Rev. Amy Delong, tried by Methodists for being a lesbian, to preach at Bering Memorial Methodist Church

Rev. Amy DeLong

Paperwork can be the bane of any job. For Rev. Amy Delong a simple annual report catapulted her into the maelstrom of the United Methodist Church’s debate on accepting LGBT people. DeLong visits Houston’s Bering Memorial United Methodist Church (1440 Harold) on Sunday, Feb. 12 to preach at both the 8:30 and 10:50 service.

In 2009 DeLong was approached by two women who wanted to get married. After conducting premarital counseling with the couple Delong agreed to perform the ceremony. As a clergy person, DeLong was required to report on her activities at the end of the year, including any weddings she had performed. She knew that the Methodist Church did not allow same-sex marriage but thought “I don’t know if anybody even reads these.” Boy, was she wrong!

With-in three days she was hauled into the her boss’s (the bishop) office. DeLong’s relationship with her partner Val was well known to her colleagues. “I’ve never had a bishop or a leader in the church or a pastor who didn’t know that I was gay,” says DeLong. “Everyone knows Val.” But the church was determined now to make an example of her, and DeLon’s relationship would now be an issue.

In 2011 DeLong was tried in the church’s court with violating the Methodist “Book of Discipline” by being in a same-sex relationship and by performing a same-sex wedding. During the trial she refused to answer pointed questions about her and her partner’s sex life. “No heterosexual couples are ever asked if they
still engage in genital contact in their marriages,” says DeLong. That refusal left the court with no evidence against her on the first charge.

She was convicted of performing the wedding and suspended from ministry for 20 days. The court also required DeLong to work with a group of ministers to prepare a statement on how to “help resolve issues that harm the clergy covenant, create an advesarial spirit or lead to future trails.” “This sentence is complicated,” says DeLong. “It doesn’t lend itself well to media soundbites. So a lot of folks have been saying to me ‘I can’t tell, is this penalty good?’” DeLong responds with a resounding “Yes!” Saying that she welcomes the opportunity to write, teach and study on a topic dear to her heart.

DeLong recalls that during that initial meeting in the bishop’s office one of the bishop’s assistants referred to her as a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” To which she responded “Val and I aren’t practicing any more… we are pretty good at it by now.” The assistant laughed. More than anything that is the impression one gets of DeLong: someone with a lot of humor and aplomb who is unwilling to back down from a fight for justice.

After the jump watch a clip of DeLong talking about her experience.

—  admin

HGG 2011 Gift-A-Day: Last minute gifts and stocking stuffer roundup

COUNTING IT DOWN

Whether you need to give to the coworkers, neighbors or just add to the gift stock pile by stuffing the stocking, these might help out on your decision making.

SPIRITS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Moon Mountain vodka makes this holiday season more “green” that is certified organic by the USDA. Made in America, the artisanally crafted vodka is made from Midwestern corn, but in small batches creating the right taste to make it the perfect spirit to toast the season. The vodka is priced at $19.99.

Available at major spirits retailers.

FORGET SANTA

These Biscoff cookies are a surprisingly addictive treat, that it may be hard to give away. The crispy biscuits with the caramel flavor are ideal with coffee or even on their own. And a welcome alternative to usual holiday sweets with their light touch. Made from Belgium, these treats are vegan and contain 0 grams trans fat and 0 cholesterol per serving. So your recipients will be quite happy about these. Coming in a variety of counts and packages, these Biscoff Cafe Totes house eight packages of two. So you can get one for yourself and then try to give the other one away. You could leave them out for Santa but try not to eat them before he does. Ten percent of the purchases of this item go toward Teach for America. A set of three is priced at $16.95.

Available through Biscoff.com.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

For the Star Wars gamer geek — er, loved ones — comes this quirky stylus set. Made for Nintendo DS products, Star Wars fans can have their very own Clone Wars with these character-designed stylus lightsabers.  The stylus can be used for DS Lite, XL and 3DS and is for ages six and up. Priced at $9.99.

Available at Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other major video game retailers.

 

GAY FILM FEST

Breaking Glass Pictures has made gift giving for your LGBT movie fan rather enticing. The company that distributed the locally-made Ticked Off Trannies with Knives is offering a 30 percent off purchases made during the holiday season. Stack up on indie gay movie faves like Violet Tendencies, The Big Gay Musical and the 30th anniversary edition of the gay classic Taxi Zum Klo. Head to the site withthe promotion code “holiday” and snag a bargain on the films. Hey, you might even get one for yourself.

Available at BreakingGlassPictures.com.

 

 

 

BRUSH AWAY

Expect an eye roll if you give kids a toothbrush, but once they start handling his Arm & Ammer Spinbrush Proclean, they might get more on board. The battery-operated brush is a simple, but effective way to keep those pearly whites, um, white, with the appeal of being a whirring gadget. Don’t talk about how better it is than a manual toothbrush and dental health. Yawn for days. Hype up the dual action technology, the durable body style and what a grown-up “toy” it is. Because, of course, adults can use it to. Retails between $8–9.

Available at retailers nationwide.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Investigation clears gay Fort Worth teacher

Kristopher Franks set to return to work Friday after 4-day leave stemming from allegations of improper behavior

FWISD School board member Carlos Vasquez

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

FORT WORTH — Gay Western Hills High School teacher Kristopher Franks, put on paid administrative leave on Monday, Sept. 26, following allegations of improper behavior, has been cleared of all allegations and was set to return to work today (Friday, Sept. 30).

Franks is the teacher who  became the target of ire from the religious right after he sent a student in his German 1 class to the principal’s office for saying in class that as a Christian he believed “homosexuality is wrong.” The school’s assistance principal then suspended the student, setting off a controversy that made headlines around the country.

That student, freshman Dakota Ary, and his mother enlisted the assistance of Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Krause in fighting the suspension on the grounds that Franks and the school had violated Ary’s right to freedom of speech.

District officials quickly reversed their decision, lifting the suspension.

But Steven Poole, deputy executive director for the United Educators Association of Texas, a teachers union, said Tuesday, Sept. 27, that the allegations leading to Franks being put on leave were unrelated to the incident with Ary.

Franks, who had not spoken to the press previously on the advice of his union representative, said Thursday afternoon that he had just met with Fort Worth Independent School District administrators, who told him the nearly weeklong investigation had determined that the allegations against him were unfounded. He did not elaborate on the substance of those allegations.

Franks also said administrators had given him the option of returning to teach at Western Hills High or transferring to another school in the district.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do,” Franks told Dallas Voice by phone Thursday afternoon. “I’m going to go back to work tomorrow, and I will talk to my boss [the district’s world languages supervisor], and see what she says and decide what’s the best thing to ­do from there.”

FWISD Board of Trustees member Dr. Carlos Vasquez told Dallas Voice in a phone call Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 28, that any time allegations are made against a teacher, those allegations have to be investigated, and it is routine for the teacher in question to be placed on paid administrative leave.

Franks said Thursday that he was pleased with the outcome of the investigation, carried out by an independent investigator, and that interim FWISD Supt. Walter Dansby was “very nice” when they spoke.

“I think they did the right thing,” Franks said. “I can go back to work, which is great. But now I just have to figure out how to fix the damage this whole thing has done to my personal life.”

Franks said since the investigation is closed, he is no longer being represented by a union attorney. He has, instead, retained the services of attorney Stephen Gordon to “represent me on any aspects of this whole thing going forward.”

He also indicated that he and Gordon would be discussing what possible actions he might take against “those people who have lied and made false allegations against me.”

While Franks had previously declined to speak to the media, Daokta Ary, his mother and Krause as their attorney went immediately to the press, telling their side of the story in several TV interviews and saying Franks and the school had violated the student’s right to freedom of speech. The case quickly became a rallying point for the religious right.

Krause this week told Dallas Voice that he and his clients are satisfied with school officials’ decision to rescind the unexcused absences the suspension left on Ary’s record, but “we would still like for them [school officials] to completely vindicate him and say that he did nothing wrong. He should never have been written up for an infraction. He should never have been sent to the office, and he should never have been suspended.”

Ary said in  media interviews that he made the comment quietly to a classmate sitting next to him in response to a discussion going on in the class at the time.

Dakota Ary

But Franks told friends shortly after the incident that there was no discussion involving homosexuality at the time, and that Ary made the comment loudly while looking directly at Franks.

Franks also told friends that the comment was only the latest in an ongoing series of incidents in which Ary and a group of three of his friends have made anti-gay comments to and about him.

Franks told friends that the harassment by Ary and his friends began several weeks ago after Franks, who also teaches sociology, posted on the “World Wall” in his classroom a photo, taken from the German news magazine Stern, of two men kissing. The photo was ripped off the wall and torn in two at some point during Ary’s class, and Franks told friends he believes that Ary or one of his friends tore up the photo.

During a later sociology class students upset that the photo had been torn up replaced it with a hand-drawn picture, and another student then covered that picture with a page bearing a hand-written biblical scripture from Leviticus calling sex between two men an abomination.

Franks told friends that since that incident, Ary and his friends had continued to make derogatory and harassing comments.

Franks’ friends also said that the teacher, a Fulbright scholar, has been the target of anti-gay harassment for at least the last two years, including having hateful messages left in his classroom and, in one case, having his car vandalized.

FWISD teacher Martin Vann, spokesman for the group LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. that was formed about a year ago to help protect students and teachers in the district from anti-gay discrimination and bullying, said that Franks told his version of the incident last week, before the current investigation was launched and Franks was required to sign a statement saying he would not discuss the incident with other teachers, administrators, parents or students. Vann said Franks denied getting angry and yelling at Ary, as Ary had said, and reiterated that Ary’s comments were not pertinent to any discussion in the class at the time.

Vann said Franks told him that another student had asked him what the German word for “Christian” was, and how, if he moved to Germany, he could find an English translation of the Bible. That’s when, Franks told Vann, Ary looked directly at him and said loudly that as a Christian, he believes homosexuality is wrong.

It was not, Franks told Vann, a simple statement of belief or opinion but rather an intentional effort to insult and harass the teacher that Ary perceived to be gay.

Krause this week again said that Ary did not direct his remark in class that day at Franks, and that Ary had nothing to do with tearing down the photo of the men kissing.

The attorney also said that Ary told him he did not know to whom Franks was referring when he talked about Ary’s “three friends.”

The Franks case comes in the wake of months of scandal over allegations by teachers that administrators routinely allowed some teachers and administrators to harass and bully students and other teachers, and that teachers who complained often faced retaliation.

Vasquez, who is openly gay, said Wednesday that he believed the Franks investigation would be fair, that he would watch the situation closely “to make sure all the proper procedures are followed,” and that he believed Dansby would handle the situation fairly.

“Considering all the problems we’ve had, I know he [Dansby] will be watching this closely,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez said it is the school district’s responsibility to make sure there is “no harassment in our schools, whether it’s from the teacher to the student, or student to student or even student to teacher. I know that happens, sometimes, too.

“There should be no harassment whatsoever in our schools,” Vasquez , himself a former teacher, said.

Fort Worth ISD has been credited with having one of the most comprehensive anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies in the state, having adopted individual policies within the last year to include prohibitions against harassment and bullying, including that based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, for both teachers and students.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Teacher accuses TC College of discrimination

Gill says English Department chair at Northeast Campus told her the state and the school ‘do not like homosexuals’

Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill
Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

HURST — Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill filed suit Wednesday, Sept. 7, against a professor and a dean at Northeast Campus of Tarrant County College in Hurst, claiming that she was denied the opportunity to apply for a permanent, full- time teaching position there because of the English Department chair’s bias against what he perceived her sexual orientation to be.

Tarrant County College adopted a nondiscrimination policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation on March 9 of this year.

Frank Griffis, director of public relations and marketing for Tarrant County College, said it “would not be appropriate” for school officials to comment on pending litigation. He also said school officials had not yet been served with papers and therefore had not read the complaint.

Gill said she had worked as a full-time temporary English professor for about a year at the Northeast Campus. But when the position was to be made permanent, English Department Chair Eric Devlin refused to allow her to apply for the permanent position.

Gill said when she complained about Devlin to Northeast Campus Humanities Division Dean Antonio R. Howell, he initially seemed to side with her, but after speaking to Devlin, Howell refused to communicate further with her. Gill said although she is a lesbian and has never tried to hide that fact, she had never talked about her orientation with Devlin or anyone else at the school.

Both Devlin and Howell are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.

Gill is represented in the lawsuit by Lambda Legal South Central Region staff attorney Ken Upton, joined by pro bono counsel Benjamin D. Williams from the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

Gill and Upton held a press conference Wednesday to announce that the lawsuit had been filed earlier that morning in U.S. district court in Fort Worth. The press conference was held at a Hurst hotel located just a few blocks from the Tarrant County College campus where Gill had taught.

According to the complaint filed Wednesday, and statements Gill made during the press conference, Gill was first hired on a full time, temporary basis as an English professor on Aug. 21, 2009. A little more than a month later, at the end of October, a female “dual-enrollment” student — a high school student who was also taking college classes — in Gill’s distance learning class cheated by stealing an exam and skipped some classes.

The student’s high school counselor told Gill that the student has a history of disruptive behavior, and when the student dropped the class, Gill was told the situation was closed.

On Nov. 9, however, Devlin called Gill into his office and told her the student had accused Gill of “flirting” with female students. Gill denied the accusations, noting that there was always another teacher in the class at the same time.

That’s when Devlin responded with “a lengthy diatribe about homosexuals and how the Texas public views them,” according to the complaint. Gill said Devlin went on to say that Texas is a conservative state and TCC is a conservative school, and that “Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals.”

Gill continued to teach at TCC, receiving high praise and compliments from students and staff alike, including from Devlin. Then in May 2010, she and other full-time temporary professors were told by Howell that all seven temporary full- time positions were being made permanent, and that they were being re-designated as adjunct faculty until the permanent positions were filled.

Gill said Howell also encouraged her and the other temporary professors to apply for the permanent jobs. Gill applied for all seven but was the only one of the seven temporary professors not hired for the permanent positions. Gill said that she was, in fact, not even allowed to interview for any of the positions, even though her experience and credentials were as good as or better than those who were hired.

Gill said she met with Howell and told him about Devlin’s anti-gay comments and refusal to allow her to interview for the permanent positions. She said Howell promised her to discuss the situation with Devlin immediately, but that he never got back in touch with her.

She said she also got no response when she tried to discuss the situation with the vice president and president of Tarrant County College.

Gill continued to teach as an adjunct professor at the campus through December 2010, although, she said, Devlin’s attitude toward her became “even more hostile.”

And she said that although she was originally assigned classes for the 2011 spring term, as she was preparing for those classes she discovered she had been removed as the professor. When she inquired about the status of the class, Gill said, she was told that Devlin had specifically instructed that those classes be taken away from her.

Upton said that Devlin and Howell violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to allow Gill to apply for the permanent teaching position. He said Gill’s suit is asking that she be allowed to complete the application process and that she be compensated for the time she has been unemployed.

Gill, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington, said she would love to get a teaching job with TCC, and while she would prefer to work at another campus, she is willing to go back to the Northeast Campus and work again in Devlin’s department.

“I worked hard. I earned it,” Gill said of the permanent position. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. If it [her working in Devlin’s department again] would be awkward for anyone, I think it would be awkward for him [Devlin] because he is the one who was in the wrong.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Video: Antonin Scalia to teach Michele Bachmann’s Constitution class

Thank Right Wing Watch for this Looney World offering…would you like to be a fly on this wingnut wall? Watch Minnesota’s gift to the U.S. House tell Lou Dobbs about her guest lecturer…

Dobbs: You’ve got a terrific idea that you’re going to implement with the new Congress: a course on the Constitution for incoming Congressmen and women. Tell us about that.

Bachmann: We’re going to do what the NFL does and what the baseball teams do: we’re going to practice every week, if you will, our craft, which is studying and learning the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Justice Scalia has graciously agreed to kick off our class. The hour before we cast our first vote in congress, we’ll meet in the Capitol, we’ll have a seminar on some segment of the Constitution, we’ll have a speaker, we’ll have questions and answers, we’ll wrap our minds around this magnificent document [and] that’ll set the tone for the week while we’re in Washington.

I think it’s great and I’m hoping all the members of Congress will partake; it’s bipartisan.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Michelle Obama: Adults Need To Teach Kids Bullying Is Not Okay

Kids will follow our lead. They will follow our example, but we've got to set it. … All of these young people regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, they are gifts to us. They have so much to offer and it's just terrible to find out that kids are letting this part of their life define everything about who they are going to be.

—Michelle Obama, on Ellen today, about the responsibility adults have in fighting school bullying. She says she tells Malia and Sasha they have a responsibility to speak up if they see someone being bullied. [via]


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Sesame Square’s Kami Will Teach Nigerian Kids About HIV

While America's Sesame Street is still too squeamish to introduce an HIV-positive Kami (pictured, left), Nigeria's custom tailored version of the show Sesame Square, which will be broadcast in a country where half of its 150 million are under age 14, will feature the muppet who's been popping up in Africa to tell kids about staying negative. Gone is Cookie Monster; in is Zobi, an inept taxi driver (on right). The program is funding by a million grant from the U.S. government, so let's all get radical start claiming Obama is pushing the gay disease on Africa.


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to , , , , , , , ,

Queerty

—  John Wright

Parade Mag: Can you teach Michael Vick’s rescued dogs new tricks?

My friend Joe Sudbay Tweeted about this article in Parade, “Can You Teach a Bad Dog New Tricks?” — about what has happened to the pit bulls rescued from Bad Newz Kennels, the dogfighting ring run by Michael Vick, who at that time was the QB for the Atlanta Falcons.

The dogs there were bred to fight, and those that were beyond their fighting days or refused to fight were tortured, electrocuted, shot and beaten. Part of the agreement that sent Vick to prison, was that nearly million had to be set aside to rescue and rehabilitate as many of the dogs as possible, rather than have the 51 dogs destroyed.

The Parade article explains what happened next.

By the time the case was over and the team had done its evaluations, the dogs had been in shelters for up to nine months. “We’d been told these were some of the most vicious dogs in America,” says ASPCA executive vice president Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, who led the evaluation team. Was rehab even a possibility?

What the team found was a mixed bag. Fewer than a dozen of the dogs were hardened fighters. Two had to be put down-one was excessively violent and the other was suffering from an irreparable injury. Then there was a group characterized as “pancake dogs”-animals so traumatized they flattened themselves on the ground and trembled when humans approached. Another group seemed to be dogs of relatively friendly normal temperament who simply had never been socialized.

Jonny was one of the unsocialized-but-happy crowd, which is how he ended up with Cohen, who had a pit bull of his own and had previously fostered six others as a volunteer for the rescue group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls). “The first step was to let him unwind his kennel stress,” Cohen says, referring to the jitters that follow dogs out of long-term confinement. He countered Jonny’s anxiety with quiet time and “the rut,” as he calls it. “Dogs love a schedule,” he explains. “They love knowing that the same things are going to happen at the same times every day. Once they have that consistency, they can relax.”

The real issue here is that blanket statements about pit bulls (or any dogs) with a dark past cannot be painted with a broad brush. Some will thrive with human attention and training, others, like people, have trouble adapting.

Many of the pancake dogs continued to struggle with fear. A few who seemed well-adjusted later regressed. There were missteps and misfortunes. “Some are better than others, but overall these are happy dogs,” says Dr. Frank McMillan, the director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, whose huge sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, took in 22 of Vick’s dogs.

…Consider one of Vick’s other victims, Hector. A handsome brown dog with a black snout and deep scars on his chest, he had clearly been a fighter. Yet from the start he had nothing but love for the world. After moving through a few foster homes, he was adopted by Roo Yori…Under Yori’s guidance, the ex-fighter blossomed, earning several temperament awards and eventually becoming certified as a therapy dog, working with the sick and elderly, as well as troubled teens.

Many shelter dogs, regardless of breed, have issues with fear and trust as a result of past neglect or abuse, and that is why reputable shelters in your areas also temperament test dogs before putting them up for adoption to let you know which would be good in a family with children, with adults, or with an elderly person as a companion dog with fewer exercise requirements. You have to match your needs to the dog, as well as your desire to emotionally rehab an living creature that will pay you back with devotion if handled properly. Vick’s dogs are no different.

Regulars here at the coffeehouse know that I am a pit bull advocate, with a special interest in educating people about the breed, which has suffered mightily because of bad PR, bad owners, ignorance about the breed’s actual lineage and temperament that makes them wonderful family pets — as well as why this is not the breed for the first-time dog owner. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort on basic obedience training, please don’t adopt a pit. I’ve always had rescues – including a lab and three Rhodesian Ridgebacks, so I was well versed in bringing a canine into the family.

Pit bulls, aren’t a “breed” per se (American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terriers are most similar — and the pits we see today in shelters are often mixes), thus there is a wide variation in color and size. Some are the beefy 100-lb balls of muscle; many are closer to the historical APBT size of 30-45 lbs, a medium size dog.

Kate and I adopted a 9-month-old, 45 lb. pit from the Wake County SPCA in 2008, one from a litter that was rescued from the side yard of a backyard breeder. She was one of two left (thankfully her sister was adopted some time later). We initially visited with a Golden Retriever prior to meeting Casey, and ironically that dog, a breed considered one of the gentlest family dogs, snapped at Kate.

Casey has been the joy of our lives; she’s smart, friendly with dogs and people, and like many pit bulls, very sensitive to correction; they want to please their people, and that’s why they are easy to train to fight. Positive training methods are essential to motivate and support the pit bull’s bond with its family.

Pit owners will also tell you that they have a great need for affection and to participate in “pack”/family activities. But the one thing a pit bull owner has to contend with is the fear and ignorance out there — you do become an advocate out of necessity. Your dog becomes an ambassador to counteract the myths. If you aren’t ready for the rejection, fear or angry looks from people on the street, get another breed.

An example: Kate and I took worry wart Casey and our beastly Bichon Chloe out on the walking trail in our neighborhood. We have been using these walks to also reinforce our training of the pooches when they encounter distractions — people walking, running, walking other dogs, etc. Since Casey is a pit bull, we’re extra sensitive to encouraging best behavior, but Chloe is the one that’s headstrong. They were earning A+s today, doing sits, stays, downs and waiting at the curbs/street crossing as people walked closely by, no lunging.

So it was completely demoralizing when, after a jogger ran by and the dogs were great — non-reactive and calm, that when we began to walk again, I turned around and a woman was exercise-walking toward us and she saw Casey and waved to indicate “No, no, I’ll go back” and I called out “Don’t worry, I’ll put her into a sit and you can go by.” She waved “no” again and went back in the opposite direction. It’s hard being the owner of such a maligned breed, but Casey is worth it. Read my original piece about pit discrimination here.

For those who ask – “But what about all those reports of pit bulls attacking people/children/dogs?” Well, a lot of the time the reports don’t confirm whether it was a “pit bull” at all – sometimes it’s a Rottweiler, Bull Terrier, a Boxer or other breed. Other times it is a pit/mix; the hysteria around pit bulls is irrational.

But take a look at the statistics for more meaningful, reality-based information below the fold. Also after the jump, a video of Casey’s first day with us after her adoption from the Wake County SPCA. She had to learn how to climb stairs…
Let’s look at CDC statistics. This shows breeds of dogs involved in human dog bite-related fatalities (DBRF) in the United States, by 2-year period, between 1979 and

1998. Death-based approach of counting most frequent purebreds and crossbreds involved in 7 or more human DBRF.


>Going by this chart, yes, pit bulls are at the top of fatal dog bites, not all dog bites. What is true is that more attacks on humans that are fatal are due to pit bull and Rottweiler attacks (Rotties have more bite power because of their huge heads and size). No one calls for Rottweilers to be banned.  And if you look at the mixed breeds, pit mixes pose no more significant threat than other mixes — should those all be banned as well; after all, visual appearance alone doesn’t indicate behavior.

Also, the vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim’s family or a friend. Another study confirms the obvious to people with experience with dogs — the dogs most likely to bite and kill (and this cuts across all breeds) are male, unneutered, and chained. That’s also a dog that has not been socialized, trained and is a time bomb, not a family pet.  Those are much better predictors of behavior than breed alone.

Related:
* The conundrum of Michael Vick’s reinstatement in the NFL
* “The Healing Touch: What happened to Michael Vick’s dogs?”(December 29, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated)
* Rapper DMX faces time in the clink for animal cruelty
* The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression (Author Karen Delise compiled actual statistics of dog attacks)

“There can be few greater thrills for a genuine dog lover than to take a homeless dog off of life’s refuse pile, add love and care, and then see that dog, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, become the great dog it was meant to be. Training such a rescued dog may require a little more time, a little more patience, and a little more skill, but the end result is a dog that has been given back its life. A dog owner can ask for no better companion.”

– Joe Stahlkuppe, Training Your Pit Bull

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright