Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pit bull Uno gives blood to help other dogs

This pit is a lifesaver.

Rachel Redd from Hobbs Animal Clinic poses with Uno, a

7-year-old pit bull who donates blood to help save the
lives of dogs.



Most of the time pit bulls make news for maulings and killings, but 7-year-old Uno isn’t a life-taker. He’s a life saver.

Uno donates his blood to save the lives of other pets in need of blood transfusions. Not unlike humans, dogs have different blood types and like the O-negative blood- type in humans, Uno has a universal blood type that can be used with all other dogs.

Dogs have antigens in their blood that can reach negatively in other dogs. Dogs like Uno have antigens that are less likely to cause a reaction, making them, for lack of a better term, universal donors.

“He has given to a Yorkie, a Border Collie mix and a German shepherd,” said Uno’s owner, Amanda Green of Hobbs. “I think its is kind of funny that these tiny dogs are getting blood from a Pit bull.”

Uno is no light-weight. At 80 pounds his friendly greeting when meeting someone new is enough to knock a person down, but Uno is a gentle giant. He isn’t just a blood donor, he is a certified therapy dog that vis- its the sick and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

The blood donor aspect of Uno’s life came while Green was working at Hobbs Animal Clinic and a patient dog was in need of a blood transfusion. Veterinarian Don Newman tested Uno and discovered he was a universal donor.

“It is nice to know too that your dog is giving back to the community,” Green said.

The process of a dog or cat donating blood is similar to a person doing it, but it can be much tougher because the animal has to be calm enough to sit still with a needle in their neck for up to 40 minutes.

Uno not only has the universal blood, but seldom requires sedation, which is not recommended by vets, when giving blood. So recently, when a local dog needed blood, Uno came to the rescue.

Veterinarian Rachel Redd at Hobbs Animal Clinic handled the procedure.

“This dog was significantly low on blood,” she said. “She is doing well as far as I know. She had a lot more energy and was eating well and didn’t appear to have any reactions to the transfusion.”

Redd had several cats as a veterinary students that donated blood and in larger cities with animal hospitals in need of blood regularly, it can pay to have your pet be a donor.

“Both my cats were blood donors and they got free food every month, free blood work and vaccines,” Redd said.

Local veterinarians don’t have the resources to offer those perks, but Redd said Hobbs Animal Clinic offers credits to pet owners who have donor dogs.

Blood transfusions can be costly, as much as $5,000 in some cases, because blood supplies are often limited in rural areas due of a lack of donors and because donated blood cannot be stored for long periods of time.

A donor dog typically needs to be a larger animal, heavier than 70 pounds, because weightier dogs can spare more blood in situations where it is needed for an anemic animal, Redd said. Pets are never asked to donate more than half a liter of blood in a two-three month period.

Dog owners looking to give back by having their pet become a donor should schedule an appointment with their veterinarian and let them know they want to have their pet’s blood tested to see if they are a viable candidate.

“They have to have a good physical exam,” Redd said. “They should be negative for heartworm and other diseases that are bacterial and bloodborn.”

The pet should also be calm and able to remain so during the process of extracting blood, Redd added.

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PBRC People's Choice Pit Bull Calendar!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Soldier's unwelcome pit bull not an uncommon story

August 30, 2010 5:00 AM

Axel the puppy is a lot of things to his owner, Spc. Joshua Brown.

The 10-week-old Labrador mix is a source of comfort and companionship, a needed boost after a draining year in Iraq, and a potential guardian for Brown’s wife when the soldier leaves on a new deployment next year.

Unfortunately for the Browns, Axel is also half pit bull, and that’s enough to make him unwanted at Grand View Apartments in Colorado Springs, where managers have told the pair to get rid of the dog or move.

“He’s part of the family now. I’d rather move,” said Spc. Brown, who has lived in the complex in the 2500 block of East Pikes Peak Avenue since 2008.

The brewing standoff over the treasured family pet may be unique in its particulars, but it’s hardly an old story in Colorado Springs, where lovers of so-called “aggressive breeds” come into frequent conflict with landlords.

Although the city has no ordinances that prohibit pit bulls or other controversial dogs, many large apartment complexes ban them, citing the safety of other residents and concerns about liability.

And soldiers appear to be in a harder spot than many dog lovers.

In 2008, Fort Carson adopted an Army-wide ban on certain dogs including pit bulls and added several more breeds in the process, making the post is more restrictive than required.

Fort Carson’s dog ban includes Rottweilers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Akita Inus, Doberman Pinschers, chows, Mastiffs and wolf hybrids, said Lynn Rivera of Balfour Beatty Communities, which manages the 3,060 houses on post. Only dogs registered before the ban took effect are permitted.

“They either have the choice to not have the pet or not move into housing, because we do not allow them,” Rivera said.

Families found in violation of the ban are generally given a week to find a new home for the pet or give notice they will leave post, she said.

Finding a suitable home off the post can be a challenge.

Laura Russmann, executive director of the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, said privately enforced dog bans became a hot topic in 2009 as 4th Infantry Division soldiers moved here in large numbers from Fort Hood, Tex.

Russmann’s advice, then and now: Forget apartment complexes and find a single-family house for rent with plenty of space between neighbors.

“Because of the liability, most large professionally run apartment complexes will not allow aggressive breeds,” Russmann said.

Pet bans are a leading factor cited by dog owners who give their animals up at the county shelter, said Stacey Candella, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

Pit bulls, with their enduring notoriety, are among the most abandoned breed, she said.

Housing the controversial dogs is enough of a challenge that the Humane Society requires a signed form from landlords before it allows anyone to adopt pit bulls, and workers perform site inspections to ensure the dogs will be properly cared for, Candella said.

Brown, 22, of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, has no interest in giving up his dog, putting him at odds with the terms of his lease at Grand View Apartments, which spells out the restrictions on aggressive breeds.

Brown said he inquired at the management office before getting the dog from an Army buddy in June and was told that it shouldn’t be a problem. A manager at Grand View disputed his version, saying that Brown had the dog for six weeks before the leasing office learned about it.

Once Brown returns from training in Pinon Canon in southeastern Colorado Springs in early September, he said intends to focus on finding new lodging, even if it means paying to terminate his lease.

Relatives worry about the prospect of Brown losing the pet.

The soldier’s mother, Janet Brown, said Axel has done more than the Army or anyone else to comfort her son after a turbulent year in Iraq that ended in the fall of 2009.

Once happy-go-lucky, she said, her son came home moody and anxious. He complained of frequent headaches and hated being around large crowds. What sleep he managed to get was interrupted by nightmares.

Talking to Army psychologists didn’t seem to help, but Axel did.

“He seemed excited for the first time since he got back from Iraq,” Janet Brown said. “Now he’s faced with losing the one thing that had made him happy again.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Barking up the right tree?

Pit bull service dog owners make progress with City Council

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SERVICE DOG? — To Glenn Belcher, an Operation Desert Storm veteran, his pit bull, Sky, absolutely is a service dog.

Operation Desert Storm veteran Glenn Belcher suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder. His 3-year-old pit bull, Sky, is his only saving grace.

But Denver animal control officials won’t let Belcher keep his pit bull because of a 20-year-old city ban on the breed. Never mind that Sky is considered a service dog, protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Animal Control Director Doug Kelley simply couldn’t approve Sky for use in the city because Sky is of a banned breed, considered by most on City Council to be vicious and a danger to the city.

Help, however, may be coming to disabled Denverites like Belcher. A City Council committee on Tuesday moved forward with a change to the city’s 20-year-old ban on the breed that would allow people with disabilities to own pit bulls that are considered service dogs.

Belcher relies on Sky. He shares his horror stories with his buddy so that he doesn’t have to burden his friends and family with the pain. When Belcher suffers from night terrors, Sky sits on his chest to keep him from panicking out of control. Sometimes Sky wakes Belcher up out of the terrors and eases his trauma with a lick to the face.

“There’s no such thing as a bad dog, but there’s such a thing as bad owners,” explains Belcher. “That’s what happened. This poor breed has just been side-railed into oblivion, and I think it’s time for the public to understand that it’s not the dogs.”

When Belcher was blocked by animal control from having his service pit bill in Denver, he took the case to the Wheat Ridge-based Animal Law Center. Attorneys planned on filing with a federal court for an injunction preventing the city from blocking pit bulls as service dogs. But in March, both Denver and Aurora – which also bans pit bulls — signed a joint stipulation stating that they wouldn’t go after any pit bulls that are considered service dogs.

Attorney Jennifer Edwards isn’t resting quite yet. She has filed a federal lawsuit challenging both Denver’s and Aurora’s pit bull bans, arguing that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits municipalities from using breed-specific legislation to ban any service dog. Three plaintiffs are named, including Belcher.

The federal law is clear in that it preempts any municipal breed-specific ban in cases where the animal has been designated as a service dog, said Edwards. City attorneys agree.

The Animal Law Center’s lawsuit also challenges Denver’s prohibition against transporting pit bulls through Denver. City Council members heard from city attorneys on Tuesday that they need to update the city’s pit bull ban to lift transport restrictions on pit bull owners who travel through Denver. A state court actually ruled in 2004 that the city had no right to prohibit transport of pit bulls through the city. But in over five years, city officials never updated its law to comply with the court’s order.

“It’s pretty offensive that this has been on the books this way for this long in complete violation of the ADA, in complete violation of our Constitutionally protected rights, and it took a lawsuit from the Animal Law Center to open their eyes,” said Edwards.

The proposed ordinance change passed out of the Health, Safety, Education and Services Committee on Tuesday and is likely to be heard by the full City Council on Sept. 13.

City Council members appeared reluctant to back the ordinance change, but felt their hands were tied by federal law. Councilwoman Carol Boigon, who has a disability herself and says she is a proponent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, said she is concerned that the ordinance change will lead to an abuse of the system and a sort of back door to legalizing pit bulls.

“I’m thinking of all of the drug houses that I have worked on over the last seven years, and a couple of them have people who have become paraplegics in bad drug deals, but were still dealing out of their house, and they had tough dogs,” said Boigon. “Was that a service dog? Well, I don’t know, but those certainly were legitimately handicapped people. I think we’re going to be in a world of hurt down the road on this.”

Animal Control Director Kelley acknowledged that the city has no separate licensing process for service dogs. In other words, anyone can walk in to claim their dog is a service dog, and animal control officers are not allowed to ask specific questions about the person’s disability because of protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

City attorneys acknowledged that the only way for animal control officers to prove that a person is legitimately using a service dog would be to follow-up with an investigation. But officials say there simply are no resources to allow for those investigations.

Councilman Doug Linkhart suggested that Kelley and his department develop a separate licensing process for service animals, as well as a test or survey to accompany the application.

But in the meantime, concern — or joy depending on which side of the fence you stand on — is being raised that the ordinance change is leading to a legalization of pit bulls in the City of Denver.

Councilwoman Carla Madison — an opponent of the city’s pit bull ban who is attempting to garner support for a bill that would allow pit bulls if they are specially licensed by the city — said it is ridiculous for the Council to be enacting piecemeal changes to the city’s pit bull ban.

“I just think that this opens kind of a Pandora’s box,” she told her colleagues. “You have to observe the dog. Who’s going to do that observation? We don’t have that many animal control officers, and they have enough to do as it is.”

“Maybe we need to re-look at our pit bull ban and see if there’s some way we can help close that gap … maybe put in place a dangerous dog act, just look at it differently,” Madison continued.

The lawsuit by the Animal Law Center isn’t the only lawsuit Denver is facing. There are at least eight individuals who have or are currently pursuing or considering lawsuits against the city.

The most prominent case is one filed in 2007 by pit bull advocate Sonya Dias. The city is spending thousands of dollars defending itself against the lawsuit.

Dias was forced to sell her home in Denver to save her pit bull Gryffindor. She hopes the continued pressure will lead to a repeal of the ban.

“Any sort of societal change takes time, and thank God we’re moving toward more wiser laws and maybe a little compassion thrown in there as well,” said Dias. “I think it’s going to change, no matter what. What we’re doing, and what the ADA-oriented lawsuit has done is just pushing that to make it happen a little faster.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PBRC People's Choice Pit Bull Calendar

Please VOTE!

There's just under one week left to get your votes in for PBRC People's Choice Pit Bull Calendar! We need help getting 13 of the BEST photos!

Which lovely model will you have take first place? Will it be Pauline, or perhaps Paris? Maybe one of the underdogs will win? You decide!

Remember, the 13 most popular photos will be shared in this special edition calendar with the top rated photo gracing the cover. Your entry fee and the public votes that follow ($1 each vote) will help PBRC continue to help more dogs find loving, responsible homes via our dog listings and application screening services. It will also help us continue to assist with spay and neuter surgeries and life-saving medical treatments. This calendar is for the people and pit bulls by the people.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Poppy Mart is One Month Away!

It's that time of year again… PBRC's online auction is coming soon.

Starting September 13th, we'll be listing hundreds of
amazing items to raise money for Pit Bull Rescue Central (PBRC). You'll find toys, treats and accessories for your dog; toys, treats, and accessories for you; original artwork and custom products; and more. Thanks to the generosity of many vendors, volunteers, and friends, there's something for everyone, so get your ebay account ready!

All proceeds from Poppy Mart benefit Pit Bull Rescue Central's important work, including financial aid to help rescuers and owners with medical procedures they could not otherwise afford; spay/neuter assistance; dog listings and adoption application pre-screening for dogs in need of good homes; and educational resources for all ages. PBRC is staffed entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote responsible pit bull ownership and restore the positive image of pit bulls.

Register now so you're ready to bid early and often. All bidders need to register with ebay, so if you don’t already have an account, www.ebay.com. You will be sent a link directly to our store once the auction begins.

If you have any questions, please contact us at fundraising@pitbullinfo.net

The Poppy Mart Team

P.S. PBRC is a non-profit organization that relies on donors and supporters to continue our work. If you can’t wait four weeks to support us, you can shop for pit bull gear or make a donation at PBRC.

We need your help to vote in the best pictures for our Special Edition People’s Choice Pit Bull Calendar ending August 31st. For a minimal $5.00 donation you can help the dogs and help us have a great calendar!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PitBullShirt.com and PBRC!

Great summer shirts! Buy a shirt from www.PitBullShirt.com in August, and PBRC will get 10% of all the proceeds! Thanks for your support!

Take a look at their great products. It's not too early for your holiday shopping!

  • My Heart Belongs to a Pit Bull
  • Rock and Roll Pit Bull Saloon
  • Hug a Pit Bull
  • Pit Bull Motorcycle Club
  • And much more!
Click here:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dearborn, MI ~ Bully Splash Bash

Bully Splash Bash
Currey's Family Pet Care

6261 Hannan Road
August 15
Time: 11:00 to 4:00

Cost: FREE

Dogs invited? YES; all breeds

A fun-filled day to celebrate our Bully Breed friends & their families.

Enter fun competitions-win prizes!
  • Dock Diving Competion (newbies only)
  • Weight Pull Competion (newbies only)
  • Doggie Scavenger Hunt
  • Canine Good Citizen Testing
  • Games, Contests, Prizes, and much more!
Low Cost
  • Microchipping
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm Testing
Provided by Unleashed Mobile Veterinary Services

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tale of Amos the 'pit bull' comes to happy end
Gabe Paal plays with Amos, who in April became the first adult 'pit bull' transferred from the Lucas County Dog Warden's office to the humane society. Previously, all 'pit bulls' were euthanized.

COLUMBUS - For a young, gentle, and playful dog named Amos, life has been a roller-coaster ride on the extremes of good luck and bad.
The bad luck started early. Born an American Staffordshire terrier, Amos belongs to one of three core dog breeds that fall under the generic descriptive term "pit bull."
And not only was he from Ohio, the only state that by law deems "pit bulls" inherently vicious, but he was in Lucas County, where for decades the dog warden believed in killing all unclaimed "pit bulls" and "pit bull" mixes regardless of behavior or age - from the youngest puppies to the most docile adults.
So the odds weren't in his favor April 12, when he was picked up running loose and taken to the county pound.
But Amos was due for his first stroke of good luck. The county had recently hired new Dog Warden Julie Lyle, who believed that well-behaved "pit bulls" like Amos deserve the same chance at life as any other dog.

Amos, left, is chased by his running mates, Daphne and Maverick in Etna Township, which is near Columbus. Their owner, Gabe Paal, has an enclosed, 2.5-acre yard in which the dogs can play.

After much controversy, he became the first adult "pit bull" at the pound to be freed from death row and transferred to the Toledo Area Humane Society. The day before the transfer, the humane society announced its own new decision to begin adopting out its best-behaved "pit bulls" to the public.

By the final week of April, Amos was on his way to the Columbus-based rescue group Pet Promise. From there he was sent to a day care and boarding facility in the city, the Canine Social Club, where he learned to socialize with other dogs.

On July 3, he arrived at his "forever home."
He now lives in rural Licking County outside of Columbus with Gabe Paal, 62, and two other dogs: a 5-year-old male "pit bull" and Jack Russell terrier mix, and a 5-month-old female Olde English Mastiff.
Mr. Paal has a multilevel house with 2.5 acres of enclosed yard for the dogs, whom he jokingly refers to as surrogates for his three now-grown children. Their Etna Township property is bounded by another 40 acres of open field that the neighbors allow the pooches to play in.
According to the Paal family, Amos has lived up to his reputation for good behavior. He loves people and being petted. He never bites. He gets along well with his "brother" and "sister" dogs. He obeys basic commands. And he'll gladly stay in his mattress-lined crate when Mr. Paal goes in to work as a medical technologist.
Asked to recall Amos' worst transgression, Mr. Paal said that during his first week he twice had an accident in the house in front of the doggy door before learning how to use it.
Still, there is something about Amos, who has a light brindle coat, that those who first meet him should know. If given his way, he'll crawl up into a visitor's lap and smoother his company with sloppy wet kisses.
"The only thing that Amos is aggressive about is sharing his love," daughter Jennifer Paal, 25, said Sunday as he lay at her feet in the backyard after playing fetch. "I do know there are some bad 'pit bulls,' but if you have a pit bull and you raise him the right way, he will be like this."
Mr. Paal learned of Amos through his younger daughter, Kelsey Paal. An employee at Canine Social Club, Miss Paal met the dog the day he arrived from Toledo. Amos quickly became a favorite at Pet Promise and the social club for his outgoing demeanor and the story of how he narrowly escaped lethal injection in Lucas County.
"It is really hard to think that he was a day away from death," Miss Paal said.
Kelly McCafferty, dog program coordinator at Pet Promise, said her group read in The Blade that Amos could be euthanized within a day, and immediately contacted the office of Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop.
Several hours later, after multiple rounds of phone calls, Ms. McCafferty heard that Amos would instead be spared.
"There were lots of tears shed," she recalled.
Since Amos left the county pound, 15 other adult "pit bulls" have been transferred out to the humane society, according to the dog warden's office. There have also been 44 "pit-bull" puppies transferred out in 2010.
Like Amos, these "pit bulls" scored the highest marks on the department's temperament test. Dozens of other impounded "pit bull" type dogs who didn't score as well have been euthanized this year.
John Dinon, executive director of the humane society, said that of the "pit bulls" his organization has received from the dog warden, three were adopted, three were transferred to rescue groups, one went to a foster home, and one was euthanized due to "severe dog-to-dog aggression."
The humane society reclassified the other "pit bulls" it got from the dog warden as not really being "pit bulls," and put them up for general adoption, Mr. Dinon said. "Boxer mix" was the typical reclassification.
"It's the big boxy heads that are sort of in that gray area - boxer or pit bull," Mr. Dinon said. "There is really no exact science as to what's a pit bull … it's really a matter of opinion in some cases."
Mr. Paal conceded that he was initially hesitant to take in Maverick, the "pit bull" mix that is now Amos' sibling, because of the stereotype that all "pit bulls" are vicious. But his eldest daughter, Jennifer, who got him as a puppy while a student at Bowling Green State University, convinced him that Maverick was a good dog.
"Dad was pretty nervous when I told him he was a 'pit bull' mix, but obviously now they're in love," Miss Paal said.
Though won over to pit bulls' charms by Maverick, Mr. Paal was still nervous about the prospect of bringing home Amos. Would it be safe to have two "pit bull" type dogs under the same roof?
"I admit I had a lot of reservations," Mr. Paal said. "But Maverick and Amos are best friends. They run and wrestle together. They play with the same sticks. They sleep almost nose to nose."
Kelsey Paal, who works with dogs every day, said the friendship of the two pit bulls "is definitely one of the strongest dog bonds I have ever witnessed."