Thursday, November 25, 2010
ROSEVILLE, MN (NBC) - A Roseville, MN, pooch has once again proven dogs just may have a sixth sense after all.
According to his owner and his neighbors, Murphy, a Newfoundland, helped save his 95-year-old neighbor.
Stephanie Goese noticed her usually quiet dog would not stop barking on Wednesday morning.
She finally let him outside. Murphy then darted straight to the fence and continued barking.
"At first I thought he was barking at a squirrel," Goese said. "But he was so persistent, so persistently barking and just kind of wouldn't give it up that I went and looked out the back window and could see the neighbor was needing help."
Goese found her elderly neighbor lying in her open garage in the chilling cold.
"We would have never seen her from the position she was in. I couldn't see her from the house. You certainly couldn't see her from the road," she said. "So if he hadn't alerted me, I never would've looked out the back window, and I don't know how long it would've been until she could've gotten some help."
Goese, a nurse, checked the woman out and determined she was fine. She believes that the woman had likely fallen minutes before she was discovered.
For his heroism, Murphy was treated to a steak Wednesday night.
"I'm very proud of him," Goese said. "He's a wonderful pet, but I think today he's maybe a little bit more."
Copyright 2010 NBC.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Was the November 7 shooting death of Rosie the Newfoundland by a Des Moines Police officer – with apparent consent by a sergeant and at least one other patrolman – a justifiable act to protect public safety?
Or did incredibly poor judgment and an appalling absence of common sense – and sensitivity – lead to an act of animal cruelty under state law?
While it’s premature to form a conclusion before the Des Moines Police Department completes its internal investigation, a written statement filed by the officer who pulled the trigger as part of his case report raises serious questions.
And, Mayor Bob Sheckler told The Waterland Blog on Nov. 17, the police department inquiry won’t be the final review of this tragic incident. The city will also have an independent outside agency conduct a separate investigation into the shooting.
In the meantime, this case has generated well over a thousand comments to local blogs, area news organizations, Des Moines council members and the police department, and Newfoundland group websites.
(One e-mail asked The Waterland Blog to clarify that this incident happened “in Washington state, not in Iowa.”)
Yet few people reacting to the death of Rosie have likely had an opportunity to read the written case report. Here, lifted in context, are key excerpts from the report filed by Des Moines Police Officer Graddon, who fired the four gunshots that killed Rosie.
After police were dispatched to the location where Rosie was wandering in the street, “The dog was barking at us, repeatedly, in a deep non-stop bark. As I attempted to get closer to the dog, it would start to get close to me, and would not back away….”
One of the officers took a digital photo of Rosie and sent it to Des Moines Animal Control Officer Jan Magnuson, who was off duty that Sunday. Magnuson advised them that she didn’t recognize the dog.
This was the last contact with Magnuson indicated in the report until after Rosie was gunned down. The report continues:
“As officers continued to attempt to approach the dog with the catchpole, the dog would come towards them, barking and showing its teeth. On two separate occasions, the dog charged at us quickly, and retreaded after shouts of, ‘Bad Dog Go Home’….
“Officer Arico deployed his Tazer, striking the dog in its side with two dart probe contacts. The dog immediately began to yelp, and ran off with minimal effect … As the dog was running, it appeared to be limping.”
Graddon reported that he then Tasered Rosie with minimal effect. She ran off again and was followed by the officers.
“The dog was located in a partially fenced yard hiding in the blackberry bushes … I observed the dog in the blackberry bushes, as it was facing me … I felt both my safety, and the safety of the public was in jeopardy because of this dogs vicious behaviors, and determined lethal force was necessary.
“Additionally, all other means, such as calling the dog, using a Taser, and a catchpole, had failed in an attempt to detain the dog. All assisting officers were behind me and asked if they were prepared for me to use lethal force on the dog. I was given the OK….”
Graddon then describes firing the four shots that killed Rosie as she cowered, terrified, in the blackberry bushes.
His report indicates that, before the shooting, neither he nor another of the officers called Magnuson a second time for referral to an animal rescue volunteer who could have been summoned to help them safely capture Rosie.
Had that happened, Rosie, who was not wearing a collar but had an ID chip, would have been reunited with her owners. There is also no indication whatsoever that time constraints prohibited them from doing this.
Police officers are trained to react with lethal force when seemingly benign encounters abruptly become life threatening. They are also trained to use lethal force as a last resort and, if at all possible, to use other tactics to subdue perpetrators.
Any police officer in any jurisdiction who fired even a single lethal gunshot at a human offender cornered in a back yard, cowering in blackberry bushes – unless facing a gun or a knife – likely would be charged with manslaughter.
Yet this poor dog, who had no gun, no knife, and was barking and baring her teeth only because she was frightened and threatened, was killed because the officers either didn’t understand this behavior and how to handle dogs – or didn’t care.
And it’s not enough for them to claim they first tried to Taser Rosie, a Newfoundland with a heavy coat – an act of futility that, in itself, suggests a lack of common sense.
There is speculation by many that one or more officers committed an act or acts of first- or second-degree animal cruelty under Washington state law (Revised Code of Washington 16.52.205, RCW 16.52.207, and RCW 16.52.210).
But, after the investigations are completed, it will be up to the King County Prosecutor to make that determination and, if charges are filed, up to a court to convict or acquit.
In the meantime, concrete steps can be taken to make sure than no pet owner – and no pet that is not a clear and present threat to public safety – ever again has to experience such a tragic occurrence.
City police departments and county sheriff’s offices must review now their training procedures for officers in dealing with loose dogs – and other animals – to provide an understanding of their behavior, especially when frightened or threatened, and how to deal with them safely and humanely.
If these training procedures are inadequate, they must be updated straightaway; if there are none, they must be put in place without delay. Pasado Safe Haven and animal rescue groups are good resources for law enforcement agencies that need to do this.
No officer who lacks compassion for animals, while certainly not a prerequisite for law enforcement, should ever handle animal control cases
And law enforcement agencies need a current list of contacts who are available 24/7 to bring in to assist officers in situations such as this. Had that been done in Des Moines on November 7, there is virtually no doubt that Rosie would be alive today.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Rosie the Newfoundland's Death Can Save Lives If We Are Willing To Listen And Make Changes -- The Highline Times / Des Moines News
Rosie the Newfoundland's Death Can Save Lives If We Are Willing to Listen and Make Changes | The Highline Times / Des Moines News
(Editor's Note: The Board of Directors of the Newfoundland Club of Seattle wrote the following op-ed after attending the vigil for Rosie, the Newfoundland dog shot by Des Moines police. They said their hope is that this event can bring the community to a solution to prevent future incidents like Rosie's death).
Last week's shooting of Rosie the Newfoundland dog is tragic and nothing can ever bring her back to her family. But we don't have to accept this tragedy as the status quo.
A recent study of law enforcement killings of pet dogs estimate that between 1,000 to 1,300 dogs are shot and killed by law enforcement every year in this country.
That is too many. Rosie's death has given us an opportunity to take a hard look at how we as a community can avoid ever having to bury another family pet unnecessarily.
The lesson we can take from this incident is that proper training and education can go a long way in saving lives. Reviewing Rosie's shooting and news clippings regarding similar incidents around the country, a common pattern of facts recurs: police officers make first contact with the dog and quickly make the determination to use lethal force. By contrast, there are notably few incidents where trained animal control officers make the decision escalate a situation to the use lethal force.
This speaks volumes to the importance of training and a basic understanding of dog behavior.
Implementing a training program for the police force would take a minimal effort, but could pay dividends to the force and community. The framework for such a program has already been implemented by the City of Oakland, Responding to public outcry from a police shooting of a family dog, the Oakland police chief adopted a policy requiring that all of its police officers to receive training in animal behavior and proper methods for containing loose dogs. The program will be paid for by a partnership with a local humane organization. A similar program can and should be put in place in Des Moines and cities and counties throughout Washington. And after seeing the outpouring of support for Rosie and her family, we would venture to guess that there are droves of qualified dog behaviorists and trainers willing to take time to train police officers.
It is sadly ironic that Newfoundland dogs are renown for their gentleness and life-saving instincts. We can't help but feel that Rosie would still be with her family if the police officers involved had received training on animal behavior, proper contact and capture methods.
Let's give Rosie one last opportunity to save lives, if only through her death, by taking this moment to implement training and procedures that will protect families from having to endure the unnecessary loss of a cherished pet.
Board of Directors,
Newfoundland Club of Seattle
The Whole Dog Journal (November 2010)
"Dog shootings by law enforcement seem to be on the rise.
Concerned owners are discussing ways to better prepare police for handling dogs.
In 2010, I noticed a surge in news articles concerning law enforcement officers who had shot a dog. Most recently, I read about an October 1 incident in Oakland, California, in which an officer responding to a home burglar alarm shot and killed the resident 11-year-old arthritic yellow Labrador Retriever. Another alarming article described the fatal shooting of Par-rot, a pit bull-mix who had bitten another dog at a Washington, D.C., street festival but was already controlled by his foster parent when police grabbed and shot the dog.
In another article, I read about two Labrador Retrievers who were killed in their own home – which also happened to be the home of the mayor of a small town in Maryland – when police served a search warrant on the wrong address.
Via YouTube.com, I learned of a case in which a police officer in LaGrange, Missouri, shot a dog who was clearly not a threat to anyone’s safety at that time. The
video was shot from the police car – and then somehow widely circulated on You- Tube. Two officers are present, but after one proves unable to maneuver the dog (who is secured by a control pole) into a truck by himself, he shoots the dog.
Horrified by this rash of cases, I started looking into how many dogs are killed by police. It appears that an average of 250-300 cases of officers shooting dogs are reported in the media every year. Randall Lockwood, PhD, ASPCA Senior Vice President for Forensic Sciences and Anti- Cruelty Projects, has also looked into this matter, and suggests that as many as an- other 1,000 cases may go unreported, for a staggering average of more than three dog shootings per day in the United States.
This issue is of concern to every citizen. Regard for canine life aside, every time an officer fires his weapon he also puts human lives at risk – as evidenced by a September shooting in which a Detroit police officer who shot at a pit bull actually hit and wounded an animal control officer who was present during a raid on a home. There are simply safer and more humane methods to deal with most of the dogs that police officers must handle during the course of their difficult jobs. Officers should have the opportunity to receive training in how to assess the potential for danger from dogs, and how to use their non-lethal equipment to handle potentially dangerous dogs.
I’ve created a yet-unnamed online group whose purpose is constructive discussion and strategy development to combat the apparently growing incidence of law enforcement officers shooting dogs without adequate justification. Join by sending a message to copsshootingdogs- firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not a site to bash law enforcement, but rather to engage in constructive discussions to find and promote positive solutions to this problem." – Pat Miller
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Newfoundlands Are Gentle: The Highline Times / Des Moines News
"I would like to comment on the recent incident where the Des Moines police gunned down a Newfoundland dog.
I understand the dog has escaped from its yard and was loose in traffic.
The dog was tasered and chased and ultimately shot to death 4 times.
I think this is absolutely horrific.
Newfoundland dogs are gentle and sweet by nature. It is very possible this dog gave the police a 'submissive grin', which looks like a dog is growling.
Why not call animal control? Why hunt the dog down mercilessly and kill it like a bunch of crazed animals themselves? Why not a tranquilizer gun?
The Newfoundland dog world is watching this and is horrified.
We hope you will put this atrocity on the news and launch an investigation in to why this happened."
Newfoundland dog club of Canada BC Region
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Des Moines, Washington
2 Year Old Female Newfoundland Shot Dead By Local Police
Latest video: TV interview with the woman who was a witness to Rosie's shooting. http://www.komonews.com/news/local/107599853.html?tab=video
From the eyewitness to this horrific event: "As the witness to this event I will also say that Rosie never moved from her original position, they shot her exactly where she stood peering at me through the bushes. The officers were shooting at a still target in a fully fenced off yard. If I would have known that they were going to gun her down I would have stopped them. They should have told me.I would have let her stay in the yard for as long as needed. I also forgot to mention the officer chuckling as he explained to me that 'they had never had one this big before'. Not ever considering the danger and sadness they put upon my family. It makes me sick to my stomach to think this happened in our community."
More info including a copy of the police report: http://www.waterlandblog.com/2010/11/11/owner-of-shot-dog-says-senseless-police-shooting-killed-wonderful-dog
The entire police report: 10-2533 basic case.pdf
Afternoon Vigil in Remembrance of Rosie - A Life Cut Short - Sunday, November 14, 2:00 p.m. in Des Moines, Washington
Rosie was a 2 year old Newfoundland Dog, one of the "Gentle Giants" of the canine world. On Sunday November 7, her life was heartbreakingly ended when she was shot and killed by officers from the Des Moines police department. On Sunday November 14 at beginning at 2 PM, members of the Newfoundland Club of Seattle will join with the local community at 16th Ave S between 268th and 272nd St in Des Moines to remember Rosie and to show support for both the Wright family, Rosie's owners, and for Lora Perry and her family who were the unfortunate witnesses to this tragedy.
For more information contact: Richard Jack, president, Newfoundland Club of Seattle - email@example.com Newfoundland Club of Seattle website: www.newfclubseattle.org
SIGN A PETITION FOR ROSIE!
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
To sign a petition for Rosie, go to: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/rosie-the-newfoundland-shot-by-police NOTE: If you have tried multiple times to submit your signature via the preceding link without success, instead send an email to: Rosie The Newfoundland to submit it that way. You will receive an automated reply thanking you for your submission. Please do not submit your signature using both links. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you for caring about Rosie.
On Facebook? Join Justice For Rosie at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_166183500071259
Beautiful angel, Rosie
Friday, November 12, 2010
(SeaTac News, November 12, 2010)
By Keith Daigle
On Sunday Noember 7 Des Moines [Seattle] police officers responding to a roaming dog call, chased Rosie, a 200- lb. Newfoundland, into Lora Perry’s backyard where police officers shot and killed the dog.
“It almost seemed like it was a game to them,” Perry said, referring to the four officers, including a police sergeant, who responded to the call. She said the officer who shot Rosie had no remorse, and treated it like a challenge, saying an officer said, ‘I haven’t had one that big before.’
Perry is inviting anyone who wants to place flowers along the fence where Rosie was shot to bring them to 26852 16th Ave. S.
An incident review is being done to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified or not. After the incident review there will be a shooting review. Des Moines Police Sgt. Bob Collins said the officer felt lethal force was justified based on the dog’s previous aggressive actions.
“He believed it was the step he needed to take,” Collins said.
The officers on the scene tried to find the owner of the dog before attempting to apprehend it, Collins said. The dog did not have a collar on, and when neighbors asked a neighbor if they knew the dog they said they did not.
Police were also in touch with Des Moines Animal Control Officer Jan Magnuson, who was off duty, sending her a cell phone picture of the dog to see if she knew the animal and its owners. She said she did not.
According to the police report, when the police tried to capture Rosie with a catch pull, she would charge toward them quickly and retreat, barking and showing her teeth.
Officers then tased Rosie, who then ran away down the street. Officers continued to follow the dog, tasing her again with no effect.
Rosie then ran into Perry’s backyard and hid in the bushes. Perry said Rosie did not move from her position from the moment she noticed her to when police shot her.
Before police arrived Perry said her little dog was running around the large yard, searching for Rosie. Perry said at no point was Rosie aggressive to either Perry or her dog.
“(Rosie) was cornered and frozen and it did not move the entire time,” Perry said. “The dog was a gentle dog, it didn’t do anything wrong.”
Perry said her gate was open for a brief period, allowing Rosie to get in. She said the dog was in her backyard for at least 20 minutes before police showed up. By the time police came to the house the gate was closed, locking Rosie in.
Police officers came to her door asking if she had seen the dog they had been chasing. After officers came into the backyard they asked Lora to stay inside with her kids. Both Perry and Sgt. Collins say no attempt was made at that point to capture Rosie.
Perry said about a minute after police came into her backyard a police officer drew his firearm and shot Rosie four times.
“I could hear the dog crying and whining after the first shot went off,” Perry said. She said after the first shot she closed her eyes. “It was quick, they already had their mind set on what they were going to do,” Perry said. “Their main concern was shooting the dog.”
Perry said after the incident one police officer came into her house giggling about shooting the dog.
“I know without a doubt in my mind this is not what they should have done.”
A shooting review is not automatically conducted after an officer discharges their firearm at an animal, Collins said. Interim Des Moines Police Chief John O’Leary ordered the review, Collins said.
“It is a sad outcome,” Collins said. “We are public servant and we understand that there is going to be public accountability.
“Situations like this can deteriorate public trust.”
* * * * * * * * * *
In point of fact, Rosie was a mere 115 pounds, and the eyewitness account makes absolutely clear that she posed no threat to anyone at the time the cops shot her four times while she cowered in the bushes of a fenced in yard of a neighbor.
A memorial service will be held for Rosie on Sunday, November 14.
Hopefully, the cops and their supervisors will be prosecuted for their barbaric actions.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
(For Dad on Veteran's Day)
We (Satchie & Andrew) wanted to bring you the story of our Grandpa and his first Newfie.
Grandpa served for several years in the U.S. Air Force in Italy and the Persian Gulf during World War II. He was a highly decorated Lieutenant and spent much of his time in dangerous reconnaissance work.
One of his last assignments came in leading a supply platoon into Russia during the winter of 1944. After successfully getting the supplies into the hands of Russian troops, Grandpa was approached by a young Russian soldier. The soldier had a Newfie puppy and he was being shipped out and could not take the Newfie with him. He pleaded with Grandpa to take the Newfie so that it would have a good home and not face a very uncertain future.
Grandpa agreed and the brief encounter between two soldiers was enough for handshakes and best wishes to be exchanged.
Only a few weeks later, Grandpa received his orders to return home after years away from Grandma and his family. He had named the puppy "Franny" and was very concerned about how he would get Franny back home with him. After considerable thought, he decided to see if the pilot of the Air Force plane would take some money and store Franny underneath the pilot's seat. The pilot agreed, and Grandpa put Franny in a cardboard box with holes in it so she could breath. He gave her a sleeping pill so that no one else would know of the precious cargo.
Well, all went well, and Franny made her way with Grandpa back to Chicago and then on to San Francisco, where she lived until 1958 with two daughters who loved her dearly. Grandpa had brought back a Persian rug he kept in his office overseas. He put it in his basement office at home when he got back, and he and Franny spent many fond hours there curled up on the rug.
Not long after finally getting home, Grandpa wrote a poem to Franny, entitled
"Lines To A Curled Up Franny":
"Little Franny, lax and lazy
With a mind extremely hazy
In regard to human cares
Far removed from worldly affairs.
"There you lie your tail around you
With no Charlotte to hound you
With no taxes to be met
With no spending to regret.
"There you snuggle on the Persian
Bothered not by reconversion
Void of grief and sacrifice
Dreaming dreams of cats and mice."
(Lt. Samuel D. Sayad, 1945)