Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Stoking the Fires of Hate"

 This is Teddy today on my lap saying to me "What? I'm a normal little dog!"

I haven't gotten very much sleep this week. Since Teddy got his hair cut on Monday night he's done his usual "regressing" and has been an absolute terror at night and has been attacking me all night long while I try to sleep - last night he even tried to bite my face again - but I've become quite an expert at evading his teeth, so he hasn't made any contact in quite awhile.

So it was quite fitting that I found something that I'd printed out quite awhile ago from the website "The No Kill Advocacy Centre" today - on several levels.

One being the fact that I'm so willing to keep Teddy alive when he so desperately seems to want to harm me - but I figure we have his whole life to work out his problems, and it's not his fault that he's very sensitive and was very damaged by his first home and manifested his treatment the way he has - so we're working with things on that level. And second is the fact that the article is about pit bulls and the fact that shelters kill just about everyone that comes in the door - regardless of their background or what the dog is like - but BECAUSE of their breed - and here I have Teddy - who is just about the worst biter you'll ever come across and I'm giving him life at all costs. It seems so unfair.

But the article is an absolute must read - and the website - put together in part by my hero Nathan Winograd is also super. The pdf of the article is at

and here's the text of the article:

How the Animal Protection Movement Is Failing Pit Bulls No Kill Sheltering January/February 2006

“Teach Compassion.” It is perhaps the most important job we have as animal protectionists. In the mission statement of every animal welfare and animal rights group, every private and public shelter, and within the credo of every activist is a
calling to raise awareness of animal suffering and to ultimately encourage more humane treatment. From the earliest days of our movement’s founding, we have heeded the call to change the hearts and minds of the public, knowing that doing so is a precursor to changes in laws and practices that result in animal suffering. But we have our blind spots. There is no breed of dog in America more abused, maligned, and misrepresented than the American Pit Bull Terrier.There is no breed of dog more in need of our compassion; in need of our call to arms on their behalf; and in need of what should be the full force of our enduring sanctuary. But we have determined that they are not worthy of it. We have determined that they do not deserve to live.The more circumspect among us might not say so publicly.We may couch it in more benign terms, shifting the blame to others, claiming that no one will adopt them, convincing
ourselves that only a ban will keep them out of harm’s way, but the end result is
exactly the same. By our actions, by our words, by our policies, by our failure to
speak out on their behalf, we stoke the fire that has at its core only one end for Pit Bulls: their mass killing.

To a breed abused for fighting, victimized by an undeserved reputation, relegated to certain death in shelters, add one more torment: those who should be their most ardent protectors have instead turned against them.We have joined the witch hunt. The very agencies whose officers seek out dog fighters and abusers in order to “save” the poor creatures relegate Pit Bulls to locked and barren corridors away from public view. Ultimately, all of them—the healthy and friendly ones, side-by-side with the hopelessly sick or vicious— are uniformly put to death. One of the nation’s leading humane newspapers lauds a city not only for outlawing Pit Bulls but for proactively enforcing the ban on them—a ban that leads to
their execution. The editors, who have also called for consistency in ethical practices by encouraging shelters to serve only vegetarian food and who applaud other animal rights causes, apparently see no moral ambiguity when officers go door-to-door seizing happy and friendly pets sleeping on beds and couches, taken from their families upon threat of arrest, while animal control shelter workers wait,“euthanasia kits” at the ready. In an Oregon county, Pit Bulls are killed en masse in a shelter with an avowed No Kill goal by misusing temperament testing as a de facto ban on the breed. In Denver, Colorado, they are simply outlawed and executed.And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the nation’s most outspoken animal rights group, has joined the battle to exterminate these dogs—demanding that all cities ban the breed, and all Pit Bulls who enter shelters seeking sanctuary, should instead be killed. Ending the tragic plight of the American Pit Bull Terrier should be among our most ardent goals.

Our advocacy must remind people that at one time, the Pit Bull was the most popular pet in America because of their reputation as a friendly, family dog. We must educate people that the Pit Bull’s misfortune is in finding themselves the favored breed of the dog fighter at this time in history—a distinction shared at one time by the German Shepherd, Doberman, and Rottweiller.And a distinction that will shift to another breed if we ban Pit Bulls but to not bring about an end to the scourge of dog fighting. We must rally against the injustice of politics which condemn an entire breed of dog—in practical terms, literally hundreds of thousands of dogs a year—to death, because of the unfortunate characteristics of a few of them. Where there is vilification, we should teach compassion.Where there are scare tactics, we should preach temperance.Where there are lies, we should speak the truth. Otherwise, the animal welfare movement will have failed the Pit Bull completely. They fight for chickens and cows and other animals. But when it comes to dogs and cats in shelters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has the biggest blind
spot of them all. PETA not only kills thousands of dogs and cats themselves.They not only have a policy against No Kill. But they also support a ban on Pit Bulls, a position which condones the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of dogs in pounds across the country every year. It is an ugly fact that PETA does not hide. Here is what they had to say about Pit Bulls, in their own words: “Most people have no idea that at many animal shelters across the country, any “pit bull” who
comes through the front door goes out the back door—in a body bag. From San Jose to
Schenectady, many shelters have enacted policies requiring the automatic destruction of the huge and ever-growing number of “pits” they encounter. This news shocks and outrages the compassionate dog-lover. Here’s another shocker: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the very people who are trying to get you to denounce the killing of chickens for the table, foxes for fur, or frogs for dissection, supports the pit bull policy…” Ingrid Newkirk President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Posted by Picasa

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