Councilman Opposes Pit Bull Law
By Natalie Swallow
Story Created: Sep 29, 2008
Story Updated: Sep 29, 2008
Springfield's pit bull law faces new opposition from within city government.
Councilman Doug Burlison says he's been against the pit bull ordinance since before he ran for city council last year.
He says the law is wrong because it singles out one specific breed, pit bulls.
Pit bull owner Betty Browning says her five pound Chihuahua is the dog with the bite, not her pit bulls.
She says people have a misconception about the dogs.
"They're labeled and it's not a good label, it's not a good label, and it's not a deserved label," Browning said.
Browning says she registered her pit bulls after the city's pit bull ordinance went into effect.
"We complied. We complied because responsible owners, they take care of their animals," Browning said.
She says the real danger is pit bull owners who don't comply with the law, making it ineffective.
Councilman Burlison agrees.
"I feel the ordinance itself is not very enforceable," Burlison said. "It's not like we can go visit every household and inspect for pit bulls or anything."
Officials at the health department refused to go on camera for an interview, but said according to department statistics, the ordinance is effective and has had a positive impact on the community.
But, Burlison also takes issue with the bill being breed specific.
"It makes an assumption that every pit bull that is out there is a vicious animal and not a correct assumption," Burlison said.
Just ask Browning, she says her pit bulls, Lilly and Blue-B, are anything but vicious.
"It's just a total misconception," Browning said.
Burlison says he is working on getting more council members on his side before bringing forward a formal proposal to repeal the ordinance.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
From the LA Times:
Yes, it's still OK to drive with the dog in your lap11:17 AM, September 28, 2008
Think it's OK to drive with your puppy in your lap? Some folks in Sacramento were hoping to outlaw such behavior. But it looks like it won't happen this time. Times staff writer Patrick McGreevy reports:
Facing a backlog of legislation that he refused to sign until a state budget was passed, [Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger took his veto pen to 95 bills, including a measure that would have prohibited dogs from riding on the laps of motorists.
Many of the vetoed bills, including the lap-riding measure, received the same message from Schwarzenegger: "Given the delay, I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California. This bill does not meet that standard and I cannot sign it at this time."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This comes to us from the OC Register:
Wednesday, September 24, 20082 'Denver death row' pit bulls come to O.C.Fullerton man drives 2,800 miles to pick up dogs caught in mile-high city's ban.
By BARBARA GIASONE
The Orange County Register
FULLERTON – David Edelstein could have driven four miles from his Fullerton home to the county animal shelter last week to pick up one of three pit bulls available for adoption.
Instead, Edelstein traveled 2,800 miles round trip to rescue two pit bulls from what he calls "death row in Denver."
The animals were targets of the mile-high city's law that bans pit bulls from that city and its county.
One of the dogs, Forrest, grabbed national headlines last month when he was led away under police escort from the Denver Animal Care and Control Center for transport to a St. Louis, Mo., rescue group.
His owner, Chris McGahey, was facing a rule under which the city has the right to euthanize pit bulls if they are caught twice roaming Denver streets.
The pit bull revolt was linked to a 1989 law – and empowered again in 2005 – that prohibits people from keeping or selling a pit bull in the city and county of Denver. Pet owners were given 30 days to remove their pit bulls from the area.
"I'm totally against breed-specific legislation that outlaws certain dogs," said Edelstein, who introduced the dogs to Fullerton's Pooch Park on Tuesday.
The Fullerton resident read about McGahey's case and a protest in Denver. He put in an application to adopt Forrest, age 2, after the Best Friends Rescue Center in Utah stepped in to help – one of many rescue agencies in the country that takes dogs from the mile-high city.
While waiting for a reply, Edelstein learned that the Denver ruling was based on several deaths allegedly caused by the pit bull breed. He also learned 1,600 pit bulls have been euthanized by Denver Animal Control in the past three years, according to news reports.
Doug Kelley, the city's animal control director, agreed that if McGahey signed an affidavit, Forrest could escape death and be relocated to a rescue center, according to reports in the Rocky Mountain News. Kelley did not return calls to his office this week.
After Edelstein learned the Utah agency had too many relocated dogs, he tracked Forrest to St. Louis.
"I waited 10 days to hear if I could get the dog," said Edelstein, watching Forrest romp around the pooch park. "When a volunteer rescue group heard I was approved to get Forrest, they asked if I was willing to bring a rescued Rottweiler dog from Long Beach to Colorado, they would bring Forrest to Colorado."
Edelstein met up with Forrest at the Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Grover, Colo. – a 640-acre ranch where the owner has rescued and rejuvenated 300 animals.
The Fullerton activist learned about another pit bull in trouble in the Denver area, and made arrangements to adopt Kane, 18 months.
On Monday, Edelstein arrived back in Fullerton to introduce the rescued dogs to his own pit bull-mix, Daze, 2, which he rescued.
"I never owned a dog until last year," said Edelstein. "And now I want fair treatment for all breeds."
He hopes to find a foster owner for Kane, and promised to someday to reunite Forrest with McGahey.
Meanwhile, he's an active spokesman for Roverlution.org, an organization that protests breed-specific legislation.
The group will stage its fourth-annual Luv-A-Bully march at 10 a.m. on Oct. 25 in Brea to change the negative stereotype of pit bull breeds. The event will take place at Founders Vet Clinic, 330 N. Brea Blvd.
Passionate about the cause, Edelstein – who owns a catering and personal-chef business – said he is in a position to spend time fighting against the mistreatment of pit bulls.
"It's how the owners treat the dogs, not the breed, that determines their behavior," Edelstein said.
This guy's a true hero. Makes you proud to be a Californian, doesn't it?
Published:Wednesday, September 24, 2008
By Ed Runyan
The parents wanted to bring the baby into the kitchen, but her bed was too large to fit through the doorway.
LEAVITTSBURG — The Trumbull County coroner’s office has ruled the death of a 3-day-old girl, killed by the family dog Monday morning, an accident.
But Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, the county’s forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the infant, said the death reinforces the need for people to understand that dogs are not people.
“An animal cannot tell the difference between a plaything and a human being,” Dr. Germaniuk said, adding that dogs are “guided by instinct” and are sometimes territorial.
The baby had been home from the hospital only one day when the family dog, a Siberian husky, pulled her from her baby bed in the parents’ bedroom and dragged her into another room, police said.
The baby’s mother had fed the child before 10 a.m, put her back in her bed and had gone to the kitchen to make the family breakfast.
A little while later, at around 10 a.m., she and her husband realized the husky had the baby in its mouth in the family room, police said.
The husky complied when the husband ordered the dog to let go of the baby, but the child had suffered multiple blunt-force and sharp-force injuries and died at Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital at about 10:45 a.m. The baby had been born there Friday.
Dr. Germaniuk said the baby suffered injuries to nearly all of her body, including chest, back, arms, legs and face. The baby weighed a little more than 5 pounds.
The baby had a pulse when paramedics first arrived but died either en route to or at the hospital, Dr. Germaniuk said.
The father told police he had let the dogs outside but thinks he may have let them back into the house a short time before the attack. The couple also has a beagle dog, police said.
Debbie Agostinelli, shelter director for the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, said it appears the dog did not attack the child but more likely viewed her as a toy.
She said she has spoken with a member of the baby’s family, who said the 7-year-old dog was used to playing with squeaky toys and stuffed animals. Based on what the family member told her, it looks like the dog “simply mistook the baby for a toy,” Agostinelli said.
It’s possible the baby may have made a noise that excited the dog and made the animal want to play, she said.
Agostinelli said it is her understanding that the dog, which is being housed at Trumbull County Dog Kennel in Howland, will be euthanized.
She said standard advice given to parents bringing a newborn home to a house with a dog is to begin to make the dog feel comfortable with the child by introducing the baby’s smells to the dog before the baby comes home by wrapping the baby in a blanket and letting the dog smell the blanket.
Warren Township Police have not completed their investigation, Lt. Don Bishop said Tuesday.
Other sources that the fate of the husky has yet to be decided. Let's hope someone comes to their senses and realizes the poor dog had no idea he was doing anything wrong. It seems senseless to compound this tragedy by killing the dog, too.
The Dog Guide online has some very good advice about introducing dogs to newborns.
Monday, September 22, 2008
From the Southeastern Missourian:
Saturday, September 20, 2008
By Paul Davis
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — After a fire gutted a house and basement apartment Jacob Ford lived in last Friday afternoon, the 20-year-old Poplar Bluff man said he's thankful to be alive, and even more so for the dog he "never really paid any attention to."
Ford was awakened Friday afternoon by the persistent whining of a pit bull owned by his mother's boyfriend, and knew something must be wrong.
"As soon as I stood up, I had smoke in my face," he said.
Grabbing a fire extinguisher, Ford headed upstairs, only to find the house's hallway full of smoke as well. He then ran outside to call the fire department and his mother.
Ford then realized the pit bull, Butch, had saved his life, because smoke alarms in the house failed to sound. Butch, however, was nowhere to be found.
"I went to the top of the stairs twice," Ford said. "I was yelling for Butch at the top of my lungs, but he didn't respond. That's when I figured he was probably gone."
A Butler County firefighter eventually found the dog, still alive and hiding in the smoke-filled basement, and led him to safety.
Tina Mobley, Ford's mother, said the dog apparently lost a lifelong fear of basements while attempting to wake her son. Butch, she said, had been abused as a puppy before she purchased him with "the last $52 I had on me."
The dog, Mobley said, had "only been in that basement one time up until that day," because he was terrified of the place, having been kept locked in one as a puppy.
Mobley, who's raised American pit bulls for years, said while the breed has a poor image, not all of the dogs are troublesome.
"They just need a lot of attention," she said.
Ford agreed, saying pit bulls are "family-oriented dogs if they're raised right."
For Mobley, all the extra work she went through to raise Butch from an abused puppy was worth the effort, and now, she said, she'll be forever indebted to him.
"He's a pretty heroic pit bull," she said. "That's the best $52 I ever spent in my life.
"If it had not been for that dog, there's no doubt in my mind my son would have died."
For his efforts, Butch received singe marks on his muzzle but seems to have has suffered no health problems. He has regained much of his puppy fear, though. "He doesn't want to be left alone now," said Mobley, "because he's scared all over again." Ford hopes to change that, he said, starting with the big steak dinner he's promised his new best friend.
HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A woman whose bulldogs mauled two people to death, including a 91-year-old man, was sentenced Thursday to up to 15 years in prison.
Circuit Judge Stanley Latreille ordered Diane Cockrell to pay more than $30,000 in restitution as well as serve from 43 months to 15 years.
Cockrell, 52, pleaded no contest last month to two felony counts of keeping dangerous animals causing death and a third lesser charge. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
Authorities said four of Cockrell's dogs attacked 91-year-old Edward Gierlach in his driveway and pounced on 56-year-old Cheryl Harper, who was walking or jogging nearby. The attacks happened last September near Cockrell's home, about 45 miles west of Detroit.
Cockrell had a horse farm on the property, and authorities said the wooden fencing surrounding it was not adequate to keep dogs from escaping. Authorities euthanized her 10 dogs.
Defense attorney Daniel Blank said Cockrell "had no idea" the dogs were capable of killing people, and the case should be a lesson to all dog owners.
Cockrell will report to prison Jan. 2. The delay is to allow her to receive treatment for health problems, Blank said.
When you first see the headline you might think, "Good, make the owner responsible for once." But as you read further you see that there were four dogs involved in the attack but the powers that be decided to euthanize ALL of her dogs. Six of them didn't have anything to do with the attack yet have to pay for the irresponsibility of their owner with their lives.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Who knows how many good dogs have fallen victim to unfair Breed Specific Legislation? Here is one dog's story. She still has a chance to have a happy ending.
From "In the Shelter of Your Heart":
This is Reina. She's a 35 lb female. Spayed, house trained, good with kids, likes cats, loves car rides. She's waiting to be adopted at the Siouxland Humane Society in Sioux City Iowa. She came to the shelter because her owner passed away. A small, well loved healthy dog. She provided love and companionship for a good owner who kept her safe and probably planned to love her tell the end of her life, not knowing their time would come first.
When first brought to the shelter she was scared, it was loud and frightening. She didn't know what had happened to the smiling face she used to wake up to every day, she didn't know what did she do to deserve this. Although the friend of the family thought she might not be good with other dogs, shelter staff have observed Reina in the shelter, and she passes other dogs with out a problem. She's even been making good use of her time, by getting some education. A local Girl Scouts troupe teaches obedience to select shelter dogs (what an awesome program by the way!) and they have chosen Reina. She is doing well in class and would be an excellent pet.
So why has this great dog not yet been adopted? Why is she at the top of the list to be euthanized, soon? She is a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix. In the last few weeks Sioux City has put severe restrictions on Pit Bulls, or "Pit Bull Type" dogs, included that no new adoptions can be made in the city. If no one from outside of Sioux City, or any other rescue or shelter, doesn't step up to take Reina she will die. Plain and simple. It is possible a Sioux City resident could adopt her quickly under the short grace period and license her as their own. But the stigma now applied to these dogs may prevent that.
If you can help Reina, please don't wait, act now and contact the Siouxland Humane Society today. Even a donation to her adoption fee, or transport fee would help tremendously if you are not able to adopt. This is the reality of BSL, good dogs will die, while bad owners multiply. Law abiding citizens will be prevented from giving good homes, and dogs like Reina suffer the consequence.
5:39 PM, September 19, 2008
While celebrities walked the red carpet Thursday night at the premiere of the comedy "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," about 20 protesters stood by with signs urging people not to go nuts after they see the movie and impulsively buy a Chihuahua.
"We know the movie is cute," says Kim Sill, who runs the campaign against puppy mills for Last Chance for Animals, the group that organized the protest. "We don't want to say we're against the movie. We're against people going to a pet store after they see the movie. We want them to go to a shelter, because there are a lot of Chihuahuas there."
Animal welfare advocates have been concerned for weeks about the impact of the Disney movie -- which opens Oct. 3 -- on Chihuahuas. In the past, popular movies featuring a dog often cause a run on that breed. "101 Dalmatians" led to an uptick in Dalmatian ownership. And, according to Sill, the Taco Bell commercials featuring a Chihuahua helped create a Chihuahua craze. But when people realize the dog may not be right for them or their family --Damaltians are difficult and Chihuahuas are not always great with children --"they get dumped," says Sills.
And when a movie is about to open, puppy mills, she contends, gear up to produce more of that breed to supply pet stores. (Many animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of the U.S., contend that most pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills.) "It used to be you would walk into pet stores and see maltipoos and Yorkies. All of a sudden in the last two months, we've seen Chihuahuas infiltrate the pet shops," Sill says.
Sill says her group wanted Disney to air a public service announcement in theaters before shows telling patrons to think hard before choosing a pet. "We would have happily produced it for them and given it to them," says Sill.
It turns out that several of the Chihuahuas in the film were rescue dogs found in shelters in Los Angeles and Mexico, according to Disney's promotional materials. The lead dog, known in the movie as Papi --the face of the movie on all the posters around town -- was rescued from the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter and lives with his trainer.
The theme of responsible adoption echoes through the movie -- some of the dogs get adopted as part of the story -- and all the promotional material, says the spokesperson. The movie's website (at the bottom) and the movie itself (at the end before the credits roll) have written messages noting that getting a pet is a serious and lifelong commitment that should be researched first. "We felt this was an important message to visibly relay at the end of the movie," said the spokesperson.
The Disney spokesperson added that the cast of the movie and the trainer of Rusco, the dog who plays Papi, have been talking publicly about animal adoption.
Last Chance for Animals also made this video. It's kinda corny but does make its point.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Reported by: Brooke Beare, September 18, 2008
Escondido city officials closed the Mayflower Dog Park on Valley Parkway today after a stray dog found abandoned there this week tested positive for the Parvovirus.
The dog had bloody stool and was vomiting when an employee from the Escondido Humane Society brought it in to the shelter, which is adjacent to the park.
Robin Bettin, Assistant Director of Community Services says staff members are working to determine how to disinfect the turf at Mayflower Dog Park as quickly as possible.
“We want to research it. We want to talk to those that are experts in the field, which is not park and rec staff by any means,” said Bettin.
Parvo is an extremely contagious virus that is usually deadly for puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is harbored in the feces of infected dogs. According to Dr. David Zanders, a veterinarian at the Academy Animal Hospital, and a board member of the Escondido Humane Society, the virus can linger in an environment for a significant amount of time. Zanders said an exposed dog might not show symptoms for five to seven days. Symptoms include loose and bloody stool.
“It's just disheartening,” said Marc Lindsey, a dog owner who showed up to run Rosie at Mayflower on Thursday. “[We] lose use of the park, and apparently don't know when it's going to come back. [Plus] the dogs that could have gotten sick, and spread [the virus] through the city.” He said the problem all comes from “one careless owner.”
Yet another example of how the actions of one irresponsible dog owner can ruin it for everyone.
For more information on Canine Parvovirus please visit the American Veterinary Medicine Association's website, or see your local animal shelter or vet.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
From Great Britain's Sky News:
Israeli City is Hoping to Combat Dog Poo
Vets in Petah Tikva will collect doggy DNA from mouth swabs
Residents of the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, have been asked to take their pooch to their local vet, where a DNA sample can be collected.
The city hopes to build a database so faeces can be matched to registered dogs and their masters.
Owners who scoop up their dog's poo and put it in specially marked bins on Petah Tikva's streets will be eligible for rewards - like pet food coupons and dog toys.
But owners who leave their pet's droppings on footpaths could face a fine.
If the voluntary programme takes off, the city will consider making it mandatory for owners to provide DNA samples from their dogs.
Tika Bar-On, the city's chief veterinarian, came up with the plan and said so far, dog owners had reacted positively to the initiative.
"[Residents] are co-operating because they want their neighbourhood to be clean," she said.
She added there was many other applications vets could use the DNA database for - such as research of genetic diseases, investigating canine pedigree and identifying stray animals.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
From the Edmonton Sun:
PUPPY DUMPING DENIED
PINCHER CREEK -- A 42-year-old Alberta woman charged after five puppies were thrown down an outhouse and left to die last winter has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.
Samantha Rieberger of Crowsnest Pass faces a trial in Pincher Creek provincial court Feb. 9.
A co-accused, Frederick Hoath, has already gone to trial, and a judge is to hand down a verdict Sept. 29.
The two were charged last January after RCMP were called to an outhouse along Highway 3 near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.
A motorist who had stopped to use the outhouse heard whining coming from inside.
The eight-week-old Lab-cross pups were rescued after a lengthy operation that saw the outhouse taken apart, and all five of them were given a clean bill of health and adopted out.
TORCHED CAT DIES
HALIFAX -- RCMP say a Halifax-area man awoke to a disturbing scene on his front lawn early Monday.
They said the man was roused by a bright flash outside his Lower Sackville, N.S., home and noticed that something was on fire.
The man went outside and soon realized that a cat had been set ablaze.
Police said he covered the cat to smother the flames and then notified police and municipal animal control.
The cat did not survive.
The above two stories are just so maddening. Don't you wish that these sick people could be given reciprocal punishment? People like these are Jeffrey Dahmers in the making. Stop them now.
A final story from Canada today. A hopeful follow-up for that poor little Jack Russell puppy's family.
VICTORIA -- A Victoria businessman has donated $500 to get a B.C. boy a new puppy after the child's dog was shot by a hunter.
The Jack Russell terrier had belonged to 12-year-old Max Rose on Quadra Island, near Campbell River on Vancouver Island.
Bill Lang said when he heard the dog had been killed last weekend he wanted to do something about it and contacted the Rose family.
He said the breeder of the original dog has another similar puppy for the Quadra Island family, and the donation from Lang and his wife will cover the costs.
The puppy had replaced another dog that had helped the boy while he recovered from a brain tumour.
The hunter turned himself in to police, reportedly saying the shooting was an accident. The Crown is weighing charges in the case.
From CTV in British Columbia, Canada:
B.C. family shocked after dog shot outside home
Updated Tue. Sep. 16 2008 3:36 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Police are hoping that a B.C. man, suspected of shooting a four-month-old Jack Russell puppy just metres away from its home on Quadra Island Saturday morning, will soon report to police.
"I'm hoping that he will turn himself in,'' said Cpl. Craig Peterson of Quadra Island RCMP.
Owner Nick Rose said the dog -- called Seymour -- was a gift to son Max, to mark the end of three-years of cancer treatment.
"My kids were happy and laughing like they haven't been in years. My son in particular since before he was diagnosed with cancer I hadn't heard those kind of giggles and that kid of laughter out of him."
But all that changed on Saturday morning outside the rose family's Quadra Island home.
"We had our new puppy with us, and we had a great night just the three boys, and we're staring our chores and down the road walked two hunters returning from an unsuccessful dear hunt."
Both of these hunters had shot guns. Not knowing any better, Seymour did what most puppies would do.
"He bounded out in his affable, puppy-like way wagging and simpering and practically peeing himself wanting to say hi."
But Rose knew the two men from an incident a few years earlier and he knew this was trouble.
Frantic he called Seymour back. But the puppy just followed the pair around a corner and out of sight. That's when a shot rang out.
"I ran to the end of our driveway and looked around the corner and there was our little puppy, quivering in his death-throws at the side of the road."
The hunters ran off leaving Nick and his kids in shock along with the rest of the island community. Even police are in disbelief.
"I'm like you, stunned, shocked that a senseless act like this has been carried out," said Peterson.
Police know the identity of one of the hunters and are hoping they turn themselves in to face possible charges.
"Right now we're looking at dangerous use or careless use of a firearm as well as endangering an animal, in this case killing a dog."
For Seymour's family, charges are taking a back seat to the emotional impact and senselessness of what happened.
With reports by CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart and The Canadian Press
If you click on the link to read the story from the CTV website, please read the reader comments as well. It may be of some comfort to know this story really seems to have struck a nerve, and that there is considerable outrage is being voiced.
photo from CTV.ca
This is a BSL case from a different province. From the Toronto Star in Ontario, Canada:
Dog owner challenges pit bull ban
Sep 16, 2008 08:25 AM
Pit bull regulations are too broad given that most of the dogs “make wonderful pets — are kind, gentle animals who harm no one ever,” lawyer Clayton Ruby said yesterday.
Dog owners are the problem, not the dogs, he said during a break at an Ontario Court of Appeal hearing on whether a law aimed at reducing the number of pit pull attacks should be struck down.
“It’s people who create dangerous dogs,” Ruby said on behalf of dog owner Catherine Cochrane, who is fighting regulations that went into effect three years ago.
“They want dangerous dogs,” Ruby said of some pit bull owners. “We should be attacking those people and stopping that process.”
The Ontario law bans new pit bulls from the province and orders existing ones to be sterilized, as well as leashed and muzzled in public.
Ruby, acting for Cochrane, earlier challenged the law as unconstitutional and won changes from a lower court judge. Yesterday, Ruby was further arguing before the appeal tribunal led by Justice John Laskin that the law should be struck down entirely.
For the Crown, Mike Doi listed numerous unprovoked pit bull attacks, including the 1994 Danforth Ave. mauling of 5-year-old Lauren Harper, who needed 300 stitches to her face.
“Pit bulls can attack unprovoked even when they are previously known to be friendly,” Doi said, supporting the lower court’s finding that the law should stand.
A key question on appeal is whether the law defines “pit bull” too broadly. The law specifically names Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, then includes any other dog with traits “substantially similar” to those breeds.
The wording is unconstitutionally broad, Ruby said.
“The evidence was that there are 24 pure-bred dogs that look like these dogs — and those are just pure-breds, (not to mention) all the half-breeds and mutts,” he said during the break.
“Your dog at home will look like a pit bull in many respects.”
Crown lawyer Robert Charney argued the law responded constitutionally to “a real, serious problem of public safety.”
The hearing continues today.
'Pit bulls can attack unprovoked even when they are previously known to be friendly'. This is someone representing the Canadian government making this statement. It's sad and disappointing to see that ignorance and breed prejudice knows no boundaries.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Last week we reported a case of unthinkable abuse and neglect of a Lab/Pit mix named Charlie. While still in pretty bad shape he is still in good spirits and his physical injuries are healing. Those who have taken charge of his care and others that have taken a personal interest in his welfare have decided to make a way for something good to come from Charlie's suffering. They have founded Children for Charlie Project. They have decided to sponsor Tiospa Zina Tribal School, Agency Village and West Side Elementary School, Sisseton, schools the area where Charlie was rescued in South Dakota.
Their goal is to raise enough money to provide a subscription to KIND News for all the students. KIND News that provides education and awareness of the need to be kind to animals. The donation will be made in Charlie's name. They will need to raise $771 to reach their goal. So far the response has been good, but there is still a long way to go.
If you did not get a chance to read the article from the link in the Sept. 10 story here is an excerpt from the story run in "In the Shelter of Your Heart":
When found, Charlie was battered and the extent of the damage to his body was not known. In the dark of night, Charlie was carried in to a warm house, and safe bed for the first time in his life. After just a few hours rest he was then transported to a vet for treatment. Immediately visible was that basically his scalp was peeled back, from his eye to behind his ear, along with other head injuries. Lacerations all over his body, signs of being beaten, and not just with a newspaper. He had broken teeth, and a broken elbow. While treating this poor animal the vet discovered two things, the first being that the injuries had happened up to 7 days prior, or over the course of several days. The second was that beyond surviving cutting and beating, the bullet lodged in him revealed he'd been shot as well.
I'll give you a minute to absorb all that, before I lay the most shocking fact on you.
This dog, living nothing but a meager existence, rewarded for his troubles with near death, has been described by one of his care takers as "One of the BEST dogs I've known". Sweet, gentle, loving. Through out all that, the most shocking fact, is that he is still willing to give a human the benefit of the doubt.
photo courtesy of http://shelteroftheheart.blogspot.com/
Monday, September 15, 2008
September 15, 2008 - 4:59 PM
Three dog breeds added to Geneva blacklist
Bullmastiffs, Thai ridgebacks and French mastiffs – also known as Bordeaux bulldogs – have been banned in Geneva because they are potentially vicious.
Regional authorities on Monday added the three breeds to a list of dogs considered too dangerous to keep as pets. Fifteen breeds are now banned in the canton.
The new law is not retroactive for pets already in the canton, but those who own the breeds must report them to local veterinary affairs offices.
The move comes after Geneva residents in February voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning vicious dogs following highly publicised attacks on children. Other cantons have also banned breeds of vicious dogs, including Fribourg and Valais.
In August 2006 a child was disfigured by a pitbull terrier in a Geneva city park. In 2005 a six-year-old boy in a Zurich suburb was mauled to death by three pitbull terriers.
Other banned breeds include Rottweilers, pitbull terriers and American Staffordshire
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Houston SPCA President Patricia Mercer compared it to the Biblical ark, and the rescue center has taken in the Galveston Island Humane Society animals as well as those from the Brazoria County and Bay Area SPCA in Galveston County, she said. Some of the staff from the other organizations accompanied the critters to Houston.
To prepare for the influx, Houston moved about 300 of its own animals up for adoption to other shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and San Antonio and set up an animal rescue hotline. (Those needing help with their pets can call 713-861-0161 or toll-free 877-661-0161.)
"It's going to be the central point where calls for rescues come to us," Mercer said. "We will be dispatching our folks for the rescue of animals."
Mercer advised people who see or have animals in need of rescue to call the hotline. She said staff would be prioritizing the rescue efforts and working primarily on "the animals in the greatest danger." Veterinarians are on hand to perform surgeries as needed.
She also warned that there would likely be a flood of strays in the streets because of pets left behind in the storm. Animal control authorities will be taking care of them.
Luckily, help is on the way for the Houston SPCA. Mercer said teams from Colorado animal shelters as well as those from the Los Angeles and Louisiana SPCAs and others around the country are flying in to provide support.
Other sources report that Long Island, NY-based North Shore Animal League will be dispatching a team as well.
By AMANDA LEE MYERS – 4 hours ago
PHOENIX (AP) — "Man's best friend" doesn't go far enough for Buddy — a German shepherd who remembered his training and saved his owner's life by calling 911 when the man had a seizure.
And it's not the first time Buddy has been there for owner Joe Stalnaker, a police officer said Sunday.
Police were sent to Stalnaker's home, and after about three minutes Buddy is heard barking loudly when the officers arrived.
Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said Stalnaker spent two days in a hospital and recovered from the seizure.
"It's pretty incredible," Clark said. "Even the veteran dispatchers — they haven't heard of anything like this."
Clark said police are dispatched whenever 911 is called, but that Stalnaker's address was flagged in Scottsdale's system with a notification that a trained assistance dog could call 911 when the owner was incapacitated.
Clark said Stalnaker adopted Buddy at the age of 8 weeks from Michigan-based Paws with a Cause, which trains assistance dogs, and trained him to get the phone if he began to have seizure symptoms. Buddy, now 18 months old, is able press programmed buttons until a 911 operator is on the line, Clark said.
Clark said Buddy has made two other 911 calls when Stalnaker was having seizures.
He said Stalnaker's seizures are the result of a head injury he suffered about 10 years ago during a military training exercise.
Stalnaker was not listed in the phone book, and he did not immediately respond to a request through police for an interview.
The movie may spark a Chihuahua "fad" putting Chihuahuas in high demand to those who get caught up in the hype.
KCBS.com in San Francisco reports:
“We’ve seen too many people make quick decisions,” said spokeswoman Laura Fulda, "like buying a Dalmatian after taking the kids to see 101 Dalmatians. “They may not be prepared for the special things that the breed needs.”
Shelters are already overflowing with abandoned Chihuahuas, Fulda said, and prospective owners should consider an adoption if they decide that’s the dog for them.
If you encounter someone expressing a desire to get a Chihuahua or ANY dog for that matter please do your best to encourage them to educate themselves about dog ownership before deciding to take the plunge. Also, insist that they adopt from a shelter and not from a breeder. There are plenty of available dogs in shelters and rescues. They can always to go petfinder.com and adoptapet.com (formerly, 1-800-sav-a-pet.com)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
From The Ledger in Lakeland, FL:
Driver Is Cleared of Throwing Kittens
By Jason Geary
Published: Friday, September 12, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 12:40 a.m.
BARTOW | Prosecutors will not charge a 67-year-old Lakeland man with throwing three kittens from a moving truck, concluding there is "insufficient proof" to support a charge of cruelty to animals.
Sean Reynolds and Denise Pribe were critical witnesses who said they saw cats being thrown from the truck window.
Only July 23, the pair were driving on Rockridge Road when they saw a black kitten get run over by a white pickup and another white kitten run away, according to Sheriff's Office reports.
Reynolds said he was about two car lengths away from the truck and saw a third kitten "come from high up on the vehicle … probably out the window."
Abuse of this kind should never be tolerated regardless of what kind of animal it is.
From maliciously kind of cruel to the heartless variety of cruel from the Tri-Cities Herald in Tri-Cities, WA:
Animal Control looking for 2 who dumped dogs
By the Herald staff
Tri-City Animal Control is seeking information about two people who dumped off five dogs at the animal shelter.
A surveillance video captured images of two people -- a teenage boy and a woman who appeared to be in her late 30s or early 40s -- dropping off the animals between 7:20 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
The video showed them backing their car up to the shelter and unloading the dogs from the hatchback.
The people carried some of the dogs in crates and put all of the dogs into the shelter's fenced yard.
"No remorse. They don't look back," Poundmaster Angela Zilar said, describing the people. "The dogs in the video are at the gate going, 'What are you doing? Why are we being left?' "
The dogs are Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes, including one that's pregnant.
Whoever dropped off the dogs could face charges of abandoning an animal, a gross misdemeanor, Zilar said.
To see still frames from the video, visit www.tricityherald.com/galleries.
Anyone with information about the people or the dogs can call Tri-City Animal Control at 545-3740.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The problem of dog overbreeding poses just as much of a threat to their welfare as physical abuse and dog fighting, and in some ways, is worse. After all, a reasonable person witnessing two dogs being forced to fight each other, or a dog being struck by someone, or a dog that's been subjected to obvious neglect would easily recognize that those conditions threaten the animal's welfare. But a litter of sweet, innocent little baby puppies? How could they be part of the problem when they're just so cute.
Of course, we as responsible dog owners know better. So does dog lover Kelley McQueen. And she's decided to take her crusade to the next level.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise tells her story:
By LAURIE LUCAS
Kelley McQueen transformed from animal lover to activist when she spotted a sign twirler hawking the sale of Great Dane puppies outside a bank.
Since then, the Banning woman has been chasing down "backyard breeders" who sell puppies or kittens in front of stores, at swap meets, in parks and from the trunks of their cars.
These unlicensed street vendors usually are not registered with the American Kennel Club, and they break laws by selling unweaned, untagged and unvaccinated animals that often have congenital defects and end up in the pound. Sales can be lucrative, often impulse buys, fetching up to $1,200 in cash for a purebred pup, say police.
"After months of seeing purebreds in pens on a grassy area between the sidewalk and Tyler Street, I finally snapped," said McQueen, 61.
Terry Sheldon, a volunteer who works with McQueen's small animal rescue group, said she was aghast to see beautiful golden retriever puppies there one weekend. Then a truck pulled up with a litter of pit bulls.
"I don't get in anyone's face, but I'm a 5-feet, 170-pound pit bull," said Sheldon, 51, who runs a day care in Riverside.
Some breeders flatly denied that they were selling dogs from their car trunks. Two women peddling Chihuahuas took off after Sheldon told them they were trespassing and snapped photos of them using her phone.
"I never assume they know they're doing something illegal," Sheldon said.
After law enforcement issued several $100 citations for "transient vending" and trespassing, the illegal trade along Tyler Street has dropped off dramatically in the past six months, said Lt. Bob Williams, the Riverside Police Department's area commander for the West policing center.
Other communities are catching on. Temecula launched a crackdown last Sunday on puppy pushers in the commercial strip district on Rancho California Road, according to Rich Johnston, deputy director of code enforcement and building safety.
"It's a public health issue more than anything," said Robert P. Miller, director of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Miller said he has no way to track the number of sellers, but he said they tend to be more prevalent in less-affluent communities where people want quick cash.
Often the animals are smuggled in from Mexico, are sick, and haven't been vaccinated, examined, spayed or neutered. They're ultimately destined for the pound once buyers realize care is costly.
Rescue groups estimate that about two-thirds of the 53 million dogs in the U.S. come from backyard breeders and say those are the single greatest cause of pet overpopulation.
Unregulated breeders tend to fly under the radar and elude authorities. Animal experts say they lack knowledge about their breed -- how to socialize the dog and maintain its health. They don't vet prospective pet owners to ensure quality care.
Worse, successful backyard breeders sometimes expand and morph into puppy millers, with profit as the only motive and sick and abandoned dogs as their casualties.
Rita Gutierrez, field services commander with Riverside County Department of Animal Services, said public education is critical to halt these vendors.
"Why would you give a stranger $200 or $300 on a street corner when there are shelters full of very cute dogs?" Gutierrez asked. "If you take away their business, they'll go away."
Reach Laurie Lucas at 951-368-9569 or llucas@PE.com
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A complete accounting of all the acts of bravery would not be complete without mentioning the efforts of over 300 rescue dogs. Their sense of smell made it possible to find survivors under the rubble. Their smaller bodies allowed them to get into spaced too small for humans. It is not known exactly how many lives these dogs saved, but the difference they made cannot be denied.
"If these dogs only knew what a difference they make. Certainly, there's nothing that can replace the precision of a dog's nose—and absolutely nothing that can replace a dog's heart."
— Bob Sessions, rescue worker, Federal Emergency Management Agency
The dogs were not immune to the depression and despair commonly felt by many 9/11 rescuers. There were reports that some of the dogs began to get visibly depressed after finding so many dead bodies. Mock rescues were staged for the dogs to lift their spirits.
Is there any doubt that have earned the title of "man's best friend"?
Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo
A man has pleaded no contest to charges that he kicked his girlfriend's Chihuahua to death after it soiled their bed in Redwood City.
Ariel Aspedilla, 26, of Manteca entered his no-contest plea to a felony animal cruelty charge on Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court. Judge Clifford Cretan sentenced him to nine months in jail and allowed Aspedilla to be released because of credit for time served.
Aspedilla was arrested March 13 after Chiquita, a 4-year-old female, died at an animal hospital, prosecutors said.
Aspedilla spent the night of March 6 with his girlfriend at her apartment and awoke to find that Chiquita had defecated and urinated on the bed, prosecutors said. Enraged, he kicked the dog four or five times, said Steve Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney.
Chiquita suffered five broken ribs, punctured lungs and a damaged liver and lost a significant amount of blood, authorities said. Aspedilla and his girlfriend brought the dog to Sequoia Veterinary Hospital in Redwood City, where a doctor tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate it, said Eva Fillyaw, a manager at the clinic.
Aspedilla was consoling his weeping girlfriend and appeared eager to accept the doctor's initial diagnosis that Chiquita might have an immune-system problem that was causing blood loss, Fillyaw said.
But a necropsy revealed the broken ribs as well as previous signs of abuse, Fillyaw said.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Concerns about dangerous dogs cannot be wished away. Consider that on the day a pit bull owners group said in a Seattle P-I article that it was rallying to protect the breed from any city ban, a pair of pit bulls horrifically attacked a 71-year-old woman in SeaTac.
Like always, there was not one mention of where the owner of these Pit Bulls were. Apparently concerns about prejudice and bias cannot be wished away either.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Most people have good intentions when they advertise a cat or dog as "Free To Good Home". They care what happens to the animal and are not interested in making money. All they want to do is find a nice family that is willing to give the pet a loving, responsible home.
The tragedy occurs when the animal is mistakenly put into a situation where it is neglected, abandoned, abused, or even sold for lab experimentation. Sadly, this sort of thing happens thousands of times each day across America.
Giving any pet away is misguided. People tend not to value what they don't pay for. If you charge a nominal fee of $35-$45 or more for an animal, the new owner is more likely to take their commitment to the pet seriously. A free pet is a disposable pet!
Paying a fee for a pet shows good faith on the part of the new owner and demonstrates their willingness to properly care for the animal. The truth is, there is no such thing as a "free" pet anyway. By the time a cat or dog is checked out by a vet, including shots, worming, health testing, and spay/neuter, a "free" pet will easily cost in excess of $100, and that's just for starters. A responsible person who would properly take care of an animal will understand this and will not be opposed to paying a reasonable fee for a healthy pet, especially if some or all of these health items have already been taken care of.
PBRC.com offers some excellent advice on what to do:
A recent study at one animal shelter yielded the startling statistic that 41% of all owner-surrendered dogs had been obtained "Free to good home."
This is how some people see your "free" loved one:
Free snake food. Free animal for malicious pranks. Free animal to set on fire or insert a firecracker into. Free to breed indiscriminately. Free animal to hoard and neglect.
What Is A "Buncher?"
A buncher either steals or "adopts" companion animals for the purpose of selling the animal. Bunchers can sell animals for one or more of the following reasons:
To be used in research labs To be used as bait to train dogs in fighting rings or hunting dogs To be used as breeding stock in puppy or kitten mills
"Bunchers" can be very deceptive and they prey on people who place "free to good home" ads. They will sometimes use children as part of the ploy and present themselves as a "perfect" family. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
"First come, first served" does not apply here. You are under no obligation to give your dog to the first person who says he wants him or her. You have every right to ask questions and choose the person you think will make the best new owner. Don't let anyone rush you or intimidate you.
I have been a full-time dog owner for all of six months. I am hardly experienced and am in no position to offer advice on training, nor do I plan on passing on advice I've found elsewhere. There are far too many other sites with far more experienced owners and trainers for me to offer anything useful in that realm. So you will not see posts about training techniques or philosophies about the technical aspects of being a dog owner.
But when it comes to recognizing injustice, prejudice, and unfair treatment, and speaking out about it I am fully qualified. And that, my friends, is what you'll be hearing about.
She may be ill-tempered and dumb-as-a-post, but no one would dispute that Sarah, as the chichuahua is called, is as tenacious as they come, and it is this quality that has endeared her to millions of Republicans. As the hours rolled past and tiny Sarah continually refused to give up on her quest to chew through Obama's leg, all were quite impressed with her impotent ferocity as well as her admirable bravery in the absence of consequences.
"I like her, she's got spunk," said lifelong Republican and mother of six Pat Ryott. "I hope she never stops chewing on that damn elitist ankle. he's being viciously and mercilessly attacked, and he acts like he doesn't even notice. How aloof is he?
Sunday, September 7, 2008
What I'm going to do here is explain who I am, why I'm doing this, and clarify the Mission Statement of this site, my mission statement. My name's Jon. I am a dog owner, two in fact, neither one of which is a Pit Bull. They're Chihuahuas! I have only been a dog owner for a few months, but I have always loved dogs, the bigger, the better. I love my Chis, but truthfully, they were a second choice. I have small dogs because I can't own anything bigger where I live.
In my chats with shelter workers and other prospective adopters I discovered that if you were interested in adopting a Pit Bull you had better do your research and be prepared to be looked at differently from other dog owners. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area finding a place to rent where dogs are allowed is problematic at best, one thatwould allow a Pit Bull, practically impossible. I was told that if you're a homeowner many insurance companies will raise your rates, that you become a higher insurance risk as a Pit Bull owner. I wanted to know why Pit Bulls seemed like such a liability. What I discovered was a tragedy.
These dogs are the subject of so much misinformation and prejudice it's a wonder any of them get adopted. I remember seeing so many seemingly calm and sweet Pit Bulls at those shelters and realizing that most would probably never find a home it really made me sad. I'm no longer a wannabe dog owner, now I am a dog owner. My first was a rescue from a shelter. It made me feel good knowing that adopting a shelter dog I was essentially saving a life. I do my best to be a responsible dog owner. The obligations can be a chore, but they're all worth it. I have come to love my dogs. The experience of this has made me more sympathetic towards all dogs. My eyes have been opened to what an uphill battle Pit Bulls face. I feel that I have to help.
Perhaps the most important element of prejudice is ignorance. Ignorance can only be defeated with knowledge, with education. With that comes the need to spread that knowledge. That is why I have started this website.
There will be many stories about abuse and neglect, but there will also be those that will give reason to hope as well. I'll make sure there will be articles about dog care and fun as well.
Here's where I stand on various issues:
I am against any rule, law, or behavior that is unfair to any particular breed of dog.
Fighting dogs for sport is abhorrent.
Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is based solely on fear and prejudice and must be fought whereever it exists or is proposed.
There are too many people that feel purity of breed is important.
There are too many adoptable dogs already in shelters waiting to find a good home. Dog breeders are aware of this, making breeding inherently wrong. Breeders only exist because there is a demand to be fulfilled. End the demand. Spay and neuter. Discourage breeders. Consider shelter and rescue dogs
I am a fan of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, but won't close my ears to those that are critical of his techniques.
All rescued dogs should be evaluated as individuals before any decision is made about their future. Even, perhaps especially, dogs that come from the worst environments (i.e., dog fighting, puppy mills).
PETA's position that dogs rescued from fighting rings should be summarily euthanized is wrong. Until PETA changes its position they do not deserve our support.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) takes a similar position, but they do far more than PETA to stop abuse.
No breed of dog is born genetically more dangerous than any other. They all have equal potential to be great pets and companions.
Finally, there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.
This site has evolved from my personal blog at http://jonwlow.blogspot.com. I don't plan on mentioning myself in any more posts, nor am I going to list my profile. As I said earlier, this isn't about me, it's about the dogs. If anyone is interested in who I am it will be this post alone that reveals it. Just go to my personal blog site if you want to know any more about me.
I intend to keep this site evolving. I hope you keep coming back long enough to see it become something great.