I appologize for the last couple of weeks. Personal and business travels and overall busy-ness have made a lot less time for me the past couple of weeks. All is well though. There has been a lot going on - -with a fatal dog attack earlier this week, a won court case in Miami-Dade, and general nuttiness in Los Angeles.
I missed last week's weekly roundup -- so I'm going to go back and pick up some of the stories from two weeks ago too. I'm mostly going to focus on the dog bites (and there were a lot, it always picks up early in the Spring) and cities and laws sections -- but will throw in some other stuff as well. There's been
Cities/States and Laws
Ridgeland, MS passed a ban this week on "pit bulls", Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and wolf-dog hybrids. Ridgeland has been not at all open to hearing from experts around the country on this matter. While they put in a Grandfather clause, that allows owners to keep their current dogs if they're registered, owners can keep no more than one dog of the restricted breeds -- forcing many families to determine which of their dogs they want to have removed from their family.
Vauxhall, Alberta repealed their breed ban unanimously on their first reading. The law will now allow dogs to be declared dangerous on a case-by-case basis. Deputy Mayor Hagan called Breed-specific bans "outdated".
Manteca, CA is looking at passing an ordinance that mandates the spay/neuter of all dogs over six months of age.
Wichita, KS passed an ordinance that requires all pit bulls to be spayed/neutered and microchipped - which will give the animal control officers a lot more to enforce even though they are already completely understaffed there. You can read the whole ordinance here. Wichita has also begun a breed registry list that specifies which breeds of dogs are licensed on each city block With something like this, I would be stunned if we don't see a significant decrease in licensed dogs in the city.
A Chicago alderman claimed that he had enough votes to pass the mandatory spay/neuter law in the city. Mayor Richard Daley has also announced that he would support the ordinance. However, so far, the city seems to be passing on the idea - after several city aldermen questioned the ordinance. "If you ask the people in my ward, they would say, "Do I want the police running after un-spayed dogs or do I want them out there running after those people out there shooting at our kids?" said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle.
An Oregon bill that would require insurance for all pit bulls doesn't appear as if it will go very far without any support for the ordinance.
Ohio HB 79 would eliminate the 'pit bull' clause from the state's Vicious Dog law. The bill was assigned this week to the Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee. Please call your legislator and support Representative Barbara Sears' Bill. Bless the Bully's has all of the contacts. Interestingly, Barbara Sears is from the Toledo area where she has seen Tom Skeldon's (who is a proponent of the law) animal control department have an increase in bite stats and a large number of animals killed by officers due to their 1980s way of dealing with dogs.
Norwalk, OH is discussing a new dangerous dog law that would define dogs as "dangerous" and "vicious". However, due to the Ohio state law, they must declare pit bulls as "vicious", even though several other breeds are ahead of pit bulls in the bite stats -- which is causing a lot of discussion in the city.
There was a supposed 'pit bull' that bit a 12 year old girl (the girl is the one so far that seems be responsible for the breed identification) in Omaha this week (which has restrictions on 'pit bulls'). What makes this really a story though is that workers with the Nebraska Humane Society acted on a tip that the dog went into a home -- so they knocked on the door and questioned the home owner. When the owner refused to show them his dog (which is a legal right if NHS didn't have a search warrant), NHS called police. The home owner still refused to let them see the dog. Police arrested the man for obstructing and investigation. When authorities finally saw the dog, they determined that it was not the dog that bit the girl -- but the charges still stand on the man who was merely exercising his Constitutional right to not be searched without a proper warrant. Folks, if this stuff doesn't scare the heck out of you, I don' t know what would.
A mail carrier in Des Moines was attacked by a dog this week. Early reports called the dog a 'pit bull', but reports were later changed to it being an American Bulldog.
A 7 year old boy was bitten this week by a boxer mix that was a foster dog in the home. The dog had been in the home less than a week and yet the boy was left alone with the dog.
A "dog" bit a woman in the face in Houston this week. The dog is being called a "huge pit bull" -- but if you look at the pictures, you'll note that it looks like one of the molassar breeds that people often mistake for pit bulls.
A postal worker in Springfield, MO was bitten in the eye by a dog. No mention on what type of dog was involved in the attack, but it is noteworthy that Springfield banned "pit bulls" 3 years ago and yet attacks are still happening.
A Dayton, OH girl was bitten in the face by an Akita -- requiring 60 stitches. Ohio has state-wide restrictions on 'pit bulls".
A "famished" pack of dogs mauled a German tourist in Italy. Italy still has a ban on many breeds of dogs (was just repealed this week, but not yet taken effect), but apparently they aren't controlling their stray dog problem. A 10 year old boy was killed in Italy this week by a pack of stray dogs.
A two year old Tampa, FL girl was attacked by a large St. Bernard/Bull Mastiff mix that broke from his chain and attacked the girl. The dog was called a variety of different breeds in different stories -- including a 'pit bull mix". Police are saying the attack happened because the dog had been trained using a teddy bear and the dog wasn't able to discern the difference between a teddy bear and the child.
A 2 year old Long Beach girl sustained severe lacerations to her face after being attacked by the family's Cocker Spaniel.
A Yakima, WA jogger shot a labrador retriever that threatened to attack him. Yakima has a ban on several breeds of dogs.
A taxi driver in Pasco, WA was attacked by a group of mixed breed dogs that jumped on him and bit him multiple times. The dogs all appear to be mongrels.
A Lynn, MA lunch room aide tried to help out and captured a loose German Shepherd that was roaming the streets. She got the dog into the back of her car to take the dog back to its owner and the dog ended up biting her and leaving a deep wound in her hand.
A 3 year old Rock Hill, SC girl was bitten by a 'pit bull'. The girl was playing with a friend and the friend's dog when the attack occured.
A Seatac, WA man was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison for having a dog that viciously attacked a 72 year old woman last year.
In total, there were 14 different breeds of dogs that were involved in these attacks. I mention the stories NOT because dogs are dangerous -- because in fact, they're not. I mention these stories to show that if we do want to eliminate dog attacks, we MUST focus on circumstances that surround the attacks instead of focusing on breeds. Key circumstances around attacks would include unsupervised young children around dogs and loose and stray dogs. We MUST focus on circumstances, and not breeds, when it comes to dog bites. I also think it's interesting how many of these attacks occurred in cities or states with breed specific laws in them.
The UK breed ban -- yeah, still not working
A 3 year old girl suffered a broken jaw when she was bitten in the face by a Japanese Akita that she was playing with unsupervised outside and she "fell on" the dog.
It was bad enough that the story ran once, but to be picked up by the Chicago Tribune is ridiculous. Authorities in Council Bluffs, IA raided a home this week and found 56 grams of methamphetamine, $8500 in cash and stolen electronics and a stolen ATV. However, the fact that police shot a 'pit bull' in the raid made the headline. And newspapers wonder why their medium is dying.
A writer to the newspaper complains about pit bulls in her neighborhood as two dogs that were chained up in the neighborhood got free and bit people.
Abuse cases -- because people think the dogs are the violent ones
A pit bull in Destin, FL was reportedly "hacked to pieces" by his owner -- who hit the dog with a meat cleaver at least 70 times. The owner was reportedly drunk at the time.
Police continue to pump bullets into non-biting pit bulls -- in Phenix City, GA, a pit bull was shot three times by a police officer. The owner says he's sorry the dog got loose, but said the dog wasn't aggressive. "People think he's just a dog, but he's my dog," said the dog's owner. "I'm not looking for a paycheck, I just want my dog the way he was."
Irresponsible peopld are everywhere, not just dog owners - with people like this out there is there any wonder that some would own dogs that would cause problem?
A 13 year old Prince William county girl ended up getting killed by her adoptive mother after being abused by the woman for 2 years. People reported her having been tied up, being thrown in the trunk of her mother's car, being forced into the trunk of the car, and wandering the streets wearing only a BBQ grill cover.
A man is accused of trying to shoot someone who was trying to sell Shar Pei puppies for a higher price than the man wanted to pay.
A Kansas City woman is being charged for child abuse after her two year old boy suffered two broken arms, a dislocated shoulder, severe head bruises and damage to his liver, pancreas and kidneys.
An awesome post by "For the Pit Bulls" on a tragic story that highlight the true bond between dogs and humans when the humans live up to their end of the deal. If you only read one link in this roundup, read this one.
A good story about Pit Bulls helping parolees, and parolees helping pit bulls.
Pit Bulls are a misunderstood Breed (Las Cruces Sun-News)
Have a great week everyone -- I have a lot of (I think) interesting stuff for next week as I'm still trying to get through all of my saved links.