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May 28, 2015


Mike Taylor

This is an excellent rebuttal of her garbled notions/ so helpful to see statewide rebuttal coverage, as this person is def. a menace to the rescue world, as well as danger to the dogs of any breed/ ....... Thanx to a Midlothian Animal Advocate for sending this to me /

Karen Martin Crawford

As a volunteer at the Roanoke Pound, please accept my most sincere appreciation for this rebuttal!

Lisa Garr

OMG! As if shelter dogs didn't have enough problems, this person writes an article dissuading people from adopting them! Unforgivable and ignorant! I have NEVER had anything other than a shelter dog, and they ALL have been magnificent pets. Please don't allow this misinformation steer you away from adoption. It's the best thing you could ever do to go to a reputable shelter and find an animal appropriate for your particular circumstances to take home and love!

Cera Wadsworth

I applaud and appreciate the dedication of time and thought to write this rebuttal. I took time yesterday to comment on Ms. Lee's opinion piece as well. I am grateful and relieved to the Richmond SPCA and to Robin for this article.

Cassandra Knipp O.A.Dip. (Animal Psychology Cert)

You have worded everything I wanted to scream at this woman in the most profound and well laid out format I could have hoped for. Thank you for this wonderful rebuttal. I fear the damage the Times has done already by posting her article, but I am very greatly to read this and others standing up against her misguided, misinformed and jaded article that contained such a lack of credibility I was astonished the Times posted it to begin with. I had posted comments to such on the Facebook and other locations, I am so glad to see this rebuttal going around already and so strongly and wide accepted. Thank you, I live and work IN Roanoke Va.. and I volunteer at the Roanoke Shelter... the one her words have hurt so badly. I wish Ms.Lee would stand for something that would not so costly, if she must stand for something and needs to be heard....make it beneficial. Again. THANK YOU!!

Tina Grove

As a board member of one Rescue in the state of Virginia and a volunteer for several others I applaud your response. Thank you!

Jo Ann Abell

I, too, am appalled, that the Roanoke Times, or any newspaper for that matter, would print such an opinionated piece with so much misinformation. I have owned many "rescue" dogs in my lifetime that came to me after months or years of abuse and neglect. Every one still holds a place in my heart for the love and loyalty that gave me over the years. Thank you, Richmond SPCA and all the others that made comments rebutting that awful piece.

Karen Maslich-Russell

Good for you, Robin Roberston Starr! Thank you for responding so eloquently AND with more, factual information!

Marsha P. Reel

It still angers me each & every time I read or hear about ignorant people "labeling" certain breeds of dogs,DANGEROUS & NOT FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN, etc....These shelter animals are some of the most LOVING & APPRECIATIVE animals (dogs & cats)that I have ever had the PLEASURE to meet. We (myself & husband), rescued 2 BEAUTIFUL DOGS in March of 2014, from thw Richmond Animal Care & Control Center. I have NEVER SEEN ANYTHING BUT PURE LOVE & APPRECIATION from my 2 "wigglebuts", who also LOVE eachother, almost as much as we love them!!Thank-you Richmond SPCA, especially Robin, for a well-versed response to both the Times & Ms. Lee. You ALL do SO MUCH GOOD FOR THESE ANIMALS & should be applauded for it!!!

Anne cook

I agree with this rebuttal. In fact, some of the best pets have been rescues. I was in the market for a "pure" bred dog to replace my dog, but as was pointed out to me, the very. Est dog I ever had was a rescue. Ergo, out the window with anything but a rescue. Needing love and security.

Ann Montgomery

Thank you so much for this rebuttal! Well said!

Linda Maroney

Working with "rescue dogs" is the greatest joy in the world. How or why this lady would say the things she did I will never understand. There are many reasons that a dog should not be adopted to a family with small children, small dogs can get dropped or stepped on, large dogs can knock a child down but these issues are not breed specific but size specific. Adoption counselors work with future adopters to find the right dog for their family, maybe it's a hound or a Chihuahua or a Pit Bull. Whatever it is it will be a rescue dog with lots of love to give.

Bonny T Lee

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. The deaths and disfigurements are verified by AP reports, coroner's reports, and law enforcement in the communities in which they occur. It would take quite a conspiracy of media to somehow "make up" the problem we have with high risk dogs. As to the medical professionals, if the links in the original article did not work for you, then just Google "NIH pit bull attacks" and see what you get. Please do at least read these and consider whether or not families with children or the elderly(the most frequent victims) should not be directed towards less risky dogs. In Richmond, you may wish to interview Sandra Wainwright, whose dog was killed on April 16 in Chesterfield County or Hazel Scott's 13-year-old granddaughter with 17 stitches and a dead poodle (the owner said cutting down trees aggravated the dog). Or in Henrico County, talk to Dalton Richardson, who was attacked by two pit bulls that had previously attacked a human and another dog.
Finally, I did not choose the headline for my commentary on a public health issue; that was the newspaper's choice.

Sandra Myers

All of my dogs have been rescue breeds. This is a well written supportive piece. I support the position of Ms. Starr 100% and may cancel my subscription to the Roanoke Times.

Robin Robertson Starr

Bonny T Lee, It is the essence of bigotry to believe that large groups of individuals all share the same traits. By no means are all pit bulls inappropriate matches for families with children or the elderly. To the contrary, there are pit bulls that are suitable companions for these categories of people, and others who are not, as is true for all types or groups of dogs. Animals are individuals, and their placement in homes should be thoughtfully arranged on an individualized basis. In your opinion piece published in the Roanoke Times, you even go beyond lumping all pit bulls together by repeatedly referring to “rescue” dogs as being the problem, sweeping into your prejudice all dogs acquired through shelter or rescue group adoptions. This is wildly unreasonable since there is no evidence whatsoever that rescue dogs present more dangers to people than do dogs purchased from breeders and pet stores. Adoption agencies like the Richmond SPCA work diligently to assure the appropriate placement of each individual dog and cat into the right loving and responsible home. We object to your continual collective reference to rescue dogs and to your unreasoned prejudice against pit bulls. Adopted pets make wonderful, loving companions, and your irresponsible disparagement of them is offensive and counterproductive to our efforts to save their lives.

Kristi Jones

Thanks! I had not seen the article but sounds as though she had no idea what she was talking about and lord knows the animals need good homes and this could possibly have turned off many folks from adopting certain breeds. Makes you wonder who is at the helm on approving these articles to be published....

Jim Walton

I have a rescue dog (German short-haired pointer mix) and I recently moved from Richmond to Roanoke. Perhaps I am to blame for all of this!

annie pelfrey

Robin, you stole my thunder. my reaction was simply that EVERY dog is different,regardless of breed or type.
"you can't fix Stupid!"

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