I normally save the good news untilt he end, but this has to be the week's top story. With the final trial over in the Mike Vick case, updates on the dogs are now available....and wow, what a press sensation they have become. Best Friends has an update on the dogs that are at their Utah Sanctuary. Meanwhile, the folks at Bad Rap have been telling a great story about these dogs and how well they've been doing once removed from Vick's property. This AP article has been picked up from over 200 media outlets (including my local Kansas City Star). And Tim Racer, of Bad Rap, got a 10 minute interview on CNN yesterday. The Contra Costa Times also had a great article. The Bad Rap blog has an update of all of their press findings -- and it's great to see the media jump on this positive press for a change.
The Pet Assistance Program sponsored by Spay/Neuter Kansas City continues to make headlines in the area with their help going into neighborhoods and helping protect dogs from the cold weather by providing blankets, dog houses, shelters, etc. Thanks to KSHB for running this story about the important work this set of volunteers is doing.
The East Bay SPCA, as well as some other shelter groups in the San Francisco Bay area is offering to spay/neuter pit bulls in the Bay area free of charge this week. These low cost/no cost programs in the East Bay continue to get more 'pit bulls' altered than San Francisco's mandatory ordinance that has taken a ton of their animal control resources, led to various law-suites over dogs that owners said were not 'pit bulls' and led their dog bite numbers to double in the first half of last year. The low cost/no cost spay/neuter programs prove to be a much better route at getting dogs spay/neutered than forcing people to do so with mandating laws.
Here's another local story out of Kansas City, a woman's "pit bull" got loose and attacked and killed a neighbor's dog. When authorities arived, Tamara Hernandez allegedly assaulted the Sheriff's Deputy and an animal control officer.
Here's another story from out of Rochester, MN about a certified therapy dog that happens to be a "pit bull". There have been quite a few of these stories lately, and it seems that even just one such story would make people realize that there is nothing genetically different in a 'pit bull" that makes them all crazy attack dogs. The more times people see good examples of these types of dogs (who never seem to make the news) the more they'll realize that the bad reputation is one based on media reports and the actions of bad owners.
Doris Hayes of Parma, MO is in a debate over whether or not she can keep her dog. Doris is blind, and she relies heavily on her dog Bonnie to be her eyes. Bonnie is not a certified service dog, but that doesn't diminish the role the dog plays in Doris's life...including helping her realize when her stove was on fire and getting her out of the house.
Parma has a ban on "pit bulls' and city officials are threatening to take her dog from her because it could be "dangerous".
This headline from out in Lakewood Park, FL has the headline "14 year old Lakewood boy ATTACKED by pit bull". Then read these sentences from the article:
The dog grabbed his left pant leg and the boy pulled away and kicked the dog and ran into the house, the report states. Law enforcement officers observed holes in the boy’s pant leg, but he didn’t have any broken skin on his lower leg where the dog bit his pants, according to the report.
Is it an "attack" if the boy is uninjured and there are no bite marks? Is it even a bite if there are no bite marks? Just another case of hyperbole headlines that are made to sell newspaper, not relay facts.
Their new law speeds up enforcement of animal control laws and greater fines for owners.
Councilman Mark van Gorder, who served on the task force, said it made sense to focus enforcement on owners. “It puts the accountability on the owner, not just the animal,” he said.
Nice work by the folks in Napa.
A "routine" cocaine bust in Kansas City has uncovered a potential dog fighting training room in South Eastern Kansas City. The Police Department gang unit arrested four people, seized about $10,000 in cocaine, and found a room in the home that appearted to be designed to train fighting dogs. Four dogs were removed from the home.
This is all I have time for right now. More to come later today!