What is HELP FIDO?

Humane Education Leads to Progress
For Informed Dog Owners

Vision Statement: We envision a society free from discrimination, where responsibility, education, love and compassion allow humans to fully respect and understand man's best friend.

Monday, August 4, 2008

DNA testing....Aren't we all just mutts?

BAD RAP reported on this in a great blog about Tank...a mixed breed pup with what Franklin County dog wardens would probably label as a "mixed breed dog whose appearance and physical characteristics is predominately those of any of the dogs . . . or is a combination of any of the dogs listed" including American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bulldog. How they become experts at this is any one's guess. Lisa will be posting a longer blog detailing the ins and outs of Ohio Revised Code and how it is enforced. But I wanted to touch again on the importance of how difficult it is to determine the breed of a dog, and more importantly how that determination is used to decide whether a dog is adoptable or to be killed simply because of its supposed breed and not because of behavior.
Taking a cruise through the Franklin County Dog Shelter's adoptable website - one finds some lovely mutts. This little guy to the left is labeled as a mixed breed - and I am certain he is!! But look at that brindle coat . . . those ears...that big head... dogs like him (especially in Whitehall where everyone is the expert!) might find his very life at stake because he looks so . . . mixed!

Noted in BAD RAP's blog is a recent article in the Boston Globe about DNA testing, and how several shelters in the Boston area are ready to stop trying to identify breeds in obvious mixed dogs and label them as "New England Mutts" (note: Would that mean if done here they would be "Buckeye Mutts"?? Ponder this and get back to me!). Later in the Boston article they tell of an owner who had her dog tested, and whose test results showed a "trace" of pit bull. Hoping to prove a point she asked that her dog's label as pit bull be changed...only to be told by the city's ACO's that the trace was enough. To me, and this is not meant in any way to lessen the drama of their plight, this situation reminds me the civil rights movement. In the very least, the discussion of "trace" ancestry reeks of Nazi-ism.

So - as a reminder - if you or someone you know has gotten their dog DNA tested, HELP FIDO is accruing this information for a research project. You can read more here and you can contact us for more info. Unlike some places in this country. . . all dogs and their test results are welcomed!!

1 comment:

Boris said...

Sasha and Sparky,

You got a great set of advocates in your family, and from the heart of the Buckeye State at that!

I so enjoy the OH state and the ‘Forest City’ that shaped my early 21 years and my immediate family. Still, I know how hard it is to overcome the local bigotry and to influence constructive change. Some 'burbs there are still going down that old path to a 'the Mistake by the Lake' name with BSL. I'm glad to hear Revenna showed their morals and supported their local Animal Control officers:

As for DNA testing, I agree with the blog that the ‘trace-evidence’ categorizing is scary. I hope this doesn’t turn into a reason to not get your dog analyzed. Still, Boris’ temperament and compassion tell us more about him everyday than some typed genetic sequence.

HELP FIDO carries those key APBT characteristics and BadRap concepts of: "Resist Ignorance - Educate & Inspire". And, you’re folks are inspirational.

Like Boris, we'll check-back.
Boris' OEL

These are the dogs of HELP FIDO...our dogs...this is why we are here...