05 October 2011

Is it weird that USDAA announced the 2012 Nationals happening in Colorado, but they're holding it in a city that has gnarly anti-pitbull laws?

I don't especially care where they hold the USDAA Nationals. Well, really close to my house would be excellent, but we had a great time flying on a plane and seeing the sights of Kentucky last year. Colorado is beautiful, and somewhat, sort of, closeish to California. To get there from my house, you drive across the loneliest highway over deserts and mountains, stop at the taxidermy grocery store, go through Utah, pass lots of antler installations, and then keep on going for a long time. You can listen to every David Sedaris story in the ipod 4 times and take advantage of many scenic opportunities for rock mining, alien hunting and dog running. So much so it's probably more fun driving there than just being there.

Our going to USDAA Nationals depends on a careful balance of how much money I have jingling around in my pockets, and how my dogs are running. Less money jingling in pockets means going somewhere closer to home is more feasible, but me and the dogs need to be running in truly awesome form if we're going to fly or drive to lands further away than Turlock for a dog agility show. Missing lots of work means way less money to jingle in pockets on such a grand journey. Even though my dogs were qualified to go, we skipped it during the Arizona years due to the whole jingling problem.

Big huge dog shows like this mean oodles of jingling, jangling money flying out of the pockets of competitors and into the city where they're competing. So isn't it weird for a national dog organization to dump money in the buckets of a city that has voted out an entire breed of dog? Personally, I'm a little bit afraid of pitbulls. I do think they're very cute, and I adore the nice ones that belong to friends, but I've also had run-ins with scary loose ones in my neighborhood more than once. Timmy had to be rescued from one and came out of it with puncture wounds in his neck. I've beaten one off with a chunk of wood on my street.

But banning them? These dogs are banned from a whole cluster of cities because they're potential bad dogs. I suspect there are way more nice pitbulls than scary ones out there, the bad ones just get all the press. Breed specific legislation is like racial profiling for dogs. I duck and cover from an evil labradoodle all the time, and there's a chocolate lab that I always cross the street to stay far, far away from. Ban the chocolate lab's lady, that's who needs to be banned. I don't hold anything against those dogs, it's their people that have the problems. The Denver laws euthanizes dogs that haven't done anything to anyone. Done nothing but been a pitbull.

So this is where I'm confused. The legislation is in place, been there for years. Why would a big dog organization that is all about a fun sport for all breeds of dogs dogs want to bring lots of dog people to a town that has kicked out or euthanized all the dogs of one breed? There seems to be a very large chunk of irony here. It would be one thing if it was a convention of llama fanciers or ferrett folk. But a huge, national dog sports organization like USDAA encouraging all it's members to come on in and drop some serious change in a town that disallows a certain kind of dog? What if it was border collies instead of pitbulls?

Maybe someone can explain this to me? Because I am scratching my head over here on this one.


Anonymous said...

i can't explain it, and i live in co... the denver area, aka the front range, is a string of cities all together, from ft collins to colorado springs. they are all separate governments. commerce city is close to denver. all that stuff over there is 300 miles from me, but it is where i trial sometimes. everywhere is 300 miles from me. i know i have seen bullies and mixes at trials, but i admit i am not in the know about the details of how they are able to compete. none of which explains why an area was chosen that could exclude them. i would hate to think that anyone who wanted to play would have to stay home, fearing for the safety of their doggies...
if it snows next oct, combined with the altitude, will that give us an unfair home field advantage?

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, it was German Shepherd Dogs and Dobies that people freaked out about, but then the meanest dog I personally knew was a Dalmatian. Go figure.

I know finding a "suitable" site to hold a national event is no easy task. But yeah... 1st on the list would be "no bsl"
then you move on to "nice grass"
plenty of Chick-fil-A outlets,
an airport,

So yeah, it's weird all right.


Anonymous said...

It's because the USDAA is unaware and/or this is where they got the best deal space and moneywise. Just like a previous nationals they held in Scottsdale wherein money went to HSUS - an organization bent on extinguishing pets. And to add insult to injury, even people who knew this, they entered the show anyways. That really sickened me.

Agility Foot said...

I could hear Andy Rooney talking as I was reading your blog today. It sounded pretty good.
Maybe we should ask USDAA what's up.

Agility Foot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elf said...

Because there are, apparently, only about 4 places in the whole USofA that are appropriate for hosting the Cynosports World Championships. And that's about it.

Cedarfield said...

Myself, I think it has something to do with the fact that USDAA is mostly made up of BCs so the admins don't give bsl much thought and simply didn't think to check. Boo, hiss, USDAA.

HurricaneDeck said...

Nice job, USDAA. I hope they have gotten the requisite permits from the police department:

"d. A person may temporarily transport into and hold in the city a pit bull for the purpose of showing such pit bull in a place of public exhibition, contest or show sponsored by a dog club association or similar organization. However, the sponsor of the exhibition, contest or show must receive written permission from the police department, must obtain any other permits or licenses required by city ordinance, and must provide protective measures adequate to prevent pit bulls from escaping or injuring the public. The person who transports and holds a pit bull for showing shall, at all times when the pit bull is being transported within the city to and from the place of exhibition, contest, or show, keep the pit bull confined in a secure temporary enclosure as defined in 4-8(b)(1) of this chapter."

EmilyS said...

1) according to an email I had from Ken Tatsch, USDAA absolutely DID know about the breed bans when selecting the site. He is using the excuse that there is an exemption. It's true.. there is almost a show exemption in these laws, because the cities would love to have our money (which they can then use to kill more of our dogs). Here's a link to the law and the exemption has been quoted in a previous comment:

So would YOU accept the condition that your dog is so dangerous it needs special kenneling condition?

Would you, knowing that a) the exemption only covers the show grounds and that b) the law is based on appearance, not breed or actual behavior. take the risk of showing there?

2) USDAA has shut down discussion of the issue on their Yahoo group and their Facebook page, putting anyone who raised questions on moderation.

I competed in Colorado with my AmStaff and now with my Staffordshire bull terrier. There are many trials in Castle Rock (same ban) that I don't attend.. I NEVER knowingly trial anywhere my breed is banned.. because of the potential danger to me, and because of the message my attendance would send.

The message that USDAA sends (as does AKC when it holds its huge show in Denver) is that the law doesn't matter, and that they really don't care if innocent dogs get killed, or if their owners get harassed.

It could be interesting.. aside from the few APBTs, ASTs and SBTs that compete at that level of USDAA, many of the "borderstaffs" competing now are VERY "pitbullish". While it's unlikely that the owners will be harassed on the show site, it is entirely possible that they could be harassed in the city (or nearby Aurora or Denver) if they are seen with their dogs. The law/ACOs there DO stop people with dogs they identify as "pit bulls."

It's a shameful choice.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, too, that if your exempted-to-participate pitbull got loose from the event due to some craziness and ended up amok in Denver? Now it's just a pitbull in Denver. And good luck to it on that.

5 years as shelter staff (kennel mgr) in Colorado. Once had to actually argue with a Denver shelter that a Boxer of ours wasn't a pitbull.

This is sad (bsl is sad, bad, makes me mad, but this USDAA thing is just sad). Glad to see it being debated.

(& there are some amazing, great dog people in Denver. and great shelters)