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 reconfirms 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.

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:
phs

2012:
phs2

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.

Jen Gillen talks Scout, Stuff on Scout’s Head, Ontario BSL

Posted October 21st, 2014 in BSL News, Bull Horn, Prejudice by Josh

scout2

Click here to purchase Scout’s book on Amazon!

00:29 Michael Bryant’s BSL
03:22 The process of adopting Scout
04:28 Enforcement in Ontario
06:46 What happens to the dogs that end up in shelters?
07:47 Scout’s book, “Stuff on Scout’s Head”
10:04 The response to the book
11:08 Are Ontario politicians aware of Scout?
12:49 Getting rid of the ban
13:45 Movement to repeal the ban
14:35 The Buehrle’s move to Toronto
14:58 Take the initiative to show your dog in a positive light
16:59 What does that have to do with my dog?
19:27 Scout’s Great Dane sister
20:09 Traveling to NYC to be on the Rachael Ray show
24:27 What happens if police stop you on the street?/Housing restrictions
26:22 Outreach from the UK and Australia
26:51 StuffOnScoutsHead.com, stuffonscoutshead.tumblr.com

Marcia Mayeda continues to evade the real issues being raised here

Posted October 16th, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

In response to my speaking in front of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors about desiring to get an interview for the managerial position at Carson, Marcia Mayeda recently sent out a totally bunk letter attempting to address the numerous issues that I raised. Below is my response to her reassurances that she very likely sent to each Supervisor. Please now continue sharing and signing the petition, as I want it to be a representation of people’s expression, regardless of whether they continue rejecting my application or not.

Response to Marcia Mayeda on 10/16/2014 by swaylove

Pasadena should consider this before passing MSN

Posted October 9th, 2014 in Community, Shelters by Josh

Before the majority of the Pasadena City Council (Madison, Gordo, Masuda, McAustin, Bogaard) plows forward on a mandatory spay and neuter law for all dogs and cats, they should look at the miniscule amounts of money that the Pasadena Humane Society are spending (or not spending) on “spay and neuter programs” and “education” up to this point. Because they routinely end up with a budget that is more than $10 million per year and carry assets that amount to over $26 million. For example, in 2011 their 990 shows that they only spent $50,307 on spay and neuter programs and another $3,829 on educational programs.

phs

Uh oh. Well gee, if you’d attended any of the City Council meetings and listened to PHS representatives Steve McNall or Elizabeth Campo speak then you would have came away with the assumption that they are doing everything that they possibly can to lower shelter killing, provide affordable and accessible sterilization surgeries, and educate the public. Unfortunately, the realities go pretty much against that narrative and thus against what the City Council are being told and/or led to believe… Those figures amounted to spending less than 0.006% of their yearly $10 million on spay and neuter and 0.0003% on education.

In 2011 President Steve McNall alone made almost 3x ($152,336) what the PHS spent on sterilization efforts for that entire year. That’s more than 39x what they spent on educational outreach! Another point, the “revenue” that is being brought in by spending those allocated amounts on spay/neuter and education is routinely TRIPLE what they put into the programs… So they are making money by voluntarily spaying and neutering, and by doing the little amount of educating that they are doing. Why wouldn’t they be doing it more, and allocating more efforts and funds into those directions? Their return from 2012 shows much of the same proportionally.

Now I’m not suggesting here that McNall should take a pay cut, or anyone else, but rather that they should be putting far more money into accessible sterilization efforts as well as educational efforts. That’s not too much to ask. Especially when they are so quick to trot out the multiple sob stories about how much they are already doing, the lack of funding that they may run into when asked to do more, and the overwhelming need for this law in order to curb alleged overpopulation. What need? The Council was not talking about this law. They shot this same piece of legislation down less than a year ago. This is only now being reinserted as to allow Councilman Steve Madison an opportunity to save face, after his desire to scapegoat all Pit Bulls was resoundingly rebuffed by the community. Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, as told to me by an attendee at the last meeting, stated privately that she “just wants something” to be done. Nice. So whether it’s BSL or BSL-MSN or MSN, what’s clear is that most on this Council have no desire to simply hold individual owners accountable for the actions of their individual dogs.

Commenting to the Board of Supervisors about interviewing for the Carson job

Posted October 1st, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

On June 20th of this year the Carson shelter manager Gil Moreno abruptly “resigned” from his position. 5 days later the managerial position was publicly posted on the county’s website (bulletin #15533BR). It’s still posted as an active and open position as we speak.

Around the first week of July I created a 10 minute video explaining all of the ways that I’d run the shelter differently than Mr. Moreno. With that, I also started a petition to have the county of Los Angeles consider me as his replacement. I officially applied for the position on July 22nd and was given the reference #4548409.

On July 31st I received a letter from the department rejecting my application. It stated that I was “not qualified” due to not having 4 years of experience as a level 4 animal control officer. Upon logging back into the county’s website it actually showed a submission status of “application not accepted” as of July 23rd, 1 day after I applied for the position.

Then on September 23rd, 2 months after Marcia Mayeda decided to not even consider my application, people who had actually taken the time to write into the department from back in July (in support of my candidacy) received a letter from Mayeda. It thanked them for their recommendation and told them that I was “welcome to apply,” as the DACC does not solicit candidates. But I did apply, on July 22nd, and my application was officially discarded the very next business day.

So I ask: Can someone outside of the system, outside of the paradigm of doing as little as possible, even score an interview for this position? How does a draconian L.A. County shelter system change if they simply and repetitively hire from within that same entrenched system?

Coincidentally, or not, my 2013 application to become an unpaid volunteer of the Carson shelter was rejected as well. They used the exact same language in the rejection letter and stated that my application was “not accepted.” This, after waiting over 7 months to even hear anything back from them. Shortly after I applied my girlfriend was fired from her volunteer position. The reason? For taking different dogs into the play yard.

Sadly, many who have had their departmental positions protected by the Board of Supervisors continue to behave themselves in the most non-transparent, retaliatory, and obstructionist of ways. At some point I sincerely hope that they become genuinely concerned about this apathetic and vindictive behavior.

What does Bad Rap commenting on the “nanny dog” really tell us?

Posted September 25th, 2014 in BSL News by Josh

There’s many things that irrational dog-hating and BSL-pushing exploitation artists say and do that will never add up, make any kind of sense, or be backed up by actual reality and evidence. That aside, it’s still comical when these persons act in such ways that clearly show their bias and their hypocrisy to the core. I present to you… The “nanny dog” and Bad Rap commenting on the “nanny dog”!

Okay, so let’s see here. How many things has Bad Rap ever said in regards to Pit Bulls that a dog-hating, BSL-pushing exploitation artist would ever agree with? Close to nothing, right? Instead, they’d likely spend a lot of their time and energy mocking and/or trying to discredit Bad Rap and anything that they do in regard to advocating for Pit Bulls… Yet as soon as Bad Rap posted the below Facebook comment from a few years back they were all of a sudden being held up by their mockers as 100% accurate and completely “right” on the topic of Pit Bulls never being nanny dogs.

nannydog

This comment continues to be rolled out by random anti-Pit Bull scaremongers as “proof” that Pit Bulls were never “nanny dogs.” They’ll then try to use this narrative to imply that Bad Rap has had a hiccup of dignity while the rest of us (millions of people) continue endangering all of America by allowing our “landsharks” to walk public streets as the innocent dogs that they actually are.

Let’s unpack this nanny dog topic a little bit, shall we? First off, whoever got the opportunity to wake up 1 morning and unequivocally proclaim that there was even such a thing as an entire breed of canine being labeled as nanny dogs? Did this factoid make it into a presidential speech from the past? Was there some kind of parade that I missed? I mean, they do realize that this term grew from different people referring to their own INDIVIDUAL dogs as nanny dogs, right? Yet somehow this label gets placed on an entire group or breed or characterization of dog as if it was/is 100% fact 100% of the time. Everyone who actually knows anything about dogs, and thus knows that dogs are individuals, knows that this isn’t true. Yet the Pit Bull haters will act as though everyone who has no problem with Pit Bulls believes it is true so that they can then try to discredit those same people through denying this dumbed down soundbite/talking point. See how that works?

All that Bad Rap is basically saying by posting what they did was that you can’t look at any group of anything and state with specificity that all of those individuals making up whatever group are each going to be like “x.” That’s blatant common sense. Dogs are individuals. So to imply that every dog from any breed or group of breeds/types is completely safe left around children unattended would be doing a disservice to reality and thus public safety. Bad Rap is simply saying supervise your kids around any dog! That’s the responsible thing to do. Know your individual dog, know your individual child. Don’t excuse potential recklessness by justifying that reckless with a false sense of security. It’s that simple, and quite obviously.

So… I mean, my God, what is wrong with that? Does that mean that all of those vintage photos showing kids and dogs didn’t exist? No! Obviously they exist. Does that mean that those Pit Bulls pictured didn’t serve as nanny dogs in those individual households? No! Obviously many did.

Still, the mentally ill who want nothing more than to see piles and piles of dead Pit Bulls will spin and take out of context and flip and flop and turn on a dime any comment, so long as it allows them the opportunity to fool useful idiots into supporting their scapegoating nonsense. Truth be told, they don’t believe nor have they moved to validate a single thing that Bad Rap has ever said about Pit Bulls… Unless, of course, it aligns (out of context) with something that they already believe! Then they’ll comically move to treat Bad Rap (in this instance) as if they are the grand poobah on the topic… Just picture someone who wants all Pit Bulls banned or dead running down the street saying “see, Bad Rap said it, it must be true!” Um, okay… But yet nothing else that Bad Rap has ever said gets acknowledged as “factual” by these same persons. That’s what we call a confirmation bias. End scene.

L.A. Times article reveals the attitude of select rescuers towards the homeless

Posted September 24th, 2014 in Community, Discrimination, Rescue by Josh

Last week I read a piece in the L.A. Times that really bothered me. It was entitled “Hounding a homeless man into giving up his dogs” and was written by Gale Holland. There were a few local animal rescuers quoted within the article (Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith) and their way of dealing with this situation was both ugly and embarrassing.

The article centered around Gerrick Miller, a man living on the street, and his dog Sugar, who had just had a litter of 10 puppies. Shortly after they were born a rescuer (Smith) began videotaping the puppies and prodding others to drop by and photograph Sugar. Los Angeles Animal Services then began receiving email blasts accusing Miller of “operating a puppy mill for profit.” That accusation is just patently ridiculous. Further, the “rescuers” demanded that the department confiscate Sugar and her 10 puppies. Brenda Barnette, head of LAAS, replied that the dogs could not just be seized without cause, which is absolutely correct.

Just think… Do we really need a group of self-righteous animal rescuers deciding who should be able to have dogs and who shouldn’t? How subjective and outrageously draconian would that process quickly become?

Meanwhile, Smith continued videotaping Miller and his dogs, as well as different interactions that he had with a bicycle officer. Her video was then sent to Pryor and used as evidence showing the city’s “inaction.” Mind you, there’s no evidence of the dogs being treated poorly or being abused, and there’s no evidence to show that Sugar didn’t absolutely love Mr. Miller. Regardless, Jennifer Pryor let it be known that she was outraged that Barnette didn’t cite Miller for “breeding without a permit” or for “breaking the city’s spay and neuter law.” Wait, you mean the law that isn’t even enforced across the board? Why should a homeless person be targeted by a law that no one else in the city is targeted with? Where in the hell is your empathy?

Here’s an idea… How about promoting the concept that the city start policing their own ranks before harassing the most vulnerable members of Los Angeles? For example: How many animal rescuers are blatantly violating the pet limit within the city, but then turning around and calling other people hoarders? Any? I know that this number isn’t zero. How many animal rescuers are publicly condemning the concept of breeding but then privately breeding toy dogs on the side for profit? Any? I know that this number isn’t zero. Shouldn’t the department be focusing on them foremost? If a law, any law, is going to be enforced then it damn well better be enforced equally and consistently. Meaning, it damn well better affect everyone and not just target certain classes or types of people. That way we can all have a stake in seeing if it’s a decent law or a terrible one, and then have an honest go at communicating about it.

Jennifer Pryor is quoted in Holland’s article as saying “the homeless have become a serious problem of abuse and contributing to pet overpopulation.” Shame on you, Jennifer Pryor. That is a total misrepresentation steeped in exaggeration and completely barren of specifics. Whitney Smith chimes in that “if people are struggling, homeless and have addictions, another responsibility is not appropriate,” and that “it’s very easy to give a sob story for homeless, but the endgame for the animals isn’t pretty.” One of them also claimed that “homeless people breed Pit Bulls to sell as fighting dogs.” Ugh, total nonsense.

Below is a man that my girlfriend met when she happened to be carrying 1 of my cameras in her car. He would usually be very near to where she would exit for work, and he absolutely cherished his dog.

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Dianne gave him a new leash, and he gladly accepted it and used it immediately. As you can see in the top photograph, he was using a pretty large chain. Should he be demonized for having a chain? Absolutely not. Offer him something to use instead. Dianne was very touched by the connection that this man had with his dog, and he was so proud of his pet. I could cite many more interactions like this and my point is that you just have to treat people like you want to be treated…

Just last week we drove up to San Francisco and made multiple stays throughout Big Sur. It was here where we’d see a woman walking alongside Hwy. 1 with her recyclables attached to her bicycle and her 2 dogs (below). We had to see her about 5 different times in the span of a few days. On our way down we pulled off to talk with her and then met her again at the general store where she was pulled off to get cleaned up. She was making her way to Carmel because she had been offered a job on a farm. Her name was Lisa and she had a little scruffy dog named Sandy and a Pit Bull named Baby. They were both adorable and loved their momma very much.

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Anybody advocating to take these dogs from their people are authoritarian monsters who should be a million miles away from crafting any kind of policy.

Is there a homeless person out there somewhere in America that is being abusive or sending a dog to a dog fighter? I don’t know, I’m sure there might be. But does that represent 99+% of the people living on the streets with pets? Hell no! So instead of all of that bad energy, where’s the offered resources? Where’s the helping hand? Homeless people are people without a home, but they are still people. How about you give them something else to remember you by other than condemnation and judgment?

Also, when does the collective blaming stop? People do it to different breeds of dogs all the time. People do it to low-income communities all the time. People do it to folks out living on the street and right here is a grand example of it. And these are all just issues linked to a dog issue. Sadly, my fear is that in reading the condescending statements from Pryor and Smith, many uninvolved readers might now move to typecast all “animal rescuers” or “activists” as control freaks or bullies towards the poor. See the perpetuated cycle when people group-blame? It promotes and greases the skids for further group-blame. Obviously they should stop the selective enforcement and move whatever mountain to end that load of hypocrisy. But until that environment manifests itself homeless folks should be the last people Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith should be out targeting. Yet they are always the first because they are the easiest to target and least likely to have any recourse to defend themselves. Most importantly of all, the vast majority of these people very deeply love their pets. That love is being reciprocated. So many of these pets were homeless themselves prior to striking up a bond with whatever person. In comparison to you, think about how much more time and attention goes into keeping a pet with you 24/7. To downplay these connections, to look down upon this reality, to take away this possibility is just utterly outrageous and offensive.

Thankfully the article does include a few voices of reason. First, from Genevieve Frederick from Pets of the Homeless

A quarter of the nation’s 600,000 homeless people keep pets. Shunned by many, ignored by most, homeless people live lives of piercing loneliness. These pets provide them with something they need to feel human: unconditional love, loyalty.

And then from Claudia Perez, a skid row rescuer…

The problem is they stereotype all homeless people. Gerrick loved his dogs.

Notice how in Holland’s article it’s revealed that Perez is actually the person that convinced Miller to relinquish the dogs. She told him that they’d all be fixed and vaccinated, and that the shelter would hold them as his. She drove him to the shelter to see how they were doing. None of that access is by coincidence, as he trusted Perez and that’s directly due to Perez NOT judging him or treating him like a 2nd class citizen. Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith act in the opposite ways, and make up the “they” that Perez is referring to in the above quote.

The article ends by stating that Gerrick Miller was oddly arrested a few days after surrendering his dogs and is now serving a 1 year sentence in a drug rehabilitation program. Sugar’s puppies will very likely be adopted or rescued. Sugar’s future is unknown but she is most likely still at a city shelter. If you happen to have her ID# please email it to me on Facebook.