Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 24: Something that makes you cry, in great detail

I don't know if many of you know this but in the last few years I have become a huge advocate and lover of the pit bulls. They have a notorious reputation for being these horrible, violence, vicious dogs which has only grown because of incorrect media coverage or owners that use them for defense and physical protection. To be fair, I used to be scared of these dogs too until I met my last boyfriend who loved the adorable pit bull. Across the street from my old apartment, a neighbor had a huge mastiff/pit bull mix that got out of the backyard one day. We saw him wandering around and after a very cautious introduction, we felt it was safe to have him stay in the house until the owner came home. This dog was huge with the biggest, sloppiest grin you have ever seen. I was taking a nap and he crawled right into bed with me and just took his own little nap for a few minutes.
From Dogtown's website. 
There are pit bulls that are trained to fight and protect their owners which may result in attacks and injuries but they are no more responsible for attacks and injuries than any other dog breed out there. The difference is that the news media actually reports more pit bull attacks than any other breed and misidentifies dogs as pit bulls more often than not. There are cities and states that have ban this breed and it makes me so sad.

"According to the American Temperament Test Society, Pit Bulls pass the test with flying colors.  In fact, the Pit Bull scores 82% or more.  The success of Pit Bulls in this series of tests proves they are not naturally mean or violent."

One of the biggest stories involving pit bulls that broke in the past few years is the Michael Vick case. There was an excellent show on Animal Planet about his case and what happened with the dogs afterward. It truly makes me sick that this is what people do to animals. Michael Vick is only one prominent example of why these dogs have the reputations they do but also how resilient they can be as well. Vick had over 66 dogs in his backyard along with a dog training complex behind his property and he along with three other men were indicted on felony charges for dog fighting activity over a six-year period.  Charges included: breeding and training fighting dogs, hosting dogfights, killing dogs considered unable to fight and traveling out of state for dog fights. Many of the dogs were put into confinement for further observation and many non-profit agencies from across the country took the dogs in. A Motion was filed in Virginia U. S. District Court to move all but one dog to foster families or sanctuaries. Evaluation reports revealed that only one dog displayed aggression towards humans and numerous dogs presented "no threat to other animals." Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison. Three days later, the USDA signed 10 dogs over to BAD RAP's permanent custody.  22 Pit Bulls were sent to Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah where they will spend the remainder of their days.  (Source) Vick was later ordered to pay over $1 million dollars to cover court and adoption fees as well as life long care for those dogs unable to be adopted.

Going along with that, the mistreatment of any animal makes me cry instantly. Each time I have watched "Animal Precinct" or "Dogtown" I absolutely cry my eyes out. Both are amazing organizations that operate solely on donations.

There are many documentaries about pets that were left when Hurricane Katrina hit and they are all equally heartbreaking.
Dark Water Rising 
Katrina's Animal Rescue
I don't remember the exact one that I watched but I did have to watch it alone and with an endless supply of tissue nearby.

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