Friday, April 10, 2009

No more excuses - Bust dogs are on the bus

The HSUS has launched their statement from the bust dog summit. This is BAD RAP's statement from the meeting and the direction we will take during our work with the new collaboration.
  • In order to help end the unnecessary deaths of sound American Pit Bull Terriers, the HSUS has officially agreed to change their policy of recommending euthanasia of all pit bulls from confirmed and/or suspected fighting operations and is in favor of the evaluation and rescue of these same dogs.
  • They will update their law enforcement training manual, websites and other materials to reflect this change in policy.
  • The groups involved in the meeting agreed that canine victims of cruelty suffer from the actions of humans and deserve to be treated humanely while in the custody of law enforcement or animal control agencies. The groups will support law enforcement and animal control agencies in their decisions to euthanize dogs when there are no reputable rescue or sanctuary resources available to absorb them.
  • The organizations will form a Working Group to develop future protocols for cooperation in meeting the needs of dogs seized in raids, including how to improve the standard of care of dogs held in custody, how to conduct professional evaluations, and how to council shelters in selecting appropriate homes.
Outside of the bust dog meeting - during our time at the HSUS expo this week - we met with one of the founders of the Asilomar Accords who confirmed that pit bulls from cruelty cases are no different from other shelter animals in that they deserve to be counted within the definitions and Guiding Principals of the Accords, which were written to encourage organizations to "find common ground, put aside our differences and work collaboratively to reach the ultimate goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals."

Welcome to the New World, bust dogs. From here on out, you will be counted among the many shelter animals who are also counting on humans to give them a second chance at a real life.


One voice counts said...

Wow. Have you told ERNIE and HECTOR and LOLO and UBA? "From here on out, you will be counted among the many shelter animals who are also counting on humans to give them a second chance at a real life." Sometimes miracles happen. Baby steps are OK. Really OK.

Anonymous said...

What great news! THANK YOU!

The Fergusons

Pit Bull Ambassador said...


Anonymous said...

In one word...Awesome...

Thanks for taking on such a daunting goal and congratulations on your success.

Once again, let me emphasize my commitment to help, anyplace, anytime. It's the least I can do to give back.

see you soon

Bob Waugh

who wouda thunk it?? said...

your heart must be so full! Great work. Thank you for all your hard work,

Anonymous said...

Mon-U-Mental....HSUS is finally admitting what you've proven again and again.... don't judge the dog by where and under what circumstances you find him -- look at him as an INDIVIDUAL.

The lost 145, though a terrible tragedy, did not die in vain. It's so sad that some humans who are in a position to call the shots, take so painfully long to figure out the obvious.

Thanks for hanging in there, fighting the battle and winning another one for our side!


Anonymous said...

Tim and Donna,

Congratulations, and a huge thank you for hanging in there for the breed. I consider it am honor to have met you, and to have been a part of a shot fair. You are both beautiful and amazing people!

Keep fighting the good fight, and Osa will continue to do her job of changing minds!


Heather Cherry said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You guys are amazing. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.

P.S. Is that sweet Georgia up there in the first pic? Cuz when I hover over it with my mouse it says "Jane."

Kirsten said...


Oh, finally! Kudos to you all for your principles and hard work on behalf of the dogs.

Way over here in Oz, the org my shelter looks to most for guidance in regard to most sheltering/animal welfare issues is the HSUS, so I am VERY relieved they are changing their tune. I can stop feeling like a crackpot when I insist there are alternatives to breed/situation stereotyping.

happy hugs,

Baba Nann said...

This is huge!!! Way to go Donna and Tim and all of the amazing volunteers and adopters with Bad Rap...and here is to all the Ambassadogs who proved the "experts" wrong!!!

megan colleen said...

oh thank you, thank you, thank you!

This is wonderful news! Not only for the dogs who this will benefit but also for all of our pets. Perhaps this will be looked back on as one of the first steps in stopping people considering our pets potential criminals on four legs!


leigha said...

this is huge, i am so happy to hear that with the input and sound advice of organizations like bad rap,and with them informing the hsus of how sucessful these dogs can be no matter what their background, that we can have outcomes like this. its wonderful and i give so much credit to bad rap for their persistance oh behalf of such amazing dogs.

Nancy said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you've done to bring these changes around.

Yet still, in educating the masses of closed minded, there is work to be done.

(I need to start with my neighbor)

Heather B said...

Fantastic News! Does this commitment from HSUS include the Pitties that are picked up by the dog police or the ones that are owner surrenders?
Or will their killing still go on ?

Nichole said...

Thank you guys for all you do. You're a huge inspiration for all of us who are fighting for rights of pit bulls everywhere.

Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO !!!!!!




Kristin said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do-and especially your elequonce and tenacity in support of the worlds best dogs!

Anonymous said...

Wow Donna, this is MAJOR. I am so pleased that your continued fight to restore the pitbull to its reputation as a cherished family pet, is gaining ground.

Congratulations and thank you for your hard work.


spotted dog farm said...

This is such amazing progress! You have been instrumental in changing the minds and lives of so many.

I am wondering though why the groups would support animal control in decisions to euthanize if no rescues/sanctuaries are available. If dogs are otherwise adoptable, why wouldn't the preference be for animal controls to hold or adopt out the dogs? There's no reason to support (often euth-happy) ACs in that instance, especially if they have space and/or adopters.

Michelle said...

WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made my day.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Sanity prevails! Thank you so much for the wonderful news and the work you are doing.
Krista in Boston

Donna said...

Good energies like those expressed here are the wind beneath our wings. Thank you all for believing in sanity.

Cosset, I'm going to try to answer your excellent question in a separate blog post. The trip to Vegas set us back a little behind on our work at home, so I'll give it a go in the next couple of days.

Princess said...

Wonderful news!! Thank you for all your hard work and determination for these and all dogs you work with.

Words can't express the gratitude I have for you and all your work. Keep it up you'll always have my support!

~Princess's Mom

Anonymous said...

Right on, BadRap! It's happening - I can feel it! I've said it before and I'll say it again - you guys are such a gift to this breed and to the parents of all the bullies, too! You make us proud!

Marie and Nelson the Brindle Pibble

Donna said...

Thank you Marie. Miles and miles to go before we sleep though!

Pip said...

Heck yeah! Such wonderful news. You guys are amazing. Thank you, thank you!

Thoughts said...

This is fantastic news, and this work could not be done without people like you all at BADRAP. Thank you for giving dogs a second shot.


Unknown said...

What a great reason to be happy today. Thanks for the good news, Donna!

Sasha & Andy

Anonymous said...

Indeed, this is great news, but I will still wait to see if HSUS will follow-up. They must change their training materils, and how they discuss the topic when they train ACO's and shelter personnel. Those trainers have been clear in their belief that all the dogs should be put down.

To change their current policy and PRO-ACTIVELY communicate to agencies looking for guidance that each dog should be evaluated is HUGE! Let's see what happens on the next raids they work on...

As far as resources, the problem can't be solved by HSUS throwing money at it. Agencies of all sizes, in every US region face a shortfall of kennel staff,staff training & kennel SPACE.

It DOES sound like progress is being made, and I hope the momentum continues.

Donna said...

All excellent, spot-on points anon 1:09. Can you write my next blog post for me? ;-) We need steady reality checks and continued commitment from the dog geeks among us if we're ever going to evolve this thing into realistic practices that stick. Changing a culture as embedded as this one is could take a very long time and will no doubt involve set backs and disappointments. Thank goodness these damn dogs are so good at showing us how to enjoy a good challenge.

Anonymous said...

Happy to throw in my 2 cents! Keep up the amazing work :)

anon 1:19

Dianne in DC said...

Hey Donna
Are you holding out on us or did I miss something? I picked up the Spring 2009 issue of American Dog because the cover advertised "responsible breeders who rescue" and when I opened it up in line at whole foods, on my way to the rescue league, I happened upon a pit bull. Imagine my delight in finding a full page profile of BADRAP, two pages on Wallace the Pit Bull and a great photo of Handsome Hector, complete with scars. A number of articles on Breed Specific Legislation. All in all a very pit positive edition! Check it out.

Donna said...

We've been so busy that I forgot to post this news, Dianne! Thanks for the nudge. It's time for a new blog post with that news plus a link to a lovely article that Best Friends just launched about the summit. But first, must feed dogs!

willeyfromtroy said...

Donna and Company,

Thank you for your work, your optimism, and for the energy you spend keeping us all updated on pit bull happenings. The news from the summit sounds very promising. Every step forward counts ... and this feels like a big one.

Anonymous said...

This was Great news, I am happy to report that I have been approved to impliment my enrichmen program here!! I have a new girl I want to show you, I cant list her on here because of the sensitive nature of the case at the moment, I will email her to you !!


bullykids said...

I cried when I read this, in happiness because I said "FINALLY" and in sadnees because in 2002 when I worked for HSUS in San Jose, Ca. I saw a hundred or more Pits put to death just for being their breed. I no longer have to discourage people from going to HSUS to adopt or donate money. The proof is in the pudding though, I'll believe it when I see it. I still have an inherant distrust for that org. and all the Pit- haters there. I saw it from the inside. It was horrible.