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« UK Dangerous Dogs Act - scrap the law and start from scratch | Main | Omaha - Focusing laws on wrong owners causes rise in dog bites »

March 17, 2010


Nathan J. Winograd

We have seen what can happen when we organize politically. As you reported, BSL candidates were soundly defeated during the last election cycle in droves, we passed shelter reform in CA over the objections of every kill shelter in the state, we removed dog killers like Tom Skeldon, we got a unanimous No Kill plan approved in Austin, TX, and we won over elected officials in places as diverse as KY, UT, VA, and elsewhere for the No Kill cause.

The fact that both Democrats & Republicans will vote for pro-animal legislation does not mean they vote smartly. It is our job to educate, inform, lobby, and when necessary, replace.

We are fighting 100 years of misinformation, we are fighting entrenched special interests, we are fighting the political mentality of the quick fix.

But we've got hearts and minds already on our side, if we can cut through the fog, and if we can offer viable alternatives.

So I soundly second Brent's call to make informed choices, educate politicians, and be involved politically.


I know the KC Dog Advocates are working on KC political recommendations (saw the ad in MetroPet) do you know when they will come out? And if we wanted to work in the KC area to repeal mandatory Spay and Neuter and do away with pet limits, how would we do that? Is it a city council vote type of thing? Thanks as always for all your great info :)


Thanks Alana -- we're keeping the rankings updated as we get new responses in -- so if you go to -- and then click on "politics" at the top you will go to an overview of our political rankings system and then if you click on "politics" and scroll to one of the various cities you can see an overview of the individual candidates and their views. We're updating the ratings as we go and plan to send them out in our e-newsletter in a couple of weeks so people have them before the elections.

As for KCMO, we REALY need to get rid of the MSN and the pet limits. It's such a mess right now -- especially when you add in the quota system. The city council would have to vote to get rid of the MSN & Pet Limits. The quota is a policy that we need AC to get rid of.

There is a small (but growing group) of us working on getting the pieces in place to work on the repeals. We'd love to have you involved.


most pit bull people believe that BSL, and other anti pet laws (such as msn) are generated by "liberals" who are ultimately in league with the PETA/HSUS faction to control us and our pets. (just read what the Canadians write about the Ontario politicians).

meita and dog breeds

nice president and cute dog



It's an interesting topic for sure. Now, make no mistake, my argument is that "No Kill" is a bi-partisan issue...however, that doesn't mean there isn't an "except for..." in there.

BSL is a little different though. Traditional thinking is that conservatives are against BSL (they are historically for smaller government and individual rights -- although, more recently, they seem to just want to pick and choose more where they interfere). Liberals tend to be more empathetic -- and sometimes that goes toward victims, and sometimes toward dogs.

As far as my personal experience goes, I tend to see more problems on either extreme -- VERY liberal politicians tend to want the government to protect people from everything. However, very conservative older (typically men) tend to think that only gangsters have pit bulls (Susan Hunter's research reflects this also). We have very few problems here with people who are in the middle and just want to look at the situation rationally.

The Canadians are always referring to it that way because it was the Ontario Liberal Party (one of their 3 politcal parties) that actually pushed through their BSL...


I am a Republican and a No Kill advocate.

Kurt Schmitt

Well written and a lot of good points. No-kill might be a bi-partisan issue, but people are inconsistent.

At a local shelter, only the employees work with the cats, not the volunteers. I learned this in a rather abrupt way. During a training and orientation session for new volunteers, only the dogs were mentioned. The cats were totally ignored in the conversation.

The woman sitting next to me, a new volunteer, asked if she could work with the cats. The woman doing the training said no, and then added that there was really nothing to be done with respect to the cats except clean the cages and the litter boxes.

My ears went up, of course, and the woman sitting next to me seemed like she was fumbling for the right words for the occasion. I thought I'd try to help and use a term we could all understand.

When I asked about enrichment for the cats, however, I got a blank stare, as if cats are non-living and the word enrichment was alien language. We were a bit shocked.

We pressed the issue and started to explain about toys, affection, and playtime, but got no real answer or any hint that anyone cared.

The trainer moved on to another subject as if we'd just been talking about rocks. No light bulb went off in her head at all. So, the dogs need to be walked, played with, and shown affection, but the cats don't?

I was amazed that someone who works at a shelter and trains volunteers could actually be that insensitive, or at least come across that way.

To me, you either have empathy and concern or you don't. If you don't, then you wouldn't be working at a shelter. It's totally inconsistent behavior.

Taking a step back, how could a shelter have this kind of policy? The culture of the shelter itself should demand more from everyone there. Yet, you find these inconsistencies over and over again.

So, if you're trying to make sense of people's political viewpoints reconciled against what you think their personal beliefs might be, I wish you luck. People can't even be consistent in their own personal beliefs and actions.


nice dog and good president

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