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Mariah's Promise
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Denver's Breed Ban, visit
Don't buy into the media hype ~
Dogs are only as good as their people!

BSL - BS Page 2
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Twas the night before Christmas and the shelter is dark,
The whole place is silent, not even a bark.
The dogs are all locked in their pens for the night,
The staff has gone home and turned out the light.

As I lay my head on the cold concrete floor,
I fondly recall the home I had before.
The family I loved who loved me right back,
We'd share everything from a secret to snack.

Things couldn't be better at this time last year,
But that has all changed and now I am here.
I won't see the tree, the lights or the snow,
I'm scared and alone, my spirits are low.

The others like me weren't put up for adoption,
A new family and home, for us aren't an option.
We've been locked up in cells as if we're all crooks,
We don't deserve homes because of our looks.

Not Diesel, or Bingo or the young one named Percy,
Deserve to be loved nor shown any mercy.
While families celebrate holiday cheer,
I know in my heart that my end is near.

The vet will arrive, the lights will go on,
By the time you awake, we all will be gone.
A stranger will come and take me away,
I'll never awake to see another day.

As I close my eyes I'll shed you a tear,
The fond memories I'll always keep near.
The only thing I've ever asked of Santa Claus,
Is to stop all these unfair, ridiculous laws.

You said without me, your life was not full,
So why does it matter that I'm a "pitbull"?.

In my dream Santa shouts when he's finished his deed,


~Author Unknown~
A Pit Bull's Christmas Poem
The Gazette Article 9/17/05 regarding Denver's BSL
The "Vicious" Pit Bull in the making
Published July 23, 2005
in Our Town for the Tracy Press.

The picture of a growling pit bull appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in August 1987.

According to the sports commentator and writer communities, to be featured on SI’s cover is historically bad mojo for the subject athlete, a phenomenon known as the Sports Illustrated cover curse. The pictured athlete predictably falls into a slump shortly after publication.

Athletes are expected to be seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated. When a non-human athlete graces the cover, we expect to see a Secretariat or Ruffian - or maybe even the Iditarod lead dog. But a photo of an ordinary, everyday domestic dog?

A curse, indeed. The image of the pit bull was transformed from ordinary Canis familaris to Canis godzilla because of a print media feeding frenzy aggravated by the actions of headline-seeking politicians.

~Read complete article~

Click Article to Read
Ozzie Gets the Last Word
Click image for larger size
It's the Pits

May 9 is D-day for me and my dog Madeline, whom I rescued from the streets on New Year's Day 2004. For the last year, we've lived in peace -- which means not having to look over our shoulders every time a Denver Animal Control officer drives by. But that changes on Monday morning, when the city begins enforcing its sixteen-year-old pit-bull ban ("Breed Between the Lines" June 10, 2004). I don't know that Madeline is a pit bull. I call her my little street urchin because there's really no way to know her genetic makeup. According to my vet, she's a boxer, probably mixed with American bulldog and maybe some bird dog -- she does a full-on point. Some people think she resembles a pit bull, but while she has a square-ish head, she's too tall and lanky to be pure pit. She does, however, have the purebred's personality, as defined by the United Kennel Club: "The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers."

Madeline's temperament won't matter to the city's Division of Animal Control, though. All that matters is the city ordinance that bans "American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds."

~Read the entire article~
The Forrest and Kane Story
By: Chef David
November 2008

Until now, the story of Forrest and Kane has been told in verse thru emails and phone conversations.

Unless you were there... I guess some of the mystique is lost in translation. Being in the infant stages of anti BSL and the world of bully's... this was a life altering experience for me.

It is my hopes to convey this experience the best way I know how... video.
For you veterans, many of the images will be all to familiar and "home".

Returning to Southern California... I knew the experience had to be shared with others, and with no further ado, I present to you:

Run Forrest Run... The Long Road From Exile.
Since being rescued 20 months ago from the dogfighting ring financed by Michael Vick, all but a few of the abused pit bulls have been recovering in sanctuary, foster care and adoptive homes. Now even the most traumatized of them can have a happy new year.

The dog approaches the outstretched hand. Her name is Sweet Jasmine, and she is 35 pounds of twitchy curiosity with a coat the color of fried chicken, a pink nose and brown eyes. She had spent a full 20 seconds studying this five-fingered offering before advancing. Now, as she moves forward, her tail points straight down, her butt is hunched toward the ground, her head is bowed, her ears pinned back. She stands at maybe three quarters of her height.

She gets within a foot of the hand and stops. She licks her snout, a sign of nervousness, and looks up at the stranger, seeking assurance. She looks back to the hand, licks her snout again and begins to extend her neck. Her nose is six inches away from the hand, one inch, half an inch. She sniffs once.
What happened to Michael Vick's dogs ...
By Jim Gorant
Sports Illustrated Magazine
Posted: Tuesday December 23, 2008 8:20AM; Updated: Tuesday December 23, 2008 12:24PM
She sniffs again. At this point almost any other dog in the world would offer up a gentle lick, a sweet hello, an invitation to be scratched or petted. She's come so far. She's so close.

But Jasmine pulls away.

PETA wanted Jasmine dead. Not just Jasmine, and not just PETA. The Humane Society of the U.S., agreeing with PETA, took the position that Michael Vick's pit bulls, like all dogs saved from fight rings, were beyond rehabilitation and that trying to save them was a misappropriation of time and money. "The cruelty they've suffered is such that they can't lead what anyone who loves dogs would consider a normal life," says PETA spokesman Dan Shannon. "We feel it's better that they have their suffering ended once and for all." If you're a dog and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggests you be put down, you've got problems. Jasmine has problems.

~Read Full Story~
Pit bull policy assailed
Group launches Web site, buys billboards saying ‘Denver kills dogs’

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer
Denver Daily News
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Denver kills dogs.

That’s the message being spread by ROVERlution, a California-based group working to overturn breed-specific legislation in cities like Denver. The Mile High City in May 2005 placed a ban on pit bulls, which has resulted in a backlash from dog lovers across the globe and hundreds of dead dogs.

A new Web site,, and companion billboards across the city aim at informing the public that Denver is currently killing family dogs, according to backers of the campaign. The Web site features an image of a fireplace with photos of pit bulls and their families plastered across the mantel.

“Denver wants family dogs executed or exiled,” states the Web site.
The billboards ask, “Which dog will Denver kill next?” and feature a baby rolling on the floor with an adorable looking pit bull. The idea is to motivate people to continue hammering city officials to repeal the breed ban. The posters can be found at the Pepsi Center, the Convention Center and at Coors Field.

In fact, Denver had killed 1,918 pit bulls as of October since the breed ban was reenacted. David Edelstein, founder of ROVERlution, said as many as 3,100 pit bulls may have been killed when taking into account private shelters that are contracted by the city when city shelters are full.

~Read Full Article~

December 26, 2008
Press the Play button

'Dangerous breed' ban in Denver yields few clear results

By Dan Sorenson
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.03.2006

Hundreds of municipalities across the U.S. have banned or restricted ownership of pit bulls and other so-called "dangerous breeds," but Denver's 1989 pit bull ban likely gives it the most experience with a breed-specific approach to stopping serious attacks on humans.

But even after 17 years - there were two briefs periods of nonenforcement during legal challenges - the ordinance hasn't produced any solid answers about the ban's effectiveness, said Doug Kelley, director of Denver Animal Care & Control.

The Denver ordinance prohibits owning or keeping "American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of these breeds."

The ban was the result of four serious maulings by pit bulls in a 2 1/2period in the 1980s in which two people - including a 3-year-old child who crawled into a neighbor's yard and was mauled by a chained pit bull - were killed, Kelley said.

There have been no deaths or serious injuries by pit bulls in Denver since the ordinance passed - and only one death by another breed - a child killed by a chow mix, Kelley said.

But the ban hasn't ended the popularity of the pit bull breed in Denver, he said. There are still pit bulls, apparently more every year.

"We've experienced a continuing upward trend of pit bull impounded since 2001," said Kelley. Pit bull seizures hovered between 50 and 70 annually until 2000, when 134 were impounded. In the first 10 months of 2006, 807 pit bulls were seized.

"We're blessed in that we haven't had a serious injury in quite a while" by any breed, Kelley said.

Contact reporter Dan Sorenson

As a result of this "dangerous breed ban", below are pictures of a few of the dogs that were considered by the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter to be a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix because these dogs had a "resemblance" to a Pit Bull.
Click picture for larger image
Army Staff Sgt. Heidi J. Tufto's letter to Doug Kelly, Director of Denver Municipal Animal Shelter

From: Tufto, Heidi J SSG NGCO
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 10:35 AM
To: ''
Subject: My story (UNCLASSIFIED)

Dear Mr. Kelley,
In 2002, I was going through a painful divorce, and also a big move from Texas to Colorado. My job with the military required the transition, and rather than move to Aurora, where Buckley Air Base is stationed, I chose to move to Denver. I wanted to be near an exciting, dynamic city. I signed a lease, moved in to a great house in the Baker District, and everything seemed to be looking up. I had lived in Denver just 3 days and was walking my dogs along the waterfront on Jason St, when a white van jumped the curb and came screaming across the park at a high rate of speed. I was in the process of bagging dog poo, and began looking for a place to scramble to....I assumed that the van was in the midst of a police chase or something equally terrible. I was in the open, and there was nowhere to run!

The van screeched to a stop near me, and two officers jumped out. ... 
~Read entire Letter~
Lumpy and Nigel

Mariah's Promise Letter back to Sports Illustrated

From: Mariah's Promise []
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 8:57 PM

Really truly appreciate the cover and article about Vick's dogs, as well as pit bulls in general!!!  Those of us in rescue are hoping that with positive press, putting the blame where it belongs - at the other end of the leash - that these incredible dogs will have the chance they deserve to be in loving, responsible homes with families!!!  This is where these dogs belong - NOT in a pit, NOT at the end of a chain, but in loving arms!!

We alone have taken in over 325 'pit bulls' since Denver reinflicted their 'pit bull' ban on May 9, 2005, and we're just one small rescue.  Some came to us from other states where pit bulls are banned, or animal abuse cases.  These are just 'every day' dogs ~ they don't have high profile status that propels people to help them.  They aren't Katrina dogs, they didn't belong to someone famous.  They came from people who loved them!!!

~Read entire letter~
A Letter to the City of Denver from Dr. Paula

Mon, 12/29/08, Paula Terifaj
Subject: We saw you on Fox News!

Monday, December 29, 2008
Dear Mr. Kelley,

Your comment (when recently interviewed by Fox News) proudly boasted “there have not been any attacks by pit bulls since 2005”, was merely an attempt to deceive the public and draw support for Denver’s unpopular and widely criticized breed ban. Interestingly, you defended a 2006 dog mauling when you reported: “Boxers can be very protective.” The article can be found at Grandmother Recovering After Dog Attack - Good Samaritan Fights Off Boxers To Save Woman, also reported on ABC Channel 7 News March 28th, 2006.  Furthermore, next time, when you are asked about dog attacks in a televised TV interview or news article, we expect that you will also sadly remember the German Shepard mix that mauled a little girl, reported on August 2nd, 2006 by ABC Channel 7 News.

You also reported that Denver mostly picks up the strays. Tell that to Gema Martinez, whose house was raided and her beloved dog Kane seized. Or Heidi Tufto, a respected citizen and soldier in the US army, who was walking her dog Lumpy in a park when she was accosted by the police and held at gunpoint, forced to surrender her dog. And if you are mostly just killing the strays, why have so many panicked dog owners moved away from your city? Just ask Sonya Dias, one of the plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit against Denver, who hid her dog Griffie for several months before she could sell her house and move.

~Read More~

Dr. Paula's letter can also be read on Animal Law Coalition website.
I am writing to you in hopes that you will read this sincere and heartfelt message. I appreciate your time in advance. I have a story, and a few ideas that I would like to share with you. I encourage you to contact me at any time, and look forward to speaking with you.

"When Howard introduced us to Cyan the end of 2004, it was a no-brainer that Cyan would just blend into our house of dogs. Cy always had something to say to new people, she LOVED playing with the dogs and she was a cuddle bug at night. Just as lovely as they come!!! We'd take Cyan to the shop some days and she was in all her glory meeting our customers and visitors!!! Cyan's best buddy was Brindle, the one our 'neighbor' shot & killed. (That's Cy laying behind Brindle in her memorial picture). She was truly an excellent ambassador to her breed and helped many people change their minds about 'pit bulls' after experiencing the love that over-flowed from Cyan. Rest in peace, sweet girl! The battle continues for your breed."  ~Toni Phillips~
Read Howard and Cyan's Blog

She's fighting FOR pit bulls

Philadelphia Daily News

SCARFACE ISN'T named after the famed thug in the Miami-based gangster movie. The little, fawn-colored pit bull wasn't given that tough title so that his owner could pump up his own street cred.

It was simply a sad observation by the people who rescued the dog, an obvious label for an animal with ragged, half-chewed ears and a thick head covered in crisscrossing gashes in various stages of healing.
"Nobody knows his real name," said Kathy McGuire, president of New Jersey Aid for Animals, as she stood next to his kennel at the Halo House in Franklinville, Gloucester County. "He kind of looks like he's smiling, though."

Scarface was a fighter. Miracle was probably a dog on whom fighters practiced. Noel was simply a "breed bitch." They were three of the seven pit bulls found in November, chained up and emaciated, at a home on Lanning Avenue in Penns Grove, Salem County. Three men were charged with 31 counts of animal cruelty in the case.

~Read Entire Article~

"Dog Bite Fatalities Plummet 33%"
January 8, 2009

Dog bite fatalities were lower in 2008 than in 2007. Over the decades, the annual number of dog bite fatalities remains within a stable numerical range. These incidents, which are extremely rare, are, to a significant statistical degree, a product of dog owner neglect and/or abuse

Slanesville, WV (PRWEB) January 8, 2009 -- Despite the increase in the human population of the United States to more than 300 million, and the canine population to almost 74 million, human fatalities attributed to domestic dogs fell by one-third in 2008, over the number reported the year before, Karen Delise, Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council, announced today.

~Read More~
Dog-bite survey finds few canines that attack
Animal-safety coalition says many bites are preventable
By Kieran Nicholson
Feb. 27, 2009

Dog bites happen, but they don't happen often, and many bites are preventable.

That message, delivered Thursday at a forum in Denver, was gleaned from data taken in Colorado over a year-long period.

The Coalition for Living Safely With Dogs, made up of Colorado veterinarians, animal-control officers, animal-care professionals and others presented the data at the group's second annual forum.

"The data shows that any dog can bite but most don't," said Nick Fisher, a coalition member.

The dog-bite surveys were taken from July 2007 to July 2008 and covered 17 "districts" in Colorado, including the Denver area; El Paso and Weld counties; and some Western Slope counties.

Beth Mulligan of Corona Research, who helped with the survey and data collection, told the forum that there are about 1.4 million dogs in Colorado and about 700,000 in the study area.

The coalition study tallied 2,060 bites. That's about 1 bite for every 350 dogs, less than one-third of one percent, Mulligan said.

~Read Full Article~
Beyond the Myth
March 16, 2009 : 1:56 PM
By Ken Passarella, Best Friends Network Volunteer

Film Breaks Down Stereotypes About Pit Bulls

Libby Sherrill didn’t own pit bulls. She didn’t know much more about them than most people. But when her close friend brought two rescue pit bulls, Angus and Boris, to her house to visit, neighbors called asking fearfully, “are those pit bulls running around over there?” That was Libby Sherrill’s introduction to the public’s misconception about pit bulls. It’s also what prompted Sherrill, an avid animal lover, into action.
(Click on image to view movie trailer)
Inspired To Make a Difference
Her two-year investigation has resulted in a film called Beyond the Myth, a feature-length film that sheds light on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and the plight of pit bulls in our country.

~Read Full Article~

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