July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Liberty!

Liberty, a male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, wears a hat and waves an American flag in honor of the Fourth of July at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. Liberty, who was born on July 4, 1990, was named after his birth date, and this year turns 20 the same day the nation marks its 234rd year.

Source: ap

July 2, 2010

Hot Enough for Ya?

Source: unknown

December 29, 2009

You Are Tooooo Cute!

Source: faildogs.com

December 23, 2009

Pit Bull Sharky Adopts & Washes Baby Bunny!

Source: youtube.com

December 20, 2009

VT Lawsuit Seeks ED Damages for Shot Dog

Vermont's highest court is being asked to decide what a dog's love is worth. The Vermont Supreme Court on December 17, 2009 began hearing a case that started in July 2003, when Denis and Sarah Scheele, who were visiting relatives in Vermont, let their mixed-breed dog wander into Lewis Dustin's yard and he fatally shot it.

Now the Scheeles, of Annapolis, Maryland, are asking the court to carve out a new legal doctrine that a dog's owners can sue for emotional distress and loss of companionship, just like parents can when they lose children. "It's so important for people to really recognize the relationship between the families and their companion animals," said Sarah Scheele, 58, who attended Thursday's court hearing.

The Scheeles' attorney argued that a family dog is worth more than a piece of property, saying dogs "love you back." Under the current law, losing a dog is "treated the same way as the loss of an end table," David Putter said after the hearing. "That's not what the relationship between humans and dogs is anymore. They're a member of the family and when they're lost you can't just go out to the local store and buy a new one. That doesn't fix it."

The court isn't expected to make a ruling before spring.

Blythe has said Dustin never intended to kill the Scheeles' dog, Shadow, and "has always regretted that it happened." He said Dustin fired an air pellet rifle at the dog in hopes of scaring it off the lawn of his home in Northfield, a community of about 6,000 residents just south of Montpelier in the heart of the state's Green Mountains. The shot Dustin fired penetrated the dog's chest and severed an aorta, and the dog died on the way to a veterinarian's office. Dustin, 76, has said he was aiming at the dog's rear end. He did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was given a year probation. He also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $4,000 in restitution to the Scheeles. But the Scheeles weren't done. Sarah Scheele gave up her work as a meeting planner and has devoted her time since the dog's death to advocating for animal welfare and caring for the six special-needs dogs — most of them abused in the past — the couple has adopted in recent years. Denis Scheele, 50, continues to work as a plumber.

The Scheeles filed a civil suit against Dustin, pressing their claim that Shadow was more than a piece of property and that they could not be compensated just with reimbursement of what they paid to adopt him from an animal shelter, the veterinary bill that resulted from the shooting and the cost of his cremation.

On a Web site devoted to Shadow's memory (http://www.justiceforshadow.com), the Scheele's wrote, "Every day without you running and playing and cuddling with us is more difficult than the day before. The loss of your presence in our every moment is unbelievably painful. Not a moment passes that you are not in our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers."

Source: ap

December 19, 2009

"Project Flying Chihuahua" Rescues CA Chis

Chihuahuas have been flying out of California since other states learned about the glut of little dogs in the Golden State.

A group of 25 dogs has already arrived at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua in New Hampshire, thanks to "Grey's Anatomy" actress Katherine Heigl, Kinder4Rescue in Studio City and American Airlines. A group of 43 will leave for New Hampshire Monday or Tuesday, said Kathy Davis, interim general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services, who took part in a news conference Friday to announce Project Flying Chihuahua. They were supposed to leave Saturday morning, but bad weather in the east caused a delay, she said.

The Nashua shelter found homes for the first 25 and had a waiting list of 100 people, Davis said.

Heigl's foundation has paid the discounted airfare for all 68 dogs so far, she added, and new donors for more flights were being sought.

Virgin America will be flying a group of Chihuahuas to New York City from San Francisco on Tuesday, said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president overseeing the ASPCA adoption center in New York City. They will be processed and should be available for adoption on Dec. 29, she said. Buchwald said she didn't know how many to expect, but each dog will be escorted by a volunteer and Virgin will provide travel for both dogs and humans. The airline is also expected to offer a week of half price trips to passengers willing to escort an animal to New York.

Dozens of dogs have been sent by Oakland Animal Services to nearby states like Washington, Oregon and Arizona, but most of them were delivered by SUV, director Megan Webb said, because there wasn't enough money to fly the dogs to more distant states.

The Chihuahua crisis in California developed as Hollywood featured the dogs in movies like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" and "Legally Blonde," they became constant companions to the rich and famous, backyard breeders saw a chance to make hundreds of dollars a dog and the recession forced some dog owners to abandon their pets. California shelters soon found that Chihuahuas made up 30 percent or more of their dog populations. Meanwhile, Buchwald said, there has long been a severe shortage of small dogs in the east.

In the last 12 months, animal shelters in the city of Los Angeles have taken in 4,700 Chihuahuas, 1,000 more than the 12 months before that. Los Angeles has over 300 Chihuahuas in its shelters now, Davis said, and they are taking in about 340 a month. "The majority of them are healthy. They do need some socialization. Some we're finding haven't been well treated in the homes they've been in. They need some TLC," Davis said. It would seem plenty of people in the east are ready and willing to deliver just that.

Source: ap

December 18, 2009

Faith, the Two-Legged Dog

For several years, Jude Stringfellow and her Lab-chow mix have toured the country with a simple message: Faith walks.

Born without front legs to a junkyard dog around Christmas 2002, Faith the puppy was rejected and abused by her mother. She was rescued by Reuben Stringfellow, now an Army E-4 specialist, who had been asked to bury other puppies in the litter. Reuben turned Faith over to his mother, English professor Jude Stringfellow. At first the family had to carry Faith to keep her off her chest and chin. But with peanut butter and practice, Faith learned to walk on her two hind legs.

Today Faith is a brisk, upright walker. When she runs, every so often she adds a hop or skip to her step, but she stumbles less often than most humans. She takes vitamins and joint supplements, and vets have declared her very healthy, Stringfellow said.

Since her first step on March 22, 2003, Faith has done the talk show circuit, gone on tour with Ozzy Osbourne and been named an honorary Army sergeant. Jude Stringfellow has become a motivational speaker and written two books. Next year, the two are moving from Ardmore, Okla., to Chicago where they plan to write a third called "Faith Walks." They get more than 200 letters and e-mails a day, run a Web site and make dozens of appearances every year, including stops at veterans' hospitals across the country to cheer injured soldiers.

That mission is special for Stringfellow, whose son left Iraq in September and is stationed at Fort Wainwright in Alaska. He is scheduled to get out of the Army and head home on Jan. 1.

A sense of hope is especially important for Faith's visits to Army bases. Last weekend she headed to Washington state, where she met with as many as 5,000 soldiers at McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis. Some of the soldiers were headed to war, some were coming back. "She just walks around barking and laughing and excited to see them all," Jude Stringfellow said. "There is a lot of crying, pointing and surprise. From those who have lost friends or limbs, there can be silence. Some will shake my hand and thank me, some will pat her on the head. There is a lot of quiet, heartfelt, really deep emotion."

Faith never fails to bring a smile to a soldier's face, said Patrick Mcghee, general manager at Fort Lewis. "To see the children interact with Faith is simply priceless," he said.

But Faith's most emotional reunion — with Reuben Stringfellow, who rescued her 7 years ago this Christmas — will have to wait for January. He's already gotten Faith a birthday present: a peanut butter cookie with her name on it.

Source: ap