1. #1
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    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ

    Default Sit, roll over, beg -- dial 911

    You absolutely cannot make this stuff up.


    Sit, roll over, beg -- dial 911
    Morris woman cited for dog calling the cops

    By Rob Jennings, Daily Record

    PARSIPPANY -- Can dogs dial 911?

    A Lake Parsippany woman apparently thought so, but her late-night training session with Slayer prompted a visit on Thursday from three unamused police officers who slapped her with a disorderly conduct summons.

    Sylvia D'Antonio, 46, admitted placing three 911 calls that evening, Sgt. Yvonne Christiano said on Friday.

    A police dispatcher was alarmed because when the calls were picked up "the only communication was someone breathing," Christiano said.

    The calls were traced and three squad cars raced to D'Antonio's home shortly before 10:30 p.m., Christiano said. Once inside, officers realized that there was no emergency -- just D'Antonio's ill-advised attempt to teach Slayer, a German shepherd, how to dial 911.

    But D'Antonio told a reporter on Friday night that she had warned police ahead of time that she would be training the 5-year-old dog, which, she said, is named after a heavy-metal band.

    "I called the police department and told them we were practicing," she said as she smoked a cigarette on her front porch. "He didn't say anything. I said, 'Don't respond to any calls to this address.'"

    Slayer was not charged, but police weren't about to let D'Antonio off the hook.

    "This woman was aware she was not supposed to be dialing 911. She did it anyway," Christiano said.

    But D'Antonio swears it was the dog who dialed, and she accused police of being "obnoxious and nasty" when they came to her door.

    D'Antonio said she wants to train Slayer to be a police dog. A friend of hers in Bernardsville taught her German shepherd to dial for help, D'Antonio said.

    "She's (Slayer) like my guardian angel. If anything happens to me, she'll call 911," D'Antonio said.

    Last week, D'Antonio said she trained Slayer to "sniff out bombs, drugs and fireworks."

    A firework, set off by a neighbor, landed in her yard and caught fire recently, she claimed. D'Antonio said she then proceeded to teach Slayer how to bring the watering can over to extinguish the flames.

    D'Antonio further said she didn't even need to physically demonstrate how to dial for help. She merely instructed the dog verbally and Slayer got the number right.

    "She knocks it off the hook and then she steps on it," D'Antonio said.

    "She knows what the phone is. This was the first time I let her try something like this."

    D'Antonio also has a 2-year-old Cairn terrier named Gizmo, but she did not want to teach Gizmo to dial 911 because Gizmo is too young and not as smart as Slayer, she said.

    With conflicting opinions between D'Antonio and police, the question lingers -- can a dog be trained to dial 911?

    The answer is, sort of.

    In 1996, CNN reported that a dog in New Hampshire had saved its owner's life by calling 911. That dog, though, used a phone that was specially programmed to call 911 after any three touch-tone buttons were pressed.

    Steven Hodes, a Mine Hill veterinarian, said he seriously doubted that a dog could be trained to dial 911 on a regular phone.

    "To be that dexterous with a paw would be almost impossible," Hodes said.

    "Not that you couldn't train a dog to want to do it," Hodes added.

    D'Antonio noted on Friday that it's easier for Slayer to dial the phone because she owns a telephone with extra-large buttons.

    Mary Pregent, the northeast regional manager for Canine Companions For Independence, said dogs trained by her organization respond to 50 commands -- from opening doors and turning on lights to holding up credit cards in their mouths.

    None is able to dial a phone, she said.

    Christiano said no court date for D'Antonio has been scheduled yet.

    Meanwhile, D'Antonio said she's not planning on letting her dog dial 911 any time soon.

    Still, she said, she thinks it's useful for dogs to learn the skill. Before teaching the dog, however, she noted that it's important to have the support of the local police department.

    "They're not on the ball down there," she said of the Parsippany police.

  2. #2
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    JackTee09's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    SC & NJ


    This lady is training her dog to dial 911 and I can't get my neighbor to mow the lawn.

    I saw a dog at some sort of animal exhibition in Red Bank dial a large keypad phone. If it can be done-great - but what happens at night after the dog has knocked back a few? He will start dialing 911, 411, and 3111 just for fun.


    "Insert quotation here."

  3. #3
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    fireguy919's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    eastern Ohio


    George how could you post this. Can we not all see it. Just reading the article I seen what was going on. The dog was calling 911 for her self. The poor dog has to be looking for a way out. How long before the next one she was trying to teach Slayer how to drive and pick up a pack of Kools in the box. That was good for a laugh where do they come from.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005


    Great, if a dog calls 911 in an emergency situation but what if it turned out to be a frequent habit?
    2005 Pontiac Wave 5 Hatch
    Pontiac... built for drivers

  5. #5
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    Dave1983's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Gator Country


    Yeah, but can he work a cell phone?
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer


    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  6. #6
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    dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...


    This is my favorite line by far....

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Last week, D'Antonio said she trained Slayer to "sniff out bombs, drugs and fireworks."

    Yeah, that's a good week's training, tops. Maybe one weekend she can make an arson detection dog out of him, too.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  7. #7
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    RLFD14's Avatar
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    Nov 2004


    Too funny....
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
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