Lawyers for a Baltimore police officer who slit the throat of a sharpei on a city street in June tried to put a new spin on his actions in court last week, entering a not guilty plea and suggesting Officer Jeffrey Bolger was heroically trying to save the unborn child of the pregnant woman the dog had bitten.
Fortunately, the judge didn’t immediately buy it, and declined a request from defense lawyers to dismiss the animal cruelty charges filed against Bolger.
The pregnant woman, meanwhile, is calling bullshit.
“Don’t try and make yourself a hero when you made a grave mistake,” she said in a a radio interview last week, after Bolger’s initial court appearance. “Try and say I’m sorry.”
In court on Thursday, lawyers for the 22-year veteran of the police force said Bolger was “legally authorized” to kill the dog, named Nala, and that he was acting to protect the unborn child of a woman the dog had bitten.
He entered a not guilty plea to two counts of animal mutilation, one count of animal cruelty and one count of misconduct in office. Both Bolger, 49, and a second officer, who held Nala while Bolger slit her throat, have been suspended.
His attorney’s reasoning went like this: Had the dog escaped from police, the woman would have had to undergo a series of rabies shots, putting her baby at risk. Due to that, and the dangers the attorney said the dog posed to citizens nearby, Bolger made the decision to “euthanize” Nala in the safest manner possible.
“Bolger considered using his firearm, but he determined that there was too much danger of a ricochet bullet injuring bystanders,” his lawyers said. “Instead, he used his knife in a fashion intended to cause the dog the least amount of pain and place the public in the least amount of danger.”
What’s underplayed in attorney’s brief is that, when that decision was made, the dog had already been subdued with a catch pole.
The attorneys said Bolger and other officers struggled with the dog for more than an hour, the Baltimore Sun reported.
And they said Bolger didn’t say “I’m going to gut this (expletive) thing,” as some witnesses reported. Instead, they submit, he said he was going to have to “cut” the dog because of the lack of other available options.
Among those who found the attorney’s statements ludicrous was Sandy Fleischer, the pregnant woman who was trying to help the dog and keep police from harming her. She spoke out after the incident — and she did so again after Bolger’s hearing.
“To say that you were helping me and trying to save my life? I was there to help the dog,” Sandy Fleischer said. “I can’t believe they are using me for the defense.”
In an interview Thursday on WBAL Radio’s C4 Show, Fleischer said she was upset that the fact she was pregnant — something she confided only to the paramedic treating her — had made its way to police and into the courtroom.
Fleischer was nipped by the dog as she tried to get a look at her collar, so she could get in touch with the dog’s owner.
When she first recounted the incident on the radio show, months ago, Fleischer said the officers who first arrived on the scene used sticks to try and corral the dog, which only served to intensify the situation. She said officers calling the dog a pit bull.
She said police had her ushered to the ambulance “because they didn’t want me seeing the dog being killed.”
A second officer, Thomas Schmidt, 53, is accused of holding the dog down while Bolger cut her throat and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
The judge, while declining to immediately grant the request for a dismissal requested by Bolger’s attorneys, didn’t rule out further arguments and consideration of the motion.
Bolger’s trial date is scheduled for Nov. 7.
(Photo: Ian Duncan / Baltimore Sun)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, baltimore, bite, bitten, court, cut, dog, dogs, hearing, hero, jeffrey bolger, killed, knife, law enforcement, nala, not guilty, officer, plea, police, pregnant, rabies, sharpei, slit, thomas schmidt, throat, trial, woman
Sure, a $50,000 sport utility vehicle can help you find women.
But not as good as a dog can.
In this Range Rover ad, an unnaturally handsome man finds a scarf, lets his dog sniff it, then follows in his Baroque — through winding streets, around various urban obstacles and even down some stairs — as the dog tracks down the owner.
The carmaker says the ad showcases the “contemporary design and extraordinary versatility” of the Range Rover Baroque, but we think the dog wins out, at least in the latter category.
The commercial, entitled “The Scent,” was filmed in Girona and Barcelona, and its tagline is, “Cut a path through civilization.”
Not to give away the ending, but the dog finds the scarf’s owner, and, miracle of miracles, it’s an unnaturally beautiful woman.
We think the ad would have been better if it were a wrinkly, 99-year-old great grandma, who was missing her babushka. Or better yet, if the camera showed the dog running toward a beautiful young woman, then past her to deliver the scarf back to the great grandma.
While some of its models have shrunk, the Range Rover still has a bit of an image as a big, road-hogging, view-blocking gas guzzler (though the Baroque averages 23 miles per gallon and is much less offensive than, say, a Humvee).
Given that image, the ad could have used a little more humor, a little less hubris – of the “I-can-drive-my-big-imposing-car-anywhere-I-want” category.
Needless to say, don’t try this at home, whether home is Barcelona or Brooklyn. Roving the range is one thing; roving urban sidewalks and steps quite another.
One must be careful not to mow down pedestrians when cutting a path through civilization, which, by the way, already provides us with paths for cars.
They’re called roads.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, automobiles, barcelona, baroque, big cars, cars, civilization, commercials marketing, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, girona, humvee, image, media, pets, range rover, road, scarf, sniff, sport utility vehicle, stairs, steps, streets, suv, the scent, woman, woof in advertising
Heidi Diedrich said the two-year-old dog, who she adopted from a county shelter eight months ago, chased off as many as five of the wild animals after they charged her and knocked her to the ground in Scottsdale on Thanksgiving day.
JoJo, the pit bull, received more than 100 sutures for his wounds but is recovering.
Diedrich said she and the dog were walking before sunrise in a park near her Scottsdale Ranch condo when she heard hooves behind her and was knocked to the ground.
“I couldn’t see anything,” she told the Arizona Republic. “I just know I kicked something.”
JoJo wriggled out of his collar and both he and the javelina disappeared in the darkness. Diedrich didn’t see what happened next, but she heard fighting and yelping in the distance.
When JoJo reappeared he was covered with blood. Vets found about 10 cuts and gore wounds from the animals’ tusks.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Javelina attacks are rare, state wildlife officials say. While capable of inflicting serious harm with their razor sharp incisors, they generally avoid pets and humans.
Jim Paxon, a spokesman with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said Diedrich and JoJo were likely attacked because the javelina felt threatened.
“They might have been running from something else and already … felt threatened,” he said. “But when they came in contact with the lady and her dog, they were reacting to a perceived threat and they were acting like wild animals.”
Paxon advised anyone who encounters a javelina to quietly move away. If it’s too late for that, he recommends climbing a tree or fence, or running away in a direction perpendicular from them.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, attack, attacks, dog, dogs, javelina, pack, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rescues, saves, scottsdale, wildlife, woman
A makeshift memorial was constructed Sunday night in honor of a California woman who was struck by a car and killed after rescuing a dog that had wandered into traffic.
Mara Steves, 48, of Laguna Niguel, had coaxed the dog off the highway and was kneeling with it on the corner when two cars collided nearby, one of which went off the road and struck her.
Friends and family decorated the corner with flowers, candles and notes in memory of Steves, a mother of two.
The dog, who wasn’t believed to be the cause of the accident, was not injured and reportedly made its way back home, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Steves was a former PTA president at a local elementary school, was jogging when she saw the dog in the road, a sheriff’s department official said.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, animals, california, car, dog, hit, jogger, jogging, killed, laguna niguel, mara steves, memorial, news, orange county, pets, rescue, rescuing, saved, saving, traffic, woman
A grandmother in Bosnia is claiming she saved the six newborn puppies that a young woman tossed into a fast flowing river — an act that was captured on video and has outraged dog lovers internationally.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Ruza Pavlovic, a 75-year-old woman who lives in Bugojno, Bosnia, says she saw the pups struggling in the river and fished them out.
The Mail article points out that it hasn’t been confirmed that the puppies are the same ones that a woman in a red hooded sweatshirt was videotaped throwing one by one into the river.
The “saved” puppies seem to have a brownish coloring not seen on those in the video. And the “savior” is making it known that she is too poor to provide them with food. “They are healthy and happy,” they quote her as saying. “My problem is that they need at least three litres of milk a day and I live only on my small pension, but I do not have the heart to abandon them.”
Police, the Mail article reports, have tracked down the girl they believe threw the animals into the river and are set to interview her. The name of the girl, also from Bugojno, has not been published to protect her safety.
The video was posted on Facebook, and appeared on YouTube and LiveLeaks, enraging animal lovers at least as much as last year’s video of a man in Lithuania throwing a dog off a bridge.
Another animal rights group – SOS, which is based in Sarajevo – also claimed to have information confirming the location of the girl, who was reportedly filmed by her brother.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the young woman.
Meanwhile, several Facebook groups have formed, seeking to bring her to justice as well.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, bosnia, bosnian, cruelty, dogs, drown, girl, liveleaks, news, ohmidog!, pets, puppies, pups, reports, rescued, river, saved, throw, thrown, throws, tossed, tosses, video, viral, woman
A 68-year-old Danish man was sentenced Monday for rubbing dog feces into the hair of a canine owner who neglected to clean up after her pet.
A 41-year-old woman in Silkeborg told police she was walking home with her dog and a load of groceries when the man confronted her for letting her dog defecate in his garden.
The woman offered to go home, get a bag and clean up the mess, but the man was apparently intent on exacting revenge.
“He was really aggressive. He grabbed the woman by the hair, held on tight to her and rubbed the dog poop all over her head,” a witness told the Copenhagen Post.
The man received 30 days suspended jail time.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assault, confrontation, danish, denmark, dog, feces, hair, head, news, ohmidog!, pets, poop, revenge, rubbed, smeared, woman
A freak accident in San Jose has the city re-examining its dog rules, particularly those governing bicyclists riding with dogs on trails.
A meeting was held Wednesday after the death of Beverly Head, who fell on the popular Los Alamitos Creek trail after her legs became wrapped up in the leash of a Siberian husky running alongside a cyclist.
Head, a 62-year-old phlebotomist, initially remained conscious after the Sept. 16 fall, even speaking with the bicyclist until paramedics came, but she died the next day, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The bicyclist — who was riding with two Siberian huskies — has not come forward and the Head family is offering a $5,000 reward for his identity. The death has been ruled an accident.
“This is a horribly tragic accident, but we can’t legislate accidents,” said Justin Grosso, a San Jose resident who argued at the meeting that additional rules aren’t necessary. Others favored new city laws addressing the issue.
Suggestions included adding more signs on the trails, separating trails for walkers and bicyclists, and banning leashes more than 6 feet long.
About 125 people attended the meeting, which was convened by San Jose Councilwoman Nancy Pyle. The city’s current laws require that owners keep their dogs “under control” at all times and keep them on leashes of up to 20 feet in city parks.
“We’re here to get ideas from the public so that shared trails don’t become hazardous, and we can find ways to coexist,” she said.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, beverly head, bicycle, california, city council, cyclist, dogs, killed, leash, los alamitos creek, nancy pyle, parks, regulations, san jose, siberian husky, trail, trails, woman