Hello! It’s an honor and a privilege to be a guest contributor here at Craven Desires.
Recently, local media (New York City) has documented http://www.dnainfo.com/20111121/lower-east-side-east-village/east-village-pit-bull-attacks-raise-questions two attacks by vicious pit bulls in my neighborhood, the East Village. In one attack, a pug-shih-tzu mix named Mack Daddy was being walked by his owner, Laurie Foley. They passed a pit bull (Mr. Bean) being walked by its owner. True to form, the pit bull seized poor little Mack Daddy in its jaws and wouldn’t let go. Mayhem ensued. You can imagine the shrieks, the panic, the crowds gathering to watch. The “incident” lasted fifteen minutes until a neighbor emerged from his apartment with a metal bar and used it to PRY the pit bull’s mouth open. Yes, it took a metal bar and several broken teeth to stop the pit bull from its task. Amazingly, Mack Daddy survived the horrific assault.
On Oct 23, a 15 year old Shepherd mix was playing at the local dog park in Tompkins Square Park when it was brutally savaged by a pit bull. The Shepherd mix was badly injured, with vet bills between $2,000-$4,000.
BOTH of these pit bulls come from SOCIAL TEES ANIMAL RESCUE, a no-kill shelter run by ROBERT SHAPIRO.
Shapiro adopted out the pit bull that attacked Mack Daddy a year ago. Speaking about the pit bull, Shapiro says, “It is a very sweet dog, but it shouldn’t be out without a muzzle on.” Yes, friends and neighbors, you read that correctly! Mr. Shapiro believes that dogs who are so dangerous that they cannot be allowed in public without muzzles on can, nonetheless, be “very sweet.” I am amazed that his head does not explode from cognitive dissonance.
The pit bull that attacked the Shepherd mix in the dog park was being fostered by a woman who refused to pay for the victim’s vet bills. Shapiro also refused to take any responsibility for the attack, even though the pit bull came from his shelter. He says that people who foster his animals sign paperwork in which they assume all responsibility for the animal in their care. Basically, Shapiro says, IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM!
SHAPIRO and Social Tees Animal Rescue were in the news this Fall after a number of pit bull attacks on other dogs in Tompkins Park dog run. At least one of the pit bulls came from Social Tees.
Shapiro says that he tells people not to bring pit bulls to the dog park. He also claims that he is the “fall guy,” and that he adopts out 10 pit bulls out of 1,000 animals per year. Well, friends and neighbors, I’m here to tell you that that claim is demonstrably false (total bullshit). I live in the same neighborhood as Social Tees. I pass by Social Tees on my way to the train station, and I have been inside Social Tees several times and have spoken with Shapiro and staff members on multiple occasions. I’ve seen the dogs with my own eyes.
Pit bulls are not a minority of dog adoptees at Social Tees. Most of the dogs at Shapiro’s shelter are pit bulls or pit mixes, and as you will see, my research shows that Robert Shapiro is an unapologetic pit bull enthusiast.
The man is entitled to his preference in breeds, of course. But he knows about pit bulls and their propensity for aggression. He adopts out pit bulls that “shouldn’t be out without a muzzle on.” He does same-day adoptions of pit bulls and releases pits to foster homes with the results you see in the media reports. The last time I was in Social Tees, they were trying to arrange transportation for two male pit bulls being adopted by a woman who lived in an outer borough (can’t take em on the subway—thank God!).
Another time, I was walking down 4th St. outside of Social Tees and encountered a Social Tees pit bull snarling and lunging at the leash to get at three tiny white toy poodles. The lady with the (leashed) poodles was trying to get around the pit bull. She’d stepped into the street and held her dogs close. She looked scared to death. The pit bull was forcibly dragged, barking and snarling, down the steps and into Social Tees.
So, let’s take a look at Robert Shapiro, “I only adopt 10 pit bulls out of 1000 animals per year.”
According to the people at American Bully World, Social Tees is “The #1 Bully and Animal Rescue on the East Coast!!!!”
Robert Shapiro: "They are such friendly dogs!"
“IF YOU DON'T KNOW THIS MANS NAME YET. GET TO KNOW IT. I'M AFRAID TO SAY AT SOME POINT WHEN WE HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO CALL AND NO ONE ELSE WANT'S TO HELP. IT'S A BLESSING THAT ROBERT SHAPIRO RUN'S SOCIAL TEES BULLY AND ANIMAL RESCUE ON THE EAST COAST. ROBERT IS THE REAL MCOY AND HAS BEEN ONE OF THE ONLY LIFE LINES FOR OUR BREED FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES. HE'S A TRUE HERO AND SELFLESS SAINT FOR THE AMERICAN BULLY AND THERE ANCESTORS BEFORE THEM. SO I THINK IT'S ONLY RITE WE TAKE A SECOND TO STAND UP AND SHOW OUR BULLY BROTHER SOME LOVE !”
Such a laudatory description of Shapiro! For a moment, I thought he was being nominated for a human rights prize at the United Nations (save that a UN press release would be literate)!
Check out Social Tees’ Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SocialTeesAnimalRescue?sk=wall
It’s a PIT-A-PALOOZA! Here are just a few--there are LOTS more (unfortunately):
But wait, there’s more!
Social Tees’ Facebook page also links to OTHER pit bull rescues which are trying to adopt out pit bulls. Shapiro supports releasing these dogs into the community! Let’s take a look at a few of these dogs that have the ROBERT SHAPIRO/SOCIAL TEES’ STAMP OF APPROVAL:
UNABLE TO COMPLETE BEHAVIOR EVALUATION BC OF BITING THE LEASH; LUNGING AT THE GATE—sounds like a PERFECT, GENTLE CITY PET!Urgent PART 2
My name is JENNY. My Animal ID # is A914729.
I am a female br brindle and white pit bull mix. The shelter thinks I am about 2 years old.
I came in the shelter as a STRAY on 10/21/2011 from NY 11237, owner surrender reason stated was STRAY.
10/27/2011 BEHAVIOR EVALUATION - NH ONLY
Exam Type BEHAVIOR
Unable to complet and eval when approaching the cage jenny begins lunging attempting to bite the rope and when handler ceases trying to remove from the cage he lunges at the gate
Bites the rubber hand during the temperament test; growls as other dog; guards food!!! NICE DOG!
Urgent PART 2
My name is LEONARD. My Animal ID # is A914685.
I am a male black and white cane corso and boxer mix. The shelter thinks I am about 1 year 6 months old.
I came in the shelter as a STRAY on 10/20/2011 from NY 11207, owner surrender reason stated was STRAY.
No Euth Memo
MOST RECENT MEDICAL RATING, BEHAVIOR RATING & WEIGHT
10/25/2011 Exam Type BEHAVIOR - Medical Rating is 2 NC - MINOR CONDITIONS NOT CONTAGIOUS, Behavior Rating is NH ONLY, Weight 68.6 LBS.
Assessor: Jason Russell Handler: Jeremy Medina Helper: A914391 Notes: Leonard pulls very hard on the leash and was excited but very interested in interacting with handler during assessment - jumped up, licked hands and face. He was excited during some of the handling items, but had soft body language. He was distracted and focused on objects in the room rather than the handler during the tag interaction and growled and bit the assess-a-hand during the food bowl test, then continued guarding the food after the assessor moved away. Leonard was not interested in toys or rawhide, but rushed in confidently towards the friendly dog; when close, growls. Look: 2. Dog pulls out of Assessor's hands each time without settling during three repetitions. Sensitivity: 1. Dog stands still and accepts the touch, his eyes are averted, and his tail is in neutral position with relaxed body posture. Dog's mouth is likely closed for at least a portion of the assessment item. Tag: 2. Dog is not fearful, but is unresponsive to the Assessor, and approaches the Assessor at the end of the game (may need coaxing to approach.) He is focused on stimuli other than the Assessor. Squeeze 1: 1. Dog gently pulls back his paw. Food: 5: He bites the Assessor Hand Toy 1: No interest. Reassess at future date. Rawhide: 1. No interest. Reassess at future date. Dog-dog: 4. Begins to growl at the helper dog
And THIS huge pit bull, Randy, was picked up off the street by a pit nutter. Nutter says Randy has “socialization issues” and that he couldn’t keep Randy because Randy kept trying to eat the other dogs. So, nutter shipped Randy up to NYC via the Pit Bull Rescue Train! Social Tees tried to help find Randy a home. Maybe we’ll see Randy playing with the other dogs at Tompkins Square Park Dog Run! And wouldn’t you LOVE to run into Randy in the narrow, steep stairwell of your walkup NYC apartment, with groceries in one hand and your cocker spaniel in the other…? SOUNDS LIKE FUN, RIGHT? THANK YOU, SHAPIRO AND SOCIAL TEES FOR HELPING TO FIND RANDY A HOME HERE IN NYC! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150746279535417.714964.816495416&l=5647163aac&type=1
PIT NUTTER JASON DURISHIN with RANDY
"HELLLOOOO, BIG APPLE! I look forward to meeting you--and your delicious Golden Retriever! Thanks for the networking help, Social Tees!"
***PLEASE HELP ME SAVE RANDY !*****
This is Randy...I rescued him on July 4th, finding him chained to a fence by my apartment. As some of you may know, I own and operate GoDoG Walking and Sitting Services, so along with my three dogs, " two guest pups", and my buddy Dennis, we took a midnight stroll when I heard barking from across the street. My pack and this large Pit Bull " had words" from across the street. Instantaneously, I recognized the cues, and knew that this dog had been abandoned. I had Dennis continue on with our pack, and I went across the street to investigate, only to discover, our soon-to-be-named Randy, chained to the outside of a brownstone on the street, with a water bowl at his feet. His territorial barking at us, seamlessly, and quickly turned to tail wagging-face-licking, and squeals-pleas for help. I had Dennis come back around with our pack to confirm what was pretty obvious, that Randy has some "socialization" issues with other dogs ( though, further work with him revealed, that his "mistrust" of other dogs, is most apparent when on leash, and on walks )...We took him to the 24 vet, who told us that "someone else had brought him in earlier", and said, "THEY had found him"...Bullshit ! So, whomever, took him back out and tied him up on the street, leaving him to whatever fate may come...the vet, would only call the ACC, who would probably of destroyed Randy within 72 hours...I could not bring him back home, so we cabbed it up to my devoted and stellar employee's in Bed Stuy, where Randy stayed for a couple of weeks. I took him to the vet, got him all his shots, etc...My employee and his girlfriend cared for Randy while I went to work trying to place him in a foster/forever home. He could only stay with my employee for two weeks, those two weeks came and went, and still no place for Randy, so I brought him home with me, and spent a few days with him, working with him and my dogs, and just falling in love with him. Randy could not stay at my place for too long due to his "socialization challenges", so through my tenacious, and diligent networking, I was able to place him in a no-kill shelter in the Bronx for two weeks...those two weeks will be up Saturday 8/6...Randy is a 70 LB Pit Bull, fixed, super loving, sweet, just want's to know his place in a pack, a family, and be with people. He is an older guy, maybe 8-12 years old estimated...My assessment, and my professional, intuitive opinion...Randy was probably some sort of junkyard dog, a guard dog, who was never socialized with other dogs..he has no scars, and I do not believe he was a "fighting dog", just isolated, and neglected. If anyone can foster him, or knows of anyone who can foster him, even if just for a couple weeks, or if anyone knows someone who would like to adopt, care for, and love this dog, please let me know....any foster costs will be paid for, and I am happy to come and work with him if you are close, and at the very least, educate you on what this dog needs. This guy just wants love, if ONE person, gets behind ONE dog or cat, we can change the whole evil landscape/system that discards and destroys our pets, our companions, who are nothing but pure, unconditionally loving, and devoted to us...this to me is sacred.
Jason Durishin Oh yes ! He has been saved ! He is living within a reputable pit bull foster network in upstate NY called Out of the Pits ! They love him ! He stays with them indefinitely if he is not adopted ! He had emergency surgery on a Massive bladder stone, that likely would have killed him within days, all paid for by The Mayor's Alliance...he is happy, loved, healthy, has a life, has a future ! A success story ! Thanks for checking in !
Ah yes, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a nonprofit org “committed to seeing the day when no New York City dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home.” The Mayor’s Alliance PAID for Randy’s bladder stone surgery, as you see. I’m sure that dogs like Randy are EXACTLY what the Alliance was set up for!Social Tees Animal Rescue is ALSO a member of the Mayor’s Alliance. Contact them and let them know how much you appreciate funding a shelter that enthusiastically releases dangerous pit bulls into the community.
Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite R290
New York, NY 10001-7604
Phone: (212) 252-2350
SOCIAL TEES ANIMAL RESCUE124 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003 (212) 614-9653
Out of the Pits? The rescue that placed the pit that nearly killed Frankie Flora? Interesting....
the honor and privilege is mine ro. this is an outstanding expose and what i hope is the first of many contributions.
shapiro's dangerous antics needs to be brought to the attention of the mayor. they should not be funding vicious dogs.
it is nice to see OUT OF THE PITS involved with this nutter. cyclona kristi, what do you think of CYD CROSS'S responsible org now?
visit out of the pits and see if you can find the pit bull.
and kudos to reality based dog trainer Garrett Russo for just saying NO to the nutter kool aid:
I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pitbulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical & Verterinary bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)
It is amazing that this is even legal...and another Poster child for BSL since they won't regulate themselves.
An update on Frankie Flora who OutofthePits helped get a trip to the Whitehouse:
Manhatten A/C Shelter spends over 1month trying to "rehabilitate" a Pit Bull involved in two maulings. Three dog trainers are bitten during the failed trafficking operation and no telling how many safe dogs received the needle!
They must have forgotten that NYC has paid out $Millions to pit mauling victims.
SUE EARLY AND SUE OFTEN!
Fantastic muckraking Ro Martinet! Of course, now I want to beat my head against a wall...
I am flabbergasted. I just recently visited NYC and walked through Washington Square Park and saw how crowded that dog park and the streets in the vicinity were and I can picture the horror of Mack Daddy's assault in those crowded streets and just floors me.
it makes me sick to think they are IMPORTING dangerous dogs to NYC that could be walking in those crowded streets. In the short time I was there I only saw one pit bull, and I could not believe anyone would be so irresponsible to just own one in the city.
This story is just unbelievable.
And it all comes down to being free of any accountability. I don't know how Shapiro can live with himself. (great pic, btw, with the creepy eyes). He just flat out lies that only 1% of his rescue is about pit bulls - I bet he's aware of more maulings his bullies have done if he's trying to hide the fact that he's the #1 Bully rescue on the east coast.
And about what Vintage said about these maulers taking resources from actual normal loving dogs that die - these people are incapable of doing the math. On that Urgent Part 2 facebook page there is one pit bull named Nena that was described as very sweet that got put down and there's 129 comments about weeping and asking "how?" and "why?" and suggesting "making kill shelters illegal".
Now, I'm not for rescuing any pit bull, but I'd much rather Nena be walking around than Randy and all these other maulers you've found and that they're frantically trying to save. But these morons can't figure out that when you fill rescues' and fosters' and adopters' cages and homes with the dangerous pit bulls that take months to "rehabilitate" and adopt out, Nena gets put down, not to mention the sweet normal dogs.
This is a great insider's expose Ro, Thank you so much and hope to hear more from you!
And Dawn, that link you provided to Garrett Russo's statements is absolutely amazing. He is in a position to have fairly good numbers, and that disparity is both insane and predictable. Why would anyone walk their normal dog anywhere near Shapiro's rescue and that dog run? sheesh.
Meanwhile, out in California where they have had 20 Pit Bull DBBRs since 2005:
Apparently, this dog trainer got his certificate out of a crackerjack box.
Thanks so much for your kind words about this article. I really appreciate it.
Vintage, I, too, am amazed that this shit is even legal...and what is even more jaw-dropping is the fact that Social Tees is tax-exempt and is (partially) publicly funded through the Mayor's Alliance. A totally well-intentioned program (Mayor's alliance) being exploited and gamed by objectionable minority interests.
I've been trying to go to Social Tees and do a census of the dogs there, counting the pit bulls, but for the last two weeks they've been in the process of moving from their location at 4th St. to a new place a few blocks away on 2nd. This prevented me from going.
I can say, though, that I originally went to Social Tees with the intention of volunteering--"No Kill" is great IN THEORY, yes? However, shortly thereafter I discovered Dogsbite.org and then Craven Desires, and I became very concerned about the pit bulls at Social Tees. Every time I've been there, pits were at least 2/3rds of the dogs population. Where'd the pit bulls come from..? WHO KNOWS. How'd they end up at the shelter (history of aggression? Snapping at kids? Eating the cat?)...? WHO KNOWS. Adopted or fostered to whom...? WHO KNOWS.
As Snack said, the streets are very congested here, and the population density is very high. Lots of kids, babies in strollers, people walking their dogs. I couldn't fathom walking a Social Tees pit bull down the street (with it's "Adopt Me!" vest on, no less) and risk it biting someone or their pet. Huge liability, and it's just morally indefensible.
On that note, I am very skeptical that Shapiro's written contract absolving him of liability in the event that one of his fostered dogs bites something would hold up in court. Just because you say "I'm not responsible, do you concur?" doesn't mean that you are, in fact, responsible.
Another thing that concerns me is that I doubt Shapiro contacts the landlords of the people who adopt or foster his dogs. A ton of people are renters in NYC, and many landlords do not accept dogs in their apts, especially larger ones, and especially pit bulls. Apartments here are often VERY small and primitive--the idea of encountering an aggressive pit bull on the stairs or in the lobby is totally hair-raising. Jesus, there's just no space to get away...
Dawn, I can't believe I neglected to include that quote about the estimated damages pit bulls have done in Tompkins Square Park! Argh, it's a good one--I'll try to edit the draft later today to include it.
Social Tees sucks bigtime. I'm all for saving animals--who isn't?--but Shapiro's practices are dangerous and the guy is a LIAR. A deliberate liar.
Thanks again. Will check in later.
FYI....50% off sale on wiggle butts.
The Pit-peddlers love to claim BSL never works and NYC is a perfect example of how that is a lie. 1988 after 389 Pit attacks, Mayor Koch managed to pass a Pit Bull ban on new Pitties in NYC. In 1991, the AKC and ADOA succesfully sued and had the ban thrown out.
In 2011, pitties are on pace for 1000 attacks on city residents. Now a co-dependent industry of dog fighters, pit breeders and Pit Rescue industry flourishes...all tax and liability free!
Mauling victims be damned....
GREAT PIT BULL DOG SHOW MOMENTS IN HISTORY:
February 23, 1895, Westminster Dog Show, New York City:
"Some of the bulldogs and Bull Terriers had metal screens in front of them so spectators would not be bitten"
* Note: This is the last known instance of the Pit Bull Community actually regulating themselves.
** Disclaimer...You can't make this stuff up!
God, this really shows that there needs to be some kind of federal regulation. Around here in Best Friends territory there is a constant battle where pits are banned or unbanned and hearings are going on all over the place but little actually gets done. Does anyone know how canada managed to get national BSL put into place? Another weird thing is how everyone sees local stories of pit bull maulings but little is said on the national scale, even when really severe killings occur.
i don't know much about canada but i don't think they have national BSL. does anyone else have this information?
I thought they did because cesar millan asked for an exception to be made during a visit...it could have just been wherever he was visiting inside canada though.
I know that ralph nader managed to create consumer protection laws that worked nationally. Maybe I should look into him? He got seatbelts required in cars, despite a lot of push back from the auto industry. The pitbull lobby looks pretty weak compared to american automobile manufacturers of the 60's... either way, the local solutions aren't working. The pit nutters outnumber victims, and it is bullshit because the stakes involved are much higher for victims than pit nutters.
skeptifem, a brilliant analogy to nader, car safety and auto industry.
i could be wrong, i don't follow laws very closely but ontario banned them a few years ago. the existing pits were grandfathered in and i think they have to be spayed/neutered and muzzled, maybe microchipped. i don't think any other province has BSL.
i just checked dogsbite.org for canada info.
Hi Skeptifem! Thrilled you read this post; I love your blog. Thanks for your thoughts.
Obviously, Nader spearheaded the seatbelt advocacy in the 1960s. The political climate was different then--LBJ Great Society liberalism was about to hit it big. I did not live during this time period, but as a grad student in policy studies, I am skeptical that Nader would have had such success today. I could be wrong.
Regulating the car industry is easy--and people can get behind it because it was Ford Pintos which were bad and threatening, not ALL cars or manufacturers. Everyone knew where the dangerous cars were coming from. It was an easy target for gov't interventions.
Regulating dogs would be much, much more difficult. The existing bureaucracy--mostly ACOs and the police, to a lesser extent--is not equipped to handle it. And it would require regulating individual behavior--assholes breeding pits in the backyard, people taking in strays, on and on, you know the issues. It's hard for the Feds to crack down on citizens--at that level. That's why they often devolve program implementation to the state/local level.
Also, as we all know: people are very emotional about their dogs. Feds try to regulate BSL and the dog breeding community and a lot of dog lovers will go totally apeshit and they will never stop. "The feds regulating our pets! WHAT NEXT?! COMMUNISM! VEGANISM!"
On that note, no Prez is gonna want to be known as the "Dogcatcher Prez" if/when this fails in Congress. No matter how reasonable or necessary such legislation may be. They gotta run for re-election. Can you picture the adversarial campaign commericals? "Prez was concerned with dogs...WHEN COUNTRY WAS (going to hell in handcart/insert national tragedy here)!"
IMO, BSL is going to be a local struggle, at the municipal level. City by city, maybe county by county. That's the way our government structure here in the USA works, for better or for worse. In France, one could ban pit bulls and it would work, mostly. Not here. Too many layers of gov't.
Sorry, I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. I wish Obama would sign this legislative bill tomorrow. But it will never happen.
I think it'll have to happen as Vintage has said--Sue early, sue often, punish them and make it socially acceptable. The victims, unfortunately, are going to have to eat the shit and pay the cost for this in advocacy and lawyer's fees. It is heinously unfair.
The best part of this is that the Mayor's Alliance will traffic, pilfer, launder $25 Million to these organizations from ASPCA and Maddie's Fund.
The kicker is they only receive money when they adopt out the dog...So the City is incentivizing them not to euthanize.
See them Manhatten A/C shelter story I posted earlier.
NYC has paid out big judgements to Pit mauling victims...Sue them early and sue them often!
Looks like the Mayor's Animaul Alliance is in control:
FIVE LOUSY SHOTS?!?!?
i was expecting to read they both emptied their magazines in the ugly thing. WTF? the dog was still alive after THREE! then at the end of this story, the gothamist links to a trenton pit bull who survived a shot to the head. WTF?!
WHY do people want to be cops?
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