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5 years ago

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Last reply by Dianne Lynn : Some Things to Consider About Breed Specific Legislation Stories that cause people to seek out breed specific legislations are tragic BUT they involve individual dogs and are not representative of... more»
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We Love Pit Bulls

5 years ago

took pledge and signed

5 years ago

Took Pledge and signed Forcechane again Dear Diane :0:0 ... Wil Pray also Good Thread !!! Thank-You ...

5 years ago


Return Innocent Lost Dog to His Family - ForceChange
An innocent dog named Rocket has been kept away from his family for four months simply because he looks like a pit bull. He is now in danger of being put to death under Australia's discriminatory breed laws. Please sign this petition to save Rocket's life.
my petition on bsl
5 years ago

Pledge to Help Educate People on BSL Pledge to Help Educate People... Sign this petition to pledge to educate people on BSL.And spread the word on this very important... more»
signed: 582
goal: 800

5 years ago

5 years ago
Bloomfield grants pit bull a home once dog's 'adoptable'
Friday December 21, 2012, 5:36 PM
Bloomfield Life

Jeff and Diana Coltenback will be allowed to adopt Memphis the Bloomfield pit bull. Just not right now.

Jeff Coltenback can welcome Memphis home, once the pit bull is deemed adoptable.
Jeff Coltenback can welcome Memphis home, once the pit bull is deemed adoptable.

The Bloomfield Board of Health on Thursday authorized an agreement that would return Memphis to the dog trainers once the animal is deemed adoptable. The agreement doesn't specify a date.

After a long battle, including contentious public meetings, the couple said they are OK with the decision.

"It takes the pressure off everyone," Jeff Coltenbeck told Bloomfield Life after the meeting.

Memphis landed at the John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals after being picked up as a stray in February. Officials deemed the dog "unadoptable" after an evaluation. The Coltenbacks worked with the dog at their home last summer, but were asked to return him, accused of violating the contract for allegedly having the dog near children. The couple has denied that claim.

Memphis was relocated to South Dakota. The move was needed for additional training and due to threats toward the shelter, officials stated at the time.

At Thursday's Board of Health meeting, the deal was still in peril due to wording problems in the settlement. The board adjourned for about 45 minutes as the board and Coltenbecks met in private to hammer out an agreement.

The ordeal has inspired Coltenbeck to get involved in public service. He said he is seeking a Board of Health seat when it expires at the end of the year.

Management changes

On Jan. 31, 2013, the animal shelter will no longer be under the auspices of the Board of Health.

Tags:   Community  |   Pets  |   Pet News  |   Bloomfield  |   Essex

5 years ago

The Lexus Project, a non-profit legal defense team promoting animal welfare has filed a civil action against Bloomfield Township in the name of a pit bull named Memphis.

Jeff and Diana Coltenback, with their pit bull Amber, at  the 'Memphis Mile Dog Walk' on Saturday. A non-profit has filed a lawsuit on their behalf.
Jeff and Diana Coltenback, with their pit bull Amber, at the 'Memphis Mile Dog Walk' on Saturday. A non-profit has filed a lawsuit on their behalf.

The Lexus Project filed the lawsuit on behalf of Jeff and Diana Coltenback. The lawsuit alleges the township's animal shelter is not acting in the "best interests" of the dog. It asks for $1 million in damages.

"Yes it's in there as a trust violation," said Lexus' attorney Sandra K. Jones said in a telephone interview from her Exton, Pa., office. "The object for this is not money whatsoever. The object is to get Memphis back to Mr. Coltenback."

Memphis has been held at Bloomfield's John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals after being picked up as a stray in February. The township deemed the dog "unadoptable" after the dog was evaluated.

Jeff and Diana Coltenback are trying to adopt the dog after spending eight days training him at their home. The township asked for the dog back. At a board of health meeting in August, Karen Lore, Bloomfield's acting director of the health and human services department, alleged the Coltenbacks violated a written contract by having children near the dog.

Jones contended the Coltenbacks did not break a contract. Jones alleged the township broke the contract, because Jeff Coltenback was not present for an outside evaluation of the dog and was not "allowed to use his expert opinion" on Memphis.

"The contract said nothing about exposing the dog to anyone," Jones said. "In fact, it gave Jeff the training experience, it gave him the authority [on giving] his expert decision."

The lawsuit asks for an emergency temporary restraining order against the township, prohibiting it from euthanizing, selling or transferring the dog. It also asks that Robin Mittasch, a trustee of the Lexus Project, hold onto the dog in the interim.

A tentative court date is set for Oct. 5 at Superior Court in Newark.

"He shouldn't be kept in the shelter while Jeff is more than qualified to handle him," said Jones. "Unless Memphis is safe or with the Coltenbacks, we're not going to back down."

Tags:   Community  |   Pets  |   Pet News  |   Bloomfield  |   Essex

FROM 11/9/12
5 years ago

A judge threw out Friday a $1 million civil action lawsuit against the township of Bloomfield that would have brought Memphis the pit bullone step closer to being adopted.

Judge Walter Koprowski dismissed the suit, filed by the Lexus Project on behalf of dog trainers Jeff and Diana Coltenback, after he ruled the Lexus Project did not have legal ownership of Memphis.

The Lexus Project, a non-profit legal defense organization for dogs, had asked in its lawsuit that Memphis be placed in the care of Robin Mittasch, a trustee and co-founder of the project, Bloomfield Life previously reported. The suit also requested an injunction prohibiting the township from euthanizing, selling or transferring the dog.

"It seems to me that in order for the trust to have standing, there has to be an ownership right. And there is no ownership right … that can be proven," said Koprowski in general equity court Friday morning.

Memphis, a stray dog found in Bloomfield in February, has been in the control of Neighbor to Neighbor Network, a volunteer branch within the Department of Health and Human Services, since September.

The pit bull has been at the center of a months-long battle between the township's Board of Health and Coltenbacks after the dog was taken away from the dog trainers. Memphis had been ruled unadoptable for now after undergoing evaluations by dog behavioral experts.

According to Jones, Memphis is being held in South Dakota, though details on his condition and exact location are not known. Until now, the pit bull's whereabouts had not been disclosed.

Steve Martino and Ronald J. Ricci, the attorneys for Bloomfield township and the Board of Health, respectively, had asked the lawsuit be dismissed because the town has no control over the health department, an autonomous entity.

"The township has no jurisdiction over the dog, health department or animal shelter," said Ricci.

After the hearing, Martino said the dog will remain at the current facility until it is trained to be adoptable.

Jones said further legal action may be pursued for the Coltenbacks to adopt Memphis. But she said she feared the pit bull could be euthanized now without an injunction to protect him.

The Coltenbacks, as well as a handful of Memphis supporters wearing gray and red "Save Memphis" tee shirts, were present in the general equity court for the 50-minute hearing Friday morning.

Jeff Coltenback said he felt "disappointed but not discouraged" by the judge's ruling Friday and vowed to continue to fight for Memphis.

"I've been speaking up for dogs for forever. This one (Memphis) obviously is a lot different," he said fighting back tears. "It's not going to stop us. This is my life. It's what I do – dogs are my life."

FROM 10/2/12
5 years ago

The latest in the Memphis the pit bull saga has the Bloomfield council and Board of Health (BOH) once again pitted against each other.

In a letter dated Oct. 1 and addressed to Mayor Raymond McCarthy, BOH attorney Ronald J. Ricci accused the council of "overstepping its boundaries and passing resolutions which support a group who is threatening and defaming public employees and the animal shelter under the control of the Bloomfield Board of Health."

The council last week passed a resolution proposing the township's attorney draft some sort of settlement, Bloomfield Life reported, to end a months-long feud between the township, BOH and dog trainers Jeff and Diana Coltenback, who wish to adopt the dog.

Memphis, a gold-colored pit bull found as a stray, has been at the center of Bloomfield brouhaha since he was taken in by the town's John A. Bukowski animal shelter in February.

A $1 million civil action lawsuit has been filed by the Lexus Project against the township on Coltenback's behalf, though the Bloomfield resident said he is not listed as a plaintiff, according to Bloomfield Life.

BOH has filed a motion to dismiss that suit because it "lacks any merit," according to Ricci's letter. The mayor read the letter aloud at Monday night's regular meeting, jammed with dozens rallying for the adoption of Memphis.

On Sept. 20, BOH unanimously voted to place Memphis under the control of the Neighbor to Neighbor Network, a volunteer branch within the Department of Health and Human Services, which moved the dog to an undisclosed area. That decision, the letter stated, was "based on the fact that Memphis underwent three separate evaluations by dog behavior experts. All three evaluations indicated that Memphis was not adoptable at the present time."

The Department of Health and Human Services, overseen by the BOH, is an autonomous department that manages the town's animal shelter.

Over the summer, Memphis had been taken in by Coltenback, who specializes in pit bull rehabilitation, but was returned after he was accused of violating his contract by allegedly having the dog around children. Coltenback has vehemently denied those claims.

"No one was ever in harm's way when we had him and no one will ever be in harm's way if we get him back," he said Monday night, adding that he did not know where the dog was being held.

He said the first hearing of the Lexus suit, originally scheduled for Oct. 5, has been postponed to Nov. 9 in Essex County Superior Court.

"We just want the dog back," said Coltenback.

For several consecutive weeks, supporters of Memphis have picketed outside town hall prior to council meetings wearing "Save Memphis" tee shirts and waving signs. The story of Memphis has become somewhat of an internet sensation, inspiring Facebook groupsand online petitions with tens of thousands of signatures and drawing support from overseas.

But back home, it has sparked vicious behavior, with several residents accusing others of slander and making threats. McCarthy Monday night denounced the circulation of doctored pictures of Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Karen Lore and public comments made against her.

"This is just not right to try to do damage to somebody," said McCarthy. "I'm not taking sides. This is (about) protecting Karen."

A handful of speakers pleaded with the council Monday night to finally put an end to the Memphis madness.

"I see our town getting torn apart to shreds over this," said Joe Del Guidice. "This is starting to become a cloud that encompasses everything else."

Meanwhile, others called for the council to take action against the BOH, an appointed board.

"You guys appointed the Board of Health, you can dismiss the Board of Health," said Pat Gilleran to the council.

5 years ago

we are still fighting for memphis and here is my petition link,and also some info on him since the start of this whole mess


Allow Memphis to be Adopted by Jeff Coltenback Allow Memphis to be Adopted by...   Memphis appears to be yet another... more»
signed: 1,686
goal: 3,000
5 years ago


5 years ago

Over the weekend, I was saddened to hear the news that Leo had died of natural causes. 

Leo is one of 51 dogs rescued from Mike Vick's dog fighting operation.  Unlike almost all bust dogs before him, and because of the work of many advocates around the country, Leo was given a second chance. While other bust dogs have for decades been systematically killed and deemed "unable to be rehabbed", the dogs from Vick's operation were given a chance for an evaluation.

Nearly all passed their evaluations.

Leo was one of about 20 that were sent to various rescue groups for rehab.  And his successful rehabilitation is truly an inspirational success story.

Leo quickly adapted to his new, good surroundings, and became a therapy dog. For the past few years he has been visiting schools, and cancer patients, serving as a therapy dog. In the process, he touched a lot of lives.  And in the process, he changed a lot of them too.

It was through the successful rehabilitation of Leo and several others, that a lot has changed for bust dogs over the past 3 years.  HSUS, who should have been advocating for the dogs for years, had recommended they be killed without an evaluation. However, after seeing the successful rehabilitation, finally changed their tune.  They've helped change the narrativeabout 'pit bull' type dogs in this country -- and the role environment plays in their behavior.

So, today, it is sad to write about dog that's life ended too soon -- but it's a happy story. One of rehabilitation, second chances, and making the most of them. It's about a dog with a tough life that managed through it to improve the lives of others. It's about a dedicated trainer and rescuer who worked to help make it happen (thanks Martina).  And it's about leaving a legacy that really has made a positive impact. 


Click Here for a video of Leo in Action

Click herefor a blog post about Leo from Our Pack, the group that rehabbed Leo.

December 16, 2010 It's a good thing HSUS believes in rehabilitation

Yesterday, the animal welfare community shuddered.  Twice.

The shudder was when the headlines came out that Mike Vick, who had been involved in a dog fighting operation and served 19 months in prison in connection with his dog fighting operations, announced that he would really like to have a dog again.

Apparently his daughters miss having a dog and it's hard telling his daughters that he cannot have one any more because of his actions.  This certainly isn't the first time Vick has said these sentiments....but it was probably the first time his words appeared in mainstream media.

For Vick, it's hard to have empathy. Clearly he was involved in cruelty to dogs, and the act of torturing and killing dogs.  At some point you have to accept that your actions were so terrible that you lose the privilage of participating in that activity again.  Vick has regained the opportunity to play in the NFL. He has regained the opportunity to be cheared by thousands of fans (even though many sports fans disagree with his 'right' to do that). He has regained the opportunity to make large amounts of money. But giving him the opportunity to own a dog again sort of fits under the same idea of allowing a child molester the opportunity to work at a daycare or a drug addict to have a job as a pharmacist.

You just have

5 years ago

2012 Year in Review -- Top 10 Posts of 2012

It's been a heck of a year at the KC Dog Blog. Thanks to everyone who is a regular reader, commenter, participant, and sharer of the information on this blog -- whether you read the information here, or follow the blog on Twitteror Facebook.  You all make this blog what it is and thank you for your ongoing support.

Below are the 10 most popular blog posts from 2012 -- based on information from Google Analytics.

 1) On December 6, word came out that authorities in the community of Sikeston, MO were rounding up pit bulls from their community and taking them to the local shelter. The shelter director there moved 30 dogs to other shelters to make room for the expected roundup. Later reports showed a discrepency between what city officials said their intent was, vs what was reported (by multiple sources) -- and many believe the city backed down after more than 1000 letters from Misssouri Residents were sent. Either way, this storywas the #1 most popular story on this blog this year, and the subsequent updatewas #2.

2) Lennox, the dog, is dead -- the power of Channeled Passion-- in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a dog named Lennox was seized from his owners for being an illegal American Pit Bull Terrier. The owners fought for 2 years to save Lennox's life -- but Lennox was killed by the local authorities. There was anger from around the world -- and it is this channeled anger at owned family pets being killed by public officials unnecessarily that is a product of the change in how pit bulls are viewed around the world -- as pets.

3) Breaking down the numbers on last night's lost vote in Miami-Dade -- Miami-Dade has one of the longest-standing bans on pit bulls in this country, and local officials took the issue to a vote in August to see if the ban should stay. The vote to repeal the law failed, but was always destined to. People in Miami haven't seen a legally owned pit bull in their community in more than 20 years, so their image of the dogs isn't one based in reality, but only on what they see from the media. However, the longer voter education efforts went on, the more people who got on board with the repeal, meaning that knowledge can overcome ignorance in this fight. Prior to the law going to a public vote, it nearly was forced upon them by the state legislature -- and should have been, as much of the initial law was built on inaccurate information.

4) Identifying Mixed breed dogs is easy-- This blog post promoting a survey by Maddie's Fund to see how effectively experts can identify dog breeds compared to DNA testing was the 4th most popular blog post of the year. The results of the studyare here.

5) Shooting the messenger-- This was some commentary regarding the ongoing debate between the Center for Consumer Freedom and the Humane Society of the United States and the reality that when CCF attacks HSUS, HSUS NEVER disputes their claims, only points out what CCF stands for.

6) Hidiing behind the word "adoptable" -- earlier this year, Springfield, MO was claiming that the shelter had been operating for nearly 4 months as a "no kill" shelter. However, further looking at what is really happening shows that the community shelter doesn't even attempt to adopt out any animals, and actually refuses to allow 'pit bulls' or feral cats to leave the shelter alive -- and just simple calls them "Unadoptable" and kills them. So while the shelter was calling themselves "no kill", they were declaring nearly 40% of their shelter population "Unadoptable" and hiding behind the word. That's not what no kill is.

7) Compassion (and have we lost it when it comes to people)-- My wife and I came across a young man who was distraught over the unfortunate death of his dog that got loose and was hit by a car -- and I was saddened to think that of how judgmental the animal welfare community could be to a man in this situation, instead of sympathizing with him for this loss.

8) Breed Specific Law in Ohio is no more -- Ohio has for years been the only state in the US in which specific breeds of dogs were targeted under state law (whereas 13 states prohibit the practice of targeting specific breeds). In February of this year, the state law was changed to target dogs

5 years ago

And the list keeps rolling in.

Per Jodie Pries at Bless the Bullis, Lebanon, Ohio has repealed their breed-specific law with a unanimous vote. Their new law takes a breed-neutral aproach to declaring dogs dangerous based on behavior that is modeled after the state law. Their old ordinance was enacted in 1986.

Meanwhile, Allen Park, MI has also repealed their breed ban. The cold city law, passed only a few years ago, declared that all 'pit bulls' had to be killed immediately by the shelter -- and breed ID was determined solely by the shelter staff.

However, Allen Park is now joining four other cities to form the Downriver Central Control Animal Shelter. In order to make things easier for Animal Control, they wanted the five cities to all have uniform animal control laws, so Allen Park had to repeal their law. Said City Attorney Crhis Forsyth:

"The reason for the repeal is to comply with other cities, but your vicious animal ordinance will still allow you to enforce anything needed with pit bulls."


Congrats to two more cities that are moving forward without their breed-specific laws.

5 years ago


Thinking Of You Daisy Gray Comments

This post was modified from its original form on 04 Jan, 19:41
5 years ago

Working on a thread with a list of all we have lost in 2012 to BSL,Anyone any ideas...please let me know

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