Saturday, August 31, 2013

Raining Cats and Dogs in New York and New Jersey

"2 kittens halt NYC subway service" by Verena Dobnik |  Associated Press, August 30, 2013

NEW YORK — It only took two kittens to stop the city’s subway in its tracks.

Power was cut to the B and Q lines in Brooklyn for more than an hour after a woman reported Thursday morning that her kittens were loose in the subway, transit officials said.

The furry felines, one black and the other white with gray stripes, were finally found on the tracks and rescued about seven hours later.

How they got there was a mystery, but they were seen running dangerously close to the high-voltage third rail.

Their owner rushed to a subway station with cat food to give to transit workers who were sent onto the tracks to use to try to corral them....

The kittens were discovered Thursday evening and police officers removed them from the subway tunnel in crates, Glave said.

While the effort on behalf of the kittens created delays for passengers, shuttles were provided to take riders to other Brooklyn subway stations, said transit officials, who couldn’t immediately provide the cost of the extra service.


"Woman avoids jail in N.J. dog abuse case" by David Porter |  Associated Press, August 29, 2013

NEWARK — A woman who admitted abandoning a dog later found at the bottom of a trash chute in a case that led to tougher animal cruelty laws was sentenced to probation Thursday by a judge who urged the animal’s supporters to ‘‘put things in perspective.’’

The Essex County prosecutor’s office had sought to have Kisha Curtis given the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to fourth-degree animal cruelty last month just before her trial was to begin. She got 18 months of probation instead.

Curtis, 29, admitted she left the pit bull tied to a railing outside her Newark apartment building in 2011 when she left town for a week. The emaciated dog was found in a plastic bag at the bottom of the building’s trash chute, unable to stand and weighing about 20 pounds, about 30 pounds below normal. Curtis didn’t admit to throwing the dog down the trash chute.

Judge Joseph Cassini III said Curtis was ‘‘tried in the court of public opinion’’ and ‘‘portrayed as a monster’’ after her arrest.

The prosecutor’s office, the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the facility that treated the dog — known as Patrick — received thousands of letters, faxes, and e-mails from people around the world offering support or advice.

Speaking to the courtroom Thursday, Cassini contrasted Curtis’s case with an upcoming murder case.

‘‘In this case, fortunately, no one was killed,” he said. “Patrick survived and is thriving. We have to put things in perspective.’’