Monday, December 29, 2008

BCAC Director doing something right

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

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Victories in 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep up the good work in 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Does this article make any sense?

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

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

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

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

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

Kay County: Pit bulls saved or euthanized

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

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

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

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

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

See BadRap's slideshow here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lucas County dog killer gets "award"

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kay County: Trying to help confiscated pit bulls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News article

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