On 09/13/2008 Jeramie Dreyfuss said: stand up for your pit bull
Pets add to our lives - no matter what the breed. It is not your dog that is a threat to society... it is the system, irresponsible dog ownership and BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) that are the threat. So protect your pet guardianship - by voicing your concerns and realizing that your dog might be next - condemned an outcast by our government with the lame attempt at protecting citizens, misleading the majority with a hyped "cleansing" mission, that does nothing but break hearts and create a huge void in people's lives who yesterday were able to cherish their pet, today it's gone - gobbled up by the very BSL mafia that needs to be stopped in their tracks.
So hug your dog, contact your politicians and decide how you vote in the next election: Protest Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). For more info, go to:
Join us in our boycott of Denver: Tell Denver why you won't spend your money there !
Rottweillers are on the list to be banned in Los Angeles. Your dog or breed could be next. You in Minnesota are very lucky to have such an amazing man at the Animal Ark Shelter trying to set the record straight and to speak up for this terribly abused breed. I just sent a donation to the animal ark shelter and plan to stay tuned in from now on because he has so much to say.
On 09/13/2008 Jeramie Dreyfuss said: Protect your pitbull
Do not stand by and do nothing to protect your pit bull or pit/mix dog from the devestation that has happened to family pets in Denver. Join Roverlution.org and get involved. We just saved Forrest and he is now kicked out of Colorado, but heading to a great life in Southern California. 1,700 other pets weren't so lucky and were taken from homes and euthaniZed. Everyone could not afford to move and children have been deeply traumatized as their beloved pets were taken from hiding and destroyed. Sign the petition Spend no DOllars in Denver, Colorado and help us end this ridiculous legislation. I want the bad breeders and owners of pits to spend a LOT of time in jail. Punish the deed, not the BREED. Our boycott of Denver will grow and by joining the boycott and stopping this in the city where it first began other states and counties around the country may realize this is not the answer to vicious dogs and gangs who abuse these poor dogs and fight them. One of the Michael Vick dogs is now a therapy dog and only one of all of the dogs taken from his property had to be put down for human agression. Pits naturally love people. Please don't fall for the hysteria about pits because no one hears about all the other dogs who do bad things. They just don't make good press I guess. A cocker spaniel killed someone in 2007. Yes, I know that pits have large teeth and are strong dogs and they need to be owned by very committed owners who are with them most of the time. Chaining them in a backyard is abuse. Please join Roverlution.org and help one dedicated veterinarian in Southern California who is making an incredible difference. I personally live in Idaho and can't get any pit owners to believe me that this could be their dog next. I am doing all I can do to ring the bell and scream this from the rafters....these bans are coming everywhere and we have to stop them now or there will be no where to move and no one is taking my best companion from me.
On 07/17/2008 Sasha said: It's not the dogs fault.
"pitbulls" are the sweetst dogs that you will ever meet. They love little kids and they are willing to please. The only reason that they would lash out at people or other animals is from their owner antagonizing them, beating them, teaching them that dogs are something to attach (I.E. Dog Fighting). When it is the owners fault, not the Dogs. I am getting an AMerican Staffordshire Terrier and he is the sweetest thing that I have ever met. He treats the owners 1 year old as it was his own pup. He just adores her. Now, I also have a husky wolf mix, but he is oly 25% wolf. They were going to put him down at the pound and I couldn't let that happen and so I adopted him. Whenever we go up north and my now 2 year old nephew is with, he follows him around so that we know where my nephew is at all times. He is protective of my nephew when we are camping because there are bears, bobcats, coyotes, cougars and other kinds of animals that would attack him. If we are sitting by the fire and my nephew goes away from the fire, there goes my dog following him. He knows that my nephew is unable to protect himself like we are and that he is there for his protection. Its his instincts to protect one of his 'pups'.
This ban is rediculise. We shouldn't get in trouble for other peoples stupidity. Anyone who buys a dog whould have a background check and everyone who owns a dog should be checked up on all of the time because they would be doing something wrong, you'll know by how the do acts when you go in to chek on it. If it is being aggressive twords the person, then an investigation should be set up.
On 04/28/2008 Robin said: STOP BLAMING THE ANIMALS
Stop blaming the animals and START MAKING THE OWNERS THAT TRAINED THEM THIS WAY RESPONSIBLE!!! As stated above, "Pitt's" and "Rott's" have excellent temperments. These two breeds are very easily trained and loyal which makes them appealing to drug dealers, gangsters, etc... AGAIN, THESE ANIMALS ARE NOT AT FAULT, THEIR OWNERS ARE AND THEY SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AND PREFERABLY BANNED FROM MINNESOTA!
On 04/24/2008 Chad said: Ban Owners Instead
How about a ban on stupid people instead? We should require an IQ test for both pet ownership and bringing children into this world..
On 04/19/2008 Kim said: Don't ban the dogs; ban owners!
First of all - no dog breeds should be banned. I helped raise rotts as a kid and they were wonderful. However, at the same time we owned a Chihuahua who controlled the actions of the rotts.
The behavior of a dog is the result of the training provided by the owner. I do not agree to passing this crazy bill - however, I think it would be appropriate to put regulations on such dogs - for example, to own a rott, pit, etc. one should have to have a permit and follow training guidelines. As Americans, we have continuously denied socialized healthcare, but yet some would allow the government to tell us what kind of dog we are allowed to own. Ridiculous.
On 04/18/2008 deb said: realy?
I live next to 2 pit bulls, I was not able to go out with out them barking wildly. last week they pulled the rail off the deck and attacked my dog in his own yard. ripping the skin off his hind leg. and you think a cocker spaniel wpould do that/ get real.
they are dangerous.
On 04/18/2008 Nichole said: Agree!!
I totally agree!. I worked at a vet and many of the dogs to be careful around were the smaller breeds ie: cocker spaniels, chihuahuas and miniture pinschers. I this is a ridiculous bill.
On 04/10/2008 Cindy said:
I have a few friends that would be affected by this, and their dogs are great with my 1 year old twin daughters. It's sad that people blame an entier breed, when it's usually they lack of training on the owners part.
On 04/09/2008 Patty said:
This is discusting! I own a pit bull and she is very good with children and other dogs she has lived with 2 german shepherds and a spaniel/lab mix, I saved all 4 of these animals. It is definetly the owners who raise the dogs. Start making bad owners pay for mistreating these dogs.
On 04/09/2008 Kristin Wick said: There are no bad breeds, just bad owners!!!
How ignorant are these people putting blame on these animals when its their so-called owners who are to blame?? Pit Bulls are not by nature human aggressive, they are tought this by pond scum who obviously have no soul. Of all the pits I know, they are all sweet, cuddly, and ARE THE BEST WITH KIDS!!!!!! Who ever said they would never own a pit with children hasn't done proper homework. You could not ask for a better dog when you have kids.. Do any of you remember Petey from the Little Rascals???? What was he again, oh yeah, a pit.
On 04/09/2008 Lynda said: Who can we call to speak out against this?
Where should we call?
What legislature would be effective.
A online petition could be started up.
Does anyone know how to start one up?
On 04/05/2008 Jessi Jones said: Dangerous dogs or the Humans behind them?
I do understand the attempt to regulate unwanted behavior, ie dog bites/animal bites in general. However, in reality, most bites are provoked by humans who are trying to hurt the animal, scare the animal, or consistant abuse toward the animal. Humans react with violence, probably more so, than animals. Humans actually make a weel planned choice to hurt people, and then are most likely to get away with it, after legal loopholes are found. How fair is that? Animals are the accountable companions we can have around us. I think we need to protect them, not ban them, or make life miserable for them because of what breed they are.
It's not fair that it's ok to be cruel/biased toward animals, but almost a crime if we look at another human of a different culture in a different manner.
I say we stand by and train our pets, and rescue the pets from the hands of abusers, and help them live a fulfilled life.
On 04/05/2008 Brittany said: I'm willing to help.
This is to anyone. I am a 19 year old who honestly after hearing all of this feels like throwing up. I am willing to dedicate as much of my time as is needed, I am willing to help organize protests, marches, whatever. I strongly suggest we all come together, with our dogs, and prove to Minnesota that these dogs are amazing dogs. I'm willing to contact news stations/papers/whatever I need to do. all I need is more people and brains for brainstorming. simply reading this and posting comments is not enough! we have to stand up and DO something! I will not sit back and let these breeds, my favorites, be taken away from me. Please, please contact me. lets figure out what we can do.
On 03/31/2008 Tania said: Tania
Last August our small town in Wisconsin put a ban into effect on all "Pit Bull" type breeds. We owned a 4 1/2 year old Am Staff named Pig. He was our best friend and our first baby. We tried to get anyone to hear us out on the Village Board but they didn't care. They only cared about what they heard on TV - Pit Bulls and Am Staffs are killers. All I know is that I miss my Piggy and I hope that none of you have to go through the same feeling of loss and anger that my family went through.
On 03/10/2008 Ally said: I have an Akita!
I think the 2 breeds in the bill that are most talk about are 1. "Pit bulls" and 2. Rottweilers. I hardly know anyone who has heard of an akita, let alone met one. My guy is the sweetest dog I have ever met. We have socialized him properly, and he is the biggest lover of people you will ever meet. He has actually been traumatized of Golden Retrievers from a freak accident when he was 4 months old and got attacked by one at the dog park. Myself - I have been bitten by several dogs that are not on this list. It is an issue with owners, not dogs. The dogs my have it in their history - Akita's were guard dogs in Japan and used in the wars. My guy was his protective side, and will alert us to things that do not seem normal, but he is not even aggressive with other dogs. This bill is ridiculous, and people who do not understand the breeds, should just not fight it.
On 03/10/2008 Elise Anderson said: Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover
I was walking on the beach at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, when a dog, definitely not a pit bull breed, on a leash and with a muzzle on lunged at me at nipped me in the rear. The young, well-dressed, white couple with children did not even speak to me or apologize. I wish I had called the police. Instead I went to the E.R., had to bend over in front of a doctor, and pay $100.00 for a tetanus shot. The nurse joked, "Your walk around the lake cost you $100.00" I am still angry about that situation. Whereas, I have been around many pit-bulls in 'ghetto' neighborhoods and never had any problems, in fact the dogs are happy, friendly and well-controlled. I bet this is racially-motivated legislation.
On 03/06/2008 Kimi said: So- are horses and parrots next?
Seriously- where will the stupidity end? I have owned and have friends with all different breeds/mixes of dogs. The list includes (but is not limited to): Rotties, "Pit Bulls", Am Staffs, Dobermans, Poodles, Akitas, Huskies, Shepherds, Goldens, Jack Russels, various hounds, and several of what I call "lap dogs". I have been nipped by the Golden and the Shepherd mix (in their defense- we were roughhousing with the dogs), I have also been bitten hard by a friend's Bichon (yes-the fluffy white tiny thing). I'm still not sure why the Bichon bit me, but there is always a reason.
Anyhow, I digress. I own parrots and horses. I can tell you for a fact I have more scars from beaks, and have experienced much more pain from the hooves of my own horses than I ever have from a dog. Are they going to try to take away my babies (birds/horses) next? Maybe what we ought to do is educate the public on how to read animal behavior better?
On 03/04/2008 Destiny said: Its not RIGHT!!!!!
Recently I offered to babysit my friends 2 yr.old dog, her name is babygirl and thats what she is all the way--- A BIG HUGE BABYGIRL!!!! SHe loves attention and doesn't bark at all and you can do anything to her, such a sweetheart. I'm her godmom.
Unfortuantly, shes a mix with the breed of some kind of pit, so therefore I could not watch her because my landlord will not over see the odds. Just because people want to abuse these beautiful creatures that god gave us, and ruin it for all the other well kept owners out there that love the breed for every beautiful feature that they have to offer. That really upsets me that one and two ,ect IGNORANT PEOPLE can ruin it for the good, RESPONSIBLE OWNERS THAT ARE OUT HERE!!! Its truely sad for us that simply adore these animals---any animal that is here on this earth for us to company with.
I'm a HUGE ANIMAL LOVER--IF IT COULD BE WITH ANIMALS OR PEOPLE? I'D RATHER BE WITH THE ANIMALS! NOTHING LIKE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE ALWAYS!!!!
I think that people that want to own these breeds that they are trying to band should go through some serious hoops to show responsible ownership. And stop allowing the breed to be a mascot of terror, it can be any animal that had bad abuse-- Our world is full with it. Thanks for your time--
On 03/03/2008 Alexis said: Question?
What is going to happen to my baby? Since she is part pitbull what will happen to her? Is there any way i can stop this monster?
On 03/03/2008 Alexis said: Ban the stupid people!!!
Hi Im a 11 year old girl that came to the animal ark a few weeks ago. And i come into a nice kennel home and what do I see? " Pitbulls" . Why pitbulls what did they ever do huh i want someone to answer that!
I am the owner of a 3 year old Pitbull and she has never and will NEVER BITE ANYONE! You can pull on her, yank on her tail and do anything and then normally dogs would bite but you want to know what my dog does...? SHE WILL SIT THERE AND GIVE YOU KISSES. how mean do you think these dogs will get?
On 02/25/2008 krysta said: Ban stupid peolpe
Banning "dangerous breeds" is the most close minded idea anyone has ever had!! I have a 3 year old staffordshire terrier and a 2 year old daughter, they are best friends!!! Our beloved dog has never and would never show any aggresiveness. My daughter can take things from her mouth, tug her ears, bellyflop on her,& ride on her,jus to name a few. It make me furious that thanks to some and stupid cruel people minnesota wants to ban certain breeds of dogs. Ban bad and stupid pet owners!!!!!
On 02/22/2008 Tayler said: minnesota in a sad state first loosing a right to smoke wether or not not choose to now our animal rights we need new representation in all aspects of this state!
I had a staffod shire for 10 years just had to put it down for cancer she was very loving to kids and adults, and also a great watch dog. Everyone was scared of her but never bit. I HAVE BEN BIT BY COUNTLESS DOG'S MOST OF WICH WERE LITTLE YIPPIE OR YUPPIE DOGS BUT NEVER BY ANY OF THE NAMED BREADS! Everyone needs to quit giving up their rights it needs to stop here! Just cause you dont do it or don't have one doesn't mean it is not right! Why dont we start putting bad owners and gang bangers to sleep put blame on them not the animals! WHAT A JOKE THIS PLACE IS BECOMING!
On 02/20/2008 MAS said: Bad Owners Not Bad Breeds
While driving down a residential street in St Paul my daughter and I saw a young boy (very large for his age -- probably 150 lbs) kicking and dragging a puppy down the sidewalk. When the puppy refused to move, the boy picked up his foot and came down hard on the puppy's back. My daughter and I jumped out of the car and grabbed the puppy and called the police. The puppy was a "pit bull" type dog -- very sweet!!
The police were reluctant to take the dog away and the boy's family defended his bad behavior.
We all have to wonder what became of that poor dog at the hands of cruel and irresponsible owners and the city officials who didn't seem to care.
On 02/19/2008 Sarah said: Just another ignorant person
I have a rottweiler that wouldn't hurt a fly. She is the sweetest most lovable dog I have ever owned and I have had all kinds. I am a firm believer that it is not the breed but how the dog has been raised. Does this guy even own a dog?
On 02/18/2008 Jennifer said: BSL being proposed 2/19
Lesch is proposing his ban at 12:30 PM at the State Office Building on 2/19/08. The meeting is open to the public. Let's show them how much we love our dogs!
On 02/18/2008 Rita Gustafson said: Loving Pets
I own and have owned Rottweilers. They are the most loving dogs ever. They have never been aggressive told anyone unless they came up to them carrying a weapon such as a shotgun or a maul and then all they did was bark and stay 3 feet from them. People who have meet them could not believe how friendly they were since all they knew was what they heard and saw on TV. This business with Lesch wanting to ban dangerous dogs...why not ban dangerous people. I feel at times the smaller dogs are more aggressive and are ready to yap and nip at peoples feet. I have had more problems with those types of dogs than with the larger breed ones and again its the owners and how they were raised as pups. I think banning family pets should be opposed and other Rep. and Sen. need to think about what their constituents want. After surfing the web I see there is also a personal injury law office out there in the Twin Cities that seem to back Lesch and his Klux Kluk Clan tactics.
On 02/18/2008 Chuck Gustafson said: Apparently Rep. Lesch make judgements by newspaper articles
Rep. Lesch most likly hasn't been around pet owners of these breeds of dogs. My wife and I have owned 2 Rotti's. At firts my response was why would you want a Rotti? I didn't understand the breed either but we now have owned 2 Rotti's. The first one we had to put down because of cancer 8yrs old. It was just like loosing a family member. We finally got a second Rotti who is now 8. Both dogs were one of the best dogs that we have owned. They both love kids and anyone that comes to our door. Even the delivery men like them. not one complaint from our neighbors or people that meet them for the first time-Can't believe these are the vicious Rottweilers they read about. At least some people have taken there blinders off. But there are still to many people that let others make there mind up for them.
On 02/14/2008 Ashley said: Not a big dog owner..
I am going to be honest.. I would never own a pit bull or really any large dog if I had children BUT that does not mean I suppose putting those animals down!! I absolutely agree with regulating PEOPLE. I think that there should be a background check done when people want to buy an animal and if you have any violence in your past, guess what, you don't get one!! I know there are people that would find loop holes but maybe it would cut down on animal abuse too! My dog was beat when he was young and now he is TERRIFIED of men and children. He still won't come to my bf and we've had him 3 years (Well he will creep if my bf has a piece of steak to give him!)
On 02/12/2008 Tracy said: sweetest dogs
This ban on certain breeds is outragious! Any dog will bite or nip at anybody. Most of the "Bully Dogs" that everyone thinks of are ones that were trained to fight. Not ones that were raised in a loving family envoroment. I have been a proud mom (owner) of a beautiful Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull) for almost a year. Boo is the sweetes dog that I have ever had. She loves to cuddle and play with our 6 month old kitten. She loves attention from anyone ages 2-80 years old. I trust Boo around my 2 year old twin nephews and so does their mom. The play on her like she is their own personal jungle gym and she loves it. My only concern is that she will steal all my blankets at night when I'm sleeping. I will do everything I can to fight this ban! Punnish the deed not the Breed!
On 02/04/2008 Mary said: its not fair all dogs may be bad in ways
You know i feel this is not right. I have to put my Lab/Golden Retreiver Mix to sleep because he is going after our daughter. Any dog can attack trust me i know does not say all lab/Golden retreivers are bad just my dog has issues we cant help. Some dogs have issues and the owners should know if they are bad. i do not agree with this band at all. I will fight this ban!
On 01/31/2008 Tracy Hedeen said: Breed Ban Outragious!!
It is clear that Rep John Lesch has no idea what he is doing. Why doesn't he spend his time and money on trying to put an end to the cruel allogations that happens to these breeds and maybe prosecute the people that clearly dont know how to handle their pets! It is not the breed that is the problem, it is the people that own them and or breed/in-breed them to be that way. He may want to do a little more investigating before stepping forward with this bill. Who has the right to tell anyone what breed they can and cant have. The best dog I have ever had was my best friend Otis who happened to be a Rottweiler. At one time in his life I was taking a nap and couldn't find him anywhere. Come to find out someone who had run out of gas came to our farm house and needed a ride into town for gas. He had his 3 year old daughter with him, who at the time was very cold. The man and my father went into town to get gas and left her at the house, which I dont know why they didn't wake me to watch her, but they didn't. When they came back they couldn't find the little girl or Otis anywhere. We found both of them walking in the pasture down by the main road. Otis was continuously walking between her and the road pushing her with his nose so she wouldn't go closer to the highway. He never took his eyes off of her. And yes many of these breeds are used for police K9 and rescue dogs!!! What is this man thinking. He will have a battle to face if this bill goes anywhere and I will be one of the many he will have to fight!!!!
On 01/30/2008 cassie said: rot love
I had a german shepherd and a rot mix. The german shepherd loved to kill cats. One day our baby kitten got into the dog kennel. As i heard barking and growling, i went to break the dogs apart. I walked into sight, and there was the rot, crouching over the kitten, not letting the shepherd get it. Ive never had a better dog. He is amazing
On 12/27/2007 Mandy said: Ban the owner - not the breed!!!
I do have to say that when I met my then boyfriend's (now husband's) dog, Deja, I was a little frightened because she was a pit bull. Where I come from we do not really have any breeds except for "hunting" dogs. Come to find out, Deja is the best dog I have ever had. I grew up having 2 Black Labs and 2 English Setters. To tell you the truth, our one English Setter is a heck of a lot meaner than our Pit Bull. I have a 21 month old daughter who jumps on our Deja (our Pit Bull), pulls on her tale, yanks at her mouth, steals her toys, etc. and Deja has never even lifted an eyebrow at her. If my daughter ever did these things to the English Setter, she would definately get a growl and even a bite! Everyone thinks these animals are so horrible, but it is not the animal, it is the owner!!!! Maybe we should start having a little more control over who can and can't have pets. Make owning a pet a privelege so that only the descent owners, who actually care, are allowed to care for these precious creatures.
On 12/14/2007 John Rossakis said: Mandatory human sterilization
So when are we going to see a politician with the guts to propose mandatory tube-tying/vasectomies for people who continue to bring children into this world they can't properly care for, neglect, and/or abuse? I live in the same neighborhood in North Minneapolis where the 7-year old boy was killed a few months ago by the family "pit bull" kept chained up in the basement. Following this horrible tragedy, it was amazing how little was said about the father who was responsible for MAKING this dog what it was, and who was negligent enough to keep the dog in the house, in such close proximity to his children (not to mention the gun he kept in the house, which he used to shoot the dog as well). Who's going to do anything to prevent this guy from doing this all over again?
On 12/13/2007 MJS said: Blame the owner/breeder - not the breed!
I am a professional groomer and can tell you that some of the nicest, gentlest dogs I have had the honor of caring for are pit bulls and/or pit bull mixes. Is the breed pre-disposed to aggression? Maybe - but that is the result of irresponsible breeding, not the breed itself. Outlawing certain breeds is not the answer to aggressive dogs, but maybe stiffer penalties for those caught breeding for fighting (Michael Vick), puppy mills, and those caught neglecting and/or abusing animals. (In some cases, they abuse/neglect the dogs to make them mean.) Blame the breeders/owners - NOT the breeds!!
On 11/27/2007 Kris Ulbrich said: Breed Ban is wrong
I have a 8 year old rottie named Doris. She is our entire world. If the ban goes through, there is absolutely no way that I would let them deliver her a lethal injection. I will not let them kill my family member. I sent Sen. Lesch a letter when this all started. I explained that we would leave the state if it passes, and all of our consumerism would go with us. I also stated that the answer is to spend the money in our Animal Control facilities. They do not have the manpower to properly police complaints and issues. So, instead, responsible owners will be punished? Absurd! Not to mention, I have a feeling that rounding up all of these breeds and putting them to death is going to have a healthy cost attached to it as well. Lets use that money to be proactive instead of destructive.
On 11/17/2007 Nicole K said: Media
I just wanted to post that when I got online this morning, my homepage is msn.com, and it has todays top news picks. Well the top one said "Minn. Woman stabs Pit Bull that attacked her cat." Its unfortunate for the cat and its owner, but the only reason that the story made national news, and that its at the top of the list is because it was a pit bull, and who really knows if it was a pit bull at all. People are too quick to label an aggressive dog a pit bull, it seems the easy way out. I have a hard time hearing these stories, especially if the dog is incorrectly labeled, in Minnesota since they are at risk of being banned in minnesota. In the other hand, people do need to be more responsible with their pets by not letting them run unattended, and by trying to be an advocate for the breed as well. I do think that it is unfortunate that these dogs make national news when a lab could do the same thing, and hardly make local news. Blame the deed, not the breed.
On 11/16/2007 Laura Cloose said: Why not regulate breeding of all breeds?
It seems to me that if all breeding were regulated, that would take care of two problems. One being that maybe there would not be so many unwanted pets in shelters and two that then adoptions could also be overseen and people who have been irresponsible in the past could no longer adopt animals. I love pitbulls and have fostered about 30 dogs in my life and they have been by far the sweetest and best breed to have around my children and grandchildren.
On 11/16/2007 Chelsey Holland said: Do we tell you not to have children?
I have an 8 year old pitbull that has never been mean a day in her life, she has been around little kids of all ages. She makes visits to the local nursing home and long bike rides with the neighbor kids.
To try and tell us that we cant have certain types of dogs is wrong. If you have or had a pet you know what i am talking about. You get the certain puppy, the one you cant live without, they become your children.
What putting this ban in place will do is basically tell people, "I'm sorry but you cant have those children" How right is that??
I would love to look at our representaive in the face and tell him that he cant have something he loves more than anything in the world anymore, because someone decieded thats how it had to be based on the media.
On 11/15/2007 Kendra said: ROTTA LOVE
I have had Rottweilers as my pets for almost 10 years now. I ahve never met a more loyal or loving dog. I have 3 children who love their dogs as they were their own brother or sister. People who think it is the dog breed are truely ignorant!! It is how the dog is raised, I have a rat terrior that lives next to me and they had to put a beware of dog sign up because their little dog was biting all the neighborhood kids, while my rottweilers are running, licking, jumping and playing with these kids. It does not matter the breed of the dog, it is the owners that need to be punished. May as well ban all dogs instead of pin pointing breeds!
On 11/14/2007 Chelsey said: It breaks my heart
My brother owns a "pit bull" named Cheyenne. My brother lived in an apartment complex with his fiance. My brother fiance, who was about 7 months pregnant at the time, and my mother took Cheyenne out to go to the bathroom and for a walk, on the leash (keep note of that). On their way back in, they were cornered by 2 English Springer Spaniels, aprox age of 1-5 years. The owner let them out the patio door (they springers owners had a ground level apt.) and they cornered them. At first Cheyenne hid behind my mothers legs. Now, I grew up with springers, and I have never really seen a real "mean" springer like that. Anyways, Cheyenne hid, but once the dog lunged at my brothers pregnant fiance, she stepped in between her and the 2 dogs. If it were not for her stepping in and pinning that dog down, who knows what could have happened to my mom, or my soon to be sister-in-law, and if the attack would have been severe enough, would my wonderful nephew be here today? My point is, any breed is capable of "mauling" people. That is the only time I have ever seen Cheyenne get agressive is that one time. She didn't harm the other dogs, she pinned them down, yes, but didn't "attack" and bite them, more so held them down. I have never seen a more loving, loyal, friendly dog. The most dangerous thing on her is her tounge and the tail that constantly wags. She is an over-sized lap dog. Banning these breeds is not going to solve anything. We need stronger punishment for owners who train them or lack of training their pets. Them dogs were in city limits, and were not on a leash, Cheyenne was. Why punish owners who are doing it right and being responsible pet owners. Punish the deed, not the breed. Educate the ignorant.
On 11/11/2007 Lia said: breed ban?
i am the owner of 2 wonderful bullies.i DO NOT support a breed ban,however i do think something has to be done about these irresponsible dog owners.i think, in most of the recent dog bite incidents,the owners should have been charged with felonies.those kind of people should not be allowed to have a dog(or any animal.)owning a breed of dog considered a "pitbull" is a very big responsibility,& i think it takes a very special,dedicated person.they have more drive than a lot of other breeds(not all of them of course.)they need daily,consistent,intense exercise.they also need proper socialization.you can't leave them tied up,crated or caged,or even sitting in the house day after day,or their energy may be expelled negatively.in all of the recent cases,the dogs were not cared for properly.in some of the recent cases they were being neglected & abused.i think it should be mandatory,if you own a "pit bull" breed,to have them sterilized,(to prevent more irresponsible backyard breeding,we have enough homeless "pit bulls" to last a lifetime)& put through extensive obedience training.i don't think that's asking too much of any dog owner.people who have committed certain crimes should also not be allowed to own them.pit bulls are the #1 most abused,neglected dog in the country.the shelters & rescues are overrun with them.something needs to be done about this.unfortunately,what rep.lesch doesn't understand,is that a breed ban is not going to stop dog attacks.responsible dog ownership is!i don't think he has put much time & research into his proposed breed ban.i think he may just be trying to get his name known,in the political arena.i didn't know who he was until he proposed the bill.just a thought.
On 11/11/2007 Mathews Family said: Bad Breed? I think not!
Our family includes a black lab/pit bull mix named Ranger. We got him from the Human Society 3 years ago and since then my children age 6 & 9 have learned responsability and the act of kindness and love. I understand when people are not educated and they hear the horrific, sensationalized stories they hear on the news, and dont want that to happen to there family. However, I dont think a general label of "Ban The Bad Dogs", is the best solution either. You have to take a test to get a drivers lic., how about dog/owner training to have a dog.
What happens to the families that have "ban'd breeds" in there family. Are they going to come and comfort my children when they lose there friend and family member. Some people may view these dogs as "just a dog" but he is part of our family and I hope everyone would have a chance to experience the love of a 90lb "lap dog" lay next to you and lick you till you laugh.
-The Mathews Family
On 11/08/2007 christine said: maybe we should ban people too
I am the owner of a rescued American Staffordshire Terrier. My vet laughs when I say I'm bringing in the "dangerous dog" for a checkup. I grew up with a Black Lab my parents had to put to sleep early because obedience training was unsuccessful and he kept biting people. My "pit bull"? I don't know if there is anything I could do to make her bite someone. I'm really tired of all the people so quick to judge dogs they know nothing about. They cite statistics from the air and never have any hard data to prove their allegations. The demographic of people committing the vast majority of violent crimes can easily be generalized. If we were to unilaterally condemn all people falling in that demographic that would be considered racist, classist, etc. It's no different for dogs.
** also, Don Samuels has introduced an amendment to the City of Mpls dog rules. He heartily supports a breed ban with made-up facts. There is a public hearing on this 11/14 at 9 am: Council Chambers, Room 317, City Hall, 350 S. 5th Street, Minneapolis.**
On 11/07/2007 Ellen Z said:
I have two dogs a Rottwieler and a Jack Russell. My Rottwieler exemplefies the breed she is kind, alert and gentle. I have two young children that are 4 and 6 she is the best playmate and would never harm them or anyone else. The Jack Russell would get you before she would. It is Breed discrimination based on fear and ignorance and it should not be tolorated. Many of these breeds serve as top class therpy dogs, rescue dogs and handicap dogs. They are strong, brave working partners.
On 11/05/2007 hetty Mitchell said: Anto Chow-chow hype
I couldn't agree more about wrong judgmental attitudes concerning certain breeds.I've been a dog enthusiast all my life and have experienced many different breeds as well as mixes. Most recently I was the proud owner of a sweet Chow named Samson. Sam died a few years ago but during his short life we found that even Vets were unwilling to see him because as they said, "He was a Chow". Finally we found a vet who was scared initially but later came to call him her "Therapy Chow". Of all the pets I ever had Sam was the gentlest.
On 10/14/2007 Heidi Hieserich said: Ignorance
I e-mailed my state representative on this issues as well. It's so frustrating to know that there are actually people out there that are ignorant enough to believe that banning certain dog breeds will fix all dangerous dog issues. Those same people are the ones that blame their dog if it's misbehaved, even though it's typically they who are in need of training. Attempts to ban certain breeds of dogs is misdirected, it should be geared towards the irresponsible owners. I have a seven year old Rottie, and she is the most gentle and loving dog I've ever owned. What's funny is she is so balanced and well behaved compared to all of those little ankle biters. :) Nothing against the little ones, love them too!
On 10/12/2007 Jill Day said: Dangerous Dogs
What a mistake it would be to pass this legislation. I wrote to the representative to let him know my feelings on the subject.
Doubtful if it makes a difference, but we deserve to be heard on such petty issues as dangerous dogs - it's the owners, not the breed or the dog themselves - it's if they are properly handled and trained. They don't develop issues on their own, it comes from who teaches them right and wrong or doesn't teach them in some cases.
On 10/09/2007 Stacy said: TwinCities.com - articles (10-9-07)
An interesting article online at twincities.com today concerning dangerous dogs and how cities in MN are dealing with such issues. This should definitely be something Rep Lesch reads. While I don't always condone what the Humane Society does or informs the public about, one of the comments made by a spokesman for them in this article comes right out and states that breed-bans don't work.
Check out the article today (10-9-07) and also there is a video feature on owners of pit bulls and what it's like for them, etc.
On 10/02/2007 Shelly Newberg said: Akita
We owned "Beethoven" for approximately 13 years. We knowingly knew he was a big breed dog. As responsible pet owners we had him nuetured. We also had dog training. We realized that as he grew, we grew also. We hired a professional pet trainer to come in and train "Us Humans" to live with this wonderful creature. Beethoven was very obediant, a very loving, very caring, heartfelt boy. Never did you hear him bark. His demeanor is very loyal never reckless. He was the kind of dog that if a stranger were to come "into" our home his warning was one of raised hair on his back and until he was assured all was well he kept his watch. His loyalty is unsurpassed. He loved to go hiking, and going up north was his favorite thing to do. His other favorite was being an attentive and loyal friend. He never left our side, and protected us to the end. He died of old age and much much much love. I was shocked to hear Akitas were part of the banned list. Unless you have owned an Akita you are only assuming. I agree. I also have experienced Brittany Spaniel bites. My brothers hunting dog has bitten my daughter when she was a baby. All dogs have the potential to bite. Little dogs are worse for their bites. I also have two shitzus. I can tell you, my female rules our home. She has never bitten anyone.,but, This is for sure, NO ANIMAL can ever be trusted to not bite. If they are sick, or feel threatened, or are hurt, they can and will bite. Imagine when you are feeling sick and or threatened or someone is out to hurt your loved one, what would you do. It is a natural instinct on all life to protect. To make an attack on certain breeds is absurd. Thank you for you time.
On 09/27/2007 janice said: pit bulls
I know of 3 people attacked by dogs. All of the dogs where Staffordshire Terriers. I subscibe to Dog Fancy Magazine,look in the "Gallery of Breeds", if there is no such thing as a "pit bull" someone should tell them!!!
On 09/27/2007 Stacy said: Rep. Lesch
I took it upon myself to send Rep. Lesch an email stating my concern about his proposed breed ban legislation. For me, he kept telling me that protest itself is not a solution and that he was willing for me, or anyone, to give him a solution that would keep people safe. He was adamant that his legislation would do just that.
While he missed the point of what my email was telling him - which was to work with animal advocates and organizations to come to a more beneficial solution vs. a breed ban - he indicated that his legislation "ain't going away". As stated by others, he has proven that even he can't handle basic questions from the public about his legislation and when it got uncomfortable for him, he left the public forum - just walking out. This is not someone who wants to find a solution - this is simply someone who wants the media attention and the buy-in from the few people in the general public who somehow believe he is doing the right thing.
Unless and until he is willing to speak openly and honestly - no one has all of the answers but if he is truly trying to "protect the public" - he needs to accept that his legislation isn't going to accomplish that as it now stands. He can't even explain how such legislation would be enforced - who in their right mind would approve something that is poorly planned out. If he truly wanted to protect the public he would work with the right people to come to a solution.
Keep writing him - keep contacting other legislators as well. His proposal is unrealistic and we need more people to contact him about that and offer other more feasible alternatives.
On 09/26/2007 Stacy said: Dog bite victim blames owners - ARTICLE
Another article from the Star Tribune which just re-confirms that Rep John Lesch's proposed breed ban is completely off base. The article can be found:
On 09/25/2007 Lisa Peters said: Breed Ban in Minnesota?
What is going on here in Minnesota, we are conforming to much. I think that Minnesota should hold bad dog owners responsible for the their dogs, and start taking quick action on complaints of neglect and abuse, which applies to all breeds of animals, instead of pulling a stunt like this.
I owned Staffordshire Terriers for over several years, along with that I have owned a few other breeds, I will tell you this, the terriers where one of the best breeds I could have ever owned, obedient, compact, will rounded, and very intelligent.
I have a friend who breeds Akitas, a very responsible person and breeder.
I feel that this ban is another step in the wrong direction, and has caused allot of bad feelings.
After the age of 2, German Shepards are allot more likely to attack someone, and Labs are quite protective and aggressive after the age of 3.
Lets stop this ban, and start holding households accountable for their pets.
On 09/24/2007 Stacy said: Article on StarTribune.com
This article is out on startribune.com today (9-24-07)....nice to see.
On 09/15/2007 Phil said: uniformed, reactionary politics
It is simply amazing that people react without checking the facts. The FACT is that more cockers, and small breed dogs - chihuahuas, poms, etc - bite more people than the proposed five for banning. It is truly sad when a larger dog does bite and the resulting injuries are usually worse but in most cases the owner can be shown to have fault, usually for encouraging bad behavior or lack of training. Opposition to this and any similar bans needs to be heard!
On 09/04/2007 Matt said: Ignorance
I'm sorry, but anyone supporting BSL is simply ignorant.
Out of an average total of 9 deaths per year, country wide, by dog, 3 are due to pit bulls.
Yes, it's unfortunate, and some years are higher than others, but those numbers are average.
To put things into perspective, 1,100 children are killed by their parents each and every year.
Also more children are killed by bikes, skateboards, roller blades, play sets, chemicals under the sink, car crashes, bathtubs (I could go on...) than by pit bulls.
So, if we're simply banning things based on the death toll, what do we do with parents? And be sure to take away those bikes and skateboards, too. And certainly no playing at the park, or recreational sports... because statistically, they're far more deadly than pits.
C'mon people, wise up. Educate yourself before falling victim to media hype, please... media ratings go up when you're scared and ignorance allows that system to work.
On 09/03/2007 Mike Fry said: "Hybrids"
I am a little confused by your post because wolf/hybrids are included in the ban. I know of no one advocating for the ban that says pits, rots, chows and akitas are "wonderful dogs". They want to ban them because they, unfortunately, don't understand that.
The story with Wolf "hybrids" is an entirely different story.
It should first be pointed out that wolf "hybrids" should more correctly be called wolf "mixes", because a few years ago, dogs were reclassified to be considered a subspecies of wolf. Genetically, they are NEARLY identical, which is why they can cross and produce fertile offspring.
A very important distinction between a wolf and a dog, however, came about from domestication. In the domesticated dog, a final psychological developmental phase has been suppressed. Domestic dogs are Neotenic - psychologically, they remain like juveniles. They see their humans as their parents and are, therefore, willing to maintain a subordinate position to them their entire lives.
This is not true for wolves. When wolves mature, they are willing to fight, and possibly even kill, their parents in order to gain dominance in the pack.
When you cross a wolf and a dog, you do not know whether or not the animal will advance into this final, "independent" adult mental state, or whether it will inherit the neotenistic characteristic of the dog, and remain like a juvenile who looks up to its people as a parent its entire life.
I have met and known several "hybrids" in my life. I have also known many dogs - whose parents insist they are "part wolf" because they think it is somehow "cool". I know of one such dog that looks exactly like a purebred beagle. I know another that looks like a spits.
Of the dogs I have known that were actually so-called "hybrids" the majority of them needed to be managed as exotic animals, could not be house pets, or were destroyed for bad/dangerous behavior. People who promote the keeping of hybrids ignore this reality.
I strongly believe, therefore, that people who produce wolf hybrids are grossly irresponsible. People who keep them, without understanding that some time between 1.5 years and 5 years of age, their "dogs" personality could suddenly and drastically change, are tragically uneducated about their "pets".
On 09/02/2007 Brandi Reuter said: "Hybrids"
It amazes me that an advocate for the proposed "banned dog breeds" Pits, Rots, Chows and Akitas who is so passionate about how wonderful these dogs are ( and they are ) can however "understand" that wolf hybrids are dangerous and not include them in the species of dogs to be protected from legislation. It's all in the raising and training. No different than the so called "dangerous breeds". Either you're in this or you're not. So....... you get to choose the ones you want to save. No better than the Govt.. Think again. Educate yourself. Go meet a hybrid.
On 08/30/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: school policies?
Wow, Kaya, I didn't know there was a school district that wouldn't let dogs into the lower schools. Where is that? You are so right -- it seems like a shame.
I am pleased to say that today my "pit bull" helped me save a hurt songbird -- he and the Akita mix just stood by it and looked at it and barked until I came outside -- goes to show you never can tell!
To Dan: I'll make this brief. Can you tell me a situation with a pittie bite where the pittie was owned by someone halfway reasonable? Like, not someone who kept a biting dog chained in the basement? I'll agree on the "irresponsible owners" part. Can we look at ways to get owners to be more responsible? There is no possible way we can ever ban all the dog breeds that might harm someone -- because they ALL can.
On 08/29/2007 Kaya Wolf said: Bred for a purpose
I agree I think people need to research the breed they are thinking about adopting before they adopt it. Responsible people will. But a majority of people won't. Especially the stupid and uncommitted ones.
Perhaps earlier education to children on dog breeds would be benificial. Our Humane Society also can only go into the highschool to educate kids. Because of the influx of a certian group of people into our area who are not what you would call animal people because of cultural differences. We have been banned from bringing animals of any sort into the grade schools and junior high. Where before we were welcomed. The highschool still allows it as do the secular schools. So we are reaching part of the population at least.
It is a good point about not sending staffies to farm situations however we are foster based only at this point and we do not always have a home with in a city limit open. So that would be difficult to do but I will bring it up at the next meeting. Thank you for the suggestion. Also our insurance company may tell us we cannot take Staffie's after all this is said and done. Hopefully they will not try and get out of paying the claim.
On 08/29/2007 dan mealey said: change of heart
On June 19th I sent a message in opposition of the proposed ban. Since that date more incidents invovling pit bulls have occurred causing death and injury to defenseless children! Having been attacked by a pit bull and a boxer,I can't imagine the pain of losing any child to one of these animals! I can no longer support these dogs and their irrsponsible owners. I will now support legislation and enforcement to protect our children.
On 08/28/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: bred for purposes
Hi, Kaya: You are so right about certain breeds having inherent traits that we need to be aware of. I wish that more people would read up on the breeds they are interested in and refer to information about the primary breeds of mixed breed dogs if that's what they are adopting. Although the "pit bull" breeds (American Staffordshire, American Pit Bull Terrier, etc.) are technically in the terrier breed group rather than the "working breed" group (which includes rottweilers, akitas, huskies), I think they belong in the working group by personality. (Smart, strong, very trainable.) As with most terriers, they were originally rodent catchers!
I am sure that there are pitties who are safe with small animals, but MANY are not. I imagine that this is why they aren't generally farm dogs. My pittie boy is generally OK with cats, but I would not leave him alone with them. (He's wayyyy too interested in squirrels.) I'm sorry that your foster had this experience, and hope that there is some way that you can continue to accept pitties into your program. Maybe not to fosters who have farms?
On 08/28/2007 Kaya Wolf said: Breed banning
Although I DO NOT support breed banning I do belive that certian dog breeds have certian inherient traits about them. They were bred to do specific tasks by humans over time.
Blue and Red Heelers nip at the heels of live stock to herd them into a certian area.
Dalmations gained a ton of popularity with movies that came out and everyone rushed to buy thier kid a Dalmation. Not realizing that the breed often has energy to burn. So if you are at work 14 hours a day, this may not be the breed for you Dal's tend toward the high energy side. Then 6 or 8 months later shelters were full of Dal's that had outgrown that "cute" movie stereo type.
Hounds were bred for thier scent tracking ability. To expect them not to have thier head to the ground and thier nose sniffing away is absurd. What were American Bull dog, Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cane Corso Mastiff breeds for example, bred for?
The bull terrier dog was a breed originating in the United States. Several books I have read on the subject say the dog was bred for fighting. Thier temperaments can be obstinate.(The Complete Dog book by Dr. Peter Larkin and Mike Stockton) They also say that in the company of other dogs or animals the Stafforshire Bull Terrier may need to be carfully controlled. I think that Bully breeds are bred to be stubborn or Bull headed if you will. Pun intended.
I don't believe they are bad breeds. I am a board member for our small foster only shelter in Southern Minnesota. I have met some wonderful "pit bulls." However recently we had a case where a stafforshire terrier mix got out of her kennel and killed some live stock. In the previous 6 to 7 months she showed no aggressive tendencies toward the live stock or people or other animals. The fosterer's were even thinking of adopting her because they had her for so long and she had been well behaved.
However she "snapped." We will be deciding at the upcoming meeting in September if we will take the so called "Pit" breeds into our system in the future.
Perhaps we should license breeders of Stafforshire's and bull dogs and license the people that buy them. Perhaps it should be like a background check for a gun. ANd there should be a waiting period. Although it wouldn't stop all the criminals from getting them (the gun laws certianly haven't worked completely) I believe this would be a more appropriate action rather then banning the breed. Or rounding up peoples friendly bully breeds, Rotts, Akitas,Chows and Dobes and killing them. Rep Lesch is way off the mark on this one. He needs to be stopped.
We have a great German Shepherd Dog and purchased her from a very reputable breeder who is also holds a masters in genetics. She is nearly a year old and is everything the breeder said she would be.
On 08/26/2007 Kris Kopet said: I Love my Pit!!!!!
My family and I just got home from camping,me, my husband, three kids, our Lab~Ice and our Pit~Dude!! Dude was the hit of the camp...Walking with him was always funny to me, the other campers would always say hello to him before me. The ones who asked what bred he was, I would tell them, and the response was,"Really!! I thought they would be mean. or I also heard, this is the first time I have never seen one and I can't get over how cute he is!!" Then when he went swimming with his Lab brother we had an audience...not because our Lab swims like crazy, but because our Pit had a life jacket on swimming after balls that kids would throw into the lake. There are dog bites every where and they are not all pits!! We only hear about those. I am more wary of those ankle biter dogs then I am any larger dog. Before Dude we had a brindle colored pit, his name was Boss. We sadly had to explain to our children that the family pet was poisoned by a stranger and passed away. They asked WHY???? I still don't have that answer. In my larger family circle there are kids ranging in age from 9 months to 83 years old, and Dude kisses them all. If you get down and ask for a hug he will hug you! He loves to snuggle, enjoys boat rides, knows when you are sick, loves to play with everyone, will be calm when needed...I could go on and on. Basically~don't judge a book by it's cover. Any bred of dog could be dangerous~depending on it's OWNERS!!!! Our dogs are a part of our family, and we will fight to save any part of our family!! Be a smart pet owner...
On 08/24/2007 Mike Fry said: Pit bulls are not tigers
With all due respect, Tom, I find your post very frustrating. I suspect you are very unfamiliar and unaware of dog bite activity in the Twin Cities or the country.
To put things in a little bit of perspective, every single week of the year there are, on average, 7 - 9 dog bites reported to Minneapolis and St. Paul animal control. There are many more if you add in the surrounding Twin Cities metro area.
In spite of the constant occurrence of dog bites, the numbers are actually very, very low - about half the national average when measured on a per capita basis. If you consider the numbers of people and dogs in this area, the numbers are shockingly low, and much lower than they were even just a few years ago.
These bites and attacks occur in all breeds of dogs. So, don't you wonder why you only hear about the bites by so-called "pit bulls"? While you are pondering that, I will tell you that is NOT because the bites are generally more serious. Discounting the recent, tragic fatal attack, some of the most serious attacks I know about have been perpetrated by breeds not on the proposed list of breeds people would ban. The list of very serious dog attacks in our area recently includes cocker spaniels and German shepherds.
So, if the news reports are not based on a full picture of the actual events, and if they are not based on the actual dog bite data, then the radical call to exterminate breeds of dogs is based on . . . ?
Implying that these dogs are equal to tigers and pumas is. . . well, just plain crazy talk.
On 08/24/2007 tom moore said: ban 'em.
another pit bull attacked another child in the twin cities yesterday.
it is beyond time to ban all pit bulls from our neighborhoods.
there is no way to, one, ensure that all owners are "good" owners and, two, to even ensure that dogs that have been well trained won't, in the right/wrong circumstances, attack a person.
and pit bulls are different than, say, beagles, in that pit bulls maul and kill people. i don't think the Strib has been supressing their articles on beagle maulings of area toddlers.
i know when i'm with my three year old and someone is out with their pit bull, i pick up my son and we either stand still or cross the street, and we don't exchange pleasantries with the owner/guardian of the dog - i don't exchange pleasantries with people who have killer animals in my neighborhood.
if people in minneapolis owned tigers or pumas, would it be o.k if they were "good owners", even if a few kids had been killed by pumas or tigers that year?
we legislate all sorts of things regarding what animals we can own and how we can and can't keep them and care for them. just because your pit bull hasn't mauled anyone yet doesn't override the public safety threat that these animals pose.
On 08/23/2007 Megan said: NO danger of my rott mix ever hurting my kids
I adopted a 1/2 Rott 1/2 Shepard mix from Animal ark almost 6 years ago. She was only 10 months old when I got her and she had been neglected and abused and tomorrow she will be celebrating her 7th birthday and she has been the best dog. I also have two small girls and another baby on the way. As well as run an in home daycare and my so called "DANGEROUS BREED" dog is the best thing in my house she is very protective of all the children in my home has never in her 6 years with me even so much as shown her fangs at any of the kids in my house. And believe me she has had some rough stuff done to her not on purpose but by curious babies trying to figure her out. All she does is lick their faces and move away from them. She has even been seen blocking stairs and other dangerous items form the crawling babies in my house. I would never think twice about allowing this dog near my kids. However if you do not belong anywhere near my property and there are kids in my yard I would suggest you watch out because my dog has been raised to protect my kids and my house and she will let you know that. Instead of banning breeds of dogs how about we make it harder to own one or purchase one. Set up rules that protect the dogs; require background checks and home studies for people wanting to own one of these dogs. MEAN DOGS ARE NOT BORN THEY ARE RAISED THAT WAY!!!! I would have no problem submitting to a background check and a home study if if meant my 4 and 6 year old daughters could keep their beloved dog. So I say to Rep John Lesch before you decide to upset the lives of many pet owners many of them small children come spend the day with my dog and show me how she is a danger to any child or person.
On 08/16/2007 Paula said: Ban of Five Dog Breeds
When a youngster I remember the first time I saw a Doberman Pinscher. I was scared to death of them and it was because I did not know anything about them, but only what I did know is what I had saw on tv. One year a breeder in our area was giving us a puppy who was about a year old, we were sitting at the table and our very large puppy was running through the yard, it was Doberman. I will tell you he was the biggest spoiled dog we ever had. While in K-9 kind. with our IG and MinPin one of the trainers were in the hospital from a dog bite. She was working with a young MinPin and for no reason the dog bit her lip and she ended up in the hospital with her lips tore up and stick. Just like years ago you would also have people tell you not to purchse an American Bulldog, because they have hurt people too. It all go's back to how well you train your pets....
On 08/15/2007 Jennifer Peer said: Chickens!
They fight CHICKENS!! The same people fighting dogs, also fight CHICKENS! Are they going to abolish every animal one by one? Untill the criminals are forced to fight hamsters? They already fight fish!
This is just another pathetic attempt to sterilze the world so that nobody, ever, has the potential to so much as fall down and get a boo-boo on their knee. Humans are such a disappointing species.
On 08/15/2007 Jennifer Peer said: I've had it
I own Giant Alaskan Malamutes, one of the most people loving dogs on the planet- WILL NOT bark when people come in even if we're not home. They won't protect me if i'm being raped or mugged- they are madly in love with every one they see.
Yet, one of them, an 70lb puppy, looks alot like a wolf. Like he could definetely be a wolf hybrid (even though he is A.K.C. registered and from outstanding bloodlines). He has no burglar mask like most, and is off-white with silver tips and a silver streak down his back. Alot of people see him and glare at me and make stupid comments while driving by to let me know they hate us. Probably because they think I'm part of "the problem" with dog attacks. IGNORANCE!
Everytime some one speaks or comes near he puts on "the puss face" (like "puss in boots" does in Shrek) and cocks his head to the side. In other words, makes himself look as unthreatening as possible. His eyes literally fall downward, as if he's melting with adoration when he looks at people! Our other dog, lays down and crawls towards dogs tht are 10 pounds or less to let them know she won't hurt them but desperately wants to play! But what do they get in return? People sneering at them becuase they are large. WHILE, might I add, small dogs are 100 times more likely to have anti-social disorders and bark, bite, and attempt to attack, other dogs AND people. Of course they can't do as much damage but here in lays the problem: They teach dogs who can do serious damage that it's appropriate to attack and bite anything that moves. They are part of the problem too. Not a big deal for reclusive people but I take my dogs every where and to random dog parks 5 times a week.
I have ahd many toy dogs bite one of my dogs for no reason! Now, every time I see one, I immediately tell the owners to get their dog away from us, and that I'm sorry but I can't have them teaching my puppies that that is appropriate "dog" behavior. I also now incorporate that rule into my puppy/new owner contracts- that they are not to allow dogs under 20 lbs within 10 feet of their pup and never, ever, to socialize with them. These people don't bother socializing their dogs because they will never be able to "kill" some one. Although they can teach bigger puppies to do it for them. Just liek in the human world, monkey see monkey do.
ALL dog owners need to be more responsible, as the population increases, and people are living clsoer and closer to each other. ALL dog owners should be required to social their puppies with each other, with older dogs, and children and people.
And PARENTS, need to allow their children to pet and socialize with dogs, especially puppies!!! Not for the childs sake, but for the puppy's!! How do they expect puppies to grow into child loving & respecting adult dogs if they continue to gasp and tell their child to get away from the dog? Fine. You may have just saved your child from the unlikely chance that he might have gotten bit, and you may have mauled another child a year down the road!
Btw, a child is over 100 times more likely to be killed by it's own mother then by any dog. That's a statistical fact.
This arguement is ridiculous.
On 08/13/2007 lindsey n. said: Judge the Deed not the Breed!
i own a rottwieler/ st. bernard / german shepherd named princess. we got her from a no kill shelter for christmas and i love her sooo much! i would hate if the government took her away.
On 08/10/2007 Christina said: Doggy Segregation
I think it is too bad that some people form a prejudice towards these breeds of dogs. I have a Dobe boy who is the nicest boy in the world and all who come to our farm notice that he doesn't "act like a guard dog".It is how you raise them, you want a mean lab you raise it that way and they will be mean.My dobe was nuetered,socialized and has great obiendence(we went to classes for that too). I take him with me every where I can to try to better educate those who sadly think they are mean dogs(I feel sorry that they think this way), and I feel I have done a little bit when my dobe and I walk away and a person sees this breed in a whole new perspective.
On 08/05/2007 April said: bully breed love
When my fiance and I first got together 4 years ago he had a five year old rott named Cash. Two years after being together we were out at our farm with a pond and my daughter ended up at the deep end with out notice she started to drown and before anyone could get to her Cash went up underneath her and saved her. He is now 9 years old and the apple of my eye. We also ended up rescueing another rott and she was three years old at the time. I think it's all about how they are raised. I have done animal control work and have come across some really vicious dogs and most of them are the smaller breeds but no matter what breed it is they could all become great dogs with a little tlc and work. Rotta love
On 08/02/2007 Holly Krueger said: Use National Night Out to talk about this issue
I am hosting National Night Out in my neighborhood and I am going to use this time to talk to my neighbors about this issue. I've emailed my state senator and representative and let them know that my husband and I vote and we do not support bsl and suggested alternatives. I've also invited my representatives to National Night Out so that they can see first hand how well my male pit-mix plays with children and other dogs. As part of the events I've included a dog-frisbee contest and pet parade.
On 07/31/2007 Linda Rowan said: regarding ban on dogs
I am not in favor of banning certain breeds of dogs. If the first 5 breeds pass, then what breeds will be added to the list in the future? It opens the door!
I believe it would be best to pass a law that homeowners must provide a secure kennel that is locked and fully enclosed for when a pet is outside or an adequate fenced in yard. It is also much safer for the dog instead of being on a chain where is is more likely to come in contact with other people or animals.
I recently heard from an aquaintence that his neighbor chained a young dog to a tree during the 90+ degree days, when the neighbor came home from work he heard the dog in agony. He said it was wound tight around the tree and face was bleeding from struggling and fly bites. If the dog would have had water it would not have been able to reach it. There was no water dish though. he said he rescued the dog temporarily from the situation. I begged the man to call the police on this. I hope he has. Chained to a tree is cruel in any case unless the person is with the animal the whole time keeping a watch on it. I would assume a dog that is treated in this manner would be vicious if it survives.
Back to the topic, dog owners must welcome the dog into the family and train and care for it properly. How can this be accomplished without banning dogs? I am sure there are plenty of dogs of the five named breeds that are wonderful pets because their families are responsible.
On 07/29/2007 Sarah said: pit bull ban = bad idea
I agree--it would be extremely impractical to ban "pitbulls" as there are several breeds which could be counted as pit bulls. Additionally, to "Holms" it sounds like your neighbor isn't following leash laws. Many of the problems would be prevented if owners would keep their dogs leashed or enclosed in the yard. Call Animal control or the cops if your neighbors aren't responsible. I have a pit bull and I live in the city. He is trained, and always on a leash, in spite of the fact that he is an extremely friendly and happy dog. There are more owners like me than bad ones. Think about it: if all big dogs were roaming free unsupervised, there would be a lot more attacks. We don't ban cars because of drunk drivers, we just revoke their license. Maybe a similar policy needs to happen here: People shouldn't be entitled to own a pet; it should be a privilege.
On 07/28/2007 Ethan said: My boy jack
My dog jack and I get compliments everywhere we go and people come up and pet him and they say oh your so cute and they ask what kind of dog he is and what happens when I say pitbull... some people are unphased by it but others pull away there temporary loving hand in disgust. This is what the media has done to the name Pitbull and most of the cases the animal isnt even a pitbull. I rescued Jack from Denver and he came from fighting blood lines so he was predisposed to be aggressive towards dogs but with people he is very loving and has never shown aggression to anyone except our temporary neighbor who was a man that we later found out to be accused of child molestation (can you say 6th sense). I find pitbulls to be one of the most loyal breeds of dog in all the world as he proved when me and my father got into a fight and he ended up on top of me and just as he was about to hit me Jack jumped in and grabbed his arm and pulled him off of me. I dont call that aggresion but protection and the instinct of a loving companion to protect his or her master. If breed specific legislation comes to MN all the idiot owners would just find another dog to fuel their disgusting blood sport of dog fighting.
On 07/25/2007 Derl said: Breedism
Well bred Staffs are among the most reliably docile dogs on the planet. The problem is they are formidably equipped with physical strength, bite power, and ruthless tenacity. If the wrong people get them, they can be coerced into bad behavior -- but attacking humans is at odds with their breed wiring. The unfortunate fact is, people who WANT a mean dog, can create one from a harmless Staff, but it is NEVER the dog's fault.
For those irresponsible people who want biting dogs, certain dogs have become the fashionable breed-of-choice. But if they are denied their current choices, they'll simply coerce some other govt approved breed to become the weapon they desire.
The only thing a law discriminating against Staffs will do is deny honest families a calm, low maintenance companion - who can protect their family if need be, but won't use excessive force recklessly. Staffs are great dogs. It would be a shame to provide a non-solution to the attack problem by punishing the innocent.
On 07/24/2007 Holms said: exactly...
I get what you're saying. I realize that there are laws in place, and I know that if a dog is banned the bad or stupid people will just find another way around it. I'm simply stating that it seems like a dead end. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but how can we make it work? This a serious controversy.
I feel like you're giving too much credit to people for making mistakes. If you have a big dog, you better learn how to close your gate. I double check mine everytime, and my dog weighs 10 lbs. I am a responsible pet owner, and I don't want him to get out! The dog who attacked my WAS on a leash, one that could reach an 8 year old walking on the sidewalk. Those people shouldn't have any dog, I'm surprised they are even functioning adults.
It is also the few unfortunate instances that can really shape someone's opinion. Unfortunatly, bad news always travels much faster than good news. If you learn about a big dog hurting someone or someone's pet, you're on the alert. I sure as hell don't want this to continue, and it will. There are always idiots out there...and I am not willing to risk the safety of my pet of child on them.
As I said, this IS sad for me. I would never want to take away a good pet, but how do we prevent jerks from owning them in the future?
On 07/20/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: what's effective?
Dear Holms: Nobody disagrees that we live close together in cities and have to be considerate and prevent danger to our neighbors. But the big problem with things like "breed bans" is this: how effective will they be if current laws that address the situation aren't?
The situation you describe is one in which a person was breaking a law that ALREADY EXISTS -- the leash law. In Minneapolis, St. Paul, and most populated areas around them, there are laws saying that a dog may NOT be off its owner's property unless it is being walked on a leash of 6' or less.
Now, we all know that the best dog owner can still break this law unintentionally. Someone can not latch a gate properly, for instance. But if it seems like someone is purposely letting their dog run, you should call Animal Control. I had a neighbor who was just letting their Labrador out of the house to roam. When I talked to them & they didn't do anything, I asked Animal Control to talk to them. That stopped the problem.
Did you talk to the fellow who owned the rottweiler, tell him of your concerns, and remind him that there is a leash law? If the guy was not responsive, did you report him to Animal Control? We have laws in place that address many peoples' concerns, but laws don't enforce themselves! The authorities have to know something is going on before they can do anything, don't you think?
On 07/18/2007 Holms said: Too Scary...
I realize that I may be outnumbered here, but I feel very torn about this ban. I do not agree with taking someone’s beloved pet away just because of the type of dog they are…but due to the number of irresponsible pet owners out there, I may agree with forbidding future purchases or ownership of the so-called "Pitt Bulls."
I agree with Mareh’s comments below, in terms of people mistreating these dogs, thinking that they can toughen them up and play rough with them. And them not knowing about what’s playing and what’s hurting. I do not agree however, with the fact that another small dog could do even half as much harm compared to a big one.
I have a very little dog who’s sweet and friendly. The other day, we were almost taken out by a rottwieler from a couple blocks over when we were out for a walk. He came running at us from about half a block down, I saw him, grabbed my dog and held him as tightly to my chest as I could. The rottweiler jumped at me trying to get at my dog for a few minutes until I yelled out to a man standing in the yard where he came from. The man was the owner, he called the dog back and was very sorry and apologetic. He wasn’t the kind of person that I would think would try and have a “tough”, mean dog…but I can’t get over the fact that his dog could have hurt or even killed my little dog. It breaks my heart. I would never want to take away someone’s pet, but when they aren’t controllable, or are a hazard to their neighborhood pets and children then I think that they need to get out of the city, away from other pets and children.
To top off my experiences, growing up in Minneapolis, I was attacked by a “pitt-butt” walking home from school. He was on a leash, but it was long enough to reach me walking on the sidewalk. It was horrible. I luckily wasn’t too badly injured.
After weighing the different sides, I agree very much so with Ed Salter. I too support Animal Ark, as well as a few other animal rescues and charities, but I don’t want my little friend to be in danger…or my future children!! He couldn’t do the same to the big dog, so why is that fair? I don’t think that it’s okay that CO officials are taking away perfectly fine and sweet family dogs, but preventing more of them in my neighborhood would be something that I would support. We live in a city, where we all share a space. We need to be respectful of everyone, including all other pets. It’s such a tough subject, but when it comes down to it, [as much as it breaks my heart] I just care about protecting my dog and my family.
On 07/15/2007 Liane Johnson said: My letter to Dan Bostrom-knee jerk politics
portions of letter to Dan Bostrom & Rep Lesch:
..voted for you every election but after your very public stand (read that as.. headlines,"if it bleeds, it leads",councilman up for reelection,) on banning certain breeds of Dogs,never again. ..hardworking,tax paying,Sr Citizen homeowner & owner of a wonderful people & animal friendly "Pit Bull"(Am.Staff.).. I'm appalled..lack of inteligence, Knee Jerk reaction.I don’t run drug lab..as.. suggested. ...Restrict & other breeds will replace.(? mixed breeds?) It's the people you need to police. I've been bitten.(German Shepard.) So if I were you..all Shepards outlawed...Improve animal control, insist that these dogs are nuetered, but don’t take away the right of free choice for responsible pet owners!!! She's my best Friend!
When looking for a dog.. Not.. for a dog of this type but...she was the one that touched our souls. Best dog with kids I've ever owned. If one wanted to eat from her bowl she'd let them.Try that with any Shepard, poodle or Cocker..shares the house with 3 cats.1.more dangerous. only time police have come because of the dog..I called them.. neighborhood children were taunting dog until she was in absolute frenzy. I've watched children taunt dogs to the point if dog got.. loose first thing they'd do is go after that kid.Can't protect kids from every thing.Would that one little girl have been bitten if other kid hadnt kicked dog in the head? Try that with any dog. ...I don’t want anyone..reactionary .. who solves problems in such superficial way. We need solid representation.You seem more interested in the media frenzy.. getting name in paper.Playing on peoples emotions to get reelected may work with some...but not me.
On 07/13/2007 Mareh said: BAN STUPID PEOPLE, NOT DOGS
I just can't stand hearing about uneducated people freaking out about one thing that they hear on the news. Isn't it obvious that the media hypes up what they think will get better ratings. These people need to look into the facts before they jump to make a move to take away someone's friend and loving companion.
Not all big dogs are bad, their owners are stupid. I can't stand it when dumb people get a "pit bull" or larger dog (or any dog for that matter), and instead of caring for it as it deserves, they push them around, and try to toughen them up. This only leads to a dog being confused about what's playing and what's not. They only know their instincts, and what we teach them.
I have a little dog, and I would just die if something happened to him, but he could get hurt by another untrained little dog just as easily as a big one. No matter what size dog you have, you have to teach them to be sweet loving pets, not rambunctious tough guys.
I think that you should have to take a damn competency test before you are allowed to get any animal. Too many idiots think that they can properly care for an animal and are so mistaken.
I feel bad for those with loving and sweet dogs who have to fear of losing their friends.
On 07/11/2007 Kendyl said: That is just plain stupid!!!
That is not fair to "pit bulls" or the five breeds they are banning! My aunt has a "pit bull" and that dog is the nicest dog in the world!!!! Those stupid, irresponsible pet owners should train their pets, not letting them run thinking everything will be fine. Yes those dogs can be dangerous but any dog can be dangerous if not properly trained!
On 07/11/2007 shirley b said: Dangerous Irresponsible Politics
Once again the inhumanity of humanity, not to mention stupidity, rises to the top. People who relish Blood Sport or use vicious poorly trained dogs for protection will use whatever it takes to satisfy their needs. If you eliminate their current favored type of dog that is used for their activities they will find another. So what do you do, kill them all? Any dog is capable of inflicting substantial damage if it is so inclined.
You can bring the aggression out in any animal if you torment it badly enough. The problem is proper dog (and human) management and that is what needs to be addressed. KILLING SOMEONE’S WELL BEHAVED BELOVED PET BECAUSE OF HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IS BEYOND LUDICROUS. Anyone, but especially a politician, that would suggest such appalling action as wide spread dog genocide in response to the hysteria caused by some isolated incidents of dog attacks is more than ignorant, they are dangerous.
On 07/10/2007 Bernice Halberg said: BAN STUPID PEOPLE NOT DOGS
I think this Breed Ban is stupid and unfair! I am a Pit Bull owner and me and my children are scared to death that we are going to lose a dear friend and family member..there are many of us that have this breed of dog that take care of our dogs and they are the sweetest babys you can have but some one has to say "LETS BAN THESE MONSTERS" I look into the eyes of my Pit and I don't see a monster I see a dog that is like a child to me I have had him for a year now and he would not hurt a fly..heck just yesterday a fly landed on him while outside and all he did was lay on his back and roll around he didn't even bit at it like my Lab cross would have done this is NOT FAIR!
On 07/10/2007 Jenny said: Some smart recommendations
I found this on the BSL forum at A Rotta Love, a local pitbull and rottweiler rescue working hard to head off BSL here. The forum can be found at http://arottalove.org/forum.
Tips For Writing or Talking About BSL
Aurora, Colorado City Councilmember Bob Fitzgerald explained the need for a citywide pit bull ban thus: "We don't want 'those people' here." Owners of certain breeds of dogs - especially pit bulls and Rottweilers - suffer from strong stereotyping that can make it difficult for them to be heard or treated seriously, especially when it comes to talking about BSL. Government representatives typically believe that owners of certain breeds are drug dealers, criminals, young punks, poverty-stricken, or otherwise marginalized and "dangerous". And many owners of these particular breeds are seen as anti-social, uncaring, thuggish, or violent.
No scientific studies have been done to determine whether the stereotype is in fact the norm, and as is often the case, I suspect the stereotype is pretty far off. (Some informal polls indicate that most pit bulls are in fact owned by middle-age white females of average socio-economic status.) However, when talking with your representatives about BSL, you must be aware of not only how you are portraying yourself, but also how the representatives already see you. If you are already shoved into the negative category of "anti-social, drug dealing pit bull owner", your representatives are going to discount or abuse every single thing you say. You can make the situation worse through your own words and behavior, so it's important to tread carefully. Here are some tips regarding how to properly portray yourself and communicate for best results.
1) Keep it short and to the point. Legislators really don't read everything they get. It's not humanly possible. Often they just ask their aides to keep a tally of "yays" and "nays". Make sure you state your position clearly and firmly in the first few sentences. Make it simple: "I do not support [bill number]." Then elaborate.
2) Steer clear of stereotypes. In politics, appearance is everything. When you talk face-to-face about BSL to politicians and the media, you must also adopt that same philosophy. Hide your tattoos, brush your hair, put on some nice slacks and a dress shirt, stand up straight, and use good grammar. I know it doesn't seem fair that you can't just "be yourself", but the fact is, life isn't fair, and this isn't about you. It's about your rights as a citizen and your responsibilities as a dog owner. If you don't convey an attitude of respectability, you will get two negative results: first, you won't be taken seriously, and second, you will be reinforcing a negative stereotype, thereby making it much harder for all the rest of us.
3) NEVER speak or write rudely - ALWAYS be respectful and mature. As the saying goes, "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Or like my mom used to tell me, "if you want to be treated like a grown-up, you need to act like a grown-up." If you want your views to be heard, you need to be patient, open-minded, and mature. If you name-call, swear, threaten, or lash out, you risk losing your audience. Not only that, but you are reinforcing a negative stereotype ("all pit bull/Rottweiler owners are uneducated and immature"). Denver councilmembers recently expressed interest in a non-breed-specific alternative to their draconian pit bull ban - until they started getting angry hate mail and threats from some pit bull owners. That just confirmed to them that pit bull owners are scary, angry, dangerous individuals; they now defend their BSL with fervor, and hundreds of family dogs have been put to death as a result. Don't let your passion and emotions carry you away when you speak!
3) If you choose to mention your dog, be very careful what you say. When you speak out against BSL by arguing "My pit bull is the friendliest dog on the planet and everyone loves him!", that is not helping your case. Your pro-BSL representative believes you own a ticking time bomb. Your protests that your dog "loves everyone" only confirms in their mind that you are in denial - and anything else you may try to say becomes more crazy talk to them. On the other hand, if you speak to the representative as a concerned citizen - not a dog owner - you are more likely to be heard and respected as an equal rather than discounted as a nutjob.
Mention your dog only if you have proof - a title, certificate, award, or other evidence - that your dog is capable of "above average" good deeds and is highly unlikely to be a "ticking time bomb." If you have a therapy dog, a search-and-rescue dog, a hero dog (which received some sort of recognition from a major group), or an obedience-titled dog, you can mention it. If your dog's credentials are average (i.e. Temperament Tested, took some agility classes, lives with a child and hasn't eaten him yet), that's great - but not good enough to get out of the "could snap at any moment" category, so it's probably best to leave him out of it. Yes, you have every right to be proud of your dog, and yes, you should tell people all about your great dog - but not when you're talking to a pro-BSL legislator. They have a tendency to tune out words from pit bull and Rottweiler owners in particular.
4) Join your representative in worrying about the human victims. Aurora Councilmember Bob Fitzgerald gives us a wonderful quote regarding his reasons behind supporting a pit bull ban: "The thought of one kid getting hurt is too much for me." If we think further about the context in which Fitzgerald gives this comment, he seems to be implying that he does not care about children who are attacked by dogs other than pit bulls. In fact, some months prior to Fitzgerald's insensitive comment, in a city very close to Aurora, a young girl was killed by two Alaskan Malamutes. This child's needless death was apparently not "too much" for Fitzgerald, since he shows no interest in banning Alaskan Malamutes.
This sort of exclusionary thinking is pervasive among legislators who support BSL. They are so focused on the victims of attacks committed by certain breeds of dogs that they tend to overlook victims who were attacked by less "controversial" breeds. In effect, they are minimizing the danger posed by non-targeted breeds, the fear suffered by individuals who live near a dangerous dog of a non-targeted breed, and the pain inflicted on victims of attacks committed by a non-targeted breed. Ultimately, pointing this out to representatives is helpful; politicians do not want to seem insensitive toward victims, and the only way to treat every dog attack victim equally and fairly is through non-breed-specific legislation, where all victims are entitled to the same justice and retributions regardless of the breed of dog that injured them.
5) Provide good examples of non-breed-specific legislation that works. Identify some possible solutions to the problems your community is having with dangerous dogs. Perhaps your animal control department is underfunded and understaffed, resulting in paltry enforcement of laws. Maybe your community has a blase attitude toward leash laws and other dog laws. Perhaps school children are not getting any lessons in dog safety. Try to identify what areas need to be worked on in order to improve public safety and reduce dog bites. Offer model non-breed-specific dangerous dog legislation to replace breed-specific proposals (the AKC and the HSUS can both provide this). Our government representatives need to look like they're doing something - anything - to protect the public against vicious dogs. They automatically default toward BSL because it seems so easy, but if you give them something better, safer, and more effective...
6) Phone calls, snail mail, and fax are preferable to email. Email is too fast and too easy - our legislators get emails by the truckload, and even after weeding out the spam, they still have to sift through countless poorly written or incomprehensible emails and rantings. (I know from personal experience that some representatives don't bother checking their email at all.) Sending a letter in the mail, or, if time's a factor, sending a letter via fax, is often the best way to show that you are a concerned, involved citizen who has given a lot of thought and energy to the issue at hand. You can also make a quick phone call to express your opinion if you are able to control your emotions and not let any anger or anxiety leak into your voice or words.
On 07/08/2007 sassy said: All Dogs are Wild Animals
Please remember ALL DOGS ARE WILD ANIMALS and have the potential to attack at any given time for no reason at all. After all we did domesticate them didn't we? I can understand both sides. I'm a dog owner and I have also been a victim. I have two wonderful dogs a Border Collie and a B. Healer/Aussie mix. They both have been obedience trained and follow commands well, but if they ever felt threatend or were injured or scared they would probably attack. When "New" friends come over I need to put them in their "rooms" for about a half hour because they have tried to protect the house,and nipped at people, after that they are fine with my company. BECAUSE I'M A RESOPSIBLE OWNER I CHOOSE TO MY GUESTS AND MYSELF.
Most often dogs will attack for reason of injury, illness, being scared, new surroundings, confusion, ABUSE and because they have been trained to do so my their IRRESONSIBLE OWNER(S) to protect owners and property.
I was attacked in May of 2007, by a friends dog that was being dog sat by my brother. We went to visit and I was petting the dog, I told it to sit and it turned on me and latched on to my forearm. I did not receive stiches but he bit through the muscle of my forearm in four different spots. I DON'T blame the owners or the dog. WHY? Because the dog has been around our family for years but it was in new surroundings and it may have felt threatend. This dog was a Border Collie/Choc. Lab maybe they should be added to the list also. And the black lab that bit me when I was five. It can happen to anyone at anytime for no reason or for reasons that only the animal knows.
LET'S BAN THE IRRISPONSIBLE OWNERS THAT CAN'T KEEP THEM UNDER CONTROLL, AND NOT THE DOGS!!
JUST REMEMBER WE DOMESTICATED THEM!!!
On 07/03/2007 Ron said: Trainability
Thank you, I didn't intend to throw a gender debate on top of this messed up, backwards, and destructive bill. Thank you for the background on the landmark San Francisco story. It would be truly tragic if what happened there did nothing to educate the people who hold a bias against any one breed of dog, or who seek to pass uninformed legislation. It's important to look at where enforcement might have prevented that tragedy!
I think it's the role of every shelter to do their best job to educate and explain the history, breed, and behavior of every dog to each potential owner! Some people choose to ignore conventional wisdom and advice on purpose, and that puts the rest of us at risk.
You can train most dogs, but you often can't train most people who care for them.
Now we all need to make sure this breed ban doesn't happen, and our state continues on a road of safe, responsible ownership!
On 07/02/2007 Jason Leimer said: Mr. Salter on the Dog ban
I think that Mr. Salter had a lot of courage to come to a site where he could be ridiculed for his position on the potential ban. I think it is good for everyone to see what some of the objections and viewpoints of people that may be "pro ban" might have to better understand where they are coming from. After reading Mr. Salters two posts I have Two pieces of advice for him:
1 - Your local area aggressive dog problem - I can understand that you might have a one sided viewpoint if your neighborhood is filled with dogs with bad behavior. The only part of your views that I disagree with is how you want to go about and handle it. If you have dogs that are not being taken care of properly in you neighborhood report them on a case by case basis to let the authorities know where there might be a problem. This is a much better approach then trying to create a law that would eliminate certain breeds of dogs in your neighborhood but at the same time effect the rest of the state. My neighborhood has no problems of aggressive dogs and this law would do nothing but force good dog owners to turn in their pets to be put down. Also, remember that if a law came into place that would ban these dog breeds that this would not put the end to dog bites or dog attacks. These poor dog owners in your neighborhood would just end up having other dogs with bad temperament and ultimately the problem would not be solved.
An example of this would be that 2 weeks ago I was in a park and there was a very friendly and mellow dog that the owner had off leash while he was playing basketball. I approached him and asked him to put his dog on a leash. If he would of said no I would of called the authorities and reported it. This is just an accident waiting to happen no matter how mellow the dog. especially with children around. Plus, if there would of been and incident it would of reflected poorly on all dog owners and could result in an overall dog ban in the park down the road.
Don't forget about one last option on this. You could always look into moving out of your neighborhood. Bad dog owners tend to be bad people in general. If I lived in a neighborhood as you explained with people allowing their animals to behave in such a way I would pack my bags and leave because if they don't respect their own pets chances are that they will not respect you or your property either.
2 - Dealing with a traumatic dog bite experience - I can understand how being attacked by a dog could be and extremely frightening experience. However, your experience was a very long time ago and if you are still feeling uncomfortable around certain dog breeds just for the type of dog they are and not for their individual personality or how they have been trained it might be time for you to seek some professional help to talk through your feelings. I hope you don't take offense to this but I feel that no one should have to still be effected negatively by something that happened so long ago and if talking to someone could help make you feel more comfortable around animals I would recommend it. No law will ever solve these feelings that you have about dogs and the only real way to deal with the issue is to resolve it internally.
On 06/30/2007 Shara said: I LOVE MY DOGS!!
Hi there. I have two brindle pit, and siberian husky mix puppies, and this whole possible "pit bull" ban has me just tied up in knots. If this happens the way that those idiots want it to happen my puppies will not have only lost their father to an idiot with a pellet gun, but also their mother to an idiot with a general misconseption on these dogs. That just wouldn't be fair to them or any pit bull owner. I think everyone who feels the same way needs to get together and protest this rediculous ban.
On 06/29/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: trainable men & dogs
Hi, Ron: Are you talking about the poor woman in San Francisco who was mauled to death by Presa Canarios (who were, by the way, 2-3 times the size of "pit bulls") in her apartment building? That case seems to be a textbook example of the things we agree can be prevented by good enforcement. The dogs had been TRAINED to be vicious by a drug dealer/Aryan Nations member. Far from being briefly inattentive, the owners at the time of the mauling apparently enjoyed watching the dog frighten people and had done so many times. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S134543.DOC
That situation had a bunch of screaming red lights. People who asked the owners to control their dogs but were ignored should have gone to the authorities, including the veterinarian who wrote the owners to say that he thought their dogs were dangerous.
I didn't adopt my "pit bull" because of any sad story or protective instinct. I adopted him because he is a fun and funny dog who actually reminds me of a border collie in his intelligence and attentiveness. My (also neutered) 45 lb elderly golden/ collie mix is the protective one around here! As to trainability, I don't want to drag my boyfriend into this, but pretty much all dogs are more trainable than pretty much all humans, aren't they? (Women included!) I don't think we'd keep dogs if they weren't. :>)
On 06/29/2007 Ron said: Enforement alternatives
I absolutely don't support the ban. Denver and Carol Boigon have done a great disservice to the people and dogs in that city. To me, a "pit" bull or terrier is defined as dog that comes from a kennel or bloodline that has the character traits which allow it to "perform" (such an ugly word!) in the 'pit' or ring.
Existing Minnesota laws already work to identify problem dogs and warn the public when they are out and about. Banning demonstratively dangerous dogs might help, but generally Minnesota is already doing a reasonable job. It just requires money, enforcement, and public will to continue to fight a good fight.
Now it's just my opinion, but Ellen and her posts illustrate part of the PROBLEM existing with dog owners and animal rescue! Big, aggressive, highly protective and skittish dogs are adopted by these otherwise rational urban and suburban dwellers for one simple reason. They are basely attracted to their stories and qualities. A heartstring story and a spiky collar are just what these women search for and adopt as a companion. After all, they are actually EASIER to control, more loyal, and of course less judgmental than your typical American human male, hallelujah!
Unfortunately for the rest of us, it takes just a few inattentive seconds with these dogs in an instinctual situation and they will kill or maime the vulnerable and unwary. It happened quite famously in San Francisco a few years ago and it tragically happens to otherwise well intentioned people every day across this country!
On 06/27/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: breed ban alternatives
Mr. Salter, thanks for explaining. I'm glad it didn't make you afraid of all dogs. Because so many "pit bulls" are being bred and abandoned by bad people, dog rescuers like me are always scrambling to keep them alive and find them homes. So we haven't found the time to do other useful things like teaching bite prevention to children. Here's a piece of good news: A Rotta Love Plus rescue is putting on programs for children about preventing dog bites. I know that they and Animal Ark and other dog organizations are working hard to find other productive ways to prevent attacks by ANY breed of dog.
I have asked my representatives to find more money so Animal Control can enforce anti-cruelty laws, especially laws against dogfighting. Many mean dogs roaming the streets have been abandoned by dogfighters because they are bored or because the dog lost a fight. I found a "pit bull" like that near Como Park about 10 years ago -- he had no collar, just a frayed rope around his neck, and he was covered with wounds. He hopped right in my car when I called to him. The vet on call at my vet's office agreed to care for the dog's wounds but said they would bring him to Animal Control the next day. The entire couple of hours I had this sweet boy, he sat with me calmly and gave me kisses.
I hoped someone would save him, but now I know that he was almost certainly put down. At least he wasn't hit by a car or otherwise hurt any more. No dog should ever be treated like he was. I want to see the person who hurt him in jail, don't you? Let's write to our legislators and try to get more money to catch & prosecute these criminals. Seems to me there are a lot of solutions like that we can agree on, aren't there? Thanks for having this discussion with me.
On 06/27/2007 Ed Salter said: Clarification
I read what Ellen W. wrote in response to what I wrote. I understand your feelings and maybe this would be wrong but I can never get to know one. One of my neighborhood friends and I walk our dogs together and she has to come to my house to start because her next door neighbor has one and I can't make myself walk my dogs to her house. I'm not frightened for myself but I won't let some dog tear mine apart. It may be irrational and it may be because in 1975 I was bit in the face by a dog and out of work for nine months, had three plastic surgeries and I'm really afraid of dogs I perceive may bite. Sorry if I sound paranoid. I see what I call pit bulls all the time and I think they are beautiful dogs but I can't be around them. I get that if I had a dog that someone thought wasn't appropriate, I wouldn't just lie down and take it when they said get rid of it. I'm not sure what the answer is and I'm willing to say my previous experiences are clouding my judgment on this issue.
On 06/26/2007 Michelle said: So Sad
A few months ago we adopted Rocky, from Animal Ark. His short two and a half years of life were already muddled with being abandoned, hit by a car, and traumatized by a porquipine. How sad to find out our part Chow, sweet little pup is on this list. I agree with all of the posts regarding "proper owners", Rocky has needed training and he needs to be firmly reminded regarding his "doorside manners", however he is definitly NOT a "killer", even a "biter" not this guy; for goodness sakes he lives with two cats!
On 06/26/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: does one bad apple spoil the barrelful?
Dear Mr. Salter:
I can tell that you care very much about animals. Thank you for helping Ark and other animal causes! No question that the incident you are talking about is awful.
Here's what I don't understand. You talk about dogs who are trained to fight by criminals. But I'm a middle-aged woman with a "pit bull" I take excellent care of who has met literally dozens of dogs and people and has never given anyone even a bad look. Should my wonderful dog and I suffer because of criminals who hurt animals and people? Since it would cost money ban dogs, why not use that money to step up enforcement of laws against dogfighting and animal cruelty and send those people to jail?
Men have committed crimes against me. Not only that, men seem to be the ones declaring war all around the world! The 9/11 attacks were completely caused by men! I could decide to stay away from all men and not trust them, but I don't because I have met a lot of peaceful, good men.
Perhaps you have not met a lot of peaceful, good "pit bull" type dogs, but trust me -- they're around! (Some of them are at Animal Ark!) One of them is sleeping next to me right now. I doubt you would want to look into his beautiful, gentle brown eyes and tell him that he should be dead because of some poor mistreated dogs who were trained to be vicious by criminals. That would be allowing the criminals to hurt society all over again. I hope that you will reconsider.
On 06/26/2007 Ed Salter said: Banning certain breeds in St. Paul / MN
I think what you do at Animal Ark is truly admirable and I have donated money to you. I give you credit for going around trying to spay and neuter the so called Pits but on this issue I am leaning towards the ban. I have two dogs and two cats. I am thinking of adopting Brittany who has been at your shelter for a while. I give a good porting of my income to animal causes and will be in Mpls. on Friday as they take up the whether to stop live animal circuses. Back in the early 1980's my mother had a spaniel cross which she loved dearly. Our family home was out by Town & country in St. Paul. Her old dog was sitting on her front steps as he had done for years (he never left the steps). There was an older lady who lived across the alley and some supposedly nice young men asked her if they could build a fence and kennel in her large back yard and hose their dogs till they could move to an apartment where they could have dogs. Well on this afternoon the nice young men’s dogs climbed out of the 6' pen and went around the block where my mother's unsuspecting dog was doing what he had done every day for 7 years. The two pit bulls or whatever jumped him right on the steps and started tearing him apart. I was visiting my mother doing some work for her and when she stared screaming I ran to the door. I don't think many people living in what we think of a civilized world would be ready for what I saw. The two dos were trying to tear my mother friendly companion apart. I ran out back and found a coal shovel and started beating them both, they never even noticed me so I couldn't do anything else so I started pulling my mothers dog inside, while closing the door on the poor defamed killers. When I got my mothers dog inside we were both cover with blood. Prince my mother’s dog was half dead. I looked out and when I didn’t see those nice dogs, jumped into the car and headed for Feist Animal hospital where they said they would do what they could but they thought he wouldn't last the night but somehow they did and was fine and lived for 6 more years. It turned out the police told us that these nice young men were part of gang that was promoting dog fights. Now I live in the North End of ST. Paul and even though I am a homeowner I drive everyday after work to Como to walk my animals, because there are so-called aggressive, Pit bulls in my neighborhood. I pretty much love all animals and hate to see them put down, but I don't want to live near them. I will always support Animal Ark and will walk with you in August for the first time, but I promise if they have neighborhood meetings I will be at all of them. My city council member was at my house on Saturday because he knows I support him and he wanted to put a sign on my lawn. I made it clear how I felt. When I go to your shelter page some of them look like very nice dogs but unfortunately so many people who keep these breeds teach them to be aggressive or treat them badly and they become mean. I think the idea that they get a bad rap is misguided and certainly the view of a pro pit bull advocate. I hope there are communities that allow them but I would rather that St. Paul didn't. I'm sorry but my history with the breed tells me something very different than what you wrote.
On 06/25/2007 Steph Magras said: Twisted Focus
Interesting (scary, rather) that we live in a state that always a person to conceal and carry a gun, but not have a certain breed of dog. Am I missing something here?
On 06/25/2007 Renee Lake said: Akita's are wonderful!
My parent's have an Akita and he is one of the most loving gentle dogs I have ever met. In fact, growing up we had extremely aagressive dogs that were labs, german shepards and other mixed breed dogs. None however were any of the breeds in the ban.
Instead of banning these breeds of dogs, they instead should implement some sort of obedience and training for ALL owners of ALL breeds of dogs.
On 06/25/2007 Trish Norman said: Pit Bulls are great!
I have worked at a boarding kennel for quite a while, and have had the pleasure of seeing/meeting and working with many American Pit Bull Terriers, Amstaffs, and mixes too. I have not met a single one that was aggressive yet. Most are much more mellow than the labs, and they have more brains than labs, too. Since working at the kennel the only dogs who have bit me were both small- a toy poodle and an Italian Greyhound. I have never felt threatened by any "pit type" dog.
On 06/24/2007 Lauren IN said: Let's Euthanize Politicians instead
I know there are plenty more "vicious" politicians than "pit bulls". This would be rather interesting...
I am so sick of people trying to play God. These are not decisions that a human should be able to make. I have a Pit/Beagle mix and a Jack Russel. I would not be surprised if you were bit at my house for looking at her funny. Her as in my JACK. My Jack is so much more aggressive and protective. I hope that these people that are trying to pass this Bill are tossing and turning every night before bed because they know that it is morally wrong and they are murderers.
On 06/24/2007 cheri said: Ignorance is NOT Bliss
I own a Staffordshire Terrier Mix. She is the most loving and gentle dog around. It makes me sad that people are so ignorant about this breed of dog.
People should be educated about this breed. "Pit Bulls" have gotten a bad rap for a very long time. I would imagine due to the fighting that many of them are used for.
I know Labs who I would consider more of a danger than many of the "Pit Bulls" I have come in contact with.
I would be outraged to know that these animals, these gentle and loving family pets, may be outlawed.
On 06/24/2007 Michelle RC said: Resources to Fight this Ban
There are a couple websites that I'd like to recommend that may be helpful. One is badrap.org, an organization that's trying to fight the misperceptions of pit bulls. The other is doglegislationcouncilcanada, who is trying to fight such laws.
Hope this helps...
On 06/21/2007 Amber said: Stupid ban....
The stupid owners need to be punished, not the good owners who take care of their animals. Why punish the good dogs by killing them all when it's the people who are causing the problem. The most recent St. Paul attack was stupidity of the owner. He knew his dog was potentially dangerous and full well knowing this, left it tied up in a yard, unsupervised with a compromised fence. A good owner would not do this. Punish the bad owners, not the good ones. The breed ban has got to go! I've worked at 2 different boarding kennels and I never had any problems with the so called aggressive breeds. They were all great dogs. I have however seen aggressive labs, a border collie mix, a terrier mix, and some small breeds. You'll never convince me all these breeds need to go. Ridiculous!
On 06/21/2007 Jason Leimer said: Maybe Rep. John Lesch Should ban me
I am a 6'2" 33 year old male of European decent. Men that are of similar "stock" to myself have been know for a very large number of attacks, killings, harming others, and destroying property. It is obvious that even though there are laws to deter this violent behavior that they have not been able to stop it so maybe it is time for all men that have a similar "likenesses" be put down for good.
I know this is a stupid argument but it does not sound any more stupid to me then what John Lesch is proposing.
I sent John a letter. I told him that he is trying to create a black and white solution to a situation that has a lot of gray in it. If his proposal turned into a bill and then eventually turned into a law at the end of the day there would still be bad owners out there mistreating their dogs and sadly people would still be getting attacked by the dog breads that were still left. Eventually, someone would have to come up with another bill to try to "fix" the shortcomings of his. The end result would be many harmless dogs being put to sleep and a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars would be wasted.
On 06/20/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: interesting info re breed bans
Dan, thank you for thinking through the problem behind the attack that happened to you. I'm sorry you were hurt and I hope that what will come out of all this nonsense is a renewed effort to get existing laws enforced. For instance, several of the dogs involved in Twin Cities attacks recently were already deemed "dangerous dogs" under the law, but Animal Control was not given the resources to do the follow-up that law demands.
The roots of this problem are many, and I'm afraid Mr. Lesch is more interested in garnering attention for himself than solving the problem. I don't believe that he met with knowledgeable people to try to find a solution -- he just went off on a crazy jaunt, not unlike his solo trip to Iraq in early 2006. (Notice that he held this press conference on a slow news day EIGHT MONTHS before the legislature reopens.)
Here is an interesting and thoughtful site on some of these issues:
On 06/20/2007 Jeanne said: What a waste
What a waste of time and taxpayers money to try and pass this bill - is there nothing else more important than this like healthcare, schools, children, etc.????? Dogs are not the problem - it's irresponsible owners!!! I have never met a mean pit, rot or chow in all my years! Any dog has the tendance to be vicious if the owner does not take responsibility. Take any dog and tie it up, beat it, starve it and it will have the potential to turn dangerous. Get real Lesch and find something important to try and pass!!!!!!
On 06/19/2007 Dan Mealey said: dog attack victim
A little over five years ago I was out running and I was attacked by a pit bull and a boxer. Luckly a passerby in a van stopped and helped me or I could have been more seriously hurt. To this day I have physical and mental scars from this attack. I have never blamed the dogs for this attack just the owner, who by the way never apolgized and who was in trouble with the law. The dogs were put down after qurantine, and the owner received a minor fine. I was very disappointed in the way the county and city handled the case. I feel our elective officials should start going after the owners of these dogs and start screening persons before they get these dogs. Even though I am a victim I feel it is wrong to legislate a ban on certain breeds.
On 06/18/2007 Ellen Weinstock said: what IS a pitbull?
These letters are just wonderful! They bring up many interesting and important points about this stupid, stupid proposed bill.
On Saturday, I volunteered at the first Adoption Day with the Animal Ark Neuter Commuter at the Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet in Northfield. I spent a couple of hours chatting with people while holding Co-Co, a gorgeous brindled "pit bull" type mix who is for adoption at Ark. She is truly one of the nicest dogs I've ever met. She wanted to go up to every person and dog entering the store and greet them. If they let her, she gave kisses and she wagged so hard she almost knocked herself over.
I lost count of how many times people played with Co-Co, expressed their admiration for her, and then said, "What breed of dog is this?" Frankly, due to media sensationalism and lack of hard information, most people don't even recognize a pit bull when she licks them on the face!
On 06/18/2007 Heather said: WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO BLAME THE OWNERS?!
AGAIN, WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO BLAME THE OWNERS?!! I am so tired of everyone talking about the dogs, when they are only a sad representation of the pathetic owners! I used to have 2 rottweilers, and a pitbull, and to no one is surprise they were splendid companions! When people have children that miss behave, they look at the home life, when dogs misbehave the answer is to detroy them!
On 06/18/2007 Diane H said: Where do I sign up to help fight this ban
Instead of making a law to ban certain breeds of dogs, why is he not suggesting better laws to punish those people who choose to be bad dog owners?
What's next on his list? Maybe he will start wanting to pass laws about certain types of people next. I do believe Hitler started out in small steps didn't he?
We need to stop being complacent as a society and start speaking up for what is right.
On 06/18/2007 Denise said: Lesch Should be Out of Office
I hope his constituents vote him out of office in the next election.
On 06/17/2007 Shane said: politicians... people... dogs...
PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT... dogs are instinctive. A dog can't verbally tell you what it is thinking. It can't say "I'm scared" or "I'm protecting my people" or "oooo, it's a moving toy!!". Too often people & children don't understand the signs that the dog has given.
It is interesting to watch how people interact with a dog they have never met. Small children approach my dog on a walk and my wife and I routinely ask them if they know how to approach a dog. We teach them the proper way to meet a dog. It surprises me how many of these kids say that they have a dog but have not been taught how to properly meet a dog. Perhaps Mr. Lesch should promote some legislation to educate people and children about dogs. It could prevent many dog bites.
Just as it was with many things throughout history, a lack of understanding/education breeds ignorance, ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds violence. Perhaps it is the humans that know nothing about dogs that should stop perpetuating these misguided fears about these few breeds.
Additionally, maybe Mr. Lesch could use his political influence to increase funding for shelters such as Animal Ark. This might allow for increased education and classes on owning a dog, perhaps prior to adoption.
On 06/17/2007 Marc Matthews said: Oppose this Law!
I am the proud owner of an AmStaff mix, adopted from Animal Ark several years ago (in fact, he was in the video!). He is the most loyal and gentle animal I have ever encountered and I am just appalled by the blatant ignorance which Mr. Lesch has exhibited in proposing this law. Here's what I wrote him and I encourage everyone to write their legislators:
I am writing in opposition to the dog breed ban that you have proposed. To simply ban a dog based on its lineage is akin to racism and has no place in our forward-thinking state.
By the logic behind this proposed legislation, the most fearsome breed that we should immediately remove from loving homes is the Cocker Spaniel, based on national and local bite statistics. After all the spaniels have been rounded up, we should then turn our attention to the fearsome Golden and Labrador retrievers. Sounds silly, right?
Any dog, of any breed, is capable of seriously hurting a human under the right circumstances. Those circumstances are what you should be focusing your legislation on. Prosecute the PEOPLE who chain dogs to fences while they are taunted; the PEOPLE who train their dogs to be aggressive because they take sick pleasure in dog fights; the PEOPLE who abuse their dogs. See what I'm getting at? We cannot hold dogs responsible for the actions of their owners.
I would support you 100% if you proposed legislation condemning the inhuman treatment of animals and the awful conditions that create aggressive animals. However, your proposed legislation is fraught with technical and moral errors and I cannot stand idly by and let you move this bill to law.
On 06/16/2007 Mike Fry said: Letters Pouring In . . .
Though news of this proposed breed ban only came out yesterday, letters and emails are pouring in. Here is one very good example:
I'm not one of your constituents, but I feel compelled to write because your proposed breed ban would be imposed statewide, and, of course, I live in Minnesota. I realize my message is a little lengthy but I hope you will take the time to consider it.
I'm really disappointed to see that you have introduced this bill into the House of Representatives. Dog attacks by the breeds you list only seem more common to those who don't put the relatively minor effort into reviewing the actual bite statistics which all cities keep. At the top, nationally speaking: Cocker Spaniels. Near the top: Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. The reason? These breeds are extremely popular and puppy mills churn them out with no attention to temperament; the more popular the breed, the more overbred and badly bred dogs end up biting people.
Unfortunately, because these dogs are so popular, the media seems to ignore attacks perpetrated by these common breeds. Attacks by these breeds are usually dealt with quietly, the dog is privately destroyed if at all. Victims of attacks by these popular breeds do not generally seek media coverage.
I feel that the "pit bull" is unfairly targeted for several reasons. If you were to go to the Minnesota Historical Society and look at old photographs of families and their dogs you will see that pit bull type dogs are well represented. The dog from the Little Rascals, Petey, was a pit bull type. So how did the dog who has such a long history as a family companion (yes, despite a breed history as a fighter--shared by bulldogs, boxers, bullmastiffs, and bull terriers, among others) become a feared target of your bill?
My answer is historical and based in the phenomenon of White Flight. It makes sense--the local news channels have their largest markets in the suburbs of American cities; when people were fleeing the inner cites the media looked for any way they could to increase their market share by giving their viewers what they wanted to see. This meant (and it's pretty well-documented) reporting aggressively about urban crime, urban "decay", and poverty.
"Pit bull attacks" fall into this category. Pit bull type dogs had become the fad dog of choice for latino, asian and black young men, who used them as poorly trained fashion accessories. These guys were terrifying to folks in the suburbs and, thanks to local news coverage all over the country, so were their dogs. Thus, the coverage focused on them and so did everyone's attention. Victims of attacks, understandably, would run to the media to assure coverage and make them feel as though they were doing something to cope with their tragedy.
I'm not discounting these recent dog attacks--to a one, they were all awful. What I am asking is for you to do some rational investigation before you pursue this bill. It would be unfortunate for a law to be based in, essentially, racist and classist emotional reactions rather than well-established facts, like nationally and locally maintained bite statistics. For example, you could have one of your assistants survey local vets to find out how often they see pit bull type dogs in aggressive situations. You could talk to Bill Stephenson, at St. Paul Animal Control, who works with thousands of pit bull type dogs every year. You could do more than rely on the account of a traumatized parent and hyped-up media stories designed to increase ratings.
The Star Tribune reported the following issues associated with these recent attacks. First, in each case where a child or children were bitten, the attack involved an unsupervised child and an unsupervised dog or dogs. I believe that this is also true of the five year old you paraded in front of the media last night--wasn't she quite far from her home, in the dog's yard, under no supervision whatsoever? ALL dog trainers will tell you that this is a recipe for disaster with any breed of dog.
Further, most of these dogs had a history which involved some previous animal control intervention. In the horrible case in Minneapolis where two dogs attacked their neighbor, the foolish owner had chosen not to comply with dangerous dog designation including training and muzzle requirements. Had he been forced to do this through the most limited follow-up, the attack would have been very unlikely to have happened. In another situation in Minneapolis near my home, the dog in question had been chained night and day to a fence where he was teased mercilessly by unsupervised children all the time. This dog, I believe, also had a dangerous dog designation but clearly the owner didn't care and again there was no follow up whatsoever.
A better focus for your bill would be to increase funding so local authorities can follow up dangerous dog incidents more aggressively. With more funding, animal control authorities could investigate cruelty incidents more aggressively as well. Many communities have addressed this issue with anti-chaining regulations because the data is so compelling with regard to highly increased attacks by dogs who are chained.
I have a mixed breed pit bull type dog who is well trained, well supervised, and extremely well-behaved. Before I went to law school, I was a high school teacher at a state residential school and he came to school with me regularly because our students missed their dogs at home. He's better behaved than many Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, and Labs, and nobody is doing a story about him. The fact is that nobody will do a story about the huge majority of these dogs you would ban because they are just like mine: completely
wonderful and not a risk to anybody at all.
Please, do some research and reconsider your position on your proposed breed ban.
On 06/16/2007 Dr. Justine Lee said: Veterinarian against this dog ban!
As a professor at University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine, I'm writing to condemn Mr. Lesch's proposed bill (for next year) banning 5 specific breeds of dogs. I'm pleading that you realize that this is not an informed, educated decision and ask that you contact your representatives and have them vote AGAINST this bill based on several aspects.
Breed-biased bans are never a good idea, and the American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA), the largest representation of veterinarians in the USA agrees with that. If you look at the statistics for dog bites, the most common are NOT actually pit bulls and the breeds that Mr. Lesch listed. They are Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, German shepherds, etc. The difference is that the severity of the bite is less than a pit bull, so most owners don't go to the ER to report it, hence skewing ER statistics. He is correct in that Pit Bulls and Rotties have the highest FATALITIES, but please keep in mind that this is due to the size and strength of the dog. Yes, it is true - in the wrong hands, these dogs are weapons. Keep in mind the socioeconomic environment associated with breed-ownership, however.
Ms. Lesche is proposing this bill for next year, and a similar bill has already passed in Denver and Miami, causing thousands of good dogs to be euthanized.
Please do something about this - stand up and find your representatives at the website below, and email them to let them know how you feel. I've emailed all my dog-loving friends (with a sample letter that I wrote) to contact their representatives asking them not to vote or support this bill. I don't usually send stuff like this, but this would be devastating to good citizen dog owners out there who have pit bull in them!
No matter how much you love ANY animal, if you DON'T do anything active politically, it won't make a difference. Show your LOVE by fighting this - contact your representative NOW!
Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC
On 06/16/2007 georgia Connelly said: breed ban
I think the cities energy would be much better spent helping low income folks nueter their pets since it is my understanding that intact males are the most likely to bite. Also anyone abusing their pet should lose the privilige of pet ownership. This ban is just hype in my opinion, it was interesting that the graphic for this news story showed a snarling German Sheperd, not one of the five breeds singled out for banishment. Thank you for your good work, Georgia Connelly, Laporte Mn
On 06/16/2007 Twyla said: BS
So, the BS of BSL (breed specific legislation) has arrived in Minnesota. With all the media coverage in the last few months, I'm not surprised. Get ready for a fight.