Saturday, October 27, 2007

Attack on dog earns jail time

This article in the Chronical Journal makes me see RED! This sentence is way too slack for the crime committed and that's one of the laws we are hoping to have changed.

Sixty days behind bars along with another 60 day, plus 14 for additional crimes committed and not allowed to own an animal for two years is nothing but a slap on the wrist. Will they jail him again in another 2 years when he kills a puppy and give him another 60 days and chance to harm again 2 years after that?

Sure he'll be on probation, but is that because of the crime he committed to the dog by slashing it's neck? I doubt that very much.

Ontario has the most lacks animal protection laws of all of Canada and this article goes to show you just how unbelievably bad it is here.

Now with the Liberal Party in power in Ontario, our hopes of getting strict with animal abusers has most likely gone back in the trash cans where all the good Bills and Private Members Bills go.

Attack on dog earns jail time
Friday, October 26, 2007

A north-side Thunder Bay man will spend a few more months behind bars for a series of offences, including a horrific attack on his dog.

At an Ontario Court hearing earlier this week, Meliton Papa Lacuesta pleaded guilty to various charges. The most serious related to a May 4 incident in which a young German shepherd-cross dog had its throat slashed.

The dog suffered five puncture wounds, some of them deep and near the jugular vein, necessitating surgery.

Lacuesta, who turns 29 today, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. He was sentenced to a 60-day jail term. Justice Dino Di Giuseppe also barred him from having any animals for two years.

The dog was treated at Northwestern Veterinary Hospital. Staff there named him Rudy. After spending six days recovering from his wounds, the dog was put in the care of the Humane Society.

“He recovered 100 per cent and he was adopted” about a month later, Humane Society inspector Dagmara Cieslik said Friday.

The Humane Society spent about $2,400 caring for Rudy.

Lacuesta has been ordered to reimburse the organization that amount.

He also resolved charges from Oct 13. These related to an incident with his neighbour, who initially heard the dog‘s anguished barking on May 4 and called police.

Court was told Lacuesta threatened his neighbour, threw bricks through the window of his house, kicked a door and damaged his car.

He received another 60-day sentence on charges of uttering threats and mischief. Along with a five-year weapons ban, Di Giuseppe also ordered restitution in the amount of $12,500.

He also ordered Lacuesta to remain at least 100 metres from his neighbour, effectively meaning he has to find new accommodations.

Lacuesta also received a 14-day jail sentence for an unrelated charge of driving with a blood alcohol content over 80 milligrams.

At about 2:30 a.m. on April 29, a patrolling Thunder Bay Police officer spotted a man slouched in the driver‘s seat of a Chevy pickup truck stopped at Miles and May Streets. The driver then proceeded through a red light. He was stopped a short distance later.

A breathalyzer test at the police station returned two readings of 180 mg per 100 ml of blood.

Lacuesta was banned from driving for two years. Once the jail sentences are served, Lacuesta will be on probation for two years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pit bull in prey drive? All you can do is pray

There was this article in the Toronto Sun.

I spoke to John Wade at the Grand Openings of one of London's Leash Free Parks and I got the impression he wasn't fond of any of the Pit bull breeds. Much of what he said was totally negative to my surprise even with Shasta sitting calmly beside me.

Others that over heard were also angered at what he was saying,

I believe that a professional that receives large fees like he does, should better look at a dog individually, rather than grouping them together just as the government is doing.

As a friend told me regarding this story, "If this dog is a Pit like John Wade says with all the nasty stuff he says - it should be muzzled under DOLA. It could not take a husky by the neck in a park.

If this dog is not a restricted dog, then it's not a Pit and he is sensationalizing and condeming a dog that is not a Pit."

Sun, October 21, 2007
Pit bull in prey drive? All you can do is pray

Q: We own a 5-year-old lab-pit bull cross named Sly, who has been involved in a few incidents.

The first was in July, 2006 when an off-leash husky cross, bounded up to our other dog, Finnegan, who was quite submissive. Sly took matters in his own hands and took hold of the Husky's neck, but didn't do anything other than hold him, however, to break his hold, we had to go to extreme measures to get him off the dog. At that point, we were using a pinch collar on him. Since then he has mauled one of our cats and killed another.

A trainer suggested using a head halter to curb Sly's aggression. She said a prong collar would punish him after meeting another dog, and he would therefore then associate the pain with the other dog.

We're wondering whether Sly would be trainable so that we would be able to call him off of an animal once he's in "prey" drive. The trainer indicated that the incidents that occurred would be isolated and would not carry over to outside the home.
-- Anne, London, Ont.

A: Equipment aside, can a high prey drive dog be called off? Depends. Police dogs have high prey drive and they are called off all the time, but of course they receive intense ongoing training.

You've probably noticed there aren't a lot of pit bulls on police departments. The intensity of their prey drive is a significant reason why.

In some protection-oriented dog sports, I've seen it done, but even if the dog has the potential to be called off the average dog owner hasn't the time nor skill to get there.

As far as future incidents not carrying over outside the home, the trainer is dreaming. That's like saying a border collie won't herd outside the home. That's what they were bred to do and somebody better tell that trainer what pit bulls were bred to do. Given the opportunity, inside or outside, the dog is going to kill another cat and in the right set of circumstances hurt or kill another dog.

Also, the success of the head halters is based more on marketing than true gentleness. Any collar used to control a dog uses some element of pain or discomfort in order to discourage a behaviour or get its attention but try giving your head a "gentle" Rambo twist and see how it feels.

I think you have far more dog than you can handle. You have to permanently get him in the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. Otherwise, his days are numbered.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm not ready to back down...

Emily as you may have figured out in in the upper ranks of the Advocates For The Underdogs ( AFTU) and works endlessly vulunteering all her time and efforts for the dogs.

All the Banned Aid Coalitions groups volunteered their time and services with Fund Raisers, selling merchandise, and much, MUCH more!

Not only the groups but indiviuals from Canada, the U.S.A and other parts of the country not only supported us with well wishes, but with donations toward the Legal Fund.

I asked her if I could add her letter with such heartbreaking, honest feelings as it's how we who have spent 3 years fighting our butts off with the hopes that this previous Ontario election on October 10th would change things.

All the other Parties with the exception of the Liberal goverment assured us they would change the law in a way that does not go after any certain breeds, but owners comitting the crimes.

They too disagree the banning specific breeds was the answer of preventing dog bites and were also concerned to make changes to the Animal Cruilty Law.

We lost the election with a majority vote to the Liberals.

Now, our only hope of setting our dogs free to be like other dogs rather than victims for a crime they haven't committed is through the courts and we need you to help us in this fight.

We need YOU! The dogs need YOU!

I'm not ready to back down . . .
Thursday, Oct 11

And so it looks like 4 more years of a Liberal Government in dog-forsaken Onscario :(

As much as I want to write professionally and poised, I also want to write simply as Emily, the mom of one of the most amazing dogs I have ever met, who yes, happens to be a Pitbull mix - banned in Ontario. I want to share my thoughts on "where do we go from here" because heaven knows as a "rescuer" of this incredibly misunderstood breed last night had me just wanting to run away (with the dogs of course) to a more enlightened province.

So now what?

Well, its been about 3 long years . . . 2 with the ban, and the one leading up to it.

Its been hundreds of dogs saved, hundreds lost, tens of thousands of dollars spent, miles driven . . . . why? For the love of a dog.

For me, it's my dog, Daphne. Sure I can say "and of course the love of every rescued dog and puppy I meet", that is also true.

But honestly. In the darker moments, the quiet moments, the times when I don't think I can keep doing this . . .can't argue with one more ignorant person that she doesn't have "lock-jaw" and won't eat their children . . .can't walk into a shelter and say I'm sorry, its a lovely creature but we have nobody willing to give it a chance . . . can't give up a weekend to drive countless hours to provide freedom and safety to a dog who was just born in the wrong place at the wrong time . . .when I think I can't . . .she's ALWAYS there.

With kisses, with a tail wag, no words, she doesn't need them.

Were it not for Pit bull rescuers, were it not for AFTU, were it not for Tammy Williams, my friend and fellow rescuer, Daphne never would have made it out of a shelter alive.

So I have to think, if not her, them, us, then who . . .there would have been no Daphne in my life.

Our dogs.

Our AMAZING, ADORING, LOYAL, GOOD dogs that have hearts full of forgiveness for being muzzled, being ostracized, that have hearts braver than I could ever hope to be . . . They aren't about to give up on us anytime soon - we owe them the same in return.

As they are our companions, we are their guardians.

So honestly, to everyone who may read this and share my passion for attempting to restore the reputation for the breed(s) of dogs once known as the most decorated war heros, famous t.v star, and service dogs extraordinaire . . . .for the preservation of what little rights and freedoms this ass-backwards government still allows us . . . I can't do it alone.

And I won't.

I need you, ALL OF YOU.

So have a good cry, hug those dogs, grab a helmet, combat boots, whatever (not literally) and continue to persevere with the tenacity of Pit bull.I'm not backing down anytime soon.

The second appeal has been filed and I promised MY dog that at some point in her lifetime she would walk proudly down the street with me muzzle-free . . .and I'm not about to break that promise!


Ask families of deceased kids about dog-bite statistics

An excellent response to Letters to the Editor in the

Ask families of deceased kids about dog-bite statistics

Letters to the Editor
Oct 13, 2007
Re: Alice in Wonderland opinions useless, letter to the editor by Art Woodruff, Oct. 11.

Mr. Woodruff would like to see back-up data on bite statistics? So would we all.

That was just one of the recommendations put forward at the public hearings into amendments to the Dog Owners Liability Act that was completely ignored by the Liberal panel.

Perhaps we could ask the family of 17-month-old Korie Lyn Edwards, killed this summer by her grandparents’ Rottweiler-German shepherd cross in Smiths Falls.

What did recent amendments to act do to protect Korie Lyn?

Before you leap to the conclusion that the solution is to add Rottweilers and German shepherds (and any dogs substantially similar) to our list of banned breeds consider the following statistics.

“Actually, the lead biter is the Labrador retriever,” said Mr. Emile Therien, head of the Canada Safety Council “The problem is that if you try to ban a particular breed, you never stop.”

Statistics kept in the United States from 1965-2001 indicate at least 36 different breeds/types of dog have been involved in fatal attacks. This number rises to at least 52 breeds/types when surveying fatal attacks worldwide.

The Toronto “dog to human” bite statistics from animal services for 2001-2003 show about 70 breeds are reported as biting each year.

At the coroner’s inquest into the 1998 death of eight-year-old Courtney Trempe in Stouffville, mauled by a bull mastiff, the committee made 36 recommendations, none of which were to ban certain breeds of dogs.

During the public hearings into Liberal amendments to the dog owners act, the two political parties opposing the breed-specific portions made their own amendments based on the Courtney Trempe inquest findings.

They focused not on breed, but rather on responsible dog ownership through the education of dog owners, as well as the education of parents and children, funding for municipalities and the establishment of a dog bite registry.

The Liberals voted down these amendments and chose instead the cheap and easy and politically popular solution; the pit bull placebo.

So Alice, do you feel safer in Wonderland now?

Jean DabrosKingston

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Big Liberal win... and A year after DOLA, dog bites have not decreased

In 680News comes this article of the Fiberals win to my shock and dismay. Even the mad man and dog murderer got re-elected in his riding. It's a very sad day in Ontario for so many of us that have faught hard and made sure we voted to be assured they wouldn't get in.

Unfortunately we lost this battle, but aren't giving up.

Big Liberal wins in the 416-area, Conservatives get shut out
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Toronto - It looks like the Progressive Conservatives are getting shut out of the 416-area, while the Liberals scored big wins.

It was a big loss for Conservative David Shiner in Willowdale. Shiner took an unpaid leave from his job as city councillor to run and lost the race to liberal incumbent David Zimmer.

No big changes for the NDP stronghold of Beaches-East York, where former East York Mayor Michael Prue took another win.

More orange in the Toronto-Danforth Riding was also seen, where Peter Tabuns was declared the winner once again.

In the Trinity-Spadina riding, Rosario Marchese continued his reign that began back in 1990. The NDP's Cheri DiNovo is the winner in Parkdale-High Park.

After Liberal Gerard Kennedy resigned, the 2006 by-election was marked by an unsuccessful Liberal smear campaign against DiNovo. Her top challenger was Liberal Sylvia Watson.

There were several Liberal wins in the 416-area as well.

In the Scarborough Rouge-River riding, Liberal incumbent and former city councillor Bas Balkissoon was declared winner of the Liberal fortress.

More Liberal wins in York Centre where Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monty Kwinter took a third win and in Toronto Centre, where Health Minister George Smitherman also received a third victory.

Liberal incumbent and Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan was declared the winner in Don Valley East. Caplan has held the riding since 1999.

A Liberal win was also declared for incumbent Attorney General Michael Bryant in the super-educated riding of St. Paul's. Bryant made headlines with his pit-bull ban and favours abolishing the controversial Ontario Municipal Board. This will be his third term.

Liberal incumbent Brad Duguid received a victory in Scarborough Centre. Moreover, incumbent Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield has been elected once again in Etobicoke Centre. Cansfield has lived in the riding for 35 years.

Another Liberal victory was declared in Etobicoke Lakeshore, where Environment Minister Laurel Broten took the win. This is the second victory for the mother of twin boys in this bellweather riding.

An article in the Londoner describes how a year after DOLA, dog bites still have not decreased.
Yvette is not only a well known columnist, Writer, but also a Dog Trainer and Animal Behavior Consultant and a good friend that has helped me with Shasta in the past. I value and respect what she has to say.

Yvette Van Veen

A year after DOLA, dog bites have not decreased

During the past few years, Ontario has been a hotbed of controversy when it comes to animal issues.

We’ve seen the Liberals enact the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA), the bill often referred to as the pit bull ban. We’ve had international attention focused on the London area with Tyson the Kangaroo at the Lickity Split Ranch.

To the Liberal’s credit, they have announced some funding for Ontario SPCA agents so they are able to work with the ministry of natural resources on zoo inspections. I don’t think it’s nearly enough.

The problem is the funding announcement was made just prior to an election. The timing becomes suspect. One always ends up asking, “What is the motive?” I have read the Conservatives are also planning animal based initiatives.

We can’t look back at the funding move and ask, “How is it working?” There has not been enough time. We can, however, look at the Dog Owner’s Liability Act and ask if it really prevents dog bites. Animal statistics must always be taken with a grain of salt because most aren’t reported. But we do have the statistics on reported bites in London.

In 2005, the ban came into effect. So our first full year with DOLA is 2006. We do have the dog bite investigation numbers as reported by the London Animal Control.

The yearly average 2002 to 2005 was 276.75 bites. Last year 280 bites were reported. So dog bites have not decreased.

Yes, there were fewer pit bulls licensed. There were 858 rather than 974. With 116 fewer tagged pit bulls, some people might have expected bites to go down. But they did not. I would say this is because dog breed is a red herring that hides the real root of the problem.

Of course, industry experts said this law would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and do nothing for safety. The law did not help Korie Lyn Edwards, a 17-month-old mauled to death by a non pit bull type dog.

Here is the problem as I see it. Abuse is too loosely defined in our laws. This is why facilities such as Lickity Split or Kerwood make the news. Animal experts are not regulated. Breeders are not regulated. Anyone can do anything short of maiming an animal. People can intentionally create aggression in animals.

Why do we tolerate that in our communities? It’s the mauled child who pays the price.

Quite frankly, I don’t want loose promises. I do not want ineffective laws that do little more than siphon money from taxpayer pockets. We need to look at the root of the problem. We need to regulate the behaviour of people. But that will not happen until a better legal definition of humane is achieved. That will not happen until politicians look toward peer-reviewed scientific research as the source for their decision making process.

Whichever party gets elected, I do hope they are serious about creating laws that will make a long-term difference in the safety and well being of our communities. Banning pit bulls was supposed to make people safer. Like other countries, it did not work well enough. In England dog bites requiring hospitalization went up. In Italy, they have more than 90 banned breeds. The system is broken, and it is time we fix it.
Yvette Van Veen is an associate member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a member of the CAPPDT, award winning pet writer and co-founder of Meeting Milo. Questions and comments can be submitted to or by phone at 519-936-8515. Free resources are available at

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The October issue of Dogs In Canada featured an article “Silence Speaks Volumes”, which focused on the upcoming election in Ontario . The article took some statements from Progressive Conservative MPP Jim Wilson out of context.

Jim kindly sent us a clarification which includes his firm stance toward fair laws for all responsible dog owners.

Jim has repeatedly spoken out against BSL and has stated his intent to work on amending the OSPCA Act ( Ontario has the weakest provincial anti-cruelty laws in Canada ) if re-elected. He has included Responsible Pet Ownership as one of his campaign issues.

Jim is a veteran MPP with the PC Party.

The Policy division of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has issued a statement on breed-specific legislation:

"We are in favour of ensuring sensible strong legislation with regard to dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog owners. Some experts have said the current law isn't very effective because it is breed-specific. We will welcome suggestions and recommendations on better ways to protect against vicious dogs.

In terms of timing, we must first earn the right to govern and then place this item on a list of competing priorities of all kinds. We also will not follow Dalton McGuinty's approach of rushing legislation through without proper consultation and consideration."

To read the statement in full please visit

We have the support of Progressive Conservative and NDP candidates in Ontario .

With the election almost upon us, we urgently encourage each and every dog owner (regardless of breed or mixed breed) in Ontario to vote to reclaim their rights on October 10. A vote against the Liberals is a step toward both restoring the rights of dog owners in this province and strengthening the OSPCA Act.

To find out more about how this issue relates to you as a voter in Ontario , please visit

You will find responses to our survey from numerous candidates across the province. We have information on voting strategically and up-to-the minute election information of interest to Ontario dog owners.



(If you have a website, blog or group forum would you please post this information for us! Don't forget to send this to everyone in your address book!)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Michael Vick Takes Empathy Course at PETA HQ


So PETA sympathizes with Vick -- no surprise there considering Ingrid Newkirk and PETA are on record as SUPPORTING breed specific legislation! Now it looks like they're trying to cash in on this horrible tragedy! DISGUSTING!!!

From: "Ingrid Newkirk" <>
Subject: Michael Vick Takes Empathy Course at PETA HQ
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2007 22:01:59 GMT

Dear liz,

Following news of his guilty plea, I contacted Michael Vick suggesting that he hear for the first time in his life, he confirmed about animal protection issues, learn how animals feel joy and pain and deserve respect, and receive specific instruction on what to say to young people whom he has influenced in the worst possible ways.

In mid-September, Michael Vick visited PETA's headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, to meet with me privately. I told him that PETA advocates an end to all exploitation and needless violence based on prejudice, including the prejudice against other species, and that we believe that he should equip himself with information and materials in order to be able to live up to his responsibility to counsel children not to engage in cruelty to animals. He expressed his willingness to learn and his belief that everything in life happens for a reason, and he offered an apology to PETA and to "everyone" for "what I have done to dogs." I also explained that even if he took our basic empathy course, our position that he should serve jail time and have a lifetime ban on contact with animals would nevertheless remain unchanged, and he accepted that.

Two weeks ago, Michael Vick returned to PETA to take the "Developing Empathy for Animals" course, an all-day seminar on "who animals are," alternatives to cruelty, animal protection philosophy, and humane education, which PETA has now excerpted online. We believe that this course should be adopted by the NFL for all players to take in order to give them a chance to learn empathy, compassion, and nonviolence. Two days after the seminar, Vick came back to PETA's office to take the course exam.

PETA's course teaches the Golden Rule treat others as you wish to be treated. Only time will tell whether Michael Vick has benefited from what he has learned, but he has pledged to use this knowledge to urge kids not to follow in his footsteps and to be kind to animals. Meanwhile, we are urging the NFL to take the important step of requiring that every player do what Michael Vick has done and take the course in order to help prevent future acts of violence against animals and to equip players with information about respecting animals that they can share with their young fans.

Although the Vick story served as the first glimpse for many people into the gory details of dogfighting, the abuses detailed in Vick's indictment are as widespread as they are horrific. In the last year alone, PETA has responded to more than 14,000 calls and e-mail messages regarding other dogfighting and individual cruelty-to-animals cases. The crucial step now is to urge policymakers and law enforcement officers to treat all cases of dogfighting and cruelty to animals the same way that they handled Vick's high-profile case. To that end, please join PETA and ask the NFL to require that all its players, some of whom have been involved in a series of cruelty-to-animals cases, attend PETA's "Developing Empathy for Animals" course.

Thank you for helping us do all that we can to make the world a better place for animals.

Yours truly,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

P.S. If you'd like to help support PETA's educational programs, please make a donation today.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Falcons will ask for return of US$22 million in bonus money paid to Vick

GREAT! I'm happy to hear that Michael Vick not only got convicted for his appauling crimes, but has to pay back all the money back to the Atlantic Falcon's. Scum like that needs to be hurt where it hurts the most and since with him it's greed, he'll see crime doesn't pay! This article is in the MSN Sports Page.

Falcons will ask for return of US$22 million in bonus money paid to Vick

The Atlanta Falcons will try to convince an arbitrator the team deserves a refund on up to US$22 million in bonus money paid to quarterback Michael Vick.

The Falcons will be represented Thursday by team president and general manager Rich McKay and three more team officials in the private hearing in Philadelphia.

"I don't expect it will go beyond a day," said University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen B. Burbank, the special master who confirmed he will serve as arbitrator of the hearing at the law school.

Attorneys representing the NFL Players Association will argue against the Falcons' claim.

An expert in sports contracts said the Falcons face long odds in their effort to have bonus money returned to the team.

The Falcons are expected to contend that Vick knew he was in violation of the contract when he signed the $130 million deal in December of 2004, and that he used proceeds from the deal to fund his dogfighting operation.

"I think clearly it's a reach on the part of the Falcons," said Jerry Reisman, a contract and business lawyer based in Garden City, N.Y. "I think Vick earned that money. He received the roster bonus given out if you are on a roster at any point. He was on the roster in 2004 and earned the money."

Reisman said he has followed the case closely because it is an unusual demand by the Falcons.

"The Falcons are claiming that if they had known of Vick's criminal activity on the date he signed his contract in 2004 they wouldn't have signed the contract and therefore there was fraud," Reisman said.

Reisman said under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, bonus money earned can not be returned.
Reisman said the Falcons are asking for the refund from Vick but haven't in turn offered refunds to their customers.

"I don't know the Falcons have given back season tickets they sold," he said.

McKay was not available for comment Wednesday. Team spokesman Reggie Roberts said McKay is standing by his earlier statements that he would make no comment during the process.

On Aug. 27, Vick admitted helping to kill six to eight dogs and bankrolling the dogfighting operation that was based in Virginia and extended into other states.

Vick also faces new state felony charges in Virginia on two counts - beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and engaging in or promoting dogfighting. Each felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Vick found more trouble last month when he tested positive for marijuana, a violation of U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson's order that he stay clean in exchange for being allowed to be free.

Hudson ordered Vick can't leave his home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and also must submit to electronic monitoring and random drug testing.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

These pit bulls fighting the good fight vs. crime

Neville is a celebrity here in Ontario because how Michael Bryant's Bill 132 was going to MURDER him, but rescued to the U.S. and shows how a convicted dog turned Law Dog threw egg at Bryant's law, but the story doesn't stop at Neville.

This article was found on Azstarnet.

These pit bulls fighting the good fight vs. crime
By Jeremy Pawloski
McClatchy Newspapers
Tucson, Arizona
Published: 10.02.2007

Diane Jessup of LawDogsUSA rescues pit bulls from animal shelters and dogfighting busts nationwide and helps turn them into crime fighters at her Thurston County, Wash., kennel.

The Washington State Patrol uses eight pit bulls, donated by Jessup, as narcotics-detection and bomb-sniffing dogs, said Trooper Steve Gardner, a K-9 trainer for the patrol.

Jessup said the pit bulls she gives the patrol for specialized training are trailblazers in K-9 law enforcement, in which breeds such as Belgian Malinois, German shepherds and Doberman pinschers traditionally have dominated.

"My pit bulls right now are Jackie Robinson," she said. "They're breaking a barrier down." Pit bulls are unfair victims of negative publicity because some bad owners breed and train them for aggressiveness, Jessup said. Pit bulls are naturally friendly and good- natured, she said.

"If a pit bull kills a cat in Kansas, you'll hear about it. A lot of antisocial people own them," she said. "It would be nice if people saw the reality that most pit bulls are good."

Jessup has about 10 pit bulls — as well as some pups — on her property, which she calls "the pit bull paradise park." Jessup, 48, a Seattle native, said she has loved dogs for as long as she can remember. She said she has been breeding and raising pit bulls for about 35 years, and she worked as an animal control officer in Olympia for about 20 years.

At Jessup's kennel one recent Friday, some of her dogs ran loose and played, showing no aggression toward visiting strangers.

Jessup founded LawDogsUSA in 2004 when she sneaked a pit bull out of Ontario after a law was passed in Canada banning the dogs. The law would have subjected the dog, Neville, to euthanasia or life in a research facility, she said. Instead, he is working to protect Washington's ferries for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Jessup said she picks certain pit bulls that might have the right stuff for law enforcement training by measuring how good they are with people and whether they enjoy playing with a toy. It's important for a pit bull to love toys because they're used as rewards during training, she said.

Jessup said suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's guilty plea to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge has drawn attention to the fact that pit bulls often are mistreated. "They're finally seeing pit bulls as victims" instead of villains, she said.

Two puppies from Law- DogsUSA were about to enter the State Patrol's K-9 training academy, trainer Gardner said. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there has been a sharp increase in the number of dogs used for detecting explosives, Gardner said, and using the pit bulls donated by Jessup is one way the State Patrol is working to meet the need for qualified dogs.