diagnosed, much less to have it treated? Would it prove fatal? How badly would I fall apart if so, and could I ever be put back together again?
Sitting in the exam room, waiting for the vet, I reminded myself every minute or so that it wasn’t about me. I reminded myself that I’m a cool-headed sort. But inside, I had turned drama queen.
Ace has given me some scares before during our travels, with his herniated disc, when he disappeared through a swimming pool cover, when he jumped over the fence at Niagara Falls. This one was by far the worst, because there was no explanation for it, no precipitating event — just a sudden loss of limb control.
It’s nothing to take lightly, and even if he seems 100 percent today, I know he needs to be checked out by a specialist. Some breathing room to do that would be nice, though.
I am of that percentage of society that places their dog’s health above their own. Lacking health insurance — for me or him — I am also of the ignore it and maybe it will just go away school.
Yesterday was so frightening I made an exception.
While his problem may not truly be gone, I’m glad it’s gone for now. Borrowed time? We’ll take it.
On our way to the car, for the drive to the vet, Ace was barely able to walk, even with me lifting up on his harness. He leaned his weak side into me for support. He’s normally a leaner, but not when he walks. That it is when I first lost it — it being composure.
That simple trusting act, on his part, somehow pushed me over the edge — partly because he did it without thinking twice, partly, truth be told, because of the realization that I lean on him much more than he leans on me.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bond, control, difficulty, dogs, fear, health, leaning, legs, limbs, neurology, pets, road trip, sick, specialist, travels with ace, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, walking
A majority of pet owners would pay $500 for life-saving veterinary care, but less than half would fork over $1,000, only a third would spend $2,000, and only about 20 percent would be willing to pay $5,000.
So says an Associated Press-Petside.com poll about the cost of health care for animals, conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media.
Only at the $500 level were dog owners (74 percent) more likely than cat owners (46 percent) to say they would likely seek treatment. In the higher price ranges, the two are about equally likely to seek vet care.
“Euthanasia is always sad but when finances have to be considered, when you feel there is a possibility you didn’t or couldn’t do the right thing, you feel guilty,” said veterinarian Jane Shaw, director of the Argus Institute in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. “We are at a point where we are talking about basic life needs or survival needs.”
One in five pet owners said they fret a lot about being unable to afford seeing a vet. Dog owners are more likely to worry than cat owners, and low-income people are among the biggest worriers, which is probably because they have the biggest worries.
About one in four people, or 27 percent, said pet insurance is a good way to save money on vet bills, though only about 5 percent of pet owners actually have it.
The AP-Petside.com Poll was conducted April 7-12, 2010, and involved phone interviews with 1,112 pet owners nationwide. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afford, affording, animals, ap, associated press, care, cats, cost, dogs, euthanasia, expense, health, insurance, medical, news, pet owners, pets, petside.com, poll, spend, spending, surgery, vet, veterinarian, veterinary
A dog has gone missing from the Compassion Veterinary Clinic in Marlborough, Mass. He’s described as small, black and plywood.
Debbie Cassinelli, the clinic manager, made the wooden dog silhouette — and several cats, as well — and attached them a couple of months ago to the clinic’s sign.
She suspects kids took the dog, which disappeared just after Thanksgiving. The cats were spared.
Cassinelli told Metro West Daily News that she worked on the animals off and on for about three months. The dog was based on her own pet, a border collie-terrier mix. Cats looked down at the dog, which rested its paws on the edge of the sign.
She attached the dog to the sign with steel rods.
Cassinelli said she added the animals to the sign to draw attention to it. People tended to “fly down the road” and not notice the sign before the animals went up, she said.
Cassinelli does not think she will get the dog back, but she plans to make a new one.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: black, clinic, compassion veterinary clinic, debbie cassinelli, dog, larceny, marlborough, mass, missing, plywood, sign, stolen, taken, theft, vet, veterinary, wooden
As yet more proof that dogs eat the strangest things, a terrier required veterinary treatment after wolfing down one of his owner’s silicone falsies.
The incident — despite its vast pun potential — was straightforwardly reported on Dogster back in August, in a dispatch written by the veterinarian, Dr. Eric Barchas.
“Last night at the emergency hospital a nurse carried a five-year-old Terrier cross into the treatment room. She advised me matter-of-factly that the dog had consumed a fake breast three hours earlier.”
Barchas determined that the fake breast, while not toxic, would ultimately lodge in the dog’s intestines — the dog being only 15 pounds and the breast being a size B.
With only three hours having passed since ingestion, the vet decided to try to make the dog vomit. The clients authorized the procedure — and the vet forced the dog to vomit with an intravenous injection of a drug called apomorphine.
“The dog vomited copious dog food, a moderate amount of grass, several small twigs, an ear plug, some yarn, and a fake breast, size B,” Barchas wrote. Forty-five minutes later the dog was ready to go home. Barchas didn’t mention how much he billed the family, apparently heeding the Biblical advice:
“Beware of falsie profits.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: boob, breast, consumed, dog, dogs, eat, eaten, eats, eric barchas, fake, falsie, silicone, swallowed, terrier, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, vomit