It's been a busy week cleaning off my computer as I work to get a new one -- and I've virtually dusted off a lot of great material for the next few weeks. But because of all of this, I'm a little behind on some of my blog reading, so bear with me. But here are some of the top news stories from the past week, plus a few from the week prior that would have made last week's roundup had I been around.
Cities/States and laws
Residents in Maple Ridge, BC, are speaking out strongly against the proposed breed-specific law in that community.
After looking at laws potentially targeting specific breeds, White Rock, BC has decided against a breed-specific law, noting that such a law would be "almost impossible to enforce".
Several years ago, the community of Lakewood, OH required annual registration fees for dogs that were declared dangerous because of their breed --they are now thinking of removing these annual fees.
Garland County, AR is considering a county-wide ban on pit bulls.
Kingsford, MI, which has a strict ban on pit bulls, is allowing exceptions for service animals.
The new Maryland Court of Appeals ruling in Maryland is making it tougher for pit bull type dogs to get adopted. This is being combine with the fact that pit bulls are now flooding into shelters because the court ruling has made it more difficult for owners to keep the dogs. No doubt with more dogs coming in, and with with dogs being more difficult to adopt out of shelters, that this will increase the number of animals killed in state shelters. The new court ruling in Maryland is a mess -- and I hope the legislature gets it repealed soon.
Major dog bites are rare. With over 72 million owned dogs in the United States, dogs have proven to really live up to the reputation of "man's best friend". However, some times incidents do occur -- and when they do, it is important that we focus on the circumstances of those attacks to help prevent them instead of focusing on breed - -which is not a defining causal factor. Also, it is important to note that breed bans are NOT effective in eliminating such attacks, because breed is not a causal factor - -as evidenced by the variety of different breeds involved in such attacks.
In Muskogee, OK, a 3 year old girl suffers what sounds like severe injuries after she wandered up to a 'pit bull' that was chained up in the back yard of a neighbor's home. Wandering 3 year olds is never a safe option, and chained dogs can tend to be more aggressive and territorial, and often are less socialized than dogs that live in homes.
In Dalton, GA, a 75 year old woman and a young boy were both injured when a dog, described as a "lab/chow mix", got loose from its owner and began running loose in the neighborhood.
A 15 month old toddler was playing with her mother in a city park in Philadelphia when a "60 lbs black lab" got away froma nearby dog park and bit the young boy in the face.
A Springfield, OH man was hospitalized after he was attecked by three Cane Corsos. The man crossed an invisible fence to go pet the dogs when they attacked him. I'm not a fan of invisible fences for containing unwatched dogs because while they do keep dogs in, they don't keep other people/toddlers/dogs out -- which can put dogs at risk.
A four year old Pennsylvania boy saved the life of his dog after the dog bit him. The family's two dogs were apparently playing with a bone with the young boy got in between the two of them and one of the dogs, a bull mastiff, bit the boy in the face. Authorities planned to euthanize the dog but the boy showed more common sense and requested the dog be allowed to live.
A four year old Dona Ana County (NM) girl was airlifted to the hospital after being attacked by the family's Blue Healer. The girl's mother noted that the dog had previously shown aggression toward the child - -who walked up to the dog while it was being kept in a trailer.
In New Delhi, an 11 month old girl died after being attacked by a Labrador Retriever. This isn't included in its own story on my blog -- where I only really focus on North American fatalities -- but I do think helps show that dog attacks are not a breed-specific issue as Labradors have a reputation for being very family-friendly dogs -- as most dogs are.
In the UK, 4 breeds of dogs (including American Pit Bull Terriers) have been banned for nearly 25 years and bites continue to increase substantially. Last week a six year old girl was bitten in the face by an "alsatian type" dog, and another toddler was badly bitten in the face by a "Labrador/Collie"
The city of Jacksonville seems to be working hard to try to create a no kill community -- and last week, sent out pleas for help to help them with their over-crowding shelter. Their suspicions were right -- that if they appealed to the public to help, they would. Based on the appeal, 30 animals were adopted or reclaimed by their owners, 65 were taken by rescue groups and 8 went into foster -- for a total of 103 out of the shelter. The success shows that when shelters ask for help, the public and rescue community WILL help them out -- and I don't know why there are so many people that are critical of shelters that do ask for help. Unfortunately, everything wasn't exactly rosy for Jacksonville -- in the rush of all the public pick ups, rescues, etc, two healthy cats were accidentally killed as a result of "unfortunate miscommunication".
The Niagra (NY) SPCA is struggling with cash flow. The new board and executive director have been making pretty major strides to improve life-saving at the shelter - -and as such, the price of saving lives is outpacing the amount of revenue they've been able to generate. I'm guessing this article will help them with donations and cash flow to help them through this time.
A Halifax Couple decided to forgo their dream wedding when their pit bull became ill with a liver shunt. The couple decided to use their savings that they had been saving for their wedding to save their dog's life -- showing there are no financial bounds to the love we have for our pets. The couple had already postponed the wedding once because the wife's grandmother passed away the week before the wedding.
Pit Bulls by the Numbers -- Stubby dog takes a look at the common notion that "only about 5% of dogs are pit bulls" -- which is based on a lot of weird data, old data, and misleading or irrelevant data. Here's the reality -- if we're defining "pit bulls" as pure bred American Pit Bull Terriers, then 3-5% seems about right (or even high). If we're definiting "Pit bulls" as all block-headed mixed-breed dogs of unknown ancestory (which is generally how they like to do it for dog bite reporting) -- then that 5% number is nowhere near what shelter populations suggest it might be.
Some thoughts on the Dog Channel about how to "Save the Pit Bull" -- I don't necessarily agree with everything posted here, but some good advice on responsible ownership which is always important.
Why assess? -- matching pets with homes for what they need is important to creating good, safe and long-lasting adoptions. From ASPCA Pro.
No Kill, no opinion? Not likely -- Some good thoughts by an Examiner writer who notes that everyone has an opinion on No Kill, and yet a lot are opposed to it for really no reason at all...
Bad Rap is working on a Pit Bull owner survey -- I'm not sure what they're doing with it, but hey, go help them out by filling it out.
My dog: the paradox -- a little fun from The Oatmeal
Have you heard the one about climate change and dog training? -- the Unexamined Dog takes a look at the growing support for positive dog training. Again, I don't agree with everything in the article (scientifically, it doesn't make sense to me to completely remove 2 of the 4 learning quadrants in dog training for all cases), but do agree that positive dog training is the preferred solution for the vast majority of dogs and situations.
And for a little more fun today, check out this video of an English Bulldog enjoying some time on a trampoline.