Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thank You Burnaby Now!!!

Burbaby Now

Alfie Lau, Burnaby NowPublished: Saturday, March 14, 2009

In the five years since it started, the HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society has been making headway on educating the public about pit bulls.

While media reports are quick to place blame on the dog when a human is attacked, the society's executive director, Shelagh Begg, waits before she passes judgment. "The biggest misconception about pit bulls is they are human-aggressive," she said. "That's absolutely false. If anything, they are highly tolerant of people and love being around people."

Raising awareness: Kristen Bergum, left, with Koda, and Shelagh Begg, with Dizzy, are part of the HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society. The group is holding an information meeting on Sunday, March 22. The group works to raise awareness about pit bulls and find homes for pit bulls who have been abandoned.

Begg herself would know. She's the owner of three pit bulls: Bailey, 9, a female she got from the SPCA in 2004; Dizzy, 10, a male she got from the SPCA in November 2007; and Mason, 11, a male with severe skin allergies she got from an animal shelter two months ago. "I believed a lot of those media reports, and I was leery of pit bulls at first, but then I met Bailey," she said. Begg was looking for an athletic dog that could keep up with her while she ran, mountain biked and snowshoed, but she also wanted her dog to be "a bit of a couch potato indoors." "And I wanted a dog that was low-maintenance, one I didn't have to groom every six weeks," she said. " Bailey met all those requirements, and Begg couldn't be happier after five years with her pit bull cross.

It's that local information that Begg hopes to impart at an informational session to be held on Sunday, March 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 1 at the Burnaby Lake West Sports Complex. "This is the third time we've had an event like this," said Begg. "The first two we advertised as volunteer meetings, and people got the misconception that we were just trying to get volunteers. This event is about giving people more information." That information will include the answers to these questions:

- What do we mean when we talk about a "pit bull"?

- What is breed-specific legislation, and how does it impact the community?

- What is responsible breeding?

- How do I identify a backyard breeder?

- What is HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society?

The event is open to the public and will be of particular interest to pit bull owners and dog-lovers who want to help educate the public about the true nature of these dogs.

HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society, started in 2004, is a registered, non-profit group of "bullie"-loving owners, rescuers, trainers and fans who match abandoned dogs with homes. Volunteers also provide public education, home foster care, and guidance and support to pit bull owners and local shelters.

Begg said one of the society's major tasks is matching up pit bulls from local shelters with responsible new owners. When they first started, they matched up five pit bulls in the first year, but now they average 50 dog matches annually.

The process begins with local shelters and local chapters of the SPCA calling up HugABull and telling them they may have a pit bull ready to be matched up. The dog is screened as it spends a minimum of 30 days in a foster home. "We want to find out how the dog interacts with other animals like cats, and we get a sense of the dog's personality," said Begg.

At the same time, interested owners have to fill out a three-page application before HugABull representatives conduct a phone interview and do reference checks. "If we approve the new owner, we do a meet-and-greet, and, even if that goes well, there's still another 24-hour period where the owner can change his mind," said Begg. "All in all, it's a really extensive process that can take two or three weeks from beginning to end."

Because HugABull is a non-profit group, owners do have to pay a fee for all this legwork, with prices ranging from $150 to $250 per dog, with puppies costing more. Email to a friend Printer friendly Font:**HugABull concentrates its efforts in B.C., although it did match up a pit bull with an owner in Oregon recently.

When the group isn't matching up pit bulls with new owners, it's educating the public about a breed that often gets a bad rap. "Any time there's a dog attack, there's a rush to say it's a pit bull attack," said Begg. "The first thing I want to know is what breed the dog is. There are a lot of short-haired blocky head dogs (involved in attacks) that aren't pit bulls, but they're called pit bulls. ... I'm not condoning any attack, but I always want to find out what type of dog it is, whether it was socialized and what sort of training the dog received." Begg said owners can train their dogs to "be anything they want them to be," and, while some pit bull owners are guilty of training their dogs for aggressive purposes, the majority are not. "Look at me," she said. "I've got three well-trained pit bulls that are very comfortable around humans.

" For more information, go to or e-mail

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Come on out & have fun with your dog & other pitter owners!

The Western Canadian Am. Pit Bull Terrier Club is hosting their annual Fun Show & ALL pitters are welcome! (fixed & un-registered TOO!)

When: Saturday March 21st, Registration opens at 8am, Weight Pull begins at 10am SHARP, conformation will begin around noon

Where: Harmsworth Hall, Langley BC (take the 232nd exit south right off Hwy #1, across from Chevron)

There will be FUN Classes, JR Handlers, 50/50, RAFFLE & of course conformation & weight pull classes.

Entry Fees Weight Pull & Conformation - $12 member/$15 non-member
All Fun Classes - $2 member/$5 non-member
Vendors are welcome - Raffle Donation required Please email the club for details


Please watch your kids & keep the show site clean

  • NO dogs allowed on premises that are not entered into events

  • NO puppies under 4 months.


  • NO bitches in heat

  • NO "quick release snaps, "choke chains", "haltees", or "harnesses" - Dogs must have a flat nylon or leather collar & 4 ft. lead

  • DO NOT face off dogs

  • NO "man-biters" - Any dog showing aggression to humans or humans showing aggression to dogs, will be barred from the show grounds

  • NO alcohol or drugs

  • NO refunds will be given - Dogs waiting to be shown/pulled must be CRATED

Get your pens out - Take 2

Oregon: HB 2852 requires pit bull owners to have liability insurance (BSL)
Posted on March 3, 2009 by stopbslcom

Oregon politicians are apparently trying to exhaust and distract pit bull owners in an attempt to get BSL passed. Your action is needed yet again in Oregon as BSL is proposed against pit bull owners.

HB 2852, introduced yesterday by Representative Vicki Berger, would require that all pit bull owners in the state of Oregon must maintain $1M of liability insurance.

This bill has not yet been sent to a committee. When it is, I will update with contact information for the Representatives in the committee. You may wish to contact all state Representatives in the meantime, or save your energy for the committee.

Contact information for bill author Rep. Vicki Berger:
Representative Vicki BergerParty: R District: 20
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1420
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., H-479, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 805 Kingwood Dr. NW, Salem, OR, 97304

Partial text of the bill:

SECTION 1. { + (1) As used in this section:(a) ‘Keeper’ has the meaning given that term in ORS 609.035.(b) ‘Pit bull’ means a dog that:(A) Is registered or otherwise listed as an American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier with a dog breed club or league, dog fanciers association, breed registry or similar organization; or(B) Has appearance and physical characteristics that substantially conform to the breed standards of the United Kennel Club for an American pit bull terrier or of the American Kennel Club for a Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, as those standards existed on January 1, 2009.

(2) The keeper of a pit bull shall maintain in effect insurance in the amount of $1 million that provides coverage for any economic or noneconomic damages resulting from physical injury or damage to personal or real property caused by the pit bull.

(3) If a court finds a person guilty of violating subsection (2) of this section, the court shall order the person to provide the local dog control district, or, if no local district exists, provide the court, with proof of compliance with subsection (2) of this section within a period established by the court, not to exceed 30 days. If the person complies with the court order by ceasing to be the keeper of a pit bull, proof of compliance shall include details regarding the disposition made of the dog, including the name and address of any new keeper.

(4)(a) Violation of subsection (2) of this section is a Class C violation.(b) Failure to provide proof of compliance with a court order issued under subsection (3) of this section is a Class A violation. Each day that the person fails to provide proof of compliance with an order issued under subsection (3) of this section after expiration of the period established by the court is a separate violation. + }

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thank you Jon Ferry!

Humans, not dogs, are problem

We should license dog owners, not ban individual breeds

By Jon Ferry, The ProvinceMarch 4, 2009 9:01 AMComments (4)

Province columnist Jon Ferry
Photograph by: Les Bazso, The Province

The more I learn about dogs, the less I realize I know. But I have to confess my first instinct, upon hearing about the vicious pit-bull attack on a man and a horse last Saturday in Mission, was to indulge my propensity for righteous indignation, phone Victoria and order it to follow Ontario's lead and ban the contentious dog breed.

After all, confrontations involving pit bulls or pit-bull-like dogs in Metro Vancouver these days appear almost as common as those involving human gangsters.

Well, not exactly as common as that . . . but you get my drift.

My second response, however, was to say, "whoa there, Jon, lower your hackles."
And instead I contacted top Vancouver dog-trainer Shannon Malmberg, who's worked with canines from what she calls "the power breeds" for more than 15 years. Malmberg, 42, of the appropriately named Zen Dog Canine Training, set me straight on a few things. First, she acknowledged that, yes, pit bulls were bred as fighting dogs, and still are in some places. Look no further than the recent dog-fighting conviction of disgraced National Football League quarterback Michael Vick.

But she also pointed out that purebred pit bulls were not especially aggressive toward humans.
"Dogs that showed reactions to humans were actually culled," she told me. "Dogs needed to be comfortable with a human coming in, breaking them off from a fight and administering to their wounds. So, a true pit is actually a very human-friendly dog." Indeed, she thinks German shepherds, of which she owns a pair, are more inclined to be hostile to people, as are several other breeds.

Malmberg also noted that, in the Mission mauling, three dogs were reported to have been involved. And in the dog world, two may be company, but three's a pack. The pack mentality takes over, whatever the breed.

Certainly, pit bulls, with their bone-crunching jaws, can cause more physical harm to humans than, say, poodles. But mastiffs and other muscular guard dogs can be equally mean machines.
Besides, if you banned pit bulls, those who use them to advertise their masculinity or protect their grow-ops would simply switch to other potentially pugnacious pooches, like the formidable Presa Canario.

The bottom line?

It's individual human owners who pose the true problem, not the specific dog breed. And instead of licensing dogs, we really should be licensing dog owners. I suggest Metro Vancouver
municipalities set up a dog-owner licence scheme, similar to one in New Zealand that allows folks who study a brief manual and pass a short test to register their dogs each year at a greatly reduced rate.

In other words, make being a responsible dog owner a paying proposition. It's a promising approach that would play to humans' strengths and help ensure that, as a matter of personal pride, they and their pack mates become far better educated about their pooches.

Of course, there should also be far stiffer penalties for flagrantly delinquent dog owners -- punishment with some real bite.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Saying HALLELUJAH in Oregon tonight!

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean" These words ring true today as The Oregon Bill will go no further.

To everyone that wrote to the Oregon State Senetors, let this be a reminder that together we do have the power and our voices can make a difference.

For everyone in Oregon we are doing a happy dance for you and we are wrapping our arms around your dogs for they will be safe.

"From the outpouring of interest I have received over the past few days, I have learned that pit bulls are beloved pets, friends and family members," Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) said in a statement released on Monday. "Most pit bulls and their owners are caring and responsible. I have no intention of pushing legislation that would threaten pit bulls or the rights of their owners."

This is real power, this is Pit Bull power.

Get your pens out.

Radical new bill talks of banning pit bulls in Ore., euthanizing them
By Meghan Kalkstein KATU News and Staff PORTLAND, Ore.

A new bill on pit bulls that hasn't even hit the Senate floor yet is already getting a lot of heat from folks on both sides of the issue.

Under a bill from Sen. Bruce Starr's office, owning a pit bull would be illegal in Oregon and the state would punish those who own one by euthanizing the dog, slapping the owner with thousands of dollars in fines and perhaps even throwing them in jail. And if your pit bull killed someone? Then you could be fined $125,000, spend five years in jail or both.

Those who already own a pit bull would be grandfathered in, so to speak. They would have to obtain a permit to keep the pit bull (for a fee) and provide a certificate from a veterinarian showing that the dog had been sterilized.Here is the summary that is laid out in the draft of the bill:Prohibits keeping of pit bull. Creates exception for pit bulls currently in state upon meeting certain conditions. Declares pit bull dangerous dog and makes keeping of pit bull punishable by euthanization of dog and by maximum of $6,250 fine, one year's imprisonment, or both.

If dog kills person, punishes by maximum of $125,000 fine, five years' imprisonment, or both. (If you would like to read the proposed legislation in full, click here.)The bill has not had a first reading on the Senate floor yet. That is expected in a week or two.

Please send your polite, calm informative emails to our senators. Remember to note the ineffectiveness of BSL, the cost, and the extreme difficulty in enforcement. For help on writing to legislators, com is a great resource.
Here is the contact information:

Senator Jason Atkinson
Party: R District: 2
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1702
Interim Phone: 541-955-0911
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-415, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 1704, Grants Pass, OR, 97528

Senator Alan C Bates
Party: D District: 3
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-205, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Suzanne Bonamici
Party: D District: 17
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1717
District Phone: 503-627-0246
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-403, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 990, Beaverton, OR, 97075

Senator Brian Boquist
Party: R District: 12
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1712
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem,, OR, 97301

Senator Ginny Burdick
Party: D District: 18
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1718
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-213, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Margaret Carter
Party: D District: 22
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1722
Interim Phone: 503-282-6846
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-209, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 3722, Portland, OR, 97208

Senator Peter Courtney
Party: D District: 11
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1600
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-201, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Richard Devlin
Party: D District: 19
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1700
Capitol Address: 900 Court6 St. NE., S-223, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Jackie Dingfelder
Party: D District: 23
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723
Interim Phone: 503-493-2804
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-407, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 13432, Portland, OR, 97213

Senator Ted Ferrioli
Party: R District: 30
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1950
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-323, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: sen.tedferrioli@
Sen6ator Larry George
Party: R District: 13
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1713
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-307, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Fred Girod
Party: R District: 9
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1709
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-421, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Mark Hass
Party: D District: 14
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1714
District Phone: 503-641-2742
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-419, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Betsy Johnson
Party: D District: 16
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-215, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Jeff Kruse
Party: R District: 1
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1701
Interim Phone: 541-673-7201
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-316, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 636 Wild Iris Lane, Roseburg, OR, 97470

Senator Rick Metsger
Party: D District: 26
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-315, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson
Party: D District: 25
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1725
Interim Phone: 503-618-3071
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-413, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 1531 , Gresham, OR, 97030

Senator Rod Monroe
Party: D District: 24
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1724
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-409, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Bill Morrisette
Party: D District: 6
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-207, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Frank Morse
Party: R District: 8
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1708
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-311, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator David Nelson
Party: R District: 29
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1729
Interim Phone: 541-278-2332
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-211, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 1407 NW Horn Ave., Pendleton, OR, 97801

Senator Floyd Prozanski
Party: D District: 4
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704
Interim Phone: 541-342-2447
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-417, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 11511, Eugene, OR, 97440

Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Party: D District: 21
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1721
Interim Phone: 503-231-9970
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-405, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 1125 SE Madison St., Suite 100B, Portland, OR, 97214

Senator Martha Schrader
Party: D District: 20
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1720
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-425, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Bruce Starr
Party: R District: 15
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-411, Salem, OR, 97302
Senator Chris Telfer
Party: R District: 27
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1727
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-423, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Joanne Verger
Party: D District: 5
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1705
Interim Phone: 541-756-4140
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-401, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 3696 Broadway PMB 344, North Bend, OR, 97459

Senator Vicki L Walker
Party: D District: 7
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1707
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-309, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Doug Whitsett
Party: R District: 28
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
Interim Phone: 541-882-1315
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE., S-303, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 23131 North Poe Valley Rd., Klamath Falls, OR, 97603

Senator Jackie Winters
Party: R District: 10
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1710
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-301, Salem, OR, 97301

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Come together now!

Another headline, another reason for ALL Pit Bull owners to pull up their socks and get back to work. Time to get out there and show your community that there is more to this breed than what they see on the news.

Also this is another reason for any and all Pit Bull owner that can, to come out and join us on March 22nd at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. We are going to go over how everyone of us can help to change the negative stereotypes.

Hope to see you there.