Tag Archives: dog trainer

Lennox: a rebuttal

Note:  Please STOP the Karen bashing… I did not write this to gang up on her but to state facts as I saw them and make corrections.  ENOUGH… there are many more important and URGENT issues/dogs lives at stake… for instance, the dog in Canada and UK who will be killed in 24 hours and more… we have to STOP BSL NOW.  Thank you.




Lennoxgate… outcry for investigation of BCC


pls share, everyone tweet the prime minister @number10gov and ask him to investigate the BCC re: Lennox,  be persistent… be factual and professional

if Dispatches receives 1,500 emails or more about Lennox they will look into it .. so here’s the email address dispatches@channel4.co.uk

Rebuttal to Karen Friesecke of DoggieStylish’s blog post about Lennox …plus some new info that has come to light about this case, a copy of the court document, interviews and more…

here is the link to Karen’s blog post…


First, a rebuttal from Maggie Corchnoy who works as a paralegal in the USA

This is a very biased assessment, masquerading as an objective look at the case. As a paralegal, it is part of my job to read through the briefs submitted by our opponents – this is, in essence, the brief for the BCC. She takes the information she wants to bring forward and ignores that which does not support her case. Look, for instance, at the fact that she accepts Tallack’s status as “expert”. In an American court, it is doubtful that Tallack, lacking sufficient background to prove his expertise, would have been qualified to testify as an expert at all, and would certainly not have been permitted to testify in regards to Lennox’s behavior. In his report he acknowledges that he was not asked to assess Lennox’s temperament or behavior, nevertheless he qratuitiously offers his opinion & does so in a very unprofessional way.

The fact that the trial judge gave more weight to an unqualified person’s opinion than to the assessments of two behaviorists with credentials to back up their opinions would have weighed heavily against the judge with an appellate court in the US – it is highly likely that the decision would have been overturned for abuse of judicial discretion. You cannot substitute, willy-nilly, an unqualified opinion for the opinions of qualified experts.

She takes Alexandra Lightfoot’s testimony at face value, despite what has been brought forward outside of the courtroom that raises grave doubts as to the veracity of her testimony. Lightfoot’s behavior in the videos we’ve seen has consistently shown a person who is quite comfortable with this dog whom she testified under oath that she is afraid of. Her posture is relaxed and she frequently looks like she’s not even paying attention to him. This does not square with her testimony in the least, and certainly raises the possibility of perjury. Her behavior towards the family and online also raises questions as to the character of the woman.

Her discussion of the possibility of an exemption is remarkably off-base, as she ignores the behavioral experts’ assessments that Lennox is a safe dog, while the language she uses makes it sound as if they concur that he could not be safely released. “The judges and people who had ACTUAL CONTACT with Lennox could not be satisfied that he would NOT be a threat to public safety”. Both Fisher and Ryan concluded that Lennox was safe and recommended that he be released back to his family. This is a very old tactic – by avoiding mentioning which “people who had actual contact with Lennox” she makes it sound as if it were the united opinion of all concerned that he was dangerous – while completely ignoring the behavioral experts’ findings and recommendations.

She engages in cherry-picking throughout this opinion piece – and make no mistake about it, this is not an unbiased review of the facts, it is one-sided and anything but an assessment of all the facts in evidence. By starting as she does – presenting posts which easily allow her to tar Lennox’s supporters as emotionally-overwrought and credulous, she makes it easy to dismiss us. Note that she does not present a single post in which facts of the case are discussed, but only those that bolster the image she wants to project. Where, for instance, are there any quotes in the introduction from the website? There isn’t a person who deals in litigation that doesn’t know cherry-picking when we see it. Those are some of the easiest opponents to rebuke in a reply brief because we can take the time to go through & point out each & every little bit of misdirection and half-truth. It’s harder to do in a context like this, unfortunately.

One more note on how she cherry-picks & uses misdirection in an attempt to destroy the credibility of those who have supported the Barnes family & Lennox. Read what she wrote about Victoria Stilwell: “The Victoria Stilwell “noise.” Victoria Stilwell NEVER had contact with the dog and has ZERO education credentials from any recognized institutions as a dog behaviorist. She’s barely a dog trainer. I refuse to take dog training/behavior advice from someone who didn’t own a dog until recently and wrote the book Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet”.

Barely a dog trainer? The woman founded a dog-training business, has studied with a number of behavioral experts, has won awards and accolades for her training methods and her personal experience as a trainer. She mentions one of her books, but leaves out the other: It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet. Note how leaving out the first book – a dog-training book – demeans her. Victoria Stilwell has never claimed to have had contact with Lennox. She was asked to assess the evaluation videos & reports of the behaviorists & did so, turning in to the court what amounts to an amicus brief. Her celebrity status has been helpful in bringing attention to the case, which she readily acknowledges, but does not render her opinions any less noteworthy. In fact, I’d venture to suggest, going back to my original post, that while Peter Tallack would most likely not make the grade as a qualified expert, Ms. Stilwell would. So we see bias at work once again – more skillfully applied than some of the other proponents of the BCC have managed, but bias nonetheless.

In addition, regarding the court document…

The decision itself was poorly-written and not supported by the weight of the evidence.

when I’m writing legal documents. I would sink with embarrassment if I turned in a work product as bad as that decision!

Now my rebuttal to Karen...

First, notice that Karen starts off using a quote by Stephen Hawking to bolster her “opinion” as if her opinion is the TRUTH and implies that whatever anyone else’s opinion is or the facts themselves are not true. Tricky way to start off. Anyone who starts off by saying something like that, implying that they and they alone hold the truth and everyone else is ignorant, is flawed from the get go. I trust that Karen has NOT been as intimately involved in this case, has not read the court docs, done a ton of research nor read many different articles, listened to radio and TV interviews, watched videos, all from a variety of sources, as I have done. I could be wrong about that. To me, overall, her piece is a knee jerk reaction. Sorry, Karen.

This clearly is a very volatile issue with lots of people speaking and various opinions on all sides. I am all for people speaking their minds, expressing their opinions and appreciate when people back up their statements with facts. I am as biased as anyone else.  My position is I agree to disagree with everyone. And we can still discuss this rationally, if not objectively. When emotions run high, it takes a lot to bite one’s tongue. And I have been known to run off at the mouth, rant and rave and get on my soap box. But I do not masquerade my opinions and try to pass them off as facts. Stick to the facts, ma’am is usually the best way to go. All of us human beings are flawed and biased. Although I am a reporter/editor, I do not subscribe to and was not taught in J school the myth that journalists are objective. Although we may attempt to present a fair and balanced view, our opinions DO color the facts.

For instance, in my last term of college, I did an independent study of a controversial topic of my choice, abortion. My assignment was to research many different newspapers and to see how the topic was presented. Was there bias or objective journalism going on? I found out through many hours of reading newspapers from many different states that overall, at the time, in the early 80’s, for the most part, whenever pro-choice folks were quoted, they were presented as educated college folks and the article appeared on the front page or first page. However, when the pro life crowd were quoted, the article was on a last page and they were shown to be religious fanatics and nut cases. Perhaps this was coincidence but I think not.

I went to college and studied journalism, became a reporter and have worked as a reporter and editor since the 1980’s, my credentials, by the way.

Moving on.

Peter Tallack, the BCC “expert” is a police dog handler who was paid to testify for the BCC so he was NOT an impartial adviser. He had/has a biased agenda, an ax to grind. Do you believe celebrities or others who are paid spokespeople for a product or your best friend or neighbor who has NO financial stake ???

According to the provisions of the Dangerous Dog Act, Tallack does not have the necessary credentials to be an “expert.” He does not have a college degree.  He also offers opinions that he was not asked for including saying that Ms. Barnes shouldn’t own a dog because of her disability.

Personally, I condemn violence and threats. Victoria Stilwell, who many around the world hold in HIGH esteem due to her professionalism and qualifications as a dog trainer, a person who knows and understands dog behavior and who has worked with ALL types of dogs including aggressive dogs and pit bulls is definitely a credible person. No one paid her to talk about this. No one paid her to take Lennox to America. All you have to do is watch her work  on It’s Me or the Dog and read her books to know that she has integrity and is willing to speak the truth even when she probably should not. She has said that she has received threats by BCC employees and was even sued by Peter Tallack or at least he tried to sue her but he did not actually have a valid case against her.

Her words:

“I do not approve of threats and intimidation being done to anyone on either side and would appeal to those who conduct themselves in such a way to stop – you are not helping matters. But also be aware that those of us who have supported Lennox and the family themselves have also received threats, some from the very people that BCC employ.”

As a government witness for the Belfast City Council, Tallack tried to extort money from Victoria Stilwell.  Peter Tallack was paid by the BCC to condemn Lennox. He also attempted to extort money from The North Country Gazette apparently, threatening to sue and seek an injunction to attempt to stop the news publication from writing about him.

According to Victoria Stilwell’s Facebook page, Tallack tried to extort money from her.

the BCC’s ‘expert’ did try to sue me for speaking out against him and questioning his credentials, and yes, he did expect money from me to settle the dispute. He was not successful because all I did was speak the truth.”

Apparently, a formal complaint against Tallack has been lodged with law enforcement officials.  Read more here:


Karen dismisses the above as rumors. Clearly, they are not rumors.

BCC has a reputation for bullying folks. And now have a campaign against everyone and anyone who is speaking out against what they did to Lennox.  Dogs Today Magazine’s advertisers have been targeted and the company was threatened with calls to the police. For what? For speaking up for Lennox. Gee, all these rumors.


Karen also mentioned Cesar Millan as if he somehow had more qualifications than Sarah Fisher and Victoria Stilwell. He is a man and also a dog trainer. Does that make him more qualified? He also offered to rehome Lennox behind the scenes. He did not say publicly (as far as I know) if he was able to discuss options with the BCC or not). However, his methods of dog training have been condemned by some as being too dominating, even abusive (kicking dogs, pushing them down, etc).

Stilwell is a dog trainer and behaviorist and works with pit bull type dogs all of the time. Many dogs she works with are aggressive, fearful, full of anxiety. I have seen her work with people and their dogs including pit bulls on TV numerous times. Her credentials are years of experience working with all kinds of dogs, some who have actually bitten people. Lennox NEVER bit anyone, was muzzled in public and was a family pet. Victoria arranged for Lennox to be rehomed in the USA in a sanctuary (she does not say which one but presumably Best Friends where the former Vick dogs live. I can say this as having worked there and knowing that this is something that they would do).

Even if Lennox was a dangerous dog there would have been NO danger to the public as Victoria had the transportation all arranged and the people at the sanctuary have years of working with difficult even so-called dangerous dogs and know how to do so safely.

Lennox had offers of sanctuary from some of the best-known dog advocates in the world, Cesar Millan, Victoria Stilwell, Jeff Coltenback, who has a pit bull rescue in New Jersey and has 20 years experience rescuing dogs and working with dogs including pit bulls. Lennox would NOT have been in a public setting and therefore he would not have been a threat to society as Tallack, Lightfoot and the BCC claimed.  Victoria and Jeff never received a reply from the BCC although they both made many phone calls and sent numerous requests.

Employees of the BCC received a memo issued in December, 2010 by an official of the BCC’s Health and Environmental Services Department which told members of the BCC not to discuss the Lennox case at any council meetings.

For the most part, the media in the United Kingdom also did not print articles about Lennox for the two years before Lennox’s death.

Government officials in Northern Ireland and the BCC knew of the situation as they received many many requests for clemency, phone calls and emails and obviously did nothing to stop the execution of an innocent dog.

With the exception of First Minister Peter Robinson who publicly said he did not agree with the court decision to kill Lennox, no government official has publicly addressed the worldwide outcry to save Lennox and requests for mercy from even the Italian government who also offered to rehome Lennox. There also has been no response to requests for an investigation into the BCC.

James Crosby, an expert witness in the US in several State Courts and one Federal District Court on dog aggression, canine behavior, dog assessment and dog attacks has 30 years experience working with truly dangerous dogs, 30  who have actually killed people. His comments:

“Whenever I evaluate an allegedly truly dangerous dog, I wear protective gear (kevlar gloves, etc.). If Lennox was so bad, where was the AC Officer’s protective gear? I used to make my AC Officers wear gloves at least when catching strays….Jim Crosby

for the rest of his comments, read his post (link below) and listen to his interviews (see below)


“Even though the dog wardens claimed Lennox was dangerous, they never muzzled the dog in any of photographs and videos for assessment and evaluation”.  More unanswered questions and evidence at the link below.


If the BCC have nothing to hide, then why wouldn’t they let anyone, including the family, see Lennox before and after his death? why did they not allow the Barnes family a last visit (which they certainly had the authority to do). Once he was dead, Sarah Fisher stated that she offered to take the dead body to the family so that they could bury him but the BCC refused. WHY? What possible danger would he have been to anyone once he was dead? Why have they refused to send the family his body and/or his collar as a keepsake for the young girl??? And why have they refused to COMMUNICATE with anyone in the public responsibly???

another opinion


Lightfoot’s promotion to Animal Welfare Officer


Perjury of Lightfoot

Lets not forget this dog warden shown in the pictures above gave evidence in court under oath stating that Lennox is aggressive, uncontrollable and she is afraid of him. The pictures raise the obvious questions, does this dog warden look at all afraid of Lennox? Does this dog warden look to be afraid of being in the same vicinity as Lennox? Does this dog warden look like she cannot control Lennox? Does Lennox show any signs of aggression toward this dog warden? Everyone can see that Lennox is willing to please and show love toward this warden and for this same warden to stand in court and claim under oath that she is afraid of Lennox is a disgrace to the dog warden service, the Belfast City Council for employing such an untrustworthy person and to the warden herself. The warden can clearly be seen in the picture placing her face up close to Lennox’s face which is not something a normal person would do if they claim they are afraid of a certain dog or claim it is aggressive and they cannot enter the same vicinity as such dog.

The BCC has either ignored phone calls or on the morning of Lennox’s death, they made rude animal noises to people calling and asking if the dog was still alive and hung up on them. And they even lied to at least one person’s face. A woman who was truly concerned and wanting to find out about the fate of the dog called the BCC for info. Two hours AFTER the BCC had released their statement (the woman did not know about this until later), the BCC assured this woman that Lennox was still alive.

What truly disturbs me is the horrible condition Lennox was in when Sarah Fisher met with him. He had NOT been in such terrible shape before when Lennox was with his family. Hair loss, sores on his body,a hurt neck and damaged paw. Were they taking proper care of him as they stated (see below)?


Here are court documents from the case


Some notes/excerpts about the court document…

In several instances they call Alexandra/Sandie Lightfoot… by the names Ms. Whitefoot and Ms. Lightwood…  if they cannot get the names correct, what else is incorrect in this court document? (I used to be a legal secretary and typos are not allowed never mind incorrect names)…at least in the USA this docment would not be acceptable… and inadmissible and certainly not considered a professional court doc.

The dog had a problem with stress and Ms. Barnes admitted that he was bad with strangers but had never bit anyone. She never let the dog near strangers, adults and children. She was willing to comply with muzzling, had insurance. The dog was registered as an American bulldog/Labrador on his license.  (see photocopy below).

Tallack was supposed to measure the dog, that is it. He had no expertise regarding dog behavior. But he said that the dog had a severe personality defect. He is not a dog psych nor a vet. He criticized Sarah Fisher’s methods. He thought that a dog biting a lead/leash as Lennox had was a bad sign (poppycock) and decided that Lennox was an accident waiting to happen… a mature dog fixed in its ways. (The former Vick dogs refute this nonsense completely)…

Sarah Fisher has not had experience with pit bull type dogs in the UK but HAS had experience with these dogs in the USA where they are NOT illegal. Fisher’s assessment started with Lennox being in a van. He was distressed and wanted to stay with Ms. Whitefoot who he clearly had a good relationship with. She clarified her methods, she used a clicker to see if that would upset the dog, introduced and withheld food/treats and tested the dog’s reactions to see if Lennox would react aggressively and he did not. She dropped the lead a couple of times, people walked by and Lennox did NOT attack anyone.

She mentioned his health issues and recommended that he visit a vet surgeon. She said that if the dog was in pain that could make him difficult to handle.  (Was any of this ever addressed by the BCC?)

Fisher then discussed David Ryan’s assessment… the court doc calls him Ramsey instead of Ryan a few times. (again, if they cannot get the names correct in a court document, this is indicative of other errors)…

Ryan noted that the dog could be muzzled and kept in the home of Ms. Barnes. Being in a kennel would be too traumatic for Lennox. More so than other dogs, he said. (Was this ever addressed by the BCC?)

Fisher noted that Lennox could have bit Ryan but did not do so. She concluded that Lennox was a well behaved dog.

There are opinions taken as facts by the court… I was impressed by the evidence of the dog warden… that is the dog’s warden’s opinions were considered facts. It seems according to the court/Judge that the opinions of the dog wardens and paid expert were viable but the real dog experts reports were dismissed.

it goes on talking about the factual evidence of Mr. Tallack which was NOT backed up by any factual evidence, we would call it hearsay.

Mr. Ryan recommended that Lennox go home with the Barnes family.

But then the court says that all of the experts said that Lennox was dangerous. Clearly, this is contradictory and NOT true. Fisher and Ryan said that Lennox should GO HOME.

Then it talks about public safety.

And how the court could not justify allowing Lennox to be in public and be safe according to the experts testimonies. (again ONLY the BCC’s testimony and opinion of the dog warden and Tallack were considered).

and the Judge dismisses the appeal.

Why was the same judge allowed to sit on the bench for appeal? He should have recused himself.

The court decisions in the Lennox case were all  based upon opinions of the BCC.  The decision whether or not he was “dangerous” was not based on facts—it was totally personal and subjective NOT objective.

Both the trial court and appellate court ignored the most important assessment reports from highly qualified dog trainers and behaviorists. David Ryan is listed on the UK’s Registry of Expert Witnesses, certificated as a clinical animal behaviorist by the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior, recognized by both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Psychological Society and is a highly qualified, independent and impartial expert.

But the court instead took the word of  Tallack, a paid witness not an impartial outsider, someone who is known to have a strong dislike of pit bulls, and a person unqualified to give expert testimony.

The government’s response to a Freedom of Information request submitted to the BCC in November 2010 by a family member seeking “the actual conditions in which Lennox is being kept and a full description of the care that the dog is receiving, i.e. human contact, daylight, exercise, stimulation, feeding”, clearly debunks the government’s claim that Lennox was erratic and unsafe and that the staff was scared of him.

JV Corkey, Environmental Health Manager, wrote “Lennox is currently housed in a DARD approved kenneling facility. His pen is cleaned out on a daily basis.  He is fit and health and receives daily exercise.  He has a lot of interaction with the staff of the facility, has plenty of toys, has blankets for bedding and his pen is adequately heated.  He was recently examined by a vet who said that he appeared to be well cared for and settled.”

The First Minister of Northern Ireland saw no reason why Lennox could not be rehomed. Since I do not know how their system works, I don’t know who had the authority to allow Lennox to be rehomed to the USA. But I do know that exceptions and exemptions are allowed in the USA and could have been found IF the government officials wanted to do so.  We were told that the Queen could have offered clemency and that other officials including the BCC officials could have given Lennox a second chance, to be rehomed in the USA, despite their insistence that their hands were tied and that they had to abide by the court’s decision.

The BCC fought for their right to destroy the dog no matter what. They seemed determined to destroy him. For whatever reasons, I do not know. But from all of the work that I personally did learning about the system, talking to people in the UK and Northern Ireland, the BCC could have allowed Lennox to be rehomed IF THEY HAD WANTED TO DO SO.

Interview with BCC “expert”, Victoria Stilwell, Sarah Fisher and James Crosby


James Crosby on BSL


Karen’s call to mobilize the Lennox army???  I laud her being against BSL and for calling for people to take care of pit bulls in the USA. That is all good and fine. She is also calling for Sarah Fisher to release her tape and David Ryan to release his assessment. Um, there are already photos from Sarah Fisher’s assessment as well as a video of Ryan’s assessment with Lightfoot.
Karen, is this your comment or someone who commented on your blog?
“You really do have to laugh at people who claim to be a “journalist” and unbiased and just reporting the facts. Anybody with a computer, internet access and a dictionary can lay claim to the title Journalist in this day and age. But most seem to be lacking that one important quaility; integrity……..Or, in other words, BEGONE TROLL, YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE!”


Filed under animal abuse, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, dogs, dogs around the world, Dogs Deserve Better, end dog racism, legislation against dogs, Lennox, pit bull, politics, prejudice against dogs, Uncategorized

Pit bull fallacies refuted

Strolling through the Internet last night, actually did a Google search on my name, and I found this gem… Someone wrote about me and “pit bulls” regarding a letter/comment I posted last year in a Vail, Colorado newspaper. Apparently, the person who wrote this did NOT do her research so I am here to refute her statements that she has confused with facts.  Just to be clear, when someone says something and even quotes others, does not make the statements fact. A fact is a credible statement backed up by research.

for more info about pit bull myths, go here…


Here is the original article in the Vail paper


here is my response to that article


and below is a letter after what I wrote…

Before I begin, this study is pertinent…

Three MOST aggressive breeds

The number one aggressive breed out of the 33 dogs surveyed? The Dachshund. Yes – the wiener dog. The study found that “one in five dachshunds have bitten or tried to bite strangers, and a similar number have attacked other dogs; one in 12 have snapped at their owners.”

“Number two on the list is an even more diminutive breed – the Chihuahua, while Jack Russells came in third.

“The researchers say that the bite statistics that have been released in recent years are skewed because most dog bites are not reported. Big dog bites are more likely to require medical attention, but this does not mean that those breeds are doing the majority of the biting.”


What she says is highlighted by underlining… my comments are generally below her statements.

Dogged agenda

Who is Celia Sue Hecht? Do you know her? Is she your neighbor? I doubt it. 

She does not live in Eagle County or even Colorado. She lives in California. 

She is a writer and pit bull apologist who trolls the Internet looking for articles, such as the commentary from the Sunday, Dec. 4 Vail Daily by Melanie Pfeiffer about pit bulls. 

I do not apologize for pit bulls nor do I troll the Internet looking for articles. At times, people post articles to my Facebook page and if and when I HAVE TIME and ENERGY to respond to inaccuracies, I do so. And if I were a troll, apparently am not a very good one since it is now five months later. If I were trolling I would have come across her response months ago.

I am not disputing that Hecht has a right to her opinion. Furthermore, I think that the Vail Daily does have an obligation to present both sides to a story. But I do think it is pertinent to note that she is not a member of our community and that she is not unbiased.

Clearly she is a member of the community and is biased based on what she says…

She writes authoritatively in the Vail Daily that, “pit bull is not a breed: American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier and other breeds are all lumped together and called pit bulls.” 

Yet on her own website she writes that her own dog is a Dalmatian and pit bull mix — lumping together her own pet.

Ridiculous… for the sake of brevity on my blog I do not have a long dialogue about how I have not done a DNA test on my dog to determine whether she has American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, bulldog, mastiff, or any of the other 30 breeds routinely lumped together and labeled pit bull dogs in her… so I say she is a Dalmatian/pit bull mix …

Many dog breeds “can” fall under the blanket “pit bull” category.

These include:

•Alano Espanol
•American Pit Bull Terrier
•American Staffordshire Terrier
•Cane Corso
•Cordoba Fighting Dog
•Dogue de Bordeaux
•Japanese Tosa
•Perro de Presa Canario
•Staffordshire Bull Terrier

I challenge Ms. Edwards  to Find the Pit


and I would ask Ms. Edwards 1. how many “pit bulls” she has personally met up close and personal and 2. how many millions of INNOCENT dogs killed would make her feel safe?  as it is, millions of INNOCENT “pit bull” type dogs are slaughtered every year in shelters across the country just because of discrimination against these dogs, stereotypes, ignorance and profiling.

Did you know that the MOST DECORATED dog in military history was a “pit bull” type dog Sergeant Stubby?


and remember, Petey the Little Rascals dog… guess what his breed was?

The substance of her commentary was a Christmas-letter catch-up on how Michael Vick’s dogs are doing.

absurd… the former V dogs are exemplary examples of how “pit bulls” actually are… these DOGS who were abused and traumatized and made to fight for their lives, to some people, are considered to be the meanest, most vicious “pit bull” type dogs and what I pointed out is that “pit bulls” are NOT inherently mean nor vicious by virtue of the FACT that eight of the former V dogs have become therapy dogs and many are living with other dogs, cats and children as family pets.


That they have not have killed another dog or child somehow is proof that we all have it wrong when it comes to pit bulls.

there are no incidents to date of a spayed/neutered indoor family pit bull EVER having killed anyone.

…[S]ince 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attacks on people, including Dachshunds, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever.” (It’s also key to point out that you are more likely to be killed by lightening than a dog, and dog bites are at historic lows.)


Yes, Ms. Hecht is entitled to her opinions, but that does not mean that they have any merit, as she lacks any credentials giving her one iota of credibility. 

She is a dog owner. I mean, pit bull owner.

My credentials:

30 years as a Journalist who knows how and DOES research

5-1/2 years as a dog owner makes me an expert… when I first rescued my dog I was told she was a Dalmatian mix… I knew NOTHING about “pit bulls.”   After many people asked me if she was a “pit bull” I spent HOURS doing research. And found that my dog does indeed have numerous characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier… blocky head, extremely friendly towards people and children, silly and goofy personality, slobberpuss and more.

Observing my dog’s 1,000+ interactions with more than 600 dogs of all breeds (including her play with our neighbor’s dogs, Australian Shepherds, chi mix and mini poodle next door, Siberian Husky and her new doggie pal Harley, a 10 pound Havanese) and farms animals including cows, horses, chickens, sheep, llamas and even Himalayan yaks and elk, and seeing her response to six attacks from other dogs mostly at dog parks (she generally goes into submission, showing off her belly), PLUS intimately living with this dog day and night, sleeping with her, playing with her, putting my fingers in her mouth, watching her with other people, I have NOT seen any signs of aggression… not when a dog had her by the throat, another dog made her eye bleed, and another dog chewed a piece out of her head. On another occasion, for four days, a dog growled and snapped at her continuously and she IGNORED the other dog’s aggression preferring to play with the other dog on the property. One dog trainer told me that she wished HER dog acted so gently and cautiously when meeting a new doggie friend.

So what exactly are YOUR credentials, Ms Edwards, besides living in Vail, being a mother and cat owner?  You don’t say. Hysteria is not a credential, nor is relying on FAULTY  “facts” and fake science that have been disproved time and time again by EXPERTS.

and you also deny 150 years of HISTORY


One dog breed achieved such a rock solid reputation with children that for 150 years it was known as America’s “Nanny Dog”.

temperament testing reveals that pit bulls score gentler than 121 other breeds

Temperament evaluations by the American Temperament Test Society have given pit bull terriers a very high passing rate of 90.6 percent. The average passing rate for the other 121 breeds of dogs in the tests was only a low 77 percent.

The American Temperament Test Society determined that pit bulls were less aggressive in confrontational situations than many stereotypically friendly breeds, scoring 86% in overall ability to interact appropriately in public — versus the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (83%), the Miniature Poodle (78%) and the Old English Sheepdog (77%).

Beyond a dog’s breed, factors that affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression include reproductive status, sex, early experience and socialization/training. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these concerns are well-founded, given that:

  • More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs.
  • An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
  • A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog not chained or tethered.
  • 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on people in 2006 (the most recent year statistics are available) were not spayed/neutered.

What does the science say? (NOTE:  THIS IS NOT NOT NOT SCIENCE)

 “The pit bull’s massive canine jaws can crush a victim with up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch — three times that of a German shepherd or Doberman pinscher” (dogbitelaw.com). “The pit bull is quicker to anger than most dogs. … Pit bulls are frighteningly tenacious; their attacks frequently last for 15 minutes or longer, and nothing — hoses, violent blows or kicks — can easily stop them. That’s because of the third behavioral anomaly: the breed’s remarkable insensitivity to pain” (www.city-journal.org).



Dr. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia wrote:

“The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of pit bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of “locking mechanism” unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.”

A German Shepherd Dog, American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), and Rottweiler were tested using a bite sleeve equipped with a specialized computer instrument to measure bite pressure. The APBT had the least amount of pressure of the 3 dogs tested. (Source: Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic)

“There is no scientific evidence that one kind of dog is more likely than another to injure a human being than any other kind of dog.[i][ii] In fact, there is affirmative evidence to the contrary.[iii]

[i] http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issues/javma_000915_fatalattacks.pdf (Accessed April 27, 2011).

[ii] http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/dogbite-factsheet.html (Accessed April 27, 2011).

[iii] S. Ott, et al, “Is There a Difference? Comparison of Golden Retrievers and Dogs Affected by Breed-Specific Legislation Regarding Aggressive Behavior,” Jrnl of Vet. Beh., 2008, 3, 134-140.


What does an animal behavior expert say? Temple Grandin (from Colorado), writing in her book “Animals in Translation,” notes, “On average, rottweiler’s and pit bulls are so much more aggressive than other breeds that it’s extremely unlikely bad owners alone could account for the higher rate of biting. … Aggression isn’t always the owner’s fault. … Don’t let people tell you that rottweiler or pit bull aggression is a myth. It’s not.”

What do the Centers for Disease Control say? “At least 25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 238 human dog-bite-related fatalities during the past 20 years. Pit bull-type dogs and rottweilers were involved in more than half of these deaths.” 

Lisa Peterson, spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, the AKC is opposed to BSL, which Peterson compares to racial profiling. She says, “When there is an incident in a local area, the reaction is to create a dangerous dog law, and sometimes lawmakers react with breed bans because that breed of dog that was involved in an incident. A law that targets a breed because a single dog was involved in an incident is not a good law.”

a study by the University of Colorado School of Medicine conducted between 2003 and 2008 determined that unsupervised children ages five and younger are at the greatest risk for dog bites, and that family pets, including a high percentage of breeds considered “good” with children such as Labrador retrievers, are the most frequent offenders.

“My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the ’70s they blamed Dobermans, in the ’80s they blamed German shepherds, in the ’90s they blamed the Rottweiler. Now they blame the pit bull.”    Cesar Millan.  “Pit bulls get a bad rap because of irresponsible owners….”

Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer, It’s Me or the Dog

“It’s a Witch Hunt”

Victoria Stilwell on Breed Specific Legislation, “I am a mother. I am also a dog owner and dog trainer who has committed my life to helping people find the most effective, humane and responsible way to live in harmony with their dogs while also affording them the respect they deserve.

…The general concept underpinning BSL is that the most effective way to determine whether or not a certain dog could potentially pose a threat to humans is by classifying and generalizing entire breeds of dogs as ‘dangerous’, regardless of the individual dog’s temperament, behavioral history or owner’s actions.

It continues to confound me that there are still proponents of BSL given both the behavioral science which is now available and the abysmal track record of municipalities that have attempted to curb dog attacks by instituting BSL. We know so much more than we did even 20 years ago about how dogs think, what they feel, how their brains are wired (very similarly to ours, as it turns out), and what could potentially cause them to aggress. Ironically, one of the most commonly found attributes among aggressive dogs is not their breed, but rather a lack of confidence and insecurity. Think of the typical schoolyard bully – is he generally a self-confident kid or one who actually suffers from significant insecurity issues? The same general concept can be applied to dogs.

“Regardless, counties, cities and entire countries around the world continue to turn to BSL policies in a desperate attempt to protect their public from the rising number of serious (and sometimes fatal) dog bites. I share this desire to reduce the number of dog attacks. As a doting mother of a beautiful 7 year old girl, my heart literally breaks every time I hear about another child who has been mauled by the family dog, which is why I have set up a Dog Bite Prevention Task Force to help educate the public about responsible dog handling and safety. The vast majority of fatal dog attacks share one glaring yet often-overlooked characteristic: usually at least one component of the scene is not in its usual environment. Either the dog is staying with the uncle, the grandparents are babysitting for the child, or someone outside their normal circumstance is placed as the primary guardian. The key to avoiding these tragedies is not to make owning certain breeds illegal, but rather to ensure that everyone in charge of dogs and/or children is educated about safe practices and never leaves any dog alone with any child.

“Pit bulls can make great family pets in the hands of a responsible owner

Simply put, any breed of dog can bite, and any breed of dog can make a perfect family pet. Yes, the bigger and stronger the dog, the more damage it is capable of inflicting, although I have seen horrific footage of bite wounds from small dogs such as Jack Russell Terriers and Chihuahuas as well. Which breed of dog was named ‘most aggressive’ in recent scientific studies?  The family Dachshund.

“…Statistics have shown that throughout the world, wherever BSL has been initiated, the number of dog bites has actually increased since the legislation has passed. This is the case in Scotland, England, parts of Canada, certain cities in the US, the Netherlands and beyond. In every single case, dog bites have become more of a problem since governments began banning breeds. What more evidence do we need as a society to realize that BSL is ultimately ineffective, if not also unfair?”


Those breeds do not, however, make up half the dogs owned in America.

Ms. Pfeiffer writes, “I can honestly say that in three out of four cases (dog fights), an American pit bull terrier is involved.”

So what’s my agenda? I live in this community, Arrowhead. I have small children. And I’m, ahem, a cat owner.

Deirdre Noble Edwards


Filed under animal abuse, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, breeds, Dalmatian, dogs, dogs around the world, end dog racism, end dogfighting, keep pets safe, kids and dogs, legislation against dogs, lost dogs book, Michael Vick dogs, pet care, pit bull, prejudice against dogs, Uncategorized

loved world… love the dog you’re with…


just goes to show what giving dogs in shelters some training can do… make them adoptable… and giving prisoners another chance at life…  imagine having a child when you are 13 years old and still a child yourself…


Tamar Geller: The way wolves interact with each other—the way wolves train each other—is extremely different than the way people train dogs. Dogs have a wolf side, they also have a toddler part. You give two kids the same toy, and one of them is taking the toy away and body blocking the other. You see two dogs play, it’s the same thing. Dogs have to assess the pecking order without actually fighting. They need each one in the pack to help in the hunt, so if they hurt each other physically, it’s going to hurt themselves. The one with the control of the resources is the one in charge. I go to homes where people have behavioral problems with dogs, I see toys all over the floor—a free for all. What it means to the dog is that the owner loves them, but he’s not the leader.

You do not want to deal with aggression with force. Challenge [your dog] the way a wolf would, which is playing tug of war. This is the last sequence of the hunt, where they wrestle the animal down on the ground. The one who ends up with the food is the leader of the pack. It’s a game that looks very vicious—but it’s not because it’s got a lot of boundaries. So tug of war, when you follow the rules, can establish that you are the leader of the pack.

My [dog center] is phenomenal. It’s two stories, 6,000 square feet. We have the doggie lounge for the mellow dog upstairs. Downstairs we have the floors and the tunnels and the equipment. It’s so much freakin’ fun. We help a lot of dogs that have been abused by trainers, or not been socialized. They come here and they blossom. They start trusting people again, they start trusting dogs again.

I had to fight animal regulation. It cost me the price of a small house. [They] wanted me to divide dogs by size not by personality. I said, “So what? Because I’m five foot one, less than 100 pounds I’m not allowed to talk with people who are six foot seven?” I got an animal rights lawyer, and I got a political lawyer who helped me to work within the system. And you know what, of course I won.

I hate the word discipline and I hate the word obedience. I believe in manners. Who the heck am I to tell you how to raise your dog? I love dogs, but I tell you what—I love people. I say, “How can I make your relationship with your dog the best it could be? That’s my goal. Not to get your dog to fit into some kind of a box.

We all have the fairy tale. We think, My God! This will be the relationship that will fulfill me—whether it’s your Prince Charming, your brand new baby, or when you’re getting a puppy. When life gives challenges, most people would not give up on their children. Unfortunately a lot of people give up on their dog. I want people to have the reality check of, what does it mean to have any new relationship? You have the ideal, and then it’s going to be real life. You can be the best thing that could ever happen to your dog’s life. Like any relationship, it’s a give and take. We are so lucky that we have the love in us to give to dogs.

Everybody says, “Let’s whisper to our animals.” But what do they have to tell us? Let’s listen to what you, my precious dog, are trying to tell me—as opposed to me coming with blinders on, with agendas. Let’s try, all of us, to listen to our animals. That’s my privilege—the unbelievable privilege—of working with animals.


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Two heroic pit bulls… Dog Jack !

Update: the movie is being played around the country now…




the movie is about a brave heroic pit bull… Dog Jack… plus a deaf pit bull girl named Piglet plays the lead role…  Thanks to the bloggers smartdogs and also terrierman for this story…



Dog Jack! from Piglet’s dog handler/trainer Tracy Doyle…

a link to the film trailer:


the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05222/551360.stm

The film “Dog Jack” is based upon a novel by Florence Biros. The author was inspired to write the story after learning about the dog from the display in the Pittsburgh museum. Other than the exploits of the dog, the story is fictional.Piglet herself became somewhat of a hero, being the first deaf dog in film history to play such a prominent role. In this day and age when pit bull types are subject to increasingly strict legislation and even slaughter, such as is ongoing in Denver, a film like “Dog Jack” which honors a real pit bull hero for the breed type’s characteristic bravery and loyalty is much needed positive press.photo from :



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Filed under all you need is a dog, breeds, dog friendly, dogs, mutts, pit bull, smart dog