09-21-2020  9:45 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4


US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.


Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

Year after year, John Deere has declined NBFA's invitation to display its equipment at the 116,000-member organization's annual...

City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

Brennan Blue is replacing Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina, who is retiring after 28 years. ...

Vandalism, no arrests, as protests continue in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Vandalism but no arrests occurred during a demonstration in downtown Portland involving about 200 people Saturday night.A march began around 9 p.m. and stopped at multiple locations. Some in the group sprayed graffiti and smashed windows at a bank, restaurant and coffee...

Wildfires and hurricanes disrupt final weeks of 2020 census

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic and a tightened deadline, the Census Bureau must now contend with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation's once-a-decade headcount.The fires on the West Coast forced tens of...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...


Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

Coming together to change the systemic racism of the failed approach to drugs and addiction ...

One Huge Lie Crystallized

The Democrats have cast the President as a failed leader, but Trump’s supporters painted him as a success and the last line of defense against radical socialism. ...


I am hoping that millions of us will teach Trump what it means to be a loser on November 3rd. ...


Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ross Chastain snagged one of the coveted open Cup seats on Monday in a promotion at Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 next season.This year marks a particularly active free agency period with heavy turnover expected among a limited number of rides. The No. 42...

Alabama Archives faces its legacy as Confederate 'attic'

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of memorials glorifying the Confederacy had been erected by the time Marie Bankhead Owen built what may have been the grandest: The Alabama Department of Archives and History, which cataloged a version of the past that was favored by many Southern whites and...

A sweep for ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Succession’ tops Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Schitt's Creek,” the little Canadian show about a fish-out-of-water family, made history at Sunday's Emmy Awards with a comedy awards sweep, something even TV greats including “Frasier” and “Modern Family” failed to...


Zendaya becomes youngest lead drama actress to win Emmy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zendaya said her “heart was filled” when she saw her fellow nominees, including Jennifer Aniston, cheering on the “Euphoria” actress for becoming the youngest drama lead actress to win an Emmy.The 24-year-old Zendaya became emotional after she...

Kal Penn hopes for dialogue with new show for young voters

Politics has been more than a little shouty of late. Actor and activist Kal Penn would quietly like to change that.“Today we have the blessing — or a curse — of being able to yell at somebody on your phone on Twitter, which of course feels fantastic sometimes but doesn’t...

Ellen DeGeneres makes on-air apology, vows a 'new chapter'

NEW YORK (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the new season of her daytime talk show to address allegations of a toxic work environment, apologizing for things “that never should have happened.” "I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I...


Ellen DeGeneres makes on-air apology, vows a 'new chapter'

NEW YORK (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the new season of her daytime talk show to...

On 75th anniversary of UN, its chief appeals for peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Born out of World War II’s devastation to prevent the scourge of conflict, the...

Alabama Archives faces its legacy as Confederate 'attic'

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of memorials glorifying the Confederacy had been erected by the time Marie...

Navalny says nerve agent was found 'in and on' his body

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demanded Monday that Russia return the clothes he...

Meghan's lawyers deny she cooperated with royal book authors

LONDON (AP) — Lawyers for a British newspaper publisher that's being sued for invasion of privacy by the...

Madrid adopts virus restrictions exposing poor-rich divide

MADRID (AP) — Heightened restrictions to stem Europe's fastest coronavirus spread in some of Madrid's...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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.


Multnomah County Breastfeeding
Oregon Wildfires hub

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Kevin Saddler