David Gizzarelli took in more than $17,000 in donations from big-hearted dog lovers in what he described as an attempt to save his dog Charlie, who was deemed dangerous after attacking a National Park Service horse.
But his attorney says Gizzarelli is unable to help out with the $9,000-plus tab for veterinary care, feeding and shelter that Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier, has received since last August, when he was taken into the custody of animal control in San Francisco.
Apparently the $17,000 that was donated was spent on attorney fees, paying for the horse’s vet bills and “other living expenses.” That’s what Gizzarelli’s new attorney says, adding that his client can’t afford to help pay the bill and is currently sleeping in his car.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins ordered Gizzarelli to pay anyway — specifically, half of the costs for boarding and treating Charlie since the incident.
Gizzarelli is still raising money to “help save Charlie” — via a Facebook page and his Help Save Charlie website — even though he has relinquished ownership of the dog, who is now in foster care and will likely end up in an adoptive home or sanctuary.
Until his court appearance, he had not provided any accounting of where the donated money went, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Charlie has been in the custody of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco since August, when he was deemed “vicious and dangerous” by the police department. The cost for housing him and providing veterinary care for an earlier injury totaled $9,808 as of Monday’s hearing.
Gizzarelli, in an earlier settlement, agreed to give up custody of Charlie and attend a hearing to discuss payment for Charlie’s care.
But he kept selling “Help Save Charlie” merchandise and collecting donations even after that. And while Charlie could probably still use help — he hasn’t been deemed adoptable yet — it appears little if any of the donated money has gone for the dog.
Questions during Monday’s hearing revolved around the amount of legal fees Gizzarelli paid to two attorneys, and $3,000 his attorney said was spent on ”food, transportation and housing” — apparently for the human, not the dog.
Gizzarelli’s attorney, Orestes Cross, said his client has no money. “My client is on social welfare, living on $422 a month and sleeping out of his car,” told the judge during the hearing. “He fought the fight because he cares about his dog.”
Rebecca Katz, director of Animal Care and Control, says some donors to Charlie are likely upset. “I don’t believe those who contributed expected that money to go toward personal expenses,” she said. Since the settlement, Charlie has been in foster care. According to Katz, he needs several more months of training before he can be considered for adoption or placed in a sanctuary.
Gizzarelli faced federal assault charges after the attack on the police horse, but according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office those have been dropped.
(Photo: Help Save Charlie Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accountability, accounting, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attacked, avid gizzarelli, bills, care, charlie, court, donations, donatoins, donors, expenses, facebook, feeding, help save charlie, horse, magistrate, money, national park service, park service, san francisco, shelter, veterinary, website
That advice may not be applicable to every situation, but it’s what Ace and I did over the weekend when we departed from what turned out to be the final stop on our year-long trip around the country — the apartment of my birth.
In September of 2010, 50 years to the day after John Steinbeck and his poodle started the journey that would become “Travels with Charley,” Ace and I left the author’s former driveway in Sag Harbor to duplicate, more or less, his route.
We circled the country, stopping at places of dog significance, Steinbeck significance, or no significance at all, traveling more than 20,000 miles before we returned to Baltimore.
There, having moved out of our home before the trip, we squatted and mooched off friends for a little while, and then rode a little more.
We backtracked to North Carolina, where, planning to linger a few months, we lived in the basement of a mansion in Winston-Salem. After little more than a month, Ace developed back issues and, on our vet’s advice, we started seeking a place to stay that didn’t have stairs.
I was on an outing with my mother when I asked her to show me my birthplace — the tiny apartment she, my father, and sister shared in what’s known as College Village.
Just about the time I was wrapping that up — except for the pesky getting-it-published part — the landlord who owned my unit told me he was selling it, and that I was required to leave my birthplace.
It was a little sad — in part because of the sentimental value of the place; in part because of leaving the friends, dog and human (and one cat) we’d made; in part because it would mean lifting numerous heavy objects.
With little spring in our steps, Ace and I went looking at apartment complexes, only to be turned off by their cookie-cutter sameness, and their silly pet rules — from arbitrary weight limits and breed restrictions to ridiculously high, non-refundable pet fees.
Even when they had swimming pools, we couldn’t manage to get very excited about any of them.
It had a green tin roof, a working fireplace, a shed out back and a front porch that seemed to be crying out for two rocking chairs.
It’s outside of town, but also inside of town, which we’ll explain tomorrow. In any event, we moved in over the weekend.
Friends in College Village held a goodbye party before we left — not a surprise party, but pretty surprising. That four women in their 20s would hold a get-together for a man all-too-rapidly approaching 60 says a lot about them, and possibly even more, I think, about that man’s dog.
Ace got a giant bone, an azalea bush that, once planted, he will be allowed to pee on, and a bandana that says “I’m smarter than your honor student.” Everyone at the party agreed that, in addition to being funny, it is probably also true.
Even before I started packing, Ace realized something was up and got stressed. Ace loves to hit the road, but he also loves having a familiar routine. He became extra needy, extra clingy and followed me around the house, except when I was making too much noise. Then he’d seek refuge in the bed, or ask to go outside.
There, he seemed even more eager to see the friends he was always excited to see, run to and lean on.
Perhaps, too, he was sensing the nostalgia swelling up in me. Even though I’d only lived in the apartment for my first year of life, and had no clear memories of it, it was where I was conceived, where my parents lived when I was born and the subject of much of my mother’s reminiscing.
The only thing that came close to seeming familiar to me was the door ringer — a hand cranked brass bell that, whenever it rang, gave Ace a thrill (because it meant company) and me a vague sense of déjà vu. Either I remembered it from infancy or it reminded me of a school bell.
When I left, I asked the new owner if I could take it, and he said okay, so I unscrewed it from the door and threw it in a box.
In a way, we’re not closing any doors, just opening — and perhaps modifying – some new ones.
I’d like to install the old bell on my new front door. It would be a way of bringing some of the sentimental value of the old place into the new one. It would make my mother’s eyes light up when she saw it.
And every time it rang, it would startle Ace, make him bark once, and lead him to stand at the door, tail wagging in anticipation over who — old friend or new one — might be on the other side.
(Tomorrow: The new place, disclosing our undisclosed location)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, blog, book, college village, dogs, door, door bell, friends, john steinbeck, moving, north carolina, ohmidog!, packing, pets, ringer, stress, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, website, winston-salem
Susan Lee, of Wake Forest, independently rescued animals for 35 years, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
Lee, 55, had undergone radiation twice – each time coming back to the home where she grew up to care for her animals, hundreds of which she took in over the years. She learned in December that the cancer had spread to her brain.
In an interview with WRAL News last week, Lee said she wanted to make sure her “fur kids” were well cared for if something happened to her. She’d set up a website before her death in hopes of finding homes for the animals still in her care.
In the interview, she said she would stay home and look out for her pets as long as possible, even though she was growing weaker.
“I love this place. My mom has been blessed, I’ve been blessed to live here,” she said as a dog walked over to lick her face — one of the eight dogs and six cats she was still trying to find homes for last week.
Lee said her cancer strengthened her faith, made her grateful for each day and strengthened her bond with her animals, which included special-needs horses.
“I hope there will never be a day that I’m alive that I don’t have an animal with me,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, cancer, cats, death, dogs, fur kids, homes, horses, north carolina, pets, rescue, rescuer, susan lee, wake forest, website
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
Lancelot Encore, cloned in South Korea in an American company’s online dog cloning auction three years ago, is the father of eight pups, born on the 4th of July to another Labrador who was artificially inseminated with his sperm.
And they are for sale, at a price yet to be announced. (AKC registration is not a possibility because the organization doesn’t recognize clones as purebreds.)
Lancelot Encore’s owners, Ed and Nina Otto, have set up a website called labraclone.com which offers “future pups from the past” and will be used to sell seven of the puppies.
The Florida couple bid $155,000 to get the original Lancelot, who died of cancer, cloned in an online auction held by BioArts, an American company that attempted to clone the world’s first dog, then partnered with one of the South Korean scientists who was the first to pull the feat off.
Not long after Lancelot Encore settled in their home, with their nine other pets, the Ottos began thinking about breeding him.
Mrs. Otto said they paid several thousand dollars for a lab to inseminate a female Labrador, named Scarlett, with Lancelot Encore’s sperm.
Nina Otto said she was “tickled pink” that the babies had arrived naturally, the SunSentinel.com reported.
“I am keeping one and we are hoping to find good homes for all the other puppies,” she said.
Given the litter’s birthdate, the Ottos gave all eight pups patriotic names: Glory, Liberty, Star, Allegiance, America, Patriot, Independence and Victory.
While some news outlets, The Daily Mail in London included, call Lancelot the first dog to be commercially cloned (so do the Ottos), he’s not. Lancelot Encore is the first single birth commercial clone. The first canine clones delivered to a paying customer were five pups manufactured from the cells of a dead pit bull named Booger, by another South Korean company.
The full story of dog cloning can be found in the book, “DOG, INC.: How a Collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry.”
You can read an excerpt here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artificial insemination, biology, biotech, canine, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, commercial, dog, dog cloning book, dog inc., dogs, ed otto, fathers, florida, industry, john woestendiek, labraclone, labrador, lancelot, lancelot encore, natural, nina otto, pets, puppies, pups, selling, sires, website
It was the monthly meeting of the Northern California chapter of Tripawds, an online community for canine amputees and their owners.
The members started getting together about three years ago, Ralph Kanz of Oakland, who cares for three, three-legged German Shepherds, told the Marin Independent Journal.
The dogs played, socialized and ate a cake made from peanut butter, bananas and bacon, brought along by one San Francisco member.
Referred to as tripods by many owners, some of the dogs had lost limbs due to accidents, others due to cancerous tumors.
Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano created Tripawds.com after their German Shepherd, Jerry, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2006 and had to have a front leg amputated.
“For a lot of people, it’s a shock to see a tripod,” Agredano said. “What we do is we try to change their reaction from pity to amazement and get them to see these dogs don’t care.”
“When you see these dogs getting along on three legs and not caring about anything except having a good time, it’s a great reminder that we should all live our lives like that,” Agredano added.
(Photo: Angie McGraw of Novato pets Lylee, a 12-year-old dog who lost a leg to bone cancer. McGraw’s dog. Sadie, stands behind her; by Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, amputate, amputations, amputees, animals, california, cancer, canine, club, community, dog park, dogs, health, jim nelson, legs, marin, mill valley, online, pets, rene agredano, resilience, surgery, three legs, three-legged, tripawd, tripod, website
Whether you’re Catholic, Presbyterian or just plain gullible, you might have seen and fallen for this series of photos that seems to capture two neighboring churches having a theological debate, via their church signs, on whether dogs go to heaven.
But nay, my friend. Do not be decieved. See the light, which, you might notice, is exactly the same in each shot, as is the cropping, as is the background — including one car that is parked in the same place the whole time the alleged sign debate is going on.
Yea, verily, the devil’s workshop (now available online).
This particular one — the place where these false images are fashioned — is called Church Sign Generator. You can find it on the Internet, should you care to venture into that sinful rat’s nest of temptation, deception and pop-up ads. (May God strike me down if I ever resort to them.)
We (by which I mean me) are not truly bothered by Internet-generated church signs, though we’d argue that being able to put any words you want on one takes away some of the thrill of spotting real church signs that contain humor, wisdom or interesting typos. (Like seeking kudzu dogs, that’s one of my hobbies.)
Some of the Cumberland Presbyterians — especially since they seem to come out on the losing end of the debate — are less than thrilled with it though, calling the text that appears on the signs “inappropriate.”
The misleading series of photos is most often passed along via the forwarded email — forwarded emails being the Internet equivalent of swarming locusts.
“This forwarded e-mail continues to rear its ugly head time after time,” writes editor Pat White in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church newsletter, “so I am resurrecting this message that explains that this is not a theological issue for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.”
“These signs are a prank,” he adds. “If you receive one of these forwarded e-mails, please respond to the sender to be sure they understand that this is not a true Cumberland Presbyterian church sign.”
Alas, his remarks are too little, too late.
As with with locusts, once forwarded emails go viral, the damage is done, and the Presbyterian Church, or at least the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, or at least the Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church – if there really is one — is left looking God-fearing but dog-hating.
White does not address whether all dogs go to heaven, but we are quite certain they do.
We read it on a church sign once.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: all dogs go to heaven, beulah, catholic, church, church sign generator, church signs, cumberland presbyterian, debate, deception, devils workshop, dishonest, doctored, dogs, email, engineered, forwarded, hands, heaven, idle, internet, misleading, our lady of martyrs, photos, photoshop, presbyterian, religion, sign, signage, signs, viral, website
California’s first dog now has a page on the governor’s official website.
Gov. Jerry Brown has added a biography of his Pembroke Welsh corgi, Sutter, to the website, alongside his own bio, and that of his wife, Anne Gust Brown
It’s basically the same information that was on Sutter Brown’s Facebook page, created not long after the governor became the dog’s guardian.
Gov. Brown lists the first dog’s hometown as Ketchum, Idaho, the dog’s religious views as Zen Jesuit and his political affiliation as Whig.
The website describes Sutter as “practical and not carried away by the barking constituencies.”
Sutter belonged to Brown’s sister, Kathleen, a Goldman Sachs executive who moved from San Francisco to Chicago last year.
The governor’s longtime pet, a black Lab named Dharma, died last year.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bio, biography, brown, california, dharma, dogs, facebook, first dog, governor, jerry brown, pembroke welsh corgi, pets, politics, profile, sacramento, state, sutter, sutter brown, web page, website
Three days after we bemoaned the seemingly trending practice of putting words in dogs’ mouths via animation, a new Internet e-card company has launched, offering just that service.
It’s pretty much the same schtick as Pedigree’s “Denture Your Dog” ad campaign for “DentaStix” – upload a photo of your dog, position the talking mouth, type in what you want your dog to say, click, wait and, voila, you have a talking dog video you can distribute via Facebook, Twitter and email.
To hear what Ace thinks of it all, click on his picture above, then click on play on the page to which you are taken. (I swore I’d never do it, but then again, I also swore I’d never use the word “trending”.)
Pet-a-Greeting launched Tuesday, calling itself the first-ever site that allows members to upload a photo of their dog, cat or other pet and create a customized talking message to share.
“We’re taking the e-greeting card experience to a whole other level,” said Gregory Baker, co-founder of Pet-a-Greeting. (Confession: I tried to find a photo of Baker online so I could use his website to make him bark, but there are too many Gregory Bakers.)
“We developed Pet-a-Greeting because we love our animal friends,” Baker continues in a press release, “and we want people to be able to share a unique experience with their friends and families, while giving a voice to those that typically don’t have one.”
If that’s not noble enough for you, consider this: Pet-a-Greeting says it has a strong commitment to helping animal welfare organizations both locally and nationally. “By becoming a member and sending Pet-a-Greetings, you are supporting the welfare of companion animals.”
No details, or percentage, or beneficiary is mentioned in the news release, so I guess we have to just take their word for it.
Pet-a-Greeting offers a 10-day free trial, where members can send unlimited personal greeting cards. A year’s membership is $9.95, and a two-year membership is $14.95.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, animated, anthopomorphic, denture your dog, dentures, dogs, email, facebook, greetings, gregory baker, internet, launch, make your dog talk, new, pedigree, pet-a-greeting, pets, talking dogs, technology, twitter, video, website, words
All the terrible things humans do to dogs is another.
ohmidog! – as regular readers know — is not all fluffy, feel-good dog news all the time. We think it’s important not to turn a blind eye to animal abuse, in any of its forms, because only when the public fully knows what is going on can steps be taken to do something about it.
A case in point: Patrick, the starving New Jersey pit bull tossed down a trash chute at a high-rise apartment in Newark.
His reprehensible treatment, and subsequent resiliency, is not just tugging at the heartstrings of dog lovers everywhere, it’s uniting them to demand that those who abuse dogs be subject to punishments more in line with the ones received for violent crimes against humans.
If no one had seen those disturbing pictures of what Patrick looked like when he was taken in by Associated Humane Societies, there probably wouldn’t have been the outcry that has ensued. Publicity about his case has led not just to donations for his care, and that of dogs similarly abused, but to the sprouting of grassroots movements aimed at strenghtening animal abuse laws.
Patrick’s story, amid signs he’s continuing to recover, appears headed for a happy ending.
There was one in North Carolina this week that didn’t:
A female retriever mix, believed to be about 4 years old, was found wandering in the 6500 block of Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro on Tuesday after apparently being scalded with boiling water.
She was wearing a collar and a rabies tag, but the numbers could not be read, according to Marsha Williams, the animal shelter’s director. The nameless dog was responsive when she arrived at the animal shelter, but she was emaciated and suffering third-degree burns on her face, ears and legs. She died 30 minutes later.
The Greensboro-Guilford County Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible. The Crime Stoppers number is 336-373-1000.
Very little is known about the dog, or what happened to her — and given as she has no known name, given that she didn’t survive — she’s not likely to emerge as a poster child or Internet sensation.
We share her story — or at least the sparse details known – for the same reason we passed along Patrick’s story; and that of Phoenix, a pit bull burned in Baltimore; and Susie, a puppy tortured in Greensboro; and Louis Vuitton, burned and beaten in Alabama; and Buddy, dragged to death behind a truck in Colorado.
And that’s because the public needs to know — the non-sugar-coated truth, unfathomable as it is, painful as it may be to see and hear.
That’s the only way change happens. Our hope would be that change would involve more than just harsher sentences for animal abuse. More severe sentences will send a message, serve as a deterrent and satisfy our need for vengeance, but they don’t address the underlying causes that, without making compassion for animals part of every school’s curriculum, ensure such incidents will continue.
ohmidog! tries not to be one of those websites that shoves animal abuse down your throat daily (sometimes the days just don’t cooperate, though). Similarly, it tries not be one of those blissfully ignorant websites that look only at the happy dog news, pawsing only for bad puns.
If you want to be totally shielded from the sad and gory, the depraved and the troubling, don’t come here.
Because when humans sink this low, whether they be punks in an alley, breeders at a puppy mill, or scientists in a laboratory, we will make note of it and, if we can, more than likely include a photo, too — not for the purpose of sensationalizing, but to inform and spark action.
That said, to see the photo, continue. To avoid it, don’t click, don’t scroll, just go back to our main page.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused dogs, animal cruelty, animals, boiling, buddy, crime, cruelty, dead, details, dog, dog websites, dogs, gory, greensboro, killed, law, louis vuitton, media, news, north carolina, ohmidog!, patrick, pets, phoenix, photos, pictures, pit bull, scalded, sentences, susie, torture, water, website