Canine Advocate by Melanie Coy en-us The Honor System Over the years, I have dedicated several entries to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and service dogs. It is no secret I am a defender of the ADA but the one area I have never shared has been those who depend on service dogs to not only get through daily life but to insure their very survival. Thanks to a young woman who boldly shares her story with the world, I hope to be able to impart why the protection of the ADA rules for service dogs is so critical. Drake and I have been... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 07:41:04 -0500 No Satisfaction Many people may consider the opportunity to say “I told you so” to carry some satisfaction. Is does not carry any for me. Representative Bruce Degroot, District 101 Chesterfield, has sponsored HB905 which would effectively eliminate the use of breed specific legislation in Missouri. The text of the bill is explicit in mentioning no community will be dictated to in the matter of animal control regulations except they must eliminate all breed language. As expected, the... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 07:38:55 -0600 How Sad The week leading up to last week’s entry, Targeting, began as a seemingly simple project. I was aware of a vast number of groups who have experienced this phenomenon but I was startled by how many came forward after the words were put to paper. During this week, more details regarding an assault against one of the groups being hit the hardest, have come to light. For some unknown reason, the aggressor seems to believe I hold the power to “make it all good” in her... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 09:22:09 -0600 Targeting With the outright stupidity of one of the comments tacked onto last week’s entry, it seems a flood of similar idiocy has been unleashed on the Pit Bull rescue network. As the dam broke, the “targeting” of legitimate rescues and Pit Bull fanciers is something far too many have been suffering for quite some time. What I am calling is targeting is the intentional attack on a Pit fancier with the hopes of some sort of profit. You see this media created frenzy has given... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 19:07:03 -0600 Raven, The Oppressed The title for this week’s entry is not my own. I borrowed it from a post on the Facebook page of Mac the pitbull. I fell in love with Raven the first time she showed up as a rescue with Mac’s Mission. In still photos you see a stunningly beautiful, little blue Pit who appears to be at the peak of health. Mac’s Mission has dedicated themselves to the dogs whose chances of survival in other environments are slim to none. Raven is no exception. This little darling... Sat, 04 Feb 2017 10:27:19 -0600 One More Time, Please Pay Attention It seems the issue of shelter/rescue responsibility for the destruction of the American Pit Bull Terrier will never end. Once again, a shelter in Los Angeles, has ignored the behavior of an ill-bred Pit resulting in the serious injury of one of their kennel staff. When the staff was asked, they confirmed there were many dogs with unstable temperament in residence including on the adoption floor. The shelter director herself could not be bothered to take the situation with either the... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:14:43 -0600 Getting Our Mojo Back After taking several emotional “hits” it is not unusual for individuals to feel their forward momentum has been thwarted. It is safe to say this has been the case for many of the trainers and advocates in our area. I take responsibility for a lot of the roller coaster highs and lows. I shared a dream of being able to turn our passion for dog training into a means of earning a living. The old saying goes; do something you love and you will never work a day. I believe this but... Sat, 21 Jan 2017 08:49:17 -0600 Purpose Bred Dogs In keeping with the “theme” of service/assistance animals there is a topic which will invariably come up, the matter of using shelter vs breeder dogs. This is a subject shrouded in a lot of good intentions but as much, if not more, misunderstanding of what a trainer looks for when evaluating a working dog, as the American’s with Disabilities Act itself. A couple of years ago, a friend and respected trainer of working/service/assistance dogs invited me into a... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 07:32:24 -0600 Business & the ADA Over the past few years I have posted entries describing what constitutes a service dog protected under the federal rules of the American’s with Disabilities Act. The rules of the ADA are in fact explicit but they are also very misunderstood. Because of a general lack of knowledge and understanding of these rules, we are seeing more and more flagrant violations by both the business owners and handlers who misuse the protections by presenting dogs who are not actual service... Sat, 07 Jan 2017 06:42:44 -0600 What We Allow 2016 ended with the dog world in upheaval over a ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling justifying the shooting of dogs during the execution of a search warrant. This case began when the owners of two dogs killed during a 2013 raid, sued the Battle Creek Michigan officers who shot one dog upon breaking through the front door of the home and basically followed the second to the basement where they killed her while she was just standing there in a side stance barking. The... Sun, 01 Jan 2017 11:06:20 -0600 With a Twist Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. In short it is a fear response to situations which cause a sufferer to “flash back” to horrors the mind finds impossible to come to terms with or even comprehend. PTSD is associated mostly with returning combat veterans but it is also prevalent in women who have survived rape and extreme abuse as well as child survivors of assault and abuse. No one is... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 06:32:44 -0600 Giving This is the time of year when giving is encouraged not only in the spirit of the season but by many accountants. From the accounting aspect, this is not a harsh consideration but a very realistic one. We all scramble to find ways to offset the pending tax season. It is impossible to turn on the television without seeing the push for annual giving to national organizations who profess to have the best interests of the animals in their “hearts”. They use photos and videos of... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 07:35:46 -0600 The Coming Together Christmas is just over two weeks away. As this year draws to an end it is natural to reflect on the roller coaster represented by 2016. The canine advocates had their hopes raised then dashed at the eleventh hour when the final committee hearing for HB1811 was cancelled. As the year progressed we fought to see vacancies in both the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate filled by those who represent legislation and the will of the people versus the politicians promoting business... Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10:35:23 -0600 Blind Stupidity During the Thanksgiving celebration, I was alerted to the fact several people I have held in high regard have aligned themselves with a group of animal rights freaks presenting themselves as champions for animal welfare. I do not know if it is my hatred of what animal rights represents or the disappointment in finding out those I considered to be of reasonable intelligence are stupid enough to fall for the lie. I do know the 2017 legislative session in Missouri will become a blood bath if... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 08:04:13 -0600 Let the Miracles Begin There is no denying shelters all feel a financial crunch during the best of times. For one shelter in our extreme boot heel area, a financial crunch has become a financial crippling of their efforts; or at least could have been crippling. The Caruthersville Humane Society has long faced a battle because they are in one of the highest poverty counties in the State of Missouri. Many would have counted their losses and closed their doors. You do not know the supporters of this shelter if... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 10:22:53 -0600 Why It Matters Staying in the theme of last week’s entry, I thought it would be beneficial to finish my thought on why mandatory spay/neuter is nothing more than another form of genocide. I stand in a different position than most of those involved in saving this breed in the fact that my background was influenced by the show ring. I am a true fancier, not just someone who has a Pit now but may have something else later. While I have had many single representatives of other breeds since acquiring... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 17:20:03 -0600 Liars, Haters & Animal Rights There are times when it is very difficult to tell the difference in those who are mentioned in the title in this week’s entry. You see they all have the same thing in common. They are all dedicated to seeing the genocide of the American Pit Bull Terrier. I had planned a very different entry this week and was planning to kick off a new series. After my conversation with an animal rights group during the 2016 Pet Expo, there is only one thing on my mind right now. With the... Sun, 06 Nov 2016 18:32:56 -0600 A New Day Dawns Today marks the final Sunday in the 2016 celebration of National Pit Bull Awareness month. For those of us in southeast Missouri this has been a time of renewing our dedication to a breed who has suffered at the hands of abusers, haters and liars. Last evening this remarkable month was marked by the coming together of activists from many different fields. Mac’s Mission hosted at bonfire at their planned new facility location. The entire event was made even better by the spirit you... Sun, 30 Oct 2016 10:16:21 -0500 Letís Review My only descriptive word for Saturday night is WOW. We did not have a huge attendance this is true but we had without a doubt a quality attendance. What I am talking about was the first celebration of the National Pit Bull Awareness Day on October 22. Safe Harbor along with Mutts N Stuff presented a showing of the film, The Champions. Cup ‘n Cork hosted the event and along with our guest speaker, Karol Wilcox of the Caruthersville Humane Society and a reading by Sharon Debout Carr... Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:46:15 -0500 When Arrogance Rules I have been involved in planning an event in honor and recognition of the National Pit Bull Awareness Day designated as October 22, 2016. During this preparation it has come to my attention the event has merit but due to the fact that it is being presented by Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in conjunction with Mutts n Stuff, the egos who want nothing more than the demise of Safe Harbor continue to manipulate those in a position to help promote this event. No one denies Safe Harbor has a... Sun, 16 Oct 2016 08:01:53 -0500