In This Issue
Former Bust Dogs in the News
Working Group Progress Report
Update from Kay County abuse case.
Quick Links
BADRAP website


In the Limelight
What Victim?

Former Vick dogs Jonny Justice (above) and Audie were invited to attend a fun rubber ducky event in Tahoe, CA to help raise funds for the Humane Society of Tahoe-Truckee. Little did their handlers know how popular they were going to be. Hundreds of well wishers came out to welcome them with hugs and love - some, in tears. We're so proud of the dogs and their adopters for representing the breed so well.

Star Power

This adorable imp has just the right amount of naughty spirit to be trainer Linda Chwistek's next agility champ. After bouncing back from a double knee surgery, Audie is already surpassing everyone's expectations in his agility work. Linda helped bring her now-retired pit bull Ruby to the Nationals in '06, so the wee former Vick dog is in good hands. Keep your eye on this little prize!
Hector Update


Just one year after his adoption, Vick dog Hector has earned a new honor for bust dogs by passing his ATTS exam. The American Temperament Test Society measures a dog's ability to stay steady during a series of confrontational situations. Since he's also earned his canine good citizen and therapy dog title, Hector's new name is
Hector Yori
Not bad for former dog fighter's dog.

Hector shares a home with his people, Roo & Clara Yori and the amazing disk champ, Wallace. This news report of Wallace doing his thing is just too good not to share:
Go Wallace!

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Victims of Cruelty Working Group Meets

In our last e-news letter, we celebrated the landmark appearance of a pit bull on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That image seemed to signal that change was in the air.

And just a few weeks later, after a much anticipated meeting in Las Vegas, we witnessed a substantial shift in the way the animal welfare community views pit bulls. At long last, the HSUS (Humane Society United States) opted to end its decades-old policy that had once encouraged agencies to destroy the victims of dog fighting operations without evaluation or hope of rescue. Blog Post  After 10 years of rallying from BAD RAP's corners of the world for the dogs' right to be treated with compassion, I admit that I went back to our hotel room and wept after that meeting...It was such an important milestone for the dogs, and such a long time coming!

This formal acknowledgment from the animal welfare leaders who recognize pit bulls as victims rather than accessories to the crime of dog fighting opens new doors for the dogs, including a focused commitment from some of their best advocates. By the time we left Vegas, six organizations including ours had signed on to serve as a task force committee with the big job of designing better ways to help the dogs. That group was dubbed the 'Victims of Cruelty Working Group.'

The working group is made up of one representative from each of these six organizations: Animal Farm Foundation, ASPCA, BAD RAP, Best Friends Animal Society, HSUS and - an important partner - the National Animal Control Association.

We held our first meeting in St. Louis, Missouri during NACA's National Conference on May 29 and began outlining the work we have to do to create positive change on the ground. Each member of the committee brings a unique perspective to the multi-faceted challenges that will come with meeting the needs of untold numbers of canine victims each year. It's a daunting task, but after knowing so many dogs from these busts, there's no question how incredibly important it is to ALL pit bulls that this group make the very best use of this collective commitment.

We've agreed that committee members will post progress reports so all interested parties can stay informed. Below is a statement from that first meeting.

I offer my deepest gratitude for the support that keeps BAD RAP and its animal welfare partners grounded in this important work. Thank you!

Donna Reynolds
Executive Director BAD RAP
June 2009
Progress Statement
Victims of Cruelty
Working Group

Progress Statement

In our May 29 meeting, it was unanimously decided that our priorities must be to establish several strategic response teams serving specific geographic areas; to establish standards and expectations for appropriate and professional medical care; and to establish protocols for standards in the evaluations and placement of the victims of dog fighting. We recognize that diverse legislation sometimes prevents successful outcomes. The group acknowledged that where necessary, individual groups who are able to do so should seek legislative change as a means to accomplish these goals. In addition, we have identified the immediate need to reform the traditional belief that it is necessary to hold dogs as "evidence" for the duration of the investigation or court case and will prepare materials for prosecutors, judges and others to offer suggested guidelines.  

In the interim, the group encourages agencies working on specific cases to consider all options for evaluation and positive outcomes in consultation with national, state and local animal advocacy and welfare organizations.

Submitted 6/15/09 by Victims of Cruelty Working Group Participants: Animal Farm Foundation, the ASPCA, BAD RAP, Best Friends, HSUS and NACA

Update from the Kay County, Oklahoma
Cruelty Case

The wheels of justice move slowly for animal victims, and no one knows that better than the shelter workers who care for dogs from cruelty cases during their long custody holds. According to the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, the case against Jerry Southern - owner of 106 dogs found starving on chains on a farm in Kay County last December - is still pending, and no trial date has been set as of this writing. Lucky for the dogs, authorities allowed them to be released to rescue almost immediately after their abuser was charged. This is the kind of precedent that the Victims of Cruelty Working Group will be reviewing when creating best practices guidelines for use in other cases.

All surviving Oklahoma dogs (20 total) are making progress. Four of the six dogs that we brought back to CA are in new homes. The lovely Effie - in the banner at the top of the page - found a devoted home through Berkeley Animal Care Services. Turtle found a home through Berkeley Humane Society. Her son Emmett (shown here with his mom Turtle) just went home via BR's adoption program. And more recently, the beautiful Goji went to live with a new family in Napa. We're still waiting for the right home for the wind-up toy otherwise known as TugTug.

Nelly - the dog born without a nose - battles a blood parasite called babesia that she contracted in her former life. Even while fatigued from anemia, she literally vibrates with joy for every person she encounters. We've decided that she's not really a dog, but a mythical fairy creature (a mini-dragon?) disguised as a pit bull.

We're currently 'sharing' Nelly between a couple of homes in the group, and are staying open to the possibility of finding a permanent hospice situation where she can recieve longterm TLC. A recent Pit Ed camper noted that she would make an excellent partner for humane education work. Wouldn't it be wonderful if?

Despite our big ambitions to help pit bulls and their responsible owners, we're still a tiny group of people who operate chiefly out of our laptops and our hearts! Every time you send us a donation to voice your support for this work, we breathe easier knowing that we'll be better able to assist the next dog or situation that needs our advocacy.

Thank you for remembering us and for believing in this project!
All the members of BAD RAP

Securing the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.