Posts Tagged ‘Bark Out Loud’
The barking begins every morning at around 6 a.m. in my cozy Louisville, Colorado neighborhood, alerting that dog owners are leaving for work. However, one voice is not heard: Duke, Dan Antaya’s Pit Bull mix. Because of a Louisville city ordinance passed in 2006, Duke was banished from Antaya’s home and is living with friends in a city where Pit Bulls are legal.
“The struggle to find housing where Duke, my other dog Tyler, and I could live together started about a year ago when I relocated to Colorado. I was finally able to find something about 6 months ago, but even though the property owners had no issue,” the house was in Louisville, says Antaya, who owns K9 Consulting Services, a Longmont, Colorado dog training company. He also runs the Pit Bull Advocacy and Education program (more about that later).
“Now that the lease is up, I am unable to find housing again, partially due to both dogs weighing more than 50 lbs. but very much related to the type of dog Duke is, and the amount of cities in Colorado enforcing breed bans, we may have to leave the state.”
Does Banning Pit Bulls Make Sense?
Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, is well-known and controversial, as described in this For Pit’s Sake blog post. We’ve all heard the pro and con arguments to allowing certain breeds into a city. And there are setbacks even in cities that allow the breed.
How Do Breed Bans Affect Individuals And Cities?
For Antaya, “BSL affects me in the sense that I must live apart from my dog due to the city ordinance, and also prevents me from taking him to other cities that ban the breed. I fear of having him seized just for passing through to get to another location.” Besides that, many great pit bull owners don’t have the opportunity to show what good citizens their dogs are in cities in which they are banned. Thus, people tend to shun those breeds.
Why? One reason, according to the National Canine Research Council:
“While serious attacks by dogs are very rare, the intense media coverage that may accompany such an incident can mislead the public and/or lawmakers into imagining that dogs pose a significant threat to the community. Sensationalized publicity, combined with a lack of understanding of the infrequency of dog attacks, and of their causes, has resulted in reactive and uniformed policies directed against certain types of dogs. In no other American city has this dynamic played itself out more tragically than in Denver” and other Colorado breed ban areas.
The problems often arise as with any other breed (which, by the way, have dog bite histories, according to the Canine Research Council) when an owner is irresponsible and lets their dogs run outside without supervision, and when they don’t train their dogs to be good citizens.
Antaya says that Duke’s story with him began when “one of the rescue organizations I was with in Arizona took Duke out of the county kill shelter.”
Duke could only go to a few shelters in Colorado because of the numerous Colorado breed bans. Duke landed in the Longmont Humane Society, where Antaya works as an adoption counselor. “Duke was considered a problem dog at 3 months. Because I was overwhelmed with my current fosters, he had to wait for 2 months before I could work with him.”
After Antaya’s training, “not only did he become a model dog, he became a perfect ambassador for Bully Breeds.” Antaya adopted Duke after fostering him for only 4 days. “While I have formed a bond with the many fosters I had prior to him, he met all the criteria I had for a possible addition to the family. I realized his potential very early on.”
The Longmont Humane Society takes a majority of Pit Bull mixes in Colorado. “Due to the breed bans in Denver, Aurora and Louisville, we see a majority of the Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes in the area that are being surrendered or caught by Animal Control. They, unfortunately, are the slowest to get adopted. When I watch visitors walk past the kennels, they seem to migrate to the other breeds and barely glance in the run with a Pit Bull in it. Longmont Humane offers a training class just for Pit Bulls called P.I.T.S.T.O.P. There is a lot of interest in that program from current Bully Breed owners.”
Because of dogs such as Duke, Antaya started his Pit Bull Advocacy and Education program after walking a Pit Bull “and seeing someone cross the street when they saw us coming.” Antaya also saw so many pit bulls in shelters, and realized “people have so many misconceptions about the breed. If they were educated, perhaps the adoption rate of pit bulls would go up.”
Something needed to be done, he says. “My approach is much more from an educational standpoint. I don’t preach to anyone from a soapbox. I have found that most critics of this breed have never even had a personal experience with one. Once I introduce some people to Duke and other Pit Bulls, they start to realize that these dogs are not what they perceived them to be. In addition to participating in various dog-specific events, I consider everywhere I go to be an opportunity to educate people about the breed. Sometimes it is an indirect approach, such as teaching children general dog safety and care while using a pit bull in the demonstration. I am currently working on an anti dog-fighting campaign geared towards children in high risk areas as well as a few other educational programs.”
What’s The Future For Pit Bulls?
Tough one. Antaya thinks “we are a far cry from Pit Bulls being an accepted breed as long as the media and cities who enforce breed bans continue to drive negative and incorrect information into the minds of the general public. For the states/cities who are enacting Dangerous Dog Ordinances instead of Breed Bans and the large groups of responsible owners, I have high praise for them. Hopefully this will be a growing trend and the Pit Bull will again become America’s dog.” You can find out more of Antaya’s thoughts on the Pit Bull Advocacy and Education Facebook page.
Bark Out Loud Weekly and Be the Change for Animals support the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen
Who is Bad Rap? BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), co-founded by Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer, has been instrumental in the evaluation, rescue and rehabilitation of the dogs in the Michael Vick case, providing vision and hope for these dogs as well as many other dogs from high-profile federal dog fighting arrests. They also rescue pit bulls, teach award-winning classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and support rescues nationwide.
“Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen
BAD RAP is March 2010’s charity of choice at The Honest Kitchen, makers of dehydrated, human-grade whole foods for dogs and cats. THK donates a percentage of online store profits monthly to various causes. BAD RAP’s donation will double if THK reaches 40,000 Facebook fans this month.
Head on over and like The Honest Kitchen’s Facebook Page to support BAD RAP!
Chat Live with BAD RAP on Bark Out Loud Weekly, March 14, 9:00 PM EST!
Learn more about the work Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer do in the Bark Out Loud Weekly BAD RAP podcast “After Vick: What Have We Learned?” . This breaking interview has just been released along with promotion of the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen. Listen up and chat live with Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer on Monday at 9:15 PM EST. Get there early! Space is limited to the first 100 people.
BAD RAP, Featured Cause at Be the Change for Animals on March 14th
Be the Change for Animals (BtC4animals.com) will feature the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen on Monday, March 14th. Through social media, Be the Change for Animals asks a dedicated and growing community of online animal advocates to spend just a few moments and never a cent to improve the lives of animals in need. On this date, Be the Change for Animals will also kick off a $1000 dollar Facebook ad campaign, drawing additional attention to this terrific cause.
Special announcement: Bark Out Loud Weekly and Be the Change for Animals have officially joined forces. As sister sites, each will cross promote the other with a strong focus on improving the lives of animals.
You Can Help!
Like The Honest Kitchen’s Facebook Page.
Share this link (http://www.barkoutloudweekly.com/news/support-bad-rap).
Cover the story on your website or blog.
Participate in Bark Out Loud Weekly’s BAD RAP podcast and chat.
Visit Be the Change for Animals on Monday to spread the word.
Participating Blogs and Websites
The following have committed to covering events surrounding “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” on Monday, March 14th:
Additionally, I’ll be posting about what someone in Colorado is doing to help the plight of pit bulls in the country. Stay tuned! And see you on Monday, March 14, for the chat!
For day 10 of the #reverb10 challenge, which encourages one to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next, the topic today is:
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
I’ve gotta say that this year’s wisest decision for me was becoming a moderator of Bark Out Loud, the first weekly chat show on Twitter, every Monday night at 9:15 pm EST. Each week, we discuss a different topic relating to dogs, sometimes controversial and always exciting! We interview well-known guests experienced in the canine field who also answer participant questions.
Why wise? Let me count the ways. I’ve learned more about dog behavior and veterinary information on Bark Out Loud than I have in years. I’ve met some of my favorite people of all time. It’s been good for business. And most of all, it feels good to be a part of a community where people spend an hour-and-a-half with us weekly, discussing important and necessary dog issues!
The Bark Out Loud Team
- Mary Slade Doane, a nature educator in South Deerfield, NH. She writes a fascinating blog, called Mary’s Dogs Blog, about the adventures of her foster dog Aaron.
- Dr. Lorie Huston, a veterinarian in Providence, RI. She is a freelance writer for a number of pet health and veterinary publications, and has her own information-packed blog called Pet Health Care Gazette.
- Mary Haight, VP, Board of Directors of the Lakeshore Animal Shelter in Chicago, IL. She writes the thought-provoking Dancing Dog Blog.
- Me, Hilary, a canine coach/dog trainer in Louisville, CO.
What Topics Have We Discussed?
Here are the transcripts from our Bark Out Loud chats. Just click on a topic to read how the discussion played out!
- “Tricks for Success”
- “What is ‘Mindfulness’ and What Does it Have to do with my Dog?”
- “Breeding Standards: Ethics, Responsibilities and Purpose”
- “Tricks for Success: Part Two”
- “Dental Care: Keeping Those Pearly Whites”
- “Open Paw Organization”
- “Navigating Through Grief”
- “Matters of the Heart”
- “The Road to No Kill”
- “Heartworm Disease, Prevention and Treatment”
- “Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) for Aggression, Reactivity and Fearfullness”
- “Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) for Aggression, Reactivity and Fearfulness – Part 2”
- “Dog Days of Summer”
- “Up for Pups: Happy Tails of Rescue”
- “Fleas and Ticks”
- “East Meets West: Integrative Veterinary Medicine”
- “Managing a Multi-Dog Household”
- “Multi-modal Pain Management”
- “Pet Blogging: Blogging for Paws”
- “BlogPaws, Be the Change for Pets and BlogPaws West”
- “Helping Your Dog Adapt to New Situations”
- “Keeping Your Dog Busy””
- “Canine Nutrition 101”
- “Never Shock a Puppy”
- “Feeding Fido, Part One”
- “Feeding Fido, Part Two”
- “Read All About It: Favorite Dog Books”
- “Howlin’ Halloween”
- “Up for Pups, Don’t Kill Bill and Happy Tails Books”
- “Fido’s Favorite 5: Can’t Live Without ‘Em”
- “Itching and Scratching”
- “Relieving Holiday Stress”
- “Funding Fido”
- “If Only I Could Change…”
Come join us–check out how to jump in! If you have a suggestion for a topic or have feedback on our show, please contact me. And stay tuned–exciting new changes are coming to Bark Out Loud in 2011.