"The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror!"
~ Joyce Meyer

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Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations are people under the law it is no wonder the animal rights activists are taking this step. They have been sucking up millions from the sad stories they traipse out in ads for a couple years now, of course they will attack in the courts, they are well-funded and besides a few groups no one takes them on.

October 25, 2012

Before Sam, a white-throated capuchin monkey, threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Frederick, Md., on a midsummer Friday night, and before Sam and other monkeys ’ dressed as cowboys and riding shaggy dogs ’ rounded up longhorn sheep on the baseball diamond as part of Cowboy Monkey Rodeo promotion night, angry animal rights protesters gathered outside the front gate.

The Future Of Nonhuman Rights, Part 1

In 2013, the Pennsylvania-based Nonhuman Rights Project, led by attorney Steven Wise, plans to file a series of lawsuits in hopes that one high court in one American state will finally recognize that a nonhuman plaintiff can be a legal "person" in the eyes of the law.

If Wise and his group are successful, they will break new ground by securing humanlike rights for nonhumans. The result could open all kinds of possibilities for the rights of other nonhuman entities.

Advocates for plant rights and robot rights are already planning for the future. If they eventually succeed, it could bring sweeping changes to the way we live. This three-part series on the Future of Nonhuman Rights explores the people and ideas that may bring radical change to legal systems ’ and societies ’ around the world.

The handful of activists at the ballpark of the Class A Frederick Keys waved poster boards reading "No More Monkey Rodeos" and "Inhumane & Demeaning Spectacle." Among the protesters was Kelly Myers, a professional pet sitter from Frederick, who helped organize the rally. Notice of the protest was posted on the website of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In a post-protest interview, Myers expresses her concerns. The capuchins, she says, "belong in the wild. These sensitive, intelligent monkeys are meant to climb trees and forage for food all day. Being cramped up in a traveling road show and eating Pop-Tarts is not in their best interest."

'A Better Life'

Tim Lepard, the man who feeds Pop-Tarts to the monkeys, tends to disagree. A rodeo entertainer from Mississippi, Lepard is the owner and creator of the Monkey Rodeo. For years he has taken his animal act all over the country. He rebuts the idea that his stunts are inhumane or demeaning to the animals. He says he takes in fragile monkeys ’ who probably would not survive in the wild ’ to "give them a better life."

On this night, the star of the show was Sam, a 19-year-old primate who has been riding in Lepard's show for 14 years. Lepard says he treats Sam humanely.

"I don't tie them on the dogs," Lepard says. "I don't make them ride." He says his animals' living conditions are inspected several times a year by the Agriculture Department.

On the other side of the fence from Lepard ’ literally and figuratively ’ is Alan Kellerman, a high school teacher from suburban Washington and one of the placard-waving protesters. According to Kellerman, "Animals need to be afforded the rights to live their lives free of confinement, abuse, torture, murder and all forms of exploitation from humans."

Animals, he says, paraphrasing a PETA mantra, "are not ours to eat, wear or experiment on."

And that, in a nugget, is why some humans are vocal supporters of the rights of some nonhumans ’ in this case, animals.

When An Animal Is A Person

If Steven Wise gets his way, next year could be a game changer for animal rights in America.

Wise is the director of the Nonhuman Rights Project, an organization of human beings working toward gaining legal rights for other species. Wise says that he and 70 volunteers have logged 30,000 hours over the past four years to prepare the initial test cases to be filed in 2013.

The group is looking for clear-cut cases, sympathetic judges and amenable jurisdictions. And they are crossing their fingers that one high court in one American state will finally recognize, as Wise puts it, that "a nonhuman animal plaintiff is a common-law legal person." With the attending rights.

For Wise ’ and many animal rights activists ’ that would be a landmark victory.

"Once a court recognizes that a nonhuman animal has the capacity to possess a legal right," Wise says, "its determination of whether she actually has the rights she claims will appropriately shift from the current irrational, biased, hyperformalistic and overly simplistic question 'What species is the plaintiff?' to the rational, nuanced, value-laden principles- and policy-laden question: 'What qualities does the plaintiff possess that are relevant to the legal right she claims?' "

Animal Rights In Brief

In the past 30 years, there have been some key moments in the push for animal rights. Here are a few:

1975: The publication of Animal Liberation by philosopher Peter Singer. In his book, Singer introduces the idea that speciesism ’ i.e., humans are superior to other species ’ is a type of oppression.

1979: The launching of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Founded by attorneys, the group works to protect animals and promote the field of animal law.

1980: The founding of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Today, with more than 3 million members and supporters, PETA bills itself as the largest animal rights organization on the planet.

1983: The publication of The Case for Animal Rights, a moral argument, by Tom Regan.

1985: In Defense of Animals stages an organized, nonviolent protest at the University of California, Davis Primate Center. A number of activists are arrested and put in jail for civil disobedience.

1995: Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization, is founded.

2012: After 30 years ’ and amid protests mounted by various activist groups ’ the use of chimpanzees as research subjects is phased out at Rockville, Md.- based Bioqual labs.

’ Linton Weeks

In an address delivered in April 2012, at Pace University law school, Wise likened animals today to human slaves in 18 th century England ’ invisible to the legal system, beings without rights. He cited the ruling of the British judge, Lord Mansfield, in the 1772 Somerset case that opened the door for the abolition of human slavery in England.

Now Wise says he is looking for a modern-day Mansfield, a "substantive common-law judge" who might rule ’ under the general rubric of "dignity" ’ in favor of an animal's right to bodily liberty and bodily integrity. He feels that the breakthrough will come if one state high court declares that a nonhuman is a legal person ’ in the eyes of the law.

Practical Autonomy

One reason for extending fundamental rights to humans, Wise says, is because they possess the dignity associated with autonomy. He calls the minimum autonomy sufficient for rights "practical autonomy." His tripartite definition of practical autonomy: 1) Is the being cognitively complicated enough to desire something? 2) Can she act intentionally to achieve her desires? 3) Does she have a sense of self enough to know if she has achieved these desires?

If practical autonomy is a sufficient condition for extending rights to human beings, it should be the basis for extending rights to any beings. He argues that research proves some animals, such as apes, chimpanzees and Atlantic bottle nose dolphins, possess cognitive abilities far beyond practical autonomy.

"Because it appears that many, perhaps most, mammals and birds have emotions, are conscious, and have selves," Wise writes in his 2002 book Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights, "the burden of proving at trial that an individual mammal or bird lacks practical autonomy should be shouldered by the one who wants to harm them."

Richard A. Epstein, a professor of law at New York University, doesn't agree with Wise. In a 2000 essay spurred by another Wise book, Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals, Epstein ’ who has provided frequent counterpoint to Wise over the years ’ wrote: "No one can deny the enormous political waves created by animal rights activists ... But it is another thing to endorse the agenda of the animal rights movement."

Rules that prohibit and prevent "gratuitous cruelty to animals" should be broadly supported, Epstein says, because animals suffer regardless of their level of consciousness, and because animals ’ both domesticated and wild ’ are of "enormous value" to humans.

"It is, however, one thing to raise social conscience about the status of animals," Epstein wrote. "It is quite another to raise the status of animals to asserted parity with human beings. That move, if systematically implemented, would pose a mortal threat to human society that few human beings would, or should, accept. We have quite enough difficulty in persuading or coercing human beings to respect the rights of their fellow humans to live in peace with each other."

When it comes to using animals for testing, Epstein says today, "there are real questions of whether animal studies are needed for medicine, where the tendency is ’ rightly ’ to cut back but not to eliminate."

But when it comes to the proposed test cases in 2013, "I don't think that they will win," Epstein says. "The rights in question have to be limited to freedom from harm, which can be justified without rights on humanitarian grounds."

'The Rights Of All Creatures'

Getting to this crossroads has been a long journey for animal advocates. Some historians trace the timeline of animal rights activism back to antiquity. But in the past few decades, there has been an acceleration of the movement and an increasing number of notable milestones.

And yet we don't really need a list of monumental moments to see that the animal rights community's influence is everywhere.

Scores of celebrities from Pamela Anderson to Betty White speak out often for the rights of animals. Director Oliver Stone made a video recently for PETA decrying the killing of more than 10,000 live animals "in crude and cruel trauma-training exercises" by the American military and its contractors. When thoroughbreds died during the filming of HBO's Luck, animal rights advocates protested and the show was canceled.

More and more menus and entire restaurants are now tailored to vegetarians and vegans, purposefully or inadvertently protecting the welfare and rights of animals. Increasingly, grocery stores display offerings that promise to be cage-free, range-free, grass-fed and certified humane. The intensified scrutiny of the fur industry, the demise of horse slaughtering, and the end of live animal use in commercial and scientific testing all point to new levels of respect and protection for animals.

Myers, the pet sitter, says she already sees the world changing in favor of the animals.

"The locavore and green lifestyles are leading to more plant-based diets and more money being spent on humanely raised meat," she says. "I don't think animal rights will be won in my lifetime, but we're certainly on our way."

NPR Digital News editor Amy Morgan contributed to this report.


Humane Society in the doghouse over budget

Oct. 24, 2011
by Sergio Bichao 

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Humane Society.

No, not the Plainfield Area Humane Society. Or the Associated Humane Societies, which operates at Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey.

This is the Humane Society of the United States, the national animal-advocacy organization that counts 11 million people as members and rakes in nearly $100 million a year in grants and donations. While it may share part of the name with several local animal shelters, just a fraction of the Humane Society’s coffers trickles down.

In New Jersey, the organization donated $21,178 to 10 shelters and animal groups in 2009 and 2010, according a report released last week slamming the Humane Society for not giving more money to local groups.

The report was published by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a business lobbying group that has dogged the Humane Society for several years.

The report claims less than one-half of 1 percent of the organization’s funds went to local shelters, even though a poll found that most people believed the Humane Society is an "umbrella group" representing local shelters.

Responding to the criticism, the Humane Society says on its website and blog that it never claimed to operate local shelters.

Instead, Internal Revenue Service tax documents show, the organization ran a $20 million deficit in 2009 using Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in a campaign against dog fighting, passing legislation against killing prairie dogs in 14 states, boycotting Canadian seafood as a part of save-the-seals campaign and sterilizing dogs in the South Asian kingdom of Bhutan.

The Humane Society in 2009 also paid its president and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, nearly $270,000 and paid about $20.9 million in other salaries, the same IRS documents show.

Nearly $20 million was spent on mailings and marketing.

Meanwhile, "very rarely" has the Human Society donated to the Plainfield Area Humane Society, Executive Director Susan MacWhinney-Ciufo said.

"The Humane Society does serve a purpose," she said. "They address legislative issues, and they do help with disaster relief, but we request that if you want to give to animals in your community, give to local shelters."

Nora Breen, director of Second Chance for Animals, whose volunteers support the Franklin Township Animal Shelter in Somerset County, said it was "disappointing" that more money isn’t going to local groups.

"In a small organization (people who donate) can be guaranteed that the money we raise from them goes directly to help the animals," she said. "We don’t pay salaries to any volunteers. When you get into these larger organizations, you don’t know where the money is going."

Second Chance received $2,000 in 2009 from the Humane Society.

But the Associated Humane Societies, which runs shelters in Newark, the Forked River section of Lacey and Tinton Falls, was not as fortunate.

"They don’t give very much of their donations," Executive Director Roseann Trezza said.

"The thing is they have a huge mailing list and put out a lot of press releases," she said. "A lot of people are confused because (the name is) ‘˜Humane.’ It’s not only us; it’s other humane societies, too, that people think the money is being filtered down to the local groups."

In 2009, Second Chance collected $85,000 in grants and contributions, nearly 90 percent of its budget, according to most recent IRS tax documents.

Breen said her budget also covers the wages for two part-time employees at the shelter, which costs township taxpayers $150,000 a year, according to the municipal budget.

Associated Humane Societies collected $4.5 million in grants and contributions, nearly half of its 2009 budget.

Plainfield Area Humane Society collected $256,000 in contributions and grants in 2009 ’ a year that ended in a $43,000 deficit despite $360,000 total revenues.

The bulk of the funds collected by the local groups were spent on veterinary fees and food for animals.


this is part of why I left the USDO.  among other things - I could see that after all the help that was funneled to them, floyd and guy were not going to include and punish the H$U$, who was also involved.  and now it appears they have ended up making a CONFIDENTIAL settlement as well.  so what in this deal really keeps these organizations from doing this to others?  nothing.

SPCA euthanized 57 pit bulls; owners acquitted of any crime

Richard Burgess
Advocate Acadiana bureau

LAFAYETTE ’ An animal welfare group and two dog breeders have settled a lawsuit over 57 pit pulls seized and euthanized in an investigation into alleged dogfighting, according to court filings.

Floyd Joseph Boudreaux and his son, Guy Anthony Boudreaux, filed the lawsuit in 2009 against the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a judge acquitted the men on dogfighting charges, citing a lack of evidence.

The father and son had sought damages for mental distress and loss of income from the sale of the animals, which their attorney has said were valued at about $300,000.

The Louisiana SPCA declined to comment on the terms of the settlement, and the Boudreauxes’ attorney, Richard Dalton, did not return two calls seeking comment.

A woman who answered the telephone at Floyd Boudreaux’s home said he would have no comment on the case.

The lawsuit over the deaths of the animals had been scheduled to go to trial Monday.

The case had its origins in 2005, when State Police raided the Boudreauxes’ Youngsville home and seized the pit bulls.

State Police handed the animals over to the SPCA, and the nonprofit group euthanized the pits bulls within days of the raid.

The lawsuit was focused on questions of whether the SPCA overstepped its bounds in euthanizing the animals.

A State Police investigator testified at the Boudreauxes’ criminal trial that he had been under the impression the SPCA was going to house the animals, not kill them.

A representative from the SPCA, Kathryn Destreza, testified there was a general assumption at the SPCA after the raid that the animals would be euthanized, though she could not recall any one person making the decision.

In responding to the lawsuit, the SPCA argued in court filings the group should be given immunity from liability because the SPCA became involved ‘only at the request of State Police‘ and was acting as an agent of the state.

In statements to the news media after the 2005 raid, then-Louisiana SPCA Director Laura Maloney said the group had been pushing for law enforcement to investigate Floyd Boudreaux, whom she alleged was a well-known breeder of fighting dogs that could fetch as much as $10,000.

Dalton, the Boudreauxes’ attorney, has said the father and son were not raising fighting dogs but rather carrying on the ‘Eli‘ bloodline of pit bulls that the family had bred for more than a century.

The death of the dogs seized in the 2005 raid effectively ended that family tradition, an event so traumatic for Floyd Boudreaux that it prompted a heart attack, Dalton said when the lawsuit was filed in 2009.


I wonder how popular this sort of extremist agenda will seem to the general public.  this is a true barometer of this and similar groups' radical agenda and their incremental steps towards constantly pushing the laws in their favor.

Alliance for Animals and PETA seeking prosecution for mice aggression experiments at UW-Madison
Bill Lueders

The local Alliance for Animals and PETA are this week sending a letter (PDF) asking Dane County's district attorney to prosecute the UW-Madison for allegedly violating a state law against "instigating fights between animals."

At issue are experiments by a team of UW scientists into aggression by mice. According to one published study, the scientists found that mice who won fights with other mice were more likely to seek out future fights. It is not known whether proximity to bartime was also tracked.

State statute 951.08(1) says "No person may intentionally instigate, promote, aid or abet...a cockfight, dog fight, bullfight or other fight between the same or different kinds of animals," except at exhibitions like rodeos.

"It's pretty clear the law says you can't stage fights between animals," says Alliance co-director Rick Bogle, who is also filing a complaint with federal officials who fund UW research.

In August 2009, the Alliance lodged a similar complaint against UW researchers who engaged in sometimes fatal decompression experiments involving sheep. District Attorney Brian Blanchard agreed these experiments violated a state law against killing animals through decompression but declined to prosecute. The Alliance and PETA successfully petitioned for the appointment of a special prosecutor, who just last month also decided against bringing charges.

Bogle is hopeful that Dane County's new DA, Ismael Ozanne, may "feel the university should be held accountable for violations of state law."

Dr. Eric Sandgren, director of campus animal research, says the UW reviewed all experimental protocols after the sheep issue was raised, and concluded that the experiments involving mice did not violate the law. He says the "fights" generally consist of one mouse charging at another, who retreats, and that no encounters led to serious injuries. "It's a behavioral fight."

Still, Sandgren says the mice studies were stopped after the sheep experiments stirred talk of civil and even criminal charges. "This whole thing really did upset researchers on this campus."

The UW, in response, has sought legislative remedies. Last week the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee approved a change specifying that state laws regarding crimes against animals "would not apply to persons engaged in bona fide scientific research at an educational or research institution...."


I wish I could cheer this guy, but he already turned his dogs over willingly to the AR dog killers.  so while it's evidence of how wrong these prosecutions frequently are, he was willing to fight for his freedom but not his dogs' lives.  Frown

April 12, 2011

YORK COUNTY, SC - A York County man charged with dog fighting was acquitted by a jury Tuesday afternoon.

Deon Burris, 30, was arrested in February 2010 and charged with animal fighting and baiting. His brother, Anthoni Orr, and father, George Burris, were also charged.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the family's property on Feb. 20 when a neighbor called in an anonymous tip that dog fighting was going on in the woods off McConnells Highway.

When York County sheriff's deputies arrived, they found 13 pit bulls tied with heavy logging chains and staked to the ground.

Several of the dogs showed injuries consistent with dog fighting, deputies said. One had a bloody face and another had older wounds on its front and back legs, they said.

Several hundred yards behind the house, deputies followed a path that led to a wooden fighting pit. There were lights strung up around the pit, buckets full of water and blood and the pit itself was covered in blood.

Burris admitted to owning 10 of the 13 dogs and willingly signed them over into the care of Animal Control.

Last month, a jury found Anthoni Orr guilty of owning a dog for the purpose of fighting. He was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison. However, on Tuesday, the jury in the case of Deon Burris found him not guilty after less than an hour of deliberations.

Prosecutors showed the jury pictures of the chained dogs, the fighting pit, and the path from the Burris home directly to the pit.

However, the defense lawyer countered that there was no direct evidence tying Deon Burris to dog fighting.

Prosecutors told Eyewitness News that no decisions have been made in the pending case against the third suspect, George Burris.

Eyewitness News checked with Animal Control on Tuesday about the dogs seized from the property. Two of the pit bulls that were not fighting dogs were taken by an animal rescue group in Charleston.

The other 11 were too vicious to be pets. Animal Control officers said they would have killed any other dog they came in contact with, so they were all put down.


this is what a future of BSL would look like.

By Steph Johnson
Friday, 15 April 2011

A Pit bull called Kane who was on ‘˜death row’ has been reunited with his Carlisle family.

Kane and Wheeler

(photos by Millicant Corr)

Big softie: Wheeler welcomes Kane the pit bull after he was released from police custody and death row. She says: ‘˜He’s a really good dog, he just wants to be loved’.

He was seized by police under the Dangerous Dogs Act back in November and was kept in kennels under threat of destruction.

All pit bull types are classed as banned fighting dogs. They can only be kept if courts say they are safe enough to be put on the exemption list.

Kane’s owners were able to prove to Carlisle Magistrates’ Court that Kane posed no risk to the public and last week he was freed.

Experts said he was a well trained, well looked after family pet who showed no aggression towards humans.

Alison Swan, of Mardale Road in Raffles, bought two-year-old Kane for her son David when the dog was just a puppy.

She told The Cumberland News: ‘We couldn’t believe it when he was taken away. We couldn’t see him even though he might be put down, we were devastated.

‘When the court said we could have him back it was brilliant, I was in tears, at the end of the day he had been on death row.

‘He’s a lovely dog, he’s just soft, we all love him to bits and all the kids round here love him as well.‘

Kane was dropped off at Shady Grove police station and picked up by a welcome crew of Alison, David, his girlfriend Millicant Wheeler ‘“ and her pug Frankie.

Millicant, 24, said: ‘I think he was more pleased to see Frankie than he was any of us, she just bounded straight up to him.

‘They adore each other, they sleep together and he lets her swings on his ears.

‘He’s a really good dog, he just wants to be loved.‘

David, 20, pleaded guilty to owning a banned fighting dog on the grounds that he thought Kane was an American bulldog. Even the RSPCA vet who gave him his jabs noted down that this was his breed.

The court accepted that David had made a mistake and made conditions for Kane’s release.

He is registered on the dangerous dogs exempt list and must be muzzled whenever he’s in a public place.

He has also been chipped, tattooed and neutered.


hooray for this guy!

Washington, Mar 30, 2011

Rep. Don Young Refuses Humane Society Award

Alaskan Congressman Don Young refused an award this evening from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Humane Society Legislative Fund that would have honored his work for animals in 2010.   While capitalizing on the good work of local humane societies that shelter, spay, and neuter animals, the HSUS does not own, operate, or directly control a single animal shelter in our country, despite a budget of well over $100 million.

‘HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award,‘ said Rep. Young.  ‘Local animal shelters and humane societies do excellent work by caring for neglected and homeless animals, and through their spaying and neutering programs.  This organization, however, has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare.  Instead they prey on the emotions of big-hearted Americans.  They flash images of abused animals on our television screens to raise money that will eventually go to pay their salaries and pensions, not to helping better the lives of these animals.  They run anti-hunting and anti-trapping campaigns and are of the same cloth as PETA and other extremist organizations.  I can only guess that I was to receive this award due to my support of the Wildlife Without Borders program, which develops wildlife management and conservation efforts to maintain global species diversity.  That program is true conservation; what this group wants is preservation. To accept this award would be supporting their manipulative ways and misguided agenda, and I want no part of that.‘


more from the ARs one-track, fingers-in-ears, 'la-la-la-la-la-laaaa' agenda.

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

March 31, 2011

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. -- Animal cruelty charges against a Hancock County man who was accused of dogfighting were dropped.Tom Brookover was reunited with his 7-year-old pit bull named Tank on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm just glad to have Tank back finally," said Brookover.

Brookover lost custody of his dog in June of 2010 and was charged with animal cruelty.  Authorities accused Brookover of using his pit bull in dogfights.

"He got loose and was gone for like three days. They found him after I reported him missing and accused me of fighting him," said Brookover. "They found him. He was all messed up. He got into a fight with another dog or coyotes."

Authorities in Hancock County recently dropped the animal cruelty charges without prejudice, allowing the prosecutor's office the option to refile the charges in the future."There ain't nothing mean about him, so I don't see how they can say that I fight him," said Brookover.


March 16, 2011

A dog credited with saving the lives of her California family is desperately looking for a new home.

Her owner says that despite being named one of the nation's top ten "Valor Dogs" (pitchick edit: by H$U$), landlords are turning away "Diamond" because she's a pit bull.

Darryl Steen says Diamond woke him up when his apartment caught fire last October.

Diamond the Hero Dog

He was able to get one of his daughters to safety by dropping her out of a window, but couldn't reach the second child.

When firefighters finally got to her, Diamond was laying on top of the girl in an effort to protect her from the flames.

The dog suffered severe burns, but has recovered.

The Steen family is looking for a new home where they can live with Diamond, but so far dozens of landlords have turned them away.

Darryl Steen says that several landlords have told them that pets are welcome, only to renege when they learn that Diamond is a pit bull.

He says the breed's reputation shouldn't ruin the life of one proven hero.


Anyone with information regarding housing available in Hayward may contact Steen at 510-688-3707.

UPDATE 4/3/11:

By Chris Metinko
Oakland Tribune

HAYWARD -- Three months ago, Diamond the dog was being feted as a local hero. Now, according to her owner, no one is willing to give her a place to live.

Diamond helped save her owners, the Steen family, from a fire that raged through their apartment near Mission Boulevard on Oct. 24.

In December, donations for Diamond's $5,600 veterinary bill for injuries sustained during the fire poured in from the community at such a rate some had to be returned because the donations were more than the bill. The dog was even the guest of honor at Hayward's Santa Paws Parade that month.

Now, however, Darryl Steen said no one will rent an apartment to him because Diamond is a pit bull.

"Basically, everything's fine until they find out what type of dog Diamond is," said Steen, who is trying to find an apartment for himself and his two daughters in Hayward. "Once they find out, they say they only take small dogs, or they just don't call back."

He said he has been refused for nearly two dozen apartments even though he says he has good credit and no evictions.

He wants to stay in Hayward because his youngest daughter has been going to Hayward schools her entire life and he doesn't want to pull her out of the district.

He also said he is just as stubborn about not giving up Diamond.

"If I gave her up, my girls would never forgive me," he said.

Diamond awoke Steen the night of the fire by barking ferociously. Once Steen woke up, he was able to grab his 8-year-old daughter, Darahne, and drop her out of a second-story window to safety. His 16-year-old daughter, Sierra, also was awakened but suffered burns and extensive smoke inhalation. She was released from the hospital about a month after the fire.

Steen himself suffered burns on 30 percent of his body -- including his arms, back and feet -- and spent weeks in the hospital.

Diamond, a 1-year-old gray and white pit bull, suffered severe smoke inhalation and second- and third-degree burns and was released from the Eden Pet Hospital in Castro Valley a few weeks before Christmas.

"I owe her everything, " Steen said after the incident.

Steen said he thought he had a place to live in December, just about the time stories about Diamond starting appearing in the news.

"As soon as the pictures of Diamond got out, the owners wouldn't even call me back," Steen said.

For now, Steen and his daughters are living with his sister, while Diamond must stay with a friend of the family because his sister's apartment also does not allow dogs.

Steen, who works as a forklift operator in Fremont, said he should be able to get back to work this month, having recovered from injuries and burns he sustained during the fire.

He hopes his life will return to normalcy when he finds a new apartment.

"We just need a place to live," Steen said.

"But I won't give up my dog."

Anyone with information regarding housing available in Hayward may contact Steen at 510-688-3707.


UPDATE 5/6/2011

LOS ANGELES (NBC) -- Diamond, a 15-month-old, pit bull was hailed as a hero on Wednesday.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles presented Diamond with their 29th Annual National Hero Dog award.

Last October 24, Diamond woke his family from a sound sleep when their Hayward apartment caught fire.

Diamond's owner, Darryl Steen, grabbed his 9-year-old daughter Darahne and dropped her to safety out of a second story window. He said he couldn't find his 16-year-old daughter, Sierra, who was hiding under a mattress in her father's room, but Diamond found her.

Firefighters spotted the gray-and-white pit bull on the mattress shielding Sierra, Steen said.

Steen and Sierra were hospitalized for weeks with burns, and had to have skin grafts. Diamond spent six weeks at a pet hospital, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

"If it wouldn't have been for that dog, there is no way any of us would be here," said Steen.

Pit bull's are often cited in the news about vicious attacks, and the most abandoned and euthanized dog in the country, but Diamond's owner say that bad reputation has to stop.

"Stop discriminating against a pit bull, because you can see what a dog can do for you," said Steen. "I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for this dog."

With her title, Diamond gets a plaque, dog food for a year.



old, but good.  I have replaced Dog s bite -dot- org for the actual site name as I do not want to assist their SEO.  =)

March 27, 2010

The Truth Behind Dog s bite -dot- org

Dog s bite -dot- org is not an "expert" organization when it comes to canine behavior. There, I've said it.

While it seems that lately, several media outlets have been treating them like they have a particular knowledge on the subject of dog bites and attacks (I'll get to a possible "why" on that later in the post), it doesn't erase the reality that dog s bite -dot- org is simply a website run almost entirely by an individual person who has an expertise in web design, access to google, and a desire to seek revenge on an attack that happened to her several years. Those are the qualifications behind the website. And it runs no deeper than that. And treating the website as anything more than that is a recipe bad information that will lead to less safe circumstances for people and dogs. Let me explain.

Dog s bite -dot- org is a website run by Colleen Lynn. In June of 2007, Lynn was an unfortunate victim of a dog bite while she was out jogging. Because of the dog bite, by a dog that is said to be a 'pit bull', Lynn decided to create the website dog s bite -dot- org.  According to the original "about us" section of the website, the intent of the website was three-fold:

-- Distinguish which breeds of dogs are dangerous to have in neighborhoods
-- Help enact laws to regulate the ownership of these breeds
-- Help enact laws that hold dog owners criminally liable if their dog attacks a person or causes serious injury or death

While I actually agree with her original third mission statement, the original purpose of the website is very clearin the first two statements -- she intended to target particular breeds of dogs and ban ownership of those breeds. The goal was not public education or anything that she claims it to be about now -- it was about enacting breed specific legislation...even though she has no credentials to propose legislation like that with any basis of expertise.

And make no mistake, all of the experts organizations disagree with her idea on breed-specific legislation.

Every mainstream national organization that is involved in canine/human interactions is opposed to laws targeting specific breeds of dogs. An at-least partial list of these organizations include:

  • American Dog Owners Association
  • American Humane
  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association  (AVMA)
  • American Working Dog Federation
  • Association of Pet Dog Trainers
  • [pitchick edited this entry]
  • Center for Disease Control
  • [pitchick edited this entry]
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
  • International Association of Canine Professionals
  • National Animal Interest Alliance
  • National Animal Control Association
  • National  Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
  • National Canine Research Council
  • No Kill Advocacy Center

These groups represent the best of the best in the United States for Dog Trainers, Rescues, Shelters, Animal Behaviorists, Government entities,veterinarians, and even Animal Control Officers. All of them oppose breed specific legislation. All of them, in large part, because they have experience working with the actual dogs, and read the science, and realize the aggession is not a breed-specific issue -and the reality is that most dogs, regardless of breed, do not show aggressive behavior -- and yet, some dogs, of each breed, have. 

All recommend dog ordinances that focus on the the behaviors of the actual dogs, and not on its body type.

And not listening to the professional organizations, and instead, listening to an "organization" that has no expertise, can lead to bad results. Again, their focus is not in the best interests of public safety...it's about getting revenge.

For example: at the end of 2008, Dog s bite -dot- org named Lucas County (OH) Dog Warden Tom Skeldon their "Dog Warden of the year." Their reasoning is that "Skeldon has vigorously worked to prevent horrendous pit bull maulings resulting in serious injuries or death of human beings, their domesticated pets and livestock."  Interestingly, in the same year that Skeldon received this "award", the actual number of dog bites in Lucas County had gone up 23%.

So dog bites go up, and they give the man the dog warden of the year award because he is targeting 'pit bulls'.   Does that sound like the resume of an award winner for a group advocating for public safety to you? Me neither.

Within a year of them issuing the "award",  Skeldon stepped down from his position under significant public pressure. The actual citizens who had to put up with Skeldon's behavior, outrageous shelter kill rates and lack of improved public safety actually forced him out of office.

But nothing may be worse than a fairly recent post (you can click on the picture to the left to read a screen shot of it) actually claiming that parents shouldn't be expected to teach their children to be respectful around dogs even though major, well-respected, dog training groups recommend otherwise.  If you can teach a young child to not touch a hot oven, then they can at least understand "caution" around dogs.  It is this type of irresponsibility that is making people LESS safe, not more safe.

Oh, there are other greivences. There is the reality that they claim dogs of even distantly-related breeds -- including Boxers, Bulldogs and Mastiffs - to all be 'pit bulls' in their "statistics".  They consistently claim that all of the professional organizations that oppose BSL are only doing so because they are supported by dog fighters*. They sensor all comments on their website that even come remotely close to disputing anything they post -- even if it is someone who is providing acutal data that is correcting something they misspoke about -- again, censoring other types of thinking isn't exactly something you'd expect from a "public education" website.

* That {sic} all of these organizations are opposed to BSL because they are supported dog fighters  and dog breeders is a particularly funny notion. Many of the organizations that oppose BSL spend literally millions upon millions of dollars trying to shut down dog fighting operations, and all of the orgs oppose dog fighting in principle, even if they aren't actively working to shut the groups down. And as for breeding, several of the groups support breeders and several are working very hard to end breeding and spend countless dollars arguing amonst themselves on the breeding issue - -so the idea they would agree on this subject because they are supported by breeders is baseless too -- to the point that it's kind of comical.

And this doesn't even include their inaccurate use of case studies to support their point of view vs reporting the actual data. Or the reality that one city that allowed them to influence their policy-making, Omaha, has had a disasterous year.

So, the question then remains, how is it that an organization that has so few real credentials continues to get quoted by media outlets out there?

One of the things that journalism schools around the nation teach is the importance of providing both sides of a story. There are always two sides, and they teach the importance of providing both. So when it comes to the argument about whether or not to ban 'pit bulls', dog s bite -dot- org ends up being THE ONLY 'organization' in favor of banning 'pit bulls'. So the media almost has to use them, because they are the only ones with the alternative viewpoint.

And that folks, is the sad truth about dog s bite -dot- org. They are the only one(s) that favor BSL. And they do so based on having a website and google -- not with any real expertise in working with dogs.

And that's very telling.

Oh sure, they will likely retort with criticisms of me, and what are my true credentials. It's true, that even though I've worked in rescue, and I've worked with hundreds of dogs that would be considered 'pit bulls', I have no credentials after my name. I'm not a certified trainer, or a vet. However, I will say this. My opinion is the same one shared by the national organizations that speak for veterinarians, animal control officers, dog trainers and rescuers throughout the nation. So my ideas and point of view is supported by pretty much everyone that has knowledge of canine/human interactions.

Their support group is a city attorney in Denver and an animal control officer that was forced out of his job in Toledo. That's it.

And that's the truth about dog s bite -dot- org.  Fine, give them the "other" voice. But let's not mistake them for an organization that has any form of expertise, or any unique knowledge. Let's not mistake them for anything more than a person, with a website, that is seeking revenge for an incident that happened to her. No more, no less.

On one final note to Ms. Lynn. I am sorry that you were attacked by a dog. And I do hope the owner of the attacking dog was held appropriately accountable for the actions of their dog. But it was one dog -- and is not reflective of the millions of dogs out there of this type -- and I would encourage you to go to your local shelter and meet some more of the dogs that you seek to destroy. And I hope that pushing for ordinances that actually improve public safety, and that pushing for educating parents on how to introduce pets and children, will trump your desire for personal vengeance so that we can actually create a safer society.


Good news!  those of you who follow me here and on my forums know I have been watching this one for years and even helped some at the beginning, until the stuckeys washed their hands of the "pit bull" part anyway.  I have more I could add but search in the forums and you can find more of the back story there.

Supreme Court overturns pit bull ban
Jesse Wells Reporting KFOR
March 9, 2011

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- A Midwest City family wins a long overdue court battle against the city. The family had been fighting for years to save their bull terrier pets. This week a state supreme court ruling ends the long legal battle.

Lower courts had previously ruled the dog ban violated state law.

This week the state supreme court refused to take up the issue, which means the Midwest City ban is now officially dead.

The dog owner at the heart of the lawsuit is obviously thrilled by the decision.

"It's a huge relief," said dog owner Jerry Stuckey.

The dispute centered on a now defunct Midwest City ordinance that banned dogs with "pit" or "bull" in their names as a danger to the community.

That included the Stuckey's bull terrier dogs.

"It was just a bad ordinance. It was unconstitutional," said Stuckey.

After filing suit in 2007, Scott Adams always argued and lower court judges agreed, Oklahoma state law prohibits dog bans from being breed specific.

"It was a waste of money and time. I tried to tell everyone that from day one but the city wanted to pursue it. We defended it and won," said the Stuckey's attorney Scott Adams.

"What it has taken away is the presumption that all pit bulls are dangerous animals," said Midwest City attorney Katherine Bolles.

Bolles argued all along, the issue is much bigger than just the Stuckey's pets; it's about city's being able to set their own laws.

"It's not about about the dogs. It's about local control," said Bolles.

"I'm tickled to death the Supreme Court has the common sense they have," said Stuckey.

With no more legal options, Midwest City could still lobby state lawmakers to overturn state law.

They could also draft a new, much less restrictive ordinance.


February 11, 2010

WARNING! This video contains very graphic material.  The guy in the video was found to have a very small quantity of pot and yet they kicked in his door in the middle of the night and killed his loose corgi and caged pit bull.  As though brutalizing those people's pets was not enough, a bit of pot really requires a middle of the night entrance and blind shooting where a toddler could have been sleeping on the couch?  I hope this guy sues the shit out of these reckless macho cops.  The entire department and their policies should be investigated by the Attorney General's office.


Once again, all of his dogs were taken, his name was drug through the mud and he was found guilty of nothing!  this is more of the "humane" society's good work.

Man cleared in Orange Co. dog fighting case

Posted: Jan 28, 2011

Posted by Charles Gazaway

JEFFERSONVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A southern Indiana man has been cleared on charges involving a dog fighting bust back in 2009.

A two-year investigation led to the arrest of Brian Denny, but court workers in Orange County tell us he was just found not guilty on all charges.

In Aug. 2009, Indiana state troopers along with the Indiana Gaming Commission and U.S. Marshals served two search warrants in Orange County. Back then, they said they confiscated more than 90 dogs, the remains of dogs and items commonly associated with dog fighting.


I saw this on the local news last night and this morning and I think this guy Schreivogel seems like he is going to push the sheriff on this and around here the law doesn't fawn over peta like they do some places.  He said they had infiltrated him before as well.

Jan 11, 2011
Rusty Surette, News 9

WYNNEWOOD, Oklahoma -- The Garvin County Sheriff's Office confirmed investigators are looking into possible computer crimes by an alleged "planted" employee inside the G.W. Exotic Animal Park.

Joe Schreibvogel, director of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, said the crimes were committed by a member of the animals rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, who was planted inside the facility and posed as a staff member.

"During our investigation, we found the camera that was purchased for him by PETA to do this job," Schreibvogel said. "And we found that he had created a diversion to get access to the director's computer and download his hard drive without his knowledge."

A spokesman for the Garvin County Sheriff's Office said a police report has been filed and investigators are looking into a possible computer crime committed at the facility, although no arrest has been made. The case may be turned over to the Garvin County District Attorney.

"PETA has, in the past, cost us millions by sending in undercover spies and lying to the press and on the Internet to discredit our name and exploit us for money" Schreibvogel said. "Paying a spy and downloading your hard drive is criminal."


Schreibvogel said the former employee, Samuel Crowell, is a 25-year old who first came to the refuge nearly four years ago as a volunteer. Schreibvogel said Crowell's girlfriend is the one who tipped park employees off to the alleged scheme by PETA. The organization allegedly was paying Crowell $50 per day for his work.

Joe  Schreibvogel, director of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, works  with a  tiger at park.
Joe Schreibvogel, director of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, works with a tiger at park.

A  lion paces at the G.W. Exotic Animal Park.

A lion paces at the G.W. Exotic Animal Park.

The former employee, Samuel Crowell, is a 25-year old who first  came to the  refuge nearly four years ago as a volunteer.
The former employee, Samuel Crowell, is a 25-year old who first came to the refuge nearly four years ago as a volunteer.

thanks for all you've done, and continue to do, michael vick, you pos.

By Sarah Jessica Snarker

Michael Vick Summoned to Federal CourtJust in case you ever questioned the true intentions of the Humane Society of the United States, this little tidbit ought to help clear things up a bit.
Since being convicted, sent to jail and eventually released on probation for his involvement in the illegal torture and slaughter of fighting dogs, Michael Vick has changed his ways. Now he’s a HSUS spokesman, a champion of the anti-dogfighting cause. And as such, he believes, he’s now ready to have a pet of his own.

In an interview with NBC News and TheGrio.com, Vick said:

I would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.

I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that’s the hardest thing: telling them that we can’t have one because of my actions.

Yeah, that must be hard.

But not to worry, Michael Vick won’t be suffering doglessly for much longer ’ not if Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive HSUS, has anything to say about it.

In a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pacelle offered the following vote of confidence:

I have been around him [Vick] a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner.

And just in case you thought that was a one-time slip, Pacelle followed it up with a novella length post on the subject on his HSUS blog.

Not to get preachy about it, but I think Vick’s dogs ’ [...], the ones the HSUS wanted to euthanize (after begging for donations to help save them) ’ might disagree.
In fact, while speaking to a group of school children just last week, Vick admitted that while it’s important to take care of pets ‘with all your heart,‘ if it weren’t for his arrest,

Honestly ‘¦ Yeah, I’d probably still be doing it [dog fighting].

Well heck, give that guy a dog! Don’t you think the Vick girls deserve a puppy for Christmas?