Stolen German shepherd mentor dog Murfee found dead

In Castro Valley, California, the German shepherd reported to have been stolen from the front yard of a woman’s property while she was home, has been found dead. According to the Facebook page, FIND Murfee, the dog was found on the woman’s property in one of their cars. The individuals who stole the dog allegedly returned Murfee into one of many cars on the Jacobson’s property.

The heartbreaking post read:

“It’s with a heavy heart that we have found Murfee. He is deceased. The people that took him put it in the car on JJ’s property and we do not have much details other than this. He was found this morning when JJ drove out with shade to drive around. Please say a prayer to JJ and Pat that they find a little peace.”

On April 30, Murfee. the three-year-old therapy was reported stolen.  The very friendly pooch, who had been a rescue himself years before, mentored other rescued German Shepherds on their social behavior before being placed for adoption. At the time of his disappearance, the micro chipped dog had been wearing a lime green collar with identity tags. According to the family, the dog had been outside between 3:30 and 5:00 pm.; anytime after that he disappeared. The fence in the yard was too high for the dog to jump over.

Jacobson filed a report with the Alameda County Sheriffs, who were investigating, however there was no evidence the dog had been stolen since there were no surveillance cameras or witnesses. No other information has been made available.

Rest in peace boy.

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Last dog in ‘Empty the Shelter’ adopted into amazing new home

It was Eastwood’s sad face that circulated through social media this weekend when an “Empty the Shelter” event in Harbor Springs, Michigan found homes for all their pets – that is except for  Eastwood, a red-coated Labrador retriever mix with a birth defect. One by one all of  Eastwood’s friends left the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society:

‘Poor Eastwood is so lonely now that all of his pals have been adopted”, the shelter wrote on their Facebook page over the weekend.

But alas, Eastwood’s sad face garnered thousands of shares on Facebook and by Tuesday, the shelter stated they were no longer taking adoption applications “due to the sheer number that we’ve received.” Later in the day the following Facebook post announced the good news:

“EASTWOOD UPDATE: Eastwood has been adopted!! After careful thought and consideration, we are thrilled to announce that Eastwood now has a forever home! This was a VERY difficult decision. We received over 80 adoption applications today, and while there were countless families who would have given Eastwood an amazing home, one stood out above the rest…”

So why was Eastwood the only dog not adopted over the weekend? The dog was born with leg deformities and although surgery has not been recommended at this time, he may need operations which could cost upward of $4,000. Found as a stray, the poor guy was nearly blind when he arrived at the shelter this past winter, but his eyesight has since improved.

Good news however for a dog who seemed to have run low on luck before he was rescued – Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons coach adopted him. The Van Gundy family heard about Eastwood’s heartbreaking plight and knew he was destined to become part of their family. The good-natured pooch will be living with four children and will get to swim and play, and never be lonely again.

“Empty the Shelter” is a state-wide free adoption day sponsored by BISSELL Pet Foundation; 2500 pets found homes – that is except for Eastwood, but that story is just history now. The Van Gundy family have adopted dogs in the past and encourage everyone to save a life and visit your nearest shelter. Even if you can’t adopt, volunteer or donate. Show your kindness; it’s what our world needs.

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society had this to say on their Facebook encouraging more adoptions:

“Thank you again to everyone for the outpouring of love and support for sweet Eastwood! We are so happy that this boy now has a loving forever home! We encourage everyone who was interested in adopting Eastwood to consider opening your heart and home to another shelter animal in need-there are so many out there just looking for a family to love them. They may not all have celebrity-status, but they have a lot of love and affection to give, which is the most important thing!”

(Photo of Empty the Shelter dog Eastwood via Facebook)

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Read about the dog left to die by her previous owners just because she was different.


UPS driver leaves ‘Sorry’ note after running over family’s dog

A family in Bellingham, Washington continues to mourn the tragic loss of their dog after he was hit and killed on Thursday by a UPS driver backing out of the family’s four acre property near Lake Samish. According to King 5 News, the driver left a note on the front door reading, “Sorry I backed over Toby. He’s dead over by where I turn around. I didn’t see him behind me. Sorry.”

The 14-year-old Sharpei and terrier mix was one of the Wakelin family’s two dogs.

“Who does something like that? UPS needs to educate their drivers about how to do the right thing. It’s more about than delivering packages,” CynthiaWakelin stated. “I live on a mountain. I moved there for a reason,” she said. “They roam or go down the back to the lake. Full freedom….most of the time they sit on the porch.”

Cynthia had to search all over to find the body of her dog, but when she did poor Toby, her beloved dog had been hit very badly – with a trail of blood up and down the driveway. According to the Daily Mail, the driver did not call the family even though there was a phone number on the dog’s collar. In addition there was a phone number of the package he was delivering. And perhaps as tragic,  the next day Cynthia called UPS’ customer service to complain and a supervisor told her, “At least he had the heart to leave a note and didn’t just leave your dog dead on the driveway.” A second supervisor, however was much more compassionate apologizing profusely for the tragic loss of Toby.

In a statement from UPS, the official word is the driver involved has been discipline and the company ” will make a goodwill payment to the customer,” although no details have been presented as it is protocol that a driver inform the family of such an accident by going to the door and leaving a note if no one is home. The driver, however did not inform his supervisor of the dog’s death until the following day.

The family left the following heartbreaking note on their Instagram account:

“The caption read: ‘PLEASE SHARE! A @ups driver killed my 14 y/o dog, Toby, and left this note on my door! He also put his body where I had to search for him. My phone number was on the package and on my babies collar. You took my baby! You couldn’t even call and tell me or give a sincere apology? You thought you could redeliver my package the next day and apologize? We weren’t worth your time that day? I had to come home WITH MY KIDS and find a note! Do you know how traumatizing that is for a 6 year old boy?! I’m sick. My whole family is sick. This is not acceptable! I live far off the main roads. You failed to pay attention and have no heart! You ripped my family into pieces. I didn’t get to say goodbye to the first dog I have ever owned. He was my family. He was my child’s best friend.’ “

Toby’s death has been especially hard on the young children. Cynthia’s young son looks at Toby’s empty bed and cries.

Rest in peace Toby.

(Photos of Toby and the “sorry” note via the Wakelin family)

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Dog trainer charged with nearly 40 counts of animal cruelty and abandonment

In Alexander County, North Carolina a dog trainer, who ran a business in Bethlehem, faces charges of 19 counts of felony animal cruelty and 19 counts of misdemeanor abandonment of animals. According to WsoctvNews, Matthew Trenton Leeth, 29, had been running a dog training facility where he would acquire dogs and train them as hunting or security animals and then sell them.

Last week, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office had been called out to the property investigating a report of abandoned animals when they saw one dead dog as they looked through a window of the building. After Animal Control officers arrived, they found several emaciated dogs, three dead dogs and ten dead birds (including a cockatoo and nine quail) in a freezer.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman shook his head in disgust when he spoke about the horrific scene to WbtvNews  that he and his deputies discovered:

“It’s just uncalled for. They starved to death. There was no food or water for them for at least seven to ten days.”

Leeth told authorities someone was supposed to have been taking care of the animals, but no one has been able to identify that person(s). The five surviving dogs are in the care of the Alexander County Animal Shelter. Leeth was being held under a $200,000 bond pending a court appearance.

(Photo of dog trainer charged with animal cruelty via

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Taiwan becomes first in Asia to prohibit eating dog and cat meat

In Taipei, an amendment to the Animal Protection Act passed its third reading at the Legislative Yuan, which will impose more penalties for animal abuse as well as prohibiting the practice of eating dog and cat meat. Under the new law passed Tuesday, people will be fined for butchering or selling dog meat, called “fragrant meat” in Taiwanese slang. The island banned the sale of dog and cat meat, organs or byproducts in 2001. Before Tuesday however, only certain local governments in Taiwan banned the consumption of dog and cat meat.

According to Focus Tai News,  the amendment allows judges to impose prison terms of up to two years, plus a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,524.5) to NT$2 million, for deliberate harm to animals that results in mangled limbs, organ failure or death. A new provision was also added to the law; banning the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat as well as any type of food products that contain the meat or parts of the animals. In addition, the legislation also prohibits drivers and motorcycle riders from pulling animals along on a leash. Offenders can face fines up to NT$250,000 (US$8,178) with their photos made public on websites including their names and their criminal history.

Kuomintang Legislator Wang Yu-min, who sponsored the amendment, notes that Taiwan is the first country in Asia to ban the practice of eating cats and dogs, reaffirming the country’s animal friendly and compassionate views. It is expected to be signed into law. Rising awareness and a younger population, have been the driving forces behind legislators seeking stronger animal protection laws. In the past, public outrage has drawn worldwide response as cruel owners have received little more than a slap on their wrists for their egregious animal cruelty crimes.


Never stop trying to help and make a difference in the world. Dog and cat meat is not legally prohibited in mainland China, where the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is scheduled for June.

(Photo via Yulin Dog Meat Festival petition)

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Clever Great Pyrenees who engineered his own escape found safe

“General,” a ten-year-old very clever Great Pyrenees used his nose and his mouth to engineer his own escape on Monday night from a Virginia animal hospital while his human family had been away visiting relatives.

According to FoxNews, General left the Aquia-Garrisonville Animal Hospital through the clinic’s back door at around 4:17 a.m. Surveillance video from inside the animal hospital shows the dog opening the latch to his kennel and opening three other doors to eventually escape. And according to General’s owner, Travis Campbell, his dog is indeed quite the Houdini who knows how to open a lot of doors.

“Basically, he spent a night and a half rehearsing trying to figure out how to open the door from the inside, which is how he got a little scratch on his nose,” Campbell said. “It’s a trick to lift the latch from the inside and he figured it out and pushed on the door. 

Thankfully, General was brought back to the animal hospital safely on Monday evening. A neighbor spotted the dog lying in the nearby neighborhood. So much for General’s 15 hour adventure. By the way, General is a rescue the family adopted nearly five years ago. He has become part of the family – six children missed him and are just glad he’s home.

(Photos of Great Pyrenees General via Aqyua-Garrisonville Animal Hospital)





93-year-old Vermont man dies in icy pond trying to save his dog

In Chittenden, Vermont, a 93-year-old resident of Rutledge died on Saturday afternoon trying to save his dog from an icy pond. According to an official report by the Vermont State Police, Detective Trooper Pfindel stated William R. Graf died when he ventured out onto the ice at Leffert’s Pond off Wildcat Road after his dog fell through the ice.

A witness stated Mr. Graf was unable to get out of the water.  Police stated the dog also died. An autopsy is pending.

In a similar tragedy, an Oklahoma man drowned in January trying to save his dog who fell through thin ice on a pond.  Tanner Shorter, 22, had been out duck hunting with a group of friends in Stephens County when the accident took place. Shorter’s dog ran onto the thin ice to retrieve a bird and apparently fell through the ice – Shorter immediately tried to rescue his companion, but died in the process.

So what do you do if your dog falls through the ice?

First of all, always keep your dog on a leash. If you didn’t heed that warning, experts strongly urge pet owners to take the following steps:

  • Call 911. Wait for fire rescue
  • Do not go onto the ice after your dog. If the ice didn’t support your dog, it’s surely not going to support a human
  • Let the rescue workers do their job
  • Don’t repeat the mistake and keep your dog on a leash in the future

Rest in peace Mr. Graf.

(Photo of Vermont State Police report man died in icy pond via Facebook)

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Saving Casper: Poster dog for brutality of the streets before saved by shelter

No one knows exactly what happened to three-year-old Casper, but the adorable and extra-friendly white terrier was rescued by Miami Dade Animal Services on Tuesday; coming in as a stray. And there’s not a dog anywhere who is more grateful for the medical care, the good meal and the truly compassionate volunteers who have lavished him with some well-deserved attention. Here’s what the volunteers had to say when they met this good-natured dog who hasn’t been discouraged by his past:

“Sweetest boy CASPER (A1863356) arrived at the shelter yesterday bearing the scars and injuries of a hard life and significant suffering.  Despite what he’s been through, Casper can’t stop smiling and immediately wanted nothing more than to love and be loved by the volunteers he met at the shelter. This big baby even jumped on the volunteers lap to give kisses. He also couldn’t stop wagging his tail and playing with the other dogs he met in the yard! We need everyone to please come together to save this boy’s life. He deserves so much more than what life has handed to him. The only hope he has is us.”

Follow Casper’s plight on Facebook by clicking here or here. Share his plight with approved rescue organizations, friends, family and social media contacts. Casper does seem to get along with other dogs. Funds are being pledged for an approved rescue. For more information about this dog, contact the  Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center located at 3599 NW 79th Ave, Doral, FL 33166.  MDAS website:

(Photos and video courtesy of Urgent Dogs of Miami)

The dog’s video can be viewed here:

3-year-old child has arm amputated after sticking hand into ‘wolf hybrid’ kennel

In Olympia, Washington a three-year-old child put his hand into the kennel of the family’s “wolf hybrid” dogs resulting in serious injuries to the child. According to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office:

“The child has sustained serious injury to one of his hands and forearm. The child was a resident at this home where two wolf hybrids were maintained by the family within a fenced kennel.”

The child had supposedly wandered outdoors by himself without his mother’s permission. When he went to the area where the animals were kept, stuck his hand into the kennel. It is not known if both animals attacked or just one. Thurston County Animal Control and Washington State Fish and Wildlife have been called in to “secure the animals per their protocol for further investigation.”

According to Q13FoxNews, the child was flown to Harborview Medical Center for emergency treatment. He was listed in stable condition after a nurse stated he had undergone surgery for a “traumatic arm amputation.”

In the State of Washington, for most jurisdictions, wolf-hybrids are defined under exotic or dangerous animals and prohibited or in some instances grandfathered, if existing prior to the enactment of the prohibition, and are treated as dangerous dogs. Potentially dangerous wild animals, includes wolves, but excludes wolf-hybrids. In the past several measures have been introduced to include wolf-hybrids as dangerous wild animals, but no resolutions have been passed. Read more here. Several measures have been proposed to include wolf-hybrids as potentially dangerous wild animals, but they have not been passed.

(Photos of wolf hybrid via Q13 Fox News and Thurston County Sheriff’s Office)

This is a developing story; more information will follow as it is released.

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Phineas, dog accused of bite, seized, stolen and returned to family, has died

A yellow Labrador retriever named “Phineas” has died. The dog had a storied life – from being accused of biting a child, seized from his family, placed on death row, stolen from a veterinary clinic and then finally, after a lengthy legal battle, returned to his family.

Thousands of followers of the Friends of Phineas Facebook page learned that the dog had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in late March – the dire news was posted to the fan page on March 27 by Joe Simon, the attorney for Phineas:

Although Phineas is in good spirits, I am sorry to inform all of you that he is not well. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. The prognosis is not good but you can rest assured he will be provided with all necessary care. We will keep you up-to-date. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
As always, thank you for your support.

A few days later, the news was worse…Phineas was on steroids which were supposed to help stimulate his appetite, but he still was not eating, and he had also stopped drinking.

The inevitable end was announced on March 31:

RIP Phineas. You were deeply loved and will be sorely missed. In the coming months and years, the story of your wonderful life and the struggles you overcame will be used to benefit thousands of your brothers and sisters. See you on the other side Little Buddy.

For those who were not familiar with the life and times of Phineas – he was ultimately cleared of wrong-doing (an expert cleared him) and finally returned to his family. His attorney, who fought for his life, was Phineas’ hero.

(Images via Friends of Phineas Facebook page)

Someone abandoned an ailing senior dog along a road – read the story here.