Monday, December 29, 2008

BCAC Director doing something right

This is an interesting article that spotlights Jim Crosby who is the director of BCAC in Florida. He became directory in February of this year and in that time has reduced euthanasia rates from 78% to 56%. That is an amazing accomplishment. Compare that to Lucas County, OH where Tom Skeldon's stats are ~65% euthanasia, only an 11% decrease in 30 years. The story details his field of expertise in a niche market of dog bite fatality investigations.

Of course, he has inspired the ire of and its hate-mongering owner Colleen Lynn for his pit bull stance. Fascinating that Ms. Lynn's organization awarded Skeldon warden of the year for killing 65% of the shelter dogs and 1,300 pit bulls yet has nothing but negative things to say about a guy who's reduced euthanasia rates at his shelter by 22% in less than a year and who is called upon by law enforcement agencies as an expert. That is an amazing reduction. Of course people like Ms. Lynn care little about logic and facts and experts - that's silliness, people like her care about killing dogs who have not harmed anyone solely based on how they look.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Victories in 2008

Having a dog who looks like a pit bull (or any maligned breed) can be tough in this day and age. It's hard to get insurance, some cities will kill your dog on sight, and you are ostracized and condemned by family, friends, coworkers and the community at large. Why even bother? Well, anyone with a pit bull as a companion knows the answer - because the dogs matter, they deserve better and we can all continue the good fight in improving their chances at a good life.

It's easy to fall prey to negative thinking, but I think it's important to remember the positive things that happened for pit bulls and other maligned breeds this year. And remember, these changes and victories occurred because people did something. Remember that.
Without further ado, here are some of the victories for 2008.

Sports Illustrated puts a pit bull on the cover of their magazine, highlighting how the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's property are doing. The article is superb and sorta makes up for the 1987 cover depicting an aggressive-looking pit bull dog and the line "Beware of this dog".

A huge victory for dogs in the Netherlands, which reversed its 15 year ban of pit bulls after bite statistics yielded no improved safety for the general public because of the ban.

The state of Massachusetts introduced a bill to ban breed bans.

The list of communities that said no to BSL or reversed BSL(this list may not be all inclusive):
  1. Perryville, MO
  2. Gurnee, IL
  3. West Liberty, IA
  4. Joplin City, MO
  5. Brighton, CO
  6. HB 2553, PA
  7. Farmington Hills, MI
  8. Rantoul, IL
  9. Grand Island, NE
  10. Wyandotte, MI
  11. Marion County, WV
  12. Spencer, IA
  13. Ravenna, OH
  14. Madisonville, TX (reversed BSL)
  15. Mosinee, WI
  16. Minnesota
  17. Plymouth, MI
  18. Wayne County
  19. Whitehall, OH
  20. Reading, PA (Court case reversed BSL)
  21. Forsyth County, NC
  22. Edwardsville, KS
  23. Burnham, IN
  24. Waterloo, IA
  25. Tennessee
  26. Baltimore County, MD
  27. West Allis, WI (mayor vetoes pit bull ban)
In addition to the adoption of non breed specific dangerous dog ordinances, [info]stop_bsl has a great list of articles portraying pit bulls and other breeds in a positive light.

Keep up the good work in 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Does this article make any sense?

The title of thise article is "Pit Bull attack injures woman" but it doesn't actually state that one particular dog was responsible.

There were four dogs on the property, including a Labrador Retriever. The woman was intoxicated and couldn't even explain why or how she was attacked.

How on earth can we go from: "Woman is intoxicated and can't even explain how/why one of four dogs attacked her" to "Pit bull attack injures woman"?
A woman found dazed and bloodied in a New Lisbon home Thursday suffered multiple dog bites and was hospitalized.

The woman was intoxicated, confused and alone in the home and was not able to provide much information about when she was attacked or why, troopers said.

The Daily Star accepts letters to the editor:, keep it to 300 words or less, include your contact info and phone number.

Kay County: Pit bulls saved or euthanized

The end result for many large-scale confiscations of pit bulls is death. Not because the dogs are inherently evil or dangerous. Not because there aren't rescues willing to take some of the dogs. It is because of a perpetuated myth that pit bulls from fight busts or large neglect cases are a liability, that the only "good" thing for these abused dogs is to kill them. What a tragedy that the stereotype is perpetrated by shelters and humane societies that should know better.

Enter the Kay County sheriff's department who received a tip from a couple of hunters in early December that there were a lot of neglected pit
bulls on a rural property. When the sheriff's department showed up, more
Photo from BadRap
than 100 dogs were found in various stages of neglect and starvation. None of the dogs were at a normal weight, some had even paced a trench around their chain's maximum length, no doubt a sign of utter frustration and boredom. Several puppies were also discovered.

Instead of following the traditional route of mass-killings (the automatic killing of dogs should not be considered "euthanasia"), Kay County reached out to the animal protection movement and asked for help. The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, Best Friends and BadRap responded. And so did the public. When the Kay County Sheriff's department asked for help with donations, food and care for the dogs - thousands of dollars poured, enough food for a month was trucked in, and people showed up in support of these dogs. Amazing. The "owner" of the dogs has been charged with 70 counts of animal cruelty.

BadRap sent two representatives out to Oklahoma to evaluate the dogs. While there isn't final word from BadRap on how many dogs were euthanized or saved, we know that some are on their way to California for a new lease on life. It is one thing to euthanize because the dog is too shut down or too aggressive to pass behavioral tests or because there just aren't enough rescues to take in 100+ dogs, it is a whole other ball game to kill a dog because he looks a certain way. Since when did head size and the musculature of animal take precedence over their behavior?

It's great some of these dogs have a second chance. And, like the dogs adopted and saved from Vick's property, these dogs will continue to be ambassadors for pit bulls. They will show their community that a dog from a fight bust or from a cruelty case can be a model canine representative. They will show people that pit bulls are dogs, that they deserve as much of a chance at a good life as any other pup.

See BadRap's slideshow here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lucas County dog killer gets "award"

A hate-mongering group has awarded Tom "I kill adoptable dogs" Skeldon of Lucas County, Ohio with "Dog Warden of the Year'. No matter that has only been around for a year. No matter that it was founded by a woman with a serious grudge against anyone with a dog who looks like a pit bull. And no matter that the so-called dog-bite victim advocacy group is really just a front for discriminatory legislation, fear-mongering and hate.

The Lucas County Dog Warden killed 1,354 dogs in 2007 for looking like a pit bull. An additional 1,210 dogs were killed as well. Only 400 animals were adopted and, theoretically, another thousand were returned to their owners or farmed out to rescue organizations. I don't know about you but is a65% kill rate award worthy? Is the fact that dog bites have increased in Lucas County award worthy?

In one article, Tom Skeldon claims that things have gotten better since, well, since 1979. Yes, 30 years ago, things were worse for dogs in Lucas County. But how much worse? The euthanasia rate was about 76%. Flash forward 30 years and the kill rate is 65% - an 11% decrease in 30 years is not something I'd report as an improvement.

Fact is Tom Skeldon is a dog-murderer. No one should receive accolades for that.

The Toledo Blade accepts letters to the editor. is the email; keep it to 300 words or less, be respectful, include your full name, address and phone number for verification purposes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kay County: Trying to help confiscated pit bulls

I generally avoid posting stories of pit bull confiscations because they invariably end poorly for the dogs. Houston showed us how poorly to handle a dog fight bust by killing nearly 200 pit bulls confiscated from a fight bust. Instead of treating dogs as individuals who are victims of a crime, many police and shelter agencies treat these dogs as criminals. It's likely none of these dogs were given one lick of a chance.

Enter Kay County, Oklahoma and the confiscation of more than 100 neglected pit bulls. These are not being marked as "fighting dogs" (that alone improves their chance for adoption) but as neglected dogs who need a chance.

The photo line says it all about the dog pictured: "One of more than 100 Pit Bulls found neglected near Newkirk looks for attention."

No mention of dangerously out of control evil baby-eating machines - just dogs in a state of disrepair from prolonged neglect and starvation. Officials even went so far as to attempt reviving a dead puppy from a little found alone and starving inside a building.

And the dogs? There is no mention of killing them. In fact, a point is made to state that the sheriff's department is in touch with Best Friends* and is also looking for volunteers to help take care of the dogs. Volunteers to help take care of the dogs! As in possibly interact with over 100 pit bulls!! Bless their hearts.

If you're in Oklahoma or just want to do a good thing for these dogs, donate to the care of these dogs. It's so important to let Kay County know that people across the country care and care a lot about pit bulls. If you cannot donate to Kay County, try donating to your local shelter; be it money or your time or toys or blankets. Every little bit to improve the lives of shelter animals is a wonderful way to put your compassion into action.

The sheriff's department is seeking donations of money, dog food and buckets for water. Donations may be sent to the Kay County Sheriff's Office, 110 S. Maple, Newkirk, OK 74647.

They are also looking for volunteers to take care of the dogs.

Kelley may be reached at the sheriff's office. (580) 362-2517.

News article

*Regardless of your opinion on Best Friends, that Kay County is even reaching to save these dogs speaks volumes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arkansas City: A case of the stupid

Arkansas City banned seven breeds of dogs. When a man who has had dog issues threatened to buy a Presa Canario - Arkansas City banned that breed too. Fascinating.

Mayor Mell Kuhn said he realizes that often the real problem with dogs is the owner and not the dog, but he said he feels the city should be proactive and protect the citizens of the city.

If Mayor Kuhn actually realized the problem was with owners, he would not have encouraged a vote to ban seven breeds of dogs.

And is there truly a vicious dog problem in Arkansas City?

Niles said she hears about one vicious-dog case a week. City officials hope to cut down on that number.

It is difficult to cut down on the number one but perhaps dogs with three legs who act aggressive can be considered 3/4 a vicious dog case. Just kidding.

For a town with 12,000 people a vicious dog case a week is hardly anything to panic about. The fact is that a "vicious dog case" could range from dog ate my baby to dog stared at me funny.

I still maintain that most regions in this country do not have a biting dog problem and that while generic "breedless" dangerous dog laws are great...there really isn't a need for them, imo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A nice article out of Colorado on pit bulls (except for mentioning that oft-quoted CDC 'study' that everyone misses the end point of - that breed bans are ineffective).

I feel for the directors and employees of city/county governments forced to enforce a law that mandates death for dogs who look a certain way and discrimination for people who own certain dogs.

Doug Kelley, director of animal services in Denver says it best: He said the ban has lessened the number of attacks by pit bulls, certainly, but he has no evidence that the ban has decreased the total number of dog bites or attacks in the city. He also said the ban gives people "a false sense of security."

Pit bulls still bite in Denver. Other dogs still bite in Denver. Dog bites haven't gone down (in Aurora and other BSL-ridden areas, they've gone up). People aren't safer.

But were they unsafe as it pertains to dogs to begin with? I still submit that dog bites aren't a public safety problem that the overwhelming majority of dogs don't bite, that the overwhelming majority of people are not bitten or mauled by dogs. But that isn't much of a story - the dog that just sits there and wags her tail, the dog who plays with a tennis ball, the dog who licks the face of the neighborhood children. Those stories don't sell but they happen far more frequently than the stories of children being mauled or adults being bitten.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lab puppy who killed infant starved

In July of this year, a young infant was fatally mauled by a young Lab puppy.

The dog, age 10-12 weeks, was left alone with the 2-month-old infant. The attack was so severe that the infant's genitals, portions of his leg and butt were eaten.

The necropsy just released shows what may have been obvious to many - a starving, malnourished puppy was left alone with a potentially tasty morsel. The dog had no food in his stomach, was underweight and no one in the house knew the last time the dog had been fed.

What is so interesting about this case is that the necropsy follow-up is actually published. In so many other bites or fatalities where the breed in question is not a Lab, readers never learn that the dogs may have been chained, neglected, underfed, fed poison, abused or mistreated. Instead, they are left thinking "family pets" (in the cases of resident dogs attacking) turn on owners b/c they are a certain breed.

That is silly, of course, as this case shows. The puppy did not attack because he is a Lab or genetically unsound. He attacked because he was systematically starved through neglect and left alone with another creature who probably smelled edible. Any dog treated in such a way may succumb to hunger pains. And this is why breed bans or restrictions are so silly: They don't address the people problem.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Media Mis Reports

Police: 2 Pit Bulls Attack 8-Year-Old, Grandmother
Two Attacked by Pit Bull This Afternoon South of Forney
Pit bulls maul child, woman in Mesquite <--- This video labels it a pit bull attack. The reporter talks about trying to find the loose "pit bulls". The original report goes like this: Girl is riding on bicycle when three dogs, two pit bulls and a mixed breed border collie came out of nowhere and attacked the girl, causing enough harm to require the child be flown to the hospital. When the grandmother of the victim came out, she was attacked as well. A passer-by was able to get the dogs away from the two. According to several reports, the dogs "left the scene of the crime" (seriously, one report says that).

The actual story is as such:

Girl is on her bike IN the same backyard as the three dogs owned by her grandmother. She is alone with them when, at some point, the dogs attack the child. Grandmother hears the attack and goes out to help and dogs redirect on to her. Dogs manage to escape and run away after being beaten off by a passer-by. Dogs are captured by animal control easily when they come back to the house.

The dogs? One pointer. One large mixed breed. And one mixed breed pit bull.

Fascinating, really.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dog's 75% pit bull!

In Ontario, no new pit bulls are allowed. Current pit bulls must be muzzled in public.

Here's a story in which a woman took her dog to a dog park. At some point, a fight ensued and the dog killed another. Ron Pierce of Pierce Animal Control made a wild guess and claimed the dog was part pit bull...though not "full-blooded" because the snout was too narrow. He states the dog is 75% pit bull.

Wait, what?

Dogs aren't "full-blooded" or "part-blooded" - it's not like their supply of blood is evenly divided into neat parts dependent on "breed". A phenotype can never give you the right to say stuff like, "that white person with the red hair is no doubt 65% Irish" or "that brindled colored dog is most definitely 45% boxer". I mean, that is just purely outlandish and silly.

That an animal control agent with no real experience judging the phenotypes of purebred animals is allowed to ascertain whether a dog is "purebred" or "mixed" and even how much of a "mix" a dog is is a perfect example of governmental abuse of power. It shows how dangerous BSL is and how utterly unfair it is - it would now be the responsibility of the owner to prove that her dog is not a pit bull. That isn't right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A fallacy of BSL

In the UK, American Pit Bull Terriers (and three other breeds) are banned. Dog bites have increased significantly since the implementation of the law.

Here's a recent case of the sad realities of BSL. There is a young man who permits his bull mastiff to run loose. This dog is very dog aggressive. He attacks an "illegal" pit bull being walked by his owner - rips open the dog's throat. Guess what? Pit bull is deemed illegal by the Department of Agriculture. Fascinating.

Bull Mastiff has now attacked another dog tethered outside of a pharmacy (a good reason not to leave your dog unattended while you shop).

Now authorities are heck-bent on finding this bull mastiff's owner! First, though, they have to waste money on prosecuting a citizen who had the audacity to walk a "pit bull" on leash. Then maybe they'll find the owner of the highly dog aggressive and dangerous bull mastiff.
BSL: Hardly Working!

Monday, September 22, 2008

When the news lies

Title of article: Dog attacks pet and owner

Now, I'm not one to belittle anyone's frightening encounter with a potentially aggressive dog. This story, though scary and easily preventable, is nothing more than a story of a frustrated dog getting loose from a chain and pinning another dog - no bloodshed, no bite wounds, nothing. I suppose I should be thankful the title isn't Rampaging Pit Bull Mauls Pensioner and Dog.

Title of article: 3 dogs attack FW man

Okay, here's the scoop: Three dogs running loose. Old (sassy) man walking is "suddenly" bit by one. Once. On the wrist.

Yep, that's the story. One dog bit him. The wound inflicted appears rather minor, when you see the three dogs in question. Not attacked, not mauled, not tried to kill the man.

It's mind-boggling that anyone is arguing these dogs who somehow manage not to eat the cameraman in the backyard were on some satan-sacrificing rampage.

Loose dogs in a pack act differently than on their own property, for sure. At the same time, after seeing the news video, I'm slightly more inclined to believe that this man provoked this attack with his own outlandishly loud reaction to these loose dogs. I don't think the dogs snuck up on him to bite him on the wrist. I think he saw them coming, screamed bloody murder at them, shook his fists and stomped aggressively and one dog bit him. When he screamed and ran, they followed. But I have to tell you: If three large, aggressive, dangerous dogs want to bite you, they aren't going to let a small stick stop them.

I'm glad they aren't immediately euthanizing the dogs. I sure as heck hope the owner fixes the whole in the fence and stops leaving his dogs alone in the backyard.

Friday, September 12, 2008

West Liberty is a little crazy

West Liberty, Iowa is looking to ban pit bulls because of three -yes, three - incidents involving two "pit bull specific breed dogs". One dog accounts for two of those three incidents. No human was injured. In fact, no one was harmed, animal or human.

The city isn't even bothering with a grandfather clause
, because the logistics were going to be too difficult for the city to handle.

This is because West Liberty does not require anybody to license their dogs.

Here we have a city that wants to ban dogs who look a certain way based on the behavior of two dogs who never actually bit anyone or anything. Wait, not based on the behavior of the two dogs, based on what they look like! Then they won't grandfather in current pit bulls b/c "it's too big to handle" due to a lack of licensing.

And a pit bull ban is going to be easy to handle? Lawsuits are very cheap, I hear. So is enforcing a law that often increases the costs to animal shelters and the strain to their holding capacity.

West Liberty has a leash law. They have a vicious dog ordinance. Enforce them, for cripes sake.

Contact West Liberty - let them know, politely, that there are alternatives and that they don't have a pit bull or dog biting problem in West Liberty.

City of West Liberty
409 N. Calhoun Street
West Liberty, Iowa 52776
Telephone: 319-627-2418
Fax: 319-627-6523
City Manager:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lincoln, Nebraska - where the news is slow

Media spin time!

"The quiet of one dead end street in Lincoln was disrupted earlier this week after a Pit bull got loose in their neighborhood."

That's right, folks - the quietude of California Court was severely startled into a cacophony of clamoring screams when a pit bull got loose. The dog had the audacity to walk in the neighborhood without an owner present! Miraculously, he didn't eat anybody.

But he could have: "
One resident who did not want to be identified says she is especially concerned about the danger the dog could have posed if her grandchildren were outside."

Yes, be wary of loose dogs. No, a story of a loose dog being caught by Animal Control is not newsworthy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

South Australia for the fail

Two breeds make up 25% of dog bites in South Australia.

Before I even state which breeds they are, I think it's silly that this claim is made: "It would seem that both of these breeds are particularly unsuitable in the home environment when young children are present,"

This is the same tired rhetoric pit bull and Rottweiler owners hear time and time again. It's as silly as claiming that other breeds are more suitable with young children. Any relatively sound dog managed properly is suitable with young children. Even relatively sound dogs managed improperly can decide a pesky child needs to be reprimanded. That does not make their entire breed unsuitable for homes with children.

Let's also look at how this study data is portrayed. The article is not reporting the individual statistics for each breed but lumps two breeds together. I can only guess they do this to make the numbers sound a lot more exciting than they might be.

The two breeds account for 25% of reported attacks or 42 bites. All were inflicted on children. Twenty required hospitalization (which isn't saying much without detailing what hospitalization means). Combined, the two breeds make up about 11% of the dog population. Other breeds in the top six were Rottweilers, Border Collies, Bull Terriers and German Shepherds. More importantly, those 42 bites? They happened over THREE years.

With a population of 1.6 million, it seems unreasonable to argue there is a Kelpie & Jack Russell Terrier biting epidemic. Forty two bites inflicted upon 42 kids over a period of three years does not impress upon me that parents in South Australia should be concerned a) about dog bites or b) about Kelpies and JRTs mauling their kid's face. Two hundred bites a year isn't anything to cry home about either. Put another way, 200 bites a year translates into .00125% of South Australia being hospitalized by a dog. Now, maybe 1.6 million people a year are bitten by dogs in South Australia but don't need to go to the hospital. In which case, I'd say South Australia sucks at being talented dog owners and probably deserved to be bitten (kidding. sorta).

It's great they're promoting education, but ultimately, there isn't a dog bite problem in South Australia nor should people be concerned about any particular breed being more likely to eat their baby.


Monday, September 1, 2008

When eyewitness accounts fail

And why BSL can also fail - if people cannot honestly tell the difference between a lion and a large dog, how on earth can we trust these same people to tell us who is a pit bull and who is a lab mix?

Out of the UK: Escaped lion turns out to be Marmaduke.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sioux City representatives are a little loopy!

Crazy words from Councilman Jim Rixner out of Sioux City, Iowa:

"Pit bulls tend to become more dangerous as they age, especially in the last years of their life," Rixner stated. "Given the logic we keep spinning, the proposed ban, in fact, increases the risk of attack in the coming years."
I have heard many silly statements about pit bulls (and dogs, in general), but this has to be one of the sillier.

First, there is absolutely no evidentiary material to support the claim that any dog becomes "more dangerous", particularly in the "last years of their life." I mean, none. Zilch. Nada. If anything, older dogs have nubbier teeth, are slower-moving, and generally spend most of their time drooling, farting and, most importantly, sleeping. The geriatric pit bull with arthritis is hardly battle-ready for a terrorist campaign against the neighborhood.

Second, Rixner's use of the term "logic" should truly be preceded with "stupid" or "baseless" or "fallacious". It would thus make his statement true.

It is also creepy that Rixner and company are promoting turning on your friend, family or neighbor for having a dog who *looks* like a pit bull.

After that 60-day period, the city will start a campaign to encourage people to report pit bulls in their neighborhoods. Animal Control officers will follow up on those reports and would seize pit bulls that have not been registered and licensed. Those dogs would be euthanized.

Wow, glad my 9.5 year old pit bull and I live elsewhere, far, far away from Sioux City.

If you want to send polite correspondence or to inquire whether Rixner is actually serious about his claims, contact information is as follows.

As always, we welcome your phone calls and written correspondence. You may send letters by e-mail to the full or mail to City Hall, P.O. Box 447, 51102, or call 712-279-6102. Individual City Council contact information is as follows:

Mayor Mike Hobart
PO Box 447
Sioux City, IA 51102
712-899-6130 (cell)
712-258-1882 (home)

Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Rixner
PO Box 447
Sioux City, IA 51102
712-490-0245 (cell)
712-258-7855 (home)

Councilman Aaron Rochester
PO Box 447
Sioux City, IA 51102
712-253-4547 (cell)
712-226-4675 (home)

Councilman Dave Ferris
PO Box 447
Sioux City, IA 51102
712-279-6136 (work)

Councilman Brent Hoffman
PO Box 447
Sioux City, IA 51102
712-251-5344 (cell)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Banning pit bulls when they don't attack

In Buckner, Missouri, pit bulls are banned. A couple with two pit bull mixes interested in moving into the area would like the ban repealed or, at the very least, an exception made.

Let's all gasp in horror at the incident leading to the expulsion of all Buckner pit bulls - a puppy described as a pit bull bit a tricycle. Yes, there was a kid on the three-wheeled device but come on! No one was hurt, the dog could have been more interested in the rubber tires of the bike and it wasn't as if all pit bulls in a 5-mile radius were eating children left and right.

Oh yes, Buckner is the same town where a Bull Mastiff severely mauled two people in September of 2007. Bull mastiffs have not been banned (nor should they, of course).

Fascinating logic out of Buckner!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Breaking news story - pit bulls cause global warming

Because I felt like it, that's why.

Oh victorville, why must your reporting be so shoddy?

In Victorville, California, a 15-yr-old girl is attacked by a loose dog described as a pit bull.

The article is one of the most viewed stories for the little Daily Press.

Flash down to paragraph 13 for this gem: This is the 70th dog bite reported in Victorville this year and the first dog bite by a pitbull in about three years, according to Hester. Animal Control typically receives 100 reports of dog bites in Victorville every year, she said.

Three years, people.

Out of curiosity, I did a search of The Daily Press' website for more "dog bite" stories, hoping to learn about the 70 other dog bites in the area. I guess Floofie-poo-gle and Lab-a-canoodle bites just aren't as interesting - no other dog bites were reported in that particular paper. I did read a lot about a pit bull attack in 2004, a vicious attack on a child by three non pit bull dogs (who are called in one article a GSD mix & Boxer mix, in another two Chow mixes...) BUT with the necessary "five years ago a pit bull at my tree" news bit inserted, and nothing on any of the other 70 dog bites.

And people say there isn't a media bias? Pshaw.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Omaha and dog shootings

The Omaha Humane Society is going to train police officers on how to handle dogs they encounter on calls.

Other stuff on this subject:

In November of 2007, an activist took out an ad in the newspaper warning residents their dog may get shot by police. Also in that article, it noted that there were only five dog deaths by police gunshot in 2005 (when Colleen's 2 year old Lab mix was shot to death). Five. Fast-forward to 2007-2008 and there are, what, 39?

Some of the more egregious Omaha Police Shootings (b/c I'll grant that, sometimes, the only recourse is to use lethal force on a highly dangerous animal). This doesn't include the Lab mix or the German Shepherd mix being shot to death (I couldn't fine news articles on them). I could only find news articles on a few of the cases, and those were the ones where dogs were erroneously identified as pit bulls. The damage is done when only one out of fifty news sources correctly identifies the dog (with pictures, to boot).

August, 2008: A dog incorrectly identified as a pit bull mix who was shot and killed by police. The dog, a Heeler/Boxer/mutt with vaccinations and apparently licensed acted aggressively when police entered the home w or w/o invitation (that part is disputed). The dog caused a minor laceration to one officer. The response? The six-year-old pet was shot to death. You can see clearly from the video, especially when they show a side angle of the dog, that he is a mutt - pure and simple.

June, 2008: A dog incorrectly identified as a pit bull was shot and killed by Omaha police on the dog's property. The police officer noticed that a Jeep on the dogs' property was not up to date. So, he unlocked and opened the gate and entered the property. Two dogs, a Boxer mix (Chewy) and a pit bull ran out toward him. The officer claims the dogs were acting aggressive, the owner disagrees. Regardless, the Boxer mix was shot twice and later euthanized b/c of the injuries. The pit bull was not harmed. Interestingly, the humane society actually issues citations for allowing dogs to run loose, even though the dogs were in a fully enclosed yard...on their owner's property. Mind-boggling.

November, 2007: A mixed breed (no, not a pit bull mix) was shot at three times, one of the bullets actually hit him in the head. One bullet lodged into the owner's vehicle, another into the neighbor's home. The officer entered the property without permission to investigate a stolen vehicle. Neighbors all claim the dog was friendly. The dog survived.

October, 2007: An off-duty Omaha police officer shoots a Husky three times until the dog died. The dog was running loose but was not actually acting aggressively. The shooter was safe inside his home when his wife called stating she was frightened of a dog outside of her car (i.e. she was safe in her car). Instead of contacting animal control, the man immediately grabbed his gun and shot the dog three times.

I'm glad Omaha police are receiving training on how to handle dogs. I'm sorry it has taken 39 dead and wounded dogs to do just that.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pit bull ordered to attack, does not comply

From the title of this article, you would think that the entire swat team needed to be called in due to the complications created "by" a pit bull.

The story is about two irate teenagers, one who ran from the police, the other - his girlfriend - who got so mad she dragged the poor family dog into the debacle. In a brilliant attempt at The Stupid, the girlfriend tried to get the dog (a pit bull) to attack officers. The dog just sat there, probably like a total dork.

So, here we have a story about a couple of kids being dumb, running from the police, and a dog who just sits there and does nothing. Yet the title of the article? "Newark arrests complicated by pit bull". Well, no. The arrests were complicated by two dumb kids. The end.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A case of Asking for Trouble

Here we have a case of Asking for Trouble.

In Michigan, a woman and her husband decide to take pictures of the intact, loose pit bull on their front porch. In a genius move, they neglect to a) lock their door or b) block their pet door where their cat is permitted to come and go at will. The dog ends up entering the premise, attacking the cat and, when the woman intervenes she is bitten by the cat or dog (she claims the dog, but the picture of the wound doesn't really show a striking dog bite wound).

Here's the rub: People let their cats loose all the time (the dog is accused of killing other cats in the neighborhood). It's okay for their cats to shit in my yard, taunt my dogs and roam the streets killing other animals or getting killed by vehicles. But when a dog gets loose and attacks a loose cat, Holy Terror Batman, call the Death Squad!

I'm not saying this woman's cat deserved to be attacked nor am I saying this pit bull is owned by a responsible person. But it is rather silly to make this out to be anything other than a mishap made possible by people who snapped pictures of a loose dog on their porch instead of blocking their pet's cat door and by an owner who seemed incapable of simply confining their dog.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Police shoot two Labs during botched drug bust

I know this doesn't involve pit bulls or other maligned breeds nor does it really have anything to do with BSL, but it is a disturbing story out of Prince George County, Maryland where two Labrador Retrievers were brutally shot to death by police raiding the home of innocent Mayor Cheye Calvo, his wife and mother. According to the family, one of the Labs was actually running away before being shot to death. The Calvos were guilty of nothing.

Supposedly, PG police had a "no knock" warrant allowing them to bust down a door with guns blazing. Turns out they didn't.

Given the aforementioned malfeasance by Prince George’s County officers, it should come as no surprise, then, that authorities didn’t even have a "no-knock" warrant when they raided Cheye Calvo’s house, despite claims to the contrary by department spokesmen at the time of the incident. In fact, according to the Washington Post, "a review of the warrant indicates that police neither sought nor received permission from Circuit Court Judge Albert W. Northrup to enter without knocking," and that "Northrup found probable cause to suspect that drugs might be in the house and granted police a standard search warrant."
That’s right; not only was the assault on the mayor’s house immoral, it was also illegal.
Less than a year ago, Prince George County police made a similar mistake, raiding the wrong address and killing a confined dog in the backyard.

Police shooting dogs isn't anything new. Just yesterday, I posted this story yesterday involving a confined dog being shot by police in the head mere feet from the showering owner.

The linked article provides other examples of humans and dogs being victims of the "war on drugs" and the heavy-handed policing tactics now used.

All three cases show a desperate need for proper training on how to handle dogs and maybe some sensitivity training on how to handle families whose beloved companions have been brutally killed. While being safe is important, a sobbing individual who just wants to cradle their dying dog is hardly a menace to society (I can't see when I cry or breath very well, let alone try and take out an entire swat team).

What's scary is this: You and I are not exempt from drug raids. Our civil liberties and rights have been so eroded that a "crimestoppers tip" could result in police breaking down your door with a "no knock" warrant and shooting your dogs. Or your kids. Or you if, out of utter fear, you tried to protect your property. Confiscating drugs is all fine and dandy, but a few pounds of pot (or any drug) is not worth the deaths of humans or dogs. It just isn't.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Shooting a dog you know is secured

Out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, comes the report of an officer shooting and killing a dog.

Two officers were let into the home by children (is that even legal?) searching for a suspect no one at this home actually knew. They were warned that a dog was in the bathroom where Deanna Gonzales was taking a shower. When the officer opened up the door of the bathroom, s/he was bitten once on the wrist. Instead of closing the door, the dog was shot and killed when he (understandably) lunged again...all the while Gonzales was inches away showering.

In this report, the dog is called a pit bull.

But in another, the dog is labeled a Labrador Retriever - pit bull mix.

So, we have a case where officers didn't seek adult permission to enter a home, knew that a dog was secured in a bathroom, entered the bathroom anyways, shot a dog in the head when he freaked out and bit an intruder (dogs don't know cop from burglar) and then didn't have the foresight to shut the darn door. Fascinating.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

when american bulldogs are called pit bulls even though they aren't

Out of North Toledo we have this story of a two-year-old dog attacking his owner.

The first line reads Toledo police shot and killed a pit bull Tuesday evening as the animal attacked its owner in North Toledo, authorities said.

Two lines later? Mr. Lindsay was talking to his wife when the 2-year-old male American bulldog...

Now I know every Joe Blow and their mother confuses any dog with short hair and muscles for a pit bull, but there is a pretty significant physical difference between your average American Bulldog and your average "pit bull" (who, for all intents and purposes, is an American Pit Bull Terrier). The biggest is that one weighs like 110 pounds, the other weighs 50 (or, if you are Miss Mina, Ruler of all that is Canid and Good, you weigh 38 lbs. On the dot).

when dogs get confused for pit bulls and don't attack

Out of Colorado...this just in!

Rocky Mountain News reports the story of a man who shot two dogs b/c they looked like pit bulls but were actually not. According to this report, the two American Bulldogs attacked another dog, so the owner of the other dog waited a few minutes, got his gun, traipsed around the neighborhood (cuz he was afraid for his safety...interesting) and then shot the two dogs, killing one and injuring another. The article makes the shooter out to be a hero who was just patrolling the hood, trying to protect its denizens from dog-mauling fiends from hell.

The truth? No one was injured. No dog was attacked. The two American Bulldogs were guilty of "taking an aggressive stance" and, instead of calling animal control or the humane society, Clint Jewell grabbed his gun, tracked down the dogs and shot them. Also, he thought they were pit bulls, which according to Rocky Mountain News, is a notoriously aggressive breed, ergo this dude was totally a-okay for shooting them (that's implied, btw).

All of this could have been prevented if the owner of the two dogs had just repaired a hole in her fence. Simple stuff, really.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grand Island, NE - where no news is news

Let me count the ways in which this Grand Island Independent article is rather silly.

Before that, it is important for me to convey that I think dealing with an aggressive dog is scary. I would be upset too if a couple of dogs nipped me. The owner of these dogs should probably reconsider her cable method of restraint and perhaps consider a kennel or, even better, bringing the dogs in as companions, not lawn ornaments.

Okay, now that the serious stuff is out of the way..

When I was in 8th grade I tried to impeach the treasurer of the student council. I got 32 signatures. Then I learned there wasn't an actual impeachment process, that what I did was really mean (I made her cry, eep), and that there were much better ways to handle my personal problems with the treasurer (she was evil). Imagine the headline, though - Teenager's attempt at overthrowing student council treasurer thwarted!! It would have been riveting! Alas, unlike a neighborhood squabble about two dogs, MY very important news never made it to print. Sad.

This article is 900 + words long. Actual story should be : Soccer parents garner 26 signatures that mean nothing. Also, they don't like dogs who look like pit bulls. Or who are pit bulls. Or who may have consorted with pit bulls. Dogs who nip but don't break the skin of joggers are also to be shot on sight. Best quote of the day would be from Sheriff Watson on why this is a silly case,"I think a lot of this is because it's a pit bull"

The basis of the signature gathering was a so-called bite by two dogs. I've been bitten by dogs. This has always resulted in bloodshed and puncture wounds and me shaking my fist at the guilty party (who NEVER appears contrite, little bastards). I have also been nipped by dogs. This has always resulted in no bloodshed, sometimes a tiny bruise, and me still shaking my fist at the guilty party. The bite described in the article is a nip - no breaking of the skin, no bloodshed, one bite from each dog and then they were off on their merry way. Should not have happened, of course, and that is where the stupidity of the owner shows.

My suggestion to the signature gatherers: Get a hobby. Collect pennies or stamps. That will keep you safe from the hordes of rampaging pit bulls.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Let's outlaw pit bulls!!!

Allen Park, Michigan is on a mission to outlaw pit bulls. Why? Well, Councilmember Beverly Kelley's dogs were attacked by two pit bull mixes. Ergo, ban pit bulls. This is a very logical response, of course. I was tripped up by a pink chair, so now I just stand around uncomfortably, keeping a wary eye on all potential chair-attacks. (Okay, I don't really do that).

The two attacking dogs are a Labrador Pit Bull mix and a Rottweiler Pit Bull mix...maybe. There aren't any pictures of the dogs (which wouldn't be all that useful anyways) so we're not sure who's correct.

Maybe if Allen Park would take complaints of loose dogs seriously, this needless attack would have been avoided. The owners of the two dogs continually allowed her dogs to run loose.

But a pit bull ban? That's a silly response to a dog-dog attack between two really large dogs and two really small dogs. Not to mention it's a ludicrous response to two mixed breed dogs attacking other dogs.

Mangling a story to sensationalize

In March of 2007, a 16-yr-old student, Kodjo Yenga was stabbed and beaten to death by other teenagers.

This is how the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald) reports the story:

LONDON - School had just ended and Kodjo Yenga was walking home along a tree-lined London street when a gang of angry youths blocked his path.
One held a snarling pit bull terrier that strained against its lead. Chants of "Kill him!" erupted from the mob.
The teenagers, some of whom still wore their school uniforms, seized Yenga and one stabbed him in the heart. Witnesses heard members of the gang laugh as he lay dying in his girlfriend’s arms.
You can't help but think of Kodjo as a young scholar who was strolling the oak-lined boulevard with his beloved girlfriend in tow when, out of the seedy alleys of London emerged a mob of murderous teenagers. Perhaps murderous teenagers aren't quite dangerous enough, so the snarling devil dog is thrown in for good measure.

The actual story, while still tragic, isn't exactly the AP's version.

Kodjo and his girlfriend, Cookie, weren't walking home after school - they stopped for dinner at the house of Cookie's mom. Afterwards, they took Cookie's pet dog for a walk. They were approached by one juvenile hellspawn who picked a fight. Kodjo said the standard "let's take it outside over there" where Kodjo was suddenly accosted by several other hellspawn teenagers who beat and stabbed Kodjo several times.

Why did the fight start? Oh, you know that "snarling pit bull"? Well, the fight was actually over Cookie's pet dog - an apparently placid Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There was no pit bull gnashing his teeth, straining to tear into Kodjo. The hellspawn teenager wanted the dog and Kodjo said no. So he was stabbed twice in the chest, beaten and left to die in his girlfriend's arms.

In the grand scheme of things, especially in the grand scheme of this story, the fact that the pet Staffordshire Bull Terrier is transformed into a snarling pit bull is a minor inconvenience. Still, it is yet another example of how tough the media is on pit bulls.

If you care to know (and you should), two of the five attackers were sentenced to a minimum of 15-yrs in prison. The remaining three were sentenced to 10 years in a detention prisoner. The youngest attacker? Thirteen at the time of the murder. The oldest? Sixteen at the time of the murder.