Cities/States and Laws
The Florida Bill that would force shelters to be transparent unanimously passed out of the Senat committee last week. Supporters of the bill hope that promoting accountability will aid in the number of lives saved in these communities.
The city of Overland Park, KS, which already has a host of ridiculously bad pet laws including very restrictive pet limit laws of 2 and a breed ban, now wants to charge pet foster homes $100 per foster pet.
A city councilman in Westwego, LA is pushing for a breed-specific law after a woman was severely injured by her own dogs in her own home.
West Memphis, AR is looking at a breed-specific law to target pit bulls. West Memphis is a community of 26,000 people where a whopping 42% of the population (3X the national average) live below the poverty line. They had 28 dog bites last year, with 3 coming from pit bulls to people outside of the dog's home. They seem to be looking to solve a problem that doesn't exist in a community that no doubt has more than its fair share of problems.
A New York Law that would prohibit insurance companies from descriminating based on breed was approved by the Assembly Insurance Committee.
Dog bites/attacks and dangerous dog laws
In Boston, a 14 year old boy apparently entered a fenced in area where two Rottweilers were being used as a guard dog. The dogs attacked the teenager (as it was specifically trained to do) and the boy was saved by a police officer who arrived quickly to the scene and shot one of the dogs. The boy was apparently familiar with the dogs and had pictures of himself playing with the dogs, so it is a bit of an odd situation. However, I think it's interesting that this incident occurred in Boston, where they have been focusing all of their efforts on trying to keep their law targeting breeds of dogs instead of focusing on situations that lead to dogs (regardless of breed) to be aggressive -- in this case, actually training dogs to be aggressive as watch dogs.
A pack of mixed breed dogs reportedly attacked an elderly woman in Portsmouth, OH. The owner of the dogs has been repeatedly cited for letting the dogs, several with a history of aggression, repeatedly roam at large. Officials continue to just write citations and not crack down further. Many cities do need stronger laws that crack down on dogs that show a history of irresponsible pet ownership and repeatedly put the public at risk through their actions.
Officials in Verona, MO suffered from "confusion" in trying to determine whether a dog owned by a family in the community was a French Mastiff, or a pit bull. Pit bulls are banned under community law. No actual discussion seems to have taken place over whether or not the dog was aggressive in any way (by all accounts, the dog never bothers anyone). But the city is trying to enforce it's law an now seems unable to tell the difference between a 150 lbs breed and a 60 lbs breed and instead of asking the right question, of "is this dog safe?" -- they're trying to determine breed. What a collossal waste.
An interesting story about a family that lost their home owners insurance because the company declared their dog to be a pit bull and dropped their insurance. The dog is a member of the family and is not aggressive, but now the family is looking for new insurance. The ridiculousness of insurance bans against certain breeds is being addressed in several state legislatures right now and I'm glad that governments are looking at this.
A new study shows that people have evolved to be able to read dogs' facial expressions.
Pit Bull Therapy helps veterans in Tennessee.
No Kill News
Animal shelters in Cleveland, OH continue to have success in minimizing shelter euthanasia. As recently as 2000, the two large shelters in the community took in more than 26,000 animals -- and killed nearly 17,000. In 2012, the shelters took in less than 13,000, and killed just over 3,000. The shelter euthanasia rates are now 14% for dogs and 27% for cats. Congrats on the progress in Cleveland, and here's to more improvement and success.
The Huffington Post covers No Kill Success in Austin.
Positive changes in Racine, WI -- including nearly doubling the number of animals adopted in the first two months of the year-- from Wisconsin Watchdog.
Can a photo-bombing dog sell a house or rent an apartment? - This is hilarious and awesome from The Poodle and Dog Blog
Animal cruelty, do you know it when you see it? Department of Ag Disagrees? -- Some interesting thoughts on Animal Cruelty from Dancing Dog Blog
Reducing Shelter Admissions with Animal Help Desk -- from Nevada Humane Society's Bonney Brown via Maddies Fund
Yes - I think I want one -- Would you like to have a pet fox? -- From Poodle and Dog Blog
3 ways to boost return-to-owner rates -- from the ASPCA Pro