Jennifer Joyce Has Twitter Shit Fit Over Stray Rescue Criticism

Categories: Animals, Twitter

image via Facebook
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce

Who's standing in the way of justice for Brownie? The pit bull was set on fire in 2013 and burned so badly he had to be euthanized. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce initially charged a St. Louis woman named Adrienne Martin in the dog's death, but dismissed the case last month, saying a key witness was no longer cooperating.

Randy Grim, the founder of Stray Rescue, believes Joyce didn't have to drop the case. KMOX published a story on its website Monday quoting Grim saying that Joyce should expect a visit from him as he demands justice for the slain pooch.

Joyce didn't wait for Grim to come knocking. Instead, she took to Twitter last night -- and attempted to shame him into an apology.

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Dog Killed in South County SWAT Raid Was "Charging to Attack," Police Report Claims

Image via
One of Angela Zorich's sons relaxing with Kiya the pit bull
Here's an update on the lawsuit filed last week by Angela Zorich, the South County woman who claims tactical police killed her dog when they raided her home in 2014 to investigate building code violations.

Daily RFT has obtained documents that appear to be the police's own incident reports. They tell the cops' side of the story, which boils down to this: The family was considered "a nuisance" by neighbors, and during the raid, Kiya, the four-year-old pit bull, was "charging to attack" as they shot her.

See also: St. Louis County SWAT Team Killed Family Dog Over Code Violation, Suit Says

Zorich insists in her suit that, on the contrary, Kiya didn't even have time to bark before being killed.

And interestingly, by the cops' own telling, the dog was 12 feet from the officers when they opened fire and killed her. They also acknowledge in the report that they'd entered the home without knocking, even though they were investigating code violations. Their justification: They believed the residents had "extensive violent history" and were known to be armed.

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Charges Dropped Against Adrienne Martin, Woman Accused of Torching Dog to Death

Categories: Animals

Courtesy of Stray Rescue
Randy Grim, center, holding up a photo of a different dog who suffered from torture.
For Randy Grim, founder of the Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the burning death of a terrier mix named Brownie was "one of the most inhumane, cruel acts I've ever heard of."

That's the way Grim put it to Daily RFT back in July 2013, two weeks before police arrested a woman named Adrienne Martin. According to a probable cause statement, Martin admitted responsibility for dousing the chained-up dog with gasoline and setting him aflame. A witness stated he saw Martin holding a lighter as the helpless animal burned. Prosecutors charged the 35-year-old St. Louis woman with two counts of felony animal abuse.

It was exactly the kind the case Grim had envisioned pursuing with the Animal Cruelty Task Force, a city-sanctioned partnership between Stray Rescue, police, the circuit attorney's office and the health department. This was how to hold animal abusers accountable.

"This demonstrates again that we are serious about this," Mayor Francis Slay said in a press release touting the arrest. "Our Animal Cruelty Task Force will continue to catch and arrest criminals who torture or hurt animals."

Now, nearly two years after Brownie's death, the charges are being dropped.

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Missouri Has the Most "Problem Puppy Mills" in the U.S., Humane Society Says

Categories: Animals, Missourah

Courtesy of the Humane Society of the U.S.
This photo from a 2011 USDA inspection shows puppies in an overcrowded cage at Country Pets in Montgomery City, Missouri.
A Maltese that apparently froze to death, while other puppies shivered in the cold. Shih tzus that were so emaciated, their shoulders, ribs, hips and spines jutted out prominently. A cage holding multiple dogs where feces covered 85 percent of the floor space.

These are among the local lowlights from a new report by the Humane Society of the United States -- a report that finds, despite the 2010 ballot proposition that was supposed to clean up Missouri's puppy mill problem, the state still leads the nation in the number of "problem" dog breeders.

Of the 100 worst breeders identified by the Humane Society in its "Horrible Hundred 2015" report, 23 were based in Missouri. That's significantly higher than the next-worst state, Kansas, with its 16, and Nebraska, which had 14.

Eight of Missouri's problem breeders were identified as repeat offenders. And some of the details, listed in federal and state inspections and compiled by the Humane Society, are appalling.

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What It's Like to Get Bitten By This Penguin During a St. Louis Zoo Penguin Parade

Categories: Animals

Micha Usher
The penguin that bit Riverfront Times photographer Micah Usher.
After nineteen long and penguin-less months, the Saint Louis Zoo re-opened its Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit Thursday to the joy of St. Louisans of all ages, hundreds of whom bundled up against the cold to watch the unveiling.

Riverfront Times sent trusty photographer Micah Usher to capture the zoo's kickoff parade of king penguins, a significant (and adorable) moment in St. Louis history. He was the perfect candidate for the job: Usher routinely takes his camera for long walks after snow storms that keep the rest of St. Louis trapped inside eating bread, eggs and milk. Plus, his photos of cuddly puppies celebrating Mardi Gras at the 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade could cure even the darkest depression.

Yes, Usher was the man for the job. Little did we know, the job was more dangerous than we'd thought.

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RIP Bert: Grizzly Bear Rescued from Alaska Dies at Saint Louis Zoo

Categories: Animals

Robin Winkleman/Saint Louis Zoo
Bert the grizzly bear died at the ripe old age of 25. His brother Ernie died at the Saint Louis Zoo four years ago.
Bert, the beloved grizzly bear at the Saint Louis Zoo, has died.

The zoo humanely euthanized Bert Tuesday after a veterinary exam showed irreversible age-related problems that limited his mobility. He was 25 years old.

See also: 9 Reasons to Celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of Saint Louis Zoo's Penguin & Puffin Coast

"We are saddened by the loss of Bert, who has been a great bear for many years," said Steve Bircher, curator of mammals/carnivores at the Saint Louis Zoo in a statement. "He lived and died with dignity."

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9 Reasons to Celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of Saint Louis Zoo's Penguin & Puffin Coast

Categories: Animals

All photos by Jon Gitchoff
"We're bAAAAAaaaaack."
The wait is almost over, St. Louis.

It's been a year and a half since the Saint Louis Zoo closed the popular Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit temporarily to make way for a brand-new polar bear exhibit. This week, the zoo re-opens the penguin and puffin exhibit, allowing visitors to reconnect to St. Louis' gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins and horned and tufted puffins.

See also: 5 Best Moments of Oshie the Baby Penguin's Life at the Saint Louis Zoo -- So Far

The penguin and puffin habitat officially opens at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5. In honor of the re-opening of one of the coolest parts of St. Louis city, here are nine reasons why we can't wait until Thursday:

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"Move This Cat To the Suburbs" Fundraiser Aims to Save Foster Pet from St. Louis Crime

Categories: Animals

Courtesy of Melissa Debus
Alonso, or "Hans," a foster cat whose owner is fundraising for a safer home across the county line.
After nine years of living in south St. Louis city, Melissa Debus wants out.

Debus, 31, is over the armed robberies, burglaries and car break-ins she's seen in her neighborhood, Tower Grove South, since she moved there two years ago.

"Our apartment building keeps getting broken into," says Debus, who lives in the 3900 block of McDonald Avenue. Her downstairs neighbor was robbed again Sunday, and burglars took his laptop and television. "He's on first-name terms with the crime lab now."

Debus also wants to save her eleven-month-old foster cat Alonso -- "Hans" for short -- from "slumming it" in the city.

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Cincinnati Zoo Names Lion Cub In Honor of St. Louis Zookeeper

Categories: Animals

Wendy Rice
Huruma, named after the Swahili word for "compassion" in honor of St. Louis zookeeper Becky Wanner.
The compassionate spirit of a St. Louis zookeeper who died of breast cancer lives on in the cub of the lion she helped raise.

Lion keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo named three-month-old cub Huruma, or "Uma" for short, after the Swahili word for "compassion" in honor of Becky Wanner, who worked as a lion keeper in St. Louis before her death two years ago.

Wanner helped hand-raise Uma's mother Imani, the first lion born at the Saint Louis Zoo in 37 years. When Imani's mother wasn't able to produce enough milk to sustain her, Wanner and a team of zookeepers fed her by hand.

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14 Adorable Dogs (And One Horse) Who Are Totally Ready for Mardi Gras

Categories: Animals

All photos by Micah Usher
Being this cute is a lot of work. Take a breather, Kelly!
Mardi Gras will always be a time for beads, king cake and masquerades, but here in St. Louis, home to one of America's largest Mardi Gras celebrations, the best costumes are going to the dogs.

Pups (and even a horse!) turned out in style last weekend for the 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade, featuring a performance by Blues Traveler. Riverfront Times photographer Micah Usher was on had at the parade to capture the best moments of canine revelry.

See all photos: 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade and Blues Traveler

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