With the numerous amounts of domesticated pets in the USA it is highly likely that there will an attack or two; add to the mix the irresponsible owner, or the street thug who trains his dog to be aggressive, and someone in our society is going to be hurt by their actions - or lack of actions - and it is often the child down the street or the woman asleep in her bed.
It is inevitable that the media will have a field day reporting such events. Hey, what else are they going to cover? Iraq, I think that story is getting old and nothing ever changes apart from more money being funded to operate the war, and soldiers and civilians killed - all in the pursuit of peace (or is that oil). I better leave that rant for another post.
Ok, so back to the news reports and biased journalists who, lacking indepth news to cover, will need other sensational materials to quench the thirst of the American public - many of which were recently reported to never pick up a book. So, watching television or reading news articles may be the only means of education, or should that be information, that people have access too. The information that these reporters feed the public will lead one to believe that every dog attack is carried out by a pit bull (aka APBT, American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier) or any of these mixes. I am sorry to burst your bubble people, but numerous other breeds have attacked and will continue to do so, as long as irresponsible dog owners exist. But this is something you will not read in the newspapers, for it seems that unless it involves a pit bull, then it is not newsworthy. You will read about the pit bulls who attack that reside in home where they are chained outside and.or mistreated. What you won't read about are the thousands and thousands of pit bulls that reside in homes around the States who are loved, trained and cared for by responsible owners. The ones who are are much more than disposable pets, but are an extension of the families who welcome them into their homes. These are the loyal, happy-go-lucky breed ambassadors who excel in agility, flyball and even search & rescue efforts. The ones who find the most pleasure when curled up on the sofa with their owners. But these are not the things you will read in a news article because in all honesty these are way to boring and not sensational enough. So what 'facts' will these wonderful journalists provide for the American public, who seem all too eager to swallow them hook, line and sinker...lets see.
National Canine Research Council Examines the Pit Bull Paparazzi: Fear vs.Fact
A study by the National Canine Research Council reveals biased reporting by the media, its Slanesville, WV August 25, 2007 -- A study by the National Canine Research Council reveals biased reporting by the media, its devastating consequences for dogs and the toll it takes on public safety.
Consider how the media reported four incidents that happened between August 18th and August 21st:
August 18, 2007 -
A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers.
This incident was reported in ONE (1) article and only in the local paper.
August 19, 2007 -
A 16-month old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed breed dog.
This attack was reported TWO (2) times by the local paper only.
August 20, 2007 -
A 6-year-old boy is hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving severe bites to the head by a medium-sized mixed breed dog.
This attack was reported in ONE (1) article and only in the local paper.
August 21, 2007 -
A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two Pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe injuries. This attack was reported in over two hundred and thirty (230) articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks, including CNN, MSNBC and FOX.
"Clearly a fatal attack by an unremarkable breed is not nearly as newsworthy as a non-fatal attack by a Pit bull," says Karen Delise, researcher for the National Canine Research Council.
The National Canine Research Council reports that people routinely cite media coverage as "proof" that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. Delise says costly and ineffective public policy decisions are being made on the basis of such "proof". While this biased reporting is not only lethal to an entire population of dogs; sensationalized media coverage endangers the public by misleading them about the real factors in canine aggression.
About The National Canine Research Council
The National Canine Research Council investigates all reported cases of fatal dog attacks in the United States. Serious analysis and discussion of canine aggression cannot be conducted from information acquired from media
For accurate and in depth information on verified cases of fatal dog attacks and the circumstances contributing to these incidents, please go to the National Canine Research Council at:
Isn't it crazy the media frenzy revolving Micheal Vick? I can't believe it, no, wait I actually can believe it and it has definitely helped the cause in bringing the existence of dog fighting to the forefront, and that has to be good news. I guess it also means we don't have to listen to trivial media reports about Hilton or Lohan. Gee, now those uneventful articles were certainly getting old.
Now Vick has used everything in the onset of this trial, from pulling the race card (and if you read comments on ESPN.com, YouTube, and even MySpace you will see that some African Americans may agree with him that this was never about dogfighting and all about Vick being a black man), or people thinking he has been picked on because of his celebrity status, or even that he was never a willing participant, but just succumbed to peer pressure. Yeh, now that was a good one. You know it happens to me all the time, I will be hanging with my friends and as much as I resist, and resist, and resist, every now and then I just can't say no to a quick round of dogfighting. Pleeeeese, give the public credit for having some intelligence. What decent person would even associate with people who organise and/or participate in dogfighting rackets?? They wouldn't. Hey, any respectable human being wouldn't know a thing about dog fighting events in their neighborhood!
So the other day I was wondering when Vick would lose the gag order and actually say something, anything, in order to give the public something other than his smug mugshot to judge. Well, last night I got my wish and managed to see Vick's public appearance and can't say that I was too impressed. Ok, so he definitely won't win an academy award for best actor, but you have to give the guy credit for trying to sound credible. Actually, I wouldn't give the guy any credit at all, and all I could judge by watching his performance is that he is not only a lousy actor, but that he did not show even a hint of remorse for the atrocities he commited against the pitbulls involved. This guy is complete scum and all I thought as I turned off the television was that the only remorse he feels is the remorse for himself at being stupid enought to get caught!
Just lately I have heard talk from various people stating we must now forgive Vick for his crimes. Well, all I can say to that philosophy is that it is obvious that these ignorant souls have no idea what really takes place at a dog fight, and have not had the opportunity to view the dogs that lose in these blood sports OR winners who also walk away with serious wounds. I am actually beginning to think that the losers that are killed are far better off than those losers that are dumped along desolute roads hoping that someone will find them, or the winners that must continue suffering from these sick individuals. The lucky ones are found and rushed to vets in the hopes that they can be sewn back together again, much like a jigsaw puzzle.
These images are disgusting, but this is the realty of dog fighting; the reality of the sport that Vick and others like him chose to participate in. For more information checkout The Working Pitbull, a great website founded by Diane Jessup that is anti-dogfighting, but is pro American Pit bull terrier. You can also see the amazing work she does in training pit bulls for work such as Search & Rescue, Tracking, and most of her dogs will end up working with law enforcement agencies through LawDogsUSA.
These animals are victims of cruelty.
Don't support "humane" groups that don't include these dogs in their circle of com
Top Ten Michael Vick Excuses
10 - "House came with a dogfighting pit, and it seemed like a shame to waste it"
9 - "Wanted to distract the public from crooked NBA referees and
cheating baseball players"
8 - "Judgment was impaired by playing with lead-based Chinese toys"
7 - "I was training the dogs to...uhhhhhh...get Osama"
6 - "Always wanted to be quarterback for a prison team, like in 'The
5 - "Steroids made me all crazy"
4 - "Eddie Brill told me I needed something big to close on"
3 - "Oh like you've never run an illegal dogfighting ring"
2 - "Thought I could get out of it by buying Kobe Bryant's wife a diamond"
and the Top Michael Vick Excuse -
"Fights weren't worse than what you see on 'The View'"
When a co-worker told me I should check out this article, I initially thought I would have to defend this wonderful breed again because yet another irresponsible pit bull owner's dog is unrestrained and has attacked someone. Well, I couldn't be more wrong about this article and my colleagues intentions on making me aware of it. As I viewed the horrific image with my colleague all he could say was he was amazed at how calm and docile this dog appeared in spite of her injury. Now, if you know anything about the breed that has come to be represented as pit bulls (aka American Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire terrier) then you will know they are a happy, devoted and energetic dog that would do anything to please people. Of course, this is not the image the media represents because it really doesn't make for exciting news. Who wants to see a news report about a pit bull owned by responsible middle class owners who adore their dog enough to take her to rental parks (because they worry about their dog being attacked at dog parks) or pay for hourly swimming sessions in a doggy pool, rather than allow her to swim in a dirty lake. People don't want to read about these people, more specifically our dog, as this is boring and doesn't inspire feelings of fear and paranoia - the characteristics that journalists thrive on.
People want to believe that pit bulls are bad dogs. That these dogs are the only ones that will attack. These people live with a denial so great that they will refuse to believe that other breeds of dogs are capable of attacking people or other animals. This is a comfortable place for these people to live as it means that the world is far less scary. I mean what are the chances of someone bumping into a pit bull in their local neighborhood? Well, if you live in the Ravenna area then there is a very good chance of you bumping into me or my husband as we take our pit bull on her 2hr daily walk AND there is every chance that Zoe will wiggle her tail and her whole body when she sees you walking towards up, even if you are a block away. It is also very likely that she will want to smother you in kisses, if you give her any indication that you will pat her. This may not be the image people are accustomed to associating with pit bulls, but this is the reality of pit bulls and their wonderful temperments which will only make this news article more disgusting and begs me to ask the question, "Why is this country putting so much effort into Breed Specific Legislation while sickos like this one roam the streets and threaten the safety of people and our animals.
A female pit bull about a year to 18 months old was brought to the Atlanta Humane Society Wednesday morning with a hunting knife stuck in its head.
"I don't think you could see worse abuse than this," said AHS president Carl E. Leveridge. "Somebody has to be a very sick individual."
|Veterinarians will attempt to save the female pit bull, who was brought into the Atlanta Humane Society.|
Jennifer Brett / Staff
|Veterinary technician Ashanti Taylor comforts a female pit bull brought into the Atlanta Humane Society Wednesday morning.|
The organization has limited information about the dog, only that it was brought in from a local veterinarian's office. The owner reported he discovered the dog injured Wednesday morning, according to information the AHS was provided. The owner's name wasn't immediately available.
Veterinarians aren't sure of the dog's prognosis, as it was unclear whether the knife was lodged in its brain or sinus cavity. The dog appeared alert as veterinary staff prepared for treatment.
"Hopefully it's going to have a happy ending," said Leveridge, who said the AHS likely will offer a reward for information that leads to the conviction of the guilty party. "We'll do everything we can."
Well, it sure has been interesting watching the circus that has hit the headlines surrounding the Vick allegations...Yes, I felt the need to state allegations as I constantly hear people spouting the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty.' Yeh, yeh, we know all that, but the fact of the matter is there is no way Vick did not know about the dogfights occuring on his property - IMO - and it also doesn't help that he was funding a pit bull kennel. Just a coincidence? I don't think so.
When I first heard about the bust on Vick's property it was through a pit bull rescue list that I frequent and although I didn't know about Vick, I have to say that I don't hold much respect for sports figures in general and nothing would surprise me of their illegal activities. But hey, even I didn't think this case would get so much attention, but then again when you look at the outrageous attention Paris Hilton received over a petty jail sentence and then no jail sentence, I guess I really shouldn't be surprised.
As much as I would like any person involved in dog fighting to get exactly what they deserve, whether they have celebrity status or not, I would hate that media attention surrounding Vick would become such a witch hunt that he may get off on some technicality. Look at the O.J. Simpson case. Everyone knew the guy was as guilty as sin, but he was acquitted because people were too eager to try and convict him, and maybe even twist the truth just a little.
I must say I am surprised that PETA are getting involved? Yes, they profess to love animals and I must say I used to be a supporter, even though I didn't agree with all their antics. That changed after adopting my APBT and finding out that they are one of the groups that are behind the breed specific legislation that is ensuring that so many family pets are re-homed or killed in shelters. So really, it seems ludicrous and hypocritical that they would jump on the bandwagon and attack Vick and his cronies. But I guess the more voices that go out against dog fighting, the better it will be for all the abused dogs that must suffer from this tyrannical sport.
Another thing I have notice in the papers is the issue of race that has arisen with this case. Hey, just check some of the ignorant comments posted on sites like MySpace or YouTube if you don't believe me. For some reason, there are many people coming out of the closet to defend Vick because he is African American. This isn't about race people! Dog fighting occurs in numerous countries and by many different nationalities, so don't make this about race. I was surprised and appalled that the NAACP are supporting the man? Really, why would you? It is not like the man was a model citizen for humanity before all this took place, and it is not like he didn't have many interactions with law enforcement in the past. It is obvious that Vick didn't want to leave his shady past behind when he made it big, and now I hope that they make an example of him for all those other celebritie thugs who think they can abuse animals because 'they are only animals' and get away with it.
Council officials in Melbourne, Australia are tired of dealing with the constant stream of dog attacks that take place daily, so they have created a 'dog attack kit' that comes complete "with swabs, gloves, sterile containers, a tamper-proof evidence bag and, most importantly, the paperwork that records the chain of evidence custody". The availability of such a kit will enable police officers and animal control officers to take swabs when called to the scene of a crime (aka dog attack). Now this doesn't sound like a bad idea, and maybe having this type of kit available will ensure that all those dogs labeled as 'dangerous' and usually the first to be condemned of attacking other dogs or people would be proven innocent.
Now I imagine that the processing of such a kit comes with a high price and I have to wonder who will be paying for this processing? I know that if my dog was ever falsely accused of attacking a person or dog, I would do anything that needs to be done to ensure that shes was not wrongly convicted. But what about those dog owners who have dogs that are often targeted based on the breed, but may not have the finances to provide such evidence. Or, is the Australian government going to eat the costs? I doubt it. So is this just another means to target the poor classes of Australia? Or, is this really an unbiased means of finding the real culprit behind dog attacks. I really don't know the answers to these questions, however, if you do I would love to hear from you.
On a more positive note, I do believe that this kit could prove the innocence of so many dogs that would normally have been confiscated without any question of innocence. Actually, I have a friend who told me about a situation he found himself in when in moved into a new neighborhood and one of his neighbor took an immediate disliking to his rottweiler - even though the dog never did anything to warrant such negative attention. An incident took place where the neighbor and her dog were attacked by a dog and woman called Animal Control and reported that the Rottweiler had attacked them. This poor guy had been inside the whole time with his dog, but felt that he couldn't fight the accusations and his dog was taken away and euthanised. In hindsight, I could say that if the same thing happened to me I would fight this with everything I had to prove my dogs innocence AND to prove a point, but maybe this person didn't have the drive that I have, or the finances, or even just the time required to fight something like this that could drag on and on and on.
There was another comment in the article that concerned me. Cr Cribbes said that "when dogs were involved in aggressive acts in which no harm was done (the majority of cases), a DNA sample could be taken and stored as a precaution". A few years ago I would have thought this was a good idea, but after spending the past 7 yrs in America I have seen that the criminal justice system is often anything but just.
My final question is targeted against all those arrogant, uneducated City officials and politicians who fought to invoke the dreaded BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) against such wonderful dogs like my own American Pit bull terrier, Zoe. Now with the current BSL that continues to sweep the great southland (Australia) and has forced many pet owners to re-home or euthanise their beloved pets, out of the mass hysteria that politicians have fed the public about bully breeds. Why would there even be a need for dog attack kits when all the supposed 'dangerous breeds' have been banned? Something tells me that the authorities need to do something about the current dog attacks because BSL has been initiated and yet there are still dog attacks. Hmmm, something tells me that the Breed Specific Legislation that was promoted, and initiated as a means to save every person and animal from savage attacks by dogs that were stigmatized as being vicious has failed. Politicians have gotten it wrong yet again, imagine that.
Read the full article here at The Sydney Morning Herald.
We, the public, are led to believe that Michael Vick was just an innocent pawn in this situation, and that the only connection he had to the alleged dog fights that occurred on his property were the blood ties he had to his extended family, who were renting the property from him. It was this same property that after being raided was shown to conceal a dark secret; a secret that would involve the breeding, fighting and killing of numerous pit bulls for nothing more than to earn a quick buck from this lucrative, yet illegal, sport. A sport that raised dogs to tear one another apart; a sport that uses neighborhood pets as tools to increase the bloodlust in their dogs, in order for them to excel in the ring and seriously maime or kill the opponent. Dog fighting is a cruel sport and one that no ones wants to even believe still exists, but it does and though so often associated with the ghetto this sport has climbed out of the ghetto long ago and attracts high profile participants from all walks of life.
So am I to believe that poor Michael Vick is being persecuted because of his skin colour? Yes, this argument did come up early on. Don't get me wrong I do believe there is an element of racism in this country that must still be conquered, but I don't believe this was the case here. I believe that this was intended to be a convenient distraction for the public, but it failed.
Michael Vick would also like us to believe that although he funded a Pit bull breeding company (that is no longer available online), that he was in no way connected to dog fighting. Strange, isn't it. It is strange that the man could be involved with breeding the pit bulls that were likely found both dead and alive on HIS property, but he had nothing to do with dog fighting that was held on the same location! Hmmm... I would also assume that a reputable breeder would not go to such trouble to hide their breeding kennels in an area hidden from view, and located on a different property located far behind the main house. Oh, and did I mention that the surrounding fences and enclosures on the property were all painted black, making them even less conspicous. Such an odd colour scheme to choose being that the house on the main property was white with a perfect little white picket fence surrounding it. How picturesque! Maybe some people would argue that he was only trying to prevent thugs from stealing his dogs, maybe, and who could blame him when game fighting dogs can fetch as much as six figures!! Yes, I admit that I would want to protect my investment too, but how many innocent animals have to suffer at the hands of sick individuals like him, all for the love of money & status!
All I can say to you Michael Vick, is that it won't be long before that smile is wiped from your face, and it will hopefully be done when an upstanding Judge hits you with a felony conviction and sentences you to an extended stay in one of our cosy jails!
You can read more information about the indictment here
While perusing the Seattle P.I. this morning I stumbled upon this story:
Note by woman's body says boyfriend 'shot me dead'
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TACOMA, Wash. -- Olga Carter didn't want to leave any doubt about who was responsible. Not far from her body police found a note saying her boyfriend had "shot me dead."
A plea of innocent was entered Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court on behalf of Donnell Wayne Price, 45, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Olga Carter, 39. Judge Thomas P. Larkin set bail at $1 million.
Police were dispatched to the couple's home early Sunday after a woman - apparently Carter - frantically called 911 and said she was fighting with a man who had a gun. Officers said they arrived and forced open the door when they heard screaming, then withdrew to the yard after hearing a gunshot.
After a 2 1/2-hour standoff, Price surrendered and told police Carter was inside a utility room at the back of the house and needed medical aid, prosecutors wrote in documents filed in court.
In the kitchen, adjacent to the utility room where Carter was found dead of a gunshot wound to the neck, police found a note that read in part, "Mr. Price shot me dead. He thought I fooled around."
Police also found a bloody .357-caliber pistol in an upstairs bedroom.
- You know I am sure that many people read this same article this morning. Maybe some people didn't even finished reading it before they had determined that it was just another domestic violence case, as they move on to the funnies...But you need to know that this wasn't just another case of domestic violence that made the news. Not for Olga Carter and certainly not for all her family and friends that are now forced to live with the loss. I didn't get to know Olga personally, but I do know that she was someone's daughter and may have been someone's sister. She could also have been a mother but the news report does not tell us if this is the case. But we are told that she was someone's girlfriend and this person who at one time must have declared his love for her, is the person who took her life.
Thankfully, Olga had the strength and the courage to write the killer's name on a piece of paper - maybe even knowing at that point in time that her time had come. That at least it would be there in clear view when the police and the medics arrive to tranport her body to the morgue.
What makes something that may have started out so right and so innocent, turn into the macabe scene that awaited the police as they entered the residence. What possesses someone - a man in this case - to murder in cold blood the person he declared so much love for. I could certainly rant about the need for gun control laws in this country, but I must admit that if a gun wasn't available at the time then the perpetrator would have used a knife or another instrument to brutalize this woman.
So the million dollar question is "what forces one person to succumb to the use of violence in a relationship when the rest of us choose to resolve our differences through less violent means - like communication?
-In opposition to the provocation law in Australia -
It's disingenuous for David Neal to characterise the community horror at the manslaughter verdict against James Ramage as being driven by the 'punitiveness of the shock-jocks'. No amount of name calling will alter the fact that the law of provocation, as used by men who kill women, has effectively extinguished a woman's right to leave a relationship. Only last month Neal was up in arms about increased police powers, which he argued would compromise our civil liberties. Yet, when provocation compromises the rights of a woman, Neal switches sides. Why are the same men who express moral outrage at the Howard government's refugee policy and it's 'children overboard' lies so stone hearted when a woman is murdered in these circumstances?
It's astounding that Neal thinks the actions of a patriarchal man like James Ramage are the same as those of a 'temporarily insane' woman who kills her child. And on the basis of this spurious argument he thinks we should partially excuse wife killing. If Ramage was insane, he was insane about his loss of power over his wife. If he was depressed it was because he no longer had control of his wife in the marital bed. His answer was to avenge his honour and reassert his power. How can that ever be compared with clinical post natal depression? It's a bit like saying we should be compassionate to Adolf Hitler because his hatred of Jews was so deep seated and chronic he couldn't act otherwise.
Like all defenders of provocation, David Neal refuses to address specific cases such as R v Ramage. He has no trouble finding cases which allegedly support the retention of the law of provocation, but ask him about Ramage and he'll say he 'hasn't read the transcript.' In at least two of the cases he cites, the victim of the homicide has been responsible for incredible acts of brutality and/or violence and sexual degradation. Provocation defences where men kill women and are found guilty of manslaughter have nothing in common with these cases. Invariably, nothing more than a woman leaving a relationship and refusing to return is the reason for the killing. The most provocative thing the woman has done is say 'I'm not coming back.'
The chilling facts, as provided by Neal, are that more than two thirds of men who kill women and plead provocation are found not guilty of murder. If James Ramage is an example of the kind of man found not guilty, is this something to skite about? In the overwhelming majority of occasions when women kill men, it follows years of violence or sexual abuse at the hands of the man. That's why the ten women in Neal's sample were found not guilty of murder. It's amazing that Neal still doesn't understand the flawed conclusions of the 1991 Law Reform Commission Report. He was the chair after all. Does he seriously believe he was right in 1991 and Marcia Neave and everyone associated with this year's report is so wrong?
Funnily enough, I agree with Neal, for very different reasons, when he says the defence should be retained. If it's abolished there is the very real danger the assumptions that drive his arguments will be incorporated in sentencing. In other words, Judges will sentence according to the old patriarchal beliefs. If we tighten provocation so that a separation can never be the reason per se for using provocation, judges will be forced to affirm a woman's rights, and violent men such as Ramage will feel the full force of the law.
It's time David Neal seriously sought to address, via the law, the institutionalised barbarism refected in cases such as R v Ramage. If he thinks the defence should be 're-moulded into a partial defence of extreme emotional disturbance' where would he draw the line? If he thinks that James Ramage was entitled to a provocation defence he should say so.
To understand how discriminatory the current application of the law of provocation is, we need only ask what a woman should do to avoid provoking her death. Julie Ramage wrote a lovely letter to her husband after she left him. She didn't fight him over property or flaunt her new boyfriend in his face. She went to the house alone to look at his renovations. For all that he bashed and strangled her.
If she hadn't left, he probably would never have killed her. Maybe that's the moral of the story. Stay and be told what nail polish and clothes to wear and when to roll over for sex. It's time David Neal accepted that the game's over and that most modern women will no longer suffer this form of control. The real challenge for men is to stop their sisters, daughters and mothers getting killed. That's more important than changing the law.
Another great article by Phil Cleary