Education and Resources
Landshark Week 2012
***Scroll down for T SHIRTS!***
Day 5 (scroll down for previoius days)
It's been a fun Landshark Week! Thanks for sharing it with us, we're already making plans for 2013. Until then, just remember to keep your head up, be good to other people and keep the faith in education and reason. And someday, maybe...just maybe...you will be able to live in any town you want - just like a convicted and paroled violent felon.
(Click each comic for larger version)
Day 4 (scroll down for previous days)
Fun With Headlines:
Here are just a very few of the many headlines we see in the media. It never hurts to throw in the words “pit bull” to increase traffic. Unless, of course, it isn’t a pit bull – then breed isn’t really worth mentioning:
*Author’s note: Many of these links are old. They are pulled off of the pdf’s of these articles to show the source. They may not be active.
Woman, Teen and Pit Bull Accused of Shoplifting
(http://cbs2.com/topstories/local_story_269001858.html) – “Three people and the pit bull walked into the store and store management began monitoring them because it appeared the humans were about to do some shoplifting, Zuhlke said.”
State Senator Injured in Attack by Pit Bull
(http://wtvbam.com/news/articles/2011/feb/23/state-senator-injured-during-attack-by-pit-bull) – “According to Johnson, he slipped as he tried to run from the pit bull and his left hand ended up in the snowblower, cutting his fingers and breaking five bones.” *no bite in this "attack"
Pit Bull Scarfs Down $5,000 Wedding Ring
Officer Injured in Motorcycle Collision with Pit Bull
(http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/11/29/BAGSJMMEIC3.DTL) – “A San Francisco police officer riding a motorcycle in the Bayview district was injured Wednesday when he fell from his bike after it struck a pit bull that suddenly ran into the middle of the street, police said.
Girl, 13, is Hit by Car While Running Away from Pit Bull in Fort Lauderdale
(Sun-Sentinel.com Posted April 24 2007, 10:18 PM EDT)
Falk Elementary Students Hurt After Being Scratched By Pit Bulls
(http://www.channel3000.com/news/13227567/detail.html) – “The three children were scratched but not bitten by the dogs, officials said. ‘This could have been malicious or it could have been puppies jumping up on people,’ said Patrick Comfert, lead worker for Animal Control.”
Meanwhile these headlines were not worth mention of breed:
Officer Shoots, Wounds Attacking Dog in Prineville Drug Bust
(http://www.bendweekly.com/print/1137.html) – allegedly Rottweiler/GSD Mix
2-Week-Old Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog
(http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,505161,00.html) – allegedly Chow
Boy Recovering After Dog Attack
(http://www.wxii12.com/news/13229366/detail.html) – no breed
Three dogs attack GB Man
(http://www.gulfbreezenews.com/news/2007/0125/Front_Page/001.html) – allegedly 2 Great Danes and a GSD
2-Year-Old Boy Attacked By Dog In Surry County
(http://www.wxii12.com/print/13178161/detail.html) – allegedly GSD
8-Month-Old Boy Mauled to Death by Family Dog in New York
(http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,320069,00.html) – allegedly Doberman Pinscher
5-year-old gets 14 stitches after Saturday dog attack
(http://www.thenoblesvilleledger.com/articles/7/082648-8487-P.html) – allegedly lab/chow mix
74-Year-Old Florida Woman Mauled to Death by Her Two Dogs
(http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,373325,00.html) – allegedly golden/lab mix and Australian Shep mix
Boy In Hospital After Dog Attack, Mom Angered
(http://wcco.com/local/local_story_103211725.html) – allegedly Akita
Boy home after dog attack, with 450 to 600 stitches
(http://www.crookstontimes.com/articles/2007/05/17/news/10news1.prt) – allegedly Akita
Family Dog Bites Child On Eyelid
(http://www.kctv5.com/news/14188544/detail.html?rss=kan&psp=news) – allegedly a lab (in Overland Park, KS that has BSL, incidentally)
Toddler mauled by neighbor's dog
(http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/stories) – allegedly Golden Retriever, "The surgeon told me that was the worst dog bite he's ever seen in his life," said Melend.”
Florida Boy,2, Dies After Bitten By Family Dog
(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580892,00.html?test=latestnews) – Allegedly Weimaraner
Dog attack claims life of beloved beagle
(http://www.thederrick.com/stories/04072007-6014.shtml) – Allegedly 3 Great Danes
Dog Mutilates 4-Month-Old Boy's Genitals
(http://www.kctv5.com/news/14519881/detail.html) – Allegedly Dachsund
***Bonus Personal Favorite:
This image appeared in my local paper about 6 years ago. (click image for larger view) Lawrence is breed neutral and a great town to live in with any kind of dog. But, alas, media are media. This dog was being carried out by a shelter worker and police after police had to shoot it. This dog's owner was attacked and stabbed by a man who lived in the same appartment complex. After the dog's owner was attacked, the dog bit his owner's attacker and apparently couldn't be calmed down after the incident as he lashed out at other people as well. It was a terrible scene. This picture appeared on the inside section, page 2, with no accompanying article.
What appeared above the fold on page one of that day: Pit Bull Kills Cat. (Click image for larger view)
Day 3 (T Shirts!)
Landshark t shirts! (Click for larger image)
UPDATE: Aug. 16 9:30 p.m. CST
3 small, SOLD OUT med., SOLD OUT large, 3 extra large, 1 xxl remaining
Day 2 (earlier days below)
(click for hi res image)
Top 5 Shark Myths - Interesting article from Discovery Channel. Here is a quote from Myth #5:
"With these and other myths, Gruber admits part of the problem is we still know so little about these fascinating, mysterious creatures. 'When we don't know something, we tend to fall back on myths,' he explained. He hopes the knowledge pendulum will swing more toward science in the years to come."
Well said, Mr. Gruber. Well said.
Top 25 Unusual Items Sharks Have Swallowed - Another interesting article from Discovery Channel. Notice #16, "Pet dogs." It should be noted that Landshark has never been swallowed by a shark. Why, you ask? Good question. It's because Landshark is the cleverest of all species, of course.
Sharks and Landsharks have a lot in common. Both are widely misunderstood. Both float and are therefore made of wood:
(click for hi res image)
Have Breed Specific Policies “Jumped the (Land) Shark?”
In 1977, in its fifth season on the air, Happy Days “jumped the shark”…literally. In an episode that saw the cast of the show out of its normal surroundings finding new adventures in Hollywood, the Fonz jumped over a shark while wearing a swimming suit and leather jacket and while water skiing. This farfetched plot gimmick led to the pop culture phrase “jump the shark” and came to symbolize when a television show, product or idea sacrifices its identity and integrity to stay relevant. The Hollywood: Part 3 episode is regarded as the beginning of the end for Happy days.
As we get further from its apparent peak in the 1980’s and 90’s, the pro-Breed Specific Policy crowd seems to have to shout louder, rant longer and scare more shockingly. As people learn more and more about dogs, the discussion has shifted. For example, at first “pit bulls” supposedly needed to be banned because they bite more often than any other breed. When the numbers didn’t reflect that, the mantra changed to “pit bulls may not bite more, but when they do bite they do more damage.” Or as the reliability of breed identification has been proven to be highly suspect, the response is simply to cast a wider net - including every dog with short hair as a “pit bull.”
Perhaps the most disturbing shift (and one that may not be a shift so much as a show of true colors), is the focus on dog owners. The pro-BSL crowd marginalizes, insults, belittles and ridicules people who own “pit bulls.” They often claim that only gang members, criminals and social deviants own “pit bulls” denying that thousands upon thousands of dogs that are or resemble American Pit Bull Terriers live with people and families all over this country. A staggering example of this is when disgraced former Toledo Dog Warden Tom Skeldon claimed that the repeal of state-wide BSL in Ohio would make citizens less safe because walking a pit bull was probable cause to stop and search “gang members” and the repeal would take that tool away from law enforcement.
GDG (in one form or another) has been involved in this issue for about a decade now, and the numbers seem to support what feels like a subtle but sure shift. The National Canine Research Council estimates that 300 out of about 19,000 (about 1.5%) towns have or had Breed Specific policies. So there seems to be a decline in what was already a shaky toe-hold. By estimates from Best Friends Animal Society:
2010: 22 cities enacted or failed to repeal BSL, 43 failed to enact or repealed BSL.
2011: 17 cities enacted or failed to repeal BSL, 72 failed to enact or repealed BSL.
2012: (1/2 way into the year so far) 5 cities enacted or failed to repeal BSL, 30 failed to enact or repealed BSL, the state of Ohio repealed statewide BSL, Miami, FL has put their breed ban up for a vote for the first time ever, and Massachusetts enacted a state-wide prohibition on Breed Specific policies.
The trend is clearly away from BSL and toward repealing current BSL or failing to enact BSL. (As an aside, BSL seems to be suffering internationally as well as entire countries such as Italy and the Netherlands have repealed BSL and the Breed Specific laws in Great Britain seem closer than ever to being overturned.)
At this rate, as more and more of the country turns away from Breed Specific policies, the inevitable outcome is that towns like Denver, Colorado and Council Bluffs, Iowa will become the lone beacons of light in a desolate country where pit bull owning, leather and spike clad marauders roam the post zombie apocalyptic highways in armored dune buggies, motorcycles and big rigs fighting for the few resources that remain.
It has not been an unimpeded journey out of the dark ages of public safety policy making, progressing more at the rate of two steps forward, one step back, but we are moving forward and the current momentum is undeniable and hopefully lasting. As in many other issues, intelligence and reason don’t win every battle, but they are winning the war. In cases where Breed Specific Ideologies seemingly achieve a great victory, such as the Solesky Ruling in Maryland, the Maryland State legislature is willing to immediately step in to get the State back on course through an emergency legislative session.
Happy Days didn’t go off the air immediately after the “shark jump” episode – it lingered on for five more seasons. But sending the Fonz over the floating shark cage was regarded as the creative death of the show and the beginning of its fall from relevance and eventual cancellation. Breed Specific Ideologies will continue on – there will certainly be cities and communities who enact them and they may have a few more victories in court. But the Breed Specific movement is declining in relevance. As “panic fatigue” sets in with the public from hearing the same, tired old scare tactics and fear mongering, Breed Specific proponents and believers will have to get more “gimmicky” to keep selling their show. As genetic and behavioral canine science advances, as effective public safety policies become more and more well known, and as people realize the ineffectiveness of reactionary panic policies, hopefully we are seeing the slow, inevitable decline of one of the least intelligent ideas in the history of ideas – Breed Specific “Solutions.”