Monday, June 30, 2008


AP photo. Fun! Comedian Margaret Cho - celeb guest marshall of SF's Pride Parade - is a dog lover. She was swarmed for a fast & furious paparazzi style snap session with Muggy & Lola, owned by our contingent's organizer Donyale Hoye..(and isn't Lola a pretty bride?). Thank you Margaret! A lil' movie of the big walk below....

High Res Version

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gay, as in HAPPY!

It's Pride Week and there are parties everywhere. Jonny Justice has a big reason to Woo Hoo ... he's celebrating his official adoption this weekend. A big loud batch of us will be marching in the Pride Parade - We're #22 in line. If you're planning on being near Market Street this Sunday, wave Congrats to Jonny and Dutch (now Audie). They'll be marching alongside 20 or so other BR canines.

It's going to be FABULOUS!

Photo: Amado Garcia

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fluff that Storyline!

The same story of a child "attacked" in West Seattle as told by an, ahem, committed storyteller...
Plumbers Save Child!

And, as told by the police who responded...
Plumbers Save Shoelaces!

Sigh. Pick your reality, I guess.

Interesting information in Article II illustrating how popular pit bulls are becoming in urban areas. They're the number one breed in Oakland, and they were the third most common dog in SF back in 2005. Considering only 10% of homes tend to license, we're looking at pit bulls as one of America's most popular pets.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What would help?

At our recent Richmond based Free Shots Fair, BR volunteers David & Mary asked Richmond residents for suggestions for improvements that would help pet owners in Contra Costa County. The tape quality is a little ruff, but some of the quotes are great.

What do urban pet owners want? - The same as everyone, everywhere: More accessible vet care, more responsive animal control, more options for exercising pets, more training and education.

You never know until you ask...

And how much do we love that little kid at the end?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Educate Educate Educate

Losing sleep over media headlines and oppressive heat waves has its advantages. In digging around the
Net, it seems that Responsible Owner materials offered in Spanish are either hard to find or sorta preachy, so I updated our Great Owners = Great Dogs poster in hopes that it helps makes a difference to somebody. The blurb
in red reads:

Important! Dogs
that live on chains can become frustrated and dangerous. Do not allow children near dogs that live on chains.

A rather tepid warning perhaps, considering the Texas sized tragedy suffered last week. Please, rev up your printer and use this poster to educate. Get the letter page sized PDF here and mass produce it at Kinko's. Or order the larger 11x17 version here. Send a few to every animal shelter, school, library, day care, etc you can think of - Wherever dog owners with children might get their hands on it. Hec, send it to the media along with this print out. Maybe they'd do something brilliant, like, uhh -- educate.

(By the way, great hand out from HSUS. I have to guess that Adam Goldfarb had something to do with writing that.)

The updated English version of Great Owners will be available shortly. If you'd like this in a large 30x44 sized vinyl banner with grommets, please let me know and we'll help you get one for about fifty bucks.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Uba-licious: Go Home

The story of Uba, our menacing little friend, as told by the media.

1. We first met him in this CNN video, back when he was known as #32 and stacked in a dirty kennel above Hector (#44) in VA.
2. The NY Times met Uba and invented a new label for him: Menacing Dog ....hmph.
3. The NY Daily News went a step futher and speculated that Uba could chew your fingers off....Yeah, baby! Trained to be Killers
4. Fast forward to now. The East Bay Monthly's June edition gives us the full scoop - minus the trash talk & speculation - including word from Uba's very happy new family. ---- Thank you Elizabeth Kennedy!

Home For Good
We're so pleased to announce another Vick dog adoption. Uba is as special today as when he first grabbed our hearts in those early photos. Many thanks to Letti and partner Jamel for your refreshing "no big deal" attitude, and for making him a permanent part of your extended critter family.

NOTE BELOW: All 10 fingers accounted for.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mauling in Texas

Stories like these make me claw at the walls. I want to turn back time and find a way to get to this home and talk to the people that live there before before before the tragedy. Dogs should not be chained sentries. Sorry, responsible chaining people. We know you're out there, but godhelpus, chained dogs in impoverished neighborhoods are so often unstable and children living near them are so often not safe. We know that, but still everyone acts surprised when a chained dog gets loose and a child is hurt or worse.

Remember, Karen taught us well: Function of dog. Function of dog.

For every dedicated dog person scrambling to stop BSL, we need three more out in the neighborhoods, where children live, where dogs are chained and employed as guard dogs - where the next headline is pacing in dusty circles and slowly going insane. Educate, educate, educate.

Vaya con Dios, ángelito.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Breed Ambassador. Literally.

Meet Tigre.

A Mexico-born, scatterbred pit bull who found himself homeless. Sarah, then dog-less and living in Oaxaca, happened to be out on a jog and saw him curled up and lying in the brush by a trail, weak but happy to meet her. Being the animal lover that she is, she brought him to a vet and had him all fixed up.

That was five and a half years ago.

True to form, Tigre's never met a person he didn't fall madly in love with. And, he's dog social to boot, having had to play foster brother to the many stray dogs Sarah brought home and adopted out while in Mexico.

Tigre has traveled to more places than some people. Sarah herself travels often and she never leaves him behind when she moves from place to place. She's flown him home to the midwest, back to Mexico, and over to California for grad school. Now, they're in Washington, D.C., where Sarah's starting her career in the U.S. Foreign Service, getting ready to leave for her first post. When Sarah had to prioritize where she wanted to be posted abroad, she had to carefully research and cross off the places around the world that have banned pit bulls.

I found Tigre when he was about 1 year old. He was extremely emaciated, anemic and tick-ridden. He was so emaciated that the vet couldn't even tell what breed he was. I've learned so much about pit bulls through the years since having Tigre in my life and have confronted so many people's stereotypes (especially in talking with landlords when looking for places to live!) Tigre is one of the many dogs (and one of several pit bulls) that travel with their Foreign Service owners, living in countries around the world. As we prepare to head off to Pakistan, I look forward to more people around the world meeting him and realizing what kind, friendly dogs pit bulls can be.

Safe travels, Sarah and Teeg!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Biggest Thug of All

A Celebrated Vick Dog Adoption

This Minnesota guy - known on the street as Roo Dog - is one bad-ass mutha thugga. Secret cameras have captured him engaging in gang-related activities involving flying discs with a pit bull named Wallace. His rap sheet is a mile long, and his escapades are well documented.

After learning how deeply entrenched in the thug lifestyle this canine king pin is, it was only natural that we match him up with the biggest thug dog in the country: The notorious Hector Thug. Hector has been called a 'ticking time bomb' - a 'fighting machine' and 'one of the most violent dogs in america.' Certain animal welfare org thugs quake in his presence. Yo!

We're pleased as peaches to announce the official adoption of Hector de Thug to his new Daddy Disk Man -- Roo Dog. Hector has been secreted away to a new location and will be partnering up with Roo and his gal Clara to begin a life of PR excess. We expect the authorities will be keeping a close eye on this gang as they map out their upcoming exploits.


Thank yous on Hector's last morning in the bay area:
( a higher res version here. )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Justifying hatred in Lakewood, Ohio

It's a small, densely populated town pushed up against Lake Erie on the north and surrounded by the city of Cleveland. It's mostly white middle class, and it fancies itself a free thinking town that welcomes counterculture and alternative types ... as long as those free thinkers don't own dogs otherwise known as pit bulls.

The city council is scripting out a breed ban and, to justify it, one member rolled out this trash talk in the local paper.

I haven't been able to get through a full reading of this thing without getting sick to my stomach. We have to hope that the "alternative" people of Lakewood wake up and realize how very dangerous their city leaders are.

Boxer Shot
In another part of Ohio, it's news when a boxer mistakenly identified as a pit bull is shot during a routine noise disturbance call. It'll be interesting to see if the city justifies this shooting based on the officer's (mis)perception of breed type.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Article About Dog-Dog Aggression

Thank yous to Fetch the Paper for inviting us to write about 'lessons learned' with the Vick dogs and dog-dog stuff. This article is in PDF form so you can download it and share it with that special co-worker of yours whose dog aggro fuzzy dog is making you pull your hair out. Grrr. Woof!

Dog vs. Dog

Home Again

Dutch and now Uba have been officially adopted, and Ted and Hector both have promising new applicants.

The dogs over at the Vick Dog Blog are typing away (hard to do with those fat paw pads). I think everyone is realizing that this summer will be bringing that most magical gift for most of the dogs: Home.

'Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.'

Monday, June 09, 2008

Not Thugs

A Shots Fair client with his beautiful little pit bull girl, yesterday in Richmond, CA.

Richmond is a struggling city on the bay with a rep for high crime. It's also the former home of a convicted drug dealer whose dogs severely mauled a little boy in 2001. After attending a Public Safety Commission meeting in '01, we promised the city that we'd return to help, but it's taken us a LONG time to honor that promise. Refreshed with new resources (Thank you supporters!) we finally got our butts up to Richmond to begin looking at best ways to help the dog owners that live there. Of course , it's impossible to know what a community needs without getting to know it first. These fairs give us a great opp to meet our neighbors and learn about their issues and challenges.

Despite biases some might hold about inner city dog owners, the fair's attendees were 1) not thugs 2) not dog fighters 3) not "too poor to properly care for their dogs" 4) not opposed to spay/neuter.

On the contrary - as is so often the case - they are 1) typically under-served by veterinarians (area vets were horrifically reluctant to help us with low cost spay/neuter vouchers) 2) they tend to have an adversarial relationship with animal control due to the heavy law enforcement focus of this agency, 3) they have no local humane orgs to look to for responsible ownership guidance, (the nearest humane org is miles away and caters to middle class adopters) 4) they're unable to access positive/motivational training resources (Note: Personal protection trainers fill this training void - Yikes!) --- however 5) these Richmond dog owners - pit bull owners especially - were extremely grateful to receive support, information, collars/leashes and free spay/neuter vouchers. We even recruited some new volunteers for our Oakland Animal Services project. Nice.

Shots Fair organizer BR diehard Kim Ramirez gives a blue pup owner some insights on dealing with skin issues and dog-dog management.

All in a day's work. On 6/08/08:

188 dogs served.
42 dogs - Approx 23% - appeared to be pit bull or pit mix.
18 of the 42 pit bulls were under six months old.
40 dogs attending were already altered.
148 dogs not altered (mostly CHIHUAHUAS!)
20 pit bull owners received free spay/neuter vouchers.
Dozens of ragged collars and leashes were exchanged for properly fitted equipment

How hard was that? We hope other dog-centric groups join us in reaching out to their local communities. If you're struggling with BSL concerns and would like info on how to set up a Shots Fair, please let us know!

Ban LIFTED. Dank u wel, Netherlands!

From the AP: Big News

Dutch government to lift
25(?) year ban on pit bulls

The Dutch government says it will lift a long-standing ban on pit bulls because it did not lead to any decrease in bite incidents.

Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg has informed parliament of the decision, which follows the advice of a commission of experts appointed to review the policy.

Instead, the country will focus on enforcing local leashing laws and owner education programs.

Spokesman Koen Geelink said Monday the ministry hopes to have a new policy in place by year-end, in which dogs that have displayed aggression will be tested by an expert.

The country banned the breeding and possession of pit bulls in 1993, after three children were killed by the dogs.


And how much do we love this? The sfgate is running a photo of Teddles (Vick dog) alongside this good news. Hubba hubba!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Angry White Chick Thug

Watch out! Hell hath no fury like a white chick whose pups are dissed by Ingrid. This girl is flexin! Better keep her incognito....

Nurse thug with 2 pit mixes
and a mortgage!

Yo, yo grad school gangstas,
I'm a bad rappin' fool.
I adopt and rescue pitties
'cause it makes me look cool!

Educated, white, upper middle-class,
drive a station wagon - don't you give me no sass!
Married, got a job, pay my taxes on time,
Yet I choose these gangsta dogs, 'cuz their love is sublime.

Sweet, smart, athletic, and funny to boot;
watching playful pit bull antics is a real hoot!
Friendly and inquisitive, they always keep me guessin.'
Each moment spent with happy pitties I consider a blessin.'

So back the hell off, you punk-ass PETA prick!
Your idea of 'helping' my kind just makes me sick.
You spew your rhetoric of enlightened humanity,
but all you really wanna do is take my dogs from me!

Right now my pittie girls are nappin', curled up in my bed,
and somehow you want everyone to believe they'd be better off dead?
Well, I got news for you homie - know this to be true:
If you try messin' wit' my girlies, I'm comin' after you.

Windy and the pittie grrrls


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

If it's nice, it must be 'bait,' right?

Um, NO.

Pit Bull
& Florida Attorney General

Everyone's a Pet Psychic when a dog with scars shows up.
Unfortunately.. strangely.. annoyingly! scarred dogs that happen to be "mild mannered" are still being explained away as bait dogs. This noble savage myth usually comes along with all sorts of tall tales and unsubstantiated embellishments that sucker-reporters publish as fact.

It can cause big problems for adopters who fall into the trap of believing that their 'bait dog' would never-eva argue with another dog, so why waste time on common sense multi-dog management precautions? ........... Ahem.

It also hurts dogs that do show manageable dog aggression by creating a 'good dog' (poor bait dog) vs. 'bad dog' (mean evil fighting dog) stereotype.

Our motto: No evidence (like, the horrible presence of duct tape on a dog's muzzle) and No witnesses adds up to: 'Who Knows?'
Scars don't tell us much. Behavior, temperament & management - They mean everything. Just ask Hector: Nice guy dog-friendly dude and wearer of too many scars. Most likely, not bait.

But hey, let's look on the positive: Rather than call for Florida dog Winston's death, at least somebody decided he'd be good PR for a dog fight tip reward program. (Marketing much? Hey, whatever adds up to more help and better PR for the dogs works for us). And this, out of the big war chest collected from folks who thought they were contributing to a fund to help the Vick dogs.

Progress. In. Teeny. Tiny. Baby. Steps.

Big News

Pit Bull Hall at the East Bay SPCA has CLOSED! Big changes and happy transitions for this ever evolving shelter project.

See our latest Newsletter HERE for details.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Thug Alert!

PETA, take note:
True confessions from pit bull owner Thug Shanda

I'm a thug. Yo! 30 year old woman, BA in English, going on to grad school for literature or law school. I drive a fuel-efficient car. I vote. I raise litters of orphan kittens with the help of my vicious and abused dogs, and on weekends we eat innocent babies and maul Puggles. They have aggressively taken over the house and forced me to buy each of them their own two dog beds (one for each side of the house), raised feeders, custom Paco collars and leads, good food, a water fountain, and hordes of toys. Oh, and I torture them with dog clothes on the rare occasions it gets cold, since I know their naturally plush and insulating bulldog coats are sufficient to keep them warm and that a sweater is just cruel.

Thug dog Ruadh running from the police.

Ruadh and his thug friends had a birthday party for two bottle-raised pups' 1st year. (PeTA won't invite us to the dog parties, so we throw our own!)

Great, I mean, great bloodbath. (This photo was also in the blood-spattered pages of that fighting dog rag, Bark Magazine.)

Very recently adopted thug dog Frodo. I would have left him outside on a logging chain, but the weather was just too nice so I brought him into the stagnant AC to suffer. Anyway, he's so thug, he breaks chains, which is why he's wearing the cutesy collar.

O the horror.