Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Pit Bull Rescuer's Code of Ethics

You didn't know pit bull rescuers had heard of ethics? Me Either!



The PBRCE is the credo of the "Pit Bull Rescue Alliance." Unfortunately I don't find much about this group, because the website no longer exists. It seems the whole ethics thing hasn't gotten much traction in the pit bull rescue community. There WAS a copy of the Code of Ethics at New Hope Pit Bull Rescue's website. New Hope is in South Carolina, and though the Code of Ethics tacitly acknowledges that temperament is inherited and early environment is important, they adopt out fighting dogs almost exclusively. The Code of Ethics seems to be their baby, but has several authors including Donna Reynolds of BAD RAP and Mary Harwelik of The REAL Pit Bull, Inc. This was back along time ago, when Donna and Mary were still friends in March, 2009.
I actually found a couple versions of the PBRCE. And one is a "work in progress" version with explanatory notes in which I read with breathless wonder - the admission that it's NOT just how you raise them!

"Many people still live under the guise (sic) that puppies are the way to go because "it is ALL in how you raise them!" Hmm...well not totally. Seasoned rescuers and breed fanciers have seen time and again dogs that were socialized extensively with other animals from a pup, only for that pup to mature into a dog who can no longer tolerate other animals, even those they have grown up with. What this means for groups who rescue many more puppies than adults is this, a higher likelihood of returns between the ages of 18 and 36 months."

The authors are nutters after all, so they don't bother to acknowledge that pit bulls that were carefully trained and raised in loving family homes also can berserk and attack neighborhood children.
Another item discusses an issue I was not aware rescue angels were concerned about - they consider pit bull mixes more dangerous that pits. The authors note that adding a guard dog type dog's inherited wariness of strangers to the genes of a proactive killer is REALLY BAD! It seems that mixing pit bulls with other dogs doesn't dilute the killer genes, it just gives the resulting dog more reasons to use them.

C. Rescuing pit bulls mixed with guarding breeds is strongly discouraged. Extra caution and care should be taken when selecting and placing those dogs that are mixed with guard dog breeds including but not limited to Neapolitan Mastiffs, Dogue de Bourdeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and others. Since the temperament of the pit bull is very different than the temperament of breeds in the guardian category, such mixes can create unique handling and placement challenges, and should be considered candidates for experienced homes only.

Consider that molosserdogs.com asserts "(t)he present-day Cane Corso exists in decent numbers, but because of reckless breeding and crosses with some bull-breeds, it is getting difficult to find a true representative of the breed."

The Pit Bull Rescuer's Code of Ethics is less that two years old, but it is already archaic. The pit bull propaganda machine has totally given up the "pit bulls are different" thing and the ethics thing, too, for that matter. Between March 2009 and June 2009, Donna decided that truth and ethics were passe. (You'll notice that the BAD RAP ethics page is a page first intended to be copied as a handout, but then later removed) She suddenly decided that pit bulls were no more dog aggressive than any other breed of dog. Well, that's funny because true dog aggression, ie aggression towards another dog simply because it is a dog, is a trait unique to pit bulls. That's their genetic heritage.

Anyhow, Donna reveals her sudden new "belief" here in her blog. The post is very weird. Somehow, people are able to socialize all other kinds of dogs better than they can pit bulls and that is the why pit bulls kill dogs - not genetics. By her convoluted logic, if puppy millers pump out thousands of non-pit bull dogs that don't rip through cages and kill each other, it is because they're so good at socializing them.

When Donna came out with her new "belief," she really freaked a lot of nutters out! You can read on pit bull forum where the nutters react with confusion and anger, wondering how pit bulls are going to do in the hands of oblivious adopter who trot them home in the belief that they're just like labs.

Harwelik retorts,
so now its the dogs are not dog aggressive genetically? which is it? is the pit bull breed dog aggressive by genetics or are we humans to blame?? i find it hard to blame humans all the time, yes sometimes they are to blame for allowing a dog to have no rules.. however, genetics is genetics and you can only manage genetics."
Wow, more truth.

Sadly, truth, rationality, and ethics, have been replaced by positioning, tactics and politics. The Animal Farm Foundation adopted the motto "Different is Deadly" to convey their new strategy to avoid BSL. Here is what can be found on the AFF facebook page:
When it comes to the dogs we all love and strive to care for, DIFFERENT IS DEADLY. We cannot have it both ways. If advocates support mandatory spay/neuter laws against dogs visually identified as pit bulls, it makes the dogs different from other kinds of dogs. If pit bulls really are different from other dogs, we should expect them to be legislated against differently. We cannot have it both ways.
Notice the careful statement "visually identified as pit bulls." They technically and politically don't acknowlege that pit bulls exist all the while advocating for them! Rather than respecting pit bulls and advocating strong stewardship of pit bull, they lie and maneuver and gleefully advocate putting fighting pits in people's homes. Ethics are so very passé in 2010.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pit bull promoters are their own worst enemies. Telling people that pit bulls are no more dog aggressive than other breeds is going to cause more incidents which will lead to more proposed regulations on the breed. It's also unbelievably stupid and shows an appalling lack of concern for the safety of other dogs and people. Anyone adopting a pit bull needs to know that they were bred to kill other dogs and must NEVER be allowed to roam, go to dog parks, or anywhere else where there are other pets.

I also noticed (from following links) that the "Vick Dog" blog has neglected to mention that one of the Vick dogs decapitated another dog. I guess they don't want people to think that fighting dogs don't make ideal pets. That would damage the income flow for the pit bull profiteers (breeders, dog fighters, and the like).

I further noticed on that link posted to the discussion board that Donna claims that dog aggression is "normal" in other dogs.

Well, yeah, some dogs get nervous in a shelter environment and may be a little edgy. But when a dog ends up decapitated or ripped apart by another, it's usually a pit bull that did it. "Normal" dogs get into little spats that are quickly resolved. Pit bulls are more likely to get into fatal fights, and the dog killed is usually not a pit bull. Hence, the pit bull fanatics don't care.

cravendesires said...

snack sized dog, this was an excellent find. my guess is donna's epiphany came in the form of a AFF check. the donations have been steadily increasing over the years. in 2008, jane gave her donna puppet >$30K.

anonymous, the badrap blog and the pit bull forums are eerily silent on this best friends scuffle. i think they are just pretending it never happened, in the same way they pretend pit bulls are just dogs.

Anonymous said...

There is a breeder in our local kennel club (a friend of a friend) that raised and sold the top Keeshon's in the country. Much to her shock, she returned home to find that the few dogs kenneled together had teamed up on one of the dogs, killed him, and ate him. All she could find of him was a few tufts of fur. Dogs are predators and it is not uncommon for them to tear each other apart. Breed has nothing to do with it.

Garnet said...

Whatever. I've worked with all sorts of dogs for years and have yet to see any dogs actually rip each other to shreds. If someone has dogs that exhibit such behavior they're doing something horribly wrong and need to discontinue their breeding program. There's no need to breed dogs so aggressive that they kill each other like that. That is NOT normal dog behavior. Breeding for the show ring does not automatically mean that one has the best tempered dogs.

And, as we all know, "friend of a friend" stories are always 100% accurate.

Why do people find it so hard to believe that dogs bred to fight other dogs might be more likely to exhibit serious aggression to other dogs? I realize that not all pit bulls do that, and that there are abnormally aggressive dogs in other breeds. However, I'm talking about general trends here. Just as border collies are more likely to become useful sheep herders, greyhounds are the fastest race dogs over short distances, and Alaskan huskies are the best dogs to compete in the Iditarod with, pit bulls are the best fighting dogs. That's what they were bred to do. Just as energy of a border collie or Alaskan husky makes them difficult pets for most people (unless they need a running companion or something), the aggression of pit bulls makes them more difficult to manage properly.

cravendesires said...

i don't disbelieve the keeshond story. it is not unrealistic to think that a bunch of intact dogs of ANY BREED would react like this near a bitch in heat. we are talking about breeders and an awful lot of them are idiots.

cravendesires said...

as much as we all want to believe that dogs are just wolves, they AREN'T!

Anonymous said...

And I can name one hundred people...family, friends, neighbors...who live or have lived in multiple dog households, for decades, and never had a drop of blood spilled between two pack mates. Thats not to say that "disagreements" didn't happen...a curled lip or a growl over a favorite toy, a warning air snap from an older dog when the puppy's play got too rough....those are normal dog conflicts. But for anyone to think its normal behavior for dogs to inflict mortal injury, or even kill, another dog they live with is just crazy. Dogs behaving in such a way are the result of horrible breeding practices, or horribly inhumane care. The fact that the above poster accepts that type of behavior as just "normal dog behavior" is a testament to how low the bar has been set for dog breeders in this country.

Its just shameful.

cravendesires said...

im not sure if you are referring to me or garnet as "the above poster" but i will respond as if it was me.

breeders breed for LOOKS. they might claim they are concerned about health and temperament but i think those are the minority. if they are tweaking genetics and inbreeding, any problem will become exaggerated, that includes aggression. purebred dogs are a far cry from the wolf. dogs living in feral colonies are reverting to a more natural wolf like state and probably rarely engage in this level aggression. i don't know much about keeshonds so i quick google search and found they have chow in them. another breed i would NEVER consider owning or going near.

snack sized dog said...

In addition to all the other correct rebuttals to the Keeshond story, I'd like to add that this is one incident. And the story teller expects that one incident to be a sufficient response to the many pit nutters on that discussion board all agreeing and affirming with their combined years of experience with pit bulls that they are ARE genetically bred for aggression and that they ARE different than labs. And to say otherwise IS dangerous both for people, pets and the pit bull.

This is yet another form of the PETEY WAS A PIT BULL argument. ENOUGH!

And thank you to craven for the pit bull forum link!

Anonymous said...

Craven I was addressing the Keeshund story. The old, "Oh, I know of another purebred dog that killed another dog, so that means pit bulls are just like every other dog." That's just bullshit....its the unethical idiots breeding them, creating dogs that are not normal. And that includes the conformation breeders winning titles.

That Keeshund breeder should have her dogs s/n, and end that bloodline, because her dogs have a fundamental, major flaw in their temperaments.

Tala Sin Jackal said...

As a volunteer at my local Humane Society I have seen thousands of dogs interact with each other over the years, many of them pit bulls. Oddly enough I have had little to no problems with the pit bulls that are housed with other dogs. I have had one problem with a stray pit bull that had probably been on the street its entire life.
The most aggressive dogs in the shelter are the small dogs, they fight over everything and they have been very aggressive towards me. The breed I have had the most problems with have been the chihuahuas. And also, pit bulls were not originally bred to fight. They were bred for a different purpose though still in the ring. There was a sport where dogs were to kill a different type of animal in the ring, usually a rat or other larger rodent and they were timed to see how many they could kill in a certain span or how many they could kill in general. They have also been bred for military purposes. Only more recently, in the past 60 or so years were they bred to fight each other. Dog fighting is not just limited to pit bulls, people will use any capable dog off the street if they have to, and they will use other dogs as bait. I have owned pit bulls without problems, where as I have seen other dogs destroy other animals out of boredom. Cats are aggressive as well, does anyone complain about them? I've been attacked by cats multiple times and neverf once been bitten by a dog. Then take into account that Pitbulls were also bred to watch children at one point, and were often used as their companions, at one time they were also the national dog. Pitbulls were very well loves a hundred years ago, and some are still being used on the police forces and in the military today. They are also good guard dogs and are very loyal to their owners which is why most drug dealers choose them, they are territorial and bond to very few people in their lives. These dogs are not as bad as people think. Fighting dogs can be rehomed as long as there are no other animals, they are raised to be human friendly and are actually easy to handle by humans, as long as no other animals are involved. Should a former fighting dog be taken to a public park? No, but a dog from a breeder certainly could be as long as all precautions are taken, leash and make sure the dog is well behaved. Precautions should be taken with ANY dog not JUST pit bulls. I say blame the owners, not the dog. Yes it is found that there are some genetic traits but some humans have genetic traits that make them serial killers, we don't condemn the human race because quite a few people decide they are going to hurt another human, so why condemn someone who doesn't even have the voice to defend themselves?

dawn james said...

you are a liar and an idiot.

first of all, a 16 year old lacks the number of years on this earth to acquire the "experience with thousands of dogs" as a volunteer at their local shelter that she speak of. YOU ARE A LIAR.

second, if you truly belief that pit dogs were only bred for fighting in the last 60 years, YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

take one of the little rascal's pit dog, PETEY. he was born in 1929. here is his pedigree. you can trace it back to his great grandfather, a 12 x pit winner.

the internet is ripe for the taking if you have the courage to get yourself a REAL pit education JODI. and i suggest that you do just that before you embarrass yourself further.

Anonymous said...

I've had pits and Rottweilers all my life and never had problems with aggression. I've even rescued aggressive ones only to find out through proper training and rehabilitation they were really sweet babies.

Anonymous said...

I also find it funny ppl think these dogs are man eating killers but really Chihuahuas are the worse out all of them and Chihuahuas get away with it because they're little!! They can still do as much damage as a larger dog!!

dawn james said...

"They can still do as much damage as a larger dog!! "

oh really. then why is it that18 people were NOT killed by chihuahuas this year?

Anonymous said...

Dawn James you are a nasty ignoramus. You obviously think you know all and all others know nothing. How can one person know so much more than all others? Every dog has the potential to turn on a human because they are dogs. Just as we know what the boundaries are of the human's with whom we live, so do our dogs have their boundaries and we need to respect their boundaries to get along with them.

dawn james said...

it's all relative! it only looks like i know everything because you know nothing, including the author of this particular blog post. but thanks for trying, your effort is noted.


just once can one of you fucking morons come here with REAL evidence to prove your point instead of just shooting off your stupid mouth? if you are hiding 18 chihuahua corpses and that holiest of grails, proof that they just started fighting pits in the last 60 years, PLEASE share it with the rest of us! i'll read it, i promise.

Anonymous said...

The picture of the arm is so obviously fake! If you look at the hand, you'll see it is PLASTIC. If you look at the makeup, you'll see that it is special effects makeup. I'm not saying that pit bulls can't go insane and randomly attack children, I am saying that this sight is UNRELIABLE as a source of information, and that this whole thing is BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

All of you, stop it. Neither side is getting anywhere by insulting each other. How about you have an actual discussion with actual information. Like this information: Dog fighting has gone on practically since dogs were selectively bred by humans, however pit bulls as we know them today were not a breed of choice until about 150 years ago. Pit bulls were actually bred to be war dogs, fighting loyally beside there masters to the point of their own death. They are working dogs, you tell them to tear an arm off, they will tear an arm off, if you tell them to be nice, they will be nice. Now, there are always going to be dogs who are well trained that do just go crazy, but the majority ARE provoked. A study even showed that many "pit bull" attacks are not pit bulls, but actually mixed breeds. The National Canine Research Council even found a pit bull bias in the media.

cowardly and foul-mouthed 'Dawn James' said...

of course the photo is a fake, NOT! click here for more photos and click here for the original source from a medical website, you idiot.

keep lying to yourself nutter.