Educating not Discriminating
Dog Legislation Education (DLE) is for anyone on either side of the Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) fence. I wanted to provide a place where you can ask questions that otherwise might spark debate. This is not meant to be a place to argue the issues, but to help people understand why dogs bite, who's really responsible, and what types of legislation have proven successful in protecting the public and punishing human offenders. Anyone commenting on the blog will be removed from the group for being insensitive. My main focus will be for citizens of Springfield, Mo as the Animal Issues Task Force (AITF) has proposed new legislation, policies, programs to City Council. Because these proposals could help improve the safety of citizens anywhere, the blog is open to anyone.
The Root of Fear is Ignorance.
The one thing I have learned over the years, is that most people who have a problem with a specific breed of dog either had one bad experience or heard bad stuff on the news. Humans are allowed to be afraid...I'm afraid of spiders, hopefully no one faults me for that! What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to help Pit Bull and other Power Breed owners to understand that some people don't know any better than to be afraid. As dog owners we have to take our time and show the public that no one breed stands alone with behavioral issues. I hope to not only educate people who don't know the blessings our dogs bring, but also help educate people who may not know what is appropriate behavior for them and their dog. Though I don't believe Breed Specific Legislation is effective in educating the public, I do believe Potentially Dangerous Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Irresponsible Owner Legislation can not only educate, but improve public safety as well.
Please enjoy the blog, sign up for email updates, keep your filters on when commenting, and hopefully learn something new today.
To ask questions anonymously email at

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Time to Move Forward

      Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. There haven't been any new developments until last week. On Thursday I attended a joint meeting of City Council's Community Involvement Committee and Plans and Policies Committee. The public did not speak at all, but key city officials, not on the committees, got to speak as needed. They discussed whether or not the City and the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri would be able to join forces in the huge project of improving our city's Animal Control programs. The decision of the committees was that key people from both entities get together and see if there can be some sort of compromise for the greater good of animal welfare here in Springfield and surrounding communities. They are to meet and discuss whether it would be more cost effective in the long run for them to join forces and use the Humane Society's building or if a second facility is needed for the City. The faster they can propose their findings to the City Council, the faster they can get the ball rolling.
      The second topic discussed is that the a new committee will be formed and will meet for the next year to help aide in the ongoing work of the AITF. The recommendations that the AITF proposed to the City Council will also be divided up into two sub-committees; one will tackle the need for a new facility, and one will tackle the policies and legislation. City Council agreed that professionals from the AITF will be called as needed to answer questions pertaining to the conclusions on the proposals. Unfortunately, this is all moving very slowly...but that's government for you. We'll get there guys, just be patient.
 Now Carrie's unfiltered expertise:
      I have done quite a bit of research over the years and there are still a few officials in the city that think the Breed Specific Legislation is working. I ask these people....Please take the time to let me shadow you. Then sit down with me and explain why you think it has worked. As of now, I just haven't seen any proof. Anyone can play a numbers game with me, and unless I have all the statistics in front of me (and have consumed three cups of coffee), they may win verbally, but I have lived their twisted number game in my real life, for 15 years. I don't see the proof that the BSL is keeping all of the power breeds out of the meth labs in town. I don't see how the BSL is keeping dogs from being dumped. I don't see how the BSL is helping educate people about appropriate dog behavior, or human behavior around dogs. All I see is that we don't have a dog problem in Springfield, Mo...We have a people problem.           We have to start at the root of the issues (like drugs and education) and not make excuses by blaming the dogs. Humans are the ones that have allowed these precious dogs and cats to be born at a rate that we can't keep up with. Only humans can find the solution to helping make this city have a better animal welfare system... and the solution is not breed specific ordinances. Banning alcohol obviously didn't work, and neither is putting rules on specific breeds of dogs. In 2006, when we put the Pit Bull Ordinance into effect, the black dog was the most prevalent dog in the, in 2013, it is the Pit Bull... Is this your proof that BSL is working? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Important Info on Current Breed Bans

I love seeing state and city officials discussing and realizing that it is the specific ordinances that make or break the results. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Calgary Canada, and Omaha, Nebraska have great ordinances to use as models for cities looking to update outdated ones.  The only thing I see wrong with Omaha is the Pit Bull Ordinance. The statistics have come in on Omaha's dog bites. Pit Bull and Pit Mix bites have gone down, but bites in general have gone up. To me this is proof that the Springfield AITF is on the right track.  Inform owners lacking in know how, and punish the owners not willing to learn that times have changed and animal abuse and neglect will no longer be tolerated... No matter what breed! Check out this post from KC Dog Blog. I don't think I need to restate what he has already stated so elegantly about Omaha's 5 year breed ban.

Here is some info on a Breed Ban Repeal from last week! One step at a time!
Riverside, Mo

Comments welcome!

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Learned Something New

I always say that it's a good day if I have learned something new. Last week I came across something new to me, in the Pit Bull world, that opened my eyes to a whole new mentality. I'm not sure it made it a good day, but it made me a day smarter... I saw a news report about a dog attacking a child. It was very unfortunate and probably could have been prevented. Of course the dog had showed aggression in the past and he was running at large once again. I had never commented on one of these articles so I thought I would try it and see what would happen. I commented that the stock photo that they used was very inaccurate for a few reasons. They tried to say the dog had never shown aggression in the past...The picture was clearly a seasoned aggressive dog. Secondly, I commented that because the breed hadn't been officially determined, and I thought it was unfair to post a pic of a pit bull, further demonizing the breed, rather than a more objective photo.

Wow! Was I not ready for what happened next! I know there are people who are scared of pit bulls and even those that think all pit bulls and mixes should be euthanized to eradicate the breed, but I had NO idea that the people who think all pit bulls should die, regardless of temperament, were so violent in their beliefs! I got attacked and called a number of derogatory names. One person called me a murderer because I owned pit bulls that will "someday kill my family members". The people just kept commenting even when I wasn't commenting back. I just kept reading until I couldn't read anymore. It really opened my eyes... They sounded like white supremacists when they are ranting. Frankly, it upset my stomach.

What did I learn from these people violently opposed to the breed? I guess it goes back to my post on talking to a brick wall. The people were commenting in such a "vicious" way, there was no way they would hear reason. Why even fuel the fire so that they can get their comments up for the public to see? So I just walked away... I am so glad I surround my self with people who read studies, listen to behaviorists, and have experience that teaches them to judge the dog by temperament, not by a guess of a breed.

I may have left the conversation, but I decided to go ahead and research some of the people commenting. One of them turned out to be a woman, I have heard of in the past, who started a website after she was "attacked" by a Pit Bull. She eventually moved from her home town to a city half-way across the US because it was determined by Animal Control that...get this! She attacked the Pit Bull! Crazy right?  Apparently there was some proof that she grew up being told all Pits should die and it carried into her adult life. I couldn't imagine being a person that is never open to learning new things. Just because something is my culture, doesn't mean I push it onto other people in a vicious way. It's got to stress these people out to be so hateful. I know I felt less stressed when I turned off the computer. Geeze!

This is the situation that made up my mind about Pit Bulls and mixes...
Fifteen years ago I got my first Staffordshire Pit Bull. She was almost two and hadn't been socialized. When I asked my boyfriend why he hadn't socialized her he said it was because of where he was from, "If they liked people they would get stolen". Months later when she moved in with me and we did have a few stand offs... She sincerely thought the couch was hers and I shouldn't come in the room. It was not pretty. I spent weeks entering the room with treats and even got her a recliner just for her use. It only took me a few weeks to change her mind about me sitting on the couch. For the next few months I spent time teaching her that people entering the house and passing us on the street were mostly good. She was so eager and quick to learn, it started to make me wonder about all of the pit bulls I saw on chains at my friends houses over the years. "The root of fear is ignorance" and I was very ignorant back then.

The owners claimed they were breeding them or raising them for protection dogs. I remember one in particular. The older brother of a friend said we couldn't go next to the mama dog because she was trained to keep people off of the property. I didn't know much about life back then, but had been observing dog body language since I could remember (I was always a dork about dogs)... I really didn't think she had the body language of a dog that was going to chase someone off of the property. Maybe she'd scare them with just her musclebound looks or by licking them to death, but not because of aggression. I always listened though because I knew other breeds of dogs weren't always friendly to people other than their owners, except for the time I snuk back to pet puppies, but do as I say not as I do. Hehe

Back to my Staffie. She lived to be 9 years old and by the end of her life, everyone was a friend. I think this is a testimony of the great loyalty the American Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Pit Bulls. Missy was very loyal when she was taught to not like anyone but close family, and she was very loyal when she was shown that it was okay to like everyone.

Again I want to state that a Pit Bull's best attribute is also their worst attribute...LOYALTY. They want to make us happy and in turn are the ones chastised for doing what they are told.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Meeting Update

I'm sorry I didn't write about the AITF meeting sooner. I had to take some time off and focus on my health. Sometimes those of us who spend their lives doing rescue and raising kids forget to take some extra time for ourselves. So everyone pick a day this week, turn off your cell phone, and spend at least four hours doing something just for you...

The meeting on September 10th.
Mary Collette did a power point presentation showing the committee what the Task Force has been researching over the last year and a half. At the end of the presentation the City Council members and the committee members had a chance to ask questions. They focused on the need for a shelter and whether partnering with the Humane Society would be beneficial to the city, Humane Society, and taxpayers. City Councilman Doug Burlison asked the loaded question, "Is there too much animosity between Animal Control and the Humane Society of SW MO to try and build something as a team". Here is where I'm going to insert my opinion on the chocolate covered answers that were given to him...

I have had the chance to volunteer for both Animal Control and the HS of SW MO, and what I have found is A LOT of miscommunication. There are rescues that will work with one intentity that wont work for another, some for good reasons and some for very old and irrelevant reasons. There are MANY people holding ten year old grudges, and there are many people that have no clue the grudges are there. If anyone were to ask my opinion on the whole thing, I have two answers...

The politcally correct one...
We should all put grudges aside and work together since our goals are all similar and for the good of these animals that need our help. 

The unfiltered answer...
There are a lot of people currently unwilling to work together...That being said, there were even more unwilling to work together a year ago. I think forming the AITF brought key people face to face, in a controlled environment, and caused some of them to realize they agree on many things. Because I have volunteered for both Animal Control and The Humane Society I have heard some really downright mean things said. I think what all of the people currently working at AC and the HS don't realize is that some people have a really long history disagreeing with the other, and some key people have no clue there is so much animosity. Things have changed IMMENSELY at both AC and the HS over the last 3 years!!! Everyone needs to re-evaluate!!!

Was the BSL discussed?
The subject was presented in the overview, but the committee chose to start with the most important issue first... which was the new shelter. We have to get these dogs and people out of the disgusting conditions at our current shelter. It is a horrible place, and as much as I want the BSL gone... We have to think about the masses first.We have to have a better place to house dogs and cats so they wont be almost guaranteed to get so sick anymore.

I have been told the BSL will be a topic of discussion soon and I will be notified to be there when it begins. I will keep everyone up to date!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dog Bite Facts

I just wanted to throw out some references and information from some well respected people in the dog community. I have had some questions about what breed of dog bites the most and what breed of dog kills the most people... The answer is pretty simple.

There is no way to have a controlled study to determine what breeds bite more... 
People don't always report bites.
Small dogs can do less damage.
The bigger the dog, the bigger the possibility of damage needing medical attention.
Majority of dogs are of mixed breeds.

Want to know more about Dog Bite Fatalities? 
This is the most informational assessment I have come across...

Here are some quotes from well respected dog trainers, veterinarians, and behaviorists.

"...explanation lies in the fact that if a dog has not been taught how to function successfully in a domestic environment he will behave the only way he knows how".- Victoria Stillwell

"If I were asked to recommend a dog for a children's psychiatric ward, my first choice would be a Pit Bull".-Dr. Ian Dunbar

"Untrained dogs become the prisoners of their own behavior".-Carolyn Krause


"Create a functional relationship with your dog and family, not a dysfunctional relationship based on punishment".-Misti Fry

"Those of you who know me know that, when it comes to dogs, especially those accused of aggression toward humans... I am a realist, and know well that there are dogs that are dangerous....Yet I demand, from myself, two things: one, that I search for the total story behind an attack... and that secondly, every single dog gets a fair, fact-and observation-based evaluation, without presumption of guilt or innocence, and as free as I can make it from bias based on type or breed".-Jim Crosby

"Any dog will bite if pushed too far, and eliciting a bite does not necessarily mean that the dog is dangerous in general".-Nicole Wilde

"I believe all dogs should be judged according to their behavior not their breed."-Carrie Galvan

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Next meeting of the AITF will be on Sept 10th!!!

      The next meeting of the AITF will be on the 4th floor of the Bush Municipal Building at noon on September 10th.  As I explained in my last blog, they will do a power point presentation on their findings and answer questions from a few City Council members and other key members of a City Committee.

 PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Don't go to any of the future meetings and make a scene!

      Read my first blog if you can...I was there for the City Council meeting in 2006...I strongly believe where we messed up was with all of the stories of how we love our pit bulls and how irate some people were. (I don't blame anyone, but I have learned a few things since then). I was going to speak, but I watched the City Council members and listened for hours before I realized, it didn't matter what we had to say, panic legislation was going to happen. The majority of City Council's mind was made up. They weren't even taking what area professionals had to say seriously. One speaker in particular is one of my mentors in life and I was shocked at the way he was treated by a certain city official. 
      The way I envision the meetings going this time would be professionals stating the facts...BSL does not work. Vicious dog legislation does work. Vicious bites may have gone down... but they are on the rise again. Why? My belief is because of the big uproar in Springfield in 2006. Public awareness was raised and everyone just chose a side without knowing the facts. We all put tighter reigns on our dogs no matter what breed. Everyone was listening to the city talk about the legislation, and frankly some of us didn't act very professional. I was upset too...I may have even had a few unprofessional moments myself...LOL 
      The task force has taken the time to research all of the facts. They have decided to take a whole city approach, not just fight one issue. We need a new shelter... We need to raise awareness and educate people...We need to punish people for not being responsible pet owners...We need to encourage spay and neuter in appropriate situations...We need to build a strong bond between citizens and Animal Control... And the list goes on. 


   In closing, if you are going to attend future meetings....Stay Calm...Be an expert for your cause and keep emotions out of it. Easier said than done, I know, but we have to play the game to get ahead. We have new elected officials this time around, lets show them how much we have learned.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

What happens in Springfield, Mo now?


      There was a AITF meeting this past Monday that finalized all of the recommendations being sent to the City Council. As I understand it, the research and findings from the Task Force will be presented to a committee the second week in September. There will be a few of the City Council members there along with other key city officials. The AITF will do a short presentation that will sum up all of the work they have done and what they believe will be the best approach for our city to overcome pet overpopulation, a need for a new shelter, the safety of citizens, and other animal related issues. There will be a chance for questions, from the Committee, directed toward the citizens and professionals on the Task Force.
  Yes, the pit bull ordinance will probably be discussed.
Has everyone read what the Task Force is proposing? 

For those of you who still haven't read it, here is the new non-breed specific legislation being proposed by the AITF... 

Potentially Dangerous Dog:
a) Any dog which, when unprovoked on two separate occasions within 
the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a 
defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury to a human 
when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or 
keeper of the dog.
b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less 
severe injury than as defined under the dangerous dog provisions 
c) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions 
within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, 
inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic 
animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.

Owners of potentially dangerous dogs will be subject to the 
following provisions.
o Never allow the dog to be off their property unless 
on a 6 ft leash, under the control of a person over 
18 years of age.
o Spay or neuter the dog within 30-days of the 
o Micro-chip the dog within 30-days of the 
o Obtain a potentially dangerous dog license (price to 
be determined). The license must be on the dog at 
all times and will be color differentiated from 
regular license tags.

In addition, these provisions may be added depending on 
the situation:
o Muzzle the dog whenever outside the home or 
securely fenced yard.
o Attend a responsible pet owner class approved by 
Animal Control staff within 90-days of the 
o Attend, with dog, a dog behavior class approved by 
Animal Control staff within 90-days of the 
o Carry $100,000 liability insurance.
o Owners who are convicted of one or more 
violations of the ordinance on three separate 
occasions in a 24 month period, or who fail to 
follow the requirements of owning a Potentially 
Dangerous Dog/Vicious Dog can be declared a 
reckless owner.
After 12 months of appropriate behavior, the PDD 
declaration drops off.

Dangerous Dog:
a) Any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts 
severe injury on or kills a human being.
b) Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a 
potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been 
notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in 
the potentially dangerous dog definition or is maintained in 
violation of not following the provisions for maintaining a 
potentially dangerous dog.4

Owners of dogs deemed to be vicious will be subject to the 
following provisions. Such provisions are a requirement for 
the life of the animal:
o Never allow the dog to be off their property unless 
on a 6 ft leash, under the control of a person over 
18 years of age.
o Spay or neuter the dog within 30-days of the 
o Micro-chip the dog within 30-days of the 
o Obtain a vicious dog license (price to be 
determined). The license must be on the dog at all 
times and will be color differentiated from regular 
license tags.

In addition, these provisions may be added depending on 
the situation:
o Muzzle the dog whenever outside the home or 
securely fenced yard
o Attend a responsible pet owner class approved by 
Animal Control staff within 90-days of the 
o Attend ,with dog, a dog behavior class approved by 
Animal Control staff within 90-days of the 
o Carry $100,000 liability insurance.
o Owners who are convicted of one or more 
violations of the ordinance on three separate 
occasions in a 24 month period, or who fails to 
follow the requirements of owning a PDD/vicious 
dog can be declared a reckless owner.
o Once a dog is declared vicious, they retain that 
classification for life.
o Any dog declared vicious by the hearing examiner 
may be ordered humanely euthanized upon the 
expiration of the appeal period.

Reckless Owner:
a) Reckless owner designation is applied to repeat offenders of animal 
control ordinances such as a dog repeatedly running at large, not 
adhering to the requirement of maintaining a dangerous dog, or not 
providing adequate food/water/shelter for an animal.
b) Owners deemed to be “reckless” could forfeit their privilege to have 
a pet for up to 4 years. 5
c) This designation would be applied to repeat offenders.
d) The designation is applied to the address where the owner resides 
to prevent transfer of animals to family members.

Stop!!! Please Read This!!!

This is what is being proposed to help the city transition from breed specific legislation to the new non-breed specific legislation...

"As a transition to expanding the Potentially Dangerous 
Dog/Vicious Dog legislation to all breeds, the task force 
recommends placing all dogs currently registered in BSL to 
follow the requirements of PDD on the effective date of this 
ordinance. Those dogs who comply with the requirements 
of PDD and have no violations with animal control will have 
the PDD requirements drop off after one year"

      I would really like to hear your thoughts on any of this. It will help me better understand how the public really feels about transitioning to the new legislation. Remember all questions will be answered to the best of my knowledge as a citizen, parent, professional, and Pit Bull owner. 

***If you would like to read all of the proposals in full they are on the left column of this page.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Final Drafts From the AITF to be Sent to the City Council!

We are reaching the finish Line!!!

After over a year of meeting the Animal Issues Task Force in Springfield, Mo is reaching the end of the road. I have posted the final drafts to the left on this page. #3 is the one that most of you will be interested in, it is below as well. Please feel free to ask me any questions...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pit Bull Spay/Neuter $20 in August!!!

Have you been putting off having your Pit spayed or neutered?

SAAFhouse Spay/Neuter Clinic Special for August 2013
Spay your Pit mix for $20!
Call and reserve your appointment today!

Feel free to ask questions that could help you decide why or why not to fix your dog. Spaying and neutering is a necessity in our area, but responsible breeding can be important too. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Can Fighting Pits Really be Rehabilitated?

Anonymous Question: Can a Pit Bull that has been trained to fight really be rehabilitated to be a good member of a family?

      I'm not sure how I really feel about the word rehabilitate. A very respected colleague, behaviorist, and friend of mine made a comment to me about puppy mill dogs the other day. A friend of ours told us she was taking a dog halfway across the US to have him rehabilitated. "He is scared of everything", our friend said, "This place is going to rehabilitate him". After that conversation, my colleague said to me, "Is it really rehabilitation if the dog was never allowed to or taught to handle life the correct way"? That was an awesome point, and it got my dog obsessed mind thinking. 

The definition of the word rehabilitate is...

1. Restore (someone) to healthy or normal life by training or therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness.
2. Restore (someone) to former privileges or reputation after a period of critical or official disfavor.

Restore? If it was never a normal life than is it really rehabilitation? Just a thought...

Back to Pit Bull rehabilitation...
Answer: Yes, most Pit Bulls can be trained and taught to modify the way they handle life. Here are two interesting facts about the breed...

1. They are loyal to such an extreme that they will fight and kill another animal when a human tells them to.
2. Professional fighters will inhumanely euthanize Pit Bulls that show any kind of human aggression.

Because of the first two facts...The following two tend to happen...

1.They are loyal enough to learn how to act appropriately just so they can be loved.
2.They are very rarely human aggressive, genetically.

      Every time I foster a Pit Bull that has obviously been fought it amazes me how eager they are to learn new things. It is heartwarming to watch them slowly find that they don't have to watch their back every time they are taken out of the kennel. You can actually see them relax more each day as they realize they don't have to defend themselves anymore. They find that they love toys, kids, being fed regularly, sleeping on the couch, and even having other animal friends. Some love their new lives so much I have seen them become therapy and service dogs. Of course, there are always the few that are so defensive they can't learn to live with other animals, but they can still do great in single pet homes. The amount of dogs I have successfully trained and taught to modify the way they handle life...(rehabilitated) great in comparison to those that were just too far gone to help. Some dogs are just so emotionally scared on the inside, that the scars on the outside can only begin to tell their story. 
      After spending time teaching a fighting Pit Bull how great life really can be, and watching their personalities emerge, it always hurts my heart to let them go to their forever homes. It's bitter sweet. I am an important stepping stone that teaches them to live, yet I know they will soon realize the person I left them with will love them just the same as me. 

This is Rocky, my most recent foster. He has many scars on the outside that will never go away, but humanity is teaching him that the scars on the inside can heal with time and love.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mandatory Dog Licensing

Why Mandatory Dog Licensing?

One of the items that has been discussed in the AITF meetings is Dog Licensing. I didn't believe at first I would like licensing all four of my dogs until we began studying other places that have mandatory licensing and the possible benefits. Calgary has amazing reasons why people actually want to license dogs. Here is a draft of a list the AITF has been talking about...

 Implement a comprehensive pet licensure program for dogs and a voluntary licensing for cats- This approach would be modeled after ordinances in many cities, including Salt Lake City, Omaha, and Calgary. Responsible pet ownership revolves around the proper care and identification of an animal and preventing pets from becoming a hazard or nuisance to the community. 
  o Goal: To promote the philosophy of responsible pet ownership.
  o Under this approach:
              There will be no limit on the number of pets one can own; the focus will be responsible ownership. If the owner of any animal cannot demonstrate the ability to abide by ordinances that are associated with the care and upkeep of animals, they will no longer be permitted to harbor pets under the reckless owner provision
              We recommend a differential licensure approach where the licensing fees are significantly less for animals that have been spayed/neutered. 

There has also been suggestions of a free ride home for a first offence with a dog at large, and a coupon booklet with discounts from area businesses. Sounds like it would be cheaper to license all four of my dogs than it would be to license my two Pit Bulls. What have those of us with Pit Bulls X's have to loose? And how many people with any breed would feel better if your dog would have every chance of making it's way back home if lost? How many of you know if your current microchips have to be renewed every year? Very few places give out lifetime microchips. What if this mandatory licensure could keep you microchip valid for the life of you dog?

Food for Thought...An questions or comments?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Interesting Read from Best Friends Animal Society

The American Pit Bull Registry (APBR) notes: “The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 600,000 in the USA.Comparatively speaking you are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be killed by a dog of any breed. When you further break down the odds of being attacked and killed by a PitBull the odds are in your favor– approximately 1 in 145,000,000.”

Friday, June 28, 2013

Anonymous Question: How do I keep my cool and prove my point when talking to someone who states that they hate Pit Bulls or the breed is vicious?

Answer: First of all, what I do is judge whether the person even wants to hear what you have to say, so you're not wasting your breath talking to a wall. It's a little like politics or religion...You get defensive, the other person gets on their high horse thinking they've got your goat....Now you're the one who's upset. It depends on the personality as to what my response is going to be.

Person #1- They know they're right, and want to be the one talking...Ask them open ended questions. What happened that was so awful? What were the people like who owned him? (Looking for some of the "bad owner stuff" in my past blog). The dog was on a chain all the time? (We all know that raises the chances for aggression immensely). Where were the child's parents? Oh, it was a stray...probably had no training ever... "How sad in so many ways".

Or you could simply... Smile, listen, and say, "I'm sorry you feel that way, you've missed out on experiencing some beautiful, smart, loving, loyal and very trainable dogs!!"-MC

Person #2-  They heard bad things about Rotties, Pits, and other power breeds, but are open to listen a little...
      "Pits aren't typically aggressive to humans. Its actually not one of their traits. If they have hurt someone I would wonder about their socialization as a puppy, and the emotional stability of their owners".
      "Even most of Michael Vick's dogs have been adopted out to homes. A lot are even therapy and service dogs". (Because we all know people heard his story).
      "Human aggression isn't even a trait of the Pit Bull. Even horrible Pit fighters kill the Pits if they try to bite them. They aren't even allowed to bite if the human is breaking up a scheduled fight. That is only one way human aggression has been bred out of the breed".
      "One of the original reasons they were bred is because of their high pain tolerance, so they could handle being around kids".
     "That was just unfortunate. The dog's mouth was so big and the child's head was right there as the parents weren't appropriately supervising the situation. It wouldn't have been so bad if the bite was on an adult human leg".

Person#3- They really want to learn...Give them websites to look at, movies to watch, and encourage them to meet an appropriate power breed some day. "They're are dogs with issues in every breed".

There are many other situations you could encounter. Keep it short and sweet, and leave a person thinking, "Maybe I should read up on the breeds, or meet one some day". If your not pushy you might just leave something important ringing in their ears.

"Yes, statistically Power Breeds may do the most damage, but their mouths are bigger. That only makes sense".

 "Of course the large dog bites are reported more. What 250lb man wants to call the cops and admit a chihuahua bit his calf".

"Yes, Pit Bull bites may be one of the top dog bites statistically, but Pit Bull is a bully breed mix, not a pure bred. There are also way more pit bull mixes than any other breed".

The key is to keep your emotions out of it. People are more open to information if it's not being shoved down their throat.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anonymous Question: What happens after the AITF sends the proposals to the City Council?

Answer: To the best of my knowledge, the City Council will review the recommendations from the AITF and decide what they want to change about current legislation. The City Council will meet with the city's legal department and discuss liabilities and legal jargon. When they have come to an agreement there will be a Council meeting. Beyond that, what I understand is they vote, and if the public disagrees there can be petitions signed.

Information for Springfield's Pit Bull community:  Everyone needs to take a deep breath and really listen to the ordinances proposed. If the City Council adopts what the AITF is proposing...Pit Bulls registered because of the current legislation will be on the Potentially Dangerous list for one more year. After that year, with no violations, each one will drop off the list. The K-9 professional and mother in me feels good about this way of transitioning. The Pit Bull owner in me just wishes it would go away....yet maybe a slow transition will help us in the long run. I'm willing to wait and see.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Anonymous Question:  Does Dangerous/Vicious Dog Legislation seem to be taking the place of BSL?

Answer: Seems to be taking over in places where officials are listening to behaviorists and other K-9 professionals...
Check out this link!
KC Dog Blog

Monday, June 24, 2013

Anonymous Question: Are Pit Bulls really as vicious as they are portrayed on the news?

Answer: No one breed is "vicious", there are only vicious dogs. All breeds have been bred over hundreds of  years for specific jobs. Some herd our cattle, some catch rodents, some guard our property, some are lap dogs, and some are bred to take down lions. American Pit bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers were bred to work. They helped catch and hold bulls until their owner told them to release. They were also bred to be gentle with their families when they got home from working. Often times people used them to protect the property and children from intruders (human or animal). They were bred to be an extremely loyal breed with a high pain tolerance. It has been said that a Pit Bull's best attribute is their worst attribute... LOYALTY. They will do ANYTHING their owner wants them to do; from a house and family dog to a fighting dog. So maybe we should we focus more on the human aspect of the equation??? Professionals are finding more and more that humans are playing a bigger part in dog bites than once believed.
      Any breed of dog, that seriously injures a human, does so for four reasons... Lack of training and management, poor living conditions, poor breeding, or an unfortunate accident. Go through and really look at the dog bite fatalities over the years. You will find a few common denominators... The bigger the teeth and the smaller the human, the worse the bite can be; Domestic violence and/or drugs in the house; Wild dogs; Lack of adult supervision; or again, just an unfortunate accident.
      So, are pit bulls really as vicious as they are often portrayed? Do some investigating. Don't just believe the first or most popular news report. Look at multiple reports. You just might find that the words "Pit Bull Attack" are used to draw in viewers and the real news stories after the investigation aren't quite as publicized. You just might find that humans are almost always at fault when it comes to dog bites. You just might find that more education is needed when it comes to what our dogs are really telling us everyday.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anonymous Question: Is the City talking about expanding the Pit Bull ordinance to all "Dangerous Breeds"?

Answer: First I would like to say that a lot of people are talking about a lot of things. I cannot speak for the City except that the City Council is waiting for the recommendations of the citizens and professionals on the Animal Issues Task force.  The AITF wants to expand the ordinance to "all dangerous dogs". This would allow the city officials to punish the dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners rather than all citizens who own specific breeds. If the ordinance changes are considered and/or accepted we have to take our time changing from BSL. There were hundreds of Pit mixes that were dumped when the ordinance went in place and in my opinion it would not help us if those irresponsible people went out and got another just because the ordinance has changed again. As a power breed owner, I only want responsible people, who are willing to get educated to own our breeds.

DLE- Getting The Word Out

       I am going to start my first post by asking all my followers in and around Springfield, Mo not to panic and to calmly participate as people's questions get answered about our Breed Specific Legislation and other related subjects. There are a lot of crazy rumors out there and it is time to clear the air. After attending the the Animal Issues Task Force meetings for over a year, and listening to what everyone from concerned citizens to Animal Control employees to city officials has to say, I believe the Task Force has come up with the best proposal possible. As much as I would like to see the BSL disappear tonight, if we don't take our time changing to a Potentially Dangerous Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Irresponsible Owner Legislation we could end up supporting the irresponsible people who put us in this position today.
        I can be just as passionate as the next Pit Bull lover, but I am going to keep my filter on and act like an adult. Those of you that know me can stop laughing now. I have done very well with some of our biggest adversaries in the past year. I have actually learned a lot from them, especially about how people rationalize BSL. (I am in no way saying I agree with the rationalization, but I do understand it better). I would also like to ask our entire Pit Bull community to sit back and listen before getting upset like we did six years ago. The two sides actually agree that no one wants dangerous dogs running around mauling children. So we have to pull up our big girl (or boy) pants and get educated. Telling stories about how wonderful our dogs are isn't going to stop someone, who has never seen a Pit, from being scared. Helping them to understand about dog behavior, temperament, owner mentality, and responsible pet ownership is gonna be our ticket to freedom. Don't get defensive. Send people to the blog where we can answer questions. Some questions may seem stupid to bully owners, but people who don't live our lives can't know all the same things as us. I'm not going to allow any bullying. (No pun intended).

      The questions and comments will be answered to the best of my abilities as a professional dog trainer, behavior modification expert, mother, and Pit Bull owner. Please look at the links to the left and read the proposals the AITF has almost finalized. Don't forget to sign up to join DLE email list. People can ask questions and make comments and suggestions below, or if you would like to stay anonymous you can email me at I have blogs with current questions in the works. Thank you for taking the time to join DLE...