kinds of drugs and its side effects

No, Pit Bulls Aren’t Perfect. Are You?

I was hoping to leave my review of The Lost Dogs as the last word on pit bulls, but a subsequent comment on my Open Letter to Nathan Winograd caught my attention:

Did you read on Best Friends website that the Vick dogs got in a fight and one killed another and the two surviving are seriously injured. Not all animals are able to be retrained. Best Friends made a mistake in taking them, I hope they admit it.

I contemplated leaving the comment, which has an oddly gleeful “I told you so” tone to it, embedded in the many that the post received and ignoring it, but I’ve decided to address it instead because it’s important to stress that what happened doesn’t change anything.

First, here’s the link to the Sad News from Dog Town, the Best Friends blog that details the story. The comments had to be cut off because they got so rancorous. I’ll leave you to form your own judgments.

Here’s mine: Some victims of crimes — and let’s not forget that this is precisely what Michael Vick’s dogs are — have more repercussions from their victimization than others. Should we start killing crime victims as soon as they show signs of being adversely affected by their experiences?

Saving fighting dogs is new territory that Best Friends ventured into, much to their credit. Let’s not generalize from one incident. Like I said, pit bulls are just dogs. The Vick pit bulls have more problems than many other dogs of all breeds, but they also have more resources directed towards their care, which is as it should be. Let’s learn from this how to go forward, not how to fall back on the same old stereotypes of innate viciousness and incorrigibility.

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41 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Amen! I could not agree with you more Edie.

    The truth is every dog should be treated by their personality. Not by their breed. Each dog is an individual, and when that individual is traumatized (as these dogs were) they deserve the same chance as anyone else. Just because this incident happened doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth trying.

    Should we give up on trying anything new when it comes to dogs? If so, then perhaps we all should be using prong collars, shocking our dogs and pinning them down when they are “bad” since that is the “old” and “traditional” way of thinking. God forbid we try something new, like positive reinforcement, to find out it works.

    Sorry, but that person’s glee and “I told you so” attitude made me furious. Not all dogs can be saved, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. We all learn something when we try something new and that can only help future dogs (and humans).

  2. Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    We have a friend who went out of town last spring for several days.
    He has 3 indoor/outdoor dogs and had a friend coming over several times a day to check on the dogs, play with them, etc.
    About halfway through his trip, one dog killed one of the other dogs. No one was there to see it, so we can’t say exactly what happened.

    Dogs don’t have to be abused to be aggressive or fight.
    And dogs that are abused aren’t necessarily going to be aggressive and fight.

    Each dog is a unique individual, just like a person. We start getting into trouble when we make vast generalizations about groups of dogs or people.

    Mary

  3. Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I can also not see that it should change anything. The reason these Vicks dogs still were present at Best Friends is without adoubt because they have not been rehabilitated yet (and maybe the scars run that deep they never will). But it is not some kind of ” speed rehabiliting” we are into here. The fact that already some of the Vicks dogs have been rehabilitated is fantastic and gives hope. And no matter what, we have to give each of them the care each individual needs. That is our responsibility and they more than deserve it. Thank you, Best Friends, for showing the way.

  4. Posted October 17, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you Edie for deciding to write about this. I particularly like your observation that the Vick dogs are ‘victims’ because it helps us to ‘see’ them in the proper light, to my mind anyway. I admire Best Friends for work they have done and for the resources that have been devoted to rehabilitating Vick’s dogs. Those dogs deserve, indeed are entitled to, the best we humans can give them in light of what others of our species have done to them. As you said, this is new territory. Let’s learn and move on.

  5. Posted October 17, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Kenzo, I think you touched on a very important point. What’s much more important to note than the one fight at Best Friends is that a huge number of the other Vick dogs have moved on to be amazing family pets, many having earned their CGC, some working as therapy dogs, and some in homes with other dogs, not to mention cats, and children. Obviously these dogs *can* be rehabilitated, but like others have mentioned, dogs are also individuals and have individual needs. Rehabilitation is also, I believe, a subjective term. Not every dog is meant to live happily with other dogs, or children, or cats, etc. It’s our job to understand what rehabilitated means for each dog, and not vilify them if they don’t fit into *our* definition.

  6. Posted October 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I have a harsher view towards these two dogs. It’s been three years since they were liberated from the Vick kennels and they are still fighting with themselves and other dogs. While a lot of the other Vick dogs were successfully rehabilitated, it appears that Tug & Denzel will never be.

    When does Best Friends stop anthropomorphizing these dogs and just make the best possible decision for them and have them destroyed? It’s not like Tug and Denzel are sitting around thinking about how to be the best dogs that they can be. They are fighters, plain and simple. They will never be able to safely be with other dogs or humans that are not skilled in their handling.

    The money spent on Tug and Denzel can be appropriated to help dogs that actually have a chance to live a normal, happy life with a family. Some things are just broken and will never be fixed. Sometimes one has to know where to draw the battleline.

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for this, Karen. I appreciate your perspective. I haven’t been following the story of those two particular dogs from the start; clearly you have been.

      A few things in response. First: What’s your basis for saying that Best Friends is anthropomorphizing the dogs? Because they don’t destroy them? Best Friends doesn’t kill dogs or any other animals.

      It’s true that the dogs may never be able to be with other dogs or unskilled humans. Then they shouldn’t be.

      Which brings me to the next point. The money spent on Tug and Denzel can’t be appropriated to help other dogs. It’s court mandated to be spent on the Vick dogs, as it should be. Destroying them was PETA’s and HSUS’s original thesis for all the Vick dogs. It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now. The money can be spent for security and for staff that is trained to deal with the dogs. Maybe we can learn something.

      I’m not saying shelters don’t have to make difficult decisions like this all the time when it’s a question of where the limited funding should go. In those cases aggressive dogs do need to be destroyed so that other dogs can be homed. In this case, no.

      • Posted October 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Anthropomorphizing in the sense that they are being described and treated like “victims”. They are animals that have been cultured through breeding to be aggressive. It’s what they “do” and they don’t experience remorse or guilt for fighting another dog.

        Rehab isn’t working for these dogs and clearly they can’t even live with each other, let alone other dogs. So they are going to spend their lives apart from other dogs with some with some contact with humans that can handle them. Dogs are pack animals that need constant contact with other living things to be mentally healthy. Their lives are going to be the human equivalent of solitary confinement. How humane is that?

        • Edie Jarolim
          Posted October 18, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          Thanks for clarifying, Karen. While I don’t agree that using the term “victims” is anthropomorphizing – such terminology is required to clarify legal issues surrounding the dogs — I do agree that the question of what to do with dogs that are aggressive is complicated. And I agree that isolation is punishment and that it’s inhumane. I don’t have an answer; I’m hoping behaviorists and other experts do. I just know that killing isn’t the solution to every problem.

    • sheldon
      Posted October 21, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      not trying to be negative at all. Will be happy to post full details if this ever uploads. the comment you refernced was heart break, not glee

  7. Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Edie, I totally agree. The Vick dogs are victims of a horrible crime, and people should remember that before making sweeping generalizations.

  8. Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    That was a surprising comment – or maybe I was just surprised because it happened here. I tend to think most people who comment here are well schooled in the ins and outs of pit bulls and what is true and what is not. How anyone could come to the conclusion that Best Friends was “wrong” to take these dogs I don’t know. What was wrong was killing them all just because they were involved in fighting. Obviously. Half of Vicks dogs are out in the world, as family pets and even a couple are working as service dogs.

    I’m glad you didn’t let sleeping dogs lie…people need to be called out when they ignore the facts, preferring to stick with conventional thinking that has hit it’s expiration date.

    • Posted October 19, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Since my comment is the only contrarian view here, I must assume that you are referring to my comment. I thought that that this was a “guilt free” zone to express my opinions without judgement. But it seems that you are judging my opinions quite handily.

      I am fairly experienced with pit bulls and pit bull types. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I know the ins and outs of owning this type of dog. My family owned an Amstaff rescue for 12 years and my Mom still has a pit mix living with her. I love pits and amstaffs. They are super dogs and would take one over a chihuahua or other small yappy and snappy breed any time.

      I never said that it was wrong for Best Friends to take these dogs in nor an I prejudiced to their fighting background. Some of the dogs responded to rehabilitation and it is pretty clear that some of them have not. I’m not even looking at the dog breed issue here. My opinion would be the same if these dogs were cocker spaniels, collies, labs or mutts

      Is my thinking “outdated and expired” to be concerned about the long term welfare of Denzel and Tug or any other of the unadoptable dogs at Best friends for that matter? I’m not ignoring facts, I’m rationally analyzing them. These dogs have had almost three years of intensive behavior modification that HAS NOT worked for them. They cannot be with other dogs and they probably aren’t too reliable around humans. I checked out the bios of some of the other Vicktory dogs residing at Best friends. A lot of them have mentions of the dogs accepting visitors, hanging out in the staff offices etc. There is no mention of this happening with Tug or Denzel.

      So it boils down to this. What does Best Friends do with these dogs? Is is really fair or humane to let them live the rest of their lives in some weird kind of doggie solitary confinement? When it comes to the no-kill issue I really feel like I’m on crazy pills sometimes. It’s not humane or fair to warehouse unadoptable pets for the sake of the no-kill movement. Making the decision to euthanize an animal isn’t an easy one, but sometime it is the more humane option.

      • Edie Jarolim
        Posted October 19, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink

        I see that you’re responding to Mary’s comment, Karen — but she came in later and was referring to the comment I quoted in the body of the post, not to your “contrarian” view. She wasn’t questioning your familiarity with the breed, or with the situation.

        In any case, guilt-free doesn’t mean opinion free. But I hope no one who comes here feels dissed for expressing a contrary opinion.

        Me, I’m just saying maybe it’s time to explore other options than killing dogs — of any breed — because there’s money available for it with the Vick dogs. I agree solitary confinement is inhumane. But human contact hasn’t been ruled out.

        I completely respect your opinion and I appreciate your coming here to offer it in the face of opposition.

    • sheldon
      Posted October 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Not going to belabor this since reply seem to be the only uplead working. I don’t know where you got “glee” that is amazing, but what you were meant to hear was heartbreak. Two years ago it took 4 people to pull my 3year old grandchilds head from the mouth of a rehabbed fighting pit from Bad Rap. Two years and 37 surgeries later our lives are forever altered. Her sense of personal safety was stolen. she lost her whole face and 1/3 of her scalp, BF knew that we sent them pictures and said please don’t do this, let HSUS put them down. It’s not the dogs fault, but a child is forever maimed, she will never have a sense of smell or taste. the hearing may come back in one ear. So now you know about the “glee” I was crying when I wrote that, Papaw couldn’s save her.

      • Edie Jarolim
        Posted October 22, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

        I am so so sorry.

        First — the reason I didn’t post your comments was because I’ve been away and for some reason I didn’t get the emails alerting me to the fact that there were comments waiting for approval.

        Second — It’s too easy to judge when you don’t know the whole story and all you have is a few words out of context. I had no idea of your story. Please accept my apologies and my heartfelt sympathy for what happened to your grand daughter.

        • sheldon
          Posted October 22, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

          You had no way of knowing, and it was to painful to share for us at the time. My family did not want to cause people to turn against anyone, we only want truth in advertisining on pitbulls

  9. Pauses4paws
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Edie, I know nothing of Pit Bulls except that when I see them, I have a natural inclination to turn around and walk the other way (largely due to preconceived notions I’ve developed due to media surrounding tragedies that have actually involved the breed). I tend to agree with you in general, considering these “pits” victims. I don’t believe that any breed is inherently bad, when it’s first a breed, but that it’s trained to be bad. And, over time, with breeding, perhaps a breed can become more aggressive simply by breeding out the favorable characteristics and breeding in the aggressive ones (but this would take several decades of bad breeding if not more). As far as victims go, seems to me that exhibiting difficult, antagonistic, aggressive behavior would be a natural response after escaping a tyrannical situation where fighting was the norm. If the pup can’t be rehabed and continues to fight when among other dogs, then perhaps a sanctuary situation where he is on his own might work….that is, if a human can interact with him. If an animal is too fractious for either animal or human to interact with, well, that’s where I get really, morally stuck. I wouldn’t want to be the one to put ANY animal to sleep, especially if it’s rehabed physically, but emotional/psychological health is so very important too. There is something to be said for quality of life and a social animal that cannot be involved in connecting with other animals or humans doesn’t have much of that. And as a human, being afraid of an animal in my care is cruel to both of us as the animal is necessarily held at arms length and I fear the unpredictability of my own pet’s behavior. Who wants to be scared of a member of their household all the time? Maybe this is why these dogs learned to fight in the first place–fear of their handlers, then aggression towards each other, then fear of each other…

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted October 18, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      I hear you! And as I said in response to Karen, I have no answers to that moral dilemma, just more questions. I’d love to hear from others who have some thoughts on what the answer is to dogs too aggressive to be kept with others safely.

      • Posted October 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        From what I understand after reading Best Friends’ post was that all three dogs (one killed, two injured) lived in *separate* housing by themselves and somehow broke out of their runs, or had the other dog(s) break into their run. It wasn’t a situation where the keepers/trainers thought the dogs could live together peacefully with other dogs, it was a freak accident that they thought could potentially be linked to deer migration in the area. All that happened was a break down of management. The only problem I see is that the containment wasn’t secure enough and the dogs were able to get out/in. No where in the blog did it say that these dogs are aggressive with humans, though I didn’t do much research into it. I don’t see any problem at all with dogs not having any contact with other dogs. Many people own multiple dogs, some of whom are dog-aggressive and they live in a crate-and-rotate system wherein the dogs never see each other, or any other dogs, ever. Plenty of single-dogs get little to no dog-dog interaction. I don’t think it’s the end of the world for a dog to not live with or interact with other dogs, and it certainly does not call for euthanasia. Aggression towards humans is another topic altogether, though as I said before, I’m not positive that it’s relevant here.

  10. Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I have three dogs – two are mixes and one is a Maltese, Simon. Simon, bar none, can be the most aggressive little dog you’ll ever see! At least two times he has ended up in a fight with another dog and usually is the one to start the fight. You would never know he had this in him if you met him – he’s adorable looking, affectionate, funny, etc. I’ve had him since he was a puppy. He’s been in a good and loving home his whole life and gets along great with the other two – who came after him. So why does he, out of the blue, sometimes want to fight with a dog he doesn’t know? I have no clue. But would this person that made the comment about Vick’s dogs at Best Friends Sanctuary feel that my Simon shouldn’t be around either – should probably be put to sleep because he can be aggressive? It’s wrong to make generalizations like that. I’ve known different types of dogs that can’t even live with any other dogs or animals but they have happy lives alone with their humans and provide much joy.

  11. Posted October 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I think that what happened to Vick;s dogs was a crime and that Mr. Vick should have spent serious time in prison. No dogs should have had to be subject to such inhumane treatment. Vick turned his dogs into vicious monsters and needs to do the time for his crime. For shame!

  12. Posted October 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Edie. You asked me to check out this post so I read through everything. I have to admit that I grow weary of the same quarrels, arguments and discussions over this subject. This sentiment is shared by others like me who quietly are trying to learn how to deal with the results of our society’s need for macho status symbols like fighting dogs. As a result, we tend to work quietly in the background to avoid these “discussions.”

    First, regarding the rehabilitation of “dangerous dogs,” there are several of us who do as much as or far more than John Garcia has done at Best Friends. When I venture onto Facebook I am often faced with the same challenge as Karen presents:

    “The money spent on Tug and Denzel can be appropriated to help dogs that actually have a chance to live a normal, happy life with a family.”

    That’s true (with legal exceptions like you noted, Edie) and is a valid point – if all we’re doing is maximizing the value of every dollar spent. But that’s a ludicrous argument in the face of how most shelters waste their donations, in my opinion.

    Instead of making some long-winded diatribe on shelter failings, I would like to invite all your readers to my latest post on my group’s website. I write for Animal Rescuers Coalition of North America and am currently unveiling a whole new approach to animal sheltering. The two principal concepts which go hand-in-hand that separate my model are:
    1) true communal housing (groups of 10-20 or more)
    2) training fosters to rehabilitate problem animals

    ARCNA post = http://www.arc-na.org/training-fosters-to-rehab (note: all my posts can be found under my name on the right side of the page).

    I cannot state whether Tug and Denzel could be successfully rehabbed in a different situation because I trust John Gracia’s abilities and won’t second-guess him and I’m not there. You see I am the only rehabber in the US (that I am aware of) who works with court-ordered dangerous dogs in my small apartment. I don’t have the luxury of a sanctuary or shelter. When I brought in my huge Anatolian Shepherd, a human aggressive dog who had been badly tortured, he had to sleep next to me and all my other dogs and 17-year-old cat. As you can guess, I have had to master the science of toning down – I don’t like sleeping next to a killer! My situation is different so I have had to learn different techniques than my fellow rehabbers. If you want to see 70 dangerous dogs hanging out together in peace, watch this video by Alan Papszycki = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BUAFmyPDbc

    In my latest post I mention many names of experienced, capable rehabbers like Alan. Not one is a trainer. Not one trains animals to do much more than walk on a leash. These are all self-professed rehabilitators. The difference between training and rehab is a key point for all to try to understand. I address this important point in my post.

    One thing we all have in common, having talked and shared with my fellow rehabbers, is an innate deep-seated value we see in all life. That includes Tug and Denzel. My friend Brandi Tracy has 2 human-aggressive wolf hybrids at her sanctuary. Each is dangerous in her own way. But under Brandi’s gentle supervision people like myself can spend the day safely in their company.

    Karen, to address one point specifically, I wish you could see my relationship with Boomer, my Anatolian. You are wrong to think dogs like these kept in the lone company of a human is equivalent to “solitary confinement.” These animals can experience trust and deep love even when missing out on other social aspects. The argument can be made, you know, that every ugly, lousy shelter in this country that houses dogs and cats in cages is doing exactly the same thing, only without the companionship. Just so you know, there are many many individuals who can be trained to handle these animals safely in a home setting. It just takes training of the human.

    At the end of my latest post called “Training Fosters To Rehab” (link above) I have a video of myself working with an incredibly vicious chocolate lab. No shelter, no rescue, not even the world-famous Dr. Petra Mertens (she lives in my state) would take him on. I was his last hope. Watch the video. Learn from it. And while you watch an old guy doing very little (certainly no “training”) notice the 110-pound “vicious” man-killer next to me. He is the Anatolian Shepherd (Kangal Dog from Turkey/Afghanistan) I wrote about earlier. Dangerous? Not anymore. This is the power of what Cesar Millan is trying to show the world. It’s called rehabilitation, not training.

    Thanks for the invitation, Edie. And thanks so much for continuing this to address the Best Friends “Vick Dog Issue.” Sorry to be so long-winded, but this is near and dear to my heart. And I am one of a very select few who can truly write about this subject with hands-on insight. There are others; I list most of them in that post on my blog. I invite all of you to “friend” Brandi Tracy of Braveheart Rescue and tell her I say hello. She’s a true leader in this field.

    On last note to Karen: The value of what John Garcia (Best Friends) and I are doing, beyond how it matters to those specific dogs, is that we are now setting in motion the mechanism to deal with this growing problem in our violent society. We are learning from our wounds how to clean up after dogfighters and gang thugs who see no value in those beautiful lives. We make some mistakes and have failed along the way, but we are learning. And we’re learning on our dime, not yours. We take no money away from others who are more easily dealt with. No other dog has to die because of what we do. Your role in the future should be to help us pass on this knowledge. We need your help…

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted October 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Just a quick thanks and sorry this took so long to appear on my site — it got caught in my spam filter, which I try to remember to check but don’t always manage in a timely fashion…

      Welcome and thanks for adding to the conversation.

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Today on the Yes Biscuit blog Patty Hedgewood of Best Friends gave a little interview, which you can read here http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/q-a-with-patty-hegwood-of-bfas/

      Dowtown has approximately 500 dogs and 50 caregivers, so that’s 10 dogs per caregiver. I’m sure that their day planners are pretty full up. Caregivers are not a replacement for a loving 24/7 owner. If Tug or Denzel could have capable owners that would give them a happy life, away from other dogs, I would be fine with that.

      If these dogs could live in communal housing with other dogs, happily forever and ever, I would be totally cool with that, as well. But it looks like neither of these situations is going to happen and it makes me sad.

      I appreciate people, like yourself, that are willing to take on the “hard” cases. It *is* a good thing.

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      As a trainer who’s adopted an abused Pit Bull, I’m curious as to your distinction between training and rehabbing. Would you mind going into a little more detail?

  13. Posted October 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    While I fully agree with your stance, a question remains as to how much of a chance some of those dogs were given, as others seem to have done better with the Vick Pits and other fighting dogs. Part of this issue is currently being discussed on
    http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/q-a-with-patty-hegwood-of-bfas/
    with additional responses from Best Friends.

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for this, George. It does sound as though there were problems with the set up at BFAS — which, as you say, in no way negates the stance expressed here about rehabbing the Vick dogs. In fact, it suggests that it could have been done more successfully.

  14. Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi again, Edie. I followed your links to BFAS and the link George provided. Very interesting stuff. Having read all that and carefully considered all, I think I could sum up what I wrote above by simply quoting you:

    Saving fighting dogs is new territory that Best Friends ventured into, much to their credit.

    And then add this: BFAS needs to do one thing and that is to reach out to other accomplished rehabbers around the country. They are trying to take on something without consulting others who are far more experienced. Most of us who deal with dangerous dogs have been at this a long time.

    BFAS, as a leader in animal welfare, needs to quickly understand that size and influence do not make an expert rehabber. It sounds much like they tried to deal with the Vick kids like they do with the others. This is specialized work. They could do well to hold a conference quietly behind the scenes to share and learn more, something that may be difficult because I get the sense they think they’re the best in the world at this. Maybe a lack of humility? I would think it would be hard for the best in the world to learn from others, don’t you?

    Love this blog!

  15. sheldon
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    this won’t post, I have written several. The comment was not gleeful, nor would yours be if your grandchild had her face and scalp ripped off by a rehabbed pitbull from Bad Rap. It was two years and 37 surgeries, my message is not all dogs should be saved and placed and I felt BF was wrong to do that. we wrote to them when this happened and sent pictures.

  16. Jen
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’m sitting and reading this, with my formerly stray pit bull at my side as he begs for my breakfast. He’s never shown aggression toward people.

    A few months ago, my neighbor took in an aggressive formerly stray pit bull. It attacked me in my driveway.

    I think that when dogs can be rehabilitated, it’s rather obvious that their behavior is turning around. And when they can’t be rehabilitated, that’s obvious too.

    I don’t disagree with putting pit bulls down if they are showing signs of aggression.
    We have to realize that not all dogs can be “saved,” and move on. Nobody is trying to housebreak Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dalmer, are they? Sometimes things just aren’t right, whether the cause is nature or nurture. Doesn’t matter.

    • Posted October 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Sheldon and Jen – I have to say I am perplexed at your comments.

      Sheldon, really? A rehabbed fighting dog with your grandchild? Is that a match up you would recommend? What does hindsight tell you?

      Jen, you wrote your comment with your pittie next to you and then you write that your neighbor’s pittie attacked you IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. Uh, the really obvious question to me is why is this dog loose and on your property? Do you see the real problem here?

      Come on you two, it ain’t the dogs…

      • sheldon
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        I’ve no urge to engage in petty disagreement with anyone, but you act as if the truth is always told, in many of these adoptions the truth is not disclosed until the court date is set. My son was given the line about these were nanny dogs (not true ) and this dog had been abandoned in an apartment and starving. Loved kids and cats, might not get along with other dogs that were smaller. Only after the police were involved and the investigation began did the adopting rescue come forward with the truth. They had felt it might” prejudice” the dogs chances for adoption. I wish to Hades it had. Did you think we had been told the truth at the adoption agency ? And more importantly, do you think we are the only victims of these “rescue lies”This particular dog had been trained on beagles because they scream and add to the adrenoline, a young child squealing would mimic that sound. The child was 2 at the time of adoption, and attacked at three. A year in the home, same loving family, same tiny child. The agency knew there was a child in the homeand still lied to protect against “prejudice, protect the dog, not the infant.

        • Edie Jarolim
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Wait — now I’m confused: I thought the dog was a Vick dog from Best Friends, which was what this post was about. How did the story of an agency/apartment abandonment come in?

          And since Sheldon has addressed Tom’s question to him let me speak for Jen (who will probably never come back to my site now!): The point she was making was precisely what you’re saying: That it was the idiot owner who let his dog wander out and about and into her property. She obviously wasn’t dissing the breed, since she has a pit herself, but the owner for his negligence.

          • sheldon
            Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Edie, I apologize if I went off topic. The post was clearly about the Vick dogs and then it segued over into adopting “fighting dogs” through comments; and that is where I came in. I may have made to far a reach. My point was that this dog ( my son’s ) was fighting dog, and these dogs are being put into private homes and I think that is unfair. A santuary environment is fine, but placing an animal bred and raised to fight, in a home is irrsponsible. And, in our case, the Bad Rap people lied about the dogs history. It actually came from a fighting pack. It should have neve gone into an unsuspecting home.
            I don’t hate pitbulls, I only want the people getting them to know more about the breed and be responsible and not let them follow genetic mis-directed instincts. Diane Jessup has a wonderful website, and it has been very healing to us over these past two years. She is a staunch Pit advocate and raises them, but not for sale to the public. It is from her that I learned the only hope the breed has is for humans to learn about them. I feel Jen will come back, I did even after a very harsh accusation from your guest. This is a nice blog and has intelligent dialoge.

        • Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:42 am | Permalink

          Sheldon, I just happened to sign back in to check a comment I made and saw your last comment from a few days ago. I have to apologize – in no way does your family share in any responsibility (in my opinion) in what happened if they truly withheld that vital information from you.

          That was Donna Reynolds and BAD RAP? I have them listed on my website as reliable rehabbers of “unruly” dogs (mostly pitties). I’ll have to reconsider that support if they really misled you with that nanny story. I find that unconscionable to withhold vital information like that. I’m sorry for challenging your statement and truly sorry for what your whole family now has to endure. That poor little girl. I’m so sorry.

          • sheldon
            Posted October 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Understood and accepted. Our son was told that person no longer fosters for Bad Rap and was atypical. I pray to God that is true. If the foster lies to the agency, everyone gets hurt.

  17. Posted January 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I came here via KC Dog Blog’s wonderful post on year end blogs and am so glad I did.

    We’re not sure who ‘sheldon’ is or why they’ve decided to use a blog to seed stories about false adoptions, but for the record, our organization has no knowledge of this person or the dog they talk about. Our adoptions are very public for all to see (including and especially the ever-watchful media), as they should be since we’re very proud of our dogs and the people who adopt them. It’s strange and disturbing when someone uses the internet to plant a horrible story — even worse when others are fooled by them.

    On another note, some of the Vick dogs have been placed with small children and have been just wonderful. Their relationship was documented in the Washington Post — a lovely photo series captured by photographer Carol Guzy, who spent several days with the families:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/galleries/vickdogs/

    Donna Reynolds, Executive Director BADRAP.org

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted January 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for coming by and setting the record straight, Donna. I should not have allowed an unverified comment like that to be posted. By the time I thought of taking it down, others had commented on it.

      The story began to shift, and I questioned its veracity but it shouldn’t have been up there in the first place.

      And thanks for all you do at Bad Rap.

    • Posted February 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Happened to backtrack on research i was doing and noted Donna’s reply. Wow, I have to agree with Edie – I owe you and your fine organization a belated apology, Donna. I try never to accept statements/comments on these sites as truth until I verify them. My brain must have been on “hibernation” mode.

      Sheldon – hmmm. Edie, I sure hope you block this guy in the future. That kind of lying can truly damage a good orbanization like BAD RAP who has enough challenge on their palte without guys like this creating lies. Once again, Donna, please accept my heartfelt apology – feel free to print this on your group’s site or literature if it helps. My endorsement of BAD RAP stands!

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