Monday, September 2, 2019

History of the Pitbull

Pit bulls were created by crossbreeding bulldogs and terriers to produce a dog that combined the strength of the bulldog with the gameness and agility of the terrier. In the United Kingdom, these dogs were used in blood sports such as bull-baiting and bear-baiting. These blood sports were officially eliminated in 1835, as Britain began to introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organize and far easier to conceal from the law than bull- or bear-baits, blood sport proponents turned to pitting their dogs against each other instead. Dog fighting was used as both a blood sport (often involving gambling) and a way to continue to test the quality of their stock. For decades afterwards, dog fighting took place clandestinely in small areas of Britain and America. In the early 20th century, pit bulls were used as catch dogs in America for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt and drive livestock, and as family companions. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess.
Pit bulls also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America.] In addition, law enforcement organisations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs. On the other side of the law, pit bulls have been used as police dogs

In an effort to counter the fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs, in 1996 the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bull terriers "St. Francis Terriers", so that people might be more likely to adopt them. 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted, after several of the newly adopted pit bulls killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004, relabeling their pit bulls as "New Yorkies", but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

Currently, there are a number of breeds that are recognized by different associations which fall under the term "pit bull". The Federation Cynologique Internationale currently only recognizes three breeds: the Bull Terrier, the Miniature Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Canadian Kennel Club also recognizes these breeds, as well as the American Staffordshire Terrier. The American Kennel Club recognizes the Bull Terrier, the Miniature Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier as breeds also.

In 1976, the Supreme Court passed the Animal Welfare Act of 1976. This groundbreaking act made dogfighting officially illegal in all 50 states. Today, dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most states, the possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting is also a felony offense. As well as, being a spectator at a dogfight is illegal in all states except Montanan and Hawaii. Unfortunately, many times when an act is made criminal, it draws the attention of criminals.

As dog fighting began to re-emerge in the 1980’s, animal advocates put an increased focus on the cruel, barbaric and illegal blood sport. The inadvertent and unfortunate side effect of this new movement was that some people began to seek out Pit Bulls for illicit purposes. The criminal set began trying to squeeze these dogs into a mold they were never designed to fit. The breed who was once bred to treat every stranger like a long-lost friend was now being used as guard and protection dogs and were being fought in underground fighting rings. The demand for pit bulls led to many owners breeding their own dogs without concern for temperament or socialization and for the purpose of making a profit, rather than providing a responsible home. Soon Pit Bulls were associated with poverty, “urban thugs” and crime. They were viewed as money-making commodities instead of family members and companions.

While there is no defining moment in which to point to and say “here is where it all went wrong”, many trace the turning point to 1987 in which a Time Magazine cover story was titled “The Pit Bull Friend and Killer”. Thanks in large part to the media, the All American Dog began to be exploited at new lows and stereotypical images like what was seen on the infamous Sports Illustrated issue, “Beware this Dog”, seemed only to confirm for the public that these dogs were to be feared and should not live in homes. The Pit Bull, seen by criminals as items to be discarded and now being seen by the public as a danger, began to fill shelters at an alarming rate. The media portrayal and demonization of the Pit Bull paved a perfect path for the onset of breed specific legislation. (The first recorded city to pass BSL was Hollywood, FL in 1980). BSL began to crop up in select places as the dogs began to be used as a political platform by opportunistic politicians. Learn more about BSL here.

Though media outlets successfully created an air of terror around Pit Bulls, there was a spectacular turn of events, though brought about by one of the most horrible atrocities. In 2007, Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels were raided and for the very first time, Pit Bulls had the opportunity to be seen as individuals. Previously deemed as unable to be rehabilitated, pit bulls that were seized were typically euthanized. However, several groups like Best Friends Animal Society and Bad Rap took a chance on these dogs and found that almost all of them (48 out of 51) were able to be placed in foster care or re-homed. The media couldn’t help but take a new look at Pit Bull type dogs when the Vicktory Dogs emerged as successful loving members of society, and the public happily embraced their stories of recovery. And if these fighting dogs could be rehabilitated, what about all the other ones who just got dealt a bad hand or ended up in shelters…

Twenty years after the breed took its first major PR hit in the media, Sports Illustrated returned to show us a different face of the dog, one that invokes sympathy and even surprise from a re-educated public.

Today, Pit Bull type dogs continue to receive more and more positive media attention, due in large part to education and advocacy organization devoted to promoting an accurate image of these dogs. They are loved and owned by several prominent figures such as Jessica Biel, Jon Stewart, Kale Cuoco, Rachel Ray, Jennifer Aniston and many more! They can be seen in the show ring, in various dog sports including agility and weight pulling, in law enforcement work including narcotics detection (check out former Adopt-A-Bull Peaches), in search and rescue, in the armed forces, as service dogs, in our homes and as therapy dogs, like Love-A-Bull’s Pit Crew, reaching out and offering comfort to people in hospices, children’s hospitals, veterans programs, women’s shelters, etc.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Why you should spay and neuter your pet?

There are a variety of reasons why you should spay or neuter your precious pet:

Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. 

Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

Neutering provides major health benefits for your male. 

Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer.

Your spayed female won't go into heat. 

While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they'll become super lovable but also yowl and urinate more frequently-sometimes all over the house!

Your male dog won't want to roam away from home. 

An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and do whatever it takes to escape from the house. And once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.

Your neutered male will be much better behaved. 

Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, dogs and cats that are not neutered may mark their territory by spraying intense-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided simply by neutering early.

Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. 

Do not use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds-not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.

It is highly cost-effective. 

The cost of your pet's spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your male pet escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!

Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. 

Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten or hurt children. Spaying and neutering has a strong impact on reducing the number of animals on the streets.

Your pet does not need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth. 

Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children-especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.

Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. 

Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Get Rid of Fleas for GOOD!

Every summer its the same thing.....the pets get invested with those annoying, jumpy tiny external parasites we all know and hate....FLEAS.It seems like its always a battle when it gets warm out.They are everywhere and infest  everything not to mention they can give your pets worms as well since they are hosts for worm eggs . Your poor precious pet, the carpets, the furniture, the yard...will it never end?! Well there is a way or ways of sorts to keep those tiny blood sucking heathens at we go:

First treat your yard!

Ensure your yard is always mowed and not let it get overgrown! Fleas love hiding in long grass that goes for ticks too!

Treat your yard with pesticides if necessary. Read the directions on the chemical treatment and do not let your pets or children out in the yard for at least a good week (solid 7 days) as a precautionary measure so your pet/child does not get exposed to poisonous chemicals.

Treat your home!

The vacuum cleaner is your best friend...use it ifs, ands or buts...just do it! Try to use a canister vacuum where you can dump the contents directly in the outside garbage can. Do not dump in inside garbage cans this just defeats the purpose of getting the icky critters out of the house.

If you have rugs vacuum all of those thoroughly too!

Hard wood floors? Sweep or mop daily.

If you are remodeling your house avoid thick, shag carpet at all costs.

Have your carpets, rugs and cloth furniture cleaned professionally once or twice a year.

Vacuum your cloth furniture (couches, chairs, pillows, pet beds etc) daily.

Launder pet blankets and beds 2-3 times weekly. Reduces the fleas and any smelly pet odors.

Do not let clothing of any kind lay on the floor....put in a basket and please do your laundry at least weekly! 

Use a chemical treatment i.e a flea bomb in every room. Ensure food and anything you do not want chemicals on is sealed or encased in plastic. Once again for precautionary measures try to wait 6-12 hours before entering house. Make sure windows stay open for at least 24 hours to air out the house.

Use natural methods like baking soda, salt or food-grade diatomaceous earth on the carpets. Sprinkle liberally let sit for 1-2 hours and vacuum as normal.

Keep a clean home in general! No bug likes a clean home.

Treat your pet!

Use a flea comb to comb out the buggers daily.

Give your pet a chemical flea dip/bath, do it yourself or have your veterinarian do it maybe once once or twice a month. Make sure you read the label and rinse your pet thoroughly!

You can wash your pet with a more natural-ish method via Dawn dish washing soap. 

Put a chemical flea collar or chemical flea drops (goes on neck and along back) on your pet. Read labels carefully, use and replace as needed.

You can try a natural flea repellent collar as well most have a citrus scent or homeopathic drops externally.

Give your pet a flea pill regularly. Get from a pet store or your veterinarian. As always read directions carefully for proper dosage.

Give you pet a natural flea pill like brewers yeast or homeopathic drops internally.

Give your pet a well-balanced diet, exercise them regularly and keep them up to date on vaccinations. A healthy pet has a better chance of fighting off those pesky things.

Keep your pet indoors, if they don't venture outside, no bug infestations. Simple enough?

Well there you have it. Hopefully you will be flea free this summer! Know any other tips and tricks? Feel free to post in comments.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

International Cat Day

International Cat Day is a celebration which takes place on 8 August, every year. Yay!

 It was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Great!

International Cat Day is also referred to as World Cat Day in some countries and since its inception, it has been growing worldwide. Kudos!

While most countries now observe this unofficial holiday on August 8th, Russia celebrates National Cat Day on 1 March and the U.S. celebrate both International Cat Day and their own National Cat Day on October 29th. Good to know!

International Cat Day is a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.

Adopt or Foster a Cat or Kitten Today, Tomorrow, Anyday !

Volunteer at or Donate to Your Local Cat Rescue Today, Tomorrow, Any day !

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Strange Thing Dogs Do

Humping....Irritating but normal

As long as it’s not done to excess, humping is actually completely normal, but there are ways you can curb the behavior. Humping can also be a dominating behavior.

Utter Destruction....Burn out that pup's energy first and foremost! 

There are as many ways that dogs can engage in destructive behavior as there are reasons why. Anything from anxiety to not getting enough exercise If you find that your dog is destructive, the first step toward curbing the behavior is to consult with a vet or dog trainer.

Butt Dragging....Take your pup to the vet asap!

Butt dragging is not normal and is usually a sign that something is medically wrong with your dog. It could be something simple, such as needing to have her anal glands expressed, or it might be something more serious. If you can’t tell anything from a visual inspection, a vet is the next stop.

Falling and Leg-paddling....Seizure?

Twitching in their sleep is one thing but your dog suddenly falling over and starts to twitch or paddling her legs, there’s a good chance that it’s a seizure. Other signs include appearing worried or clinging to you beforehand, and walking in circles afterward. It is incredibly important that you take your dog to a vet if you suspect she had a seizure, because symptoms almost always worsen without help.

Bathroom Audience...The toilet stare-down....

It can be unsettling to have your dog stare at you as you sit on the toilet (especially if you suffer from bathroom “shyness”!) but there’s nothing particularly “wrong” with the behavior. Dogs just aren’t as hung up on privacy as we are. Still, if the idea of a canine audience truly bothers you, there’s nothing wrong with closing the door or teaching your pooch to stay when you need to do something personal.

Poop Eating.....Gross but possibly normal?

Two primary reasons. First, he may be trying to keep his space clean. That’s right. Some dogs eat their feces as an act of cleanliness. This is an instinctive behavior that female dogs engage in when they’re with their young litter in order to keep the den clean. Gross right?! Second, his food might not be meeting his nutritional needs. Eating poop can be a dog’s attempt to bolster his diet. Either way, it’s not something you want to continue (nor is it healthy). Take your dog to a vet or get a trainer

Reverse Sneezing...Scary!

All of a sudden your dog starts making a horrifying sound that seems like a cross between snorting and choking, and she looks like she’s trying to vomit but is also really self-conscious about it. What’s going on? It’s a “respiratory event” that can be caused either by over-excitement or as an attempt to get rid of mucus. Though it looks awful, if you just let it run its course for 30 seconds or so, your dog will go right back to normal.