Blog Update…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 by spidahgrl

I decided to keep this my blog – or at least try to…  Then have my pittie stuff on a different webpage completely…  Be sure to visit that page…

http://passionforpibbles.blogspot.com/

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BSL: What is it?

Posted in Pit Bulls with tags , on April 10, 2011 by spidahgrl

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in basic terms is a ban or restriction of a certain type or breed of dog. Dogs that are perceived as “dangerous” according to the ones that make the law(s). Often times many dogs are targeted solely because they may look like a particular banned breed. At no time do they take into consideration how it was trained, raised, or treated. They don’t even take into consideration that every dog (and breed) is different and so too is their behavior. This can be compared to racial profiling that we as a society have dealt with for years.

BSL is based on discrimination, lack of education of the breeds involved, and knowledge. Lets take for example the “Pit Bull” which is a type of breed. It’s actually a term used to categorize three different breeds. (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Terrier) There’s many breeds (and mixes) that have the look of a Pittie but are in fact a different breed totally. Sadly these breeds would also be targets.

These bans can and usually require the targeted breed to be removed from the restricted area. Often the dogs are then sentenced to death. Other times there are regulations (often costly) that an owner must follow. This depends on how the laws are worded. Unfortunately not all owners can follow these rigid rules and are forced to give up their beloved dog. This adds burden to shelters that are already struggling with the animals in their care.

Examples of BSL restrictions:

  • Dogs are to be spayed and neutered.
  • Muzzled in public.
  • Housed in a kennel that meets their strict requirements.
  • Specific sized leashes of a specific material are to be used.
  • Owners must purchase costly liability insurance.
  • “Vicious” dog signs must be posted at the dog’s residence.
  • Must wear something that identifies them as “vicious” dogs.

Why BSL does not work effectively:

  • Cost. (Requires people to enforce the laws, identify the dogs, and follow through with the punishments.)
  • Focuses on the dogs and not bad owners. (Who allow dogs to bite, terrorize, and wreak havoc.)
  • Bad owners are not reprimanded. (Therefore it does not improve public safety, prevent dog bites, or other issues that the laws were set up for in the first place.)

Makes the “banned” breeds become more desirable to unsavory people aka criminals and bad owners.

Many anti-BSL supporters believe the best alternative is education. Also set reasonable rules for all dog owners to follow. Focus on better dog ownership as a whole and less on the types of dogs.

“Punish the deed not the breed…”

Being ambassadors of the breed

Posted in Pit Bulls on April 10, 2011 by spidahgrl
Currently Maine is not one of the states that has BSL.  Lets fight to keep it that way.   Strive to be the best owner you can be.  Here’s a few ideas on how you and other Maine Pit Bull owners can continue being ambassadors of the breed.
Spay/Neuter – There’s many benefits to spaying/neutering.  They should also be current on their vaccines and have the proper paperwork and tags.
Exercise – Pitties are generally high energy.  Be sure they get plenty of time to burn that energy.  Remember a tired dog is a good dog.
Positive Training – Obedience class can be a great way to help train, exercise, and socialize.
Socialize – Sooner the better.  Be sure they‘ve had their puppy vaccines and enroll them in puppy classes.  Or you can set up play dates with other good mannered dogs.  Socializing shouldn’t be strictly with other dogs. They should also be familiar with other animals, people, and surroundings.
Supervise – Never leave them alone. Even if it’s in your “safe” fenced in backyard this can lead to problems.  Remember not everyone loves your Pit Bull.  Sadly there’s many stories out there of dogs being stolen.  Often it’s just that couple minutes you ran in to get something.  Or they found a way to jump the fence, open the gate, dig under, whatever.  Sadly this opens you and your dog up to a world of problems.  An unattended dog is not a safe dog.
Leash – Always have them leashed.  A leashed dog is much safer and easier to control then one that has free roam.  It only takes a second for a distracted dog to have a horrible accident or be caught in a situation that could have been prevented.  Again, remember not everyone loves your Pittie like you do. The less chance of an issue the better for everyone.
Educate – We need to be patient with those that don’t understand our passion for Pibbles.  Stay calm, don’t be rude, and simply inform them of the facts.  They won’t all agree or listen.  However, if we can sway just one then we’re doing our job as Pittie owners.

Why Spay/Neuter?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 10, 2011 by spidahgrl
Search anywhere on the web about spaying and neutering and you’ll find the reasons and statistics on why it’s so vitally important.  Remember as a Pit Bull owner you want to help them be an ambassador of the breed.  One of the best things you can do to ensure that is make sure they’re spayed/neutered.
Benefits:
  • Live longer, healthier lives.
  • Usually more docile which results in easier training.
  • Spaying greatly reduces the risk if breast cancer and eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer.
  • Spaying eliminates the heat cycle and everything associated with it.
  • Spaying helps rid the incessant crying, howling, and nervous behavior.
  • Neutering prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems.
  • Neutering can also help reduce other serious health problems like hernias and anal tumors.
  • Neutering at a younger age reduces dominance or aggression related behavior issues. (possession, food guarding, territory marking, dog aggression, and “humping”.)
  • Neutering relieves that urge to search for a female in heat.
  • Neutering can also help prevent that urge to roam which can result in getting lost, injured, or killed.

Puppies vs. Adults

Posted in Pit Bulls on April 10, 2011 by spidahgrl

You’re seriously considering adopting a Pit Bull.  Now your question is do you want a puppy or an adult dog?

Some feel puppies are the better choice.  Puppies should be considered a work in progress.  Many things mold the way a puppy will turn out.  Often you won’t see a dog’s true colors until after they have reached maturity.  However, if you understand this and have the time and patience this may be the choice for you.  Often people don’t always have the kind of time to commit to the ongoing training of a puppy.

In that case an adult dog may be better suited for you and your life style. They typically show their true personality.  Their likes and dislikes.  Whether it is friendly with others, whether it’s got behavior issues or quirks are often more evident.  Also something else many don’t realize is adults are less likely to be adopted out.  After all who can resist a cute puppy face?

Something to remember when considering shelter dogs young or old is all will need a transition period.  Their housetraining, leash manners, and behavior in general may need some extra attention.  Also don’t forget Pit Bulls aren’t for everyone.  They are usually a high energy breed no matter the age.  You have to be prepared for that.  Be sure to express your wants, concerns, and needs to the shelter workers.  Being open and honest about what you are looking for can help match you with the right dog for your family.

Note – As an adopter of both young and older dogs I find either experience has it’s challenges and rewards.  I don’t look at the age as much as I look at the chance at saving another dog’s life.

Are shelter Pit Bulls safe?

Posted in Pit Bulls on April 10, 2011 by spidahgrl

For many years there was certain stigma about shelter dogs.  Some people even today think that “pound dogs” are the worst of the worst.  However, many of these Pit Bulls are often in the shelter for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with them.  The list of reasons or “excuses” are long. Just ask the shelter workers that have to hear them each and every day.

It’s important to know that these days there’s usually strict procedures in place to help protect everyone.  Pit Bulls are tested using a variety of methods.  If these dogs are deemed unsafe and rehab is not an option they are not adopted out.

Many adopters feel adopting from shelters is the safest way to add a dog to their family.  Reputable shelters usually leave lines of communication open.  If something comes up down the road they will help the adopter.  Training and other helpful information is often available.  With the proper screening of both dog and adopter they can live happy lives together.  Some of these Pit Bulls even go on to work in fields like service, therapy, government, or military.

Take all that into consideration the next time you’re considering another family member.  You can save more then one life.  When you bring home your new family member you open more space in the shelter.  Perhaps that buys the next dog enough time for another like you to come along and save another Pit Bull.

Note – Being a Pit Bull adopter and foster I can say there is something special and unique about saving them.  It’s almost as they know you saved their lives and they will devote their lives to thanking you.

– PIT BULLS –

Posted in Pit Bulls on March 24, 2011 by spidahgrl

Pit Bull. When you hear that word what goes through your head?  For some I’m sure it’s not good things.  Most of the images and stories you’ve heard bring on these horrid images.  For the lovers of the breed it brings other thoughts.  Thoughts of a very intelligent, loyal, friendly dog with lots of love to give.  A dog that sadly is probably the most misunderstood animal on this entire planet.  Sad really.  You would think in this day of technology and research that more people would be able to educate themselves on the facts vs. the myths.  Unfortunately when you try to research this incredible breed there’s usually more bad then good out there.  Most of these “facts” are brought on by assumptions, bad information, untrue media stories, and people prejudice against the breed for whatever personal reasons.

Now I’m not saying some news stories may not have some merit.  However, many times things are reported and blown out of proportion before all the information is known.  Often times the breed is unknown or it looks like the “bully” breed so it’s automatically labeled pit bull.  When in fact there are so many breeds out there and mixes that many dogs look pit and are in fact either a mix or entirely different breed.  The other thing that is often not known or is only speculated is the circumstances.  If indeed an attack was brought on by a “pit bull” then what led up to that?  There’s many reasons that a dog (of any breed) can react in a aggressive way.  Look into the situation and perhaps what led up to it.  Was the animal provoked?  Could it have been due to abuse, poor upbringing, bad breeding?  There is a quote that we Pibble activists say very often, “Punish the deed not the breed.”  That’s exactly what I’m referring to here.  Don’t condemn and blame a dog (no matter what breed) until you analyze the events that led to the situation.

What we as pit bull owners, lovers, and activists ask is that you step back and take a look at the situation.  Not all pit bulls are that way.  In fact it’s been proven that it’s the minority not the majority of pitties that show any type of “bad behavior”.  Pit bulls were originally bred to be loyal animals that were wonderful companions to their owners especially children.  They are very protective of their families and dote on them.  Pibbles rather cuddle on the couch with you then be used as some pawn in a game that only ends in tragedy.  By nature they aren’t human aggressive.  Although some prefer to live their lives as the only dog or even pick who they spend time with (who doesn’t) generally they get along with their own species.  They are very forgiving caring dogs.  Sadly no matter how terrible their circumstances are and how badly they are treated they often still dote on their owners.  They are the type of dog that seeks approval, love, and affection.  They forgive easily and endure a lot.

This misunderstood breed is now being banished from areas all over this world.  Perhaps maybe in your own town, city, state, or country.  If you’re one of those people that hears the stories of this kind of ban (also referred to BSL) and think there’s no way that would happen to you or your dog (again no matter the breed) think again.  It’s happened to many and the stories would break your heart.  We’re not talking about dogs with issues that are deemed unsafe around others.  No.  We are talking about your family pet – a part of your family – being torn from you and everything they know.  Then they are either killed immediately by whatever form of euthanasia that area feels is “humane”.  Or they end up sitting in a scary shelter waiting for the day they take the dreaded walk to that room.  The room where they don’t walk back out.  Why?  Simply because they had the misfortune of being one of the best dog breeds and living where they were judged before they were even known.

When you think about that it should bring up some other images in your mind.  Images of similar situations that we as humans have endured over the years.  A huge example that BSL is often compared to is racism.  Yes the forms of racism and bias behavior that we as humans have endured for centuries are quite similar to the pain and suffering these poor souls are facing right now.  Sadly do you realize if these pro BSL people get their way there will be no pit bulls (or any breed that looks like them).  Then what will happen?  Well you can live in denial about the next statement but it can and will happen.  Your breed will be next.  Yes, that’s right they’ll just start going through all the breeds until they have picked and chosen the ones they deem worthy of having.  Problem is like every human and race there’s going to be bad apples and soon if you kill just because of one you’ll end up taking out every single one just because of that one.  Then what are you left with?

I will honestly admit that until not long ago I too was a skeptic.  Perhaps not to that extreme.  I wasn’t sure what I felt about the breed.  Hadn’t really had much experience with them at all.  Don’t even remember seeing a pit bull until I was living in Texas.  As many know the south is filled with pit and pit mixes. After that I’d only seen a few and never really had any long amounts of time around them.  Then like anything I find an interest in I began to research.  I wanted to know what all the hype was about.  I won’t lie I was kind of afraid of them.  Then again I’m kind of apprehensive of several types of dogs.  Perhaps it’s because as a short stature person you are eye to eye to them and that can be rather intimidating.  I began hearing more and more stories about these “bully” breeds.  Many positive stories.  Hearing first hand people’s accounts of good things really helped me realize that these animals were truly worthy of life and love. They didn’t mean to be scary and intimidating.  They were just seeking what we all do.  Love

 

‘Why do you post all these pitbulls?’ That question took me a little bit by surprise.  After all I’d been doing it for several months now.  Ever since I got more into the rescue world.  Trying whatever I could possibly do to cross post and get the word out about animals that needed homes.  Sadly many of these posts are pit bulls.  Because of the pit bull madness currently going on in our society it’s a reality every day in shelters all over.  The only answer that made sense to me is the one that immediately came to mind.  “I’m passionate about pitbulls finding homes.”  To me that was a simple to the point answer.  Perhaps to me and others that share that passion it is simple.  Unfortunately for those still on the other side of this pit bull situation it probably didn’t answer the question.  They probably sit there and see my posts and think, why does anyone bother to save those horrible good for nothing beasts.  They’re dangerous and they all should be destroyed.  Get another hobby and get over trying to save the entire pit bull population.  Now no one has actually said such cruel and hateful things to me (yet) but I’ve had quite similar comments and situations come up.  I have to learn to shake it off and keep on.  I can’t give up because these voiceless creatures need us.  Whether it’s a pit bull or not.  Every animal deserves a home, a second chance at life, a loving family.  That’s why I do what I do.  Perhaps all my heartache, pain, and frustration that goes along with this ends up becoming a positive.  If just one is saved by my efforts then it’s all worth it.  All the unkind thoughts cast toward me and what I am passionate about.  I can deal with that.  After all some of these animals have endured some of the most horrific things imaginable.  You don’t even know how totally messed up we as a society is until you see what we see.  It will make you cry, scream, vomit.  It can even keep you up at night.  If you ask me that’s nothing compared to what these animals have been through.  And that is why I post all these pitbulls…

 

 

 

*Author’s Note*

This was a little “article” that I wrote and figured that I’d share it here…  No I haven’t published it anywhere or anything…  Basically it was something I did for myself…  Stay tuned there may be some more in the future…  You’re welcome to share it but please keep it intact…  Thanks for reading!!!