Saturday, December 27, 2008
One thing folks that DON'T work with Pit Bulls, live with multiple Pit Bulls or have experience living and working with fight bust dogs (meaning they don't really understand them) fail to point out that Pit Bulls are biddable, willing to please and listen to what their owners want from them. Leo here wants to please and do the right thing in his pack.
Leo also LOVES to play with other dogs. He will listen to me in a flash when I say, "e-a-s-y Leo". He has been one of the best dogs with this lil pup Opal. She LOVES his puppiesh, full of life and happy to be a alive attitude. It's almost as if he's enjoying the time of life he missed - being a puppy. He's now having the fun of being a kid that he missed when he was younger. A very important part of a dog's growing up is learning social structure.
I want to mention that to have good, safe and fun play like this it's best to manage your dogs and be a leader to them. Set them up for success. As said above Pit Bulls take direction well. Use that. Use it to guide them. Dog to dog play is fun when well managed and supervised.
Thanks Leo for coming from where you did and you're still so willing to show our lil one the ropes. What a good hearted soul!
Play on......and be who you are Leo ......we love you just for that.......
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
In rescue I work specifically with Pit Bulls. In my training business I work with all breeds specializing in dog to dog aggression. There is no “safe” breed to just let out and about in the hood. All dogs and all breeds of dogs will get into trouble without guidance and leadership. A common client I work with regarding this issue that get into trouble or are about to are Lab owners! Some folks think, “well he’s a Lab, he loves everyone, he would never do anything wrong”. Huh! Dogs + no management = trouble. This goes for all dogs of any breed. And we’re not talking BAD people here and we’re not talking criminals or bank robbers owning Pit Bulls. I’m talking about all breeds with very wonderful, kind and productive people that own them that think their dog can manage himself outside on his own. Huh, again!
Pit Bulls will often get more press and more blame than other breeds so it’s very important that you keep your dog safe and secure.
This is not a training tip but a life saving tip. Please go in your yards and check your fences. Lean on them and make sure that they safe and secure with no escape holes or places where your dog can dig out under.
Also, don’t leave your dog in the yard unattended he may do the “Great Escape” deal and slowly dig his way out in sections.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
My name is Noel , that's me with my sister, she has the speckled nose, her name is Holly. we are currently guests at the Humane Society Silicon Valley where we are hoping to find a new home. I wanted to take this last day of the Thanksgiving weekend to tell everyone how thankful I am for all of the people who try and make our stay at the shelter as fun as possible. And a special thanks to the Mike and Ali for letting me go on an outing today. Today I got to go to the park with my friend Mary from Our Pack. She forgot to bring her camera so we don't have any pictures of me at the park but it was such a nice day and so much fun to get out of the shelter for part of the day, I just wanted to share some of the things I saw and did.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We are very thankful that we have had the opportunity to help the dogs and give them a chance to be what they truly are inside no matter where they came from. We also want to thank the many wonderful people who have helped us to show these dogs for the loving creatures they are.
Marthina & Mary
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Huge dogfighting ring broken up in Harris Co., DA says
"These dogs were bred specifically to fight," Smith said. "And they were inbred back and forth. They are not pets."
and my brother Dexter
and I even try to be nice to Daisy who isn’t always too thrilled to have me around but she tolerates me.
I work very hard at the Cancer Center helping the patients forget their troubles for a few minutes at a time
And I’ve even gone to school to visit some kids?
Have I done it too well? Did people forget where I came from? Didn't they learn anything from my case? I wasn’t “raised” to be a pet, but I’ve tried really hard to become a good one.
Why won’t these other dogs get the same chance? Didn't we make a difference at all?
Former Michael Vick dog, Now a loving pet. (or so I thought)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I didn't write this but it was just too good not to share!
Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman, Child from Attacker
November 5, 2008
A dog came out of nowhere and stopped a knife-wielding robber from accosting a mother and her young son on Monday afternoon. (Pet Pulse Illustration by Tim Mattson)
PORT CHARLOTTE , Fla. -- The wandering 65-pound Pit Bull mix might have seemed menacing to some passerby, but one woman will always remember him as her "guardian angel."
The dog, which authorities think is lost and not a stray, successfully thwarted a robbery attack on a mother and her 2-year-old son, who were held at knifepoint Monday afternoon.
The Florida woman, who has been identified by authorities simply as "Angela," was leaving a playground with her toddler son in Port Charlotte when a man approached her in the parking lot with a knife and told her not to make any noise or sudden movements.
Angela didn't have to do either to protect herself and her child -- a dog mysteriously ran to the scene and charged the man, who quickly fled.
"I don't think the dog physically attacked the man, but he went at him and was showing signs of aggression, just baring his teeth and growling and barking. It was clear he was trying to defend this woman," Animal Control Lt. Brian Jones told Pet Pulse.
"I don't know what this man's intentions were, but it is very possible this dog saved her life."
The exceptional part of the story, Jones said, is that the dog had never met or even seen the people it quickly jumped to defend.
"You hear about family dogs protecting their owners, but this dog had nothing to do with this woman or her kid," Jones said. "He was like her guardian angel."
After the alleged thief ran away, Angela quickly placed her son, Jordan, in the car and tried to drive off. Before she could, though, the dog jumped into her backseat, waiting with her for the police and animal control officers to arrive at the scene.
The dog was transported to a local shelter and if his owners don't step forward within five days, Jones said, Angela and her family plan to adopt the savior she named "Angel."
Animal control officers and shelter workers believe Angel is lost, and not a stray, because of his good health, sturdy weight and mild temperament.
"It's funny, that someone's irresponsibility could have saved someone's life," Jones said of Angel's possible owners.
For Angela, it doesn't matter where the dog came from, just that he was there when she needed him most.
"I don't know what his [the thief's] intentions were -- I don't know why he did it, but I'm glad that -- we call him Angel -- I'm glad that Angel showed up because I don't know what would have happened," Angela told NBC2 News.
For a small town with a population of 46,452, animal control officers were kept busy Monday afternoon. Jones says they department also responded to a report about a boa constrictor in a church parking lot.
The snake found its way into a car engine and was able to be removed without being harmed. It took three people to move the massive, seemingly random placed snake.
"It's funny, because we aren't a big place," he said of the Gulf Coast town. "And we can go for four or five months without the media contacting us about a story. It's been a busy week."
Officers from the responding county sheriff's office canvased the area and were unable to locate the suspect described as being in his 20s, tall and dark haired.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Success of Michael Vick's dogs was not a fluke. It is based on the good temprements of the dogs. Sadly many fight bust don't get that chance.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I want to preface this by saying that I am not anti-breeding, but with breeding comes responsibility. Too often that is not what we see. Here is an all too familiar story of where those puppies come from that are advertised in the newspaper:
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Knoller testified at her trial that she did everything she could to save her neighbor. Woolard, however, concluded that she made only "minimal efforts" at intervention and "left Ms. Whipple in the hallway to die alone."She also said Knoller lied repeatedly in grand jury and trial testimony, has never expressed remorse and "blamed the victim" in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" 13 days after the attack. In that interview, which prosecutors played for the trial jury, Knoller said Whipple had ample opportunity to get back into her apartment and save herself.Monday's 25-minute hearing included a statement from Whipple's partner, Sharon Smith, who looked at Knoller and declared that more than seven years after "the worst day of my life and the last day of Diane's life, finally there is some justice."
Loaded weapons Knoller "valued her dogs over the lives of her fellow human beings," Deputy District Attorney Allison Macbeth told the judge. She compared the dogs to "loaded assault weapons" and said Knoller had allowed them to roam through her Pacific Heights apartment building with little restraint.Knoller, wearing orange jail clothing, looked straight ahead throughout the hearing and did not speak before being led away by guards. Her lawyer, Dennis Riordan, said afterward that she had numerous grounds for appeal. He cited the court's substitution of Woolard for the now-retired trial judge, Woolard's discounting of the judge's finding that Knoller hadn't known her dog could kill anyone, and a continuing dispute over the application of the murder law to such a case.The crime "is not and has never been murder," Riordan told reporters. He said Knoller's chance of success on appeal "depends on whether we get a judgment that's controlled by law or a judgment that's controlled by San Francisco politics."Prosecutors said it was the first murder conviction for a dog mauling in California history. Dogs owned by inmates Knoller and Noel had custody of the two Presa Canario dogs, which were owned by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison. On the day of the attack, Knoller took the larger dog, Bane, for a walk on the roof of the apartment building and returned to the sixth-floor corridor when the dog bolted away from her and attacked Whipple as she was about to enter her apartment. Bane's 100-pound mate, Hera, charged out of Knoller's apartment and may have joined the attack.Second-degree murderA jury in Los Angeles, where the trial was moved because of extensive publicity in the Bay Area, convicted Knoller of second-degree murder in 2002 and found Noel guilty of involuntary manslaughter for leaving the dogs with his wife while knowing she couldn't control them. Judge James Warren of San Francisco Superior Court, who presided over the trial, reduced Knoller's conviction to involuntary manslaughter, saying he believed her when she said she had no idea Bane might kill someone.But the state Supreme Court ruled last year that Warren had used the wrong legal standard in overturning the murder verdict. The court said prosecutors seeking a murder conviction for dog mauling don't have to prove the owner knew the dog was likely to kill, only that the owner had been aware the animal was potentially lethal and had exposed others to the danger.The court returned the case to Superior Court to decide whether to reinstate the murder conviction. Warren, who has retired, was willing to handle the case, but the court's presiding judge, Davd Ballatti, instead assigned it to Woolard. He said Woolard could focus on the case, while Warren had other responsibilities in his current job as a private arbitrator.Warnings ignoredAfter poring through the trial transcript, Woolard reinstated the murder conviction Aug. 22, saying Knoller had ignored warnings that the dogs were dangerous and had seen them attack and threaten other dogs and people.If the conviction and sentence are upheld, Knoller will be credited with the nearly three years she was imprisoned for manslaughter, making her eligible for parole in about 10 years.Woolard fined her $10,000 and ordered her to pay $6,800 out of her prison earnings in restitution to Smith.
E-mail Bob Egelko at email@example.com.
This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle'
It's amazing to me that after all of this time and how the dogs were clearly identified as Presa Canario's I still hear people talk about the "pit bulls" that attacked this poor woman. How damaging this case still is. How many times do we have to say that a pit bull does NOT weigh 100+ lbs? How many times do we preach responsible ownership and being aware of our dogs and what they are trying to tell us. They don't just "snap" and attack, they are always giving us signs and signals, we just have to be aware and listen to them.
After all these years...still so very very sad.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here's to you Spunky
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Hi, My name is Betty Boop. I am the first dog in an exciting new venture between Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue and Humane Society Silicon Valley. I am a young girl who came into the shelter as a stray and not too many manners. Everyone at the shelter loved me but didn’t think I would do well in the general adoption kennels. That’s where Our Pack came in. They had me meet two more dogs and thought I did a pretty good job even though I admit I maybe got a bit too excited, but they didn’t have a place for me either. Foster homes are really tough to find they tell me. Well thanks to the creativity of both the people at the shelter and the people from Our Pack they came up with a really good plan. I now “belong” to Our Pack, but I am still living at the shelter in my very special kennel until a foster home is available for little ol’ me. The Our Pack volunteers are making sure I get out every day and meet new people and see new things and my friends at the shelter make sure that I have a warm clean place to sleep. Today I even got to go to doggie school and had a play date with my new friend Dexter. It may not be perfect, but they say I’m doing really well and I’m determined to be a good role model for future dogs who may get this chance.
Thank you everyone for giving me this opportunity! I will try very hard to make you proud!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
One very nice woman came by and watched the class one Sunday and mentioned that she was terrified of dogs. I talked to her about dog behavior and showed her using the class dogs what certain body language in dogs could mean. She was very interested in learning and continued to come to class every week.
This Sunday was our Canine Good Citizen testing day. One of our CGC achievers was Maximus. Our very nice lady friend met this deliciously handsome and squishy kissable love boat and was amazed at how friendly, mannerly and truly wonderful he was. This seemed to melt her fears along with her heart.
So, DNA schmeeNA. Not saying it isn’t important and even critical to have this testing tool but until testing is perfected, more widely available and more economical, focus on the fact that dogs like Maximus continue to warm hearts and change minds is what it takes to build understanding about these amazing dogs.
Congratulations to Maximus and to all of the new CGC recipients!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Once upon a time there was a sweet little dog who found herself at the local shelter. She was one of those wiggle butts who says hey, pet me, come and see me with her entire body. Unfortunately she also had some spots on her skin so the shelter had to run tests to make sure she wasn't contagious. In the mean time most of her interactions were through the kennel but that butt never stopped wiggling.
Finally she was deemed to not be contagious but by then she was also full of unspent energy from waiting in the kennels. Let's just say that Heidi (which is what I had started calling her) did not have the best leash manners in the world. Can we say leash reactive??? In spite of this I convinced (ok, maybe begged just a little) Marthina to go and check her out. Gino the budda dog came along to see help with the evaluation. After a rough start she actually did quite well and into OurPack she came! She came into our foster program and we could all see her potential. She had great focus, when she wasn't doing the zoomies, and she won many hearts but she would take a special home who wanted to work with her and continue her forward progress.
Fast forward....a goofy choclatey brown pit bull named Choco and his mom and dad had been trying to find a new addition to their household. Look at this pooooor lonely guy. Well as luck would have it, they saw Miss Heidi's picture and thought they may make a good match.
Choco seemed to be head over heals for her
Thankfully his mom and dad were too!! It was such a good match for two goofy young dogs and fabulous pet parents.
We are thrilled to announce that Heidi is in her forever home...could it end any better!!
Thank you Alan and Celeste for giving our special girl such a perfect home!
pictures courtesy of Stephanie Lamm and Celeste Uy
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
We are so proud to have our webmaster as the "Picasso of Pets!" Without the very talented Stephanie Lam we'd be nowhere, no-how!
Check out this fabulous article in the Mercury News about this fantastic artist that we are so proud to have as a member of Our Pack.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Break out the streamers and balloons!! Zoe, our Missouri fight bust dog, has also just passed all of her tests for therapy certification. She now regularly visits a rest home in San Jose, California, and puts smiles on every face she greets.
Zoe came to us from the Missouri Humane Society (www.hsmo.org). This wonderful shelter took in dogs from a Stoddard County dog fighting bust late last year.
When we first got Zoe she was very shut down and wanted to approach everyone on her belly.…poor thing. But no more of that for this girl! Now, she’s very outgoing, loves everyone she meets, and has regained the inherent confidence that we see in these fantastic creatures.
If that’s not enough good news, Zoe was adopted recently by her foster mom, Cindy. Yay! We think these two are perfect for each other - as you can see in the photo. :)
Congrats to Zoe and her new mom Cindy!
Cindy on Zoe:
"I knew the moment Zoe was in my heart. About an hour after I brought her home for the first time, she crawled into my lap and let me hold her for over an hour. She leaned against me and I remember thinking, 'How could I ever let her go?' Shortly after that I was discussing adoption with Marthina, founder of Our Pack. Zoe gets along great with my 2 Labradors and has been a wonderful playmate to the new Pit Bull I am now fostering. "
How terrific is that!
Stay tuned: we have MORE fight bust dogs that will be certified and working as therapy dogs shortly. (Ya know, these dogs are simply cut out for this work). Their stories will amaze you!
Monday, June 16, 2008
What a treat! Mary Harwelik, Pit Bull advocate, trainer, expert, and founder of The REAL Pit Bull (http://realpitbull.com) shares her story with Our Pack! She's pictured here with her AmStaff, Luca.
Our Pack: You're a respected Pit Bull advocate and trainer. How did you get involved in dog training?
Mary Harwelik: I grew up around dogs, cats and horses. Animals have always been 'my thing'. I started training dogs when I was 7 and went to my first dog training class and graduated at age 8 or 9. Everything snowballed from there, and I branched out to working with horses, got more of my own dogs, did some showing (horse and dog), and eventually decided I wanted to be a dog trainer. I apprenticed with several trainers, taught some classes, and took private clients.
OP: What kind of training methods do you use?
MH: Back then I did heavy-handed traditional training. Eventually I 'crossed over' to using positive methods when I hit a brick wall with my AmStaff's dog-aggression issues. It became very obvious to me that there were severe limitations with traditional dog training, and that the techniques were actually making my dog worse. I dived into the new literature that was coming out, went to school to learn more about psychology and learning theory, and over a period of time, switched over fully to positive methods.
OP: So what have you been up to since?
MH: I've been taking on clients of my own since about 1999 or 2000, and gradually as the rescues in my area became familiar with me, I started doing training, post-adoption counseling, and behavior consulting for several. Working with rescue and shelter dogs immediately hit me as 'my true calling', and remains the work I enjoy most. In 2006 I started Peaceable Canines which offers dog training and other services geared at educating people on the true nature of dogs, clicker training, and of course I specialize in Pit Bulls and shelter/rescue dogs. I teach classes and private training, do behavioral consulting as well as Pit Bull consulting, in central NJ. I am a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, or CPDT, through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, as well as a Canine Good Citizen evaluator for the AKC. I also read like crazy and attend seminars - I am an info fiend! I am never satisfied with my level of knowledge, and always feel I have something more to learn.
OP: Wow! Sounds like your life has gone to the dogs. :) What would you say are your top priorities education-wise?
MH: I have two main missions in life: 1) to help end some nasty myths about dogs that lead to really unfair and severe treatment (like the 'dominance' myth, aggressive dogs need to be physically punished, positive methods only work on 'some dogs', pinch collars simulate a mother dog's teeth and 'don't hurt', etc) and 2) preach about Pit Bulls! I can do both through Peaceable Canines and I love it!
OP: So how did you end up specializing in Pit Bulls?
MH: My earliest memory of being aware of Pit Bulls was probably 18 years ago at a dog training class. One of the students had AmStaffs and a friend pointed out, "Those are Pit Bulls! They are so aggressive, with locking jaws!" and I remember thinking, "I can't believe they let those dogs in here!" as I grabbed my little terrier mix and pulled her close to me. I didn't think much about Pit Bulls for several years, but for some reason, one day, I sent for a magazine advertised in Dog World about the breed. To this day, I am not really sure what prompted me to do this. When I got the mag, it was one of those dog-fighter-in-disguise publications and I was HORRIFIED. I threw the magazine out. But something stayed with me, and I started doing more research. The more I read, the more enamored I became. And once I actually met some Pit Bulls, forget it, it was all over! I have officially been a Pit Bull addict since 1994 - I brought my first Pit Bull home in Sept, 1994. Pit Bulls have been The Only Thing That Matters to me ever since.
OP: They sure have a way of capturing your heart, don't they! But it must have been a long journey from buying that magazine to The Real Pit Bull - how did RPB evolve?
MH: I wasn't involved in Pit Bulls long before I realized just how confused the world was about the breed, and I started doing more research on BSL and figuring out how I could combat the fear mongering. I toyed with the idea of several organizations but they never got off the ground. When I got online in the mid to late 90's, I discovered a whole new world of Pit Bull people, fighters FOR the breed, and.....websites! It was such an education. And me being the writer and needing to speak my mind and my thoughts the way I do, thought that I could start a website about the breed with just some basic info and myth-debunking, that it would be fun and helpful, and leave it at that. I bought realpitbull.com and called my site The Real Pit Bull, and started writing. And never stopped! 10 years or so later, the site has grown tremendously, and I've turned an informational website into a breed organization.
OP: Did you realize what an important resource it was going to become? How did creating RPB change your life personally?
MH: I started getting invited to host educational breed booths at fairs, get tons of calls/emails from owners and others looking for breed advice and behavioral help, reporters looking for info, and requests for behavioral evaluations. All because of the exposure I was getting through realpitbull.com. Without really specifically looking to turn RPB into an organization, something more than a website, it morphed into one on its own.
OP: RPB really has become an irreplaceable fixture in the Pit Bull community. I hope you have help running all this?
MH: RPB is run by me and my boyfriend Scott Amorski, and we have several volunteers. RPB does breed education, provides free informational materials on the breed, offers training and behavioral help, counseling, etc. Our newest offering is CGC testing for Pit Bulls done at no charge for shelter/rescue dogs. I hope to see RPB continue to grow and our services expand.
OP: That's fantastic! Our Pack is thrilled to highlight the awesome work you do. Thanks for sharing!
MH: This work is something I love doing and the breed means more to me than I could ever express. Thanks for letting me share about my work with the breed and talk about RPB!
To learn more about The Real Pit Bull and the services it offers, visit the website at: http://realpitbull.com.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Again, we believe in angels. Gale Frey at Mutts and Stuff is one for sure. She’s been rescuing Pit Bulls for 7 years now. She recently worked with us on the Missouri fight bust case.
Check out her website and what she does. She’s awesome www.muttsandstuff.com
Gale also sent us this article as it’s hitting her literally where she lives. Please blog along with us. We’d like to hear your views on this topic. Click here for the article!
Thanks for all that you do Gale!