A 1-year-old Dachshund, named Camila, is dressed up by owner Valery Palma to attend her first birthday party in Mexico City.
Palma, a single 35-year-old lawyer,blew out the one candle for Camila on a cake from an exclusive bakery, baked in the shape of a big bone.
An estimated 40 million Mexicans considered to be middle class are having fewer children than their parents did and starting families later in life. That leaves more disposable income and, to many, pets are taking the place of children, reports animal behaviorist Reman Medina.
"This goes beyond a trend," he said. "People see their dog as part of the family."
Since 2008, sales of pet-related products have grown an average of 13 percent a year, to $2.2 billion last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.
"We're seeing the growth of this idea in which a dog is an alternative to children," said Raul Valadez Azua, a paleozoologist at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City.
"People are no longer having children at a young age ... because they can have a different lifestyle with luxuries they know they will no longer be able to afford once they have children," said Zorayda Morales, an analyst with De La Riva Group, a market research agency.
DOGS ALSO MORE PAMPERED IN WORKING-CLASS AREAS
Dogs have become more popular and pampered in working-class areas also, reports. Newsday.
Neighborhood street markets feature ever-greater quantities of dog products such as shampoos, brushes and elaborate leashes and collars.
"It doesn't depend on class, it depends on commitment, said Medina, who is also one of the founders of MEDICAN, Mexico's first animal hospital with a hyperbaric chamber, used to accelerate the healing of wounds and infections.
"People without a lot of money are sometimes better clients than the upper classes. Some show up and want to barter for care of their pets. They will say, 'I don't have money, what can we do? I'm an upholsterer and I can reupholster your chairs in exchange for treatment.'
CULTURAL SHIFT TOWARD ANIMALS PROMPTED BY ACTIVISTS
It's a startling cultural shift in a country where a dog's life has long meant days chained to the roof of the house, says Newsday.
Mexico has an estimated 20 million dogs or more, many of them roaming the streets hunting for food in the trash or spending their days shut up in apartments by owners who see them simply as living burglar alarms.
Last year, the problem gained international attention when authorities said five people had been killed by a pack of feral dogs in the Cerro de Estrella park in Iztapalapa, a poor eastern neighborhood of Mexico City.
Authorities captured some 50 dogs near where the attacks took place and brought them to a pound, prompting demonstrations by animal rights activists that pushed officials to put the dogs up for adoption.
PET THEFT BECOMING A PROBLEM
At the other end of the scale, owners of pure-bred dogs are being hit by robbery and kidnapping of animals worth thousands of dollars in some cases.
Nurse Karla Gutierrez's dog walker was out with her 4-year-old Golden Retriever, Hebe, and several other dogs in February when two men held him up at gunpoint.
"They told him, 'the dogs,' and he let Hebe's leash go so she could run away, “But my girl just curled up into a ball and they grabbed her and another Golden," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez has since plastered her neighborhood with posters of Hebe, with the caption "Stolen."
"I am still crying for her almost every night," Gutierrez said. "I'm trying to live my normal life, playing soccer and riding my bike, but I can barely do it."
A balloon release was launched on Saturday in Riverside, AL, to help a community say goodbye to 5-year-old John Harvard, Family and friends came together and released balloons in his memory in the afternoon and then later they gathered at his home for a candlelight vigil.
5 year-old John Harvard and his 9-year-old brother were playing in their own front yard on Honeysuckle Way when a neighbor’s 80-pound Pit Bull ran onto the property and attacked the younger boy last Sunday, April 6. The 9-year-old tried to get the dog off his little brother before running to get their father, according to Mayor Rusty Jessup.
Mayor Jessup knows the family well. He says, "We think the dog might have been shot because the father did take some shots at the Pit Bull in an effort to get it off the child."
The 5-year-old was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in St. Clair County where he was pronounced dead.
Neighbors say the dog's owners treated all the children in the neighborhood like they were their own.
"They give ice cream and popsicles to every child in this neighborhood all the way to the end of the street. They wouldn't have this happen for anything in the world," said Kay Calhoun, one of the Harvards' neigbhors. "They are just heartbroken. They've seen and loved this little boy since he was born as well. They are in a great deal of pain."
The dog was later euthanized.
The case is still under investigation, according to St. Clair County Undersheriff Billy Murray.
Meanwhile, the city is looking at possibly adopting a leash law following this incident. Mayor Jessup said the incident just proves that it's time for Riverside to adopt a leash ordinance to prevent a similar incident like this from happening in the future.
He says a city council member has indicated they'd bring a leash law to the table for discussion at their April 15 meeting.
A 4-year-old girl is in critical condition at UMMC in Simpson County after three of her grandfather’s pit bulls attacked her. The tragic incident occurred on Garrett Road in Harrisville, Miss., about 25 miles from the state capital, Jackson.
Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis said the little girl was playing inside her grandfather's mobile home when three pit bulls tore through the back door. The dogs grabbed the child and dragged her outside, WAPF reports.
The girl has severe injuries all over her face and body. Her grandfather and his girlfriend rushed to help the child, but the dogs turned on them.
The man, identified as Donald Mullins, shot two of the dogs, but a third escaped.
Mullins and his girl friend, Rita Tompkins, were arrested and charged with child endangerment. They immediately bailed out and went to the hospital for treatment of their wounds.
Lewis says Mullins had 10 pit bulls on the property. He is reportedly signing them over to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League Thursday morning.
The Maryland General Assembly has, on the third attempt, passed legislation that overrules a state high court ruling that Pit Bulls are an “inherently dangerous” breed of dog and should be held to a stricter liability standard for bites than other breeds.
With passage of HB 73, all dog owners will be held liable for their dog’s injuries, regardless of the breed. It also removes liability for landlords, unless the landlord knew or should have known that the dog was actually dangerous. Injuries committed while a dog is running loose will still incur owners’ strict liability.
Advocates for Pit Bulls are claiming it is liberation for dog owners. “It gives us an equal footing with the rest of the breeds and we’re not locked down for owning these dogs,” said Pit Bull advocate Eric Vocke.
Not all dog owners share his enthusiasm. A comment on Facebook reads, “…now every dog owner is exempt from the previous one-bite rule, basically punishing all dog owners thanks to the pit bulls/HSUS and all the others who supported it.”
Ledy VanKavage, the Best Friends Animal Society attorney working to overturn breed-specific legislation all over the country, reminds us that “Any dog can bite. The simple truth is breed is not a factor in bites.”
But there are those who disagree based upon statistics and increasing unprovoked attacks. Coleen Lynn of DogsBite.orgtweeted, “In the first quarter of 2014, dogs killed 13 Americans. If this pace continues, there will be 52 fatalities in 2014. “
Darrin Stephens posted, “14 People dead by dog attack in 2014. Pit bull type dogs killed 12 of them. Nine of the dead are children.” He placed stars by the names of three of the children and wrote, “Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the vic.”
The person who best understands the impact of the Assembly ruling is Tony Solesky, whose son Dominic was mauled by a pit bull in the alley behind his red brick house in East Towson, an attack that resulted in trauma surgery at John Hopkins Hospital and a year of rehabilitation, and scars that still cause people to ask “what happened.”
In his e-book, Dangerous by Default, Solesky describes what happened to two Towson, Maryland, children in April 2007:
“The first victim, nine year old Scotty Mason, was mauled in the face and shoulders, then threatened by the dog owner not to tell. The second child, ten year old Dominic Solesky, accompanied by two playmates, attempted to rescue young Scotty. The dog chased the three, caught, attacked and mauled ten year old Dominic, inflicting severe wounds. The most extreme injury, was a life threatening two inch tear to his femoral artery. Dominic, also abandoned by the dog owner, half conscious, bleeding profusely and surrounded by pools of blood, attempted to crawl home. He was discovered in the alley by neighbors responding to his screams and those summoned by his playmates…”
In 2012, the lawsuit Tracey v. Solesky, stemming from that gruesome attack, resulted in Maryland’s highest court opining that Pit Bulls and their mixes are “inherently dangerous” and held both the owner and landlord “strictly liable” for any attacks.
Tony speaks out on the new law on Facebook and is reportedly waging a write-in campaign for election now. Here is his take on the new law:
“It means that for most states for well over a century victims of dog bites had to prove that the dog owner was on notice--that the dog had an issue--in order to collect compensation. If there was no indication of previous behavior or the victim could not prove there was a previous incident, a victim could not get compensated for their injuries.
This became known as the "ONE FREE BITE" rule. It meant that there is not actually one free bite but the standard for proof was so hard that it might as well be as if the first bite was free…Finally a dog breed came along that is so extreme and dangerous that the court said, “No way can someone say they didn’t know a Pit bull could harm you; and that eliminated the "One Free Bite" for Pit bulls.
“Now they have said, “Let’s remove the strict liability for just Pit bulls and make all dog owners--not victims--have to prove they did not know their dog could harm.
“I believe that most people will probably be able to prove they did not know, but maybe a jury will say 'Too bad, it is your dog--it is your problem.' That said, I do not see how a Pit Bull owner in Maryland is going to be able to prove they did not know; so, in that regard I believe little has changed for them and in fact Pit bulls may have now pissed of the dog-owning community more than ever. This could be a really good thing against the breed in that regard.”
He added in response to questions about other states, “Only the next couple of dog-bite cases will tell. As far as the other 49 states, yes, they will still be able to cite the ruling of the court, as well as use it as a guide for legislation when and if they ever do.”
“The short story is that as far as the ruling goes it is as solid as it ever was for all of the other states. Only Maryland has changed their law in response to it.”
A Carmel, CA, woman, Karen Ruhlmann, who died two years ago, left more than $9 million to three canine-care organizations: the SPCA for Monterey County, the Animal Friends Rescue Project in Pacific Grove, CA, and Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah.
The IRS has just cleared the estate for distribution of funds, attorney David S. Mullally announced, and the gift will be divided equally among the three.
Ms. Ruhlmann was 69 years old when she passed in 2012. She was born in Hamburg, Germany, and worked as a graphic designer and art director in Germany, Austria and England before moving to the United States in 1970, according to the Monterey Herald.
She relocated from Pinehurst, N.C., to the scenic coastal city of Carmel in 2000, after the death of her husband, Lony Ruhlmann.
"Karen loved dogs, and any dog in need was a friend of hers," said attorney Mullally. "During her life she adopted and cared for Gypsy, a rescue who was her daily companion. She also helped others with the care of their four-legged friends and supported organizations that provided services for dogs in need."
Gary Tiscornia, executive director of the SPCA for Monterey County, said the generous bequest would help complete the current renovation of the SPCA facility, adding:
"Karen had a passion particularly to see shelter dogs get adopted. Only about 18 to 20 percent of newly acquired dogs in our country come from shelters, and she really wanted to see that number go up, so we thought it would be really fitting to name our dog adoption area for Karen and her husband, Lony."
Mr. Tiscornia’s statistics reflect the longstanding trend cited by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, who writes that relevant statistics for dogs included in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) 2012 Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook show, “54% of the dogs in homes are purebreds, meaning that they came from a breeder--yet 85% of the pet keepers say they would prefer to adopt from a shelter or rescue group.”
--1981 (Nasser study) 19.4% of dogs from shelters, 26% from breeders
--2002 (APPA study) 17% of dogs from shelters, 29% from breeders
--2012 (APPA study) 20% of dogs from shelters, 54% from breeders
“This is an extremely wide gap between what people claim they would do and what they actually do,” says Clifton, “but it parallels the trend of the past 30 years:”
It is hard to predict whether Ms. Ruhlmann’s generous gift can change this historical trend for adoption of dogs in Monterey County, but it certainly will positively impact the lives of many.
Source: Monterey Herald
A 34-year-old woman was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after seven dogs attacked her at a west Phoenix home, Maricopa County Animal Control authorities report.
The Phoenix Fire Department cofirms it responded on Wednesday to a call that a woman was being attacked by seven dogs in a home near 83rd Avenue and Indian School Road.
Yvette Hernandez, 34, had multiple bites from head to toe, fire officials said.
Another woman, the owner of five of the dogs, was bitten in the hand and suffered minor injuries. The dogs were Pit Bulls and Shepherd mixes, according to fire officials.
Hernandez told Fox News that she tried to help a female roommate break up a fight between all the dogs and at least five of the seven dogs involved came after her. She said they attacked her twice.
When first responders arrived, the dogs were locked in the back yard and a room of the house, said Phoenix fire spokesman Scott McDonald.
Two couples live in the rental home, according to Melissa Gable of Maricopa County Rabies/Animal Control.
"One of the couples moved in fairly recently so they were keeping their dogs separate from the other dogs," she said. "Somehow the dogs intermingled...Two of the female dogs got into a fight, and the two women at the home tried to stop it.”
A total of eight dogs live in the house, and the only dog that did not get involved in the attack was a male Chihuahua, Gable stated.
The 34-year-old victim suffered severe, multiple bites on her arms and shoulders, said fire spokesman McDonald.
Yvette Hernandez told Fox News that she heard dogs fighting in her roommates’ bedroom and she ran in and tried to help the female roommate break up the fight.
"I heard the dogs fighting and I was like that sounds pretty bad, really bad," she told Fox News. Then at least five of the seven dogs involved came after her.
That 34-year-old woman said she was attacked twice by the dogs. The dogs do not belong to her and she said she always knew they could be dangerous. She just never thought they would turn their aggression on her, she said.
Once she and the owner got the dogs separated she walked into the kitchen. That is where the dogs ran out and attacked her again, she told Fox News.
"I was on the floor I tried to get up but I couldn't get up because I was getting bit so much my friend was on top of the kitchen counter and she was throwing me things to try and hit the dogs with but it didn't work,"
"It was the most, the worst pain I've ever been in my entire life I felt like they were literally eating me to death... I thought I was going to die," she said.
The seven dogs are now in quarantine at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control for 10 days, while police continue their investigation.
None of the dogs was neutered, spayed, licensed or vaccinated.
The owners reportedly want six of the seven dogs back.
Two Texas teens have been arrested Wednesday on felony animal cruelty charges after they allegedly killed a dog, a cat and three kittens in a “cult style manner.”
Authorities began an investigation after a dog went missing near County Road 769, and arrested 17-year-old Mark Ainsworth and 18-year-old Delaney Walters. The teens have been charged with five counts of animal cruelty to “non-livestock animals.”
According to a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, an 8-year-old Australian cattle dog, named Camo, was found tied to a tree and had been skinned, Fox8 News reported.
Further investigation reveals that the two teens also tortured and killed a cat and three kittens in a “satanic-type” ritual.
“The animal went through a lot of torture,” Sheriff Jason Bridges said. “It was skinned. Some of the parts were removed. We all love animals. We all love him and they weigh heavy on our hearts and to see what these animals went through and the way they were tortured is sad.”
During a police interview, the two teens reportedly confessed to killing the animals. Investigators later found video and photographs of the crimes.
Ainsworth and Walters remain in Nacogdoches County Jail, and are currently being held without bond.
Camo had been part of a nearby family who said he was a rescue dog.
“He had a heart of gold,” the owner said. “He loved children very much. He was very smart.”
The unnamed woman said Camo would walk with the children to the bus stop every morning and wait for them to return.
“Sometimes it shows up in children or adolescence and it is what we call conduct disorder and that’s one of the criteria; aggression towards people or animals,” licensed counselor Debra Burton, who believes the teen may be mentally ill, was quoted by The Inquisitr as saying.
Burton has not interviewed the teens who were arrested for killing the neighborhood pets. She says conduct disorder is just an example.
Two Toledo dogs, Nala and Bugger, set to be killed for the death of two 4-H show pigs in Monroe County in May 2013, have gained a reprieve while the judge makes a final decision.
Nala and Bugger were deemed guilty in July at a “show cause” hearing held in Bedford Township as directed by the Michigan Dog Law of 1919. The law requires dogs that injure or kill livestock be destroyed, so the dogs have been on death row while their owners appeal the constitutionality of the law.
In the final hearing in Monroe County Circuit Court on Thursday, the lawyer for the owner of the dogs argued that the nearly 100-year-old Michigan law which calls for the execution of the dogs is antiquated.
The fate of those two huskies is now in the hands of a judge who says he will issue his written decision in the next few weeks.
The case is appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. “The appeal has been filed, so they wouldn’t have any reason to deny [the extension],” Janni Juhasz said. “If the dogs are put down, what’s the point of the appeal?”
Mrs. Juhasz, 49, and her daughter, Katalin Juhasz, 22, own the husky mix named Bugger and a husky named Nala. Mrs. Juhasz said the dogs were safe inside the house May 2, 2013, when she left for work around 9:30 a.m. She said her stepson, who does not live in the home, had dropped by the house during the day and accidentally left a side door open. Though the screen door was still shut, Nala knows how to open it.
“Nala figured out how to jump on that storm door and pop the handle,” Mrs. Juhasz said.
While the Juhaszes have a wood-fenced back yard with chicken wire along the bottom to prevent the dogs from digging out, the side door exits to the open front yard. The huskies were found inside a barn on Whiteford Center Road just north of the Ohio-Michigan state line and a little more than a mile from their home.
It was there that two show-quality pigs owned by Stephanie Sonnenberg had been killed and a third was injured.
Ms. Sonnenberg said she witnessed the dogs attacking the surviving pig, and said one of them tried to attack her. She was able to restrain the dogs until Monroe County Animal Control arrived to take custody of them.
Nala and Bugger have been locked up for nine months at the Dog Warden's office in Monroe County, and the Juhaszes have not been allowed to visit them.
"I had Nala since she was six weeks old. Bugger … Nala had him. It breaks my heart," says Katalin Juhasz.
“It was really, really tough,” said Ms. Juhasz, whose first baby is due April 21. “You’re used to the dogs coming and jumping on you, loving on you. And then they’re gone and you can’t see them.”
“I wonder what they think, if they think we abandoned them, if they’re ever going to see us again,” Mrs. Juhasz added. “That really bothers me.”
The dogs' owner doesn't believe her dogs killed the pigs. "They took on 250 pounds of pork and they didn't get one injury? That doesn't make any sense," says Janni Juhasz.
The owner of the pigs would not comment to ABC-13 on or off camera. The owner of the dogs says she's willing to negotiate. She's willing to pay thousands of dollars to save their lives.
The owners say the dogs are on death row because of a state law from the early 1900s that protects poultry and livestock from attacks.
"When that law was passed in 1919, it was an important law," says Janni Juhasz, Katalin's mother. "Many people counted on their livestock to feed their families for the winter. If you lost your livestock, your family could starve. We're not in that position today."
Despite her dispute, based on the state law an animal can be euthanized after one attack if found guilty.
"The statute simply says the dogs are to be killed, are to be euthanized," says Goldsmith, as he defends how Bedford Township followed due process.
Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Michael LaBeau says farming is still important to society, saying it is how we eat.
"I don't see any exceptions to this statue," said Judge LaBeau.
The judge asked if both sides tried to make a financial settlement out of court.
Juhasz says her offer of more than five thousand dollars from insurance to compensate for the loss of the pigs is still on the table.
"It's in God's hands," says Janni Juhasz.
Police responded to a violent and bloody scene at the Relax Inn in Grand Island, Nebraska, on Tuesday morning, where they were called to break up a dog fight. That fight between two Pit Bulls left a woman with a dog bite injury, one dog at the Central Nebraska Humane Society, and another dog shot by police -- a series of events the Humane Society says could have been avoided.
The battle between the two dogs began early in the morningone day after both dogs were reportedly “bought from an unknown source.”
Rebecca Creech told officers she was feeding one of the dogs and the other dog walked by and it appeared to her that the first dog that was eating was trying to protect his food, said Captain Dean Elliot of the Grand Island Police Department.
Creech called the police at 7:30 a.m. to help break up the violent fight that followed. Before they arrived, she was bitten and scratched. Although her injuries were not serious, Creech was covered in blood -- some hers, some the dog's, police reported.
Officers called the Central Nebraska Humane Society and Animal Control to assist.
The Humane Society said the fight between the two dogs isn't surprising, especially in a confined space like a hotel room. The Director provided a “wish list” of what could have avoided the conflict.
"What we would have liked to have seen is that you would have picked a smaller dog, that it would have already been neutered or spayed, that you would have had separate areas. You always have to be careful being around animals when they're eating. And just spending a lot of time going slow and giving them an opportunity to get adjusted," said Laurie Dethloff, the Executive Director of the Central Nebraska Humane Society.
Captain Elliot said, "Before the Humane Society could get there, the dogs actually stopped fighting, turned towards the officers, and approached the officers in a somewhat aggressive manner.”
“Once the dogs got within three feet, one officer fired one round killing the first dog, at which point in time the second then retreated back to the corner and did not come back at the officers," he said. The officer used a semi automatic service rifle to shoot the dog.
Dethloff of the Humane Society said this incident will slow their Pit Bull adoptions for a month or more.
She said, "What this does for the Pit Bull population is put a stigma right back on them, and it's beyond their control. Some of this is nature. Some of this is just not taking the time to let them be safe."
But despite what happened, Dethloff said she supports the police.
"They can judge and assess a situation and, if this was the action that needed to be taken, we fully support what was going on. I'm sure they did not want to have to do what they did. They see a lot of things. We're backing them 100% with what they needed to do," she said.
Creech has no charges against her for the incident and released custody of the remaining Pit Bull to the Humane Society, where it will receive antibiotics and eventually be available for adoption, 1011Now reports. No explanation was given as to why she was at the hotel with the two Pit Bulls.
Source: 1011 Now
The state of Hawaii’s House Committee on Agriculture recently advanced a bill that would ban the consumption of any animals that can be kept as pets, including cats and dogs.
Although consuming cats and dogs is not a widespread cultural practice throughout Hawaii, it has occurred often enough to encourage a group of protesters to visit the state’s legislative session in order to request a new bill be drafted.
The bill was initially brought to fruition by the Humane Society’s Hawaiian branch, which claims, according to the NY Post, that it receives “at least two reports each year of dogs or cats being slaughtered for food."
Inga Gibson, senior state director for the Humane Society, explained that there is no specific legislation that the organization can use to prosecute individuals after receiving these reports.
“When we do get these reports of cases of dog or cat slaughter, unless they’re caught in the act, law enforcement is not able to really prosecute,” Gibson said.
There is, however, existing legislation currently in place regarding the slaughter of pets. Rep. Jessica Wooley, House Agriculture Committee chairwoman, explained that it’s the wording and intent of that legislation that makes prosecution difficult.
“There are cases every year, and they’re not able to prosecute fully because of the way the law is currently written,” Wooley said, the San Antonio Express reports.
Because cultures and individuals treat animals with varying degrees of respect, there are widely differing opinions regarding the consumption of specific animals throughout the world. Whether or not a certain type of animal should or should not be slaughtered for consumption is a moral debate with no easy answer, but Hawaii’s legislative body will soon decide whether it believes animals that can be kept as pets can also be eaten under the jurisdiction of the law.