I apologize a bit for missing a couple of days on posting this week...I've gotten into a busy stretch with my real job and have been pulling some numbers together for a couple of cities for 2009. I'll get that all out soon I hope.
Anyway, here are some of the week's top stories:
Cities/States and Laws
Stop BSL has an update on Florida HB 543 which got moved to committee this week. The bill would removed the state-wide prohibition on breed-specific policies. If you life in Florida, be sure to let them know that you do NOT support this bill.
Southgate, MI has updated their proposed vicious dog ordinance so that it no longer singles out specific breeds of dogs.
Bark the Vote is a campaign in South Dakotathat is calling for legislation that would make animal cruelty a felony and thus carry a harsher punishment. South Dakota has some of the most lax animal cruelty legislation in the country and this would be a good step in holding people accountable for their actions.
A project in Riverside, CA that offered free spay/neuter for all pit bull owners was a huge success -- and due to the overwhelming response, they have decided to expand the program.
One month after Putnam County, WV passed a new vicious dog ordinance targeting 'pit bulls', the council announced that they planned to revisit the proposal and get more expert and public input.
Fargo, ND has a new dangerous dog ordinance on the table that declares dogs dangerous or potentially dangerous based solely on behavior. The Fargo Lt. Greg Lemke wrote about the ordinance: "This is a well-informed group. Breed specific laws are not successful; they are difficult to enforce, costly and discriminatory." As you can see from the cases above, and here, this is clearly the trend in the way we deal with dangerous dog issues in this country. Well done by the people in Fargo.
No Kill News
Some great news out of Utah: The Humane Society of Utah (which supports most of the state, but particularly Salt Lake City), did not have to euthanize one single adoptable dog in 2009 -- adopting out over 4,000 dogs last year. HSU was not able to save all of the adoptable cats in 2009, but has made that the goal in 2010 as they continue to increase adoptions. Great job!
Dog Bites and Attacks - Because all dog bites are preventable, and no one breed is responsible for them all
A two year old girl in Elizabethtown, KY was bitten in the face by a Doberman Pinscher. The girl and the dog were "playing in the kitchen" when the bite occurred. No word on whether the pairing was supervised at the time.
A 7 year old Rock Hill, SC boy was attacked by a neighbor's "pit bull" that had apparently gotten loose. When police contacted the owner of the dog, she said she didn't know what had happened but assured them that the dog was "back on his chain".
A Rocky Mount, NC man was seriously injured when he was bitten by a Labrador Retriever that charged him and bit him in the face.
A Longview, TX Toddler was apparently bitten by four 'pit bull' puppies when the child's mom sent the three year old child out to play with the dogs by herself. Even officials note that the girl "must have been provoking the dogs to have been bit so many times" -- and the girl's mother may be charged with child neglect.
The UK Dangerous Dogs Act
An article from the Oxford Mail-- where Oxford officials are concerned about the increasing number of aggressive/out of control dogs in the community. The 19 year old Dangerous Dogs Act continues to fail in the UK.
An 8 year old girl in the UK was attacked by a St. Bernard-Rottweiler cross --the dog's life was spared.
A UK Professor, Dr. Bateson, has issued an independent report on dog health and welfare and called for a change in the UK Dangerous Dogs Act saying it "should be amended to apply to all dogs that have shown to be dangerous rather than to specified breeds."
Abused Cases - because humans are the more dangerous species
A Pittsburgh, PA area woman was charged of two counts for cruelty to animals after she moved out of an apartment but left her two "Pit bulls" behind. One was found dead and the other was badly emaciated.
Two Orlando boys, aged 10 and 12,were charged with dog fighting, baiting and cruelty to animals this week after the boys were caught fighting dogs in their back yard. A neighbor had called deputies after the boys dumped a dead don on his property and when deputies arrived, they saw one of the boys beating a small puppy. Let's hope these boys get some significant psychiatric help and the parents are no long allowed to have children in their home. A sad story that shows what can happen when we glamorize the despicable act of dog fighting.
A couple's small Vizla puppy was attacked by two dogs this week. Apparently a "pit bull" and a St. Bernard jumped a fence, and attacked the smaller dog. The headline of the article reads "Dog attack sparks debate on banning breeds"- -but it seems that the only debate is the one being created by the newspaper -- as the owners of the Vizla don't sound like they are pushing for anything breed specific nor are the animal control officers or the Humane Society. Just some media-related "hype" trying to sell a few newspapers. For the Pits has a good write-up on this story as well.
Dogspired has a good follow-up on Handsome Dan-- another one of the dogs from Mike Vick's Bad Newz Kennels that has found a forever home.
A veterinarian in Sylvania, OH held a "Pitty Party" where 'pit bulls' and people were interacting with a group of 'pit bulls' to show off how misguided breed specific policies are in Ohio and to show off the good that is in 'pit bulls'. This is a really good article and really speaks well of these types of dogs and the need in Ohio to repeal the state wide BSL.
Blog Postings you should check out
YesBiscuit! has a great post with a link to a video clip that shows a man getting bitten in the face by a German Shepherd that is a police dog. It is pretty amazing to watch the video and see all of the visual clues that the dog was giving the reporter (ears back, licking lips, head dipped) as the reporter patted the dog on the head. When the reporter then leans over the dog (a very dominant positioning), the dog lashes back. It is a great example of our need as humans to understand canine body language so we don't force them to bite us to get the point.
One Bark at a Time has some advice for the Toronto Humane Society -- an organization that has had all kinds of problems of late. Most of the advice would be excellent advice for ANY shelter -- so it's worth reading even if you are not involved in Toronto in any way.
Lassie Get Help has a good article on Temperament Tests -- and the ridiculous use of them in declaring dogs aggressive and thus needing to be killed. In the article, she also touches on the situation with the ASPCA involving Oreo -- a dog that was killed by the ASPCA for being unpredictably aggressive even though there was another group that was willing to take Oreo in. I don't necessarily agree with her conclusions in the Oreo case, but the post in its entirety is worth reading.
A blog posting over at the Huffington Post by Pam Spalding about why breed specific legislation is an ill-advised idea.
More information on the continuing chaos at the Memphis Animal Shelter-- a shelter that has had at least 3 dogs that have been starved to death while at the shelter -- from chang.org's Animal Welfare Blog.
A 'pit bull' burglar broke into a Houston homeand ended up having a heck of a time it sounds like. The dog got in the house, played with the owner's Chihuahua and Yorkie dogs, ate some dog food, left a puddle on the floor and knocked over a stereo. Sounds like the dog was very friendly (but ill-behaved).
A report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Mike Vick got "adrenaline rush' while killing dogs. Punk.