Tag: breed ban
Jim Sak, the retired Chicago cop and stroke victim who the town of Aurelia said couldn’t keep his service dog, is getting Snickers back — likely today.
Northern Iowa District Court has granted the motion for a preliminary injunction allowing the dog to come back to town.
Snickers had been banned from the city limits earlier this month because he was a pit bull, and Sak had benn boarding him at a kennel outside town.
The city council of of Aurelia had voted that Sak, though he depended on the dog to help cope with the effects of his stroke, should not be allowed to keep his dog because it was a violation of its breed ban. The city threatened to seize and kill the dog if it remained.
During a two-hour hearing today, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ruled Snickers was an exception to the citywide ban because Sak uses a wheelchair and depends on the service dog.
According to Kim Wolf, Animal Farm Foundation community engagement specialist, Snickers will be returned to Sak’s residence later this afternoon.
Wolf said many came to the hearing to support Sak and Snickers, including strangers who drove hours to be there
“Animal Farm Foundation is thrilled that Officer Sak will be reunited with his service dog, Snickers, and his safety will no longer be compromised,” Wolf said. “This case is a sad example of what happens when cities discriminate against dogs based on breed or appearance.”
“Today I got my peace of mind back,” Sak said after the hearing. “I hope that nobody else has to go through what we went through.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, breed ban, breed-specific, dogs, exception, hearing, injunction, iowa, jim sak, judge mark bennett, keep, pets, pit bull, pitbull, pitbulls, return, returned, ruled, ruling, service dog, snickers, u.s. district court
FOR AN UPDATE on this story, go here:
Some new developments are possible today in the case of that retired Chicago police officer who made the mistake of moving to Aurelia, Iowa.
James Sak, a Vietnam veteran who spent 32 years with the Chicago Police Department, and recently moved to Iowa after suffering a disabling stroke, was told earlier this month that his service dog, because he’s a pit bull, isn’t allowed to live in town.
Today, there’s a hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction, ordering the city to allow Sak to get Snickers back.
Sak moved the dog to a kennel outside of town after the city told him that failure to comply with its orders would result in the dog being seized and killed.
The Animal Farm Foundation, which is paying for the boarding of Snickers and helped Sak line up legal representation, says the city’s actions violate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
The Animal Farm Foundation put together the video above about the case.
The request for an injunction was filed last week, and the hearing is today at United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, 320 Sixth Street, in Sioux City. It starts at 9 a.m. (central time) in the 3rd Floor Courtroom.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, breed ban, breed-specific, chicago, court, dog, dogs, iowa, james sak, laws, pets, pit bull, pitbull, policeman, retired, service dog, sioux city, snickers, united states district court, vietnam vet
For 32 years after that, he served the city of Chicago as a tactical officer in the police department.
Last month, the retired cop moved to the small town of Aurelia, Iowa, to help serve his ailing 87-year-old mother in law.
And here’s what Aurelia, Iowa, has served him: Notice that his service dog, who helps him cope with the effects of a stroke, can’t live there.
The 65-year-old disabled veteran has shipped Snickers to a kennel outside of town after city officials threatened to seize and destroy the dog, a five-year-old — you guessed it — pit bull.
Days after moving into their new home, Sak and his wife were summoned to a town council meeting after a group of citizens circulated a petition calling for the dog to be removed from city limits.
The council voted December 14 to prohibit the dog from residing within Aurelia city limits — a move the Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) says, despite a local breed ban, violates 2010 guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Justice on breed limitations for service dogs.
Attorneys representing AFF filed a request for a preliminary injunction earlier today, asking a judge to order Snickers immediately be returned to Sak. An expedited hearing was requested, and AFF says it hopes to see Snickers back with Sak by Christmas.
AFF maintains that, because Snickers works as a service animal for a disabled person, the dog is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and should not be subject to the breed ban.
The Department of Justice said last year it “does not believe that it is either appropriate or consistent with the ADA to defer to local laws that prohibit certain breeds of dogs based on local concerns that these breeds may have a history of unprovoked aggression or attacks.”
Snickers has no history of aggression or nuisance complaints, the AFF says.
In 2008, Sak suffered a stroke that left him unable to use the right side of his body, and in a wheelchair.
For two years Sak worked with Aileen Eviota, a physical therapist with the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, to learn to live more independently through the use of a service dog.
“Snickers has been individually trained to assist James with tasks which mitigate his disability, including walking, balance, and retrieving items around the house,” Eviota wrote in a letter to the Aurelia Town Council dated December 2, 2011.
The Animal Farm Foundation says it has hired an attorney to represent the Sak family and is paying to board the dog at the out-of-town kennel.
“It’s about the injustice of this man having his service dog taken away — this man who is a Vietnam War veteran and a retired Chicago police officer who has always given back to the community,” said executive director Stacy Coleman.
“This town has taken away this man’s independence, his peace of mind, and his freedom to move about his house, go out in public and keep from having to go to a nursing home with 24-hour care. He’s physically in danger without his dog.”
Aurelia passed its breed specific ban in March of 2008, after a meter reader was bitten by a pit bull, according to the Chicago Sun-Times
Peggy Leifer, Jim’s wife, told the Sun-Times she and her husband weren’t aware of the ban when they moved, and that she’s “appalled and embarrassed by the town I grew up in…They have made our lives a living hell since we got here.”
“They called us to a city council meeting Dec. 14 and voted 3 to 2 to make no exceptions. I had to get him out of the house by the next day. That dog has never been away from us a night in his life. He’s the sweetest, most good-natured dog you’d ever want to meet,” Peggy Sak said.
“I lost my helper,” Jim Sak said. “I’m not looking for special treatment, I just want to be safe, and I need my service dog for that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ada, americans with disablities act, animal farm foundation, animals, aurelia, breed ban, breed-specific, chicago, cop, council, destroy, disabilities, disabled, dogs, filed, injunction, iowa, jim sak, justice department, officer, pets, pit bull, police, retired, seize, service, service dog, snickers, sought, stroke, threats, town, veteran, victim, vietnam
“I would almost like to see, and I know this is very controversial, to see the city take a stand where they try to prohibit specific breeds,” Chief Joe Massey said.
Massey told WABI that statistics show most attacks happen in victim’s homes and that “the top three biters according to their study are pit bulls, german shepherds and Rottweilers.”
Either Massey didn’t say — or WABI failed to report — whose study he was basing his statements on, as is often the case when breed bans start to blossom.
“In this particular case, where a two-year-old was bitten, a significant portion of his cheek is gone,” Massey said. “I mean gone! It’s appalling.”
The boy had surgery and is now recovering at home. The dog, who earlier bit a 6-year-old boy, has been euthanized.
Paula Mitchell, executive director of the Waterville Humane Society, said she didn’t agree with idea of a ban. But the humane society does refuse to place pit bulls in homes where there are children under 12.
“People should do their research before they buy dogs,” the police chief said. “They should research them and particularly if they’re going to get a dog that’s already grown.”
The chief’s statistics, we can only guess, come from a CDC report on fatal dog bites between 1979 and 1998, which showed “pit bull types” as the breed responsible for most fatalities.
We won’t go into all of that study’s flaws — not the least of which is that pit bull isn’t a breed but a catch-all category that includes numerous breeds and mixes thereof.
As the CDC itself says about the study: ”It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic.”
Most politicians don’t read the small print, though. They’re too busy spreading fear.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bite, biters, bites, breed ban, cdc, dog, dogs, fatal, german shepherds, joe massey, maine, pets, pit bull, police chief, research, rottweilers, study, waterville
Of 85 dogs in South Carolina that belong to the three breeds banned from Marine housing, only two proved to be potentially dangerous when tested by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
As a result, the other 83 were granted exemptions from the Marine’s worldwide breed ban and will be allowed to continue to reside at Marine bases until 2012.
The Marines this year banned pit bulls, Rottweilers and canine-wolf mixes because their “dominant traits of aggression present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of personnel.” But owners who can show through assessments that their dogs aren’t dangerous may get waivers and keep them on bases through 2012.
Of the 85 dogs assessed by the ASPCA, two will have to leave base housing, according to the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. Two others showed aggressive tendencies but one will work with a trainer and another will be neutered.
The breed ban came after a 3-year-old boy was fatally attacked by a pit bull at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The pets at the Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Beaufort Naval Hospital were assessed by experts from the ASPCA during three days of tests this week.
The tests seemed to confirm what most of us already know — breed-specific rules and legislation are sheer folly.
“We believe breed bans cannot be effective because of this. We found some really great animals and families,” ASPCA animal behavior expert Emily Weiss said. “We don’t think it’s a breed issue. We think it’s an individual behavior issue and what we saw at the base verifies that.”
Capt. Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman, noting what happened at Camp Lejeune, said “having one dog who would do that is not an acceptable risk from our point of view.”
Pet owners at other Marine bases can have their dogs assessed by veterinarians.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aspca, assessments, bans, bases, breed, breed ban, breed-specific, dangerous, exemptions, marines, pit bulls, rottweilers, south carolina, temperament, testing, tests, wolf hybrids
It took a DNA test to prove it, but Angie Cartwright — who lives in a town that bans pit bulls — has certified that her dog Lucey is only 12 percent bully breeds, and now she has her back.
Lucey had never bitten anyone; nor had she ever acted aggressively, according to the Salina Journal in Kansas. But she was scooped up by animal control officers.
The officers explained that they were taking Lucey to a veterinarian for a breed check — a professional opinion (meaning veterinarian’s guess) to determine Lucey’s breed.
Since 2005, Salina has had a ban on owning unregistered pit bulls and mixed breeds that are predominantly pit bull.
Cartwright got approval to have her vet conduct DNA breed analysis test, ther results of which led to the return of her dog.
The blood test found that a minor amount of Lucey’s DNA came from Staffordshire bull terrier genes — just over 12 percent.
“Maybe this can save someone’s animal, hopefully,” Cartwright said. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angie cartwright, animal control, breed, breed ban, breed specific legislation, bsl, bully breeds, dna, dog, dogs, genes, genetic, kansas, lucey, mars veterinary, mixed breed, news, pit bull, recovered, recovers, register, salina, seized, shelter, taken, test, wisdom panel
Add the Marines to the list of military branches banning “dangerous” dog breeds from some of their bases — most recently Camp Lejuene in North Carolina.
Nearly a year after a 3-year-old boy was killed by a visiting pit bull at Camp Lejeune, the base has changed its pet policy to ban full or mixed breeds of pit bull or Rottweiler, wolf hybrids, “any dog of any breed with traits of aggression as determined by the base veterinarian,” and any dog with a record of vicious behavior, according to a base spokesman.
A Pentagon memo issued earlier this year bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and chows from living on Army bases. The Air Force also has enacted a breed-selective policy and the Navy is expected to do the same.
The change at Camp Lejeune follows the death of Julian Slack last May, according to a letter written by Camp Lejeune’s commanding officer Col. Rich Flatau. At the time of the attack, no specific breeds of dogs were forbidden on base, though animals deemed vicious were not allowed to stay, according to the Jacksonville Daily News.
In a letter distributed to family housing residents, Flatau said the breed choices chosen for the ban were based on ”a significant body of empirical evidence indicating they are apt to violent behavior, often unpredictable and have the capability to inflict severe harm or death.”
(Clearly, the Marines would never tolerate that kind of behavior.)
Camp Pendleton in California limits the number of dogs or cats residents can have, though no particular breeds of dogs are banned. Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia, bans “potentially dangerous dogs such as full or mixed breeds of pit bulls (Stafford Bull Terrier, America Staffordshire Terrier and other similar breeds).”
The revised order also will apply to dogs brought aboard the base by visitors, Flatau wrote in his letter.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air force, army, base, breed ban, breed-specific, camp, camp lejeune, dangerous dogs, dogs, marines, memo, military, navy, order, orders, pentagon, pit bulls, vicious
What was her senior project is now a nearly-finished product — a documentary that looks at pit bulls and the people who love and defend them.
The film explores the factors behind the public’s fear of pit bulls and examines the conflict existing between advocates and opponents of breed specific legislation. It also investigates the myths associated with the breed and asks the question, “What exactly is a pit bull”?
To see a trailer, click here.
Sherrill left an eight-year career with HGTV to write, direct and produce her self-financed film debut, and is now hoping to enter “Beyond the Myth” in film festivals.
“Beyond the Myth” challenges the idea that pit bulls are inherently vicious and goes one-on-one with people on both sides of this controversial issue, according to the documentary’s website.
A pit bull owners herself, Sherrill is against breed specific legislation, such as that passed in Ohio, Denver and numerous other jurisdictions.
“Opponents of BSL believe that such laws are a demeaning overreaction perpetuated by media bias and claim that dog bite statistics (showing pit bulls are responsible for the majority of fatal dog attacks) are unreliable sources of information regarding the ‘viciousness’ of a breed. They argue that BSL is unenforceable and ineffective, and that it fails to reduce the occurrence of dog attacks because it fails to address the root cause — people.
“Instead of focusing on and punishing owners who are irresponsible and criminals who use their dogs for illegal purposes, legislatures choose to place their focus on the dogs, making them into scapegoats. Many opponents believe BSL is the equivalent of racial profiling and banning a breed is, quite possibly, unconstitutional.
Through the documentary’s website, Sherrill is raising funds to help offset its cost of the documentary, fund a public opinion survey about public perceptions of pit bulls and how the media contributes to them, and establish a legal defense fund for people trying to keep their dogs in jurisdictions that have banned them.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attacks, beyond the myth, bites, breed, breed ban, breed specific legislation, cover y'all productions, dangerous, deaths, denver, director, discrimination, documentary, dog, dogs, graduate school, libby sherrill, media, ohio, pit bull, pit bulls, producer, profiling, satistics, scapegoats, student, trailer, university of tennessee, vicious, writer
We do know, though, that the new Army policy, which singles out Rottweilers, chows, Dobermans and pit bulls as undeserving of life on American military bases, has led to at least one letter – a copy of which was sent to us by the writer, one-time Army brat and ohmidog! correspondent Anne Madison.
With her permission, we reprint it here:
Dear Ms. Vanslyke,
I am writing to respectfully but vehemently protest the banning of certain dogs (deemed “aggressive”) from military housing.
I have a somewhat different viewpoint. Though I am now in my fifties, I grew up as the daughter of an Army officer, an “Army Brat” if you will. I had one younger brother. Our beloved dogs followed us from one posting to the next, getting us through strange, new schools, new cties and towns, new people and teachers, and all the huge (and I will say unnatural) adjustments that Army children are forced to make.
They provided us with comfort, love, stability, and loyalty. The first dog I ever had, Cho-Cho, was half-Doberman. She was with us while we were stationed at the Ryukyus Command. I was between three and five years of age, and she was my best friend.
Our soldiers–and their families–give up so much for us! I believe that their lives are much more difficult now than the life that I experienced. At least we were at peace during most of my childhood, so we didn’t have to experience fear and worry for our father.
Is this “breed-oriented persecution” really going to accomplish anything besides tearing families apart and separating respected war veterans from their loved pets? It seems to me that the Army has many means at its disposal to to control any unwanted canine behavior without simply
going through and eliminating all dogs of certain types. If there’s a problem dog of any breed, by all means–address the issue with the adult involved.
This is just too sad and terrible a burden to lay on the shoulders of those who are doing so much for our country at such a cost. And it’s completely unnecessary!
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anne madison, army, army brat, ban, base, bases, best friend, breed, breed ban, breed-specific, chow, chow chow, dangerous, doberman, dogs, edict, housing, order, pentagon, pit bull, rottweiler
A Pentagon memorandum issued earlier this year that bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and chows from living on Army bases has come under fire as being cold, backwards, misguided and an insult to soldiers who have served their country.
The Pentagon memo, dated Jan. 5, 2009, specifies that those breeds will no longer be allowed in Army housing — but it exempts those already housed. Any member of the military who switched bases, however, would be subject to its terms. The Air Force also has enacted a breed-selective policy and the Navy is expected to do the same.
Best Friends Animal Society in Utah said yesterday it is calling on the U.S. military to reverse the ban, which the organization says is “tearing apart families and their dogs at bases across the country.”
Best Friends attorney Ledy VanKavage said the memo is a “knee-jerk reaction” that “targets the wrong end of the leash. Our armed forces should target reckless owners, not a particular breed of dog.”
The memorandum states families “may not board in privatized housing” any dog of a breed — or a mix of breeds –that is deemed aggressive or potentially aggressive. The memorandum defines “aggressive or potentially aggressive breeds of dogs, “as pit bulls (American Staffordshire bull terriers or English Staffordshire bull terriers), Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, chows, and wolf hybrids.”
”Behind that cold language are stories of our heroes and their families being separated from their dogs,” VanKavage said.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air force, american staffordshire bull terrier, army, breed ban, chows, dobermans, dogs, english staffordshire bull terrier, familiies, housing, memo, memorandum, military, military bases, navy, pentagon, pets, pit bulls, policy, rottweilers, smithsonian, soldiers, stubby, world war 1