Thursday, April 30, 2009

New York City Housing Authority Bans 27 Dog Breeds

Are some dog owners more equal than others in Big Blue NYC? Pet-friendly New York's Eve of Destruction On May 1, New York's NYCHA intends to enforce its new "pet policy" for the almost 178,000 apartments scattered throughout New York's five boroughs in its control. NYCHA provides homes to more than 400,000 New Yorkers.
Never much of a pet-friendly landlord, in 2002 NYCHA agreed to allow tenants one dog or cat, providing the pet was neutered and weighed 40 lbs. or less. But that was then. This is now. Seems that policy was just too liberal. Dig it. With explanations like "too many incidents of people’s dogs doing what they aren’t supposed to", NYCHA announced new rules, including breed specific prohibitions in a state that forbids breed specific laws. NYCHA's policy is in direct contradiction to an exisiting state law. As of May 1, 2009, the following dogs are prohibited (maybe):
Akita Inu, Alangu Mastiff, Alano Español, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Argentine Dogo, Bedlington Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bull and Terrier, Bull Terrier, Bully Kutta, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Dogo Sardesco, English Mastiff, Fila Brasiliero, Gull Dong, Gull Terr, Irish Staffordshire Bull, Korean Jindo Dog, Lottatore Brindisino, Neapolitan Mastiff, Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog), Perro de Presa Mallorquín (Ca de Bou), Shar Pei, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tosa Inu. Also: any dog predicted to weigh more than 25 lbs. when full grown And even more: Even though this is all supposed to commence tomorrow, the list of breeds seems to change several times a day. The above list came from an NYCHA publication. Since then Boxers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers have been included in assorted other news items. I think I saw Golden Retrievers on one. SNAFU at NYCHA Your guess is as good as mine as to which dogs are going to be illegal in six hours or so. I called NYCHA. Three times. NYCHA isn't talking. They're too busy "tweaking" their list. Who came up with that bizarre list of prohibited breeds? Was it their carefully compiled and well-documented records of dog-related incidents involving Gull Dongs ? How many problem Alangu Mastiffs live in the New York City public housing projects, anyway? Unexplained weight loss
Dogs in public housing were becoming a headache. So, rather than work towards the enforcement of New York's comprehensive animal control laws (don't they watch Animal Precinct??? how do they avoid it???) the agency decided that 40 lbs. was "too much."
They figured 25 lbs. was a better number. And then . . . . . .the agency looked into popular breeds used for dog fighting. The result was a list of about 30 types of dogs that will be prohibited from being registered in public housing after May 1. NYCHA’s pet policy overview consists of an odd mix of large and small dogs believed to be aggressive, and rare breeds. Like a lot of other dog-bite related "science", the list seems to be stuck together with chewing gum and bullshit, and maybe a little 'net surfing. Poor people and their dogs don't count ? New Yorkers aren't crazy about BSL. Not at all. Big blue New York has resisted negative stereotyping of dogs and dog owners for years. Maybe NYCHA figures New Yorkers just don't want to know happens in the projects? Is this a "people like us" vs. "people like them" thingie? Poor people just don't deserve pets? Is that the reasoning? Rich people have more rights than folks in the projects?
Say whaaat? Enter Dracula Peter Vallone Jr., Stage Right
Proving once and for all that he is a complete media whore, Vallone couldn't resist the opportunity to shoot his mouth off uh make a fool of himself uh pander once again to the public's most fearful, most racist tendencies-- "Finally someone is realizing that these potentially dangerous animals have no place in a confined urban space," said City Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens), who has unsuccessfully lobbied state legislators to ban the dogs. Think Vallone has a clue about what he's saying? Any clue at all? How many out of control Bedlington Terriers are there in New York public housing projects ? I'm so excited. I just can't hide it. With the ASPCA in there "negotiating" with NYCHA, and May 1st just hours away. . . the tension's killing me. To calm my nerves, I'm gonna write a letter to the Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, Ricardo Elías Morales. I'm going to ask him why rich people are protected by the laws of New York State, but people living in city housing projects aren't. Then I'm going to ask him what he's got against Boston Terriers and the people who love them. . .even if they aren't rich.

You should, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pet Airways: No red carpets for "pit bulls"

Special requirements for "certain" dogs, plus a dose of corporate snark

What a way to run a pet-friendly airline!

The 8 per cent solution: Enough to make Best Friends look the other way on discrimination?

So, here's an interesting problem in corporate ethics. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary--the animal rights giant that makes a very big deal about how pit bulls are no different than other dogs--just announced a partnership with brand new Pet Airways.

Pet Airways has generously made a financial commitment to Best Friends and will also be donating flights to help transport rescued and adopted pets, says Namrata Chand, Best Friends cause marketing manager.

“Their services will not only provide a safe, comfortable and fast way to transport animals, but will also be a big cost savings for Best Friends,” Chand says.

In addition, eight percent of the price of each Pet Airways ticket purchased by Best Friends supporters will be donated to Best Friends.

Sounds like a sweet deal for everybody, right?

Wrong. And I'm here to tell you why.

No "separate but equal" for doggies

Looking past all the festivities and celebrations on Best Friends' website, the owners of "certain" dogs are going to find the following requirement buried in Pet Airway's contract of carriage:

SHIPMENTS SUBJECT TO ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS The following shipments shall be acceptable for carriage by Carrier only upon Advance Arrangements: ... (D) Shipments of the following breeds of dog: Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Saffordshire Bull Terrier, Presa Canario.

Its kind of like the Alabama "Literacy Test." Sure, everyone gets to vote.

Blacks and Latinos just had to pass a little test first.

No big deal. Right?

Pet Airways spokespeople: snark and doubletalk

Consider this email exchange between a Pet Airways Customer Care professional--re-named "Dick"--, and a potential Pet Airways client:

Dick: . . .[Y]ou are not presenting owners of this breed in a very good light. It seems to me that you are the one that has the aggressive tendency, not your pet. We are trying to do something good for all breeds, so I suggest that next time a little less antagonism and a little more dialog would be a better way to approach a situation. If you have an issue, I suggest you talk before you jump to conclusions. We can always amend our policies based on calm dialog, can you amend your behavior?

["Dick" later continued]

You obviously have issues. We are trying to help, you are not. Please seek professional help. You are more aggressive than your pit bull.

In other words, Pet Airways responded with a defensive snit yielding condescension, negative stereotypes, and that old stand-by: deny, deny, deny.

"Dick" apparently thought his approach was best for dealing with gang-banging, drug-dealing, dog-fighting "pit bull owner." Did he get it from the Pet Airways customer care manual?

Another silver-tongued Pet Airways spokesperson showed up over at Yes, Biscuit. This time, the explanation was that. . . The reality is this we work with Best Friends to transport those very dogs that you say we are discriminating against. In fact, we are the only airline that even would consider transporting dogs with aggressive pasts. Dogs with aggressive pasts" ? WTF? Sometimes it's best to just step away from the keyboard, guys. Really. Crap, they had to haul out a dictionary to explain what "discrimination" means over at Yes, Biscuit. "Selecting some breeds for different consideration" . . .hellloooo ? Partnering up with Pet Airways: what Best Friends brought to the table

I'm getting this vision of the deal struck between Best Friends and Pet Airways.

Best Friends gets 8%, and in exchange Pet Airways gets a slice of that sweet, sweet Vicktory Dog pie. I'm thinking maybe a little clip on "Dog Town" as Pet Airways delivers one or two "fighting dogs" -- infant puppies that managed to survive their rescuers, duly delivered for $190,000's worth of rehabilitation, each, in Kanab, Utah.

Quid pro quo. Business. "Cause Marketing", even.

But what do you wanna bet "national pit bull stakeholders" would lap it up?

Let's predict the future! Why not?

Take Blue Dog's poll! Make your voice heard!

After all, your wildest imaginings, and most bumbling verbalizations, couldn't be any worse than Pet Airways' performance.

How will it all end? With a bang, or a whimper?
BFAS, in a fit of shame and embarrassment, will force Pet Airlines to mend their ways.
Pet Airlines is in it for the money, and will walk away from the flying pit bull market rather than fix the problem.
After thinking it over, Pet Airlines will completely refuse service for "pit bulls" and Presas, but also 30 other breeds and types. Hey, why not?
Other (go for it! -- use the blog's comments section)
Free polls from

Blogger's note: Roughly six hours after this blog went up, and 18 hours after Yes Biscuit's blog went up regarding Pet Airways' policy on "pit bulls" and Presas. . .the offensive wording was deleted from the Contract of Carriage on Pet Airway's website.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hey, Pacelle! Suck it up and fire John Goodwin!

Talk's cheap, Wayne. Why don't you ditch the criminals working for HSUS?
Then maybe. . .just maybe. . .you'll have a basis for conversation with true "pit bull stakeholders."
Too much talk, not enough action.
HSUS's long-promised meeting of "national pit bull stakeholders" in Vegas was held on Wednesday. Everybody went home days ago.
It seems that Best Friends managed to forgive the Humane Society of the United States and wag its tail over HSUS's change of heart: no more automatic killing of innocent dogs. Maybe.
Is the "breakthrough" all its cracked up to be?
Future protocols and updated manuals: pesky details not available.

Forgive me if I refrain from doing cartwheels across the lawn, Wayne.

Not while "animal protection" for pit bulls remains exponentially missing in action and HSUS's Dogfight Czars remain on the job.

HSUS's new position on dogs seized during dogfight busts is like swiss cheese. . .plenty of places for the lives of vulnerable dogs to get lost.

Little feet are tap-tap-tapping, Wayne.

Here are some real deal stakeholder recommendations for the Humane Society of the United States:

1. Fire John Goodwin, HSUS's ranking "fighting dog expert" -- and Animal Liberation Front terrorist. HSUS foisted Goodwin and that "HSUS says pit bulls must die, die, die" policy on the public for years. Goodwin has no place in a reformed Humane Society of the United States, and no credibility with the sheltering community.

2. Fire Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler -- the two HSUS employees who testified that nursing pit bull puppies are a threat to public safety. They are liars.

3. Fire Patrick Kwan, HSUS's New York director, too. Kwan is busy telling people that New York law treats dogfighting spectators like people who don't put enough spare change in parking meters, and claims that, accordingly, hordes of dogfighters from Jersey travel to New York. The myth Kwan is struggling to create is almost as ridiculous as the "baby pit bull puppies are too dangerous to live" thing. See point two above.

Put some effort into it, Pacelle.

Stop employing liars and criminals. Because the sworn testimony of Humane Society of the United States state Director, Amanda Arrington, during the February 16, 2009 hearing in Wilkes County (NC) Superior Court makes one thing very clear: the "animal protection" racket knows no shame. Fifteen minutes of HSUS "expertise" killed 146 pit bulls Two months ago, Ms. Arrington -- backed up by HSUS's Chris Schindler -- appears to have based her assertion that it was Best Friends Animal Society that set the $190,000 per dog cost for rehabilitating "fighting dogs" on an amicus brief signed by 11 amici in November, 2007, during the wild scramble of the Michael Vick prosecution. The amicus brief originally estimated a rehabilitation cost of $2,500 per dog. The figure mysteriously staggered on up to the astronomical $190,000 that Arrington used in court. The later version of the amicus was amended to read-- Rehabilitation of fighting dogs is a time consuming, labor intensive effort which requires 4 to 6 hours each day per dog. Qualified trainers earn between $50.00-$75.00 per hour. At 5 hours a day, 30 days a month, this is $9,750 dollars per month of training. To this, add food and veterinary care, and the price to rehabilitate a fighting dog is a little more than $10,000 per month. If training and rehabilitating a dog takes 18 months, the cost rises to $180,000 plus the run cost of $10,000 or $190,000 per dog. With "amici" like that. . . Was the insane overstatement of likely costs a case of lawyerly maneuvering? Did the amici put that astronomical number out there in order to soak the target (Vick) for the max? Did avarice get in the way of common sense? On their own website Best Friends gave a base estimate at $40,000 per dog for a lifetime of care in an institutional setting, (with the warning that the cost could be higher in the case of the Vick dogs).

Heartless in Wilkesboro: the Humane Society of the United States Arrington simply asserted that, "in their own words," Best Friends said it would take about $190,000 to rehabilitate each of Ed Faron's dogs. Even the nursing puppies. HSUS's "experts" didn't protest the outrageous guesstimate of $190,000 for each dog. HSUS didn't offer to rehab the dogs for less. In fact, HSUS didn't offer a dime from their own extensive resources -- not surprising since in 2007, the Humane Society of the United States contributed less that 4% of its $91.5 million budget to the sheltering of pet animals. HSUS was out to kill those dogs.

Two months later, you're asking us to believe that four days in Las Vegas changed all that ?

Nathan Winograd's got the skinny on how things went in Vegas, and he's not too optimistic on how the "bust summit accords" will shake out.

[W]e hold back comprehensive progress because Wayne Pacelle won’t allow for more, and we accept it for no rational, financial, or practical reasons other than Pacelle refuses. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is only this way because we let it be. The power he has is the power we give him.

Let me add a big fat raspberry from Blue Dog State. Like Winograd, I'll believe it when I see it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

HSUS on Pit Bulls: Better Off Dead

$190 Thousand per Pup: Price tag for an innocent life? HSUS's sworn court testimony pushes for puppy slaughter The two HSUS baby Dog Fight Czars -- Amanda Arrington and Chris Schindler -- that testified before Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson Jr. in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in February, got what they wanted: The deaths of every last one of Ed Faron's dogs. The dogs had been seized as evidence in a dogfighting prosecution. A number of the puppies held by Wilkes County were born after the seize took place -- they had never lived at Wildside Kennels at all. All of them, even puppies like this one -- so young they were still nursing -- were killed following HSUS's "expert testimony." There were no evaluations of the individual dogs. No assessments of their histories, their health, their temperaments, their potential. Nothing. HSUS arranged for them all to die. HSUS's weasel words in open court Arrington and Schindler agreed, in court and under oath, that all of the Wildside Kennel dogs had to die. To quote Arrington's rendition of standard HSUS die, die, die policy: "I think it is an unrealistic expectation for us to ask these dogs that have been bred generations for fighting to become regular pets. " Arrington--an HSUS Regional Director--is apparently in total denial of how well the Vick dogs have done. Figures, since HSUS wanted the Vick dogs dead, too. Chris Schindler, HSUS's Deputy Manager, Animal Fighting Enforcement, put it this way: "These dogs have been bred for generations upon generations for a single purpose of animal fighting; the puppies included." What a crock of shit. That is the history of every "fighting dog" in the world. Its the history of every terrier worth its salt. Yet they can be excellent pets. Pit bulls -- bred for fighting for generations and yadda yadda -- have won the hearts of Americans for centuries. James Thurber's short story about life with a pit bull that came from "fighting lines" ran in the New Yorker in 1935. Find a copy at your library, and keep the Kleenex box handy. The $190,000 question: perjury? or extortion?

During her February 16, 2009 testimony, Arrington said something halfway unusual, though.

She testified that Best Friends Animal Society put a price tag on the cost to rehabilitate the Wildside dogs: $190,000. Each. Arrington: [Best Friends is] offering to assist. That is their language that they used. That means it would still be the county's responsibility. And in their own words, it costs about $190,000 per dog to rehabilitate them. THE COURT: $190,000 to rehabilitate a dog? MS. AMANDA ARRINGTON: Yes, sir. THE COURT: That's what Best Friends says? MS. AMANDA ARRINGTON: Yes.

Sounds like the Court had a little trouble digesting that figure, but HSUS's Chris Schindler backed her up on it:

"THE COURT: Sir, did you want to add something?

MR. CHRIS SCHINDLER: I'm Chris Schindler. I'm the Deputy Manager, Animal Fighting Law Enforcement, Humane Society of the United States. Your Honor, basically agree with all the things that everyone else has said. . ."

Pennies from heaven? Not hardly.

So, where did that $190,000 figure come from?

Did Best Friends Animal Society, which walked off with a huge chunk of Michael Vick's money, really hope to get $190,000 per dog for the Wildside Kennels pups?

Or did the Humane Society of the United States just make up more shit--also known as perjury--in order to impress the court?

Hard to say, isn't it? Plenty of questions, not many answers

Yes Biscuit is building quite a list of unanswered questions.

Caveat's got some good ones, too.

Me? I'd like to know if Arrington and Schindler are going to just -- poof! -- disappear, now that HSUS's heartless, sick fuck up in Wilkes County is becoming public knowledge.

Kinda like what happened to Laura Maloney, LA SPCA's former director.

The woman who okayed the slaughter of Floyd Boudreaux' dogs made a hasty move to Australia, beyond the reach of subpoenas, reporters and pesky bloggers, before Floyd's trial began.

Will HSUS disappear Arrington and Schindler? HSUS's date with "national pit bull stakeholders" in a no-tell hotel in Vegas is fast approaching and Arrington and Schindler are pariahs.

If HSUS wants to convince the world that "change" is a word in its vocabulary, too, I'm thinking Arrington and Schindler's days are numbered.

Not that ditching two little baby Dog Fight Czars will make a difference.

The final question

Does the Humane Society of the United States speak for you?

Or are you as revolted by all the lies, killing and fund-raising masquerading as "animal protection" as I am?

What's it gonna be?