12-06-2019  12:42 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Man who 'freaked out’ on plane, forced landing pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Washington man who ingested methamphetamine before getting on a plane in Seattle and had what a prosecutor called a "freak out'' on board pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with crew members after the California-bound flight was forced to land in Portland.The...

Owners of Thai restaurant chain get prison for tax fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — A couple that used software to hide more than jumi million in revenue at the Thai restaurant chain they owned have each been sentenced to several months in prison and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said Thursday that Chadillada...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas judge accused of bigotry, profanities in courthouse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry and racism who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a “swear journal” documenting his obscene outbursts is facing complaints that his conduct violates the central judicial canons of...

Buttigieg backs black leaders after Indiana event disrupted

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is applauding African American leaders in his home city for “speaking their truth” after a protester disrupted an event held to demonstrate black support for the mayor in South Bend, Indiana.African American...

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either.The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Timberlake apologizes to wife for ‘strong lapse in judgment’

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with the co-star of his upcoming movie.The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to “stay away from gossip as much as I can, but...

Veteran producer of 'WarGames,' 'Blue Bloods," dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and...

'Once Upon a Time,' 'Portrait' top AP's 2019 best films list

Associated Press Film Writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle name their choices for the best films of 2019.LINDSEY BAHR1. “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood": Quentin Tarantino’s movie business fairy tale, featuring all-time performances from two of our great living movie stars, and the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Mitchell Trubisky helps Bears beat Cowboys 31-24

CHICAGO (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears appear to be hitting their stride, even if it might...

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake...

Chase with stolen UPS truck ends with shootout, 4 dead

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the...

Greta Thunberg reaches Madrid for climate activists' march

MADRID (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg has arrived by train in Madrid, where a global U.N.-sponsored...

Independence not on ballot, but on voters’ minds in Scotland

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Ask voters in this picturesque university town in eastern Scotland how...

Young and old march in unity, fear at French pension change

PARIS (AP) — Anger, solidarity, tear gas and frozen noses.That pretty well sums up the atmosphere inside...

McMenamins
Poppy Harlow and Sheila Steffen CNN

DETROIT (CNN) -- Nineteen-year-old James Johnson found a young pit bull puppy running up Seven Mile Road in Detroit this week. He took her in and named her Trina.

It's not the first stray dog Johnson has found on the streets of Motor City. Four years ago, he found an emaciated pit bull he named Campsite hiding beneath a trailer.

In America's biggest bankrupt city -- currently more than $18 billion in debt and home to 70,000-plus vacant structures -- there is another problem: Tens of thousands of stray dogs roam the streets.

As many of Detroit's residents struggle to get by, many of its dogs are left abandoned -- scavenging for food wherever they can find it.

The problem isn't a result of the city's bankruptcy filing. In fact, it's been a vicious cycle in this city for decades. As the economy sputtered in Detroit and manufacturing jobs disappeared, more dogs were abandoned. They're starving not just for food, but for affection.

"They're over-breeding. They're running the streets," says Kristen Huston from All About Animals Rescue, whose mission is keep dogs in their homes or to otherwise prevent them becoming homeless.

"A lot of people have lost their homes, lost their jobs and they just don't have the funds," she says. "They love their animals but it's very hard to feed their own kids and family."

Huston spends her days feeding stray dogs and canvassing neighborhoods to educate dog owners about the importance of spaying and neutering. She's part of the Pet for Life program, which provides free spay and neuter surgeries through a $50,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States.

Ninety percent of the strays are pit bulls or pit mixes -- popular with residents to use as guard dogs, according to Harry Ward, who runs Detroit Animal Control. He and his team are responsible for responding to an overwhelming amount of calls about strays. Seventy percent of the strays they take in will be euthanized within a week if no owner comes forward, per state law, Ward says.

"I know that that is distasteful to a lot of people," he says, "but people need to know what the state law is on this and how this goes."

Four years ago, Ward had 15 animal control officers who would round up strays. Today, he has four -- a third of the staff he says he needs. Technically, Detroit Animal Control has a $1.6 million annual budget, but Ward says positions he needs filled have been tied up in red tape.

Emblematic of the city's financial woes, the metal letters that read "DETROIT ANIMAL CONTROL" on the front of Ward's headquarters were stolen to be sold as scrap metal.

Meanwhile, Detroit ranks sixth on the 2012 U.S. Postal Service list of cities with the most dog attacks on mail carriers. Donald Montgomery carries "Back Off Dog Repellant" on his delivery routes and says he uses it several times a month.

"Where there's a lot of vacancies, they [stray dogs] take shelter in the vacant houses...abandoned cars," explains Montgomery. "We just deliver with caution, take our time."

During a recent visit to the Michigan Humane Society, one stray dog after another was brought in for evaluation. Most looked like skeletons, shaking, with their tail beneath their legs. They were weighed, given shots and then fed. Each attacked the metal bowl filled with food, scarfing it down, making it clear it had likely been weeks since they saw their last meal.

"They're like disposable lighters. They don't seem to have any value to people. So they're left behind easily and abandoned and left to run stray," says Deborah MacDonald, the chief cruelty investigator for the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit.

MacDonald has been investigating cases of abused dogs for 25 years. Asked what she thinks the key problem is, she says, "Irresponsible pet ownership. They're disposable in people's minds. They don't vaccinate, they don't spay, they don't neuter."

Tom McPhee is determined to get to the root of the problem. He founded the World Animal Awareness Society and is on a mission to count all the stray dogs in Detroit. He says recent reports of 50,000 stray dogs in his city are inflated -- but says the problem is severe. McPhee acknowledges the vast array of problems facing Detroit but says the stray dog epidemic matters because, "This is like the balance of health in this community and so this greatly affects the balance of that health."

McPhee says the thousands of abandoned structures across Detroit are a big part of the problem -- providing shelter for strays.

"What's happening now is people are just quickly absorbing animals and then passing them on to other people -- there is no sense of guardianship or responsibility of having an animal. The basic think that needs to change is that people understand the responsibility of being a guardian for a dog."

But there are those trying desperately to keep their dogs even when they fall on hard times. Howard Fullerton says when he lost his home to foreclosure he had to leave his 9-year-old pit bull Coco behind as he moved into an apartment with relatives.

"She's been in our family for nine years, since she was 6 weeks old," he says.

Coco lives in the backyard of the home she used to share with Fullerton. That is, she will until the bank sells the house.

Fullerton comes back to feed Coco daily. He posted a sign on the garage door which reads: "Dog is not abandoned. Coming back."

"The heartbreaking part is when I come walk her and spend a little time with her and leave, she just cries and whines," he says.

On a routine run with Animal Control this week, CNN saw five stray pit bulls taken in within less than two hours. One was chained up in the backyard of a burnt-out, abandoned home. It's unclear how long the dog had been left without food, water or shelter. Another was a young black pit bill, so injured he could barely walk.

"This is one of those prime examples of a discarded animal," said animal control officer Malachi Jackson.

Jackson has seen a lot, too much, in his 19 years rounding up strays in Detroit.

"The problem is as bad as the economic problem I think. The whole society is pretty bad. People don't have jobs, they use animals to build revenue and protect their property. An animal is like a burglar alarm or a security guard for those people. Times are just tough."

Tough to say the least. And like so much else in Detroit, man's best friend is waiting to be rescued.

As for Trina, the pit bull puppy James Johnson found running stray, he says he plans to breed her for at least one litter of puppies. "I like puppies -- I ain't going to lie," Johnson says.

It's a choice, Kristen Huston says, that is understandable but contributes to the problem. A problem plaguing this city as it fights to get back on its feet.

 

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