To help is to genuinely try to examine the possible causes

Posted April 11th, 2014 in Media by Josh

In a country of over 300 million people, and mixed amongst 70 or 80 million dogs, there is absolutely no perfect universal fail-safe that will guarantee that everything that you come to experience in your vast lifetime will be okay 100% of the time. Although 99.9999999999% of the time it absolutely is, and day after day to boot, there’s still always that remote chance that exists for an accident or incident to happen. This is life. And this goes for anything in life, the few things related to dogs and the millions of other things that have nothing to do with them at all. With that, there’s usually things that you could also do that will further serve to minimize the likelihood of many tragic things from happening, and especially tragic things involving dogs. Even still, nothing in life is perfect. But life is about living, and “living” is to not live in an irrational and exaggerated state of fear.

I open with that paragraph because in the United States dogs kill about 30 or so people a year. The actual evidence (those remaining when you subtract 30 from 70,000,000 or 80,000,000 dogs) then proves beyond any shadow of a doubt their incredible deference to humans. This is indisputable no matter if it goes repeatedly unacknowledged by certain people who would still find it “practical” or “necessary” to ban or phase out entire groups of dogs based solely on the way that they physically appear. Expect no science, no consistency, and very few of the justifications of doing such things to ever be backed up with any actual proof. They’ll say it’s for public safety. I say it’s for giving the illusion of dealing with a glorified bogeyman of their own creation.

For the sake of conceptual comparison this brings me to a very sobering statistic stating that roughly 22 U.S. military veterans are committing suicide every day. EVERY DAY.

While pondering that statement also note that these numbers are apparently only taken from 21 states, which amounts to about 40% of the U.S. population. Amongst those opting not to report any data were California and Texas, the 2 biggest of the contiguous 48. More than 34,000 suicides from these 21 states were also “discarded” from the study because the death records failed to indicate whether that individual was a veteran or not. So that amounts to more than 23% of the recorded suicides from this 40% of the U.S. population that were not counted, meaning that only 77% of that 40% was looked at instead of the full 100%. Also, how exactly are homeless veterans being counted if they potentially have no one to vouch for their whereabouts? And how many suicides just go suppressed due to the family wanting to rewrite a public script as to avoid any stigma associated with such an act? All of these points are mentioned to imply that this 22/day figure is probably low.

Do the anti-dog folks happen to care about why this is happening to our military veterans? Just curious. Would they then care about what things may lead to this circumstance playing out? Or, like with Pit Bulls, is there just a simplistic and formulaic copout concept that can be used to label these individuals in a way that assassinates their character after they’re no longer around? Because that’s most definitely the mentality used by hatemongers wanting to negatively lump all of these dogs together… So would these veterans be vaguely labeled as “weak” or “unfit” by this same crowd that gleefully vilifies all Pit Bulls on the back of any and every (mostly avoidable) tragedy? I want to know, and if not then I want to know why not?! Because if you’re lazy with your thoughts in 1 realm then why isn’t that a consistent reaction to all others? And to the contrary, if you’re capable of critical thinking with regards to what leads to military suicides then why doesn’t critical thinking apply with regards to what leads to dogs fatally attacking people?

If you are reading this and this sounds like you and you’d define yourself as being in any way introspective then you should currently be at a crossroads. Instead, if you have no problem with the confliction of the point then it just serves to show your massive bias against Pit Bulls.

In broaching this difficult topic as to why this is happening to so many of our veterans, well, I’d offer up numerous thoughts that really don’t get much mainstream media attention…

First and foremost would be the devastating realities that some are very likely exposed to, and being haunted by those things that they either saw or quite possibly took part in. The concept of war is the oxymoronic opposite of peace. Our foreign policy of interventionism and desired expansion is literally based in ever-altering forms of aggression. This, depending on the cast of characters involved and their individual mental makeups, has to assist in harvesting a brutal and disconnected violence that may be seen in some of them. How that then manifests itself into the daily lives of differing individuals would obviously vary across the board, but it’s clearly ruined some. At some point a partaker in a horrific act will have to deal with their conscience, right?

Also, mix in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft, Luvox and Paxil. Look at a sleeping pill like Ambien. All of these things are drugs known for treating anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and many other mental disorders, and they are also all known to cause psychotic breaks. The inserts directly say that these things increase the risk of suicidal behavior as well as an overall level of agitation and hostility. How many members of our military, past and present, are on them?

Lastly, how many of these men and women are sent on multiple tours of duty? How many multiples? How many are essentially used up and then, for lack of a better term, discarded when they finally (if ever) return home? Have their benefits been limited? Are they getting the proper medical treatment that their body or mind may require? Do they have a genuine support system? Are they privy to an environment that’s allowing them to transition back into domestic society? Have they been sexually assaulted or alienated inside of whatever program, and then silenced or made to feel as though they are helpless in trying to pursue justice?

I know that this is a lot, but for this topic of military suicide it is all relevant. You cannot possibly be saddened by that statistic, want to help lower it, and then proceed to completely ignore all of these points that I just mentioned. I’m sure that there are many more. Yet, when going back to the dog-related human fatality topic this is the type of stuff that is almost always done! Circumstances and problematic happenings leading up to whatever event, that’s then making whatever headline, customarily go ignored. So how do you genuinely attempt to address an issue, be empathetic towards and issue, be part of the crafting of any solution on an issue, if you are at the same time disingenuously covering your eyes and ears to the means that may lead another to that end? The confidence in such a process is non-existent.

The facade of the San Bernardino City shelter, the tactic of spin, the attempts to vaguely discredit, and the outrageousness of criminal threats

Posted April 10th, 2014 in Media, Shelters by Josh

To San Bernardino City shelter and ABC 7 news: Stop with the collective blaming of an unseen mass of people just because 1 or 2 jackass individuals may have decided to send “death threats” to a specific shelter staff. Media needs to move away from these types of dumbed down tactics. Quit using people’s programming for soundbytes against them in order to shift narratives of a story. The cowardly behavior from whomever sent the threat does not excuse anything another person did or didn’t do. Whomever sent a death threat does not speak for the next person, they speak for themselves.

To so-called “animal advocates”: If you send another human being a death threat, or wish death upon another person, you are nothing but an advocate for death. You are doing nothing positive for animals. Go away.

San Bernardino City shelter has nothing better to do than arrest woman networking their dogs

Posted April 9th, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

Last Wednesday animal networker Maria Sanchez, who constantly visits the San Bernardino City shelter in order to help their impounded animals find homes and rescue, was arrested by the cops who actually run the shelter. Her crime? Coming back to the shelter prior to the 72-hour “cooling off” period that was given to her after she was kicked off of the property days prior by Adam Affrunti. Why was she kicked off? Because she was repeatedly trying to bring attention to the poor health of a dog named Sue (#A462498) who was battling pneumonia and going untreated by the shelter. Maria asked numerous times that the dog be treated, was told that it was going to be, and then came to find out days later that it still hadn’t been. Sue is shown on video curled up on the concrete floor because her bed with a blanket on it was all wet after being placed directly under a leaking roof. Maria was begging them to treat Sue. That’s it. That was her initial crime. Then returning within the 72-hour window was her second crime. That’s it.

The code that the shelter staff/police used to kick Maria out of the facility was 9.12.030, subsections A and B. That is unfortunately the law in the city of San Bernardino. Is it an unconstitutional law? Of course it is! But the law does exist so they can clearly try to use it in order to harass and fluster visitors as they see fit. It reads “whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted conduct of activities.” Nice.

Some online have been hyper-critical of Maria and I’d like to add my 2 cents in her defense. Was she possibly mouthy in the moments of heightened contention? Yeah, probably. Was she resisting arrest? Yeah, technically. But what I saw while viewing the main video was a cop who repeatedly put their hands on her and then immediately went to handcuff her when she pulled away. After they took her phone she was trying to maintain her physical position inside of the facility in order to get her phone back, or be able to view that it was going to be given to her friend instead of kept.

Going way further, let’s take many, many steps back. I can relate to Maria Sanchez because she does similar things in relation to trying to advocate on behalf of a certain shelter’s impounded dogs. She’s there, day after day, to help the dogs gain exposure that will hopefully lead to their safety, as well as to shed light on the system that would much rather kill them. She knows the dogs. She cares for the dogs. She’s invested physically, mentally and emotionally. She sees what she has the power to do for them, and should, by any stretch of the imagination, be viewed as an asset to the shelter. They instead choose to view her as the enemy.

So, in the midst of something completely absurd and ridiculous such as this happening, along with the suffering of Sue, who she was holding and trying to get help for, she was definitely agitated and emotionally distraught. Can you blame her? I wasn’t there, and had that been happening to me there’s no telling how I would have reacted. Also, some people just aren’t going to systematically roll over to a police officer who is on a power trip, and clearly the officer who was standing alongside Affrunti was on a power trip. Not to mention how they were contorting her arms and dragging her, holding her against walls. I also understand how others could say that Maria should have just left, waited the 3 days and then came back. But she didn’t, she made a different choice and I respect her for it.

In the days following Maria’s arrest the shelter has retaliated in the form of killing groups of different dogs that were being networked, and while they’ve had upwards of 30-40 kennels sitting empty. Their oppressive tactics against Maria and others have been mentioned on my website before. They are now trying to say that Maria “assaulted a peace officer,” after the cop tripped over her feet while dragging her outside. This is the type of cowardice bull that’s trying to rewrite the history of what happened. And all of this complete nonsense is because a woman goes to the shelter to photograph their dogs, hoping to save their lives.

The above video shows some of the public comments from Monday’s San Bernardino City Council meeting. Steve Miller, you brought me to tears when talking about the dogs. Thank you for saying what you said, man. It is incredibly important. Marla Tauscher’s comment was also hugely powerful and posed questions and scenarios that absolutely need to be addressed. I wish I could have been there. The community standing up for themselves is always a good thing, no matter what the issue is. Keep doing it. At the end you will see that the Mayor says something to the affect of “we’ve heard enough about the animal stuff,” as he is attempting to shut down public comments. His microphone was still live and it was picked up on the video feed. Below are 2 television reports, from KCAL and KTLA respectively, that attempt to bring further attention to the happenings.

Steve Madison hasn’t changed his tune

Posted April 8th, 2014 in BSL News by Josh

As some of you know I met Councilman Steve Madison at the Pasadena Humane Society on Saturday March 29th. It’s something I’d been trying to make happen since shortly after the last relevant January Council meeting. My ultimate goal was to just put him in front of some of the dogs that he so eagerly demonizes. Dogs are the best teachers, and they do more for themselves than any person who would be out aiming to advocate on their behalf.

But none of that would matter if Madison wouldn’t be open to the interaction and experience. How many demonizers of Pit Bulls are completely shut down to the idea of interacting with one? How many demonizers of Pit Bulls have had little to no experience with one? I’d say that the answer to both of those questions is the vast majority.

Since the shelter here in Pasadena is obviously open to the public I asked him to meet me there and we could walk through as 2 members of the community. To Madison’s credit he eventually said that he would and told me to call his office to arrange a time. A few days after leaving him a voicemail about my schedule I received an email from his field representative saying that a guided tour of the facility had been arranged with PHS director Elizabeth Campo. Not exactly what I had in mind but you have to roll with these things as they come.

What I honestly envisioned is that we’d both show up, spend a few minutes at each dog’s kennel, have him see me interact with each dog, maybe him take an interest in wanting to meet or pet that dog, maybe even take a few dogs to the play yard, and hopefully talking more in depth along the way.

Unfortunately none of this actually happened. I had since asked dog behaviorist Brandon Fouche to meet us there, as he is a huge wealth of knowledge for anyone wanting to know about dog aggression, and so upon arrival myself and Brandon, as well as Marla Tauscher and Steve Madison got the facility tour by Elizabeth Campo. This was cool, and the facility is huge and really nice, but we were there for about an hour and the tour lasted around 50 minutes. About 15 of those minutes were spent walking through the runs, hardly ever stopping to focus on any of the individual dogs. The rest of the time was spent touring the attached buildings and offset rooms that were affiliated with the Humane Society. We were not allowed to get any of the dogs out. I only got to directly converse with the Councilman for about 60 seconds while the others poked in to observe some kind of training class that was going on. He spoke of the “amount of damage” that is done by the dogs and I spoke about human recklessness and the failures of breed identification.

Councilman Madison then had to run, and I know he is a busy man, but I just thought that it would go so differently. Again, I give him credit for taking the time to come out. I do appreciate that much.

5 days later I saw that he had posted a link onto his Facebook page regarding “Pit Bulls” that had allegedly killed an 85-year-old Texas woman. Along with this link he chimed in that bans on breed-specific legislation “make no sense.” However there was no mention by Madison of how the dogs were kept locked in a back bedroom for months, or of the other 6 that were found on the property who lived their entire lives outside as caged yard dogs. Interviewed neighbors stated how some of them were known to run loose in the neighborhood (7 documented complaints). Many of the dogs visible in the numerous provided videos look nothing like Pit Bulls, but they were repeatedly called Pit Bulls anyways. The pictured dog embedded inside of Madison’s linked article looked pregnant with stretched nipples. According to relatives, the victim’s son apparently breeds the dogs.

Further, several articles claim that police are uncertain on how the woman died. Um, that’s kind of important…

It is unclear whether the dogs were responsible for her death, or if the Kaufman woman died before the animal attack.

Police say that 2 Pit Bulls, yesterday around 5 o’clock, mauled Hamilton. Police don’t know if she died before being attacked or was killed by that mauling.

So much for him not continuing to exploit tragedy in an attempt to achieve his desired legislative objective. What was wonderful though is that one of his fellow Council members, Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, came onto his thread to politely refute his assessment. See below…

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He then responded, not to Jacque but to the thread in general, that Pit Bulls are responsible for 90% of the fatal attacks yet only represent 4% of the dog population. Both of these figures are absurd lies and unprovable fallacies promoted by 1 website, the anti-Pit Bull operation DogsBite.org. When one points out the invalidity of the statistics, or the twisted bias of the source (Colleen Lynn), or the fact that said statistics are completely cherry-picked from unverified media mentions, or the non-science and failure involved in breed identification, or the numerous reckless circumstances surrounding whatever incident, well, all of this usually goes ignored by Steve. I’m not sure why, if he’s truly concerned with public safety, but he still ignores it all.

So there is an update on what’s going on in regards to Pasadena and Mr. Madison. I hope to see all of you come out for the next related City Council meeting in July.

This is the type of crap that someone who’s a prejudice piece of shit would say

Posted April 4th, 2014 in Prejudice by Josh

Colleen Lynn and DogsBite.org cult members who want any dog even remotely resembling a Pit Bull dead: Meet your philosophical guideline and how it views in relation to a class of people!

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It is unbelievably embarrassing that any fellow human being could/would ever think in such a way. What’s more pathetic is that they are actually proud and work to promote and spread such a fucked way of thinking.

Robots writing the news is not good for actual truth

Posted March 28th, 2014 in Media by Josh

Coming from someone that desires news reporting that is more honest and thorough, the idea that robots and computer algorithms are generating immediate news stories should be a problem to all of us. We already live in a media culture that seems to salivate over gossip, celebrity and otherwise pointless nonsense. Much, that I’d personally consider newsworthy, already goes ignored. And now we are taking the human element further out of the process? A process that can only get worse if we continue allowing machines to further litter the landscape with repetitive and unverified crap.

From Singularity Hub

This is possible because some kinds of reporting are formulaic. You take a publicly available source, crunch it down to the highlights, and translate it for readers using a few boiler plate connectors. Hopefully, this makes it more digestible.

I imagine the computer populating a Venn diagram. In one circle, it adds hard data (earnings, sports stats, earthquake readings), in another, a selection of journalistic clichés—and where the two intersect, an article is born.

The program chooses an article template, strings together sentences, and spices them up with catch phrases: It was a flawless day at the dish for the Giants. The tone is colorfully prosaic, but human enough.

The founder of Narrative Science, the company creating a lot of the computer generated news being discussed, predicts that upwards of 90% of the world’s news could be written by computers come 2030. Major companies and media outlets are already using the technology, and most are using it anonymously.

So as we hope for integrity in journalism, and for less of a monopoly at the top of the media spectrum, this signals for a high probability of the opposite. As we hope for more fact-checking and perspectives that can only be genuinely fleshed out by actual humans, we may get even more sensationalistic, exploitative and formulaic rubbish in the coming years.

The phrase “Pit Bull” generates news. The attempted process of breed identification and using actual scientific evidence rarely plays a role in making those assessments. And this is now! Just imagine a software system loaded with catchphrases and templates, whose sole purpose is to quickly generate news, writing an article on an alleged “dog attack.” The thought couldn’t be much worse.

Lake Elsinore and the hiding of their dog breed prejudice

Posted March 23rd, 2014 in BSL News, Prejudice by Josh

The Lake Elsinore City Council seems hellbent on rolling forth with the breed-discriminatory plan that was first passed in October by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors at the behest of Riverside County pound director Robert Miller. Interestingly enough, this peddled ordinance has nothing to do with anything that has actually happened in the city of Lake Elsinore.

It sadly passed its 1st reading on 3/11 by a vote of 4-1. The 2nd reading and vote is currently scheduled for 3/25. If you’d like to attend this meeting I’ve setup a Facebook event that you can join which has all of the pertinent details regarding how to get there. It is this upcoming Tuesday at 7 pm. Here is the agenda, the staff report and the ordinance itself.

Worth pointing out is that this Lake Elsinore effort is taking quite a different public face. Those involved are using tactical doublespeak and political maneuvering to appear less prejudice towards the dogs themselves.

Councilman Brian Tisdale seems to be the main Councilman desiring to see that this legislation is passed. From my eyes and ears he is taking a less rhetorical approach in demonizing the dogs. He makes statements like “I love the breed,” while using disingenuous justifications in order to promote this effort to target them. In essence, he’s a hell of a lot slicker than a Steve Madison from Pasadena or a John Tavaglione or Jeff Stone from Riverside County.

But then again, why do all of that stuff when you have “expert witnesses” attending who are doing so with the sole purpose of publicly shilling for the bill? Riverside County chief veterinarian Allan Drusys, known here for being the guy that compares breed identification to viewing pornorgraphy, and Animal Friends of the Valleys director Willa Bagwell, known here for being the local shelter manager who practices breed regulations in-house, were both in attendance and also both gave testimony as to why Pit Bulls needed to be targeted. Along with them was animal control supervisor Monique Middleton, who is also an employee of AFV.

On the backs of their statements, which each came after the public comments (all of which were opposed), this bill was essentially rubber-stamped with little hesitation by every member of the Council not named Steve Manos. You can watch those deliberations below…

I’d like to examine the statements of Tisdale, Drusys, Bagwell and Middleton, and explain why they just don’t seem to comprehend (at least publicly) why this bill is being opposed by many concerned citizens of both their community and other communities as well.

Above is Councilman Tisdale explaining his “comprehensive plan.” A plan in which he promises to stay vigilant at crafting and expounding upon. I use the word expound sarcastically, as there was no details shared regarding how he plans to go about the processes of spaying and neutering, licensing and microchipping the animals of the community. There was also no focus paid to legitimately reckless owners, or the “dog fighters” that he likes to reference when explaining this ordinance’s need. He says…

It’s unfortunate that the folks that are here, and I guarantee that everyone that spoke who has a Pit Bull, probably has a altered, licensed, vaccinated Pit Bull, or a Pit Bull-mix. Most Likely. Anyone not?

So? What exactly is your point? Not only does that statement attempt to vilify those who haven’t altered, licensed, or microchipped, but it also attempts to paint them as the problem in regards to why the community of Lake Elsinore apparently needs BSL. Let’s make something perfectly clear: The irresponsibility involved in failing (or choosing) to not do those mentioned things is not even remotely the same as the irresponsibility and recklessness involved when someone allows their dog to freely roam all over the place, or chains it 24-7 in its yard, or gives it no attention or socialization, or treats it like dirt, or exploits it by fighting it or using it as a yard deterrent or an alarm system. So let’s make that clear. Yet there’s no context given to these types of statements and it comes off as a pretty lazy way to legislate.

He says “if we don’t do this then people aren’t going to register their animals.” Um, all existing evidence shows the opposite of this to be true. When laws like this are put into place more people actually avoid registering their animals, as to avoid paying the fees aligned with the surgery, and further, any potential fees that become tacked on by them being in violation of said law for whatever period of time. This is not VOLUNTARILY going out to your community and EDUCATING them about the needs for these things, and then making it AFFORDABLE for them to do. No. This is the opposite, and mandating that all of these things be done under the guise that those who have not done them are bad and irresponsible people. Worse, this law attempts to criminalize their chosen dog, simply by the way that it looks, and then enters their dog into a database for another politician to possibly further target at a later date. I talked about this at length in a YouTube video that I made regarding what was happening in Pasadena.

So how does this help dogs or people for that matter?

Tisdale references a Pit Bull attack “in the county area,” one that the newly passed Riverside County breed-discriminatory law did not stop by the way, and jokes about not being able to spay and neuter the owner of the dog instead. Okay, but he literally takes no time to point out the circumstances behind this specific “attack.” Let me do it… It was a property with numerous roaming yard dogs, intact males and a female in heat, and little puppies on the property. What’s been reported is that there was a scuffle between 2 of the dogs, over a puppy, and that someone on the propery came out and picked up the puppy. He was then attacked by 1 of the dogs and a neighbor had to run his van through a chain-link fence in order to scare the attacking dog away. What an actual eyewitness said was that the person came out hollering about the dogs, kicked the dog, and then he was bitten by the dog that he kicked. Regardless, these are all yard dogs who are not being treated as family pets, and they are openly breeding them. None of this goes mentioned by Tisdale. Just that it was a Pit Bull attack.

He then talks about how many unaltered pets he sees while out running and tells a story about his fondness for visiting the shelter. He talks about seeing docile and sweet Pit Bulls, and states that he “loves the breed.” He goes on…

We have to start somewhere. And this is part of 1 plan. This is 1 piece of our plan that we are going to put together to tackle this issue. And again, this issue is not just a Pit Bull issue. $500,000 that can be used for roads and streets and sidewalks folks. We shelter animals. $500,000.

No mention of the state of California already having a dangerous dog law that is truly specific to individual dogs that have shown a propensity to be dangerous. They could use and enforce this. That goes ignored. No mention of the Lake Elsinore leash law that clearly goes unenforced. No mention of both the anti-dog fighting law and the anti-chaining law, either of which could be used and enforced in any number of different scenarios. And he wants to note how much money is being spent “sheltering” animals, while giving no attention to the fact that Willa Bagwell halts the majority of Pit Bull adoptions via her 7 in-house regulations that she’s put in the path of them potentially being adopted. He then says that “no one is taking them.” C’mon, man. Not to mention that their law is a carbon-copy of the Riverside County law, created by a man (Robert Miller) who houses the majority of their impounded Pit Bulls in buildings that are not made accessible to the public. Miller then, like Tisdale and Bagwell and Middleton and Drusys, says that “nobody wants them.” C’mon, man. What about the money that it’s going to take to enforce this type of a law? Or will it be enforced? Or how about the amount of money that you could potentially have to cough up if someone sues the city for violating their due process and property rights? This is apparently of no concern.

After the meeting I briefly spoke with Councilman Tisdale and he told me that I could hop in his truck and within 5 minutes of entering Lakeland Village he could “take me to a dogfight.” That we’d “just have to listen for it.” If he’s so knowledgeable about specific illegal activities such as this going on then why in the hell is he doing nothing about it? I also tried pointing out the problems with demonizing certain breeds or types of dog and he cut me off to say that “they’re already demonized!” That he “didn’t have a choice” because they are already demonized, “that’s what you guys aren’t getting.” He said that “people are scared.” I said that people are scared of a lot of things. That no offense, but some people are scared of black people (Tisdale is black). Some people are scared of white people. That still doesn’t make it right. His response? “Yeah, but this black person won’t bite you.” Clearly he didn’t get my point. But he doesn’t have a choice? See, now that’s where he’s wrong. You always have a choice, and he’s choosing to go down the discredited path of vilifying vague groups of individual dogs in order to basically offer up nothing more than a false sense of security.

Animal Friends of the Valleys director Willa Bagwell says “the Pit Bulls do cause damage.” So what is the implication there, that no other dog doesn’t? Or is it that every dog deemed by you to be a Pit Bull is more capable of causing damage, or more significant damage, than every dog deemed by you not to be a Pit Bull? Some extremely incoherent and all-encompassing language, as it’s unclear what she’s even saying and yet she’s apparently comfortable with talking on behalf of millions of individual dogs as if they are all the same in those ways. The only way in which dogs are all the same is that they are all the same species, meaning any dog being called a Pit Bull is scientifically categorized as being no different than any other breed of dog. They are all dogs. They all originated from the same place. And most dogs are mixed amongst different breeds and types. So if you are going to be so vague in your statements then you should not discriminate with your vagueness. On the contrary, if you are going to go any further than being as vague as humanly possible then you have to acknowledge that each dog is an individual, with its own temperament and experiences, and that they should be judged on their individual merits or not judged at all.

Bagwell tells the Council that she “provided some information, provided pictures” for them, in regards to justifying the damage claim, and based on my further communications with her (and others who have had interactions with her) I’m quite confident in saying that it was very likely numerous images of a senior woman’s arm who is alleged to have been attacked by 2 roaming Pit Bulls in 2011. I say “alleged” not to lessen the reality of the attack that clearly happened, but to point to the fact that none of us ever get to see the actual dogs in question. They were just called “family Pit Bulls” and then that became the evidence. What we do know is that these dogs were definitely out roaming freely. Willa does not know the background of these dogs, she knows what the owner told them after they had attacked a human being. I’m sorry, but how is using 1 set of images from 1 specific incident in any way indicative of what all Pit Bulls (or any type of dog) would do? That’s a crap move and it’s implying to the Council that her vague claim about damage is a factual claim that is somehow backed by evidence. Take dogs out of the equation and use, as an example, any other group of domesticated sentient beings… How in the world would singular evidence such as this be used to scapegoat everyone fitting an appearance-related parameter? This is fear, and fear tactics shouldn’t be used to set public policy. She continues…

In the last 2 months we’ve impounded 50 Pit Bulls, 2 were adopted, 3 were rescued, 8 were returned to the owner. 60 Chihuahuas in 2 months 24 were adopted, 9 were returned to their owner. Most of the shelter is Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls.

So by my math that means 37 Pit Bulls were killed totaling a 75% kill-rate for this period and that 27 Chihuahuas were killed totaling a 45% kill-rate. Can’t we then focus on increasing adoptions of these animals instead of using 7 different regulations to thwart the possibilities of Pit Bulls making it out alive? Being “very careful” in Willa’s words amounts to this in reality, which is not right. And can’t we stop pushing legislation that promotes the idea that Pit Bulls are somehow different from other dogs, further creating a gap between them and potential adopters?

During a phone conversation on 3/14 with Willa Bagwell she outright told me that this law would not be enforced and that the Council members already knew that. She should know, as her department is the department that’s set up to enforce it. Does no one see a problem with this?!? How are they voting on something that they already know they have no intention of enforcing?

Also worth note is something that I found while researching AFV… Here is the “potentially dangerous dog” list for 6 cities (including Lake Elsinore) from the years of 2010 through 2013. The existence of this list proves that they know the actual process of identifying individual dogs as “potentially dangerous” or “vicious” based on actual things that they may have done. This list details 30 dogs, 29 of which have been declared “potentially dangerous,” 1 who was declared “vicious.”

Here head animal control officer Monique Middleton says about the public commenters: “These are the responsible people, this will not affect them.” I beg to differ! I specifically drove all the way out there because every inch that someone takes towards breed-specific legislation and prejudice against a huge group of dogs absolutely affects my dogs. This then, by extension, affects me. My dogs are my family members, so any bullshit law meant to imply that my dogs are “different” or “dangerous” certainly does affect me and my dogs. It perpetuates stereotypes and scapegoats dogs, that most will never even take the opportunity to meet, for all of society’s ills. I resent Middleton’s flippant statement and way of coddling the audience away from this quite clear reality.

Middleton also echos Tisdale’s statements that “we have to start somewhere.” How about any other spot other than breed vilifying? This is a multifaceted problem (public safety in regards to dogs) which has many solutions. Many things that, if done, add up to a safer community. I repeatedly detail these things in my writings. I’m saying things that many folks have said before me. This entire effort is a pacification of their city’s genuine concerns, if there are legitimate safety concerns being voiced. Demonizing types of dogs is not going to make your community safer. Enforcing actual laws, meant to deal with reckless owners of whatever dog or dogs, do that. Not any of this. Monique Middleton knows this. Willa Bagwell knows this. Brian Tisdale knows this. She goes on to say that “we have to make people responsible for a breed.” How?? By mandating that this or that group be sterilized? How in the hell does that, in any way, deal with those human beings who have already been reckless with their dogs and who will be reckless again in the future? And why will they be reckless again? Because no one dealt with it or held them accountable when it happened in the past, that’s why.

Lastly, Riverside County veterinarian Allan Drusys telling the Council members that identifying Pit Bulls is like watching pornography, and that you “know it when you see it,” is quite literally one of the most asinine things that I’ve ever heard. There is no evidence to support this claim. None. The peer-reviewed evidence that exists on the topic says the exact opposite, and that most shelter workers can’t even properly identify their own impounded dogs.

A Victoria Voith study, which was in part done at the shelter that Allan Drusys works at, showed that 73% of the time animal control officers and shelter workers got it wrong when compared to actual DNA evidence. Allan Drusys knows both Dr. Voith and Dr. Irizarry, who were part of the extensive study, and this information is just discarded. Dr. Irizarry, a geneticist, was actually present at the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting in October to give a public comment opposing their ordinance. He referenced the study. He explained the genome. Allan Drusys was present. They ignored him. Irizarry also referenced a 2010 study done by Dr. Elaine Ostrander which showed that “the morphological appearance of a dog is controlled by 50 genes, out of the 20,000 genes that make up a dog’s genome. And so when you say a dog looks like a Pit Bull you’re really saying it has 4 or 5 genes that affect its physical shape, its head-shape, its snout, and it has no basis whatsoever on its behavior.” They ignored him. Maddie’s Fund and Dr. Julie Levy did a similar study, and it showed the same types of results.

Going further, 3 different pieces of legal case law exist deeming definitions of “Pit Bull” as unconstitutionally vague… American Dog Owners vs. City of Lynn, MA (1989), American Dog Owners vs. City of Des Moines, IA (1991), and State of Ohio/City of Toledo vs. Smith (2010). The 2010 court case Cardelle vs. Miami-Dade County (2010) found that animal control officers were not qualified to visually identify Pit Bulls. It also found that there is no scientific basis for admitting such an opinion. The Animal Control Association doesn’t even offer a course in breed identification! Yet Monique Middleton, an animal control officer, would confidently suggest otherwise. Mr. Allan Drusys gleefully continues repeating his pornography metaphor. This utter crap is being accepted by the Lake Elsinore City Council as “expert testimony.” It is truly a shame.

There’s nothing comprehensive in Councilman Brian Tisdale’s comprehensive plan, and there’s nothing specific about breed-specific legislation. This is a sham being perpetrated against the Lake Elsinore community, dogs of all kinds, the genuine idea of actual public safety, and the state anti-BSL law. Please oppose this move, and the nasty philosophy behind it, with all of your might.

To email the Lake Elsinore City Council: njohnson@lake-elsinore.org, smanos@lake-elsinore.org, dhickman@lake-elsinore.org, rmagee@lake-elsinore.org, btisdale@lake-elsinore.org.

A temperament test that took 23 days to do

Posted March 19th, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

The Carson shelter has preposterously taken 23 days to complete 1 simple temperament test. This was made official on 3/12, after someone working for this shelter finally brought themselves to take an initiative and do their job. Yes, this test was requested on 2/18. All the while this amazingly sweet boy named Freckles had been waiting to pass, so that he can then be let out of his kennel for a walk or some interaction in the play yard.

freckles

See, at the Carson shelter they state that any dog they themselves deem to be a “Pit Bull” is not allowed to leave its kennel, under any circumstances, until it receives and passes a temperament evaluation. This is their in-house BSL at work. This pays no mind to the fact that temperament tests are not automatically given to dogs, and when they are requested it routinely takes the staff over a week (or more, such as this case demonstrated) to do them. What happens to the Pit Bulls, amounting to most all of them, who never get a temperament test? They just never get out of their kennel until they are taken out to be killed.

Many times after the temperament test has finally been completed it’s the shelter manager’s next move to then give that dog 24 hours to find rescue, or it’s potentially targeted to be killed. This manager’s name is Gil Moreno and he’s about the last person that should be managing a shelter. The 23-day wait for the temperament test to be done is apparently being explained away because they are “under staffed,” yet they fire incredible volunteers (like Dianne), decline other volunteer applicants (like myself) and do a whopping 1 training class per year. I’m also just posting this story now, now that I know that Freckles is officially safe, because this shelter has been known to retaliate against dogs that I promote and kill them out of spite. Yes, this is the culture that we traverse.

Lastly, they graded submissive Freckles a “C” after he started playing with the rubber hand on the stick that they try and incite the dogs with, which they point into their food while they are eating. Really fair, huh?

Here’s a video that I shot on the morning of 3/7, again, just posted now because I didn’t want it floating around online and have them retaliate against me and kill Freckles in response.

Who is 7canines@gmail.com?

Posted March 18th, 2014 in Discrimination, Prejudice by Josh

This email address recently emailed a UCLA law professor last week, coincidentally less than 24 hours after I spoke at her class, with an unsolicited pile of steaming anti-Pit Bull rubbish taken from a string of blogs created to lobby for bans on Pit Bulls and the extermination of dogs deemed to be Pit Bulls.

The email message comes being addressed from a “Humane World” and with a subject line of “The Annotated Cultural Bibliography of Pit Bulls.”

This professor certainly didn’t ask for the email, and no one publicized my speaking at her class, at all. What I did do was create a zip file entitled “UCLA” and put the link to the file onto my Twitter feed, with no explanation as to what it was, so that the students of the class could easily access different documents that I’d potentially be discussing. Hmm… What this leads me to believe is that both my website and social media pages are being staked out by someone with the intent of promoting BSL and demonizing innocent dogs.

After doing a Google search on “7canines@gmail.com” it also was shown to have been sending the same type of materials out to people involved with opposing Pasadena’s attempt at BSL. These emails were also not asked for and people were wondering how this sender even got their email addresses in the first place… Well, the Pasadena City Council publicizes the correspondence (both for and against) that they received to their ordinance. Whomever is behind this 7canines email must have went through and noted everyone speaking out against breed-specific legislation in this instance and collected their email addresses, with the future intent of sending them this canned email blast promoting both hate and fear against all Pit Bulls.

At the top of the body of their email it says this…

SRUV email alerts are currently mailed to over 3800 international humane and animal welfare professionals, scholars of animal law and human-animal studies, ethologists, bioethicists, veterinarians, and journalists with an interest in canines.

So yeah, this type of obsessive behavior is likely being forced upon God only knows who else, any number of people that whomever is doing the spamming would deem potentially influential to their anti-Pit Bull cause. It’s lame, but being a faceless fearmonger is all that these hateful people have left.

This writing would be my personal counter to such trollish behavior. The goal being that next time someone gets an unsolicited email from this email address, simply googling the address will bring up this article.

To whomever you are: Know the source of the misinformation that you receive from 7canines@gmail.com. Know that these persons are oftentimes faceless and not accountable to anyone or anything. Know that their agenda is one of lobbying for breed-discriminatory legislation, bans, and the extermination of any dog even remotely looking like a Pit Bull. Know that they advocate for a philosophy that deems millions of dogs “guilty” or “bad,” and simply based around the way that they look and nothing else. Know that they are actively promoting both hate and fear, appealing to the lowest common denominators of human thought. Finally, know that not even a single dog or human safety expert organization has come out saying that breed-specific legislation is effective. Know that all mainstream and professional animal welfare groups are totally against breed-specific legislation as well. You can click on each organization to read their own words as to why.

The screwy identification fallacy behind California municipalities pushing BSL

Posted March 17th, 2014 in BSL News, Shelters by Josh

The Riverside County “breed-specific” mandatory sterilization ordinance against Pit Bulls is being peddled and copied all throughout the state of California. First it was Riverside County, then onto the city of Riverside, then to Pasadena, and most recently it was duplicated in Lake Elsinore. An aspect most concerning to me is the loose way in which the breed identification portion of the ordinance is being patently accepted as indisputable obviousness.

What this means is that people like Allan Drusys (chief veterinarian with Riverside County), with their unscientific and ignorantly subjective opinions, are sometimes in the positions to make the ultimate breed identification decisions. This is a horrifying reality considering Drusys thinks that identifying a Pit Bull is as easy as recognizing pornography. First off, who said that pornography was easy to identify? The Supreme Court says otherwise. But this notion in regards to visual dog breed identification is asinine on numerous fronts, and yet Drusys’ arrogant claims are quite literally being entrusted as “expert testimony” when in front of any number of elected officials.

Worse, he is claiming a “consensus” when reality utterly refutes that claim in full. Mr. Drusys willfully contradicts a peer-reviewed breed identification study done by Dr. Victoria Voith, part of which was done at the very shelter that Drusys works at. This past Tuesday he was in Lake Elsinore doing this very thing, using the pornography claim to lobby on behalf of the anti-Pit Bull ordinance which is a copy of the one that he helped get rubber-stamped in Riverside County while using the same claims. This is happening now.