Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Associated Press: Five Years of Pit Bulls



Revised: February 17, 2016; 21:39 GMT
Revised: December 15, 2016; 12:39 GMT
Revised: December 15, 2016; 18:26 GMT


On February 3, 2011, newspapers across the country published an Associated Press article by Sue Manning titled Training, not nature, makes bully.1 The article was picked up by newspapers around the globe and was reprinted for weeks.

A week after the appearance of Ms Manning's AP article SRUV published our first blog post. The current post is published on the 5th anniversary of our response to Ms Manning, and is our final post.

* * * * *

In the five years following her 2011 article Ms Manning has published at least five additional laudatory AP articles about pit bulls, the most recent just days ago. Other AP writers have added to the catalog of positive press. In the five-year period from Ms Manning's 2011 article until the publication of our current post at least 124 people have been killed by pit bulls in the United States, and hundreds have been critically injured.

Ironically, the first fatal attack to occur following Ms Manning's 2011 article was the attack on a newborn child, Darius Tillman, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a week after her article about nature vs nurture in pit bulls. The irony is twofold: Kalamazoo is the home of the United Kennel Club, the organization formed in 1898 to legitimize pit bull dog fighting, and which continues to serve as the breed registry. The second irony is that Michigan is a state dominated by exceptionally effective pit bull advocacy groups, a sad legacy of its dogfighting heritage.

The very question of nature vs nurture, when it comes to pit bulls (or any canine for that matter), is bizarre: it's both. Pit bull advocates are the only dog owners who claim that nurture can alter specific behaviors that have been bred into the various breeds for centuries. Breeders of scent hounds, retrievers, sheep dogs or rat terriers know that the behaviors their dogs inherit will be with them from cradle to grave. And so it is with pit bulls, who have been bred for centuries for pit fighting.

In addition to the 124 fatalities an estimated 20,000 people have been maimed or otherwise permanently disfigured. An estimated 100,000 companion and domestic animals have been killed in these five years.2

* * * * *

Ms Manning has published many fine articles about companion animals, but is also one of the most prominent national journalists for articles sympathetic to pit bulls. The other AP articles appear to be one-offs for the journalists. Two of the AP pit bull articles which received wide distribution during this 5-year period concerned coverage of two pivotal voter referendums, in Aurora, Colorado and in Miami-Dade County. In both cases breed specific restrictions had been in force for decades, and in both cases the citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping those restrictions on pit bulls.

Neither of those two Associated Press journalists chose to write a follow-up story on the outcomes of the voter referendums.

The most recent AP story to earn wide circulation is the David Klepper article about a pit bull that was trained as a K9.3  Mr. Klepper's article was still being published in newspapers nearly two months after the original date of publication, which led us to ponder how Associated Press articles come to be written, and how their authors are paid. Mr Klepper generally covers New York state capitol news for the AP, so it is fair to assume that he was approached by lobbyists from the Animal Farm Foundation, the Dutchess County pit bull advocacy group which funded, facilitated, and placed the pit bull with a Dutchess County police department.4

Ms Manning, Mr Klepper, and the other Associated Press journalists who write about pit bulls have a guaranteed audience. Their articles serve as internet click-bait for the hundreds of thousands of media-savvy pit bull advocates. If these authors receive a penny each time their article is read they could live comfortably well into the future. The newspapers that publish these stories, and their advertisers, all receive tens or hundreds of thousands of hits from pit bull advocates, generating an immense revenue stream for the publishers.

This may explain why Associated Press journalists, as well as other authors (at the Huffington Post, for example), write about the wonders of pit bulls, rather than writing about their victims, human and animal. Or rather than writing about Golden Retrievers, for that matter, or other lovely breeds that have never killed a human. The United States is experiencing a public safety crisis, while the journalists avert their eyes and extol the virtues of pit bulls.

SRUV challenges the authors of the Associated Press articles, whose names and articles are listed below, to read the names of each of the 124 victims, also listed below, and continue to believe that pit bulls are like any other dog.

Coda:
The last five years have been a crucial period in pit bull politics. As noted above, there have been significant victories for the advocates of public safety legislation. But the advocates of fighting breeds, including organizations with multi-million dollar budgets and squads of salaried lobbyists and attorneys and IT and Social Media specialists, are far more powerful than those who fight for the victims of pit bull attacks. It will be difficult to enact additional public safety legislation until we achieve fair and balanced, uncensored reporting. That will not happen until journalists recognize and write about the immense burden of grief and loss caused by pit bulls.

The Editors of SRUV are grateful to the many readers who have supported us during the last five years.

Associated Press Pit Bull Articles:

How a Dog Became Internet Famous
   by Sue Manning (in the San Diego Union-Tribune)
   January 27, 2016; Associated Press

Pit bull police dog defies breed's savage stereotypes
   by David Klepper
   November 13, 2015; Associated Press

PBS series featuring shelter dogs debuts Oct. 1
   by Sue Manning
   September 23, 2015; Associated Press

Rescued pit bulls fight stigma by guiding people in need
   by Sue Manning
   February 11, 2015; Associated Press

Pit bull vote aims to settle disputes over breeds
   by Kristen Wyatt
   October 18, 2014; Associated Press

Attitudes and Laws Against Pit Bulls Soften
   by Bill Draper
   March 10, 2014; Associated Press

Attorney gets animal law degree to fight breed bias
   by Sue Manning
   October 25, 2012; Associated Press

Voters consider lifting pit bull ban
   by Jennifer Kay
   August 6, 2012, Associated Press

McDonald's pulls ad after pit bull owner outrage
   by Sue Manning (in the Oakland Press, Pontiac MI)
   February 7, 2012; Associated Press

AP-Petside Poll: Training, Not Nature, Makes Bully
   by Sue Manning
   February 3, 2011; Associated Press

Champion of underdogs saves pit bulls, parolees
   by Sue Manning (in the Oakland Press, Pontiac MI)
   August 13, 2009; Associated Press
* * * * *
Notes:
1   The AP-Petside.com Poll was based on data derived from telephone interviews with 1,000 pet owners, and was conducted Oct. 13-20, 2010, by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.
2   These figures are conservative estimates based on data from Pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs & 13,000 cats in 2015 as well as other data from Animals 24-7.
3   In response to Mr Klepper's article about the pit bull K9, SRUV published a series of posts about the suitability of pit bulls as Search & Rescue and K9 dogs.
4   Mr Klepper's article was published by the Albuquerque Journal on two separate occasions,while the paper has neglected to report on the many pit bull attacks in its area. This prompted SRUV to publish an article about the censorship of pit bull attacks, The Albuquerque Pit Bull Journal.

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks, February 11, 2011 through February 11, 2016: 124 canine homicides
[ This list of 124 fatal pit bull attacks does not include attacks by pit bull type dogs such as American Bulldogs, Cane Corsos, and other pit bull x mastiff crosses. We are indebted to Fatal Pit Bull Attacks; The Archival Record, where full documentation for every death listed can be found. ]
February 2016, Perquimans County, NC
Suzanne Story, 36

January 2016, Robeson County, NC
Talan West, 7

January 2016, Grayson County, VA
Payton Sawyers, 1

January 2016, Yuba County, CA
Tyler Trammell-Huston, 9

December 2015, Butte County, CA
Maria Torres, 57

December 2015, St. Clair County, MI
Rebecca Hardy, 22

December 2015, Wayne County, MI
Xavier Strickland, 4

November 2015, Oneida County, NY
Carter Hartle, <  1

November 2015, Nassau County, NY
Amiyah Dunston, 9

October 2015, Oklahoma County, OK
Edgar Brown, 60

October 2015, Orange County, TX
Tanner Smith, 5

September 2015, Berkeley County, WV
Lamarkus Hicks, 2

September 2015, Riverside County, CA
Emilio Rios Sr., 65

August 2015, Davie County, SC
Cathy Wheatcraft, 48

August 2015, Spartanburg County, SC
Porsche Nicole Cartee, 25

July 2015, Wagoner County, OK
Carolyn Lamp, 67

July 2015, Cuyahoga County, OH
Annie Williams, 71

July 2015, Henderson County, NC
Joshua Strother, 6

July 2015, Reeves County, TX
Norberto Legarda, 83

June 2015, Comanche County, OK
Jordan Collins-Tyson, 3

May 2015, Cook County, IL
James Nevils III, 5

April 2015, Dallas County, TX
Brayden Wilson, <  1

April 2015, Nye County, NV
Kenneth Ford, 79

March 2015, Jefferson County, AR
De'trick Johnson, 36

March 2015, Ohio County, WV
Roy Higgenbotham Jr., 62

February 2015, Allegheny County, PA
TayLynn DeVaughn, 2

February 2015, Johnson County, AR
Frederick Crutchfield, 63

January 2015, Page County, IA
Malaki Mildward, 7

January 2015, Hernando County, FL
Declan Moss, 18-months

January 2015, Frederick County, MD
Eugene Smith, 87

December 2014, Porter County, IN
Edward Cahill, 40

December 2014, Nueces County, TX
Rita Ross-Woodard, 64

November 2014, Robeson County, NC
Alemeaner Dial, 83

October 2014, Stanislaus County, CA
Juan Fernandez, 54

September 2014, Sharp County, AR
Alice Payne, 75

September 2014, Benton County, MS
David Glass Sr., 51

August 2014, Miami-Dade County, FL
Javon Dade Jr., 4

August 2014, St. Charles County, MO
Deriah Solem, < 2

August 2014, Levy County, FL
Joel Chirieleison, 6

August 2014, Butler County, OH
Cindy Whisman, 59

July 2014, Montgomery County, OH
Johnathan Quarles, Jr., < 1

July 2014, Hillsborough County, FL
Logan Sheppard, 4

May 2014, New Haven County, CT
Rita Pepe, 93

May 2014, Kent County, DE
Kasii Haith, 4

May 2014, Lee County, AL
Katie Morrison, 20

April 2014, Highlands County, FL
Jessica Norman, 33

April 2014, Bexar County, TX
Petra Aguirre, 83

April 2014, St. Clair County, AL
John Harvard, 5

March 2014, Kaufman County, TX
Dorothy Hamilton, 85

March 2014, Holmes County, MS
Christopher Malone, 3

March 2014, Terrebonne Parish, LA
Mia DeRouen, 4

March 2014, Maricopa County, AZ
Nancy Newberry, 77

February 2014, Guilford County, NC
Braelynn Coulter, 3

February 2014, Bell County, TX
Je'vaeh Mayes, 2

January 2014, McLean County, IL
Kara Hartrich, 4

January 2014, Comal County, TX
Betty Clark, 75

January 2014, Harris County, TX
Christina Bell, 43

December 2013, Valencia County, NM
Michal Nelson, 41

December 2013, Cook County, IL
Jah'Niyah White, 2

November 2013, White County, AR
Levi Watson, 4

November 2013, Pierce County, WA
Nga Woodhead, 65

November 2013, Forsyth County, NC
Katherine Atkins, 25

September 2013, Baltimore County, MD
Terry Douglass, 56

September 2013, Baker County, OR
Jordan Ryan, 5

September 2013, San Bernardino County, CA
Samuel Zamudio, 2

September 2013, Maricopa County, AZ
Daniel Teubner, 2

August 2013, Harris County, TX
Juan Compos, 96

June 2013, Florence County, SC
Arianna Merrbach, 5

June 2013, Alameda County, CA
Nephi Selu, 6

May 2013, Dorchester County, SC
Carlton Freeman, 80

May 2013, Los Angeles County, CA
Pamela Devitt, 63

April 2013, Fulton County, GA
Beau Rutledge, 2

April 2013, Jasper County, IA
Jordyn Arndt, 4

April 2013, San Joaquin County, CA
Claudia Gallardo, 38

April 2013, Bay County, FL
Tyler Jett, 7

March 2013, Bryan County, GA
Monica Laminack, < 2

March 2013, Walworth County, WI
Daxton Borchardt, 1

March 2013, Knox County, IL
Ryan Maxwell, 7

February 2013, Uvalde County, TX
Isaiah Aguilar, 2

February 2013, Riverside County, CA
Elsie Grace, 91

January 2013, Montgomery County, TX
Christian Gormanous, 4

January 2013, Greenwood County, SC
Betty Todd, 65

December 2012, Shawnee County, KS
Savannah Edwards, 2

December 2012, Fresno County, CA
Esteban Alavez, 34

October 2012, Wayne County, MI
Tarilyn Bowles, < 1

October 2012, Robeson County, NC
Mary Jo Hunt, 54

September 2012, Oklahoma County, OK
Nellie Davis, 60

September 2012, Johnson, Tarrant Counties, TX
Rayden Bruce, < 1

September 2012, Perquimans County, NC
James Hudson, < 1

September 2012, Jefferson County, AR
Deborah Wilson Roberts, 45

August 2012, Cook County, IL
Charles Hagerman, 44

August 2012, DeKalb County, GA
Rebecca Carey, 23

July 2012, Hamilton County, OH
Ronnel Brown, 40

June 2012, Washoe County, NV
Kevin Latz, 50

June 2012, San Deigo County, CA
Tyzhel Latella McWilliams, < 1

May 2012, Person County, NC
Eugene Cameron, 65

May 2012, Allen County, OH
Makayla Darnell, < 1

May 2012, Maricopa County, AZ
Maryann Hanula, 73

May 2012, Doña Ana County, NM
Jazilyn Mesa, < 2

May 2012, Santa Fe County, NM
Clifford Wright, 74

April 2012, Bryan County, OK
James Hurst, 92

March 2012, Victoria County, TX
Kylar Johnson, 4

March 2012, San Diego County, CA
Diane Jansen, 59

January 2012, Montgomery County, TX
Jace Valdez, 1

December 2011, Bradley County, TN
Mable McCallister, 84

December 2011, San Diego County, CA
Emako Mendoza, 76

December 2011, Lowndes County, GA
Misti Wyno, 40

December 2011, Winnebago County, IL
Tonia Parks, 39

December 2011, White County, IN
Joseph Hines, 58

November 2011, Harris County, TX
Edna Dyson, 71

October 2011, Potter, Randall Counties, TX
Mya Maria Maeda, < 1

September 2011, New Haven County, CT
Nevaeh Bryant, < 2

September 2011, Harris County, TX
Brayden McCollen, < 1

August 2011, Bladen County, NC
Addyson Camerino, < 1

August 2011, Philadelphia County, PA
Carmen Ramos, 50

August 2011, Pima County, AZ
Michael Cook, 61

August 2011, San Mateo County, CA
Darla Napora, 32

June 2011, Chesterfield County, VA
Salvador Cotto, < 1

June 2011, Putnam County, FL
Roy McSweeney, 74

June 2011, Spotsylvania County, VA
David Quyon Haigler, 38

April 2011, Sierra County, NM
Margaret Salcedo, 48

April 2011, Carter County, OK
Virgil Cantrell, 50

March 2011, San Bernardino County, CA
Jennie Erquiaga, 47

February 2011, Kalamazoo County, MI
Darius Tillman, < 1
Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Record 33 fatal pit bull attacks & 459 disfigurements in 2015

Pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs & 13,000 cats in 2015

2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities (Daxton's Friends)

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Today's pit bull attacks

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2015 Top Ten


The following posts are our personal choice as top posts of 2015. The posts are  listed chronologically and do not reflect the number of page views. The list is subject to change.

* * * * *

1/  Advocacy Bullies
     January 4, 2015

2/  A Softer, Safer Pit Bull
     February 1, 2015

3/  Springfield at the Crossroads
     March 6, 2015

4/  By Any Other Name
     April 15, 2015

5/  Debacle of Hazel Park: Part 2
     May 12, 2015

6/  Carnival of Madness: Canada
     June 17, 2015

7/  First X, Then Y, Then Z
     July 2, 2015

8/  A Pit Bull Advocate's Interview with Merritt  Clifton
     August 2, 2015

9/  Carolinas Under Siege
     September 4, 2015

10/  Carnival of Madness: Illinois
       October 4, 2015

11/  Pit Bull Aggregator
       November 3, 2015

12/  Port Huron Official Blames the Victim
       December 13, 2015


* * * * *
Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Record 33 fatal pit bull attacks & 459 disfigurements in 2015

Pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs & 13,000 cats in 2015

2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities (Daxton's Friends)

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Today's pit bull attacks

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

The Albuquerque Pit Bull Journal



Revised: February 9, 2016; 18:16 GMT
Revised: February 16, 2016; 16:07 GMT


The city of Albuquerque was plagued by two long-running animal welfare embarrassments during 2015. An investigation of the Animal Welfare Department (AWD) began in March, when complaints surfaced that the city was adopting out dangerous dogs. Several weeks later, on April 27, Maria Escamilla's pit bulls attacked Jack Cash and killed his companion, the 10-pound Maltese Terrier Duncan. This began the court case that lasted throughout 2015 and into 2016.

Duncan; d. April 27, 2015
By November, 2015, the situation for Albuquerque's dogs was somewhat improved. The nine-month long investigation of the Animal Welfare Department (AWD) had been resolved the previous month. The Maria Escamilla case was also finally (almost) resolved, when Escamilla was acquitted of keeping vicious animals on November 25, 2015.

New Mexico has experienced more than its share of pit bull embarrassments and horrors: the mysterious 2012 case of Debra Swenerton, who dognapped over 60 dogs, most of them pit bulls, to "rescue" them from their families. The 2011 fatal attack on Margaret Salcido on Easter Sunday in Truth or Consequences. The 2012 fatal attack on Clifford Wright, whose son claimed that Mr Wright loved his pit bulls more than he loved his children. Gavin Wright also later claimed his father would have defended the breed even as the pit bulls were mauling him to death. The week after Mr Wright's death a 16-month old girl was fatally attacked in Las Cruces. The shocking, inhumane response by Animal Humane New Mexico who, after the bloodletting of the May 2012 pit bull attacks, had the temerity to claim that pit bulls show no more aggressive tendencies than Golden Retrievers. The 2011 death of Michal Nelson, mauled by one of her 11 pit bulls. The 2014 suit, following the mauling of a 9-year old child, against the city of Roswell and Doggie Saviors Rescue. And finally, in the midst of an investigation of the city's Animal Welfare Department, a pit bull attacked a child's service dog, after which the city put the pit bull up for adoption. Devout pit bull advocacy is not unusual in New Mexico, despite the record of pit bull attacks in the state.

The Journal has been reluctant to cover news of these and other pit bull attacks. In this respect the Journal is like many other newspapers, which also suppress or self-censor news of attacks by pit bulls. In the extensive list of news accounts (see below) readers will not find a single Journal article about these recent New Mexico pit bull attacks.1

As November progressed Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry may have believed his city's animal welfare embarrassments were finally over. On November 13th the Albuquerque Journal published a story on the Mayor's call for stronger dangerous dog legislation. There is an inescapable subtext when talking about "dangerous dogs" and that subtext is pit bulls, but neither the Mayor nor the Journal acknowledged the connection. Pit bulls killed a record 33 humans in  2015 and have already killed three people in the first month of 2016. But nowhere in the Journal's article are pit bulls mentioned.

Instead of publishing news of the attacks, The Journal publishes articles friendly to pit bulls at every opportunity. On the same day the journal published Mayor Berry's November 13th dangerous dog proposals the Journal also published "Pit bull police dog defies breed's savage stereotypes."2

On Friday the 13th, the same day the Journal published the Mayor's proposals and the Associated Press article about a pit bull K9 in upstate New York, the hometown pit bull news turned ominous. An Albuquerque man took his unneutered pit bull to Kit Carson Park. The pit bull attacked other dogs in the park, whereupon the pit bull's owner joined in the attack. He pulled out a concealed gun and shot the dogs that were under attack by his pit bull. The two canine victims (victims of the pit bull as well as victims of the pit bull's owner) were expected to recover. The pit bull owner will be charged for carrying a concealed weapon but his pit bull will return to the safety and comfort of his home. The Journal declined to cover this story; the space that day was given to the pit bull K9 that defied the breed's savage stereotypes.

There were additional pit bull attacks on November 16th and 28th. Readers of the Journal, however, could remain blissfully uninformed of all these attacks, which were carried only by radio and TV stations.

Then, in a remarkable publishing event, on Friday, November 27 the Albuquerque Journal published the November 13th Associated Press article about the New York pit bull K9 a second time. The second appearance of the story featured new photos from the Animal Farm Foundation which were not originally published with the article. To our knowledge, no other paper in the country published the article glorifying the fraudulent pit bull K9 more than once. The reasons the story was published a second time are unclear.

The Escamilla case, which had been in-and-out of court all summer, was finally resolved in January 2016. The case was resolved only because of a subsequent attack by Escamilla's pit bulls. A 22-year old woman living in the Escamilla house attempted to break up a pit bull fight and required medical attention on January 9. The drumroll of pit bull attacks continued on January 22nd and 23rd; none of these attacks were reported by the Journal.

How can the citizens of Albuquerque and New Mexico make informed decisions about an important public safety issue if their newspaper does not provide accurate news? The Albuquerque Journal does not consider the welfare of their readers and the community they serve when it chooses to publish only feel-good news about pit bulls. The Journal has chosen to hide the facts from their readers, rather than reporting accurately on the growing public safety menace of pit bull attacks.


* * * * *
Notes:
1   The Journal covered the Maria Escamilla case because it became a protracted legal and political embarrassment for the city, not because it highlighted pit bull attacks. The Barbara Bruin investigation, capably covered by Colleen Heild, also became a major political issue: Both the Escamilla case and the Barbara Bruin case were given extensive coverage because they involved city government, not because they involved pit bulls. Ms Bruin, incidentally, although relieved as director of the Animal Welfare Department, continues to draw a generous salary despite performing the duties an intern or volunteer could perform.
2   See Associated Press articles, next section below. Since the article appeared on November 13th SRUV has published a series of posts exposing fraudulent pit bull K9s.

Recent Associated Press Pit Bull Articles in the Albuquerque Journal:
Pit bull named Kiah will be one of a few of her kind to take a spot on a police force helping to fight crime
   By David Klepper
   November 27, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Pit bull police dog defies breed’s savage stereotypes
   By David Klepper
   November 13, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Pit bulls in training as service dogs
   by Sue Manning
   March 6, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Other ABQ Pit Bull News:
[ NOTE: The list below includes only a few of the more notable New Mexico pit bull attacks during the period indicated. Note the paucity of coverage of pit bull attacks by the Albuquerque Journal. Articles related to the 2015 turmoil at Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department are noted in the subsequent list below. ]

Editorial: Finally some justice for a little dog named Duncan
   January 27, 2016; Albuquerque Journal

Dog owner reports attack by larger canine (pit bull) on Canyon Road
   January 23, 2016; Santa Fe New Mexican

Dog and owner injured after pit bull attack
Julio Carattini says the pit bull turned on him
   January 22, 2016; KOAT ABC 7
There was a pit bull, female pit bull, just chewing on my puppy, Susie. My thoughts were 'My God, this is my baby . . . '

Albuquerque cracks down on pit bulls and chihuahuas
   December 11, 2015; KRQE

Nurse, mauling victim reunited, 3 decades later
   December 4, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Looking for ‘fabulous’ nurse, 3 decades later
   December 1, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Trio of pit bulls attack, kill two dogs in neighborhood
   November 28, 2015; KOAT

Pit bulls kill two small dogs
   November 16, 2015; KOAT ABC 7

Man shoots 2 dogs at ABQ dog park
   November 13, 2015; KOB 4 Eyewitness News

Avid runner attacked, seriously hurt by dog pack
   October 18, 2015; Valencia County News Bulletin

Carlsbad residents: Pack of dogs terrorizing neighborhood
   September 14, 2015; KRQE News 13

City officers impound pit bulls after attack injures woman, kills poodle mix
   July 15, 2015; Santa Fe New Mexican

ABQ man steps in to end pit bull attack
   June 27, 2015; KRQE News 13

Pit Bull Attacks Girl's Service Dog; City Puts Animal Up For Adoption
   June 16, 2015; KRQE

Uncontrolled breeding an ‘epidemic’ in NM
   April 10, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Pit Bulls That Bit Rio Rancho Boy, Dog To Go Back To Owner
   January 25, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Treats, Training for Pit Bull Ambassadors
   April 18, 2014; Albuquerque Journal

Man almost loses genitals in pitbull attack
[The NM victim was attacked while in Albuquerque]
   August 3, 2014; Reuters

3 dogs (pit bulls) maul 9-year-old Roswell boy
   Family plans to sue city of Roswell and nearby pit bull rescue
   June 11, 2014; KRQE News 13

Pit bulls flood Albuquerque animal shelters
   Unwanted pets costing taxpayers
   August 7, 2013; KOAT

City's Animal Shelter Overrun With Animals Needing Adoption
   June 8, 2012; Albuquerque Journal

Woman 'stole SIXTY pet dogs and gave them to animal shelters by claiming they were strays'
   December 4, 2012; Daily Mail

Communities Considering Bans On Pit Bull Dogs
(Note: This 1986 article recounts the historic 1984 attack on Angela Hand of Tijeras NM. In December 2015 The Journal published two articles on the reunion of Ms Hand with the nurse who treated her at the time.)
   January 1, 1986; Associated Press

Maria Escamilla Case:
One attack too many
   January 23, 2016;  Albuquerque Journal

Judge considering sentence for woman with dangerous dogs
   December 17, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Dog owner acquitted of keeping vicious animals
   November 25, 2015; Santa Fe New Mexican
Jury delivers mixed verdict in dog case
   November 25, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Berry wants stronger law on dangerous dogs
   November 13, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Dog case gets pushed back
   July 30, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Barbara Bruin / Animal Welfare Department Investigation:

Shelter director deleted, rewrote spay/neuter goals
   October 5, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Director Out At Animal Welfare
   October 2, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Director of Albuquerque Animal Welfare department to step down
   October 1, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Shelter Director Saves Dog; Dog Bites Worker
   September 30, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

City shelter director violates new policy
   September 29, 2015; KRQE News 13

City overhauls shelter policy on dangerous dogs
   September 26, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque city shelter released dangerous dogs
   September 26, 2015; Animals 24-7

After Dog Bites 12-Year-Old Girl, Family Accuses Shelter of Deceiving Them
   September 22, 2015; Inside Edition

Time for a change at the top at Animal Welfare
   Editorial
   September 14, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque shelters adopted out dangerous dogs
   September 6, 2015; KRQE News 13

City Report Upholds Criticism of Animal Welfare
   September 5, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque pound broke city’s own dangerous dog law
   July 28, 2015; Animals 24-7

Team Advises Tougher Policy on Dangerous Dog Adoptions
   June 25, 2015, Albuquerque Journal

Pit Bull Attacks Girl's Service Dog; City Puts Animal Up For Adoption
   June 16, 2015; KRQE

Dangerous Dog Coverup Alleged
   April 27, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

City Tightens Policy on Dog Adoptions
   April 20, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

City rejected startling investigation of Animal Welfare in 2012
Report: Department failed to meet city ordinances, processes
   April 3, 2015; KOAT ABC 7

City must put public safety first at its animal shelters
   Editorial
   April 3, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department #2 and behaviorist allege neglect of public safety in pushing pit bull adoptions
   April 2, 2015; Animals 24-7

City puts hold on adoptions of certain dogs
   April 1, 2015;  Albuquerque Journal

Stories of two dogs that killed
   March 31, 2015; Albuquerque Journal

Complaint: Dangerous dogs being released by city
   March 31, 2015;   Albuquerque Journal

Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Record 33 fatal pit bull attacks & 459 disfigurements in 2015

Pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs & 13,000 cats in 2015

2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities (Daxton's Friends)

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Today's pit bull attacks

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ulster County K9 Training



To: Sheriff Van Blarcum, Ulster County NY

We are writing in response to the recent graduation of three canines from the Ulster County Sheriff's K9 training program.1  One of the graduates of the program, a pit bull, received widespread media attention.  While much has been written about the pit bull Kiah, there remains much that is not yet known.

The national K9 community has a strong interest in maintaining standards of training and professionalism. K9 team members and animal welfare professionals would benefit from an open discussion about the circumstances that brought Kiah to your department for training, and ultimately to the Poughkeepsie Police Department in Dutchess County. Thousands of interested trainers, officers, and others with an interest in law enforcement and animal welfare will be grateful for your responses to the following questions.

Questions:
1/ Most K9s are selected from carefully bred lines, which have been bred for generations specifically for law enforcement work. Kiah, on the other hand, was a shelter pit bull from Texas with an unknown background. In addition, Kiah belongs to the type of dog which killed a record 33 humans in 2015, and maimed or otherwise permanently disfigured 459 humans. Would you tell our readers who proposed that Kiah be included in the training class, and who was involved in the decision to include Kiah in the Ulster County K9 training class?

2/ Dutchess County, where Poughkeepsie is located, trains their K9's at the regional K9 academy hosted by the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office. This would appear to be the logical training facility to train Poughkeepsie K9s. Please explain why Poughkeepsie's pit bull K9 was not trained in her home county? Why was your county (Ulster Cty) involved in training a Dutchess County K-9 when Dutchess County has its own training program? How was this decision made and who was involved in the decision?

3/ Explain the financial arrangements between Ulster County, Poughkeepsie, and the Animal Farm Foundation, the pit bull advocacy group involved in the transaction. Was Ulster County compensated for training Kiah? By whom? If Ulster County was not compensated, why wasn't it?

4/ Was the decision to train and place Kiah discussed by the Ulster County Legislature? Was the Legislature fully advised of the liability issues facing local governments due to poorly trained K9s? Was the legislature advised of the financial risks incurred by Ulster County by claiming that a pit bull is a fully trained K9?

5/ K9 certification for Ulster and Dutchess Counties appears to be provided by the Eastern Police Canine Association. Is the pit bull that graduated from your K9 training course fully certified by the relevant certifying organization?
* * * * *

We appreciate your willingness to resolve these issues for the thousands of dedicated officers who closely follow developments in the field of K9 law enforcement.

The Editors

* * * * *
Notes:
1   SUNY Ulster Goes To The Dogs (December 27, 2015; HVNN)

Sources: 
[Note: The list below includes only a few of the more notable recent pit bull attacks in the Hudson Valley.)

Pitbull Mauling Of Chihuahua Leaves Woman Heartbroken
   January 12, 2016; Hudson Valley News Network

Service dog killed by pit bull; owner held on different charge
   January 10, 2016; Poughkeepsie Journal

Amherst police investigating dog attack against girl
   January 4, 2016; WGRZ.com

After Pit Bull Case, Questions Dog New York’s “Unfortunate Event” Test
  January 4, 2016; JD Supra

Spate of pit bull attacks puts the spotlight on the polarizing breed
   October 17, 2015; Buffalo News

FATAL PIT BULL ATTACK -- Marshall NY
Family’s pet pit bull kills 11-month-old boy playing at home
   November 17, 2015; PIX11 TV

Breed can be risky because it won't let go, dog warden says
   November 16, 2015; Syracuse.com

Pit bulls sought in llama attack
July 29, 2015; Kingston Times

1,200 animal attacks in region
by Ernie Garcia
June 15, 2015; Journal News

Middletown police officer fatally shoots pit bull after it attacks
June 3, 2015; Times Herald-Record
The attack and the subsequent shooting marked the second time in a week that Middletown police have had to shoot a pit bull because it turned violent in a public space, said Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano.

Pit Bull Turns on Family, Attacks Girl, Mother
April 17, 2015; TWC News

Pit Bull Attacks 8-Year-Old Girl in Hudson Valley
July 23, 2014; WPDH

Hudson Valley cop kills pit bull after attack
June 5, 2014; Troy Record

K9/SAR Resources:

The Problem with Pit Bull Service Dogs (and numerous other posts)
   February 12, 2015; Craven Desires

How the Americans with Disabilities Act has become the “Pit Bull Pushers Act”
   July 3, 2015; Animals 24-7

Service and Therapy Pit Bulls that turned pit bull
   September 16, 2014; Daxton's Father

LawDogsUSA, Pit Bull Detection Dog Program, Shuts Down
   November 5, 2008; Dogsbite

Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Record 33 fatal pit bull attacks & 459 disfigurements in 2015

Pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs & 13,000 cats in 2015

2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities (Daxton's Friends)

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Today's pit bull attacks

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.


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