It's been a really busy week with Prop B hearings going on in Jefferson City, Kansas City's primary elections are less than a month away, and overall, just a lot of dog news going on.
So with that, let's dive right into the best of the week that was.
Cities/States and Laws
A couple of weeks ago I noted that a new law that would repeal the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act was headed to committee, unfortunately, the bill has stalled. So in spite of an overwhelming amount of opposition to the current law, the government seems content to let it fail. This comes at a time where many politicians are pleading for immediate action in creating a better law to help them deal with dangerous dogs in the community.
Ogden, UT has passed a new Dangerous Dog Ordinance that targets aggressive dogs based on their behavior, not their breed. Ogden, like many cities, started out talking about breed-specific regulations, but after careful study, came back with a breed-neutral ordinance.
There is a new bill in Wyoming that is targeting hoarders and puppy mills. I haven't had a chance to read this bill or the current law in Wyoming to know if this is any good or not -- and would welcome someone's thoughts who is closer to the situation.
The city of Cypress, in Orange County, CA, will not order all 'pit bulls' to be spayed or neutered. The city wisely looked at other case studies on such an ordinance, and listened to experts in their area, too get a good opinion on what should be done.
Aberdeen, SD appears to be looking at a potential ban on 'pit bulls' in the community after the number of bites in the community by pit bulls went from 2 to 8. Bites from other types of dogs went up by a similar number. Many of the council members seem well-informed on the issue so hopefully this will not go very far.
Vienna, WV is looking at REPEALING its dangerous dog law.
Dog Bites and Attacks
A German Shepherd in Canada was left alone outside a convenience store bit 3 different people just minutes apart while his owner was inside.
A Palmyra, IN woman had to undergo several reconstructive surgeries after being attacked by a French Mastiff that was "accidentally" left oustide by a child.
A two year old boy is recovering after being bitten in the face while he was playing with the family's pet Akita in what is being called a "freak incident". The incident happened in the UK where four different breeds of dogs are banned.
Also in the UK, a 3 year old girl was bitten in the face by a Doberman that nearly severed the little girl's nose.
A 7 year old boy in the Charlotte area was bitten in the face by a 'pit bull mix". There has been a fair amount of chatter about banning 'pit bulls' after a tragedy in the area a few weeks ago...and it's amazing how stories like this just happen to come out of the woodwork to add fuel to the fire.
A 10 year old Tennessee girl says she still has nightmares after being attacked by two mixed breed dogs in the community. The owner of the dogs was never charged in the attack.
There is a great story that has been picked up by the Associated Press that is talking about the recovery of Mike Vick's former dogs and their steady climb becoming healthy stable dogs again. It's been great to see the press this has received - - including being run nationally on Fox News.
An editorial from the Columbia Tribune that wonders how people who profes to caring about dogs can still defend Prop B in spite of how vague and ill-written the law is.
Pit Bulls: Buddy or Bully? -- a good editorial from Utica, NY that shows the positive side of 'pit bulls'.
No Kill Louisville opened up a food bank this week to help people struggling to pay for food for their pet to be able to get pet food. Pet retention is a very important part of the No Kill Equation and congrats to No Kill Louisville on a great program.
In a report from Green Bay, WI (Go Pack!) the Wisconsin State Farm Service Agency is warning farmers in the state to check for the ID of state "inspectors" after some people (assumed to be animal rights activists) were posing as state officers to get access to farms. Animal Welfare people do not have police powers. Even if you are well-intentioned, PLEASE go through local authorities in order to get information for arrests. Posing as state officials is illegal and the info you gain will be thrown out in court.
The Week news magazine has a solid editorial on whether owning a 'pit bull' should be a crime. The story originated based on the bill in Texas that would impose a statewide ban on 'pit bulls' -- and never in my life have I seen a statewide bill without even one legislative sponsor get so much media attention.
A writer in California writes into the newspaper defending ferrets. While I tend to agree with him that governments seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to ferrets, he's not doing much to get on my good side with the comment "300 people die annually from dog bites" -- which is true only if you divide by 10 first. Listen here Mr. Ferret guy, I'm all on board with supporting your cause, but don't try to throw dogs under the bus in the process with your misinformation. Thanks.
Authorities in Oakland rescued 33 pit bulls from 'horrific' conditions in an East Oakland home -- where the dogs were stacked in kennels 3 high that were all caked in excrement. Several of the dogs were in such bad shape that they had to be euthanized, but others would be allowed the opportunity to find homes. Authorities were alerted to the situation when neighbors complained about the smell coming from the home. Oakland recently added an officer completely dedicated to animal cruelty -- which, along with their recent course in helping police officers learn canine behavior to help prevent unnecessary dog shootings, makes them pretty progressive in many areas related to animal cruelty.
Some startling footage of the animal shelter in Miami Dade using a "Heart Stick" to kill kittens in the shelter. The 'technique" essentially uses a needle that is painfully jabbed into the heart of a kitten with a barbituate injected straight into the heart of the cat. Obviously there is (and should be) a lot of public criticism over this.
Authorities in Lansing, MI have found several horrible abuse cases in the area in the past few weeks -- all involving "pit bull' type dogs - and involve dogs found beaten, tied up, and frozen. If we want to end bite cases, we can start by ending abuse cases. Authorities are working on the cases.
A South Carolina woman is being charged with animal cruelty after she hanged and burned a 1 year old 'pit bull' for chewing on her Bible (I'm sure God would be proud of her for her actions).
Blogs you should read
The Dots -- in what easily my favority blog posting of the week, The Wisconsin Watchdog writes an excellent story about "the dots" and gives the great advice to ignore the red dots. Haters will hate. Ignore them. We don't need them to move forward. Cultivate the yellow and green dots and you will be rewarded.
Some sombering stats from "I Love Charts" showing that there were more military officers that committed suicide lst year than died in actual combat. This number is sombering on a lot of fronts not even remotely related to this blog, but also a signal that there are some real issues facing our soldiers -- especially in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While many have been turned onto service dogs to help them cope, it becomes even more angering when cities like Denver, Aurora, CO and Lakewood, OH decide that the dogs owned by these soliders are not allowed to live in those communities.
In light of a couple of statewide initiatives passing in the November election, one Missouri State Senator has proposed a new constitutional amendment to "make it harder for wealthy individuals and organizations to buy a law in this state." The bill would still allow for citizen's initiatives but would require signatures from all congressional districts to appear on the ballot, not just 2/3 of the districts. There were two Propositions in the state that were passed in November that were problematic, including Prop B, which were very heavily funded by private entities (including HSUS). I've spoken to this Senator about this, and has good motives for this and is not vindictive in her proposal of this amendment.
American Journalism is in trouble -- Dan Rather comments about the state of the industry.
PETA's "Better off dead" philosophy -- Best Friends' Greg Castle has a great commentary on PETA and their "killing is kindness" mantra. It's not.
On Breed Bans and Emotion - OhMyDog! has some commentary about how intelligent conversation can get lost when the idea of banning breeds comes up.
What happened to May Ling? - Save Shelter Pets has a look at another dog that "fell through the cracks" at a kill shelter and ended up dead instead of back home where she belonged.
Great Reviews from LAAS Employees, Volunteers and Rescuers - LA Animal Watch reports that most parties in Los Angeles are happy with their new shelter directer Brenda Barnette.
The meaning of "Euthanasia" -- Animal Ark has a great post acknowledging that No Kill does not mean "no euthanasia" -- but believes in euthanasia by the true meaning of the word. The shelter had to say goodbye to a canine friend this week when he had to be euthanized.
Can we find homes for 2.4 Billion Animals a Year? - Winograd takes aim at a person from American Humane Association who apparently has no grasp on the pet population of this country even though she claims there is pet over-population.