Cities/States and Laws
Aberdeen, SD is once again attempting to vote to ban 'pit bulls' from the community. The city council voted on a similar ban in March of 2011, but didn't have enough votes to pass. If you live in or around Aberdeen, be sure to make you express to them the importance of passing a breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance that protects people regardless of the type of dog that is aggressive. Even the media in Aberdeen is opposed to the new legislation.
Manly, IA is discussing the possibility of repealing their breed-specific law that labales 'pit bulls' as exotic animals. Pit bulls are dogs; domesticated pets. They are not lions or tigers or bears (oh my).ell
Well, Ontario has a new opponent of it's 7 year old dangerous dog law that bans pit bulls from the provence. MLB pitcher Mark Buerhle was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays last week and now cannot even live in the same country with his wife and family because they own pit bulls, which are banned. The Buehrle's were vocal supporters of the vote to repeal Miami's breed ban last year, and once again are in a situation to speak out about a ridiculous breed ban. One really good thing that will come out of this is that with all of the media exposure people that are further removed from breed-specific laws get the opportunity to see how these laws effect good people and good dogs unreasonably and expose even more people to the problems with these poorly thought-out laws.
Hammond, LA unanimously voted against breed-specific legislation and instead, in favor of a breed-neutral, behavior-based animal control law. They decided against the breed-specific options because of the legal implications of trying to enforce the law due to breed identification issues.
Archbold, OH had previously discussed repealing its breed-specific law, but opted to keep its breed-specific law in place.
After months of discussing a possible breed ban in Woonsocket, RI, the more information that people in the community look at, the more they realize that the issues may be more linked to poorly run animal control and improper enforcement of current laws than on breeds themselves. So now the city is looking at ways of improving animal control for stray/off-leash dogs vs focusing on breeds.
Wilmington, DE has delayed a decision on repealing its breed-specific law targeting pit bulls.
Schuyler, NE will be holding the second reading of an ordinance that targets 11 different breeds of dogs.
Yalobusha County, MS wisely decided against breed-specific legislation and chose behavior-based legislation instead.
Major dog bites/attacks are very rare. With an estimated 78 million owned dogs in the United States there are relatively few significant attacks. However, with this many owned dogs, they do happen. When they do, it is always a variety of different types of dogs involved in the attacks, which is why it is important to look at the circumstances behind the incidents, not breeds. Most of the incidents below either involved a dog biting its owner, or in many of these cases, dogs roaming at large in groups in a neighborhood where leash-law enforcement would solve the issue.
In Bethel Township, OH, a 94 year old woman was attacked in her home by her Boston Terrier and had to be airlifted to an area hospital.
In Plainville, CT, a four-year old girl was bitten multiple times by a 'pit bull'. The dog was chained up outside while the girl was visiting a 93 year old grandmother. The dog belonged to the woman's 35 year old son (I know, that math doesn't work for me either, but that's what the story says). The woman then tried to bring the dog inside but was unable to control the dog and it went after the young girl. Authorities have no idea why anyone thought it was a good idea for a larger, high-energy dog to be put in the hands of such an elderly woman who was unable to handle it.
In Monroe, MI, a 56 year old man was bitten multiple times by two German Shepherds that escaped from a yard and ran into the street while the victim was out taking a walk.
In Creek County, OK, a teenager was bitten multiple times by a pack of dogs that were roaming freely in the community.
In Boulder, CO, a man went to the emergency room for treatment after being bitten by one of three dogs that was roaming at large. The dog in question was labeled as a Rottweiler.
In the UK, an 8 day old child was tragically killed by his grandparent's Jack Russell Terrier. The child was apparently left alone with the dog and the dog bit the child, causing fatal wounds. The UK has had a breed ban in place on four breeds of dogs for 20 years -- however, the law replaces important things like educating people about the actual causes of dog attacks -- which, in this case, is a dog left alone with a very young and fragile child.
In Montreal, animal control laws are created and enforced by individual boroughs. While three of the city's boroughs now ban pit bulls, the city is looking at trying to harmonize bylaws and set up a city-wide shelter. Due to the conversation, several articles have appeared this week, including Cesar Millan speaking oub against breed-specific laws,
Police shooting police while trying to shoot dogs
In Memphis, a police officer was shot and injured by another police officer that was shooting at a dog in a home. The dog allegedly charged the officer who discharged his weapon, missed, and the bullet hit his partner in the back. I do find the lead paragraph of this story interesting though, as it tries to call out that the officer injured the other one while trying to shoot a 'pit bull' -- yet the story they link to out of Memphis notes that the pit bull was actually kenneled and it was another dog in the home that was loose and shot at.
No Kill News
The No Kill LA program that is being led by Best Friends has led to more than 3,500 lives saved in just the first 10 months of operation. Best Friends has revised its goal to now trying to save 5,000 more pets than previous years. In 2011, the Los Angeles area killed 17,000 healthy and treatable pets in its shelters (out of a total of 56,000 shelter animals)....while there is still a ways to go in getting to the goal, the progress is definitely in the right direction. Meanwhile, Best Friends has also announced that the NKLA program will have a new director starting next week, Marc Peralta. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marc and can honestly say that I'm not sure there is a better fit for this organization, and the political pressures that surround it, than Mr. Peralta.
Pasco County, FL is taking steps to try to become a no kill community.
Williamson County, TX sent out pleas for help a couple of weeks ago in need adopters as the shelter, which has been no kill for 2 years, was above capacity. While No Kill is achievable, and sustainable, it is important to note that in open-admission shelters it is a consistent and ongoing challenge to keep up.
The Humane Society of Missouri is offering a $2500 reward for information that could lead to an arrest after someone dragged a pit bull puppy behind a truck.
A Middleville, MI man apparently bought a foreclosed home and found the abandoned home filled with mounds of feces and dead dogs.
Authorities seized 63 dogs from a Muncie (IN) animal rescue group Adopta-A-Lab that were kept in "deplorable" conditions.
In Brazil, a growing industry appears to be the growth of love hotels for dogs -- complete with heart shaped ceiling mirror, red matresses and shades to keep out the light of day. People are apparently using these as breeding grounds for their pets. Weird.
Just in time for holiday giving time, many media reports are going out talking about how donations to large national animal welfare organizations like the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States do not go to local organizations. If you want your donations to help shelter animals in your community, please give the money directly to a local shelter.
In a story I blieve most have probably seen, singer Fiona Apple made the public decision to cancel her South American tour in order to stay at home with her dying pit bull, Janet. The impact pets have on our lives is truly amazing and I think this is a very good example of how important pets have become as part of our lives.
As many of you know, world famous disc dog Wallace has been having a lot of medical issues lately. As such, his owners, Clare and Roo, are checking off a bucket list of things for Wallace in his final months. This week they video-taped him at the area dog park....
Friskies has anounce their winners for best cat You Tube video of the year -- here are the winners.
Blogs/Opinions (I confess I'm a little behind on blog reading, so more will come next week)
A Dog trainer writes to the Denver Post about the poor logic behind breed-specific policies. Experts are nearly universally against breed-specific legislation.
One dog at a time --- one of our many outstanding volunteers at the Kansas City, MO animal shelter discusses the challenge of 150+ dogs in one big room and wanting to get all of the animals out for walks.
Shelter Shock: No Kill turns into life sentence for a couple of old coonhounds -- Tales from the Bark Side looks at an unfortunate situation in Quincy, MI where a couple of dogs spent their entire life at a shelter. This is NOT no kill. No Kill is about getting animals out of shelters and into homes, not stashing them away for years and years. Thanks to Deb for bringing this story out.