Um, yeah, it's been awhile since I've done one of these. As such, I have a whole host of links and stories to go through today so I'm only going to hit the highlights. If you know of anything I missed, as always, feel free to post in the comments section. Let's dive in.
Cities and Laws
Earlier this month, Malden, MA passed a breed-specific law targeting pit bulls through their council by a vote of 8-4. However, earlier this week, the city's mayor vetoed the bill because he doesn't feel like the law should be breed-specific.
Last year, Tupelo, MS passed a law targeing owners of "pit bulls". Now, they're looking at potentially adding Rottweilers and Doberman Pinchers to the list.
Terrell County, GA officials are now dealing with the consequences of their poor decision-making. Last year, the county passed a law restricting 'pit bull' type dogs after two dogs killed over a dozen sheep last year. However, now that the ordinance has passed, people who could not comply with the high licensing fees and insurance, are turning over their dogs. The shelter is full and they are now building more space in the shelter (more than tripling the capacity) to handle the influx of dogs.
Cincinnati, OH is currently working a motion that would repeal the city's breed ban. Pit bulls have been targeted in Cincinnati off and on for decades, but this would be a major step for the dogs if a repeal is to take place and Cincinnati would join other major Ohio cities, like Cleveland and Toledo, in repealing their ban.
North Beach, MD is looking at possibly repealing their breed-specific law - -in large part due to the realization that breed identification is difficult, if not impossible, making their ordinance unenforceable.
Upland, CA is looking at an ordinance that would potentially require all 'pit bulls' to be spayed or neutered. Similar to other cities that have looked at such a law, they seem to be confused why they're even looking at it. At one point they mention that it is to curb the number of pit bulls in the shelter and then at other points, spent a lot of time talking about how it will help with public safety (pit bulls were involved in 4 of the city's 58 dog bites last year -- well behind Chihuahuas and Labs in the number of bites. The reality is that mandatory spay/neuter laws like Upland is proposing have never been effective at doing EITHER of the things they think they want it to do.
Oxnard, CA is also looking at potential breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter.
Bloomer, WI has amended it's breed-specific law. While the former law used to ban 'pit bulls', the law may soon be amended to allow owners to have 'pit bulls' as long as they meet certain requirements. While not a complete win, this would be a major step forward.
Dogs are very safe. With about 78 million owned dogs in this country, they pose very little risk to us. However, sometimes bad things do happen. Here are a few of the attacks over the past few weeks that help highlight a) they are not a breed-specific issue and b) that circumstances created by humans lead to the attacks.
A 3 year old St. Helena, SC toddler was attacked by a Bull Mastiff. The child was playing with the chained dog without supervision when the attack occurred.
Since when does "dog scratches child" become news?
An Omaha, NE man faces trial for child neglect after his 3 year old so was found "wandering around naked with the family pit bull." I am still not sure what the pit bull had to do with the story other than clearly it wasn't being a danger to the young boy (and may have been doing a great job keeping the toddler safe). It should be noted that Omaha has breed-specific laws targeting pit bulls -- even though the pit bull in this story seems to be the responsible one.
More than 200 animal welfare groups from 53 communities participated in the ASPCA's Mega Match-a-thon promoting adoptions the weekend of March -April 1. During the weekend, more than 6100 animals found homes...congrats to all involved, including the 3 shelters in Kansas City that combined for more than 700 adoptions (including 145 from the KC Pet Project).
A Texas Circuit court judge ruled that a family who's dog was shot by a sheriff's deputy would be reward $620,00 in damages.
In Union County, OR officials have become concerned that the shelter's high save rate may be a public safety issue. The former shelter director is raising the concern and thinks that the decrease in killing is leadng to unsafe animals going out into the community -- there is no evidence of this mind you. The new shelter director notes that they are working with more rescues (some of whom specialized in rehabilitating behavioral issues) and more people coming to adopt and more volunteers. Congrats to the new management of the Blue Mountain Humane Society and is there no end to the paranoia by those who desire to protect the status quo?
Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson has adopted a pit bull puppy.
A great story from the Denver Post about a dog named "Dragon" that was part of a dog fighting operation in Virginia but has been rehabilitated by the great folks at the Longmont Humane Societyand now is a great family pet. It's a great story -- and it's even better that it is being covered in Denver where they need to see more of these types of stories.
Folks from BADRAP visited Toledo, OH this week to do an educational seminar about 'pit bull' type dogs.
A pit bull in Nebraska survived 4 days on his own in the woods after being shot twice and left for dead.
In Sikeston, MO, the Sikeston Area Humane Society is taking a rescued pit bull to schools to help educate kids on the lighter side of pit bull type dogs.
Kansas City Area News
An 11 month old Labrador became the first area dog to undergo stem cell therapy. The young dog suffered from arthritis so badly that it could barely walk, but seems to be doing well following the stem cell treatment. Isn't science great?
The Heartland SPCA, a shelter serving many Johnson County communities based out of Merriam, KS is having to change its name after losing a lawsuit by an area vet clinic that felt they had rights to the Heartland name. An area judge agreed.
Can you neuter your way out of killing? Winograd says adoptions are the most important part of saving lives.
Shasta. She's working on herself -- Love and a six foot leash tells a great story about a dog that is learning to trust, and then learning to cope with the separation anxiety when she begins trusting.
An invocation on beginnings -- Ze Frank has some advice on getting from zero to one (and I realize this may not make any sense to anyone)
Things that make you go "hmm" -- YesBiscuit! notes a peculiar line item on the tax return for the Spartanburg, SC Pound.
On training pit bulls -- love this one by Save the pit bull, save the world.
Doggie Body Language -- from I Love Charts
Text from Dog -- this type of thing is usually not my humor level -but this tumblr site of texted conversations between a guy and his dog is pretty clever, although, with NSFW languange.
Every picture tells a story -- Kim Beer, a photographer who dedicates countless hours to KC Pet Project in taking great photos of our dogs, talks about one of the dogs at the shelter with a photo that helps tell the story.
Bringing back the mixed breed -- from Shelter Dogs Blog
What is Displacement Killing -- I really want to write a whole blog post about this one at some point -- but for now, some good thoughts from YesBiscuit!
For no kill opponents, we should show animals are valuable by killing them -- a thought-provoking post from Christie Keith over at Honest Dog.
15 steps on how to find your lost pet -- The Pleasant Valley Animal Rescue Examiner has some good advice as many people outside of rescue don't have a good feel for the steps to take to find your lost pet.
Seagoville, TX is Your Town, USA -- Yesbiscuit celebrates the success at ending shelter killing in Seagoville, TX.