Step out of your comfort zone

Posted December 12th, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

So recently Jeff Borchardt published a post on his website where he attempts to demonize everyone who opposes his anti-dog tactics, and in the same group-type response in which he demonizes all Pit Bulls. What’s clear is that if you’ve ever attempted to engage Jeff and said anything that he didn’t want to hear, well, you’re basically then accused of “attacking a victim.” That’s his narrative, anyways.

That’s not to ignore or seek to justify some very reprehensible comments that he has received from others. It’s within his post that he shows you some of the cataloged screenshots. But again, people are individuals and some folks are just senseless assholes. An unavoidable fact of the matter is that there’s senseless assholes from every group of people, from every race or type of people, from every city, state and country of people. There’s no perfect fix for that, and that’s what makes people human. People are individuals, and there’s some shitty people out there from all walks of life.

But anyways, Mr. Borchardt routinely lumps valid criticism of his tactics and ideology in with ludicrous criticism and heartless commentary. This is quite obviously done so that he can avoid ever having to take accountability or have an intellectual back and forth with anyone about the actual issues, and instead just ignore all criticism across the board or use 1 person’s crappy comment to paint everyone else as insensitive or discredited. It’s a tactic, it’s obvious, and it’s lame as hell. It’s sort of like how 99% of a protest is peaceful and then you have the less than 1% that go around busting out store windows and setting fires. Then in the media the hundreds or sometimes thousands of protesters get condemned as an entire group for being “rioters” and “looters.” It’s no surprise coming from a character like Borchardt, but just pointing it out as being his mode of operation.

For instance, it was pointed out to me that he was ranting about me in the comment section of this post. I went over to both read his post and then read the comments.

It’s within Jeff’s main post where he attaches screenshots of disgraceful comments coming from (as mentioned above) senseless assholes. One person suggests that he get to “play kickball with Jeff’s son’s head.” That comment is clearly embarrassing, mental, crude and heartless. Another person tells him to “put a gun to your head and join your ugly son.” Embarrassing, mental, crude and heartless. Another person posts a photo of Jeff’s son with the caption “my dartboard.” Embarrassing, mental, crude and heartless.

Jeff uses these screenshots to typecast ALL PIT BULL-TYPE DOG OWNERS. That’s millions of people, folks. Apparently everyone is to blame for some fucking asshole making a psychopathic comment about his son! Actually, the only person to blame for whatever piece of shitty commentary that was made is the person that said it. That’s it.

Do you see a pattern with Borchardt’s world-view? He just scapegoats everyone for the actions of an individual. You disagree with him on anything regarding Pit Bulls? Well, then you’re an insensitive “nutter” who apparently rejoices in the death of his son… Complete bullshit and utter lunacy, but that is the narrative that Borchardt pushes.

Borchardt actually included a screenshot of something that I sent him on Twitter, and places it alongside some of the statements referenced above. Lovely. What did I say?

That’s not my video. No clue who ‘foamertalk’ is. Address them, not me. Also, you call that an ass-handing? That’s interesting. Clifton has ducked just as you’ve ducked for 2 months. Your online bravado does nothing for you outside of the hate group. Fire up your webcam and stop being a coward.

Mind you, this was in response to him attempting to mock me on Twitter, not the other way around. He referenced me daring to go up and engage Merritt Clifton at a conference, which I did, with my camera rolling. That video has obviously pissed a lot of people off. He said that I got my ass handed to me. Okay. Right. I then pointed out that Clifton has actually ducked getting back to me on the proposed debate that was referenced numerous times in the video. I also point out that Jeff has done the same kind of avoiding, as I proposed publicly talking to him about the issues on webcam about 6 months ago. This was suggested because Jeff most definitely has a working webcam, as he does media interviews using Skype while pushing breed-specific legislation. I then call him a coward because he constantly avoids discussing public safety issues with anyone that doesn’t either 1) give him a softball television segment or 2) totally agree with him.

Borchardt’s post then gets even more passively aggressive. In the comment section someone named Brian Adamson offers a pretty level-headed paragraph towards Jeff, which then pulls in numerous anonymous (surprise!) commenters in response, and then Jeff himself. Someone with the alias “Who Else” states that the Adamson guy is a “shill for Pit Bull breeders” who “helps dog fighters get kids and pets killed.” Um, wow. In his next comment he states that Brian Adamson is “hooked up” with me. What the heck? I am described as “that creepy guy who has Lisa Camuso telling him what to do.” Lol. I’ve never met or talked with Brian Adamson, I have no clue who he is. I’ve also never met or talked with Lisa Camuso, although I’ve seen her comment below my Merritt Clifton video. I have literally zero link with either person. I most definitely don’t have anyone telling me what to do, Lisa or otherwise. Jeff then comes on and starts shouting at me in the comments, as if I’m actually on the comment section, which I’m not. He then accuses me of posting on a Facebook page called “Truth Be Told,” which I don’t. Borchardt goes on to state that this page is where myself, Lisa Camuso and Brian Adamson go to “associate.” Jesus Christ. He then refers to us as the “Pit Bull lobby.” This is his term for anyone that has a Pit Bull-type dog or disagrees with BSL or breed bans. Again, in reality this is millions of people, folks! I’m a dog owner. I have dogs that are Pit Bull-type dogs. That’s it.

This was partially the Brian Adamson guy’s reponse to Borchardt’s claims, found further down within the comment section:

I have never had a single conversation with Josh Liddy. I mentioned him in one comment, one time and all of a sudden we are brothers in arms. That is a glaring example of how flawed your thought process is. You draw wild conclusions based on a fractional amout of evidence and research. You then present these conclusions as though they are proven, undeniable facts.

That’s actually pretty spot on.

Jeff Borchardt has no ability to actually stick to specific facts and instances. He seeks to blame everything on everyone, and link everything with everyone, and paint everything with the same brush. He fundamentally rejects the fact that people are individuals and dogs are individuals. This is a fact, he can ignore it all that he wants. When I criticize people they are being specifically criticized. I do not post for any Facebook page other than SwayLove.org. This is also my website. I write here. I do not have any aliases. I try to engage everyone. I’m 1 person who stands up for not only my dogs but tries to stand up for everyone’s dogs. My dogs have done nothing to anyone. Nothing that Jeff Borchardt has to say has anything to do with my dogs or millions of other dogs. Nothing. I am not funded by any other organization. I do not take marching orders from anyone. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Jeff. I also have a working webcam. I’ve invited you to have a public conversation, talk, debate (whatever you want to call it), as human beings. I will talk to you about anything that you want to talk about, and at any time. If you’d “school me,” as you like to say, then what exactly is the problem? Wouldn’t it be of benefit to you to publicly school me on these many issues? I am not scared of you or your information. I can stand on my own feet. You can spin things however you want to spin them, but deep down you know that’s being done to make yourself feel better and reaffirm what you already believe. Step outside of your comfort zone. Have the conversation.

Honestly, the people that scare me the most are the one’s that don’t even want to hear anyone else’s opinion unless it’s something that they already agree with. I don’t live in an echo chamber. People can say a lot of things about me, but they can’t say that. I engage, I respond, I communicate. I try to do as much of that as I can, both here and on my Facebook page. Those concepts are healthy for lifting discussions, or they should be. Bottom line.

DuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuck … Goose?

Who oversees who in this arrangement?

Posted December 11th, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

At the latest Los Angeles Animal Services Board of Commissioners meeting, numerous volunteers continued bravely bringing their thoughts to the microphone. It’s brave because workplace retaliation is a real thing. Those that would say it isn’t, you are either gullible or you actively work for the department that’s doing the retaliating. Once the latest audio is available I’m going to put together a compilation of some of the statements and add it to this piece so that people can hear them.

I don’t even go to most of the meetings, but when I do they routinely feature lots of public comments coming from current or former volunteers. They are mostly comments that are detailing problems or concerns. At what point does someone have to take some of them seriously? Or are these meetings just a dog and pony show? If the department, and more specifically the Board of Commissioners, actually care about their volunteers then they need to start seriously listening to their grievances.

I mentioned on Tuesday night that the role of the board was to oversee the department. Not the other way around. They are an oversight commission! I ended that statement by turning it into a question. I was genuinely asking. We know what the board is supposed to do but then we also see what it actually does.

The fact remains, someone up the chain has been able to get rid out countless past Commissioners when they begin to ask hard questions or seek certain degrees of accountability. And how are they let go? Much like the volunteers. No acknowledgement of what they’ve brought and/or continue to bring to the table, just that they are no longer needed.

So who is overseeing the department? The department? Does the department have the ability to oversee the commission set up to oversee the department? It sounds funny but these are real questions.

My criticism is leveled knowing that LAAS (city) is clearly ahead of the DACC (county). At least the city has a public meeting, genuine in nature or disingenuous. County has nothing. No way for people to voice their concerns, no way for people to publicly attempt to hold Marcia Mayeda accountable. So for that reason alone, Brenda Barnette has more courage than Marcia Mayeda. That goes recognized by me, for sure.

But for example, Tuesday they had a couple of “dangerous dog” hearings prior to the meeting getting underway. In the first one, it was alleged that a German Shepherd was constantly allowed to run free at a certain residence and had acted aggressively towards certain people. The owners of the dog pointed out that they’ve never even been cited for the dog being loose or biting anyone. What did animal control do? They showed up trying to confiscate the German Shepherd. The woman would not relinquish the dog. They then tried getting her to sign a stipulation contract stating rules that they had set forth. She wouldn’t sign it. She goes to the bathroom and then the officer starts fearmongering her father. They tell him that if he doesn’t sign their stipulation then they will confiscate BOTH of their dogs. WHAT THE FUCK? That is so illegal. One of the dogs wasn’t even involved in any of the complaints, fake or legitimate. So the father signed the stipulation under this threat of seizure. Down the line, the complaining neighbor complains again; animal control comes out and then confiscates BOTH dogs. The city has had them locked in quarantine as “evidence” for over 7 months now.

Just based on that testimony, how is there not a problem with that picture? You’d think that 1 of the Commissioners would say something, right? After all, I believe that 3 of the 5 are attorneys! No one said anything and they voted to uphold the department’s decision by a 5-0 vote. I mean, that is incredible. No due process at all. During my public comment, I tried to point out that if the seizure threat was illegally done then the stipulation that was signed by the father isn’t even valid. Ultimately, the dogs were confiscated because it was alleged that the German Shepherd was in breach of the stipulation. How does no Commissioner not ask of the department what I brought up to them during my public comment? Why do I even have to bring it up? Not to mention, 1 dog isn’t even involved. Further, no one even bothered to ask the father/daughter who was the legal owner of the dogs. Isn’t that relevant as well? It’s just all so crazy to me.

During the general manager’s report, Brenda Barnette mentioned that they’ve created a “Dangerous Dog Committee.” This came as news to me. Then she listed off the members and I was immediately further thrown off. Phyllis Daugherty is somehow a member of this committee. Daugherty is well-known for having an anti-Pit Bull ideology and being a supporter of breed-specific legislation. Barnette is also on the committee and I know that she doesn’t support BSL, but I just can’t understand how Daugherty ends up on a committee such as that one. Certainly, there are actual dangerous individual dogs, that’s a fact. But Daugherty eventually attempting to push breed-oriented ideas onto the committee is something that will also happen, that’s also a fact.

I really want to know how the committee was picked, what are the qualifications required for being on such a committee, and when and where they will meet. Barnette did tell me after the meeting that they’d next meet in January and that they weren’t against adding other members. She said that the ideas they will be pondering will have to do with individual dogs that have records of incident and will not be breed-oriented. She told me that I could attend if I wanted to.

The later agenda had something on it regarding the volunteer program and improving it. This is great. It actually ended up creating a window of opportunity to have pertinent discussion, spurned on by this erroneous report about the volunteer program that was attached to the agenda. In it, it’s claimed that the city currently has 4,137 volunteers in their database. The program’s growth is highlighted by mentioning the 2013 total of 3,264 volunteers and the 2012 total of 1,808 volunteers. It says that their volunteers complete an average of 4,300 hours per month (not including foster volunteer hours). The very next sentence claims that volunteers are asked to complete at least 6 hours per month to remain active in the program.

So hold on, stop right there. If there is 4,137 active volunteers in the system completing at least 6 hours per month then that means that, at minimum, the volunteers in their program should be completing 24,822 hours per month. This report says that they are completing an average of 4,300 hours per month. So in reality, they are (as a whole) completing only 17% of the very minimum amount of hours that the city is giving them credit for in this report. The total amount of volunteers in their system are barely averaging 1 hour per month. That’s what the numbers show. Whomever wrote up this report is either really bad at their job or thinks that the general public are just disengaged zombies.

Further down it claims that each shelter has 1 volunteer orientation per month and “more are added if needed.” This is just not true. Each shelter does not have 1 orientation per month. Not even close. Commissioner Roger Wolfson picks up on all of this fuzzy math and starts questioning the validity of the report. He also disputes the claim that monthly orientations are taking place and directly points to his own experience as a volunteer at the North Central shelter and how it took 4 months to get a class rolling after he applied.

What followed was a great discussion about what can be done to improve things for volunteers, the implementation of classes, the shifting around of responsibilities, etc. It was just talk, but that’s where it starts. Let’s see if anything happens. There’s obviously lots of caring and engaged volunteers who are ready and willing to take on more responsibilities. That’s not to say that there isn’t caring and engaged employees, there’s those, too. Here’s to hoping that something changes for the better.

Anonymous Yahoo writer tries to discredit the concept of “emotional support” dogs

Posted December 9th, 2014 in Community, Health by Josh

Today I read a piece on Yahoo entitled “Confession: emotional support dogs are B.S., I know because I have one,” and couldn’t help but shake my head at the unbelievable ignorance emanating off of the title alone.

Dear whomever anonymously penned this ridiculous article,
Your personal desire to scam the system with your own individual dog isn’t a reflection of every other person who has an “emotional support” animal. Further, the only “confession” that was found in this particular piece of anonymous writing was that your “official ESA certificate is fake,” and that you’re “a faker.” Your own words. Okay, great. But how is that a condemnation of anyone else who may have an “emotional support” dog? It’s not. It’s a reflection of you, and you only.

This writer goes on to say that airlines “nickel and dime” people, and that’s why they did it. Yes, they seem to. So that was the solution of this 1 person, to fake the certificate. That’s all that we’ve learned here. Noted. Still, they keep making the arrogant choice to speak on everyone’s behalf, as if they have any idea or insight into what they are talking about when it concerns any other person. Are there likely more people out there doing the same thing as this guy or gal? I’m sure. But that still doesn’t disqualify the concept of having an “emotional support” dog and/or render the actual “emotional support” dogs of the world (of all breeds and types) invalid.

Police brutality, towards people and animals, continues to mostly go unchecked

Posted December 7th, 2014 in Community, Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

tata

Godspeed to Tata and her unborn puppies. This is so horrendous. These cops had no business in that yard. Some members of the “law enforcement” community just seem to think that they can violate every law in the book. It’s certainly a paradox. Chances are that this dog didn’t do much of anything to them, yet these officers get to claim whatever they want now, and no one can ever question a police officer’s word after the fact, right? It’s like a sacred cow. What a ridiculous notion to continue to allow. Police officers are just as fallible as any other person. They are people, after all. Even if Tata did go to protect the yard, it’s her yard! She was also very much pregnant, and possibly in labor at the time they entered the wrong property!

Honestly, the officers that killed this dog by shooting it 3 times in the head give police officers everywhere an unjustified bad name. Lapel cameras now! These would serve all sides. Not all cops are bad, nor are they hellbent on using quick-triggered force. Quite the opposite. But using this kind of force, especially in a situation where they are trespassing into a contained dog’s area, is an outrage.

So as we grieve Eric Garner, and Kaldrick Donald, and Aiyana Stanley, and Akai Gurley, and Ty Worthington, and Tamir Rice, among others–all unarmed and all recently lost to reprehensible acts of police brutality and overreaction–keep in mind that the same exact things happen to animals, too.

Obvious common threads are that some officers may observe certain types of people (and certain types of dogs) as a threat, either by how they appear in that moment and/or by convicting them with a stereotype or a belief system in that moment. Only fools can discard this parallel. Fools and useful idiots.

To support Tata’s owner and stay up-to-date on what is happening, please consider signing this petition and liking this Facebook page. Also, to those that will just blanketly move to condemn “Pit Bulls” or condemn Tata’s owner for having a pregnant dog or condemn all police officers for the actions of individual unnamed officers, y’all are jackasses.

Reply to Susan Robinson in the Modesto Bee

Posted November 17th, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

The recent opinion piece submitted by Susan Robinson on Friday was both offensive and confusing. It was offensive because she was taking a massive group of dogs, millions of them, and condemning them as a whole. It was confusing because she claimed to be big on “facts” and “evidence,” when she clearly isn’t big on either.

From what I can tell, Susan seems to only pay attention to the sliver of her reality that reaffirms what she already believes, rendering her first 3 paragraphs pretty much irrelevant.

First off, let’s attempt to deal in actual facts. Pit Bulls are dogs. They are domesticated dogs. They are not wild animals. They are dogs, just like any other breed or type of dog. They are not “different,” as the title claims, they are simply dogs. “Pit Bull” (as used by most Americans) isn’t even a breed of dog, it is a slang term used to represent groups of dogs that look a certain way. So Susan Robinson’s definition of what a Pit Bull is likely wouldn’t fit mine, yours, or the random person pulled off of the street.

Also, Susan Robinson, unless she left it out of her description of herself, is not a geneticist. So when she references genes and what they are “bred to do,” she’s simply feeding you a soundbyte. Actual geneticists refute her made claims, but that doesn’t make it into her diatribe because it doesn’t align with her message of painting every Pit Bull as a fighting dog.

Robinson then references her sheltie and her son-in-law’s Pit Bull Odin as if they were inanimate objects that are reflections of every other thing coming from the groupings that she’s placed them in. Again, facts go against her painted narrative, because dogs are actually individuals and not mirrors or carbon copies of each other. Meaning that Odin is Odin, Odin is not my dog or your dog. She also interestingly claimed that Odin was a “Pit Bull mix” but doesn’t ever reference what he was mixed with, if she even knew. Robinson’s happy to saddle the Pit Bull portion of that Odin equation with all of the negative stuff and let whatever other fraction off scot-free. How convenient.

Her desire to hitch Odin’s behavior to the back of my dog is nothing but fearmongering. That is not scientific. That is not factual or rooted in actual evidence, whether broader evidence or individualized evidence concerning the life that my dog (or any other dog) has lived. What Susan Robinson presents is simply emotion driving fear, plain and simple. She’s had a bad experience with Odin, wants to rehash his misgivings, and then blame millions of other dogs for it.

Further, she wants to scapegoat all Pit Bulls because 4 dogs, alleged Pit Bulls, killed Modesto resident Juan Fernandez last month. 4 loose dogs, mind you. Where was the owner of the dogs? Nowhere to be found. Why were they out and running loose? No answer is apparently worth focusing on. Were the dogs living inside of a home or simply yard dogs, unsocialized and normally living on a tether or chain? These are all circumstances that matter but none are sexy enough to ever become a media focus. Actual dog behaviorists and animal welfare professionals will tell you that these things are precisely what you should focus on if you genuinely care about improving public safety, not breed.

Robinson goes on to say that she doesn’t support “solving any animal problem with killing.” But then in the very next paragraph suggests breed-specific legislation, which results in the wholesale killing and condemnation of Pit Bulls and mixes, as the answer. Apparently they don’t count.

To close, she kept saying that docile Pit Bulls don’t exist. I’ve got news for Susan Robinson, millions of them do exist, and she certainly knows it. She will point to the 30 or so dogs that kill human beings every year, and then highlight how many of those 30 or so the media have tagged as being Pit Bulls. Okay, subjectively fantastic. What she is ignoring though is the 5 million Pit Bulls in the United States right now that have never done anything to anyone! And that number could easily be double that depending on how one opts to identify the dog. With that context, how are her hysterics even remotely factual? She talks “evidence,” but by whatever mathematical equation she can put forth, it will still show that 99.9% of the grouped dogs do not fit her murderous characterization.

Her piece was empty on evidence. It was full of fear. I agree that people acting recklessly should be held accountable. But shouldn’t the recklessness be the focus? Robinson speaks of accountability without ever taking into account all of the innocent dogs that she’s scapegoating with her words. You can’t selectively apply your definition of “accountable.” It’s either account for all aspects of the topic or fail to address the topic. I don’t ignore that up to 4 dogs ended up killing Juan Fernandez. She shouldn’t ignore that my dogs, or millions of other dogs, had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Word replacement shows how archaic BSL actually is in scope

Posted November 14th, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

Breed-specific legislation is point blankly profiling for dogs. It is group-blaming for dogs. It is making all from whatever grouping guilty and then forcing each to prove their innocence afterwards. It is the rejection of treating dogs as individuals and the rejection of punishing individuals based on the crimes and/or actions of those individuals. Instead, breed-specific legislation lumps hundreds/thousands/millions of dogs together, based solely on how they appear to a subjective eye, and condemns them, then seeks to justify their prohibition based on that blanket condemnation.

What group of people are most often profiled in American society? That’s simple: African Americans.

So what, in this satirical and thought-provoking effort, am I going to do? I’m going to look at numerous Prop 2D news editorials from Aurora and neighboring city Denver (both where Pit Bulls are currently banned) and simply replace any word referencing “Pit Bull” with “black person.”

Most all people will understand this exercise, but I will disclaimer this post with this statement anyways: I am quite obviously not saying that dogs are people, but rather highlighting the prejudicial doctrine/ideology that’s being put into work by those seeking to scapegoat millions of individual dogs for things that they never did. The few with track records of calling for Pit Bull bans, their killing, their elimination, etc., they will loudly scream that dogs are not people and thus this point is null and void. Well, they either intellectually have an inability to grasp a basic point or just seek to make as much counter-noise as possible in an effort to distract from the fact that their reaction is the act of collective blaming. The only folks “offended” by such an exercise are those being called out for their ideology. Black people, above all others, are likely to understand this point the easiest.

Here’s a post-election editorial by the Denver Post Editorial Board:

Aurora right to keep Pit Bull black person ban

Aurora voters made a sensible decision when asked by the city whether they’d like to repeal a controversial Pit Bull black person ban.

They said no, by a 2-to-1 margin.

The breed race-specific ban is an issue of local control, and if voters want to continue the prohibition that was instituted in 2006, that should be their choice.

The number of bites shootings attributed to Pit Bulls black people has dropped significantly since the ban went into effect nearly a decade ago. Apparently voters didn’t want to mess with what seems to be working.

Here’s an op-ed from Dave Perry’s Aurora Sentinel, a few weeks prior to the vote:

No on Proposition 2D: Putting an end to Aurora’s dangerous Pit Bull black person charade

Of the 38 people who were killed in the United States by dogs people last year, two-thirds of those deaths involved Pit Bulls black people, which make up about 4% 12% of the U.S. dog human population. Get it?

Who in Aurora wants to live next to a Pit Bull black person?

Of course not. We don’t either. Your answer to that question tells you how you need to vote on the ill-advised city ballot question, Prop 2D, asking Aurora residents to rescind an 8-year-old ban on Pit Bulls black people.

Vote no.

Most Aurora residents were wrong when they thought this has long been a settled matter. The city council prohibited Pit Bulls black people in 2006 after a particularly unnerving spate of maulings shootings in and near Aurora. Denver, too, had banned the dogs blacks, and Aurora was quickly becoming a dumping gathering ground.

And here’s Dave Perry, writing for the Sentinel, back when the Proposition was being considered:

Aurora has already decided to ban Pit Bulls black people, no need to let pit bullies (insert your choice of derogatory name here) have an election

OK, Aurora. Who wants to live next to a Pit Bull black person?

I thought so. Me neither.

Not convinced that Aurora is very, very pleased with its ban on keeping Pit Bulls black people out of the city, Aurora council members are poised to ask voters whether they want to repeal the longstanding ban.

At first glance, you’ve got to ask yourself just how crazy and stupid such an idea is. I mean, really, will you vote “yes” to bring a flood of these dogs people back? Do you really believe in your heart of hearts that these dogs people aren’t any more of a problem than any other dog person?

I don’t buy it.

Public safety and Jeff Borchardt do not go together

Posted November 12th, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

Public safety fraudster Jeff Borchardt was recently on Wisconsin public radio spreading his sensationalized misinformation about Pit Bulls as a guest on the Joy Cardin show.

Most offensive of all is that during his 42 minutes on the air there was absolutely no mention of any of the reckless circumstances that are consistently shown to be involved in serious dog bites or fatal incidents. None. Not 1 mention. Not 1 mention of loose or roaming dogs as being a circumstance that could lead to a fatal incident. Not 1 mention of chained yard dogs as being a circumstance that could lead to a fatal incident. Not 1 mention of leaving young children alone with any dog as being a circumstance that could lead to a fatal incident. None. Not 1 mention. Not 1 mention or suggestion that people should contain their dogs and not let them run free. Not 1 mention or suggestion that people should socialize their dogs and not leave them chained or tethered to a constant location, playing the role of a moving alarm system. Not 1 mention or suggestion that parents/adults should always supervise their children around any dog, especially dogs that out-weigh the child. Not 1 mention. None.

This, while the just passed calender year of 2013 showed that 26 of the 32 dog bite-related human fatalities from that year involved at least 1 of these 3 circumstances, and many of the fatalities involved more than 1 in tandem. Further, the dogs involved are primarily being subjectively breed-identified by media mentions and over half of the reported incidents never even show the alleged dog in any fashion! 32 fatalities in a country that has between 75-80 million dogs and over 300 million people. 2014 has circumstantially shown much of the same. When you delve into incidents happening prior to 2013 you will also see much of the same. Circumstantial recklessness and/or an element of blatant irresponsibility usually leads to about 75% of all dog bite-related human fatalities. Not just for any specific year, but for every year.

Instead, all we heard from Jeff was “Pit Bull, Pit Bull, Pit Bull, BSL, Pit Bull, dog fighting, breed, Pit Bull, fighting dog, killers, Pit Bull, don’t get one, Pit Bull, fighting dog, Pit Bull, Pit Bull.”

The mere suggestion that Jeff Borchardt is a public safety advocate is one of the most ridiculous oxymorons that could dare be suggested. Unbelievable. Borchardt seems to have blood lust in his heart, thinking vengeance masked as public safety might give him some satisfaction. Well, desiring to kill, attempting to ban, and further ostracizing millions of innocent dogs and their owners will not fill the hole that the tragic loss of his son has created. One day he will wake up and realize that his grief is being used for an end.

Death is not “the best” we can hope for

Posted November 9th, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

At PETA headquarters, at the request of this reporter, Ms. Nachminovitch led the way to a cinder-block building in the back and then to a windowless room where the dogs and cats are killed. It looked like a well-maintained examination room in a doctor’s office. There was clean bedding on a countertop where the dogs and cats are placed for the intravenous shot from a certified euthanasia technician.

“It’s a humane exit from a world that’s treated them like garbage,” said Ms. Nachminovitch, a vegan who does not use animal products. “It’s very sad, but in these cases, it’s the best we can hope for.”

Death is not “the best” we can hope for. That is bullshit. Whatever happened to the notion that we actually help those “treated like garbage,” assisting them in ways that show them what not being “treated like garbage” actually looks and feels like? The exploitation defeatists that head PETA are breathtakingly wrong on this golden rule.

Simply take their backwards philosophy and apply it to a 12-year-old girl that’s been kidnapped and then repeatedly raped by someone that keeps her in their basement. Apply it to a 15-year-old boy that’s been sold into the sex trade. Apply it to a 24-year-old girl that’s been forced into doing prostitution after becoming homeless. Apply it to a 35-year-old guy that’s been tormented by a serious mental illness since graduating high school. Apply it to a 40-year-old housewife that’s endured a decade of domestic violence. Apply it to a 42-year-old man that’s been addicted to hard drugs ever since losing his entire family to a fatal car accident. You get the picture. Do we just kill them to rid them of their “suffering”? I think not.

PETA, on issues of shelter animal killing and Pit Bull extermination, are like the satirical people in the “Mercy Killers” skit from a 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live.

What the Aurora 2D results show us about empty opportunists

Posted November 6th, 2014 in BSL News, Community, Prejudice by Josh

Isn’t it cute that when a city like Miami or Denver opts to double down on their Pit Bull bans, the celebratory narrative then coming from anti-dog websites like DogsBite and Animals24-7 is plush with phrases like “crushed,” “destroyed” and “overwhelming.” Says Pit Bull-hating Merritt Clifton about the 64.7% to 35.3% defeat of Aurora, Colorado’s Prop 2D: “Attempt to repeal Pit Bull ban crushed in Colorado.” Crushed. Crushed? It’s convenient though, that these kinds of descriptive phrases are only rolled out when the result is beneficial to a campaign supporting continued Pit Bull eradication.

If any result is favorable to that concept then it’s something like this… “Citizens turn out,” or “population weighs in,” or “communities make it known,” etc. On the flipside, if the result is the exact opposite then their narrative morphs into something more like this… “Pit Bull lobbyists come out,” etc.

Always aiming to normalize themselves while villainizing anyone who opposes their desire to kill, eliminate and/or criminalize millions of dogs. Everyone with a Pit Bull or a dog mixed at any level with a Pit Bull-type becomes a “lobbyist.” That means millions of people. Everyone with a Pit Bull or a dog mixed at any level with a Pit Bull-type becomes a “dog fighting supporter.” So grotesquely offensive and void of even the slightest sliver of common sense or truth. And if you oppose breed discrimination in the form of mandatory sterilization laws, being pushed from a ban-mentality? Well, then you’re characterized as a “breeder” or a “lobbyist” for puppy mills or for breeders. Worse, the folks saying this will then attempt to blame you for the shelter deaths of Pit Bulls, and pose as saviors to the Pit Bulls, all while openly trying to kill/ban/eliminate them. This is 1984, indeed.

To follow up on this last paragraph… Do I think that everyone in Aurora who voted to keep this ban shares the vitriolic anti-Pit Bull mentality of say a Colleen Lynn or a Merritt Clifton? Of course not! Not even close. Not even remotely close. This is just another issue to most, one that they’ve been conditioned to view from a certain perspective, and without ever having any personal experience with a Pit Bull or being exposed to any alternative viewpoints. Does that make them bad? No! That makes them human. How many issues in the world is any random one of us well-informed on? How many issues in the world do I, or you, or he, or she actively seek to consistently follow? How many issues do we passively accept? Finally, how many issues go unacknowledged because there’s not enough time in our day? Ask yourself these questions. And as many would likely change their views with a little information and experience, some wouldn’t, and that’s totally fine, because this is America after all. The bottom line is that Aurora is filled with good folks, just as Denver and Miami are filled with good folks. They voted to not undo a wrong, a very complicated and multifaceted wrong. This happens. This is life. I’m not saying that I like it, but I’m not going to blame Aurora as a whole or else I’d be no better than Colleen Lynn or Merritt Clifton when they repetitively seek to blame my dog (and millions more) for something that 1 individual dog may do, either down the street or from 3,000 miles away, for example.

This is also why using Denver or Miami as a yardstick for the nation, and ignoring the 98+% of American cities and towns that DO NOT HAVE BSL, is a disingenuous exercise of the tallest order. See the below conversation as an example…

julieeyrichwall12

In respect to what I chided at the top of my article, I actually call Colleen and Merritt lobbyists within this pictured communication. That’s because they openly lobby for legislation that seeks to ban and kill dogs. Legislation doesn’t exist and then they push to create it. They desire legislation that, in a perfect world (to them), would disappear a quarter of the dog population (and based solely on how that massive group appears to a subjective eye). On the contrary, everyone in Aurora who cast a vote to keep the ban, they are not lobbyists, nor are the people in Aurora who wanted to lift the ban “Pit Bull lobbyists.” Neither is true. Most everyone are simply citizens taking a position on an issue. But it’s always a sweeping reaction when certain anti-dog individuals open their mouths against Pit Bulls, against their owners, against anyone who doesn’t totally agree with them. Speaking for myself and my opposing of BSL: I’m taking a reactionary stance against someone who wants to ban, kill, marginalize, criminalize, screw over my dogs and millions more that look in some way like them. That’s a reactionary position. I’m not initiating any overreaching legislation, I’m not initiating any legislation! I’m a good person. I’m responsible. I speak out against recklessness. I want to live in peace. My dogs have done nothing. Millions of dogs have done nothing.

To that point, to support collective blame and punishment onto groups of anything that have committed no crime, that’s an incredibly wrong misappropriation of power. How do you condone a Minority Report-styled world where individuals are going to be judged and then convicted based on how they might look or what list that they might be on? That’s what tyranny is. I’d much rather individuals be dealt with based upon crimes that they’ve actually committed. Once again, this is America after all.

Circling back the the beginning, and the notion that numbers are somehow showing us that a concept is being “crushed.” With millions of Pit Bulls in the United States, and millions more that may be lumped into that certain category (depending on who is doing the categorizing, and for what end), one concept that is being absolutely “crushed” by reality is that (by whatever metric or calculation that you use) 99.99999% of these dogs have not killed or attacked anyone. This goes very conveniently ignored by the few eugenic exploitation artists that foam from their mouths at the thought of a Pit Bull mass genocide, but it’s a fact nonetheless.

Reckless Steve McNall does not like to be challenged

Posted October 31st, 2014 in Community, Shelters by Josh

So on Monday, as expected, the Pasadena City Council voted to pass a mandatory spay and neuter law for all dogs and cats. The vote came down much like prior votes on the subject, passing 5-2 with dissenting voter John Kennedy being absent.

At 3:14 of the above video Pasadena Humane Society President Steve McNall goes up to the podium and angrily attempts to dispute a few things that public commenter Marla Tauscher said during her 1 minute of speaking time. What follows is a string of condescending statements, misrepresentations and outright lies from McNall. Thankfully (for him), no member of the public then had the opportunity to challenge his crap, as the public session was now closed. Convenient.

He begins…

One individual said that they looked at our 990s, our tax returns. Obviously they do not know how to read the 990s. Last year alone we have put well over a quarter of a million dollars into a spay and neuter program. As you know, she’s talking about the assets of the property at $10 million and we just completed a $20 million project, of which $5 million was dedicated towards a spay and neuter hospital, for the public, at a reduced rate and low income. So, that’s all I have to say.

What a deflective jerk. When Tauscher gave her public comment she quite openly mentioned that she was referencing the 990 from 2012, as the 2013 return isn’t available online yet. Much like the 2012 return, I inspected their 2011 return, found much of the same, and then wrote about it 3 weeks ago. So everything regarding the 990s that was said, both by Marla Tauscher and myself, was correct. McNall can call us liars but the documents are publicly available. I mean, what in the hell?

2011:
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2012:
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McNall openly lies about their annual budget and tries to imply that it was $10 million because Tauscher “confused” that number and added the assets, which included a new building, instead. No. He didn’t listen. Tauscher spoke of the 2012 return, which was prior to their new building. The PHS budget, according to both the 2011 and 2012 tax returns, is quite clearly around $10 million per year. If you want to focus on the assets then the 990s show assets of $20.8 million (2011) and $26.6 million (2012), respectively. He is blatantly lying.

Further, they may have just completed this huge new building (which is undoubtedly going to make their assets rise again for 2013 and beyond), with a $5 million hospital meant for spay and neuter surgeries, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s being used to full, or even half, capacity. You can build the nicest buildings in the world, all great. What it doesn’t do is guarantee that you are engaging the community and creating accessible opportunities to voluntarily spay and neuter. The building could sit empty for all that we know. How many do they do per day, week, month? Marla Tauscher tried to get this baseline information by doing a public records request but the Humane Society declined answering, saying that they weren’t subject to the California Public Records Act. Wrong!

Also, why in the world are the 2011 and 2012 tax returns so irrelevant to McNall? Doesn’t it provide precedent and a clear track record for what they are and are not doing? Because from what I’ve saw, whenever they (McNall and Campo) speak before the Council they make it sound as if they’ve been doing this outreach and voluntary sterilization work for many years, if not decades. So I’d think that looking back at your last few tax returns (and many more) is the dutiful and automatic thing to do. McNall finds this threatening. Why?

Continuing…

If 1 litter is allowed to go in this city and be euthanized because we don’t have space in our shelter to keep it, that’s wrong. And that’s why this ordinance was drafted and I applaud you for doing this. The State Humane Association of California applauds you for doing this. The California Animal Control Directors Association applauds you for doing this. And thank you very much.

First of all, that wasn’t why this ordinance was drafted. This ordinance was drafted after/because Councilman Madison’s breed-discriminatory policy was rebuffed by both the Council and the community. McNall knows this. Misrepresentation. Secondly, neither the State Humane Association of California nor the California Animal Control Directors Association support mandatory spay and neuter laws. Lies. As far as killing litters, or any dog or cat, notice how the current practices of the Pasadena Humane Society never comes under any kind of inspection, in relation to his verbal alarm ringing. Killing is mostly a choice. Space? I’ve been in that shelter. They have an entire section of empty runs that aren’t even used, sitting empty for a future construction project.

Last, let’s dive further into what is actually available. Based on the 2011 return, I stated that McNall made almost 3x ($152,336) what the PHS spent on sterilization efforts for that entire year and more than 39x what they spent on educational outreach. Well, for 2012 McNall apparently received a $12,000 raise! Yet their expenses for education and outreach decreased 47% from $3,829 to $2,031. Ouch. So his raise for 2012 was almost 6x what they spent on educational outreach for 2012. That’s outrageous. PHS did spend $12,825 more on their spay and neuter program from 2011 ($50,307) to 2012 ($63,132). In 2012 McNall still made more than 2.5x what they spent on spay and neuter efforts for the same year. Their 2012 budget was 164x bigger than what they spent on their spay and neuter program, amounting to far less than 1%. Don’t take my word for it, do the math yourself.