Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Team Dog”: Separate is Not Equal

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Do you want pit bull dogs and their owners to have the same opportunities as other dogs? Then we have to stop putting them on a different team — both literally and figuratively — and let them play for “TEAM DOG.” Social psychologists have explored the concept of “in-group and out-group bias.” This means that people […]

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Nobody Wants Them…Or So We Thought

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One of the challenges facing pit bull dogs is the assumption that “nobody wants them.” Another is the idea that being labeled as a “pit bull” means automatically excluding dogs from certain interactions with other dogs, or that pit bull dogs all require “special homes.” This article is about Spindletop, the ‘sanctuary’ from which hundreds […]

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Good Pet Dogs, Then and Now

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On the left are some pet dogs from Chicago, in 1902. On the right are my pet dogs when we lived in Philadelphia, in 2010. These pictures reminded me of each other. They also illustrate a key point: for as long as we’ve welcomed dogs into our homes as family pets, a good pet dog […]

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Animal Rescue League of Boston Dogs, 1907-1914

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I found the 1907-1914 Annual Reports for the Animal Rescue League of Boston. How fun to see the family pets that were adopted back then, and how they were described!

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Bred for Awesomeness

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Does anyone else find it strange when shelter dogs are described in terms of “what they were historically bred for”? As if these dogs arrived in the city shelter via the pasture, circa 1750? Nancy Reagan (right) came from a pet store in upper Manhattan. Bug (left) came from a backyard breeder in North Philly […]

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Warning! That Dog Will Change Your Life

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You know all those warnings about the terrible things that might happen when you adopt a pit bull dog? My husband, Thad Stringer, and I felt we weren’t properly “warned” before adopting ours, so he wrote this article to help others. “Warning! That Dog Will Change Your Life” By Thaddeus Stringer, October 2011 I grew […]

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Knowing & Understanding Pet Ownership Laws

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Responsible pet ownership laws are only helpful if people know and understand them. Do shelters/rescues in your area post local pet ownership laws on their website? Are they easy to find? Are they easy to understand? Municode is a great resource for finding local laws. For example, here are the laws I follow in Alachua […]

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Think Safety, Not Furbabies

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I don’t understand why people go to BSL hearings and talk about their own pit bulls, instead of talking about laws that protect the public from reckless dog owners. People don’t need to care about your dogs. But we ALL care about public safety. Breed-neutral laws are the only way to enhance public safety. Everywhere […]

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Displaced Prejudice: Who Do We Really Fear?

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What’s fueling breed discrimination? Is it always a fear/hatred of certain dogs? Or is it sometimes about our deep-rooted prejudice against certain people? Consider Zoe Williams’ January 2012 article from The Guardian: Who do we fear more – the dogs or their owners? “People talk about “weapon dogs” without needing anything as coarse as evidence that […]

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Let’s Go Naked!

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Pictures like this are priceless. Why? Because they remind us that underneath their  “clothes,” they’re all dogs. Have you ever thought about all the different types of “clothes” dogs wear? Curly tails, cropped ears, long coats, brindle fur patterns, short legs, broad chests, pointy faces, round eyes…it’s no surprise that dogs are the most physically […]

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