Thursday, August 14, 2014

Down by the Riverside

The Introit!

This is such perfect content for The First Church of Pit Bulls, I'm so sad I didn't think of it first! It's a brilliant parable rewritten, the perfect analogy of what has become of  pit bull apologia.  Terrierman's Daily Dose is a must read for all who follow the issue, but unfortunately, it seems, they are preaching to the choir!

Before you read the parable, consider it in the light of this recent account of a woman from Lakewood, WA who is being charged with animal cruelty for drowning four pit bull puppies in a toilet.  The puppies were found in an empty dogfood bag, with a sign that read "Puppies $50 OBO" , by her landlord.  It's odd, she didn't advertise that they were pit bull puppies, which if we take from the recent blizkrieg  of puff pieces by the media, should be the rage for people with an altruistic and more enlightened than thou bent.
It's certainly usual information to include, but apparently, she started with six puppies, so she at least made a hundred bucks from the whelping of her two pit bulls.  Earlier, The landlord, who claimed he allowed the woman to move in because she did not want her young son on the street, said he told the woman to get rid of the dogs because he didn’t want that many animals in a unit. 

Who is at fault, and did she have options?

Is it the landlord's fault, did he have to allow pets at all, certainly two adult pit bulls, which are a significant liability of which most landlords are highly aware?  Was it a direct result of the landlord's request, the fear of losing a roof over her and her son's head, that caused her to drown these helpless little pibbles?

Was she cruel to drown the puppies, or should she just taken them to the shelter, where the puppies may have been adopted people as cruel as she, or where they may have just been dumped in a great big can and gassed?  She may have not chosen to go to the shelter, because sometimes there is a fee for turning pets in.  Perhaps didn't want to face the people at the shelter with their "tisk tisk" statements under their breath, or the silent but loud disgust written on their faces for having to deal with her irresponsibility for the first sin of not having her dogs altered. 

Or does the fault stem from the big "THEY" in the sky, the ones the pit advocacy calls the "fear mongers"... the media for reporting pit bull attacks, contributing to the maligned image that leaves them undesirable at fifty bucks or free, thousands waiting to be sent down the River Jordan,  or to perhaps be adopted by thugs, the irresponsible, and the clueless.  The other fear mongers, the "haters", who are a rapidly growing group of people who have had unfortunate blood shed from the folly of keeping dog fighting dogs as pets, how is it possible that they are at fault for wanting a change in public safety laws?

Or were these puppies drowned because of the "fear mongering" from the pit bull advocacy, does this huge machine create their own problems when they shout it from every rooftop,  how nobody wants these dogs, and they are the most abused dog in world.  Perhaps this woman was being kind to give them a good old fashioned mercy killing in her own little river, Jordan pot (an Elizabethan toilet, he he, linguistic irony!).  Of course, had these puppies survived, think of the money that could have been raised!  There could have been merchandise sold for fundraising and awareness, and a book for children, Galunker II, Saved from the Loo!

Speaking of stories, lay down your break sticks, and let's gather down by the Riverside!

"One summer in the village, the people gathered for a picnic. As they shared food and conversation, someone noticed a Pit Bull in the river, struggling and yelling. The dog was going to drown!

Someone rushed to save the dog. Then, they noticed another yowling Pit Bull in the river, and they rushed in to pull that dog out. Soon, more dogs were seen drowning in the river, and the townspeople were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities in order to save the Pit Bulls as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the dogs, two of the townspeople started to run up the shore of the river.
“Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these dogs!”
“We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!”

And who is throwing them in?

And who is throwing them In?

Not Pit Bull haters. Pit Bull lovers.
Almost a million Pit Bulls a year are being killed in animal shelters across the U.S.
All of these dogs were bred by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.
All of these dogs were bought or acquired as puppies by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.
And almost all of these dogs were relenquished to the pound or "shelter" when their owners found out that an adult Pit Bull comes with a lot of responsibility.
Pit Bulls are not being pushed into the river by breed specific laws.
Cities that do not have such laws are killing dogs wholesale.
In fact, some of the cities with the lowest Pit Bull kill rates are cities that have banned the dogs, such as Denver.
Others, like San Francisco, have not banned Pit Bulls but have seen a marked decline in Pit Bull euthanasias after implementing a mandatory Pit Bull sterilization law coupled to free Pit Bull spay-neuter programs.
One thing is clear: Pit Bulls have breed specific problems.
Perhaps their biggest problem is that so many Pit Bull breeders and owners are young, irresponsible adults who have unstable lives and who are acquiring their first dog -- a Pit Bull -- for much the same reason that they might acquire a big-bore motorcycle, a sports car, or a "hummer".
Is it an accident that Pit Bull owners are much more likely to have problems with the law than the average dog owner? I don't think so, and neither does Stanley Coren.
The responsible people who are adoping Pit Bulls from shelters deserve unending applause for their efforts.
But have no illusion: the good work they do will never be enough so long as so many people stand silent while so many people breed Pit Bulls, and so many others are acquiring puppies from these breeders only to "thrown them in the river" in just a year's time.
Pit Bulls have a breed specfic problem.
At what point, do we begin to recognize that these dogs need a breed specific solution?
At what point do we say we are sick and tired of killing nearly a million Pit Bulls a year?
At what point do we agree that if we want something different, we need to do something different?
At what point do we run up the river bank, and start at least talking about all those people who are throwing the dogs in the river

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Fear of God

I've never really understood the concept of "fearing God".  Why would one FEAR the benevolent force of all that is good in the universe?  Was all of this Biblical fear mongering a way to get people join the church, and make sure that GOD sees us paying tithes and making a joyful noise in his praise from his throne in the sky, or he will send the unrepentant to that fiery place for all eternity ? Or, for Hindus....make you an ant for your next incarnation... I don't know.  It seems to me, the churches who incite this kind of message that "the end is near" are well attended. 

As far as this concept of "fear mongering" goes, the finger has been pointed at the pro-BSL camp, most of us having had one of those near meeting to GOD face to face moments ourselves, or have a loved one or a pet that was attacked, maimed, or killed.  Wanting a change in policy for inherently dangerous dogs has made us into fear mongers according to the pit bull apologia. 

They also claim the media is responsible for inciting fear and prejudice of their beloved fighting dogs, for reporting the news.  Do people tune in to TV and Radio news , buy newspapers JUST to hear about yet another pit bull attack?  Maybe I do, because as I have admitted in a prior post, I'm a zealot for the cause.  Most people, unless you are one of those people in the pro-BSL camp, are not.  The media also reports other kinds of bites, ranging from crazy soccer players, boxers, sharks, and even caterpillars.

The media just as often covers "good" stories about pit bulls.  Huffington Post, just last week, devoted an entire week of fluff pieces, even resurrecting myths that pit bull advocates have debunked as misleading and dangerous.  As it is, pit bull attacks, certainly of of other animals, are so commonplace, it's not really news unless there are some phenomenal circumstances about the attack.  The kind of attack ended by a gunshot, by civilian or police, is a daily event.  Most fatal human attacks by pit bulls only make local news, as compared to the coverage of shark attacks.  In contrast, the summer prior to September 11, a single non-fatal shark attack was to inspire near tabloid coverage which is now referred to as the Summer of the Shark.  Sharks kill and injure far less often than do the land sharks.  We do not know if coverage of shark attacks actually creates more shark attacks, as many pit bull advocates claim, that media hype creates more pit bull attacks. We also don't know if discussing the inherent danger of  sharks hurts their feelings as it does pit bulls. Again, I am missing the logic of the pit bull advocacy. 

Survivor Zainabou Drame will likely make the local news tonight in Ohio.

If you follow international pit bull attack news, you will oft see the complaint from someone with a photo of a "smiling pibble" on their profile, who may even go by the name of "Pibble Momma", write their outrage that a human or animal that being killed or maimed horrifically is not newsworthy, and is hype, is just inciting a media circus. And that they are canceling their subscription, so there. (Is this another way pit bull apologists use fear mongering? Or they will call you a racist, nobody likes to be told that!)
I'm not sure how media coverage of an animal attack, be it by shark, wolf, coyote, Africanized bees, or more commonly, by a pit bulls,  is fear mongering.  I do witness, however, just as much use of the "fear mongering" tactic by the pit bull advocacy, with three of their most oft quoted verses.

Taken from THIS anti-bsl opinnion piece.

There is truth to this.  I myself was attacked by a Chihuahua.   It didn't even leave a scratch.  There are media reports of other breeds causing serious injury and even fatalities.  These are more rare.  For some reason the pit bull advocates can't figure out, why their dogs bite more and why there is more damage and fatalities when they do bite.  They don't seem to notice, that their breed seems to be the most likely to bite their owner or their family.  They are the leading biters in many municipalities, outbiting the most popular breed, the Labrador.   Maybe they say this as self reassurance, a defense mechanism to the truth that shouts to them when there is another incident reported...deep down, they know they have made a the riskiest choice in a canine companion. This is why they vehemently  defend their choice. They may tell you with a straight face (or red with anger) how actually your Pomeranian or your Cocker Spaniel is actually responsible for more bites and even fatalities than the "nanny dog".  Blah blah, so there.


Why don't they seem to notice, with all of their empathy, awareness, and sensitivity, that the majority of these attacks are done by family pets, not by dogs who somehow escaped a fighting ring?  Why don't dog fighters use more intelligent breeds of dogs, like Border Collies, German Shepherds, or Poodles for fighting dogs? 


This one is to get all dog lovers to oppose BSL policy.  It's often accompanied with the "first it was the German Shepherds, then it was the Doberman, then it was the Rottweiler, then it was the pit bull...." blah blah blah.  Some of us have had our German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers attacked by pit bulls, we don't buy it.  I challenge any pit bull advocate to find some media reports of attempts to ban any other breed by the great big mean THEY in the sky and post the links and proof on this blog entry.  I double dog dare you. 

Here's something for them to fear, the people who likely are not active on the pro-BSL scene, but who are given the opportunity to vote on local policy.   Sometimes they listen to the voice of wisdom, and reason, and they look at the numbers and the lives changed and lost...and decide to place more value on public safety than they do on an individual's choice of owning a fighting dog breed.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.

I think I get that one.  I hope there is a real end of days to tuning in at ten, and there is yet another report of a pit bull attacking. Soon, please.