Category Archives: breed specific laws

Love, Hope and Forgiveness

Heroes Come in Different Species

 

An Abused Pit Bull and Human Survivor Share Hope and Healing

Some people see a pit bull and go running for the hills fearing that they will be maimed due to the sensationalizing of (and often untrue) pit bull attack stories overreported by the media. Then there are dog lovers and advocates who see a dog just like any other dog. Donna Lawrence is one of the latter. Yes, even after she WAS attacked by a pit bull.

 

A recent survey of people who admitted to having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60 percent of the participants cited media reports as the basis of their negative opinions.

 

“One person and one animal can make a powerful difference in the world,” said Donna. She survived an attack and later adopted an abused pit bull puppy who was set on fire. Her courage and commitment to dogs inspires people around the world.

 

Donna and Susie’s story of Love, Hope, Courage and Forgiveness has been made into a movie called Susie’s Hope which recently aired on UPTV.

 

The DVD will be released this fall, but you can preorder through Best Buy now!

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/susies-hope-dvd/25346296.p?id=3251052&skuId=25346296&st=Susie%27s%20Hope&lp=1&cp=1

 

Movie trailer:

 

 

Donna thought Susie was dead when she found her in a park. “My heart melted the instant I saw her. I had so much compassion for her. I saw this six week old puppy with third degree burns all over her body and I couldn’t understand how someone could do this to her. I had never seen abuse like this before. She was so little and frail with scars all over her body. Her ears were burned off. She had broken bones. Susie needed a lot of love and protection,” Donna explained.

 

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“As I held her, covered in bandages, she kissed my face.  She was so loving and just wanted me to hold her. I was captivated. We were kindred spirits. I could relate to her pain and suffering. She was wrongfully attacked. We both had a lot of physical and emotional scars and fears to conquer.”

A few weeks before she met Susie, Donna had been feeding her neighbor’s abandoned and abused pit bull who was chained up 24/7. One day the dog became aggressive and attacked Donna’s legs. She thought she was going to die.

It is important to note that the attack on Donna was not because the dog was a pit bull. The attack fit the profile cited in a recent report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)/  The report discusses dog bite prevention and cites factors involved in attacks. Breed is not a factor. The dog that attacked Donna was chained up (a resident dog not a pet), abused, neglected, not neutered and no able bodied person was there to intervene.

“I was working through some serious emotional turmoil, and one weekend when I had Susie in my care, I got the tragic news that I would never be able to have children—as a result of the attack. I cried all the way home from the doctor’s office.  When we got home, it was like God spoke to me,” Donna recalled. “You see that puppy, she has been abused, set on fire, and left for dead. Yet she is forgiving. She is not living in the past. She is happy and thankful to be alive.  She is moving on with her life and so can you. I want you to adopt her. I have big plans for you–bigger than you can imagine. And you will never fear dogs again.”  So, I listened to God. I let go of my hurt and anger and trusted in God that together we would bring healing to people and animals.”

Pit bulls and their bad reputation never bothered Donna. She considers pit bulls “loyal and affectionate dogs with loving hearts.”  Before the pit bull that attacked her and adopting Susie, Donna rescued another pit bull named Samson. “He was so sweet; I’d take him to the salon with me every day and he’d sit by the dryers while the gals got their hair done.  He’d look over their shoulders as if he was reading the magazines with them!”

Wanting justice (a punishment to fit the crime) for what happened to Susie, Donna was concerned that Susie’s abuser would go free. Animal cruelty laws were very lenient in North Carolina at the time and had not been changed in a very long time. The person who abused Susie was only given jail time because the court could charge him with destroying someone else’s property. Susie was treated as property rather than a living being. So, Donna helped to pass Susie’s Law with stiffer fines and jail time for animal abusers.

It  was a team effort. “In March 2010, we canvassed the state of North Carolina, sharing Susie’s story. We sent out emails, postcards and letters with our “request for change.”  We took Susie before the city council and county commissioners Votes were unanimous in the House and Senate (after taking one look at Susie).  The Bill was signed by Governor Perdue in June 2010, with Susie’s paw of approval. The law was put into effect in December 2010.”

“Remember, serial killers practice abusing animals first and then move on to innocent children and adults,” Donna declared.

Now, Donna has high hopes for the impact of the movie. “We hope that Susie’s Hope will start a nationwide movement, to bring national public and legislative awareness, to change laws in every state. Maybe even a national law to protect all animals. Some states have great animal cruelty laws, and then, some don’t. I hope the movie will motivate others to make a difference and change in their own state, or hometown, for the sake of the animals. I also hope the movie will motivate people to never give up on the things they are passionate about.”

Through Susie’s Hope™ the non-profit organization, Donna and Susie teach people how to treat animals properly.

 

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“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. Fight for changes in your own state. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will take care of their pets, and learn how to be safe around them, to love and respect them.”

When Susie and Donna visit schools, “I usually ask the children to offer Susie a treat. I teach kids in the schools how to approach animals,and to always ask permission. Not all animals enjoy kids running up to them and getting in their face, or riding them like a horse. Children need to learn at an early age to respect an animal’s space and how to gently approach them.

“People need to understand animals have feelings and emotions just like we do. They feel pain, loneliness and rejection, and they know when they are loved–and when they are not.”

Susie turned five years old in June (2014). “Susie loves chasing her brother and sister dogs around in the yard. She loves going to work with me at the salon.  (She gives the clients kisses and shows off with her favorite tricks–riding a skateboard, jumping through a hula hoop, playing dead, counting, reading, pointing to colors, and more). She loves to eat peanut butter. She loves riding in the car and traveling.  I think she likes being my friend. Susie does like other doggies, but it takes her a bit to warm up to them–she has to make sure she can trust them.

“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it in our neighborhoods, communities or our workplace. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. We want to encourage everyone to fight for changes in your own state and communities. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will continue to educate children as well as adults in their own communities how to take care of their pets, and how to be safe around them, to love them and respect them,” she concluded.

Susie is a nominee in the American Human Association Hero Dog Awards contest. As the 2014 AHA Therapy Dog, please consider voting for her.  (Visit www.susieshope.com orwww.susieshope-nc.org for more information).

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Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, All you need is love, animal abuse, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, dog movies, dog movies/TV, dog rescue, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, saved from fire, Uncategorized

The problem with Time Magazine

The problem with Time Magazine and Charlotte Alter

http://time.com/2891180/kfc-and-the-pit-bull-attack-of-a-little-girl/

l. if you know ANYTHING about dogs and specifically about the history of American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and the other dog BREEDS lumped together and called “pit bulls,” you know that these dogs were bred to be SUPER/EXTRA people friendly so that the handlers would be able to work with them. ALL people aggression was bred OUT of these dogs.  So the first paragraph in this article begins with a lie AKA a MYTH not a FACT.  Apparently, the writer of this article had NO TIME to do any REAL Research nor to interview REAL DOG experts such as James Crosby and Victoria Stilwell.

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Pit Bulls are not an aggressive breed of dog.

*According to the American Temperament Testing Association, APBTs have an 85.3% passing rate, compared to a passing rate of 81.9% for all breeds on average.

http://canineaggression.blogspot.com/

This is FANTASTIC, point by point, she tells it like it IS…

http://www.swaylove.org/the-many-problems-with-charlotte-alters-time-article-about-pit-bulls

2. Then this article goes on to quote DISCREDITED time and time and time again pit bull haters and fantasy dwellers such as Colleen Lynn, Merritt Clifton and PETA.  Yes, scratch the surface of these three together and you get nonsensical stats based upon media overreporting of so-called pit bull attacks (if it looks like a dog, call it a pit bull and there you have a headline and ridiculous stats to use to ban pit bulls), fear/paranoia and a call to KILL all the dogs (disguised as more logical sounding breed discrimination aka breed specific euthanization)… of course, they leave OUT that in places like Denver, CO where BSL has been implemented, dog bites have GONE UP because the REAL PROBLEM has NOT been dealt with. Breed is NEVER the problem. Ignorance about Dogs IS the problem.

Oh by the way, PETA kills healthy adoptable dogs and cats and has for years. And their founder, Ingrid Newkirk, was killing animals at a shelter, a job she relished. PETA thinks killing companion animals is a gift to them.

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/proof

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?category_name=the-truth-about-peta

3. oh yes, and speaking about the Michael Vick dogs. 51 dogs who are doing JUST FINE. Eight became therapy dogs, and many are living in homes with children, cats, other dogs, in FAMILIES and shown NO signs of aggression. Not ONE.  These dogs were tortured, traumatized, terrified of humans, unsocialized, kept chained up 24/7 and made to fight tor their LIVES. Yet, once taken away from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels and given tons of TLC and taught how to be dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, the Monterey SPCA and other places, they’ve thrived.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/10/michael-vick-dogs-vicktory_n_5119150.html

http://parade.condenast.com/48473/jimgorant/15-vicks-dogs/

4. Here is the REAL SCOOP on what causes DOG BITES and ATTACKS according to REAL DOG experts.

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/opinion-everyone-in-the-community-is-concerned-about-agressive-dogs-and-stopping-dog-bites

Instead of blaming the dogs, how about holding PEOPLE accountable. People are the ones responsible for the abuse, torture, neglect and abandonment of dogs. Humans are the violent ones. Toxic macho masculinity culture teaches young men that they must be TOUGH and FIGHT, MAIM and KILL animals and other creatures. All of the serial killers have a history of hurting and killing animals then move on to human beings.

A few stats:

Every year, more than 2,000 children in the U.S. are killed by their parents or guardians either through abuse or neglect. A child is more than 800 times more likely to be killed by their caretaker than by a Pit Bull.

From 2001 through 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the United States by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

…Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries… http://americanprogress.org/issues/guns-crime/report/2014/06/18/91998/women-under-the-gun/

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Be the Change: Speak Out

Animals cannot speak so it is important for us to be their voice

If you see a hurt, abandoned, neglected, abused, dying animal, please stand UP and speak OUT for them and keep on speaking and standing until Justice is served.

A few recent examples below:

We are strategizing to change the policies of the Denver police department. Harley is a dog that was injured from being hit by a car, the Denver Police Department stood there for over 90 minutes without giving the dog any comfort or allowed any medical help at all as he lay there whimpering in pain. Their claim is that they needed to wait for Animal Control. Animal Control did not arrive for 90 minutes. PLUS, the police threatened to arrest a neighbor who was willing to take Harley to the hospital with the intimidation tactic that he would be interfering with an investigation. There was no investigation. The police didn’t allow this neighbor to help this dog or soothe him in any way, no blanket. Nothing. I am still unclear if Harley died before Animal Control arrived 90 minutes later or while he was being transported to wherever Animal Control was going to transport him. Either way, The Denver Police Department allowed this elderly dog of 14 years old to suffer for over 90 minutes without anyone helping him or showing him any love.

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Harley’s Mom Speaks Out…https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1411224285810812&set=vb.1411179439148630&type=3&theater

In another case of cruelty towards an animal, because people spoke out the abuser is now in jail,

http://www.examiner.com/article/man-accused-of-burning-dog-is-behind-bars-and-facing-charges

The PIBBLE March on Washington DC is all about ending abuse and discrimination of pit bulls. ‪#‎realmenlovePIBBLES‬
standupforpits.us

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Filed under adoption, animal abuse, animal communication, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, blog the change, breed specific laws, dog rescue, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, Uncategorized

Dogcott the Olympics

people make all kinds of stupid, mean and unintentionally wrong remarks on Facebook and the Internet, about gay people, about dogs, about pit bulls in particular and more…

I am noticing that people use pit bull when they want to indicate a mean or scary or even a big dog. for instance, one author I read wrote about her friend being able to wrestle a 160 pound pit bull. this was in a book. i wrote to the person and told her that there ain’t no such thing. that pit bulls, aka American Pit Bull Terriers, Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, are average between 40-80 pounds. And to say a 160 pound pit bull makes the dog sound really scary, right. Not good for the breed, thank you very much. She wrote back thanking me and told me that her friend had a chow pit bull mix. Well, a chow can be a big dog. And so can Aussie Shepherds, Labs, Goldens, Rotties and other dog breeds but not pit bull breeds. so if you want to talk about wrestling a DOG, say a dog, or a BIG breed of dog like those mentioned, capiche?

Someone else today wrote about a pit bull tearing apart toilet paper. What that visual was supposed to connote am not sure. But again, why not just a dog or cat tore apart the toilet paper? sounds scarier saying a pit bull and continues the big bad mean myth.

Meanwhile, numerous communities are repealing, overturning and doing away with their breed bans, yay. Mixed bag, right.

Now, what is happening in Russia is a big travesty and people are boycotting the Olympics due to the fact that stray dogs in Sochi are being killed to prepare for the Olympics. They were called disposable waste. Also, Russian treatment of gay people is abominable. And there are other problems going on there, too.

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“In a phone interview with ABC News, Sorokin described the extermination as a public service. He described the animals as “ biological trash” and said that Sochi has “an epidemic of rabies”.

“I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs,” he said.

“The practice of hunting stray dogs has become common in Russia, where they are widely visible throughout many city streets. Sterilisation is not common and many owners simply abandon their pets.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sochi-killing-stray-dogs-in-preparation-for-the-winter-olympics-9105046.html

 

a resscue group is trying to save the dogs that are left.

 

“Hundreds of dogs have already been killed. Authorities have told the organization they have until today, before Friday’s opening ceremonies, and any dogs left will be shot.

“Rescued dogs are being taken to a shelter called PovoDog, outside of the city.  Organization workers say many pets were left behind by families displaced by the construction for the games. And, construction workers attracted the dogs to stick around by feeding them.

“Rescue workers began their efforts this past October. They report up to 300 dogs were being killed a month.

“The Volnoe Deloe rescue is backed by Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska.

Thanks to the New York Times for covering the urgent efforts. Read the full story at NYTimes.com >>

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Filed under animal abuse, bigotry against dogs, boycott, breed specific laws, dogs, dogs around the world, pit bull, prejudice against dogs

Celebrities and pit bulls

beautiful story… we applaud, appreciate and love to hear these tales about celebrities who love their pit bulls and advocate for them. The more that this information gets out into the public arena, the better for us pit bull guardians/advocates and the dogs we love.

http://hollywoodjournal.com/making-a-difference/producing-pit-bulls-and-preconception/20130225/

Last week actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role in the show Sopranos, died of a heart attack in Italy. As people mourn his death, we have been heartened to hear that his last/final film, a crime drama Animal Rescue, is the story of an abandoned pit bull pup rescued from a dumpster. His own dog, a pit bull named Duke, was his companion and it has been said that this film will bring to light the horrors of BSL and awareness to the plight of pit bulls.

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/06/20/james-gandolfinis-final-film-will-feature-a-rescue-pit-bull/

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Chicago Blackhawks player Bryan Bickell (@bbicks29) and wife Amanda (@Caskenette dispel five top myths about pit bulls

chicagolovespits.org

can you believe that anti pit bull haters could be so uninformed to think that this dog is a pit bull???

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Filed under adoption, animal abuse, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, children and dogs, dog friendly, dog rescue, dogs around the world, end dogfighting, pit bull, publicity, Uncategorized

Save money on pet friendly travel

Gas prices may be soaring along with the temperatures but that does not mean that you have to spend a fortune on your summer vacation with Fido. Doing a little research, planning and strategizing ahead of time can save you both time and bucks without pinching too many pennies on safety and for pampering and missing out on all the fun.

Taking Fido with you means that you will start your vacation ahead of the curve by saving kennel and boarding fees ($30+ a night). Create a budget, bank the bucks and keep a reserve on hand just in case.

Book a reservation at a pet friendly venue during the week (Sunday through Thursday) that either does not charge a pet fee, one that charges a refundable fee or one that charges a small fee for the entire stay and for more than one pet, if you have more than one (rather than a daily charge). $10-30 for an entire stay is reasonable. $50 per pet per night is exorbitant. Avoid holidays and weekends when the prices soar. Take advantage of specials such as Very Important Pet Packages that include amenities and pampering activities such as massage, grooming, doggie menu items or spa time.

Booking with chains such as Red Roof Inn or LaQuinta that offer membership discounts, free WIFI and breakfast can also reduce costs. Or an all-inclusive resort may be the best way to go depending upon where you are traveling. Camping is another option for budget friendly outings.

Avoid expensive hotel fees for phone calls and WIFI by making calls on your cell phone, a prepaid cell phone and getting online at the library or other places that offer free WIFI.

Check out the best gas prices online using GasBuddy.com, http://www.gasnearu.com/ , http://www.gaspricewatch.com , http://www.motortrend.com or an app.

If you are a member of AAA, you can have one of their travel experts plan your trip. And you can obtain books with maps and information on your destination(s), including prices, that you can take with you.

Bring snacks, treats and water with you for humans and canines to munch on while traveling to cut down on stops at fast food places and road venues with higher prices. At each of the rest stops, you can easily feed the beasts and walk them.

Plan local dog activities that don’t bite into your budget such as swimming at the beach or lake, visiting dog parks, shopping at pet stores and malls that accept pets, tastings at pet friendly wineries, hiking trails and more. There may also be doggie special events, parades, and /or festivals that you can attend for free or low cost. You might splurge taking a class or two on surfing, agility or doggie yoga.

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If you are renting a car, be sure that it is with a pet friendly car rental place such as Hertz, Avis, Advantage, Dollar, Budget and National. Avoid extra fees for fur by covering up the seats with blankets and sleeping bags and/or put pooch in a kennel. And same goes with the hotel. There is no reason to pay extra hairy fees if/when you are prepared with your own doggie towels, sheets and plastic to cover the furniture. Rinse and wipe muddy / sandy paws outside the room.

 
Having Fido’s favorite bones, toys and chews on hand will also save you from having to pay extra fees for boredom and/or destructive chewing in inappropriate places such as hotel furniture.

Bring Fido’s food with you so that there are no upset tummies to deal with and no extra costs. Even when you eat at pet friendly restaurants (patios), your dog can enjoy their regular meal. The hotel concierge, local visitor bureau and/or pet friendly travel blog (such as Have Dog Blog Will Travel) should be able to provide a list of possible venues where you and Fido can eat together.

Research local doggie daycare and/or pet sitters in case you want to visit amusement parks, castles and/or other local attractions that do not welcome dogs. A few hours without Fido can still be fun without breaking the budget.

If you are traveling with a bully breed or a dog that LOOKS like a pit bull (whatever that means or another banned  breed such as Rottweiler, German Shepherd or Corso), steer clear of places that have strict Breed Specific laws such as Denver and Miami. And be sure the hotel has no breed, weight or size restrictions.

Be prepared for emergencies. Know where the local vet is and the cost of an emergency visit. And pack a first aid kit that can take care of minor incidents and keep Fido pest free. Research local flora and fauna and keep away from the poison ivy, oak, snakes, ticks and other possible bugs that can spoil your vacation.

 You and Fido deserve to have a fun and memorable holiday away from home. Using the tips above, you will be able to relax and enjoy your time together.  

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Who let the pit bulls out?

Below is how to answer fear mongering anti pit bulls pro BSL letters/opinions published in newspapers…  Last week, the Orlando Sentinel published a couple of opinion pieces by noted and discredited pit bull hater Colleen Lynn… all about how safe Orlando will be when pit bulls are banned.

I wrote a letter to Mike Lafferty the Opinion editor and asked if Colleen Lynn should be banned from speaking about pit bulls and suggested that they pick more credible writers and also counter with differing opinions (which to his credit, they did, he informed me).

Here is how the pit bull community responded:

“We all want to live safely, including with dogs. With that purpose in mind, we should adopt policies that have succeeded, and avoid ones that failed.

Breed-specific regulation did not originate with pit bulls. Long Branch, N.J., banned the Spitz in 1878. Massachusetts banned bloodhounds in 1886. Australia prohibited the further importation of German Shepherd dogs in 1929.

None of these breed-specific regulations made communities safer, and all have long since been consigned to the dustbin reserved for government failures.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-front-burner-pit-bulls-con-20130523,0,5330359.story

“…This is how dog attacks happen. A dog is causing problems in a neighborhood, the owners are not responsive, people try to get somebody to do something and the people who are supposed to be addressing these issues (animal control or the police) don’t respond because there is no injured party and the threat to public safety isn’t abundantly obvious until the dog has either hurt someone or is threatening to do so right before the officer’s eyes.

“Today, the Sentinel ran an editorial from noted pit bull hater Colleen Lynn, who runs an organization called DogsBite.org., called “Banning pit bulls saves lives and protects the innocent.” She claims that pit bull bans will help keep communities safer because, in theory, the dogs that she thinks are doing all the biting won’t be around anymore. She cherry-picks a bunch of dubious statistics (for instance, she cites a dated CDC study that looked at dog breeds responsible for dog bites over a period of years that the CDC itself has said really didn’t prove much of anything; they’ve since stopped using breed as a way of categorizing dog bites because they say their findings weren’t really conclusive enough to draw conclusions) and some sensational information (for instance, she says pit bulls don’t let go of what they’re biting until they’re dead – which is why people sometimes say they are “dead game.” That’s a whole lot of malarkey, but also beside my point for now) and concludes that a pit bull ban would keep people from being mauled by dogs.”

http://blogs.orlandoweekly.com/index.php/2013/05/a-response-to-the-editorial-in-todays-sentinel-pit-bull-bans-not-the-answer/

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http://photos.orlandoweekly.com/index.php/80-adorable-pit-bulls-who-want-you-to-know-they-are-family/sony-dsc/

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