Saturday, October 22, 2016

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day is Saturday October 22, 2016

I am pleased to share with my readers information about National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day - October 22.  Here is their news release:

October 22, 2016
A North American coalition of over 70 groups concerned about the growing pit bull crisis is organizing the third annual National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day on October 22, 2016. The day is intended to honor victims of pit bulls and call attention to the severe injuries and deaths caused by pit bull-type dogs in the United States and Canada. 
In 2015, pit bulls caused 73% of the record 45 fatal dog attacks in the US and Canada despite comprising less than 6% of the dog population, as reported by Merritt Clifton, Editor of Animals 24-7.
In June of this year, 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais of Montreal, Canada, was fatally attacked in her own backyard by a neighbor’s pit bull. As a result of Vadnais’ death, Montreal City Council recently voted in favor of adopting measures to restrict the keeping of pit bulls. The breed-specific legislation (BSL) requires mandatory sterilization of pit bulls, secure containment at home and the use of a sturdy leash and muzzle while in public.
Jeff Borchardt, Founder of Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness, applauds Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and City Council’s decision to adopt BSL, saying, “Breed-specific legislation, when properly written and enforced, is the most effective way to prevent serious canine-related maulings and fatalities. We thank Mayor Coderre for putting people first when it comes to public safety.” Borchardt’s 14-month-old son Daxton was fatally attacked by two pit bulls in 2013.
In a recent report on BSL,, a charitable organization dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, states that jurisdictions in at least 14 states and provinces have achieved successful results after enacting a breed-specific ordinance. In the past two-and-a-half years, 90% of state BSL pre-emption billsproposed by pit bull activists which would prevent local governments from enacting pit bull bans were rejected. This year, Missouri, Kentucky, Washington, Georgia, West Virginia and Idaho all voted against BSL pre-emption – a 100% success rate in retaining local control of animal ordinances. 
With pit bulls making up 37% of all dogs surrendered to US shelters, an important outcome of BSL is the alleviation of suffering of the dogs themselves. In an opinion piece for Newsweek, Daphna Nachminovitch, VP of Cruelty Investigations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calls pit bulls “the most abused dogs on the planet, hands down,” and writes, “Cities that have passed legislation similar to Montréal’s report a dramatic drop in the number of pit bulls entering shelters. In San Francisco, the number of pit bulls euthanized at the city’s animal-control facility dropped by 24 percent just 18 months after it had passed a law requiring that pit bulls be sterilized.”
National Pit Bull Victim Awareness (NPBVA) evolved out of the need to create a support and information hub for the growing number of pit bull victim groups. tracks pit bull attacks on an interactive map as they are reported by the media in the US and Canada. The resource is intended to help citizens, policymakers and elected officials better understand the scope of this increasingly urgent public safety issue. The website features state- and province-wide reports of serious pit bull attacks, disfigurements and fatalities, along with legislative updates pertaining to the breed.
In an effort to recognize the full impact of pit bull ownership on families and communities, the National Pit Bull Victim Awareness website also examines the effect of pit bulls on public safety, and the often devastating social and economic results after an attack. Various stakeholders in the pit bull issue are identified, including taxpayers, legislators, emergency and healthcare workers, animal control officers, law enforcement agencies, pet owners, farmers and humane organizations, among others.
In addition to the toll placed on human safety, in 2015, pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs and 13,000 cats, as reported by Animals 24-7.
Partner organizations in the NPBVA initiative include sponsor Daxton’s Friends (Wisconsin), along with Dangerous By Default (Maryland), Protect Children from Pit Bulls and Other Dangerous Dogs (California), (USA and Canada) and Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack – AVOCA (Worldwide).
About National Pit Bull Victim Awareness: lists more than 70 organizations and advocacy groups from across the continent whose purpose is to alert the public and the media to the pit bull crisis. NPBVA also maintains a list of pit bull victims who are available for interviews with the media. For individual state mapsshowing the location of attacks reported in the media, contact
About Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness: 
Daxton’s Friends was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013, due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends strives to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced.
About Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack (AVOCA):
AVOCA is a national ad hoc coalition of bereaved families and survivors of canine attack. Our mission is to educate the public about dangerous dogs, and in particular fighting and gripping breeds, with respect to the risk they present to human and animal health and safety.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

BC Pit Bull Breed Ban Needed More than Ever as Attacks Escalate

Angry Pit Bull 
Despite ferocious owner backlash, we need our government to act.

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Vancouver / The Tyee column

Tuesday June 28, 2016

By Bill Tieleman

"You're a naive ignorant c**t if you wanna ban an entire breed of animals... trust me bud if anyone is gunna attack you it'll be me not my pitbulls."

- Email to me from pit bull owner on June 25

Attacks Keep Coming, Ban Dangerous Dogs in BC Now

As the number of vicious, maiming and fatal pit bull dog attacks escalate in British Columbia and beyond, so too does the ferocity of their owners in trying to bully those who support a ban on the breed.

Last week a Surrey woman's arm was ripped open in an unprovoked pit bull attack where the owner simply fled the scene.

On Friday two people were mauled in Vancouver by a dog whose breed isn't yet known, with one going to hospital.

And Quebec City and Montreal moved quickly to ban pit bulls last week following the horrendous death of a Montreal woman mauled by a neighbour's dog in her own yard.

UPDATE: Montreal's pit bull ban bylaw was challenged in court by the SPCA - and suspended by a judge.  Mayor Denis Coderre says the city is appealing that decision and he is disappointed but won't give in to "threats or interest groups".

But some pit bull advocates could not care less about the injuries -- they only worry about a ban on the aggressive and powerful dog breed. In fact, Quebec City police are worried about Mayor Régis Labeaume's personal safety after 13,000 Facebook comments about the ban.

This weekend a previous column drew the attention of pit bull advocates -- and resulted in several emails like the one above with veiled threats against me for calling for a ban.

Horror stories continue

The facts are clear. One breed of dog is responsible for most of the deaths and serious injuries: the pit bull category and related mixed breeds.

Last year in the United States pit bulls were responsible for 28 of 34 reported dog bite fatalities -- 82 per cent -- despite making up only about 6.6 per cent of the dog population.

Montreal and Quebec City join Ontario, Winnipeg, scores of other cities across North America, and U.S. military bases in banning pit bulls -- and dramatically reducing deaths and injuries.

Quebec Premier Premier Philippe Couillard says his province will likely follow Ontario's lead.

That's because the horror stories continue as relentlessly as a pit bull attack.

In New Haven, Connecticut, a 53-year-old woman lost both eyes and one leg in what was initially reported as a pit bull attack. She died last night, according to reports.

Also last week, a 58-year-old woman was seriously injured in a pit bull attack by a neighbour's dog in Callaway, Florida. When police went to her rescue the pit bull charged them and was shot dead.

But despite ample evidence showing pit bulls with no history of abuse that were raised in loving homes have suddenly snapped and attacked children and others, the defence of pit bull advocates continues: it's the owner, not the dog, they always claim.

Tell that to Surrey resident Brenda Moon. An uncontrolled pit bull savaged her so severely outside a Mac's convenience store that her arm was broken and the bone visible.

"He had me in his mouth and was shaking me... and then he dragged me," said Moon of the unprovoked attack.

The dog's owner left the scene with the pit bull despite Moon's serious injuries -- but he will not be charged with anything, say RCMP, because there's no law for the dog equivalent of a hit and run.

"So why are the police putting in all their hours trying to find this and stop them, if in the end they can't do anything... what is the point?" Moon asks.

And while the pit bull was euthanized, the owner is free to get another pit bull without any penalty at all, while the traumatized Moon may never fully recover.

BC ban now

But far too many pit bull owners could not care less about the destruction the breed is responsible for, and they damage the cause of reasonable owners.

Another threatening email I received this weekend over a past column is typical.

"You need to seriously start thinking about what youre saying. Pitbulls are like children for some people... you wont ever see me give mine up. ever. thats my child. And you are now the enemy. You propose sanctions on my family that you know nothing about. You are the enemy. Dont ever forget that," [sic] the owner wrote.

And while Ontario has banned pit bulls since 2005 and Quebec may also, Premier Christy Clark shrugged off calls for a province-wide pit bull ban, saying it's up to individual cities and towns: "Local governments have the power to do that now -- I'd urge them to do that, if that's a concern for them."

Not nearly good enough. While municipalities should institute bans, the most effective and appropriate way to stop the carnage is with a provincial ban.

And to be clear -- because some pit bull advocates don't get it -- existing dogs would not be put down. There would simply be a ban on any future breeding or importation of pit bulls.

B.C. should act because local government is susceptible to the extreme pressure and lobbying that pit bull advocates exercise to stop or overturn any bylaws they dislike, as happened in New Westminster in 2013 when a breed-specific dangerous dog bylaw was repealed.

But even after yet another savage pit bull attack in 2015 in New Westminster, the city said that it had "no plans" to amend the bylaw and restore previous protections.

Despite a never-ending stream of serious attacks in B.C., it appears governments won't act until forced to by a horrific child death.

Said Surrey attack victim Moon on pit bulls: "People shouldn't be allowed to have them. How many people do they have to kill? Somebody will die."