A Judge Says It’s Okay for a Dog-Torturer to Own Animals

Russell Seese of Greentown, Pennsylvania, tortured his dog Lexi, a Labrador/Pit Bull mix last year.

That’s not an allegation; in the legal sense, it’s a fact that Seese duct-taped Lexi’s paws together, did the same with her mouth, then tossed her into a chicken coop without food or water.

On these grounds, Seese was convicted of animal cruelty in December 2013, although his sentence was light: A $ 500 fine (although the minimum is $ 1,000) and 48 hours to 12 months in jail. Less than a month later, he has completed his jail time. Although there has been outrage over the leniency of the sentence, the point that’s been attracting the most attention is that last week, Pike County Judge Joseph Kameen refused to prohibit Seese from owning animals.

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Lexi, bound with duct tape, as she was found in the chicken coop.

The Pike County District Attorney's Office petitioned Kameen to correct the fine to the mandatory minimum required by law, and on Thursday, the judge acknowledged that he had made a mistake and increased Seese's fine to $ 1,000. But at the same time, the D.A. also asked that Seese be prohibited from owning or having custody of any animal, either in a personal or professional capacity, for two years. Judge Kameen denied the request and let the original sentence stand with the extra $ 500 added on to make it conform to the law.

Lexi is safe from Seese now; she was taken in by a rescue group, renamed Jaynah, and is about to be adopted into a permanent home. But on Thursday, the judge formally acknowledged that Seese has the right to go out and get another dog, or to be employed taking care of animals. We can hope that he won't, but that's all we can do.

So far, the harshest consequence of Seese's assault on his dog has been outside the courtroom. Because of the controversy over his arrest, protesters flooded the Pike County Conservation District, where he worked as a resource conservationist. Eventually, the county commissioners fired him, and he's currently unemployed. Seese's attorney Wieslaw Niemozynski says that he's amazed at how many outraged calls have come to his office because of his client.

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Judge's Gavel by Shutterstock.

I don't like either of those things. The whole point of our legal system is that justice shouldn't be administered by maddened crowds. I've had too many friends whose lifestyles or beliefs were unpopular or "strange" to be able to cheer when public condemnation makes it impossible for someone to get a job or legal representation. That even includes dog torturers.

But part of rising above mob rule is that we should be able to expect reasonable punishments for cruelty and violence. It's certainly reasonable to ask that Seese not be allowed to just go out and get another dog to beat up. I hope he doesn't. But unfortunately, under the judge's decision, all I or anyone can do is hope.

Via Pocono Record

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ill my snake get mites?

Question by mariapaula_5: ill my snake get mites?
I was handling my school snake and she has mites ….. Will I pass this on to my snake at home

Best answer:

Answer by Lee S
Yes. Take care to clean both cages thoroughly everyday. If you are not already using newspaper as a substrate do so, there is nothing better. Do take objects from outdoors and put it into snake enclosures, this is a sure fire way to bring in the mites. You can soak the snakes and even cover them lightly with mineral oil to help get rid of the mites. Be careful not to get the mineral oil into nasal passages. Mites are a pain, but can be gotten rid of and avoided in the future. Take care and good luck!

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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Foster Puppies

Meet Amy

 and Bernadette (aka Bernie). 

They are two pups that are with the Windy City Canine Rescue that Marlin is letting us foster.  :)  There are 8 pups in the litter of Springer Spaniel pups – the mom was purchased from an ad on kijiji and when she went to get her spayed, the vet discovered she was pregnant.  Sure enough a few days later, 8 little cuties pop out.  As often seems to be the case, by the time the pups start to be about 5 weeks old, the owner of the mom is starting to feel overwhelmed by the extra responsibilities she wasn’t planning on.  (And by the amount of poop these two produce, I’m not surprised!) So into rescue they came.  2 other ones are with Lorelei and the other 4 are with another foster home.

The first day was a breeze… all they did was sleep, eat and poop. They would be awake for maybe 5 minutes after pooping and then go back to sleep.

Their first night was also a breeze.  We kept our door open so we would hear them if they got upset (they are downstairs in the kitchen) but we didn’t hear a peep.

These last two days have been more active and fun. Their little tails wag like crazy when they see me in the morning.  They eat their meals like champs. Bernadette even licks out the dish! (Coulee would be proud had she noticed, but seeing as she can’t bring herself to look at them…)

I took them outside yesterday at lunch for an hour or so.  After spending a bit of time getting their bearings they had a great time running around and playing.

We’ve done pretty casual intros with the other critters in the house.  The girls want nothing to do with them for the most part, but I could see Lacey debating whether or not she was excited or scared yesterday when they were outside so I bet, given a little more time, they’ll hit it off.

The puppies are super respectful.  A little grumble from Coulee (from 2 feet away) sends them sprawling on their backs.  A hiss from Lu gets them to back up.  Jack is shockingly the most comfortable with them. Amy was just relaxing on my lap last night and Jack came up and sniffed her, let her sniff him and even take a gentle little nibble at his tail.  :)

It’s cute seeing little bits of personality already.  Loud noises send Bernie looking for safety.  She doesn’t like it when Coulee barks, when the smoke alarm went off or when there are any sudden noises.  In new places though, she is the first to go off exploring.  Amy needs a moment to take everything in, but once she decides it’s OK, she seems the braver of the two.  She is smitten with Coulee and Lacey and wags her little tail furiously at them whenever she sees them, but doesn’t go running up to them. She just sits and stares and wags.
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Keeping Up With the Puppies

Whoever raises litters of puppies for fun is crazy.  Last week was a breeze – the puppies would play for a bit, sleep for hours and repeat.

This week is a different story.  They play for hours, sleep for a bit and repeat.  Last week their teeth and jaws were ineffective at destroying anything, this week I’ve caught them gnawing away at the baseboards, electrical cords, shoelaces, and more.  Thankfully only the baseboards have shown any wear, but I’ve got to be on my toes.

Lacey has started to play with them, Coulee thinks we brought them home to torture her.  The cats are pretty indifferent – Jack walks away when they get too close and Lu gives them a gentle (claws in) bop on the head when she’s had enough of their sniffing.  They are pretty respectful puppies and tend to grovel when they are told to back off – which is a good thing.

They are still the cutest things ever.

Oh and did I mention we brought a third one into the mix?  This is Leslie. She is quite a sweetheart and has been doing a good job of keeping the play between all of them a little more balanced.

Its amazing how similar they are, yet there are little differences too.  Leslie was the first to go up the stairs (by a few days) but they can now all go up, but no one can (or at least no one does) go down.

Amy is starting to develop colour patches that I swear weren’t there before.  See that little brown smudge next to her eye?  I thought it was dirt. LOL  Turns out it is brown fur.  She’s got another patch on her back and a tiny hint of black on the edge of one of her ears.

Amy and Bernie will bark a little bit while playing but we’ve never heard Leslie do anything but whine.

Bernie is the first to explore new objects but Leslie is the first to explore new places.  Amy likes to sit back and assess the situation before making her move.

They have quite the speedy little runs now when they want.  When Coulee and Lacey try and get away they tend to have a little pack running behind them.  It is really cute to watch.

After much snarling and posturing, Lacey finally caved to the pressure of the puppies and now plays with them. Her favourite game is when she lays on the couch and they reach up to get her.  She tends to play more with them outside and occasionally tries to take on all three at once.

Bernie likes to sample the grass.  And the leaves.  And anything else she can find.

My favourite time is when they are just about to settle in to sleep.  They have the cutest little gentle play sessions.  Their favourite place is the big West Paw bed in the living room.

It doesn’t matter how hard they try, Coulee is immune to their charms.

We’ve got them for almost 2 more weeks before they go home. They are actually going off to meet their first family tonight.  It’s going to be bittersweet when they leave I think.  I’m going to miss the little gaffers.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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How do I know when a yeast infection is gone and I can eat a lil sugar again?

Question by dancer8582002: How do I know when a yeast infection is gone and I can eat a lil sugar again?
i think my yeast infection is caused by too much sugar..when do i know for sure it’s ok to eat a little sugar again without the infection coming back?

Best answer:

Answer by eastcoastdebra
If you are prone to yeast infections from eating sugar, it will come back

What do you think? Answer below!

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Michelle Obama Was Seen Today on the White House South Lawn … with Puppies

The news came down at 6:47 a.m. Flotus is on the South Lawn. [Flotus means First Lady of the United States.] Repeat: Flotus is on the South Lawn, with puppies. PUPPIES, dammit. The Internet MUST know. 

And so a tweet issued forth, like a whoosh of puppy breath (or a puppy toot), from one Jennifer Epstein, White House reporter at Politico. She was on the case. She was all over #flotuspuppylawngate. She blasted out the news on Michelle Obama to her 8,000 followers: 

.@flotus hosted a Puppy Bowl training camp at the White House 

And she included this photo:

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Kee-runch -- that's the sound of one of the gears of the Internet slipping just a tad, as people paused to take in Flotus. On the great lawn. With children. And puppies. 

There's not much to add, other than that it seems that Michelle Obama and a bunch of kids had a very nice morning, cavorting with puppies, throwing down Dick Nixon impressions, playing Hangman on that whiteboard in the back there, and in general having the time of their lives. 

But as for Puppy Bowl training? Those puppies don't look ready. Get your camp in order, Flotus.

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Shorty Rossi to Attend Center for Animal Health and Welfare Fundraiser

Dog devotees are invited to raise their glasses in a toast to our tail-wagging chums as they help to raise funds for a paws cause at the second annual Acoustic Uncorked: Another Doggone Wine Tasting….

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]

DogTipper: Tips for Dog Lovers

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Solving A Problem With The ABCs

Cutie jumping up.

Let’s look at the ABCs series thus far, especially this post, and see how we can apply the ABCs to solving a real problem.

I started a new basic class this Saturday and a few of the dogs jump up when they meet people, as one might expect for adolescent dogs. In the following class hour, a Canine Good Citizen class, another adolescent had the same issue with the polite greeting test.

I like this problem as an example for the ABCs because the components in the formula are clear and easy to identify.

Antecedent -> Behavior -> Consequence

Person Approaches -> Dog jumps up onto person -> Attention is given to dog

The antecedent is "person approaches". It’s not "dog sees person." This is because the dog cannot be part of the antecedent. In more complex situations the tendency might be to describe an antecedent with the dog included such as "the dog sees another dog" but that won’t work since one of our most powerful measures in solving a problem is controlling the antecedents, either as part of a behavior modification plan or even permanently. It we put the dog in the antecedent we’ve lumped the problem together and solving it becomeS more complicated.

In this case we are going to control the antecedent in two ways: we are going to avoid greetings as much as possible until we can better control them, and while we are training we will carefully control how quickly people approach and how close they will come.

The behavior is the easiest component to identify. The dogs I worked with Saturday were all exuberant "teenagers" that love people and really want to let them know that when they meet them.

After our rather long talk about counter-conditioning and desensitization (go to the category page scroll down a bit) it is worth noting that when we see the relaxed/goofy body postures, wagging tails, and what most observers would call "happy dogs" we know that these dogs are not reacting to the approaching people with fear or aggression and that CC&DS is not what is called for. We don’t want to change how they feel about people, we want to change how they react to them.

The consequence is what often confuses people. For these dogs just getting to the people is reinforcing enough to maintain the behavior. Hugging someone who is holding up their hands and saying "Stop! Get off! Down! Enough!" isn’t reinforcing for us, but that’s not the point. It is for the dog and it is maintaining the behavior.

So how do we apply the formula to this problem?

I already mentioned controlling the antecedent. Obviously this is not a viable long-term strategy. Short term we need to curb greetings because the reinforcement is strengthening the behavior, but this is a temporary step.

In this case changing the consequence is tricky. The only way we could keep the "A" and the "B" and alter the outcome would be to make greeting people unpleasant, and this could have obvious side effects. If we teach the dog that greeting some people results in something bad, he will become wary and maybe even defensive around strangers.

But there is a way to manipulate the situation: if the dog (like most) makes it obvious that he will jump up before the person arrives, we can have them stop or move away when he does this. This is the common "red light/green light" or "yo-yo" drill that many trainers use in classes. Done effectively, it actually becomes a way to use DRI to fix this problem.

  1. Our dog is on leash, held by his owner. Sitting at his side.
  2. Person approaches, dog gets out of sit. Person turns (dramatically if possible) and walks away.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Eventually, person approaches, dogs holds sit! Person continues to approach. When very close dog gets up. Person moves away.
  5. Eventually, person approaches, dog holds sit all the way until person reaches team and can greet human.

This is obviously an ideal scenario, mainly because I didn’t want to write another 500 words just describing the scenario. (I need to film this with a green dog and then edit the heck out of it.)

By starting with a sit and using getting up it as the criteria for having the person move away we focused on what we wanted instead of what we didn’t want.

Sometimes having the handler reward the dog with food is appropriate. Sometimes it adds to the dog’s excitement and makes things worse. Sometimes it even takes the dog’s focus completely off the exercise. It depends. In this rosy scenario attention was the main reinforcer and I went with it.

How long did it take? With the dog in the CGC class I was able to actually do this procedure in a few minutes. But this was a dog that had already passed a basic class and had a strong history of reinforcement for sitting. Pick a behavior that your dog is already proficient at when using this kind of problem solving.

What problems have you had success with solving? What problems have you stumped? What do you think of this approach to problem solving? Let me know in the comments!

Also, have you joined my email list yet? Every week I send an update on new posts to the blog, with a few extra notes from me. I’d love to have you onboard!

Solving A Problem With The ABCs is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

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Nice Infection photos

A few nice infection images I found:

Heartwood infection

Image by Scot Nelson


Image by Profound Whatever
Not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
‘Twas an angel visited this red earth,
And took the crew away.

- – – -

Yes, a bit Waters of Mars inspired.

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The Look!

This is a dog I saw at the Kermesse in Monaco in December.  She was walking around with another dog – and their owner, of course. There were so many people around at this moment that I didn’t ask her name. What a look she is giving me!

Is she a whippet or a greyhound. Looks too big for a whippet perhaps?

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