In the 8 years that I've been writing this blog, this may have been the least active year on the blog. Time just got away from me and the changing nature of internet activity has led me to post more articles simply on the KC Dog Blog Facebook page vs writing entire posts about the topics.
However, I alway enjoy a look back at some of the most popular posts on this blog over the past year -- to see the things I hope resonated with people.
It's been a big year on many fronts. Two more states have prohibited cities from enacting breed-specific ordinances and many cities have come to the same decision on their own and repealed their ordinances. Shelter Life-saving has increased to as more and more shelters are taking proactive measures to increase the number of animals that they can put into rescue groups and homes.
All of this is good stuff.
So with that, let's take a look at some of the most popular stories of the year on KC Dog Blog:
1) Fatal Dog attack in Dayton - on breed, the media, common denomenators, reckless owners and ineffective animal control -- Back in February, 57 year old Klonda Richey was tragically killed by her neighbor's two dogs. The story highlighted a lot of elements, including irresponsible dog ownership, an animal controll department that knew the dogs were a problem and failed to do their jobs and highlighted how stories by particular breeds of dogs are covered more by the media than others. This was, by a fairly large margin, the highest read post of the year.
2) More acceptance for open adoption policies - -At this year's HSUS Expo, there was a solid presentation about open adoption policies for shelters and the importance of working for ways to say "yes" to adopters vs denying adopters that we don't feel are "good enough". The practive of loving our adoptable pets to death is fortunately falling out of favor and being more open with adoptions is gaining more momentum. And I'm glad this was a popular post, and hope it will continue to be so.
3) BSL Continues to be an embarrassment for Springfield, MO - -this post, from just last week, ended up #3 on the list. Advocates in Springfield, and the city itself, continues to have to work around a law that is getting in their way, costing taxpayer dollars, and is constantly being reviewed. A city-appointed task force recommended more than a year ago to repeal the law, but no action has been taken.
4) Bonner Springs, KS Repeals ban on pit bulls and great info on the story you need to know - In January, Bonner Springs, KS repealed its 24 year old law banning pit bulls. In the process, they wrote a very compelling testimony about why they repealed the law -- including noting that those who support breed specific ordinances relay on skewed and inaccurate statistics.
5) More research on the health impacts of spay/neuter -- where should we go from here? -- For decades, spay/neuter has been a critical component of animal welfare advocates and controling animal population, and as a result, the number of animals killed in shelters. However, a lot of new research over the past couple of years highlights some potential negative health consequences of spay/neuter. This is a look at the new science, and some potential options moving forward.
6) Seven facts about Aurora, CO's breed ban before next week's vote -- In November, citizens of Aurora voted to keep it's 9 year old breed ban. The ban has been expensive and ineffective at doing anything other than causing the mass slaughter of a bunch of innocent dogs, none of which the mainstream media reported upon.
7) More deceit from Merritt Clifton attackign shelter pets, information availability and how Time magazine got it wrong (again) -- Merritt Clifton is one of the more active anti-pit bull voices in the US, and has essentially made a career out of making up information and skewing "statistics" to support his agenda. This article discusses Clifton's agenda and lack of reasoning. But don't just take my word for it, more here.
8) A truth, two mistruths, an important factor and a telling quote -- An Associate Press Article discussing the "Softening reputation on pit bulls" allowed a couple of its anti-pit bull sources to make statements whose facts went unchecked - -but a telling quote from one of those sources definitely highlights an agenda.
9) Behavioral differences among breeds of dogs - current status of science - This blog entry analyzes a peer-reviewed research paper that highlights the current status of what is known about breed differences in behavior based on science (not bloggers, or hysteria). It's a good read for anyone in animal welfare, or city government, that may make you question what you think you know about breed stereotypes, and what science tells us.
10) Some interesting data on pit bull intake and adoptions in shelters - shelters everywhere are full of pit bulls. But some interesting data from Dr. Emily Weiss at the ASPCA highlights that pit bulls are really very highly adoptable dogs (they are actually the third most adopted breed from the shelters she studied) but that other issues, including breed-specific housing issues, are leading to many of their challenges.