Thursday, February 28, 2008


A wonderful little video piece from one of the many people who lost sleep last summer over the Vick case. Upbeat is an understatement. Thank you, Dane -- This one still gives me chills. CELEBRATE!

And we have to give four paw high fives to this video outlining an important education program in Chicago designed to curb dog fighting. Even though the HSUS misfired in a big way with the Vick case, we're so happy to see them $upport this program. Big kudos to the Chicago Canine Academy for your good work.

This is a repeat, but everyone needs to keep this video on hand as a cure for what ails you. The music is enough to revive the soul. Jonny Justice Thanks again!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Signs of Intelligence

The stars & planets are lined up right for the dogs this week. Let's enjoy it while we can....

  • Battle Won - Two pit bull owners in PA won a major battle after spending eight years fighting a city ordinance that puts unfair restrictions on pit bulls. A state appeals court tossed it out da door. Congrats PA, and Well done!

  • Fair Treatment - Houston Humane Society announced that they will evaluate two fought pit bulls for placement potential. No 'fighting machine' or 'ticking time bomb' talk noted. We don't remember this shelter adopting out many/any pit bulls in the past, so giving these two dogs a fair chance is Huge.....Maybe it's contagious? A South Carolina shelter has made the same announcement about six abused dogs.
    Ahem. A brief message to the 'Kill-em-All Naysayers' out there.

  • Compassion for Jailbirds - Pima AC in Tuscon is soliciting donations to care for the 130+ pit bulls confiscated from the Patrick property. This is a wonderful way to involve the community in caring about the dogs. We commend the decision to ask for help, and hope that they end up with lots of toys in addition to the supplies.

  • HE CAN SIT! - Our foster dog Frodo (above) - who runs a little on the simple side - learned to Sit today. Woo! It's been embarrassing to have the only Vick dog that can't do a sit, but Frodo needed to work things out on his own time. Raised from pup-hood in near-isolation, he's one of our more stunted dogs, and we all have a soft spot for him because of it. More to come on the World According to Frodo.
  • Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Life's Luxuries

    It's so nice to hear how many people are opting to run late for work on Friday so they can catch the Rachael Ray Show. It's like the Pit Bull Oscars, but without Jon Stewart. (darn)

    This is the NYC limo driver who drove our K9 Celeb around town. He fell hard for the little monster and I'm pleased to report that Jonny held back and didn't vomit in the car once (altho' he looks a little green here, doesn't he?) <----

    Rachael and her crew certainly treat their guests right: We enjoyed a lovely hotel next to Carnegie Hall that allows pets. Nice. The staff fawned over him so much that we knew they'd understand when he made a little do-do in the room (Oops). Video of a little room party, bulldog style: Five Star Bed Bug

    I have to say, I had fleeting moments of guilt during this trip. So much expense and extravagance -- for a dog? Isn't this a little out of balance when we consider the human suffering in the world? Thankfully our resident poet and Pit Bull Hall diehard Elizabeth helped pull it all into perspective. She said "Hilton hell yes. There's a poet Jack Gilbert who has a great take ("A Brief for the Defense") on living it up despite the misery out there:"

    If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
    we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
    We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
    but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
    the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
    furnace of this world.

    Point taken. Thank you Jack and thank you, Elizabeth.

    In an unrelated reality check on the Way of the World, we came home and were greeted by a pair of red tail hawks who've returned to the grounds of the East Bay SPCA (where Pit Bull Hall is housed) to tend a nest for the third year in a row. They're a marvelous pair and have fledged out several youngins.' What could be better than working a pit bull while watching a family of hawks spin overhead and scream out that life-affirming "I'm alive and I'm hungry!" cry? Whether it's New York City or the flats of Oakland, life is always better when it can be shared with the critters.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Jonny Sez: Delish!

    The celebrity sofa graced by Jonny Justice two blogs below belongs to this darling of daytime telly. Yes! our ever-charming Bully Bust Dog Ambassador will be getting his
    15 minutes of fame on the
    Rachael Ray Show this coming Friday, February 29, 9am. A good reason to be late for work. Or set your Tevo. Or, check back here for the video link to the show.

    How cool is that? Of course Rachael is a pit bull owner herself, so the interview was all about good vibes. We'll save the good parts for you to see for yourself. Photo: Tim in Central Park with Jonny Justice after the show's taping.

    Pardon us please while we bask in the momentary bliss of being full fledged Media Ho's for the V-dogs. Does the country care about cast-off pit bulls? Last year at this time, the answer mighta been 'Eh. Mebbe' -- But this year's a whole new ball game and we're happy to see the dogs get a seat on the bus for once. And it's not slowing down...We have more shameless media announcements to make as we move into spring. Yo. Watch out for da Ho's!

    A Rotta Good Bite Prevention Work

    Speaking of working the media to help the dogs, we have to give a five snap salute to the Minnesota rescue/education mavericks A Rotta Love for their fantastically proactive bite prevention programs. We ALL need more of this. Even better, they've gotten their program into the press more than once, showing us all how simple and fun it is to teach dog safety and show off great ambassadors at the same time. I love these people! News Story

    Small Victories at Home

    Despite the fun stuff happening in the media, our crew is always working hard behind the scenes exercising, training and TLC'ing our orphan dogs until they finally go home. Shining up their manners involves problem solving; there's really no such thing as a perfect dog, and every individual has a little something that needs working out. For Elvez, it was wheelchairs. Anytime he saw a chair, he practically panicked. Not good. So the Pit Bull Hall Team has been wheeling a wheelchair around him for weeks along with lots of positives for calm.

    This weekend's log notes from Pit Bull Hall volunteer Inga Sheffield spelled out a simple victory: 'Elvez Notes: A visitor in a wheelchair was checking him out as I came in with Josie. He was really good, no jumping or crazy yelping. I brought him out and he was equally well behaved. '

    Great news. And just as nice, Elvez has a new suitor. Go Team.

    Friday, February 22, 2008

    Have we learned anything yet?

    Six people were arrested this week in AZ on misdemeanor cruelty charges for running a breeding operation that looks very much like a large scale puppy mill with sorry conditions and way too many pit bulls. While the local media is very excited about a 'dog fight ring,' no dog fighting charges have been filed. Authorities and the HSUS are instead condemning the operation for "breeding fighting dogs." The judge was less than impressed and allowed the defendants to leave without posting bail.

    So here are the obvious questions:
    What makes a dog a fighting dog?


    Why is this term being manipulated to hurt the very animals that raids are designed to help?
    He said that even pit bulls in good shape can be proof of dogfighting. ~ KBOLD13News (mis?)quoting Marsh Myers, Humane Society of Southern Arizona


    The dogs on the AZ property are people friendly and surprisingly few have battle scars, yet the media is already suggesting that all or most will need to be destroyed. (I guess they didn't get their People Magazine!) The running definition for fighting dog in this case is a dog that's already ruined because someone, somewhere might exploit and abuse him once he's sold. This is in line with PeTA's wish to exterminate the entire pit bull breed to prevent them from being abused.

    Of course our own 10 Vick survivors have been called "fighting dogs"- But are they? Is a fighting dog born or made? And who decides?

    Stay tuned - This is going to be an interesting case to watch.
    "After being confiscated, fighting dogs are typically euthanized due to their highly aggressive nature and unsuitability for adoption." ~ Humane Society of the United States

    Vick-dog Uba (left) and his housemate Lulu. Fighting dog(s) ?

    fighting dogs
    Photograph compliments of Uba's devoted foster mom, Letti

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Laptop Go Boom

    Why do dogs decide to trip us and send sacred laptops sailing just when we need them most?
    Definitely the Trickster at work.

    So needless to say, I've taken over Tim's computer, but am painfully behind on updating BR's website including and especially our Available Page. This is a good time to announce a new addition to Pit Bull Hall *snort* ------->.

    Tyson is a teeny tiny blue senior Staffy Bull that somehow ended up in trouble and then with the good folks at Oakland Animal Services (OAS has a great little blog,btw - Check it out.)

    Tyson was identified as a Pit Bull Hall dog during evaluation practice of Pit Ed Camp, a week-long intensive where folks from around the country come to study up on ways to create viable pit bull adoption programs. We love these camps and the people who attend them. The February camp attracted shelter professionals from Michigan Humane Society --- (Yes, it's time to put your hands up for Detroit again. Heh), from Capital Area Humane Society (Reps Kelly and Stephanie shown in pic), the Jacksonville Humane Society (They're still recovering from the tragic fire that killed over 200 animals), Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and finally, a rep from our Partner in Shelter Services, Animal Farm Foundation. All good people with a renewed commitment to help the pit bulls in their communities.

    We were so happy that Michigan Humane's own Stella Polari was able to be reunited with MHS staff during the training class portion of camp. Shown here with MHS's head trainer, CJ Bentley (who went to High School with Tim, btw - Small world!)

    If you know of a motivated shelter worker whose pit bulls would benefit from Pit Ed Camp, please send them our way. Even better if they don't like pit bulls!

    Back to Tyson. This tyke is a hilariously funny little alien beast who sings, chortles, purrs and demands to be loved. We're not as familiar with staffy bulls since their breeders tend to be more cautious and their dogs don't typically end up orphaned, but this year has been a bonanza. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club has informed us that Michael Vick was shopping SBs to add to his collection. OUCH. So - in case you didn't already guess - Jonny and maybe even a few of our other Vick dogs may be all or part Staffy Bull. If Michael Vick's House of Horrors isn't reminder enough, breeders - PLEASE - screen your friggin' clients and know where you're sending your breeding stock! Your dogs and your breed's future are depending on you.

    Speaking of you-know-who, this little displaced staffy bull is sleeping soundly on the sofa of a famous NYC celebrity. Any guesses? Stay dialed in - We look forward to spilling the beans.


    We'll be chatting with Kim Bloomer, VND and Jan Cooper on The Dog View Radio Show this Thursday, Feb 21 at 2:30 EST. Please listen in -- it should be fun!

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    New Yorkie Man Jonny

    What's former Vick dog 'Jonny Justice' doing in NYC? We can't say, but it's going to be a great reason to stay home and watch television in two weeks. (We'll holler out the who/what/where/when announcement the second we get the green light.)

    Rebecca Huss

    One of the biggest heroes in the Vick case was the court appointed Special Master Guardian Attorney Rebecca Huss. Finally, a great interview where she talks candidly about the case. We at BAD RAP so *heart* this lady.

    Humane Society of Missouri - 'A Future for Former Fighters'

    We're lovin' the beautiful photos and encouraging quotes in this piece about giving pit bull victims a chance. Beautifully written by Jennifer Hayes for Best Friends Network.

    Mama dog photo provided courtesy of Debbie Hill of the Humane Society of Missouri.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008

    Modern Day Miracles

    It’s being called a miracle. Dog owners all over the globe are reporting a strange phenomena that started this weekend as pets dropped their prize chew toys to stare with rapt attention at the People Magazine’s article on the Vick dogs.

    While some suggest that dogs only like to look at the pictures, others theorize that they may actually be reading. Pit bulls especially have been reported breaking into zoomies following each viewing. What does it all mean? More to come as Utah dog psychologists begin to study this compelling behavior.

    Above: BR alum Boris and Sister Sheena study the article in their Texas home. Good to see that their human, Patty, is still resisting.

    In Other News

    We're pleased as punch with FOX anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle's (right) interview about the rescued Vick dogs – namely, her warm acknowledgment of Jonny Justice.

    Is it any coincidence that this interview came from the ex-wife of SF Mayor Newsom, the same guy who suggested banning pit bulls back in 2005? One has to wonder. Either way, we’re grateful to Kimberly for helping Fox News viewers meet this little Myth Buster.

    See Jonny Justice on FOX News

    Finally, during a long & busy week of Pit Ed Camp (photos to come), I was thrilled to fall home and catch a vicarious Cajun buzz from Ken Foster’s video of a pit bull party (!) at the Sound CafĂ© in New Orleans. This hoppin' dawg bash came together to celebrate the launch of his new book. Lookit those happy dogs...I soooo wish we coulda been there. Congrats, Ken!

    Thursday, February 07, 2008

    Hey, PEOPLE - Let's have a Pit Bull Party

    Pardon me while I gush. Getting the V-dogs out of Virginia and into safe homes wasn't something we counted on. Getting them into People Magazine was like, Whoa, are you kidding me? Not because we were surprised that they wanted a story...The People people have been patiently waiting for the gag order to lift along with everybody else. But their 'vision' was to get as many dogs as possible on a sofa for a relaxed-at-home photo. HEH.

    We know our dogs well enough to know how that would go. These buggers are terminally happy wrigglers, and close proximity means everybody starts vibrating into a crazy mess of twister madness. But we love a good challenge, so said "Yes" and spent a hilarious hour getting the rowdy bunch to pretend that they chill like this every day of the week.*

    *For a peek into how it really went: PHOTO SHOOT VIDEO

    It's slightly freaky to see our heads on the same page as Vick's photo. Creepy, in a "Do they get People Magazine in prison?" kind of way. But the dogs deserve this moment, and folks waiting in grocery store lines all over the county will get another chance to ponder the outcome of the case this week.

    MORE GOOD NEWS: (Can you stand it?)

    The Humane Society of Missouri has gone public with their decision to help several of the dogs from Missouri's largest fight bust in this press release. A quote worth smiling about:

    “We are committed to giving these dogs who came from such horrible abuse the absolute best chance for a good life. It is a tragedy that because of their mistreatment by humans for financial gain and so-called sport, some may not ever be able to be placed in a home situation.” ~ Debbie Hill, VP of Operations

    And, more

    We want to thank all the good people who've been moved to send toys and good vibes to the hardworking folks at Hillsborough County Animal Services. They received goodies for their dogs from friends as far away as Berkeley, CA and from BSL ridden locales like Ontario, Canada and Bermuda. Your support and best wishes for better days helps more than you know.

    And, more

    We just have to thank Britney Spears for sharing her spotlight last week with Uba and the cute baby with the blue eyes. The AP story on the Vick dogs ended up being one of MSN's top picks of the week.

    Media, take note: This is proof that your audience prefers stories that celebrate triumph over adversity to the formula-bad-news pieces you normally offer!.... In other feel-good news, here at home we're celebrating Bug's homecoming into the care of a wonderful family. Josie Kat misses both him and newly-placed Texas Cadillac, but she's keeping us in shape at Pit Bull Hall by requesting extra tug time during her play sessions. Go Josie.