34,284 voters, or 35%, favored repealing the pit bull ban; 62,953, or 65%, upheld the ban.
AURORA, Colorado; RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif.––What did pit bull advocates do after losing their attempt to repeal the pit bull ban in Aurora, Colorado, by a 30% margin?
They figuratively set their dogs on the messenger, ANIMALS 24-7; others using the messenger service, in particular the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California, and the Home 4 the Holidays international adoption program it sponsors; and Blue Buffalo, a pet food maker whose only involvement was that it sponsors Home 4 the Holidays.
Among the 1.1 million shelter animals rehomed by Home 4 the Holidays in 2013 were an estimated 170,000 pit bulls.
Ads from the Helen Woodward Animal Center urging shelters worldwide to participate in Home 4 the Holidays 2014 had been published on the ANIMALS 24-7 web site since June 2014. The Blue Buffalo logo appeared in the ads, for which the Helen Woodward Center paid an introductory ad rate of $275/month.
34% of dog keepers voted for pit bulls
Final figures from Aurora, including votes counted after ColoRADogs conceded having lost in a landslide, showed that 34,284 voters, or 35%, favored repealing the pit bull ban; 62,953, or 65%, upheld the ban.
Of the estimated 100,441 Aurora voters living in households with dogs (42.5%), only 34% voted against the ban.
Pit bull advocacy web sites announced a boycott of Blue Buffalo for allegedly funding ANIMALS 24-7 barely three hours after ANIMALS 24-7 on November 5, 2014 bannered the Aurora outcome.
The boycott campaign contributed to boosting ANIMALS 24-7 readership to our second-highest weekly average yet. Comments posted to the ANIMALS 24-7 web site ran more than 10-1 against ColoRADogs and the boycott effort, but by 3:00 p.m. on November 5, Blue Buffalo and the Helen Woodward Animal Center were feeling the heat.
ANIMALS 24-7 will not promote rehoming dangerous dogs
First the Helen Woodward Animal Center asked ANIMALS 24-7 to replace the currently running ad including the Blue Buffalo logo with an ad which, in the unanimous opinion of our staff, featured a pit bull.
Responded ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton, “ANIMALS 24-7 will not accept an ad with a visual image that promotes adoptions of pit bulls, or any other dog breed that accounts for more than 10 times more dog attack fatalities, disfigurements, and deaths of other pets than would be proportionate to the numbers of that breed among the dog population. Promoting such breeds is why more shelter dogs have killed and disfigured people in 2014 alone than killed and disfigured people in the entire time from 1858 through 2009. We can publish an ad that shows any other type of dog, or a cat.”
Meanwhile, ANIMALS 24-7 removed the ad including the Blue Buffalo logo.
Helen Woodward Animal Center president Mike Arms replied that according to his shelter veterinarians, the dog in the new ad was not a pit bull.
Said Clifton, “Trying to pass off pit bulls as other breeds of dog is a frequent contributing factor in the human deaths, disfigurements, and deaths of animals (about 6,800 last year alone) resulting from humane societies promoting their adoption.”
Arms offered to substitute an ad featuring a kitten. The offer was accepted. The kitten ad was prepared on the morning of November 6, 2014 and posted at 12:10 p. m., but pit bull advocates continued to pressure Blue Buffalo and the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
E-mailed Arms at 12:54 p.m., “We are being harassed. We will see how long we can hold out.”
At 1:06 p.m. Arms e-mailed again. “I really don’t know what caused all of this hatred,” Arms said, “but now our phones are ringing, our social media is being attacked, and our sponsors are being attacked, so I must ask you to remove our ad. I have the organization and sponsors to protect at this time. Please bill us for anything that we owe, and I hope that all of this gets straightened out in the near future. Can you please remove the newest ad as soon as possible.”
E-mailed Clifton, “What caused all of this is quite simple: bullies created bully breeds, and bullies favor them. What you are experiencing is nothing new here; I have experienced it often since 1988, when I first published the data on pit bull attacks over the preceding six years. Ironically the first two callers in 1988 who gave their names were both later attacked by their own pit bulls, and by 1994 were both victim advocates.”
[The data log first published in 1988, begun in 1982, has now been maintained for more than 32 years. See “32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks, http://wp.me/p4pKmM-Ky.]
Meanwhile in Connecticut, Blue Buffalo continued to hear on the one hand from pit bull advocates responding to a coordinated social media campaign, and on the other, from customers who had heard about it through the grapevine and spontaneously defended ANIMALS 24-7.
By the time ANIMALS 24-7 became aware that anyone was countering the pit bull advocates, 41 of the 108 postings visible on the Blue Buffalo Facebook page favored us––and this was after the pit bull advocates had a head start of more than 24 hours.
Posted Blue Buffalo, “We’ve been hearing from a lot of passionate pet parents over the last few days regarding the placement of an advertisement for the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays Adoption Campaign on certain pet advocacy sites. We ask you to please keep the following in mind:
“1. This is an advertisement for a pet adoption campaign sponsored by Blue Buffalo. The goal of this campaign is to find forever homes for one million dogs and cats before the end of the year. Our sponsorship and support is for this adoption program, not for any site on which the program might be advertised.
“2. It is not our place to choose sides or influence this debate. We respect the well-meaning intentions of the pet parents on both sides of this issue.
“3. While we appreciate the passion displayed by everyone who has weighed in, we feel that the BLUE Facebook page is not the proper venue for this debate. This page is dedicated to the celebration of ALL dogs and cats and the special connection we feel to our pets as pet parents.
“Thank you for your continued support. Please take a moment to learn more about the Home 4 the Holidays Adoption Campaign here: http://www.animalcenter.org/home4theholidays/.”
ANIMALS 24-7 is not a “pet advocacy site,” but rather a news web site providing independent professional coverage of the humane community worldwide.
Our introductory ad rate is still in effect for advertisers joining us before the end of 2014, but will be substantially higher in 2015, reflecting our increase in readership.
They really are bullies and act as attack animals in the most robot of ways,i am talking about the owners and the fighting breeds they love are just as bad.
What a bunch of sore losers.
Terry Ward says
We should stop being surprised by this stuff.
If we step back and consider every animal issue what we see is a war of fundamentalism.
Exactly as in human issues.
Fundamentalist vegans, fundamentalist Winogradians, fundamentalist TNR fundamentalist anti-breeders fundamentalist dog-trainers and now a Pitbull jihad with fundamentalists on BOTH sides of the issue and the list goes on…
Any attempt to argue a middle-ground will get you summarily whacked and worse.
Expect more to come, and worse until humanity works itself out of this dark phase.
Molly T says
Pit Bull advocacy = sore losers + bullies. Accept it, most people don’t like your dogs and do not want to see them in their neighborhoods.
seems pit bull owners are worse than the pit bulls. Maybe Aurora voted to ban pit bulls because they don’t want those kind of bullying people as neighbors? I know I wouldn’t.
animals24-7 should find sponsors that are comfortable being against pit bulls.
Supporting laws demonstrated to protect people, animals, and pit bulls themselves is “being against” pit bulls in the same way that supporting a law against keeping tigers as pets is “being against” tigers.
Harassment campaigns are a standard strategy of pit bull advocacy. A number of pit bull advocacy mailing lists instruct subscribers to bombard anyone perceived as being “against” pit bulls with angry e-mails, comments, and phone calls. The pit bull advocates who engage in these campaigns have said quite plainly that this is done to create an illusion of mass public support for pit bulls.
Countless examples exist:
After being asked by their own constituents to consider restrictions on pit bulls, legislators have found themselves inundated with angry, threatening e-mails and phone calls from NONconstituent pit bull advocates. In many cases, people who live hundreds of miles away threaten not to vote for them if they favored any restrictions on pit bulls.
“By the time I’d received more than 600 responses to my column, it was clear I was the target of a standard tactic: If someone criticizes pit bulls, mobilize and bury the critic in a flood of responses.” http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Supporters-of-pit-bulls-won-t-let-go-2629841.php
“Pit bull partisans have plastered our web sites with so many comments of this type in reaction to any and every story mentioning the words “pit bull” http://www.1041kqth.com/news/141957593.html
Similar harassment campaigns against companies and celebrities include:
Petco, for not allowing pit bulls in doggy daycare (pit bull rescue organizations typically recommend against taking pit bulls to dog daycare or dog parks).
McDonalds for suggesting that eating a chicken nugget is less risky than petting a stray pit bull.
Walgreens for selling “Pit Bull” brand self-defense spray.
A toy company for manufacturing plastic keychains shaped like pit bulls.
Kelly Ripa, for an offhanded comment that the type of dog owned by a gangster would be a pit bull.
It is clear that the traffic on Blue Buffalo’s Facebook page and the angry e-mails the company has received are part of one of these campaigns and not a result of genuine, “organic” customer feedback.
How is this not similar to an organized criminal organization? I’d advocate for RICO being used against these pit bullies who harass victims, businesses and organizations.
Either way, BB loses customers….if they had kept the ad, they’d lose pit bull customers. If they withdraw the ad (as they did), they lose us.
Better to lose the pit bull customers, which is unlikely anyway. its a rare day a pit bull owner will spend the extra for premium food., especially when the vast majority don’t even bother to get the most basic of vaccines for their dogs safety.
Jamaka Petzak says
I’m frequently harassed online by these bullies. Thank you for continuing to disseminate the FACTS and to stand up against these people, who are at best ignorant and at worst, proponents of dangerous dogs.
Clova Abrahamson says
The controversy over the breed identification of dogs which are involved in fatal attacks.could be resolved with mandatory DNA testing of the dogs involved.
While mandatory DNA testing of dogs involved in serious and disfiguring attacks might not be feasible ecause of the number of such attacks, it would seem that a series of high quality pictures of the dogs involved – photos that would not be limited to just a face shot, but face shots from various angles and body shots – both frontal and side views, could go a long way toward more secure identification of the breed makeup of the dog in question. Additionally, it might be possible to find individuals or organizations willing to pay for the DNA tests in some of the dog attacks. All I am saying is that we have more technology than is being used to settle the issue of was the attacking dog a pit bull dog or pit bull dog mix or not.
Merritt Clifton says
First of all, identifying the genetics of dogs after fatal attacks occur does nothing to prevent those attacks from occurring. Second, DNA tests are somewhat like bifocal lenses: at close range, DNA tests can reveal who the parents of any given person or animal were, and at long range, over thousands of years of evolution, can reveal species and subspecies differentiation, but DNA tests do not accurately reveal breed or race, since breed and race distinctions are neither as specific as individual identity, nor as broad as species and subspecies characteristics. Mars Veterinary, the major manufacturer of canine DNA tests, distributes them with the disclaimer that “Due to the genetic diversity of this group, we cannot build a DNA profile for the pit bull. Any pit bull type breed tested using Wisdom Panel™ MX Mixed Breed Analysis is likely to reveal a combination of several breeds.” The same can be said for at least half of the other widely recognized dog breed categories. Third, apparently because DNA tests often produce widely varied genetic profiles even of the same dogs when those dogs are repetitively tested, pit bull advocates often argue that breed-specific legislation should be based on DNA testing. Of note, though, the ASPCA Shelter Research and Development department in 2013 funded a study in which the Richmond SPCA and the Mars Wisdom Panel compared shelter workers’ evaluations of 91 dogs with pit bull characteristics to the results of DNA testing. The researchers expected to find, based on the DNA results, that dogs visually identified as pit bulls were often something else. In actuality, though, 96% of the dogs identified by shelter workers as pit bulls had the genetic traits of Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and American bulldog as either their first or second most prevalent set of genetic markers.
I’m for DNA testing, but not in an attempt to prove breed. I think near relatives of maulers/killers have a much higher chance of mauling or killing as well. We’ve already seen it with a recent killer bull mastiff and his litter mate.
I don’t think it would take long to prove that at LEAST owners of near relatives can be assumed to “know’ their dog is at risk, therefore be required to provide a higher standard of care in dealing with the dog.
If enough data is acquired that proves a family link, then it would be that much harder to deny a breed link.
Google ‘pit bull DNA’ test’ and click on any chat forum and you’ll see pit owners laughing as their dogs come back as Irish setters and greyhounds. http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php/8975-Anybody-done-the-DNA-breed-test
I guess it’s easier for the nutters to blame groups/businesses that have nothing to do with their loss, than realize that people really don’t want to live by maulers. their only victories come from corruption and politicking, they never win by their own merit. They can’t go up against the actual public.
We should thank them for telling everyone that those of us pro BSL people “made this happen”, when in reality, the public was likely to vote to support the ban anyway. I am sure Daxtons friends ads and stuff helped, but it was in no way a single handed victory. it took many hands.
I don’t think that they’ll lose customers over this one way or the other, not enough to matter anyway. I’m planning to try BB just because they’re the target of pit bullies. I can’t blame them for removing the ad. Those nutters are crazy. They’ll ruin your life or business if they can. A $250 ad simply isn’t worth that hassle. Pit bullies’ behavior actually reminds me of what GLAAD (gay/lesbian) supporters do whenever anyone makes a comment they find offensive. I’m not against their goals, but I don’t approve of their bullying tactics. They’re the people who always speak out against the bullying of gay youth, then they use the same tactics against their enemies. The hypocrisy of it pisses me off. Pit bullies are worse, but thank god they aren’t that big.
Have you considered using Google Ads on your site instead? I do really well with those on my site.
Best wishes to you. Your site is a valuable resource.
Coloradogs started this attack by their own admission.
Coloradogs run by Nancy Tranzow organized this hate attack on an animal shelter and a sponsor, and an adoption program, and animals may die because of it.
The animals lose.
The PIT BULLS lose too.
This is scorched earth industry lobbying.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. After Aurora citizens told Nancy Tranzow and her pit bull industry machine their message, Nancy was interviewed and has vowed to keep harassing Aurora and that she and her industry “have a few tricks up my sleeve”
You have a blatant admission of tricks, but there’s been a trail of those anyway every step of the way.. Tranzow herself doesn’t matter. Just another front person for the industry. There are lots of them. Many others are too. She’s one in a crowd..
The point here is what is behind the attack on the Helen Woodward Animal Center. It’s the same lobby that initiates, organizes, and joins these types of attacks all over the net. From the dog fighters in Stone Mountain, Georgia, to the pit bull breeders from everywhere who are taking advantage of the promotional marketing by advocacy, to the AKC and general breeder and puppy mill lobby that partners with them, to the deranged sucked in or hired that seek any opportunity to hurt anything..
I’m sure many people have seen these groups’ constituents posting comments on these kinds of organized hate attacks when they pop up in the media
They all get to hide their financial interests behind curtain of feel-good pit bull “advocacy.”.
So who coaches these breeders and dog fighters on their dirty tricks tactics?
The breeder industry has many expensive and politically connected leader lobbyists, and one is Richard aka Rick Berman who runs the Center for Consumer Freedom or CCF.
CCF is a a lobbying front group for agribusiness, factory animal farms, big farming and big livestock industries and conglomerates (as opposed to family farms and local farming)
The dog breeding industry, including dog fighting, is part of the agribusiness lobby.
Look on all kinds of puppy mill industry, dog fighter, pit bull breeder, Petland, AKC associated lobby information, and they tell the world about their association with Rick Berman and CCF. He organizes their lobbying and teaches them how to do it, and what dirty tricks to play.
This has been going on since the breeders organized their first dedicated pit bull advocacy front groups with tricky names, to distract and hide, such as “Responsible Dog Owner” organizations and groups.
Behind all the local tutu-parading pit bull advocacy mini groups, behind the more recent sponsored HSUS and ASPCA pit bull posturing, lies the real machine of pit bull and breeder industry interests.
So if you wonder where people like Tranzow and all the other little people and foot soldiers of the pit bull lobbying war machine get their cues for this kind of attack actvity, here is where they originate- Rick Berman and CCF. The tricks get passed through the main body of the breeder and agribusiness industry and threaded out to the false front “expert” leadership lobbying organizations with their professionals-for-hire, down through the small tentacles of the smaller state and little local pit bull advocacy groups (who often attend Bermanistic lobbying training sessions at the intermediary leadership and foundation businesses)
Take every reference to how MADD and the other victim and consumer advocacy targets were attacked, and now apply it to pit bull lobbying.
Berman runs every lobbying campaign for every industry he works for in the same way, and Helen Woodward Animal Center and Blue Buffalo is now feeling the effects of those lobbying.tactics and tricks filtered through the activity of various pit bull “advocacy” fronts.
The animals, including the pit bulls, are feeling it too, and it hurts them the most of all
Nevada wrote “After being asked by their own constituents to consider restrictions on pit bulls, legislators have found themselves inundated with angry, threatening e-mails and phone calls from NONconstituent pit bull advocates. In many cases, people who live hundreds of miles away threaten not to vote for them if they favored any restrictions on pit bulls”
The threatmakers include industry people from OTHER COUNTRIES.
These other countries also have dog fighting and breeding industries and they work with American lobbyists.
American pit bull breeders and dog fighters have an active underground sales trade economy with dog fighters and breeders in these other countries, for example, New Zealand and Australia, just to name two.
There is a reason that pit bull lobbying foundations sponsor puppet animal control officers to travel and give “advocacy” and lobbying trick and tactic lectures to Australia dog fighters and breeders..
Warren Cox says
Wouldn’t it be great if all the critics would band together and get all the pit bulls spayed or neutered so we wouldn’t have to argue about ordinances and fighting with each other? A problem could be solved without much delay if all the protesters would get active in a positive manner…
Sorry you and others are taking so much needless heat.
How is this different than BSL advocates going after businesses that are against BSL? Same thing.
Merritt Clifton says
There has never been an organized campaign by proponents of breed-specific legislation “going after businesses that are against BSL,” let alone “going after” businesses whose only involvement in the issue is to advertise pet adoption events such as Home 4 the Holidays in news media that promote effective public and animal safety legislation — which requires breed-specific restrictions based on actuarial reality, like it or not. There are, however, now many dozens of examples of dog attack victims suing businesses, veterinarians, and animal shelters for failing to adequately protect them, their animals, and their loved ones from fatal and disfiguring unprovoked dog attacks. The average reported payout has been in six figures; seven-figure payouts are increasingly common. More than 90% of these attacks have been by pit bulls, bull mastiffs, Rottweilers, and their close mixes, who together make up less than 9% of the U.S. dog population.
Thank you for all you do! thanks for having the integrity to stand firm for the good of all animals.. including human ones!