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Sergeant Stubby

In honor of all our Veterans I thought this little bit of history was interesting to share..

stubby0.jpg
SGT. STUBBY WAR DOG HERO!

Meet America’s first war dog, a stray Pit Bull/Terrier mix, named Stubby. He became Sgt. Stubby, was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.

One day he appeared at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut; while a group of soldiers were training, stopping to make friends with soldiers as they drilled. One soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for the dog. He named him Stubby because of his short legs. When it became time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship. In order to keep the dog, the private taught him to salute his commanding officers warming their hearts to him.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 18 battles. The loud noise of the bombs and gun fire did not bother him. He was never content to stay in the trenches but went out and found wounded soldiers.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt.
 Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

Stubby entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin Des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

After being gassed and nearly dying himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, continued to locate wounded soldiers in no man’s land, and since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could, became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. The spy made the mistake of speaking German to him when they were alone. Stubby knew he was no ally and attacked him biting and holding on to him by the seat of his pants until his comrades could secure him.


Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

Following the retaking of Chateau-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and marched in, and normally led, many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Starting in 1921, he attended Georgetown University Law Center with Conroy, and became the Georgetown Hoyas’ team mascot. He would be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                          
                                 War Dog Hero

Stubby was made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1921, the Humane Education Society awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country. It was presented by General John Pershing.

Shangrala's                                                           Sgt. Stubby                                                           War Dog Hero

In 1926, Stubby died in Conroy’s arms. His remains are featured in The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit at the Smithsonian. Stubby was honored with a brick in the Walk of Honor at the United States World War I monument, Liberty Memorial, in Kansas City at a ceremony held on Armistice Day, November 11, 2006.


Tell Your Friends About This War Hero


Shangrala's Sgt. Stubby                                
             War Dog Hero

Related:

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Mazda Foundation Begins Another Year of Grants… For Training Service Dogs

EMS has introduced trained service dogs to help cut costs 😉

h/t to Gary Patterson

January 15, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Service and Military Animals, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pot Bellied-Pigs, Mini-houses and Monkeys May Soon Be Allowed on Planes.. Oh My

Pot-bellied pigs WILL fly (along with miniature horses and monkeys): Passengers to be allowed to take exotic pets on flights for ’emotional support’

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering proposals to update accommodations for airline passengers with a service animal.

The new rules would allow monkeys, pot-bellied pigs and miniature horses to ride in the cabin of an airplane with their owner, according to a report titled Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft Technical Assistance Manual.

Rodents, spiders, snakes and other reptiles are exempt from air travel.

A passenger must provide proof of their service animal before boarding a flight.

Each airline will evaluate the animals on a case by case basis. The animal must not be too large or pose a threat to other passengers.

In addition, airlines and airports must provide an “animal relief area” on the ground for pets to relive themselves.

Many passengers at Salt Lake International Airport said they understand the importance of service animals, but feel these rules would take things a hair too far. They believe a seeing-eye dog is the most acceptable pet to allow on a plane.

The DOT is asking for the public’s input about the proposed rules before a final report is released.

WHAT SUPPORT CAN THESE ANIMALS GIVE?

Service animals help perform some of the tasks that people with a disability have difficulty with or cannot perform for themselves.

Pot-bellied pigs, which can weigh up to 300 lbs, are favored service animals for people allergic to dogs. They are intelligent companions and attuned to dangerous situations.

Miniature horses work as guide animals for the blind and visually-impaired. They are more cost-effective than guide dogs as their life spans are longer, around 30-40 years. They are also chosen for their calm natures, excellent eyesight and stamina, according to the Guide Horse Foundation.

Might be time for some of us who have resolved to do things when pigs fly for maybe pigs can fly after all.

Pot-bellied pigs, as well as miniature horses and monkeys, could be permitted to travel on planes under new Department of Transportation rules.

The guidelines are part of a draft manual on equality for disabled people travelling on commercial passenger planes.

Hogging the seats: A Department of Transportation draft manual says pigs should be allowed on flights if they gives owners 'emotional support'

Hogging the seats: A Department of Transportation draft manual says pigs should be allowed on flights if they gives owners ’emotional support’

Animals should be allowed on flights if they are used for ’emotional support’ by their owners, the manual states.

Transportation officers would have to determine whether the animal is permitted on the plane by running through a list of guidelines.

‘A passenger arrives at the gate accompanied by a pot-bellied pig,’ the manual states. ‘She claims that the pot-bellied pig is her service animal. What should you do?’

According to CNSNews, it continues: ‘Generally, you must permit a passenger with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal.

‘However, if you have a reasonable basis for questioning whether the animal is a service animal, you may ask for some verification.’

Riding high: The manual gives guidelines to determine if they are service animals. Miniature horses, pictured, can help visually-impaired passengers

Riding high: The manual gives guidelines to determine if they are service animals. Miniature horses, pictured, can help visually-impaired passengers

Airline employees should enquire about how the animal aids the passenger and what training it has had.

If the employee has doubts that the animal is a service animal, they can ask for further verification or call a Complaints Resolution Official.

‘Finally, if you determine that the pot-bellied pig is a service animal, you must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger to her seat provided the animal does not obstruct the aisle or present any safety issues and the animal is behaving appropriately in a public setting,’ the manual adds.

Pot-bellied pigs can grow as large as 300 pounds. They can be trained to open and close doors and use a litter box.

‘They seem to have a sense if the owner is not feeling well to stay by them,’ said Wendy Ponzo, from the North American Potbellied Pig Association.

Ponzo, who has multiple sclerosis, added: ‘They help me a great deal when I feel at my worst.’

Not all animals that could help humans are allowed in the cabin, including ferrets, rodents, spiders and snakes.

But miniature horses and monkeys are also ‘commonly used service animals’ and are allowed inside, the manual states.

It adds that cases will be dealt with individually and animals can be turned away if they are too large or heavy, or will cause disruption.

Flying monkey: A service monkey is checked at the airport

Flying monkey (where is Dorothy?): A service monkey is checked at the airport

Guidelines: The Department of Transportation rules have been suggested in a draft manual on equality for the disabled in air travel

Guidelines: The Department of Transportation rules have been suggested in a draft manual on equality for the disabled in air travel

The owner must also provide a ‘relief area’ for his or her animal.

The rules come despite the TSA banning less potentially troubling items, such as sporting goods and snow globes.

They are outlined in the DoT’s Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft Technical Assistance Manual in the Federal Register.

The manual, which is open for public comments until October, is designed to ‘help carriers … provide services or facilities to passengers with disabilities’.

This does open the door for people who travel with their dogs and cats to question why they must be put below if they do not meet the very strict airline restrictions for bringing your pet onboard that have been followed, at least up until now.

h/t to the DailyMail

Related: Department of Islamic Justice Bows Down to Muslims Irrational Hatred of Dogs……. SHEER INSANITY !!!!  -  Some feel allowing the pigs onboard could be a counter to this latest Islamic accommodation and might keep radical Muslims off flights.

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Service and Military Animals, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SCHOOL AGREES TO ALLOW SERVICE DOG TO ACCOMPANY EPILEPTIC 12-YEAR-OLD

AndrewSuffering from a rare and severe form of epilepsy, 12-year-old Andrew Stevens can experience up to 20 seizures a day, any one of them potentially fatal. But thanks to a German shepherd service dog named Alaya, Andrew doesn‘t have to be under his parents’ watchful eye at all times. He can now go out and play, walk his dog down the street and use the bathroom unaided.

But Andrew’s freedom ended at his Virginia schoolhouse doors as the Fairfax County Public School system barred him from bringing Alaya to school with him. “I think what they’ve done has really been an injustice to my son,” Nancy Stevens, Andrew’s mother, told Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday. “A service dog is trained very well. If Andrew sits, the dog is going to sit. If Andrew gets up, the dog is going to get up. A service dog will not bite anybody at all,” she said, addressing the school’s safety concerns.

But after drawing national attention and public outcry from across the country, Change.org reported Tuesday evening that its campaign on Andrew‘s behalf had successfully forced Andrew’s school district to alter their stance.  “It’s time to celebrate a victory for disability rights, epilepsy awareness and a boy and his dog!” the site said, announcing its members had flooded Andrew’s school administrators with 371 emails in protest of the ban. See Video:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Today, Ft. Belvoir Elementary officials told Andrew’s parents that Andrew could bring Alaya to school with him as early as next week. In the beginning, Angelo and Nancy will accompany Andrew to school, riding the bus with him and staying with him and Alaya during the day. As teachers and students adapt and learn how to interact with Alaya, Andrew’s parents will gradually transition away and Andrew and Alaya will go to school together — as originally planned.

Not only that — the school is now looking at updating their policy on disability access, Angelo Stevens told Change.org today. This all comes thanks to the grueling work done by Andrew’s parents to advocate for their 12-year-old son and his service dog.

The Stevens family created a foundation in Andrew’s name, first to raise money for Alaya, and now to raise money for service dogs for other needy children. That foundation, and theTODAY show coverage, has meant that he‘s been contacted by other parents around the country who are trying to get their childrens’ service dogs admitted in schools.

Source:  the Blaze & Cross-posted at Just One More Pet, True Health Is True Wealth and Ask Marion

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Political Change, Service and Military Animals | , | 1 Comment

California Search Dogs Give Hope to Haitians

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) has been receiving encouraging cell-phone updates from it’s search teams deployed in the earthquake-stricken country of Haiti.

California Search Dogs Giving Hope to Haitians

In the aftermath of the powerful 7.0 earthquake, the SDF sent six Canine Search Teams to Haiti to assist with search and rescue efforts. The dogs the foundation employs are sourced from rescue organizations and are tasked with finding people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. SDF recruits the dogs and partners them with firefighters, providing the canines and the training at no cost to their departments.

On Sunday, the team celebrated saving five people from the ruins of Port au Prince. After one rescue, in which a woman was rescued from the rubble of a hotel, the appreciation shown by locals for the Search Teams and their Task Force was overwhelming, and locals began chanting “USA, USA…”. Later in the day, 3 women were saved from the same collapsed building, with Search Dogs Cadillac, Maverick and Hunter playing instrumental roles in locating them. The two teams – the Blue and Red team – work in alternating shifts, ensuring that there is always a team available.

SDF Executive Director Debra Tosch comments: “The rescues in Haiti underscore the critical importance of Canine Search Teams in finding survivors in the aftermath of major disasters. This is our mission, and we’re honored to be part of the Haiti rescue effort in conjunction with the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the L.A. Country Task Force.”

SDF receives no government funding and relies solely on support from individuals, private foundations and companies to produce these highly-skilled teams. Since its founding in 1996, SDF has rescued hundreds of dogs, many on the brink of euthanasia. They have trained 105 Search Teams, 72 of which are currently active, and teams have been deployed to 66 disasters, including the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Picture Courtesy of National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

by Daphne Reid – Pet People’s Place

Related:

ASPCA:  Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH)

January 21, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange County K9 officer, Hunter, being denied retirement, despite worsening heart condition – Update

Help Save K9 Officer Hunter

There is a interesting, complicated and rather heart-breaking story out of Orange County, NY that is raging over a 7 yr old K-9 officer by the name of Hunter.  Hunter’s current handler, Ed Josefovitz, is leaving the department and has requested that Hunter be retired in light of his age (most K9 officers retire between 8-9 yrs of age) and due to a diagnosed progressive heart condition. In April, 2009, a veterinarian diagnosed Hunter’s heart condition and he was approved for day-to-day service, which typically included hanging out in court, or other sedentary duties. Hunter rarely (as of late) saw any action that would require him to exert himself.

Proponents of the sheriff’s office argue that Hunter is owned by the department, rather than the officer and that he must continue to work until he has reached full retirement age, despite his heart condition. For Capt. Barry’s personal stance on the issue, please visit this link.

Advocates for Hunter insist that going through the rigorous 8 months of retraining at the academy, in addition to the emotional toll of being removed from his current family and placed with a new handler, will only aggravate his worsening heart condition. Concern for his welfare is tremendous and there are many who believe that the dog could be killed by the stress that will be placed upon him in the coming months.

Hunter’s current handler, Josefovitz,  has offered to pay the department $6,900 to cover the cost of a new K-9 officer, but the sheriff’s office has refused. Apparently, many believe that the department is denying Hunter’s retirement out of malice and that the welfare of the dog is being completely over-looked. Some type of ulterior motive does seem to be at play since a prior, healthy K-9 was allowed to retire at only 3 yrs of age when his handler was fired from the department.

Supporters of K-9 Officer Hunter are asked to join the Facebook group Stop NY OC Sheriff’s Office from Killing Hunter. Additionally, supporters are being encouraged to email the NY OC Sheriff’s office at this link or send an email to the mayor at this link. The family is hoping to not only spread the word of Hunter’s plight (if you are concerned, please forward this to friends and family and post on your social networking sites), but also, to get the word to the sheriff’s office and the mayor, that there is support for Hunter. There is amazing power in numbers and obviously, the stretch and power of the internet is incredible.

Hunter with Handler’s Other Dogs

Hunter with his handler's other dogs

7 yr old Hunter, a German shepherd K-9 officer for New York’s Orange County Sheriff’s office,  is currently caught in the middle of a war waging between his department, and his prior handler, Ed Josefovitz. Please refer to the article posted yesterday, Orange County K-9 Officer, Hunter, being denied retirement, despite worsening heart condition.

Hunter has been diagnosed with Chronic degenerative valve disease. While he is asymptomatic at this time, the Merck Veterinary Manual indicates that dogs with this condition develop exercise intolerance, cough, increased respiratory rate and effort, with the possibility (though rare) of sudden death, as the disease progresses.

The German shepherd breed is considered to be a senior between the ages of 7-8 yrs, with their lifespan typically ranging from 9-14 yrs. Obviously, retirement age of the dogs will not only vary by departments, but also, based on the overall health of the dog. An interesting question/answer forum was discovered where the question of K-9 retirement age was posed. Most of the answers, found here were from current, or former, police officers. Apparently, if a dog is close to retirement age at the time that his partner leaves the department, he is typically allowed to retire with his handler. Again, this will obviously vary by departments.

Capt. Barry, of the OCSO, has stated his position on this matter here.  He argues that Josefovitz was trained extensively for his position and that he has chosen to abandon his partner, Hunter, and move on to another department, knowing full well that he could not retire his dog.  Josefovitz and his wife argue that the dog should be allowed to reitre in light of his age and his diagnosed, progressive medical condition.

Josefovitz and his wife have offered to pay the department $6900 to cover the expense of a new K-9 for the department. The sheriff’s office has refused the offer and currently they have put Hunter back into training with a new handler. The question that seems to be repeated again and again, is why the department is unwilling to accept the $6900 to buy a new, young dog rather than working a 7 yr old K-9 into his senior years.

Capt. Barry has argued that the true cost lies in the tens of thousands of dollars needed to train the K-9 handler (human, not dog). However, this appears to be a cost that is going to be incurred with or without K-9 Hunter in service. The tens of thousands of dollars that is will cost to train a new K-9 handler are going to be spent while using Hunter, and then an additional $6900 (+) will be incurred after Hunter is officially retired and a new dog must be purchased.

The arguments in this fight are heated on both sides as emotions are flared. The big question is, who will be the biggest loser in this fight? Is Hunter a pawn in a no-win situation? You can read the empassioned words of those in support of Hunter’s retirement at this Facebook group, Stop NY OC Sheriff’s Office from Killing Hunter.

No matter how you turn this… working a dog with congenital heart problems to death because of expense is animal abuse and torture!!  JOMP~

By:  Penny Eims – Tacoma Dogs Examiner/Posted LA Examiner

Posted: Just One More Pet

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Tails of Love

October 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

STOP NY OC SHERIFFS OFFICE FROM KILLING HUNTER

STOP NY OC SHERIFFS OFFICE FROM KILLING HUNTERHunter is a 7 year old German Shepherd. He has been a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office K-9 since 2003. At the age of 5, Hunter was taken away from his first handler and given to his second handler. During the transition, Hunter experienced emotional trauma and was taken to his veterinarian who recommended neutering and a canine behavioralist/psychologist.  Now Hunter has developed a bond with his new handler and has found happiness in his new home.

In April of 2009, Hunter was diagnosed with progressive heart disease. He has served his department for 6 years. His K-9 handler is moving on to another police department and requested Hunter be retired to live as a pet for the remainder of his life.

After being refused, the handler offered to pay for a new police dog at FULL COST. The Office still plans on taking Hunter away from his current handler and placing through the police academy for the THIRD TIME. It is unfortunate that Hunter is being used as a pawn as a way for the Office to make and example and get their retribution toward the handler.

Hunter is going to be forced out of a loving home in order to be worked to death by the Orange County Sheriffs office.

Jade (a member) has also pointed this out: I think a VERY good case can be made for this being animal cruelty, under NY statutes http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusnyag_mkts332_379.htm#s353a
I believe this can be classified as “Neglect and Overwork Provisions” Chapter 40. Of the Consolidated Laws. Part Three. Specific Offenses. Title H. § 353. Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, since this is an animal with a known health condition which will be seriously aggravated if the animal is forced to work (training academy is work). Perhaps someone should consider writing Captain Barry up on this – it IS a class A misdemeanor, unless aggravated cruelty can be proved, in which instance it is a felony.

Please join this group and tell your friends. Please contact the Orange County Sheriffs department and tell them what you think.
http://www.orangecountygov.com/orgMain.asp?orgid=86&storyTypeID=&sid=
Phone: (845) 291-4033 EXT: 7694 (Captain Berry)
Email Form: http://www.orangecountygov.com/orgMain.asp?orgid=86&custom=contact&sid=
Governor’s Office Email: http://www.state.ny.us/governor/contact/index.html
Alison Epstein (Governor’s representative in Orange County): (845)334-9378 County Executive Email: http://www.orangecountygov.com/orgMain.asp?orgid=76&storyTypeID=&sid=&
Contact for the Mayor:
http://www.yellowbot.com/goshen-village-mayor-goshen-ny.html

Stu, the Orange County Sheriff’s office is refusing to retire a terminally ill police dog despite the handler offering to pay for a replacement dog to be purchased and trained. Please ask people to go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152391087894 to get information on where to write to help Hunter, the police dog

Also:
-Average age of retirement for a working dig is between 8-9 years old
– In the past, a K-9 Deputy was fired and allowed to keep his 3 year old healthy working dog.

Contact Info:

Email:

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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Police Dog Killer Gets Life Without Parole

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October 17, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Tails of Love”

The rocket came in fast, maybe 900 feet per second—too fast for anyone to sound the warning siren, and much too fast for all the troops of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force to take cover. It was March 21, 2007, when the 73-millimeter insurgent-launched rocket exploded inside their base in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, right next to Corporal Dustin Jerome Lee and his canine partner, Lex. Lee, a 20-year-old Mississippi native, was gravely wounded by the blast. Lex—a German shepherd trained to sniff out hidden explosives—was also injured, his brown and black fur burned, shrapnel lodged in his back and spine.

Marines on the scene watched as the bleeding Lex climbed on top of Corporal Lee to protect him from further harm. They saw Lex try to revive his master by licking his wounds. And the Marines who rushed to their comrade’s side had to peel Lex reluctantly off the young corporal so medics could try to save him. But Corporal Lee’s injuries were too severe; he died at a nearby military hospital.

A few days later, two uniformed Marines arrived at the Lee family home in Quitman, Mississippi, to deliver the news of the corporal’s death. “After the Marine Corps representative told us everything that happened,” recalls Dustin Lee’s mother, Rachel (pictured above with Lex), “my next question was—and I’ll always remember it—’What about Lex?’ ”

The Marines seemed puzzled. “We’re not sure,” they said. “We know he’s alive. Why?”

“The more we talked, the more I wanted Lex to be at Dustin’s funeral,” she says. “After hearing that Lex climbed on top of Dustin as they both bled…Lex and Dustin shared a bond, and now that bond is a blood bond. Lex was the last to see my child. I wanted him there at the funeral with me.”

Despite being shaky from his injuries, Lex, the Marine dog, made it to Corporal Dustin Lee’s funeral. He and Dustin’s younger brother, Camryn, then 13, even played together for a while (the Lees also have a daughter, Madyson). Several top Marine Corps officers attended the March 2007 service in Quitman, Mississippi, and Rachel Lee had another question for them: “I would like to know how we can adopt Lex.” Rachel didn’t want Lex to return to service—and into harm’s way.

Throughout 2007 Rachel pressed the Marines for an answer. Red tape and regulations thwarted her—as did grief. “I was in a fog,” she says of that period. “I don’t remember a whole lot. But my dad, my husband, my brothers, they were all pursuing it.”

In December 2007 the Lees’ phone rang. Rachel answered the call: Lex had been granted an early discharge. The Lees could come to Georgia and pick him up. “It took so many people trying to help,” says Dustin’s father, Jerome. “The amount of support we had was heartwarming.”

The Lees drove seven hours to the Marine Corps base at Albany, Georgia; in a ceremony there on December 21, 2007, Lex was discharged from duty and presented to Rachel and Jerome. State police from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi provided a rotating escort the entire way home, as did motorcycle groups such as the Christian Motorcyclists Association and the Patriot Guard Riders.

When Lex arrived in Quitman, he made himself right at home. “It was amazing how Lex became part of our family on day one,” Jerome says. “Lex had that special bond with Dusty, and part of Dustin is in Lex. It’s like he knows where he is and who we are. He wants to help us cope with our grief.”

Today, Rachel says, “Lex walks with me everywhere. That’s the bond I also feel with Dustin. I look at Lex and I learn so much about working dogs, and their importance. It encourages me to go on. That’s what Dustin would have wanted. To take my hand and put it on Lex, it’s a healing experience.”

Tails of Love” By Geoff Brown, November & December 2009 – AARP Magazine

From Seeing Eye dogs to the cat who cuddles in your lap, animals are there for us in more ways than we can count. Helping us get through the day with a wag of the tail and a tilt of the head, they let us know that someone is on our side-no matter what. They also have an amazing ability to break down barriers between people; bringing families and loved ones closer, and giving strangers an excuse to strike up a conversation. In Tails of Love, each writer draws from her own unique perspective on our loyal friends-exploring the many mysterious ways they bring love into our lives.

Ten all-new stories that celebrate our animal friends, by bestselling and award-winning authors

Tails of Love

U.S. Marines Enlist ASPCA to Keep Marine Corps Pets & Families Together

marine

On October 6, a team of ASPCA animal behavior experts arrived in Beaufort, S.C., to conduct behavior assessments of more than 80 dogs living in Marine Corps housing units in the South Carolina Tri-Command area.

The visit by ASPCA behaviorists comes after these dogs became the subject of a breed ban recently instituted by Marine Corps headquarters. The policy specifically bans purebred and mixed-breed Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids, as well as canines with “dominant traits of aggression” who pose a risk to people living in U.S. Marine Corps housing worldwide.

“Our goal in coming to the Parris Island base is to make sure safe dogs and their families are able to stay together,” says Dr. Emily Weiss, ASPCA Senior Director of Shelter Research & Development, “and so far, the results have been positive.”

After assessing individual canines with SAFER (the ASPCA Safety Assessment for Evaluation Rehoming)—a research-based tool that helps identify the likelihood of canine aggression—ASPCA behaviorists report that of the 85 dogs assessed to date, only two were found to have a high enough potential for aggression to have to be removed from the base. “Two others showed aggressive tendencies, but one will work with a trainer and another will be neutered,” comments Dr. Weiss. “The vast majority, however, are well-loved, well-behaved family pets.”

“Breed bans just don’t work,” continues Dr. Weiss, “These breeds of dogs have a bad rap. In most cases, they are safe, wonderful animals. We’re hoping that we can work with the Marine Corps over the next two years to show them that we should be testing the aggression level of individual dogs and not just banning these three breeds. It’s breed prejudice.”

The families of safe dogs will be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver, allowing their dog to remain on the base until 2012. “We’re very excited about the ASPCA’s assessment,” says Army Capt. Jenifer Gustafson, the Officer in Charge of the veterinary clinic on Parris Island. “This is a welcome alternative to the unpleasant possibility of pet parents being forced to give up their dogs or leave base housing.”

The ASPCA is opposed to breed bans, which target entire breeds instead of focusing on individual dogs. Aggressive canines are often the result of owners failing to provide proper training. Our organization continues to work on identifying potential aggression in individual dogs, opening up opportunities for behavior modification. Read more about alternatives to breed-specific laws.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Checkout:  Dogwise, All Things Dog! – 2000+ Books and Doggie Goodies

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October 10, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Adopting a four-legged veteran

Benny was declared “excess” by the military and scheduled to be euthanized by January, according to his military medical records.

Today, Benny — a spry German shepherd — is anything but excess to Debbie Kandoll, who found him during a determined search to adopt

Photo – GREG SOUSA / GOLDSBORO NEWS-ARGUS Benny, a former military working dog, was adopted after retirement.

a retired military working dog.

Even at the advanced dog age of 10, with degenerative bone disease, Benny has become an integral part of the Kandoll family since he was adopted from Langley Air Force Base, Va., on Jan. 4.

Kandoll, the wife of an Air Force Reserve officer currently on active duty, wants to get the word out to other military families and civilians that retired dogs are available for adoption at military working dog facilities across the country, as are some younger dogs who may have washed out of the program.

She has launched a Web site that includes phone numbers for 125 military working dog facilities.

The idea of supporting the troops, said Kandoll, who lives near Goldsboro, N.C., “should apply to all veterans, not just the human ones.”

Kandoll said she thought at first that she could adopt retired dogs only through the Defense Military Working Dog School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

“People should check with regional facilities to see what is available,” she said.

As for Benny, he’s thriving and his mobility has improved, she said — partly because he now gets to sleep on comfy pillows instead of concrete.

Although Benny is no longer on military patrols and sniffing for drugs, he is anything but retired. He visits hospitals, including the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Durham, N.C., as a certified therapy dog.

Kandoll and Benny make appearances at local events to raise awareness and encourage more civilians to adopt retired military working dogs.

Last year, 360 retired military working dogs were adopted or transferred to law enforcement agencies, according to officials at the Defense Military Working Dog School, with the 341st Training Squadron at Lackland.

Of those, 103 were transferred to law enforcement agencies, 139 were adopted at Lackland and the remaining dogs were adopted elsewhere, many likely by former military working dog handlers.

Under a law passed in 2000, dogs declared “excess” by the Defense Department can be adopted by law-enforcement agencies, prior military handlers and the general public.

“A lot of people still don’t know they can adopt dogs,” said Ron Aiello, founder of the U.S. War Dogs Association and a former military dog handler in Vietnam. “They don’t know dogs were used in Vietnam and that they are being used now. I’d like to see more veterans adopt military working dogs.”

Aiello said he works closely with Kandoll to provide information to people who want to adopt dogs. Interest has come from a number of Vietnam veteran dog handlers, many of whom had to leave their dogs behind in Vietnam.

He and Kandoll think adopting the dogs can be therapeutic for veterans.

By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
Posted : Monday Mar 24, 2008 11:00:42 EDT

Source:  Sean Hannity

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Puppies in Training

Puppies in Training Pictures 421927

Highlighting a special program, Canine Companions for Independence. Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Canine Companions assistance dogs are trained in up to 50 commands designed to make everyday life easier for adults and children with physical and developmental disabilities. They open and close doors, retrieve dropped objects, and turn on and off lights. Outside of physical tasks, Canine Companions assistance dogs provide immeasurable emotional support to their human partners.

Established in 1975, Canine Companions now has five regional training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit http://www.cci.org or call 1-800-572-2275. Volunteer opportunities are available, including puppy raising.

Posted: Just One More Pet

September 3, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wagging the Dog, and a Finger – Emotional Service Dogs

 

 

On a sun-drenched weekend last month, cafes from TriBeCa to the Upper West Side were swelling with diners, many of whom left dogs tied to parking meters in deference to Health Department rules that prohibit pets in restaurants. At French Roast on upper Broadway, however, two women sat down to brunch with dogs in tow: a golden retriever and a Yorkie toted in a bag.

 

Illustration by Hadi Farahani; photograph by Robert Daly/Getty Images

 

 

“They both said that their animals were emotional service dogs,” said Gil Ohana, the manager, explaining why now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”

Anthony Milburn, at right with four of his dogs, rely on their pets for emotional well-being.

he let them in. “One of them actually carried a doctor’s letter.”

Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.

But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.

“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. ”

The increasing appearance of pets whose owners say they are needed for emotional support in restaurants — as well as on airplanes, in offices and even in health spas — goes back, according to those who train such animals, to a 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation. It clarified policies regarding disabled passengers on airplanes, stating for the first time that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments like depression or anxiety should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with physical disabilities like blindness or deafness.

The following year appellate courts in New York State for the first time accepted tenants’ arguments in two cases that emotional support was a viable reason to keep a pet despite a building’s no-pets policy. Word of the cases and of the Transportation Department’s ruling spread, aided by television and the Internet. Now airlines are grappling with how to accommodate 200-pound dogs in the passenger cabin and even emotional-support goats. And businesses like restaurants not directly addressed in the airline or housing decisions face a newly empowered group of customers seeking admittance with their animals.

WHILE most people who train animals that help the disabled — known as service animals — are happy that deserving people are aided, some are also concerned that pet owners who might simply prefer to brunch with their Labradoodle are abusing the guidelines.

“The D.O.T. guidance document was an outrageous decision,” said Joan Froling, chairwoman of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, a nonprofit organization representing people who depend on service dogs. “Instead of clarifying the difference between emotional support animals who provide comfort by their mere presence and animals trained to perform specific services for the disabled, they decided that support animals were service animals.”

No one interviewed for this article admitted to taking advantage of the guidelines, but there is evidence that it happens. Cynthia Dodge, the founder and owner of Tutor Service Dogs in Greenfield, Mass., said she has seen people’s lives transformed by emotional-support animals. She has also “run into a couple of people with small dogs that claim they are emotional support animals but they are not,” she said. “I’ve had teenagers approach me wanting to get their dogs certified. This isn’t cute and is a total insult to the disabled community. They are ruining it for people who need it.”

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act states that anyone depending on an animal to function should be allowed full access to all private businesses that serve the public, like restaurants, stores and theaters. The law specifies that such animals must be trained specifically to assist their owner. True service animals are trained in tasks like finding a spouse when a person is in distress, or preventing people from rolling onto their stomachs during seizures.

But now, because the 2003 Department of Transportation document does not include language about training, pet owners can claim that even untrained puppies are “service animals,” Ms. Froling said. “People think, ‘If the D.O.T. says I can take my animal on a plane, I can take it anywhere,’ ” she said.

Aphrodite Clamar-Cohen, who teaches psychology at John Jay College in Manhattan and sees a psychotherapist, said her dog, a pit bull mix, helps fend off dark moods that began after her husband died eight years ago. She learned about psychological support pets from the Delta Society, a nonprofit group that aims to bring people and animals together, and got her dog, Alexander, last year. “When I travel I tell hotels up front that ‘Alexander Dog Cohen’ is coming and he is my emotional-needs dog,” she said. She acknowledged that the dog is not trained as a service animal.

“He is necessary for my mental health,” she said. “I would find myself at loose ends without him.”

It is widely accepted that animals can provide emotional benefits to people. “There is a lot of evidence that animals are major antidepressants,” said Carole Fudin, a clinical social worker who specializes in the bond between animals and humans. “They give security and are wonderful emotional grease to help people with incapacitating fears like agoraphobia.”

Groups of pet owners with specially trained “therapy dogs” have long visited hospitals and volunteered after disasters. Following the 9/11 attack in New York, 100 therapy dogs were enlisted to comfort victims’ families at a special center.

But Dr. Fudin said that emotional reliance on an animal can be taken too far. “If a person can’t entertain the idea of going out without an animal, that would suggest an extreme anxiety level,” she said, “and he or she should probably be on medication, in psychotherapy or both.”

The question of when an animal goes from being a pet that provides love and companionship to an emotional-support animal, without which an owner cannot get through a day, is subjective.

Elicia Brand, 36, said the role her Bernese mountain dog played in her life changed drastically after Ms. Brand suffered severe traumas — being trapped on a subway during the 9/11 attack and being raped the next year. “I am a strong person and it almost did me in,” she said of the rape. “My dog was my crutch. If I didn’t have him I wouldn’t be here now.” After Sept. 11, Ms. Brand enrolled her dog in disaster relief training and put him through 10 weeks of training so he could be a therapy animal to others as well as herself. The dog now accompanies her everywhere, even to work. She also sees a therapist and takes medication.

One reason it is difficult to sort out the varying levels of dependency people have on their animals is that it is a violation of the disabilities act to inquire about someone’s disability, and although service animals are supposed to be trained, there is no definitive list of skills such animals must have.

“The A.D.A. started with the idea of the honor system,” Ms. Froling said. “The goal was to make sure that people with disabilities were not hassled. They didn’t list the services an animal should perform because they didn’t want to limit creativity, and they didn’t want to specify dogs because monkeys were being trained in helpful tasks.”

These days people rely on a veritable Noah’s Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. “Its owner dressed it up in clothes,” she recalled.

There have also been at least two instances (on American and Delta) in which airlines have been presented with emotional support goats. Ms. McLallen said the airline flies service animals every day; all owners need to do is show up with a letter from a mental health professional and the animal can fly free in the cabin.

There is no way to know how many of the pets now sitting in coach class or accompanying their owners to dinner at restaurants are trained in health-related tasks. But the fact that dog vests bearing the words “service animal” and wallet-size cards explaining the rights of a support-dog owner are available over the Internet, no questions asked, suggests there is wiggle room for those wishing to exploit it.

One such wallet card proclaims: “This person is accompanied by a Service Dog — an animal individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Dogs are working animals, not pets.” On the back is a number to call at the Department of Justice for information about the Americans With Disabilities Act.

One 30-year-old woman, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she does not see a psychotherapist but suffers from anxiety and abandonment issues and learned about emotional-needs dogs from a television show. She ordered a dog vest over the Internet with the words “service dog in training” for one of the several dogs she lives with, even though none are trained as service animals. “Having my dogs with me makes me feel less hostile,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.

“I can fine people or have them put in jail if they don’t let me in a restaurant with my dogs, because they are violating my rights,” she insisted.

In general, business owners seem to extend themselves to accommodate service animals. Though Completely Bare, a chain of health spas in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., has a policy barring animals in treatment rooms, Cindy Barshop, the company’s owner, said that she made an exception for a customer who insisted that she needed her large dog for support while she had laser hair removal. “We had to cover the dog with a blanket to protect its eyes during the procedure,” Ms. Barshop said.

One area in which business owners have resisted what they see as abuse of the law is housing. Litigators for both tenants and landlords say cases involving people’s demands to have service animals admitted to no-pets buildings in New York have risen sharply in the last two years, with rulings often in the tenants’ favor.

“If you have backing of a medical professional and you can show a connection between a disabling condition and the keeping of an animal, I have 99.9 percent success,” said Karen Copeland, a tenants’ lawyer.

One of her current clients maintains that she needs an animal in her apartment because she is a recovering alcoholic and, apart from her pet, all her other friends are drinkers. Another client, Anthony Milburn, lives in Kew Gardens, Queens, with five cocker spaniels and one mixed breed. He says he has severe chest pains from stress and has a note from a social worker saying that he relies on his pets for his emotional well-being. He is pursuing a case against his landlord.

Bradley Silverbush, a partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Schwartz & Nahins, the largest landlord law firm in New York, said people are manipulating the law.

“I’m a dog owner and a dog lover but to claim emotional support is beyond affection,” he said. “People send letters from doctors saying the person relies on the animal, or a person has just lost a parent and purchased a Pomeranian. Some doctors will write anything if asked by a patient.”

Jerri Cohen, the owner of a jewelry store in Manhattan, said she tried living without animals when she married a man who bought an apartment in a no-dog building. “I went into a severe depression and had to go on medication,” she said. “Three years later a friend bought me two pug puppies, and I refused to give them away. My co-op threatened us with eviction. An attorney suggested I get a letter from my psychiatrist. She wrote that I was emotionally needy and the lawyer said that was no good. So she wrote that I can barely function or run my store without them. I won the case.

“They sleep with me,” she said. “They have a double stroller. They go to restaurants with me and fly with me.”

By BETH LANDMAN, originally published – New York Times:  May 14, 2006

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment