Monday, May 09, 2005

Good Dog...Bad Dog

As in a Walt Disney movie (but without the Peggy Lee tunes):

NAIROBI, Kenya — A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with a litter of puppies, witnesses said Monday.

The baby girl, named "Angel" by hospital workers, was clad in a tattered shirt and wrapped in a plastic bag when the dog found her Friday, according to Aggrey Mwalimu, owner of the shed where the baby was discovered in a poor neighborhood near the Ngong Forest in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

"When the dog picked up the baby in a dirty bag, it came and dropped her behind the wooden building where the dog has its puppies," Mwalimu told The Associated Press Monday.

The 7-pound, 4-ounce infant was taken to a hospital and "is doing well, responding to treatment. She is stable ... she is on antibiotics," said Hannah Gakuo, spokeswoman of the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, another canine created plenty of trouble for his owner. To the tune of $45,000 and three weeks in jail:

...when a neighbor's dog mauled and killed [her] beloved cat, Yofi, last year, [Paula] Roemer barely mentioned it to people she knew. But now she feels that she found one person who understood: a judge.

Last week, Seattle District Court Judge Barbara Linde ordered the dog's owner to pay $45,480.12 to Roemer for the cat's death.

....Judge Linde determined that Roemer should receive $30,000 in replacement value for the loss of her cat, $15,000 for emotional distress, $90 to recoup the cost of having Yofi cremated, $80 in medical expenses and $24.12 in interest.

....The defendant in the cat case, Wallace Gray, pleaded guilty to an animal-control violation last October in Seattle Municipal Court. Court documents say he admitted that his dog killed a neighbor's cat in February 2004 "due in part to my negligence."

Gray said he just learned of the financial judgment yesterday from a reporter. "This is way out of hand. This is absolutely crazy," he said.

Gray said he had already served 21 days in jail and three months under house arrest for the animal-control violation. He wasn't living in the house with his dog at the time of the attack, he said, and the acquaintance who was taking care of his dog left town before the trial.

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