Tag Archives: stereotypes

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…

https://celiasue.com/2012/07/27/pit-bull-myths/

Here is the original article in the Vail paper

http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20111204/EDITS/111209954

here is my response to that article

http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20111206/LETTER/111209906

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.”

http://www.dogguide.net/blog/2008/07/the-3-most-aggressive-dog-breeds-revealed-pit-bulls-rottweilers-youll-be-surprised/

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

http://www.pickthepit.com/

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?

http://willmydoghateme.com/pet-cetera/the-dogs-of-war-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.)

http://stubbydog.org/2012/05/pit-bulls-by-the-numbers/

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

http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=1103

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).

http://stubbydog.org/2011/12/yes-pit-bulls-suddenly-snap/

http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/publications/230603563_Pit%20Bull%20Placebo.pdf

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.

http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dogbites/whatisadogbite/

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?”

http://positively.com/2011/04/06/why-bsl-doesnt-work/

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

7 Comments

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

local paper froths at pit bulls

my major pet peeves with pit bulls are:

1. they are bed hogs. has anyone ever written instructions on how to untangle yourself and get out of bed while a pit bull is snuggling on your belly or how to turn over while your dog is cuddling close into you?

2. they slobber all over you… I did not need that french kiss this morning nor the kisses all over my hands, legs and feet. Cici thinks if she kisses me enough I will get up but see the previous pet peeve for why that is not easy for me.

3. they want to kiss and say hello (wag wag wag) to everyone in the neighborhood.

dangerous dogs attacking…waa waa waa… BOL

It just gets tiresome, the same old blah blah blah in the news…

Pit bulls are once again blamed for people’s ignorance, fear and hysteria… the article is pretty balanced but most people won’t read anything but the scary headline…

http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_20064947/pit-bull-attacks-common-animal-control-officers-say

Pit bull attacks common, animal control officers say

Three incidents in one day in Salinas…
oh my god… better run for the hills…

my response:

pit bull bans are being repealed across the USA and world…

https://celiasue.com/2012/02/23/pit-bull-bans-going-bye-bye/

No more pit bull discrimination in Ohio…

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed on the dotted line, making Ohio House Bill 14an official law. HB 14 is a piece of legislation that will create a new and more refined system for defining a dog as potentially dangerous, removing the American Pit Bull Terrier and other “Bully breeds” from the list of automatically “vicious” dogs.

http://dogtime.com/pit-bull-discrimination-ends-in-ohio.html

Michigan and Ontario Canada are in the works, too…

http://www.clickondetroit.com/community/Pit-bulls-removed-from-Mount-Clemens-dangerous-animal-ordinance/-/2207168/8864914/-/ym11q8/-/index.html

Millions of innocent dogs are abused, banned and killed every year because of the way they look, and the heinous discrimination against them.   And the headline in your article feeds into the hysteria, stereotypes and fear. The cruelty visited upon these dogs is caused by irresponsible owners, dog fighters, and unfair stereotypes.

I live in Seaside, am a freelance writer/editor and personally rescued a Dalmatian/pit bull mix a few years ago. For the most part, my neighbors and people love her. But a few strangers fear her for NO reason. She is NOT aggressive and has been attacked by other dogs on several occasions.  Her typical response is to lie down on her back and show her belly (a sign of submission).Yet at times people have the nerve to come up to me and tell me that she is scary. Really?

One time in Border’s, one lady was afraid of my dog (for no reason, we were just walking around the store) and other people started reacting. The fear just spread throughout the store. Suddenly, this man brought his gorgeous 5-year-old blonde haired, blue eyed daughter over and let her pet Cici. Cici licked the girl’s face and wagged her tail. The whole scene changed instantly. I had tears in my eyes I was so grateful and thankful for this angel. Cici loves kids and is so gentle with them. Everyone could see that immediately and the potentially scary situation ended.

Many people have never met a pit bull and could not pick one out of a lineup such as this…

http://www.pickthepit.com/

Pit bulls were bred to be FRIENDLY to people and known as Nanny Dogs for 150 years… and pit bull is not a breed but a bunch of breeds…

No other dogs exemplify the BEST of the breeds known as pit bulls as the former Michael Vick dogs… Eight of these dogs, who were portrayed as the meanest, most vicious dogs of all time, have become therapy dogs. Many have been adopted into loving homes and are living with other dogs, cats, and children. Three of them in Monterey county (one died).

http://www.spcamc.org/rescued-dogs.htm

Some of the tale was told in the Lost Dogs book by Jim Gorant. And thousands of people follow the dogs and their owners daily trials and tribulations on Facebook.

Several of the dogs have made appearances on national TV (Rachael Ray, for one) but mostly the news is filled with hate and fear perpetrated against innocent dogs.

When do news reports tell about how the dogs have been treated by cruel, irresponsible and abusive humans? There is a known high correlation by law enforcement that people that abuse animals also abuse people including children. Yet animal abusers often receive slaps on the wrist instead of jail time and significant fines.

Whenever I read about any of the former Vick dogs what they went through, and I personally met the three dogs here in Monterey, it makes me ill.

For the first few months Cherry slept with his eyes open, a lot of the Vicktory dogs were shut down and trembled with fear/terror, could not eat properly, were terrified of strangers and new situations, Mel cannot bark to this day and many of the dogs were extremely skittish and wanted to find some place to hide. Handsome Dan used to pace and walk in circles because he was so terrified of the world. Even trying to get him to go on a walk would send him running. Oscar was absolutely terrified of people when he first came to Best Friends Sanctuary in 2008 (Note: 22 of the 51 dogs seized from Bad Newz Kennels went to Best Friends, 12 others went to BadRap, three to Monterey SPCA, 3 to Our Pack in SLO and the rest of the dogs were dispersed around the country). When he first showed up at Best Friends from the estate of Michael Vick, Cherry was shut down emotionally, especially when it came to being around people. For Cherry, meeting new people is still not always easy.

http://network.bestfriends.org/groups/pitbullspecialfeature/news/archive/2011/01/31/pittie-city-meet-some-of-the-rescued-dogs-at-best-friends.aspx

Handsome Dan

pit bull owners…

America’s bark off

http://vimeo.com/36256114

Please make a difference and tell THE WHOLE STORY.

Thank you.

hurray BAMBA…bring your pit bull to a walk in Salinas, this Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. It starts at Star Market on Main Street and will end at the National Steinbeck Center.

http://www.kionrightnow.com/story/17051829/pit-bull-owners-organize-rally-to-defend-breed

Pit bull defenders say the breed is no more dangerous than any other big dog and they want to dispel myths construed by police and the media with their Sunday march.

http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/salinas/Pit-bulls-to-march-through-Salinas-on-Sunday/-/5738906/9208958/-/tpmxuc/-/index.html

visit facebook.com/SundaySociaBull

https://www.facebook.com/events/120921821369057/

 

some of this info is correct,some not, the Michael Vick dogs, eight are therapy dogs and many are living in homes… more than 50% ….

http://boldforbullies.tumblr.com/

2 Comments

Filed under badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, breeds, Dalmatian, dog kisses, dogs, family friendly, legislation against dogs, Little Rascals, lost dogs book, media madness, Michael Vick dogs, Monterey, nanny dogs, pit bull, prejudice against dogs, Rachael Ray, racism, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

bias and stereotyping at Target…

Update: Went shopping at Target and looked around the store. MOST of the women in the store shopping and employed there were PLUS size women like me. So why is Target discriminating against PLUS SIZE women? There were two little pitiful racks of clothes, that is the PLUS SIZE WOMEN’s Department???  Slim pickings. No, I do not usually shop for clothes there, but I know that Walmart has an actual Plus Size department with a decent amount of selections. I like to shop at Lane Bryant and other Plus Size Women’s shops. Pie in the Face to Target for their discrimination against REAL WOMEN and dogs.  Real women shop at Lane Bryant and Walmart, not Target.

interesting, cici and I have been going into Target for a few weeks now with no problems. The first time I took her inside, I wondered if they were going to kick us out, but nothing happened. In fact, everyone was friendly towards her. I even took her into the food/supermarket area with no problems. Then yesterday, there was a break in the rain storm and I decided to go to Target to get some food. What a difference !

The first thing I noticed was that there were security people in the store. And one of these was washing a cart. I needed a cart and made the ‘mistake’ of asking her for one, since she was sort of in the way of my getting a cart to begin with. This apparently was annoying to her since she was too ‘busy’ than dealing with customers. So, then she busts me on having Cici in the store. And I ignored her, so she brought out the manager of the store and others who came out and told me that I could not bring Cici into the store (I was already down the aisle towards the food). I told them all that I’d been in the store numerous times with no problems and that I was not going to walk all the way back to the door/outside and leave my dog there. And that she’s a service dog. Finally, this one woman agreed to watch cici while I shopped quickly. What was also interesting was the manager said that they are not allowed to have PIT BULLS in the store, that they could get fined. Not dogs, but PIT BULLS in a store that has a dog that looks like a Pit Bull in their ADS !

when I was finished shopping in a hurry, forgetting some items that I needed, I might add, and checked out, the woman who was holding onto cici told me that cici terrorized some children in the store. sheeesh… cici LOVES children and has NEVER hurt anyone…

cici played with this dog that usually is mean to other dogs the other day… the owner was surprised that her dog was playing with cici saying that her dog NEVER plays with strange dogs.

so now that the narrowminded people at Target have shown me their dark side, am I going shopping there ever again???? not sure. Will definitely complain to their corporate people and see what happens and let you know.

For a company that has a mascot dog in their ads that looks like an American staffie/pit bull, they should educate their employees about these dogs, don’t you think.

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8 Comments

Filed under bigotry against dogs, end dog racism, pit bull, prejudice against dogs