"A breed of satin and steel. Pit bulls are a mixture of softness and strength, an uncanny canine combination of fun, foolishness, and serious business, all wrapped up in love."

-D. Caroline Coile

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Video du Jour

If Dogs Could Talk

If dogs could talk, this is what they would say.

“See the dog, not the story. This is excellent advice from someone with a rescue dog. What your new dog needs most of all is the same thing a person needs — to be accepted and respected for who they are, to be ‘heard’ and understood, rather than to be labeled. You may have been told a number of stories about your dog’s history, but although it can be valuable to gather information, it’s also important not to label your dog for the rest of his life as, for example, ‘abused’ or ‘neglected.’ Your goal, beyond providing your new dog a safe and stable environment, is to honor him by letting him tell you who is he right now, accepting that, and acting accordingly. Just as you are no longer that little girl or boy who got bulled on the playground, your dog will grow and change as time goes on. Do all you can to see him for who he is NOW, not who he was years ago or who you think he should be.” - Patricia McConnell, PhD, and Karen London, PhD, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home


Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Blue Jay Vowing to Fight Ontario's Pit Bull Ban

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Mark Buehrle throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the
Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP / Alex Brandon)

Moving is never easy, especially when you have two kids and four dogs -- and especially when that move will take you from sunny Florida to the big Canadian city of Toronto.

But newly-acquired Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle is facing a dilemma with his upcoming move: what to do with his beloved pit bull terrier.

Buehrle, who was acquired by the Jays earlier this month in a 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins, owns three vizslas as well as a pit bull, named Slater, whom he rescued from an animal shelter. But thanks to a seven-year-old Ontario law, Buehrle can’t keep that dog and now has to decide whether to give him up.

Buehrle says he and his wife Jamie -- also an avid dog lover -- are exploring their options to get things “resolved.”

“I think it is going to be an obstacle,” Buehrle told reporters Thursday during a telephone conference call. “We’re looking at everything, every option we have right now.

“We're trying to work and do what we can do to try to get things resolved. But as of right now, I don't know exactly what we're doing,” he added.

The 33-year-old left-hander faced a similar problem just over a year ago, when he was traded to the Marlins after 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. It turns out that Miami-Dade County, where the Marlins play, bans pit bulls, too.

Buehrle and his wife soon started a petition to have the “breed-discriminatory law” in Miami-Dade repealed. But the bid failed, and Buehrle’s family was forced to settle in nearby Boward County, about an hour away.

This time it won’t be so easy to work around the problem. The closest province, Quebec, is a full five-hour drive away. And while New York State might be closer, living there would still mean a two-hour, cross-border commute.

Buehrle says he and Jamie are already turning their attention to the pit bull laws in Ontario, calling for the repeal of the still-controversial Dog Owner’s Liability Act.

Buehrle suggested Thursday that he had already made contact with advocacy groups in Ontario, and said they planned to work together to overturn the province-wide ban.

“Obviously I don’t agree with the ban -- the same thing in Miami. I think it’s a discriminatory law,” Buehrle told reporters. “Just because the way a dog looks, I don’t feel like that dog should be banned from some place just because of the way it looks.”

He added: “We are big spokesmen of it and we’re trying to do what we can do to try to help other people out.”

Since Ontario passed the Dog Owner’s Liability Act, pit bull advocates have never stopped their campaign to repeal it.

Toronto NDP MPP Cheri Di Novo -- who has been leading the political fight against the ban -- helped bring in Bill 16, a private member’s bill that would have had the law repealed. Though the bill passed second reading in the legislature, it was denied by the governing Liberals.

Di Nono says as soon as the legislature resumes, she will retable the bill.

Buehrle, meanwhile, says that his dogs are good dogs, and if anything, he’s the mean one in his family.

“I kind of joke around with my wife saying that they probably shouldn’t let me into the country before they don’t let my dogs,” he said. “They’re so loving and so awesome.”

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/new-blue-jay-vowing-to-fight-ontario-s-pit-bull-ban 1.1060861#ixzz2EaRpJens

The Senate Goes to the Dogs: Two Important Bills Passed!

With all the political gridlock in Washington D.C., it seems that Congress has nearly ground to a complete halt. So it was very exciting when the U.S. Senate considered two important measures to help animals in need!

First, the Senate took up the cause of canine heroes who have served in our military and passed a provision that streamlines the adoption process for retired military dogs and authorizes the Department of Defense to provide veterinary care in the animals’ retirement without any cost to American taxpayers. Military dogs perform dangerous, critical tasks, and it is our duty to honor these dogs and ensure they are cared for after their service is complete. The House passed similar language in their version of the military bill earlier this year.

Then, just moments later, the Senate passed the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act by a unanimous voice vote. This bill, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Scott Brown (R-MA), will give law enforcement additional tools to crack down on animal fighting. The legislation will make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and will impose additional penalties for taking minors to animal fights.

Take Action!
We are encouraged that in the twilight hours of this Congress, animals in need have not been forgotten by federal lawmakers. Our team has been working around the clock with members of Congress to ensure passage of both bills, but we still need your help. Please call your representative and ask him or her to support the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act in the House. Animals victimized in this grisly blood sport are in desperate need—and they are counting on us to get the job done!

Guest blog by Andrew Binovi, ASPCA Federal Legislative Manager