Veteran & Retired Chicago Cop’s Service Dog Banned

Can you hear me growling?  That other noise you hear is me dragging out my soapbox because I am seriously pissed off.

Here’s the story.  Jim Sak & his wife moved to Aurelia, Iowa to be closer to her mother.  Jim is a Vietnam Vet and retired police officer who had a stroke and needs his service dog, Snickers, a pit bull type dog.  Turns out Aurelia has breed specific legislation banning pit bull type dogs.  The Aurelia city council called the Sak family to a council meeting and informed them Snickers had to go or she would be seized and killed.

First, breed specific legislation is ineffective and dangerous.  (Find out more from the Animal Legal & Historical Center and from the ASPCA.)  Second, the ignorant and arrogant city council members are in flagrant violation of the American Disabilities Act.  Law is a funny thing.  It will sure be interesting if an ADA lawsuit brings down breed specific legislation.  I hope Jim Sak is reunited with his dog Snickers soon.  For both their sakes.  I suspect this idiotic ruling by the Aurelia City Council is going to bite them in butt.  No pun intended.  I sure hope it does.

Here’s what the Department of Justice has to say:

if an individual uses a breed of dog that is perceived to be aggressive because of breed reputation, stereotype, or the history or experience the observer may have with other dogs, but the dog is under the control of the individual with a disability and does not exhibit aggressive behavior, the title II entity cannot exclude the individual or the animal from a State or local government program, service, or facility.

The Department of Justice goes on the say:

The Department does not believe that it is either appropriate or consistent with the ADA to defer to local laws that prohibit certain breeds of dogs based on local concerns that these breeds may have a history of unprovoked aggression or attacks. Such deference would have the effect of limiting the rights of persons with disabilities under the ADA who use certain service animals based on where they live rather than on whether the use of a particular animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Breed restrictions differ significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have no breed restrictions. Others have restrictions that, while well-meaning, have the unintended effect of screening out the very breeds of dogs that have successfully served as service animals for decades without a history of the type of unprovoked aggression or attacks that would pose a direct threat, e.g., German Shepherds. Other jurisdictions prohibit animals over a certain weight, thereby restricting breeds without invoking an express breed ban. In addition, deference to breed restrictions contained in local laws would have the unacceptable consequence of restricting travel by an individual with a disability who uses a breed that is acceptable and poses no safety hazards in the individual´s home jurisdiction but is nonetheless banned by other jurisdictions. State and local government entities have the ability to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular service animal can be excluded based on that particular animal´s actual behavior or history–not based on fears or generalizations about how an animal or breed might behave. This ability to exclude an animal whose behavior or history evidences a direct threat is sufficient to protect health and safety. (from 28 CFR Part 35, CRT Docket No. 105;AG Order No. RIN 1190-AA46, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services.)

DIY: Cat Toys To Sew, Knit, Or Crochet

Fun toys for the kitties you know.  Mice, olives, & owls—Oh my!  Just add some catnip to their stuffing and you’ve got some sweet gifts!

Very dapper mice to sew for the discerning feline.  And a great way to upcycle out-of-date menswear hanging in the back of a closet or at your favorite thrift store.   You can hand stitch these or use a machine.  I wouldn’t use beads for eyes—just embroidery floss.  You’ll need:

  • Assorted menswear fabrics (such as wool suiting, cotton shirting, corduroy, and cotton velvet)
  • Iron
  • Fusible webbing
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • Loop turner
  • Fill
  • Catnip
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle


Festive stuffed green olive to knit for the martini loving cat. (via i-like-lemons)  These are super cute.  These can be left as-is or you can lightly felt them.  You will need:

  • 2yds (1.8m) sport weight or baby weight wool. Mary Jane used Jamieson and Smith 2ply jumper weight #83 dk olive, FC11 bright olive, and #9436 Dale of Norway Baby Ull pale olive (Baby Ull, a superwash yarn, won’t felt much, but it will get fluffier)
  • 1.5 yds (1.4m) Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight #125 pimento
  • 1 set dp needles size 2 (3.0mm)
  • catnip
  • 1 crewel embroidery needle


Soulful owls to crochet for the serious cat.  You can make him just the size you want.  If your cat might eat off the eyes, use yarn instead of safety eyes.  You’ll need:

  • < 25g of scraps of wool, in at least two colors
  • 17mm color safety eyes (x 2)
  • catnip
  • A 3.5mm crochet hook, a little stuffing and a needle and thread

DIY: Crochet Frisbee

You can find the pattern for this one here on Zelna Olivier’s blog. 

I freakin’ love these crocheted frisbees!  A while back at the dog park, I saw a guy throwing one of these for his dog.  I couldn’t tell how it was made, but I could tell it was soft, so it couldn’t hurt the dog when she caught it, and is was floppy, because after she caught it, she had a blast shaking it as she brought it back to her person—very fierce!  A crocheted frisbee is also great for the less athletically inclined—if your throw goes wild, it won’t hurt any dogs or people who get in the way. Now, people from the Pacific NW tend to be pretty reserved and I never know how someone will react when I speak to them.  I grew up in Texas where it’s rude not to acknowledge people in public and even after 25 yrs. this reticence of PNW native can be startling. This guy, however, was happy to let me check out the frisbee and to tell me about it.  He got his at a toy store because he immediately knew it’d be great for his dog and that he could always take it with him since he could fold it up.  I also like that you can throw it in the wash. You can have a lot of fun with the colors you use, so be creative! Crochet Frisbee I (this pattern was developed for Handmade Especially for You a charity that organizes knitters & crocheters to make handmade scarves for abused women.  One of their members realized a soft frisbee would be great for kids also affected by abuse since it could be used indoors, for instance in a shelter.) Crochet Frisbee II Scalloped Frisbee (this is really a potholder pattern, but I thought it’d make a neat frisbee too!  photo is via Oiyi’s Crafts)

Pet Food Recall: Arrowbrand & Dog Power

Both dog foods are being recalled due to unacceptable levels of aflatoxin.  Learn more about aflatoxin and aflatoxin toxicosis.  Possible signs your pet has been affected include: lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea or black-tarry stool, yellow mucous membranes and possibly seizures.

Therese over at PetSitUSA learned that the food being recalled by Arrowbrand was also made by Cargill at the same plant where the previously recalled Marksman and River Run were manufactured.  The affected products are:

  • ARROWBRAND 21% Dog Chunks   SKU #807  40 lb. bag
  • ARROWBRAND Super Proeaux Dog Food  SKU #812 40 lb. bag
  • ARROWBRAND Professional Formula Dog Food  SKU #814 50 lb. bag

The recall only applies to the above products with the following Packaging Date Codes 4K0335 to 4K1335.  Return product to place of purchase for a refund and for more information, call 800-256-2769 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

PetSitUSA also notes that Cargill manufactures these brands of pet foods:

  1. Cargill
  2. Nutrena®
  3. Agway®
  4. ACCO®
  5. Loyall®
  6. Purina®
  7. Sportman’s Choice®
Think we’ll be hearing about recalls of their products too?
The second recall is by Advance Animal Nutrition, also due to aflatoxin.  The affected products are:
  • DOG POWER ADULT MAINTENANCE FORMULA 21-12 Dog Food, 50 pound bags
  • DOG POWER HUNTERS FORMULA 27-14 Dog Food, 50 pound bags
  • DOG POWER HI-PRO PERFORMANCE FORMULA 26-18 Dog Food, 50 pound bags

The recall only applies to the above products manufactured between Jan. 4, 2011, and Nov. 18, 2011. with the following Packaging Date Codes (lot numbers):  K0004 through K1322.

Return product to place of purchase for a refund and for more information call 866-648-7646.