Wednesday, December 21, 2011


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A Tale of Two Cities

There are these two towns in Nebraska: Rushville and La Vista.

Rushville, citing a rash of dog attacks, had the City Council members vote unanimously to prohibit pit bulls inside the city limits. They “recently passed an ordinance that bans “pit bulls.”‘
Let’s follow the logic:..”Mayor Chris Heiser said some of the problems that prompted the ordinance originated with stray dogs that enter the city from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Although other breeds cause problems, pit bull attacks are often more dangerous, he said. "In 2009 we had 10 dog bites, and of those only one was from a pit bull," Heiser said. But he added that, due to the strength of their jaws, a pit bull attack can cause much more harm that a bite from a Chihuahua (sic!). "We have talked about (making an ordinance) before, and we currently have a vicious dog ordinance. We're just trying to catch up with the times," he said.

So, to summarize… the town has a problem with stray dogs, they had 10 dog bites in 2009, one of which was a “pit bull,” so the city makes the decision to ban Pit Bulls. Now THAT ought to protect the citizenry.

Our colleague Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys fame, tells us about another city ion Nebraska. 

"The La Vista City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance to cope with potentially dangerous dogs and their owners.”
“The ordinance, which will take effect Jan. 1, gives the Nebraska Humane Society the power to declare a dog as "potentially dangerous" if the dog is unprovoked and attacks and injures a person or another pet.

Unprovoked dog chases, or a tendency to attack or threaten animals or people, could also lead to the tag of potentially dangerous.
Mark Langan, a vice president for the Humane Society, said similar measures have been effective in other cities. He said only about 100 dogs in Omaha have been declared potentially dangerous since the city's ordinance took effect in 2009.

Dogs, regardless of breed, can be classified as potentially dangerous only after an incident that leads to the intimidation, injury or attack on another animal or human.

"It holds the owner responsible, which I think is key to this," said Councilman Kelly Sell.”

So, dear reader, what makes sense? An ordinance that prohibits Pit Bulls or an ordinance that holds the owners of ANY dangerous animal responsible?

You tell me…

Monday, December 5, 2011

TIME Magazine's "Top 10 Heroic Animals

Eighty-five years after his death, guess who make TIME Magazine’s "Top 10 Heroic Animals?" Sergeant Stubby, a Pit Bull.

Some sources speculated that he was part Boston Terrier and part Pit Bull, while other sources state that he was in fact a pure bred American Pit Bull. His obituary described him as a "Bull terrier" (which was, at the time, synonymous with "American Bull Terrier" and "Pit Bull terrier"). One thing is for sure: he was not a Shih-Tzu.

At the Smithsonian
Sgt. Stubby's endeavors are well chronicled. Just follow the links at the bottom, if you are interested.  Stubby was made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1921, the Humane Education Society awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country. It was presented by General John Pershing.

Riffenberg’s blog reminds us of the unavoidable irony that the dog that was the most decorated military dog in the history of United States, today would not be allowed on any of America’s military bases.

Way to go people: take something precious and turn it into anathema.

As a note to all dog haters out there: four of the “Top 10 Heroic Animals” are dogs. Trackr, the 9/11 hero, was cloned five times. Mei Chan, the “loyal tsunami dog is a Brittany spaniel.  Brittanies are genuinely sweet bird dogs. Togo the Sled Dog is a Siberian Husky, Trackr was a German Shepherd, and Sgt. Stubby a Pit Bull. With the exception of Mei Chan's, all the others' breeds frequently make the top 10 “vicious dogs” lists of people who use such terminology.



Smithsonian - The Price of Freedom: American at War.

History Wired

A Connecticut Hero


Riffenberg's blog: U.S. & World Political News & Opinion
The Most Decorated Dog in History Would Not Be Allowed on Military Bases Today.

Sgt. Stubby: American War Dog