Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Yes, our 2014 Calendar is out! This year we sponsored a contest looking for pit bull saints from
The Sula Foundation shop, or on Amazon.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
As we get ready for our first summer clinic, we invite you to join us by donating toward one of our clinic services. For just ten dollars, you can sponsor a heartworm test; for $15 a city tag; for $75 or $100, a spay or neuter surgery.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
We've gone shopping for billboards in Westwego, and if we get enough donations, we'll be able to mount a billboard campaign before they continue their discussion of breed specific legislation in July. Here's a link to donate:
Monday, June 3, 2013
We've been in the news the past few days as several local television stations have featured reports regarding proposed breed specific legislation in Westwego. The legislation has been prompted by an incident in which a woman was seriously injured by dogs that were kept in her house for the purpose of breeding. It was an exceeding rare, extreme incident, but one that is now jeopardizing family pets who have no history of causing anyone harm. While the mayor of Westwego has been quoted saying that he doesn't believe there is any law that can be created to keep people safe from their own dogs, councilman Glenn Green has been vocal in the media about his intention to create an ordinance that singles out pit bulls and their owners. One of the proposed requirements is a special insurance policy--so special, in fact, that we haven't yet found anyone who actually offers it in the state of Louisiana. Without this non-existant insurance, owners of any "pit bull type" dog will have to surrender the animal. Because Westwego has no animal control officers, the enforcement will fall upon their police force, who remain untrained in dealing with, or identifying animals. The burden of the cost of sheltering and euthanizing the animals in Westwego will be taken from the Jefferson Parish animal shelter budget, resulting in reduced resources for the rest of the parish. And the result will be that no one is any safer than they were before.
New Orleans recently enacted a breed neutral dangerous dog law that keeps its residents safe from dangerous dogs of any breed. We'd like to see Westwego adopt a similar law--one that can be enforced and effective. We were pleased to be asked for our opinion in some of the recent news coverage regarding the Westwego proposal, but disappointed that the coverage ultimately focused on the sensational aspects of this tragic, isolated incident rather than promoting a discussion of effective laws. We've reached out to the council in Westwego, but remain unconvinced of their interest in seeking out effective policy. Below you will find the text of the letter we have sent to them. We hope you will also reach out to share your thoughts will them; it is important that they hear from rational, level-headed people who understand that focusing solely on breeds will not keep anyone safe. You can read the New Orleans ordinances here; and you can find the contact information for Westwego city council here.
Like you, we were alarmed with the news of the recent, extreme attack on a Westwego woman who was sharing a home with a pit bull breeding operation. Contrary to suggestions occasionally made by non-experts on broadcast and print media, science shows us that the behavior of "dangerous dogs" can not be accurately predicted by breed or appearance. All dogs - from a Chihuahua to a Rottweiler - can be a menace to a community if they are not properly socialized by the humans that own them.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Center for Disease Control, the American Kennel Club, the ASPCA and countless other professional organizations agree. The CDC, often misquoted in these matters, does not support breed profiling, also known as breed-specific legislation (BSL). After years of study, the CDC concluded that many other factors mark the probability of a dog displaying inappropriate aggression: reproductive status, heredity, sex, early experience, and socialization and training.
70% of all dog bite cases involve unsterilized male dogs, and an unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than a neutered dog. 94% of all dog related human fatalities in the United States involve unsterilized canines. Dogs kept tethered in a yard account for 25% of all fatal attacks.
More particularly, several recurring claims in the media have absolutely no basis in fact:
*Pit bulls do NOT have "stronger jaws" than other breeds; all dogs, on average, have a bite with 320 pounds of pressure per square inch.
*Pit bulls do NOT have "locking jaws"; the University of Georgia found that there were no differences in jaw structure between pit bulls and other dogs
*Pit bulls do NOT attack without warning; a study by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover, Germany found that "pit bulls signal like other dogs."
Breed specific laws inevitably punish the responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs. Meanwhile, criminally irresponsible owners will continue to endanger the community, either with their "banned" breed, or another breed altogether. For example, studies conducted in the United Kingdom following their ban of pit bull type dogs found that the ban had absolutely no effect in controlling the number of dog bite cases each year.
Cities and municipalities that have enacted breed-specific laws have been surprised to discover the cost involved in trying to enforce it. In Denver, the city shelter has been scandalized by enormous kill rates and faced multiple legal cases regarding their seizure of dogs who may or may not have been pit bulls. Another side effect of breed specific legislation is that it encourages homeowners insurance and landlords to reject pit bull type dogs, which in turn leads to higher numbers of abandoned pit bulls wandering the streets and filling the local shelters.
More recently, several European countries, including the Netherlands and Italy, have lifted decades old breed legislation after concluding that it had no effect on reducing the number of incidents.
The city of New Orleans recently enacted a strong, breed-neutral dangerous dog law that focuses on the behavior of dogs and their owners, rather than vague physical characteristics. We urge you to consider this type of action, which would keep your residents safe from all dogs, not just a particular breed.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss this further; we have a number of colleagues on the national level who would be happy help draft effective legislation.
The Sula Foundation
On a lighter note:
After a late start last year, we're already on track to get our 2014 calendar out at the start of September. The theme this year is "My Pit Bull is a Saint," and entries are welcome from all over the world. You can enter your dog's photo (high resolution please, no Instagram) and describe the miracles he or she has performed at The My Pit Bull is a Saint 2014 Calendar contest. We've got some great entries already, and each one dollar vote supports our low-cost clinics, training and spay/neuter.
With sincere thanks to all you,
The Sula Foundation
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Sula Foundation recently conducted an informal interview with Rooney’s fabulous and extremely dedicated foster dad, Gabriel. We hope you enjoy the informative (and lighthearted) excerpt included below. There are so many wonderful dogs in need of homes throughout New Orleans. The dogs are diverse; they are smart. They are deserving of a loving home. Competition is high -- this is one explanation as to why Rooney has yet to be adopted. Another reason might be – that he is such a large dog in stature, and needing of a strong (and smart) handler, or that he’s roughly four years old, and no longer a puppy.
Or perhaps, Rooney is living proof -- Sometimes… the best really is saved for last. Right? Then it goes without saying we are extremely eager to meet Rooney’s forever family – because they are going to be good folks with a bright future. No doubt.
|Rooney on Instagram (and on a car ride too.)|
SF: How would you describe the perfect home for Rooney?
Gabriel: Rooney, like any other human (or dog) needs love and attention. He will benefit greatly having another dog and/or someone who can exercise him (jogging, dog park, walks, etc). Rooney is a versatile dog. He loves his kennel which makes any home transition easier. For the past few months he has been primarily an inside dog with a clean record (no #1 or #2)
SF: Would this home have other dogs? Cats?
Gabriel: He gets along great with other dogs unconditionally.
SF: Share with us something we wouldn’t expect from Rooney.
Gabriel: He can be intimidating at first because of his muscular physique. But like a Chihuahua, he's not aware of his looks or size. He is extremely sweet and will cuddle/lick any given chance.
He is also bilingual (English and Spanish)
SF: So he's bilingual AND he knows the merengue... now THAT is something!
SF: What is your favorite aspect of Rooney’s personality?
Gabriel: Rooney is loving, sweet and can definitely chill out when it’s time for downtime!
SF: Does Rooney have a favorite toy?
Gabriel: Hands down…tennis balls
SF: If you had to guess, what would be Rooney’s ideal way to spend an afternoon.
Gabriel: At the dog park
|Now THOSE are some "Puppy Dog" eyes.|
SF: What about Rooney’s sleeping habits? Does he snore? Does he steal the covers? Is he a bed hog?
Gabriel: Rooney sleeps in his kennel -his choice. Occasionally he'll nap in the laundry room (where it’s darker). He snores sometimes. He hasn't been allowed to jump on furniture or beds but I would guess he would be a bed hog if given the opportunity. Haha.
If you want to learn more about Rooney, please email us at email@example.com and we'll happily arrange an opportunity for you to meet this incredible canine creature. We love him and think you will too.
(Gabriel is also available to answer any questions you have - about anything and everything Rooney. Just ask.)