Friday, November 7, 2008
Simi Valley, CA - The recent death of 5-year old Katya Todesco from a pit bull attack prompted the City Council to ask the county's top animal regulation official to give a report on pit bulls. Kathy Jenks, director of Ventura County Animal Regulation, said, "They (pit bulls) do not see a child under the age of 12 as a human." Last month Jenks said that no dogs see children of this age group as human, apparently now, the statement has changed to "just pit bulls."
Jenks also told council members that, "pit bulls view children as predators or prey." If this is true, pit bulls must view teenagers, adults and senior citizens as prey too. Research gathered by DogsBite.org from January 2006 shows that 86 U.S. citizens have died due to a dog attack. 39 of these people (45%) were over the age of 12. Of these 39, 27 people (69%) suffered death due to a pit bull attack. As the director, she ought to be able to explain the "pit bull problem" more clearly.
In the next paragraph, she tries. She says that when a pit bull bites, "its strength is greater than most breeds." She points out incorrectly, however, that, pit bulls are not more apt to bite than other dogs. This contradicts the Ventura County Animal dog bite statistics (2007-08 fiscal year), which showed that pit bulls were the top biters. Ventura County is not alone. Pit bulls are disproportionately biting across the country, Broward County, FL and Seattle, WA are just two examples.
Research shows that pit bulls have a lowered threshold for attack and often suppress warning signals prior to an attack. It is for a fighting dog's advantage for its attack to be unexpected. Once an attack is initiated, it's nearly impossible to get the animal to stop. Stories abound where a baseball bat, shovel or pitchfork will not stop these attacks, only gunfire does. It is the tenacity of these attacks that greatly increases the probability of severe injury or death. (Lockwood, Pg 133)
Solutions need to be developed to prevent future victims from being injured and killed by pit bulls. In the State of California, breed-specific law is legal in the context of mandatory spay/neuter. San Francisco's mandatory pit bull sterilization law has produced encouraging results. In the 18-month period following the law's passage, pit bull bites declined by 21%; shelter occupancy rates fell from three-quarters to one-quarter; and pit bull euthanizations dropped 24%.
10/10/08: 2008 Fatality: 5-Year Old Girl Killed by Pet Pit Bull in Simi Valley
09/14/08: Flashback: S.F. Pit Bull Sterilization Law Has Successful Results
Labels: Katya Todesco
Please donate to support our work
DogsBite.org is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity organization. Learn more »
| 11/06/2008 3:48 PM |
"pit bulls view children as predators or prey"
Why would any animal attack its predator? And why would you adopt out such an animal to the public?
This woman is going to talk herself right out of a job if she keeps it up.
| 11/06/2008 4:24 PM |
Accountability is a very rare thing in the Animal Control world. Shes just trying to parrot the nutter talking points and doing a poor job of it. On the nutter boards they are outraged and are trying to cyber spam her back in line.
| 11/07/2008 2:32 PM |
Bad Rap OPPOSED the San Francisco pit bull sterilization law, even though it has reduced the numbers of pits getting abandoned and getting euthanized.
Nathan Winograd did too, and opposes other mandatory spay neuter laws (which earns him promotion from breeders, for example, like Christie Keith, a breeder and breeder lobbyist who writes a pet column for the San Francisco Chronicle where she lobbies for breeder interests, but does not reveal she is connected to the industry.)
Kind of an "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" sort of arrangement.
Although word is that there are deeper undertones.
| 11/07/2008 2:36 PM |
Christie Keith and her breeder lobby opposes mandatory spay neuter because it means that breeders would have to get licensed.
And the breeders have been getting away with all kinds of dubious and even criminal activity thanks to little or no regulation.
Lack of regulation makes it easy to run breeder businesses and not pay taxes, or even run dog fighting operations.
All these breeders are pushing Winograd and his No Kill agenda.
| 11/08/2008 3:03 AM |
I don't understand why legitmate breeders would be against breeder licensing...Less dogs on the market means that thie "product should command a higher premium.
If you were a licensed Electrician, and the state allowed any schmuck with out a license to perform electrical work, your value just went down the tube.
I'm thinking they don't want to be tied to any type of liability. Currently, you can produce the baddest, man-killing Pits and face no civil or criminally liability.
| 11/08/2008 5:51 PM |
anon, it's not just liability.
Breeders don't want to be licensed for several reasons.
First of all, most breeders are running what in essence are illegal businesses. They don't have business licenses, many are operating kennels out of their home or a garage, they are breaking zoning laws and probably also health codes and others, and numero uno- they aren't reporting the income and hence not paying the taxes!!!!!
If they don't have to get licensed, if there is no accountability for the number of dogs they have, breed, sell- then they can easily hide businesses that are making many of them double-digit thousands or even three figures!
Don't accept the silliness about "hobby" breeders "losing" money. They all say that because they are cheating Uncle Sam. (who does indeed say that income from animal sales does need to get reported, as do most if not all states. Plus there is the sales tax issue.)
That's just the "reputable" breeders. (Though many call themselves reputable but are really mills or other)
The puppy mills (including the hunting dog puppy mills) don't want to be licensed for the same reasons, plus they want to continue to hide the abuse, disease, consumer ripoffs.
(The AKC makes the majority of its income from puppy mill registrations. That's what keeps that show going, and pays for the dog shows, rents, salaries, and the rest. So the AKC will lobby for the mills. Period. And get their "reputable" breeders to lobby for the mills. So much for their high and mighty elitist stance. That's a facade.)
And the dog fighters don't want to be licensed for clear reasons.
All these different lobbies lobby together aggressively for the same things, including opposing bsl, opposing anti-chaining laws, opposing mandatory microchipping, opposing mandatory spay neuter, opposing any laws that affect breeders (or that they think could affect them.)
(Take a look at any of those dog law or pet law groups and you can see them in hysterical lobbying action, all these different kinds of breeders laboring together.)
Dog breeders (and other animal breeders) want to be unregulated, period. Off the radar.
They have been thriving for a long time thanks to few or no laws.
And the growth of dog fighting and breeding aggressive dogs shows the problems with this unregulated, underground industry.
Look anywhere that people are trying to pass anti-cruelty laws, or licensing laws, or puppy mill regulations, and you will see all the breeder groups going ballistic fighting against them (often with sneaky email campaigns filled with misinformation and lies, as the bsl opponents do. And sneaky group name, like Responsible Owner whatever, to hide their breeder status)
It is sickening that some of these No Kill fanatics have hooked up with these lobbies, but they have.
| 11/08/2008 6:13 PM |
I think that Merritt Clifton greatly underestimates the hoarding based on No Kill philosophies, in part because many of these hoarding cases never see the light of day, or are glossed over.
There was a No Kill sanctuary in New York that Best Friends stepped in and cleaned up run by one woman and 2 employees. It was a horror of cruelty and disease (had been for years), and she was continuing to take in new animals and fundraise in the name of No Kill.
People had been worried about her for years, but few laws and threats of legal attacks from her side got these worries nowhere.
Thankfully (and for the animals' sake, I mean that) she died.
Someone from the community called Best Friends, and BF realized they had a pr nightmare on their hands if the truth about this No Kill hoarder got out.
They sent people to deal with the animals, but the initial first-hand reports, photos, and video of the horrors at this place got hushed up, and Best Friends turned it into a worship session for a "great woman" who just got a "little overwhelmed."
Well, she saw these animals dying, she chased away people who tried to help, and she was collecting money and claiming she took wonderful care of these animals. And took more.
So now this has been completely hushed up, glossed over, no prosecution, her behavior has been rewritten as sainthood, and no one knows about the animals who suffered and died there in the name of No Kill.
And STILL Best Friends and Nathan Winograd oppose pet limits, licensing requirements, inspections, so that hoarders can proliferate.
Actually, Nathan Winograd had similar hoarding type situations going on in a public animal control shelter that he set up and staffed with Best Friends people. http://www.packalies.org/
They not only had a hoarding situation in the shelter, they shipped animals off to known and suspected hoarders!
Thankfully they had their contract taken away by Philadelphia, but this is the direction No Kill seems to head over and over again.
His Winograd No Kill in Nevada (headed by his Best Friends placement) shipped dogs to a hoarder in the desert, which was denied until the woman got ill and pictures hit the public then oops. But no prosecution.
And STILL BestFriends/Winograd No Kill opposes licensing and rules that could prevent hoarding, or better allow hoarders to be caught and busted.
But that is probably because, to keep the fiction of No Kill going, they have to shuffle animals off somewhere, and too often either the shelter hoards or the pets get shipped to hoarders. Or both.
EDNAH was not an isolated incident!
So Merritt Clifton is not including the cases that never get prosecuted or publicized.
| 11/09/2008 5:21 PM |
In particular, see this page http://www.packalies.com/manage.html and scroll down to see about unaltered pit bulls sent out to unchecked "foster homes"
This is the Winograd No Kill PACCA, doing the Winograd/Best Friends No Kill thing
One way that euthanasia numbers are made to look better on paper in No Kill is that animals are in limbo and uncounted in "foster" programs. Who even knows who the "foster" homes are really?
| 12/23/2009 10:56 PM |
Note from Ventura Resident:
Keep dogs on leashes
Re: Lindsey Maracci’s Dec. 16 letter, “Two messages”:
Maracci wrote about an attack on her leashed dog by an unleashed pit bull. We also had an experience with an unleashed pit bull.
My husband was walking our dog in September on the sidewalk bordering the north side of Cemetery Memorial Park in Ventura. Our dog was on a leash. All of a sudden, two dogs came charging from the interior of the park. The larger, a pit bull weighing approximately 100 pounds, came toward my husband, suddenly changed course and viciously attacked our dog.
It bit our dog and held on for what seemed a minute until the woman who owned the dog was able to get her pit bull to release its grip. The mauling was so severe that our dog had to be euthanized. The vet bill was $3,800.
Neither of the woman’s dogs was on a leash, even though the park is clearly posted. She and her dogs were in the park after dusk, even though that’s also prohibited.
Fortunately, witnesses gave us the woman’s license plate number. We tracked her down. An animal nuisance hearing was held by Animal Regulation on Dec. 7. The woman claims her pit bull escaped from her yard a few day after the incident. We’re waiting for the results of the hearing.
We’ll be forever grateful to the witnesses and for the phone calls and cards offering condolences and support. We know of two more pit bull attacks of dogs in Ventura’s midtown since ours.
What can the city of Ventura and animal regulation do about this problem? Next time, it could be a human who is killed.
— Gale Gill, Ventura