Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

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.   

Utah dog shoots hunter in buttocks

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah bird hunter was shot in the buttocks after his dog stepped on a shotgun laid across the bow of a boat.

Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Potter says the 46-year-old Brigham City man was duck hunting with a friend when he climbed out of the boat to move decoys.

Potter says the man left his 12-gauge shotgun in the boat and the dog stepped on it, causing it to fire. It wasn't clear whether the safety on the gun was on at the time.

Potter says the man was hit from about 10 feet away with 27 pellets of birdshot. He says the man wasn't seriously injured, in part because he was wearing waders. The man was treated at a nearby hospital.

Creative dog-breed name

"I told my vet my dog was a curbstone terrier (as opposed to setter) and found out later that was what had been entered in her file," wrote Lynn Lowery. "Closest I could get was a beagle/basset/terrier mix. She had a big bark and looked like she shoulda been taller. After that, I started telling people she was a fuzzy-butted cookie hound and am still surprised/horrified at how many people think I'm serious."

Maybe people think they heard it mentioned by the master of ceremonies at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

"The fuzzy-butted cookie hound is descended from a long line of kitchen-floor cleaners and dining table beggars. Originally bred in Germany as a ratter and herding animal, this dog today excels at watching nature shows from the couch and accepting belly rubs. Intensely loyal and good with children, the fuzzy is an ideal family companion. Here now is fuzzy-butted cookie hound No. 43, Miss Elizabeth Bennet." 

Pit bull owners face cruelty charges

A dog owner is facing animal cruelty charges after bringing his emaciated, starving pit bull to the vet.

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service filed a charging request against Randy Jensen for first-degree animal cruelty and second-degree animal cruelty. Charging requests were also filed for his sister, Talina Jensen, also faces of first-degree animal cruelty and confinement in an unsafe manner.

Randy Jensen took the dog, Jackson, in for veterinary care Sept. 9 after he lost about 20 pounds and stopped eating, according to a SCRAPS news release. However, Jensen did not have the money for the recommended exam but did not want to euthanize the dog. He brought Jackson to his sister Talina Jensen for care, but Jackson continued to suffer “substantial and unjustifiable pain,” the news release said.

On Sept. 26, SCRAPS animal protection officers rushed Jackson in for veterinary care after they began an investigation. Tests showed Jackson’s intestines had burst and he was septic, the news release said.

Jackson was euthanized.

“Jackson suffered for several weeks and the charges reflect the serious nature of the crimes committed against him,” said Nicole Montano, lead animal protection officer. “SCRAPS takes the issue of animal cruelty and neglect very seriously and this was an extreme case of cruelty and neglect.”

SCRAPs urges anyone who sees an animal being mistreated to call (509) 477-2532

K-9 nabs ‘jingling’ burglary suspect

A burglar described only as a man who jingled as he ran away was captured by a Spokane County sheriff’s K-9 team and patrol deputies early today.

Sheriff's K-9 Jet found Brian James Blankenship, 44, hiding in a bush at a home on East Salmon after a homeowner said he'd surprised a burglary in his garage in the 100 block of West Falcon about 5:15 a.m., according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The only description offered by the homeowner was that the thief made a "jingling" noise as he ran, but deputies Mark Melville and Bob Bond were able to track him with the help of Jet.

Blankenship surrendered to police and was booked into jail on a felony residential burglary charge. He had a pocketful of coins that jingled as he moved, Reagan said.

Spokane K-9 nabs carjacking suspect

A carjacking suspect led police on a chase early Sunday morning, but his attempt to escape on foot was foiled by a Spokane Police Department search dog.

A man reported that he was parked outside the Holiday Gas Station at 9620 N. Division Street just before 3:30 a.m. while a friend was inside. He was approached by someone who pulled a gun on him and told him to get out of his silver Toyota Camry, according to a Police Department press release. Police responded and spotted the car 25 minutes later driving north on Division past the same gas station where the car was stolen.

There was a short chase until the man  jumped from the still moving car and ran, the press release said. Police officers, assisted by the Washington State Patrol, searched the area and found a handgun holster in an apartment complex courtyard just east of Ritter's Nursery.

The dog, Leo, and his handler, Officer Craig Hamilton, found the suspect inside the fenced nursery. Justin S. Brown, 29, was booked into jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The gun believed to be used in the carjacking was later recovered in the same area the holster was found.

Neighbors gather to discuss forest health near High Drive bluffs

URBAN FORESTS — Residents interested in Spokane’s High Drive bluff — the trails and the neighborhoos —  are invited to participate in a discussion of forest health for the area on Wednesday (Aug. 31).

Last spring, community members identified fire risk abatement as a high priority for the Bluff. This workshop will focus on a plan for reducing fire risk on the Bluff and for neighboring homes.

The workshop will be held at the Rocket Market at 726 E 43rd Ave from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will include a description of the proposed forest health plan, plus a question and answer session.

Join in the discussion, enjoy a no-host beverage with neighbors, and learn how you can get involved in the project!

For planning purposes, please RSVP to Diana Roberts at WSU Spokane County Extension, phone (509) 477-2167 or E-mail robertsd@wsu.edu.

Pets plus comedy? That’s entertainment

Here's a just-booked act that sounds like a furry riot: the Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre.

This is an animal act from Vegas featuring cats, dogs and clowns, coming Nov. 9, 7 p.m. to the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague. Tickets are $17 for kids 12 and under, $27 for adults, available through TicketsWest outlets.

Trained dogs and cats doing tricks. That's entertainment. Heck yeah, I'm getting tickets.

Check out the trailer at www.comedypet.com and tell me if you can resist it.

And if the photos on the website are to be believed, it might even have trained ducks.

Man’s best friend? more than ever

German researchers report that specially-trained dogs can now detect lung cancer – more accurately than a CT scan – by sniffing patients' breath. How do they do it?

“Lung cancer patients breathed into glass tubes that contained fleece to capture the odors of the specific organic compounds scientists theorized were associated with the onset and progression of lung cancer,” reports the Schillerhoehe study.

Dogs are trained to sniff many odors – drug dealers who try to smuggle their heroin can tell you that. Perhaps we ought to look at our canine friends with more respect and seek to use their natural talents to detect our deadly enemies.

Man accused of injuring police dog

A Spokane man was arrested on suspicion of injuring a police dog after during a domestic violence arrest call last weekend.

 Gerry R. Elerding, 39, is accused of violently fighting with Spokane police K-9 Leo as police responded to a report of an assault and no-contact order violation at an apartment in the 1300 block of South Adams Street about 4 a.m. on Saturday.

An officer forced the door open at the home and found Elerding's ex-girlfriend but could not locate the suspect, so he requested assistance from a police dog.

K-9 Leo entered the basement, and police heard him yelp "as if he had been hurt," according to court documents.

Officers found Leo moving toward the basement stairs with his leg caught in his partially pulled off harness, documents say.

Police say the secured harness had never before come off "nor has Leo ever left a suspect during a fight or capture." Leo has been involved in nearly 30 violent captures, according to police.

Elerding remains in jail on a state Department of Corrections probation hold, as well as $1,900 bail for charges of violating a no-contact order and harming a police dog.

He has previous convictions for drugs, eluding police and, just in June, violating a domestic violence no-contact order.

Corgi owners are a pretty easy audience

At least that has been my experience.

And I have been using the same material on them for years.

Today, riding my bike home from work, I encountered a couple walking east on 40th Avenue with a pair of corgis.

I didn't have to think hard to know what to say: "Well, they're heading in the right direction if they're off to see the queen."

Always gets a laugh. Today was no different.

But I couldn't help noticing that the dogs didn't think it was all that funny.

Here's Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth.


I would never say that to a dog

I had started doing this thing where, when I encountered family dogs tied up outside a store or lolling in a front yard alone, I told them "Don't let 'em go to hell."

This is an allusion to an episode of "The Twilight Zone" in which a man on the road to heaven is saved from taking a wrong turn into perdition by his loyal canine.

"Even the devil can't fool a dog," says an angel near the end of the episode.

Rod Serling has a concluding voice-over that starts "Travellers to unknown regions would be well-advised to take along the family dog."

Anyway, I don't think the pooches minded me saying this, even if they haven't seen that episode.

But it has been suggested that someone overhearing me might not catch the first part of the declaration and, as a result, get the wrong idea about my tone.

So, just for the record, let me make one thing clear.

I would never tell a dog to go to blazes.  

Algae blooms can affect swimmers, boaters, dogs

LAKES — Public health officials issue warnings this time of year to be wary about the color of the water we enjoy for recreation.

Algae, the microscopic organisms that grow naturally in the ocean and fresh water, are generally harmless.

But one kind, called cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, can produce toxins capable of causing illness in people and animals, including dogs.

People can be exposed in several ways — through contact while wading or playing in the water, swallowing affected water when swimming, or inhaling water droplets during activities like water-skiing.

Read more about harmful algae blooms

Read on for details from an Associated Press report.

Bird dogs ‘cheated’ out of mid-summer training

GUN DOGSCheatgrass has flourished in the late spring conditions, and the seed heads have cured. The spear-like seeds are at their prime for sharpness and readiness to cling to your socks and your dog's fur, where they're specially adapted to work into a dog's does, eyes, nose and ears.

These despicable seed heads don't stop at the skin. They penetrate like porcupine quills to cause abscesses and pierce eardrums.

Legend has it that veterinarians sowed cheatgrass years ago for guaranteed income.

It's nasty stuff. My dogs sit and wait for me to stuff cotton in their ears before their daily runs this time of year.

  Dog trainers have to gear back their efforts until we get some hot weather followed by big winds to knock the seeds to the ground.  Some pounding rainstorms will help, too.

Dream on.

Bird doggers compare breeds in Fun Hunt

GUN DOGS — A black Lab won the battle of the breeds today at the Spokane Bird Dog Association's 2011 Fun Hunt.

Among the breeds were German shorthair pointers, springer spaniels, yellow Labs, English setters and German wirehairs.

They went head to head in braces during the  timed event at Espanola to see how fast they could bag a pair of chukars.

I'm still checking out the rumor that the Labs and springers are sponsored by PETA. The handlers generally  didn't have to fire a shot as their dogs moved in quickly to nail the pen-raised birds.

It's not clear whether the flushing-dog owners can't shoot — or whether they really don't want to.

Stay tuned.

How to crate-train your hunting dog

DOGS — The portable dog crates hunters use to transport their canine companions to the field also are excellent tools for house-breaking pups and new dogs and quickly bringing them into the family — so you can get a full night's sleep!

The following training tip, courtesy of the Outdoor Wire, is by pro trainer Ethan Pippitt of Willow Creek Kennels in Little Falls, Minn. 

Some dog owners view crate training as unnecessary, too difficult or time consuming to try, or even unnatural for the dog.

But Pippitt says a look back to the origin of dogs suggests that crate training is as natural as it gets.

Read on for the details and the step-by-step process.

Camel leads to animal cruelty arrests

Reports of a camel on a property in eastern Spokane County led to the recent arrest of a mother and daughter duo already charged with animal cruelty.

The camel belonged to a neighbor, but animal control officers say Kelly J. Covey, 49, had two dogs in her camper - a violation of a court order. The restriction has been in place since a Jan. 29 raid at the property, 6204 N. Idaho Road, that led to charges against Covey, her mother, Carol McMullen, 70, and Mullen's son, James W. McMullen.

In addition to the camel, SCRAPS investigators found cows and llamas at 6204 N. Idaho Road that also violated court orders.

Carol McMullen has previous convictions for animal cruelty; she was arrested again last week for violating her release conditions. Covey was booked into jail Friday.

The family faces several felony animal cruelty charges after 123 farm animals and pets were seized in January.

Officers found 78 dead animals on the property, located between State Line and Newman Lake.

Dogs dogging runners near Dishman Hills

PROWLING DOGS — Two free-running dogs have been harassing hikers and runners near the Dishman Hills Natural Area.

Animal Control has had multiple reports.

One of the dogs is a pit bull or pit bull mix; the other is undetermined. Both dogs have collars and tags.

Meantime, all three of the dogs that have been killing pets and livestock in Stevens County for weeks— not to mention untold wildlife — have been dispatched.

Woof on a Roof: Odd dog rescue in NY

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (AP) — Long Island firefighters went home with a great story to tell: They rescued a dog from the roof of a two-story house.

The Bay Shore Fire Department was called to help Rosie on Monday.

The department said in a statement that the homeowner was pet sitting and "had no idea how the dog got onto the roof."

It's estimated the medium-sized mutt was there about two hours.

Employing the time-honored cat-in-a-tree approach, the firefighters used a ladder to bring the canine aerialist back to earth.

Loose dogs killing livestock in Stevens County

PREDATORS — Stevens County officials have ranted about wolves and endorsed a coyote hunting contest, but free-running dogs are making the headlines for destruction to livestock and pets.

According to the Association Press, after the latest attack by a pack of wild dogs killed a 350-pound llama at Deer Park, the Stevens County sheriff's office is warning residents in the southern part of the county to protect their animals and families.

Deputy Keith Cochran told KXLY they are concerned because the dogs are cruel and bloodthirsty and killing for fun.

Since the end of March, there have been at least 15 attacks that have killed more than 100 animals. Dogs killed a number of goats last week and the llama on Tuesday night.

One resident, Temma Davis, says neighbors are worried about kids getting off school buses or riding their bikes.

The animal attacks have happened at night, but people say they are starting to see dogs in the early morning.

Tips sought on owners of killer dogs

Authorities are asking for help identifying the owners of dogs that are believed to be attacking farm animals in southern Stevens County.

The dogs pictured are thought to be responsible for the deaths of animals in the areas of Bittrich Antler, Scotts Valley Road and Casberg Burroughs Road as well as the 6800 to 7200 block of Highway 291. 

Photos from a camera set up at the location of a previous attack recorded images of the dogs when they returned.

Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 684-2555 or 1-800-572-0947.

Guess how many miles of trails below High Drive?

TRAILS — When I biked and hiked the Spokane South Hill bluff trails one day with a GPS unit, I was a bit startled to see the final tally of more than 23 miles on the unit's odometer.

This trail system of old roads and routes hand-built by volunteers just over the hill and out of site of a city neighbornood is a treasure for hiker, bikers and nature lovers, as my Sunday outdoors story explains.

The story includes a contact for getting involved with stewardship of the trails and the bluff, from trail maintenance to weed control.

Any bluff trails users should consider joining the Doo-Crew, either by taking a day of the month to tend the doggy doo plastic bag stations — or simply by picking up after your dog!

FYI, there were a few connector trails I did not log on the map above, either because I could not  map them without a lot of backtracking or because they are ill advised.

If you haven't been to the bluff for a walk or mountain bike ride, you own it to yourself to check out the map above and give the area a look — perfect for after-work summer visits.

Legislator’s hunting dog greets constituents

GOOD DOG — Visitors who have chosen Fridays to visit the Olympia office of state Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, usually get a few "pointers" from a pro who has a good nose for what's going on.

Schoesler's front man is Ruger, a young vizsla pointer.

"I got him last fall and he was hunting with me at 7 months old," Schoesler said. "I couldn't have asked for more out of dog three years older.  He was just great.

"But my wife told me when I got him that I'd have to take him to Olympia with me. I leave the farm and live in a camp trailer while the Legislature is in session. My landlady loe dogs, so it works out.

"But I bring Ruger into the office every Friday. He meets constituents and keeps us grounded."

Hikers with dogs learn pointed lesson on South Hill

HIKING — Two people I know own dogs who recently encountered the defense mechanism of a porcupine along the  South Hill bluff trails below High Drive.

Let's think about this: Vet visit to remove quills, $150.   Leash, $7.

Go figure.

Dogs prohibited on Little Spokane River trails

HIKING — A reader who frequently hikes out of the Painted Rocks trailhead along the Little Spokane River just emailed and said he was surprised last week to see two new signs indicating that dogs are not allowed on the trails.

"This absolutely shocked me," he said. "I’m not a dog owner, but it seems that barring dogs from state recreational areas is going a bit too far. Yes, they probably do crap along the way, but so do the abundance of coyotes in the area.
On the otherhand, he added, "I’m sure that they may harass some wild animals too if given the chance. So could easily see (Riverside State Park)  not wanting dogs in nesting areas.
Then he asks: "Is this something completely new?
My response:
The rule prohibiting dogs dates back to the original designation of the Little Spokane River as a natural area. The rule was mentioned in my original late 1980s version of the guidebook, "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest." 
I have a friend who took her Lab into the area against the rules 10 years ago and paid dearly for it:  rattlesnake bite. Dog survived.
I think the original rule had a lot to do with the now defunct heron rookery.  I love dogs, but it's reasonable for some areas to be dog-free.

Ohio man charged after barking at K-9

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.

A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.

Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal.

Walker reported that Stephens said "the dog started it" when asked why he was harassing the animal. The officer said Stephens appeared highly intoxicated.

There was no answer to calls to Stephens' home in Mason. He is to appear April 21 in municipal court.