Saturday, December 24, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
propaganda and the transmogrification of pit bulldogs
advertising has changed through the years, thanks in large part to EDWARD BERNAYS, the master at manipulating people. after WW1, BERNAYS took propaganda to new heights and turned it into public relations, the art and science of influencing people to consume based on primitive emotions rather than reason.
war, physical conditions and consumer products have all followed a similar path and the evolution of the pit dog is no different. pit bull advocates have been utilizing the magic of slick public relations gurus to try and improve their gripping dog's image. the ultimate canine gladiator has had many aliases over the years, some failed out right, some stuck. but even the most clever ad campaigns and name changes can't mask the gripping dog's savage history, try as the nutter might: fighting dog, pit dog, pit bulldog, bulldog, pit bull terrier, bull and terrier, half and half, bull terrier, american pit bull terrier, american staffordshire terrier, yankee terrier, new yorkie, st francis terrier, pittie, pibble, wiggle butt, working dogs, farm dogs, just dogs, america's dog* and of course the nanny dog.
the most popular moniker today seems to be lab mix. and this one appears to not only be sticking but it is casting quite a shadow on the truth.
*here's a more honest version of america's dog sans star spangled banner of course.
compare the 1936 UKC breed standard of the APBT to the 2008 UKC breed standard and the 2004 UKC breed standard. the evolution of the pit bulldog's image is one of embellishment and complete fabrication of positive traits and the softening and erasing of negative traits.
"Smug, greedy, well-fed, white people have invented a language to conceal their sins." George Carlin
new york millionairess JANE BERKEY of the ANIMAL FARM FOUNDATION has made it her life's work to soften pit bull language and shade the truth around america's gripping dog.
you can thank EDWARD BERNAYS, the father of public relations, for untruth in advertising. you can learn more about BERNAYS and how he transformed propaganda into a public relations empire in Adam Curtis' brilliant four part documentary The Century of the Self. i promise this will be the most enlightening four hours you ever spend on the internet.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Hello! It’s an honor and a privilege to be a guest contributor here at Craven Desires.
Recently, local media (New York City) has documented http://www.dnainfo.com/20111121/lower-east-side-east-village/east-village-pit-bull-attacks-raise-questions two attacks by vicious pit bulls in my neighborhood, the East Village. In one attack, a pug-shih-tzu mix named Mack Daddy was being walked by his owner, Laurie Foley. They passed a pit bull (Mr. Bean) being walked by its owner. True to form, the pit bull seized poor little Mack Daddy in its jaws and wouldn’t let go. Mayhem ensued. You can imagine the shrieks, the panic, the crowds gathering to watch. The “incident” lasted fifteen minutes until a neighbor emerged from his apartment with a metal bar and used it to PRY the pit bull’s mouth open. Yes, it took a metal bar and several broken teeth to stop the pit bull from its task. Amazingly, Mack Daddy survived the horrific assault.
On Oct 23, a 15 year old Shepherd mix was playing at the local dog park in Tompkins Square Park when it was brutally savaged by a pit bull. The Shepherd mix was badly injured, with vet bills between $2,000-$4,000.
BOTH of these pit bulls come from SOCIAL TEES ANIMAL RESCUE, a no-kill shelter run by ROBERT SHAPIRO.
Shapiro adopted out the pit bull that attacked Mack Daddy a year ago. Speaking about the pit bull, Shapiro says, “It is a very sweet dog, but it shouldn’t be out without a muzzle on.” Yes, friends and neighbors, you read that correctly! Mr. Shapiro believes that dogs who are so dangerous that they cannot be allowed in public without muzzles on can, nonetheless, be “very sweet.” I am amazed that his head does not explode from cognitive dissonance.
The pit bull that attacked the Shepherd mix in the dog park was being fostered by a woman who refused to pay for the victim’s vet bills. Shapiro also refused to take any responsibility for the attack, even though the pit bull came from his shelter. He says that people who foster his animals sign paperwork in which they assume all responsibility for the animal in their care. Basically, Shapiro says, IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM!
SHAPIRO and Social Tees Animal Rescue were in the news this Fall after a number of pit bull attacks on other dogs in Tompkins Park dog run. At least one of the pit bulls came from Social Tees.
Shapiro says that he tells people not to bring pit bulls to the dog park. He also claims that he is the “fall guy,” and that he adopts out 10 pit bulls out of 1,000 animals per year. Well, friends and neighbors, I’m here to tell you that that claim is demonstrably false (total bullshit). I live in the same neighborhood as Social Tees. I pass by Social Tees on my way to the train station, and I have been inside Social Tees several times and have spoken with Shapiro and staff members on multiple occasions. I’ve seen the dogs with my own eyes.
Pit bulls are not a minority of dog adoptees at Social Tees. Most of the dogs at Shapiro’s shelter are pit bulls or pit mixes, and as you will see, my research shows that Robert Shapiro is an unapologetic pit bull enthusiast.
The man is entitled to his preference in breeds, of course. But he knows about pit bulls and their propensity for aggression. He adopts out pit bulls that “shouldn’t be out without a muzzle on.” He does same-day adoptions of pit bulls and releases pits to foster homes with the results you see in the media reports. The last time I was in Social Tees, they were trying to arrange transportation for two male pit bulls being adopted by a woman who lived in an outer borough (can’t take em on the subway—thank God!).
Another time, I was walking down 4th St. outside of Social Tees and encountered a Social Tees pit bull snarling and lunging at the leash to get at three tiny white toy poodles. The lady with the (leashed) poodles was trying to get around the pit bull. She’d stepped into the street and held her dogs close. She looked scared to death. The pit bull was forcibly dragged, barking and snarling, down the steps and into Social Tees.
So, let’s take a look at Robert Shapiro, “I only adopt 10 pit bulls out of 1000 animals per year.”
According to the people at American Bully World, Social Tees is “The #1 Bully and Animal Rescue on the East Coast!!!!”
Robert Shapiro: "They are such friendly dogs!"
“IF YOU DON'T KNOW THIS MANS NAME YET. GET TO KNOW IT. I'M AFRAID TO SAY AT SOME POINT WHEN WE HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO CALL AND NO ONE ELSE WANT'S TO HELP. IT'S A BLESSING THAT ROBERT SHAPIRO RUN'S SOCIAL TEES BULLY AND ANIMAL RESCUE ON THE EAST COAST. ROBERT IS THE REAL MCOY AND HAS BEEN ONE OF THE ONLY LIFE LINES FOR OUR BREED FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES. HE'S A TRUE HERO AND SELFLESS SAINT FOR THE AMERICAN BULLY AND THERE ANCESTORS BEFORE THEM. SO I THINK IT'S ONLY RITE WE TAKE A SECOND TO STAND UP AND SHOW OUR BULLY BROTHER SOME LOVE !”
Such a laudatory description of Shapiro! For a moment, I thought he was being nominated for a human rights prize at the United Nations (save that a UN press release would be literate)!
Check out Social Tees’ Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SocialTeesAnimalRescue?sk=wall
It’s a PIT-A-PALOOZA! Here are just a few--there are LOTS more (unfortunately):
But wait, there’s more!
Social Tees’ Facebook page also links to OTHER pit bull rescues which are trying to adopt out pit bulls. Shapiro supports releasing these dogs into the community! Let’s take a look at a few of these dogs that have the ROBERT SHAPIRO/SOCIAL TEES’ STAMP OF APPROVAL:
UNABLE TO COMPLETE BEHAVIOR EVALUATION BC OF BITING THE LEASH; LUNGING AT THE GATE—sounds like a PERFECT, GENTLE CITY PET!Urgent PART 2
My name is JENNY. My Animal ID # is A914729.
I am a female br brindle and white pit bull mix. The shelter thinks I am about 2 years old.
I came in the shelter as a STRAY on 10/21/2011 from NY 11237, owner surrender reason stated was STRAY.
10/27/2011 BEHAVIOR EVALUATION - NH ONLY
Exam Type BEHAVIOR
Unable to complet and eval when approaching the cage jenny begins lunging attempting to bite the rope and when handler ceases trying to remove from the cage he lunges at the gate
Bites the rubber hand during the temperament test; growls as other dog; guards food!!! NICE DOG!
Urgent PART 2
My name is LEONARD. My Animal ID # is A914685.
I am a male black and white cane corso and boxer mix. The shelter thinks I am about 1 year 6 months old.
I came in the shelter as a STRAY on 10/20/2011 from NY 11207, owner surrender reason stated was STRAY.
No Euth Memo
MOST RECENT MEDICAL RATING, BEHAVIOR RATING & WEIGHT
10/25/2011 Exam Type BEHAVIOR - Medical Rating is 2 NC - MINOR CONDITIONS NOT CONTAGIOUS, Behavior Rating is NH ONLY, Weight 68.6 LBS.
Assessor: Jason Russell Handler: Jeremy Medina Helper: A914391 Notes: Leonard pulls very hard on the leash and was excited but very interested in interacting with handler during assessment - jumped up, licked hands and face. He was excited during some of the handling items, but had soft body language. He was distracted and focused on objects in the room rather than the handler during the tag interaction and growled and bit the assess-a-hand during the food bowl test, then continued guarding the food after the assessor moved away. Leonard was not interested in toys or rawhide, but rushed in confidently towards the friendly dog; when close, growls. Look: 2. Dog pulls out of Assessor's hands each time without settling during three repetitions. Sensitivity: 1. Dog stands still and accepts the touch, his eyes are averted, and his tail is in neutral position with relaxed body posture. Dog's mouth is likely closed for at least a portion of the assessment item. Tag: 2. Dog is not fearful, but is unresponsive to the Assessor, and approaches the Assessor at the end of the game (may need coaxing to approach.) He is focused on stimuli other than the Assessor. Squeeze 1: 1. Dog gently pulls back his paw. Food: 5: He bites the Assessor Hand Toy 1: No interest. Reassess at future date. Rawhide: 1. No interest. Reassess at future date. Dog-dog: 4. Begins to growl at the helper dog
And THIS huge pit bull, Randy, was picked up off the street by a pit nutter. Nutter says Randy has “socialization issues” and that he couldn’t keep Randy because Randy kept trying to eat the other dogs. So, nutter shipped Randy up to NYC via the Pit Bull Rescue Train! Social Tees tried to help find Randy a home. Maybe we’ll see Randy playing with the other dogs at Tompkins Square Park Dog Run! And wouldn’t you LOVE to run into Randy in the narrow, steep stairwell of your walkup NYC apartment, with groceries in one hand and your cocker spaniel in the other…? SOUNDS LIKE FUN, RIGHT? THANK YOU, SHAPIRO AND SOCIAL TEES FOR HELPING TO FIND RANDY A HOME HERE IN NYC! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150746279535417.714964.816495416&l=5647163aac&type=1
PIT NUTTER JASON DURISHIN with RANDY
"HELLLOOOO, BIG APPLE! I look forward to meeting you--and your delicious Golden Retriever! Thanks for the networking help, Social Tees!"
***PLEASE HELP ME SAVE RANDY !*****
This is Randy...I rescued him on July 4th, finding him chained to a fence by my apartment. As some of you may know, I own and operate GoDoG Walking and Sitting Services, so along with my three dogs, " two guest pups", and my buddy Dennis, we took a midnight stroll when I heard barking from across the street. My pack and this large Pit Bull " had words" from across the street. Instantaneously, I recognized the cues, and knew that this dog had been abandoned. I had Dennis continue on with our pack, and I went across the street to investigate, only to discover, our soon-to-be-named Randy, chained to the outside of a brownstone on the street, with a water bowl at his feet. His territorial barking at us, seamlessly, and quickly turned to tail wagging-face-licking, and squeals-pleas for help. I had Dennis come back around with our pack to confirm what was pretty obvious, that Randy has some "socialization" issues with other dogs ( though, further work with him revealed, that his "mistrust" of other dogs, is most apparent when on leash, and on walks )...We took him to the 24 vet, who told us that "someone else had brought him in earlier", and said, "THEY had found him"...Bullshit ! So, whomever, took him back out and tied him up on the street, leaving him to whatever fate may come...the vet, would only call the ACC, who would probably of destroyed Randy within 72 hours...I could not bring him back home, so we cabbed it up to my devoted and stellar employee's in Bed Stuy, where Randy stayed for a couple of weeks. I took him to the vet, got him all his shots, etc...My employee and his girlfriend cared for Randy while I went to work trying to place him in a foster/forever home. He could only stay with my employee for two weeks, those two weeks came and went, and still no place for Randy, so I brought him home with me, and spent a few days with him, working with him and my dogs, and just falling in love with him. Randy could not stay at my place for too long due to his "socialization challenges", so through my tenacious, and diligent networking, I was able to place him in a no-kill shelter in the Bronx for two weeks...those two weeks will be up Saturday 8/6...Randy is a 70 LB Pit Bull, fixed, super loving, sweet, just want's to know his place in a pack, a family, and be with people. He is an older guy, maybe 8-12 years old estimated...My assessment, and my professional, intuitive opinion...Randy was probably some sort of junkyard dog, a guard dog, who was never socialized with other dogs..he has no scars, and I do not believe he was a "fighting dog", just isolated, and neglected. If anyone can foster him, or knows of anyone who can foster him, even if just for a couple weeks, or if anyone knows someone who would like to adopt, care for, and love this dog, please let me know....any foster costs will be paid for, and I am happy to come and work with him if you are close, and at the very least, educate you on what this dog needs. This guy just wants love, if ONE person, gets behind ONE dog or cat, we can change the whole evil landscape/system that discards and destroys our pets, our companions, who are nothing but pure, unconditionally loving, and devoted to us...this to me is sacred.
Jason Durishin Oh yes ! He has been saved ! He is living within a reputable pit bull foster network in upstate NY called Out of the Pits ! They love him ! He stays with them indefinitely if he is not adopted ! He had emergency surgery on a Massive bladder stone, that likely would have killed him within days, all paid for by The Mayor's Alliance...he is happy, loved, healthy, has a life, has a future ! A success story ! Thanks for checking in !
Ah yes, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a nonprofit org “committed to seeing the day when no New York City dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home.” The Mayor’s Alliance PAID for Randy’s bladder stone surgery, as you see. I’m sure that dogs like Randy are EXACTLY what the Alliance was set up for!Social Tees Animal Rescue is ALSO a member of the Mayor’s Alliance. Contact them and let them know how much you appreciate funding a shelter that enthusiastically releases dangerous pit bulls into the community.
Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite R290
New York, NY 10001-7604
Phone: (212) 252-2350
SOCIAL TEES ANIMAL RESCUE124 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003 (212) 614-9653
Saturday, December 3, 2011
these beagles did not come with a million dollar dowry and their rescuers were not required to carry a million dollar insurance policy. there was not a cadre of "behaviorists" waiting to assess their temperaments. these beagles will not require industrial strength fencing and their adopters will not have to undergo extensive screenings. these cute little faces will not grace pretentious wine bottles and calenders. there will be no media hype, no tv shows or factually challenged books to document their "progress".
because these beagles are JUST dogs.
thank you branwyne.
Friday, December 2, 2011
When the grandmother attempted to intervene, these violent animals turned their aggression on her. The dogs were so vicious they had to be shot to death by the police so rescuers could reach the infant. Sadly, according to neighbors and family, these dangerous dogs had attacked previously.
As trauma surgeons, we feel obligated to bring to attention a life-threatening issue we have observed in San Antonio — that of dangerous canines posing a public health risk.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 885,000 people per year require medical attention for dog bites. In 2006, more than 31,000 Americans required reconstructive surgery as a result of dog attacks.
We're writing to bring this problem to the fore, along with information from Spain about an effective program to mitigate this issue. We cite two articles, both published in respected medical journals:
The first paper, “Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs” was published in the Annals of Surgery, April 2011. We looked at mortality and morbidity in patients hospitalized at our trauma center due to dog bite injuries.
We compared data for patients attacked by pit bull-type dogs to those attacked by other breeds and found patients attacked by pit bulls had more severe injuries, higher hospital charges and a higher risk of death.
The second article, published in Injury Prevention in 2010, is entitled “Decline in hospitalizations due to dog bite injuries in (Spain) 1997-2008. An effect of government regulation.”
It looked at hospitalizations caused by dog injuries before and after the enactment of stricter regulations on dog ownership and found a nearly 40 percent decline in hospitalizations after regulation.
The U.S. does not have standardized legislation regarding dangerous animals from state to state. Also, dog bite injuries aren't reportable, according to CDC guidance, so such data are captured inconsistently, probably underestimating the magnitude of this problem.
Texas has dubiously been a leader in the number of dog bite deaths over the past decade. Texas also has legislation that specifically prohibits municipalities from enacting breed-specific legislation regarding dog ownership, regardless of recognized epidemiology.
Regardless of this legislative restriction on counties and municipalities, many communities and subdivisions restrict breed ownership in their covenants and restrictions. And the federal government enforces prohibitions on certain dangerous dog breeds on multiple federal military installations.
We think a hearing is required on this public health problem, and that the Texas Legislature should take steps as Spain has done to deal with the problem — so no other family has to face the pain of losing a child to this senseless, violent and fully preventable cause of death.
John K. Bini and Stephen M. Cohn are San Antonio physicians.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Country singer Willie Hugh Nelson in Sierra Blanca, Texas 11.26.10
Best Friends Animal Society has tossed its weight and great wealth into the battle in Ohio over the delisting of the pit bull as a vicious dog. Much effort went into choosing the poster child for this campaign and it the need to capture the essence of "pit nutter".
The Perfect Fit
Nelson's image is ideal to represent the pit bull counterculture. Who best represents criminality and personal irresponsibility inherent in the pit bull counterculture? Why an anti-government wacko with a criminal record of course! Willie's tax dodging and drug arrests makes him the obvious choice. Willie refuses to pay his fair share of taxes, and he wants to do whatever he wants. He is an anti-regulation anarchist. No surprise he wants to stop BSL....maybe he has some good old boy friends with yards? OR... maybe Willie thought he was ambassadoring a strain a marijuana known as "Pit Bull". Willie is well known among the Legalize Pot crowd, he even promotes the Teapot Party. His motto is "Tax it, regulate it and legalize it."
TAX it! LOL!!!
You can read more about Willie and his band and money, magic mushrooms, moonshine, marijuana and maulers at the links below.
Willie Nelson wiki
Willie's Teapot Party
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
photo caption: "Me and my killaz!"
28 yr old Wilbur Carl South aka "Sonny The Pit Bull South", shot his girlfriend 32 yr old Maryellen Cano then turned the gun on himself. South and Cano were mixed martial arts fighters. South had a history of battering Cano and Cano had a DUI/hit and run in 2010
Sonny South myspace
Monday, November 7, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
"They're born normal puppies. There are people who raise pit bulls who think to have a nasty dog is the thing. It's a macho idiot that owns a mean dog." Ruth Teeter
American Staffordshire advocate and breeder of UKC champions of Connecticut and Virgina, dressed her "gentle" dogs in costumes and pimped them out to fight against BSL for the Canine Defense Fund in New York. Words like reliable, trustworthy, playful, loyal and loving were used to describe the "pit bull" in July 1987 but by the time November rolled around the conversation turned to charges, fines, shootings and dead sheep. That's right, five months after Teeter managed to finagle a little positive press for her misunderstood wiggle butts, two of them SOMEHOW got loose and killed a ram.
The Hour 11.03.87
Story Time Kennels
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Lani Blaylock, Union County Dog Deputy, Forced to Remove Her Pit Bull From La Grande Elementary School During Dog Bite Safety Class
Well, the pit bull apologia is "super fired up", again. The source of this week's nation wide temper tantrum is over the injustice suffered by deputy LANI BLAYLOCK and her pit bull when she was told her pit bull was not welcome on school grounds. The target of their deranged witch hunt is Superintendent Larry Glaze and the La Grande Oregon School District.
While the cyber nutters stir the pot and rally the troops, the BLUE MOUNTAIN HUMANE ASSOCIATION are proving themselves to be petty tyrants in a twisted game of chicken. The BMHA packed up their toys and are refusing to play with the school district. If they can't use pibbles in their dog bite safety program, they will not participate at all. that'll show 'em! The BMHA will punish the children by depriving them of information that could spare them serious injury and even save their lives while simultaneously placing the blame of any injuries from future attacks squarely on Supt Glaze for endangering children while pushing their pit bull agenda.
The BLUE MOUNTAIN HUMANE ASSOCIATION was quick to take the credit for a 3rd grader avoiding serious injury when he was recently attacked by a german shepherd and applied the knowledge he learned by "pretending to be a rock". Of course the good samaritan that came to the boy's aid by "waving a white bag" and scaring the man eater away might have had something to do with the boy escaping serious injury too. (who knew a white bag could be such a powerful weapon! certainly not the group of people who even after using a blow torch! could not stop a pit bull from attacking)
"He is absolutely wonderful around children."
Deputy LANI BLAYLOCK
I don't understand why a dog is even needed to teach dog bite safety. Unless they are simulating attacks and menacing behavior.
The pit bull apologia demands justice
CATHIE FALCK, president Blue Mountain Humane Association and office manager Union county sheriff's office
“We will not be providing dog bite-safety instruction in the La Grande School District. A breed ban is wrong, it is unfair. We feel that we need to take a stand. We should not be condemning a dog just because of its breed.”
FALCK left this comment on the BMHA facebook page but it has disappeared.
PENNY EIMS, a nutter examiner is clinging to the bizarro notion that dogs can be discriminated against (mind you, the laws regard dogs as PROPERTY that you can legally muzzle, crate, kennel, leash, tether, sterilize, vaccinate, dock, crop and tie to a rape rack) and states the "superintendent's narrow mind put the program in jeopardy" not the conduct of deputies LANI BLAYLOCK and CATHIE FALCK.
Stay at home mom and nutter examiner CARRIE McCORMICK won her 15 minutes of fame by calling the 86ing of BOMANI an "atrocity".
noun an extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury
B-12 starved Vegan Warrior Princess SLOANE QUEALY-MINER has referred to the superintendent as "daft", "abusive" and "hostile" and is calling for his head. QUEALY-MINER is rallying her pit bull flash mob to bombard Glaze and the school board until they give into their demand of full reinstatement of pit bulls on school grounds. Pit bull advocacy is no stranger to valuing pit bulls above people and this nutter is no exception. QUEALY-MINER vociferously opposed the euthanasia of OREO, an abused pit bull in New York City. OREO was sentenced to death after the pit nutters at the ASPCA determined she could not be rehabilitated, a dog so dangerous she even attacked her handler. QUEALY-MINER is now dedicated to passing a law that will spare New York's most aggressive dogs from euthanasia.
can you say - histrionic?
What do we know about LANI BLAYLOCK and BOMANI?
For starters, LANI BLAYLOCK is a Union County Deputy Animal Control Officer.
In March she adopted BOMANI, an adult male pit bull of unknown history with injuries from either neglect or abuse. BLAYLOCK spent "months" training BOMANI, then began taking the male pit bull of unknown history to elementary schools to teach kids about dog bite safety.
BLAYLOCK'S other dogs are snack sized and I suspect this is BLAYLOCK'S first pit bull. The newbies are always the most rabid defenders of the breed.
On March 18th, BLAYLOCK posted a photo of her partially destroyed sofa. She attributed the damage to her "couch eater" and stated "This is what happens when your dog breaks outa his crate while you are work! LOL"
On mother's day, the animal control officer posted a photo of her hand with a single tiny tooth mark. BLAYLOCK stated she was bitten by a "lil puff ball" while walking her dogs. She jokes with a facebook friend about needing training on how to handle animals.
But the real facebook fun occurred on October 20th when Deputy Blaylock's panties were in bunch over being evicted from the school. Unfortunately, I am unable to link to it because BLAYLOCK deleted the incriminating evidence, so here are a couple of screen shots. You will want to click on them to view larger.
In this first conversation, BLAYLOCK tries to play the racist card and when a friend points out that pit bulls not people were "bred to fight and kill", BLAYLOCK shows her true colors by stating the Iraquis were bred to fight and kill.
In the second conversation, BLAYLOCK touts herself as a "highly trained" dog handler (see lil puff ball comment above) and then tries to play some kind of badge card, stating the kids were taught not to trust the judgment of cops. In essence, she is claiming the superintendent has not only insulted pit bulls but all law enforcement.
Conduct unbecoming of an officer
I find the conduct of all of these nutters unacceptable but the bullying by these two officers and the ignorance spewed about our current middle eastern enemies is down right disturbing. My hope is that BLAYLOCK was not only forced to remove her ignorant and hateful comments by her superiors but that she and FALCK were also reprimanded and forced to issue an apology to Glaze and the La Grande School District.
Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard in their professional as well as private lives. I was unable to locate the Union County Oregon Sheriff's Code of Conduct but I have included a couple from various departments to give you an idea of what is expected from those who choose a career in law enforcement.
Union County, NC Sheriff
"The Office of Sheriff is the oldest public office in the United States. The Sheriff and his employees subscribe to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. Therefore they must hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct than other law enforcement officers and the general public."
Milwaukee County, WI Sheriff
"Private Life - Police officers will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to their agencies or themselves. A police officer's character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives and serves. The officer's personal behavior must be beyond reproach."
Whatcom County, WA Sheriff
"As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all persons to liberty, equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminal, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession...law enforcement."
Oregon State Police
"As a peace officer, I am the image of penal law and its warden. If I am to be esteemed and the law I typify respected, I must know my authority well and use it wisely. I shall neither exceed nor abuse it.
During my private and public life, I shall conduct myself with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. I shall at all times conduct myself in a manner which consistently maintains the public trust.
I shall be intolerant of dishonorable or unethical conduct by any person in the criminal justice community. As an Oregon State Police officer, I shall strive to be courageous in my professional and everyday life, and will take prudent and judicious action when faced with danger, scorn, or ridicule.
Although the way I choose to conduct my private life is a personal freedom, I accept responsibility for my actions while on or off duty. I will not become a party to conduct that is likely to, or does bring disrespect to myself, my fellow employees, or the Oregon State Police. To that end, I shall not engage in personal conduct that affects, or could be perceived to affect, impartiality in my official capacity.
I shall not use my position or authority for any personal gain or benefit. I shall refrain from seeking or accepting any gift, gratuity, or favor that is tendered, or could reasonably be perceived as being tendered, as an attempt to influence impartiality in my official capacity.
I shall bear faithful allegiance to the State of Oregon and the Oregon State Police and shall be loyal to the highest ideals of my profession. I will serve the public with due respect, concern, courtesy, and responsiveness without prejudice. I recognize the service to the public is beyond service to myself. As a police officer, I consider it a privilege, and the greatest honor that may be bestowed upon any person, to defend the principles of liberty."
You get the idea.
facebook photo album
facebook on scribd
la grande observer 10.19.11
la grande observer 10.21.11
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Just about everyone agrees, though, that the past 25 years have produced unprecedented improvement in the human relationship with dogs, especially here in the United States. Americans keep half again more pet dogs than in 1986. Average spending per dog per year for food, toys, and accessories has increased from $58 in 1986--with purchasing power worth $114 today--to $347. Yet sales of doghouses, once the most costly common dog accessory, have crashed, because most dogs today live indoors with their people.
The first legislation to ban prolonged dog tethering had just been introduced in 1986. More than 150 cities, counties, and at least four states now limit or ban tethering.
Average spending per dog per year for vet care has increased from barely $50--worth $98 today--to more than $200. The percentage of dog keepers who spend more than $1,000 per year per dog on vet care has quadrupled in only 10 years. Vaccination wholly eradicated canine rabies from the U.S. more than a decade ago. By 1995 more than 70% of the U.S. dog population had been sterilized.
A dog who was impounded or surrendered to a shelter 25 years ago had just a 10% chance of being rehomed. Dogs in shelters today have about a 60% chance of being rehomed--unless they happen to be pit bull terriers or close mixes of pit bull, whose sterilization rate is still barely 25%.
Only 3.3% of the dogs advertised for sale online are pit bulls, implying that only about 3.3% of all the dogs sold are pit bulls. Yet more than 16% of the dogs adopted from animal shelters since 2007 have been pit bulls, meaning that shelters are persuading adopters to choose pit bulls at about five times the rate that dog purchasers choose to buy pit bulls when they buy dogs from breeders. Despite that extraordinary rate of success in pit bull placement, however, about 75% of the pit bulls and pit mixes arriving at shelters are killed, either due to dangerous behavior or simply because shelters are receiving pit bulls in ever-escalating volume. Each year from a third to 45% of the total U.S. pit bull population enters an animal shelter, a phenomenon never seen with any other dog breed.
Of critical importance to realize is that there are very few accidental pit bull births. Because nothing resembling a pit bull occurs in nature, it is necessary to practice line breeding, mating pit bull to pit bull or a very close mix, to continue to have them. Almost every pit bull who contributes to the surplus is a product of deliberate breeding, sometimes by a dogfighter, but most often just someone engaging in speculative backyard breeding, capitalizing on a perceived vogue for pit bulls created at least in part by the aggressive advertising of shelters and individual rescuers who hope to rehome more pit bulls instead of having to kill them from lack of other options. No dogs are shown more often in animal shelter adoption advertising, including in poses involving facial contact and small children--which contradict almost every tenet of education about avoiding dog bites.
There may now be more organizations focused on pit bull rescue and advocacy than rescue and advocate for all other specific breeds combined.
Pit bulls rarely arrive at shelters as unwanted litters. Typically they come to shelters at about 18 months of age, having already had at least three homes: their birth home, the home they were sold to, and one or more pass-along homes that took the dogs in after problems developed in the first home into which they were purchased. About two-thirds of the pit bulls entering shelters have been surrendered by their primary caretakers, but many were not voluntary caretakers. They simply ended up with an unwanted pit bull after a family member or friend abandoned the dog, or a tenant moved and left the dog behind.
The pit bulls who are surrendered to shelters tend to be the lucky ones. More than 5,000 pit bulls have been seized in dogfighting raids since 2000, a mere fraction of the numbers believed to have been killed either in dogfights, in connection with training dogs to fight, or in culling dogs who lose fights or show little promise of becoming successful fighters. Pit bull thefts by dogfighters looking for "bait dogs" are believed to be one of the major reasons why 19% of the dogs who have been reported stolen since 2005 have been pit bulls. About 21% of the dogs impounded in cases of severe and prolonged neglect since 2005 have been pit bulls, and also 21% of the dogs impounded in cases of violent abuse--including 49% of the dogs set on fire and 14% of the dogs raped in bestiality cases.
But pit bulls are not just the victims of mayhem. Disfiguring and fatal pit bull attacks on humans have occurred during the past two years at the rate of two every three days, an unprecedented pace. Pit bulls and close pit mixes have since 1982 accounted for 45% of all U.S. and Canadian fatalities from dog attacks on humans, a total of at least 207; 51% of all dog attack disfigurements of children, a total of more than 850; and 66% of all dog attack disfigurements of adults, a total of more than 700. Since 2005 pit bulls have also accounted for 51% of all reported fatal dog attacks and disfigurements of pets and livestock.
The advent of online news media data bases going back into the mid-19th century has enabled several different researchers to establish that there has never been a time since 1851 when pit bulls did not account for more than half of all fatal dog attacks over any given 10-year interval, even though pit bulls--by all of the many names for them combined--never amounted to even 1% of the dogs in the U.S. and Canada until approximately 30 years ago.
ANIMAL PEOPLE editor Merritt Clifton began collating dog and cat theft data in 1980, dog and cat neglect data in July 1982, and breed-specific dog attack data in September 1982--all several years before pit bulls became a public issue. The consistently disproportionate involvement of pit bulls in fatal and disfiguring attacks was evident by 1988. Disproportionate involvement of pit bulls in theft and neglect cases took another five years to clearly emerge. In the interim, Patricia Curtis in her 1984 book The Animal Shelter issued a prescient early warning about an apparent resurgence of dogfighting and a rise in arrivals of pit bulls at shelters. Mike Oswald, the longtime director of Multnomah County Animal Services in Portland, Oregon, noted in 1986 that pit bulls had become disproportionately represented in shelter intakes and killing.
But no one appears to have imagined that pit bull proliferation would ever remotely approach the crisis that it has become.
Shelter killing accelerates
About 8.4 million dogs were killed in shelters in 1986, of whom about 168,000 (2%) were pit bulls, according to the limited available breed-specific data.
Alarmed by several serious pit bull attacks in New York City public housing, and by eruptions of dogfighting after it had been successfully repressed in New York City for almost a century, then-New York City mayor Edward Koch sought to ban pit bulls in 1987. The American SPCA and attorneys associated with the Animal Legal Defense Fund responded by initiating organized opposition to breed-specific legislation, against the advice of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.
Though Koch was thwarted, legislation to restrain pit bull proliferation was adopted in several other cities. Denver in 1989 passed the strongest and oldest pit bull ban still in effect, emulated by some nearby suburbs. In May 2004 the Denver pit bull ban was overturned by state legislation that forbade breed specific ordinances, but it came back into force in late 2005, after Denver won a court ruling that the state law infringed rights specifically given to local governments in the Colorado constitution. The net result is that Denver is among the few major U.S. cities which have had no fatal dog attacks in the past 20 years, while killing fewer impounded dogs of all breeds per 1,000 residents than any other major city between the coasts, and killing less than half as many pit bulls per thousand human residents (.14) as Miami/Dade County, the animal control jurisdiction killing the next fewest pit bulls (.33). Miami/Dade also has breed-specific legislation prohibiting possession of pit bulls.
The total number of dogs killed in U.S. shelters fell by more than 40% between 1986 and 1993, but the number of pit bulls killed in shelters more than doubled, to about 358,000--15% of the total.
Striving to implement the 1994 Adoption Pact, which made San Francisco at least nominally the first U.S. "no kill" city, the San Francisco SPCA introduced free sterilization of pit bulls. When that did not stop the rising influx, the SF/SPCA in 1996 renamed pit bulls "St. Francis terriers," in hopes that changing their image would make them more adoptable. More were adopted--but the original "St. Francis terrier" program was suspended within 60 days, as was a similar program introduced by the Wisconsin Humane Society, when several of the strenuously screened and rehomed dogs turned out to be cat-killers.
After retooling and relaunching the "St. Francis terrier" program several times, and having another fiasco in 2003 when an adopted pit bull attacked a police horse, leading to two human injuries, the SF/SPCA and San Francisco Department of Animal Care & Control between them reduced their pit bull killing to 450 per year. Then, against vigorous opposition from the SF/SPCA and local animal rights groups, the SF/DACC persuaded the San Francisco City Council to pass an ordinance requiring all pit bulls to be sterilized. Pit bull shelter killing in San Francisco fell to 300 in the first year after the ordinance passed. Within another year San Francisco shelters were killing fewer pit bulls than any cities except Denver and Miami.
Nationally, in absence of any effective brake on pit bull proliferation outside of the few cities with breed-specific laws, pit bulls by 2003 accounted for 23% of dog admissions to U.S. animal shelters and 50% of the dogs killed in shelters: upward of 900,000.
Echoing the "St. Francis terrier" program, the New York City Center for Animal Care & Control opened 2004 by announcing that pit bulls would henceforth be promoted as "New Yorkies." That lasted just three days.
Ontario province, Canada, in 2005 adopted a law prohibiting possession of pit bulls, but allowing pit bulls already in Ontario to remain if they were licensed, sterilized, vaccinated, insured, and kept in a safe manner. The Toronto Humane Society howled that this legislation would introduce a pit bull holocaust. In truth, Ontario shelters now kill fewer pit bulls, cumulatively serving a population of 13 million humans, than the shelters in the Detroit metropolitan area, just to the south, which serve a human population of only 1.2 million.
U.S. shelters in 2006 killed approximately 967,300 pit bulls.
Impoundments of fighting dogs and impoundments of neglected pit bulls both soared after the April 2007 arrest of football player Michael Vick in connection with dogfighting. Twenty-six percent of the dogs entering U.S. shelters were pit bulls. Yet, for the first time in at least 20 years, the numbers of pit bulls killed in shelters actually dropped. The Best Friends Animal Society, already opposed to breed-specific legislation, ramped up efforts to block breed-specific laws, and redoubled promotion of pit bull adoptions. The American Humane Association also became active in opposition to breed-specific legislation.
The publicity boost from the Vick case and the investment of Best Friends et al in saving pit bulls appeared to pay off, for a time, as the numbers of pit bulls killed in U.S. animal shelters fell from 920,000 in 2007 to 825,000 in 2008 and 810,000 in 2009. But the U.S. economy turned bad in 2008, causing more people to surrender pets to shelters, more people to neglect pets, and more people to try to earn a few dollars through backyard breeding. Meanwhile, the vigorous pit bull promotion appeared to hit inherent limits on just how many dogs of any one type can be adopted out. Even if every pit bull had the positive qualities of Lassie, and no problematic behavior, there are only so many people who want big dogs.
Even the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, which appears to rehome more pit bulls than any other agency in the U.S., kills about 40% of pit bull intake, and has reported increasing pit bull intake since 2008. More pit bulls have been rehomed in recent years than ever before, but as most of the U.S. still has no effective brake on pit bull breeding, pit bulls in 2010 rose to 29% of shelter dog admissions and 60% of shelter dog killing.
The 2010 U.S. shelter pit bull toll of 930,300 was the second highest yet.
In view that the U.S. adoption capacity for pit bulls appears to have maxed out at about 320,000 (16% of total dog adoptions), there is no chance that the humane community is going to be able to adopt its way out of killing pit bulls in high volume until the numbers of pit bulls who are surrendered to shelters or are impounded, nationally, drop by nearly 90%.
That requires reducing the total pit bull population of about 2.4 to 3.5 million currently in homes at any given time to no more than the numbers who are now kept safely in stable homes. Since nearly 1.1 million pit bulls per year come to shelters, and the numbers who die from abuse and neglect also must be considered, as many as half of all pit bulls may have unsuitable homes.
Merely stabilizing shelter intake of pit bulls at the present level would require achieving the 70%-plus sterilization rate that keeps supply-and-demand for other dogs in the U.S. relatively balanced. This would mean nearly tripling the present pit bull sterilization rate of about 25%.
Going from 25% sterilization of all other breeds of dog to 70%-plus took about 15 years of aggressive promotion of sterilization surgery, from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Pit bull keepers during that time conspicuously ignored the messages that persuaded most other Americans who keep dogs.
Following that effort, we have now had more than 15 years of increasingly well-funded and well-promoted programs aimed specifically at sterilizing pit bulls. Hundreds of humane societies now sterilize pit bulls for free. The San Francisco SPCA has even paid pit bull keepers to have their dogs sterilized. Yet few cities, if any, have reduced pit bull intake at animal shelters without the help of breed-specific legislation.
Raising the pit bull sterilization rate to 70% would keep the annual shelter killing toll of pit bulls close to 900,000 per year. Reducing the pit bull population to the numbers kept safely in stable homes would require sterilizing 90%. A 90% sterilization rate has been achieved, so far, only among indoor pet cats in the more affluent parts of the northeast and west coast. Realistically, a 90% pit bull sterilization rate would be elusive, even if the entire U.S. adopted a pit bull sterilization requirement similar to the 2005 San Francisco ordinance.
Since dog licensing rates tend to run well below 25%, there can be little hope of enforcing pit bull sterilization through licensing enforcement alone. But, completely setting aside behavioral issues, looking just at the numbers, a 90% pit bull sterilization rate is necessary if no-kill sheltering for pit bulls is to become a theoretical possibility.
Only if that is achieved is the hope of achieving no-kill sheltering for all dogs possible.
Unfortunately, behavioral issues cannot be ignored --whether the focus is the behavioral traits of pit bulls or the attitudes and behavior of the people who tend to keep pit bulls.
Opponents of breed-specific legislation often argue that that disproportionately high rates of fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks on humans and other animals are the fault of the keepers of those particular pit bulls, and are not representative of typical pit bulls.
This overlooks that pit bulls, like other breeds produced for specific purposes, have been bred for the traits suiting those purposes. Pit bulls have been bred for the ability and the inclination to tear other animals to pieces. This has in turn made pit bulls attractive to the sort of people who have made them the dogs most likely to be violently abused and/or neglected: sadists, people with drug and alcohol addiction, people engaged in criminal activity, and people seeking tough surrogates to compensate for their own perceived inadequacies.
A hint as to how extreme that attraction may be came in a 2006 peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence which discovered that among a sampling of 355 people who kept pet dogs, all who kept pit bulls turned out to have had some sort of trouble with the law. Wrote lead study author Jaclyn Barnes of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, "Owners of vicious dogs who have been cited for failing to register a dog [or] failing to keep a dog confined on the premises...are more than nine times more likely to have been convicted for a crime involving children, three times more likely to have been convicted of domestic violence ...and nearly eight times more likely to be charged with drug [crimes] than owners of low-risk licensed dogs."
Not "nature vs. nurture"
The central behavioral issue involving pit bulls is not a matter of "nature versus nurture," but rather a matter of inherently problematic dogs being acquired by inherently problematic people, who then keep and train the dogs in a manner that multiplies the risk factors.
The past 25 years of animal advocacy opposition to legislation to stop pit bull proliferation echoes mistakes which were behind two of the most catastrophic humane movement failures of earlier eras, each of which caused even more millions of animals to suffer and die, and die suffering. Each of these ancient mistakes has ongoing repercussions.
The first monster mistake came in 1923, when the American Humane Association rejected surgical sterilization of dogs and cats, endorsed for the first time by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as "vivisection"--even though the AHA did not actually oppose vivisection. The AHA, then the only national humane organization, did not accept dog and cat sterilization for more than 50 years. By then Friends of Animals, the ASPCA, and HSUS had long since reversed majority opinion within the humane movement.
The AHA, which for the first half of the 20th century operated the largest public orphanage in New York state, was in 1923 engaged in an ultimately successful fight against eugenicists who sought to impose forced sterilization of orphaned girls. The AHA board felt that approving dog and cat sterilization would set a bad precedent.
Just as rejecting breed-specific legislation has obliged animal shelters to kill unadoptable pit bulls in volume unprecedented with any other breed, rejecting dog and cat sterilization forced the humane community to kill ever larger numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens. This led to the AHA vigorously promoting decompression killing from 1950 until it was abandoned by the last agencies using it in 1985, having been recognized as inhumane many years earlier by the AVMA and by almost every other humane society in the world.
(The AHA in 2010 began promoting decompression to stun chickens, using claims and language echoing those used to introduce decompressing dogs and cats 60 years earlier.)
Most of the longterm consequences of continued opposition to legislation mandating sterilization of pit bulls are still evolving, but educated guesses can be made about what those consequences might include.
Alexandra Semyonova, author of The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs, suspects that the 2008 repeal of a 1993 Dutch ban on pit bulls is behind growing resistance in the Netherlands to admitting any dogs into apartment houses and places of business. The oversupply of housing on the U.S. market has worked against a similar trend developing here, but the momentum of past decades toward opening rental accommodations and condominiums to dogs appears to have slowed.
Political strategists for agribusiness in several states are believed to have weighed the advantages of preserving their longtime alliance with dog breeders against the possibility of using humane organizations' defense of pit bulls as a wedge issue to splinter off public support.
This may never happen, partly because PETA, one of the animal advocacy organizations most feared by agribusiness, is the only major national pro-animal organization to endorse mandatory sterilization of pit bulls. HSUS, the most prominent organization in advancing farm animal legislation, does not oppose mandatory sterilization of pit bulls.
Yet one scenario that ANIMAL PEOPLE editorially warned against in January/February 2004 has come to pass: in absence of laws that effectively reduce the numbers of fatal and disfiguring dog attacks, obtaining liability coverage for dogs is much more expensive, for both individuals and animal shelters.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites now account for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims, a recent average of about 16,000 per year. The average payout per claim rose 37% between 2003 and 2010, and is now $26,166. Total payouts run more than $410 million per year.
Since 2004, according to IRS Form 990 data, the insurance premiums paid by major shelters in cities which have legislation to reduce pit bull numbers have declined by an average of 20%; but the premiums paid by shelters which actively promote pit bulls have increased by an average of 33%.
In response to complaints from keepers of pit bulls, Rottweilers, and other high-risk breeds that they cannot find affordable liability insurance, Michigan and Pennsylvania have passed laws to prevent insurers from charging breed-specific premiums, which are meant to reflect the true actuarial risk associated with each type of dog. Similar legislation has been introduced, but not passed, in at least 23 other states.
Credibility at risk
ANIMAL PEOPLE has warned, many times, that the trustworthiness of the humane community itself is at risk when animal advocates deny the realities of the pit bull crisis.
One of these realities is that shelter and rescue dogs have disfigured 26 Americans since 2007 and have killed six--twice as many people in less than five years as were disfigured or killed by shelter and rescue dogs in the preceding 25 years. Sixteen of the dogs who inflicted disfiguring injuries since 2007, and four of those who killed people, were pit bulls. Another was a Presa Canario, produced by crossing a pit bull with a mastiff. The cumulative liability from attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues in lawsuits known to have been settled within the past year alone is in excess of the annual budgets of more than 93% of all U.S. humane organizations.
Another reality is that many of the statements repeatedly uttered by animal advocates on behalf of pit bulls are demonstrably false and easily exposed.
No, pit bulls were never "America's favorite pet." There is scant evidence that pit bulls were commonly kept anywhere as family pets until barely 20 years ago.
No, pit bulls were never "nanny dogs." The sole known published reference to this notion, before the rise of opposition to breed-specific laws, came in a 1922 work of fiction, Pep: The Story of A Brave Dog, by Clarence Hawkes, a blind man who wrote by dictating his stories and--though able to spin a gripping yarn--routinely muddled his facts.
There is scant published reference to pit bulls as anything but fighting and pig-hunting dogs before recent decades. The most prominent news media mentions of pit bulls 50 years ago, in 1961, came in coverage of the purported centennial celebration of an annual dogfighting convention held in Lafayette, Louisiana.
No, bloodhounds as we know them today were not a feared breed in the 19th century. The much-feared "Cuban bloodhound" of the mid-19th century was a cross of pit bull with mastiff, much like today's Presa Canario, bred to hunt and kill runaway slaves. The dissimilar and unrelated floppy-eared English bloodhound came to the U.S. decades later.
No, there is no evidence that if pit bulls were unavailable, some other type of dog would be comparably exploited. Dogfighters have been trying to produce more dangerous dogs for centuries. No breed not closely resembling a pit bull and derived from essentially the same lineage has ever succeeded as a fighting dog.
No, it is not true that breed-specific laws do not reduce bites, though the reduction is typically proportionate to the numbers of pit bulls formerly within the jurisdiction. The reduction in bites reported in Ontario after pit bulls were banned was 4%. However, the primary goals of breed-specific laws are to reduce dog attack fatalities and disfigurements, and to reduce shelter killing. These goals have been fulfilled wherever breed-specific laws have been brought into force.
No, breed-specific legislation is not inherently hard to enforce because of the difficulty of defining particular breeds of animal--so long as the definitions are written to be practical, instead of dwelling on the minutiae for which dog show breed standards are notorious. Many animal control agencies already enforce breed-specific regulations pertaining to what sorts of dogs and horses may be kept outdoors in freezing weather. Breed-specific rules have also long governed horse racing and livestock exhibition.
Yes, the "bad boy" comic strip and silent film character Buster Brown kept a pit bull named Tige. But the whole story is that Tige appeared in four films. His roles included attacking two humans and one other dog.
Egregious misrepresentation aside, the offense for which the humane community is most culpable is promoting pit bulls in a manner which provides free advertising to the pit bull breeding industry.
Paradoxically, some humane organizations recognized back in 1987, when Budweiser introduced the party bull terrier Spuds MacKenzie to promote beer, that this might lead to more people acquiring bull terriers on a whim and then dumping them at shelters. Spuds MacKenzie, though often remembered today as a pit bull, was actually a much smaller and facially different breed of dog--but his bodily resemblance to a miniature pit bull also produced some concern about him possibly helping to make pit bulls more popular.
But that concern was quickly forgotten in the rush during the next 10 years to condemn Walt Disney Inc. for popularizing Dalmatians by re-releasing the 1959 animated anti-fur classic 101 Dalmatians, and then, at intervals of about three years, producing a live-action version plus a sequel. Indeed the popularity of the 101 Dalmatians films did precede a surge of Dalmatian surrenders to shelters--which raised total Dalmatian intake at shelters to about 1% of all dogs. Pit bull intake at shelters during the same years doubled, to 15% of all dogs.
An even more dramatic demonstration of the influence of exposure on dog breed popularity came when Taco Bell in 1997 introduced a mascot Chihuahua. Chihuahua acquisitions soared sixfold in 10 years, making Chihuahuas the third most popular dog breed, and for the first time inundating animal shelters in parts of the U.S. with more small dogs than they could rehome. Shelters in California and elsewhere in the southwest are now exporting surrendered Chihuahuas to adoption agencies as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia.
But while blaming Taco Bell for the Chihuahua explosion, much of the humane community remains oblivious to the role of adoption promotions featuring pit bulls in expanding the market for pit bull breeders, leading inevitably to more pit bulls eventually coming to shelters.
It works like this: humane societies vociferously allege that pit bulls make wonderful pets. But shelter dogs of any breed have a reputation as damaged goods. The ever-increasing numbers of fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks increase public apprehension of adopting an adult pit bull of unknown history, but the public tends to believe that pit bulls can make great pets if "raised right" from puppyhood.
However, shelters typically don't have puppies these days. Pit bull puppies are in effect in the commodities speculation market, until they grow up and are dumped in shelters. So, persuaded by advertising meant to promote adoptions to acquire a pit bull, Joe and Josephine Q. Public buy a pit bull puppy from a backyard breeder. About one of those puppies in three will come to a shelter within less than two years.
Had the recommendations of ANIMAL PEOPLE president Kim Bartlett to the 2002 Conference on Homeless Animal Management and Policy in Hartford, Connecticut been heeded, animal shelters since then might have killed between eight and nine million fewer pit bulls. Pit bull overpopulation would no longer be an issue.
"I believe that pitbulls have a more negative reputation than most members of the breed deserve," Bartlett said. "I am not endorsing any arbitrary killing of dogs simply because they are of a particular breed, but I favor a ban on breeding of all pit bull-type dogs. I think it is unethical to breed any dogs, or cats, so long as they are being killed by the million for population control. I would rather dogs, as well as cats and other animals, were not bred at all for purely human purposes. Since pit bulls clearly can be more dangerous to humans and other animals, and are more difficult to handle than most other dogs, and--most importantly--since they attract 'owners' who may want to exploit and abuse them, then for the dogs' own good, preventing further breeding should be a priority for the animal rights cause.
"I have an uneasy feeling that a lot of people claiming to be pitbull rescuers are actually pit bull breeders and even dogfighters in disguise," Bartlett added. "Otherwise why would they oppose breeding bans that would not affect dogs already born? People who rescue feral cats want to see an end to their breeding. People who rescue exotic animals such as parrots, lions and tigers, and potbellied pigs would like to see breed bans on those species. Why not the so-called pit bull rescuers? Allowing people with commercial interests in companion animals to have a leading voice in setting policy on dog and cat issues is in my view like allowing chicken farmers to have a leading say in whether or not the animal rights movement advocates vegetarianism," Bartlett continued.
"Public policy on animal welfare issues should not be set by breeders and fanciers, and certainly not by dogfighters who pose as breeders and even pretend to be rescuers. When so-called pitbull lovers and rescuers use language like 'it is the right of Americans to buy [or breed] whatever kind of dog they want,' then they are quite obviously not animal rights advocates," Bartlett finished, pointing out that breeding, buying, and selling any animals is inconsistent with the goal of ending animal exploitation.
ANIMAL PEOPLE again reminds the humane community that an effective response to pit bull overpopulation must target breeding, and must be legislatively mandated, since pit bull breeders have proved intransigently resistant to any and all forms of gentle persuasion.
ANIMAL PEOPLE does not favor confiscating or killing any dogs who have safe and stable homes--but we would favor confiscating pit bulls and other dogs of "fighting" breeds from breeders, as well as from people who abuse and neglect them. ANIMAL PEOPLE believes active enforcement of breed-specific legislation would be most effective if enforcement is triggered by evidence of breeding, sale, or other exchange. The act of offering animals for sale constitutes an admission both that the animals belong to the would-be seller and that they are not considered members of the family.
Effective breed-specific legislation could stop the reproduction of pit bulls and other problematic breeds, stop dogfighting and speculation on fighting bloodlines, curtail shelter intakes of pit bulls and other "fighting" dogs, and reduce attacks on people and other animals.
In some communities, effective breed-specific legislation could not only reduce shelter killing of pit bulls, but also reduce killing of other shelter dogs, whose numbers often have to be reduced abruptly, if their legally mandated holding time has expired, to make room for incoming pit bulls. "Anything that just brings a heap of dead dogs is another tragic failure--and is basically where we already are," ANIMAL PEOPLE editorialized in December 2005. It is profoundly disappointing that six years later the heap of dead pit bulls is many times higher, while much of the animal advocacy community continues to promote the same policies and practice the same denial that for 25 years have contributed to manufacturing the pit bull crisis.