Category Archives: Animal Welfare

Dog Treats with Scarlet

We have some special visitors today on Dog Treats– my friend of 9 years and her rescue dog who shares her name with one of our pups! Please welcome Sarah and Scarlet, a white and tan Pit Bull around 4 years old. Though Scarlet had an extremely rough past, she now lives a happy life with her mom, Sarah, who describes her as playful, affectionate and loyal. In addition to being a great friend, Sarah is an active volunteer in dog rescue and has saved many dogs who otherwise had no chance. Please take a moment to visit one of the great organizations Sarah is involved in, the American Pit Bull Foundation.

Dog Treats with Scarlet

Scarlet and Comet, roommates and best friends!

Love of My Dogs: Hi guys! Thanks so much for joining us on Dog Treats! Our first question is easy! What is Scarlet’s favorite treat?

Scarlet:  Anything my mom is eating.

LOMD: Same with our pups ūüėĬ†Where and when was Scarlet adopted?

Sarah: I was volunteering at the York County Humane Society in Fort Mill, SC when I noticed a car speeding away from our front parking lot. As I went to the window to investigate, I noticed a terrified and scary looking pit bull at our front door. While I was appalled at her condition, I instantly fell in love with her pitiful face. A year and a half later, my once-a-fighter pit bull, is now nothing but a lover.

The day Sarah brought Scarlet home.

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Repealing the Pit Bull Ban in Miami

As many readers, family and friends know, I am completely against BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) that bans “Pit Bull Dogs” in my community, Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida that bans Pit Bulls; an archaic law put in place over 20 years ago (1990). According to Section 5-17.1 in Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances, a Pit Bull Dog is any dog that “substantially conforms to¬†the standards established by the American Kennel Club‚ÄĚ for the following breeds:¬†American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or any other dog that displays characteristics of these breeds. Yep, even if your dog has a shred of resemblance to one of these breeds, they can be confiscated and euthanized. To learn more about BSL in Miami, click here to read one of my previous posts.

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Scarlett’s Teeth

The people who had Scarlett before us did some very bad things to her. If you haven’t read Scarlett’s story, you can by clicking here. Though most of her physical and emotional scars have healed, we will have to deal with the abuse for years to come.

Left: 3/23/11, 28 lbs. Right: 7/28/11, 48 pounds!

We don’t know exactly what happened in Scarlett’s previous home but we do know three of her canines were grinded down. Historically, this is done by dog abusers to limit the dog’s ability to fight back. One of Scarlett’s canines is visibly grinded to a stump; the others are grinded about halfway.

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Raising Funds for Dogs in Need

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of receiving a question from Sandi, one of our readers and the author of a wonderful blog we love, Training a Service Dog. We would like to share her question and our response in hopes it may help others who find themselves in our situation.

Sandi writes:

Hi Love of My Dogs:

I have the blog “Training a Service Dog“. I was just curious, how do you go about raising funds to help out a dog? ¬†Sometimes I have have friends who had to choose not to save their dogs because the vet bills would be too high. ¬†I am only wondering, Bambi does not need anything, being a puppy, she is in perfect health (and gets spay soon). ¬†Thanks for your time, and reading my blog. ¬†I am so happy your dog is doing so much better. ¬†What an amazing miracle ūüôā


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Breed Specific Legislation

What the hell is BSL? I know the answer but still ask the question. Breed Specific Legislation refers to laws that ban or place regulations on certain breed types. In most cases, breeds are completely banned.¬†In counties and states where BSL bans exist, even the most well-behaved, properly trained dogs are removed from their home for no other reason than “conforming” to the outlawed breed. There is no way to keep the dog just because he’s a “good dog” and has no violent history. The dogs are then euthanized or in rare cases, sent to rescue groups and organizations that fall outside the BSL county or state jurisdiction.

What are the most commonly restricted breeds? American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Chow Chows, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, American Bulldogs, and Mastiffs.

I live in Miami-Dade County, a place where BSL completely bans “Pit Bull Dogs”. According to Miami-Dade Municipal Code, Section 5-17, a Pit Bull Dog is any dog that “substantially conforms to¬†the standards established by the American Kennel Club” for the following breeds:¬†American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or any other dog that displays characteristics of these breeds. Yes,¬†even if a dog has a teeny resemblance to one of these breeds, he will be confiscated and the owner slapped with a $500 fine. These Pits end up at Miami-Dade Animal Shelter. Some are successfully adopted by residents in neighboring counties or sent to outside rescue groups but most are euthanized within hours or days.

Blanket restrictions on certain breeds are not only unfair, they’re ignorant. Not all Pit Bulls are aggressive man-eaters just like not all Maltese’s are fluffy bundles of joy. Instead of punishing a breed, why not punish the owner of the dangerous dog, no matter what breed? As a volunteer at Miami-Dade Animal Services, I see Pit Bulls come in constantly who have been seized for no other fault than because they resemble a Pittie. When I take them out to play, the vast majority are extremely loving and gentle. Some came from families with kids; many are just happy at the chance to give a human some big slobbery kisses. And sadly, most are put down. Meanwhile there is no proof BSL reduces dog attacks.

Texas and New York enacted owner-specific laws or “breed-neutral legislation”, meaning dog owners are directly responsible for their dogs. These laws address dangerous dogs and reckless owners and are a proven effective method in reducing dog attacks. Owners are charged and required to fulfill a number of requirements (spay/neuter, no tethering, etc.) that have been proven to reduce dog bites. Did you know more than 70% of dog bites come from unneutered male dogs? Both TX and NY are against BSL and recognize ultimately, owners are responsible for their dogs and it is not fair to place restrictions based on breed alone. Hopefully, other states and counties will start to recognize the same truths.

What do you think about BSL? Here’s my opinion ūüėČ ::

If you’d like to read more about breed-neutral laws, check out why the ASPCA favors these laws over breed-specific legislation here.