Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pit bull advocacy is STILL trying to fix the problem from the wrong end. Art and pit bulls.

This started out to be an item in the next Pit Bull Roundup but it took on a life of its own.

In a story that only makes sense coming from the Toledo Blade.  Breed specific advocates are lobbying the Fulton county Commissioners to re-think their policy on pit bulls being released from the Fulton County Dog Pound. So far the Fulton County Commissioners are not buying it.

The policy in Fulton County is that pit bull dogs not claimed by their owner are euthanized.  Given the numbers of pit bulls implicated in maulings and fatal attacks the policy makes sense.  Huge financial risk to the community is to be avoided. Those who claim to love the breed blather on about "it's all in how you raise 'em" but fail to acknowledge that the pit bulls in shelters are strays or owner surrenders.  Nobody has any idea how these dogs were raised and to place these dogs directly or to release them to rescues who will hand the pit bulls to anyone with a pulse is a policy that will get the county sued in the event of a serious or fatal mauling. Please click on this link for a photo of a pit bull advocate dramatically holding a hand written demand for an end to "discrimination" at the Fulton County Dog Pound in order to create a "safer community."    Pit bull advocates are unable to state exactly how releasing stray dogs with no known background, uninsured, un-microchipped, to the public will create a safe community.  All this hoopla is created over the humane euthanization of just FIVE dogs.

A candlelight vigil was held on September 27th, there is a link to photos of the event.   Don't miss the dramatic photo of Ohio's breed specific advocate, Jean Keating,  reading the names of the unjustly killed five pit bulls.  How long could that take?  Is it worth turning the car off and putting your car keys in your pocket? The Toledo Blade has provided multiple photos of those in attendance and guess what?  A great many of those in attendance do not live in Fulton County Ohio including Ms. Keating.  Ms. Keating is particularly upset that a young stray pit bull was humanely euthanized in Fulton County. Here is her quote “The killing of healthy puppies can’t be tolerated,” Ms. Keating said. “It’s unconscionable and cruel.”  Here is a link to video of a much less humane death, a puppy killed by pit bulls.  It is unpleasant to watch but it is reality in American  communities  Keating does not deal with the numbers of puppies, young and healthy pets, beloved senior pets killed in full view of their screaming owners by pit bulls every day across the United States..

There were no victims protesting the Fulton County candlelight vigil.

A peaceful candlelight vigil over FIVE pit bulls. Contrast this with the response of organized pit bull advocates to an art competition entry in Michigan.  The piece was called "Out of the Blue." It was a memorial to the Americans mauled to death by dogs so far in 2014  The piece was made up of crosses,  over 30 of them, each one memorializing a victim of a fatal dog attack just this year.  The piece was not breed specific, all dog attack fatalities were memorialized.
    Image description
The public was intrigued. Most people have no idea how many dog bite related fatalities there are in any given year. Interestingly, fair minded pit bull owners admit that everything shown by this exhibit is true.

 Pit bull advocates immediately organized a protest and demanded that this exhibit entry be removed because pit bulls were over represented.
Photo: Pit Bull owners and their dogs block the memorial for victims of dangerous dogs. Family of victims were afraid to attend for fear of being attacked and reoccurring PTSD issues. Six year old (pit bull attack survivor) Kaylie Baker Foster was forced to cancel her trip to this event for obvious reasons.It is so cruel and sad because this is such a healing event for survivors and family of victims to honor those who did not survive. The attack on pit bull survivor/victims is never over.

This is a photo taken of the protest taken by the artist.  The public was unable to approach or even see the display, the view was blocked by the very breed of dog "over represented".  Victims of pit bull attacks, many of them with PTSD were unable to tolerate contact with the dog and went home without seeing the entry. Below is another protest photo.  Don't they look proud of themselves?

Photo: pure evil

One of the pit bull owners protesting Out of the Blue was Rachel Jensen, a Kent County Animal Control officer. Below is a photo of the grinning Jensen with her pit bull, her friends and their pit bulls  They are posing gaily in front of a memorial to Americans killed by dogs this year, most by pit bulls.  Does this seem appropriate?  Please note the admission by Jensen's friend Emily Sanders(to Jensen's right in the photo) that they removed material provided by the artist and replaced it with flyers on "Make Michigan Next" an effort by pit bull advocates to deny home rule rights to Michigan communities with pit bull regulations, or considering regulating pit bulls.

Jensen is hip deep in the effort to deny Michigan residents their home rule rights.  Click here for the official "Make Michigan Next" rally video.  Jensen is a featured speaker and she appears at 35 minutes into the video.  Jensen makes an emotional but light on fact fact speech.  She talks about impounded pit bulls like that is the fault of local law.  When BSL is passed dogs already in the community are grandfathered if the owner meets requirements for keeping the dog. Usually these requirements are simple registration, possible insurance, possible microchipping. She has not considered that a dog owner who obtains a banned breed dog after regulations are passed has doomed their own pet. This is not the fault of the law but is a deliberate choice on the part of the owner.  Jensen talks about identification problems (for more on pit bull identification please click on this link.  ASPCA volunteers correctly identified pit bulls 96% of the time.  The only people unable to identify pit bulls are apparently pit bull owners, but I digress) and goes on to talk about DNA tests that may or may not have been done on the dogs.  Surely she is aware that the makers of dog DNA tests do not include pit bull DNA in the data base.  This is clearly stated on the Mars Wisdom Panel website.  Here is a link to the breed library.  You could test every dog at a Pit Pride Parade and not get a single positive. Jensen shows a photo of her self-declared pit bulls. Her dogs would not test positive either. Jensen tearfully talks about the pit bulls that are "victims of BSL" and goes on to
encourage those in attendance to go home and hug their dogs because the "victims of BSL do not have that luxury."   Families of those memorialized by Out of the Blue do not have the luxury of hugging their children, parents, spouses.  Owners of pets and livestock killed by pit bulls don't have that luxury either but the victims did not chose this.

Jensen is now the center of a controversy.  There have been strong concerns about her ability to do her job in an impartial manner.  So far the Kent County administration is defending Jensen's actions despite calls for her dismissal.   Here is the opinion of noted attorney Kenneth Phillips.  He begins with "Kent County must immediately fire -- not defend -- the animal control officer who showed support for pro-pit bull demonstrators who protested an art exhibit that memorialized people killed by dogs. His or her actions showed bias against dog bite victims. The fact that the police did not arrest any of the demonstrators does not excuse the officer's conduct. To promote confidence in law enforcement, officers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety whenever possible." 

Barbara Kay, Canadian journalist writes about Jensen as well.  "However legal Ms Jensen’s behavior was, it was also psychological abuse of her own, so to speak, clients. I therefore deplore in the strongest possible terms the evasive bureaucratise employed to deflect attention from this irreducible fact. Ms Jensen is not just another member of the public. She represents a government department supported on public monies. Her job requires her to maintain scrupulous objectivity in canine-related crises.

Jensen is not the only protester feeling the heat. This proud protester is offering his weapon dog for sale the day after the Art Prize competition ended and just two weeks after the protest.  He appears dead center in the group photo, and facing the ledge in the first protest photo placing his pit bull on the ledge in front of the crosses. It has been suggested that his landlord may have seen the photos and ordered the dog out. Sometimes going public has its risks.


Here is a link to video of another "responsible pit bull owner" telling a reporter that Out of the Blue is not appropriate for the Art Prize competition, while he has placed his pit bull on the ledge in front ot the crosses.  Appropriate?

                                                              * * *

We have two events that memorialize the dead.  One memorializing dogs was held peacefully. One memorializing humans killed by dogs was turned into a sideshow by breed specific advocates seeking to suppress truth.  Here is a hint for those who are insulted to see their dogs "over represented" at a memorial for Americans killed by dogs - stop letting your dogs kill people.

I'm going to end with one final link.  Please pay your respects to the dead. You might want a kleenex.