It's been a busy week and I'm a little behind on a host of topics. I should be able to get to many of them this week. Meanwhile, here are some of the top stories you may have missed from the week that was.
Cities/States and Laws
Hornbeak, TN passed the first reading of a bill that would ban several breeds of dogs, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds. If you are in the area, please contact your city officials to tell them that breed-neutral, behavior-based legislation is the best for public safety.
After 10 months of discussion, Schuyler, NE passed a dangerous dog law that targets 11 different breeds of dog -- including the "Pit bull Terrier", Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Presa Canario, Cane Corso, American Bulldog, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, and American Bandogg. Anyone who thinks that breed specific legislation is just a pit bull issue make note.
Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in Rhode Island that would create state-wide breed-specific legislation. However, after more education from experts in the community, the bill was pulled. Now, a new bill has been introduced that would prohibit breed-specifc legislation from municipalities. This shows how quickly ideas can change once experts in their local communities are consulted and people understand that breed-specific laws are not the solution to increasing public safety.
Bronwood, GA briefly considered a breed-specific dangerous dog law, but then after careful consideration opted not to go that route.
SB160 in Maryland, a bill that would over-ride a court ruling that declared 'pit bulls' as dangerous advanced out of the Senate Judicial proceedings by a unanimous vote. The bill now advances to the entire Senate floor. The companion bill advanced by a Unanimous vote in the House of Representatives as well. While the Baltimore Sun seems to imply there is some "unraveling" that is going on, at this point there is no evidence of that from the votes that have been cast.
Lansing MI is discussing the possibility of enacting breed-specific legislation -- so far the majority of the people commenting on the bill, per usual, are opposed to breed-specific provisions.
In Colorado, legislators are looking into a bill that would require police to take dog encounter training as a way of preventing so many dogs from being shot.
A year old infant in New Jersey suffered "serious" injureis when she was bitten in her face by a Husky in her home.
An 8 year old Saskatchewan boy suffered major injuries, after he entered a fenced kennel where a mixed breed dog was kept and the dog attacked the boy.
The Bark magazine has a great article about the innovative sheltering idea of creating mall "boutique" adoption centers. These centers provide high-traffic exposure of adoptable pets and with the recent recession, space in these malls is often available and can be gotten for discounted rates for 501c3 rescue groups. Late last year, our organization, KC Pet Project, opened a retail adoption center that has created about a 40% increase in total adoptions since its opening - which has bee critical for lifesaving in our community. Great article from the Bark, and great idea for shelters across the country.
KC Pet Project was invited to speak at the Kansas City Mayor's stat meeting -- discussing the decrease in euthanasia at the city shelter over the past 14 months. Midtown KC Post has details, and a chart from the meeting that I'm really proud of.
The Fairfield County animal shelter (Lancaster, OH) has decreased its euthanasia rate from 34% to 17% over the past year. They're continuing to look at options to reduce this rate even further.
Austin schools other cities on No Kill - media coverage about Austin's Pet Alive Conference as others went to Austin to learn how to make their communities No Kill.
Many people in No Kill circles know Aimee Saddler's name. Aimee is a great dog trainer, who is helping shelters (including ours) institute playgroups for shelter dogs. The playgroups are designed to give the dogs good socialization, enrichment, and burn off energy -- all of which are invaluable to making them more adoptable in a shelter setting. Here's a great video she posted this week about why they don't micromanage interactions in a playgroup setting.
A feature on Canine Investigator Jim Crosby. Jim does a great job of investigating canine attack scenes and deterimining the circumstances behind these attacks.
Three pit bulls were stolen from the Lake Jackson SPCA (TX) last week -- showing once again that the idea that pit bulls are good guard dogs is a myth, and often can't even keep themselves from being stolen.
A pit bull helped his master this week -- as the master was being attacked by another man with a golf club, the pit bull intervened and attacked the attacker.
Trooper, a pit bull puppy that was dragged nearly to death, has finally healed under the care of the Humane Society of Missouri and is now available for adoption.
A volunteer love story - Barb and Dru - A day with Homeless Dogs discusses a volunteer at our shelter in Kansas City and how the volunteer has connected with a long-timer at the shelter.
Babble has a great article and pictoral about the Pin-ups for Pit Bulls group that is increasing awareness of the softer side of pit bulls.
Counter Conditioning and Desensitization for Dogs - Part 1 -- Eric is finally back at Dog Spelled Forward with insights in to Classical Conditioning for dog, and how to change this conditioning.
My dog is aggressive to others on leash - Dog Spelled forward looks at the common problem of leash reactivity, and how to manage. Step 1, pay attention. Step 2, change the association to the emotional aggressive response.
Book review of the book Mr. and Ms. Dog -- by Raised by Wolves.
To save animals, you have to like people -- trusting the public is the most important part of saving lives -- it is the public that is going to adopt, foster, donate and tell others to do the same.
The problem with Dandelions - Lost Dogs Wisconsin has an interesting article about "dandelions" -- which they describe as dogs that are very common and look very similar -- with good advice on how to find them when they're lost.
An image of a well-prepared cat.