IMPORTANT WARNINGS & INFORMATION FOR ANIMAL OWNERS
NEW POISON CONTROL HOTLINE FOR ANIMALS
This phone number will connect you with an ASPCA veterinarian specially trained to assist pet owners or other vets.This is the only dedicated animal poison control hotline in the world manned by veterinarians, not telephone operators, STAFFED 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week!
Plug-in cure for dogs' firework fear
Fireworks can be an annual misery for dogs
terrified by the sound of fireworks are being offered help by a
Rising number of bomb threats forces agencies to increase canine forces
By ROBIN BROWN - Bear Bureau reporter Reach Robin Brown at 838-3189
09/28/2002Growing numbers of bomb threats after last September's terrorist attacks taxed the manpower and other resources of police agencies nationwide. In response, Delaware State Police, Wilmington police and Dover police all opted to train more of the dogs they already had to search for explosives. New Castle County police, however, bought four new dogs, tripling the size of the agency's K-9 bomb squad. Since then, the dogs and handlers have been trained and started work. On Sunday, they will be given bulletproof jackets and show off their skills during a demonstration at Newark's annual Community Day. County Police Chief Col. John L. Cunningham said the additional bomb dogs make the agency better equipped to respond to bomb threats and reports of suspicious packages or vehicles. Last October, the County Council unanimously approved spending nearly $55,000 to buy and train the dogs, train four members of the existing force as handlers and convert four vehicles into canine units. "They're a great investment," Cunningham said. With six bomb-detecting dogs instead of two, the team can conduct searches more quickly, respond to more than one emergency investigation site and make its resources more available to other law enforcement agencies, he said. For example, the team helped Wilmington police search the massive Elbert N. Carvel State Office Building and Louis L. Redding City/County Building after a bogus bomb threat Sept. 9th. Before Sept. 11, 2001, county police fielded only a couple of suspicious or bomb threat calls weekly. After the attacks, the number spiked to about 13 each day. Since then, such calls tapered to only slightly more than the pre-Sept. 11 level. But because the new dogs - like the original two German shepherds - are cross-trained for searching and patrol work, the squad now fields more than a dozen cases every week. "There's plenty of work for them to do," Cunningham said, "and they do it well." The new bomb dogs often are mistaken for German shepherds. "They're Belgian malinois," Cunningham said. "They look like German shepherds, but scruffy and thinner." The Belgians also like jumping and show more puppy-like energy than their German kin. The little-known breed - pronounced "MAL-ih-nwah" - is gaining popularity in law enforcement around the world because of its intelligence, aptitude for learning and ease of care, said Martha Doerner of the Wilmington Kennel Club. "Belgian malinois have much shorter hair than German shepherds - which makes their maintenance easier - and they're a lot friendlier than regular police dogs," she said. Club members used proceeds from their April dog show to buy bulletproof jackets for all the bomb dogs. Doerner said members are tickled that their public-service project link with the bomb squad will continue as dogs from the two groups appear together on Sunday.
The existing bomb specialists - Cpl. Phil Aufiero, his partner Zeke, Cpl. Kathy Rego and her partner Ryker - welcomed the new members. "We used to be on call 24-seven, so it's a lot better with them here," Rego said. New on the team are Cpl. Bernie Alimenti and Xena; Cpl. Fred Oehler and Zara; Officer James Fitzgerald and Tepke, and Officer Steven Purse and Tessa. The officers average 12 years on the force. Their dogs came from Holland through a law enforcement specialist who provided much of the teams' 13-week instruction. The officers, however, had to learn new languages to give their new partners commands. "All the dogs speak Dutch except mine," Alimenti said. "Xena speaks Hungarian."
New Castle County Police Cpl. Bernie Alimenti puts his dog Xena through its paces at the department's headquarters. The county tripled the size of its canine force to six to help cope with a rising number of bomb threats.
The News Journal/JENNIFER CORBETT
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Bomb-detection team demonstration WHERE: Evans Hall, The Green, University of Delaware WHEN: Sept. 29th, 2002, 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Newark Community Day. The 31st Annual Newark Community Day, a family-oriented event with free admission, will be 10AM to 5PM on The Green. Delaware Ave. will be closed between South College Ave. & Academy St.
Have dog tested for cause of epileptic seizures
3-year-old neutered male miniature poodle has recently been diagnosed
epileptic seizures. There is no history of epilepsy in his pedigree. My
veterinarian wants to put him through a lot of tests - are these
New Jersey's acting governor, Donald T. DiFrancesco signed Monday, August 27, 2001 a new law. This law provides as much as 18 month prison sentence for anyone convicted of abuseing an animal. Those conviected also face a $10,000 fine. This was brought about by the cruelty of Butch, a young male Rottweiler.
By Becky Worley, Tech Live - Originally posted July 5, 2002
On a hot summer's day it takes only minutes for a dog to die of heat exhaustion in a closed car. A vehicle with its windows rolled up left in an unshaded area in summer can heat up to nearly double the outside temperature within minutes. Tonight's "Tech Live" takes a look at a possible solution to the deadly problem. Police officer Michael Andrel in Darby Township Pennsylvania adores his partner. Yeager is a highly trained German shepherd who rides on patrol with Andrel. But Yeager doesn't leave the squad car for every call. Sometimes he has to stay in the back of the car, even on hot muggy East Coast summer days. That can be dangerous. But Andrel has a weapon to protect his partner -- a device called the Hotdog, a temperature monitor used in canine unit police cars. The sensor's thermometer measures air temperature inside the car. When it reaches 85 degrees, the horn of the vehicle begins to beep. How the Hotdog works. It's not just a warning device. Hotdog, which is manufactured by law enforcement equipment maker Criminalistics, is hooked into the car's electrical system. When temperatures reach 88 degrees inside the cruiser, the horn blares even more frequently, then a fan is activated near Yeager's cage and the windows are automatically rolled down. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees. A car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in minutes. For a dog, heatstroke death takes just 15 minutes. The Hotdog system has been used by Andrel and other canine units in Darby County during the past three years and now other police departments elsewhere are finding a need for the device. Tragic incident. Police in Pennsylvania say they think the Hotdog device could have saved Woodrow, a Philadelphia police dog with the K-9 unit who died last month when his handler accidentally left him in the car on a day when the temperature topped 85 degrees. As a result of the tragic death of Woodrow, a 5-year-old German shepherd, the Philadelphia Police Department is implementing the Hotdog system. All the units were donated by music publisher and Philadelphia philanthropist Kal Rudman. He is also donating two new dogs for the police department and another German shepherd to replace Woodrow. For every pooch. But the Hotdog is not just for police departments. It's available to purchase for $328. If you want one with a pager that alerts you to the car's temperature, the price is $598. You can buy the device at Criminalistics' website. The system is also available from the Ray Allen Manufacturing website for $309.95 ($524.95 for the pager model). To order, scroll down to the bottom of the page. If you can't afford the Hotdog, here are some analog tips for keeping your dog safe, courtesy of a Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine article distributed to canine officers: Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when an overheated dog's body temperature soars four to seven degrees above the normal range of 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to look for:
Brick-red oral membranes Weakness
Loss of coordination, or collapse
What to do:
Contact your veterinarian, who may direct you to begin cooling the dog yourself or to bring it to the clinic.
If you begin cooling your dog, use cool, not ice-cold, water & a fan to bring the dog's body temperature down to 103.
How to prevent heatstroke
Never leave a dog unattended in a car during warm weather.
Keep your dog inside on hot, humid days, particularly if the heat regulation mechanisms are compromised by age, heart, lung disease, or a pug nose. If you leave your dog outside, provide plenty of fresh water (with a backup supply if one bowl tips over) and access to shade at all times of day. Don't shave longhaired dogs in hot weather. Hair coats operate as air-filled buffers shielding the dog's skin from heat.
Fourth of July hoopla poses problem for pets with noise phobias.
By Abe Aamidor - firstname.lastname@example.org - July 02, 2002.
Amid the rockets' red glare and the bombs bursting in air this Independence Day, your pet may decide that, instead of celebrating, he'd rather be hyperventilating -- under the bed, in the upstairs bathroom or in a hall closet far from the madding crowd. "The Fourth of July is probably the most disliked day of the year, primarily for dogs," said Gary R. Sampson, a local veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior. Firecrackers, cap guns (real guns, sometimes) and general revelry and mayhem can drive dogs bonkers, says Sampson. Cats don't like it either, but they just leave. Part of the problem is that dogs have better hearing than humans, and not just at higher pitches. Breed, size and gender of dog don't matter -- some dogs are bothered by what they hear, while others are not. Thunderstorms also bother lots of pets. The most agitated animals may bolt and run into the street, or may even jump through glass, seriously injuring themselves. Technically, it's a noise phobia, because there is no real danger to dogs from firecrackers fired from a safe distance. Ditto for thunderstorms -- some dogs are startled and agitated by the crack of thunder and lightning high in the sky, but there is no real danger to the animal unless it's left out in the storm. Laurie Eshelman says her 7-year-old golden retriever mix, Scruffy, has had a noise phobia for the past three years, since he was startled by thunder while staying at an outdoor kennel. "My dog is paranoid, literally, of thunder," said Eshelman, who owns a medical claims and billing company locally. "If the door to the basement is open, and he hears thunder, he goes down there, even if it's dark." Scruffy also reacts badly to fireworks, but Eshelman has never sought treatment for the dog. Dr. Mona Gitter, a Noblesville veterinarian, says she gets requests from 50 to 100 owners a year who want her to prescribe sedatives for their pets, typically because of thunderstorms or Fourth of July noise-related issues. But she often tells owners that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. "If you can keep them in a quiet place and away from the fireworks, (the pets) don't react that badly," said Gitter. If you or your neighbors really must be boisterous on the Fourth, Gitter suggests placing your pet in an interior room in its cage for the duration of the celebration. It may help if you stay with the pet for a while, too. But she also says a little behavior modification never hurt. Dogs can be trained to laugh at the noise! Gitter, Sampson and other vets suggest desensitizing dogs and other pets to the noise from an early age by letting them get used to it. For example, you might tape-record an actual storm or firecrackers going off and play it back a low volume, then increase the volume later to acclimate the animal. You can just a fire off a cap gun from a considerable distance, then move closer in stages. As with any animal training, you may have to try these techniques several times. If all else fails, a veterinarian can prescribe a short-acting sedative to administer to the pet about an hour before the mayhem begins. Pet owners are cautioned not to use human sedatives or tranquilizers, though. It's not just pets that suffer from the Fourth of July or thunder. Jeff Proudfoot, senior veterinarian at the Indianapolis Zoo, says emus (large, ostrichlike birds), llamas and baby dolphins were startled by Labor Day fireworks last year. The llamas "darted about in their pen," said Proudfoot. The dolphins "sensed it and swam around the pool pretty fast." But thunderstorms? When some of the animals are grazing or playing in outdoor areas they often don't even want to come inside, he said.
Parting with your pet
Deciding when it's time for a beloved companion to die is a tough call.
By Abe Aamidor - email@example.com - July 28, 2002
Call Abe Aamidor at 1-317-444-6472.
The doctor and his assistant arrived at the Carmel home promptly at 8 a.m. He was dressed in a white lab coat and carrying a traditional wide-mouth leather bag. The family of four sat in the great room on a long couch with their sickly old cat Nexxus. Ari and Jennifer Gleckman, their 2-year-old son Ashton, and 7-year-old daughter Ariana, played with their Maine Coon mix cat. They hugged him and stroked him, and said their goodbyes. Ariana studied a poem she had written the night before. ". . . I was very happy when I saw Nexxus. But when I heard that he was going to be killed I was not happy. I cried. But there was nothing I could do. . . ," she had written. While assistant Gina Elliott held Nexxus still, Tim Howell, a veterinarian at the Cat Care Clinic, 9512 Haver Way, injected the cat with a lethal dose of phenobarbital. "First, they lose consciousness," said Howell. "They may lick their nose, then they go to sleep. It's not stressful at all to the cat." It took four seconds for Nexxus to die. Pet owners may wish their terminally ill or very old dogs and cats would gently go to sleep at night and simply not get up the next morning, but veterinarians say most owners will have to choose euthanasia. And vets acknowledge it will be one of the toughest decisions pet owners will ever have to make. It's not known how many cats and dogs undergo what is commonly called "compassionate euthanasia," but most of the estimated 115 million cats and dogs in the United States will not die naturally. They will be euthanized at some point in time. Theresa Luley, a Sheridan-based veterinarian who exclusively makes house calls, recalled a recent euthanasia for an 18-year-old sheltie mix. "She had a big tumor in her mouth, and the time finally came," said Luley. "When I got there the dog was out in the back yard under a tree and it was a beautiful day and the lady and her husband were home and she had a beautiful poem/prayer that she had written and she asked if she could read it before I gave the injection. By the time she was finished, I was crying, too." Several local veterinarians say they perform, on average, two or three euthanasia procedures weekly -- typically in their clinics. A spokesman for the Humane Society of Indianapolis, 7929 Michigan Road, says his organization performs 25 to 30 such procedures monthly. Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, 2600 Harding St., also accepts pets for compassionate euthanasia. The procedure is the same or similar at all facilities, typically involving a lethal injection of barbiturate. Costs vary, but the Humane Society charges $30 for the procedure and $30 for disposal of the remains. Howell said he would bill for less than $100 for his house call and the euthanasia, the Gleckmans chose to bury Nexxus on their property. Congestive heart disease, kidney failure and cancer are the leading reasons pets are put to sleep. Better veterinary care that has given many pets longer lives has increased the incidence of cancer in old age, vets say. The big question most owners have is how to know when it is time. "It's an agonizing choice," said Luley. "You don't want to wait too long, and you don't want to be premature." In general, when a pet stops being responsive to its environment or refuses to engage in any activities it used to enjoy, then it is time, vets say. "Sometimes it's real clear- cut," said Lisa Sponsler of The Broad Ripple Animal Clinic. "The animal is clearly in pain, and there's no treatment. Other times the illness is real gradual." The Gleckmans decided to euthanize Nexxus after moving to their new Carmel home two months ago. The 14-year-old cat was arthritic, incontinent and increasingly senile and uncommunicative and had resisted effective treatment for at least eight months, said Ari Gleckman. "I had my hand on the cat" after the injection, said Ari. "You could just feel his heartbeat going away." Julie Smith, a local animal- rights activist, recently had her cat Linus put to sleep. Linus had been in treatment for chronic renal failure for three years, but began to be extremely tired and was vomiting a lot. Smith and her husband took the cat into a large sunroom in their home and camped out with Linus for a time; then a veterinarian came to the home to administer the lethal injection via an intravenous plug. "We spent a lot of time with Linus and said our good-byes," said Smith. Money can be a factor in choosing pet euthanasia. Some owners will spend extraordinary sums to keep a sickly cat or dog alive, but others may balk at the expense. "People say, 'I'm going to spend four or five hundred dollars and I'm only going to get nine more months with this pet because it's a metastatic cancer?' You have to respect that," said Dr. Sandra Norman, director of companion animal and equine for the State Board of Animal Health. The Gleckman family was well-prepared for the loss of Nexxus. Jennifer Gleckman says it was at her nephew's birthday party earlier this spring that they found their new cat, UCONN, named for Ari's alma mater. "She was a stray in Irvington," said Jennifer Gleckman. "We knew Nexxus was not going to live forever, so we brought her home."
Sincerely, Donna Royal Park Cool Inc. Marketing
IT’S JUST COMMON sense to keep chemicals and cleaning solvents away from children and pets. Cats and dogs will eat many things that humans know to stay away from. Sometimes the things humans eat can be harmful or even life threatening to pets. Dogs and cats like to play, but they also enjoy getting into and eating all sorts of strange things. One 3-1/2-year-old, 85 pound pit bull named Retro proved no exception. According to pit bull owner Karen Heidgerd, “He’ll eat almost anything – even wooden spoons, which somehow come out in exactly the same shape they went in.” Retro may be a strong dog, but when he wolfed down 4 oz. of an asthma medication called Albuterol which was meant for another dog, he was brought to his knees. “He had tremors, his heart rate was 180 and in a dog his size it should have been 120,” said Heidgerd. Fortunately, Retro lived to bark about it. Dr. Steve Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA, said that many household products and medications can be harmful to pets. Even medications intended for dogs, such as some flea treatments, may be poisonous to cats. While many people know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, you may not know that apple seeds are as well. So are macadamia nuts, and for some dogs, onions can be very dangerous. Many people love to plant spring gardens full of flowers and vegetables at this time of year. But some of the things you plant or flowering plants you may bring inside can pose poisoning hazards. The ASPCA said that tiger lilies, day lilies and Easter lilies are lethal for cats. Hyacinths are very toxic for both cats and dogs. Geraniums also are toxic, as is Baby’s Breath, philodendron and diefencacchia. Shrubs such as azalea and rhododendrum are as well. Daffodils are extremely dangerous to cats and dogs, but if you want spring flowers that deer won’t touch, daffodils do the trick. According to the ASPCA, there are between 50,000 and 60,000 pet poisonings reported to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center every year. For more information on how to protect your pet, Your vet can also provide you with information about what type of first aid kit to have on hand for a dog or cat.
Call the Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435, or visit their Web site.
Animal Poison Control Center
1717 S. Philo Road - Suite 36
Urbana, IL 61802 PH: 888- 426- 4435
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is aware of recent reports of dogs alleged to have developed kidney failure following ingestion of large amounts of grapes or raisins. Veterinary toxicologists at the APCC are currently investigating these cases in an attempt to determine the causative agents or disease processes. At this time the exact role of grapes or raisins in these cases is unclear. Pet owners whose dogs have ingested large quantities of grapes or raisins, or veterinarians managing such cases, are encouraged to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) immediately.
1 Qt. 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid soap (Any brand will work)
A chemist developed this formula to rid the skunky odor. This MUST be mixed in an open container. To do otherwise is to risk explosion and possible injury. The mixture does not blow up. It creates a fizzy solution, the resultant pressure buildup and can explode a container. Mix and use ONLY what you need. DO NOT ATTEMPT to store the mixture. You can make larger amounts if needed to wash bigger animals. Mix in a bucket or bowl as it will fizz. Wet the animal with the solution. Knead it well into the fur to alter every bit of thiols on the hair. BE CAREFUL to keep it out of the eyes, nose and mouth. Use a sponge or dishcloth to wash the face. Leave on for a few minutes. Follow this with a thorough rinse with water. I have never tried the above, not responsible for any results. Tomato juice does not work.
Being prepared is crucial to pet's well being
BY RUTH BASHINSKY - Daily News Staff Writer
Colton is trained to save lives but when her 6-year-old Dalmatian, Dotty, started choking on a piece of rawhide, she froze. "Since dog anatomy is so much different than the human body, I was at a loss," said the upper East Side flight attendant, who is required to take emergency training for her job. "Even the doggie medical books I went through did not help." Fortunately, Colton was able to rally her neighbor for help. "He started thumping her on her side by her ribs; she got so aggravated that she barked and out came the piece of rawhide," recalled Colton. When emergency strikes with your four legged friend, being prepared is crucial, says Deanna Amoroso, a health and safety instructor with the American Red Cross who teaches pet owners how to identify an emergency and go into action. "Pet first aid is very similar in concept and theory to human first aid," she said. "But sometimes the actual technique and performance might differ because of the animal's anatomy." Amoroso offers the following basic tips until a pet owner can get the animal to the vet.
CPR:The mouth-to-snout procedure is used only when the pet no longer has a pulse, said Amoroso.
The most common pulse point on a dog or cat is the inside of the lower left leg.
Hit by a car: Keep the pet quiet and warm. If there is a chance of broken bones try to immobilize
the animal with a splint as you transport it to a vet.
Poisoning: Call a vet or poison center immediately. Try to determine what your pet has ingested. In some cases, a professional might suggest that you induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Cuts or deep wounds: Never remove an embedded object, such as sharp glass, nail or anything that could be sticking out of the skin because it can cause more damage, said Amoroso. Instead,
stabilize the object in place so it's not moving around and rush the animal to a vet.
Bite wounds: Apply a sterile water soluble lubricant to the hair, then clip the hair gently away from the wound. Flush the area with warm water or a saline solution.
Most important, says Amoroso, is for pet owners to pay attention to what is normal for their pet so they can detect signals when something is wrong. For instance, knowing what their heart and pulse rate is and the color of their gums and mouth. Dr. Linda Barton, an emergency and critical care specialist from the Animal Medical Center, says pet owners should keep handy a list of phone numbers, including the vet, an after hours clinic and a poison control center.
The American Red Cross is conducting a pet first aid course Aug. 28 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information,
call (800) 514-5103 or visit its Web site at http://www.nyredcross.org.
I am writing with a heavy heart to share my experience so hopefully even one dog can be saved (if it is possible to do so). Anyone whose dogs go out on a lawn should read this. We have 2.5 acres completely fenced (our whole back property). It is landscaped (lawn, with trees). Just like any suburban backyard only larger. We did this for the comfort and enjoyment of our dogs, we also have a large gravel run (thank goodness). I give you this background because there is nothing "weird" about our lawn or our property, no fancy shrubbery or exotic plants. We do not spray for anything, we do not use poisons of any sort. We have lived here 3 summers. Our dogs regularly run loose in our backyard (daily). Last evening I let 7 adults and two five month old puppies have the run of the place while I scooped poop. I went in about 5:15 p.m. and went back to let them in at 7:15 p.m. Two hours. Plus, maybe 45 minutes while I was there but obviously not watching their every move. One of the puppies was lying on the walkway by the porch and could barely lift his head. All the other dogs seemed normal. I grabbed him and he was very limp. He had copious drool around his mouth (like car sickness), and had had some watery runs, almost pure water. By the time I got him into the house and phoned the vet (seconds) he was almost dead. I drove like a maniac but this baby boy was DOA at the vet's office. This a.m. I took him to Guelph University (Canadian version of Cornell) for a postmortem. I just received the results. Mushrooms..and not very much (one small whole one and some pieces). Even if this puppy ate the mushrooms when I first put them out (4:30) he went from perfect to dead in 3 hours tops. The vet doing the tmortemsaid it was very unsual for a dog to die so fast from this, but he has seen it before, in another vet's dog. He is sending the mushroom & pieces to a botanist. I will post more if I get further information. However, be warned that I live in the Northeast with plants etc. typical to large regions of the U.S. and Canada. Further...when I got home and could really check the other dogs, his litter brother and their dam also had been drooling (especially the brother) but they were fine and remained fine. The drooling stopped but even while drooling the dogs would eat and were normal in every other way. Since we have lived here we have occasionally had a dog do this heavy drooling, sometimes with a slight watery discharge from the rear, but it would only last an hour or so and in all cases the dogs were fine before, during and after. This has happened maybe once a month in the summer, with just one or two dogs. The first time it happened we watched like hawks, but then realized the dog was
We were CONVINCED it was from playing with toads. Excessive (copious) drooling but otherwise appearing fine is a symtom of having mouthed a toad (which gives off a mild toxin). It only happened in the summer, and never in the dog run. And now we know that WAS MUSHROOMS and not toads. I have searched and searched on the net and also looked through a veterinary book and the puppy's symptoms did not match what I read. Neither did the very rapid death. The vet that did the postmortem says this is unusual but he has seen this rapid death before. In another vet's dog. So if you see copious drooling and your dog appears fine, and stays fine, the next time it happens could mean sudden death. My dogs are staying in the run until I can figure out what to do or until winter, whichever comes first. Don't think it couldn't happen to you. I just can't BELIEVE it has happened to me, I am totally sick about it. If anyone has any extensive knowledge of mushrooms or of any way to eradicate them completely, I would be thrilled to hear from you. "Warner", a sweet and cuddly bi-black boy. May 19, 2000 to October 17, 2000. We loved you. Jo Ann Pavey- Whitegates Shelties - Palgrave, Ontario, Canada
Police learn how to handle their four-legged partners
By EDWARD L. KENNEY- Staff reporter - 04/10/2002
Patrolman Mike Buemi of the Binghamton, N.Y., police department would have no problem giving his German shepherd Harris mouth-to-nose resuscitation if the K-9's life depended on it. "Absolutely. No question about it," he said. "I ride with that dog eight hours a day. That's the closest member of my family I have right now." Buemi was one of about 40 officers who learned about first aid for dogs Tuesday, the start of a three-day regional dog-handling workshop near Delaware City. Delaware City police Sgt. Michael Brown, who organized the event, stood near an open-sided tent on the grounds of the Governor Bacon Health Center and glanced around as several field classes were held simultaneously. "They're doing aggressive control over here, teaching the dog to go after suspects," Brown said, pointing to an officer in a "bite suit" with a dog clutching his arm. "In this building here, they're doing bomb searches. And in this other building, they're doing narcotics searches." Police cars parked near the training area bore the insignia of a variety of agencies, including Pennsylvania units from Penn Hill, Parkesburg, Exeter, East Fallowfield and Tredyffrin. Dogs paced the back seats of some of the cars and barked loudly as people walked past. Brown was at a similar K-9 workshop in Cambridge, Md., on Sept. 11, the day terrorists took over jetliners, and that gave him the idea to hold a workshop here. "Since 9-11, our calls for services have increased, not only for bomb threats but people out there calling about suspicious vehicles and suspicious people they have seen," Brown said. He already had a site for the workshop. Delaware City police have an agreement with the health center to use the grounds and nearby vacant buildings for dog training. Brown also built a K-9 obstacle course there last year, and officers in Delaware and nearby states have been using it regularly. Tuesday, Patrolman Joe O'Neill of the Wilmington police led his 2-year-old German shepherd, Ben, through his paces on the course, where the two have worked in tandem before. When he's at home, he's bored," he said of Ben, a bomb dog. "You get him in the back of a police car, he wants to go. This is their whole life. They love work." Lewes Police Officer P.J. Martin brought his mixed-breed K-9 Iwan (pronounced Ivan) to the workshop, one of more than a dozen dog-training sessions the officer has attended in the past 11 years. "To me, it's exciting," he said. "Also, there's no better place for K-9 officers to learn something than by talking to other K-9 handlers." Martin said Iwan is a gentle dog at home with his family. But like the other dogs, a voice command can bring out his aggressive side. "He's really like a switch; you can turn him off and on," Martin said. "You can pet him. But then I could back up a few feet and tell him to guard you and you wouldn't be able to pet him. And if you walked toward him, he would bite you." Kevin Kelleher, a dog trainer with the Norfolk, Va., police, is one of five master trainers who volunteered to train handlers and dogs at the workshop. He wore the padded bite suit, letting Roni and other dogs chomp on his arm, as he acted out the part of a suspect or decoy. The successive sets of sharp teeth took a toll on his arm, despite the padding. "What we're aiming for is a dog that will bite and hold, so you do minimal damage," said Kelleher, who removed his jacket to show off some puncture wounds on his forearm. "The idea is, if you're a good decoy, it won't do that," he said of the bites. "Evidently, I'm not a good enough decoy." Reach Edward L. Kenney at 324-2891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police dog Cinta navigates an obstacle course Tuesday at Governor Bacon Health Center under the watchful eye of Cpl. (LEFT) Terry O'Connor of New Castle County police. The event was part of a police dog-handling workshop that runs through Thursday. (MIDDLE) Wilmington police Cpl. Damian Vice hugs his partner Rik after the dog turned in a strong performance Tuesday. (RIGHT) Wilmington police Cpl. Bill McGillan calls off Remco during line aggression training. In Remco's clutches is Officer Kevin Kelleher of the Norfolk (Va.) police.
The picture below is Maine Governor Angus King, getting the 'paw of approval' on LD 2090, which will allow Maine Vest-a-Dog to legally resume their fund-raising activities to provide bullet/stab-protective vests for Maine police dogs. K-9 Sarge of the Lewiston Police Department is aided by his handler, Ofc. Tim Morin. During ME Vest-a-Dog's efforts to make this Bill a reality, an AP article ran about them - and folks from around the world signed their guestbook in support. Visit their website at http://mainevestadog.homestead.com
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