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Board of Directors / Lawyers / Experts / Consultants
Responsible Dog Ownership / Education Programs
Legislation 2001 - 2006
FATAL DOG ATTACKS updated 2006
Canine Behavior / Genetics
The American Pit Bull Terrier / Breeds targeted by BSL

Do you have a story, newspaper coverage or magazine article ? Send it to us and we will publish it for you !!!

August 22, 2003
On Friday August 22, 2003 9:30 a.m. American Canine Foundation / IPBA in behalf of members in Iowa filed a lawsuit against the city of Ottumwa Iowa for 750,000 dollars damages for banning American Pit Bull Terriers in March 2003.

In a hearing to stop enforcement of the ordinance earlier this year ACF members who testified against the city were forced to remove their APBTS. The court ruled the city could not identify APBT'S until the Declaratory Judgment trial scheduled for the first part 2004 takes place. The city ignored the courts order and because ACF members were forced to surrender their property without compensation ACF filed civil action citing violations of the US and Iowa Constitutions.

The trials for Declaratory Judgment and the Civil Action will take place early 2004. ACF made all attempts to resolve the breed specific legislation in Ottumwa without civil action, however continued harassment by law enforcement over APBT ownership left no choice.

Senator Buzz Thomas' Friday Report
A Clear Vision of Events in Detroit,
Lansing and Washington DC
Friday, August 29, 2003

Pit Bull Legislation Hotly Contested

In the Monday, August 25th edition of the Detroit
News an article regarding a proposal to ban pit bulls
has perked some ears. In the article, Senator Thomas
was mentioned to have had a meeting with
well-respected Southfield attorney, Arnold Reed.

Senator Thomas met with Mr. Reed that same
morning to discuss legislation that would involve
 greater responsibility and punishment to
owners of vicious dogs. A potential bill is
 in the early stages of being crafted.

Senator Thomas has been in contact with the
American Canine Foundation, which admits that
dog owners of all breeds would welcome greater
responsibility. Such legislation has been very successful
in Pacific coast states.

The American Canine Foundation and Senator Thomas
agree that breed specific banning is not only near
impossible to enact, but tragically unfair to responsible
dog owners. As always, Thomas is collecting input
from concerned people and advocacy groups to
ensure that a possible legislative compromise benefits
all citizens of Michigan  
Senator Buzz Thomas

October 31, 2003
Dnever Dog owners along with A.C.F. protested in front of the Denver County City Building opposing the Denver breed ban on APBT's on October 31 2003. Braving the 20 degree weather to get attention from the Media the protesters held out for as long as possible, Channel 7 was on location and Media has been contacting dog owners and ACF for coverage on the attempt to repeal the discriminatory law. Some members of City Council are willing to listen and dog owners will be meeting with Council members in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime ACF along with Howard Margoilus, Myriam Reynolds and Kate Crowley have retained council to litigate if diplomatic steps fail.
October 2003
Trina's landlord was prohibiting her from owning Pit Bulls !
From Trina Greenfield:

"I just want to greatly thank you guys for all of the help! We had our court case today and when the judge saw the papers you had faxed to me along with all of the others I obtained from your site, she said the issue was NOT going to be anything about my breed of dogs and did NOT want to hear anything further on that at all. We got exactly what we were going into court to ask for all to the dismay of the landlord. I am so grateful in knowing that there are people out there that have some intelligence on matters such as these and that help protect the many of us that are responsible dog owners. I have told many other people about your organization and all you tried to do for me on such short notice. There's not many others that would have done the same. Thank you so much, again and I look forward to offering whatever support I can in return."

Trina Greenfield

Pitbull ban struck down -- Germany
March 19 2004 at 3:59 PM




Dangerous dogs ban struck down


Germany's supreme court yesterday struck down a federal ban on breeding dangerous dogs that was introduced amid a wave of revulsion over the death by mauling of a six-year-old boy

Constitutional Court
ruled that the federal government had no right to outlaw the breeding of pitbulls, Staffordshire terriers and bull terriers.

The court in
Karlsruhe, south-west Germany
also upheld a related ban on the import of pitbulls, Staffordshire terriers and bull terriers.

The measures took effect in 2001, nearly a year after the boy Volkan, was mauled to death by a pitbull and a Staffordshire terrier in
Hamburg, northern Germany.
Dog-breeders challenged the laws, claiming a blanket ban was unfair because the breeds were not particularly dangerous by nature, but only
if their owners failed to train them properly - Sapa-AFP


Fatal Dog Attack
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Poul Poulsen EUROWAF

The Alabama Supreme Court / Hunstsville vs Shelia Tack, Kay Nagel/WAF

Pontiac Michigan/ WAF filed a 500,000,00 dollar lawsuit against Pontiac on Decmeber 13th 2001 for passing a breed ban, the ban was repealed in 2002.

In Ohio ACF is fighting two constitutional challenges against Ohio RC 955:11/22 which declares the American Pit Bull Terrier "vicious."

Toledo Blade News Story 4/28/03

Seattle PI News Paper " Pit Bulls are not a problem in Seattle"

ACF presents expert testimony in Ohio:

Denver Colorado has a breed ban, read this story !

On January 7th, ACF Vice President Glen Bui along with Russ Vanhouten ( Northglen Police ) were on the Reggie Rivers Show PBS Ch 12 Denver Colorado debating breed specific legislation.

Auburn Washington February 6 2004

ACF Consultant Jeff Armstrong goes to the media in Chicago Feb 2004

More ACF News Headlines and stories:

Breed Bans do not work:

Denver Post writes about BSL and HB1279:,1413,36~53~2089681,00.html


On April 17th, I was on KTIE 590, talk radio.  The program is called "Dog Dish" with hostess Jill 'Kesseler' Miller.  Dog Dish covers all topics of interest to the dog world.

On this past Saturday, April 17th, the main topics were Breed Specific Legislation and PETA.


I was the main call-in guest and helped to explain some of the BSL that is happening around the country and what the ultimate outcome and goals of such legislation will be.

The recent program on Showtime hosted by Penn and Tellor was also discussed along with their expose of animal rights activists.

I was interviewed on the air for almost 45 minutes and hopefully helped to educate many about bad dog laws and the real threat that is looming in this country.

Jill, a long time personal friend and fellow dog owner,  has asked me or any other ACF members to hopefully join in for a monthly update on any  legislation happening around the country.

You may listen WORLDWIDE on the internet via and YOU can also call in with your opinions by dialing 1-877-590-KTIE anytime Saturdays, 4:00pm to 5:00pm Pacific Time. Please be there for our dogs!

Jill is using her show to educate others not only about our dogs or your dogs but all dogs!


hugs to all the canines


Dear Mayor Lewis

My name is Jeff Armstrong, I am writing this letter as it has come to my attention that Auburn. May be looking at BSL Breed specific laws. First off let me give you a brief history of myself. I lobbied in Illinois back in 2002, my state rep, my now ten year old son Ryan was attacked and almost killed in 2001.

Yes, by a stray dangerous dog, the breed does not matter? At the time breed did matter but after months and months of research, it's not the dog. It is the irresponsible dog owner that is the problem, all dogs have teeth and all dogs can bite. Yes, the larger working breeds can do some damage (so can the small dogs pending on the size of the person attacked), does the larger dog know that? No not at all, does the owner know that the dog has a problem, yes in deed. So now we see attacks all over this country, and I have been following them for some time. Who's at fault, who teaches the dog? Now the reason I sought out the help of my state rep is, finally after the use of DNA evidence and about nine months and then some. The dog/owner is proved with the DNA evidence taken of my son Ryan's coat. This was a very time consuming/court after court date delay-delay-delay to get a judge to sign a saliva court order.

Mr. Heid I am sure you can relate to that, judges are very cautious as to people's rights and they should be. So I get my day in court, and wella no state statues exist to charge the irresponsible dog owner with, a few Animal control ordinances, fines are minimal at best. The states attorney ended up charging the man with a whopping $200.00 fine and six months court supervision, because Illinois lacked the statutes. The man should have been charged with attempted murder. Well, the penalties are a bit stronger now.... During my first phone call to my state rep, I mentioned I do not want the new proposed bill to include any BREED specific clauses. He did agree and also stated he believes it is unconstitutional, which it is. So this went on I lobbied the Illinois PTA (Parent Teacher Association), Governor Blagojevich just to name a few. I was successful in my crusade as it has been called, on August 19.2003 the governor signed HB-184 into law now known as the "Ryan Armstrong Law" as declared by Governor Blagojevich...and it is a fair but very strict law. Now pending on the circumstances of the attack, the law contains felony charges up to 5 years in prison and up to a $25,000.00 fine. Also the law contains numerous fines for being an irresponsible dog owner. A huge deterrent in place as we say.... I would ask that Auburn please consider the "Ryan Armstrong Law" as a model for a fair approach to curbing dangerous/viciuos dog attacks.

Recently the ACF (American Canine Foundation) has asked if I would consult for them, and I accepted. The ACF saw what I did here Illinois, and agreed with what I had done here in Illinois. I feel what the ACF represents is also of model legislation, and a fair approach to curbing dog attacks. I thank you for your time gentleman, and please feel free to contact me at any time. I will put a series of links, so you may read for your self about what I pushed for in Illinois and what the Governor had to say about the whole ordeal.... Also I will add several states are looking into the "Ryan Armstrong Law," Kansas, Colorado, Missouri has changed their laws (see the link below). South Carolina PTA is looking into the law. I have been asked to host a work shop, at the Illinois State PTA convention on May 2.2004. To show anyone wishing to attend we do have a say, in our government. Calling it my grass root efforts. 


Jeff Armstrong 

Parents Against Irresponsible Dog Owners 

Consultant for the ACF (American Canine Foundation) Links Below: RecNum=2226 DocTypeID=HB&LegID=411&SessionID=3 format=ppo-short&paper2=&archive=localnews&year=2002&words=Jeff+Armstrong qmode=&format=ppo-short&words=Jeff%20Armstrong&page=1,1713,BDC_2495_2582003,00.html %20Agendas/Public%20Health%20Subcommittee/2004/01-21-04.htm

 Just recently.....Cook County has adopted the "Ryan Armstrong Law"

By Dr M Malini DVM  as posted on the NCRF Website :

1. Genes do not cause anything. They dont cause breast cancer; they dont cause aggression; they dont cause blue eyes or floppy ears. Saying that genes cause problems is a device used by those who a) dont know any better or b) are seeking a quick-and-dirty way to reduce an incredibly complex concept to a sound-bite for the masses.

2. Aggression per se is not a problem. There isnt a single living being who doesnt owe his, her, or its existence to the willingness of his, her, or its ancestors to display aggression. Sperm compete with each other, developing mother and fetus fight over scarce resources, as do developing young from moment of conception until death possibly years later. Without a willingness to display aggression, none of us would be here. To me that means that the probability of any DNA associated with aggression in any dog breed being relegated to that relatively small amount that separates one breed from another is extremely low. The principle of conservation of energy would seem to guarantee that aggression is simply too fundamental and important a characteristic for survival in all living beings for that DNA associated with it to be distributed that way. It seems far more likely that all the "recipes" for aggression reside in that large lump of genetic material we share with at least the bulk of animal life if not all living things.

3. No agreement exists on the definition of normal aggression, let alone problem aggression. A dog who attacks a serial killer trying to off his owner is a hero; a dog who attacks the local minister is a killer. Some owners think a dog has a right to bite a child who kicks the animal; other people believe that no dog should ever bite any human under any circumstances. Some clients come to me because their dogs bit someone else after biting only family members for years. Other comes for exactly the opposite reason: the dog is now biting them as well as everyone else.

4. Even if we could agree on a definition of problem aggression and isolate what will surely be the multiple genes associated with it, the most we could do would be to attribute that particular behavior to a particular dog in a particular situation. That is, behavior only has meaning in context. Behaviors may be described as, for example, dominant or subordinate, but the dogs cannot be except in that particular situation.

5. Police, shelter workers, insurance company reps, medical personnel and others who may be involved in dog bite cases often have little or no knowledge of normal dog behavior. Because of this, they often dont get any kind of meaningful history because they dont know the right questions to ask. Consequently, in order to say anything meaningful about the attack, we need a decent history. Without it, the most we can do is guess which is, unfortunately, more often the case than not.

6. In volume VII, No #4 1994 of the interdisciplinary bond journal, Anthrozoos, theres an interesting article entitled "Dog on a Tightrope: The position of the dog in British society as influenced by press reports (1988 to 1992)" by Anthony Podberscek. Although theoretically dated as research articles go, the material is a fine example of the old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Podberscek contends that "the media, public, and government response to dog attacks is an overreaction to the generally held ideal that the dogs position in society is as a loyal and faithful companion," a relationship based on what those of us in the bond arena refer to "disneyfication." Because of the ideal arises from myth rather than recognition of normal canine behavior, the dogs relationship to us is highly unstable. Podberscek also points out that, even though rottweilers and GSDs were involved in numerous attacks, both of these breeds were eliminated from Britains Dangerous Dogs Act which only named four breeds: "the type known as Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Filo Braziliero." The fact that the latter two breeds didnt exist in the UK and there was only one Tosa in the country at that time makes it clear that this law was not about protecting the public from dog attacks. I agree with Poberscek that the reason these dogs were targeted and the far, far, more numerous rottwielers and GSDs were not was because the former were associated with drug dealers whereas the latter were associated with the police work and as guardians of estates and places of business. Thus the banned dogs became the symbol of what the media and public hoped to do to the drug dealerslock them up, muzzle them, or put them down.

It seems to me that 10 years later, the parallels between breed bans and ethnic cleansing and the fact that those viewed as minorities in certain areas may still be over-represented among drug dealers and dog fighters suggest that this projected symbolism remains alive and well.

7. Relative to the medias penchant for seeing a pit bull every time they report a dog attack, it reminds me of a phenomenon in psychiatry known as "semantic contagion." A corollary of this is medicine is"meetingitis." What happens is that, as soon as someone starts writing or talking about a problem, people start to see it everywhere. Years ago everyone was having nervous breakdowns, then they were all schizophrenics. Now everyones depressed. My dentist is so susceptible to this that I always make sure not to schedule an appointment with him for the week after he returns from a meeting because I knew that, regardless what problem I went in with, Ill come out with the one he heard about that week. I used to work for a veterinarian who did the same with medical diseases and I know the same thing happens with behavioral problems. In spite of the fact that no agreed on definition for separation anxiety exists (either), its surprising how many dogs now have this problem. Given the tendency for the human mind to work this way, it wouldnt surprise me if the same thing happens in the media when it comes to pinning breed labels on dogs. Granted some unscrupulous journalists undoubtedly will refer to a biting dog as a pit bull or pit bull type even if the animal is obviously a ShiTzu if it might increase the chance the wire services will pick up the article. However, I think that, aside from whatever breeds a person happens to know from personal experience, most people recognize relatively few purebreds. Rather they lump dogs in often highly nonspecific, arbitrary groups such as "yappy little dogs" or "squashed nosed ones." Hence the person who looked at the Boston terrier and said, "Is that a mini-pit bull?"

8. In keeping with disneyfication, the human-animal bond is often reduced to a public relations or marketing device. In reality, the nature of the human-canine relationship plays a critical role in canine aggression. In spite of the fact that owners often express shock when their dog bites them or someone else, a complete history of the dog and its relationship reveals a scenario that more often than not unfolds like a Greek tragedy. The question is rarely if these dogs will bite, but merely when, who, and where. Just as its virtually impossible to change a dogs or humans behavior without changing their physiology and vice versa, its also impossible to change their relationship without changing the other two. What those who seek to ban breeds and even ultimately the entire domestic canine species fail to recognize is that humans and dogs co-evolved for thousands of years. We are as physiologically and behaviorally dependent on them as they are on us. At the same time that we think were training them, theyre training us. At the same time as theyre enhancing (or undermining) our health, were doing the same to them. Behavioral ecologist Ray Coppinger refers to dogs as parasites. I would agree that they do function as physical parasites, but we even the ante by emotionally parasitizing them by projecting our most intimate and sometimes neurotic and totally self-serving symbolism on them, unmindful of the stress this may create. (Although some dogs are becoming highly skilled emotional parasites, too.)

9. Because of the physiological and behavioral effects of domestication, the ideal human-canine relationship should mimic that between a mature adult animal and a pup. The term used for the parental role is leader rather than parent to distinguish this relationship from primate parenthood. This is necessary because primate parenthood is initially highly reactive, a form of adult response that communicates subordination in canines. Unfortunately, many people erroneously associate leadership with (reactive) dominance and dominance with the ability to win fights. The net result is that aggressive dogs often dont recognize human leadership because their owners dont communicate it. Instead they see their owners as competitors or pups. This relationship then affects how they related to other people, too. In my experience, owners and others dont communicate leadership to dogs either because they dont know how or because they dont want to be leaders. (We also happen to live in a society in which the lack of human role models is rampant with those championed as "leaders" actually being energy-squandering folk who lack sufficient leadership skill that they have no choice but to dominate by force. The true leader isnt the individual who wins the fight, but rather the one who possesses so much presence he or she neednt fight at all.)

Myrna Milani

TippingPoint, Inc.

Charlestown, NH