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Comments for Kibble Fundraiser

5 Mar
Mocha

Mocha

My current foster dog Mocha: https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/miss-mocha was reading one of our favorite blogs Love and a Six Foot Leash: http://loveandaleash.com/ yesterday and was inspired by a very simple fundraiser that they did a couple of years ago. It’s called Comments for Kibble and we’d like to give it a shot!

For every comment that the Pitties For Your Thoughts blog receives during the next two weeks we will donate one pound of food (up to 60 pounds) to Minnesota Pitbull Rescue: mnpitbull.com for foster dogs like Mocha.

It’s very simple to participite, simply comment on any of the Pitties For Your Thoughts posts during the next three weeks. I will only count 1 comment per person but feel free to comment as much as you want! I will also extend the deadline if I’m not near my goal at the end of 2 weeks. If you want to participate in a bigger way share my blog so others may comment!

Minnesota Pitbull Rescue is an all-foster based rescue and they currently have 25 dogs that all need to be fed! So, donations of any size are always appreciated.

Help me help dogs like Mocha:

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!


https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/ill-have-a-short-mocha-please/

Boots

Duncan

And many more.

Mylo and Chase are a little miffed that their “Nummies Allowance” will be going towards giving OTHER dogs Nummies.. but when I explained to them that some dogs get NO NUMMIES they came around. Begrudgingly.

Chase says "OK, Mom.. but only this once."

Chase says “OK, Mom.. but only this once.”

Mylo's still a little skeptic.  Can you help him come around?

Mylo’s still a little skeptic. Can you help him come around?

Thank you to http://www.loveandaleash.com for the great idea!!

Pitbulls

1 Mar

Pitbull_2

I could write an entire novel on Pitbulls: How they got such a bad repuation, What BSL is and why it’s not effective, how mistreated they are, how backyard breeding of pits is creating an overpopulation, and how incredibly cute, handsome, loyal, and loving they are. I could go on forever but it would be really hard for me to organize my thoughts and most of it has been written before. Also, no one will read that much informatino in one sitting so I want to see if I can briefly summarize some of my main arguments.

Number 1: Pitbull is NOT a breed.

I know people have heard me say this before but I’m not sure they listen. The term Pitbull is used to describe a GROUP of dogs with certain physical characteristics. If you have a “Purebred Pitbull” it is either an American Pitbull Terrier, a Staffordshire Terrier, or an American Bull Terrier. It is NOT a purebred Pitbull. I repeat, YOU DO NOT OWN A PUREBRED PITBULL. There is no such thing.

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier


Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terrier


Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

What difference does this make?

It makes a HUGE difference. Pitbulls are judged and discriminated against ALL THE TIME and yet there’s no such thing as a pitbull? Therefore people are judging an entire group of dogs: all three of the purebred dogs, many purebred dogs with similar physical qualities such as the American Bulldog or the Cane Corso Mastiff, and then also including in this group NUMEROUS mix-breed dogs that resemble either the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier or the American Bull Terrier.

Cane Corso Mastiff

Cane Corso Mastiff


American Bulldog

American Bulldog

This is also important to remember when you look at “Pitbull” statistics. How accurate can these statistics be when they are collecting date from a GROUP of similar-looking dogs and comparing this data to that of ONE purebred dog?

Another difference it makes?

Sheer NUMBERS. If we take any dog with a large square head, stocky chest, semi-straight tail, docked OR floppy ears and/or other “Pitbull” characteristics that is a LOT of dogs!! There is simply a LOT of dogs out there that can be called “Pitbulls”.

Number Two: The media HAS effected how you think about Pitbulls, and they ARE doing it on purpose.
The media has helped create a bad reputation for Pitbulls in MANY different ways.

Pitbull Attack Headline

Pitbull Attack Headline

Firstly, the media creates a belief that Pitbulls attack more than any other breed of dog by only reporting Pitbull attacks. Pitbull attacks are nationwide news making it in to hundreds of newspapers and on nationwide broadcasts. If a lab or a golden retriever attacks it may make it in to one or two newspapers.
This clearly leads the public to BELIEVE that Pitbulls are attacking all the time while no other dogs are.

The media then adds to this by always putting the words “Pitbull” and “Attack” together in the headline if the attack was done by an alleged Pitbull while hardly ever including the breed of any other dog attack simply stating “Child attacked by dog” or “Dog attacks woman”.
When people see “Pitbull Attacks” in the headlines they don’t even have to read the rest of the story. They already have an opinion in their head. See it enough times and you start to think that all pitbulls attack all the time.

“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 article 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 on twice by the local paper.

August 20, 2007 — A six-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving a severe bite to the head by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog. This incident was reported in one article 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, but not fatal, injuries. This attack was reported in over 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox.”
Credit: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

http://blog.timesunion.com/dogs/pit-bulls-and-the-media/3597/

Secondly, the media is a huge perpetrator of using the term “Pitbull”. They have ensured that Pitbull has a negative connotation with the previous steps and now they can use the looseness of the term to their advantage. They already know that a “Pitbull” attack story is going to be a huge story, and since Pitbull encompasses all sorts of different dogs the media can call pretty much any dog they want a “Pitbull” just to make a story more newsworthy.

Number three: Breed Specific Legislation is whack.

Yes, I know I’m losing some of my professionalism here, but it simply. is. crap.

Breed Specific Legislation is legislation and rules about specific breeds of dogs thought to be “Dangerous Breeds”. This is often directed at Pitbulls and when BSL is in force there can be complete BANS on Pitbulls in entire cities or even states.

So, what was Number One again?

There is no actual Pitbull breed. The word Pitbull describes many dogs with different genetic backrounds that have similar physical characteristics.

Oh yes, that’s right.

So, we have a blanket ban on Pitbulls, to make people feel safer in their communities, that doesn’t look at how a dog acts, how a dog is treated, or how responsible their owners are but instead bans an entire GROUP of dogs that may or may not have similar behavioral characteristics, but do have similar looks.

Now.. If Pitbull is a term describing dogs based on their looks who’s to decide if my dog is a Pitbull or not?

This is a HUGE problem. It gives policemen and city legislators free reign to decide whether your dog is a Pitbull or not.

Cities with BSL in force spend incredible amounts of money collecting and putting down Pitbull type dogs and then can’t fathom why they aren’t having any results.

Well, for starters, criminals and bad dog owners are NOT being targeted. Anyone and everyone with a Pitbull type dog is being targeted. That seems like a huge waste of resources to me! Criminals and bad dog owners continue what they are doing while good, responsible dog owners are faced with either moving, finding a home for their dog outside of the BSL jurisdiction, or hiding their dog knowing that they’re risking the dog being confiscated (like a piece of property) and put down.. which is a nice word for murdered.

BSL is a blanket ban on Pitbulls that doesn’t really look at what the problems are. Irresponsible backyard breeders with un-altered males and females living together are a problem. Owners that keep their dogs chained and tethered their entire lives are a problem. Dog fighters are a problem. Drug dealers and criminals who have no idea what it really means to own a dog are a problem. BSL makes people “feel safer” but are they?

BSL is ridiculously expensive, is incredibly hard to enforce, hurts innocent people and kills innocent dogs. Period.

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Number four: Backyard breeders have created a Pitbull overpopulation.

There are SO many Pitbull type dogs right now that 1 in SIX-HUNDRED Pitbulls is adopted from shelters. The other 599 die. This includes puppies. This is partly because of breed specific legislation and partly because every irresponsible Pitbull owner on earth seems to think that they need to have Pitbull puppies to make a couple bucks.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Some shelters euthanize Pitbulls the second after they walk through the door. They are not allowed to adopt out Pitbulls therefore they immediately put them down.

Pitbull Shelter2

At some shelters Pitbulls account for 50% of the shelters dogs. Because there are already so many Pits in these shelters they only get a few days or even a few hours to live. Their chances of being adopted are slim to none.

139469_oakland_RED_

All of the backyard breeding increases this overpopulation problem and continues the mix-breeding of Pitbulls, since remember, there are no purebred Pitbulls, and this mix-breeding increases the looseness of the term. Because of their size and typical good health Pitbull type dogs tend to have a lot of puppies, often as many as TEN puppies in one litter!

Because Pitbulls are often bred by inexperienced people and irresponsible owners females may be bred too young and too often, and the puppies likely won’t get dewormed or be given any vaccines. Then they are sold to people who will conitinue the process.

If people would adopt Pitbull type dogs from the shelters, instead of buying them from backyard breeders, we could decrease the numbers of Pitbulls euthanized every day (2800 Pitbulls are euthanized a day) and maybe this would give backyard breeders less of an incentive to keep breeding.

Another plus about Pitbulls being adopted instead of bought?
Pitbulls adopted from shelters are most often already spayed or neutered, or they are adopted with a contract dictating that the dog be spayed or neutered. This means that even if an owner is irresponsible and lets their dog roam or the owner thinks that having puppies would be fun the adopted dog CAN’T reproduce.

Read more about Pitbull overpopulation and Pitbull Euthanasia here: http://www.examiner.com/article/pit-bulls-and-euthanasia-rates

Number five: American Pitbull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers (the most common of the purebreds referred to as Pitbulls) are NOT natural fighters.

Yes, these dogs have been used for years in fighting rings, but what you probably DON’T know is how hard it is to get these dogs to be fighters. SO many dogs fail. When dog fighting rings are busted the grounds are usually littered with the dog bones of the failures. The dogs that WONT fight. Dog fighters make their dogs live in a manner where violence is their only option and they find ways to escalate it. I won’t go into the long gorey details, but it’s important to know that dog fighters treat dog fighting like a science, and not very many dogs will even do it.

A not so well known fact about Pitbulls and dog fighting: Pitbulls were originally chosen not only because of their size and strength but because Pitbulls were the only dogs that would specifically NOT bite their humans when they got in the ring to stop a fight. They were chosen because of their LOYALTY to humans.

The rest of my main points about Pitbulls are based on how sweet they are, how forgiving they are, how much they can overcome, and how loyal they are. Maybe a Pitbull Part Two is neccesary? Stay tuned for why I LOVE Pitbulls.

My Christmas Wish

8 Dec

This Christmas I am wishing for a day when Pitbull-type dogs won’t need such a strong, passionate, and united fan base to try and protect them from the judgement, discrimination, hatred and abuse that they suffer.

I wish that I was around when Pitbull-type dogs were considered “Nanny-dogs”.

pitbull2

Photo taken from http://www.ywgrossman.com blog.

http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=676%2F– See some wonderful old photos of Pitbulls with children!

I wish that I didn’t have to constantly explain why I love them so much.

I wish that I didn’t have nightmares about big headed, sad-eyed dogs with their ears torn off and broken limbs that will never be treated.

Noah7

Noah, a bait dog rescued by Lucky Dog Rescue in Meridian, MS.

I wish that I had never heard the word “bait dog” Believe me, you don’t want any pictures.

http://luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/chance-bait-dog.html– Don’t know what a bait dog is? Read about it here.

I wish I could forget the story about a dog fighter who, instead of just killing a losing pitbull, shot the dog repeatedly with a bb gun until he died.

Do you know how many bb’s it would take to kill a 60 pound dog??

I wish that there were no people cruel enough to take an animal, whos purpose in life is to be loyal and loving, and force it to live alone on a chain with a collar that will eventually embed into it’s neck.

Rudybefore5

Rudy, a dog rescued by the founder of Lucky Dog Rescue in Meridian, MS

http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/pictures.html

I wish that the media would stop using “Pitbull attacks” as a way to get readers and viewers.

There are many issues with the media’s portrayal of “Pitbull attacks” starting with the fact that they identify many different breeds as “Pitbulls” (keep in mind this isn’t even a breed..) and the fact that “Pitbull” attacks are reported in more newspapers and on more news stations than a non-“Pitbull” attack.

http://defendpitbulls.com/pit-bull-attack-statistics/

I wish people could look at the facts about Breed Specific Legislation.

It’s expensive, it creates a situation where less quality dog owners are the only ones with Pitbull type dogs, and doesn’t lower the number of bites in an area.

http://www.pbrc.net/breedspecific.html

http://www.nopitbullbans.com/about-cdc-bite-stats/

I wish that people could be as loyal and forgiving as dogs are.  I’m clearly a Pitbull supporter, but ALL dogs deserve better.

This is my wish.

pitbull

Passions and Participating

7 Nov

It’s pretty clear to anyone who knows me that my passion is Pitbulls.  I believe that they are incredibly sweet and loyal dogs who have been mistreated and taken advantage of.  Because Pitbulls don’t have very good English skills I choose to do their talking for them.  (I almost wrote that they don’t have a voice.. but Pitbulls are notoriously vocal dogs, so that’s most definitely not true.)

I choose to stand up for them when people put them down, whether I’m at a wedding, the grocery store or the bar.  I may not change anyone’s mind, but maybe they will learn something.

I choose to make sure that my pit-mix is an excellent example of the breed.  I’m aiming to get Chase therapy certified, but until then I make sure he’s always on his best behavior at the vet, the parks, or anywhere else I take him.  I get no greater joy than seeing someone come up to Chase asking “Is that a Pitbull?” with trepidation, and then finding him to be a calm, gentle, loving giant (at 80 pounds he’s a big pit-mix).  Again, this may not change anyone’s mind, but maybe, just maybe, somewhere down the road they will remember their good experience with a Pitbull-type dog.

I choose to foster Pitbull’s.  I choose to help save lives.  I choose to be an available safe home when a Pitbull needs to be rescued.  On top of helping save lives, fostering Pitbulls gives me more ammunition when I argue with drunks at the bar.  Drunk: “Pitbulls are terrible- why would you let them in your house? They’re going to bite your hand off.”  Me: “I have yet to have a mean Pitbull in my house.  As a matter of fact I find them to be much more well-rounded than many other breeds”.  Drunk: phpphbbb.  (It’s hard to argue with drunks.)

My most common arguments.

I do these things because I’m head over heels in love with this breed.  I STRONGLY believe that they shouldn’t be judged simply because of the way they look.  Have people learned nothing in all these years?  Dogs are no different than people (except for their lack of opposable thumbs-which makes them useless when I tell them to do stuff for me).  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Their behavior differs from dog to dog, not breed to breed.  There will always be some similarities between dogs of the same breed; but there will be many differences as well.

I don’t expect everyone to share my passion.  I don’t expect that everyone I know will instantly fall in love with Pitbulls simply because I tell them how wonderful they are.  And that’s fine with me.  Everyone I know has their own issue to be passionate about.  I know people passionate about politics and people passionate about the environment.  I have friends passionate about children with disabilities and family members passionate about educating our youth.  Without all of these different passions the world wouldn’t go around.   What is most important is that these people are PARTICIPATING.  Regardless of whether they share my passion or not they are getting out and doing their part.  They are standing up for something, educating anyone they can, and taking part however they can.

There are many different ways to get involved no matter what you’re passionate about.  In the animal welfare and animal rescue world alone there are hundreds of ways to get involved. Some of the people that I admire most have dedicated their lives to help rescue, and educate about, Pitbulls. Check out Ashley Owen-Hill from Lucky Dog Rescue (luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com) or the founders of Bad Rap rescue (badrap.org).  Read about people who started programs like Priority Paws, a program right here in MN that brings Therapy Pitbulls and youth groups together (http://www.arottalove.net/blog/), and learn about the founder of MN Pitbull Rescue (mnpitbull.com).  These people are incredible.  They make me feel as if I’m doing practically nothing.  These are people for me to look up to as I continue working with Pitbulls.

What these people do is amazing, but they couldn’t do it alone.  Many people who are very dedicated to animals aren’t able to dedicate their whole lives to saving them.  However, choosing to participate in even the smallest of ways helps programs like these survive.  There are many seemingly small gestures a person can make that will make a world of difference in the big picture.

People volunteer their time.  These volunteers are the core of any good rescue/education program.  I feel like I have so little time to give, and yet here these people are walking shelter animals, working at an adoption events, helping rescues with their administrative duties, helping train rescue dogs, taking their personal dogs out to classrooms ect. The list goes on and on.

People get involved with fundraising. Not everyone wants to be out in the cold walking dogs or volunteering to clean kennels.  Fundraising can be a fun social event and is a totally great way to help save lives!

Many people who don’t actively participate in animal rescue donate!  There are some incredibly generous donators out there and there are many others who don’t have a lot to give but still donate what they can to causes they feel strongly about. Every dollar counts. I know rescue groups with more than 20,000 friends on Facebook.  How amazing would it be if every one of those friends donated just a dollar a month?

If money and time are short for you like they are for me look in to fostering! I feel like it’s such an easy way to participate because one: I already have dogs, so it doesn’t take any extra time, and two: it’s free! The best part about fostering is that even if you foster fail you saved a life!  What could be better than that?

For Pitbulls one of the most important things a person can do is to make sure that THEIR Pitbull is a good example of the breed.  Every positive experience that people have with the breed is another step in the right direction for the breed as a whole.  This doesn’t involve being involved with any rescue group, it simply requires people to be responsible Pitbull-type dog owners.

Sometimes a person’s actions at home are enough.  Loving the pets you own and treating them well is enough in my book.  That’s one, or two, or three less animals to worry about.

So, you can see that there are many ways to get involved, each as important as the next.  I greatly enjoy sharing my love for Pitbulls with such an incredibly passionate, strong willed group of people across the US and throughout many other countries.  We HAVE to be so passionate about our love of Pitbulls because the people discriminating against them are just as passionate about their hate.  I know that this is how other people feel about THEIR passions and I feel incredibly lucky that their are people out there sticking up for the underprivaliged children, the environment, farm animals ect.

Whether you are passionate about Pitbulls, like me, or something else I suggest that you find a way to get involved and participate. Sometimes the smallest things make all the difference. 

Sophie, Sophie, Sophie-a!!!

2 Nov

OH MY GOODNESS.

I think in Sophie’s case a picture really does say a thousand words.  And probably says them a thousand times better than I can.

Meet my new foster puppy “Sophie”

Sophie

Check out that belly!  Are you in love yet?

Sophie was born on July 25, 2012, which makes her about 13 weeks old.  When I got her a week ago she desperately needed some quality nutrition.  She barely even looked like a puppy.

“Are you my new mommy?”

(We may or may not have called her “Yoda” for a while.  And possibly “Creature”-Of course only lovingly.)

What happened to Sophie and her sisters, who are also at MN Pitbull Rescue, is a pretty common situation.  Someone hoped to make money off of pitbull puppies, didn’t realize how much work they were, didn’t have the resources to take care of them, and the innocent puppies suffered because of it.  Puppies need to be dewormed, they need to be fed a lot of food, and they should be vaccinated at an early age to protect them against common contagious infections.

The day that I got Sophie as my foster was the first day in her 12 week life that she’d been away from her siblings.

Sophie and her sisters.

She was nervous and scared but she’s a brave little girl and explored her new surroundings.  She really likes other dogs, she is a little food vulture, and she is OH SO SNUGGLY.   As if I hadn’t already fallen head over heels for the puppy smell, the big round naked puppy belly, and her cute ears that don’t really bend the right way… I soon discovered that she makes the cutest little snore noises whenever she’s comfortable.  I’ve been trying to video tape it, but have yet to succeed.

Sophie sleeping.

I am constantly amazed by how bright Sophie is.  Her first night in the kennel was really rough, but within 4 days she has taken to her kennel like a bee to honey.  Now she sleeps all night without making a peep and when I’m getting ready to leave in the mornings she is already sitting in her kennel waiting for her treat.

Because she was getting so good in her crate I decided to take Sophie to work with me yesterday (I work at a preventative care Vet Clinic) and she blew me away with how well she behaved (aside from a few potty issues..)

She played with the staff, who loved her, played with her toys if people were busy, and when she got tired she went voluntarily into her kennel and took a nap.  Her kennel was in the lobby all day and she didn’t make a peep, even when other dogs barked at her.

Aside from being incredibly well behaved Sophie showed off her smarts.  She knows her name, how to sit, “come” (most of the time), and she even figured out how to turn her kennel into a loft!  Here’s hoping she can find a way to add an extra story on to my house before she leaves.

Sohpie in her “loft”

Sophie is one of those puppies that people can’t get enough of.  She is very social, loves humans and dogs, (see her below with Mylo) and she is so cute it hurts. Really.

She’s not picky about whether she snuggles with a human or a canine.

I haven’t had a puppy since we got Chase over 2 years ago and I was definitely over-due for some puppy snuggles.  I had forgotten how much work they are, but had also forgotten how much fun they are!  I am enjoying her so much and am already sad thinking about the day I have to let her go.  I’m really going to miss watching her stumble up the stairs, watching her pounce on her toys, listening to her snores and grunts, and snuggling with her warm puppy belly.  Most of all, though, I’m going to miss watching her continue to learn and grow.

Sophie’s happiness and excitement are contagious.  She’s a true lover, and I know that whoever becomes her forever family will be incredibly lucky to have her.

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