Sunday, December 23, 2007
• Many holiday plants can lead to health problems in dogs and cats including holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies.
• Snow globes often contain antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets.
• Pine needles, when ingested, can puncture holes in a pet's intestine so keep pet areas clear of pine needles.
• Extra cords and plugs can look like chew toys to pets. Tape down or cover cords to help avoid shocks, burns or other serious injuries. Unplug holiday lights when you are not home.
• Anchor Christmas trees to the ceiling with a string to keep it from falling on pets.
• Do not let pets drink the holiday tree water. Some may contain fertilizers, and stagnant tree water can harbor bacteria. An ex-pen can be used to block access to electrical cords and gifts.
• Pets, particularly cats, can be tempted to eat tinsel, which can block the intestines.
• Put away toys after children open their gifts. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs. Ingested plastic or cloth toys must often be removed surgically.
• Avoid toxic decorations. Bubbling lights contain fluid that can be inhaled or ingested, snow sprays and snow flock can cause reactions when inhaled, styrofoam poses a choking hazard, tinsel can cause choking and intestinal obstruction, and water in snow scenes may contain toxic organisms such as Salmonella.
• Holiday guests and other activity can be very stressful and even frightening to pets. Make sure pets have a safe place to retreat in your house. And make sure they are wearing current I.D. in case they escape out a door when guests come and go.
• Reduce stress by keeping feeding and exercise on a regular schedule.
• Many holiday foods, including fatty meats, gravies, poultry skin, bones, chocolate and alcohol, can cause illnesses from vomiting and diarrhea to highly serious pancreatitis and other toxic reactions. In addition, candy wrappers, aluminum foil pieces and ribbons can choke pets.
• If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.
• If your pet ingests glass, broken plastic, staples or other small, sharp objects, call your veterinarian.
• Finally, now is a good time to double-check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other safety devices and replace batteries. Safety, of course, is the key reason -- but here's another good reason. When batteries run low, the devices often emit alert or alarm sounds at frequencies that can be painful and frightening to many pets.
Condensed from Robin Tierney's, "Dog Tip: Holiday Pet Safety Checklist"
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
People could not resist me in my boa! Kids and drag queens squealed with delight and put necklaces on me. There were a lot of dogs in the parade and I kissed some of them as they walked by. There was a search and rescue Lab in training sitting next to me but her mommies said she was working so no smoochies for her. Oh well, can’t say I didn’t try!
The parade got me thinking how pit bulls and gay people both face stereotypes and prejudices. People are quick to judge and focus on outer appearances, never getting past them to see what’s on the inside. We can’t help what we are born with, like sometimes I wish I had yellow clothes like the SAR Lab because then people might not cross the street so fast when I’m out walking. But since I can’t change my genetics, I have to shape the environment to be more accepting and change peoples’ perceptions, one at a time. And how to do this? Well, I think getting out there and giving lots of kisses is key.
Or maybe all we need is a pit bull PRIDE parade!
Monday, November 19, 2007
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/19/07
If dogs celebrate Thanksgiving, Bitsy the pit bull has plenty to be grateful for.
This summer, she achieved a flash of fame when she turned up at the Atlanta Humane Society after someone plunged a hunting knife in her head. Various media outlets picked up jarring photos of the injured dog and the humane society fielded calls, e-mails and donations. The vets who saw her through emergency surgery named her Lucky.
Today, the renamed Bitsy spends her days chasing squirrels and playing with her new canine companions at the Athens area home of her new owners, Chris and Michelle Rabold. She loves chasing squeaking toys and riding in the car, hops up on the couch like she owns the place and eats with gusto. When she conks out for the night she curls up on her bed off the kitchen, or in her crate. "She's got this old soul quality, you can see it in her eyes," Chris Rabold said. "There's something special about her." He and his wife have always been animal lovers — Lucy, their Australian sheepdog, wore flowers in her collar as an official member of their wedding party. Michelle Rabold, an Atlanta native, teaches a class called "Helping Man's Best Friend" at Clarke Middle School. Chris Rabold, an audio engineer and production manager who tours with area bands, grew up in Bowling Green, Ky., where dogs were always part of the family. Both were stunned to see the pictures of a grotesquely injured pit bull, posted on ajc.com shortly after arriving at the humane society the morning of Aug. 15. "It looked like a cheap Halloween gag," Chris Rabold said. While the dog was still in surgery, he was on the line to the humane society. "I really didn't think, I just instinctively picked up the phone," he said. "I wanted them to know we were serious." For the Rabolds, the time felt right to adopt another dog. They'd just lost a dog, Bunny, who died accidentally when her collar got tangled. Headlines at the time were trumpeting jarring dogfighting allegations against suspended Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who has since pleaded guilty and faces sentencing Dec. 10. "Our hearts were a little tender," Chris Rabold said. The humane society kept the injured dog for a couple of weeks to recover. The Rabolds kept in touch. "We would huddle every night to see if we'd gotten an e-mail," Chris Rabold said. Finally, they got a phone call saying the dog's original owner had surrendered custody, and she was officially available for adoption. On Aug. 27, the day Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges, the Rabolds drove to Atlanta to meet with humane society staffers and meet the dog they hoped would become their newest pet. A few days later, Bitsy had officially joined their family. "We have a real soft spot in our hearts for pit bulls," Chris Rabold said. "They get such the bad rap. But we would have adopted her even if it was a daschund." Bitsy loves running around the Rabolds' large backyard and gets along well with their other dogs: Lucy, Sissy, Ricky and Bubba. Bitsy accompanies Michelle Rabold and her running buddies in the mornings, and may come with her to school one day. "She loves people," Michelle Rabold said. "So much of society sees pit bulls as fighting dogs. I think she's going to be a great example for her breed." The Rabolds paid the standard adoption fee for Bitsy, who was spayed before she left the humane society. Aspiring pet owners pay $100 for puppies and $85 for dogs, cats and kittens. With the felines, it's buy one, get one free, said Atlanta Humane Society president Carl E. Leveridge. While he's disappointed that Fulton County authorities weren't able to make an arrest in the case, he's thrilled with its happy ending. "It's heartwarming," said Leveridge, who estimates the dog's emergency care ran between $3,000 and $4,000. "We love these kind of stories and hope there are more of them."
Today, the renamed Bitsy spends her days chasing squirrels and playing with her new canine companions at the Athens area home of her new owners, Chris and Michelle Rabold. She loves chasing squeaking toys and riding in the car, hops up on the couch like she owns the place and eats with gusto. When she conks out for the night she curls up on her bed off the kitchen, or in her crate.
"She's got this old soul quality, you can see it in her eyes," Chris Rabold said. "There's something special about her."
He and his wife have always been animal lovers — Lucy, their Australian sheepdog, wore flowers in her collar as an official member of their wedding party. Michelle Rabold, an Atlanta native, teaches a class called "Helping Man's Best Friend" at Clarke Middle School. Chris Rabold, an audio engineer and production manager who tours with area bands, grew up in Bowling Green, Ky., where dogs were always part of the family.
Both were stunned to see the pictures of a grotesquely injured pit bull, posted on ajc.com shortly after arriving at the humane society the morning of Aug. 15.
"It looked like a cheap Halloween gag," Chris Rabold said. While the dog was still in surgery, he was on the line to the humane society.
"I really didn't think, I just instinctively picked up the phone," he said. "I wanted them to know we were serious."
For the Rabolds, the time felt right to adopt another dog. They'd just lost a dog, Bunny, who died accidentally when her collar got tangled. Headlines at the time were trumpeting jarring dogfighting allegations against suspended Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who has since pleaded guilty and faces sentencing Dec. 10.
"Our hearts were a little tender," Chris Rabold said.
The humane society kept the injured dog for a couple of weeks to recover. The Rabolds kept in touch.
"We would huddle every night to see if we'd gotten an e-mail," Chris Rabold said. Finally, they got a phone call saying the dog's original owner had surrendered custody, and she was officially available for adoption. On Aug. 27, the day Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges, the Rabolds drove to Atlanta to meet with humane society staffers and meet the dog they hoped would become their newest pet. A few days later, Bitsy had officially joined their family.
"We have a real soft spot in our hearts for pit bulls," Chris Rabold said. "They get such the bad rap. But we would have adopted her even if it was a daschund."
Bitsy loves running around the Rabolds' large backyard and gets along well with their other dogs: Lucy, Sissy, Ricky and Bubba. Bitsy accompanies Michelle Rabold and her running buddies in the mornings, and may come with her to school one day.
"She loves people," Michelle Rabold said. "So much of society sees pit bulls as fighting dogs. I think she's going to be a great example for her breed."
The Rabolds paid the standard adoption fee for Bitsy, who was spayed before she left the humane society. Aspiring pet owners pay $100 for puppies and $85 for dogs, cats and kittens. With the felines, it's buy one, get one free, said Atlanta Humane Society president Carl E. Leveridge. While he's disappointed that Fulton County authorities weren't able to make an arrest in the case, he's thrilled with its happy ending.
"It's heartwarming," said Leveridge, who estimates the dog's emergency care ran between $3,000 and $4,000. "We love these kind of stories and hope there are more of them."
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Mom and dad really lost their heads this time! Things were going great, or so I thought, and then one day they woke up and decided they wanted to move to Palm Springs! They said it would be like a vacation. Huh? We live on an acre in the foothills and the boys and I chase rabbits and dig after gophers all day long…that’s better than a vacation! They said they were tired of maintaining the place. *sigh* I think they are going through a mid-life crisis.
The first challenge the folks faced was finding a rental that allowed 3 good-sized woofers. Some landlords were okay with small, frou-frou doggies, and others weren’t interested in talking to mom and dad at all. But, mom would throw words around like “middle-aged” and “fixed” and that seemed to make a good impression on a few of the landlords. Some asked what “breed” and dad would say, “Umm” and mom would say, “mixed-breed dogs from the pound” and everyone would go, “Awww.” The landlords who liked dogs didn’t really care what color clothes they had on. If someone had a problem with my clothes, I was going to show my CGC certificate, but I didn’t even have to. After a diligent search, and a little extra cash, mom and dad got a decent house with a yard and a fence to rent in Palm Springs. No rabbits or gophers, but there is a pool. Woohoo!
Another challenge: insurance. I think that people with dogs should really have insurance because other people make a living going to court and dogs, like me, are easy targets for lawsuits. Mom says we’ve always had State Farm because they’re not prejudiced against any dogs. But, sadly, some companies are. My friends at PBRC made this list of insurance places that like people with dogs:
Chubb Group - www.chubb.com
Farmers Insurance Group - www.farmers.com
Kemper - www.kemperinsurance.com
Lester Kalmanson Agency Inc.- http://www.lkalmanson.com
Nationwide - www.nationwide.com
Ohio Insurance Exchange (OH residents) - 1-800-473-1215
Safeco Corp. - www.safeco.com
State Farm - www.statefarm.com
Sunny SoCal Insurance Service (nationwide) - www.ssocal.com
Travelers - www.travelers.com
United Services Automobile Association - www.usaa.com
So, by now, you might be wondering who is writing this entry. I’m Kandy, a 7-yr old pit bull mix, on vacation in Palm Springs. The boys and I, and mom and dad are settling in and I’m really getting the hang of shopping out here! There are so many fun places and I will write about the best boutiques next time.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
After 2 years, the man decided that this dog they referred to as a Pit Bull, might be dangerous to his grandchildren. He asked a homeless man across the street at the liquor store if he wanted a dog. The man said "Man, I don't have food or shelter for myself. What am I going to do with a dog?" But he took the dog. Whenever the homeless man got food, he took a bite or two, and gave the rest to the dog. The dog seemed happy to be out of the back yard. Together, they walked. A LOT. The tow chain was weighing heavy around his neck, while the other end of it was wrapped around the man's waist. One day a woman driving home from work saw the dog. She thought he was a stray, until she saw that he was chained to the man passed out in the bushes. A few days later the woman stopped, and asked the man "Does that dog really need that big tow chain?" "Yes M'am, he does" was the reply. She thought he would be better off with a good collar and a leash. She took supplies down to the man and the dog. They both scared her. She offered the dog a cookie. He backed away from her. She dropped it to the ground, and stepped back herself. "He don't eat no bread or crackers, only meat." The man told her. A few days later the woman took a can of Vienna Sausages down to the dog. He took them gently from her, and licked her fingers. He then jumped up towards her throat, nearly knocking her down. The next time he lurched towards her, she felt the blood thumping through her veins, as his big, leathery tongue slashed across her face. He was kissing her! He liked her. She visited more often. She took him in her car, where he escaped the wrath of the hot sun. She brought him food, water, and treats every few days. She took him to a strange place, called "the vet". The dog was neutered. He was treated for heartworms. He was vaccinated and licensed. He was LOVED! He began to thrive. People often stopped now, and offered the homeless man money for him. They wanted to put him in something called a "ring". The man, the woman, and the dog learned to trust each other. He recognized the sound of the woman's car, and was excited to see her. The dog became protective of the man and their surroundings. He chased away raccoons and packs of wild dogs.
One day when the woman came to visit, there was someone else in her car. It was another man, her husband. He smiled when he saw the dog, and the dog smiled back at him. He had a third friend now. The husband held the dog's front paws off the ground, and danced with him. As the weather started to cool off, there was another surprise in store. The woman showed up with something else in the car. It was black and white, and had 4 legs like him. The woman cooed and talked to it, the same way she talked to him. The homeless man and the woman called it "her dog". Gradually, over the next few weeks, they met. He wasn't sure whether he liked him, or not, but he did smell like the woman (or vice versa). They licked each others' faces. One day they all went to a place called "her house". The man and dog both got baths, and ate 'til they could eat no more. They played in her back yard. It was obvious that her dog did not live outside like he had. The homeless dog, longed to be her dog too.
The bitter, cold weather returned. The man and the dog huddled for warmth. One night the woman came and took them home to her big doghouse (garage). Homeless man and his homeless dog slept together, on a bed! Not on a pillow of concrete, but a soft, bed. Dog barked out a warning the next morning at an unfamiliar sound. Some unknown man yelled at him to "shut up". That man was called "the neighbor". When "the neighbor" found out that the woman had let him and his Master stay in her garage, he put his house up for sale. The dog always sensed tension between the woman and "the neighbor" after that. The next visit to her house, they got to go "inside". The dog marked his territory several places, and didn't understand why he was reprimanded. They said "go outside potty". He learned what that meant. He imitated what her dog did. He was smart, and eager to please! The homeless pair stayed with the woman and her husband, for several nights when the temperature was below freezing. They had their own bed that they shared in her basement. They were safe and warm.
One night when they were back on the street, they got cold and wet. The dog prayed that the woman would come take them home, but she didn't. They huddled together under their bridge. His Master told him to go get help. He didn't know what that meant, so he went "outside potty" and returned to stand guard. The next day the woman returned. He was so happy when he heard her call out his name, but Master didn't say that it was ok to go to her. His heart jumped up into his throat as he barked to let her know that he was under the bridge, protecting what was his. His Master called out to her in a weak voice. He said that he was frozen. She called an ambulance. Life as they knew it would never be the same. They were on TV. The man said that they were famous, but it turned out they were infamous. As word spread of the homeless man's rescue by the woman, so did word that there was a Pit Bull in the neighborhood. Some people drove by in their cars and offered them food or money. Others drove by, offering to kill the dog. Wild packs of young humans, teased and tormented the man and his dog. The homeless man began to drink heavily. He wanted to fight. He threatened to use his dog as a weapon. He cursed and shouted at the dog, and sometimes jerked him around. He said bad things to the woman, and she cried. He told the dog that the woman didn't love him anymore, and that she was never coming back. Dog tried to put up a brave front, like he didn't care. He loved the man unconditionally. Dog would die for him.
The woman tried to help them both. She enrolled the dog in obedience class. She hoped the socialization with other people and dogs would help him, and his Master. The dog was the only one in his class who had to wear a muzzle. He didn't like it. Master put off bad vibes, and called him "stupid" in front of the others. Didn't he realize that he was the one who encouraged and praised him in the past for defending him? They now call called that, aggressive behavior. Things were different now when the woman came. She was nervous, but the dog still sensed her great love for him. He would never hurt her feelings like Master did. He sulked, and had no appetite when the woman didn't come to see him. So strong was his love for her, he might even die for her if he had to.
Dog's Master had become so different. His world was crumbling. He used to enjoy dog's company, but now, he blamed the dog for everything wrong with his life. When the woman comes to see them now, she cries as she drives away. Dog is tired of having rocks thrown at him. Tired of people coming right up to him and asking if he bites. Tired of trying to defend the homeless man in numerous encounters with bad people. Tired of being a pawn in what appears to be an endless game. While protecting Master from a crack head throwing bricks at them, Master won't let go of the leash. He yells at the dog to quit lunging and barking, as if it's his fault. Dog turns around and bites his Master to confirm his boundaries. The dog ends up in the woman's back yard. The woman prays that he was left there while the homeless man went to a treatment program, but it didn't turn out that way. He was only at the hospital for treatment of the bite wound. Dog's spirit is broken. He wants to stay with the woman, her husband, and their dog.
The homeless man calls for the woman to come get the dog a few days later. The man has been hit by a car, and for the second time in a week, his dog has bitten him. He needs to go to the hospital again. The woman doesn't answer the call, so the man calls Animal Control. The dog is scared as he's tied up to a pole at the gas station. Loud sirens signal the arrival of Police, Fire, and Ambulance. A stranger in a truck comes and tries to take the dog. He stands firm guarding his pole, as he has been taught to do. Something sharp stings his hindquarters. He's getting very sleepy. He wakes up in an unfamiliar place. He can tell from the barking of other dogs, that this is not a good place to be. The woman tries to rescue him. She is told that he has to be quarantined for 10 days. She is told that he can not go back to the homeless man. She is told that because he bites, he can not be adopted or rescued. Where can he go? She is told that he can, and will be, put to sleep. The woman sobs, but in her heart she knows that death will be a better place for him than out on the street again. The woman loves him enough to let him go. She will bear the burden of telling his Master of his fate. The homeless man cries and curses. He threatens. He listens, as the woman tells him that he is mostly responsible for the way the dog has turned out. She warned him many times, but he wouldn't listen. She wishes that things could have been different. The woman, her husband, and their dog would have welcomed him into their family.
A family... all Dog could ever have hoped for.
~ by Brenda
Monday, November 5, 2007
Martino turned her gaze back to the red cab of the truck that Derry's had hit, and noticed a white pit bull in the window. "I saw him pop up and I thought, if he's OK, maybe the driver's OK. I tried to call him, but [the dog] didn't want to get out of the truck."
The dog, later identified as Tiny, wouldn't leave the side of his master, James J. Clark, 27, of Patchogue, N.Y. The dog wouldn't leave the cab until Clark was eased out the passenger door of his cab clearly in pain, Martino said. Clark was taken to William B. Backus Hospital in Norwich. Vincent Gagliardi, another bystander-turned-rescuer, fashioned a leash from his belt and took custody of Tiny.
"Vince was an excellent guy," Martino said. "Vince stayed with the dog the whole time. We finally got word from the hospital at about 1:15 that the driver was OK and was yelling that he wanted to see his dog. Vince took him to the hospital so the gentleman could see him."
From The Day
Mariani was treated and released as was James J. Clark, 27, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was driving the tractor-trailer. Clark and his pit bull “Tiny” were reunited Friday at The William W. Backus Hospital after both survived the crash.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
POSTED: 2:28 am EDT November 3, 2007
EAST LYME, Conn. -- One canine certainly fulfilled the role of man's best friend on Friday.
Witnesses described seeing a tanker truck barrel through the median into oncoming traffic, killing three people and injuring three others on Interstate 95 in East Lyme late Friday morning.
The tanker struck a tractor-trailer and at least four cars and overturned.
As chaos broke out on I-95, a heroic pit bull remained calm, sitting in the front seat of a tractor-trailer hit by a tanker truck. As the truck crumbled, the dog stood tall, staying beside his owner until help arrived.
"I was calling to him, but he was just standing there and just guarding his person," said Phyllis Martino, a witness at the scene.
The heroic dog stayed right by his owner's side, but arriving firefighters quickly rushed that badly injured driver to the hospital. That's when another hero was standing by to step in.
Vincent Gagliardi said the pit bull was frantic as his owner was carried away. So, Gagliardi took off his belt, ran to the dog, fashioned a leash and got the dog out of there.
"This guy was still sitting in the passenger seat, and there was diesel fuel all around, so I took him out of there," Gagliardi said.
Authorities did not release on Friday any identities of those involved in the crash.
For video click here
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
And if your dog is the nervous type, block their view of the ghouls, goblins, witches, and Michael Vicks. Tonight is a great night for a special Kong to be savored in their crate.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Now, I’ve never had to kennel my dogs, but I recently lost my most excellent pet sitter to a move. Rather than rely on someone new to stay a whole weekend in my home with Gracie, I felt that I would be best to have Gracie stay in a kennel. But which kennel? This was a serious undertaking. I Googled some places on the net, I talked to friends. I asked every kind of question regarding care, cleanliness, kindness, space, food, exercise.
Finally I chose a place that came highly recommended by a friend who’s very picky. With her assurances, my next step would be to inspect and interview. I wanted to be comfortable with what I saw and heard and feel sure that Gracie would be in good hands. It was well worth the time I’d taken to be sure, I told myself.
What I failed to reckon with is that we’re talking about a major holiday weekend. Good kennels, like good hotels, are likely to be booked in advance. While I was dithering on finding the best place possible, I totally forgot about availability. When I finally made the call, it was a quick trip back to reality. I clearly astonished the person who took the call. “But you don’t have a reservation?” she said. Her tone registered disbelief. I even detected a suspicion that I could not be worthy of Gracie or any other dog.
The rest of our call was brief. I was prepared to spend the $28 per night plus an extra charge for Gracie to be given her medication. I’d read their website. I told the young woman I’d be by with all her records and would it be possible to tour the facilities. Even at this late date, I wasn’t going to pass on that. That’s no problem, I was told, and in fact I could even see Gracie’s suite. Uh, suite?
So, this Columbus Day Weekend my little girl will be living large in a private $55 per night suite. She’ll have her own television and bed (with a head board no less). She won’t be able to hear the other guests barking (or whining), which is a nice touch to keep her calm. While she’s enjoying Court TV (her favorite channel), Tonka and I will be cheering on the cyclists of the Seagull Century. And I’ve posted a mental note in my head to make kennel reservations for Christmas as soon as I get home. Or should I do this before I leave?
Apparently Gracie's stay at the kennel was much harder on me than it was on her. When I picked her up she was pleased to see me, but it wasn't the throw-yourself-at-my-feet-with-joy sort of greeting I had fantasized about.
Having a suite certainly agreed with her. I was told she enjoyed her extra (private) snuggle time, and happily settled in to watch her car chase shows on Court TV.
Columbus Day weekend was a success. Gracie was happy and cared for well, so mom was happy, and Tonka was a huge hit in his bike jersey, cheering on the riders of the Seagull Century.
Friday, October 26, 2007
You can order your copy of the 2008 calendar by clicking here: PBRC's Cafe Press Store
Remember that all of the proceeds from the sale of the calendars are used to help pit bulls in need. Please don't miss out on this great opportunity to fill your 2008 with pittie smiles while helping needy pit bulls at the same time.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Translation (from Italian):
Strong and sweet, overflowing with love
Stop breed specific legislation
Support pit bull rescue
This print is a limited edition measuring 24"x36", hand-signed and numbered by the artist. Can be proudly displayed in a standard-sized frame.
Posters are shipped rolled in a tube.
Price: $95 + $5 shipping
50% goes to PBRC!
About the artist...
Christine J. Head’s sought-after, limited edition prints and posters have helped numerous rescues raise much needed funds.
Christine started The Puppy Sketches in 1999 and has been contributing to rescue organizations ever since by creating original and limited edition posters. Currently, her focus is on highly stylized vintage/Art Nouveau-style posters prints that raise money for multiple breed rescues.
Some notable animal lovers and celebrities who collect her work include actresses Mary Steenburgen, Jorja Fox of C.S.I., and Comedienne Elayne Boosler.
Monday, October 15, 2007
It was cold, but they got the job done and we are so proud of them!
Thanks, Teal and Morgan for being great breed ambassadors!
Friday, October 12, 2007
To enter your favorite festooned fido in our contest send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once all pictures are received they will be put into a gallery for all to see and vote on.
Halloween Hound Gallery
Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners on Halloween!
Please submit your photos no later than October 24, 2007. Multiple entries welcome, but please submit only one photo per dog. Contest entries limited to pit bull dogs.
Good luck and may the best bully costume win!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I never set out to subject my dog to such torture. While looking for some slogan shirts for myself, I stumbled upon the doggie shirts. Surely, a few wouldn't do any lasting harm to my dog's dignity. The response was overwhelming. People who had previously walked to the other side of the street to avoid us were now rushing over to see what my dog's message of the day read. These folks were now smiling the moment they saw us and I learned that people couldn't laugh and be scared at the same time. They started asking more questions about my dog and pit bulls in general.
This revelation sent my poor pit bull into a downward spiral of fashion couture that would make Armani blush. Her wardrobe is now larger than mine. She has shirts, dresses, collars, bandanas, sunglasses, hats, coats for all seasons and even a pink faux fur stole. Most are functional and warm but, upon closer inspection, one might glimpse a rhinestone or two!
I would hesitate to condemn my dog to such torment, but she really loves wearing her clothes. It can most likely be attributed to conditioning. She knows that diving into the wardrobe means she is in store for an outing involving her favorite thing – people!
Current strategic warfare states that to win any war you have to win the hearts and minds of those whose help you need to succeed. With BSL and the negative media image of pit bulls being so pervasive, I want to do everything I can to change people's perception of the pit bull. If they are approaching with a smile on their face, I've already won half the battle.
Hmm, maybe chiffon isn't so bad after all!
~ Lynn, aka The Bat Whisperer
Sunday, October 7, 2007
On sale now in PBRC's Poppy Shop you'll find "Break the Chains of Cruelty," created in 2006 and limited to 5000 copies. Prints measure 24"x 36" and can be displayed in standard frames. The poster features Tiger, a pit bull rescued from a life at the end of a chain and the pertinent message (in Italian), "Break the chains of cruelty. Bring all dogs inside. Our canine friends deserve love and companionship." Each purchase includes a paper telling Tiger’s story written by comedian/writer/animal activist Elayne Boosler, and his happy “after” picture.
Christine has given PBRC the unique opportunity to offer her posters for purchase and help raise funds at the same time. The rescue receives 50 percent of each sale, so buyers can collect gorgeous art and help save pit bulls.
For more information and to order your vintage-look, "Break the Chains of Cruelty" poster, click here.
Monday, October 1, 2007
On October 20th, 2007, responsible pit bull owners and advocates around the country can make their voices heard! On this day we will celebrate the first national Pit Bull Awareness Day. It's about time that we showed the public that not all pit bull owners are alike! We are not criminals, thugs or dog fighters. We are not people with low self-esteems that need a strong dog to bolster our fragile egos. Let's set the record straight once and for all! Let's show the public that people from all walks of life, from celebrities to soccer moms, own and responsibly manage pit bulls! Let's show them that our dogs are members of our families and that we are not going to be bullied by breed specific legislation.
Regardless of where you are located, please choose an activity to participate in on October 20, 2007 to promote and celebrate responsible pit bull ownership. It can be a breed education rally, a dog walk & wash, a pet parade or a candle light vigil. The possibilities are endless! Regardless of the activity you choose, please sign up to participate so people in your area know and can participate and promote responsible ownership with you. Please visit the Bless the Bullys website to sign up.
Many thanks to Jodi and Bless the Bullys for launching this important campaign. On October 20th, let's make sure our voices are heard across the nation!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Please be patient with us as we sort through and process the over 600 donated items. We do have a first round of paid-for items going out the end of this week and we hope to have all items paid for via paypal shipped by the end of next week.
If you are paying by personal check, your item(s) will ship once the check has cleared. If you choose to pay by personal check, please send us an e-mail to let us know that the check is on its way.
All of the funds raised will go directly towards helping needy pit bull and pit bull mixes throughout the US and Canada. PBRC receives no government funding, and is staffed solely by volunteers. Our support comes directly from you, and it goes directly to the dogs.
Again, thank you for helping us help the dogs.
Pit Bull Rescue Central
P.S. PBRC's 2008 Happy Endings Calendar featuring rescued pit bulls is almost here! Look for an announcement regarding its availability soon.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
PBRC's on-line auction, Poppy Mart 2007 is finally here. From today, September 11 through September 18, you can bid on well over 600 exciting items for auction! Dog stuff, people stuff, gifts, jewelry and collectibles. There is something for every taste and wallet.
Please visit our sponsor page to support our generous donors. PoppyMart would not be possible without the many retail vendors, volunteers, and friends who donated to PBRC’s auction. Starting at 12:00 midnight PST, on September 11th, 2007, Pit Bull Rescue Central, Inc. (PBRC), a 501(c)3 organization, will be holding its fourth annual on-line auction.
Since last years was such a success we are once again using eBay as our venue. All proceeds from Poppy Mart will go directly to PBRC's Fund - which finances Pit Bull Spay/Neuter; assists with medical procedures beyond the financial reach of rescuers, caretakers, owners and shelters; and supports the website that enables us to list dogs for adoption and provide educational resources. PBRC is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers.
Before you bid, we ask that you review our Auction Guidelines page, before you bid, which you can find here: http://www.pbrc.net/auction_2007/rules.html To register for the auction click here. (Note: Everyone bidding needs to register with eBay.)
If you are already registered with eBay, all you need to do is start bidding! Click the link to go directly to PoppyMart! http://stores.ebay.com/PBRC-Poppy-Mart
Please note that the auction ends at 11:59, September 18 – Pacific Standard Time. For those in other time zones – it begins at the following times:
Mountain – 12:59 am
Central – 1:59 am
Eastern – 2:59 am
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any questions!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
All proceeds from Poppy Mart will go directly to PBRC's Fund - which finances Pit Bull Spay/Neuter; assists with medical procedures beyond the financial reach of rescuers, caretakers, owners and shelters; and supports the website that enables us to list dogs for adoption and provide educational resources. PBRC is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers.
Through the generosity of many retail vendors, volunteers, and friends we will once again be offering lots of exciting items for auction! Dog stuff, people stuff, gifts, jewelry and collectibles. There is something for every taste and wallet.
We encourage you to register now, so you will be ready to bid early and often! To register for the auction click here.
(Note: Everyone bidding needs to register with eBay.) You will be sent a link directly to our store once the auction starts. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The background to the super cage:
Troubles has broken out of 3 crates. One of them was said to be a super strong crate. The manager at the dog supply place assured me it was just the thing for a strong, separation anxiety dog like Troubles. I had it specially ordered and.... about a couple months or so later, she was out of it. *SIGH*
She has either pulled the bars apart (she's so good about finding a "weak" spot) and in one case, she chewed up the pan and then somehow was able to open a space at the bottom (since the pan wasn't there). She has hurt herself numerous times. It's embarrassing - it looks like I have an abused dog or like she has been in a fight. She even broke a tooth.
She drooled and whined and shook and panted and panted. But if she were out, she would be destructive. Not every time but we had lost enough couches, window blinds, etc, etc to take chances! Not to mention how much safer it is for a dog to be in a crate in case someone breaks in or for some reason... you have a boyfriend who doesn't always close the door all the way and then you would worry about the dog getting out.... but I digress...
I was flipping through the PetEdge catalog and saw a crate that was advertised as "the Alcatraz of dog crates" and the picture showed a pit bull inside a crate that looked like you could keep a tiger in -- PERFECT!
It was expensive, but it was SO WORTH IT. If I had only found that before the other crates she destroyed, it would have been much more affordable! This Hannibal Lecter crate is so well built. Super strong and the bars are thick and rounded (Troubles can't hurt herself!). The pan is steel so she can't chew it and it's UNDER another set of rounded bars on the bottom! There are 2 sizes only. The smaller size is appropriate for a pit bull but I had a sneaking suspicion that Troubles was claustrophobic... she was OK in the other crates UNTIL you shut the door. So I got her the bigger size, so it's nice and roomy. She has blankets in there and she can pace and spread out.
It's my fault for waiting until she was an adult to crate train her and I tried for so long that I gave up a couple times and then started again later. It seemed like she would NEVER be crate trained. She is so difficult and anxious. She just freaks out.
But it happened! With time and patience, of course. I went through all the normal crate training and calming routines. The separation anxiety things that I usually do. I also incorporated more training sessions which even though have nothing to do with the crate, helps. More NFL-type of things in normal life. More ignoring the crying and barking. More walks and me getting in the crate non-chalantly to get her interested. Eventually she got to the point that she is today. She will sometimes pant and cry and shake and drool.... only while we are still in the house. And if she can hear us outside. But when she doesn't see or hear us anymore, she is fine. We have snuck back to the house (we leave the radio on for her so she couldn't hear us) and peeked in the window to see her perfectly fine. Sometimes laying down and sleeping, sometimes just sitting there. But fine. No anxiety behavior. Lots of the time, if it's during a normal routine time like me going to work, she's OK when she can still see me. She goes into the crate willingly. She actually seems to like it and she goes to it expectantly because I always put a "surprise" in there for her ( a treat). She goes into it regularly just to get a "good girl" or a treat.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Michael Vick is not the only dog fighter in the United States, not the only man who has made money off the dog' backs while feeding his own warped ego. Not the only one who has tortured and killed innocent dogs on a regular basis. Michael Vick is just symptom, a blip on the radar screen, of a cancer in desperate need of a cure. While the Pundits debate and the NFL Public Relations Machine wrings its hands, thousands of other "Michael Vicks," black and white, rich and poor, in neighborhoods urban and rural, are committing the same crimes against pit bull dogs that Vick did. The question remains, will the Feds come for them too or will the presently very public fight against the crime of dog fighting end with Vick? And if they do continue, who will speak for victims who can not speak for themselves, the dogs? What will become of them? Will their lives be better for our intervening on their behalf or will it be more of the same. Death, not death in the pit, but death on the end of a snare pole perhaps, death without compassion, death just the same. Will all of the dogs continue to be victimized twice? Killed by their masters because they wouldn't fight, killed by those who rescued them because they might? The dogs are left with nowhere to stand, pawns in a cruel game of guilt by association.
So I ask you, when does the dog in the fight, the innocent pit bull dog who has not asked for any of this, when does he finally get to win? When does he get the same care and compassion as any other pet? When does the pit bull dog, get be to be viewed as simply what he is, a dog, who like all canines, desires a warm hearth, plenty of food and a person to call his own?
Michael Vick’s story and the tragic story of his dogs will reach its not-so-fairy tale ending in due course. But what of the stories of all of the nameless, faceless victims of the crime of dog fighting whose masters don’t play in the NFL? What of those dogs? Who will say this doesn’t end here? Who will ensure that their stories have a happier ending than that of the Vick dogs?
I look at both of my pit bull dogs, but particularly my dog Isaac who was left to die in a dumpster, and think there but for the grace of god go they. It occurs to me that the only difference between their lives and the thousands of pet pit bulls like them and the lives of all of the pit bulls suffering in dire circumstances, is the hands into which they fell. A cruel twist of fate or a blessing from above, depending on in whose yard the dog sits.
Animal Farm Foundation
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Folks pass up the old dog because, "We want a playmate for our kids, other dogs, etc.," or "We want a puppy so we can raise her right," and "We just lost our dog of 12 years, we don't want to adopt a new dog only to have it die in 2 years." I understand the rationale for adopting a young dog over an old one, but want to put down some thoughts on the benefits of adopting a senior.
In my experience, senior dogs are nice dogs and make wonderful companions. A dog doesn't live to be a senior if he's mean or nasty. Senior dogs are calm and well-mannered and are often obedience and house trained. Senior dogs are unassuming and demand nothing; they are content with a soft bed, one square meal a day and an occasional pat. Seniors are often deaf, so they sleep soundly and rarely bark. Seniors require very little exercise and are never destructive. Senior dogs express their gratitude daily with loyalty and devotion, regardless of how they were treated in the past. They are wise beyond their years.
Senior dogs can require more veterinary care than younger dogs, and may bring a history of neglect with them. However, they embrace the future, graciously, and have earned the right to a healthy, comfortable, peaceful existence. We may only have a few months or a few years with a senior dog, but I believe they are the best years of that dog's life. And, our life is made better with them in it.
Bring a senior dog into your heart and home...you won't regret it!
Author's acknowledgement: I thank Mia, Amey, Joey, Granny, Debbie Dog and Thor for their contributions to this entry. They were 6 senior dogs I had the pleasure of adopting over the last 12 years and, though they've all passed on, each left life lessons and indelible paw prints on my heart.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
What is Babesia and what is it doing to your dog?There are many species of Babesia, but those of most concern to Pit Bull owners are Babesia canis and Babesia gibsoni. While any dog can become infected Babesia organisms, infections are most commonly found in Greyhounds and Pit Bulls. Although there are Babesia species found all over the world, in the United States B. canis and gibsoni are more prevalent in southern states. However, the transient nature of families and the transfer of dog ownership due to rescue from natural or manmade disasters, there is no state that is unaffected. Some countries do require pre export negative Babesia canis and/or gibsoni test results prior to allowing entry.
How does this happen?
An infected tick must feed on a dog for 2-3 days to transfer the babesia organism. Once this transfer occurs, the babesia organism continues to develop as it moves from the blood stream into red blood cells (rbc). When the organism matures in the rbc, that cell will rupture and release the organism in the blood stream to infect additional rbcs. The body’s own immune system will also detect the infected red blood cells and destroy them. Although Babesia is considered a tick bourne disease it can also be transmitted by dog bites, blood transfusions, contaminated needles or surgical instruments and from mother to pup.
What Babesia does?
The destruction of red blood cells can result in anemia (lack of red blood cells). Lab results may show this anemia (low rbc count), low platelet count, and other values suggestive of liver disease (hypoalbuminemia, and bilirubinuria). Initially, the anemia appears to be nonregenerative, but later is regenerative anemia. Clinical symptoms such as weakness, pale color, fever, anorexia, enlarged lymphnodes, depression, enlarged spleen, rapid pulse may be exhibited by some dogs. In dogs that have had a spleenectomy (spleens removed) or have an auto immune disorder the disease can be devastating. While many normal healthy dogs will have no outward symptoms at all, these dogs are carriers and will spread the disease to other dogs via dog bites and infecting ticks. During times of stress, due to other disease process or mental situations these dogs may also have a relapse of the disease and exhibit clinical symptoms. Dogs diagnosed with Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia should have babesia on the list of rule outs as to the cause. Also dogs that are having liver issues and/or undiagnosed liver disease should have babesia on the list of rule outs.
How is Babesia diagnosed?
Babesia organisms can be seen on a blood smear, especially a freshly drawn blood taken from a capillary source (ear, toenail). If Babesia organisms are found, the patient is definitely infected. However, the organism can be hard to find and may rarely be found in samples from chronically infected dogs or carrier dogs that aren't showing symptoms of the disease. Due to this there are other, more ideal methods for testing. Indirect fluorescent antibody
(IFA) testing is performed on serum or plasma and is used to establish antibody titers to B. canis and gibsoni. However, if it is early in the disease process or in an animal that is immune suppressed, antibodies may not be present. A titer is a measurement of the amount or concentration of antibodies in a blood sample and can be helpful in determining medical
treatment. Generally the higher the titer, the greater the infection. IFA testing is available through specialized diagnostic laboratories, such as Protatek Reference Laboratory.
Molecular diagnosis of Babesia spp. infection in dogs and cats via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of whole blood has become available. This is an extremely sensitive test that can be used to diagnose Babesia and distinguish between the different species. However, it does not help establish the level of infection and there have been issues with false positive/negative results. To avoid this, blood samples should be collected early in the course of clinical disease,
before medications have been started and submitted to an experienced, quality lab.
When to test?
Food for thought is routinely screening Pit Bulls. One of my own dogs was negative for B. canis several years ago. Recently she tested positive. No tick exposure, no contaminated needles/ instruments, no blood transfusion. What did happen in the time in-between was an accidental fight with another of my dogs (who is positive for B. canis). Neither of my positive dogs (I also have 1 dog that has tested negative, who also has had accidental fights...) have clinical or laboratory results that indicate they have the disease. But I know that it is there and if they do have other medical or stress issues that could allow the Babesia to become a problem I know to watch for it. Any dog blood donor should be tested prior to joining a donor program and periodically during their blood donor career. Any dog intended for breeding should be tested prior to entering into a breeding relationship (both male and female) any dog with liver disease. Dogs with AIHA. Dogs exhibiting clinical signs.
How to treat?
Treatable but not necessarily curable (meaning can reduce eliminate symptoms, but may still test positive and should always be considered a permanent carrier). B. canis is easier to treat than B. gibsoni. *note* there are other treatment options available in different areas of the country and currently under development in the US
Doxycycline (DO NOT GIVE WITH DAIRY PRODUCTS)and Clindamycin are affordable,
generally well tolerated treatment option for dogs with low to moderate titers and no or little symptoms.
In the US the "big gun" treatment is Imidocarb Dipropionate A single dose is usually effective for Babesia canis but 2 injections (given 2 weeks apart) are needed for Babesia gibsoni and depending on the infection of Babesia canis may be given. Side effects can include, but are not limited to: muscle tremors, drooling, elevated heart rate, shivering, and fever, facial swelling, tearing of the eyes, and restlessness. The injection is expensive, painful, should be given deep into the muscle, given with supportive care and only by doctors experienced with it. Pre-treatment with an injection of atropine helps palliate these side effects. In dogs that are
asymptomatic, this treatment is not worth the risks and side effects.
- Tick control. Carefully remove ticks asap.
- If blood transfusion is needed confirm that blood is from a babesia negative dog. (as well as other tick bourne diseases).
- Avoid dog to dog bites, fights.
- Avoid situations that involve contaminated needles/surgicalinstruments
Other things to consider:
- First evident within rbcs on blood smears in approximately 1 to 3 weeks post initial infection.
- Although clinical disease may resolve, infections often become chronic. Even after appropriate therapy, infection can persist forthe life of the dog.
- Babesia canis and B. gibsoni are not known to infect people.
- People can become infected with other Babesia species, dogs are not involved in the transmission.
- A babesia vaccine exists, although it is not currently available in the US.
Educate yourself and talk to your veterinarian!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
In an unbelievable move today, the Ohio Supreme court rendered their decision in the Tellings v. Toledo case. Their decision has dog owners across the USA stunned in disbelief as they decided against Tellings and supported Toledo.
Back in April when the case was presented to the Justices I, like hundreds of you, sat and listened to testimony. While Tellings' attorney was lacking in knowledge regarding the dogs, Justice O'Conner seemed to not only understand arguments but greatly assisted our side in presenting arguments against another Justice. After all was said and done, I spoke with some fellow very well respected BSL fighters and we all felt good about the case and its outcome.
Then, some 3 months later, we were shot down. Shocking given the evidence and prior court cases. Heck, they had ruled in 2 other cases non-pit bull specific that laws based on breed were unconstitutional. So why the change? All of the scientific evidence supports our position, all of the national canine organizations support our position, and there are several cases that support our position. What is wrong with the Ohio Supreme court?
As for Justice Maureen O'Connor, she concurred in judgment only, and entered a separate opinion expressing her "disapproval" of the provision of state law classifying all pit bulls as "vicious dogs." She wrote that data cited by the trial court regarding pit bull attacks did not reflect inherent violent characteristics of the breed but rather arose from deliberate efforts by some owners, including drug dealers, to increase a dog's aggression and lethalness through abuse or aberrant training."
What is that? If you stand against something, don't believe it to be right why would you vote for it? Very disappointing.
~ The Woof Report
If you would like to read the written decision, you can by clicking here.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Thank you Mayor Ernest Davis! Thank you for taking a stand against dogfighting, and for letting Floyd serve as your spokesdog during your news conference.
Wounded pit bull shown as Mount Vernon mayor condemns dog fighting
THE JOURNAL NEWS
MOUNT VERNON -Floyd, a gentle older pit bull who is blind in one eye, sat next to Mayor Ernest Davis at City Hall yesterday as the star of his own news conference.
The dog was found Tuesday critically injured and abandoned in the middle of a Mount Vernon street. And though he couldn't speak for himself, his supporters said it all for him.
"If you are that inhumane to a dog, you will be that inhumane to a child, a person, an adult," said Paula Young, director of the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter. "It's like taking your grandmother and throwing her out in the middle of a war."
Davis, who is running for re-election this year, described Floyd as a victim of "the horrible culture of dog fighting," which he warned is spreading thanks to celebrities such as Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback recently indicted on federal dog-fighting charges. Vick pleaded not guilty.
The mayor is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who caused Floyd's vicious wounds. Tips can be called in to 914-941-7797.
Heidi Steinman and Carlos Vernia found the dog on a side street off Columbus Avenue. Steinman said she saw the dog about 5:30 p.m., lying with a cup of water next to him. Vernia, who owns a business near where Floyd was found, also is offering a reward for leads in the case.
Sean Dabise of the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter carefully held the dog throughout the news conference. Dabise was the first official to respond to the scene. He said Floyd was paralyzed when he first got to the dog. After he rolled the dog up in a blanket, he said, Floyd "gave him a little look" that told him the animal had the will to live.
Floyd's namesake is heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson, but the dog did not receive his wounds from fighting, officials said. The dog was what Ken Ross, chief of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' humane law enforcement division, calls a "big dog," one used as bait to train the "money dogs" to fight.
Young said this is not her first encounter with a dog injured in this way. Five to six injured dogs come in a month, she said, some with red or silver tape on their tails identifying them as targets in the training of other fighting dogs.
Ross said the SPCA has found "discarded bodies, chewed-up bodies" on the street. Organized fights, or "scratch matches," can offer bets of $5,000 to $15,000, discounting side bets, he said. "Pickup fights" -unorganized matches - are on the rise on the street, he said.
Davis said that kittens recently were stolen from an animal shelter and that the thieves might intend to use them in place of dogs as bait.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Many of us remember the story of the dog Gypsy, an abandoned pit bull in North Carolina, found by a good samaritan in horrible shape. Her story traveled around the Internet a few years back. She captured the hearts of many. Veterinary medical professionals took her case and perform reconstructive surgery on her jaw. Tri-County Animal Rescue
Just tooling through the Internet, I happened upon and update on dear, sweet Gypsy. Though this page is a little old (2006), Gypsy's story serves as a reminder that even pit bulls that have been horribly abused and likely fought, can become good pets and loving companions!
Thanks to Tri-County Animal Rescue and Gypsy for reminding us of the good things in life...
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The old South Los Angeles Annex Shelter location will only house pit bulls, freeing up kennel space at the new facility for other, non-pit bull impounds. The pit bulls may receive training and rehabilition. Just as the dogs are maligned for their look or breed, so, too, are their handlers which are State of California Department of Corrections parolees. Handlers learn general dog care and training skills.
The Pit Bull Training Academy will have a Grand Opening event on August 4, 2007 from 10AM-5PM at the South Los Angeles Annex Shelter located at 3320 W. 36th St, Los Angeles, CA. For additional information and to RSVP, call 661-268-0555 or email Training@vrcpitbull.com