JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

From Shelter to Safety

MISSION VIEJO Phoenix rubbed his earless, scarred head against Tiffany Norton’s hand, pushing for a pat.

The emaciated German shepherd mix had just come out of a bath Tuesday to soothe his infected, flea-covered body. The dog was rescued Monday by Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, which took Phoenix out of a Downey shelter hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized, and brought him to the Alicia Pet Care Center.

Rescuers think Phoenix, about 5, was used as a bait dog – a submissive dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs-in-training. He was found as a stray a few days ago, said Norton, the rescue group’s director.

That’s typical, according to officials with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

“We usually see the dogs after they’ve been in fights and are discarded in trash bins or as stray dogs wandering in the alley,” officer Ramon Munez said. “We have some weeks where we’ll see a lot, and then it will ebb off. The (Los Angeles) district attorney has put out a hot line.”

Dogfighting is rare in Orange County, O.C. Animal Care Director Ryan Drabek said. The agency has not investigated a professional dogfighting ring in nine years, he said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also rarely comes across such cases, said Capt. Don Barnes, who oversees the department’s South County operations.

“We had a few animal cruelty calls last year, but none of them were related to dogfighting,” he said.

Matthew Wheaton, the veterinarian at Alicia Pet Care who is helping Phoenix, said dogfights were regular events when he worked in emergency clinics in Los Angeles County.

“This is really over the top,” he said. “What makes it clear that he was a bait dog is that his ears were completely cut off. They’re not doctor-cropped. They’re gone.”

Wheaton said a bait dog’s ears, which can be easily injured in a fight, are cut off to eliminate the potential for wounds that would have to be treated.

Wheaton said Phoenix shows other features of being a bait dog, including evidence his jaw had been wired or bound shut to prevent him from hurting the fight dog. He is also submissive.

“While fighting dogs are well taken care of, bait dogs are the bottom of the barrel. It’s super-sad,” Wheaton said. “They are beaten down and scared.”

Wounds on Phoenix’s head suggest he probably fought within the past two weeks, Wheaton said.

Phoenix was set to be euthanized Monday, but a shelter volunteer asked for a day’s reprieve. She took his photo and sent messages to rescue groups.

Norton got hundreds of e-mails from people who know she rescues German shepherds.

“When I saw his photo, I knew I had to do something,” Norton said. “Tuesday morning I picked him up. He’s a leaner – he wants to be attached to you all the time. If you move, he moves with you.”

Norton said she hopes to find a home for Phoenix and raise funds for his medical care.

“We’re looking for a softhearted family who can look past his injuries and assure that he will have a good life,” she said. “He lights up when he sees friendly animals and is great with kids.”

For more information or to help, call 714-528-4730.

Earless Dog Used As Bait in Fights Rescued

Article Tab : Rescuers think Phoenix was used as a bait dog, essentially a dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs that are training.

Rescuers think Phoenix was used as a bait dog, essentially a dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs that are training.

KEN STEINHARDT, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

MISSION VIEJO – Phoenix rubbed his earless, scarred head against Tiffany Norton’s hand, pushing for a pat.

The emaciated German shepherd-mix had just come out of a bath on Tuesday to soothe his infected, flea-covered body. The dog was rescued on Monday by Coastal German Shepherd Rescue from a shelter in Downey – hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized – and brought to Alicia Pet Care Center.

Rescuers believe Phoenix, about 5 years old, was used as a bait dog – essentially a submissive dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs-in-training. He was found as a stray a few days ago, said Norton, the rescue’s director.

That’s typical, according to officials with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

"We usually see the dogs after they’ve been in fights and are discarded in trash bins or as stray dogs wandering in the alley," Officer Ramon Muñez said. "We have some weeks where we’ll see a lot and then it will ebb off. The (Los Angeles) District Attorney has put out a hotline. We get tips from that, 911 and Animal Control."

Dog fighting is rare in Orange County, OC Animal Care Director Ryan Drabek said.. The agency has not investigated a professional dog-fighting ring in the last nine years, he said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also rarely comes across such cases, said Capt. Don Barnes, who oversees the department’s South County Operations.

"We had a few animal cruelty calls last year, but none of them were related to dog fighting," he said.

Matthew Wheaton, the veterinarian at Alicia Pet Care who is helping Phoenix, said dog fights and their aftermath were regular events when he worked in emergency clinics in Los Angeles County.

"This is really over the top," he said. "What makes it clear that he was a bait dog is that his ears were completely cut off. They’re not doctor-cropped, they’re gone."

Wheaton said a bait dog’s ears – which can be easily injured in a fight – are cut off to eliminate the potential for wounds to them that would have to be treated.

Wheaton said Phoenix shows other features of being a bait dog, including evidence his jaw had been wired or bound shut to prevent him from hurting the fight dog. He is also extremely submissive.

"While fighting dogs are well-taken-care-of, bait dogs are the bottom of the barrel – it’s super sad," Wheaton said. "They are beaten down and scared."

Wounds on Phoenix’s head suggest he was probably fought within the last two weeks, Wheaton said.

Phoenix was set to be euthanized Monday, but a shelter volunteer asked for a day’s reprieve. She took his photo and sent out messages to rescue groups.

Norton was inundated with hundreds of e-mails from people who knew she rescues German shepherds.

"When I saw his photo, I knew I had to do something," Norton said. "Tuesday morning I picked him up. He’s a leaner; he wants to be attached to you all the time. If you move, he moves with you. He has a really soulful spirit, he’s wise beyond his years and he’s super cuddly. When he came here he just started cuddling up with a kitten. When you think of what he’s been through – he holds no grudges."

Norton said she hopes to find a home for Phoenix and to raise funds for his medical care.

"We’re looking for a soft-hearted family who can look past his injuries and assure that he will have a good life," she said. "He lights up when he sees friendly animals and is great with kids."

Video and More Photos Here

For more information or to help, call 714-528-4730. Coastal German Shepherd has 125 rescued puppies and dogs waiting for more homes.

To read about other rescues, click here.

Contact the writer: 949-454-7307 or eritchie@ocregister.com

Comment:

SWEETTROSE  -  3:36 PM on September 16, 2010

This story broke my heart. I hope and pray that Phoenix finds the love that he deserves and that the individuals who did this feel the same pain and suffering in their own lives!

Dogs are mans best friend, they are put on this earth to please us and want nothing in return but love. That’s a simple request, isn’t it?

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

Video:  The Lost Dogs

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant’s Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

Learn more at http://bit.ly/9EXWtj

Related:

Top 5 Myths about Pit Bulls

American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

Former Posts:

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

STOP Los Angeles and Other Major Cities from the Unreasonable Pet Limit Laws and Restrictions

LA plans to restrict households to 3 pets total.. cats and dogs.  Nobody is suggested we allow or promoting hoarding, but a 3 pet limit, especially when we have major over-capacity in our shelters is cruel and unusual punishment for both animals and owners.

Pet ownership needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis if there is a problem, but many people can easily own 4, 5 or 6 pets or own a couple and foster pets without any problems.

Stop the killing… Stop the rules and restrictions… Stop Big Brother!!

For some people, one pet is too much.  For other people 6 are perfect.  It is a matter of time, money, desire and love.  Instead of the land of the free, we have become a land of restrictions and robots.  Adopting just one more pet is a blessing for the person who can do it and saves a life.  Temporarily fostering animals is blessing and saves many lives.  Restricting people and whole cities to 1, 2 or 3 pets for no real reason is a curse for everybody… humans and animals alike as well ad for the spirit of a country who has lost its heart!!!

Do pet-limit laws make sense?


Vinnie, a confident, social guy, would love a home, even if he had to share the space with other cats and dogs   Photo: Philip White

Many people are surprised to learn there’s a legal limit to the number of dogs and cats you can have in Los Angeles.  Whether you live in a multi-acre compound or a one bedroom apartment, by law you’re only allowed three dogs and three cats per residence.

Initially this might appear to make sense.  We’ve all seen upsetting video of animal seizures at the homes of hoarders who get in over their heads with fifty, a hundred, or even hundreds of animals.  Although hoarders may start out with good intentions, by the time authorities intervene often the dogs or cats are suffering from severe neglect.


Purebred Jack Russell Trooper would normally have been adopted quickly, but an accident left him with a limp, and without a home  Photo: Jackie Bass

The only problem with this justification for pet-limit laws is that most animal care and mental health professionals agree hoarding is a mental disorder.  People who suffer from mental disorders generally don’t curb their compulsions based on what the law allows.

The ones who are really hurt by pet-limit laws are the cats and dogs waiting for good homes, and responsible potential adopters who are unable to provide those homes because they’re afraid Animal Services will raid their home and seize their beloved pets.  What’s the use of giving an animal a home if the City can come at any time, even if the pet is well cared for, and take that animal away to a kill shelter (all L.A. City and County shelters are currently kill shelters)?


Kitty, both beautiful and very sweet, would do well in a home with other cats  Photo: Vanda Krefft

Some courageous caregivers adopt anyway, striving to keep a low profile so they can continue to provide safe homes for as many pets as they can properly provide for.  But these people, motivated by kindness and the willingness to do what it takes to give animals in need a loving home, live in constant fear of discovery – of what?  Their dedication to caring for dogs and cats?  Because they’re willing to devote their lives and money to helping homeless and often stereotypically “unadoptable” animals, they live in fear that those animals may be taken from them and killed.

I know of one family that gives a wonderful home to many handicapped and chronically ill cats.  These are nice, normal people who have accepted that they don’t get to take vacations like others do.  They aren’t going to have a hot new car, or a “media room” with the newest flat screen TV, because their money goes to cat food, medication and vet bills.  But they’re making the lives of many cats happy and love-filled who otherwise would very likely have been killed long ago.  The catch?  This family doesn’t dare tell anyone how many cats they have – not even friends and fellow rescuers.  They live their lives under a cloud, simply because they choose to do what we say we value in this culture, which is to be kind, unselfish, and giving to less fortunate creatures.

And cats are much easier to hide than dogs.  How many homeless dogs could be saved, instead of killed in City and County shelters, if every caregiver who had three dogs but had the willingness and resources to care for four or more were able to do so?  I know one woman who, damn the torpedoes, has four dogs, most of them seniors, and who is thinking about adopting a fifth special needs dog.  Her dogs are the cleanest, nicest, most well taken care of dogs you’ll ever meet, even though if she hadn’t adopted them many of them might still be languishing in shelters, or worse, given their ages and special needs.

I know some people will object that it’s “too difficult” to care for that many dogs or cats.  But it’s only too difficult if that’s not what you want to do.  For those with the time, resources and love to give, it would be nice if our City and County gave them the option to feel on secure legal footing while providing a loving family to the homeless dogs and cats of L.A.

Source – Los Angeles Pet Rescue – Examiner

Pet-Limit Laws Unconstitutional

Massachusetts Town Puts Limits on Cat Ownership

Adopt Just One More…MV Temporarily Reduced Adoption Fees

And here we thought Chicago’s attempt to pass a five-dog limit was controversial!

Homeless With Pets… Choosing Pets Over Shelter

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Chinese City’s “One Dog” Policy Has Residents Howling

Florida’s Idea of Cat Population Control

Humane Society list of pet financial aid-related organizations

Where there is a will…

I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." -Abraham Lincoln

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments