PBS on Vick’s Pit Bulls; Denver’s Town Council

by Mary Haight on February 8, 2011

PBS had another excellent story on Vick’s Pit Bulls and their recovery and adoption through the auspices of Bad Rap that Brent Toellner  posted at his KC Dog Blog Denver’s Town Council had a meeting that was mentioned with a link in a comment from the National Canine Research Council  at Edie Jarolim‘s blog.  Town council meetings are generally pretty boring, but listening to how fear, suspicion, and hubris about State’s rights vs. the Federal Government’s Americans’ with Disabilities Act guided the proceedings was instructive.  The giving ’til it hurts of  Bad Rap, and the hurting ’til it gives of Denver’s Town Council – quite a study in contrasts.

I suggest going to Brent’s blog first, because the PBS production is such a breath of fresh air.  Then check out Denver’s Town Council meeting , at about the 14 minute mark (thanks, Edie!) on, in part, what legal means could be used to make sure Denver doesn’t have to adhere to the Federal ADA law, allowing pit bull service dogs into their communities – after all, who says service dogs are real or the disability is real…are you *kidding* me?  The City Attorney reminded the members that *that* conversation should be held in private.

Oh, and the voice of the people in the form of public comments to the Town Council was not allowed.  Why am I surprised? Of course, the citizens voted these medieval crusaders into office.  Run, scurry, flee those of you who still know how to discern right from wrong, employ critical thinking, and who understand the difference between fact and opinion. “Re-education” may be next.  I say that not out of sarcasm – well, not *only* out of sarcasm – but rather based on the timidity shown by several members of that Council who appeared nervous and/or afraid to go against this wholesale practice of killing pit bulls – one in particular had given a little speech pro the dogs and how they had a bad rap, then turned around and voted to uphold the ordinance!  Take a look – do you see what I see?  Maybe this profound and insistent  ignorance has driven me over the edge…

One more thing…

Here’s something worth your time – take a look at the podcasts Eric Goebelbecker has created for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). There was a great interview with Steve Dale, syndicated columnist for the Tribune, WGN radio host, certified dog and cat trainer, and his newest with Brian Hare from Duke University, Canine Cognition Center, talking about studying dog psychology and behavior that informs the study of human developmental learning.

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13 comments
angela foti
angela foti

in the meeting they talk about pitbulls being associated with criminals. what are they affraid to go after them so they go after thier dogs instead. shame on you denver. get your facts straight and maybe spend some time with a pitbull before you jump to conclusions. As far as im concerned they are all idiots. I boycott all things denver.

Chef David Edelstein
Chef David Edelstein

These findings were shared with the Denver City Council President Chris Nevitt post council meeting dated March 6, 2011. His reaction (in a very defensive and argumentative tone): "I dont have the time to deal with such petty matters." I thank the Gods and the planets being in-line that Denver finally committed to a fatal move: The confiscation of Service Dogs, thus the federal government getting involved and forcing Denver (basically) out-of-business. My three dogs will have their day in court (figuratively) and we'll celebrate by having a giant Poop on the Court House Lawn Party. Stay up to speed with our Anti BSL/ Anti Denver efforts at The Denver Dog Killing Machine/ Facebook.com

Chef David Edelstein
Chef David Edelstein

We canvassed two high traffic areas of Denver and spoke with about 500 residents. Is this the ENTIRE city? NO, but it represents a descent cross section of citizens. Our findings: approx 50% of those we spoke to were completely unaware that the city of Denver enforced a ban on a specific breed of dog approx 45% of those we spoke to were in favor of repealing the ban and approx 5% of those we spoke to were "Pro" ban. (Note- of the 50% of the people who were unaware of the ban altogether, approx 99% of those people were in favor of repealing the ban.)

Chef David Edelstein
Chef David Edelstein

A small group of us are here on the ground in Denver... rallying, reaching out to the new city council candidates and mayor candidates, attempting to help the current council "GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY" , etc. The video does a great job of defining the players, their stance, and so forth. What the video doesnt not paint a picture of is the depth of the egotistical approach the city is taking with this pit bull ban. They have not one credible expert witness backing their ban, not one single factual document (that HASNT been manipulated to make their point), and... as far as their "constiuents" are concerned...

Ashley Taylor
Ashley Taylor

I'm currently listening to the portion of the council meeting regarding pitbulls. One statement, from Councilman Brown, feels like a kick in the gut (at ~20:47) "The idea of the federal government dictating to us how we can control our animals is repulsive to me." Yet it's not repulsive to essentially dictate and control disabled or otherwise challenged individuals because of the breed of dog they choose to assist them with their lives? Mind boggling, it truly is. Especially since so many of those not supporting the bill/supporting the ban are making direct reference to what the root of the problem is - people. I live in the province of Ontario, where there is a provide wide ban on pitbulls, pitbull mixes, and dogs who look substantially similar to pitbulls (seriously, that's written into the law). It's an election year, and the majority of the dog community is holding their breath hoping that a party who has pledged to repeal the ban is voted in.

Kim
Kim

I saw the post on Edie's blog about this disgust in Denver and frankly not sure I can stomach watching the meeting. Thanks for the info on the PBS show because I wasn't aware it was on. I will check out Brent's blog and take a look. I usually read such great stuff on the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary site about the Vick dogs - thankfully.

Eric Goebelbecker
Eric Goebelbecker

Thanks for the shout out! Pretty sad stuff in Denver, but places like the town council are where so many of our national politicians get their start...so it's only so surprising.

Edie
Edie

I'm glad you provided the Yin to the Yang of the Denver Town Council Meeting -- what a depressing bunch of yahoos. The discussion starts at about minute 14 by the way -- so you don't have to listen to the rest of the dreck.

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