Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Boys, 10 and 12, charged with dogfighting

Here's an article and a news video that breaks my heart.  What, exactly, are we teaching our youth about respect and the value of life?  I read this article because I was sure there was an error in the ages of the perpetrators of this vicious abuse; imagine my surprise when I was wrong.

How can such young boys be so twisted?  Where are they learning these things?  How can we, as a society, help prevent this from becoming full-fledged epidemics?  These boys have lost their humanity before they even knew what that was.  I am so sad.
Two boys — aged 10 and 12 — have been charged with fighting, baiting and cruelty to animals after deputies say they discovered the boys were operating a backyard dogfighting operation.

A neighbor called deputies in Orange County after the boys dumped a dead dog on his property. When deputies arrived to ask one of them about the allegations cops say the boy picked up a puppy and started beating it until deputies forced him to stop, according to Fox News in Orlando.

Three dogs were taken from the property after they were found covered with wounds, spray painted and living in unhealthy conditions.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Winston, dog that chewed up police car, gets a break

Could you ever imagine vandalizing a police car with an officer sitting behind the wheel? Probably not. As a law abiding citizen, you know that the end result of that kind of behavior would mean jail time. However, recently, a canine named Winston didn't realize the true consequences of this kind of act. So, after chewing off the front bumper of a Chattanooga, Tennessee police car, he was detained and locked up in a shelter. The good news is that officials gave him a break and sent him home.

Even prior to meeting with a judge, the police and Winston's owner had come to an agreement. While in the shelter, this newly famous dog displayed a meek and mild personality - a temperament opposite to the one caught on camera on the day of the incident. (See video below.) As a result, the presiding judge agreed to let him go home on a few conditions.

The main conditions of Winston’s release were that his owner secure his fence better and also take his wayward pet to obedience school. Considering the world wide attention this incident got, the sentencing was easy. Both Winston and his owner were left off easy.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Trouble in the life of my two dogs!

Here is a quick post about an incident we had yesterday.  I took the two boys out as I usually do.  We were on our way up to the mailbox to check the mail and drop off some letters in the slot.  As we were about to cross the parking lot toward the office, my left knee just buckled and Austen picked that exact moment to pull to the end of his leash, after wrapping my other ankle up in it.  Needless to say, I went down on the asphalt like a sack of potatoes.  I hit my hip and shoulder and rolled over onto my back.  Got a fairly big gash cut out of my toe and some nasty abrasions on my right knee.

As I lay there taking inventory to see if anything was broken, both my boys came running up to me and started licking me in the face.  It was then that I realized that even in falling, I had not ever let go of the leashes.  That's a good thing, because Satchmo will be gone with the wind if he has a chance.

Once I determined that I was not broken, I realized that I was laying in a huge grease puddle and everything I had on was now soaked with motor oil.  Great.  I had a terrible night and went to get checked out today, but I learned my lesson and will be walking these two young men separately for a while!

Here is another photo of Austen after the haircutting fiasco.  He finally let me take his picture, but he still looks ridiculous!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I just found this video on YouTube that shows the cutest hairless ratties!  Watch this and see if you don't just fall in love.....

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The continuing saga of the foster dog!

I have to tell myself he's a dog, not just a &...Image by This Year's Love via Flickr
It is time to renew my lease, so being the proper person I am, I told them about the "foster dog" and added him to my pet form.  Well......I was asked, not too politely, a million questions about this "dog" and told quite rudely that there are stipulations and he needs to meet their rules or leave.  I answered all of their questions about Austen and apparently he meets the requirements--over 1 year old, small, all shots, etc.  I now am informed that I have to pay an additional $325 deposit (my original deposit was $175 for Satchmo) since the pet deposit for two pets is $500 total.  WTF???

So, OK, I will pay the deposit because I believe in rules and try to be a good pet owner.  My dogs go outside every two hours on leashes and I walk them in the area allotted for pets.  I even have bags to clean up after them when they are out to "do their business".  They are in good health, well-fed and have manners.  They do not run loose and bite or growl at others.

The big issue for me began this morning.  As is their norm, they woke me up early (still dark) to go out for their morning "constitutional".  Being dogs, they have a particular area that they have chosen for that purpose.  Makes taking them out easy and quick.  Anyway, we are on our way to this area when all of a sudden there is a Pit Bull male dog growling at my leashed little ones.  It seems that the owner of this dog, being lazy or uninformed, simply opens the door and allows his dog to run outside to do his business.  He never looked to see if there might be a problem. 

Austen and this dog are growling and sniffing and the pit bull starts getting excited.  I literally have to pick Austen up by his harness and hold him up in the air to prevent attack from the pit.  Meanwhile, Satchmo has finished his business and runs over to "see the new dog" who then begins to attack Satch.  I have to throw Austen down and lift Satch up by his harness out of "harms' way". 

So I am holding Satch up in the air and yanking Austen's leash to try to get away from this dog when the owner finally comes out to get his dog.  His only response was, "Did it rain all night?"  I, meanwhile, am dragging my dogs off as fast as I can and he has to call his dog "Champ" numerous times before he will come.

This family not only has this male pit bull dog, but also a pit bull puppy in this apartment.  I never would have thought they would simply open the door and let the dogs run out!  The issue here is not that these are pit bull dogs.  I actually like that breed of dog and have owned two pit puppies when I lived out in the country.  Generally, they are loving and loyal dogs--but the breed has been bred for years and years to fight and once the dogs get excited it is difficult to shut down that behavior.

All I could see in my mind's eye was the little dogs lying lifeless on the ground after being attacked by a much bigger dog.  I was shaking and so were the dogs.  Satch began to vomit once we got home.

So, do you think the apartment manager knows about these dogs?  Do you think these people paid $500 deposit?  I don't know and I don't care, but it will be some time before we walk by this apartment again.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Austen got a haircut....and what a haircut!

My neighbor came over this week and graciously agreed to clip Austen.  I agreed to help him and we set about doing just that.  However, we both forgot to ask Austen if he wanted to participate...which he most definitely did not!  We got most of his hair clipped until we came to the face.  At that point, he went ballistic and we had to stop, so he looks kinda like a hairless schnauzer.  He is absolutely horrified at the way he looks and tries to hide under funiture and under bedcovers.  I think he probably is chilly, too, since he no longer has any extra hair on his torso.  His poor little tail is just a twig sticking straight up from his back.  I'll try to see if he will let me take a picture of him, but I don't think he will. 

I was going to try to work on his face tonight or tomorrow, but I am not sure if he can stand anymore trauma.  I think he may have to go to "The Pretty Parlor" from now on so he can get his hair clipped.

Okay, he let me take pictures, but he refuses to stand up and let me show you the full effect!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More on those cats!

I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat fou...Image via Wikipedia
Well, we now always have one of the black kittens sitting on the chair outside; every now and then the other will show back up and sit out there with the litter-mate, but then that little cat will disappear for days.

The one who stays on the porch, KT, is becoming friendly.  I still don't know if it is a boy or girl, but it will now rub against my legs and let me touch him/her to scratch its head.  I have even picked it up briefly.

It probably helps that we set canned food out twice a day for these little black fuzz-balls.  Hopefully, soon I will entice KT into the house and then I can see about getting medical care done.

My dogs, Satchmo and Austen, both seem oblivious to these cats unless they start darting around.  Then they want to go play with them.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Austen still needs a haircut!

I have tried and tried to clip this foster dog's face and feet.  All to no avail.  He is more adept than I and he squirms out of my grasp and runs off to hide.  All I have really done is to make his situation worse.  I finally broke down and asked my neighbor, who clips his own dog, if he would help me.  I'll let you know how that goes, but I have some reservations.  I think this dog will outwit both of us.

About the cats--both are still alive and well.  They show up every morning to eat and get fresh water.  The largest one, I call it KT, is very curious about us and he/she has started to let me scratch his/her head.  I even got to pick that one up very, very briefly.  These little kittens hardly weigh a pound.  I have simply got to get them caught and taken to the vet.  With summer coming, I need to get them immunized and neutered/spayed.  I also want to have something done to help them with fleas.  Since they hang out on my porch, I don't want the little jumping bugs to decide to jump on into my house.

I'll just have to continue to be patient and if I can get the one to let me hold him/her, maybe I can get the other into a trap and then take them both together.  More to follow.......
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homeless L.A. man back with his pit bull

Here's a great story about love and loyalty.  Only a dog lover will truly understand, but I think everyone needs to see the connection we have with our dogs.  Pets provide more than just companionship, protection, company, etc.  Pets make up an essential part of our everyday life and living with pets makes us truly human.

Please read the story below.  I found it on a blog, Ohmidog!   I hope you will visit this blog for more wonderful stories about life with pets.  I know I will be back to visit  and soon!

I was driving down Century Boulevard when I spotted them — a homeless man, judging from the Vons grocery cart he was pushing down the sidewalk, and a three-legged pit bull in a service dog vest, hobbling alongside, her leash tied to the cart.
I made a u-turn, saw him walking down Hawthorne and, after one more u-turn, pulled my rental car alongside the man and dog as they turned down 101st Street.
His name is Mike Reed, and his dog’s name is Topaz, and as we sat on the sidewalk and talked — next to his bottle of King Cobra malt liquor in a black plastic bag — Topaz, weary from a just completed walk, snoozed on the concrete, wearing a service dog vest that said “Don’t Touch Me, I’m Working.”
Reed has had Topaz for five years. He takes care of her. She takes care of him, helping him cope with life on the streets — the kind of life that can turn violent at any second, and on Aug. 31 did just that.
On that day, he and Topaz found themselves standing innocently in the middle of a confrontation between another homeless man and officers from the Inglewood Police Department.
Reed had just met the man minutes earlier — after the man entered a store and an employee noticed what appeared to be a gun in his pants. Police were called, and tracked the man down. Not knowing whether Reed was an accomplice, officers put Reed in a squad car. Topaz remained on the sidewalk, leashed to Reed’s grocery cart.
As Reed decribes it, police told the suspect to put his hands in the air. The suspect raised and lowered his hands two times. The third time he lowered them, he reached for what police thought was a gun, and a barrage of shots followed.
The gun turned out to be a plastic toy.
Four or five shots struck Topaz, one shattering her hip bone.
“She pulled my Maserati (his shopping cart) off the curb and fell over, but she kept looking at me.”
He pleaded with police officers to let him go to her. “I said, ‘Let me get to my dog, let me get to my dog, let me get to my dog,’ and they wouldn’t.”
Eddie Franco died in the shooting, in which eight officers fired a total of 47 shots, according to KTLA-TV. Topaz was taken away in a police car. Reed was taken into custody, and his possessions were confiscated. He was later released – but given no information about his dog. Having watched as she was struck, he presumed she was dead.
“It threw me,” Reed said of losing his dog. “I’m OK, I can survive an attack or two; we’re in L.A. But they shot my dog. They shot my dog. You can shoot me, but don’t mess with my best friend.”
Reed, 50, who has been described as having “mental problems,” says he has been homeless, or, as he put it  “pulling a Vons” for the last 10 years
Without his dog, “his world was just taken away,” said his friend Tina Larson, who went to high school with Reed and lives near one of the spots where he hangs out.
Two days later, though, a message was relayed to Reed that his dog was alive.
Months before the incident, Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, founder of Streetsmarts Rescue, had seen Reed and his dog on the street, collecting recyclables, and stopped to talk to him.  She placed one of her organization’s rescue tags on Topaz, who had no identification, and Reed gave her his stepmother’s phone number.
When the Carson Shelter’s animal control unit — where Topaz was taken after the shooting — saw the tag, they called Hurel-Diourbel, who got the message to Reed.
She also started contacting other rescue organizations to raise money for the surgery Topaz needed.
Meanwhile, Reed retrieved his dog, and apparently wasn’t told about how serious her condition was. For several days, rescue organizations searched for him so that Topaz could get the surgery.
When they finally found him, infections had set in. Vets removed her right rear leg at the hip.
It took about two months for Topaz to get up and around, Reed said, and she can’t cover as much ground as she used to. “We can’t go too far no more. We have to stay close. She’s not vicious or anything, but she’s a good guard dog. She she still watches my back,” he said.
“I help her during the day. She helps me at night.”
(Photos by John Woestendiek/ohmidog!)
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