The truth about Bruce: Bruce is an unremarkable , typical Staffie BT that in any other part of the UK would be left to live the good life, at home. His dire suffering has occurred because of the unrelenting hatred for this breed/type by one Stephen Philpott, of the USPCA. All this under the cover of a "war" on dog
fighting, which in NI means a war on dogs that MIGHT look like they COULD
fight, rather than the criminals who make the dogs fight.Bruce is wholly non aggressive towards other dogs and so far as I know has never done anything wrong in his life.
So kindly aim your arrows of indignation at the man who has been responsible for the death of LITERALLY hundreds of pets in NI,where many have suffered deprivations as bad or worse than Bruce. Philpott is a man obsessed with his cause, and that has dragged reluctant law makers and law enforcers(eg LAs and dog wardens) into court proceedings that they would mostly rather not be party to.
The USPCA is a registered charity, that coincidentally pays its Chief Exec (Philpott) a Ł300 k pension fund: go to their website!And please complain to the Charity Commission about these less than charitable activities that do nothing to protect animal suffering in NI.
Just remember, this issue is not about heartless judges or dog hating politicians in Stormont, Westminster or even Bangor NI. It is about the perverse beliefs of one man, hiding behind the fake badge of "animal welfare".
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Guest: Laura Allen
About Animal Law Coalition: Animal Law Coalition works to stop animal cruelty and suffering through legislation, administrative agency action, and litigation. ALC offers legal analysis of the difficult and controversial issues relating to animals. Join ALC and together we can take action for animals nationally and in your state and community.
Guest: Drayton Michaels
Pit Bull Guru is a division of Urban Dawgs, LLC dba Red Bank Dog Training, which is owned and operat -ed by husband and wife team Vyolet and Drayton Michaels. We are committed to providing the resources and support necessary to build lifelong relationships between people and their canine companions. Offering a broad range of educational programs and services, our goal is to help dog owners better understand how their dogs learn and communicate, and how to effectively bridge that communication using proven positive reinforcement training methods.
Two decades of BSL has produced no positive results
Statement by Best Friends Animal Society
“It is unconscionable to destroy beloved family pets simply because a dog is of a particular breed,” said Julie Castle, director of community programs and services for Best Friends. “There are much better ways to help communities control dog attacks than seizing family pets and taking them away to be put down.”
Animal Law Conference: Proves BSL Does Not Work!Read Article
"Dump the Dog is Military's Message to Families with Targeted 'Bad' Breeds"
Court Rules Miami-Dade County Pit Bull Ban Unenforceable!
Mar 19, 2009 by Laura Allen
Miami-Dade County, Florida (March 19, 2009) Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation (MCABSL) and Animal Law Coalition applaud a hearing officer's ruling that the Miami Dade County Pit Bull ban is too vague, and the county cannot enforce the finding by animal control that a dog named Apollo is a pit bull that must be euthanized or removed from the county.
The ruling came in a case challenging the finding by Miami Dade County Animal Control that a family pet named Apollo was a "pit bull" that must be removed from the county or euthanized. -Learn more
From Animal Law Coalition:
Here is a chance to help get rid of animal gas chambers still in use in North Carolina. Davie's Law, named for a dog that survived a gassing, would do just that. This bill is gaining support in the legislature.
We need your help!
For information about what you can do to stop the cruelty in North Carolina shelters... Read this article!
International Eleventh Hour Mercy Plea to Save Death Row Dog Bruce
Bruce is a sweet young innocent Staffordshire Bull Terrier that was living happily with his family in Bangor, North Ireland, when out of the blue, on September 19th 2007 he was seized by council officials as an alleged “pit bull type” and taken to secluded kennels whilst his owner was taken to court for owning a banned type of dog contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act (Order) 1991. A trial was heard at Bangor Magistrates' Court on 27th August 2008 and the court determined that Bruce was “of type” despite the evidence from two expert identification witnesses who said he was not. Judgement was given two weeks later on the 12th September and Bruce was ordered destroyed devastating his family and supporters. He remains on ‘canine death row’.
Whilst incarcerated in kennels his family were allowed to visit Bruce in October 2007, Bruce had lost weight, muscle tone and had a cut to his muzzle. Five months later Bruce was allowed a second visit from his family in March 2008, they were shocked with what they found: The wound on Bruce's muzzle was larger and had become infected, he had to have his tail amputated, had open sores, was underweight and looked totally rejected, yet despite the clear pain he was in, is described by experts as being a friendly dog that poses no danger to the public.
Northern Ireland has not adopted the 1997 Amendment Act as in England, Scotland and Wales, despite being debated several times. Any dog deemed to be “pit bull type” cannot be entered onto the Index of Exempted Dogs as an alternative to destruction. If provisions in the Amendment Act had been accepted in Northern Ireland, as with the rest of the UK, Bruce would have been home long before now, alive and registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs.
Bruce has been offered a place of safety with a dedicated rescue and sanctuary in Southern Ireland where he could legally live out the rest of his life but this offer has not so far been accepted by the court. (Recent news article)
Send emails to officials to speak out and help save Bruce:
Urgent Plea for a Pardon/Intervention to Allow Export of Bruce to Eire
Urgent Plea to Refuse to Administer Fatal Injection
New Ban forces the immediate surrender of loving family pets for cruel destruction. Urgent foster care is needed to save these dogs from inhumane suffering and death while their owners relocate to escape the misguided ban! Help support the repeal!
The tragedy of BSL is hitting hard in Lakewood, OH. The town bans pit bull and canary breeds and mixes. Family pets are being ordered out of town. In some cases animal control does not even bother to look at the dogs before ordering them out.
Ohio is one of the worst states for shelter cruelty.
The Hawaii legislature is considering a bill, S.B. 79 that would make owning, possessing, transporting, or selling a pit bull a crime, a misdemeanor. There are no exceptions. None. All pit bulls are to be seized and impounded and presumably killed.
A "'pit bull' means any dog that is an American pit bull terrier, American staffordshire terrier, a staffordshire bull terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of those breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards" of those breeds.
When she heard about this bill, one rescuer asked, "What happened to this country's love of dogs?" This year alone, there have been efforts to implement BSL in Montana , Florida, Texas and now this.
There is no time to waste. This bill introduced on January 23, 2009 has already pass a first reading in the Hawaii Senate. Here is a copy of the bill.
Breed bans single out particular breeds of dogs, usually pit-bull-type dogs, and ban or restrict them. These breed bans are over-inclusive and penalize responsible dog owners.
Breed bans are also under-inclusive: These bans do not target all dogs that present a danger to the public. Typically, a number of types of breeds and mixed breeds are responsible for bites. For example, pit bulls and pit-bull mixes were responsible for only 8% of bites in one community considering a pit-bull ban. A pit-bull ban wouldn't have protected the public from the dogs that caused 92% of the bites.
If dogs bite or attack, it's not because they belong to a particular breed. Instead, it's usually because of owner irresponsibility: The dog may not have been socialized or trained properly. The dog may have been abused, chained, neglected or isolated. Or the dog may have been bred or trained to be aggressive or for fighting.
There are no major animal or health organizations that support BSL, including American Veterinary Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control, ASPCA, National Animal Control Association, American Kennel Club, American Canine Foundation, Humane Society of the US as well as countless others.
Any animal may exhibit aggressive behavior regard-less of breed. Accurately identifying a specific animal's lineage for prosecution purposes may be extremely difficult. Additionally, breed specific legislation may create an undue burden to owners who otherwise have demonstrated proper pet management and responsibility.
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):
In 2001, a task force on Canine Aggression and Canine-Human Interaction was formed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. In its paper, "A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention", the task force concluded there is no evidence any breed of dog is more vicious or dangerous than the others. The AVMA does not support BSL and instead recommends a dangerous dog law.
Pitbull is not, in fact, a breed of dog. The term "pitbull" is typically associated with these three breeds: American Staffordshire terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, and Staffordshire bull terrier.
There is a genetic test to determine a specific dog breed, but not aggression. The only way most dogs are identified is by appearance. In her research, Dr. Cornelia Wagner, concluded aggression in dogs cannot be determined by appearance. She found no basis to conclude aggression beyond that found in all dogs is hereditary. (Wagner, Cornelia, DVM, MS, "Are certain dog breeds more dangerous than others?", October 18; 2001; Wagner, Cornelia, DVM, MS, "Is it possible to identify dogs as members of a specific breed?", September 9, 2002.) Also, there are virtually no genetic differences between breeds. (Serpell, J, "The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people", 2001, Cambridge University Press, pp 162-178).
There are 20+ breeds of dogs that have similar appearances and are commonly mistaken for pit bulls. It is almost impossible for the average person to accurately identify a pit bull.
Lawsuit Challenges The Constitutionality Of Denver's Pit Bull Ban GO!
Because it's Wrong!
We can't replace the lives of our pets once their gone.
A short trailer for The Pit Bull Hoax DVD. Dispelling myths about Pit Bulls and educating the public and polliticians on why BSL is not a good way to address concerns about dogs. Features Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Nicholas Dodman and Jean Donaldson, Jane Berkey and Diane Jessup.
Let's bring BSL to an end by 2010!
How to Protect Your Pet and Stop Breed Specific Legislation. Today’s discussion is regarding specific breeds of dogs and pending legislation that dictates their owners surrender them for destruction.
A compelling discussion with Guest, Laura Allen, Animal Law Attorney ofAnimal Law Coalition and Drayton Michaels of Pitbull Guru.com to learn more about this ramped trend in legislation that currently threatens pet owner’s rights and the core of their human/ pet bond as a family unit. Learn where states currently have BSL pending and what you can do to stop it.
Breed Specific Legislation Background: (BSL) is based on a belief the dog’s behavior is dictated by breed, even appearance, and not owner’s treatment of the dog. Breed bans usually require all dogs of a certain appearance be removed; destroyed.
Hosted by Katia Louise. Commentator and discussion coordinator, Amanda Daniell.
BSL does not work to prevent or reduce dog bite incidents
1. In a well known study researchers in the UK examined the frequency and severity of dog-bite injuries at a hospital accident and emergency department. The UK's Dangerous Dog Act bans four breeds of dogs, the pit bull, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro, as well as mixes and dogs with the behavioral and physical characteristics of these breeds. Under that law the Secretary of State can also ban any dog bred for fighting or which is of a "type bred for" fighting.
Researchers looked at a three month period before the breed bans and found there were 99 bites, 3% of which were by pit bull types. Two years after the ban was implemented, there were 99 dog bites in a 3 month period, and 5% were by pit bull type dogs. The percentage of bites involving "dangerous" dogs increased from 6% to11% following passage of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The study also determined that the Act did not result in any decline in dog bite incidents with 73.9% before and 73.1% after enactment of the law. ("Does the dangerous dogs act protect against animal attacks: a prospective study of mammalian bites in the accident and emergency department", 1996, Klaassen B, Buckley JR, Esmail A., Department of Accident and Emergency, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, UK)
2. In fact, the UK Dangerous Dogs Act was declared a failure in 2007 when it was found numbers of dog bites had risen 10% in a year and 50% since 1998-1999. According to the BBC, hospitalizations due to dog bites increased by 25% after 'pit bulls' were banned in Britain.
3. A recent Spanish study compared dog bites during a four year period, 1995-1999, before BSL, and those from 2000-2004, following BSL. Breeds listed as dangerous were responsible for only a small percentage of bites both before and after the legislation. ("Spanish dangerous animals act: Effect on the epidemiology of dog bites", 2007, Belén Rosado DVM, MSc,, Sylvia García-Belenguer DVM, PhD, Marta León DVM, PhD and Jorge Palacio DVM, PhD, Animal Pathology Department, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; Merial Laboratorios, S.A., Tarragona, Barcelona, Spain)
4. Another study in Germany from 2000-2002 tested several hundred dogs belonging to several breeds including those banned or deemed dangerous according to BSL. 95% of the dogs, regardless of breed, reacted appropriately during testing. 5% displayed excessive aggressive behavior in inappropriate situations. These instances were associated with the dogs' fear or inappropriate handling by the owner.
The study found no significant difference between breeds and no indication of dangerousness in specific breeds. The study found no justification for the BSL. (Is breed specific legislation justified? Stud of the results of the temperament test of Lower Saxony, 2000-2002, Esther Schalke, DVM, Stefanie A. Off, DVM, Esther Schalke, DVM, Amelie M von Gaertner, DVM, Hansjoachim Hackbarth, DVM, PhD, Angela Mittmann, DVM, PhD, FTA; Institute for Animal Welfare and Behavior, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Hanover, Germany)
The results were then compared to tests done on a control group of golden retrievers. Again, no significant difference was found among the breeds in displays of aggressive behavior. There was no scientific basis for BSL. (Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior, 2002, Stefanie A. Off, DVM, Esther Schalke, DVM, Amelie M von Gaertner, DVM, Hansjoachim Hackbarth, DVM, PhD, Institute for Animal Welfare and Behavior, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Hanover, Germany)
Basing its opinion on these studies, the Central Administration Court in Berlin, upheld a ruling that voided Lower Saxony's ban on Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Pit bull Terriers and regulation of Rottweilers and Dobermans.
5. Just last month, in June, 2008, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Gerda Verburg, announced to the parliament that the 15 year old rule banning pit bulls in The Netherlands would be lifted. A rule banning rottweilers that was instituted in 2000 will also be lifted. The reason? The breed specific legislation failed to reduce incidents of dog bites.
These laws known as RAD or "Arrangement for Aggressive Animals" exempted registered, purebred dogs. RAD sought to eliminate non-registered dogs if their appearance was of the "pit bull type".
John Payne, president of The Netherland's Institute of Animal Control Officers, told the committee that then recommended elimination of the BSL, that an American pit bull terrier could be an "extremely good animal" depending on the owner.
6. According to the city of Winnipeg's own data, when Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada banned 'pit bulls' in 1990, there were 214 reported dog bites that year. For the decade following Winnipeg's 'pit bull' ban, there were an average of close to 50 more dog bites per year.
7. There had been just over 500 reported bites, the year Kitchener, Ontario, Canada decided to ban the #8 'breed' in their dog bite statistics ('pit bulls', but not the #1 breed, German Shepherds, and not even the #7 breed, Poodles). Eight years later, in 2004, the city again reports just over 500 dog bites.
8. Communities that have repealed pit bull bans because they were found to be (1) too costly; (2) difficult to enforce and (3) ineffective: Detroit, MI, East Point, MI, Redford, MI, Saginaw, MI, Baltimore, MD, Belton, MO, Bourbonnais, IL, Beloit, Kansas, Alguna, Washington, Hudsonville, MI.
In April of 2007, Middletown, Ohio lifted its 2 year old pit bull ban. Pit bulls accounted for 5% of bites the same percentage of bites before and since the ban.
9. Despite its famous, long time ban on pit bulls, Denver's Director of Animal Control, Doug Kelly, recently said, "We've experienced a continuing upward trend of pit bulls impounded since 2001. The ban hasn't ended the popularity of the pit bull breed in Denver. There are still pit bulls, apparently more every year." When asked if the ban has been effective, Kelly responds, "I don't know."
BSL is costly to administer and enforce, particularly given that it does not work to reduce bites
1. In Prince George's County, Maryland, the cost to enforce a pit bull ban from 2001 to 2002 was at least $560,000. Of the 900 pit bulls euthanized during that time, animal control reported that 720 were nice family pets.
2. Baltimore, MD estimated that in 2001 it cost the city $750,000.00 a year to enforce the BSL which was later repealed as ineffective, unenforceable and too costly.
3. Ontario spent $170,000 per year on enforcing a pit bull ban. After the ban passed in 2005, animal control spent 25% of its time on pit bull-related calls, but only 4% of licensed dogs were pit bulls.
4. Cincinnati, Ohio spends $160,000 per year trying to enforce a pit bull ban and millions in litigation defending challenges to the ban.
5. A pit bull ban means additional animal control workers for identification and enforcement and litigation, sheltering, vet care and other costs of care for restricted breeds that have been impounded and must be held pending hearings; less in licensing fees as owners decline to register restricted breeds for fear of not being able to afford or follow through on restrictions; an increase in restricted breeds in shelters in surrounding communities, less shelter and resources for other animals that are euthanized.
Dispelling Myths There are virtually no genetic differences between breeds; dog breeds do not exist genetically.
Fear: Pit Bulls have "locking jaws."
"We found that the American Pit Bull Terriers did not have any unique mechanism that would allow these dogs to lock their jaws. There were no mechanical or morphological differences ." Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, University of Georgia
Fear: Pit Bulls have massive biting power measuring in 1,000s of pounds of pressure per square inch.
On average, dogs bite with 320 pounds of pressure per square inch. The bite pressure of a German Shepherd, an American Pit Bull Terrier and a Rottweiler were tested. The American Pit Bull Terrier had the least amount of bite pressure of the three dogs tested. Dr. Brady Barr, National Geographic
Fear: Family pet pit bulls turn on their owners.
No single neutered household pet pit bull has ever killed anyone. * Karen Delise, founder of the National Canine Research Council
Fear: Pit Bulls attack without warning.
"Pit Bulls signal like other dogs." * The Institute of Animal Welfare and Behavior of the
Additional Photo Credits to Best Friends Animal Society