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Pit Bull Advertising and Exploitation

The following is correspondence between Kari Paulson, local Pitbull Rescuer, Michelle Sell, WCAS [Winnebago County Animal Services] Director, and Rockford Register Star. It took place between June 14 and June 21, 2002. Kari Paulson has given ComPortOne permission to post online her email correspondence to inform the public of her growing concerns. [Parenthesis and their contents are added by CPO to clarify the information....] - Connie Eccles, ComPortOne Editor...

[14 June 2002; Email from Kari Paulson to Michell Sell]

Michelle, [WCAS Director]

I'm a local Pitbull rescuer writing to you in regards to an ad I saw in the RRStar [Rockford Register Star]. The second ad reads "gator bloodline." This is a known fighting line.

I called the paper to make them aware, and they said it wasn't their problem.

Remember the story in the RRStar "pitbull panic"? The reporter who wrote this called me and asked If I had any suggestions with over population, Pitbulls being linked to criminal activity, etc...... One of my suggestions was to not print ANY pitbull ads period. Or at least screen them - such as mentioning bloodlines or old school bloodlines,.excellent bloodlines, etc.....

A reputable breeder does not breed often or for profit. They breed to improve the standard. They micro-chip, screen owners, spay/neuter contracts, homechecks etc. And they don't need to sell pups through a newspaper ad.

The ads in the RRStar [Rockford Register Star] are backyard breeders, dog fighters and they sell to anyone who has the cash.

Most shelters have a "no pitbull" adoption policy and most no-kill shelters don't take in pitbulls. 1 out of 600 pitbulls find a home, and I'm sure you are very aware of the problem.

I am contacting you, TV news stations, police, ASPCA, and any other organazation who will listen.

If we can get get the paper to stop [running] such ads, you would see a great decrease of unwanted, neglected and abused pitbulls.

Kari Paulson

[This is part of the ad that was run in the Register Star]

PITBULL PUPPIES 6 weeks old. some white, some with markings,...
PITBULL PUPPIES, 3 females, rednose, gator bloodline. $300 e...
PITBULL PUPPIES, Impressive & large! Brindles, papers, shots...
Give us a call...

[14 June 2002; reply from Michell Sell, WCAS Director to Kari Paulson, Pitbull Rescuer]


Thank you for the information regarding the Pitbull ads in the Register Star. We received a couple of other calls about the ads and are in the process of following up on them.

Michelle Sell, Director Animal Services

[21 June 2002 Email to Michelle Sells from Kari Paulson]


Here's a letter from the president of RRStar. Although I feel I made some progress, there are hundreds of gamebred lines, Including new ones that are created from dogs of the present. So it's not like I could write the paper and make a list. So I will write them back and see if they will not mention any bloodlines in ads. Thanks for looking into it.

Kari Paulson

[Email sent from Kari Paulson to Mr. Jacobi, President & Publisher of RRStar]

Mr Jacobi,

I'm writing to you In regards to an ad I saw In the pet classifieds.

PIT BULL PUPPIES, 3 females, rednose, gator bloodline.
$300.00 each. 815-218-****

I'm a local Pitbull rescuer and I often look over such ads, and keep track of prices, repeat phone numbers, etc.

Gator bloodline happens to be a fighting line.'s%20CH%20Gator_jpg.htm

The RRStar has written two storys regarding pitbulls, I believe the first one was called "pitbull panic" and the other was called "Pitbulls love em or hate em".

We have a proposed BSL coming up in Rockford because of Illegal Blood sports, over population, dog bites, and loose pitbulls.

I feel ALL pitbull ads should be eliminated from this paper [Rockford Register Star]. Not only do I see fighting lines being sold but I see puppies being sold for $50.00 to $100.00 These are backyard breeders and puppy mills who will sell to ANYONE who has the cash.

A reputable breeder does not breed often nor breed for profit. Only the ones with the very best temperment will be bred. They have a spay/neuter contract, pups are micro-chipped, homechecks are conducted, and they often educate new owners. The dog is ALWAYS welcomed back to the breeder, and pups don't go for less than $500.00. Established breeders don't need to advertise in a classified ad.

Winnebago County Animal Services will not adopt out pitbulls, once they end up in the shelter system it's most certainly the end of the line.

Most no kill shelters don't take in pitbulls - such as Noah's Ark [Rockford, Illinois]. Only 1 of 600 homeless pitbulls finds a home.

If our community makes such exceptions towards this breed, then this paper should help stop it at a huge source (classifieds) I'm not saying the paper is responsible I'm asking this paper to show some responsibility.

I talked to several employees of this paper, and they were very disinterested, flippant and seemed to want to hang up with me asap.

These dogs are the victims they don't have a voice and I refuse to turn the other cheek in this matter. This paper Is a part of the community and you ultimately have the right to refuse any classified ads.

Kari Paulson

[16 June 2002 To Kari Paulson from Fritz Jacobi, President & Publisher of RRStar]

Dear Kari,

Thank you for your email and information. I have reviewed your request with Michele Massoth, our classified advertising manager. In the future we will not accept ads for those that are listed as gator bloodlines or any reference to the dog having a fighting nature.

Thank you again for your email and I hope you continue to enjoy reading the Register Star!

Fritz Jacobi
President & Publisher
Rockford Register Star
99 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104

This information is reprinted with permission of Kari Paulson. We think Kari is doing a great job at trying to inform the public of a growing problem. She is obviously very knowledgeable and caring about the dire situation and flagrant abuse of pitbulls. If you wish to contact Kari, send an email to ComPortOne and it will be forwarded to her.
ComPortOne Editor, Connie Eccles

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