Daxton’s Friends News

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(8:07) – Susan Iwicki, former pit bull owner:

“The whole time it’s happening you can’t….believe it’s possible. You start reacting. You just keep trying to get him out of that situation.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


 (8:54) – Jeff Borchardt:

“And then he told me, the dogs bit Dax. The ambulance is there. He’s being transported to Mercy, and so we’re going to met him there. At that point, I mean, I was like, they bit him. You know? It’s a dog bite. I’ve been bitten by dogs before. How bad can it be? He’ll be OK.”

Mark Kelley:

“But when Jeff arrived at the hospital he quickly learned this wasn’t just any dog bite.”

Jeff Borchardt:

“So they brought me back there and the nurses were giving him CPR. I looked down at him and he was stripped naked. I mean, all of his clothes were ripped off. His face was just gone. I mean, from here down was just mangled. I mean, it was so bad. And…and just blood everywhere. I was just screaming at the top of my lungs, OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?! My wife was just silent. She didn’t say a word. She just sat there holding his hand.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(10:54) – Jeff Borchardt:

“There was nothing she did wrong. You know? She raised them right. Didn’t abuse them. You can look in the police reports and it says the dogs were in good health, good condition. You know? From all accounts from the neighbors they were raised really good, they were friendly with other dogs. Played with other kids before. I mean, they were good natured dogs until the day they weren’t.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(11:18) – Susan Iwicki:

“Who wants to even admit for a second that their family pet could kill one of their family members? Who wants to for a single second that that’s possible? Think that could be a reality? I know I certainly didn’t. I never would’ve imagined for a million years before this. That my dog, my pet, would attack me and kill a child.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(11:50) Mark Kelley:

“But as we’ll show you, after every death, maiming or mauling attributed to pit bull type dogs, there’s an instant campaign to do damage control.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(13:24) – Jeff Borchardt:

“I was giving pit bulls a bad name just by having my son killed by one. It was even before I started anything in the advocacy work. It’s almost a religion to these people. They see their own family dog and they just can’t imagine in their wildest dreams that it could turn and kill someone, another family member.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(14:13) – Jeff Borchardt:

“Since my son was killed, there’s been 103 Americans killed by pit bulls, since my son was killed in 2013. 103. Just by pit bulls. More than all other breed types combined.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(16:52) – Mark Kelley:

“So I asked her (Ledy VanKavage) about the tragic death of 14-month old Daxton Borchardt, the little boy who was ripped from the arms of his babysitter by her two supposedly family friendly dogs. Was that fake news, too?”

Ledy VanKavage (Senior legislative attorney for Best Friends Animal Society):

“It is very, very tragic, but most of the dog related fatalities involve unsupervised children. I don’t know what happened that day.”

Mark Kelley:

“She was holding the child at the time.”

Ledy VanKavage:

“You know, I don’t know if the child was crying, I don’t know the history of the dogs.”

Mark Kelley:

“But if the child WAS crying?”

Ledy VanKavage:

“Well, you know, like, it…it…it….”

Mark Kelley:

“What kind of dog would attack a child?”

Ledy VanKavage:

“A dog that’s unstable. And there are dogs of any breed that are unstable just like there are people of any race that are unstable.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(18:01) – Dr. Michael Golinko. (MD) Director of plastic surgery at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas:

Mark Kelley:

“In your professional opinion, do pit bulls and kids mix well?”

Dr. Golinko:

“No. No. I’d like to say they do, like I said, I’m a dog lover and I’d like to say every dog gets along well, and they may mix well with adults or other breeds but I think there’s just too much of a risk from what I’ve seen. I kind of advocate for that or kind of sanction that.”

“What makes the pit bull different is it would bite and it would keep on attacking and again as we said in multiple anatomic locations more than two to three times more likely AND any kid that went to the operating room, half the time, ONE HALF the time it was a pit bull, and the other half the time it was every other breed you can think of. So to me that said an overwhelmingly preponderance of data. Saying something is going on here and we can maybe intervene.”

Mark Kelley:

“And this isn’t your opinion?”

Dr. Golinko:

“No. This is the data.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


Mark Kelley:

“Pit bull advocates dispute this. They point to analysis by The National Canine Research Council, which is run by a pro pit bull foundation, that claims ‘there’s no reliable evidence that demonstrates a link between breed and fatal dog bites.’ They also claim that ‘pit bulls are routinely misidentified as the guilty party.'”

Mark Kelley:

“How were you able to identify whether these were in fact pit bulls that had attacked these victims?”

Dr. Golinko:

“That’s a great question. It was pretty much by…because the majority of the biting dogs is either a family dog or a dog known to the family…meaning moms, boyfriend or ex-husband brings over a dog or grandma brings over a dog. It’s typically a dog the child is familiar with in most situations.”

Dr. Golinko:

“The solution is simple. Ban them. If you could prevent one death or one tragic injury where I don’t have to take a kid’s skull apart in the operating room because of a terrible bite then that would be worth it.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(29:22) – Brandi McNeely (pit bull whistle-blower/Vet tech and 15 year shelter worker) 

“We started fabricating stories. Exaggerating abuse and things like that. To try to sell them, basically. We started writing dog bios, and you want to focus on the good and use new words. Instead of saying ‘dog aggressive’, we would say ‘dog reactive’ or ‘dog selective’, which means he only attacks SOME dogs, not all. They wanted you to play with these new words so that way you could kind of give the information in a very deceiving way, and then pass it along to the public that thinks, ‘Oh, I’m just getting a dog that sometimes doesn’t like all dogs, so I’ll just do slow introductions.’ When reality is this dog wants to KILL other dogs.”

“One of the big strategies, especially with problematic dogs, is that you’ll see them move them around. Even in my area, they consistently move them around. Paper trails don’t follow these dogs. People think if the dog bit, like this piece of paper follows them wherever they go. It does not. You ship them around, move them around, try to drop the paper trail. You’ll see them rename the dogs several times. You’ll see the same dogs pop up on different websites with different names as time goes on because they’re just trying to lose the paper trail.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(38:09) – Vadnais daughter, Emily, has never spoken about her mother’s death until now:

“Even a year after it may seem long for a couple of people, but for us family, we’re still in total shock. We’re still reliving every moment. We have a hard time talking about it together. It’s upsetting. For them (pit bull advocates) it’s maybe just one person who died, for me it’s my whole world and it definitely opened my eyes to every other victims and I read a lot. We obviously don’t have a voice as loud as they do (the pit bull lobby) but we’re definitely there and we’re hurt. All that we want is safety to be number one priority, human safety.”

Watch the full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(39:46) – Brandi McNeely, the former shelter worker and whistle blower says politicians must stand their ground:

“It’s always a bad idea to have animal groups make laws about public safety. Public safety groups, really, need to do that. But for some reason every time they want someone to talk about animal laws, they call in animal groups. Doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Watch full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(40:13) – Dr. Michael Golinko, the plastic surgeon in Arkansas, whose treated so many children mauled by pit bulls, says the issue isn’t about the freedoms of personal dog owners, it’s about public safety and life and death.

“Would I miss the pit bulls or would people really miss the pit bulls if they were banned? Maybe for a little bit, but probably not. You know, there was a time in America when nobody was wearing seat belts. Then you made everyone wear a seat belt and for a little while there was some push back, but at the end of the day you have way less fatalities because of air bags and seat belts. And I think it’s the same thing. It’s a child safety issue and I’d much rather be on that side of the argument, advocating for child safety then for the individual right to own a pretty dangerous animal.

Watch full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(40:55) – Jeff Borchardt, who’s son Daxton was killed by pit bulls, now runs an advocacy group pushing for more pit bull bans. But he says it’s a lonely battle.

Mark Kelley:

“If this is a fight, that the victims vs. the pit bull advocates, who’s winning the fight?”

Jeff Borchardt:

“The pit bull advocates are definitely winning. I mean, you just look at some of these laws that are being overturned and stopped. We don’t have that kind of voice, the victims don’t. We don’t have that kind of resources. We don’t have that kind of money. So I would say they’re winning.”

Watch full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share


(41:46) – Susan Iwicki:

“I blame myself for not knowing the danger, but……pit bulls do not belong around…anyone. They just don’t. Yeah, not all of them are gonna attack, fine. But as soon as you can tell me which one is going to attack and which one isn’t going to attack, then I’ll listen to you.”

Watch full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFa8HOdegZA&feature=share

Host of The Fifth Estate, Mark Kelley, shares his own run in with a pit bull before the show airs: https://youtu.be/Na6vZvjIqgg

Quote from the article:

“Flashback: The 2013 mauling death of Wisconsin toddler Daxton Borchardt was a game changer in the pit bull laundering industry. The documentary devotes a full 10 minutes to the story’s principal players, which is appropriate, given the constellation of features that are so damning to the pit bull lobby’s reflexive catechism of excuses: the killer dogs had been lovingly raised from puppyhood by a responsible owner; they were neutered, well-trained and well-socialized; the owner, Daxton’s babysitter Susan Iwicki, kept the dogs crated when Dax was in her home; there was no discernible trigger, during their brief backyard pee break, for the two dogs’ sudden assault on Dax and their own beloved owner.

Moreover, the facts were meticulously documented by police, backed by Iwicki’s powerful testimony. Uncommonly for a pit bull owner, Iwicki sought to make amends, emerging as a courageous ally of Dax’s dad, Jeff Borchardt, in the campaign for BSL. Her moral integrity is featured to stunning effect in the documentary.

Back to Kelley’s question: Was Dax fake news? VanKavage’s first gambit: “I don’t know what happened that day.” Kelley doesn’t blink. Everyone in the pit bull cosmos knows what happened that day. Gambit two: most dog attacks come from children being “unsupervised.” Kelley replies, “[Iwicki] was holding the child at the time” (the dogs leaped up and dragged him from her arms). At this point, a cooler head would have counselled a simple, “I am mystified; I have no explanation.” Instead VanKavage took the bait: “Y’know, I can’t, I can’t — I don’t know the history of the dogs. I don’t know if the child was crying.” Kelley (incredulous but calm), “But if the child was crying?”

VanKavage — you can see the light dawning — realizes she has inadvertently given her lobby’s game away. She has (wickedly!) shifted the blame for his death to a 14-month-old baby rather than admit that pit bull type dogs are inherently unpredictable and, once aroused, exceptionally vicious. To these activists (and trust me, such blame-shifting is commonplace amongst them), the victims are nothing; the dogs’ image is everything.”

Read more: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-pit-bull-lobby-put-on-its-heels-by-quebecs-dangerous-dog-bill-cbc-documentary/amp

“Heavy spoke with Borchardt, and he said that at the time of The Fifth Estate’s interview in late May of 2017, 103 people were killed by pit bull type dogs since Daxton’s death in 2013. That number now stands at a staggering 113.

“I started looking for answers as to what happened the day after Daxton’s funeral and that’s when I came across dogsbite,” Borchardt stated. “I had never heard of any dog related deaths before my son, and I just ask people to pay closer attention to the issue and to look at the facts and statistics. Unfortunately by the time someone finds dogsbite. org, it’s already too late.”

Read more: https://heavy.com/news/2017/10/fifth-estate-documentary-pit-bull-ban/

“With millions of dollars at their disposal, the wealthy pit bull lobby has wreaked havoc in Canada and the United States—denying the danger of pit bulls in families, encouraging No Kill shelters, allowing inter-state and cross-border transportation of pit bulls on death row, pressuring council members to drop breed restrictions, and lobbying for anti-BSL [breed-specific legislation] bills in Congress.”

Read more: https://www.straight.com/news/986206/national-pit-bull-awareness-month-competes-national-pit-bull-victim-awareness-day

Would a pit bull ban have prevented Montreal woman’s death after attack?

CPT302324383_high“Others believe that pit bulls are uniquely dangerous, including Jeff Borchardt, founder of the non-profit Daxton’s Friends, a breed-education website. Borchardt, who is based in Wisconsin, established the organization after his son was attacked and killed by two pit bulls in 2013. The dogs, who belonged to his son’s babysitter, “never showed any signs of aggression” before that day, he said. But he noted now that “they’re the only breed that it’s recommended owners carry a break stick with. They’re used to break their jaws loose once it’s gripped onto a victim.”

But pit bull advocates say that despite breed-specific legislation, the number of dog bites has not significantly decreased. A 2010 Toronto Humane Society survey found no change in the number of dog bites during the years before and after the Ontario breed-specific law was put into effect.

But a decrease in the overall number of bites was never the intent of the legislation, said Borchardt, who has followed the debate in Ontario. Rather, he says, there should be a drop in “serious maimings, maulings and fatalities.”

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/would-a-pit-bull-ban-have-prevented-montreal-womans-death-after-attack/article30392552/

Pit Bull Crisis Prompts Support Groups to Declare October 24th National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day

gI_60933_table-2-vick-overlay-summary-clifton-pit-bull-incidentsWednesday, October 14th, 2015

Pit bull victim groups launch national advocacy website NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay.org to raise awareness of the social and financial costs of pit bull attacks. The initiative, sponsored by Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness, seeks to call attention to the scope and severity of this urgent public safety issue. #NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay

A North American coalition of over 50 pit bull attack victim support groups has launched an information website — NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay.org — to coincide with National Pit Bull Awareness Day, which is being held this year on October 24.

NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay.org provides information on the growing issue of attacks on humans and animals by pit bulls, and is intended to help citizens, policymakers and elected officials better understand the scope of this increasingly urgent public safety issue.

As reported by Merritt Clifton, Editor of Animals 24-7 on October 3, 2015, “Although only 5% of the U.S. and Canadian dog population are pit bulls, in the past nine years pit bulls have accounted for 80% of the dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks, resulting in two-thirds of the deaths and disfigurements.”

The National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day website outlines the effect of pit bulls on families and communities with respect to public safety, and their often devastating social and economic impacts. Various stakeholders in the pit bull issue are identified and addressed, including taxpayers, legislators, emergency and healthcare workers, animal control officers, law enforcement agencies, pet owners, farmers and humane organizations, among others.

The website features state-by-state reports of serious pit bull attacks, disfigurements and fatalities, along with state and local legislation pertaining to the breed.

According to Colleen Lynn, Founder of DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, “Despite clear evidence that pit bulls are responsible for a substantially disproportionate number of attacks, maimings and deaths, humane groups and tax-payer funded animal shelters continue to encourage the public to adopt pit bulls by specifically promoting them through initiatives like Pit Bull Awareness Month.” According to Clifton’s research, since 2010, 30 pit bulls and 7 bull mastiffs adopted from shelters have killed people.

Often overlooked as victims are the pit bulls themselves. Pit bulls are the breed of choice for dog fighters, which is why People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), as reported in TIME Magazine, June 20, 2014, supports mandatory spay/neuter programs specifically for pit bull type dogs in order to end this inhumane activity, as well as the rampant overbreeding leading to pit bull euthanization of almost one million per year.

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day (NPBVAD) evolved out of the need to amass the growing number of pit bull victim groups into a central online support hub. “As the numbers of dead and disfigured by pit bulls continue to increase, our concerns are still not being sufficiently addressed by elected officials,” states Jeff Borchardt, Founder of Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness. Borchardt’s 14-month-old son Daxton was fatally attacked by pit bulls in early 2013.

Partner organizations in the NPBVAD initiative include Daxton’s Friends (Wisconsin), DogsBite.org (Texas), Dangerous By Default (Maryland), Protect Children from Pit Bulls and Other Dangerous Dogs (California), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – PETA (Worldwide), BanPitBulls.org (USA and Canada), and Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack – AVOCA (Worldwide).

NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay.org lists more than 50 organizations and advocacy groups from across the continent whose purpose is to alert the public to the pit bull crisis.

NPBVAD also maintains a list of pit bull victims who are available for interviews with the media.

About National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day:
National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day (NPBVAD) is a day to honor and remember victims of pit bulls across the country. Victims include thousands of people and animals every single year. During “National Pit Bull Awareness Month,” we ask you to examine the devastating side of “pit bull awareness”.

About DogsBite.org:
DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks. Our website, https://www.dogsbite.org, was launched in October 2007 and contains a wide collection of data to help policymakers and citizens learn about dangerous dogs. Our research focuses on pit bull type dogs. Due to selective breeding practices that emphasize aggression and tenacity, this class of dogs negatively impacts communities the most.

About Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack (AVOCA):
AVOCA is a national ad hoc coalition of bereaved families and survivors of canine attack. Our mission is to educate the public about dangerous dogs, and in particular fighting and gripping breeds, with respect to the risk they present to human and animal health and safety. http://www.VoicesoftheVictims.org

About Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness:
Daxton’s Friends was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013, due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends strives to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced. https://www.daxtonsfriends.com/



Read Open Letter in Full

Dear Ms Huffington,

This is in response to “Pit Bull Week” at the Huffington Post (July 28 to August 3, 2014). We, the undersigned, represent the bereaved family members and survivors of canine attacks and our mandate is to educate the public on the objective facts about dangerous dogs and the public safety risk they present. Foremost amongst all dogs at high risk to human and animal safety are pit bull type dogs.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, our support and advocacy network is expanding quickly. For, as the pit bull trend grows, humans as well as family pets are being maimed and killed at a rapidly escalating rate by these breeds. This is precisely why we are urgently voicing our concerns about your publication’s efforts to promote pit bulls as desirable family pets.

To the casual observer, Huffington Post’s “Pit Bull Week” might have seemed like a heart-warming diversion. However, to the pit bull advocacy movement, the week-long feature will, no doubt, have been regarded as a glorious triumph.

But, we can assure you, there is no triumph when your much-loved family pit bull suddenly latches on to your young child’s skull, swiftly shaking that dear boy until he’s dead.

There is no triumph when your elderly mother is brutally attacked and killed by her son’s pet pit bull while simply enjoying a quiet evening babysitting her grandkids.

There is no triumph when the two pit bulls you tenderly raised from puppyhood suddenly rip the baby you’re holding from your arms and proceed to carry out a prolonged, savage attack ending in the death of that baby.

There is no triumph when your dear boy is suddenly ambushed by your neighbor’s pit bull and mauled to death in front of his big brother who desperately and heroically tried to save him.

There is no triumph when your beautiful son playfully chases a balloon into your neighbors’ yard and is fatally mauled by their pit bull.

Indeed, there is no triumph when your family pit bull suddenly attacks your darling girl on her 4th birthday, killing her, despite her grandmother’s valiant attempts to stop the frenzied attack.

These are all true stories. These were all real people who are now dearly missed. Our support and advocacy network speaks on behalf of those who can speak no longer. We will not be silenced, despite the efforts of the many pit bull advocates who belittle our grief in a desperate attempt to abuse and shame us.

We can tell you hundreds of real stories of suffering, death, disfigurement and long-term trauma, as our network of pit bull victims grows weekly. The ones who survive will carry their disfigurements for the rest of their lives and many will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. These preventable tragedies occurred because of widely circulated myths—that pit bulls were once considered “nanny dogs” and that, when sufficiently loved and trained, any pit bull can be a suitable family pet. Both beliefs are demonstrably untrue.

Read more: https://www.daxtonsfriends.com/wp-content/uploads/open-letter-to-arianna-huffington-regarding-promotion-of-pit-bulls.pdf

Click to read news release in full

Click to read DogsBite.org blog post

Open letter to Huffington Post – Daxton’s Friends page


Should pit bulls be regulated, or do they get a bad rap? Activist Jeff Borchardt of Daxton’s Friends and animal behavior specialists Kelly McDonald and Brandi McNeely join the discussion.



City asked to reconsider eliminating breed-specific dog ordinance / 11-12-15

by Sandra Ponsetto – staff writer

The Hastings City Council Monday evening heard an appeal from a representative of a group asking the council to reconsider removing breed-specific language from its dangerous-dog ordinance.

Two weeks ago, the council approved a motion asking the city’s attorney and police chief to work on amending an ordinance that lists pit bulls, associated breeds and mixes as dangerous. The request was made in reaction to Michigan Senate Bill No. 239 which, if approved, would prohibit municipalities from adopting ordinances that regulate dogs based on breed.

Joan Kowal, representing Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education, made a 30-minute presentation to the council that included several graphic photos of people injured and animals killed by pit bulls.

“There is no reason at all to mess with an ordinance that is helpful,” she said. “The last five states that have encountered this amendment … have … voted it down overwhelmingly.”

Kowal said 50 percent of police bullets are used against dangerous dogs, pit bull attacks are a threat to financial security because plastic surgery is not covered by insurance, and it is difficult to collect penalties against owners of pit bulls that have attacked a person or pet. She said pit bulls were bred for the fighting ring for 800 years and they are genetically programed to attack, so even a previously gentle dog could turn on its owner without warning or provocation.

“The statistics that [Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt] gave show that your pit bulls are already biting at a much higher incidence than other dogs … 66 percent of the shots fired are because of pit bulls,” said Kowal.

During the Oct. 26 meeting, when the council approved a motion authorizing Pratt and City Attorney Stephanie Fekkes to work on an amendment proposal to the city’s ordinance, Pratt said he had looked at statistics on dog-related complaints dating back to 2011, which revealed 48 percent of dog bites involved pit bulls, 41 percent of dangerous/aggressive dog complaints involved pit bulls and 66 percent of dogs shot by officers were pit bulls.

“ … By his own admission, this is very significant. You already have a public safety problem. Going backwards, you might open a can of worms that’s even bigger.”

Kowal said the bill before the state legislature is the result of a powerful pit bull lobby group, which she likened to the cigarette lobby. She said the pit bull groups are trying to get state legislation prohibiting breed-specific ordinances so they do not have to deal with municipalities directly.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, eight people sent emails to the city, asking the council to reconsider amending the dangerous-dog ordinance to remove the breed-specific language.

After Kowal finished her presentation, Trustee Don Bowers was the only council member to speak on the issue.

He said the Michigan Municipal League and State Rep. Mike Callton have assured him that bill prohibiting breed specific language would never pass the legislature.

“Your own chief of police gave you a list of things that have happened here in the city and you ignored that, too,” he said, addressing the council. “You acted on emotion rather than logic.”


Screenshot-2015-05-17-12.41.54Murder By Pit Bull

Your Lawscholar

Answering Questions You Never Knew You Had

There are many groups out there with the sole purpose of spreading misleading information about Pit Bulls. A quick Google search will return dozens of websites, articles, even respected news organizations that portray Pit Bulls as “misunderstood” and unfairly maligned sweet, lovable babysitter doggies. If you navigate through several pages, you may come across an occasional headline reporting a pit bull attack, but even these headlines are often watered down in an attempt to minimize the exposure of these dangerous animals. Headlines will say “dog attack” instead of “pit bull attack,” relying on the searcher to click the link to find, buried in the body of the article, a sole mention of the dog breed responsible for the attack.

You would have to go through a several more pages of search results to find a handful of websites and articles criticizing Pit Bulls and the propaganda machine that seeks to flood the homes of middle America with these potential maulers. You really have to look for honest education on the subject. One reason it is so hard to find pro-victim advocacy is that the Pit Bull people viciously attack (not unlike the dogs they promote) any person who dares to mention the obvious disparity in dog-bite injuries and deaths. Anyone who stands up for victims of violent dog attacks, anyone who argues for better regulation of dangerous animals, anyone who asks why Pit Bulls make up only 6% of the dog population but cause 62% of serious and fatal maulings, are immediately and vociferously bombarded with hateful vitriol. I have firsthand knowledge of this fact (there are currently at least 2 online Petitions to have me disbarred because I wrote a book about Pit Bulls[1][2]).

In other words, it is incredibly easy to find pro-pit bull propaganda claiming how sweet and innocent Pit Bulls are, and how breed has nothing to do with the carnage they cause, but it is incredibly difficult to find truthful information about why Pit Bulls maul at a rate 2 times higher than all other dog breeds [400+] combined. Thus, I would find it very difficult to hold the average casual owner criminally liable for unforeseen actions by their dogs. How can you blame someone for leaving a child alone with a Pit Bull for a few minutes when numerous popular media outlets and celebrity activists insist that Pit Bulls are “nanny dogs?”

Click here to read full story: http://www.yourlawscholar.com/?p=103

pit-bull-fire-ext.-300x12715 real-life tips for surviving a dog attack

by Merritt Clifton

For Dog Bite Prevention Week 2015 the American Humane Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have offered more than a dozen tips for avoiding ordinary dog bites and minimizing the damage when/if a person is attacked by a dog––but for at least 284 children and 316 adults in 2014, none of their advice would have helped.

Those 600 Americans were attacked by dogs,  often several dogs at once,  who were hell-bent on mauling, maiming, and/or killing their victims.  Among those dogs were 627 pit bulls and pit mixes, and 50 other dogs of closely related breeds,  among them Rottweilers,  boxers,   and a variety of pit/mastiff crosses such as the Presa Canario,  Dogo Argentino,  and Cane Corso.

Among the 600 human dog attack victims, 497 suffered permanent disfigurement, 454 of them injured by pit bulls;  49 people died,  32 from pit bull attacks.

Read more: https://www.animals24-7.org/2015/05/16/15-real-life-tips-for-surviving-a-dog-attack/

Won’t back down

attacked-online-pit-bull-lori-welbourne-jim-huntPosted by: Lori Welbourne – September 10th, 2015

In my last column, “Pit bull propaganda is deadly,” I described how canines bred for hundreds of years to be champion dog killers are not a safe family pet. I supported facts such as pit bulls kill and severely injure more humans and animals than all other breeds combined with links to comprehensive studies, essays and statistics from several reputable sources. I also made the prediction there’d be an onslaught of hostility over my ignorance and demands that I do my research. Within moments of the article being published there were countless online comments and emails stating exactly that. It was obvious many hadn’t even bothered to read what I wrote.

I was inundated with the usual rhetoric: pit bulls get a bad rap; it’s all how you raise them; blame the deed not the breed; pit bulls are harmless wiggle butts; they were bred to be nanny dogs; it’s impossible to identify a pit bull; the media only reports pit bull attacks; poodles (or insert any other breed) bite more; you’re a dog racist; you’re a dog hater; all dogs bite; all dogs kill; cars kill more people; people kill more people; coconuts kill more people; and the list went on.

The familiar myths were often written in the most aggressive language and tone imaginable, and not one person provided any evidence to dispute the thoroughly researched facts I presented.

As vile as some of the messages were, they failed to surprise or intimidate me – but that’s only because I’ve written on this topic before and I’ve learned what to expect from previous feedback, as well as from reading comments under pit bull attack stories in the news.

My first glimpse of this combative crowd came four years ago after a pit bull sunk his powerful jaws into the face of my friend’s eight-year-old son leaving a gaping wound in his cheek, requiring 40 stitches and scarring him for life. According to the pit bull apologists, the boy, who had simply pet his friend’s dog, must have provoked the attack. The pet’s owner was faulted as well.

“There are no bad dogs, only bad owners,” was repeated incessantly. It’s one of their most popular mantras, but how do they explain all the tragedies caused by pit bulls raised from puppyhood by good, responsible owners who trained them to be safe family pets?

People like Susan Iwicki believed this myth until her two pit bulls destroyed the precious life of her friend’s 14-month-old son who was in her care at the time. How could this have happened when she had done everything right? She’d neutered and spayed her pups as soon as they were old enough, she socialized them, gave them lots of love and attention, and her three-year-old happy, friendly dogs had never shown any signs of aggression before they suddenly assaulted her while she was holding Daxton on her hip. Without any provocation or warning their genetics kicked in and they attacked her and savaged him for 15 torturous minutes, leaving him grotesquely disfigured and then dead.

His parents were shattered beyond repair, and, like every victim of one of these horrendous attacks, they were blamed for it, as was the owner. But who was really at fault? Believing the myth that it’s all how you raise them is what killed the innocent toddler. Did the pit bull advocacy camp take any responsibility in that? Of course they didn’t.

Like vultures, many of their hardcore members preyed on the grieving mother and father with “I’m sorry for your loss, but it’s not the dog’s fault” type messages. When Jeff and Kimberly Borchardt failed to be silenced and continued to share their story, warning others not to believe the lies they’d believed, the depraved vitriol spewed at them was appalling.

One sicko posted a picture of Daxton with the caption: “my dart board lmfao.”  Another poorly written online post stated: “Let’s play kickball with jeff’s son head. He dead so not like he will need it.” An additional pit bull fanatic tauntingly named his pit bull after the deceased little boy.

Since their beautiful son’s horrific death in 2013, a large part of Jeff’s time has been committed to learning as much about canines as possible and sharing actual facts about the genetic and physical make up of pit bulls in the hopes no one will endure the unspeakable sorrows his family has. Tragically, the killing and severe attacks on children, adults and animals by pit bulls continues at a sickening rate.

Despite the never ending stalking and harassment of the bereaved couple, their dedication to honour Daxton’s life by debunking the pit bull propaganda lives on. A multitude of attack victims and victim advocates have joined them in their “Won’t Back Down” movement with the non profit organization Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack (AVOCA).

Their mission is simple: to educate the public about dangerous dogs, primarily the fighting and gripping breeds since they’re by far the biggest risk to human and animal safety.

As stated in my last column, enforced breed-specific legislation (BSL) works. It prevents maiming and deaths, and that includes the deaths of a million unwanted pit bulls euthanized in U.S. shelters every year due to over breeding.

No birth equals no kill, so let’s make sterilization mandatory, impose stronger dog regulations and finally end this escalating victimization and heartache for the protection of all.

For more examples of bullyish quotes please visit: Ignorance is on the Internet

For more information about the dangers of Pit bulls please visit: BanPitbulls.org or VoicesOfTheVictims.org or DaxtonsFriends.com or DogsBite.org or Animals24-7.org or TheTruthAboutPitbulls

Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at LoriWelbourne.com


Cindy Ryder is asking other supporters of breed restrictions to help her collect signatures on a piece of direct legislation to city council. She was attacked by a neighbor’s dog last year, and it killed her Chihuahua. Nora G. Hertel/Daily Herald Media

Victim to collect signatures for pit bull ban in Wausau

Nora G. Hertel, Daily Herald Media2:05 p.m. CST February 21, 2015

WAUSAU — A Wausau woman who was mauled while trying to save her beloved Chihuahua from a pit bull attack last summer is seeking people to join her cause and bring direct legislation by petition to regulate the breed in the city.

Cindy Ryder, 57, lost her dog, Bartok, and sustained injuries when a neighbor’s dog attacked. It pulled her to the ground, and bit her wrist and arm. She needed stitches in her ear.

Ryder has been reaching out to City Council members since the attack to toughen policy on pit bulls, and says she has found them unwilling to heed her concerns.

“What is the public safety committee waiting for — a child to be killed?” Ryder said. “I know that there’s a lot of people who feel strongly about this.”

Ryder lives on the east side of Wausau and keeps a photo of Bartok and a sign for Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack in front of her house. She has a chipper 1-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix named Daisy Mae, a gift she received after the attack, and she still laments the loss of her Chihuahua.

Jeff Borchardt contacted Ryder after her attack and folded her into a network of advocates calling for awareness and regulation of dog attacks. Borchardt’s 14-month-old son was killed by his babysitter’s pit bulls in 2013. After the incident he started the organization Daxton’s Friends in East Troy, Wis.

“We believe that breed actually does matter,” he said.

Read more: http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2015/02/21/victim-collect-signatures-pit-bull-ban-wausau/23796909/


‘My son was killed by babysitter’s dogs but I forgive her – I can’t lose a friend too’

11:41, 3 February 2015 – By Anna Roberts

A grieving mum has made the brave decision to forgive the babysitter whose dogs mauled her toddler to death – because she ‘doesn’t want to lose a friend as well as a son’.

Daxton Borchardt, 14 months, was being cared for by Susan Iwicki when her pet pitbulls leapt up and dragged him from her arms.

The animals, named Penny and Boss, attacked the tot leaving him with horrific injuries.

Daxton, known as Dax, was airlifted to hospital but died a short time later.

Babysitter Susan, who was also injured trying to fight off the dogs, was not charged with any offence but Dax’s parents found it difficult not to blame her.

She said: “We both began to realise that she had not intended for Dax to be killed, had not realised how dangerous her dogs could be.

“So we invited her to be part of Daxton’s Friends, a charity we were launching to educate people about pitbulls.

“People asked if I would be ok but I was adamant. I needed to see her so she knew it was ok.

“I knew it wouldn’t change how I felt about Dax. Even so looking at her for the first time wasn’t easy when she came to our first meeting.

“When we first saw each other we hugged and she said she was sorry.

“Now we are working together to encourage proper pet care and reduce the number of dog-related incidents.

Read more: http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/world-news/my-son-killed-babysitters-dogs-5096918

DMK Rehoming

PERRY: No surprise that pit bullies won’t let Aurora election loss go

The whole thing is a lot like gun control, realizing that all guns can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But unlike that issue, this is akin to understanding that guns that inexplicably and unpredictably just start going off in the hands of even responsible owners are a real problem in a crowded city

Click here to read more





Whatever happened to Victoria Wilcher, victim of dog attack outfitted with prosthetic eye?

Jimmie May McConnell

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Remedy for Commissioner Philbrook

This has been tried before.

On July 30, 1987 Ohio enacted state-wide Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Pit bulls, legislators argued, are the most likely breed to attack without provocation.  The BSL defined pit bulls as inherently vicious and required owners to buy insurance. As a result of the legislation shelters no longer adopted out pit bulls in Ohio.

In 2012 a group of determined Toledo-area pit bull advocates prevailed upon the legislature to revoke the BSL. The number of attacks by pit bulls soared in 2013 and 2014, and legislators are once again discussing how to reign in pit bull attacks. For many the attack that came to symbolize 2014 was the attack on Zainabou Drame in Cincinnati. The officers who responded were interviewed this week:

Officer Kyle Strunk said he’ll never forget the image of that as they pulled up, seeing grown men and women vomiting on the street, reacting to what they had just witnessed.

“That’s not a sight you see very often, you know, adults can’t even look. They had to look away based on the violence of it,” Strunk said.

“When you see a child being slung in the air by two animals, it almost doesn’t look real when you see it in person,” Strunk said. “You couldn’t believe it. When you pull up, you expect kind of maybe to see the dogs running away. But they were continuing to attack her, like she was a toy. That’s how bad it looked. How effortless it was for the dogs to move her around. That is something, like I said, that I’ll never forget.1

Six-year old Zainabou was in an induced coma for weeks, but survived. No charges have been brought against the owner of the pit bulls that mauled her. He is protected by the revised, breed-neutral dog ordinance.

Zainabou is among the fortunate. There have been at least 29 fatal pit bull attacks already in 2014 — there is a human being killed by a pit bull every twelve days. But even that detail doesn’t reveal how many people, like Zainabou, have been attacked and survive with life-altering injuries.

The number of people who have been maimed by pit bulls has quadrupled in the last five years, from less than a hundred in 2009 to 422 in 2013. In 2014 we were already approaching the 2013 record by the end of October.

Click here to read the full blog on S.R.U.V.

Savannah Mae Edwards

Savannah Mae Edwards

BSL Is Disappearing?

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City will meet on December 4th to decide whether to reverse their decades old ban. The proposed animal control ordinance sailed through the Public Works & Safety committee on Nov 17.

The two articles which claim bans are disappearing appeared in quick succession, and there are likely more to come. The tri-state area has a powerful advocacy movement and it seems implausible that the articles could have been written without outreach from pit bull advocates.

Among the advocates mentioned in the articles are Bernie Toellner and Katie Bray Barnett. Ms Barnett worked to revoke the ban in her home town of Topeka in 2010. Within two years, about the time it takes for a pit bull to fully mature, two year old Samantha Mae Edwards was killed just outside of Topeka by a pit bull adopted under the new regulations.

Click here to read the full story on S.R.U.V.



Video: Pit Bull Advocates Explain Why BSL Is Needed

By Phyllis M Daugherty, Fri, November 14, 2014

If you are an advocate for pit bulls, the title of this article should immediately bring visions of dog fighting to mind. “Release your dogs” is also the first line in the 2014 Documentary by the BBC (below) which “reveals the link between the seedy world of dog fighting and dangerous dogs in the streets.”

The victims of unprovoked pit bull attacks are not only humans but also innocent stray and farm animals and beloved pets. The reported numbers are horrifying; the true number is not known.  .

It is time for the pain and suffering of victims of these attacks to be recognized and not excused.  It is also time to provide better protection for pit bulls, who are also victims of those who neglect, abuse and exploit them and those who refuse to allow legislation to protect them.

In view of actual statistics of deaths and the horrible scars and injuries to innocent human and animal victims, isn’t it time to agree on Breed-specific legislation (BSL) that protects both?

Click here to read the full story

5710644_GMilwaukee -It’s an incredibly controversial issue with strong opinions on both sides. Are pit bulls a dangerous breed?

It’s a question we first started looking into more than two years ago, when we learned that pit bulls are by far the most common breed found in local shelters and also routinely at the top of the list of local dogs that bite.

Click here to view the full story



Monday, November 10, 2014, 6:00am

November 9 -15 marks the first Canine Victims Awareness Week.  Joy Cardin will talk to a canine victim advocate about the importance of education and awareness to prevent further attacks.

Click here to listen to the show

635519128635071515-daxtonU.S. communities increasingly ditching pit bull bans

Jeff Borchardt’s thoughts on the article:

“A look at the comments sections and the PBA’s are gloating about “finally, a non-bias article that covers both sides.”…I spoke with Aamer in Chicago last week about this issue. The part of this article that SHOULD stand out is the following:

“Stakeholders on opposite sides of the issue cast aspersions about the evidence the others use to back their arguments. A lack of recent government or third-party data on pit bull bites further muddies the national conversation.”

Now WHY exactly is that part important?

Because THAT is the whole point in a nutshell. There is a LACK of a government body or THIRD-PARTY data on pit bull “bites” further muddying the issue!

If you are going to say that DogsBite.org is not a credible source, then you cannot argue that the National Canine Research Council is.

This all stems back to my meeting with my congressman to address why the CDC stopped tracking by breed in 1998…Until there is a THIRD-PARTY source tracking these fatal and disfiguring dog attacks WITHOUT interference from BOTH sides of the issue, half the people are going to say DBO is wrong, half are saying the NCRC is wrong. Half are going to say “It’s the owners fault,” half are pointing to 100’s of years of breeding. Half are going to trust the Clifton Report, half call him a quack.

It is time the CDC revisit this issue WITHOUT interference from the AVMA! If our government would start tracking the data AGAIN, organizations like DogsBite.org, Daxton’s Friends and the National Canine Research Council could shut down TODAY.”

Click here to read the article on USA Today

1385184_10205327167323064_2581522226768901575_nAttempt to repeal pit bull ban crushed in Colorado

AURORA, Colorado––Advocates for pet, livestock, and human safety in Aurora, Colorado claimed a resounding win with the November 4, 2014 defeat of a well-funded attempt to repeal the nine-year-old Aurora pit bull bylaw.

Asked Aurora ballot question 2D, “KEEPING OF PIT BULLS––Shall the people of Aurora adopt an ordinance allowing pit bulls back into their city?”

Aurora sprawls over parts of Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas County.  The ballot measure was rejected by 68.1% of the voters in Arapahoe County, 63.5% in Adams County, and 72.5% in Douglas County. Overall, 67.9% of Aurora voters, 51,878, approved the existing pit bull regulations. Just 24,519 voters endorsed repeal.

About 55% of registered voters cast ballots, an unusually heavy turnout in a non-presidential election year.

Click here to read more


Pit-bull ban proponent says Denver paper threatened to pull political ad after ban critics complained

Carla Royter, the paper’s advertising and sales director, said Friday that the Post would run the remaining ads to include language that identified them with political advertising.

BY RACHEL SAPIN, Staff writer

Click here to read the full story


Dax close upFatally Mauled Toddler Dax’s Dad Runs Ad To Support BSL; Pit Bull Lovers Send Hate Mail

As Aurora, Colorado, prepares for a decision by voters on whether to repeal the city’s 8-year ban on Pit Bull ownership, an ad designed by Jeff Borchardt, founder of Daxton’s Friends, ran in the Aurora Sentinel and Denver Post. The ad states, “Fact: Pit Bulls Kill More Humans & Animals than All Breeds Combined” and will appear in two more editions of the Post’s “YourHub” insert.

However, in an October 20 article entitled, “Pit-bull Ban Proponent says Denver Paper Threatened to Pull Political Ad after Ban-Critics Complained,” the Sentinel states that Carla Royter, the Post’s advertising and sales director, said the Post would run the remaining ads, “adding language that identified them with political advertising.”

Borchardt said the ad is not political and that he is still working with the Post on revisions.

Hate mail from Pit Bull advocates reportedly flooded in to both papers and to the father of a 14-month-old toddler, Daxton Borchardt, who was savagely mauled to death on March 6, 2013, by two Pit Bulls at the home of the babysitter who was caring for him.

Click here to read the full article

10404863_517345145035594_7279636315298788025_n“Don’t bully my breed, but we will bully the victims.” by Beth Clifton – Animals 24-7

A tribute art memorial entitled “Pay it Forward,” honoring 30 recent victims of fatal dog attacks, was unveiled on September 24, 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan by Wyoming,  Michigan resident Joan Kowal as an entry in ArtPrize, an annual outdoor art contest attracting upward of 1,500 entrants and more than 400,000 votes from viewers who select the award-winning entries.

Each victim was portrayed on a cross, along with information about how the person was killed. The killer dogs were identified. About two-thirds were pit bulls, as were 140 of the 216 dogs to have killed Americans since the beginning of 2010.

Displaying thoughtless solidarity, poor social judgment, and some cruelest behavior by fellow humans I have seen short of actual physical violence, pit bull advocates flocked to this sacred memorial, bringing their dogs, to protest that the pit bulls were identified as pit bulls.

Click here to read more

Daxton BorchardtCities, states rethinking laws banning pit bulls, other breeds

“Everything is telling us these animals are safe if you raise them right,” said Jeff Borchardt, an East Troy, Wis., man whose 14-month-old son was mauled to death a year ago by two pit bulls that tore the child from the arms of their owner, who was baby-sitting. “My son’s dead because of a lie, because of a myth. My life will never be the same.”

The two dogs that killed Borchardt’s son had lived with their owner since soon after they were born, were well-cared for and had no history of aggressive behavior, he said. Both had been spayed or neutered.

That contradicts the contention that only mistreated, neglected or abused pit bulls attack people.

Colleen Lynn, founder of DogsBite.org, pointed to a friend-of-the-court brief her organization submitted in a 2012 case in which the Maryland Court of Appeals declared pit bulls “inherently dangerous.”

“Appellate courts agree with us. Doctors and surgeons agree with us. That is credibility right there,” Lynn said. “We also have the support of three divisions of the U.S. military, huge, massive bodies in the U.S. government.”

The Marines, Army and Air Force all have banned dangerous dogs — including pit bulls and rottweilers — from their bases because of the “unreasonable risk” they pose to safety, Lynn said.

On the other side stand the American Bar Association and National Animal Control Association, which oppose breed-specific laws because they are discriminatory against a type of dog that isn’t really a single breed.

Three main breeds — Staffordshire bull terrierAmerican pit bull terrier and American Staffordshire terrier — along with mixes of those breeds are generally considered pit bulls. But many muscular, square-jawed, boxer-type dogs often are misidentified as pit bulls, making breed-specific bans hard to enforce.


From Jodi

Click here to help a grieving mother bring her deceased child home with her to California for a burial surrounded by family and siblings.

No parent should ever have to bury a child. No matter how a young life is taken, it always feels like a tragedy. On April 6, 2014 5 year old John Triton Harvard was playing outside with his 9 year old brother in St. Clair County, Alabama when he was attacked and killed by a neighbors dog. His mother has been staying in California with family and has begun the 2,300 mile journey to retrieve her precious son’s body and bring it home to rest in peace forever near her and his siblings.

Please help in any way you can. Even $1 can send the feeling of love and support to a mother in a hopeless situation. Thank you for your help.

Link to the News Story:

Father honors late son with canine-education group


EAST TROY–Jeff and Kim Borchardt could no longer live in their Darien home after their son’s death.

Memories in the house, where 14-month-old Daxton James Borchardt playfully scrawled on the wall, were too painful.

Today, a year after two pit bulls fatally attacked their toddler, the grieving parents live in East Troy.

“I break into tears all the time,” Jeff said. “But the meltdowns are becoming less.”

On March 6, 2013, babysitter Susan Iwiki held young Daxton at her town of Walworth home, when the dogs she and her boyfriend raised from puppies began to attack.

The assault left the boy with horrific and fatal wounds.

Babysitter shares her story after pit bulls kill 14-month-old boy a year ago.


EAST TROY, Wis. —It’s taken a year for former babysitter Sue Iwicki to find the courage to share her story after her pit bulls mauled a toddler to death.

She’s now joined the family of Dax Borchardt for a new mission to keep his memory alive.

“I have been living March 6, 2013, for the last year,” Iwicki said.

That day changed Iwicki’s life forever.

She was babysitting Jeff Borchardt’s son, Dax, like she did every day at her apartment in Walworth County.

After lunch, she let the dogs outside to go to the bathroom. When she called them in, without any warning, she said they snapped.

“I wasn’t able to keep Dax in my arms, and my immediate reaction was to cover Dax,” Iwicki said.

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 Ryan Maxwell – Galesburg, IL

As her father Tom Mead looks on, Sarah Mead, 28, of Galesburg sheds a tear as she talks about her son Ryan Maxwell , who died at the age of 7 from wounds suffered in a dog attack March 2, 2013. STEVE DAVIS/The Register-Mail


Memorial balloon launch started on Facebook1947694_1412770345641939_819041152_n

Ryan Aiden Maxwell
May 7, 2005 – March 2, 2013

Ryan Aiden Maxwell was born May 7, 2005 in Galesburg, Illinois the son of Justin Maxwell and Sarah Mead. Ryan lived his life in Galesburg; he was very much loved by his family, friends and school mates. In his short life he made a big impact and his loss is deeply felt. He was such a gentle soul and his smile would light up a room. He was in the second grade at Nielson School and was known for being kind and giving his last pencil to a classmate who needed one. “Ryan was learning the keyboard, and I was learning the bass; we always said we were going to have our band,” said Ryan’s grandfather, Tom Mead. “He was my Little Buddy. I did everything with him.”


fatal-dog-mauling-image-of-year-2013-ryan-maxwellDogsBite.org horrifying image of the year.

The Register-Mail

DogsBite.org – On March 2, Ryan Maxwell, 7-years old, was horrifically killed by a pet pit bull in Galesburg, Illinois while visiting family friends. This jarring image published by the Journal Starshows the finality of a fatal pit bull mauling.1 The Register-Mail had extensive coverage of Ryan’s death and the 9-month aftermath of the Galesburg community trying to pass a stronger dog ordinance. The final revised ordinance is an indignity that would not have prevented his death.

Jeff Borchardt Madison

Jeff Borchardt 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — 1:46 a.m.

A vote on the pit bull ordinance in Madison has been tabled.

The ordinance would require mandatory spaying or neutering of pit bulls in the city. It would also require registration for all pit bull breeders.

Alder John Strasser, one of the authors of the ordinance, says it’s a matter of overpopulation of pit bulls in the area and not an issue of breed discrimination.

Jeff Borchardt also supports the ordinance, but his reasoning is quite different. His 14-month-old son was killed by two pit bulls, last year.

Some opponents, though, say non-affordable mandatory spaying and neutering will lead to an increased animal intake at local shelters.

Daxton Borchardt

Education effort arises from tragedy

Margaret Plevak | February 28, 2014

DARIEN–At 14 months old, Daxton James Borchardt had that irresistible combination of a sly grin and a rebel’s haircut: a thick center strip of hair that sometimes spiked upright.

On the website www.daxtonsfriends.com, Jeff Borchardt remembers, “People would often ask us if we cut his hair that way. We always said, ‘Nooo. We don’t cut our (baby’s) hair like a Mohawk.’ His hair was like that because when he slept, he would turn his head back and forth and rub it off.”

Borchardt said his son loved the balloon aisle at the local Wal-Mart, Mickey Mouse cartoons on television and “anything with wheels.” There were also multiple trips to Petsmart, where Dax ogled fish, birds and kittens—his favorite.

But while he was at a babysitter’s home in the town of Walworth almost one year ago—March 6, 2013—Daxton was fatally mauled by the sitter’s two pit bulls.

The attack was horrific: Walworth County sheriff’s deputies who responded to the scene described seeing shreds of clothing and blood everywhere, and Daxton’s limp body looking like a ripped rag doll.

Borchardt, an area disc jockey, is determined to transform the heartbreaking tragedy into a lifesaving experience for other families with an organization called Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness.

A launch party and fundraising event for Daxton’s Friends is planned from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook, Ill.

“We’re really looking to engage with the public, share with them our mission of advocacy and awareness,” said Sam Madan, vice chair for the organization.

In an interview with Walworth County Today, Borchardt said he’s looking to create a resource of sorts for potential dog owners—particularly for those with kids—focusing on public safety and animal welfare.

The website offers information for those considering a dog, such as choosing a breed that will match an owner’s lifestyle, suggestions of where to buy animals, and even a list of potentially dangerous breeds.

A list of “founding friends” of the group on its website includes animal safety advocates from across the country—many of whom personally experienced a dog attack.

“(O)ne of our goals is to help spread awareness of canine-related safety as it pertains to public welfare, with the obvious objective of protecting children, families, and pets from dangerous situations and the potential injuries and fatalities that may result from lack of proper care and education,î Borchardt wrote in an email response to questions.

He and his wife have raised a mixed breed of Chihuahua/rat terriers for 15 years. A dog pictured on the group’s logo died last summer, he said.

Hearing of past dog attacks spurred his mission. Too often pet owners have little or no knowledge of what can happen when a dog’s temperament or personality doesn’t match with its owner’s home life, he said.

“Many people are not aware of the potential dangers involved with improper care and handling of their canine family members. Based on living situations, familial status, and types of breeds, different forms of care, education, and skills are needed to ensure a happy and healthy life for your dog and your family,” he said.

Holding the launch Daxton’s Friends on the one-year anniversary of his son’s death is a poignant touch for Borchardt.

“We hope people will celebrate Daxton’s life, too,” he said.


Walworth County toddler dies after pit bull attack

Abe LubetkinBy Abe Lubetkin – 3/6/13

TOWN OF WALWORTH, Wis. — A toddler attacked by two pit bulls Wednesday afternoon in Walworth County has died.

Walworth County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Scott McClory said a 911 call was received at 12:46 p.m. stating that a woman and a 14-month-old boy were being attacked by two dogs on North Lakeshore Drive in the Town of Walworth.

McClory said two pit bulls were removed from the property and were euthanized by a local veterinarian.

The boy was taken by ambulance to Mercy-Walworth Medical Center, and then taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin by Flight For Life, where he died about 3:30 p.m., according to the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department.

McClory said the boy suffered critical injuries.

The woman said the dogs were her own. There is no word on her injuries.

WISN 12 News spoke to the son of the property owners where the attack occurred.  He said he believed the woman was babysitting at the time, and that the child was not hers.

Read more: http://www.wisn.com/news/south-east-wisconsin/racine-kenosha/Walworth-County-toddler-dies-after-pit-bull-attack/19205968

Angela Rutledge

Victims rally at Georgia Capitol for pit bull ban


ATLANTA — A ban on pit bulls sounds so extreme to many people, but not to the group of victims’ families that gathered on the steps of the Georgia capitol.

Their children died from the bite of pit bull pets, something unforeseeable in the eyes of their owners.