Archive for the ‘San Francisco Bay Area’ Category

Coyotes Killed After Attacks On City Dogs

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007


Animal Control officials in San Francisco shot and killed two coyotes for attacks on dogs while they were walking with their owners in Golden Gate Park. Officials say that the coyotes may have been fending for their young or may have been sick. A debate over the killings also sparked a debate.

The Associated Press report did not mention whether these coyotes may have attacked cats in the area. City officials say two more may be still residing in the park. But as many as 8 coyotes may be roaming the San Francisco area. Interactions between city life and coyotes are rare, but not unheard of. Earlier this year, a Chicago coyote decided to take a nap in a sub shop’s fridge.

According to Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Department:

“Fish and Game saw them, observed them and in their expert opinion decided they were a public safety risk and had to be destroyed, it was only a matter of time before they hurt someone.”

The wild canines were spotted and shot late Sunday near Speedway Meadow, a popular pedestrian area where the dogs were attacked on Saturday morning. They bit one of the pets, a large Rhodesian ridgeback, and lunged the other dog along a path. The ridgeback suffered minor injuries.


Missing Socks? These Two Cats May Have Them

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007


Now you can blame your missing socks on something else besides your clothes dryer. These two California cats, Cleo and Tony, have a sock fetish.

Whenever they are out and about, these two curious felines bring home someone else’s socks. At first, they brought a sock home once in awhile, but now they are bringing socks home every single day.

Cleo and Tony’s owners tried to find the proper owners of the socks. They put fliers in neighbor’s mailboxes asking: “Neighbors, are you losing socks?” No one has reclaimed the socks that Cleo and Tony have taken.

Although the owners think they knew where some of the socks are coming from. They say that one of their neighbors has a bag of socks in his driveway. He also has a bag of underwear out there too. Cleo and Tony’s owners hope that the cats don’t start taking underwear and bringing it home too.


Bulldog Puppy Stolen From Boarding Facility

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


Ava, a four-month-old miniature English bulldog, has been dognapped, and her owners want her back.

Stephanie Martin and Ashley Messier dropped off Ava for boarding at the American Animal Care Center. When they came to pick her up, they were told that they had already picked up their dog. The couple said no, they hadn’t. 45 minutes later, the veterinary hospital told them that their Ava was gone.

Two days after this San Francisco couple dropped off their dog at the facility, a man posed as Messier went to pick up Ava. The man asked for Ava, charged a bag of food on Messier’s prepaid account, and walked out the door with the dog. The man did not produce any identification or offer any kind of payment. A surveillance tape captured an image of the man, and the Fremont Police are investigating. At this point, there are no leads in the case.

Meanwhile, the couple are distraught and have even put their wedding on hold. Ava was supposed to be the ring bearer in their wedding. Messier has spent every day looking for her, and he says that he has almost spent $800 in gas and fliers searching for their beloved dog. The couple is offering a $1,000 reward for finding Ava.


California’s Spay And Neuter Bill Has Been Shelved

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

The controversy over Assembly Bill 1634 has been put on hold, for now. The statewide mandatory spay and neuter bill has been shelved after receiving a not so welcome reception from the Senate Committee.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine decided to not pursue the vote on his bill after it was clear that the Senate would not accept his last ditch effort to amend the bill. He tried to amend the bill last minute by saying that he would be willing to remove the statewide mandate from the amendment. Members of the Senate Committee agreed that his amendments on the fly were not acceptable.

Levine said that he would revive the bill next year.

“I think we can get to a solution,” Levine said. “But the first thing opponents must do is to acknowledge that there’s a problem and work with me to solve it.”

Source: Sacramento Bee

Man Reimbursed For Pet Food Recall Vet Bills After Contacting Newspaper

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Natural Balance

Many pet owners who have been affected by the pet food recall have been stuck with large vet bills. Trying to get any kind of compensation or more so a compensation that is worthy of what they and their pets have gone through has been extremely difficult for pet owners. We are seeing a pattern that pet food companies will be more cooperative when there is media pressure or attention brought to the issue.

One pet owner decided to get a little help. In mid-April, his dog, Buddy, had become seriously ill and had to be hospitalized from eating recalled Natural Balance’s Venison and Brown Rice dog food. Fortunately, Buddy is recovering although he is still two to three pounds under his adoption weight. The dog’s vet bills totaled more than $2,700 from eating the recalled food.

Buddy’s owner contacted Natural Balance numerous times to have them compensate him for all of their vet expenses and had sent them the necessary paperwork and claim information that the company requested. Natural Balance’s insurance company responded and said that they could only reimburse him for only $150, the “value” of the dog (his adoption fee). To Buddy’s owner, this was simply not enough and he thought that all of his bills should be reimbursed. He then wrote San Jose Mercury News’s Action Line reporter Dennis Rockstroh to see if he could help with his situation.

We have racked up more than $2,700 in vet and hospital bills and were assured by the folks at Natural Balance that we would be reimbursed for ALL our expenses in a timely manner.

It is now June and we are still waiting.

I have been in contact with several people at Natural Balance on an ongoing basis.

They have been very helpful and understanding of my situation and I appreciate that.

But the bottom line is Natural Balance has yet to compensate us for our medical claim. This despite the fact that we have provided the company with copies of all our medical records, a sample of the tainted food and all other information that they have requested.

I have also been in contact with the insurance company that represents Natural Balance and was recently told that we may ONLY be compensated for the “value” of the dog or in our case the adoption fee we paid when we rescued Buddy, about $150.

In my opinion, that level of compensation would be unfair and unacceptable to me and to others with pets that have been adversely affected by the tainted pet food products previously sold by Natural Balance.

Don Fernandez
San Jose

The reporter’s response after the jump.


California Cities Can Ban Declawing

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Cat’s Paws

A state appeals court has ruled that cities in California can ban cat declawing as long as it doesn’t prohibit procedures that state law expressly allows.

On Friday, the court reinstated the West Hollywood ordinance, passed in 2003, which states that the “mere convenience (of declawing) to the pet’s guardian does not justify the unnecessary pain, anguish and permanent disability caused (to) the animal.”

This measure makes it a crime to perform declawing surgery within city limits, except for therapeutic purposes such as removal of infected tissues. Declawed cats that are brought into the city are allowed under the measure.

More on the cat declawing ban after the jump.


Too Ugly To Sell, But Good Enough To Be Champ

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

World’s Ugliest Dog 2007

A new “Ugliest Dog” champion has been crowned in California on Friday. Elwood, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix from New Jersey took first place. The new winner was almost euthanized by its breeder because “she thought he was too ugly to sell.” Karen Quigley rescued him and now Elwood returned the favor by winning the $1000 prize.

More on Elwood and his owner after the jump.


Dog Without A Home Becomes A Rescue Dog

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

NellyNelly, an 18-month-old black shepherd and Labrador mix, may have been thought of as a “bad dog”. He would drag animal shelter workers when they walked him, bark constantly for attention, and jump on people when they came to greet him.

Over a year ago, Nelly was left in the overnight drop box at the Oakland Animal Shelter and “he was the kind of dog that would have been put to sleep because there was no hope of finding him a home.” But the animal control officers did not give up hope and wanted to find a place for Nelly.

A worker at the Oakland Animal Shelter met with Chick Gardner, director of Gap Dogs, an organization that trains rescue dogs. The animal shelter employee started describing Nelly’s behavior and Gardner thought that Nelly may be a good fit to be a rescue dog.

The staff tested Nelly to see how brave he was. They threw balls into deep bushes and he retrieved them every time, and they even put him 10 feet away from a train and he didn’t even back away.

More about Nelly and his transition to a rescue dog after the jump.


Artist Who Saved Dog From Fire Dies From Injuries

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007


Michael James Keenan, a San Francisco artist, risked his life to save a friend’s dog from a fire. Keenan was house and dog sitting for a friend when a fire broke out in the house. He went outside of the house and realized that the dog, Bobby, was still inside the house. He went back in the house and found the 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier hiding under the bed.

Although both Keenan and Bobby escaped the fire, they sustained critical injuries. Bobby was in intensive care at Pets Unlimited, a non-profit veterinary hospital and animal shelter, due to eye damage and swelling.

Keenan sustained burns over 80% of his body. After months in the hospital, Keenan suffered an infection and died of a stroke earlier this week. His friends and family remember him as a hero and a completely selfless human being. Keenan not only saved Bobby’s life, but he saved a woman that was drowning six years ago.

Bobby is doing well after his month of intensive care in the hospital, and Pets Unlimited graciously forgave Bobby’s $26,000 bill.

More on Keenan after the jump.


Spay And Neuter Law In Santa Cruz

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Santa Cruz shelter

Debates over the California Healthy Pets Act continue as the act has moved on to the Senate. One city in California has had a mandatory spay/neuter law for the past 12 years and is “being touted as a model” in these debates. In 1995, Santa Cruz County became one of the first in California to mandate the spaying/neutering of pets. Officials for Santa Cruz animal organizations say that they see improvements in shelters after the spay/neuter law came into effect.

“There was a time when we would euthanize for space — we’d pick five or six animals that had to be killed to make room for incoming strays,” said Tricia Geisreiter, the county’s animal services coordinator.

Before 1995, the shelter warehoused 14,000 animals a year. Today, it takes in about 5,500. Euthanasia has dropped from 30 percent to 17 percent of sheltered dogs and from 60 to 50 percent of sheltered cats.

In Santa Cruz today, more of the sheltered animals get adopted because they can stay longer in their cages. They can stay longer because there’s more room — spaying and neutering laws have resulted in fewer unwanted litters and fewer strays roaming the beaches and streets, officials say.

Mandatory spay-neuter in Santa Cruz “changed morale in the shelters,” said Jody Cramer, the Santa Cruz SPCA director from 1991 to 1998.

California Healthy Pets Act Update

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Sleeping Cat and Dog

AB 1634, the California Healthy Pets Act has passed the Assembly Floor and is now moving on to the Senate to be voted on. The California Healthy Pets Act would require the spaying and neutering of most cats and dogs by the time the pet is four months old. The act is being proposed as a solution to pet overpopulation.

On the other side, there are many opponents of this bill. They say that the bill does not really solve the problem of pet overpopulation, will affect reputable breeders, and many pet owners are concerned about the safety and health of their pet being spayed or neutered at a young age.

The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Is Coming

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007


The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest will be held on June 22 in Petaluma, CA. Entry forms are currently available and are due by June 19. You can even start voting online for who you think should win. Good luck to you all!

Court To Reconsider Dog Mauling Conviction

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Dog Mauling CaseA San Francisco woman, Marjorie Knoller, whose dog mauled and killed a woman may be convicted of second-degree murder instead of involuntary manslaughter.

In January 2001, Knoller was walking Bane, her Presa Canario, in her apartment complex when her neighbor, Diane Whipple, was entering her apartment.

Bane charged at Whipple and jumped on her. Knoller’s other dog may have also attacked the neighbor. The woman suffered 77 wounds, including a fatal puncture to the neck.

Knoller was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2002 and she served half of her four year sentence and was paroled in 2004. Knoller’s husband was also charged with involuntary manslaughter because he left the dogs with his wife even though he knew that his wife couldn’t control the dogs. The trial judge reduced Knoller’s sentence to manslaughter because even though he said that Knoller knew that her dogs were dangerous, she “had not known her conduct posed a high probability of death.”

Now, in an unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court is ordering a Superior Court Judge to restore a jury’s second degree murder conviction. The state court overruled the original ruling saying that: “Knoller, or any other defendant responsible for unintentional but fatal injuries, can be convicted of murder if they acted with conscious disregard of the danger to human life.”

Now, a new judge will review the trial record and decide if Knoller will be charged with manslaughter or murder.

City Pays $210,000 To Couple Whose Dog Was Shot By Police

Friday, June 1st, 2007

The city of Richmond, CA has agreed to pay a couple $210,000 for the death of their pit bull, Blu. In 2005, two police officers shot Blu 12 times when they were trying to follow a drug suspect. The officers said that Blu attacked them when they opened the gate to Blu’s yard to pursue the suspect, but Blu’s owners said that Blu was just hopping around excitedly and not trying to attack. When Blu’s owner went up to the police officers to ask them why they shot his dog, they “pointed their guns at him, kicked and punched him and threw him to the ground,” and he was arrested but no charges were filed.

Blu’s owners decided to file suit and said the officers had insufficient reason to shoot Blu and nothing was done by police officers internally to investigate the death of their dog. The Richmond City Council decided to settle and pay Blu’s owners $210,000.

The Richmond Police Chief apologized to the couple and the police department has gone through extensive training on when police officers can use force on dogs and how to deal with dogs in general.

(Thanks Jeff)

Foxtails: Enemy Of The State (Of Dogs)

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

foxtail3Pet Connection warns dog parents of the dangers of the little plants known of foxtails:

They plot and plan how best to drive themselves into our dogs’ tender flesh, to slip between the toe and the nail, to be snorted into the vulnerable nasal passages, to work their way into the ear canal.

…take this warning seriously: watch out for foxtails. Eradicate them from your property, and watch for them when walking them in parks, wildlands, pasture, or field.

California’s foxtail season lasts until fall. Signs of foxtail attack include sudden “licking at a toe, pawing at their ears, or has a lump or swelling anywhere.” Pet Connection advises you to check your dogs frequently for foxtails.

Learn more about the foxtail hazard and how to spot them.

A serious hazard for field dogs, or any dogs in the field, are the hard seed-bearing structures of some kinds of grasses, often called “foxtails”. These structures have sharp points at one end, and microscopic barbs, so that they easily move in the direction of the point, but not the other way. They “work in”, but they don’t “work out”. They can become imbedded (sic) in the hair, especially the paws and ears, and in nostrils and even eyes. As they work their way in, they cause infection, and if not treated can sometimes be fatal.

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