Friday, January 27, 2006

Colorado editor endangers lives by publishing the addresses of registered pit bulls

Click the headline to read the outrageous story.

Here's the synopsis: Kathy McIntyre, the editor of the Commerce City Gateway, published the addresses of the town's 24 registered pit bulls, stating that it was the only way to keep the citizens safe from a possible attack.

I've been doing research on dog attacks myself, and it would have taken this "journalist" about five minutes to discover the following:
1. People who are keeping dogs for criminal purposes don't register the dog.
2. The chances of a pit bull attack are incredibly slim: New York City estimates their pit bull population at roughly 350,000. If these dogs were innately eager to attack innocent people, there would be thousands of maulings each year in NYC. From 1965-2001 there were 19 fatal dog attacks in the State of New York. Less than one per year. But for arguing purposes, lets pretend that those fatal attacks all took place in New York, and that they all involved pit bulls. And lets pretend that the dogs live forty years, so that all of these fatalities can be pinned to those 350,000 pits in NYC. Using these exaggerated statistics, an individual pit bull has a .005% chance of being involved in a fatal attack. In reality, the risk would be far far less.
3. One of the most common causes of fatal dog attacks, regardless of breed, are intruders on the property. (A related factor is ANY dog kept tied in a yard.) By publishing these addresses and targeting these properties, McIntyre has elevated the risk considerably.

Frankly, I can't believe someone so irresponsible has a job. If you are interested in contacting her, McIntyre's information can be found in the comments section.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

An hour with Cingular

I just spent an hour on the phone with Cingular, because once again, nearly every call I try to make is a disaster. This weekend I had a phone interview with a reporter who had to call back five times before finally giving up on my cell. Others in the past few weeks have called and received a message that "the number you are calling is no longer in service." Yet Cingular--who first advised me to get a new phone, and then to trade that new phone in when it didn't work--now says that there is nothing they can do, but that I will be held to my contract and assessed a penalty for cancelling my service. Of course, I asked to speak to a supervisor, Xavier Graham, and when all he could do was read from the prepared customer service script, I asked for another supervisor, and got Rashad Goggins, who screamed at me and put me on hold before coming back with a very soft voice and telling me that it was my fault for not cancelling my contract sooner. When I said that I had been assured the problem was fixed, and only now was discovering that it was not, he didn't care. Of course, why would he?

The most amusing aspect of all of this was when they noted that I'd used 800 out of 2000 minutes that I'd paid for. Therefore, they say, I must have a working phone. What they didn't want to discuss was how many of the minutes were calls to customer service. I'd guess about 240 minutes minimum.

Second most amusing aspect: At the end of the call, Rashad said, "Don't hesitate to call again."

Yeah, right.

The Impartial Media

Yesterday on Piety Street there was a van with an Impeach Blanco sticker on the back and a satellite dish on the roof.

On the dashboard was a highly visible NBC News placard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Booklist reviews "The Dogs..."

Foster, Ken. The Dogs Who Found Me: What I’ve Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind. Mar. 2006. 240p. Lyons, paper, $12.95 (1-59228-749-2). 636.7.

Foster believes that dogs are like tattoos: they leave an indelible mark. His warm, candid, and unusual account of his experience in animal rescue is not sentimental about the hard work of saving dogs but rather confident, reflecting his belief that taking action on behalf of abandoned dogs is the right thing to do. Foster enumerates some of the ways people consistently do wrong by these wonderful animals and explains that rescued animals often have physical and behavioral problems, making them difficult to care for. But that, he concludes, is the point. Without knowing the outcome or what resources will be required, you take on the task, and you are a better person for it. Even if, or perhaps especially if, you have a sudden heart problem and must face Hurricane Katrina, as Foster and his trio of dogs did with the help of friends. Animal rescue efforts may be small in the eyes of the world, but to a redeemed animal, they are the world. —Pamela Crossland

Monday, January 23, 2006

"The Dogs Who Found Me" Cover Art Arrives; Sula's professional modeling career begins

The Dogs Who Found Me
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
Is this the most gorgeous pit bull ever? Hmmm...let me think about it for a minute.

Here is Sula on the cover of "The Dogs Who Found Me." The porch belongs to Anne Gisleson and Brad Benishek. The photographer is Cami Johnson. I'm actually hiding behind the post, holding Sula's leash.

Doesn't it look great?