Scott Shields — Lying again to the kids (with Theo, a Golden Retriever prop at his side)

theoprop.jpg
Why is a dog with no SAR training/certification in a rescue vest?

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Heroes Day’ honors canines – Greenland kids meet dog with famous 9/11 dad

(my comments below in bold)

Eleven-year-old Bear was a golden retriever trained in search and rescue [He had no SAR training]. He and his owner, Capt. Scott Shields [Not a captain, just called that due to having a boat in Connecticut.], were among the first responders to the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Bear is credited with the only live finds by a canine [Wake up folks. Remember back now. There were absolutely NO live finds by a dog. Period.] and with probably making the most correct finds of victims [Impossible as he was escorted off the site the 2nd day he was there due to being untrained]

Before Bear died, he had another big job [impossible task since Bear died in 2002]. He assisted in searching for victims of Hurricane Katrina. “When I called (Louisiana) Governor Kathleen Blanco, she said she couldn’t authorize my offer to bring search teams,” said Shields. “I asked her if she knew of Bear at the Twin Towers and she cried. She said, ‘I know who you are. How many teams can you bring?’ The 82nd airborne rescue boats there were fondly called Bear’s navy.” [There is nothing fond about memories of Scott’s actions at Katrina when you speak to the military folks who were actually involved in the work there.]

Shields attended the Greenland school ceremony Friday with Bear’s son Theo. When Shields hid a rolled cloth scented as a person who had been hurt, Theo quickly found it in the waste basket Shields had thrown it in.

“He is trained to find firefighters first,” Shields told students. … Theo proved his dedication to firefighters when he came across a bag of firefighter gear on the floor. He not only took it, but at first stubbornly refused to let it go. “He knows his job,” said Shields. [There is no such thing as being trained to find firefighters first. And, grabbing articles and refusing to release them is not the sign of a trained dog, let alone a Search & Rescue dog.]

There are so many lies and distortions in this letter I do not know where to begin. Much of the true facts that show this article to be false can be found in my article: TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness

I just wrote a letter to the reporter of this quite distressing article. Whenever these hideous apparitions appear, I feel we must correct the record. Read my article and read the above article as well. And, then make up your own minds. If you agree that something needs to be done, here is the applicable contact information.

1. Post your comments directly at the page with the article
2. Ms. Dandurant (reporter): kdandurant@seacoastonline.com
3. John Tabor (publisher): publisher@seacoastonline.com
4. Howard Altschiller (Executive Editor): haltschiller@seacoastonline.com
5. General paper email: news@seacoastonline.com

_____________________________________________________________

Here is my own letter to the reporter of the article:

Dear Ms. Dandurant,
It was quite distressing to see your recent article given the disputed authenticity of Mr. Shields and his purported SAR dog.

Please feel free to contact Nancy West (Co-author of Bear book) regarding Mr. Shields and his endless fabrications and fraud. You will notice that her site at Off Lead Publications does not even include the book she wrote with Mr. Shields as part of the now defunct Hero Dog Publications. She can be reached at info@offleadpublications.com .

She was forced to sever their relationship, and she detailed the following at Amazon

AUTHOR’S COMMENTS – NANCY WEST, February 12, 2006
There have been many erroneous facts, as well as misleading information presented in news and television articles about Scott Shields and his dogs Bear and Theodore. I hope the following helps both readers and the media who may be interested in gaining greater knowledge of the facts of this story:

1.) Scott Shields did NOT “command” search and rescue teams at the WTC. As discussed in the book, Scott was asked to escort a team from Massachusetts onto the pile during the evening of 9/11. Scott responded to 911 as an independent citizen volunteer. Like other citizen volunteers, Scott and Bear were requested to leave the search efforts after several days.

2.)Scott refers to himself as ‘Captain’ because that is what others called him for many years on the waterfront in New York and Connecticut. This does NOT refer to any military, maritime, or authoritative rank.

3.) Scott has some emergency management training, but he and Bear did NOT have “official” or “professional” search and rescue (SAR) training.

4.) Bear did NOT accompany Scott to the WTC to do search work. He was there because he was always at Scott’s side.

5.) Bear has NOT been credited with making any live finds at the WTC.

6.) Bear has NOT been credited with finding more victims than any other rescuer or canine. The number of victims Bear found has NEVER been established. Many highly trained,official search and rescue canine teams stayed and worked for weeks after Scott and Bear left. Presumably, these teams made many sad discoveries.

7.) Scott and Bear did NOT respond to the Oklahoma City bombing rescue and recovery mission.

8.) Scott and Bear did NOT respond to the earthquake in Turkey.

9.) Theodorable is NOT Bear’s son. Theodore was purchased by two of Scott’s close friends from a kennel near Princeton, NJ during the autumn of 2002. Theo was approximately six months old when he was adopted. At this time, Theodore is NOT a trained search and rescue dog.

10.)Theodore has been made an honorary ‘mascot’ in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is NOT a Coast Guard SAR canine.

Also, please do read this article. It details Mr. Shields’ fraudulent actions as detailed in the New York Post article by Philip Recchia, who can be contacted at precchia@nypost.com.

Be sure to contact Lt. Dan Donadio ( k901nyc@yahoo.com ), a real hero who ran the NYPD K9 unit and was at Ground Zero for nine months. Lt Donadio actually removed Mr. Shields from the site the second day he was there, even though he felt sorry for the ‘old man and his old dog’. Again, you can read his actual comments from my article .

I have to be honest with you, Ms. Dandurant, it is articles like yours that result in a tremendous amount of work for me. Because then, I must spend my valuable time again disputing the poor researching and the blatant lies. I have to work through the article and detail to folks each line that is untrue and provide the accurate information. I have to take the time to contact the editor of your newspaper, invoking others to do so as well.

I have immense respect for the hard-working SAR teams and across the country they are engaged in selfless jobs. We rely on their expertise and their assistance at those times of crisis when we are at our most vulnerable. The trust we place in those authentic workers is so very diminished by the actions of SAR wannabe, self-glorifying folks such as Mr. Shields.

I am hoping that either your article can be removed or that a major retraction can be provided. Please feel free to contact me. But, please do not do so before completing some further research, reading the articles that I have detailed above, and contacting key persons such as Nancy West, Lt. Dan Donadio, and Philip Recchia.

Pet Food Recall Must Lead to a Revolution — with handy shopping chart!

Pet Food Recall Must Lead to a Revolution
The Honest Kitchen Provides Educational Resources to Help Owners Select and Prepare Healthy Foods

By Lucy Postins, Canine nutritionist for The Honest Kitchen, a San Diego pet food manufacturer whose human-grade, dehydrated raw diets are produced in a human food facility, not in a pet food plant.

SAN DIEGO, April 20 /PRNewswire/ — The huge, tragic surge in companion animal illness and fatalities in recent months continues to stun pet owners across the nation. As investigators attempt to unearth the cause, there is a hope that those animals who have lost their lives or been sickened from eating contaminated products, won’t have done so in vain.

The pet food revolution must begin. The industry needs to stop chortling at the fact that pet owners see their pets as members of the family, and address the truth: Pets don’t deserve food that is unfit for people. Pets deserve quality. Pets trust us with their lives and they deserve wholesome, healthy, safe food that is manufactured under higher scrutiny. Manufacturers and their suppliers need to be accountable, and integrity must prevail.

The recall has at least served to enlighten pet owners about the perils of feeding conventional, feed-grade products to their companions — and now owners are hyper-vigilant, on high alert for any adverse health conditions. Now, people understand how diet can affect health, and pet guardians are eager to learn about how to feed their animal companions more healthfully.

Humans don’t expect to maintain optimal health on a diet that consists entirely of breakfast cereal or fast food — and it stands to reason that the same holds true for other species, too.

The incidence of cancer in pets has increased directly in proportion to the introduction of commercial, low quality foods during the 1940’s and 50’s. Even before this terrible recall, kidney disease was already the leading cause of death in cats and 25% of dogs were thought to have some form of this condition. (Source: Goldsteins’ Wellness & Longevity Program).

The link has been made between a highly-processed diet that contains by products, fractions of foods (versus whole foods), laden with chemicals and fillers, and the resultant, less than perfect health. When fed as the sole diet day after day, fast ‘convenience’ food eventually leads to an increased risk of illness, including renal problems, digestive issues, dental decay, hypo-thyroidism and urinary tract disease. http://www.api4animals.org/facts?p=359&more=1 is an excellent resource.

Newspaper articles have cautioned owners not to feed home cooked or raw diets. For those who have been raising their animals to lead long, healthy lives by doing so for many years, this information is most irritating.

It certainly takes some homework to prepare balanced, nutritional meals (The Whole Dog Journal is an excellent resource) — but it’s not all that much trickier than providing our children with wholesome nutrition, when a broad array of foods is offered throughout the week.

While raw diets can present a minimal risk of contamination or trauma when stored or handled incorrectly, or fed improperly, these ‘innovative’ approaches to nutrition may be the key to better health when prepared and served mindfully.

The risks of acute or chronic detrimental effects on health, from feeding low grade commercial canned and extruded foods far outweigh the slight risks from other options.

CLICK HERE for a ‘clip and carry’ table that outlines ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of pet food. Pet owners should try to purchase diets that contain ingredients only found in the ‘Good’ column.

Retired Therapy Golden Retriever Jaymie back in the limelight

Dog shines as Sandy in musical
By Severo Avila, Rome News-Tribune Staff Writer

As talented as Armuchee Middle School actors might be, they’ll have to take a back seat to a more seasoned performer. When the students take the stage for their production of “Annie Jr.” on April 26 and 27, they’ll be sharing the spotlight with Jaymie, a retired therapy dog who is already used to the applause of an audience.

Jaymie and owner Cyndy Douan are donating their time to the middle school musical in which the pooch plays “Sandy,” the lovable stray befriended by the title character, Annie.

Armuchee Middle School Choral Director Ann Burgess contacted her veterinarian when she realized she needed a well-trained dog in the production. “And they steered her to me because of the training I’d done with their clients’ dogs,” said Douan, who owns Georgia Dog Gym, a facility for training show and pet dogs in agility, obedience and other skills.

Douan had the perfect dog for the part. Her 13-year-old golden retriever Jaymie had been trained in obedience and was a therapy dog. She had done agility and trick training and was familiar with stage work.

“And she basically has been retired for the past two years,” Douan said. “But she loves to perform and loves being around people. She really perked up around the children, so I think she’s really enjoying being a part of this production.”

There’s more . . . .

Golden Retriever READ Dog Bosun

Students’ literacy skills improve thanks to Reading Fur Fun
By Jim McGaw, East Bay Newspapers

EAST BAY – Jacob Unger would read to his three cats if only he could get their attention. “One cat’s a scaredy-cat and another one’s a mean cat and the other one got hurt in a fight with the scaredy-cat,” explains the first-grader at Bristol’s Guiteras Elementary School last week.

But Jacob loves sharing a good book with Bosun, a 9-year-old golden retriever owned by Pam Kirk of Portsmouth. He greets his shaggy friend with a smile and a quick belly rub, then picks out a book, “A Polar Bear Can Swim,” before plopping down on a beanbag chair.

Jacob, however, will have to wait, for Bosun’s in an excitable mood this morning. He’s got his leash in his mouth, his tail is wagging furiously and he moves quickly to greet any visitor who enters the room. Finally, his master cajoles her over to Jacob with a little gentle force and some tried-and-true bribery — a bone-shaped biscuit.

Bosun lies down next to Jacob, who then regales the dog with a litany of facts about polar bears and other animals and insects. “Honey bees can make honey, but a honey bee can’t make milk,” reads Jacob, as Bosun sits up and pants.

Bosun provides Jacob an attentive audience, which is the whole point of the Reading Fur Fun program run by the Potter League of Animals, with help from local volunteers. Modeled after a program that originated in Utah, it was designed to help “reluctant readers” who aren’t always comfortable reading in front of a group of people. At the same time, these children and their classmates learn about respect and safety procedures around animals.

There’s lots more . . . .