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Justice for Rosie

13 Feb

Rosie the Newfoundland was a beloved member of the Wright family.

Tragically, Rosie was shot to death in her hometown of Des Moines, WA, by the police who were hired to keep her city safe. The recent Prosecuting Attorney’s report on this incident is both infuriating and inaccurate…

Rosie shot by police

Rosie the Newfoundland was a beloved member of the Wright family. True to her breed, she was a gentle giant who loved everyone she met. Tragically, this loving dog was callously shot to death in her hometown of Des Moines, WA, by the very police who were hired to keep her city safe. Click here to read the original story.

An inaccurate report

The recent Prosecuting Attorney’s report on this incident is both infuriating and inaccurate, mixing equal parts fact and fiction in a five-plus-page report that dismisses the severity of this case. According to the Prosecuting Attorney’s report, Sergeant Steve Wieland stated that the dog was “barking aggressively and foaming at the mouth,” implying that Rosie was rabid or otherwise a health concern to the public. Neither implication was accurate. According to the report, Sergeant Wieland and officers Graddon and Arico attempted to “discuss a plan to identify the dog and gain control of it.” That plan apparently entailed tazing the dog numerous times, and when that did not achieve the desired result, firing repeatedly into the frightened dog.

The resident’s story

According to the Prosecuting Attorney’s report, Rosie was in a resident’s backyard at the time of the fatal shooting. The report states that the residents were apparently warned to go into their home prior to the shooting. The residents, however, tell a different story. The homeowner was not given enough warning to go into the home, as the police and the report state; they were in fact barely able to get into their home with one of their children before the police opened fire. The homeowner rushed her two young children into the back room.  She closed her eyes and covered her ears the best she could in attempt to avoid witnessing the brutal killing of Rosie.

When comparing the dash cam video camera footage and the Prosecuting Attorney’s report, there are countless disturbing disparities. The Prosecuting Attorney’s report indicates that the officers used lethal force against the dog “because all non-lethal attempts to capture the dog had failed.” The non-lethal attempts, however, are documented on the video footage, and little effort is placed in these inept attempts.

Video documentation

The footage indicates that the officers initially acknowledge that Rosie is in her own yard, but the one of the officers, referring to Rosie as a “he,” states, “I hate to kill him in his own yard.” A mere seven minutes later, an officer is heard to say, “I’m trying to figure out the best way to shoot him.” Contrastingly, the Prosecuting Attorney’s report omits this initial assessment of the situation, stating instead that the officers were looking in to “non-lethal” attempts to capture the dog. Shooting is rarely, if ever, a viable non-lethal way to resolve any issue.

For the next 30-plus minutes, the officers are not discussing ways to resolve the issue, or if in fact, there even is an issue, as Rosie is in her own yard. They are instead discussing how to shoot Rosie. One officer is heard to say, “We can’t let him get out in the street. Somebody’s going to swerve and we’ll get blamed because we’re [expletive]…” The next hour, an officer is heard to say, “He lives here; I can tell.” Thus, even though the officers are aware that Rosie is probably in her own yard, their concern lies not with the welfare of the animal, nor her family, nor the general public, but with whether they will be “blamed” for a hypothetical situation. Almost two hours later, an officer exclaims, “Here he comes!” as Rosie apparently charges toward them. The officers begin discussing tazing Rosie, after which they begin to yell, “Bad dog, go home,” which is nonsensical given the aforementioned statement that she is in her own yard. The officers briefly discuss using a catch pole, but that conversation disintegrates when one of them concedes their inexperience with animal cases: “Okay, once we get him, what are we going to do with him?”

But it is all too clear what the officers intend to do. Later, an officer states, “I think he’s getting pretty mad. I think we should just shoot him. Just kill him,” reiterating their initial assessment of the situation. Another officer is heard saying “He’s going to fight like a [expletive]. I can choke him out.” A little more than an hour later, they taze Rosie, and she cries out in pain and fear and runs out of the yard. The officers have now created a situation where one did not exist prior to their “intervention.” Instead of using a catch pole, which is a customary first step, the officers use a tazer on Rosie. But Rosie’s coat was too thick for the tazer to achieve the desired effect. An officer is heard to say, “Man, that dog is big. That’s a big ol’ mean dog.” Another voice says, “I’m afraid he’s going to bite some kid down there, and we’re probably going to have to go chase him, aren’t we?” Instead of chasing Rosie, an officer suggests once again, “I’ll shoot him; let’s just go shoot him.”

Rosie’s last moments

While the Prosecuting Attorney’s report explicitly states that shooting was a last resort in this incident, the video footage shows that shooting was continuously discussed throughout their interactions with Rosie. Hours later, Rosie is tazed once again, and she flees with fear and pain once again. Officers are heard discussing how to shoot Rosie. Rosie is now hiding in a resident’s yard, and an officer states, “I should have just shot him on the sidewalk.” Minutes later, an officer makes light of the situation, stating, “I got him [tazed him] through the passenger window. You saw it? [laughs]. Did you get it on tape?” Rosie’s last terrifying, painful moments are nothing less than a comical nuisance.

Rosie runs and hides in the resident’s yard where she is eventually fatally shot. An officer is heard saying, “Oh, there he is…I can get a shot on him right there.” Minutes later, an officer asks, “Ready?” After the shooting, an officer again belittles Rosie’s tragic last moments, stating, “It’s funny, the first two shots [and] he didn’t whimper.” On another videotape, an officer is heard saying, “Nice,” when Rosie is shot. His tone is not one of concern or sadness, but a congratulatory remark for his co-worker.

Throughout the videotape footage, it is apparent that the officers knew that Rosie was initially in her own yard. Their first option for dealing with Rosie was shooting and killing her, which is inexplicable, given that she was in her own yard. At no point in the footage do the officers indicate that they are concerned for Rosie’s welfare, nor do they sound trained to deal with a nonhuman animal. The “plans” to capture Rosie are lacking, and instead, the conversation is dominated by how and when to shoot the innocent dog.

The woman who lived on the property where Rosie was killed indicated that the officers laughed and high-fived one another after the fatal shooting. This, of course, is omitted from the Prosecuting Attorney’s verbose report, which indicates that that fatal shot was delivered “to end the suffering of the dog.” Rosie’s suffering was nonexistent prior to this police “intervention.”

Pasado’s offering a reward

Pasado’s is still investigating this case and wants to make sure that there is justice for Rosie and the family that she left behind.

Pasado’s Safe Haven is offering a $250 reward for NEW, VERIFIABLE INFORMATION on the case.  Please call 206-300-7218 or email us here if you have information that can help us find justice for Rosie.


Cat recovers after being shot with 2-foot arrow

11 Feb

Leila the catBy Stephanie Coueignoux, Reporter


After being shot through the body with an arrow, an Orange County cat is now recovering and deputies are investigating.

Leila’s owners live near University of Central Florida. They said she likes to walk around the neighborhood and is very friendly with everyone.

Two weeks ago, Leila started scratching on the patio door after being outside. That’s when the owners discovered the arrow.

Dr. Steve Wiseman treated Leila and said the arrow was about 2 feet long. Amazingly enough, Leila is expected to recover.

Wiseman said the cat is lucky to be alive.

“It may have hit an artery. It could have hit the lungs. The spinal cord is right there too and a cat isn’t a big animal and this arrow is pretty large so it could have severed the spinal cord also,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman said Leila should make a full recovery.

So far, deputies don’t have any suspects. If caught, the person who shot the arrow could face animal cruelty charges.


Owner cannot reclaim puppy she put in mail

10 Feb

Hearing officer said the actions of Stacey Champion, 39, of Minneapolis, were “disgraceful.” The dog may be put up for adoption as early as next week.

By MATT McKINNEY and PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune staff writers

Last update: February 7, 2011 – 9:14 PM



The puppy that almost ended up in the U.S. mail will stay at an animal shelter for at least another week after an administrative hearing officer ruled Monday that it should not be returned to its owner.

On Monday, city administrative hearing officer Fabian Hoffner ruled against returning the dog to owner Stacey Champion, 39, of Minneapolis, calling what she did “disgraceful.”

The 4-month-old Schnauzer-poodle mix was nearly sent in a cardboard box to Georgia last month before it was intercepted by alarmed postal workers. Postal authorities said it almost certainly would have suffocated or died of exposure in the unpressurized belly of a cargo plane.

Champion admitted at the hearing that she put Guess in a box without food on Jan. 25, saying it was supposed to be a birthday gift for her son in Atlanta.

Because delivery was halted, Champion said, “I was deprived of my son not receiving his gift for his birthday. I felt really, really bad as a mom.”

The case was so unusual that Postal Service employees weren’t sure at first if the shipment was illegal, according to Postal Inspector Jesse Swanson. He said at Monday’s hearing that on the day the dog was discovered, he got a call from the Loring Post Office station manager asking if Postal Service rules prohibited the mailing of puppies. He had to check the rules himself before learning that it was not permissible.

“This was somewhat uncharted territory for us,” he said.

Suspicions about the shipment first arose when employees at the Loring Station post office in downtown Minneapolis saw the box move on its own and heard breathing inside. Champion had told clerks that the box contained a toy robot, according to Swanson.

Postal clerks then called Swanson and held a phone up to the box. “I could hear panting,” he recalled. Concerned that the panting was getting “slower and less frequent,” Swanson allowed the box to be opened.

The Postal Service will ship some live animals such as bees, certain small and harmless cold-blooded animals, chicks and ducklings. But sending live dogs and cats through the mail is not allowed.

During Monday’s hearing, Champion told Hoffner, “I did my best with the procedures and everything,” adding that she didn’t see any signs at the post office indicating what could or could not be shipped. She said the box had air holes and held water bottles.

Postal officials said that the box’s air holes were covered by packing tape and that it did not contain water bottles.

At the end of Monday’s hearing, Hoffner zeroed in on Champion as she gave halting, partial answers to his questions.

“Why did you say it was a toy robot?” he asked.

“Because the lady, she just kept throwing the box around, kept throwing the box around, so I just told her it was a toy robot,” Champion said.

“The fact that you didn’t tell her the truth must have meant that you didn’t want her to know,” Hoffner said.

“Yes, I didn’t want her to know,” Champion said.

Many want to adopt puppy

Surrounded by news cameras and reporters, Champion left City Hall and declined to comment on her defeat.

The dog, which has been housed at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control shelter since its discovery, is still owned by Champion but now moves closer to adoption, perhaps as soon as next week.

Animal control manager Daniel Niziolek said Champion will be asked to post a bond to pay for Guess’ care at the shelter from now until Feb. 28, the date of Champion’s Hennepin County District Court hearing on two misdemeanor animal cruelty charges the city filed against her for her attempt to mail Guess.

If she doesn’t post the bond within five days of it being requested, she’ll lose ownership of the puppy, making it available for adoption.

If she posts the bond, Guess’ ultimate ownership will hinge on the result of the animal cruelty charges.

In the meantime, “Guess is doing well,” Sgt. Angela Dodge, who has been handling the case for the Police Department, said Monday afternoon. “Despite the trauma he endured, he appears to be a healthy and happy puppy who likes to play and receive attention from staff.”

Dodge said the city has been receiving “several inquiries each day” from citizens interested in adopting the puppy.

Anyone wishing to adopt from the city shelter must appear there in person. If more than one person wants an animal, shelter staff hold a lottery. If Guess does go up for adoption, Niziolek said, he will notify the media first to give interested people time to plan accordingly.


Oregon Humane Society rescues dying cat found in storage locker

10 Feb

By Monique Balas

A cat found abandoned inside a storage container is recovering at the Oregon Humane Society after being rescued by an OHS humane investigator.

The adult male tabby was nearly dead when he was rescued by OHS Humane Investigator Austin Wallace.

The cat was entangled in what seemed to be a makeshift leash tied to a shopping cart. It was found inside a rented storage locker at the Money Saver Mini Storage on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City.
The humane society’s medical team estimate the animal had gone without food or water for between two and four weeks. He also had a variety of head wounds, probably from trying to escape from the tangled rope trapping him beneath the cart.

The owner is currently unknown, but he or she will likely be charged with first- and second-degree animal neglect if found. The humane society is searching for the person who rented the storage locker.

The storage facility manager found the cat this morning after hearing what sounded like an animal in distress and called the humane society. The OHS medical team is carefully monitoring the cat and hoping he will make a full recovery.


Michael Vick’s Property Could Become Animal Sanctuary

9 Feb

by Jake Richardson Feb 9, 2011

A group called Dogs Deserve Better is trying to raise $600,000 by March 20 to purchase Michael Vick’s old Surry County home.  If they successfully purchase Vick’s former property, they will acquire multiple acres of land with sheds and kennels.
Dogs Deserve Better is a national non-profit focused on taking care of abandoned and abused dogs, and freeing them from chains. They say chaining dogs can result in attacks on children and adults because such dogs are often unsocialized and act territorial. The organization’s founder spent 52 days chained to a doghouse to raise awareness about the cruelty of chaining.
On their website, the group states how they wish to use Michael Vick’s property: “There are 15 acres where we will build a state of the art dog caretaking facility and train these neglected, unsocialized dogs to live inside as part of the family.”
For about six years Vick financed a dogfighting ring and was involved in torturing and killing dogs. Eventually he was convicted of being involved in an interstate dogfighting conspiracy. For this felony he was sentenced to 23 months in prison. After being released from jail he returned to pro football and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. Since his imprisonment, he has volunteered his time to warn others about becoming involved in such bad behavior.
Some people think Vick’s talent in football makes his behavior acceptable. An article in Time magazine stated, “Vick exited prison and worked harder than ever, transforming himself into a better quarterback than he was before his punishment. No matter what you think of Vick personally, that’s an act of atonement.” Achievements in sports, however, are not an atonement for personal transgression.
One thing Mr. Vick could do to keep moving himself in the right direction is to make a large donation to the Dogs Deserve Better project and help convert his previous residency into a sanctuary for animals. Mr. Vick and his associates invested very large sums of money and effort in committing violence against animals, so making a large donation to take care of animals would help make up for the harm he has done in the past.


Dog chained and left for dead under South Carolina bridge – National Dogs |

6 Feb

Camden, SC – Rescue organizations do the best they can with the resources that they have. But when the resources are not there – when there are no funds for vetting or foster homes to place dogs in, sometimes, rescues regretfully have to say “no” to an at-risk dog at a shelter.

Noah’s Arks Rescue was in that regretful position when they received a call about a dog earlier this week. Hunters had discovered the dog – he had been chained under a bridge, tethered in the water and left to die.

The rescue immediately said no to the request to take the dog in – they did not have the resources necessary to save the dog. But then the photos arrived. Photos of a defeated dog. Photos that revealed a dog with eyes so hurt and solemn that the no was quickly changed to a yes.

Sometimes, compassion trumps resources – such is the case with the dog known as Abel. Abel is in sorry condition. He is suffering from heartworms and a blood disease known as Babesia. His body is emaciated, he is infested with parasites and his teeth are worn to nubs. Abel is defeated. The senior dog is the picture of sadness. He has endured a life of abuse and neglect and when the person that made him endure such horror was done with him, they chained him in the water and left him to die.

There are no words to adequately reflect the sorrow for what Abel has endured in his life.
For perhaps the first time, Abel is receiving love and attention – good food and a soft bed. Noah’s Arks Rescue is determined to make Abel’s remaining weeks, months or possibly years, as good as they can be.

Abel will never be abandoned again. Please click this link to help Abel and other dogs like him. We all can’t be there to hold this defeated dog’s head in our lap, but we can support the people that are.

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Continue reading on Dog chained and left for dead under South Carolina bridge – National Dogs |

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