On August 16th, 2014, Daxton’s father, Jeff Borchardt, completed a lengthy blog post explaining how the pit bull lobby operates and is funded. He wrote it with the help of other victims advocates from the Victims Of Dangerous Dogs Advocacy Network. This blog post will simply highlight some of the key points of his research.
or follow this link if you are reading this:
If you are an elected official and are about to vote on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I wrote this blog for you. You especially need to read this blog in its entirety
I hope by putting this all in one place, it will shed some light on the pit bull advocacy and ITS bias.
Jane Berkey loves pit bulls so much, in 2013 she contributed $2,850,000 of her family’s money to Animal Farm.
If you also go through the 990’s for 2012 and 2011, Jane Berkey gave $1.5 million in 2012 and $1.5 million in 2011. Her brother (Andrew Saul) gave $155,323 in 2011 as well. What an odd amount. This is on page 15 for all three years if you would like to see for yourself.
The pit bullery connections are incestuous
That last mascot may or may not seem strange to you. But I guess it would if you knew more about the pit bull advocacy. The sculpture of Jane Berkey’s deceased pit bull was made by Tim Racer. Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds are completely out to lunch when it comes to pit bulls. They are a childless couple who founded BADRAP (Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls) They have recently posted on their Facebook page debunking the “Nanny Dog” myth.”
The NCRC was founded by Karen Delise, a former vet tech, who wrote a book purporting to show that pit bulls get “a bad rap” and “it is all how you raise them.” The NCRC was subsequently acquired by Animal Farm Foundation which is a pit bull rescue and advocacy group whose mission statement is: “securing equal treatment and opportunity for pit bull dogs” http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/pages/About-Us-Mission-Statement
The National Canine Research Council is an LLC. However, they can set up a 501(c)(4) “Action Fund” for lobbying and to influence legislators.
Now that Jane Berkey has acquired the NCRC as an LLC, their donations are not tax-deductible, however, they do not have to disclose who their donors are. Now that the NCRC has an action fund, Jane Berkey is free to use her money to influence lawmakers and protect the pit bulls from breed-specific legislation. (BSL)
The action fund claims to have influenced Ohio to drop BSL for two different years. I wonder if Ohio legislators knew who and what they were dealing with when they stripped hundreds of jurisdictions in their state of their right to keep their citizens safe from a known and well documented dangerous breed? One thing is for sure: The more we let pit bull apologists and special interest groups that only have the interests of animal welfare in mind, public safety will continue to fall by the wayside. The more we allow special interest groups to influence legislators, the more maimings, maulings and deaths of humans and animals we will endure. Many jurisdictions in Ohio that already had BSL were grandfathered in and allowed to keep the bans. Other cities, like Reynoldsburg, recently upheld their pit bull bans despite more than a year of pleas from pit bull advocates.
When VanKavage worked for the ASPCA she drafted “Anna’s law.” The law was in honor of Anna Cieslewicz, who was killed by pit bulls while jogging in the Dan Ryan woods in Chicago. Anna’s Law had nothing to do with BSL. It is mostly concerned with feral cats and medical care for pets of low income residents. For the law to be named after a victim of a brutal pit bull attack that was jogging in a park, is insulting to say the least. The law flew under the guise of public safety but was the exact opposite.
Since the passage of HB 14 in 2012 Ohio has had nine fatal dog attacks. Historical note – in the previous 25 years Ohio had six fatal dog attacks. HB14, sold to foolish legislators as “finally giving dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs” is an epic fail. Here is another historical note, HB 14 was written by Ledy VanKavage’s staff at Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Kanab Utah, the deal was brokered by private citizen and pit bull advocate Jean Keating, and pushed through the Ohio Legislature by Keating’s personal friend, Representative Barbara Sears assisted with a media blitz by the Toledo Blade. All these facts come from documents obtained via public records requests.
NCRC is a business lobbying group just like a tobacco lobbying group, producing propaganda to protect financial interests and obscure dangers and negatives.
Karen Delise looks at newspaper photos and shockingly, she can’t identify the dog as a pit bull. She sends the photos to Amy Marder DVM (a breeder of showdogs so I’m told) and shockingly, Marder can’t ID the breed either. If you shop around the AFF site and the NCRC site Marder’s name turns up, she is one of the happy AFF gang. Delise’s analysis of fatalities is driven by Jane’s agenda. Nothing is a pit bull despite the police reports, media reports, neighbors and even the family itself. Karen has never been able to show any documentation that is unavailable to anyone else. She has Jane’s money, files a freedom of information request for police records and public records. I have seen some of the records she works from and she skews facts. There is no doubt about this. Carol Miller put some examples in her letter to the Annals of Surgery, published on DogsBite.org. In my next segment I will highlight how Karen Delise contacts dog owners and asks for registration information. It will be interesting to see what she does with the Derouen case. The dog’s pedigree was easily available online, it was a pit bull. Pit bull advocates were claiming that the papers were falsified even though the dog looks just like the sire and dam. If the owners can’t produce breed registration papers for the attacking dog (which only about 40% of owners of dogs have) then they say the breed is “indeterminate” no matter how obvious it is to everyone what breed the dog is.
Yes, law enforcement and animal control and dog owners are all on record calling the dog a pit bull and the NCRC says breed can’t be determined? Oh how convenient! Having it be not determined does three things for them:
- It allows them to say not that many pit bulls are killing people.
- It allows them to say this is not a breed centered problem or that breed is a factor at all.
- It adds more fuel to their theory that pit bulls can’t be identified. It’s a circular argument used to prove itself.
The NCRC is a business lobbying group funded by another pit bull business lobbying group. Karen Delise prepares lobbying propaganda for an industry. These are common in the business and commercial industries. Business lobbies produce “information” that relates to profit interests, and that creates a bias that can be exploited with falsehoods and deceit issued in propaganda, which is why people need to know that they are dealing with information from a business lobbyist so they can understand influences that can alter the facts or information. It’s called disclosure. Failing to disclose is deceitful.
Let’s take a closer look at this myth that a pit bull cannot be identified without the use of DNA tests:
And that science will begin with the Mars Wisdom DNA test. Let’s see what that company has to say about their DNA test, shall we?
Let’s look at the results with the information that the testing company provided to us:
1. significant Boxer with some Bulldog
2. distant traces of Smooth Fox Terrier
3. significant Chihuahua with some Cocker Spaniel
4. some Rottweiler and Boston Terrier
5. some German Shepherd Dog and distant traces of Affenpinscher
6. some Chinese Shar-Pei and distant traces of Rottweiler
7. some American Staffordshire Terrier and Australian Cattle Dog
8. distant traces of Basset Hound, Dalmatian and Pug
9. significant American Staffordshire Terrier and distant traces of Boxer
10. some German Shepherd Dog and distant traces of Basset Hound, Norwegian Elkhound and Samoyed
11. distant traces of Basset Hound, Dalmatian, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier
12. some Rottweiler and distant traces of Clumber Spaniel, German Wirehaired Pointer and Newfoundland
13. some Boston Terrier and distant traces of Bulldog
14. distant traces of Borzoi, Brussels Griffon, Dachshund, English Cocker Spaniel and Samoyed
15. some Boxer and distant traces of Bernese Mountain Dog, Briard, Dalmatian and Welsh Springer Spaniel
16.distant traces of Beagle, Boxer, Bulldog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Dalmatian, Mastiff and Whippe
Breed identification DNA tests are a sure-fire way to make money for those who sell them, including veterinarians who are paid for product endorsement.
But do they work?
No. In fact, the results shown here are common: a pure-breed dog comes back as being a vague pastiche of three or four breeds.
Breed DNA tests are not too different from Gypsy Fortune telling, Fortune Cookies, the I-Ching, Numerology and Tarot Card reading: If you give a vague-enough answer, the believers will rationalize whatever result you give them, pounding the square peg into the round hole.
Please pick out a dog show to attend. Any dog show. They are held in every state, every weekend . They are all judged on a visual identification system. Every dog show ever held has been judged on a visual identification system. Judges not only identify breeds but also minute deviations from breed standard. Watch the judges work. Humans are capable of this and do it all the time. You can pick out a Poodle or a Pug, Irish Setter or Wolfhound, Corgi or Chihuahua but you have difficulty identifying a breed that you state is anywhere from 5% to 40% of the dogs in America? The material that I have linked to is very clear that the ASPCA is telling us that their shelter volunteers can correctly identify pit bulls 96% of the time.
Here’s the point: The NCRC uses the DNA when it is convenient to do so. It knows full well that the test does not test for “pit bull” and will often pick it up as other breeds, but it does not tell its readers. It then uses the mix of other breeds to declare the dogs not pit bulls. Then it uses this sham of an experiment as cited research in their fatality reports to prove they can’t identify pit bulls.
Karen Delise’s letters to victims AFTER they decide to speak out
About one week after Colleen Lynn, Susan Iwicki and I released “Beyond the Interview – Father Of Child Killed By Babysitter’s Pit Bulls Speaks Out After Attack”, Karen Delise from the NCRC wrote the following letter to Susan Iwicki:
The terms “resident dog” and “family dog” are a creation of Karen Delise with the Jane Berkey controlled NCRC. But it would seem to me that unless Karen Delise was living with the family, observing the dog 24/7 from the time it was a puppy, she is absolutely full of shit. This all goes back to the pit bull apologists excuse “It’s all how you raise them.” Excuse me, Karen Delise? How in the world can you scientifically PROVE how a “dog was raised?” Science is based on what we can prove, not YOUR assumptions. And believe me when I tell you, pit bull apologists make some pretty broad “assumptions” when apologizing for pit bulls.
DogsBite.org/ NCRC side by side comparisons
Stacey Coleman – Executive Director of the AFF and NCRC
Stacey Coleman identified herself as executive director of both the National Canine Research Council and Animal Farm Foundation in her testimony before the Maryland legislature. In her testimony, she identifies the AFF as an animal welfare organization, but neglected to mention that AFF specifically advocates for pit bulls. http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/files/Coleman_Maryland_Testimony_6_19_2012.pdf
Much of Coleman’s testimony rests on NCRC studies, and much of her testimony can be legitimately called into question with some research. For instance, Coleman makes a reference to “controlled studies have not identified this breed group [i.e., pit bull] as disproportionately dangerous.” in an AVMA study. However, there is no citation for this statement referring to these studies in the otherwise heavily cited and sourced AVMA document. I hope research is done to provide a good frame of reference for the NCRC claims and that readers of this blog recognize that the NCRC was created by a pit bull advocate, (Jane Berkey) is currently owned by a pit bull advocacy organization, (Animal Farm Foundation) and is not an independent research council on “dog matters.”
Organizations like DogsBite.org and DaxtonsFriends.com are the ONLY nonprofits committed to putting the safety of HUMANS before DOGS, as we are the ONLY source of information on this topic that is not OWNED, CONTROLLED, or FUNDED by DOG breeders, OWNERS, VETERINARIAN or ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS.
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19th century. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.
The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6. The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.
The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
Pit Bull Terrier Family