Doctors in Veterinary, Human Medicine Team to Give Burned Horse a Second Chance

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“This is amazing to say the least, & the owners of Northstar obviously love him like one of their own children; like I do my horses! Some owners would have just had him put down, but not Northstars parents! I truly hope all this works & Northstar will soon be able to go out into a field, lay down & have a good roll. I hope the bastards that set fire to him experience the same injuries at some point, however it happens, I just want them to feel what burn pain is; so may they rest in Hell!”

COLUMBUS, OhioThe unlikely pairing of an equine veterinarian and a burn surgeon is providing a second chance at a normal life for a horse that was doused in flammable liquid and set on fire late last summer.

Northstar, purposely set on fire, perpetrators not found

The Ohio State University doctors and their teams have partnered to perform two skin graft procedures on the American Paint Horse named Northstar, who suffered severe burns to almost half of his body when the abuse occurred.

The same instruments used in a typical human burn surgery were used for the horse’s grafting procedures. The clinicians removed ultrathin sheets of skin from Northstar’s chest and expanded them with a meshing tool before placing the grafts across an enormous wound spanning the horse’s back.

When he arrived in Columbus on Sept. 5, Northstar had exposed bone at the base of his neck as a result of the burns. Skin damage extended from his neck to the base of his tail and along both of his sides. No suspect has been identified in the case.

The doctors’ collaboration – not to mention the unusual size of the back wound – has provided a rare learning experience for both clinicians and their colleagues.

“There’s been a lot of trial and error with the challenges of how to bandage him, what the most appropriate antiseptic is for cleaning the wound bed, and the biology of burned tissue in a horse,” said Samuel Hurcombe, assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences and the leader of Northstar’s care team.

Veterinary experts got the healing off to a good start with relentless wound management, a series of smaller skin grafts and the implantation of cell cultures in the wound bed. These procedures were performed to bring top-layer skin tissue to the central area of the expansive wound bed on Northstar’s neck and shoulders, where all his skin had burned away.

Surgeons treat horse like human burn victim

To address the large wound across the horse’s back, Hurcombe consulted longtime trauma and burn surgeon Larry Jones at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. The two observed one another’s surgeries and studied human- and veterinary-medicine journal articles before teaming to accelerate Northstar’s care.

Jones, associate professor of clinical surgery and director of the Burn Center at the medical center, led the two larger skin graft surgeries. Early on, he encountered a significant challenge: how deep to set the tool that would peel off the donor skin.

“We want to take the top layer of skin but we also need a portion of the second layer, the dermis,” he said. After Jones consulted with Hurcombe and the two conducted more research, “I knew I had to take a graft that’s about twice as thick as one I would take if I were operating on a human.”

The team then ran the graft through a mesher that cut holes in the graft skin and allowed for expansion of the graft to about four times its original size. “When the graft takes, the holes will fill in from skin cells growing from the edges,” Jones said.

They dressed the wounds with bandages containing medical-grade silver, which functions as an antibiotic, to speed healing of the grafts and the donor sites.

At this stage of the horse’s recovery, more than half of the initial wound is healed, with the repair resulting from both the various skin grafting procedures and normal closure along the edges of the damaged skin.

Burn victim, set on fire

Northstar will likely undergo a series of additional sheet graft surgeries to completely heal the wound. Multiple grafts are often required for extensive human burn injuries, as well.

“It’s a slow process but even in the time we’ve been caring for him, he has made remarkable progress,” said Hurcombe, a specialist in equine emergency and critical care. “From a welfare standpoint, his psychology is great and after what he’s gone through, the fact that he is still so trusting of people is pretty amazing.”

While he initially appeared to be a dark horse for recovery, Northstar persevered through weeks of daily cleansing and removal of dead and infected tissue followed by the application of antiseptics, honey, aloe and silver sulfadiazine cream, a common human burn treatment, to his damaged tissue.

In yet another application of human medicine in veterinary care, the team has treated Northstar with gabapentin (sold under the brand name Neurontin), a medication used for neuropathic pain in humans, to treat the severe itching and nerve-related pain that is typical in burn patients as they recover. “I take this medication for pain, I really hope it’s helping Northstar!!”

Northstar, who turned 7 in January, is a “young, naughty boy” and would love nothing more than to toss himself to the ground and roll on his back to scratch that persistent itch, Hurcombe said. So the horse is gently tethered to keep him standing and he wears a cradle that immobilizes his neck several hours throughout the day. He is also covered in bandages and wears what is called a full-body “sleazy” covering that is typically seen on show horses.

The clinicians hope that Northstar will have a complete layer of skin coverage by his 8th birthday. The road ahead is a long one, both physicians acknowledge. The location of his back wound is a tricky one to treat because even with secure bandages from his neck to his tail, the horse anatomy in the location of the burn is such that Northstar’s every movement slightly disturbs the grafted areas.

“His skin graft take is a little less than what I am used to in humans,” Jones noted. “But as Dr. Hurcombe reminds me, considering his hospital bed is in a barn, he is doing very well.

“I view Northstar in the same way as I do any of my other patients. I just want him to get better and go on and live his life as a horse.”

Northstar’s owners live in northwestern Pennsylvania, where police have investigated the burning incident as a criminal case.

“All the owners want is for him to be happy, pain-free and able to live his life with his pasture mates,” Hurcombe said. “He is bright and alert, he interacts with people and he can eat and drink and do all the things that a horse can normally do as far as function. And he has been telling us through his behaviors that he wants to live. ”

News Link:http://www.newswise.com/articles/doctors-in-veterinary-human-medicine-team-to-give-burned-horse-a-second-chance?ret=/articles/list&category=medicine&page=1&search%5Bstatus%5D=3&search%5Bsort%5D=date+desc&search%5Bsection%5D=10&search%5Bhas_multimedia%5D=

Related:-https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/pennsylvania-horse-doused-with-flammable-liquid-set-on-fire/

Related:-https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/horse-set-ablaze-sparks-animal-cruelty-investigation/

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$5,000 Reward Offered After Kitty Found Burned In Kensington

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“My apologies for the graphic image, but this type of heinous cruelty needs to be seen by the public; so they can see what sort of monsters are out there! If you see any strange or suspicious looking behaviour, between kids or adults, messing around with animals…it could end up in a similar tragedy to this…so please stay vigilant, don’t keep quiet…if it looks & sounds wrong, it probably is wrong!!”

“WTF… seriously, if ANYONE is friends, know’s or lives with the person that did this, then I would be very worried about your own safety too! Just because you’re a friend doesn’t mean this repugnant vermin won’t turn on you!! Only the mind of a demented, deviant psychopath, could purposefully set fire to a tiny kitten. What happens when they have grown tired of inflicting pain on innocent animals, they may turn to children; anyone they can intimidate & manipulate! Could you have that on your conscience, knowing you could have stopped this sadistic bully; by just speaking up now?”

“This horrific attack happened last week, can anyone remember someone coming home; smelling of flammable liquid or who may have had burns or singe marks on their clothing or shoes…Or…perhaps someone has overheard a person boasting or bragging about setting fire to a kitten? Just remember, those who commit crimes of this nature, normally don’t stop, because of a fine or even jail!! they will soon strike again! Somebody knows who did this, please help put an end to this now. If you know anything, that may help catch the monstrosity that did this, please contact the number below!!”

A $5,000 REWARD is being offered to help authorities catch whoever intentionally set fire to a kitten found in Kensington last week.

A woman recovered the 4- to 5-week-old male kitten last Thursday at Allegheny Avenue and F Street. Authorities said the kitten suffered burns over more than one-third of his body, with most of the burns on his head and back.

The Humane Society of the United States announced the reward yesterday, citing the “depraved act of cruelty.”

“This is the latest in a disturbing string of animals apparently being intentionally lit on fire,” Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society, said in a statement. “This depraved act of cruelty will not be tolerated, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward and help bring the perpetrator to justice.”

The kitten is being treated at Crown Veterinary Hospital in Lebanon, N.J., and is expected to recover.

The Pennsylvania SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 866- 601-SPCA (7722). – By Solomon Leach

News Link:http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130430__5_000_reward_offered_after_kitty_found_burned_in_Kensington.html

Behind The Scenes At The SPCA: Investigating Animal Cruelty

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George Bengal of the Pennsylvania SPCA is like the Ed McMahon of animal rescues. There’s just one difference: When he comes to your door, he’s not bringing an oversized check and balloons.

“I’ve had cases where the people we’re investigating will say to me, ‘I know you, I’ve seen you on TV,” said Bengal. “And to that I say: ‘And now you’re going to be on TV with me, but it’s not for a good reason.”

As the director of humane law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA, Bengal has seen everything from dog-fightingas seen in the recent Germantown case, to pet hoarding. He’s also a retired Philadelphia police officer.

With 12 humane officers on the team, the group can have a workload of 30 to 50 cases at one time. They also have the daunting task of enforcing the animal cruelty laws for 16 counties.

“People often think that we’re funded by the state because we’re enforcing state laws, but that’s not the case,” said Bengal.

His team is constantly following-up on calls and investigating animal cruelty and abuse. 

“We have a twenty-four-seven hotline,” said Bengal, “calls come in everyday and we look into each one. Every time I think I’ve seen the worst case, another one will top it,” said Bengal.

A look into the world of animal fighting

Bengal says he has seen horrific scenes of animal fighting. The fights, which are motivated by money, involve high-end betting.

“In one case, my team found half a million dollars in cash at a home,” said Bengal. “It’s a blood sport. These animals are trained to fight, even to the death.”

He says the fights attract large crowds and he’s seen over 100 people in one house. Spectators can be charged just for watching.

“In many cases, women will be cooking and actually selling food upstairs in the kitchen, while downstairs the men are watching the fighting,” said Bengal.

A dog rescued from dog-fighting. (Courtesy of the Pennsylvania SPCA)

He says the animals are trained to fight from a young age. Owners may start out playing tug-of-war with the dog as a puppy using a towel or rope. Eventually, they will start training with weight pulls for a sled, which are legal.

“They train them like it’s a fun game,” explained Bengal. “Eventually, they’ll put heavy chains on their necks to strengthen them, pump them full of steroids and have them run on treadmills. Animal fighting is like a boxing match.”

The fights are so serious that the owners will even pay for a cutman to treat physical damage during the fight.

“These guys will go so far as to put a sedative or poison on their fur, so that when the other dog bites, he’ll get weak and sick,” explained Bengal. “With cock fighting, they will implant knives or gaffs on the animals claws.”

When asked if the owners ever feel remorse for their actions, Bengal says they only think of the animals as valuable property.

“They’re mad when we take their animals because some of them are worth thousands of dollars,” said Bengal.

“Some of these dogs are grand champion fighters, and their pups alone can be worth $20,000 to $50,000.”

Dangerous hoarder homes

Can you imagine 110 Chihuahua‘s living in one home? Bengal can. He says that typically, animal hoarding goes hand-in-hand with other types of hoarding, which can mean a dangerous situation for both animals and humans alike.

“These are some of the most tragic cases,” said Bengal. “These people have serious issues. They’ve lost their ability to know what’s right and wrong. They don’t having running water, they don’t get things fixed.”

He says for many hoarder cases his team must wear protective gear and breathing masks due to mass amounts of feces and garbage.

“We’ll find dead animals inside these houses,” said Bengal. “One woman actually asked if she could take pictures of the dead ones before we took them out, she was that mentally attached.”

He says homicide cases for humans mean a felony or a death sentence, but when an animal is killed, it may only mean minimal jail time or a fine.

“When we go to a location, it’s a lot like a narcotics investigation. We get forensic evidence and autopsy results to determine the cause of death,” said Bengal. “We treat these cases as if it were a regular homicide.”

The SPCA works with the Licenses and Inspections (L&I) department to get people out of these conditions and find them psychiatric help. In some cases the properties may be deemed unlivable and are condemned.

“We try to do as much as we can,” said Bengal. “You have to stay professional at all times. Our job is a combination of a cop, social worker and educator.”

Healing hands at the SPCA

Wendy Marano, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania SPCA, says the group has a “no kill” philosophy.

“No animal comes here with a clock ticking,” said Marano. “We work hard to get them better, we want to give them a second chance.”

She says the SPCA team works to rehabilitate abused animals so that they may one day enter into an adoptive home.

News Link:-http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/52547-behind-the-scenes-at-the-spca-investigating-animal-cruelty?Itemid=1&linktype=hp_featured

Pennsylvania Police: Man Duct-Taped Dog’s Legs, Muzzle; Animal Is Recovering

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“YES…this is the 3rd story about dogs & duct tape…but this guy hopefully will get what he deserves & a little bit more if I pray really hard! I just want to know why, what did the dog do to deserve being wrapped in duct tape? It was probably something & nothing, just the mind of a psycho at work!! But I bet he just gets a slapped wrist, unless they find it really was done intentionally to harm the dog. Just imagine the torturous pain that poor dog must have felt, having  to have the duct tape removed from its body…ouch…that alone deserves at least a few months in prison & banned for life from owning any pets…it’s the only sure-fire way to stop these sick bastards!! “

GREENTOWN, Pa. — A north-eastern Pennsylvania man is facing charges after he allegedly duct-taped a dog’s legs and muzzle.

Pennsylvania Humane Society police Officer Marlene Metzger says she filed cruelty-to-animal charges against 26-year-old Greentown, Pike County, resident Russell Seese on Tuesday.

Metzgar says that’s after the Labrador/pit bull mix was found at his house, bound with duct tape and placed in an outbuilding.

She says the animal was taken to a veterinarian and is recovering.

A telephone listing for Seese could not be located and it wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

News Link:-http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/03/police_man_duct-taped_dogs_leg.html

Bait Dog Found Duct Taped In California Needs A Second Chance At Life

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“WTF…why?? Why would you do this to a dog, unless for the reason given below; but if that’s the case why wasn’t the dog covered in bite marks. However she ended up there, someone put her there & somebody knows who did it…please…ease your conscience & tell the police or ring the shelter if you know anything!! Next time it might just be a dog covered in bite marks, ultimately dead! The person who did this is a psychopath…if he can do that to a dog, what else will he turn his hand to?” 

The female white pit bull terrier now named Tiffany was found Saturday with duct tape completely covering her eyes. Her caretakers think that she had been hog tied and used as a bait dog.

DOG TIED WITH DUCT TAPE NEEDS IMMEDIATE RESCUE

Currently in the San Bernardino Shelter, Tiffany needs to be rescued immediately or she will be euthanized.

Bait dogs are the most heartbreaking victims of dog fighting. Any dog could be unlucky enough to be rendered helpless by being tied up and then thrown into a fighting ring with a dog trained to kill.

Humane supporters are currently raising funds on Facebook for her adoption expenses.
The page is dedicated to the United Hope for Animals Baldwin Park Shelter Support Program where supporters connect shelter pets with loving, permanent homes and rescue options through effective networking.

Tiffany may have been used as a bait dog. She needs immediate rescue and is currently at San Bernardino City Shelter.

Can she be saved? Imagine what life must have been for this dog?

It appears her ears may have been cut in a crude manner, and she appears to have recently given birth.

If you are interested in rescuing Tiffany, please contact the San Bernardino City Shelter located at 333 Chandler Place in San Bernardino, Cal.

Tiffany’s identification number is A442565. Call (909)-384-1304. You can also follow the volunteers currently trying to organize Tiffany’s rescue by clicking here.

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/bait-dog-found-duct-taped-california-needs-a-second-chance-at-life?cid=rss

Official: 11 Puppies Found Dead Skinned To The Bone

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MACUNGIE, Pa. (AP)Animal welfare workers say 11 puppies were found dead and skinned near an eastern Pennsylvania park.

The Lehigh County Humane Society says the dogs were discovered Friday near a park in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County.

The discovery is second disturbing incident in the county in less than a week. About 20 miles away in Lynn Township police say a dog was discovered skinned and cooked.

County humane society officials say testing will determine if the puppies were domestic or wild.

State police are investigating.

News Linkhttp://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Humane-officials-11-puppies-found-skinned-in-Pa-4066474.php#ixzz2DKgLTj00

An official from the Lehigh County Humane Society has confirmed that 11 puppies found dead near Lower Macungie Township Park on Friday were skinned to the bone.

Bruce Fritch of the Humane Society said the puppies were taken to the society’s shelter on Dixon Street in Allentown, and an investigation is under way.

The dogs were discovered around 4 p.m. Friday off Quarry Road.

Anyone with information can call state police atFogelsville at 610-395-1438.

While the investigation continues, a local dog-lovers group is organizing a reward in an attempt to help gather information and solve the case.

The Lehigh Valley Pitbull Awareness Club announced on its Facebook page Saturday that it is starting a reward fund.

“We have decided to help offer a reward in response to this disgusting discovery,” the club said on Facebook. “We have pledged $100 to start in hopes that others will join.”

The club’s co-founder, David Lee, said about $600 in pledges toward a reward had been made through Sunday afternoon. He said the majority of money is being pledged by individuals.

“People have just kind of joined in,” Lee said.

He said he’s been in contact with state police and will verify with investigators who provides information leading to an arrest. The club, not police, will handle the reward.

Anyone interested in pledging money toward the reward can contact the Lehigh Valley Pitbull Awareness Club at 484-764-7779lvpitbullclub@gmail.com or through the club’s Facebook page.

The discovery in Lower Macungie came less than a week after a similar discovery in Lynn Township.

On Nov. 19, state police at Fogelsville said an animal found along Route 863 just south of Allamengel Road appeared to have been skinned and cooked. It had its feet cut off and a rope tied around the right rear leg.

The Lehigh County Humane Society said forensic tests would determine if the animal was a dog or wildlife.

News Link:-http://www.mcall.com/news/local/police/mc-dogs-abused-lower-macungie-20121125-21,0,4219469.story

 

‘Breaking Amish’ Cast Members Claim Bestiality Part Of Amish Life

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Viewers tuning into a recent episode of TLC’s new hit show “Breaking Amish” saw the cast discussing Amish men having sex with animals, sparking questions about bestiality and incest in the Amish community.

The new series that debuted Sept. 9 claims to follow the lives of five fresh-faced Amish and Mennonites.

The cast members, who are from Pennsylvania and Ohio, were purportedly taken to New York City to explore life outside their culture.

The cast of “Breaking Amish” had a bizarre conversation about animal sex in a recent episode,

The conversation during the Oct. 7 episode, “What is Really Happening,was filmed at a restaurant in New York and involved the entire cast — Rebecca Byler, Abe Schmucker, Jeremiah Raber, Sabrina Burkholder and Katie Stoltzfus.

Leading into the human-on-animal sex discussion, Byler opines that there was a lot of incest within the Amish community. “I feel like where we come from everyone’s incest[uous] honestly,” Byler says. “Like first and second cousins getting married … that’s disgusting.”

Schmucker counters that there are a lot of “good Amish people out there, but there are a lot of perverts too.”

This apparently opens the door to taboo sex acts, as Raber says, “You would be surprised how many Amish married men confess to having sex with animals. You would be surprised.”

Raber later clarifies that not all Amish men are having sex with animals, but adds, “There’s a lot of them.”

Stoltzfus during a one-on-one interview with producers later in the show appears to be the only one at the table offended by the discussion. “I’m not really comfortable talking about things like that and the topic of conversation was just not really what I thought was appropriate,” she says.

A lot of questions have arisen online and in the media about the program’s authenticity. But the frank discussion among the cast caused a stir on-line, as some viewers appeared to accept the opinions as fact, while others found them ludicrous.

News Link:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/breaking-amish-animal-sex-beastiality_n_1980813.html

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