Archive for the ‘Los Angeles’ Category

Rescued Dogs From Pet Shop Find Homes

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007


50 puppies were rescued from a Santa Ana, California pet shop last month. They were dehydrated and suffering from respiratory infections and other health problems.

Last Friday, the Orange County Animal Care Services announced they would be putting the 50 puppies up for adoption during the weekend.

Hundreds of people came to the shelter to give the puppies loving homes. At least 100 people showed up early for the adoption event and were waiting in the parking lot for the animal shelter to open.

There were so many people that showed up to adopt the puppies that the animal shelter had to use a lottery system to pick winners. Each and every one of the puppies found a new and caring home.


Archie The Therapy Dog Recovering From His Surgery

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Archie, a Newfoundland, provides smiles and laughter to children at Casa Pacifica, a Ventura County, California oasis for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed children.

But this therapy dog recently needed help of his own. He needed an expensive surgery from an injury sustained while playing with another dog. But the non-profit organization did not have any funds for Archie’s surgery.

News got out about Archie’s need for surgery and donations flooded Casa Pacifica. They received $6,000 in donations and even received donations from the UK.

Veterinarians performed surgery on Archie earlier this week. He is currently recovering and should be back at Casa Pacifica in a couple of weeks to bring smiles to the children and give them some big hugs.

Illinois Extends Domestic Violence Protection to Pets

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007


Sometimes the only surprise a new law gives me is that it did not already exist. On the topic of animals, my most popular mental question is “What do you mean the law doesn’t…?”

A recent example: “What do you mean the law doesn’t extend restraining order protection to pets?” A handful of states do offer such protection, and Illinois joined them in August when the governor signed HB 9 into law (effective January 1, 2008).

Rep. John A. Fritchey of Chicago originally introduced the legislation in May 2006. Also in 2006, Maine made history as the first state with such a law, followed by Vermont and New York.

Itchmo covered a Connecticut law passed earlier this year. According to the Humane Society of the United States, bills are pending in other states including Michigan and Wisconsin. As I write, California bill SB 353 waits for Gov. Schwarzenegger’s signature, and a New Jersey bill if passed would offer a pet protection order against someone already found guilty of animal cruelty.


Archie The Therapy Dog Needs A Little Help Of His Own

Thursday, August 30th, 2007


Last month, we shared a story about Archie, a Newfoundland, who is an inspiration, motivation, and just a good friend to the children at Casa Pacifica, a Ventura County oasis for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed children. 165 pound Archie has been working there as a therapy dog for the past two years and has truly been making a difference.

Archibald Razzmatazz, otherwise known as Archie, brings smiles and laughter to all the children at Casa Pacifica and provides them with someone to lean on or hug. Sometimes children just sit and read to Archie, others share their frustrations with him, and all of the children find a true friend in Archie.

Vicky Murphy, director of operations and development for Casa Pacifica, first brought Archie to the center after researching and finding that Newfoundlands are some of the best therapy dogs. Archie lives with Murphy in her home.

Archie walks around the campus spreading his warmth and love around. For some children, Archie is the one friend they can open up to and trust.

One of the Casa Pacifica children, Solidad usually doesn’t speak, but with Archie, she opens up and talks to him. She tells him that he’s a good boy and snuggles up to him and strokes his fur. She said he is sweet, calm and likes kids.

“For some kids, it’s hard for them to touch or be touched, but with Archie, they hug him and lay on him,” Murphy said. “They say, ‘He loves me so much.’ He makes them all feel incredibly loved.”

Now, this therapy dog needs a little extra care and attention for himself. He injured a back leg while playing with Murphy’s other dog, a Shih Tzu/poodle mix.


Dog Owner Sells Car To Fund Poodle’s Chemotherapy

Friday, August 24th, 2007

TarkMany of us pet owners are willing to do anything for our pet’s health. We scrap and save to pay for their medical bills, prioritize our pets over our needs, and for one California woman, she is selling her car to pay for her dog’s cancer treatments.

Karla Jadwin, a Bakersfield pet owner, found out her beloved dog had cancer. She wanted to do everything and anything to get him the treatment that he needed. She even is selling her own car.

Tark, her 13-year-old poodle, was diagnosed with bone cancer in November. A painful tumor was found in his right leg, and veterinarians amputated his leg. He has recovered from the surgery and is currently going through chemotherapy.

“My first thought was another man in my life with cancer in his bones… that’s how I lost my husband,” Jadwin said. After seeing her husband battle cancer, she wanted to make sure Tark would survive.

Jadwin put an advertisement in the newspaper to sell her Pontiac Firebird for $6,500. The money will help with the ten thousand dollars in medical bill she has for her dog’s chemotherapy.

Tark’s vets told Jadwin that he only has two years to live. She hopes that chemotherapy will extend his life expectancy.


New York Dog Magazine Stops Printing

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

New York DogThe New York Dog was touted as a Vanity Fair for dog lovers. It featured dog fashion, health, nutrition, and biting humor. When the magazine debuted in September 2004 in Central Park, the media went haywire for the magazine. Even Washington Post described the magazine as the publishing success story of the year and a “jaw-dropping” hit.

But now, not even three years later, The New York Dog has stopped publishing. Their last issue was in April. And there also has been bit of a sticky situation with John Ryan, the president and CEO of Gatsby Publishing, the company that owns The New York Dog and their sister magazine, The Hollywood Dog.

Ryan said the magazine stopped publishing because of trouble collecting money from advertisers. He explained that nonpayment from advertisers have led the magazine into debt. The magazine has had to write off $250,000 in debt and is trying to get $110,000 more through a debt collection agency. Ryan admitted he was unprepared to collect the large amount of money. He is still hopeful that the magazine will relaunch with new investors.

In contrast to Ryan’s story, employees at The New York Dog say that the downfall of the magazine was because of Ryan himself and his horrible business practices. An advertising executive, Janice Ridge (who contacted us about this story), said the magazine struggled not because of nonpayment from advertisers but because Ryan was a disaster.


Natural Balance Publishes Dog And Cat Food Testing Results

Monday, August 13th, 2007

NB Laboratories staffIn a bid to regain consumer confidence after the massive pet food recalls, Natural Balance will allow consumers to look up test results on all batches of their dog and cat food on their website. The new service was unveiled Sunday. (Lab staff pictured at right.)

Consumers will be able to go to the Natural Balance website, select a dog or cat food formula and enter the expiration date code to see the test results. When we talked with Natural Balance last week, the test results were being uploaded and not every batch was available. Each batch is indicated by the Best By date printed on the packaging.

Currently, the Los Angeles-area based company tests for melamine, cyanuric acid, aflatoxin and vomitoxin at their in-house lab and through Midwest Laboratories. The test result indicates whether that batch showed positive or negative for each of the four toxins. The test results we saw only showed no toxins detected, so we don’t know what a positive toxin finding will look like.


The Truth About The Ving Rhames Dog “Mauling”

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Jacob AdamsThey didn’t maul anyone and they certainly didn’t kill anyone. Just ask the investigators on the case.

Do a quick Google search for “Ving Rhames Dogs” and you’ll see a sad case of jumping to conclusions. Blogs and many celebrity news sites were quick to say that the dogs killed 40-year-old Jacob Adams (left). The coroner has ruled out the dogs as a cause of death of the housekeeper.

“At this point, it’s simply a mystery. We’re ruling it an undetermined death,” Lt. Lombardo said.

In fact, according to the Los Angeles coroner’s office, most of the bites were superficial. They also determined that Mr. Adams did not die of a heart attack. The body is now expected to be sent for toxicology tests.

Several readers speculated on the cause of the bite marks on the original post, which is what the investigators believe now. The investigators believe the dogs sensed that something was wrong with Adams and tried to wake him. The police also added that there were no bites on the Canadian writer’s head or neck. Some of the dogs were so old they hardly had any teeth according to one report.

The police were very careful in not directly blaming the dogs during the initial press conference. Unfortunately, the media is less likely to report this with the same vigor as they did a supposed “dog mauling.” But because the caretaker was found with bite marks on his body, many media outlets are still calling it an attack.

It is not known when Rhames four dogs will be returned to their owner. They are still being held in custody of animal control. Rhames described his Brazilian mastiff as being all bark and no bite in a 1999 Los Angeles Times interview. Rhames’ wife told the police that during the seven years in which they have had the dogs, they were never vicious towards them or their small children — in fact, she described them as “gentle.”

Sources: E!, LA Canyon News, Globe and Mail

Different Kind Of Reward For Missing French Cat

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

MaximumMaximum and his owner came all the way from Paris, France to visit family in Los Angeles, California. Except, about a week ago, Maximum went missing during his vacation.

Instead of offering a monetary reward, Maximum’s owner is offering a free round-trip airline ticket to Paris and a place to stay for two weeks near the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral to the person that finds her cat.

Maximum is an 8-year-old gray tabby cat. He has a tattoo inside one of his ears. In France, pet owners tattoo their cats and dogs instead of micro-chipping them.

We hope that you will find your way back home Maximum.


Pulp Fiction Actor’s Caretaker Found Dead With Dog Bites

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Ving Rhames and his dog KongA caretaker working at the home of actor Ving Rhames was found dead and covered in dog bites according to the police. Rhames is known for his roles in Pulp Fiction and Mission: Impossible movies.

When the police arrived at Rhames’ gated home in the exclusive Brentwood neighborhood in Los Angeles, they reported finding several large dogs running lose. Animal control took in three bull mastiffs and an English bulldog into custody. Two or more dogs are thought to have been involved in the mauling. The largest dog weighed almost 200 pounds.

The investigation has yet to identify the exact cause of death. Police are still trying to figure out if Rhames’ live-in caretaker died as a direct result of dog bites, or if there were any other factors involved. The 40-year-old caretaker, Jacob Adams, was hired to take care of the dogs and had worked for Rhames for two years.


CEO With Sordid Past Behind Flexpetz Dog Sharing Service

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

ITCHMO EXCLUSIVE: Simon Brodie, the controversial founder with a criminal past behind the Allerca hypoallergenic cats, is the CEO of a company that owns Flexpetz, the pet sharing service. Brodie was convicted in the UK of multiple counts of accounting fraud. Ever since his move to the United States, he has been linked to pets or animals in his ventures and is shadowed by a history of failed ventures, lawsuits, unpaid bills, and fraud allegations. He characterized his past by saying “I’ve had some hits, some misses.”

How is Simon Brodie linked to Flexpetz?
Brodie was appointed the CEO of Tetros, Inc. — a firm purchased by ColdStar Capital — on April 4, 2007. Flexpetz issued a press release on April 10 which described itself as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tetros, who are both owned by ColdStar Capital. ColdStar, who lists its president as Jonathon Nicholson, is based out of the Cayman Islands.

When we talked with Brodie, he flatly denied having any knowledge about ColdStar Capital. When asked about the SEC filing that lists him as CEO of Tetros, Brodie retracted his statement, but would not provide a phone number for Nicholson.

The reference to ColdStar Capital was removed from the Flexpetz website on Thursday, the same day we spoke with Simon Brodie.

Add $22,000 exotic “Ashera” cats that haven’t been seen.
Simon Brodie is also the founder of Allerca (which is selling hypoallergenic cats for thousands of dollars) and also the man behind the supposedly unique “Ashera” cats.

Brodie is seeking to set up franchises to sell these “Ashera” cats. However, the cat breeder community says that the cats are not new. They say that the cat depicted on Brodie’s site is the Savannah breed already in existence. In fact Brodie’s company web site does not identify the cat as a Savannah and refused to show pictures of the actual breed until the franchises have been launched.

Mainstream media such as the New York Times and Time magazine have picked up the hypoallergenic cat story and Time went as far as to call it one of the best inventions of 2006.

Even murkier past

Is Rent-A-Dog A Good Idea?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Flexpetz dog rental service

Flexpetz, a for-profit company, is offering dog “ownership” to people who may not be ready for the commitment dogs require. The dogs come from rescues and are available for rent in San Diego and Los Angeles for a fee.

Itchmo Forum members are discussing the wisdom of being able to rent a pet. It’s a story that we reported on several months ago that seems to have caught the media’s attention just recently.

What constitutes a better life for these dogs? Talk about it in our ItchmoForums.

Here’s what some members had to say:

Minor League Baseball Team Joins In Protest Against Michael Vick

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

ArmadaThe Long Beach Armada, a Golden Baseball League team, is standing up against Michael Vick and dogfighting.

This Sunday, July 29, the team will be hosting the first ever Michael Vick Awareness Day. Baseball fans are invited to bring their dogs to the game and sit and watch in a special section.

Also, the Long Beach Armada will destroy all Michael Vick jerseys in protest to the inhumane treatment of animals. Any fan who trades in a Michael Vick t-shirt or jersey at the box office will receive free admission to the game and a donation in their name will be made to Justin Rudd’s Community Action Team ( C.A.T.), a 501c3 nonprofit that provides educational outreach and events to help inspire a better understanding of dogs, encourage responsible ownership practices, and offer practical adoption and rescue opportunities.


Los Angeles Animal Services Announces Pit Bull Training Academy

Monday, July 23rd, 2007


Los Angeles Animal Services is launching a first of its kind program to help improve the lives of pit bulls in the Los Angeles area.

The Pit Bull Training Academy is designed to assist Animal Services’ quest to make Los Angeles the largest no-kill city in the United States by helping the city’s most at risk and misunderstood pet population, the pit bull.

“Pit bulls and pit bull mixes represent 25% of all dogs rescued each year by LA Animal Services, 19% of all dogs adopted, and 41% of all dogs euthanized,” said Ed Boks, general manager of LA Animal Services. “We are often asked if pit bulls are a dog problem or a people problem. The answer is both!”

To address this problem, LA Animal Services is partnering with Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull training program in the United States, to establish the nation’s first public/private Pit Bull Training Academy.

“What makes this new program so powerful”, said Tia Torres, president of the Villalobos Rescue Center, “is that our teachers and rehabilitators are ‘two legged Pit Bulls’ who understand what it means to overcome being an underdog,” referring to the parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who are specially trained by the Villalobos Rescue Center to rehabilitate pit bulls.

The Pit Bull Training Academy allows parolees and pit bulls to work “hand in paw” to show the rest of the world that anyone can change for the better when given a second chance.

At The Pit Bull Training Academy, many of the city’s lost and homeless pit bulls will be housed, trained, and rehabilitated by their “two legged counterparts” who are intent on raising awareness and enhancing the adoption opportunities of this largely misunderstood breed by educating the public on what it takes to be a responsible pit bull guardian.

Source: Press release

(Thanks Lynn)

Britney Spears Slammed For Buying Puppy From Pet Store

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Britney Spears and her new Yorkie

The Humane Society is criticizing Britney Spears for spending $3,000 on a Yorkshire Terrier puppy from a Bel-Air pet store. The HSUS says that she should be setting a better example for the public by purchasing it from a reputable breeder, and not from a pet store where the dogs likely came from a puppy mill.

They also expressed concern over the 30-minutes spent choosing the puppy, saying getting a dog is a serious commitment that should not be taken lightly.

The store’s website clearly claimed that their dogs do not come from puppy mills, but the HSUS doubted the accuracy of the site’s claims.

But they also cut Spears a little slack, saying it’s likely that she just wasn’t educated and that if she would do her research, the HSUS would gladly take her on as a spokeswoman.

Spears also owns a chihuahua named Bit Bit.

(Source: Humane Society press release)

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