3.17.2012

BullShit Legislation

*Even if you don't have a Pit Bull, this post applies to you, and here's why...

It's preeetty safe to say that I have a ridiculously-strong love for Pit Bulls. If you haven't quite figured that out about me yet... well, it's okay. Maybe smarts just aren't your thing ;)

In fact, I've written more posts about "the Pit Bull" than any other dog or animal rescue topic.
I've shared the reasons why I love them.
I've examined the reasons why they're hated.
I've discussed why they deserve to live.
I've explained why they're forced to die.

I've shared the truth about Pit Bulls. I've presented the facts. I've disputed the stereotypes. I've challenged the bullshit.

I've shared from my own Pit Bull experiences. Not from what I've read about. Not from what I've seen on TV. Not from what I've been told.

I've been open and honest... candid and realistic.  I've been a lover. I've been a fighter. I've been a friggin-force to be reckoned with.

In turn, I've planted seeds. I've witnessed change. I've made an impact. Slowly but surely, I've opened some minds, changed some perceptions, and righted some wrongs.

In those moments, no matter how small the change... or how tiny the impact... I've been proud of me. Proud of what I was able to do for these dogs. Proud of the hope I was able to bring them. Proud of the lives that may be saved, because I stood up for them, I fought for them, and then... someone heard me, believed me, and did something about it.

However... it doesn't always go that way when I write about Pit Bulls. The response isn't always positive. Readers aren't always open. My words aren't always welcomed, or valued, or even heard. 

Instead, I'm often challenged, ridiculed, and bullied by "the other side" ... the Pit-Bull-hater side. This is the side that boasts sheer ignorance, lacking credibility and compassion, and rallying for injustice. It's the side that works against everything I fight for... the side that hopes to ensure the death of every last living, breathing Pit Bull.

People from this "other side" often write to me... just to provide me with a long list of reasons why each of my Pit Bulls deserves to die. And sadly, many people agree with them.

Keep in mind... these are my children they're talking about. 

Further, these people are extremely arrogant and combative... arguing to be "right" about a subject that they honestly know little-to-nothing about. They'll deny all logic. They'll skew the statistics. They'll swear-by "first-hand accounts" ... random testimonials they've heard from a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend's cousin, who supposedly was there when it happened... or maybe just saw it on the news.

Honestly, it doesn't matter what they know or don't know. It doesn't matter what you say or don't say. It doesn't matter what this-or-that dog did or didn't do.

Because no matter what, they'll stand firm in their misinformation, with an intense, unwavering, and undeserved hatred for these dogs. Dogs that they've never even met... but wish to see killed.

Sure... these people sound pretty damn ignorant, ridiculous, and evil, don't they? So then... why would I even bother to acknowledge them with this post? Surely no rational person would ever take them seriously, or even consider complying with their cruel, unfounded, kill-those-dogs death wishes, right?

Oh man. I wish.

Maybe you're wondering exactly who is on this "other side" anyway, and why they even matter??

Well... I'll tell you. They are your friends, your neighbors, your landlords, your insurance companies, and your lawmakers. That's who's on the other side.

Does this group of people deserve my time or energy? Well... no.
But Pit Bulls do.

And sadly, it's nearly impossible to fight for these dogs, and work toward the justice they so desperately need and deserve, without taking-on those people from that "other side." Or should I say... taking-down that other side.

Here's why:

For every person who distrusts the Pit Bull breed(s)... a Pit Bull dies.
For every neighbor who complains about their presence, a Pit Bull dies.
For every landlord who forbids their residence, a Pit Bull dies.
For every insurance company who denies their coverage, a Pit Bull dies.
For every lawmaker who bans their very-existence... thousands upon thousands of Pit Bulls die.

The "other side" is responsible for the deaths of millions of Pit Bulls each year. Abuse, neglect, and unimaginable torture are to blame for the deaths of thousands more.

And so... the innocent die. The guilty thrive. Justice takes the fall. Ignorance kills them all.

Yet... few people care to acknowledge this issue. Even fewer fight to change it. And even fewer actually do something about it, by saving at least one... before it's too late. By adopting just one, so another has a chance. By loving just one, so they don't have to die without it.

Maybe you aren't a massive Pit-Bull-advocate-freak like me, but surely you have a good heart, and a solid understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Surely you can see that millions of innocent dogs don't deserve to die for no reason. Surely you can understand that your silence allows it to continue.

Maybe you don't have a Pit Bull. Maybe your friends don't either, and maybe you've never even met one. Even still, this issue should matter to you, and here's why:

Consider your dog... whatever his or her breed may be. Consider how much you love your baby, and how much your baby loves you. Consider the innocence of this special, loyal creature in your life, who wants nothing more than to please you... who lives and breathes just for you. Consider just how much you treasure his or her devotion, and just how deserving your baby is of life.

Now... consider if someone else --who has never even met your dog-- tried to threaten your dog's life... because in their opinion, your baby doesn't deserve to live. Consider that this person's opinion was formed... based solely on the actions of another dog of a similar breed.

Consider that the other dog had been severely starved, neglected, and beaten all of his life --and yet-- the dog was punished for those crimes, and was forced to pay the price for what was done to him.

Then, consider that YOUR dog must also pay the price... he'll lose his life. Consider that your dog has been sentenced to death --along with every other dog who bears his resemblance-- based on nothing more than the actions of another dog, who kinda-sorta looked like him. (I'm not kidding. This really happens.)

Consider the feelings you would have... the outrage, the fear, the pain. Consider how you would stand up and scream: "No!!! Please! You can't do this! It's wrong! Somebody please stop them! Help us!" Consider that no one hears you, no one agrees with you, and no one even cares. Consider what it would do to your heart, and your faith in humanity, if this were your reality.

Consider the pain in your baby's eyes, and the fear in his heart, as he is ripped away from the only family he knows and loves. Consider the confusion, the heartbreak, and the terror he will feel... at the moment he is killed.

Now... picture your baby, laying lifeless in a landfill, beneath thousands upon thousands of other babies, who look just like him... and died just like him. 

That's what BSL looks like.

Seriously... ask yourself: what would you do... if this issue affected YOUR dog, in the very-real way that it threatens each of mine? Wouldn't you be angry? Wouldn't you be upset? Wouldn't you fight for your baby's right to live?

Then, to take it one step further, imagine how you would feel if your friends, neighbors, and co-workers sat back and did nothing to help you? What if you were the only one fighting? What if no one else even cared??

I want you to really allow yourself to feel those feelings... to imagine that level of anger and sadness... to acknowledge the utter helplessness of injustice. Does it feel right to you? Is it okay with you? Can you even believe it's allowed to happen??

Honestly, it's insane that this is allowed to happen, but it's definitely allowed... and it's definitely happening. It defies all logic. It's completely ridiculous. But mostly, it's tragic.

Here's the basic premise of Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL): When a dog of a certain breed harms or bites a human, let's just go ahead and ban every dog of that breed from existence... just in case.

It just doesn't make any sense...

Regardless of whether-or-not you love, hate, or feel completely indifferent to the Pit Bull breeds... surely you feel a special bond with your own dog. Surely you realize that your baby is distinctly unique in personality, behavior, and spirit. Surely you see the innocence, love, and desire that shine through your baby's eyes. Surely you look at him or her... and see a creature who is so incredibly deserving of life.

Well, that's how I see my Pit Bulls, too. Even if you don't believe in their love and innocence... it's there. It's in their eyes. It's in their smiles. It's in their hearts. It's in their souls. My dogs deserve to live, too. They just do...

In reading this... maybe you appreciate the love I have for these dogs, and maybe you feel sympathy for their pain. Maybe you don't want them to die, and maybe you wish that things could be different for them. Even still... maybe you're thinking that there's just no real reason for you to join the fight for them.

Because maybe you figure... "At least my dog is safe."

And maybe you're right...

But... maybe you're wrong...

Here's the honest truth: all it takes is one bite, from one dog, of one breed, for people to propose a legislative ban against that breed (Breed-Specific Legislation, BSL).

Across the country, 75 different breeds --and mixes of those breeds-- are currently on the list of banned or restricted dogs. It's NOT just Pit Bulls. In some areas, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds are deemed "dangerous," and are therefore banned. If you think small dogs are excluded, well, they aren't. Even breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs are on the list.

And believe it or not... this isn't the useless work of some random Joe Blow, who simply thought it would be cute to list all of the breeds he doesn't like that much. 

Nope. This is legislation, people. It's the law. And each year, more and more breeds (and mixes of those breeds) are being added to this list... in more and more areas across the nation. It's complete BULLSHIT.

And we're all just letting it happen...

By the time your dog's breed joins the list... it may be too late. You've got to care now. You've got to speak now. You've got to act now. Write letters. Make phone calls. Rally others to do the same. Just do something.

BSL is real, it's happening, and it's personal. It's life or death.

And it won't end... until we end it. Please join us in the fight for their lives. Not because I asked you to, but because it's the right thing to do.

*If you'd like to help Pit Bulls, please click below:



88 comments:

  1. YOU are a beautiful person.I wish I could get people to understand what you are trying to get through their thick heads!!

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  2. Thank you for standing up for pit bulls! I've never met one but i still don't think they should die because of stereotypes. They deserve a chance.

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  3. I agree with you Pit bulls are what you make them however, I would like to know your opinion on passing laws that would prohibit the breeding of pits at least until the dog fighting eases up or all the homeless pits find homes. I know people will still breed in secret but, at least if caught they can be fined or jailed and the animals taken away instead of sold for fighting or raised for more breeding. I love pits but, thi s fighting is so out of control and there's not enough investigators or police to find these cowards Pat.

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    1. I agree with you. All dogs, not just pit bulls should not be bred until the ones out there who are homeless find homes. All dogs leaving shelters should b e spayed/neutered. Just too many homeless dogs and too many backyard breeders. And those breeding pit bulls are usually doing so for illegal reasons.

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    2. I am of the mindset that any breeding, no matter what the breed, should be outlawed, at least until we get a handle on the overpopulation of our domestic furry friends. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, why we are still allowing the making of puppies and kittens, when millions of them are homeless and being put to death each and every second, all over the world!

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  4. hear hear! Me and my German Shepard/Pit mix thank you! <3

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  5. What an amazing body of work you just shared with us. I'm in awe of people like you. It's exhausting work both mentally & physically and yet you continue. It's terrifying to think that what we love the most could be taken away in an instant. BSL is a big pile of ignorance and you have just inspired me to fight harder, scream louder and do the right thing. God Bless you and your fur family. Things must change~

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  6. One of the best articles I have ever read on this subject. I agree 150%.

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  7. Patty, I don't have a problem with a ban on breeding pits, if only for the reason you cited, there are so many pitties in every spca across america. it's so sad. just my opinion.

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  8. Ignorance is the root of all the bullshit that goes on with the so called lawmakers. They do not understand that the minority is the ones they listen to the most not the majority which is those that love their pets as family. I'm always saying my kids have 4 legs & drink out of a toilet. The biggest problem is FEAR. People who are afraid, kill what they do not understand & also fear. They need to be educated in the fact that any dog will defend their family and surroundings. I mean in a way, isn't that why you get a dog is for protection against the evil out there? Just don't give up & if we all stand together for what is right, these bullshit laws will not stand.

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  9. We should have BSL on people ... after dealing with their bullshit for many years, this is one legislation I would stand up for and get rid of all the legislation against ANY dog. (let's start with these A-Hole legislators)

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  10. Every time I read your blog I get teary eyed!! I love what you do. I love my animals and I couldnt imagine someone saying I couldnt have my dog, my best friend full of unconditional love. Hell No ! I try to educate people that I come into contact with.Its all I can do for now but I will step it up, and your passion is what helps drive me. Thank You Ashley we need more people like you!

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  11. my 7 pitties & thank you for all you're dong!!! their family includes several (12) cats (a few that enjoy slapping them around..lol) & a rabbit!!!! all of them sleep, eat & play together!!!! I couldn't imagine my life without them!!! I'd have no reason to breathe!! please keep up your great work!!!! :)

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  12. I agree with every single word you wrote! I admire you for everything you have done........please don't ever give up!

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  13. if I were to judge people as they judge PIT BULL's, then all white males would be guilty of rape!!! (as was done to me at 13 yrs old!!!

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    1. I agree with you, except one thing~~all Male's, no matter what race..Also happened to me at 13..

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  14. Great article. Thank you for your time and dedication. It is truly inspiring.

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  15. You are a sweet person for believeing in PIT BULL DOGS, for I am a pit owner as well..wouldn't trade my 2 babies for nothing ...I'd kill for them if someone said they had to die,guess what they die before this happens to my babies...you are a strong girl and I hope and pray for you and the word to get out on pit bull dogs....the dog is only bad if the stupid owner is stupid, which most of the time they are really stupid cuz they never bothered to get involved in training and loving them, just being stupid asses and want to fight them for the greed of money and stupidity...never the less, I am very proud of you and your commit to these very precious babies....I will continue to support you if I can help in any ways for you...like I said I am very proud of you and your gain for these babies...bless you for your kindness and ability to share despite what others feel or read, they are the stupid asses who choose not to read the correct ways of these dogs...again I am very proud of you and bless you for the courage to do so... your friend Melody

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  16. Dear Ashley, I love everything you said and I love what you do, the hell with those people that say cruel and stupid things their idiots. I admire you and the work you have done and doing, Most Pitt Bulls are wonderful of course its they way they are raised you can say the same thing about kids. I can say so much about dogs, cats any animal I love animals. I feed homeless cats only 25 in 2 different areas, my daughter is tired of me doing it but all I tell her is they have to eat just like her or anyone else it makes me happy. Well I want to thank you for being who you are I wish their were more people like you in this world. ( Oh by the way I have saved a few dogs in the past 2 years and have found homes for them. Thank You Roseann

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  17. In my local community, my news station, as much as they love to say they aren't, are showing much hatred towards the pit bull community. Allowing the haters to post on their Facebook page how we must have personality disorders or support the KKK or must be some kind of criminals. They make hateful comments to anyone who sticks up for Pit Bulls and the station allows it, while banning the advocates for calling the station out on it. It's a sad reality, it's been happening so much in the past 2 weeks that I've been at my end, and then tonight I get on Facebook, ready to read all the new hateful comments about the breed and their advocates and I see you wrote another post..and it brings tears to my eyes and gives me that much more encouragement to continue to keep sticking up for these dogs (all dogs actually, as I do not just own Pit Bulls), and educating as much as possible. You are a true inspiration. Thank you for writing & for all that you do.

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  18. I totally feel and hear everything you have said and I share your passion across the board. Pit bulls aren't even given a chance to show all the love they have to give especially when they end up in the hands of sick people. I think its so wrong to give this breed a bad reputation when some have been brutally treated. If they are recovered it takes a great deal of love,and determination to try to heal their physical and emotional scars, but I've seen it happen. I know people look at them and the potential they have, but they have no one to defend them but themselves and our voices. I just watched a video from a friend and their pit bull rode in the car with them and slept on one of their shoulders while they were recording....all I could see was contentment and sweetness. I've watched videos where the caretakers show how they try to heal them in every way...yes its hard for them to trust if they haven't been with good loving people and rightfully so. I wouldn't trust anyone either. But I do get angry, but I won't give up on any of the breeds. I sign petitions, call legislators, donate and write letters every day and will always fight for them. You put it all in the heads of closed minded people who I have no respect for, so I like how you tried to put it in elementary terms, because they are stupid, to compare it with thier dog or baby. Do you think any of that resonates? I'd like to think so, but I've met a lot of "do nothing" people who don't give a rats ass, so we have to count on the people who have the passion and compassion to keep on making a difference. We have to...they count on us. But thanks so much for saying everything I feel and putting it out there. Regina Sellers

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  19. Two summers ago I was badly bitten by a pug. It was my fault - I was playing & didn't know the dog. It was fenced in with a bunch of other pugs & (as I realized later) not happy about that. I took the bite, and the stitches it needed, and told the doctor I didn't know where the dog was. Why? Because I knew that if I said something, they'd kill the dog, and *it wasn't the dog's fault*.
    I think there's a sickness in America right now of people trying to shift the blame for their own actions onto legislation. We cannot in good conscience expect to have others make our decisions for us. It will either result in total and complete loss of our personal liberties, or of restriction to a bland, pap-filled world of "safe" options. Either way we lose. It's time for people to realize that your choice may not be your neighbor's but you both have the right to love what you love. And no one has the right to take that away just because they don't love it.
    Pit bulls used to be family dogs - they are smart, friendly, loyal & loving. Ok, so they have strong jaws - so don't play rough if you have sensitive skin. They will not bite you if you don't act like prey. You're not prey, are you? If you are - ask yourself why.

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    1. I totally agree. Why are legislaters so intent on keeping us safe from ourselves? (seatbelts etc.) We are adults, aren't we? Don't we have the right to chose what we do, who we associate with, including animals, etc.? It seems not any more. Little by little the powers that be are eroding our freedoms. Also people DON'T want to take responsibility for their actions. My mom was bit by a small dog. She accepted that it was her fault. It was an older small dog and she startled it. I was bit by our family's Boxer. Should all Boxers be killed? No! This specific Boxer was not kid friendly. Did we have him killed? No! We found him a home with no children. He was fine. My son told me something yesterday that shows how stupid people can be. In the 70's Doberman's were considered "dangerous". In the 80's it was German Shepards. In the 90's Rottwilers. Now it Pit Bulls. NO ENTIRE BREED IS DANGEROUS!!!!! If some of these "terrified of any animal" idiots had their way, humans would be the only creatures on earth. Also let's take this a step further. If we judge all humans by what happened in Germany in WWII, than all German's should be exterminated for what the Nazi's did. etc. It's no more insane than what these minorities what to do to cedtain dogs. I agree you will never get through to a lot of people, they refuse to let the truth get in the way of their almighty opinions. They are small minded cowards who think everyone has to believe the way they do on everything. Maybe we should exterminate them.

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  20. Anon @8:23 pm,

    Sheer perfection. That is sooo my view on this. Love it! Thank you!

    Everyone else, you are WONDERFUL! I love y'all!

    -Ash

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  21. I agree Ashley! I'm learning more about pit bulls everyday because I honestly am not familiar with their breed, but I enjoy taking their photos at the shelter here in Texas (where I am now - helping to work on their soon to be law banning gas chambers - baby steps). However, I totally understand BSL, as we have a German Shep mix, yep, you read that right, German Shep mix. They won't even allow mixes at a lot of the places we looked at to rent when we moved here. And the even scarier thing is that there are now neighborhoods with HOA's that have breeds that they won't allow to live in the neighborhood, where you purchase a home to own! Its crazy! I'm behind ya and am totally against any kind of BSL.

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    1. Oh, and I loved the rental people that we encountered that actually suggested that we dump our first baby at a shelter so that we could rent their home. I went off! I could not believe someone would suggest that, I mean we have had our dog for 12 years and you think just because he's a specific mixed breed that we won't keep him. Think again lady! There's no way in hell I would ever to that to my fur challenged CHILD! I did suggest to her that she actually investigate what she's talking about instead of just going with the "norm", which was her excuse! I could go on and on about this! You rock though Ashley! Keep up the fight and know that there are families out here fighting with you. My 7 year old daughter has even started telling people the facts! :)

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    2. Wow, I think saying "Go F yourself, you ignorant POS" would be my immediate response. Definitely not the best way to handle the situation, but I doubt I'd be thinking logically before saying that.

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  22. Ashley, you are courageous, brave, and inspiring. You have inspired me in innumerable ways and I just want to be able to help. I want to be able to be the change. You are being the change and you are saving lives. You, Ashley, are doing amazing things. I hope that you forever continue to be you. I also hope that we as humans open our eyes. I just wanted to let you know that you are encouraging to me and I am sure hundreds of other people. We have your back and always will. I wish there was more I could do personally, but I know we need all the people we can get. Thank you for being you.

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  23. Hi Ashley... as usual.. I agree with each and every word.I beat my head against a wall EVERY day trying to educate ignorant people, that group every pitbull together and are terrified of them. PLEASE read accurate books about them, learn adn listen from actual pitbull owners, how fabulous this breed it. Thank-you for your words and your undying devotion to MY breed of choice.

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  24. I am a Chihuahua mama, mostly because I have a bad back/neck, and if need be, I need to be able to lift and carry my babies (emergencies, removal from dangerous situations, medicating, etc.) but am aware that they also have a reputation for biting (none of mine would even consider it, but it is on the books). Fortunately for my babies, they are small, and not considered dangerous due to that fact, but that fact only. It's all about how they are raised. If you don't correct them when they are young, you may have a problem. If you do, they only want to please you, so they will conform. It is the same with any dog.

    When my boy was just a puppy, we were playing and he nipped the underside of my arm. I let out a little yelp, and he never again even played wrassle with me. I didn't mean to take the play out of him (he still plays with the other dogs) but it shows how much they want to please.

    It isn't about the breed. It's about the owners.

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  25. I love your blog and couldn't agree with you more. I have a rescued pit I adopted hours before she was set to be euthanized. She is the absolute love of my life. She's my first pitbull and I can honestly say she's changed my mind forever about the breed. She's amazing with my cats, 4 year old nephew, my 91 year old grandma and loves every other dog she meets. She's perfect and an amazing ambassador for the breed. The way I look at it, until one has pleasure of sharing some time with a pit, they shouldn't pass judgement stemming from pure ignorance.

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  26. we all do what we can but you go the extra mile......thank you ashley!

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  27. I don't understand why people can't get it thru their thick heads that it's not the breed, its the DOG but the STUPID HUMAN that owns the dog that is the problem. Any dog can be made mean from Chihuahuas to Deerhounds if left in the hands of an idiot. Start adding extra fines and jail time to dog fighters that breed dogs. Make animal abuse a felony and start a nation-wide abuser database like they have for sexual abusers. Start posting the faces of these assholes and maybe they will have a harder time getting animals.

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  28. I agree with you 100% Ashley! My neighbor has a pit bull, and she is the sweetest little dog. I have known many pit bulls over the years,and they were all wonderful companions to the people who loved them, and cared for them. Pit bulls are no different from any other dog. They need love, acre and training.

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  29. I totally agree with you...i have labs, not pittie, but i always think, one day, they could go after my babies, you just never know.
    Plus the fact that, in some parts of this country, if your dog is 'perceived' to look like a pitbull- it can be taken away. One of my labs, has a block-shaped head. so many people have asked, while backing away from him "Is that a pitbull!?!?" as if i would have the gall to bring a serial killer into the neighborhood. 1st of all people, he is not a pit, 2nd, if he were, i'd love him just the same. I've met a lot of pitties, and never met a bad one.
    I have to ask, when did man's best friend become Public Enemy #1?

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    1. Many years ago we got a boxer mix. (She lived to be 13.5 and died about 15 years ago.) We took her to the vet and I asked if she could be part pit bull. (She was part Lab.) Want to know what our vet said? He would rather have a pit around his children than a Chow.
      Then my mother told me that the dog my dad loved so much as a child was a Pit Bull. Back at the turn of the last century Pits were considered wonderful family dogs. Oh, how times change.
      Like they say, punish the dog, not the breed! Better yet, punish the jackass owners who breed any animal to fight. It's cruel and inhumane.
      I often day dream about what I could do to these monsters. You see we arrest all the owners and participants. The participants are shot on sight. The owners are set up like a basketball tournament. The ones who made the least money to the ones who made the most. Two at a time fight to the death and so on. The last one standing is shot.

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    2. I had 2 labs who were targeted because they "slightly resembled" a dog that attacked a child at the park 5 blocks from us. I lost my boys to ignorance, but it wasn't the 1st time. First was my pitties as a kid. Ignorance is contagious and spreads faster than wild fire, the only way to stop it is to cure it with knowledge, but some people don't want to be cured.

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  30. Kudos to you. My entire adult life has been dedicated to helping dogs (and cats) in need. Pitties became my passion after I adopted one who was "MEAN!" - he's a lover in actuality. BSL IS BullShitLegislation. My rescue profile even has that as a photo (along with Chester - a little dog gassed to death, even though he had a home waiting for him - because the shelter operator thought he looked like he might have pit in him. Thankfully that man is long gone now - fired without ceremony, never to again hold a dog's life in his hands, but many others like him remain in control. BSL is wrong - profiling is wrong.

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  31. you are an inspiration!! it takes a special person to do what you do!!

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  32. I have volunteered at a local animal control facility in the past and I was one of the few volunteers that would walk the pit bulls. The other volunteers thought I was crazy for doing so. Those were the sweetest dogs although they were very strong and some of them not very well leash trained and they would sometimes haul me all over the place - but they were so grateful and loving that it was worth the sore muscles the next day. I never felt threatened by any of them (I was actually more concerned about the little yipping snippy dogs) and the pit bulls that were truly afraid and may have not welcomed me - I just gained their trust by sitting outside their cage and letting them walk over to me (treats helped!). When they were ready - I would take them out. I don't own a pit bull - but not because I am afraid of them - it's just that I really really love cattle dogs and have recently adopted a cattle dog mix from a rescue. We go to a training class with various other breeds and mixes and met one lady with a beautiful brown, green-eyed boy. When I asked his owner what kind of dog he was - she hesitantly said "pit bull mix". I wondered if she hesitated because of meeting too many people that would shy away. I let her know I wasn't afraid and thankfully - most everyone in the class is friendly towards her and her dog. It's just so amazing to me that little dogs can run loose in a neighborhood and chase everyone and bark and even bite people on the ankles and nothing is done about it. But have a sweet, even-tempered pit bull walking calmly at your side - on a leash - and people step to the other side of the street in fear.

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  33. Such a double standard humans have ... by their "logic" regarding pitties ... all humans should be exterminated since at least one of every single ethnic group has killed or harmed someone ... but that is "Okay"

    Disgusting.

    Blessings Ash

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  34. Thank you for giving a voice to these precious ones! After reading your blog for almost a year, I began working with a local rescue here in Memphis and am now a foster! My first foster was a female pit/dane mix and her 3, 4 week old puppies. When I arrived at the shelter to pick her up the ACO said "I hope you dont have kids or other pets at home, this one is aggressive". (I do in fact have a 7yr old boy and a 2yr old boy along with a Jack Russell, Great Dane, 2 cats, and a guinea pig.) When I saw her beautiful face and loving eyes, I knew that ACO was full of it. She immediately jumped in the front seat of my car and off we went! I fell so deeply in love with her. She was so gentle with my kids and our other pets, I could not even imagine her being aggressive. I dont think I heard her growl the whole time she was with me! As much as I wanted to keep her, I knew that doing so would keep me from being able to help more furbabies. So a month after she came into my life, I sent her to her "fur"ever home with lots of hugs and tears. She will always have a place in my heart. So, THANK YOU ASHLEY! You have touched so many more lives than you will ever know!

    Liz, Memphis TN

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  35. I am proud to live in Wentzville, MO where the Board of Aldermen recently voted 5-1 to remove the Pit Bull BSL!

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    1. Give them my thanks! Even though I live in Kentucky. Every little step helps.

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  36. Love your blog! Everyone needs to speak up and do something!

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  37. this issue became even mpre important to me when I realized that people were breeding designer breed dogs like crosses with doxies and pits. When I got Max I kept trying to figure put what it was about him that made me wonder about his breeding...then I researched designer breeds and there I saw my Max...pit head---shorter than average doxie length and after chasing squirrels for a couple of hours everyday his muscles have become massive with ahughe broad chest...then i thought...so does this mean my Max is now in danger of being considered as BSL ban??? I mean from what I understand someone can decide just by looking at it that it may containe pit bull genes and need to face the consequences. The more I think about it the crazier it gets....

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  38. Love you Ashley <3

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  39. WHA WHA WHA Amen to that Ashley and WELL SAID I love you and I sure love pit bulls I have an american bully and I live in Ontario Canada and I'm also fighting the Bull Shit Legislation. My MPP is indifferent and refuses to vote for or against... I have written a couple letters and will write more in hopes of opening his mind, making him see the cruelty being inflicted upon our Babies! Wish me luck!

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  40. I don't have a Pitt, but I have been around this breed allot & I think this is an Awsome K9-they are Beautiful, Kind & Loving ..It's a shame what the Human Race it doing to this Breed and to so many other breeds. Nothing but Unconitional Love..What a better place this world would be if Human's had that kind of Love for each other..
    What a waste of a Human life to have not been Loved by a K9...........

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  41. From one rescuer to another, thank you! Incredibly well written, and bang on.

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  42. I am glad to see you are an advocate and supporter of Pit Bulls, and that you are bringing awareness to the fact that Pit Bulls are some of the most well behaved breeds of dogs. Breed specific legislation is definitely detrimental to all dogs, and is not beneficial in any way to our society. I have seen the affects of this legislation first hand, while working with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society for a project at Temple University. Pit Bulls appear to be the most common dogs being given up for adoption in this area. For our project, we are raising money, awareness, volunteers, and trying to find adoptees for all of the pets waiting to be adopted at P.A.W.S. It’s not the easiest task, as I am sure you know, but with people like you out there we can find the support needed to keep all these animals alive and find happy homes for them.

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  43. the logical pit bullApril 1, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I am a pit bull advocate first and foremost. But I can't help feel as though your post about legislation is misleading.

    I know the probability of this being published is slim because of the opposing views. but at the very least I hope you read it and take the time to try and understand my viewpoints on the matter.

    We both are for the same goal after all, saving pit bulls. :)

    For me, BSL is wrong when it bans breeds, not when it regulates them. Especially if they're in dire trouble, which the pit bull currently is in.

    Think about it.

    Pit bulls die every single day. Not always by the people who hate them, but often by the very people who claim to love them. It's not haters breeding pit bulls, it's not haters buying and soon dumping them in mass. It's people who claim to love the dog who either love it for their monitory gain, or love the dog but then realize it's not the right breed for them a little too late. Even the people who claim to love the breed are often the ones who fight and abuse pit type dogs, so who's really the enemy of pit bulls? The legislators who, to some extent, try to fix the problem; or the "lovers" who ignore the problems pit bulls face all together?

    Regulations on pit bulls could be very helpful if done correctly. Surely we can agree that most people don't understand the pros and cons of a pit bull.

    Would it be crazy to require that people take a few courses on dog behavior as well as foster a few pit bulls before being allowed to adopt one so they get long term hands on experience? So they know that a pit bull is right for them?

    Why not prohibit people who have animal abuse records, no job (or are financially unstable), and an improper environment from owning pit bulls? Surely this would cut down on pit bulls being placed in neglectful situations.

    Would it be crazy to require that breeders only produce so many pit bulls a year and screen the homes and environment for each placement like Tia Torres does? What about licensing breeders to ensure that the local population doesn't get out of hand as well as prove that the breeder is responsible? It's worked for falconers, why not save almost a million pit bulls that die each year in a similar fashion? Prevent hump and dump breeding by regulating who can breed pit bulls. I'm sure you would see a drastic change.

    While we're at it, why not have mandatory spay and neuter on all pit bulls who are being sold as pets before they enter their forever home? Surely this would cut down on hormonal and territorial aggression as well as prevent more pits from dying.

    Pit bulls will always hold a special place in my heart. They are an interesting breed type with a lot of personality, but they are not the right dog for everyone, and while I do not agree with breed bans, I do think that it is necessary to regulate the breed in order to save it from the turmoil it's currently in.

    "Punish the deed not the breed." Isn't that our motto?

    I think it's time for a new one.

    "Regulate the deed, help the breed!"


    PS: The links are from Patrick Burn's blog, aka "terriermen." He is a pit bull advocate who speaks a lot of wisdom on the problems pits face. I would suggest reading his blog, he offers from very clever solutions.

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    1. I agree with regulating, not just pits, but all dogs. ALL breeders should be certified, maybe that would get rid of puppy mills. Like I've said many times. Before one gets a dog, they should do some research. Animals are NOT toys. They are living, feeling creatures. There is a responcibility in animal onwership. A LIFETIME commitment of 10-15 years, or more. Animals need food & shelter, but also medical care, and most of all LOVE.
      And for those who believe in God, don't you think he cares about how you treat his creatures?

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  44. the logical pit bullApril 1, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    I've also seen first hand the abuse pit bulls endure and I've lost some good bully friends because they were owned or poorly bred (with bad temperaments) by ignorant people. Below are the reasons I am for regulations on pit bulls as long as they improve the dog's and society's welfare.

    "Rusty" a trusty pit bull who I visited often; sweet and mellow. Was killed by a truck chasing down a female in heat when he broke from his chain.

    "Link" a pit bull who's now a year old and has spend his entire life chained. Often bored with his existence and craving attention from his master.

    "Half-bit" a pit bull who was saved from a fight bust. A third of her face was missing due to being mauled off by the other dog.

    "Sky" a blue pit and sister of half bit. She did not fight but was a breeding pit, never socialized and constantly trembling and fearful despite having been rescued half a year prior.

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    1. Detector Billetes falsos Thank you very much for this useful information.Please keep on blogging.I am looking forward to read your next great article..

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  45. I UNDERSTAND YOUR ANGER AN I DO SO AGREE WITH YOU IT IS NOT THE DOGS WHICH ARE THE THREAT IT IS THE OWNERS,I AN MY SISTERS DOG WAS ATTACKED BY 2 PITT BULLS AN A GOLDEN RETREVIER WHEN WE CAME HOME ONE DAY AFTER WE WENT CAMPING THE PITTS CAME RUNNING AN ATTACKED HER AN HURT HER,I DONT AN NEVER WILL BLAME THE DOGS FOR IT WAS THEIR OWNERS WHO MADE THEM THE WAY THAT THEY ARE I STILL HAVE A HARD TIME WALKING MY SISTERS DOG WHEN I GO TO HER HOUSE FOR I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION FOR THE DOGS BUT IS STILL NOT THEIR FAULT FOR THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL DOGS AN I THINK IF ALL THREE OF THEM HAD DIFFERENT OWNERS THAT THEY WOULDNT BE THE WAY THAT THEY ARE,I FEEL YOUR PAIN AN YOUR ANGER I WISH THAT THE LAWMAKERS WOULD GET A CLUE AN QUIT BEING SO STUPID AN INJORANT PEOPLE ABOUT THINGS THEY KNOW ABOUT,I ALSO NEED YOUR HELP CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO FIX THE ADVOCATE BUTTON SO THAT I MAY ADVOCATE FOR THE ANIMALS FOR PET PARDONS

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  46. I've never shared my home with a Pittie, but every one I've ever met was sweet and gentle. They are wonderful dogs! Having 5 rescued dogs of my own and having worked in animal rescue for several years, I believe there should be strict and enforceable laws regarding the breeding of any and all animals. There are just too many wonderful pets waiting (and dying) in shelters year after year. I wish for a day when it is a challenge to adopt a dog, cat or house bunny. Love your blog and will add it to my list of "Great Blogs" on my own dog blog. Bless you!

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  47. I agree 100% with The Logical Pit Bull, the anger towards "haters" seems a little misguided, and would be much better served if it was redirected towards irresponsible owners. The "haters" are not the ones breeding dogs for fighting or neglecting them, and they're not the ones dumping abused animals that end up euthanized in shelters. Regulation - ownership courses, mandatory spaying/neutering, registering breeders, and even reminding people that they may be liable for their dog's actions-could go much further to ensure that bad things don't happen, and it could improve the image of the breed. Simply getting mad at people that fear or dislike pits doesn't stop the irresponsible owners from giving pits a bad name.

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  48. Thank You for helping those wonderful little fur balls. I love animals, I have 3 cats...my fiance is disabled and we are unable to have a dog in our small apartment...BUT, I do want to do my part. There is an organization called Coalition to Unchain, I think they are up in NC, and they go out every weekend and build fences for dogs so they dont live their lives on the end of a chain. I would say about 80% of them are pits...I live in the Tampa Bay area and I want to start something like this here, but I have NO idea HOW. I spend alot of time at home taking care of my fiance, I have alot of TIME, but NOT alot of friends, OR resources. I know you are in Mississippi, but do you know anyone in the Tampa Bay area that might be interested or can send me in the right direction? Clearwater is the town i live in, and they just changed the law that NO dogs can be tethered but their is no help for these ignorant people....I want to help the dogs!

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  49. So I am just wondering how you feel and what your thoughts are about wolf dogs -aka wolf "hybrids."
    -Bri

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    1. My sister's first husband had a wolf hybrid named Crystal. Her father was a wolf who lived on a farm and her mom a German Shepard, who also lived there. It was nature not man who brought about Crystal and her litter mates. She was a WONDERFUL, SWEET dog. NOT aggressive at all. Great with kids. My sister said she was a great "watchdog". If robbers had ever come, she would watch them go in and watch them come out. See, not vicious at all, except to muskrats. She used to bring their neighbor a muskrat every so often as a present. She would lay the dead muskrat on his back porch. She really lliked him.

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  50. I agree with you totally! We are so happy here in Cincinnati that the ban was finally lifted and Pitties are no longer considered "dangerous." I hope to begin fostering pitties from our local rescue group in the near future - might have to keep one, or two...or three! :) I've been in love with them ever since I read The Lost Dogs. Once I got through the beginning (and cleared the tears away so I could actually read!) I loved listening to their rehabilitation! Hats off to you, Ashley! We're all out here - we just need to yell a little louder! :)

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  51. I worked for the local vet while I was in highschool back in the late 60s and the dobies had the bad rap....next it was the rottie's turn. In both cases, it was a matter of time before the tide of opinion changed and these beautiful animals became accepted by society. Now its the pit bull's turn in the barrel and, unfortunately, it will take time for opinion to change. But that is all the more reason to be proactive and involved in fighting for these wonderful creatures. They have been maligned even more than the dobie and rottie were. I place a lot of the blame on the news media and people's ignorance. In the 60s,70s, and 80s, we did not have the internet to spread the word around the world "in seconds" like it can and does today. The media sensationalizes stories of pit bull attacks on people and other animals and their use in dog fighting and by drug dealers/traffickers because that's what sells. And people will blindly accept something just because they heard it on TV, or read it in the paper, etc, without thinking about it or verifying the facts. Thank you Ashley for all you do in support of animals. You are an inspiration.

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  52. The airlines have a similar breed discrimination policy. I was just looking up transportation for a dog that needs to get from boarding in Texas to his rescuer in Pittsburgh. They have banned ALL snub nosed dogs. Thats crazy. From Pekinese to Pitbull and many in between. They let all BREEDS of humans on a flight and they aren't even kenneled so why should they discriminate against a breed when these animals are safely caged for the handlers protection? I just don't get it.

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  53. I believe in your cause. I have been around pits and love them. It's how they are raised so it's not their fault at all. Anyone I hear "label them" as bad dogs I voice my opinion. Thank you for fighting for them and I stand with you. Keep on keeping on, you are helping them and will continue to do so. You are a great writer, such passion in the words you bring to the table.

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  54. Thank you for your insight. I agree with you, if we don't fight BSL now it'll get to every breed before we know it. I don't understand how legislators can deny FACTS; the fact that BSL is PROVEN to be ineffective! I wish people would stop listening to hearsay and learn the truth, not just what the media spills out with isolated instances. Thank you for your work, you are one of the few TRUE angels out there fighting for justice for our fur-babies.

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  55. When I was 17 I met the man I'm married to today. We were happy together and spent so much time together I decided to move in with him. In this household there were three dogs. A mixed female, a boxer, and a pit. A couple months into living there I was in the kitchen fixing spaghetti and heard a horrible scream. I walked into the dining room and saw the pit had the female pinned down trying to mate her. She fought with him so he grabbed her by the neck. It was my husband's dog (boyfriend at the time) so I threw a cardboard noodle box on the dining room table to distract the dog (not in his direction at all). He turn towards me and in the blink of an eye had his jaw locked into my knee. I remember I had such an adrenaline rush that I just kept punching him in the head and neck trying to get him off of me. He kept jerking back and forth at my knee and dragged me into the kitchen. All the family except my husband was in the kitchen, they sat there staring while the dog continued to tear my knee up. Then one of the owners of the dog jumped up and yanked his jaws apart, he let go of my knee. He had never exhibited any kind of behavior like this before. Had I not interfered he would have killed my husband's dog. Anyways, I did not go to the hospital because I was afraid that they would put the dog down for biting me and I knew I would have probably been not welcome to live in the house anymore had I done that. To this day I have horrible scars all down my leg. After the dog attacked me he began to attack others in the household to the point we had to get rid of him. Now my knee swells and I'm intimidated anytime I go around a dog I hardly know. I am not against pits, either. Even though this horrible experience happened to me I later learned the owner's wife had flicked him in the nose repeatedly when he was smaller as a joke (which she also did to her chihuahua who was pretty aggressive when he was younger). Now I can not take long walks because my knee swells or run right anymore. MY POINT IS IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ME AND I DO NOT HATE THE BREED THEN WHY DOES ANYONE ELSE WHO NEVER WENT THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAVE A RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING??? TELL ME THAT!!!!

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  56. I am also in love with pits, I have a rescue who was starved and beaten and was targeted to be ran over time after time, she was abused as a baby and not fed properly as diagnosed by the vet, and yet I would put my life and my childrens in her hands, I love her so much and I would want to be put down before she was, she sleeps with me, eats with me and waits for me she is my life, more loyal than anything I have ever known, and when someone says shes just a dog, I smile and say to myself, FOOL, you just don't know the love she is capable of....I have 7 rescues (3 pits ), all are so loving and sweet and so grateful, their smiles are all I need !!!

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  57. My sisters have pit bulls. They are playful and just plain goofy. They are a strong dog and my mom can't stand them being around my kids or my sisters kids. I constantly remind her than the dogs were brought up in a loving environment and would not hurt the kids. They may play rough, but it is not aggressive. Drives me insane how narrow minded my mom is. As a landlord, I do not ban any breeds. I give preference to tenants that have animals because I know that I could be saving a furbaby(s) life if I do not. We have two great danes and two chihuahuas and could not imagine taking them to the pound or giving them away so that our family can get a place to stay. I will pay the higher rent or live farther out in the country and pay more for gas so I can keep my babies.

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    1. I meant to say that if I give preference to tenants that have animals because I know that I could be saving a furbaby(s) life if I do let them have animals.

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  58. Thank you for being the person you are. A beautiful soul in this world. God bless you and continue to fight. I hope that my friends, coworkers, neighbors and people in my city will understand the importance of saving the bullies and giving them what they need the most; good families and homes that will give them the proper attention and medical needs (vaccines, fical exams, etc.) I have an American bulldog. She is my baby and I know the feeling of people discrimination and discomfort being around her just because she looks like a pitbull. I try not to listen to them but its so hard and wind up lecturing them.
    I really do wish you don't stop fighting for a great cause. We need to save the breeds!

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  59. pitbulls are sweet and beautiful dogs. Just because the bad and cruel people put them to fight dont mean they are mean. The people is mean. Poor little dogs, always there are crazy and stupid people around want to make troubles to those good friends!

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  60. You are fighting the good fight and keep it up. I just wish I could afford to help out monetarily. Whenever there is a "dog bite" story on the news, my first reaction is always "what was the human doing to get bit?" I believe that the vast majority of the time the real story is that the human is doing something they shouldn't, teasing the dog or whatever. I do believe in the innocent and loving natures of all canines, but they also do what they are told and can be trained to do horrible things - again this is human trouble not dog trouble. BSL's should be outlawed themselves.

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  61. I adopted a Pitbull from the shelter last month. She is my second. She like the other I have is so very sweet, I love them both and love the breed. Scout who I adopted fives years ago is hands down the absolute best dog/pal that I've ever had. She is helping me to train the pup Dakota.

    My best to you.

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  62. There are no "bad" breeds, only bad owners (basically; people's fault). I hate ignorance. People just go with the mainstream, never challenging "the facts". This is how rumors get started. Unfortunately, dangerous and deadly ones. The animals suffer; not the people--that's why no one does anything (almost no one). Perhaps if this had direct consequences on individuals, then something would be done. It's sad how self centered we've become. "If it doesn't effect me directly, it's not my problem " I'd rather live in a society amongst dogs.

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  63. Maybe it is not the Pitt Bull that should be destroyed, but the persons who train and teach them to harm and kill people and other dogs. When they are puppies, they have no meaness, just lots of love inside of them. They don't grow up mean, angry and wanting to attack and kill everyone in site.

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  64. I agree there are not bad dogs just bad owners. You need to understand the breed you get BEFORE you take it home. Some need strong owners and others need a gentle touch but all need love. I own (or they own me)two wonderful golden retrievers. Pits are great and loyal dogs! All dogs are what they were bred to be. Owners can and do create monsters from them. Personally the owners should be put down not the poor dog!

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  65. and i agree that all dogs need love and care......love that not as a pet., but love that is unconditional......

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  66. I am not a lover or a hater of the breed and I saddened that people have sent you the negativity that share. I recently got to witness a neighbors pit bull attack and kill another dog and once you have seen this it all changes. The pit bull owner has always allowed her dog to come into the front yard without any restraint, she always told people her dog was polite and never left the yard. Well, house across the street from her sales to new people with a small-fluffy type dog. Small dog follows owner outside to get something out of moving van.......BAM pit bull charges across road and attacks and kills little dog without any provocation or warning. I hope you never have the misfortune to hear and see this happen, but if you do you will have a rude awakening and the sound and sight will sicken you and will sadly probably never forget it.

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  67. I just want to add that I don't think Pit Bulls should be singled out like this. I feel that the bad reputation they have received is due to the way the owner raises, treats and trains this dog. We have neighbors who now have 16 pit bulls. 4 adults and 12 pups. They have raised the adults to be very aggressive and dangerous animals. On more than one occasion I have been cornered by these adult dogs, growling, showing teeth, foaming and slobbering at mouth, etc. So far I have not been attacked. They have also tried to attack my black lab mix and have actually attacked our neighbors elderly black lab and did cause damage. All of this is because of the way they raised and trained these dogs. Now they also have the 12 puppies. Come to find out, they are breeding these adult pit bulls and selling "Purebread American Pit Bull Puppies for $300 each". I am just totally outraged. Number one for breeding and bringing more puppies into this world when there are millions out there that need adopted from shelters, and secondly because of the way they treat their dogs. I guess I'm kinda seeking some advice as to how I can get these pit bull puppies out of their hands and get them to good homes that will treat, raise, respect and give them a lot more love, attention and better home than they are in right now. I want to give these puppies a fighting chance at a good life. Should I contact our local humane society? I have contacted law enforcement and their wonderful solution was to "shoot the dogs to kill" if they are in our yard or corner/try to attack us. I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I can't kill a living breathing creature. And why should the dog be punnished when it's the owners who should be punnished!?!? Ashley ~ YOU GO GIRL!!! If you have any suggestetions to this situation, please let me know!

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  68. this is just racism..genocide on a completely different scale. if people don't think that is then they are ignorant. you keep fighting the fight. there are not that many people that have strength like you do, and i admire you for it! i have three pit bull babies at home and if someone tried to take them away from me i would fight tooth and nail and NEVER give them up. you give me inspiration to do everything i need to do to help out!

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  69. Well said! I am a massive Pit Bull Advocate Freak just like you! And I am never silent on this issue. Keep up the great work. Someday we'll end this BSL (Bull Shit Legislation). :o)

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  70. In Ohio things are starting to change. A year ago pit bulls were listed by shelters as "terrier" mixes. Now shelters are allowed to adopt out pit bulls. These shelters are now doing their part to educate the public about pit bulls and how they are actually great for families. Times are changing.

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  71. Thanks for sharing. We like your blog a lot.

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