Service dogs “lifesavers” for veterans

Posted By elaine on November 9, 2012

servicedog3Service Dogs can be life saving to our veterans,but shrinking federal budgets and the sheer number of injured service members are overwhelming government programs, so there just aren’t enough service dogs to go around.

Colorado organization, Freedom Service Dogs(FSD) continues to rescue shelter dogs, custom train them and then provide them to returning veterans at no cost.

servicedog2For a typical service dog, the journey from rescue to service costs approximately $25,000. Freedom Service Dogs takes on that expense solely through the support of charitable donations.

FSD Client, Joel, was deployment to Iraq several times and injured by a roadside blast that left him with both severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By the time he found Freedom Service Dogs and Barrett, he says he was about to be “kicked to the curb and put in a nursing home.”

“I was angry. I wished I had died in Iraq rather than face the servicedogsfd.jphdifficulties in my life,” says Joel. “And one night, when I sat on the bed getting ready to end my life, it was Barrett that put his paw on my leg. He looked up, as if to say, ‘It’s ok, I’ve been there myself’ – that night, Barrett saved my life.”

In order to help the 42 service members currently on their wait list, they are reaching out to the Colorado Springs community and asking for help. The group is planning on taking part the Veteran’s Day Parade on Saturday, and will be on hand to talk to people about their program. You can also check out their website for more information on the program and how you can help.

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Local woman honored for her work saving dogs

Posted By elaine on November 9, 2012

Theresa Strader and one of her first mill dogs, Lily. Lily became the poster dog for the National Mill Dog Rescue.

Theresa Strader and one of her first mill dogs, Lily. Lily became the poster dog for the National Mill Dog Rescue.

A local woman has been named a “Hero Among Us” in People Magazine for her work saving dogs.

Theresa Strader, founder of Colorado Springs based National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) is being honored in the current issue of the magazine. Theresa hopes the story will spread awareness about the cruel reality of puppy mills.Theresa Strader, People Magazine

Theresa had this to say about being chosen, “I am very proud of this recognition and to be acknowledged amongst the many remarkable people who have received this title in the past, is truly an honor,” Strader said. “As I’ve said many times, National Mill Dog Rescue is the story of a thousand heroes, all of the volunteers who work tirelessly every day to carry out the many responsibilities that keep our mission alive and well and keep our dogs safe and warm. Never could I have imagined where we would come in such a short time and I accept this honor on behalf of our entire organization, all the dogs we’ve rescued and most especially, for all those that are still waiting.”

Theresa Strader (2)

Theresa Strader pictured here with one of the NMDR dog she has saved

Strader started the non-profit organization in 2007 after witnessing in person a large-scale puppy mill. She returned home from this life-changing experience with 13 puppy mill survivors, right away knowing that she would devote all of her future rescue efforts to putting an end to this cruelty. Since then she has passionately led her organization to rescue nearly 7,000 dogs from commercial breeding facilities across the country.

Strader has had a lot of help, NMDR relies on over fourteen hundred volunteers to care for the dogs, from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond.

“We depend on the generosity of the public to provide the high level of care we do for our dogs and to continue to be able to save them,” Strader said.

NMDR also recently won $50,000 in the Chase Community Giving Campaign.

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The dogs will be out in Pueblo this weekend

Posted By elaine on November 8, 2012

socokennelThis weekend thousands of dogs will descend on Pueblo this weekend.

pueblo dog show '09 013The Southern Colorado Kennel Club’s All-Breed Dog Show set for Saturday and Sunday at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

The two-day  American Kennel Club(AKC) show will feature more than 150 breeds of dogs from across the nation taking part in obedience,  rally obedience, and  conformation competitions.

The show will also have vendors set up selling everything you could possibly think of to buy for your dog.

Admittance is free, but there are some rules.  First you can’t bring your dog unless it is entered in the show.  This is because the crowds and activity can be stressful for dogs that aren’t used to it.  Also strollers are not allowed on the floors around the show rings.  If you have a small child it is best to carry them around the dogs.   dog show collage #1

This isn’t a rule, but more of a suggestion.  Don’t pet dogs without asking first.  This is a good rule of thumb anywhere, but at shows people have spent hours making sure their pup’s coif is perfect, so you don’t want to mess them up before going into the rings. Dog shows are a great place to learn about breeds of dogs you are interested in, but it is best to wait until people are done showing.  They have more time and are more relaxed after they show to answer all of your questions.

Here is a schedule of when the dogs show.  The conformation, which is like the dog shows you see on TV, is in the Southwest Motors Event Center.  Obedience and rally will be in the Fine Arts and CSU Building.  Grooming will be done in the Palace of Agriculture.

Dog show collage #5If you love dogs and have never been to a dog show you owe it to yourself to check this out.  It will be cold this weekend, but all of the events are inside, so come on out and support your local kennel club.

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Dog looking for new home after owner dies of fungal meningitis

Posted By elaine on November 6, 2012

luckyhomeELKHART, Ind. (AP) – Relatives of an 89-year-old woman who was the first person to die in Indiana from a multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak are looking for a new home for her dog.

The poodle mix named Lucky lived with Pauline Burema at her Cassopolis, Mich., home until she was hospitalized with meningitis after getting a tainted back pain injection.

Burema died Oct. 19 at a relative’s Bristol, Ind., home.

Carol Snyder tells The Elkhart Truth ( ) her mother had a special companionship with Lucky. The dog became Burema’s faithful companion after her husband died in August 2010, but now he needs a new home and new companions.

Lucky has been staying with Burema’s grandson at his home near Union, Mich., but Snyder says the family can no longer care for him.

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Vote!!! It is your “petriotic” duty

Posted By elaine on November 5, 2012

dogdecisWe all know that the 2012 election is serious business. That is why we need to do something fun, like voting for our favorite pet. I know we are not supposed to have a favorite.. but VOTE DOG 2012!!!


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The debate of detection dogs and the 4th Amendement

Posted By elaine on November 1, 2012


A detection of drugs by the Miami-Dade police dog Franky, above, is at the center of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on the legality of outside-the-home searches. (Photo: Associated Press)

WASHINGTON(AP) – Can you trust what a dog’s nose knows? Police do, but the Supreme Court on Wednesday considered curbing the use of drug-sniffing dogs in investigations after complaints of illegal searches and insufficient proof of a dog’s reliability.

In court papers, the Justice Department said it does not oppose allowing a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., to consider the claim by Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that the law violates the school’s religious freedoms.

A federal district judge has already rejected Liberty’s claims, and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lawsuit was premature and never dealt with the substance of the school’s arguments. The Supreme Court upheld the health care law in June in a ruling that also said the appeals court was wrong not to decide the issues.

The justices used lawsuits filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to uphold the health care law by a 5-4 vote, then rejected all other pending appeals, including Liberty’s.

The school made a new filing with the court over the summer to argue that its claims should be fully evaluated in light of the high court decision. If the justices agree, they probably would formally throw out the 4th Circuit’s ruling and order it to take a new look at Liberty’s case.

Liberty is challenging both the requirement that most individuals obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, and a separate provision requiring many employers to offer health insurance to their workers.

The appeals court would have the option of asking the government and the college for new legal briefs before rendering a decision.

Justices seemed concerned about allowing police to bring their narcotic-detecting dogs to sniff around the outside of homes without a warrant, and seemed willing to allow defense attorneys to question at trial how well drug dogs have been trained and how well they have been doing their job in the field.

“Dogs make mistakes. Dogs err,” lawyer Glen P. Gifford told the justices. “Dogs get excited and will alert to things like tennis balls in trunks or animals, that sort of thing.”

But Justice Department lawyer Joseph R. Palmore warned justices not to let the questioning of dog skills go too far, because they also are used to detect bombs, protect federal officials and in search and rescue operations. “I think it’s critical … that the courts not constitutionalize dog training methodologies or hold mini-trials with expert witnesses on what makes for a successful dog training program,” he said.

“There are 32 K-9 teams in the field right now in New York and New Jersey looking for survivors of Hurricane Sandy,” Palmore noted. “So, in situation after situation, the government has in a sense put its money where its mouth is, and it believes at an institutional level that these dogs are quite reliable.”

The arguments on Wednesday revolved around the work of Franky and Aldo, two drug-sniffing dogs used by police departments in Florida.

Franky’s case arose from the December 2006 arrest of Joelis Jardines at a Miami-area house where 179 marijuana plants were confiscated. Miami-Dade police officers obtained a search warrant after Franky detected the odor of pot from outside the front door. The trial judge agreed with Jardines’ attorney that the dog’s sniff was an unconstitutional intrusion into the home and threw out the evidence.

A Florida appeals court reversed that ruling, but the state Supreme Court sided with the original judge.

The Florida Supreme Court also threw out work done by Aldo, a drug-sniffing dog used by the Liberty County sheriff. Aldo alerted his officer to the scent of drugs used to make methamphetamine inside a truck during a 2006 traffic stop, and Clayton Harris was arrested. But two months later, Harris was stopped again. Aldo again alerted his officer to the presence of drugs, but none were found.

The Florida Supreme Court justices ruled that saying a drug dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics is not enough to establish the dog’s reliability in court.

The state of Florida appealed both cases to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Harris’ lawyer Gifford asked the court to uphold the ruling against Aldo and require police to provide proof that the dog is able to do its job correctly. “There is no canine exception to the totality of the circumstances test for probable cause to conduct a warrantless search,” Gifford said. “If that is true, as it must be, any fact that bears on a dog’s reliability as a detector of the presence of drugs comes within the purview of the courts.”

Lawyer Gregory Garre, who represented the state of Florida in both cases, said they shouldn’t have to prove what kind of training and classes Aldo had, “the same way that when an officer provides evidence for a search warrant, we don’t demand the training of the officer, what schools he went to or what specific courses he had in probable cause.”

In Franky’s case, Garre argued that since it wouldn’t be illegal for a police officer to sniff for marijuana outside a door, it shouldn’t be illegal for a dog like Franky to do the same thing.

If that’s true, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then police could just walk down a street with drug-sniffing dogs in “a neighborhood that’s known to be a drug-dealing neighborhood, just go down the street, have the dog sniff in front of every door, or go into an apartment building? I gather that that is your position.”

“Your Honor, they could do that,” Garre said.

But if someone invented a machine called the “smell-o-matic” that could do the same thing as Franky, police would not be able to use it outside of doors without a warrant, Justice Elena Kagan said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the deciding vote when the court is closely divided in a case, came down hard on both sides in Franky’s case. He told Garre, the attorney for Florida, that he didn’t agree with his argument that people with contraband inside their home don’t have an expectation of privacy. “Don’t ask me to write an opinion and say, ‘Oh, we’re dealing with contraband here so we don’t need to worry about expectation of privacy,’” Kennedy said.

But Kennedy also told defense lawyer Blumberg that he won’t agree with his theory that it should always be considered a search when police try to find out what people are trying to keep secret.

To say “our decisions establish that police action which reveals any detail an individual seeks to keep private is a search — that is just a sweeping proposition that in my view, at least, cannot be accepted in this case. I think it’s just too sweeping and wrong,” Kennedy said.

“I would add a few words to the end of that statement: Anything that an individual seeks to keep private in the home, and that’s the difference,” Blumberg replied.

One Australian study found that a dog only correctly identified drugs 12 percent of the time, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “I’m deeply troubled” by that, she said.

Garre argued that the numbers in that study could be read differently to raise that number as high as 70 percent, counting instances in which — even though drugs weren’t found — the person that the dog alerted to had used or been in proximity of drugs before the dog’s alert.

The justices will rule in the cases sometime next year.

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Pit Bull advocates plan large gathering in Colorado Springs

Posted By elaine on October 26, 2012

pitbulladvocates.Many people love them and many people fear them, but a local group says that if the folks that fear Pit Bulls got to know the dogs, they would change their mind about the controversial “bully” breeds, so they are having a rally.

pitbull2Tomorrow is Pit Bull Awareness Day, and Pit Bull owners and other advocates of the breed will be gathering for a walks around the country to raise awareness of the breed and breed specific legislation (BSL) that could prevent them from owning the dogs they love.

A group called Southern Colorado Pit Bull Advocates is hosting  an event in honor of the day at Monument Valley Park, and say that hundreds are planning to attend. The day was created in hopes of changing the negative stereotypes that plague the breed and lead to communities creating laws that make certain breeds illegal to own. Many people have joined a Facebook group to show support of the event.

The local group says that anyone can attend and all well behaved, friendly dogs are welcome to attend no matter what the breed, or even if they don’t have a dog. They are encouraging people to carry signs promoting positive Pit Bull images and dog costumes.

Sign in is at 1pm and the walk starts at 1:30pm at the Monument Valley Park South.


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Family claims puppy was abused at boarding facility

Posted By elaine on September 11, 2012

Baron, a 13-week old German Shepherd puppy owned by Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins, after being admitted to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sunday evening. Baron's eyeball was surgically removed Monday. He also suffered blunt force trauma 'similar to that seen in a head-on collision.' (photo:courtesy Brown)

Baron, a 13-week old German Shepherd puppy owned by Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins, after being admitted to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sunday evening. Baron's eyeball was surgically removed Monday. He also suffered blunt force trauma 'similar to that seen in a head-on collision.' (photo:Brown)

FORT COLLINS – Animal Protection and Control has opened an investigation against a Fort Collins boarding and training facility following a complaint from a Fort Collins family.

Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins said her 13-week-old purebred German shepherd puppy, Baron, suffered blunt force trauma and injuries that resulted in the surgical removal of the dog’s eye after boarding at American Dog School, in Fort Collins, over the weekend.  Animal Protection and Control confirmed Monday it is investigating the incident.

When Brown picked up Baron from the facility Sunday after a weekend stay, she said the puppy’s right eye was “bulging from the socket and looked dead.”

Brown said American Dog School owner,  Tami Carrasco had told her the dog had been fine a few hours before and that she hadn’t seen any sign of trauma.

Carrasco told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that she had been with or near Baron all weekend and did not notice any signs of trauma or injury until 5 p.m. Sunday, when she retrieved him for the Browns.

“He was running and rooting around all weekend,” she said. “He’s a great puppy. I would have rushed him to the hospital if I had seen anything wrong.”

She’s owned American Dog School for 20 years.

“I have this business because I love dogs,” she said. “I would never, never hurt a puppy … I feel horrible. I love that puppy. I brag about him all the time.”

When Brown took Baron to Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Sunday evening, she was told Baron’s injuries were at least 24 hours old.

A veterinarian with the hospital told the Coloradoan that Baron’s injuries were a minimum of 24 hours old and that the puppy had suffered blunt force trauma similar to the severity a dog would experience in a “head-on collision with a car.”

“Medical records do not lie,” Brown said.

Carrasco said she’s already received multiple prank calls since the story broke Monday evening and fears what publicity about the incident will do to her business – which she maintains is not at fault.

“I’m worried that people will throw me in with the abusive dog trainer,” Carrasco said, referring to the case of Ryan Matthews, the former Loveland dog trainer who pleaded guilty to animal abuse at his training facility. “I would never hurt a dog. This scares me. I feel like I’m going to wake up with a burning cross in my yard.”

“We are heartbroken but committed to bringing justice,” Lindsey Jensen,  the sister of the puppy’s owner told News 5.   “As we have shared our story over the last 12 hours, others have come out with horrifying stories that happened at this place to their pets.”

In 2009 Carrasco was charged with Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty in Larimer County, but the charges were eventually dropped.

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We couldn’t agree more

Posted By elaine on August 30, 2012


We don’t know exactly where this photo was taken or who these guys are but we loved the photo and wanted to share it.

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Puppy found in suitcase returns home

Posted By elaine on August 30, 2012


(from left) Lyndsey Moeller, Dennis and Abbie Preslan and their 2-year old grandson Calvin Preslan play with (dogs from left) Little One, Sativa, Brutus, and Scrappy Wednesday afternoon, August 29, 2012. Scrappy, a 3-month old pit bull/labrador mix, was reunited with his owner Moeller and litter mates after being found in a suitcase in a dumpster by Preslan after being stolen from his home.(Photo: Eric Engman/News-Miner)

FAIRBANKS — Life has returned to normal for Scrappy, the puppy who was left for dead in a suitcase inside a Fairbanks Dumpster earlier this month.Wednesday afternoon found the 4-month-old Labrador-pit bull mix playing with siblings Sativa, Brutus and Little One in a North Pole area yard.

He looked happy and energetic as he worked with one of his smaller siblings to pin down big brother Brutus.


Scrappy, right, plays with his sister Sativa Wednesday afternoon. (Photo: Eric Engman/News-Miner)

After spending an unknown amount of time inside the suitcase and more than a week in protective custody at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter, Scrappy was returned to his owners, Lyndsey Moeller and Austin Warnke, on Friday. He was not obviously affected by his ordeal, though they’ve had to stop him from over-indulging in food, Moeller said.

Scrappy was one of 11 puppies in a litter delivered by a dog owned by Moeller’s stepmother. He was given to Moeller as a gift for her birthday. The man who rescued Scrappy thought he was part great Dane, but Moeller said he is a mix of Labrador, pit bull and redbone coon hound. He’s named for a dog in the Adam Sandler movie “Don’t Mess with the Zohan.”

Scrappy went missing one night earlier this month. Moeller suspects that someone she knows took him because they believed she might have stolen something from them and wanted to retaliate.  As of Wednesday no one has been charged or arrested for taking the puppy, and Moeller did not want to publicly identify the people she believes took the dog until they are formally charged.


Dennis Preslan pets Scrappy after he was reunited with his owner. (Photo:Eric Engman/News-Miner)

Moeller has moved to a different home to protect Scrappy from being kidnapped again.

Whoever had Scrappy must have intended to give him a death sentence. Dennis Preslan happened to notice an out-of-place blue suitcase late one night while inspecting a private Dumpster at Growden Memorial Park for his janitorial business. Inside, he found Scrappy, who he said was gagged with a bandanna.

Scrappy was taken to the animal shelter, where he lived until Moeller and Warnke heard about him on the news and verified he was their dog with veterinary records and an old Polaroid photo.

Preslan was one of several volunteers who offered to adopt Scrappy while his original owners were being identified. He came by Wednesday to visit the puppy.

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