Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The heat is on! Protect your pet!!!

Summer heat, the very thing that draws us outdoors, can be very dangerous to our pets. The following tips are important for enjoying the sunshine with the ones we love. Exercise and Hot Weather Unlike humans, dogs only dispell heat through their paws and via panting. It is important to limit exposure to daytime heat during the summer. Long excursions should be limited to the early morning and evening hours. Midday outings should be of shorter lengths. All outings should be accompanied with plenty of rest stops in shady areas and water for your pet. All outings should be scheduled prior to meals. Most dog supply and camping outfitters carry collapsible bowls that are easy to transport. This and a thermos of cool water are a must during the hot summer months. Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. On really hot days, avoid pavement and sand, which absorb the heat and can overheat the dog and burn their pads. Limit walks to shady areas preferably grassy. Dogs that are shaved or have shorter coats can be sunburned and may need a sunscreen. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems. In nice weather you may be tempted to take your pet with you in the car while you travel or do errands. But during warm weather, the inside of your car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes, even if you're parked in the shade. This can mean real trouble for your companion animals left in the car. Dogs and cats can't perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Pets who are left in hot cars even briefly can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, and can even die. Don't think that just because you'll be gone "just a minute" that your pet will be safe while you're gone; even an air conditioned car with the motor off isn't healthy for your pet. To avoid any chance that your pet will succumb to the heat of a car this summer, be sure to play it safe by leaving your pet cool and refreshed at home while you're on the road. And if you do happen to see a pet in a car alone during the hot summer months, alert the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police department immediately. Heat Stroke In summer heat your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions are very serious and could cause your pet to die. You should be aware of the signs of heat stress, which could include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet does become overheated, you need to immediately lower his body temperature. Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over his body to gradually lower his core body temperature. Apply cold towels or ice packs to your pet's head, neck, and chest only. Let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. Most importantly, get him to a veterinarian immediately. Outdoor Parties and Festivals Don't take your pets to crowded summer events such as concerts or fairs. The loud noises and crowds, combined with the heat, can be stressful and dangerous for pets. For your pet's well being, leave her at home. Be especially aware of these threats during holidays, such as the Fourth of July. Fleas and Ticks Another summertime threat is fleas and ticks. Use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter flea and tick products can be toxic, even when used according to instructions. Lawns and Flowers Summer is often a time when people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens. But beware: Plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals. People, Children and Other Dogs You have the Stepford dog...congratulations!!! Your dog loves all people, all children and all other dogs. He never walks into a street or goes more than five feet in front of you. That's great...kudos to you as an owner and trainer. But, what about the dog that's off leash at the house you are about to pass? What about the extremely aggressive dog that is preparing to break through the restraining fence he is behind? What about the group of kids who are preparing to throw fire crackers under his belly? Are you and your dog prepared for that? The summer months double the challenges for even the best socialized dog. Avoid the challenge and keep your dog restrained.

Man sought in dog-fighting operation

16 caged pit bulls found in Beach Park basement May 24, 2007 By JIM NEWTON jnewton@scn1.com BEACH PARK -- The nondescript house on the 12700 block of Chaplin Street had attracted the attention of neighbors because crowds would gather on certain nights, with cars sporting "fancy rims" lining the street. What neighbors on the block didn't know was that the house was allegedly being used as a major dog-fighting hub. When Lake County Sheriff's deputies entered the residence earlier this month with a search warrant following a routine well-being check, the inside of the home spoke volumes. A foul odor emanated from the door of the house, and things got worse inside. In the basement, police found 16 pit bulls in cages without food or water. The dogs were covered with cuts and scars, and blood was spattered on the walls. A fighting ring and spectator seats were also set up in the basement, according to Sgt. Timothy Jonites of the sheriff's office. "It was a large-scale, professional dog-fighting operation, one of the largest I've ever heard of or seen," Jonites said. A felony arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Anthony L. Brown, 24, who officials said had been renting the house. Brown is wanted on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 4 felony, dog fighting, a Class 3 felony, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. The last charge was based on the discovery by officers of a loaded handgun in the house. Brown was previously convicted on charges of aggravated battery with a weapon in Grayslake, and there is evidence that he is a gang member, Jonites said. Brown is described as about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the sheriff's department at (847) 549-5200. Officials said he should be considered armed and dangerous. Entire story here.

Court: Menu Foods harassed pet owners

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY The pet food company that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners who had lawyers and said they didn't want to talk, even after a judge ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show. Lawyers from six firms representing clients who claim their pets were harmed by Menu's pet food asked a federal judge in New Jersey Wednesday to stop Menu from "bullying" people who had called the company since the recall was announced March 16, according to their court filing. U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in Camden, N.J., agreed with the plaintiffs, describing the calls as "aggressive," according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by USA TODAY. "It's one thing for two people to sit down at the table and voluntarily agree to settle their case. It's another thing to harass people on weekends through automated phone calls," Hillman said to Edward Ruff of Pretzel & Stouffer, Menu's lawyer. Read entire story here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chicago dangerous dog laws updated

Chicago has finally updated dangerous dog legislation with stiffer penalties for dog fighting and owners of dangerous dogs who fail to follow through on their obligations. Dangerous dog laws get a makeover A new ordinance designed to increase penalties for guardians of dangerous dogs went into effect April 11. The old law stated that people with dangerous dogs who failed to take measures, such as purchasing insurance, posting warning signs, and surrendering the dog to the city after a bite incident, could be charged with a small fine, of between $100 and $300. The new proposal includes fines up to $5,000 for anyone found guilty of animal cruelty or animal fighting. It also includes a $1,000 fine and jail time up to six months for those who fail to comply in dangerous dog investigations. Finally, it requires microchipping for any dog or cat that is impounded as a stray, removed for neglect, or for dangerous animal or cruelty investigation and requires that a responsible adult control any animal declared dangerous. Full story here. Chicago Municiple Code 7-12-050 Dangerous animals--Determination and requirements. The executive director shall have the authority to make a determination that an animal is a dangerous animal, as defined in Section 7-12-020, and to order the owner to comply with any of the measures set forth below for the protection of public health, safety and welfare. (a) Upon receipt of a citizen complaint or other report of an animal bite, attack, threatening behavior, or other reason to believe an animal may be a dangerous animal, the executive director or an animal control officer shall evaluate the seriousness of the complaint or report and, if the circumstances warrant, may conduct an investigation of the facts. Where practicable and readily located, the investigation shall include interviewing the complainant, the victim, if any, the animal's owner, and any witnesses, and observation of the animal and the scene. The investigator then shall make a written finding of whether an animal is a dangerous animal as defined in Section 7-12-020 and of the basis for that finding. In addition, if during the course of the investigation, the investigator uncovers evidence of inhumane treatment of any animal in violation of Section 7-12-090, he or she shall make a written finding of the specific violation and forward such to the executive director. For purposes of this section, a police report may constitute an investigation and may include a finding of dangerousness. Based upon the investigator's finding of a dangerous animal, the executive director shall declare in writing whether the animal is a dangerous animal. (b) Where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal, and the animal has caused severe injury to any person, then the executive director may order the humane destruction of the animal, where appropriate, taking into consideration the severity and the circumstances of injury. Where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal, and the animal has caused death to any person, then the executive director shall order the humane destruction of the animal. (c) In all cases where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal and the animal is not humanely destroyed, the executive director shall order the owner to comply with the following requirements: (1) While on the owner's property, the owner must securely confine the dangerous animal indoors or within a securely enclosed and locked pen, structure, or fence, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen, structure, or fence must be a minimum of six feet in height and must have secure sides. If it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than two feet deep. The enclosure also must be humane and provide some protection from the elements for the animal. (2) While off of the owner's property, a dangerous animal must be muzzled securely to prevent the possibility of biting, restrained by a substantial chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length, and under the control of a responsible person at all times. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal or impair its vision or respiration but must prevent it from biting any person or animal. (3) The owner must display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on the owner's premises warning that a dangerous animal is on the premises by stating in capital letters: "Warning--Dangerous Animal--Keep Away." The sign must be visible and legible from the public way and from 50 feet away from the special enclosure required pursuant to subsection (c)(1) above. (4) The owner, at the owner's expense, shall have an identifying microchip installed under the animal's skin by a veterinarian authorized by the executive director. (5) The animal shall be spayed or neutered, at the owner's expense. (6) Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the owner must procure and maintain in effect liability insurance, including coverage of claims arising from the conduct of the owner's animal, in an amount not less than $100,000.00. The insurance shall include a provision whereby the insurer notifies the executive director not less than 30 days prior to cancellation or lapse of coverage. In addition, the executive director may order the owner to comply with any of the following requirements, in any combination: (7) The owner must confine the dangerous animal to the secure enclosure described above in subsection (c)(1) at all times and only allow the animal out under the conditions set forth in subsection (c)(2) when it is necessary to obtain veterinary care for the animal or to comply with a court order. (8) The owner and the animal must complete a course of animal obedience training approved by the commission. In the alternative to (1)--(8) above, the executive director may order that the dangerous animal shall be permanently barred from the city limits. (d) Where the owner's address can be reasonably ascertained, the executive director shall send written notice to the owner, by certified mail, stating that his or her animal has been declared a dangerous animal, describing the basis for such declaration by specific behavior and date(s) of occurrence, setting forth all applicable orders and restrictions imposed reason of such declaration, and informing the owner of his or her right to appeal such determination by filing a written request for a hearing within seven days of receipt of the notice. A copy of such notice shall be sent to the complainant, if any. Where the animal has been impounded pursuant to subsection (f) below, such notice shall be sent within 15 days after such impoundment. (e) If the owner requests a hearing, the executive director, if the department of administrative hearings has not exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, or the department of administrative hearings, if the office has exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, shall appoint an administrative law officer who shall hold a hearing, at which all interested parties may present testimony and any other relevant evidence, within 15 days of the request. The hearing shall be taped or recorded by other appropriate means. If the administrative law officer upholds the executive director's determination that the animal is dangerous, the owner shall have 30 days to satisfy all requirements set out in subsection (c) and the notice. In those cases where the executive director has ordered humane destruction of the dangerous animal, that order shall not be carried out until seven days after the hearing; if the owner appeals to the circuit court during that time period, that order shall be stayed until resolution of such appeal. (f) Where there is probable cause to believe that an animal is a dangerous animal, the executive director or his designee is authorized to impound and hold such animal, at the owner's expense, pending the investigation and final resolution of any appeals. Where the animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, the executive director or his designee is required to impound and hold such animal, at the owner's expense, pending the investigation and final resolution of any appeals. Moreover, in no event shall a dangerous animal be released to its owner before the executive director or his designee approves the enclosure required by subsection (c)(1). The holding period and impoundment procedures for animals of unknown ownership shall be governed by Section 7-12-060. (g) Guard dogs and dogs which have been found to be "vicious dogs" under state law, both of which are defined in Section 7-12-020 above as dangerous animals, automatically are required to comply with the requirements of Section 7-12-050(c)(1)--(3) without the need for any individualized declaration or the right to any hearing, except that, to the extent an owner disputes the fact that his or her animal is used as a guard dog by a commercial venture, in such instances the protections set forth above shall apply. (Added Coun. J. 10-2-95, p. 8604; Amend Coun. J. 7-10-96, p. 24983; Amend Coun. J. 11-12-97, p. 56814; Amend Coun. J. 4-29-98, p. 66565; Amend Coun. J. 10-31-01, p. 71774, § 2) 7-12-051 Dangerous animals--Violations. (a) Any owner who fails to comply with any of the requirements of Section 7-12-050(c) and any additional orders of the executive director as authorized by that subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00 for the first offense, and not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for the second offense. Any subsequent offenses shall be punished as a misdemeanor by incarceration for a term not to exceed six months. In addition to the penalties set forth above, the executive director may order an owner who violates Section 7-12-050(c) to attend with his or her animal a course of animal obedience training approved by the commission. (b) Any animal which has been declared a dangerous animal and which (1) is seen outside and not confined within the enclosure required by Section 7-12-050(c)(1), and not muzzled and under control as required by Section 7-12-050(c)(2), or (2) thereafter attacks or injures a person or domestic animal, may be impounded by an animal control officer or a police officer, at the owner's expense, and the executive director may order the owner to comply with any of the alternatives set forth in Section 7-12-050(b) and (c), including humane destruction of the animal. The owner shall be entitled to notice and an opportunity for a hearing in the same manner as provided in Section 7-12-050(d) and (e) above. (Added Coun. J. 10-2-95, p. 8604) 7-12-052 Dangerous animals--Miscellaneous. (a) Every owner of a dangerous animal shall allow inspection of the required enclosure by the executive director or his designee. (b) All dangerous animals as defined in this chapter are hereby declared to be a public nuisance; provided that they are lawful if maintained in strict compliance with the requirements set out in Section 7-12-050(c). (c) The executive director and/or the commission are hereby authorized to enact regulations governing dangerous animals as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public. (d) Where an animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, but it is not found to be a dangerous animal on the grounds that the attack was provoked, the executive director shall advise the owner to comply with the safety measures set forth in Section 7-12-050(c) in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Many people have no idea such legislation exists, much less how to request a dangerous dog investigation. Two years ago, when my client's dog was killed by an off leash male pit bull, I did not know the proceedure. It took many phone calls to the Chicago Police Department, Animal Care and Control and the Dog Advisory Work Group to get answers. Here are the answers. In the case of a mauling or death of a human, a dangerous dog investigation will immediately be initiated. However, the mauling or death of an animal will not trigger the same investigation unless it is requested. After any reported dog bite, Animal Care and Control will mail an affidavit for you to fill out. It is a one page form that states the details and the whereabouts of the occurance. Fill it out. To it, attach a personal testimonial of the occurence and specifically ask that animal care and control follow through with a dangerous dog investigation. Attach to this testimonial, pictures of the wounds inflicted, doctors reports and medical bills. If there were witnesses who are willing to attach statements, add those as well. Crucial to the testimony needs to be the voracity of the attack, was the attack on public or private property and whether the attack was provoked. Also important to this information is the presence and attitude of the owner. There will be two court trials, both at the city court on Superior. One to determine if the incident happened. One to determine if the dog will or will not be deemed dangerous, once Animal Care and Control deem the dog should be classified as a dangerous dog. If a dog is deemed dangerous, the owner must follow through with the demands of the court. However, at fines between $100 and $300 and the knowledge that Animal Care and Control cannot stay on top of every owner's compliance, they often do not follow through. I would like to see even stricter penalties in place. I rode by 2532 West Estes yesterday to check on the home of the owner of the pit bull who killed my clients dog. No signage was posted on her property. I have two conclusions I can derive. One, she got rid of the dog or put him down. Two, she is not in compliance. The other interesting detail was her tenant, who testified to the nature of the animal in court, has moved and she has a for rent sign on her property. Could the dog have hurt the tenants children? Believe me, I intend to report her and find out!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Animal Care and Control Will Offer Free Spaying and Neutering

CHICAGO PET OWNERS: Free Spaying, Neutering Of Cats, Dogs Offered The Chicago Department of Animal Care and Control is offering free spaying and neutering of cats and dogs once a month beginning July 31. The program will offer the services for pets of residents in a different city ward each month. The program is aimed at decreasing unwanted pet population. Pet owners will have to prove residency and Chicago wards with the highest number of stray-animal calls will be targeted first.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My letter to Mr. Durbin

Dear Mr. Durbin, Thank you so much for your focus and sense of urgency when it comes to pet food safety. As an owner of three dogs and an owner of a pet care business, I take pet nutrition very seriously. I am very thankful for the steps you have taken to ensure the health and well being of the four footed creatures we love so much. However, if I may suggest, I would like to see you take the following steps. There is a dire need for stricter laws regulating the labeling of pet food. Currently, a dog or cat food can label itself as a lamb and rice diet, even if those ingredient aren't prominent by weight. Take for example Pedigree lamb and rice formula. I had a client purchase this for a dog that was diagnosed as allergic by her vet. The vet suggested steering clear of beef and chicken. My client bought this product believing that lamb was the only meat source. Hardly so. Corn is the primary ingredient by weight, followed by chicken. Lamb and rice were by weight, if memory serves correctly, 6th and 7th on the list by weight. This is very misleading to consumers and can cause serious consequences in the case of serious allergies. Secondly, I would strongly encourage you to lobby that pet food manufacturers must; in addition to ingredient lists, which are currently listed by weight, offer nutritional facts to the consumer which would include by percentage protein, carbohydrates, sodium, minerals and calories. This would enable consumers to make enformed decisions. I would further request that both the FDA and pet food manufacterers be required to post, preferably on the package, an explanation of what some of the ingredients are. By product meal, digest and the like mean nothing to the average consumer. If they knew what these terms actually meant, they might think twice. There have been cases where common commercial dog foods have been sprayed kibble, after extrusion, with drugs commonly used in anethesia for human and animal surgery. The reason simply, it tastes sweet to the dog. Well so does anti freeze, but I would balk before I fed that to one of my dear ones. Again thank you for the steps you have taken and hope you will consider taking further steps in protecting pets and their humans. Sincerely, Margot Hackett Please take the time to contact Senator Durbin with your concerns. He certainly seems to be four foot friendly!!!!

Senator Durbin asks for overhaul of the FDA

Dear Margot, Thank you so much for your support of my efforts in Congress to clean up the food supply. I know how important this issue is to you -- for companion animals and humans alike -- and your strong support is clearly making a difference in Washington. Last week, the Senate passed important legislation to overhaul the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As part of that bill, the Senate agreed to an amendment I offered to address many of the food safety problems that have become all too apparent over these past few weeks. My amendment will do several important things: Create an early warning system for all food products -- including pet food -- so we can identify potential food contamination problems much earlier and provide accessible product recall lists directly on the FDA website Establish uniform standards, inspection processes, and better labeling of pet food -- replacing today's voluntary guidelines that manufacturers and individual states can choose to ignore Improve the FDA's ability to regulate imported food products -- to deal with problems like the recent contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein shipments from China The new FDA legislation will make a difference -- but equally important is continuing to push the FDA to take their responsibility as guardians of our food supply seriously. That's why I hope you'll invite your friends and family to join you, me, and thousands of other Americans, urging the FDA to step up their vigilance of our food supply -- for companion animals and humans alike. Thank you so much for your continued support on this critical issue! Sincerely, Dick Durbin U.S. Senator Blogmaster notes: When you visit this website and send in your plea, please also contact Mr. Durbin and beg him to ask for stricter labeling and ingredient listing criteria. Currently, a dog food may market itself as a lamb and rice formula even though it's first two ingredients by weight are chicken and corn. Also demand that dog food manufacturers provide exact percentages of protein, grain and other contents, rather than listing ingredients by weight prior to processing. Why? A pound of chicken is considerably less going into processing than a pound of rice, corn or oats. Listing ingredients is important, but I also want to know the total percentage of protein, grain, vegetables and filler in the finished product. This is how I make an informed decision as to what my dog eats. This is why I will not buy commercial dog food. I have no clue what I'm getting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Royal Canin adds to growing recall list

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- St. Charles, Missouri -- May 11, 2007 -- Royal Canin USA is announcing today the voluntary nationwide recall of eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products. This announcement is based on the company's ongoing extensive review of its manufacturing and quality assurance testing procedures, which identified trace amounts of a melamine derivative from tainted Chinese rice protein concentrate provided to the company by domestic ingredient supplier Cereal Byproducts, headquartered in Illinois. "We deeply regret the concern and anxiety this announcement today will cause our loyal customers and the entire pet community," Olivier Amice, President and CEO of Royal Canin USA, said. "While a very limited number of Sensible Choice and Kasco products in this recall tested positive for trace levels of a melamine derivative, Royal Canin USA is voluntarily withdrawing these products out of an abundance of caution and because we are fully committed to the welfare of our customers' pets." Royal Canin USA has no confirmed cases of melamine related illness in pets eating Sensible Choice and Kasco products affected by this recall. Last month, Royal Canin USA announced it will no longer use any Chinese vegetable protein suppliers. The following eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products with date codes between July 28, 2006 to April 30, 2007 are being voluntarily recalled: SENSIBLE CHOICE® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide) SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Adult (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® Lamb and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Puppy (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Adult (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Senior (Dry Dog Food) SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Puppy (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide) KASCO® Chunks (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Hi Energy (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Maintenance (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Mealettes (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Mini Chunks (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Puppy (Dry Dog Food) KASCO® Cat (Dry Cat Food) Based on today's announcement, pet owners should stop feeding their pets the eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products, seven Kasco dry dog and dry cat food products listed. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they are concerned about the health of their pet. The safety and nutritional quality of Royal Canin USA pet food is our company's top priority because we understand that the health of pets comes first. Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of Sensible Choice and Kasco dry pet food products and other Royal Canin USA products should call 1-800-513-0041 or visit our web site at www.royalcanin.us. All Sensible Choice and Kasco products have a satisfaction guarantee and the company will refund or replace the diets that are part of this recall announcement.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Training does not include terror

This is a very frightening story The Reader uncovered about a Chicago Dog Trainer. Read on: DRIVING HOME FROM Skinner Park in the West Loop early last June, Greg Cumber heard a sound that made him abruptly pull over. “It was the sound of an animal getting hit by a car, or like a child’s shriek,” he says. Looking around, he located the source of the cry—a small Newfoundland dog being led around the park by a tall African-American woman with a large remote control in one hand. Cumber, who had just been playing in the park with his German shepherd, Chloe, recognized it as the remote for an electronic training collar. He says what he saw sent shivers down his spine. “She was zapping it every few seconds. It kept kicking at the collar with its hind legs, making that noise over and over again.” He watched for a few more minutes, then drove away, dazed. “I couldn’t sleep that night,” he says. “I couldn’t get that sound out of my head. I’m just a normal guy—I’m no crusader or anything. But I knew I had to do something about what I saw.” Read the rest of the story here