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Tag: bait dog

Nevada anti-breed discrimination law signed


A pit bull who was seized from a notorious dogfighting operation in Virginia, rehabilitated in Utah, and adopted by a couple in Texas helped make the case for a new law in Nevada that prohibits local governments from enacting and enforcing regulations that deem a dog dangerous based solely on its breed.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the anti-breed discrimination law this week, and it takes effect Oct. 1, 2013.

Assembly Bill 110, which was sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall and spearheaded Best Friends Animal Society, also got a push from our friend Mel, the former Michael Vick dog who now lives in Dallas. Richard Hunter, Mel’s new owner, testified before the Nevada Senate to show support.

“Best Friends is proud that Nevada has taken steps to prevent breed discrimination,” said Ledy VanKavage said, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends. “Every American who follows the right safety rules as a responsible dog owner should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose.”

Nevada is the the 14th state to pass a law preventing breed discrimination, Best Friends said.

“Assembly Bill 110 bans breed discriminatory laws from being enacted anywhere in Nevada,” said Assemblyman Ohrenschall.

He added, “I’m confident that this law will benefit dogs, dog owners and animal lovers throughout our great state. It has always been bad public policy to enact ordinances that target a certain breed of dog without considering that individual dog’s actions.  I’m proud of sponsoring this legislation because it will help keep our innocent friends from being killed needlessly and senselessly.”

Best Friends received and rehabilitated most of the dogs seized from the dogfighting operation at Michael Vick’s former estate in Virginia, including Mel, who was believed to have been used as a bait dog.

“Our fundamental goal is to achieve safe and humane communities. We want our communities to be protected against dangerous dogs – and we want abused dogs to be protected from irresponsible owners,” VanKavage said. “Because everyone benefits from a safe society – both people and pets.”

Studies done in countries with breed-discriminatory laws, such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany, found that these laws didn’t reduce the number of dog bites or improve public safety. Based on these studies, and concerns about due process and property rights infringement, the American Bar Association, the National Animal Control Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association don’t support breed discrimination, Best Friends said in a press release.

“They support laws that go after the real problem–the behavior of the individual dog and the behavior of the reckless owner.”

Through its national pit bull initiatives, Best Friends Animal Society encourages state and municipal governments to adopt breed-neutral “dangerous dog” laws that focus on the key causes of dog aggression—owners’ failure to spay or neuter, train and socialize dogs regardless of breed, or because they abuse or neglect dogs or force them to live on chains.

(Photo: John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)

Did the scent of sizzling bacon draw missing pit bull puppy back to her foster home?

A pit bull puppy, still recovering from being abused by dogfighters, ran off from her foster home in New Jersey, but she was apparently drawn back by the smell of bacon.

Or it could have been the love.

Misty, only nine months old, was found on a Brooklyn street corner earlier this month, covered in wounds and bites from being used as a bait dog.

She was placed in a city shelter, then pulled by Second Chance Rescue, which moved her into a foster home. On Friday, she escaped from the backyard of that home.

Friends and neighbors joined in on the weekend-long search. Thousands of flyers were posted, and a $2,000 reward was offered. More than $4,500 was quickly raised to help in the search, and more than 14,000 people had, by Monday, “liked” her Facebook page.

But it was bacon — not social media — that apparently led to her safe return.

“The whole thing is unbelievable,” Misty’s foster mom, Erin Early-Hamilton, told NJ.com.

When someone suggested slapping some bacon on the backyard grill to lure the dog home, Early-Hamilton — despite being a vegan — was willing to give it a try.

She was sitting in a chair, and her husband was at the grill, when Misty came wandering home around 2 p.m. Monday.

(Photo: Facebook)

Vick dog gets key to the city of Dallas

Earlier this year, Michael Vick was given the key to the city of Dallas.

Now, Mel, one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, has one, too.

As for who’s more deserving, well, you know how I feel.

Those of you who follow Travels with Ace may remember our meeting with Mel in Dallas last July.

Mel was only about a year old when he was seized from the Vick estate and dogfighting operation  in Virginia, where he was believed to have been used as a bait dog. He was one of 47 survivors, and one of the 22 who, deemed most hopeless, were sent to Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in southern Utah.

After spending nearly two years at the Utah animal sanctuary, Mel was adopted by Richard Hunter, a Dallas radio personality and his wife Sunny, manager of VIP services for a swanky gentlemen’s club called The Lodge.

When our travels took us through Texas we met up with Hunter and Mel, joining them for a ride around town because Mel seems most comfortable in the car. Ace piled in the back seat with Mel and the Hunter’s older dog, Pumpkin.

The next time we heard from Richard Hunter, was in February, after he confronted Vick during a Dallas appearance.

Hunter, one of many who were outraged that Vick was being presented a key to the city by interim Mayor Dwaine Caraway, got as close as he could to him and offered him a chance to see his former dog Mel. Vick didn’t take him up on the offer and Hunter was shoved away by the quarterback’s entourage.

Now we get word that, over the weekend, Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt surprised  Hunter by presenting him the John LaBella Award at an Eastlake Pet Orphanage banquet — and presenting Mel with a key to the city.

During the presentation, the Dallas Morning News reports, Hunt had some choice words for Caraway.

“One of my colleagues in the city of Dallas showed a grave lapse in judgment by awarding the highest honor our city an bestow – our key to the city – on someone who was entirely undeserving and someone who has shown serious cruelty and inhumanity,” she said.

Hunt then awarded Mel with a key to the city — an edible one no less.

Dolly the pit bull

Dolly, a Florida pit bull, was a stray when she arrived at Seminole County Animal Control in 2009. She was adopted, but the ending wasn’t happy.

She was returned to the shelter earlier this year — with cuts, scrapes and scars.

The owner said Dolly was starting fights with his other dogs, but animal control thinks Dolly was being used as a “bait dog” in a dogfighting operation, according to TV station WESH.

Now Dolly’s wounds have healed, and Erica Daniel, the shelter worker who intended to foster her, has decided to keep her. Erica also made the video that’s above.

Dolly also has a Facebook page.

Trooper, the DC dumpster dog, nears adoption

Trooper, the pit bull found bleeding, duct taped in a bag and left for dead in a Washington D.C. dumpster in August, continues to recuperate and will soon be available for adoption.

“She’s nearing the completion of her rehabilitation and we anticipate she’ll be entering an adoption program real soon,” Scott Giacoppo of the Washington Humane Society told the Washington City Paper.

A resident of an apartment building in southeast Washington was throwing her trash into a dumpster when she found the dog, sticking her head out of a bag. The Washington Humane Society took the dog to Friendship Hospital for Animals, where she was treated.

Investigators believe Trooper was used as a “bait” animal by dogfighters.

After surgeries and treatment, Trooper left the hospital in October (when the report above appeared), for months of therapy at a facility that specializes in the emotional rehabilitation of abused animals.

The Washington Humane Society is still offering a $1500 reward for anyone who has information leading to an arrest in the case.

Things are looking up for Hector

Dave and Debbie Adams, who opened their home to Hector — the homeless, toothless, but far from  hopeless American Eskimo dog we introduced you to last week — have filed an update on how he’s adjusting to his new long-term foster home.

From all indications, Hector is getting stronger, more emotionally secure and bonding well with his new family, including Jack, the family’s Jack Russell mix. Here’s what Dave says:

Hector continues to improve. We have seen a physical improvement as far as his back legs getting stronger. When we first brought him home there was difficulty getting up on the sofa. Since then we notice he is able to jump up on his own.

There is an emotional improvement as well. He has become more at ease with the environment as well with his want to be close. Last night for instance Debbie left the bedroom and closed the door behind her and I noticed that Hector waited at the door for her to return (he’s becoming a mama’s boy).

We purchased a new doggie pillow for him to lay on. Debbie and I laid on the floor and called him over to it and he laid on it and licked my face as if to say “Thanks”. This morning we left Jack and Hector at the house and went out for breakfast …  When we returned Jack was there to greet us like he always does by jumping up and down, but then for the first time Hector jumped on me standing on his hind legs as if to say “Hi Dad”.

So far this has been a great experience for us and we are appreciative for the opportunity to put love back into Hector’s life.

Dave

Healing Hector

It may not take a village to save a dog, but the more people that pitch in, the easier it is.

Take Hector. His headed-for-a-happy-ending story is the kind that happens thousands of times a day. At it’s simplest, it’s merely a matter of well-intentioned people communicating. But when you take a closer look, it’s amazing, and a little inspiring, how many people can get involved to save one dog.

First, in Hector’s case, came the animal control officers who swooped him up.

Found wandering at a Baltimore park, Hector — believed to be, beneath all his scraggliness, an American Eskimo dog — was taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where staff and volunteers cared for him, gave him a name, arranged to have him neutered, and assessed his temperament and condition. The former was fine. The latter needed some work.

Hector was not just underweight. He was toothless.

He showed no other apparent injuries, but some suspect Hector, because his teeth appear to have been pulled, might have been used as a “bait dog” by dogfighters. Because the wounds in his mouth were still open, and subject to infection, Hector was taken to veterinarian Marcella Bonner, of Swan Park Animal Hospital.

She tried to repair his gums, but the holes were too big. Hector probably needs a specialist, and even then — once the holes in his gums are healed — isn’t likely to be gnawing any bones.

Hector was returned to BARCS, but, because of his medical problems and his less than stellar appearance, he was an unlikely candidate for adoption — the only alternative to which is to end up on the PTS (put to sleep) list.

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