Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oakland, We Have a Problem

Over the past six years, there have been close to 80 dogs taken from this subject,” said Joshi.
She said this time, 23 pit bulls were recovered: 19 adults and four puppies.
Last year, a California legislator tried introducing legislation that would have mandated a prohibition on owning animals for "x" number of years after an animal cruelty conviction. It failed. I thought it was good public policy. It was enforceable in the sense that an animal could be automatically confiscated.

I am not naive to think it would have prevented all cases of recidivism, in which those convicted of animal cruelty repeat their previous crimes of neglect or abuse. But it would have been another useful tool, I think.

It is frustrating to read that this person has six years of problems. Six years of neglected dogs. Most likely more than six years! And I imagine most of the dogs "rescued" were killed.

BadRap reports that the dogs are safe and sound, that they will be given a fair evaluation. These dogs are lucky to have ended up at a shelter with a boat-load of Pit Bull advocates!
Joshi said the dog’s temperament was also consistent with dogs being trained for fighting.

People who read that statement are not going to think these dogs when they imagine the temperament of a dog trained for fighting. I imagine they will think of a dangerous, aggressive dog with an unsound temperament. This is the stereotype people have of "dogs trained to fight". It is inaccurate. Not because there are "dogs trained to fight" with unsound temperaments - they exist. It is because there are "dogs trained to fight" with sound, solid temperaments. You cannot claim the former is the truth for "dogs trained to fight" (which is implied in the statement), because it does not encompass the reality of the latter.

Donna has pointed out that the Oakland's acting shelter has since backed off from the "trained to fight" statement. Unfortunately, it's already out there.


Maureen said...

You've got it so dead-on right. Well said.

Donna said...

"trained to fight" was a knee jerk description from someone who has no training in dog behavior ... someone who's been watching too many Animal Planet sagas. ;-)

the acting director at the shelter has since backed off on the trained-to-fight description.

"I'm inclined to say that they were not being trained to fight." David Cronin, with Oakland Animal Services said. "He has a history of being ionvolved in dg fighting but this case, he's breeding them and then sell them and then what that person does with the dogs who knows."

the news wants drama so badly, and so do so many of its readers. things will get real boring once everyone sees these are just more over-produced pit bulls that need homes. (*yawn*)

... and so it goes...

Rinalia said...

@Donna: Knee-jerk reactions can have devastating consequences. I'm glad the acting director has since rescinded his statement, and like I said, I'm just really glad those dogs have you and the BadRap team. Really glad. Even if they don't all make it, they'll be given a well-deserved chance!

Donna said...

the lovely thing is, the PD's uneducated comments brought in a storm of angry emails and phone calls from a public that's been educated to know better.

we love when we don't have to be the ones making all the noise. :-)

let us know if you want one, rinalia!

Rinalia said...

@Donna: Oh man, that makes me so happy to hear!

Don't tempt me! I would love another pint-sized Pit Bull, but my parents have pretty much banned me from visiting if I did that.

I *did* just buy my first house up in Grass Valley. If you ever need a compassion hold for dogs, that's about all I could offer (I'm just too far to benefit from your Pit Ed classes, which are super important for the foster pups!). I can bring my pups to work too. :)