Monday, January 23, 2012

Pit Bull Service Dogs: They're too sensitive but they still need prong collars

The recent near-fatal mauling of Joe Finley in Chicago revealed a great deal about who runs Chicago Animal Care and Control and how it operates.

Finley's brutal attack left him without a foot or the use of his arm. In response, the CACC and the city attorney's office did exactly nothing to prosecute the irresponsible owner that let his dogs, which were known to be aggressive, run at large. Local residents and aldermen were appalled and wanted action to ensure public safety. When Alderman Fioretti raised the question of a pit bull ban, the obligatory pit bull service dog handler was trotted out to state he was afraid that his pit bull service dog would be taken away if BSL were enacted in Chicago. The service dog handler in this case was Chris Maddeford and the service dog is in fact a service dog in training from Kelly and Greg Yearwood's non-profit called Pits for Patriots which was started up less than a year ago. They started with four pit bulls and two of those washed out - one for health and one for temperament reasons.

The remaining two pit bull service dogs in training wearing prong collars.

Pits for Patriots cites as their inspiration two "successful" pit bull service dog organizations, one in New York, and one in Tampa Bay, Florida. More about that later.

News updates have come out in which Finley describes his horrific attack at length. Though he gave up on his foot long before he was finally rescued, he never lost consciousness and he never quit fighting to keep them from getting his neck.
"Finley says he wants to run again, a hobby he took up just 10 years ago. Finley says he also wants to work on erasing the mental image of the attacks. He says he replays it over and over in his head. He will be discharged from Stroger Hospital and transferred to an in-patient rehab facility in the Chicago area."
"Trauma surgeons at Stroger say during the first few days of recovery they were not sure if Finley was going to survive. One doctor describes Finley's injures as equivalent to stepping on a landmine. Doctors credit Finley's incredible physical and mental strength for his survival."

Peggy Sue Leifer left this comment on the CBS local news update:
Peggy Sue Leifer is Snicker's fur mommy. Notice she's not sending good wishes directly to Finley, she's addressing her old pal Steve Miller, the WBBM reporter who interviewed her a few weeks earlier about bringing a pit bull to Aurelia, Iowa which has a pit bull ban.

Isn't it sweet and thoughtful that she bids Miller to send the man who just nearly was killed by pit bulls the good wishes from Snickers the pit bull, too?

Peggy Sue Leifer is the wife of ex-marine, retired Chicago cop, and stroke survivor Jim Sak. They lived in Chicago until the end of 2011 when they moved to Leifer's hometown of Aurelia Iowa. The city of Aurelia had recently enacted a ban on pit bulls in response to specific public safety problems the city was facing with regards to pit bull attacks.

The city of Aurelia, IA, responding to a petition from residents, enforced the pit bull ban it has had on the books since 2008. The pit bull in question is none other than Snickers, Sak and Leifer's pit bull which they allege is Sak's service dog. And now Sak and Leifer are suing the city of Aurelia with monetary and other support from Animal Farm Foundation, a pit bull ownership advocacy group.

Two separate advocacy groups have responded to this story, pit bull advocates and advocates for equal rights for people with disabilities.

1. Pit bull ownership advocates feel that though there is no constitutional right to own a pet dog, they must be guaranteed the freedom to own a type of dog that has killed more people than all other kinds of dogs combined in recent years, no matter the effect on the community, and with no concomitant responsibility. And they frequently and publicly wish ill will and harm to anyone who disagrees with them.

2. Advocates for people with disabilities have successfully lobbied to protect and assert their constitutional rights, freedoms and access guaranteed all US citizens.

Take a guess: which group members do you suppose have taken to the internet comments sections and participated in a collective hysterical hissy fit condemning an entire town and which group members have participated in educated, reasoned and nuanced discussions about freedom, rights and responsibility?

The Nutters:

Diann says: can these City Officials and some residents be anymore bigotted and ignorant? May the Bible you thump open to the right page and the Church pew all you good Christian folk sit on burn your bottoms! Shameful and Disgraceful behavior by the petition signers.

Clay Hund says: Burn the town down, and lynch the politicians!!!

Selwyn Marock says: I hope you do the planet a favour and choke on your turkey bone.

Commenters on the public boards on Service Dog Central:

Kirsten says: The letter of the law is REASONABLE accommodation, not any and all accommodation without having to ask for it. In the case where dogs in general are allowed in a community, reasonable accommodation assumes no special request for accommodation is necessary. But when we look at places such as housing, the accommodation must be requested. So I think they could make a case that this is a reasonable accommodation to take into account the community's right to self govern and protect their citizens AND the PWD's right to have a SD. A compromise. Reasonableness loves a compromise. Not budging is very likely to land them with a very broad "any pitbull claimed as a service dog, without proof, is allowed" and that's going to be a huge mess.

The entire thread is an interesting read as is this link to the Bronk v Ineichen suit Kirsten refers to in the thread.

You can immediately see that pit bull advocates view freedom as "I should be able to do anything I want." Kirsten and the other commenters on the Service Dog Central forum, who have had to be vigilant and pro-active about asserting and protecting their equality and rights, have a much more sophisticated and reasonable understanding of freedom.

And the people at SDC also realize that just because Mr. Sak has a disability and claims his dog is a service dog, that doesn't necessarily make it so. The Bronk v Ineichen suit demonstrates that people with a disability who own a dog, but can't demonstrate that the dog meets the standards of service dog training cannot claim the dog to be a service dog. Moreover, by following the discussion in the SDC Aurelia thread, it is clear that advanced obedience training, as well as individually trained tasks, is a requirement for a sufficiently trained service dog. It is assumed that a genuine service dog would have both the training and temperament that would make it safe in any public area.

There are a number of reasons to suspect that this dog is a genuinely beloved pet, but not an adequately trained service dog.

The description of individually trained tasks Snickers has been trained to perform listed by the physical therapist, the Animal Farm Foundation and the motion for preliminary injuctions all consistently name the same three individually trained tasks - "walking, balance, and retrieving items around the house."

Sak and his wife describe, at various times, completely different tasks than those mentioned by the physical therapist, lawyers and pit bull advocacy group; they do not mention the "retrieving items" task at all; and they contradict each other as well as the legal documents submitted in the suit. Sak says that the dog is specifically trained to regard a hand tremor as a signal to sit and wait for a command which is usually go get his wife so she can help him back up after a fall. But, Peggy Sue Leifer, his wife, says, "I have a very hard time getting Jim back to his feet, but he and Snickers have it worked out."

Sometimes, Snickers' trained task is described as dragging Sak to the wall or furniture so he can pull himself up and other times Snickers is described as being trained to stand so Sak can pull himself up by pulling on Snickers collar.

Snickers seems to be an unlikely candidate for a balance and support service dog for a grown man because he is simply not large enough to do the job. The Service Dog Project breeds and trains Great Danes as balance and support service dogs. The SDP states, "The Balance support dog should be at least 40% of the person’s height. A 6-foot tall man needs a 30” dog. This puts stability at the person’s fingertips. The dog should also weigh at least half the person’s weight." They also outline the long training period for the dogs and go into detail about how the handlers are trained to pull themselves up in a specific way so as to not injure the dog.

Snickers was supposedly trained, in the event of a fall, to drag Sak to furniture to allow him to pull himself up. Sak grabs Snicker's collar for this purpose. But, as SDC members note, this would be injurious to Snickers. Evidently, Sak did not consult any service dog information at all because the most cursory search on the internet suggests that Snickers should be fitted with a harness to safely accomplish this task.

Sak provided a letter from his physical therapist to the city council that states she "was involved in" and "supervised" therapy sessions that included Snickers. She stops short of stating she helped train the dog and she was apparently unaware of several of the quite physical tasks that Snickers had been trained to do - dragging Sak, allowing Sak to pull himself upright by pulling on him and, alerting Leifer of a fall. (See attachments at the end of the document)

If the dog is self-trained, evidence of the number of hours this dog was trained first in obedience training to an advanced level and then in individual training for specific tasks to aid his handler should be available to the judge because though it is permissible to train a service dog one's self, the owner must still put the same amount of training on the dog.

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners has advocated for responsible service dog partnerships for 80 years. They maintain that trainers function as ambassadors for the assistance dog movement. The IAADP believes that "assistance dogs have worked successfully in public and won the public's acceptance by achieving high behavioral and training standards which set them apart from pets and other animals. Their exemplary conduct led to state legislatures granting access rights to the blind, deaf and mobility impaired. Those early teams paved the way for the Americans With Disabilities Act, which has opened the door to individuals with a wide range of physical and mental impairments being able to have access rights."

Their suggested minimum training best practice standards include a minimum of 120 hours of training logged over a period of at least 6 months.

People focus on the "individually trained tasks" that are required for a dog to qualify as a service dog, but it must be stressed that a service dog also required to be very well obedience trained and be obedient in all public situations they are exposed to. It is significant that in the motion for a preliminary injunction, Sak and Leifer stipulated that they would not take Snickers in public. One could suspect that Sak had no desire to take Snickers out in public if the dog's behavior might betray the fact that he is not highly trained to be obedient in public places.

Please note the "trainer's responsibilities" section on the same IAADP page. The first responsibility is to "know pertinent canine laws." As a former CPD tactical officer who worked in a city that banned handguns, Officer Sak's duty was to enforce a handgun ban no matter his personal views on the issue and he, more than anyone, is aware that the law applied to everyone, even those who professed ignorance of the local ban and who were otherwise responsible with handguns.

However, he and his wife used this very excuse to explain why they brought a pit bull to a town with a pit bull ban. It is highly doubtful they were ignorant of pit bull bans in general or that owning a pit bull mix would potentially subject them to bans if they moved. And it stretches credulity to think that they were unaware of the ban in Aurelia given Leifer's affiliation with Cynthia Bathurst of Best Friends Animal Society and Safe Humane Chicago. Both organizations strongly advocate for pit bulls and against pit bull bans and work closely with the Chicago Police Department about dogfighting and other pit bull issues.

Much as been made by pit bull advocate groups of the horror of having one's service dog and pet taken away. No mention whatsoever has been made about adults taking responsibility for their choices. The first choice made was to get the pit bull mix knowing that having a kind of dog often subject to breed bans would restrict their freedom of movement with the dog - whether they agreed with the bans or not. Their second choice was to attempt to make their pit bull pet into a service dog by registering it with NSAR, a scam registry, instead of looking at one of the many organizations that offer free training for veteran owners who want to train their own dog or make available genuine, trained service dogs to veterans at no cost through private donations and a federally funded pilot program through the VA:

Yet another organization, Pit Bulls 4 Patriots, was founded with the intention of training rescued pit bulls as service dogs for veterans with PTSD. The newly minted Chicago-based Pits for Patriots claims they were inspired by this Florida organization. The history of this organization provides yet another reason to be skeptical of pit bulls paraded as service dogs.

Pit Bulls 4 Patriots had to abandon their original concept but the dedicated founders transformed the program into Hounds 4 Heros, a program that uses rescued greyhounds instead. Why? The pit bulls were not working out as service dogs. They took too long to train, and they found that pit bulls were too "sensitive" to work with handlers with PTSD because they "reflected" the symptoms of their handler's PTSD. Evidently, the pit bulls were exhibiting common symptoms of PTSD: anger, irritability, hypervigilance, and anxiety. Irritable pit bull service dogs. No Thank You.

In addition, the wonderful pit bull "washouts" could not be easily adopted so the founders of the organization are now the proud owners of a boatload of pits. Rescue pit bulls, it seems, are not inherently (genetically), suited to service dog work.

It seems that greyhounds possess inherent (genetic) characteristics that pit bulls do not:

"In our search for the "perfect" PTSD service dog, we are very excited to have Murray join us. Greyhounds tend to be calm, loving but not pushy, caring but not overly sensitive, and are happy to relax and go wherever their person needs them to be."

Second quote:
Our dogs are carefully selected for having exceptionally calm and stable temperaments. We like working with greyhounds because we do not have to train over any strong genetically bred instincts and drives (such as protection/guarding, being territorial, herding, dog aggression, or hunting). It was surprising for us to learn that although some greyhounds have a strong prey drive, most do not. While growing to adulthood in preparation for racing, greyhounds remain in daily contact with their litter mates and other hounds. They are spared from the jarring loss of their pack at an exceedingly young age, unlike most other dogs, who are bred and quickly sold as pets. This continued companionship with their own kind is extremely healthy for balanced brain development and canine social skills. Since they are being groomed to become racing dogs, their lives are disciplined, with plenty of exercise, routines, and very clear guidance from all the humans they come in contact with. As a result, they tend to be peacefully submissive to people, and easily accept direction. This is very helpful in their new roles as service dogs for our PTSD veterans.
This next quote seems to speak directly to their experience with pit bulls and to the very real dangers of trying to shape dogs bred for fighting into service dogs:
We can't overstate the importance of the balanced minds and good nature of these dogs for their job as psychiatric service dogs. It is critical that our dogs are going to be calm and stable "on their own" without the necessity of great guidance and leadership from their handler. When living with someone who has fluctuating weak energy and leadership skills, such as anyone with a psychiatric disorder, a dog will revert to its genetically bred instincts and/or to default behaviors learned in puppyhood. Skilled training can override weaknesses in temperament and high-drive instinctual behaviors, but our PTSD handlers will not be able to maintain training over the top of these things. The longer the team spends together, the more the dog's training would "unravel" and revert to the genetic predisposition of the dog. Examples of this would be an unbalanced German Shepherd who falls back inappropriately to his instinct to guard and bite when threatened, or a herding dog who neurotically begins nipping at the feet and heels of anything that moves around his person. With the greyhounds their default is to either relax, or quietly withdraw into themselves. As a result, they don't act out, become dangerously unbalanced, or create problems for their handlers or the public. They are able to maintain and return to their trained behaviors with relative ease.These gentle, intelligent, and malleable dogs respond very well to our positive training methods. They are able to perform the many kinds of tasks and work that most benefit people who face the daunting challenge of living with PTSD.
the PB4P service pit bulls in training and the other kind of service dog

Pit bull service dogs that end up in the news have almost always turned out to be scams, sometimes disastrous ones. Robert Weller even got a ban exemption in Denver for his supposed service dog. It bit him many times and the last time it wouldn't let go.

That is not stopping AFF from launching their own rescue pit bull stunt service dog training program. They are going at it the right way, too. They are basically putting out a nationwide call for appropriate pit bulls that they will evidently transport to the Farm at their own cost. But the best news is they now believe that anyone can identify a pit bull, because they will accept any dog that was identified by anyone at intake as a pit bull for the program!

They undoubtedly will be able to come up with a few pit bulls with the temperament of a labrador retriever, which is basically what they're looking for, by casting such a wide net. But it is nothing more than another stunt, just like the failed Lawdogs experiment.

This lawsuit in Aurelia IA, is another stunt by the monied AFF. They are turning a grown man, a marine, into a victim to suit their agenda and they are scapegoating an entire city. Aurelia is not taking it lying down. These people love their city very much and they very articulately describe their home town and the goodness of the people in it.

After reading people's comments on Facebook and other media outlets, such as "I Hope the people of Aurelia burn in Hell and are eaten by pit bulls," and other people insulting family members of the city council, I am for sure embarrassed.
Eight years ago I witnessed thousands of people in this rural community stand on the side of the road to salute a KIA Marine; where two young boys in the back of a pick-up truck held on to an American flag in 35 mile an hour wind to honor him; where an 83 year old veteran stood on the side of road in sub zero temperatures because he wanted to salute this young American for the last time; where fireman flew a flag over the road attached to a ladder because they felt it was their job
I am hearing many people assault the city council members, who were simply trying to do their job and enforce an existing law after they were petitioned to do so. They have even been called unpatriotic by some. As a veteran, I will say that this is a legal issue and the subject being a veteran has nothing to do with the conflict at center.

For those of you throwing mud at the council, insulting them behind their backs in the name of patriotism, and claiming to be ashamed of Aurelia, you need to know that veterans are not victims, they are strong individuals, and to consider one a victim is an insult to those left on the battle field.

The national vitriol being aimed at the City of Aurelia for enforcing a City Ordinance banning pit bulls in the town is unfair, unjust, unduly harsh, and simply doesn't relate to the type of wonderful people who call that community "home."

Acting upon a citizen petition calling for enforcement of the pit bull ban, the City Council, paying heed to its constituency, earlier this month voted 3-2 to uphold the ban that resulted in a pit bull mix banned from the City limits.
After checking around, we found that having a pit bull as a "service dog" is extremely rare, if any others exist at all.

We do not know what the City of Aurelia plans on doing about the pit bull ban enforcement, or if it will recant its actions, amend the ordinance, and legally allow the man to have his "service dog" returned to him.

According to reports, the man is suing the City of Aurelia in an effort to get his dog back. Aurelia has a local attorney in the case, and the man also has an attorney paid by a national animal rights group.

Apparently, it all may be played out in a court of law.

Without getting into all the gory details, pit bull bans are on many city's books for a reason. For Aurelia, or any other city to roll the dice, run scared, and turn 'em all loose on an unsuspecting public because of the special circumstances surrounding this case is hazardous and possibly fatal folly.

Sak and Leifer have won a preliminary injunction to keep Snickers until their lawsuit against the City has been decided. It has been reported that they are asking that a judge find that Aurelia's ordinance is in violation of the ADA and unenforceable and that Sak and Leifer are seeking damages from the city. That will show them and any other city what they'll get if they try to do their duty and exercise home rule principles to protect their citizens.


DubV said...

Excellent article!

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

i agree snack, this is truly outstanding work.

DubV, did you notice that your nemesis CLAY HUND got a mention?

my favorite part was about greyhounds being suitable for a job that america's most versatile dog can't do.

is it just me or is JANE BERKEY becoming more evil? is that even possible?

Jake said...

This is another example of the kind of writing that makes CD great -

Small Survivors said...

Thank you All!

Yes, Clay Hund left the best comment EVA to illustrate my point

Did you all know that Clay Hund has gone back to being white now?

april 29 said...

I think it is significant to note that the first Aurelia City Council meeting dealing with the Snickers issue was on November 21, 2011. The "certification" by NSAR was obtained after that date. The "certification" is dated November 28, 2011. Please google NSAR for requirements and proceedures for "service dog certification." I am not kidding, it is two clicks of the mouse and payment of $69, sight unseen, any dog may be "certified." NSAR is a scam and it has negative impact on the rights of the disabled.

The AFF is using the ADA to bully municipalities. This particular case is not about the rights of the disabled, it is about the home rule rights of communities versus breed specific advocacy.

Anonymous said...

The irony of this whole thing is the same Federal Government that bans Pits from DOD and Federal housing areas based on safety, is focring cities to accept pit bulls.... Based on the interpretation of a non-elected Govt flunky.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

"the first Aurelia City Council meeting dealing with the Snickers issue was on November 21, 2011. The "certification" by NSAR was obtained after that date. The "certification" is dated November 28, 2011."

snack, please work this into your blog post.
good catch april29!

Small Survivors said...

Thank you april 29, I added a link to the registration page for the NSAR.

Sak freely admits that he got the registration after the first meeting to "ease the minds" of the city council.

and this point was made in the judges findings for granting the preliminary injunction.

NSAR Ce rtific a te ; Stipulated Facts at ¶ 1 3 . Sak and Leifer testified that, although they did not believe that any such certificate was required, they obtained this NASR Certificate for Snickers after the City expressed concerns about him, hoping to make the City’s decision makers more “comfortable” or “feel better” about Snickers’s presence in the City .

And they are right. No such certificate is needed or recognized by law and therefore is a scam.

And April 29 is right, all you need to do is click some boxes affirming that you have a disability and your service dog is both obedience trained and individually trained to perform tasks. You need offer no other proof. pay them and the certificate is yours.

Thanks for that April29!

Small Survivors said...

D'oh! Already done, Dawn!

april 29 said...

Two clicks of the mouse and payment of $69 sure makes me more "comfortable", and I "feel better" already.

cinnamon2005 said...

As someone who has worked in the field of person'a with disabilities for over 25 years, I can tell you few if any pits would pass a true training of a service dog. I think few even have their CGC!
On another note...this has happened in my area:

DubV said...

Yep, Clay Hund never fails to deliver. I don't think he could be anyone's nemesis since that implies being an opponent and formidable!

Small Survivors said...

"Two clicks of the mouse and payment of $69 sure makes me more "comfortable", and I "feel better" already." Yepper.

Thanks for the insight cinnamon

scurrilous amateur blogger said...


this link is soooooooooo better. you will get a little more back ground on skanky tattooed felon debra peters who was previously accused of siccing hee mutant on her ex. the city determined that she can not own a dog over 20 lbs because she is a felon. but my favorite part is at the end when AC says that their PRIMARY job is the PROTECTION OF THE RESIDENTS OF MINNEAPOLIS. apparently there is one city left in the US who still cares about the safety of its citizens.

cinnamon2005 said...

Dawn, I read the first one and the followup. I emailed the city my support of their decision as I knew they would get lots of hate emails. This was their response:
We appreciate your email and support.

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) makes significant efforts to get adoptable animals out of the shelter and into new homes. We have nearly tripled the number of animals adopted out in 2011, compared to 2010. Unfortunately, not every animal will make a good pet. It would be dangerous and irresponsible to allow potentially dangerous animals to be adopted.

Our staff is working to find an animal rescue organization that can handle the kinds of behavioral issues that were present in this case, but at this point we haven’t been able to find a group that meets our safety standards. All rescue groups working with MACC are required to go through a screening process to give the animals the best chance of finding a forever home and not being victimized again. In 2011, we also added a volunteer program so that many of our dogs receive walks and our cats receive one on one attention.

We cannot discuss the specific details of particular cases; this was not a simple case of domestic abuse, which would have been a different situation. In fact, MACC has a domestic violence intervention initiative that allows victims of domestic violence to kennel their animals at our facility and no cost while the individuals work to get out of a violent situation. MACC staff work hard to find new homes of animals, including working with more than 20 rescue organizations, and staff are currently working to add to that number. MACC is dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals and the finding of forever homes for animals.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

pit nutters sure do twist the fact in the media.

which direction does the hysteria and bias REALLY slant?

thanks for sharing that.

Miss Margo said...


Thank you for writing this great article! It's very rich; I'm going to come back and re-read it later.

Also, tangentially, I was on the train at rush hour this week when I saw--a 'service pit!' The train was packed--all seats taken, and lots of people standing. There was this young guy sitting with his big Ambull at his feet. The guy was dressed like a gutterpunk and had a huge backpack with him--he looked like he might've been homeless to me, but who knows. The dog had on a prong collar and a 'service dog.' The people around it were staring and trying to keep some distance, and the dog was looking at its owner and whining a little bit (I think the sound and lights of traveling underground might've worried it).

Animals are forbidden on trains, btw, unless they are service dogs or contained in a crate.

Made me so pissed off. I tried to take a pic with my cell phone, but couldn't get a good one in the crowd. If there was a cop around I would have reported it, but there wasn't, and I didn't know what else to do.

Thanks again Snack. And that photo of the greyhound--WTF? made my day.

cinnamon2005 said...

Every time a nutter has said what a wonderful pit they have, I have asked if they have their CGC? Not one response back yet. FYI-AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

cinnamon2005 said...

I agree it's a great article. I've been around many service dogs when I worked with quads..not pits were used. I was impressed recently when I saw a Labradoodle service dog! Very well trained. I highly doubt any legit service dog organization uses prong collars in training.

Small Survivors said...

Miss Margo, Thank you!

There is virtually no chance that ambull was a genuine service dog, and the gall of people. That dog could cause a bloodbath in no time. Damn, I wish you could have gotten a pic of that!

Unfortunately, even if you could have found a cop, they couldn't do anything. This is the kind of BS these nutters and the DOJ are creating.

Thank you cinnamon -

more great info and insights, too. The posters on the Service Dog discussion group also believed that if Snickers were legit, the owners would have produced a CGC or equivalent certificate and that the scam registry is a red flag.

And to go on an even bigger tangent, that info from the MACC letter about what happens in abuse cases reminded me of this recent article I found about a truly heroic dog protecting his mistress from her abuser.

april 29 said...

Frequently breed specific advocates claim that their pit is "working toward his CGC." This makes me laugh. CGC simply requires about 5 minutes of reasonably good behavior. Pretty much any normal dog can pass this test without any special training. Why does a pit bull take months to years to prepare for this test?

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

Why does a pit bull take months to years to prepare for this test?

dog aggression and separation anxiety

Anonymous said...

This is already settled Law:

2002 US District Court Judge William Alsup weighs in on PTSD "Stunt Pits" and landlords:

Issuing one of the first court verdicts to weigh a conflict between the right of a legally disabled person to keep a companion animal and the duty of landlords to protect tenants from dangerous dogs, U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled on August 8, 2002 that the San Francisco landlord of Guy Lowe, 38, met the requirements of federal law and the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission by allowing legally disabled persons to keep small dogs, and that Lowe, whose claimed disability is severe depression, acted unreasonably in demanding to keep a pit bull terrier. "The potentially catastrophic consequences of a pit bull attack must be considered, even if the risk of that attack is remote," Judge Alsup wrote

cinnamon2005 said...

I read some of the comments on Service Dog..I don't think they realize that these pit people just slap any old title they want on their dog and as far as a service dog title, that should be offensive to those that have worked hard with the dogs that get qualified for it. A gal at the office worked with service dogs as she was in a wheel chair. Something happened to one of her dogs and it could no longer be a SD so she had to go through an organization to get another. She didn't just go to the pound and grab any dog.
Thanks for the link. Great article. I was impressed that MACC and the judge ignored the outcry and put the dog down. My guess is the dog has had bite issues before.

cinnamon2005 said...

I think what makes me work up towards my eventual heart attack is when the nutters go on articles about people/dogs attacked, mauled and killed..claiming couldn't be a pit, my pit is so wonderful, pit must have been wanting to play, tripped and somehow grabbed the person/dog by the throat by accident...and all the other crap they say.
Now my area here is hunting fanatics. They love their hunting dogs which can cost thousands. There are some pit's in the area but the owners know too many people around here have rifles and will just shoot their dogs if they get loose.

cinnamon2005 said...

Vintage, thanks for that info and link.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

"too many people around here have rifles and will just shoot their dogs if they get loose. "

the way it SHOULD be everywhere!

Small Survivors said...

Vintage - what a link! The way its written, it completely would support a city ban!

cinnamon, I also would think this would be offensive to people who depend on service dogs because it creates distrust about all service dogs.

I know they are very protective of their freedom of choice and do not cotton to additional regulations and restrictions.

I would think that they would be offended that thee nutters abuses will lead to more regulation.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

here is a nutter vet patty kuhly feeling the wrath of the legitimate disabled community for making a mockery of service dogs with the use of stunt pits. scroll the comments, the last one is especially critical of kuhly.

nutter vet patty kuhly was featured in a blog last year.

cinnamon2005 said...

Yup, I'm all for people having a CWP.

cinnamon2005 said...

And what they are forgetting is that bully breeds attack guide dogs on a rgular basis.

cinnamon2005 said...

"feeling the wrath of the legitimate disabled community " Wow they sure did!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Alsup ruling is reinforced by the GRUESOME FACT that 22 Californians have been killed by Pits since he made it.

Really need collection of Stunt Pit failures...Here is one of my personal favorites..(even though it is a mere Therapy-Pit)


In a classic backfire, Anna Klafter's SPCA pencil whipped therapy pit named Polly, goes beserk after seeing it's first police horse in Golden Gate Park. The Officer was put on the disability rolls and the city's Police Horse has to be retired. The irony is that the taxpayer's horse is donated to the same SPCA that unleashed Polly onto the community!

**Disclaimer..You can't make this stuff up!

cinnamon2005 said...

Small Survivors said...

Ugh! This never happens with labs. And in a sane world there would be a lawsuit in the offing.

and Why are People STILL adopting these things?

cinnamon2005 said...

People are gullible. They are told these dogs have been abused, etc..they know if they convey the true of a dogs history, it won't get adopted. And you know the pit people think every pitbull life is worth saving regardless of any history of attacks/maulings or killings. Many years ago my 200lb Mastiff got into a fight with my Irish Setter. They lived together with no problems for 6 years. The Mastiff was a bully, the Setter was the omega and didn't mind..then one day the Setter was sniffing the floor for food and the Mastiff snapped at him. The Setter lost it and flew at Markie. Without a break stick, I pull Markie away from the Setter and down the hall to another room, The Setter just stayed where he was. It would not have ended that way if it would have been two pits.

Small Survivors said...

Cinnamon, you're right, of course. I was just having a moment...

200 lb mastiff - I can't even imagine!

cinnamon2005 said...

I used to bring Markie to the Game Fair in our area...not only for his socialization with other dogs but since many people have never seen a Mastiff, it was way they could. I was asked what kind of dog he was. I said a new kind of Retriever..makes a big splash when he hits the water!
My Mastiff now is a female so weighs in at about 165..My Dogue de Bordeaux is about 130lb.

Anonymous said...

Who can forget this heartwarming failed stunt-pit operation that occurred in South Carolina last month?!?

cinnamon2005 said...

From an article about MACC cutbacks: One family gave up its two feisty pit bulls to prepare for the arrival of a baby. Hey! aren't they Nanny dogs?

cinnamon2005 said...

DubV said...

I just can't understand the mentality of someone who wants to own giant breeds either, unless it is for a very specific purpose such as water or mountain rescue. I'll never own a dog that I cannot defeat in a weaponless fight. My simple rule is: never own an animal that can kill me if it decides to one day in its doggie head. I own a 27 lbs doxle.

cinnamon2005 said...

I'm probably partial to the giant breeds as I am small so they make me feel protected. I am a strong pack leader and they learn from the get go who's the boss. For me, I don't like the small dogs. But now I wouldn't own a Bullmastiff due to the greater chance of aggression with the bully breed mixed in.

Anonymous said...

what about the mentality of someone who chooses a dog bred physically and psychologically for violence ? then these people turn around and deny facts even when a corpse is presented as evidence. when something happens, rather than keeping quiet ,like a smart person would, these fools come crawling out of the woodwork to defend their noble gladiator dogs. you can take a pitter to blood ....but you cant make him/her think.

cinnamon2005 said...

There are also some of the other Mastiff breeds I wouldn't own like the Neapolitan Mastiff, Tibetan mastiff, Dogo Argentino and Cane Corso.

april 29 said...

Thank you for your insight Snarky. You are, as usual, right on target.

Small Survivors said...

insightful...and funny!

"you can take a pitter to blood ....but you cant make him/her think."

DubV said...

I guess I'm a little dog on the bed and a shotgun under the bed kind of guy. Wesley's a good watch dog, that's all he needs to do is alert. Maybe I'll get an alarm system one of these days, but I hate alarm systems on cars.

Anonymous said...

A PTSD Service German Shepherd just killed a 6 year old boy in Kentucky. It will be interesting to see how the responsible Service Dog community responds.

Nora said...

you call people for pits nutters when the other side are just as crazy when it comes to trolling any video with good examples of pitbulls... I realy think the law should be enforced on dog owner ship with every breed not just pitbulls and should stop killing incent dogs instead of going after the human, and bsl hasnt just effected pitbulls it accefted all kinds that are banned all over the world and even some small dogs.. tax payers are effected deeply too, realy find this stuff stupid and think they should go after bad owners and dogs with agression

Unknown said...

There seems to be a lot of misguided hostility towards pit bulls in this "article" and the comments, without a lot of hard numbers and facts to back it up. I'm not talking about specific cases like "Snickers" or anything, because we can find examples of violent attacks from *any* breed of dog, even dogs you would condone to be service animals. What I will talk about are statistics, because science is... well, science.

When the University of Pennsylvania did a study on aggression in dogs based on breed, they found small breeds to be the most aggressive, and Pit Bulls ranked **Below Average** for aggression. While they didn't rank the lowest in aggression, most of the comments on here make them seem like they're the most aggressive breed on the planet. They are far from it, and that's a fact.

This article mentions one of the main reasons that everyone *thinks* they're so aggressive overall: *When* they do attack(Even if it's rare), they inflict more damage, so it makes it all over the news and everyone thinks Pit Bulls are *all* violent yet again. Studies don't show it, use scientific evidence to show otherwise, I dare you. Over and over again, studies are showing it is their owners and the poor environment they are placed in that makes them aggressive, it isn't their breed.

Anonymous said...

Funny other breeds bite and maul way more than pits you just dont hear about it

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

funny but there are far more fender benders in the grocery store parking lot than drunk driving head on crashes you just don't hear about it.