Posts tagged pit bulls

The Associated Press listens!

Now, this is what I call covering the news!  The Associated Press, which normally limits their coverage to human related issues and the occasional hording situation or puppy mill exposure, has listened to the plight of dog rescuers in Detroit.

These stories are not uncommon, but are rarely told.  And three cheers for Detroit Dog Rescue!

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Yes, animal welfare solutions do happen!

Reposted from the Best Friends Blog

Historic Ohio legislation spearheaded by Best Friends signed into law today

This morning, Ohio governor John Kasich signed House Bill 14 into law and forever changed the lives of pit-bull-type dogs in Ohio, ending the only statewide breed discrimination in the United States.

What this means in Ohio is local dog wardens will no longer be obliged to kill every pit bull who enters a shelter because the law banning the adoption of pit bulls to the public has been changed. Pit bull owners will no longer be forced to carry punitive insurance policies because their bully-looking dog will no longer be deemed legally vicious just because of his or her appearance.

“This is a great day for these wonderful dogs who have died by the tens of thousands over the years in Ohio just because of the way they look,” says Ledy VanKavage, Best Friends’ senior legislative analyst and the driving force behind the fight to end this longstanding injustice. She adds, “A dog warden was in tears at the signing. She never thought she’d see the day when pit bulls would no longer automatically be killed in Ohio shelters.”

HB 14 replaces the previous breed-based vicious dog law with a graded system based on behavior, not appearance. There are now three categories of problem dog: nuisance, dangerous, and vicious, with sanctions appropriate to the level of aggressive behavior.

Grateful Ohioans are already sending notes of relief and thanks to the governor and lawmakers:

“Thanks so much. We were unfairly ticketed last year as we were walking our dog along a country road. He’s never shown any aggressive behavior toward humans. We were forced to pay $550 for insurance and then had to erect a $1,500 fence to keep him.”

“I adopted a ‘pit bull’ mix last spring. She is the BEST dog ever! I also have a blue tick hound mix and a little collie mix. Most people just looking at my three dogs would believe the AmStaff mix to be the most dangerous out of ignorance of their personalities. My old blue tick and the little collie are actually much more inclined to attack a stranger without warning. My pit bull mix loves everybody … how ironic!”

While the passage of HB 14 represents the end of statewide breed bans, there are still many challenges ahead for these dogs at the local level in some cities and counties around the country where they are rounded up and “deported” or killed. There is still much to do as long as such injustices remain enforced by local laws. Our fight will continue.

A lot of work and grassroots support has gone into this victory. Our sincere thanks goes out to the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates and to you, our dedicated supporters in Ohio who made this historic day possible.

Today was a great day for dogs!

Julie Castle
Senior Director, Communications

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The ‘To Do’ list for this week

I miss my Richmond pit bull friends...

Well, work keeps us busy, the pets keep us busier (and well-loved) and the commute takes way too much time!  But… lets remember to do a few important things this week:

1)  Check out the Best Friends blog post, A Myth-Buster of a Day.

2)  Got puppy mills?  Well consider the fur industry which is a horrible puppy mill for wild animals.  Being ‘fur free’ isn’t even a lifestyle change, since faux-fur is easy to find.  Sign the petition on Care2 to encourage the fur ban movement.  It does work.  West Hollywood has banned the sale of fur in city limits.  Yeah!!!  People really do care about animal welfare.

3) Check out your local ‘Occupy’ movement and find what’s up! Here in Seattle the Occupy rally has a working group for Animal Rights and Environmentalism.

Why is this important?  Reform for animal welfare must go hand-in-hand with reform of our country.  Businesses are not playing fair until animal welfare is considered and adhered too.   Think it can’t happen?  It already is!  The US Humane Society and the United Egg Producers have agreed to work together to improve the welfare of laying hens!   And that leads us to number 4…

4)  Send a letter (don’t worry, it’s an easy online form) to your local lawmaker to encourage them to pass legislation for free-range egg production.

 

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Agency works to prove pit bulls don’t deserve their bad rep

Ducati the pit bull for adoption through Bullseye Dog Rescue

Originally printed in City Living
Copyright (c) Pacific Publishing Company
By Christie Lagally

As the recipient of a Canine Good Citizen award, Ducati has proven herself to be a wonderful dog. This tan-and-white beauty is great with kids and loves everyone she meets as if they are her new best friend.

But after seven years as the beloved family dog, Ducati’s family was forced to give her up because the rental housing they moved to would not allow dogs of the pit bull breed.

Sadly, the family’s landlord may never know the tragedy that he or she caused his new tenants with a blanket prejudice against the pit bull terriers. Ducati’s loving and even temperament is a typical example of pit bull personality.

Ducati now resides with a foster family working with BullsEye Dog Rescue.

Media stigmatization

Unfortunately, Ducati’s story is not uncommon. Pit bulls and their owners bear the burden of a social stigma that labels pit bulls as inherently aggressive or dangerous.

Ducati kissing a young friend

“It’s a prejudice brought on by sensationalized media coverage of dog-bite incidents involving a pit bull, and the tendency of the media to largely ignore aggressive incidents caused by dogs of any other breed,” explained Lorrie Kalmbach-Ehlers, president and co-founder of BullsEye Dog Rescue.

Unfortunately, that stigma may be one reason that pit bulls make up as much as 30 percent of the dogs at the Seattle Animal Shelter as potential adopters overlook such dogs despite their great temperament.

“Pit bull and pit bull-crosses pass our dog-temperament testing at the same rate as all other breeds,” said Kara Main-Hester, spokesperson for the Seattle Animal Shelter. Main-Hester said that, while pit bulls aren’t more difficult to place, they usually take longer to adopt out than other breeds.

“If people are nervous or scared of pit bulls, they should educate themselves about the breed,” Kalmbach-Ehlers said. In fact, according to the American Temperament Testing Society, pit bulls rate higher on temperament tests than even golden retrievers.

Changing perceptions

So to brighten the future of so many pit bulls residing with rescue groups and shelters, BullsEye Dog Rescue aims to challenge public misconceptions by making it obvious pit bulls can be wonderful dogs.

BullsEye works with shelters to provide education on the breed and holds events like Pit Bulls on Parade in Issaquah to give the public a chance to see friendly, well-adjusted pit bulls in our community. On Aug. 20, the public is invited to come see the parade and meet dogs like Ducati with the typical pit bull temperament: friendly, patient and full of heart.

But education isn’t always enough to combat societal views. That’s why BullsEye also offers support to pit bull’s owners, including workshops on responsible pet ownership and obedience classes for low-income families through the Responsi-Bull Project.

So while fear and scary stories of aggressive pit bulls may drive the media frenzy that typically happens when dogs of almost any breed cause harm, BullsEye confronts this issue with solid evidence of the typical pit bull nature exhibited in the dogs they adopt out, train and nurture.

To learn more about the pit bull breed, Bullseye Dog Rescue, the Pit Bulls on Parade event and Ducati, visit www.bullseyerescue.org.

copyright (c) Pacific Publishing Company

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