Here's a very quick look at some of the top stories from the past couple of weeks.
Cities/States and Laws
Some speculation in Denver that after the White House denounced policies targeting specific breeds of dogs that Denver may reconsider its long-standing ban on Pit Bulls. Just speculation for now, but I have to wonder how long the old guard like Cory Nelson and Charlie Brown can hold onto the power in that city in spite of all of the evidence against them.
In Swanton, OH, there is a legal tangling over the definition of a 'pit bull'. A dog belonging to Tim Bork was identified by acting Dog Warden Brian Bannister as a Fila Brasileiro -- which under the "a pit bull is what I say it is" philosophy Bannister considers to be a "pit bull" type dog. However, the law doesn't call out Fila Brasileiro in its list of "pit bull" type breeds. This suit is costing one resident his relationship with his dog, and the taxpayers a whole lot of money. Meanwhile it appears that Bork's dog has earned its Canine Good Citizen certification and is not a threatening dog....
Twenty-five years after instituting its breed ban, residents and officials in Yakima, WA are questioning whether the law is actually effective.
A solid read from The Tennessean that debates the reputation of pit bulls as being dangerous.
Another solid report out of Kansas City. There are quite a few things that I would have done differently if I controlled this story, but overall a solid report.
Even though residents in Burnaby, BC say they don't want the city's breed-specific law, there is a chance the law might stay.
Clay, AL has decided to not enforce its breed ban under the advice of their attorney.
Dardenelle, AR passed the first reading of its proposed law to target specific breeds of dogs. The Dardenelle Police Chief says the law is needed because they increasingly see vicious dogs at drug houses. For the life of me I have no idea why anyone would think that dogs laws are an effective approach for dealing with drug problems....
After months of debate, Watertown, WI chose to listen to experts in their community and voted no on breed-specific legislation and instead voted in favor of a strong, breed-neutral ordinance.
I never cease to be amazed at the myths some people still believe in -- but a shelter in Texas is holding an adoption special on black cats now because they don't adopt any out during the month of October.
A couple of weeks ago I noted that the Genesee County shelter was doomed because they tried to implement their version of no kill by focusing on not euthanizing animals instead of not saving them. A couple of weeks ago they eneded their "no kill" policy.
Residents in Bakersfield have been stepping up to adopt following the news that the city was going to kick the Kern County Animal Control out of the shelter and let a not-for-profit run the shelter -- leading to more than 500 dogs and cats to be adopted in just a couple of weeks. This is still a huge mess out there and it seems like there are a lot of responsible parties, none of whom want to play in the same sandbox together and get this right. The Bakersfield Californian has a solid article about the decade of failure in Kern County.
Costa Rica's plan to adopt out more shelter dogs includes creating "designer breeds" for the mixed breed dogs. Our shelter has often called them "one of a kind" and "coutour" dogs, and this is another spin on the idea.
When the Toronto Blue Jays were in town, pitcher and advocate Mark Buerhle talked to the local press about breed-specific laws in Ontario and the challenges it created for his family. Many Kansas City area communities have breed bans similar to Ontario's so it was good press for us to have here in KC.
Good interview about Breed-specific legislation with Drayton Michaels.
Experts in Iowa concur that 'pit bulls' aren't dangerous.
A new virus called circovirus, that sounds similar to parvo, but different, has been confirmed in Ohio. This is obviously a concerning proposition for many as it can lead to a lot of dead animals quickly if a cure/vaccine is not found.
For all the talk about dangers of dog bites, after Labor Day weekend it was noted that drowning deaths in Missouri have doubled this year. More people have died from downing just in Missouri than will die from dog bites in the entire US this year.
Wisconsin Watchdog notes that signage pointing people to an out-of-the-way animal shelter can help with owner reclaims as people often don't consider the animal shelter until their pet is lost. For years, shelters didn't really want people to know about them because they didn't necessarily want to publicize what happened in them. However, changing mindsets also includes doing 'little things" like creating signage to help people with finding their lost pets and knowing where to adopt.
The first step in addressing a fear is to recognize it as unfounded -- Modern Dog takes a unique look at BSL from the view of someone who is afraid of pit bulls, but realizes it is an irrational fear.
PETA confirms support of breed specific laws and the idea of killing pit bulls to keep bad things from happening (you know, like dying). SwayLove has a nice report of their correspondence with PETA who is clearly on the fringes of common belief.