Aurora Animal Services told to stave off any plans to euthanize suspected wolf-hybrid

On Thursday, members of the Colorado Legislature asked the Aurora Animal Services to turn over records of a family’s German shepherd dog suspected to be a wolf-hybrid and to stave off any plans to euthanize the dog named Capone. State Senator Tim Neville and state Representatives Steve Lebsock, Jovan Melton, and Joann Ginal sent a letter to the shelter expressing their concerns about the impoundment of Tracy Abbato’s dog, taken into custody on February 24, after he was found roaming the neighborhood without a collar.

According to the Colorado Statesman, the lawmakers stated they have been contacted by many concerned constituents about Capone’s future, which has prompted them to submit a Colorado Opens Records Act request to the city for “all correspondence regarding Capone and his owners.”

“We do not want the pet euthanized until we have a chance to review all the facts in this investigation,” the letter stated. “Can we really determine based on DNA if this is a wolf-dog hybrid?, Representative Melton asked. “This dog has never demonstrated any violent behavior, plays well with the family’s other dog, plays well with their kids. I understand public safety, but we should be looking at the whole picture.”

“There’s a question about fairness vs. public safety,” Melton added. “We should look at this on a case-by-case basis.”

Capone’s plight has drawn national attention, as advocates continue to insist that the 11-year-old-dog belongs back with his family. Tracy Abbato, the owner of eleven-year-old Capone, rescued the dog from the Adams County Animal Shelter a decade ago, where he was classified as a German shepherd mix; Capone’s veterinarian agrees with his breed description. And according to animal expert Suzanne Hetts, a certified animal behaviorist and president of Littleton’s Animal Behavior Associates, there is no way to tell whether an animal is a dog or a wolf-hybrid based on behavior – which was the reason animal control officers gave as their reason to keep Capone when he was impounded.

The family’s attorney states Aurora’s ordinance does not specify what constitutes a hybrid, although the State of Colorado specifies an animal is regarded as domestic if it contains just a trace of non-wild ancestry. Meanwhile, Capone remains at the shelter, and the family is only allowed to visit just a few minutes daily with their dog. An Aurora judge continued a hearing for a week until March 22 to allow the family’s attorney to review the case. Tracy is facing five charges which includes; owning a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, letting an animal run at large, failure to obtain a pet license, owning an aggressive or dangerous animal and failing to have a current rabies vaccination.

Read the previous article about Capone here.

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Shelter seeks information after second German shepherd found deceased

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) is seeking information from the public after finding two German shepherds discarded in suspicious manners within a close proximity of time. According to the shelter, a dog’s body was found on Sunday, February 26, on the 1st Line EHS, north of Highway 89 in Mulmur Township.

The dog is described as black and dark tan in color – a brown towel was partially beneath the dog’s body. The body of the German shepherd “type” dog was so badly decomposed that a gender determination could not be made. There was no microchip, or collar, on the dog’s body.

According to, another German shepherd was found in a ditch in Erin on February 25 – that dog, a female, was wrapped in garbage bags. Like the dog found in Mulmur, there was no identification on the deceased dog’s body.

“Our investigation at this time is to find out if this was an act of animal cruelty,” says Alison Green, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “We are asking anyone who may have witnessed anything unusual in that area to come forward.” The Ontario SPCA has requested that any helpful information be called in to 310-SPCA (7722) immediately.

(Image screenshot via

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario’s Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario’s first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.



Owner arrested for dragging German shepherd with scooter caught on video

In Mission, Texas, a man faces animal cruelty charges after a video surfaced on social media of him dragging a German shepherd behind a motorized scooter he was driving. Mario Cardona stated on the video the dog belonged to him and for people not to worry after a witness told him to stop.Mario Cardona drags dog 2

According to the Valley Central News, Lt. Jody Tittle, with the Mission Police Department, stated the incident was reported on Wednesday after a witness spotted Cardona dragging the German shepherd behind his scooter for approximately a block:

“I turn around. I see him dragging his dog from the middle of street all the way to second drive way. I’m out of my car yelling at him, asking him ‘what are you doing? What’s wrong with you?’ And he just keeps telling me to mind my own business,” stated his neighbor Melissa Torres. “It’s his dog and he can do whatever he wants.”

Multiple calls about the disturbing incident flooded into the police department. Cardona, 59, was  arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Bond was set at $10,000. The dog is currently being cared for at Animal Control and is reported to be doing fine although she suffered minor lacerations and bruises.

The video can be viewed here.

(Photos of owner arrested for dragging German shepherd freeze shots of video.)

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Cruel owner caught on video abusing his puppy avoids jail

Cruel owner Dariusz Jakimowicz has been banned from owning any animals for the next five years after he was caught on video brutally beating his German shepherd in the body and face. Jakimowicz, 36, appeared at Luton Magistrate’s Court late last week in Luton, United Kingdom and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by physical abuse and blunt force trauma.Dariusz jakimowicz 2

The disturbing cruelty was captured on a video made by his neighbor from a next door bedroom window. According to the Mirror,  Jakimowicz, the father of two young daughters, admitted beating the pup named Zeus last summer. The video showed him punching the dog at least ten times in the body and face on just one occasion. At another time, he hit the puppy with a metal rod as the dog “yelped” in agony. Neighbors described hearing the dog “screaming” in pain almost daily.

In court, the investigating RSPCA inspector testified:

“He was punching Zeus so hard that he was shaking and rubbing his fist afterwards because it hurt his hand. He admitted in interview that he did this because he lost his temper. Thankfully Zeus wasn’t left with any long-lasting injuries from this incident.”

The neighbor who videoed the disturbing events then described to the court what she saw:

“I was in my bedroom, and I heard a dog crying. I went to the bedroom window and saw a man I know to be my neighbor… I could see the man holding the dog by the scruff of his neck, and I saw him hit the dog in the body area and punch him with clenched fists. The male punched the dog 10 to 15 times. The dog responded by crying out; he wasn’t fighting back. We could hear the dog crying out on an almost daily basis.”

It wasn’t until the neighbor could finally capture the abuse on video that charges were filed. Before that, Jakimowicz denied all allegations and stated his neighbors were all just jealous of him owning the puppy.  Jakimowicz  told authorities he would discipline the dog using folded up newspaper, but didn’t think that was animal cruelty. When shown the video however, his story changed, and he offered the explanation the dog had chewed the fence, and he became “very angry.” According to the Daily Mail,  Jakimowicz has since expressed remorse and said “if he could go back and change things, he would not have done it.”

Jakimowicz also made the six-month-old puppy wear a pinch collar while walking on a leash. The contraption, described as a “medieval-looking training device” pinches the dog’s skin if they pull on the leash and is not a recommended training method for any dog – especially a puppy. Zeus is now a year old and is described by the RSPCA, where he remains in their care, as the “Brad Pitt of the German shepherd world.”

A jail sentence for 12 weeks was suspended for a year. In addition to the ban on owning or caring for any pets,  Jakimowicz must also perform 100 hours of volunteer work and pay all court costs.

(Photos of cruel owner beating German shepherd puppy screenshots via the Mirror)

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Abused dog destined to be adopted by trooper who found him passes away

In Dublin County, North Carolina, a terribly neglected German shepherd destined to be adopted by the state trooper who rescued him in the middle of a road less than a week ago, passed away on Friday evening. On the Facebook page of the Pet Friends of Duplin County came the sad announcement regarding the abused dog:

“It is with great sadness that we let you know, Duck passed away during the night. It has been a very difficult day for everyone who fell in love with this unbelievable sweet dog. The shelter has vowed to get justice for Duck.”duck the german shepherd 2

According to news station Wcti12, State Trooper Justin Gardner found the starved German Shepherd on a bridge on Sarecta Road outside of Kenansville and brought him to animal services for help. Staff members at the shelter immediately began to treat the starving 37-pound dog, dubbed Duck and described his injuries as one of the worst cases of animal neglect and cruelty they had ever seen. Chances are the dog had been confined to a cage for an extended period of time – so much so his growth appeared to have been stunted. When found, the young dog’s feet were swollen and blistered from standing in his own feces and urine.

Trooper Gardner had fallen in love with Duck and had planned to adopt him. Sadly, that was not to happen. Animal services are looking for the person responsible for abusing Duck. Anyone with information is asked to call (910).296.2159. Help Duck find justice.

Photos of abused dog Duck courtesy of Pet Friends of Duplin County.

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Heartbreaking plea to help German shepherd ‘Raquel’ with arthritis

In an urgent message on social media, a plea to help  Raquel, an eight-year-old  German shepherd find her way into the arms of an approved rescue organization in Miami, Florida, is quickly garnering attention from animal advocates. According to notes posted by Facebook advocacy group, Urgent Dogs of Miami,  Raquel has severe arthritis, yet despite the pain veterinarians state she must be feeling, anyone who has met her sings her praises as to her sweet disposition with no signs of aggression.jani-bradford

Carried in on a sling, after having been found as a stray, Raquel is reported to have been adopted from Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center years ago. And now, at a time where she needs her family the most, the heartbreaking situation begs for a call to action:jani-bradford-3

 “This precious senior girl named RAQUEL, A1069118 arrived at the shelter yesterday and had to be carried in a blanket hammock because she is unable to walk due to arthritis. We don’t have any information on where or how this baby was found, but judging from her low ID number, she was adopted from the shelter as a pup and now finds herself back here again. There is nothing more heart- wrenching than a senior who ends up at a kill shelter when he or she needs their family the most. This poor girl should be curled up in a comfy bed being loved by her family, not fighting for her life in a crowded shelter.”

Follow Raquel’s Pet Harbor listing here. (A1069118) I am a spayed female black brindle German Shepherd Dog. The shelter staff think I am about 8 years old and I weigh 54 pounds. I was found as a stray and I may be available for adoption on 01/07/2017. A Facebook page to follow this dog’s plight can be found by clicking here. Initial veterinary reports indicate Raquel’s heart, eyes, ears and general health are within normal range. If her owner does not show up, she will need immediate rescue.

Share Raquel’s plight with approved rescue organizations, friends, family and social media contacts. Sharing saves lives.

(Photos and video of Raquel by Urgent Dogs of Miami and Jani Bradford)

Check out her intake video.

Worried and confused: Help Calvin find his new life

Handsome seven-year-old German shepherd Calvin appears to be very worried and confused. Just days ago, he had been home with everything familiar – his bed, his toys and his family. And then it happened. Calvin jumped into the car and thought he was going for an afternoon ride. Sadly, the ride was only to be one way. Calvin was surrendered on December 17 to the Downey Animal Care Center in California.calvin-the-gs2

Animal advocate and shelter volunteer Desi Lara met Calvin on Sunday and had hoped to take him out into the play area for some sunshine and fun. Unfortunately the rain canceled their plans, but Desi provides us with more information as to this sweet dog’s soul:

“His large snout, his questioning eyebrows with these big brown eyes and a white frosty muzzle, just killed me, he ‘gots’ such a great face. He was sweet and easy in the kennel, hoping for a sunny day to take him out. His parents relinquished him and so now he needs new forever parents, who will give him a life time of love. Please post, tag and share him.”

Share Calvin’s plight with approved rescue organizations, friends, family and social media contacts. Sharing saves lives. This gorgeous senior deserves better, and surely there is someone to foster him until his “forever” family is found.  Follow his Facebook here. For more information, contact the Downey Animal Shelter located at 11258 Garfield Avenue, Downey, California 90242. Phone: (562) 940-6898.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook. Here’s hoping to start this dog’s year with a loving home. Please help.

Photos by Desi Lara.

Video of German shepherd being abused unsubstantiated

At the Bay Parc Plaza on North Bayshore Drive in Miami, a concerned citizen has expressed her concern about the safety and welfare of a German shepherd who allegedly has been kept outdoors on the balcony day and night regardless of the weather.  Reports have been made to the Miami Police Department as well Miami-Dade Animal Services after a witness claimed to have seen the dog being abused as his owner punched and struck him several times on the balcony of the 16th floor apartment.

On Wednesday evening, a video recorded one week ago was posted to social media showing a woman cleaning the patio after the dog most likely urinated or defecated.  The woman appears to be striking the dog or lowering his face into the spot where he urinated; a slight yelp can be heard.

After hundreds of phone calls to Animal Services and to Chief Assistant Kathleen Hoague, at the Miami-Dade State Attorney General’s Office, the following response arrived via email on Friday from media relations representative Terry Chavez, stating there was insufficient evidence to charge the German shepherd’s owner with animal cruelty:

“In consultation with Miami-Dade Animal Services asking for our legal opinion on this case, we advised Animal Services that there was no medical evidence that an animal cruelty crime had been committed. We had two of our finest prosecutors review the video, which is the only evidentiary item submitted, which depicted the following: a view from an opposing building’s window of the balconies of the neighboring apartments. On one of the balconies, there appears a woman and a dog. The woman appears to be cleaning up a mess left by the dog with a paper towel. At one point it appears that the woman makes contact with the dog, but it is impossible to tell the degree of force utilized. The woman at one time also seems to have the dog lie down on its belly and again makes contact with the dog, but it is impossible to tell the degree of force utilized. The videographer remarks that the woman is having the dog eat the feces, but that is impossible to determine definitively in the video.”

The email continues with an explanation of the applicable statute relating to animal cruelty; misdemeanor, F.S. §828.12(1) and continues to provide further information stating Animal Control personally visited the owner and observed the dog’s physical and emotional condition:

“The video does not provide sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the statute beyond and to exclusion of every reasonable doubt. Without audible yelps, visual depiction of the degree of force utilized to make contact with the dog or other indisputable indication, pain and suffering, from the video submitted, it is impossible to prove beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. Further undermining any criminal action is the fact that Animal Control visited the dog and the owner and examined the dog in question. The dog was not underweight or otherwise appear to be neglected. The dog had no injuries and responded appropriately, did not cower and was familiar with the occupants of the house. The dog was in good shape and there was no evidence of injury or neglect such that the dog suffered injury or death.”

Although the Attorney General’s Office agrees the behavior exhibited by the dog owner may not be advisable and is in no way condoned, there is insufficient evidence as per the law for an animal cruelty charge. The video can be viewed below. What do you think? Photos and video of German shepherd being abused  via Lenka Herejkova.

The video can be viewed here:


Dumped shepherd and puppy tried to come home: Owner locked the door instead

A purebred German shepherd and her bonded four-month-old puppy pal were no longer wanted. One day their owner opened up the door in their Dallas, Texas home and shooed them both away. Artessa and Allie really didn’t want to leave, and so they came home. And then their owner locked the door; the dumped shepherd and his little pal were yesterday’s trash.artessa-and-allie

The two roamed the lonely streets alone, but Artessa was always there to keep puppy Allie safe, and for weeks the two struggled to find food and stay warm. When a Good Samaritan came along, she was able to find the two a home. All was thought to be going along quite well for Artessa and Allie, but again they were failed when their newest owner booted the previously dumped shepherd and her pal out the door. Once again the two had to fend for themselves.

Fortunately, the Good Samaritan who rescued the two originally, had been alerted to their heartbreaking situation and contacted Rescue Dogs Rock NYC for help. If ever two dogs needed a change of direction  aimed towards some good fortune, it was to be now.

“We were called and asked if we could rescue them and ensure that we change their lives finally for the better … giving them the stability and security they need. They are already on transport to NY as we post this and arrive tomorrow. Right now we believe they are bonded,” stated Stacey Silverstein, co founder of the rescue organization.

Artessa is a one- year-old purebred German Shepherd. She is dog, cat and child friendly. Allie is a four-month-old hound dog mix. Both are healthy and available for adoption as soon as possible. Anyone interested is asked to apply here.

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(Photos courtesy of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC)

Zuzu, shepherd rejected by owner at shelter has been rescued

A German shepherd mix, who escaped from her backyard and was brought to the Downey Animal Care Shelter in California will have a wonderful new life; the  shelter named her Zuzu after the little girl in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”zuzu-the-dog-3

When brought into the shelter, the staff believed Zuzu was a stray – that is until the two-year-old rushed to the fence of the shelter’s play yard when she spotted her “family.” At that moment the people began to talk to her and petted the top of the pup’s head through the fence.zuzu-the-dog
“With her fast wagging tail seeing her owners, Zuzu lit up like a Christmas tree. She looked like the happiest dog. Yea, she’s going home! But no! Talking to her owners, they told me they were not here to reclaim her; they were getting another dog,” posted volunteer Desi Lara on Facebook as she videoed the heart wrenching scene.
The family no longer wanted Zuzu – she was just too sad.
“Zuzu’s father, another German shepherd had just passed away and Zuzu was crying and heartbroken. She escaped her family’s yard and hopped the wall and got into her neighbor’s yard. The unhappy neighbor called Animal Control, and her owners were going to let her stay there. Their reason? Because she was crying and sad since her father passed away. She was not a happy dog anymore.”
When animal advocate. Sal Valdepena reached out to the Pet Rescue Report to help Zuzu find a new home, it didn’t take long before her story went viral.  And although there has been much criticism against the shelter, it is important to remember the dog came in as a stray.  It has not been verified if the family adopted another dog. Because of  sharing  Zuzu’s plight, she will be leaving Friday to an approved California rescue, Pet Adoption Fund, where she will receive all the love and attention she may have missed.
Previous video and story here.
(Photos of Zuzu via Facebook)
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