Friday, June 01, 2012

Update on Maryland court ruling

Some better news for Marylanders today – the state legislature has convened at 10-member task force to examine the Court of Appeals' ruling that declared that pit bulls are inherently dangerous, and the lawyer for the landlord in the Tracey v. Solesky case – the one who owned the property where the dog lived that attacked Dominick Solesky back in 2007 – has filed a motion for reconsideration to ask the court to review its evidence.

It's not a guarantee that anything will change, but it's hopeful.

Oh, and this is pretty cool, too. The Wa-Po ran a pretty great story about B-More Dog and its Pit Bulls on Parade earlier this month. That's pretty awesome. I kept meaning to post this story, but time kept getting away from me before I could get to it!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday morning walks with Doc

Before we moved to Florida, Doc and I used to train every Saturday morning. These days, we spend Saturday mornings going for walks, and since Doc likes to check out new places, we've been taking him to different lakes the past few weeks. He lives it. Today, we visited Lake Concord and Lake Highland, both near downtown Orlando.

It was a pretty morning for a walk.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Supermoon photo

Rob took this on Lake Baldwin on Saturday night. We took Doc for a walk down to the dock to look at the supermoon. I love this photo.

Legislation to be introduced to repeal Maryland court ruling

This just in! The Maryland Dog Federation says that the Maryland Animal Law Center, which held a meeting on the Maryland Court of Appeals Ruling this past Sunday, has been contacted by MD Del. Michael Smigiel Sr. "who intents to introduce legislation during the Special Session in May, 2012. The proposed legislation would prohibit municipalities from declaring dogs dangerous simply by breed!"

The Maryland Dog Federation is encouraging people to continue to write to Gov. Martin O'Malley and their legislators to encourage them to support the effort to overturn the court ruling! Don't stop writing emails and letters! This doesn't change anything, it's just a step in the right direction, so keep up the pressure!

Visit the Maryland Dog Federation's website here and the Maryland Animal Law Center here

Call Maryland governor's office for pit bulls TODAY

Maryland Votes for Animals is urging state residents to call Gov. Martin O'Malley's office today (Tuesday, May 8) to urge him to support the introduction of legislation during this summer's special session that would overturn the state Court of Appeals ruling declaring pit bulls inherently dangerous animals. Complete details are here.

Maryland Votes for Animals reminds everyone that the governor and his staff had nothing to do with the fact that this ruling was made, so please be polite and don't be adversarial with the governor's staff.

Here's the contact info for the governor's office:

Governor Martin O’Malley
(410) 974-3901
(800) 811-8336

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Petsmart told me this bed was returnable

Even if my dog put a hole in it. I wonder how they define hole and what they consider returnable.

Friday, May 04, 2012

How they see us

So there's been a lot of talk about the Maryland ruling in the Tracey v. Solesky case, which declares pit bulls inherently dangerous dogs. I don't know how many people have done their homework on the Solesky case, but I am pretty familiar with it, since it was the case that spurred Baltimore County Councilman Vince Gardina to introduce legislation in 2007 that would have declared pit bulls in Baltimore County dangerous dogs and required pit bull owners to keep their dogs in locked, covered pens with concrete bottoms whenever they were outside and muzzled in public. I was at the County Council hearing, at which the parents of the child who was mauled by a pit bull, Dominic Solesky, testified about how their son was mauled by a neighbor's pit bull, who was kept in an inadequate pen in a backyard. Obviously, they wanted the breed-specific legislation to pass.

But pit bull people came out in droves to speak up on behalf of our dogs. I spoke up. Tons of others did. Most of the speakers were professional, calm, collected, measured and sympathetic toward the traumatized family. Despite the overall sensitivity most people showed to the family, there were some people who obviously caught their eye as ... well, maybe as not so sensitive. And their perceptions – well, at least the father's perceptions – are documented in painstaking detail in an e-book he put out (with the help, apparently, of an opportunistic organization with an agenda whose site I won't bother linking to and whose name I won't bother typing) called Dangerous by Default. It's up on, and I've embedded it below, and I think it's valuable reading for anyone who owns, loves and advocates for a pit bull.


Because it shows how incredibly horrific it really is when somebody experiences this kind of incident. It's an insight into the PTSD-type feelings that victims of serious dog attacks experience, and a reminder that even if we are offended by their hatred of our dogs that they have valid feelings about what happened to them and that it doesn't do any good to lash out at them because they have those feelings. It's also an important reminder, if you read the part about the hearing (I think it's in the chapter titled "Dog (and Pony) Show"), that we need to think about how the outside world perceives us, even those of us who go about our lives with our dogs and aren't hurting anyone.

It's sad to think that, even though most people who showed up at the hearing back in 2007 were polite, kind, peaceful and respectful, the victim's family saw a group of people who were anthropomorphizing dogs, unconcerned about dog-bite victims' suffering. I'm not exactly sure how that perception came to be – I suspect it started with the jackass pit bull owner who carelessly let his dogs do serious damage to those kids back in 2007 – but it's something all pit bull owners (and prospective pit bull owners) need to be aware of. Even when we're at our best, some people will only see the worst.

It's not a long book, and it's pretty emotional. It makes me sad for a whole lot of reasons. So, like I said, if you really want to know how and why this whole nightmare in Maryland got started, this is one starting point.

Dangerous by Default: Extreme Breeds by Anthony Solesky

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

PBRC weighs in on Maryland court ruling

Here's a link to the blog post from Pit Bull Rescue Central about the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling on pit bulls. Lots of useful tips and info for Maryland residents. And one point that bears repeating: This ruling does not make pit bulls illegal or require people to take special measures to keep their family pets. Please don't panic and please don't dump your dog at a shelter!