A lot of stuff going on out there, so sit back, have a cup of coffee and catch up on some of the stories you may have missed from the week that was. As always, if you have other stories you'd like to share, feel free to post them in the comments.
Cities/States and Laws
Unfortunately, a lot of tiny little communities moving in the wrong direction this week:
The tiny community of West Branch, MI (Population 2100) decided to uphold it's 14 year old ban on "pit bulls" by a vote of 3-2. Most the people in this community probably know every dog there by name and would know which ones were aggressive or caused incidents without such a ban, but ignorance remains in some areas.
New Llano, LA voted to ban 'pit bulls' (and anything that looks like one) in their community. It's another small community of 2500 people and they can probably fit all the affected owners in a small room and it seems either hysteria, or a way to target an individual, than a real public safety issue.
Chippewa Falls, WI is kicking around the idea of a breed ban. Hopefully they'll listen local experts and decide to stay with a behavior-based ordinance instead of the breed-specific one.
Hornbeak, TN (population 450) has pased a ban on 10 different breeds of dogs. Again, anyone who thinks breed bans are a 'pit bull issue' is wrong...
Fortunately, many smart communities get it:
In Royal Oak, MI, they are toughening up their dangerous dog law and Mayor Jim Ellison said it would target breeds "over his dead body". They are looking at responible pet ownership, dog behavior and education as their keys. Bravo.
When we discuss dog bites on this blog, I often refer to a couple of realities that a) most dogs are not aggressive and as companions fit very safely into our homes and b) that when dog bites/attacks occur, that it is almost always a set of circumstances, human behavior (often including unsupervised children), warning signals and social issues that lead up to a severe attack and that these are the circumstances that should be targeted, not breeds. Here are a few examples:
In Bennsville, MD, three dogs, including dogs reported as a Presa Canario and an English Bulldog (although there appears to be a lot of confusion on the types of dogs involved) attacked a 5 year old girl who wandered outside at night unattended and unsupervised as the child's boyfriend was supposed to be watching her but wasn't. The girl wandered into an area that contained the dogs and was viciously attacked. Apparently animal control had been to the home before and were asked to remove more than a dozen Cane Corsos and poverty appears to be a pretty major issue in this community.
In the UK, a 9 year old boy had to have stitches and a huge amount of swelling on his face after being bitten by a Yorkshire Terrier -- a tiny toy breed.
A Sandusky, OH woman suffered significant injuries when a 17 week old German Shepherd attacked her. Apparentlyt he woman was leading the dog outside and it became VERY agitated when a cat zipped by and redirected the frustration onto the woman, causing significant bite injuries to her arm and wrist.
No Kill News
The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association is working with a local rescue group to help reduce shelter euthanasia - and in fact, saw a 77% decrease in dogs killed at the shelter and an 89% decrease in puppies killed via their partnership and programs to increase adoptions.
Police arrest a man for possession of crack cocaine and illegal handguns -- however, somehow it's his dog that makes the headline.
An Iowa Man was apparently bitten in the face by a dog during the middle of the afternoon. The victim described the dog as either "black or brown" and either a "pit bull or a rottweiler". These two dog breeds look little alike, but apparently any dog that bites is either a pit bull or a rottweiler when a victim reports it...which is why too often witness accounts of breeds are not reliable.
Dos and don't when it comes to dogs -- real efforts to edcuate people about canine behavior from the Irish Examiner. Bravo.
A pit bull therepy dog not only helps students with their reading, but helps dispell stereotypes in the process.
Nine 'pit bulls' were found severely abused in the backyard ofa home in Bardstown, KY. Humans continue to be more of a threat to pit bulls than vice versa and it's another reason why looking at containment/ownership issues is important.
In the Kansas City area, more than 70 dogs were seized from a 3-state dog-fighting bust. A local expert (and friend of mine) discusses how the dogs will need to be evaluated as individuals to determine their eventual fate. It's worth noting that one of the locations of the bust was actually in a comminty with a 25 year ban on pit bulls -- showing once again that breed bans don't stop illegal activiites.
More dogs = more attacks - Sam the Dog Trainer looks at how the more dogs that are in the home the more likely you are to struggle with group dynamics.
Dog memory - a clever take on dog memory (and how people have it too) from The Poodle and Dog Blog
Long-time advocate Kim Wolfe has started a new blog entitled "Beyond Breed" that is worth checking out. Here's why she chose the name, and a couple of highlights from the past couple of weeks.
When raising awareness raises fear - more from Beyond Breed about how sometimes efforts to "educated" people on issues like dogfighting creates more fear than helping solve a problem.
10 tips for speaking with Legislators about BSL -- good advice from Beyond Breed
Don't think, adopt! - ASPCA Pro discusses impulse adoptions -- and that they're not as bad as many people mistakenly think.
There's no Us vs Them: We all want the safe communities -- Animal Farm Foundation has a nice post about how everyone wants to live in a safe community, so meeting people on that common ground is important before discussing the difference in opinion on breed-specific policies.
Picture of a Pit Bull with Bird on its Head surrounded by Bunnies -- the headline says it all, but the picture is worth a thousand words
You keep using that word - Euthanasia - I do not think it means what you think it means -- from Rescue One Dog -- the words "euthanasia" and "kill" should not be used interchangably