Saturday, March 28, 2009

Talking shop with Donna

LADY and SPIRIT and ARIEL and GHANDI and EMILY and HOMIE want to say we think you guys are they best thing since - umm - roller skates. So. Here's looking at you guys.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Facing Peta and Talking (Shelter) Shop - New England in April!
Like any good pit bull centric activist, I can't look at the civil rights movement without drawing direct parallels between these historic struggles and those faced by the pit bull owners and BSL fighters of today. I really needed a little shot of SF-style activism last week and watching 'Milk' offered up the best boost in awhile. Harvey reminds everyone who struggles that "Hope is never silent," making a bigger statement is more important than winning smaller battles, and counting yourself as a proud member of your community is the best way to demystify a perceived threat in our all-too-often paranoid society.
Harvey also had Anita Bryant, who was so very helpful in galvanizing the LGBT rights movement back in the 70's and in illustrating just how freaky-deeky fear mongers can be. God bless Anita for being such a hateful little bee-yotch. We love ya, hon.

"If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters." -Anita Bryant

...and pit bull owners! don't forget rights for people who sleep with pit bulls!
For our own inspiration, pit bull people have any number of vocal haters to bounce off of in this new century. Like, Ohio's Punish-the-breed Tom Skeldon (Skeldon update from KC Dog Blog) and Denver's own Kill-em-All Kory Nelson. But my favorite hater is PeTA. Their stance against pit bull shelter adoptions works through my veins like a triple-shot latte on an empty stomach and it's helped fuel up some of our best efforts to make things better for the pit bulls in our corners. I still owe PeTA a personal thank you.
I set out to 'debate' PeTA's shelter policy with Ingrid Newkirk back in 2006 at the HSUS expo general session, but she begged out the very last minute and I was left to banter with a pre-recorded DVD, which was essentially a large talking head of Ingrid waxing on about chickens among other not-so relevant talking points. I was seriously confused by that fast hour+, and so were the 900-some people in the audience.

Tim and Leslie met up with her later during this infamous book signing in a scruffy Berkeley bookstore. Nice - but not quite the audience we were looking for. Now! we can look forward to another opp to discuss our favorite topic with PeTA, this time in New Hampshire at an upcoming animal welfare conference. I'll be part of a panel discussion that looks at pb issues, including shelter adoptions and rescuing bust victims, and am fortunate to be joining Barbara Haysis, director of the Thomas J. O’Connor AC and Adoption Center and - Yay! - PETA spokesperson Daphna Nachminovitch.

"But it is important to bear in mind that nice families rarely come to a shelter seeking pit bulls. The vast majority of people who want pit bulls are attracted to the “macho” image of the breed as a living weapon and seek to play up this image by putting the animals in heavy chains; kicking, beating, and otherwise abusing them into aggression; and leaving them outside in all weather extremes in order to “toughen” them up." from PeTA's website
Another session will be devoted to - solutions! - on the topic of creating 'Successful Sheltering for Pit Bulls.'

I'll be outlining lessons learned from our work with various shelters including our new focus at open intake Oakland Animal Services. Marianne Gasbarrohas of the ever-progressive Animal Rescue League of Boston will take the reins next and discuss their methods for matching pit bulls to new homes.

The topic will unfold even further with a segment from the cool-as-a cucumber Berenice Clifford of Animal Farm Foundation, who will be detailing tips for kennel enrichment and keeping high energy dogs happy during their wait.

Good stuff. I sure hope some of our east coast rescue and shelter friends can join us for all or part..

2009 New England Federation Humane Society Annual Conference:
April 27-29 in Manchester, NH

Above: Pure thuggery. Chuy and gal pal Alex not only came to the Oakland Animal Shelter to adopt a pit bull (the ever macho red-caped Bob, to be exact), but ... They. Won't. Go. Away. Both have signed on to be volunteers and are frequently spotted walking dogs, educating the public, socializing rabbits and - gasp! - loving up on all kinds of shelter pit bulls as part of our Bully Crew Team. THUGS, I tellya! Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stand Up Guy

One voice counts is about using your voice. Being a stand up guy. And walking your talk. We are two-leggeds committed to honoring and protecting the four-leggeds. So we ask for and give respect, space, and time. Our canine brethren in Tribe Dog give these to one another as a beginning to the dance. We believe by honoring the dance we can make life better for them. And for ourselves. Namaste. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cry and stamp your feet and wonder

I'm kinda thinking this is a must read. If you're looking to find some wonderful stories, if you're looking for inspiration, if you're looking for news stories from across the nation about dogs - stories to make you smile, to make you tremble with outrage, to make you cry and stamp your feet and wonder - just - how the bleep - people can do the things they do - this is kind of a one stop shop. Do have to add though, because like Robert Evans flatly states in his magnificent chewed gravel smoked whiskey voice "There are three sides to every story - yours, mine, and the truth," - that for sure I do not now nor will I ever support the Center for Consumer Freedom. There are - um - some very informative posts here. As relate to recent very sad days in North Carolina. And like Che said "If you tremble indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine."
Here's looking at you, Jessica. Love story of GUNTHER in Pass Christian. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Down to the bone, straight to the heart - grace note

Candlelight vigil tonight Wednesday 3.4.09 in Raleigh, NC at 7 pm. Down to the bone, straight to the heart. Many of you know about this story. In Wilkes County, NC 145 Pit bulls were destroyed on February 17, 2009. Approximately 75 were puppies. 127 were seized on December 10, 2008 in a bust. 18 were born since the raid, and - if their Moms made it to Wilkes County animal control - nursed like puppies everywhere do. They didn't know they were fighters. They didn't know they would become part of a horrible stain on the magnificent quilt of animal rights in this country. One of those little guys is - was - less than 12 weeks old. I don't know his name. Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky do. When you open the Winston Salem Journal link that chronicles this story you will see a lot of comments. At the end. Perhaps we - all - need to read those comments. Of course there are many pressing concerns each of us face every day. And not unlike The Little Prince some of us may well have matters of great importance to attend to. But really we all in our own way now are honoring the fallen. We honor them and we honor ourselves by bearing witness. Because there is no happy ending rehabilitation for these guys. No pictures in Sports Illustrated, no chance to become a therapy dog like HECTOR. No trip to Dogtown at Best Friends in Utah. Where they would have received all the time and respect any dog could dream of. No getting to know the guys at BAD RAP who would have moved heaven hell and just about anything in between to help. Please don't forget these guys. Maybe this story doesn't have the legs of the Michael Vick story. Maybe the photo ops aren't there. For anyone. Certainly not for the dogs. But this story cuts down to the bone and straight to the heart. Please support the coalition partners, BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls), Animal Farm Foundation, Villa Lobos Rescue Center, Downtown Dog Rescue, The Sula Foundation and Our Pack. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Down to the bone, straight to the heart

145 bells to ring at candlelight vigil tomorrow, 7 pm, Raleigh, NC. You can find media alert on Best Friends site if you have not already seen it. More later. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 2, 2009

Preaching to the choir

My name is - umm - ANONYMOUS. I'm a German Shepherd Dog. They call me a GSD. But I'm really the same as any other dog. I just need time and respect to be a very good dog. Other dogs always understand that, but sometimes humans don't. I think some of them are starting to learn - how to - talk dog. And that makes me happy. I really just wanted to say that I think Pit Bulls are very cool dogs. People are thinking more and more about them and trying to help them. This year they had their very own day again. National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
"Because preaching to the choir makes a small church." Jodi Preis, Cookville, TN. Sphere: Related Content