A Critical and Objective Analysis of the Facts and Myths Concerning Pit Bulls
by J. Thomas Beasley
$3.99, Kindle; $6.99 paperback. 140 pages.
Order c/o http://www.amazon.com/Misunderstood-Nanny-Dogs-Objective-Concerning/dp/150872671X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427737549&sr=8-1&keywords=nanny+dogs
Reviewed by Merritt Clifton
Says the biographical statement on the PRWEB announcement of publication of Misunderstood Nanny Dogs?, “Jesse Thomas Beasley was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia but moved to New Orleans in 2001 to pursue a law degree from Loyola University. Jesse is now a permanent resident of New Orleans with his wife and three children, and has a small private law practice, focusing on public interest advocacy for economically challenged clients.”
Unlike practically everyone else who has written much about pit bulls, Beasley has neither had a pit bull nor been attacked by a pit bull, nor lost another animal to a pit bull attack. As an attorney, Beasley has occasionally represented dog attack victims, but the dogs were not pit bulls, and the attacks were magnitudes of order less severe than the March 2013 pit bull attack on Linda Henry, of Westwego, Louisiana, that led Beasley to spend 18 months researching and authoring Misunderstood Nanny Dogs?
Henry was mauled in her home by three of her own four pit bulls, whom she had raised from puppyhood and treated as family.
“Ms. Henry lost one eye, an ear, and both limbs had to be amputated,” Beasley recounts. But even that appalled Beasley less than the “blame the victim” attitude he saw soon afterward among other pit bull enthusiasts, who were anxious lest Henry’s injuries cause Westwego to ban or regulate possession of pit bulls.
A lifelong social justice advocate, Beasley soon recognized disturbing patterns in pit bull advocacy that he had encountered in other causes. Among them was misappropriation of the posture of victimhood by people who are in truth the offenders, whose dogs oppress, terrorize, and frequently kill and maim others. Vilifying actual pit bull victims, for instance, pit bull advocates term anyone who favors proactive legislation to prevent attacks a “hater.”
Eventually Beasley discovered DogsBite.org, founded in 2007 by web site designer Colleen Lynn.
“In an ocean of organizations, lobbyists, and animal rescue groups loudly defending dangerous dogs, DogsBite and Colleen Lynn are a welcome and much needed voice for victims of violent and deadly attacks,” Beasley writes. “Albeit enlightening, it is difficult to comprehend the absolute venom that is directed at Ms. Lynn and her charity organization by people who oppose any restrictions on dogs. Her name is like a battle cry to the anti-breed specific legislation crowd. This woman was attacked by a dog, and she fights for other victims of dog attacks, yet her largesse is met with intense and often hateful vitriol.”
As an attorney, Beasley represents some clients himself, but most of his workload, he told ANIMALS 24-7, consists of writing briefs for other lawyers. His specialty is reviewing the often heavily Germanic and/or Latinate corpus of case law, untangling the often complex threads of testimony, and weaving them back together into tapestries easily understood by judges and juries.
In Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? Beasley takes much the same approach to reviewing the arguments for and against pit bulls. He pays particular attention to self-contradictory claims, for example the contention that old photos showing pit bulls with small children accurately represent the nature of pit bulls, while old photos showing pit bulls tearing each other apart and new photos showing human victims of pit bulls do not.
Barely 25,000 words in length, Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? is Beasley’s summation for the jury of the preponderance of evidence. Beasley provides extensive footnotes for those wishing to further investigate the data he summarizes, but avoids becoming bogged down in detail. Beasley’s intended audience is not the handful of people who are experts about dog attacks, but rather the vast majority of Americans who have not experienced the difference between a pit bull attack and the biting behavior of practically any other dog, yet are now asked to participate in relevant public policy decisions.
Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? should be on the reading list for every town council member, state legislator, and editorialist addressing breed-specific legislation, and would be appropriate reading for animal shelter staff as well, especially the 40% whom one recent study found would lie about a pit bull in order to rehome the pit––at cost to public trust in the entire animal sheltering industry.