A Newark, N.J. woman was arrested Tuesday, March 29, in the case of a starved puppy allegedly thrown 19 stories into a garbage chute and left for dead.
Kisha Curtis, 28, was charged with torture and torment of a living creature. She faces 18 months in jail or a $3,000 fine if convicted.
The emaciated 1-year-old pit bull, hailed by animal care workers as a "miracle dog," was discovered March 16 by maintenance workers inside a garbage chute at a Newark apartment building. The dog's bones protruded from his fur, and he had no body temperature. Animal care workers with the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park called it one of the worst cases of cruelty they've ever seen.
Newark Animal Control rushed the dog to a nearby emergency center, where he was given a blood transfusion, pumped with fluids and covered with heating blankets. The dog was later named Patrick because he made it into St. Patrick's Day. Veterinarians said he would have died within 6 to 12 hours if he hadn't received medical attention.
Curtis has denied throwing the dog into the chute, claiming he was tied up outside and that someone else took him.
Patrick, who is making a slow but steady recovery, is receiving donations from as far away as Europe and has a Facebook page created in his honor. Animal rights advocates are proposing a measure called “Patrick's Law,” which would put in place tougher animal abuse legislation.
For more information on Patrick, see ahscares.org.
In with the old?
Multiple jobs, “me-first” culture leave less time for puppy house training
Are more people adopting older dogs because they don’t have the time or patience to train a puppy, let alone have children?
Flexcin International, which operates the FlexPet Shelter Program to assist in the adoption of older dogs, believes this trend is accelerating. Even actor George Clooney’s girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis said recently she doesn’t feel the need to have children because she’s happy with dogs instead.
In a nationwide online survey, Flexcin asked approximately 1,250 pet owners between ages 21 and 30 if they'd rather adopt an older dog instead of a brand-new puppy. Roughly 61 percent said they would opt for the former. Of that percentage, 89 percent said they didn’t have the time or the patience to house-train a puppy because of working multiple jobs or other time challenges. More than half (54 percent) also said they are choosing to have dogs instead of children because they’re not sure they can handle a child's larger needs.
“While we’re not saying their decisions are right or wrong, it’s clear that the stresses of working multiple jobs and a more ‘me-first’ society are impacting how people view puppies and children,” said Tamer Elsafy, CEO and founder of Flexcin International. “Ten years ago, the opposite trend was taking place, where people always opted for the puppies instead of more senior dogs with less energy serving a companion role.”
More information about this survey and Flexcin International, Inc. can be found at FlexPet4Shelters.com.
Pet clothing line puts safety first
Montreal-based LuvGear has teamed up with San Diego-based PETCO to introduce a line of organic apparel and accessories for dogs designed to help protect them from the dangers of heat. Planet PETCO apparel, featuring LuvGear technology, will be introduced in May as part of the recently launched Planet PETCO line of eco-friendly lifestyle and care products that encourage sustainability.
TempAlert is designed to warn dog owners when external temperatures are reaching levels that may be harmful or fatal to a dog. “Alert” icons are sewn directly onto the clothing or material and serve as a visible warning sign when the temperature reaches a dangerous level. In normal conditions, the alert patch displays a dark blue thermometer. When the outside temperatures reach approximately 100 degrees, the blue disappears, and an “alert” warns the owner to take necessary steps.
Amber Alert-inspired system reunites pets, owners
Mark Jakubczak, founder of PetAmberAlert.com, announced that between 2009 and 2010, his Amber Alert-inspired company has helped to recover more than 1,000 lost pets and returned them to their homes.
PetAmberAlert.com uses phones, faxes, computers and dedicated software to alert thousands of neighbors, animal shelters, pet stores, police stations and veterinary offices in the area within an hour a pet is reported missing anywhere in the United States and Canada.
“When pets go missing, pet owners cannot spread the word fast enough. That is why I created a fast, reliable missing pet alert system,” Jakubczak said.
Amber Alert is an emergency response system employed in response to the suspected abduction of a child. It was named after 9-year-old Texas girl Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in 1996.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 6 to 8 million animals enter animal shelters each year, and 3 to 4 million are euthanized. The PetAmberAlert system helps to reduce this number. Featured pet listings remain on the website for over 360 days or until the animals are found.
“Every pet deserves to be returned home safely,” Jakubczak said. “We don’t want them to end up in a shelter or the pound.”
PetAmberAlert.com offers a free Lost Pet Recovery Guide on its website. This is an extensive step-by-step guide explaining the actions to maximize a pet’s chance of being safely recovered. It includes a lost dog/cat checklist.
TV series reveals truths about man’s best friend
Documentary Channel® has launched Extraordinary Dogs, a weekly series of 30-minute episodes on how dogs have been trained to take advantage of their keen senses, agility, stamina, loyalty, instinct and defense capabilities.
Featuring breeds such as Newfoundland Labradors, golden retrievers, Alaskan huskies, miniature Schnauzers and bulldogs, Extraordinary Dogs reveals the myths and realities about the astonishing talents of man’s best friend.
New episodes of Extraordinary Dogs will air each Sunday at 8 p.m. through April 24.
Documentary Channel is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Ch. 197) and DirecTV (Ch. 267).
Embedded video marks educational breakthrough
Joe Camp was reluctant to switch over. His wife hammered him for months.
"I have the books I'm reading with me at all times on the Kindle app on my phone," she would say. Camp would counter, "I prefer turning pages."
One day, Kathleen showed him a video embedded in the book she was reading, and Joe Camp became a believer.
Camp, creator of the canine superstar Benji and director of the five Benji movies, has spent most of his life using his storytelling talent to teach us about animals, first dogs and then horses.
"When the notion hit me that we could take our books about horse and dog behavior and embed videos demonstrating and defining what the book is talking about, well, it snapped me to attention immediately. It's the best of both worlds!” Camp said.
Camp is the author of the bestseller The Soul of a Horse—Life Lessons from the Herd. His two new releases, The Soul of a Horse Blogged—the Journey Continues and The Benji Method—Teach Your Dog to Do What Benji Does in the Movies, are full of embedded video and resource links. Every lesson in The Benji Method has a video of Benji and Camp demonstrating the lesson. The book features more than 90 minutes of video.
For more on Joe Camp and his books and movies, visit thesoulofahorse.com