She was bit by a rescued pit bull: she didn’t survive.
Had the owner put that dog away,
The little girl and that dog would still be alive.
Pit Bull Poet Laureate
|Savannah Edwards was killed by a "rescued" dog aggressive pit bull|
in Topeka Kansas on December 14, 2012
"A boy of 13 was attacked by a vicious bulldog in Topeka and one of his eyelids was torn so that it laid out on his cheek. The attack was unprovoked and this, as well as other bulldog attacks, has created a strong feeling against that breed of bloodthirsty brutes."
August 26, 1897 The Globe-republican
Kansas has been a producer of game bred pit bulls for over a century. Kansas was one of the last states to pass dogfighting laws in 1982 but until they strengthened them them in 1984, even dogfighters that had been convicted of dogfighting could get their dogs back.
Towns, cities and counties all over Kansas, plagued with pit bulldog maulings, also enacted some of the earliest modern pit bull bans during the 80s as well. But that did not end the battle because those Kansas dogfighters and game dog lovers are a brazen bunch.
The history of the pit bull ban in Liberal, KS shows just how hard the good people of Kansas have to fight to keep themselves safe from fighting dogs.
This comment from GERRY from Liberal, Kansas appeared on an anti-bsl website about a town near Liberal:
Gerry | June 4, 2010 at 7:33 am |
"I’m from Liberal,ks where they will kill your pitbull if your the type of individual that will allow them to push you over. Pitbulls have been banned here since 1989, not because they were viciouse or because of an attack on someone, but because several older individuals most of whome are no longer around here anymore use to fight them."
GERRY openly admits he breeds pit bulls in defiance of a local ban that has been in place for around 20 years. GERRY is absolutely correct about the dogfighting, there was a dogfighting problem in Liberal KS in the 1980s.
In 1985, fifteen men were charged with felony and misdemeanor dogfighting just outside of Liberal Kansas. Fifty pit bulls were found on the property, and seven pit bulls were in such bad condition they had to be put down at the scene. The humane society said the rest of the dogs were too vicious to be adopted out. In addition to the dogs, a fighting pit "awash in blood" was found. One humane officer described the sickening smell of blood and beer that hung in the air as they worked and the horrific sight of the mauled and dying dogs. This bust took place at the farm house of GERALD VALENTINE of Liberal KS.
Yes, GERRY the illegal pit bull breeder who was advocating for an end to the pit bull ban seems to be one of the dogfighters he, himself, described that prompted the Liberal pit bull ban in the first place.
Dogfighter GERRY VALENTINE is wrong about the pit bulls not attacking people, though. There may not have been any serious attacks in Liberal itself, but all of Kansas was facing a big problem with pit bull attacks in the mid 80's. In May 1985, a few months before GERRY was arrested and before a boy was seriously mauled, the nearby Hutchinson News published an editorial opinion pushing for a pit bull ban. It began "Kansas once again has been afflicted with the pit bull terrier problem." and went on to enumerate the many recent attacks in Kansas and nearby midwest states including a fatality in Kansas. Seven months later, three year old Robert Cole Corbridge was severely mauled by two pit bullterriers who escaped from their owner. His attack was said to leave a legacy of dangerous dog laws. A year later, 46 Kansas towns had passed vicious dog laws. Though the first pit bull ban in Kansas was enacted in 1983 in the small town of Little River, and other attacks galvanized the town of Shawnee to pass the "first comprehensive pit bull law in the state" in 1985, months before the Corbridge attack, it was little Robert Cole's attack that galvanized cities and towns around the state.
Many cities adopted pit bull bans and other regulation during the 80s and almost immediately pit bull owners tried to have BSL overturned. In 1989, a group of pit bull owners living in Overland Park attempted to overturn that city's ban. The case went to the Kansas supreme court and the court upheld every provision that was challenged, including the legitimacy of visual identification of pit bulls and the right of local governments to regulate ownership and possession of dogs. In addition, the court found that pit bulls represent "a unique hazard to the public safety," and rejected an "equal protection" challenge.
In 1991, Seward county (Liberal is the county seat) enacted a pit bull ban in response to the local dogfighting that GERRY VALENTINE participated in and to pit bull violence breaking out across the state. However, twenty years later, long after the grandfathered pit bulls in Seward county would have died, the Seward County Commission sought to remove the grandfather clause from their pit bull ban. It seems that one GERALD VALENTINE had been a thorn in their side, insisting that the grandfather clause pertained to him, the pit bull owner, and not to the pit bulls themselves.
GERRY VALENTINE, the dogfighter and illegal pit bull breeder brazenly and openly led the fight against the ban. He claimed that he'd been breeding pit bulls in Seward county for 41 years, and for the last 20 years his record was spotless - which is not to say he didn't break any laws, it merely means he only got arrested that one time. VALENTINE says he sells his dogs all over the country, and there is no doubt about that. Dogfighter Charlie Phaneuf has mentioned that he got dogs from VALENTINE. He'd been charged with dogfighting 20 years previous, but when called on that, he played semantics games with the commissioners:
“Do you believe in the judicial system that you’re innocent until proven guilty?” he asked Linenbroker. “I was never proven guilty because I never went to court. It never went to court, and I was never tried because (then Seward County Attorney) Linda Trigg didn’t have a case, and she knew she didn’t have a case. So she pleaded me out. I signed the agreement. I kept to it. I’ve been arrested one time in my entire life. That was in 1985 by Seward County police. I was never convicted of it. It never went to trial because she didn’t have evidence to prove it. If I’m innocent until proven guilty maam, I’m innocent.”Although VALENTINE could not buffalo Linebroker, he did manage to get the Seward county pit bull ban repealed. The repeal only lasted for a few weeks before a new pit bull ban was instituted in the town of Liberal and regulations were instituted for Seward county. But how about them apples? A dog fighter manages to overturn a breed ban! And right out in the open, too.
“Whether you pled guilty to it or not, you’re still listed with all these other people that were arrested,” Linenbroker said. “I just have a problem when you standing there acting like you’re this big dog lover, and then you were arrested for having these dog fights.”
“I was accused of that,” Valentine said. “I was never convicted of that. Is that fact or fiction?”
“Did you take a plea to it?” Linenbroker asked.
“Yes maam, I sure did,” Valentine said.
“A plea to me is the same as saying that you’re guilty,” Linenbroker said.
MORE TO COME FROM KANSAS
Read more about dog fighter GERRY VALENTINE'S public battle with BSL:
County repeals pit bull ban
Pits bulls or No pit bulls
Pit bull breeder battles ban
Map of BSL in Kansas and adjoining states - Whew, doggie, the good people of the midwest are trying their best to keep from getting mauled:
|Click here to see midwest BSL map|