Tag: breed bans
Mark Buehrle, the Miami Marlins pitcher traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last November, will be leaving his dogs and family behind when the season opens, due to Ontario’s ban on pit bulls.
One of the Buehrle family’s four dogs, Slater, falls under the government’s pit bull ban, so Buehrle’s wife Jamie, their children and their dogs will remain in Florida until the end of the school year, then return to their off-season home in the St. Louis area.
The Toronto Star reports it will be the first time in his career that Buehrle has spent the summer away from his wife and children.
It’s not the first time, though, that the family has been inconvenienced because of their love for pit bulls in general, and Slater in particular.
When Buehrle was traded to the Marlins, from the White Sox, his family couldn’t live in the Miami-Dade area, because of a similar ban, and located in Broward County instead.
“Other families have gone through things and they’ve made it work. And I will see my dogs when I can,” Buehrle said of the Toronto situation during spring training last week.”
Buehrle, who also has three Vizslas, said he didn’t even consider the suggestion that he try and sneak his pit bull mix into Toronto, or that he put Slater in a kennel in order to have his family by his side in Toronto.
“Being a responsible pet owner, you can’t drop off the dog on someone else,” he said. “If you try and bring the dog anyways and think you can (hide it), you’re taking a chance, and then (if you get caught) the dog sits in a cage for a month or more or however long until the court date comes up.”
Both Buehrle and his wife have worked extensively to raise public awareness about pit bulls.
“The big thing is to bring awareness of the breed, that’s what this is all about,” he said. “I won’t see my dog for a while but bringing awareness for the breed ban is important for me.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baseball, behind, breed bans, buehrle, dogs, family, major league baseball, mark buehrle, miami marlins, ontario, pets, pit bull bans, pit bulls, pitbull bans, pitbulls, pitcher, slater, stay, toronto blue jays
Sak, a former Chicago police officer, had sued the city, saying his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated when the town ordered his dog — because it was part pit bull — out of town.
Aurelia’s town council voted 3-2 to accept the settlement, the Des Moines Register reported.
As part of the settlement, the city will pay the couple $30,000 and abide by an injunction issued by a federal judge in December that allows Sak to keep the dog in the city.
Sak and his wife, Peggy Leifer, must keep Snickers inside a fence when he’s home and on a leash when he leaves the property.
The couple moved to Aurelia in November to care for his 87-year-old mother, unaware that the town ban pit bulls.
Snickers has served as Sak’s service dog since a stroke in 2008 that left him without use of the right side of his body.
Snickers was taken from the home after 36 residents of Aurelia signed a petition to remove the dog. When a federal judge granted an injunction, the dog was returned.
Aurelia Mayor Jim Tell said the city agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid further bad publicity.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aurelia, breed bans, chicago, disabilities, discrimination, dog, dogs, exception, iowa, james sak, keeps, lawsuit, negative, pets, pit bull, pit bull ban, pit bull mix, police. officer, publicity, retired, service, service dog, settlement, snickers, stay, stroke, victim
The dog whose only crime was resembling a pit bull was euthanized today, after a deadline for legal appeals expired.
His execution – despite 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve — brings an end to an international effort to save him.
The BBC reports that the city council issued a statement that read:
“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.”
“The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
In June, after two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down, Northern Ireland’s highest court rejected Caroline Barnes’ legal bid to overturn an order calling for the destruction of her pet.
Ms. Barnes insisted that Lennox was not dangerous, and her battle to save Lennox snowballed into an often-heated international campaign to save his life.
One Belfast councillor has received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction, the BBC reported, and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating messages.
Lennox was impounded by Belfast City Council’s dog wardens in May of 2010, when a new breed specific law went into effect, banning pit bull types in the UK.
Among those calling for Lennox to be spared were boxer Lennox Lewis, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and television dog training expert Victoria Stillwell, who had offered to have Lennox re-homed in America where he would not be in contact with the public.
Stillwell said she was “absolutely devastated” that Lennox had been put down. “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” she said.
Stillwell said requests that the family be allowed to visit the dog one last time before he was put down were declined — as were requests to allow the family see the dog after he was euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: belfast, belfast city council, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, dangerous, denied, dog, dogs, euthanized, executed, global, international, ireland, killed, laws, lennox, news, pit bull, pit bull type, put down, put to sleep, resemblance, uk, victoria stillwell, visits
Lennox the alleged pit bull is scheduled to be euthanized in Belfast this week, despite continuing international efforts to save him.
A protest Saturday in Belfast included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, according to UTV in Belfast, and demonstrations are scheduled at the British and Irish consulates in New York today, organized by No Kill New York.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the U.S., and cover all expenses, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com she has received no response.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 after pit bulls were banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador mix, but dog wardens, after taking measurements, declared him a “possible pitbull type” and claimed that — though he has bitten no one and been the subject of no complaints — he had a personality disorder.
Protesters say they are trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that breed specific legislation is unfair.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bans, belfast, breed, breed bans, breeds, dangerous, demonstrations, dogs, euthanasia, execution, facebook, ireland, laws, lennox, news, offer, pets, pit bull, pitbull, protests, save lennox, twitter, uk, victoria stilwell
For almost two years now, the Belfast dog has been sitting in limbo, as courts in Ireland decide whether to euthanize him.
Seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010, due to his likeness to the banned pit-bull breed, Lennox recently celebrated a second birthday on death row, and supporters marked the occasion by sending birthday cards to him — in care of the Lord Mayor of Belfast
His owner Caroline Barnes, who is appealing a court ruling to put him down, says Lennox is a American bull dog-Labrador mix who, in addition to never having bitten anyone, is a best friend of her disabled daughter.
Last October, in the latest development in the long-running case, a judge upheld a court decision that Lennox should be put to sleep.
The decision to terminate the family pet prompted an online Save Lennox campaign, which has generated almost 60,0000 Facebook supporters and almost 127,000 signatures of support. Barnes started the birthday card campaign as well.
Belfast City Council confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that it had received a number of cards for Lennox wishing him a happy birthday. (It was April 1.)
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the wonderful, beautiful, supportive and very creative messages and artwork received over the past few days,” Barnes said on the “Save Lennox” Facebook page. “Really means a lot and it has touched our family very much. Thank you all.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 24.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belfast, birthday, birthday cards, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, death row, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, ireland, lennox, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, put down, put to sleep, save, save lennox
The Marlins have welcomed Mark Buehrle to Miami, but his dogs are another matter.
One of the former White Sox pitcher’s four dogs is a pit bull, and “pit bull types” are banned in Miami-Dade.
So Buehrle, his wife Jamie, their two young children and four dogs are residing in nearby Broward County — but making their opinions about the discriminatory law known.
As animal lovers and spokespeople for Best Friends Animal Society, the Buehrles are featured in a new public service announcement in support of legislation (HB 997 /SB 1322) that would overturn the breed-specific law, passed in 1989.
Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida with such a ban, due to an exemption in state law, Best Friends says.
Florida State Representative Carlos Trujillo and Senator Jim Norman are leading the legislative effort, along with the help of Best Friends Animal Society. The bill has yet to be placed on the committee agenda in the Senate.
Jamie Buehrle also has started a Change.org petition urging support of the legislation.
In her blog, she said Slater, their adopted 18-month-old American Staffordshire terrier, is a member of the family:
“We had always agreed to make sure that wherever Mark ended up playing, Slater would be welcome. So, when Mark had the opportunity to sign with the Miami Marlins we were harshly confronted with Miami-Dade County’s 20-year-old pit bull terrier ban and immediately knew we would have to live a county over in Broward.
“Mark and I are fortunate to have the resources to accommodate Slater,” she wrote. “But it breaks our hearts that so many families are faced with losing their family pet simply because a local government has deemed their dog ‘dangerous’ based on nothing more than appearance. We can’t imagine ever having to give Slater up simply because a city says we can’t have him. Not only would we be distraught at that prospect, but our kids would be devastated.”
A spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society says the ban — it applies to any dog resembling a pit bull, without any consideration of a dog’s behavior — causes severe hardship to hundreds of responsible owners of friendly, properly supervised, well-socialized pets.
Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends, says breed-discriminatory laws are expensive and ineffective, citing a study by the economic research firm John Dunham and Associates that estimates Miami-Dade County spends more than $3 million a year to enforce the current law.
“In these tough economic times, laws that waste precious taxpayer dollars while failing to accomplish what they set out to do should be repealed,” said VanKavage. “The simple truth is breed is not a factor in bites. Many studies, along with the experience of Best Friends Animal Society, show that breed discriminatory laws are ineffective and result in the deaths of hundreds of pets in Miami-Dade each year.”
Twelve states, including Florida, prohibit canine profiling, but Florida’s law grandfathered Miami-Dade’s provision. HB 997/SB 1322 would give pet owners in Miami-Dade the same right as pet owners throughout the state.
Ohio, the only state that designates a breed of dog as vicious, is in the process of repealing its breed discriminatory law, with a Senate vote on HB 14 expected next week.
“This is America,” VanKavage said. “Responsible dog owners should be allowed to own whatever type of dog they choose, regardless of appearance. Reckless owners should be prevented from owning any dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american staffordshire terrier, animals, ban, best friends, best friends animal society, bites, breed bans, breed-specific, county, discrimination, discriminatory, dogs, exemption, expensive, family, florida, hb 997, ineffective, jamie buehrle, law, ledy vankavage, legislation, mark buehrle, marlins, miami, miami-dade, ohio, overturn, petition, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pitcher, public service announcement, sb 1322, slater, states, study
Less forgiving is the town of Carl Junction, where their displaced family moved afterwards — only to find out that pit bulls and Rottweilers are illegal.
Carl Junction is one of many cities and towns around the country that have legislation prohibiting pit bulls and other breeds within the city limits, according to The Joplin Globe, which reported on the family’s situation this week.
And city officials are unwilling to make an exception to the rule, meaning Dave DeWolfe and his family — who followed the sounds of the whimpers and rescued their dogs after the tornado — will now be required to give them up, at least if they want to stay in Carl Junction.
After the tornado, DeWolfe’s daughter, Janelle Mawhinney, provided temporary shelter for family members at her apartment, but she couldn’t take the dogs. They were placed in a temporary shelter set up by the ASPCA.
Every day, DeWolfe says, they’d stop in to visit. In July, they found a new home in nearby Carl Junction, reclaimed their dogs and moved in.
“We thought it was too good to be true: a decent neighborhood, a good price, everything came through with the bank, and we were so happy about it,” he said.
Not long after settling in, they were reading a “welcome” packet from the city when they saw that Carl Junction’s hospitality didn’t extend to pit bulls and Rottweilers. Neither are permitted with the city limits.
Then, this month, DeWolfe was informed by the city’s animal control officer that he was violating the city ordinance. He went to the city council, saying he would do ”whatever it takes” to keep the dogs, even if it meant crating or muzzling them.
“It’s my fault,” he said. “I should have checked the laws.”
City council members said they didn’t want to set a precedent by allowing the family to keep the dogs.
Carl Junction’s ban on the two breeds was put in place in 1995. It carries fines of $200 to $500. The only exception to the law is for dog owners who registered with the city prior to the ordinance going into effect.
DeWolfe and his wife have turned to Craigslist in an attempt to find the two dogs a permanent home.
“We try to work with our residents whenever we can,” Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase said. “But approving one would set a precedent. We’ve had this ordinance for quite some time, and all the dogs grandfathered in under it are now gone. We’ve had quite a few requests and if you open it up to one, you’ve just defeated your ordinance.”
Defeating, if you ask me, is just what the ordinance needs.
(Photo: By T. Rob Brown / Joplin Globe)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, banned, bans, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, bsl, carl junction, dave dewolfe, displaced, dogs, home, joplin, kain, kita, law, missouri, new, ordinance, pets, pit bulls, rottweilers, survivors, tornado
A University of Maryland organization called Terps for Animal Welfare is urging Prince George’s County to call a halt to its pit bull ban.
The student organization hosted Best Friends Animal Society staff on campus at the end of March — and since then they’ve been mobilizing to bring an end to a ban that critics described as costly, ineffective and discriminatory.
“The law has a lot of negative effects and not a lot of people know about it,” said Aman Chopra, treasurer of Terps for Animal Welfare.
Members of the organization are speaking out, contacting their county board members and asking them to change the policy, according to an article appearing on Change.org, written by Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends.
“By clinging to its antiquated policy of canine profiling, Prince George’s has blatantly disregarded the recommendations of its own Vicious Animal Task Force, convened in January of 2003, which called the breed specific portion of the ordinance ‘costly and inefficient’ and recommended that the county repeal it.”
As for the costly part, VanKavage says, the county was paying about $68,000 to maintain a pit bull through the entire hearing process, according to old estimates by the county’s own task force.
Today, the county spends $1,137,720 annually to enforce the pit bull ban, according to estimates.
Canine aggression isn’t an issue of breed, she and other experts note; it’s a people issue.
If you’d like to sign the petition to end the breed ban in Prince George’s County, you can find it here.
(Photo from Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aman chopra, animal welfare, animals, best friends, best friends animal society, breed bans, breeds, change, cost, discrimination, dogs, effectiveness, ledy vankavage, maryland, petition, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, prince georges county, student organization, terps for animal welfare, university of maryland
Delegate Cheryl Glenn will introduce an amendment to the state’s proposed dangerous dog law this week that would prohibit municipalities from banning or regulating dogs based on their breed.
Pushed by the Maryland Dog Federation, the proposed amendment to House Bill 1314, aimed at strengthening the state’s dangerous dog law, reads:
“Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent a municipality from adopting or enforcing its own more stringent program for the control of dangerous dogs provided, however, that no such program shall ban, regulate or address dogs in a manner which is specific as to breed.”
The federation says the amendment will prohibit laws thats discriminate against particular breeds of dogs. Similar measures have been passed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and eight other states.
If approved the proposed amendment would void the current breed ban in Prince George’s County, where about 900 pit bulls and pit bull mixes are euthanized a year, according to the federation.
“The seizing of innocent family pets simply because of their appearance is unconscionable. Responsible dog guardians should be allowed to own whatever breed they want. Reckless owners should be prohibited from owning any dog,” the federation said.
The federation is encouraging those who support the amendment to write Delegate Cheryl Glenn (email@example.com); and to attend the March 18 hearing of the Judiciary Committee (at 1 p.m. in Room 100 of the House Office Building in Annapolis).
Posted by jwoestendiek March 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amendment, breed bans, breed specific legislation, breeds, cheryl glenn, dangerous dogs, delegates, discriminatory, hearing, judiciary committee, law, laws, legislation, maryland, municipalities, news, pit bulls, prohibit, state
The city of Denver’s faulty logic just got proven even faultier.
As if the city’s ban on pit bulls, which has led to hundreds of dogs being put to death, weren’t ill-advised enough, there’s this: Apparently even experts can’t correctly identify a pit bull visually.
Denver Post columnist Bill Johnson took part in experiment this week , along with about two dozen animal-shelter directors, volunteers, dog trainers and others. They viewed 20 dogs on videotape and were asked to identify each one — whether it was purebred or mixed and, if the latter, what it was a mixture of.
Johnson got the breed correct one time, and the professionals didn’t fare much better.
The breed identification study was administered by Victoria L. Voith, a professor of animal behavior in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University in Pomona in California.
Shelter workers, she explained, are generally 75 percent wrong when they guess the breed of a dog — and most do just guess. The only sure-fire way of knowing, she said, is DNA testing, which most shelters don’t use.
“Visual identification simply is not in high agreement with DNA analysis,” Voith said. “Dogs in Denver may be dying needlessly,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ban, breed, breed bans, breed testing, breed-specific, denver, dna, dna testing, dna tests, dog, dogs, errors, euthanasia, euthanized, identification, identify, incorrect, mistakes, mixed breeds, pit bulls, pitbulls, purebreds, victoria voith, western university