Been a busy week, and I really haven't gotten to posting much here the past few days. So here are a roundup of most of the week's top stories -- although there are a few that I will cover off on under separate covers tomorrow.
Cities/States and laws
Schuyler, NE tabled a proposed law that would have targeted specific breeds of dogs.
Aberdeen, SD has once again decided against a law targeting pit bulls -- this time with a vote of 6-3 against the ban. An earlier vote last spring ended in a 4-4 tie, so the city continues to get more council members on the side of breed-neutral legislation.
Justice for Chloe
This is a very sad and tragic story from out of Commerce City, CO. In Commerce City, a house-sitter accidentally left the garage door open and allowed a pet dog named Chloe to be loose. Authorities arrived and cornered the dog in the garage. The dog acted very scared of the officers that surrounded him, but in spite of the fearful behavior, authorities tased the dog and put it on a catch pole. After more fear (from the tasing and capture), the dog continued to try to get away and then a 'police officer' decided to put 5 bullets into the contained dog --killing their family pet.
Meanwhile, the neighbors across the street got the entire event on video through an upstairs window. The authorities in Commerce City tried to justify their actions by saying the dog was a 'pit bull' and thus, they had to kill the fearful, contained dog due to public safety (as if, the idea that it was pit bull somehow justified their actions). Chloe's owners are filing a legal suit agains the city for their actions and have formed a facebook page: Justice for Chloe. YesBiscuit also covered the story. We must be sure that our local authorities are responsible in their actions -- which don't involve shooting a harmless dog -- especially when the act of shooting the dog can be very dangerous, evidenced by the fact that a stray bullet hit the animal control officer's car.
Pit bulls in shelters
In Midland, TX, advocates are pushing the city shelter to get rid of an "outdated" policy that has every pit bull that enters the shelter be killed instead of evaluated and put up for adoption like other dogs entering the shelter.
Meanwhile, in Buffalo, NY, the Erie County SPCA director wants to help improve the reputation of pit bulls in order to increase the number adopted from their shelter.
Kansas City Area News
The negotiations over the operations of the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Independence continues -- with the county preferring to contract out the operations to the Great Plains SPCA, while the city of Independence wants to run the shelter themselves. For the life of me I can't figure out how any of them are going to run it on the allotted budget of under $500,000, but meanwhile a brand new animal shelter sits empty not helping the animals of the Kansas City metro.
A dog in the historic Elmwood Cemetery was captured this week. The dog had become a favorite of people around the cemetery because the dog and a resident deer (who lost his mother to being hit by a car last year) had seemed to become friends at the cemetery. A local shelter captured the dog, and when they came to get the trap, found the deer hanging out with his captured companion.
In a story I first mentioned a few weeks ago, the Platte City police chief is now under fire for the illegal surveillance camera he installed on private property to catch someone from (gasp!) feeding cats.
Meet an urban musher in Kansas City.
I got the opportunity to watch "Beyond the Myth" a couple of months back (and have yet to post about it), but one thing I left the movie thinking was how disappointed I was that they didn't show many of the updates since the film was completed. Here are some updates.
No Kill News
The West Valley City/Taylorsville, UT shelter teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society last year in order to help create a no kill community for the area. In 2011, the shelter saved only 58% of the animals that entered it. However, through 11 months in 2012, they have saved 82% and growing.
The city of Waco, TX held a no kill summit to try to increase the number of animals saved in the community.
Moreno Valley, CA is also looking at how they can reduce their euthanasia rates -- which are currently at about 60%. Among the programs will be to increase targeted spay/neuter, improving business hours, and lowering the cost of adoptions.
Hillsboro County, FL is looking to Manatee County as a role model of how they can begin to eliminate shelter killing in their county as well.
Austin 360 does a great profile on Austin Pets Alive's Ellen Jefferson.
Blogs you should read
What should be done about the excess dogs in shelters? -- By Sam the Dog Trainer
Focus on the present, not the past, to get pets adopted -- Maddies Fund writes that how an animal behaves right now, and how they'll be in a home, is more important to adopters than sad stories or where the pet came from.
Dogs and babies, not always cute -- by Do you believe in Dog?
I talk a lot about bias in this blog, and so I think regular readers will find this interesting, but research indicates that Independents may be more immune to bias than liberals or conservatives.
All dogs are individuals -- "Every dog is an individual with a distinct set of needs and behaviors that are determined by a wide variety of factors: genetics, breeding, socialization, training, management and environment." -- More at the link from Animal Farm Foundation
Changing the conversation - more thoughts from Animal Farm Foundation on how sometimes when we talk about pit bulls, and don't put negative conversations into context, we are often perpetuating the stereotypes about pit bulls and their owners.
The second last day -- this is a really touching article by Pound Dogs about a dog he got to know at his city shelter that was euthanized. I love Fred's photography, but I also love his writing, which I miss -- but we sometimes get a glimps of as his blog has evolved.
From skeptic to breed advocate -- Samantha's Story -- from HugABull -- I think many of us entered this the same way, first with skepticism, but then, as we learned the real story about pit bulls, we became not just friendly with the dogs, but advocates against the ignorance as well.
12 reasons to adopt -- a video from the Willamson County Humane Society to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. It's cute, and only 37 seconds long
The anatomy of a dog, including fear, brain function and enthusiasm