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Deadly dog days

During a demonstration Tuesday, SCRAPS animal protection Officer Francie Rapier monitors a thermometer placed inside a parked car. Even with four windows cracked open, the temperature hit 109 degrees in 25 minutes.

Animal protection Officer Francie Rapier last week responded to a complaint of two dogs left inside a parked car at Spokane Valley Mall.

When she arrived, the outside temperature was 75, but the inside temperature was 100 degrees even though the car’s windows were left partly open, she said.

She seized the dogs and left a notice of violation on the windshield. The owner was cited for unsafe confinement, a misdemeanor. Mike Prager, SR  Read more.

This happens every summer. Why do people leave their dogs or even worse their kids inside parked cars?

Spokane County dog-leash laws to be enforced at conservation areas

TRAILS — Spokane County officials announced today they will begin addressing the issue of unleashed dogs — a long-simmering aggravation that's been been stoked in recent years by the purchase of county conservation lands, which many pet owners wrongly assume to be dog parks

An emphasis patrol to enforce dog leash laws on 12,000 acres of Spokane County park and conservation lands is being launched later this week. The effort is fueled by a $140,000 grant.

Patrols are scheduled for six weeks. The funding also provides for additional patrols by off-duty County Sheriffs officers to deal with issues such as off-leash dogs, shooting and off-road vehicles through June 30, 2013, said Paul Knowles, Spokane Count Parks planner.

The project will start this weekend at Antoine Peak Conservation Area just north of East Valley High School.

Spokane County Park Ranger Bryant Robinson said dogs running off leash is the top complaint from the public, ahead of the No. 2 complaint of off-road vehicles going onto park land.

The breaking point may have come recently when Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard endured the abuse that's been fetching more and more complaints throughout the county.

During a commission briefing today, Richard said his dogs were attacked by three off-leash dogs and when he confronted the owner of the off-leash dogs, he was threatened himself.

“Some people don't take kindly to telling them how to manage their pets,” noted Nicole Montano, animal protection manager for SCRAPS.

S-R reporter Mike Prager was at the briefing and filed this detailed report on the enforcement effort.

Other emphasis patrols currently scheduled include:

During the leash emphasis, authorities will be issuing citations for other violations, including not having a license, which carries a $200 fine, or going onto park land with a motorized vehicle.

Violations of letting a dog run at large, failure to have a current rabies vaccination or having a threatening dog all carry $87 fines.

The $140,000 in funding is coming from a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office NOVA Education and Enforcement grant.

Man gets 6 months in horrific dog cruelty

A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.

 Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records.

“I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said.

He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.

“I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.

Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.

Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.

Nichols said she told Palmer “You just traumatized my child,” but Palmer “looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head,” according to court documents.

Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.

Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.

Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.

His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction “is following him for the rest of his life,” according to court records.

Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was “stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal.”

Dogs not welcome near South Hill bluff coyote den

WILDLIFE — Coyotes defending a den of pups are not tolerating dogs coming through their territory between High Drive and Hangman Creek.

After my story about a Thursday attack on a dog was published today, The Spokesman-Review has learned of at least three coyote attacks this week on dogs up to 80 pounds.

Coyotes generally weigh 30-45 pounds.

If you hike in the area above Qualchan Golf Course, keep your dog on a lease for awhile.

Read on for details.

Dogs riding in the backs of pickups

What do you think when you see that?

A) “How cute.” B) “Isn't that actually illegal in Washington?” C) “It's probably not all that safe but I know the dogs love it.” D) “The driver must not be especially familiar with the concept of sudden stops and the laws of physics.” E) “Freedom, freedom, freedom, blah, blah, blah.” F) “Last time I expressed reservations about that practice and noted the unenforced statute prohibiting it, the person to whom I was speaking got all up in arms about how there's no law saying kids can't ride back there. I didn't bother to mention that most children don't see a squirrel in the distance and bolt out of the truck while it's zipping down the road.” G) “I have been doing that with our dogs for years and nothing bad has ever happened.” H) “It's the spirit of the West.” I) “Don't really approve of that in city traffic. Out in the country, OK.” J) “Im sure those people really love their dogs. I hope they don't have to learn the hard way that there are big risks for the pets.” K) Other.

Coyotes attack dogs on South Hill bluff trails

HIKING — A trio of aggressive coyotes took on two Labrador retrievers running loose with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails Thursday, sending one dog to the vet for a chest full of stitches.

Arch Harrison said one of the two dogs he was exercising — a Sarah — was attacked by three coyotes while they were walking on the popular bluff trails below High Drive and Manito Boulevard and just above the Creek at Qualchan Golf Course. (See map for area).

He wanted to warn other people who take their dogs to the bluffs.  Keeping dogs on leashes could help prevent similar encounters.

“They were fairly aggressive and although intimidated by me, they still kept coming back around,” Harrison said, wondering if there might be a den in the area.

(Indeed, read this follow-up blog post about the six pups the coyotes are defending!)

“I was able to get to Sarah before any real damage was done but as I was running up to the scene she was lying down on her belly with one coyote at her nose and another one at her tail.”

Harrison thought he got away unscathed until he got back and realized his other dog, Chewie, had tangled with the coyotes and suffered numerous bites and rips under his chest and legs.

“All his wounds were on the underside with minimal bleeding and so we did not notice until later,” Harrison said.

He added: “A trip to pet emergency cost slightly less than one month's house payment.”

Today’s fun video: Dog days in the presidential campaign

 

OK, so the argument over whether Mitt Romney is less dog friendly for strapping a canine cage to his car roof than Barack Obama is for eating dog meat when he was a child in Indonesia is admittedly the stupidest conversation of the Presidential campaign thus far.

But this video is still pretty funny.

South Hill Bluff trail maintenance dates set

TRAILS — Last Saturday a hard-working group of 20 turned out to work on Bluff trails.

The many, many more people who use the trails owe them a tip of the hat.

They did trail maintenance and prepared to re-align a trail that is steep and highly erosive. The new route will be more stable and user-friendly for hikers and mt bikers.

To complete the task, the Friends of the Bluffs are encouraging more people to join some evening work parties.

The first two will be Tuesday April 24 and Wednesday May 2.

Join the group from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to work off the stress of the day (and perhaps adjourn to the Rocket Market afterwards).

Meet at the Bernard/High Dr trail head and bring/wear hiking boots, work clothes, work gloves, and bring water.

Info: robertsd@wsu.edu

Get me rewrite!

Someone has been taking liberties with pet-control signage at Corbin Park on Spokane's North Side.

 

Photos courtesy of John Blanchette 

Easter celebration nipped in the bud

HUNTING DOGS — The annual Easter Egg Hunt has been cancelled.

Police: Woman had meth in body cavity

Police said a Coeur d'Alene woman was arrested with methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity this morning, but they later said the woman only said meth was located there, and none was found.

 Detectives with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Christine R. Davis-Jasinki, 35, at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and searched her home at 114 Borah Ave. in Coeur d'Alene about 5:30 a.m. today, where they found a surveillence system and other drugs.

Davis-Jasinki was booked into jail for drug charges for meth and drug paraphernalia found in the home. A SWAT team used an armored vehicle to approach the home.

Police used the extreme measures because of “information about several weapons inside the residence as well as four pit bull dogs,” according to a news release by Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood.

A SWAT member used a dog snare to control  “a large, vicious pit bull,” but the other dogs were cooperative and none were injured, Wood said. The dogs were seized by animal control officers.

Police found what they described as a sophisticated video surveillance inside the home that monitored the street and included audio capabilities and a view of the home's entrance. They also found a large amount of suspected stolen property, including jewelry and power tools. Police are working to identify the owners.

Arrested at the home were Coeur d'Alene residents Chase A. Nutting, 21, on a failure to appear warrant for attempted robbery, and a warrant out of Kitsap County, Wash., and Stevan E. Hemming, 25, on a warrant for violating his probation and parole for aggravated assaulted.

Davis-Jasinki has been booked into the Kootenai County Jail 30 times since 1996, said Major Ben Wolfinger.

Related coverage:

July 21, 2011: Woman with $26,000 in bra pleads guilty

March 25, 2011: Pa. cavity search produces 50 bags of heroin

Sept. 17, 2010: Police get search warrant for man's rectum
  

South Hill Bluffs look spiffier tonight, thanks to volunteers

TRAILS — In the photo above, volunteers pose with the metal-recyclable garbage they picked up today from the South Hill Bluff below High Drive.

Bravo, and a special tip of the hat to the teenagers.
 
If this looks like a crew you'd like to join for the “firewise efforts” to protect the network of trails and the adjacent neighborhoods and for other worthu projects on the bluff, contact Diana Roberts, robertsd@wsu.edu.
 
Or check them out on their High Drive Bluffs Facebook Page.
 

South Hill Bluffs to get TLC Saturday

TRAILS — Join the fun as the 'Friends of the Bluff' are having a trash cleanup day Saturday (March 24), 9am - Noon.

Meet at the main trail head just south of the Bernard and High intersection. Be prepared for the weather and to hike to our two focused sites which are 1/4 and 3/4 mile down the slope.

Volunteers are encouraged to:

  • -Wear heavy duty clothing, leather gloves, and hiking footwear
  • Bring wheelbarrows/dollys with ratchet straps and ropes as tie downs
  • Bring several sturdy cloth bags (think reusable grocery bags) for the smaller stuff
  • Bring plenty of water to drink

    Post event cool down at the Rocket Market (0.8 miles east at the corner of High Dr/Hatch).

Jim Schrock of Earthworks Recycling www.earthworksrecycling.com is donating the metals disposal bin.

					Diana Roberts, PhD Area Extension Agronomist WSU Spokane/Lincoln County Extension 222 N Havana St Spokane WA 99202-4799 Phone: 509-477-2167 Fax: 509-477-2087 Email: robertsd@wsu.edu 

A dog and a mail carrier

We're used to the notion of dogs barking at mail carriers.

But this seemed ridiculous.

An occupied postal service van was parked on a South Hill street. And a dog that looked like a schnauzer stood in the adjacent yard barking at it.

Talk about holding a grudge. The mail carrier can't even get out of the vehicle before the dog starts in?

Eventually the dog put its front paws up on the white van and continued speaking out.

Sometimes, though, things aren't always as they appear. After a moment, the woman taking the dog for a walk came over and picked it up. It seemed she was going to have to haul it away from the van and the female mail carrier inside.

But no. This hadn't been canine hostility. It had been a greeting. Or maybe a request.

The woman held the dog up and leaned the front half of it in through the open passenger's side window. Maybe there was a cookie or dog biscuit presented. I couldn't see.

In any case, it was a reminder. There is barking and then there is barking. The two are quite different.

More on dogs fetching the morning paper

Here's some spill-over from a theme addressed in today's print column.

“Libby, our black Lab, has been faithfully bringing us our paper for eight years,” wrote Carol Bending. “She listens at the front door for the delivery car and the plop of the paper in the driveway. If she's slow to return, we know it's icy and her coat tells us if it's rainy or snowing. Then she drops it inside the front door for the young Lab in-training to carry it to the treat bowl where they both sit pretty for their reward. It's all about the food, you know.”

Then there was this from Cheri Knox.

“Our loyal Labrador, Maizey, knows that her job every morning is to retrieve the newspaper from our driveway. She always brings it to the front door and waits patiently, newspaper in mouth, for someone to open the door. From time to time, we have forgotten to let her back in, so she carries the newspaper to the back kitchen door and peers through the glass, newspaper in mouth, until someone notices. We have sometimes failed her, but she has never failed us.”

Shar Pai

He’s mostly just a pile of wrinkles,
this canine heap of folds and crinkles;
a Size M skin would fit him well,
instead he’s wearing X-X-L.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue (Wikipedia photo)

A Tired and True Companion

   For most of my work-from-home career, we’ve shared an office and a routine. As soon as the door closes behind the rest of the family, we go to work.

   I have a tendency to fuss and fidget, jumping up from my computer to answer the phone or scan a document or make another cup of tea. He is more quiet. More content. He makes himself comfortable nearby, watching me move around, paying attention to what I’m doing, especially when I wander into the kitchen. He’s always willing to join me in a snack. Occasionally he gets restless and asks to go outside, but for the most part, he’s happy to simply share the space with me

   Actually, that’s the way we used to spend our days. Things are changing now. At 14, he’s an old dog. He no longer sits and watches me work. Now, as soon as we’re alone for the day, he is instantly asleep. He sleeps deeply and quietly, seldom “chasing rabbits” in his dreams the way he used to. I can step over him, open the refrigerator and even crunch into a carrot, his favorite treat, without waking him.

   And when he is awake, he doesn’t move a lot. Moving hurts, I can tell. He rarely climbs the stairs to my daughter’s room and even the two short steps leading from the kitchen to the back yard are sometimes difficult. Sometimes, as he sleeps, he groans softly, forgetting to hide the aches and pains.

   The other day, on deadline and stuck for the right word, I pushed away from the computer and my restless eyes wandered away from my keyboard and chased ideas around the room, gazing out the window, over the newspaper on the floor beside my chair, before settling on him.

   For a while I watched him as he lay there, remembering the day I brought him home. At just over a year old, he was a big, strong, sensitive puppy with a tendency to worry. But he had the soul of a rambler, which is exactly how he came to be with us; a stray who’d been picked up and taken to the Humane Society. And for the last 13 years I’ve had to keep my eye on him because he still likes nothing better than a solitary walkabout. Even now, on a bad day as stiff and slow as a mechanical toy, when I let him out the back door I have to watch him or he’ll slip away and stroll down to the park on his own.

   The saddest thing is that he can no longer drop and have a good roll in the snow. That was always his favorite thing to do on a winter day, to roll back and forth, scrubbing his coat in the fresh powder. I used to laugh at him when occasionally he would stop rolling and, relaxed and content, his feet still in the air, he would lie there for a few minutes gazing up at the sky like a child. Now he just stands and looks down at the snow for a moment and then moves on.

   I thought about all of this as I watched him and my throat tightened. I just don’t know how much more time we have together.

   Pushing my computer aside, I dropped down onto the floor beside him. He didn’t move. Stretching out, I lay beside my old dog and draped my arm over him, pressing my face into the rough fur of his back. He woke up enough to lift his head and look back over his shoulder at me as his tail thumped the floor a few times, but if he was surprised to find me lying on the floor next to him, he didn’t give any sign. He just stretched a bit, sighed deeply and went back to sleep.

   I lay there a few more minutes, taking and giving comfort, thinking about time and how it always slips away from us in the end, and then got up and went back to my desk. Back to my computer. Back to work in the company of my tired and true companion.



Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Release the hounds

The televised dog show in New York always reminds me of my close encounter with greyhounds.

About 20 years ago, I was down in Pullman spending time with a WSU vet student who commuted from the South Hill every day. This was for a story.

The school operated some sort of blood bank for greyhounds. And at one point during the day, the student I was following and one of her classmates walked a couple of the resident greyhounds over to a big fence-enclosed ball field/park nearby.

Once safely inside the fence, the two women unleashed the dogs. And the greyhounds took off with a speed that was utterly astounding.

One moment, they had been right next to us. And then, in the next, they were way, way over on the other side of the park. It was as if they had made the jump to warp 9.

It was thrilling to witness. And what made it even better was sharing in the unbridled joy the dogs seemed to experience when getting to do what comes naturally to them.

I knew that breed was fast. Everybody does. But until you see them move up close, it is impossible to appreciate how truly blazing their speed is.

www.cultofthegreyhound.blogspot.com

Spokane, Saturday morning

Rode my bike up to the North Side for an 8 a.m. haircut.

Had I known how much fuzzy frost coated the streets, I might have reconsidered. But the ride went fine and I was glad to get the exercise.

Stopped at the Huck's beer sale on my way back up the hill and purchased a Boddington's Pub Ale. Don't know a thing about it, but the tall yellow can caught my eye.

Spoke with Mike the butcher about the Super Bowl (he hates both teams) and Scott the cashier about his guitar playing (sometimes the neighbors aren't wild about it).

But here's what I found myself wondering during my ride home.

Are people with dogs healthier?

Not because of the emotional connection and blood pressure-lowering implications of canine companionship. I'm thinking of the benefits of getting out and taking your dog for a walk.

If I'm any judge of expressions, some of the many dog walkers I saw this morning would not have ventured out if not for their responsibility as pet owners. And it just seems like, over time, all that daily activity has to add up to something good.

And, of course, the dogs like it.   

Can’t cite a study to back this up, but…

…I would estimate that this old picture of the “All Creatures Great and Small” cast reflects the dogs-to-humans ratio found in 5% of Spokane area households.  

www.ponderingsofallthings.blogspot.com

Photos show rescued dog getting TLC

SEARCH AND RESCUE — Readers following the story of the lost dog rescued high in the Kettle Range yesterday will enjoy these followup photos.

The pix, just sent to me by Mariann Crooks, show Rebel, a 7-month-old bluetick coonhound, still wiped out from the two nights he endured in the winter wilds north of Sherman Pass after being lost during a snowshoeing trek to Columbia Mountain.

But Rebel's home now, getting plenty of comfort and attention from Mariann's daughter, Sabrina Crooks.

And a few hearts will justifiably melt to see one of the other family dogs nursing Rebel's feet, which were raw and sore from the snow, cold and ice high in the Colville National Forest.

Crooks said Rebel slept pretty much nonstop for 36 hours after he got home.

Rebel was rescued by a group of forestry students from the Curlew Job Corps Center.

See photos of the rescue in this blog post

Dog rescuers went the extra mile

WINTER SPORTS — Today's story about students rescuing a snowshoer's bluetick coonhound lost in the Kettle Range for two nights offers a life lesson to all of us.

Helping other people can be remarkably easy and productive if we just make the effort to try.

Think about what we could accomplish if everyone looked for a way to contribute every day rather than leaving it to somebody else.

See post-rescue photos here.

Snowshoers find dog that spent two nights out near Sherman Pass

MISSING PETS — A young, energetic family dog lost from its owners during a snowshoe hike on Sunday has been found after two days out in the high country near Sherman Pass.

A Job Corps forestry crew heard about the lost dog and the despair of the family through an email network, so they decided to go out for a snowshoe hike today and see what they could see.

Lo! They found Rebel, a seven month old male bluetick coonhound that had been lost since mid-day Sunday in the vicinity of Columbia Mountain near Sherman Pass in Colville National Forest in northeast Washington.

He survived the ordeal wearing an orange collar, a red head halter and a small blue pack.

His owners are being notified.  The dog reportedly was dehydrated but otherwise in good shape.

Credit a close network of locals in the Republic-Curlew area who have the skills to get out in the backcountry and the generosity to look out after others.

More on this later…

Snowshoers lose family hound near Sherman Pass

MISSING PETS — During a snowshoe hike on Sunday (Jan. 22), a seven month  old male Bluetick Coonhound who answers to the name Rebel was lost in the vicinity of Columbia Mountain near Sherman Pass in Colville National Forest in northeast Washington.  

Anyone living in the area or out playing in the backcountry in the vicinity of Sherman Pass, please keep your eye out for him!

His owners say Rebel is super friendly and should approach anyone that calls him. 

Last seen, he was wearing an orange collar, a red head halter and a small blue pack. 

The dog has tags on to identify where he belongs. 

His owners are very worried for him. If found, please contact Mariann at (509) 496-9370 (cell) or via email at mendenhall_mini_farm@yahoo.com   

Thanks!

Wolves Attack Dogs In Wallace Area

Correction: Wild dogs attack Rottweiler in Wallace/Mike Perry, KHQ

Domestic dogs were attacked by four wolves around 6 p.m. Wednesday night on the 600 block of Burke Road, just outside Wallace. One dog died and another sustained a facial bite, said Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander, and there were many wolf tracks in the area. A neighbor reported the dog that died was a Rottweiler. Idaho Fish and Game notified residents in the area and informed them that it is legal to shoot the wolf pack. Calls made to Idaho Fish and Game official Josh Stanley about the attack weren't returned. Mullan resident Barry Sadler didn't just have his dogs attacked by wolves a few years ago - they chased his daughter into the front door and came right up on his porch. Sadler shot and killed one of the offending wolves/Kelsey Saintz, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Question: Do you still think Br'er Wolf is harmless?

A ducky day for a Lab

HUNTING — I had the privilege to hunt the Lower Coeur d'Alene River area with a yellow Lab named Gunner this weekend. It was a good day.

‘Tis the season for Labrador retrievers

HUNTING DOGS — Those of us who have pointing breeds are glad to see that somebody's finally come up with a good use for a kennel of Labs.

Lack of snow creates a few openings

For would-be sled dogs anyway.

This afternoon a skateboarder who looked like a youngish teen boy was being pulled at a surprisingly decent clip by two small dogs on long leashes. This was happening on Arthur, south of 29th.

The pets really seemed to be into it. And though they were the size of RV dogs, they didn't appear to be straining.

But they weren't the most disciplined team. When a bigger canine in a fenced yard barked at them as they went by, the two skateboarder-pulling pooches veered off to tell the yard dog a thing or two.

I was too far away to hear if the boy tried to recover the situation by yelling “Mush!” or whatever. But I suspect it wouldn't have done any good.