The Good, The Bad and the Down Right Ugly of Social Media

I was recently asked an interesting question:

What affect the internet and social media have had on the debate over pit bulls.

…. And to be honest, it’s a complex question that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Let’s rewind time before the wonderful world wide web became available to the average Joe.

Our source of news was the TV, the newspaper and magazine publications which didn’t offer up the opportunity to instantly debate, correct, comment or share as we do now. Articles could and would repeat misinformation always with the slanted and obviously hyped heading ready with the purpose of selling. One view, one sided and usually unchallenged.

In the old days…

Brian C. Anderson’s article written for City Journal in 1999 is a great example of just that. Headline screaming, “Scared of Pit Bulls? You Better Be!”, filled with the usual cry for a breed ban and paragraphs of just how horrible the dogs and their owners are.

Who could forget the July 1987 cover on Sports Illustrated? The Pit Bull Friend and Killer” in bold letters, followed by the opening statement: America has a four legged problem called the American Pit bull terrier…”

Fast forward 20 years and it’s a whole new world. Of course, some of the media still runs the same misinformation, articles slanted with the purpose to garner clicks and subscribers ::::coughcough thetimesherald coughcouch::: that are filled with limited fact checking and nonsense, but unlike 20 years ago, the public can chime in as soon as the articles are published. Owners, veterinarians, trainers and experts can speak up and respond.

Building a Nationwide Community

The internet and social media has done wonders for the pit bull community. It creates places for millions of owners to talk, vent, ask questions, advocate, rescue, change laws, change minds and work cohesively to build a safer community for humans and their pets together.

Social Media has given non-profits like Stubby’s Heroes’ a platform to reach more people not just in their community but nationwide.
(Stubby’s Heroes’)

Launching their “This is Your Neighbors Pet”, Stubby Heroes’ slays the misconception and unfair stigma placed on millions of innocent dogs and shattering the unfair stereotype of millions of dog owners.

Thanks to social media, it gives owners a voice in sharing the lives of their pets and families. From pages like Rafa, The Not so Baby Pibble and Juno Z dog to the rescued and rehabilitated Vicks dogs, like the amazing Ray the Vicktory Dog that shared his training and rehabilitation with the world. Social media has also exposed the fear mongering that PETA and other BSL fear mongering groups attempting to call for the destruction of these amazing dogs.

(Ray the Vicktory Dog)

Thanks to the internet and social media, communities can pull together to organize anti BSL efforts while helping each other in sharing resources, tips and stories.


The Double Edged Sword

For as good as the internet and social media is for our dogs, it also opens the door for BSL advocate groups like, Daxton’s Friends and the Pit bull Propaganda Machine Reveled to spread their own message and create an online community.  It allows those intent on banning these dogs and isolating their owners a view into the lives of the people they have every intention of destroying.  From cyber stalking, threatening and even taking images of children to mock and ridicule on their hate pages,  the internet and social media has become just as valuable to them as it has their opposition.

It’s incredibly easy to point out all of the bad and place it justly on the shoulders of BSL advocates when it comes to damaging the image of the pit bulls and their owners, but it wouldn’t be accurate. As with any debate that stirs such emotion, extremists will always lift their ugly heads and extremists can be found on both sides of this argument. It became painfully obvious during the case of Mickey (the dog) and Kevin ( young boy from Phoenix) just how extremists from the pro pit bull advocacy was doing just as much damage as the BSL advocates.

It’s become obvious that the fight has been moving off the dogs and have become a human issue and the reason is a no brainer. Dogs have no clue about BSL. They have no clue that there are people bent on their destruction, nor do they always get to pick their owners. There are millions and millions of fantastic and amazing owners, yet many times, we hear about the small selective few who are absolute morons that should never have been allowed to take care of any living thing and have caused such a horrific tragedy that the news have plastered the story all over the internet.

Thanks to the internet, you can google anything. Not only can you find positive pit bull videos but you can find the worst videos ever known to man that include pit bulls. Unlike BSL advocates, I refuse to post them. Honestly, I refuse to even google them. There is no denying the brutality that these dogs can commit when placed in the wrong hands and sadly, the wrong hands can sometimes be from the people who had good intentions in the first place.

To Kill a Myth

Repeat after me… There is no such thing as a Nanny Dog. There is no such thing as a Nanny Dog. There is no such thing as a Nanny dog.

There is no such thing as a Nanny Dog.  We do not live in a Disney cartoon where our dogs wander around with a bonnet and have the ability to babysit our children. Are our dogs amazing? Yes. Do they “love” their family members? Of course.  Will they try to protect their family? Absolutely, but will your dog babysit or take care of your child all by themselves? Hell no.

It makes my eye cross when I read “Pit bulls were bread to be Nanny Dogs!” because it logically makes absolutely no sense to me and nor should it make any sense to any pit bull owner. Our dogs are powerful animals. The strength and stamina they have is amazing and yet, they can be gentle, lazy dogs but the key word is: they are just that… dogs. Animals. Carnivores. They don’t process things like humans, nor will they react the same way as humans and it’s obvious by certain videos circulating the internet, there are many humans who are not even capable of reading their dogs body language.


Parents who find this cute and funny….

None of that makes sense to me but if any of those dogs bite those children, the parents will stand around and wonder “But I don’t know what happpppennned!” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s true: The Nanny dog myth kills and it needs to stop, with us. Our community needs to keep correcting it EVERY DAMN TIME WE HEAR IT. A great advocate said something that I think is essential because it is 100% true :

“The fact that these dogs are good family dogs has been twisted by our own community and is causing our dogs to fail, and for kids to get hurt.”

The greatest thing about the internet and social media when it comes do our dogs and our advocacy is that it gives all of us the chance to speak up and squash the misconceptions and myths that started a long time ago. The internet and social media is our tool and it can help us do amazing things. It can help us find homes for dogs, help our community with services, fund raise, share, laugh, make amazing friends across the nation. It gives us an opportunity to pull together and be the voice for our pets and our families. Just like any tool, it comes with great responsibility because for as good as it can do, it can just as much harm with the simplest of ease… by just pressing enter.

With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

  • Spiderman or Voltaire
  • (Your choice…)

Her Name was Becca.


Her name was Becca.  She was 22 years old, a loving fiancé, an adoring mother to an 18-month old daughter, a close sister, a cousin and a daughter.  She was filled with so much life, filled with so much love and had the capability to do and be anything she wanted to do and at 22 years old, why wouldn’t you be filled with so much…life?

Becca was brutally killed December 3, 2015 after a devastating dog attack. As a mother, my heart breaks, not just for the young daughter she left behind but for Becca.  As a mother, one of my dreams in life is to live long enough to watch them grow into amazing women who will make a difference in the world, be it small or large and I am sure that Becca and I shared that dream.

I will be honest, I barely slept at all last night after writing a story about her tragic death. I kept looking at my 2 ½ year old who was continuously kicking me in the throat because she wanted to sleep like a toddler ninja that took up 68% of my bed and the urge to pick her up and cradle her was overwhelming. I know, deep down inside as a mother, that the last thoughts that Becca had as she laid on the cold hard ground dying was about her beautiful daughter Molly. I can only hope that those images in her fading mind where her daughters infectious laugh, those bright blue eyes and the smile that could make the heart of the Grinch grow two sizes bigger. I pray that as she took her last breath, she thought of the games of peek a boo and playing catch with a beach ball in the dining room and I can only hope that with her death, we all learn something that a tragedy like this can teach us. Compassion.

This death shouldn’t be about a fight over Breed Specific Legislation, but like many controversial issues, it never is that simple and I think this tragedy shines a light on the ugly belief system that fuels the Pro- BSL Advocacy and shockingly, Colleen Lynn sets the tone for this as she herself labels the grieving fiancé as a “super nutter” because he spoke out and refuse to try to destroy a whole breed of dogs because of the actions of a few., a “public education website” dedicated to advocating for Breed Specific Legislation and the extermination of all pit bull, pit bull type dogs and a every growing list of breeds of dogs they deem to be dangers.  

According to Colleen Lynn, champions the rights of victims through their research, education and advocacy, even going as far as stating: “Victims of serious and fatal dog maulings, families and friends, health and public safety officials and the concerned public need advocates too. We advocate for you.”  Yet their online behavior screams just the opposite, which seems to be selective at the best and the requirements are simple:

Join in their fight for the banning and extermination of pit bull/pit bull mixes or what they deem pit bulls.

This is the side of the BSL Advocacy, the self-proclaimed “victim’s advocacy” that the public needs to see. Their advocacy isn’t about making our community a safer place or allowing the grieving families to attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives in a safe and protected atmosphere, it’s about keeping the victim’s family in this violent and vicious circle of continuous pain to break them down and submit to their cause, to break them down to such a weakened state that the victims’ families just can’t not find the strength the fight the onslaught of abuse that the “victim’s advocate” heap onto the family.

“Apparently when you have a family of pit bull breeders…. they will do/say anything to keep that business thriving. Even when a beautiful life has been stolen. Disgusting. The fiancé needs to be LOCKED away. That child needs to be protected!! I PRAY.”- Jennifer Martin Kim

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“This guy OWNS a Pit Bull?!?!?  His kid is next, it’s just a matter of time…” Joy Bailey


“And yes, you do destroy a whole breed because of a few bad seeds because there are safer breeds available. We do this with humans too. Every Nazi was rounded up and executed.”- James Hassinger

“Her grieving fiancé needs a lesson in grammar and spelling check.

Oh, and he probably should do a little scientific research before making claims that the attack has nothing to do with the breed”- Rebecca Tomaszewski

“He’s a piece of shit. Maybe he threw his lady over the fence…. doesn’t sound like a great relationship to me?  What a f****ing fiasco during the attack; no real action so the Pit Mix joins in the fun too”- Lesley Karen Luscombe

“She was probably escaping from this idiot’s violence. He’s probably happy the dogs finished off the job he started. And I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if he ran her or tossed her into that yard.” – Stacy Westover

“This twerp is the perfect size for an overhead swing and a head first slam into a garbage can, followed by the question, “Still feeling accomplished mother fucker?”- Jimmy Younger

“White trash, possibly abuser!!!” – Sandrine Sandy Georges



I wish I could say “Becca is in a better place” and mean it. As a mother, the best place I could think of would be with my family and I know that is where she would want to be. Heaven on earth was walking the beach with Molly’s hand in hers. I grieve for Becca and I grieve for the light extinguished far too soon.

Thanksgiving with the Cliftons

I guess when you are married to the man known for infidelity and bull shit statistics, one must live by a set of rules.

1. Never disagree with Merritt

Why is that? Go ahead and ask Merritt’s new wife’s son ….


Greg posted a picture of his children with a “Happy Thanksgiving” message onto the Facebook page of his infamous step father… It seems as if one of Beth’s children refuses to follow in his mothers footsteps and throw their family dogs under the bus and he’s paying the price for it. His own mother blocked him because her son- her flesh and blood- decided he didn’t want to hear Merritt’s regurgitated bull shit.


Maybe Beth doesn’t realize, but just because she married Merritt doesn’t mean her children have to accept him. Has she considered that maybe he doesn’t want that lying and notorious womanizer as his stepfather OR grandfather to his children? Considering the type of dogs Greg does own, maybe Greg is tired of Merritt classifying him as a KKK racist dog fighting piece of trash for owning pit type dogs?

Great mothering Beth, it’s either Merritt’s way or the highway…right?


Dear Scrappy,

I’m pretty sure you don’t remember, but you started life in a real crappy place, but I remember when I first saw you. Getting a new dog wasn’t on my list and I wasn’t even prepared for when I first saw you.

Covered in dog poop, trembling and I’m pretty sure at one point you peed on me but I knew, deep down you were going to be part of our family.


Begrudgingly Gustavo accepted you, the kid adored you and the hubby knew you weren’t going anywhere, you had found your forever home.


I won’t lie, you were not the easiest puppy. You destroyed 2 pillows, chewed a couch cushion up, dug a hole in a mattress (with some help from Gustavo),  chewed a few phone cords, a couple of shoes, a remote and countless puppy toys…


But every night, you curled right by my legs, rested your head on my knee and fell asleep.  You knew you belonged here.

I watched you grow every day, you learned how to sit and use the doggy door. You played with the kid, fetched the balls, watched her dance, listened to her sing and became her best friend.


Oh, Scrappy McScrapster. I know there are people out there that will judge you based off how you look. They will assume that you will do horrible things and they don’t even know you… But I know you.


I know that you sit at the window and wait for the kid to come home. I know that you protect the other kid from roaming dinosaurs, because you are just that awesome.

You were here when the new addition came, those sleepless nights, the rattles, the bouncers and the infamous walker. You watched Frozen on repeat, became a honorary member of paw patrol and joined tea parties.


You are not just a good dog, but you are a freaking awesome dog and you are not alone. Sure, there are those morons that will slobber and screen cap your image, call you horrible names in their hate groups but I know you and to be honest… You don’t care.


Why? ‘Cuz you, Mr. Scrappy McScrapster, the Amazing Bat dog are just that awesome.

Thank you for just being you.


Behind the Dogs.

So, I had this whole idea to write about pit bulls… Shocking, right?! However, I think what is just as important as our beloved multiple breeds that make up the awesome pit bull label are….. the people behind the leashes. The advocates, the rescues, the people that are knee deep in doing everything they can to fix the wrongs created by ignorance, stupidity and hate.


I’ve been really blessed to get to know people responsible for paving the way for my children and millions of others to have the pleasure of owning dogs that they grew up with. Advocates and rescues fighting to help veterans keep the dogs they need. Advocates and rescues doing everything they can to keep families and family pets united because of so many housing breed restrictions. Advocates and rescues building a stronger community by serving their communities, homeless pet services, s/n, free training classes, low income services, seriously… The list goes on.


  Just like every city, Phoenix rescues are diverse and yet unique with the issues they face. Phoenix has a huge problem with an over population of dogs (thanks to the popularity of back yard breeding.). Phoenix has a dog fighting problem. Phoenix has a lot of issues and there are rescues and advocates like Trinity, founder and dog advocate with Master the Mutts, that work tirelessly every day to make our community a better and safer place for humans and pets.

I was blessed to have a moment to pick her brain about the hurdles many small rescues like her face.

1. What are some of the biggest issues you face as a small rescue?

Trinity: I believe most rescues would say finding fosters, although I am different from most rescues.  I do not use boarding and I have only two very close trusted fosters.  My biggest issues are funding and finding suitable adopters for my dogs and puppies.  I have had puppies who are now getting close to six months of age.  I have had adult dogs for close to a year before finding their forever homes.  Not that the dogs have any special needs or have any behavioral issues, there just isn’t enough people willing to adopt.  Caring for numerous dogs costs more then an adoption fee could ever cover.  Most of my adult dogs have close to $200 in vet bills and are only adopted out for $75-$125 dollars.  This does not include the cost of everyday care. 

2. What are your views on breed specific legislation and breed bans? Should there be some kind of legislation to try to stop back yard breeders and irresponsible dog ownership?

Trinity: Breed Specific Legislation and Breed Bans is a major reason our shelters are overfilling with dogs.

So many families have surrendered their dogs due to these.  When the economy crashed many people lost their homes, forcing them to downsize and move.  Phoenix, even though I feel is a very dog friendly city, has so many Breed Bans on apartments, complexes and Hoa’s.  This does not only cause people to surrender their dogs, but it causes many potential adopters to not adopt.

Back yard breeders are another huge issue.  There are so many programs and ways to get dogs spayed and neutered for not only free but at minimal costs.  I have no issues with breeders who are educated, and breed AKC  registered breeds.  They are doing it correctly.

I come across so many people who breed their mixed breed dogs just to sell them for a quick $50.  Phoenix does not need any more mixed breed dogs, the shelters are overfilling, many are mixed breed chihuahua or pit bulls.  These are two breeds most likely being euthanized in Phoenix every day. There are over 100 dogs being euthanized every single day in phoenix.  Yet the shelters are still filling up. 

3. Phoenix/Maricopa county is so enormous and the climate is so different than many states – how does that affect your rescues and what you see?

Trinity: I come from the east coast.  It was shocking to see the amount of stray dogs in Phoenix.  I also noticed many of the transient citizens have dogs as well.  These two things I was not use to at all.  I believe maybe the temperature has something to do with this, more suitable condition for a stray dog to survive compared to the harsh winters of New England.  The amount of strays or loose roaming dogs is overwhelming.  This really is an issue.  This is how unwanted litters are made.  Phoenix is highly populated, unfortunately many people seems to not value the lives of dogs. 

4. I, myself am  a pit / mutt owner and I honestly had no clue about the negative stereotype of this “breed” until I came across a group called Have you ever had to deal with that group?

Trinity: Unfortunately I have come across this website before. All I can say is they do nothing but hurt an already broken system in dire need of fixing.  I honestly don’t believe these people known the first thing when it comes to dogs.  The media is biased which leads people to believe Pit Bulls are something they most certainly are not. 

5. What are some of the issues you see going on within the rescue community?

Trinity: There could be a reality show following some of the rescues in Phoenix.  Unfortunately there are many rescues who are not in it for the dogs.  It’s sad to say and it’s even sadder to see.  Most rescues are about making money.  They keep their dogs in deplorable conditions.  They are worse then dog hoarders.

Many rescues I would consider puppy flippers, which are people who basically take in a dog to sell right away to make money.  It’s sad because they give rescues a bad name. I know of several rescues who have lost track of their dogs and puppies, adopted out puppies to people who honestly should not own dogs, they don’t give the dogs proper medical care, they don’t do home checks, they don’t follow up on dogs, they are money motivated.  This is sad.
  There needs to be some sort of system in place to monitor rescues, something needs to be done.

I know of one rescue who adopts out aggressive dogs with out giving them the proper training, even basic training that they need.  This makes it hard for people to want to adopt from a rescue once they have had a bad experience.  I even know of a rescue who takes in hurt and injured dogs, just so they can ask for donations, which never goes to the actual dog.  This is fraud, this is sick.  This is an issue with many of the larger rescues in Phoenix. 

6. Your view on the no kill movement? No one likes to euthanize animals but have you come across dogs that there is no other option due to aggression?

Trinity: There is never a truly no kill shelter.  Many dogs need to be euthanized due to medical issues.  Sometimes it’s the humane thing to do.  I understand this.  I am not against a humane euthanasia.  I don’t like when shelters euthanize perfectly healthy family dogs.  Again, I don’t believe in having aggressive dogs.  There is too many amazing, well trained, family dogs who are being euthanized on a daily basis.  I do know that some dogs due to their upbringing have behavioral aggression issues.  Some are so bad there really is no hope.  That’s why I would like to open an Aggressive Dog Sanctuary in Northern Arizona. 

Sadly there isn’t any option at the moment for aggressive dogs. I don’t believe aggression is a dogs fault at all, there needs to be an outlet for them as well.  Normal rescuing to adopt out is not one of them.  This is why I would like to open my sanctuary for them.  Until then humane euthanasia may be the only option 

7. What is your experience for Animal Control in Phoenix?

Trinity: The Animal Control in Phoenix has quite the bad rap.  I don’t listen to the negativity.  Every experience I have had with animal control has been delightful.  They are not the bad guys.  One issue that I do see is the initial evaluation at intake to the shelters, dogs sometimes get misclassified. Yet they are more then happy to re evaluate a dog when requested to do so.  Again this has to do with an overwhelming amount of dogs being taken into the shelters.

8. According to – “Pit Bulls ignore signs of submission from other dogs”, and “give no warning prior to attack” – What are your thoughts on this statement?

Trinity: This is the most inaccurate and ignorant thing I have read in a long time. 

9. likes to cherry pick info from the ASPCA and they throw this statement out all the time – “Install a panic button in rooms housing pit bulls along with other restraint equipment in any room housing pit bulls”, what are your thoughts on this?

Trinity: Things like this only hurt animals in need.  I would disassociate and remove myself from contact with anyone who truly believes they need a panic button for owning a pit bull.  Is this for dog fighters? People who are training their dogs to attack people?  I honestly can’t even begin to think of a response to this. 

10. From your experience – the good, bad and the ugly: What is really needed to crack down on dog fighting, back yard breeding, abuse and animal hoarding?

Stricter laws and public education.  Yet many of the cases of animal abuse and neglect that I have seen personally have been families who should probably have the Police and  Child Protective Services heavily involved in their lives. 

11. Is dog fighting a issue in Phoenix?

Trinity: Yes very much so.  About three years ago, there was a dog fighting ring broken up by police just blocks from where I live.  Unfortunately there are many people with different cultural backgrounds and values who reside in Phoenix.  They are used to what they are used to, unfortunately dog fighting is accepted in certain cultures.  This is where stricter laws and education could come in handy. 

12. What are things your rescue needs?

I am constantly in need of food, treats, blankets, crates, kennels, leashes, collars, dog beds, towels, funding for vetting, locations for adoption events, volunteers, signs, I am in need of everything on a constant basis.  When I do get donations I always give to other rescues as well.  Anything that can be bleached and cleaned is perfect.  Nothing needs to be new either.  I can even taken in old and broken kennels, I have ways of fixing them and making them like new again.  I also have a paypal account for donations.  [email protected]

#pitbullweek is about so much more than our dogs. It’s about those that sacrifice and work daily for millions of dogs. Many times those people are nameless, unknown and sometimes forgotten about. It’s people like Trinity and the hundreds and thousands of advocates and rescues that shed blood, sweat and tears trying to educate our communities and make it a better place for humans and animals alike.

I can’t thank people like Trinity enough for doing what they do and I’m so excited about dedicating this week to Advocates and Rescues. Granted, they might not be as cute as the pooches they rescue and fight for, but without them, we wouldn’t be blessed with our two pampered pooches.


August 12, 1991

(Image found on Occupy BSL)

August 12, 1991- the first dog killed because of Breed Specific Legislation and thousands more followed.

The Act ordered all Pit Bull types to be neutered or killed. – Huffington Post

It’s incredibly important we show the impact of unethical journalism. When the media purposefully feeds the fear mongering propaganda machine blood is usually spilled and victims are born.

Dogs were taken from homes and labeled as hell hounds. Innocent dogs. Innocent dogs that never hurt anyone. Innocent families watched their beloved pet be dragged out on a catch pole- frightened and struggling. Innocent dogs taken. Secret kennels for a group of people to figure out if the dog was a dangerous breed. Thousands of innocent dogs never made it back home.

One last wimper… On August 12,1991- the United Kingdom killed it’s first pit bull type dog. The media glorified it. The media rejoiced in it and the media profited from it. Fear sells and innocent families and innocent dogs will continue to pay the ultimate price.