I volunteer there about twice a week - on my days off from work for 3 or 4 hours each time. I spoke to the staff who work there about euthanasia. They have to put down about 15 to 20 dogs per week - mostly because the dogs will never get adopted. About 80% of the dogs they put down are pits or have pit in them. Very few are dangerous - in fact, it is rare to have to put down an animal because it is dangerous. The cold reality is that nobody is ever going to adopt these poor animals and there are more coming in every day.
Hero Dog of the Year Award 2005 at UK's Crufts Dog Show For Iraq War Hero
As well as the climax to the breed judging, Day Four also included the announcement of the winner of the Hero Dog of the Year Award 2005. The competition was won by Buster, a Springer Spaniel handled by Danny Morgan. This new competition, organised by the Kennel Club and sponsored by Pet Partners plc, was the first time that members of the public were able to vote for the dog they would like to win a competition at Crufts – and they couldn't have picked a more deserving winner. Buster is an army sniffer dog and has sniffed out weapons in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and Iraq as well as winning the PDSA Dicken Medal for bravery. He is now semi-retired but still helps to train other dogs.
See 2003 news report on his Iraq service: CLICK HERE
COLUMBIAN HEROIN SMUGGLED INSIDE LAB PUPS
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colombian drug dealers smuggled heroin into the United States by surgically implanting the powerful drug into puppies, the Drug Enforcement Administration said on Wednesday. Among the methods used to transport the drugs were human couriers, who swallowed heroin packets, as well as the Labrador Retriever puppies. In one planned shipment, six puppies were found impregnated with three 3 kg (6.6 lb) of liquid heroin packets. DEA spokeswoman Erin McKenzie-Mulvey said that in January 2005, DEA officers and police in Colombia found six puppies with scars on their bellies at a makeshift veterinarian clinic on a rural property. Ultrasound scans revealed the heroin hidden inside the young dogs, three of which later died of infection. Another four puppies were found with no drugs inside them, she said. McKenzie-Mulvey said the traffickers had planned to retrieve the heroin after the dogs had passed U.S. customs. She said the surviving dogs are now, "living happily with families in Colombia." "The organization's outrageous and heinous smuggling method of implanting heroin inside puppies is a true indication of the extent that drug dealers go to make their profit," Special Agent-in-Charge John Gilbride said.
From People magazine on-line 2/2/06: More than 30 people were arrested on the East Coast after a horrific discovery: puppies used as drug mules after Colombian drug dealers surgically inserted heroin packets inside them with the hope of smuggling the contraband inside the U.S. border, say federal authorities. Ten puppies, including Labrador retrievers, were rescued during a 2005 raid on a farm in Colombia, the Drug Enforcement Administration said while announcing the 30 arrests, the Associated Press reports. Investigators believe the ring used the dogs, as well as humans (who swallowed the drugs), to cloak millions of dollars in liquid heroin on commercial flights into New York for distribution on the East Coast. As for the pups, a veterinarian had stitched a total of three kilograms of heroin into the bellies of six of them. Three later died from infections once the drugs were removed. It is not known how many dogs in all were used in the scheme, or what their fates were after they made their "deliveries," said John Gilbride, head of the DEA's New York office. "I think it's outrageous and heinous that they'd use small, innocent puppies in this way," he said.
Fur he’s a jolly good fellow
A class apart ... Springer spaniel Gus enjoys a day at school at St Monica’s College
Australia 3/8/06: IT’S not easy being the teacher’s pet and the class clown. But Gus the English springer spaniel is also a cherished staff member at Epping’s St Monica’s College, and he just takes it all in his stride. “He’s very easy to work with,” English and geography teacher Bernadette Nicholls said. “But he’s also a real character, the clown of the class.”
Gus started at St Monica’s more than two years ago as part of a study on the therapeutic effects dogs have in the classroom. He began preparation for the position at 12 weeks old for Ms Nicholls’ master’s degree in education. “Gus was chosen to be a therapy dog at birth,” Ms Nicholls said. “These dogs are renowned for their friendliness. He’s also very soft to touch, he’s got a very silky coat so you’ve got that tactile therapy happening, and also he looks cute.” The springer spaniel is always an immediate hit with Ms Nicholls’ Year 7 and 10 students, after they get over being distracted by him. It always takes about two days and you soon find he’s just like part of the furniture, like another student in the classroom,” Ms Nicholls said. “He’s a very placid dog too so he’s not high energy and he will simply sit at students’ feet. It’s a presence issue and medical research has proven that it reduces their blood pressure, they’re more relaxed, the anxiety and edge is taken off of the classroom.” Gus, who proudly wears a staff photo ID, is also popular with parents. Parents come in and want to meet him before they want to meet me,” Ms Nicholls said. He is just so well loved by everyone.” That includes fellow staff members. “I have staff come up to me and say they just need a ‘Gus fix’,” Ms Nicholls said. “That’s what they call it when they just need to pat him because they’ve had a stressful time.” But Gus spends most of his time with the students. He might wander around the classroom, “high five” the kids on special occasions, or - more often than not - back up for a scratch behind the ears. “He’s very easily got them wrapped around his paw,” Ms Nicholls said.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS from CRUFTS Dog Show in England ~~
Marble, a 4-year-old English Springer Spaniel rescue dog from Wood Green Animal Shelter owned by Jennie Arnold from Bedford, holds his rosette after competing in the Special Events Agility Rescue Dog demonstration.
Update from the March 2006 Crufts Dog Show in England ==>
A group of Royal Army Veterinary Corps Soldiers at the SSAFFA stand with Buster, a Springer Spaniel Search Dog.
= Jennifer Eaton, a member of team obedience and handler of Lively Leagh Lass, an English Springer Spaniel, both earned a 6th place in Team Obedience.
= Shelley Brook handling English Springer Spaniel Shipden Rigoletto won 3rd place in Senior Handling class for 17 to 18-year-old handlers.
UPDATE! Aug 8, 2006: Buster is again in the news, this time in an East Indian on-line newspaper called The Pioneer. Buster's story starts on the fifth paragraph of the article: "One recent recipient [of the medal] was a British Army dog called Buster. A Springer Spaniel, he won the medal for gallantry in Iraq".............READ MORE