Saturday, August 4, 2012

While your pit bull gently weeps: Leah Purcell, dog-aggression, rescue and abuse

Spindletop Refuge, the nation's largest and one of the oldest pit bull rescues in the nation was raided on July 17, 2012 in response to allegations that 38 dogs had suffocated to death when a building housing them lost power in sweltering heat. Two nanoseconds after the story was published on the internet, roughly 36,000 rescue angels simultaneously typed, "Oh the poor precious babies!" And ten minutes after that the first Facebook community victim page was created with a name that, with infallible nutter predictability, placed the blame in the wrong place. The facebook group page is called Victims of Spindletop Raid.

The raid, of course, did not victimize but saved the pit bulls and lesser dogs from their miserable living conditions. It was Leah Purcell, owner of Spindletop Refuge in Willis, TX, all of pit bull advocacy, all of no kill advocacy and all their collective blind eyes that victimized over 300 dogs, most of them pit bulls.

Montgomery and Harris county law enforcement and the HSUS removed all of the surviving dogs to safety at an undisclosed location (which the Victims of Spindletop Raid facebook page has repeatedly disclosed).

They reportedly found 298 animals, most of which had been kept in cruel conditions. Purcell had a small number of actual dog kennels, but most dogs were warehoused in stacked crates fouled with urine and feces inside sheds. After announcing the raid and announcing that the Mongomery county Constable Tim Holifield was the point man, supported by multiple county agents, the HSUS and Animal Farm Foundation, people immediately began clamoring for their dogs back. The situation will probably sound unfamiliar to owners and rescuers of normal dogs. The persistent question has been, if these dogs have owners, why were they at Spindletop?

Though none of this is explained on her website, by reading the comments one can discover the procedure for getting a dog into Spindletop. Instead of relinquishing ownership of dogs to Spindletop refuge, owners and rescues paid $750 or more per dog for 3 months board, retaining ownership. This included medical care and "rechipping" the dog. In that time, Purcell was supposed to be rehabilitating and training the dogs which often came to her with aggressive behavior problems because of her "stellar reputation" as a rescuer, magical rehabilitator and trainer. After three months, one could choose to retrieve the dog, relinquish ownership so Purcell could adopt it out (board-to-rescue plan), or continue to pay board and retain ownership of the dog.

Many if not most of her dogs were sent to her by a shelter or rescue that raised the $750 fee in order to sent an unadoptable, often dog aggressive dog to Purcell. I've seen two people active on the facebook page that were actually boarding their own dogs at Spindletop, and one person who paid to have her own dog trained for three months.

This odd, and paperless, arrangement (Purcell didn't keep any kind of records, evidently) left Montgomery county with a huge mess. With dozens of owners and rescues clamoring for their dogs back, Montgomery county asked people to provide proof of ownership and photos to ID the dog, so that at Purcell's hearing people could begin to get "their" dogs back.

Before one single dog had been returned, owner/rescuer/fosters were already issuing pleas to others on the Victims of Spindletop Raid page to help find a home for "their" dog; "I can't keep it because I have other dogs," they cried. Many people mention that they left a foster dog or a rescue dog with Leah because the dog was dog-aggressive and they either could not keep it or, as a rescue, could not find a someone to adopt it.
The righteously defiant "rescuers" who dumped dogs at Spindletop and then wanted them back
Here is Justice when he was rescued the first time in 2010:
A saintly, pit lovin', no kill believin' foster fur mommy nursed Justice back to health and he looked like this:
But since Justice, once nursed back to health, turned out to be dog aggressive, he found no takers and ended up at Spindletop. Justice looked like this in a photo of him at Spindletop:
That cage is his home and that liquid on the newspaper is a copious amount of drool. The caretaker Purcell hired to tend the dogs, not noticing or caring that the dog was in great distress, put this photo on his facebook page with the caption: "LOL at Justice the drooling pit bull."

And that foster fur mommy, who had passed the buck on Justice, desperately wanted the poor precious dog-aggressive baby Justice back.

Everyone on the Victims of Spindletop Raid facebook page was tormented with guilt and found the wait to see if the dog they'd passed off on Purcell was still alive "excruciating." They loved their perfect sweetheart lovebugs, but they couldn't keep or adopt them out because they attack other dogs:
Marisa, who started the Victims of Spindletop Raid page, has a dog named Bella that she sent there after it put her other dog in a veterinary hospital.


Never fear, Bella is back at home.

There are sobs of grief and remorse as these rescue angels, who couldn't keep a dog-aggressive dog themselves, or find a home that wanted a dog aggressive dog, smack headlong into reality: there is no magic land where dog-aggressive dogs can live out their natural lives in peace and tranquility.

Nevertheless, rescuing dog-aggressive dogs is Purcell's specialty. In fact, Purcell can be said to have lain the groundwork for adopting fight bust dogs into child and pet filled homes and communities all over the country. She garnered a good deal of attention when she adopted a fight bust dog named Big Boy that had just killed a puppy when the police burst in. Back in 1999 animal controls and shelters all felt that it was safer for the community to put down pit bulls in general and fight bust dogs in particular. Thanks to pioneers like Purcell, the Pittsburgh assistant "doggy DA" Deb Jugan, who hoped to prove fighting dogs can be rehabilitated, and reporter Linda Wilson Fuoco, who kept giving Purcell publicity and plugs, adopting out a dog that wanted to kill other dogs began to seem normal. By the time Michael Vick was busted for dogfighting in 2007, rescuers were primed to convince the public that fight bust dogs could make dandy pets. And today, because of Purcell and friends' efforts, we and our pets all stand a much better chance of having a fighting dog move in next door to us.

Purcell has been pumping dog-aggressive dogs into the Houston area since 1985. No doubt Purcell's efforts combined with a vibrant and dynamic Houston area dogfighting community have contributed greatly to a large and diverse and exponentially growing group of pit bull victims in the Houston area as well.

Purcell's specialty, "rehabilitating" dog-aggressive dogs, made her a superstar in the pit rescue community. However, this episode shines a light on the fact that it is impossible to provide a "sanctuary" to house aggressive dogs for the majority of their natural lives....ten years plus. It is not financially feasible, and not practical. You have finite constraints with space and supplies, and to do it humanely costs a fortune. These are not livestock you can turn out to graze all day in a pasture, dogs need attention, excersize, and human interaction every day. Because there is a glut of unwanted pit bulls that have no homes, and the pit bull community won't accept restrictions on breeders, they have to convince themselves another solution exists.....the proverbial "farm in the country" fantasy. These dogs can't be housed or exercised communally, so its a nightmare...they are just warehoused in cages. Its cruel and inhumane, but pit advocates don't want to know or don't care. While they rail against the evil Leah Purcell, they refuse to admit that this practice of do-gooders to remove a seriously ill and weak pit bull from a kill shelter, nurse it back to full vigor, discover the pit is aggressive and shunt it off to a "sanctuary" cannot work.

Here is a glimpse into the fate of another pit bull named Texas who was improperly transfered out of a kill shelter to a rescue to save him from being euthanized which promptly turned around and sent him off to Spindletop. Now he is back at the kill shelter because AFF and HSUS, inundated with unadoptable third and fourth hand pit bulls, wants every dog with a known owner to haul them off. Acrimony and recrimination bounce around like superballs in the facebook pages.

To put all this time and money spent on unadoptable pit bulls in perspective, think about the accepted estimate of one million pit bulls killed each year. That's 2,739 pit bulls killed every day. 114 killed every hour. Two pit bull are killed every single minute of every single day in the US. And many of those dogs are healthy and not known to be aggressive. From the first time Justice was rescued in March 2010 until the time that he was re-re-re-rescued in July 2012, about 2,246,575 pit bulls had been euthanized. The rescue angel has vowed to build cage for him, so that she can keep him herself.
I will have to fundraise to build him a play yard (fencing) on my acreage because he does not do well with many dogs.
The story only gets better. Leah Purcell's first interest in pit bulls was in the show ring as a breeder of American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers. Some of her dogs were dual registered as both ASTs and APBTs. She continued showing and breeding after she established Spindletop in 1985, and she maintained strong connections with breeders. She reportedly has received financial support from local and national breed clubs right up to the end:

The lawyer defending her now, Zandra Anderson, has been with Purcell as a friend, client and as a lawyer since her breeding days. Anderson bills herself as the Texas Dog Lawyer, but she is a breeder lobbyist and has successfully quashed legislation that would have protected dogs from puppy mill breeders. Anderson also founded the Texas Dog Commission to support anti-BSL lobbyists and her organization spearheaded opposition to BSL proposed in the wake of the death of Justin Clinton.

Several comments from purported long-time friends and associates describe Purcell's journey from breeder to rescuer to breeder to abuser. Some say that they noticed things going amiss at Spindletop in the early 2000's. One friend describes how she discovered, almost a decade ago, that Purcell warehoused pit bulls in crates when she was called to help move some dogs after a fire broke out at Spindletop while Purcell was away:

(note: this person is describing the first, much smaller Spindletop property in Houston)

And it turns out that after renouncing breeding at one time, it is believed she took it up again with dogs she had no right to breed:

Some people knew what was going on, said little and did not report her. Other people claim to not have known and to have been fooled by Leah's glamorous and powerful bearing.

Evidently, Best Friends Animal Society was fooled because they paid her over $81,000 in 2006 as an independent contractor rescuing pit bulls in the aftermath of Katrina according to tax records. In 2007, Purcell participated in the amicus brief advocating rehabilitating or putting into sanctuary the Vick dogs. She wanted to take up to five of them. In that document, she described Spindletop as the National Rescue for the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association, the parent club for the breed in the United Kennel Club. At this time, she was reportedly already warehousing pit bulls in crates.

She seemed to be asking for a lot of money to take these dogs, a minimum of $750 for three months, and if she were taking in $250 a month for each dog plus receiving donations from breeders groups and other private funders, she would have been raking in money. But most of these "owners" were rescues pawning off unadoptable, aggressive pit bulls using that arrangement called "board to rescue" for which she required a one-time $750 dollar fee. If she had been able to adopt out all these dogs within 3 months, that might have been lucrative, however, it turns out, not even Purcell could reliably adopt out these dog-aggessive dogs. Several people reported discovering that a dog they had been told had been adopted, sometimes many years previous, was still at Spindletop when it was raided. These rescuers were told pretty little lies with details about the happy family the dog was adopted to, even when the dog hadn't been adopted at all.



This one-eyed dog had supposedly been adopted:



As horrible as that is, it just gets downright bizarre when you read about Sophocles. This dog was rescued by someone who wanted to keep him. She sent him to Spindletop for boarding and training only. She wanted Purcell to magically rehabilitate Sophocles for her. But, Purcell adopted out this dog that was not up for adoption before the three months was up. Sophocles' owner is desperate to get her dog back.



Tia Torres, who at the time she was interviewed had a pit bull rescue with 200 dogs, estimated that it took between $600 and $1,000 a day to keep her rescue going. Blue Lion Rescue, a giant breed sanctuary, reported that it took $250 a day to feed her 125 dogs.

So, taking in a pit bull with behavior problems from a rescue for a $750 fee kept Spindletop going another day, but then she had another unadoptable dog to then feed and warehouse.

There's no doubt she's a grifter, warehousing dogs in crates, spending money to make the front of the property look nice, using hurricanes and floods as fundraising tools, and latching on to high profile dogs that helped her promote herself, but she didn't seem to be very good at math either. Who knows, maybe it will come out later that she's sitting on a pile of cash somewhere, but right now it looks like she's been in this for personal glory.

She was the magical rehabilitator. And with no care or concern for the dogs' welfare she did everything she could to make it look and seem as if she were indeed magical. People idolized her because she was always there to take a problematic dog off a desperate rescuer's hands and lie to them to preserve the fairy tale that there are homes and communities that will embrace dog aggressive monsters and let them snuggle on comfy blankies on soft beds, well-fed, preserving peace and tranquility for the maulers until the maulers die of old age.

After this horrific scam has been revealed, have these rescuers learned the essential lesson from this? Nope. Still blaming the wrong thing. The rescue angels are still wondering what went wrong and how the queen of all rescue angels could turn into an evil abuser. They have not figured out that things were never right, but people so wanted to believe Purcell's fairy tale they were willing to turn a blind eye to reality.

For a real laugh, you can follow rescuer Cindy Marabito (she of the Big Ladder Lie) in her allegiances. Just a few months ago, she was helping Purcell plead for money after Spindletop was flooded. Later this year, Marabito placed some dogs with Purcell. Now that Purcell's villainy has been exposed, Marabito has placed her faith in yet another enormous Texas dog sanctuary, Dogtown in Elgin, TX, and the dentally challenged founder, Angela Sera. Dogtown took some of the Spindletop dogs, probably Marabito's cast offs. However, Dogtown itself is now involved in a really stupid debacle itself.

A very ugly pit bull was transported from California to Texas to get training to be a therapy dog. The therapy dog got startled and chewed through not one, but two, welded wire fences, and escaped. He was brought back to the sanctuary, but Sera, exhausted and confused by the anxiety and fatigue of searching for the ugly pit bull for several days, allowed some guy who was unknown to her to take the dog because the unknown guy said the pit bull needed veterinary care. However, the unknown guy was really a thief hired to return the ugly pit bull back to California...

This is going to go well.

In this morass of slow kill rescue angel madness, I found one light. Someone posted a link to this blog post from a renegade, rational and humane no kill proponent, notesfromadogwalker:
I believe that the most loving thing we can do for animals is to stand with them until the very end. Sometimes the end is providing excellent life-time management, sometimes it’s rehoming them, sometimes it’s finding a good shelter or rescue that has a committed staff or volunteers, but sometimes the end is death. Putting them to sleep, in your arms, can be the greatest act of love you give to your pet. You are giving them an end with dignity. We need to consider this as part of our responsibility to our pets.
*****
If you are a rescuer: saving an animal doesn’t end at pulling them off the euthanasia list or picking them off the street. If you cannot commit to the process of housing, managing, adopting out, and providing owner support to the pet that you are “rescuing”, then you need to examine what it means to “save” an animal. The glory of pulling a dog from the “to be killed” list isn’t the end zone. The real success comes when the pet is in a home that you or your group is providing ongoing support for. If you can’t do that, do not point fingers that no one will help you. You committed to caring for this animal, once you saved it, so the animal is now your responsibility. See it through, even if in the end, there is no glory.


Additonal links
The Animal Orphanage Volunteers return from a long journey
accompanying maudlin video of joyous return of defective pit bulls (start watching at about 3:00 to see one handler attempts to pet another dog while keeping the 2 obviously dog aggressive dogs apart)

63 comments:

vintage said...

Notice the picture of the dupes, marks and maroons...not a single male among them!

This above ground cemetary operation should be called "Spinstertop".... Now these women who couldn't handle these dogs in the first place will be bringing them back into neighborhoods.

Speaking of cemetaries, Harris and Montgomery Counties have sustained 8 Pit Bull DBRFs and hundreds of maulings.

Good ole Spintertop, an above ground cemetary...

snarky said...

oh my god , what horrible , stupid people . dont these idiots realize these dogs are a product of their breeding to be fighting dogs . but good reading , and very amusing and enlightening . does really make ones heart weep bloody tears though ....lol.

snarky said...

what is it these nice ding-bats have against a well-deserved dirt-napp? the perfect solution to a problem that never should have been..... peacefully dirt-napping furever . lol too bad its not so easy dealing with brain-dead dingbattery.

april 29 said...

Pit bull advocacy continues to wrestle with the wrong end of the alligator.

STOP BREEDING PIT BULLS!!!!!

The suffering of these dogs is the direct responsibility of those who claim to love them, and fight any attempt to regulate them.

70dd0968-b7d2-11e1-92d9-000bcdcb5194 said...

"Slow Kill" shelters. I love it.

*sarcasm alert*

Seems to me if these "slow kill" shelters want to stay in the black, what they need to do is get in bed with the dog fighters and adopt out to them, thereby giving them an endless supply of bait dogs and potential gladiators.

Hmm, could be lucrative. Money coming on the rescue end ($750+ "donations"), and the "problem" of supporting the intake "off-loaded" to the adopters (dog fighters).

Brilliant! Bet someone else has figured this out already.

Speaking of brilliant, I think judges and legislators need to be asked the question "Why did we outlaw dog fighting in the first place?" If it's because "we" didn't want dogs mutilating dogs, they should be taking dog on dog aggression seriously, and creating laws that make owning a dog aggressive dog prohibitively expensive.

If it was just because they were missing out on taxing the gambling income, well, I don't know what to say.

cazz

Miss Margo said...

This is a hell of a piece of journalism, Dawn. I appreciate the effort and time you put into it.

I need to read it another time or two in order to fully digest it. It's a very dense post.

Off the top of my head, though:

Politically, I'm a pretty rabid feminist. But I must concur with Vintage here: something is really wrong with these chicks. This is downright crazy shit, if you will pardon the phrase.

I don't understand...the dog-aggressive dog is no good for you, but you want him (or her) to find a home with someone else? How can a person be so fucking irresponsible? And what is wrong with the state and other people who ENTERTAIN these "angels'" childish delusions?

Fuck them. Seriously: FUCK THEM. Fuck them and their euphemisms--"he has 'issues' and 'incidents' with other dogs...does not 'get along.'"

This article makes me so mad!

Miss Margo said...

P.S. I love that graphic with the rainbow and the unicorn. Hilarious.

snack sized dog said...

Yes, women surely dominate in this competitive compassion of defective and destructive things. The number of times that "poor precious baby" was uttered to describe something that would attack my dog made me want to vomit several times.

As far as I can recall, the only men who participated on the Victims of Spindletop Raid page both were simply boarding their own personal dogs there. The strictly boarders got their dogs put in the few, actual kennels which were on the front of the property and visible to visitors and were well-maintained.

Eight DBRFS in 2 counties! That must at least be a contender for a record.

70dd0968-b7d2-11e1-92d9-000bcdcb5194 said...

On "Compassion"

Whether nature or nurture, women tend to be more compassionate in our society, but I really don't see this as a problem with an over-abundance of compassion.

I think it's the concept of "unconditional love" and "avoidance of reality" bound together and run amok.

Again, I think we see this more in women than in men. We all know some woman out there trying to "fix" her boyfriend or husband. Men don't usually try to do this, they simply find another SO.

Honestly, I don't find fault in "unconditional love", but the "avoidance of reality" really pisses me off, it's so selfish and immature. To preserve their fairy tale world where their "babies" never die, they put others at risk of being mauled.

cazz

snarky said...

i hate to display my selective mysogyny but ,yes, the mutant problem is definitely enabled by dingbattery . i wouldnt mind providing a furever home for one of these dingbats but i think in the end i would be better off with a mutant .

snack sized dog said...

And this is a brilliant observation:

"I think judges and legislators need to be asked the question "Why did we outlaw dog fighting in the first place?" If it's because "we" didn't want dogs mutilating dogs, they should be taking dog on dog aggression seriously"

"Slow kill" is not mine, but it sure is apt.

Not only are these people virtually all women, they're all white. My guess is that they're overwhelmingly middle class or upper middle class or perceive themselves to be so. I also will guess that there will be overwhelming similarities in marital status, parenting status, work status. In short, I don't think this is a "woman" thing so much as a culturally prescribed expression of a certain kind of dysfunction.

It is an extension of the "cat lady" thing. The cat lady in my neighborhood is a man. And there's nothing inherent in one's gender that promotes or prohibits one from becoming a "cat lady" except that we in this society tell ourselves that disaffected older women get cats and we don't say that about men. Being a cat lady is a kind of dysfunction but it is a socially acceptable and gender specific expression of a dysfunction.

And no, it is not at all true compassion any more than it is truly compassionate to try to fix a sociopathic partner and love him/her to wellness.

skeptifem said...

Women are more likely to get pulled in by specific brands of irrational thought (psychics, homeopathy, "indigo children", etc). Men have their own too (like bigfoot, UFOs, and conspiracy theories). There isn't anything misogynistic about saying so unless you think that there is something inherently wrong with women (which is hard to do because like I said, men seem to embrace bs in equal numbers, they just pick different topics). Failing to examine sociological and cultural variables (which prove to be extremely powerful in cross cultural study of gender roles) is a huge mistake in thinking about the problem as one of men or women specifically. The remedy is the same for everyone who believes something that goes against reality: critical thought and evidence.

I don't really know what we can do with the information about gender distribution in the nutter ranks. This article might work better than other strategies- it shows that this approach does more harm than good for the dogs in addition to everyone else.

The house next door is looking after someones shit bull. They have another dog and a puppy, and the only people home are elderly as hell. I went to water my vegetables the other day and saw it barking at me through a fence (which has been worn down a lot by the previous tenants of this property, by their pit bulls) and thought, "well, shit". It feels like someone should have to come to your door to inform you when a new pit moves into the neighborhood so you know to be cautious in your own yard, the way they do with sex offenders. On my other side is a fence that the other neighbors pit bull keeps destroying, and that we continually have to fix. I can't tell who the owner of the dog is because so many people come and go from that house. So now I have mutants on both sides of me with shitty fences and owners who couldn't overpower the dogs if need be (or wouldn't be there to do so if the need arose). FML.

Rumpelstiltskin said...

I really don't see the point of buying, adopting, or "rescuing", a pit bull, ever, unless you want to fight them, stroke your ego, or kill your neighbor's dog or child.

These "rescue angels" are only putting everyone around them at risk and they really don't care.

Is it possible the upswing of pit bull attacks and killings started because of "rescue angels"?

dawn james said...

hahaha vintage!! SPINSTERTOP!!!!

miss margo, i only played a teeny role in this piece, this snack's fine work.

"Again, I think we see this more in women than in men. We all know some woman out there trying to "fix" her boyfriend or husband. Men don't usually try to do this, they simply find another SO. "

i am with you cazz, this is more common among women, just like hybristophila is more common among women, almost exclusively so.

here is the dentally challenged angela sera. i would like to see her and leah purcell mud wrestle, the winner takes on tia for the title of supreme nuttress. these are some incredibly fucked up women.

i am following the four state journey of an incredibly dangerous (human and dog aggressive) pit bull right now that could have ended up at spinstertop. you all will read about it soon.

snack, fantastic job telling the story of the nurturing hybristophilacss and the cowardly wannabes.

Miss Margo said...

Whoops! Sorry about that, Snack! Praise and credit for this great article. I see now that you wrote it.

Bummer about the pits next door, Skeptifem.

I work with a pit nutter....I think I mentioned her in another thread a little while ago. One of her pits attacked a deer and really injured it. They were also eating and destroying her fence...she would mention it like it was a big joke, you know, dogs eating a fence.

Well, all 3 got out and she can't find them (no ID tags? no microchip? SHOCKER). Animal control hasn't picked em up. Three adolescent unaltered pit bulls running around Jersey City, or wherever they are now.

I'm sure her neighbors feel better, though. They hated her dogs. I wonder why.

Miss Margo said...

And oh yeah--that Blue Lion sanctuary is one of the scariest websites I've ever seen. Half those dogs are stone killers and that woman is nuts.

snarky said...

pitbulls are ugly and scary but these rescue dingbat/skankesses are truly hideously horrifying . i pity those mutants ...lol

dawn james said...

margo, i will be shocked if the mutants are licensed and vaccinated. hopefully they ran into a man who understands the importance of 3S.

i forgot to point out how revolting i find the scum that LOVES the breed but then they poke fun at an obviously suffering dog (the drooling dog). i have never done that. i would never do that. not to a poodle. not a pit bull.

snarky said...

i understand the importance of the 3 s's ..... craven .

i might poke fun at a suffering mutant, only because of the pitter-filth who ignore that these creatures were bred to suffer and cause suffering.

snarky said...

how about mandating that mutants be allowed to exist only after major dental extraction? then the true beauty of the breed can shine forth without the down-side of mauling and death. make the mutant as dentally challenged as many of their skanky owners. lol damn good for the vets too .

snarky said...

bet the breed lovers would drop em like a white- hot rock if they had no teeth. fucking bull-shitters.

70dd0968-b7d2-11e1-92d9-000bcdcb5194 said...

Snarky-
I've been why this (full tooth extraction) isn't proposed in a number of circumstances. For instance, if your dog is declared dangerous, has threatened people off your property or keeps escaping your control, you can keep it, provided you pay for a full tooth extraction (plus spay/neuter).

I know a lot of people may see this as barbaric, but a lot of people see declawing cats the same way, but it is common practice.

cazz

Rumpelstiltskin said...

Snarky,

That's a really good point. If their pit bulls had no teeth, they'd throw them out like yesterday's trash so fast.

snarky said...

yep , snack dog , that was a fine piece of work. thank u and my snack dog does too . he doesnt think much of mutants and their dingbatskankmoms either. really laughed at the leah skank surrounded by her fucking mutancy . bit like that tia-bitch. opps my mysogyny is showing again. poor ole tia ...would love to see her now .

DubV said...

Of course, these dogs were being victimized by being kept in those circumstances. That is all the nutters will focus upon. They will not see how trying to keep alive dog-aggressive dogs was the premise upon which this debacle unfolded. The nutters are unsinkable rubber duckies. Even if the rational adults in the room tried to take over animal welfare so as to achieve better outcomes, the rescue nutters would resist so long as every "precious little baby" wasn't being saved.

Rumpelstiltskin said...

Pit nutter drinks the pit bull propaganda but eventually chokes. One of the reasons I hate them pushing pits on people.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=7571672

Pit nutter's quote, "I should have gotten rid of them when my family told me."

3 of his 5 pits killed his 2 year old grandson. It's sad, he drank up the pit nutter propaganda and now he looks remorseful. Remorse and responsibility are elusive quality in pit nutters you rarely ever see.

Garnet said...

What is interesting and screwed up about the pit nutter world is that the pit bull fanatics will often blame pit bull problems on "gangsters" or people in the
inner city. Poor, urban black people, in other words, although they rarely put it that way.

The truth is that while pit bulls are often popular in urban areas, it was rural people who really introduced dog fighting to the US. The initial popularizers of dog fighting weren't inner city black men either.

As far as actual fatalities go, many happen in middle class neighbourhoods and the really crazy pit bull "rescue" hoarders are almost always middle-class, white women. Now that they are pushing fighting dogs on anyone and everyone, the pit bull problem has spread from a few secretive rural dog fighters to pretty much any type of neighbourhood.

One is just as likely to have one's pet killed by pit bulls in an inner city as in a suburb. You don't have to be a dog fighter to end up with a dangerous dog, since dog aggression is built in to the breed. These people who think they can "rehabilitate" dangerous pit bulls don't know what they are talking about. Their dogs are just as hazardous as dogs owned by anyone else. You don't need to mistreat a pit bull to make it want to kill other dogs.

Boxing up the dogs isn't much of a solution. It's quite cruel and I honestly think a dangerous dog is better off humanely euthanized than forced to live in a box (excuse me, crate).

dawn james said...

"What is interesting and screwed up about the pit nutter world is that the pit bull fanatics will often blame pit bull problems on "gangsters" or people in the
inner city. Poor, urban black people, in other words, although they rarely put it that way."

that's their own racism expressing itself.

snarky said...

gee , what kind of person wants an ugly dog that many people hate or are afraid of ,that is not safe around other dogs or animals or people even . a dog that may need insurance , special training , certifying , special yard and kennel containment or to be caged indoors ??? why would anyone who wants a pet dog make this choice to have a dog that needs to be caged like a dangerous wild animal? "stupid is a stupid does" ?

Bagheera Kiplingi said...

only because of the pitter-filth who ignore that these creatures were bred to suffer and cause suffering

Snarky, you might be on to something.

There have been attempts to rename the pit bull over the years to hide its violent past. One such renaming has always been especially puzzling to me, St Francis Terriers. I always assumed it was in reference to St Francis of Assisi. Maybe a better name for pittie is Mother Teresa Terriers.

On Suffering by Mother Teresa

SUFFERING
I wonder what the world would be like
If there were not innocent people
Making reparation for us all…?
Today the passion of Christ is being relived
In the lives of those who suffer.
To accept that suffering is a gift of God.
Suffering is not a punishment.
God does not punish.
Suffering is a gift- Tho,
Like all gifts,
It depends on how we receive it.
And that is why we need a pure heart-
To see the hand of God,
To feel the hand of God,
To recognize the gift of God
In our suffering.
Suffering is not a punishment.
Jesus does not punish.
Suffering is a sign-
A sign That we have come so close To Jesus on the cross,
That He can kiss us,
Show that He is in love with us,
By giving us an opportunity to share
In His passion.
In our Home for the Dying
It is so beautiful to see
People who are joyful,
People who are lovable,
People who are at peace,
In spite of terrible suffering.
Suffering is not a punishment,
Not a fruit of sin,
It is a gift of God.
He allows us to share in His suffering
And to make up for the sins of the world.

vintage said...

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Branwyne Finch said...

I think there is a very fine line between "sanctuaries" for dogs and hoarding. I would bet that many, if not most, organizations that claim to be dog "sanctuaries" are actually hoarding situations, where dogs are simply warehoused in crates/kennels. The majority of dogs that end up in a "sanctuary" are unadoptable ....the most common reason being behavioral issues like aggression.

There are several studies out there that list the most common reasons dogs are relinquished to shelters....one of the top reasons is aggression. Aggression toward people or other animals is a deal breaker for most people looking for a family pet. Pit bulls continue to be selectively bred for a trait that makes them essentially unadoptable....dog aggression. So its no wonder they end up dumped at shelters, unadoptable.

70dd0968-b7d2-11e1-92d9-000bcdcb5194 said...

At least Amanda Conrad could do basic math. IMHO, Spindletop was a pyramid scheme, doomed to crush the pits at the bottom the minute the scam lost momentum.

I can't believe so many bought into the myth of the "farm in the country". Am I the only one who remembers what that was a euphemism for?

(Great article, btw.)

Cazz

DubV said...

"At least Amanda Conrad could do basic math. IMHO, Spindletop was a pyramid scheme, doomed to crush the pits at the bottom the minute the scam lost momentum."

I was thinking this too. The pyramid seems to have Purcell at the top, below her a few workers getting paid along with rescuers/owners with placated conscience and some pits kept relatively well to be seen by the public, and then, at the bottom, a vast base of pits in crates. They were all on the same level of the pyramid, despite being stacked, and the base was buried in the ground as a foundation in that most were unaware of it existing and that it was so far from the top.

I think it is important to sympathize strongly with these dogs. What a disgusting thing to do to a living thing.

I hope Purcell gets serious jail time with this, and everyone over 18 that knew about this should be considered accessories. Of course, those who sent a few dogs there sight unseen based upon reputation were not being nearly vigilante enough. However, the humane orgs that regularly dealt with Purcell and each other should have figured all this out long ago. They are the ones that were almost criminally gullible. There is a strong urge to believe someone who appears to be on your side, doing a good thing, and says pretty things. Rescue and pit nutters take it to another level, and don't seem aware of their own ability and probability of being fooled in this way.

DubV said...

I haven't yet complimented Snack and Dawn on this article. Great job. Many of these blog posts warrant publication in periodicals so that people outside this debate will be informed.

snack sized dog said...

Skeptifem, I had never heard of indigo children before! What a wild new variation on "my child is only a pita because he's special!"

Thank you Margo and Snarky. Yes, Margo Blue Lion is incredibly, horrifically scary. The owner, kavanaugh, is openly misanthropic and insanely irresponsible - writing descriptions for her adoption prospects that basically say - "get this dog and scare the shit out of everybody!"

And now the Lexux project wants to send child killers her way with no oversight, no regulation. truly terrifying.

Garnet,

If you look at dogsbite.org's lists of fatalities with photos of the victims, and know that most victims are neighbors or family of the mauler and most communities are still racially homogeneous, you see immediately that pit bulls maul all kinds of people in all kinds of neighborhoods. You also see that most of the owners of the maulers weren't dogfighters anyway, though its a sure thing some of those dogs were BRED by dogfighters.

DubV,
"I think it is important to sympathize strongly with these dogs. What a disgusting thing to do to a living thing. "

While reading what happened and writing about this, I couldn't help but feel very sympathetic to these dogs in their plight. I also think they should all have been put down. No one is going to track what happens to these dog aggresive pit bulls. There are literally hundreds of Spindletop pit bulls, many of them demonstrably dog-aggresive, that are on their way into communities across the nation.

There are at least 8 other article that could be told just from reading that one facebook page and news articles. One story that I didn't tell is that this is going to be the HSUS's shining moment. nutters everywhere were saying the HSUS is involved? They wanted to kill the Vick dogs. Now the HSUS is going to prove they are on board with the pit bull agenda - there will probably be no word on dogs put down, though it is obvious that very many of these pit bulls have a history of dog-aggression - to the point of attacking.

coming up is a list of pit bull rescue fails from Vintage and Dawn.

Thank you DubV! I very much appreciate your thoughts. As always, get a little help from my friends, not just Dawn, when I write. Thanks to all who helped me!

Dayna Hamilton said...

"I called her a couple times a week and checked on Bella, and I just feel like...all of us that have dropped our dogs or foster animals there were completely fooled," Marisa said. "And I feel like an asshole and an idiot, and I feel horrible -- but I mean, I did the research I could and felt really good about leaving her there. I bragged about it to people because I thought it was such an amazing ranch."

I haven't read all the material here yet, but this concept is mind boggling. All these so called rescuers have "saved" these unadoptable dogs from last minute, painless euthanasia, to then turn their fosters over to a "ranch" that collects these beasts? And then basically tortures them to death? ! Freaky, but then, they all seem to be pit nutters, so maybe this is par for the course. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that a facility this large with this number of dogs is NOT going to be ideal to socialize a dog with issues. It's just like I said, mind boggling really.

DubV said...

I can't get the blue lion rescue page to load. I found their petfinder page though.

http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=CO290

A lot of those green circles with a slash through them.

snack sized dog said...

I can't get it to load either so I used the wayback machine. Here's the adoptions page, but I think its from 2009 - but it gives you an idea of what she thinks is good to adopt out:

Sasha the bullmastiff that attacks any dog that moves, the boerbel that will attack anything that moves, the ambull that will destroy any kennel its put into...OMG

These are the dogs she feels are GOOD TO GO!

http://web.archive.org/web/20090515132316/http://www.bluelionrescue.org/adoptions.html

snack sized dog said...

"All these so called rescuers have "saved" these unadoptable dogs from last minute, painless euthanasia"

Exactly Danya.

DubV - i left of the dog that bit a man in the chest that she was adopting out, that one is on that list, but i forget the name of the dog.

dawn james said...

omg, we have a new hybristophillioskank winner.

i click on the one of those "no cats, no dogs, NO KIDS" dogs that she has for adoption.

she tells dante's story in his voice. here are the highlights, i think that you will agree that she either medication or that quality lacking in psychopaths>a conscience.
So let me tell you my story My previous owner, who shall remain nameless, turned me in to the Humane Society because he couldnt keep me. Why, you might ask??? Because his girlfriend had a baby and she was too scared to introduåce me to it. Now I had done nothing to deserve that! The other dog in our house, a Shar pei, was introduced- but not me. She kept nagging my dad to get rid of me or she would leave. Well, l I say good riddance, sista! but dad wasnt a strong enough guy to tell her that. Then we all moved to Florida for a time but came back when it wasnt all it was cracked up to be. The girlfriend took the baby to visit her family in another state til dad could find a place where we all could live. So we moved into his dads house. His dad didnt really like me either and gave my dad 12 hours to get rid of me. What- am I a piece of trash to be gotten rid of??? Meanwhile, the girlfriend wont come back until Im gone. So dad dropped me off at the Humane Society. Dad was crying as well as the girls who worked there. Me? I had no idea what was going on but I was pretty sure I wasnt going to be happy about it. The Humane Society immediately called Lisa and she said I could go to Blue Lion. They called my dad, who was in the parking lot crying his eyes out, and told him that a rescue would take me. Unbeknownst to me, Lisa and dad talked the next day. She told him to go pick me up and meet her in Denver the next day so we could all get to know each other. I was so excited when dad came to get me- I thought he had changed his mind and we were going to get rid of the girlfriend and wed be one happy family again. Not so fast Dante Dad brought me and the Shar pei to meet Lisa and we went for a nice walk. Lisa couldnt understand why guys are so willing to give up their dogs for a girl but most girls wont give up their dog for a guy! Maybe I should have been owned by a girl- Id still have my home. When our visit in the park was over Lisa put me in her car- wait I thought I was staying with dad!!!She brought me home and put me in a kennel with a doghouse with blankets. Sure, it was cozy enough but I wasnt with dad! I was so sad I didnt come out of the doghouse for 3 days! But Lisa told me that dad had agreed to come down on weekends and do some handyman work for her and I could stay with him in the other house. She didnt really believe that he would really give me up forever. I didnt either. Anyway, I got used to life at Blue Lion. Then one day dad came late in the afternoon with one of his friends- one of the ones who told him to get rid of me. They took me for a walk and I was so excited but then they left again. I was ok because dad was going to start visiting on weekends. But dad never came to visit again. Lisa brings me into the house and I really love that but wish it was just she and I in there. Theres a bunch of dogs and I dont really want to share her. I dont really interact with the others at all. Im usually ok with everyone but every once in awhile, I get into a fight. Those other dogs need to know that Im the main man! So when I do that, Lisa puts me back into a kennel for a few days- hoping Ive learned my lesson. So here I am looking for a forever home.

EDWinter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dawn james said...

snack, did you notice how she told the story of sasha?

Sasha:
My name is Sasha and if you like your girls big and pretty ... honey I'm for you. I'm a gorgeous Bullmastiff mix and I am really really REALLY sweet with people. Yeh, I had a home with the whole white picket fence thing, kids, yard and the company of a French Bulldog (Jacque was a real suck up but that's another story). So my job description says "takes care of business." It's right there in the Bullmastiff contract, you folks all know that; it's been in our contract for more generations than I have toes, so I have family tradition to uphold. OK, so one day me and Jacque are sitting in the car and this dog goes past and that suck up Jacque says "so bet you can't go after that dog that's too close to our car." I said "Bet I can ... " and that didn't go very well and Jacque smirked all the way back home. So then I went jogging with my owner and another dog went by and called me a name and so I had to protect my honor and went after that dog and dad had to rein me in ... and Jacque smirked all the way home. Remember, I got along just fine with that suck up French Bulldog so you know I must have the patience of a freakin saint, but I just don't like strange dogs invading my personal space, and clearly Jacque didn't have enough on the ball to take care of business for the family. So here I am at the sanctuary and Jacques is back home with his fat butt on his cushion and his stupid squeeki bone. Probably still smirking too. OK, enough of that stuff ...moving on here, I need the safety of a family who will love me and wants somebody to take care of them every minute of every day. I need a home with a high fence and a large yard because taking me for walks isn't a good career move for either one of us. I'm spayed and current on my shots and I am so very sweet you will wonder how you could be so incredibly lucky to meet me. Yes, I am a little vain, but honey, I AM the TOTAL package, the REAL DEAL ... and I'm only about 4 years old. Come on out and visit with me. We could have such fun together.


wow. the bullmastiff BLAMES the french bulldog for daring her to attack a dog walking by.

not surprisingly, this freak lisa kavanaugh likes the lexus project. this woman is a danger to society, she is deranged.

dawn james said...

woops, looks like edwinter violated one of the few commenting rules i have. he mentioned a certain attorney in a rectangular state. that's not allowed. you are encouraged to resubmit your comment.

snack sized dog said...

Dawn, she is totally deranged! the speaking in the dog's voice just grates on my nerves especially since she's not speaking for a dog, she's speaking for herself - she is the most literal and insane dog whisperer yet! Yes, french bulldogs will talk sweet bullmastiffs into all kinds of violence.

snack sized dog said...

Lol, EDWinter was a live one. And I was just composing a response. I admit I forgot about that commenting rule as well. It's been so long since it's been violated. Where did that come from? EDWinter is in a timewarp. Who is this Dawn James moderating Craven Desires?

dawn james said...

you can still respond to him. in fact, i have his comment saved if you want it, i will shoot it over to you. you can republish it with the name redacted. i thought about doing that but i thought ed needed the practice.

dawn james said...

" Who is this Dawn James moderating Craven Desires?"

LOL!!! i just got that. i'm kind of slow tonight.

snack sized dog said...

Well, it's late, so who can blame you?

and Ed didn't say anything that compelling, and I'm lazy. I think he's got to prove he really wants it.

snarky said...

sasha the gorgeous bull-mastiff mix is really , really ,REALLY sweet with people ...but its the nasty frenchie thats a suck up?

the stupid c_nt knows shes speaking a language that other dingbatskanks understand.

april 29 said...

Sasha said
"I need a home with a high fence and a large yard because taking me for long walks isn't a good career move for either one of us."

WTH????

DubV said...

I can't stand the anthropomorphizing of dogs by rescue dingbats, but when it is done for a dog with aggression issues, it is sinister. It's so odd that they can easily take on the viewpoint of these dog's and find excuses for their behavior.

snack sized dog said...

OMG april29 and Dawn, I missed half this stuff.

And DubV, sinister is really the word for it.

The descriptions I read when I first saw this site were horrific. She was adopting out some big mastiff that was untrained, so she said, take it to obedience class and scare everyone - it will be fun!

In one description, from the perspective of the dog, she described how the dog was snapping at the children. And you could tell she just MADE UP a story about how the kids tormented the dog.

With these descriptions being so sinister and pathological, you have to wonder who is drawn in by them.

And the Lexus project wants to send her dogs. She has a supposed sanctuary of horribly dangerous dogs, and we're trusting her judgment about what is safe and not safe, normal and not normal with absolutely zero oversight.

DubV said...

Blue Lion is writing down all the things that will be needed when they are sued. Hmm...but then again, if they tell everyone (even in a joking manner) "haha, this dog looks at your kids and sees cookies to eat, hahaha!!!" are they actually covering their ass (like that guy in the money pit who told pryor he was taking everything in the house with him)?

Maybe that is why the website is down? Could they be scrubbing the web of this information?

And the lexus project, anyone who purposefully helps vicious dogs when docile dogs are being euthanized in their stead is a fucking idiot. How can any person be this stupid and be alive? What's funny is that they might be totally rational in all other areas of their lives but have this huge blind spot that a mack truck could be driven through. Makes me furious.

DubV said...

Ooops that movie reference should be Moving starring Richard Pryor.

skeptifem said...

" Well, l I say good riddance, sista! but dad wasnt a strong enough guy to tell her that. "

What the fuck? Does she really think dogs think like kids during a divorce?

I wonder how many of these rescue angels tell their kids that dogs are their "siblings" without any hint of humor. It must be such a mindfuck.

dawn james said...

my favorite part of this mindfuck is how lisa kavanaugh paints the parents as bad guys for not allowing the cane corso around the baby (or so lisa says), kavanaugh is critical of the fact that they introduced the sharpei but not the cane corso (or so lisa says), then she turns around and restricts adoptions to families with kids! she is obviously lying and misrepresenting the history of the dog. anyone who gives this deranged bitch a dangerous dogs is complicit if and/when when it attacks. lisa kavanugh needs to investigated and her 501c3 needs to be revoked. almost every single dog that she has for adoption is a gripper or a flock guardian. she's a presa canario groupie. this woman is more fucked up in the head than all of these other pit nutter rescue angels combined.

DubV said...

" then she turns around and restricts adoptions to families with kids!"

Knockdown argument.

A dog over 100 lbs that doesn't like kids or other animals? What a nightmare.

dawn james said...

COLO. REV. STAT. § 27-10-111(1). "The court or jury shall determine that the respondent is in need of care and treatment only if the court or jury finds such person mentally ill and, as a result of such mental illness, a danger to others or to himself or gravely disabled . . . ."

COLO. REV. STAT. § 27-10-102(5)

(a) "Gravely disabled" means a condition in which a person, as a result of mental illness:

(I) Is in danger of serious physical harm due to his inability or failure to provide himself the essential human needs of food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; or

(II) Lacks judgment in the management of his resources and in the conduct of his social relations to the extent that his health or safety is significantly endangered and lacks the capacity to understand that this is so.

(b) A person who, because of care provided by a family member or by an individual with a similar relationship to the person, is not in danger of serious physical harm or is not significantly endangered in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) may be deemed "gravely disabled" if there is notice given that the support given by the family member or other individual who has a similar relationship to the person is to be terminated and the individual with mental illness:

(I) Is diagnosed by a professional person as suffering from: Schizophrenia; a major affective disorder; a delusional disorder; or another mental disorder with psychotic features; and

(II) Has been certified, pursuant to this article, for treatment of such disorder or has been admitted as an inpatient to a treatment facility for treatment of such disorder at least twice during the last thirty-six months with a period of at least thirty days between certifications or admissions; and

(III) Is exhibiting a deteriorating course leading toward danger to self or others or toward the conditions described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) with symptoms and behavior which are substantially similar to those which preceded and were associated with his hospital admissions or certifications for treatment; and

(IV) Is not receiving treatment which is essential for his health or safety.

Miss Margo said...

Update re: my colleague pit nutter I talked about in my post August 5 10:42 AM

Her dogs are still missing. Where are they? WHO KNOWS? I don't understand, dude. Even if you were too poor to pay for dog license & registration tags (yeah right...it's the cost of one month's supply of dog food), why wouldn't you go down to Petco or Petsmart and get an ID tag that says "IF FOUND PLEASE CALL ### ####"? It costs six bucks. Even my cats had those.

Anyway, pit nutter now tells me that she has a domestic dove and a young male cardinal bird she caught on the ground when it was too young to fly well. Both birds are in the same cage. I am telling her that cardinals are not domesticated or companion birds. It is going to die in captivity unless it is in an aviary environment (she is NOT keeping it in an aviary). And it is gonna kill that dove, if the cardinal lives long enough to reach maturity. Male cardinals get aggressive and territorial. Pit nutter's captive cardinal is freaking out in the cage already.

I know this is OT, but where else can I share it?

dawn james said...

this is the perfect place to share the universal stupidity of pit nutters.

is there a local wildlife rehabilitator nearby that you can recommend she take the birds?

Anonymous said...

You are being ignorant. "Rescuers" generally do find homes or a way to get a home, and it IS a good thing they do! And I find it interesting that you say people expected the dogs to be "magically" rehabilitated.... REHABILITATION HAPPENS. It is NOT magic. And you also go on and on about dog aggressive pits and how no one would ever want one, but my next dog will be a pit, and I want a dog that's a bit of a "challenge" in some way. This is only because I am experienced with dogs and dog training, and would like to help a dog that would've had a harder time finding a home.
And also, the whole "pits and other rescue dogs are all evil and violent" thing is getting sooo old. Are child soldiers beyond rehabilitation? Many fighting dogs don't even need rehabilitation, they change a lot when given a new home with the slightest bit of affection.

Little personal story. My little lovebutton was adopted by my boyfriend's family when he was about a year old. He is a Rottie/Pit mix. They suspected he had mild dog aggression. He was mouthy. He was a stray from Detroit. He began to "grumble." It's now 5 years later, and he has been the PERFECT family dog for years. He is great with MOST but not all dogs, and enjoys leashed trips to the dog park. He NEVER mouths, has never ever ever bitten (and won't unless his family is in immediate danger.) My family, who was initially discontent by his visits(and thought pits to be dangerous), has become completely enamored with him, and he frequently sneaks out of the room my boyfriend and I are hanging out in to go up and crawl into bed with my parents, who would not usually let a dog up in their bed. He loved the kitten they got so much, even though the kitten would claw and bite him often, and would frequently get me to follow him and excitedly show me the sleeping kitten, giving him a few head licks. He's actually found 2 bunny nests this year, but at night, so it took us a LONG time to figure out what was happening. The little bunnies were all safe and sound, with dog slobber on their little heads from kisses. Now one of the bunnies in our neighborhood isn't afraid of him, we believe that's why. He's also befriended two raccoons; they sniffed each other, and although Jagger could've hurt or played, he politely let them walk off after the sniffing. He is unreactive to violent small dogs, and in fact thinks they are cute. If you knew this boy, you would know what I know, which is that he would rather die than hurt an innocent human. Just like the gentlest Labrador, my 120 lbs. dog I had for more than half of my life.

dawn james said...

rehabilitation does happen but only through intensive work. it does not occur on a "sanctuary" housing 200 dogs being cared for by a handful of idiots like yourself. only naive gullible immature do gooders with a propensity for magical thinking could believe that this CON ARTIST LEAH PURCELL was rehabilitating dangerous dogs.

lemme guess proud anonymous pit nutter, you are a 20 yr old dog groomer at petsmart? you want a dangerously dog aggressive pit because you need to feel challenged so you can prove to the world that you are somebody.

what you are is an accident waiting to happen. hopefully you are the only harmed by your zealous naivete.